Written by Captain Mary on Tuesday, December 15, 2015

I am so sick of hearing about who's feelings are going to get hurt, by banning or even talking about a certain group of individuals. Lets start with your civil rights, if you are not an American then these rights don't apply to you, you simply have no rights in this country. End of story!

 When I was a young girl growing up in South Florida, I was discriminated against. The fact that I had an amazing chocolate tan from spending all my time outdoors, led me to the back of the bus each time my grandmother wanted to take us shopping. As a child in the 60's it didn't dawn on me that I was being grouped as a black person, because it just didn't matter to me. I didn't care nor did my grandmother, because the seats at the back of the bus weren't any different than the ones at the front, nor were the people. Plus, I just didn't know of prejudice, I wasn't taught such things.

Why is it every time a person speaks they have to consider the feelings of the masses, are you kidding, seriously no comment can make every person happy. That would be absurd to think what any one person says has so much impact on me. I am an American and my family background is that of Italian. As soon as I mention to anyone that I have Italian heritage, you should see their faces, as if they were standing in front of the "God Father" himself. Like any group of people there is a stigma, do I take this seriously, no, because it has nothing to do with me. I think of it as a group of people who's most important attributes are familia, (family).  I happily quote, " I maka you an offer you can nota refuse".

 All of our backgrounds came from somewhere else, when my great grandparents came to this country, legally, they were so happy, because their goal was to become American. I remember them very clearly, studying English, and smiling each time they would communicate with someone successfully. They traveled all those miles because being here and being an American and having all the rights this country afforded was worth all their sacrifices. They were no longer part of Italy, they were Americans, their heritage strong in culture and pride only made them better Americans.

When a person chooses to come to this country there are rules and processes that everyone should go through. It should be thorough and these people should be future contributors for this country. I have traveled all over the world and sometimes it was not easy to simply visit. I have had to prove financial responsibilities for my stay and return tickets to leave. Why don't we follow some of these simple rules. I can go on for hours and it all comes down to common sense.


Written by Captain Mary on Wednesday, December 09, 2015

My favorite holiday of the year. Even though I only get to cook once every 5 years, the food is always amazing. We rotate who hosts this wonderful event, giving us opportunity to travel to destinations for the holiday.

The weather was amazing, most of the time family and friends spent their time outdoors. The time was full of laughter and stories from the past, hopes for the future and the snickers of children looking forward to the time that the treats come out. Hours past as we enjoyed the food, fun, and friendship.

I look back now and it seems so far away as Christmas approaches. I wish that their was more time spent on this most amazing, free from commercialism, holiday. I have only a small wish for everyone out there, I wish that you enjoy your family and friends all year round as much as I do today and every Thanksgiving Day.

Costa Rica

Written by Captain Mary on Monday, August 10, 2015

Costa Rica mother and daughter trip. My last trip for the summer the last of three that is, and I thought it would be great for a mother and daughter to go on a trip and adventure. We started out by renting a car and heading out towards the big Blacksand beaches of  Costa Rica.  It took us forever just to find our little hotel but it was worth it, a cute little bungalow nestled in the back of town.  It was great to have our own car, we explored on our own and pretty much did whatever we wanted to.  From wandering around the beautiful beaches to standing atop cliffs just enjoying the view to an evening out ladies night only.   We zip lined in the forest we repelled waterfalls and enjoyed ourselves even though the rain began to come  and the river began to swell.  We made it back to camp just in time.
 We took a great excursion to the Hot Springs that were heated by volcanoes amazing is the only thing I can say to describe it.


