Saturday, May 31, 2008

Message in a Bottle

I'm leaving picture posts while I'm gone to Louisiana. (returning on Monday).

My beloved-Dottie-Diva-I miss her still.

Another kind of Lily (or maybe an orchid, but not my dog).

A big old turkey. They remind me of peacocks only a lot browner...and tastier.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Off to the races

I may take my computer, I may not. It's really 8 the night before I leave and far too early to think about that.

I'm learning that trips, while enjoyable, are stressful for my parents, so I have to go into road mode the day before. They are still scampering around trying to make sure every contingency is covered for the running of the entire world while they are gone, as if leaving the driveway surrenders the last bit of control. So, in order not to go crazy, I just go into road mode the day before-what will be will be.

What was on Thursday was a tragedy of epic proportions-Mom's FREEZER went out. The loss of ALL her leftovers was looming and even I didn't make fun of it. It would be like someone making fun of me losing a snake-some things are just important to people, and if you love that person, you respect it.

So I loaded up my small freezer which was unfilled and turned off, pending the bounty of the gardens to come....and took it down on a hand truck. I was very proud of myself hauling the freezer down, for once it was good to be me-I was handy to have around. And strangely enough, I wasn't even smug, just glad I had the freezer and glad to help.

Mom and I visited Uncle John. He doesn't talk much any more and his face has settled into the Parkinson's mask. Mom gets so nervous around him. I try to think up ways to draw him out, get a little spark, without seeming to be trying to do just that.

Mom had a cup of coffee on the table. He reached for it and she held on to it, saying "John, that's hot coffee, can I get you something to drink?" He said "No, I just wondered why there was a pile of bananas on the table." Later, when we left Mom said "Do you know John thought my hand was a pile of bananas?" My heart kind of twinged, not really sure if any of us knew what really happened.

But really, anyone who thinks they KNOW is probably more delusional than those of us who know we don't.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Carolyn Slowsky

Ok, blogspot returned my bar. Here's Carolyn, a day late, sort of fits though. Well, really it's just her shell, I was trying to shoot with macro, and she was not feeling the love....yeah, it was just a tough week all around.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Animal WEDNESDAY happens on Wednesday

Geeze, I'm sitting here thinking "what to post" babbled on about dead dogs and talking to myself, and forgot to post up a picture.

This is the shell of Carolyn Slowsky, the ornate box turtle lady who showed up earlier this week or late last week.

Well, I would add it except the picture adding thing is gone. I'm going to go drink some nice ice water and try again the meantime...HAW

Somedays are just like that (cause I said so)

No matter what I did to shake the blues today, I kept coming up against something or another. The worst was when I took the big dogs to the kennel a day early.

I want to work with Priss and Lily who are having issues, so I took the big uns in a day early. Called the kennel, scooped up the 3 musketeers who were glad of the adventure (my dogs are easily pleased) and off when went.

When we got there a lady had just driven up with 2 dogs, one I believed died as she was signing in. Apparently she lived in an apartment, left the dogs out on the patio in crates. She covered the crates with blankets to keep the sun off them.

I was so angry-beyond angry. And it's not like I've never done dumbass things. The dogs were well groomed and other than being dead, looked well cared for.

So, behold the workings of a depressed mind. "Cute little dogs die on patios, why bother?" Taking a random, albiet shitty, event, personalizing it and using it as a reason to give up. How clever.

And, truly, there is no answer to the question-because the mind will just come up with another horror to "why bother " about. Lately I've started treating the gloomy side of me just like a famiiar, yet annoying child. When it crops up with "why bother" I just (mentally, not out loud, unless I'm home alone) blurt back "cause I said so." Arguing or reasoning with your depressed self makes as much sense as arguing or reasoning with a child or a dog.

The scary thing is, it kind of works. The blues still linger, but I'm able to keep moving and keep trying. Why? Cause I said so.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Look at Mah Tamaters

It's official, I gots some tamaters.
Last night (Monday night) lightening blew out the electricity for several hours...yet another way to be without power. I just laughed out loud in the dark and said "well I'll be damned...."

I read on someone else's blog that blue flowers are rare. It's a pity, they are pretty. These are in one of the front flower beds.

These are some hot peppers I'm growing for Mr. Oliver the Very Spoiled Parrot.

