SEASONAL SOLILOQUY

This is the real Christmas letter that I send to our friends and family – enjoy!

SEASONAL SOLILOQUY

The title is deceptive – it was just to lure you in.  The truth is that not much has changed from last year.  Here are the best bits

  • Andy turned 60 years old in April. He is just as grumpy and annoying as I thought he would be.
  • I am horribly hormonal and bark orders at my poor senior spouse. Zits and wrinkles. Piss and vinegar.
  • We went to Mobile, Alabama, to celebrate the above senior’s birthday and it was wonderful despite back seat driving.
  • We are both working – enough said.
  • Andy traveled to California, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Kerry went to Mexico, Nevada and Arizona.  I ticked the Grand Canyon off my list and it was the trip from hell.
  • WE GOT A NEW REFRIGERATOR IN BLACK STAINLESS STEEL. So much anticipation and excitement only to find it just keeps food cold.
  • There were no hurricanes in Houston. There was a tropical storm on one of my VERY LONG work trips across the south of Texas.
  • MILLENNIALS! That references the previous point.  There are no Starbucks in rural Texas; deal with it.
  • Andy is about to exhibit some of his wonderful photographs on stretched canvas.
  • Kerry still writes nonsense on her blog and this year the fairy stories were popular but her fashion blogs even more so. Que?
  • We both had new DNA tests to clear up some anomalies. Andy has found some biological relatives in – wait for it – PETERHEAD!!  I am still Mexican and Irish.  I like Tequila and potatoes.
  • Kerry reduced Andy’s blood sugar levels – YAY! Some of this involved barking orders about food choices but now he is no longer pre-diabetic.
  • We watched a lot of Netflix.

Here we are in Brenham just after Thanksgiving this November.  One of the benefits of living in Texas is that it is warm in the winter time.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

From Kerry and Andy xxx

Toffee says Howdy!

READ THE NEXT PAGE FOR THE LESS HORMONAL VERSION…

page 2

Kerry’s hormones have balanced somewhat and I have stopped barking orders at Andy… ❤  We had a lovely evening showcasing Andy’s photos that we would like to exhibit in 2019.  Andy has been successful at selling some photos through Getty Images over the last few years, so this is a fun new adventure.

Andy is standing next to his piece de resistance, a 12 image composite of Arches, a natural rock formation, in Utah.  It is taken without a tripod – the composites are both horizontal and vertical.  Doesn’t he look slim and handsome for a 60 year old senior; all that hormonal barking has paid off? 🐕

One of the images is Kerry’s; the crow in silhouette at the Western Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona.  This was on the aforementioned trip from hell to Grand Canyon.  At least I got a good photograph out of it and potentially funny blogs in the future.  I have taken a break from the blog but hope to get back to it soon.

WISHING ALL MY FRIENDS AND READERS HOPE, HEALTH AND HAPPINESS IN 2019

This is just for Leah – our forests look exactly the same.  This was taken at Lake Bedias in Texas just after Thanksgiving.  The sign at the start of the forest tells us to watch out for snakes, alligators, bobcats, coyotes (but no lions, tigers or bears…oh my!)

 

My True Valentine

I am sorry for the blurry quality of the photograph but I was laughing so much…  Despite my amorous adventure in Mexico, Courtship by an Angel…, there is only one true soul-mate for me.  Teddy!!!!  We both forgot about Valentine’s Day this year and he is currently on vacation in California.  Yes, it really is a new brush for Teddy wrapped in pink chiffon.  Many years ago Teddy made a terrible mistake and bought me a peg-bag (for hanging up washing) and a kitchen clock for Christmas.  I have always wanted to get my revenge and this week I did.  We really did need a new brush and Teddy mostly uses it to carefully clean up our utility room every morning at 5 am.  He scoops out the litter boxes, feeds Toffee and gives her medicine.  Now that is a true Valentine.

