Monday, August 13, 2007

They're Everywhere

Mickey Dee's in Yokohama, Japan.

McDonald's in Japan

Note the barber pole next door.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Minato Mirai Manyo Club

"A relaxing hot spa formed through the amalgamation of city beautification and harmony. Hot water is brought in daily with tank lorries from Yugawara and Atami. "

Tranquil bath setting

Here is the site where Kaitlin took the Japanese bath. The web site is in Japanese but there are many lovely photos. Let the front page play a long time for there are lots of pictures and many repeat before new ones appear in no particular order. Then, try clicking each link down the left side and viewing all the photos. Even the food looks yummy.

I don't understand the TV Lounge room but Kait says they had plenty of American TV in there so maybe American TV is a relaxation thing that is popular among the Japanese.

Just lovely. What a night view from there, too!
Wish I could go ...

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


I have proclaimed this week, "National Flaurella's Not Cooking Week." It's too hot to cook and I am sick of cooking and I'm not gonna take it anymore. Hayell, I may proclaim the whole month of August as "National Flaurella's Not Cooking Month."

So, I email W4D ( for the benefit of you new readers, that's an acronym for What's 4 Dinner, the nickname of my DH since that is always the foremost question on his mind) and in a complete role reversal, I ask:

"What's for dinner?"

Back comes his email reply.

"Dinner tonight will be culinary combination of flower (sic) and yeast, covered in a vegetable garden of delectable delights, surrounded by cardboard and brought to you in a recreational all terrain vehicle."

I think that means he's planning on picking up Domino's Pizza in the RAV on his way home from work.


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Naked in Japan

The latest missive from daughter, Kaitlin
Her current mood: Rejuvenated

In her words:
So I spent all of Tuesday naked. It was exciting. First we got lost in Yokohama and walked for about five miles before we finally found Landmark Tower. Then we found the big Ferris Wheel and the World Bazaar. Then we found it. It wasn't anything out of the ordinary. A tall hotel called Jumbo. Not fancy or run down. Fairly normal. Until you get in the elevator. The hotel had nine floors. Yet the elevator only went to floors 1,2,3, and 7. So we took the elevator to the 7th floor.

When the doors opened it looked like nothing more than a gift shop. We walked up the counter and handed them our credit cards as we had been instructed to do before arriving. They gave us a key and a ticket. We took off our shoes at the entrance and put them in bags. Then we went to another counter and gave them our tickets. They gave each of us a Kimono. We entered through the pink drapes. Found our lockers and removed and placed our clothes in the lockers. Then through the second set of curtains we saw it. An entire room full of wonderful smells and showers that you sit down at so we sat down at our showers. We each washed with the best soaps and shampoos and conditioners.

Then we entered the first room. The salt sauna. You cover your body in salt and then sit and sweat it off. It gets rid of all the dead skin and cleans your pores. After a rinse we entered the Herbal Sauna. This is where you sit in a very hot room and breathe in green tea and you clean out your airway and your pores. Then we entered the hot springs. Pools of hot water that soften and heal your skin. After a few hours we went down and enjoyed a massive array of foods at the dinning area. Then more saunas and springs including the outdoor foot springs located on the roof. That we enjoyed at night with the city all alight. To end our evening we all enjoyed full body massages with rosemary and mint massage oils.

Everywhere we went we were naked except in the dinning area where we wore our Kimono. At the end of the night we each bought a Kimono to wear later and to take pictures in since we were not allowed any pictures in the bath house. My hair has never been this soft or my skin so nice. It was truly a memorable experience.

I even bought a little bag of the salt to bring home. The one thing that did make me giggle was all of the hot springs baths had signs on them both in English and Japanese that stated "this water is not portable."

Here are some interesting links and photos online:

* Nice slide show of Yokohama

* Landmark tower cam

* Learn more about Japanese public baths

* Enjoyment in Yokohama

* Check out this blog for some fab pictures of the area
in Yokohama where Kait spent the day naked.

Monday, July 30, 2007


I'm back from my trip to Daytona Beach or as I like to call it, Daytoonie. Had a great bird's eye view of the action from our room at the Hilton. The hotel was not up to my Hilton standards but then, it is the beach and people are very casual. Still I shall never get used to see people parade around shirtless or in bikini's in hotel lobbys.

