Torture and Beauty

Dec 16, 2009 at 9:33 PM
I got my lips waxed today.

Why do I think lip waxing makes me more desirable?

The redness and swelling on the upper lip that I dealt with all day probably doesn't do it for most men.

On the plus side, nobody flirted with me today. They were probably more worried about catching whatever I obviously had going on on my lips.

Kind is so last week

Dec 4, 2009 at 5:59 PM
You know what? I think that  takes to be a world-class blogger is a total willingness to destroy the pride of those you love.

I have so many fantastic anecdotes for this blog that i just CANNOT post. Because I love the people I love enough to respect their privacy and not destroy their pride by telling the stories.

And that right there is completely why you're not hearing from me so much anymore - actually I have tons of draft posts I just deleted today because I simply couldn't post them.

The stories I most want to post are completely  unpostable without hurting other people's feelings. I feel like I'm three again, trying to choose between friends...

Anyway, even if this won't make sense, I'm posting it here because I need to start talking more.  I've been stalled out on the blog and it's time to get over it.

I don't hurt the people I love, so my blog will never make the huge audience I see at sites where gals will air everything out for the world to see... I need to deal with that. I'm too kind for modern social media.

Argh.

Small World

Dec 3, 2009 at 5:57 PM
I'm on my way to Costa Rica in a few days again.

I have so much family, spread across ten or so states, all within the country. I so rarely get t see most of them.

We've all spread out so much over the last 20-30 years.

The funny thing is, it looks like I'll finally get to see some of my favorite cousins, but not HERE in the states. No, while I'm in Costa Rica. Turns out they're gonna be there, too.

How weird is that?!?

Two Paths

Dec 2, 2009 at 4:29 AM
Yesterday, I was laughing at the jokes in "The Big Lebowski" which had the most swear words EVER (or close to it) and I peeked up to hear Aurora looking at me through her loft window and shaking her head. She looked so disapproving.

I've also been saying things out loud I used to not. You know, zingers, pointing out innuendos with my sister, laughing over and discussing candidly the sex jokes in movies.


Apparently, I'm starting to return to the lusty, bawdy, raunchy sense of humor I had before I had kids. Before "mommy mode" clamped a lid on the stuff it's inappropriate to discuss around little ones.

But it's startling my children. My kids are a little weirded out that I can define/explain pretty much any sex act or innuendo mentioned in any movie. The seem to disapprove of my laughter at the jokes they now get.

Maybe I'm just raising little squares. Uncool cats, to square to be hip to my jive.Or maybe I'm just a little too well schooled for my children's sensibilities.

I feel less in "mommy mode" than I used to. Always so careful to avoid curse words, always having to find interesting euphemisms for things that most people would simply say plainly.

I'm kind of glad my children don't have to be quite so protected from the universe anymore, but the mental dexterity it used to take to discuss "the act"  with my little sister, when around my kids, well - it will be missed. Like mental gymnastics, it kept me on my toes.

I mean, they've both read Pride and Prejudice. We all enjoy dressing up in antique clothes, and the girls are definitely growing up into sensible, precocious, yet innocent little women. Most of the time, everything is still as it was when they were younger. But there are hints, obvious signs the girls are on that wild, overwhelming cusp of adulthood everyone calls "teenage" these days.

So, what's your thinking? Should I clamp the lid back down on my dirty jokes and occasional expletives, so as not to spoil that innocence a moment early? Or should I try to  make my children accept me along with my off-color  jokes in preparation for the harsher reality of the real world?

Sneaky food

Nov 27, 2009 at 4:08 PM
I can't help but wonder whether the word "snack"  comes from some form of "sneak"

Such as ...

I sneak, you snuck, he snacks

maybe?

Seems to eb a sneaked bit of food between meals, doesn't it?

Or is it snuck food?

Like sand through the hourglass...

Oct 25, 2009 at 4:24 PM
Yesterday, I saw an album in a second hand shop; embossed, engraved, embellished, with an ivory front cover.

"Floral Album" it was called, hand-painted flowers on most pages.

Carefully preserved photos of a family - tintypes through 1930s.

Absolutely lovely.

I was struck with sadness at an entire family history sitting in a second hand shop, no way to discover the identities of portraits or surviving kin.

Someone dearly loved these people, these memories. Now, I think it likely that this someone is dead. Probably their family moved away, no longer caring, or didn't collect their grandmother's treasured things from the old-folks home after they died or some other such.  Why do we even stuff our old people away now? When did that become acceptable?

This was like finding someone's family Bible in the library. It is a symptom of a lost culture of treasuring family. It is why places like facebook need to allow you to own your intellectual property, archive all photos and your own profile locally for safekeeping, or archive the dead's profiles instead of deleting. A sort of online gravemarker.

 There needs to be a preservation society for these pioneer days online. I don't want to think how important it might be to my grandkids to have access to my ramblings on this blog, or to the descendants of miley cyrus to read her famously-deleted tweets later on.

Just thoughts.

No more easy way out

Oct 24, 2009 at 4:02 AM

I've decided to stop using my camera's automatic features. Manual as a digital camera can get.

Here are two shots.

One is the neat flowers coming off my Isabella plant.



Another is the cute as a button Clementine sleeping below the rubber tree on my desk. I love that she won't sleep unless its on a piece of paper or her favorite - the grocery store shopping bag.




My fondest desire

Oct 18, 2009 at 3:44 AM
I want to matter so much to someone that it hurts them when I hurt, my absence is felt as a keening loss, and my hopes are his hopes. I want to have every breath I take matter, every smile I make lighten his heart. I want to matter that much to someone else, and I want to care that much for someone.

I just felt like maybe saying it out loud would help.

I jump readily into caring about people. I'd have no trouble upholding my end of that deal.

I simply have never had anyone care about me as much as I'm willing to care about him, as much as I was happy to throw myself into it.

If I've ever said that I jump into things too quickly, I wasn't saying that I thought that was a bad thing. I think it's a positive, not a negative.

You cannot live or love too deeply.

My Dear Aunt Sally

Oct 2, 2009 at 5:16 PM
Random non-sequitur thought:
I recently learned a brand new phrase for my monthly cycle - "A visit from my Aunt Flo" - oddly annoying and circumspect. Why not simply say "on my period"? Or "monthly cycle"? or anything. It's very antiquated, as though one must avoid such delicate subjects in any kind of company still in today's world. We no longer live in Victorian pristine envelopes of perfume and silk. This is the world of Jackass and WTF and avoiding meth-heads at the supermarket. But still, the longer I mull this new idiomatic darling around in my lexicon, the less I hate it. "Aunt Flo" - I don't hate at as long as it's Aunt-rhymes-with-taunt not ant-rhymes-with-pant - calling your parent's sister an insect just chafes my hide - I hate it.

Back to the point, and what I was planning to write about.

I have never had as packed a schedule as I've lately had.

Since the beginning of August, my schedule has been so packed as to literally require writing it out on a planner.

I've got things to take the girls to, such as martial arts lessons and horseback riding lessons and the Library (add at least 1.5 hours for travel time), I've got trips planned, I've got cats to get fixed, and even a hair appointment. And I think November looks to be no different. Or December. Come to think of it. January's packed, too. I think things only will start to calm down in February. Maybe.

I know this seems like a normal thing to all of y'all who live by your day planner, but I've never been this organized or busy in my life. I'm working just as much as usual, but I'm slowly cutting out my everything else.

Hence the 'no time to blog' problem.

I feel even more like a grown up than usual. And I'm gonna miss you, but I have a book to start writing and work to do and children to educate/entertain.

It's crazy but I actually like it. I like being this busy, this productive, having this much happening. I thrive in highly random environments. I'm more productive. Remember last year when I complained that my life is too static here? Well I've been adding more into it little by little to make it more interesting and I honestly don't think I can stuff in even one more thing right now.

Maybe I'm starting to bring the city out to me?

On yet another tangential aside, having no relationship to anything previously said, Miranda was petting the kitten in front of the fireplace yesterday, after just starting the fire going. She put the kitten down and said "Off you trot!" just so. It was so very old fashioned. She didn't learn it from me. And I felt a stinging burst of pride for raising a child so obviously fond of disappearing culture. She definitely gets that from me.

