Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Week Away with the Magpie Fairies

Magpie Fairies ... from Vicci to Anne , from me & Kimbies to Momma & Pam ... we, among others, are the fairies that wander
this land...

One week ago, I stayed up until just before dawn, packing & wrapping, making a list & checking it twice...not really caring who was naughty & nice, knowing that all is needed to have the spice of life.

By noon, the car was packed & loaded, the gas tank full & I had 80 lbs of dog food stock-piled for myneighbor when the mailman arrived with our final passed treasure, along with the moon, stars & paper...

As we headed down South, we passed a great tree with trunk & branches as vast as the sea. We scooped up my brother & posed for the lens, then continued down south to join family & friends. We came to cross-roads that we call home & found ourselves a far-cry from alone.

On break from college, on leave, on vacation and on a wish & a prayer... we all found ourselves together... both, lost & found in peace, harmony, love & momentary oblivion.

We had a small, young, spritely little Santa whose heart had great stature and an elf or two to add to the chatter. With magpie gifts under the palm tree, Great grandchildren & Babies-to-be...

Oh Yes...we were all twenty-one, if just for a while & we all had the time of our lives... by the end of the night, we were all truly beat... but even our eldest shared his peace.

Thank You fellow magpie fairies...
We welcome now a shiny new year...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Santa Paws Is Coming To Town

I'm off for one week of family & festivities...

ing you all the best of peace, love, laughter ...

On Ander and Brodie

On Marbeline & Smokie

On Vilulah... On Georgia, Romeo, Nay-Nay & Codie

We beleive...Do You?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

She Gave Me Some Cookies...

The house I lived in the longest (5 years) when I was a kid was on a small lake with about 30 other houses. Our road was a brick one & there were only a few roads that weaved their way around the lake...kinda forming its' own little community. As a kid, I grew to know every ripple & dimple of that road intimately. I knew it on foot, on board, on big wheels & bikes. I knew the houses, the landscaping, the world of docks & drain pipes that sat around that lake almost as well as I knew that road. And I knew some of the people even better.

Some of the people I would never know & some, I still know.
Five of the ten houses that sat on my little block contained girls my age. We formed gangs. We would do things, make dares, bets, challenges & sometimes war. We were all constantly trying to get on top, and when on top...we strived to stay there. We tested our strength, our fears, our determination & sometimes pushed it all to the limit.

But not always...sometimes we just hyped things up.

There was a house on the twist of road at the end of my block where it was rumored a witch lived. Her house was big & sat up on the top of The Big Hill looking down across & over the lake. There was a solid wall with vines growing over it all around her property. Likewise, the ivy spread like veins across the skin of her house. There was a black spiked wrought iron fence than ran atop of her ivy covered wall & the were matching bars over hew windows. I guess it was pretty creepy. We had a hard time accessing her land & we never saw her.

One day, we discovered that we could climb the concrete wall at its highest point on the outside & land at a much higher level inside her yard in a flurry of flowering shrubs. We sleeked through her yard, hiding, looking, pinching off wild flowers of the likes we'd never seen before until we heard her shrill hollering. Then the soles of our feet smacked our backsides as we ran to the same section of the wall we had dropped from just minutes before.
Standing atop that concrete wall, with heels tucked in between those wrought iron spikes... we realized we had to jump down from this, the highest section of the outside wall. I looked down, the sidewalk was all cracked up, like peanut brittle that had been smacked with a hammer. I imagined it was from all the kids who had crashed to the witch's delight over the years, as they attempted this frightening leap. I couldn't fight the hype anymore, I was scared & so I jumped.

The moment my feet hit the ground, my fear turned to anxious amusement.

'I was in the witches yard'
'I picked the witches poisonous flowers'
'I was chased by the witch'
'I had to jump from the witches wall'

The first time I ever saw her was a few weeks later... I saw her driveway with the gate open & there was car leaving. I looked & thought I could see her through a window on the backside of her house. I saw a cat in her yard & lost sight of the witch. I walked up the driveway towards the cat & scrunched down, as if being closer to the ground would lure the cat towards me& keep the witch at bay. Then she was there...right there, not making a sound but with one arm reaching out towards me.