I'm feeling very random, which is an improvement over yesterday where I felt like complete and utter shit (tummy ache). But, I'm trying to put some goodness out there, even if it's only random.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Cactus Monday

It's really now Tuesday, but as a former accountant, I backdated things all the time. In no particular order, a shot of Frankencactus and his friends (that's a bird nest I found next to the cactus bowl), the cover and page 1 of my "Cactus Monday" matchbook.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Random News

1. Oliver the parrot stepped up twice today!!!!! Stepping up is a big deal-it's the first step to moving around to other perches-we were both so excited! I've learned a lot working with him, he's teaching me as I teach him-we are both learning to trust each other. Liking each other was immediate-he came up to me at the store and we liked each other on the spot-trusting has taken a bit longer, and work on both our parts.

2. After spending years driving up and down I:35 between OKC and Dallas with one eye out for box turtles, a lovely little girl came waltzing into my front yard yesterday. She knows people and food, and I hope she wasn't a classroom pet set free.

3. I found a chaise lounge at Walmart for 39 bucks. I wanted it for the backyard, which is dog territory, so I didn't want to spend a lot. When I told mom (shopping news she wants to hear) and she began to grouse (she has to have benches already...why....)I gently cut her off and said "well, I didn't have a chaise lounge and I wanted one."

4. I knew better than to tell her about the pillow and beach towel I got as well.

5. I finally got cable installed-long story, not really interesting-just something I had to work through. So, I'll get to see the Meerkat Manor Movie and I'm ready for shark week. (There was no doubt in my mind I would be).

6. I may have the front of the garage made into an office-sort of the old garage beauty shop concept without the sink. Or I may install the heater on the sunporch. Heating the room in the winter could be costly, but so is adding on another room, which I will have to heat as well. Neither room would boast a spectacular view, but the sunporch overlooks the backyard and I can watch the dogs sit on my chaise lounge LOL.

7. Even though I don't "work" I declared a holiday weekend, and my head and heart are really really enjoying it. I think I needed it and I needed to learn to "get away" while staying home. I just can't run off to Mexico any more like I used to-a thousand years (three or four) ago.

8. I am taking Mom and Dad to Louisiana next week-the horse races. We'll do things "we always do....." (arrrrrrgh).

9. In July I'm going to Sarasota to see Sue, Jay, Maya, Hannah and all the kiddos (including a new parrot...wooooo hoooo!!!!) Sue and I are going to get some tattoo work done-it's always fun with a friend.

10. I'm slowly getting that it all doesn't work out forever after in a day. It sort of just unfolds.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Body Art and Other

I'll start the day with a bit of nature. Many of us have had not so merry months of May. I remember once a thousand years ago (or maybe only a few weeks) I cheerily said we should all go out and visit nature each day. I do do that-but today I'll bring some here in case you can't.

And now, actual photos from my actual physical body. Ewwwww.

I took these for a forum I am part of-it's very hard to photograph bits of your own lower body unless you are more limber than I....LOL. The moons actually go longways down my outer thigh, but I was lazy and didn't flip the picture. The big colored piece is a redo-it took 6 hours. Yep, it hurt.

These are so much a part of me now that I forget other people may find them interesting.

Things are pretty much the same. The nursing home keeps calling me so that they can document we've communicated and that I am aware my Uncle is going to die and that I did not voice any concerns about it. Married to a lawyer for a few years, 10 years in the medical billing business, I understand what they are doing even though that's not how they put it. And, I understand all the myriad of reasons why, so I visit for a bit, make a few suggestions and try not to let it get to me. How awkward death must be for a nursing home, although they do a booming rehab business as well. The geriatric piece is pretty much a one way ticket.

Little GloWorm is doing his bestest imitation of a the medical symbol thingy. He's not in a petulant mood-that's pretty much just how he looks. Ok, I just woke him up and tickled his tail to make him stick his head up, so maybe he's slightly miffed. His eyes are silver with cross shaped pupils, but realize I am using a macro lense and he isn't sure about letting that thing get so close to him. One day he'll be four feet long, green or blue and the king of the branch, but right now, he's just a little feller who was woke up from his nap.

I'll finish with a flower from my aunt's garden so no one has a nightmare. Well, it was in the batch of pictures from California, so if it wasn't in my aunt's garden it was somewhere in a 50 mile radius.
Blessings to you all!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Why Oh Why

Why do I continue to look
for comfort where I KNOW there is none?

Do we long for a bitter taste simply
because it is familiar?

