Sunday, July 31, 2011

Eggplant Frituras

Posted by PicasaIntuitive Eggplant has graciously invited us all to get off  our sofas and cook some eggplant!
How wonderful. So on my way home from an appointment Saturday morning I stopped in at our local farmer's market. It was pitiful. Our drought conditions are harsh. Farmers are not getting enough rain. Some with wells are taking risks to water their produce.  County water gets pricey in a hurry. These farmers have to recoup that investment by raising their prices for what is actually marginal produce. 

I did buy every eggplant I saw, 2  Black Russians and 3 Fingerlings. I paid 25 cents for the three fingerling eggplants plus a dollar tip. For a minute I feared I had offended this good man's pride. I tapped his hand and said, " These are hard to find. I hope you will be here all season". I smiled and walked away before he could say  anything. I paid $1.40 for the two Black Russians.

My plan was to come home and set up for a great blog. But, as things played out, I had to go back out to the client at the lake and take more measurements in triple digit heat.

Today I thought would be better anyway. No divided interests. I could take my time and  fix an eggplant dish which would be yummy with the pork tenderloin marinating in the frige. I decided to check on the entries to date as I did not want to duplicate. That's when I discovered I had no internet service. I tried all the usual troubleshooting. Nada. We called the "bundler" (that I call the "bungler") only to be told it was a weekend. As if I did not know. This means fewer staff, longer waits, etc. Then I got a call back saying there had been an outage in our service region and no tech would be coming as service should be restored once the outage was corrected.  Blah,  blah. It is 6pm and we are just now "restored".

What I would have entered had I actually cooked today:

Eggplant Frituras: 

Peel and seed 2.5 cups of eggplant
 Heat half cup of olive oil in a Wok to 375 degrees
mix together:
the shredded eggplant
2 finely chopped scallions
1 egg
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pepper to taste 

Drop by rounded teaspoons into the heated oil
Fry until golden brown, turning once, about 2 minutes 
Drain on paper towels
Salt to taste
Serve immediately 

This is the recipe as published.
I actually soak the shredded eggplant in lemon juice for 10 minutes, drain it well,
then press it between paper towels to ensure dryness. I do this to remove bitterness but
also because I do not use the baking powder because of the sodium value. I do whip the egg before incorporating the other ingredients for a bit of rise to the batter.
If the batter seems too thick, add just enough liquid for your fritter to hold together. 

Apologies to you Eggy!
I'll do better next time. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thread Counts

48" width
53% Linen
47% Viscose threads
Machined background embroidered pattern
Hand embroidered detailing
15.5" vertical repeat
24" horizontal repeat
Teflon finish available.
Not inventoried.
Made to order in colorway of choice
3 to 4 month lead time
 MSRP $390.00 per yard


A terrible thing happened when I went to see BeeDee about her  bedroom.
Last year, about this time, she called to say she never uses designers, does  most of her own sewing and some of her own upholstering. She was very clear, " I do not need your services. I just need for you to come to my house and tell me what colors you would recommend. You will understand when you arrive".

Quite the invitation.
Since the design business is closely tied to both construction and real estate , we also are down, as an industry, about 60%. More in some areas. So odd invitation or not it at least represented a consultation fee. I went. I immediately fell in love!
First with BeeDee herself and then with her house.
She has a newer style 5000+ sq. ft. cottage on the lake. The rear of the house is almost solid window walls to capture the breathtaking  north facing views of the lake and  mountains. Seriously, in the first few minutes, I could not follow her conversation because of the distraction of the view. "Purple mountains majesty" is way more than a song lyric in this location.

Back to BeeDee.  There is much to admire. She is a tiny little spitfire of a woman. Beautiful without any artifice, interference or apologies for aging naturally. There is evidence of the journey etched into her face but it is mostly the result of a fully lived, laughter filled, journey. She raised 5 children, pretty much alone, while her  husband invested long, long hours in his globe trotting executive career. She came from a monied family, he did not. When he asked for her hand he promised her Dad she would not suffer  for loving him. They have lived in 17 homes on 4 continents. They have been married  40 some years and share 17 grandchildren.  Two years before retiring he told BeeDee, " I owe you . Pick wherever you want to live, build whatever you want."

