whateverworksbynormandie

life, love and pursuit of everything


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Whatever works..this time about normandie & the “gathered greens” and other NEWS…

January 21st, 2017. I have been in the hospital for the last 7 days. For the first 5 days I have been in a single bed, with a mattress that really needs replacing. I was on lock down. Lock down meaning that I could not get out of that bed and couldn’t even swing my legs over the side without a piercing siren sounding and every nurse on the floor comes running. Let me say here and now that I was not admitted because I was on my death bed. I was admitted because I was dehydrated, constipated, had low blood pressure and dizziness (there are those that say that’s my normal condition, however…) so, since I was not brain dead (the jury is still on that one too,…) and had none of toys with me, I was forced to spend my time thinking. Unlike Nancy, whose mind never stops, mine is on “ off” until something hits the “on” button. That is not to say that even when sitting with a group, I can be staring at something, a painting, a garbage can and although there is a part of my brain that recognizes the garbage can or the painting and knows what they are but there is absolutely no thoughts going on.
Here I am, in bed that I can’t get out of, in a hospital room that is magnificently decorated ( if you can believe that), constipated and with no toys …. And therefor being forced to think. Not a pleasant situation.
By no toys, I mean I had my phone and tablet, but no chargers. And both were only half charged. So added to reasons for being admitted to a hospital, I also had the angst and worry of running out of battery.
My toys include my portable DVD player, with charger, my Charlie Chan series of movies, one of my ledgers, and about six different pens, ( I have to have the right pen for that moment), my phone, my tablet and chargers, some memory sticks, and my book with my passwords in it.
Now, understand I never go anywhere overnight with out my toys. And even if I go somewhere for more than 5 hours I take at least half of them, you never know…..
Nan got up out of her sick bed and brought me one charger. Why not both? that’s another story. Out of desperation I called my friend Michael who has a key to our house and asked him to get my phone charger, he did.
So, I had enough to keep me going for 2 days. Let me mention here they have a type of basic cable here that has none of the shows I watch.
So from day 3 to today I have been forced to spend a considerable time thinking. I’ve fixed the woes of the world, Googled everything I was able to think of, I now have an enormous amount of useless information in my brain, looked over my life, what I’m doing now what I want to do. Had a chance to soul search.
I’m going to find a class on how to use Pinterest and eBay to the fullest. I’m returning to my Charlie Chan chat room, I’m continuing to teach my all my jewelry making classes, Amazon has a buy back department I’m looking into.
There is one thing that after much thought I’ve decided to stop doing. AND THAT IS ….. THIS BLOG!. I’ve been writing something like this – news from normandie – hello world, normandie here, whatever works and more for over 35 years and poetry and short stories for many, many years before that. Obviously, I like to write, I’m still going to write for tripadvisor and other review sites. But, since I’ve been sitting here delving into areas I don’t usually have time for, I finally got out of desperation looking at all the things offered by WordPress. One of them is “stats” and it became blatantly clear that I had severely decreasing readers. As a matter of fact even the people I was sending this to were no longer reading it.
Now, you have to understand that I’m not crushed about this, but, I am certainly not happy either, but as I always say to the new people who come to my jewelry classes and that is “ this may become something you really enjoy, and you’ll come back, or it maybe a one time deal for you ( you enjoy it, but once is enough) and even those of you who come back over and over may stop coming. That’s okay, not everything is for everybody and people likes change. I guess that’s what’s happened here. That’s just the way it is.
I’ve decided to attach a blog I wrote while Nan and I were on vacation some months ago. It’s called “gathered greens” and Nan and I though it was humorous while we were going through it.
As George Burns would say “ say goodnight, Gracie”
“good night!”
And I certainly couldn’t say so long without a quote from Jimmy buffet
“ if a hurricane doesn’t leave you dead. It will make you strong. breathe in…breathe out….MOVE ON!”
Whatever works…this time about…Normandie & the “gathered” greens!
Nan & I are back on the timeshare circuit. What that means is…we are going to the timeshare talks we are invited to.
This is how it works…when you already own a timeshare or have gone to a “timeshare talk” previously, you somehow get on the ‘list’. And once you’re on the list you get calls with various offers if you are willing to sit through a 90 minute talk where they try to sell you a timeshare. We are old hands at this since we have been to maybe 200 of these talks over the last 30 years. Since this is a sales pitch, you are offered various incentives to go. We have gotten, money, sometimes up to $200 , wine, cruise vacations, flights, gas cards, dinners, (when we were in Ixtapa, Mexico many years ago we were low on money, yet we ate in the very best restaurants every night. We would go to a talk, get cash and 2 dinner tickets for the best restaurants and that’s what we lived on for 2 weeks. Actually, it became a game, the people who sign you up for the tour are called OPC’s [outside public consultants, I was one once] they get paid a certain amount of money when they sign you up and you show for the tour. The OPC’S in Ixtapa loved us because we signed up for all the tours and actually showed up. After a few days they knew us so well, that when they saw us walking down a street, they would run after us, saying we got a new tour for you. They loved us and we loved them. Benefits on both sides…we were there for a month!).
Now, in the states it’s usually a little different, you get a phone call and are offered anywhere from a 3 to 5 night stay free at a hotel if you will go on the talk. You always are offered other ‘incentives’. They usually come in a package, a 7 day cruise, ¾ nights at another property, a check or debit card for various amounts up to $100, air flights, $100 in gas cards, $100 dining certificates, and sometimes even a watch or luggage or something. This time we paid $99 for the 3 night package and at the end of the talk got back a check for $50, dining tickets for $100 and a 3 night stay at another property whenever we wanted to take it up to a year in advance. So, in essence, this 4 day vacation in a Best Western Hotel, in a room that was ocean front, had a kitchen and a terrace, and a big pool, cost us $49 which we split, so it was $25 each. Not too shabby…
Now, there is a catch, there is always a catch…. The worse gift offered is the gas tickets, we always try to refuse them and get something else. In order to redeem the gas tickets you have to buy up to $10 worth of gas, take the receipt, and fill out the voucher and send it all in and they send you a check. Only one a month, which you promptly forget about after the first month because it’s too much trouble. The second worst gift are the dining coupons. We hadn’t done a tour in sometime and had totally forgotten about asking for something other than the dining tickets. So here we are with $100 worth of dining tickets…
So, we get back to the hotel with our $50 check, our additional 3 night stay and our infamous dining tickets, which we think we will use one of that evening.
Now, you follow the directions, you get the app from the Play Store, download it, put in your email and set up a password and you’re off and running.  You read the fine print where they are boasting that they have 20,000 restaurants to choose from NATIONWIDE! 50 states, 20,000 restaurants, you do the math! What does that give you 1 ½ restaurants a county?
We are in Daytona Beach, where there is a restaurant every other store front. Every big chain is represented, every big time, known restaurant is here as well as every mom and pop place you can think of..
I sign in and pull up the list, for restaurants in Daytona Beach and for 25 miles around. There are about 30 listed. WE HAVE NOT HEARD OF ONE OF THEM, and we’ve been coming here and staying and even come just to eat here for 20 years.
Of the 30 or so listed over, OVER 1/3 are Italian, several serve just breakfast,  about 8 frozen yogurt/ice cream shops, a long with 1 donut shop (of unknown origin) and one restaurant that  boasts that it has OVER 100 KINDS OF BEEF JERKY! The prices range from one $ to $$$$$.
Our coupons are for $25 each. You pick a restaurant, that’s the joke part, you check the right side of the ad to see up to how much they will accept a coupon for and read how much you have to actually spend in order to use your coupon. Usually you have to spend at least double what your coupon is worth. $25 coupon you must spend at least $50. Okay, not terrible, except that Nan and I almost never spend $50 on food and certainly not on beef jerky…or ice cream, not to mention how many donuts you would have to consume for $50.

So, after considerable thought, we decide on Doc Bales’ Grill. It’s in the Hilton hotel, water view, very formal and $$$$.

Breakfast example: 3 (yes, I said three) pancakes with warm, not just room temperature, but WARM maple syrup and choice of bacon, sausage or ham….. $14!

I was glad it was too late for breakfast until I saw dinner.

Appetizers — fried calamari or 1 crab cake  $15.00

Entre’ — 2 – 6 oz bone in pork chops …. $21.00

Salmon — (who cares how it was cooked)  $24.00

Sides like french fries or mashed potatoes   $4  what can you do to a french fry to make it worth $4…??  Unless it was an entire bushel of potatoes!

BUT OUR VERY FAVORITE AND THE REASON WE DIDN’T GO THERE…..was…..( along with the fact that for the first time in our many travels, we didn’t bring anything we thought would be appropriate to wear there…)

And I quote:

1/4 wedge iceberg lettuce, tomatoes ( and I would say you should say that word correctly… it is not just plain tomato…but TO  MAA TOES).  that’s  grape to Maa toes, red onion, crumbled feta and probably an once and a half of buttermilk ranch….

Now, iceberg lettuce is the cheapest lettuce you can buy, right? An entire head is what? maybe $1.49.  Their giving you a whole quarter…. grape tomatoes probably a quart are what $ 2.50 and you can expect how many maybe 4/5,   at this price they are no longer plain tomatoes, but the classy TO MAA TOES!  Crumbled feta maybe 2 oz and buttermilk ranch…(as far as I know, not even homemade).

I figure, on the high side this entire salad  costs, what? About three bucks….

BUT, THE VERY, VERY BEST IS:

AND THIS IS VERBATIM. ..

“GATHERED GREEN SALAD”

CONSISTING OF:    ‘gathered garden fresh baby greens’, mandarin oranges, sun dried fruit, goat cheese, toasted almonds and citrus vinaigrette.

