It Could Have Been Worse

My plans for this sunny Saturday didn’t include shampooing my carpets, re-mopping the kitchen floors and picking up what seemed like 20 stuffed animals from the living room , but it could have been worse.

Evidently I slept through a pretty nasty storm during the night. I may have insomnia but once I’m out, I’m out!

My 70lb German short-haired pointer is inside for a few months while he undergoes heartworm treatment. Salem is a four year old ball of long legs and energy. Keeping him in a kennel and leash walking him is not the best situation but with the alternative being letting the heartworms win, I will gladly do it.

I awoke to my smaller dogs yapping furiously. I opened my bedroom door to what seemed like forty pounds of dog poop landmines all over the living room floor, the aforementioned stuffed animals all over the couch and a very guilty looking dog smiling up at me from my four month old new couch. There was shredded newspaper on the floor and a suspiciously empty Ziploc bag peeking around the corner from the dining room.

After I regained my composure, I grabbed Salem and leashed him up to the porch in the shade so I could assess the damage.

It could have been worse.

The poop could have been runny.

It could have been worse.

The stuffed animals, which belong to my granddaughter, could have been chewed up.

It could have been worse.

The poop could have been on my new couch.

It could have been worse.

Salem could have hurt himself breaking out of the steel kennel.

It could have been worse.

The shredded newspaper contained large shells and fishing net to decorate for an up coming party yet nothing inside the paper was damaged.

It could have been worse.

The empty Ziploc bag was the one with chocolate chip-less cookies.

It could have been worse.

I could have left the baby shower cake out on the counter instead of in the fridge.

It could have been worse.

The storm could have blown the whole house away.

It could have been worse.

I could have slept until 1pm instead of 11am and had to go into Wonder Woman mode to clean everything up in time to get to the 2pm baby shower.

It could have been worse.

The baby shower could have been planned for my house.

My point is, crap happens folks, but it could always be worse.

Look on the bright side and have a great weekend!

Unique

Each of us is unique. Our DNA, our likes and dislikes, the stories of our lives. I want to share some things about me. They make up who I am and they make me unique.

I’m allergic to strawberries. So much so that my phone auto-filled in the word strawberries when I typed “I’m allergic to…”

I cannot watch commercials about shelter dogs. They have always made me cry. I can watch the ones about starving children in the world but not the ones about dogs. I care about the children of the world but those puppy dog eyes (literally) get me every time. I change the channel when they come on. If I can’t change the channel, I leave the room.

I am not a fan of Steven Seagal. I change the channel if he is on the tv. I don’t know why, he has never done anything to me, I just can’t tolerate him.

I make a wish on the first star I see every night . Every time. The same wish. I can’t share the wish, because then it won’t come true.

I dislike odd numbers. The radio volume and tv volume have to be on an even number always.

My house and car are both completely paid for. I have no credit card debt. I’ve worked hard since the age of 15 for what I have.

I twirl my fingers through my hair when I am nervous or really tired.

I talk to my pets, even the fish, like they can hear and understand me. I talk to my plants the same way.

I’ve been married and divorced twice but I still very much believe in marriage and happily ever after.

I absolutely hate mayonnaise!

I don’t eat any type of fish or seafood despite loving the beach and being a mermaid. Fish are friends, not food!

I collect shells, magnets and stickers from places I have been and even some from places I’ve not yet been. The shells are worked into the decor of my house. The magnets cover my fridge, freezer and washing machine. The stickers are on my bear proof, holds ice for 7 days, got it at Walmart for less than $100 cooler.

I love to sing. I was in chorus as a kid and have performed hundreds of duets along with the radio as I’m driving down the road. I won’t say I’m good at it, but that doesn’t stop me either.

I would not ever skydive or bungee jump. Heights don’t bother me but flying does and so does falling.

I don’t really have a favorite color. It changes according to my mood and what the object in question is.

Pet peeves include people who abuse others , loud chewers and anyone who pops their gum.

