Written by Captain Mary on Wednesday, January 30, 2013

An opportunity was posted to me, and I believe that a person should never pass on an opportunity. My sister June was heading toward Orlando for a convention of sorts and asked if I would like to ride along. I had so much fun last time, even though I was alone during most of the time, I figured that my other family members were close by and I could fill my time with them.

June picked me up around one and we got on the road shortly afterward. The drive toward Orlando is about 4 hours, and it seems that we never run out of things to talk about. We were going to meet our other sister, the baby, Cheryl, in Orlando for dinner. As time passed we exchanged phone messages with Cheryl who arrived very early in Orlando. Cheryl passed the time by walking the mall, and June and I, made an effort to get there as soon as we could.

Arriving at the hotel, with Cheryl standing there with a big smile. The three of us together again, the feeling of all the pieces together, our different personalities somehow making one crazy family unit. I can't ignore the warm fuzzy feeling I get when I am with my siblings. Family, to me, is far more important than anything I could ever think of. Nothing even comes close to making me feel this good. I am always reminded of the times we had together, the adventures, the turmoil, and mostly the funny stuff. While Cheryl was waiting for us to arrive she located a great Italian restaurant for us to have dinner together. First, we got June checked into to hotel, and she introduced us to some of the members of the club. I stood there very proud to be part of this sisterly trio as June introduced us to her friends.

Off to dinner we went, a bit of a walk, but we laughed and talked the entire way. The restaurant was a bit unusual, we were asked if we would like a table in the kitchen. I said "No", right away. We walked through the kitchen like a mini tour before heading toward our table, stopping by a table with the revolving head of the "Pope". The atmosphere was joyful and had a great aura about it. Our server, a good looking young man, made us feel welcome and part of an Italian family. The festivities began and my voice tends to get loud, Cheryl says, "inside voice, Mary". Now, with my inside voice, my mouth runs on as I flirt with our good looking server, June says, "Catholic voice". Now, I am talking with my inside Catholic voice, yeah right, that lasted a couple of minutes. A couple of friends of June's showed up at our table because they heard we would be there. I felt like a celebrity, or maybe a freak show at a circus, no matter, we had a great time. The dinner was fantastic and the conversation was ours.

Time to depart each other temporarily, June remaining at the hotel for her meetings and I was to follow Cheryl to her house. A couple hours down the road ends and we make our way to Beverly Hills, Florida. Still talking, we finally had to end the evening, Cheryl had to work the whole weekend, although we have limited time together, it is special and we make the most of it.

I feel asleep on the couch watching T.V., I couldn't help going outside to try some night time photos before bed. It seemed as if my sleep went so quickly, before I knew it, the smell of coffee woke me and an opportunity to talk with sister before she went to work. I noticed it was still very dark, it wasn't even 5 am, but with 2 cups of coffee in me now, going back to sleep would be insane. A couple hours later my dad called and it was time to go and spend some time with my much cherish parent. This would be a time to spend alone with Daddy. We went out to breakfast spending our time reminiscing about the times we had together. The stories of our adventures together that were only ours. The hours passed so quickly and it was time to return to Cheryl's house.

Before Cheryl could return home, I got a call from my brother, who said he would pick me up and that after Cheryl got a bit of rest she could join us. I am certain that wasn't in her plans, but she is such a trooper, she came by and we talked and talked. After the evening Cheryl and I spend some girly time together, but the time again flew by and it was time to sleep, our last evening together. Again, falling asleep on the couch I was awoken with a kiss on my forehead. I got a warm feeling of love that made the rest of day full of joy. Got packed up and headed to my brothers house, upon my arrival the gate opened welcoming me. Hugs from my nephew is always a good start to the morning.

