Monday, March 31, 2008

Monday's Last Call

The Apricot chicken and couscous were a hit tonight for Monday night dinner.

The escaped criminal is still on the loose.

I am still carrying the phone with me until the battery runs out. (I usually NEVER touch the phone)

Headache has finally subsided.

Two of my closest friends are endless flirts and get phone numbers from people they don't even want them from. (this makes me want to be depressed...but they are 100% different from me, so I won't. I just won't!) I am me. (breathe)

Dog is sleeping.

It's time for Old Christine...which has grown on me, I'll admit it.

There's not enough mint-green tea in the universe, much less my pitcher.

No bed bugs.


A triumph! Old Fashioned Oatmeal Honey Apple Cake

Well, a new blogger "friend" has tempted me to try baking and I actually came out with a success. Recipe from my cooking light magazine, and it's pretty tasty. Don't know if the Monday night dinner crowd will love them, but I didn't end up throwing it out. That is success in this kitchen. I've just never been a fortunate baker.

Today, a new outcome. I am pleased as punch!

I love...

the sound of rain on the roof.

the smell of garlic cooking.

seeing the kitties play.

enjoying a nice glass of wine.

a fabulous meal in a hole in the wall place.

walking on dirt roads.

getting lost (briefly) in the woods.


cheesecake of any kind or flavor, plain and simple or ritzy glitzy.



the icing on cake.

fresh figs.

climbing mountains.

sleeping in hammocks.


reading and writing.

all sorts of other things.

What do you love?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Grapes of Wrath

I began the day making muffins, and ended it drinking wine straight out of the bottle. Sometimes the best laid plans still fail you.

The muffins were wonderful. Banana pistachio walnut made from scratch. Muffins are the only baking endeavor that ends on a positive note for me...because I like to go my own way with cooking and baking is a much more conformist art. So, cookies turn out like sugary weapons, cakes become pancakes and pies...well, they brew over and cover the oven in a gooey mess. Muffins then, are my only friend in the baking realm. And they turned out they do.

I finished a muffin for breakfast, took the dog for a medium walk, and came back to a phone call from my NC friends. Frantic, they were trying to tell me that there is a convict loose in the tiny town where I live. To top that off, it's already a foggy rainy day (usually one of my favorites) but a little dreary crime scene like, and gloom and doom began to descend. I decided to just start cleaning, get my mind off of it and move on with my day. But, somehow, the cattle dog was tipped off by my internal fearfulness, and we proceeded to spend the day with him going off randomly in barking fits (my dog, bless his big heart is so quiet by nature, that this was quite alarming). So, that I put my vacuum down, heart beating, and try to peek down the steps to see if someone is at the door. Looks clear, so I tiptoe down the steps and go around the house half-bent over to make sure no one is around. This happened many times. So, stress level built and built and built.

I got an update call a couple hours ago, and they said he (the convict) had been seen in the town next over. My friend who called said he knew the guy and went to school with him and he was a very nice person. So, aside from the fact that he stole a car and shot an officer, he is a great guy.

This did ease my unease...but I still had wine for supper, straight from the bottle, and really, I think it's better that way.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Cicadas and grasshoppers and crickets, oh my!

Tonight at dinner there were four of us. My work friend brought her friend and we met a mutual friend at a new restaurant called Raphael's. There were a lot of saltines as garnish, but otherwise the food was lively and good. Our food came on plates, but we saw other folks get big platters of shellfish, paella, pork and onions. I thought, and said, afterwards that you must need to be in the "know" to get the cool stuff. Our plated food was nice...but again, the saltines. They came with the salad, and also with the crabcakes. And for the life of me, I can't think what saltines have to do with crabcakes.

Talking about saltines...I will say this in their favor. If you ever find yourself in NYC, go to McSorley's Bar. There's a pot-bellied stove, an Irish mojo and one of the best appetizers you can get with two pints of dark beer. They send out a sleeve of saltines, some white cheddar sliced, thinly (see through) sliced onion and HOT HOT HOT mustard. And you spread a bit of mustard on that saltine, layer cheese and onion, take a bite. It is a steamy heaven that screams for the beer chaser. Love it, every time.

Anyway, my work friend...who is a friend, a real friend. I always have trouble making that connection with people I work with...but I could find no one dearer. So, she is the artsy cool type. Her friend was a farm girl who is now a city girl and loves to cook. And our mutual friend is a new friend to us...but a teacher and a little scientific minded girl-woman. And she spurts always the most interesting ideas. Tonight, it was the eating of bugs. The next evolution. Possibly the only way we'll be able to eat in the future.

