Sunday, June 30, 2013

By the Shore of Lake Thompson

Aurora Borealis

That's all it is
The pragmatist would say
Between gaseous particles
In the upper atmosphere
With charged particles
From the sun
So spare and logical
This description
Preferring to watch
This hypnotic nebulous light show
A more mercurial elucidation
Seems fitting
I gather my shawl
Closer about my shoulders
Against the cool lake breeze
Gazing northward
The goddess Aurora
Paints the night sky canvas
With icy swans
A heavenly dance
To a silent song
Of the spirits of loved ones
Long since gone

Friday, June 28, 2013

My Brilliant Son

My son Reid cracks me up. This is the sort of thing he does when he's on a break at work. Blank paper has never been safe around him.

Calling Dr. Kanobi

This is pretty much how I felt visiting with my ortho doc yesterday morning.


I stopped to visit Karen yesterday afternoon. We hadn't seen each other for several days so thought I'd check in. She sent me home with a bag full of butterhead lettuce, baby beets, cilantro and two kinds of basil. Oh, and a whole bucket of strawberries. I love summer. And my friends who garden. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

That Proverbial Bull

I'm more than a little apprehensive about my ortho doctor visit tomorrow. I'm in the middle of gathering documents and practicing my questions for him and my little speech. If he continues to stall on writing the letter in support of my work comp case until the deadline passes, I'm pretty much screwed. My case has no legs. He agreed to do this last October and despite numerous phone calls, emails and letters, from me as well as my lawyer, he has yet to follow through. Being a stubborn, pro-active sort of girl I have run out of patience. This is my life, my health, and my opportunity to start over hanging in the balance. So without my lawyer's knowledge I acted on my own and made an appointment to see the ortho doctor one more time. He treated me for nearly a year and is the doc most familiar with my case. He also seemed genuinely interested in finding a correct diagnosis and developing treatment plan based on it. Between him and my nurse case manager, they got testing approved and scheduled and numerous maladies were ruled out. He did surgery on my right wrist to free up the tendons that operate the thumb. I trusted him. But for two years I have been left dangling in this purgatory where insurance paper pushers, my former employer, and doctors who made some serious bucks after glancing over my gargantuan medical files and performing a brief examination get to make decisions affecting my life with no regard or interest in whether I can or will ever get well after my workplace accident. So hello, Mr. Bull. Yes, those are your horns clenched in my pitiful grasp, but it's the best I can manage. Let's get down to business, shall we? Because if there is no one who will advocate for me, it falls to me to advocate for myself. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Lingering in LesboLand

Holy cow, last night I had this freaky dream. I know, I know, I often have freaky dreams. This should no longer surprise me. But this was truly freaky. Just one bit of information will be helpful. I have just finished watching the Showtime series The L Word. Which, once I became accustomed to women tearing one another's clothing off and writhing about naked, I really enjoyed. Just another nighttime soapy drama, but populated with interesting story lines and boasting a number of excellent actresses. They also swear a lot which makes me feel right at home. So. In my dream I'm perusing Facebook and am being bombarded by friend requests. From the characters on The L Word. They want to be friends with me so I accept their offers. And each time I click on accept, the screen morphs more and more into Alice's chart and looks less and less like Facebook. And my name is on the chart! Now I feel the need to confess. I'm not attracted to women. But I enjoyed, if only until I awakened, feeling as if I had been accepted into this fold of horny, booze-swilling, well-dressed, potty-mouthed, overly caffeinated lesbians. It was fun while it lasted.

When I Was Ten

There we are, squinting at the sun and smiling for the camera. Quite amazingly, I remember about half the first names of my fifth grade classmates and actually remember the last names of maybe ten of them. Not bad for having lived in Las Vegas only thirteen months. Where am I, you ask? Third row, third from the left. If you are in this photo please leave a comment. I have missed all of you so much. At least the ones whose names I can remember. Some days I feel fortunate when I remember my own name. 

Calling a Truce

Mostly I find myself able to let go of things that really aren't important. I'm not a worry wart. I don't keep score in personal relationships nor am I competitive. But once in a while something nags at me until I sort it out. A good example of understanding following acceptance. For the last two weeks, I've been like an annoyed dog worrying away at a bone and just this morning I chomped my way through and figured out why. Duh. Without going into details, this situation turned out to be a clear demonstration of when a person reacts in a particular way to something pretty innocuous, it reveals much more about them than they likely intend. This being the second occurrence of conflict in a month's time with the same friend, I did what I often do. Beat up on myself for being me. Until the light bulb in the thought bubble appears. To my relief and gratitude. In both instances I apologized to her if my manner of expressing myself offended her in any way. Her response in the first disagreement was to attempt to find for me another way to feel when I didn't require one. The second time she became defensive and insisted that my choice of a particular word to describe how I felt was wrong. Though the subject matter of these two conflicts was very different, it finally occurred to me what the common thread within was. She was telling me how I should feel about something. When I was perfectly fine with how I felt. It wasn't a problem in search of a solution. It was simply how I felt. The fact that she has twice felt compelled to correct what she interprets as my wrongthink is a mystery to me. It also makes me feel a little uncomfortable in her company, which up until recently I have enjoyed. I anticipate getting back to friendly comradery with her even though I feel a bit on guard. Because I haven't a clue if or what or when something I say in passing might set her off. But let's be clear. I would never presume to tell anyone how they ought to feel about anything. And my expectation, especially among friends, is to have that privilege extended to me.

