Dappled

We went out to look at the partial eclipse just an hour ago. Picked Lilli up from school and headed over to the library.

They had the special glasses to look directly at the sun. It was mildly interesting. Nothing to blog about. BUT! this part was cool.

dappled

And here’s another one.

dappling.jpg

Yes, those are palm tree frond shadows. And the dappling inside the palm fronds? Small crescent-shaped sun-moons–partially-eclipsed miniature suns. Cool!

Hope everyone enjoyed the eclipse. My Missouri friends were undoubtedly in line with the total eclipse! What time was your totality, Missouri?? Did you watch? Celebrate? Take pix? Burn out your retinas?

The lighting got weird here. Shadows were crispy sharp and everything seemed like it was just a weird shade of bright. Like white instead of yellow. Like God flipped on the overhead fluorescent. LOL

In honor of the eclipse today–> Literal Lyrics of Total Eclipse of the Heart and this–> Da-Doo!

Advertisements

Wild Kingdom

Anyone remember Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins? Well Mutual of Omaha sponsored our beach day yesterday! Saw all kinds of wildlife.

At 8:06, I was in the parking lot, ready to ride my bike. Rode 1.1 miles to the city beach, took some pix and headed back. Made it home by 8:40. So I went 2.2 miles in approx. 30 mins. I stopped for a short break on a bench. So I have already upped my game! It took me twice as long last time. Woot! So that’s like 4 miles an hour-ish.

Woke everyone up when I got back, then we headed to the beach. Water was clear and deep! The shore was up a few feet and the drop-off was steep. It’s nice because you can stay close to shore, but stand up just a few feet from the waterline. Very relaxing. The temp of the water was cool and the sun shining down was warm!

We toed around for shells. We bobbed around in the very mild waves. It hasn’t been that calm until yesterday. We giggled and relaxed. We goofed and joked around. It was amazing.

Then! We saw a freaking manatee! Sea cow! Whatever you call them. They are adorable!!! Squee!

I haven’t seen any large fish or mammals that close to shore yet. I think because the water was so deep and all the tourists have gone, we are seeing more marine life. It was unbelievable! Every time I don’t take my camera, I see something remarkable.

So, we were just sort of wading and swimming around, just a few feet from shore, and two people who were walking up and down the beach came briskly back to our position.

“There’s a manatee!” the woman shouted.

“Stay where you are, they are very docile! He’ll come right to you.” the man called.

My mouth was hanging open and I could only utter, “No way!”

All I said after that for a few minutes as the manatee passed by was, “Omigosh, omigosh, omigosh.” I wanted to cry.

The water wasn’t clear enough to see the manatee just a few feet from us, but we saw his/her shadow. He wasn’t very big, but he was big. I’ve seen a full-size adult manatee and they’re about the size of a small car. This one was slightly smaller. But still. BIG! He was probably Manatee Jr. I tried to dive and watch him pass, but the water was just a bit too cloudy.

I wanted to jump on his back and hug the stuffings out of him, but I restrained myself. I wasn’t sure if I should get up by him, so I stayed back. It was hard to stay still. He was within 6 feet. EEEE! But I decided NOT to molest this harmless sea creature.

He didn’t breach by us, I wish he had, but he breached for air just a few yards away and we saw his cute, little brown snout and tail. I was stunned.

Then we saw a few rays leaping out of the water. Again, stunning! Then my husband saw a black snake on the way back to the apartment.

For those of you who didn’t read, I saw a bobcat the other morning on the same path. Dangerous little walkway that is! We were on safari yesterday! lol

Lots of little fish in the water as well. Darting around us. Plus, I want to go at night sometime because we have sea turtles on our beach. I wouldn’t touch them, disturb them or bother them, but I would love to see them.

This is a very cool place. Hope we see another manatee sometime soon. They are so majestic, magnificent, marvelous! But does that mean a shark could come that close to shore? YIKES!!


If you just relax and let the world come to you, you will see amazing things.

The Carousel

For my daughter. She just started high school and it’s a bit overwhelming. She’s doing great, but it’s a little scary.

