“You’re told that you’re in your head too much, a phrase that’s often deployed against the quiet and cerebral. Or maybe there’s another word for such people: thinkers.” ~ Susan Cain, from Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

If it’s Friday, it must mean leftovers . . .

Friday afternoon, mostly cloudy and cold, 44 degrees.

I’m still not feeling together enough to string together a real blog. Yesterday, I sat at the keyboard for hours without a single original word hitting the screen. It’s very frustrating as I had told myself that once I returned to this blog, that I would post regularly. But the truth is that I can only post as regularly as the muse allows, and at the moment, the must is being suppressed by overwhelming body pain, the source of which I am uncertain.

It’s not just the morning migraines; now, it’s also my back, a source of such localized pain the likes of which I haven’t had to contend with for quite a while. Anyway, that’s what’s going on. I hope to have a real post up tomorrow, but in the  meantime, I have quite a good collection of leftovers for today (in my humble opinion.

Enjoy!


So Gillette came out with a commercial for the MeToo movement:

Never before seen error code:

Error 503 Backend is unhealthy

I have always loved Andre Braugher, most especially in “Homicide,” one of the best shows to ever be on television.

From gaymilesedgeworth (a deactivated tumblr account): One of my favorite things in Brooklyn Nine Nine is when you can tell the writers were like “You know, Andre Braugher is an extremely talented Shakespearean actor who graduated top of his class at Juilliard…..what if we took advantage of that for our sitcom”

This is a good depiction of either of my older dogs, Tillie and Bailey, every time a puppy comes near:

The San Francisco Examiner, California, April 10, 1927

A murmuration in Otmoor, London, UK (1-4-19), something I’ve always wanted to see:

In 2015, a drought in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas revealed the ruins of a 400-year-old church, Temple Santiago:

Temple Santiago Image by David von Blohn (AP)

From Ultrafacts:

Here’s a video:

I didn’t know this:

And finally:

More later. Peace.

 

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“He finds himself bored by the shenanigans of highly spirited young men. Their concerns reside somewhere between balder and dash.” ~ Sara Sheridan, from Secret of the Sands

If it’s Friday, it must mean leftovers . . .

Friday morning, completely overcast with drizzle and fog, 48 degrees.

I have quite the collection today. My editorial asides are in italics below. Enjoy.


I don’t know why I found this so funny:

This actually happened:

From Memes & Comedy:

Also from Memes & Comedy:

Apparently, this has been a problem for longer than people thought, and no, the irony isn’t lost on me:

The Wichita Daily Eagle, Kansas, December 30, 1899

The Saint Paul Globe, Minnesota, March 2, 1905

The Tribune, Seymour, Indiana, July 13, 1909

The Atlanta Constitution, Georgia, May 13, 1912

The Evening Journal, Wilmington, Delaware, June 11, 1913

Woodson County Advocate, Yates Center, Kansas, August 6, 1915

The Guntersville Democrat, Alabama, June 22, 1921

Oh, the irony . . .

Daily News, New York, New York, February 13, 1925

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Kentucky, May 22, 1950

I found most of these hilarious, but then, I’m easily amused. Be forewarned, several are audibly groan-worthy:

48 Incredibly Short, Clean Jokes That Are Actually Funny

  1. I bought some shoes from a drug dealer. I don’t know what he laced them with, but I’ve been tripping all day.
    ImHully
  2. I told my girlfriend she drew her eyebrows too high. She seemed surprised.
    megan_james

  3. Two clowns are eating a cannibal. One turns to the other and says “I think we got this joke wrong”
    Moltenfirez

  4. My wife told me I had to stop acting like a flamingo. So I had to put my foot down.
    Spysquirrel

  5. What’s the difference between in-laws and outlaws?
    Outlaws are wanted.
    Dave-Stark

  6. I bought my friend an elephant for his room.
    He said “Thanks”
    I said “Don’t mention it”
    3shirts

  7. I have an EpiPen. My friend gave it to me when he was dying, it seemed very important to him that I have it.
    kate_winslat

  8. I poured root beer in a square glass.
    Now I just have beer.
    PM_ME_TINY_DINOSAURS

  9. What’s the difference between a hippo and a zippo?
    One is really heavy, and the other is a little lighter.
    alosercalledsusie

  10. My friend says to me: “What rhymes with orange” I said: “no it doesn’t”
    DinosRoar1

11. And God said to John, come forth and you shall be granted eternal life.
But John came fifth and won a toaster.
PM-SOME-TITS

