Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Golden Arm, Revisited...Once is Never Enough

Who's Got My Golden I knew it, growing up.

Growing up with 5 kids in the family every night was a slumber party. But on the week-end, one or two of us would invariably have spend the night company. And about 5 times a year we would have a true slumber party and that is when the ghost stories would fly. This is the story of the Golden Arm, as we knew it then, as children sitting indian-style upon the wooden floors, huddled in a circle, hanging on every word...

Once upon a time there was a very,very rich man. He lived in a great old castle atop of the misty mountain.
He was so rich that people would travel the winding road that led up to his house to ask for favors and donations of money.
Children would venture to his door, trying to peddle their girl scout cookies, candy bars and magazine subscriptions for school. But even more often, parents would arrive with their daughters in tow...knowing this rich man was not married, they hoped that he would fall helplessly in love with their daughter.
He turned the children away, despite all the wonderful goodies they had to offer. Likewise, he turned all of the fair women away...many of which were young and beautiful. He turned them all away because he beleived that no-one was really interested in him...that they were only really interested in his money & his castle on the hill.
One day, a woman arrived at his door. She was not looking for money or for love. She simply needed directions. He was suspicious, but after listening to her tales of getting lost, he found himself most captivated by her arm...her Golden Arm.
He invited her in for tea....she must be very thirsty after her long & lost travels. He would give her the directions she needed, but curiosity got the best of him & he wanted to know more about this Golden Arm of hers.
So over a glass of tea, she told him how she had been born the daughter of the richest man in the land (a man even richer than himself) and how she had been in a terrible horse riding accident as a little girl riding the horse her father had given her. Her father felt terrible.
When she lost her arm, she cried & cried & cried. Who would ever fall in love with a one-armed girl? How would she ever tend to a home, a husband and a child with only one arm? Her tears of pain & loss only made her father's guilt grow.
So when she was a young lady, her father gave her the gift of the Golden Arm. It was made of the finest gold of the world & made to look exactly like her other arm, but of solid gold. Her father told her that no-one, no thing, no accidents, no horses could ever take this arm from her... it was her Golden Arm.
Entertained by her tale of the Golden Arm, he gave her the directions she needed and then invited her back for tea the next day.
Day after day, they enjoyed afternoon tea together and eventually they married.
He thought no man was as fortunate, as blessed, as lucky as he.
Then suddenly one day, his wife died.
He was saddened, but truth be known, he loved her Golden Arm much more than he had ever loved her.
(voice drops, slightly above a whisper) So, not long after his beloved wife had been buried, he grabbed his shovel & began to dig.
With each dig of the shovel into the dirt that covered his wife, he thought to himself... oh, that Golden Arm... I must have that Golden Arm... I am going to get that Golden Arm.
And eventually, he found her & her Golden Arm.
Covered in dirt, her face was so pale.
In the moonlight her lips were so ashy...
but that Golden glistened, it shined, it was so bright & still so beautiful.
He grabbed it out & quickly covered his dead wife with the fresh dirt he had piled up.
All the while, thinking to himself...I have the Golden Arm! I got it! I finally got the Golden Arm!
He ran with the Golden Arm through the cemetary, through the woods and up the foggy dark hillside, back to his castle. He took the Golden Arm & hid it deep in the secret safe. The safe that no-one else had ever known about, not even his beloved wife.
After all his hard work digging & his wild uphill running, he found himself exhausted. He sat in his chair, the chair he always sat in for afternoon tea & quickly fell asleep.
He awoke to a sound
(voice in a sing-song whisper)"Who's got My Golden Arm?" (story teller looks maniacally into the eyes of the first child)
The old rich man is startled by the ghostly vision of his dead wife before him.
(sing-song whisper)"Who's got My Golden Arm?" (story teller peers deeply into the eyes of the second child)
Her skin was so pale, he was terrified.
(sing-song whisper)"Who's got My Golden Arm?" (story teller looks frantically into the eyes of the third child)
Her ruby red lips were ashen & gray...could it really be her?
(sing-song whisper)"Who's got My Golden Arm?" (story teller looks insanely into the eyes of the fourth child)
Her hair was clumped with fresh dirt...could she still be alive?
(sing-song whisper)"Who's got My Golden Arm?" (story teller looks nervously into the eyes of the fifth child)
(sing-song whisper)"Who's got My Golden Arm?" (story teller looks painfully into the eyes of the sixth child)
(sing-song whisper)"Who's got My Golden Arm?" (story teller looks desperately into the eyes of the seventh child)
(Whisper falling to just a trace of a voice...singing in an increasingly desperate, eerie, high pitched tone, causing us children to reel in closer, gripping our knuckles tight & keeping our eyes wide open) "Who's Got My Golden Arm? Who's Got My Golden Arm?""Who's got My Golden Arm?"
Once all of us kids were torn between anticipation and desperation, the story teller would abruptly scream 'YOU DO!' as she grabbed hold of one poor childs' arm.
All of us would scream, year after year.
None of us ever wanted that Golden Arm & we still don't!

