Written by Captain Mary on Monday, September 29, 2008

I took an extra day off work today and I began by sleeping late, then I went outside to see if I had a small window to mow the lawn, before the rain came. I began and within minutes the rain came down, instead of parking the mower I decided to continue. I was soaked, but cool, I continued until I heard thunder. The yard came out wonderful. I need to get back into the routine of yard work, my yard needs constant maintenance, "its a jungle out here".

I went out to the front yard to see if the water was standing and looked up toward the sky, "wow" is all I can say. The birds were flying away as fast as they could and the monster thunder head was just in front of me. I noticed that it looked to me as if it was touching the ground, but an indication that it wasn't, was the roar of sirens. It looked like there was fire somewhere in the distance and the clouds joined to look ominous.

I had a productive day, yard work to me is therapy and not to mention a little bit of exercise.

A special note: The kitty that I called #6 was adopted yesterday and now has a name. It took my sister a little bit of time, because she wanted the kitty to have a name with meaning. His name is Gumba, which in Sicilian means "friends for life". I think it is the first cat my sister has had, not sure. Anyway, Gumba is my sissy's best friend already, he follows her everywhere and tells her in his cute little voice what he wants. Gumba has made a friend with her lab, Lucy. Lucy has taken Gumba in like her own child. I need pictures of this, maybe I can get sissy to send some.


Written by Captain Mary on Sunday, September 28, 2008

That doesn't mean I spent the day wining. We have a local winery in the Redlands that has been officially opened for three years now and my partner in crime and I decided it would be great place for our Woman's group to attend and have some fun together.
We arrived to find the ladies waiting for us, but the beauty of the gardens made their brief wait wonderful. The day perfect and it was great for our tour of the property at the Schnebly Winery, the gardens were beautiful and surrounded by several waterfalls that could be viewed from many angles.
A casual walk through the gardens lead us to the actual areas where the wine was produced, fermented, bottled and labeled, did I mention it is all done "By Hand". The cold room with the giant stainless steel containers was like being in a very large refrigerator, I know exactly what is like to be in the vegetable draw of my frig. Couldn't wait to make my exit to the gardens again and of course the wine tasting part of the tour.

These are not traditional wines, yet available at the local grocery store, they are made from the fruits of the area and all the by products of the fruits are sent back out to fertilize the crops in the area. Thinking Green! The many wines produced were excellent, I found a new favorite and by the time we left I had a bit of a buzz. Our group decided not to part company until taking in a great local restaurant for some authentic Mexican food. A great meal and great conversation, we laughed and had a time only the ladies could truly appreciate.


Written by Captain Mary on Saturday, September 27, 2008

Today, another kitten left the nest and is making his way to the Florida Keys, paradise for pussy. My sister, June has been watching the updates and just couldn't resist, she adopted #6 and sometimes called "FatHead". June will be naming him soon and I know it will be a great name, she always names her critters after royalty. It took some time for her to decide which one of the little ones would fit with her, first it was one of the twins, but they didn't suit each other, after #6 fell asleep in her lap she was convinced that this little boy would be hers.

The kittens had to go through some rigorous testing by her grandson Anthony, and all of them met the kid test, not biting or scratching him. It was so nice to sit out in the yard and watch the interaction of child vs critter. Not to mention June was more interested in wearing Anthony out with some running and swinging and of course he fell in the pond, twice. Anthony had a wonderful time and I got to spend some time with my sister and her husband Mike, btw, Happy Birthday to the both of them. What a great present for sissy, I packed her on her way with the Kitty starter kit, litter pan, litter, bowls, and food.

Sissy called while on her drive back down to the Keys and reported that #6 had cuddled up on her shoulder and was sleeping the way to his new home and paradise for pussy.
I also am proud to announce that I will be keeping one of the kittens, #3, for he is just a lover and likes to sleep with me, what can I do I should have an even number of cats, that would make an even 10. Two more to go, both are black, a new moon is on the horizon.


Written by Captain Mary on Saturday, September 27, 2008

Trudging through the days routine and quickly I might add, I get a phone call, the caller my dearest friend Shelah. She surprised me with a lunch invitation for Sushi, I didn't hesitate much, I told my client that I would be taking a lunch break and would be back in an hour. I met up with Shelah and the children as they were sitting down, ahhhhhh what timing. We sat and ate our fill of fantastic flavors from the sea with conversation that never gets boring no matter how many times we talk to each other in a day. Back to work with a full tummy of delights and the day somehow improved immensely.

