The Heart of Heat (poem/rated R)

The heart of the heat is upon us in SW Florida, when the natives come alive, albeit with beads of sweat on everything from toenails to forearms, just from walking to the mailbox. A good daily detox if you walk, work or play in the great outdoors.  When the gulf and pools feel more like a party spa, with temps pushing 90, prime hurricane waters.

With summer comes skin, lots of skin, and some skin you would really not rather see…which brings me to today’s poem Keeper of Things (probably considered rated R). It’s a common sight, and you all know what I’m talking about. I mean no harm, I can’t help where my writer’s mind takes me, just enjoying the journey.

keeper of things

i could see his pooch
as he stood without his shirt on
sweat band ’round forehead

i in cut-offs and tank top
neither one of us wore a bra

80 year old man-breasts
similar to my chest
after teenage pregnancy
and nurturing babies

ah, gravity
and 33 years age difference

but my nipples
have been tugged on
by little mouths of hunger
eager lovers and mammogram machines

its amazing how far
they can flatten these things

now, they hold keys
my cell phone
hell, they could house this
microphone

the enclave
between these monuments
now house my personal belongings:
ID, money, memories of honeys

i wonder what he keeps in his valley
evidently nothing, ’cause i can see his

while mine
remain hid

 

(not that this guy is poochy or 80, just thought it was a funny pic)

Welcome to Venice~

Gallery

This gallery contains 57 photos.

I love photography, LOVE IT, mine, yours, old, new…does not matter.  I love that photos need no words to convey a message or a feeling, drumming up emotions. I’m just a fan, never having had a class or a mentor, … Continue reading

Where Have I Been?

I’m sure a few of you have been wondering where I’ve been…and physically, I know where I am, but sometimes, mentally, I tend disappear. I’ve always thought it’s the writer in me. I’m a great pondered, analyzing everything…incessantly at times, looking at every angle of things. Why? I’m not entirely sure. Just a form of entertainment, I suppose. I enjoy my internal dialog and debates, on most days.

Seems like a whole lot of holidays have happened since I last wrote here.  Let me catch you up…

We are still living lightly, just in a much nicer home. We sold the motorhome and bought a 5th wheel.  We decided since we made the first 6 months of alternative living and have no real desire to own a tradition home at this point. we needed a wee bit more space  I love it and I LOVE the kitchen. I have sooo much more room, so I’m enjoying cooking again, which Randy is ecstatic about. He enjoys the benefits of that.

 

We have changed locations and have moved on from Ramblers Rest RV Resort north a tad, this will be our home for the next 6 month.  Should be a bit drier in this area during the rainy months ahead. I do miss the fabulous view of the Myakka River~but we will return in the autumn.

Still loving the lifestyle, even tho agencies can sure act like what you are doing is suspicious or something.  I’m not sure what the issue is. Last I knew it wasn’t against the law to live an alternative lifestyle.  Krikees, people can’t even get our address change to a postal service correct.  Customer care is on the endangered list in America…can it truly be that hard to change an address on a computer screen and hit save?  Ok, rant over

So, I want to begin sharing some of my photography with you.  It’s another great and fairly safe escape for me. I like fun and funky findings. I also often take pictures of subject matter that moves me in some way.  Also, at times, I’ll share a poem that the picture inspired me to write, or just share with you the thoughts the photo evokes.

Since we had a great 6 month at Ramblers, I thought I’d use that area as my first photography showcase.

I hope you enjoy, hope you feel joy, perhaps some zen in the images herein.

Namastè

L

 

 

RIP Earth Angel


Kris Palmer; poet, author, mother, earth angel.

Kris Palmer; poet, author, mother, earth angel.

earth angel

there’s a glow about those
that are graced with a halo
your light before you goes
earth angel

there’s a recognition
our spirits know
we are of one another
i share your glow

our love is comfortable
our friendship old
conversation easy
when you share a soul

so rest assure
where ever you travel
i’ll be there with you
you are never alone

remember
earth angel

we share a soul

 

I wrote this in early 2011 for my friend, Kris, who was leaving Venice, FL and moving back home to Missouri, feeling apprehensive at leaving her grown children and the town she now called home. I hated that she was leaving us, her friends and poets who loved her so deeply, but she needed to be close to her family (parents, siblings, cousins) and for that, I couldn’t fault her.