Original Story written in 1883 by Aarne Thompson. Artwork by JustGiveMePeace artist, SAS.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Do Whatever It Is You Want

With shiny, thin, red lips rumpled over her small, yellowed teeth she asked 'Can you help me?'
'Of course, sweetheart, what do you need?'
'Heh-heh-heh. Well, i don't really need anything. I'm too old for that. When I was young & had needs I put them on the backburner to take care of those around, especially that son-of-a-bitch. Ah, that's alright, I didn't really think anything I wanted was ever a need anyway.'
'Hahaha, okay honey, then what do you want?'
'I want you to help me get that rug. I always wanted a rug & that son-of-a-bitch never wanted one, never would let me have one...said they were dirt traps.'
'Okay, well, I will be more than happy to get it for you.'

I followed her, with her hunched back & darting, dancing blue eyes over to the mountain of rugs. She had picked out a 8 x 10 persian wool rug. It was big, thick & tightly tufted...very plush. I had her help guide it, as we rolled it down from the mountain of rolled textiles & onto my right shoulder & then told her to steer clear. It weighed a ton. As I scaffolded my way through the store with it, I asked if she had someone at home who could offload it for her.
'Yeah, that son-of-a-bitch's bastard son. He's forty...he can do it...if he's not too doped up.'

En route to her car & back she told me about the 'son-of-a-bitch.' He was her spouse for almost seventy years. They had four children. When their children were all but grown, he had a child with another woman. As this childs' mother was in & out of the hospital for drug & alcohol use, the child was in & out of their home.

Her husband was verbally and physically abusive to her until he became too old & too tired to beat her down anymore. His death came slowly & he required much care in his dying years & he was too stubborn and demanding to allow anyone to care for him but his wife.

'Well, he loved you dearly, I'm sure, he just didn't express it in a healthy manner.'

'I thought it was love. For nearly seventy years, I thought it was love. It wasn't honey, he just used me. I was his care-giver, the mother to his children, his maid & servant. I now know that man didn't know the meaning of love.'

'Well, he defined it differently for sure. At least he provided well for you & the children, right?'

'Well, the house has been paid off for over thirty years now. He changed jobs, like I changed the linens. Outside of the house, I was hung out to dry just like those linens & I almost lost the house too '

'Oh my'

'Yeah, what savings we had, he spent. Then he went & co-signed on credit cards & car loans for that bastard son. By the time he died, that boy had over 80 grand in debt with my husbands name attached to it all & that boy, well he just quit paying. Them collectors came like bees on honey when that son-of-a-bitch husband of mine died. I had to hire me an attorney just to keep the house & that cost me thousands of dollars. I thought I was gonna be homeless. I had to start working at the daycare. I still do & that's why I can afford to get me this here rug. I work 5 hours a day, five days a week.'

'Well, I hope you enjoy this rug plenty then. You have worked hard for it'

'Oh I will. I lived my whole life with dirt. Anytime I tried to sweep it up, it just gets in my face & all over everything. I think that with this here rug, at least the dirt can get buried. That son-of-a-bitch never wanted me to have no rug. He was nothing but a liar, a cheat & a thief. If I'd known 50 years ago what I know today, I woulda got me a job at the daycare back then & a rug too.'

Her eyes drifted over the vehicle, through our small lot & to somewhere beyond. 'I woulda left him, but I didn't know....I just didn't know. I just didn't know any better. You married, honey?'

'No Ma'am.' 'You would be proud of me, I just divorced a liar, a cheat, a thief.'

I know there are multiple sides to every story.
This woman's resentment was undeniable. Regardless of where the blame belongs or where it falls, the bottom line is that she was eaten up with anger & resentment. As much as she resents her husbands infidelity, instability & abusiveness... it was apparent to me that she, in fact, resented herself & her own choices. I remember reading once somewhere that what makes old, crotchety people act with anger is reflection upon a life lived without going for what they want. In my opinion, this woman knew 50 years ago, maybe nearly 70 years ago, that she wanted out... that she wanted something more or at least, something different and she never acted on those wants.

