Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


In my dreams I can fly.  Upon waking, I am sometimes disappointed to find I am once again subject to gravity's strict laws - what happened to my ability to rise up to lofty heights and float among the clouds, dancing with thistle down to the music of the stars?

Why do I dream of flying?

I'm certain there are countless dream dictionaries and interpreters to give some explanation , nearly as many as there are people who dream of flight.

I think, though, that dreams of flight are as much memories as expressions of an active psyche.  I think we flew, and we remember, and we cannot fathom in out deepest selves why our wings were shorn, why we should be earthbound when clearly we should be leaping skyward and riding the wind.

Image totally yoinked off a Google search, credited to Richard Wilkinson

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

Photo found here and copied entirely without permission but not without respect.

Many of my family have served their country in the various branches. I learned a couple of years ago (thanks to my aunt) that my father served in Germany, although I do not yet know in what branch or when.  His father was in the Navy, in the Pacific.  My brother was in the Army, but thankfully got out when yet another gopher hole tried to eat his ankle. Don't ask. My Uncle was in the Air Force, even flying Air Force Two for a while. My Grandfather (Mum's father) was in the Coast Guard during World War II. I have a cousin retired from the Air Force. I believe he flew Airforce somethingorother from time to time (I'm being intentionally obtuse so as not to make it easy to find him and cause shenanigans). I have a friend who was in the Army during the Vietnam War (conflict, my ass!) - I never once resented the calls at three-o'clock in the morning; nightmares shy away from friendly voices, from reason and reassurance. Another friend was in the Army until it broke his back - literally. He survived, but not his plans for a lifetime in the military - they don't want broken people, no matter how useful or clever they are. Someone's family is jam-packed with folks who've served - mostly Navy, I believe - and deserve some respect and thanks. So...thanks.

For a history of this day, go here. Or here. Or here. In a nutshell, Memorial Day is for remembering the fallen. Veteran's Day is for honoring the living. That's why they get two days, and so they should. Men and women stand up and make targets of themselves to maintain our freedoms every day of the year, so the least we can do is take two days to tell them "Thanks. Thanks for acting against human nature and protecting me and mine. Thanks for losing an arm, a leg, a life so that I don't have to."

It's not about the politics. I'm non-violent. I don't think war is ever a reasonable response to conflict. I don't believe that wars are fought for ideals, but rather for political and/or financial gains. I won't forget, though, that people have laid down their lives so that I may stand on a street corner protesting (I never would) them, or denigrating (never, ever!) them for their service.

Perhaps one day, we won't have any new graves to decorate. Until then, I remember and (as best I can) I honor.

In Flanders Fields by John McCrea

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead.  Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from flailing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Friday, May 23, 2014

By the Numbers

I am working on some sewing that I need finished by July.  You'd think I'd have plenty of time for it, but no...no, I don't.  I have only a few days that I can dedicate to sewing because I also need to clear out the library and guest room so a friend and her kitties can move in.  Then there's the June event where the band is performing, so there's at least one day a week of rehearsals.  Oh, and let's not forget the whole bothersome I-have-kids thing.  I've had two days to work on the pile, and here are some numbers so far:

0 pieces finished
1 sewing machine
2 sergers/overlock machines
3 broken needles
4 times threading the first serger after replacing a broken needle
5 times testing and re-threading that serger before giving up on getting it right (threaded fine but suddenly the stitches are so loose they're useless) and switching machines, and 5 pairs of shorts with the serging done (since I switched machines), waiting to be finished
6 sarongs that need to be made into shirts
7 times I told Sprout not to get her hands near the serger needles
8 times I've had to stop and rescue Sprout from inside the closet
9 different inventive expletives used to describe the people who designed the threading sequence for sergers
10 mad dashed up the stairs to help Sprout use the potty
11 phone calls frm politicians, credit card services (for a household with NO credit cards), and collections agents for people who haven't lived here in five years
12 sarongs waiting to be cut and made into 8-in-on strappy shirts
13 days until I can't spare time for sewing because I must begin packing for the June trip
14 sarongs cut and ready to make into shorts
15 new grey hairs since I started on this sewrific journey

What are you up to these days?


Saturday, May 17, 2014


I really miss Someone.  I sometimes catch myself feeling something akin to mourning - it is as if he has died but is not dead, gone but still here, and I feel caught in this thick, sticky sap of not-knowing, not-doing. I am deeply saddened by the reality that, as a consequence of his own actions in the past, there are very few people who care that he is in jail, and fewer still who want to help get him out.  It can't be helped, but it leaves me feeling terribly isolated and increasingly frustrated.  He is so easy to love, but his love is not easy on a body.
I am making some roasted Greek potatoes and they smell amazing.  Mum bought some seasoning mix for me on our mid-week trip, and I decided to test it tonight.  I hope it tastes as good as it smells!
It was 66 degrees inside Casa de Crazy when we got up this morning.  Spring, it seems, is making an attempt at a come-back and had enlisted Winter's aid.
I was lucky to find some potatoes to cook - seems one went off and most of the rest followed.  Have you ever smelled that liquid that potatoes turn into - no, not vodka, alas - when they go off?  Gah!!!
I have damn near incapacitated every muscle and bone in my body doing it, but I got the bed from downstairs in the guest room up into Sprout's room, and she slept on it for the first time last night.  She loved it...and loves playing on it during the day.  I may have to Duct Tape the sheets onto it.  She still crawls in with me in the morning, but I don't mind.  Much.
The Evil Genius came into the house with some red clay he dug out of our yard in his bucket.  He informed me he was going to make play-dough.  I informed him he was going right back outside to play with it.  He wanted to argue, but I won...close shave, because Sprout was with him and she had that look in her eye...the look that says "I am going to paint the walls, floor, and every surface I can reach with what's in the bucket!"  I suspect there with be some bathing happening tonight.
I am watching Hook.  Wow...Robin Williams looks so young in it.  Funny how ageless he is my head.
I feel restless but I am mired here.  Can't leave, but staying is almost intolerable at times.  It's the Gypsy in me, wanting to be on the move.  It's the Avoider in me, not wanting to be here where troubles seem to have piled up like leaves beneath the Autumn trees.  I am no less here for feeling the yearning to run away.
I have an enormous craving for Chinese food.  It strikes me at odd hours.  I can almost taste it.  Groan.
I think we should revive the word "Popinjay".  It makes me laugh.  Go on, say it.  See?  It's funny.
This song makes me smile.
What're you up to?

