I can hear you thinking. I can. It's something along the lines of, "Sam, why on earth is there a sailboat in your shower?" Excellent Question. Easy answer. We couldn't find another place that it would fit. That's the guest room shower by the way. It's not currently in use by any guest so the space was available. See, simple solution.
The word solution suggests that there was a problem. And of course yes there is. The problem is that the ceiling in the family room leaks. Oh, you don't see the connection between a sailboat in the guest room shower and a leaky ceiling in the family room? Allow me to explain.
We are about to embark on our next house project and it's a biggie. The layout of our house is a derivation of a very common Florida house plan. The center of the house from front to back is the common room. That means kitchen, dining, living are one big area. In today's designer parlance it is called an "open plan" and it is the latest/greatest most popular thing. Which makes me giggle a little bit because our house was built in 1964. So I guess it was ahead of it's time. Then too, it's also referred to as a "split plan" because there is a bedroom/bathroom on one side of the house and the other bedrooms/bathrooms on the other side of the house. LOTS and LOTS of Florida houses are made this way.
The difference between our house and some other houses is that our house also has a big room that runs across most of the back of the house. A bonus room I suppose. We call it the family room. That's where the TV and the comfy sectional sofa are. The big round table for meals, or puzzles or games or writing letters or wrapping presents is also out there. It's a spacious wonderful roomy place with windows on three sides. We love that room and use it every single day. It also developed a leak in the ceiling. Dang. And then a second leak. And then a third. Double Dang.
So Tim took a bit of the ceiling down to look up inside to see if it was a problem he could quickly and easily resolve and that's when we learned that part of what is now our family room, was, at one time, a porch. In fact it was a porch with a metal awning over it. And the reason that we know there was an awning was that it was still there. In the ceiling. What on earth?
Our guess is that at some point the owners gathered a bunch of friends or their kids friends and had a pizza and beer party while they closed in the porch to make it part of the family room. Awesome. (insert much sarcasm here). The job was not well done. So rather than compound the problem with a quickie solution, we decided that we would call in the experts and have it done correctly. Ultimately the decision came down to it being smarter and actually easier to just tear down the entire room and rebuild it, rather than patch and bandaid and bubble gum it together. So like I said, a big job.
So Tim reached out to a bunch of builders, we got quotes, we asked questions, they made suggestions and ultimately we made our choice. We were ready to get the whole process started and then.........lockdown. Dang. The entire project got postponed for a year. But now, finally, we are ready to go! Which meant clearing out that room, completely! And we did that this weekend.
This involved moving the contents of the living room into the guest room and then the contents of the family room into the living room. So, for example, our pretty display cabinet which normally looks like this:
Instead, now looks like this:
The family room used to look like this:
And currently looks like this:
Nothing is where it normally would be. I hope nobody needs a coaster because they are in a side table drawer which is somewhere in the guest room
The house feels so much smaller now. I suppose because in the short term, it is! But it's manageable for now. It's a little strange but it's okay because in the end we will have a much better looking, more functional, more energy efficient, family room that does not leak and has no awning in the ceiling.
So there. Now do you understand why there is a sailboat in the shower?
Yesterday Joy and I hit the trails which means that today is the Photo Safari Report! Yesterdays Hike shall forever be known as, "The Swimming Squirrel Hike" for reasons that you will learn later. We decided to risk hitting one of our favourite local preserves because, despite the fact that this is the Rainy Season, there hasn't been much rain all week long. We thought that perhaps, the trails might have dried out some. And perhaps they did. But we still found plenty of water. And swampy bits. And swollen creeks. And near flood level rivers. And that's ok. It was pretty awesome because we found other very cool stuff too.
Sleeping Turtle Preserve, which was our selected hiking destination, runs alongside a portion of the Myakka River so we were pretty sure that if there was going to be flooding, it would closer to the river. So we started out on the hiking trail that moved away from the river. Shockingly, the temperature when we hit the trails was only 70 degrees! It was overcast, there was a nice breeze and I have never seen such a nice cool comfortable day in August since we moved to Florida. It was a wonderful surprise. And the trails were beautiful, as they always are.
There were oodles of wildflowers! The flowers always wow me, but you probably figured that out already. And because there were flowers, there were also butterflies and dragonflies and bees. I wasn't able to capture any of the bees, they were moving too fast. Or maybe I move too slow.
While you could tell that the ground was a little damp, most of it wasn't mucky and we could see flooding off to the sides here and there, but things weren't too messy until we somehow found ourselves having wandered off toward the river. The Myakka was impressively swollen, dark and mysterious looking. The path, which runs right alongside the river, was a little precarious here and there as it the land was collapsing back into the water. There were fallen trees, heavily leaning trees and very swampy bits areas, but we persevered, as we do.
There were two huge surprises on this hike. Surprise numero Uno: One of the absolutely coolest things that we have ever seen showed up. A cicada. We can hear them, but we had no idea what they looked like. And then there it was. For some reason, on the ground (?) right on the edge of the trail. Joy offered it a stick and it grabbed hold with no hesitation, and we lifted it to an area further off the trail for it's safety. But of course, took photos. They are HUGE! What I've read is that they only show up every 17 years. Eggs are laid in the ground near the base of trees and remain there undisturbed all that time. Then the 17th year rolls around and the eggs hatch and the little cicadas climb the trees and just hang around in the tree tops making a LOT of noise. Apparently this was year number 17.
The second very cool surprise was that we saw a swimming squirrel! Squirrels swim? This was news to us and yet, very definitely, that was what we saw. Here are a few of the photos that Joy took. (Mine didn't turn out as good). We spotted him in the water swimming toward the shore where upon he immediately scampered up a tree and I'm sure felt as bedraggled as he looked. There was a second, dry squirrel running up and down the branches of the next, looking frantic. Our guess is that the first squirrel fell into the river by accident. Glad he was ok.
I did look it up afterwards. Squirrels can swim, though they prefer to not. Apparently they do a sort of doggy-paddle and use their tails as rudders! Brilliant!
I did capture a few birds. Not many. We could hear them, but the tree cover was so thick, and the lighting was rather poor (as you can tell from the rest of the photos). I'm surprised I got the few that I did!
The final category is always my favourite, the Rando Files. Ready?
We returned wet, dirty, bug bitten and scratched up with socks that will require bleach to ever hope to be anything near clean again. But we had a great time, made some terrific memories and got some good photos. Hope you enjoyed coming along for the ride.
Have a wonderful weekend. Hugs all 'round!
Mailbox Down! Or I suppose I should say, another mailbox down. I think this is the 3rd or perhaps 4th time since we lived here. sigh.