Kris was diagnosed in her 30’s with Young-Onset Parkinson’s Disease, a shocking life sentence to this vivacious young mother. Her life changed in ways in which I could never understand.

I met Kris in 2004 at a magnificent coffee house in Venice called Stir the Soul, oh, how I loved this space and those that drifted in and out of those doors.  I no more than landed in Venice and found my way into Stir the Soul in search of poetry, and it happened that the owner, Mr. Daney Jelley was looking for someone to bring poetry to life in his space.  This was synchronicity in all its glory!  So I began hosting open mic poetry on Saturday nights, and there was this girl (she looked so young) that had the sweetest spirit about her, who would get up and kill it at the mic. Her words were moving and real, inspiring and charged with emotion.  Occasionally, we’d pause, while Kris would tolerate some moments of several tremors, then pick up right where she left off.  Perseverance.  At that time I didn’t realize she had Parkinson’s since I wasn’t real familiar with it, just that I thought older individuals were more apt to have it.

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At poetry in North Port FL

Through the years, we continued as poetry buds. Kris was writing her book “Dancing with an Elephant”. She knew I liked to dabble in photography, so she asked if I would mind taking pictures of her for her book.  Of course I said YES.  That lead to me designing her book cover, but more than that, it lead me to an even greater closeness with this remarkable woman. She asked if I would mind video taping her preparing for an average day, in case she wanted to use that to promote her book.  I have several hours of video that leaves me speechless every time I watch them. Makes me thoroughly ashamed that I ever complain about anything!

Kris Palmer's book about Living a Full Life with Young Onset Parkinson's Disease.

Kris Palmer’s book about Living a Full Life with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease.

My Earth Angel passed away last week, with her beautiful daughter by her side, and her family nearby. A strange mix of gladness and sadness came over me. Glad that she is finally still, that she has shed the body that tried to trap her, but you see, she was bigger than any disease. Her spirit can finally soar.  But my human self is sad, for entirely selfish reasons.

So on the days when my body feels like its dragging behind me, when I want to lay on the couch and lick my wounds or satiate whatever whim I feel I need, I’ll look to Kris…to the woman that taught me more than I even know at this point, because it’s often not until someone is gone, do we remember the wonderful moments, the soothing and supportive words, the sheer physical and mental will to keep on going.

Fly high Earth Angel. Until next time~Rest in Paradise

At Kris's daughter's wedding.

At Kris’s daughter’s wedding.

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Kris sharing her poetry~

Living Lightly~7

Things at the crib have been going rather nicely. I think we have hit a stride that seems to work, balancing our busy work schedules with the need to rest, exercise and nourish our bodies.

Meal preparation is still one of the biggest struggles for me…mind you, I have always struggled in the kitchen, no fault of the rv.  In a kitchen I am like a fish out of water, flopping around not knowing what in the hell I’m suppose to be doing. Now I just have less room to flop and I do a lot of flopping of food. Seems like I’m always wiping up the floor. Hence the reason why Bella feels she must be under foot. She feels her duty is to be a vacuum cleaner of all things edible. So while I’m spinning between the sink and the dining table (aka my desk) she is scrabbling. The clicking of her nails on the wood floor is a constant. So the kitchen becomes a cacophony of “oh shits”s and “watch it”s. But I don’t care to always go out to eat. We could, but sometimes we don’t care to deal with the crowds, and it is really getting crowded down here.

We successfully had a family dinner at the nest, a welcome-back for mom and dad. Fit everyone quite well. Helped that I prepped dinner before hand and put it in the crock pot. Nothing like a good bowl of chili, some corn bread and a fresh salad from vegis from our very own farmer’s market on sight on Saturdays. Mom and dad seemed to have enjoyed it, along with leftovers.

Ramblers Rest is getting fuller and fuller. It’s fun to see people coming in and setting up their outdoor arrangements of tables, snappy colored chairs and landscaping their squirt of space with yard art and plants.  Satellite dishes are all facing the same way, like flowers reaching for the sun on their floral faces.

