Sunday, September 28, 2008

Good Advice

To  my friends who enjoy a glass of wine . . . And those who  don't.

As  Ben Franklin said: 
In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water  there is 
bacteria. In a number of carefully controlled trials, scientists have 
that if we drink 1 liter of water each day, at the end of the  year we would 
have absorbed more than 1 kilo of Escherichia coli,  (E.Coli) - bacteria 
found in feces. In other words, we are consuming 1  kilo of poop. (that's over 2
However,  we do NOT run that risk when drinking wine & beer (or tequila, rum,
whiskey  or other liquor) because alcohol has to go through a purification
process of  boiling, filtering and/or fermenting. 
Remember:  Water = Poop, Wine = Health 
Therefore,  it's better to drink wine and talk stupid, than to drink water
and be full of  shit . 
There  is no need to thank me for this valuable information: I'm doing it as
a public  service .--

Dreams and Drizzles

Today is drizzly, like a "northern" day.  Growing up in the Poconos of Pennsylvania, we often had days on end of "drizzly weather" - overcast and without a good hard downpour - constant drizzle. 

I did something this morning that I have not done in many many months.  I brewed a pot of coffee! Imagine the novel of it! It smelled so good brewing, that I immediately wondered why I hadn't done so sooner.  A quiet, drizzly Sunday, strong aromatic brew, and correspondences with friends. 

I have some errands I want to run today, but yesterday, my daughter's boyfriend washed my car - what a nice young man!  So, I don't want to take it out in the rain!  (what a woos I am! ) Perhaps later if the skies clear I'll venture out. 

Last night in my dream, I was with co-workers and a few of the town's "whistle-blowers" and I was concerned that we would run out of cream for our coffee.  (Do you think my dream influenced my desire to brew a pot of coffee this morning?) My favorite dream book says Coffee indicates hospitality (I spent time yesterday readying Lauren's bedroom for company); energizer; stimulator; to produce active thoughts; a psychic food.  Of Cream it says, Indulgence.  Furthering in the dream, I left the meeting place (confident there would be enough cream) and was walking down a hallway, when a woman coming toward me greeted me by name and with a sincere, broad grin, approached me, hugged me strongly (so strongly it caught me off guard) and said how happy she was to see me.  I greeted back, and asked if I knew her?  She responded no, but she knew me and was happy to see me.  I replied, "It's nice to meet you, too." And we parted.  Her appearance was common, yet she had a brightness to her - an aura, or glow that was uncommon. I don't recall her mentioning her name, yet I have this thought that her name is "Linda".  It was a very encouraging gesture - perhaps she's a guardian angel. 

In cleaning my daughter's room yesterday, I came across something she had written down:  Pain is inevitable - suffering is not.  I don't know whether  it's original, but it was impressive and memorable.  It also demonstrates an advanced thinking.

   I will leave you with these thoughts for a blessed Sunday - a drizzly, sleeepy lazy Sunday for thoughts and dreams and ruminations. 

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Slow start to a Saturday

          I awoke this morning after a night of very active dreams. I first woke up at about 5:15 AM, got a drink of water, and quickly decided to go back to bed. My dreams continued. When I opened my eyes again, I could see it was daylight, but either just daylight or it was an overcast day. I got up and went into the kitchen and saw my landlord’s truck pull up out front. It was 9:15! Immediately, he knocked on the door. The “termite guy” was here for a warranty follow-up from a treatment last spring. Of course I hadn’t made my bed and I wasn’t exactly ready for company, but…hey …it’s the bug guy. He came in and did his inspection, and then went next door. I threw some clothes on and went outside to talk to Dana (landlord) about pressure washing the outside, and maybe cleaning the windows. He’s a pleasant man - “a good ole boy” . In addition to co-owning several rental properties throughout the beach (this place included) he runs a tractor business. We talked about the economic down-turn county-wide and he said his business is off about 95%. That’s very sad. “no new construction, no reconstruction - nobody’s spending money unless they absolutely have to” he said.