12. How many opticians does it take to change a lightbulb?
Is it one or two? One… or two?
Undescended_testicle

13. What do we want?
Low flying airplane noises!
When do we want them?
NNNEEEEEEOOOOOOOOWWWWWW.
Tetragon213

14. What do you call a frenchman wearing sandals?
Phillipe Phillope.
Sooowhatisthis

15. What’s orange and sounds like a parrot?
A carrot.
BiffWhistler

16. What do you call a dog that does magic tricks?
A labracadabrador.
leahcure

  1. So what if I don’t know what Armageddon means? It’s not the end of the world.
    Jefferncfc
  • How do you get two whales in a car? Start in England and drive west.
    fireworkslass

  • A blind man walks into a bar. And a table. And a chair.
    ImHully

  • Why did the old man fall in the well?
    Because he couldn’t see that well.
    rangers_fan2

  • I bought the world’s worst thesaurus yesterday. Not only is it terrible, it’s terrible.
    Rndomguytf

  • This is my step ladder. I never knew my real ladder.
    WikiWantsYourPics

  • My friend asked me to help him round up his 37 sheep.
    I said “40”
    3shirts

  • I’ve found a job helping a one armed typist do capital letters.
    It’s shift work.
    3shirts

  • I went bobsleighing the other day, killed 250 bobs.
    breadman666

  • I have the heart of a lion and a lifetime ban from the Toronto zoo.
    kailey_sara

  • What’s the difference between a good joke and a bad joke timing.
    Melchiah_III

  • Wife says to her programmer husband, “Go to the store and buy a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, buy a dozen.” Husband returns with 12 loaves of bread.
    SuperFreakyNaughty

  • Communism jokes aren’t funny unless everyone gets them.
    -georgie

  • What did the pirate say when he turned 80 years old?
    Aye matey.
    Wicked_Wanderer

  • What do the movies titanic and the sixth sense have in common.
    Icy dead people.
    mysevenyearitch

  • Knock Knock
    Who’s There?
    Dishes
    Dishes Who?
    Dishes Sean Connery.
    Birdie_Num_Num

  • Have you heard about those new corduroy pillows? They’re making headlines.
    Deerhoof_Fan

  • Two men meet on opposite sides of a river. One shouts to the other “I need you to help me get to the other side!”
    The other guy replies “You are on the other side!”
    The2ndKingInTheNorth

  • I couldn’t figure out why the baseball kept getting larger. Then it hit me.
    KaboomBoxer

  • My friends say there’s a gay guy in our circle of friends… I really hope it’s Todd, he’s cute.
    -917-

  • People in Dubai don’t like the Flintstones.
    But people in Abu Dhabi do!
    stevenmc

  • Guy walks into a bar and orders a fruit punch.
    Bartender says “Pal, if you want a punch you’ll have to stand in line” Guy looks around, but there is no punch line.
    justacheesyguy

  • I’ve been told I’m condescending.
    (that means I talk down to people)
    iblinkyoublink

  • How did the hipster burn his mouth?
    He ate the pizza before it was cool.
    plax1780

  • Before your criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you do criticize them, you’re a mile away and have their shoes.
    BoxxerUOP

  • What’s ET short for?
    He’s only got little legs.
    3shirts

  • What’s the difference between a dirty old bus stop and a lobster with breast implants? One is a crusty bus station the other one is a busty crustacean.
    laurtw

  • Why arent koalas actual bears?
    They dont meet the koalafications
    ImHully

  • It’s hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs because they always take things literally.
    auran98

  • I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather did, not screaming in terror like the passengers in his car.
    msdarth

  • Some people think it’s romantic to carve their names on trees in the park while on a date.
    I’m more worried about why they’re bringing a knife on their date.
    I_know_where_you_is

  • 2 cows are grazing in a field. 1 cow says to the other, “You ever worry about that mad cow disease?”. The other cow says, “Why would I care? I’m a helicopter!”.
    Electric_Evil

  • “Watching the sunlight on distant smoke today–how far away and remote it seemed” ~ Charles Burchfield, Journal entry January 2, 1931

    Low Lying Fog in California, by Ken Xu, FCC

    “Let the light and the winds colour and cleanse my blood.” ~ Gabriela Mistral, from “Quietness”

    Wednesday  afternoon, overcast, 48 degrees.

    Hello out there in the ether. Hope today finds you well. Yesterday I completely forgot that it was Tuesday, which meant that I had a Two for Tuesday post all ready to go. That’s how much my mind is in disarray: I have to  look at my phone to see what day it is. Does anyone else have that problem?

    Trees in the Mist, Hayle England, UK (FCC)

    I usually begin my day here with a little organizing, trying to figure out what I have to say, thinking about accompanying images and songs, and then I usually watch a few YouTube videos that I subscribe to—Tati (beauty guru), Alexandria (unboxings and try ons), and then maybe someone else. It’s a distraction, and when I’m finished, I feel as if I’ve cleaned my palette, and I’m ready to go with the words.

