Thursday, March 31, 2016

Muddled Generations, Or, I'm My Own Grandma

This is bending my brain just a tiny bit. The man I was talking to on the phone this morning is my father's great-nephew. The great-nephew is a great-grandfather. Similarly, my younger son is the youngest grandchild on his father's side. He is essentially the same age, just a few months younger than, the first two great-grandchildren in that family tree. No fertility problems here. And certainly no snide jokes about the Southern branch of my family. Even though the first words out of my sixteen-year-old cousin's mouth upon meeting me was her asking fourteen-year-old me Y'all got a baby? I got one! Mama watches her while I'm workin' at McDonald's! I was dumbfounded and shook my head. It occurred to me at the time that I became a mother, at the ripe old age of nearly thirty-one, that my cousin might very well be on the brink of becoming a grandmother. Tradition dies hard.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Thank You Mrs. Fritz

I am exhausted. It has been an exciting few days with many miles on the road and entering the crazy world of buying a house in a highly competitive market. I'm also overflowing with an enormous sense of gratitude. It's not always about the money. My thanks to the family matriarch who owns the home that will soon be mine. I may never meet her but she has given me such a life-affirming boost! She participated in the negotiations that determined which of the six solid offers would be accepted via phone. My offer was not the most dollar-wise. But she liked how solid and responsible I looked on paper. And she liked me! Based on the short, personal letter I wrote that was included in the other documents she kept steering the conversation back to me. It took nearly five hours of deliberation before a decision was made. There are still a few puzzle pieces to nudge into place before the house is my home. And tomorrow when I have shaken off this road trip stupor the nudging shall begin! For sure by Thursday...

Thursday, March 24, 2016


Approximately a dozen feet to my right there is a radon detection device. Just sitting there silently judging me. I am warily keeping my distance. But I wonder what sort of things might affect its functionality thus skewing the test. I am not inclined to toss back a couple of shots of tequila and breathe over it. But what if the cat walks by with his cloud of feline biomass trailing along? What if my son eats a particularly garlicky dinner that renders him gaseous beyond the norm? What if I burp? What if cattle suddenly stampede through the family room? What if there is a gas leak in the neighborhood? Why does this bother me so much? Sometime tomorrow the home inspector will arrive to pick it up and determine the results. Let's all cross our fingers for a zero radon result, shall we?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Evil Saltines

Reid pointed out to me this afternoon that the saltine crackers in the packet that came with his soup have thirteen holes in them. Thirteen! Twenty-six if you count both crackers. I don't know if this is a sign of bad luck or an instance of thirteen as a number of feminine power. What I do know is, Reid chose to not sully his tomato basil soup with them. Consider what you might be turning loose next time you blithely open up those crackers and dunk them in your soup.

Monday, March 21, 2016

A Toast to Miss Naked Tinker!

Seven years ago in Denver there was this lovely Irish pub across the street from the hotel where Martine and I were staying. There was a beer I enjoyed and not simply due to its alluring name. Before we left town I wanted to get a pic of the tap because, as you can see, I felt a true kinship with Miss Naked Tinker. For some reason, probably a case of the stupids, I could not/did not/was not able to shut off the flash on my camera. Resulting in a truly annoying glare. I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit this because I'd had the camera for well over a year. Now, with my barely yet somewhat advanced photo editing skills, I have removed most of the glare rendering Miss Naked Tinker visible. As you can see, she is not naked. But does not seem as though she would object to being naked under the right circumstances. No wonder I like her.

Shopping Fun With Miss Pam, 2010 Edition

Still coordinating your bag with your shoes? From now on do what the most stylish of fashionistas do. The bag must work with the hat.

Pam bought these. They made me almost wish that I needed reading glasses.

I did get a try-on, though. The dangling price tag is an homage to Miss Minnie Pearl.

Art glass from the Taylor Kinzel Gallery. Swirly pink with metallic moons and stars. 

Shopping recovery time brought to you by Roux on Canton. I recommend the heirloom tomato salad and the shrimp & grits.

National Poetry Day

To honor this holiday in flagrant, self-aggrandizing fashion, I am sharing a poem I wrote in 2004. Enjoy, or not, it's entirely up to you. 

