Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Candid shots  crack me up-my bra strap is hanging out and I never realized how far I could open my mouth. (That's me on the right with some friends).  Sometimes this blog gets a little serious, and I did want to show that I do laugh at times, in fact, that looks pretty much like a guffaw.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Hah, I used the Mim method and saved this from her blog to my desktop and then to my blog.
Not a cactus, and it IS Cactus Monday.  Guess some days are stones, some days are thorns.  Ok, that is really reaching isn't it?  HCM.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Riddle Me This

How can it change if it stays the same?

Saturday, September 27, 2008


But a good tired, not a bad tired.
Does that make sense?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Off for a Bit

Short road trip.
Much needed.
Lookin forward to it.
Be back soon.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Don't Forget to Make Time for the Sublime

That phrase just popped in my head, and I liked it well enough to make it a title.  Wonderful phrase, I dub thee a title.  But, it's pretty self explanatory and prattling on about it would be just that-droning on.  Sometimes good titles make for short posts I suppose.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Animal Wednesday

This morning Moonie had to PEE at 6:00 and he wasn't crying wolf-he had that "I gotta PEE NOW" frantic pitch to his bark, so I got up and let him and the rest out.  I admired my new fence and realized no one could see me-the dogs and I were alone.

I looked up and saw the stars for the first time in weeks.  I leaned back against the light post and just stared at them as the sky brightened and the city started up for the day.  The first planes flew in from Dallas and the road sounds started.

Oliver's music came on and played softly through the open window.  I looked at the stars and listened to the music, which was soon accompanied by a "Muwahhahhhhaaaaaaaa Hellloooooooo there!"  So, the dogs peed, the music played, and I stood there in the dark, alone, giggling.  I wish every day could start just like that.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Monica (Sauls dog crazy daughter) and I went along the fence posts and carved names of dogs and such into the cement of the posts.  Saul laughed and admitted that he let Jessica, his other daughter, put her name in the corner post.

I put Dottie's name in one post, along with Prissy.  Monica put her name, and her dogs name (Cookie) in her post.  We put a paw print of Moonie and Cookie on another post.  That bit of voodoo done, I immediately felt better about the whole thing.

Then we talked about how maybe some day someone would come along and unearth the pillars and see the carvings and wonder who all those beings were.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Despite being awakened around 6 by the homeless hillbillies in the adjoining backyard, I've had a pretty good and productive day.  Progress is being made on my fence, progress is being made in the living room.  I took another giant mum out of Mom's garden-she grew them, and doesn't want them, but doesn't want to toss them either.

Sigh.  I know how she feels, so I took one and put it in a pot and when I get tired of it I'll toss it.  I now have two of them, they are the size (I kid you not) of small shrubs.  They really are pretty, but not what I wanted, and most likely not what she wanted either.  I bought them last year when I was filling in for fall and some of them went down the street, whereupon they GREW.

So, poor Mom was being held hostage by my gift that outgrew its usefulness.  Oi oi oi.  Human beings are so complicated and they make me very tired sometimes.

Picnic Fare

September Picnic has a great recipe for a sandwich I'd like to make for you.
John Keawe is my cousin's cousin, and a great musician.  I'd like for him to come, bring his wife, make music and share some time with us.

My own photo stash lies slumbering in my old laptop-to be retrieved, but not by Monday.  Still, I cannot arrive empty handed-perhaps a poem will do?

Indian Summer
Warmth from a fading sun
Golden rays touched with the promise of icy blue winter
Dance one last dance
Before the earth sleeps
The drowsy time
Just before bedtime
Dozing in the easy chair
One last burst of color
Before the cold silences the earth until spring

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I can't help myself

I came here all sad and put upon to write another dour and doomsday gloomy missive.  ANGST.  ANGST and agony.  I closed my eyes and cleared my mind of the noise of the trench digger outside.

In the stillness of the gloomsday sun, this is what I heard.

"Ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa  Oh ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaa.

If   " the one who observes" is your true self, maybe so too is the one who comments on the day's events.  I just can't help myself-I laughed.  Gloom will have to gather when Oliver is asleep.

Night Self

I never write at night
Or rather the wee wee hours of morning
The thoughts are much too gloomy 
And there is no comforting voice
To perk up my mind
And carry it along a happier path
My animals sleep
Alone with the clock
Tick tick tick
Time marches remorselessly on

Why do our masks come off at night
Or do they
Who is this night self

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Strange Days

Construction has begun on my fence and I'm getting a blissfully cold shoulder from the hillbillies that live behind me.  The wife did stalk over to explain to me (order me) as to how I should proceed with the fence.  I was dozing on my chaise lounge.  I interrupted her fence building tirade at one point and said "Ma'am, I'm not actually building the fence myself"  and she went on for a bit longer.  When she paused I said "My guy who is  building the fence knows exactly what to do"...and she continued a bit more and then said, quickly "Well, OK, thank you" and walked off.

