Thursday, December 31, 2009


We take specific dates so seriously sometimes. Things like birthdays, anniversaries, federal holidays.

And a new year becomes a HUGE bump in the road for a lot of us instead of a diving platform.

The concept of setting new year resolutions is nice, something everyone does, and our determination to lose weight - get in shape - cook healthy - generally lasts until about January 10th.

I worked for a health club that made the majority of its annual income from people who signed up in December, January and February - did the tour and 'personal trainer' evaluation... and never showed up again BUT were forced to make their monthly payments for the next three years.

I have decided to do something a little bit different this year.


1. I resolve to WAKE UP EVERY DAY (note that I am not saying I will necessarily wake up in the morning, just that I will wake up sometime during the day.... or night).

2. I promise I will continue TO BREATH on a fairly regular basis.

3. And last of all I commit myself to WRITING SOMETHING COMPLETELY OUTRAGEOUS at least once every other day, posting it on the internet when it will be randomly looked at by three friends, two family members, and one person who innocently was searching for a recipe including dates and Brazil nuts.

Let's see if I can keep this up until January 10, 2010.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Mother Teresa said, "We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love."

I did one small thing today.

And I tried to do it with love.

The only convenient way for me to drive into town in a state highway, with is lined with the state tree of Arizona - the mesquite tree (actually, the state tree is the Palo Verde.... which is a suburb of Los Angeles... but it should be the mesquite tree).

And for those of you who are not familiar with the mesquite tree, let me describe it:

IT IS THORNS. THORNS. AND MORE THORNS. Like a lot of things in southern Arizona, it is a plant with an attitude - the only way it can survive here.

And discarded plastic shopping bags simply ADHERE to the branches.

So this highway is "decorated" for about five miles with bags, bags, and more bags.

And my little offering of love today was parking my truck off the highway a bit, and spending about twenty minutes picking bags offa mesquite trees.

If there was only a way to get everyone to do that.... we might get rid of most of the little on this road - just a thought.

And I am going to attempt to do this each time I go into town.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


I am responding to my daughter's question on her blog:

HOT - chasing a horse with a feed bag. The mare's feed comes in a huge, crinkly sack, which she calmly accepts as perfectly normal. The gelding, on the other hoof, goes into a complete panic at the mere appearance of these bags, and although he knows that there is very tasty molasses-sweetened food inside, will cheerfully play a game of hide and seek with me shaking the bag at him, he racing off and then returning just as quickly to stick his head in the sack, panic, and run off again.

And please be aware - this is not like playing chase with your dog - this is a 1,000 or so lb. equine thundering straight at you with no reliable history of braking in time.

What a wonderful excuse for exercise.

NOT HOT - going out at 11 p.m., in a non-light pollution area (read that as "pitch black") which is also populated with Border Patrol vehicles, smugglers of both humans and large containers of cocaine, and a strange assortment of native animals that populate my property, to include Fred and Wilma (two roadrunners who live on the horses' leftovers), coyotes who will go climb into the back of my truck to tear apart our garbage bags, several corn snakes, and about 392 jackrabbits.

Even with the company of my fiercely protective (albeit old) dog, there are WAY too many rustles in the grass, strange noises and suddenly mobile shadows to be comfortable about.

Hmm... but maybe this should also count as a wonderful excuse for exercise - I do end up moving pretty quickly getting back into the house.

Friday, December 25, 2009


I am becoming less flexible - or more inflexible, I guess.

I can still touch my toes.... if I bend my knees.

My downward facing dog has been mistaken for a upward bottom cat, but I at least try... once a month or so.

And I can't switch gears quickly any more.

No, not those kind of gears, I mean when you change plans, orientation, direction.

It takes a while for me to build up steam to get in motion, but once I do, I want the engine to run hot for as long as it can.

So this evening, I laid out a very detailed plan to clear and conquer several large containers of papers, photos and old passports, mainly to atone for spending Christmas Day larger flat on my back reading my favorite present.

I was actually beginning to make some progress - the momentum was building - it was growing...

And someone doesn't understand why a rather rude interruption with 1) coming up behind me with making any addible noise (and yes, being half-deaf, a noise I can hear actually needs to be quite loud), 2) giving me an article which I actually needed to pay attention to, and 3) THEN giving me his cell phone with his mom's number already dialed and WALKS OUT, casually asking that I bring the phone to HIM when I get finished speaking with my mother-in-law.

Again, I do NOT change gears well anymore.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


My life is an open book - very similiar to the intellectual level of the children's books by Sandra Boynton.

Many individuals manage to remain aloof, mysterious, reserved - you cannot tell what they are thinking or feeling.

I, however, am the type of person who shares confidential medical information with the next person in the grocery store line.