All this on a classy 6″ salad plate and alllllll for the extraordinary price of   $10.00!!!

All the salads were $10.

So, you have 1 crab cake appitizer, 2 six ounce pork chops (6 oz including the bone), a side of mash potato and NO DRINK (DRINK WATER ..TAP WATER – NO ICE THAT’S PROBABLY MORE). NO DESERT and the bill is already $40…. ordering coffee would probably probably put you in the poor house….

I will never, ever look at a salad the same way again… if the greens aren’t  “GATHERED” I AIN’T EVER EATING THEM AGAIN!  and the dressings aren’t even homemade….

As I said before…..we did NOT eat there…we saw a sign along the road….”EAT AT JOE’S”  which is exactly what we did!

Whatever works….normandie

 

 

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Whatever works…this time about normandie…and WHY ME!

Whateverworks…this time about- normandie and …WHY ME!
As i may have mentioned previously, I write in spurts..something has to spark my imagination. It doesn’t have to be much, sometimes just a spoken word brings a flood of ideas into my head, or a sentence I hear or read, and very often a situation I find myself in.
This one is definitely a situation!. I may have mentioned before that a few months ago I got a new tablet, a Samsung Tab A. I say, I may have, because once I finish something and send it off to Angela, I’m over it and don’t remember or re-read it. So, anyway, I got this. Samsung and it’s great. I really liked my Nexus, but a really weird thing happen with it. Since it’s Google’s own product, the updates come automatically and you have no opportunity to accept or to turn them down. They just appear and are downloaded there on the tablet. Everything was going along swimmingly and I was as happy as a pig in s—! Several months went by and I started having difficulty. Every time I tried to do something the screen would freeze and I got a message saying “Google not responding” . This became increasingly aggravating. I went to Best Buy and the Geek Squad said the technology that was being automatically downloaded was to advanced for this tablet. They suggested I contact Asus, Google’s company that manufactures Nexus products. I did just that…only to find out that my warranty was up that day, and that I would have to pay out of pocket to have it fixed. I told them about the problem and they said, that was possible. I also mentioned that all they had to do was stop the automatic updates—no they can’t do that…they update alllllll Nexus products automatically and there was no way to stop them.
Sooooo, I said….let see if I have this straight! Nexus is made by ASUS, ASUS is a Google owned company, Google sends out updates to all their Nexus products regardless of whether or not the instrument we have can accept it, right? Answer yes. And you can not stop the new updates, right.? Answer yes! And I have to pay to have the mechanics of this tablet updated to accept these other automatic updates that will continue to come?. You guessed it…yes! And this will probably cost me close to what the tablet originally cost, right? Answer.. well, yes! Now it’s all clear, I said. Thanks, goodbye! And I hung up…
The next time I was in Best Buy – at the Geek Squad with my computer I stopped at the new computers and the tablets. I always do that, have to see what’s new and what can eat my heart out over. It turned out that Samsung was having a special promotion. You could turn in any tablet that would “turn on” for a $100 coupon that was good towards the new Samsung Tab A. The Tab A had just been introduced about 4 days before. The cost was $300, not an amount I could afford. But, Nan was interested. The week before she had purchased a tablet there for $69. Actually it was a name brand but I can’t remember which one. Anyway, about 2 days after getting it – she hated it. Just as she had the previous 4 she had gotten (and returned)!
So, she looked this over and liked it. It’s 10 inches and impressive. She went to customer service and got the $100 coupon good on the purchase of the Samsung. Not a bad deal, she turned in the $69 tablet and got $100 for it.
Naturally, I was drooling and more than just a little jealous.
Nan offered to loan me the money to get one too! We went home and I got one of my many Chinese tablets. We went back and I too came home with a new Samsung and a happy customer! And very appreciative of my friend.
I use this tablet for everything. Write this blog, post to my photo blog, take great photos, make my class posters, everything. I almost never use a computer any more…
I do have one thing I dislike. The Microsoft Word program that comes with it does loads that I really, really love, BUT, there is one thing I hate.. every time you save something, it doesn’t save to the one you previously saved. It saves another copy. You wind up with several copies and no way to know which one was the last one you worked on. THIS MAKES ME CRAZY!!!
So, after several months of doing everything on it, I had tons of stuff listed on Word. The same items over and over. Finally, I was crazed….and couldn’t deal with it any more. So, I went back to the Geek Squad to get rid of the duplicates.
Demetrius, a young man, I’ve dealt with before helped me once again. I explained my predicament and he went to work. When he finished all the duplicates were gone! AS WELL AS ALL THE LAST AND ALL THE ORIGINAL COPIES I HAD WORKED ON!! Everything, absolutely everything, I had written and worked on for the last several months GONE! All my blogs, past, present and future, GONE! THE ONES I had just finished and the one I was still working on, gone — all my posters for my classes at the libraries, gone, the letter of complaint that I was writing to the Director of Parrish Hospital about how Nan had been treated in the E.R. when she fractured her leg recently (and I might add, one of my more magnificent efforts) gone! All my pearls….GONE! GONE! GONE!

When I saw what had been done, I was devastated. Where is everything? Not only the saved things were gone but all the originals GONE TOO! I had been working on 2 new blogs and the complaint letter, vanished!
I tried not to get too upset over this, and said you have to get these things back…. Demetrius tried, he called over another guy he tried, the both tried together.. no dice. It all gone.
Let me digress just a little here….several years ago when I first started ‘computering’, Katie and Glen got married. I had taken several hundred photos (and I mean several hundred). I planned to make a ‘power point’ presentation of that day. I had never made anything like that at all and several people told me that would be extremely difficult and time-consuming for someone who was ‘new’ to computers. But I had a vision and was determined! I worked on this day and night and I mean day and night. I slept at most 4/5 hours, because I was so enthralled with what I was doing. The original “show time” was 45 minutes. Nan thought I was crazy, who was going to watch this thing for 45 minutes? Since each picture was on the screen for only 45 seconds, there were a lot of pictures!
Now, most of you know me.. I love, love, love every single photo I take….every blog I write, every class poster I make. So, cutting this power point down to 10 or 15 minutes, as Nan suggested, was beyond difficult for me. She had just sliced and diced my creative momentum and left my creative imagination bleeding on the floor. Deciding which of my gems of pictures to remove was heart breaking, BUT, I DID IT! Got it down to 20 minutes.
I wanted each photo to have its own MUSIC. No one I knew, knew how to do that. They all suggested a have one song run through the entire project. I had listened to over 50 recordings, from Frank Sinatra to Barbra Streisand and I just knew what 30 seconds of music in wanted from each recording for each photo. I wanted “daddy’s little girl” for Pete’s first dance with his newly married daughter, I wanted “you are so beautiful’ for the photo of Angela arriving at the church. I knew what I wanted, I just didn’t know how to accomplish it.
I had almost gotten it figured out, one morning about 4 a.m., but by then I was so exhausted, I was falling asleep at the computer. I decided to just go ahead and “save” everything until I had a few hours sleep. It wouldn’t save. No matter what I tried, it kept saying. It couldn’t save. After many, many tries, I said “the hell with it” and went to sleep.
I woke up a few hours later. Went right to computer. My entire power point was nowhere to be found. I did everything I could possibly think of and still couldn’t find it. Before long I was crying, then shortly after I was hysterical. I cried so hard I couldn’t see, I couldn’t breathe and life as I had known it was obviously over.
I went over to Nancy’s, by the time I got there is was so hysterical she thought something horrible had happened. I was able to croak out what happened. She proceeded to tell me the very same thing I had been telling her! “it’s somewhere, you just don’t know where to find it.”
Well, no matter how I tied I couldn’t find it anywhere in any place I could think of….and finally after a few weeks I gave up totally!
Around Christmastime, we were staying at a timeshare in St Augustine. Shawna brother, Lance and his family came to stay with us overnight. Shawna told Lance of my problem. He walked over to the computer and within seconds poof!! There was my entire power point!
So, when my stuff vanished, all I kept saying to myself was “it’s there somewhere, I just have to find it!!”
I went over to the Samsung counter and had the manager try to retrieve my stuff, he couldn’t either.
Well, I guess all those years I’ve been telling myself, that very sentence, I’ve been flat-out lying to myself! It may actually be there somewhere – but obviously not even experts can always find it!
I was, of course, EXTREMELY upset, but I did my breathing exercises and went home.
Later that evening I tried to remember and re-do one of the posters. I got to the area where I insert a photo and went to my photos (which somehow are in about 4 different cloud places) AND … NO PHOTOS. 1,345 photos ALL GONE! I couldn’t find them anywhere. Now, my stomach was in knots, I was nauseous, my heart hurt, I thought I would really have a heart attack. I looked and looked and looked, they were nowhere I could find.
I was getting so anxious and upset I was really got concerned about my heart. Soooo, I did my breathing exercises again and tried to sleep. Thinking “tomorrow is another day.”
After a restless, sleepless night, I got up and went right to work on the tablet again. I opened and closed all the cloud storage places, the only photos that showed were the last 50 or 60 I had taken, but nothing else.
I have as I said about 4 cloud storage places, drop box, the one that looks like a pin wheel, one drive, aviary, and heaven knows how many more. Pictures All gone…..
So, to date, here’s where we were. Hit an animal on a dark road – car repairs –$745, had a “surprise” Stent put in my heart – over $100,000, ran through a rain storm ‘river” with the car – after insurance we paid $728, Nancy in the hospital 17 times in one month, we both slip and fall in the foyer in the house, I get up – Nan does not, another trip to the E.R. Nan has fractured leg – now in a cast, house has 2 flights of stairs – Nan can’t go upstairs – 5 weeks – 4 of us ( Nan, me, JoJo, Luna) in a motel room – $1,500, I have anxiety over second stent and don’t have it put in for now, home insurance man comes – will pay for fallen down ceiling in foyer and in garage, but not for water heater repair, – they will not pay for any part of our motel stay, out of my six classes – only actually have 2 ( naturally when money is tight – nobody is available to come to class) , ordered the RAT PACK pod ( now in driveway) to clean out garage, Nan orders one tooo small and we can’t get there to have the garage done, our friend and handyman, Charlie has a ruptured hernia and is out of commission for how long, we do not know, I have spent 5 weeks lifting a wheel chair in and out of the trunk of the car, and then everything I write and photograph disappears by the hands of an expert at Geek Squad. And the last straw, my HBO, well care has informed me that my particular program has been cancelled by medicare and I have to find some other HMO at a considerably more expensive program!
We could do without the last 6 months easily…
Now, for the only good thing that happened —
Nan has her first appointment at Florida Hospital as the first step to being put on the kidney transplant list!!
On a smaller, more personal note — for myself, I went home, got my computer one day, to do some special project I had in mind AND I WAS ABLE TO FIND ALL MY WORK! BLOGS, LETTERS, POSTERS EVERYTHING!! Still on the computer…how it all got there, why it didn’t delete when the tablet stuff did –who knows.. and I don’t care why, I’m just glad it was still there…..
What can I say…GOD!! I’M GOOOOOD!