As she left, I wondered exactly who she was having a conversation with-it surely wasn't me.

The straw that broke open my bank book was not the discussion I had with her husband last week about reaching over the fence and touching the dogs.  It was actually more of a fight.  He was at the fence messing with the dogs again and I said "I really wish you'd ignore them"....and he blustered "Well, I HAVE to talk to them and get them used to me so they will quit barking.  And that new one (my border collie puppy) BIT me when I stuck my hand through the fence."

We've had many variations of the discussion-no touch, no eye contact, please refrain from bending over the fence and picking up my chihuahuas so you can pet them, please keep your friend's 80 pound Golden on your side of the fence....etc.  So I tried the short, terse approach and said "how about you stop sticking your hand through the fucking fence?" and began at once to make plans for my NEW fence.

He began to bluster about "if I'd only told him", and besides he needed (NEEDED) to pet the dogs, it would stop them from barking, and I came to realize that it was a brick wall-no body was home.  So I made a finito sign and said "we're done" and walked off.

He has been better about ignoring the dogs, and there is no barking.  Except during the two bonfires that they lit over the past week.  The pit is about 10 feet in front of the main gas line, next to the tent where the homeless relative is staying.  Ok, that's mean.  He probably had a home before the hurricane blew it away, but why won't they let him stay in their house?

So, hurt feelings aside, I am going ahead with my fence plans and if they think I'm "uppity", well, so be it.

Friday, September 19, 2008


I bought this Mac in August, or whenever it was I went to Dallas, and I booted it up for the first time yesterday.  I do that a lot.  And, whether they notice it or not, so do other family members.  Case in point, Uncle John's condo was filled with things that he had purchased to update this or that, and he never did do....until one day, he was no longer able to do them.

As I've been going through my own house, sorting through things I still want to do and things I no longer care to do-I've been wearing John's dog tags, taking him with me through the journey of breaking past whatever keeps us trapped inside our things, our art in bags and not on the walls.

My half price fake (gel fuel) fireplace arrived yesterday.  I've always enjoyed a fireplace, but having one installed in an existing home is cost prohibitive, so I bought (on deep discount) a fabulous fake.  As with all my remodeling efforts, I didn't mention it, but a big brown truck in front of the house cannot go unnoticed.

"What is THAT?"
"A fake fireplace"
"I don't know why you people (Mom's friend Jean has a real one in a room addition) want those things in these tiny houses."
My stroke of genius- "Why did you hang THAT picture on THAT wall?"
She thought about it.  "Because I already had it"
Now is where the kindness comes in-whether it came from a Garage Sale or the Goodwill or whatever approved place of purchase, it was purchased, most likely by Mom herself.  But I didn't go there.  I took the high road.
"Well, I didn't have a fake fireplace and by god I wanted one!"  then I laughed heartily.

I was sorting through some craft items, putting them away if I wanted to keep them, and instead of the routine "what an idiot, why did you buy this" I thought to myself "what was I after when I bought this?  Why did I like it?  Do I still like it?"  After I finished I went to lie down for a bit and Oliver the parrot was dozing and listening to Eckhardt Tolle and Oprah Winfrey.  "hello" he said as I crawled into bed.

Ekhardt's voice from the Ipod said "When you begin to see the observer, you glimpse your true self".   Hmmmmmmmm.

My Black Dog

Soulbrush sent me a great cartoon book about depression (that is a little odd sounding isn't it?)  She sent it awhile back, but I am still about a month behind on opening mail-so yeah, depression does THAT to you too.

I've been learning many lessons about coping lately, and now I wonder if I've learned them IN TIME. ...In time for what?  I have no idea.  I've thought about toting around a manual counter and clicking it every time a senseless, yet ominous thought like that pops in my head.  I'm learning to recognize them now, and bat them away like useless gnats.

I do appreciate all the good thoughts, ATC's and things that are being sent my way.  It helps me remember there is a whole big life beyond 49th street and dying people.

I backed out of Puggerfest, and I feel pretty good about that.  It is a well meaning organization, but things would be decided at meetings, I would begin work on those things, and then a few days later, someone not at the meeting would decide upon changes.  If someone is paying me, I can roll with the flow, but I wasn't getting anything back but frustration,  so I bailed out.    I can't help but feel there is probably some personal growth in that act-my deciding I had too much chaos and cutting out the bit of chaos I felt could go.

