Friday, November 30, 2007

Christmas poem, first edition

Here's a poem I wrote on an envelope a few years ago after catching myself humming the song "Winter Wonderland" on a sunny mid December day while driving West on I-4. (Actually Danny was driving. I can drive, sing, and think at the same time but I cannot drive, sing, think, and write on an envelope at the same time.)


(Inspired by the song “Winter Wonderland”)

Surf is up, are you listenin?
On the beach sand is glistenin.
Each day is a delight,
‘cause the sun is shining bright.
It’s Christmas in a Florida wonderland.

Gone away, the South Americans.
Just arrived, are the Canadians.
They’ll need a lot of dough,
if to Disney they will go,
for Christmas in a Florida wonderland.

In the mall, a lot of well heeled matrons,
with diamond rings and platinum credit cards.
They’re Bloomie’s, Saks, and Neiman Marcus patrons
driving Lexus and Mercedes motor cars.

Buy a gift, for someone special.
Trim a tree, that’s artificial.
Though it’s eighty-nine most nights,
for us the temp’s just right,
for Christmas in a Florida wonderland.

Seniors swing at the clubs here.
Boaters wave, full of good cheer.
Tiger Woods is playing golf
with Santa’s jolly elf,
‘cause it’s Christmas in a Florida wonderland.

In the yard a manger scene and snowman,
all six foot tall and made of fiberglass.
Santa’s dressed in shorts, and slippery with sunscreen,
driving in a sports car much too fast.

Palm trees sway, birds are singing.
By the pool, cell phones ringing.
Though it’s snowing in the north,
weather’s perfect here of course.
It’s Christmas in a Florida wonderland.

Nancy Wayman Deutsch

Ta ta for now.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Case of the Missing Muffins

"Do you know The Muffin Man? The one who lives on Drury Lane?" Recognize these lines from the movie, Shrek? They were spoken in a scene featuring the height challenged prince torturing The Gingerbread Man.

Well, tonight I made gingerbread cookies. They aren't very snappy since I never made gingerbread before, but they are edible if soft. I ate three. Maybe I creamed the butter too much. I was watching the Youtube Republican candidates for President debate while I performed my culinary non miracles. Distracting that. On the other hand, soft gingerbread cookies sorta fits the Republicans. Nothing snappy in the bunch...well maybe a little spice from Ron Paul who doesn't have a rat's ass of getting the nomination. Could Mitt Romney be any more clueless than he is? Don't answer that. Makes me almost ashamed to be a registered Republican. Wait a minute, I am ashamed to be a registered Republican after the fiasco Washington has become in the last seven years. The party makes me want to toss my cookies in so many ways.

Well, back to tonight's story. The cookies done, my attention wandered around ten and I switched over to one of my fave shows, Life. After Life was over I walked Chili. Then Danny and I locked her in the kitchen while we walked Ginny and Abby. All through both walks I kept thinking about having an English muffin. I'd bought a six pack earlier in the day at Albertson's Grocery while perusing the bread aisle. I hadn't had an English muffin in maybe six months and the thought of one lightly toasted, butter melting and sinking into the nooks and muffin crannies with a light coating of Orange marmalade made me salivate like Pavlov's dog.

Well presumably Pavlov's pup was better controlled than mine. When we returned, no muffins.
Chili must have jumped up and pulled the bag off the kitchen counter. All six muffins were missing. Just a few crumbs on the kitchen floor.

Yes, she ate all six. My 37 pound Blue Heeler ate six English muffins. I couldn't eat six English muffins at one sitting.

At least I didn't get the ones with raisins in them. Raisins are toxic to dogs. I wish I knew the Muffin Man though. The one who lives on Drury lane. I'd get some more muffins from him since the store is closed.

Instead, I have been reduced to eating Honey Nut Cheerios for my bedtime snack. Bummer.
Also bummer to have a fat farting dog lying on the floor by my side as I type this. From now on, all bread goes in the bread box.

