With a few exceptions, I find staring at inane television programming for hours on end to be a complete waste of time.
So, in our domicile you will almost always find the lilting sounds of music.
We vacillate between jazz, electronic dance, 80's, disco and pop. Musical variety rules.
However, there are certain shows we are devoted to, hence the DVR is our friend. There are only a few, and they are of the fictional variety.
My loathing for most reality shows is intense, and the dumbing down demonstrated in these offerings is shocking (well, it could be if we were not so accustomed to the nonsense of it all).
Here is my point (yes, I do have one, thank you very much)...I miss the comforting reality television shows of a few years ago.
Remember when Suzanne Whang hosted shows on HGTV? She was lame as could be, and I loved her. I miss Suzanne.
Yes, the Property Brothers are divine, not gonna kid you. Love their family vibe. But, we know the drill. Drew and Jonathan make it happen, and everyone loves it in the end. Just once I wish they wouldn't.
Yes, Fixer-Upper is cloyingly sweet, but Chip and Joanna do seem genuine enough. Yet, how many times can we see her do the SAME design to a house? Exactly.
Remember when The Food Network presented a simple show featuring that adorable, Tyler Florence?
We still use his fabulous recipe for fish tacos.
What happened to Tyler?
Does he ever appear on TFN?
I have given up even searching.
I tried to watch Tricia Yearwood dish up her "country" what-have-you, and while I am sure her food is fine, the blandness of the show reaches new heights.
Mostly, it seems TFN is now all about the food competition shows, that just brings stress, not relaxation.
In my opinion, cooking should be about enjoyment, relaxation...good food and good conversation should be the name of the game.
I can not even begin to tell you how many times the show, Chopped, made me so squeamish I could not watch. Exotic food is one thing, bringing out the head of a dead animal is another.
With all the turmoil in the world, wouldn't it be grand to find programming without competitive, plastic, mercenary people, fighting, tweeting nude photos (and I'm no prude, just sick of seeing the same dumb people in their birthday suits) and trying to make everyone feel inferior?
So, what if we could do a grassroots movement for more relatable programming?
What would it be?
What type of show would be comforting and entertaining?
Well, let's think back to the early days of The Food Network and HGTV.
How about a show where the pleasant chef is housed in a uniquely designed kitchen (please no granite countertops), with soft music in the background--preparing a delicious dish almost anyone would enjoy.
They should be sipping wine, wearing a black apron with a white towel tossed over one shoulder. The lights should be subdued, but light enough for proper food prep.
Meanwhile, the camera switches to a couple (please make them an ordinary looking couple) looking to buy or renovate a property in a locale we enjoy seeing (how many times do we want to see the same looking couple buying a place in Chicago?).
There you have it. The beginning nugget of my grassroots for more sane "reality" programming.
Maybe I will tackle fictional television next.
We need another "I Love Lucy," don't you think?
Spring is a great time of year, and all over social media folks have been proclaiming its arrival with celebratory photos of blooming things.
What fun it is to see everyone posting photos of lovely fields of flowers.
Sure, but when you live on the eastern coast of South Florida, it is exciting because the weather is as close to perfection as one could ever expect to get.
The months of April and May come just before the hurricane/rainy season. The temperatures are dreamy, the deep-blue daytime sky is nearly cloudless, and the golden sunsets take the breath away.
Soon the crowds and traffic begin to dissipate as tourists and part-time residents flee the coming heat and humidity of summer.
Yes, Spring is lovely.
But, the thing is -- for me -- each day, all year, I walk outside or look outside and see nothing but colorful flora.
Spring is a date on the calendar here in South Florida, and signifies many things.
What it does not mean is the end of winter, and the arrival of lovely blooming flowers and the sprouting of trees.
True winter rarely visits us here, therefore the arrival of Spring is just a day I enjoy watching others around the country celebrate ... while I sit outside with a hibiscus flower in my hair.
Strolling the aisles of TJ Maxx early in the morning can be amusing. When there are no crowds jostling for most excellent deals, you realize there are so many small items just begging for a second look.
Recently, I snagged a cool bottle of Simple Syrup (you never know when you will need to shake up a quick cocktail), and just stood staring at other interesting bottles.
Alas, I spotted jars of Lingonberry Preserves, by Hafi.
Although tempted, I resisted tossing them into the cart alongside the SS.
Still, I pondered, what are lingonberries?
Once home, I HAD to know more. Perhaps it goes back to my days watching my mother make jelly or my father and I making wine from mustang grapes.
Either way, I soon discovered the small red berries grow wild, in the wooded areas of Scandinavian, and have a similar flavor to cranberries. It can be both sweet and tart.
Strawberry, I'm sticking, but I will continue to peruse the TJM aisles for fascinating (to me) items.
Spring Break is lingering around these parts, and I did witness some drama on Sunday.
Floating down the IntraCoastal, a group of underage earthlings aboard a small boat were shouting and shoving each other. You know, good times!
Soon, a few flew overboard, the water police arrived and there you have it.
Spring Break gone wrong, but they will have a good story to tell when they return to school...Jr. High School, from the looks of it.
In all honesty, on a regular basis I rarely do the first one, and the second one is fairly accurate.
But, I definitely did the third thing this morning.
Patience has never been one of my virtues, and waiting until March 15 to mark my ballot lacked appeal, so I sashayed over to the Public Library in Palm Beach Gardens to cast my early vote in the 2016 Presidential election.
It is done, and I have the sticker to prove it.
I admit every time I cast a vote in any election I am struck with the magnitude of what it means, and I am at a loss as to why everyone does not exercise this right.
For me, it is not only about my voice being heard via my vote; I never fail to think about the brave women in history who fought and won the fight for this freedom.
It is my wish that my granddaughter will be schooled in the importance of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1920, and fully understand the importance of the meaning of the word, Suffragette.
Even though the voting process this morning was a little chaotic (they have some organizational kinks to iron out for better flow), as I watched my ballot slide silently into the machine, I felt a swell of pride within. Pride and gratitude that women before me had the courage to step up, go against the tide and fight for the right to vote.
Ladies of the early 20th Century, I bow to you and what you did for all women to this day.
Let us hope, in the current political climate, the issues of women are not taken back into the Dark Ages.
I want my beautiful granddaughter to value and appreciate the importance of fairness for all, and especially the sufferage movement. I hope, when she becomes of age, she will demonstrate bravery and stand by her convictions and never take protected rights in this free country for granted.
I certainly do not.