Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ain't No Turning Back

This is not the video that I want, but it's the one that will upload, so we're stuck with it. I am constantly amazed at how my iPod chooses the perfect song for my mood or to express something that I'm feeling. My tiny brain cannot conjecture as to a cause and effect, so I'm going with magic. Or something on a subatomic level involving an as yet unproven physics theory. It could very easily be something obvious that I am overlooking. Or like the song says, second nature, look at what we've found.

Celebrate the Neonate!

Twenty-one years ago I was waiting for a baby to arrive. He took his time. Then, just before midnight, after perhaps the longest day of my life, Reid emerged, blinked his eyes in characteristic newborn languid regard, realized the world outside the womb is chilly, and protested this discovery with a decibel rating directly analogous to his remarkable lung capacity. Whew. That was a long sentence. Like I told you, it was a very long day. But worth every minute of effort. You have challenged and delighted me, my beamish boy. And I am the better for it. Happy birthday.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Mom and Me

Thinking of my mom, Edna, on this Memorial Day. She died three years ago today. And it was so difficult to find a photo of us together! This was taken at the Tucson Botanical Gardens in 1984, probably my sis Martine is on the other side of the camera.

Poetry Fit For Memorial Day

When I Cried

Scientists say
The chemical composition
Of tears
To the crier's emotion
Anger Angst Regret
Fear Longing Relief
Joy Anguish Pain
Each elicits
Its own
Distinct signature
Providing a purgative release
If your essence
Could be rendered down
To its most primordial parts
Identifiable ordonnance
This cocktail
Unique in nature
Is contained
In the drops
That slip from my eyes

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The More Things Change...

I was going to write about how I'm feeling, but then realized that I already had. Very different cause but yet the same effect. Welcome to my rainy Sunday rerun.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Ringing Endorsement! Not.

Yeah. That's insert name here. We've been together a long time.

Pleased to Say, Happy to Report

Oh, and the grass clippings have vacated the premises of my compost. Mission accomplished. But it would have been ever so much more fun to go all Julia Sugarbaker on him in a face to face. Give him the what for. Verbally throttle him. I'll just set this energy aside til the full moon passes. Then channel it into more worthwhile endeavors. See, I can be a grown-up! 

Full Moon Saturday Night

Fasten your seatbelts, children, it's going to be a bumpy night. Questions will be answered, mysteries will be grokked, profundities shall be revealed. And because nature abhors a vacuum, more queries and conundrums and future revelatories will rush in to take their place. Pay attention. Be present in the moment. Yield to the wonder of it all. Because opening your heart and mind, thereby leaving yourself vulnerable, is the only way we learn anything that is meaningful. Keep company with those you trust. Be mindful of what may percolate up through that surface that appears serene. Those webby duck feet are down there thrashing away and who knows what could break loose.

Friday, May 24, 2013


My neighbor hath fouleth my compost. With his grass clippings. For crying out louder than necessary! This is not only bad manners, it's bad composting! If I wanted grass clippings in the compost I would be putting them there myself! But I don't bag when I mow, I have a mulching mower and let the finely chopped clippings lie. Too much nitrogen and too packed down. This does not make for a good soil amending final product. The compost smells nasty. When done properly, as I make every effort toward, the chemical and acid balance enhances the stink-free breakdown of the mix of yard and kitchen waste. Which I am keeping out of the landfill. You're quite welcome. It also must be turned or stirred for aeration and be adequately watered. In an effort to resolve this situation, I have knocked at said neighbor's door twice. Not finding him at home, or maybe just not in a door-answering mood, this morning I left a note taped to his patio door. I noticed about half an hour ago that the note was gone. I haven't checked the compost as yet, it is out of sight on the south side of the garden shed. So I don't know if he has cleared out his smelly grass clippings. I do know this. If he was a decent fellow, he would have asked before dumping. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Bubbles Have It

For the first time in my life I have tasted Dom Perignon. And I must admit it is quite delicious. As a footnote I have to say that, dollar for dollar, I will be sticking with my fave Domaine St. Michelle. Because for just under fourteen bucks it's pretty darn tasty, too. So I have tasted the high end of bubbly. And admitted that I am, at heart, a low rent girl. But will follow you pretty much anywhere for a little swig of the Dom. Saint or otherwise.  

I Gotta Wear Shades!