Written by Captain Mary on Monday, August 10, 2015

I started this post a couple of years ago on my first trip to Alaska, and never finished it. Even though I only scratched the surface of our 49th state, Alaska was the most amazing place in the USA. I have seen the other 48 by the way. July 20th, 2013, I set off on yet another adventure. First our non-stop flight to Seattle, Washington where our ship the Star Princess was moored.
After shuffling through lines and security we finally made it to our state room. A room for four, yet we were only three. The first thing we did was thank Margo, my sister-in-law, for this great idea, that unfortunately she could not attend. My sister, Cheryl and my son, Jason would be my companions for this once in a life time adventure.
The weather was good, yet a bit chilly for what I am accustomed to. We viewed the city of Seattle from the port, in the distance was mountains just visible through the mist, covered in snow, just beyond the city, so it seemed.
The excitement mounted as I anticipated what I was about to see. We would have to wait as our journey would take us over 1,000 miles to our first destination. We did not have to wait as long as we though before seeing land. The sea was mostly calm and that feeling and the smell of being on the water never changes for me, it is always like my first time. The first glimpse was distant snow capped mountains, in the middle of summer no less. We all stood on deck bundled up, looking out in the distance for a glimpse of what may be lurking inside the waters of the North Pacific. We could see, spray from porposie and whales, yet we could hardly make out what it was. The longer we watched in the chilling winds on the top decks, we finally got a good glimpse of a Humpback Whale taking a breath right next to the hull of the ship. We all screamed out, "Whale", but only a fraction of a second had passed and the whale too had dissappeared into the depths. Schools of doll porposie followed the ship as if they could not pass up an opportunity to play.
 That was a couple years ago and now the anticipation was still great.  This time my friend Margo would attend  for her trip of a lifetime, the 14 of us began our adventure.  Not unlike our previous trip we departed Seattle and the scenery began to change, yet the beautiful weather that we had experienced on our prior trip was not the same. A annoying mist traveled with us almost the entire time. We wouldn't let that ruin our trip though.
 Our beautiful trip was not without drama, I  guess that's what comes with traveling with different personalities.  The clouds obstructed our views to a certain extent it was like traveling in a black-and-white movie without the sun shining down on us.  Although our photographs would not show the colors from the previous trip I had the memories.  Glimpses of humpback whales were  abundant and made  me smile each time I saw them take a breath, we saw sea lions, otters and bald eagles  which were  also in abundance.
 Our excursions off the ship were helicopter rides, whale watching tours, hikes in the woods, train rides,  salmon fishing, there is so many things to do in Alaska.  I could talk endlessly about our journey, I do want to say that this is a trip that every person should go on.  Exploring our 49th state is something every person should indulge in.


Written by Captain Mary on Monday, July 08, 2013

How do you know when something is just right? Well, I imagine it is the feeling you get deep inside your soul. I have always thought that living in the Bahamas would be my ultimate destination for my retirement, or sooner if possible. The thought of it has stepped back into my mind lately and I havn't really thought about it until my son took me on vacation to Paradise Island, Bahamas.
As soon as I walked out the doors of the airport after a 35 minute flight, the smell of the air, the smiles on faces, everything inside of me just relaxed so that I could take it all in.

Now, I can't get that smell out of my brain. The beautiful waters and smell of the ocean, like being put in a dream that felt so real I never wanted to wake up. It wasn't a dream though, it was me standing in the pink sands of another country, a country that called to me for years and is still calling me. This trip was yet another confirmation that I have selected the right place.
Atlantis is a bit of a tourist location, yet still finding the local places isn't so difficult to do. We always seem to attract the local people, I don't know exactly why, maybe it is the look on our faces, it shows all the way to our core how much we are enjoying our little place under the sun.
My son and my grandchildren get that same look, as if something deep in our soul has be revised, and brought the best of us out.
Even though there is quite a lot of people, it seemed we got lucky the first four days of our vacation, we had most of the place to ourselves. Our days were spent walking the beautiful grounds of Atlantis and watching the enormous amounts of marine creatures all around us. The food was delicious and the pools were like magic waters, nourishing our bodies and the sun carresing our skin as if the ancient Gods had planned it that way. The theapudic environment can take the evil out of anyone.
So much to do on our days that by the fall of the sun we were exhausted, but still had time for a little adult entertainment.
 Can you imagine putting your camera and belongings on a lawn chair and going away for most of the day to return and find everything untouched. A feeling that you are safe and the people are always watching out for you, because they care. Who wouldn't want to live that way, even amoungst all the crowds of people I felt safe and without a care in the world.

I seized every moment of this vacation to re-boot my system and enjoyed each second as if were my last. We had so much fun, we did so much and yet never enough. The kids enjoyed a day with the dolphins on Blue Lagoon Island, a 20 minute boat ride from Paradise Island. They got to touch and love these creatures, which are my favorite animal. I actually think that in a previous life I lived among them. One dolphin was very interested in me when I first arrived, he posed for me until I was moved off the platform.

I am convinced that the Bahamas is where I want to be. To be in a place without prejudice and government interferance, a place to live life like a human and not property used to generate income for the fat cats in politics. A place where people help their fellow man, without being asked, because it is the right thing to do. A life of smiles and sunshine, the perfect combination to easy living. A way of life that is "Just Right"!


Written by Captain Mary on Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Over two years ago a good friend of mine was taken away from me. Bad choices or just stupid stuff, just the same he was gone. We wrote to each other on a regular basis and it would always put a smile on my face when I read one of his letters. It started to be normal, which is not the way a friendship survives, I still missed him so much, but it was bare able. Time passed and he was transferred to a closer location, which somehow made me feel better.