    For a short minute I thought about starting a YouTube channel, but man, people on there are vicious in their commentaries. One wrong word, and your channel explodes. I just don’t have either the patience or the thick skin for that, so I won’t be putting myself out there for that anytime soon.

    I never get tired of watching this,
    As the mists seem to move, then not move.
    They don’t, of course, but merely disappear.
    ……………………………………………………….Perhaps that’s why I like it. ~ Charles Wright, from Littlefoot: “25”

    A few mornings ago (maybe even yesterday?), the fog rolled in very quickly and lay within the trees at the back of the house like one of those old cotton Christmas tree skirts everyone used to use once upon a time. It was so fast, and by the time I thought about taking some pictures, it was gone; hence the Flickr Creative Commons pix of fog. I thought I’d try to get a variety of locations.

    Trees in the Mist, Austria (FCC)

    Fog has always fascinated me, ever since I was a young child in England. I’m certain that I’ve written about this before, but I still have vivid memories of being caught out in the fog in London and not being able to see anything. It was a different kind of fog—very, very thick and impenetrable. I remember a man walking in front of the buses with a lantern on a ladder to guide the driver.

    I have no idea if they still get fog like that. I mean it was a long time ago, and even if they do, I’m sure that no longer use lanterns on ladders. But the first time that mom and I were out in that, it was pretty scary. I, obviously, had never seen anything like it, but then to realize that my mother was as scared as I was—something like that can really unnerve a child.

    We were still living in the old house outside of London at the time, the house with the haunted bedroom. Man, if only I could remember where that was. I have absolutely no idea, and I’ve never found anything of mom’s that had that address on it.

    “I really love fog. It hides you from the world and the world from you. You feel that everything has changed, and nothing is what it seemed to be. No one can find or touch you anymore.” ~ Eugene O’Neill, from Long Day’s Journey Into Night

    I’ve driven through some really terrible fog more than a few times, but it doesn’t bother me. I find fog oddly comforting and beautiful. Living near the Chesapeake Bay, we could get some thick fog rolling in across the bay; of course, I wasn’t on the water at the time. I would imagine that people who work on the water as Corey used to do not find fog at all comforting.

    Misty World, Vallée du Grésivaudan, French Alps (FCC)

    It’s just that in heavy fog, sound changes. It can become completely muffled, and then light seems to disappear. I’ve always imagined having a scene in a book in which someone who is lost in a thick fog comes face to face with the killer. Yes, my mind does go to places like that, frequently, actually. I’m always mulling over plots for mysteries. The problem is that the mulling never moves beyond that.

    It makes me wonder if I’m just a dilettante: someone who likes to know a little bit about a lot of things without ever specializing in any of them, and perhaps in a way, I am. I’m a curmudgeonly dilettante who loves words. What to make of that? Hmm . . .

    Things that make you go hmm…………

    “The light is flat and hard and almost nonexistent,
    The way our lives appear to us,
    ……………………………………………..then don’t, as our inlook shifts.” ~ Charles Wright, from Littlefoot: “25”

    I suppose that’s enough about the fog, but it’s such a wonderful image, and metaphor, and memory, actually. It’s taken me several years since my mother’s death to begin to remember more. Our relationship was so fractured that I think I tried very hard not to think about her in the immediate months following her death. But now, with some distance, I can begin to sort through the memories better.

    One of the sad things, though, is that I know without a doubt that my mom was happiest in England. It seems like everything after that was just a disappointment for her, her marriage, her location, her family, everything. And I only realized too late that it would have been such a simple thing for me to offer to go back to London with her for a visit, but I never did. It never even occurred to me to do that, and now I cannot.

    Mountains in mist and fog, Indonesia (FCC)

    And so the memories of the two of us exploring every inch of London and the surrounding environs are more immediate, as it were.

    It’s hard for me to think of my relationship with my mother as a whole. I’ll give you a classic example of how it was with us: My cousin once told me that my mother talked about me all of the time, and he could tell that she was proud of me. This caught me completely off guard. I never would have believed it if he hadn’t said it as I can remember exactly one time as a teenager or adult that my mother told me that she was proud of me.

    One. Time.

    Perhaps she said it as a matter of course when I was a child, because I was very much as Alexis was as a child: everything you could want in a daughter—smart, polite, attentive, hard-working, focused. Perhaps when I hit puberty, I became a foreigner to my mother, much as Alexis did to me when she entered high school.

    Perhaps. Who knows? Certainly not I.

