Thursday, December 25, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Board Days and Imaginary Friends

Big Daddo sat on the edge of his seat. A large outdoor Glad trash bag hung from his knees.
Balls of silver and gold, red and green, candy canes stripes, poinsettia and Santa Claus flew through the air. Bows and ribbons still attached to some of these balls and some bows and ribbons laid upon the floor in neat little stacks or got stuck atop of someone's head.
Twenty-some-odd people. A family tree. Generations. Of Love, not blood.
I watched her, in her burgundy velvet dress and her little bare feet.
She silently slipped away, dragging her baby doll with her. Not the baby doll she had just unwrapped, but the baby doll she had always dragged around.
Without looking back, she crept up the stairs and then down the hall. I Indian-footed behind her. She went into my bedroom and climbed up my bed.
Just beyond the doorway I watched as she climbed up on my bed and sat her baby doll 'just so.' She was murmuring & I couldn't make out what she was saying so I listened with my eyes.
Pinky finger sticking out, placing imaginary things here and there, I realized she was having a tea party with her baby doll and imaginary friend.
She began to sing and this is what I heard.
'Happy Board Day To You. Happy Board To You.
Happy Board Day Baby Jeeeeeezus. Happy Board Day To You.
Now! Make a wush & bow out ya candles!''

Artwork by Sister Singleton

Monday, November 24, 2008

For Entertainment Purposes Only...

For entertainment purposes only...
no wonder I love the Blues ; )

Your Aura is Blue

Spiritual and calm, you tend to live a quiet but enriching life.

You are very giving of yourself. And it's hard for you to let go of relationships.

The purpose of your life: showing love to other people

Famous blues include: Angelina Jolie, the Dali Lama, Oprah

Careers for you to try: Psychic, Peace Corps Volunteer, Counselor

Funny...this too comes back BLUE! What colors are you?

You See the World Through Blue Colored Glasses

You live your life with tranquility. You have faith that things will work themselves out with time.

You judge all your interactions through the lens of hope. You try to get all the facts before forming your opinion.

You face challenges with wisdom. You know that all bad things pass, and you have the confidence to see problems through.

You see love as the utmost expression of trust. Your relationships tend to be peaceful and stable.

At your worst, you can be cool, melancholy, and detached. You sometimes have to step back from emotionally charged situations.

You are at your happiest when you are able to reflect and relax.

And.....yet another one comes back BLUE!!!
Although My heart is supposedly red and yellow ; )

Your Mind is Blue

Of all the mind types, yours is the most mellow.

You tend to be in a meditative state most of the time. You don't try to think away your troubles.

Your thoughts are realistic, fresh, and honest. You truly see things as how they are.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about your friends, your surroundings, and your life.

Are You Getting Repeat Colors too?

Friday, November 21, 2008

And if it is Gonna be this dang cold...

I am in the south and heat with a wood burning stove. Being gone to work for 11-13, sometimes plus, hours a day it can make the heating situation .... ummmm, difficult. Three or four times this week I have awoken or come from work to temperatures inside my house in the low 50's. Brrrr....
Having a day off, I will load my stove up the night before and keep her rolling. Having had yesterday off and a gazillion errands to run, I ran them all around the timing of the wood... so beautifully this morning I awoke to an indoor temperature of 69!
Considering our average lows are running about 20 degrees lower than average so far this year, which is obviously unusual, I thought I would throw up an unusual video from those angelic voices of Celtic Woman. It's a break in their style, but so is this weather. Enjoy the magical air around you and the magical sounds below.
Peace & Love ...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What Is and Should Never Be

For the past year or so, I have heard and I have said, more times than I can count "It is what it is."
Sometimes, I think this is a polite way of saying "Eff it" or "It is effed up, but what are we to do besides deal with it?"
So, of late, anytime I find myself hearing or saying these words, I follow them up with a "We gotta keep on, keepin' on"

Peace, Love People!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Yesterday, I went to a funeral for a friend. I went with a friend who had been widowed before the age of 30 and Saturday night, for the first time in ages, I will be going out with another friend widowed way too young.

