Wednesday, August 30

Thanks for Playing

1. elitch

Slang term for marijuana. Used mainly in the 40s and 50s by beat hipsters.

Alas, there was no winner, but kudos to Tuffenuf for discerning that the embedded clue was "brownies." Kudos also to everyone for not are either very honorable people or frightened by my immense powers.

BTW, elitch is not listed in the Merriam Webster Dictionary. It took a very deep Google search which led me here, the Urban Dictionary. Who knew?!?!?!?!

Thanks for playing was most entertaining.

Monday, August 28

What Does It all Mean?

I'm craving potato chips in the worst way...why?

Sunday, August 27

River Road on a Sunday Morning

Q: Why did the wild turkey cross the road?

A: The chicken was in church.

Thursday, August 24

Where Be My Prize?

I will personally bake you a pan of mouth-watering brownies and send them to you if you know the definition of this word...without benefit of looking it up:


I'll even give you the sentence it appeared in:

With my inexhaustible supplies of Elitch I daily dive again into these dim regions, and crawl to the surface with the stub of a pencil, sweating, to record what I have observed.

Here are the contest rules:

1. You are on the honor system about sneaking a peak at the definition...if you cheat, I will know it and poison your brownies!

2. You may ask for clues, but I retain the right to refuse to give you one or I may make something up just to throw you off...take your chances.

3. If you are thinking of asking someone to look it up for you...see rule #1

4. If you are thinking of asking someone with a pulse if they know what the word means...see rule #1

5. The contest ends when the first correct response is received as a comment on this blogsite or by my birthday, whichever comes first.

There is a clue to the definition embedded in this Blog. It's subtle and I didn't do it intentionally...but it's there!

A Good Morning to Be

I awoke to the first cool morning of the season...58 degrees and the Ridge is shrouded in mist. We stretch and rise, anxious to enter the sanctity of the breathe and hear what the creatures have to say. The pileated woodpecker is rat-a-tat-tatting in the distance...a cliche runs through my foggy head about early birds...I chase it away.

I'm grateful to have finished most of my chores last night, leaving more play time for this morning before the guests arrive at 9:00. There is one thing to do...take the park bench to the lake. With it's freshly sanded and re-sealed wood planks, it's anxious to return to its post of respite for the weary. Bench is reunited with dam, lake, iron weed, spider webs, dew on the grass. I can now turn my senses over to what is before me.

The lake is reacting to the coolness much like we are...swirling, dancing, rising to touch the blue of morning. It's surface is covered in boiling mist, moving clockwise, but also toward the center of the lake. Fragile ballerinas spin 'round and t'ward each other until they commingle into one plume of swirling mist thrust upward into the open air, into the space where the trees surrender to the sky.

Wednesday, August 23

To Be Human

I subscribe to the Daily OM. Today's message seemed particularly poignant. When I read it this morning, it wasn't an "ah-hah" moment in the mirror of who I am today, but a clear reflection of who I have been in the past.

For those whom I have not allowed to be fully human...I am sorry.

Putting People On Pedestals

When we fall in love with someone or make a new friend, we sometimes see that person in a glowing light. Their good qualities dominate the foreground of our perception and their negative qualities. They just don't seem to have any. This temporary state of grace is commonly known as putting someone on a pedestal. Often times we put spiritual leaders and our gurus on pedestals. We have all done this to someone at one time or another, and as long as we remember that no one is actually "perfect," the pedestal phase of a relationship can be enjoyed for what it is-a phase. It's when we actually believe our own projection that troubles arise.

Everyone has problems, flaws, and blind spots, just as we do. When we entertain the illusion that someone is perfect, we don't allow them room to be human, so when they make an error in judgment or act in contradiction to our idea of perfection, we become disillusioned. We may get angry or distance ourselves in response. In the end, they are not to blame for the fact that we idealized them. Granted, they may have enjoyed seeing themselves as perfect through our eyes, but we are the ones who chose to believe an illusion. If you go through this process enough times, you learn that no one is perfect.

We are all a combination of divine and human qualities and we all struggle. When we treat the people we love with this awareness, we actually allow for a much greater intimacy than when we held them aloft on an airy throne.

The moment you see through your idealized projection is the moment you begin to see your loved one as he or she truly is. We cannot truly connect with a person when we idealize them. In life, there are no pedestals-we are all walking on the same ground together. When we realize this, we can own our own divinity and our humanity.

This is the key to balance and wholeness within ourselves and our relationships.

Tuesday, August 22

Falling Like Rain

I just talked to my Mom...she is so sad. After being home for 3 days, Bill's lungs filled with fluid and at 4:45 am Sunday morning they went back to the hospital. Lasix isn't helping any more and he's very tired and weak. The doctors are going to start a different medication to try and dry up his lungs and also introduce a medication to strengthen his heart.

The heartbreak in her voice jumped from the phone to my bone marrow.