Was looking forward to seeing the presidential debates later that evening, but I had my cable turned off. Well, since I really can't get enough of my friends I thought I would drop over to the Castle, where I showed up in my P.J.'s (inside out) and thought we would just be vegging on the sofa and enjoying the debates. A few phone calls incoming and there was a party, that often happens at the Castle, (Shelah & Jeff's Place), one at a time our friends showed up and the enjoyment of their company trumped the debate. After some time I noticed that I had my P.J.'s on inside out and corrected that, but I certainly couldn't correct the fact that I wasn't wearing a bra, so I tried to sit hunched over as not to call attention to what I call my oven mitts. Gravity you know. I caught a little here and there of the debate and was happy to hear that both candidates had significant stands on the questions that were asked, making my decision easier. Wasn't out too late because tomorrow will be an early day with the girls.


Written by Captain Mary on Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It could be my age, or maybe the years of recreational drug use that is killing my brain cells. Perhaps, there is no explanation at all. The last couple of months has brought something new into my range of vision. Maybe "I see dead people", all I know is lately my peripheral vision is encountering quite a bit of activity.
I have always had an uncanny ability to see things that couldn't be explained, a sixth sense perhaps, but this is just crazy. I have been going through my normal routine and out of the corner of my eye a see something dashing away. At first I brushed it aside and called it low blood sugar. Now it is getting more frequent and in some of the strangest places, daytime, night-time, just about anytime.
The last few weeks I have tried to follow it, sometimes it is large and I swear its a person, I sometimes call out, "who's that!", now I turn quickly and search. Tonight, it was very clear, I was leaving the parking lot of the Karate school, my arms full of equipment and such, when suddenly out of my peripheral vision I see a darting object, it appeared to be a cat. I quickly turned to where I saw it run and again, nothing, it was gone like it never existed in the first place.
This event was one of several just today and it is beginning to disturb an already disturbed mind. I wonder if I am beginning to see into another dimension, one that exists but can not be seen, have I opened my mind to things that are invisible in my usual world? What if I follow something and I end up in their world? This is just crazy, but at the same time very real. Perhaps I should just sign myself up for a brain scan, that's the only left to explore in this body.
I take no medications, these events could be an indication that I need to indulge in something to explain these strange occurrences. They don't call me crazy Mary for nothing!


Written by Captain Mary on Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I am part of this wonderful group of women. One of these wonder women is Ashley, we are a group who help each other live their dreams, she is the current leader of the group. Through our group she has been able to begin living her dream, which is to go to Europe and dance.

Ashley left for England a couple of weeks ago and I am going to follow her adventure. Ashely is currently staying in Manchester with some relatives, I heard she already had a job set up. I will be waiting eagerly for email updates.

This weekend Ashley went to a Wedding in Oswestry which is a small beautiful town in Northern England. It was a beautiful English Wedding (which was so different but very cool) And to top it off the weather was absolutely perfect, no rain and total sunshine all weekend!!! But the downfall was that Ashley stayed in a Cottage --that was from a storybook. It was minus all the modern conveniences such as Internet access, she managed to tuff it out.


Written by Captain Mary on Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Homeschooling Surges in U.S. as Parents Reach for Legal Rights
Monday, September 22, 2008
By Shannon Bream

Homeschooling is no longer just an offbeat trend or an avant-garde educational choice. It is growing exponentially and its proponents are fighting for new legal rights in the U.S.
With more than 2 million home schooled students in the United States, parents' reasons for opting out of traditional public school are as varied as their demographics.
"It used to be that homeschooling was the domain of people on the two extremes of the political spectrum, and now you have families from every possible religious, political, philosophical, sociol economic position," said Celeste Land, chairwoman of the Government Affairs Committee for the Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers. "You name it, we've got it."
Land says many parents who decide to take on home education come to the decision after realizing they want more for their children than school districts are required to provide by law.
It's also the law that presents some of the toughest challenges. States and school districts have a disjointed jumble of ordinances and measures that can make it tough for parents to know exactly what they are permitted to do as homeschoolers.

The situation has galvanized a nationwide movement. Legal fights to establish homeschooling rights have been launched from California to Pennsylvania. In most cases, Land says, parents are just looking for clarification.
"A family comes to us and says the school district is looking for more than the law requires or won't let them do something they want to do," she said.
Dawn Johnson, a mother of four, believes the challenges are well worth the payoff. "I don't think anything beats one-on-one tutoring, and I am allowed to talk and teach each of my children individually based on their strengths and weaknesses and learning styles," she said. "They're not held back by students in a classroom."
Her strategy appears to be working. According to Johnson, her children are now testing at two grade levels ahead of their age group. Socialization is also covered, with Johnson committing her children to activities from soccer to choir at least four days a week.
"They're probably more socialized than kids who go to school and see the same children every day because we're doing different things every day," she said.
As for financial considerations, many homeschooling parents believe the time and money they spend teaching from home is a bargain compared to private school tuition.
"You get to choose your own curriculum," said Johnson. "You can get everything free online if you want."
Some parents are also fighting for tax credits, since their tax dollars are paying for a system their children aren't using. Land says it's "very tempting" to look at education tax credits as an option for homeschoolers, but cautioned that the credits could come with strings attached, and could invite even more unwanted regulation.