WHATEVER WORKS…normandie


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Whatever works …this time about … normandie…Poet Emeritus?

Whatever works this time about …. normandie…Poet Emeritus?

The one thing (amongst many) that someone soon to be 73 years of age can do , is call or give yourself any title you damn please. So this month I’m no only a POET ( that may actually be a stretch, but what the hell, that’s my title of the month so deal with it). And the Emeritus means to me that although I’m retired from poetry writing, i was really BETTER THAN (I) EXPECTED AT AN EARLIER AGE!

So here i am..
NORMANDIE ANN LUCIA VIGIANI..POET EMERITUS

all of the exceptional thoughts were written many, many years ago, when alone, i was in mexico city for several months. This was one of the best experiences of my life.. i was young, creative and writing my brains out. Short stories and poems came to me as a vision.

I came across these just a few weeks ago and i like them so I’m putting them here… these are only a few of all i wrote. I’m in the process of putting them on my tablet and on a memory stick for posterity, ( my own, of course).

Here we go….

COBWEBS ON MY MIND
The roar of the ocean
The screeching seagulls overhead
The slight rustle of palm frons in the ever so warm breeze
Waves crashing on the beach
then receding back into the blue-gray ocean
allowing the breeze to blow and the sun to shine
on all the creatures of the earth

COFFEE

“There’s nothing like a cup of coffee, on
a rainy day”, he said

“Yes,” she replied in a dazed manner of
someone shaken from deep thought

“Rainy days are great”. He went on

She slowly raised her head and
looked at him, smiled a wistful smile

He understood. Smiled a warm smile back,
and left her to her thoughts

Love Abounds

a father at the bus stop
knees beside his son
one arm caressing his child
the other points to a distant object
the child listens intently
little eyes turn to search the horizon

LOVE ABOUNDS

A Bright New Beginning

Tonight
The rain is different—
It falls like, shinny beads
Attached one to one by invisible thread

Thousands of tiny beads
Reflecting the light from the
carriage house lamp
and splattering on the pavement
The night rain washes away the sins of
The day
And gives us a bright new beginning

Mexico

I LOVE YOU (IV)

We run between the raindrops
Hand and hand
Hurrying along our way
The moon peeks it’s
pale, yellow face
from behind
a dark, grey cloud
The wind whispers
through the trees
soft, romantic murmurs
The rain stops
We stop
Long enough to say
I LOVE YOU

I LOVE YOU

we lie together, our bodies barely touching
your rhythmic breathing so comforting
to my soul
l lay my hand barely touching your chest
and feel the beat of your heart
I’m content
Happy
I want to wake you and say
I love you!

THE OLD COUPLE

AN OLD COUPLE WALK THROUGH
THE PARK
I CAN SEE THEM QUITE CLEARLY
THEY WALK SLOWLY, CAREFULLY
THEY HOLD HANDS
HE HELPS HER – SHE HOLDS HIM
DO THEY WALK TO THE END OF THEIR
DAYS

Well, this it for now…and i say “for now” because there is an excellent chance that when i get the rest on my tablet that you will be subjected to them ALLLLL!

Actually it’s  better than AN EXCELLENT CHANCE… I WOULD SAY YOU COULD TAKE BETS ON IT.!!!

WHATEVER WORKS.. NORMANDIE


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WHATEVERWORKS….this time about…Normandie & Nancy…we’re not going to buy a car!

Whatever  works… this time about…Normandie & Nancy…and we’re not going to buy a car!
WE WERE PASSING OUR FRIEND ALI’S WORK…THE COCOA HYUNDAI SALES OFFICE.

LET’S STOP IN AND SAY HELLO, NAN SAID. WE’RE NOT GOING TO BUY ANYTHING, JUST SAY HELLO. {ALI IS A YOUNG FRIEND WE’VE KNOWN FOR SEVERAL YEARS, HE SOLD US OUR LAST 2 HYUNDAI’S AFTER THE REVEREND WHO SOLD US OUR FIRST ONE RETIRED}.

THESE are exactly the same words we said the last three times we were there. and we’ve had an Elantra, a Sonata and the car we are now driving the Accent hatchback.

so, we stopped, and met Dustin, a salesman, who went to get Ali for us. Ali is no longer a salesman, he now handles finances. He was finishing a deal, he would be right out.

in the meantime we decided to ask about the buy out on our Accent which is a lease car and the lease ends in November and we decided to buy the car. if you don’t know lease cars, when the lease is finished the car has a buy out price that was determined when you first lease it. If you’re smart you actually negotiate that price before you sign papers. Of course, we didn’t do that. our buy out price is $8049. we decided to buy the car for several reasons, the 1st and most important is that we’re over the 15,000 miles a year we were allotted. Normally you are allowed a 12,000 miles a year package. But thinking that wouldn’t be enough, we purchased the extended mileage package of 15,000 miles. We thought this was a very smart move, and it was because even with the extra mileage, we’re 15,000 miles over our mileage limit. and the overage charge on the overage is twenty cents a mile.
(Let’s go back to yesteryear for a word or to. The first Hyundai we bought was an Elantra. This was about 6 years ago. I loved the Elantra. We had gone to Cocoa Hyundai as part of our master plan and that was to go to many car dealerships and look at alllllll different cars. We were determined NOT to buy the first car we saw. So much for sticking to our determination!
After about a year and after considerable thought (in our case that’s about 2 days) we decided that we should have a newer car because we drive so much. We had gotten the Elantra from a salesman who was a Reverend and we really liked him.
When we went back, standing in front of the door was Ali. A very handsome, young Black man. We made it clear we were looking around, NOT BUYING! It’s good when you have an iron will and stick to your guns….
You see the signs on every door, no weapons allowed… WE DROVE AWAY IN A SONATA!
ANOTHER YEAR GOES BY…and Nan comes up with yet another great idea…
Why don’t we look around and get a brand new car since we drive so much. A lease car, she suggests, so we can turn it in and get another new car after the lease is over and the payments on a lease car are usually cheaper….
We decided to start our search with Ali again, who by this time had become a friend. We had a list of car dealerships that we planned to check out for the best deal. He was first.
Definitely no car buying that day, just in — get information,— out and on to the next dealership.
4 hours later, we drove out in our new, leased Hyundai Accent hatchback. So much for determination! !
Now a Hyundai was a good idea – a hatchback was a great idea — however a lease car with limited mileage WAS NOT! )
the 2nd REASON TO BUY OUT is we had hit an animal one dark night and had severe damage to the front of the car and although repaired still had somethings that showed. then after a 4 year lease there are the normal dings and bangs.
all that was interesting, but we’re not buying a car…. we were just waiting for Ali.

while waiting, did we just want to take a walk to the lot and see an Elantra that would cost you not more than your current Accent? and it’s a 2017?

WE ARE NOT INTERESTED IN BUYING A CAR NOW!!