Fearless 101

Embrace your darkest fear,
Invite her in for tea.
Look into those hideous eyes,
So bleak, so cold, so near.
Don't leave him lurking on the horizon,
That future imagining so real.
Examine your nightmare in the light of day!
You'll find it's your shoulder that he cries on.
Don't soften to her tearful pleas!
Ignore the lies he speaks!
Nurture your inner warrior with love.

Confront the pain, it's confidence that frees.

If I'm going to be fearless, I might as well plunge into something. If you're still with me, join me for just a little more poetry. This one is from 2005.

Feathered Things Fly

How bitter it is
To consider
That I may never love again.
Fully half of my life
Still lies ahead,
Freed from limbo
With this step I begin.
I'll walk this path alone
I know,
For a time
While I heal and learn.
There is hope inside my heart this night,
Taught by pleasure and pain
I have grown.
If giving completely without reserve
Shall result
In rewards I could earn,
I would choose without hesitation,
That your love
To me
Will be returned.

Sunday, March 20, 2016


The laundry is done. The bookcases are out in the garage waiting for Emma to collect them. The appraisal and inspection have been scheduled for Tuesday, conveniently back to back. Just like last Sunday, one stinking error in the crossword that had I been thinking clearly would probably have gotten right. Yesterday I was Google-hanging-out with the elder son and DiL and later, with Tigh Down Under. It has snowed and the snow has melted. There has been cooking and cleaning up and more cooking with eating at appropriate times between the cooking and cleaning up. I have watched Becoming Jane and seen Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen suffer for her future art. I have listened to approximately twelve hours of public radio programming. I did not attempt to balance an egg on its end at the precise moment of the Vernal Equinox. I have switched over from my winter fragrance, Sensual Amber, to my spring and summer scent, White Tea & Ginger. I most definitely will check Newton's food dish before I go to bed in order to avoid a repeat of last night. Which was Newt stomping across me at 4:30 am in order to lodge a clear complaint over the fact that he was out of food*. And how could I possibly continue to sleep under such dire circumstances?!? I booted him out and closed the door. Where he fussed and meowed intermittently until I got up at 7:45. And fed him. Paint has been touched up and three more boxes have been packed. The garbage has been taken out and rolled to the curb. I feel so efficient and productive. 

*Just to clarify, his food dish wasn't empty. I mix his food half and half, the regular Purina that he likes and the Purina urinary tract health food that he's not so fond of. The little stinker can pick out what he prefers leaving that which he doesn't. Meaning that as far as he's concerned, the dish is empty. Sometimes I forget that my primary duty is to serve him. Meh.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Whenever You're Ready

I saw this bumper sticker on a car out in the Black Hills several years ago. I was delighted upon reading it and particularly enjoyed the alternate spelling of the word magic(k). In the last ten days or so I have truly felt the afoot-ness of the magick. It takes some time to prepare the space, be open to it, and invite it on in. Hello, Magick. Come on in and set a spell. You are welcome here. I've been waiting for you.

I Won't Need These Anytime Soon....

I really wanted to wear these boots yesterday. But I already packed them. In a box that's out in the garage. If ever there was a holiday tailor-made for green boots, it's got to be St Patrick's Day. As far as packing goes, I'm way too efficient for my own good. Next year.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

IDK Why. Just Because

Like the title says, I don't know why. This bears repeating. Just because.

A Celtic Woman Blessing

Top o' the Mornin'!

Irish soda bread has got to be the homeliest baked good known to man. It's like being too lazy to make individual biscuits so you make one big honking one instead and slice it into portions.

Homely, yes, but it smells heavenly while baking. And it is, indeed, a little slice of heaven with butter and jam. I love being Irish for a day.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Letting Go

I had this poster hanging on the wall of my bedroom when I was twelve or so. The words, the backlit outline of the embracing couple, the blurry stretch of lights in the background. I find myself wondering what the sentiment expressed meant to a preteen me. At that point in my life I had already let go of so much so many times. Forced to move on from the familiar to the unknown one more time. To learn once again a new route to school, the names of friends, where it was safe to ride my bike. I let go of the poster sometime between moves. I expect it became tattered around the edges from being tacked up and pulled down so many times. Today I'm taking to heart these words that echo back from a lifetime ago. As I pack up another box of items to stow in the garage I contemplate the concept of yours and mine and how we can own things but never another person. I'm consciously letting go of someone who has become dearer to me than I ever could have imagined. He has returned to me once. And I'm hoping he comes back as many times as it takes for him to be mine. These things take time.

