Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Sunday Morning Muse, December 29th, 2013

The last Sunday of the year, cloudy and 40 degrees this morning. Strange. And there was the sunshine and 50 degrees of yesterday.  Grateful for the chance to air out a blanket, walk the property, and just sit outside on the porch awhile and wish it was spring.

Christmas is over. There is plenty of leftover ham, cookies and dreams.

 And I hope I never have to hear Michael Bolton on that car commercial ever again. Ugh.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Sunday Morning Muse, December 22, 2014

A foggy, rainy and damp Winter Solstice with unusually warm temperatures. But a lovely evening nonetheless with a roaring fire outside to welcome the coming of the light. The snowmelt that came with the warm temperatures brought back some of the green of the landscape. You could almost pretend it was an April evening, strolling around in mud boots and raincoats. Last week's snow shoveling, but a dream.

Now Christmas is closing in, and I feel good. Ready for the new year to follow. 2013 was a bad year. Probably in my top three. Just as the sage chases away the bad spirits, I hope the spell will linger to help scatter any gathering clouds coming my way. Open things up for new possibilities, perhaps.  Fight any lingering darkness. And shield friends and family, too, from further accidents and illness.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Sunday Morning Muse, December 15, 2013

It's slow moving kind of morning.  Sore from snow shoveling. We got about four inches of "heart attack" snow. That's the heavy kind of snow that is perfect for hurling snow balls, but torture for clearing driveways. Even the big snow blower protested a bit. Oh well.

Started Christmas shopping yesterday.  It's fun to watch the faces of people as they shop. I can imagine the little conversations going on in their heads. Few people actually are smiling.  Except the kids. I saw a little wee one going down the aisle telling her dad,  "I want THIS for Christmas. And THIS, and THIS and
THIS...etc." So sweet and innocent. At the age where an IPAD or XBOX is irrelevant to her. Or at least should be.

The war on Christmas continues to live on in the loons that run the Fox News echo chamber. I did have to laugh at Jon Stewart's take on Megyn Kelly  emphatically telling everyone... in her well practiced indignant manner, that Santa Claus and Jesus are WHITE.  Get that? And Festivus? Well, you have to watch the clip to see the fake outrage she managed to whip in to a frenzy over a beer can pole.

Last time I checked Santa wasn't even real, and Jesus...well,  let's just say that clueless irresponsible fembot had to "walkback" those words yesterday a bit.  Duh. To me she is the human embodiment of nails on a chalkboard. I leave the room if she is on.  Every Time.

Media Matters is even getting tired of watching Fox "so you won't have to," in order to debunk all that
partisan garbage passed off as news over there. It was like shooting fish in a barrel. The war is over. Fair and Balanced? Never was, never will be. Keep walking, and look away. Move on to other things.


I just love Grumpy Cat.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Sunday Morning Muse, December 8, 2013

A bitter cold morning.  Goosepath delayed due to Candy Crush Saga.

My Kindle Fire arrived and I have been loading it up with stuff. Bought it for books, and haven't loaded a single one. Too distracted by games and apps and figuring out what all I can do with it. TED Talks and NPR and Facebook and the list goes on. I can Twitter my soap opera very efficiently now. Reading the tweets someone posts let's me know what happened in a whole show. All in about 5 minutes. That's great if I miss an episode.

I find myself concerned that a whole generation of kids are so lost in their various hand held devices. I heard one parent complain that her kid wants an IPOD, a Kindle, a TV and even a 200 "gift card," for Amazon for Christmas, and even asked if you can ask Santa for CASH.   This is a child under 10 years old. The kicker is that the grandmother had already bought the kid an IPAD last year!

No doubt all the sparkly things and constant action and movies and games is a delight to kids. But is it for the best to be hooked into them with such constant stimulus?  Not that I want to go back to Walton's Mountain, but certainly, something of value has already been lost. Some kids have SOOOO much. And I truly believe they need to learn the spirit of giving more than receiving at this time of year. Lost among all the distraction is the truly needy.

Also, I watched a TED talk about group work and how the teaching model is changing. Not for the better. There just isn't much alone time. Working in groups, team projects, etc. does teach things in and of itself. But introverts, especially, thrive on having alone time.  Deeper thoughts. Pondering. Just letting the brain digest and take in new information and process it without constant interruption and distraction.

And while I'm at it, my pet peeve right now is people who ignore you completely when you walk into a room and just continue to text, surf, flick pages, and stare into their phones.  It's as if a real person standing in front of you doesn't have to be acknowledged, but heaven forbid you miss a text.

Anyway, that's my rant this morning.  I'm limiting my Kindle use.  And my phone is still just a phone. And some of these kids weren't even born yet when my Windows XP was invented. They will probably never know what it is.  But it still works for me.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Happy Birthday Bette!

The Sunday Morning Muse, December 1, 2013

Gosh it's dark. Cats are still in bed. It's only December 1st, but it feels like it has been Christmas for month. Maybe it has been in some capitalist way.  I'm already sick of the Christmas clock that plays music at the top of every hour. Seemed like a nice thing to put up at the time. A week ago.

Nice to see Eric Martsolf of Days of our Lives in the Macy's parade in the 'Burg. I saw the pictures of him. Handsome as hell. Nice smile.  Wish they would make his character smarter on the show.

The Soap is one of my Guilty Pleasures. Got hooked on it three years ago when mom was in the hospital. Marsolf plays Brady Black who was to marry his dad's old flame who happens to be a loon who once tried to kill Marlena, who is his dad's wife (for now). The wedding was spoiled (during Sweeps week) when Marlena inadvertently played a video tape during the ceremony that showed the priest (Marlena's son) having sex with the bride to be.. The loon had drugged him and taped the act as part of a vengeful plot (too involved to get into here) but regretted it when she really did later fall in love with Brady.  Oh did I mention the priest is Brady's half brother?

Today I'm feeling rather grumpy and irrelevant. Being stuck in the house most of these past five days has made me realize how far behind I am getting with technology. Am I the only person without wifi in their home, an Xbox, a really cool smartphone, a tablet, and the biggest, most pixilated TV on the planet? Maybe I have a distorted view of reality from watching too many commercials. Okay, I'm not exactly in the horse and buggy stage, but I'm close.  I have a 3 year old IPOD,  a free Verizon phone, Windows XP computer, and a reasonable size TV but not in HD.  If someone wanted to invest a little money in upgrades I could catch up eventually. Anyone have me on their Christmas list?  I've been awfully good this year.

For those who care, the Eustachian Tube Dysfunction thing has continued to be the bane of my existence. I can't hear right and it is driving me insane. After Antibiotics,  benedryl, Claritin, cough syrup, generic crap, gum, and plain Sudafed didn't help, I'm plodding forward with a new steroid nose spray and Mucinex D, which also has Sudafed in it.  Had to show my driver's license to buy it because there are regs about Sudafed sales and anything with Sudafed in it because of idiot drug heads who use it to manufacture drugs. Let me say I could never understand why anyone would want to take this stuff for fun.  It makes your heart flutter. Not in a good way, like when I look at Eric Martsolf.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Sunday Morning Muse, November 24, 2013

Cold. Temps in the teens over night. Birdbath water frozen. Fed the bluejays their peanuts and they were a pretty site swooping down to the stump this morning. Squirrel waiting his turn. A light snow on the ground, not enough to cause problems. Winter is here.