Having nothing to do with any of that, I watched this video on YouTube a bit ago. It's not a sad video, in fact it's very inspirational. But it made me cry. And it made me smile.

'Make the Most Of Your Time Here"

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Striker, Striper...

He, like me, doesn't really care what you call him.

I slapped by hip "Come on Boy! C'mon!'

He lifted his head and surveyed the area around him, then behind him...then dropped his head back down.

Thirty feet away, I knelt down and smacked the side of my leg "I am talking to you, now...C'mon!"

His big ears flopped like long hair on a little kid chasing after an ice cream truck. I could almost hear him squealing out with shock, surprise and joy..."She's talking to me! Somebody wants me! Maybe somebody l-o-v-e-s mmmmeeeeeeeee!"

Aw, but his young, excited energy was quickly spent and he found rest quite heavily in the front room of my brothers house.

Instinctively and immediately, he fell in love with everything and everyone he came in contact. He'd gladly go anywhere with anyone of us

So there we sat...

Four adults, four households and between us 54 feet, pads and paws.

Not a one of us had any business taking in four more paws.

Nope, no business what-so-ever.

Oh, but we ALL wanted to.

There's something about this small south Georgia either come with dogs, leave with dogs or both.

I named him 'Striper' but often times just find myself calling him 'Striker.' Had I thought about I would have named him 'Community.' Really, he's OUR dog. Not mine.

I brought him home and the next morning took him to the vets, where he was diagnosed with a couple of different types of worms, including the dreaded heart worm. He stayed a couple nights at the vet and came back here to recuperate from the arsenic which they had to treat him with. That was a little over two weeks ago.

Yesterday, the sun was out and so was he. He had a new found light about his eyes, a swifter wag of the tail and a quicker pace to his step. He's finally starting to feel better from the first of his three treatments.

It will be close to Christmas by the time he is completely treated for all of his worms and then, bless his struggling little heart, he's gonna go transgender.

Come the New Year, he will be like a new dog.

Top Photo: Dogs, not mine, at brotherlove's place.
Center Photo, on Right: What Striper has looked like 90% of the time, the past 2 weeks...very tired, very weak.
Bottom Photo: What Striker looked like yesterday afternoon & today. We can see the light!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Won't Be Home For The Holidays

Working retail, I understand that I won't be home for the holidays.
It's a choice and I am OK with that.
But make no doubts, I will terribly miss the twinkle in the little ones' eyes and the after midnight laughter of Santa's helpers trying to put together Part A with Part B.
But again, it's a choice and I am OK with that.
We all make choices in life....big and little
And all of our choices carry a butterfly effect...

Tuesday is election day... may all of us that are able, get out there and rock our votes.

Thanksgiving will quickly follow. May we all remember the little things for which we should be thankful.

Christmas is right around the bend and will be upon us before we know it.

I have a dear friend of twenty years or so, whose young son made a choice to sign into the service and he won't be home for the Holidays...

So here's to the Butterfly Effect...
May The Gift Keep On Giving...

Thank You Josh for the choices you make and may you make it safely home...

If you would like to send Josh and his comrades any goodies for the holidays, I know he would greatly appreciate it. He is a thoughtful, generous and not very picky...

APO AE 09351

Friday, October 31, 2008

Momma's First Date and the Music that Followed

"Sooooze-aye-en! Now, we have all heard this cock-eyed story of yours 100 times... now just stop."

"Well, I don't think everyone has heard it and it's not's true."

"Jeezy-mah-neezy... I don't believe a damn bit of it. You have worn it out. And how is it that after 50 years I have never met, nor heard of this man, except from you? A band named after your first date?!?"

After 54 years of marriage, my parents have heard each others tales, stories and recollections a thousand times over. Each, having to grin and bear it, or not, anytime anyone new gets into the mix while they each re-hash their own distinct recollections of yesteryear.

