I Like Turtles

As your average animal lover, there are few species that I don’t like.  I’m not a fan of bugs and when I was 2 years old a cat bit me in the face.  I’ve come around a lot but still have some trust issues with felines.  Also – I love going fishing, but really like to throw them back so they can reunite with their families.  I love cheese too much to be a viable PETA candidate and if the pet owner humane societies knew how much I liked to dress up my dog they would probably take her away from me.

When I was little we ran the gamut of random pets.  Goldfish, chicks, hamsters, a butterfly, hermit crabs – when we lived in Philadelphia we would dig for worms and keep them in the garage lovingly until they dried up.  When we lived in New Orleans we would catch frogs – many of whom met the same fate as the worms.  I would pretend the stray dogs who loitered around our house were mine.  That explains a lot, I know…  I had a bunny that I loved dearly who was killed by our exterminator.  I can’t count the number of therapy sessions which resulted from that one.

But you know what were really fun pets?  Turtles!  The experiences never ended well.  I think we had two and if my memory serves me correctly, they both escaped.  But I always thought they were fun to watch.  The way they could shoot back into their shell before you could blink an eye.  How slow they seemed but how fast they could go.  They couldn’t bite me in the face, they didn’t make much noise, so they were great listeners – the solid American turtle is underrated as every little girl’s best friend.

Yesterday, while on a beach walk with my mom, we took a detour down towards a bird sanctuary.  In the middle of the path there was a turtle in a hole.  My immediate reaction was to yell “of course you can call me Mommy! You’ll love your new sister Darcy!”  But I resisted so we could creep up and investigate what was happening.  The turtle was laying eggs!  It was so neat!  It was like watching a science experiment in real life.  And I never liked science – I just wanted to try and save the fetal pigs or bring the chicks from the incubator home with me.

I named her Bethany

I named her Beverly

We walked on to give her some birthing privacy.  I know if I was having babies I wouldn’t want two over curious women watching the process.  When we came back, she was covering up the hole.  Just with her feet.  Animal instinct is an amazing thing.  I do a lot better when people tell me how or when to do something – there was no one there with positive words of encouragement or providing direction.  She just knew.

Once we got home we Googled how long it would be until they hatched.  She left them in a hole right in the middle of the trail down the center of a bird sanctuary, so their chances of survival are questionable.  But my mom and I debated setting out beach chairs and getting some books or learning to knit with some vodka tonics while we were on turtle baby watch – if they can do it for the Princess, we can do it for a turtle.

Word to the wise – for the future – keep your eyes open.  Science is happening around us all the time!

And in closing – remember this kid?  I always felt like we had a connection, but I feel even closer to him now:

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Cloudy with a Chance of Cabernet

It is gross out today.  Deep down, I always love a rainy day – but I can’t get away with describing the weather as “beautiful.”  I’m nowhere near as clever with as I am when I’m in my roof office with a glass of wine and the sun blazing down on me.  My brain works best when bronzing. So I struggled a little this afternoon with what to write about.

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I finished training and started working on my own at my new job today.  It was very exciting and empowering to feel busy and responsible again.  And I had to be there super early.  I was in the studio by 5:18 AM.  So you can imagine that I was exhausted when I got home at 1:30 PM.  Darcy and I went for a quick walk, read the news, and took a nap.

When I woke up a couple of hours later, I was groggy and starving.  The weather had only gotten worse.  Which again was alright, every so often it’s nice to have a chilly rainy day.  As my plans were cancelled on account of no one wanting to leave their couch, I decided it was a night for one of my favorite meals… Pizza and wine.  I love making my own pizza, but the only ingredient I have in my fridge is mozzarella (your cheese drawer should always be fully stocked in order to ensure daily satisfaction) and food always tastes better when someone makes it for you and your kitchen remains in tact.

This should be the case across the tri-state area tonight

This should be the case across the tri-state area tonight

So I set out.  I distracted Darcy to the best of my ability (covered a lot of toys with a lot of peanut butter) and quietly sneaked downstairs (fun fact – ‘snuck’ is not really a word) and made my way outside.  Once I got there, I realized I didn’t have an umbrella, so I would have to make a run for it.  I jogged to the pizza place and got a couple of smiles and a head nod on the way there when I realized – these silly people who did remember their umbrellas just think I’m dedicated and going for a run – rain or shine.  My poor unassuming neighbors – having so much confidence in me. Little did they know I didn’t want to get wet and really just wanted my pizza faster.  I didn’t render the same approving looks as I jogged home with a pizza box.

