Saturday, August 29, 2009

Stepford Lives

It's been a long time since I've made a true friend. Jill is my constant and will always be my very best friend. Sinead has been there for 35 years and, even though we haven't seen each other in the past 8 years, she's still another constant.

I often wonder if there is something inherently wrong with me, making me unable to forge a strong bond with another woman. Sure, I've had friends throughout my adulthood, people to gab, gossip and hang with on holidays. But have I found that one person whom I totally click with? That I feel comfortable with, can tell anything to? Someone who totally gets me and all of my phobias and quirks and does not find it necessary to joke about/make fun of/trivialize them? Someone who understands that as much as I want to, I can't just pick up and go for lunch or a movie because of said phobias and quirks?

I lived in a gorgeous neighborhood in the Tampa area for 9 years and in all that time I never found a true friend. What I mostly found were people who would rather talk about one another behind each other's backs, cause marital problems, sometimes even divorce. They were always good for a laugh or a back-stab or a drinking buddy. I like to laugh, but I have a problem with being a two-faced bitch and hey, I don't drink either.

Every other day it would be something new to talk about on one of our driveways.

Don't tell so and so I told you this but...

Did you hear what so and so did the other night?...

Please promise not to say a word, but I think so and so is a horrible mother...

For 9 years, these were my "friends". I haven't heard from most of them since, nor have I felt the need to keep in touch with them. Hey, I'm no longer involved in the gossip so there's nothing to say.

When we moved here to St. Augustine I didn't have much hope of finding anything different. And guess what? I was right!

Same stuff, different location. It was like I was meeting the same exact people but with different facades. Here's the same (but different) party house, here's the same (but different) social butterfly, here's the (same but different) one who will tell you everyone's business but swear you to secrecy as she flits to the next person to swear them to secrecy.

And the same hurtful scenario I came across in Tampa was right here in St. Augustine as well!

*A bunch of us standing together in the street*

So and so says, "Oh my God, I have got to lose some weight. I am soooo fat! I have to lose at least 5 pounds. I look to my right and blink my eyes. I look to my left and blink my eyes. Are these women fucking kidding me? They're standing there, right in front of me... me who is extremely overweight, and bitching about how FAT they are? They wear a bikini and look kick-ass in it but they're FAT? If they're fat, what the fuck am I? And how do they think this conversation makes me feel? They don't! Think, that is.

I shuffle away with my head held high but my self esteem in my shoes. I don't say a word to let them know how much this hurts. I don't scream at the top of my lungs what I really feel. GO EAT ANOTHER GRAPEFRUIT AND FUCK OFF!!! No, I don't say a thing to them but I want to.

Is every friggin' neighborhood in America like this, or is it just the neighborhoods I choose to live in?

Don't get me wrong. I do not dislike everyone around me. I don't even necessarily dislike the people that have hurt my feelings, or said things about me they had no intention of my ever knowing they said.

There are actually quite a few really good women that I know here. People that either make me laugh, make me think, will lend a helping hand when needed, will take my kids into their homes for hours at a time to play.

Since some of my neighbors read my blog I won't use their names. If I like them, I'm sure they know it. At least, I hope they do.

When we moved from one house on the block to another 5 months ago, I finally got to know a couple of the neighbors down here a little better. People I knew and already liked but had the chance to get to know and like even more.

Bloggy friends? It has finally happened. I have met the one. The yin to my yang, the peanut butter to my chocolate. The woo to my hoo. Oh yes I have!

We haven't spent much time hanging at each other's houses. We haven't done lunch, or gone to a movie or any of those things. She's right across the street but our favored form of communication is FaceBook IM.

I can tell her anything and not worry that the whole neighborhood will know within minutes. She can count on me in the same way. If it's private, it's staying private, no question about it. I don't know all there is to know about her yet, just as she doesn't know everything about me. But we'll get there, I'm sure.

Her name is Ethel and she's beautiful inside and out. Ethel girl, thank you for being you!

Pssst! If you love me, you might love my sister more. Go visit her at Jill's Believe it or Not, and tell her I sent you!