Flash back to the late 1940's.
A beautiful young woman on her first date ...
with an older boy, at that!
A big occassion.
Big enough for her grandmother to relinquish the window coverings to make a special dress, form fitted just for her.
Big enough for her to wear a coursage, freshly picked by her mother.
Big enough for everyone to forget that she might need shoes to go with that new dress.
Big enough for her mom to give her two special rings to wear on her toes, so that when she danced there would be a tippity-tap upon the hardwood floors.
Big enough for her father to look the other way as she trapsed out the door.
Big enough for her to never forget his name.

So, years later when her children started bring vinyl home with a name so similar home, she had to wonder...

Nearly fifty years after that date, Momma and Pops were perched on the fifty yard line of an FSU game... hooting, hollering, reveling and cheering.
A man three rows down looked over shoulder and Mother caught a glimpse of him as he turned back to the fields. He spun back around and bellowed out...
'Yes! Oh My! It has been years!!!'
'Yes...this is my husband, he has heard stories...'

And my Father never questioned Mother's story again...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Howling Wind, Tails Thumping & the Telephone Line

The sounds from inside these four walls.
Two confused and excited, but mildly jealous dogs thump their tails on the hardwood floor. They have to touch me, constantly touch me. Labored breathes come from the sleeping one sprawled out upon his new-found makeshift throne, here at Skinny's House of Healing.
Sounds from outside ripping and whipping their way inside.
The wind is howling making the oak trees sound like an excited ocean... the wind chimes sound like a carnival gone mad ... together they muffle out the train in the background.

The phone rings and I pick it up....'Hello...'



.......Welllllll, I can't quit you baby......

echoing through the telephone lines.
I set it down & hit the speaker button.
I can hear the laughter, the clutter, the clamoring, the static and the blues and I wished I could climb right through those virtual telephone lines....

ARTWORK: Telephone Lines by Sister Singleton of Just Give Me favorite hippie, my favorite artist...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Take the Quizzle Fa Nizzle Scha Nizzlel Quiz

Ok, so it's fair to say that the worlds economy is a little effed up right now.
Some folks are panic-stricken... others, seem not to care.

I care, but I am not panic stricken... I have lived a lifetime working hard and no matter how much or how little I make, I always seem to find myself in repeated states of being broke.

I have learned to expect the unexpected and to know that when you have two nickels to rub together it is a sure sign that at minimum, one to three things are bound to happen...
maybe it will be a root canal
or an oak limb that crashes through the roof
maybe it will even be the transmission on the car
hmmm, there's always an ill-time for an emergency vet bill
and water-heaters go when the time is right for them, not you.

enjoying the fact that I do not have two nickels to rub together and relishing in the hope, belief and faith that surely this means I will not have any emergency vet bills, root canals, car repairs or home repairs to deal with most immediately... I found myself galloping around the WWW.
What I found was

Might I suggest that all of you check it out. Not only is it free, as in totally free, no gimmicks, no contracts, no 'cancel within 3 months,' but it is also informative and best is all about YOU and everyone likes to learn about themselves.

They basically offer a very user-friendly view of your credit report, along with score (both numerical and the simpler letter grade) as well as a letter grade for your home value, your savings, your debt/income ratio and such. I was surprised to find out that I have one B, one D and the A's in everything else. It also gives you tips and hints on ways to improve your ratings. I have to get another making more money, or a secondary job to supplement the sometimes close to seventy hours a week I work... Funny, even they didn't propse I take on a room-mate!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tin Foil Spit Balls & Tying Ones Hair in Knots

Twelve years old and yet again at another new school...I shuffled from class to class.
Fourth period...last class before last lunch, my lunch.

I recognized her from homeroom, but we still did not speak.
She sat in front of me & I noticed she carried her lunch in a brown paper bag.

Every two or three minutes, she'd pivot around, lock eyes with me and carefully place one small round tinfoil ball in the carved out notch for holding pens and pencils in my desk.
I spoke not.
Once there was five or six tinfoil balls, she stopped.

Close to the end of class, as our teacher was etching out mathematical equations on the chalkboard and everyone was hand-cramped frantic jotting notes from the board, she spun around and locked eyes with me one more time.
I watched.