Written by Captain Mary on Monday, September 22, 2008

If things aren't bad enough in the economy these days, the mail is bringing my bills of extortion. I already received the estimated property tax report, now I have sitting on my desk my homeowner/hurricane insurance policy. Here in Florida where extortion of its private citizens is common practice, the task begins.
The task of how I am going to pay the extortionist become a reality. Granted its not due until November, but they mail it early so that you can stress for months. I imagine the already high forecloses rate in Florida is getting ready to take another dip. What I want to know is where all these displaced people going? The funny part of this whole scenario is that my extortion amounts exceed what I pay for my mortgage. Well, that's not really funny, but that is why I call it extortion.
The name of the company that insures me, or should I say charges me is called Citizens, is that for us or against us. I have never filed a claim yet I am not even given an option to use another company, so I can't even shop around for better prices. Can you call that a monopoly? With home value crashing, do I get a better rate, do I have my home devalued? What do I do? According to the statistics our fair state is considered to be the most corrupt, if your going to be on top I guess you have to pick something. When you hear the phrase "Paradise isn't cheap, well this is why!


Written by Captain Mary on Sunday, September 21, 2008





My Best Bud Shelah and son Jason

Well, what a weekend, Saturday at friends had to be the best, its started out with some wonderful friends and social palaver and finished the same beautiful way. We had fantastic food, beverage and sun bathing. The weather was called in special just for us, the sun shined bright and the smiles brighter. A completely non stress day. Here are some of the great people I spend time with, along with tons of kids, who for some reason always get along well with each other. We are all such a perfect fit. I wish I could share all the great weather with the rest of the world, come on by if your ever in town.Sandy and Jeffrey thinking naughty thoughts

On the bottom Jason, middle is Monica and hovering high above is Kaley.

Sisters Kaley and Rainy drowning each other and having fun at the same time.

Kitty and Jesse (my Karate Instructor a.k.a. Hero)

Sandy enjoying a little refreshment.

Till next weekend.

More pics and story


Written by Captain Mary on Saturday, September 20, 2008

Last night I gathered at a local watering hole with some friends I met at my class reunion. We sat and talked about some of our adventures and our likes and dislikes. It was different for me to hang out with people of my own age. I must admit, hanging out at bars is really not my cup of tea, I am not really a big drinker, but it was fun, until a little lady arrived and sat down next to me. The gang I was sitting with suddenly moved in different directions and I was left alone with this little lady, we began to talk and it was all about her arthritis and her treatments and how she had to be very careful about germs. This had to be the first time I had seen a straw put through a napkin, so that the napkin covered the glass she was drinking from (no germs could fall in her glass this way). The conversation was not what I found entertaining and I decided to go home.
My phone began beeping, reminding me of a message and it was a message from by best bud, they were at home hanging out and having a good time, instead of going home I made a detour right to her and her hubs house. I was again full of smiles for more of our friends were there and we had conversation deep into the night. These are my younger friends and the fit seems so much better.
The stress of the past week or so has been horrible, but today is a party named "Life Sucks, but not Today", don't we all need a day to do nothing but relax and have fun. I am bringing some lobster bites over and hot dogs. I must get to the grocery store and begin preparing for the party, some fun in the sun and lounging around the pool. Today is a beautiful day and I can't wait to get out there and enjoy it.


Written by Captain Mary on Thursday, September 18, 2008

This is my contribution to HNT, I enjoyed every minute of it.


Written by Captain Mary on Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My parents were truly in love, planned parenthood was having children as fast as you can. My sisters are not even a year apart. In other words they are the same age for a week each year. I love my sissy's so much, we have a bond that spans the earth. They could live a thousand miles away, maybe even on the other side of the planet and I would still think about them every day.

