Written by Captain Mary on Monday, October 31, 2011

I belong to this fantastic social group, The Upper Keys Sons & Daughters of Italy. Most everybody is Italian or of Italian descent. We allow a ten percent social membership, just for fun. And they are all fun. We have young members and old. This is our third Annual Dinner Dance and it is my second time attending. The group was only established a mere 4 years ago and our membership is over 200 strong. I danced the night away, the music was old and new, Italian and everything in between.

 I spent most of the evening dancing and enjoying the company of my friend Tony, my Dad and his friend Marlene, my sister and brother-in-law. Dad was my guest, but if you didn't know, he was just like a part of the chapter. We had the dinner at the Big Chill, a Jimmy Johnson restaurant. They do a fantastic job, the wine flowed like water, courtesy of the chapter. Our servers had to be the best, all you would have to do is think of what you wanted and it magically appeared. I danced so much that I lost the soles of my new shoes, they just flew off. By the end of the night, it turned into the old people version of Dirty Dancing. The best we could do with our decrepit bodies. Romance in the air, love and slow dancing. A night out for the chapter membership is without a doubt some of the best fun ever.

 The music was so familiar that one could not help to sing a-long, as you can see my Dad was doing. Everybody danced and sung, the best song had to be "We are family" by Sly and the Family Stone. Every person was on the dance floor, even the ones who didn't dance the whole night. This was the song to bring it on down!
I find it so easy to play the Italian way, it is an opportunity to be back where your heritage began, but in Key Largo. I remember when I was growing up and visiting Boston, where most of my extended family lives, there was always this closeness and family was always number one. Being in a community of Italians, is like going home. I will fondly remember the fruit carts and the accents along the city streets where all the Italians lived in East Boston. The Sons & Daughter of Italy is like that, are monthly meetings, full of food, special events, and bocce balls.That's not what happens when it gets cold, it's a game. I am still smiling from all the fun, I could use more days like this.


Written by Captain Mary on Thursday, October 27, 2011

I got this in an email and thought that it would be a pleasant reminder to all of us, I wish I knew who wrote it, I can't think of anything more perfect. Does the future really hold promise for our children?


 THE 30'S, 40'S, 50'S, 60'S, & 70'S


First, we survived
being born to mothers who may have smoked and/or drank
while they were pregnant.

They took aspirin,
ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then, after that  trauma, we were
put to sleep on our tummies
in baby cribs covered with bright colored
lead-based paints.

We had no
childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets,or toilet seats.

Imagine using a two holer.
and, when we rode our bikes,
we had baseball caps, not helmets, on
our heads.

As infants and
children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes..

Riding in the
back of a pick- up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water
from the garden hose and not from a bottle.

We shared one
soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes,
white bread, real butter, and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar.

And we weren't overweight.


Because we were
always outside playing...that's why!

We would leave
home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was
able to reach us all day.

--And, we were


We would spend hours building
our go-carts out of scraps
and then ride them down the hill,
only to find
out we forgot the brakes.. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem..

We did not
have Play Stations, Nintendos and X-boxes. There were
no video games,
no 150 channels on cable,
no video movies
or DVDs, no surround-sound or CDs,
no cell phones, no personal computers,
no Internet and no chat rooms.

and we went
outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut,
broke bones and teeth,
and there were no lawsuits
from those accidents.

We would get
spankings with wooden spoons, switches, ping-pong paddles, or just a bare hand,
and no one would call child services to report abuse.

We ate worms, and mud pies
made from dirt, and
the worms did not live in us forever.

We made rubber guns and shot one another with
red rubber from car inter-tubes. We were given
BB guns for our 10th birthdays, 22 rifles for our 12th, rode horses,made up games with sticks and tennis balls, and
-although we were
told it would happen- we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes
or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts
and not everyone made the team.
Those who didn't had to learn
to deal with disappointment.

Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing
us out if we broke the law was unheard of.
They actually sided with the law!

These generations have
produced some of the best risk-takers,
problem solvers, and inventors ever.

The past 50
to 85 years have seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas..

We had freedom,
failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

If YOU are
one of those born
between 1925-1970, CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want
to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids before the lawyers
and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.

