Who are these silent strangers waiting for me to know who they are?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

absolutely nothing

blah and blah. Everyday in every way, I am getting better and better. Hehe. Fuck Dairy! Hah! I find myself on this fine rainy morning feeling quite contrary and full of piss and vinegar. (and the stubborn remains of dairy proteins) I feel like a gun slinger waiting for a chance to prove I'm the top gun. Perhaps its a good day to pay bills. (note to self: Do not fucking swear at the fucking sheep brains that are following their fucking script). AND Playdom has somehow vaporized 15 of my gold. (It's just a game. . . it's just a game . . . it's just a game) So - not even kitties will calm this raging need to swear, stomp and . . . what else? I think I will go stack and chop wood. Then I'll pay bills. Then I'll knit. Hmmmmmm. A quick trip down crap gully might lift my mood cause laxatives and coffee do not go well together.(I could try some beer) That horse farm is looking better and better. The only thing is, I want to start my own village and populate it with people I choose. Damn! my sister is calling. I am now retreating into a brain fog as I answer the phone.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ranting - why the hell not?

It was just like any other day, at least it was when I woke up this morning. I had forgotten to start the dishwasher before bed and so, I turned the dial as I walked through the kitchen on the way to my cigarettes. Cigarette in hand, I headed for the coffee. Shit! The carafe was in the dishwasher. Did I want instant? Only if there where no other choice or a loaded gun to my head. That’s when I made the fatal mistake of not removing the carafe instantly and beginning my day correctly. (a decision that haunted me) Instead, I had a tiny can of coke, puffed my camel and moved on to my next task. I was headed into the pit of hell to buy the only dairy free margarine to be had for miles around. It was unwise to enter Walmart at any time and doubly so without at least one cup of joe under my belt. But there I went, since Thanksgiving was in a couple of days and margarine is essential to stuffing. Once inside, I was on complete autopilot since my brain automatically abdicated the moment I walked through the sliding doors. I was assaulted by endless canned Christmas carols and cinnamon fragranced pine cones. Past the fresh produce, the frozen pizza’s and the screaming infant in meat department, I plodded. Got the green package of margarine and trying not to drool and twitch, I headed for the self check out. In line ahead of me was a VERY large man, in very large puce sweat pants, with an unwashed mullet and body odor that makes dead skunk at 100 degrees on freshly tarred asphalt a pleasant enjoyable experience. He was buying cheese whiz and beer. I kept my eyes averted and still my retina were seared beyond repair from the view of his plumber’s canyon oozing something green when he bent to grab his plastic bag. As I tried to swallow I watched his size 11 XX wide purpled feet in their iridescent flip-flops squelch away.
Outside, having survived the excursion into hell, I found Mr. Universe trying to wedge himself into a Toyota truck. There was a pale young man attempting to squeeze the right bum of Mt Fuji onto the seat without actually touching anything. Next to this scene was the lovely sight of dead deer tied to the roof of a minivan with a support tata’s bumper sticker.

Why the hell not? This is my question of the day. Why the hell not? You want fish and peanuts for Thanksgiving? Why the hell not. You prefer throwback pepsi to coke? Why the hell not. Want to radically change careers? Why the hell not. You want to dance naked on the back porch? Why the hell not. What have we got to lose? Let your brain go. Have an analysis holiday and pretend that reality doesn’t exist. Who needs it anyway? As long as you only break the law in your mind and nobody gets hurt, why the hell not!

If I want to sell everything I have and buy a horse ranch, why the hell not!? If I want to burn Bridges of Madison County in my fire pit and celebrate with a frozen Mike's lemonade, why the hell not? If I want to move somewhere that the median IQ is above 80, why the hell not!? If I want to get outside my comfort zone and enjoy it!!! why the hell not? I am ranting now and not really making much sense but I don’t care. Why am I always doing what I should do? I just want to do somethings that are just because. The more I let my imagination go, the crazier my ideas get. Eventually, I will come up with the in between and then . . . why the hell not.

Friday, November 18, 2011


It's very sad when I find that the few free minutes I have during the day were spent pointlessly clicking on the playdom button hoping that I could get in and play Gardens of Time. What's up with that? I definitely need a new distraction. I reluctantly picked up a few books and researched them. I brought in more wood for the fire. I folded laundry. I even went on Facebook for the first time in almost a year. I tried meditating (and fell asleep). So - poo!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Distilled thoughts

Today I joined the ranks of West Virginia bootleggers as I distilled months of thoughts and emotions into a cup of liquid fire and drank it in one gulp. It’s best to get it over with, splutter and cough, and move on to the next project.
All in all, the summer was bitter sweet. It was filled with hopes, friends and precious moments, punctuated by moments of intense reclaimed baggage. It was over too soon and I left WI for WV feeling gypped.
The fall has been filled with frantic cleaning, inside and out. It seemed to pass by like fart in the wind. And here it is, almost winter at last. Time for a good hibernation. Well, maybe a brief snooze will do. Anyway. After distillation, the only thing worth aging like a fine wine is living, breathing souls. Friends, family, cats, and arguably, the nature around me. All the rest is just so much window dressing and clutter. The past helps mold who we are but does not define us. I am who I am but who will I become? That will be the next project.

when is it too much?

when is it too much

shared memories, laughs and sorrows
etched by virtue of common parents
unbreakable bonds some might say
no thought of eternal tomorrows
trapped and loosed at will
like weapons of mass destruction
upon the unsuspecting sibling

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Some days are like being in an oarless row boat. I wake up with intentions and goals, get myself ready and in the boat . . . and then I discover that the currents have taken me out to the middle of the stream without the paddles! Nothing goes as planned and I have to either jump out and swim to shore or let the currents take me where they will. Of course, when I drift, I don't get much done except thinking. I guess, because I am not an island, I do interact with people and the world around me, there are times when plans must change. This usually does not affect me too much, I can roll with the punches. Today, I just can't get my brain to cooperate. I really don't want to jump in and start over. Maybe if I got a tow, or someone threw me a paddle I'd be able to get moving again. There are the loads of laundry waiting, the floors to be swept, the packing, and the inevitable dinner preparation. Along with a few other things these are the constant chores of the day. So, why am I sitting at my computer, surfing for info, playing pogo, blogging and drifting? I feel like there is no tomorrow. I don't mean in a morbid, apocalyptic sense. Just that my brain does not want to look beyond the moment. I would love to be sitting on Gam, fully engaged in the moment, without a thought for anything else, but reality is that I am sitting in a not too comfortable chair, unmotivated and sluggish. Randomly, I noticed that the lovely purple flowered vine by the pond has decided to decorate the neighboring tree. Maybe its time for a BLT and a coke followed by a cigarette and a swift kick in the ass.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Today is a a strange day for me. I feel both angry and sad. I have spent many years working hard to not feel. I was pretty successful at it too. The more emotion that threatened me, the more numb I became. Recently I began working on rediscovering my emotions and embracing them. Feeling them and not hiding from them. Now, I am at their mercy. I refuse to anesthetize myself again but I am having to learn again how to deal with emotion. It is mother’s day and I really miss my mom. When she died I felt lost, sad and angry. It took me some time to not feel overwhelmed but it was a little easier because I had a daughter with cancer. The need to take care of her came first. I had to be calm and be able to function. I never stopped missing her but I managed to not feel grief so much and could still think clearly. (mostly) Here it is 10 years later and I miss her just as much and feel the grief keenly. In fact, I find myself nearly consumed with grief for not only my mom, but for my sister as well. When my sister committed suicide I felt nothing. At least, that is what I told myself. But . . . fuck, I miss her too. I feel angry at myself, and everyone that ignored her when she truly needed help. Like the boy who cried wolf, she suffered.
My daughter just went through another bout of illness. It was not cancer but still, she was very ill. To her it seemed as if she might die. She had barely eaten or slept in over 7 days. Her experience at the ER left her feeling like no one would help her. She was in Denver and I was in WV. Eventually, out of sheer desperation, I flew her back to IL to see the one Dr that we knew would listen and do something. I cannot express how hard it is to sit, states away and not be able to help or comfort her and her husband. If I had actually had enough money I would have gone to IL to take care of her. But, I was lucky that good friends were there for her. Friends that took her into their home and despite their own problems, took care of her and got her to the Dr. Back here I was racked with guilt and with anxiety. Waiting for the tiniest word that she was showing any signs if improvement. Wishing that it were not so hard on her and on my friends. Wishing I could help her husband, just wishing I could help. I sat here, feeling. Those feelings, after so many years are nearly foreign. I feel angry at the medical professionals who treated her like crap, didn’t listen or do anything, and acted like she was crazy. (and at the whole school system in Denver). Feeling helpless about so many things. I know that, in reality, I can only be responsible for myself. I know that I am the only one to take care of me, and I cannot make anyone but myself do anything. That doesn’t mean I don’t grind my teeth in frustration over the injustices of the world, especially when they affect those I love. If I could, I’d get all I have to my children and my friends, to help them. But I can’t. I still have to pay bills, eat, and live. So, here I sit trying to learn the balance. How can I repay and show my gratitude? How can I support without managing someone else? How can I feel and not go crazy? What can one do with all these conflicting emotions? Oh My God! I love people so much it hurts but love just doesn’t seem like its enough.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Morning with Mike