When he saw it propped in the garage, he burst out laughing, as did I, and I think that is our recipe for success.  He is romantic and silly and still looks damn good naked.  I was very shallow when I met him and fell for his six-pack and blonde hair.  After 35 years together we have had the most romantic vacations such as falling into a bed of roses in Istanbul, getting very frisky in a mirrored room in the Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs but we have also helped give enemas and removed zits from awkward places.  Teddy most amuses me when he wanders around the bedroom with just a t-shirt on with his appendages sticking out the bottom.  His bottom looks amazing for his age and I like to squeeze it.

As I told Angel, my husband is really very romantic, much more so than me.  We love snuggling and spooning.  Some sexual intimacy has faded but our erotic intimacy has not.  Life changes with each decade.  We play a little game each night called hand sex where we pretend our hands are having sex.  Recently he initiated this in a restaurant and I was mortified.  No one could possibly know what we were doing but it has become our secret pleasure.

We go out for brunch every Saturday and he holds hands across the table, looking into my eyes, sometimes whispering that I am beautiful or my eyes are so blue.  We still occasionally dance in the kitchen or he has a quick feel of my boobs or bottom which results in a playful slap.  Mostly I say, “Don’t touch what you can’t afford” and go running through the house to escape his clutches.   What touches me the most is when I remind him of my mother; I had a complicated history with an alcoholic mentally ill parent.  Teddy could see through all of that to the vulnerable, naïve, beautiful soul that was hers.

BUNNY LOVES TEDDY to Pluto and back!

 

Courtship by an Angel…


I saved my most surprising tale from Merida for just before Valentine’s Day. As you know, I had a marvelous driver, Angel, who I paid to drive me all over the Yucatan. We are both naturally chatty and speaking different languages didn’t stop us. I had a Spanish/English book and he had Google Translate when we were in cell phone range. When we first met, he asked me if I wanted to travel in the front or the back. It would have been weird to have been in the back, as though he was limousine driver, so I jumped in the front.

We learned a lot about each other over two days. He showed me photos of his pretty wife and children. They had been married for 14 years and he was astonished that I had been married for 35 years (so am I…) I think he thought I was in my mid 40’s and I would have guessed he was in his late 30’s. On the first day, we chatted about my Mexican Spanish heritage and I told him about my mum and dad. He asked me if I was famous which perplexed and amused me. I think it was because I told him I was a writer and my mum was a model. As many of you now know, being a published writer doesn’t necessarily make you ‘famoso’ or wealthy.

By the second day, we had got into a good groove with our Spanglish banter. I was feeling good and I put on some mascara and lipstick. Maybe he thought it was for him? Both days I just dressed in t-shirts and leggings because the rural Yucatan areas are quite conservative. My expeditions were into potentially dusty and dirty areas, so no point in being glamorous. He was very intuitive about what I would enjoy and had asked all the right questions. Yes, I wanted to see unusual pyramids (no turistas, por favor) but I got most excited about handling an iguana and seeing fruit bats. Curiously, when I showed him my photograph of the Carpenter Woodpecker he knew immediately what it was. Perhaps he had worked in another field before driving.

I make a good traveling companion, if my health is good, and I could see that he enjoyed all the laughter. He told me that I was a really nice, funny person. There are police checkpoints all over the Yucatan and I said, “Lento, Policia!” which means ‘slowly, police!’ Angel wasn’t speeding (he was an excellent driver) but he thoroughly enjoyed my mime of what I do when I see the Texas police, braking really fast. They seem less afraid of Mexican police than we are of Texan ones…

About an hour before we returned to Merida on the second day, he told me that I was very pretty. I laughed and said, ‘Pero vieja (but old)’ “No, no” he insisted “Muy bonita”. Finally, I just accepted the compliment. Then he asked me if I liked to dance and my face lit up. Salsa is my favorite, I shared, and it is very popular in Houston. “Do you have lots of boyfriends?” “No!” I squealed, “I am married.” “Did I have lots of boyfriends before I married?” I explained that I married at age 21 but yes, I did have lots of boyfriends. Of course I did!

