Wild Ride

Do you dream? I usually don’t, but the other night I sure had a weird one. I was at an amusement park with several people and we were next to a long, large slide. Everyone was talking, however, no one wanted to take the ride. The sign stated 2 people for entry, but, I had no takers. Jokes or snide comments were made when I asked those with me to ride.†

This went on for quite awhile with the day coming into late afternoon, and getting darker. Tired of the comments I decided to go it alone and was allowed on. This was exhilarating and fun. I was happy.

Moral of the story: Give your ride a try. See where and what it bring you. Never know until you try.

#2 Sealing Up The Condo For Departure

I began to move on to other concerns now that the security of the condo was established. First on the list was learning how to turn off the water. Ron, one of the condo maintenance men, was key in this assist as the cover over the turn off valve was a nightmare to open. Here I learned the value of a flat screwdriver and hammer for cover removal. We then dug through dirt and found the valve to turn. These valves are in elbow deep holes, but I didn’t fall in, and the valves turned with ease.

The third picture is the hole, doesn’t it look like a sci-fi character?

Ventilation concerns moved with ease. I am a professional when it comes to air filter removal and installation. Life would be so much easier if everything had an arrow to direct you. On day of departure I will make sure the temperature is set at 80 cool so upon return there will be no mold in the sheet rock. Another item completed.

Success, look who turned on at 9 pm and shut off at 11 pm..

While I thought security was finished as I opened a kitchen drawer 3 lamp timers came to view. How could I have forgotten these? The installation of these babies proved to be a larger than life nemesis, even worse than the window devices. For the last 3 days I have been waiting for lamps to turn on and off to no avail. Upon locating the instructions all is well, and I must report my third lamp just turned off as I wrote this line. Thank you, IIIWoods Company, whoever you are. I’d drop you a line raving about the great instructions, however, I am a little busy, and on the sheet there was no address. So, please accept my gratitude via blog.

The final concern is the garden, however, Mother Nature seems to have this covered. Also, Jimmy, our other super skilled maintenance man, was finally sent to watering system school, (yes, there is such a place), and this baby is functioning well. I trust upon my return there will be many blooms.

In the meantime, as Stephen would say, I owe you a blog or 2 on my favorite places in St. Augustine. Stay tuned.

#1. Sealing Up The Condo For Departure

As I plan for departure I have many things to do. We’ve already discussed the refrigerator, and that is under control. There are 2 pieces of fish, and a box of frozen vegetables in the freezer, with the refrigerator almost empty.

Next, I began to look at window security devices. In doing this I searched my favorite store, yes, the Dollar Tree. There I found exactly what I needed. As I attempted to attach these devices to the window I didn’t understand the limited directions. Sometimes when I opened the window the device rang, however, other times it did not. At one point during installation the magnet inside one of the pieces shot across the room, and I still haven’t located it. It’s hiding in the shag carpet, probably for fear of me.

Window Security Device

When I finally did get the d-m thing installed the plastic glue backing needed additional glue. After gluing this several times the device continued to slip from the window frame, and ring, so, I did what any single woman would do, apply duct tape over the glued piece. While MacGyver was famous for duct tape, I want to be on record as discovering it. It is my best friend.

But out of all the buzzing the contraptions made I learned one thing, NO ONE BOTHERED TO RESPOND TO THE NOISE. Guess, I got my dollars worth.

It’s Kathleen and if you don’t like, (or believe in this instance), what I say it’s still Kathleen.

Free Photos

As I write this craziness I am often at a loss for photos. The Samsung cell phone surprises me most days with its picture quality, but, 100% it isn’t. In scouring the internet for a good free photo to accompany my words I always type the subject along with free image in the bar, and then a myriad of photos arise. Try it for a laugh.

Some of these photos say free outright, however, some flash a copyright message. I know to stay away from those. Why do I write this? Well, mainly because I want to be on record that I tried to stay within the law.

googled:cartoons of females in prison garb free image

It’s Kathleen and if you don’t like what I say, it’s still Kathleen.

Left and Right, Red and Blue

Recently, I learned what these words meant in terms of American politics. Growing up in the 60’s, red was always affiliated with Communism, so surprise, surprise, when I finally consulted Auntie Google on this. Here’s what I came up with.