I’m a natural redhead but I do color my hair now to cover the gray. Secretly I’d like to just go completely gray and rock it as best I can.

I’m looking forward to turning fifty. I’m going to have a huge party, a photo shoot and a smash cake!!

I love to be held and snuggled but I can’t stand for anyone to rub on my arms. I do like my hair caressed and played with.

I love hot McDonalds fries but stop eating them as soon as they stop burning my fingers.

I’d love to be an author/photographer and think Anthony Bourdain had the sweetest job ever.

I love to travel and my bucket list could fill an entire notebook.

I was born in Germany. Heidelberg. I am an American citizen but I have both German and American birth certificates.

My favorite movie is in Italian with English subtitles. It’s called Life Is Beautiful and the actor who plays the main character won an Oscar for his performance.

I know how to crochet.

I love Key Lime pie.

I met Mohammed Ali once and he called me Ding Dong because he heard my sister call me that.

I am a work in progress.

I love with everything I am and following my big heart has caused me pain but I have no regrets when it comes to helping others.

If you had told me even a few months ago that I would post a bikini picture of myself on Facebook, I would have laughed at you but I’m finally realizing that life is short.You have to live each day to the fullest, love without fear and always be yourself.

Be unique. Be you.

Daddy’s Girl

I recently reconnected with a friend I hadn’t seen in at least 25 years. We picked up right where we left off and have been able to share some new laughs and new tears. The tears are what I want to tell you about today. She is a very kindhearted person, always has been. She is a nurse so you know she has that caring spirit. I’ve seen her do a lot of good things for others just in the past week alone.

She invited me to go with her to see her Daddy today. We rode up through pretty countryside and along the way she spotted an older gentlemen who was struggling to walk using his walker and pulling his garbage can back from the street at the same time. It was at least 95 degrees at the and she quickly said she was going to turn around so we could help him. That is just the kind of person she is. The sweet man was very grateful and told us to have a blessed day.

I did have a blessed day.

I got to witness my friend with her Daddy and the love they share. He was still in bed when we arrived. He is in his 80’s and has been struggling lately. His eyes lit up when he hugged his girl! She introduced us and invited him to go to lunch. He said he didn’t feel like going anywhere. She checked how much cash money he had and the balances on his Subway and McDonald’s gift cards. She reminded him he needed to rest and stay hydrated. She offered to bring him food, whatever he wanted, again he declined. She asked if he needed anything at all but he said no.

She noticed his little dog scratching and told him we would give her a bath. He didn’t want to be any trouble but she insisted since his pup sleeps up in his bed. She told him we would go feed the dog at his shop in town. He said he would do it and she told him it was too hot and we would handle it.

We left to go grab lunch, promising to be back soon. After having some sandwiches at a local deli we returned to find him up and dressed in his work clothes, complete with suspenders. He makes quite a dashing and cute figure. He had gone ahead to his shop and taken care of the dog there. She fussed half heartedly at him about being out in the heat and then gave him the coconut cake and some sweets samples she had brought back for him.

We got his little dog before she could hide from her bath and then she proceeded to bathe her. Once she finished, she brought the pup back to her Daddy and placed her on the bed wrapped in a towel.

Her Daddy cried several times during the visit from sheer frustration at not being able to do what he has always done, which is take care of and help others. She tried to reassure him that all he needs to do is take care of himself and rest. He has done more than his share of taking care of everyone else over the years. I remembered that about him from years ago, always willing to help out anyone in need.

He told her at one point that she can’t keep him forever and she replied that none of us gets to be here forever but she was gonna keep him as long as she possibly could. For every protest he made, she had a positive and upbeat response for him. She hugged and kissed on him during the entire visit and had me snap some pictures of them together before we left.

She got him settled and loved on him again asking him to come to her house for a few days. He said he didn’t want to be away from home which is exactly what she said he would say. We told him goodbye but not before she promised him she would be back again on her first day off. She calls him daily. She brings him groceries, clothes, anything he says he needs and many things he won’t say he needs. She worries about him and loves him more than anything.