So, after beautifully predating courting me for 2 days he came up with the final stunning question, “¿Haces trampa?” which means do I cheat (on my husband). Another squeal of NO from me followed by delighted giggles. I have had plenty of propositions even in recent years but I was beginning to think I was getting to my ‘best before’ date. Then I explained that even though my husband was REALLY old, he was very romantic, telling me he loves me most days and that I love him.

We reached the hotel, having previously organized that he would pick me up for my early flight the third day. He ran around to open my door (please take note, Teddy) and we shook hands while Angel looked at me with big brown eyes. Just at that moment a few Europeans appeared across the road. One of the men shouted in broken English, “You should take her!” Angel didn’t understand what he was saying but I thought, “He very nearly did.”

I was a little anxious about the atmosphere on the ride to the airport the following morning, after my rejection of my suitor. He usually turned up early and I was pacing at the hotel door. Then the red car turned up and I ran out with my suitcase. A woman got out of the car – he had sent his wife!! She was really very pretty and charming. One of his little daughters was in her school uniform, for an unusual school run via the airport with a strange blond lady who spoke bad Spanish. It is not the first time that a much younger man has approached me, even when they know my age. I am complimented and fascinated. Perhaps some of the ageism has disappeared from society. Maybe a good figure and a fun personality negate the age barrier? Keep it coming, guys, because it makes me feel fantastic!

PS. Before anyone mentions hashtags, bear in mind that no boundaries were crossed. I was perfectly comfortable and he just asked me questions. As to whether he was a cheater; I am not sure. It was curious that he showed me his wife and children immediately. Perhaps I just enchanted him and he saw a once in a lifetime opportunity with a quirky white cougar who might be really good in bed….

Toffee won’t get out of bed…

The Preamble –

When Teddy is out of town, Toffee sleeps with Mum. We both slept in late but it was about 11 am and Toffee wouldn’t get out of bed. I wanted to change the bed for Teddy’s arrival. So why didn’t I just push her off?

Toffee is the last surviving cat that we brought from Egypt to the USA. When she was a feral kitten, she went missing for a night and I was looking for her frantically. Our gardener had found her and put her in his shed. Whatever happened was traumatic, perhaps a near miss with a car or a fall of the balcony, and she had injured her leg. We could not take her to the vet until she was more tame and by that time the injury had healed.

Every so often she would limp and so she now has Gabapentin to help with that. At almost 15 years old, we still can’t lift her and I don’t like shooing her (off the bed) in case she hurts her leg. She still runs around chasing a laser pointer so the meds are working. Now, enjoy!

On a final funny note, I sent this to friends and family. One of my aunts replied, “What are you McHugh girls like with your pusses!” She was referring to my Irish mother’s side of the family and my two cousins, her daughter and two nieces. We are all crazy about cats and have no children. I am the oldest crazy cat lady but I suspect there will be more…

Happy Birthday Teddy!

He had a six pack…

My lovely husband is 59 39 today…  The handsome blondish guy above is a photo of him in Norway when he was really younger than 39.  What a looker!  He deserves to be spoiled on his birthday for so many reasons but #1 is that he loved his nutty mother in law.  We came as a package, as I was her long distance caretaker.  Her mental illness made her behave very strangely at times.  She would beg us to visit but then be overwhelmed by day 2 or 3.  To illustrate this she would take all the sofa cushions off, leaving us to sit on the hard base.  It drove my aunt and me to distraction but Teddy just put them back on the sofa and pretended nothing had happened.  When she was well, she was absolutely hilarious, full of fun and laughing at both ends.  I have inherited that charming and yet unique trait, along with her looks, her mental illness and a good sense of humor (just as well, really…)