Charles and Mel had afternoon plans, a bridal shower, with friends. I was going to go along and meet their friends and crash the party. The morning we spent at what you would think as mundane errands, was a time for me and my brother to spend together, laughing and enjoying each other. Nothing serious in our conversation, just time to catch up and be brother and sister. Like the day with my Daddy, my chance to be his little girl again. Each moment with my sisters, brother and father warmed my heart, and filled that space that becomes a void after not hearing from them for any period of time.

Ready now for our afternoon out, being introduced to Charles and Mel's friends, I felt like a celebrity all over again. A great group of people and watching a young couple in love make the plunge to the next stage. Hope in their eyes and love in their hearts, I wish for them a life time of joy. I went outside the little wine shop to sit down and give my feet a break, camera in hand I couldn't help taking some pictures of the old little town, big city Crystal River. I was playing with some of the setting on my camera and took some really fun pictures. The evening just beginning we made our way to the Ale House, a place on the river surrounded by beauty, the sun just beginning to set, another opportunity for pictures and to meet new friends. Sitting outside on the rivers edge, the people here may be accustomed to temperatures in the 40's, but I would have to drink a lot to warm up enough to do this on a regular basis. The evening now over after much fun.

Morning once again, and time to pick up June in Orlando. She was really ready to go home and couldn't get out of there fast enough. Once we were on the road hours flew by and we were home in no time at all. Never running out of things to say my weekend filled with enjoyment and family was over until the next time. I am so happy, needed a break and sibling loven.


Written by Captain Mary on Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I am feeling so great these days I don't know what to do with myself. I can feel my body returning to normal, if anything I do could be considered normal! Anyway, with encouragement from friends and a cancellation in my work schedule I made it to a class. Not certain what Yoga is all about, I figured it was slow enough for my old broken body. I have a genetic advantage, I am very flexible, which means I can touch my toes, even with my big gut in the way.

A few of my customers do Yoga and they are in excellent condition, they told me how great they feel after. I had not heard a negative comment about this exercise ever. So, I am at class and it starts out pretty simple, I could feel the stretch. As the class progressed the difficulty increased, it was then I realized that it takes strength to accomplish some of these crazy poses. I found my arms and legs shaking as I forced myself to hold it. It is very isometric, which works for me, since my lack of any kind of exercise has left me pretty weak. Today, was an eye opening experience. Just trying to keep my ass up in the air was a challenge in itself. I laughed at myself and enjoyed the class dynamic.

I botched one of the poses and ended up rolling on the floor and almost rolled on top of my Matt mate. The class roared with laughter, which is always good medicine for me. If you can't laugh at yourself than you are just too damn serious. The rest of my day was energized and happy. I don't think that I could stress about anything if I wanted to!

The class continued and we were almost finished with our work-out, when Shelah, our instructor, said that we should have a little fun and try a pose that is very difficult. I am always open for a challenge, it's my nature. So, her daughter got in front of the class to demonstrate this pose, I could not believe my eyes. I thought Shelah must be out of her mind, who could do this without a lot of attempts and crashes on their heads? Everyone in the class gave it an attempt and so did I. Several attempts later and I managed to get it done. It was a pose I could only hold for seconds, but the important part was that I got it done.

A boost to my ego, a good laugh, and an hour with friends. What a way to interrupt the work week.

One thing about this pose is my ass doesn't look as big as it is. Pretty impressive pose if I do say so myself. I guess you are never too old for Yoga.


Written by Captain Mary on Saturday, January 12, 2013

Ever since I can remember, music attached itself to my memories. When enjoying a song, I can recall the sights, sounds and even the smells when I hear certain songs. I have no car sound system and I don't know why, but I just haven't the urge to listen in quite some time. The right music helps the work hours fly and I always worked with my little IPod attached to my ear. Last week I came across my dusty IPod and charged it up. I have a collection of songs from the 60's to today. I selected them through my major CD collection and haven't changed them in years.