This morning Mike strolled majestically through the house, stomach swinging. All the while he meowed, plaintive, yet conscientiously. He checked out each individual (human and feline). Finally, he stopped in front of me and inquired about the possibility of some extra kibble. When I informed his majesty that kibble was not forthcoming, he pleaded his case. Still staring into my face as if to hypnotize me, he stretched himself up and snagged my sweatshirt. "Just a handful? Just one?" he telepathed. Much to his disappointment, I pretended to be oblivious, and, removing his talons from my front, I went on loading the dishwasher. A few minutes later, I found him in a pool of sunlight, fast asleep.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

random word story

It was going to be a long trip and Charity was already tired. Planes, trains, buses more trains. She was headed out to visit her brother in India. Her mind wandered from the picturesque scenes out the train window. The sun never sets on the British Empire. “Ha!” she thought. She was somewhere in France on her way to Istanbul. There she would board a plane. She had already endured an ocean voyage from New York to Bristol, a train ride, a ferry ride and now was on her second train. Not to mention the bus ride from Memphis to New York. Something caught her attention out the window and she glanced. People on horseback. They were beautiful horses. She didn’t really notice the people but went right into thinking about the plight of horses in France. The grass quality is abominable in France and she had heard that the French keep their horses in tiny little paddocks and hardly ever turn them out. This of course, made her think about Rooster, her gelding whom she missed terribly. Her friend would take could care of Rooster but . . . I have to remember, she thought, to tell Grace to check the Rooster’s bridle. She had not oiled the leather before she left and was afraid it might dry too much and crack. She also hoped that Grace would not give him to much sugar. Grace liked to hand out the sweets a little too often. Carrots were much better for him no matter what he thinks. Anyway, she glanced north again but the riders were long gone.

A couple of rows ahead of her a small child was climbing over the seats. Her mind instantly turned him into a chimp. Yes, a chimp was preferable than a small human. At least they don’t whine. She wondered if sugar cubes would work on the slobbering thing. Charity determinably picked up her book. It was supposed to be a best seller but so far she had found it dull and predictable. She sighed deeply and wished that she had brought an ipod or something, anything, to block out the noise of the train. It was at that very moment that a rather fat man came waddling down the aisle. Shiny badge flashing on his gelatinous waist. Why put it there, she thought. Why not put it on the chest where one doesn’t have to watch it jiggle with the rolls. She noticed how he somehow made the badge the first thing you saw. (Aside from the bulk) It was like one those geeks with a fancy cell phone on his belt. As he passed by, the scent of lavender water wafted over. She could still hear the swish of his rayon pants as he hurried toward the back of the car.
Not long after his exit, the train pulled into a depot and stopped. This was not a scheduled stop and so everyone looked around nervously. Out the window Charity could see the large man gesticulating wildly as he talked with two uniformed officers. As she watched a man in khaki shorts and a hideous flowered shirt was escorted by two more officers past the red faced blob. Another followed behind carrying a large tusk. One can only speculate what this scene was all about. The blimp oozed quickly over and yanked the tusk out of the officers hands. After another heated discussion, the blimp in question re boarded the train brandishing the tusk like a well earned trophy.

Stress Management

“What,” she asked herself, “am I going to do now?”
It was just one of those days that seemed like one more straw would break the camels back. Knowing this was the state of affairs, she knew she had to act quickly or suffer the consequences. Whether it be a broken back or a broken mind, something must be done quickly. That’s when she started a list of the most outrageous things she could think of. You know, kind of like a bucket list but not lifetime goals, just sanity goals.
1. Make a raspberry smoothie (dairy free of course) and drink it while eating the most expensive dark chocolate bar available. Seeing that she was living in a town of 350 people it would only cost her about $1.50 and be made by hershey.
2. When the sun goes down, take a bubble bath in a candle lit bathroom. Have some music playing and lock the cats (and everyone else) out. Not really that outrageous but relaxing none-the-less.
3. Put your ipod on random and sing along with all the songs that come on very loudly. Especially the ones from the 70s.
4. Find some laugh out loud old movies on netflix and watch them while having as much coffee and cigarettes as you want. (Inside the house!) Hah!
5. Call up people that you haven’t talked to in a long time just to say “Hi” and maybe have some conversations.
6. Go to the Random word generator and generate 8 words. Then write a short story based on the results.
a. Tusk
b. empire
c. bridle
d. trophy
e. north
f. sugar
g. chimp
h. badge
(see story in a later post)
7. Turn on the TV but put it on mute. Then watch a program and make up your own dialogue or commentary.
8. Have a glass of wine and post ridiculous things.
9. Make up nick names for all your friends and family and let them know what it is and why you chose it.
10. Buy purple nail polish and paint your toe nails.
11. Get a big coloring book and crayons. - self explanatory. Try coloring every other page in the completely wrong colors. (not as easy as it sounds) Then pick out your favorite 3 and put them on the frig.
12. Insult your pillow. Get as descriptive and creative as you can and then scream obscenities into it. Your pillow will not mind.
13. Reverse number 12 and compliment your pillow, being as creative and descriptive as you want. Tell it all thing wonderful things you could do together.
14. See how high you can stack your pennies without you or the cats knocking it down.
15. Pretend you are from another country or planet and refuse to speak in English.
16. Wear your PJ’s and sandals to Walmart at about 2 am (preferably after you’ve painted your toe nails purple). Find at least two items that do not go together and watch the cashier try to figure out what you have in mind. Example: Vaseline, peanut butter, glitter, and a spatula.
17. Look at photos and come up with clever captions.

Well, something has to work right?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Here I Sit

Here I sit
alone in the dark
not sleeping
I embrace the silence
let it flow through me
In the darkness
nothing disturbs my senses
nothing clamors for attention
nothing needs to be done
Here I sit
still as the earth beneath me
my thoughts like
a feather in the wind
gently floating and drifting
facing East where the sun rises
I see only the anticipation of light
facing West where the sun sets
I see only the memory of what was
facing North where cold resides
I see myself reflected in the ice
facing South I see where warmth
breathes in the spring
Here I sit
acknowledging that I Am

Friday, April 29, 2011

To Smoke or Not to Smoke

I am busy thinking with my fingers again. So much to think about this time of year. (What with the Royal Wedding and all.) I am contemplating a try at smoking cessation. I know that it would be better for my health but I am not sure I can accomplish it. Just cutting back has been hard. Really, there is no try, only do. I either stop or I don’t. See, my conflict is not the addiction, it is health vs enjoyment. I have come to enjoy a good smoke with a cup of coffee, or while I watch the sunset, or when I am with good friends just being friends. It has become part of my deep thinking process, part of my relaxation process and part of my socialization/I feel good process. I can barely remember what I used to do. I paced, I ranted, I doodled, I rarely relaxed. What do I replace it with now? This conflict arose as I began to journal about myself and who I am and what I believe. If I believe that I am responsible for my health, then I need to take responsibility. How can I justify this behavior to myself? Is is worth the risks and effects? And then there is the addiction.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Feeling deeply philosophical

Atheism is the world of reality, it is reason, it is freedom, Atheism is human concern, and intellectual honesty to a degree that the religious mind cannot begin to understand. And yet it is more than this. Atheism is not an old religion, it is not a new and coming religion, in fact it is not, and never has been, a religion at all. The definition of Atheism is magnificent in its simplicity: Atheism is merely the bed-rock of sanity in a world of madness.

Humans continue to evolve. We are more than just a body. We have a mind that is physical, a soul that is the generator or energy that keeps us going and we have a spirit or energy body. Most us need no proof that our physical body (mind) exists. We know because, we are. Our mind is both a physical brain and the intangible - thoughts, emotions, etc. Will we reach a point where freed from our physical bodies we can encompass fully the spiritual body?

There are 10 dimensions. 6 of them outside of time and space. In a purely spiritual (energy based) body will we be able to be outside of time and space? This is backed by quantum physics.