Is the sad feeling or the bad feeling
better than no feeling at all?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

HAW-Hereeeee's Lucy

Lucy is turning into a wonderful photo subject. Placid and still, but not shy and scared. Oh joy oh joy. And she's pretty too. Doesn't she look like a fabulous basket or even an ash tray? This isn't fiddled with in the least, all that color, all that texture, that's my Lucy!
Happy Animal Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dreams and Schemes

My dream is dusty, but it's mine
Tarnished and tattered
Tossed from time to time.

My story is not always light
Nor constantly filled with woe
There is no end in sight.

Milestones are for marking progress
Life comes in between
Therein lies success.

My god, this three line form is hard to write. I mean painfully hard to get an idea out in this format. It's awkward and unpleasant, but I'm sure I grew some extra synapses trying to do it.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Cactus Monday -Howdy Cactuteers

The lesson from this is take what is happening in your life, honor it, but continue on with things that matter, like Cactus Monday!

The decayed cactus leaf I shot in California just because I liked the colors and the dirty background. Then I played.

Actually, I still like the bottom one best, but I enjoyed the playing so I included them all. Perhaps I really do enjoy just seeing things as they are.

Happy Cactus Monday!

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Thinking about a Hopper post and what I wrote.


Messy things really, who needs them
We all do.
Get in the way of real work
Or ARE they the real work?

Lolly gag, dreamer, wasting your time
Or is it?
What good does it do, what does it produce
Maybe a real human being.

I'm going to drink my tea
And then go cut my grass
But not chastise myself for letting the grass get long
In the first place.

Did the growing grass hurt anyone?
I doubt it.
Did I help anyone by crying on the patio?
Maybe I helped myself.

I want to be more than mower of grass
or a counter of coins
or an enforcer of "LAWS"
And that just takes time of its own.

Better to have tall grass and a full heart
Than a close cropped lawn and an empty shell.
Better for me anyway
You choose what it best for you.

My Eye's are Leaking!!!!

Remember that scene from the Grinch (Jim Carey version) where the Grinch grows a heart and begins to cry? I love that scene, so well done and so real.

I keep a roll of TP by the computer right now, because, try as a I might, my eyes leak a lot these days. Some days sitting down to sitting down to split open another blood vein-it feels pretty much the same. Well, metaphorically speaking, I've never split a vein on purpose.

But I was sitting here bawling because Human Being wrote such a lovely poem and the thought crossed my mind "where do all these tears come from anyway?" Then an even bigger thought crossed my mind-what happens to the ones who go unshed?

Even when work was a passion of mine, I was not a crier at the office-I pretty much despised it as a manipulative ploy, and in business I still do. But in life's dealings, if I didn't cry, and cry hard, I think I might explode.

So, where do unshed tears go?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Red Neck Maybe?

The people behind me had some kids over. I think the kids may belong to one or the other, but they don't live there. The wife put a dart board up in the tree for the kids, but the kids threw a dart at the dogs and got sent in.

After the kids went back to where ever it is that they spend most of the their time, the man of the house returned to the tree with a hatchet and a tape measure. The board was placed at regulation height. A regulation distance was measured off and a line drawn in the dirt with the hatchet. All beer cans and garden implements were kicked out of the line of fire.

The good news is the trajectory is not over the fence to the east-where kids often play. Bad news is the trajectory is over my fence, where my dogs play.

I'm looking at the fence to MY east-a lovely 8 foot privacy fence, with complete and utter envy. Maybe the deer target winking at me from the back of the dartboard in the tree is a sign.

I am judging, but perhaps not why you think. I'm cool with outdoors play, darts in general, and hanging out under a shade tree. But dammit man, you hang your dart board on the back of the house, NOT in a tree in the backyard with no barrier between the darts and the dogs but a chainlink fence. I'm just a dumb girl, and I know THAT.

Friday, May 16, 2008


I want to write that I'm scared. Yesterday I signed Uncle J into hospice care, literally at least 10 forms giving him permission to die if he wants to and revoking this permission if he changes his mind.

I do understand fully why we have to go through this-we must protect our elders wishes to stay or to go. But this body and mind are more wired toward granting life, not granting death. My heart knows I did the appropriate thing, but my mind is going "this just really doesn't make sense does it?"

I started a series of writings and poems called "down the rabbit hole" because I knew that John's dementia was going to lead to some strange things. What I didn't realize was that it would lead me to the dementia we have created within our own society-where I have to grant an elder the right to exit with dignity.

