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.

Good news, at last.

Teddy and Bunny Old Tampa Bay

Teddy and Bunny
Old Tampa Bay

This is Teddy and I celebrating his new job which he started this week. It has been a long six months, with illness, bereavement and stress. Thank you to all my followers for your support, especially during some dark days. As many of you know, Teddy set up Gattageo LLC during his unemployment whilst applying for endless jobs. I always knew that he would have to look for a staff job, for health care amongst other reasons but supported him as much as I was able. In the end, it was a former employer, who knew Teddy’s worth, who approached him to join a small geological consultancy as a senior sedimentologist. There is a conflict of interest with Gattageo LLC so it has been temporarily put aside but none of the work will be wasted as he will use it in his new role or in the future.

When we received the contract, I immediately booked a little trip to Tampa in the few days he had left before starting (more of that later). It was a lovely feeling to both escape the biblically wet weather in Houston and just breathe a sigh of relief. The night before he started his new job, I laid out his outfit and he packed his pencils. He was anxious but excited and I felt like a mom whose child was starting kindergarten! We are onto day 3 and so far, so good. He is straight into work and loving that. My meet and greet job is on a hiatus during the hot summer, although I was head-hunted by a cruise line. I think I just need some time to heal and relax.

The first day on my own was delicious but strange. I slept until noon and then returned some shoes. I went crazy and spent that $20 on two tops in Old Navy (modeling blog later). The house is already cleaner that it has been in months and our water bill will increase again… I am still in thrift mode, however, and I doubt it will ever go especially as we are approaching retirement. It has been excellent practice for the strangeness of retirement when you are both stuck together in the house. Now we know that Teddy needs to volunteer or work part-time and Bunny needs the house to herself for days at a time.

I have learned that my chronic mental illness has the capacity to get dramatically worse in times of stress and I need to seek help ASAP (which I did). The medications are already reduced and I feel as normal as I ever do – i.e. a permanent state of slight anxiety with low levels of depression. This is well managed with sleep, medication and plenty of time alone. It struck me that although everyone assumes I am a social butterfly, I really spend two thirds of my time alone or sleeping. If I have a busy day volunteering (4 hours), I might have to go to bed the following day to unwind.

We learned a lot about our marriage and love. The hard work of 34 years of marriage was not wasted. We tried so hard to boost each other up and say we loved each other. It taught us some new skills that we will need for the future. I thought we were already frugal but we could be self-indulgent at times, especially with meals out and luxury items. It is so important to have access to health-care and we did but it was very expensive. If you don’t have good health then life has little pleasure. We will continue to be kind to people on the way up as we have truly appreciated the support that we have received, from strangers to good friends and neighbors. Thank you!

The final crush?

What's sexier than a man who loves cats?

What’s sexier than a man who loves cats?

Following the theme of the last two posts, I had a huge spark and crush on my husband when I met him. I was 21 and he took me by surprise. Given my previous experience of geologists, I was expecting a woolly sweater geek. He does have woolly sweaters and is a geek but has an amazingly sharp sense of humor and is good looking, too. Our romance was very speedy, causing anxious relatives to think that it was a shotgun wedding. (No, we still have no spawn apart from ungrateful Egyptian cats.) We met in August 1981 and married in July 1982. We worked in different countries during this period so only really were together for about four months. At various point in our courtship and marriage, I have thought that I made a mistake and I am sure that he has too.

I had a crush on another librarian in my late twenties, at least eight years after I was married and since Teddy still refers to him, this one made him anxious. I was going through a really difficult period in my life. My father had died in his 50s and my mother had a heart attack leading onto a heart bypass operation. We lived in a rurally isolated village and the most excitement I got was when the mobile library came to us, every two weeks. The librarian was about my age, handsome and he had books. Even better, he could choose books for me from my likes and dislikes. He was remarkably good at that so the crush was inevitable.

My husband was currently having a crush on someone at work, so I guess mine was a revenge crush. Again it was just innocent fun but the librarian thought that I was losing weight to please him but I was just worried about an early death like my parents. He told me a little too much about his personal life and that was enough to dissipate the crush. Once my husband’s crush saw the new slim Kerry, I was satisfied.

We have been married for 33 years so our love and desire for each other has waxed and waned. I remember a wonderful vacation to the east coast of the United States in the late 90s when we were totally in synch. Lovemaking in Pennsylvania to the sound of cicadas will always stay with me. Teddy looked particularly handsome then and I remember thinking how handsome he looked tall, slim with a tan.