We create our reality. Our thoughts and intentions affect the world around us. In this way we (and everything in this physical world) are connected. This is also backed by quantum physics and by numerous studies in various fields.
In a purely spiritual (energy) based body, we are still connected and it is from this that we affect the world around us. What would you do if once outside the physical, time, and space you could see all of history? From this vantage point, you could see where everything was headed and where it came from. Can we exist in spirit without the presence of the physical. I mean if the earth blew apart and was utterly destroyed, what would happen to the energy (the spirit)? Would the collective energy of everything recreate a new one? Would we, in energy form, want to expel, get rid of, eradicate those energies that want death, destruction, chaos and disharmony? These would certainly recreate these very things. If together we create what we want, what do we want this to be? How do we get rid of the negative? Is that the purpose of religion?

It is interesting that all major religions recognize the spirit element and try to regulate our thoughts and behaviors to be harmonious. (A task that both fails and succeeds) It seems that there is always some that try to deny the spirit (energy) and fear the connections. These seem to actively work against connecting and try to stop all attempts by others to connect and/or talk about connecting.

I am still thinking about these things but I will stop writing and concentrate. It is hard to keep the theology and religion separate from logic.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Chronicles of Mike

I am Mike. I like being Mike and everyone should like Mike, too. Above all else, I like peace. I also like the complete devotion and dedication of my caretakers.

To begin with I feel compelled to let tell you that I reject 75% of what humans regard as reality and truth. Humans are fundamentally flawed. Many of them only see the negatives in this world. So, while their are some enlightened individuals, I tend to disregard most of what they say. They don’t even like themselves! Truly! How can you take anything they say seriously when they start from a foundation of self doubt, self hate and utter disconnection from the world around them.

In my world, the most important thing is love. Love is a foundation that you can build anything upon. I know, to many humans that sounds sappy. But, of course it does, because they do not value or understand its importance. I think perhaps I am getting ahead of myself (or at least my human audience).

The World.
The world is one complete unit. Every component works independently but together. What is the world? The world is the earth beneath us, the sky, the water, the plants, the animals, and the humans. In short, all the naturally occurring life. Things that no human has control of, though many persist in believing in the illusion of control. Delusions of grandeur, is what I think. Whether or no, the rain will fall, the sun will shine, we will live or die and no one has control. Humans refuse to take responsibility for their part in this magnificent world, and instead fight against its very nature. They simultaneously try to keep everything alive (even past what is natural) and then seemingly, do everything in their power to destroy, poison, and maim the very life they are trying to preserve. What are they about? Until they stop and take a look at themselves, and here I mean each individual examining their inner self, they will get no where. Without first excepting their place in an interconnected world, without excepting what they do have power over (self), they remain powerless. Each thought, each word profoundly affects who they are on the inside. And affecting themselves, affects the world around them.

I know that I have presented you with a lot. Let me just emphasize here that the foundation for everything is self. That is all you have control over. In order to effect any change, you have to take a serious inventory of yourself. What do you believe? What do you tell yourself? How do you view yourself? What are things you like and don’t like about yourself? What are the things you have control over? If you do not know the answers to these questions, you cannot proceed. If you look inside yourself and you do not find love and acceptance, you will fail miserably when trying to find it anywhere else. I’d like to point out that their are some aspects about ourselves we have no control over. But we do have control over what we do with those things. For instance, none of us choose what family we are born into or how genetics puts us together. Think about it.

My first advice is to work out the answers to these questions and then, at least, you can begin to build a foundation. Can you accept yourself fully? Can you say, “I accept myself , with all my flaws, and love who I am?” If not, my next lesson may help you to learn to love yourself. But, for now, concentrate on just knowing yourself and what you really are.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Rain and a good book

Today it was raining old men and their derbies. I was working for a friend and since no one was coming into the shop I decided to read. I reread Black Beauty. I haven't read that since I was 8! People eventually came in to shop but by then I was in a very good mood. I noticed a large lady in an even larger pink hoodie running to her van with 5 or 6 bags of groceries. Did she think she could run between the drops? Then their was the elderly gentleman and his gentlemanly Scottish terrier. They calmly strode through the rain. He as wearing a wide brimmed hat and a mac and so was his little dog. I was positive that if I heard him speak he would have an English accent. It was quite amusing when the wide brimmed gentleman met the old colonel. The colonel has a little bull terrier. He walks his dog everyday, rain or shine. The colonel always wears his leather flight jacket and veterans baseball cap. They surveyed each other, both too disciplined to do more than nod. The dogs were extremely well mannered as well. They approached each other stiffly. Smelled each others asses and wagged their tails. (the dogs not the men). Now I must stop and pay attention to Z. He is quite insistent and it is hard to type.

Friday, April 15, 2011


So, here it is - Tax Day! One of the few days that truly instills a deep sense of distaste and sometimes a bit of hostility mixed in. Of the two, Death and Taxes, sometimes I think I prefer the Death. For your consideration:

Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a refund from the IRS, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with. ~Author unknown, from a Washington Post word contest

Of course the truth is that the congresspersons are too busy raising campaign money to read the laws they pass. The laws are written by staff tax nerds who can put pretty much any wording they want in there. I bet that if you actually read the entire vastness of the U.S. Tax Code, you'd find at least one sex scene ("'Yes, yes, YES!' moaned Vanessa as Lance, his taut body moist with moisture, again and again depreciated her adjusted gross rate of annualized fiscal debenture"). ~Dave Barry

If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement, we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute. ~Thomas Paine

What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin. ~Mark Twain, Notebook, 1902

[On completing tax returns].This is too difficult for a mathematician. It takes a philosopher
-Albert Einstein

The difference between death and taxes is death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets.
-Will Rogers

Isn't it appropriate that the month of the tax begins with April Fool's Day and ends with cries of 'May Day!’
-Rob Knauerhase

Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
-Ronald Reagan

On my income tax 1040 it says 'Check this box if you are blind.' I wanted to put a check mark about three inches away.
-Tom Lehrer

[The tax code] is a monstrosity and there's only one thing to do with it. Scrap it, kill it, drive a stake through its heart, bury it and hope it never rises again to terrorize the American people.
-Steve Forbes

If it didn't hurt so much, I'd laugh.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Too Much Time

I hate it when I am sick. You know, the kind of sick when, laying down you feel tired but okay, but when you get up and try to do anything useful you are struck with unpleasant symptoms? As a result I am left surfing, and reading and otherwise feeling muddleheaded. I just spent a good deal of time looking at the pictures I have on my laptop. I love my kitties. That's all. Just gotta say, love my kitties.

Monday, April 11, 2011

human beings

Just a human being

today when i looked into the mirror
i saw a human being
not good or bad
not a woman or a monster
for many years when i looked
i didn’t see anything
i had vacated - i was safe
as a child i was sure
that if i looked hard enough
i could be something else
something that was safe
i could be a horse, or a bird
now i am back and
a friend told me
“when i see you, i see a human being
just like me - do you see me?”
and i did see him
there was a human being looking out of his eyes
we human beings are not perfect
we make mistakes
sometimes we hurt each other
sometimes we love each other
but now that i inhabit my flesh again
i long to see other, imperfect humans
accepting me for who i am
hoping they really see me

today when i looked into the mirror
i saw a human
just a human being

Is forgiveness divine?

I am contemplating the nature of forgiveness. What is true forgiveness? Is it when you say it? Or is it when you feel it? When someone causes you pain and/or changes your whole life, especially if that someone betrays a trust, do you ever stop feeling the pain? Certainly, forgiveness is not forgetting. Somethings you never forget. Is it loving yourself enough to love the pain-giver?
Consider Thoreau's Walden - "There is no odor so bad as that which arises from goodness tainted. It is human, it is divine, carrion. If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with a conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life ... No, in this case, I would rather suffer evil the natural way. A man is not a good man to me because he will feed me if I should be starving, or warm me if I should be freezing, or pull me out of a ditch if I should ever fall into one. I can find you a Newfoundland dog that will do as much. Philanthropy is not love for one's fellow-man in the broadest sense ... I never heard of a philanthropic meeting in which it was sincerely proposed to do any good to me, or the likes of me.

The Jesuits were quite balked by those Indians who, being burned at the stake, suggested new modes of torture to their tormentors. Being superior to physical suffering, it sometimes chanced that they were superior to any consolation which the missionaries could offer, and the law to do as you would be done by fell with less persuasiveness on the ears of those who, for their part, did not care how they were done by, who loved their enemies after a new fashion, and came very near freely forgiving them all they did.