Live long and prosper.

PS: I included some pictures of the living room, partially decked out for Christmas. They have absolutely nothing to do with muffins, gingerbread, Republicans, or flatulent food thieving dogs.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

God Rest Me Merry Gentlemen

God rest me merry gentlemen, let nothing me dismay
for I got out the Christmas stuff, and trimmed the tree today.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and he’s gonna be happy with me. ‘Cause I was a very good girl. I did it. I surpassed my personal best. My halls are decked, the candles are glowing, and even though every single friggin’ muscle in my body hurts and I have enough dust mites up my nose to populate a parallel universe, I, the most Holly Jolly of girls south of the North Pole, finished decorating the house… and its only November 26th.

It was a particular challenge to liberate the tree from the over-junked up garage this year, since I have a whole lot of my mother’s things out there as well as a bunch of Danny’s Free geek computer parts. Some books and bric-a-brac, clothes, furniture the girls said they wanted, but forgot to come and get. That sort of thing. It’s crowded and nasty with barely room for my car.

When I got up the nerve to go out there, I could see the tree box under piles of junk and since I was resolved to get it up before Danny’s mom and sister come for their annual pre-Christmas visit this Friday, I bravely started tossing things and digging my way into the box.

I even, (are you listening Santa?), ignored the possibly lethal black spider that I saw climb into the box after I accidentally bumped her web with my shoe. I didn’t even try to search and destroy her. That should get me ‘brownie’ points with Santa or at least with the arachnid lovers and take care of at least one piece of coal that wanted to make its way into my stocking hung by the chimney with care. Yep, I reached into the tree box and said a prayer to the Christmas angel that Ananzi wouldn’t bite or even worse climb in my hair and hauled the tree (which probably weighs as much as I do) upright, hugging it like a polar bear hugs, well whatever polar bears hug, all the way to the kitchen door.

I wish I hadn’t stopped lifting weights last year. New years resolution: start working out again or just give up and lock the home gym door (which has a wall tree decorated with hand carved woodland ornaments) forever.

Anyway, back to my story: the big fat tree got stuck in the door frame. Being Nancy the impatient by nature, I just kept hugging the damn thing and yanking until it popped through the door. Then I propped it up in the tree stand that I’d carefully placed
placed in the corner of the family room. The tree stand promptly fell over, and I had to start over. It seemed even heavier than before. I finally leaned it against the wall and plugged in one of the light strands, which of course did not light up.

Tree trimming 101: even when you don’t get your tree stuck in the kitchen door, the lights never work from the year before. If you’re lucky, you didn’t plug them together right. If you’re not lucky, you have to buy more which won’t work next year.

The tree has a dozen strands of lights with lettered plugs which all have to be plugged into themselves in the right order. I can read the numbers, but it is boring, confusing, and uncreative to sort the plugs out, so I did the sensible thing and waited for Danny to come home and do it. He’s patient and works for cookies.

So as to not waste any time while I waited, I rearranged furniture in two rooms and created party invitations. Oh, and by the way, all my cards and Christmas letters are done and ready to mail. Do you hate me yet?

Be careful, before you answer, I’m the one who knows all the verses of Silent Night…in Spanish…I can recite most of the Grinch Who Stole Christmas without half trying…and I can carve the roast beast if you need it. Somebody has to be Christmas crazy. Santa would approve.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Reindogs One

Here's some more pix from my archives: Blitzkreig, Slasher, Napper, Dapper and Lola, the US Olympic Rein dog sled team from the film Cool Running Rein dogs. (Played by Cody, Chili, Abby, Belle, and Dyna).

Okay, all you dogs in hats picture haters, chill out. It's cheap fun and as long as the poochies get treats they don't mind.

Today, I was trapped in the back of my house from nine to six while the floor guys did the hard flooring restoration of the kitchen/ breakfast area, the hallway and my bedroom. I breathed a whole lotta chemical fumes, let me tell you! Whoo-ee! Looks good, though. At least I think it does. I may just be high.