Regardless, I had fun watching the endless parade of beach activities, the para-sails, boats, fishermen, beach rides, boardwalk, dramatic lifeguard rescues (about 40 per day) to say nothing about the gorgeous hunks that are Daytona Beach lifeguards. They not only look good, they work hard. But, I digress.

What is it about the beach that inspires one to start drinking early in the afternoon? While DH was attending meetings, I spent my afternoons sipping martinis and enjoying the panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean from the 11th floor. All in all, not a bad way to spend the better part of a week.

I can't make this gall-danged flash
badge thing work, so please click the single picture below and view all my Daytona pictures at FLICKR. There are captions if you view each one or you can speed through them with the slide show feature.

Daytona Beach, Florida

Okay, so they aren't that good but ...
Made ya look!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Sunny Beaches

On a brief trip to Melbourne Beach, a long barrier island on the East Coast of Florida a few weeks ago, the beach was deserted at 5:00 in the afternoon.

Melbourne Beach Florida
Five o'clock Shadows

The next morning, high tide brought the surf so close that from our bedroom window, it looked like we were right over the ocean.

Sunny Morning at High Tide
Sunny Morning at Melbourne Beach

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Gai-jin* in Japan

Typhoons and earthquakes, oh, my!

Kaitlin writes from Japan:

"Saturday and Sunday we were in the middle of a Typhoon. Monday, we had earthquakes. At 11:30 pm Monday night, Negishi felt tremors that reached 4.5 and made our beds shake. I felt like I was in The Exorcist."

Levitating Bed

Bachelor Housing Sign
Sign in front of Kait's housing

Her first typhoon was fairly uneventful.

"It was nothing more than a tropical depression as far as Florida would be concerned. Here however, they were freaking out. We were on TCCOR 1 (Tropical Cyclone Condition Of Readiness 1). This means the typhoon was right on top of us. In the middle of the typhoon the fire alarm went off and we were all sent running from our rooms in our pajamas into the very early morning rain. Talk about a wake up call."

Bachelor Quarters
She lives in this building

Kaitlin is collecting the chopsticks from every restaurant she visits and most of them are written in "Japanese letters from one of their three alphabets" so she's not entirely sure what the names actually are. She sends her love to family and friends and says she misses everyone "very, very, very much."

* A gai-jin is a foreigner, not necessarily an American but anyone who is not Japanese.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Always Breezy

Dania Beach, where I spent most afternoons as a young'un.

Dania Beach, Florida
Photo taken on a recent trip to South Florida

Thursday, July 12, 2007

No Free Ride

When I was a girl, all the carousels had ring arm and you could lean out and try to grab the brass ring each time the carousel went around. If you were successful and got the brass, you were awarded another carousel ride for free. Of course, your horse had to be at exactly the correct height at the right time and place and there were several silver colored rings and only one brass one so it was a matter of luck and skill to grab the golden or "brass ring."

I haven't seen a ring arm on a carousel in years. I wonder why they stopped offering the brass ring? Probably something to do with insurance liability.

St Augustine Carousel
No brass ring on the old carousel in St. Augustine, Florida

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Move Over, Mothra

As giant crabs attack...

Attack of the Giant Crabs

... Kaitlin is whisked away to safety in Yokosuka via Japan's very clean and proficient public transportation system.

Japanese Public Transportation

Thursday, July 05, 2007


Pink Lily popped up in my yard overnight.

Pink Lily
click to enlarge

Must have been planted by the birds.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Happy Birthday, Cracker Doodle!

Hope Japan is treating you well today and that they have sparklers there. And yes, I know the picture below is 4 years old. Send us a new one, please.

19th Birthday

More of your previous birthday pix are here.

Happy 23rd!

Momsie ~

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Grand Opening

Hi, Hunnies, I'm home. I know it's been a while but I have been on the road and/or having way too much fun to blog.

During my travels last week, I saw this scrawled in white paint on the rear window of a Nissan in South Carolina:

Justin and Melissa
Just Married

Made me laugh.
They were very young so yes indeed, it may have been the Grand Opening.

