Have I mentioned lately how much I love Santa Barbara? Because I do.
It's absolutely beautiful here.
I had the most wonderful Saturday!
© Twenty Four At Heart
I'm driving up the coast today. I'm going to hang out with some friends for the weekend up in Santa Barbara. My long term readers know Santa Barbara is one of my favorite places in the world. I love to visit whenever I can.
And yes, I know it's supposed to be raining part of the weekend. I don't care. It will still be nice to be in a different environment for a few days.
I've been restless lately. In fact, I was so restless last week I decided I need to change things up for awhile.
My hair now matches the polish on my toes.
© Twenty Four At Heart
Thank you to everyone who entered to win a 2010 Twenty Four At Heart Calendar. I used the Random Integer Generator to pick the twelve calendar winners.
1. Donna in VA Comment #9
2. Pam Comment #14
3. Alan Comment #17
4. Momma Sunshine Comment #31
5. Yvette Comment #41
6. Sandra Comment #44
7. Holli Buchter Comment #56
8. Jason Comment #63
9. Tina Comment #73
10. Mad Woman Comment #78
11. Middle-Aged-Woman Comment #97
12. Kim@BeautifulWreck Comment #103
Congratulations to each of you!
If you are one of the twelve winners, please email me (via the Contact tab at the top of the page) with the mailing address you'd like your calendar sent to.
For all of my readers …
Many of you have heard about, but never experienced, the Santa Ana Winds of Southern California. These winds are particularly fierce in our foothills and canyons. As many of you know, I live in a major wind tunnel canyon.
Thursday morning I was woken up by the sound of our (very heavy) patio furniture being blown around on our upstairs deck. It's hard to describe the Santa Ana Winds but this picture of my palm trees might give you a little feel for what they're like.
** I'm giving away twelve Twenty Four At Heart 2010 Calendars. You can enter to win one until 8 p.m. Pacific Time tonight by clicking here. Winners will be announced tomorrow. **
Are you a Foodie?
Are you a Van Morrison fan?
I love, love, love many of the old Van Morrison tunes, including Tupelo Honey.
Here are the lyrics of the first verse in the song:
You can take all the tea in China
Put it in a big brown bag for me
Sail right around the seven oceans
Drop it straight into the deep blue sea
She's as sweet as Tupelo Honey
She's an angel of the first degree
She's as sweet as Tupelo Honey
Just like honey from a bee.
Have you ever tried Tupelo Honey? Do you even know what it is? I'm sure most of my southern readers are familiar with it.
I might be the only person on earth who was clueless?
I'll be honest, I hadn't ever thought twice about it. Who thinks about honey? Hearing Van Morrison sing about Tupelo Honey was the extent of my knowledge. Living in California, it's not something we often (ever?) see here.
For the holidays, we received a bottle of Tupelo Honey and a box of raw honeycomb.
I baked some fresh biscuits for breakfast the day after Christmas. My family smothered the hot-from-the-oven biscuits with butter and honey. They oohed and aahed and told me it was the best honey they've ever had.
Since then, I've learned a little about Tupelo Honey. To make Tupelo Honey, the bees need nectar from Tupelo blossoms. I guess that makes sense, but I didn't even realize there were Tupelo trees. (I do have several palm trees at my house, however.) The Tupelo trees, apparently, only bloom for a very short time each year making Tupelo honey in very short supply.
The special nectar from the Tupelo blossoms gives the honey a unique flavor, and unlike other honeys, it won't ever crystallize. Honey-makers (is that what they're called?) worldwide consider Tupelo Honey the "gold standard" of the honey industry.
Who knew? Everyone but me?
(And now I've got the Tupelo Honey lyrics stuck in my head for the day!)
© Twenty Four At Heart
** I'm giving away twelve Twenty Four At Heart 2010 Calendars. You may enter to win one by clicking here. **
Do you remember, right before Christmas (December 23rd) an elderly man rear-ended my car? I was stopped at a red light. He had his dog in the front seat of the car with him. The dog was running around all over the place and, distracted, he plowed into the back of my car.