 She chose this location because all of the kids and grand kids can get there in a day by car. She wanted to build a home which would become the family "lake house" for successive generations. With a fund set up to care for the property in perpetuity. How could I not admire this?

 Once I got beyond the distractions BeeDee explained she was ready to "freshen the nest". She explained about the  17 houses, that she and the kids had "done them" all.
All of her children can paint, sew, upholster, garden and cook. She said many of their furnishings had traveled with them, like old familiar friends, just getting new looks for each new location. She was very clear on never liking  houses which have that "designed" look. She much prefers homes to reflect the character and interests of the occupants.  I agreed. Pointing out a house with a "designer look" was the definition of failure. Her home is meant to be about her life, not my talents. To have "a" look is the definition of failure as a designer.

For the record. The majority of my clients are smart, capable people with beautiful homes. Most have never contracted a designer and most have a healthy disregard for my profession. Often they call because they are busy and want someone to "expedite" their needs not "design" their needs. I understand. I would have a very hard time allowing a stranger  to come into my house and set about changing it. When a project is converted from "expediting" to actual "designing" I am thrilled. I like to ring the bell.

What she wanted was to re-upholster every piece of furniture on the main floor (except in her Master Suit.)
upgrade all window treatments and, add a little " zip" to the overall statement. She was about to go traveling through multiple states, loved shopping for textiles and wanted me to evaluate her color balance and put together a new color scheme for her to take with her. " Just so you know, I will NOT be buying any designer fabrics from you".  I nodded my understanding, took some photographs and scheduled a presentation conference  in a week

Being a competitive sort I presented her with a color scheme with an ensemble of 22 of those designer fabrics. Demonstrating not just the color palette but also the value of contrast in scale, texture, weight and mood of each fabric.  I knew she would never find equivalents in her travels.  I presented them to her in a conference setting and then in the individual rooms in her home. She bought every single one.

The  entire family gathers for a week  every Spring.
BeeDee reported all the kids and all the grands loved everything.

Recently she called to say it was sad but true her bedroom was looking " dowdy" in comparison to the other spaces on the main  floor. The vintage looking Toile in her bedroom did look great with her four poster but a little stuffy for a lake house. " Come for tea and bring fabrics" she said.

Honoring that invitation was a date I looked forward to.

 I know it sounds odd to some but the exact color, the exact fibers, the exact pattern, the exact mood of a single fabric can be an obstacle to many women. I have met  women who have let their drapes literally rot in place because they could not find a fabric they loved as much as the original.

I get that.
If it fails to evoke that since of "right" for the woman and for her home then it will be an expensive daily thorn.

Before our appointment I ordered in samples of fabrics to be presented. One did not arrive so it was necessary to bring the swatch book to the presentation. Bee Dee and I had a nice visit  then got down to work. Everything started just fine. But, while we were looking at the proposed fabric in the swatch book it slid off the bed and onto the  floor . When I picked it up it was open to the  swatch of the embroidered fabric seen in the photograph  at the opening of this post. You probably noticed the colors in that fabric are exactly the colors out the window of the view across the lake to the mountains. It has an airyness, a traditional statement but, in a more  contemporary  flow. Much like BeeDee's airy, traditional cottage with a contemporary flow.

