Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Devil went down to Georgia
and he was looking for a soul to steal
He was in a bind
'Cause he was way behind
And he was willin' to make a deal...

The school cafeteria is bustling in the early hours of the morning.

And if you care to take a dare, I'll make a bet with you.

Everyone has their job to do and some folks just walk around carrying a sheet of paper while others are shuffling mass quantities of this & that here and there preparing for the daily influx of 100's of hungry kids.

I take your bet, you're gonna regret cause I the best there's ever been.

The government dictates the borders of what will be fed & the lunch ladies have to stay within those borders to provide a proper diet for the children. And should a child not have lunch money for so many days...cheese sandwich

Just sit right in that chair right there
And let me show you how it's done

Some folks laughed & others' stared in disgust, but she broke loose and she shook her fanny & twisted her hips, stomped her feet & clapped her hands. Charlie Daniels squeaked out on the little radio & for the moment, the cafeteria floor became Georgia clay & the paper holder became a chicken running from the Devil & one little lunch lady became Johnny.

Johnny said, Devil just come on back
If you ever wanna try again
I done told you once you son of a bitch
I'm the best there's ever been

And he played Fire on the Mountain
Run boys, run
The devil's in the House of the Rising Sun
Chicken in a bread pan picken' out dough
Granny does your dog bite
No child, no

Later in the day, she smuggled a cookie into the pocket of the man whose real name is Johnny & she bit her tongue while a young, boy new to the school, was told he could only have a cheese sandwich. As his eyes swelled with tears, she started shoveling food...green beans, corn, pizza all onto an unrung plate. The paper-holder paced with her paper, chicken lips flapping about rules & regulations. And the cafeteria lady with a fiddle made of gold took that cheese sandwich & those teary eyes & replaced them with hugs, love & a plate full of green beans, pizza & trust.

Granny does your dog bite
No child, no
~ Charlie Daniels Band

Sometimes it's about quality, not quantity. 1000 cheese sandwiches could never compete with that scoop of green beans, that slice of pizza.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Seashells & Mermaids Growing Up

When I was a kid at the beach, I liked to lay with my head in the still moist, shimmering like diamond dust sand, one ear against the ground with my feet in the lapping, sometimes yellow & sometimes green sea foam.
Laying there, I felt like I could hear the heartbeat of the ocean.I felt free to do nothing, but soak it all in.
I 'd see how long I could just lay there before the sea foam starting tickling the side of my face & threatened to splash my eyes with salt water. Sometimes I'd just close my down
-side eye and allow Mother Nature to tickle me with ribbons of water, other times I would scooch with the changing tide.

Laying there, I would let my imagination run wild.
I would daydream about desolate beaches...
about the Florida beaches before white man came...
about beaches where horses ran free...
about glass houses underneath the water...
about Atlantis in the Atlantic out my backdoor...
about being small enough to ride a seahorse...
about Chicken of the Sea labels...
about being saved from tragedy by a great octopus...
about
Great Whites giving me water park rides...
about mermaids and about being a mermaid...

about what type of seashell I would want to live in if I was a little mermaid.

I always thought conchs would be better than the typical clam shells. Granted clam shells can close tight & one could sleep soundl
y & safely there. But the interior swell of the conch would provide natural pillow and the exterior would be like a form fitted blanket. Besides with my feet tucked deep within the conch, I could stay closer to all the action, ready to climb on out ...kinda like sleeping with the door opened.

Even in my sleep, I never wanted to miss a beat.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Have Courage...Get Lucky!


38 years ago, this week, in '69 as Hurricane Camille began her voyage straight towards home, my younger brother was born. Dad was out of town on business. My mothers' sister came to sit with the four of us as Momma was raced to the hospital. Chanty boy was born with Downs' Syndrome, among other things and Mother was told she may as well go home & evacuate her remaining children as he would never make it through the night. She had to have courage & she did. He, at a few hours of age, had to have courage & he did. And we all got lucky.
Chanty Boy made it through the night, through the week, through his teens and all the way to his 38th birthday. The man, who will always be Chanty-Boy to me, has courage.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHANTY BOY! WE ARE SO VERY LUCKY TO HAVE YOU!