It scared me, of course, because of the accident-nightmare I've gone through these last several years. It didn't feel so good either, for that matter.
One very important thing I learned from my Big Bad Accident three and a half years ago, is you should always (always!) have a camera in your car with you in the event of an accident. A cheap disposable camera works fine, it doesn't have to be expensive. I carry my point and shoot in my purse wherever I go, and have for many years. The fact that I had photos (the police took them) after my Big Bad Accident, helped tremendously with the legal aftermath.
Anyway, Elderly Man With Dog On His Lap hit my car. We exchanged insurance information. My car (an SUV) wasn't too badly damaged, but the man's front car bumper was hanging off. I decided to snap a couple photos of both our cars "just in case."
Yesterday I was putting together all the paperwork to send off to the insurance company. I decided to print out a photo or two to send along.
I burst out laughing when I saw my reflection looking back at me in this photo:
I suppose I should have been surprised when I saw this photo, but for some reason I wasn't. Should I include it with the other photos I mail to my insurance agent? Or delete it and pretend I never took it?
© Twenty Four At Heart
It's amazing. One day, about a year and a half ago, in total misery and pain – I stared at my blank laptop screen and began typing.
I had only read one blog, ever, in my entire life. I knew nothing about blogging. I knew nothing about the world of Internet writing.
I wasn't looking for readers, I wasn't looking for a career, or power or fame. (Good thing for that, don't ya think?!)
I just knew I needed to write.
I needed a distraction from my car accident recovery. I needed a distraction from breathtaking pain.
Today is the 500th post I've written for Twenty Four At Heart. This blog has brought me so much happiness, so much joy, and so much peace. Most of all, this blog has brought thousands upon thousands of wonderful people into my life. (And one or two assholes also, but shhhhh – they've taken up enough of my time already!)
It's amazing to me how many readers I've now met "in real life." Others of you, I may never meet, but I've come to know you anyway – thanks to the comments and emails you send.
As a small thank you to my wonderful readers (the very best in the entire Internet world!), I'm hosting a giveaway today.
I have twelve Twenty Four At Heart 2010 Calendars to give away.
Here are the monthly photos, in the order they appear in the calendar:
All of the photos have appeared on 24 in the last year. They were taken in Orange County, Saint Lucia, Hawaii and Santa Barbara.
Here's the deal:
he contest is open until this Thursday, January 14th, at 8 p.m., Pacific Time.
You will receive one entry for every comment you leave.
You may enter as many times as you'd like, but you're only eligible to win one calendar.
Twelve winners will be selected using the Random Integer Generator.
Contest winners will be announced on Friday, January 15th.
All you need to do to enter is leave a comment. Don't know what to say? Tell me which photo is your favorite. Or why. Or really anything you want.
© Twenty Four At Heart
** Tomorrow, I will have some exciting news to share with you in celebration of what will be my 500th post. Make sure to check back tomorrow/Tuesday so you don't miss out! **
Last Friday, I shared with you Part I of The Nipple Story. If you haven't had an opportunity to read it yet, you'll want to click on the above link and do so now.
It's okay … I'll wait.
… … …
All right then?
When I left off last Friday, I had just watched Average Joe (who wouldn't stop staring at my rack) leave the PT building. I walked across the room to see what The Torturer wanted me to do next.
To my surprise, The Torturer informed me he was putting me in a Game Ready. A Game Ready is a (very, very!) cold type of therapy. It's an ice machine that inflates to squeeze the injured part of your body (compression) and continually circulates ice cold water around the injured body part at the same time. It is extremely cold! The Torturer hadn't used a Game Ready on me for nearly a year, but I had just completed some new activities and he wanted to minimize my swelling/pain/inflammation. He thought the Game Ready would be more effective than my usual ice packs.
This is what the Game Ready for a shoulder/arm injury like mine looks like:
You see where this is going, don't you?