no problem, just killing time. this is what the new models look like, this one is white. i won’t ever, ever buy a white car. here’s a sliver one, look inside. great dash, i said. We also have a scarlet red pearl one, (how do you pass up a car with a color called ‘scarlet red pearl’) same equipment, he said, if you like scarlet red pearl better? Is he kidding?
I……like…….RED…….better…..(reluctantly)
Especially, red with gold flakes in it and also the brand new design, along with a dashboard I have always loved since my first Elantra. Nancy liked the silver one.
All this didn’t matter, because we’re not buying a car, but if I were, it would be another hatchback, not a sedan I said. We don’t need another hatchback since we aren’t going to buy so much stuff anymore, we’re downsizing, remember! Nan says. I still want a hatchback, I say. I don’t want red – Nan says, I like the silver.
IN ANY CASE, IT DOESN’T MATTER SINCE WE’RE STILLMNOT BUYING A CAR ANYWAY!
Which one would you be interested in if you were interested, Dustin goes on, the white? I don’t buy white cars,! These silver one or the red on, he says? I said red, Nan said silver…
We went back inside and he got down to the buy out figures.
Suppose, he said…..and we knew now he was going to pitch in earnest! Nan and I looked squarely at each other, both shaking our heads NO!
Supposed he said, we could get you into that 2017 brand new Elantra for less than what you’re paying now for the Accent?
Does anyone hear Gabrielle’s horn?
The shinny double hook was dangling in the water and there were 2 fish just inches from taking the bait!
Now, like magic the same red Elantra appeared right outside the showroom window. It sat there in allllll it’s red glory with sparkles in the paint. So, every time you glanced up…..THERE IT WAS!
No pressure and I know you’re not prepared to buy tonight, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t have all the facts and figures to think about. He was wiggling the hook.
Now, Why Don’t I Get Our Appraiser To Look At The Accent And See What It’s Worth. My heart froze over. He reached for the keys and was off in a second. Within seconds another man was headed out to my car. He walked around and around and opened doors and the trunk and came back in. I called to him and said, would it help if I brought it back after getting it detailed? No, no, he said you’re okay. Was he kidding — the condition that car was in as it sat there was not conducive to any high numbers. Dustin came back with the figures. They would eat the mileage overage and they would determine what it’s worth with the scrapes and dents and such.
We had going for us the fact that it was just dusk and night was fast upon us and he really couldn’t see all that much. And our biggest gift was that he didn’t start the engine. When it was running there was a WINNING sound so loud you could hear it with the windows up and the radio on medium blast.
Dustin came back with the appraisal. $5,500. So, he said, this is where we stand. Your buy out is $8049, your tax on the sale was almost $1,000, ( lease cars are taxed at the end of the lease not when you first take out the lease), then there’s the little matter of mileage overage which is about another $2,000! (Aren’t we glad we bought the Xtra mileage plan? )
Here’s we are the buy out price, the taxes, the mileage overage and the normal paperwork and incidentals and we’re up well over $10,000. Since the blue book (or whatever book they were looking at), says the car is only worth $5,500, that means we would have to come up with about $5,000 out of pocket to purchase it. Any finance company will only finance what the car was worth — the $5,500.
At, this s point Nan and I are looking at each other in earnest.
He says, what color would you like the car to be? As I glance out the wall of windows and see the red one right there. Red, I reluctantly say, silver, Nan says. Hatchback I continue, sedan Nan replies.
Listen carefully, Gabriel is still blowing that horn and If you look closely the walls of Jericho are showing major cracks.
I want red I say firmly to Nan, — sedan she says back and he says compromise is always good everyone wins. I think the only person at this point who is winning —-is him!
Now, the push in earnest begins — he starts writing down numbers, we’ll forget the mileage overage, we’ll give you the $5,500 for the car as a down payment, the payments will be less than the Accent, the insurance will be less because this is not a lease car you’ll have a brand new red 2017 with out any restrictions because you will own it and you can drive where ever you want. It’s safer because it’s heavier, it gets about 32 mpg in town about 38 hiway. AND IT HAS THE DASHBOARD YOU LIKE! (Did I mention that dashboards are important to me, most times when I get into a car I look at the dash first and inevitably say to myself, “I don’t like this dash.” However in this Elantra and the last one we had I loved the dash and conversely said to myself, “I love this dash!” If you have 48 hrs free sometime Nancy would be happy to list all my quirks to you one after another! )
At this point we are on the hook, but not securely. Dustin is writing down figures going back in the office to his manager, coming back with counters and over and over this going on. However, we are still not securely hooked.
It’s getting close to closing and we’re still wavering. WHEN….
Dustin does not come out of the office,
BUT….THE BIG GUN DOES! ! ALI…..
He sits down at the table and begins telling us the best deal possible. Where is Dustin I ask? He’s in the office, I’m going to talk with you.
So, we have purchased 2 cars from him in the past…also not planning to buy when we came in, so he knows us, we called him before we bought the Yaris, from hell, he advised us not to buy we did however and that turned into a nightmare so, we trust him, and he knows us, we have had him over for dinner, he knows us, we know him for 5 or 6 years, he knows us. He knows we trust him, he knows we believe him, he knows we have never had one reason not to believe or trust him….and to boot he’s a very good salesman and knows just what buttons to push and when to push them. AND HE KNOWS US!
HIS CROWNING GLORY — TOUCH comes when he said….you talked about putting $500 down, I don’t want you to put one cent down. I’m going to get this through without any deposit!
Okay, okay listen! Listen,,,, Gabriel stopped blowing and the wall is down!
Somebody bring the dustpan and brush…..
Within minutes we were in his office, and I was putting my signature where there were 3 dozen x’s and initializing umpteen other places and no money down and the car was ours. Miraculously, the car appeared washed and vacuumed and waiting.
Bells rang, horns blowed, a multitude of various noises and people shouting (at this time there were only 6 people left and that included the 2 of us) and another name on the sold list! ! !
This is a photo of the car we went home in…THE VERY CAR WE WERE NOT GOING TO BUY TONIGHT!
Now we are 5 for 5. This is the 5th car we were not going to buy when we walked in to the dealership…and yet drove out – in!

One brand new Scarlet Red Pearl 2017 Elantra

As I always say:
WHATEVER WORKS……Normandie

e’re not going to buy a car!

WE WERE PASSING OUR FRIEND ALI’S WORK…THE COCOA HYUNDAI SALES OFFICE.

LET’S STOP IN AND SAY HELLO, NAN SAID. WE’RE NOT GOING TO BUY ANYTHING, JUST SAY HELLO. {ALI IS A YOUNG FRIEND WE’VE KNOWN FOR SEVERAL YEARS, HE SOLD US OUR LAST 2 HYUNDAI’S AFTER THE REVEREND WHO SOLD US OUR FIRST ONE RETIRED}.

THESE are exactly the same words we said the last three times we were there. and we’ve had an Elantra, a Sonata and the car we are now driving the Accent hatchback.

so, we stopped, and met Dustin, a salesman, who went to get Ali for us. Ali is no longer a salesman, he now handles finances. He was finishing a deal, he would be right out.

in the meantime we decided to ask about the buy out on our Accent which is a lease car and the lease ends in November and we decided to buy the car. if you don’t know lease cars, when the lease is finished the car has a buy out price that was determined when you first lease it. If you’re smart you actually negotiate that price before you sign papers. Of course, we didn’t do that. our buy out price is $8049. we decided to buy the car for several reasons, the 1st and most important is that we’re over the 15,000 miles a year we were allotted. Normally you are allowed a 12,000 miles a year package. But thinking that wouldn’t be enough, we purchased the extended mileage package of 15,000 miles. We thought this was a very smart move, and it was because even with the extra mileage, we’re 15,000 miles over our mileage limit. and the overage charge on the overage is twenty cents a mile.
(Let’s go back to yesteryear for a word or to. The first Hyundai we bought was an Elantra. This was about 6 years ago. I loved the Elantra. We had gone to Cocoa Hyundai as part of our master plan and that was to go to many car dealerships and look at alllllll different cars. We were determined NOT to buy the first car we saw. So much for sticking to our determination!
After about a year and after considerable thought (in our case that’s about 2 days) we decided that we should have a newer car because we drive so much. We had gotten the Elantra from a salesman who was a Reverend and we really liked him.
When we went back, standing in front of the door was Ali. A very handsome, young Black man. We made it clear we were looking around, NOT BUYING! It’s good when you have an iron will and stick to your guns….
You see the signs on every door, no weapons allowed… WE DROVE AWAY IN A SONATA!
ANOTHER YEAR GOES BY…and Nan comes up with yet another great idea…
Why don’t we look around and get a brand new car since we drive so much. A lease car, she suggests, so we can turn it in and get another new car after the lease is over and the payments on a lease car are usually cheaper….
We decided to start our search with Ali again, who by this time had become a friend. We had a list of car dealerships that we planned to check out for the best deal. He was first.
Definitely no car buying that day, just in — get information,— out and on to the next dealership.
4 hours later, we drove out in our new, leased Hyundai Accent hatchback. So much for determination! !
Now a Hyundai was a good idea – a hatchback was a great idea — however a lease car with limited mileage WAS NOT! )
the 2nd REASON TO BUY OUT is we had hit an animal one dark night and had severe damage to the front of the car and although repaired still had somethings that showed. then after a 4 year lease there are the normal dings and bangs.
all that was interesting, but we’re not buying a car…. we were just waiting for Ali.

while waiting, did we just want to take a walk to the lot and see an Elantra that would cost you not more than your current Accent? and it’s a 2017?

WE ARE NOT INTERESTED IN BUYING A CAR NOW!!

