Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Emerson and Luna

All I can say about this boy, Emerson, is that he cleans up well.  Really.  He does.  He is so black he shines blue.  He plays like an over-fueled tank, and always has slobber, dirt and sticks glued to himself.

This is my girl, Luna.  I know.  I repeat myself.  But here she is, all smiles and dirt.  She wrote the How to Be (Happy) manual, and she follows it word by wag.  It behooves one to follow her advice.

That orange thing is a squeaker-toy that still has its squeaker two years later!  A miracle.

This morning I bent over to pull up a little volunteer garlic peeping out from the mulch.  My thinking was ahead of myself, as usual, imagining it in my stir-fry.  "Ping!" and the back slid out of alignment.
I do not like that feeling, like it will be impossible to straighten up, ever again.  Luckily for me, chiropractic care is never far away.

On the table at the office, I found myself in tears of frustration, anger, fear.  Damn!  I just wanted to... fill in the blank, anything but this.  Crick-crack, thump.  Physically adjusted back, somewhat, but still shaky.  What's going on here? asks the chiropractor/husband.  Arrrrrggh!  A new wave of sadness.

A new wave of news concerning the dog-chaos of December.  I won't go into gossip-details, as I know only what was in the newspaper, namely that the dog-day-care place where I used to take my dogs has been busted as a "grow."  Yes, this goes on all around us, in town, out of town, in houses, in businesses, back yards, gardens, what-ever.  It's a free country, right?  Yeah yeah.

My dismay involves the danger to which the dogs were subjected as a "front" business to the grow.  Had there been the kind of bust with guns, etc., who is watching out for the dogs?  Oh, yes:  we paid to have our dogs there.

Well.  It's all over now.  My dogs are safe and secure with me.  They are safe when I go to work.  The other dogs are most likely with their families, they too, are safe.  The humans are on their own, I guess, choosing their own destinies.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pining for the Beach

Am I dreaming?  Is January disappearing in a blink?  It must be time for another trip out to  Point Reyes, time to let my eyes rest on the horizon, time to let time stand still.

Or, we could just go back to Sea Ranch, and rent a house for another week.  I am missing the Edge of the Continent, where the wilderness touches the sea.

A lesson in Irish Breakfast:  Irish Coffee.  Seriously, this was a first for me, but could be repeated easily.
Jameson.  Good, thick French Press Coffee.  Whipped Cream.

Yes.  I am so fond of my coffee pot.

Joseph and Maureen brought their new Christmas gifts out with them, which included a new, handy-dandy pressurized whipped creamer, you know, like the Downtown Bakery uses.  A dangerous gift.

Usually, Wayne is somewhat of a purist about breakfast.  This was to his liking.  He may have met his Irish genes in this cup.  A new breakfast of champions.

The Master Irish Barista.

Quickly masterful!

She's Irish, too.

Yes.  That was fun, celebrating the New Year at the coast.

Today I cleared the garden, it is now ready for the rototiller.  I've pulled and dug out the horrible, nasty grass, and filled the bin with it.  The hens have been working with me, fluffing feathers and finding tasty morsels under the mulch.  The sun has been shining daily, and the nights are cool, sometimes foggy.  I pruned the grape and just two roses.  Pulled more grass.

I like this, slowing down to season.  Getting ready for the rush of Spring, which isn't far off.

So, for tonight, I'm slow.  Outside it sounds like there is an owl in our backyard maple.  Dogs sacked.  Dinner bubbles.  Happy Mid-winter Eve.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mary's Art (Annie's too) and Moonset Meander

The Plaza Gallery in town has a show of children's art featuring elementary schools.  I was there for a writing class to discover two of MY granddaughters have art hanging!  I called each Mama-of-the-Artist with hilarious responses, "Oh, yes, we were going to tell you about that..." and "What art show?"  Hehehehe.  Mama's are often the last one in the communication cycle, non?  So anyways, we made it to the Opening, and Mary was given a "I'm Proud to Be An ARTIST" tag which delighted her no end.  Well, I am the proud Nonnie of the Artists!  And I wear that tag daily.

Some of us thought that this was an amazing portrait of Luna.  But, it's not. 

This is Annie's piece.  She was unable to be at the Opening because of a raunchy cold.  We will be meeting there soon.  There were several of these bicycles, I could line my house with them.  I love the colors and the active molecules happening here.

Moonset was phenomenal this morning.  Oh oh oh.  Has it always been like this?  Perhaps I have slept through too many.  Of course, today was exceptional in the noticing.

I have been missing my father.  Yesterday I decided that I am just going to do a sort of free-write post here (of course, all of these are free-writes!) with Dad at the helm.  What have I been missing?  Besides the obvious?  Foremost in my mind has been conversation.  He loved stimulating conversation.  As his daughter I did not always appreciate this in my growing-up.  It seemed that he talked to everyone else.  Until I started bringing home concepts:  aha!  He was surprised at the "workings" of his independent daughter.  I recall his reading one of my papers, his looking up with a grin, "You're a good writer!"