I can't listen to the local radio stations anymore. All controlled by the  Republican attack machine, with Fox news parroting the latest echo chamber propaganda at the top of every hour.  I see the latest Anti Obama talking points have been released.You will hear them again and again.  Predictable.  These people are definitely part of the problem, because they certainly aren't helping with a solution. 40 million people without health care. The Republicans don't give a damn.  Far better to find fault, sabotage, and position themselves
for 2016.

So, I've taken to listening to VOCM AM 590 out of Newfoundland. The internet is a great thing. The voice of the Common Man.  It's a big shift from the choices here. Reminds me a bit of radio in the told days, with a lot of local news coverage, local people on the air, local concerns, local fund raisers. Interesting characters. Moose accidents. Less trumped up outrage. People actually talking to each other.

Thanksgiving has been crowded out by the onslaught of the gift giving shopping frenzy season. Not for me, though. I intend to keep T-day as it should be.  Food, Family and Football.  I'd be content to skip the whole gift thing altogether and keep the holidays a simple celebration of the season with friends, and make a few visits to see family and spend time.  Maybe I have my own war on Christmas.  This fake Christmas that has nothing to do with love, peace, tolerance, hope, and more to do with getting a good deal on a TV and
getting far into debt to try to give kids things they don't really need, when so many people are lacking basic things.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Sunday Morning Muse, November 17, 2013

Darkness, rain and 54 degrees. Cats are squaring off already this morning. I'm trying to ignore them. It's been a week. Sambo has psychogenic alopecia. Pulling out her fur. I can relate. I feel the same way sometimes, Kitty.  But it is more than that in that she has caused some kind of festering wound on her belly.
Sweet Pea went through the hair pulling out thing awhile back and it got pretty bad.  Vet recommended Prozac, but I'm not going to do that. Me, or the cat. Two shots later and flea meds, $134.

We both need to de-stress.

So I'm going to build a room of my own downstairs. Decided on DriCore for the subfloor and cleared out the space. The Bro-in-law will help.  Not a "Woman Cave" or any dreadful word like that. This is not a space for huge TVs and overstuffed furniture and entertaining and noise. Rather,  I imagine a clutter free zone with space for yoga, a few chairs, a small table, some shelving, who knows what else right now, but I want a defined space. A place to retreat, maybe take Sambo with me. Build a cat climbing thing for her.

The rain is steady now. Reading three books at once, and I can guarantee no one in the world is reading the same ones at the same time. I'm re-reading The Shipping News by Annie Proulx, because I love her writing style so much that I want to write like her. A Pulitzer prize winner. Wonderful characters.  I ordered the Billy Bob Tapes by Billy Bob Thornton and Kinky Friedman on an impulse.  Thought it would be entertaining. Maybe a laugh or two. So far...well. Jury's still out. Then there's Monkey Mind... A Memoir of Anxiety by Daniel Smith. Recommended by a friend who saw him speak. Rambles a bit, but spot on at times. Especially if you have ever suffered an anxiety attack. Three quarters a way through he lost my interest. I just got tired of him.

Genvalia Coffee smells coming from the kitchen. Gotta go for now.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Be My Lover

So...this song was rolling around in my head all day yesterday. Maybe It will roll around yours today.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Sunday Morning Muse, November 10, 2013

"Look at me and take my breath away..." Listening to Autumn Song this morning and waiting for the sun. A good late night or very early morning song. Huge cloud covering in the southeast. Just a small opening in the spotty sky.. Cat wants to play, and has tons more energy than me today.

The back is no worse for wear after leave raking yesterday, which is good. I got to wear Aunt Sylvia's animal print head wrap. It kept my clogged ears warm. Three weeks now hard of hearing. Eustacian Tube Dysfunction. It's a diagnosis. It's a thing. So I feel better about it. Not Sudden Deafness for no reason. (Not that I didn't brush up on my sign language letters I learned in elementary school. I think I know about 20 of them. Then I realized I could probably still talk if I went deaf. Catastrophic Thinking. That is my downfall sometimes.)

I first noticed it while driving  to work one morning.  I got tired of AM radio people bloviating about sports and put some music on the CD player. And it still sounded like AM radio. Hmmm. Speakers going bad? Press again, put up louder, different song. Same thing. Popped ears....chewed gum, freaked out a few times. Saw doc. Antibiotics, decongestants. A little better on one side. That's the whole story for now. Still freaking a little since it's taking so long to clear, but that's just normal for me.

Autumn Song

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Saturday Evening Muse

Time to sit and drink some hot tea and focus on the week that's been. I haven't done a Stream of Consciousness in awhile, and perhaps now is as good of time as ever.

On the homefront, the crockpot war is over. I call it a draw, only because I drew the line at throwing the thing out altogether, and...I did eat what I cooked, so I know it was at least edible. Crockpots are a lot like life. You can throw everything you can at it and hope for the best, methinks. The end result may not be pretty to some, but in the end, all that matters is that you were OK with it. I really hate cooking for other people. I get no pleasure from it and never have aspired to it. This said, I'm so very grateful to people who are good cooks and take pity on the rest of us. I ate some really good pumpkin cookies today from my Aunt.  Thanks.

Roy G. Biv. (Red orange yellow green blue indigo and violet.)

On the political's fun to have political discussions that put everything in such good perspective, that you know EXACTLY where you are in the scale of things. It's also a good way of honing your verbal skills while defending in honest terms what you believe. The blues and reds are so much more than simple, cookie cutter ideologies. I know a blue who is bluer than me. And that says something. But there are many blue hues....he may be an ultramarine blue... full of ideals and purpose, loves the Mother Earth, and hates war and nukes...and is also quick to criticize or defeat his own, in search of purity of spirit. He is noble and sincere and genuinely consistent in his values, no matter what color he finds himself confronted with. He really demands MORE from our elected officials. I admire him with my heart and soul and more than anything hope he finds his solace.

I see myself more in the Cerulean blue range.  Jaded. Certainly a true blue, but without the opacity of deeper blue hues. I can see through some of my blue ideals and forgive indiscretions, enter into "ends justify the means type arguments" and not feel judgmental about how things get done.  My expectations are lower, I guess. This way I am happy when I get "more."  And I will not cut my nose to spite my face. I'll support my own and take what is offered.

These ideas are subject to change with no notice, however.  That is the promise of a new day.  Someone can always emerge, and their presence changes everything....and that is where the hope lies in all of us.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Janis to Get a Star

Finally a chance to use Anthony's drawing for a very appropriate occasion. Janis Joplin will get a posthumous star on the Walk of Fame Monday.  I wish you could have lived to see this, Anthony. I don't dwell on sentimentality all that much anymore, but in this case I'll make an exception.  

Some people enter and leave your life much too quickly. But a piece of them stays with you forever. Janis was like that, and so was the man who introduced me to her music when I was in Jr. High school.  Anthony, like Janis, was a misfit. He simply did not fit in here, nor did he try. He was an artist, a singer, a painter, and someone who could make you laugh at the absurdity of life. 

