Written by Captain Mary on Sunday, February 25, 2018

A long, long time ago in a land far away, who am I kidding, in my childhood. I grew up with lots of phrases, "People who live in glass houses, shouldn't throw stones", "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth", well that one took me awhile, does a gift horse have different teeth!. My favorite one was, "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong", this phrase is commonly known as Murphy's Law. This guy Murphy lives with me most of the time, but he left my side to attack with Wrath my dear friend.
My friend called to tell me about the eruption and flood of that ever wonderful thing we call indoor plumbing. As the flood waters began to rise from the most horrible places, it left behind a river of paper and you know. On the beautiful polished wood floors and the Spanish tiles my friend ran with dozens of towels trying to stop this unpleasant eruption. That is hardly the worst part, the guy who came to fix it didn't know how to turn off the house water because the handle was missing. Hello, pliers!!! This is the guy who is going to fix your problems. Oh Murphy, please be gentle and go away. After 3 days and countless workers, the problem has some resolve, never heard of removing the toilet to snake the pipes? Well now what does she do with all those towels, throw them in the washer would be my solution. That is a great idea until Murphy strikes again and breaks the washing machine. In the meantime the waterfall in the pond stops working, and the regular guy couldn't seem to fix it. Of course not, that would be too easy.
Well, somehow my friend got her waterfall working again, I guess she didn't need the service man after all. That is one issue taken care of, no the plumbing isn't fixed. The cable finder had to come and mark the underground lines, he wasn't all that bright either. With a little supervision he took care of the marking, before the backhoe arrives to dig up the entire yard that is. When did the plunger stop fixing these little problems?
My beautiful friend finally called enough service people to get someone out to the house to look at the washing machine. Still waiting for the part to come in. If all that wasn't enough, she finally was able to get out of the house and rejoice at the thought of doing something beside dealing with her new friend Murphy, even going to work would be a pleasure.
No, that would be too easy, leaving for work she is driving away and hears a thump, thump, thump. You guessed it, Murphy was in the passenger seat and put a big nail in her tire. After a week of the Wrath of Murphy she was finally able to enjoy the beautiful sunshine and a good nights sleep. Now everything seems so much better after a week of what can go wrong, did go wrong. Things like these may overwhelm most people or at least pull chunks of hair out of your head, not this woman, I call my friend. Days like these are absolutely what makes the good days so good. Like BBQ, everything tastes better. Here is to time away from Murphy or learning to live with him.


Written by Captain Mary on Saturday, February 24, 2018

A couple of years ago, I decided to change up birthday gifts for my grandchildren. I got tired of the card that gets tossed and the money that really doesn't mean much, or gifts that are not used. What I decided to do is each time a birthday came along for my grandchildren, I would give them a day with me. More like a gift for me, but it is a chance for us to get to know each other without all that electronic stuff. I get to find out about who they are, in turn I get to tell them amazing stories of the old days.
Our day usually ends up as a weekend, but that works for me too. This past weekend was Jazzy's birthday weekend, we started with the movies, a great time there. Then Jazz decides she would like manicure, pedicure time. I was all for that since it has been months since I had that treat. Jazz then decides that we should hang around the house and watch movies, so I opened the sofa bed, per her instructions and we laid around watching some great movies. It was almost time for dinner and my beautiful granddaughter wanted to have her cousin join us for dinner. So down to Homestead we went to capture another grandchild, Max, who is suppose to assist me the next day in the yard anyway.
We arrive at the restaurant and, of course, there is a wait of 25 minutes. I suggested we walk outside with our electronic buzzer and wait for our table. Max looked at me and said "What are we going to do for 25 minutes", I replied, "Talk". I began the conversation and it seemed like only 5 minutes had passed and our table was ready. Dining with the grand's is always an opportunity to embarrass them, I like to talk with our server, I guess we joked so much that he forgot a lot of things. In the end we had an amazing dinner with great conversation. It surprises me how young people see the world and wonder about the opportunities life has to offer.  My grandchildren are not the entitled type so they actually think about important things, like the current school system. They were both homeschooled and are finding their first year back to the public school system a bit of a bore. They told me that it is hard to socialize with some of the kids because and I am quoting "The kids my age are stupid". The grandkids said that the other kids in their grade level still don't know how to read in high school and we have to pay the price with ridiculous homework that we have already mastered. They both agree it is a waste of their time. It is nice to see that they can recognize this and more importantly they want to be challenged. The school they attend is a Charter School, which one would think should be better. Enough of the rambling, that's a whole new subject.
After a great dinner we headed home and all plopped down on the sofa bed watching movies. The next morning I couldn't get anyone up till noon. Good to see how relaxed they are, I remember sleeping late on weekends. Didn't get any yard work done, but we had a great day full of fun and conversation. My son came by later to pick up the kids and we had a pizza party. Just seems like these spontaneous moments are the best of all. I can't wait for the next birthday celebration. Is there a point to this story or a moral we can take away. Yes there is, anything can be replaced except these wonderful people we call family. I am so lucky!


