Oct. 18, 2012

Me and my youngest brother, Brownie Boswell from Destin, Florida. Taken in New Orleans in c. 2010 (2011?).

Cough cures:

1.)     Cider vinegar and honey (whiskey optional), as strong as you like it!

2.)     Thyme tea (brew it strong!) with honey.

Believe me, these natural remedies work, and they won’t give you “severe liver damage” if you take too much (like store-bought cough suppressant medicine [I read this on the label!]).

3.)     Overheard today at Publix, a great market here in Coral Gables (and in other areas):

Vodka and honey!

(“It cures your cough AND helps you sleep!”)


Big banyan tree near Jim’s house in Coral Gables, Florida. Oct. 2012

I just adore the culture here in Miami. First, it’s hot hot hot and humid. So, much is forgiven and much insanity is expected. Second, many Cubans are here — and Haitians, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, South and Central Americans. It’s very diverse, marvelously Spanish(-speaking), and OUT-going with all that entails/includes/permits. Yea!

For 20  minutes I talked to a Marco, a Cuban guy who has been here for 25 years. He works at Publix. He told me about Cuba and about Italian wines. Fabulous! Marco probably got a kick out of my initial conversation-opener: “Where is the ‘Waiter’s Cork Screw’ wine that’s on sale for $3.99?” Oh, those are the cork screws hanging alongside the wines right below that little sign.

Uh, oh. Yeah. OK.

Marco told me that one should not have more than 3 glasses of wine. Wine cleans out the blood. Italian wine is the best (French and Spanish wine gives one headaches; Australian–ditto: Yellow Tail is very bad; some California wines can be good, some not). Get a Merlot. Marco pays about $5 a bottle for wine; he directed me to the cheap Italian wines in the store. I found 2 bottles of Italian wine for $10. Merlot.

We went on from there to a discussion of Cuba then (perfect! beautiful!) and Cuba now (horrible! destroyed! very poor!).

Most tourists only see the sweet parts of Cuba. A Couchsurfer I stayed with in Bolinas, Ca. a few (3?) years ago had visited Cuba recently and was gutsy enough to look behind the facade the authorities presented. She met real Cubans, poor people  in dire straits, who were roughly prohibited from going into any tourist areas.

My Publix informant on the much-vaunted Cuban health care system: Great system; wonderful doctors; the hospitals/clinics have NO supplies!

So much for my desire to try to sneak into Cuba on this trip.

Miami, or Coral Gables at least, is divine. Beautiful architecture (Jim’s street is full of lovely old [1930s] Spanish-style homes); little lizards everywhere; huge banyan trees. I will know more soon:  I go into Miami-proper tomorrow to another Couchsurfer’s house across from Target.



(from Wikipedia)

Publix Super Markets, Inc. (commonly known as Publix) is an American supermarket chain based in Lakeland, Florida.[6]

Founded in 1930 by George W. Jenkins, it is an employee-owned, privately held corporation. Publix is currently ranked No. 67 on Fortune magazine’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For 2011 and was ranked No. 6 on Forbes‘ 2011 list of America’s Largest Private Companies and is the largest in Florida. The company’s 2011 sales totaled US$27.1 billion, with profits of nearly $1.5 billion, ranking #106 on Fortune magazine’s Fortune 500 list of U.S. companies for 2012. Supermarket News ranked Publix No. 8 in the 2012 “Top 75 North American Food Retailers” based on 2008 fiscal year sales. Based on 2011 revenue, Publix is the fourteenth-largest US retailer. Publix’s current stock price is $22.40 per share though it is privately held and not available to the public.

Publix has operations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee.

In 2012, Publix announced they would open stores in Charlotte, North Carolina, the first in the state. Publix also said they are already looking to expand within the state.


Anya and Alon, my oldest child and her husband. 2011

Here’s a picture I can insert just because this is my blog and I can do that.

Everybody who wants to freely express themselves would love to blog. It’s so much fun! Cock-a-doodle do!



I was talking to a man on the street in Los Angeles, and I told him about Couchsurfing. He was astounded and shocked, and he undoubtedly thought I was a deranged, warped woman. “So you haven’t been trapped yet,” he said referring to my surfing experiences. This disturbing and seemingly cowardly man was hobbling along on a cane as a result of a broken foot he got in Vietnam. He tries to walk two miles a day. I left him behind at his suggestion; he was probably relieved to be rid of me.

No, I haven’t been trapped yet. What a fucking, scary thought! I do go into strangers’ houses all the time, and I spend nights there, trusting these unknown people with my life. And my passport.

Did that Los Angelino know something I don’t? Is my charmed time, traveling here and there, at strangers’ mercy, limited? Someday, will I be swallowed up, never to return, lost forever, my whereabouts unknown? Could I be tortured for months, killed and probably eaten by a perverted monster?Yes, it could happen. It could happen to any of us who wander, homeless, around the world

We all know psychotic killers exist and are searching for their victims RIGHT NOW. What more perfect disguise could there be than a benign, generous Couchsurfing host? A person who welcomes grateful, weary travelers looking for shelter from the storms of life.

Great. Now, I’m terrified and forever cursed by that broken, old man’s fears. Let’s hope this is only a story… I have to stop doing this to myself!

Happy Hallowe’en.


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