His search for like minded souls took  him out west to California, just like Janis. He sent me a post card from Noe Street...saying that was a place where she had lived. His letters were artwork....written on the back of movie advertisement placards..... in magenta marker. Or a collage of sorts, cobbled together with scraps of his life. He often added his own stickers....and pictures of himself from those old fashioned photograph booths, and embellished them with glitter. One time he sent me nothing but an envelope with a shredded Chinese newspaper and his new address. When he did write, his words were always cheerful, hopeful....and full of unabashed affection for the people around him. He liked tofill me in on his search to find a way to live life on his own terms, and pursue his dreams.

Ironically, I saw his obituary purely by chance, on an April Fool's day,  twenty-six years ago.  My first thought was, how did he accomplish this stunt? This is something, even for him!  Then it set in, that Anth was really dead. Wow.  No more letters. He's just gone for good this time. . . slipped away up near Salinas....

Solar Eclipse

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Scratching Coco

Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want.

Joseph Wood Krutch

Season of Wither

The Glory of the Leaves, Change of Season

The view over the valley. To be honest, an older picture, but it looks pretty much the same. Those two colorful trees are just starting to shed their leaves like every year.  I remember them well from childhood, when my best friend lived across the street and the trees provided hours of fun as we jumped into their leaves or used them as "home base" in a game of hide and seek, or a game we played called Bloody Murder where one person hid and everyone sought that person, and screamed BLOODDDY MURRDER when spotted.  I'm sure the other neighbors loved that.

I'm treating myself to a new pair of boots, bought online. I never did that before. I hope they fit. I have one pair of dress boots and everytime I wear them, more people talk to me. Even if it is only to tell me how nice my boots are. It's nice to be noticed.

Lately, with all my life changes, music has taken a back seat. At a get together a few months ago I was handed a guitar and, for a second, couldn't really think of anything to play by heart.  An odd feeling for someone like me who once had 50 songs at ready, just needing an audience. Life happens. I managed to eek out a version of Layla and Margaritaville. Nothing special. It was a wake up call to hone my talents again. Perhaps I'll make a space in the basement. Hook everything up again.  A winter hobby. Something to do with the change of seasons.

Season of wither. I think that is an old Aerosmith song.  So few flowers left now. Marigolds....and the
Big amaranth...loves lies bleeding.....and a Pansy pot I put on the porch.  Color is going to be gone soon and the gray and white winter landscape is ahead. Yesterday I almost drove off the road looking at the blue of
the sky and the colorful trees along the road.  That blue is the color of my room. Real sky blue.

Drinking coffee again. Just a little bit more.  Warms the innards. Less calories than hot chocolate.  Winter jammies are washed and ready. Extra blanket for the bed. I bought new socks that are warm. That's nice about fall, isnt' it?  Turning on the electric fireplace again, airing out my favorite sweaters.  Snuggling up and watching a movie.

But there are no longer any children outside yelling  BLOOOODDYYY MURRRDER.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Something to Ponder

In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.

-Bertrand Russell

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Sunday Morning Muse

We're still a little while from sunrise as I begin this missive, but the streaks of pink are starting to form in the east just above some dark heavy rain clouds on the horizon.  I see a chemtrail of a plane in the distance, some early morning flight to somewhere. Warm enough to open the window for the cat.

It's been another week of nonsense and hostage taking in Washington. I've had it with the teabaggers. Bunch of ignorant fools willing to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Don't mess with my retirement money. I'm getting old and can't take the stock risks anymore. All this nonsense is having an effect on the markets. When you have to chose between your money and your pride, I take the money everytime. Lick your wounds and go buy something to sooth your fragile egos.  Perhaps it's time these imbeciles took advice from the fatcats out there, since they won't listen to the commonfolk.

Been musing about fear this week. Fear of the unknown, fear of being alone, fear of middle age, etc. The heavy stuff. Fears hold people back from many things. But they also keep us clinging to things. I read all this Zen stuff about letting go...allowing...don't push the river-type stuff, perhaps in an attempt to ease my mind and let go of my need to try to control things that happen. Little things are easily scattered....but if you let things go, they become big things. Not so easy to scatter...or make right....again. I am constant motion. Scattering things...watching so that things don't run out.  I spend time trying to anticipate so many needs...with my lists and work projects and all the day to day stuff of life. So much stems from fear. Being able to keep all the plates spinning.... even when life throws curve balls at you.

The Tao talks about about the Sage not flitting about like a fool. The words speak to the wisdom of finding happiness right where you are. The answers are not "out there" somewhere. It's in Here. Within ourselves and the circumstances we find ourselves in. I more or less live like that. I do find my joy close to home. Yet I have much work to do when it comes to letting go. Giving over and allowing things to happen as they may and not use up present moments in fear and worry so much.  In the end it's all about peace of mind, right? That's where I always end up, no matter whose thoughts I read, or what I listen to.

Oh, so much of all this isn't thought out perfectly this morning. But that's okay. I'm "allowing" thoughts to fall onto the page this morning without trying to be my own editor, too.

The sun is up over the valley. Another day to start again. Petting cats, cooking chicken, doing laundry, and making a bouquet of the last of the garden flowers.... while the snowblower lurks at the back of the garage.

Today's Thought

 The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made.

Groucho Marx

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon

The Sunday Morning Muse, October 6, 2013

Almost a week in of October, and it's 68 degrees at 9 in the morning. Wow.
It's a golden autumn day, and some zinnias are still blooming along with the sunflowers. The morning glories are glorious, reaching high in the sky winding upward along the aerial next to the house.

Normally this would be a day of yard work, but today I'll be sipping tea and reading instead. I got a virus that was going around....thought I was through with it, but now it is turning into a sinus infection. I look as miserable as I feel which adds up sympathy points.

The stray gray cat has a name now. Gracie. But I have no idea how we can keep her. We are full up with cats. Three is enough. But what real options are there in life for a cat with a deformed ear and 6 toes on each paw?  The shelter is not an option at this point. Maybe an ad in the newspaper? It's not like she isn't unique. Maybe someone is missing her.

I'm reading  La Popessa, a fascinating story about the life of Mother Pascalina, who was Pope Pius XII's housekeeper and dear friend.  The book, which is controversial, reveals the inner workings of the Vatican for good or for worse.  But the interesting part of the story is the relationship between the Pope and this dedicated nun, whose love for her church and the Pope placed her in the middle of some very serious crises within the church. Of special interest was the efforts to save Jews during World War II by giving them shelter in the Vatican itself.

Well, time to move on for now. A lazy day awaits.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Remembering Janis...Who died October 4th, 1970

"I hope you're going to edit this stuff. I don't want to sound like a senile, self-pitying chick babbling on and on about her days of glory."

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Spinning Wheel

The Sunday Morning Muse, September 29, 2013

A lovely sunrise today with purples and white and orange and pink over a light blue background. The sun coming up over the valley. Cat looking up occasionally out the window, taking a break from cleaning her toes.

Speaking of toes, a cat with 6 toes on each paw showed up here and now thinks he lives here. I feel sorry for him because, though he has numerous toes, he has only one good ear.  The other one is seriously deformed. He's not a bad cat. Someone could take him in. Just not us. We are full.

Sipping decaf tea. Plain Lipton tea. I got talked into trying some kind of pumpkin flavored decaf coffee this week and spilled just about all of it down the drain. I don't get it. I like things to taste like they should. All this flavoring is not for me.

