Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Sound of Key West

Roses in vases
And boys with sweet faces
Cooking me breakfast
And driving us places
Conch trains, the white house and butterflies, too
These are a few of the things that we do
Inside and Pool side
We munch appetizers
Restaurants and cool haunts
You’re great tour advisers!
Egg bakes and pan cakes
And great key lime pies
Even sunglasses to help 
shade my eyes

When the bugs bite
When the sun’s hot
When the dog gets mad
Key West Style Photo - Key West, Florida
I simply remember my favorite things
And  then I don’t feel so bad!
Flowers, warm showers
and watching a movie
sleeping  at night in a
bedroom so groovy
Key deer and Nature
And Mallory Square
Drinking  together
How much we don’t care.
Playing piano and video dancing
Cat tricks and dog licks
and drag queens all prancing
Religious discussions and
Greek lessons, too
These are my favorite things that we do.

When the day's done
When we end fun
and we have to go
I simply remember my favorite things
and then I don't mind it so.

Amazing sunset in Key West Photo - Key West, Florida

 Key West  2010
*with apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein
This is a poem I composed to thank Laurie and her family for allowing me to stay with them.
They provided  round the clock services worthy of a five star resort!

Friday, June 22, 2012


Lake Erie Islands 

Ferry boat ride to the islands
Marblehead Lighthouse

Eagle in flight

I just returned from a relaxing getaway to Laurie and Mitch's rented cottage on the Northern coast of Ohio overlooking Lake Erie.
The vintage home was cozy and charming, with plenty of room for an ever changing cast of characters!

It was the product of many renovations that kept adding on a maze of porches, decks, sliding glass doors and additional living quarters.
The decor was an eclectic blend of nautical and quirky. Very retro and sweet.
We took advantage of the many fine tourist attractions found in and around the greater Sandusky area.
Highlights included a trip to a lighthouse, a cheese factory and a ferry boat ride to Put-in-Bay.
The kids enjoyed Cedar point water parks, arcades, and other forms of entertainment.
Roy and Mitch preferred drinking at the poolside bar with a well endowed amusing tattooed lady named Ruby -who showered them with unsolicited attention!
Spectacular sunset views almost forgotten during a heated "Skip Bo" card game.  We saw eagles soaring lazily across the sky and wild geese floating on the lake like ghostly apparitions.

The view from back of property was breathtaking.

Brother Jan's kids and grand kids took advantage of the beautiful 90 degree weather and swam off the rocky coast line.
The gentle sea breezes kept us comfortable despite the heat.
The Goat restaurant patio

We dined at several of the quaint local restaurants but the two stand outs were The Goat and Mon Ami Winery.

Put-in-Bay harbor shopping

Spencer relaxing near Perry memorial

chocolate cafe?
Laurie and Spence

Transportation: bikes, mopeds and golf carts
our trusty driver

Mitch and Spence: the Grille masters

Thank you, Cook family, for allowing us to share in your adventures in paradise!!

Sunset finale

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Who let the dogs out?

I am dog sitting Bella while my sister Beth and her family are vacationing off the islands of  Lake Erie.
My sister Laurie and her family (visiting from the Florida Keys)  rented a cottage up near Sandusky.
The cousins are getting along famously-  no growling or major altercations.
The dogs are, too!  :-) 
Madison is only too happy to share her toys and compete in the canine Olympic games.
"Tag, you're it!"

I think I am a cat!

All together now...
Let go!!
who's been sleeping in my bed?
PLEASE, let us in!

guilty or not guilty? 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Lost at Sea

Anchor's aweigh

Avast, me proud beauty!  Lovely Donna preparing a feast for our Pontoon Day cruise on Saturday afternoon.  How could she have foreseen the many surprises that lay ahead.

Charles Mill Marina

The swimming hole at Charles Mill Lake Marina.
Charles Mill is a reservoir located in Central Ohio near the junction of State Routes 430 and 603.

Charles Mill Lake is a quiet and enjoyable place for boating,
camping, fishing, hunting, and hiking.
This lake is located on the Black Fork of the Mohican River.  It is also referred to as Mifflin Lake by locals.

the calm before the storm
Appearing ever so tranquil and serene, the weather was picture perfect and a slight breeze promised a comfortable day of sailing.
Little did we know what adventures were in store for our intrepid band of able bodied seamen.

Our crew included Larry, Donna, Harvey, Cindy and myself.

Donna and the goodies

blissfully unaware of trouble brewing

The hot sweltering sun beat down on the crew of the salty dog!

Remember the old adage "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong"?  Murphy's Law. 
Well, yesterday was one of those days!
We were beset with a multitude of mishaps and challenges.   We all managed to keep our cool and sense of humor despite the unfortunate series of events (which were beyond our control)!
First the engine lost power and we were set adrift in the treacherous seas. Well, we were floundering a bit!
still smiling
Despite heroic efforts, including amazing gravity defying gymnastics (see photo below) the vessel was deemed unfit to complete the voyage. Shiver me timbers!
Captain Larry was fully prepared to go down with his ship.
Although we were certainly not in "grave and imminent danger", we issued a mayday distress call.  
Going, going.... gone!

Ahoy, matey!

But for me, the final insult came when we decided to go ahead and have our meal -despite the fact  we were stranded in the middle of a lake- and realized we had no matches to light the portable grill!  
We discovered the wonder of "fully cooked" uncooked brots.  Really not so bad.  Cold wieners on a hot day might just become the next big trend in picnic cuisine. You heard it here first, ladies and gentlemen!
As they say, any port in a storm!
At least we didn't have to walk the plank.  Arrr!

Inspirational and Serious Nautical Products

Thank God the boating community is a generous and experienced bunch of good Samaritans. We were quickly rescued and towed to shore.
Poor Larry and Donna.  Talk about grace under pressure!  Thank you for an unforgettable and extraordinary boating experience:-)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Before and after pictures of my new Pergo flooring in the kitchen:
I replaced the vinyl that was "okay" when I moved in eleven years ago, but is now sadly outdated.
You could see every modicum of dust and dirt with your eyes closed!

The color white just accentuates chocolate lab dog hair.
Even the "cleaning machine" Lois could no longer restore the original shine and luster.
 Rather embarrassing to have four workmen up close and personal on their hands and knees crawling about my gross floor.  I can't begin to describe the horrors that awaited them beneath my stove.

Suffice to say, I believe I experienced more than my fair share of spillage throughout my cooking career.  Yikes!!!
And there was at least a month's worth of prescription drugs that had fallen under the refrigerator.

Poor Madison is more than a little confused by the metamorphosis.  She is "slip, sliding away" like an Olympic skating champion.  I expect a triple lutz at any moment.
Guess I will have to invest in some throw rugs!