When I'm in a Game Ready I keep my t-shirt on, unlike the man shown in the photo above. Not that it really makes any difference, because the damn thing gets cold enough to make me gasp. The initial shock of cold water on my chest, literally, takes my breath away.
A year ago, when I last used a Game Ready, I had not yet had my breast reduction. I had my same, very nice, cute, nipples, but they were not bionic. I distinctly remember telling The Torturer (pre-bionic nipples) that he was freezing my tits off. He laughed and ignored me, as he always frequently does.
I might have been high on pain meds at the time, but nonetheless, I spoke the truth.
So there I sat, last week, for quite some time with the Game Ready strapped to my bodacious boobs. (Twenty minutes? Thirty minutes? I lost all sense of time.)
I frantically texted one of my girlfriends saying, "The Torturer is freezing my nips off!! SERIOUSLY!"
As I sat there with my icy, tightly-bound tits, The Torturer left to work with another patient. When my time on the Game Ready was finally over, one of the techs unstrapped me and informed me I was done for the day and could leave.
I got in my car, and I drove about two minutes across the street to the post office.
If I had bothered to even momentarily glance down at my breasticles I would have gone straight home instead of out in public.
My nipple-erections were protruding so far out of my chest, they would have put any well-endowed man to shame.
But I'm getting ahead of myself (*ahem*), because I didn't realize the condition of my hooters at the time.
I parked my car and then tossed a bundle of bills in the big blue mailbox outside of the post office door. At the same time, I realized I was hungry, in fact starving. By now it was 1 p.m. and I'd had little more than my morning coffee the entire day.
There's a sandwich shop right next to the post office. I decided to run in and order something to go. I ordered a turkey sandwich, on wheat, no mayo. (That's really not important, but I thought you might be curious.)
While my sandwich was being made, I decided to make a quick trip to the restroom. I walked down a little hallway. As I did so, two men exited the men's bathroom. The first man was talking to the man behind him and not looking where he was going. He collided right into me.
Have I ever mentioned how graceful I am?
There was some water on the floor (which was tile) and when he collided with me, I … sort of went flying.
Really, what happened next is just a blur. I was flying and then it seemed like there were arms all over the place … and I never really landed. I suppose you could say, I was caught in mid-air.
When time finally stopped, my feet were on the ground and Average Joe was standing there with his hands holding my boobs. My peaks were in the valleys of his hands.
My peaks were very peaked.
He had broken my fall, caught me mid-air, by my knockers.
In fact, one of his thumbs was right there on top of my very turgid nipple … in the deli … at just a few minutes after 1 p.m. in the afternoon.
It all happened so quickly, I was momentarily too stunned to take it in.
Was I supposed to thank him for breaking my fall? Curse him for running into me? Slap him for grabbing my golden globes?
Average Joe's hands lingered longer than they should have and damn if he didn't give a little squeeze before he let go of my boobs. His thumb rubbed my nipple as if he couldn't help himself and he licked his lips before he moved away.
I was so flabbergasted by the whole sequence of events, I couldn't utter a single word.
I was shocked into silence and if you know me at all, you know silence on my part is not something that happens ever very often.
It was probably only a few seconds, but it seemed like an hour before his eyes left my breasts and he actually looked at my face. Recognition washed over him and he, at least, had the decency to act flustered.
He asked me if I was all right.
I managed to stammer, "I'm fine."
"I'm glad you're okay," he said. Then he added, "Well, I'm sure I'll be seeing you again at physical therapy soon."
Then, just like that, he departed with his friend.
I walked into the women's restroom.
I was greeted by a full length mirror and a vision reflecting back at me of my twin protruding princesses.
I wanted to die. Or, at least, hide in the bathroom for a year or two.
I know it's only a matter of time (a few days?) until I run into Average Joe at PT again. Maybe now that he's actually felt my boobs, he won't stare at them so much?
I'm blushing at the very thought.
© Twenty Four At Heart
I mentioned last week, I have a weakness for pelicans. On Friday, while my son and I were at the beach, I snapped these photos with my point and shoot.