Finished reading Pain Free. Lots of stretching and exercises for back pain. The gist of it is posture related. You have to retrain your body to rely on your load bearing joints. The book gives you various positions to hold yourself in to do this. A lot of it makes sense. It goes on to say humans--for millions of years, bent and twisted and climbed trees and walked barefoot and such, and the body developed in a certain way. Now we
hunch over computers--and no longer forage for food, so here we are letting ourselves go. Underused muscles atrophy, posture wanes, and we are left with aches and pains and "compensation"--whereas smaller, specialized muscles are being taxed from repetitive use in awkward positions. All this leads to pain. There's a good deal of yoga in the book. I see that as reinforcing some of my beliefs all along about stretching and postures.

Met a nice Alpaca farmer yesterday. She has 50 of them and spends her time in her little shop behind a spinning wheel making yarn. Beautiful stuff.  She was selling it at the farmer's market.  She told me she even as a portable spinning wheel she takes around to use when she has time and is not at home. Now there's something I never knew was invented. Or still in use. But that's great.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Sunday Morning Muse, September 22, 2013

Listening to Autumn Song by Van Morrison as I write and sipping a bit of coffee. I gave up coffee this summer in an attempt to limit caffeine, but once in a while....I just like a few sips in the morning. With a piece of chocolate...or an oatmeal cookie. You gotta live.

It's fall. No looking back. I can sit here entranced in Van singing about the glory of fall, but the reality around here includes gutter cleaning, digging up the cannas, taking out the screens on Coco's Porch and, breaking out the warmer clothes. I need a style. I have none. A few pairs of boots, a couple of  winter skirts that are all too big now. No real fashionable coats. Mostly functional snow shoveling type coats. My 87 year old aunt gave me a leopard print ear warmer thing. It's not muffs, this fabric thing just sort of wraps around your head. She said someone gave it to her but it's not her 'style.'  (At least SHE has a style.) On the plus side, my hair is beautiful now thanks to the beautician/magician.

I discovered an old barber's table in the storage garage at next door to the used furniture store and they let me have it for a sweet 30 bucks. It needs a little work but eventually will work great under the window in the kitchen. Looking around in the store was a trip back in time. I saw the bedroom suite I had as a kid. I also saw the entertainment stand I had in my first apartment. I got rid of it when it started to"sag" in the middle due to the weight of all my albums and the heavy box style TV.  I had these huge speakers next to it, too. And between hooking up to a VCR,  a "tuner" (with 24 pre-set), a pre amp, and a turntable, that fake wood should have collapsed on day one.

Autumn Song

I just love this. Want to live it. Look at me and take my breath away...

When the Leaves Come Falling Down

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Friday, September 20, 2013

Today's Thought

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

-Oscar Wilde

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Sunday Morning Muse, September 15, 2013

It's Sunday morning. Fog again over the valley. Sigh. Summer slipping away into furnace season.

Musing on my Google history. I notice that I am often "signed in" to Google based on my signing into this
blog site and that no matter where I search somehow I am still "signed in" and getting ads based on what I search for. I get that. But I wonder what someone will do with this information someday. If a real human being looks at my Google history and tries to speculate about my interests, my whims, my purchases, etc
and come up with some sort of profile, they are in for a lot of head scratching.

This week, along with searching for my usual assortment of various medical maladies,  I have spent a fair amount of time studying The Fairy Feller's Masterstroke, a painting by Richard Dadd.  I bought an album by Queen over thirty years ago (Queen II). On a whim I searched for the meaning of the Fairy Feller song and discovered it was based on the painting. The words truly never made sense to me and now they somewhat do. It is a complicated song with a lot of overdubs, and I read somewhere that they never performed it in concert. Enough said on this really, except for the "Dragonfly trumpeter" mentioned in the song really IS a Dragonfly trumpeter.

I spent a lot of time searching for old photographs of our town. I enjoy looking at the flood of 1913 and the "big snow" of 1950 and old black and white cemetary photos.

The other thing I like about Google is that I saw the face of an actor I had a crush on in high school on a TV promo for the old "Emergency" TV show. Not all that long ago you had to strain your brain to try to come up with a name for the face, or ask people if they remember.  Now all you do is search the IMDB for Emergency and figure out who he is and then find out what other TV shows/movies he was in that I would remember him from.  And I did.  He was on an old soap opera called "Loving."  Richard Mantooth. I don't find him all that attractive now. Don't really know why I did then.

What did I buy this week?  Well Google, you can quit showing me ads with kitchen wall fixtures.  Also I did order the book "Pain Free" because 350 people gave it  5 stars, so don't show me that one anymore. Keep on showing me console tables, but it is highly unlikely I'll buy one off the internet.  I prefer the used furniture store.

Oh, and I looked up a saying, an expression that Aunt Millie used to use.  "If you are born to hang, you won't drown."  Apparently this is an English Idiom and she didn't make it up herself. An expression of fate.

So there you go.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Sunday Morning Muse, September 8, 2013

(Singing Star...above... a shout out to my friend Anthony who gave me this 30 years ago.)

Almost another trip around the sun. Birthday coming up this week. One good thing about it is a coupon for a free adjustment from the Chiropractor, which I quickly put into action.  Now the neck feels a lot better. Still have other assorted aches and pains but no one wants to hear about them.

Sun peeking through clouds this morning. Lazy cats on the window sill. An occasional growl when one gets too close.

I'm sure the Sunday Morning talking heads will be discussing what to do about Syria. Do we live in a world where nations stand by and let thousands of innocent people be slaughtered?  Do we start dropping bombs and hope that this will put a stop to it? I don't have the answer. The footage of the millions of refugees to neighboring countries is also disturbing to me. They are scared of their own government. They fled their homes and are living in tent camps, some with no water or bathroom facilities. It is horrible.

Back here at home, it's pulled pork dinner and birthday cake, watching the Steelers, paying bills, and basically living life. When we switch the channel on the TV the refugees are gone. But they aren't.

Another birthday here in paradise. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Carbon Monoxide Detector Going Off

Dad must have got the first one ever made, and he's been dead 15 years now.  He's the one who put it downstairs, so I have no idea how old this carbon monoxide detector is. It's a plug in type so it's not the battery causing the problem.


No one is suffering any headaches and we didn't die yet.

Brother in law brought over another one to plug in for the night to see if that one sounds an alarm tonight.

Could be the hot water heater. I'm not sure why.  But we need a hot water heater anyway. Not that it leaks but it's old and it will leak someday and I don't really want to ruin everything in the cellar AND buy a hot water heater.

Something to think about as I lay in bed tonight waiting to hear the alarm.  

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day

How many years has it been since someone painted behind the buffet in the kitchen?  It's anyone's guess. Heck, it's been at least 15 years since someone painted the rest of the kitchen so it must be more. No one has ever moved it as far back as I remember.

So the kitchen is now a beautiful yellow.... but no one knows what color is behind the buffet.  Because we are not moving it.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Sunday Morning Muse, August 25, 2013

Sun is bright, air is crisp and it is going to be a nice day.  Had to water the flowers yesterday. Rain has been scarce lately. There's a bit of fog over the river today. It seems the entire hill across the valley has disappeared. Another  Pleasant Valley Sunday.

