Entries 525 - 501

ENTRY #525
DATE:  01/28/17 (Saturday)
SUBJECT:  Mexico Tipico in Milford!!!

     WOOOHOOOOOOO!!! I've found my new Happy Place! Click the link below to check it out... (The web site is still under construction but I'm posting it here anyway.)

Mexico Tipico - Milford, CT

     Adrienne and I ate there earlier this evening and the food was amazing! I'm proud of myself too! I stuck, pretty much, to my diet. I ordered the Taco Salad with chicken. We both ordered dessert also... but at least my entree was as healthy as possible, LOL.
     Their prices are great too, especially considering the size of the portions you get! Between a round of drinks, an appetizer platter, two entrees, two desserts and coffee afterwards... the tab was only $63.00. That's pretty damn good!
     Ayuh, a new Happy Place, for sure!!!

ENTRY #524
DATE:  01/23/17 (Monday)
SUBJECT:  "Guilty Pleasures"...

     Throughout the last day or two, The Friar and I have had an email-conversation about joy and happiness... and I asked him what "guilty pleasures" he enjoys to escape from work, work, work. His reply to me was, "Let me think." I told him that made me sad, that he had to actually think about it.
     Although, now that I'm sitting here, I find myself thinking about it as well. Now, don't get me wrong, I know what makes me happy and what brings joy into my life. But "Guilty Pleasures" run a little deeper; they're more private, I guess. To me, anyways. They're the kinds of things not everyone knows about me. Maybe that's how it is with everyone, I dunno. LOL, maybe that's why he said, "let me think." Perhaps he does know - without having to think about it - but found them to private to share, who knows.
     Here's a list of some of mine - in no particular order - that I came up with right away, off the top of my head. (As more come to me - as I'm sure they will - I'll add them to this list)...
     1.  Back rubs and foot massages! Both receiving them and giving them. What can I say? I enjoy making people moan; It's a good sound, LOL!
     2.  Driving around aimlessly at night - for hours - blasting my favorite tunes from my MP3 player! I know I'm burning up gas and wasting time... but, honestly, I'm having the time of my life!
     3.  Lounging in my pajamas ALL WEEKEND LONG when I know I should be running errands, doing housework, or getting the laundry done!
     4.  A really good Red Sox and/or Patriots game. Whether I'm rooting them on, or chewing them out for screwing up a play, I LOVE to scream at my television during a really good game!!!
     5.  Potato Pancakes!!! But I make mine with Mac n' Cheese, crumbled bacon-bits, and chopped onions mixed in! Fried to a medium-brown crisp on the outside; soft and mushy on the inside... with some finely-chopped jalapenos sprinkled on top for a little kick! Wooohooooo... heavenly!
     6.  A "peanut butter, Fluff and Nutella" sandwich with slices of banana in the middle! OMG, I can feel myself gaining weight just thinking about it... but I can eat that, and that alone, all day long!
     7.  An ice-cold beer in a chilled mug with a thick, foamy head on top on a hot, hot summer day! Need I say more???
     8.  Cemeteries! I know I've mentioned this before but I don't think I've made it quite clear how much I enjoy walking around in them. And that's with, or without, the camera! I, literally, lose myself in a cemetery. It might only feel like a half-hour to me but, in reality, when I get back to the truck, sometimes 3, 4, even 5 hours have gone by. LOL, as long as I don't have to pee, I'm good; I can stay there all day!
     9.  Sitting in a church. After the Mass... after all the people have filed out... after the Priest heads to the sacristy to disrobe.... there are those few brief moments when I have the place all to myself, so to speak. It's my "Me & Three" time. It's perfectly still... absolutely no sound... beautiful lighting... peace, calm, quiet. That is a moment well spent!
     10.  A good smellin' man! As long as he doesn't drowned himself in an entire bottle of it, I absolutely love cologne on a man! Or a splash of after-shave! Or even the combined aromas of his normal, "every day" stuff -- his soap, shampoo, toothpaste, mouth wash, shaving cream, deodorant, even his laundry detergent, LOL. Oh yeah, good stuff! The thousands of designer fragrances out there for men nowadays are OK... but I tend to go "old school" when it comes to my favorites... like Drakkar Noir... Catalyst by Halston... Aramis... Canoe... Colors by Benetton... and, oh yeah, Old Spice makes the list too!
     11.  ???  Coming Soon! For now, those first 10 will have to do 'til I dig a little deeper.

ENTRY #523
DATE:  01/20/17 (Friday)
SUBJECT:  Hitler moves into the White House...

     Trump. In the White House. Running the country. Oh my... It's a sad, sad day...
     Between his derogatory comments about women, his racist remarks about basically everyone who's not blond-haired and blue-eyed, his idiotic talk about constructing a wall between the US and Mexico, his ridiculous plans to deport millions of people... and now he wants to see Military Parades held across the country??? Is he kidding with this shit??? He's Hitler reincarnated!
     He's a power-hungry, money-hungry, faithless, conniving, trash-talking, ignorant Jackass with a bad comb-over and a severe God complex! It disturbs me, greatly, knowing that a person with those character flaws -- who says things like, "I don't understand the point of having all these nuclear weapons, if we don't get to use them," - is now living in the White House. I think he's terrifying!
     Already, he's making it harder for lower-income families to find housing; he wants to end Obama Care which will destroy millions of lives; he thinks it's OK for Industry to go back to dumping their waste into the water and to pump their toxins into the air. He thinks it's OK for hospitals to turn people away simply because they're gay, or Pharmacists to turn people away because they're Trans, or lawyers/doctors/real estate agents/banks to turn people away because of their religious beliefs, etc., etc.... And have you heard him trying to quote the Bible??? Good grief, what a joke!!! He's diabolical. He's going to kill us all.
     What ever happened to "LIFE, LIBERTY, and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS?" Every time he opens his mouth, he basically defecates all over the Declaration of Independence.... and, while he's at it, he might as well take a ferry over to Liberty Island and piss directly on the Statue of Liberty!
     I think the people who voted for Trump simply voted for Trump because they know nothing about Trump. They say, "Oh, but he's a brilliant business man, he'll do a great job!" Um, really? A brilliant business man?? Trump??? No he's not. He's filed bankruptcy more times than I can count. If he's struggled to keep his own companies afloat, how the hell can he run an entire country?
     Y'all need to go to Barnes & Noble and buy a Trump biography. Just make sure the book was published BEFORE he ever set foot into the political arena. Read everything you can about the man. You'll soon learn that his personal life totally contradicts just about every word he spoke during his entire campaign, including all this "American made" stuff he's now spewing...
     LOL, oh really, Donny? Put your money where your mouth is! Exactly how many designer suits in your wardrobe have a "Made in America" label? How many pairs of designer shoes do you wear that sport a "Made in the USA" stamp? What kind of cars do you park in your driveway? How many diamond-encrusted Rolex watches are in your collection? And how about all those designer companies that lease space in Trump Tower? Good grief, the list goes on and on...
     He's contradicting himself even now. He says it's OK for Industry to dump their waste into the water and air.... yet, at the same time, he's throwing around all this "American made" talk? Um, how is that gonna work? In time, once we're all wearing gas masks to breathe and starving because our water is poisoned, how is the "American made" Industry going to continue if the environment can't support it? I just don't get it. What is he thinking???
     IMPEACH, IMPEACH, IMPEACH!!! Granted, I don't think Pence would be much better... he's a tad "evil" (for lack of a better word) too. But at least he's smart. Trump is evil AND stupid! Not a good combination! God help us!
     This is why I read so much, LOL. Losing myself in a good book these days is much better than listening to the incessant Trumpisms being broadcast on every TV channel/radio station and web site.

