Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It's My Hair!

I have cut back on many things during this "economic downturn " ...we don't eat out as much, we sold our second vehicle and downsized to a smaller house. But ....I don't scrimp on my hair! I recently went to a fancy spa salon called Panache located here in charming St. Augustine, Florida as I needed a eyebrow waxing and my grey roots made brown!

It is in a really cute old building and I was able to walk there from the house we had rented.
It is an environmentally aware or conscious business with many great organic products which I appreciated but the very best part...was the great customer service!

From the very first moment I walked in the door, I was greeted, I felt valued and appreciated. I knew instantly they were thankful for my business. This really wasn't much more costly than my normal salon but the feeling I had after my stay was transforming...this simple training of their staff in simple courtesies that make you feel like you are so important to them.
I introduced myself...the receptionist seemed to be delighted to meet this "Ronda person!" and all the while making eye contact with me.
She said Jesse would be with me in a few minutes and she was.
Jesse came in and introduced herself and promptly said my name in a sentence as in...
"Ronda, I am so happy to have you here! Could you follow me?"
and I said " Uh Huh! "
( I knew within minutes I was in a great place)
Jesse was the person who would be doing my eyebrows...she was kind and gentle...even when she laughed at me!
She opened this door and in the beautiful room was a table...
I was perplexed as I normally have to bend over backwards at a shampoo bowl to have my eyebrows done.
So I said sheepishly..."I am not here for a massage!" and she laughed but kindly!
She said "No...this is where we do eyebrows!"
It was comfortable, quick and painless as I was comfortably lying on my back while she waxed my brow.

She walked me to meet Sean who would be doing my hair...again the same thoughtful greeting and handshake.
While Sean was talking to me about my hair...Jesse came back with a mug of hot tea for me...saying..."I know you have water but I thought you might like to try our new tea!"
Listen...I know she was trying to up sell me and that she most definitely worked on commission but I was so touched by this gesture and guess what... it worked... I bought the tea!

In the end...I got a great color and a great haircut and was treated quite well!
As I walked home I thought...Gee... a three hour drive is not a lot for that kind of service!
I mean it's my hair!

Where do you go for great service? What makes it so special?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

And You, too Grandma?

I just listened to the news this morning and again....they are talking about the mother who put her children out of the car three miles from their home.

As I understand the facts...the girls were fighting and she told them to get out...she drove around the block and when she returned the girls were no where in sight. She drove home and the older girl was home...the younger girl had been found by a woman, bought ice cream and then the police were called. The younger girl was taken to the police department.

Mom calls police to report her young girl missing. Dad and Mom go to pick daughter up and Mom is arrested. the part of the story I didn't know...Grandmother was in car!!!

I was not judging this Mom...although, let me be clear...I do feel what she did is wrong...and while I wasn't a perfect mother...I never threw them out of the car for arguing or anything else for that matter.
I might have threatened to kill them, but that's all!
But...when I heard the grand mother was in the car...I was furious!
I don't know why but it just seems heartbreaking to me that Grandma was in the car!
What do you think?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bloggy Book Club

April's Bloggy Book club book was Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell, the cover states...
Leaving behind her private forensic pathology practice in Charleston, South Carolina, Kay Scarpetta takes up an assignment in New York City where the NYPD has asked her to examine an injured patient on Bellevue Hospital's psychiatric prison ward. The handcuffed and chained patient, Oscar Bane, has specifically asked for her , and when she literally has her gloved hands on him, he begins to talk and the story he has to tell turns out to be one of the most bizarre she has ever heard...

Since I had a lot of driving to do this month...I chose to listen to this book on is long 15 hours!

I had been an earlier fan of Patricia Cornwell and have enjoyed the Scarpetta series in the past although I have missed two or three of the last novels. I thought I was fairly familiar with the characters and could pick up with feelings are that her characters have not aged well! Many of them have more than flawed characteristics but rather all seem rather jaded...
one character who I had enjoyed seem to have committed a violent sex crime in a past novel which I had not read. While this had been a colorful character, there wasn't anything in any past novels to indicate this behavior and this action didn't ring true. Actually it makes Scarpetta and others seem ineffective because of it...because of this and a few other details ...the entire story didn't ring true for me. I didn't care for the characters. I solved the crime early and too many coincidences needed to happen for the story to even unfold.
I was disappointed in this novel almost from the beginning... I love a good forensic mystery... but I just couldn't buy into this story!