Ate what was probably the last of the blueberries on the bush yesterday. Sad about that. It's nice to have
a constant source of blueberries for a few weeks. Freezing them is never the same. And putting fresh ones in a Cool Whip container in the fridge is never a good idea. I thought we had plenty of Wool Whip but we don't. We have berries that I forgot about that don't look so good now.

I'm reading the late Tim Russert's book about his father. I always liked Russert. I miss him a lot on Meet the Press. He was fair, intelligent and did his homework. And he could break things down to simple terms. You never got the feeling he was talking down to you. I rarely watch the show now. Politics isn't as fun anymore. Now it's just constant partisan bickering and games and no real work that actually helps people.

And news sucks too. The line between infotainment and news is gone now. It's all infotainment. I still watch the evening news to keep up on the world. I want to know the latest world crisis, anything new in science and health care, perhaps a nice human interest story and that's it. The 24 hour news cycle, with it's breathless urgency, has disappointed too often. Selling too much sizzle and not enough steak for me.

Am I depressed? No. Far better to be outside in the garden, or working on the latest house project. Today
it's the kitchen.  Mellow Yellow. Oh, not really.... it's Sunrise Yellow or something like that. But to me, Mellow Yellow. Because Saffron's made about me.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Things I Learned from the Cat Today

In my hurry to get the laundry downstairs I stepped on Sweet Pea's paw.  She was pretty upset with me for a good half hour.  Scurried under the bed. Meowed at me in a snit every time I went toward her.

But now it's eight hours later.  She is sitting right next to me on top of my desk, climbing on the keyboard wanting to be petted, and oh, it's almost suppertime.  Moral of the story:  Never stay mad at the person who feeds you.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

On this Lovely Day

The Sunday Morning Muse, August 18, 2013

Sunday again. It's claw cutting time around here and right now I'm losing. Sweet Pea has 6 out of 10 done, (I do only the front paws)and Sambo stands at 4 out of 10.  Coco was done weeks ago. You can do anything to that cat. I hold her like a baby, kiss her stomach, hold up her front paws and dance with her.... she is sweet.  The other two are terrors to work with.

Sitting outside with mom yesterday talking about Egypt. "Here we are sitting outside in the sun, comfortable, enjoying the day and then there's all that trouble over in Egypt. What's wrong with those people? Why are they killing each other?"

The images on TV are hard to see. And just as hard to explain to my 82 year old mother. Sigh. Well, they
have kind of like a civil war going on even though they had an election. The people they elected didn't do what they wanted to do, and now supporters of the government are fighting the people who are against the government. It's a mess. We don't really support either one but hope they can figure it out. A shame that so much killing and violence is occurring. Now even museums and antiquities are being destroyed. What a waste. 

A lot of hawks around this year. The crows hate them. I'm leery of them and keep close eye on the cats. The chipmunk that was here all summer is missing. I hate to think of him as some hawk's dinner, but it's possible.

The tomatoes...Ponderosa Pinks, are finally getting ripe. I don't eat tomatoes, I just grow them, but these ones are pretty exceptional. It's to the point where mom is keeping track of who gets how many, making sure there are plenty left for her. Low acid, sweet and low seeds. And they are huge.

Debating on a new door. 500 bucks, plus you have to stain it yourself. Cheaper ones look cheap. I know, it's just a door after all, but the original wooden door is expanding in the humidity and people can't get outside and have to go around front. This won't be a problem in the fall and perhaps it is a good time to procrastinate. 

Perhaps another day sitting in the sun, cutting the cats claws one at a time, and pondering about why we have it so good here and people are killing each other in Egypt. Taking pictures of butterflies.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Paloma Faith- Stargazer

How will I shine anymore if you're not here?

Stars Fell on Alabama

The Sunday Morning Muse, August 11, 2013

I'm back!  It's taken a little longer than I had anticipated but I'm here.  I missed you all. Summer is flying by at an alarming rate.  It's already time for the Perseids meteor shower.  Now you can "listen" to the meteors, courtesy of Spaceweather radio. When you head outside to look for shooting stars, put your earbuds in and plug into into the internet and there you go. Personally I would prefer some kind of trippy music. The kind they play in places where you get massage or Reiki.  But it's a cool thing.

In other news, lately I've found myself returning again and again online to Andy Warhol's grave. Usually a graveyard livecam would be pretty dull. What could you see in a graveyard? But someone tied balloons to the grave for his birthday and they flutter around, so you are aware it is a live cam and not a still shot.  Also, I've seen people come to visit. They sometimes put things on the grave, or take pictures. One idiot was on a cell phone and mugging for the camera so I suspect he was more interested in having his friends "see" him at the grave on their computers than showing respect for Warhol.

Which brings me to my feelings on this whole thing. I feel sorry for the families of the other dead people around him. I wonder how they feel knowing that the eternal resting place of their loved one is monitored 24/7 on the internet? Also, how would Andy view this?  Is this parade of visitors better than no visitors at all? Does this all matter anyway because he is dead? Is it a tribute to his life or an invasion of his death?

You can turn up the volume and "listen" too. I hear birds mostly. And the muffled voices of the gawkers and picture takers and occasional car motor noises. Then the sounds of silence. Peace.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Patience is a Virtue!

I am pleased to say I'll be posting again very soon. Please stay tuned!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013

Grace Potter

Listening to Levon

I've been AWOL lately.  A brief Hiatus.  Listening to Levon.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Sunday Morning Muse, May 26, 2012

I'm back in this chair, and it's a beautiful, but chilly Sunday morning. The fog is rising over the river and the temps didn't get low enough to kill anything blooming. Buckets over the tomatoes in the garden,  lilies at the end of the driveway draped with sheets, and everything else left to brave this frustrating weather. Cats tucked safely in the "cell block" in the basement, and me with the extra thick blanket on the bed last night.

I've taken a bit of a news vacation, preferring to listen to public radio out of Pittsburgh and reading a few more books. Turning the volume down a bit on outside chatter and outrage. So far it has been a pleasant experience.  Spending time outside helps, too. The greenhouse is full, and there is still plenty of weeding to do before I can put the plants in the flower beds.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Waltz By Anthony Hopkins

Waltz By Anthony Hopkins

The link above is to a concert performance.  If you have about five minutes of free time and would like to just enjoy hearing a beautiful waltz by Anthony Hopkins, it is well worthwhile.Bravo!


Sunday, April 28, 2013


The Sunday Morning Muse, April 28, 2013

It was supposed to be pretty easy. Buy a TV, plug it in, turn it on.

Not anymore.

Back in the Leave it to Beaver Days it was that easy. Unless you count the time adjusting rabbit ears.

A week, and several dozen attempts to adjust the color from several different screens, and a tangled mess of trying different coax cords, plugging in various other things into it and such, I am left with the task of packaging the whole mess up, taking it back and resigning in defeat.  If there is way to make this TV look as brilliant and vibrant as advertised, I'll be damned if I can do it.

I see now the light pinks and purples on the horizon just before sunrise out my window. I can't help but wonder how this inferior, dull, fuzzy TV would capture the experience.  I hope I get no hassles on the exchange. But wait, I don't want an exchange. I want my money back to go try another. In search of...perfect color.