I don't want to tell you these things because they are so bizarre and I'd rather frolic with the dogs. But, maybe if I tell them, someone else won't be quite so shocked.

I used to not understand why people wouldn't sign a DNR (do not resuscitate) order. Yet I kept putting it off. Now I know why. It's not an abstract order or idea. It's pretty specific. Without one, if the staff comes upon an elder who has died in their sleep, they are required by law to intubate, administer CPR and IV's until a doctor comes in and pronounces them dead.

I immediately thought of my Grandmothers, who died within 24 hours of each other, in their sleep. And yes, it was in their sleep and what happened after I didn't know about (till now) and it really didn't make any difference to them, but I was crushed to contemplate it.

In Oklahoma a DNR doesn't preclude oxygen or pain pills, deemed "comfort support", it just means when the heart stops, there will be no tubes or pounding. We have to legalize common sense, and worse, there has to be a responsible party-someone must sign on 12 dotted lines saying no tubes, no I won't sue if you don't use tubes and if some strange relative comes out of the woodwork, send them to me.

I've signed lots of papers in my life, made decisions for me and all kinds of people, some good, some not so good, but this one seems to be the hardest. I've explained it to the family, calmly and quietly, but I wanted to scream at them "I DID THAT...ME....DO YOU UNDERSTAND? I SIGNED THE PAPER" and in the same thought I feel just awful for making this about me.

No man is an island. Who said that? But it's true. John is not, and neither am I. We are both affected by what is happening.

But that was Thursday and today is Friday. Today I will visit Uncle John, take him some Butter Pecan Boost cause it's his favorite. If he has questions, I will answer them as best I can. Because I am not like the Pilot person-I don't sign things and wash my hands of them. I sign things, then I go hold his hand and wait with him.

This really is the part of the journey that no one speaks of, but if no one does, how will anyone else know what to expect?

I know what I'm going to do with regards to funeral arrangements, but hospice has suggested that I get prelims set up with vendors. And I do see the wisdom in that because I can easily see how people end up with ticker tape parade funerals. But vendors will have to wait till Monday-I'm going for some Butter Pecan Boost and a visit-and right now that is the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

A New Day

Eyes wreathed in wrinkled flesh slowly focus
as the fledging dawn stretches pink fingers over the horizon
Softly he cackles....."ohhhhhhhh, look at that"
as if it is his first dawn and he's just noticed that it's beautiful.

A few meager grains and the morning devotions begin
sing praises, sing praises all praises for the morning's birth.
After the morning songs, a more substantial feast
and celebrations begin for the the bounty of food-all food, good food.

More songs, more feasting, followed by a lengthy
and well deserved snooze as the sun reaches her full height and splendor.
Everyone notices the noon, the blazing sun, there is no need
to sing praises, rather rest, rest, rest in the golden glory.

As the sun begins her drop into the West, the singing resumes
praising the softening light and the lengthening shadows that dance across the yard.
One by one the various bird species silence their songs and move to a nightly roost
and soon it will be time for the nightly crescendo to herald the passing of the day.

Dusk comes and it is time for the bell
ringing ringing a joyful sound proclaiming the end of a day and beginning of a night.
The light catches the bell and a gnarled appendage grasps it firmly
ring ring ring praises for the sun, praises for the bell with her lilting song and flashing sunlit symphony.

Before the last of daylight is enfolded by the gentle night
a wrinkled eye softly closes, a wizened face points eastward
Sleeping now, facing the promise of a new day arising from the darkness
and if the day comes, the praise will begin anew for Oliver the Parrot.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Much Ado about Death

I just ate an entire box of dark chocolate covered altoid peppermints. This really isn't consistent with my current vision of health and in fact the box has been sitting untouched for several months (so they were nice and fresh when I opened them). But the onion/cauliflower salad I ate for lunch was not sitting well, the mints where there, they obliterated the onion taste an so there you have it. I guess dinner is officially altoid mints and 2 tbls of peanut butter.

Maybe the mints and peanut butter will join up with the cauliflower, onion and tomato and cause a proper blend of fat, fiber and protein somewhere mid intestine-hopefully combining prior to distributing their nutrients, if it matters. I don't know if it matters. There is so much I'm just guessing at right now.

I can only journey so far down the River Styx before I want to scream "life life life". I'm beginning to realize Mom can't take much more of John's demise and I feel a little guilty for my part in bringing it to her front door. But, I think it made him happy to see his sisters a few more times before things went downhill and I think it made them happy too.

