Angry Irma

Roger and I had planned this vacation/honeymoon for weeks. We planned to leave on Friday, 9/15 to head to the Smoky Mountains. While we started preparing our trip, the news was dominated by a strong, angry Hurricane named Irma.

Over a week before the hurricane hit FL, the warnings began. The governor declared a state of emergency in advance. We ventured out the day after Labor Day to stock up on water, batteries and charcoal. The local Home Depot was already wiped out — every generator had been sold, no charcoal, no D batteries, no water. As we drove home, I called two Publix grocery stores and Family Dollar – no water.

The next day I went out to find gas, water and batteries while Roger mowed grass and readied the property. The very large, very busy Shell station was completely out of gas. I stopped at a small Citgo station (yes, I was desperate) and managed to find enough to fill up the Jeep and gas can. While filling up, I tried 5 more stores and still couldn’t find water, so I drove home.

Once at home, I told Roger what was going on. We decided then that we needed to leave because evacuation orders were mandated in south FL. I started making phone calls. Jim at Sleeping Dog Cabins had no tenants in the cabin we were renting and allowed us to arrive a week early. I called 6 hotels in south GA only to hear “we’re totally sold out”. I moved north on I-75 until I found a vacant room in Tifton. They weren’t pet-friendly but due to the mass exodus from FL, they waived the pet policy.

morning, I packed while Roger battened down the porch, patio and deck. We planned to leave around 1:00 which would give us plenty of time to drive to Tifton in daylight. We took all of the meat and veggies from the refrigerator and freezer in case we lost power. We packed the Jeep, loaded Frankie and Teddy and headed north.

made great time on U.S. 98 and kept saying we’d probably pick up some traffic when I-75 and the FL Turnpike merged. WRONG!!!!! As soon as we approached I-75, we saw the slow-moving cars and trucks. For the next 200+ miles, Roger used the brake more than the gas pedal! Multiple gas stations were out of gas or had cars snaked around for blocks as far north as Gainesville. Rest areas had signs “at capacity” with cars parked along the rest area entrance and interstate as families tried to stretch their legs and relieve their full bladders.

Nine hours later, we arrived at our hotel normally a five hour drive. We were frazzled to say the least putting up with stop and go traffic for 297 miles, a sick Teddy throwing up and accidentally pooping on his pillow. (It’s in a trash can somewhere along I-75.)

We got dinner to go and decided to leave early in the morning to get ahead of the rest of FL’s evacuees. Thankfully, no gas shortage in Tifton, so we filled up and hit I-75. For the first 10 miles or so, I actually drove the speed limit. Unfortunately, it was very short-lived and we saw the sea of red tail lights ahead of us. We experienced stop and go traffic all the way through north Atlanta. AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!

After another nine hour day, we finally arrived to The Wildflower. We unpacked the car and let Frankie and Teddy run around the yard. As we enjoyed the outside bar, Roger said “listen”. It was perfectly tranquil, birds chirping, no honking horns, no sirens, no 18-wheelers and no interstate hum below our seats. Let vacation begin . . .

“That’s Why They Call It Fishin’ and not Catchin’”