Teddy and Bunny in their 40s - married 20 years then

Teddy and Bunny in their 40s – married 20 years then

I am fascinated by our memories being different. We both remember that night in Pennsylvania but then I will remember Madrid and he, Lisbon. We have always loved each other but had some significant ups and downs until recently. We have traveled the world together over the last few years and have been embarrassingly noisy in hotel rooms, particularly Istanbul.

We went to Palm Springs during Christmas break a couple of years ago. I had my usual itinerary of National Parks to visit, restaurants to eat at but suddenly became ill. I told him to go to Joshua National Park without me and then realized that I was ‘ER ill’. I got a taxi to take me to ER for breathing problems, was nebulized after some hours and given antibiotics. I tried to contact him but he was out with cell phone reach. By the time he came to ER he was in such a panic. Despite all that, after a day on strong antibiotics, I was in the mood and since we were staying the Hard Rock Hotel we had the most amazing night together. The whole room was mirrored, our room was named after the Grateful Dead (which seemed particularly appropriate), and we had a sex kit in our bedroom full of toys and condoms. My vulnerability and the mirrors turned Teddy into a sex god. I taught him a few acrobatic positions that night.

I am assuming Teddy will be the final real crush but am too pragmatic to create a Hollywood ending. Nobody can tell what’s in the future and if he died suddenly, I think I would marry again because it was such a wonderful experience. He feels the opposite – no one could compare to his Bunny. In the meantime, I will keep having crushes on movie stars, doctors and anyone else I meet in life. He will too, and I am optimistic that we will live happily ever after until the next time he drives too fast, doesn’t empty the trash or snores. On a final funny note, he queried why I was all dressed up the other day and I told him I was going to see one of my doctors (i.e. crush). In bed that night, after a bottle of wine or so, he snuggled up to me, grabbed my boobs and said, “You have the most beautiful breasts”. I waited with anticipation but the next sound was very loud snoring. I slept in the front room…

Making kittens…

piper, prue, phoebe

Piper, Prue and Phoebe, Mrs. Stripe’s last kittens

We have been married a long time eons and we have had some droughts in our intimacy. As you know, my hormonal status has been making life more interesting over the last few years. Our cats were getting used to Mum and Dad having separate bedrooms and then suddenly they were together in the same bed, MAKING KITTENS! At first, Mrs. Stripe (who had myriad kittens in Egypt) used to stand on Dad, whining at him to stop hurting Mum. Why else would she be making those funny noises? Then they seemed to catch on that we were ‘making kittens’ and that wasn’t much better because three cats is more than enough!

They have learned to be discreet or they are locked out of the bedroom because Dad’s performance suffers with an audience who looks at him with distaste. (Imagine your teenage children finding you making kittens…) This morning, after what I thought was a romantic tryst, Mrs. Stripe came straight up the bed and washed my armpits. Well, it had been a boisterous session and we live in the subtropics. Teddy looked at Bunny with disdain, saying, “Why do you let her do that, it’s disgusting!” My retort was, “Well you did something disgusting to me last night that involved bodily fluids”.

His response was that he was compelled to make kittens with me – clearly it was not within his control. Either my attractive smell or visage made him behave in this way. I cracked up laughing, as did he. Maybe there was a compliment in there but I am sure he could have come up with something better such as, “I desired you so much, you are intoxicating or you are the love of my life”. 🙂

Let’s see what happens the next time Teddy wants to make kittens with Bunny…

Pippy was a Welsh cat, Pippy was a thief.

Pippy was a thief

There is a terribly politically incorrect rhyme from my childhood that goes, “Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a thief”. As you can imagine, it casts disparagement onto people of Welsh origin (from the country of Wales in the UK, for those of you who suffered American geography classes. 🙂 ) Teddy and I got married in Chester, England and moved to a small town in Wales where we bought our first house. To start with, we had a lovely little hamster. I love all animals and desperately wanted a cat but Teddy was allergic (and still is, 6 cats later). Despite that, Teddy also wanted a cat. I saw an advert for a tabby kitten in our little town in Wales and we went to view. The tiger kitten had gone and all that was left was this filthy, skinny black and white kitten. My nose probably wrinkled but I saw Teddy in a haze of love. In his head, this scraggy kitten was the most beautiful black and white princess covered in fairy dust (it was just dirt). Unbelievably, he was right – she turned into the most exquisite black and white princess as you can see above.

We moved with her, back to the north of Scotland, and she was a holy terror. Trouble from the minute we owned her but we loved her anyway. She was authentically Welsh and she was most definitely a thief so that’s were the rhyme comes in. One of the many houses we lived in was a former bank in a tiny village in Scotland. The kitchen was originally the vault and the window sill was about 3 foot in depth. We had only been married a few years and had very little money (we are doing that in reverse now). The fish van had come around and I bought one fillet of haddock for Teddy. I had frozen it and decided to place it on the kitchen window sill to defrost.