My favorite camp/home sights are the eclectic and colorful ones. Those that show personality and pizzazz. Some come alive at night with party lights and the smells of campfires in the air, now that it’s cooler, takes me right back to my childhood and camping at the Waterloo Recreation area on SE MI. Camping is in my blood.

Now that it gets dark early it’s entertaining to walk or ride the golf cart around at night. I love being able to see inside some of the park units and see how people decorate. I guess I am a voyeur..my bad. But what the hell, some people just don’t care if they live in a fish bowl. I, personally, don’t like people looking in, so my shades get shut at night. Ha.

Randy’s been steadily, and sometimes not so tolerantly, working on getting satellite tv in our rig. For the last 2 weeks he’s been positioning between the trees. Finally got a signal Friday, just in time for non-stop, pre-thanksgiving, Christmas movies on Lifetime TV.  Fuck me~lol.

Here’s some pictures for your viewing pleasure:

November decorations at a nearby site.

November decorations at a nearby site.

This colorful and funky little place makes me happy.

This colorful and funky little place makes me happy.

A street in the hood.

A street in the hood.

Yard ornament.

Yard ornament.

A view of the pool.

A view of the pool.

A slew of canoes.

A slew of canoes.

Park unit.

Park unit.

Moon over a repurposed school bus.

Moon over a repurposed school bus.

The magnificent and majestic Myakka River.

The magnificent and majestic Myakka River.

Even tho’ we love our little nest, one still needs to fly. Gotta go spread my wings…until next time.

Living Lightly~6

Not our cart, but there are some wicked good ones around.

Not our cart, but there are some wicked good ones around.

Tomorrow will be 4 weeks of Living Lightly, U can safely say this week was waayyy better than last.  I believe all the technological issues and the odds and ends of moving are behind us. Whew…survived what I hope will be the end of the frustrations.

I had been feeling like we had been so extremely busy, that we hadn’t even had time to enjoy where we are, but we had a fun and restful weekend.  Helps tremendously when you just tell the world to STOP for a few moments.  It’s at that point that I’d like to jump off for a few non-swirling moments.  When I can and do, it works miracles. Call it daydreaming, call it meditation, call it communion…whatever word works for you.

I also started a new part-time job this past  week.  Just a few hours for a few days a week.  I’m very excited about it and it just kind of landed in my lap. I’ll share more about that in a later post.  Feels good~

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See the gator?

The weather has cooled here in SW Florida, and it has definitely cooled in the northern states.  The winter travelers are flocking in to their little nests here at Ramblers Rest, and the park is coming alive.  Entertainment is scheduled throughout the winter, so we’ll have to check some of that out and report back.

Hope all you peeps reading this are enjoying your autumn and the technicolor trees!

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Living Lightly~5

imageWell, I can now say I’ve some…not growing pains, but shrinking pains.  I’ve had some rough, emotionally frustrating days here in the motor home.  A combination of my sensitive nature, mixed with adjusting to the down-sizing.  NOTHING is the same, but I try to also keep in mind that EVERYTHING is temporary.

Dealing with the technological issues is one of the biggest pains!  I threatened yesterday to throw ALL of my devices in the river.  Too bad I’m horribly against litter, or maybe that’s a good thing.

Every day it seems like I have to clean up a spill.  Often it’s Bella’s drinking water, or our food.  Cooking and the lack of counter space is one of my thorns, but I’m determined to work through it and to get creative.  Also need to revamp, once again, my desk/work area.  My mind is racing with ideas, got up in the middle of the night to scan Pinterest.  Got a couple of possibilities.

An issue I also have, is that having a fused ankle in a small sppace is like having a hook on my leg.  Seems to want to latch onto everything and drag it around with me…FOR REAL!?  Clothing, cords, the dog, you name it, it’s been hooked and dragged to another location.  Funny, but not.