Finally, we had time to take a much needed honeymoon/vacation. It was Valentine’s Day week and our first together. We headed south to Ft. Pierce and the Atlantic Ocean for sun, waves and fishing!
On Valentine’s Day, we headed out early to the pier right outside our room. It was the first time Roger had been fishing in almost 7 years – something that he loves to do. He had his Shakespeare fishing pole that I gave to him for Christmas. I had my bright Jewel pink, LED blinking girlie fishing pole. We stopped at Capt. Joe’s bait and tackle shop and got shrimp bait. We also got a couple of ball caps to shade our faces from the sun!
So, I had practiced casting in our backyard, so I felt ready. The only problem – I was not touching a live shrimp to place on my hook! Roger helped me out, and we casted out waiting with baited breath for the big catch!
For those of you who know me, you know I’m not a patient person. I didn’t expect to cast my hook and bait to just sit there and bob with the waves while I stared at the pole to see if it was moving. It didn’t take long for me to get bored. Roger was a bit perturbed and told me to pick up my camera and he would man my pole. So I did . . . .
I managed to bring in probably a pound of seaweed, two pieces of coral reef and I was done. Roger kept casting all the while feeding the savvy fish in the ocean with our live shrimp. And then it happened . . . Roger saw a major tug on his pole. He said, “baby, I’ve got a fish!”. I had my camera and phone ready for the big catch. About 20 feet from the pier, we saw the prize – but it wasn’t a fish but an octopus! (see photo)
The following day was almost a repeat of the first. However, I have to admit that I managed to catch something. Roger had gone back to the room for sweatshirts. I decided to surprise him and cast out and try my luck. As I flung the pole back to cast, it stopped short. I turned around only to find my hook caught on the pier rail. I frantically tried to remove the hook all the while looking around hoping no one saw me. And just as I got the hook free, Roger said, “honey, it looks like you caught a really nice rail fish”. Ha! Ha! Ha! I was mortified, but he got the biggest laugh of the day!
Well, I sent photos back and forth to my sister, mom and dad and facebook friends. In response to my coral and seaweed “catches”, my witty sister exclaimed, “well, that’s why they call it fishin’ and not catchin’”.
It was our first fishing excursion together. Afterwards, Roger threatened to never take me fishing again. We’ll see. . . I can be very relentless and persistent. The best part of the whole experience is that I was able to spend quality time with my new husband with his life-long passion – fishing!

The Name Game

Why do women change their names when they marry? It’s not that a husband has power over his new wife but on the unity of marriage. In the words of English jurist Henry de Bracton, a man and woman become “a single person, because they are one flesh and one blood.” By early 17th century, William Camden, an Englishman wrote, “women with us, at their marriage, pass into their husbands surnames and justly. For they are no longer twain (two) but one flesh.”
I recently remarried a wonderful man. It gives him great pleasure and pride to call me his wife, Mrs. Davis and vice versa For you ladies who have recently married, you will appreciate the red tape and hoops that need to be hurdled in order to change your name!
My new husband and I decided to make a day out of it. Once we had the certified license, off to the Social Security Administration! The clerk at the courthouse suggested the Winterhaven office, so that was our first stop. The line of people was out the door, probably 15 people deep. Inside every chair was occupied with more people.
As we approached the security guard, he looked at both of us and said, “get in line outside, and I’ll call you in when it’s your turn.” I tried to ask a question to which he replied, “I said get in line and I’ll call you.” I was incensed, and Roger wasn’t happy with his response either.
We stood outside for less than five minutes. No offense intended, but there was only one other person in line outside that spoke English. Roger couldn’t stand it any more and went back inside to talk to the less-than-friendly security guard. After a few minutes, he came back out with an application and said, “let’s go. It will be at least 3 hours before we can get in.” So we left and enjoyed the rest of our day.
I overheard several people say that they had made reservations, so I called the local SSA office to make an appointment. Unfortunately, name changes don’t warrant an appointment! Roger had the bright idea of getting to the SSA office 20 minutes early to get a better spot in line. I arrived on Thursday morning at 8:40, and I was number 51 in line!!
The security guard in Lakeland was just as pleasant as the one in Winterhaven. Since the office only seats 40 people, only the first 40 were allowed in the building. I struck up a conversation with a few people in line who told me to be prepared to wait at least 3 hours. I explained that I only wanted a name change so that I could get my driver’s license. Two ladies in line said I could get my driver’s license without a SSN name change, so off I went to the DMV.
It was about a 20 minute drive to the DMV. I walked in and spoke to a very pleasant young lady and explained what I wanted to do. Well, don’t you know the laws changed in 2010, and you must have your name changed on your SSN card! So another wasted trip, and I drove home. Oh, and you have to bring 5 documents along with the SSN card in order to get a new driver’s license.
On Friday, I decided to try again. This time, Roger dropped me off at the SSA office at 8:30 a.m. I managed to be in the top 40 in line! On this morning, we had a new “Barney Fife” in charge of security who only let 10 people in at a time. I was the cut-off point – aaarrrggghh!
Once inside, I had to sign in at a kiosk. I had to guess at answering the questions, and thankfully guessed right. “Barney Fife” walked around the office twirling his keys around his finger and feeling so powerful. I managed to stay calm and collected for the next 15 minutes. Finally, my number was called. Thankfully, I had a nice young man who processed my paperwork. He took my old SS card, gave me a receipt and said I should receive my new card in 10-14 business days. In the time it took me to process, Roger had just returned home and now had to come back and pick me up. I sat in the bus stop by myself waiting. I at least had the first step accomplished.
About a week later, I received my new SS card! Hallelujah! Now I have to endure the DMV, with my five documents, hope I have a good hair day and get my new driver’s license. Once that is completed, I will begin the process of changing the bank accounts, vehicle registration, utility bills, credit cards, insurance policies and anything else that my name is attached to! Wow . . . the list is exhausting when I think about it.
Why do I do it? Call me old-fashioned, traditional. I do it out of respect for my new husband. I do it because we are now one flesh, heart and soul. I do it out of complete love for my husband, my partner, my best friend, my life.