This time I actually saw it happen. I was in the kitchen and something out the window caught my eye so I looked up. And out the big bay window by the kitchen table where I was standing, just as clear as day , I watched as a school bus very slowly backed into our mailbox. I had to blink a couple of times to be absolutely certain of what I was seeing.
When something unexpected happens, I do not leap into action. Nope, I am stunned into immobility. I do not scream or shout or faint. I just stand there. So yeah, I am not the person you want close at hand during an emergency. It's as if, when something outside the norm happens, my brain goes "tilt" and just shuts off for a second or two.
Once all of the marbles in my brain fell back into the proper holes, I went outside. By the time I got to the mailbox the big old yellow bus was trundling on down the road. BUT I did make note of the identification number on the bus. And the nice lady who was driving behind the bus made it a point to stop and give me that bus ID number as well. "Can you believe that?" she yelled to me out her car window. Clearly we were both surprised.
In my usual slow witted fashion, at first I just stood there assessing the situation. Both pieces seemed to be intact, just separate and a little scuffed up. The scuffing doesn't affect function so my first move was to shove the post into a more upright position. It was a little wobbly but still perpendicular to the ground which is always preferable. Then I tried putting the receptacle back on the post. No matter what I did or how hard I tried, I could not make it happen. That's when I saw the split and slight crook in the part that the receptacle slides onto. Dang.
It seems that that booboo was just enough to keep the two parts as two separate parts. Ratz. There was no way I was going to be able to make this happen on my own. I picked up a few of the mailbox numbers which had, once again, fallen to the ground and brought them into the house with me. Tim had one heck of a time getting those numbers to stick in the first place, now they were off again.
I debated with myself for a couple of minutes. Should I call and report this? Or should I just let it go? I hate to be a complainer. On the other hand, this is the first time of all the broken mailboxes we have endured since we lived here, that I actually witnessed the perpetrator in action. With the exception of the first mailbox destruction which was clearly done by a car (we found car parts like side view mirrors mixed amongst the broken mailbox pieces that time) perhaps all of the broken mailbox damage was done by various school buses? It's possible.
So, feeling rather curmudgeonly, I looked up the number for the county school transportation office and politely reported the incident, assuming that would be the beginning and the end of it.
Instead, the person on the other end of the phone was so very kind, "Oh dear!" she said when I reported the incident. "I am so sorry that happened" she commiserated. She asked all of the necessary question for the incident report and then collected my contact information and assured me that there would be an "investigation" and someone would be in contact. I thanked her and went on my merry way.
Within a a half hour someone else had called to confirm all of the information and to apologize for the incident. And within another half hour, and just as I was starting to prep dinner, a man in a truck showed up. I walked out to meet him as he was heeling the post back into the ground properly. He smiled and introduced himself and apologized one more time as he magically, somehow, managed to get the receptacle back, securely, on top of the post. "I think that'll do" he beamed, so proud of himself. He attempted to wiggle the mailbox indicating how securely it was back in place. "Good Enough" I smiled back.
Before he left, he asked why one side of the mailbox said we lived at 34 and the other side said we lived at 44. I laughed and said the house number is actually 344 and that the bus knocked the other numbers right off". He assured me that today he would replace those as well.
So my Goodness! What a lovely experience. I mean if you have to have a bus back into your mailbox, this is the bus company that you want to have to deal with. Every single person I had contact with apologized and thanked me for being so nice about the situation. I was reassured multiple times that the bus driver in question would undergo some "retraining". Our mailbox is back in place and so very quickly too. I am impressed as all get out at the Sarasota County School Transportation folks. Cannot say enough positive things about them! Woohoo!
Yesterday, apparently, was Inconsiderate Driver's Day. It wasn't notated on my calendar which clearly was an oversight on somebody's part. It would have been nice to have the headzup.
The worst of it was in the grocery store parking lot. Oh the short drive over was fraught with people turning left from the right lane and right from the left lane, cruising through stop signs as if they weren't there and bicyclers weaving through it all. There is always some level of bad driving going on, I mean this is a tourist destination town after all. But yesterday was worse than usual.
Especially in the grocery store parking lot. Parking lots should be a easier. Everything is well marked, well lit and it's straight lines! It should be so simple. I say "should" while laughing because parking lots are probably the most dangerous places to drive on the planet. At least it was yesterday.
First of all, there was the pedestrian obstacle course. The people who walk right down the middle of the driving aisles without a care in the world about the veritable parade of vehicles trailing behind them sooooooo very slowly. The adults accompanied by untethered very young children who, unaware of the inherent dangers of a parking lot are running and playing and frolicking amongst the moving freakin' vehicles while mum or dad are pushing a cart, eyes intent on the phones (!!!) They terrify me. The ones who do walk on the side of the driving aisles but keep switching side to side while never once looking behind them to see if anyone is coming. sigh.
But the cars were worse. Heaven's to Murgatroyd, the cars. There were the usual assortment of inconsiderate parkers of course: Very large cars pulled only half way into a parking space so that their butt is hanging in the aisle, the cars taking multiple spaces. I've seen as many as 4 spaces taken up by, what I can only assume is a Super Special car. The cars parked so far to the right or left in a space that you have to hope that whoever needs to get into the car beside it is super skinny and very flexible.
But actual moving vehicles were the worst I've ever seen. Multiple drivers going the wrong way up or down the CLEARLY marked driving aisles, driving cross lots without considering that another car might be driving properly up or down those same aisles, and the worst of the worst, the ones speeding, I mean really , flying up or down the driving aisles of the parking lot as if it were the last lap of the INDY 500! Crazy People.
There were carriages willy nilly everywhere all over the parking lot. For some reason it was also, don't bother to return your carriages properly day. Just another obstacle for the course I suppose.
And, as logically follows, people drive their carts in the grocery store aisles exactly the same way that they drive their cars. Flying up and down aisles, practically knocking over displays and old ladies as they go. Parking their cart on one side of the aisles while standing in the middle/left apparently memorizing the contents of the other side of the aisle. Unmoving. Unconcerned that nobody can get through. There were people cutting other people off left and right, bumping other people's carriages, reaching over people's carriages to get things off the shelf instead of waiting two seconds for them to finish what they were doing (??), a near fight broke out in the 10 items or less aisles between two shoppers arguing over who did or did not have the requisite number of items in their cart. geez.