I got to see where my friend got her big old kind and loving heart. From her sweet Daddy. I feel blessed that she shared some of her time with him and that I got to see their love for one another. He is the kind of Daddy I wish I’d had.

Yes, I did have a very blessed day.

Quiggly

I first saw him at Petco during an adoption event in 2009. I agreed to walk him around the store while we shopped. The people from the Humane Society obviously know a sucker when they see one.

I called him puppy instead of Quiggly thinking that would make it easier to part with him when I was finished shopping.

I made it halfway around the store before starting to cry and handing him over to my then fiancee so I could wait in the car.

It seemed like forever before he joined me outside, opening the door and unceremoniously dropping the wiggling pup in my lap. All he would say is “I hate to see you cry”. We already had three dogs so this guy made four. He had been picked up as a stray in Valley, Alabama. The vet said he appeared to be between 1 and 3 years old. He very quickly became part of the existing pack. He had a sweet temperament and loved to chase birds, squirrels and chipmunks.

When my husband and I later divorced, Quiggly came with me and his sisters Zoey and Bella . A few years later, Quiggly comforted me all night , snuggling up under my chin after Zoey passed unexpectedly.

Later, he and Bella moved to the country with me and his new brother, Rufus. As the oldest Quiggly was the natural to be pack leader but he was so easy going that he let Rufus take over the job. He was there when Bella’s boy came home from the Marine Corps and went to live with him. He was there when I added big brothers Salem and Rylee , Bandit the stray dumped off at work and then Zoey 2.0 who came from a co-worker. He never fussed at the rapidly growing pack but he did make it clear that cats were out of the question.

He spent nine wonderful years as a member of our family. He was injured by an unknown animal during the night or early morning today. I rushed him to the emergency vet. She said that he had what is called flail chest. His ribs were broken and the muscle around them detached in such a large area that he would not survive. She gave me the option to try surgery but made it clear what the chances were.

I sat alone in the exam room with him. He had been given pain medicine but would still raise his head as I cried and talked to him. It took me about an hour and a half to make the difficult decision. I kissed and loved on him and let the vet know I was as ready as I could be. I held him, my face right on his, kissing his ears, telling him he was a good boy and when he got to heaven to find the five year old daughter of my friend who passed from childhood cancer. I told him he would be her pup now and I would see him again someday. He went very quickly and peacefully. I kissed him once more and then let the vet take him to prepare him to come home with me.

They made an impression of his paw, which they will be sending me soon. I rode home with tears in my eyes and my hand laying on the wrapped package beside me which was slowly losing his body heat.

At home, my son, his fiancee and my granddaughter were waiting. My son prepared a grave under the biggest tree in my yard and we laid my sweet boy to rest.

I wrapped him in a plaid blanket and put his favorite toy beside him. We covered the grave with dirt and then pea gravel. I fashioned a cross with his name and the year then placed some flowers from my yard on the rocks.

Today was so very difficult. I know he is in a better place but I already miss his sweet face. His collar is hanging from a shelf in the living room until I get his paw print and can make a fitting memorial.

Quiggly, you are such a good boy. You are not just a dog, you are my sweet boy and I will miss you so much. I love you! 🐾

Thank you for letting me share him with you.

The Princess and Driftwood

Day three of the island adventure was so full of fun that I fell asleep at the keyboard before I could type a single word.

We slept in that day but thanks to a very sweet girl at the hotel we were still able to score the complimentary breakfast. After eating we set out for Jekyll island which had been our original destination when we set out on the road.

Jekyll is home to Driftwood Beach which I have seen in dozens of photo shoots. The driftwood is practically entire trees that have washed away from other parts of the island and deposited here in one spot. It is a beautiful area but there are some things that I have to share if you plan to visit. Like with any dead/dying wood, there are creepy crawlies. Roaches and other bugs skitter about so you have to be careful if you’re going to sit for photos. There are also huge broken rocks along the entire shore. You can’t walk across the sand to the beach in that area. We didn’t plan to do that anyway due to current bacteria levels at the island being too high. There were shops and historical buildings but as a whole Jekyll is much less populated and more protected than St Simons. We did stop in at the gift shop and snapped some photos of the older buildings but the beach was calling so we soon left to go back to St Simons.