While you are
at it, forward it to your kids, so they will know how brave and lucky their parents were.

Kind of makes
you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it ?



Written by Captain Mary on Sunday, October 23, 2011

With all the talk about the end of the war, I couldn't help thinking about what would happen to all the men and women who returned from the war. I am a product of the 60's and 70's where we always protested war. I have always seen war as a useless way to resolve conflict. Not to mention the drain on the countries resources. If we ran our homes the same as the country, there would be families and communities killed because we didn't like the way they raised their kids.

 Granted people who do wrong should indeed be found and punished. How do we justify the killing of people who had nothing to do with the initial problem. Then we turn around and tell them how their country should be run. All people should start by taking care of themselves, those who can not should be helped, not with arrogance and war. Our country should not think that they are the shinning example to the world, because it is not. Freedom is not having someone else tell you what to do!

I can't help thinking about what we call the "Civilized World". As I wander back in time to the Neanderthals, are earliest man. Have we really progressed more than them? Besides standing on two feet and wearing clothing we still haven't moved forward enough to just be at peace with each other. Technology has advanced to amazing heights, the human intelligence is vast and always expanding. So why is that compassion and understanding have not reached this amazing level? This should be our goal, not murder. On a small scale we do it, the family unit for example, small communities manage to live a peaceful existence. Why can't we expand this to the world. When a catastrophe occurs, we all step up as a group from all over the world, we put together volunteers and money and take care of the needs of the victims. How about the tsunami in Asia, the worst in history, the world was there to lend a hand along with the earthquake in Haiti. Millions were donated and people were there to help. We did these things as people not governments, united by the need  to help and to just do the right thing.

I continue to think about the rise of unemployment and homelessness as our troops return. Thinking about where they would be had there been no conflict, and had all the trillions of dollars spent on this war remained home. I began doing research into this very thing and have found what you will read next:

Brown University Watson Institute for International Studies
© 2011 Watson Institute
Has this military spending created more jobs than other kinds of spending? Usually not. In fact, public funds would have created more jobs in the past decade if they had been invested in such industries or sectors as home weatherization, construction, healthcare, or education.

A million dollars of spending would create 15.5 jobs in public education, 14.3 jobs in healthcare, 12 jobs in home weatherization, or about the same number of jobs in various renewable energy technologies. A million dollars spent on construction (residential and non-residential structures) creates 11.1 direct and indirect jobs.

Investments in renewable energy such as solar, wind, or biomass, would create just as many jobs as military spending. Efficiency programs such as weatherization of homes and public buildings would create about 1.5 times as many jobs, and federal support for healthcare and education would create twice as many as the same level of military spending.

Alternatively, the federal government could have increased its support for energy efficiency programs such as weatherization of homes and public buildings, or increasing the infrastructure and operations for mass transit. $130 billion per year in these efficiency programs would have created a net increase of about 500,000 jobs each year. Spending in renewable energy programs would have created approximately the same number of jobs as the military, but would have contributed to combating climate change and building a more sustainable energy infrastructure.

Well, I think that says it all, doesn't it? These results are just this country, other countries would benefit the same and perhaps we wouldn't be in debt with a Communist country. I see that when we need something other political and social groups are willing to help, without conflict.

I have rambled enough for now, I really get worked up when I think about what is happening around me, even if I don't see it with my own eyes, how the world is effected. So many ways to resolve problems without war, lets see if our goal one day can indeed be "World Peace".


Written by Captain Mary on Sunday, October 23, 2011

 A day at the shooting range. I haven't really shot a gun for 25 years or so. This was a learning experience. Off to a private range to shoot some skeet. It was my first time with a 12 gauge shot gun and we were going to shoot moving targets. What! I did better than I expected, yes I did hit some. Learning to hold this monster shot gun was the hardest part, my arms are just not long enough. The guys were teaching the girls using step by step instructions. It was much easier in theory than to follow through with their instructions. The weight was more than I expected. I understand that the guys wanted us to learn the safety procedures and loading the gun all by ourselves. For us it was like trying to put a square peg in a round hole, a bit impossible. The competitive nature of my family supersedes the impossible. After a couple of clay targets went flying into the trees we began knocking the sh..t out of them.