Staying in the to do list is next week's girls night out in Tulsa-doing a charity walk on Saturday morning so we are having a slumber party on Friday night at the Marriott,  and my mid October trip to the Snake Convention.  It's actually a reptile trade show, but Snake Convention sounds better and more exciting.  One of the things I want to do there is scope out maybe a sideline thing I could do there-T shirts, etc where I could go to the show but not sell animals.  Snake Art anyone?

Oliver the parrot has sustained me through this rough patch.......farting and belching any time the mood gets too morose.  How I made it through life without a farting belching parrot is beyond me.  The furry kids keep me on my toes-they demand a certain amount of strong vibes from me or they'll walk all over me.  So, when I'm feeling weak, I walk outside to be reminded that yes, I am strong.

The baby burms are fascinating as well.  They actually move towards me-not to bite, but just to see what I'm up to and be picked up.  I've never had snakes do that before.  I've had feeding responses, leave me alone strikes, and oh, ok pick me up then...but this is something quite different.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Computer Problems

Not really a problem-my rusty trusty laptop croaked at last and I'm putting another one in commission. Daddy is doing better, Mom is chafing under the strain of her schedule being interupted (Wednesday is shopping day after all). Mom's schedule is her talisman for an uncertain world. I'm practicing both tactful avoidance and gentle limits. We'll see how it goes.

(I'm logged in from Daddy's PC now).

Thanks for checking on me and for caring.


No picture today, but HAW.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cactus Monday

Bit thorny today, Daddy has taken ill again. I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Cactus Monday!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Pugs Need Love Too

Isn't the Homeward Bound Logo Cute? (I didn't make it, but I like it)

Friday, September 12, 2008


Part of a graphic I made for a brochure about puggerfest. It's early. I'm up at 5:30 am. Not my usual gig, but it is what it is. I'd rather get up and do something than lie around in bed trying to sleep because it's "too early". Gods almighty! We have value judgements for everything, don't we?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Still Don't Know

Last year, I asked the question Where the Heck am I supposed to be? And I still don't know.
But, as a follow up, I picked up the elderly dog, who passed away last month. My Dottie is gone too now, and all the snakes I had at that time.

All this 9/11 stuff-I've pretty much stayed off the news and TV today. I have unpopular opinions about some of it. Tragic, yes, definitely. And there were heroes, but someone just sitting in his or her office and being killed, isn't, in my unpopular opinion, a hero. It's being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The outrage that followed was all too convenient to push the war machine here. And yes, I was outraged too-sitting on the 52 floor staring at the sky all day and for many days to follow, I was pissed OFF. But honestly, I also rather welcomed the knowledge of how much closer danger really was. Americans, sitting in America, are pretty naive about the rest of the world, or at least we were. And you know me, I'd rather see the situation for what it is, and that goes for more than just my midlife crisis.

In other news, a fellow named Ike is headed for Houston. My thoughts and prayers are with all the people there, but yes, there are special ones for my family members. And of course, for the pets.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Animal Wednesday

I call this "Death Mask of the Palmetto Bug".

Technically it is a former palmetto bug, having had its life ended by me a couple of years ago. I was home, alone, with a cast on my foot from major surgery, and the ill fated bug came into my bedroom. Getting up was a hassle, so I decided to live and let live-until the damn thing decided to fly and landed on my bare leg. I jumped up into my wheelchair and gathered up shoes to throw at it. I was so adrenaline charged from the effort (and from feeling competent even though I was crippled), I took a picture of it. Then I fiddled with the picture to relax. It's my avatar on at least one forum and is probably one of the most commemorated former palmetto bugs there ever was.

I suppose it's also technically and insect and not an animal but it IS an uplifting story. I was feeling week and tired, and getting up off my dead ass to kill the bug was energizing to me. Probably not so much for the bug, but hey, fame has its price.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I Love My Voice When Oliver Uses it.....

I have always hated hearing my voice on recordings-I sound pretty much like a hick (or just your average Okie). I took a socio linquistics class once where research confirmed that a southern accent is perceived in a negative manner-even by other southerners.

The first time Oliver started using "my" voice, it was freaky and exciting and flattering as hell. Now he provides regular feedback on how I sound when I'm training him, or working with the dogs, or the snakes. I know snakes are deaf, but I'm not and I still speak to them. But according to Oliver, I have different tones and inflections when I do. My "snake voice" is less soothing than the voice I use for Oliver training, and less authoritative than the voice I use for dog training. Apparently when Oliver gets a correction I shift to my dog training voice.