All this being said...if there is something you want in life...go for it.
'I hope you enjoy this life plenty. You have worked hard for it.'

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Oracle of Love...For Entertainment Purposes Only

Intuition. Perception. Insight. Vision. Instinct. Knowledge. Realization. Awareness. Psychic. Sensitive. Open. Premonition. Sixth Sense....or common sense?

Visions, tarot cards & crystal balls, divining rods & palm-reading, runes, ouija boards, tea leaves & horoscopes... so many things to tell us what we already know. Entertainment for some & something much more for others.

I have two crystal balls that I received as gifts, sitting on my great-great grandmother Bashaby's old oak church pump organ. My great aunt Belles' six inch thick 1880's bible is tucked inside & a childhood photo of my mother & her parents sits on the hymn tray. There is no ouiji board in this house, but my twenty year old tarot cards are tucked away in the bowels of an old box within these walls. My crystal pendulum hangs from a hook two notches down from my hammered spoon cross. Hmmm... perhaps all these things equal balance...maybe it's even feng shui....a collusion of conflict....balance. I don't know.

Again, mere entertainment for some & something much more for others.

Some folks may think I am a witch or that I am lost soul who hasn't been talking to the right man, but like Dr. Suess said "Be who you are & say what you feel because those who mind don't matter & those who matter don't mind."

I think we are all intuitive, we all have a sixth sense. Not everyone has common sense.

Anyway, this post is for entertainment purposes only as I recently bought an entertaining little book. It's a thick little book with very few words. In fact, open it anywhere & you'll see somewhat primitive looking diagrams, drawings & pictures on
the left & a handful of words on the right.
Page 6 says 'The premise is simple. Ask a question, receive an answer.'

I quickly discovered that I really don't have too many questions to ask & intuitively speaking, my dogs have absolutely none. Not nearly as entertaining as I thought it could be.

Tapping out this blog entry...rambling, really go
ing no where with words, it seemed only natural to ask if I should, in fact, do a post about this little book & I flipped it open. In henna colored ink, the page I opened up to to says 'It is happening already.' Twa-la-da-la! With a flip of the page, I discovered I am proficient at divination!

Instead of hitting 'delete' I will hit 'publish' and invite any of you to ask a yes or no question (in your own head or in written word) and I will flip a page for you.

Entertain me folks & who knows, maybe me & my little book can entertain you ;)

I need a distraction

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Lap Dogs

It's a lap dog if it gets in your lap... regardless of the size.

Monday, October 15, 2007

40 Years & Still Learning

A Random List of Things I have Learned in the Past 40 Years

Wrinkles are like Merit Badges & we should wear them proudly.
Laughter is more contagious than the common cold, so we should all giggle when we sneeze.
Smart women know when to play dumb & dumb ones play like they are smart.
The truth often times is what you perceive it to be, but not necessarily what you want it to be.
Making mistakes is what gives us wisdom.
Frying bacon in the buff can be very dangerous.
Once an addict, always an addict... even if you haven't given in to your addiction in years.
Marriage is a legal binding contract, kinda like a lifelong lease & to get out of it, you must go to court.
Things that are painful, often become more painful, before they get better.
Being broke & being poor are two different things.
Pets help keep the heart & mind healthy.
Success is the sweetest revenge.
The seemingly smallest things can mean the most.
Quality over quantity.
Time is a limited resource and should never be taken for granted.
One can never have enough friends.
Family is not defined by bloodlines, but by circles of love.
You cannot help someone who is not willing to help themselves first.
Love Notes need not be long.
Everyone has their own Individual Divine Principles by which they live. Some define it for themselves, some pull from many different resources and still others allow it to be defined and transcribed to them.
The God Lord gave us sleep & dreams because he knew too much of anything, including the waking world, isn't a good thing.
Half of my life is a distraction from the other half.
Life is a mountain of moments, we should make each one count.
Those who fail to prepare are preparing to fail.
Honesty is the foundation of all healthy relationships. Without it, we cannot build a house of love, nor have windows of trust & floors of faith.
We should never assume that someone else would handle a situation the same as we would.
If we never chase our dreams, they will eventually become disappointments.
99% of communication is interpretation.
One mans' trash is another man's treasure.
Words, no matter how simple in form, backed by action are the most profound words of all.
'Endings' are new beginnings.
Love grows, even when we don't see it.
Smile big when getting your pic taken at the DMV...if you get pulled over, the officer should see a happy face.
A smile makes every one look better ... crooked teeth, no teeth, no matter what.
When we are young, we have resources but often lack the balls. When we grow older we have the balls to do just about anything...but don't always have the resources.
Never trust someone that your dog innately dislikes.