Lots of Birthday's this month, along with my sisters is my sister-in-law Melony and my brother-in-law Mike. I want to make a giant Internet,





Written by Captain Mary on Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It is a true statement,"Time Heals All Wounds", but there is also some residual effects, even though the wound has healed it sometimes leaves a scar and that scar can been seen everyday. The scars too will fade, but the time it takes may not be enough to retrieve what was lost.
I have embarrassed and hurt my children and find that it hurts me even more. I bear the scars of this and many more. I have made so many mistakes and I have a hard time admitting that I am not invincible, but it is true, I am only human.
I don't regret being a strong, stubborn woman, I have learned so many things and independence is one of them. The draw back to this is when I cry or ask for help it doesn't seem real. It takes me to a place that I don't want to be and I loose that part of me I was so proud of. Time heals all wounds, and my hope is that all this turmoil will become nothing but a distant memory.


Written by Captain Mary on Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I have had drama after drama this week and things today have become manageable. I can't image two years ago that I didn't have any friends. Now, I have friends that make my life wonderful. I have always had my family and they are the absolute greatest.
I have had to cut my budget dramatically, that included my TaeKwonDo. It's the thing I love the most. I have goals and challenges and not to mention it keeps my body in motion. Yesterday I had to make a call to cancel my tuition and the hardest part was keeping my tears back. My friends know how much this means to me and they conspired behind my back to make certain I could continue. Yes that means you Jeff & Shelah! You are my hero's. When I told my Instructor Jesse that I had to quit, he said "I want this for me as well as you", I am within 6 weeks of getting my black belt, I have worked for 2 years and now it seemed like it is distant memory. So, my other hero, Jesse sat me down and said he would not allow me to quit, out of guilt I told him that I could not accept his charity. Jesse was persistent and we worked out a good exchange for services. No guilt anymore, lets go kick something.
Another one of my hero's is my friend, Rolando, he helped me out of my Friday dilemma and I can't thank him enough. I can only hope that we can work out some kind of exchange also. I know one thing for sure I have been blessed with some of the greatest friends on earth and I look forward to paying it forward, for they deserve the world and if I can give them just a piece of it, I will.


Written by Captain Mary on Sunday, September 14, 2008

More work around the garden, and cleaned out part of my storage shed, cleaned out the fish ponds, scrubbed all the animal cages and gave some of the critters baths, and then it was time to get some serious therapy.

Took my parrot, Shelah out of her cage, got my beach blanket and spread it out at my favorite spot in the garden. Shelah just loves to cuddle, so we both laid on the blanket and every time one of the kitties came to lay by me, Shelah would run and attack them. Shelah is very protective of me, since I hand fed her when she was just a baby. Not exactly relaxing but it kept me laughing. When my Maltese, Bogey came to lay down the game began, Shelah would jump at him, but he is so fast he slipped around the back of her and nipped her tail, Shelah would return as fast as she could, eventually we all laid on the blanket and enjoyed the view.

The whole family was there, Monica at the picnic table under the big umbrella doing her home-work. Jason playing with the kids, a little Frisbee, baseball and some other usual games. Playing in the pool for awhile and then things started to wined down, we enjoyed the Caribbean music that the neighbors played. Jason and his son J.T. laid on the hammock and the little one passed out. The breeze was just wonderful it rocked J.T. in the hammock while he slept.

Everyone had a great time, a family day, we haven't had many of those lately, its usually running around to find things to entertain the kids when all we really have to do is stay home and enjoy whats right in our back yard.

I finally got my place in the hammock, everyone was off doing other things by then, so I again enjoyed the view. This part of my therapy I take seriously.


Written by Captain Mary on Saturday, September 13, 2008

Today I decided to get up early and get some much needed therapy. I find it in the most unlikely place. My back yard, I have a wonderful landscaped back yard, with ponds and palms and grass you can lay on and sleep the day away. I have a wonderful place to hang my hammock and just let the gentle breeze rock me. Instead I get out the garden tools and began the much needed task of weeding and edging and I got down and dirty. Nothing on my mind but the great outdoors and how beautiful it will look when I finish.

All the kids were here and they had a great time shooting foam bullets at the cats, they didn't hit any but they enjoyed the game. The cats would wait for each launch of the foam bullets and attack when they hit the ground. Walking around my yard is like a jungle and sometimes if you walk too close to a bush a cat will jump out and grab your ankle. They hide so well among the foliage you would never know that I have 13 cats running around. Today, I allowed the kittens a chance to experience the great outdoors. They were curious about everything, but wouldn't go far from my lap.

There just isn't better therapy than working in the garden, except boating of course. For now I am exhausted and that is a great feeling, instead of being stressed out of my mind. Tomorrow I will do a little more therapy, but I am going to include some hammock treatment and perhaps a dip in the pool. If I don't answer the phone I will be under going-therapy, don't hesitate to stop by with your work cloths and some beer.