Written by Captain Mary on Monday, February 19, 2018

I don't know that taking sides on an issue like this is going to change anything. All it does is cloud the real issue. Our children, friends, family and people are at risk everyday with our generations outlook on life. So many things can contribute to all this violence, all we can do is try to figure out how this all began! We should be looking for a real solutions.
When I was growing up, pretty much everyone I knew had a gun of some type in their home. In my home I never saw the thing, but I was told what could happen if I got near it. I had a very close knit family and Mom and Dad were definitely in our business. We had conversations everyday, come rain or shine, it was held at the dinner table. I know some of you out there must remember that. The worse things I would try to get away with was skipping school, that ended up with my mother getting permission from the school to sit in all my classes with me. I got the message. We were a community, that watched everyone's kids, I didn't get away with anything, because my mother already knew what I did before I got home. The thing was, there was no cell phones, no internet, just those crazy dial phones or one of the neighbors taking a walk to your parents house with the report. We did try to sneak around but we always knew there was a chance of getting caught, so we never tried anything too stupid, because the punishment would be far worse than the crime. I learned quickly that if my parents asked if I did something wrong, and I tried to lie, they never asked a question that they didn't already know the answer to. So, I would not only get in trouble for what I did, but added a lie to it. That was always our biggest rule, never lie, you will get caught.
We had respect for our parents and any adult, we never talked with an attitude to anyone just to be a smart ass. We learned self-respect, what we did in public was a direct reflection on our family and our self. The funny part is back when I was growing up there wasn't cameras looking to capture these moments, there was real people who cared about you. Your community, your neighbors and even if your friends thought you were crossing a line they would tell someone. Not because they were a rat, but because they cared about you.
It seems like I am getting off track, but what I am hoping for is to see families and communities come back together. Not after a tragedy happens but before one does. Talk with your neighbors, you live with these people, they are part of your life. Look out for them too, even if some of them are not the best neighbors. We all deserve to live in a safe happy world. Communication is not that hard, not with texting or some other social media outlet, but face to face. Smile at someone who waits on you, wave to people and smile, be part of the world in a positive way.
I can't begin to know what kind of pain survivors are feeling and their anger. I know they have to talk to heal and we have to be there for each other. There is no one who hasn't felt the loss of someone whom they loved dearly, I have lost and the comfort I feel is when my family came together and we supported each other and we talked and talked. I have never felt alone in this world. What could have been so tragic turned into a family coming together for each other.
All this rambling seems so corny, but I really love my family and friends. I remember one thing that my parents said to me the entire time I was growing up which I remember with such clarity. "The only thing I want for you, is for you to be happy". It is not as easy as you think, but well worth the effort. 


Written by Captain Mary on Sunday, February 04, 2018

Last night I went to the movies to watch "Winchester", a horror flick. I like horror movies for the excitement, much of them don't get me too excited, seems like I am always expecting something different. This story was based on actual events and on a real historical haunted house. Without giving away the story it is a must see! I mean jumping out of your seat and chill bumps kind of movie. A movie made from a real life attraction.
I guess the surprises of the movie were still in my brain as I entered the grocery store. What I thought was a regular day shopping for food turned out to be something else. Most of the time when I am shopping I am on auto-mode, not really paying attention to what is going on around me. I was casually standing by the cooler doors, just gazing in to see what peeked my interest. Just as I began to reach to open the door, the door next to me began opening on its own. I stepped back and just looked, suddenly an arm outstretched then a leg from the inside of the cooler. That was all I could see, no body, I jumped and shouted "What the F...k!". Then climbing out of the cooler along the side of the shelving a young lady emerges. By then I must have jumped out of my skin. A lady standing nearby started laughing and the girl who slipped out of the cooler was apologizing for scaring the sh...t out of me. If I didn't have a heart-attack on the spot I must be in pretty good shape. The lady who laughed thanked me for making a joy out of her day and the cooler girl just stood smiling. These are the times when a person can't help laughing at themselves.