ENTRY #522
DATE:  01/16/17 (Monday)
SUBJECT:  Headin' to Hamburg...(soon!)

     Ayuh, it's been long enough, dammit...
     Last week, I took a gigantic leap of faith. I just dove in with both feet, held my breath, and finally asked Marcel if he'd be open to the idea of me coming to see him for a couple days.
     I checked my mail the next morning at work. As I scrolled down the list of SPAM emails, his name jumped out at me and I saw "Visit" in the subject line. LOL, there was no way I could wait 'til I got home from work to read that one! I clicked on it, saw his one-line reply and immediately broke into the Happy Dance right there in the middle of our lobby. All he said was, "Sounds like a plan!" Those four little words sent me directly into the Happy Zone for the rest of the day!
     At first, we started talking about the end of March... but then I happened to realize that the end of March falls right in the middle of Lent so I asked if the end of April would be better instead. He agreed. Hopefully, during the first week of April, he'll be able let me know which days are best for him and I'll start makin' plans.
     So... in approximately three and a half months, I'll be driving to Hamburg. I'll arrive in Athol Springs. I'll eventually pull into a parking lot. I'll park and get out of the truck. And, only a few moments after that, I'll finally see my friend again. After all this time. My god, it's been almost fifteen years.
     Ayuh, it's definitely been long enough...

ENTRY #521
DATE:  01/12/17 (Thursday)
SUBJECT:  Happy Birthday to Me...

     I am 47 years old.
     They say you're only as old as you feel........ LOL, if that's true - after the day I had at work today - I might as well start diggin' my grave now. I'm gettin' a little tired of doing the work of four people, I really am.
     I'm exhausted. I'm going to bed.
     Happy birthday to me...

ENTRY #520
DATE:  01/06/17 (Friday)
SUBJECT:  A Confirmation (of sorts) of Everlasting Friendship...

     Listening to music, for me, has always been an outlet. Ever since I was a small child, music has always made an impression on me. I grew up listening to Jazz (because of my Dad) and Country and '50s Rock n' Roll (because of my Mom). Later on, I witnessed the birth of MTV - first hand - and completely immersed myself in the world of music videos... which obviously included many different genres. My current library of music is listed on my "Dove's Music" page. Though it's not as vast as I'd like it to be (I'm still working on it, LOL), it is a rather eclectic collection. I have American Standards, Rap, Jazz, '50s Rock n' Roll, Country, some movie sound tracks, some Broadway show tunes, Bounce, Rock, Hip-Hop, Metal, Folk, a couple Operas and even some Chant.
     Honestly, if you were to listen to my MP3 player in "Shuffle Mode" it would probably blow your mind. For instance... the first track might be Barbra Streisand singing about shopping in the "Supermarket in Old Peking." That could be followed by Big Freedia singing about how she wants us all to "Shake that Ass." Then Patsy Cline could come on explaining who she's looking for while she's out "Walkin' After Midnight," followed by - I dunno - Glenn Millers' "In the Mood." Then, all of a sudden, Will Smith could be rapping about "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It." Then Celine Dion might step up to the mic to tell us about how she "Drove All Night." LOL, it's definitely an interesting listening experience. Hell, even I can't handle my MP3 player on "Shuffle" 'cause there's certain music I need to be in a certain mood to listen too. This happened a couple weeks ago as I was out just driving around aimlessly...
     I was in the mood for some Adele. Big time! So I surfed to her album "19" and turned up the volume. Listened to the entire thing. Immediately following that, her album "21" started to play. "21" was released in 2010/2011... and that was a somewhat "dark" period in my life. I was still struggling with the loss of a friend and the cloud of loneliness and feelings of abandonment that followed said loss. When I first bought Adele's "21" CD, track four - a song entitled Don't You Remember - always tore me up inside. Whenever it played, it would remind me of that loss and I would just fall to pieces (to quote the late, great Patsy Cline, LOL). It eventually became a habit of mine to skip that song and just move on. On this particular night, though, I decided Screw it, I'll just let it play through. No matter what/who it reminds me of, no matter what period of my life it makes me revisit, it is a beautiful song...

Don't You Remember

When will I see you again?
You left with no goodbye...
Not a single word was said,
No final kiss to seal any sins.
I had no idea of the state we were in.

I know I have a fickle heart and a bitterness,
and a wandering eye, and a heaviness in my head...

But don't you remember?
Don't you remember
the reasons you loved me before?
Baby, please remember me... once more.

When was the last time you thought of me?
Or have you completely erased me from your memory?
I often think about where I went wrong...
The more I do, the less I know.

But I know I have a fickle heart and a bitterness,
and a wandering eye, and a heaviness in my head...

But don't you remember?
Don't you remember
the reasons you loved me before?
Baby, please remember me... once more.

Gave you the space so you could breathe;
I kept my distance so you would be free...
And hoped that you'd find the missing piece
to bring you back to me.

Why don't you remember?
Don't you remember
the reasons you loved me before?
Baby, please remember me... once more.

When will I see you again?

     ...and, yes, that damn song still makes me cry. But as I continued to drive around that night, while hitting "Repeat" a dozen times, I realized it's no longer the tormented cry it used to be. The song still holds a remembrance of the past, sure, but now it also offers feelings of hope for the future. So... ultimately, it was more of a "good" cry... and that's cool; I'll take it!
     I also experienced a brief recall that night -- just a quick flash from my memory of a shared conversation that took place years ago, well before my "dark" period struck. I can't even remember if it was in person or online or over the phone... but, during this conversation he called me "B-doll" a couple times. I had no idea what "B-doll" meant and, when I finally asked him about it, the only explanation he offered was, "See if you can find a Polish tape that has Baby Boll as a Polka." (That's how long ago this conversation was, LOL, he actually said "tape" not CD!) And I remembered either thinking, or saying out loud, "Um, Polka music? Really? Me?" LOL... that's all this flash of memory offered. Just a brief 10-second clip of that conversation.
     And I never bothered to hunt down that song he was talking about. I just never did it. I don't know why not. But I should have. Oh well... better late than never, I 'spose. But I digress...
     Anyway, since I was already in the truck driving around, I made a U-turn and off I went to Barnes & Noble in Westport. I soon found myself standing in front of the International Music section searching through numerous Polka CDs. Thankfully they didn't have that many... and of course the ones they did have in stock didn't help me 'cause none of the song titles mentioned "Baby Doll" at all. My luck changed at the Information Desk though. Once I explained what I was looking for, the woman helping me did a search for "Polka, Baby Doll." She finally said, "I just found a song actually called Baby Doll Polka. Is that the one?" I shrugged and asked, "Is that the only song you can find that has Baby Doll in it?" After ten more minutes of digging she finally said, "Yup, Baby Doll Polka, that's it." It's part of a "Greatest Hits V2" collection by Frankie Yankovic. They ordered it for me and said they'd call when it came in.
     That was almost two weeks ago. I finally called them today from work to see what was up with my order. Miraculously, they said, "Oh, that just came in today!" LOL, yeah, right, sure it did. It's probably been sitting there on a shelf for a week. Whatever. That's OK, at least it came in...
     I picked it up tonight after work.
     As I held it in my hand, my heart started to pound.
     "B-doll," I remembered... "B-doll? Why would he call me B-doll?" Over time, he eventually started calling me Luv and it always made me smile. B-doll, though, that was something new. And he never said it again, only during that one conversation (that I could recall, anyway).
     Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump -- my heart still pounding as I walked across the parking lot to my truck.
     I flipped the CD over. Sure enough, there it was, Baby Doll Polka, track 14.
     My god, why is my heart pounding? What the hell?
     I tore the shrink-wrap off the CD.
     Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump...
     Dammit! No CD player in the truck. Only the ports for the MP3 player!
     I opened the case. No booklet! No song lyrics included either! Dammit!
     Drove all the way home before I could play this song!
     Heart pounding the entire way, so hard - in fact - I could actually feel it's pulse in my throat and in my ears, drumming away.
     Home at last! Turn the computer on! Feed the cats. Must feed the cats first!
     Why "Baby Doll?" It was just so unusual... so out of character for him. And why the hell was it affecting me like this, after all this time? It felt like something major was about to happen but I couldn't imagine what. It's just a song, what's the big deal?
     In one sweeping motion I sat down in front of my computer, hit the button to open the CD-ROM drive, stuck the disc in and closed it again.
     Windows Media Player came up and after a few moments...
     Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump!
     Dammit, calm down!
     ...the track listing came up. There it was, Baby Doll Polka. Right at my fingertips, just waiting for me to double-click on it.
     I RIPPED the entire CD onto my hard-drive first so it would become a permanent part of my Library, then put the CD away.
     My god, this was crazy. Metaphorically, it felt as if I was about to receive a message from the grave, LOL. And, I suppose - in a way - I was. A message from a time long ago, from a past I thought was dead? OK, so maybe that's not the greatest metaphor but y'know what I mean!
     OK, Dove, get a grip. Just hit play. It's as simple as that. Go ahead. Just double-click on the song title.
     Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump!
     I double-clicked... after a 30-second Polka music Intro, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. By the third line - in the very first stanza - the tears brimmed over and I released the breath I didn't even realize I'd been holding. That same exhalation contained the words, "My god, he loved me; he did love me after all!" The tears continued to flow during the rest of the song but, at the same time, I was beaming from ear-to-ear. I could not stop smiling as I listened to the rest of it...