This huge pelican was watching the woman fish. Apparently, he was feeling too lazy to go dive for his own food. Whenever she caught a fish too small to keep, she'd toss it to him instead of throwing it back in the water. The pelican, of course, would gobble it down whole, in seconds flat.
He was quite pleased with the arrangement.
A group of tourists came by and kept bothering him. He took off in flight, circling the pier. The tourists left and a minute later he was right back in his usual spot.
My weekend began a day early. Yesterday my oldest son, RC, and I spent the afternoon at the beach. It was beautiful. It was fun. We relaxed and watched the surfers. It was probably my last time alone with him before he heads back to college early Sunday morning.
I wish he didn't have to leave.
My nipples found themselves in the most embarrassing situation the other day.
If you've been reading here for any length of time, you already know I went in for breast reduction surgery last June and came out with bionic, hyper-sensitive, constantly alert, nipples. As time has passed, I've learned how to live with my new Bionic Nipples. I try not to ever, accidentally, brush up against strangers in public (or private, for that matter.) I've found bras which do a pretty good job of concealing my nipples most of the time, etc.
It's not as easy as you might think – having Bionic Nipples.
It's changed my whole way of life.
Well … sorta.
In any case, the other day I was at PT (as usual) and The Torturer had me doing some stuff out in the "gym" area. It's basically a big room with lots of tables for patients and lots of equipment to help people get their bodies healthy again. It was a pretty normal PT day. The Torturer and I had already spent some one-on-one time in a back room.
Wait a minute … that last sentence sounds so wrong.
And it shouldn't.
There are different rooms for different things …
And it was time for the gym.
As soon as I entered the gym, I noticed a man staring at me. He stared, and he stared, and he would not stop staring at me.
He was just an average forty-something Money Town man. He wasn't particularly good or bad looking. Let's just call him Average Joe.
Now it would be really nice if I were twenty again (instead of 24), and super hot, and stare-worthy. I, however, have been 24 for several years now. I still get occasional looks from men, but men don't often ever find themselves unable to look away for hours on end.
Things change a lot between the ages of 20 and 24. It's sad what time does to the body, isn't it?
When I realized Average Joe would not stop staring, I became a little self conscious. First, I glanced at The Torturer to see if he was staring at me too. The Torturer smiled at me with his terrifying, evil, grin, in the exact same way he always does. He didn't tell me I had spinach in my teeth or anything. (And trust me, if I did, he wouldn't hesitate to tell me so.)
Next, I gave myself a quick once-over in one of the wall mirrors to make sure there was nothing obvious glaring back at me. My shirt was on, my pants were zipped … there was nothing readily apparent staring back at me.
I shrugged it off. I thought, Maybe Average Joe has an obsession with blondes or something.
As I went about my gym activities, with The Torturer issuing constant orders to me, I frequently looked up to find Average Joe staring at me. I tried really hard not to look in his direction. You know how that goes … the harder you try not to look at someone, the more you do. Every single time I glanced in his direction, Average Joe was staring at me.
Pretty soon I realized Average Joe wasn't really staring at me; he was staring at my tits.
I really dislike men like Average Joe. Why is it, some men can't look at anything else if there's a set of (bionic, perky) jugs in the room?
I wanted to say, "Hey, Average Joe, there are other women with boobs in the room. You can take your eyes off of mine for a few minutes and get some variety in your life."
But I didn't.
Because basically, I'm very shy. (Even though I write words like nipples and boobs and tits and jugs on a fairly regular basis.)
A few minutes later, as I was finishing up my PT exercises for the day, Average Joe was leaving.
"Good riddance," I thought as he walked out the door.
Right then, I heard The Torturer call my name and I turned and walked over to stand by his side.
I didn't realize at the time, my nipples and I hadn't seen the last of Average Joe after all.
** Part II of The Nipple Story, the conclusion, will post on Monday. I will try to have one or two short posts up this weekend if the Computer Gods are willing. **
© Twenty Four At Heart