She wore all black with a white apron & she sat in an old Alfred Hitchcock style wheel chair. He hair was dark & it was in a bun. I didn't even have time to stand or gasp before I got a whiff of the poison she was throwing my way... fresh baked chocolate chip cookies.

A plate full of them sat in her lap & her outreached hand held one towards me.

I ate it....mmmm, hmmmmm....so damn good.

I told her that everyone thought she was a witch & I told her why.

We became friends & soon we would meet in her driveway for cookie swaps.
I'd show up with two Oreo's I'd earned by taking Ms. Vicki's trash out & trade them for one home baked cookie from the witch.

Most of my friends wouldn't come around us...they told me that I was being poisoned slowly.

Then the witch died.

And she was gone & so were her cookies.

Oreo's alone were no longer enough motivation to take Ms. Vicki's trash out.

Years passed...

All grown up...years later, I lay on my back with excrutiating lower back pain. I close my eyes & although I was only hoping to ease my back-ache by laying down, I found myself slipping into a dream-like state. Realizing that I was falling asleep I popped my eyes open & the witch was there. She said 'Child, you go'own 'n clotz dem eyes. Izza awright now Child.'

I closed my eyes & could feel her breath hovering over me and then her hand , palm down began to root itself onto my abdomen. Then all fell still & I could feel the warmth from her hand radiating through my blouse, through my skin, through my stomache & down into my back where her healing heat seemed to spread out like butter in a hot iron skillet. The pain in my back seemed to melt away. She lifted her hand & I snapped my eyes wide open.

She wasn't there.
It must have all been a dream.
The Guess Who was playing on the radio & my back was feeling fine.
I got up & made some chocolate chip cookies.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Love Grows...This Much I Know

My Dear Sweet Sister Kimbies was distraught when her teen-aged daughter found out she was pregnant. She took a deep breath, gave a hug to her daughter, took one from her husband & they started making plans for baby-to-be.

When Kimbies was first diagnosed with Cancer, she told me that she felt like it was meant to be.... that she had spoiled & protected her children too much...that they needed this to develop more independence & strength of their own. She said that should she not make it, should she not beat this cancer that at least she would make it long enough to see some grand-babies born.

She wrapped up that dialogue by stating 'Paige, I gotta beat this...I've got kids in HS, grandbabies to help raise...you know, I just have got too much to do, I really don't have time for this.' She laughed and said 'I will beat this, I know I will...but for a few moments there, you know, I was really scared.' But she just took a deep breath & started making plans.

Kimbies spirit & attitude is ever-amazing to me. I beleive her spirit of love has been passed down to her honestly...traveling the long-line of strong women in our family, complimented by the supportive men in our lives...love grows. Generationally. From one passed down to another.
From Granny Lanier to Nana, from Nana to Mom & Kat, from Mom to us, from us to our children & from them to the latest generation...Love Grows!

This pic is a photo of Kimbies grand-daughter & my namesake...I entered her into the AmericanBaby Holiday photo contest. The pic was taken on Kimbies living room floor with some pink decorations from the dollar tree. Too cute, isn't it? (I know I am biased, but it looks professional to me!)

Since Kim(HandMeDownLevis) & Pam(TheHippieParade) are without computers to vote with, I thought I'd throw it up here...for you all to vote upon if you so choose! (She is # 1790800003 @ www.Americanbaby.com in the Happy Holiday Baby Photo Contest)


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Kimbies In A Sea Of Health & Love

Anne had created a beautiful piece of healing art, pictured in post below, of and for my Dear Sweet Sister Kimbies.
She posted this on her blog with words of well-wishes..."This is what I wish for Kimbies... All the joy, peace and love in the world... dancing in the sand, wind on her face and sunshine on her shoulders."
She also stated that she had never met or even seen a picture of Dear Kimbies. So, I thought I would post this picture...this picture of Kimbies rolling with the tide, toes dancing in the sands, wind blowing in her face & sunshine kissing her shoulders.
Although chemo has taken her locks of love for the moment & surgeons have taken her breast... her core is still just as beautiful as it has ever been & her heart, like mine, seems to grow daily.
Thank You So Very Much Everyone...As Always, P&L.