no problem, just killing time. this is what the new models look like, this one is white. i won’t ever, ever buy a white car. here’s a sliver one, look inside. great dash, i said. We also have a scarlet red pearl one, (how do you pass up a car with a color called ‘scarlet red pearl’) same equipment, he said, if you like scarlet red pearl better? Is he kidding?
I……like…….RED…….better…..(reluctantly)
Especially, red with gold flakes in it and also the brand new design, along with a dashboard I have always loved since my first Elantra. Nancy liked the silver one.
All this didn’t matter, because we’re not buying a car, but if I were, it would be another hatchback, not a sedan I said. We don’t need another hatchback since we aren’t going to buy so much stuff anymore, we’re downsizing, remember! Nan says. I still want a hatchback, I say. I don’t want red – Nan says, I like the silver.
IN ANY CASE, IT DOESN’T MATTER SINCE WE’RE STILLMNOT BUYING A CAR ANYWAY!
Which one would you be interested in if you were interested, Dustin goes on, the white? I don’t buy white cars,! These silver one or the red on, he says? I said red, Nan said silver…
We went back inside and he got down to the buy out figures.
Suppose, he said…..and we knew now he was going to pitch in earnest! Nan and I looked squarely at each other, both shaking our heads NO!
Supposed he said, we could get you into that 2017 brand new Elantra for less than what you’re paying now for the Accent?
Does anyone hear Gabrielle’s horn?
The shinny double hook was dangling in the water and there were 2 fish just inches from taking the bait!
Now, like magic the same red Elantra appeared right outside the showroom window. It sat there in allllll it’s red glory with sparkles in the paint. So, every time you glanced up…..THERE IT WAS!
No pressure and I know you’re not prepared to buy tonight, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t have all the facts and figures to think about. He was wiggling the hook.
Now, Why Don’t I Get Our Appraiser To Look At The Accent And See What It’s Worth. My heart froze over. He reached for the keys and was off in a second. Within seconds another man was headed out to my car. He walked around and around and opened doors and the trunk and came back in. I called to him and said, would it help if I brought it back after getting it detailed? No, no, he said you’re okay. Was he kidding — the condition that car was in as it sat there was not conducive to any high numbers. Dustin came back with the figures. They would eat the mileage overage and they would determine what it’s worth with the scrapes and dents and such.
We had going for us the fact that it was just dusk and night was fast upon us and he really couldn’t see all that much. And our biggest gift was that he didn’t start the engine. When it was running there was a WINNING sound so loud you could hear it with the windows up and the radio on medium blast.
Dustin came back with the appraisal. $5,500. So, he said, this is where we stand. Your buy out is $8049, your tax on the sale was almost $1,000, ( lease cars are taxed at the end of the lease not when you first take out the lease), then there’s the little matter of mileage overage which is about another $2,000! (Aren’t we glad we bought the Xtra mileage plan? )
Here’s we are the buy out price, the taxes, the mileage overage and the normal paperwork and incidentals and we’re up well over $10,000. Since the blue book (or whatever book they were looking at), says the car is only worth $5,500, that means we would have to come up with about $5,000 out of pocket to purchase it. Any finance company will only finance what the car was worth — the $5,500.
At, this s point Nan and I are looking at each other in earnest.
He says, what color would you like the car to be? As I glance out the wall of windows and see the red one right there. Red, I reluctantly say, silver, Nan says. Hatchback I continue, sedan Nan replies.
Listen carefully, Gabriel is still blowing that horn and If you look closely the walls of Jericho are showing major cracks.
I want red I say firmly to Nan, — sedan she says back and he says compromise is always good everyone wins. I think the only person at this point who is winning —-is him!
Now, the push in earnest begins — he starts writing down numbers, we’ll forget the mileage overage, we’ll give you the $5,500 for the car as a down payment, the payments will be less than the Accent, the insurance will be less because this is not a lease car you’ll have a brand new red 2017 with out any restrictions because you will own it and you can drive where ever you want. It’s safer because it’s heavier, it gets about 32 mpg in town about 38 hiway. AND IT HAS THE DASHBOARD YOU LIKE! (Did I mention that dashboards are important to me, most times when I get into a car I look at the dash first and inevitably say to myself, “I don’t like this dash.” However in this Elantra and the last one we had I loved the dash and conversely said to myself, “I love this dash!” If you have 48 hrs free sometime Nancy would be happy to list all my quirks to you one after another! )
At this point we are on the hook, but not securely. Dustin is writing down figures going back in the office to his manager, coming back with counters and over and over this going on. However, we are still not securely hooked.
It’s getting close to closing and we’re still wavering. WHEN….
Dustin does not come out of the office,
BUT….THE BIG GUN DOES! ! ALI…..
He sits down at the table and begins telling us the best deal possible. Where is Dustin I ask? He’s in the office, I’m going to talk with you.
So, we have purchased 2 cars from him in the past…also not planning to buy when we came in, so he knows us, we called him before we bought the Yaris, from hell, he advised us not to buy we did however and that turned into a nightmare so, we trust him, and he knows us, we have had him over for dinner, he knows us, we know him for 5 or 6 years, he knows us. He knows we trust him, he knows we believe him, he knows we have never had one reason not to believe or trust him….and to boot he’s a very good salesman and knows just what buttons to push and when to push them. AND HE KNOWS US!
HIS CROWNING GLORY — TOUCH comes when he said….you talked about putting $500 down, I don’t want you to put one cent down. I’m going to get this through without any deposit!
Okay, okay listen! Listen,,,, Gabriel stopped blowing and the wall is down!
Somebody bring the dustpan and brush…..
Within minutes we were in his office, and I was putting my signature where there were 3 dozen x’s and initializing umpteen other places and no money down and the car was ours. Miraculously, the car appeared washed and vacuumed and waiting.
Bells rang, horns blowed, a multitude of various noises and people shouting (at this time there were only 6 people left and that included the 2 of us) and another name on the sold list! ! !
This is a photo of the car we went home in…THE VERY CAR WE WERE NOT GOING TO BUY TONIGHT!
Now we are 5 for 5. This is the 5th car we were not going to buy when we walked in to the dealership…and yet drove out – in!

20161030_094808

One brand new Scarlet Red Pearl 2017 Elantra

As I always say:
WHATEVER WORKS……Normandie


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Whatever works…this time about normandie and…”this is actualy scary,! “

Whatever works…this time about Normandie and “This is actually scary!”

Well, you all know by now that I love, love, love electronics, the internet, and everything in between. I would have two of every electronic device EVER made if I could afford them. Since I became involved about five years ago, when I bought my first HP Compaq computer, I was off and running.

For years I sent out my “News from Normandie” by snail mail. I would type it on my word processor, have it copied and sent it out by, as I said, snail mail. Now I had a computer and found the Word program, and found out about blogging, and that was all she wrote.

Now, every part of my life is Google related. I now have a computer, a tablet and a smart phone that all cost me, WELL ABOVE WHAT I COULD ACTUALLY AFFORD!

As we all know ‘Big Brother Is Watching’ and his name is GOOGLE and baby, you just better believe it!

As much as I love electronics, the internet, and everything connected, several things have recently come to light for me. I was in my pharmacy last week and my bill was $3.25. Next to me was an elderly lady, probably in her 80’s. Waiting on us was a young girl, high school age. She rang up my meds and said I owed $3.25. I handed her a $5 bill and then said, ‘Oh, I have the 25 cents. She had already put the $5 in the register. I handed her the quarter and she took it, but had the strangest, confused look on her face. Her hand hovered over the change area in the register and you could see she was thinking but getting no answer to what she was thinking.

When I first handed the kid the quarter, and the lady beside me and I watched the kid’s reaction, I turned to the older woman and whispered, “She has no clue,” and the older lady said, “Absolutely”.

The kid finally dropped the quarter in its compartment, looked at what was showing on the register and began making my change. We ALL KNOW WHERE I’M GOING WITH THIS, don’t we! She took out a one-dollar bill and reached into the change and began taking out 3 quarters. I stopped her by saying, “Honey, I gave you a quarter.” She had that blank stare again. As she stood there for several seconds not knowing what to do, I once again explained, “The bill is $3.25, I gave you $5.25, so you owe me $2.” Blank, blank, blank was the look, you could just see that she was trying to digest what I said but it was not registering. The older lady said, “Yes, you owe her $2.” She and I just looked at each other and shook our heads.

The kid finally reached into the register and reluctantly pulled out two single dollar bills and even more reluctantly handed them to me. It was blatantly obvious that she thought I was somehow cheating her, but really didn’t know how.

The old lady and I looked at each other shaking our heads and she said, “This is sad. And it’s happened to me more than once.” “Me too,” I said and continued, “And they don’t teach cursive anymore either, so print your name on the bottom line!” She shook her head and I left.

Now, I’ve dealt with this pharmacy for a long time and with this kid many times before. She’s sharp, polite, and a nice kid; however, like most teens and young kids, she can’t do any math without a calculator or register.

Onward – Now, knowing cursive may not be important, only time will tell. Yes, there are many things I learned in school that I never use, like algebra, but all in all I think even the stuff I don’t use has helped over the years to be able to think, consider, and to rationalize. All this information floating in my brain, even the stuff I don’t think I use, I believe has broadened my horizons, allowed me to reason on many levels, to look at situations from all angles, and think and figure out things.

Alright, so realistically we’re just talking about cursive, not life threatening, but it is one more thing that they are not learning and not able to incorporate into their thinking. That is because they just don’t have the basic knowledge.

AND, what about teaching American history only after the Civil War?! THERE’S A WORLD OUT THERE, and many things have happened that brought us to where we are today. Look at what the Aztecs did, the Egyptians, and what about slavery, the Holocaust? All of these things happened, they’re important! I’m not in any way saying that any of this this should be taught to make anyone feel guilty, but these things should be known so that we have the knowledge to see if the same problems start occurring again.

HOME SCHOOLING. Can anyone say enough about home schooling? I can! Home schooling and computer courses can be good in some cases. I know two kids that are home schooled, but their mothers make sure they socialize. Each kid does several things that require them to be out among other kids. Both come once a month to my jewelry making classes. I also know a teenager who is totally computer home schooled. He’s 15 and a really good kid, however, and here we go again, he is terribly shy. He’s handsome, and well spoken, and has no obvious flaws, so there’s nothing he would be teased about. He, I believe, should be in a real school, with real kids his age, playing basketball or going out for football, not sitting at home doing nothing all day. Nan’s Granddaughter, Samantha, is taking Spanish on line. How do you take a language on the computer? She doesn’t like Spanish, I think because she has no one real to converse with. How does the computer know if you have the right inflection or even if you are saying the word correctly. Just how do you learn a language on a computer??

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! ALL KINDS OF KNOWLEDGE: obscure, important, ridiculous, are all important. DIVERSE INFORMATION SHOULD BE THERE HIDDEN UNTIL NECESSARY — IN YOUR BRAIN!