I still can't help thinking about when we met though, better times. The karate studio that we both began attending. Women and girls would talk about him and how cute he was, yet no one would ever say a word to the man. One day I just sat down next to him and began a conversation, that was in 2006. We became fast friends and spent time together, we went to karate competitions together, we traveled all over the place, once landing in Las Vegas, all I can say to that is "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas". Even though we were years apart in age, we had so much in common. Sharing each others secrets and we could talk about virtually anything. There is something very special about our relationship that defies the normal thinking.

I remember going to karate competitions and the girls and women wondering if we were dating and the rumors were something that we encouraged and got a really good laugh out of. They would never believe that we were just great friends, we use to try to explain our relationship and in the end it was more fun to let them think what ever they wanted. He lovingly calls me "old lady", it makes me smile, since he is 18 years younger, I have nick names for him too, I call him my "boy toy". He is so good as a friend, always making me feel beautiful and special, we encourage each other every time we are together.

I did get a short visit with him while he was at work yesterday and he grabbed me, hugged me and made obscene gestures. Its those moments that make up for the time we are away from each other. Most would think he is out of my league or I am out of his. But true friendship does not see age, body size, or anything physical. I must admit I don't mind looking at him though. I see far into his soul and who he really is, he is a wonderful, loving person. I can't wait for September when he can resume his normal life once more. As strange as a friendship can be, I only hope that everyone can say that they have a friend that has their back no matter what happens.


Written by Captain Mary on Tuesday, March 19, 2013


I am a "Domicile Maintenance Technician" and come across some very interesting personalities in the course of a week. I have one special customer who carries a "Disabled Sticker" in his vehicle, this does not mean that he can't get around though.

Once a week I go to his house and go to work. This home is full of some amazing collections, art work, trophies of accomplishments, photos of cherish memories and so many other things that take a life to accumulated. So many of these collectibles are delicate in nature and care must be taken when moving around the house. Now that the environment is set I can tell you about some of my experiences with the Ninja.

One day while I was sitting on the floor dusting the trophies that he has collected and one toppled over onto the carpet. Now, I know that this could not have made a sound, suddenly a voice from behind me says to watch out not to break anything. My friend is a very large man, who seemly walked through the walls, because I didn't hear a sound of his approach. It startles me each and every time he does this to me. I don't think that I have ever broken anything and after more than a dozen years the Ninja should have a little more faith in me. I do understand that the collectibles, which I will refer to as "stuff" for now on, are fragile and very important to this family.

Another incident when the Ninja snuck up on me, was when I moved a pine cone off the carpet. Always sneaking up behind me, the Ninja appears out of no where. Seemingly knowing when I am going to topple or drop something before I do. In real life this man moves at a slow steady pace, but when he turns into Ninja he appears out of nowhere.

My daughter was working with me one day and she too had the Ninja experience. Monica was dusting along and precariously perched on a couple of books was a collectible car, which always drives off the books when anyone approaches. This time, just as the little car was driving away, Monica was startled by the Ninja. No matter what it is, the Ninja always shows up, if I ever do break anything I am certain that I will be caught red handed.

For years this happens to me on a regular basis, I think it has traumatised me, nah! Stealth and always there when something happens the "Ninja of the Collectibles" is always on my ass. I can honestly say that he among my most favorite people, always keeping me on my toes, with an enormous smile always on his face. Perhaps one day I will be faster than the Ninja and catch him walking through walls or flying through the air.


Written by Captain Mary on Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Over 15 years ago, my Daddy was cleaning out his closet and decided he no longer needed this camera bag. I have since had it stored in my closet with an old video camera, which I have now thrown away. I find it a problem when there are so many attachments to my camera to have a place to carry everything. Perhaps it is large, but in my travels I find it easy to carry my purse and my camera supplies in one place, since I use them equally. I looked at this old camera bag carefully and noticed it was in great condition, just needed a cleaning. So, I threw it into the washing machine on the gentle cycle, dried it and then looked at it again. It is really ugly.

I really needed something for my up coming vacation. I thought awhile and it dawned on me that I could simply paint it with some acrylic paint for textiles. It didn't take all that long to figure out a pattern, and as you can see I now have a up-cycled camera bag, with plenty of room for those things I will need on my travels. Just throw the strap over a shoulder and off I go.


Written by Captain Mary on Saturday, March 09, 2013

It was the first day in a long time that I was sleeping like a log. The phone rings and I miss the call thinking that it was the alarm, then remembering it was Saturday. I was suppose to go over Jason's and work, when I called him back he asked if I would like to go on a bike ride instead. Always put off today what you can do tomorrow! We have been taking more bike rides lately, I am certain it is for exercise, but this is the kind of exercise that you don't notice because you are busy taking in the great outdoors.