    “Gloom is literally atmospheric, climate as much as impression . . . Gloom is more climatological than psychological, the stuff of dim, hazy, overcast skies, of ruins and overgrown tombs, of a misty, lethargic fog.” ~ Eugene Thacker, Cosmic Pessimism 

    As these things are want to do, I have said much more than I had planned to say. The genesis was the fog, and then the floodgates opened. And truthfully, I’m not in the best place emotionally or mentally for open floodgates. I’ve spent the last two days in my pajamas, and when I looked in the mirror last night, I had to admit to myself that I just plain looked rough.

    Der Nebel, Gilbert-Noël Sfeir Mont-Liban (FCC)

    It’s been a rough kind of week. Tink isn’t out of the woods yet, and it’s hard for either of us to concentrate on much else, but I decided today to make an effort, you know, bath, put on clean clothes, maybe some lipstick, try to write, do more than just stare blankly at the screen. And so this is that effort.

    Anyway, because it’s on my mind as well, I am reminded of a line from Charles Wright’s Littlefoot: “I live here accompanied by clouds.” There are so many clouds here, and I don’t yet know if that’s a year-round thing, or just fall and winter. My father would have hated that part. I’m fairly certain that he had Seasonal Affected Disorder; as the months became colder and light began to fade, his depression would worsen.

    I can relate. I know that my own temperament is greatly affected by the weather. Take today, for instance: no sunlight anywhere, nothing dappling on the leaves on the trees. Just grey clouds, and clouds aren’t the same as fog. Grey clouds—unlike fluffy white clouds shaped like animals—are just, well, there, making everything look cold and grey and yes, gloomy.

    So enough of that.

    More later. Peace.


    Music by Paloma Faith (loving her these days), “Only Love Can Hurt Like This”


    Missing the Dead

    I miss the old scrawl on the viaduct,
    the crazily dancing letters: BIRD LIVES.
    It’s gone now, the wall as clean as forgetting.
    I go home and put on a record:
    Charlie Parker Live at the Blue Note.
    Each time I play it, months or years apart,
    the music emerges more luminous;
    I never listened so well before.
    I wish my parents had been musicians
    and left me themselves transformed into sound,
    or that I could believe in the stars
    as the radiant bodies of the dead.
    Then I could stand in the dark, pointing out
    my mother and father to all
    who did not know them, how they shimmer,
    how they keep getting brighter
    as we keep moving toward each other.

    ~ Lisel Mueller

     

    If it’s Friday, it must mean leftovers . . .

    Almost every night of my life . . . From The New Yorker

     

    Friday evening. Cloudy with drizzle, 46 degrees.

    Just a straightforward leftovers post. Spent too much time trying to find the perfect present for Corey, and now my back hurts. My life is so weird……..


    Self-explanatory:

    The four horsemen of the apocalypse from memesdaily

    Existentialgingerbreadism

    Also self-explanatory:

     

    From Ultrafacts: Perhaps a lesson here?

    For youngest son who spent years Rick Rolling everyone in sight:

    Also from Ultrafacts:


    Today’s poem was written by UK Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy for the centenary of Armistice Day, November 18, 2018 (I know that I’m late). This day is very important to Europeans, but somehow, 45 couldn’t go out in the rain to pay tribute to the fallen. The background on this sonnet can be found here.

    The Wound In Time

    It is the wound in Time. The century’s tides,
    chanting their bitter psalms, cannot heal it.
    Not the war to end all wars; death’s birthing place;
    the earth nursing its ticking metal eggs, hatching
    new carnage. But how could you know, brave
    as belief as you boarded the boats, singing?
    The end of God in the poisonous, shrapneled air.
    Poetry gargling its own blood. We sense it was love
    you gave your world for; the town squares silent,
    awaiting their cenotaphs. What happened next?
    War. And after that? War. And now? War. War.
    History might as well be water, chastising this shore;
    for we learn nothing from your endless sacrifice.
    Your faces drowning in the pages of the sea.

    “In the falling quiet there was no sky or earth, only snow lifting in the wind, frosting the window glass, chilling the rooms, deadening and hushing the city.” ~ Truman Capote, from “Miriam”

    View of the farm from the back deck
    “Boughs of trees adorned with thick pillows,
    so fluffy someone must have plumped them up;
    the ground a series of humps and mounds,
    beneath which slinking underbrush or outcrops of rock lay hidden;” ~ Thomas Mann, from The Magic Mountain

     Sunday afternoon, cloudy and cold, 32 degrees, more snow forecast.

    View of the pasture from the front of the house

    It began snowing during the night and continued into early afternoon. I estimate about five or six inches on the ground, and the weather is predicting more to come. I am mesmerized by how everything here looks. It is more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.

    In scouring the internet in search of appropriate quotes and a poem for today, I was dismayed to find only the most well known of quotes and poems, you know, Christine Rossetti’s “In the Deep Midwinter,” which I love, but I’ve used before, I’m certain. And I do try very hard not to repeat the poems or songs that I include; although, it’s a bit harder with quotes.

