Sunday, August 30, 2009

Every sin is an attempt to fly from emptiness.

-Simone Weil, philosopher, mystic, activist (1909-1943)


There are some things I know for absolute certain WILL happen over the next 23 days while I am at Harmony's:

- The cat, after being ignored for three days, will resort to extortion and bribe the dogs into breaking the windows open for his escape.

- Plates and bowls will be taken out of the sink and rinsed in lukewarm water individually as needed. Silverware will be used without any such precaution.

- Every load in the dryer will take just a little bit longer each day because the concept of cleaning out the lint filter will never occur to anyone regardless of the large red sign which I posted this evening instructing everyone to clear before each load.

- The lights in the family room will be left on 24/7, and the two bulbs which will burn out in the process will not be replaced.

And there are some things I know for absolute certain will NOT happen over the next 23 days.

- The carpet will not be vacuumed. The floor will have pizza boxes that did not quite make it to the garbage can, dog and cat hair will be measured in inches of depth, and any animal 'accident' will simply be scrubbed into the fiber.

- The cat's litter box will not be changed until the cat begins his protest by pooping in the middle of the living room and marching with place cards.

- Anything that is spilt - on the floor, on the counter, in the fridge - will not be disturbed and will remain preserved in a manner suitable for either a scientific lab or the Smithsonian of Natural History (in particular, I am thinking of the exhibit of fossilized feces from the Mesopotamia Era).

And on the 24th day, the house will be frantically vacuumed, dishwasher loaded and run for the first time, furniture moved to cover the major stains and all five animals bribed to testify that they have not been mistreated or ignored.

Friday, August 28, 2009


I'm using the expression "a senior moment" more and more. I hate to admit how many times I walk into a room and cannot remember what in the (#&%@ I went into that room for. I'm in mid-story and completely forget the point I was ending towards. Even when I am writing a blog, I will get in mid-paragraph and begin thinking about those clogs that I always wear to church and should I try something different maybe in green and did the cat get fed today?

But there are some great things about short-term memory loss.

One thing I love about babies is that they will laugh every time you make the same ridiculous face - regardless of how often you have made it, and perhaps because how stupid you look making it.

My dog, even if he has watched me just walk out of the room, will jump up wagging his tail the instant I walk back in.

Najale, my 985 lbs. lap-horse will, regardless of how many times he gets smacked for it, always nips the back of my shirt. He never actually bites - he just wants to play.

Wait a minute, where was I again?

Oh, yes.

Think of the expression on your mom's face when you pick her up at the airport.

Well, maybe not after a seven-hour flight seated next to overweight man who snored through both movies with his head on her shoulder.

But like how happy your child looks as soon as he spots you in the audience of his first-grade class play where he is portraying Christopher Columbus discovering America.

At least before the Native American League begins protest alongside the Vikings Discovered America First, completely disrupting the entertainment and dissolving the six-year-olds into hysterics as the police come in to remove them from the auditorium.

But you get the point, right? Someone who loves you, who is happy to see you, whose face simply lights up just at the sight of you?

Yesterday, I saw a lot of faces who were saying goodbye to a 29 year old young father, son and husband.

And I think most of us at the funeral got a glimpse, just a
poignant moment and hint of how many joyful expressions are simply beaming as they greet him on the other side of the veil.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I have a unique cat.

Let me rephrase that - a unique cat has me.

Pandora caught my attention this evening by doing two things:

- He stretched out completely on his back - both front and back legs thrown out - and went to SLEEP like that.

- And he tackled an 18 inch centipede - and BEAT it.

Somebody come over and rock me to sleep tonight, okay? I am terrified that this guy has an older brother who is going to show up SEEKING REVENGE.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I am reading "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho, about a young shepherd who follows his dream to go to the pyramids in Egypt and along the way learns to read omens, understand the vast desert and (hopefully, since I am only to page 106) gets the girl.

People seem to have a preponderancy to yearn for the distant horizon, for romantic, exotic lands where riches hide, women dress immodestly, and the air conditioning in hotels never fails.