I was never in my life so happy to be done shopping and go home. Of course once I finished shopping and had my groceries safely stowed in my car (cart properly returned!), I still had to run the gauntlet of scary drivers all the way home. It was not pretty. But I was extra vigilant, anticipating when someone was going to pull out in front of me without stopping at their stop sign or checking to see if someone (me) was coming, or contrary wise come to a complete stop for no reason that I can comprehend in the middle of the road. Driving crazy fast or stupid slow. Alternately. Turning without signaling, weaving back and forth between lanes (choose one!) oh the list goes on and on.
Thank goodness Monday is over! Perhaps now we can get back to a normal level of driving which is to say, mostly ok, some great and some awful.
Mark it on your own calendars folks, August 23rd, Inconsiderate Drivers Day.
Nomination for cutest giftbag ever! And even better than it's adorableness, it's one of those intentionally reuseable bags so it's not only Cutiecute, it's practical and thereby a winner for me on all levels. YAYAYAY!!! And to make it even more appealing, this bag held my belated birthday presents from the Minocks! Yes this was a Minock Weekend! Woooohoooo!
We headed up to Minockland Sunday. It was a beautiful day, not a raincloud in sight and the traffic wasn't bad at all so the drive up was pretty smooth and easy. Tim and I talked about everything under the sun and then a few things under the moon to entertain ourselves on the way and help the time pass quickly. We were excited to see our old friends. AND excited to see what they've done with your new home!
If I remember correctly, their home was finished shortly before Christmas last year. It was a super long wait for them. Made even longer by the Pandemic and all of it's inherent issues. Then too, as I'm sure you know, if you've ever purchased a brand newly built home, there are always a thousand things that need to be done once you've moved in to make it feel like yours. They have accomplished so much in the past...however many months! The gardens were lovely. Not finished but beautifully begun. Well thought out, beautifully composed and a little whimsical which is always a delight. With lots of fabulous plans for the future. They've done a lot on the inside too decorating with charm and class and a personality that is wonderfully and uniquely, perfectly them.
We talked, we laughed, we talked some more. We had a wonderful meal and toured their new neighborhood. We learned about their new favourite resturants (One of which is a food truck!) and fired cross bows and caught up on everything under the sun. And then we talked and laughed some more. In fact, we were talking right up until the moment that we pulled out of the driveway! It was a wonderful day! As all Minock days are.
Oh and the contents (plural!!) of my awesome gift bag? Well, some of that will most likely be revealed in some future blogposts. One thing in particular involves an awesome art project for me that will definitely have need of some thought and planning. Tim described it as requiring adult supervision. HAH! BUT I am excited and looking forward to it!!!! Don't worry, you will know when it happens.
Meanwhile today is Monday and so the superfun day is over and it's back to real life. Poo. Real life is highly over rated.
There were only two big rules in our house when I grew up and they pretty much covered everything. The first was to always observe the Golden Rule. You know that one, right? "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you". In other words, treat ALL other people the way you would like be to treated. That covers a lot of territory.
The other immutable rule was to use the "Magic Words". And I don't mean Abracadabra or Alakazam (although those are awesome words). Nope. When I grew up every kid knew what that meant. The Magic words are actually phrases. There are four of them. "Please", "Thank You", "You Are Welcome" and "I Am Sorry".
Those two rules turned me into a very polite, nice, courteous and considerate person so I know they work. As further evidence I offer to you the knowledge that those same two rules nudged my own kids in that direction as well because they are absolutely lovely human beings.
It's just two rules so it's not hard to remember which makes me curious. What the heck happened? When did this stop being a thing? And why?
This all popped into my mind recently when I was having a conversation with several other people, none of whom I know very well. The topic of the discussion was adapting to working from home. Interestingly (to me) all of them were in favour of it for themselves, but not their spouses (??). I suggested that it merely takes a little communication regarding schedules and offered up that I ask Tim what his telephone schedules looks like on a particular day before I begin doing something particularly noisy like vacuuming. He shares his schedule with me and I work around that. Their response was, and this is a direct quote, "I will be damned the day I let someone else dictate to me when I can clean my own house!" Wow!
Tim has never asked me to do this it was entirely my idea. He appreciates it, but I was being Considerate. The same way I would appreciate someone else be considerate of me.
I've run into such things before, seeing women yelling at a man for opening a door for her. Geez people, Chill! It's called being nice! I hold doors for people all of the time. When I'm doing a big grocery shop, if I notice that the person behind me has only a few items, I almost always offer to let them go ahead of me. Again, just being nice. Sometimes I get a big smile and a very sincere thank you. Other times it's a sniff and a glare. Not sure what that is about, but I still don't regret doing the nice thing.
I'm not even going to call it the "right thing" because I'm sure that people have a wide variety of responses on what exactly is the right thing to do in any given situation, but it absolutely is the Nice Thing.
It's the same way, I always say please and thank you. Always! I said it to my own children from the time they were toddlers. "Could you please hand Mama that book? Thank you!" It not only encouraged them to do as I requested, but it fostered the same response from them.
I think of all the "Magic Words", one of the least used and most important is, "I'm Sorry". The last time the words, "I'm sorry" were directed at me outside of my own friends/family group was again at the grocery store when some 6 or 7 year old kiddo rammed me with his mom's shopping cart. Because I wasn't prepared for it I did make some sort of "ouchie" kind of noise (it hurt!) Just I was pushing the cart gently away from my leg the mom whipped around to see what was going on. There is her kid gearing up to ram me again with a big smile on his face (not joking) and I'm rubbing my leg at the impact spot with one hand and my other hand up in from of me to protect myself. She demands to know "what's going on!" and she is glaring at me. Me! The offended party. Very kindly I explained that it seemed that we had a little collision. She starred me down for a few minutes, then turned to her child and asked if he had "bumped" into this lady, gesturing at me. He, of course denied it. I just shook my head and said, "No major harm done" and I was ready to leave. To my surprise she demanded that he "tell the lady he was sorry". He resisted mightily but in the end he squeezed out one of the most insincerely mumbled "sorry's" I have ever heard. And they walked away.
I'm torn on that one. I think I would prefer to not hear an insincere apology at all. On the other hand, she was doing the right thing, trying to teach him something important.
I have often heard the singsong, "Sorry" thrown out with a giggle or the ridiculous "Sorry, not sorry" and the meangirl, "I'm sooooooo sorrrry" which just drips with sarcasm. Please stop. I'm begging you. "I am sorry" is one of the best and most important phrases you will ever use, but only if it is sincere. A very sincere "I am sorry" says that you are aware that you have made a regrettable error in judgement, that there were no ill intentions behind the offending words or actions and that you will make every effort to never do or say it again. The genuine "I am sorry" is forgiveable. Don't cheapen it.
