Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ollie Ollie Oxen Free!!!

Alright... it took me enough time but I've been tagged by the lovely Talei of Musings of an Aspiring Scribe and I have not yet passed it on. BUT! I have the perfect excuse!!!! I've been on blog vacation (just look at the beautiful pictures I've been posting for the past few weeks and see what you've been missing by not tagging along!) and (in the real world) I've been working the last nine days with one day off (does that make sense? I worked 5 days- had one day off and then worked 4 more days) and I could only just bring myself to do a little writing that day. Nothing has gotten done- dishes are piled high, house needs vacuumed and the laundry is done but needs hung up so I haven't had time to play tag. BUT! having made my excuses I am adding a caveat to the game that appplies to the rest of the players (which I am glad Talei didn't do to me or I would have been doing this) so you better read to the end to see what happens to the loser... 

 1.  Do you think you're hot?
I am ze locksmith of love, no? (Who did I steal that quote from and you win... something)
2.  Upload a picture or wallpaper you're using at the moment.
I am (illegally- did I say that???) using a picture of a talented artist named  Marth de Poo.  The picture is called 'Francis Street'.

3.  When was the last time you ate chicken meat?
Sunday- Quesadillas! 

4.  The songs you listened to recently.
I wake up with a "theme song" each morning that I must have running through my head during the night. Sometimes it sticks with me all day- sometimes not. Here are a few that I often wake up with: 

Aimee Mann: Red Vines
Bird York: Wicked Little High
Melissa Ethridge: Fearless Love
Dido: Don't Believe in Love

5.  What were you thinking as you were doing this?
That I have waited way toooooo long to get this done!

6.  Do you have nicknames?  What are they?
Just a few: as a kid my cousin called me Donut, m
y brothers called me Nette, friends have called me "D" a few dared to called me Danny- about once. And some real morons called me Damn-it. LONG STORY but it's what happens to kids in really restricted private Christian school environments. 

7.   Tag eight blogger friends.
Ann Best
Donea Lee
Lisa M Potts

Who's listed as No.1?   Ann Best! She's been tagged recently but I'm going to tag her again with the hopes that you will all go visit her and wish her the best as she gets her book underway. Congratulations Ann!!!! 
Say Something about No.5.  Trish, it was a pleasure finding a kindred spirit! 
How did you know No.3? I met Alberta in the Crusader Challenge- we were in the same group together. It has been interesting to learn about her disability and how she has adapted in order to write. 
How about No. 4?  Patrick  was also in the Crusader Challenge. I have found him to be a witty and thoughtful blogger.
Leave a message for No.6. Can't wait for the Running of the Roses next year, Lisa!   
Leave a lovey-dovey message for No.2.  "come wiz me to ze Casbah - we shall make beautiful musicks togezzer!" Did I mention Pepe Le Pew was my hero? (Hope you can sing Donea- 'cause I can! And that's it-- there will be no real lovey dovey stuff.    
Do No.7 and No.8  have any similarities? As most of my blogging friends- they love to write I met them early on in a blogfest but perhaps more importantly they enjoy life and having a good laugh! Such Fun!!! 

Now here's the rub: In the real game of tag the last one caught was IT! Well you've all been tagged so the last one to post your list gets to include either an embarrassing picture of yourself or your most embarrassing moment - you get to choose. 
*shew, now I can head back to the beach*

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Hemingway home

As much as I love dolphins I decided against the Dolphin Research Center. Time at the beach, champagne at a favorite hideaway, and relaxation awaited so why tarry? It was time to finish my journey south.
Of course, the first thing I wanted to see was Hemingway's house. His footprint is visible everywhere-even in the tourist district. 
The first tiny place they lived was here at the Casa Antigua...
Part of the mythos of this particular place is that Hemingway wrote 'A Farewell to Arms' while he lived here. 
Moving on into the tourist district you find more Hemingway memorabilia. It was here at Captain Tony's (then called Sloppy Joe's) that Hemingway spent so many happy hours (literally!) drinking himself into a happy stupor.    
Sloppy Joe's is now on the main drag, Duval, and would most likely be the last place you'd find Papa Hemingway but they like to claim him as their own. (A typical ploy of hanger-onners...don't tell them I said that)
Photo compliment of Key West Diary . 
Enough of the dilly dallying around at the sideshow hangouts. Time to see the The Legends home.... 