I love Teddy for the following reasons –

  • He loves me (Bunny) despite the mental illness, dodgy hoo-ha and lack of estrogen
  • He makes me laugh; really laugh. We were a great double act at the bank last weekend.  Teddy has a stronger Scottish accent than me and the teller was having some difficulty with the glass and his lack of enunciation so I kept translating.  I told the bank teller that I was a translator for the mentally disabled.  She fell about laughing.
  • He goes to work to provide for me (mostly healthcare but I like to eat sometimes) and he always has. At least I am a skinflint…
  • He smells amazing. Teddy has a penchant for expensive scent and our current favorite is Luna Rossa.  His natural body smell is lovely too and the late Mrs. Stripe used to suck his used underwear (like a Tom Jones fan).  I don’t go quite that far but I do like a whiff of male sweat.
  • There is always some lady with a crush on him but he seems to prefer blonde with a touch of crazy.
  • He loves cats (perhaps that should have been #1). Our feral cat, Katniss, has decided that she will wait for ‘Dad’ to come home to feed her.  Ungrateful little slut!
  • He cries when he watches soppy movies like Despicable Me and insists that we buy the first soft toy that we handled in case it feels neglected (WTF?). He bought my mum teddies from all over the world including the cutest little Harrods teddy with an Aran sweater.  I still have the damn things in the attic because she made me swear never to get rid of them.  In case you are reading this, Mum, they are all happy together with enough room to breathe…
  • When he is drunk, he writes me beautiful little love notes that I keep in my lingerie drawer. The term ‘lingerie’ is pushing it.
  • He loves me despite my unsexy, holey knickers…
  • He thinks I have a great figure but his eyesight isn’t so good.

A tip for older single ladies – date the silver foxes.  They will see you through an elderly, rose tinted mist.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TEDDY!

Teddy and Bunny in Fredericksburg a few years ago

A spoonful of sugar…

teddy-doctor
….makes the medicine go down. I had great intentions of blogging more frequently but suddenly my health deteriorated last week and I had to go to ER. I have had a variety of nagging symptoms with no real diagnosis until a blood test showed my thyroid was a little under-active. I started taking some medication for this but suddenly, on Wednesday, was very dizzy, nauseous and my heart was beating out of my chest like a cartoon.

I checked to see if these were serious side effects and it said ‘go to ER, immediately’. Since it was evening, I had no other option. All I could think about was, ‘how much is this going to cost?’ I was also short of breath, so the staff at reception asked me if I had a family history of heart disease. I, rather unwillingly, shared that both my parents had heart attacks in their 50s. They were both smokers and alcoholics… The next thing I hear is “56 year old woman, EKG”. Most of us think we are 21 in our heads but hearing that is somehow shocking, especially since history seemed to be repeating itself.

To cut the melodrama short, my heart and lungs are fine. The ER doctor thought that I might have gone from hypo to hyper thyroid with the new medication but had to send off the blood samples for further investigation. They put me on a saline IV drip and gave me some Potassium to drink, as my levels were low. The nurse warned me that it tasted awful and mixed it with Gatorade. Gah! It tasted even worse than the stuff you have before a colonoscopy. With every sentence I sound like an old person. 😱

Other recent blood tests taken my GP showed that my B12 levels were low also. It is still a mystery as to the exact why but the word parasite has been brought up again. I was really trying to avoid my gastroenterologist but having had a parasite in the past, I will really need to do the dirty (to coin a phrase). Teddy took me to ER and sat with me through each boring hour. The doctor had pressed my tummy and I had gas. Teddy said, “Just let it out” and at that exact moment a trolley squeaked next door. He said, “How did you do that?” I was short of breath and struggle not to faint from laughing.

Later he discovered that if he said “Boo!” to me, my heart monitor would skip…oh, he is such a laugh. It did strike me that I was so glad that I have a husband to be with me. How hard it must be to be sick and alone. I have no family for many thousands of miles, with no parents or siblings. My friends have been very concerned and that touches my soul. I am very grateful to have health care through my husband’s job and will await the bill with trepidation. How lucky you are in other countries where you can go to ER without worrying.

Most of the worst symptoms are gone and I am resting at home, dreaming of walking on a beach in the sunshine. Back to blogging soon.

A perfect white palette

White Ginger Blossom

White Ginger Blossom

This is the last in my series of Mercer Arboretum. Although all the flowers are white, they are not really the same. Some have a greenish tinge, others pink. When I shopped for my wedding dress over 30 years ago, I realized that there were many shades of white that somebody with a yellow undertone can’t wear. In the end I wore ivory and it was so much more flattering.