As Mr Reeves, our teacher, spun back around to face the class a tinfoil ball bounced off his cheek.
Ninety percent of the class didn't even see it, but I did.
Before I had time to think, I let out a belly-laugh of astronomic proportions.
The class sat in silence.

New to the school, new to the class, I covered my face, not giggling but undeniably laughing, ''I am sorry, I am so sorry. It wasn't me. I am so sorry.''

Mr. Reeves face was the color of crimson tide as he charged down my aisle and eyed the pile of tinfoil balls lined up in my pencil holder.
The wide eyed girl in front of me never laughed and never turned around.
I didn't even bother trying to explain.
I took the punishment that came my way.

Then, day after day, I sat silently behind that girl and one strand at a time, one day at a time I commenced to tying her hair in knots.
Tiny little knots.

Finally, one day, she spun back around...'Are you doing something to my hair?'
'What are you doing?'
'I'm tying it in knots.'

She bellowed out in laughter...
I joined her.
Thus began the first of many detentions she and I would ultimately serve together and of course, our friendship.

We should never be afraid to laugh ;)

Outsider Hippie Art Compliments of Sister Sing and Just Give Me Peace

Monday, October 13, 2008

Rockstar, Flossie & Pumpkin Butt

'Excuse me, Flossie!'
'Hey. Rapunzel'
'Alright, Twiggy'
'What else Skinny?'
and more traditionally...
'Thank you Dear'
'Sure, Darling'
'No problem Love'
'Here you go, Honey'
'Okay, Sweetheart.'
'Thanks, Angel'

Terms of endearment bestowed upon me from strangers.
Doesn't matter, baby-love.
I'll answer to anything.

I guess in a more traditional than my faded Levis' who-could-be-bothered with curling the hair much less the eye lashes world, 'Maam' would be the appropriate & respectful term of endearment for a stranger to use. Sure enough SweetPea, 'Maam' doesn't really seem appropriate over here... but I'll answer to it too.

A mother silently pushed her terrible two-something toddler through the store, screaming every bit of the way. Each aisle seemed to be sheer torture for the young boy. Momma pushed on. After about 40 minutes of pretended peace, Momma pushed her buggy to the counter to check out with screaming child strapped in.

'Hey Pumpkin! Why are you crying? You have the coolest red truck on your shirt! You gotta like that!'

A sniffle, then back to the tearless screams and an eye-cut from Momma...'Well, for one thing! He don't like being called pumpkin!'

Smiling back at scrowling Momma...'Hahaha, welllllllll...... let him live to be my age and he'll realize there are a lot worse things to be called.'

A term of endearment, whether we personally like it or not, is still a term of endearment....right, rockstar?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Come Out & Play ... Let's Play In The Street Again

The house I lived the longest in as a child had the gift of time on it's side. Located just a few blocks from the downtown district of our community, our little street kept (and still keeps) a red brick road.
The nostalgia I have for growing up under expansive oak trees and on the ripple-ly, dipple-ly brick road led me to buying my little chateau under the oaks and paving my own driveway and walkways out of brick today.
But the street I live on now, long ago went from dirt to pavement....laying a path for new experiences for the child in me.
For thirty cents, I picked up the most entertaining twelve pack a girl could possibly scoop up. There were reds, blues, purples, yellows, greens, pinks and more.
Last weeks message, left at the four way stop was 'Stop In the Name of Love.'
This weeks words were 'Let the Love Light Shine On'

Oh....How much fun to play in the streets again!