I need to be there so Bill can come home to die. I need to be there so Mom doesn't have to care for him alone. I need to be there so they can spend this time in a meaningful way...not in a hospital room. I need to be there for me because this is an important part of who I am...a caregiver.

For more than 20 years, I've been taking care of other people's dying sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters. I should be able to do this for my own family.

Second Helping

I lace my hiking boots
to the pulse of raindrops meeting
parched Earth, today calls
for a sturdy shoe,
no umbrella to shield me from the elements.

She levitates around my feet
wishing me faster to the doorknob
as it turns clockwise to freedom.

We strike out on an all-too-familiar path
staccato footfalls muted by a veil of rain,
soft and supple as chiffon
swaying before an open window.

Six clicks of a walking stick
and we enter the sanctuary of lichen-covered trails
cool and quiet, yet not without movement
leaves and branches bow and sway
as puddles rekindle their jubilation

Why is there no name for the sound of falling rain?
More soothing than static, richer than white noise...

Deeper in the woods, deeper into self,
the crisp call of a cardinal shakes
us from our morning stupor
Senses heighten
breath quickens
we are hydrated deeper than our skin

Yawned from the mouth of the trail
I stand frozen at the specter...
a dancing lake embraced by oak, sycamore and mimosa...
layers of mist shrouding their intentional greenness.

Brown dog, flying low across the dam
breaks my gaze,
the scent of blackberries and loam
swirl in her wake...pulling me along the creek.

Cedars cling to rain on outstretched arms
in a tug o’ war with gravity for each precious drop.
In our passing, we are careful not to engage
in a battle not of our making.

Will the cascade, held to a whisper by drought,
bustle once more or will the Ridge open its craggy,
leathered fingers to drink in every drop?

Anchored steps and sturdy rope aid
our descent into the meadow
the grandiose sweep of walnut branches tickle
bowing grasses into gales of laughter, soaring above
low...growling thunder.

Shelter is near, yet we are unhurried
to sever ourselves from the feast...
to be in dry clothes,
restored to the order of the World.

All too soon, staccato footfalls
and the click-click of a walking stick
will lift the veil between worlds...

the un-named and the one named chaos
known by the listening as yearning.

Thursday, August 17

Scraps of Wisdom.11

To dream of the person you would like to be is to waste the person you are.

Friday, August 11

Here I Go Again

More random thoughts...

Random lapse in memory #1

I can't remember Mocha's favorite place to lay in the house we lived in on Hemphill. I've closed my eyes and walked through every room in my memory and she's not there. I can see her outside on the front porch looking at the stars and us on our twice a day walks through the neighborhood, but nowhere inside the house. Freaky huh?

Random bit of bitterness #2

The Mars Candy Company is on my shit list...just when I'm conquering my addiction to sugar, they come out with dark chocolate M& a purple package. Bastards.

Random observation #3

I've been eating fruit every day for a month. The last few days, I forgot and now I'm craving sugar...hmmmm.

Random paradox #4

I've been having random days of no pain in my knee or hip after 4 weeks of constant pain...this is good. I finally have an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon on Tuesday.

Reading While Falling

Here's a link to a captivating blog written by an American who is in Beirut teaching Lebaneese children about peace. This appears to be a genuine telling of what is going on, how this particular American is perceived by self and those around him. It's gripping and I anxiously await every post.

Reading While Falling

Pray for peace in our world
Be the peace in your own world

Thursday, August 10

Yes Victoria, I Have A Secret

One of the experiences of losing weight is that often, your internal body image doesn't match reality. There's less of me...I know this because I don't have to turn sideways to get through a turnstile and my ass fits comfortably in a movie theater seat. But this morning, I was picking out something to wear and realized the perfect bra to complete the ensemble was one I hadn't worn in a while. It's red satin with black lace...very nice and of course, no one but me (and Mocha) know that under this seemingly nondescript blouse lurks some sexy lingerie.

Imagine my surprise when I put it on and realized it was too big. I don't mean around my torso, but the cups. I stood gazing down at my boobs swimming around in satin cups that once were filled to overflowing. There was enough room for them to do the breast stroke, if they were so inclined.

Did someone come in the middle of the night and deflate my boobs? Is this my punishment for thinking Ken Lay isn't truly dead?

So now, I have to adjust my body image and I'm not sure how I feel about that. I've always liked having big boobs, others have as well. I was happy when the size of my thighs, stomach and hips shrunk...I'm even wearing a smaller shoe size, but it's going to take some time for me to accept my new boobs.

Wednesday, August 9

Photo Archives

I discovered a file on my laptop containing photos for the past 4-5 years. I'm posting some of my favorites.

This is Mocha and Molly taking up residence in my favorite chair. Everybody say, "Awwwwww."

Tuesday, August 8

When I Wake Up....

I've suddenly become very weary over the situation surrounding my stepdad's protracted decline. Last week, the doctors started him on chemotherapy after they discovered that on top of everything else, prostate cancer he had surgery for 17 years ago is back with a vengence. Did I mention they did this without consulting my stepdad, mom or any of us? This seems to be ok with everyone but me and my sister...Mom has gone from being in deep denial to turning it all over to God and the doctors.