It reminds me of Libs' "Oh-Dear" stage. Everything my little sister said that others would have used a cuss for, Libs just said "Oh, Dear!" - must have been eight years or so of it. She got it from somewhere else - I'm not one to say that. I say "For the Love of Pete" or "For Pete's Sake". Always have. Not in honor of my regular commenter Mr.Pete - just cause I have. Had to come up with something when the girls were little... Other than "the FUCK word" (as Aurora accidentally called it the other day while complaining about movies), of course.

I think I killed it by being so very fond of the times I overheard it. One has to be careful not to tread to heavily - either fondly or in reproach - on the things you hold most dear that children choose to do. Especially if your reaction is not quite the one that was desired. I think that is what happened to the "Oh-Dear" stage.

All right, enough for now.

Fire Irons

Sep 28, 2009 at 6:43 PM
Miranda: Mom, do you know what happened to the other fire iron, the one for picking up pieces of wood?

Me: Are you sure we own one? I don't think I remember that one.

Miranda: Yes, I remember it, it's rounded, and clamps on to the wood, with two handles.

Me: No, I don't know where it went. I don't remember it.

Miranda: Well, I can't find it. I know we own one because I was playing with it before.

Me: Well, that'd be what happened to it then, goose.

Miranda: Oh. (giggles)

Apparently, I've got a wayward fire iron somewhere. And a kid who probably is using it as a Barbie escalator or something.

An Unanswerable Question

Sep 10, 2009 at 5:09 PM
This last weekend I got to spend some time with my neighbor's kid's wife and her best friend. Long story short, the person I wrote about is a friend of the family of my neighbor, and her name is Joleen, like the song.

So Joleen is a sweet young blond, a few years younger than me, probably, with an eight year old boy and three girls all younger than that. Those three girls all look exactly like their momma.

My girls and her kids played together all weekend.

When I was down there, I got sick of listening to Joleen's husband Will cracking horribly crass jokes with one of the relatives who kept saying things like "who smelt it dealt it" and "boy, I oughta crack you upside the head" and the like. Neither Will nor the other guy are awful, but I wanted my solitude more than I wanted company that irritated me.

Joleen has been married twice, straight from high school on the first one. This one seems happy enough. They obviously love each other, even if Will is less than poetic with his words.

So, I started walking back home, and Joleen offered to come up with me.

Wel, OK. So up the hill we went. She cracked a joke about my hill being the perfect way for her to lose the baby weight, all she's gotta do is get one just like it and climb up it a few times a day.

When we arrived, I made coffee and we sat a bit.

She was watching me oddly, and so I got a bit uncomfortable.

She asked me plainly why I lived out here all alone. Wasn't I lonely?

I said yes, explained about the husband-thing not working out, but then I pointed out to her how much I loved it here, and that I was happy in my own skin, happy alone or with others.

I looked out the window and said "Look at all this. I have such a wonderful place to be."

I looked over to her looking for her response, and she was wiping tears away.

I left her alone with her tears and went to clean up a few things.

Why was she sad over my solitude?

I think it was either of two things, and I cannot for the life of me figure which of them is more likely...

Firstly, she might have felt sad for me being alone. Pity for me seems a bit harsh, but I could see why someone who has never been alone a day in their lives might feel it.

Secondly, she wishes she could say that she is happy in her own skin. Perhaps something in my life reminded her of something wrong with hers.

I have no idea which is correct.

On the one hand, I hope there is nothing wrong in Joleen's life that a simple conversation would bring up tears. But on the other hand, I find I'm not bothered at the idea that someone might not find my life to be enjoyable.

Joleen doesn't have to live it, I do.

Woah Nellie

Sep 8, 2009 at 6:46 PM
Life has been going a thousand miles an hour lately.

First, Shels came to visit, lots of stories there which shall remain between Shels and I.

Then it was ranch week, replete with all manner of relatives, most highly welcome.

Then we went to Yellowstone and bankrupted myself on beautiful vistas, gasoline, diner food and fridge magnets. Shels and the girls went on that one too. All the pictures are up on Facebook now.

So far that's Shelley, ranch week, Yellowstone.

Then Kat came for 5 days in the woods, and she posted LOTS of photos about that, I'm sure. I saw a few on her Facebook, maybe a few on her blog too? Dunno.

Then I had a few days to myself. During which I caught up on phone calls, work and started to catch up with what's been happening with everyone else.

So, now that's Shelley's visit, ranch week, Yellowstone, Kat's visit. Then rest fo a few days.

And this last weekend was the family reunion of my next door neighbor, kinda.

I say kinda because firstly they technically live in my front yard (in a trailer halfway down my driveway) and secondly because it was kinda a family reunion and kinda everyone they knew.

Including a logger I'd never met.

(For the rest of this story to make sense, you need to know that "Desi" is short for "Desiree". 90% of you already know that.)

So here's my Facebook exchange about this:

My Status update:
Some logger who looks kinda like Tom Selleck but NOT has been hitting on me because we're both single and Janey hinted to him that I like him - assuming of course that I do. Which I really really don't . This is when I need my best friends here to defend me from strange weirdos that my neighbors set on me out of the kindness of their hearts. Because apparently dating anyone is better than being single. What. EVER.

My comment on my status update:
Janey being my 65 year old neighbor - who's been married to the same man since she was 14. They're so sweet together and I made the mistake of commenting on it so now she thinks I want to be married right now. Again with the complicated country politics. Aak.

Kat says: I would beat that Tom Selleck logger man off with a stick for you.

((More random chat with my sister, phone calls, jokes, etc, but that's good enough. You get the idea.))


So today, my neighbor calls and says:

Janey: Have you seen the sign yet?

I'm wondering whether this is another of her attempts to converting me to a more christian religious persuasion again. As in "Have you seen the light yet?"

Me: uhm, no, Janey. What sign? You talking about the new sign for the ranch?

J: No, the sign, the sign. The one on the bear.

D: You mean the bear at the end of the driveway? The one the logger made?

J: That's the one. Did you see the sign? You need to go do something with it.

D: With what? What's the sign got to do with me?

J: I'll let you go check it out, and decide what to do with it.

Oh no.

So I walked down there with my girls, and they said, oh, now that's weird.




oh... kay.




It's a sweet gesture, but I'm not dating someone because of this kind of thing. I'm sure he's a great guy, but I'm not doing it. Just not.

I don't know - have never known what to do - with random, extreme gestures of love from people who don't know me from Adam.

It scares me more than it impresses me.

Although the bear is very nicely carved and very fun to have at the bottom of the driveway.

I took the sign off of it.

Janey tells me he named the bear 'Desiree' after me.

Anyone want an "I love you Desiree" sign?

Inspiration and Tea Parties

Aug 8, 2009 at 8:59 PM
Many people I know have been attending tea party demonstrations. I have not personally attended one, and am not sure whether I would. But it's moot, because I have children too young. I believe that mothers with small children should never make their kids attend anything they don't fully understand. Children shold not be at either anti-abortion or gay rights protests - I don't care about the political view being expressed - only the informed and thoughtfully inclined should march in protest. And children have usually not formed their own beliefs on these things just yet.

I was disturbed to see that the tea parties are so very underplayed in the press, per what they've said about attendance. Thousands expressed as hundreds, hundreds pared down to dozens, dozens not even getting mentioned.

There is no corporate agenda and no political gain in true freedom - hence the media ignoring it. What a shamefully bought and sold society we live in. Every single politico and every single corporation has sold their soul to a single devil - money - for different ends.

Anyway, here's a commercial for the tea parties, and I find it inspiring, as I am a proud American patriot - but not like most. I am neither Republican or Democrat. I suppose I believe in the Republic in it's original form, and always have. Libertarian without the druggie agenda, Constitutionalist without the religious fervor.

So here goes. I love this for reminding me that despite the mess, this country always does fight for what it believes in. And that we do hold on to our beliefs no matter what in this country.



