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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Suzy Snowflake, dressed in her 3XL gown, danced through Brazil today leaving behind the first measurable snow of the season.

According to weather lore, I guess that means 29 #*&! snows till Easter and the Cadbury Bunny will be here, yes!

Don’t get me wrong, I love snow, especially Christmas snow, and extra-large snowflakes like today that you can easily catch on your tongue. I just hate the thought of driving on it and its evil fraternal twin, ice.

A winter wonderland is a beautiful sight to behold and photograph, which I did last December and in February when I couldn’t get to work after an ice storm nearly crippled the Wabash Valley.

If forecasters are right, we have a snowball’s chance in H.E. Double Hockey Sticks of missing a repeat of last winter’s dramatic performance.

Three years ago I flew to the southernmost point of the United States to spend Thanksgiving Day and the weekend at the Double Tree Grand Key Resort. (Double Tree is famous for its chocolate chip cookies. Each guest gets a warm complementary cookie at check-in.)

The scenery was breathtaking and the weather was perfect for celebrating the end of the hurricane season and the beginning of the annual pirate festival. (Keep reading, pirates below deck.)

I couldn’t wait to visit the Hemingway house and see the mitten paw cats (they are really called polydactyl – having one or two extra toes on their paws). My grandma had one, my mom had one, and I have one.

Sloppy Joe’s had the best live entertainment.

At Captain Tony’s, the decor was the entertainment.

The artwork in The Bull was impressive. The nudes in The Garden of Eden bar on the rooftop NOT.

The Historic Seaport has The Conch Republic Seafood Company Restaurant and Conch Bar, Schooner Wharf Bar, the Fastcat to Dry Tortugas National Park (didn’t have enough time to take this tour; another reason I have to go back) and, according to our personal tour guide, Jimmy Buffet’s recording studio that tourists pass by without notice.  

I love old lighthouses. At the top of Key West Lighthouse you can literally see the entire key. I could also see the Sand Key Lighthouse off in the distance but it was too far away for me to get a decent photo. 

I seriously am tempted to quit my job, sell everything, buy a one-way ticket to Key West, and become a homeless person on the beach near Louie’s Backyard (where Jimmy Buffet is rumored to frequent) or a pirate.

This guy is no Jack Sparrow but his shipmates and the crew of the Jolly Rover II (below) had very colorful personalities.

I suddenly have a craving for a warm chocolate chip cookie and a Johnny Depp movie. That’ll have to do until my next ship sets sail for Key West.


1. Every morning, I count myself blessed that God has given me yet another day to celebrate His glory … an inspirational sonrise is always a double blessing.

2. Mom is still there when I need her.

3. After 3 boys, God gave me the little girl I always wanted.

4. My seven grandchildren: 1 football player, 2 preschoolers, twin toddlers, 1 rug rat and 1 still in the womb.

5. My best friend humors me.

6. My best friends from high school. After years apart, a brain tumor brought us close again.

7. My church family lifts me up.

8. My health is good.

9. My work family supports me.

10. I’ve given more than 30 of my best years to my employer … more years than all three of my marriages combined … and I still love my job.

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Living a quarter-mile off the beaten path has had its advantages. A $2 pumpkin and one small bag of treats usually does the trick on Halloween.

This year, like always, I picked out the perfect pumpkin for my daughter. What was I thinking?!!? The 14-year-old spent the entire weekend with a friend and treated Oct. 31 like any other school night. Jack is still on a post outside the front door without a lantern. Trick one!

I was ready with my devil mask to answer when opportunity knocked; but not one little witch, pirate or super hero swooped in for treats. Trick two!

I bought KrispStix instead of one of my favorite candies. Again, what was I thinking?!!? I could be sipping a glass of wine with Mr. Goodbar every night till Thanksgiving. Trick three! I’m out!

What a diss-advantage.

The KrispStix I’ll share with my work family. For those reading my blog, here’s some eye candy I found on a vacation trip to Lexington, N.C.

Miss Puffy, The Peppermint Pig  won a Blue Ribbon with Honor at this year’s 4-H Fair.

The Candy Factory took me back 50 years to sweet memories made in G.C. Murphy Co. in historic downtown Brazil, Indiana and Lynch’s Grocery, the best neighbor on the street where I grew up. In the day, a nickel and dime at Murphy’s and a penny at Lynch’s went a long way. Halloween came only once a year, but Lynch’s stocked enough candy to fill the sweet tooth of every kid on the block come allowance day, or birthdays, or Christmas, or the day after Halloween when we would spend the coins Mr. Metz next door  gave out instead of candy. Mr. Metz knew the value of a penny saved, a penny earned. He also knew his 5- and 10-cent treats would burn a hole in our pocket and we’d run straight to Lynch’s candy counter across the street. Funny how Mr. Lynch also knew which candy was our favorites. My dad always said if we had a penny for every red cent we spent at Lynch’s and the Five and Dime we’d be millionaires. Oh, well, I’ll settle for memories worth that and more.