And I wonder could I do it? Could you?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Dirt Road Dog & Flower Pot Kitty

Who are We?

Laying your face in your hands can be a very comforting thing. Also eating an entire Cadbury mega-bar can be a comforting thing. Slowing down and watching the pup and the kitties play can be comforting. And I am certain that there are many other things. My week has been anything other than comforting. And today, topped the barrel off (I use this analogy because of the winery where I spend my days and hours-it seems appropriate.).

Do you think sometimes that there are people in this world that were just born to be good? Just couldn't help it if they tried? I mean, they go meekly through life and they make mistakes, sometimes tell lies, take parking spaces, muddy up the kitchen floor, yell at the dog...but still the goodness seeps out of their pores like a good stiff shot of garlic? Those kind of people. Maybe at some point early in life, they even killed a man...but it was a tragic mistake and the world paused only briefly over the fact? I want to believe this. And I think of it, because there is a man that I work with who sweats humility, perfumed rapturous purity of heart, goodness like even Santa never dreamt of. And knowing what little I know about his life, I think he's probably thrown a punch, taken too much change, or runover some woodland critter. But, I forgive him for it immediately. His soul or substance requires it of me. Just looking him in the eye, I feel salty, raw and inhuman, guilty for all my bad thoughts, for every mistake, for the utter core of me that feels gutteral and seething with impurity.

I am making this man out to be quite a character, huh? But, I never really see him...he works elsewhere. I run into him at big meetings or picking up paychecks, and I rarely give him a thought. But, today because of the day, I really absorbed what he felt like in passing, what the smile on his old griselled face seemed to convey. He isn't really old, but he looks like he's lived through a I don't know. Anyway, I started this paragraph to say that he's really not my story, but he is used here to make my point (which I may get to one day or another).

This man is nothing like me. If I walk past a doorway with someone standing in it, I leave an essence of carelessness behind me. I feel like the bad in me bubbles into small volcanoes almost constantly. Yet, really I don't do anything bad...not so bad, not VERY bad. But, I have always felt the badness at my core. And as much as I work to walk through the world and leave goodness, I feel it might be impossible. I received such a mean email today from a friend of a friend. She misunderstood a situation and she attacked me over it. And in her misunderstanding, I believe she could be called right or even possibly justified in her complaint. But, she never found out the story and she gave me words that felt like daggers. And I can dismiss them, I can...I can let go of them because she does not know the story, cannot judge the outcome. But, it made me think that no matter how I try to live my life...I sometimes leave a bad interpretation. I know what you are's someone else's interpretation. But, I wonder what my soul says. I really do. That this man who I do not know, can give me the sense of forgiving...because I know, I KNOW, that even if he did it, he didn't mean to...and this isn't through knowing him, it's just through his presence. But this friend of a friend knew me, and how could she think so wrongly of me?

How can you give off such a wrong impression, when you give every attempt at the right one? Do we all make mistakes the same way? Are we all accountable in the same way? I don't easily point a finger and never have. Maybe that's why people sometimes feel pristine to's the mystery of them. That I enjoy and do not necessarily want to discover. I've never felt so right that I could hurt someone intentionally. But, that's just me.

I guess I am done with this for now. I have some pictures to share of the "family".

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Well, I heard something frighteningly funny today, and I must share it. Of course, I will need to serve up a side order of my less than structured thoughts on the whole Christ thing while I'm at it. But, I can't give up the tale, so here goes.
Today I found myself in one of those conversations where you get there and wish you hadn't, can't get out no matter which foot you put your weight on, see no option other than complete mental meltdown in the face of agonizing small-mindedness. That type. Anyway, it was with someone who is in truth quite dear. She is also a size zero, and she and her husband are health freaks. Not only disciplined, but zealous. We begin by talking about a brand of peanut butter that they have tried, and it is "better for you" and has more protein, more fiber, more vitamins (no, I will not tell you what brand!). It goes on till we are talking about all types of healthy foods and how one can lose weight by drinking a glass of vinegar every night. I guess there will be little enamel left on your choppers, but you'll be skinny, so the world is aglow! I am not a small girl. And so, of course, I realize that she is trying to softly, gently, lead me onto the path of righteous eating. (I did not at this point know to what degree that was her intent.) She pointed out that when sweets were in attendance in the kitchen area or on someone's desk..she would avoid them, or allow herself just one piece. And this went on, I say for an hour! (how much I wished for the magic cape, the abyss in the ground, the threat of fire)

Finally I said this to her...which was big of me (because I don't usually defend myself...but when we are talking about avoiding cake, I get serious)...that my journey at this point is about self-acceptance. And part of that is body acceptance. And I feel that is the best shot for me. I think I was quite eloquent about it, and I felt that I let her down easily (but I can be foolish, naive, and hopeful).