I have woken up happy. And rather than question this state of being or examine it too closely I have decided to go with it. So if you should happen to catch me dancing, join in. Even if you have to duck around a corner to not feel self conscious, we'll be dancing together in spirit. On the other hand, if you're ready to burst out of your closet of doom and anxiety, come dance with me. It's a frabjous day.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Paws For Chocolate

There she is, my adorable little feline namesake. She lives with Sara in Wisconsin. Along with her brother, Cliff, dogs Augie and Blue and Lowrey, and a couple of Guinea pigs. Let's not forget to mention Sara's lovely daughter Maddie. Carla's my favorite though. Here she is demonstrating what Reid calls the hovercat position. Thanks, Sara, for sharing this with me. I am about to go into cuteness overload and pass out. This is a clear sign that I need to eat chocolate. We now conclude the cute cat photo op/chocolate consumption rationalization for today.

Numerically Speaking

A few weeks ago I decided to begin referring to my former husband as my first husband as opposed to my ex-husband. This was inspired by my friend Karen, who refers to her current husband as her first one. Which he is. But due to the fact that they remain married, the context has very funny implications. Which I find amusing. So, in homage to her reference, I have adopted doing the same. Almost without fail I now refer to my ex as my first. I can't wait until some unsuspecting person asks how many times I have actually been married. So I can reply, oh, just the once. If I were a better person, I wouldn't take such delight in this inevitable possibility.

If I Were a Better Person Dept.

Today's title has become my universal disclaimer. I have been told a number of times that when I begin a sentence with this statement that it gets their attention. Because I'm about to say something funny. Or confess some bit of behavior or a tiny secret that binds us together and makes us feel a bit less petty for our pettiness. Sometimes it provides an open forum, breaks down the walls of self-judgement and makes us feel a little better for recognizing our own personal foibles. Case in point. Last Friday evening. If I were a better person, I would not take such utter delight in speaking to people who are not speaking to me. It's fine with me if members of my former social group choose to ignore me. It's no skin off my nose. I'm not likely to attempt to ingratiate myself with them by making nice or apologizing for my presence in a public place. How dare I exist! The nerve of me, anyway! But I do most definitely have a stubborn streak, and this is where I draw the line in this situation. If you join the table where I am sitting with friends we happen to have in common and do not acknowledge my presence, you better bet your self-righteous ass that I'm going to say hello to you. In a very pleasant manner with a smile upon my face. Which will force you to respond in kind. And maybe squirm a little. Which, if I indeed were a better person, I would not enjoy. I do remain a bit mystified as to why I still elicit such a strong response from these people who used to be among my closest of friends. They still claim the social ground from which I was ousted eight years ago. They still have each other. But for whatever reason, I have overstayed my welcome in their bubble. And may I point out that this is a function of their choice, not mine. Why on Earth are they allowing me to take up space in their heads rent-free? I have moved on to rebuild my life without them. And am the happier and healthier for the lessons learned. My final thought on the matter would be this. When a sister-in-law arrived at the door for Reid's high school graduation party three years ago, it was our first face-to-face since the divorce. She said she was finally over being mad at me and missed me. We cried a little and hugged. And I said, if Allen and I can can treat each other well and move beyond the sadness and pain we inflicted on each other while our marriage was falling apart, it's time for everyone else to do the same. For the life of me I can't understand why others continue to take our marital problems more personally than we did. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ya Gotta Have FAITH

So sang George Michael way back in 1987. Just checking in with an update on the social experiment I implemented four months ago. I couldn't tell you why I thought this would be so difficult. Because it's going rather swimmingly. The sample size remains too small to be scientifically valid. But I must say that anecdotally FAITH has turned out to be interesting, educational, and entertaining. Speaking just for me, I have to admit that there are few things better than being interested in something that edifies as well as amuses. Win, win, win, if you ask me.