Any action wherein the cause of individual liberties can be forwarded without violence or coup is a good thing. These protests are neither coup nor violent. I cannot imagine why anyone would be opposed to them. They are merely an assemblage to express outrage at the risks being taken - the debts we are incurring now will eventually pull the foundation of principles right out from under the feet of our nation.

And it seems to me that WHETHER OR NOT YOU ARE OUTRAGED depends entirely on WHETHER OR NOT YOU BELIEVE THIS COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED ON ETHICAL PRINCIPLES.

And that is the basic difference between an American and a Patriot.

impossibly cute

at 5:16 PM
OK, I KNOW I promised never to post photos of my kitties and their adorableness.

But here's a moment I simply had to capture on film.




Manic Animal Purchase Spree

at 4:57 AM
OK.

For some reason, I got a hair up my butt that geting one of every kind of animal would fill that hole in my life that my sister keeps telling me is where a man is supposed to be.

So on top of the dog and two cats, I bought a rabbit (Jacques), and not one of those little bity ones either. He's HUGE. And I got a pullet barred rock hen (Barbara), four rhode island red hens (the Reds) a rooster (the only thing I've called him is "MotherFUCKer!" when he tried to wake me up predawn) and am thinking about goats.

However, although I now have lots to do every morning, and a decent supply of fresh eggs every day, as well as numerous different kinds of bags of feed, I do NOT have any smaller of a hole in my life.

But I can certainly fill all my spare time with petting my bunny.

He's very sweet.



Can I buy a man at the grange? And is he willing to live in the chicken house until I've trained him to treat my house the way I want it treated?

---------

The girls and I have been fixing up yet another chicken house. The hens are all living in it anyway even though it's got big open holes in it.

I've GOT to finish fixing it up before we end up with another chicken massacre like the last one. That was awful.

And that's why we only bought 5 hens and 1 rooster this time. I dissuaded naming them, but for some reason the littlest one is named Barbara, and I have that sneaking suspicion that naming her was akin to the writers in a horror movie giving the girl a line like "But we can't just leave him there. I'm going back for him, just as soon as I take a shower."

I just have a feeling of impending doom.

Hence the urgency to finish fixing up the chicken house.

Pain in the butt, it is. I have Chicken wire scratches all over me, and the project is only half done. Argh.

Eggs

Aug 5, 2009 at 3:02 PM
My chicken house was getting prepped all weekend. I now have four layers, 1 pullet, and a rooster.

I'm very excited to start having home-grown eggs.

Desi

face-my-history-book

Aug 3, 2009 at 6:13 AM
At times, I fall a little in love with a singer just while he sings. That's when I know that the song is merely the vessel for the voice, for the kindness and clarity inherant in the artist singing the song to me. And I wish I could spend time in his care, find out whether that person is what their song tells me he is.

Sometimes crying because of a song is more cleansing than a cup of tea or a walk on the beach. I feel purified, like the song reached into me and scoured me clean of the emotion it personified, a harmonic so close to my own feelings that It washes away the intensity of the feeling it communicates.

OK. On FaceBook, I am now friends with exes who broke up with me or who I broke up with in countless horrible ways. Each of these men decided either that I was no good and left, or that I wasn't worth fighting for when I left him.

So why do they all want to be friends with me now on FaceBook?

Do these people wish to truly know me, to truly help me, or care whether I have had a good sunday nap or what my sunsets look like? The minutiae and detritus I hear about on Facebook all the time is the sort of factual garbage that I hoard for telling to my sisters, to my best friends. The right to know that I was taking a bath this afternoon is set aside for my little sister to ask "why?" about, so I can tell her I got all scraped up and covered in dirt readying a chicken house. Or finding out that all my pens are out of ink at once could make my friends snort in appreciation of Murphy's law with me. I don't want to broadcast it out to the entire world. I want to share my moments in intimate contact with those who actually presently give a flying hoot about these things. I guess I still stand with that FaceBook should match reality for the most part.

How do I contract my FaceBook back down to a number of only my close friends again? Is that acceptable to do or will I be banned from "future-land" when it arrives?

I very highly doubt that any one of those men would bail me out if I was arrested, stand up for me to my enemies, or make a recommendation to a friend for me. Or lend me their hedge clippers even.

Do these exes of mine just want all of their exes to see photos of them smiling with their wives in their big old houses and get jealous despite not having thought about them in years?

I can't fathom why my old girlfriends aren't trying to find me nearly as often as my old boyfriends.

Lawlessness and Order

Jul 30, 2009 at 6:10 PM
Around here, there isn't much law. And not a lot of the kind of orderly constructs city folk are used to.

If something happens to me on my own property, there isn't really anyone to come help me - sherrifs would come out if someone died and investigate it, but calling 911 is absolutely pointless out here.

If there is a fire, I'm outside the Rural Fire District.

I can't get fancy services you're all used to like cable TV, fancy internet services, cell phone service, or even many regular telephone services like caller ID and voicemail.

I live in the true boonies.

But there is something that you don't realize you're missing there in the city. Neighbourly interdependence.

My neighbors and I have a system of communicating to one another to come help if there is an emergency, and no surprise here - it involves shooting firearms off in a pattern. The fallback is of course to call one another by phone. But without call waiting and call forwarding, and with how much time we all spend out of doors, those are less trustworthy than bullets. Shots can be heard by everyone at once, whether they're near their phone or not. And the message is instant and urgent.

Whenever shots resound, I listen up. I've learned to recognize the difference between urgent fire and simply playing around. All of us each go shooting at different times for different needs - plinking or hunting or testing sights on new rifles, etc.

I personally don't choose to hunt, but my neighbors do, and I can't fault them - they actually use the animals they kill. I've eaten legally hunted bear, elk, deer, etc, that my neighbors have given me.

Because I have real neighbors. I stop by their houses and they stop by mine. We all know we are one another's fallback in times of need, and we all know that we will be there if someone falls sick, or needs a ride to the store, or has a fire to put out, or simply needs someone to water their plants while they're out of town.

When we make pies, we always make extra to bring a neighbor or two. I always have a beer or two around in case one particular neighbor stops by. It's welcome wagon all the time around here.

So today, after several years here, my heart no longer leaps into my throat when I hear gunfire. I know the difference in the reports made by ten or so different weapons. I hear a gunshot, and I can tell you whether it was my farthest away neighbor with his automatic rifles, my nearest neighbor with his .22 rifles, his shotgun or .45s, and I can tell you whether it was the mountain man up the far hill with his .38 or his ancient shotgun. I can tell when these are shots fired for fun or at an animal or similar threat. And I call on the neighbor that needs calling on by phone if there is any doubt in my mind.

So today, as I write this, I am listening to the rumbling endless thunder of distant automatic rifle fire. I love that sound. it's the sound of a lawless, orderly, friendly, law-abiding place where all neighbors know each other and recognize that we are all friends. Sure there are oddballs here, but I trust every one of these people with our safety. We are too interdependent NOT to.

I truly don't miss the kind of gunfire you hear in cities. In such cramped quarters, guns tend to mean someone has been violent toward another or is defending themselves against violent action. And that is a thought that has always torn me up. My first instinct is to run toward gunfire, toward the sound of ambulances, run to help, to stop injustice, to aid the wounded. So being a city person is seriously a bummer for me. That is not simply frowned upon there, it's even occassionally against the rules.

Hunting doesn't happen in the city, and space issues keep you all from plinking. No, guns are solely useful for personal defense weapons in the city. But for that they remain amazingly well suited. I know I'd be dead a few times over if I wasn't a concealed weapons permit holder.

I have a feeling that along with the other vast differences between city and country life, one very critical reason that the use of firearms HERE is so different from the use of firearms there, is that when you live in the city, you delegate your own personal safety and security, your neighborliness and your support system, to government run services or civil servants.

You lose something powerfully strong when you stop thinking of your neighbors as decent individuals and start thinking of them as a threat or an unknown worry.

While I'm not knocking civil servants, and the services they do provide, delegation of your own protection to people you don't even know is a truly foolish thing to do.