Her response was this..."well, just let me make one recommendation...a book that I am reading and it is so inspirational." Oh!, I say, a book...well, I do enjoy a good read...what, pray tell, is the title. She replies (and I feel I have to give this one some space)...

"What would Jesus Eat?"

I did not smirk, I did not smile, I did not fall down in a pile. I acted in grace. I stonewalled my face. And I quietly said...."wow".

My friend and I later discussed my conversation with our co-worker and we decided that Jesus, who I can imagine would be the biggest hippie to ever walk this earth...washing feet, kissing prostitutes, walking on water, hanging out with poor crippled people, would have chosen the Meditteranean diet. And he would have drank wine. The olives would be his concubine. Pasta steaming close by and marinara that would make sidewalks weep. Sweets brought from tiny bakeries specializing in unique flavors, gelato and tiny cappuccinos. This is the feast we imagine, captured in the tell all book.

Sadly, it is not the book my co-worker is reading. And hopefully she will forget her recommendation, because truthfully if it gets put in front of me, I just might throw it at somebody.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Feeling better already

I'm wavering between that time when things are okay, maybe even OKAY and that time where you are slipping off the edge, softly at first into the troubled water of dissatisfaction. I am fighting it, it's been a good stint. But, somewhere internally, a shift has been called and my neurons are leaning in that disjunctive direction. Which is why, as writers do, I will suspend time a bit here and try to recover my fine balance.

I love shoes. I left a gray pair at Ross's that I am craving still yet. At $12, they were just a bit too tight, and so I left them, tangled within the piles of shoes at every angle. Yet, I think of them still, and shopped the internet l o o k i n g for another pair, wider or longer. Nothingcanbefoundthough(sigh). I still long for smaller feet, more narrow that could wear all types of shoes. But, I would be poor from the buying. Spent on leather and buckles and sparkly straps. So, it is probably better that the adorable shoe alludes me...most of the time.

I always thought I wasn't girly. Because I didn't weigh ten pounds in the 6th grade, and the size 5 dresses that my mama wanted to buy would never fit or even look like me. It took growing up a l o t to consider that girly is just that feminine intuition, that migration towards the makeup isle, that shimmy to the salon, that plucky purse passion. I see it now, that whatever you are, you can be everything else too. YOu can choose a few. YOu can choose nothing. All the same, your imprint has been made on the world. YOu have exchanged elements. YOu got here and all you have to do for the rest of your life is be who you want to be. Which is difficult enough, I allow. But far less daunting than feeling as though you shouldn't be. At all.

So, shoes and makeup, jewelry and sometimes purses make me happy. I'm a girl and I'm a little girly. And I like it.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Something Peepy

I am blog-surfing today (and I recommend it) and finding so many wonderful clever words, photographs and personalities. I found this link at one site, and thought it appropriate for the day.

:) Happy Easter!

Washing dishes

I was just looking out the back window. It's something that I love to do because the view is of a wide backyard, followed by woods, leave scatters, and some green in the middle, where I found easter lilies yesterday. There is an old dog house that sits out there, and I don't know its story...but it always seems to be waiting. And that made me think of patience. That quality that is often so absurd to me. How can one be patient while Big Ben is in the world, counting down my minutes, hours and days till death? And yet, I believe that patience transcends time and death and exists in the realm of faith. A fitting subject today, I reckon.

The things I am impatient about, are the same things I don't have a lot of faith in. Certain relationships, a handful of recipes (anything that involves baking for one!), the conclusion of books by unknown authors (and some known ones, when I venture into Stephen King land-he always made me suffer with weak endings), new cds (I have to go through and get a blurb of every tune before I can just listen all the way through), my dog's misbehaviors, work stuff, self-growth. I guess that the list could go on forever. I have heard the answers "YOu are everything right now" "live through your intentions" "you were born whole". I don't buy them...basically because there seem to be so many happily unfinished people in this world, that I am terrified to sit back and be the same way. I don't want to be okay with the fact that sometimes my life isn't what I want. I want to fix that. I have to fix that. And there, you see, is where I lack the patience to let the world fix it. Live faithfully. Patiently. Be still. Navigate nothing.