The other three, Please, Thank you and You are welcome, I hear more often, but sadly, most of the time the are automatic phrases, like saying, "Bless you" when someone sneezes. You aren't actually Blessing them, it's just something you say. Which takes the true meaning out of the words. On the other hand, Please, Thank you and You're welcome said while looking people in the eye, with a sincere smile, those have meaning. They are authentic and it's obvious and it matters.
I am not sure when things changed. I'm not sure why they changed. But it's not for the good. I keep hearing, I don't have time. You don't have time to be considerate? You are too busy for courtesy? Your life is so jam packed every minute of every day that you cannot say please and thank you? Somehow people seem to be able to spend hours a day on their phones texting, playing games, or checking out Pinterest, but they don't have 2 minutes to write a thank you note?
When being courteous is considered either an insult or a sign of weakness, something is seriously wrong. We have become a society of very selfish, self involved people and it's not an improvement. Instead of magic words, I hear a lot of angry words. There does not seem to be much seeking of middle ground or agreeing to disagree. People are very quick to take offense and equally quick to point an accusing finger but sadly very slow to give consideration to others. I'm not seeing much evidence of people thinking before they speak or (thanks to social media) type. And it's not a pretty sight. As a society, we can and should do better. We are not being our best selves.
I'm not absolutely certain how to fix it but I think returning to The Golden Rule and the Magic Words might be a good start.
I think it's time for another Photo Safari Report! This hike was the Almost Didn't Happen Hike. Coz it's almost didn't. And not through any fault of ours! After two weeks of doing other fun stuff on sisters day, Joy and I were especially eager to get back out to the preserves.
Because it's the crazyhot part of the year, we left at 7:30 to take as much advantage of the relatively cooler part of the day. Smart eh? Our thought was to perhaps do shorter hikes so that we would be done before the "heat index" part of the day really kicks in, so we headed over to Curry Creek. It's very close by and a smaller preserve. Perfect! As we drew near we saw, to our dismay, to giant worker trucks side by side completely blocking the entrance. Dang. Ok we will not be hiking Curry Creek.
We moved on toward one of our favourites, Carlton Reserve. We had not been there since the big fire. Because it's such a huge reserve, we always get carried away and hike into the hinterlands and spending far more time than we probably should which means that we needed to be mindful of the time so we wouldn't keel over from heatstroke! Ok the plan was set. We were excited. Right up until the moment we arrived and saw a closed gate. Dang! The Reserve, for whatever reason, was closed!
Limited options ahead of us now. We knew better than to even try any of the low lying hiking spots that go along the Myakka. With all of our daily rain, we knew those trails would be flooded. So instead we drove to the outskirts of Venice to Deer Prairie South Preserve. It wasn't that long ago that we visited, but it's a beautiful place. Ok we were all set. We loaded geared up and headed past the big pond and down the trail. But not very far because in less than a mile we were faced with:
More flooded trails. Well so far this hike has been a bust. Then we had a brainstorm! We knew there was another entrance to this preserve. Perhaps the other end would be more accessible? Nope.
We assumed that they were pretty serious about the locked gate since there were not one, not two but four locks on it!!!!! Seems excessive.
Well, hmmm. There was only one place left to check. The Caspersen Beach Trail. We knew that wasn't flooded but it did run parrellel to the beach and right now we are having a bit of an issue with Red Tide.
In case you are unfamiliar with the term, Red Tide is a naturally occurring ocean algae that, occasionally goes out of control. And when that happens it becomes very toxic. It kills fish, and ocean plants and in the air it smells terrible and can make you cough. Then too, the dead fish wash up on shore and the added whiff of dead fish with the existing toxic bloom smell is, well, just ghastly. We got out of the car, dubiously and took a cautious sniff. To our relief, it was good. We did not COUGH or pick up any stinky smell. Good! Not a Red Tide day and we set out on our way, FINALLY! Our decision was to hike out a few miles and turn around. This was no day to push our limits. And yes, of course, we brought water.
There were remarkably few birds. Didn't even hear them in the trees. Though I did capture some pigeons on the roof of the bathrooms as we started out and a flock of pelicans in the sky:
We did see a lot of beautiful flowers though. Far more than I expected this late into the summer actually so that was a delightful surprise. In fact, there was one flowering shrub that had teensy tiny yellow flowers that looked almost like little bells. Much like lily of the valley. And the scent was so beautiful. Such a tiny flower but it absolutely perfumed the air. (a nice counter balance to any remaining stink!) We saw it throughout the entire hike and I did not manage to successfully capture one single picture of it. Ratz. But I did get others:
There were tortoises galore! I think we counted 9 though there might have been more. I know this looks like photos of the same tortoise over and over, but I promise you it is not. You will just have to trust me:
There were so many butterflies! All different colours and shapes and sizes. But I only was able to get a good shot of the one at the top of the page. A couple of dragonflies, however, were far more courteous and paused for a long moment so I could take their portraits:
A little peek at the beach now and again. Yup, it's still beautiful
Last, but never least, the odds and ends, my favourite category, the rando files:
It was definitely the hike that almost didn't happen. But we are so glad that it did! Here is Joy and I happyhappy to be out hiking once again. Actually, although we do love Photo Safari Day, the important part is that we spend a day together regardless of what we are doing. We always have a good time.
How was your weekend? We spent our with Tropical Storm Fred. (see above) Which really was much ado about not much. For us anyway. Other folks might have gotten a bigger impact, in which case, I feel badly for them. But for us, it was just a rainy gloomy weekend.
Believe me when I tell you that I am NOT disappointed. Having been through an actual hurricane or two, and hoping to never have a repeat performance, little old TS Freddie was a nice change of pace.
There was a lot of media build up for Fred's arrival. Warnings of possible flooding and high wind damage, notification of sand bag stations open and ready, lots of different projected possibly tracks and constant updates on the situation. But here's the things about these storms, they don't care about what the professional weather forecasters have to say, they do as they please. And Fred choose to swing wide so we only were affected by the outer bands.
Still it was a dreary, gloomy, rain filled weekend. Every minute of the day was either: about to rain, just rained, threatening to rain, or currently raining. Which only meant that as we were out and about, I brought an umbrella, just in case. No matter what plans we had, our solution is simple, go ahead and do whatever you were going to do anyway, just with some sort of rain gear OR find something else to do.
We kind of did both. On Saturday we did what we would normally do. We went out to breakfast! We ran some errands, spent some time with people whose company we always enjoy and had pizza for dinner. The only change was that before we left, I moved my potted garden under the eaves. No plant needs that much water. Oh yeah, and we went to the beach. Not our beach. For a change we drove up to Sarasota for a very brief visit to Lido Beach.
