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Saturday, February 24, 2018

CRACK SHOTS & CRACK POTS


Wednesday Feb. 23 I attended another protest on the steps of the Courthouse here in Vero Beach, this one concerning our lax gun laws. The crowd was large with many carrying signs. This time there were no counter protesters which is surprising. Just the day before I was reading a letter in the local newspaper from some idiot who claimed the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School massacre would have had far fewer deaths if teachers had been armed. Really??? I can visualize MORE deaths because more students and teachers would have been caught in the crossfire. Just how many people who own guns are crack shots!

But let's assume they are all trained marksmen; remember there's an element of surprise here, not to mention pressure. From what I read a policeman was there when all of this was going down and was frozen in place outside. And with a number of armed civilians a SWAT team would be confused as to which was the crackpot! This is the kind of stupid idea only an NRA toady could think up.

When I learned of this latest Florida shooting on Valentine's Day it was on the evening news and frankly I wasn't surprised. It's becoming too common place for that. Naturally Trump was eager to blame the FBI despite the fact he's made it easier for mentally disturbed individuals to purchase assault weapons as well as cut the funding for mental health. If anything, I'm surprised it doesn't occur more often.

The NRA owns the Republican Party. It's bought and paid for them! So I don't expect anything to change soon. However, that doesn't mean it should be accepted or even tolerated. Become a bayonet in their side, fight!!! Protest like hell again and again until something does change!!! You don't defeat bullies by turning the other cheek.

It's not just students and teachers who are in danger! The Orlando Pulse Nightclub, Las Vegas Concert, and Aurora Theater massacres are proof of that! No one is safe under our current gun laws. Next time it could be a nursing home filled with senior citizens, a sports arena, an airport, or even a supermarket! I could have been shot on the courthouse steps along with dozens of others. Vero Beach is a Trumpanzee town and the school shooter was a Trump supporter.

This, is only one of a long list of issues I have with Trump and his administration. I wish there was equally as much uproar about the other policies harming people and our environment. This entire administration along with their evangelical supporters consists of nothing but crack pots; vile and corrupt ones backing a con man in the oval office. All of them need to be removed, starting at the top!!!

As to our gun laws, Trump himself does not help his case with his boasts of shooting someone in broad daylight and not losing any voters. Remember during his campaign he urged someone use their Second Amendment right to take out Hillary Clinton.  -- I wish the same for him! It would only be poetic justice.

FYI I am a registered Republican and consider myself conservative. But I know a turd when I smell one.

Nothing good is going to come out of this presidency. This insane administration is all about greed! It's consumed by it! A toxic stench is permeating our land and it's emanating from that blob of human excrement inside the White House.
Trump, you are incompetent, plus a disgrace and an embarrassment! Since you love guns so much why don't you do this country and the entire world a favor and shoot yourself!

I don't care if you leave office in handcuffs or a box, either way I will celebrate! There will be dancing in the streets!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

FLASHING, SPINNING, NEON LIGHTS GOING ROUND & ROUND


It was my nasty Valentine's gift from the Universe! On the eve before Valentine's Day I was watching a movie on my DVR titled: Best Laid Plans. The movie was kind'a sucky, but I've always liked Reese Witherspoon. She reminds me of peanut butter cups. Anyway, about 45 minutes into the film I noticed my giant eye floater darting about like a speedballing bug! Suddenly flashing, spinning, neon lights appeared inside the outer edge. My right eye seemed to be on an acid trip!

Alarmed, I hurried to get my eye drops, the ones specially formulated for dry eyes like mine hoping it would normalize the situation. It didn't, not even after repeated applications every half hour. I kept examining the eye in the mirror searching for a difference between it and the left one. But they looked exactly the same, yet one was acting bizarre. After the movie, I went to bed hoping the eye would return to normal the next AM. It didn't!

On Valentine's Day it was still acting crazy as I awoke. I Googled my symptoms. -- I had been warned previously by a healthcare professional never to believe Dr. Google because he would mess with my head. Well my eye was messing with my head and I wanted answers! To my horror, I discovered I had symptoms of a detached retina. The bottom line was to seek medical treatment immediately or I would permanently lose vision in that eye.

I phoned the Florida Eye Institute and gave a nurse my symptoms. She instructed me to come in early the next AM; they made a space for me. Just last October, I had cataract surgery in both eyes there. I don't have Insurance and despite my age, I don't qualify for S.S. or Medicare. And my bank account couldn't handle a hit from another surgery! I was sick with stress and foreboding.

Later, my friend Marie dropped over with cookies from a French bakery. It was the one bright spot in my worst Valentine's Day ever! I told her the horrible news.