What motivated this family outing was the fact that the guys just bought some new weapons and wanted to try them out.

My granddaughter, Shy-Anne, amazed us all. Here she had just cut down a bush with the shot gun after we ran out of moving targets. The smile on her face signifies great pride in a job well done. The adrenaline rush from the power of these weapons, makes me understand why people own them. So much to think about when operating weapons, safety, sighting, stances, and a bunch of other s's. I know Jason has been shooting on a regular basis and his skill at hitting the moving targets was very natural. It is a great way to sharpen your skills. I have confidence now that if someone enters my home unannounced, they will have no chance to change their mind. That means they should have never walked through the door in the first place.

After shooting a several hundred rounds at the skeet range we wanted to try out the hand guns, Glocks! Seems to be a popular weapon, just like shoes, they are in style right now.
I know one thing, this hobby is a bit expensive, its a shame too, because if more people knew more about operating weapons, there wouldn't be so many accidents. We were out for about six hours, in a real environment doing something as a family with respect for each other. Anytime a family is together learning new things, even if it is just about each other, it makes the day worthy of an event to remember.

Here Jeff stands watching over Shy, because after the weapon is loaded a teenager still forgets it is a gun and tends to sling it around. Shy kept us amused with some of her comments. As Jason was showing her how to load the shot gun she says "I can't it will ruin my nails", we laughed, girls will be girls. As the day progress Shy stood empty handed and shouted back, "Hey, someone give me a gun". She finally stopped making excuses and focused more on just having fun. A must admit she is a pretty good shot! (By the way this picture appears to be shooting over water, it is an illusion, it is a cross road)

Looks like I have been doing this forever, doesn't it? I am loading the 22 which is a really easy to handle rifle, without all that kick that bruised my shoulder earlier in the day with the 12 gauge. We were shooting heavy rounds with the shot gun, they were given to us for free, a bit too much kick for me.
After the day was over we headed back to Jason's house and enjoyed conversation about our day together. I think I have the greatest family ever, we do so many things together and I feel like the luckiest person on earth, I find myself so content most of the time.


Written by Captain Mary on Friday, October 21, 2011

I have been writing letters lately to two people that I love very much. Unfortunately they are incarcerated. I have been sending them encouragement and hopes. The both of them are there in the “Big House” for hurting no one, but themselves. I can’t help thinking about how the punishment should fit the crime. I look at the news and see how people are walking the streets after rape, attempted murder, assault, child molestation & murder.

I just don’t get it, my two loves are on government vacation for growing some herbs and the other for who knows what, none of it makes sense to me. All I know is that we the taxpayer are spending money for their food, housing and education. What they were convicted of didn’t hurt anyone. Does this government really have the brains to do the right thing?

I am sick of watching people who don’t belong on the planet walking the streets right next to me and the people who have a non-violent crime locked up behind bars. What is wrong with this picture? I say if you know someone who is like these two, drop them a line and give them some words of encouragement. For certain tell them that it is a great opportunity to read those books, get their GED, or start their college or vocational education. Tell them if they are stuck there, then by all means use the government to get what you need to be a success when you leave the confines of that God forsaken place.

These people could be your family or friends, let them know what is going on and keep them part of your life as if they were there. Before you know it, they will be home and I imagine more violent than when they were put there. For these people incarceration does them more harm than good. A letter from you could mean a few minutes with a smile on their face and perhaps a feeling that they have something to look forward to.


Written by Captain Mary on Friday, October 21, 2011 get their Black Belts.  Monica and Jason with Senior Master, and our instructors Isaacs, at their Black Belt ceremony in June. Went to yet another graduation ceremony at Integrity Martial Arts on Tuesday. The testing was unnerving, yet a proud moment. I saw my 3 grandchildren work the hardest they could to surge toward their Black Belts. Jonathan, finally out of Tiny Tigers and now a Green Belt. Jasmine, with awesome kicks over her head, is now a Blue Decided Belt. So close to their goals after a little more than a year.