Monday, December 11, 2006

To Kim With Love

Anne, Dear Anne, brought tears to my eyes just moments ago with her beautiful words & well wishes for my beautiful & courageous sister Kim (aka Kimbies)

This is Anne's artwork: a prescription for healing.

Thank You Very Much Anne....You, too, are an Angel just caught for a spell here on earth.

(please check out link to Anne & Kim, above or to right...Imitates Life, KimsHandMedownLevis & the Serious Post) peace &love

Friday, December 08, 2006

'Tis the Season To Lose All Reason

Working in retail, I have found myself completely done with all Christmas shopping & nearly done with all the wrapping...just waiting on a few internet purchases to arrive in the mail. I really over-did it this year, as I often do, but I enjoy it. Co-workers, neighbors, friends & family are all bought for. I'm done. I've been shopping all year long so that the Holidays don't take too great of a financial hit on us & of course, there is Pass the Trash.

Pass the Trash...a family tradition that has been going on since the mid-seventies.

Pass the Trash...taking something from within your own home, wrapping it up & passing it along to someone else near & dear, with the hopes that they will 'get it.'

Pass the Trash...taking things from within your house, from your yard or from the streets & creating something else, something different, something unique & special to pass along with the hopes that the recipient will enjoy.

Over the years I have seen empty cigarette packs transformed into building blocks, nurses uniforms turned into quilts, balloons & newspapers take the shape of piggy banks, straws & eggs made into musical instruments, bullet shells, elephant ears & tin cans take shape of windchimes. The list goes on & on & on.

This years feature Pass the Trash item from me will be these authentic 1970's disco-mamma platform shoes. They have made the rounds from aunt to neice, mother to daughter, from sister to sister & now they may travel another generation from aunt to neice. they have been in our family since the 70's and hopefully they will continue to stay in the family. I have sat on them many years, waiting for the right time to pass them on to the next generation. I have worn them out probably 10 times & have loved them so I am hoping that this years recipient will be able to do the same. These shoes began our family tradition of Pass the Trash thirty years ago & I wonder (hope) that they will still be fluttering around us in thirty more years. (They are so cool)

Much of our Pass the Trash goodies are made from things around the house. One night I was talking to my DH about all the marbles we find in the yard & I had an idea. I asked him if he'd walk with me after supper through our old neighborhood in search of a good fallen oak limb. I wanted to make a coat/hat/towel rack with a branch of oak. He said no problem & we suddenly heard an unfamiliar sound. We jumped up, leaving our plates of warm food, to rush outside & identify the source of the strange sound. We didn't have to go far...one of our own large oaks had dropped a huge limb. We laughed, ran back in, gobbled our food down & raced back out front with saws in hand. 'Ask & Ye Shall Receive' sometimes rings true! I took marbles from the yard & found a drill bit similar in size. I drilled out notches in the wood & sank the marbles in with some help from elmers glue. I then mounted some Dollar Tree funky copper hooks & walla... the trash has been passed!

In our world, Pass the Trash is more valuable than any PS3 could ever be. In our World, we are careful what we give because we know that one day it may be what we receive. In our World, we Pass the Trash & love it.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Stolen Words Displaced & Maybe Even Misunderstood