Here’s to a Happy 2015!

With the new year just hours away, lots of people are trying to figure out their resolutions for the new year.  How about “let’s really have a happy new year”?

Here is a list of 9 things that Happy People tend NOT to do.  So, here’s to Bea-ing Positive and Happy in 2015!!

Happy people stay happy because they:

  1. don’t blame others for their problems.  So that means taking responsibility for your actions and your choices.
  2. don’t overact to the present moment.  Remember, “this too shall pass”!
  3. don’t use negative language.  Bea Positive!
  4. don’t feel trapped.  “There is a great future in front of you; you can leave your past behind.”  Joel Osteen
  5. don’t focus on a single passion or relationship.  Diversify and Bea Open to new things and people!
  6. don’t dwell on past failures.   As Joyce Meyer says “I may not be where I need to be but I thank God I am not where I used to be”!
  7. don’t spend more time than necessary around unhappy people.  As they saying goes, “misery loves company”, which is truer than you might believe unless you’ve experienced it!
  8. don’t gossip.  Keep your word and confidentiality.
  9. don’t procrastinate.  “Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.”  William James


See for the entire article “9 Things Happy People Don’t Do”

It’s only superstitious if you don’t win!

The lucky penny

The lucky penny

Ahhhh …. Saturday college football and there were so many key SEC team match-ups. Thursday night, Oregon Ducks lost to Arizona in a major college football upset. Saturday afternoon when we left home, #12 Mississippi State was beating up on #6 Texas A&M. Alabama and Ole Miss were playing at 3:30 EST. Being the die-hard Auburn fan that I am, it’s so hard for me to pull for Bama – Go Rebels! Auburn had a legitimate chance to move up in the polls!!

I was dressed in my Auburn orange t-shirt from the 2010 National Football Championship and my lucky AU earrings. We had to run a few errands Saturday afternoon but would be back for the 7:00 p.m. EST kick-off between #5 Auburn and #15 LSU. As I stepped out of the car, I saw a shiny penny on the pavement. What the heck – it’s only superstitious if you don’t win!

Well, as the evening wore on, #4 Oklahoma Sooners lost to unranked TCU. Not long after the Auburn vs. LSU game started, I watched Ole Miss beat Bama and the Auburn crowd went wild!!! Auburn played their best game of the season (in my opinion) and beat LSU by a commanding 41-7 score.

So, I will continue my game day ritual and wear my lucky AU earrings, my orange and blue bracelet, and wear t-shirts that have only experienced Auburn football wins. The lucky penny . . . well, in my mind, that helped Ole Miss beat Bama!

Have a terrific week and remember to Bea Positive and War Eagle!!!

“Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side”

“Spreading sunshine” are random acts of kindness, increased community involvement, starting or growing your tithes, spending more time in your Christian Walk, being a loving person. “Stormy experiences” are financial set-backs, physical manifestations, emotional upsets, and worst-case, soul-destroying experiences.  I’ve realized “spreading sunshine” and blessings in other people’s lives, “storms” come fast and furious.