And the smartphone, are you kidding? The best thing since chopped liver. I can’t live without my smartphone. I got my first cell phone years ago,a flip phone and that was it. It just made calls and received calls. Then three years ago, Nan and I started doing the jewelry classes and I just had to have a smartphone. It has been glued to me ever since. I do everything on it. Two years ago, while on vacation, my phone was stolen. I was away from my home Metro PCS Company and Nan and the people I was with thought it was terrible, but something I could live without for a few days. THEY WERE WRONG! For the next two days, not for one minute was I not thinking about “not having my phone.” I wasn’t home two hours before I slipped away and bought a new phone. Better than the one that was stolen.

Two years ago I was still swearing that I would never text. Today 60% of my communications are texted, maybe more. I don’t know the short cut jargon but i text longhand never the less. To this day lol is still lots of love to me!

So, what’s the difference between me and a 12- or 20- or 30-year-old? Well, I’ll tell you. I still talk to people face to face. People I know, strangers, whoever! Texting has become a part of life, but face to face, hearing a real voice? Nothing beats it.

For many years Nancy has complained about her grandchildren and their phone use. They don’t know how to socialize. There are no social skills learned when you are buried on a phone. Just texting, texting, texting.

Often Nan and I sit in a restaurant and watch a family of five at a table next to us. There is not one word spoken the entire time they’re there except to order. The rest of the time they are all doing something with their phones.

I mentioned this to a friend the other day and she told me this story…she was in a restaurant the other day and the waiter told her this story, “i had a family earlier 2 kids and their parents all on their phones. I stopped by their table to take their order and they paid no attention to me. So, i walked away for a minute to let them decide what they wanted. When i came back they still were texting and ignoring me. So, i pulled out my phone and thinking it would be funny…i said to them, okay, I’m ready text me your orders. They did not think this was funny and were really annoyed” He went on to say “they were right it wasn’t funny, the situation was actually sad!”

Am I writing this on a Samsung Tab A that I bought the first week they came out? You bet your bippy I am. Could I afford the more than a couple of HUNDRED dollars it cost me? Not on your life! Did I have to have it and buy it anyway? Are you kidding? Am i writing on it right now? My latest smart phone, LG, cost more than the tablet, and I still had to have it and I do have it! Would I be without it or not know exactly where it is for more than 20 minutes? Never!

We are so controlled and dependent on computer technology – what happens if one day someone pulls out the plug? There will be an entire country with millions and millions of young people sitting in the dark, not able to do anything but just wait for someone to put the plug back in!

This is a scary, sad situation.

HOWEVER, I think I still have a healthy balance between electronic usage and real live people interaction. I talk to strangers on the street, in stores, on vacation. Still use the phone to hear a live voice rather than text and know how to make change for a $3.25 invoice from a five-dollar bill, in my head.

And if the plug is pulled, people my age won’t just be sitting in the dark, we’ll be fumbling around in the dark looking for matches!

WHATEVER WORKS, Normandie


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WHATEVER WORKS…this time about….Normandie..SPEAKER IN THE HOUSE!

WHATEVER WORKS … this time about Normandie:  SPEAKER IN THE HOUSE!

So, about six weeks ago, I got a call from a woman who said she was the president of a nationwide group of non-denominational Christian women.  They meet once a month.

“Okay,” I said, since I had absolutely no idea of what she wanted.  My only thought was that she wanted me to do a jewelry class.

“How did you find me?”  Turns out she saw a flyer at the library about my classes.  Great!  She then went on to tell me that she has two speakers at their luncheon meetings, and WOULD I BE WILLING TO SPEAK TO THE GROUP?!?!  Without even asking about what, I said, “SURE!!”  Then I asked what I should speak about.

They do not want anyone to speak about religion, politics, or age.  If you know me, you know that those would be two subjects (religion and politics) you wouldn’t want me to speak on anyway.

WHATEVER WORKS … this time about Normandie: SPEAKER IN THE HOUSE!

So, about six weeks ago, I got a call from a woman who said she was the president of a nationwide group of non-denominational Christian women. They meet once a month.

“Okay,” I said, since I had absolutely no idea of what she wanted. My only thought was that she wanted me to do a jewelry class.

“How did you find me?” Turns out she saw a flyer at the library about my classes. Great! She then went on to tell me that she has two speakers at their luncheon meetings, and WOULD I BE WILLING TO SPEAK TO THE GROUP?!?! Without even asking about what, I said, “SURE!!” Then I asked what I should speak about.

They do not want anyone to speak about religion, politics, or age. If you know me, you know that those would be two subjects (religion and politics) you wouldn’t want me to speak on anyway.

I figured she was a person who was either adventurous or desperate. Asking me to do something like this without at least meeting me … I don’t know, I’m an acquired taste at best. Taking me sight unseen? She was either a person of foresight or dumb as a stick (keep the stick option in mind for later on).

She told me they like to know their speakers, so I should talk about jewelry making. Fine.

They sent out printed invitations to their group (see attached).

I was really more excited than nervous or anxious. Since I have never spoken to any group before and certainly not one of 40—50 people, I thought I should make notes to use. My first attempt was eight typed pages (8 1/2 x 11 paper). DID I MENTION THAT MY ENTIRE TALK WAS TO BE 15 (FIFTEEN!!) MINUTES!! She also had a ‘main’ motivational speaker.

When I told some of the women in my classes, they thought I would be great. When I said my allotted time is 15 minutes, they were hysterical and said, “YOU CAN’T SAY HELLO IN 15 MINUTES!” Isn’t it nice to have the support of your friends!

Over the next three weeks I went from eight to six to three pages and then to 3 x 5 cards (almost the entire pack). This just isn’t working. I found myself reading a card and then speaking. This would be BORING BORING BORING!

The week before the meeting, I picked up all my notes and ripped them to pieces and threw them into the garbage. I decided to WING IT! And for the balance of the week I didn’t even think about it.

We were allowed to sell our jewelry, giving them 10% of our sales, so we brought things we planned to sell.

Michele, Nan’s step-daughter, was in town and came to visit. I gave her a version of what I planned to say. She actually thought it was funny and engaging, but I should mention more about the actual business. That made me feel pretty good.

As a marketing tool, I hoped, I spent the week making a pin for each person. Forty-five people were coming and I made forty-five different pins.

Friday morning came (it was July 8th and my father’s birthday, so I knew that was a good sign). We arrived with our items to sell, set up our table, we’re shown our table and the luncheon meeting began.

I’m stopping here because if you’re already bored to tears, you can just DELETE before reading Part II.

Alright, so two of you want the rest of the story and I’m a pushover for group accolades! So the rest of you just have to suffer! That’s the way it is.

Part II.
So, El Presidente gets up and introduces me.

Now, I feel I already have two things going for me. The first is that there are two men among the 45 women and one of them is sitting right next to me at the table, and second, it’s a wireless microphone.

Right off I approach the man. I say to him that I can’t believe there are only two men in the group and I’ve got one of them. Just when you need a man, there he is! He looks at me with slight trepidation. I go on to say that during my talk it would be great to have a man, and could I touch his hand. He’s still unsure but he says okay. I assure him it won’t hurt him, but he doesn’t look optimistic.

And a wireless microphone!! I’m not attached, therefore I’m FREE!

In her intro she tells the group that I’m going to talk about jewelry making. She’s almost right. Close anyway. I’ve decided to speak about something in that general area: how we got our name.

I might add here, that the last time I had spoken to her, she again mentioned the no-no subjects and I told her I felt I was not a
”Speaker” and certainly not a Lecturer. I’m a story teller. She said that was fine.

Now, I took that microphone and even though she had just reminded the group and me about the three no-no’s, the first thing I talked about was age.
I said, “I know Kitty said not to talk about age, but I was going to say something about age anyway, and it is that I am 72, have never spoken to a group before, and certainly not one this big, sooo I’m asking you guys to pleeeeaaassseee cut me some SLACK!” They chuckled and I was off and running.

I told them the story of how we made all that money on the 16-day re-positioning cruise to Europe.

Not being tied to the lectern by a wired microphone, I was free to walk around the room to each table and talk to people right to their faces, flinging my arms around and having a ball.

The whole talk was off the cuff. Whatever was in my head was out my mouth.

When I got to the part where I needed the man, I went over to our sales table and palmed a pair of earrings. Then I started telling them about the officer in charge of the Lido deck who ignored our goings on. As I walked over to the man at my table, I went on to say that the officer was a tall, handsome black man, in a white uniform, and he was to die for. I told them that one day I was alone at the table and I caught his eye across the room and beckoned him to come over by wiggling my first finger. He came. I asked if he had a wife or girlfriend. “Girlfriend,” he said. And like it wasn’t obvious and I didn’t already know, I asked, “Is she plain or fancy?” “Fancy,” he said. “Fancy like this?” I said, pointing to a pair of earrings, or fancy like this, pointing to another. “Oh, fancy like this,” he pointed to a pair.

So now I was standing in front of the man at my table and showing the audience the earrings I was holding. I took his hand in mine, holding it tight. He said, “Oh, you’re hurting me. To which I replied to him and everyone, “Don’t be a wimp! You’re playing the part of a big, strong, handsome black officer! Get with it!” I loosened my hand a little and went on with my story.

Still holding wimpy’s hand, I told them, “I said to him, ‘You tell that fancy girlfriend of yours that if I were 20 years younger, I’d give her a run for her money!!’ Then I held my right hand up, pointing my finger at them and counted: 2 – 3 – 4 and I started to laugh and said, “That’s when he realized what I said.” He looked me in the eyes and said, “I’ll tell her that.” And I replied, “YOU JUST DO THAT”. After that, it was all over but the shouting.

I finished talking when Kitty began waving her hand. I did, of course, take another minute to say, “I’ve had a pretty impressive resume in the past, but I’ve torn it up and now my resume reads: Normandie Vigiani, writer (I write a funny blog), photographer with a photo blog, jewelry designer, jewelry maker, teacher (all right, so that’s a bit of a stretch), artist, and now thanks to you guys and Kitty, (throwing my hallelujah hands high in the sky), SPEAKER!….Thank you all very much.