Friday, August 28, 2009

School? Ptooey!!!

I don't know about you, but when I was a kid I lived for summers and really disliked school. I would say I hated it, but that would be a bit harsh. I also happened to be the lucky recipient of some really scary-mean teachers. Kindergarten was Mrs. Lahomadou and boy was she a witch! Okay, I probably shouldn't be saying that, as she was old as dirt when I had her, so she's surely on the other side now. She was still mean though. Neener neener!

She actually looked quite a bit like this lady.

First grade was better when I had Mrs. Martin. She was pretty, young, and had long, shiny, flowing blonde hair. I remember her as being nice, but I also recall that when she did get mad her extremely thin lips would turn white and pucker up into this wrinkled circle. Looking back now, I can only compare her pucker face to an asshole. No, not Jimmy! A real asshole!

Kinda like this

I seem to have totally forgotten second grade. Wow, how the hell did that happen?

Third grade was even worse than kindergarten. I had Mrs. Pressman. Oh boy, royal bitch! She had these incredibly bulgy eyes and when she got mad, which was often, they'd bulge to such a degree you'd think they'd just pop out, hanging on a thread of muscular tissue. Once again, I can look back now and figure the poor woman probably had Grave's disease, thus the protruding eyes. She was still a total bitch nevertheless.

Very similar to this. Egads, that IS scary!

Don't worry, I'm not going to lead you through my entire school career, year by year, teacher by teacher. I'm mean, but not completely cruel ya know. All of this was just to lead up to the fact that...

My girls both love school!

What the hell is up with that anyway?

Last year's 6th grade curriculum kicked Mikayla's ass. She's in what they call pre-AP classes, which are advanced and start teaching the kids proper study habits and such for high school. She struggled the whole year academically, but still? She loves school! She loves learning. She loves (Gasp, spit, hiss, boo!) math!!! This cannot be my child.

Madison, now in 3rd grade, is in her third year of the laptop program. Each day she not only carries her backpack on the bus, but also her big honkin' Mac laptop. This kid can surf the web with the best of them and do PowerPoint presentations in her sleep.

Although Madison lacks even an ounce of common sense, she is wicked smart and adores learning. Animals are her specialty and if this child does not grow up to be a veterinarian I will be totally surprised.

This past Monday my girls started back to school. First off was Mikayla. Her bus picks her up at the ungodly hour of 7:00 a.m. Are they friggin' kidding me? Notice it's just getting light out as we leave for the bus stop.

The kid is a total peanut, but man, those legs go on forever, don't they?

I love embarrassing her at the bus stop. It's what I do people, and I'm damn good at it! Each day, just as she's about to slam the car door, in a very loud and silly voice, I yell, "Baaaaahhheee!" That's "bye" in Tiney-speak.
Next up was Madison, whose bus comes at a more agreeable time of 8:03. Notice how she clipped her bangs back. This is because Mommy forgot to get her a bang trim before school started. She did get one that very night though. Madison refused to let me fix her hair pretty. Geesh, the independence!

Bye bye baby! Have a great day!

When she was getting on the bus, I actually held my breath watching her try to pull herself and the weight of all she was carrying up those steep steps. She did it!So, another school year has started and to me that means cool weather. So where the hell is it? Why must I live in this sub-tropical climate where the air is as thick as pea soup? Where is my autumn? Where are my pretty colored leaves? Where is my snow and frostbitten fingers? Damn La Florida!!!

So off they went on their merry way, and so did I.

Right back to bed!

Pssst! If you love me, you might love my sister more. Go visit her at Jill's Believe it or Not, and tell her I sent you!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Do You Believe In Ghosts?

Well? Do you believe in ghosts?

I sure do, and my love of all things paranormal was one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to take this quick trip to Savannah. A planned city founded in 1733 by General James Edward Oglethorpe, of England, Savannah is a city ripe with history. Tales of piracy, murder, suicides and debauchery are prevalent. What better place for me to do some ghost hunting?