But really, how am I to know because no one fucking tells me anything. No one talks about these things, even if only to say "I don't want to talk about it...." I've got to figure out when to keep a convo on point, and when to let it drift because it's too painful. How much to much to keep to myself. What is appropriate to share and what I should keep to myself.... 2008 years of AD type civilization and not a single cliff note for death in America.

Some of this could have probably been thought about before now-pre thinking is good, but premature pre thinking is a no no, especially in this delicate matter. John, like myself, is one of those new fangled family models where there is no spouse or kids to handle the details.

He foresaw this-and early on made mention of the fact that it would be more efficient to handle things a little more forcefully, but I refused to discuss it and quite frankly, I'm glad I did. I would much rather muddle through this, as awful as it is, than be sitting in prison somewhere or emotional prison while I wrestled with the wrong/right aspect. I told him point blank "I will handle any details as they arise, but I will not help or discuss this any further," and I am telling you now as a way of absolving him from my rant.

He also graciously offered his home as a West Coast base of operations if that would make things easier. And that would have for this short time we are in, but probably vastly complicated everything else. Besides there was a 2 dog limit at the condo and these past years would have been impossible without my pack.

The legalities have long been handled, but a gaping flaw exists in the practicalities and family traditions area. We have none/nada/nilch. And, the elder's are reaching a point where survivors must be tended as well, so that the strain of a passing doesn't start a landslide effect.

Yes yes, there are a myriad of things to consider that no one every really talks about. I don't have any answers, just offering up the surprises as things for people to consider at their leisure.

Hospice is going to provide some relief and guidance, but they still require a signature on the dotted line and then someone has to break the ice so all the goodbyes can be said. And you know me, I hate having parties or long goodbyes.

One macabre yet fascinating point-I will become educated in the stages of death as well as notified of any changes. This is actually a relief, I haven't slept well in weeks, knowing things were drawing to an end, but having no clear idea of what the timing would be. Every time the phone rings I flinch and it's a strain to be under red alert all the time.

Until you enter the hospice program, each change is considered a crisis and treated as an emergency. My Uncle has had 3 bowel X-Rays in two months to confirm that he is not constipated. Some of those calls have come in at 11 pm or so. It's good to know he's not constipated, but it would make more sense to call at 11 telling me he is and something must be done, rather than to tell me he isn't and there is nothing to do. Oh well, no enema needed, go back to sleep.

Part of this is due to rebranding of nursing facilities as long term care facilities and not death sentences. In actual fact, they have wings now and people are segregated according to nearness of death. At "Fallen Leaves" (my Uncle's joking name for Autumn Leaves) the litany was "Outerwing, First Floor, Second Floor, Third Floor, Heaven". John told me this, I'm not making it up. He observed that at least they all got started off in the right direction.

At Southpark, there is no second floor-but the Alzheimer's Dementia wing is in back. Yes, the name of the facility he is in is Southpark. So, everytime I head off in that direction I have to sing that damn jingle "Goin on down to Southpark, gonna have myself a time....."

Life is full of irony.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Animal Wednesday

Life is messy at best, but not all messes are bad things or even ugly. Flower paw prints to you all! Happy Animal Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Wow, I really let my knickers down

I read my first post on this blog (which I do periodically) and then skipped through bits a pieces-last December was a hard month. I've yelled at my ancestors, thumbed my nose at death and indulged in shameless navel gazing. Recently I declared that I'd figure out the entire point to life itself.

Poidogz, my other blog, is easier to keep on topic-mostly it's about my dogs with a few rants and other animals thrown in. Everything here, in this blog, relates to midlife, because it's part of MY life and I am mid.....but is it really topical?

Remember the scene in Ab Fab, where Eddie's father is layed out in the casket in the sitting room?
Patsy says "what is it?" and Eddie says "Pats, it's my dead father" and Patsy replies "yes, but is it ART?"

Dang, I could really use an Ab Fab Marathon right now.

Daddy said he dreamed the other night that John came over and told him he didn't want to go back to Southpark-he was adamant, kicking and screaming. Of course, that could just as easily have been Daddy's own psyche telling him adamantly that he (Daddy) doesn't want to go to a nursing home. At the time (lunchtime) I was having trouble getting my food down and really wished we could all just talk about something pleasant. I had spent the morning on the phone and would spend part of the afternoon working through current events.