Gray Monday

I don't have a clue as to why this is a sad day. So I'm just giving over to it to see where it takes me. This is not wallowing, children, it's an exercise of mindful letting go. Could it be because it's Monday? The overcast grayness outside? I've always thought of Monday as a beginnings sort of day, not the, oh, man, not Monday again interpretation. It's just not in my nature to consider one seventh of my life as something to dread. And the overcast grayness just makes the grass and trees look that much more vivid in their greenness by contrast. Newton and Einstein twitch in their silent vigil staring out the patio door at the birds. The rain has enticed them to a banquet in the lawn by bringing tasty morsels of food to the surface. I think I just have Cullen on my brain today. So many times over the last three days reminders of him in my younger son. I was unexpectedly reminded of him in a Facebook post earlier this morning. Further reminding me that because of him there are people in my life that I love so much. Gifts from him that remain even though he is gone. I feel better already. How does this happen? That fluke in my genetic code that predisposes me toward happiness, I expect. This confirms my suspicion that I'm some sort of mutant half Norwegian girl, as they are mostly dour by nature. It turns out that I'm not adopted even though I insisted this was the case as a child. Acceptance without understanding brings understanding. Not immediately, but often sooner than you might think. And I thought this was going to be a pajamas day.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Star Trek Reboot, Take 2

I really, really, really loved this movie! That's all I will say. No spoilers here. Except, holy crap, how many totally hot, strapping men can you fit into one cinematic experience?!? A great villain equals a great romp, if you ask me. Throw in an appropriate measure of comic relief, action sequences with amazing special effects, and just enough references to past Trek incarnations to tickle your trivia memory and you have one terrific movie. Well done J. J. Abrams! Nice flare.

Membership Dues

Brookings is a little town, just over 22,000 according to the 2012 Census. In a manner of thinking it's surprising that I don't cross paths with my old social group all that much. But we run in different circles now. Eight years ago I was essentially cast out when my marriage broke up and they chose to embrace my husband rather than me. The social structure here is much akin to high school cliques and the members of said cliques don't intermingle all that much. There are the few who defy classification and move pretty freely about between the circles but they are rare birds. Which brings us to last Friday night. I joined some friends at Skinner's patio where a terrific jazz/blues/rock quartet was playing. Less than halfway through my first beer things began to seem very, very surreal. And at having consumed a mere eight ounces I can't blame it on the alcohol. Okay, so I had a Cosmo earlier with dinner but I expect I had at least begun to metabolize that little confection. When I gazed about the patio area I discovered that most of my former social group was there as well. Including an out-of-town member. None of whom were acknowledging my presence. That was fine with me. Normally I think it's markedly adolescent for people to not be speaking to each other. In fact, at times I make it a point to speak to them just to surprise and irritate them. If I were a better person I wouldn't be gleeful over such behavior. But Friday night I was content to merely observe. I was sitting with friends and enjoying the music and the beautiful evening outside. I wasn't truly withdrawn, but I was in my head a great deal of the time. Liz and Tami noticed and asked me if I was okay. I was fine. It was just more than a little weird. And it took me until this afternoon to process all that I had taken in. I had been seated less than a dozen feet away from my three best friends from my previous life. What I realized is that I was on the outside now just as much as I had been then. I had been allowed in my previous life to sit at the same table with them and laugh and converse with them but there was something about the tight inner circle of these three women that I had never quite been invited into. From all outside appearances I was one of them but not really. I was often ridiculed by them for having a different opinion on any number of subjects. I was the fat, funny girl who wanted so much to belong that I tolerated all sorts of catty abuse from them. I was frequently punished and excluded for my errant behavior. It was as if the group functioned on an emotional level on par with a middle school girl gang. Eventually I was excommunicated when my marriage was over. And even though severing the ties of so many years with these women was a difficult and painful transition, it turned out being a tremendous relief to leave the struggle of trying to fit in with them behind me. And I remembered what another friend, a woman not so close to the center of things had told me soon after my divorce. I always envied the close, intense relationships you had with them. All these strong, smart, confident women who were such good friends. But now that I've seen how they treated you, how cruel they were in abandoning you and shutting you out, there is no way I want to be inside that inner circle. It's just too high a price to pay for entry. I'm happy to be where I am. She was so smart to observe that. And it took until today for me to realize that they can't kick me out of somewhere I never truly belonged. I was always outside looking in. I'm much happier to be where I am now. It was, indeed, too high a price to pay.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Live Long. Support Your Local Theater. So It Prospers

Star Trek Into Darkness is in town. My inner Trekkie geek is doing a happy dance. Will I love it as much as the Star Trek reboot that came out in 2009? Which I have seen only maybe twenty times. There is only one way to find out! A full report shall follow.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cue The Ketchup Commercial Music...