General Oglethorpe

Our first night in Savannah Jimmy wanted to eat somewhere nice and we settled on The Olde Pink House, first owned by James Habersham Jr. In 1771 construction of the mansion began, but was interrupted by the the British military during the Revolutionary war. They thought the mansion was a great place to camp. Construction on the house was not complete until 1789.

Although I took a couple of pictures while we dined in one of the 11 formal dining rooms, I didn't pick up any ghosties. It was a gorgeous place though and the food was beyond incredible.

My view from where I sat.

The furnishings of this room are not original, as you can tell by some of the mirrors and such, but the woodwork was still done beautifully.

Jimmy loved his dinner of barbecued grouper over creamy grits.

My dinner was unlike anything I have ever tasted before. Red snapper over roasted tomatoes, pureed corn and baby zucchini. Three gorgeous tortellini were stuffed with goat cheese. The flavors were so complex that every time I took a bite I tasted something different.
After dinner, Mikayla and Jimmy went exploring and found the old tavern in the basement. It's much as it was in the 1700s with very low ceilings, all the original beams and paneling, etc. A very close, intimate space. As I walked in the room for a look, the barmaid told me to take a seat if I'd like. Jokingly, I said, "Only if I can meet a ghost or two." She said, "I can't promise you'll see one tonight, but there is a lot of activity in this part of the house, things I have experienced over and over. I even have a picture to show you."

OMG, my heart rate kicked up at the thought of what she would show me. She brought out a picture which had been sent to the restaurant from a patron. It was a picture of a good looking guy, hanging out in the tavern. The unusual thing is that right next to his head was another head, that of a pirate! Although not solidly there, the image of the pirate was clear enough that I could make out his hair, his eyes, nose, mouth and even his teeth! The barmaid then told me that since that picture was taken, two more separate patrons have emailed the restaurant with pictures very similar to that, only in each successive one, the pirate's face becomes clearer. She had many more tales to tell, but it was getting late and time for us to walk back to our hotel.

The next day we ate lunch at The Pirate House Restaurant, which was built in 1753 as a saloon, restaurant and boarding house. It got its name because pirates sailing into the Savannah river would often stay there, wreaking havoc in their wake.

Our waitress was wonderful, told us to wander the rooms and take as many pictures as we'd like, and she'd tell us her personal experiences after we'd been served. First, let me tell you that between me and Mikayla, we took over 200 pictures. I did not get any apparitions or even any mists in my pics. But what I did get in a few were orbs. Now yes, you can say, "It's a dust particle" or "It's a bug". Much of the time that's just what I think. It's just kind of interesting that out of over 200 pictures, the only ones that have orbs in them are taken in places known to be very haunted. Mikayla took tons of pictures when she, Jimmy and Madison visited the Catholic Cathedral. She also took a whole bunch of herself inside the hotel. All of them using the flash too. No orbs.

Anyway, the oldest part of the Pirate House is the old herb room, where a 10-year-old boy died of yellow fever. These days this room holds one table, seating for 8, and a stairway that's been blocked off at the top, where a storage room used to be. The waitress told us that the boy is sometimes seen, but only in this room, usually on or under the stairs.

The room was empty that afternoon, so Mikayla and I wandered in there, took a seat, and starting talking to the boy. I know that sounds silly, but this is what they do on Ghost Hunters, so we figured we'd give it a try. It went something like this:

Me: Hello little boy. You can come out and see me if you'd like. I'm not here to harm you.

Mikayla: Hi there. We're nearly the same age. I bet we could play a game or something.

Me: If you come sit right here next to me on the stairs I'll give you a sweet.

Unfortunately, the boy didn't want to play, but I think someone else may have.

We ate in the Captain's Room.


Please ignore my sweaty, lip-biting self, k?
But please take notice of this next picture that I took of the fireplace. There was no one seated over there to kick up dust, I hadn't seen any bugs flying around the room, and really? This is the oddest orb I've seen to date. There's sort of an orb within an orb.