Am I that disrespectful that I just disregarded a dream message? I don't think that's it, I think I'm just human and tired, no more, no less. And, very unsure. This feels like really THE END, at least for Uncle John, and I want so much to do my part correctly, but I'm not sure what that part is. And how ego centric of me, MY part in HIS death???? How vain. But I don't mean for it to be, I just want to do the best job I can, even if I am not sure what that job is.

So, there it is, but is it ART?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Before the Grim Reaper Left for Mexico....

Ok, maybe I shouldn't joke about these things. I decided I had figured out the point to it all was just to experience it, what, three days ago? Now I'm ass deep in hospice decisions, obituaries from ex Mothers in Law, and the touchy, delicate question about what happens after, while death takes a holiday (or not) I will deal with the questions of how to pick up and manage the pieces of life that are left behind.

First, Leah Rose Enochs-Died May 9, 2008. Obit in the Oklahoman today. I won't go to your wake or service because I'm ex-family and a long time ago, but RIP. For a time I loved one of your surviving sons, had one of your 27 grandchildren and a few other items of note that are best left un-noted. I liked you a lot, always thought you did the best you could, which is all any of us can do. It seems lifetimes ago that you were a sometimes daily part of my life. I know we both left Oklahoma, and then we both came back. I remember once you drove me to visit a friend of yours that had race horses, and I appreciate that kindness. You made a wicked apple pie and pumpkin cookies. I'm sure you'll get a grand old send off as you were well loved.

Dieing in America is far too complicated, in some ways more complicated than living. My Uncle John has a terminal illness and has been sent for another bout of testing to determine if yes, he's dieing, if it's still the same terminal illness or something new, and then I am to decide what to do with all this information, as if, by the powers vested in me, I had any more choice in the matter than he does.

The decision to begin hospice care is mine and I thought it was made, however there was an unfortunate change over in personnel and apparently it was not made. Or, it has to be made again because, understandably, the new personnel can't take here say in such matters. So, more tests had to be ordered, more meetings and a new grand decision has to be made again so that no one sues medicare or the facility or anyone else.

Anyway, I didn't do another full on poll of family members because no one really wants to talk about it. But I did bring up the delicate or indelicate topic of what to do after the end comes. Uncle John didn't want to discuss that, figured the military would handle it, and I'm not going to tell him they have no room for bodies in the national cemetary.

That branch of the family is pretty much disbanded and I already know how to find the ones I CAN find-there are a few MIA's.

The only clear advice I got was "don't go ask John about it now, " (well, thanks Mom), so I am going to make an executive decision. Mom and Dad have made it clear they want no service, no burial (donated bodies) but in absence of clear direction to do that, I don't really comfortable doing nothing. So, by the authority vested in me, I am going to give Uncle John a legal burial at sea as befitting a career sailor. That seems both respectful and practical.

Now, this may seem premature, Mom was horrified that I even brought it up. But if I don't figure out something now, I will have every remaining elder asking "what are you going to DO" five seconds after he passes away. As this was the only loose end he left, I don't want it to mar his otherwise exemplary and orderly life. And the John I knew would probably get a huge kick out of it.

One of my many jobs was as an engraver. One of the custom jobs I did was engrave urns for the Greek Orthodox church, and sometimes those urns came already inhabited. I decided at that point in my life I would respect everyone as much as I possibly can, but I was not going to haul around any cremains, but I will ammend that slightly now and accompany my Uncle.

It is possible, I kid you not, to mail your dearly departed and have them tossed overboard, complete with picture, urn and GPS coordinates. And Uncle John would probably be fine with that, he liked the no fuss approach. But death rituals are for the living as well, and I'm just not that modern yet.

Maybe by the time it all comes to fruition I will regret these words and long for a postage stamp. But at this point, I cannot fathom doing that.

Poetry Challenge from Human Being

Human Being issued anothe delightful poetry challenge-leaving a pile of words for us to sort through and arrange. What fun!

Here's mine:

A pile of rocks resonates with the earth’s understanding
Appreciating the tapestry of blessings displayed over millennia
Listen to the breath beneath the surface self
Childlike innocence survives, grateful for the resonating stone
The crust of the earth is only the shell that remembers
The life that pulsed, the life that pulses still
thump thump thump

Cactus Poem

To draw life from arid sun and sky
Into a being 40 feet high
To dare to be green in a world that is brown
To have roots that dig another 40 feet down
The cactus is an amazing thing
And your praises dear cactus, the cactuteers sing!