Monday, June 24, 2013


Saturday night. The rain-delayed Solstice fire. The occasion on which us pagan folk burn the dried evergreens that decorated the house at the the winter Solstice. Celebrating how the fire warms us just as the sun does. And consider what has come to pass in that time. What we are grateful for. What we would like to accomplish. Reid played his banjo and sang of pirates. Watching a fire. Better than most of the stuff on tv. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Top 10 Reasons I Know It's Finally Summer

1. Let's start with the obvious, today is June 21st, the Solstice.

2. We had a temperature range of 27 degrees today.

3. The enormous temperature differential was caused primarily by a thunderstorm moving through. 

4. I saw a mosquito on the screen door.

5. The storm contained not merely rain, but hail!

6. Referring to item 5, it's too damn late to move the car into the garage if you are already hearing the hail stones hitting the roof. 

7. Sam Adams Summer Ale is widely available.

8. I feel guilty for not biking every day.

9. The neighbors are running their AC 24/7 without regard to the outdoor temperature. For instance, it is now a cool, non-muggy 62 degrees outside. And their AC is running. Really.

10. It was too hot to cook today. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

How Time Does Fly

A mere quarter of a century ago today, I became a mother. I apologize for posing you in my high-top sneakers, but thanks for cooperating and smiling. You were such a beautiful baby and have grown up into a generous, funny, brainy, handsome, kind and wonderful young man. I like to think that I had just a little bit to do with that. Let's all have some cake. Gluten free for you! Happy birthday to you, my dearest firstborn.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The REP's of Asimov

I have now read this book for the second time. A couple of months ago I had these three words running through my brain. Rational, emotional, parental. Over and over again. So I did what any rational person might do. I googled it. And came up with this scifi novel from over forty years ago. I thought, I have this book! A quick check of the shelf of paperbacks downstairs confirmed my suspicion. I don't remember precisely when I read it the first time, probably in my twenties. I do remember enjoying it, but this time around so many themes and ideas seemed so much more relevant. Parallel universes, unlimited energy without pollution, failed genetic engineering. One thing I found particularly amusing. The idea that a 48 year old person is practically geriatric. Yet he still captures the heart of a much younger woman. Oh, and how academic types vie for favors and must publish or perish. Yup. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fallen for High Fidelity

Okay, so it's not his birthday until the 28th, but I prefer a more extended celebration. Of course we are talking about John Cusack. I adore him from afar even though there is not a restraining order in effect. So far as I know. High Fidelity is probably my favorite among his films though Grosse Point Blank and Serendipity and Must Love Dogs and America's Sweethearts would round out my top five. I love the soundtrack from High Fidelity as well, and I heard this song on my bike ride this morning. Written and performed by Sheila Nicholls, I forget how much I love Fallen for You until I hear it again. So each time I do hear it, somehow it feels like the first time.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Mario Enumerated

My son is brilliant. He also possesses more knowledge of video games, their characters, music and incarnations than truly is necessary. When this knowledge is combined with innate brilliance, something like this is what happens. A chart. A quite amazing chart. With Mario at ground zero. For your amusement and perusal, I offer up the Six Degrees of Mario. Using the basic principle of the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, simply substitute actors with video game characters. Yes, sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference between the two. I know, it's really too small to read properly here. Go here to see the chart full size. It is now my mission in life to have a video game character based on me so I can be on this chart. It's good to have goals.

Friday Night, Part III

There are those who call you Tim, you say. Well. Tim. Adorable as you are, I only believed approximately fifty percent of what you said. That said, it doesn't matter to me one little bit because you were so much fun. I'm not certain where you stashed it but I did notice that you surreptitiously slipped off your wedding ring at some point between sitting down next to Andrea and chatting her up. That doesn't really matter either. Even if you do have an understanding with your significant other of four years. Anything that happened, as far as I'm concerned, could be filed under appropriate social bantering behavior between adults consuming a drink or two. The Cosmopolitans were lovely. And, if possible, the Persephone was even lovelier! If you ask me, the only thing better than a charming, attractive man who shows up and insists on buying me a drink is a charming, attractive man who insists on buying drinks and then proceeds to give me a hand and shoulder massage that reduces me to a helpless puddle of mush. Please! Tim! Come back! A man with magical hands is always welcome.