(Pixies for Peace Artwork by my Hippie Love ... Singleton)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Rings, Fingers and the Cold Weather

My Aunt Georgine wasn't really my Aunt, she was my mother's aunt. She was a historian and a publisher with an admirable amount of knowledge on the state of Florida. She had a dry, witty sense of humor & her common sense was deeper than that of the biggest sinkholes in the state. She and her husband had no children and at the time of her passing, I was well into my thirties, unwed and with no children.
I can hear her in my head now...'Paige hasn't gotten married, give this to her when she does. Wait a minute...hold old is she now? Hell, she might not ever get married! Give it to her now.'
I was given her wedding band and have worn it on the only finger it fit since... the ring finger on my right hand.
Last year, I was diagnosed with Raynauds Syndrome....a weird syndrome that basically means there is mis-communication between the circulatory system and the nervous system. It causes hand pain, weakness, numbness and most notably a lack of blood flow to the fingers.
A week or so ago, I had my first flair up since the weather changed. It impacted all of my fingers and the bulk of my hand.
Then I had a slight accident at work resulting in a tiny razor cut in the webbing between my ring finger and bird finger.
In the night, as I slept, my hand swelled and well, I haven't been able to get Georgine's ring back on ever since.
Besides the obvious...such as I need to quit smoking & stay out of the cold, I can't help but wonder if there is some under-lying, profound reason that I no longer can wear Aunt Georgine's ring...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tears, Scissors and a New Jouney

Several years ago, I was able to see Ray Charles live at the House of Blues in Chicago. Tears trickled down my cheeks... as his music, his voice, his sound, his vibration reached right into my chest and rattled my very being. I could feel his sounds throughout my entire body and I find it difficult to find words to describe how it felt.

I had that feeling again while listening to the Celtic Woman on You Tube... so I present to you Mairead of Celtic Woman. If one were deaf, I believe they could watch her and feel the music she creates. If one were blind, I believe that the ears would let you see what a powerful violinist she is.

I watched her...spinning, dipping, leaping, twisting and grinning... so very beautiful.

My stride is quite large and through my employment, I am constantly moving...leaving my hair in a tangled mess tucked behind my ears.

I got out my scissors. With a whack-whack here and a whack-whack there...and another whack here to fix that a whack there....

I realize now that I have the same haircut I had when I was five... just a little bit longer.

Ah...the circle...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Road Less Traveled...

I don't know why I am compelled to write about this particular memory, as it is not the best memory to have.. I especially don't know why I am writing about this just a couple hours before I find myself flying high in the sky for a weeks' worth of business meetings, workshops, training and such.

'It is what it is...'

Twenty-five years ago....I was sixteen.
I lived at home with my parents and I had my drivers license.
On a Sunday night, a friend and I ventured out to get some ice cream.
Baskin Robbins was we decided to go to a Dairy Queen a little bit further away.
We went through the drive through & got ourselves some wonderful delectables.
Pulling out the rear entrance, as opposed to the front where we had come in at, I found myself forced to take a right.
This one turn ended up throwing for a loop & ultimately throwing me into territory I had not chartered before.
I came upon a four-way stop and strained to see the names of the streets, hoping to orient myself as to which way to go.
Suddenly, two young men who had been standing at the intersection popped open the rear doors of my vehicle.
I turned around 'What the hell?!' and threw my purse to the floorboard.
Before you know it, I found myself in the position of being, what is known today as 'carjacked.'
These guys were armed with a variety of tools and weapons, none of which scared me as much as their callous, detached and self-spirited demeanor's.... as they held a razor to the side of my neck and barked orders at me.
They had me drive them around, here and there... I didn't know where I was anymore.
At one point, one fellow got out of the car and retrieved something from someone he obviously knew.
My friend recognized one of the young men as being the brother of a fellow who had just been arrested for killing their father.
He was called on it and really, didn't seem to give two hoots.... about his brother or his father. They told me to give them my purse. I told them to hold on, it was under my seat. I slid my license and one of my two fives into my sock and I gave them my purse.
They were talking about splitting us and my friend.
My friend was actually trying to negotiate our way out this...entertaining the notion of him getting out and leaving on foot with one of the young men...trying to get them to agree to leave me alone.
I started cussing like a lunatic...nope, no effing way, we were not going to be separated, all for one and one for all...
I had awful visions of my friend being stabbed in the woods and of lord knows what happening to me, should I be left alone with one of these idiots.
I could see the road before me ending into another street with houses on it.
I saw a cinder block house just beyond the stop sign, right in the middle of the paved T-bone.
I remembered my brother accidentally spinning this vehicle in a 180 by slamming on the brakes.
I remembered the Bazaar brothers.
Profanities raced from my mouth and my parents little station wagon began to race even faster.
I thought I could do it.
I thought I could pull a one eighty.
I thought I could slam the back end into the cinder block porch.
I thought about the people inside.
Sleeping or gone, their house was one of the few with no lights on & no folks on the porch.
I thought I could stop this train wreck with injury only to us.
I thought it sounded better than the possible alternatives.
I thought about my friend.
My foot stayed pressed to the floor.
Everyone in the car was now screaming.
I crouched closer to the steering wheel.
My head was being pulled backwards by my hair.
The interior car light came on.
Porch lights flickered out in my peripheral.
A back door was open....then, two.
I slammed on the brakes.
The two guys jumped.
I sat there, shaking....looking...
As the last of the porch lights went out...