    But I thought of Galway Kinnell, one of my favorite poets, and I reasoned that he had to have a poem that fit the mood of this post. I was not wrong, but the poem, which is about his wife, is a bit melancholy, I’ll admit, just so you know.

    “Is it snowing where you are? All the world that I see from my tower is draped in white and the flakes are coming down as big as pop-corns. It’s late afternoon – the sun is just setting (a cold yellow colour) behind some colder violet hills, and I am up in my window seat using the last light to write to you.” ~ Jean Webster, from Daddy-Long-Legs

    Corey has driven to Dallas’s house to pick up some hay for the horses; although they seem to be grazing just fine beneath the snow. Napoleon and Sassy continue to break out of the pasture, and have taken to coming onto the front porch to get my attention. While Corey wonders how we always manage to have animals with so much personality, I smile inwardly. It does not surprise me at all that the horses have already developed distinct personalities. It just take a little conversation, a little attention, a little love.

    Tillie in the snow in her very big coat

    Animals are not dumb. People are.

    I put the coats on the dogs before they ventured out again. Tillie loved hers, Bailey not so much. Though it looks as if I’m going to have to switch them—the coats, not the dogs. Originally I had bought a bigger coat for Tillie, but hers is too big, and Bailey’s is, well, a bit snug; she was not amused when I told her that she had gotten bigger.

    Anyway, while the dogs are enjoying the snow, and the horses seem a bit indifferent, the cats are having none of it. Ash took a quick peek out the front door and immediately turned around and plopped himself back down in front of the wood stove, as if to say, “You must be joking.” Cleo, the other cat, rarely stirs from sleeping 23 hours a day unless it’s to eat or to peer out the back door as if to reassure herself that she is no longer living outside.

    Speaking of the wood stove, we really need to buy a bellows for it. It’s not that large, but it puts out a lot of heat once the fire gets going, that being the operational phrase—gets going, as in it takes a lot for that to happen. Corey ends up frustrated daily by the lack of cooperation that he gets from the stove/fire.

    “All Heaven and Earth
    Flowered white obliterate…
    Snow…unceasing snow” ~ Hashin (only known haiku)

    When I awoke very early this morning, the flakes that were falling were big drops of fluff, bigger than I’ve seen in quite a while. I had to stop myself from waking Corey so that he could see, as I didn’t think that he’d appreciate it.

    View of outbuildings from the kitchen window

    Once we finally stirred ourselves hours later, it was still snowing. I noticed that it was almost impossible to make out the top of the ridge as everything was snow covered, and the sky was white, so it appeared as one long white gradient. Sometimes, it’s nice to see the world a little blurry as I do without my glasses and truthfully, sometimes with them; but I do enjoy seeing the lines blurred between nature’s boundaries, earth to sky.

    Unfortunately, I know that I need to get my eyes checked again before ordering new glasses. The last time that I was at the eye doctor in Norfolk, she had said that my vision will continue to deteriorate because of the cataracts but that the cataracts weren’t yet bad enough to operate.

    A classic catch-22. Aging is fun.

    What will also be fun is trying to find an eye surgeon around here that I trust to do the work on both eyes, and with my ill luck in finding just a regular doctor, I’m seriously considering going back to Norfolk at the beginning of the year to get my eyes checked out and to make an appointment for the operation.

    “The crisp path through the field in this December snow, in the deep dark, where we trod the buried grass like ghosts on dry toast.” ~ Dylan Thomas, from Quite Early One Morning: Stories

    I’m torn between putting on layers of clothes and venturing outside for real, as in past the porches, or taking a nap, or taking a hot bath. For now, I’ll just sit here and write until something changes, I suppose.

    A view of the ridge from the front of the house

    Last night I had a very strange dream in which there was a lot of movement between two houses, people going back and forth. What is strange about this dream is that the night before, I dreamed that an old friend was supposed to come to dinner, but I had forgotten to tell him that I had moved, so he went to the old house and then had to drive to the new one. It doesn’t take a dream interpretation book to understand the underlying contexts; still, it’s a bit unnerving in that the people who populate these particular dreams are ones I have not seen in many years.

    A few nights ago, when I could not sleep, I wrote a poem, something very unlike most of my other poems. It was a take from a news article that I wrote a lifetime ago about the nightlife in Norfolk. For that particular story, I girded myself with an assortment of my male friends, and for several nights ventured into various seedy after-hours establishments around the city, one of which was a strip bar outside Gate 1 of what used to be the Amphibious Base. I use the term strip loosely as Norfolk outlawed stripping years ago, so the women wore bathing suits and/or shorts.