Some of you are aware that my beautiful, sweet, soulful sister Kimbies was diagnosed with Her2+ Breast Cancer last year. She, too, has had courage... the deep, powerful, loving kind of courage that you never even know exists until the time has come for it to reveal itself. I sit back and I look at her with an awe and an amazement that words could never wrap around, yet I find her love, her courage, her strength, her passion wrapping all around me... and it wraps around everyone she comes in contact with. Talk to her once & it'll wrap around you too.

At one point in time, not so long ago, I thought I would never even get a mammogram. I thought I would just live until I died...which I know is ultimately what I'd be doing no matter what. I thought 'there are some things I just don't wanna know...'

Several weeks before I filed for divorce, I had my first mammogram. A couple weeks after I filed, it came back 'suspicious.' So I went back for a 'magni-mammo.' It, too, came back suspicious & they sent me to a surgeon.The mammogram picked up things that no self-exam ever could. The surgeon said my bi-rad score was a four & that I had a high density (and to think I thought firm breasts were good ;) He said that they would probably remove all suspicious areas while pulling for the biopsy.

I was scared, facing divorce & possibly cancer.

But, I thought about my Mother, my brothers, my sisters, Mel, Vicci, She with Courage, the Dog Whisperer , Kharma & so many other others and all the COURAGE they have had. I thought about all the other times in my life I had to have courage. I thought about how TODAY we were all so LUCKY to have each other, like many other days gone by & days yet to come.

So I pulled out my peaceful Lucky shirt sent ever so generously & thoughtfully by COURAGE & plopped it over my bony head, my bony shoulders & my grateful heart. I went in for for my stereotactic procedure & the results, which I know will be good, should be here by next week-end. Sometimes we just gotta have COURAGE in order to get lucky!

Ladies & Gentlemen...please get your mammograms done. Educate yourselves. Have Courage & Maybe We will All Get Lucky!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Definition & History of a Hippie

Recently, someone came to me to apologize that she had called me a hippie.

'That's cool, I don't care what you call me. I mean it could be worse.'

She said that she wanted me to know that she said that because she thought I had a peaceful & understanding attitude that allowed me to understand & accept a variety of people, situations, circumstances & such without looking at the superficial influences of society. I laughed and said 'Well, thank you...I'm glad to know that it didn't mean that you thought I was eating psychedelic mushrooms & celebrating free love....even though I will gladly hug anyone' I came home & pulled out my Random House dictionary, copyrighted 1970. It does not even have the word 'Hippie' in it. So I looked the word up on Dictionary.com and here is what I found...

n. pl. hip·pies
A person who opposes and rejects many of the conventional standards and customs of society, especially one who advocates extreme liberalism in sociopolitical attitudes and lifestyles.

Interesting... this definition to have nothing to do with the personal definition given to me by above mentioned person. So I have done some research & thought I might share with you what I have found about the word 'Hippie' and the history of Hippies.

The terms hipster and hippie derive from the word 'hip.' The term hipster was coined by Harry Gibson in the 1940's to describe jazz performers. One of the first recorded usages of the word hippie was in a radio show in 1945, in which Harry the Hipster aka Harry Gibson, was called a "Hippie".

Years later, in his 1964 autobiography, Malcolm X referred to the word hippy as a term that African Americans used to describe a white person who "acted more Negro than Negroes."

The more contemporary sense of the word hippie first appeared in print on September 5, 1965 in the article "A New Haven for Beatniks" In that article, Fallon wrote about the Blue Unicorn coffeehouse, using the term hippie to refer to the new generation of beatniks who had moved from North Beach into the Haight-Ashbury district.

Use of the term hippie did not catch on in the masses until 1967, after San Francisco columnists Herb Caen began referring to hippies in his daily columns.