Written by Captain Mary on Saturday, September 13, 2008

I know that the Economy is going badly for everyone and I think I waited too long to trim the fat on my budget, but I thought I had more time. Unforeseen circumstances hit me yesterday and I fell apart along with my world. It would be so easy if I lived on a nice plot of land independent from the power company, the phone company, the water company and the government and just live my life as the happy person I strive to be. I could grow my own food and barter with my neighbors for goods we could exchange.

I am not one who asks for help, but the time came and I made some phone calls to friends. I got some good advice and a place to go and cry. My friends have never seen me cry and I image it was disturbing, my face really gets contorted and ugly. I tried to find a way out of my immediate dilemmas and my friends helped me out. I went through my jewelry to find enough to take to the pawn shop, and I came upon my husbands wedding rings. When I put the rings in my hand I could see his face and the worries he had for me while he was dieing, he asked me "will you be able to make it without me", so that he would go in peace I told him that I would be fine.
So many years have passed and I made good on my promise, but now I need him again. I feel so alone today. I know that I am not alone and I am so glad that I have the people in my life that I have. My daughter knows me and when she called last night she made sure she told me she loved me. I spent the evening at my friends Castle and I always feel like I am protected there, as nothing can penetrate the walls of the Castle. Inside I am protected by the security of the surrounding moat and the guardians of the Castle. But, I can't stay in the Castle, so today I will pick myself up and do what I need to do to get my life back.
Life is so full of tests and I will pass this one too.


Written by Captain Mary on Thursday, September 11, 2008

I am so glad that we are concerned about alternate fuels and forms of energy. I also found that this has been a concern for a really long time, more than a hundred years. I saw a television show that made some very interesting statements. The statements indicated that the Oil industry paid off the people and small business that were trying to promote alternate energy. The inventions were bought and then hidden by the Big Oil Tycoons. How much money do these special interests groups need to make off the citizens and to what demise to our earth.
Just a few of the currently available items are solar panels (1861 a steam engine built entirely on solar power, before that ancient Greeks and Romans), turbines, windmills (wind power 1000B.C.), micro hydro power (over 2 thousand years ago by Greeks), hydrogen fuel cells (which was born in 1829). I am glad to see that we are finally using our natural resources in the correct way, renewable resources. The sun the wind and the sea.
Digging and drilling into our earth, making voids that will collapse and cause catastrophic changes in the natural movement of our precious earth, not to mention burning these fossil fuels and all of it going into our atmosphere and our lungs. Sounds to me like the oil industry is destroying the earth from top to bottom.
We should all strive to be independent from this and still be able to live in a high tech world. How about small gardens, alternate power to generate our heaters or even our whole house, collecting and saving rain water in our own cistern storage tanks. There is so much we can do, at the same time becoming independent from utilities and the government which taxes us on everything we consume. If everyone would do one small thing then it becomes a big thing.


Written by Captain Mary on Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I am not one who tells people what God to believe in, nor am I someone who says anything against the religious belief of others. There is a time that I think some of the rituals of religious beliefs cross the line.
First of all, when they happen in my neighborhood and my grandchildren are subjected to strange occurrences. What am I talking about?
Just before our last hurricane scare, there was a foul smell in the air, and the neighbors had a party a prior to this awful smell. I didn't really put it together until some strange things started happening to the neighbors.
First my grandchild witnessed the delivery of livestock to this house, goats and chickens. Next my grandchild saw garbage bags which contained the remains of these animals. The neighbors are wearing strange garments and they don't socialize like they use to. They wear all white and coverings on their heads, strung around their necks are colored beads. A little research revealed that they are practicing animal sacrifice in a religious right that is called "Santeria".
As I continued reading about the ancient practices of this religion I almost understood, but as we progress as a society don't we realise that each life is precious. All I know is that I will be watching for animal deliveries and my first call will be to Animal Services. The kids in the neighborhood often play together and now they are getting really creeped out by the strange thing going on right in front of our faces. I would really hate to have any child witness this horror or indulge in this practice with the neighborhood pets, how do they know what or when this is acceptable. I say never!!!!!!!!!! Fashion statements are not when you cover yourself in blood of any kind. Sick, Sick, Sick. Tell me how to get rid of this horror in my neighborhood!!


Written by Captain Mary on Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Even though we dodged another bullet, with hurricane Ike, we have the residual effects of this large storm. I have faith that we can resume life as normal come the weekend and perhaps we can do a little fishing. As you can see by the pictures my landscape is blowing, the bamboo is really bending as is the palm trees.