Baby Doll Polka

You are my Baby Doll;
you are my Baby Doll.
You are my Baby Doll;
you're my Darling now.

Don't you cry my Baby Doll;
don't you cry my Baby Doll.
Don't you leave me, Baby Doll;
you're my Sweet Heart now.

You are my Baby Doll,
you are my Baby Doll;
You are my Baby Doll;
you're my Darling now.

Don't you cry my Baby Doll;
Don't you cry my Baby Doll.
Don't you leave me, oh, Baby Doll;
you're my Sweet Heart now.

     This ridiculously simple, [annoyingly] repetitive song... has got such a wonderfully sweet-natured, puppy love-type, child-like innocence to it....... I've listened to it sixteen times since I arrived home this evening. It's filled my heart with such joy I still can't stop smiling! It's confirmed what I had always wondered about, what I had always hoped was true back then. We were close. I was considered a friend. He did love me. It was never a one-sided friendship. I didn't force it on him, as I had been led to believe. It wasn't all in my head; it wasn't just my imagination after all. Our friendship was true. He, apparently, had felt it too...
     I'll never know exactly what he was thinking when he suggested I track down this song. It could've been his way of telling me he loved me. Maybe he was too embarrassed or shy to say it directly. Maybe he thought I'd take it the wrong way. And, of course, the possibility exists that it was the last song he heard that day, right before talking to me, so the little ditty was trapped in the forefront of his mind, and "B-Doll" just slipped out by mistake. Regardless, he told me to find this song for some reason. No matter what his reason was, my heart understood it the way my heart needed to understand it. It's restored a lot of peace. It's restored a lot of memories that I no longer have to second-guess. It's restored a lot of belief in the friendship we once shared.
     LOL, as for the rest of the songs on the CD, well... y'know... it's Polka music. Actually, the CD is half Polkas and half Waltzes. It's not that I don't enjoy Polka music; I do. I enjoy all music that moves me, whether it's mentally, emotionally or physically... and Polka music definitely moves me, at least physically. The thing is though...
     There are two sounds that I absolutely hate. One is a pasture full of agitated, braying donkeys. The second one is a wailing, screaming infant - especially in a restaurant when I'm trying to eat my dinner. Both sounds drive me insane!!! They drive me to the point of fantasy where I get to shoot all the donkeys (and that's saying something 'cause I AM an animal lover), and/or I get to lock the wailing, screaming infant in the trunk of my car!
     Now, humor me for a minute. This is where YOU, my readers, get to participate! In your own minds, take those two sounds and merge them together as one! Go ahead, do it, I'll wait......................   OK, got it? It's awful, isn't it?!?!? Worse, even, than an entire classroom of kids dragging ALL their fingernails down the chalk-board! It makes me want to run far, far away clamping my hands over both ears in order to keep my head from exploding!
     Getting back to where I left off with, "The thing is though..." This braying donkey/screaming infant/nails-on-chalk-board sound is exactly what I hear whenever I try to listen to the Accordion. It's an instrument I didn't grow up listening to so I never became accustomed to it. It's a sound my ear was just never trained to appreciate. And, to this day, when an Accordion starts to play, Dove flees the scene to seek out a safe-warm-place, LOL.
     Polka music - as far as the Accordion goes - isn't too bad, since all the instruments blend together creating a unique sound that enables me to bounce around in enjoyment while I'm car-dancing! The Waltzes, though, um, that's another story. The Accordion becomes the dominant instrument and I... just... can't... take it. Nope! Can't do it.
     I've already loaded the entire Frankie Yankovic CD onto my MP3 player... even the Waltzes, LOL. I figure if I continue to expose my ear to it maybe, just maybe, I can learn to appreciate the Accordion in time. We'll see...
     And as for Adele... she opens and closes "Don't You Remember?" with the same question, "When will I see you again?" That same question has been whispering through my mind, haunting me, for what feels like eons now. It's been long enough, dammit...

ENTRY #519
DATE:  01/01/17 (Sunday)
SUBJECT:  My New Year's Resolution...

     Happy New Year!!! I can't believe it's 2017 already!
     I usually don't bother with making "Resolutions" but this year I absolutely must! I have to do something about my weight. Good Lord!!! Today, for some reason, I stepped on my scale. It's probably been about four years (maybe longer) since I've weighed myself and I was appalled when the scale's dial FINALLY stopped spinning...
     I'm 246 pounds, LOL. Ayuh, you did, indeed, read that correctly -- two hundred and forty six pounds. Holy Smokes!!! I'm a heart attack waiting to happen! No wonder I'm exhausted all the time... it's not from my job (although it is physically demanding), it's from hauling around all this me. Yikes!
     That horrible triple-digit number prompted me to dig out some old photographs from high school. Throughout those four years, my weight would fluctuate up and down about fifteen pounds depending on what time of year it was. All through high school I was usually somewhere between 120 and 135... and after reviewing those photographs all these years later, y'know what??? Back then - and I'm not saying I was a Super Model by any means - but I was kind'a hot. Had a tight, little butt you could bounce quarters off from being on the Volleyball team for two years. Had decent lookin' legs from years of horseback riding. Good posture. Long, blonde hair and a decent smile. And no real need for shoulder-pads even though that was the "style" back then. Hey, it was the Eighties, what can I say? LOL
     Now flash forward 30+ years... in comparing my mid-Eighties weight of 120 to my current weight.... um... LOL... there's, literally, TWO of me now. I'm a set of twins in one body! At this point, I'm actually a bit shocked I don't have small children and stray animals orbiting around me because they've been pulled into my gravitational field, LOL.
     Thankfully, I don't have the same problem that lots of other women seem to have... when some women gain weight, they'll gain most of it in one specific area... either in their butts, or in their hips and thighs, or in their guts. When I pack on the pounds, I tend to gain it everywhere so it's evenly dispersed. I guess that's what the phrase "But you carry it so well" is supposed to mean when folks offer up that line, as if it's going to make me feel all better, LOL. Whether I "carry it well" or not isn't the problem. The problem is I shouldn't be carrying it AT ALL...
     So, yeah, I gotta do something about this before I end up in the hospital after some inevitable cardiac event. Diabetes is also a concern, since it does run in the family on my father's side. Goody, goody! No more burgers. No more french fries. No more pizza. No more pasta. No more [*gasp*] chocolate!!! Ohhhh, the horror!
     [*sigh*]  "Diet" is die with a T... :-(
     Wish me luck!!!