The foundation of the hippie movement finds historical precedent as far back as the counterculture of the Ancient Greeks, espoused by philosophers like Diogenes of Sinope, Socrates & the Cynics, ... who believed in a a life of poverty, self-sufficiency & the suppression of desires. Other influences upon hippies include the ideas of Jesus Christ, Buddha, Krishna, Henry David Thoreau, Gandhi and more.

In fin de si├Ęcle Europe (1890-1914), a back-to-nature movement began. Thousands of young Germans rejected the rapid trend toward urbanization and attempted to return to the natural, pagan, and spiritual life of their ancestors.

In the first several decades of the twentieth century, these beliefs were introduced to the United States as Germans immigrated in & settled into California's warm climate which allowed for alternative lifestyles & saw the opening of the first health food stores. Their beleifs and practices were quickly adopted by other young Americans.

Eden Ahbez wrote a hit song called Nature Boy, which was recorded in 1947 by Nat King Cole, popularizing the homegrown back-to-nature movement in California to mainstream America. Since then, this song has been featured in countless movies, including Moulin Rouge. The gist of this song is that the greatest thing in life is 'to love and to be loved.' Twenty years later, a few of these 'Nature Boys,' including the famous Gypsy Boots, (who is accredited for mainstreaming alternative fitness lifestyles such as yoga & organic foods) made their way to Northern California in 1967, just in time for the Summer of Love in San Francisco.

Another influence were members of the Jamaican Rastafari movement who wore long hair (called dreadlocks), smoked pot as a sacrament, rejected the establishment and espoused a back-to-nature and back-to-their-Aftrican-roots philosophy. The 1950's saw a large immigration of Jamaicans into the UK, influencing the developing UK hippie movement, with contacts often formed when young whites would buy cannabis from black communities.

The Beatniks of the 1950's found themselves often being referred to as 'Hippies' in the 1960's although there were technically some differences between these two counter sub-cultures. Beatniks were known for their goatees, their poetry & their dismal clothing. While not known for being particularly political, the term 'Beatnik' became very commercialized in the early 1960's. 'Hippies' were known for their long hair, their bright clothing & their activity in anti-war movements & this term became more commercialized years later...

With the introduction & popularization of LSD (see Timothy Leary ) & the new folk psychedelic rock-n-roll (see the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane , Jimi Hendrix & Buffalo Springfield, among others) of the 1960's, many young people dropped out of college & began to live communally, centering their life around art, music & personal expression. In fact, by 1966 about 15,000 youth had moved into the Haight & they found their world centered around a group called the Diggers, an artistic theater group who wanted to create a free city...often providing impromptu artistic venues, including drama, music & traditional artwork, as well as free food, transportation, medical supplies & even temporary housing. Woodstock, The Summer of Love, Monterey Music Festival & Altamont led many Hippies to travel together in their 'art' vehicles and/or to hitchhiking, which was considered environmentally friendly as well as economical. These events, especially the Summer of Love, led more & more hippies to pacified political protests & marches against war & for civil rights (even though Altamont did show violence could happen even with Hippies)
The advent of the 'Pill' led many to a greater devotion of individual rights, particularly among women & the Womens' Rights Movement.
Over the years, Hippies have been influenced by & have influenced religious perspectives, health & fitness attitudes, political agendas, social & personal lifestyle choices, artistic expressions, mass media, commercial ventures & fashion styles....among other things.

Socrates & Jesus Christ & Gandhi... The Grateful Dead & Bob Dylan... Rastafarians & Germans & the Youth... Yesterday & today & tomorrow... 'Hippie' seems to just be a 'new' word...at least, it wasn't in my dictionary.





Friday, August 10, 2007

Thanks for Keeping Me Grounded

Timmy Toes is camping out this week...not a bad deal.
He's loving it, as it's just about 10 minutes from his work and no rain is in the forecast.

He invited me to the campsite yesterday, my day off. So after running errands & tending to some house work & yard work, I stole some time and ran to the lake.