Marie said she had a giant eye floater, too. Hers looks like a lobster! We both laughed. Marie offered to drive me the following morning. I could still drive. Besides, I knew I was in for a long, tedious wait there and I couldn't subject her to that. So I thanked her and declined.

At the Institute the next day, I had to be examined by 4 technicians (with long waits between each) before even seeing the doctor. The morning felt excruciatingly long. I heard a nurse inform a patient that they were running late due to an emergency case. I wondered if that was me.

The doctor stated that the gel in my right eye was loosening and it was age-related, but he saw no signs of a tear in the retina. I asked about the flashing, spinning, neon lights, and the floater gone wild. He said I was having a migraine!

I told him I didn't get migraines anymore, although I had terrible ones during my early to mid-50's. He stated that if you are migraine prone they never go away, you just outgrow the pain. I've never heard that before and it sounded crazy to me! But I reminded myself that I was talking to a professional.

Thinking back, my migraines were always over my right eye stretching clear to the back of my head on the one side. They were nothing short of torture! I would go 3 days or more without food because I couldn't even keep water on my stomach! But I NEVER saw flashing, spinning, neon lights or even halos which many migraine sufferers do!

He said my symptoms would eventually go away and the floater would settle back down. The light show in my right eye is less dramatic, now. However, the floater is still darting around the screen as I type.

Thankfully, no surgery was required, I left $500 poorer; but I should be grateful it's not thousands!

What scares me, if this occurs again, how can I be absolutely certain it's only a migraine.

I doubt there will ever be affordable healthcare in this country, at least not during my lifetime. This is a for-profit industry and too many people with influence are getting rich off it. If you are a senior citizen with health issues to them you are just a piece of stale meat with a wallet!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

WINTER, I LOVE YOU!!!


This year, Florida has been experiencing more than a few days of winter, even more than a week. Those from other states have no idea how rare and precious this has become!

Every February I hear people declare with exaltation, "Summer is right around the corner now, I can't wait!" -- I WANT TO PUNCH THEM!!! I don't want summer arriving. I dread the long months of heat & humidity along with hurricane stress & anxiety! Summer has become a season of misery for me. Oh and I forgot the swarms of bugs, too!

The best part of the year here in Florida is after hurricane season when the holidays arrive one after the other. And if the weather is chilly, that's a double bingo jackpot!

So winter please stay awhile longer, linger into spring. Your cold nip excites me and makes me feel alive, yet, safe and comfortable. Wrap yourself around me and let me inhale you.

Yeah sure, I know people up north are shivering in the snow & ice. However, judging by the horrendous traffic and congestion, I think half of them are down here. Go home and freeze, I say!

Late spring and summer will at least bring an end to that, (temporarily) along with lengthy lines in restaurants & supermarkets, also it will be easier to find parking spaces once the tourists & snowbirds go home. This part is good at least, but I still long for the coolness of winter.

I'll miss the glowing serenity of the season, being bundled-up in warm clothes with my snuggy boots and a mug of hot mocho here alone inside the house I love. Twenty years ago this would have seemed an impossible fantasy. No matter what happens in the future, I can look back and know that I enjoyed the sublime here and now.

And when it's cold I fall asleep faster and sounder under lots of heavy covers!

For the first time in almost a decade, I've had to turn the heat on to get the chill out of the house in the AM, but I prefer that to sweating! My thermostat is set at 68 degrees. Once the temperature hits that, I turn it off.

I've never eaten so much soup in my life as I have this winter, except during the back-to-back hurricanes of 2004. Then, I sipped it at room temperature. I didn't mind, because my house was boarded up and there was no electricity. The last thing I wanted was something hot!  OMG What I wouldn't have given for a big, freezing, cold, chocolate-covered ice cream bar during the aftermath of those hurricanes!

Our Florida winters were becoming steadily hotter. Often I wore my summer clothes year round. The pretty sweaters & jackets I bought on sale, at long last I've been able to wear! They've just hung in my closet for a few years until now.

Please winter, linger awhile longer. I wish I could freeze time and make you last forever. But I can only enjoy the chill while it lasts. I fear the weather will be warming long before summer returns.

I've got my fingers crossed in hope for next December. Winter, please don't be a stranger. You are welcome here!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

ME & THE MOLESTER


He was a long time friend of my mother's family since before I was born. One who came north from Georgia with his wife & daughter during World War II. They were neighbors of my grandmother. Grandma was a fervid Pentecostal and so were they.

I didn't meet him until the late 1950's, then he was a widower and his daughter was grown and far away. His last name when spoken with a Georgia accent sounded exactly like Pharaoh. In fact I thought THAT was his actual name until I was around 10.