ENTRY #518
DATE:  12/30/16 (Friday)
SUBJECT:  Brief Update on Mom...

     My mother had surgery on December 16th to remove the colon cancer. That was two weeks ago today... and she's doing very well. She's still experiencing quite a bit of Post-Op pain but that's to be expected. And I'm thrilled to report that the surgeon believes her to be Cancer-Free at this time!!! No need for Chemo!!!
     If that's not a Christmas Miracle, I don't know what is!

ENTRY #517
DATE:  12/25/16 (Sunday)
SUBJECT:  Merry Christmas...

     Just a quick note to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Hope you have a wonderful holiday!!!

ENTRY #516
DATE:  11/27/16 (Sunday)
SUBJECT:  The Gate of Heaven Cemetery...


     Good grief!!! I just got home from another visit to the Gate of Heaven cemetery in Trumbull...
     The last time I was there was back in October, around the middle of the month. During that visit, I couldn't help noticing that people were leaving pumpkins on some of the graves. Makes sense, considering what time of year it is. And it's actually kind'a pretty. Some of them are of the little Gourd variety... but most of them are rather large, regular-sized pumpkins. In fact I even spotted a few that were carved for Halloween that actually had real candles in them and/or solar-powered candles. That's pretty too, especially around 3:30-4:00pm when the sun starts to set.
     Now though, after a few frosts, many of the pumpkins - especially the ones that were carved - are starting to wilt and rot... making them not so pretty anymore. And that's fine; I really don't have a problem with that. The ground-keepers will be collecting most of those soon according to the signs that have been posted throughout the place.
     Because there are hundreds of pumpkins laying about, their scent is now attracting more than a few deer. After walking the perimeter of the place, I found at least two different spots the deer are using to come and go out of the cemetery. And, from the tracks I counted, they are basically showing up in small herds. They're splitting open the pumpkins and feeding on them... which means there is now pumpkin-guts spread all over the place. It's quite messy but, other than that, I honestly don't have a problem with that either. At least the deer have a quiet, safe place to eat where they don't have to worry about getting shot at [since this is hunting season]. Winter is coming and they're taking advantage of the ample food supply while it lasts. Fine. I get it. No problem with that at all.
     However, what I DO have a problem with is the fact that the deer are defecating all over people's grave markers!!! Oh. My. God. It's pretty gross. (Not to mention rude, LOL.) But, hey, deer are deer, and if ya gotta go, ya gotta go. But I fear this could lead to an even bigger problem. For the last ten years, the Black Bear population in Connecticut has been climbing significantly. There have been many Black Bear sightings/complaints in the town of Trumbull. Between the scent of rotting pumpkins and now the widely-spread scatterings of deer-droppings in this cemetery, it's just a matter of time before the Black Bear move in and make it a regular feeding ground as well. This isn't cool.
     For now, dealing with the deer-droppings, though it is kind'a gross, isn't too bad. Since deer-droppings are little pellets you can, pretty much, kick them aside - off the grave markers - into the grass fairly easily. But I gotta tell ya, if the day ever comes when I have to bring a SHOVEL with me to remove heaping, steaming mounds of bear scat off the couple grave markers I visit regularly, I will not be very happy! I mean, seriously, I gotta draw the line somewhere, LOL.

ENTRY #515
DATE:  11/26/16 (Saturday)
SUBJECT:  50 entries have been archived...

A note to my regular readers/visitors:   I spent most of the morning today doing some site maintenance here. Entries 451 thru 500 have been archived to pages of their own. You can now find them located at the bottom of this page under the appropriate links. Just thought I'd let y'all know!

ALSO:   Just a friendly reminder to you all.... if you come across any typos or dead links, please let me know so I can correct them! Thanks!!!

ENTRY #514
DATE:  11/24/16 (Thursday)
SUBJECT:  Gobble, Gobble!!!

     Just a quickie today... I've got phone calls to make, a Jeep to load up, and much food to eat... But I wanted to give a quick shout-out to everyone for the holiday...

Happy Thanksgiving to All...

Have fun, be safe, laugh long, love longer, hug tight and eat much! Cheers!!!

ENTRY #513
DATE:  11/22/16 (Tuesday)
SUBJECT:  JEEP ROMULUS is in my driveway!!!

     Left work at 5:00pm today and went directly to North Haven to finish up the paperwork on the Jeep and have the plates transferred. Good grief! The traffic was ridiculous. I guess the Thanksgiving holiday traffic has already begun. It took a little over an hour to get there. Then it took another hour to get back home. By the time I pulled it into my driveway, I was starving - not to mention exhausted - so I didn't even bother loading it up with all the stuff I had to clean out of the Kia.
     My Mom called at 8:30 this evening to see how I made out and I said, "Everything's cool. It's in the driveway." I told her about the names I was thinking about too -- Baby Jane, Jonah, Augustus, Rocky and Romulus. She wasn't crazy about Baby Jane at all, LOL, but she was, like, "What was that last one again?" and I said, "Romulus?" and she said, "Yeah... Romulus. I like that one," so JEEP ROMULUS it is! The name actually means man of Rome or founder of Rome... although, being the smart-ass that I am, since it's a Jeep - and great for going "off road" - I am changing Rome (as in the country) to ROAM (as in exploring the wilderness). Ha-ha-ha! ;-)
     This Jeep has got some serious "get-up-and-go." It's got much bigger balls than the Kia, that's for sure. Whenever I touch the gas pedal my head whips back against the head-rest so I've definitely gotta get my foot acclimated to that pretty quick. Maybe we'll close the shop early tomorrow.... if we do, I'll probably take it out cruising for a while.
     Since I still don't have a digital camera, the only pics I have of the Jeep are ones I've swiped directly from the web site. Click the link below to see my new ride...

Dove's New 2016 Jeep Renegade.

ENTRY #512
DATE:  11/21/16 (Monday)
SUBJECT:  The Jeep is Mine!!!

     As planned, I went to the bank this morning, first thing to get some cash for the down payment. But then I realized I still owed taxes on the Kia so I had to stop at my house, pick up the tax bill, then stop at Town Hall to take care of that. So, because of the extra stop, I never made it to the dealership until 10:00am this morning.
     I gave them twenty-five hundred in cash, and they gave me twenty-five hundred for the Kia so my total down-payment was five grand. The MSRP was $19,900.00... plus taxes, registration and all the paperwork fees AND an additional warranty I purchased separately... that brought it up to about $23,000.00... minus the down-payment I ended up financing $18,000.00. I now have a monthly car payment of $362.00 for the next 72 months. Hey, it is what it is. It's still cheaper than what the Kia cost me seven years ago so I'm definitely not complaining!!!
     The deal is done; the Jeep is mine... but I wasn't able to drive it home today because Motor Vehicles is closed on Mondays and we have to wait for them to update my tax info in their system in order for them to put the registration through. So, after work tomorrow, I'll be heading back out to North Haven to have the plates transferred from my car to the Jeep... and I have a few more things to sign and then I'll be bringing it home!!!
     But I still haven't decided on a name! Out of the four I came up with yesterday, I've narrowed it down to two. "Rocky" is my first choice; "Romulus" is my second. But now I'm also considering naming it after my Mom... "Baby Jane" maybe. Not sure yet.

ENTRY #511
DATE:  11/20/16 (Sunday)
SUBJECT:  I'm Looking at a Jeep Renegade Tomorrow!!!