There were a surprisingly large number of people at the beach, but at that point, we were only at the threatening to rain part of the program. So we walked on the beach for a little bit, used their bathroom - which is a trailer! - and took some photos. There was very little splash, a few birds and poor lighting. There was also some sort of food truck, I do not recall what. Ice cream maybe?
As soon as we headed back toward home (which was very shortly after I took these photos) the skies opened up and poured. Which means everyone on the beach got very wet. Not a big deal really, I mean, if you are dressed for the beach you are already wearing a bathing suit which suggests that you intended to get wet anyway, right? Just watch out for lightening. It is no joke.
Sunday was a little different, our only outing was pick up a few things at the grocery store, put gas in the car and to check out a new local restaurant called Brew Za Bagel. Strange name, Yeah, I know. It's beer pizza and bagels. Their menu, which is all in chalk on a series of Enormous boards consists of a wide variety of bagels and cream cheeses, a lot of different kinds of breakfast bagels sandwiches, an even bigger variety of lunch bagels sandwiches and a lot of different kinds of pizzas. Because it was still fairly early in the day, we opted for a half dozen bagels of different sorts. I had the sesame bagel this morning. I didn't even toast it and I put nothing on it that might disguise it's bagel-ness. Tim had the cinnamon raisin, toasted with cream cheese.
Here is the low-down. They aren't bad. They are better than grocery store bagels by miles. BUT, the big but, they are not New York bagels. Nothing else is. Would we get them again? Maybe. We will definitely try out some of those bagel sandwiches in the future.
And of course, once again, we went to the beach. It's kind of a requirement when, like us, you live by the beach. Gotta check out all of her moods. Sunday was definitely more rainy than Saturday. We woke to rain and a big more wind. So we were hoping for some great splash! There was only little splash, but that's ok. There is no such thing as a bad trip to the beach. The ocean is always beautiful.
There were also some low flying birds:
And, once again, a surprising number of people. My guess is that they were vacationers and their thought process is something like, "I planned a beach vacation and so I am, by gawd, going to the beach!" I say that because there they were setting up their canopies (struggling a little against the wind) and beach chairs, with their coolers and hats and beach bags. Good on 'em, I say!
On the way back from the beach we saw this guy on the side of the road:
We watched him for quite some time as he bathed in a puddle, drank the water and frolicked and splashed like a little kid. Perhaps he was a kid. I don't know much about birds, maybe he was a juvenile hawk, and not an adult. Or maybe just a kid at heart.
Once we got back home we knew that we would stay put. So it was an afternoon of puzzles, old movies, TV reruns and bbq chicken nachos. Oh and a few tiny naps. Nap-ettes perhaps?
The next Tropical Storm heading our way is right on the heels of old Fred. Her name is Grace and who knows what she has in mind for us. But that's ok. The puzzle isn't finished yet, I can make other really bad for you but yummy food, we can watch other old movies and of course head back over to the beach.
As long as the hurricanes stay away, it's all good.
Just in case you've never been to Florida in August (and you probably shouldn't) let me try to explain what it's like.
Nearly every afternoon, around 3 or 4, the same thing happens. I'll be doing .......something....usually in the kitchen and suddenly I begin to hear it. The far off, softly distant, thunder rumblies. Each time I check the clock and think to myself, "Yup, right on time". As I said, it starts softly and creeps up slowly and it comes from the east. Our house faces directly west so it's in the back of the house.
As it gets louder, and therefore closer, I usually run out to the mailbox. It could be my last chance of the day to fetch the mail without an umbrella! Shortly after I bring in the mail I notice how much louder the thunder is!
If I go to the back of the house, the east side, I know that I will see stormy skies. And that's so bizarre because out the front window the skies are still sunny and blue. You doubt me? Take another look at the photos at the top of today's post. There was only as much time between those photos as was necessary to walk from the back of the house to the front. So....1 minute? 2 minutes? Surely no more than that. At the back of the house we have Dark blue stormy skies and at the front? Light blue and sunny skies. Oh yeah, it's strange all right.
It has happened before that while driving down the highway we find ourselves driving into a rain storm that we saw from a mile back where we were as dry as the dessert. And then a mile or so down further the road, we drive back out of the fierce storm into blue skies and sunshine. In fact, more than once, as we were driving over the bridge to go off the island we have seen the rain begin at the halfway point of the bridge. It's like there is an invisible line on the bridge, this side: no rain/that side: total rain. It's like changing the channel on the television. So funny!
Meanwhile, back at home today (and most every afternoon lately) eventually the thunder boomers are directly over head and the darkness in the back of the house begins to leak forward. The sunny skies are gone, the wind has picked up and every time the thunder crashes, I get the crazy feeling that the house is rocking. It isn't. I know it isn't, but there is something about that thundery kabooms that throw off my balance a little bit I think.
Then the rain begins. Gently at first. Just a little pitty pat. Then it's gets heavier and stronger and louder until, if you were watching TV in the family room, you would have to turn up the volume to hear the show!
The rain falls so hard that it bounces when it hits the ground or the tops of the courtyard posts. It gushes from the gutters, it funnels off the roof and it begins to puddle on the ground.
The trees and the shrubs and the plants stand a little taller even though the rain drops are crashing into them. They bounce and bob and sway and wave as they eagerly receive the rain falling from the sky. And I always wish it were a little cooler so that I could open the windows. I love the smell of the rain.
Eventually the thunder begins to fall away, grumbling a little as it goes, the wind dies down and the rain gradually slows back to a gentle sprinkle. Then, all at once, it's gone and the air feels refreshed, the temperature has dropped considerably and all of the green growing things are happy.
It might only last 15 minutes, or it could be as much as an hour but it's more often the former than the latter.
If I am at the museum or the grocery store when the storm starts, rather than try to make a mad dash to the car, I just wait. I know it won't last long. If the storm should pass through earlier in the day while Tim and I are walking, well there isn't much that can be done about it. Just laugh and get wet I suppose. If the storm ends before we get back, once the sun comes back out we will begin to dry off before we get home.
This being August, tomorrow we will probably do it again. And that's just fine too.
I understand that rather than our daily August Rain Shower, this weekend we are anticipating Tropical Storm Fred's visit. So if there is no post on Monday, do not worry, it just means the power is out. As soon as the power resumes, so will I.
Have a great weekend, rain or shine!
Today is Thursday, which of course means yesterday was Wednesday and normally that means Joy and I were out hiking. Instead we ran errands. So I suppose we did hike, just not outside. Because when Joy and I shop together, we definitely cover some ground. Ok I've made an executive decision. It still counts.