She plucked the entire sample book out of my hands.
" This is it!"
" BeeDee. Lets go back to the other swatch."
" Fishy! I adore this fabric. It's perfect in every way."
" BeeDee, it's beautiful but that is an investment fabric".
" What kind of investment?"
"Significant. I think we could get a yard, maybe two of this to add impact. We shouldn't consider this for your draperies. You have this entire window wall  and ten foot ceilings which requires 35 yards of fabric"
"We are not poor!"
"I noticed. But like you told me before , you do not want any fabrics in this house which will not hold up to peanut butter and jelly fingers. That you want all your grands to feel welcome and loved in every room. That you did not want your children to have a melt down if their kids put feet on the furniture. This textile does not meet this criteria. Can we go back and look at this other swatch?"
" No. I like this one the best of everything I have seen today.
Let's use this as our inspiration fabric and move forward."
There was a pause before responding,
" Great".
BeeDee gave me a measured look.
ANY designer would love to have a client say " I want what I want  damn the costs". Certainly BeeDee can afford anything she wants. But this is not her "show and tell" house it is her "lake house" and  while she loved this fabric, I knew she would not buy it.
" Fishy."
" Um hum"
" Investment fabric? What does that mean?"
"In this case it means the fabric is a tight gauge, combed linen ground with hand embroidery made to order which is reflected in the price."
" Is this one of those hundred dollar a yard fabrics?"
"Well then, lets continue on".
I started pressing buttons on a calculator.
"It's $413.40 per yard including tax.
According to this calculator, 35 yards  would cost  $14,469.00 plus shipping from India."
Teflon coating to make it  jelly proof would be a few hundred more." 
There was a sudden stillness in the room.  I wasn't certain but I thought there was a fifty fifty chance she  might succumb to the urge and smack me with the swatch book. I looked her in the eye and said,
" Hand me the book BeeDee"
She did not. She was still taking my measure.
" Why did you show me this fabric  Fishy?"
" I did not  SHOW you the fabric. It was in the swatch book with a fabric I did want you to see.
Let's forget about this fabric and go back to our options."
" Why did you even bring this book onto my property?"
" Do you want me to go  put it in the car?"
" I am just so mad. Is this what designers do? Bait you with love and hit you with dollar signs?"

I looked around at her multi-million dollar views in her multi-million dollar home and thought to myself what client would buy this fabric? It is beautiful. It is also quiet, understated.  Not too many would.  A few maybe, like BeeDee who has a love for beautiful handarts and the funds to indulge that love.

" BeeDee, let me tell you about this  fabric. It's made in India. In a horrible building. There are women there with babies in their bellies and another strapped to their back. They sit on the floor on a pile of scraps for back breaking hours  trying to concentrate on the perfection of the stitches. There is an overseer who walks down the rows to keep the women from chatting too much and, to make sure the workmanship is impeccabe. If it is not they will not be paid for the days work. They will maybe earn  a dollar for every linear inch  they embroider. That's forty eight inches. They will not earn much for their artistry, sacrifice and effort. That dollar is life to them. That's the real 'investment' of this fabric.   You actually can afford  all of this you could possibly want, it just offends your sense of decency. Mine too."

After a lengthy pause she said,
"Do you drink?"
"Yes, please"

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Home Truths

" Ummm, Fishy are you alright?"
" Did you want to go out to dinner?"
"Not really"

Blowfish looked around . There were no pots simmering on the stove, no red lights indicating the oven was doing it's thing, no favorite smells wafting out to the garden room.  This is a reality he always finds disconcerting. Blowfish is one of those men who just plain loves to come home to a fine smelling Kitchen.  He even rubs his hands together like a cartoon character or takes us through a few dance steps around the Kitchen to express his joy.  The man loves his groceries. If there was any justice in the world of metabolism I would be a wraith and he would be rotund.  When we first married Blowfish would get up and before the second foot hit the floor he would be asking what's for dinner. I have no idea at 6am what I might be hungry for at 7pm. I would much rather keep a stocked pantry and decide what to cook  based on what I am hankering for. Blowfish much prefers knowing because he wants to anticipate dinner all through his day. Ever the optimist, it took him two full decades to accept this reality of life with Fishy was unlikely to change.  To his credit he has learned to anticipate surprises.