In Search Of. I just remembered that show. My dad and I used to watch it. BigFoot,  The Swamp Monster...Good Grief, that link I just shared has most of the shows!   Leonard Nimoy narrating. Wow.

A distraction. Okay, moving on. Speaking of old TV shows, Allan Arbus died this week. Sidney Freedman on MASH, he was 95. That puts him in his mid 60's when he was on MASH. I really enjoyed the shows he was in. He played a  psychiatrist who was called in for special cases, and his sense of humor and humanity came through so well, it made it hard to think he WASN'T a psychiatrist in real life. Alan Alda reflected this week that between scenes he would talk to Allan and ask him questions and Allan would say "How would I know? I'm not a psychiatrist!"

I recently saw the episode with the best quote from Freedman ever:  "Ladies and Gentleman take my advice! Pull down your pants and slide on the ice!"

MASH was one of the shows I had on this week when I was futzing with the new TV.  Kinda hard to adjust the color though when so much of the set...and costumes were green. On my TV the faces were green, too.

Whoop Dee Do

Saturday, April 27, 2013

All Things Remain In God

A W. B. Yeats poem set to music. A nice song to start the day as sunrise is not far away.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Sunday Morning Muse, April 22, 2013

Hello Sunday morning.

Sun is drying out the just opened but now frozen in place tulips. Sad. I think they will survive though. I have sixty of them along the rock wall...and more in the other flower beds.

Second cup of coffee with a slice of Finnish Bread. Yum.

It's Earth Day. How about a nice quote from John Muir:

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”

Looks like the sun will be out a lot today and I can be outside away from the TV. Now that the other Boston bombing suspect is in custody perhaps the media will calm down and go back to obsessing over the North Korean dictator or the fertilizer plant explosion. It will be a welcome change from the wall to wall live coverage of reporters getting in the way of emergency responders. Not to mention the repetitious,  idiotic comments and speculation in lieu of hard facts. I couldn't stand it anymore and shut it off pretty early on.  A particularly low moment was when Brian Williams, during the evening news cast "cut" to the live feed of the local broadcasters covering the "lock down," and the "reporter" was immediately heard saying "We don't know *hit."

Makes you yearn for Walter Cronkite.

That's the way it is.

You are Here

Saturday, April 20, 2013

I Have Finally Come To Realize

It's in the doing...that we find a certain way we can live our life and obtain some peace of mind.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thursday Morning Muse (rare)

The sun is up and the second cup of coffee is on the way.(I have switched to decaf tea for rest of day...morning coffee is still the standard drink though.) Home again today with a bug. Been sick for enough days now that the gig is up and the doctor visit is scheduled. Really, too much to do. Ain't nobody got time for that!

On the couch with the hot water bottle yesterday watching the news. Letters with ricin possibly in them sent to the White  House. Sheesh. They went on about how poisonous the seeds are and how someone can die by ingesting just a tiny bit of it.... and of course there I am with my stomach all upset and pepto bismal by
my side remembering just this past weekend I was planting castor bean seeds to grow the big beanstalks again this year.

Hmmph.  Well, I'd be dead by now if it was something from that.

It was more likely the "bad" turkey I ate this weekend or some random stomach virus going around making havoc with my innards.

I really need to research the plant better. It does say on the package they are poisonous, but they make castor oil out of castor beans and people eat that. Not with any pleasure mind you, but it is ingested by humans. So how does this all work?

On the news report they said you could eat a castor bean "whole" and it would go right through you with no
problem, mostly. is in the "processing" that it becomes so bad.  I have no idea what they do to process it and I don't want to know. What I do know is that it is a beautiful, tall beanstalk with huge leaves
we have enjoyed around the yard for more than 40 years. How could something so beautiful have become so terrible?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Sunday Morning Muse, April 7, 2013

A Grave Situation.

A sliver of moon out the window in a clear spot just outside the edge of  heavy dark blue clouds this morning.

Tuxedo cat nudging my hand on the keyboard wanting attention.

Where to start? That awful cemetery. The one I got pissed at for the horrible ruts in the road and the frisbee like scattered wreaths, etc. called and said they are "updating their records to computer" and need to talk with me.

I wasn't born yesterday. My response:  "No one is coming to the house. I will gladly stop by and update and sign something, but no one is coming to the house to sell me anything."

So I agreed to stop in during my lunch period.

At the appointed hour, I met a fellow who looks like the type who answers ads in the classifieds looking for people to sell cemetary plots. Tall and thin and a bit unkept, with bad breath, a dingy office.  Broken chair.

I refused to sit in it.

He got me another.

I kept a straight, poker face as he went through privacy policy papers, checked the power of attorney papers, updated addresses and contacts and such, and then he moved swiftly to grab a Family Planning Guide... ( Making Clear Decisions Today!) booklet and began praising the book's usefulness (67 steps to planning a funeral.)

I'm not happy now. Still have a straight face. I am not planning a funeral on my lunch hour today. This guy
doesn't even know how I'm going to explode in about 5 minutes and then go pick up soup and take it back
to work and eat lunch. Lunch is really what I'm thinking about right now. Does the drive-thru church soup
place have any Stuffed Green Pepper Soup left?

I let him go page by page, droning on through the Importance of Insurance Policies and Death Certificate Information....and then he flipped over a paper at the end, tucked in, hidden away.... dramatically covering
one half of it. The paper showed the Total Costs I would have to pay if my mother died...YESTERDAY.
He said it with the drama of a to make costs DISAPPEAR!  And then he moved his hand over....and showed me the other column....almost three thousand dollars cheaper.... ($2000 savings on the casket alone!)

But there's a catch....always a catch. Waiting...waiting for it...

If I take advantage of this savings...which is ONLY GOOD TILL MONDAY!

What the *uck?

And did I know of anyone ELSE that would want to take advantage of such a great opportunity?

NO. I said. I don't.  Because this place is a mess.

He unleashed the dragon. I became a raving woman. Going on about the road and my almost blown tire....and frisbee thrown wreaths...the grass cutting mess...and the whole sordid tale about the future grave of my Aunt all torn up and headstone askew, who took advantage of a "half price" vault sale in the fall!

What IS IT with this place?????

Bottom line is it was bought out by a Canadian company who owns a multitude of cemetaries....and basically the locals have no control at all over the clean up and care of the place. Yeah, he gets lots of complaints. Nothing he can do. Turn in work orders. Hope they do them.

There is a plot in the Holy Rood section of that cemetary where my dear dad was laid to rest, and I will care for it and someday mom will be next to him. But that extra plot? That grassy little empty space near them?

Will never hold the moldy oozing remains of my carcass. Ever.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Mini Irises in My Yard

The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
~Robert Frost

The Secret Language of Birds

I found this song on YouTube this morning. So appropriate. Sitting here, window cracked open, listening to the birds.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Friday, March 29, 2013

I Miss Christopher Hitchens

Beautiful sentences pop into my head. Beautiful sentences that aren't always absolutely accurate. Then, I have to choose between the beautiful sentence and being absolutely accurate. It can be a difficult choice. 
-Christopher Hitchens

This week I ordered Arguably. Last week I watched the Four Horsemen discussion on YouTube. I guess I'm missing Christopher Hitchens.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Sunday Morning Muse, March 24, 2013

Faded peach light making a ring over the other hill. The sun cannot be far behind. The stillness is the story
this morning. Not a branch moving outside. Still cold out there. Chimney smoke coming out of rooftops in the distance. Cat took over the bed. She appreciates a good warm spot.