Friday Night, Part II

May I introduce the Hegg Brothers, Jeremy and Jon. Providing entertainment whilst Andrea and I enjoyed food and drink. The lovely Moya is lounging under the tree at left waiting for her solo. 

Mom Nature was trying really hard to stir up a tempest and gather some menacing clouds to rain on us. She mostly failed. I felt six or seven drops, but Andrea claims I was hallucinating precipitation. There's a very clever portmanteau waiting to be discovered between those two words. 

Another sky view. I'm pretty sure that Andrea took a dorky pic of me while I was leaning back and aiming up into the air to capture this. I also did not fall out of my chair. Not falling out of one's chair in a public place while operating your camera is always good. I recommend it.

Friday Night, Part I

Andrea and me. Girls night out last Friday. She drank evil beer. I just had some regular, not especially evil beer. There were also delicious cheeses and hummus and olives and bread. And later there were Cosmopolitans and Persephones. Then there was staying up til three in the morning and meeting Isis and Cyric. Yes, we had a lovely time. Thanks for asking.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Play List!

Whew. First bike ride of the season accomplished! Postponed by weather and work around the house I still managed to do the near-twelve mile ride! I was inspired to press on by the tunes in my head, courtesy of my iPod. If you caught me wailing along, which song was it?

Private Conversation -- Lyle Lovett
Blue for no Reason -- Bonnie Raitt
Crowing -- Toad the Wet Sprocket
How Sweet It Is -- James Taylor
Wake Me When the Sun Goes Down -- Red Willow Band
All the Love in The World -- Beth Nielsen Chapman
She Will Be Loved -- Maroon 5
Hypnotized -- Hank Harris
Inside -- Toad the Wet Sprocket
Keeper for Every Flame -- Mary Chapin Carpenter
Beyond the Blue -- Beth Nielsen Chapman
Cry Wolf -- Hank Harris
Ice Cream -- Sarah McLachlan
Watershed -- Indigo Girls

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Outdoor Adventures

I'd apologize for bombarding y'all with poetry this week, but hey, you showed up anyway. The following are poems that I wrote in 2004 and 2006. The first one I was reminded of when I took my first walk of the season through McCrory Gardens last Friday with Liz and Tami. The second I was reminded of while mowing the lawn this morning. Mother Nature as an inspiration for writing. I wish I could claim being the first to have come up with it. But seriously, even I am not quite that old.

Wish You Were Here

This broad expanse
Of barefoot grass
I walk at dusk alone.
Pausing inside our sacred space,
I feel a sensual, spiritual trace
We left behind, before.
My sandals in hand,
Soft footfalls land
In silence resilient and calm.
Tactile memories
Reside upon the breeze,
Our love an offering,
Given, seized.
The meadow goddess smiles, appeased.
Our pleasure is hers,
The grass, the trees.

The Resiliency of The Grass

Three pulls
And the engine leaps to life
Isolated by the noise
And the softness of the turf
I am walled off from the world
Save for the breeze
And the bright green smell
The grass is resilient, patient, alive
She tolerates the sun and weather
Springs back from our footfalls
Creeps stealthily into the garden space
Survives this whirring blade of steel
That keeps her height in check
By midsummer I'll grow weary of this task
Yet remain grateful
That she shrugs off the winter
With such ease and confidence

Monday, June 10, 2013

Monday Poetry Corner

Deleterious Disease

You suffer from
Pronoun confusion
Deliberate substitution
Of I for we
Indicating for all within earshot
That you speak
Only for and of yourself
So ingrained
Is this grammatical
A most brazen symptom
Of compartmentalization
Denial of the we
When it's very clear to see
This mental shifting of the gears
Allows for keeping options open
Let's a part of you run free
From oppressive obligation
My differential diagnosis
Presupposes that you know this
Your preference nakedly exposes
A terminal tendency toward 
Smorgasbord selection
Your own handpicked definition
For what single proves out to be

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Beer Glasses

It is imperative at a certain point in life for many people, when their arms are no longer a great enough length to achieve visual clarity for the reading material in their hands, particularly in low light situations, that they always be prepared with their reading glasses. Pulling three pairs from her quite small purse, Liz was fully prepared to peruse the beer menu. And all I have to say is, Fred Sanford, eat your heart out.

Just Wondering

How did a spider this freaking big get into the dishwasher when it was freaking latched shut and had freaking just gone through the wash cycle???

Now that I have had a moment to calm down and contemplate, I think it is likely that the big freaking spider was lurking under the edge of the countertop, and when I opened the dishwasher door he dropped down onto it. I'm standing by armed with the vacuum cleaner on. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Bye-bye To Last Year!