I put my ear buds in for my drive to Homestead to do a little work at Jason's. After awhile I remembered why I stopped using the IPod, because the ear buds and the wire and you know the story. Jason has this great speaker system, so I plugged in my IPod and started listening away. While working my mind can focus on a lot of things, because cleaning is very systematic and it doesn't take much thought. As each one of my selections began to play the memories began to pour out of the depths, deep freeze storage I imagine. Maybe I just didn't want to think about the past anymore.

An African song came on "Jambo", which gave me an enormous smile and I began singing along in Swahili, a memory of my amazing trip to East Africa. I remembered where I was sitting, who I was sitting with and the smell of the night air. How that night we stayed up and even got yelled at by the staff to keep it down!

Didgeridoo music came on, again I recalled being on top of a mountain at a quaint village in Queensland, Australia, sitting and listening to the actual musician play for me, accompanied by a flute.

Bob Seager and the Silver Bullet band, great memories of  living on my sailboat, meeting a past member of the group. Becoming friends and even going lobstering together on his Scarab. ZZ Top songs, a time when I was hired as a dive guide for members of the band, while they were in town for the "Recycler Tour". Took them diving and taught them how to drink beer underwater. I did such a good job, I got VIP tickets for the concert and T-shirts. So many places, people and pleasures to continue reminiscing.

I could go on and on, as I continued to listen some songs came on and the reminders made me miss being young, slim, or should I say rock hard body, and beautiful. I was popular, and never bought my own drinks anywhere I would dance the night away. I missed that and I couldn't help thinking that I am coming to a time in my life that doesn't allow that crazy lifestyle anymore. Honestly, I can't manage it and don't even know how I survived it. I started getting sad with this flood of memories from good times and bad. The music I selected has really painted a picture of my life and I didn't realize it until I started listening again.

Through my sadness I started thinking that I can't think of anything that I didn't do! Perhaps that is why we get older, so that we move on to different things and directions. I have traveled, loved, lusted (excessively), cried, lost and I honestly have "no regrets". It has always been my motto to do so, now looking back I really have done anything I wanted and more. While writing I have to stop myself, because this post would be hundreds of pages long. Oh, the stories I could tell. I have lived 10 lifetimes in one.

Each day gives me yet another fond memory, weather it is to music or simply stored in deep freeze in the back of my head. It is what a cherish and it is something that I can share to the next generations. Perhaps edited a bit for the younger ones. I will be listening to music again, it makes me happy and it picks up my spirits, not to mention it makes my body move. I don't even care how crazy I look!!! 


Written by Captain Mary on Friday, January 11, 2013

Oh how I love my kids, I must! They are all off paddling on the Peace River while I stay home with all my grand dogs. Hanna, the Shepard: Barclay, the springer spaniel: Alley, the Shepard, husky mix: plus my two. I would say Kamp is full.

I was busy at work while Hanna and Alley were dropped off at my house, after work I went and picked up Barclay. I was pretty slick and came in the back door, so I didn't have any run aways. I left Barclay outside, so that the animal interaction was minimal, Bogey and Kiwi were safely locked away in my bedroom.

Much to my surprise I walked in to a major disaster, food bowl knocked over and food all over, mixed with dog pee pee. Alley is just a puppy and I guess she just couldn't hold it. That wasn't all, there were toys all over the place as if the toy box exploded. They were happy to see someone who was going to open the door to the great outdoors. I really couldn't get mad, I think I even giggled a bit, that was after I cleaned up all the pee pee. And thank goodness my delivery of orange oil came, the perfect time for a strong smelling deodorant cleaner and I can eat it if I want.

After a mere five hours Barclay and Alley finally laid down, poor Hanna planted by the front door awaiting her family's return. Kiwi was the one who was relentlessly picked on. Bogey, on the other hand got a few good bites in on ankles, enough to let them know who the boss was. I don't know what Jason is going to do with Barclay, he humps everything, he just hasn't figured out the right end of the dog to hump. Poor Alley is literally getting head. My feet are a sticky mess from all the drool and the smell of dog is so strong I can't smell the odor of cigarettes. I anticipated as much and this morning I picked up half a dozen odor absorbers. So far so good, I just hope that all the dogs leave me a little room in bed for sleep. Not that I let them, but Barclay always sneaks in and I don't know a thing about Alley, except she is funny looking.