Here's what I am drinking tonight out of one of my infamous blue balls martini glasses. It's Raspberry Sparkletini and Grape Vodka, half and half, very cold, garnished with a cherry.

Cherry Blue

Yep, I call it Blue Balls with a Cherry on top.

A hearty welcome to all you blue balls and cherry searchers.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Anata no koto wo kangaeteiru

Daughter Kaitlin and her roomie Kim have been assigned to Negishi, a smaller base about 18 miles from Yokosuka. She started teaching swimming today and I believe this is a pic of the pool. She thinks she will be in Negishi through July and them have other assignments in August and September. They put her up in the Bachelors Officer's Quarters (BOQ). Kaitlin is very pleased that she has good digs and maid service.

She has seen her first Japanese ladies wearing kimono and eaten her first real Japanese foods. She told me "I love you," in Japanese. I think I detected just a trace of homesickness in her voice. Still no internet but she and Kim are having that set up on Wednesday. I can't wait to email her and see photos.

"Anata no koto wo kangaeteiru" means "I'm thinking of you."
Love, Momsie

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Koi Pond at Ft. Lauderdale hotel

Watching fish swim is so relaxing. I would love to have a koi pond at home but I think our native raccoons, hawks and osprey might find them a little too colorful and delish to resist.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Flip Flops

It's 95 degrees.
I hate summer.

Flip flops

Most of the year, flip flops are my shoe of choice. I have platform ones, high heeled ones, gold, silver, decorated, plain, every color, every style. These were downright pricey at $2.84. Gotta love 'em!

Friday, June 08, 2007


It's been a while. Been busy running up and down the east coast of Florida for the last month in between various, sundry and expensive dental tortures. Beach pix from the length of the coast may follow if I make time. But important news first - at 5:15 this morning, we sent the kidlet through the X-ray machine to a plane bound for Japan for four months. Who says being a professional lifeguard doesn't have its perks?

First darlin' daughter flew to Atlanta from JAX (Jacksonville, Florida) and then she hopped a Boeing 777 to Narita airport serving Tokyo, Japan. You can track her here for about the next 6 or 7 hours.

Flight tracking
Click to view large

As I type, She's flying over the Bering Sea and in Alaska Terroritirial waters. I hope she looks for the crab boats featured in Deadliest Catch since that is one of Kaitlin's and my favorite TV programs. (You think she can see them from 36,000 feet?) Upon arrival, she'll take the bullet train to the Navy Command Center Base at Yokasuka, about 40 miles south of Tokyo and have three bases in Japan where she will lifeguard, teach swimming and water safety.

Our daughter comes from a long line of lifeguards: her father and I were both lifeguards as was her aunt and her grandfather. She knows a peach of a job when she finds it.

I will admit that I cried just like I left her off at kindergarten when we watched her plane take off this morning.

Kaitlin will be in Japan until October. She'll celebrate her birthday there on July 4th. I miss her already.

Well, off to watch the shuttle light up the sky here in North Florida.
Godspeed Kaitlin and Atlantis.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Honoring the Brave

Long time, no type.

I've been off doing dental drugs and traveling between torture sessions. Haven't had the time nor inclination to blog but will try to remedy that sooner or later.

In the meantime, it is Memorial Day. It was my family's custom to go picnic at the cemetery on Memorial Day and on Labor Day. Those were the days at the beginning and the end of summer when you cleaned the family headstones, planted flowers and had a sort of mini family reunion and dinner al fresco among the dearly departed. But, that's not my subject today.

I was going through a box of my keepsakes and found my POW bracelets from the Viet Nam war. I could fib and say these aren't mine but I bought them both in the early 70's before we were married, one for W4D and one for me. We wore them for many years, never knowing what happened to the young men who's names were engraved on our bracelets.

Viet Nam POW Bracelets

I can remember the day I bought these 35 years ago (if not the actual date) as clearly as can be, from a table in front of a store in a neighborhood open air mall in Tampa. The table was decorated with red white and blue bunting and many bracelets were laid out in lines. Three ladies sat at the table and took donations and answered questions. I selected PFC Paul Hasenbeck (MIA 4-21-67) and S2B W4D selected Master Sergeant Marshall Kipina (MIA 7-14-66).