          With all of that, much of my night of dreams has faded away. Some images remain, however. I was in a hotel. A great deal of my dream involved this hotel - housekeeping knocking on the door, and I answered, saying I’d be checking out at 9:30, to come back then. While we were talking a grey cat with head wounds came in and wouldn’t leave (note: Mr. Needs was a grey cat with head wounds that eventually went to Animal Services…. L ) I recall walking through the lobby interacting with a group of people. Then I found myself standing in a long line. This was check out. When it became my turn , I was signing the folio, however it looked like a standard greenbar servers’ check, and it was multi-paged with carbon. To make matters worse, the counter top was like a bar, and had spots of water so the “check” was wet. I recall my room number, though, and it was 355. It seems to me those numbers have come up in another dream at another time. Then the woman at the counter said, “You need to get the documents from Molly before you leave” and I was puzzled. What? I asked, and she pointed to a woman standing a few feet next to me. “Go see Molly” and I walked over, very puzzled, wondering what could be wrong. She handed me a piece of paper and told me to go see Barbara. I took the paper and walked over to Barbara who said, “ You’d better get busy! You don’t have much time…” and then spread out a poster with all kinds of pictures and headlines and starbursts. “..Because you’ve won a trip to Nevada!” I cried out in surprised pleasure!

          So here it is 10:30 AM and I need to get on with the things I’d decided to do today - last night - before sleeping late and talking termites….. On ward with a smile!


Thursday, September 25, 2008

It’s a most wonderful time of the year!

        Yesterday evening, when leaving work and pedaling my bicycle through the parking lot of the chapel next door, I noticed with astonishment and enjoyment the number of dragon flies in the air. There were so many, that it was really a swarm - a thickness. There were hundreds! I know I said “dragon fly” but that was for the benefit of those that may not know what I would mean should I say, “Skeeter Hawk”. Hundreds darting about just a few feet above my head and higher. I enjoyed them, although at times I felt I needed to duck and be sure to keep my mouth closed! I coasted briefly on my bike while I enjoyed the high speed wings and seemingly erratic darts about. Then I noticed something else: the air was lighter. The heaviness that we experience in the “dead” of summer, the thick, humid air that hangs over us and the pressure that seems to bear down on us during the months of August and September, and during “storm season”… that heaviness was gone. It was an uplifting revelation. I felt confident that the hurricanes of 2008 are behind us.

        This morning, when I first awoke, I noticed that the air conditioning had not kicked on for some time. A check of the thermostat showed it set at 80 degrees. I left this morning, dressed in long pants and a long sleeved shirt, and as I pedaled my bicycle to work along the sneaky/ hidden path and through the chapel parking lot, I felt a breeze. Not just any breeze, but actually a cool breeze! Change is in the Air! I walked into Town Hall and greeted and was greeted by fellow employees and various personnel. In an exchange with one person, I mentioned how pleasant the temperature was, and he said, “Even better tomorrow - they say lows in the low 70’s, 68 inland.”

        Many people comment on how living in south Florida denies them the ability to experience “seasons.” I’ll admit that I love fall - I love leaves turning crimson, the smell of wood stoves, apple orchards and the crispness that fills the air. But after thirty years in south Florida, I see the seasons change… not just the tourist season! or the snowbird season! Last evening, and today, is the seasons’ changing. Change is in the air and it’s beautiful. “northerners’ do spring cleaning. “southerners’ do fall cleaning - when the A/C gets shut off and the windows are flung open and the cool clean air comes through.

        It’s a most wonderful time of the year!


Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Michelle's Appliance Repair Shop now open for business!

Had to borrow the nut driver from Brother Norbert. I don't know how to use the
sockets with my cordless screwdriver..kept dropping them down inside...maybe that's another YouTube video!

I tested it - it heats, it tumbles! I"m in business!!!