Easter is fast approaching.  Living with mom means the stuffed rabbit collection dominates the livingroom and there are enough decorated eggs, chick figurines and easter themed decals and flowers around to rival any bunny lane attraction. My contribution? A huge lily with five buds. My tastes run much less adorned, but for now at least, this is how it is. I retreat to the basement  a lot where I am going to start my seeds this week, now that the growing lights are all set up. 

This week I found myself in the absurd situation of picking out Easter cards for another person (mom, who is home bound) to give to someone else, even though mom is not religious, and the other people may or may not be religious. Hmm. I tried to pick colorful, happy looking cards, mostly spring themed as a compromise.

 In the end, I had too many bunnies and not enough Jesus.  I had to go back and get a few more religious ones, because mom sends religious cards to the religious, and bunny and flower type cards to the others. 

Easter, to me,  is a time of looking forward to the new season. A renewal of life after a long winter. Eating a good ham, and enjoying home made pierogies. Treating yourself to a chocolate bunny or grabbing a half dozen jelly beans when you walk past the candy dish. Its ritual. It's familiar and good. Its daffodils and crocuses and the robins are back. I saw one this week near the dump looking for worms in the soft ground.

I saw the footage of our President in the Holy Land this week and it made me sad. I saw the beauty of the ancient cities he visited, and was truly impressed at what wonders man can build. Without the use of modern machinery, too! 

But  I also saw the works of "modern" man, too.  The  150 foot wall of steel Israel is putting up to wall itself off, in the midst of continuing battles with their enemies.  A pity. 

I couldn't help wondering....if any of these people, any of them, of any religion....Christian, Muslim, Jew...actually believe a wonderful afterlife awaits them, why aren't they happy? The course of human events should seem trivial to them, merely passing issues compared to their glorified afterlife. If they KNOW, really have their "faith"....why wouldn't they be content with that? Why kill people over land? 

I'll never know.

Celestial Soda Pop

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Sunday Morning Muse, March 17, 2013

Darkness still over the valley and I've been up a couple hours now. Waiting for the Sun.

Slogging through March. When did it get like this? Fog-rain-snow-gloom-cold. I remember March as a kid as the start of Kite flying season. Blustery and fresh....spring... light jackets, mud.

So here we are. Too cold in March to pay good money for expensive kerosene for the greenhouse. Walking the aisles of Lowes with an old man who works there showing me options for grow lights to put in the basement. Perhaps if I can invest less than 50 bucks I can figure out a way to grow some seeds to the point
6 weeks from now maybe when the greenhouse won't freeze everything dead because of cold nights.

This mini iris bloomed one year ago on this date. Spring will come eventually.

Raglan Road- Chieftains and Van Morrison

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Song for the Pope, Rickie Lee Jones

When I'm Dead and Gone

The Sunday Morning Muse, March 10, 2013

Good morning. A bit tired today with daylight' savings time and all. No sunrise for the cat yet, staring into darkness out the window.

Yesterday was, to me, the first day of spring. It's not spring yet officially of course, but I saw the first crocus, the daffodils are up a few inches, and I pruned the blueberry bushes. It was 50 degrees and the sun shone brightly. The Greenhouse was 70 degrees inside. The cat laid in the sun. Period. Just laid there and put her nose in the breeze. I could almost share her thoughts.

The house seemed dank and airless when I came back inside. It's time to close the book on winter.

This week I went to the cemetery to take Dad's poinsettias off the grave. (I know, I'm a procrastinator.) The cemetery is in terrible condition right now and I realized that instantly as I turned off the main road. Wreaths are strewn like forgotten frizbees everywhere. Most plastic flowers are still on the graves, but some are horribly weathered, tattered, scattered and just a general mess. The ruts in the roadways back to to the graves are so bad I almost lost a tire. In short, I was pissed off right from the start. Isn't this supposed to be a respectful, serene, even hallowed place? Don't these people make enough money to pay someone to clean up? It's MARCH.

I was ruminating in all this when I got out of the car and noticed immediately that someone had to be clawing
their way out of here, because no one was supposed to be buried in Aunt Dorothy's grave. In a word, I was flummoxed. In the row below dad, Dorothy's husband has been occupying his grave quite alone since the 1980's and a double tombstone clearly marks the empty space where someday.... not today...his wife will
be laid to rest beside him.

I stood and stared. You know the feeling when something totally unexpected happens, like when Suki's bed started to shake in the middle of the night and she ran all sorts of possibilities in her head....Exorcist-type thoughts, burglars.... (under the bed??!!)... but it didn't occur to her it was an earthquake until later.

Well, this was similar. First thought...some terrible subsidence. Look, isn't the headstone sagging there? And the ground doesn't look disturbed as much on top, a few ruts maybe...but hell, it looks like someone....was put IN THERE. There's fresh mud, a bigger hole opening up along the side, but clearly the ground is very much disturbed here.  Hmmm.  (Keep in mind, this cemetery is looking pretty shoddy at best right now, perhaps a clerical error of some sort....another  Dorothy....buried here. I just didn't know.) But a bad gravedigging none the less. Subsidence, PLUS another body. Possible?

Or what about the sinkhole on TV the other night. Man eaten by the earth itself while in his bed. Hmmph.

Either way, I knew I had to make a phone call. And I was dreading it.

I ran a few trial conversations in my head when I got home. A tender way to tell her that she had to look into this, and in the mean time I would tell her about the holes in the road...and the wreaths and how bad it is here, too. Just because this would help my cause when I call and complain later on.... but those complaints were minor now compared to the possibility of... what went wrong with her grave.

So do I just dart to the end and tell what happened?

Well, there was this half price vault sale.... and a while back she signed up for it, and the gravediggers just got around to putting it in a few weeks ago. So, yes, subsidence is an issue. But no, there is no one clawing their way out, and no one buried in the wrong place. She did call and complain about how bad things look, so that's something.

I don't think I want to be buried at all.


The Sun is coming up now. And it's time for some fresh air.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Sunday Morning Muse, March 3, 2013

Light snow falling, no sunrise today...snow covered roofs, an inch or so on the driveway. Birds huddled in the bushes. Cat is oblivious to it all. I'm reading a book by Steve Hagen, Buddhism Plain and Simple.  It was really nice to be in my bed with a book, cat by my side, fake fireplace glowing, and just staying put. I love Sunday mornings.

So far the book is what it says it is. I want to know what Buddhism is and what it is not. I have become familiar with some of the teachings over the years. Now I want to learn more and see what it is really about.

 Present moment living is a big part of it. And also trying to escape the suffering that we as humans endure--a lot of it our own making. Haven't we all had the experience of worrying about something in our life, fearful of how this particular thing will play out? Oftentimes our own dreamed up concept of what is going on, or what will occur, turns out to be something far different than the reality that plays out. We all live in the present moment, and it is really all we have. I don't say that with any sense of loss, I say it with the thought in mind to
try and wake up and experience this beautiful life here and now.

