Written by Captain Mary on Tuesday, March 19, 2013

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

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

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

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


Written by Captain Mary on Tuesday, March 19, 2013


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

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

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

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

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

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


Written by Captain Mary on Wednesday, March 13, 2013

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

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


Written by Captain Mary on Saturday, March 09, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Written by Captain Mary on Thursday, March 07, 2013


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

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

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

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

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

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


Written by Captain Mary on Thursday, March 07, 2013

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

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


Written by Captain Mary on Wednesday, March 06, 2013

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

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

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

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


Written by Captain Mary on Sunday, March 03, 2013

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

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

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

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


Written by Captain Mary on Saturday, March 02, 2013

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

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

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


Written by Captain Mary on Friday, March 01, 2013

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

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

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

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