Be sure that you give the poor the aid they most need, though it be your example which leaves them far behind. If you give money, spend yourself with it, and do not merely abandon it to them..." To some forgiveness (or even the awareness they done something that needs forgiving) is a alien as it was to these indians. Is forgiveness hypocritical if you benevolently forgive without meaning it? Perhaps when I see the persons as much a victim of their nature as I am, perhaps then I can pity them. But can I go the additional step and love them. Or at least love the lovable parts of them? They can't truly be all bad.

I accept that the pain inflicted on me is now a part of me but I refuse to accept that it defines me. I will not give anyone that kind of power over me. I reclaim me.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

good for the soul

I have been doing a lot of thinking - deep thoughts. Or at least deep in thought. What are those things that are good for the soul. Everyone can tell you the things that are good for the body or the mind, but what about the soul? Maybe it's different for each person but I think for most there are certain things that are good for the soul. Being somewhere in nature, so far removed from machines and noise, that you can hear your heart beat. That's good for my soul. Hearing someone sing in a voice so crystal clear you can't hear the words. That's good. Having a purring cat fall asleep in my arms so soundly he snores. Definitely good. Talking to a friend you haven't seen in a long time, in person. One of the best. An afternoon when you do not have to think about anything, including other people is very nice. (especially if it includes a long, luxurious bath) Laughing so hard you nearly pee or making some else laugh so hard they nearly pee. Feeling the breathe of a certain gentlemanly horse near me. Reading a good book or watching a good movie, alone or with friends, and feeling every emotion under the sky. Feeling the warmth of the sun in spring and smelling the newness of the world after a gentle rain.

Sometimes I guess, all I need is a hug.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Rabbits can be eagles

I only want to help
the old woman said
the rabbit knew that
the old woman meant well
Inside the rabbit knew
she had never
never been beaten
she had never ever
been very bad so the rabbit was sure
the old woman just
meant well

It’s not your fault
the man said
the rabbit knew that
the old man had never seen
the old man did not know
only if she were very bad
did it make sense
no one could really see
if they did they would know
that she was very bad

just don’t think about it
said the little bird
the rabbit knew that
the little bird didn’t think
the rabbit knew she couldn’t
not think
anymore than she couldn’t
not breathe
she had tried but
everywhere were big reminders
too many to ignore.

Rabbit thought
i will hide and be safe
no matter where rabbit went
she still thought
and she was still bad
and she was still beaten
so what could she do

then rabbit saw the sun
it was shining bright
when rabbit looked down
into the water
rabbit saw
she saw herself
with all the scars
she saw that inside
she was not bad
when she hid herself
she was still beaten
because she
was doing the beating
inside she was good
she was part of the sunlight

the next time someone
looked at the rabbit
they saw
what rabbit saw
they saw a rabbit not hiding
they saw a bit of sunlight
they saw how beautiful
a rabbit can be.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Howard & Bernadean pt 4

Sep 26, 1933 postmarked from Tulsa Okla

Dear Howard:
I hope you won’t mind my using this kind of stationery and the typewriter. I only have a few minutes and couldn’t began to write a long hand letter in that time. I’ve just come to work - this being Tuesday.

The picture is great! Really - I like it so much. think I’ll have it framed with the title “This is Howard” and carry it around with me. I like the pose, too. You all look so exactly as I think people should look. Also - am glad you said what you did about the picture I sent you. If you’d said you liked it I’d never have spoken to you again. I procrastinate so about everything I do that I knew it would be useless to wait until we’e get some taken. You don’t know how extraordinary it is that I get your letters answered so soon because I usually write to my very best friends once every two or three months. However, if it is a nice day Sunday I think Barbara and I will take some pictures early in the morning. So much for that!

Your letter came at noon Saturday just before I left for Barnsdall to spend the week end with my mother. I took the picture along and told her about you. Even my step-father made favorable comment. Sunday was Mother’s birthday and they are still events at our house. We used to always, if nothing else, dress for dinner on each other’s birthday and have a party of our own.

We are simply melting. An overcoat sounds preposterous as even now when it is threatening rain its very, very warm.

Last night was the first fall meeting of the Tulsa Business Girls Club and as I am editor of the paper I feel that I have to go to the dinners. Last year was president. Went to dancing class afterwards and then had to come back to the office and work until ten o’clock so I felt I earned my half-day this morning. When I came down at noon my boss thanked me for coming back and said next time I wanted an extra day for something just take it. Nice, isn’t it?

Your dance sounds good. Makes me wish I belonged to the Cashiers Division. Or some division. The drinking party of it sounds very natural. They have the lousiest dances in this town anyway and its just a matter of taking your choice between which brawl. It didn’t used to be that way.

Believe it or not - Tulsa is going to have a stock company here all winter. It will be the first time we’ve had legitimate shows in about six years with the exception of perhaps two or three a year.

My sorority had a dinner and swimming party at the University Club the other night and then went to the theater afterward. Had a good time, tho nothing to get excited about.
Last Sunday afternoon I went to a tea and all but about two or three of the girls there had been to Chicago and we certainly bored the others to death talking about it. Funny thing, too, none of us seemed to see much of the same things or do the same things yet we all think we had the best time. I’m positive I did.

I should think you would be very anxious to go to Florida if it is possible. . . if what you hear about it are true. I have a friend who spent about a month there one summer, though, and he says never go to Florida unless you can stay because you will hate so badly to leave it will spoil the trip. That might be a matter of opinion but he was certainly sold on the place.

Just as I was on Chicago. Not only me, though, but most of the people I know who have been there. You’ll probably fool around and be in Shanghai or some such place by the time I come up there again which shall be next summer. Barbara and I have definitely decided that unless the most unexpected happens we are leaving this place for good next summer and we both want to go to Chicago. She has lived there before and visits frequently. She will probably be up there Christmas. Sunday Mother was talking about my sister being so far away from home - in St. Louis - and her eyes became a little misty. I asked her what she was going to do when I went to Chicago and you should have heard. I can tell there will be much, much opposition. But I’ve had it before.

I certainly hope something happens to make it possible for you to come down here this winter. I should love seeing you and, as you say, getting better aquainted, but it certainly wouldn’t be a very interesting trip because this is a dull place. You can either go to a dance or a show. That’s all. Nothing to see. I don’t mean to be running Tulsa down. For a town its size it is keen. There used to be lots of money here but not so much any more with the oil business in its present condition. They have good schools and all that sort of thing. Nice place to rear a family but no place to spend all your life. And, of course, having lived here for about ten years I’m tired of it.

Odd things happen on vacations sometimes, don’t they. Something nearly always does on mine - that’s the reason I so look forward to them. But this year was the best of all. However, what I started to say was I was out to a friend of mine’s house the other night and his roommate had just come back from St. Paul And has become a Hermit You couldn’t quite appreciate that unless you knew him but he’s one of these fellows that dates about twenty five different girls and not the same one twice in a month. However, he met THE girl in St. Paul and he has not been out in over two weeks. Some quick change, huh? It doesn’t sound real to me.

I suppose the Don in the picture is the one you told me about. He certainly looks great. I should like to have met him but the one on the floor is the big attraction.

You know, I was just about to tell you that I was learning about you all the time from your letters. Little things, of course, but they often tell more about a person then definite traits. And everything I find out I like better. However, if that works both ways you certainly don’t get much of an opinion from a rambling letter like this that has absolutely no sequence and not much thought. My intentions are good, though, Howard. It seemed such a long time between your last two letters that I was afraid perhaps there weren’t going to be anymore.

My boss will be coming back from lunch shortly and he may not think he’s paying me to write personal letters. Especially when I’ve work stacked all about me.

I might explain, Howard, that I don’t type like this all the time but trying to think and type at the same time is somewhat of an ordeal for a one track mind.

Honey, I shall be looking forward to another letter and hope it will be real soon.


P.S. Do your friends mostly call you Howie? I remember Lil did and the fellow she introduced me to while waiting for you.