Now, I grew up in Los Angeles. And so, of course, Hollywood, the Sunset Strip, Malibu, Beverly Hills were just places. Like Pacific Palisades was simply where my dad taught on Thursdays. My mom lived in North Hollywood for a couple of years, and you could see that stupid sign on the hill.

So what was the big deal?

And then fortunately the dude I married made the error (repeatedly) of signing re-enlistment contracts, so we got to see Europe at your taxpayer expense. Once again, it is perfectly normal to walk along the Rhine river - to cross international borders to go shopping - to see castles on the horizon.

Guess what was next? You got it. Hawaii.

Six years overlooking the city of Honolulu from the bedroom window. Working at Pearl Harbor and downtown Honolulu. Kids going to Moanalua Elementary and Aloha Christian Day Care in Pearl City. Going to the beach on the windward side of Oahu. Watching beach volleyball and professional surfing competitions.

Now Maryland was not quite so glamorous, but it still impressed people that we lived two miles from NSA - my kids' field trips were to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (I just love that elephant) - and I could tell them that the Capital Mall wasn't an enclosed shopping center with a huge department store at one end.

Arizona - well, living three miles from the Mexican border is both less scary and more scary that you imagine, Tombstone (OK Corral, gunfights, all that) is just the other side of Sierra Vista, and I can see the road to Coronado's cave from my front door.

But now I am taking a trip to visit my grandkids - spend quality time that is NOT on my cell phone with my oldest daughter - relax and be there for her birthday (I won't mention what number bday it is, but it begins with a 3 and ends with a 0).


Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I am not making this up - this was posted on Facebook today:


#1 We tried to watch Yo Gabba Gabba the other day b/c I have heard you mention it. It was insane, and very liberal. They were pushing "Clean" propaganda in lieu of the now less popular "green" agenda.

#2 i have to say i've never noticed it being overly liberal. the particular episode was a bit over the top (we saw it too) but most of them aren't like that.

#3 That's a relief! I guess I caught the wrong episode.  


Yes, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

Monday, August 24, 2009


I need reminders more than most people.

I mean, it's nice when the doctor/dentist office calls the night before and reminds you of your appointment.

It helps when I remember to write the appointment on my calendar.

And when I am REALLY up-to-speed, I even put it on my cell-phone and program it to BEEP and remind me an day/hour/minute before the rendezvous (did you know in Latin that means literally to present yourself?).

But even when ALL the above are done... I STILL FORGET.

So at 9:10 a.m. this morning, I REMEMBERED that I had an eye appointment... ten minutes ago.

They were very nice when I called to apologize and see if I could reschedule.

But I wonder, just a little bit, if I had been ON TIME whether they would have doused my poor eyes with drops that dilated my pupils to the size of the hubcaps on my truck - gooped my eyes with the optical equivalent of K-Y jelly in order to put an actual exam tool right ON my eyeball - AND left me ALL ALONE in an exam room for five minutes with absolutely NO access to computer, Internet, television, Blitz Bejeweled or peanut butter.

I think I've learned my lesson.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


You are working late one night. Your coworkers have all left the office, and the only light left on is over your desk.

Suddenly, in the shadoww of a far corner, you hear a metallic click. And then you SEE IT COMING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I sort of wish it had been that dramatic - I stapled my own thumb yesterday. And not with a nice, regular desk stapler. Oh no, I have to use the big, professional level one to seriously attach the fabric I have simply glued on.

And it was SO STUPID - I had been using the stapler just fine until one of the staples stuck just a little - I turned it upside down, checked it, and then somehow DID NOT TURN IT AROUND THE CORRECT WAY and went ahead an PUT A BIG FAT HUGE STAPLER RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF MY BIG THUMB.

(But isn't this poster just about the coolest things you have ever seen?)

Thursday, August 20, 2009


From the Sierra Vista Herald, Thursday, August 20, 2009 - slightly edited for space:

"A Palominas resident is out a dozen pair of socks after someone snuck into his back yard early Monday morning and plucked the items from a clothes line.