 Ernest "Papa" Hemingway... 

was completely enamored with Key West (at least initially) and only left after he became enamored with another woman (something he did with some regularity- see wife number two, three, and four) making the small island a decidedly tight squeeze for his (second) wife, himself and his mistress (whom he met at Sloppy Joe's second locale by the way- where she tracked him down, I might add). 

But I am putting myself in front of the horse that is pushing the applecart. . .
Hemingway's home was initially a reject when Pauline first saw it. She wasn't exactly charmed by the piece of drywall that hit her in the head as she looked around the place. But she returned at her best friend Lorrine's urging and decided to give the house another chance and saw the place in a little different light. She spoke to her uncle who then purchased the place for the newly married couple. She began renovations that even by today's standards are lovely. (Why oh why can't I have an uncle like that???)  
The Hemingways had not a few Dos and one might imagine the tales that were told by the Tallest teller of them all as he stood at one end of the table- his wife perhaps sitting at the other end wishing that his fictions were left to the typewriter.
The Hemingway's kitchen is small yet functional even by modern standards. One could easily cook in this kitchen today.  
It is the perfect house for the climate: Breezy and open, with fans to keep the air moving, one can't help but wish the house were available for a little live-in inspiration.    
And a nighttime stroll under the stars would lead you out onto this balcony... (this is the vantage point that I took the picture of the lighthouse at the top of my blog...) 
And the piece de resistance! The studio of a writer's dream! Writer's block? Take a little nap on the reclining chair...
and, just down the stairwell is the pool Pauline built to keep her Writer home and happy. (Too bad it didn't work...)    
When Hemingway saw the cost of the pool, ($20,000!) he handed Pauline a penny out his pocket, laughed and said, "Well, you may as well have my last cent." You can still see the penny built into the cement around the pool today.

Such fun! Such Fun! 


Monday, May 16, 2011

We're off on our Blog Vacation!!!! WOOHOOO!!

I've discovered that the cheapest way to get to Key West is to fly into Fort Lauderdale and then rent a car and drive down to Key West-- at least if there are more than two of you going and since there are several of us, we definitely want to take the cheapest route! Besides, the drive down is spectacular (if driven at the right time of day- preferably early in the morning before the day trippers hit the road!) BUT....
We'll need a few things in order to make it a truly memorable drive: Snacks, a good book, and some Music!
In the first group I will have a good stash of the most important food group: Chocolate!!! Lindt Chocolate to be more specific and for dessert we can splurge on white chocolate truffles. Recognizing that you might tire of chocolate (what???? that's blasphemy!) what are your favorite road food treats?
Now book. Currently I am reading The Pale King penned by the late, great David Foster Wallace. Unfortunately this will just not do for beach reading or even passenger seat reading (you are taking a turn at the wheel aren't you?!?! It's about a 5 hour drive and with stops we might make it a full day...) So, I think I will take the fluffiest of fluffs this year and bring the Harlequin Romance Christmas in Key West. Cheesy but how can I go wrong reading a book that contains such phrases like "The warm tropical breeze that she suddenly longed to feel every day of her life washed over her." while sitting on a the beach in Key West? So what are you bringing?
And as for music...This one is important. At least for me. I grew up with music all around me. I was a singer most of my adult life (I was born to play 'Hello Dolly!'- no... REALLY, I was!) and the background music we drive to is important. Sooo... I'll choose one, then you choose! But let's hit the road, then I'll get the music going...
Oops! Maybe I shouldn't take pictures whilst driving! Little crooked... but the effect isn't lost. All right now! Mood music!
The air is so warm and lovely! 
Thanks for driving! 
Sorry to reach over--- but the skies and water are breathtaking! I just had to get this shot! 

In all there are about 4500 keys that extend from the southernmost tip of Florida south and west down to the Dry Tortugas. Some, like the ones we are driving on (and Key West), are large enough to inhabit. Others we simply passover and others, like the one we see above, are merely mangroves that have grown up in shallow waters*.
I was thinking we might stop in at the Dolphin Research Center. What do you think? I've not been before and it could be fun...


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Nothing funnier!