I first meet Mr. Pharaoh when I was 8. He was back in his native Georgia. We stopped to visit on our way home from Detroit. Unlike my previous trip to Michigan, this was a long car excursion with the entire family.

I found Georgia beautiful and Mr. Pharaoh pleasant, though our visit was brief.

I didn't see him again until the summer before my 12th Birthday. He came to visit and stayed in our guest house which had been vacant since my grandfather's death. This time, he seemed quite taken with me, downright fascinated you might say. He was just TOO interested! His attention made my flesh crawl.

For his entire visit he kept mentioning what a pretty young thing I was and he couldn't understand why I didn't have a boyfriend. Never mind that boys of that age were more interested in baseball & bug collections than in girls. And I was a child in a training bra! But I got the strong impression HE wanted to be my boyfriend! I found his attention unnatural and creepy.

Fortunately, one of my parents was always around. Thankfully, I was never forced to be alone with him!

When he wasn't talking about how fetching I was, he was quoting scripture verses at me. I've noticed that religion seems to be the perfect cover and disguise for lowlifes. 

 I was relieved when he left!

The next and final time I saw him I was at age 22. He was remarried. He and his new wife dropped by on their way to Miami. She was a woman his age with a nice nest egg. Pharaoh commented how much I resembled my Aunt Kiki, a professional model in the 1950's. He declared he was taking me back to Georgia. 

"No, I think not!" I told him with repulsion.  

On their return trip from Miami, they dropped by the house again. I was at work in West Palm Beach with my father; this enabled me to avoid seeing them. Mr. Pharaoh and his wife were considering taking a Bahamas cruise, later.

My mother mentioned that Dad & I had taken one together a few years earlier.

"Did he sleep with Dianne?" Pharaoh wanted to know.

Horrified by this question, my mother at first gasped, "NO!" she shouted into his face.

Mom told me of this in private, later. My father was nothing like that! It was an insult to the entire family!

"You should have kicked him off the property," I said with disgust, "and forbade him ever to return!"

"He apologized immediately when he saw my reaction," she explained.

"That doesn't matter," I insisted, "just for thinking it, you should have given him the boot!"

"It did jog my memory, Mom confessed."He was accused of molesting his own daughter. It happened long ago in Detroit when his first wife was in the hospital. The girl recanted because everyone told her to stop making up stories, her father would go to prison. And it would be her fault! Now, I believe he actually did it!"

"So do I! It doesn't surprise me a bit!" I exclaimed.

The deepest place in Hell is the most vast of all, reserved for a variety of sins, not just one! Forgiveness should be granted only those who are sincerely sorry. Not those who express regret only when caught.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

REFLECTING ON MY COLLECTING


Last spring, my friend Marie phoned to borrow a hat for a fancy dress-up event she was attending.

"What style and color?" I asked. "I've got you covered, whatever," I told her.

"I knew I came to the right person!"  She chuckled.

And indeed she did! Marie was pleased with the hat I lent her. Also I offered to lend her a pair of matching lace gloves, but she declined.

I've purchased many elegant hats in perfect condition in Thrift or Consignment stores. However the one I lent Marie I bought on sale at Walmart. It had been a favorite of mine when my hair was red.

Last decade, I attended lots of formal Teas. But these accessories also made wonderful props for my speeches at Business Networking events. Besides, I LOVE hats!

And speaking of Teas, I collect teapots. Over the years I've acquired a variety of styles there, too! I have one that looks like a magic lamp, another a pumpkin, also a pineapple, one covered in vegetables, several in flowers, one with a butterfly handle, another featuring jungle animals, 2 Chinese, 1 Japanese, 1 that resembles a German stein, a huge colorful 1 shaped in Moroccan style , and many, many more! My prettiest ones are on my kitchen counter. I call them my parade of teapots.

Also I collect Faerie memorabilia along with pretty glass & ceramic eggs. Little faeries are scattered all over my house!

On my kitchen wall over the breakfast table I have a reproduction of the famous faerie painting Summer's Eve. It's directly across from the bay window looking thru the porch and onto my backyard. The view could be an extension of this scene. This picture was the first item I bought for the house with my own money. My father thought it a needless, impulsive purchase until he saw how well it fit in.

On a trip to a Thrift Store with a friend, we saw a collection of owls; ceramic, glass, & carved ones, numerous shelves of them; owls, owls, and more owls of all size and variety!

"Someone was a major collector and died!" my friend exclaimed. "Just look at all of those!"