"The resident told the sheriff's office that at some point between late Sunday and early Monday morning, someone entered his fenced-in back yard and took 12 pairs of white athletic socks that were having on a clothesline.

"A motion sensor was also damaged."

I simply adore living out here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


This is, from all places, a quote from a character in a Harry Potter book:

"Then he greeted Death as an old friend, and went with him gladly, and, equals, they departed this life."

It is much more difficult to embrace the death of a young husband and father, and the son of two of the kindest people I have ever known.

It has been a long and difficult struggle with a dehabilitating disease, the entire last month of his life spent in an ICU ward in Tucson, and opens up a long struggle for his widow and toddler son.

But I also firmly believe that Kameron has stepped outside of his pain and suffering, and looking back, knows his family will be by his side soon.

This poem was written by President Hinckley, put into song, and sung at his funeral:

What is this thing that men call death?
This quiet passing in the night?
‘Tis not the end but genesis
Of better worlds and greater light

O God, touch Thou my aching heart
And calm my troubled, haunting fears
Let hope and faith, transcendent, pure
Give strength and peace beyond my tears.

There is no death, but only change
With recompense for vict’ry won
The gift of Him who loved all men
The Son of God, the Holy One.

Please, take just a minute, and say a quiet prayer for his wife and family.

Friday, August 14, 2009


First of all, today, this is a "woman's only" blog.

Now I mean it -- men, stop reading. Seriously.

HALT. Cease and desist IMMEDIATELY

Okay, listen, if you keep reading this, you will suddenly and irrevocably become completely and TOTALLY GAY!!


Now, girls - do you often find yourselves 'doing' things automatically? Like when the grocery sacks are just left empty on the counter, do you begin folding them up? When someone kicks off their shoes, do you pick them up and put them where they belong?

I am constantly amazed at how often I catch myself doing things like this - especially now that I have two men at home. Seems there is a link to the Y chromosome that makes males blind to things like dirty dishes, anything left on the floor, or laundry that is turning green in the washing machine where it has been left for the past two weeks.

I have funded an series of exhaustive scientific double-blinded tests, and determined that leaving the mess alone does absolutely no good - men still don't see it., even if it grows into a group of sentient beings holding up signs saying "TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER."

But I am trying to draw the line somewhere.

So I decided that my husband's dog is going to be his dog - and he will be responsible for her care, feeding, walking, medical care, etc.

And it worked.... for probably fourteen seconds.

I just can't let an animal be punished just because her owner is male. My husband is pretty good about walking her in the morning - when he has time - and wants to - but if her food, water, care, medicine, and mental health were up to him... well, there would be a very thirsty, hungry, sick and unhappy greyhound in our midst.

It does make more sense that I take care of the animal; I don't have a full-time job, I'm at home, etc.

But I am trying to stand firm on who takes her on veterinarian trips.

For one thing, Delilah weighs almost 80 lbs. - and it's a long, skinny, very bony and sharp 80 lbs.
And I drive a pick-up -- not a fancy, extended cab with electric windows, cup holders and an air conditioning that works. No, my baby is a short-bed little Mazda completely-paid-off (i.e. over five years old) bed-full-of-month-hold-hay that gets used a LOT.

The greyhound fills up the cab on her own, so trying to drive while seeing the road between her molars is difficult. My own dog weighs almost as much, but he is compact enough that he simply sits on the passenger side, stares out the window, is extremely polite at drive-thrus and won't even ask to share my Diet Coke.

Delilah, on the other hand, whines and complains and cannot for the life of her understand how to handle turns or braking without falling off the seat or ending up sitting in my lap. She will demand a Sprite of her own at McDonald's, refuse to leave the truck when we get to the vet's, and will only offer an expired Master card for payments.

So I am putting down my feet - no more trips to the vets... at least not next time.


Beware, O wanderer, the road is walking too,

said Rilke one day to no one in particular

as good poets everywhere address the six directions.

If you can't bow, you're dead meat. You'll break

like uncooked spaghetti. Listen to the gods.

They're shouting in your ear every second.

- Jim Harrison
Zen Calendar, 2009, Friday, August 14th.