No food smells and no dinner date are not a "surprise" he enjoys.  On this day he looked around, gave a little nod and headed down the hall to get changed. He was back promptly.
" Fishy, did something happen today?"
"Are you upset about something?"
"Mad about something? Mad at me?"
" Why are you asking?"
" That rainbow in my closet might have something to do with it."
" Oh. That. Just ignore it."
I may have mentioned in a previous post that I do laundry and organize closets when I am agitated about things I cannot change. I had on this day done all of Blowfish's laundry and,  had then organized his section of polo shirts in the cool to warm color range of a rainbow. This, combined with the no food smells was making his alarms chime.
"Fishy, lets go up to Joe's and have us a fine dinner, some good wine and some foot rubbing under the table."
I laughed out loud.
" Odessa is right about you.  You are a fool of a man".
" Only about what I love. Is it a date?"
Did I mention Blowfish is an optimist?
" Well we can do all the wine drinking and foot rubbing we want at home. Add a little peanut butter and jelly and I can rest happy."
This was even said with a smile.
Still laughing I said, " Why don't you get changed and I will magically make your dinner appear."

When he came back to the Kitchen there was nothing happening. He looked crestfallen.  Truly.
Then he noticed a table setting , a wine glass, a corkscrew. He looked a little better. Even hopeful.
He smiled as her turned toward the Kitchen and said,
" It's seafood pasta salad isn't it?"

As he was finishing his vat of  dinner he said,
" Fishy. What is up with all this?  My laundry is done, my closets are organized, my dinner is awesome."
I said,
" Well, its sort of a good bye, remember me fondly statement".
Looking confused he stood  up to ask, " you're leaving?"
" Possibly. You see I got so  furious with the games coming out of Washington  today I lost control. I dispatched  e-mails to every member of Congress and to the President telling them if it was up to me they would be terminated immediately. Later it dawned on me the word 'terminated' could be interpreted to mean something other than 'You're fired!'.  I expect the FBI to show up just any minute and haul me away for being a threat to our democracy."

Blowfish winced,
" Damn girl, you never have looked your best in stripes."

Monday, July 11, 2011

Uncle Scrooge vs Uncle Sam

Growing up, one of my sisters was fairly serious from an early age. She was playful too, but she always had a bit more awareness of the temporariness of childhood.  We were raised in a household where there was no TV viewing during the week. We were allowed to watch on Friday nights and Saturdays. In the era where every child watched Saturday morning cartoons, we all had our favorites. This sister did not. She would choose a good book over a silly cartoon every time. UNLESS, the cartoon was about Uncle Scrooge McDuck.  He who was so wealthy he had his own money building!

I think,
in the beginning, it wasn't the riches which attracted. It was that Uncle Scrooge had no patience for
Uncle Donald's  pursuit of foolish endeavors. Not to mention his poor example for nephews Huey, Dewey and Louey.  Mostly I think she liked the equation. Uncle Scrooge was the smartest and the most disciplined and had the rewards to prove it. This particular sister also loved monopoly the best of all the games; until she played Risk. World domination was vastly more satisfying than  taking over Park Place with hotels. Early on she got the equation of money, power and autonomy.

No, she did not grow up to have her very own money building. Nor, piles of money big enough to ski down.
She did however follow Scrooge's example of being informed, hard working and always in pursuit of security.
I am not sure, but I think of all the cartoon characters, Uncle Scrooge was the only one who could have been Catholic in her view. Between the Church's teachings and Uncle Scrooge's examples, she's done very well.
She shares well with others too, I have a treasured Fendi  clutch she brought from Europe with love.