     I found another "Crystal" (gun-metal gray) Jeep Renegade online today. It's in North Haven at the Executive Jeep/Nissan dealership. It's been sitting on their lot for months, but it's still brand new. It's a 2016, 9-speed automatic, 4-wheel drive beauty!!! It was originally listed at $24,400.00... but they're having a Black Friday Sale until November 30th... and it's been marked down to $19,900.00. Soooo, I called my boss and left him a voicemail, then I also sent him a txt message asking if I could take tomorrow off so I could drive out there, take a look at it, test drive it, and possibly bring it home. He finally got back to me this evening at 8:30 saying that taking tomorrow is fine. But he also asked IF I finished up early enough if I'd mind still coming in to work so he could leave early to head to his other business he runs down in Wilton. To that I said, "Perfect! Thanks! I'll let you know as soon as possible!"
     First thing in the morning, I'm heading to the bank to take out some cash for a down payment... then I'm heading straight to North Haven to look at, hopefully, my new vehicle. Wish me luck!
     For some reason I like to name my cars. Y'know, just like people name their boats. Let's see... my very first car was a Chevy Cavalier Z24. She was sapphire blue and fully loaded! I used to call that one "Tipton," which is a shade of blue lighting they use for stage-lighting in the theater. My second car was a Chevy Corsica and her name was "Ruthie," after Stephen King's mother. My next car was the Kia Rio which was a total lemon so I used to call that one "P-O-S" (which, or course, stood for "piece of shit"). My fourth car was the black Kia Spectra which I called "Sally" but I can't remember why. And my fifth car - which is the one I'm currently driving - is a silver Kia Spectra and her name is "Megan," after Megan Mullally (from the show Will & Grace)...
     Those were all sedans. Now that I might be buying a JEEP, I'm kind'a thinking this one should have a male name. LOL, am I crazy or what?!?!? :-) I have a couple ideas but I just can't decide between them.... I really like "Augustus" and "Romulus." But I also like "Rocky" (as in Balboa), and "Jonah," from the Bible. They're all strong, rugged, don't-mess-with-me sounding names and I just can't make up my mind. I 'spose I should just wait and see if I even bring the damn thing home before I try to give it a name, LOL...
     Ayuh... OK, I'll admit it. I am crazy. But, hey, life's more fun this way!

ENTRY #510
DATE:  11/20/16 (Sunday)
SUBJECT:  My Obsession with Socks...

     OK... so... yeah... I have an obsession with socks. Always have. Don't know why. Socks and pajamas... but mostly socks. I had no idea, though, until yesterday how extreme my obsession is. I'm still laughing about the 111 pairs I washed at my Mom's house, LOL.
     I have your basic socks... like white, gray, brown, black and navy blue.... that's a given. But my actual obsession is with funny colored socks...
     I have Christmas socks. I have Easter socks. I have Winter socks with snowflakes on them and others with snowmen. I have Halloween socks and St. Patrick's Day socks. I have Boston Red Sox socks and New England Patriots socks. Then I have a variety of socks that are patterned with either flowers, leaves, stars, polka dots, and stripes (horizonal and vertical)! I have checkered socks, plaid socks and paisley socks! I even have socks that have individual toes (like gloves do for your hands). I have socks with cats on them, as well as socks with dogs and socks with horses! I have socks with owls on them and others that depict penguins! I have ankle socks, sweat socks, and knee socks! You name it, chances are, I got it!
     Everyone that knows me knows that I love socks... and now that Christmas is right around the corner chances are good I'll probably acquire another 10 or 12 pairs, LOL. Good grief... I'm gonna need TWO drawers in my dresser just for socks!
     Even my Friar Friend, Marcel, knows about my funny socks. Or, at least, he used to know. I don't know if he still remembers that or not; probably not, and, whatever, that's OK. I don't expect him to remember everything. But he actually took a picture of the bottom of my feet, once, because of the socks I was wearing, LOL...
     It was in Ellicott City, when I went down for the weekend. In the morning, after breakfast, he had decided that he wanted to show me the Inner Harbor and then, after that, we'd hit the aquarium, maybe grab some lunch, then come home. Sounded good to me so off I went, to my room, to change clothes. I grabbed my purse, my camera, my cowboy boots and socks and I padded back out to the kitchen in my bare feet. I put everything on the table, sat down, and proceeded to pull my socks on... and he's standing there grinning at me so I was, like, "What's that look for? What's the matter?" And he said, "Cute socks." And I said, "Oh, yeah, I know, look, aren't they cool, they're Harry Potter, see?" and I held up one foot so he could read the bottom. The soles of both socks said Harry Potter in that rubbery, no-slip-tread stuff they use. He started to laugh and grabbed his camera and I was, like, "No way, Dude, you're NOT taking a picture of my feet!" And he said, "Oh yes, I sure am," and he told me to put both feet right up on the kitchen table so he could get a shot of the soles of my socks! The photo is a riot... I look terrible in it because I'm laughing so hard, but the socks came out GREAT!
     When I got back to Connecticut we then emailed ALL the photos we took to each other... but when I received his pictures, there was no Harry Potter socks photo! I figured it didn't come out and just shrugged it off. The next day, he sent me an Instant Message and this is the [short] conversation we had. (The IM is shown in its original format, typos included. I've done nothing but alter our screen names)...

Friar:  :-D
Dove:  :-D
Friar:  thanks....
Friar:  You shore no how to take good pics...
Dove:  lol, you too.
Friar:  I liked the sharks shot...
Dove:  Yeah, it was different.
Dove:  The Harry Potter Socks didn't come out, eh?
Friar:  Back to the drawing board...yeah, the socks did...that's mine!!
Dove:  I can't see it?????
Friar:  I'm not sharing...lol
Dove:  Awwwwww, OK.
Dove:  If that's what you want.
Friar:  Why would you REALLY want that one????
Dove:  Just curious to see how it came out. Afterall, I do like those socks too y'know!
Dove:  ;-)
Friar:  But you have the real thing...
Dove:  True.
Dove:  But I can rarely see them at the same angle you did. LOL.
Friar:  I may relent...
Dove:  You don't have to.
Dove:  If you wanna keep that one to yourself, that's fine. I don't mind.
Friar:  you could use...hmmm... a mirror....
Dove:  LOL...
Dove:  ...just keep it. You don't have to send it. I really don't mind. Really, really!
Dove:  We took many similar photos. I was a bit surprised.
Friar:  I know...but you are more creative...you find the nooks and crannies....
Dove:  LOL, if you say so.
Dove:  I guess I should've paid closer attention to what you were taking, so I wouldn't have sent you so many duplicates.
Friar:  LOL.....no problem...fun...hope you enjoyed....
Dove:  You hope??????????? Jeesh!
Friar:  :-)
Dove:  You should know!
Friar:  :-)
Dove:  <---loved every second of it.
Dove:  "Ribit!"
Friar:  Oh! Thou Frogness....!
Dove:  LOL!
Friar:  I'll let you get back...have to get some Allen-stuff done....
Dove:  Ayuh....
Dove:  Ciao for now!
Dove:  Have fun.

     So, the photo did come out after all, he just didn't want to share it, the little stinker! He wanted to keep it all to himself (for some reason). Apparently he really liked those socks, LOL! However, he did relent after a while... about four days later he finally sent it to me. So... here's me - laughing hysterically - and my Harry Potter socks...

     And, um, the whole "Ribit!" and "Oh! Thou Frogness" stuff at the end I feel the need to explain since it is a bit strange to read, even now. The place in Ellicott City where he was living was kind'a set back in the middle of nowhere, "out in the country." It was a gorgeous place, surrounded by beautiful gardens and woodland. After our day out we settled down to relax on the back patio with a couple of drinks... and as the sun went down, thousands of tree-frogs serenaded us from the woods with their little chirps and tweets, their songs filling the evening air. It was the perfect end to a fun-filled day! Socks and all! ;-)
     A hundred and eleven pairs of socks! What the hell is wrong with me?!?! ROFL!