Monday, March 21, 2011

habits of cows

Early this morning, just before 5 a.m., I was awakened by thunder. I got up and went out on the back porch to take a look. Within 10 minutes there was hail, and a pounding, drench-you-to-the-bone, rain with resounding thunder. This rain was straight down, and splashy, the kind of rain a friend once described as "a cow pissing on a flat rock." While I stood there breathing in the fragrance of fresh rain, lightening and thunder clashed again. I noticed that the thunder here in the mountains is different than the thunder in the flatlands. There after a loud clap, thunder wanders away into the distance. Here the thunder just reverberates off the mountains, rumbling on and on. While I pondered I couldn't decide if I should be concerned about the 100 ft tree 10 ft from my house being struck by lightening. Eventually, I dismissed the tree and just enjoyed the rain. There was no wind, which was lucky for me since I don't care for it (especially next to the tree) and because I would probably be very wet. Inside, Mike the cat, was staring forlornly at me through the door. I just love my back porch. I've spent many very relaxing, peaceful moments out there and amidst the thunderous pounding storm, I still found it once again.
Now it is storming again and the house is reverberating with the rolling thunder, encouraging me to slack up on work and curl up with a good book.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Role models

I have been thinking . . .who were my role models when I was growing up? Like any good student I can rattle off the handful of names that the public school system offer to girls. Helen Keller, Clara Barton, Amelia Earhart, Betsy Ross. But as a young girl, none of them actually inspired me. I admired what they did, but rejected them as role models. I didn't want to fly a plane (and never return), I didn't want to be a nurse and care for wounded men, I never wanted to blind blind and deaf and hoped to never be so. I wasn't interested in sewing a flag, even one that symbolized our nation. I wanted to be Daniel Boone or Captain Kirk. I can think of many men and boys that I truly wanted to be, not because I wanted to be a boy, but because they did things that I wanted to do. In the movies, I wanted to be Katherine Hepburn in the African Queen but never wanted to be a princess or to spend my life searching for the perfect man to complete me. I think part of what I wanted was wrapped up in the casual strength of men. The role models for boys always show men of action, strength and integrity. Where is the female counterpart? As an adult, and with the changing times, I see many women who I admire. I am wondering how many of these strong, confident women are actually talked about in schools. I have racked my brain.
Taking another tack, I realize that part of what I enjoy about riding a horse is, on horseback I feel like I am strong. (As long as I focus on Gambler and work with him) Yes, horses also have a casual strength. I never actually thought I was capable of accomplishing even a minimal amount of confidence on horseback. Thanks to J and to the wonderful calmness of little Gambler, I did it! In a perfect world I guess I would ride off into the sunset (on Gambler) in the wilderness (even if it was just on a holo-deck) and having tamed my portion of it I would build myself a log cabin and write about my amazing life.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


While watching the news about the horrors in Japan and researching books, I came across a beautiful little gem. It is a book published in 1908 written as the diary of an American woman working as a kindergarten teacher in Hiroshima. Here is a quote "Fairy-land, real true fairy-land that we used to talk about up in the old cherry tree at grandmother's! It's all so, Mate, only more bewitching than we ever dreamed. I have been in little villages that dropped right out of a picture book. The streets are full of queer small people who run about smiling, and bowing and saying pretty things to each other. It is a land where everybody seems to be happy, and where politeness is the first commandment. . . In the afternoon, we wandered over the island, visiting the old, old temples, listening to the mysterious wailing of the wind bells, feeding the deer and crane, and drinking in the beauty of it all. I felt like a disembodied spirit, traveling back, back over the centuries, into dim forgotten ages. The dead seemed close about me, yet they brought no gloom, for I too was dead. All afternoon I had the impression of trying to keep my consciousness from drifting into oblivion through the gat of this magical dream!
How would you enjoy it all, and read its deeper meaning, which is hidden from me. But even if I can’t philosophize like a certain blessed old Mate of mine, I can feel until every nerve is a tingle with the thrill.
It is so surreal that I had to pause - so much loss. There are almost no words that seem adequate.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Veni, Vedi, Vici

I started the day before dawn. Waking up in the dark usually means rolling over and going back to sleep for me. Yesterday, instead, I got up and made a cup of coffee. I put my coat on and cup in hand I went out to watch the sun come up. The world is quiet and every movement I make seems like a whisper. I listened as the birds began their twitters and trills. There are mountains to the East, so at first I was staring at black masses with blacker shadows. Slowly, the sky above the mountains began to lighten and the trees became grey streaks with white highlights of snow. In the distance I heard a dog bark and mentally named him Rooster. I felt as if I owned the world, being the only human inhabitant. There I could stand, and be me, no one to criticize, no one to consider but myself. What would I do with this day? As the sky began to glow pink I offered up all hidden darkness inside. Dragged shivering and exposed, those old fears and hurts evaporated and shrank. I smiled at my own melodramatic scenario but the truth is, it was a new morning and I had started it by taking charge of me. I could smell the wood smoke as someone stoked the morning fire. The cold was invigorating, the coffee was heavenly and the cigarette was divine.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Warning - severe ranting and whining

So, let me get this straight. My financial institution sent me checks for a different account than the one requested. I did not realize it was a different account since my original financial Institution was bought out and these were my first checks. I thought they must have changed the account number. I paid my health insurance with one. (last november) it just came back last Friday NSF, because it was the wrong account. Now, I am in arrears for 3 months (money I thought had already been taken out) - no four because I have to wait for the correct checks to come from my bank since this is the only form of payment my health insurance will accept. They don't do debit cards and I live in a different state than my bank so I cannot hop in the car and get a cashiers check or money order. On top of that, K has decided that health insurance is too expensive anyway and we will just have to do without until August. (provided nothing happens between now and then) and provided anyone will give us coverage since we have been cancelled for non payment! I feel a heart attack coming on. As if I would know when one hit since I can't breathe anyway and I am too busy coughing up my lungs. Oh for a cigarette! Not that I dare have one with my lungs in full revolt and no insurance on the horizon to rescue me. What the fucking hell is wrong with this world when you can't even use your own money. Who came up with the idea for an annuity? Why did we fall for it? Why, again, can't I withdraw my own money when I am in desperate need of food and essentials without losing 40% of what I withdraw? This is fucking nuts!!! And why is it acceptable to certain people that we do without insurance and live on peanut butter rather than pay this obscene penalty? I just want to know. And while I'm ranting, did I mention there are no jobs anywhere in WV.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

TV and democracy

I'd like to know when my person became a democracy instead of a dictatorship. Why should my back have equal say in the work I choose to do and why should my lungs be able to vote no whenever they want. Hmmmpf and whine. And why oh why must K change the channel like a freaking revolving door. Every time I look up there is another program on.
"Have fun. Good Luck to both of you" . . . "We got to eat. Grab hold of that thang right behind it's head" . . ."It's equal parts, call my name and equal parts, don't call my name". . . "The Australian Outback is treacherous" . . ."Monday" . . . "This thunderstorm has already produced a tornado". . . "Our staff over there" . . ."in her bedroom. It's what happens when I touch". . ."You're a bad, bad man." . . . "*gunfire* Let's go! Everybody move. We've got perimeters set up". . . "We don't like it when it's gooey" . . ."It's not sexual. Not that you are not an attractive woman." . . ."WHAT IS HAPPENING!?" . . . "There's nothing that works like confidence . . " . . "Hold my stones. . ." back track "keystones". . ." I need some hot chicks" . . ."I blog about these things" . . .

And I do, or I am. Anyway, My body is in civil unrest. I going to have get tough. There will be blood. Well maybe not. But when I tell my legs to walk, they damn well, better! None of this wibbly wobbley stuff. I stiff dose of Ibuprofen will strong arm it back into it's place. Hah!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fevered post

If only I hadn't gone to the bathroom. At 2:30 in the a.m. I got up to go to the bathroom and that's when I knew the end of the world was coming. Suffering, as I am, from this terrible virus and feeling quite sorry for myself I decided that I needed a cup of tea (with honey). So, I went downstairs and put on the teapot. While I was waiting for the water to heat up I reasoned that I should have a cigarette. Now, being health challenged, I had left my pack of cigarettes in the car so that I would not be overly tempted to kill my lungs off unnecessarily. After a moments hesitation, I made my way out to the car and retrieved my coughing spell. AT the very moment when my hand touched the door handle, I heard a voice in the darkness.
"Ere you gonna do it? 'cause I airnt."
I whirled only to find . . . no one. There was no one there. Then another voice answered, "I already done did it." I glanced around and finally got my sights on the source of these voices. Two men were making their way up the drive across the street, headed for the pool table and beer above the garage, no doubt.
"Well,I think yer a damn fool. Tell me about it." Yes, I thought. Tell us all about it. I dove back into the house and grabbed a cup of hot water, a tea bag and my coat and headed back out to linger by the car.
Sure enough, they were up above the garage, and as always the windows were wide open. I got out there just in time to hear the first break of the rack and the rueful cursing of the first shooter.
" I hope you did a better job'n 'at. If you haint done it right we'll all pay."
I could see the silhouette of the first man with his bushy moustache leaning on the pool cue. My hot tea steamed nicely warming my hands. Inside, Moustache man prepared to take his shot.
The skinny man leaned out the window and hocked a juicy one. I shrunk back against the van, glad I hadn't lit my cigarette yet.
Turning back to the room and formidable moustache he said, "I went on down to armree and booted up that new computer. I was.." "How'd ya get the password?" "Stop interruptin' me and take your shot or admit I'm better'n you." I pulled out my cigarette fascinated. The clash of pool balls sounded and I heard one make a pocket. "See, 'ere? So, like I was sayin' I was entering the password, the one stenciled on the monitor screen." "Well, hell, who was stupid enough to do that?"

