Thought for 2008:  
"It is said that Power corrupts, but actually it is more true that Power attracts the corruptible"  -David Brin


 November - Well the really good news in November is that Barrack Obama won the election... I feel very sorry for him, however, as the economy is in the toilet and getting worse and he is going to have to fix it.  It seems every 5 to 10 years America gets itself excited over the prospect of getting something for nothing (think Junk Bonds in the 80's and dot.coms in the late 90") and everyone jumps on the band wagon and fails to notice that the junk really is junk and they behave as if it had value and they run up the value and then suddenly the kid cries out that the Emperor is naked and we go into recession.  And it has happened again.  Only this time everyone, not just wall street got into the act... home buyers/owners too, so the pain is really deep this time.  Poor Mr. Obama will get stuck with the mess and very little thanks.  but he won and at least I don't have to be embarrassed by my President any more for a while.

Cindy and I went to a Bucs game this month and the Bucs did us the favor of winning.  It was a very nice day - cool and sunny and we sat in the end zone.  70,000 people were there and it was great fun! Susans 50th 003.jpg (607176 bytes) I bought a Bucs shirt to wear and was quite the sporty girl!

And of course the other big November event was the arrival of  Karin & Arnold from Sweden... since the sun is disappearing in the arctic and won't be seen again until January 10th, they have been worshiping it here.  They can't seem to get enough sun.  Thanksgiving08 011.jpg (610301 bytes)   Mister Knightly is in love with both of them and they devote a lot of time to playing with him.  He barely tolerates me any more.  Karin & Arnold arrived in time to experience the American tradition of Thanksgiving and a very nice one it was... my turkey was almost 25 lbs. (12.5 kg) and it turned out perfect.  Sandra, Mary Lou, Doug, Randy, Russ & Jim joined the feast, each contributing a delicious side dish...
Thanksgiving_4918.jpg (137316 bytes)Thanksgiving08 033.jpg (575473 bytes) Thanksgiving08 035.jpg (629605 bytes) Thanksgiving08 045.jpg (551386 bytes) Thanksgiving08 050.jpg (583917 bytes) Thanksgiving_4922.jpg (272773 bytes)

We had a feast!  I ate so much that even 2 days later, I still feel full.  We will spend the rest of the Swedish vacation, going to the beach, sitting in the sun, visiting friends and perhaps doing some shopping... for after all, December is coming.

October - Sad news in this month  and glad news too... the glad news is that I am in California as I write this with my wonderful niece, celebrating her 50th birthday!  It is so wonderful to spend time with her and to see her life and meet her friends.  
Susans 50th.jpg (113705 bytes)

I have a million photos of her life, cats, friends, etc and for those of you crazy enough to look at photos of someone else's vacation, you can click here -> Susan Turns 50

The sad news is sad indeed.  The departure from this realm of my wonderful friend HG, it is almost too much to write about.  HG was such a gentle sensitive man.  So easy to like and to be around... with a bit of a philosopher in him and a bit of a sly smile when he spoke.  How sad that he will not come to visit me next year as we were planning!  How sad for Lena, Hannes, Mimi, Fia & Hugo to have lost him so quickly and so early.

HG2.jpg (405914 bytes)  HG.jpg (287991 bytes)

September - Well, this month came and went and I did not bother to write it down... but I am sure I did some fun things.  I did go to San Francisco and see my girlfriend Dion, and when I got home found that my computer had died.  Got a new one and spent a bunch of time moving and finding stuff I had lost.  

August - The biggest birthday month on the calendar I think... everyone except those born in May seemed to be having a birthday - backing that up, it must be the holiday spirit at work here... of course the biggest birthday for me was Mister Knightly's - he is now 2 years old - amazing how time flies when you are watching someone grow up.  I didn't do much this month except watch political stuff and do yard work.  I saw a couple of cute films - the new Woody Allen movie set in Barcelona was good and Tropic Thunder was really funny!

The Presidential race is depressing me.  I really like Obama but have to agree that he is a pretty unknown quantity aside from the campaigning stuff and since every one lies when campaigning, he is still unknown (and I read one of his books) as to how he would be a the leader of this country.  On the other hand McCain is well known to me and I know he is not what I want...though he is a lot better than what we have now... if he had picked someone I could respect for a running mate I could have been happier about him, but I think he picked a wing-nut, so now I have to really doubt his judgment... and he is a bit old for the most stressful job in the world and the thought of a wing-nut next in line is not a happy one.


