How to Waste a Day

So, after a week-plus of nonstop rain, during which time I rail against, in no particular order, god, the flying spaghetti monster and the Klystron 9 radar at Bay News 9, how do I spend the first day of sunshine along the beaches in this fine, fine county?

I’ll give you three guesses and any of them involving something sensible, such as “going outside so I lose the vampire-like pasty sheen my skin has developed, scaring young children and making dogs quiver with primal fear” do not count because, as I believe we’ve established, I don’t always make the smartest choices.

No, no, no… I go in search of two things that I have decided I needed. I search for reusable ice cubes and a Terry’s Chocolate Orange.

The resuable ice is easy to understand. I live in a broom closet. Granted, it’s a broom closet with fantastic light situated two blocks (ish) from the Gulf of Mexico, but no amount of paint or fancy wordsmithiness changes the fact that the place under the stairs where Harry Potter slept in the first book would give this place a run for its money, square footage-wise.

As part of my concession to this spatially-challenged domicile, I do not have what most might call a full size refrigerator. Don’t misunderstand, it’s bigger than dorm room refrigerators, but I’m not fixing Thanksgiving dinner out of this little bitty Kenmore anytime soon. It lacks a proper freezer, which is to say it has a metal box inside the fridge itself. This itsy bitsy metal box has a separate door (which is a generous way of describing it, as it neither latches nor closes completely) and can fit an ice cube tray and, if I get creative and employ some of the higher laws of physics, a bag of Publix shrimp.

The problem? I can only make six cubes at a time IF I put another empty tray on top of the ice cube tray, and even then only half the bottom tray freezes.

So I’m looking for reusable ice cubes. Wal-Mart, Publix and the Dollar Store can’t help me. If anyone out there knows where I can find some, please let me know.

Now, onto the chocolate orange.

Friday night the rain cleared ever-so-briefly and C, Calypso and I went down to the beach for a bit, after which we decided ice cream sounded good. Because I was too tired to think about what I wanted and because I was very cognizant that C had his ice cream outside with Calypso, who won a gold medal in begging and stealing food, I defaulted to a chocolate cone with rainbow sprinkles. It was quick and easy and when I returned Calypso was NOT covered in ice cream.

C, however, opted for an interesting combination: orange sherbet and chocolate. That got me thinking about the Terry’s Chocolate Oranges we used to get my future ex-father-in-law at Christmas. They were milk chocolate shaped like an orange and they tasted like orange flavored chocolate and I loved them so very, very much.

So Saturday morning dawned, bright and beautiful, and I did some cursory grocery shopping when a teeny tiny rainstorm blew through. Almost as an afterthought, I went to the candy aisle in Publix to get a chocolate orange. After all, I used to see them everywhere.

Nada. Nope. Nothing.

The sun comes out. Do I notice? Hell, yes, I notice, but I really want a chocolate orange, so I drive to Candy Kitchen on Madeira Beach, where you can find all kinds of candies, ranging from those little red fish to wax Coke bottle candies, but no chocolate orange.

Then I try Wal-Mart, CVS and another Publix and before I know it I have to be back at work. I call my mom and get her to check at Target.


First sunny day all week and I spend three hours driving around looking for a chocolate orange. Given the history of diabetes in my family, some might say this is indicative of a problem.

I like to think I just possess great focus.

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I write. I take pictures. I love my dog. I love Florida. My 2016 book, 'Backroads of Paradise' did really well for the publisher and now I feel a ridiculous amount of pressure to finish the second book.