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Fond Farewell

I am going to say goodbye to a friend this week.

Going with Mum Wednesday, coming home Thursday.

We are going to say goodbye to our friend V.

Our friend has cancer.  She has had cancer for a while.  She's been fighting a losing battle from the start, and she knew it, but she chose to fight because she didn't want to leave her increasingly more bewildered husband behind to face his own end alone and most likely lost in the haze of of time and confusion that steeps his brain.

Come soon, we were told, if you want to see her.  Come soon while she still has a little good time left.  Come soon if you want to know, really know, that she can hear, see, know who you are.

So we're going.  A friend is watching the kids for me.  This trip is for Mum and me.

Knowing us, we will go and laugh, and cry, and laugh some more.  We will tell our friend that we love her and will miss her, and then laugh again.  We may tell old stories from our track working days.  We may look at and discuss her art - she is a marvelous stained-glass artisan, and I am lucky to have a couple of pieces of her work in my home.

Death is inevitable.  I will come to my own end days, I know, and leave the people I love behind.  But it's an abstract reality, isn't it?  And cancer is a cruel death.  This is a woman who lives with a shout, not a whisper.  There will be a void where she was, when she goes.  I will miss her.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?

Oh, wait, I don't have a dog.

There are many reasons why I have cats but not dogs.  I don't have time to teach a dog good manners or to housebreak it.  Cats not only survive, but sometimes thrive on benign neglect.  Dogs?  They're usually sociable creatures who like to interact with their pack and don't always understand long absences and solitude.

I am not thrilled with the amount of poop and other effluvia I deal with on a daily basis - I really don't want to add tidying up after a canine to the list.

So why am I cleaning up piles of canine leavings from my yard?  Why are my Iris trampled and my garden mauled?  Why are the outdoor cats constantly fleeing the porch and going hungry because the food I give them disappears at an alarming rate?  I don't understand...I don't have a dog.

Oh, but the neighbors do.  They have two, in fact.

One of the dogs has learned some nifty new tricks.  He has learned that he can jump the fence!  He can remove his collar!

He's a friendly old fellow and I wouldn't mind his visits if he wasn't such hell on my yard and garden, and if he wasn't chasing the cats and eating their food.  I've walked him home and rung the bell, eventually getting a response from one of his humans who spoke of her frustration with his Houdini act...and then put him right back in the fenced yard from which he can so easily escape.  They're getting an electric fence, she says.  How on earth will that help when he can remove his collar?

He has been free-range for weeks, now.  I am not convinced they actually plan to do anything about it.

I am loathe to call animal control - I may have mentioned before that I don't think it's right to punish an animal for acting according to its nature.  He's just being a dog.  His humans are the ones who need to step up, but they aren't.  This bothers me.  Why have an animal in your life if you can't or won't deal with it?  The woman I spoke to said she didn't want him in the house.  So...it's okay for him to wander in and out of my garage, yard, and garden, pee and defecate on this property, and generally act like he's my pet and not hers?
Adding insult to injury, the neighbor in question is in law enforcement and has a working dog.  He knows the law and knows how to train an animal and work with it.

I know that you, dear reader, would not be such a thoughtless human to your pets - but if you know of someone who is, please, oh, please, tell them.  Help them to manage their critter so that it's not being a nuisance to others.

I am worried about my neighbor's dog - he's black, it's hot out, he has no food or water out here (except the cat food he steals from me, that is)...and then there's the night time to consider when the other neighbors fly through the cul-de-sac like they're trying to beat Mario Andretti home for dinner - black dogs are so easily struck at night.

I don't want the care of another being right now, and he has a family that is supposed to love and care for him.  So what am I to do?  What would you do, dear reader?

Friday, May 2, 2014


I have been to a bar perhaps three times that I can recall.  Twice it was for charity events.  I have certainly never danced at a bar, or a club, or in any public venue.  I'm not much of a drinker or social dancer, it seems.  I danced at my wedding, because that's what one does.  It's the only time I ever danced with my now-ex-husband.

I'm no twinkle-toes, and can't do anything remotely resembling a formal dance move.  I mostly shuffle and sway and hope I don't smush any toes.  I don't even dance around the fire at drum circles any more - too many lithe, sexy young things out there and I feel rather more like a stump than I like.

I have one precious video of Someone and I dancing just before my band performed at a festival.  It was to a Bob Marley song, and my now deceased friend 'Lo shot it unbeknownst to us.  I love that video.  We danced another time in the kitchen of Casa de Crazy, his arms around me, my head on his chest, slowly swaying for a few minutes while dinner cooked.

Sometimes, when I am alone, I will dance a little - in the kitchen, or the living room, while I'm cleaning.  Once in a while, the children join me, and then we will likely get a little silly and wind up laughing and breathless in a pile on the couch.

I would like to dance more.  I want more time in Someone's arms.  I want more time watching him hold our daughter and dance her about while she shrieks and giggles and holds on tight.

Despite the dearth of dancing in our lives, this song was stuck in my head yesterday and this morning.

How about you?  Do you dance?