I also liked Uncle Scrooge, but at some point in our youth her reasons for liking Uncle Scrooge the most seemed ...burdensome. As we matured, her focus did not alter much and neither did mine. While I am not a frivolous person there are some subjects I don't cotton too all that well. Understanding the world wide money games is at the top of the charts. I intensely loathe the world population being treated as cannon fodder while the players ..... play.  I have known for a very long time, I cannot change the game. No surprise. I hated the game of Risk too. One holiday, long after we were grown and fledged, we had so many gathered around we played in teams, There came a time when I could make a big play. I saw the play, understood the play and just did not want to take it.
" Make the play Fishy!", she hissed into my ear.
" No".
" Don't be stupid."
Yes, I knew it was the winning decision.  Maybe it was growing up in a house with a Dad who had served in a war or maybe because I worked in hospitals and witnessed horrific injuries or maybe it was from dating a man who came home from a war looking whole but forever maimed. Whatever the reason lurking in my psyche I could not bring myself to initiate a move which, in play, would result in the death of thousands.
I put the dice down and said,
" I hate this".
So I withdrew and she prevailed.
In my family, an absence of the killer instinct is a sign of weakness. There is no question there is a kill or be killed reality  out there. Certainly all the survival of the fittest examples were presented to me when parents tried hard to encourage me to step up my toughness and deal.  Once my Dad, in frustration said, " Fishy, you have got to get a handle on this aspect of life. It is part of life.  You cannot  avoid this responsibility to look a thing in the eye and know it's truth". He had long since given up on the hope of a " killer" instinct ever showing up in my persona but  think he still had hopes of at least a "survival" instinct. 

Today I read an article by a CEO of one of America's largest energy companies. He is asking Americans to  be more informed , to research , understand and endorse the Freedom to Invest Act.  He states there is a log jam of more than one trillion dollars of  American owned company profits they are  eager to invest here at home. That is American companies wanting to invest their profits in America.  They cannot do so because in order to bring the money back to the States they would be heavily taxed by Uncle Sam. Our companies have already paid taxes on these funds in the countries in which the profits were generated.  The USA does have the 2nd highest corporate tax rate in the world. This  serves as a  severe disincentive to US companies who actually want to bring their money home.  It is estimated, had the 2009 Recovery Act adopted this policy, America would have benefited from over $565 billion of repatriated earnings, creating 2.6 million jobs and would have reduced the deficit by an average of $46 billion per year.  I agree there is some gamesmanship to these statements.  If you read history, then you know Congress did do this in 2004 and the results were huge reinvestments, job gains, funds for financing  R&D projects and increased GDP. Not too bad. 
I think Uncle Scrooge would approve.
Uncle Sam does not.
Uncle Scrooge has a money building.
Uncle Sam has a debt building.


Later today, I saw the president of the United States hold a conference to say it's my way or nothing. I have veto power and I will use it. He accuses others of gamesmanship with a sleight of speech beyond measure. It made me sick, to see this man mock the seriousness of our situation which he helped orchestrate. It made me sick to stand there thinking how sad it is our Executive Branch  is not as wise as a cartoon . Sicker still to know for some, it is the game which matters most. To those players, if all I believe and hold dear is to be lost to their game, well they are okay with that.  I felt sad too   hearing the network  Alpha Barbies explain to me
" what this  all means to the American family."
I know what it means.
I know how the game of Risk is played.
I still hate it.

Friday, July 8, 2011


there is beauty in power

there is beauty in hope

there is beauty in  courage

there is beauty in  purpose

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A 5th of July

Mermaid and I had a playdate to celebrate the fourth on the fifth. Tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains is the little town of Helen, Georgia. I have no clue how an "Alpine Village" came to be in the midst of what was once the mighty Cherokee Nation along the banks of the Chattahoochie River. But there it is. Full of streets with names like Eidelwiss, Heidelburg and Somethingstrausse. While there isn't accordion music  blaring from the lamp posts it does look more like it should be a pavilion at Epcot than an actual community where people earn their livings promoting charm and sauerkraut.

Our purpose for visiting this location was to go tubing down the river. This is not a tube down the river in the wilds undisturbed by anything but the occasional bird call experience. No.  This is summer in the  mountains vacationing families are everywhere tubing experience through the middle of town.  With lots and lots of strangers playing bumper tubes with you and the sound of human laughter as a constant backdrop.