Sunday, September 21, 2008

More than I ever cared to know

Saturday morning chores are a habit that developed early in my life and has stayed with me.  Yesterday was typical.  Laundry was at the top of the list, so I sorted and threw a load in the washer and went on with dishes, etc. The first load went in the dryer and another load in the washer.  I was well into chores when I realized that the load in the dryer was not "drying" - there was heat but no tumble.  A quick text message to brother Ken "is the dryer shot?" to which he responded, it's probably the drive belt- pop the top and see.  OK. I popped the top  (much easier than I imagined) and there it was - a broken drive belt.  How in the heck do you put a new one on?  Googled DIY clothes dryer drive belt and found a great video that showed step by step how to remove the top, the front, pull out the drum and replace the belt.  Simple enough.  I called the local hardware, "Do you carry belts for clothes dryers?" He said, Bring in the old one and I'll match it up" Hopped on the bicycle with the old belt.  "Nope" he said as I walked in,"we only carry (I didn't understand).  Sorry. The closest place would be Ace Hardware."  OK. So I get the car keys and drive up to Ace Hardware (about 8 miles up the road).  I walked ALL around Ace Hardware until finally, two clerks were standing in the aisle and asked if I needed help finding something. Yes, a belt for a clothes dryer.  "Oh, we dont' carry those."  The man speaking was about 6'4" maybe 150 lbs. and well into his 70's.  He had some very poorly made false teeth that overwhelmed his mouth. "Where you want to go is, keep driving up to Cypress Lake Drive, and turn right, then go to 41 and turn right...." and he continued on. I was only seeing those over-sized false teeth, and growing irritated with "turn right" instead of "north, east, south or west" Alright. I had to go to All Appliance Center on 41 in town.  (I hate going into town).  Back in the car, I find All Appliance, pull up in front, and see "Saturday 9:00 AM to Noon.  Of course it's 1:00 PM.  (expletive deleted!).  Practically across the street is Home Depot.   I drive over to Home Depot and walk ALL around Home Depot.  Finally, I ask a clerk.  "No. We don't carry those. You have to go to an appliance center.."  Been there, done that.  So I drove back home. Googled "parts for a clothes dryer", found a site, found a Whirlpool, found the exact belt, added to shopping cart, and went to check out.  "Orders processed before 3:00 PM will ship the same day".  I looked at the time:  3:20 PM. (story of the day, I'd say).  Oh well.  Ordered the belt, paid the $12.00, and took my wet clothes to the laundramat.  I now know more about clothes dryers than I ever cared to know.  When the belt arrives, I'll let you know how it goes fixing the stinkin' thing!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Yesterday, I was fed up with my hair.  Haven't had a haircut in - best I can guess, a year and a half.  It was really looking rough.  So I called my friend's shop, and she had an opening today (thursday) at noon.  I grabbed it. 

Ollie has been cutting my hair for 25 years or so.  (That is, when I actually get it cut).  I have rather good hair - it grows thick, has a natural wave. I don't color it, perm it, rarely curl it and rarely use a hair dryer.  I'm hair lazy, I'll admit, but usually can get away with it.  It was Ollie that first colored my hair:  I remember the day very well.  My younger daughter Lauren was maybe six weeks old.  (She's 19, now).  My parents were visiting and they babysat Sarah and Lauren while I went to Ollie's shop for a cut and color.  I recall my dad's astonished remark that I needed to color my hair "at my age!".  ( I was 33 - my mother was completely grey at 35 and I was close behind).  Ollie told me then that I was "more than 50% grey" and would need a permanent color.  I was reluctant, but I tried it.  I colored my hair for several years but grew real tired of it.  Finally, I said, "enough" and just stopped.  It looked pretty bad as it grew out - using temporary color for awhile.  Anyway, Ollie is a friend and neighbor as well as a salon shop keeper.  She's Portugese and very gregarious.  She understands my hair better than anyone,and that's why I keep going to her.  She knows me, my lifestyle and my hair. 

Well, today she got me.  I would say she removed six inches of hair.  When I say "she got me" I mean that I pretty much let her cut it how she wanted to cut it.  And she did exactly that! She does great work, it's a great cut - conforms to the natural waves my hair has - but it's shorter than I've had it in several years.  The irony, though, is that so much of the length was damaged, that I was usually pulling it back, pinning it up, etc.  Now, this cut is a length of healthy hair, and few people recognized that it's been cut! 