ENTRY #509
DATE:  11/19/16 (Saturday)
SUBJECT:  My Visit with Mom...

     Had a great visit with my Mom and step father today... even with the cancer diagnosis looming over us all we still managed to laugh A LOT and enjoy an early Thanksgiving meal together. Her CT Scan is scheduled for Friday, November 25th... then on December 2nd she meets with the doctor/surgeon to go over the results and to discuss the surgical/treatment options. So, basically, until then there's nothing we can do but play the damn waiting game. We're all praying that "the mass" is contained and will be easily removed with surgery.
     Even though my Mom was just diagnosed with colon cancer, she still insisted that I bring up a couple loads of laundry to do.... LOL... like I'm a college student on X-mas break! But, hey, I took her up on the offer just the same! Although, in my haste in loading up my laundry basket, I wasn't really paying attention to what I was grabbing. Once I started to load up my Mom's washing machine I had to laugh. There were a couple night-shirts I wear to bed, six bras.... and the rest was all SOCKS. I filled her entire washing machine with nothing but socks! Both her and Dad couldn't believe it.... until I pulled them all out of the dryer and dumped them in a huge pile in the middle of the living-room floor! They were both shocked!!! You had to be there but, trust me, it was a riot! My Mom actually got down on the floor with me to help pair them up, laughing the whole time. As we were putting them back in my laundry basket to bring home we actually counted them.... LOL.... I have 111 pairs of socks, ROFL!!! Oh, wait... she also gave me five new pairs of Christmas socks while I was there... so that makes it 116! Good Lord! That's crazy, LOL!!! Hell, now that they're all clean - at the same time - I can't even put them all away. The drawer I keep them in isn't big enough. I'm gonna have to reorganize my entire dresser to house them all, LOL. How ridiculous is that?!?!?
     I also managed to keep them both laughing as I shared some of my "Adventures of Rigby" stories! They loved the most recent one about her learning how to peel bananas and smearing banana-mush all over my kitchen table/counter. Since we were talking about animals, my Mom then jumped online so she could show me the dog kennel/breeder in town they want to get a new puppy from in the Spring. They're interested in getting a Lab but they're still not sure which color they want, the Yellow, the Brown, or the Black. All the puppies on the site were adorable... so I don't think the decision will be very difficult for them when the time comes.
     And, while we were still online, I showed my Mom the Jeep Renegade I'd like to get. She agrees with me about the color. At first, when I told her I really liked the orange ones I'd seen, she kind'a turned her nose up at the thought... but when she saw the pictures of them she said I was right, the orange was her favorite too. Although, while we were browsing the hundreds of photos, we both spotted one that was "gun-metal gray" and at the same time we said, "Wow, that one's nice!" So that's a definite possibility too!
     That gun-metal gray color on the Jeep web site is actually called Crystal so I'll have to keep that in mind when I'm shopping around. Which... I think is going to be VERY SOON due to this new cancer diagnosis. I feel the urge to act quickly... just in case things don't go well... if I need to make emergency trips back n' forth to the Berkshires this winter that 4-wheel-drive vehicle will definitely come in handy!!!

ENTRY #508
DATE:  11/17/16 (Thursday)
SUBJECT:  My Mother...

     My Mom is a cancer survivor. She's battled cervical cancer twice (once in 1979, and again in the mid 1990s) and breast cancer (in 2011). Back in 2012 she also dealt with a brain tumor on the pituitary gland though that was benign. About two months ago she discovered that the pituitary gland tumor is starting to grow back... but, as of right now, it's not really a concern. Instead of having a CT Scan annually, her doctor wants to do one every six months instead. Fine. No problem. So... the brain tumor is really no big deal. Plus, since it was benign before, it most likely is again. We're not worried about that right now...
     Today, though, she just learned that she's got colon cancer. I just got off the phone with her... and we're currently in the "limbo" stage where we know nothing at all, other than the fact that it IS colon cancer. She's waiting to get a phone call from the doctor to find out when she'll be scheduled for a CT Scan so they can determine how big "the mass" is and whether or not it's spread to any other organs, which will then tell us how we're going to proceed in dealing with this.
     She's 72 years old. This is the fourth time she's had cancer. As you can imagine she's not in a very good place right now, emotionally. Neither am I, for that matter. I'm going up to the Berkshires on Saturday to spend the day there with her and my step father. This is our "get together" for Thanksgiving. Next weekend, for the actual holiday, my step brother and his wife will be there for the four-day weekend; that's why I'm going this weekend instead. With this new cancer diagnosis looming though, I'm sure it's gonna be an emotionally draining day.
     This whole "not knowing" stage is the worst. It totally sucks......

ENTRY #507
DATE:  11/12/16 (Saturday)
SUBJECT:  My Favorite Painters/Paintings...

     My last entry about Fr. Tee got me thinking about my favorite artists and the paintings they've done that I love...

PIERRE-AUGUSTE RENOIR definitely holds the #1 position on my Favorite's List. There's a ton of his work that I admire but there are three paintings of his that I absolutely adore...
     Girl With Watering Can
     Two Girls in the Meadow (aka ...in the Field)
     On the Path

THOMAS KINKADE holds the #2 position. His illumination techniques manage to transfix me no matter what painting of his I'm looking at. It's incredibly difficult to pick my favorites by him but... right now the two that come to mind immediately are...
     The Cross
     Eternal Springtime

VINCENT VAN GOGH is my third choice. I'm honestly not that familiar with much of his work but the two paintings I always seem to gravitate too are...
     Blossoming Almond Tree
     Landscape Under a Stormy Sky

CLAUDE MONET holds fourth place because the sunflower is my favorite flower. So, obviously, my favorite by Monet is his still life called...
     Bouquet of Sunflowers:

EDVARD MUNCH, last but not least, holds the "Honorable Mention" position due to the one and only work of his that appeals to me...

     A few of these wonderful paintings have even crossed over into my photography through the years. Every once in a while when I'm roaming about with my camera a certain scene will remind me of one of these paintings and I'll try to capture my interpretation of the great artist's work.
HERE to view the paintings on this list along with some of my photos they've inspired...

ENTRY #506
DATE:  11/09/16 (Wednesday)
SUBJECT:  Fr. Tee: Gone But Not Forgotten...

     Back in high school I took Art as one of my Electives during my Junior and Senior years. The first year I had a fantastic teacher. His name was Fr. Robert Terentieff... "Father Tee" for short. An incredible man. Very out-spoken, strong-willed, wildly eccentric and with a robust sense of humor/personality, I think, only I understood at times. And, not to mention, incredibly talented. He was the best Art teacher I've ever had. I learned a lot from him and looked forward to his class on a daily basis. Even the art-room, itself, was cool. The walls were painted purple which screamed THIS IS ART CLASS as soon as you stepped foot into the room.
     Father Tee was a tough teacher but he sure was good! He was a stickler for perfection as well. If you were working in pen and ink, that's all you worked in... There was no sketching your drawing first in pencil and then going over it in pen. You started in ink, you finished in ink. If you made a mistake, he made you throw it away... and you started from scratch all over again.
     Here's a shot of us at the school's 1986/87 Art Show...