July - The party continued...It all began with a July 4th celebration.  The City contributed fireworks and we played and drank and swam and talked into the night

July 4-2.jpg (134311 bytes) DSC04777.JPG (530038 bytes) intothenight.jpg (136042 bytes)

I had many compliments on this party, which is always nice for me to hear, but I actually had more fun at the Summer Solstice party because there were fewer people and I got to spend time with them instead of just being the hostess/waitress as one is at a large party...very little time to really talk with anyone for long... always something else to do...  The following night a bunch of us went to see the Rays play... but between us, my money is on the Cubs to win the World Series in 2008.

The following weekend, I helped my friend Aleth with her Summer Beach Party.  It had an "Olympics" theme and everyone brought food representing a country of their origin or something with a Chinese flair.  I ordered a Peking Duck and made a noodle salad but there was a lot of other food too - Greek Salad, Dutch cake, Scottish shortbread and Tibetan curry.  We played pétanque, a type of bowling, on the beach - the kids played in the waves - it was a lovely night.

DSC04788.JPG (593925 bytes)
My t-shirt says "dog" in a Chinese character

As a result of all this partying, I have added another 4 pounds to my weight.  This needs to come back off quickly or it will become permanent and I am too big already.  I am trying to be good, but I seem to be attacked by late night munchies way too often.  The balance of July has been more quiet.  I saw Mamma Mia with Susan Hunt one weekend and The Dark Knight with the guys.  I pruned the bougainvillea both the south and north sides (that always takes up two weekends) and I am back at the gym 5 days a week.  Tim and I had lunch with Mary Lou, something we try to do every month - it cheers us all up.  And so another July of the long days has passed into history and the dog days of August have come.


June - The first weekend in June I had two more guests from Sweden arrive...they called Grasshopper Bungalow the Jokkmokk guest house... they stayed with me for a week and went to Orlando for part of that time to see the Great Mouse and Shamoo.  While I didn't really know Lars and Joar, they were easy house guests and the time passed quickly while they were here.  Richard took them canoeing and Julie & Eric brought their kids over to play with Joar.  Mister Knightly was thrilled to have them visit because they spent so much time playing with him.

Joar11.JPG (376726 bytes) Joar 13.JPG (430169 bytes)
Kids play in the bubbles while Fathers watch and eat...women cook (not pictured).

On the 16th I joined the herd on Sunset Beach for the Monday night gathering.  Randy took a bunch of great photos that evening...below you can see the herd assembling and the star of the show, the Sunset


The following weekend we welcomed Summer with a celebration of the Solstice by the pool... it was a wild and crazy night and no photos were taken thankfully, but a lot of fun was had and a lot of laughter took place.  On the 28th I partied again - this time at Julie's "Dancing" party where there was again, great food and interesting people and yes, even dancing. And so June, like the Sun, is going to slip into the sea at the close of the day today.  I think I will go out to the beach and celebrate its departure with the herd again.  But the party will continue in July - of that I am certain.

May - What an interesting month for me.  The allergies began to ease up and as I write on May 30th they are practically gone, thank goodness!  Of course May is the month of the May Babies - birthdays and anniversaries abound.  I took Tim and Ed to see Sweeny Todd live on stage for their birthdays.  On Ed's birthday the whole herd went to Tropical Heat Wave, which was lots of fun and the perfect way for the herd to get together - a big outdoor event where we could come together and drift apart as needed and  without any one person having to feel the need to be in charge.  Mondays at the beach are another excellent way for the herd to travel - since I think if everyone shows up we could be as many as 23 persons.  The Memorial Day (observed) weekend, Randy's birthday, the guys and I went to visit the Kails at Bella Marea.  Mister Knightly was invited and he fell in love with the freedom and the open space in which to run.  And tomorrow there will be a big party (I think the whole herd could show up) at Cindy's for the real Memorial Day.  On a sad note the Kail family dog, Summer passed away...but I did get to see her at Bella Marea for the last time a few days before she slipped away.  

And if that wasn't enough I closed on a 2nd house on 5th Avenue which will be an investment for my another time.