Volcabulary Lesson:

Left or Left Winger – these groups or individuals support social equality and egalitarianism. They are concerned for the disadvantaged and can have radical or revolutionary views in change.

Which brings up the next term.. egalitarianism

  • a belief in human equality.
  • all people are equal and deserve equal rights.

Right or Right Winger – denotes social systems and ideologies of freedom, capitalism, and classical liberalism. A political spectrum associated with conservative thought.

Well, let’s see what capitalism means

  • trade is controlled by private owners for profit.
  • government plays a secondary role in this economic system.

Now, Classical Liberalism

  • a political ideology that advocates for civil liberties under the law with emphasis on economic freedom.


Now, that I have your attention, here it goes….

Red – official color of the Republican party.

Blue- official color of the Democratic party.

And as I read further there is another color, purple. This is a swing state, which is a contest between red and blue. At least this makes sense. I recall from 8th grade art class when you put red + blue = purple. Maybe that is the answer to all this. We need to find a way to blend.

It’s Kathleen, and if you don’t like what I say it’s still Kathleen.


My neighbor, Shelly, is going to be 80 soon. She’s my favorite neighbor in the condo complex. When I was looking for a first level condo I met her as she was walking her dog in front of the complex. She told me all about the area and how she enjoyed living here. Shelly had more information than the realtor.

My friend has been going through a lot of health matters this past year. As a nurse for 44 years I’ve become quite updated on all the new fangled medical things out there by listening to what they’ve done to her body and soul.

Today I called to check on her as she received another ghastly new procedure. In listening to her tale I cringed, but one thing about this lovely Southern woman is her spirit. As the conversation came to a close she said, “Call me tomorrow, I’ll be better then.”

We all need to think that way.

Ladybugs are good luck. Good luck, my friend.

Princess Place

One of my 2 favorite spots in the St. Augustine area is Princess Place. This 1100 acre property was purchased from Spain by Francisco Pelletier in 1781, with ownership transferred in 1886 to Henry Mason Cutting, a man of wealth from New England. Located south of St. Augustine, Florida, on Kings Highway, it is maintained by Flagler County, and free of charge with donations accepted.

In 1887, Cutting built an Adirondack Camp Lodge on the property with servants quarters, tennis courts, a caretakers home, horse stables, as well as Florida’s first in ground swimming pool. Many visited the lodge, hunting the area with Mr. Cutting, and socializing with his wife, Angela Mills Cutting. Sadly, in 1892, he died leaving his widow with 2 young children to raise. She later remarried an exiled Russian prince, Boris Scherbatoff, (later changed to Scherbatow for fear of his life), hence the name change to Princess Place.

Sit and rock awhile as you gaze at the view.

Descendants still live on the property which is open 7 days a week from 7 am to 6 pm. Fascinating tours of the home are given by park rangers Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2 pm. There is a movie about the property at the Visitor Center which is next to the Ranger Station on the side of the home. This is a must see.

Also on Kings Highway is the Florida Agriculture Museum, which is open Wednesday- Sunday 10-4. This is another fascinating trip in history telling the tale of the Cracker lifestyle. There is a charge, but worth the fee.

Tomorrow I will let you in on another St. Augustine area secret. Stay tuned.

Garden Growth

With the heavy Florida rain my garden is blossoming by leaps and bounds. I have added a rose garden around my Cypress tree. Knock out roses are virtually indestructible. At night I walk around the condo and look at the stars as the garden solar lights keep the alligators at bay. Have to keep all those extremities.

Best side.

CBS This Morning had a gal on speaking about the senior years. As a woman in her late 30’s she stated this is the happiest time of most people’s lives. I’m sure she has many degrees to back up her premise. And who knows?? But, as I look at my garden, it certainly makes me wonder and smile. May it do the same for you.

Sleep, Glorious Sleep

As I write this it is 2:53 a.m. Yes, I am having sleep challenges as are 1 in 3 Americans according to the CDC. They recommend adults 18 to 60 get 7 hours of sleep per night, however, this is not occurring for most of us.

When we don’t get enough sleep we are at increased risk for chronic health problems such as Diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiac disease, stroke, mental health issues, and obesity. Those states with the highest rates of obesity have the most problematic sleep concerns.