Lets all be careful as we navigate the roadways for the next couple of days, as the winds and wet roads are dangerous, don't use your cruise control on your cars because it will cause your vehicle to run away.

My critters are staying close to the house and my birds had to be covered because they were being blown off their perches. Poor parrots have the death grip on their perches. The animals are being very quiet and that is kind of nice. Well that is except for the kittens, they are out on the patio playing and having a lot of fun, they just don't know better.


Written by Captain Mary on Monday, September 08, 2008

It's Monday morning and we have some how dodged another bullet, but I am not getting too cocky about it. The weather should be deteriorating today and who knows for certain what the storm will do. Everyone remains in a state of preparedness, and so shall I. I predict that we are going to have some pretty yucky weather for the next few days in spite of our near miss.
I can't help looking at the satellite image and looking below the state where this storm is looming far too close. In spite of all the predictions and computer models, there is still a chance for everything to change in a moments notice. For now, it will be life as usual and I am heading out toward work.


Written by Captain Mary on Sunday, September 07, 2008

Nobody likes to hear how bad things are, but from time to time I must ramble. Things have been very stressing lately. I find myself intolerant of the things that I can usually ignore. I met with a group of women for a brunch on Saturday and it started out nice with chatting and getting to know each other, then it turned out to be a mass of confusion. We are a group of women who try to get things done in a simple way, and there are some women in the group that complicate things for no reason. They get things done, but they do it with intimidation and they come across as insecure, I don't think that I can get any of my friends to be a part of this. Instead of a great feeling of women bonding and helping each other, I left with a pissed off mood, because there was so much power play. Well, got that out.

Now, I will be spending the day with the completion of my hurricane preparation. Its just too close to predict as far as I am concerned. I remember hurricane Andrew very clearly and it turned at the very last moment, what if I am not ready for this, I could endanger my family and the things that I cherish, I am responsible for so many people and critters, I must take this serious. This morning was another indication that there is a storm coming, it was just too quiet and calm. Its just too close for me.


Written by Captain Mary on Friday, September 05, 2008

This story was inspired by my friend Jane who had a shocking experience of her own.

Illustrations by Cappy


Once upon a time there was a little Beetle Bug, she was just a regular beetle bug, nothing special about her. She would play in the yard everyday having fun with her friends.

One day it began to rain and Beetle Bug found a branch in a tree where she could hide from the rain, as she waited she fell asleep.

Beetle Bug heard a loud bang which woke her up and threw her out of the tree. She landed on the ground just under the tree. She was so stunned she didn't know what had happened to her.

Suddenly her friends rushed over to see what had happened. Beetle Bug looked up to see all her friends staring at her in a strange way. Beetle Bug asked her friends, "What are all of you looking at?". Her friends took her by the hand and they all walked to a little puddle where Beetle Bug could see her reflection. Grasshopper said, "We are going to call you Glitter". Beetle Bug looked down into the puddle to see a very strange glow.

Beetle Bug was given light by the lighting that had hit her tree. Now her friends called her Glitter the lighting bug. From that day on Glitter had a light, all her friends could find her in the dark.

You too can see her playing in the yard on summer nights. Little flicker of light from Glitter the lighting bug, and her family of lighting bugs.



Written by Captain Mary on Friday, September 05, 2008

I am sure everybody has heard the saying "Too much on your plate", I didn't really understand how true that was until last night. My wonderful friend always has too much on her plate. I did some research to try to requisition some extra hours in the day, but it was beyond the scope of things I could accomplish by wishing. O.K., got it, there is only 24 hours in a day and I do have to sleep at least four of them. Seems to me that my plate is full too.
I am a solution searching person, I see problems as a challenge. Now about this plate, How big is this plate? What is it made of? I think its made of cheap flimsy paper, you know the kind, the ones that you get about a thousand for a buck.
You begin the day with a couple of things on the plate, work, the kids, the pets. That's not so bad, as long as you clear the plate of those items before you pile more on the cheap paper plate. Now what happens when you start piling icky wet stuff on the plate? Duh, it gets week and the sides start drooping, now you not only have to hold it with two hands but you have to do a juggling act at the same time.
Some solutions to the problem.
  • Don't pile jello on the plate (too hard to juggle)
  • Use more than one cheap plate.
  • Clear off some of the stuff, before you pile on more.
  • When your plate gets too full, scrape some off on to someone else plate.
  • If some stuff falls off the plate, kick it under the rug, you can dig it out another day.
  • Don't put stress on the plate, that's the really icky stuff.

I know that my day always starts with a cheap paper plate, and it never survives the day, but life is a juggling act and the longer you do it, the better you get at it. But all good circus acts have bad performance days.