So yesterday I took a nice long solitary walk to the river, laid a few tears upon the tide and said good bye to them.  On my way back to the RV, I rounded a corner and came across a man walking his dog.  Not an ordinary man, this man put me in my humble place as soon as I saw him, more so after we talked.  He had NO LEGS…he was riding a kid’s hover board so he could walk his dog, having the time of his life with his new-found toy.  He had such a great spirit and seemed so blissful.  He affected me without knowing it.  I love moments of clarity such as that!

So today, I woke up feeling grateful and more peaceful.  It’s gonna be a good day!  I even ate breakfast with a few ants. After they drowned in my milk, I couldn’t tell them from the crumbs of shredded wheat, and I didn’t cry!

Life is good!

Shout out~

I’d like to give kudos to our realtor for the sale of our latest house.

bard

Jeffrey Twigg of Bright Realty blew me away from the moment he walked into our home to give his presentation.  Even though Randy has had business dealings with Jeff prior, I had not met him, and he never worked ‘for’ us.  I was very impressed by his professionalism, he didn’t take the fact that he knew Randy into account, he came prepared to impress, and he did just that.

No question on whether or not he would represent us in this sale.  He knows his stuff, he knows the area, and he knows people.  He has a sense about him few people these days possess. His materials for the sale were of the highest quality and the pictures!!  Loved them!!  Great job by all~

PLUS the house sold in 5 days!  That’s it, one open house and the job was done. Fast, smooth, and the ink has dried.  Just like that.

We’ve bought and sold a lot of real estate, this was by far one of the best experiences.

Thanks Jeff!

 

Living Lightly~4

What a beautiful morning!  It’s finally not blazing hot.  It’s currently 78, just about perfect.

So let me take this time to introduce you to Rambler’s Rest RV Resort.  You can continue to read and experience it through my eyes, or you can click on the link and discover it for yourself.

Welcoming arches.

Welcoming arches.

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We’ve been coming to Rambler’s for many years as campers.  We have always owned some sort of camping apparatus.  Started over 28 years ago with a slide-on camper.  Oh boy, that was fun!   We remodeled that too.  So we had become familiar with it, and really loved the feeling we would get when we would drive through the arches.  It’s one of many RV resort style campgrounds that are familiar to the Florida landscape; offering both full-time residents as well as long-term and short-term campers.

What appeals to me about Ramblers that the other resorts around here lack is that it feels like camping.  It is not a place where the units are neatly lined up, same distance from the road, same size concrete pads, same tidy lot…way too sterile for this girl.  I love the eclectic array of park units in various positions, the many difference camping units peppered between the stationary units and towering pine trees.  There is green space, lawns, various Florida flora, vegetation, personalized displays of fun and fancy.  It has a communal feel, yet doesn’t feel too invasive.  Now keep in mind, this is October in FL, come January, I may be bitching up a storm about all the people. Right now the park is relatively quiet and very laid back. But once the birds all return it could get to be crazy, but hopefully it’s the kind of crazy I flourish in.

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Some of the amenities the park offers is first, my favorite place, the Myakka River.  I love rivers, they calm me, like most bodies of water do, but a river seems to take the cares and carries them away.  They have a great size pool with tables, umbrellas, cabanas and misters.  There’s a hot tub and a seating area with a fire pit, it might be gas, haven’t really checked that out yet.  There’s volleyball, shuffle board, boccie ball, tennis, a kid’s play structure, a splash park for the wee ones, pavilions, a life-size chess set, a sweet weight room, a billiards room with (i think) 3 tables, ping pong tables,a bike shop and even a wood shop.

They also have activities such as pool exercising, karaoke, concerts (a Motown group, a Frankie Vale group, a Whitney Houston show, stuff like that, cheap!), bus tours (some nice trips!), cookouts, they are always adding things. There are groups that meet however often like quilting, and even a Michigan group.  Maybe I’ll have to start a poetry group! .

They also offer park units and trailers for rent (or purchase), so anyone planning a winter visit, this is a nice alternative to a traditional motel or condo.  Here are pictures of some of those units:

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trailer for sale

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trailers for rent

park units for sale or rent

park units for sale or rent

We”re on site C51.  We are quite close to 75, and about equal distance to greater Venice, Englewood and North Port. Rather handy.

red arrow, HERE, is our site

red arrow, HERE, is our site

Hope you enjoyed your little tour of our new community, and as I learn things, I’ll be sharing with you.  I enjoyed having you stop by…see you again soon.