The picture above is her at the KC Zoo, having fun on the carousel. She was 6. Shot with a Nikon, 35 mm, manual. It was a fun day.


Hold on tight, dear.
Don’t let go.
The carousel twirls faster
The more you know.

Life goes by
In a furious blur.
But it’s oh-so thrilling,
Full of adventure.

Up and down.
Always turning.
Moving forward.
Always learning.

You might get sick.
You might lose your head.
You might just love it.
Turn the world around instead.

Don’t be scared, Darling.
You have to be strong.
You’re not alone.
Mom’s here all along.

So throw your hair back
And laugh at the ride.
Have fun on the carousel.
Don’t leave it untried.


Proud of you, Honey. You’re so special. One of a kind. Brilliant, beautiful and bound for glory! Don’t settle for less, always challenge yourself. Don’t worry about what people wear, say or think. You belong to God. Your value comes from him.

And always ask for help! We’re here for you. Your teachers, counselors and parents. It’s normal to feel anxious, everybody does!! 🙂

Movement!

tips for lb loss^These are bad tips! Do not follow! LOL


Lost another 2 pounds. So I am 317.6!! I hate to say I’m fighting for every pound now, but I am. I’ve been stuck for several weeks. But I have to be honest with myself. I’m eating not so great.

Whenever I eat protein, it can have a tendency to tear my gut up. So I have backed away from the amount of protein I should be eating. I need to revert to protein-eating and whole foods.

It’s hard. I become complacent. I don’t always eat when I should, eat often enough or in the amounts that I should. Mostly, I have to eat small amounts because I can’t have large portions. But sometimes I would rather feel a little fuller and go longer without food than have to eat every 2 hours. I wouldn’t say I get hungry either. I get cravings. A hankerin’ for some food taste. I don’t get physically hungry any more. It’s weird!

But how often does a person actually feel hungry in a day? Like, actually hungry? Or do you just want savory flavors in your food hole?

I would be snacking all day if I ate a bite and nothing else. But that’s how I should be eating.

Eating 3 squares a day is what we all know. It’s what we all are accustomed to. It’s what we have time for! Our whole days are structured around breakfast, lunch, dinner. Right?

It’s hard to change. Hard to accept the change in thinking. It’s like quitting smoking and wondering what to do with your coffee break! LOL

Today, in an effort to change and stimulate my body and think outside the lunch box–I am eating whole foods. Edamame, cherries, apple, cup of coffee. No solid protein, just alternative protein like yogurt and fibrous protein-packed veg. No treats. No gummy bears, no low-fat/low-sugar candies, no chips, no cheese, no soda, no juice, no calorie drinks, no sugar. Except for whole-food fruits. I’m not even supposed to have that, but come on. Roasted veggies sound good. Baby organic carrots in the oven? Mmmm. Roasted-soft garlic? Yassss! It will, at least, keep the skeeters away. ;D

 

Sad-urday

Yesterday was a sad day for me. Really tough. But fascinating.

I was a mock juror yesterday for a local mock trial firm in the Tampa area. I can’t say who I was working for or what case we were hearing. But I can say it was for a car accident working towards a civil settlement.

I should explain. Real case. Real accident. Not a real judgment or decision we were offering. It was a test before trial. The two parties involved were trying to reach a settlement and determine how a jury might find.

Needless to say, the occupants of the car had their lives changed forever oh-so many nights ago. It was hard to hear and hard to evaluate/judge. Who’s right, who’s wrong, who’s responsible and for how much.

It was a grueling almost-12-hour day for me, but a drop in the bucket compared to the families affected by the incident. Negligence was at play, on the part of the driver, along with recklessness. Many other jurors agreed.

I think we all assume too little when we undertake the responsibility of driving. We often take for granted the luxury of driving and allow ourselves to be distracted. Easily. How often do you rummage through your purse while driving one-handed? How often do your children ask about the mysteries of the universe or where their favorite toys are or if they can have some treat from the backseat while you’re navigating from Google Maps while negotiating a multi-ton vehicle on a 70 mph highway? How often are you looking for the perfect driving music on your phone or radio or CD player? Instead of 10 and 2 and using your peripheral vision to spot surprised deer, raccoons, rabbits and other cars and people!