Written by Captain Mary on Thursday, September 04, 2008

The first adoption has been completed. Two of my beautiful kittens have a new home. A wonderful couple couldn't resist the cuddling of the 5 week old kittens. The kittens that got homes are #1 and #4, they now have names, Jack and Blackie. Thanks to Katrina and Jesse, they will give you years of love.


Written by Captain Mary on Thursday, September 04, 2008

This story is inspired by two of my grandchildren, who are wonderful and yet very curious.

Illustrations by Cappy

© copyright 2008

On a sunny day in the jungle, Mama lion went out to the jungle to get food for her cubs. The little lions cubs were told to stay by the tree and not move until she returned. They were very curious cubs and sometimes did not listen to Mama. Sometimes they would chase butterflies and sometimes they would just roll in the grass. The cubs were named Jasmine and Jaytee. Jasmine would often disobey Mama, and Jaytee would follow everything Jasmine did. They never went far from their tree, except this day.

Jasmine was watching some butterflies and began chasing them, Jaytee followed right behind her, the butterflies flew and flew. Before the cubs knew it, they had traveled far away from their tree. They found a wonderful pond, full of new things. Jasmine found a frog and she put her nose down to sniff it, the frog jumped at Jasmine and surprised her so much she jumped too. Jaytee thought it was so funny he rolled on his back holding his tummy. The cubs continued to explore the pond to see what else they could discover.

Jaytee heard something in the water and he lifted his head up to listen. "Psst, Jasmine, did you hear that?", he asked. Jasmine looked up to listen, and she heard a splash in the water. All they could see was something wiggling in the water, was it a pair of ears? These curios cubs just had to find out what those wiggling ears belonged to.

Jasmine slowly stepped into the water to get closer, she took one step at a time until she was in water up to her neck. Jaytee stayed back on the shore, he wasn't going to follow Jasmine this time. Splash!!! right in front of Jasmine a giant gray creature popped out of the water. It was a Hippo, and they will eat little lion cubs, but this hippo was just as young as Jasmine and Jaytee.

The hippo smiled and told Jasmine "Don't be afraid, I am just cooling off". But Jasmine was so surprised she had fallen all the way in the water and was just soaked. Again, Jaytee fell over and laughed so hard he couldn't get up. Jasmine was a little embarrassed by the whole thing.

Jasmine shook and shook to get dry. Jaytee was still laughing, even the hippo thought it was funny. Jasmine began to walk away with her head down, for she didn't really like to be laughed at. The two lion cubs continued exploring and found a trail leading deep into the jungle. Jasmine was so curious that she began walking down the trail, deeper and deeper into the jungle. Jaytee said to Jasmine, "Stop, we are getting lost", and Jasmine's reply was "Jaytee I know where I am going, just follow me, we are not lost". Jaytee trusted Jasmine and continued to follow her. They saw lots of different kinds of birds, monkeys in the trees, and some creatures that they had never seen before. It was exciting to explore for the lion cubs, but now it was beginning to get dark, how would they find they way back home?

In the meantime Mama Lion went back to the tree, where she left her cubs. She did not see them anywhere. Mama Lion began to look for her cubs, she sniffed the ground and looked for their footprints. She began to follow the footprints that the cubs had made, she found the pond with the Hippo and asked him if he saw the cubs. The Hippo replied, "They were here but they disappeared into the jungle". Mama Lion saw the path that lead deep into the jungle and began to look for her cubs.

Jasmine and Jaytee were still walking when Jaytee sat down and began to cry. Jasmine turned around and saw her brother, she asked, "Jaytee what is wrong?". Jaytee said, "I want to go home, we are lost, and I am so hungry". Jasmine was thinking and she had to say that Jaytee was right, they were lost. Jaytee I am sorry, don't cry, we will lay down here for now and rest. Jasmine was thinking that she should have listened to Mama Lion and did what she was told. "What if Mama Lion can't find us?", thought Jasmine. She didn't say anything because she didn't want to scare her brother. The sun had gone down and it was very dark in the jungle, there were many sounds, even Jasmine was getting scared.