Do you know how this works? You go to a venue, rent your green, pink, yellow or blue tube then board a bus which takes you up the mountain to a launch site. Here is where you collect your tube and where you determine if you do or do not wish for it to be lashed to another. Then you wade out into frigid waters, climb aboard your tube and prepare to have a time out for the next three hours.

At the point where you rent your tube you are asked to sign a sheet absolving the universe of any liability to this activity and you are asked by a sweet spoken local,
" I'm sorry what is your question"?
"Stick? $5"
" Do we need a stick?"
" Mebbe, if you get stuck on the rocks. But's it's shallow water so you can just stand up and push off".
We elected to not stick . What was the point of a relaxing float if you had to mind a long stick?

While we were waiting for the bus to go "up mountain" the people watching was entertaining. Near us there was a group of ladies, in their 60's dressed in tee shirts and  cropped pants. I appreciated their modesty for there were others who could have been the posters for America's obesity epidemic.  All of their extra pounds of flesh in full display. Very full.

Mermaid and I took the seat directly behind the driver and sort of opposite the steps into the bus. I knew I was receiving a warning to behave when a sharpish elbow
smashed into my ribs right before a woman, fully 12 months pregnant, boarded the bus wearing a bikini. Seriously, her belly button was so far out it looked like a nose in the center of her swollen abdomen. I might have made an air sucking sound but the bus was so noisy with excited children I am sure no one heard me. Mermaid wore her fiercest expression of control so I knew  to look the other way and not make her lose that slim, slim hold on politeness.  The truth is I am of an age where I am surprised when I am confronted with the nudity of strangers. Even more surprised by the subject matter and expansiveness of body art. I am also talkative about my observations so Mermaid was vigilant , keeping her elbow cocked and at the ready. I really do not think I am as bad as all that but clearly Mermaid does. I spent the entire bus ride looking out the window and letting the sounds of the eager wash over me.

Once we got to the launch site I  noticed there were a lot of babies being sent out in their tubes making me think of Moses in the rushes. Most were in life vests, a few had on helmets and all were lashed to other tubers.  This really was a throwback to my own youth when extended families gathered in one place to reinforce the bonds. Aunts and cousins, grandparents and infants were all taking to the "lazy river" ride on a hot summer's day. Older cousins or siblings were enthusiastically telling the younger ones how much they would love this trip and to stay in the tubes and to mind their sticks. All generations were represented. All age groups were eager with excitement.  There was merriment everywhere and we were no exception. We lashed our tubes together, waded out and launched.

 Mountain rivers are very cold. I think it fair to say I have body parts which have never been that cold . Never. I can't imagine this is a popular choice for honeymooners. But it is fun. In this activity there is something very liberating in the  shocking contrasts of hot sun and freezing waters and recognizing you have no control over the river. It will take you were it takes you in it's own time.

Part of this river ride is through nature but along much of the banks are rental chalets , condos or restaurants with balconies cantilevered over the waters. The residents are friendly calling out greetings and occasional advice if you are traveling backwards toward dangers.  Mostly they are up there laughing at the entertainment floating by. The tubes have a mesh middle. This does not allow for actual sitting up for adults.  You are sort of draped over the edges with your bum as the center weight. Trying to navigate from this position is apparently, a great spectator sport.   I am not sure Mermaid and I had actual conversations as every time we opened out mouths laughter came forth. Lovely. I think I was still laughing when we started picking up speed and hit rocks on our way over a drop.  I don't think you could rightly call these 'rapids' but it did become clear the entire journey would not be all floating down the river and some heads up awareness would be prudent. 

 Also along the route are places where you can climb out and take a hike, or go for lunch or stop to collect a river rock or two. This station for 'lost soles' was one of Mermaid's favorites. Clearly flops are not the best footwear for this activity. While this certainly does not qualify as 'natural art ' something about the rhythm and the colorfulness reminded me of Klimt's art. 