Blasphemous Nicknames

This church is situated  at the north end of Main Avenue, where it forms a T intersection with 8th Street. I cannot say what the original intentions of the planning committee were when they chose to decorate the facade with this figure. All I know is, locals have bestowed upon it numerous nicknames. Jesus Directing Traffic. Jesus Filet. Touchdown Jesus. I thought I had heard them all until last week when Reid piped up with Pisces Christ. Pisces Christ! Say it out loud. You know you want to. It feels like a blasphemous epithet. I mean no disrespect. But when you place a three story tall artistic representation of a religious icon in a highly trafficked, highly conspicuous location, people will talk. When you do something to deliberately attract attention, said attention won't necessarily be what you would prefer. Church members and policy makers appear to have a sense of humor, though. Type into your web browser and see where it takes you.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Monday, March 14, 2016

Friday, March 11, 2016

Poem #2 About This Week


The new moon
From two nights ago
Is now the thinnest of slivers
Cupping the bottom edge of the dark orb
In the Western night sky
It hangs seemingly above the highway
Even as I navigate the curves and twists
Each minute takes me one more mile
Further away from you
I follow the new moon home
And wonder
How many times she will wax and wane
In her eternal cycle above us
Until we are together once more
Perhaps we have our own cycle
Of visibility and obscurity
That brings us together
Then pulls us apart
Balanced in a dance of tides
Pushing me, pulling you
Becoming predictable and reliable
Through observation of repetition
I'll consult the calendar and smile
Knowing that you will soon be at my door

Poem #1 About This Week

The Food Venn of You and Me

On your side would be fried okra
IPA's and iced espresso
Inhabiting my circle would be
Strawberries and lemon
And medium roast drip-brew
I think the crossover space
Would take up the most room, though
Filled like it is with tequila and shrimp,
Coconut and bacon
Guacamole with blue corn chips
Oatmeal, peanut butter, blue cheese
And spicy jerk chicken wings
More than enough in common
To share a midnight snack
From the same plate
But enough different
To never be bored
Enough tolerant to savor a kiss
From lips that allow passage
Of seemingly intolerable things

How to Wake Up in Stillwater, Minnesota

Afresh. Blissful. Content. Dewy. Entwined. Falling. Grateful. Heady. Idyllically. Jubilant. Kindred. Late. Mended. Nestled. Osculating. Passionate. Quixotic. Rested. Satisfied. Turgid. Unclothed. Verisimilar. Whispering. Xenodochial. Yawning. Zealous.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Beautiful Morning

Monday, March 7th, 2016 is the new record! I don't remember what the old date was, so this may be a newly established thing. What, you might be thinking, could this new record possibly be for? This morning it was warmer outside than it was in the house! Only by a couple of degrees, mind you, but the patio door begged to be opened to let in the fresh morning air. I don't remember ever doing this in March, so it must be a new record. At any rate, the first open-the-patio-door-because-it's-a-beautiful-morning morning of 2016 was today. Not quite warm enough for drinking coffee outside on the deck, but that's an entirely different occasion to mark. Last Monday it was snowing so hard they were recommending no travel. Repeat after me, climate is sanity, weather is nutso.

Dropping the Gauntlet

Thank you, CollegeHumor.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Buy Me!

We, meaning the house, are for sale again. Met with realtor Sarah last week and did the paperwork to make it all official-like and everything. I love Kristi so much for coming over earlier this week and taking a carload of crafty supplies and toys off my hands. One trip to Goodwill of various items with another taking shape in the back of the Outback as we speak. The bathrooms are glorious with nary a water spot to be found. The ovens have run their cleaning cycles and I swear you could eat out of them, not merely the food that emerges from them. Over a dozen boxes have been packed and are stowed neatly out in the garage. If only I could locate that spare house key to hide in the realtor's lock box. It's getting down to the bare minimum of stuff to move. Only ten or so items to list and sell. This is feeling possible. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


March has arriven in its lion mode. Because there is snow to shovel. And because Newton stuck his cold, purring nose into my ear at about 3:30 this morning and woke me up. Probably his food dish was empty. Can I have February back?