Happy Cactus Monday.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Well, I didn't know as much as I thought I did

Beam Me Up Scotty: Happy Mother's Day

I looked at last year's Mother's Day post to see what was on my mind-moving to Oklahoma, taking care of Uncle John, learning to walk. What really struck me, and always does when I look back, as how any of the things I wrote about could really matter...but at the time, they did.

Today I was in a funk and thinking the whole life thing from birth to death was kind of pointless. For instance, John is leaving us with no great insight or this is what it was all about that he chooses to share. I don't ask him about it because I don't want him to feel pressured to divulge something or worse, to think I'm suggesting it's time he go.

But then, I suddenly and finally got it. Yep, the whole, what's the point thing became clear.

The whole meaning of life is the living of it, moment to moment, and sharing that moment with what collective consciousness there is to share it with. There is no grand finale-HERE is YOUR PINNACLE-it's just the day to day living that is the entire point of the exercise. For instance, right now, the sharing of this moment-the writing in the dark on my sunporch with a bit of a gassy stomach moment-that is precisely what I have to share (and maybe I just shared too much).

Life is keenly interested in all these moments, the gassy ones, the sad ones, the not so grand ones. Only people are interested in the grand finales, entrances and exits.

And, I apply the same twisted logic to everything. I can't quite figure out the perfect ending, so I fail to begin so many things, or make false starts, etc. I used to think ending was like the final grade on a report card-was it worth the effort or not? But it's the effort itself that has value and merit, the end is just that, the end.

One of the things I saw during this week's funk was how little I value anything I do, even if I think the end is pretty ok. Maybe it's time to judge less and do more. Maybe I feel like a failure because a year's worth of angst and effort and no one is living happily ever after, in fact, they are all getting closer to death.

But my value added to the equation was that no one was alone, and every one of my old people had some smiles and happy moments they wouldn't have had, and so did I for that matter.

Sometimes I feel guilty because I get bored with the old grim reaper and want to think about going to Mexico and swimming with my fishes. But I'm sure Life is keenly interested in swimming with the parrot fish under the bridge at Xel Ha. Hell, maybe the grim reaper would like to come along too.

I love those little statues of devils riding motorcycles-maybe the reaper could take up snorkeling.

Somehow it's easier to let my own elder's die their own deaths than it is for me to let my daughter live her own life. But declaring myself a failure for her choices is about as logical as declaring myself a failure as a child because my parents are aging. So, I miss her, and I love her, and do wish her well wherever she is. She is doing the same as I, adding to Life's catalogue of experiences, and neither one of us are failures.

So Happy Hallmark Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Go Away!

I was at a complete loss today for words. I went to Sears to look at dishwashers (mine died) and I had already researched, knew what I wanted, needed, etc. but the poor sales lady had never heard of an 18" spacemaker dishwasher and was convinced I needed to remodel my entire kitchen.

I tried to be nice, I said Ok,and walked off, then snuck back later to flip through the catalogues and specifications to get some pricing info. She snuck up on me and said "Now you are just going to have to cut a bigger space-they don't make dishwasher to fit that space....." and I opened my mouth to say "I already have one that fits the space" but what came out was "Go Away".

She's just a hard working lady who is trying to make a living, but no one is going to be paid a salary to argue with me about things they don't know the first thing about when my mother is willing to do it for free.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Friday Mish Mash

For some fun, rainy day dog fun ....

I've really worked hard to stay in the moment and address things as they arise. One of the things I've addressed is sometimes I just need some time for me-non productive, drinking tea on the porch time with my dogs. And there is no need to create drama or trauma in order to justify that-just sitting down and taking the moment works as well, if not better.

My therapist asked me the other day what I thought dropping out of corporate america, moving to Oklahoma City and becoming introspective was going to BE like. I laughed and said, "Honestly, like a spa visit or something...." Nothing is ever quite that simple, is it?

Something Ekhardt Tolle said during an Oprah session resonated with me, and I remembered it today. He said something to the effect that sometimes the best way to begin to figure out who you are is to understand who you are not.