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Part one of Misery

Today is a perfectly hideous day. I started this day griped in the clutches of insomnia. I knew I was getting sick last night but what the hell can you do? About 5:30 am I finally dosed off. When I awoke I found that insomnia had indeed sold me into slavery. I must have caught the sweat lodge flu. My chest hurts, my head hurts, my throat is hamburger, every joint screams in protest when I move and coughing is sheer agony. When I get out of bed I get the chills and shake so bad I could stand in as a good paint mixer. Even my skin and scalp hurt. I have been thinking of taking some pain killer but that would require I drag myself out of bed and downstairs so I could eat something first. K is sick too. Besides, he was already angry at me because I didn't get up till 10. He is not quite as miserable as me yet. Maybe there is hope. Maybe he will heat up a bowl of soup for me. Oh wait, I am being skyped. This will be part 1

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Great Distractors

It is after 9 am. Here I sit, hostage to my cat. He sitting in my lap, motoring away, and slaying me with his lethal cuteness. I politely informed him that I needed to be working but he just blinked at me in that lazy way put his paw on my face. J calls them the great distractor. They are experts at this from the moment they enter your life. So, mindful of my little friend, I did some random net surfing. Surprising. If you do not own a cat you are 30 to 40 percent more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease. Owning a cat also reduces the risk of sudden heart attack and boosts your immune function. Cats lower blood pressure,triglycerides, and cholesterol. They also reduce the risk of stroke. Of course, they reduce anxiety and stress. I assume all these benefits are for cat owners that actually spend time with their cats. The article failed, however, to mention the humor factor. They can be so ridiculous. Need a good laugh? Give your cats an empty 12 can box or a bottle cap. So I justify my delay as therapy.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Singing in the Rain

"I have never been much cheered by the "stencilled smile", the false front, the pretending that there was no pain when pain was there, that there was no trouble when trouble stalked, that there was no death when Death laid his cold hand upon one dearer to us than life; but I have been tremendously cheered by the brave front; the imagination that could travel past the trouble and see that there were still joys in the world." From the Book Singing in the Rain (1926) I came across this while researching. I've seen this stencilled smile on too many faces and been horrified to discover it on my own at times. I have just spent a very interesting weekend at a friend's house attending a sweat lodge. These friends and another couple are being hit hard by the economy. One couple has just lost their home and therefore their business. They have a scant 2 weeks to move out of the house they built with their own hands and sell everything in it and their barns. Thousands of dollars in equipment going for mere hundreds. They have no choice. There are no jobs to be had anywhere in the area and they are moving to another state where they are assured employment. The business lost was construction, wood working, building, remodeling. The job gained is on the oil rigs in Texas. These men are in their sixties and this is a hard life. Yet, they had the imagination to see the joys that are still in the world. I came away humbled and amazed at the attitudes and strength of character I witnessed. In between the "garage sale"and watching a $700 saw go for $50, the four small grandchildren they are raising all being ill with the flu, and packing up everything they own, they still found time and energy to make an incredible all day roast, participate in the sweat lodge and continue to volunteer at the Food Pantry. Amazingly their Food Pantry serves 167 families a day! Did I mention there is no work anywhere in the area? K is suddenly realizing the drawbacks to WV. He is actually contemplating TX. What will we do! Ah well, a very good experience this weekend and a feeling of loss. I just met these people and they are already gone.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Spider's Web

I have been contemplating the subjective nature of truth. It is spine chilling how easily people are swayed by their emotions, or vague memories or manipulations or even by what they hear first. It is terrifying to think that a persons life & death could be decided by 'eye witness' accounts (especially those of young children). I have been observing the effects of subtle manipulations of reality or truth. It really is like watching a spider weave a web. A very slow and almost imperceptible ***K is now playing his bagpipe chanter)***can't think.

An almost imperceptible weaving of truth, insinuation, lies flavored with whatever emotion the manipulator wishes you to feel. If they hit the right emotion button, the victim doesn't consciously think about what is being said. Instead, later when they are reaching into memories, they are just as likely to dredge up the fabricated emotion or facts simply because it is what's most recent in their minds. I am amazed at how much patience a person has to have to weave a web a year or more in the making. Just as fascinating is when the web is simply a safety net - woven just because it might be necessary in the future. Frustratingly, most victims of said spiders never realize they have been manipulated. They don't want to know.
Sociopaths are experts at these simple techniques and they think that no one can see their game.
I will think some more on this behavior....

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

intrepid shopper

Today I played the part of intrepid shopper. My husband determined that we must go to the hardware store and purchase a sump pump since the one below our house was beginning to sound like an angry bull moose. Off we went from the edge of civilization to the hardware store. (About a 45 minutes drive) Upon entering the store I received my sales flyer from a smiling octogenarian and a shopping cart (buggy if you're from WV). We began our search for the pump and other sundry items with high hopes. Finally, after reaching the far side of the store without luck, we came upon a gaggle of red and blue vested workers idling near the lumber. Approaching them with caution we asked where we might find said pumps. "Isle 4 for sure or maybe isle five" we were assured. Sure enough, there they were in isle 6. My husband than began his deep contemplation of each and every pump. I must admit my attention drifted and I decided to follow it. I proceeded down the next isle only to be blocked by a nauseating version of Tweedledee and Tweedledum, in matching red and green outfits. Between the two and their buggy, their was no room, for even the thinnest of persons to eek by. I retreated and tried the next isle over. Here amongst the wall of shining door knobs and hinges I met a wall of stench. I am not entirely sure but I think the mountain of flesh contemplating hinges before me had actually died last week and was off gassing right there. Perhaps that was the reason the vested workers were all on the other side of the store, the side furthest from the decomposing mound of smell. Once again I backed my cart away and tried the next isle. Here I found John-John. He looked to be about 3 and had created a 2 foot square forest of shiny flat head screws. It was quite artistic, the way he arranged all of them standing upright and in little clusters of various sizes. In the back ground I could hear the purple spandex encased blimp screeching in a high pitched voice at complete odds with her girth "John-John. John-John, where air you boy? You better git back here 'fore haf ta tell yer Daddy." How thoughtful this youngster is, to provide hours of useful work to a young vested associate. Yes, they would certainly have fun sorting those flat head screws of various sizes and diameters back into the little bins. Prudently, I reversed my cart once more and took a different route. Just ahead was another Michelin tire mascot leaning heavily on the buggy and ponderously inching forward. He was wearing a padded, down and nylon jacket that was several shades of yellow. I managed to whisk by him and gain the lead. Now I was really getting somewhere. I found myself in an isle of cleaning supplies. (not terribly effective for fighting zombies) was the thought that swam into my brain. Previously, I have been thoroughly indoctrinated on the art of defense against the living dead by my son and now see hardware stores in a new light. Oh well, my husband has chosen his sump pump and now we can exit this adventure and drive back to the edge of the world. Until next time . . .

Monday, February 7, 2011

Computer woes and old ladies

Today is a gloomy winter day. I looked at the mountains when we went to the grocery store and they didn't look happy either. They looked kind of like an old lady with a bad hair day. You know the kind I mean, where you can see the scalp with the cloud of hair hovering above it. The snow has melted off the trees but not the ground, so I see humps of sad white mountain with bare trees hovering above. Ugly. Anyway, I have been attempting to work on multiple things. Every time I start, not only does it take 5 times longer but I am ultimately stopped by the simple tasks. I can't get my documents on the mac to open up. If I could open them, then I could paste the contents into an email to send to myself so I could copy & paste into the pc word '03. I can't actually change anything on the external hard drive and all the documents are saved in mac formats. None of it matters if I can't get the documents to even open. I used to love my mac. My happy friendly mac. Now I am working on this loud, clacking evil vista from 2005. (I think) I guess I should stop whining and just start over. With all these stupid cords going every where, to external drives and printers and multiple computers, and of course, to the power source since the battery doesn't hold a charge,I am trapped in my seat. Each computer or device has its own idiosyncrasy - K's computer turns off if it is not kept flat, my mac has no working screen and has to be hooked to K's, the stupid vista won't connect to either of those and to print from it I have to connect it directly to the printer, if I access the external drive through the computer from hell, I can't actually view any thing because its all mac based. grrrrr. I am going in circles. So, start over. Right? I just don't want to. It should start snowing soon. Maybe I'll just take a break and watch the flakes falling on the logging trucks as they speed past my house.