Especially in light of response times -- if you are going to be a victim of a violent crime, the police simply statistically CANNOT get there in time to protect you worth a darn. They are cleanup and investigation when that happens, not prevention.

Prevention is you and your neighbors. Prevention is being certain you know your surroundings and can be in control of them. Prevention is awareness.

What kind of idiot goes out of his way to commit a violent crime in an area where it's well known everyone has at LEAST one defensive weapon per household. Yes, there are wacked out druggies around here. No, they don't approach our area. Not sure why, perhaps it's because this ranch and it's surrounding ranches are all known to be run and lived on by good, honest, hardworking folks.

Basically what I have is a true neighborhood watch, a true network of people who watch out for one another. Everyone is armed. Everyone is trustworthy. And that to me is priceless, and I realize the paucity of such in this country now. There really are only a few pockets of old-time America left. And I live in one.

And I trust it more than I ever trusted any of my city services. Plus it's free. And it works. We nearly NEVER have a crime commited out here.

There is something to be said for not delegating that which you can manage just fine on your own.

Piano Forte

Jul 28, 2009 at 2:17 AM
Aurora's skill with the piano has been improving dramatically lately.

I love to hear her improvising, gaining certainty, skill, playing Fur Elise or her favorite Rondino.

She even taught a few pieces to Harley while he was visiting.

I am glad. Also glad that it was without any poking or prodding. I hate it when parents try to turn their kids into something inappropriate, something totally unlike them. It just makes me happy when the girls do something artistic and from the heart.

So my cockles are all warmed up today from that. Very sweet.

It inspired me to sit and play for a minute. I did so, I played Bach and Handel, and a little Chopin. I forget, when I get all wrapped up in work, how much a simple 20 minutes of piano or drawing means to me.

How very much I need that moment of certain beauty that occurs just after the accomplishment of a piece and before the resonating strings within the wooden heart of the beast have ceased humming.

To me, every piano is a body suspended in sharp lack of a soul, achingly empty and waiting unknowningly to be brought to life by a practiced hand, for that delicate, aesthetic touch to bring forth what was always waiting to be born from within.

So when I must visit any place where a piano sits unmanned, unattended, and unavailable for playing, it brings a sense of loss, or futility and waste that hurts me in an urgent, foolishly strong way.

Last time I was at a fancy new hotel, I wandered into the marble lobby, with beautiful cornices, polished brass workings, and a lovely sitting area. And as I turned to look up the steps to the mezzanine, I saw the piano was there, a gorgeous baby grand, black, sleek, obviously in perfect condition and new. It was in the perfect spot for acoustically itting every part of that brilliant room.

A hush fell over my world and all outside noise drifted away. I knew exactly what piece I would play on this beauty.

And when I walked over to it, and began to lift the cover from the keys, I saw I could not budge it. There was a lock literally closing it like a vice to keep people like me from playing it.

You might as well place a canvas and brushes in your lobby - behind steel bars.

I was horribly dissappointed.

Does it seem as horribly rude to you as it does to me? Why provide a piano and refuse its beauty to the people who would play?

No matter how bad it gets, it can always get worse.

Jul 27, 2009 at 1:02 AM
Think if the expectations of tourists on the people who live in this town...



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Ornery Cuss

Jul 24, 2009 at 1:06 AM
..

Saturday morning, I wake up to find my lawn littered with the old men left over when all the young and fit ones have wandered off to either big cities or big dreams.

7 men, varying ages and sizes, poking around my yard, with four or five vehicles in various states of being moved around.

I walked out and said "If I'da known every man in the county was coming to my house, I'd have fixed myself up a little." Got a smile out of the ranch foreman, a strange stare out of Mike, and a chuckle out of some old coot I'd never met.

Frank (aforementioned foreman) told me they were moving out a few vehicles that Mike wanted (hello to Mike, nice to see you again, Mike waves and stares some more - not because he's interested, it's just rare to see a single person of the opposite sex around here and I think he feels obliged) before the scrap guy (absent wave hello to Scrap Guy, nice to meet you) grabs up all the scrap on the property on Monday morning.

My eyes say I'm mad no one warned me, and my attention hasn't wandered from Frank.

Oh, there somebody coming to pick up the scrap on Monday? Everything?

Yup. Just about, well, near everything. 'Cept these here cars. We're getting them out of your way now. Frank spits, scoots a foot along the ground. Meant to tell ya. They'll be here bright and early. Ish. Monday Mornin.

Holds his suspenders between missing fingers, skims his hands along the elastic. Plants his feet. Looks at me sidelong, waiting for the response.

Frank you gotta give me some warning when you're bringing the cavalry by. Id'a made coffee or something.

Listen, he says, I told your dad. Pulls down his cap. He sounds indignant that I'm asking him to warn me of company, but I can tell he feels bad about it because there's more shuffling of feet, which is what Frank does when I've said something he concedes to.

More men spitting and scratching and standing around old beat up cars, and scratching their beards, absently doing what they and their grandfathers and their grandfathers have been doing forever. Sliding fingers over suspenders, digging oil out from between fingernail and callous. Not even realizing how very very much they look the part they're playing. And mostly thinking about ways to tow the lumps of metal that are dubiously labeled as cars laying all over the back of the property back down the road to wherever they were taking them to either let them finish rusting or try to fix them up.

Chains and ropes getting hooked onto or lashed around bumpers in haphazard avant-garde disregard for symmetry or much more than keeping the car, the bumper and the wheels on the road. No red warning ribbons, no tiedowns or real hookups. No need. Staying on gravel backroads all the way there.

Any truly local man worth his snuff knows how to get all the way to any town within a few hundred miles all on gravel backroads and old logging trails.

I wandered back into the house.

Not a backwards glance at the first gathering of males I've seen in months. I know better. I spend ten minutes talking to any one of those men, half the county will have me engaged by next week. Only one in there within 30 years of my age or presumably untethered is Mike, and I'm friends with his ex and know HIS story. Not going there. Besides, rumor or no, I'm not interested even if he was charming. Even with the slim pickins around here I'm too picky choosy for my own good.

But dammit, just cause we're the only two single people under 50 years old, 300 pounds within five miles of here doesn't automatically match us up no matter how many old women subtlely beat me over the head with the idea.

So that gave me Sunday to get all the bits of scrap laying around the property over to the heap. If I had scrap to add to the pile. Which needed thinking on.

So on Sunday, I had discovered actually a heck of a lot of random metal laying around. I got everything I found laying around the yard (by which I mean about as much property as the average city park) into the pile, tons of old bits of logging tools that probably rightly belongs in a museum if they weren't rusting into flakes. I could move everything except a great big honking semi circle thing that looked like a toothless bear trap for the biggest bear you ever saw. Made of a solid HUGE thick piece of iron, probably before I was born. Heavier than my fridge.

It didn't want to budge.

I picked it up by the part that would hurt (if it were a bear trap which it wasn't) and lugged it about six inches before I realized I needed better shoes. Difficult rocky incline between me and the scrap heap - which incidentally was sitting smack in the middle of what I usually considered my "driveway" but was temporarily a scrap sorting area. No, I guess I wasn't planning on heading to town, but thanks for asking. I sighed and wandered into the house.

I got better shoes, came back out to the back field, picked up this giant iron horseshoe/beartrap/railroading/logging tool and started cussing very loudly. That's how I give myself a pep talk.

Six inches off the ground and my elbows aching already. If I sort of lifted and tipped myself sideways I'd fall over a little that way and the thing was moved a few more inches. Somestimes a few feet.

Cussed all the way about 60 yards to the scrap heap, stumbling and heaving and swearing up a storm.

Got the darn thing into the heap, or at least alongside it. Couldn't have lifted it to put it on top of anything else even if I knew all the sailors' language there is.

Frank came over and saw what I'd moved and was impressed.

His reward for doing the heavy lifting on that was to say, I'll get that spare dryer out of the way for you.

Thanks Frank.

Aw, t's'nothin. Rubs grease on pants, walks away cussing at his dog.

Monday, I looked down and saw that I gave myself a hell of a lot of dangerous looking yellow bruises all over my legs.