So I should not be surprised my family knows me as well as they do.

My oldest daughter in particular.

Especially after spening a year together raising a three-year old, a newborn, and a whole group of young women ages 12 to 16 in Chula Vista.

She got me this for Christmas - I'm gonna read it tonight.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


There is only one way to drive to Phoenix from where I live.

I mean, without going through another state, or facing miles and miles of poor back roads of desert, brush, and Indian Reservation land.

It's Interstate 10.

So when your youngest child is driving up to Phoenix one evening, you know that he is traveling on I-10.

And you don't want to see things like this on the Weather Channel national coverage, CNN headlines as the second leading story.

With updates on the four people killed.

Until 10:04 p.m., when your son calls and he is safely at the hotel in Mesa.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009


You catch just a glimpse of someone high above you, dancing on the jagged rim, clad only in airy silks

While you plod far below across a rocky mud field with a bulky and uncomfortable rucksack on your back.

You hear a voice - "Come! Join me!" from above.

Grimly you shout back, "I can't! This pack is way too heavy for me to climb up there!"

Clearly you hear the soft reply - "So take it off and come!"

Somehow I need to learn this one lesson over and over again - we carry our pain and suffering with us, and cling tigher to our burden when someone suggests that we discard it.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Do you have someone in your life who excels at walking in at just the wrong time? Knocks loudly on the bathroom door just as you've begun to put on mascara? Interrupts a great phone conversation to tell you what is showing on the Comedy Channel at 10 p.m . tonight? Somehow simply HAS to do their laundry JUST as you've reprogrammed the washer for your shrinkable, non-colorfast knits?

I am a HUGE "Pride and Prejudice" addict. Jane Austin is okay - but P&P is the only book of hers which has me still drooling after reading it some 897 times. I have worn out four paperbacks over the years, and I can quote PAGES of text. I have probably seen every P&P movie and BBC series made in the 20th century - but it's always the book I return to (although Colin Firth is, admittedly, wonderfully distracting).

It would be embarrassing to admit something like this if there weren't multiple groups of other groupies of the exact same caliber as me.

And a movie, "Lost in Austin" (Jemina Rooper and Elliot Cowan) portrays a similar P&P fanatic (Amanda) who gets displaced from modern London into the actual story, switching places with the Elizabeth Bennet character.

It's more faithful to the book than any cinematic adaption I have seen - Lydia and Mr. Collins are TALL, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet are droll but not comedic, Charlotte Lucas and Mary really aren't very pretty at all - but Amanda the character from today) obviously has also been raised with the Colin Firth/BBC adaption.

Which is famous for two particular scenes (well, really just one, but I like the two) concerning, er, submersion of Colin Firth in water... and, notably, coming out of the water.

And Amanda, in "Lost in Austen," asks her Mr. Darcy to re-enact the second scene.

Whew - let me catch my breath here - and just mention that Elliot Cowan is MUCH better built that Colin Firth (my apologies, Colin, if you are reading this, I stilll love you). Females don't normally get as hot and bothered as males over visual stimulation (hence why porn is 99.98% directed at men), but I must admit my heartbeat was probably WAY over the rate advised for a 54 year old lady.

SO (back to the opening paragraph here), guess who walks in JUST as I get to this scene in the movie on my faithful DVD player?


Great thing is that I could hit replay - repeatedly.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


I have become overly cynical over the years as Christmas becomes more and more commercial and less spiritual.

Not that it was ever really very spiritual - I mean, I grew up with the same lengthy, greedy Christmas lists, outrageous prices on dead trees, and fat men in red suits that supposedly dropped down the chimney and traveled via arial domesticated caribou.

But when our local paper ran a "Christmas Letters from Children," I assumed it was simply more tree slaughter to publish additional commercials for more bizarre spending due to guilt and bribery.

I was surprised.

Here are some samples (and for once, the spelling can be blamed on someone besides myself):

Dear Santa Claus,

How are you? Who is your favorite elf? Do you like cookies and Milk? What would you like for Chrismas. I think you have a hard job.

Thank for do all you can you are the best in the holl wrd.

Thank you for giving me that toy that I got last year. Santa, can you get something for my parents?

Could you bring my dog a pillo and blankit to keep her warm? Can you bring her play toy?

I hope your rain dear are doing well. Is Roodallf real? What kind of cookies have you ben eating?

Hi Santa Claus how are you doing? I helped a kid hurt on the street, but I kicked a man too. Santa Claus if you think I have been good enough the only thing I would want would be a great Christmas.

I have been a good girl, I think. What I want for Christmas is to bring my family for Christmas. Also thank you Santa for being sweet, hearted man.

I know your broke because of the economy. Don’t worry I got some bucks for you don’t waste it.