We made it home safely enough, minus a pocketbook, some sanity, some peace and some naivete. The next day, I got a perm to disguise the area of my head where I had my cut to an inch or two of my scalp. I never told my parents....and now, I always lock my car doors.

I still don't really know if what I did was right or wrong.

But at least, I'm still here to talk about it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

It's Not Too Late...Find Your Peace

It's Not Too Late.
It's a missed perception.

It's a canoe.
A vessel.
A means to get to an end.

I painted those words on Independence Day...last year.
A month after serving the man I was married to with papers and a month before our second big date with the judge.

'Why'd you name it that? You're not having second thoughts are you?!'

My big little canoe. Brought home unfloatable, scraped, scratched, gouged and weathered... with holes as big as a rump at an all-you-can-eat buffet.

No, it's not too long as you look at it with the right perception. Sometimes that means cocking your head to the side, hanging upside down or even turning away.

A couple of weeks ago, Timmytoes came back to town for a few days.

"You're not thinking of getting back together, are you?!"

We went out dancing, went rafting, he split firewood for me and we took my big little hippie canoe out. I talked about work, the river & the dogs and he talked about his work, sailboat, girlfriends & such ... we enjoyed each other in peace.

Peace... no, it's not too late.

WARNING: Do Not Play YouTube Video UNLESS you would like to listen to some Godsmack....'Speak.' I threw this up because the lyrics to this song lead the words of Stevie Ray Vaughn, the Talking Heads, Ben Harper and such down the side of Not2L8.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A skinny little blonde from the south & an irish-italian redhead from Brooklyn.
A quaint, elite little bistro with white linens & cummerbunds.
We crossed our legs and sat up straight...
This was an indulgence, a treat, a break from 'Tony's Famous One Dollar Slice'
Armed with twenty-two dollars and a good attitude, we aimed to live least for the night.
Opening the menu and seeing twenty-seven dollar plates and fourteen dollar appetizers...
We lost our appetites for dinner.
Reality check & giggles.
Two espressos.
One slice of fresh new york cheesecake.
We savored it.....
We made each moment, each sip of thick, rich, chalky coffee & each dip of the fork last as long as we possibly could.
We giggled & chatted.
The cheesecake was so rich & the espresso so delectable that we found ourselves sitting with an inch or two of cheesecake left & two mini, empty coffee cups.
No one noticed.
We chatted & giggled some more.
We wanted more espresso.
Finally, we flipped our cups.
A cummerbund passed and took a step back, aiming to fetch our cups & saucers.
'That's can leave them.'
More giggles, more chatter, another sliver of cheesecake down.