Written by Captain Mary on Friday, January 11, 2013

For so long I have been dragging. In the past I was full of energy and for the last couple of years I became over-weight. I am still over-weight and started eating right only a week ago. I not only lost 6 pounds, but my energy level went through the roof. I guess KFC and MikeyD don't really contain the nutrients a body requires.

My habits are horrible, some small changes have made an enormous difference. I have several deficiencies in my daily diet, the first being my water consumption. I keep hearing about how many glasses of water a person needs to drink, I couldn't think of how much I consume until I did and experiment. I filled a gallon jug with water and took it with me everywhere I went. By noon I noticed that I don't even come close to consuming what I need to. Now, that gallon jug is my challenge, I make a conscious effort to finish that water by the end of each day. Noticing after only a week the improvements in my skin, that has obviously been dehydrated for a very long time.

My second bad habit is how many times a day I eat. I am having a hard time with this one. I have to make a lunch and again having to think about eating more often. I have always just eaten one meal a day, and it was enormous, after which I would pass out on the couch. Which then effected my sleeping habits. A late nap would prevent me from sleeping more than a couple hours at a time and not till after 2 am. I have somehow eliminated that nap, without even thinking about. I am not exhausted by 3 pm anymore. When I get home I don't sit down, but get all kinds of things done. I even spent some time scrap booking last night. Still bad about eating, I decided that juicing would be the thing to do. I can't possible consume the vegetables and fruits that are required, so I drink it. Juicing allowed me to consume this in a healthy way, instead of all these drinks they offer as meal replacements at the grocery store. I spent quite a bit on veggies and fruits, but I made over 2 gallons of juice. If I can drink at least 3 glasses a day I push my metabolism to the max. You must be thinking that it has to taste a bit gross. Well, I have figured a way to push the flavor button.

With some research I found the herbs that are super beneficial for my needs. I use cloves, cinnamon, ginger, parsley, oregano, sage, and rosemary. I put all these dry herbs through my coffee maker and made an amazing tasting tea, which I dumped into my juice. Now, I can't help drinking this fantastic flavored juice. I don't know why I didn't think of this before. Not only did I make a great juice, but I couldn't help thinking about all that stuff that goes into the compost pile after juicing, so again an idea popped into my head. I put all that gunk into a pot with water and more beneficial herbs such as garlic and red peppers, making an amazing broth for those late night craving. I put the broth into containers and froze them. Now, I can put something more into my lunch box with virtually no calories, and it was marked for the trash. I prepared all this stuff in one day and now have plenty for more than a week or so.

Which leaves the protein, ground turkey for the times I want to cook. On the day I did all the juicing I also prepared some chicken and boiled a bunch of eggs, everything now ready to eat. I make a great effort for easy and it now is. I still have a lot of bad habits, but just changing these two has made an amazing difference in the way my body feels. Diets suck, so this is not a diet but the right way to consume the food I need for energy and get all the important nutrients that I need. Wish me luck and a healthy day as I wish for you.


Written by Captain Mary on Tuesday, January 08, 2013

A lot of people just don't believe in the after life. I have far too many experiences with people or even pets that have passed, and somehow get my attention. I may not get you to be a believer, but maybe I can get you to open your mind just a bit.

I think it would be rather silly to believe that it is only real if you can see it, look at all the people who believe in God, for example. That is not the only thing, but proven science allows us to receive sound through the air to our cell phones, radios and other devices, but not only that, we can see pictures, television for example. We don't see these things flying through the air, but yet they are there, all around us and perhaps right through us. O.K., perhaps your mind is just a little bit open, for the skeptics that is.