The sun was bright and there was a slight breeze so we walked down the beach , stopping to talk to people along the way. My Auburn cap got a lot of War Eagles despite there being a ton of Ga Dawg fans everywhere. We popped in to cool off in a beautiful pool at one of the resorts but didn’t stay long because the tide was coming in fast and we had a 7pm departure booked for a casino cruise. We did have time to browse in a few of the shops of St Simons which offer a variety of boutique style fashions. Glancing at the fitness app on my phone, I saw that we managed to walk over seven miles total for the day but then I also noticed it was after 5pm and we rushed back to the hotel to get ready for the evening.

Hair and makeup done, we set out for the Emerald Princess II for a night of gambling and fun. I had to sign a waiver because I was wearing flip flops so I got slightly worried that I might lose all my money and a few toes before the cruise was over.

We began by having dinner which was not quite what we expected but for $10 at least the garlic bread was good. Afterwards we climbed the stairs to the upper observation deck so we could watch the sun set over the water. A lone shrimp boat was following behind us and I joked that Forrest Gump was coming to get us. We chatted with some nice people from Atlanta until the captain announced the casino was open. There were slot machines on two floors and the lower deck also had poker tables, blackjack and roulette. A poster boasted of bingo games later with the final game having a $500 jackpot.

We got a couple sprites and doctored them up with some little bottles of fireball that we happened to find. Delicious!! We played the slots for a while and then I joined the bingo games on the upper deck. Boards were 1 for $5, 3 for $, 5 for $15 and 5 for $20. The jackpot game was 3 special boards for $5 and dabbing markers were a dollar.

I had a $20 and convinced the guy to let me get the dabber for free so I could get 6 boards and the jackpot boards. He even gave me a blue dabber, the only one he had, because it matched my dress.

The games progressed quickly but didn’t produce any bingos for me or my table mates who were a sweet grandma local to St Simons and her grown grandkids from North Georgia.

Soon after bingo, it was 12:15 am and the captain announced the closing of the casino.

Everyone lined up for a late night snack from the galley. Mini breakfast pizzas and sweet tea held everyone over until we docked at 1 am. We joked and talked with other guests and decided there hadn’t been any big winners this trip but at least I had not lost too much money, my flip flops, or any toes.

Back in the car we stopped at a gas station and got more snacks. I had the freshest donut holes I’ve ever tasted and of course an ice cold Dr Pepper. Back in the room we both fell asleep quickly and soundly and were awakened by housekeeping on the dot of 12 noon which was checkout time.

Stay tuned for day four’s adventures which are currently underway. Time to put more than my chair and toes in the water for a while!

Yodel Girl and Snackshirt

Day 2 of the impromptu road trip.

We snoozed all of the alarms we had set and slept until about 11am. Skipping breakfast, we put on our bathing suits and headed out.

We stopped at Walmart to get Cindy a contact lens since she had ripped the two she had for that eye. While we waited, we browsed in the store and spent about seventy dollars each on new clothes and cute backpacks for the beach.

Finally on the beach at St Simons around 2pm, we sprayed down with sunscreen and settled in to tan. Corona for Cindy, rum and OJ for me.

During the afternoon we walked along collecting shells, waded to the sandbar island and made mermaids out of sand molds. As we walked back along the shoreline, we came across a woman splayed out in the sand in the position of someone who has passed out. There was a blue childrens floatie beside her and inside was a baby that couldn’t have been more than three months old. The tide was coming in and they were only about five feet from the water’s edge. We looked to be sure the woman was breathing, she was. We looked around for someone who looked like they would be with her. Other beach goers noticed and said she had been laid out for awhile. As she was drawing so much attention, a man came out of the water and shook her to get her up. She rose and went into the water with him following her, leaving the baby on the sand! We watched them until she finally came and sat back down beside the baby and stayed there. Anyone could have snatched that baby! He could have floated away on the tide! These are people who should not have ever reproduced!