One of the errands was to a fabric store. And contrary to what all of you might be thinking, I love fabric stores. You are correct, I do not sew. I've tried to learn. People have tried, and failed, to teach me. But there is something about a fabric store that I just adore. It is a feast for the eyes! A banquet! A smorgasbord!
And it's not just the colour and patterns, it's also the textures and sheens and details in every direction. Cottons and silks and satins and fleece! Laces and Buttons. Yarns and Threads in every colour of the rainbow! There are zippers and needles and stuff I don't even know what is, but I love it all! So when Joy told me that was one of her stops yesterday I was happyhappy.
As we wandered (and in my case, frolicked) amongst the various aisles and I "helped" Joy choose fabrics for her next quilting projects (oh yeah, Joy sews...big time!) I remembered that there was something I needed that a fabric store might logically carry! An Iron-On patch.
You would think that walking around a gorgeous fabric store filled to the brim with sewing stuff and populated by sewing people, I would be embarrassed to be purchasing an iron-on patch. You would be wrong. It's nearly impossible to embarrass me at this point in my life. I am who I am and it is what it is. My goal was to find the perfect iron-on patch.
Oddly we found it not in the section with iron-on patches but a different area called, "appliques". Of course it was in the kids section. And that didn't embarrass me either. The only thing that mattered, as far as I was concerned, was to find a patch the right size that was of something I liked.
Here is a picture of the hole in question:
It's in the elbow of my blue denim jacket. My mother always told me that I had "picket" elbows and she must be right because the evidence is clear. Sigh. To be fair, the jacket is old and I suppose holes in the elbows might indicate to some folks that it's time to throw it away. But nope, I'm not giving up my beloved denim jacket that easily.
I was trying to think of how old it was and honestly I don't remember a time when I didn't have this jacket. Tim and I have been married for 28 years and I've had it that entire time soooooo it's at least that old. It's a classic! And a hard to find classic by the way. Any short girl in the world will tell you that finding a denim (or any other jacket actually) that suits your proportions properly is tricky! This one is exactly right. Heavens knows how long it would take me to find another that fits me as well. So I'm not giving this one up without a fight.
So anyway, it's a good thing Joy was there with me because, as a sewer, she was able to advise me on the correct size of patch that I needed. I was wearing the jacket, holes and all, so that was helpful. Why was I wearing a jacket? Yes, you are correct, this is still August in Florida and it's hotter than the 3rd level of hell outside right now, but inside everyone has their air conditioning cranked to Arctic to "make up" for it which means I'm always way too cold inside. So I always bring something along, usually my denim jacket. Yeah, I know, I'm strange. I've been told.
Anyway, I stood before the enormous rack of hundreds of appliques that I could choose from kind of dumbfounded. Joy thoughtfully pointed out a half-dozen or so right off the bat that were the correct size. Which one do I choose? They were all so pretty! Mercy! There were birds and butterflies and hearts and stars and, and, and.... me oh my...it was a lot! It took me a few minutes but eventually I selected a tiny cellophane bag of multiple patches. Oh yeah, I'm ready now for the next several holes I put in things! You know it's going to happen.
So we finished playing in the fabric store eventually and moved on to other errands (and lunch!) But as soon as I got back home, I immediately got out the ironing board and got to work. I am very happy with the results!
It looks SOOOOO much better than a hole in the elbow.
A couple of years ago I had the same issue with the other elbow on the same jacket (apparently the left elbow is pointier and sharper than the right elbow). I solved it in similar fashion. But that time I just used a patch I already had. It was of a dragonfly. And while it was very cute, it was actually too small to cover the hole. Oh no! So I got very clever and put the dragonfly patch on a plain solid colour patch that I was able to cut to a better size. It ended up looking like this:
So now we have a dragonfly and a flower!
It kind of makes sense :) I am sensing a theme here. If I keep putting holes in my jacket, eventually it will look like an entire garden!
I'm okay with that.
Over the weekend, Tim and I got our Shingles Shots. We were seeking protection from the shingles in the photo on the right. As far as I know there is no vaccine for the one on the left. Still isn't it strange that it's the same word?
A few years ago poor Tim actually had Shingles and it was horrible. Those unbelievably painful blisters were all over the side of his face, his neck, his shoulder and even in his ear! I felt so bad for him, poor baby. By the time it was over we both decided that once it was safe to do so, we would both get the Shingles Vaccine. So we marked it on the calendar and when that date popped up, off we went to the local pharmacy to get the shot. Only to learn that there was a (at that time) a shortage and no vaccine was available.
Dang. We tried periodically over the next few months, only to hear the same story over and over and eventually it just kind of fell off our radar. Then along came the Pandemic and when we got our Covid shots it reminded us that we never got the Shingles shot. Then I got notification that I needed my second Pnuemonia shot. So I showed up for that and I asked about the Shingles shot. Yes they had it on hand, but it was suggested that I wait a few weeks. Ok.
The few weeks were up this past weekend so we both showed up and signed up. We filled out the paperwork and the pharmacist asked me if I also wanted the over 65 Flu shot. Sure, why not. As long as it's ok to have at the same time okay! I have two arms, why not get two shots and get it all over and done with at the same time.
And that's how I noticed that while it's never a barrel of laughs to get a shot of any kind, there was a noticeable difference between the Shingles Vaccine and the Flu Vaccine. i.e. the Shingles vaccine was more hurty. I actually could feel it being ouchie as the vaccine was entering my body. Not screaming and yelling with pain for heaven's sakes, just........noticeable. I even said so out loud to the pharmacist as he was giving me the shot. He agreed with me. "Yes, the Shingles Vaccine causes a little bit more discomfort"
Not any where near as much discomfort as having Shingles mind you, just a little more than the flu shot. And I wondered why that would be so. So I looked it up. Of course I did. Turns out that the experts aren't absolutely certain why although they all agree that it's true. They have their suspicions of course.
"Some vaccines tend to hurt a little more than others, like ones targeting hepatitis A and B and DTaP (for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis). It’s not totally clear why, but it’s possible that additives designed to strengthen the immune system, like aluminum salts or monophosphoryl lipid A, are the culprit. “These are safe ingredients added to the vaccine specifically to create a stronger immune response,” Messonnier told the paper, adding that some people might be more sensitive to them than others."
Other studies have shown that things like the PH level of the solution, the volume or perhaps that temperature of the vaccine in relation to the temperature of the body are the part of the issue. They just aren't sure.