Oliver rarely uses the harsh man's voice when correcting the dogs now-he tells them "quiet" in my voice-and I like that. He's also started differentiaiting dog sounds. He sometimes barks, he growls an awful lot these days, and when Moonie was going through crate training, he whined like a puppy instead of howling like a wolf.

His wolf sound is now less timberwolf and more werewolf of london-ah oooooo. It's still our contact call-our version of "are you there?" Every now and then the bird, myself and the entire dog pack will indulge in a group howl. It's not at all like the scary movies-it's really just the bird saying "I'm hear, where are you?" and the human and dogs replying. Then we usually howl once or twice all together-"we are here, we are family."

Animal communication is sooooooo straightforward compared to humans. Upon meeting and greeting they pass along the things you need to know for a successful interaction. Age, gender, health, state of mind. I'm 47, woman, good health, feeling confident. There is no expectation that you will remember any past interactions all the way through to the current one, factor in things that have happened since you last interacted, and determine what the best attitude to adopt is. "I'm 5, male, upset stomach, feeling lethargic"...."I'm 4, female,hyperactive, feeling dominant", "I'm 4 months, male, shedding, feeling defensive".

In fact, if you base your attitude and actions based soley on the past, you could end up getting bitten quite easily or you could reinforce a bad interaction that is no longer valid.

Yesterday's fiasco with my folks left me physically shaken. Shorteness of breath, shivers and mentally I had trouble getting out of bed today. Old age is taking away whatever it is that keeps them from striking out when they are consumed with negative energy. I walk in, actually feeling positive, and all that negative energy just pounded on me, without a whole lot of warning.

THAT is what I must learn to handle better, because it will continue to happen. I cannot change that...I cannot turn them into animals who will give me status updates when I walk in.

And yes, I do realize that brow beating about the past is more of a habit than any real animosity, but shit, pick someone else's nose for a change....LOL.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I really don't think I can do this

Had the bright idea of just going down to Mom and Dad's in the evening and not interrupting either of our days. They were apparently having a bad day (missed a doctor appointment day-showed up a day early and waited awhile before being told).

I thought to change the subject by telling them some plans I had made for Thanksgiving and how it to make it easier. Mom got offended because I said I'd find things for the kids to do, and they both piled into me for my housekeeping and my failure to display the snakes last Thanksgiving. I got hurt and mad before I could disengage myself....finally did a "I'm leaving now" and stomped out.

And the rub of it all, is the reason for the bad day (appointment trouble) is part of the reason why I just can't leave. I had a fantasy where I gave the keys of the house to my brother and said "it's all yours, adios".

I know there is a solution that doesn't involve me losing all sense of who I am and what I want out of life or abandoning them to old age and doddery. But I honestly don't know how much more I can take. It's not even that the criticism is that biting or over anything major. But it's constant, constant, never ending, endless droning on and on. Nothing you ever do, nothing you will ever think of, any idea you will ever have-none of it will ever be good enough because you are not like us.

And I don't want to be like them-if I did, I would, but I don't. But why can't they just let that go and focus on the good things I am. That's what I do with them-it works pretty good up to a point. Hmmm, a why can't YOU statement...I hate those. Let's rephrase it-Why can't I just learn to let it go and focus on the good things they are?

I guess the real problem is I have no clue when it's coming or what is going to hurt. I was in a pretty upbeat hopeful mood when I went down today, so I thought I was well prepared for any onslaught. I was trying to get out when the veneer started to crack and my voice was strained but I just didn't make it to the door fast enough.

Now, on the good side of things, I recover much more quickly than I used to. A swipe that hurt that bad would have put me out for a few days last year. Now I'm calming down and almost ready to move on. But I also have consider what that movement needs to be.

Cue Cate Blanchett from Lord of the Rings "Do we leave them to their fate, do we let them stand alone?"

Fuck no. But I do have to figure out how to do it without losing so much of myself in the bargain or I really AM going to end up being the crazy lady who stays behind closed doors with her animals all the time.

I'm usually really good at self preservation too, but the people closest to us live in the place where there are no defenses. I think I need to build an emotional holding pen for my parents where I can look after them but they can't hurt me.

Happy Cactus Monday

This one ended up being a hieroglyph. Of course, we digital cave painters have more color choices. I am actually kind of surprised at my color choices-but there they are. HCM!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Saving the Pugs

In five minutes I'll go shower and go off to my Puggerfest Committee meeting. I decided I could best serve by helping out non profits with advertising, etc. rather than doing rescue directly, and I set that boundary up from the get go-I cannot foster, because I cannot release. I even played the "who could I rehome if it meant to take in another, needier dog...." and the answer was "no one".