We were maybe half way in our journey when we became fully aware of why you need a stick if you did not want to become trapped. Or worse. Shortly after watching Moses float past sound asleep, I went whirling around  and down by some rocks and wham my tail bone slammed into a big sharp rock. Suddenly I heard that dreadful sound old people make when you move their parts for them. That awful, keening, oh. oh, oh!  I had a frozen moment when I thought "Mama?" Still laughing Mermaid said, " Mom are you okay? You were making that wailing sound just  like Meems".

" Yep I heard it too. Call the exorcist, I've been posessed."

Eventually we figured out we were in a bad position. And there was no stick to pole ourselves out of the badlands. One of us would need to get out and  unwedge us.  It's not easy to stand on slippery, unevern boulders in a rapids. It is also foolish. We  had heard some folks say there had been storms in the mountains so the water level was high. It was one of the reasons for not needing a stick. Right. 'Swollen river' also translates to' faster current'. We managed to get  unstuck without getting in trouble but not far beyond I started maneuvering to get us over to the shallows.
" Mom, what are you doing?"
" Help get us over to the edge, we need a stick"
"You can't do that Mom, that is private property".
" We need a stick, I can't go slamming into these rocks"

I am eternally grateful there was no video of my attempted tubular exit. I thought I could get over into the shallows and just stand up. Not so. I will say my ungraceful exit  was maybe the pinnacle of comic entertainment in Mermaid's day.  She tended the tubes while I scavenged us a stick. On my way back she started to frown,
" Mom, are you okay, you are walking funny."
"Are you  hurt?"
"What happened?"
" I think my tail bone broke smashing into that rock".
" seriously?"
"What should we do?"
" I'm going to put my butt back in the cold water to keep the swelling to a minimum and use this stick".
Mermaid starting laughing really hard. Eventually she reached a point where she could get enough air to speak,
" Mama three cheeks?"
" Shut up and take this stick"

About 2 hours into our journey we heard the first rumbles. We could see patches of sky between the trees some was clear blue,  other areas were darkening. We thought the predicted afternoon rains were maybe starting to show up early but seemed to be pretty far away. But the rumbling got closer,  more frequent and the temperature dropped . I cautioned Mermaid we would be getting out of the river  if there was any lightening.
A man near us said, it wasn't far til the exit, it's just up here around this bend. Right. Rivers have lots of bends and unless you are a local it is hard to discern one from another. We made it around that bend a few more while the sky darkened and  rumbled. Most everyone was still laughing and floating but as we were sticking our way past boulders I saw lightening.
"That's it kiddo, we are out of here"
" That's cloud to cloud not cloud to ground, we're good".
" We're out of here"
" Really Mom, look, even the babies and old folks are not worried"

Think Lucy and Ethel lashed together in bright pink tubes paddling and kicking in opposite directions.
It was so damn funny even we were laughing.
" Mom. we ca';t get out here these are not public grounds"
" We're getting out"
" No!  Mom, are you really going to make me walk through town in this bikini?"
" Yes. In case I failed to mention, we Fishy's don't play with lightening"
Eventually the current came to my rescue and delivered us to the town side of the river.
A man floating by said to me,
 " Lady, you don't have to get out these  tubes are rubber".
"No sir, these tubes are plastic and lots of your body parts are in the water and that is lightening" My statement was punctuated by the skies opening up.

We were not the only family to leave our tubes to the currents, climb the bank and start the trek back to our starting points. It was quite the parade we people in squelchy shoes, adhered  clothing and debris matted hair .
Children driving by in cars had their noses pressed to the glass. Teen boys had commentary. 

It wasn't long before Mermaid started laughing really, really hard.
 I gave her my raised eyebrow quizzical look. Eventually she said,
" I have a mother who can break her ass floating in water".

This morning I sent her this text message:
"Do blue butts out rank blue bloods?"

Monday, July 4, 2011

God Bless America

God Bless America
land that I love
stand beside her
and guide her
with the Light
from above
From the mountains
to the prairies
to the oceans
white with foam
God bless America
my home
sweet home