A lonesome cove found me floating out from the rocks and out from under the trees on a water-hammock. It was so very peaceful, quiet & relaxing.

I had one crazy critter that followed me through the water, but never really did anything threatening...even though I thought he looked like a yellow jacket.

Laying there with my eyes closed, I felt something ever so gently land on my brow just above the bridge of my nose. Not moving, I opened my eyes & looked up. A yellowish-blur was all I could see. I took my left hand and slowly went to scoop whatever it was up and off when it flew to my knee. It was the worlds largest dragonfly...yellow & brown. I have no pictures of it to share, as I had left my camera back on the rocks, but when I did return to the rocks, this baby was just waiting there.

I want to say THANK YOU to all of my blogging friends for all of your words of wisdom, encouragement & support. I know that me getting a divorce is not the end of the world and I know that I have not been the best at bouncing around this community like I would like for several months now... and for that, I apologize. Each & everyone has had a wonderful impact on me in one way or another and I just want you to know that I appreciate it very much. You guys have been my support network...thank you!

xoxox~ in the end, peace always wins and ends are really just new beginnings.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Full Color Muted by Shades of Gray

Last week I saw two rainbows, one which was a double rainbow. Weird...it was raining neither time & both were seen right before sunset...

This is a picture of one taken while driving...so the color is diffused from the windsheild.

Being privileged enough to catch a glimpse of a rainbow, or a shooting star, always makes me feel like Mother Nature is bestowing a gift upon me or maybe like she is giving me a sign.

In hindsight, I take these rainbow sightings as a sign...

...in the deep, dark, murky shades of gray out there... there is beautiful color on the horizon

The paperwork is done ...divorce has really just begun when the papers are signed. It's hard folks, under the best of terms, it's hard.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Clouds Kissing the Ground




The air was so heavy it just hung in the air. There was a mist, a fog, a ground-loving cloud that hovered with the dragonflies all around me. It was nearly a hundred degrees and with my feet in the river water, it felt like Heaven.

The sun finally joined t
he mist & the words that hung so low... everything just seemed to settle in. I thought it might be a good time to go home & go to sleep.

I just love the river. The rocks, the water, the mist, the sun & the serenity of it all... ah, to be a dragonfly, I could just call this place home & simply rest my head here. orhan~ last email says to 'stay above the water.' These pictures provide evidence of that but notice how the mist, the water, is either rising up upon me from the river & like a cloud dropping from the sky onto me. How prophetic your words seemed.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Morning After Peace was Declared...One Kitty Out of the Bag


The cat is out of the bag...
The dogs still don't get it.

I chose to live, not in the shadow of someone else's life, but directly under the sun, the moon & the stars with nothing in between.

I finally chose to breath on my own again, no longer holding my breath waiting for the spoken words of another to be actuated.

I chose peace, something even those who seem to have it all, can't seem to trust or understand.

I chose to take the hits below the belts, the blows to the spirit & soul and tend to to them with patience, understanding & perhaps, most importantly, acceptance so that I could minimize my scars and battle wounds.

I chose to learn and grow, where others often choose to punish.

I chose to take those bricks of burden thrown onto my shoulders & build a little path with them.

I chose to give, not give up or give in, but simply give.

I chose to trade my despair in for determination, my broken heart for a healing one and my sense of loss for more common sense.

I chose to forgive, although I will never forget.

I chose to nurture those who had negated me, support those who had undermined me & ease those who had hurt me.

I chose peace.
Every ending is a new beginning.

As we listened to the various folks & their pleas, we were surprised to find that peace is truly rare.
It was like an 'upside down and inside out' wedding...
We walked down the aisle & stood before the judge, side by side, man and wife.
I shook and shivered, like on my wedding day, but my voice remained strong & clear.
We said our 'I do's' to the man in black.
I clicked my heels three times.
He granted my wish & brought down his gavel.
TimmyToes took my hand in his & together we left the courthouse....
no longer man & wife.


Every ending is a new beginning.