    Anyway, the poem that I wrote was about that bar. Again, something from years ago. I truly haven’t the faintest idea why that experience would pop into my head at 2 a.m. or why I would suddenly be possessed to write a poem about it, but it did, and I was.

    Hmm . . . things that make you go hmm . . .

    “In your hands winter
    is a book with cloud pages
    that snow pearls of love.” ~ Aberjhani,from “Angel of Earth Days and Seasons”

    So I suppose the last thing on my mind is this preoccupation we now have with trigger warnings. I mean, I just watched the video for “Drunk Girl,” by Chris Janson, and there was actually a warning about the video’s contents. I just don’t understand.

    Looking through the trees straight through to infinity

    Look, I absolutely do understand that people have terrible experiences that can come roaring back out of the past without any warning, triggered by an image or a song or whatever. I know that only too well as it happens to me. But country songs are all about love and hurt and heartbreak and the wrong man and the wrong woman and life and . . . And now we have to put warnings on videos that contain no nudity, no violence, nothing of the sort, only an implied abusive relationship?

    I read a story in the news a few days ago about how today’s youth wants to be sheltered from so many things, and it isn’t good for them. Okay, so I just used the phrase “today’s youth,” which is really, really weird. Next, I’ll be yelling for people to get off my lawn. But I digress . . .

    I suppose it’s a combination of helicopter parenting and that derogatory term of snowflakes to describe young people. But if a person is never exposed to anything that might, just might, maybe, possibly be a bit negative, then how on earth is that individual ever going to grow? Going to develop that invisible exoskeleton with which we armor ourselves in order to deal with life?

    We’ve gone from the horrors of forcing children to work 18 hours a day for mere pennies to shielding them from commercials that might have a scary message. I am completely befuddled, but then, that’s not exactly a new thing.

    Okay. Time for a hot cup of tea and a bath. All of the images are mine.

    More later. Peace.


    Music by David Lanz, “Whiter Shade of Pale” (bet you thought it was going to be “Drunk Girl”). I cannot tell you how many times I listened to David Lanz’s CD Cristofori’s Dream while driving through the cemetery on cold winter days.


    Two Seasons

    I

    The stars were wild that summer evening
    As on the low lake shore stood you and I
    And every time I caught your flashing eye
    Or heard your voice discourse on anything
    It seemed a star went burning down the sky.

    I looked into your heart that dying summer
    And found your silent woman’s heart grown wild
    Whereupon you turned to me and smiled
    Saying you felt afraid but that you were
    Weary of being mute and undefiled

    II

    I spoke to you that last winter morning
    Watching the wind smoke snow across the ice
    Told of how the beauty of your spirit, flesh,
    And smile had made day break at night and spring
    Burst beauty in the wasting winter’s place.

    You did not answer when I spoke, but stood
    As if that wistful part of you, your sorrow,
    Were blown about in fitful winds below;
    Your eyes replied your worn heart wished it could
    Again be white and silent as the snow.

    ~ Galway Kinnell

    “This is what I like about photographs. They’re proof that once, even if just for a heartbeat, everything was perfect.” ~ Jodi Picoult, from Lone Wolf

    From left to right: Napoleon, Boots, Sassy, and Petra
    If it’s Friday, it must mean leftovers . . .

    Friday afternoon, mostly cloudy, 37 degrees.

    Yes, it’s a leftovers post. I had planned to write, but then there was that whole lack of sleep thing, wide awake at 5 a.m. thing . . . That, plus the new cat has taken to using the master bathroom as a litter box, and it’s extremely annoying. She doesn’t use the floor; no, she uses the flannel cover that I put down for her bed. Why, cat, why?

    So between cleaning toxic cat poop and trying to get two of the horses back into the pasture after they broke through the fence again and came wandering up to the front porch, it’s been a trying day.

    I will let you know that I have decided on names for the four horses that we have so far: The stallion is Napoleon, because he’s small and has a small man’s complex that makes him bully the fillies, and he has this lock of hair that falls on his brow very reminiscent of all of the Napoleon portraits. The two Sorrel horses are Sassy (the big one that continuously escapes and thinks it’s funny), and Boots, the one with white boots. And finally, the slow white and brown paint is Petra, mostly because when I was a child we had a Yorkie that was a bit slow, and dad named her Petra, and she was the sweetest dog ever.

    So that’s the horse family for now. On to the leftovers!


    How cool was this?

    2600 people form a chain to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the discovery of the DNA. Genentech employees set a Guinness World Record for the Largest “Human” DNA Helix on April 21, 2011 in San Francisco.

    Any excuse to post Tom Hiddleston:

    Alrighty then . . .

    Audible groan when you see it:

    Well this just blows out of the water everything I believed about hand dryers . . . except for Dyson hand dryers. I want one in my house.

