Thought for the Year 2005

"If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning"  - Catherine Aird

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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!


My World View (the 2005 ramble)

Every year for the past five or six years I have begun the writing of this Christmas Letter the same way – I begin by rereading all the cards and letters I have received throughout the year.  I save the Christmas, birthday, Valentines Day, Easter, Thank You cards – the postcards you send me from your vacations, everything that arrives is saved until now and reread – and then pitched (who can keep all this?).  But it puts me in a mood to try to talk to everyone and it reminds me, once again, how truly blessed I am with the many friends I have in my life.  So this letter begins with a huge thank you to you all for it is your love and friendship that keeps me so happy with life and it would be a sad world indeed for me without you all.

As to what I’ve been up to, well as I think back it sure seems like a lot – 2005 was a BIG year!

It began with a wonderful New Year’s Eve party (no, I will not do another one this year), surrounded by friends and fire (in the outdoor pit) and frivolity.  For my birthday I went to see an old rock ‘n’ roll favorite from my youth, Dave Mason, only to discover that he was old – his audience was old and so, I guess I am old too – but not as old as I’m gonna be so I have to get used to it.  “The secret to Life is learning to enjoy the passing of time.”  And the secret to enjoying the passing of time is to fight it with all your might – concede as little as possible to old age – and “Strive to be Happy”  It isn’t always easy or possible but it’s something worth striving for… am I becoming a hedonist, you ask?  No, that is striving for pleasure… happiness is another thing entirely.

In February, on Valentine’s Day, I was dumped by the Bob I wrote about last year.  It was done in such a rude way as to almost make me write off the entire gender, but I got over it….by assuming that he was dead… for what else could explain his rudeness…death is a perfect and perhaps the only excuse I could accept.  However, he lives…just not in my life.  No swimming since – but lots of coffee dates, thanks to Yahoo Personals.

Health wise I am perfect.  This is the “lucky” part of my life.  Being healthy enables me to do the striving mentioned above…Life will eventually send me afflictions, hopefully I will be able to continue striving even then.

The house project – to move Wayne into my life – has been a great success.  The new room is spacious and it shows off all of Wayne’s art beautifully.  It didn’t take that much time to do either and was really no trouble.  It wasn’t my original plan but, to use yet another quote, “Life is what happens while you are making other plans.” And in retrospect is so much nicer than my original plan and easier and less expensive… well things worked out for the best, definitely in this case.

And as if that wasn’t enough there was my fabulous trip to France for the wine harvest!  Paul, Aleth, Michel, Jean Marc and all the Voarick friends and family (plus the ever charming Bartley) treated me so wonderfully and were so warm and loving to me that even now I get a bit misty thinking of it.  Photos abound at my web site and what’s there is not even half of what was taken (digital camera and big memory stick – I always was a size freak).  My new love of France will be a test of the power of what passes for prayer in my life as I am now praying for a way to be able to live half a year in France…I just haven’t decided which half, or how.

Friendship wise, .  I have gotten closer with several people this year and this has been a good thing, I am thinking of  Aleth, Mary Lou, Debra and Cindy here - and I look forward to closer friendships in 2006.  I didn’t get to go fishing with my old buddy, Louie, but maybe next year.  Becky Sheldon, daughter of the late great Bob, has said that I can be an honorary Grandmother to her two darlings, Gwen & Brenna and I have included their photo so you can see how lucky I am.  I got to reconnect with my old college friend, Dickie and his wife, Linda.  My darling niece, Susan and her lover, James, bought their first new home together.   My sweet and very favorite friend, Bridget, got married to a great guy, Matt - and had one heck of a ‘do’ where I got to dance at her wedding.  Several of my ‘couples’ friends parted this year – always sad to see your friends with broken hearts – but others reconnected and now seem better than ever.  Ready for another attempt at a quote?  “Whatever doesn’t kill you outright makes you strong…”  Hopefully we are all getting stronger.

So, is that all I have to say this year?  I think so.  Hope your Holidays are Merry & Bright!

Strive to be Happy!

November - Had to move in with Paul and Aleth to allow my house to be tented for termites.  The old 1920's yellow pine is too hard for them to eat but any new wood is at risk and I saw wings in the spring.  Went shopping with Susan Hunt to find her a dress for the Kail wedding - I could be a personal shopper - I am very good at shopping for others and the dress I found for Susan was really HOT!  Then there was the weekend of my great memory lapse.  I forgot how old I am and thought I could do yard work as if I was 30.  I picked up a 40 pound bag of soil with no problem and went for another - only the second one was soaking wet soil, where the first had been dry... anyway I felt something pull in my back and then I remembered that I am too old to be doing this.  but the parkway looks nice for the holidays and hopefully I have seen the last of the wire grass.  I rested up during the week so that I could dance at the Kail wedding... and dance I did.