The stress was too much so we left the beach and headed back to shower and change for dinner. We pulled up to the hotel and I noticed there was an indoor pool we had not noticed earlier. Someone inside opened the door for us and we jumped into the pool to finish rinsing the sand off before going upstairs. The water was cold so we hopped out of the pool and into the hot tub for a minute. As we were drying off, a security guard came in and asked if we were guests at the hotel. We said yes . He didn’t ask anyone else and walked away. As we came into the main part of the hotel, Cindy decided she was offended that the guard questioned us so we headed to the desk to ask why we were singled out. We rounded the corner to the lobby wrapped in their pool towels and Cindy started fussing at them. Just as she did, I looked up and saw the sign saying Hampton Inn by Hilton. Oh no! Wrong hotel!! I told her our mistake and we apologized profusely while giving back their towels. They were not amused. Back out by the car we cracked up laughing. Our hotel was next door. The two buildings are the same colors. Only we could do something like this.

Once we were cleaned up and ready to go, we stopped at Toucan’s Alehouse which was right beside the hotels. We had really good appetizer of Salty Balls (pretzel bites), steak dinners , and very generous cocktails.

I noticed a photo above the bar and a glass of something beside it so I asked the bartender about it. Cory was a young father who worked at Toucan’s. He was murdered on Saint Patrick’s day 2018. He left behind three children under the age of five. His co-workers learned of his death the following morning and their manager bought a bottle of Hennessey for them to toast their friend. How favorite beverage was Hennessey with Pepsi and a splash of grenadine. This was in the glass beside his picture. Cory’s co-workers raised enough money to pay for his funeral and provide his kids with some things they needed. His father still works at Toucan’s. We raised a silent toast to Cory before we left.

Back in the car, we returned to Saint Simon’s Island to explore the pier and check out a bar we had heard was supposed to be good. The pier was crowded and we saw a teenager a who had caught two little sharks on a single line.

Walking around town, we met a young lady who had been enjoying some drinks and was feeling no pain. She had on overall shorts and a cute top. She indignantly told us that someone had called her Yodel Girl because of the outfit she was wearing. She said the guy was Snackshirt. Her friends said she meant snake shirt as the guy had been wearing a shirt with snakes on it. We assured her that she looked great and took a photo with her. As we were posing, she noticed the one of the stairs of the building beside us said You Are Beautiful.

We continued down the street to find that most every shop and bar was closed or closing. We decided to go back to the hotel, the correct hotel, and turn in so we could get an early start tomorrow as it was just after midnight.

As I’m writing this, we have been sitting by the pool taking silly Snapchat photos and listening to a quite dysfunctional family from SC who came outside to smoke. I won’t say more about them, just believe me when I say they made the Griffin’s on family Guy look like the Brady Bunch. It is currently 3 am and we have shared the hotel mix up story with several people who laughed just as hard as we did.

Cannot wait for tomorrow. We were planning to check out Jekyll Island. Hearing there is flesh eating bacteria in the water one one part of the island but we are not going to trust the bacteria to know where it should and shouldn’t go so there is no telling where we will end up.

See you tomorrow for part 3 of the journey!

Roy Rogers

Picture an impromptu road trip to the east Georgia coast for the fourth of July. Two friends who worked together in their early twenties and can’t remember the last time they saw each other , both now close to fifty.

It’s after 3pm on July 4th when we left the western side of Georgia. Full tank of gas, cooler full of Dr Pepper, good music on the radio. As we traveled across the state, we talked and caught up on thirty years of life.

The sky was beautiful with large puffy white clouds that looked close enough to reach out and touch. All of a sudden there was a rainbow in the sky. We pulled over to snap pictures and laughed that a particular dark cloud looked like a dragon. Minutes later the dragon faded and rain splattered on the windshield for several miles of highway. Within about an hour we saw and stopped for pictures of four more rainbows. The clouds continued to form funny shapes like a cruise ship, a rat wearing a hat, and a rabbit with angel wings.