I want to tell you a story that happened to me a few weeks ago. I arrived at my customers house as usual, my original client, Nancy,  passed away over two years ago on Valentines Day. We use to spent many mornings sitting and chatting, before I would go on and do my work. I loved her so much, her stories were exotic and her talent in miniatures was amazing. I didn't think this day was any different than any other cleaning day, since her departure.

As I walk in the house, I walk over to Nancy's urn, that contained her precious remains, and touch it. I would say hello to her each time I arrived at the house. During the course of the day I would pass by and again touch the urn. This same day I was drawn to the urn over and over again, which seemed strange to me. I kept the information in my brain for now, because I believe each time you think of someone, they are thinking about you.

Progressing my cleaning to the next room, the miniature room, I dusted what I could, everything extremely delicate, I don't do much in this room for fear of wrecking hours of someones work. You can ask my customers, I am considered a bit of a bull in a China shop cleaning lady. I was strangely drawn to the closet door, which I had never opened before, because this room only got a lick and a promise.

I grabbed the handle of the door and pulled it open. Upon opening the door, I was shocked at what I had uncovered. So stunned that I jumped back and began to cry, standing there before me was a life size poster of my dear departed friend, Nancy, with an enormous smile on her face. After recovering from the initial surprise, I began to smile and had to say hello. I told my dear friend that I clearly got her message, and closed the door.

Finishing my work and heading home, still with her in my thoughts. I miss her dearly and I am reminded how much when I visit her home. But, that is not the end of the story. Every other week I go back to the house and this time her daughter, Sandy, was home ill. So, we chatted and I couldn't help talking about her mom, my friend, who we both had in common. I told Sandy the story of the closet. She looked at me with her head tilted to the side, as if she was thinking. Sandy, then asked me what day it that this happened. Not giving me any more information at this point, I continued with my story of the closet. I told her that I had always greeted Nancy by touching her urn, but have never opened that closet door before. Sandy smiled and said to me that it was her mothers birthday on that exact day.

I clearly understood that my friend, Nancy, was celebrating her birthday with me, perhaps this special occasion brought her home and low and behold I was there to see her smiling face on that giant poster. Which according to her daughter was put away in the closed laying sideways among other things, not facing straight ahead as if Nancy herself was standing in the doorway. Her daughter and I both astonished at the facts and after the goose-bumps went down on my arms I couldn't help smiling again. Because Nancy was always smiling.

A special thing happened that day and if I had ignored the signs and my feelings, I would have missed the visit entirely. If people would pay more attention to the thoughts that just pop into our heads, or the flashes we see speed by the corner of our eyes, I think we would enjoy so much more when thinking about the people who have passed ahead of us. I really believe that it is their way of saying hello or letting us know they are thinking about us too. Nancy I will see you again soon, even if it is in the closet. By the way Happy Birthday!

My Photo


Written by Captain Mary on Saturday, January 05, 2013

As I get older I can't help thinking about people in my life that are important, my family, of course, is on the top of the list. I have a fantastic father, sisters and brother, children and grandchildren. My life is golden just to be able to say that, since now a days it seems the family unit is in a bit of a rough patch.

I also have a friend, who can read my thoughts and can finish my sentences as if she was my sister. I can honestly say that she is my most honored and oldest friend. We met in the early 1970's, when we both married into the same family. I don't know why but we were draw to each other, it was instantaneous. Both of us very different and yet we had so much in common.

We were very young, newly married women brought together in a family that did not really welcome the outsider. A Latin family that always made us feel as if we didn't belong, but we belonged to each other. At family gatherings we were always sitting together, somehow among the others looking in from the outside. After awhile it didn't much matter, it was a matter of routine to find each other at the family functions. We would laugh and have fun, in spite of the rest of the family. Our own little click, I guess.