"And their relatives probably were eager to dispose of them," I added. -- Well, that got me to thinking about the fate of MY precious collections after I'm gone.

Back in my 20's I started collecting unusual costume jewelry. All of these items are quite lovely! At age 40, I thought I'd leave them to the daughter of a close friend in High School, in memory of our friendship despite the fact our friendship deteriorated shortly after we started Junior College together.

Later, I happened to see a photo of her daughter in the newspaper along with an interview. (She won a major athletic completion!) Well, she was the most masculine looking and sounding 15 year old girl you could ever imagine! The only things missing from her photo were a spiked dog collar, a tattoo, and a cigar in her mouth! If that's her thing, whoopee for her, but it didn't solve my problem. She obviously was not the type to appreciate my jewelry!

Anyway, I've since legally willed my hats, jewelry, and accessories to the local Theatre Guild. One problem solved!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

THE ME TOO BLUES


One of my favorite TV programs, The Great American Baking Show was pulled after only a few episodes because a judge was accused of sexual harassment. Why punish the audience, not to mention those star bakers whose talent has earned them the spotlight!!! All they had to do was replace the judge. Or if the show was pre-recorded just run a banner at the beginning of the program. Good grief!

A friend called 2017 The Year of the Pervert. She also calls The Great American Baking Show, Dianne's porn. She right on both counts!

Still I'm glad all these sexual harassment issues are finally coming to light. I've been there, just as every other woman!

However, I was fortunate during my 20's because I worked for my father. My dad was not the type to sexually harass or molest anyone. My father was quite a handsome man, often I watched women throw themselves at him!

He told me of 2 separate occasions where 2 different women (casual business associates) took him by surprise and planted a kiss directly on his mouth! He said he could never be attracted to either and resented this. Afterward, he distanced himself from them. So this is not just a female issue!!!

We had a number of salesmen drop in who were notorious huggers. Whenever I saw one heading straight for me I'd fold my arms and give them a look. They got the message!

But the workforce was a far better place than High School! There, I suffered EVERY form of harassment you can possibly imagine.

During my 40's my father showed me his class ring with pride. "I was always surprised that you never wanted one," he said.

I told him with disdain that I'd rather blot it from memory and have no reminders!

"But that's one the happiest times in life!" he replied with a chuckle.

"No," I stated. "It was the most miserable. I hated every second there!" I didn't even get into the sexual harassment due to embarrassment.  But I mentioned the snooty caste system and the numerous cliques.

"I can't believe that!" He huffed "It was nothing like that when I went to school!"

"I don't care how it was in your day. Believe me, I had very different experiences!" I stated matter-of-factly.

He gave me that I'm-sure-it-couldn't-have-been-that-bad look. Actually it was worse!!! I used to cringe every morning when the building came into view.

One of the boys who made my life a nightmare left school to serve in Vietnam. A middle school student at my bus stop was corresponding with him. I told her, "I hope he comes back in a box with dismembered pieces inside!" She was horrified and accused me of not supporting our troops. I told her it was just that one particular guy, and then I told her why.  

"Oh, but he's sooo sweet, I can't imagine him ever doing anything like that!" she said.

"So I'm a liar then! Were you there?" I replied. No matter what I said, I realized she would refuse to believe me. -- And she had never even met him in person! Ugh!

A few decades later, I learned this guy had become a Preacher! I don't believe for a minute he's changed. The creep has just found a perfect cover!

I had the misfortune of being forced to sit beside this slime bag in Science Class. He had a filthy mouth and wandering, grabby hands. The last row behind us was filled with boys who cheered him on and laughed. The entertainment at my expense! We had a male teacher who turned a blind eye to this. The class room was small, so I could never understand why he didn't notice! I thought teachers were supposed to have eyes in the back of their head. This one seemed to be blind!

I couldn't turn to my parents because I feared my father would maim or murder the boy and I didn't want my dad going to prison. My mother was now a paranoid schizophrenic living in the Twilight Zone. Also I was mortified to verbalize it.

Finally, I went to the Guidance Counselor and told her I wanted to be transferred out of that class. Deeply embarrassment and in tears, I gave her the reason why! I remember she lowered her eyes and smirked as if I'd just told her a dirty joke. She then stated it wasn't a serious enough reason for a transfer. I was in disbelief!!!

I was never going back there! I informed her that I would be skipping class.

"Then you will be expelled," she replied with a cold stare.

I didn't care, I told her!

Then, I decided I would go back. But first, I'd buy a switchblade. And I was fully prepared to use it! By then, I didn't care if I went to jail. I had run out of options. I was desperate!

During my last period class a messenger came and I was handed a note. I gave a big sigh of relief! The Guidance Counselor had changed her mind. My transfer was granted. I was out of there!