The weather was just perfect, a little chilly, perfect for a ride. I got my things together and headed to Homestead for a new adventure.

We headed directly from Jason's house and headed toward the Homestead Speedway, the bike paths are fantastic along the way. Jeff and Jason discovered an FPL access road near the Turkey Point Nuclear Plant. It was a very long road and would definitely give us a work out. Even though it was not paved, the ride wasn't too bad. All I can say is, I am glad I have a gel seat, oh my ass! We laughed and looked for things along the way.

The gang has concealed weapon permits and they always carry when we are off the beaten path. It is a little protection and insurance. Monica took the opportunity to shoot her new Christmas present for the first time.

We spotted a baby raccoon, forage through the muck, I assume looking for snails. We heard gators splash when we approached, and finally did get to see one. The vultures playing in the wind currents above us, occasionally swooping down. The best part had to be the manatee family. They were swimming along the crystal clear canal, stopping from time to time to munch on the underwater foliage. Mothers and their babies, lots of babies, very beautiful sight to see. Some had scars on their backs, they survived their injuries to swim another day.

Time flew by and hunger stepped in, Jason brought some oranges which was the perfect refreshing snack. I don't think we had the stamina to continue, after all the further we went down this dirt road the further we would have to petal back. As I looked down the road it just didn't appear to have an end to it, I imagine we would be in the Keys before it ended. Each time we go on an adventure we go longer and farther. It is a great time to spend with family and sneak in some exercise that doesn't have a negative impact on my knees. My ass, yes, but my knees are good. The guys are always looking for more trails and adventure for the next ride. I am surprised how many long lonely roads are in our state. This is definitely the way to see South Florida in its natural habitat. Series of canals and landscape as far as the eye can see.

The pedaling almost over we decide to take a break at Monica and Jeff's place, to say hello to the kids, which don't seem to want to ride with us. I remember when I was young, my whole family would take bike rides all over Miami, of course, it was much easier to find the wilderness back in the 60's and 70's. Yet, there is still plenty of places to get away from the traffic and civilization.

It feels so good to power yourself on an adventure, perhaps it is like stepping back and enjoying much more of the world around us. Our weekdays are full of work and the same routine, this seems like the perfect way to clear your head and burn some calories. I might be a little sore tomorrow, but it was well worth the small struggle to immerse ourselves in the primitive landscape that really is South Florida's premier attraction.

I have to thank my kids for inviting me, even though I slow them down, they will never understand how much I enjoy being able to immerse myself  in the environment. I don't think about anything but the ride and what I might see. The day was finished and we logged nearly 17 miles.


Written by Captain Mary on Thursday, March 07, 2013


I got a phone call on Wednesday, my regular day with the "Kitchen Counselor", and had a request for advice. I had to give advice all on my own. I sometimes get it right, but I need back up from time to time. This was one of those times. My counselor was off in the Bahamas, without notice, imagine that!

The subject was marriage, should I or shouldn't I give advice on this subject. I understand that marriage is so important to some people, the ceremony that binds for all time the love that two people share. I get it, a commitment of a life time. When you think you have found that person and have spent so many years with that person, the obvious conclusion would be marriage.

As I thought about the pros and cons of this particular situation, I recognized that financially that it would be an expensive proposition, between, benefits, health insurance, taxes, etc...not in the best interest of the couple. That is not to say that there is a way that people can be committed to each other without legal documentation. I understand the partner is so afraid of loosing everything in an ugly divorce. Of course, this is thinking gone wrong. To think about the end and not the commitment of love, seems awkwardly backwards. I thought about a Prenuptial agreement, and as I continued to think about it, I wondered what he had to protect. So, I came up with a list of the most expensive pieces of his property. The home, completely up-side-down, who could afford it or even sell it, who would want it in a divorce. Next, the car, that is funny, the boat, funnier, I couldn't come up with anything that was substantial enough to put into a prenuptial agreement without laughing my ass off.

The both of them love each other and have been together for over 7 years. Saying that you don't want to get legally married because of the government, is just an excuse, because each of the problems made by the government marriage can be managed by paying a little more attention to the law. It states simply that if it was yours, it stays yours. If it is not in your name, it doesn't belong to you. A "Will" allows you to give anyone you want, your belongings. I think that in the event of a divorce the best bet in this situation is to run, don't walk, who wants to get stuck with all the debt and old stuff, seriously!