I am a freak about my driving. I rarely let others drive me. I’m a defensive driver. Overly cautious. Sometimes too much to the frustration of my husband. I have driven professionally and pay close attention to the road. I often drive with two hands, white-knuckled! But even I make mistakes. Big mistakes.

The driver from yesterday made a big mistake. The biggest mistake a person can make. And he blamed everyone else.

That was tough.

Ever made a big mistake and instantly wanted to take it back? Ever made a big mistake and blamed the world around you, immediately, because you couldn’t accept the weight of your own idiocy? Ever made a big mistake and no one noticed, but the guilt inside ate away at you silently? For years? Ever made a big mistake and lied about it and no one ever knew?

We all fall short. We all sin. Small and big. And we all get grace. That’s tough. The rain falls on the just and unjust alike. None of us deserve grace. But we’re all made in the image of God. That’s tough. Because to find God’s face in someone so evil or ugly or un-remorseful is almost impossible. Almost.

So I’m going to pray today. For that young man. For this country. For myself. For those who died. For those that will live with their mistakes and consequences. Pray for God’s will and perfect plan.

That’s tough.

Troublesome

Cities on fire,
Sliding into the sea.
Countries bleeding
From Killing spree.

Forests catch flame.
Humans to blame.
Cars take aim.
Hate makes claim.

To every place your attention settles,
The world will so finely, kindly remind–
No matter where you travel,
Your searching eyes will Chaos find.

Students shot.
Violence wrought.
Journalists caught.
Fraught, taut, distraught.

Children attacked.
Homes blown apart.
Families destroyed.
Bombed-out, cut-up heart.

Crumpled on the ground,
Freedom is downed.
Goodness unfound.
Wicked abound.

With absolute certainty,
One thing I know,
Resilience from tragedy
Is something you grow.

Plant your feet.
Shout from the street.
Pull down the sheet.
Bring love where hate and evil meet.

If your crops are burnt?
If your shores are black?
If your bodies are dying?
We can’t go back.

We can only move forward with knowledge and the rejection of evil. We can no longer passively ignore the bullies of the world. To stay silent is to participate.

Rage Against

Dylan wrote about the dying of the light.
Rage against fading sight.
Don’t gently go into the night.
Keep those fires burning bright.
Right to the end.

And I say rage again.

Rage again at hatred’s wave.
Rage again at a black man’s grave.
Rage again at racist rave.
Rage again at the killing of brave.
To-bloody-day.

It’s not too late to turn around.
Our love isn’t buried in the cold, hard ground.
As humans, as Americans, as Christians–we’re bound
To breathe back life to Liberty drowned.
Now.

No man has a right to steal.
Our freedom under heavy boot heel.
I’d rather die than ever kneel
To pay for a politician’s shady deal.
You’re dying for money.

No man has a right to kill.
And Washington isn’t going to foot the bill.
This is no longer an exercise or drill.
This is the sound of the People’s will.
No more!

Rage against this political machine.
To do nothing is supporting the obscene.
It’s time for us to intervene!
Remember the words from 1634 Racine,
Malone (The Untouchables) asks,
“What are you prepared to do?”

New Questions

Buckets on a Barefoot Beach nominated me for an award. These are new questions, so I wanted to answer them. Plus, tag her because her blog is cool. I’m not following the rules, but I don’t mind. Do you? 🙂 LOL