If anyone else would like to give it a try...let me know and I will mail you the box CD set!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Watching People Go By...

I have spent several hours sitting at the fort... people watching. I enjoy watching people at airports, malls, beaches and parks. I imagine who they are or what they do. I look closely at their posture or expressions to get clues about these people and their lives.
You would think that in St. Augustine since it is a tourist destination that everyone would be happy...but that doesn't seem to be the case.
Some walk in solitude, shoulders slumped as if they are carrying the weight of the world with them...I always say a silent prayer to God to be with them and give them courage.
Others are very animated on cell phones ignoring the person standing beside them...I say a prayer for the one who is feeling lonely but not alone that she may feel God's love and his presence.
Others still, are so busy getting from point A to point B that they miss where they are right now and the beauty right in front of them...I ask God to show them the grace in being still.

My family knows I talk to strangers as well...
I met a lady named Joanne today...I liked her right off...she has had a hard life...I ask that you pray for her!
Have a beautiful weekend!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wake Up Maggie May!

I had an interesting morning...
First...Hubby and I are in a significant tiff...the kind where he sleeps and snores and I toss and turn thinking over each statement he made to me! We are in St. Augustine... still at the charming bungalow we rented...
Hubby left early to go to the job site...I, who had fallen asleep on the couch, in her clothes and woke up with half her makeup still on...only now at the bottom of her face, sit pouting on the couch!
My cell phone rings and it is a good friend who has relocated to Jacksonville...I am chatting away...not caring that it is after 9am and that I look like death warmed over...when someone pounds on the front door! Dogs barking...I quickly say my "goodbyes" and answer the door!

There is a man in uniform with clipboard in hand who looks up over his clip board to ask if I am
John Smith... ( not actual name said)...
I without a thought about what I look like reply...
Uniformed man sighs and says..."Is this John Smith's house?"
To which I reply honestly..."I don't know!"
Uniformed and evil thinking man questions "Don't you know where you slept last night?"
I am now getting snooty...well as snooty as a disheveled 50 year old woman can get!
I try to straighten my hair and smooth my wrinkled shirt and say...
"I have rented this house and I can't remember his name off the top of my head...."
and then I say with a touch of a British accent because the British do snooty best
"What seems to be the problem?"
Evil thinking, uniformed man who now is snooty too, or actual British citizen...says
"Well, it would seem that , it is unfortunate for you because I am here to turn off your electric!"
And he did!
My phone is now ringing...and it's my daughter and I ask her for the owner's name and phone number and she gives it to me.
I then start to tell her what evil thinking, uniformed man said and I stop unable to express in words what this man thought of me and I am saying...
"He thought I was...was...was..."
And my daughter cracked me up when she said...
"He thought you were Coyote Ugly!"
I am laughing and said
" I should have yelled over my shoulder...Hey, are you John?"

Hubby reached owner by phone, and the owner was mortified although I am unsure he may know what mortified really feels like! He said he would call the management company and then he said to my Hubby..."What about the water?"
I told Hubby...I wasn't answering the door the rest of the morning!

Good news...
Electric is back on and water seems to be fine!
I am off to take the trolley ride!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

10 Things I Hate About You

****This was a post I was never going to "hit publish post" for...but I mentioned it on a bloggy friend's blog and she suggested I should publish it and since...I am in an argument with my Hubby I decided to "hit publish post!"
I was frustrated with my Hubby to the point of planning his demise and how to dispose of his remains when I reminded myself of two things...I am not a good liar and my brother is a homicide detective for the county I live in...

Brother: "Ronda, where is your husband?"
Ronda: "He is in the backyard...under the azaleas!"

Seriously...The plot of the next Lifetime movie!