Up until then I was a chronic nail biter. Immediately I made the decision to stop. And I never weakened, not once. I swore that if anyone ever did those things to me again I'd leave a mark on their face that would last a lifetime. Or I'd shove my thumb deep into their throat! Fortunately, during my senior year, no one harassed me, at least not sexually.

People often admire my long, beautiful fingernails. They came about because of a loathsome troglodyte back in Science Class!

Friday, December 22, 2017

GOING GALLIC FOR THE HOLIDAY (Sort of)


My Christmas this year will be subdued. I didn't feel up to erecting and decorating a tree. Also I'm too old and uninsured to be balancing on ladders. All of my holiday decorations are minimal. I'm not in my usual joyous and celebratory mood. Seems nothing has gone right since returning from Thailand 2 years ago. Perhaps the universe is punishing me for not expatriating as planned. But as a future home, I found those developing countries disappointing. 

I was reading that the French celebrate Christmas quite differently from Americans. For one thing, they don't go wild with colored lights and decorating! To me, that's what makes Christmas special! But unlike my neighbors I never decorate the outside of my home beyond a wreath. Yet, I do love decorating the inside, but this year it just seems like a bother. However the holidays only arrive once a year and I'm determined to enjoy them. So I'll be embracing some Gallic traditions. 

I've decorated the fireplace and my formal table under the chandelier is gorgeous. And of course I'll light scented candles; I'm partial to cinnamon bun & candied maple sugar.

I own at least half a dozen berets, so I may place one atop my head before sitting down to Christmas dinner. Also I plan to play French Christmas carols.

The French do put up a tree which I'm forgoing this year, although that's a German tradition. The Hessian soldiers brought this custom to America during the Revolutionary War. To compensate for my lack of a tree I've gone a little overboard with garlands this year.

For my Christmas dinner I'm having a chicken breast stuffed with brie & apple along with garlic mashed potatoes, plus a Technicolor toss salad with tiny cultivars, (the colorful jewels of tomatoes) combined with sweet peppers.

Raw oysters are served as part of the Gallic holiday meal. I've loved these since I was a child so they will be on my menu! If I wasn't poor, I'd top them with caviar. But the inexpensive kind tastes like it came from a catfish, so I'll top with cooked spinach & herbs instead.

The French don't drink eggnog, but champagne. Well I don't need to numb my brain or impair my judgment to enjoy myself! Good or bad, I want to be 100 per cent in the moment! So scratch that one!

I visited France on a group tour way back in 1978. We spent 3 days in Paris and then boarded a plane for the French Rivera. In Paris, I took 2 sips of champagne at the Moulin Rouge and that was enough. I'm having cinnamon plum tea to drink.

The French seem to set the style for everything! My 9th Grade Civics teacher explained to the class how ultra short hair became a trend in the 1940's."During the war," he said, "many French women had German lovers. After the Germans were driven out, these women were shamed for being collaborators and publicly had their heads shaved. Not long after, American tourists arrived and seeing the French women with short hair, assumed it must be the latest trend and aped it." That was HIS theory, anyway!

Here's a joke from my childhood:  Why are there so many tree lined boulevards in France?...Answer:  So the German Army could march in the shade!

For some reason my father disliked the French! I argued that they showed the Nazis a hard time. He laughed and said they showed'em a good time! -- Geez, Dad was stationed in the Pacific during WWII. So how would he know? But then Lininger is a German name!

Strange, my family always observed the French custom of opening presents on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas morning. I always found this to be an anti-climax! I was scooted off to bed directly afterward and couldn't play with anything until the next AM. -- I was the one who put an end to this custom in our family!

This year I will be aping many Gallic traditions myself, but selectively.

I read that for Christmas dessert the French eat only fruit & cheese! Really? Geez! This is the land of pastry!!! On Christmas I'm allowed a real dessert!!!

Chocolate truffles are a part of a French Christmas, however not with the big meal. This suits me fine; I always have them around for the holidays.

And by the way, the pastry in Austria is just as toothsome. But for my Christmas dessert I'm having a German stollen; a traditional Teutonic fruitcake with marzipan filling. A nod to my ancestry! Also I'm keeping some American customs, too. However, this year it will be mostly Gallic at my house.  

But for New Year's, I might go in a completely different direction. I'm thinking Salmon Wellington and Figgy pudding... No, on second thought forget that! Spanakopita with lots of feta cheese followed by Baklava oozing nuts & honey seems a much better choice!

Since I can't afford any trips abroad in the near future, I'm going to enjoy holiday vacations at home!