I think that is true. There are pieces of me all over the place, but none of those pieces defines the total of who I am or who I want to be. And, maybe the thing I want most is not to be defined in the first place.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

We all take up space

We all take up space
And we all give it back in the end

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Strange Stew

The sirens herald a nearby tempest
but then, a tempest is always near
I check the threat
and cook my soup
breaking the eggs as the storm blows by
Hail pounds as I curl around my soup bowl
Savoring each gingery bite
And still the sirens shriek, reminding me a tempest is always near
But today's was not mine and not for me
Blessings to you all who felt the wrath
Blessings to me who ate soup instead
Blessings to those who never knew a tempest was near
Blessings to those who never forget

Animal Wednesday-Jackrabbits

The Jackrabbits were taking a siesta under the orange trees. What can I say-Jackrabbits are way cool!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Maybe that big burst of energy I keep waiting for
Is never going to come
Because I can no longer tell myself the lie
That everything will change
Funny, it's not a lie
Everything WILL change
Just not at once
And when the big changes come
The BOOM in a twinkling of an eye kind of windstorm swooping changes
The little things that don't change will seem oh so dear
Rock the boat...don't tip the boat over...rock the boat
Which is it?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cactus Monday/Cinco De Mayo

A couple of interesting things I spied in California. I don't think the Agave is technically a cactus, but it IS Cinco De Mayo. Mas Tequila!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Feeding Day

The skin of a new born rat
Soft as any other mammal
Hard to understand
How someone could look and go "eek"

The flash of python's teeth
Sabres and coils
Hard to understand
How anyone could look and go "eek"

Both are what they are
No more no less
So at peace with their ownself
There is no need to speak.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Oh the spring
and the wind
and maybe the sun

To see light dance the water
and the sand
and maybe the kelp beds

The water on my skin
Sun on my face
will have to wait

The calls of distant places
do not torment
they comfort me

The sea whispers
I am here
and always will be


I like fences, especially ones that have been around long enough not to be perfect. A person or a fence, untouched by time and gravity and experience is probably not very interesting.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Dog Needs Home

Speck is a dog looking for a home.

"Special Needs" dogs are some of the greatest joys to have around, but they do have special needs. If you are a special person, maybe this would work.

Meditation Flower

This rose reminds me of a labyrinth, both leading inward and outward from the central light. Our minds will fill happily or not so happily with all manner of thoughts-look to the flowers to bring us back to simplicity. I love roses, hardy beings, well armored, yet completely beautiful and fragile. No either or with a rose, but both.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Poi, one of my favorite foods, made its way home from California in my suitcase. (Thanks Auntie Hilda)

I made a dish of steamed ahi tuna and shrimp, a fresh onion or two from my garden and a tomato and a few bits of pineapple (canned, ick)....steamed the fish and shrimp with hawaiian salt, tossed it in the veggies and left it in the fridge for a bit. The salt draws out the moisture from the fish. My cousin Cindy says that type of dish is called poki.

I cooked the poi in the old fashioned way (slow heat not microwave) and had myself some poi and poki. Then I had a bit more poi with some maple sugar and lots of pickled ginger.

It tasted so good I did the same thing again, today, only I just had to reheat the poi-the poki was already cold.

Chilled food makes awesome leftovers-because it's already supposed to be chilled-so it's not really leftover at all. Who is to say it isn't just the way it was supposed to be in the first place?

I was lazy and snagged the wikepedia bag of poi,but I will deny it because my bag looks just like it, only not any more because I ate it...heh heh....except for the bit I'm saving for tomorrow.

Poi is one of those things you either like or you don't, you cannot obtain it in Oklahoma or Texas unless you peel your own taro and that is a giant pain in the ass, so don't come sniffing around here looking for poi. If you're lucky I'll make you some polenta. Hmmmm.....polenta and salted fish.....maybe it would work.

Thar she blows

The sky was just the right shade of green and I checked the weather service and sure enough-tornado about 2 miles east of here.....possible tornado. Definite golf ball to baseball size hail. I left the truck under the carport and stayed home-but what a pisser....look at this storm-tiny, easy to maneuver around.....I'm getting lazy in my old age.
I would like to do some chasing this spring, but will plan it so that I don't leave out from here. I am sure that would fall in the category of "things that would upset your mother."

No Cropping/Editing Required

The little Olympus, my purse camera-was sole camera on the California trip. I got a little frustrated at times, but it did a mighty job of keeping up with what I wanted to do for the most part, and I'm sure I got more shots because I kept the camera in my jeans pocket.
It also fits handily in the super duper camera cage on my mountain bike (aka water bottle holder). It's enough for me to worry about my head and limbs when riding, I can't worry about a camera as well. Actually, I put the camera in the water bottle cage and a helmet on my head and don't worry about much of anything except for little privacy when nature calls.

Poppies, poppies, poison poppies, sleep, sleeeeeeep