Living Lightly~3

Tomorrow will be one week of Living Lightly.  I must say it’s going fairly smooth. Adjusting to working in the same place I cook…literally, and the amount of times I move the same items I find a little repetitive, time to get creative and find some solutions.

“If you can’t find the solution you are not being creative enough”  LNW

We’ve been blessed to have had no effects from hurricane Matthew. We did bring in outside items and secured things in case it got a little ‘exciting’ through the night, but I’m happy to report that all is quiet, except the constant, non-stop reporting on all medias avenues. Ugh~but hey, no politics!! Woot!

It’s rained every day since we’ve been here, the tail end of Florida’s daily summer rains. I know it’s autumn, but the nation’s appendix doesn’t know that yet. Even though I have seen some of Florida’s fall colors in the form of the pink and yellow flowering trees. Slightly reminiscent of Michigan’s gorgeous autumn colors, very slight.

Randy has added a canvas screened-porch onto the RV, extending our living area. (I told him I wanted it for a closet, can you imagine…with a chandelier, of course. Ha.) It’s pretty cool and reminds me of the tenting days with my parents, then with my own boys when they were little. So now, even if it’s raining, we can sit out there and enjoy the sights and sounds. Maybe we’ll sleep out there some night.  Won’t me able to move or get up off the floor but it would be awesome to lay there and listen to the sounds of the night

I have discovered a couple of things I would like to tweek. Cooking is a slight challenge with having to move everything off the stove counter top (like 5 items, I do not like clutter) to get to the burners, not a huge problem, except when I’m hangry or just having a painful day. I have to move the office on the dinette to put items from the kitchen on the table to use the stove top. BUT on an exciting note, I remember how much I LOVE cooking on a gas stove, so it’s worth it. The greatest joy; heating up tortillas on an open flame…the way God intended!!  Yum, brings back great memories of my days living with my friend, Debbie Arecheja Alvarez. Good times!!

The other thing I’ve really noticed and need to address is the amount of trash 2 people can accumulate. Really?!?  Everything has so much packaging, and all the crap that comes in the mail!! Buying bulk might be an option if I had more storage.  So we need to work on shrinking our footprint on the planet. Bugs me~

So here are a few pics to share…enjoy.

The add-a-room Randy put up. Giving us an extra room that we use like a den.

The add-a-room Randy put up. Giving us an extra room that we use like a den.

Bella passed out on our bed. She's a light-weight.

Bella passed out on our bed. She’s a light-weight.

A few feeder bands moving thru from Matthew. Very little blow and even less rain, whew~

A few feeder bands moving thru from Matthew. Very little blow and even less rain, whew~

Dinner at my little fold-down counter. I don't care to wear my food while eating off my lap, Randy's happy with his recliner. It's a win-win.

Dinner at my little fold-down counter. I don’t care to wear my food while eating off my lap, Randy’s happy with his recliner. It’s a win-win.

Next blog,  I’ll give you a little tour of Rambler’s Rest, where we park our nest.  Maybe that’s what we should name our new digs. RV or Motorhome seem too impersonal, and the House doesn’t exactly capture its essence.

A nest, on the other hand, conjures visions of comfort and cozy. A place of nurturing and learning…and a place of preparation. Not sure exactly what we would be preparing for but I have always said “be prepared for the opportunity, whatever that opportunity may be” (maybe it’s to prepare for retirement), it’s time to put some of my words into action. I’m always looking to expand my knowledge and to experience the journey, wherever that may lead to.  Life feels like I’m closer to the short end. Gotta focus and capture the joys of the simple pleasures. NOW is the time and sometimes I struggle to let go of the strong holds of society. Makes me crazy when I feel I can’t find a balance. Because NOW is the time, and I don’t want to miss any of it!

Mummy has always called me a pioneer woman (after herself)…perhaps I am forging a path, even if it’s unknown or a personal one. But we truly never know who is watching, and what fertile soil a seed may have been dropped into.

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Namastè