Why in the name of all things decent would they do this? Doesn't quality of life mean anything to anyone any more? If it were their father, would they have taken the same action? I think not.

All I want to do is take a nap...its 6:22 pm...this is not a good sign. Maybe when I wake up, it will all have been a bad dream. Who's in denial now?

Friday, August 4


An active hornets nest was discovered in the brush on the side of the lake. Normally, we leave these things alone, but folks spend a lot of time in the area fishing, walking and sitting on the benches, so we couldn't take the risk of someone getting a face full of hornets.

Much to my surprise, our exterminators wouldn't touch this job with a ten foot pole. Apparently the EPA prohibits the spraying of chemicals near a body of water...makes sense. But, I have a live hornets nest!!!!!!!! After being shuffled from one government agency to the next, I: 1) did research on the internet and 2) spoke to an entomologist at the county extension office.

The rules of engagement, as explained to me, seem to be like entering a bar full of surly women:
  • Wait until dark..they are more easily agitated when it's light outside
  • Since it's dark, you'll need a flashlight, but cover the beam with red celophane...they tend to make a beeline for the light
  • Approach with caution and NEVER attempt to do this alone...take a buddy as a decoy
  • Don't wear bright clothing...gray, brown or black is preferred
  • They have a tendency to crawl up your pant leg, so tape the bottom of your pants real tight and include the wrists of your shirt sleeve too...just in case
  • In fact, wear two layers of clothing, two hats, two pairs of gloves and a impenetrable veil over your face...they will sting over and over again
  • Have a foolproof getaway plan (this is where the buddy comes in handy)
  • There's only one way in and out of the nest, so find the hole and spray liberally with hornet be gone...wait a few minutes for them to get stunned, then spray again
  • Pick up the nest and 1) put it in a plastic bag and seal it with duct tape, 2) burn it, 3) toss it in the lake or 4) leave it where it is and go back this winter when you are sure they are all dead and display proudly on your fireplace mantle...makes a great conversation piece my beekeepers suit is in storage in Houston and Mocha is no good at driving the getaway golf cart....what am I to do? Then I of my neighbors has bee hives in his yard. I bet he has a beekeepers suit. So I dial him up and sure enough, he has the wardrobe for the job and will come over right away and take care of it for me! I'm a little disappointed he's not going to let me wear his suit, but heck, leave it to the experts I say.

He pulls up in his pickup truck in full beekeeper regalia...cute as a bug. We exchange polite chit chat...he too lived in Houston and has very fond memories of that time. We jump in the golf cart and tallyho...we are off to the lake....him singing through his beekeeper veil, "Isn't it Romantic." Now I have to tell you, he and his wife have been married 57 years, so he can get away with it. Then, my knight in shining armor does the sweetest thing...he says, "you go on back to the house and I'll walk back once I get the nest in the plastic bag." Sure enough...about ten minutes later, he comes walking up the trail to the house with stick in one hand and plastic bag in the other...what a man.

Tomorrow, I'm going to bake him something and drop it off at their house as a thank you. No my friends, chivalry is not dead!

Thursday, August 3

Random Musings

I'm in a personal season of Advent...waiting and while I'm waiting, I'm observing and feeling and thinking and when I do this...randomness occurs:

Random Confession #1

No matter what I'm doing, when Vince Gill comes on the radio I stop, take a deep breath, sit back, close me eyes and let his voice wash all over one fluid movement. That boy can sing.

Random Feeling #2

Today, I picked and ate tomatoes I grew in the front yard at Penuel Ridge. They were warm and juicy and tasted as good as being here feels.

Random Irritation #3

There's a song playing on a country radio station in Nashville titled "Yeehaw." It's a bouncy tune, but what bothers me is they spell the word yeehaw in the song...y-e-e-h-a-w. I'm thinking the folks who need to know how to spell yeehaw already possess that skill because just like me, they learned it in the 6th grade when they took Texas History. If your birth certificate doesn't say Texas, please refrain from using our just sound silly.

Random Knowledge (good to know) #4

Yellow Jackets build their nest in the ground. Hornet nests usually hang from trees or bushes and look like watermelons or basketballs made of papier mache. Bees build hives in hollow places, usually trunks of trees. I've interacted with all three this week. Run Forrest Run!

Tuesday, August 1

Laying on the Conspiracy

I reached a new height of cynicism when I heard Ken Lay had died of a heart attack at his vacation home in Colorado. I didn't believe it and apparently am not alone in my conspiracy-laced thinking. Instead of packing for a long stretch in prison, I picture him reclining under a palm tree, healing nicely from a facial transplant and sipping pina coladas through a straw.

I usually don't lean in the direction of conspiracy theories, but you have to admit, someone with Ken Lay's cunning and resources could pull this off.

This appeared over the weekend on one of my favorite blogs...

I imagine Michael Moore or Oliver Stone are working out the story idea even as I type this confession.