Bridget looked so lovely and Matt so handsome.  I do hope they will be very happy together all the days of their lives.  And the wedding was fun - even when the father of the bride dropped me during a slow dance dip.

Now I am getting ready for Thanksgiving - I am doing the Yams this year and I have a tradition to live up to in this regard...then we begin the roller coaster ride that is the Holiday Season...


September/October - Ah, France!  After months of planning a dream realized.         I have posted all the photos on the Places We Like page as a self guided tour.  Now that I have been home over a week, I again realize that I have a wonderful life here, but I am still going to play the lottery for a while to see if the fates want to send me enough money to live in France for half a year.  

August has just disappeared from my memory as I have been looking forward to my trip to France in September.

July - A month of delays.  but now,  complete, I can show you how Wayne's possessions look in my house.  His beautiful hutch 

 - the painting titled "Tenor Sax"  - his sculpture "Angel on a Pin" and the cabinet with matching mirror.       a lamp made long ago and his big red sofa and coffee table The big painting named "George" and  his beautiful chair

His dining room table and chairs. "
 it all fits so beautifully into my life - I think of him as a roommate.  It has all come together as I dreamed it and now all I have to do is enjoy it.

June - A really big month for change.  I added the new room addition and while there is still a bit of finishing work to do in July, it is mostly a June accomplishment  before during  after  Next month I will be able to show you all how Wayne's Art looks in it.

Also, in June, I did some work on my body and I have to say I am pleased with the new look and with the fact that I was able to loose some weight after all.

On line dating is beginning to suck.  I meet very few guys with whom I feel any connection and those I do connect with, don't call.  I figure that if they don't have enough gumption to pick up the phone after meeting me and hearing me say I would be happy to see them again ("call me some time") then I don't suppose they would have enough strength of personality to date anyway. 

The best news of the month was that I was made an honorary Grandmother to the Late-Great Bob's Grandaughter, Gwen.  Here she is with my baby Zohar she is so like Bob...


May - The long lovely spring continued through May 15th when finally I turned on the A/C.  It was a quiet month over all.  I went to a concert with the Hunts which was a lot of fun.  And to an odd affair, a fund raiser for the Dali Museum.  The gang came over for a pool party and the following weekend Tim & Randy threw a cook-out.  The rest of the month was devoted to getting ready for the addition of a new room.  The work begins in June.  So not much to tell, but I am happy and looking forward to the 4th of July.

April - Holy cow the entire month of April went by and not once did I put the air conditioning on!  For those of you reading this in the colder climates, you may not be impressed, but here in the heat belt of Florida it is somewhat unheard of...

Well, April was a fun month.  We went to the Renaissance Fair on April Fools Day and I dressed like a fool for it DSC00259.JPG (130683 bytes)  I fully realize that I shouldn't publish photos like this, as it look enormous in those pants,(I can't resist providing a horrible warning about the perils of wearing spandex bell bottoms).  When you are a fool...well, you are a fool!  

There were two productions of Shakespeare in the Park this year and I went to both - Bombity of Errors with Mary, Geri, James & Carl was the first one and it was a hip-hop version of Comedy of Errors... very cute.  Then later in the month they put on Taming of the Shrew and I went with Tim, Randy, Russ, Cindy and a friend of hers and Dave.  Since Debbie couldn't come, we decided to make a bachelor party for Dave to celebrate their engagement and we all had a lot of fun with that... he received a leash, collar and a dog tag that proclaims him Debbie's property and a party sheep party sheep.JPG (622210 bytes) which claims to be "As seen on TV"  but none of us could figure out what channel you would advertise something like this on...  any way we had some fun with it.

Other events in April include the Main Sail Art show and The Green Thumb Plant festival - both favorites and lots of fun to attend.  I also signed up for Yahoo personals to see about meeting some guys... so far I have met one who is nice but lives pretty far away...  I was contacted by several others but they were all non-starters.  French lessons are getting easier but I still think I could do a stand-up routine on the pronunciation of French many letters and so few sounded.

My plan to build a new room had to be modified due to escalating costs... now I am going to add a sunroom and I signed the contract this this site for photos as it comes together.   And so ends the April report - hope yours was spiffy!