Our cummerbund came by 'Are you ladies alright?'
'Yes...may we have two more espressos please?'
He went for our upturned cups & red quickening snapped her hand down upon his.
'Thank you. They can stay.'
He walked away and we giggled some more.
Sliding our cups & saucers from to another, we flipped our cups back over.
'Oh my Skinny! I see a group of are going to go to a concert or a party!'
'Oh Yeah! Look! You have waves on your will be grounded at the ocean.'
'Hell yes! I'm gonna move right to the beach...look someone in the group is holding a are going to meet a musician!'
'Wonderful! We will come see you at the beach...'
We went on & on & on ... loving every minute of it.
The cummerbunds stood by the espresso machine...grinding, whirling and watching.
Finally, our cummerbunds arrived with two more espressos
'Ladies, do you mind if I ask what you are doing?'
'Well, we are reading our espresso spots.'
'Can you really do that?'
'We really fact, we just did.'
More giggles.
About ten minutes later, we asked for our tab and our cummerbund hesitated.
'If you can read my spots, I will comp your last round.'
So we did.
Whatever we saw in those coffee spots we shared.
Imagination ... a beautiful thing.
Dribbles became leashes.
Splatters became feuds.
We saw broken down cars and immaculate spaces,
suffocating situations,burdens lifted, long walks, short trips...
lots of people doing lots of things.

Our cummerbund saw his life spill onto a mini saucer and from our lips.
We giggled. He comped.
We tipped him big & he sent us to the jazz bar around the corner for another round on the house.

If you can imagine it...
if you can believe it...
it can be real.

Oh yeah, I will meet you at the beach anytime...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

One Free Wish...

Tuesday Morning
buildings, dreams, lives, planes, spirits....
crashed, smashed, thrashed.
Lady Liberty shuddered...
The Earth shook...
people were stripped...
peace, love, liberty, freedom... life
circles drawn tight
circles expanding
hold on tight
never let go
everyone counts
may we never forget
We are One

Artwork by Singleton

Saturday, September 06, 2008

On the Curb of the Publix Shopping Lot...

I sat with my weeks worth of groceries, grateful for once that I had no butter, sour cream, milk or ice cream. The sun was cooking down on me, perhaps amplified by the black tar-top lot, and I knew that all of those things would perish... I could have sat in my car to contemplate what to do, but it too was black and as hot as the dickens.
So I just sat on the curb with my bag of potatoes, box of pasta & can of mushrooms...
smoking, contemplating, waiting...
For what, I did not know.
The hood was up on my car, as if it were a flag waving some friendly tow truck safely over. But I knew that would never happen. Roadside protection had already told me that I had used the maximal allowance for a twelve month period.
Nope. No more tows for almost 3 more months.
So, I just sat there...
smoking, contemplating & waiting....
I watched people come and go...
Green aprons pushing squeaky wheels over the black top and to the gold Volvo's, sleek white Mercedes, big F-150's, the spotless Cadillac's and the little black BMW's.
Green aprons loading up bags of fresh fruits and vegetables and huge slabs of meat and bag load after bag load of wonderful, healthy food.
Green aprons plopping twelve packs of Heinekin and bottles of champagne into trunks.
Green aprons dropping preservative-rich frozen insta-meals and gossip magazines and Pantene into tiny little trunks.
Green aprons sweating and never accepting a tip & never noticing me noticing them.
With my rump on the curb and my flip-flopped feet on the black top, I looked over my shoulder...
Grass. Beautiful, green grass. Thick. Healthy. Cool.
I stretched my legs out before me & allowed myself to just lay back, become one with soft cool earth.
Staring into the sky, my mind bounced & ricocheted around my own little world.
Chinga- Ching - Ching.
The rythym of the sound drawing closer ...
Chinga - Ching - Ching
Chinga - Ching - Ching
Long dirty blonde hair in dread locks.
Chains from front pockets of baggy, faded & holey blue jeans to the back pocket.
Hemp in the form of a braided hat and a well-worn necklace.
'A song for my fair lady.'
'I haven't any money for you.'
'No worries, my lady.'

Remembering another moment of enjoying the 'eternal now'....
"Chinga-Ching-Ching" to the profound strangers in our lives that make a difference and may never even know it...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Peace, Integrity, Freedom of Speech & Money

What do you value? What is of relative worth & importance to you?
This is what I have been asking myself.

Money??'s fleeting. It starts from within & it emits out, often times getting bounced right back, but every blue moon you come across that soul who would grind it down to see if they can turn it black like a lump of coal. be true to one's word thus allowing others to have faith in you
Integrity...having cohesiveness between actions and good moral values. be open without any coercion.
Money...a medium of exchange for value.