Today, they're working on turning greenish-blue. Every time I look at them, I can't help but break out in a prideful grin.

I beat the big piece of metal. It may look like I lost that fight, but I definitely won. That's right. Which one of us is it that is crammed into the country wrecking yard? That's right, it ain't me.

Plus I have only one dryer now, and that's a good thing. Means there's somewhere to put the next few years of scrap.

Economics Basics

Jul 23, 2009 at 2:02 AM
An economics professor at a local college recently made a statement that he while had never failed a single student before,
he has now failed an entire class.



It seems the class was insistent that Obama's agenda, specifically his commitment to quasi-socialist policies (the “spread the wealth around” concept) would inevitably and undoubtedly work – that, once it took full effect, no one would be “poor” and no one would be “rich” – that in fact his policies would prove to be a great equalizer.


The professor promptly proposed to the students that the class perform an experiment based on Obama's stated plans for the country.


All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail. Of course that also meant no one would receive an A either.


After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were quite happy.


As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.


The second test average was a D.


No one was happy.

When the 3rd test took place and the scores were presented, the average was an F.

The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that Obama’s agenda (i.e, socialism) would also ultimately fail because when the opportunity for substantial reward is great, the associated effort to succeed is equally great, but when government takes all the most desirable rewards away, no one will succeed, or even try.

Couldn’t be any simpler than that.

If somebody is unable to understand THIS explanation, then no explanation will suffice.

As the late Adrian Rogers said, "you cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."

Pass it on.

-----------

Thanks to my friend LickNister for passing this one on. I hope the original source will contact me to tell me who to credit.

Basics of Humanity and Rights

Jul 18, 2009 at 12:48 AM
..

Why do I support human rights?

Because in times of desperate need, everyone has what it takes to become the hero or the villian, and that has nothing to do with age, race, religion, gender or sexual preference.

Because you and I may one day need to get help from each other, and if you believe in any kind of endless existence (the afterlife, reincarnation) then burning our bridges or diminishing another's power is pointless and silly.

Because the most basic of human urges, even greater than the urge toward sex or food, even greater than personal survival is the urge to help all our fellows. Why not act on it? It feels wonderful.

Because if you stamp on people they will stamp back, regardless of skin, religion, age, gender, or sexual preference.

Because in all the universe there is nothing more precious or powerful than the company of friends and loves, communication and art. If you curb that, you stomp on a piece of yourself as well.

Because a truly enlightened being wouldn't do it.

Because all spiritual people are the same: if a person is wonderful, then their life is wonderful, light, beautiful. If a person is black with jealousy or greed, then their space is black, regardless of any other differences.

Because happiness depends on helping your fellows along as much as yourself.

Because I love diverse cultures, and wish to respect all people for their amazing beauty in their own unique way.

Because believing yourself to be worth more than everyone not exactly like you is arrogant.

Because good and evil cannot be decided on anything other than a personal basis. There is no blanket of good or evil that falls over an entire swath of humanity.

Today is Human Rights Day. Act on it.

To sleep perchance to dream

Jul 2, 2009 at 11:43 AM
I have begun sleeping in the center of the bed again, like a child.

Although for years I held out, hoping there was someone in my future with designs on the right side of my bed, I find I sleep in the center again, splayed out like a dreaming youth. Sleeping the deep sleep of contentment.

I don't know whether it helps my sleep, but it certainly won't make me a better bedfellow if and when that fabled man shows up.

Oh well.

Dashed Magic

Jul 1, 2009 at 1:20 AM
An hour ago, I was visited by two hovering hummingbirds.

A few inches from my face, they hovered and tipped their heads to the side in choreographed unison. Like UFOs or synchronized swimmers.

Together they'd have fit into my cupped palm. Their little hearts beat so fast as to make you primaly certain there is a threat around, it raises the pulse and quickens the breath just to watch them.

Pale brown, with glinting sunburned gold in the wings and a scarlet bowtie splashed across their chests. They ducked and swooped up to my face.

As they visited with my eyelashes, I shushed the person I was on the phone with. I was enthralled. Oh, sweet precious communion with nature!

And then I realized. The hummingbird feeder is empty. They just came over to tell me to get off the dang phone and go fill it back up with their precious crack nectar.

Accapella Thunderstorm

Jun 27, 2009 at 12:33 AM


This is amazing. Thanks, dad for pointing it out.

Close your eyes at the beginning to hear them reenact a rainstorm...

NO INSTRUMENTS!!

Wag the Human

Jun 23, 2009 at 1:40 AM
This site scares me a little...

I would never demean Tucker by pretending to be him. He communicates in a sphere exactly as large as his world actually is. Although he's seen me at the computer plenty and he recognizes the names of my friends, he doesn't want a website that I know of. Nor would I put words in his mouth.

I'm sure the cause is fabulous, and I'm not knocking that. CCI dogs are a wonderful thing.

But the HUMANS raising this pack of dogs and running this site speak ever and always from their doggies' viewpoints, which makes me wonder about their sanity a tad.

In other words, pet owners can be totally wacked out sometimes.

(Now excuse me for a moment while I wrap my kitty up like a cocoon and sing her lullabies.)

"Think Solidarity"

Jun 19, 2009 at 11:54 PM
Jacqueline Pascarl is a great person. Read her blog.

Moonlight Behind the Hill

Jun 8, 2009 at 5:05 AM

Come on a flower hunting walk with me

Jun 4, 2009 at 9:39 PM
Bits of prairie mixed with trees. The walk starts on a rise above this view.



The twins are very happy to be going on this walk.




The very first leg of the walk is through the corner of some freshly logged land. It's always a stark contrast against the greenery. Good thing it'll all be planted up with newborn trees next year. If I keep on going down this path, we'll be through it in less than an acre...



Oh, look, we're back in very lush surroundings. These ferns actually grow all pointed to the side like that. Very interesting how they appear to flow, and the wind does beautiful things waving through ferns.





Ooh, look, blackberries are blooming. So velvety soft and sweet smelling. Watch for thorns.



This Maple Tree was strikingly dark against a brilliantly blue sky. And I love how the branches appear to grow with the wind in mind.



This dandelion is positive he's the sun.



My daughters like the way these trees look. Left to right is a maple, a wild lilac and an alder patch.




Beautiful Wild Raspberry or Salmonberries are blooming all around here. The girls know beter than to pick these. If they did, there'd be one less raspberry for pie later on!



Wild Lilac is also known as thyanosis or Tickweed. I prefer Wild Lilac as names go. Tick weed kind of scares me. Apparently it's as prolific as ticks. Which seems true. It is suddenly blooming everywhere.



I think this might be snapdragons, although I've been fooled by others. Snapdragons are everyone's favorite and we have plenty in every variety. I love them for their ability to imbue everyone with happiness who sees them.



The wild columbine was apparently moving in the breeze. Couldn't be captured...



Columbine is so beautiful I went and bought a beautiful pink one to have at home a few days after this walk. I'd dig up one of these, but we're low impact around here.



Bear scat is everywhere, though thankfully not terribly fresh. They'll be back when the raspberries are blooming. For right now, we're probably safe. (But just in case, we're in a big group and I've brought defense with.)

Portuguese Broom - quite pretty, still polleny as all get-out.



The bane of my existence, Scotch Broom, gets all up in my eyes. My eyes are itching even looking at it.



Argh. More scotch broom. The girls think the flowers are quite pretty - but it's still a noxious weed with massive polleny overkill and hayfever abounds when it's blooming.



OK, I'm over the broom thing. And we're here, the inimitable TALL Charlie Rock.




Wild Lilacs are everywhere, including near the base of Charlie Rock. This last stretch was uphill. We made it. Good for us. Time for a break.



Tiny Wildflowers are a delight to the soul and come in every possible color with such intricate understated beauty Where the tiny wildflowers are, so go the clovers. I laid down in a field of them while we took a break and brushed my fingers over them.



OK. Time to get moving. Aren't buttercups beautiful?




We went by a field laden with buttercups, here are a few.





Miranda tries to take a picture of one with her finger on the lens. Came out blurry. Still, pretty.