I'm lost to this concept. Basically because the dog house, sitting in the back yard woods seems lonely. Seems to have no purpose. And I build tiny dreams for it. I imagine little rabbit families, little mice homes. But the thing it was built for does not live there. And it looks hollow to me, and not just empty but expectant, and not just expectant but disappointed, and not just disappointed but sad, possibly heartbroken.

What could the house have done though? It could not call its own dog. It could not restructure itself into something else (a birdhouse, a pile of wood, an aeroplane). It is what it is, and whatever emotion it might (and I realize that wood, as we know it, cannot fathom emotion) encounter, it must at some point accept and have faith that its purpose has been met. At some point there was a dog. Now, it waits for another. It provides a visual point of reflection for me. It may house tiny live things, or leaves that have blown there. It could be a teacher for me about patience, tolerance and faith. It doesn't crumble by the weight of its silence. And it doesn't flee to some other place looking for fulfillment. It sits secure in its woodland home and waits for what is next, if anything, ever. It stays to see what will happen next. And exists only to find out, faithfully, what it must become or endure or experience tomorrow, next week, next year. Patiently it waits for the next evolution. But it is a dog house, and I am a girl. I'm not certain there are parallels for us two.

Friday, March 21, 2008

A walk in the wild woods

I went out to check on the easter lillies in the middle of the back yard woods. I had friends to travel with, and although I attempted to photograph them together, such a picture could not be had.

Rob Brezney on Fish Girls

here's my weekly horoscope from my favorite astrologist, Rob Brezney. Go here, for a lot of starry fun!

Musician Sarah McLachlan told the crowd at one of her concerts: "I feel great about singing really depressing songs." In the U2 song "A Man and a Woman," Bono sings, "The only pain is to feel nothing at all." They are your role models in the coming week, Pisces. I hope they inspire you to feel grateful for your capacity to experience such intense emotions. You're lucky to be so sensitive! You're blessed to have so much vital force! So please celebrate your talent for feeling melancholy and overwhelmed. Congratulate yourself for being such a connoisseur of guilt, confusion, and anxiety. You're more alive than other people. You've got a soul as big and wild and deep as the Amazon River.

(He always makes me sound so complicated and lovely. A stretch...but I like it.)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sing it, Mr. Berlin!

In your Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it

You'll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade.

I'll be all in clover,

and when they look you over

I'll be the proudest fellow in the Easter Parade.

On the Avenue, Fifth Avenue,

The photographers will snap us

And you'll find that you're in the rotogravure.

Oh, I could write a sonnet about your Easter bonnet

And of the girl I'm taking to the Easter Parade.

In my Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it,

I'll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade.

You'll be all in clover, and when they look me over

You'll be the proudest fellow in the Easter Parade.

On the Avenue, Fifth Avenue,

The photographers will snap us

And you'll find that you're in the rotogravure.

Oh, you may write a sonnet about my Easter bonnet

And of the girl you're taking to the Easter Parade.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Driving with Norah Jones

When the air is right, or the sky is lighter blue, or maybe a sense of mystery sweeps over me, and I am driving...I sometimes want to just keep driving. Past the right turn, past the post office, beyond Stuart, onto roads that are out there waiting to be traveled. I don't feel particularly adventurous when this mood comes over me. Instead it feels like a less than urgent urgency to "go find out". What? I'm not certain of. And why not? Because I fear how far I might have to travel to get there. Would I end in Norfolk? California? South America? Canada? Would I have to get into a boat and continue into Europe? Would I be happiest at the Poles? Where would the non-urgent urgency end? Which of course, brings me to the more obvious question...can I find it here? In this place? Situation? Habitat? Are the same answers here? Hiding inside the common everyday tick tock tick tock of my life? I suspect that the answer is that the answers are with me. That the travels are within me, rather than without. And yet, answers have been had from other destinations. Maybe the answers are in me, but the questions are out there. Maybe I am looking for the questions, the next question, the final question of the infinite moment. And I wonder where it lives. And who will ask it. I wonder if I will find them in time, and if the time will be right? The great mystery of course, is still, how to get there. And I think that one day, there will be that certain cd playing on the car stereo, and the dog will be with me, or taken care of and the job will be done, the house clean, friends in healthy places, laundry caught up, and I will drive until the world says stop. And right there, right very there...will live the last question. And when I hear it, I will know it like the words to a song or the flavor of sapphron or the leaves of an artichoke. And I will laugh because the answer will be so easy, and I will realize why it took me so long to get there.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Singing in the Rain!