  • What is your favorite time of day? Blogging time. 🙂
  • If you could trade cell phones with someone for a day, who would you choose? No one! I like my phone and its amount of calls. LOL Maybe I would trade with the Dalai Lama? LOL Or the pope. Or some Australian outback rancher?
  • Which musician would you sing karaoke with? Tom Waits? I’m assuming I could keep up and not sound horrible. Plus, he sings a song with my name in it–Martha. Plus, he’s not a bad actor.
  • Which fictional character would you have tea with? Mad Hatter? LOL How about Atticus Finch?
  • Which historic figure (someone who has been dead at least 20 years) would you like to have as a teacher? Jesus.
  • If you were going to spend the afternoon with some spokesperson from a commercial, who would you choose? Matthew McConaughey (Lincoln commercial) Alright, alright, alright!
  • If your life was a TV show, what genre would it be? Reality. LOL
  • Where would you NOT host a secret meeting? McDonald’s
  • If you were a TV weather forecaster, what would you call your show? Meteorology with Martha
  • Which historical figure would you play a board game with? Gandhi
  • If you had speech bubbles (like a superhero), what color would the text be? Black (I’m Batman.)

Happy Bday, Baby

Tomorrow is my husband’s birthday. Happy birthday, Honey! 🙂

Guy isn’t the best husband I’ve ever met or known. But I don’t see what everyone’s husband is like at home. So, I sit and write, corrected. He may be the best. Maybe. But, for sure, he’s the best husband I’ve ever had. (I’ve only had the one.)

Guy is very caring. Listens more than most. Can be very understanding. Is emotional. Sentimental. Loving. Sexy. Affectionate! Flawed.

Temperamental! Demanding, at times. Sometimes selfish.

Guy is still the funniest person I personally know. Perhaps just as funny as most celebrities. And just as creative and talented, given the chance.

He’s brilliant, in his way. Sensitive to the world. And darn handsome IMO.

He puts up with my issues/PTSD/abuse history. He also accepts our meager living due to my artistic passions and multiple difficulties with physical and mental health.

And. Guy is striving toward a relationship with God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. This is his most wonderful and inspiring trait right now. I see him trying. Struggling. Holding a light of inspection over his life to see how to make it better. For me, for Lilli and for himself. But most of all, to serve God.

I see this desire. I see his yearning. I pray for him every day that it will grow and that he will change. Not for me, but for himself and for God.

I love you, Honey. I’m so glad you were born. That you survived. That you’re here with me, that we created Lilli, and that we have this place, together. I know I’m not perfect. Neither of us are. But we have each other and that’s a lot. I’m so glad your parents loved each other, created your life, and that you are here against all odds. They would be proud. And I know my mom loves you, like you were her own. So many people do love you. You have done good in the world and I praise you for that. HBD, Guy.

You saved me from a life of loneliness, isolation and destruction. Thank you.

Hot Beach Trash

Photo credit: Guy Maggio


We recently went to Sharky’s Pier. A well-known tourist trap close to our home. Everyone goes there to look for shark teeth. It’s the shark tooth capital of the world.

It was interesting, but stinky. Dirty. Smelly. Because of all the tourists, visitors, beach-goers, fishermen, pier-walkers. It was filthy, full of cigarette butts and trash.

We arrived and walked out to the pier. The breeze way structure, where the restaurants are, is nice. Cool, shady, fountains. Boiling pots of seafood. Shops. Nice.

The beach and pier were a disaster!

First we walked on the pier. It was the end of the day so the trash bins were full! Gah. Looking down from the pier into the shallow water was cool. You could see fish and things. But it was a long way down. Me no likey looking down from any height.

Next, it was so sunny, we decided to go on the beach, check out the sand quality, look for shark teeth and see what the water was like. Cool off under the pier.

We took a picture and quickly left. Duuuurrrrty. Too busy. Old guy in a Speedo. BYE!

So, we can finally say we’ve been to Sharky’s Pier. I prefer our private beach. We can see the pier from where we are. And that’s close enough! 😀

An ode to Hot Beach Trash
(WARNING: DO NOT READ WHILE EATING OR ABOUT TO EAT!)


Dirty diaper
Rotting fish guts
Leftover hot dog on a bun of hair
Vomit
Flies
All on fire in the setting sun
Inside a hooded (wish it was sealed) trash can.

Will someone please empty me???

Oh, Beach Trash Can. I’m so sorry your life is one hot, steaming pile of mess.
If I could, I would draw wings on your sides so you could fly far from here.

Thank you for your service.

Will someone please empty HIM???

Ah, lovely day at the beach.