    Er, excuse me?

    I love dry roasted peanuts too, but this?

    More later. Peace.


    Music by Imagine Dragons, “Thunder” (I love this video)

    “The past is always carried into the present by small things.” ~ Michael Ondaatje, from Divisadero

    “The Fire” (1943, oil on canvas) by René Magritte (reminded me of the California wildfires)

    “The tiger springs in the new year. Us he devours.” ~ T. S. Eliot, from “Gerontion”

    Thursday evening, cloudy and cold, 41 degrees, warming temperatures.

    Well, where do I begin this post? So far, I’ve kept it light, telling you a bit about our move, the mountains, the animals, but I haven’t touched on how we ended up here, which is a long and convoluted story, one that cannot be shared in its entirety because other people deserve their privacy, even if I put everything about myself down here. So let me go back, back to 2017.

    Last year began one of the absolute worst times of my life, I mean, ranking right up there with the loss of Caitlin, the loss of my father, the loss of my mother. Emotionally, we began 2017 on what can only be described as a roller coaster in hell, and it only got  much worse. I don’t mean to be cryptic, but I’m not going into specifics; I just wanted to set the mood a bit.

    “The False Mirror” (1928, oil on canvas)
    by René Magritte

    Suffice it to say that by the middle of the year, I had, not by my choice, officially—emotionally and somewhat physically—lost any contact with either of my sons, and contact with my daughter was fraught at best. Perhaps I should backup even more. If I’m going to tell some of this, I need to go back more, back to that time in which, for various reasons, younger son chose not to have much to do with  me, and older son followed suit, more by accident than deliberation, I think.

    Eldest son has always been independent, and he has been closer to his dad than to me since about the age of 13 or 14. His dad exited our lives when the boys were only 7 and 6 respectively, but he did his visitation regularly, always paid his support, so I’m not slamming him here, just stating facts. Anyway, eldest son has much in common with his father, some good and some bad, as we all tend to be, so I was not entirely surprised that once eldest moved out for good, I didn’t see or hear from him regularly, not that it didn’t wound me or that I didn’t miss him tremendously, just saying it wasn’t a surprise.

    But separation from youngest son? That wounded me to my very core, and it is still a very fresh wound. I really don’t know if it will ever get easier or better.

    “Birds make great sky-circles of their freedom.
    How do they learn it?
    They fall, and falling they’re given wings.” ~ Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī

    Youngest son is also my youngest child, so he was the one who was with me alone after the other two moved out. We did pretty much everything together, watched movies, exchanged books, went to poetry readings and thrift stores, and I always loved how close we were, but life happens, everyone grows up, and nothing stays the same. If that were all that it were, I could accept it. But that’s not it. For various reasons unrelated to me, he began to withdraw, which is not to say that there aren’t reasons related to me because there are. The problem is that I don’t understand a lot of those reasons. I can, however, pare it down to one particular devastating accusation though: He told me that I was abusive, emotionally abusive.

    “Memory” (1948, oil on canvas)
    by René Magritte

    Okay. Well, then . . .

    No. Not okay then. Not okay at all. Yes, there are all kinds of ways to be abusive, and god knows that there is an entire generation approaching life through trigger warnings and needing safe spaces, and no, I don’t really understand that either, but whatever. Look, he’s had social anxiety issues for most of his life, and who am I to criticize, hermit and agoraphobic that I am. But I tried many times to help and to get him help, not wanting him to end up like me; nevertheless, he began to deal with other more serious things as he got older, but I always approached him honestly and with all of the understanding that I had, and I always told him that I would love him no matter what, and I have. But apparently, I must have loved him abusively . . . is that even a thing?

    I know that helicopter parenting can create a slew of problems, but I never saw myself as a helicopter parent. I tried hard to help when asked, comfort when needed, and to butt out when it warranted. I never said anything to anyone about having the wrong friends or the wrong boyfriends or girlfriends or significant others. I didn’t snoop, even when I really, really wanted to. And I promised myself that I would never break a promise and that I would always try to be truthful. The brutal truth for parents is that ultimately they must step back and watch their sons and daughters make mistakes, watch them fall, and although it is a painful thing to do, it must be done, but that doing is never easy. So what is it that I did, exactly?

    I believed to my soul that I owed my kids all of that—truth, love, understanding, and yes, protection. But I never thought that I coddled them. My kids didn’t have everything that they wanted or asked for; they didn’t wear designer clothes; we had some lean Christmases, and we even lived without cable for years (shudder). But they had a solid roof over their head albeit a smaller one with old furniture, and they never went to bed hungry. They weren’t deprived, but neither were they spoiled rotten.

