Posts Tagged ‘florida’

Cacerola Girl: See Below for Explanation    (Not my Graphic)

The realization that things go wonky when I am around, or not long before or after I’m around, is a bit unnerving. The wonkies are mostly of the weather/natural disaster types, but there has also been political uprisings, wars and/or man made disasters. 

Here is the timeline:

1986:  My first international trip was to Europe. I went right after I graduated University. I did a 3 month backpackers trip around a month after Chernobyl blew up. I even went as far East as Budapest when I was there.  I am not even sure I knew much about it back then, as I was in college in a tiny town, studying for my final exams, getting ready to graduate, packing or selling my stuff, and I did not own a TV.  I think I ended up ok?

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Chernobyl (Not My Photo) 

1989: I took off for a month in Venezuela by myself.  After visiting Caracas for several days, I flew to Merida which is a cute mountain college town.  When I got there I noticed something was a bit off, small fires in the streets, but not many people. I heard there were protests going on.  I planned a trip into the Amazon jungle for several days, and when we got back, cars were burnt to a crisp in the center of town, windows were broken and graffiti covered the walls, but again it was oddly quiet.  I did no know it then, but it was one of the biggest and deadliest protest in Venezuela happened when we were in the Amazon Jungle. It is known as “Caracazo”. The Protests were in several towns, with Caracas having the biggest one and probably with the most deaths. One day I was walking around town and saw a bunch of police turn a corner, so me with my camera, I wanted to get some shots of what was happening.  I started down the empty street until a young stranger pulled me into a doorway.  She motioned for me to cover my mouth and then I followed her running into a what looked like a shut down business.  It was a bar.  When running I realized I was breathing in tear gas.  It burned my eyes, my throat and lungs.  I didn’t even see the tear gas being set off, after the smoke, it is just clear as air.  People in the bar handed me a beer and a wet towel. I chugged down the beer feeling some relief in my throat, and I used the towel to wipe my eyes which wouldn’t stop tearing up.  I was too shy to use my limited Spanish, but thanked them with a weak “por favor”.  They ended up convincing me to speak with them, because they liked the sound of how I spoke their language…grammatically wrong and everything.  I am glad to this day, that I got pulled out of the action as over 250 people died in those protest around the country. I have some photos of the protest or aftermath, but they were on film and are in a photo album stuck away in storage.  So I borrowed this photo.

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The protests are now known as Caracazo were held all over Venezuela.  Over 250 people died when the protests got violent. Not my Photos

Also in 1989, The San Francisco-Oakland Earthquake shook the entire Bay Area. I was front and center for it.  I and other’s were still in our office just talking when the 6.9 earthquake hit.  Luckily, no damage to our building happened, just an intense rolling movement.  I was meeting with a friend to go watch the Giants in the World Series at a bar.  He had to dodge falling brick and stuff as he was already outside in a less solid ground area.  I met up with him, even though the power was out.  We walked up to Coit Tower after it got dark and that is when the damage really got to me. It was pitch black all around the Bay and in SF with Fires here and there in the Oakland hills. 

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Part of the on ramp to the Bay Bridge Collapsed (not my photo)
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Apartment Building in the Marina Squished like an Accordian. (not my photo)

After that the 90’s were, I guess, quiet…around me at least.

1999: Jump ahead 10 years to when I visited my friend in Virginia Beach, VA and when Hurricane Floyd came to visit as well.  I was supposed to fly out, but all flights were cancelled, so we spent the long day without electricity playing games and trying to make a drink called the “Hurricane” with limited options of alcohol.

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2001: There was that trip to Egypt where I flew there 10 days after 9/11. The trip was already planned.  Yes, I went to a Muslim country, where one of the 9/11 pilots were from, but had been kicked out of his country for Terrorism in the Past.  I am a Honey Badger when it comes to my trips, I was not going to let the terrorists mess it up.  There was definitely a lot more guns around the country so said a local friend I stayed with, but no danger at all and not many tourists as well.  I’m so glad I went, because I feel Egypt will never be the same again.

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This was crowded compared to what it looked like when I was there…with the Chief of the Egyptian Police getting a private tour. (not my photo)

2005: We were going to meet up with a friend in New Orleans, so she and her husband could meet my fiance.  It was planned for October, 2001…a month after 9/11.  We never met up.  Hurricane Katrina hit. And hit hard.

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Not my Photo

2008: We were driving across the country and we planned to go to New Orleans, as Jim has never been there.  But noooo, another Hurricane was going to hit down around there.  Gustav did not do much damage, but we had gone north to get around it.  So to this day, we still have not gone to New Orleans and when we do, it will not being during Hurricane Season.