Every morning, yes every single morning rain, fog, frozen or shine, he saw the dawn from the pasture or corral or from the barn door.  He mentioned this almost daily at breakfast.

One of the things I am missing at this time in my life, is a two-sided conversation.  Dad talked "politics," in fact, was an active member of his community, serving many years on School Boards, and as a Director at the creamery co-op.  He didn't like conflict, but I am certain that in the face of it he stayed with the points of the situation at hand with intention to find common ground to accomplish the most benefit for the most people/students.  I do not believe that he ever called into doubt the other person's integrity, religion, race, sex, or patriotism in a situation with two(or more) view points.  At home, over the backbone of the dairy cow he might expound from his frustrated place, and be/sound racist or sexist, but he would never be so bigoted in public.

From the kid-point-of-view, when his compatriot dairyman, and very good friend, Charlie, would come over to "discuss" problems at the Creamery, I could hear a lot of shouting and hollering.  I knew there was disagreement, but could never get close enough to hear what it was about, as Dad had taught us that on no uncertain terms were we ever to come into the milking barn when they were talking.  Top secret, good ol' dairyman business.  Then, Dad invited Charlie in for coffee and dessert, which he usually declined, roaring off in his beat-up truck, shouting his good-byes over the din.  He, after all, had to milk his cows.

I am an NPR and PBS junkie.  I say that since we have gotten TV these past four years, that I now am having an NPR Education.  I love documentaries.  I watch ones on subjects (going to Mars?) that don't even interest me.  Mostly I choose, and usually choose Masterpiece Theatre and Nature.  I love the exquisite photography.  Oh, and those British comedy sitcoms make me laugh my socks off.

But.  But I am tired of analyzing or listening to them analyze.  I am just tired of it.  I really strongly dislike "talk radio" of the "conservative" ilk, not that I ever listen to it... just excerpts of rhetorical barf.  I guess what I am saying and feeling is that I miss the possibility of asking a question and receiving a thoughtful, respectful, kind-of-inclusive answer.  I miss listening.  I miss hearing Dad say something like, "I hadn't thought of that..."  Having him pull the question apart and sort it to his understanding and viewpoint indicated that he had heard the question!  Wow.  What a concept.

As I have said before, I grew up in an agricultural community where everyone knew me from five generations before.  I could get away with nothing.  All accounts of my activities were relayed back to my Father, sometimes before I got home.  Oh, and when he bought me that '65 Mustang, neither one of us heard the end of that!

The issues and responsibilities of today's USA are not unlike what was faced as I was growing up.  Most likely the biggest difference is that there are more layers of change needed.  Would we be a happier population if we took a little more time to listen?  Is it so important to blurt out our own line before the other has spoken completely to theirs?  Is louder truer?  Does my skin color and gender combine to make me invisible?  Does yours?  Does a person's political or religious affiliations disappear them?  Are you disappeared?

Keeping Watch

In the morning
When I began to wake,
It happened again---

That feeling
That You, Beloved,
Had stood over me all night
Keeping watch,

That feeling
That as soon as I began to stir

You put Your lips on my forehead
And lit a Holy Lamp
Inside my heart

Today is a wonder.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Couple More Waves

Oh, I am loving this mid-winter mild, sunny day.  Well, it's mostly passed, now, but today was sublime.  I pulled weeds and made great, tangled piles at the edge of the garden.  I let my hens out to enjoy things under the leaves, and noticed that Ms. Carmelita has a drooping tail, and doesn't go far, though she does keep her conversation going.  I dosed her with Echinacea, and hope for the best.  Took out ashes and made a new little fire, though we barely need one.  It is deeply satisfying to me to "do chores."  After what seemed like endless rainy days, this one just seems so perfect.

Have you ever voiced your opinion or thought, and had some one say, "I don't buy that."  For the life of me, I have no idea how that phrase has much to do with anything.

Dinner is in the oven.  Dogs are in wait-sprawl, ready for dinner.  Christmas lights are down and packed.  The robins are singing their twilight songs, ready to settle in for the night.  The sun has set, but there is still light, daylight fading.  This quiet holds peace.

There is still room for reading and writing!  And a cup of tea.

Manic  Screaming

We should make all spiritual talk
Simple today:

God is trying to sell you something,
But you don't want to buy.

That is what your suffering is:

Your fantastic haggling,
Your manic screaming over the price!

Have a wonder.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Beauty, Gratitude, Choosing, Groupmind, Flying.

Squeezing my gashogSUV into a parking space in town, on my way to meeting with fellow writers, I noticed this beautiful young woman perched on the fire hydrant in front of the toy store.  She was dressed like an artist ought to be dressed, with striped leggings, boots, the Pea Coat and lime green hat.  Guessing that she is 13 or so, and remembering my daughters admonishment, "Ask before you take your photos!" I did approach her and ask her permission.  She turned her perfect face to me, her enormous blue eyes reading me thoroughly, she tossed my way, "Sure.  Whatever."  The woman you see photographing her was having a good time, carrying on with a steady stream of verbal appreciation.  Interrupting herself, she asked me, "Is she your granddaughter?  Is that why you're taking her picture?"  I smiled, giggled actually(sorry Dev), because it reminded me of how in certain situations I forget that I do not know everybody on the planet, how every child, kid, baby is mine; how every dog is mine; how every elderly woman is my grandma.  It just happens.  And then I have to think my way back to (hahaha) reality.