This Christmas I would like for my brothers to come. He is in boot camp in Missouri. Also my sister to come down and spend time since we haven’t seen them in a long time.

I was really good thes year. I wont for Christmas is learn how to draw books to make my brother mad.

I have been bad but I have inproved. You can sleep on the couch and you can use one of my pillows. I will leave you a cup of mile and cookies.

I have been good because my nina has cancer. I give my dog a home from the pound. I help my mom clean. I will like my nina well because my mom is sad. Thank you for looking out for me. Thank you Santa have a safe trip.

I’ve been on my best behavior all year long, I only want to write you because you write me. I want to thank you for that jolly feeling I get when Christmas is here. I don’t want presents. I want family around. That’s what I ask you.

I have been helpful with people I am carin for little and big kids everywhere. I washed a wall that had a big kid wrote cuse words and bad works. Since I have been responsible I would be so thankful if I got a phone and my dad to come back for Christmas cause I miss him a lot. Thank you for getting me everything I wanted that’s while I will aways beive in you. Have a safe trip.

I’v been naughty. I am fun, loveable and intellageent. I am nice and sometimes not. I would like my uncle to come home safe I want it cause he is family and I love him. Have a safe trip. P.O. Is Roudouf real?

How are you? How is your wife? I made a special key for you to get in because I don’t have a chimney. It’s o.k. if you don’t want to answer this but how do you find the elfs?

Suddenly, I feel much better about Christmas this year.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I am proud and happy to live in a dirt road.

Of course, there are certain disadvantages to this.

You end up spending more on tires than someone who drives normally on paved roads home.

My speed is sharply reduced on the last two miles home by water-holes, bumps, rattlesnakes, jackrabbits, roadrunners, and my self-imposed rule that I do not allow my truck to raise any dust, which sometimes in dusty Arizona keeps me at a literal crawl.

And I must share at least .75 miles of dirt road with approximately 83.2 other people.

Who do not all abide by the same driving limits that I put on myself.

The logic held by many of these fellow dirt-road-drivers it that if you simply just drive fast enough, you fly over the bumps, ruts and living breathing animals crossing the road.

This type of driving, however, beats the hell out of the road.

Which led to the first meeting tonight of the Neighbors for Improved Roads (N.I.R.).

This is not a new subject, and in the not-quite 10 years I have lived on this particular dirt road, this is the fourth organized group formed to conquer the problem.

Many familiar complaints were brought up - why doesn't the county/state take care of this road (because it is all privately owned land, not part of a development which would then be required to construct roads which would then be eligible to county maintenance) - how are we going to change anything (by individually contributing monies towards construction of a maintainable type of road).

And then my favorite - "But not everyone is here at this meeting; are we going to end up paying for them and how can we get them to cough the money up for this project?"

I then raised my hand, and very firmly stated, "Let's all just be adults and move forward with this project instead of getting into a prolonged pissing contest about who does and doesn't help out."

I received a rousing round of applause.

Monday, December 14, 2009


I am a closet channel surfer.

I freely admit to duplicity here - I openly complain when someone else is holding the remote and looking around at the satellite memo, but WHEN I AM ALONE, I jump from "Whose Line Is It Anyway" to the National Geographic special "Who Was Jesus and Was He Gay?" and to Sirius Radio baby-boomer rock and roll.

Tonight, I was drawn, mistakenly, it turns out, to the show title of "Sing Off." It features only a capella groups, with no back-up instruments.

And while I do not claim to have anything even resembling perfect pitch, the two acts I caught were, to put it politely, AGONIZING with their varying pitches, desperate attempts to follow each other while doing choreography and smiling brilliantly at the camera.

Okay, so I can't do, but I know too many people who can sing a capella well that it seems a shame to be spending an hour of prime-time television on people who can't.


Tonight I officially became an old lady.

No, I did not pass any chronological date of significance - although at this moment, I actually am 53 years, 6 months, 28 days, 4 hours, 5 minutes and 24 seconds old.

But I realized that I have a pair of reading glasses at the following locations now (And why are they a pair? They may have 2 lenses, but glasses are a single object, right? Shouldn't a pair of glasses be two?):

- By the front door
- By each computer (three, at last count)
- By the television
- In my bathroom - in fact, there are THREE reading glasses at the moment in there.

My eyesight is shot.

But it's a little worse than just reading glasses.

I go back in a couple of weeks to see the specialist in Tucson, but they think I have glaucoma.

Most of the time it's extra pressure on your optic nerve by fluid in your eye that isn't diverted the way it is supposed to - and you don't realize your sight is going until it's already too late to recover any of it. The best treatment seems only to slow down the process.

I'm trying to remain optimistic, but I am also most more aware of how precious sight is.