It's one of my favorite kinds of day. Raining. Dark and gloomy. And it makes the house seems warmer, cozier. A book seems like the best entertainment in the world.

I love the sound on the roof.

I love that grass and trees and blooms are growing happily.

I love that everything will be washed new.

I love the solace that comes from sustenance.

It's just wonderful. And cozy. And dear.

I should make soup!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Our new main squeeze...

Here's Magi...freshly home from the vet. I have to get a brush for him (never owned a long hair cat). He's living in the bathroom till he gets used to us and then he will live outside. Bentley is obsessed with him. Would barely even go on our walk this morning (ask Leslie!). They won't meet for a long long time. He is a sweet boy, but his hair is making my allergies crazy! He's using the litterbox like a superstar. Banjo does not care for him. Yet. I think (think, think) we'll be okay with a little time.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

good television

It's fascinating to me how much what you see right in front of you every day affects the way that you see yourself in the world. I mean, yes it makes sense. But, I am still shocked when I realize the degree to which it affects me. My friend STeph turned me on to a series on ABC called October Road. She never told me why she thought I'd like it, but I'm quite sure it's because there is a chunky girl on the show who dates the town hottie. And that never happens in television, movies, or barely ever books. (And here's the shocker, I found out last night that the show is written by four men. Go figure. I would've bet anything that it was written by average women, who want to see the good girl get the good guy just once). Anyway, I promptly rented season one on netflix, and I have enjoyed every minute of it! The relationship is troubled. Both characters insecure about the relationship in different, but similar ways. The final episode of the first season had possibly the cutest scene I have ever watched. I rewound six times! But, I digress (rent it, you might love it) point is that after watching this show. I feel like love is possible. I feel like I still might be enough, even though I'm not the "right thing". I feel positive. And getting to experience this shift in my attitude after watching a good example. I begin to realize what has happened to me watching all the normal examples, that I don't fit into.

When I lived in NYC, I worked nights at a private gym (mostly soap opera one super famous) and the woman I worked for was beautiful. She threw away every fashion/style/model driven magazine that came through the door. And she looked like the type to read them. So, one day I asked her why she did that, and she said, "I'm not putting that stuff in my head. I"m not buying into someone else's idea of beauty." I think she hit that nail straight and strong.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

some dark contemplation

Sometimes it seems like death whispers inside of me. It's been a strange week. The death of a friend far away, and the death of a friend's family member quite near. A suicide in the next town over, and a kitty struggling for its life in the vet's office. I was talking with a co-worker today about the suicide. How the idea tugs at us. Not as though to pull me under, because I have experienced that. But rather as an option for life that is no longer worth living. She struggles with aging. I struggle with living. Of course, who decides the standards for these decisions? And my argument was that it is such a selfish act. Leaving so many people in the dark about what they might have said, done or offered. They invested, they believed in a life threaded to their own. And in some cases, they will never stop paying the price of your selfishness. They will never live without the question of how they may have stopped it from happening.

I remember being in grade school when our janitor committed suicide. And I had so little of an idea of what might have caused it. I understood, and I comprehended sadness. But, I had no idea what it would take to get there. I am more well-versed at this stage in my life. Living teaches you what dying could prohibit. I would never call myself suicidal, and I doubt that my friend would either. But, I would never wipe it from my list of alternatives. Simply because I have not yet reached that point of self-worth. That stage where one realizes they are meant to be here unmistakeably. Does everyone get there? The janitor did not. This man, one town away, did not. He shot his dogs as well, so that no one had to take care of them in his absence. He took total responsibility for his death, sending out notes to law enforcement to come and find his body.

If we became that methodical about living, I wonder if suicide would be replaced by levitation? Could we join up with an ethereal bliss by being structured about getting there? Or are we doomed by the fact that no matter what, we will die? Is knowing the outcome what keeps it inevitably on our list of life alternatives? Those who have come close and missed, say that they held onto life more after seeing the light. Is it the ending that we don't have faith in? So, we seek it early to punish ourselves for doubt? I'm just not sure today. I'm really just not sure.