Second mug of coffee. You see, here is an example: I don't think I even tasted the first cup. Truly. I am so absorbed in the morning ritual around here, that actually sipping the coffee instead of gulping it, tasting it and appreciating the aroma of it, doesn't really register. So... in honor of my new awareness, right now I took a piece of chocolate, took a sip of coffee with it and swished it around in my mouth. There. That is being in the moment.  And really liking it!

Einstein Said...

The true value of a human being can be found in the degree to which he has attained liberation from the self.

~Albert Einstein~

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Poke at the Pope

With the Pope calling it quits and all, I thought I'd pull out Donovan's song from  1970 or so, Poke at the Pope.  Growing up I listened to the Open Road album a lot. This is NOT about Pope John Paul II...he came
in the late 70's.

If you study the map, my bet is looking pretty good.  I still feel the next Pope will be from Italy. However, the actual odds on favorite is Peter Turkson....but that is a scary thought itself because it plays into the Malachi Prophesies. I guess we will all know when the white smoke rises.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Sunday Morning Muse, February 24, 2013

 Why is it that people are so enamored with "end of the world" type stories? We obsessed over Y2K and the Mayan Calendar,  the End of Times religious scenarios, asteroids blasting us into smithereens, or whatever.

This week it's the Malachy Prophesies. Hundreds of years ago some prophet predicts there will be  112 popes....and now what happens? The 111th one quits. Here we go. I made a bet on the Pope lottery this week. I feel the next Pope will be Italian. My feeling is that the last one was German, and Polish before that. The Italians may feel the need to take back some control over there in Rome with things being as bad as they are in the Catholic religion lately.

If you have a lonely uncle (or great aunt in my case) who sits around and watches Fox News all day and is up half the night listening to Coast to Coast,  they have their own far out ideas of the coming future. My 87 year old aunt won't buy new linoleum for her kitchen floor because she says the world is coming to an end anyway. Besides with the Great Depression coming, she says, we will all need the money to buy food. All stated matter of fact-ly.

Once a reasonable person, she is now reduced to a paranoid, fearful woman who hates the government, trusts no one,  and fears whatever is left of her future. How could she not be afraid? With our "Muslim" president and his "far out liberal ideas?" The pretty woman with the blonde hair and the very tight red dress wouldn't LIE to her?  Would she? Rich people shouldn't pay taxes at all...they are the Job Creators!

No sense talking to her about it. I just told her the linoleum REALLY does need replaced.  It's yellowed and
pockmarked and just looks bad.

God Made a DJ

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Sunday Morning Muse, February 17, 2013

It's a winter weather advisory morning....that means a dusting of snow on the road. Pretty to look into the woods, though...and along the driveway the snowbells are the first flower to bloom. Just tiny little things...but a sign of what is to come.

Unless we get wiped out by an asteroid or meteor or some other falling star too big to put in your pocket. (I almost posted a Perry Como video here, but they were just too...cheesy...I guess.)

That sure was something this week. Sheesh. You just never know. We all had our eye on the big asteroid that was to graze past us by a good 17 thousand miles...and then, as Donovan would put it, God was playing marbles with his planets and his stars...and BAM!  The sky lights up in Russia and hundreds are hurt, buildings are damaged and thousands are left scratching their heads....what the HELL was that? A meteor!
On the same day as the asteroid zipping past.

Kind of puts things in perspective. You really don't know what the day will bring.

Update:  I watched this report on CBS Sunday Morning about the hunt for meteorites in a remote place here on earth. I am fascinated by what scientists can learn about the origins of the solar system from the study of the fragments of asteroids and meteorites that find their way here from great distances.  The story really builds interest for the program....and then the kicker. You'll never guess which Senators oppose this scientific research.  I won't give it away, but when I saw the names they came as no suprise to me. They were never big intellectual heavyweights. Where is the sense of wonder? We are just at the brink of learning so much about the ancient beginnings of this thing called life...Such accomplishments like sending a man made rocket clear to the outer edge of our solar system.....the Hubble telescope's wonderous images.... the Mars landings. Perhaps it is easier to just believe the earth is six thousand years old and just stick your fingers in your ears and say la la la as you pray to a God you fear. The tree of knowledge is out there. I praise those
who choose to climb it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Maybe I Should Buy Romance Novels Instead

Exactly a day after I ordered the below mentioned book, I came down with a viscious bug. I wish the book would hurry up and get here.  I could use the insight right now.  Plus I'm bored/bedridden/sick.  I need something to read.

Wow. I won't gross anyone out with the details but whatever bug is in me kicked my butt. I feel like someone who drank the water in Mexico and said screw it, I'll eat the tacos with hot sauce, too.  Only problem is, this came out of nowhere. Instant sickness.  Literally went to work fine in the morning and had to have someone drive me to the doctor in the afternoon because I couldn't get there myself.

Cipro is helping a bit. But when you can't eat, it makes you queasy.

Perhaps if I'd of ordered a romance book instead, then some hunk of a man would be here working on a Valentine's poem to give me to cheer me up. Or making me chicken soup. Or at least running to the drug store for Gatorade.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Sunday Morning Muse, February 10, 2013

What a great sunrise today..... purples and light orange stretched out over the entire hill across the river as far as I can see. Already productive.... ordered more flower seeds....finally found the 6 foot Amaranthus called Velvet Curtains, that I like so much. I got the wrong kind last year....and they only grew about 2 feet. The giant burgundy plumes are a favorite around here. The Dreadlocks amaranthus is also one that I grow every
year and share with others. It is so unusual and one of the last flowers left in the garden in Fall.  It is really a cool plant.

Thinking ahead to spring. Musing about buying more poetry books, and fewer books on gastroenterology. I also resolve to read at least one love story. (Meanwhile, I just ordered The Wild Life of Our Bodies: Predators, Parasites and Partners that Shape Who We are Today.) I got the idea to order that one from reading a story in the paper today about probiotics.  Antibiotics are stripping our guts of good bacterium as well as the bad....and we need to keep things in balance or risk some nasty digestive problems.

I'm not a total medical geek. I still find time to read an occasional Longfellow poem, or Whitman, or Dickinson. And that is a good thing.  I read where some anti intellectuals are trying to steer people away from taking "liberal arts" courses in favor of more "practical" fields of study. Their argument is that Philosophy
majors don't get jobs. Perhaps. I didn't major in Philosophy, but I did graduate from a Liberal Arts College. My courses in  Philosophy...and art, and theatre and history and literature opened up new worlds
for me and helped to develop my critical thinking skills. I got a window into world views and ideas that shape who I am today. I have used a lot of that knowledge time and time again in my life, in every job that I had.

And it expanded my life in ways I could never imagined for myself. I'm grateful for those courses. Even the religion classes I had to take as a requirement. I didn't know it at the time, but learning ABOUT religion...and the many religions out they formed, who was in charge, how religious texts came about, etc. gave me enough insight to know we have to figure out a lot of things for ourselves. No one really has all the answers.

It is one thing to learn computers. It is another to have something to say. We are not meant to be empty vessels travelling through this life getting by simply learning a trade and repeating it day to day until we are old and die. I'm not saying we don't need a job, it is obvious we do. But I think these clam shells out there who have no sense of history, art, music, and yes philosophy, only have a small appreciation of what this human experience offers.

Thursday, February 7, 2013