Archive for the ‘Play’ Category

It’s been awhile, friends. I’ve missed y’all!
I did not abandon the blog, but have been pleasantly distracted by this, that and the other in life, like…

Monitoring my teenagers’ phones and finding stuff like this


Selling the farm


Easter Egging


Teaching young men to be gentlemen


Coming home to a fountaining water heater and getting a new one


Noticing odd photo ops


Finding out my kid discovered Photo Shop on my iPad




Trying a lighter hair shade, going Garth-Blonde


Getting to see what my town looks like from the air


Getting one of two hip replacements


Doing a homemade color-by-numbers during recovery




Barely getting out of the hospital alive (note listed allergies & plate)


Watching Mr. Lizard go a-courtin’


Mardi Gras parades & assorted residual loot


Being visited by a cardinal


Septic fun!


Coming home to find the silverware gnomes organized my silverware drawer




…over a warm winter fire dancing


Savoring thoughtful sentiments from little ones


Hot morning coffee in the cool spring sun


A winter walk on the beach


Turning 50


A little getaway to my favorite Suites

Thanks, God, for a long season of joy, renewal, hope and resurrection. Thank You for the dead of winter yielding to the lifeSpring of growth and eternal life. May my readers be thusly blessed in their seasons, as well. 

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Nearing the end of a long merry-go-round of out-of-town guests, we took Grandma and her visitors out to lunch on the scenic delta. We shared our view of roosting pelicans from indoors with a healthy population of vampiric mosquitoes leering at us from outdoors…


On the way home, we swing by a most-likely-to-see-alligators spot at the top of the bay, a lazy offshoot of a river now flanked by hotels, interstate and the occasional looky-loo.

As the local “expert/guide,” I park on the far side of the hotel lot, the place where everybody used to throw chicken to the gators just to lure them, back when it was all good fun and games until the law got involved and the resident fourteen-footer got shot.

I look hither. I look yon, “Beware of Alligators” signs, be darned.

About to climb back into the car declaring that we should move along, nothing to see, folks, I glance down in annoyance at my ankle bracelet catching the strap of my beaded sandal for the umpteenth time. I am staring head-on into a healthy-sized alligator less than ten feet from my two feet.


What else was I to do than to beckon Grandma and her visitors to come hither and see for themselves?

So they did.

While visitors snapped photos to show and tell later this week at the water cooler at work, Grandma – with advancing dementia – decides to teeter on the edge of the embankment and fancies herself an alligator-whisperer.

“Here, sweetie, come up here and see us! You’re so beautiful! Here, gator-gator-gator, just look at YOU! Come here, come talk to me!”

The alligator HAD been facing us head-on, but upon her beckoning, he began to slowly turn so the one eye on the right side of his head could get a better view of her.

“That’s right, you big ol’ lizard, get on up here and look a little closer! We won’t hurt you…”

“Mom, um, let’s go. He’s turning toward us.”

“I know! Isn’t that great? He hears me, he wants to be my friend!”

“Mom, he’s turning toward you so he can size you up. Come on, get in the car.”

“He won’t hurt me, he’s so CUTE!”




“Mom, NO! He’s casing you…he’s, he’s trying to see if he can catch you for supper. Please, get in the car!”

“He can’t get me, he wouldn’t do that!”

“No, Mom, alligators run REALLY fast – he can strike quickly, and get up this embankment faster than you can get to the car. Come on, come with me…(leading her by the arm).”

(Fighting and shooing me off) “No, I want to see if he’ll come closer.”

Okay, so this was insanity. Literally. The guests, long lodged safely back in the car and witnessing the spectacle with the “flight” reaction to adrenaline’s “fight, flight or freeze,” were no help whatsoever.

It was up to me to talk her away from the embankment before the alligator had a chance to strike.

So on a whim, I injected a little sobering reality into the mix: “Okay, just make sure you run away zig-zag when he comes up to see you closer. He can run after you straight, but it will confuse him if you run in a zig-zag pattern; alligators can’t run zig-zag.”

“What? Really?”

“Yep. If you insist on standing here communing with this extra-large reptile who weighs more than you do, it’s the least I can do to tell you how to outsmart him.”

(A quiet moment of mutual sizing-up between curious reptile and curious senile then ensued)

“Well, I’ve seen enough,” she finally declared, and she high-tailed it back to the car, just as he began to turn a little closer.

Truth be told, the alligator was probably just looking for a good, old-fashioned chicken handout. (Side note: maybe that’s why alligator meat tastes like chicken – really, it DOES!)

But I wasn’t taking any chances here – how would I explain that to the rest of the family if Grandma got gobbled up by a gator?!