Clapping, clapping.

Then after some stuff, the motivational speaker got up. Now, I really and truly am not trying to pat myself on the back, but I wouldn’t have wanted to follow me. She stood behind lectern, microphone lodged in its holder, and talked and talked and talked, not that what she was saying couldn’t have been interesting, but I was bored to tears. For one thing, although I had been told over and over no religion, no politics, no age, she mentioned God in every sentence. She didn’t do anything of her own volition. If God didn’t direct her she just stood on a corner waiting for further instructions.

Now, I couldn’t care less whether you are religious, or not religious, not my business and I do not care one way or the other. Whatever gets you through the day, is perfectly okay with me. However, when I sit there listening to someone who doesn’t seem to have any control over her life, but leaves it allllllll to God — absolutely not my bag. I have a lot more to say about this but I’m not!

I must say in my own defense when I heard she was a “motivational speaker, I expected a dynamic talk. Grab that audience and run with them. I thought a motivational speaker would be expressive, movement of hands and arms, inflection on some important words and maybe a few hallelujah movements. And I’m not saying hallelujah movements in a religious way, but just as bringing excitement to what was said. But no …

As far as I was concerned there was no grabbing or running. There was barely crawling. Not that what she said couldn’t have been exciting, but I thought her presentation sucked.
 So now everything is over and we’re getting ready to leave and several women came over to thank me and told me I was so funny and they really enjoyed my story. I even had more than a few come to say not only did they enjoy me, but they could have done without the motivational speaker, and I should have continued to speak. The last and the best were the three ladies in the foyer who said they really liked my talk and did I know (can’t remember her name), she’s a comedian and also on Utube. They went on to say that she was their favorite and they have seen her in person, BUT SHE HAD NOTHING ON ME! I asked if they had had martinis with their lunch, and they laughed.

ALL IN ALL A WONDERFUL DAY..

I might add in ending here that I do not believe I will be invited back. For one thing when I finished talking and she came up to thank me she said, “Thank you, Normandie. You were expected to speak on how to make jewelry and you spoke of something else.”

She also sent me a nice bread and butter thank you through the snail mail and it too was bland as white bread and just said, and I quote:

“Thank you, Normandie and Nancy for coming to our luncheon and being our feature.”

Sounds to me like I made a lifelong friend. I won’t hold my breath or sit by the phone waiting for another call. I might leave a few dates open, just in case….

I mentioned keeping the ‘dumb as a stick’ possibility and I think that was the correct reason!

FINALLY THIS IS OVER, and you can all go back to your lives!

WHATEVER WORKS….Normandie

She told me they like to know their speakers, so I should talk about jewelry making.  Fine.

They sent out printed invitations to their group (see attached).

I was really more excited than nervous or anxious.  Since I have never spoken to any group before and certainly not one of 40—50 people, I thought I should make notes to use.  My first attempt was eight typed pages (8 1/2 x 11 paper).  DID I MENTION THAT MY ENTIRE TALK WAS TO BE 15 (FIFTEEN!!) MINUTES!!  She also had a ‘main’ motivational speaker. 

When I told some of the women in my classes, they thought I would be great.  When I said my allotted time is 15 minutes, they were hysterical and said, “YOU CAN’T SAY HELLO IN 15 MINUTES!”  Isn’t it nice to have the support of your friends!

Over the next three weeks I went from eight to six to three pages and then to 3 x 5 cards (almost the entire pack).  This just isn’t working.  I found myself reading a card and then speaking.  This would be BORING BORING BORING!

The week before the meeting, I picked up all my notes and ripped them to pieces and threw them into the garbage.  I decided to WING IT!  And for the balance of the week I didn’t even think about it.

We were allowed to sell our jewelry, giving them 10% of our sales, so we brought things we planned to sell.

Michele, Nan’s step-daughter, was in town and came to visit.  I gave her a version of what I planned to say.  She actually thought it was funny and engaging, but I should mention more about the actual business.  That made me feel pretty good.

As a marketing tool, I hoped, I spent the week making a pin for each person.  Forty-five people were coming and I made forty-five different pins.

Friday morning came (it was July 8th and my father’s birthday, so I knew that was a good sign).  We arrived with our items to sell, set up our table, we’re shown our table and the luncheon meeting began.

I’m stopping here because if you’re already bored to tears, you can just DELETE before reading Part II.

Alright, so two of you want the rest of the story and I’m a pushover for group accolades!  So the rest of you just have to suffer!  That’s the way it is.

 

Part II.

So, El Presidente gets up and introduces me.

Now, I feel I already have two things going for me.  The first is that there are two men among the 45 women and one of them is sitting right next to me at the table, and second, it’s a wireless microphone

Right off I approach the man.  I say to him that I can’t believe there are only two men in the group and I’ve got one of them.  Just when you need a man, there he is!  He looks at me with slight trepidation.  I go on to say that during my talk it would be great to have a man, and could I touch his hand.  He’s still unsure but he says okay.  I assure him it won’t hurt him, but he doesn’t look optimistic.

And a wireless microphone!!  I’m not attached, therefore I’m FREE!

In her intro she tells the group that I’m going to talk about jewelry making.  She’s almost right.  Close anyway.  I’ve decided to speak about something in that general area:  how we got our name.

I might add here, that the last time I had spoken to her, she again mentioned the no-no subjects and I told her I felt I was not a
”Speaker” and certainly not a Lecturer.  I’m a story teller.  She said that was fine.

Now, I took that microphone and even though she had just reminded the group and me about the three no-no’s, the first thing I talked about was age. 

I said, “I know Kitty said not to talk about age, but I was going to say something about age anyway, and it is that I am 72, have never spoken to a group before, and certainly not one this big, sooo I’m asking you guys to pleeeeaaassseee cut me some SLACK!”  They chuckled and I was off and running.

I told them the story of how we made all that money on the 16-day re-positioning cruise to Europe.

Not being tied to the lectern by a wired microphone, I was free to walk around the room to each table and talk to people right to their faces, flinging my arms around and having a ball.

The whole talk was off the cuff.  Whatever was in my head was out my mouth.

When I got to the part where I needed the man, I went over to our sales table and palmed a pair of earrings.  Then I started telling them about the officer in charge of the Lido deck who ignored our goings on.  As I walked over to the man at my table, I went on to say that the officer was a tall, handsome black man, in a white uniform, and he was to die for.  I told them that one day I was alone at the table and I caught his eye across the room and beckoned him to come over by wiggling my first finger.  He came.  I asked if he had a wife or girlfriend.  “Girlfriend,” he said.  And like it wasn’t obvious and I didn’t already know, I asked, “Is she plain or fancy?”  “Fancy,” he said.  “Fancy like this?” I said, pointing to a pair of earrings, or fancy like this, pointing to another.  “Oh, fancy like this,” he pointed to a pair.

So now I was standing in front of the man at my table and showing the audience the earrings I was holding.  I took his hand in mine, holding it tight.  He said, “Oh, you’re hurting me. To which I replied to him and everyone, “Don’t be a wimp!  You’re playing the part of a big, strong, handsome black officer!  Get with it!”  I loosened my hand a little and went on with my story.

Still holding wimpy’s hand, I told them, “I said to him, ‘You tell that fancy girlfriend of yours that if I were 20 years younger, I’d give her a run for her money!!’  Then I held my right hand up, pointing my finger at them and counted:   2 – 3 – 4 and I started to laugh and said, “That’s when he realized what I said.”  He looked me in the eyes and said, “I’ll tell her that.”  And I replied, “YOU JUST DO THAT”.  After that, it was all over but the shouting.

I finished talking when Kitty began waving her hand.  I did, of course, take another minute to say, “I’ve had a pretty impressive resume in the past, but I’ve torn it up and now my resume reads:  Normandie Vigiani, writer (I write a funny blog), photographer with a photo blog, jewelry designer, jewelry maker, teacher (all right, so that’s a bit of a stretch), artist, and now thanks to you guys and Kitty, (throwing my hallelujah hands high in the sky), SPEAKER!….Thank you all very much.  

Clapping, clapping.

Then after some stuff, the motivational speaker got up.  Now, I really and truly am not trying to pat myself on the back, but I wouldn’t have wanted to follow me.  She stood behind lectern, microphone lodged in its holder, and talked and talked and talked, not that what she was saying couldn’t have been interesting, but I was bored to tears.  For one thing, although I had been told over and over no religion, no politics, no age, she mentioned God in every sentence.  She didn’t do anything of her own volition.  If God didn’t direct her she just stood on a corner waiting for further instructions.

Now, I couldn’t care less whether you are religious, or not religious, not my business and I do not care one way or the other.  Whatever gets you through the day, is perfectly okay with me.  However, when I sit there listening to someone who doesn’t seem to have any control over her life, but leaves it allllllll to God — absolutely not my bag.  I have a lot more to say about this but I’m not!

I must say in my own defense when I heard she was a “motivational speaker, I expected a dynamic talk.  Grab that audience and run with them.  I thought a motivational speaker would be expressive, movement of hands and arms, inflection on some important words and maybe a few hallelujah movements.  And I’m not saying hallelujah movements in a religious way, but just as bringing excitement to what was said.  But no …

As far as I was concerned there was no grabbing or running. There was barely crawling.  Not that what she said couldn’t have been exciting, but I thought her presentation sucked.
 So now everything is over and we’re getting ready to leave and several women came over to thank me and told me I was so funny and they really enjoyed my story.  I even had more than a few come to say not only did they enjoy me, but they could have done without the motivational speaker, and I should have continued to speak.  The last and the best were the three ladies in the foyer who said they really liked my talk and did I know (can’t remember her name), she’s a comedian and also on Utube.  They went on to say that she was their favorite and they have seen her in person, BUT SHE HAD NOTHING ON ME!  I asked if they had had martinis with their lunch, and they laughed.