My second thought was to lacerate (nice ten dollar word) him on my blog kids read my blog and frankly My Hubby would possibly strike back with his own blog....Bob's Bitchin' ( sorry Mom!)
anyway...I decided to turn my frustrations inward and this is the post! The things I hate are about myself... I don't really "hate" these things...I am merely not fond of them but I liked the title of the I left it!
My point is there are two sides to every argument...and while I am tempted to say My side and the wrong wouldn't be true!****

1. I hate that you follow rules to the letter...that if you don't know them you look them up! You are the rule keeper, the rule reminder and you let everyone know if they broke the rules!
2. I hate that everything is a "big deal" to would seem there are no small problems...only large ones!
3. I hate that you are so insecure... At what age are you secure about who you are as a person?
4. I hate that you keep and maintain a record of know it's wrong and yet you do it!!
5. I hate that you don't trust others. You may feel you have good reason but it effects all your relationships adversely!
6. I hate that you doesn't make you clever or shows how weak you feel.
7. I hate that you are afraid of change...nothing remains the same and change is normal.
8. I hate that you are so sensitive...let things roll off your back more often!
9. I hate that you always feel you need to defend the "underdog" makes others feel like you think yourself superior to them.
10. I hate that you would actually argue with a brick wall!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday Salon

Sometimes...I feel sorry for myself! Sometimes I feel blue...maybe it's hormonal...if I have any hormones left! I read a really good book that I highly's a short read ...easy for those who don't like to read.
I highly recommend it for those who have a bit of an attitude problem right now!
Many of my " friends" on facebook have sad little one liners on their "What's on your mind?" line... so...this book is just for you!

The Diving Bell and The Butterfly by Jean-Dominque Bauby is the memoir of the editor-in-chief of French Elle, who suffered a stroke that resulted in locked-in syndrome when he was only 43 ears old. He died shortly after the french publication of his book.
This book was recommended to me but the stark facts of the true story made me not want to read the book and so I didn't! I am sad to was a sale at Barnes and Nobles that encouraged me to read it...I am a girl who loves a sale!
Buy two...get one free...this was my free book!

I am so happy to have been gifted this is beautifully written and so very eloquent is 131 pages of the power of human will make you aware of your own life and your simple wonders and pleasures.

Jean -Dominique Bauby was left after his stroke with complete paralysis and
could only move his left eyelid, only slightly...his mind however, is completely intact. With the help of Claude Mendibel who wrote down every letter that Bauby signaled with his eye to her with the aid of an alphabet screen, he painstakingly made letters form words, sentences and then pages and then a completed memoir... a very beautifully written memoir completed before his death.

I am left with such encouragement for my own life and the gifts I have been given... daughter reads this book ( it will take her no time at all)...I will mail it to the first person who asks for it...I just ask that you blog about it!

Happy reading!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A House with A View...

This is the house we are renting in St. Augustine, Florida. It is a charming bungalow with a front and back porch. It is in walking distance to the Fort, Sebastian's Winery and all the city's churches!

Anyone interested in info about this house can email me at and I will give you the owners info...I highly recommend St. Augustine, Florida and this house for your next vacation!
For more pictures of the house and links to places to visit go to Travel with Ronda and for more friday fotos visit Cute Candid Carrie!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Motley Crew

We are in St. Augustine, Florida...working... but we did meet up with some Pirates...on Saturday night.

One of those "ladies" was trying to pick my pocketbook!

For more pictures of St. Augustine visit Travel with Ronda!
For more Wordful Wednesdays visit Angie!

Dear Anonymous

Anonymous ,
...Get your own blog! This is Ronda's Rants...not Anonymous Rants...I no longer allow anonymous comments!

You will need to "man up" and leave your name from now on!

Ronda's Rants

Monday, April 13, 2009


Hello...from St. Augustine...I would love to say Hello with great pictures but I am using my Hubby's lap top which doesn't like my no pictures!

We had a great weekend...the house is small...2 bedrooms 1 bath...a bungalow...cute!
Our first night we walked to Harry's and had a great dinner! We met a few thing led to another...
We are pretending to be on vacation but it is a working hard vacation!!

We have to drive home to Tampa for a meeting sometime tomorrow...I will post my great pictures then.

Many of you have heard of a blogger named Blog Stalker...I am a great fan of this blogger...
He/She has a new blog called Blog Stalker Revealed...or B.S. Revealed...stop by and check it out and see how we try to unmask the super hero!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

May you feel God's presence your whole life! May you be blessed and may you feel loved!
Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

friday foto Fort

Here is the Fort, Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, Florida...My Hubby and our dogs, Riley and Miley!

This town will be our home away from home for the next month!

Happy Easter!!!

For more friday fotos visit Cute Candid Carrie.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Making Lemonade out of Lemons!

I don't know about everywhere but here in Florida...unemployment is high! Three family members here lost their jobs in one day last week! We have our own business but have had to make some serious cuts...letting people go is the most difficult aspect...really difficult!