Never start a meal with this much red without an anti-acid on hand

Never start a meal with this much red without an anti-acid on hand

Regardless – I was happy.  And technically I got some cardio in too! I got back to my apartment, was greeted by my very stressed out puppy, who had apparently realized I was missing, and took the next step towards dinner of letting my wine breathe.  It’s been a successful evening.  I’ve somehow written almost 500 words about my love of pizza and secret acceptance of rainy days, enjoyed some great wine, and even gave Darcy a little piece of pizza.  According to the internet it’s going to kill her but she seemed very pleased with the decision.

I hope everyone else’s rainy day was as cozy and comfortable as ours has become.

comf darc

The Smells of the Shore

I do my best thinking in the two places where it is most difficult to pen my thoughts: my shower and my car.  It’s unfortunate and typical but maybe explains why my entirely alone and uninterrupted thoughts are the best ones.  The problem, though is that as a result of my late in life ADD diagnosis and my outrageous imagination, I forget 90% of my best material.

The good news today is that the idea for this post followed me around all weekend.  Everywhere I went,  I was reminded about how much I love the smells of the shore.  Your sense of smell brings back some of your strongest memories as it is likely the first sense developed by the human body.  I’m not going to put together a bibliography for my research but you should be able to find my resources by typing in “smell and memories” and reviewing the initial headlines that pop up on Google. What I’m trying to say is if you were taken to the beach as a baby, it’s likely you will always have fond memories that flood your heart and soul the minute you walk into a beach house these days…

beach

My favorite smell of all time is sun screen.  Particularly Coppertone.  I still picture the pink bottle with the little girl in a bathing suite being chased by a dog behind her.  It was very much for babies and very much 80’s.  But I love the idea of it.  I remember the torture of having to put sunscreen on your face when you were little.  And the horrific idea that it might not have been perfectly rubbed in.  And then your teenage years when you’re far too good for sunscreen – you won’t burn – in fact, you want to burn.  And then eventually you become a real adult and realize it’s good to wear sunscreen because you really don’t want wrinkles or skin cancer and it is really a bother to be burned. I love sunscreen.  And I could smell it all day long.

The smell of the beach is incredible.  Particularly when you’re driving towards it with the windows down and you’re tired and have been sitting in traffic and all of the sudden you realize for the first time you’re within smelling distance of the bay and ocean.  And everything is okay again because you’re at the shore.  Work isn’t there – your messy room isn’t there – the drama with your ex isn’t there… It’s you, it’s a Corona and it’s the sounds and smell of the sand and the ocean and nothing can ruin that.

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The smell of beach houses.  Especially the showers.  I feel like beach houses just smell like happiness.  Save for the area where my brother and his friends are camped out, beach houses usually smell like a mix of sunshine and relaxation.  I wish Febreze would bottle a “Shore House” scent that I could spray on my couch in the city.  Or for others to spray in their cubical or cars for commuting.  When stepping into the shower at the beach the first thing you smell is sand that has been washed away and Happy Hour calling.  And the feeling of getting into the shower after a long day in the sun and washing off the sunscreen and beach breeze is just amazing.

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The shore is amazing to all senses.  I could listen to the crash of the ocean until it dried up.  I love to people watch on the beach.  The feeling of the sand between your toes or warm ocean water on your knees is magical.  I don’t really like to taste either of those… But being down the shore always seems to justify ice cream or cocktails – whichever suits you at that time.  I hope that for all of  you this is the beginning of a fabulous summer time that spikes joy out of all of your senses.

Quick Trip to the late 1990’s

It’s finally beautiful in Philadelphia.  Here’s another thing about being retired – when my soul was sold to corporate America, I never had the opportunity to sit on top of my office in a bikini and bronze up while I worked.  So add that to the Dream I was talking about living earlier.