This is Sam getting his Black Belt tied on by his brother and me, what an honor! That has been 4 months already. Sam gave a fantastic speech, along with my daughter and son,(who made the instructor cry).

Just this week Max received his Black Belt and what he told his instructors was that he was going to get his 4th Degree Black Belt and take his job. Even though Max knows he has to wait until he is 18 years old. Max will be nine next month, 9 more years to go.  He is now working toward his 2nd Degree Black Belt as we speak. I guess I better get on the band wagon and work on getting my 2nd Degree, it has been far too long, waiting for my not so perfect joints to perform. I will just have to do what I can, I have my family to cheer me on, of course, along with my Integrity Martial Arts family.
I don't know if my body can keep up with the gruelling work-outs, but I know just being at the IMA school lifts my spirits so high, it feels like I can do anything.

My TaeKwondo Family

Written by Captain Mary on Monday, October 17, 2011

My TaeKwondo family. I can’t help being proud of my family and their accomplishments. The little ones are learning things that they don’t even know. They are learning respect, confidence, and a whole plethora of wonderful and admirable traits. When I look around and see that these traits in today’s children don’t really exist. I am proud to say that, “My grandchildren and children are the best!” I am always proud to introduce them to the world.

It was great to see Grandpa show up to see the kids testing. The gang was so happy to see him and show off for him. The boys and Jasmine doing their splits for Grandpa. I know Grandpa was amazed at the grand kids and their abilities.

Max tested for his Black Belt, he has been in TaeKwonDo since he was 4 years old. Most of his life, and I think it makes a real difference. Jonathan, will be another that starts really early. If you could only see the 4 of my grandchildren do their stuff.

Each time I go to a rank testing or their graduation ceremony, I am brought to tears. I have watched my grandchildren grow in a direction that will take them to another level when they become adults.

The school is a place that a person wants to go to. When I walk in the door, I am greeted with smiles and looking around all I see is people of all ages, talking and smiling at each other, like a family. I wish that all sports had the support that TaeKwondo has. There are rules of course, the first and most important is to support each and every student, and the second is never to coach on the side lines. Unlike soccer and other sports, coaching from the side can disqualify the competitor immediately. I have seen lots of sports and competitions. I never remember seeing how proud the people are just to compete. The kids are taught that to be a winner is just to participate and give it all you got. Who could ask for more!


Written by Captain Mary on Sunday, October 16, 2011

Working hard or hardly working? I love my personal assistant job. I started out as a driver. Taking my client from place to place. We then adjusted our relationship as we went along. Today, I am sitting at the Hilton in Boca Raton, after a fantastic meal at the City Fish Market. Wow! What a place, the service was beyond excellent. I felt as if I was the only person in the restaurant.

I started the day by picking up my client to take her to Boca for an event. Arriving on time as always, we checked into the Hilton with her dog, Nikita. Then shortly after check-in we venture to her event. Dog in tow, of course. Dropping off my client for her evening, I was now the personal assistant of the dog. After a cup of coffee, we ventured down to the lake with fountains and swans. A paradise if I do admit myself. A relaxing walk along the paths that surround the lake, a doggie paradise. So many places to explore on the property and yet there was a sense of peace and serenity. I don’t know how these places stay in business sometimes; it seemed to me that the place was deserted. Not that I really minded, but it was just an FYI. After I received a phone call from my client, she had adjusted my duties and I had the rest of the evening off. She doesn’t get up very early, so I can sleep in.
Motivating her is the hardest part of the job, which I somehow wiggled into. Between remembering what she should bring and what not to forget, I am exhausted. Try working with someone who has a serious case of OCD. I mean serious, but charming at the same time. I love our time together, it is never boring and  I get paid for it.

The next morning arrives after quite a restful sleep. I find myself wandering about, looking for something to do. Thinking about what I need to get done at home. I have the yard work and house work to do, that has been so ignored, since my increased work load. I know that I have walked the grounds here at the Hilton for what seems like hours. Already, had numerous cups of coffee and still waiting for the princess to get up. I sat in front of the elevators, watching people exit the hotel. It is when I realized that this place is indeed pretty full. The one person I am hoping will come out of the elevator is probably tucked in her king size bed. She probably won’t be coming out of the elevator until I send someone up to get her stuff, this could take hours. Still waiting for her reply from my text message, so far it has been an hour.