Life is for living, learning & loving & if we are not doing all 3 of these things, then we are not doing any one of them effectively.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Exit Stage Left

'Stage' ~ 1992, by the Skinny Little Blonde

Sometimes he doesn't seem so happy
Like His World is super small
A tattoo upon his shoulder
He seems so much older
With a cross upon his brow.

This is a short piece I wrote some 15 years ago & for whatever reasons, I saved it.
It was about a guy I once knew... a musician, a husband, a father, a prostitute & friend.
At least those were the things he was when I knew him.

His wife, who became his ex-wife when his best friend was done with his tour of duty in the middle east, was an interesting lass.

They were constantly broke & by government standards, they lived in poverty. Together, with their absolutely beautiful 3 year old daughter, they lived in a small room in his grandfathers' house. The room was large enough to accomodate one twin bed & all of their worldly belongings, which his wife kept articulately organized.

She had a vision & she had a craft.

She would go the Dollar General and buy masking tape, two rolls for a buck. Then, she would walk around back and take a dip in their dumpster. there she would find a sliver of a box, in which she would tuck lots of other broken down boxes. She had a thing for cardboard.

At home, either in her family's room ... or outback on the concrete pad, she would whip out her blade and begin cutting, folding, notching and taping.

You see, outside of the twin size mattress and boxsprings, which sat on the floor, and the hand-me-down clothes... she had no material goods, certainly no other furniture.
But out of cardboard & tape, this girl built a desk and an armoire, a laundry hamper & shelving units.

In the Dollar General dumpster one day, she came across some toss pillows that had apparently been sliced wide-open when employees had cut into the fright box they came in. She grabbed the pillows & runted around for a good long time in that dumpster. Finally, her head popped back up. "I found it! The Perfect Box!'s thick & corrogated! I can work wonders with this!"

Several days later, I got to see her completed work... a pumpkin turned into a carriage. With a spent pillow stuffing mattress, a high headboard covered in sliced pillow sleeve butterflies and a canopy top dangling even more butterflies...she had made her baby girl her very own custom sized bed.

The sight gave me butterflies & the memory still does.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Monday, October 01, 2007


Updates on the Skinny Little Blonde...
1- She misses her time spent leisurely traipsing through the blog-o-sphere & fears she will never be afforded such leisure time again... but is ever so grateful for the time she has had & thinks of many of all quite often.
2- Five of her five dogs have been sick or otherwise neurotic with the changes going on within her household. She is never lonesome & always feels needed.
3- Her hair measures 11" from the nape of her neck on the backside, so she will probably be getting it whacked around the holidays for Locks of Love.
4- Gone are her days of the 4-7 minute commute, as she is back into the grind of interstate travel, traffic jams & rush-hour mayhem. This means that approximately 55+ hours a week will be spent devoting herself to work....although this has proved to be a minimum.
5- Her automobile has a tribe of tiny ants residing in the rubber seals around the doors, the console & lord knows where else. She fears they will eat her electrical system & believes that they came from parking on her brick parkpad under the oak tree. These ants appear to all be crazy, as they do not walk in a uniform line & they are the fastest moving ants she has ever seen.
6- She will be attending a formal wedding & will, for the first time in her life, have to wear a cocktail dress... despite her belief that hippies should be exempt from such things, she is willing to do so for her good friend, the DeeBug ;)
7- For the first time in ages, she went to live musical venue, where she was able to meet, hug & get the autograph of G. Love from G Love & Special Sauce.
8- If she has her way, she will also be attending the Foo Fighters show in Atlanta on October 4th, maybe she will also get to meet, hug & get an autograph from the ever so talented David Grohl. She can't help but sing 'The Best of You' at the top of her lungs any time she hears it.
9- She has replaced her Starbucks bottled Coffee flavored Frappaccino addiction with McDonalds Regular Iced Coffees, but still believes McDonalds otherwise sucks.
10-Finally, the Skinny Little Blonde has started a small savings account for the first time in is called 'Beach Money' and began with a twenty from SHE and is now up to 20.28!