Then who is to say that there couldn't be a marriage, with or without the legal documentation. Moving into the new millennium it tends to have more benefits not to get the legal documents. Not saying that a contract of commitment couldn't be drafted. I would think that this document would have more weight, because it is based in love and commitment in their own words. A contract is a contract, it is still a legal document, without the government using it against you. It stays private in a box in your home, where it means something to the both of you. After 7 years in their relationship they already consider themselves married, the only thing missing is a wonderful day of celebration of their love. A honeymoon would be a plus.

Anyway, this is the advice that I can give, something to ponder, thinking about both sides of the relationship. I have tried to consider today's world in this conundrum. Just a bit of a thought. What advice can my readers offer to this debate?


Written by Captain Mary on Thursday, March 07, 2013

It is so proclaimed,"Carol Williamson Day, I saw the proclamation myself, I only wonder why it took so long. This beautiful honor was given to my friend and I feel so honored to know this wonderful woman. She has always been an Impact in my life and I could never honor her as much as giving her a day to herself. Next March 3rd I will celebrate this day and remember how much Impact she has, not only on me, but the entire city of Miami.
The Women’s History Coalition (The Coalition) was founded in 1983 and incorporated in 1986 by a group of women in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The primary purpose is to coordinate and promote Women's History Month, which is nationally celebrated each March. The Coalition has a multi-ethnic Board of Directors elected by its membership annually and all programs are accomplished by volunteers who have a common interest in preserving the history and contributions of women in South Florida. Members, community contributions and grants from the county and many community agencies support activities.

I got the information from Women's History Coalition Of Miami,


Written by Captain Mary on Wednesday, March 06, 2013

I am trying hard to understand kids these days. I am certain that we had kids like this when I was growing up, I am now convinced that there are many more defiant children than in my days of high school. They have no fear or respect for anyone.

Monica and I were driving home after work and as luck would have it, we got stuck behind a school bus. We always have so much to talk about so it didn't matter much. The teenagers began to slowly shuffle off the bus, obviously with no signs of urgency. As the bus closed the big stop signs and began to drive off, groups of children shuffled back into the road. I was patiently waiting for them to realize that I needed the roadway. I had no way of going around them, because I was stuck in one of those single lane traffic slow downs. The kids, about 20 of them continued walking in the travel lanes, I finally had to beep my horn. After a toot on the horn, most of the kids moved to the shoulder, except for a young man, who had something to prove.

I am usually very patient when it comes to driving. Sometimes people are looking for a street or are lost, but this kid was trying to prove that he was bigger than my Chevy 4WD. I then put my hand firmly on the horn and held it. Nothing!, this kid was not going to move, so I proceeded down the road slowly until I bumped him. I saw a glimmer of fear in his eyes when he turned around and jumped on the hood of my car. I then told him that we were going to call the police. Another kid was ranting and raving saving she had no side walk  to walk on and called us names. Monica yelled out the window, that it didn't look like there was anything wrong with her legs, nor was she in a wheel chair. I finally won the road back, I was so flustered with disbelief. I just could not believe that these children thought they could stand up against a vehicle just to prove that they were idiots. Was this something this boy had to do as a challenge, how did he think it would turn out? I could have been a real crazy person and simply run him over. I probably shouldn't have bumped him, but I didn't want to get out of the truck and confront him, he was bigger then me.

I don't understand what the point of this exercise was, if you have a clue, please don't hesitate to comment. It was just one of those things that make me shake my head and think did this really happen. I am so baffled that these will be the people of the future. Perhaps future criminals!


Written by Captain Mary on Sunday, March 03, 2013

Today my daughter came over with a project in mind. She had been re-designing an old fashioned dress she found at a garage sale and was having a hard time working alone on the pinning, etc... I was browsing a new website, that is easily addictive, it is called "Pinterest", it has all kinds of things submitted by regular people, photography, crafts, gardening, and so much more. I came across a dress form while browsing, for those who do not sew, it is a replica of your body, so that you can design, alter and fit clothing to yourself. In the stores dress forms run from $300 to $500 bucks. I had a lot of the things in my house for this project, stuffing, cardboard, t-shirt, wrapping paper tube, etc...

We started by putting Monica in a long old t-shirt, starting cutting strips of duct tape and then wrapping it tightly around her body, until she was wrapped in duct tape. Enough layers made it a perfect form. I wish I could say it was my idea, but the finished product came from a few different sources. Monica examined all the different sources, picking out all the great ideas into one. This is not a project that you could do by yourself! It costs $3.99, the price of one roll of Duct tape. After she got it home her man made her a stand and it was probably from stuff around his garage. I would say it was a great project and saved hundreds of dollars. It took us a little more than an hour to complete this very functional project. I wish I was her size, I was the one who really wanted one of these things. Perhaps I will make one for myself. I love to re-make clothing, it is so much fun to change things up.