I am anticipating our drive home, which is only about an hour. I can’t help giggle, when I recall our ride up to Boca Raton. With my client and her dog in the back seat, and her bellowing instructions, such as “watch your speed, that car is coming in our lane, take the turns easier,” and it goes on and on. I now know why drivers have glass between them and their passengers. Tinted glass, so that the passengers can’t see the sneers the driver makes every time a passenger makes yet another ridiculous statement or request. I can find the humor in these interruptions to a mostly normal weekend.

At this point in my life, it would be utterly stupid to not take any and all work that comes my way. I think about others who have it much more difficult than I do, and it seems to me that I have it pretty good. I work hard at hardly working.


Written by Captain Mary on Wednesday, October 05, 2011 never know what you are going to get. One thing is, that it is always sweet. I have been a little down in the dumps. I guess like the rest of the country with reference to work. It only lasted about three days though. Not really enough time for much of a break. Now, I am back up to a good schedule.

I have heard from some long lost friends and that always cheers me up. It seems that when things are at there lowest I find myself at that happy place soon after. I never forget what a wonderful family and friends I have. For some reason the timing is always just perfect. I love my life and the people in it, I go through each day like I am special, it doesn't hurt that I think I am special too.

I went to the grand opening of my TaeKwonDo school, they moved to a new location and the festivities were fantastic. So impressed by the ceremony I began to practice at the school once again. I thought I would be in pain after the work out, but instead I felt fantastic. I will go to class twice a week to start with, perhaps I can firm up a bit, and get my heart back to a healthy state. Cardio, cardio. I have spent the last two years without much exercise, except working in the yard at my sons and my house. It just wasn't enough to get my energy level back up. I have accepted the fact that my knees are not going to get better without surgery, so all I can do is move through the pain and discomfort and push ahead. The positive energy in the TaeKwonDo school is enough to make anyone feel good, even the people who are standing by watching.

Life is just like a box of chocolates...sweet and mixed up at the same time.


Written by Captain Mary on Wednesday, October 05, 2011

I wrote a brief story of my life and relationships. I noticed that I had a comment awaiting moderation. I was flattered to see that an X of mine's wife had replied. It seems that she still finds me as some kind of threat, why else would she go through so much trouble to find me and monitor my blog. Anyway, I thought I would let everyone get a glimpse of her comment:

Linda said...

c'mon if ur gonna tell the story at least get it right mary!andy left you after thanksgiving and we married 2 months later and he was in the delivery room the day our son was born i have pics to prove that ! i got everything you ever wanted from andy in a matter of months his baby and a wedding ring ! my x took you skydiving and you ran out of the dive shop crying !yeah he cheated but i understood he had to grow up with me and you know what 20 yrs later he has worked his ass off for our family he's my best catch!as for changing the sheets we never did it in your bed,just your couch ,livingroom floor and best of all your boat several times!why did'nt you add how he helped you get off crack !i told him about your blog he thinks ur pathedic! if you're gonna tell the story get it right ! lmao !!!!

Well let me address her comment, just as a matter of clarification. First of all let me say that my blog is my version of my life, not anyone else, just read my Disclaimer. Lets start with what I wanted from Andy, well it was no more than fun. I would never consider him as spouse material. My kids hated him and it doesn't take more than that for me to decide on a person. I am glad that he has grown up and finally took responsibility for himself. I can't help to wonder why my words are so important to  Ms. Linda. Andy, was not the only person in my life, granted he was around for awhile. Linda had to read quite a bit of content to get to the places where he was mentioned, and she calls me pathetic! As for skydiving, her X was not there at all. Where did you get that from? I can understand why she dumped her X, talk about boring. My daughter and I spent the day together, I have film to prove that. The dive shop incident, I didn't run anywhere, those people are still my friends and they don't remember the alternate version of the event at all. I continued working at that dive shop and Ms. Linda was no where to be found after that day. As for Andy getting me off drugs, that is the biggest joke of all, he only dated me because I had drugs. When I no longer shared them is when the relationship went to the shitter.  Seriously his drug problem is what lead him to loose his captains license, not mine, we took the same drug test, only I passed. After he departed from my life, things became so much simpler and I have done all the things that I have wanted to do. I have traveled the world and have friends around the globe. What more could a person want. I have everything that I need.