Three white trumpets

Three white trumpets

White Hibiscus

White Hibiscus

This exquisite hibiscus is the epitome of beauty in color (or the absence of it). It’s delicate pink stamen peeps out provocatively. The little yellow centred white flowers below, look like they are laughing.

yellow centers

sunny centered white flowers

Wouldn’t this border would be lovely for a bride and groom to stand next to?

Virginal White Border

Virginal White Border

Are there any brides out there who are virgins when they marry? It was quite common in my Irish Catholic community, 30 years ago but my ivory dress was apropos…not quite pure! Isn’t it odd that the majority of us, these days, think there is no great advantage in being a virgin before marriage and those that extol it seem a bit weird. Each to their own, but I think I would at least like a look and a free trial. 💓 LOL!

White Lilies

White Lilies

On a similar note, people of my age usually hate the smell of cut lilies because we had our dead relatives lying in state (the bedroom) with lilies to overcome the faint scent of decomposition. Fortunately, we lived in Scotland and most old people die in the winter so they are more likely to freeze than decompose… 👻 I have a healthy disrespect for the basics of life – we live, we die and hopefully, in between, have some sex.

The Silver Tongued Irishman and the Jehovah’s Witnesses

Irish vistaI really need to finish my Tampa blogs but I thought I would amuse you with this tale. The Irishman in question, let’s call him Patrick, worked for my husband about 15 or more years ago. We met for the first time at a company function. Teddy was sitting at one side of me and introduced me to Patrick, who was quite the flirt. We exchanged funny stories about Ireland and I think he was quite enchanted by an Irish/Hispanic lady. I choked on my vodka and coke when he said, seductively and in Teddy’s earshot, “I shouldn’t sit so close to you because I am so fertile”. I fell off my seat laughing at his daring and because he didn’t know that I couldn’t have children because of infertility. Teddy looked a little shocked but started laughing too.

My favorite Patrick story (apart from the one above) is about the town he came from in County Galway. To set the scene, it had become a tourist and artist haven because it’s natural beauty. Many artists, from all around Europe and America, had moved there. Despite the fact that Ireland is a Catholic country, various missionaries had been trying to wedge a niche in the congregation. I doubt that many of them were successful as even the Catholic Church is treated with both reverence and skepticism in Ireland. But still they tried…

On this occasion, Jehovah’s Witnesses had gone to one little cottage in the town. An older woman opened the door to two smart young men. Their opening gambit was, “Do you know Jesus?” To their astonishment, the lady said (remember this is an Irish accent), “Surely, yes. If you just go to the top of the hill his cottage is on the right”. Unbeknown to the shocked missionaries, a Spanish artist had moved into the town and was called, wait for it, JESUS! The local population had no idea that it is pronounced ‘Hayzuus’ in Espanol. Ah, I love that story. 😇

As most of you know, Teddy is a rather accomplished geologist. This means that he has to believe in evolution … even here in Texas. We have fossils and minerals all over the bloody house and if you let him, he will tell which eon they come from, blah, blah, blah. We lived for years in a very remote agricultural area in the North East of Scotland. Almost everyone was some type of Protestant, some of them weird sects. They even have dry fishing boats from the major ports to accommodate some of the restrictive religions. One cold night, the door bell rung and there were two Jehovah’s Witnesses. We were astonished to see them so far out – they may as well have been in darkest Africa. Teddy invited them in and started teaching them about evolution which directly opposed the teachings of their church. By the time he had the fossils out, you could see that the younger man was becoming convinced of Darwinism. The older one took control and they left rather hastily. As soon as they did we howled with laughter and still wait patiently in Texas for some poor soul to come by the house of Satan. 😈 ☘

Nikita and the flamingo

NIKITA

NIKITA

This is the adorable ‘poodle’ Nikita that friends of ours had brought from Azerbaijan to Egypt (via Kuwait). She was not 100% poodle but near enough that it made no difference. Our friends arrived in Egypt shortly after the second Gulf War broke out and had been evacuated from Kuwait. They needed to travel shortly after arriving and asked if we would look after Nikita in our villa.