Spring blooms and kitty tails

I just saw these gorgeous blooms when I pulled into the carport. Now that I actually leave work before dark! Banjo (pictured here on the woodpile) doesn't know yet, but we may have just one hour ago signed on for a new kitty. He was at the vet's office when I picked up Mr. Bentley. He has been abused, and the shelter has no space for him. So, they will pay for him to get fixed, barring any feline leukemia findings, and just need to find a home. He has long hair, and looks scared. He has lived outdoors, so we can take him in that case. I think his name will be Magi. It just came to me in the car. She's (Ms. Banjo) gonna hate me for a while. But, I saved her from a similar fate, so that's the story we're sticking to when she pins us in the corner, teeth and claws ready for battle. Wish me luck.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Life with a clever canine.

My dog is camera shy (comes by it honest). But, one of these days, I will capture (and share with you) the look that he gives me when his water bowl is empty. It's priceless, basically because it proves what I have quietly feared, he is smarter than I am. Part Australian cattle dog, and part something else (someone said Akita) his facial expressions do more than undermine my authority over situations, they downright flag me.

So, when the water bowl is empty (and this DOES happen more often than it should), he will go and sit beside the bowl. Sometimes he will lick the empty bowl for a good four minutes and then sit. I guess it depends on how A.D.D he thinks I am at the time. But, he sits beside the bowl, and he rotates his head to the right and stares at me sideways. It isn't an intense look, but it is an attention getter. And if I could translate what the look said, it wouldn't be in English. I imagine the following (and bear with me, because I haven't had foreign language of any sort for 20 years.

"Was es das?"

"qu'est-ce que?"


"qu'est-ce qui te prend?"

"me gusto poco que."

"Che cosa stai cercando di ottenare?"


Someday, I'll get the photo opportunity, and you'll see just what I mean.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

I'm writing this because I can.

Why do men sometimes have to be a horse's ass?? Not even a horse's ass, because I like horses. In fact, at the moment, I can't think of an animal, or any species really that I would use for this analogy. Certain presidents, a few past leaders, some especially horrible criminals, bad tv, but no, not an animal. I hate petulant behavior. This is not to say that I have never acted petulant, because like any broken human, I have my moments. But, I can't stand it in the face of everyone breaking their backs to make good. GET OVER IT. For God's sake, shit happens. And I do see men doing this more often than women. I think because women are so used to everything falling the fuck apart that they don't get as rattled. But, Jesus! Let a man be put out, and we should all fall to our knees.

I'm upset because I had to clean up every conceivable mess tonight at work. The night went fabulously, and the crowd raved. But, it was a hellish evening. And at the end of it, I'm steaming over grown-up men who act like five year olds. And I can leave it at that, since we all know my thoughts on children. Give me a day of rest tomorrow, and I'll be back in the swing. But right now, if I could get my hands around his neck, I would....(fade to black)

Friday, March 7, 2008

March Passing


For solemn’s sake
They wore the
Blackest black
For a day…
Twenty-four hours,
A fraction of a year.

What had been endured
Was beyond blackness,
Was charred,
Like the remains
Of the lively oak
In a Colorado wood.

They marched
In a procession
Of mourning
Mourners joyful of loss
To be able to weep
Or grow weary
With the pain
Of being left.

Imagine the majesty
Of cloaked misery
Or abject anquish
When shared with the afternoon
When pardoned by sunny hours
And captured by
A plastic rose.

The bell tolls
And what is lost
Has gone
Heavenward or hellbound.
All who remain
Are breathing shallow
Waiting to toss
Dirt on the grave,
And be done.

For all my teacher friends

"I would much rather put a phenomenal, great teacher in a field with 30 kids and nothing else than take the mediocre teacher and give them half the number of students and give them all the technology in the world."ZEKE M. VANDERHOEK, 31, who is starting a charter school that will pay teachers $125,000 a year.

