Sunday, June 28, 2009

Some new pictures with a few words

They say a picture is worth a thousand words but I don't have time for that today. The pictures however, should give you some insight regarding our recent daily life which has revolved around getting the Parakeet all primed and ready for our long upcoming Pennsylvania pilgrimage and being a happy part of Gavin Scott's first birthday party wherein he proved graphically that a lad can have his cake and eat it too. He ate it all and wore the icing nicely. Parakeet's outside shower came in handy for rinsing him off! Abby heroically and stoically endured wearing her satellite dish like e collar until her stitches and staples were ready for removal. Wasn't digital so she didn't pull in many stations, not even The Dog Whisperer or Animal Planet.

Aside from that I have been spending many happy hours at work on my dragon book project. It is good to be whooshing along at light speed again with the creative fuel burning. I think I finally have this book figured out.

Today, off to a friend's housewarming party. TTFN.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Just draggin' my heels in the sun

Here's some pictures from our Sea World excursion last week end. Pictured is our newest grandkid, PJ (age six) the son of my newish son-in-law, Paul. It was PJ's first time seeing the dolphins from an underwater vantage point. He was totally absorbed. There is nothing like seeing a place you've been many times before renewed through the kaleidoscope vision of a child. Believe me, it made the trudging through the nearly 100 degree heat and humidity worthwhile.

PJ, a budding photographer, actually took the first picture of a sea dragon on my Nikon. And speaking of dragon's, I am again working on the dragon story. This time, determined to finish it. With four grand children and Danny's little nieces and nephews to hopefully enjoy the book, I have no excuse not to finish! Yes, yes, I know that was a double negative. As Stephen King says, you can break the rules as long as you know them first. Or was that one of Jack Sparrow's lines? Nope, he said, 'hide the rum.' But, I digress.

It's too darn hot here and I am about to jump into the pool for a cool off. Before I go, here is a bit of the revised (again) story.

A long time ago, in a land now unknown

in an underground cave, lived a dragon half grown.

He was twenty feet long from his tail to his head.

His eyes in the darkness glowed fiery red.

The spikes on his tail were cerulean blue.

His wings were bright yellow, a beautiful hue.

The scales on his back were deep purple and green.

Though he looked very fearsome, he wasn’t so mean.

But dragons you know have a terrible 'rep'.

When they get around people they must watch their step,

For humans, through history, have proven to be

the dragons,implacable, dread enemy.

This fledgling dragon grew up on his own

as the name of his sire he never had known

and his mother was murdered, t'is sad to relate,

by a renegade knight who’s heart burned with hate.

A fierce dragon had eaten his cattle and sheep

torched his house and his family while they lay asleep

so he vowed he'd hunt dragons and kill every one

whether ice, sea, or fire, ancient or young.

The wee dragon's mother went flying one day

when knight was out hunting and glanced up her way.

Though she'd not done him harm he tracked her to lair

and in front of her hatch ling he slaughtered her there.

He'd have killed her child too but with her final breath

she burned up his sword, melted mail from his chest.

He ran shrieking away and he never came back

so the poor orphaned dragon survived the attack.

Through gloomy old chambers, he roamed all alone

reading sagas and histories and dragony tomes.

There were volumes on magic. He studied these too,

and the years kept on passing as the dragon child grew.

Here's another rough draft I wrote yesterday just before dinner that may or may not make it into the book. This is totally unedited, so give me a break on this one.

Even before The Beginning

He soared skyward towards the setting sun, amber wings flapping as the breeze caressed his iridescent emerald and purple scales with delicate fingers. He banked then rolled on the thermals, coasting towards the distant mountain peaks of Hibernia crowned in bluish-green haze.

“Yo ho yo ho,” he sang in a surprisingly tenor tone, “It's a dragon's life for me. Give me a sheep, a cow from the keep, and a summons from over the sea.Accounts of my demise are falsehoods and lies, told by humbugs, and tinkers and thieves.Its a dragons life, tho its one of strife, its a dragons life for me.”

Far below him on the edge of the darkening wood, a lone rider looked up in surprise at the sound, shielding his eyes from the glare with a mailed arm. Quickly, he reached down to pull a crossbow already loaded with a lethal looking barbed arrow from some sort of odd looking gear strapped to his mount.

As the dragon swooped lower, the man raised his bow and fired the arrow which whizzed through the air just to the left of the dragon's scaly right cheek.

“Whoops,” said the beast in perfect English, plucking the arrow from the air with a curved claw. He tossed it aside where it sank towards the earth below. “Missed me. Big mistake.” He sucked in a mighty gulp of already overheated summer air, turned his muzzle downward and blew it out accompanied by a flame.

“Yikes,” screamed the man as his horse bolted into the woods.

The dragon laughed as he torched a tree on the edge of the forest. He circled back toward the direction in which the rider had fled, cocking his head at the sound of shod hooves breaking bracken and fallen limbs as the man and rider galloped deeper into the wood. “Yo ho yo ho,” he sang, Its a dragon's life for me. Give me a horse keboob, a roasted knight, and a merrily burning tree.”

Hovering just above the treeline, he heard the sound of the horse's hooves growing fainter. “Missed you, you bugger” he sighed. “fair enough I suppose though, since you missed me.” He gulped a growing fireball back into his throat and burped smoke as he turned to resume his flight to the mountains. “Your pardon,” he said to no one in particular. Very rude burping without even a good meal to account for it.”