I was delighted, Teddy not so much. At this stage we just had Mrs. Stripe, who was still very feral and living in the garden, so not our pet as such. Before we arrived in Egypt I had lost my mum and the two remaining elderly Scottish cats. I didn’t really lose them – they died… We had decided “NO MORE PETS!” Despite that, I really missed having little fur babies to cuddle.

So as indulgent aunt and uncle to Nikita, we spoiled her rotten. She came with her toys and food but we could tell that she, too, was traumatized by the recent move. Firstly, I insisted that she sleep in the bed with us, under the covers, because she might be frightened with new people in a new house. She was SO excited, Teddy not so much…

I noticed that she didn’t really play that much with her toys which included a pink stuffed flamingo. We decided that she might like a silly game. Our villa had an open staircase in the living area with a balcony. Teddy would steal flamingo and run up the stairs and dangle flamingo through the bars. Then he squealed in a high ‘flamingo’ voice, “Nikita, help me, help me!” I was at the bottom urging her to save flamingo from bad Teddy. She LOVED that game and would collapse in doggy giggles while rescuing flamingo. I would then praise her for her rescue skills.

Every day, when Uncle Teddy came home she would run to him with the flamingo in her mouth and the game would start all over. We had one small incident with jealous Mrs. Stripe who tried to scratch Nikita on the face – my leg got it instead. Finally mom and dad came back and I think Nikita was sad to leave us. The next week at work, Nikita’s Daddy said to Teddy, “You have ruined my dog. Why does she keep bringing me the flamingo and looking sad?” He probably wondered why Nikita wanted to sleep under the covers, too.

Ah, happy days and such a lovely memory especially since Nikita and her Daddy have both gone to heaven. Do you think they are playing the flamingo game in Heaven? Click on this link to read about my book, Letters from Cairo

Teddy and Nikita at the crime scene

Teddy and Nikita at the crime scene

Topless Teaser…

A topless slutty Mrs. Stripe - you can even see her nipples!

A topless slutty Mrs. Stripe – you can even see her nipples!

This post is a little lead in or teaser into my theme next week – sexuality. Can you tell that I can’t get frisky until after my cataract operation? Teddy has been chasing me all around the house but he missed his opportunity…

Many years ago we both worked for a small oil service company in the north of Scotland. Sometimes small companies are so much fun to work for and give you endless humorous stories. When we moved to this city, I had to change jobs/careers again and finally got the opportunity to work as a fossil picker. Basically, you look at core samples (from oil wells) under a microscope and pull out micro-fossils for the real genius’s to look at. It’s a perfect job for someone with OCD to do. I was being trained at the same time as a very eager young man. He was bragging about how much he had impressed them at interview and just at that moment my husband walk past the window and waved. In response I said, “I slept with that guy to get the job”. The rest of the laboratory collapsed laughing and the young man was shocked. Well, it was the truth. Nepotism!

That’s not my funny story, though. After we had both moved on to other jobs we kept in touch with the base manager who passed on this tale. They had employed a very pretty young girl, about 18, with ample assets, shall we say? She looked good but wasn’t the sharpest pencil in the box so was employed as a cleaner. The majority of staff in the various units was male and their jaws dropped open when they saw their new cleaner. She was already notorious in this provincial city because her mother had signed a waiver when she was 16 to allow her to model topless in one of our seedier newspapers. You think the ones in the US are bad but the Super, Soaraway, Sun was the worst daily tabloid. Men would just drool over someone’s breasts on the bus or train while giving you the eye.

So, to supplement her job as a cleaner she did evening jobs on the side. On one unforgettable occasion she had put up a handwritten poster on the company noticeboard to advertise her services. There were plenty of potential lads who were organizing grooms nights or stag nights as we call them in the UK.

EXOTIC DANCING – £10 a night
TOPPLES – £20 extra

I told you that she wasn’t the sharpest pencil in the box but I bet she got plenty of work!