And of course it's is the body's protective response that causes any pain at all. Think about it, the injection is introducing something unfamiliar into your body. So your body's defenses are Johnny on the Spot, ready to protect you, trying to do battle with this newcomer. And the ensuing war is what actually causes the inflammation and discomfort at the injection site. Effectively, we are doing it to ourselves! LOL
No matter. The discomfort only lasted a short time and I'm smart enough to know to relax while being given the vaccine and to keep moving, - keep the blood circulating - because yes that always helps too. And I feel so much better knowing that we are now protected against as many things as we can be.
There is always the possibility of some new weird thing coming along to try to trip us up but as soon as there is a vaccine available for the new thing, we will get that too. In the same way that I do not get in the car with the drunk driver, I try to always make good decisions with regard to my own safety, health and well being.
Just my thoughts on the matter. I will always respect the choices that other people make for themselves. And I hope that likewise, other folks will respect the choices that Tim and I have made. It's pretty simple. Golden Rule and all that.
Very quick post today, with apologies. I lost two people that I loved over the weekend and honestly, I am very sad and feeling reflective.
Life is so much shorter than we think. And I know you have heard that before. I have too. But days like today remind me that the message is still true:
Appreciate every moment. Embrace this gift of life and wring out every bit of joy that it offers. Don't hold back. Be brave, be kind, be the best version of yourself every day. Look at the beauty around you, really see it. Experience all the good that life has to offer and then be one of the good things in life for others.
Grief is painful, but it is the last act of love that can be given.
As I've mentioned, ad naseum, it is the rainy season here in Florida. Which, contrary to some beliefs, does not mean that it rains all day every day without a break. No. It means that there is a darned good chance on any given day that there is the possibility of rain. It could be just a sprinkle. It could be a passing sun shower resulting in a beautiful rainbow. It could be a little 15 minute downpour. Or yes, it could be a full day of unremitting rain or no rain at all. The point is, this time of year we get rain. And sun. And humidity. Which is the perfect environment for growing things. And that includes weeds.
This year, we have a bumper crop. Now I will confess that, unlike most people, weeds in the lawn do not bother me one bit. And here is why. 1) Once mowed, it still looks like lawn. 2) some of the weeds/wildflowers have tiny flowers and I think that looks so pretty mixed in with the green lawn and 3) since we have no irrigation system, during the dry season the actual grass struggles mightily but the weeds solider on so there is at least some green year round and hurrah for that.
However, I do not appreciate weeds - even the pretty ones with flowers on them - in my driveway or courtyard. I think that looks unkempt and negligent. It gives the house a look of abandonment. I do not like any of those things. And so I attack the weeds with vigor and prejudice!
Some weeds can be pulled out with almost no effort at all. Unfortunately, those weeds are the exception rather than the rule. Most of the weeds hang on for all they are worth and refuse to budge. Grrrrrr. Traditionally, in the past, I have done what most people do and resort, eventually, to weed killers. And honestly, I never gave the ingredients a moment's thought in the past. But in recent, more enlightened, years, I have searched for alternative methods of battling weeds.
I have tried many non-chemical, environmentally friendly brands over the years and most of them have failed miserably. One that actually did work a little bit was boiling water. Copious applications of boiling water. But it's very labor intensive, water is expensive and me walking around outside with huge pots of boiling water is a disaster in waiting. Also it's not quite as effective as I would prefer.
Pulling by hand is a lot of work yes, but it's also very hard on my arthritic little hands. Because I cannot seem to get a good "grip" on the base of the weed wearing gloves, I have to use bare hands and end up with scratches, cuts, bruises and I will not even mention the state of my nails. I was determined this year to find something better.
Tim found the weed killer in the photo at the top of the page in a local Tractor Supply Store. I was delighted to see that I could not only pronounce every single ingredient but it read more like the contents of my spice cabinet than what you might expect of a weed killer. Cinnamon, Thyme, Sesame, Clove and Rosemary...things such as that. I even remember saying to Tim, right there in the store, "This stuff must smell great!". I vividly remember saying that. I was wrong. Very Very Wrong.
The good news is that it works. It works quickly and thoroughly exactly as promised. There was a sprayer attached that came with the jug-o-death that was very handy as well.
The bad news is that it smelled terrible. Now I will grant you that those chemical weed killers with unpronounceable names that have more letters than the alphabet also smell bad. But this was next level bad. In trying to describe the smell the only word that kept coming to mind was, vomit. Honestly, that's what it smelled like to me. I expected the fragrance of a bakery and I got a frat bathroom after a kegger. Gag!
I was only able to complete half of the driveway before I was nearly overcome with the smell and had to quit, remove my shoes and gloves outside, come inside and wash, wash, wash, wash, wash to be rid of the scent.
The good news is that the smell doesn't linger because when I tentatively stepped back outside I detected none of the fragrance at all. Thank goodness!
All I can figure is that it's like with perfumes. Individually they smell wonderful. But if you poured them all in a vat together and stirred, it would be an almighty stink. In this particular case, it is an almighty stench that is Very Effective. Perhaps the weeds succumb to the smell?
I don't know and I don't care. It seems to be an environmentally friendlier option that works and one day, very soon, I will go back outside, with a clothes pin on my nose, and finish the job. Just not today.
Have a great weekend y'all!
There has been a whole lot of THIS going on here lately. I'm not completely shocked, it is the rainy season after all. But usually, we get the mornings off. Not this week. Which means, no hike, which means no photos. Dang.
But Joy and I are used to hanging out together on Wednesdays so we decided to do an indoor project yesterday. We have been, as I mentioned a month or so ago, slowly going through old letters and documents and photos and other treasures left to us by our parents. For the past six (?) or so years these things have been sitting in boxes (many) stacked in the closet of Joy's home office, patiently waiting until we were ready to sort through. Apparently this year we were finally ready.
We've been taking our time with the project and doing a the work first separately and then together. First Joy went through all of the slides and then she handed them over to me and I did the same. Then the slides that were left, we looked through together and decided what to keep and what to discard. We did the same with letters, mystery documents, notebooks, diaries, autograph books and, finally, photographs.
We finished it all up yesterday. We found so many treasures! One of the documents was a surprise:
It appears that back on July 5, 1883, one Daniel Fleming purchased property from Levi Carline for the enormous sum of $5,325 dollars, all handled with beautiful penmanship by Mr. E. Copley Esquire. I have no idea who any of these people were, but wow! That's really cool.