My friend Theresa told me that my cut looked "vibrant!"  Well!! I'll take Vibrant! 



Monday, September 15, 2008

Way station

These words have come to mind:

Reflection    Image     Focus      Mirror

Have you see n Yourself?

Is it the Inner Being

Or is it the Selfish Self?

Another Being can see

your Inner Being

And provide

A clear reflection.

If that Other Being

Has managed to ascend

To where selfish self cannot sustain.

How do you recognize the selfish being ?

Selfishness separates us

from the Universal Consciousness.

Distracts us from the One.

How do you know ?

Guard your every thought. GUARD!

We lock possessions and guard our hearts

When we must micromanage Thought

As it will be your will.

Halt each thought

Identify its motive

Its credentials are kindness, harmlessness,

sincerity and compassion -        

 and unconditional love.


I Love You.



Sunday, September 14, 2008

It was you, wasn’t it? I could barely look at you, my heart was so electrified. I was stunned at your appearance, your presence. I was speechless. You said hello I said hello and I froze.

I knew right then it was you, but I babbled on to the attendant at the counter.

You were as I have pictured - as I had hoped and dreamed.

I was frozen. How would I should I respond?

It was You.

Are you the teacher, or the student?

Am I, the teacher or the student?

It is you and me. When will I see you again?


Friday, September 12, 2008

I Feel for Texas

                                     With IKE aimed at the gulf coast of Texas - a storm the size of the state of Texas - pushing enough water to create a tsunami - a wall easily 20 feet high and as wide as the coast. I went to Google Earth and had an aerial tour of the Galveston and Houston area. This is a very powerful storm and I feel for everyone and thing in its path.

                                  I will be interested in seeing how the “experts” assess the post storm conditions on a “managed beach” or an “unmanaged beach”. From what I saw, Galveston has a hardened structure (the seawall…) the length (or near length) of the island. That alone would make it a managed beach, I think. That’s a hot topic for the Town of Fort Myers Beach. There is a beach (re)nourishment project that has been on the table for over ten years. Many officials and residents are in favor, and many are against. The feds and the state and the county want to move forward, but beach residents have concerns. Anyway, didn’t mean to get into local issues, but I am interested to hear from the coastal engineers, FEMA, etc.

                                    From my Google aerial tour, Galveston has a shape and size similar to Fort Myers Beach. A discussion today with a co-worker, I mentioned that FMB is sometimes called FL’s safest beach, because of how we sit along the gulf coast, a direct hit from a major hurricane is rare.

I feel for Texas.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Only if you’re standing still

I took some moments tonight to sit in my garden . Lately, I ‘ve been working Late- and often get home after sundown. Tonight, I was home by 6:00 PM. So I watched the evening news, which, I haven’t done in a very long time, then I sat out in my garden.

The air was heavy. I made that observation leaving Town Hall on my way home. Today was the first patch of real blue sky in several days. The winds were high, the air was thick. Ike’s debris.

Two twenty-something girls rent next door to me, and we share stairs, porch and parking. They have many young friends, some who ride motorcycles.

As I sat out, a twenty-something man came out and fired up a motorcycle.

I waived hello.

He waived back and we exchanged “how are yous.

And he said, “enjoyin’ a nice night out?

And I said, Yes…

…except the No-Seeums are bad.”

And He said:


“Only if you’re standing still.”

You've Won!

I woke around 5:30 AM and remembered my dream: 

 I dialed a telephone number as a response to a radio announcement to call to win.   I hung up before the call connected.  Then the phone rang, I picked it up and said, “Hello”  A man asked “Is this Michelle?” And I said, “Yes” and he said, “You’ve won!”  "$10.00~!"  and then he asked, “Which sweepstakes were you entered in?” and I replied, “Publishers Clearinghouse, $5,000 a week for life”  and the man then said, “You’ve won $392.00 from our Virginia office, and you’ll be hearing from Louisiana.” 