Please click to enlarge.
Our waitress told us one story that was really kind of funny. She had been standing on our side of the room, looking toward a couple who had been in a heated argument for some time. She said the woman was being a total bitch to the man and just would not stop. The waitress was actually starting to get annoyed because this couple was disturbing other diners. Well, someone else was getting ticked off too, because she said the next thing she knew, the coffee ground basket came flying out of the machine (which was about 4 feet behind and to the side of the woman) and smacked her square in the back, leaving grounds all down her shirt.

The woman finally shut up.

Another time she overheard a patron saying adamantly to his wife, "There are no such things as ghosts!" Just then the picture above the table fell straight onto his head.

He shut up too.

That night, we took what would turn out to be a humorous ghost tour of the city, Colonial Cemetery and The Sorrel-Weed House.

First we sat on a trolley for 45 minutes or so, crawling along the city streets in the sweltering heat with nary a breeze coming through the open windows. Miss Violet was our undead guide for the evening. Whereas the stories she told were done very theatrically, they were all based in truth, which for me, made up for the silliness of the rest of it.

First stop, the Sorrel-Weed House, built in 1839. This house was investigated by TAPS, (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) founded by my boys Jason and Grant from Sci-Fi's Ghost Hunters. Their conclusion? HAUNTED. Do they always come up with that conclusion? Absolutely not!

I was almost as excited to be stepping where they had stepped as I was with the hope of seeing an entity!

First we stood in a circle around this room where our hostess for the house tour told us some ghastly tales of things that have happened in the house. We only got to see two rooms, plus the slave quarters in the basement because believe it or not, this house is occupied by a family!

This room is lovely, but didn't feel at all spooky to me.
It was only when we stepped into the room adjacent to this that things changed for me. My heart started racing, I was sweating and felt the need to run. Panic attack! But why? Just after I leaned over to whisper in Mikayla's ear that I was having a panic attack, our hostess told us that many people feel a sense of dread or depression in this room. I was feeling something, that's for sure!

Do you see those cardboard fans being held? I later found out that at this time, Mikayla felt one being slid down her cheek. She turned in that direction and Jimmy was the only one there. He swears he did not touch her.

Here, our hostess tells us of a woman who committed suicide by throwing herself from the third- floor balcony above us, down to the garden below.
Just after this picture was taken, the lady in the orange shirt's cell phone rang. We all turned our phones off at the beginning of the tour.

Next it was down into the nearly pitch-black basement where the slaves were housed. These fake candles you see below were the only light source in the room. It was dark people!

I was the first person to enter the room and got this shot. Orb!

Funny how my camera takes better shots in the pitch black than it does in dim light.
More orbs! (Remember to click on the pictures to enlarge!)

Orb! Orb!! Orb!!!

Orb! Orb!!

Orb! This one seems to be following Jimmy around.

Next, we stepped out into the garden. Here, looking up to the 3rd-floor balcony where the lady plunged to her death.

Interesting, don't you think?

Next, we stood outside the gates of Colonial Cemetery. I did not capture anything paranormal here, but I did get eaten alive by skeeters and have a baby spider or two crawl on me. That's creepy, no?

Although there area over 10,000 remains buried here, only a little over 600 grave markers remain. Opened in 1750, the last body was buried in the year 1853.

Miss Violet felt there was an aura of danger around Jimmy, so she reached inside her cleavage and brought out a vial of graveyard dirt and crushed bones. She then proceded to blow it all over Jimmy for protection.

There! Now he's completely safe from any restless spirits!

So what do you think? Are these orbs I caught simply dust? Or do you believe they are the energy of souls departed trying to manifest themselves?

Do you believe in ghosts?

Pssst! If you love me, you might love my sister more. Go visit her at Jill's Believe it or Not, and tell her I sent you!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I Hope I Meet Some Ghosts

Hey guys! You may have noticed I've been pretty quiet here this week. I've barely taken the time to visit all my favorite peeps, and for that I apologize. We just got back from a night in Orlando, where the kids and Jimmy went to Blizzard Beach and I stayed cooped up in a hotel room for 10 hours straight.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) morning we're leaving for a 2-night stay in Savannah, GA, where I hope to bump into a ghost or two and possibly hang with Paula Deen. Hmmm... wonder what my chances of either one are?