I'm a bit behind on my volunteer tasks because of last week, and we'll all just have to live with it or they can find someone else to do it.

I was pretty set on going to work after the first of the year, but finding a job that's going to allow for lost weeks at a time is going to be tough. Oh well, can't think about it now, have to go save the Pugs.....from afar.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Eye of the Hurricane

Daddy is doing much better, so we'll gear up for stage 2-Mom's stress reaction. She is out walking today-so hopefully that routine will help her through this. My task is pretty simple at this point-check in often enough to make sure they are both ok and stay the heck away.

I don't even have the energy or the inclination to contemplate if something is wrong with my brother. I know he's been working 12 hour days, and I know what that's like. Been there done that. What I'm doing is harder, but no one would believe that who hasn't done it and it's pointless to discuss.

The fmmily opinion at this point is I am shamelessly squandering the gifts I have (education that I earned and paid for-no gift there people) by playing with my animals and watching my family. What is ironic is that very few of them have any understanding about the professional accomplishments I have achieved and if I mention it it is always dismissed with a "well you were always smart and good at book stuff."

The hardest thing to take over the past week was watching a news program about saving for college. Mom blurted out "I guess Bill didn't want to go to college-we would have paid for BILL to go to college-he finished high school." Now, we were all tired, we had ALL been sitting in the hospital for several days-except for Bill who was busy working. Me, the ne'er do well, put myself through college and did quite well at it, during and after.

Really, college isn't the point. The hurtful part was that I was there, I had been there all week and I'll be there next week too-but it's that painful comparison thing they do where I always come up short and lacking, and in some versions, responsible for most of the ills that have befallen our family.

I know it's old age and stress and a lifetime of blame. I know my parents limitations and I love them anyway. I know they did the best they could and that they are STILL doing the best they can with what they have. And I know that Bill was in no way responsible for what was said that day-he wasn't even there.

What I don't know is how to not be hurt by statements like that. I know the next best thing, which is how to shrug it off and move on, but I do still wish for that bullet proof vest.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Would you?

Would you trade the rest of your life for one second of knowing everything, including what the rest of your life WOULD have been if you had chosen not to know....

I prefer to leave many things a mystery-I like suprises.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Catching UP

I have packages to send to some of you, mail to open from some of you-I've been pretty backed up. I was working my way through it all and Daddy ended up at the ER and in the hospital after a bronchioscopy stirred up a lung infection. It was pretty scary for all of us. Mom can drive to the hospital, but she gets lost inside the hospital, so I've been doing driving duties, supporting duties as well as my own regularly scheduled worry allotment.

He's coming home this afternoon and we are all glad. Uncle John is stable right now and all the kiddos are well. I'm ok too-just need some quiet time for a bit.

Rare Political Comments

What a dumbass choice McCain made. I think he must be boning her-that's the only thing I can figure out. I struggled with career the entire time I raised up ONE child, and I can't fathom what it would be like to have 5 including a handicapped child. Oh yeah, and be the vice president of the United States at the same time.
Even with a husband and a bucketload of money, kids take time and energy.

Frankly, I'm insulted. I'm insulted as a parent, and I'm insulted as a woman. He truly has made VP like a "wife" job-no full time capabilities required.

I live in a family of staunch Republicans (heaven help me) and even THEY think he was off his nut. Not that Palin is a bad lady-she just has no experience-her state has the population of a minor city.

Talk about the ultimate token woman. Her educational background is in....journalism. The people I knew in J-school were not quite like the people I knew in business school. They were passionate and meant well (like me) but not really big on hard core decisions or strategies. I'm just sayin.

On a happier note, I think people who would have voted for McShitforBrains will vote against Palin. I've never been a total Hilary fan, but I know some, and I don't think people who are Hilary lovers are going to love this chick either.

I'm telling you now-he's boning her. It's the only reason I can think of.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


This is an old photo-my Aussie Nellie dressed up as a scary bear. I wanted something in the chute ready for Animal Wednesday and this is the best I got right now. HAW

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Random Thoughts

I'm off today to sit with Mom while they swab Daddy's lungs and look for stuff. Monday I did things like construct a crate platform, caulk my outbuilding and decorate my front garden with cement gargoyles. Oh, and I cleaned the snake cages.

Diego, the green half dwarf burmese baby had a nice soak while I cleaned his cage and while Diego soaked I played with little Frieda. She's filling out, but I left her in a smaller tub for now-Diego got to move up to a bigger boy tub.

So much life rushing at me at the moment I've just kind of let go of any pretense of being in control-just doing what I can when I can. I honestly don't know if I'm more relaxed or just completely and utterly depressed cause they both feel kind of the same.