2009:  We lived in Honduras for 18 months and during that time, there was not only an Earthquake of 7.3, but there was a coup d’état where the Army removed the President from power.  What is amazing, is that a 7.3 earthquake did not do much damage at all, where in, say, San Francisco, there would have been buildings down.  It happened in the middle of the night and I truly thought I was going to wake up to crumble all over town, but no.  There was some damage, in other areas though.

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And the coup was no different, like you think there would have been an uproar in the streets, nope.  Si Quire Dios, “as God wants” is not just words, it is a “Thing” in Honduras.  The Military Government in power used to announce curfews for 4pm like at 3:45, so there was chaos as people tried to get home.  Life went on as usual in the most part.  When it first happened, I thought we would have to escape, because I thought it would crazy dangerous there, but for us it was not bad at all.  There were some killings of people that tried to go against the new regime, but no protests near us.  I guess I would not protest either if I thought I would be shot dead.

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I don’t have a photo of the Coup, but I do have one of me almost getting run over by the man that was ousted, President Mel Zelaya

2011:  We lived in Southern Vermont.  As far as disaster goes, you’d figure a blizzard or something like that, but no, another Hurricane hit when we lived there.  Hurricane Irene did a lot of damage all the way through it’s path including our small town of Brattleboro.

An art center built over the river had the floor drop out of it from raging rivers due to Hurricane Irene.

2015:  We move to Chicago during it’s 5th largest Blizzard in history.  It snowed 19.3 inches between late Saturday night and 6 a.m.  We all called it the “Super Bowl” blizzard, because it was the worse that day of the Super Bowl.  We crashed a Super Bowl party in our apartment building and watched the storm out of the floor to ceiling windows on the 30th floor.

After the snowing stopped the sleds came out outside out building.

2017:  The Napa, California Fires, and so many more happened when we lived not far away.  That year was the worst fire season ever regarding property damage.  We lived just outside San Francisco, less than 40 miles away and the whole area was blinded by smoke and everyone feared the fire would never go out or spread even more. It was devastating for those involved.

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This is an old friends Winery in Napa.  The whole building was destroyed. I had many a good time in that building in the 1990s. (Photo by the Signorello Winery)

We were also in Florida for Hurricane Mathew that September. Not only us, but my sister and brother were there too, and we all hunkered down in my parents small house which is further away from the water than ours, and they have hurricane shutters.  We watched TV until the electricity went out and then we did a talent show to keep us entertained.  It hit while we were asleep that night, did not realize because we were in what I now call, Fort Knox.  Nothing but a lot of tree limbs, leaves, moss and branches down at both our house and my parents house, fortunately. We were super fortunate as a Tornado went down the backyards a whole block across the street.

Five People locked Inside a Hurricane Shuttered House for like 5 Days…We Survived the Hurricane and Family!

2019: This is where the Cacerola Girl comes in and will explain her at the end. We are now in the middle of a political uprising, living in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  After a published long list of sexist and hurtful chats between the Governor and his Cronies, the people of Puerto Rico, and me too, protested for the Governor to Resign and he did!  Something protesters do here is bang pots and pans.  Cacerola means pan in Spanish. Men, women and children do it, not just girls.  They not only bang pots while protesting in the streets, it was happening at 8pm every night from front doors, balconies, hotel rooms, and even work, until the Governor resigned. I got a pot and I’m ready to bang it! The new Governor is just as bad as the last one.

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This is Cacerola Girl!  She, alone, is protesting at the long line of cops with her pot and wood spoon.  She is my Hero! (Not my Photo)

There may be more protests, but let’s hope a Hurricane will not hit here this year. Cross your fingers for Puerto Rico, because they can’t handle another one.

I am sorry to everyone, if I really have had anything to do with any of them.  It’s probably just coincidence…right?

Thanks for visiting and reading about my bad luck!

Come back to see what I got going on next time.




Equals Something I like to Call…


The Gnomad Beach Pad!

Built in the Mid Century and Only Blocks from the Beach.

A Match Made in Style and Relaxation Heaven!


It’s not just a home, its a vacation for you, or a great set for your filming production, or a nice location for a photo shoot!

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I mean check out the Sunken Living Room.  The Gnomad Beach Pad was Built in 1964. Old Stan kept great care of the house and we were happy to take it over after his death in 2012.  We honored him and his wife by not making a ton of changes.


You can see in a previous post the changes we made: Our House Out House

I decorated the entire house with picked and found items.


I went with the design theme of Mid Century, because, well, It was built in the Mid Century!