    “Memoory” (1948, oil on canvas)
    by René Magritte

    I’m not claiming to be blameless. Of course I’ve done things. All parents do, even when they don’t really mean to. I’m certain if you asked any of my offspring if I ever screwed up, that they could come at you with a list, and each of those lists would probably not contain that same things. What? I’m only human, after all. But this, this accusation, this statement, whatever it is? I just don’t understand it, and I really, really really want to understand it because the gulf just keeps widening, and as it does, my heart just keeps breaking.

    Years ago, when I used to talk about moving to the mountains, I told youngest that he could come and build his own place wherever we went, and when I would daydream about that move, he was always a part of it. But now? He’s hundred of miles away, and the chances that he will ever move here and build his own place are completely non existent.

    “Don’t you get tired of wanting
    to live forever?
    Don’t you get tired of saying Onward?” ~ Margaret Atwood, from “Circe/Mud Poems”

    I know that I began this post talking about 2017 and how we actually ended up here in the mountains on 100+ acres, trying to live the dream, but it looks like I’m going to have to come back to that later because this has morphed into a post about parents and children, and loss and heartache and . . . yep, all of that and so much more.

    “Secret Life IV” (1928, oil on canvas)
    by René Magritte

    Suffice it to say that the entire family on all sides went through emotional hell, and there are some wounds that may never heal. Corey and I have only very recently begun to allow ourselves to attempt to move on and get along with our lives, but all of that crap about resolution? Resolution is a gift, and some receive it, and others do not, and a great deal depends upon the individual, so you can rightly assume that I do not feel that resolution has been bestowed upon me.

    But as for youngest son, I no longer contact him, and that is as he wishes, not as I wish. Does that mean that I don’t want to every hour of every single fricking day? Need I bother to answer? But again, it’s that thing of trying to respect your child’s wishes because that child is no longer a child, is no longer the unexpected miracle of your life, no longer the boon companion of years previous.

    “And if you are not a bird, then beware of coming to rest above an abyss.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, from unpublished fragments dating to June-July 1883

    Look, it’s November, for me the time of bad anniversaries, and the holidays are upon us, and as usual, it’s the beginning of my annual dive into the depths of my personal abyss, so here I am. And even as I type these word, I wonder to myself will I actually post this? Will I really put this out there? And the answer is . . . I have no idea.

    I came back to this forum recently for several different reasons:

    The political climate and the state of our democracy made me want to rant, really, really rant.

    The new location seemed to afford me a new beginning, so I wanted to talk about that and all that it encompasses.

    “Clairvoyance (Self Portrait)(1936, oil on canvas)
    by Rene Magritte

    But mostly, I missed it. Admittedly, I missed the small group of regular who always had something to say to me. But more than that, I missed me. I missed the me that sat down and just let the words flow like water from an open faucet. I missed the me that not only felt things deeply but who also shared those feelings. And mostly, I suppose, I missed the me that took great care in creating this personal space that was mine alone, mine to do with whatever I deemed worthy or appropros, regardless of who I offended or who I enraged, regardless of who I might alienate.

    Honestly, I don’t want to alienate or offend anyone, but I refuse to self censor. Ever. What I will do, from this point on, is be more respectful of other’s privacy. That I will do, but that is my only concession. What is the point of having a personal blog that isn’t personal? Everything else just seems like time wasting, like gathering wool, as it were.

    And so in beginning again, in returning to this forum, I feel, no, I need to talk about my own truths. I need to work through what I can with my words. If that is callous or heartless, then I apologize for that, but I won’t change the words, any more than I could change my inner core of being. The truth is that most people who create are patently self-absorbed. I am no different. So to the question of whether I will post this . . .

    Hmm . . . things that make you go hmm . . .

    More later. Peace.

    Music by Ben Abraham, “This is On Me,” featuring Sara Bareilles


    Black Maps

    Not the attendance of stones,
    nor the applauding wind,
    shall let you know
    you have arrived,

    nor the sea that celebrates
    only departures,
    nor the mountains,
    nor the dying cities.

    Nothing will tell you
    where you are.
    Each moment is a place
    you’ve never been.

    You can walk
    believing you cast
    a light around you.
    But how will you know?

    The present is always dark.
    Its maps are black,
    rising from nothing,
    describing,

    in their slow ascent
    into themselves,
    their own voyage,
    its emptiness,
    the bleak temperate
    necessity of its completion.
    As they rise into being
    they are like breath.

    And if they are studied at all
    it is only to find,
    too late, what you thought
    were concerns of yours

    do not exist.
    Your house is not marked
    on any of them,
    nor are your friends,

    waiting for you to appear,
    nor are your enemies,
    listing your faults.
    Only you are there,

    saying hello
    to what you will be,
    and the black grass
    is holding up the black stars.

    ~ Mark Strand