Anyway – I decided to grab sunscreen on my way up to my office and went under my Roommate’s sink to see what she had in there.  It’s funny because she always complains about her fair skin and how she burns so quickly but today all of her problems were solved.  You see – the last time she bought sun screen, Bill Clinton was President, TLC was at the top of the Billboard charts, the St. Louis Rams were winning the Superbowl she was in the 6th grade…

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Good Day, Sunshine

Despite what you may have heard, it is not in fact Always Sunny in Philadelphia.  However, the minute it is, I just want to be outside.  I don’t care what I’m doing out there, but if there is sunshine, I want to be in it.  I’ve caught myself numerous times sitting on my roof deck, alone with Darcy, staring out and thinking in the Matthew McConaughey voice from the Lincoln commercials, things like “A storm seems to be brewing in the distance,” or “I would like to eat Indian food for dinner tonight.”

And the funny thing is – it’s freezing.  There isn’t an inch of skin exposed on my body and I still wish I’d brought a blanket up with me.  I try to get Darcy to share her warmth on my lap but she usually stubs me in the stomach until I put her down and she can chase the bees flying around again.  Every time I decide to give up and go inside there’s a quick burst of sunshine and I remember how much fun it is to be shivering out here.

The official office of the Young and Retired...

The official office of the Young and Retired…

When I watch other Philadelphians on neighboring roof decks and walking below, it amazes me the way the city comes alive in the sunshine.  Cold, cloudy, sunshine.  The double-decker buses are filled for every tour weekday in and weekend out, the city is swarmed with tourists posing with peace signs in front of the Liberty Bell and  constant field trips of middle schoolers from suburbia follow Benjanim Franklin and Betsy Ross impersonators all along the sidewalks.  The duck tours are full and per usual, annoying as hell, the Segway-ers are congesting traffic again, there isn’t a parking spot for blocks AND it’s still only 50 degrees outside.

Over the weekend I walked Darcy and decided to count how many people I heard laughing along the way.  I got to two because I forgot what I was doing almost immediately (thank goodness for writing down thoughts – otherwise there wouldn’t be a blog) but that’s still two more than I’ve heard since September.  I thought we should go to a new park and see how other neighborhoods relished in their sunshine.  We chose Northern Liberities – which is full of weirdos and I should have known, but that just means more candidates to write about.

There was the woman who was breastfeeding in front of all of the other park goers.  My cousin recently had a baby and always talks about pumping and things like that. I wish I’d had some pumping pamphlets on me to enlighten her on the beauties of keeping your shirt on in a child friendly and child-less person environment.  I only want to see boobs on naked photo hunt and when my friends get fabulous implants.

There was soccer practice.  It was probably for ages 3-4.  The kids were precious and had no idea what was going on.  I loved the little girl wearing a skirt and hoodie.  Or the other girl wearing jeans, a denim jacket with frills and shoulder pads and flats.  Or the little boys decked out in David Beckham or World Cup 2014 gear.  They would wind up like a cartoon to kick the ball off of a stand into a net three feet away.  It took me back to the days when I played soccer.  I was 5, and I’ve been told I picked the best bouquets of flowers throughout the game that my mom had ever received.

There were bratty kids harassing my dog. She even got away from me at one point and went Cujo on this girl who kept running and laughing and taunting.  I ran after her in my bare feet trying not to lose my Mr. Softie cone at the same time but it made me wish I had pamphlets on boarding school or animal harassment or Santa not coming to kids on the naughty list to give to their parents.

There was Mr. Softie.  Ginger-eyes and I had a long talk about how ice cream trucks just aren’t what they used to be.  I don’t want a deformed SpongeBob, I want Kohr Brothers in a truck to arrive and brighten my day.  Minutes later our dreams came true and someone walked by with softserve.  It was a glorifying moment – and Roommate was good enough to give us an extra $.50, since we are actually children in adult bodies, and hadn’t brought any money.

I decided after a while that my roof deck is a kind of Mecca.  There are no bratty kids, no one is naked and no dogs peeing on my belongings.  Philadelphia in the sunshine is a beautiful view and I cannot wait for a month from now when I can comfortably enjoy it outside without a pair of Uggs.

  
I almost forgot – there are also a whole lot of bikers.  Bikers are the worst.  The absolutely worst.  Thank you, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia for handling the biker problem