A turtle named Max

It’s that time of year again, from May till September sea turtles come to the beaches to lay their eggs. In 60 days, they hatch and baby sea turtles make their run for the sea.  The Clearwater Aquarium monitors the beaches and the nests on our beaches, they do a lot of other good things too.

Recently there has been a big “straw free” movement here in the city.  I love straws, it was a hard thing to give up, until I saw a video of one of them being pulled out of a sea turtle’s nose, so yeah, I’m living straw free these days.

Look more kid art to inspire environmentalism !



Studying the classics

The summer classes for  St Pete Kidlets continues at the Morean Art Center. Each week  I get to see what they’ve made.  I’ve discovered that I like kid art more than adult art.  And they are studying the classics, and their interpretation of them are, to my heart amazing.

Here I am in the Octopus Garden!


In my writing class, we’ll sometimes find toilet paper holders, coffee creamer lids, all sorts of things that are being recycled by the kids and used in their project and I love to see what they’ve done with them



Yellow Submarine is being re-released for its 50th Anniversary, certainly a classic in all it’s forms, music, and illustration, and judging by the work that the kids have done, still inspirational.

Taking off my pants

Yeah, I’m a pantser.  I don’t say that with pride, it’s just what I am. My life involves no real planning other than paying bills and going to my writing classes. I just sorta hang out and do what I feel like doing.  I am trying to change that in all aspects of my life,  I even have a cute little planner with stickers to make it fun.  I’m starting to see that pantsers are the grasshoppers and I need to be an ant.

I’m trying to do something similar with my writing.   I had a mentor in New Orleans that taught me a lot of things, outlining was not one of them and now I want to learn.  We were talking about world building in my writer’s class. I’m living in St Petersburg, but not Emily’s St Petersburg, hers is a little different, so I am building, and yeah I got a special notebook to do it … and also a book to help my pantsing situation


One of the things my instructor told me about learning to be a little better at plotting is to deconstruct your favorite novel.  Well, I can try and do that, although I am not completely sure as to how but I’ll give it ago.  Of course, I’m not going to mark up my fave book, without having a replacement.


I was introduced to Elizabeth Peters by a used to be friend. The thing with used to be friends is the struggle of how you remember them.  As they say on Facebook, it’s complicated.  There are hurt feelings and wonderings of what is real and what wasn’t, love and betrayal.  Breaking up with a friend can be worse than breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend. For me, it has taken years to work out, and there are times when I still bump up against the angst of it, but for the most part, I have decided to remember this.  Used to be friend  introduced to Elizabeth Peters and that was an amazing gift to give. One that has been nothing but pleasure.   So I thank my used to be friend for that.

Elizabeth Peters died on August 08, 2013. I miss her.  I miss her so much that I haven’t read her last Amelia Peabody book.  When I do there will be no more new mysteries with Amelia, and who wants to live in that world?




Mail,Mail, Mail …

Are you tired of hearing about how I love to write letters?  Too bad.  Because writing letters really makes me happy, can’t explain it, but it does.  It’s old-fashioned, but there is something special about putting pen to paper and mailing it.  There is something thrilling about going to the mailbox and finding something other than a bill, junk mail or a form letter from your Congressman that addresses none of the issues you were concerned about.  At least I think so.  If I find a letter in the mail  I stop whatever else I was doing and sit down and read and start to formulate my response.

My latest letters


This is a thank you card that I’m sending to a friend that mailed me a Moby Dick cross stitch pattern.   I’m doing the bathroom in mermaids and sea monsters and either Ahab or Moby Dick qualifies.  I think Ahab because I always side with the animal, and honestly, he did kind of start it.  One of my letter secrets is this, I go to thrift stores and I buy old lady cards.  This is one of them.  If you’re lucky you can get a gallon ziplock bag for a buck.  If I write to you how can you tell you’ve received an old lady card? Well, old lady cards are often ugly, have a Helen Keller quote on the back, are from a charity organization,  or are vaguely or not so vaguely religious.  I have religious friends so that’s okay.  All my Christmas cards this year are going to be old lady cards.  Another secret, TJ MAXX has the best stationery section that also includes a wild selection of journals all for about $3.99.

IMG_0216I like to switch things up a bit. Obviously, I love postcards. This “letter” I wrote on the back of postcards I thought my friend would like and from my trip to Arkansas.  I’m still working on that one.

Need a pick me up? Writing a letter always helps me… just sayin’.





Monte writes a letter

When  I was at the shelter picking up Monte, my Mom and Tom went on the Humane Society’s website and looked up his picture.  His name was Taz then, and let’s just say that they didn’t see what I saw.  That changed the minute they met him.  My Mom especially fell in love

‘HE IS SO HANDSOME!” She said. And he was. Still is!

She saw him every day for two years and she’s really come to adore him, and the feeling is mutual.  The last time she was here, she threatened to kidnap him, and she wasn’t kidding.   She misses him, and I miss her so I came up with an idea, Monte writes letters home to Oma,  at the end he always asks if someone or something should be on his kill list and asks for her advice.

“Why is his English so bad?” She asked, “Tell him to talk right!”  She often responds to his letters on the phone.

Monte wrote back with this: Me have bone to pick. Why you mock? I no human. I dog. English second language to me. I speak dog fluent. I no make fun of you when you speak dog.  I write many letter.  I no have thumbs! That miracle!

Tom  gets jealous. “Monte doesn’t write anything to me.”

Mom says, “You know Marika is the one really writing the letters, right?”

Anyway, she has told friend and family about these letters.  And now I get requests.  Martha wants a letter from Monte.  Heidi wants a letter from Monte.  Kathe wants a letter from Monte.

Here is his last letter.



I’m a little scared. I think they can pull it off.