I have this friend. No, really. I do. This is not some moi-as-hypothetical-person device I am using to be evasive about my own life. Could we please move on? Okay. So, I have this friend who is experiencing considerable anxiety today. She is headed out of town to meet up with a dear friend. A friend of the opposite sex. They have been friends, even platonic roommates for a time, for their entire adult lives. Both of whom find themselves single once more after long-standing marriages to other people. Who are now thinking, hmmm, maybe about one another. While I don't envy her the can we remain friends if the sex thing doesn't work out conundrum, I do envy her the sweet, brain fogging anxiousness that accompanies such a quandary. Because the anticipation of an event can sometimes be even better than the thing when it happens. Or if. And, at least for me, there is joy in the discovery that I can still feel this way. That despite the fact that I feel a bit like a jaded lady where romance is concerned, I am grateful for remaining distinctly unjaded in attitude at the heart of things. Hope is that feathered thing that flies, it seems, even when a bit tattered and torn. I wish this friend good fortune today. That she'll have fun catching up and hanging out with an old and dear friend. Relax. Go with the flow. Enjoy being present in the moment of a maybe that could become a for real. And to wear really, really nice underwear. Just in case.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Note to Greg

Four years ago today my dear brother Cullen lost his life in an automobile accident. I find myself surprised yet grateful that this news doesn't tear through me like a lightening bolt of anguish. Because until recently it has. But not today. It still seems wrong that he is no longer among the living, that I can't pick up the phone and call him. It is a relief that the anger has fallen away. The anger toward the young woman who lost control of her vehicle because she was distracted by her phone or what she was eating and caused the accident. The anger toward the cruel randomness of the universe that placed him there on the highway at that fateful moment. When I came down the basement steps this afternoon I shouted aardvark! toward the canister holding his ashes. And smiled. I miss him. But I know it's much harder for Pam, she lost her much loved partner in life that day. In Cully's honor I do my best to live with integrity and honesty and kindness each day. Happy memories of him are much farther forward in my mind these days than the sadness because he is gone. So, Greg, if you are reading today, remember this. It gets easier. I promise it does. 

Monday, May 13, 2013


Today I listened to the Minnesota State Senate debate the bill that will allow gay marriage in the state. The Minnesota House had passed it last week and most Senators went in knowing how they would vote. Seemed more like a formality than anything since Governor Mark Dayton had already reserved the Capitol steps for tomorrow's signing ceremony. I am happy to say that Minnesota is now the 12th state where same sex marriage is recognized. I recognized something as well. I wouldn't be very good at being gracious and diplomatic with people who say incredibly stupid things. Particularly when they are rationalizing a personal belief that marginalizes, stigmatizes and penalizes other citizens for who they happen to love. So until a paid position for Governmental Xanthippe opens up I'll just stay right here.

For AndiBean

When I shooed you and Courtney out of the garage and into your car on Saturday, this is who I was thinking of. I have just decided I want to be Tracey Ullman when I grow up.

Sunday, May 12, 2013



It would seem that I lack the techno-savvy to load this damn video from the Homestar Runner website. So a link is going to have to do. Thank you, Reid, my wonderfully twisted son, for knowing I would get a big fat laugh from this today.

*Okay. Sure. Fine. Now that I've labored away for at least three minutes or so I discover the damn video is on YouTube.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Wear Cotton

Happy second wedding anniversary to my Darling DIL and Beamish Boy! I know, I know, you two celebrate on the anniversary of your first date. The more opportunities to celebrate, the better. That's what I always say. Cake for everyone! And balloons. Blue hair optional.

Mystery Injuries

I have three bruises, three!, on my right leg. I have no memory of how they may have gotten there. Also, yesterday I began bleeding spontaneously from the end of my middle finger on my left hand. I have no idea what the appearance of a stigmata in that location would symbolize. Then there's the nasty little scratch on my tummy which was likely inflicted by one of the feline members of this household. Probably in the course of using my flesh to gain traction. I'm blaming it all on the Sudafed haze.