I mean look at that original Formica counter top…

So we had to go all the way Mid Century in the Kitchen.


Vintage Tupperware for any and all occasion or storage needs!

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Even Vintage Kitchen Appliances : Ice Crusher – Check, Milk Shaker Blender – Check, Mixer – Check, Juicer – Check, and even an Popcorn Popper – Check!

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Lovely Bunch of Lovely Vintage Bowls that I slowly collected by picking often and regularly.


Now for on top of the super cute Formica counter top!


Some of the stuff is just for show, and some for use, but love it all!


And yes those are old Cosco Stepping Stools as seating at the very large peninsula counter top!  Perfect height, why not?


Moving over to the Family room, the Hub of the House!


One big giant room with a fireplace on ones side and the sliding glass doors to the patio on the other side.


And a big TV, DVD Player and a Stereo for your entertaining pleasures.


Let’s take outside before we go into…

The Bedrooms!


Hammock AND Bocce Ball.  Yes…And So Much More!


Easy Breezy Back Patio with curtains that go all the way around for extra privacy.

And get this…an Outside Shower with HOT water.


The front and side grass covered yards provide enough area for a football game and croquet match to go on a the same time, if not more activities!


So much room for so much fun!


Now that I wore you out with all those activities…

Let’s go the rooms of rest!


The Master Bedroom itself is a retreat!  Large, Light, Airy and oh so Comfortable!

And then there is the large En Suite Master Bathroom!


The Shower Sliding Doors and Toilet Private Swinging Door are to Mid Century Die For!

And the Huge Sunken Tub is to Relax in!  It is a Mid Century Beachy Mini Spa Room!

And now the Guest Rooms…


This is the “No place like Gnome” Guest Room.

Relaxing, complete with an adjustable bed, and a desk to write home on!


A nice place we like to call the “Mad Men Den” Guest Room.

Relaxation up front and Worker Bee Desk on the side.

And the Ever so Cute “Mamie Roosevelt” Pink Jack & Jill Bathroom…


It is as adorable as it looks.

Complete with vintage pink hamper and trash bin.  I could just live in there.

There is half bath too, but I have to leave something for your imagination!

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That’s the House and here is some nature.

Take a look at the cute wood peckers I caught on film in the yard.

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And here is just a bit of what we have seen nearby The Gnomad Beach Pad!

Indialantic Manatees

And if Technology and Space is your thing…

Check This Out!

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The Falcon Heavy Folks, which you could have seen from the front lawn!                              FeetatHiltonDeck

So get your feet on over to The Gnomad Beach Pad.

And Sink your Feet into the Sand or the Lush Sunken Living Room Carpet.

For Vacation Rental, Please Book Through:  The Gnomad Beach Pad

To Book for a Photography Shoot or a Filming Location Please Use: The Mid Century Beach Pad

Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments below!

And Here is to another “My Gnome Little World” Adventure!  Cheers!


Mix an Outdoor Shower and a Visiting Sister…

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And you get Motivated to Build an Outdoor Shower Enclosure!



Our Home, The Gnomad Pad, is in Florida where Outdoor Showering is Quite Nice. This Shower is in a Corner were the Air Con Unit and Near Where We Put Our Garbage Pails so we decided to Hide it all, not only Naked Bodies.

Well, after many discussions between the Hub and I, it was decided that the Fencing Needed to be somewhat Mid Century-ish and there will be an Arbor.  Lots of sketches were made and Pinterest posts were looked at…and finally we agreed upon a Design.


The Shower area is coming together.


Fencing is done…but not the Arbor.


Using the Shower Before it was Done…but the Arbor is Up!


The Staining Process. I stained the Whole Fence and The Hub did the Arbor.

Okay, He Built 96% of the Entire Thing On His Own!


It’s Done!!!!  Even with Bougainvillea planted to Climb up the Arbor!

You may notice the far right gate door is darker.  Well, when one goes crazy staining all day without mixing the gallon of stain, the bottom of the can is darker.  What is done is done, but there you go…Do Not Do That.


The Shower Outside…


And Inside…Even with a Dedication Sign to My Sister!


I Did The Shower Floor…And I am Digging it.  Simple Blue Spray Paint, then a Wash of Light Blue Paint Brushed over it.  Rocks, Shells and there You Have it.

Had the Board Laying Around and Just Handed Painted it.   My Sister Loves Mermaids and she is Fighting Cancer, So I Made the Mermaid Bald.  She also has a tattoo of a Starfish because if they Lose Arm, they just Grow One Back which is a Testament of How She has Lived her Life.