Friday, February 4, 2011


I am now devastated. My computer is broken. My hard drive is fine but the nvidia card is shot. I have read about this issue and there is a class action suit. I just have to find my proof of purchase (good luck), send the computer (my life) away and wait a couple months for them to send it back. My only consolation is that I have not lost any data. My hard drive is fine. I just have to buy a new external drive so I can back everything up before I send it all away. Now, I truly know what isolation in WV is like. I can access the internet through my husbands computer - when he is not using it. I can go back and use the old desk top (slow and out of date) and be tethered to the desk. I feel so frustrated and angry and just want to whine. Oh well . . .

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Serenity and cat boxes

There are many tasks that are viewed by most with distaste. Cleaning the cat boxes is one of these. Yet most onerous tasks will be made better or worse by your attitude towards it. I find that cleaning my cats boxes has actually become a time of serenity. While I clean I am focused on the task at hand. Bills, shoulds and shouldn'ts fade away and all thats left is what I am doing. Its not something that you ever receive thanks for doing but one that has its own rewards. My cats deserve a clean spot to do what they must do. I want a clean and healthy household and cats. It's satisfying to take care of them and makes me feel good. It's an abbreviated version of how good it feels to finish a good housecleaning. I am not a clean freak but when I have just finished sweeping and vacuuming and look around at a clean room it feels good. It gives me the freedom to relax. This last summer I learned about the joys of mucking out a stable. Once again not the typical activity for enjoyment. But mucking gives me the same sense of fulfillment. The horses are not going to thank me but taking care of such glorious creatures is a privilege and their health is reward enough. It was hard physical work sometimes, especially Sam's stall, but as I worked I usually felt that incredible sense of serenity. It was like a bubble of time that left the world behind. When I also got to ride it felt so right to have first taken care of the needs of the equine that would now carry me. Now, far away from horses and barn chores I focus on cat boxes.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Tonight is a sad night. I can’t tell you exactly why, but I feel sad. I will be going back to

WV on Tuesday. It is time for me to go but I still feel very sad. I will miss K very much. I miss my son, too. It’s a funny hollow kind of feeling that I have whenever I think of the people I love being so far away. Some how it seems that the meaningless minutia of life takes on greater importance. Feeling connected is definitely strengthened by sharing of these little things. I know that K doesn’t get that. Sometimes I call her just to hear what she’s up to or tell her what I’m doing. Unfortunately, what I’m doing in my life is often just ordinary things. She shakes her head and wonders why I call ‘just because’ and talk about stupid things like doing laundry, or dishes. I admit, that there are times I have absolutely nothing to say except, I miss you. Of course, these feelings are not limited to my kids. I miss everyone. WV seems so far away and so isolated. Not even my husband really cares about my minutia. You know, the simple things like why I hate that TV commercial or why I liked that movie. Nobody wants to hear a quote from a book they haven’t read, and probably never will read, just because it tickled me. I guess those things are now relegated to the blog. My nameless ancestors will hear all the simple things that I care to dump on them without complaint.

Tonight I was just thinking about the tiny still frames in my mind. The cherished memories that have no significance other than their meaning to me. The sweet sound of K’s voice when she was 2 and the expressions on her face when she told me epic stories. T falling asleep in my arms with his little hand clutching mine. The wonderful relaxation of having a cigarette and watching the horses with a friend. Some of my snippets go back to my own childhood. Laughing with my mom at 2 in the morning over some silly thing and sharing a snack. Sleeping in the back of the car with the murmuring of my parents voices in the front. A collage of images, feelings and senses that I wish I could frame and hang on my wall.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011



Across the street the neighbors were watching Johnny Depp on their 5 foot flat screen TV. I wonder if they realize that even through the draperies you can clearly see the TV and anything in front of it. The neighborhood felt restless. It was almost midnight and there were still people out walking their dogs, still traffic on the streets, still lights on in a majority of the windows. And the people across the street were still watching their demi-god. I, myself was infected with the restless need to walk. My brain would not shut off. Since my cortex was being so recalcitrant I decided that maybe a good workout would soothe it. By workout, of course, I meant mental calisthenics. These neighbors chose Johnny Depp, secure in their “private” viewing, to soothe their soul. Depp is not an option for me. Besides, it wasn’t even a good movie. What would make someone want to watch Willy Wonka at midnight? or ever? Well, walking and thinking sometimes does the trick. As I walked I was contemplating their choices. The apartment that they live in looks nice. Nice as milk toast. Big, square building with giant plate glass windows. They drive a grey Ford Taurus and a black Lexus. Their maids come twice a week. Every night they watch TV from the time they get home. I suppose they have very important jobs with a high stress level. Being so very important and with such a high stress level leaves them with a desperate need to vegetate. At night, all they can handle are meaningless moving pictures because their brains turn to swiss cheese. It’s terribly hard to think with so much air and goo in your brain. While I was cogitating about the cheese heads my attention was once again drawn to the blight of # 1619 Gilpin. Mehitabel was once again on the porch. She was eyeing the inhabitants of the Cat House. The cat house literally has a sign posted on it that says “the old man’s cat house”. The “old man” is really a overweight woman who wears a moo-moo. I don’t know what goes on, on the inside of her house, but the outside is a jungle of dog houses and bare trees. Once a day she comes out and tosses a Big Gulp of cat kibble into the lawn and then retreats back indoors. Mehitabel views the whole process with disdain. I think she likes her food still alive and being a supreme ruler, she is above eating kibble from the dirt. That night the rabble of strays were gathering to huddle in the dog houses. Someone over there was talking a little too loudly to suit Mehitabel and she was giving him the severe glare that is reserved for fools and slovenly toad eaters.


I wasn’t sure if the tiny chinese woman was walking the dog or the dog was walking her. They almost could have been twins. They were both wearing tiny little blue sweaters with fur collars. Both of them had that peculiar trot of short legs and wide bodies that makes them look like they are swaying. They walked at pretty good pace until they to Mehitabel. Once again ensconced on the porch of Bates House, Mehitabel was demanding recognition from the foreigners who dared cross her path. She hissed so loud I could hear it 3 houses down. The waddling pair stopped in their tracks. The one on the leash took one look at the menacing presence of the Queen and back away. It almost looked like he made reverance. The taller one scooped up the other and huffed away without a word. I watched Mehitabel wash her paws as if she had sullied them in the encounter. Down the lane I could just make out the cat lady returning from her grueling endurance walk to the 7-11 a half a block down. She had her jug of milk and bag of whatever secured in the crook of her arm. I could almost feel the ground shake with her deliberate steps. She looked like she was trying to punch a hole through the side walk with each stride. She is mighty force. As she approached her fence the milling feline herd became increasingly agitated, running back and forth. From their behavior I surmise she had not yet launched the kibble. It was at about the same time that she reached the gate that Mehitabel shrieked. My heart leapt into my throat. Cat lady dropped her bag and everything seemed to stop for a count of 2 or 3. What the hell?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Next night

That night, however, I bypassed the first couple of houses in favor of the one with the barren sticks whimsically called bushes. The king had left a good size hole and a spray of dirt. I prodded the dirt gingerly with my toe. What was his prize? I had thought. Was it a bone? I was scraping some of the dirt back into the hole when I began to feel eyes on me. I glanced up right into the face of Mehitabel. If that dirty little thing is the king of Gilpin, then Mehitabel is the Imperial Ruler of the Universe. She is a long haired sable Burmese mix of some sort and she was sitting on the bricked front porch. Her green eyes were at that moment fixed on me. I blinked at her innocently just to let her know I would never dream of disturbing her. Behind her loomed the vacant house with its peeling paint and air of neglect. Mehitabel, must have decided that I was not a threat and released me to began her grooming. Thus dismissed I turned my face to 7-11 and continued my quest.

I achieved my goal and returned with my coveted brand of cancer sticks. When I came to the derelict once again I paused. Mehitabel was off somewhere chasing down dinner or commanding her minions. I gazed at the blank windows and wondered whether I dared cross the line, step into the litter strewn court and find out what’s behind those filthy panes of glass. What’s in there? Maybe the previous tenant was a serial killer and the basement is filled with bodies. No. I think perhaps that the furniture is still sitting laden with dust and the desiccated bodies of his 12 victims. Yes, I sure if I just peer between the blinds I see them. Perhaps, its the owner who is the serial killer and the previous tenant was just his last victim.