March - A lovely month which began with a fabulous performance of OLIVER! at Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center and ushered in the spring.  Things are blooming everywhere so if you are locked in the snowy north here are some pictures of what I have blooming... amarillis 3.JPG (214511 bytes) amarillis2.JPG (356684 bytes) grasshopper.JPG (386109 bytes) pond cherub.JPG (354737 bytes) redRose.JPG (200886 bytes) new rose1.JPG (191551 bytes) This last rose (the pink) is my newest rose...very fragrant.  Also as Easter came early this was the month for the annual (13th year) egg coloring party... a favorite event on the spring calendar!

DSC00233.JPG (406316 bytes) These were my eggs... So spring is now officially in full swing and looking good so far - I hope my flowers cheer you if you are reading this in snow, especially in Sweden.  Life is Good!

February - A short month and it slipped by before I knew it.  Lost my boyfriend, Bob... don't know where he got to but he isn't in my life anymore and without an explanation.  Guys... who understands them - lucky for me I didn't care for him in a romantic way - just the old lust.

Went to the Opera - Gilbert & Sullivan's Mikado - great production.  And went to Julie's for a fabulous sushi party.  Then of course there was Sandra's Oscar Party.  

Mary has a new job again - now she is working at the Dolphin Hotel managing their restaurant - she likes it much better than Bellagio.  

Spring is coming.  Leaves are falling and robins have come and gone several times  robin.JPG (128228 bytes) here's one at my pond.  Short month short journal entry until March!


January - The New Year begins... It began as it always does with a brunch given by Randy and Tim.  brunch.JPG (194214 bytes).  Also beginning the New Year well was Mary, who started a new job on January 8th.  She is managing the Bellagio Restaurant downtown in the Ponce de Leon Hotel.  Then we had all the birthday celebrations for me...dinner and a film with Tim, Randy and Ed on Saturday followed by dinner and a film on Sunday with Mary followed by dinner and a concert with Bob on Monday
 58thBday2.JPG (18377 bytes) Here I am at 58...- now today is the actual day and I am looking forward to staying home and enjoying my beautiful flowers sent by Bob & Susan Hunt DSC00155.JPG (403464 bytes) and the month isn't but half over...

More flowers arrived from Julie & Eric... Bob took me to dinner and then we went to a concert of Joe Cocker and Dave Mason.  If you really want to feel old, go to a rock concert with someone from your youth performing.!  Everyone looked so old...the performers and the audience too.

I have started French class in preparation for going to the wine harvest in Burgundy in September.  French is an interesting language where only half the letters are sounded and of that half almost none of them sound like their spelling.  My brain feels knotted up and my tongue does too.  Still I am only on my fourth week and it should get better after a while.  It is harder to learn if you have been away from it as long as I have - learning that is - I never studied French before

The gang and I went to see The Full Monty at Ruth Eckerd Performing Arts Center this month was my gift to everyone.  I sat next to the only straight man in the group, Jerry and I could feel his nervousness as we got near the end when the Full Monty is revealed... but all went well and the unveiling was quite tastefully done.

This weekend I travel to Punta Gorda to see Dave and Debbie and to see when the big hurricane really hit - Charley the one that was headed right at Tampa Bay but turned into Punta Gorda instead with 140 mph winds.  I suspect I will still be able to see the damage.


Photo Album

 If you haven't already seen the photos of my Millennium trip to Sweden or my 2002 trip to Scotland, you can see most of them in Places We Like.  

For a look back at 2004 Click Here

For a look back at my year in  2003 Click here

For a look back at my year in 2002 click here

                                zohar.jpg (14376 bytes)                       mre.jpg (17229 bytes)     
     Sandie                               Zohar                    Mr. Elizabeth

Las Tres Amigas - The Thompson Street Tootsies
Want to see the ravages of time?  Here are Dion, Mary and I at Christmas (1998) and Easter(1974)!

           Las_Vegas.jpg (9586 bytes)                             Sandie2.jpg (13527 bytes)            
Sandie, Chris & Susan in Las Vegas              My old long hair
   ICOE - In Case of Emergency


Hello -

So you were out browsing the net and decided to stop in at our site...Welcome

As you can see it is about a girl and her dog & cat.  We live in Florida.  The dog and the cat are  10 and the girl is 8+ in animal years.  Here are some data:

    Travel (including camping)
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Life is Grand!

Zohar, Mr. E and I wake each day with smiles on our faces. We strive to be happy without doing harm to anyone else in the process. This isn't very deep stuff, I know, but that's our philosophy and we're sticking to it! We hope you are enjoying your life. Send us an email and let us know what you think. As my dear friend Richard likes to quote,

"May the long-time sun shine upon you,
all love surround you
and the clear light within you guide your way home"

                                          - The Incredible String Band