Hope some of this finds its way to you. Wow. Love that commitment.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Day 6 of March 2008

The day today was gorgeous. I sat in the middle of the dirt road by the church with dog and cat and just let the sun shine all over us all. It's days like these that begin to make me look forward to summer, longer days and more time after work to enjoy walks, gardening or just being outside. I planted pansies on the porch and picked up an Easter garden flag for my flag pole. I want to do raised beds for some plants this year. I want to put boxes into the water wheel building and plant little flowers to bloom there. I want an herb garden. I didn't make the time last year to do it, plus I was moving up it wasn't really convenient. I'd like to get a picnic table for MOnday night dinners. I want to start a hiking group, so I'll have folks to go hike with. I still want an ice cream maker so that I can design my own flavors, like cardamom and ginger. I guess I'll have to plan a party at some point, or Dan the winemaker will drive me insane about it.

It feels nice to begin thinking of summer tasks. Putting firewood away for the summer will be nice. I love winter too...don't get me wrong. But days like this, put you in mind of sun warmed porches and fresh lemonade.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A tiny home blown 'round in the wind.

We found this on our morning walk. What a tremendous effort of beauty and efficiency this! Blown face down onto the dirt road from the pine tree (or farther??) I put it into a smaller tree with gnarly branches to hold it tight. Maybe once my scent is washed away, some new family can be born there. I love the moss integrated into the bed of make softness for eggs and hatching. This is the ultimate recycling lesson, right?

Monday, March 3, 2008

I don't like the Osmonds.

Sometimes I don't like things just because someone says they are good. I can be that petty. Or ambivalent. I'm not sure which category, and for that matter they may be synonymous under the right conditions. My friend and I are trying to eat healthier. Not diet (hate the word/concept/idea) just be more aware of what things are made of, what substitutions are added to make up for "no fat, no sugar, no gluten" etc. We are across the hall from a woman who drinks green shakes on a semi-daily basis. And so, when she snoops on one of our morning conversations, me telling a tale of kale and oily fish, she has to tell us exactly what is what. And the thing is, we never asked. Now normally, I would enjoy educated feedback in this area, because I am a lazy bore when it comes to researching the food topic. But, I don't like it when people take over the conversation and act as though they wrote the book. So, after she left the office, my friend and I looked at each other and said "know it all". And I swear to you that if I owned one, I'd be eating a twinkie in front of her tomorrow. Stating in no uncertain terms that CNN prescribed it as the power food of 2008. Just to make her run and google little Debbie. I'm that mean sometimes.

Then, I get home and turn on the tv, and the Osmonds are having a 50th anniversary show. And I realize they must be old, but they look no different. They sound no different. They are the same. And I still don't like them, although I'm sure there are a zillion reasons why I should.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Put a tune to this.

If my friend Jonathon were here, he'd say, "Kym, keep it simple. Don't worry about things so much" And then, he would prepare dinner for no less than three hours, his wife would tuck the four children into bed around 9pm (just after we finished) and then she'd kiss his cheek and head to bed. He would say to me, as he has a hundred times, "do you wanna hear some new music?" and we'd go outside on the back porch, where he'd play his guitar and sing, interjecting this or that story in between songs. Finally around midnight, I decide to leave (and this never happens) because Johnathon walks me to my car and we get into a long discourse on constellations (of which I know little and he knows much) which leads us inevitably to my favorite part, which is the philosophizing of life. And this could last till 2:30am or worse. I miss him. I never went as often as I sometimes may have wanted to...because he got me, in ways that few people do. And I believe that we have traveled lifetimes together, but that realization did nothing but terrify me. He was always okay with it. And when they moved last year to Nashville, I said, "I'll come and visit!" and he said, "no you won' barely visited when we were 20 minutes away". And he smiled, because he knows it doesn't mean anything about what they mean to only means that I am me, and I can only take so much closeness. I miss him for knowing that. And being okay with it.

Relationships are about relating. And I think I suck at that. I am sociable, I can be light and fun and airy. It's such a fragment of me. The real me blurs everything. Hears everything. Processes everything. And keeps everything at bay. Johnathon scared me, because he came close without ever moving and he grew to know me without ever asking too many questions. And he snuck up on me, and it was only in the way I left him feeling too revealed, too lamplit that cautioned me to steer clear of him most of the time.

I hope I am changing Jon. I know that you've always believed that I could. YOu never said it, but it was there every time you invited me over (twice in two months!), and hoped that I would say yes, and not cancel later.

This movie made me think of you. It was about good friends, and coming clean with yourself. I hope Nashville is treating you fine. And that if you ever trip across this blog, you can read between the lines to see what a gift you are to me.