I was satisfied with my conclusion and not willing to cross the line yet, in the middle of the night. So, I finished my smoke and went to bed.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

drunken post

Being totally drunk right now due to the beer that TB insisted I try I thought it would be a good idea to try a post. So - here it comes. The beginning of a story.

While I was smoking my last cigarette, puffing away in the silver light, I noticed a little dog a few houses down sniffing at some bushes. It was scrappy little bastard with the scars to prove it. It was snuffling and scraping at the dirt with its dirty white paw. In the distance I heard a train whistle and glanced fruitlessly through the houses towards the tracks. I glanced back just in time to see the king of Gilpin Street huffing away with his hard won prize. He must weigh all of about 9 lbs with 4 of it being his dangly bits.

It’s a creepy old house. Nobody lives there and the owner comes by only when he is forced to tend to something.

After I put out the butt and left it smoldering in it’s own ashes I decided that, that just won’t do. I thought I’d better hike on down to the 7-11 and get myself a pack. The walk is really short but sometimes I like to take the long way. That is, it’s still the very same amount of steps, I just walk them slowly. I might as well enjoy the walk, you know. At each house I stop to imagine what it’s like on the inside and who lives there. It changes with every walk. That’s what makes it so interesting.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Late nights

Late nights and I are on familiar terms lately. Sometimes it is the only time that I can think without interruption. During the long stretches of silence it is hard to ignore the things my soul wants my brain to know. I have heard people talk about the harsh light of truth but I'm here to assure you that the truth in the dark is just as relentless, just as revealing and just as vital. It is also during these times that all the niggling little thoughts worm their way into my consciousness and take a death grip on my brain. Try as I might I cannot block out the stray thoughts of strange and incomprehensible things that my son has told me, and the specters of what might come to pass, and the panic of events beyond my control.
So, in bold black and white, what bothers me the most is all the nasty details and bills that I may have forgotten to take care off before I left my home. My plan is to take out a piece of paper and one of those nice pens (the kind that just are just smooth and have a good weight) and make a list. My list will include every tiny little thing that nags me because I need to do something. From paying bills to groceries. I will make a separate list of everything that bothers me that I can do nothing about. That way when I freak out I can look at my lists. If It's on list A, then I will take action. If it is on list B, I will let it go. Paper boats - let them go.

Howard and Bernadean - The continuing drama 3

Sept. 13, 1933 - postmarked Sept 14 from 1539 North Cheyenne Ave Tulsa, Oklahoma

Dear Howard,

If this looks any funnier than you expect it to just remember that I’m propped up in bed reading (excuse that’s what I usually do awhile before I go to sleep) writing this. Awkward but decided I had better write tonight as tomorrow evening I have dancing class and after an hour’s work out with routines I don’t feel so energetic. We are working on three dances at once for a show later in the winter. Friday we are having company for dinner so no letters that evening.

These day are typical of Oklahoma - never know whether the sun will shine or if it will rain or snow. We usually have hot weather until the first of October.

I told my mother about meeting you alright but not about waiting until so late. I will, though, because she’d understand. I’ve only talked to her a little while that one day since I’ve been back.

I suppose you’ve been to lots of shows. I have only been to 3 or 4. We have nothing but pictures. The radio is fixed now tho so I can play it. A tube burned out while I was gone and the company pilot promised to fix it for me but it took him nearly two weeks to get around to it. However I try to practice the piano every day so I don’t have much time to radio.

I’ve had a big evening this evening and a miserable day. Everything went wrong until I got home. I’ve cleaned out dresser drawers (hunting a picture) and did various other acts of cleaning. Then baked some pies and cinnamon rolls. The woman next door brou’t my dinner to me and it was the kind of food I can really go for when I’m hungry. She’s a grand neighbor.

Helene (tall dark girl with us in Chi) called and said all the pictures she took there were good. Even of the water when on the boat to Milwaukee. I’m anxious to see them. She’s going to bring them to a t? Sunday afternoon so I can see them. Last Sunday Louise (blonde girl) came over and she and Barbara (my pal) laid around and read aloud to each other from Don Marquis poems about Archy, the cockroach Mehitabel, the Alley Cat

and then from Townsend’s “Earth”

. Not much contrast, huh?

I know, Howard, that you are extremely interested in all these details of my daily living!

After all my searching the evil-assed picture isn’t so hot but its the best I can do right now. You see, most of the pictures I have show me with long hair and of course that’s not the way you saw me. I had real long hair for about 3 years. I just cut it this Spring. The other girl is my sister - Maxine. Last year was our first snow in 3 years. The brick house shows the two front windows to the apartment where we lived. It looks like I have protruding teeth but perhaps you’ll recall I didn’t. So much for that! Can I help how I look, anyway?

Howard, dear, It’s quite alright for you to call me Deanie. My mother does sometimes as she and my step father call me Dean almost exclusive. My father calls me “Bunny.”

Honey, I shall be anxiously waiting another letter and your pictures. You’re a dear.

Sincerely Bernadean

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Howard and Bernadean - The continuing drama 2

Frank Howard Sexton was born April 10, 1911 to Julia Peterson and Frank A Sexton in Chicago, IL. Frank was a young architect and Julia came from a wealthy family of Swedish immigrants. Her father owned three barbershops in Chicago. He as the first grandchild for the Peterson's and an only child of Julia and Frank. Looking at his early photographs one could easily imagine him as a bit spoiled. He was a happy, easy going child with an apparent love for cats.
By the time Howard was in High School, Julia and Frank had built their own home in Evanston. He attended Evanston Township High School. In 1929 the Evanston Township High School took a trip to Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Howie was popular with the young ladies and from the letters he received from many of them I believe he was a good friend and confidante. In December 1929 I also found a curious receipt from the Evanston Cradle (adoption agency) thanking Howard and a young lady named Morrell for their donation. I may be wrong, but it seems to me that on his High School trip he and Morrell became familiar with each other. (a little too familiar)
Following his graduation from Evanston Township, Howard enrolled in Kemper Military School in Booneville, MO. Howard's father wished for him to study architecture and indeed he did but did not wish to make this his career. He instead, developed a deep love for the Arts. He was enamored of all things concerning theater and the new theater - movies. So after a short course of study at Kemper he graduated in 1930.
Following Kemper, he enrolled at N.U. (Northwestern University) in Chicago. During his University days he studied writing and decided to go into the advertising field. Upon his graduation he pursued a career in Theater. Initially he worked at a small theater in Chicago, a job he procured through his grandfather - Charles Peterson. During those early adult years he also worked at the Chicago World's Fair in 1933. It was during this time that he met a young woman, Bernadean Jones, who he would later marry. It was also during this time that his parents divorced. It was an ugly, drawn out divorce. Frank was a womanizer who met a younger woman (secretary at his office) with whom he had an affair. Of course, Julia divorced him leaving her destitute. Frank in turn, promptly moved away without a forwarding address and refused to pay any alimony.
Back to Howard and Bernadean. They met and began a long distance relationship. She had come into Chicago to attend the World's fair and met a dashing cashier named Howard. Alas, she live in Oklahoma and after returning to her home there she wrote to Howard.
"I hope that you write back, I wanted assure you that I am not in the habit of meeting strange men for lunch." Howard does write back and thus begins a new chapter of his life.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Maybe I'll look out the window

Today I am preparing to fly out to Denver. I feel an odd sense of peace and agitation. The house seems so quiet. I can hear the traffic noises in the back ground but inside I can only hear the gentle creaking of the baseboard heat and little clacking noises from one of the cats playing with a bottle cap. My peace, I think, comes from a sense of empowerment. I am doing something. I am doing something in the face of what seems like a situation which often leaves me feeling frustrated, powerless and at the mercy of fate. I feel agitated because there is so much that IS beyond any control. But then, I always feel that way when I have to fly. Flying, for me, is an exercise in facing my fears. When I am in the air, I am usually struck by wonderment. It doesn't seem possible that something so big, heavy and hopefully solid should be able to be aloft. The earth below is beautiful and foreign yet I try not to look at it too much. It's like the power of gravity will become stronger if I am looking at the ground. I know it's crazy. The same thing applies when KL is driving. If I don't look over the side of the mountain, then the car will not plummet down, over the edge of it to a horrific end. Instead, I spend my time on board thinking about anything that does not remind me of the fact that I am in a big, heavy metal object at the mercy of the pilot and the laws of gravity. On the other hand, I am looking forward to landing safely and seeing my daughter. The funny thing is, I don't fear possible death half as much as I fear pain and terror.
So, the sense of peace I feel is uncharacteristic for me. Maybe I'll even look out the window.