Little pink houses for you and me (John Cougar)
But I want them to turn black (Rolling Stones)
When you build your house, call me home (Fleetwood Mac)
Baby, hold onto me, whatever will be, will be (Bryan Adams)
I'd love to turn you on (The Beatles)
Didn't I make you feel like you were the only man? (Janis Joplin)
I don't know where I'm running, but I'm just runnin', runnin' low (Jackson Brown)
Runnin' through the land of the ice & snow (Led Zeppelin)
If only you beleived like I beleive, we'd get by (Steely Dan)
But your thoughts will still be wandering like they always do (Bob Seegar)
Somewhere, somehow, somebody must have kicked you around (Tom Petty)
Were you born to resist or be abused? (Foo Fighters)
But sooner or later it comes down to fate (Billy Joel)
Strange brew, Kill what's inside of you (Cream)
Just let me know, if you wanna go to the home out on the range (ZZTop)
Sitting on an angry chair, angry walls steal the air (Alice in Chains)
I've watch the ripples change their sizes, but never leave the stream (David Bowie)
Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly (Alannis Morrisette)
If you don't like my fire, then don't come around (Ben Harper)
Anger is a gift (Rage Against the Machine)
Momma said she's worried, growing up in a hurry (Heart)
See yourself, You are the steps you take (Yes)
Wake up Momma, turn your lamp down low (Allman Bros)
With the lights out, it's less dangerous (Nirvana)
She dreams in color, she dreams in red (Pearl Jam)
Yeah baby let your light shine down (Grateful Dead)
Yeah keep on shining your light, gonna make everything all right (Doobie Bros)
Little darling, I feel the ice is slowly melting (The Beatles)
Butterflies & zebra Moonbeams & fairytales, that's all she thinks about (Stevie Ray Vaughn)
Make a joke & I will sigh, You will laugh & I will cry (Black Sabbath)
Rulers make bad lovers, You better put your kingdom up for sale (Fleetwood Mac)
Come down off your throne & leave your body alone...somebody must change (Eric Clapton)
I've been waiting for this moment all of life (Phil Collins)
Lord my body has been a good friend, but I won't need it when I reach the end (Cat Stevens)
I feel the earth move under my feet, the sky comes fallin' down (carol King)
Cant you hear me knockin on your window? (Rolling Stones)
Do you gaze at your doorstep & picture me there? (Elvis)
I feel like this is the beginning, though I've loved you for a million years (Stevie Wonder)
And I's feelin' nearly as faded as my blue jeans (Janis Joplin)
But whenever I'm with him, something inside starts to burning (Joan Osbourne)
Like two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year(Pink Floyd)
And I'm just about to loose my mind, dontcha know? (Marvin Gaye)
It's the same as it ever was (House of Pain)
Lovers keep on lovin' Beleivers keep on beleivin', Sleepers just stop sleepin (Stevie Wonder)

A List of Lyrics from Songs I have Sang in the Past Few Days

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Ebay, Free Hugs, Peace Signs & Terrorism in the Wee Hours

Many of you are aware that I dabble some on eBay. I often sell my dear sister Singleton's artwork there & although we don't make much money, we do enjoy it. (In fact, the JustGiveMePeace Jesus is for sale now)

Now, really my time is very important & it does seem like I always have something...multiple somethings...going on, especially at this time of year. Ah, but not too busy to wander around the world of ebay in the wee hours of the night....
It amazes me the stuff people list & sometimes even more amazing is the stuff people buy.

I happened across this one seller & found myself trapsing through his world of tee shirts. I found one I want ('Free Hugs,' but in a tank top...some of you may even know why;) & I found a couple that make me think of other people...people over here in my virtual world.

This green tee shirt with the peace sign has words written in English... see if you can read it. I wish I'd found it last week, I would be sending it to the one & only Orhan Kahn

Then I found one of his listings that had me in stitches. His marketing skills may not be as great as the his nerve... but none-the-less I found this entertaining. I think it is really for adults only. Item # 110059316900

So here's a toast to all the dream-chasers out there...
even those that wear wigs, tanks and/or spandex with their work socks!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Signs, Signs...Everywhere's a Sign

Prompted by a variety of comments on some recent posts, I thought I would share some tidbits on the contemporary Peace Sign.
The Peace Sign was originally designed back in 1958 by Gerald Holtom & was made popular when adopted bythe Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in Great Britain.