     If I had to describe him in one word... "Brilliant" is the only one that comes to mind. I used to love to show up early in the morning, before school started, so I could sit in the art room - in perfect silence - and just watch him create. Whether he was working on a pencil sketch, or using pen & ink, or charcoal, or pastels, or creating a stained-glass window... he was mesmerizing to watch. Unbelievably gifted, he was! I enjoyed his company - and his class - so much that I wanted to take Art again in my Senior year... so I did. However, at that time, I had no way of knowing that Fr. Tee would be leaving the school. Unfortunately, I found out much too late.
     The [so-called] "teacher" that took his place was Mrs. Brunye. Art class was no longer the same. Not only was she not as good but she also had the audacity to repaint the Art room a drab, dull beige color. What a fool! When I walked in and saw that I was shocked. I couldn't believe it. "YUCK!!!" is the only decent word to describe what it looked like. I mean, gross, man! It was a major "creativity killer," that's for sure. LOL, I hadn't even met the woman yet but I already didn't like her 'cause she messed with Fr. Tee's purple walls!
     Mrs. Brunye was a very nice person and I 'spose, for some, she was an "OK" teacher... but that wasn't the case for me. After having Fr. Tee the previous year, I thought Mrs. Brunye's little "projects" were ridiculous. For homework, she'd tell us to go home, find an intersting shape and draw it. During class, she seemed to be fascinated with contour lines. Oh please! "Lady, I did contour lines back in the 4th grade. I mean, get a clue! This is a high school Senior class! Hellooooooo!!!!!" Ya know what I mean? Art class was now a joke. It was a total waste of time to sit there for 45 minutes. I was completely annoyed by the end of the first semester.
     SO... one day, after school, I started my own little project. I bought a piece of 24" x 36" poster-board. Bright yellow it was, which I thought was fantastic! That afternoon, I created a drawing that I called "The Temptation of Eve." Since it was a Catholic school I thought that was appropriate.
     I sketched it out - lightly - in pencil first to get the proportions right... then, I did it all in ink, filling everything in using a technique called "pointillism." For those of you that don't know, pointillism is a very tedious, time-consuming activity. It's little dots, similar to a dot-matrix printer, and also how many, if not all, pictures are printed in a newspaper. If you look really close, you'll see tiny, little dots that make up all the images.
     Anyway, I worked on this one drawing all night long. I finished it in the wee hours of the morning... completing it by applying real make-up to Eve's face to give her some color that would stand out on the yellow background. There's blush on her cheeks, her eye-lashes are made from mascara and her lips have a light coating of gloss on them to add definition. It took 13 hours from start to finish.
     That morning, I rolled it up and brought it to school with me. I stuck it in my locker until it was time for Art class. Later that afternoon, I strolled into Mrs. Brunye's room a few minutes late, intentionally, just to annoy her a little bit. I figured, "fair's fair," right? LOL! About 15 minutes later she proceeds to give us another one of her little projects. That's when I asked if I could get something out of my locker. She said yes but to "make it quick." Yeah, whatever, Lady. A couple minutes later, I came back carrying this rolled-up poster. She saw it and looked at me with a puzzled expression. All I could do was sneer at her.
     Without saying a word I unrolled it - right across her desk - directly in front of her. The look on her face is something I will never forget. I think she was stunned... and I took full advantage of her speechlessness. Being the smart-ass that I am I said, "I had Fr. Tee last year. This is what I can do. I'm really not interested in doing your little contour lines again." She nodded at me and said, "Um, yeah, OK... you can work independently for the rest of the year." LOL, I said, "Thanks!" and sat down at my desk, gloating with a grin of satisfaction!
     At that moment - since I was now able to tune her out completely - Art became what it once was... a good thing; though it still wasn't quite the same without Fr. Tee's laughter filling the room.
     After hearing the entire story here it is, The Temptation of Eve...


     A few photos of it is all I have left. The original drawing no longer belongs to me. Y'see, Mrs. Brunye was so impressed with it, she entered it in the school's annual Art Show. Out of 200(+/-) students, I won first place that year and the school purchased it for $300.00. From what I hear, it's hanging in the school's Library. I just wish Fr. Tee could've seen the drawing. I can only hope it would've made him proud.
     Ten years after high school I ran into Fr. Tee at the Hawley Lane Shopping Center in Stratford. I recognized him instantly and was thrilled to see him! I tapped him on the shoulder from behind and when he turned around his face lit up and he offered me a hug! I treated him to breakfast that morning at Dunkin' Donuts and shared my story about Mrs. Brunye. As I was telling my tale he gifted me, once again, with that wonderful bellowing laugh of his!
     Fr. Tee passed away in 2011. At first, I was saddened by the news... but now, as I write this today, I smile in knowing that Heaven has been elegantly decorated by his hands. I like to imagine the Pearly Gates now fully adorned with Fr. Tee's stunning stained-glass windows!!!
     Visit the link below to read a lovely article from 2013 about Fr. Tee's unique stained-glass artistry...

SoBoBo Art Gallery - Father "Tee": Open Mind, Open Heart, Open Soul.

ENTRY #505
DATE:  11/04/16 (Friday)
SUBJECT:  For the Whales...

"Sing in Peace; Sing Proud!"

Through the soothing waters
your haunting voices echo,
deep within a silent world
where you abide below.

Within your world of Peace
you're the Ruler of your land.
It's only when you rise above,
you reign in fear of Man.

Through the years Man has hunted,
harpoon in-hand, we've slaughtered you.
I beg you now, forgive us,
we know not what we do.

Share, with us, the secrets told
in the words you sing.
Are they words of wisdom?
Or requited songs of mourning?
Are they tears of sadness; cries of pain
for all the memories past,
of your loved-ones slain?

Hear this now,
some advice to heed...
Stay away from Man
and the tangled nets we weave.

Your capture will destroy you.
Your Freedom, a thing of the past.
If you're let to live, you'll be gazing out at strangers
from a world enclosed in glass.

May you always live in Harmony,
in Serenity, and in Love,
bathed in the rays of light
from our Lord above.

Let your songs be filled
with Joy, Wonder, and Grace.
Make your lyrics heard
throughout the Human Race.

You remain the greatest of creatures
known to Land and Sea.
You are part of our Lord's intentions,
and so it shall be...

Fighting for your Protection
has become our solemn vow.
May you sing in Freedom; sing in Peace.
Forevermore, Sing Proud!!!

     I wrote that originally back in 2001... and just recently stumbled upon it on an OLD version of a web site I used to have. I thought a resurrection would be nice, so I've brought it here to give it new life! I hope y'all enjoy it. Also, I've created a new photo album of some of my whale watching pics through the years. Here's a link...

In the Company of Whales

ENTRY #504
DATE:  11/02/16 (Wednesday)
SUBJECT:  Things that make me go Hmmm...

If a bunch of cats jump on top of each other, is it still called a dog pile?

Do Jewish vampires still avoid crosses and holy water?

What is a picture of a thousand words worth?

Why is vanilla ice cream white when vanilla extract is brown?

Why do they sterilize lethal injections?

If pro and con are opposites, wouldn't the opposite of progress be congress?

If geese is the plural of goose, why isn't meese the plural of moose?

Do you yawn in your sleep?

If it's zero degrees today, and it's supposed to be "twice as cold tomorrow," what would the temperature be?

Whose cruel idea was it to put an S in the word lisp?

If a sign maker goes on strike, would his picket sign be blank?

Do butterflies remember life as a caterpillar?

Why is there a light in the fridge but not in the freezer?

Beauty is only skin deep; ugly goes clear to the bone!

Some come to the fountain of knowledge to drink; some prefer to just gargle!

The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory!

If Murphy's Law can go wrong, it will!

A bird in the hand is always safer than one overhead!

ENTRY #503
DATE:  10/28/16 (Friday)
SUBJECT:  Just call me SYBIL...