Towards dinner time I went to bread and prepare the haddock fillet only to discover that Pippy had managed to eat the top half. It still looked like a fillet but a bit thinner than normal. I looked at it aghast and wondered what to do. There was nothing else for Teddy’s dinner. Eventually, I decided to wash it, cover it in breadcrumbs and hope that he didn’t notice. He ate it with great enjoyment and then I burst out laughing. “Didn’t you notice that it was a very slim fish?”. He looked appalled at first and then laughed too. I had already shouted at Pippy, who gave not a whit, and it was neither the first or last theft that the felon committed.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Lucky Teddy. Cleavage and pudding!

Lucky Teddy. Cleavage and pudding!

And so we end a week of sexually inspired blogs and it was so much fun! Some of my foodie readers have been trying to entice me into cooking more and enjoying food. I can cook and this is my famous sticky toffee pudding – a British favorite. Teddy prefers this to anything else I might offer…

STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING

INGREDIENTS

Pudding
2 oz Butter
6 oz Granulated Sugar
1 Egg
7 oz Plain (all purpose) Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
6 oz Pitted Dates
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Vanilla Essence

Toffee Syrup
5 oz Butter
7 oz Soft Brown Sugar
4 oz Double (Heavy) Cream

Pudding – In a mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar for the pudding. Beat egg lightly and add. Sift in half of the flour, sift the remainder with the baking powder and beat in finely chopped dates, previously soaked in 9 oz boiling water, adding soda and essence (stand date mixture for 2-3 minutes). Mix everything together and it should resemble a batter. Add to a greased bake dish and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

Syrup – Soften butter in pan, add sugar and beat lightly. Pour in cream, beat and bring to the boil. Lower heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Top the cooked pudding with the syrup. Reheat in microwave, for a minute or so, or in a medium oven (covered in aluminum foil) for half an hour.

kerry with pot

I really did make it!

Museo de Larco

 

I am sure Teddy thinks this is ceramic hyperbole but I think I should have waited to marry a Peruvian. Maybe I will keep an eye out for my second Peruvian husband at the airport?

I am sure Teddy thinks this is ceramic hyperbole but I think I should have waited to marry a Peruvian. Maybe I will keep an eye out for my second Peruvian husband at the airport?

This is a post which I wrote some time ago but didn’t publish and it follows on from our Postcard from Lima, Peru

The Museo de Larco was set in what looked like a private estate with beautiful gardens and flowers. After we had completed our tour of the main building, our guide said, ‘and now we are going to the sex museum’. The three of us, in our group, looked at each other with eyes wide open and followed her obediently. On route to the museum we got chatting to our fellow tourist who was Jewish New Yorker whose family emigrated from Ukraine to the US. He was in Lima for business with a couple of extra days for pleasure. His notebook had two pages full of gourmet restaurants that he had been trying out so we guessed that he was certainly a foodie but also a writer. I had the impression that he was gay but he didn’t confirm it until I noticed what he photographed most in the museum.

Our middle-aged guide was most likely an academic, perhaps a historian. Like the other guide she was very straight forward and told us later that we had 7 minutes to look at the shop and take photographs! Not 5 or 10, precisely 7 minutes; ‘Yes, Ma’am!’ With a mixture of excitement and trepidation, we followed her into the building. My, these ancient Peruvians were a liberal crowd! Every possible type of sexual activity between humans (and animals) of both genders was immortalized in ceramic. Our guide started describing what we were looking at. ‘Here we have the man pleasuring the woman with his mouth and here we have two animals mating’. If we were young enough to have blushed we probably would have. She reminded me of my sex education teacher at Catholic high school. At this stage (age 13) we were all girls, separated from the boys by annexes. Our teacher was a doctor and she taught us about the birds and bees in a very anatomical and brusque manner. I remember thinking that I may as well become a nun because I certainly wasn’t going to be doing anything like that with a boy! A few years later, it all seemed much more feasible.

I was sneaking glances at our New Yorker friend to see what he was focused on and Teddy, too. I suspect my husband was thinking, ‘don’t give her ideas’. It struck me that the museum and its artifacts were not a guide to pleasure, such as the Kama Sutra, but more of a ceramic documentary of sexual behavior between humans and animals. The artists were depicting what they observed. In one exhibit, the people were disfigured and our guide explained, ‘these are humans dying of sexual diseases’. Ah well, I guess you never could have your cake and eat it, too. In case you are wondering, it did give me ideas. Lima was a fun destination!

Missionary animals?

Missionary animals?

Click on this link to see some other erotic ceramics but open with discretion. HUACO EROTIC CERAMICS