Anyway, this is where I'll be. It's not grand, but it is free, thanks to all the traveling Jimmy does!

Love and miss all of you!!!

Pssst! If you love me, you might love my sister more. Go visit her at Jill's Believe it or Not, and tell her I sent you!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Fragments, Perfect For My Scattered Brain

Yippee! It’s time for another Friday Fragments post!


I love doing Friday Fragments, originating at Half Past Kissin’ Time, because there are so many things that slither through my brain that just aren’t worthy of a full post, but still need to be said. And then what I think will be a nice short post turns into a novella. I apologize in advance.

I’m Shattered

A couple weeks ago I had to go see Larry for a hair cut. As usual, he whacked away with his razor and at times was literally stabbing it point- first into the back of my head to thin it out. I swear, I was just waiting for him to poke a hole through my skull. When he was done, he was describing the different techniques he’d used on the different areas of my furry head, and said, “And over here I shattered you a bit.” This is obviously stylist- talk of some sort. I have no clue what it means and didn’t bother to ask. Maybe Nikki from The Scarlett Rose Garden can explain?

Hooked on Phonics

Okay people, it has come to my attention that some of you are still confused about how to pronounce my nick-name of Tiney. It is not pronounced tiny, as in look at his tiny pecker. It is not pronounced tinny, as in Rin Tin… Tinny has a tiny pecker. It is, however, pronounced Teeny, as in look at his teeny tiny, tinny pecker.

Whew! I’m so glad we’ve gotten that straight now. For a wile thare I wus thinking I wood hav to start riting fonetickly for all uv u.

Little Cesar

A while back, an acquaintance of ours suggested we buy the book Cesar’s Way, written by the Discovery Channel’s Dog Whisperer, Cesar Milan.

I ordered the book and as soon as it was delivered Jimmy started reading it. And reading it. And implementing every frickin’ thing Cesar wrote in said book.

Over the course of the last few weeks I’ve heard things like:

  • Do not greet Strudel when you come in the door. Ignore her. (Aw, but look at that face! She’s so cute and she’s happy to see me, right?)

Could YOU resist this face when you walk in the door?


  • Do not feed Strudel until after she has had a walk. She needs to feel like she’s earned her food by doing a job. (I’m assuming walking is considered a job to a canine? Unfortunately, I don’t do dog walks in the 90 bazillion degree heat. Does this mean she can only eat when the hubby is home?)

  • Give her the food, but then take it away for a while. She has to know you are the alpha in the house. (Already did this on my own quite a few times, thank you very much)

  • Don’t talk to her in that stupid voice you use. (Excuse me? Fuck off!)

  • Never feed her hot dogs. They’re disgusting and full of nitrates. (Yeah, you’re right. I’ll just save them for your children.)

The list of new rules goes on and on and Jimmy really has taken them seriously. For the three or so full days he’s been home in the last month! He reads one book on dog behavior and thinks he’s the dog whisperer!

Icky Doodles

Speaking of Strudel. Funky things had been going on with her poop, things I will spare you. This time. So after a week of looking at funky poop I bring her to the vet. Dr. Maria says she needs a poop sample larger than what they can get with that plastic stick they shove up a dog’s butt. So, I brought her outside to do her business. And then had to scoop it up with this little bitty spoon and put it in this little bitty bottle. While someone sat in their BMW with very dark tinted windows and watched me. I couldn’t see them, but I could feel their eyes piercing me, could sense their laughter as they sat in their air conditioned luxury car, watching me scoop shit like I was making an ice cream sundae. $200+ later, the poop tests all come back negative. Meaning, Strudel has to learn to stop eating everything on the lanai that moves. Oh, and plastic cups. She loves her some plastic cups.

But look at how big she’s getting on a diet of frogs, toads and cups!


OMG, she’s shrunk!

Okay, so that’s Gabbie, a neighbor’s dog. On my way home the other morning I found her wandering the street, panting with the heat. I scooped her up into the car and brought her home until I could find her owner. Thank goodness her tags had a phone number. Found out she belongs to the people that live in the house we used to rent on this block. Three and a half hours later they finally came to get her. No thank you or anything, just a “Hi Gabbie!” Dumb shits. Wish I could have kept her. She’s so so sweet.