Somewhere, faintly, he could hear a sound that reminded him of someone knocking on a wooden door. He looked below. “No house there,” he mused. Not even a woodcutters cottage. Thus no doors. No knocking. No people. No danger. Probably just a woodpecker. On a rotten tree. Therefore, I shall resume my journey.” Flapping a wing, he began to hum again.

“Yo ho, yo ho, a dragon's life is fun. Give me a fight, mighty roar, a light and the silly men will run.” There was a ping, and a whoosh, and the dragon lurched to the left. “Ouch,” he said turning to look at an arrow sticking from his side. Another ping brought another another arrow this one in the wing, and he began to fall. “Oh no, he said, “there was more than one hunter. I should have remembered, Mother always said to look both ways before flying.”As the earth reached up to break his fall, he heard again the sound of someone knocking somewhere below.

Live long and prosper. TTFN

Friday, June 19, 2009

Homefront Update

Hiya Bloggers,

Here's some recent pictures of the grandchildren: Bailey, Gavin (with pal Cali), and Alex.

I've been silent awhile I know, with some legitimate excuse. Yes, I've been busy, but its also been so darn hot that I've been a bit on the lazy side as well. I have woken up with a sinus /pressure headache more days this month than I would like to remember and I admit to wasting way too much time playing on Facebook. (Wastebook?) I have become the queen of silly quizzes. But, in my own defense I am also planning a driving trip to Pennsylvania to place my mother's ashes in the grave in the little historical cemetery in the mountains as per her request. I am in the process of updating a 15 year old will, setting up a trust, and possibly most interestingly am climbing over my writing block to work on a project that's been sitting unfinished for several years.

I have been doing some fun stuff too: we took the Winnebago to Cocoa Beach last Sunday for example. We were able to park in the city lot on the beach right behind RonJon's mega store. Shopped Ron Jon's. Walked the very crowded beach for about an hour n a half, went in the 80 surf long enough to submerge self and worry about Jaws (for me that takes less than five minutes), then returned to the Parakeet to shower, don makeup and nicer clothes and go to our favorite Cocoa Beach restaurant, Silvestros, for truly amazing lentil and sausage soup and spinach and ricotta stuffed ravioli.

At the beginning of the week I took daughter Laura, son-in-law Paul, and beautiful Baby Bailey Brown to lunch and then shopped for new baby clothes for BB and books for older brother PJ. Bailey is growing so quickly as babies do. She is three months old this week.

This week end we are getting Danny the new iPhone. He's been drooling over the idea all week. On Sunday, we plan to take Laura and family to Sea World. Upcoming: Baby Gavin's first birthday party on June 26 followed by our writing mentor's housewarming party the following day.

Random thoughts:

What is a four letter word that actually has more than four letters? DEVELOPER. People in Florida will get this.

The situation in Iran has made me think back to the 'revolution' of thirty years ago when the Shah was ousted and the Ayatollah took over. The major difference now is that back in 1979, the government forces could suppress the media. Now, technology has made that impossible. So, Twitter is validated as something more than a silly social indulgence. My thumbs up to those Iranians who line the streets and squares in protest of the phony election. In a country where you can be executed or simply shot for those actions they are especially courageous.

Must get back to my chores. Live long and prosper.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Just a Creature Feature

Abby and Ginny got ticks while we were walking in the Wekiva National Forest last week end. While on a tick hunt, I discovered a suspicious lump on Abby's flank. I took her to the vet on Monday and he said the lump was the kind that had to come off asap. He did a needle biopsy and sent the thing off to a lab and called on Wednesday to say there were some 'bad cells'. She had the lumpectomy on Friday. We're hoping for the best outcome since she is only six pushing seven. The vet hospital sent her home Friday night without an e-collar and dang if she didn't bite out three stitches as soon as the effects of surgery meds wore off. Saturday morning we took her back to the vet where he put in three staples and a grande e-collar. She hates the e-collar. We went to Petsmart and purchased a blow up soft collar for $34.00. She was happier with that...especially since she was still able to get at her wound. So it was back to the hard plastic e-collar until her stitches come out in another week and a half. We tried Bitter Apple spray on the wound too which unfortunately didn't stop her efforts at stitch and staple removal.

Meanwhile back at the homestead I bought a kitchen trash can that has a lockable 'dog proof' top. While walking Chili this morning, Dumpster Diva Ginny defeated the lock and ate some very old pistacio nuts. I called the vet who said they are not toxic. Insert deep sigh here. With the dogs, its is always something!

Chili is actually behaving herself at the moment. But, being a rascally cattle dog, its only a matter of time. As Danny says, the Australian Cattle Dog completely ruins (dominates) your life and endears itself to you at the same time.

The hot weather seems to be binging lots of unwanted critters to visit: Aside from the disgusting ticks, I've killed more flies, roaches, spiders, and earwigs recently than I'd like to see in a decade. Have encountered several (Or maybe the same one, who can tell?) black snakes prowling around the garage and front door this week as well. I hope that doesn't mean the ratons and ratoncitos are back.

Time to feed the Mutley Crew. Ta.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Dog day Afternoon

We went to visit Stephen, Casey and Baby Gavin in Lakeland last Sunday. We took Chili with us. Chili really was extremely well behaved, I gotta admit. About an hour after we got there Casey started talking about how she wanted a dog. Well, I dunno if we can really credit Chili with the next day's event, but Casey, Steven and Gavin went to the local shelter and got a dog. As you can see from the pictures above Cali really is a cutie! Both Stephen and Casey had dogs at home as kids, so I reckon they know what they are getting into. I think every kid should grow up with a dog. Gavin seems to agree.