Here we are walking back around the bend the other side of Charlie Rock. It's time to head home.



Let me leave you to enjoy the view on the way home. Here is some of the scenery we passed.



Love my life

at 3:49 PM
OK. So in spite of recent rants, I just want you all to know that I adore my life. I've talked to everyone I love most in the last few days, if only by phone, and that is heartwarming.

Peace out. Talk later.

DOOMSDAY APPEAL

Jun 1, 2009 at 7:53 PM
My children just wrote an advertisement.

DOOOOOOOOOOOM!
IT AWAITS YE!
NOW IN FUN SIZE AND
BUBBLE GUM FLAVOR!!!!!


BUY IT
NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



NO PURCHASE NESSACARY. Not responsible for any personal injury or death. DOOOOOOOOOOOM may not be suitable for everyone. Please contact your physician first, as DOOOOOOOOOOOM may not be right for you. Side effects may include lack of sleep, nightmares, stress, hallucinations, excessive bleeding, random screaming, and headaches.
For external use only. Do not take DOOOOOOOOOOOM with alchohol. DOOOOOOOOOOOM can cause pregnancy defects in pregnant women. Do not take DOOOOOOOOOOOM if you are nursing, pregnant, or may become pregnant. Copyrigt 2009 Doomsday Enterprises.

I am SO not gonna live in my Outhouse

May 28, 2009 at 4:34 AM
My sister's BF Sean invited his entire family and his best friend to stay with me for Veteran's Day weekend. All three days. And really didn't think he'd done it. When they showed up, they announced the length of their stay.

Here is what it takes for me to have enough:


  • One Desi

  • No warning

  • NINE people in my house(!)...

  • Including two complete strangers

  • One bathroom

  • Two bedrooms

  • Parents of sister's BF extremely light sleepers, so needing MY bedroom and accidentally going to sleep in it without asking

  • Two nights of sleeping on the floor in my kid's room

  • One entire bathroom closet full of toilet paper just GONE

  • No chance to shower or bathe entire time

  • Having to play hostess ecause Sean and Libs holed up in their room o were sleeping.

  • 5 dozen eggs and two loaves of bread gone inside of an hour.

  • Guests somehow using up all my water so I had mud in pipes for two days after they left and STILL couldn't bathe.

  • Monday was not a holiday for me. I had to work with pool games and darts and card games and music playing going on.

  • My house which was spotless is now a total wreck.




I love Sean, but if his family shows up again, I want hazard pay.

The Full Spectrum

May 26, 2009 at 5:27 AM
I have changed my template/theme for my blog.

For one, the old one seemed cluttered and unpretty. I didn't feel at home in it anymore.

For another, I didn't remember saying any of the stuff in my sidebar anymore.

So anyhow, here it is. I didn't make it, but I do love pretty rainbows.

US Property Owners Losing millions of acres without compensation

May 22, 2009 at 9:02 PM
Unless you and I stop this bill, we can own our property, but not our water.

Sketching

May 21, 2009 at 6:31 PM
I'm posting some sketches I did yesterday in oil pastel on sketch paper.



Aurora's foot



Sean's Hand



Sleeping Tucker



Oil pastels are my fave medium, by far.

Hana Li Made a Song for a twilight movie

May 20, 2009 at 3:22 PM
http://www.myspace.com/hanalimusic

Hanali was one of the best singers in our school. Loved singing with me and the other teachers.

So proud to hear her singing professionally now. No hollywood studio tweaks her singing voice -- what you hear is the real deal.

I hope she goes places. Go Hanali!

I own the moon and am an idiot to walk alone at night here

May 15, 2009 at 1:20 AM
One of the very best things about being on the ranch is the fact that the all-encompassing, endless blackness of night is an actuality here.

All the stories from ancient times about the sun, the moon, the powerful heavens, the endless depth of darkness.

Let me telll you what I've learned.

It is not that modern civilization, in its vanity and concieved perfection, has tamed the fear of black, the awe of the heavens. Not nearly. It simply distanced itself from it with bright lights.

The ambient light that caresses a city, bouncing and scattering all around, creating dull grey skies, is considered darkness when it is the farthest extreme you ever find.

By definition, most people live there. Most of us are city dwellers. But this has removed the opportunity to truly know the perceived absolute vacuum that darkness can be, and it also strips you of a birthright as a human, the strength of a sky that shines with spilt diamonds. The glowing aura of the moon.

Something miraculous happens when there is nothing sentient in your sight, when the world turns silver and black. And you are all alone with your thoughts, except for the hint of something alive that seems to throb outward from a huge, silver circle in the sky. The moon, outstripping the light of the thousands of stars that usher her into your sky. You can almost feel that the moon has a presence, has life.

Now, modern science shows that this is not the case. But the simple truth is, if you were where I am, you'd be seeing the moon as I do.

The sun looks the same here as it does most places. Maybe a little dimmer, since I'm more north than most populations in the world. No perceptible difference there.

But the moon, which has been pushing and pulling my female form around since I was 14, suddenly makes sense here. I understand why my body feels the pull of the moon, why my fertility is inextricably tied to the changes in distance of a whorling ball of rock, and I can see how and why the moon became revered in so many cultures.

Because you cannot help but see that the moon is not merely a slave to the earth, not merely a hunk of rock, but instead it is a powerful influence on all creatures of earth. It can change the shape of our oceans, it can affect people so deeply as to generate worlds like "lunatic", it can warp the fluxuations of millions of tons of rock, and even brighten my sky well enough to walk home at night in the dark.

The moon is remarkably present here. You can tell when it has arrived and it will not be ignored.

------------------

But when there is no moon, and cloudcover sweeps over the stars, this land gets darker than death. The air seems to suck away, replaced with a palpable, silently keening something just out of reach.

Lacking street lamps of any kind anywhere nearby, walking home in the dark here is a THOUSAND times darker than in the city. Not one tiny particle of light enters the eye, and your mind screams out danger louder than you can tell yourself to calm down. There is literally nothing there to see, no matter how long you wait for your eyes to adjust.

When your eyes report that you are completely blind, suddenly your ears prick up at EVERY noise. I discovered a few nights back that human ears can indeed 'prick up' - the muscles above my ears automatically tighten and raise my ears up somewhat, some ancient primal instinct I had no control over.

Unless you can scientifically explain to yourself the vacuum of light particles, think your way to where something is throwing out light, using only sound, feel, and by sway of the terrain beneath your feet as cues, you will succumb to your own fear. Forget nocturnal predators.

There is a reason that horror writers use the dark as a fallback. Instinct tells us that the dark is to be feared. Too many have died in it.

It does make sense; both the science that says I'm safe and the instinct that says I'm not. Our greatest nocturnal enemy is our own intellect, the instincts willing us to panic, out logic willing us to calm down.


I was walking home from Tammy's two days back, having forgotten she wasn't home and having had darkness fall extremely suddenly, I realized that I had failed to bring a lamp.

It was suddenly completely pitch black.

So I tell my eyes they are not blinded, and to look for luminous eyes. Night creatures have such beautiful luminous eyes. I wondered whether the predator ever wishes his prey had a sense of the aesthetic, so that he could know that his prey fully appreciated the beauty of his killer in the pouncing. But then I realized that the only prey around here that might is me. And I fervently hoped my local predators were not sentient enough to want that.

As I crossed the bridge, carefully scooting my feet along to make absolutely certain I didn't step off the edges (not much siderailing on the bridge, it's just slabs of cement), I tried breathing shallowly so as to hear better. My feet made unbelievably loud scooting sounds on the cement. Unnatural, echoing in the darkness like a beacon. (HERE I AM! SILLY WANDERING SOFT FLESHY HUMAN HERE!)

And if my feet scooting wasn't enough, I realized how foolish it was to use the stinky shampoo - the cougar, the bobcat or even a bear would certainly smell me now. And it's not as though I needed to drum up a predator from scratch. We already know these animals are here on the ranch.