Tomorrow, I'm hoping to find the Christmas tree in the garage. Actually, I know where it is. I can see it behind a mountain of stuff. But, can I get to it to install it in the house? Ah, grasshopper, that is the question. The answer, at this point, is not known.

Meanwhile, enjoy the dog pictures. By the way, Cody and Dyna belong to my daughter Laura. See, Pit Bulls can be fun. And very civilized canine good citizens.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Dogs In Hats, First Edition

How about some pre-holiday pictures of my unhappy dogs wearing a Christmas tree hat?
That's the sort of thing I do after spending a day or two putting out Christmas decor and shopping for things I don't need. Do not judge me too harshly. I've been spending too much time at Bed Bath and Beyond and Target. Wait until I start putting up the may get worse.

Live long and prosper.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Happy Thanksgiving. Did you know that this traditional harvest thanksgiving feast day is at least 388 years old? That's a whole lot of turkey and stuffing folks!

The first Day of Thanksgiving on record on our shores ( by non Native Americans that is) was held in the Virginia Colony on December 4, 1619. Grateful colonists made merry and no doubt stuffed themselves with seventeenth century turkey at Berkley Hundred Plantation on the James River 2o miles upstream from the Jamestown settlement. However, the Thanksgiving celebration that we generally think of was held up Massachusetts way in 1621. This one was attended by some fifty English colonists and ninety Indians, including the famous Squanto, who legend has it, taught the colonists how to cultivate and harvest corn...which as the old TV butter commercial said he called maize.

Since there were no colleges, universities, or high schools in the Massachusetts colony, there were no organized football games as far as we know, and since television and the internet wouldn't be invented for another 300 years, the Pilgrims and Indians probably had to entertain each other with amusing stories told around the fire and massive quantities of ale. Unfortunately for Squanto and Bobby Bradford and company, aspirin and Pepto Bismol didn't exist yet either, although fruitcake certainly did. I have it on good authority that the original Thanksgiving day fruitcake is still being passed around uneaten somewhere. Like Peeps, fruitcake is indestructible.

Anyway, Thanksgiving/harvest feasts were often held throughout the American revolutionary days and the early decades of our newly created nation but there was no clearly established national holiday until 1863 when president Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as an official day of Thanksgiving. In 1940 President Franklin Roosevelt signed a bill making Thanksgiving a Federal National holiday. Soon after, somebody had the idea of giving the President a turkey each Thanksgiving so that the president could grant guest worker status, I mean amnesty, to the turkey. This custom continues today.

So, what are you doing to celebrate this year? Watching the Macy's parade or football games, feasting at home or with friends and family? Whatever your holiday traditions are, please take a moment to be truly thankful for the blessings in your life and for those you hold dear. As Tiny Tim said (albeit on another soon to come holiday), "God Bless us every one."

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Beowulf and Renovation Blues

Danny and I went to see the new "animated" (CGI) film, Beowulf yesterday. It was pretty amazing. The animated characters looked so real that a couple of minutes into the film I forgot they weren't living actors. The cinematography, costumes, and sets were superb. Wait a minute, there weren't any sets, costumes, or cinematography. Not in the usual sense anyway. A movie like this gets a little confusing to my twentieth century mind. Let's just say that the graphics and design was top rate and the film is like nothing you've ever seen before.

Of course Beowulf is a great story. One of the oldest in Anglo Saxon literature. The inspiration for the Arthurian legends, the Tolkien stories and maybe even Star Wars to some degree. The living actors, enhanced by their CGI images did justice to the tale, too. Who can argue with an enhanced Angelina Jolie as a dragon-lady? Maybe writer Neil Gaiman did give her a bigger role than in other Beowulf productions, but he was right on. She did a bang-er-rang job.

I wish I could be a CGI actor. The CGI designers could give me my nineteen inch waist back with a side order of flat tummy and no crows feet. Make me look twenty again, too.