That's my baby sis. In the front yard of the house on Victor Street in Aurora, Colorado. She's waving, probably to Grandma Esther, as Grandpa Knut carries her toward the car. The back of the photo is dated July 19, 1965, our brother Scott's birthday. Today is her birthday. And I wish her the merriest of celebrations and all the very, very best that life has to offer in the year ahead. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Case of the Pineapple Shirt

Behold the pineapple shirt. Bow before it! Feel its power! But be more impressed by how it came into my possession. Last Saturday night Tami and Holly and I were out having an adult beverage at the Old Market. There was a man at the bar wearing the pineapple shirt, which is something of an odd combination of the classic Hawaiian print shirt and a polo shirt. The colorfully printed rayon fabric makes it classic, the button placket and knit collar make it a close relative of the polo/golf shirt. The patrons in the bar were pretty evenly split as to how we regarded this shirt. Meanwhile, we made acquaintance with Lisa. And discovered her super hero special ability. As the man in the pineapple shirt was leaving, Lisa commanded him to remove the shirt and give it to her. Clearly, Lisa was with me in liking the shirt. He turned around, pulled off the shirt, swung it around in the air a couple of times and tossed it to her. She put it on. We agreed that it smelled pleasant. All the women present were in agreement on one other thing. This guy looked great without his shirt. Just buff enough without looking as though he lived to work out. Later on Lisa gave me the shirt. I protested, said that she had earned it and it should remain in her possession. She insisted that I take it, but I feel as though I'm more of a custodian than owner and I will pass it on at some point. This may become some sort of sisterhood of the traveling shirt. Maybe it harbors magical powers. If it does, all I have to say is, I hope they were laundry-proof. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Poem of FAITH*


Alone but not lonely
Cliche indeed
Though so accurately
It describes me
You seem
Not merely tired
But weary
The unanswered lies within you
Not quite identified
I listen anyway
And smile
While you reveal
The tiniest bits of yourself
Studying your profile
In the firelight
Perceiving at last
Though not alone
You are ever, ever so lonely

*Friendship According to Impertinent Harry. I have recently come to realize that doubt is an important component of any sort of faith. Doubt brings questions, that when answered, illuminate faith. And that enlightenment, boys and girls, can only be good.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

KittyCat Birthday

All tuckered out from romping and misbehaving I would guess. Newton and Einstein are seven years old today. They had tuna. Talk amongst yourselves. I'm all verklempt.

La Fiesta Ciento Quince

Today is the birthday of the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca. At the ripe old age of thirty he published his book of poems The Gypsy Ballads and as a result became Spain's most popular living poet. He famously said: To burn with desire and keep quiet about it is the greatest punishment we can bring on ourselves. My personal thanks to Senor Lorca. I just knew there was a good reason for not containing myself. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A+ For Me!

Yes, indeedy, there are still firsts to be experienced! Today I gave blood for the very first time. It was easy and practically painless. And they gave me a Coke afterwards. The only unpleasant thing was that my blood pressure was alarmingly high! Likely due to anxiety, I expect. The white coat nerves. Despite the fact that the fellow was dressed in blue scrubs. He asked me lots of seriously personal questions. My answers indicated that I lead a very dull and ordinary life. So. Give blood. It's a good thing to do. And I would have taken them up on the tshirt if it had been cuter. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Midwest Merry Pranksters

I once was a ringleader of a group of women. This was the banner I created for display anytime at least two of us were present. Was meaning that the banner is no more. It perished in the incident involving the Forester and the south wall of the garage. I understand that a somewhat fragmented and not nearly as fabulous gang of women still operates under the Wild Women name. But be warned. Since I am no longer involved, I cannot endorse whatever sort of entertainment they might be offering. All I know is, when the Wild Women banner flew at any gathering, all sorts of fun was afoot. From 1999-2004 we had a pretty good run.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sunkist Beer

Who was the clever one in the kitchen that sliced this lemon just so? Whoever it was, I love them. 

Ahhhhh, Spring

So many blooms on the lilac bushes this year! I've never seen them laden with this many blossoms.

My sort of boring but reliable pots of geraniums in shades of pink plus my fave gerbera daisies. 

Vladimir contemplating the why and wherefore of it all. A little reminiscent of Ferdinand sitting just quietly among the flowers.

A fresh coat of bright pink paint on my flamingo planter. It was easier than attempting to feed him shrimp. Also cheaper.

This is the side my neighbors are fortunate enough to view. Mmmmmmm. Breathe. Just breathe.

I'm hoping for just one more open windows weather night while these lovelies last. Certainly I will take more if they are offered. It's a little bit of heaven on Earth to revel in their intoxicating fragrance all night long.

This showy deck pot is full of plants that moi, Miss Brownthumbs, actually kept alive over the winter in the south facing basement window. The ferns survived not just one but two winters of my sketchy care. Be impressed. Be very impressed. Maybe more with the ferns than with me.