We have recently increased our volunteering and assistance to several organizations which is very fulfilling to us. Last week, for vacation, we planned to spend time with good friends and attend an inspirational seminar.  Well, Thankfully, what we experienced on vacation are manageable “storms” and not “full blown disasters”.  I thought I would share a few:

  • Highly sensitive to soaps, cleaners, etc. I travel with my own soap, towel, pillowcase. Day 2, my face started to break out. Day 3, the hives spread to my chest, abdomen and back! Despite the lavender, baking soda and lotions, I wanted to crawl out of my skin from the itching!
  • We travel with our 3 “fur babies”. Less than an hour from the hotel, Matthew started whining which means “I need outside — NOW!! An exit was 1 mile away and seemed like an eternity! Matthew tried really hard to hold it but spit up on his blanket, so it was a short stop.
  • Back in the car, headed to the hotel . . . realizing too late, I missed I-85 and ended up on I-285. Within a couple of miles, the interstate became a parking lot! I maneuvered off the interstate, used back routes adding an extra hour to our trip.
  • Finally at the hotel, we settled in and tried to “chill” for a while. John realized that his glasses weren’t on his face, and they weren’t in the car. Well, we only made 1 stop.  Apparently during the mayhem of Matthew’s emergency stop, John lost his pricy prescription glasses.
  • Friday night at dinner, my throat was scratchy. By Saturday morning, it spread to sinus congestion and nagging cough on top of the hives. Between the nose-blowing, croupy cough and itchy hives I wore myself out and missed the seminar.
  • Sunday, after driving 7 hours, we arrived home to a flooded pool, dead pine tree limbs that filled 2 garbage bags, grass a foot high – a result of real thunderstorms in Tampa.
  • Today was trash day and yard waste day. While the tree limbs were collected, the new energy-efficient “claw” trash truck managed to only pick up half the trash bags.
  • And to top it all off, my beautiful bracelet with the Christian cross from my very dear friend snapped and broke. I gathered all of the beads and placed it in my wallet. If I can’t wear it, I’ll carry it!
and to top it all off, my beautiful bracelet snapped and broke!

and to top it all off, my beautiful bracelet snapped and broke!

So the “fur babies” are back to their routine, we drained the pool, John’s eye appointment is next week to get new glasses, we’ll have to smell the stinky trash for another few days, my hives are finally calming down, and I will fix the bracelet and wear again soon!

Moral of this story:  “Bea Positive”! There will always be storms, but God will send a rainbow and sunshine afterwards, so “keep on the sunny side of life”!

2014 Resolution: Take time to UNPLUG and DISCONNECT

One of my pet peeves is the insatiable need to be “connected” 24/7.  Yes, I love the security of having a phone at
fingertips in an emergency.  I also like the freedom to take a candid photo at any time.  If I’m not sure where I’m going, I can get directions using my Maps App.  However, there are a lot of times when I’d like to have a real conversation with a person(s) rather than look at the tops of their heads!

As introverted as I am, I like human connection.  I just can’t seem to mimic the face-to-face, back-and-forth conversation, voice inflection, etc. with my smartphone or PC.   These days people talk in “sound bytes”, write in text-code and need constant stimulation from the “all-too-accessible” information from our phones, tablet, PCs.  There are times when it really CAN wait . . . you don’t have to answer your phone or reply to the text or “check in” with social media. 

For 2014, Bea Positive asks you to give the gift of your time & attention not your presence accompanied with the latest technology. 

Here are my thoughts on when you should UNPLUG & DISCONNECT:

  • Time to Unplug & Disconnect

    Time to Unplug & Disconnect

    When you’re standing in a check-out line, and the cashier is waiting for your money.  The rest of us would like to check out, too.