Now that I’ve given you the bad news here are some ideas to help you sleep

Plan for sleep

  • 1 to 2 hours prior to sleep plan your day. Lay out your clothes, plan activities, and other things you wish to accomplish. This will allay anxiety.
  • Wind down. Journal. Try to decrease light, as decreased lighting encourages the sleep process. Re-read your journal entry of the day’s activities.
  • Begin grooming activities-warm bath, brush hair and teeth, prepare your bed. Wear clean clothes that are attractive, not t-shirts, or clothing items that disrespect the sleep process.

This rhythm of activities will provide a necessary process for sleep to occur.

Bedroom Preparation

  • No televisions or electromagnetic devices in the bedroom. Remove clocks next to the bed.
  • Refrain from using computers, television, or phones, (no texting), at least 1-2 hours before bed.
  • Close drapes, use light blocking, heavy drapes.
  • Keep the bedroom cool in temperature.
  • Use light colored bed linens which are soft to the touch and fit the bed. Try out various textures of fabric.
  • Change mattress every 5 to 8 years.
  • Try different types of pillows.
  • Consider a white noise machine or atomizer of lavender.

Foods Prior to Sleep

  • Eat light for dinner and ensure it is several hours before sleep.
  • Avoid alcohol 3 hours before sleep.
  • Stop caffeine early in the day, especially coffee and sodas.
  • Try a small snack of tryptophan such as bananas, dates, milk, nut butters or yogurt.
  • Passion or valerian tea one hour before bedtime can assist with the relaxation process as can chamomile tea for some.
  • Warm milk – try it with a teaspoon of vanilla and natural sweeter to improve taste.

Yoga Moves

Some people find yoga helps them sleep. Corpse Pose or Legs Up Against the Wall are two of the most effective yoga sleep poses. Note the pictures below demonstrating the poses:†

Count the cows jumping over the moon.

Try A Mantra

These help many. Consider the following or make your own:

  • “I am calm and relaxed.”
  • “My body is feeling sleepier and sleepier.”
  • Some say prayers over and over until they fall asleep.

Mindful Meditation

Are you asleep yet??
  • Think of what makes you relax, a walk in the woods, being at the beach. Pretend you are there.
  • Add to it the smells and sounds which encourage relaxation. Birds singing, ocean waves, fireplace crackling, a gentle breeze on your face.
  • Put in a component of relaxation where you are concentrating on breathing in and out, then begin tensing and relaxing every part of your body from toes to head.

Sleep Diaries

Keep a sleep diary to see what worked, and what didn’t. Here is what to jot down:

  • Date and time of going to bed.
  • Approximate time you fell asleep.
  • Number of hours slept.
  • Amount of time it took to fall asleep.
  • Feelings once awake 1-awake 2-tired 3-sleepy.
  • Alcohol and caffeine volume and when.
  • Naps – yes or no and amount of time.
  • Exercise – promotes sleep but do it 4 hours prior to bedtime.
  • Daytime feelings 1 wide awake 2 fairly awake 3 tired 4 struggling to stay awake.

Hope these ideas have helped.

Itchy Palm and Foot: Departure Edging Near

Besides having an itchy palm and foot as I think of the North Carolina visit, I also have a refrigerator to empty. This is an event, and for all who haven’t been blessed, read on.

This process started about 3 weeks ago when I realized I had purchased much, too much, from Aldi’s. For some reason I like their microwavable meals. They are tasty and those Germans know how to cook. I started here, and quickly ate up those treats.

Now, as I am coming closer to the wire, I have developed some concoctions that I wish to share. They aren’t Rachael Ray or Martha Stewart quality, but, maybe Sandra Lee would enjoy. Here it goes:

Sauerkraut with bacon chips. Running low on veggies I went for this blend. I microwaved the two ingredients, but, they could be served cold. Great and interesting combo.

The next thing I developed was fish with nuts, olive oil, garlic seasoning, olives, and sun dried tomatoes. Since the olives, and nuts are now history, here’s a pic of tilapia with seasoning and sun dried tomatoes.

My final and favorite creation was watermelon juice and cabernet sauvignon or merlot. Wow, is this a great taste sensation. Even better than sangria. Give it a whirl. To make watermelon juice merely throw the fruit in the blender and purify.

And I even used up my bottle of wine from Jordan to boot.