Life has it's ups and downs, My life has no exception. I can honestly say that my relationship with Andy was a learning experience which I prefer not to relive each time his wife has a comment or moment of insecurity. I hope Ms. Linda gets over me, because I have gotten over her. Water under the bridge!!!! I hope that everybody takes this opportunity to send a comment to this post. I am certain that Ms. Linda will be monitoring my site until I have died.

Just think, do you know anyone who stalks their husbands X girl friends? Cyber stalking is a crime, only because they don't have a life.


Written by Captain Mary on Tuesday, October 04, 2011

This story was inspired by two very special rats and two very special children who had them as pets. The rats passed away of old age, Mama, but she had a life of adventure. Taylor was loved and will be missed also. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.


©copyright 2008

It all started in a little pet shop, where two baby rats named Sloan and Jack were living. People would come to the pet shop looking to adopt animals, some people would look through the glass and see Sloan, Jack and the other baby rats and they would always say, "Rats are yucky". Sloan didn't like that kind of talk, because she knew she was special. Jack didn't really care, he was too busy playing and having fun with the others.

One day a lady named Miss Jane peeked through the glass and pointed at Sloan and Jack, after a couple of minutes the store caretaker came back and took Sloan and Jack out of the cage and put them in a dark little box. They sat in the box very quiet, it was a bumpy ride, but then the box opened and a gentle hand picked them up and put them in a brand new home.

Sloan and Jack were so excited, there were toys and treats of all kinds. Jack said, "Sloan it's the lady from the pet shop". Miss Jane thought that they were cute and her children would just love them.

When the children got home from school they ran to see what their Mom had brought home for them. The children looked down into the cage to see Sloan and Jack. Sloan didn't know what to think about these small people, but they didn't call us yucky, and that was good. Rats have feelings too.

Days went by and the children would play with Sloan and Jack everyday. Sloan was always cleaning herself, because she wanted to look pretty like a princess. Sloan and Jack were allowed to run around the whole house, they would follow the children because they always seemed to drop crumbs of food to eat. There was also a dog at their new home, the dog was named Scruffy and he would play with the little rats too.

Scruffy would pick up Sloan and they played together on the couch. Sloan would run across Scruffy and tickle him, they played hide and seek. Jack was more adventurous, he was always climbing up somewhere and always falling off of things. Jack was a clumsy rat, not like Sloan who was always busy making herself pretty.

The little rats were so happy, they lived in a home that didn't call them yucky, but once in awhile a visitor would come over and call them names. Calling anything a bad name is not nice, even if they are rats.

Sloan and Jack were very smart little rats, when they got tired they would go back to their cage and rest and other times they would follow Miss Jane out to the garden where they could play in the yard.

One day Scruffy took Jack outside and he got lost, Jack didn't know how to find his way back into the house. Jack climbed up on things and into little holes he found, but still couldn't find his way back into the house. Then night time came and Jack was all alone, he was very brave and knew Miss Jane would look for him soon. Jack found a nice little hole and curled up to go to sleep.

The next day Jack still didn't find his way, so he looked for help, he found a cat. Jack didn't know that cats eat rats. So he went right up to the cat and stood up asking, "Can you help me find my way, I am lost." The cat was so surprised to see a rat like this, it just looked down at Jack. At that very moment Miss Jane was outside looking for Jack and noticed the cat was looking at something. Miss Jane ran as quickly as she could to see and there was Jack, she picked Jack up and gave him a kiss. Miss Jane was so happy to see Jack, she brought him back in the house and to the cage where Sloan was. Sloan was so happy to see Jack, they played for hours.

Miss Jane and the children made sure that Sloan and Jack were always cared for and that visitors understood they were part of the family. Even though they were different, they were always loved.