  • When you’re in a public restroom with the toilets flushing and hand dryers blowing.  Finish your business and free up the stall!!
  • In a client presentation, turn your phone off or at least put it on mute!  Trust me, it’s distracting to you as well as your client.
  • In a company meeting, turn off your phone/tablet/PC.  As a presenter and as a participant, there is nothing more annoying than listening to others tap-tap-tap on their keyboards.
  • At a sporting event – either indoors or outdoors.  You’ve spent a good deal of money to be sitting at the event, so you should enjoy!
  • Sitting In a doctor’s office waiting with others.  We can all hear your conversation, so please be polite and leave the office.  Or maybe better yet, wait until your appointment is finished and call them back.
  • When receiving post-operative instructions, pay attention to the nurse and doctor!  Yes, I actually witnessed a nurse telling a man to hang up his phone because she wanted his full attention when picking up his wife.
  • When dining out with others, enjoy the meal and converse with your friends!  Please don’t be rude and call/text someone during the meal.  And please don’t play a video game!
  • Getting your hair cut and/or colored.  My hair stylist said this is very frustrating because she has to work around the phone and/or text messaging.
  • When you’re driving, the texting can wait.  You can’t look at the phone and the road at the same time.  I’ve tried it, and it scared me to death!





We had planned a private wedding ceremony in Key West, FL on September 9.  On Thursday morning, August 22, 1996, we set out to get our marriage license.  We drove to the county clerk’s office in Hillsborough County in Tampa, FL.

It was a very small trailer, and there were 3 other people there besides the lady Deputy Clerk.  While we filled out the paperwork, the clerk went to help the other 3.  She came back, asked for the necessary identification, reviewed the license application.  Then, totally unexpected, she smiled and asked “do you want to get married now?”.  We looked at each other dumbfounded, and then all of a sudden we both said “yes”.

She went to the back of the office, grabbed some silk flowers for me to hold.  She read the marriage vows to us.  When she pronounced us “man and wife”, applause and cheers erupted from the three strangers.

I am definitely NOT a spur-of-the-moment kind of person.  And we certainly weren’t dressed for a wedding moment!  Both of us had red pullover shirts and jeans . . . not the “fancy pants” I’m usually wearing.  We had no rings to exchange.  Our simple, modest real wedding day August 22, 1996 was in a little trailer performed by a Deputy Clerk.

Our life has been anything but simple and mundane and not without a lot of bumps and bruises.  Many tears have been shed – some happy, some heart-wrenching – but we’ve managed to survive all of life’s lemons.  Mostly, we laugh, we’re inseparable, and we always remember to “Bea Positive”.  So “from that day forward, lawfully wedded husband and wife, for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.”. 

So to my partner, my BFF, my soul mate, I say thanks for “Bea-ing” with me all these years and for “Bea-ing” the inspiration behind “Bea Positive”.


Long night in Newark

A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.” — John Steinbeck

I like to travel, and it’s most enjoyable when there are no major issues.  A tornado touched down in Baltimore-Washington late this afternoon, so we knew there would be plenty of flight delays.  How bizarre that all of the following happened to one flight!

  • Blackberry message:  Tampa flight delayed until 8:00 p.m. (originally 6:30 p.m.)
  • 7:30 p.m.  Blackberry message “ding”: Tampa flight delayed until 8:30 p.m.
  • 8:00 p.m.  Gate 180 banner changes from Tampa to West Palm Beach departing @ 8:35 p.m.
  • Customer Service desk Visit #1:  agent says Tampa flight is still scheduled to depart from Gate 180 at 8:30 p.m.
  • Ranting mother of two at Gate 180 demands to speak to the manager after confirming that West Palm Beach flight was leaving from Gate 180, not Tampa flight.
  • Customer Service desk Visit #2:  agent can’t find Tampa’s new gate assignment.  But she informs me that another Tampa flight is leaving in 30 minutes.  “Walk fast and try stand-by”.
  • Thankful for the aerobic activity, off I go to the next gate.  Unfortunately, the flight is full, and they aren’t taking any more stand-bys.
  • Customer Service desk visit #3:  agent confirms that Tampa flight is now departing @ 9:30 p.m. from Gate 184
  • By now it’s 9:00 p.m., so off to Gate 184 to speak to another agent.
  • Plane was diverted to Philadelphia due to the afternoon storms.  Good news, is that the plane is on the ground in Newark but in the International Terminal.  It was being towed to Gate 184 for a scheduled departure @ 9:30 p.m.  Really???
  • Game 4 of the NBA Playoffs had just started, so I passed the time waiting watching the play-by-play on my Blackberry.
  • Blackberry “ding”: Tampa flight now scheduled to depart at 10:00 p.m.
  • Heat and Spurs are tied at half-time and still no plane at the gate.
  • 10:15 p.m. cheers at the window of Gate 184 – “The plane!  The plane!” they shouted.
  • Blackberry “ding”: Tampa flight now scheduled to depart at 11:00 p.m.  Agent at Gate 184 explains the further delay is because our plane has a “flat tire”.  You’ve got to be kidding me???!!!
  • Finally start to board at 10:30 p.m.  DirecTV is on board, so I can watch the NBA Playoffs!
  • Flipping channels I hear someone behind me say “you’ve got to be kidding – no ABC”.  C’mon man!!!
  • Back to my Blackberry while watching “Bottom Line” on ESPN
  • 11:10 p.m. instrument panels are mal-functioning so maintenance has been called.  “Free drinks for everyone on the plane!”
  • ~12:00 p.m. HEAT beat the SPURS 109-93!!!
  • Waiting, waiting, waiting . . .
  • 1:00 a.m. our flight crew “times out” and our flight is cancelled.  “We are sorry for the inconvenience . . . yada, yada, yada. . .”  SERIOUSLY???!!!
  • Customer Service desk Visit #4:  re-booked on tomorrow’s 10:00 a.m. flight, get a hotel and meal voucher.
  • More aerobics to catch the tram to catch the hotel shuttle bus . . .
  • 2:15 a.m.  check in at the Wyndham Garden Hotel with a desk clerk singing along with Aretha Franklin’s “Freeway to Love”
  • 2:30 a.m.  in my room, too tired to cry, 5 hours until I head back to the airport