ALL IN ALL A WONDERFUL DAY..

I might add in ending here that I do not believe I will be invited back.  For one thing when I finished talking and she came up to thank me she said, “Thank you, Normandie.  You were expected to speak on how to make jewelry and you spoke of something else.”

She also sent me a nice bread and butter thank you through the snail mail and it too was bland as white bread and just said, and I quote:

“Thank you, Normandie and Nancy for coming to our luncheon and being our feature.”

Sounds to me like I made a lifelong friend.  I won’t hold my breath or sit by the phone waiting for another call.  I might leave a few dates open, just in case….

I mentioned keeping the ‘dumb as a stick’ possibility and I think that was the correct reason!

FINALLY THIS IS OVER, and you can all go back to your lives!

 

WHATEVER WORKS….Normandie

 


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whateverworks…this time about…get yourself a seat at a little bistro table, a double espresso (with 3 coffee beans) and read….!!

Whatever works…this time about…get yourself a seat at a little bistro table, a double espresso (with 3 coffee beans) and read….

So, find yourself a little bistro table in the shade of a large tree, have a seat, order or make a double expresso with 3 coffee beans and read….

I plan this to be several vignettes from our cruise to Europe.  Lots of people go to Europe and have a perfectly wonderful time.  To Nan and I most of those stories are boring and ordinary but the people who are telling them are excited about their stays, as they should be.

On the other hand, we never travel and have ordinary experiences.  Whether they just HAPPEN to us, or it’s something we do, I don’t know, but nothing is ever ‘normal’ or boring on our trips.

And so was our trip to Italy.  We, as most of you know took a re-po cruise from Tampa to Barcelona. The cruise was 16 days and we loved every minute of it.

It certainly didn’t hurt that we made, taught and sold about $500 worth of jewelry we made on that trip.  It began the day we disembarked from the port in Tampa; I went up to the Lido deck to make some jewelry we intended to sell at the Cocoa Craft Fair when we got back.

I was sitting quietly at a booth, had my headphones on and was bopping to jimmy Buffett music.  I had beads, wire, closures etc. in front of me and I was making some jewelry.  Several people came by and asked “what are you doing?”

Now, one of my pet peeves is that clearly you are doing something that is obvious and still people ask “what are you doing?”  My immediate reaction is to say “I’m slicing bologna for a sandwich”.  However, I like to try to remain polite – so I do say – “oh, I’m making jewelry…”

However, there was one lady who stopped at my table and sat down.  She had a cast on her arm from her thumb to her elbow.  Showing it to me she asked “do you make and sell your jewelry?”  “Yes” I replied.  “Could you make a bracelet for my cast arm?   I hate that it’s so plain.”  Without a second thought, I said “sure”.   She went on to pick out some stones, I measured, she agreed on the price, she paid and was to come back in an hour.  Which she did.  Turned out she loved the bracelet and was happy with it.   I was even happier with the cash!

I threw an open napkin on the stuff I had on the table, grabbed the money in my hot, little hand and flew down to our cabin.  Throwing open the door, I shook my moneyed hand in Nan’s face and yelled “I just sold a bracelet!!!” 

Then the reality hit me that I had left all my jewelry making beads and equipment about 7 decks above where I was…and made a hasty retreat back there.

This was the start of a beautiful relationship between the women (and some men) passengers on the ship, the crew and Nan and myself….

For the next 15 days, we made and sold, taught and sold and sold and sold to the tune of about $500. 

One day after a craft class had been offered on the ship we had several ladies approach us.  They were annoyed..  “We spent our time this morning at a craft class here on the ship.  We made a lousy popsicle stick bird house, and all the time you were here teaching and makings lovely jewelry.  Why don’t you offer a ‘real’ class here on the ship?”

Let me mention right here, that we use to cruise a lot and on every cruise I get to know everyone from the Captain to the person who swabs the decks.  This cruise was no different.  So with the idea in mind about giving a ship sponsored class became more and more appealing.  I called my young friend, Ericka, in customer service and asked if that would be possible.  What did she think?  She said to me “Normandie, everyone on this ship, everyone,  all the officers, crew and passengers know that you are making and selling jewelry.  Right now, all the Officers are turning a blind eye.  And let me ask, do you have enough material with you to give a class on a ship that has 3,000 passengers?”. “No” I said.  “Well,” she went on, “if you ask to give a class and they turn you down.  Then the very next time one of the Officers see you with anyone around you they have to shut you down!”  “Right now they’re just ignoring the situation.  I think you should just go on the way you are…”  I agreed with her.  And that’s what we did.

Then there was the ‘SECURITY’ incident.  Normally, I’m outspoken and rather fearless.  But as days went on and more and more women began to ask for us on the Lido deck, and the fact that we were becoming so well known, began to eat at me.  It didn’t bother Nancy, but it did me.

I got it into my head, that they were not only going to stop us, but they would put us on a dingy attached by a rope to the ship and there we would spend the rest of our trip.  They would naturally throw food to us from the deck occasionally.

This seemed reasonable to me at the time.

One night we were on the lido deck in the lounge area, sitting on a couch waiting for a young, Chinese girl, who had ordered some pieces to come and pick them up and pay for them.

It was about nine thirty and there weren’t many people around and we were just having a nice chat with each other.  Looking across the room, I saw a white uniform walking towards us.  As it got closer, I realized it was a Security Officer.

For some unknown reason, I got it into my head that he was coming over to us, to discuss our selling and to stop us. 

He did approach us.  He told us who he was, said he was security and began to talk. I froze…..I just sat there, without saying one word, while Nancy carried on a conversation.  I couldn’t understand why she was continuing to converse with him.  Why not just let him say what he wanted and move on, but no she just kept talking. 

I, on the other hand, sat quiet as a mouse, in mortal fear of seeing that Chinese girl come across the room to approach us.

I really didn’t hear anything he said, I just waited for ‘the other shoe to drop’.

He must have been talking with Nan for at least 20 minutes!!

Finally, and at last, his beeper went off.  He said he had to go somewhere and also added that if this didn’t take to long, he would be back.

Back! Back! is he kidding we were going to be loooong gone before he came back.

Nan, turned and asked why I hadn’t said anything.  I said “are you kidding.”  She went on to say I was nuts and probably more, but the Chinese girl was now standing in front of us wanting her things.

She liked her items, gave us money, I got up and said, “Come on we’re out of here!”  Nan just shook her head and followed.

I mentioned that we were known all over the ship. We were.  We were on the Riviera deck and one day I accidently got off on the wrong deck.  Realizing that this was not where I wanted to be, I made a turn around and pushed the elevator down button again.  Standing there for a minute or so.  Two ladies were coming down the hall, they were talking, when one of them, pointed to me and said “that’s one of the bead ladies!”  The elevator door opened I got on and smashed a button.  We were known on other levels than the Lido….

We had the sweetest, cutest room Stewart, she was a doll.  10 or so days on the sea and one day she knocked at our door and when I opened it….her jaw dropped and her eyes widened and she said “you’re the bead ladies!”  “Yes,” I said.  She had been in and out of the cabin with us in there, many, many times, but this time it hit her.

It now hit me, that in actuality we were known from the crew’s quarters to the crow’s nest.  This was a big ship, yet there was no place to hide.

This was my very favorite incident.  The Officer in charge of the Lido deck was a tall, handsome Black man, in a white uniform; he was to die for…..

When he would be checking the deck and would approach where we were, he would turn his head to the windows and look out at the sea while walking past.  I assumed he was checking to see that the ocean was still there and that the ship was still afloat on it.   When he passed where we were he would turn his head again and continue to look around the deck. 

One day, I was sitting alone at a booth with jewelry around me and I caught his eye.  I wiggled my forefinger at him, beckoning him to come over, which he did.

After exchanging pleasantries I asked “do you have a wife or a girlfriend?”  He said he had a girlfriend.  I went on to ask, (as if it weren’t apparent) was she plain or fancy.   “Oh, fancy”, he answered.  I moved some plain earrings out of the way and pointed to some others and asked. “Is she fancy like this…..or like this?”   He pointed to a crystal pair.  I picked them up in my hand and held my hand out to him.  He extended his hand, but instead of just handing him the earrings, I took my hand and held his tight.  I looked up at him and said “tell that fancy girlfriend of yours, that if I were 20 years younger, she’d have a run for her money!!”  He continued to hold my hand and said…”I’ll tell her!” I said “you just do that…”  we parted hands, he said thank you and off he went….

We had many other unusual and interesting things happen on this trip but I think the most unusual one was when we were in port in Marseilles, France.

Nan and I were sitting at a little bistro table on the street in front of a restaurant on a river or lake or something having an expresso.  It was a lovely day and we had seen quite a lot of the town and were now resting before returning to the ship. 

Three women were walking down the street and upon seeing us at this little table, they came over and one said to the others “these are the bead ladies”.   THERE WAS REALLY…. NO PLACE TO HIDE…

I had spent 16 of the most interesting and best days of my life on that ship.  When it disembarked Barcelona for its summer run down the Mediterranean we were still on it…. for another 13 days. 

The experiences we had on that Mediterranean cruise were totally different than the crossing over.  But it was never the less as weird and strange as the re-po, yet totally different.

And after that Mediterranean cruise our month in Treviso…not to be believed…..

And let us not forget the Delta flight from hell home….

More on this next month…..and the month after and maybe the month after that….

Whatever works….whatever works…..