It is a combination of the semaphoric symbols for the letters 'N' and 'D' ...meaning Nuclear Disarmament. Semaphoric symbols come from a time before telegraphs when people, particularly the navy, would use flags to communicate at a distance. The letter 'N' would be formed when a person would stand with two flags facing downward out to the sides, kind of like an upside down 'V'. The 'D' would be formed when the two flags would be held straight up and down. Gerald Holtom thought this symbol resembled a person in despair & he fully intended it to resemble the symbol of anarchy (capital A within a circle)

Many have beleived that the symbol ☮ looks like a chicken's foot & suggest that it represents cowardliness.☮
Still more beleive that the circle represents the Earth and that the interior design as an upside down crucifix with broken arms falling towards the ground.
Even others have beleived that it is an upside down rune symbol for Life, thus reversing the meaning to Death.☮
Finally I have heard of those who beleive that the circle represents the world, the center line representing life & death and the two bottom legs representing man balanced in the midst of it all.
It is a symbol perhaps known more universally around the world than any other symbol. It has never been copyrighted/trademarked and can be used by anyone. Today it represents 'peace & love' for most people, despite it's political activist background.

....So Peace & Love To All of You!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

This ThanksGiving is Especially Special

This Thanksgiving I'd like to give special homeage to my dear Mother.
As you can tell from this old torn, stained photograph... she's a natural beauty.
But her beauty is much too deep for any skin to contain.
She knows me unlike any other person, she knows my core and I trust her more than any other living being.

Her love & support is as unconditional as life & death itself.
Her determination could push an oak tree across the front yard.
Her wisdom eases pain & dances with pleasure.
Her strength carries the strongest of the strong through rough times.
Her thoughtfulness inspires family, friends & strangers alike.
Her motivations are good at heart & her own generosity is humbling.
Her sense of humor leaves tears in your eyes.
& her ability to cry without making distorted faces is amazing.
She is so much more than just my Mom, I know...

I know it is Thanksgiving Day coming upon us & not Mothers Day... but I am Thankful! She raised us to know the things she values & value the things we know.

My Dear Sweet Sister Kimbies is on her last round of Chemo today. My Sweet Soulful Sister Singleton is cooking a Turkey dinner, I think for the 1st time, for her kids coming home for the holidays & her new found love. My oldest brother is cooking the Master Turkey dinner for all the divorced, single or lonely folks in his town & Sweet Innocent Chanty Boy was released yesterday from the hospital after a 7 week stay. I am getting ready for the in-laws & really, we just owe so many thanks to our Dear Momma.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Last But Not Least ...Cheating

Last, but not least of the three most popular vices...cheating.
Taxes, tests, partners...just some of the things we cheat on.

Different reasons, different goals & different outcomes if you get busted.

Bypassing discussions of the IRS, I did try to cheat on exam in high school. I labored over my cheat sheet... the size, the contents, where it would be kept. So much info on such a small slip of paper. By the time 5th period rolled around & it was time for the test, I found myself not in need of my cheat sheet. I may not have made an A, but I passed & luckily didn't get busted with my incriminating evidence.

I have never cheated on my partner, nor any fellow before him. I did, once, break up with a boyfriend because I was allowing myself to become seduced by another. I felt terribly guilty through the break up, but quickly got over it when I found out he had been sleeping with another girl for 3 mos.

In college, I found myself amazed & sickened at the number of married men that came on to me. I met them at school, at work, at friends, out & about. Some I knew briefly, some I had known for years. At first, I thought it was just a side effect of being a SLB, then I began to take it very personal. I didn't dress like a sex kitten, didn't act like I was loose, didn't flirt...umm, even with the guys I did like...so, wtf?

So, I opened dialogue with those in pursuit of an affair.
'Interesting, are you saying you'd like to be with me?' (you or perhaps anyone else willing)
'What motivates you, here?' (my ego, self-esteem, power & sex)
'Why me?' (I'll never know if I don't try)
What I found was that the answers were as varied as each man.