Oh well, forget about CGI movie stardom, I'd settle for finally getting my house re-dos done! This morning, for example, the floor guys were supposed to remove my bedroom carpeting, clean the stone floors underneath, grind down the bolts from the carpeting tacking strips, buff, polish and seal to a shine. Then they were supposed to clean, buff, polish and seal the hallway.

Well, they finally arrived at 2:15, removed the carpet and discovered that a previous owner of the house had painted the terrazzo stone floor underneath navy blue! What kind of an idiot paints a bedroom stone floor navy blue?? Don't answer that. Anyway, by this time my old carpet was cut up in small pieces and lying on the driveway. Couldn't exactly put it back. Removing the paint took the rest of the afternoon and cost double the estimated job. Of course, they can't come back and finish tomorrow since "its not on the schedule. " I have to wait a week.

With all of my bedroom furniture piled in the guest room and no available bed to sleep in? With no access to my clothes or my master bath? I think not. As soon as the floors dried, I moved everything back in. All the very heavy solid oak furniture. Course I'll have to move it all out again next week and then all back in again...dem's de ole renovation blues..tomorrow, the handyman is supposed to finally install the famous cook top. Cross your fingers...and toes.

Good thing I decided to postpone the wood floor refinishing. Completing the terrazzo and re-doing the kitchen will take up next week. Then its time to put up the old Tannenbaum. Deck the halls and all that.

Live long and prosper.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

week end update

Hello, bloggers. Would you believe that this oh so innocent face is the face of a dog that knocks over tall kitchen trashcans to garbage surf, can leap to the top of a seven foot wall, swallows Cuban tree frogs the size of my fist without chewing, howls like a ban-shee and talks like Chewbacca? Meet our Ginny, the 'hoola' girl whose wagging tail is as deadly as Zorro's whip. She's a sixty pound ball of street devil/couch potato/cuddlebug. Yes, her nose is half pink. The male dogs think she's a hottie, too.

Today we got kitchen grouted, finally. The counter tops look great...and it only cost me a couple hundred dollars to restore the tile instead of spending 5k for new granite! I'm happy. Next week, we're suppose to have the bedroom wing terrazzo floors restored. The week after, we were scheduled to have the wood floors in the living room, dining room, and kitchen sanded, re stained and sealed, but now the kitchen terracotta tile has to be redone since it didn't dry right and looks dull and clumpy, so I think I'm going to put the hard wood re-finishing job off until after the Christmas holidays. I need a break from chaos and mess!! A break to shop, decorate for the holidays, go to parties and holiday themed events and generally 'chill out'. So, after the cook top is installed I'm turning off the renovation station until 2008!

Besides, I have to do a little book promotion and work on my website. Don't forget, check out Flights of Nancy by me, Nancy Wayman Deutsch, on Make a dandy little Christmas/Hannakah/Kwanza gift for someone you love, moderately like, or are obligated to gift. Great for gift exchanges, secret friend gifts, reading on airplanes and in lines!

Tonight, we attended the annual Central Florida St Andrews Society dinner. Ate haggis and nips and tatties, roast beef and bread pudding, listened to a Scotsman perform the toast to the haggis and an Irish priest (now from Miami) talk about St Andrew. We were also treated to a performance by the Rosie O'Grady's pipe band, Scottish dancing (including sword dancing and hormpipe dancing), and a Celtic band. In case you're wondering, I am a member of Clan Gunn, whose motto is "if not peace, then war". So beware.

Tomorrow, dog parkin' or possible a visit to Universal studios, depending on the weather. Have a bonny evening.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Talking turkey

Well, Bloggers, its one week until Thanksgiving, more popularly known lately as 'Turkey Day'. Do you suppose that's because in this time of an unpopular war, political distrust and disgust, sky high gasoline prices, global warming, insurance highway robbery, the housing debacle, tumbling investments, border paranoia, and shrinking personal incomes, people don't feel that they have a heck of a lot to give Thanks for? They'd rather just stuff themselves like a turkey on...well, turkey? Is the reference because everybody eats turkey now on 'the day'? I think not. I personally know people who eat ham.