I do love all those domestic things, and now I am finding out that these things, sewing, crochet, knitting, and DIY projects are a lost skill. I grew up with mostly home-made clothing and I use to make my daughter and I matching outfits. We were so cute together, it all ended when my life got in the way. I now have more time to do things like this. It is a great stress reliever, because I am thrown into what I am doing. Plus I hate spending money on clothing, when I get my dress form made I am going to the Good Will store and spend some money on clothing with potential. I will be certain to show you updates on the next project.

If you need the directions for yourself go to "Pinterest" and search dress form. Good luck, it is worth a lot of laughs no matter how it comes out. You could always dress it up and put it in bed for your man.


Written by Captain Mary on Saturday, March 02, 2013

I have had my camera for years, before my trip to Africa, which means my camera is 8 years old. I have taken thousands of photos and still not realized my cameras potential. Recently, with the excitement of my upcoming trip to Alaska, I have examined the features on my camera much closer. As I examined all the buttons and switches, I noticed a button on the front of the camera that I had no idea of its function. I found this button released a ring, which allowed me to attach a series of available conversion lenses, who knew!!! Good thing I keep the manual handy.

So, what else could I do but get on the Internet and see if these lenses were still available for my camera. I went directly to the Canon site and much to my surprise they were out of stock and was longer going to carry them. Off to Amazon I went and found everything I wanted and needed for the camera for more than half the price of the manufacturer. The adapters and conversion lenses arrived today and I have been playing with them for hours. I was lucky to find that all those special effect filters I bought years ago, once more has a use.

Since the light was low I didn't get to really test the full potential of the new lenses, but I did get some shots that I liked. Special effects are so much fun, I only got to play with a couple of the new toys. For only $100 dollars, I now have a new camera, so to speak. The value of my camera still remains the same as when I purchased it, the newer models only have a few more features, so it was wise of me to invest just a little right now. I am certain that I will wear this camera out and it will be time for an upgrade, but for now I have a delightful new toy to play with.


Written by Captain Mary on Friday, March 01, 2013

Maybe I am over-reacting to this but I can't help wonder why people think they can just take what ever they want. I came home last night with trucks in my way, as workers were blocking my drive way. As I pull into my driveway, I notice a man hacking away at a coconut. I looked up at my palm tree and noticed all the beautiful coconuts that I have been waiting to ripen were gone.

I plant them and patiently wait for a palm tree, all of the coconut palms that are growing in my yard I grew from seed. I have many, it reminds me so much of what Florida landscape is all about. I immediately accused the man of taking my coconuts. He pretended not to understand, and then said that a man standing near the palm tree said it was alright to take them. I wonder who that man was! The neighbor wasn't home and wouldn't let people just take my property without my permission. Then the thief said he was sorry and continued loading my coconuts into the work truck. I called the county and told them that their contracted help was stealing from my property. Their reply was for me to call the police, I called the non-emergency line and would you believe they have office hours and they were closed. My only alternative was to call 911, that seemed like a waste of tax dollars. I thought for a moment and walked over to the workers, finding one that spoke English, which was a plus. He agreed with me and then I looked over at the man who had taken my coconuts and told him, "Give me my coconuts back or I will call the police!".

The thief apologized several more times and brought all my coconuts back to my front door, I don't know if I can save them, because they were leaking out all the coconut water. I couldn't believe how many he had taken. I felt a bit of satisfaction, even if I threw all the coconuts out. I think he got a lesson, but this has happened so many times to me. I have had people parked in my yard with their pole saws just cutting my coconuts down right in my front yard. The funny part is...all they had to do is knock on my door and ask permission. I would gladly give them away for a simple courtesy. I don't understand why it is acceptable to remove fruit from other peoples property, if it doesn't belong to them then it is stealing!

With my imagination in gear, I had to come up with something that would make it clear that my coconuts are not free for the taking. I went into the craft room and retrieved some white paint, proceeded to paint my coconut palm with a message. "NO COCONUTS". I hope the future will produce coconuts that I can keep for myself. Would you go on to someones property and just take what you want and have the audacity to opening harvest them without a thought about what you are doing?