     Good lord! This whole "early onset menopause" situation I find myself in is, um, interesting, for lack of a better word. Maybe entertaining would be more fitting, I'm not really sure. Perplexing perhaps...
     The hot flashes, alone, are ridiculous... it's like I'm trapped on a tropical island all by myself, having my own independent summer, LOL. (and here I give thanks to my friend, Adrienne, for the "independent summer" descriptive!)
     ...but, I gotta tell ya, the MOOD SWINGS are astronomically phenomenal, LOL. I am a total CRAZY WOMAN now, LOL. It's very similar to the weather in New England; if you don't like it now, wait about twenty minutes and it'll be completely different! I am, quite literally, riding on an emotional roller coaster. Holy smokes!!!
     Today I went from happy to bitchy, from talkative to dead-silent, from cranky to comically bubbly, from irritated to fits of laughter -- and this was all before lunch! WOW!!!
     The folks at work are treading very lightly around me now. I've definitely got them all walking on eggshells. They have no idea what to expect out'a me anymore at all. Am I going to explode if they ask me a question? Am I going to offer them a hug? Am I gonna be laughing or crying when they call my name? It's a crapshoot! Place your bets! Spin the needle and see where it stops! Take your chances! It's anybody's guess... mine, included, LOL.
     I should be penned up, forced to wear a straight-jacket, in a small dimly lit tent alongside the other Side Show Freaks with a Carnival Barker proclaiming through his megaphone to "Come see the CRAZY WOMAN! Witness the astounding Sybil in action!! For only fifty cents!!! See her with your own eyes! Tell all your friends!! Phantasmagoria at its best!!! Sybil, the CRAZY WOMAN! Right inside this tent!! Step up now!!! Fifty cents! Come one, come all!!"
     Seriously... I've turned into a complete raving-kvetching-laughing-crying-giggling lunatic!!! Even my cats look at me hesitantly before entering the room, trying to judge the atmosphere they're about to step into. It makes me feel kind'a bad for'em... but then, of course, in twenty minutes I won't give a damn, LOL, so... [shrug] ...what am I to do???
     Anyway... yeah... so my name's Sybil. Nice to meet'cha!
     Life... gotta love it.

ENTRY #502
DATE:  10/27/16 (Thursday)
SUBJECT:  The dreaded, four-letter S-word...

     Oh my! It's not even Halloween yet! Both my air-conditioners are still in the windows! My jackets and winter coats haven't been dug out yet! My boots are still buried in the closet! All my heavy blankets and fleece sheets still need to be laundered from last winter, LOL!
     ...but it SNOWED today for almost four hours anyway! And I'm not talking about just flurries here. I'm talking about the fact that it was BLIZZARDING outside! Nothing stuck to the ground, thank goodness, but it was coming down so hard I could barely see across the street!
     Granted, I've never been a fan of summer's hot n' humid weather. I definitely prefer the cold climate of winter.... but, right now, I am in no way prepared for SNOW. Not yet, anyway. I was hoping I'd own a new 4-wheel drive vehicle by this time but that's not gonna happen, I guess. Goody, goody. This means, whenever it snows during the week, I'll be up at 4:00am shoveling my driveway so I can get to work on time. That's just fabulous. [insert heavy sarcasm here] I can't wait!
     I was also hoping to own a new digital camera by now but that hasn't happened yet either. I've gotta get off my ass and rectify this camera-less business. It's really bumming me out. I had planned on traveling around Connecticut, hunting down some of our covered bridges, for some great fall/winter shots. I guess that's gonna have to wait 'til next year too. Damn.
     SNOW already. Oh boy...

ENTRY #501
DATE:  10/26/16 (Wednesday)
SUBJECT:  The Creature in the Book of Job???

Job 40:15-24, 41:1-34

     Look at the behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox.
     What strength he has in his loins, what power in the muscles of his belly!
     His tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are close-knit.
     His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like rods of iron.
     He ranks first among the works of God, yet his Maker can approach him with his sword.
     The hills bring him their produce and all the wild animals play nearby.
     Under the lotus plants he lies, hidden among the reeds in the marsh.
     The lotuses conceal him in their shadow; the poplars by the stream surround him.
     When the river rages, he is not alarmed; he is secure, though the Jordan should surge against his mouth.
     Can anyone capture him by the eyes, or trap him and pierce his nose?
     Can you pull in the leviathan with a fishhook or tie down his tongue with a rope?
     Can you put a cord through his nose or pierce his jaw with a hook?
     Will he keep begging you for mercy? Will he speak to you with gentle words?
     Will he make an agreement with you for you to take him as your slave for life?
     Can you make a pet of him like a bird or put him on a leash for your girls?
     Will traders barter for him? Will they divide him up among the merchants?
     Can you fill his hide with harpoons or his head with fishing spears?
     If you lay a hand on him, you will remember the struggle and never do it again.
     Any hope of subduing him is false; the mere sight of him overpowering.
     No one is fierce enough to rouse him. Who then is able to stand against me?
     Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me.
     I will not fail to speak of his limbs, his strength and his graceful form.
     Who can strip off his outer coat? Who would approach him with a bridle?
     Who dares open the doors of his mouth, ringed about with his fearsome teeth?
     His back has rows of shields tightly sealed together, each is so close to the next that no air can pass between.
     They are joined fast to one another; they cling together and cannot be parted.
     His snorting throws out flashes of light; his eyes are like the rays of dawn.
     Firebrands stream from his mouth; sparks of fire shoot out.
     Smoke pours from his nostrils as from a boiling pot over a fire of reeds.
     His breath sets coals ablaze, and flames dart from his mouth.
     Strength resides in his neck; dismay goes before him.
     The folds of his flesh are tightly joined; they are firm and immovable.
     His chest is hard as rock, hard as a lower millstone.
     When he rises up, the mighty are terrified; they retreat before his thrashing.
     The sword that reaches him has no effect, nor does the spear or the dart or the javelin.
     Iron he treats like straw and bronze like rotten wood.
     Arrows do not make him flee, slingstones are like chaff to him.
     A club seems to him but a piece of straw; he laughs at the rattling of the lance.
     His undersides are jagged potsherds, leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge.
     He makes the depths churn like a boiling caldron and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment.
     Behind him he leaves a glistening wake; one would think the deep had white hair.
     Nothing on earth is his equal -- a creature without fear.
     He looks down on all that are haughty; he is king over all that are proud.
     Now... my question is this: WHAT THE HELL IS THIS THING?!?!?!?
     It eats grass, fruits and vegetables... so it's an herbivore. It's very strong and large with a long, powerful tail. It seems to live in the water AND on land. It has limbs, not fins. It has nostrils/lungs, not gils, so it breathes air, not water. It has "fearsome teeth," scales of armor and apparently it breathes fire (OK, so the "breathing fire" stuff is obviously metaphorical/mythical). It seems to crawl across the ground but can "rise up" on its hind legs......
     I wanna say it's supposed to be a dragon but I've never read any references to dragons living in the water, LOL. I also wanna say it sounds kind'a similar to the beast in "Clash of the Titans," the one referred to as "the Kraken."
     If you X-out the fire-breathing stuff, what would this creature actually be??? Like, as in, TODAY??? A crocodile/alligator? But crocs n' gators are carnivores. Maybe a Komodo Dragon? It's got a long, powerful tail, it breathes air, it can "rise up" on its hind legs, it can swim, it's low to the ground, and it flicks its red-colored tongue (like a snake) which, I suppose, could be perceived as "flames darting from its mouth." It definitely has "fearsome teeth," and leathery scales like armor. The only trait that doesn't seem to match the biblical description is that the Komodo is a carnivore.
     The version of the Bible I use is the NIV Study Bible... and even in the notes provided there's really no answer. They suggest a crocodile.... or, at least, a very large lizard/reptile of some kind. So... maybe it is a Komodo, after all.
     What do YOU think???

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