Hello, I'm Still Here

Have I really been gone for almost four days? Really, I'm fine. Mostly fine. I am at day 2 and 3/5 of the nastiest three day cold I have ever experienced. Which means by evening I will be in fine form again. I have been in something of a Sudafed haze for most of that time. Bleah. Attended the best wedding ever last Saturday. More on that later. Also in the midst of preparations for the annual spring rummage sale with Karen to start Friday. Which accomplishes two good things. Clears out accumulated stuff whilst magically transmogrifying it into cash and forces me to clean up the garage. With the exception of Monday, it has been cool and drizzly all week. Which has turned out to be helpful. Dusty and dirty items for the rummage sale that were pulled from the dark recesses of the basement and garage have been out on the deck getting a good washing courtesy of Mom Nature. By tomorrow morning I'll just dry them off and affix price tags. Despite the cold outdoor temps I am stubbornly refusing to run the furnace. For the love of those New! Hershey's chocolate almond candies with the M&M-like shell, it's May 9th! By rights I should be slathering on the SPF 60 and enjoying a hammock nap in the afternoon! 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

So Long, Captain Hammer

I swear that the people with the biggest, most generous hearts in the entire world are the ones who adopt shelter animals. Particularly the animals who have grown beyond that adorable how can you possibly resist me puppy/kitten phase. Even more so when you throw special needs animals into the mix. It seems my son and his wife are these kind of people. Soon after moving to the Seattle area in August 2011 they brought home a full grown American Eskimo dog and named her Captain Hammer. Also known as circus dogs, they are a Spitz breed that originated in Germany. American Eskimos are known for their intelligence and affectionate nature and make excellent guard dogs. Michael and Liz were aware that Hammer had some issues when they chose to adopt her. She suffered from separation anxiety and had food allergies. Hammer was going to need a greater degree of love and tending than your average dog to build trust and to help her overcome her abandonment issues from multiple placements that had not worked out. I met Hammer via Google talk sessions. It was clear she was a happy pet and was flourishing under their care. Just this afternoon I learned that I won't have the pleasure of meeting Hammer. After discovering a lump in one of her armpits she was taken in for evaluation. The lump was cancerous and removed along with several other tumors. She was recovering from surgery when complications arose that were severe enough that Michael and Liz chose to have her euthanized rather than undergo multiple treatments that were unlikely to save her or even allow her to return home with them. I believe it takes tremendous courage to make this choice when a beloved pet is very ill. Choosing a lesser degree of suffering for your pet over your desire to keep them in your life isn't an easy one. Losing a companion animal that has become a member of the family is very sad indeed. So their apartment is quiet tonight. Taking care of Hammer's special needs determined in a large part the day's schedule. They are currently in the process of buying a home, and one of the first things Michael was excited about was a yard, a whole fenced-in yard! for Hammer to play in. There will most definitely be more pets in their future. Because a generous heart is likely to remain so. And once you love a dog it seems life isn't quite complete without one.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Fabulous Fragrant Me

I don't know how you feel right now, but my hair smells so good I want to make out with me. I don't even care that I haven't brushed my teeth yet. I love Saturday morning.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Over Martinis at The Old Market

Me, to Tami: No, really I'd appreciate your opinion. Liz was very complimentary but she's so nice about everything.

Tami, to me: So you're saying I'm bitchier than Liz? 

Liz, hearing her name: What?

Tami, to Liz: Carla thinks I'm bitchier than you!

Liz, to all: Carla thinks I'm a bit cheerier than you? Why?

We all laugh. Because Liz truly is a bit cheerier as well as a bit kinder than pretty much anyone I know. Like everything she hears is filtered through a rainbow. In the best way. We're all bitchier than her. But in a good way.

Look! Something Shiny!

I do love new nail polish colors. I love them even more when the local beauty supply store has salon quality polish on sale. Buy two, get one free. Which actually makes them more reasonably priced than drugstore brands. Yes, I have fully rationalized this purchase. In the hopes that painting my toes a zingy new color might hasten in more springlike weather, I used the bright metallic pink in the middle. It was only 37 degrees when I woke up this morning. Leaving me to think that the 4.65 square inches of toenail I possess was not quite enough surface area to accomplish the job. Pardon me while I hit the garden shed with some of this stuff. If it doesn't warm up soon I'll be looking for the broad side of a barn to paint.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May the Faeries be With You

Tis Beltane! Today we celebrate the ritual marriage of the Goddess and God. It's all about fertility from cattle to crops to humans. Call it May Day if you prefer. Well what did you think that big old May pole represented? If you're going to have a bonfire, light it in an appropriate place, please. And if you truly believe in faeries, at dusk look for them dancing under trees. A little mead facilitates this process. If you still don't see them, perhaps you're a faerie yourself! Dance! Really. No one is looking.