Then we safely resumed our holiday weekend of resort-hopping, one of my favorite things about having visitors when living at the beach. No regrets whatsoever that they come here to visit the beach as much, if not more, than they come here to visit us. Either way, we all get to play!


I highly recommend outdoor blog-posting.



Creative watermelon carving





I wish this life for all y’all dear readers…



When I studied this picture later, I thought, “Funny, I don’t recall seeing that much color in the stained glass, in person.” Turned out the lower half of my floral-print dress was captured in the reflection as I took the shot. This is why I am not a professional photographer…



Errant footprint on the beach

(and Ms. Ashley, we’ve got a few decent venues down here for ya)

Happy opening of hurricane season to one and to all!

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Horizontal hair - ya gotta love the elements!

Rough surf + good boogie board +tangerine toes = FUN

Can you handle the mangly tangled results of exhilaration?

Best surf of all..

Eventually gravity and relaxation settle the matter.

Thanks, God, for awesome beach days!!

P.S. – Thanks to Ms. Dotty Headbanger for the Golden Shatner Award…it just made me laugh, just like her posts…even though she added me to her American Therapist hoarding problem Collection prior to my officially granting permission.  Send the lady a Cumberland sausage!

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Hey, God…

I really should lighten up. After all, life is too short. Why, I ask myself, are my posts so, um, serious? Is it because I use most my humor at work, making my superiors and the children laugh? Wait, they must be laughing at me instead of with me. This could account for why I have not been promoted within my impatient time frame. Some coworkers might beg to differ, however, since the new position with the office they gave me is the only one, other than higher administrators, which has an actual window in it, a window that overlooks some beautiful scenery…lily pads with bullfrogs sunning themselves, a blue heron whom I suspect may be a prop on the payroll for therapeutically aesthetic purposes, sloping lawn that dares you to lie down, cross your heart and roll down to the pond. One day I will lead all the children to do just that, simply because it is there. We will get muddy and laugh.

Maybe I am being kept there for their entertainment. Maybe they secretly want to say and do the brash things I (sometimes impulsively) do, like saying what everyone is thinking anyway, but nobody wants to be the idiot out on a limb to come out and say so. Or maybe it’s the double entendres I spit out on daily whims as circumstances present themselves, the kind that go clear over the heads of the children and certain adults, but are clearly understood by those who happen to be on their toes at the moment. Other than a couple of appreciated indiscretions, I have followed my New Year’s resolution this year in the office to keep all emails brief and businesslike.


I will have to do an experiment and try being serious at work some day, and see if I don’t have more playful humor left over in the evening for this blog. Oops, that might not work…they recently gave me that office to work in a position in which playfulness is valued, even expected. The staff was stiffly aghast last week at my choice in replenishing the Treasure Box with whoopee cushions, rubber roaches and hillbilly teeth; my superiors suppressed grins and happily but quietly reimbursed me for such purchases. The children and I had a wonderful time, nonetheless, and I hope lessons were learned all the way around about the importance of laughter and lightheartedness. Alas, am I doomed to be playful by day, serious by night? I hereby try not to be so serious, even when I am not being paid to be playful. How much better life is when we keep playfulness a priority. Life is too boring, too straight-laced, otherwise.

I was terribly grateful for the unbusinesslike email a coworker sent me envying my daily playful responsibilities; and shamefully amused at another coworker who went to the trouble to page me overhead throughout the entire facility this morning in front of you, God and everybody, just because she wanted to show me something she found for me on her phone that was best relegated to her phone and not mine, and made me blush just having to look at it in the confines of the office setting. Oh, my. I do want to sign up for those classes, though.

And when I came home, our home was opened to several neighborhood children who emerged out of nowhere when we pulled in. How much more fun was it for them to do homework with classmates who are neighbors; to ride bikes off of the ramp which they rigged up in the front yard; to laugh at the baby who puts a “y” instead of an “l” into his vocabulary and tried to feed his stuffed yion some Yucky Charms; taming snakes and lizards and critters the other kids aren’t allowed to keep in their homes; to feed all seven children supper because they were here and hungry and nobody wanted to go home quite yet. I hope the background strains of “Holding on to Black Metal” didn’t subliminally corrupt anyone.

Now it is my turn to unwind. I am thoroughly exhausted, cold still in full swing, head swimming with all the puzzles and Legos and dollhousing and Monopoly Junior and cards I played today, while I slipped in some neurological rearranging on those with whom I played. I will consider planting a rubber roach somewhere tomorrow. But for now, I am reduced to stick-figure status, tired and simplistic, with X’s for eyes.

Aaaah, thanks, God, for these beach chairs, that we can unwind together! It’s okay to play both on and off the clock, isn’t it?

I secretly think You must like to play, too, God. After all, You rested on the seventh day. You play…for keeps.

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