Anyway, here are some May photos

At Tropical Heat Wave 
 Bella Gang.JPG (269949 bytes)
 At Bella Marea 
and by the Atlantic Ocean DSC04564.JPG (584344 bytes)  Randy & Geri.JPG (203007 bytes)
DSC04596.JPG (618681 bytes)
Mister Knightly running free and happy
Dear Summer Summer.JPG (203927 bytes)  
Jordan with cake.JPG (232938 bytes)
Cindy's May Babies Party

April - I continue to be battered by allergies - for the first time in my life they are a dominant part of my whole being.  Very strange... 

The month was a good one despite the allergies, however.  Jerry and I attended a luncheon to honor Syd and Thalia Potter - the League of Woman Voters named an award after them for Community Service.
031_Potters_with_award.jpg (464260 bytes) 005_Sandie_Foster___Jerry_Na.jpg (371519 bytes)

Mimi arrived from Sweden by way of Central America with her friend Malin and we had a 10 day visit that was much too short.  We went to the beach and had a picnic and went to Busch Gardens.   DSC04298.JPG (534442 bytes)  DSC04317.JPG (566845 bytes)  DSC04409.JPG (592847 bytes)  I introduced them to a nice guy that I know from the dog park and he also took them out.  I thoroughly enjoyed their visit...and miss them now.  My offer for a house was accepted ($92K) and I also have a tenant to rent it immediately.  This is a part of my retirement strategy and so far the 1st part of it is working... it will be 2+ years before I know whether it all will work out... my fingers are crossed.

March - Somehow I have managed to be sick the entire month of March!  What started off as allergies morphed into a cold and then into a sinus infection and then bronchitis!  I have eaten soup and consumed a ton of tea and still am not quite 100%.  Despite this I did manage to go to a couple of parties and host the Easter Egg Coloring here.  I also took a trip to Denver, which was pretty miserable...but it was business.  the Egg Coloring was great as my good friend Bartley was here from Ireland  3=08 eggcoloring.JPG (734438 bytes) as you can see we are a large group of egg craftsmen!  Easter was spent on the sofa in a daze.  Toward the end of the month I went to the Renaissance Fair with Tim, Randy, Doug and Jerry -  I was starting to feel better by then.  Now I am trying to get well and looking forward to the visit of my friend Mimi from Sweden, via South America.

February - A lovely little month!  I didn't do much but had fun none the less.  My Giants won the Super Bowl and I saw the game with Ed.  This was nice because Ed and I seldom do things just the two of us.  I also tried to get to see the movies in contention for the Oscars...several of which were so dark and violent that I had to wonder why anyone would want to make them in the first place... a sign of the times perhaps.

Went to lunch with Tim and Mary Lou, went to lunch with Susan Hunt, went for drinks & dinner with Julie and still managed to drop about 5 pounds.   All in all, a quiet short month... Oh, Sherri had baby Molly without a problem - here they are

wpe1.jpg (346475 bytes)

January - So now we begin a very political and hopefully interesting year...what will 'W' do to piss me off before he leaves the stage?  Who will succeed him?  How will the visits from Sweden turn out?  And will I loose the 10 pounds I put on this year?  Stay tuned to find out...

January has been filled with things to do beginning with the wedding of Christopher Kail to Karla Sue.  I always love being invited to functions of the large and friendly Kail family and this one was no exception.  I get to see a lot of people that I enjoy and have a good visit with my girlfriend, Geri... this time was no exception.  I have a little video of the happy couple on the My Space site if you want to see it and here is the happy couple:

08 kailwedding.JPG (221343 bytes)

The following weekend I gave my holiday brunch at the Castaways and got to reunite with Jim, Russ, Sandra, Cindy, Tim, Randy and Ed.  This event was followed by my 61st birthday with Julie, Ed, Tim & Randy at The Oyster Bar and Civichi's a very fun evening.  The next week was a dinner with Sydni and the play Moonlight & Magnolias which I truly enjoyed.  Then this weekend we had a baby shower for Sherri who is way pregnant as you can see:

baby Molly.jpg (53595 bytes)

In between all this fun I made my annual trip to the dentist and began the arduous process of trying to loose the weight I gained over the holidays... not easy with so many parties and lunch with Tim and Mary Lou but tomorrow is another Monday and I will begin again  by going to the gym.  Mister Knightly continues to be the love of my life though I did hear from my old flame Louie this month too - he and I dated briefly in 1967... amazing that we are still in touch.