Once I reached the gravel on the other side of the bridge, I breathed out big. I hadn't realized I'd stopped breathing. Very shortly after, I almost stepped off the gravel, and I realize I'd been mere inches from the side of the bridge for the last several feet of my spanning it. I was mere inches at that same moment from where I knew we needed to shore up the gravel. I was on the loose section. Crap. Me feet scooted over to the left a little at a time without my even thinking it. I found myself safely centered on the gravel again.

I stuck my hand in front of my face to test the darkness, but could not see fingers. I only knew I existed because I could feel myself existing.

Leaves were unbelievable sharp smelling. I heard the tinkle of gravel beneath my feet, and I felt the swish of my pants as almost a giveaway. ("Stop leaking the scent of my fear out, armpits. Stop swinging in the slight breeze, hair.") I could smell my hair over everything. I tried to push most of my hair down into my shirt collar.

Thankfully, the creek makes a great deal of noise, I thought. It'll cover me.

Oh, wait. It also covers predatory noises. I suddenly wished I was barefooted. I could easily stop crunching so much if I could walk softly. I realize how important it should be to maintain the basic instictive knowledge we're losing as a race.

What a foolish thing it would be to become super-beings, and then lose our ability to protect ourselves from lesser life forms. The future-perfect almost-alien humans from the 50s movies, taken down by some housecat with a new idea.

Focus... The road is THERE. I visualize it and my mind starts trying to see the road. I think for a moment I'm looking at it. Cruelly, I play a trick on myself and my imaginary road starts cofusingly twisting.

Deep breath. Road is where it has always been. Can't see it - must trust logic. Roads don't move.

It slopes up and to the right. Walk that way.

So I did. Suddenly, walking snapped me out of my fear.

I could not see any part of myself, and that alone is enough to force your attention outward in extreme focus. But you must also be active. Inactivity breeds panic, especially in the dark.

A twig snapped over to my right, subtle, terrifying.

I thought about it. It was from over on the high ground, downwind - down-breeze technically - perfect for the cougar. If I were a big cat looking for an idiot human, I'd have been right over there where the twig snapped.

Mentally calculating in my head whether the snap I heard could have been made by a small enough twig to be snapped purely by the power of a breeze, and trying to force myself to rememberthe exact windspeed at the moment when the breeze reached me right after the twig snapped, I gave up. I simply wasn't going to know whether there was a cougar over there.

I stepped up my pace, now controlling my breathing and attempting to calm myself. Walking alone at night is majorly stupid here. I cursed my idiocy for one moment, and then thought "What if there is a cougar that wants to eat me? Would I like my last thought to be me calling myself an idiot?" Definitely not. So I filled my mind with thoughts of my daughters, my sisters, and my parents. And kept walking, making sure I stayed on gravel. Not running, I'd run right off the road, and then I'd be dead anyway, cliffs to the left and slippery mud on the right. My foot caught on a round something in the road. Of course, being in a scared mood, my mind immediately starts providing likely candidates from the morbid end of the idea spectrum (bone? body?) but I know it's just a big stick or branch.

I balance carefully to bend down and pick it up. Little do you realize how very much you depend on your sight when you bend, swoop, swing a limb. I got lightheaded, entirely psychosomatically, on my way back up.

Presumably a mossy stick. Felt a little rotted out in the middle. But strong enough to weild.

Weilding felt better than limply swinging my arms like bait.

I grabbed the moldering branch portion with my right hand, fiercely. Ii'm positive that had I been able to see my knuckles, they'd have been bone-white, with little red lines across them like cat's eyes from the stress. To hell with exascerbating my carpal tunnel syndrome, I wanted a stick and I wanted to hit something with it.

I kept walking, listening for gravel beneath my feet, correcting course, paying attention to the swoop and curve of the road beneath me.

When I reached my steeply rugged driveway, I was so thankful. I practically ran up it. I slipped a bit, having not remembered where the potholes are. It felt three times longer than it ever had before.

As I rounded the last hill and the light from my porch struck my in the face, it felt solid. It looked so bright. I was blinded for a moment, the light, despite being unbelievably welcome, felt harsh and bitter.

My eyes took a while to become the primary input method for my mind. My ears remained pricked up for a good while. It took wrapping myself in my pashmina, and sitting on the porch looking out at my small semicircle of lit-up grass drinking a cup of tea, before I chilled out.

Looking around me right now, I see lights brightening every corner, and they seem so very much brighter for my recent brush with darkness.

There is something to be said for extremes, and for experiencing them once in a while.

I toldya I was in a music video

May 13, 2009 at 8:09 PM
If you can find the 11 year old me in this video, then cool.

I almost can't.

My Tarot deck is all "Old Maid" cards

at 7:32 PM
The longer I am single, the more I love it.

Don't get me wrong. I still want a man in my life again someday.

See, although I truly hated being alone at first, and do dislike long stretches of empty time with no one else in them, there is something discreetly lovely about having my house to run as I see fit, having only my word as law within my home for my children. Being able to wrap my shawl around my shoulders, sit on my throne and rule my home without anyone else doing it wrong.

There are some things about single motherhood that should not be taken for granted. This is one of them.

And it becomes a much stronger case in point for me when one of my exes says something idiotic. I am then even more grateful that I'm not subjected to them on a daily basis anymore. Over the past several days, I've learned that one of my exes can't manage tiny everyday tasks any better now than back then, another ex continues to try to "fix" my views on gay rights, and yet another one can't stick to a story to save his life. He backpedaled so far he contradicted himself. Yet again. And I'm the liar. Sigh.

At least from my viewpoint, any one of these reasons would have been good enough to end a relationship, and I sigh in contented lonely relief whenever I think what might have been. There was something very healthy in wasting those relationships. I think. They were truthfully not high enough caliber to be worth it.

However, there is the niggling fear that lays in the back of my mind that says "You know that wonderful feeling when your arms are wrapped around someone you utterly adore, your eyes are squeezed shut, your heart is full, and you've thrown yourself into an embrace with all your might? Well... You should have taken better care of it when you had it, because it's gone forever."

So I sit on the porch and drink coffee and imaging what I do want. Oddly, what I want includes reciprocation. I have yet to be reciprocated. By that I mean someone of my caliber, with a truly amazing passion for life, who feels about me the way I feel about all those I love.

I fear, though, that I may well be on my way there to the empty land of old-maidism. Perhaps that little voice is just me being realistic. I am fast on my way to becoming the old lady with eighteen cats.

I live alone in the woods, so perhaps I perpetuate the problem internally. Except when I visit my friends elsewhere, I am generally far from where there are people I might date.

But the crux of it is, I actually need no one, have no particular desire to rush after any man who wouldn't reciprocate, and I am quite happy.

I've just agreed to take on a friend's friend's daughters cats so that she can go off somewhere for a few years. I have a feeling the cats will be staying around for good. Which means I'm already a lady with too many cats. Give it a few more years and there will be the aged part, too.

Just as soon as the cats arrive this weekend, the picture will be that much closer to complete.

But not in the fearful of being rejected way...

May 11, 2009 at 10:48 PM
I am bothered by the expression I hear more and more often:

"I Love You! (But not in a gay way.)"


Why clarify?

The difference between platonic and partner love is terribly obvious to those giving and receiving it.

And I don't require which form of love I'm receiving to be clarified in any personal relationships, publicly or not. I already KNOW which. Plus, I'm proud of being loved by everyone who loves me.

If you're afraid of being seen as gay, don't mix it with your expressions of love -- fear and love don't mix. I don't think there is anything bothersome about seeing a display of love on a public forum or in a note. There is nothing there, regardless of what KIND of love is being talked about, that could even remotely bother me.

It's hate that sucks rocks.

I love those whom I love. LOVE!

(DEAL.)

Coiled and Struck

May 10, 2009 at 4:22 PM
Onomatopoeia (ana-mata-pee-ya) are words that sound like what they are. Wham! Pow! Kablooie!

And in English -- while we may be poor on universally applicable grammatical laws, and poorer in literate souls, and even poorer still in an agreed proper usage that is universally applied -- we are HUGELY RICH in onomatopoeia. A wealth of words allude to their meanings by wrapping diction around function, so that you can let the meaning speak itself. Slip, slide, flap, wiggle.