Bitch of the Week

Mikayla! Pre-teen hormones. Need I say more?

I had The Talk with her a week or so ago. Oh my, the amount of giggling we did. I know, it’s my responsibility as a parent to be mature in matters such as these. But I’m sorry, talking about ejaculation and hard-ons with my 12-year-old apparently causes me to laugh.

Jimmy had previously bought her a book called It’s Perfectly Normal. I had her read the pertinent parts and then let our question and answer session bounce from there. I took a picture of her reading it. Look at that face!

IMG_2626 (800x600)

I covered it all people. From self gratification to oral sex, to same-sex relationships. I had to because the book touched on each one of those subjects. Ugh.

This kid is now educated, Mama Tiney style.

Gifts From the Heart???

The last time my parents came for a visit my mom came into the kitchen to kiss me hello and handed me a gift. It was a steel scrubby for pots and pans.

STAINLESS STEEL SCRUBBERI think I said, “Oh thanks Mom, I really needed one of these. Those copper ones suck.”

My question is, what was it that led her to stop by her kitchen cabinet while walking out the door to leave for my house and grab a damn scrubby? I hope the next time she gets that urge she’ll veer off to the family room and grab one of those gorgeous stained glass lamps of theirs…

Creepy Crawliness

The other night Jimmy was trying to get the charcoal in the grill to really take since it was a bit damp. He squeezed on a bunch of lighter fluid and the flames went up in a WOOSH. I don’t know where they had been hiding, but as soon as that flame did its thing, baby spiders came out from everywhere, hanging from the lanai ceiling and swinging back and forth. It was really quite disgusting and I was itchy for the rest of the night. Not to mention that two crawled on me and met a very quick death. SQUISH.


Tell me. Who on earth would name a residential street Beluthahatchee St.? I ask this because I pass this street often and it befuddles me. Can you imagine having to recite your address over the phone? Yes, you heard me right. B-E-L-U-T-H-A-H-A-T-C-H-E-E.

I’d move.

Pretty in Pink

I think Jimmy may have threatened my life if I shared this with you, but hey, it’s worth the risk, especially when he only comes to my blog on very rare occasions. (Hey SH neighbors! Do not tell him about this, got it?)

While away in TN on business, the rest of the team had a good time playing practical jokes on him. He showed me this picture yesterday but refused to send a copy to my email, thinking knowing I would put it on my blog. Sorry, but it’s too amusing not to.

So I got sneaky. When he left the house last night I took pictures of the picture! Heeheehee! It looks so distorted, but I guess that just makes it more funny, eh?

Jimmy, modeling his bright pink hard hat, his work boots with bright pink laces with colored lollipops on them and, pretty pink pom poms. Oh, I just love this shit. Hey, you let someone take this picture? Stood there and posed for it? In my eyes, that gives me carte blanche to blog about it.




Eye Goober

I have this growth at the inner corner of my eye. It’s been there for years, steadily getting a little bit bigger. Every time I’m with Jill she comments on it and tells me to pop it. Um hello? It’s not a zit, I can’t pop it. I know this because I’ve tried. I’ve grabbed it with my tweezer and squeezed, but it just won’t budge. Doc says it has to be surgically removed.

Anyway, I’ve told you in another post that Jimmy never really looks at me. It’s now proven because the other night while standing outside during the awards ceremony, he gave me this odd look and said, “You’ve got a big goober in your eye.” I said, “It’s not a goober! It’s a growth and I’ve had it for years!” He said, “Have it removed.”

Non-observant asshole.

Look, I even took a picture of it.


Ewww… those macro shots are wicked scary, huh?

And in true YaYa form, who in turns gets it from Lee, at Perpetual Burn, I leave you with a picture of me at this very moment. Again, scary shit. (Note to self: Remember to wear makeup on FF days.)

Picture 010

Go visit Jill, yada yada yada. Love me, love her, yada yada yada.