When flying for travel, you’re at the mercy of TSA, the airlines, and in this case, Mother Nature.  Another “life lesson” that no matter what life throws your way, it’s best to “Bea Positive” and remember “this too shall pass!”

Live to travel another day!

Unconditional Love

In Memory of Zoe

In Memory of Zoe

Unconditional love on earth . . . anyone who has pets knows exactly what I mean.  For some of us, it is our only experience with “motherhood”.  Our “fur babies” are sources of joy, laughter, entertainment, comfort, companionship, absolute devotion with no strings attached.

Our pets know us better than ourselves, and many times, better than our friends and families.  After all, who else can we tell our deep, dark secrets and passions and know they won’t judge us.  My “fur babies” love me when I:

  • Sing off key
  • Dance like Elaine Benes
  • Yell and cheer for my favorite sports team in the living room
  • Don’t answer the phone
  • Cry at silly, sappy pet commercials
  • Put silly costumes on them for Halloween
  • Laugh hysterically when my husband runs into the sliding glass door
  • Cut back treats when they are getting a little “pudgy”

Aside from their love and companionship, there is a mysterious and wonderful 6th sense I’ve experienced with my “kids”.  No one will ever be able to convince me that they can’t think or don’t feel.  How else can I explain how they:

  • know to stay awake and keep you company when you’ve been driving for 9 hours and have 3 more to go
  • sit next to you while you’re trying to keep crackers down after your chemotherapy treatment
  • walk slowly and next to your walker to help you recover from hip surgery
  • Lick your tears away when you’re sobbing uncontrollably
  • walk circles around the kitchen and dining room until you to come home
  • Sit 18 hours (or longer) with you in your home office while you’re working for your next paycheck
  • know that you’re hurting

The difficult part of being a “mom” is watching my “fur babies” grow old.  It seems like one day they are playful rascals, and then all of a sudden they are senior citizens.  You find yourself making little adjustments day by day to accommodate their aching joints, give them their “meds”, keep the lights on because their eye-site is going, hold them a little closer . . .

And then, somehow, they let you know.  Their eyes lock with yours and they “speak wordlessly” and let you know “it’s ok; I know you love me.  You gave me a wonderful ‘forever’ home”.  They help you make the difficult, heart-wrenching decision that “it’s time”.

So Yogi, Aries, Roxy, Rhiannon, Princess, Spot, Corley, Angus, Dolly . . . all welcome a new angel to heaven – little Zoe.

“Bea Positive” that providing a loving “forever home” and the too-short years were worth the pain . . . and most likely will do it again.

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