As you say the word struck, the tongue first forces a "st", which contains compunction and force, then flows its way out with a "ru" toward a "ck" - an obvious blow.

Same with the word coil. In order to say it, your tongue must start hard, then undulate and then finally settle again. Very much like the concept that it conveys.

If you learn your word roots far enough back, every word can be thus. Every word began as the best means known to that person of making sound convey a particular meaning. It is when the meanings shift in huge cataclysmic bursts that we lose ground and can no longer find original meaning on our tongues.

We lose our linguistic touch easily, however, it always returns.

---

I have a small cabin on the end of my yard, that a strange older hippie couple had been renting for nearly nothing. It has no bathroom - they used my outhouse when they lived here. I honestly didn't know what the tiny shed was until someone said it was my outhouse. (Lovely. Just what I always wanted. I'm making plans to plant begonias in it as we speak.)

Anyway, this small cabin intrigued me, as I'm low on dressers, having a remarkably larger household than a few months ago, and more coming. I thought perhaps the hippies had left something behind that could be of use.

Apparently dressers are too establishment. As I was heading back, I stood on the porch and looked about me. Remarkable piles of detritus (aka crap) left behind by the "make love not war" generation surrounded me. Bits of couches, springs from some kind of 1950s kitchen device. A motor out of God only knows what kind of vehicle, conspicuously not present.

I looked down and noticed I was about to step on something.

There was a beautiful, small, pounded-tin cabinet, very thin, with little arched doors like a cathedral, that looked as though they opened. It had obviously originally been painted some cheerful middle eastern or Russian pattern.

I crouched on my heels, and opened the doors to find them lined with and hiding a mirror, now falling away at my touch like a recognized dream through the cracks in the porch. Not old or wiggly mirror, but shattered and disintegrating with the force of opening the tin doors. Oh well. I wondered. Had I somehow never opened it, would the mirrors have retained their arching stained glass shape, shattered but holding together anyway, long after the metal containing them had rusted away?

I looked down into a shard of glass and saw bits of myself staring back up. Just as interested as the real me.

I decided that if I knocked out the bits of glass, it might make a good home for a picture of my children. A tiny shrine to the things that matter most to me.

So, I closed the doors again, and lifted one end of the mirror.

As the cathedral mirror tilted away from me, I noticed a small movement beneath it. Two things. Tiny ants, already well into picking up their food and babies for relocating, having been trained over millions of years into thinking with constant relocation, and having learned through experience passed on by the dead among them that it is wiser to avoid danger when carrying your life around with you.

But also under there, and entertaining no thoughts of relocating, was a very small, very proud, pure-black snake. He looked like a rattlesnake, but probably wasn't. I think he was hardly thicker than a worm, but twice as long. He had decided to let me know the cathedral I had picked up was his home. How he did this, since he didn't move even one tiny bit, I'm not sure. Perhaps it was the steely determinism in his miniscule, proud head. Perhaps it was the attitude of absolute certainty that he conveyed as he lay coiled and resting his head lazily against his skin. He was dead certain that I would replace his cool, pleasing home and let him go about his life again, because he was, after all, the noblest of all snakes.

His little eyes looked up at me without fear or worry and I looked down at him without any either.

I decided that he deserved his existence. I'll come back in a few weeks and maybe find the cathedral ready for me to repaint and move, once he's gotten too large for it to conceal him from prey any longer. Hopefully he'll move near the mice that invade my kitchen each night.

I put his house down and went home. There were many other things to be doing.

---

Today I am struck by the phrase mortal coil, as though the body is wrapped around me, smothering my existence, rather than a tool toward living.

Perhaps it is a bit of both.

Mother's Day Giveaway

May 7, 2009 at 9:40 PM
Yay for mommy's day. Giveaway of neat stuff in exchange for a blog comment. Not a bad deal if I do say so myself.

http://www.5minutesformom.com/6032/mothers-day-giveaway-2009/

Lovely lovely art

May 5, 2009 at 10:51 PM
I'm doing art again lately. Don't know how I'm having time, but I'm doing it.

Working on a collaboration with my little sister and her boyfriend right now. Will post it when done.

Yay!

The Bill of Rights, Dumbed Down

May 2, 2009 at 3:51 PM
Here is a version of the first ten amendments to the constitution, also know as the Bill of Rights, that can be understood by pretty much anyone who can read.

LIST OF RIGHTS

We're congress, which means we're representing you, and we're in New York, and it's Wednesday, early Spring, sometime in the 1780s. (So, like, the US has already been a country for a few years.)

Oops. We forgot to include some stuff in the rules and stuff that we wrote when we made the country up from scratch, such as stuff to protect you from being played by the man, and we're adding it in now like we knew we might have to when we wrote it. (So you don't start hating on us, your reps and stuff, later. And so things go the way they should.)

We've decided to make the stuff that we say next part of the rules of our country that we already made. So here goes.

All this stuff fits after the fifth part of the consitution, that paper that talks about the rules of the country that we already wrote a few years back.

WE'RE TACKING THESE AMENDMENTS, OR FIXES, ON

1. We can't make any laws about religion, or about what you can talk about, or about what you can write, or that keep you from getting together in groups, or that tell you not to bug us for our mistakes.

2. Bitching cool armies that can like do things well and posses and stuff are cool, and needed if you want a safe country. We can't tell you not to pack heat if you want to.

3. If soldiers want to stay in your house, they gotta ask politely and follow the rules if you say no or yes, either way.

4. We can't grab your crap or poke around your personal space or body without your say-so, unless a judge says so cause somebody else swears up and down that you're seriously fishy. And then the judge has to say exactly what is OK to take from you and the dudes who're bugging you have to stick to just that stuff.

5. If they're saying you did something serious, like a big crime, or something you could die for, you don't have to talk. You can shut up if you want to to keep from being in worse trouble, unless an extra special group of people called a grand jury gather together and decide you gotta talk about it and then it's serious and it's time to blab. But if you're a soldier and there's anything going on like a war or something, you gotta blab right away. But, hey, if you're put through the wringer there are no do-overs. And you don't have to say bad things about yourself. Plus also, you really do get to own your own stuff, like your house land and things like that, and it can't be taken away from you without going through a bunch of legal rigamarole. But the government can take your stuff for everyone to use without all the rigamarole, but they have to pay you back for it, and not short you.

6. If you're nabbed for a crime or something serious, you get to have the whole thing be over with quickly and in front of everyone; they can't hide you away forever. You get your day in court about that crime like everyone else, and it needs to be with a whole bunch of people just like you judging you, called a jury, not just the one bigwig judge dude. Plus it has to play out where ever the crime happened. You get to hear what the other guys are saying about you and about what you did, and you also get to know exactly who they got to back them up and say it, too. You've got to get a fair chance to find people to say good things about you, and you get to lawyer up, so it's all square.

7. When you're sued over more than twenty bucks (which is a lot more money in 1789), you still get to ask for a bunch of people like you, a jury, to judge you instead of the bigwig judge deciding things, but not if you don't ask. If a jury looks into it, nobody gets to sue over that same thing again anywhere in the whole country, except if the law says so.

8. If you're in jail and want to get out, you gotta pay money. That's called bail. Bail can't be too much money. And if you get fined, that can't be too much money either. And punishments have to be normal, not too mean or weird.

9. If we have left one of your rights out, it's still cool. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist, and you can still demand it.

10. Anything we didn't specifically say here in the country's rules that we get to be in charge of, the states get to be in charge of, or maybe even you get to be in charge of it if the state doesn't grab it up.

----------------

Thanks to Alexander Hamilton for coming up with the idea for the Bill of Rights. Please read the original text, now that you got the jist of it.

And please, this is so totally not the Bill of Rights, really. If you can't see that, you're a basket of hammers. I'm just exercising my right to free speech, as affirmed in the REAL Bill of Rights. OK?

I love the framework and beginnings of my country and I really think you will too once you read over the real documents and make darn sure you understand it all. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are ALWAYS at your library. Go read the real things. And if you want me to paraphrase (dumb down) anything for you, I will. Gladly.