Women don't usually do physical comedy and they are not always very good at it- in fact I haven't seen a woman who was really good at physical comedy since Lucille Ball. I mean was there anything funnier than the episode with her and Vivian working in the chocolate shop??? But recently Mo discovered a British comedian who is brilliant! He first saw her on "Would I Lie to You" which led him to her sitcom "Miranda". One episode and we were ready for more ... well, actually within the introduction we were hooked! The first line, "Hello to you and thanks for joining. This is exciting, isn't it? Aye? Now, let me get you up to speed. Previously in my life, my mother tried to marry me off...." Well, just watch...
On Monday we'll be "driving" down the Keys so this is just a little weekend entertainment! 

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Being a city employee, I find myself with plenty of lovely vacation time and none of the necessities that having a vacation requires (that being $$$) and with lots of not so fun other things going on in my life I decided to plan a blog vacation... but where to go? where to go?

As chance would have it, I went to a local pub after work and overheard this guy in a bar talking... he was talking quite loudly as drinkers will. Said something about wanting to go to Florida... to Key West. I was not impressed. Then he mumbled something about being a writer. A writer! What's this? That's when I perked up! Then he really got dramatic and stood up talking about his terrible childhood, how he was a gearhead and how his uncle would have beaten him up if he knew he read Shakespeare. It sounded pretty terrible so I wasn't surprised that he wanted to get away. He went on "All my life I dreamed about going to Key West-- down where all the great writers were...Don't you get it? Writers write from their spinal chord not their brain. It's the electricity that counts! You gotta plug in. You gotta hot wire. You gotta go straight to the source. Ernest Hemingway walked down those very streets!" I got it! And I was sold! I wanted to jump up and ask him if he'd take me along. Alas, he'd already left the bar and I never saw him again. But I vowed to take a trip of my own--- even if only for vacation...
I began checking on the island and found beautiful blue skies and a few pretty passable beaches...
 One that is a bit more rugged but is less crowded (don't forget water shoes!)
and has the added attraction of being home to the yearly Key West "art" festival - or at least a segment of it.
(please don't ask me what this is-- it's made of flowers and is dog shaped
The beaches are not only wonderful to tan on and lovely warm waters to swim in...
Snorkeling is also an option even with makeshift swimming speed goggles! There is tons of sea-life to watch right out in the main swimming areas.
If you want to head out to the gulf, you can fill your days and nights with fishing, viewing dolphins and underwater sea life, canoeing, snorkeling by the coral reef and...  
a Sunset cruise that seems to carry you right to the edge of the world with a golden view and champagne at hand! 
The island itself is historically rich. Homes that were built in the early settling of the island are still about... as was this home (the second home on the island) built by the British Captain George Carey in 1834 first as a two bedroom and then later enlarged as a gift to his wife. 
This Octagon home is a uniquely North American architecturally styled home that was briefly popular in Canada and the US in the 1850s. This particular home was built by Richard Peacon but is more popularly famous because Calvin Klein bought it and owned it for one year then quickly sold it apparently having become bored with the 2x4 mile island. 
And lest we forget the reason the reason we're planning this trip in the first place...
Papa Hemingway's home! The house was built by marine architect and salvage wrecker Asa Tift in 1851. Hemingway's second wife's uncle purchased the property for the couple in a much dilapidated state in 1931whereupon Pauline set about on a major redo that is, even by today's standards, quite stunning. We'll have to have a closer look at this famous landmark, make no mistake! I think the trip will be grand! 
Are you in??? 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Monday off...

I have a Monday off and I want to get some writing done but I also have (ugh) housecleaning to do and some errands to run so writing may be a later in the day thing. I'm off but it's still Monday so here's a bouquet of spring and poem by William Dean Howell's to fit the petal's delicacy...

Earliest Spring
~William Dean Howell's 
TOSSING his mane of snows in wildest eddies and tangles, 
Lion-like March cometh in, hoarse, with tempestuous breath, 

Through all the moaning chimneys, and 'thwart all the hollows and 


Round the shuddering house, threating of winter and death. 
But in my heart I feel the life of the wood and the meadow 

Thrilling the pulses that own kindred with fibres that lift 

Bud and blade to the sunward, within the inscrutable shadow, 

Deep in the oak's chill core, under the gathering drift. 

Nay, to earth's life in mine some prescience, or dream, or desire 

(How shall I name it aright?) comes for a moment and goes-- 

Rapture of life ineffable, perfect--as if in the brier, 

Leafless there by my door, trembled a sense of the rose.

Local Politics blogging at Meanderings of a Wandering Mind. If your interested in the Denver Mayoral race stay tuned!


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