Then I woke up. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

no techie here...

I'm giggling at the way these hurricane images update themselves.  I dont' have techie knowledge of how that's working.  I right clicked and copied, and pasted and there it is.  But it's great fun now to see the progression!  After the storm dissipates, what will display?  ..watching and waiting, I guess.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

..This Much!

When I look at this forecast, I'm reminded of Maxwell Smart:  "Missed it by this much...!"

Relieved to be out of the "cone" prayers to Texas ....

Saturday, September 6, 2008


i am interested in hearing opinions from you as to the theory that NASA is experimenting with weather control, and failed experiements are resulting in monster storms - Katrina and Rita, and possibly Ike. 


Watching and Waiting

Friday, September 5, 2008

fema sux

Today, we “stood up” the ICS (incident command system) as a result of being in the 5-day cone for Hurricane Ike. I’ve spent two years preparing for a role that was pulled out from under me by nameless personnel, and now I have a new role - one most unclearly defined. I see it as being set up to fail.

I don’t need this. I can happily and merrily (a favorite adverb of mine!) engage in other forms of gainful employment. But I like my job - for the most part. Until all this goofy ICS / aka role play army games crap comes in. I have no tolerance or patience for it. But that’s the FEDs. That’s FEMA That’s the way it is… IT IS WHAT IT IS.

It’s all a part of Government. Government has been very good to me, and my family. Government can continue to be good to me, but perhaps - not in the peninsula of Florida!?

I am venting. I am frustrated, irritated with the whole Fed influence, bureaucratic red tape. And it’s only just begun. I know.

Take me back to simpler, more peaceful times.


Today was another 12-hour day. No rewards, no atta-girls. Suck it up and switch to emergency mode …and when we “stand down”…? ..get your work done in triple time, at lightning speed. if the storm didn’t exist.

I am bitter. I am frustrated.

But. What difference does it all make?



Thursday, September 4, 2008

Silly Season

I worked hard today. My shoulders and neck ache from a full force day. I got home last night after a Council meeting at about 11:30 PM. Wednesday was a 16 hour day. Today started bright and early at 8:30. I woke to what I determined would be a successful day. My head was swarming with “to do’s” for today, some with imminent deadlines. We’re in what our Finance Director calls “silly season” - budget adoption. Florida law has very strict guidelines on how municipalities adopt their annual budget, the forms, timing, even the advertising, down to the number of days between public hearings, the position and placement of the ads, even the size of the font of the title line. With an aggressive Council and a relatively new, and aggressive Town Manager, the budget calendar was set months ago. To fit into the statutory guidelines, staff had a matter of a few short hours to make the recommended changes in the tentative budget and get it to the paper for print. Initially, that was my top priority: meeting budget ad deadline.

The day was one fraught with interruptions, hiccups, challenges. But I persevered, and despite all the other sideline issues, managed to click “SEND” at 11:57 AM…three minutes under the deadline.

Then came Ike. I used to almost enjoy hurricane season - that was before Katrina. Katrina was reason for the feds to institute their bureaucracy in the form of forms and systems and red tape, known as the Incident Command System. Now, if the Town is within the five day cone, we have to stand up the ICS. Of course forecasters are so skittish, that the entire state of Florida is often within the five day cone. It’s tiring playing army. I am so deep in my normal job duties, I don’t have time for war games.

I got home just after sundown, nearly 8:30 PM. That’s a 12 - hour day. Lunch was Chinese delivery for many of the staff - budget time is, truly, silly season. So is hurricane season.

One moment of levity from one of the Town’s more colorful staff members, Ike may be a real bad-ass - look what he did to Tina Turner.

Aw jeeze…


Monday, September 1, 2008

Big Cypress Muck About

Today Theresa and I joined folks on the Muck About in Big Cypress National Preserve.  Following is a series of photos I took.   It's really awesome!  I had a GREAT time!  The water never got over waist high, (my waist, that is - and I"m 5'7"tall) .  Enjoy the photos, and I'll write more later.