Mama Lion was very good at finding her cubs, but it was very dark, so she began to call out to them. "Roar, roar", said Mama Lion. Jasmine and Jaytee lifted their heads, they heard something in the distance that sounded familiar. What if its another Lion and not Mama, we must stay quiet until we are sure. The cubs hid in the bushes and curled up close to each other. Mama Lion called out again, roar, roar! Jaytee called out roarrrrr! Mama perked up her ears to hear better and she knew the sound was her cubs. Jaytee called out again and Mama knew it was them for sure. Mama Lion ran to the sound as fast as she could, but she still didn't see her cubs. Mama stopped on the trail and listened, she heard a sound in the bushes, out jumped Jasmine and Jaytee. The cubs were so happy to see their Mama, but Mama was very angry with her cubs and turned around. Mama whispered to the Cubs, "you must be very quiet, it is dangerous for little cubs alone in the jungle, follow me home right now". Jasmine and Jaytee followed Mama back to their home under the big tree. When they arrived home, the dinner that Mama had brought back for them was gone.

They had to go to bed that night without dinner after being lost in the jungle. Jasmine and Jaytee looked at each other and Jaytee told Jasmine, "I will listen to Mama for now on". "We were very bad lion cubs and will never do it again", Jasmine cried. Always listen to your Mama she knows what is best for you!


Written by Captain Mary on Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I visited a friend today, only to have her tell me a tail of her near miss with death. We have had some stormy weather lately, last week it was the residual of tropical storm Fay. My friend Jane was out on her covered porch sweeping away some leaves when suddenly she got a shock of her life. A loud bang and then a series of events that didn't even take a second to complete.

  • A tree struck by lighting.
  • The plant hanging by a chain, struck.
  • The base of the tree, exploding its bark off and making a hole in the ground.
  • Power to the outdoor lighting, exploded into burnt dangling wires.
  • Tail light to her truck exploding along with the alternator
  • In the house, small appliances burning up.
  • All the phone lines melting down.
  • Several wall outlets, blasted to pieces.
  • Then bursting out of the concrete foundation, the final blast.

And Jane standing next to the final blast, shooting dirt and pieces of concrete all over here, she was within two feet of the blast, when she screamed and ran "My hair is on fire". Jane told me it was the loudest sound she had ever heard and it scared the hell out of her. What a shocking experience! Just can't hide from lighting, you might think you are safe, but it can find you anywhere.


Written by Captain Mary on Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I bet we are all tired of the Hurricanes! I know that this is just the height of the season, and there is so many more storms coming off the coast of Africa. The Storms are pressing forward and Florida is just hanging there waiting and taunting Mother Nature. "See me swinging right here, catch me if you can", says the pecker shaped state.

A couple more storms heading our way, that means to me that I will not be doing any boating for a week or so. That's all right because the fish are going to be some kind of hungry when I finally get back on the high seas.

For the people on the Gulf, we are all so happy that there were no tragedies and they can return to their homes. Lets only hope that we can be spared when its our turn to be in the eye of the beast.


Written by Captain Mary on Monday, September 01, 2008

I didn't really take a vacation, as the word applies, because the past year I spent traveling all over the place for TaeKwonDo competitions. Of course I traveled over to Bimini several times, which is just like a mini vacation. But the best part of the summer is when everybody in the family went on vacation and I stayed home. I visited friends, went out, had great fun doing anything I wanted. Played with my zoo residents and did nothing when I wanted and the best part is I got to run around naked when I wanted.


Written by Captain Mary on Monday, September 01, 2008

What and where was your summer vacation? I would love to hear your story of adventure or turmoil. Tell your story here or read the responses in the comments.


Written by Captain Mary on Monday, September 01, 2008

I am so pleased to see that there will be less lives lost in the path of Hurricane Gustav. I do understand what it is like to be evacuated, during Hurricane Andrew I lived in the Keys and the day we had to leave was so sedate. There wasn't a breath of wind, there wasn't a ripple on the surface of the water, it was the calm before the storm. I took my daughter with me and we went to Miami to my parents house, right into the path of the storm. The horror of what I saw and how I felt was something I never want to relive. My brother was in the direct path, the evacuation area, and his home was hit by one of the many tornadoes that was spun from this horrible storm. He stayed in his home and his life somehow was spared. He stood in a closet with his pets, because that was the only thing left of his house. I was frantic looking for my son after the storm and the people I loved, we didn't have communications like today and I had to hit the streets looking for him. As I searched the streets my eyes were full of tears, for everything I remembered was gone and my fear was that I had lost my son too. When I arrived at the house my son was staying at, there wasn't anything left, my daughter who was with me, jumped out of the car and ran to find him. After more searching we found all of our family safe and sound. I understand so well.

New Orleans, the place of music from the heart, has already had enough tragedy. I do know that what the State did for the people this time was wonderful, letting them bring their animals was the only way to get this successful evacuation accomplished and save lives of people and their precious pets. I would never leave without my pets, for they are part of my family and anybody who thinks otherwise has no heart. New Orleans will be singing the Blues again, I wish that everyone is safe and my heart goes out to all.