Aerojet Facility and Family Fun

Written by Captain Mary on Sunday, February 24, 2013

Today we planned a bike ride, with my son, Jason, daughter, Monica, her beloved, Jeff and grandson, Max. We headed out on an amazing adventure to one of Florida's Abandoned Past. A place that is far down into Homestead, passing the farmers fields and just before the Everglades National Park. Down an almost abandoned road lies a facility that has long been forgotten.

The road access is limited, at the end of access are signs "Keep Out", but there is no one to tell us otherwise. It is a good place to explore. Along the roadways are many abandoned buildings. Most doors are welded shut and mounds of rock and soil are piled up, so that no one can access the buildings, but there are many ways in. It reminded me so much of my teens, when it was so much fun to find and explore abandoned houses, farms, fields and what ever else we could find. We would then explore, as if we were on an adventure or perhaps some place in the future where we were looking back into the past. Into the ruins of civilizations that have long past.

The Aerojet Facility has a long past, in the mid 1960's it was testing rockets for NASA, mixing solids and liquid fuels, experimenting until they got it right. After the 3rd launch the facility was forced to close after the toxins from the launch poisoned much of the Everglades, farms and ruined peoples homes and property. The Aerojet 260 rocket still remains at this facility over 100 feet below the ground, sealed off from most on-lookers.The history of the place was just a plus, the environment of the area is what has the most interest. I climbed over mountains of rubble to look at what remained. Darkened corridors made my mind wonder about what it was like some 45 years ago. Like a detective we all looked at gauges and hoses, each building had it purpose and our purpose was to figure out what it once was. Almost every wall was adorned with amazing graffiti, we all spoke of how these artist were wasting their talents on something only a few people will ever gaze upon.

We went into each building, some made sounds that made them very creepy. It was so interesting to see how nature eventually takes over these man-made structures. As the building crumble, they leave behind remnants of asbestos and who knows what other toxins. We looked deep into holes, that are now filled with stagnant water, only wondering what lurks beneath our view. Light fixtures still hanging from the ceiling and attached to the crumbling walls. Canals run along the back of the buildings, where once barges could transport rockets to the Space Coast.

As we entered one of the buildings we were delighted to see a very large Owl take flight, he had a very large wing span and was light in color. As we explored that building we found where he had his meals, little skeletons of rodents remain. The air was so silent I could hear a fly, literally. The only sounds we heard were the creaking of metal and the leaves moving in the wind. So far from civilization, looking at a once bustling facility, now abandoned and virtually forgotten. What remains is a nature trail now and a look into a past that very few will ever see or know about.


Written by Captain Mary on Saturday, February 16, 2013

Today, I spent much of the day doing yard work, looking around to remodel some of my landscaping. Working at a slow pace, but still having a little problem with snags. Snags??? Yep! I am talking about this annoying and hideous mole that I have on my leg. It is so large it sticks through my fish net stockings, and can't be hidden with just one band aide. I have had it with this thing. It has been snagged so often it is just hanging there, so every time I touch it I am in pain.

Couldn't help thinking about this thing. So, I finally decided that I was going to remove it myself. Yes!!! Self-Surgery. First, I gathered my supplies, Betadine solution, scissors, eye glasses (so I can see), face cloths, cotton balls and spray on anesthetic. Preparing the mole for removal and my tools for surgery, I began. There was just one problem, it is creepy cutting yourself. I started by just snipping a little bit at a time, cringing at the thought of hurting myself. I am not fond of pain! After a few minutes it was time to make the final snip.

I looked at this hideous ball of flesh, and wondered why it took me so long to cut it off. Again, disinfecting my little wound and bandaging it, I sighed in relief and look forward to wearing fish net stockings again. I continued my yard work without a snag or even thinking about the mole that ended up in my trash. I thought about keeping it, but pushed that thought right out of my head. I thought I would share this little tidbit with my readers, something a little gross and perhaps a bit crazy. I just wonder how much it would have cost to have the mole excised at a doctors office!


Written by Captain Mary on Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Saturday that was delightful in store for me. I was asked by my son if I was up for a bit of fishing along the canals near the Everglades. As always, I never say no to an adventure, no matter how small or large. If I think about the alternative of staying home watching T.V. or putting around the house, this seemed like a great alternative. Actually, I don't think that I really pondered on it too much at all.

Gathering up some fishing equipment and a backpack with some necessary supplies, I headed to Homestead for the days adventure. Not much of a drive toward our destination of a tree-lined canal. The day was perfect for a bit of a hike. The trail down the canal seemed endless and amazingly remote. It is great to live in South Florida, with a bit of a drive you can be alone without a soul around and immersed in nature. No sounds of traffic or people, just the creaking of branches and the ripple of the water. Some how a peace comes over me and I don't think about the walk or anything else. 