We have stayed busy...accepted work we might otherwise have turned down before.
I think so much of life is attitude...this is not to say I always have a good family would call me out publicly if I wrote that I did! much of what has happened to us... well, I could really be resentful and think it isn't fair because we have worked hard and we are in our 50's....blah! blah! blah!
But...I try hard to look at the blessings I have...and I have many!!

We have to take a job in St. Augustine, Florida because there isn't anything for us in Tampa right now...So...we are making the best of it...we have rented a cute house close to the historical section of town and we will be there for a month! My favorite restaurant Harry's, is a 10 minute walk!
I will be blogging on location...(who's says I can't pretend to be Samantha Brown) turning Lemons to Lemonade!
Visit Angie for more Wordful Wednesdays!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My Granny

I stay with my Granny on the weekends, well, not the whole weekend...I split it up with my sister!
I was overwhelmed at first...I received a typed three page instruction list on how to take care of her the first time!
My first thought was ...
I am not qualified to do this!
and My second thought was...
Oh, my God don't let me kill Granny!
I love sitting with her and hearing the same stories over and over and OVER!
There is a comfort to hearing your family history spoken from the authority of that history...she struggles to remember what happened 40 minutes ago...but memories from 40 years ago unfold effortlessly!
I also love walking through her home and looking at all the pictures that document our family...the odd placing of a 60 year old picture next to the picture of a recent addition to our family...just adds to my love!
I will cherish this time I have with her and I am grateful to God for the gift!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Eat, Drink, and Be from Mississippi

I just finished Eat, Drink, and Be from Mississippi by Nanci Kincaid and I really liked it!

The book cover states:
At least the young man on Truely Noonan's doorstep is from the South. Truley and his sister, Courtney, are transplanted Mississippians who have made their fortunes in California, but they're due for a change. They have more money than they ever dreamed of, homes with spectacular views, and their brother-sister bond is sweet and strong.
But their marriages have disintegrated. Something inside rings hollow. They are both lost.
The young man, Arnold, doesn't exactly look like a savior. A troubled teenager from the streets, he is talkative, thuggish dressed, and clueless. Truley and Courtney turn Arnold into their mission, introducing him to books on tape, buying him new clothes. Arnold resists their good intentions at first, but he needs a place to stay, and at least he has good Southern manners. Then something shocking happens that show Arnold in a new light- and it's no longer clear who's been changing and teaching whom.

I received this book from a drawing at Lattes and Life and The Hachette Book Group sent me a copy...and boy, did I hit the Jack Pot! It was a great read...interesting characters that you were sad to stop reading about...and for me that is sometimes rare to find.
My only complaint...this book is told in the third person and it is from a male character who other characters basically describe as someone who doesn't want to see things...
Let's think about that a moment...I am reading the perspective of someone who doesn't want to see things!
Many times while reading this novel I was praying the next chapter would have another character tell what was going on because the character of Truley Noonan either didn't know or wasn't telling.
This left me with a feeling like I never got the full story...which I guess might be good as I let my imagination fill in the gaps!
I enjoyed this book none-the-less!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Ry-Baer

Happy Birthday Ryan!
My Baby...

When you were about 8 or 9 you came to me and said that your older brother had told you that you were not planned! You were upset...

I told you that while you hadn't been planned you were like a surprise birthday party!
That's the truth...
it was like God himself threw me the very best surprise birthday party!
It was like winning the baby lottery!!!
I thought I wouldn't have any more baby moments but I got a bonus round...
You are kind and patient and gentle...just like your Dad...and you are the spittin' image of him!!
Happy 24th...Thank you for always making us so proud!
Love, Mom
For more friday foto visit Cute Candid Carrie

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Lauren!

Happy Birthday to my future daughter-in-my-heart!

Almost from your first date with my son you have been a part of our family because of your sweet and good nature!

Soon after that first date...I asked Ryan to tell me about you and his entire face lit up and he said "Mom she is so beautiful and her laugh is just great!"

That conversation is a memory I'll always have to treasure!

I love this picture of you and Rachel...
It was a fun day!
Thank you for all the joy you bring into Ryan and his family's life!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Harley and Rocky

Our family loves dogs and between us we have 7 dogs. These are my daughter's and son-in-law's dogs and they are just the best..My grand doggies!
Visit Angie for more Wordful Wednesdays!