A couple of years after being married, we moved into the same neighborhood. At home mom's was a great idea, but we needed some interaction with adults. We would get together on a regular basis, we would walk to each others home during the day, our kids playing together while we did crafts and created things. I knew right away that she was someone I could depend on.

One day, while my son was brushing his teeth, he decided to run around the house and fell, this impaled the toothbrush into his cheek. Instead of calling his father, I called my best friend and she got us to the hospital to have the toothbrush removed. When my husband and I had bad fights, she was the one I called to help out. Always with a cool head and a loving hand, she would make moments of terror turn into an everyday event.

Years went by and I was no longer involved in the family, due to divorce, but I still had my friend. I didn't think I had the right to call her my sister-in-law, but she didn't see it any other way. To this day I can't divorce that part of the family. The 70's, 80's, 90's and the new millennium passed and still my friend was there. The funny part is we did not have much time together, but our friendship never wavered. I can always call her out of the blue and talk endlessly. This friend is someone that I never had to lie to, never had bad feelings or as much as one fight between us.

Always looking to spend more time together, while telling each other about our hopes and dreams. We finally planned a trip together to Africa, which we bonded into one person, our thoughts seemed to mesh together. Everything we wanted to do was the same, and if it wasn't for her I probably would have been arrested for murder, killed by a lion or hippo. Those are stories for another time. We shared life altering experiences on that trip, which will forever keep us together.

Now, the effort to just spend an evening together is such a challenge, but when we do get together we sit and talk well into the night. I even made my spare bedroom hers, it is decorated to remind us of our trip to Africa. When I have over-night guests they all know that it is her room they are staying in.

This week we got an opportunity to get together for dinner, and as always our conversation flowed as if we had just talked yesterday. Again, finishing each others thoughts, hopes and dreams. A special person who I can call my best friend and my sister-out-law. We are planning a trip to the Big Cypress swamp for a photo journey, something we also love to do together. We have journeyed many a mile snapping pictures, I must admit that she has a fantastic eye for her subjects. I can't wait to go on our next journey together. We will have yet another opportunity to forget the world around us and dive into the fantasy of the adventure. My amazing friend lets me go to places that offer laughs, smiles and love like my family. I can honestly say that she is just like a sister to me, and if you ask my sisters they will tell you there is not enough sisters to keep me in line.

I don't have a lot of friends that are this special to me and I guess that is why she is the best, I love you Margo. To many years of picture taking and adventures until we are too old, but then again that is what wheel chairs are for. I can see us as friends forever, no matter how many days or miles separate us.


Written by Captain Mary on Friday, January 04, 2013

I am not going to do anything that I know I won't be able to complete. I do need to eat better, vegetables are not really in my diet lately. It has been Kentucky Fried Chicken, and McDoubles. I have been eating for someone on the run. I am planning a trip to Alaska this year and I really don't want to roll around on the ship. I figure I am about 40 pounds over-weight. It is horrify to me too. It has been three years since I was in nice slim shape. I felt so much better and I want to feel better again. I had so many excuses because I was injured and even in pain I still should do something to keep the rest of me in health.

I started eating better yesterday, thanks to my daughter who insisted that I buy food that is better for me. I can't really stand to eat a bunch of salads and vegetables, but I don't mind drinking them. I bought a bunch of veggies that are good for me and put them through my juice extractor. I figure I can drink as much of this stuff as I want, and I will be getting so much more than eating them whole.

After only one day, my body responded with the ability to sleep better. In just one day of drinking lots of water and vegetable juice, protein, and no carbs, I lost 5 pounds. It must mean that I was full of sh...t. Flushing out all the toxins in my body make take a few days.

The hardest thing for me to do is eat more than once a day. I really have to concentrate on making a lunch box before I leave the house. I should be able to work better and be happier. I know that my kids want to keep me around for awhile and if I felt better I wouldn't mind hanging out either. Changing bad habits are not so easy, but I can do it. I hope I can get the encouragement that I need by just feeling more energetic.