Yesterday, I looked up the service records of PFC Paul Alfred. Hasenbeck from Freeburg, Missouri who was born May 11, 1947. I also researched. M/SGT Marshall Frederick Kipina, born Dec. 14, 1944, who was born in Augusta Maine and hailed at the time, from Calumet Michigan.

PFC Hasenbeck was lost on a sampan in South Viet Nam in April of 1967. You can read more about Hasenbeck here.

M/SGT Kipina was a member of the 131st Aviation Co., a group known as the "Nighthawks." Kipina was an observer and sensor operator in a surveillance plane that went out at night to photogrpah the Ho Chi Min Trail and track enemy activity. He and the pilot (Captain Robert Nopp) were shot down in Laos in July of 1966. There has been a possible photo ID of Kipina some years after the plane went down and some believe he survived the crash to become a POW. You can read more about him here.

Neither body was ever recovered.

Today, I honor them both as well as all the military men and women who have given their lives for our country and the cause of freedom.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Run for the Roses Saturday

Kentucky Bourbon -- check.
Kentucky Bourbon

Simple Syrup -- freshly steeped and chilled
Pitcher of Simple Syrup

Fresh Mint -- potted and on the sundeck ready to smoosh and sniff.
Spearmint for Derby Day

Julep Cups -- washed and polished
Roses on the table -- check
Derby Cups and Roses

Tomorrow on Derby Day, we'll drink to the memory of Barbaro and all who fought so hard to save that magnificent horse.

I hope the Queen wears a lovely hat.

Okay, who is gonna invite us over for the race?
I'll bring the julep fixin's and the cheese straws.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


It didn't go well at the dentist, nor later at the endodontist. I will be getting anesthesia from the oral surgeon next week. This weekend, I am going back to a little cottage on the beach until Thursday when the surgeon does his thing.

Since I can't think of anything but dental tortures, here's some more pictures of St. Augustine. This is the view looking south from the outside of the Fountain of Youth, which is really a spring a couple of hundred yards from the Bay.

St. Augustine Florida

Same spot but looking north. These live oaks are only about 100 years old. That gray shaggy stuff in the trees is Spanish Moss. The tabby (oyster) wall sourrounds the Fountain tourist attraction.

Live Oak lined street

The wall is taller than I and I could hear peacocks screaming inside. Peacocks are beautiful but they are mean.

Tabby Wall, St. Augustine

I wonder how long it would take W4D and I to eat enough oysters to make a tabby wall? I guess we would eat about 6 or 8 dozen a day, every day. At that rate, it would take us about a year to make each section if we could eat them year 'round, which would be impractical and unhealthy. One doesn't eat fresh local oysters in the summer time.

St. Augustine Tabby Wall

Instead of a wall of oyster shells, I am going to make walkway and garden borders in my yard out of wine bottles. That will surely add to the value of our house and delight our neighbors.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Until Wednesday

Entrance to Fountain of Youth
Originally uploaded by flaurella.

I have just returned from a righteous Martini Binge in the oldest, permanent city in the continental USA. I wasn't ready to come home but W4D couldn't stand any more of my nerves that manifest as meanness when I know I must attend to torturous dental procedures in weeks hence. So, this morning, he called my dentist Robin, and got my root canal moved up 16 days. I go in the morning. GACK!

You will remember perhaps, that a couple of weeks ago after 9 shots, they couldn't get my jaw numb enough to do the root canal. They sent me home without the procedure and I took mega doses of antibiotics for 10 days. I guess Novocain is rendered useless in the presence of pus, abscess and infection?

Enough about that. I don't want to talk about it.

Instead, I will show you the Fountain of Youth, as discovered by Juan Ponce de León on 1513.

Maybe I will show you more after I wake up from all the lovely drugs.

Friday, April 27, 2007


Originally uploaded by flaurella.

I never have time to blog these days. Besides, something's been eating my parsley.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Collards in the Sink

Collards in the Sink
Originally uploaded by flaurella.

Oh, my! Speak to me not of modern kitchens. It sucks that I must cook in the pitiful, ancient kitchen in this 1885 house. I would kill for a new and modern kitchen. Check out the maroon and puke yellow tile that half covers the window over the sink. The last tile update was in the 1940's. Oh, so chic! Note the hand pump on the sink. Check out the cabinets that have been there since the 1800's. The only thing new is the collard greens.