We arrived at St Simons island just minutes before the 9pm fireworks. As we found a spot to park along the road, the first explosions of color lit up the sky. We rushed away from the car towards the beach to catch the show not thinking to pay attention to what road we parked on.

The shore was packed with people watching the firework all dressed up in various patriotic clothing and beach attire.

Little children with glow sticks and American flags ran around on the sand while others sat on their fathers’ shoulders for a better view. For over twenty minutes the booms and smoke and colors dotted the sky along the beach. The grand finale was met with huge cheers from the crowd.

Leaving the beach, we followed the sound of music down towards the main part of town. A festival was wrapping up for the day and we stopped to ask about a place to have dinner. Most of the restaurants closed at 10pm which just happened to be the current time.

As luck would have it we found an open pub but they were not serving food at that hour. We continued down the street and found a place still open. We opted to sit inside at the bar. As we entered and took our seats, we were met with the smell of vomit. A fan was behind us blowing frigid air and the smell directly at us. We asked the bartender and she said something about a leak and it happens a lot and blah blah blah. We we’re beyond hungry and doubted we would find another place that was still open so we stayed. We had the fan redirected away from us and after a Son of a Peach IPA for Cindy and a pina colada for me, we ordered wings.

Two guys at the bar next to is ordered their drinks and we were amused at the not quite 21 year old boy ordering a Roy Rogers. The young female bartender had to be told how to make it (recipe and photo below) and we got further giggles from the kid drinking it with his pinky finger in the air with every sip. We couldn’t help but laugh even more each time the bartender asked him again and again what the drink was called.

The food arrived piping hot and was pretty good. Another round of drinks as we finished our food gave us the courage/audacity to snag some specialty beer glasses. They were decorated in red white and blue and irresistible. They quickly went from the far side of the bar to the top, then to our laps and finally into the bags we received for our to go containers of leftovers.

Leaving the restaurant we realized we were unsure where exactly the car was. As we started to retrace our steps as best we could, we went down a dark unpaved street. There, behind some buildings, was a huge ugly old Mercury Grand Marquis. It was gold colored and seemed to be 20 feet long. We snapped a photo of this neat old school relic and continued on our way. Through the trees we noticed what looked like a lighthouse. Although it was back towards the beach and obviously in the wrong direction, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to get pictures of the tall beacon lighting up the night sky. After getting a few shots, we continued down the road and luckily found the car without too much trouble.

We had booked a room in nearby Brunswick and headed in that direction. Soon, the drinks caught up with us and we began to search for an open gas station with a public restroom. We spotted a McDonalds open 24/7 and pulled in. Unfortunately, while the drive-thru was open, the restaurant itself was not. By the time we looped back out to the main road it became obvious that we weren’t going to make it any further down the road.

Pulling into the next dark parking lot , we took turns relieving our bladders behind a palm tree in the parking lot. We hadn’t even paid attention to where we were at first, but as we pulled away, we spotted the giant red sign with a red P on it. We had literally peed at the P! Erupting in a fit of giggles we continued down the road to our hotel.

We stopped once more, just beside the hotel for a late night snack. Donuts, a giant pickle and lottery tickets were purchased but the tall Bud Light Lime had to be left behind because this town doesn’t sell alcohol after 1130pm despite the fact that they do sell it on Sundays. Oh the joys of every county in Georgia doing their own thing!

Upon arrival at the hotel, we had to wait to be let into the lobby. The young girl behind the desk had obviously been napping as her hair was in a smooshed style and there was blanket lint hanging from her bangs. We got the very abbreviated version of check in and headed to our room.

Day one of the adventure came to a close with visions of biking, horseback riding and beach time filled our minds for day two.

Just the facts or is there a little fiction woven into to the story for added entertainment? It may not be Las Vegas, but what happens on the island stays here and we won’t ever tell!

To be continued …..