Casting lures over and over hoping for a bite or even a nibble. The water was clear enough to see the fish chasing the bait, but nothing big enough or hungry enough to make into the cooler. It didn't seem to matter much, as we watched buzzards circling and listened to the sounds in the swamp that surrounded us. Imagination getting into our heads as we thought about what could be lurking beyond our sight. Virtually alone down this abandoned road we enjoyed the day with its riches and surrounded by the sounds of nothing. Hours seemed to pass and without a thought in my head, it seemed like the perfect way to spend a day. 

Eventually, it was time to head down the road back to civilization. Instead we drove down some roads that had abandoned tree farms and canals, perhaps looking for another chance to throw a line out. We found a rickety old dock, down a rocky road, and an abandoned missile base. Another road to try on another day.  

Making another attempt at heading home, hunger struck me as we passed the "Gator Grill". We have passed this little hole in wall a bunch of times and never stopped. We walked in to this little place with this very pleasing menu. We ordered gator bites and frog legs as our starters. Ordered a couple of sandwich's and picked out or hot sauces among the counter full of them. Sitting outside on picnic tables we chatted and enjoyed the meal that was amazing. Perhaps the best tasting frog legs and gator that I ever had. 

Every time I hang out with my son, I find that I don't get home until after dark. I was surprised that we had arrived at his house while it was still daylight. We went outside to enjoy the late afternoon breeze and started playing word games and sudoku. Before I knew it the time was nearly 10 PM, an effortless day has passed before my eyes. I think everyone should spend a day clearing their head and enjoying what is really important.


Written by Captain Mary on Wednesday, February 06, 2013

I don't have an exotic job, nor do I get up in the morning and look through my closet for the latest fashion trend to put on for the office. No make-up, just soap and water, and I look through my clothing for the worst looking, bleach stained things to put on my body to head out for a day of work. Granted, my self esteem is not assisted by my wardrobe choices. Instead my spirits our lifted by my customers, most of which, have been with me for over 10 years.

It doesn't seem awkward to just open the door and walk through as if it were my own home. What they don't know, is that I get more out of these relationships than they know.  These relationships started out as an exchange of work for money, then for some reason it became something I look forward to. Some customers are great friends, others are just like family, but I have one who by far has made a place for me to change my life. Just imagine how lucky I am to have counseling every week for over 10 years. Imagine the cost. When she is out of town, I miss her dearly, I have to work through my dilemmas on my own. I hear her voice in the back of my brain and work it out.

My Kitchen Councilor shall remain anonymous, if I reveal her name, I would have to wait in line and I wouldn't be able to have her all to myself. From the mundane, to the massive, she can tackle any problem that I can conjure up. When I bring my daughter to work with me, I can hardly get a word in, my counseling session is taken away for the day. I don't mind, because my Kitchen Councilor can put a perspective on a problem that gives you that moment of aha! Why didn't I think of that?

I remember how crazy I was and how I was very emotional, a bit brass too. I now take my time and have figured out what is really important in life. The things that seemly appear to be inconsequential, like smelling a flower seem more important than thinking about the bills that are due. A matter of fact the smell of the flowers reached more of my senses and made me feel better than just going through life not paying attention. Laughing and talking while scrubbing carpet stains, it doesn't get any better than that!!


Written by Captain Mary on Sunday, February 03, 2013

Working on sharping my photo skills and the fact that my son just got a new camera, we headed out with the kids on a family photo competition. We headed to the Everglades for some wild photos. I worked on some special effects and trying to capture a scene with my eye. The most unusual photo of my day was caught in a gators eye.
If you look you can see my family in the reflection of his eye. This was not planned, but it was a great effect.

The day was beautiful, nice and cool, we had hours and hours of good light for taking pictures and as always an opportunity to spend with the family. Once we got away from the crowds we could be more creative and take our time.

My camera has a setting called color accent, which I selected the blue of the sky in the reflection of the water. I think it brings something special to a normally boring photo.

I do like black and white, and took several photos, this one was one of my favorites.

This alligator was inches from the path, and I couldn't resist zooming in on his wonderfully white teeth. We all took photos, some with the same subjects, and then there were photos that surprised us. The kids were outstanding in their composition and their macro skills. Everything was done without a tripod and good timing.

It was extremely difficult to decide who pictures were the best, because everyone had an outstanding photo. Much to my surprise I would have to admit that the over-all winner of our family photo challenge had to be Jasmine. Max and Jonathan had some amazing photos and I hope to see them posted somewhere. Jason, by far had the most detailed and sharp photos, he had a definite advantage with his new camera.