"No, " I said, putting my camera back into the car, with one shot taken, "She's just so darned perfect."

I am so grateful that she was sitting there, in that moment.

Starlings and Blackbirds have been dropping out of the sky.  Various theories are afloat.  In our area a hundred or so were found on the freeway shoulder.  Oh no, not here too.  The birds fly in enormous flocks.  I love to watch them, and yes, I always pull off to the side of the road, as I am so completely distractable.  The local killing seems to have resulted from a flock like this (maybe even this flock) flew so low that they collided with an 18 wheeler.  Now, I have never heard of such a thing.

What could this be showing us?

Understanding "group mind" is a tall ambition:  Is it possible to have freedom?  Freedom of speech?  Can I really choose to go North when the population is headed South?  Does a Lemming ever change its mind and not leap off the cliff?  One cannot be a rebel with nothing to fight against.

There is much at stake here.

No!  Turn right!  No!  We're going left!  No!  Up!  No!  Down!

Imagine the mess.

Taj Mahal is singing in the living room.  He comes on the stereo every morning as a result of Rebekah's tinkering with the buttons and dials about seven years ago.  So, the stereo comes on every morning, ready or not.  And I love it.  I am reminded of that little girl showing me how she plays the piano, on my new piece of equipment.  She is almost as tall as me now, 12-going-on-twenty.

For her sake, I am compelled to open the creaking doors to my perceptions, projections, my negativity, my opinions, my co-creating worst-case-scenarios, my fears, my certainties--- to see them for the notions they are.  Any idea, thought, belief is an ethereal nothing, even while it stifles, condemns, stops.

For her sake, I am compelled to let go of stuck-ness.  I am compelled to give up, turn over my own violent, revenge-filled thoughts.  I lay down the machine guns of my mind.

Of late, I have heard the words, "Turn my Life over to God."  For every stubborn, right, strong, farm-girl, I-can-do-it-myself thought, there is the strength, faith and good, Knowing.  I am not alone.

Aahhh.  That's better.  Now, for the flying.

Love you.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Well, Hello There.  Looky here:  it is 1/11/11.  A good moment to rekindle with my writing.  A good day to download 126 images onto my new, shiny computer with back-lit keyboard, I kid you not, I can type in the dark if I want to; and a good day to gather 10 poems together and bundle them into a brown manila envelope (and mail them).

We spent the week after Christmas at the Coast.  The weather was beautiful.  We saw hundreds of whales on January 1 swimming south.  I have never seen so many, they passed by all day long, huffing and puffing.  The days were spent sipping coffee, walking, eating, reading, laughing, talking, eating, walking, sitting in the hot tub, reading, laughing, sleeping, napping, eating....  bliss.  We didn't start up the truck once in 4 + days!

For the past weeks I have only checked my computer-stuff from the office.  Mine crashed, very completely, not too surprising, since I had been duly warned the last couple of times we'd been into the shop.  Nope.  I didn't back up anything, even though I had had that whole routine explained to me for the last 6 years.  Yep:  when it all came down I was mortified.  Haven't I written about this before?  Sorry for repeating myself.

So.  I emptied my sock drawer of cash, and the mattress, too.  I turned pockets and baskets upside down.  I stole all quarters left around the house.  I ordered my new laptop.

The next day my back went out as I drove from Sarah's house to mine.  I think that is called buyer's freak-out.  It lasted a few days.

Then Wayne went on his business trip and I was home with the dogs, which is always fun.  No, really, it is.  Then the back fence fell over and that is a story unrelated to this one, even though there is an overlap.  While Wayne was gone I made my own coffee, extremely black on the first morning, a little less so the next, and pretty darn good the third.  I packed in wood and took out the ashes.  I went to work.  I took each dog out every day, in spite of their insatiable desire to go 50 thousand miles, now.  Yes, we were very glad to hear his truck pull into the driveway.  Very.

Before the computer crashed, the printer died.  It seemed as though every piece of machinery I use was thrashed.  Finished.  Fine then, I won't print here at home.  Of course, printing out the writing gets a little tedious, but oh well, it's temporary.

You see, LPC, this is Life.  Rolling in, wave by wave by wave.  I am grateful for each day, and every day may hold a challenge or twenty.  In the overall scheme of things, Life richly blesses my existence.  Electronics are helpful, and I can write in my paper notebooks.

It was strangely calm and peaceful to not have a computer!  I was a little reluctant to pick up email and Facebook, even at the office.  For me there is always a tug to go backwards, to slip into the pre-computer age, to stir up a pot of chicken soup, to stare at birds, the dogs, the leafless branches, sky, light dancing behind the breakers, to let the verses in my mind trail onto a page, to read a book from cover to cover.


Is where the Real Fun starts.

There's too much counting
Everywhere else!
Much love and gratitude.
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