Another treasure, less historic but far more personal (and highly valued) were these postcards that my Dad sent to me back in 1956:
In 1956 we lived in Illinois but my dad had accepted a job in California. While waiting for our house in Illinois to sell we lived apart. Dad in the California sunshine and my mom, my sister and I in a snowy Illinois winter. I was six years old and these postcards meant the world to me. I remember being so excited at receiving mail that was addressed to me! "Really? Mail for me? Really? Are you sure?" and then starring at the pictures for long afternoons, making up stories about what was happening in each one. I have no idea why my parents still had possession of them and not me, but I am so glad that they did because now I have them once again.
There were so many wonderful pictures. Some sparked great memories. But there were also some photographs of me that I don't think I've ever seen before. Pictures from long ago, in another place, and what sometimes feels like another life. Places I was too young to remember, doing things I do not recall. If my name wasn't on the back of the photos, I absolutely would not have known it was me. I will share photos of Baby Sam.
There were pictures of Baby Sam with my Mom (who always hated having her photo taken obviously). This would have been in Chicago where I was born:
Baby Sam with my Dad. At our first house in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. Check out that car too:
I had to laugh a little bit after looking through these old pictures of me. Even though I look a lot different - taller if nothing else - there are clearly some things about me that did not change. I still have a passion for music that obviously started quite young:
I continue to have an ongoing love affair with the written word:
Always loved animals:
Despite many ballet lessons, I never got any more graceful than this:
And I was always close with my baby sister :
Ok maybe they aren't treasures in the dictionary sense, but these photos are absolutely worth more than money can buy to me!
I think Joy and I kind of dreaded the idea going through all of those boxes and boxes and boxes of stuff. But now that it's done, I'm so glad that we did it. And I'm delighted that we did it together. It was a wonderful walk through the history of our own lives. Yeah, I'd call that a treasure.
A few years ago I wrote about my obsession with names. Since it was quite awhile ago I will summarize the post. I like names. I like everything about them. I like the way the sound on their own and in combination with other names. I like the way they look written down and learning what they mean and their origins. I don't know why I like them, but I do.
Somehow through my life I had accumulated quite a few books about names. The variety runs the gamut from the expected, Name Your Baby which has alphabetically listed names to help the reader select the name for their own baby. Most of them names you've probably heard before at least once but occasionally there is the surprise name like Varina which is (according to the book) the Slavic version of Barbara and means "stranger" or "foreigner". Why a person would want to name their beautiful new baby "stranger" is a mystery to me.
But I also have more unusual books like, Remarkable Names of Real People wherein we learn the truly appalling names that some people had saddled their innocent progeny with. Names such as "Original Bug" and "July August September" and "Cigar Stubbs". This book also has on it's pages the name that I consider to be the absolute worst name in the history of names, "Welcome Baby Darling". Imagine being stuck with that name for your entire life!
There was also the very amusing book, What NOT to Name the Baby, which is entirely made up and strictly for entertainment value. This book proposes the theory that people become their names and it is followed by a list of attributes associated with certain names such as, "David is a Three Year old who bites" and "Nothing much could be wrong with anyone named Sam". We also learn that: "Alma is an ex-WAC who owns her own bowling ball." "Cliff goes to the barber shop twice a week and talks loud. He likes to tell you how much everything he owns cost."
So you would think, after learning about so many names, the good ones, the bad ones and the ugly ones, that I pretty much know about names right? Well I thought so too. And you know what they say about pride going before a fall. I learned something just the other day that absolutely shook me to my toes. It was so obvious, so - right there in front of my face , how did I not see it before??? Are you ready for this? Liam is short for William. Dang! Am I the only one on the planet who did not know this?
While I am delighted to now know this, it really rattled my cage. Liam is short for William...wow! When I think of the name William I think...Bill, Billy or Will. All perfectly fine names. It never once dawned on me that Liam - a name I like by the way - could be an abbreviation of William.
Of course I was also shocked when I learned that Polly is short for Mary AND Dorothy. What? How does that work. Mary and Dorothy do not even have a passing familiarity. How can Polly be the nickname for either one, let alone both? But then, Peggy is the shorted version of Margaret. What? That makes no sense. None at all. Who decides these things?
At least Liam is actually within the name William. It's at the end but it's there. Just like Ace is at the end of Wallace. But I've never known a person named Wallace that was called Ace. If my name was Wallace, I would rather be known as Ace than Wally, frankly.
There is no equitability to names. Some names have roughly a zillion official nicknames. Like Elizabeth. If you name your daughter Elizabeth, you can shorten her name to something like fifty choices from Liz to Isabelle, from Betsy to Elspeth, from Babette to Elissa. Nice to have options.
But if you were named Brock or Jane, there isn't much you can do with those. Well I suppose you could make "Jane" longer - Janey is cute. But what do you do for poor Brock? Brockie? No that doesn't sound right. Rock? Rocky? I have no idea
Some names you can shorten, but it's not flattering. Like the pretty name April. Shorten it to Ape? No that's horrible. Howard to How? That's a big Nope. That's not a name it's a question.
There are names with accepted nicknames that are just well, uncomfortable. Richard has quite a few perfectly fine short versions like Rich/Richie or Rick/Ricky so why oh why oh why please tell me, would anyone shorten Richard to Dick? It rhymes with Rick but what's with the D? No. Please don't do that to your child.
There are legitimate names that nobody, NOBODY, uses anymore. Like Spear and Speed. Those are real names, Old English to be sure, but still on the list. They already sound like nicknames. No need to create others. I guess it makes the process - name to nickname - easier. Corona is a girls name on the list. It originated in Spain and it means crown or crowned one. But nowadays if you heard the name you would immediately think of either a beer or a disease. Please don't name your children that.
The whole idea of nicknames is a very old one. It actually goes back to the Middle Ages when a person had their official, formal name and then their "ekename" or other name which was less formal and more what friends and family called them. Almost everyone I know has an ekename, or rather, nickname. Although I've known parents who are positive that nobody will ever shorten their childs name. They insist upon it.
"We named him Andrew, not Drew and not Andy. Call him Andrew" Yeah, well, most Andrews get called Andy or Drew in the school yard and honestly, if that's the worst thing that Andrew is called, Mom and Dad, consider yourselves lucky. Victoria becomes Vickie or Tori, Edward is Eddie or Ed and Christina is quickly either Chris, Christie or Tina. That's just how it works. Or at least how it has worked historically.
Nowadays there are some very unusual names out there and I have no idea how it works anymore. What does Moxie Crimefighters buddies call her? Or Fifi Trixibelle. Or Pilot Inspektor?It is a different world out there now and sometimes I feel a little lost. But, I am teachable and I love to learn new things. So if anyone knows the answers, please do let me know.
I have lots of other name related thoughts, questions and ideas but I suppose that can wait for another time.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.