So, what are you doing for Turkey Day? Danny and I are going to younger daughter Amy's house. We're having turkey...and ham. It's Amy and Elias's first Thanksgiving feast in their own house, and they've invited twenty family members and friends in all. A tall task with Amy being exactly two months from giving birth, too. 'Course we're all helping.

Just like the first Thanksgiving feast back in cold and snowy Massachusetts. That dinner featured folks giving thanks for the bounty of the feast, produced with their own labor, and thanking God for being safely together to enjoy it. Family and friends, neighbors...Pilgims and Indians.

Its a little different for us in 2007 though. In America we have an abundance of food, but very little of it is grown by our countrymen. We get it from the supermarket or from take out places and frequently do little other than reheat what somebody else already prepared. I wonder what the pilgrims would have thought of the microwave oven? Thanksgiving day parades? Football games on HDTV? (Probably have jumped for joy). Still, a feast is a feast be it in the seventeenth or twenty first century. Except of course, for the turkey. For some, nothing has changed at all.

Did you know that Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be our national symbol? Oh, come on, give the guy a break. He said some great stuff, invented the lightning rod and the Franklin stove and the hundred dollar bill. Okay, I made that one up. He didn't invent the hundred dollar bill. But he did say, "guests and fish smell after three days." So, I guess its a good thing that Thanksgiving is a one day feast!

Live long and prosper.

PS Franklin also said, "The early bird get the worm."
I'm having waffles, what about you?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Weekend Update

Hello Bloggers. Well, we had quite a week end. It was our screening Week end for the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival. That's when the three judges come to town and view all the submissions of the artists hoping to make it into the show in March. This year we had nearly fourteen hundred artists applying, each one submitting the four required examples of their own specific artwork in the various categories (such as painting, jewelry, watercolor, metal, fiber, wood, mixed media, clay, digital, sculpture, etc). This year, for the first time in our 49 year history, we had no paper applications or slides to deal with (which used to be a horrific lot of work to organize for several dozen folks). All was submitted online to a company (Zapp) that manages art festival submissions via computers. All artwork submissions were digitally rendered and were shown on four screens for the judges on computerized (digital) projectors.

Danny was the board member responsible for the screening process. He was at city hall from seven thirty in the morning until seven Saturday night when they finished viewing the approx. six thousand slides. Long day, but worth making the leap to the 21st century.

After screening was done, we attended the traditional judges (dinner) party, attended by board and judges and always held in a board members home. Fun!

While Danny was hard at work on behalf of the WPSAF, I attended daughter Amy's baby shower, hosted by older sister "Aunt Laura". A terrific party, attended by about forty friends and family. Amy and Elias got a mountain of gifts for Baby Alex, too.

Today, Danny and I attended a dandy production of Gypsy at Rollins College's Annie Russell Theatre.

Tomorrow, the kitchen and bath guys are coming for a forth try at installing a set of frame less shower doors in the guest bath. The floor guys are starting the whole house floor renovations tomorrow as well, and the grout guy is coming Tuesday to repair the kitchen counter tops. Movin' along the renovation highway. Here's hopin' there are no more detours.

I sold a few books. Mine, of course. Live long and prosper.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Flights of Nancy

My books arrived today.

I was pretty pumped up when the UPS guy knocked, I opened the door, and there were a couple of big boxes full of my very own published works. I did what I suppose might pass for a passable jig in very dim light in a small town somewhere in the world that hadn't seen even a second rate production of Riverdance. I'm not much of a dancer when it involves moving feet, but the joy was there none the less. I sat down and read my book cover to cover. It looks different when its actually on a printed book size page in your hand instead of on a computer screen. I've read the manuscript many many times throughout the writing and editing and publishing process, but this time I really enjoyed reading it. Oh yeah, if I was writing it again, I'd change a few pieces of text and a character name or two but what author doesn't think that after the fact? All in all, I'm happy. If you like to read fiction, especially short stories loaded with imagination, humor, surprises, and some quirky characters you'll probably find something in the book to like.