A woman who loves to cook should NOT have to cook in THIS kitchen. I am so very envious of new modern kitchens. :::sigh:::

Monday, April 23, 2007

Over the Sink

Over the Sink
Originally uploaded by flaurella.

Gazing outside while washing dishes on a sunny spring day. I never use this vintage sugar bowl for its intended purpose but I like to admire the rich color of it.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Legless Chair, Little Ladder

Big Legless Chair, Little Ladder
Originally uploaded by flaurella.

I looked at this a long time wondering why the chair had no legs and why that little two-step ladder sat atop it. Never could decide what was going on so I took the picture.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Originally uploaded by flaurella.

More drugs, more oral surgery next month, but I don't care because I have slept more in the last 4 days than I have in the last four months.

Sleep is a beautiful thing and red lilies make me happy.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Neigh. Nay. No.

Originally uploaded by flaurella.

I have nothing to say.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Root Canal Tomorrow - 8:00 AM

Root Canal RX
Originally uploaded by flaurella.

Three of four prescriptions for tomorrow plus my own personal remedy for sleeping tonight. After not falling asleep until 6:23 this morning (this dental phobic worries all night long for a whole week before appointments), I am going to be snoozing by 10 PM tonight.

W4D is driving me to and from the ordeal but I'll have to wake up and start taking meds by 6:00 AM in the morning. I plan to sleep it off all day Monday. Should I get on the computer, just ignore me. It's the drugs typing.

Off I go with my bottle of Jack and my blankie.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Strawberry Tart

Strawberry Tart
Originally uploaded by flaurella.

The biscuit is soaked with strawberry juice and Cointrou. Best served with lots of whipped cream.

Tart Zoom

Tart Zoom
Originally uploaded by flaurella.

Local strawberries, world's easiest dessert

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Green Enough For Ya?

Hydrangea Leaves
Originally uploaded by flaurella.

After three days of soaking, slow rain, everything here is so green and lush that it makes you sigh when you walk outside. Long gone are the first colorful Spring blossoms like the Japanese magnolias and azaleas, camelias, bridal veil and usual stuff. Now we are down the lush, vivid greens in every hue and shade.

Soon everything will bloom in the richness of summer and I will be complaining about the heat.

Eff Me. I Hate Summer.

And that's about as much of a post as you are likely to read within the next month due to the most horrible pending dental woes imaginable and my suddenly being married to a very old man. I think I shall soon have to break out the blue hair dye and start eating dinner at 3:30 PM to keep up with W4D.

It sucks getting old even when it is Spring.

Bite Me, People.

There. I feel better now.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Kooge Closer

Kooge Closer
Originally uploaded by flaurella.

Do you know what this thing is? If so, please leave a comment or email.

Kooge Ball

We call it a "kooge" and Tucker thinks it is a cool toy. This is another of those things we own and have no idea where or when we accumulated. We don't even know what it is for or the real name of this item. There's a closer shot above this post.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Wilted with Cold Weather

Wilted with Cold Weather
Originally uploaded by flaurella.

Today at noon it was 48 degrees and blustery with rain and a dreary cold that chilled me to the bone for the last few days. It's April 9th and I can't remember ever being this cold this time of year, let alone smelling wood smoke from the fireplaces in town on an Easter Sunday. By Saturday, it is supposed to be 88 degrees. Dammit.

I dislike the cold. I hate the heat.

There is about a 3 week weather window in fall and another in spring that is perfect. The rest of the year, I bitch about the weather.

You may have noticed that I am just posting pictures the last few days. I've also killed the colored fonts and reverted to the default Times Roman that I hate.

It's better than nothing. Learn to live with it.

Unseasonally Cold

Originally uploaded by flaurella.

We had Spring in February. In late March and April, we have Winter. This lily-bell-like plant doesn't like the cold.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Colored Eggs

Easter Eggs
Originally uploaded by flaurella.

Egg salad, anyone?

Easter Eggs

Never Too Old
Originally uploaded by flaurella.

It's deviled eggs for lunch tomorrow.