Cancer will Not Beat This One.


One side of the shower is open to this large bush.


The Very Cleaver Hub Came Up with a Non Rusting Door Latch.  And he Made it with Love.  The Wood Had a Heart on it and he Just had to use that Piece to Go There.


That Little Blue Dot is how you Unlatch the Door.  So Cute and Cleaver.

And if You Want to Shower After Dark….


We made a Light out of  a natural Cup Sponge found on the Beaches in the Keys of Southern Florida!

Can’t Wait to See it Being Used for a Mini Family Reunion This Summer!


One Step at a Time!  Next is the Back Patio!


We did Plant these Palms Hopefully to Grow and Block Out the Neighbors Ugly Side Yard and to Block the Neighbor Out too.  All our Neighbors are Great Except this One Person, who Killed Our Orange Tree. See an Earlier Post to Find Out How I Made Lemon-aide out of that Dead Orange Tree at



Now We need No Rusting Matching Patio Furniture.  I am Making Sheer Flowy Curtains, but there Needs so Much More Work to Be Done!

Stay Tuned!


It’s official now…


Here are some of our most recent finds.

Mind you, most of these photos are taken after I rubbed, shined, & scrubbed!

To get’em cheap, you gotta get dirty!

From Mid-Century Finds

Oh, yes we did!

Although I love the colors of the material on the stool, I am thinking we just may have to change it! And folks, the pillow is Jim’s pick. That is his favorite color after all!   The book rack and snack trays make everything all the better!

From Mid-Century Finds

I am not sure if this is a stool or a table, but how can you not love those curves and swirls?

From Mid-Century Finds

Poker anyone?

From Mid-Century Finds

No poker could be had without hip turquoise cocktail glasses and bowls for chips and snacks!

From Mid-Century Finds

And we could use this octagonal beauty for a card game or two!

The above has not yet been spit shined, as I have do not own my secret spit shining sauce in that color…yet!

Okay, it is not a secret, I will shout it out! I love Howard’s Restor-A-Finish !

Here’s a cutie to look at in the meanwhile!

From Mid-Century Finds

Need some light and a place to put your cocktail while you lay out a flush? Use this handy lamp / triangle table!

For those non-card playing party goers, we have this nice conversation area full of lovelies!

From Mid-Century Finds

We prefer wood, but could not pass up these chrome numbers for the price offered!

Already shined up, but with some new material, they will soon be everyone’s favorite!

And anything looks better next too a black metal magazine rack and a “I dream of Jeanie” table lamp!

In love with our new Mid-Century Danish Modern chair…look at those lines on that baby!

From Mid-Century Finds

One of my favorite finds…the lamp shade!

Ooh, the chicken scratch of it all just makes me smile.

From Mid-Century Finds

 I got the lamp with a different shade…

But I had to bring the couple together and now they will live happily ever after!

From Mid-Century Finds

Old kitchen chairs and a vintage doctor stool, with new colors, may make great seating at our low kitchen peninsula!

I could not pass this one up for only $2.00!

From Mid-Century Finds

If I do not use it as is, I have a gold-fish scale wall art project in mind for that frame and maybe a couple of smaller pieces from the art!

But this little cutie will fit in nicely.

From Mid-Century Finds

My husband is a sap for water / boat scenes!

From Mid-Century Finds

Although we have the nice turquoise ones above, these small handfuls of color will fit nicely in that mid-century bar…uh…when we finally find it!

Speaking of glass…

From Mid-Century Finds

My husband being sensible, found some ceiling light fixtures, that just may fit in!

As a gift, I found this beauty for my Jim!

From Mid-Century Finds

No Picasso’s in our finds, but we like them!

So…”Where do we find them?” You ask.

We found most of these pieces in a great little town in the middle of nowhere, Florida. Arcadia has a cute little downtown that consists of 4 blocks and a million antique stores. Once a month they have an Antique Sidewalk Sale!

We found some smalls for great deals on the sidewalks, but hit the mother lode when we walked into the The Opera House!

If you are into history, antiques from any era or style, or even ghosts, Arcadia and The Opera House are must see!

We will be back for sure! Okay, we need to pick up a bigger piece…but since a full day there did not get us through all the stores, I think more shopping will happen.

Some of those pieces are from thrift stores! Thrift stores are my heart and soul! Most antique stores are too dear for my pockets, so I hunt thrifts often. And don’t forget to find the Goodwill Clearance stores! Chairs for $3.00…what the what?


Our next adventure is a couple of mid-century auctions!

Wish us luck!


Please Visit and Shop if you are so inclined at:  Our Own Big World!