It's for sale on for about twenty bucks. Cheap entertainment these days. Check it out. Make me happy. Buy a copy for a friend, your mom, whomever. It mails easy. Christmas is just around the corner, too.

Aside from being happy about the book, I spent most of the day languishing in bed with what I hope is a 24 hour crud bug. Apparently, it's going around. I read a Sci-Fi book, but...oh gosh...if you get the crud bug you could languish while reading my book! Okay, enough with the shameless self promotion.

For those of you reading this who regularly read my blog on Yahoo360 and have followed my house adventures and misadventures, my endless house renovations and frustrations are still continuing. I found out yesterday that it will cost 5 to 6,800K to replace my damaged tile kitchen counter tops with granite or quartz. (Gasp! Oh, the horror, the horror.) So, tomorrow a tile guy is coming out to give me the word on whether he can rescue and restore the tile instead. Dunno when I can actually schedule that if it is doable since the floor restoration work begins on Monday and should continue if all goes well until early December. So, maybe no pretty counter tops or workable cook top for Tiny Tim's turkey this year. Good thing I have daughters who cook and my mother's house to stay at!

All for now Bloggers. Live long and prosper.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

First Post

Hello Bloggers,

I'm expanding my Blog universe. I'm already on 360 as You can read several years worth of my almost daily postings there if you want to delve into my history and sometime histrionics. If not, well you can start anew right here. I hope you will enjoy my ramblings, excerpts from my 'fictional life', bits and bytes of my real life, and sometimes out and out ranting. I'm talky and, okay I admit it, opinionated.

I'm from Pennsylvania but live in Central Florida. Once a teacher and a psychometrist, I am now a writer of short fiction and poetry. I have a brand new book out as of last week, Flights of Nancy, available as of now on I've got a poetry collection almost completed and ready for publication. I'll occasionally post excerpts.

I've got a boyfriend, Danny, a Personal Trainer turned geek (Computer Information Technology). I also have three dogs: a Louisianna Catahoula Leopard Dog (Ginny), a half 'hoola half Rottweiler (Abby), and a bad to the bone Australian Cattle Dog (Chili). I call the dawgs the 'Mutley Crew' and as they would tell you if they could but type, I am a total dog codependant. That is an admission, not an apology. Dogs are good people.

My daughters, Laura and Amy are grown up ladies in their twenties and I am as Vera said in Auntie Mame, somewhere between forty and death. I am legally blond but can count dubba yous and dubba yous with the best of them.

I'm fond of chocolate and donuts, Italian and Mexican and Middle eastern crusine, probably because my family is English and German and Scottish--not people known for great dishes. (Think bangers and mash, blood sausages, haggis and oatmeal). I like watching films and reading mysteries and Sci- Fi when I'm not writing my own stuff. Used to swim and work out every day. Now, I'm somewhat of an energy conservationist. Sad, but true.

I'm a lapsed Republican who drives a red Volvo. I don't smoke or drink and I only tell lies when I think I can get away with it. I'm not much on sports: can't dance or bowl or play softball, but who wants to do those things anyway? I shot an arrow through a man's car window by accident the first time I tried, so I thought I better not try archery again, either.

I love theme parks (especially Roller coasters) the beach and the mountains, but I hate to travel on commercial airlines. Like to hang out with smart, quirky people with a keen sense of humor. Have no use for people who pick on other people.

All spiders should be sent out of this universe to another one far, far away. I never eat more than I can lift. Math is incomprehensible. Now you know everything you need to know about me. Check back and read future entries if you dare. Meanwhile, live long and prosper.