One guy, a co-worker, told me it was a numbers game...that if I rejected him, it's cool, some other girl wouldn't...that he'd always cheated on his wife & always would. She'd caught him a couple times & he'd ease back but she'd never leave him.
Some tried to convince me that it was me. That I was so open & honest & easy to talk to... that they didn't feel like they could communicate that way with their spouses. Huh. If it is 80 degrees outside & you get a cold chill, you feel cold, it doesn't mean that it IS cold...it just means you feel cold....maybe your getting sick, perhaps you should talk to your wife.
One told me that he was feeling insecure in himself... that he'd felt like he'd gained weight & lost his 'touch.' He wanted to make sure he still had it.
Another told me that it started when women began to come on to him, for the first time in his life. Yep, he grew up, got married & started a family before any woman ever came on to him. He couldn't turn her down & then the whole thing turned into an on-going ego-feeding ritual... always having to replace one mistress with another.
I got to hear it all...about how one fellow felt incompetent because his wife seemed to painlessly juggle so much more than he in life, about how another thought he wife had cheated on him when they dating, about how one felt the kids got all of the attention & he was left to take the trash out & mow the yard, about how there was the work crew & they all did it, about how another never meant to, how he was drunk and how another said it just happened.

All of them admitted to having had previous affairs & all acknowledged that they would probably continue to...I guess I'm not so special as to just make all these men whacked insanely in lust or love with me to make them want to do such things so far removed from their typical character. (duh!)
All of them professed love for their partner.

I beleive they all loved their spouses...it's just my definition, and probably their spouses, of how one exemplifies love differed.
Somewhere in my studies on the topic, I came across a statistic that I have always clung to. Although stats are always skewed, this one was that an estimated 80% of all marriages that do not result in divorce encounter infidelity at one point or another.

Interesting & Beleivable....at least, in my little world.

My parents, whom I love very much & who love each other undoubtedly, have been married over 50 years. When they were younger, my Mother had to deal with my fathers' infidelities a couple few times. It seems that when times were good, he cheated. When they were bad, he drank. It took him 20 years or so to outgrow this & I know that he's grateful that my mother never left him. When I was a young girl, my mom & I would talk about it (I'd beg her to leave him) She'd say his life wasn't so easy either & that she had bigger problems to worry about. As an adult, she tells me how she had to talk to him about his commitments & his family, his children, his choices & about how she did leave 2x before I was born, going to her parents. Her parents lectured her on commitment & sent her back home to work things out. Times have changed, but both my parents are grateful to still have one another.
I was engaged once in my twenties for a very brief spell. I was young & dumb & thought my life was out of a story book. He was young & dumb & thought his life was right out of the soap opera's... cheating on me with 5 or 6 different women. Needless to say, I dumped him & he persued me for another year but I could never go there again. The betrayal shatterd my storybook life & I vowed to never live with my head in the clouds again.
I thought I would never get married.
Serial Monogomy...an American reality.
Just before I turned 36, I suddenly found myself getting married. Six months into my marriage, my DH was having affairs. Knee-jerk reaction? Get a Divorce Quick! Anquished over reaction? Get him to acknowledge it, discuss the motivation, the goals, the reasons, the reasons behind the reasons...see if we can work it out, see to it that if we can't that we can both walk away more enlightened & better prepared to have a more healthy relationship next time around. Step one, the hardest step...getting him to admit it, took a year. We've been married 3+ years now.
Had I not had my story book dreams squashed when I was younger, had I not been hit on by so many married men, had I not had a mother, an aunt, a sister, a friend (or few), co-workers & such who'd gone through it themselves, both men & women, handling it their way...I wouldn't have found the way I wanted to handle it.

Cheating...it happens.(It's hard)
If one cheats the IRS, they fine you, penalize you & sometimes prosecute you.
If one cheats on an exam, the teacher may fail you & maybe have you suspended or in detention
But if one cheats on their spouse, the reactions are as varied as the reasons.

People leave, they divorce, they sue each other, they argue & become abusive, they become jealous & obsessed, they become insecure & introverted, they lash out with an affair of their own, they brush it under the rug, they even murder... they destroy each other financially, emotionally and/or physically and some of us ...
accept that it has happened, try to understand the hows & whys, work towards not letting it happen again and vow that should it re-occur that somehow both parties will exit the realtionship wiser, stronger & better for it.