In my little world, that's kind of how I see these things & lately I have been questioning what stands where with me.

My current conundrum is that all but one seem to trying for the number one slot in my personal value system....but it seems as if sometimes these things come with the opportunity cost of another.

Several weeks ago, I received a letter stating that I was going to be sued for my words here and on sites that are designed for customers to review businesses.

I responded, stating that I would gladly oblige any valid requests to remove incorrect information if they could clarify in writing my factual errors & provide documentation of such.
Although I have not received anything in the mail as of yet, I have received a couple of phone calls from the person represented in letter.

In the first phone call, it was stated that they didn't want to sue me and that they didn't really want money from me but they would because they had spoken to lawyers and had been guaranteed that they would win. I listened to the bulk of bantering for just over 15 minutes and got off the phone with the understanding that they would fax me documentation showing that I had written falsities & that if in fact I was in err, I would make amendments & honor their requests.

The second phone call, 35 minutes later, resulted in a voice mail where I was advised that they would not be faxing me anything, as their lawyer supposedly had advised them to save it for court.

I guess the decision was made that one would rather sue me than work with me towards a peaceful end.

I should have known...

Now, I have not met nor spoken with a lawyer.
I have not been legally advised of squat.

I value the truth.
I value integrity.
I value peace.
And, I value our freedom of speech.

Based on good faith, having no evidence of their words' worthiness, having stated clearly my opinions & my experiences...I again exercise my freedom of speech in the name of p-e-a-c-e.

This time, I have pulled down blog posts, comments & words. I have edited online reviews, where allowable, so that my words don't seem so 'mean & malicious.'

I have done this, not because I have been provided with any evidence of possible errs, but because I am trying to balance my values of peace, freedom of speech & integrity.

Again, I have offered repeatedly to retract any legitimate requests to remove any factual errors, as it has never been my intention, nor my understanding, that I have made errors.

As far as opinions they say, they are like assholes...we all have 'em.

I think they should be ashamed of themselves, top to bottom. Based on my experience with them, I don't trust them with a ten foot pole and would never advise a friend, peer, neighbor or co-worker to do business with them...the bottom line is in my opinion, the entire ordeal could have been completely avoided with a little bit of honesty & integrity... some clear, open and honest communication married with fair & reasonable practices. I would never want anyone else to have to go through anything as ridiculous as what I went through for a used stinking car. It has all been absolutely ridiculous.

Actually, maybe now would be a good time to patronize them. Take a mechanic, get everything in writing and tell them Skinny sent you.
Really, they make me sick...

Sir Daleheim would say ''Sue on, Sue-etta."

Sister Sing always says ''In the end, peace wins...I'll meet you there.''

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I Love To Be...





Friday, August 22, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Totems of the River, The Rocks, The Heart & the Great Heron

Fluid, moving & changing it course with time.
All together at once, yet completely distinct.
Life-giving. Life changing.

Looking down. Reflections of oneself. Reflections of the skies above.
Looking again, through clear green-tinted karma... life.
Elders, grand-fathers, heart-shaped rocks.

The Great Heron watches over me. Stares at me. Escorts me. Nothing I do goes unnoticed. So, I do nothing.

Floating in peace.

Following the Great Heron's lead, I watch, I wait...I listen.

Squirrels , badgers, beavers, chipmunks, birds of all colors and sizes....swooshing, scaling, dipping, climbing, digging. Chirping, clicking, calling.

River flies, moths, water skeeters, giant yellow butterflies and dragonflies of blue, green, white, red, purple & gray...flitting, floating, buzzing and humming.

Turtles ducking under the water & fish leaping out...
I just float along.

I know that right now this is where I am supposed to be.
These are the waters I am supposed to travel through.
This that surrounds me now, grounds me.

Mother Nature tells me to have patience.
Father-Time tells me that when it's time to dive...dive right in.

The Great Heron plucks one well chosen fish from the natural farm at his feet & gives me a sideways glance. Time.
One, two, three, four, five dragonflies perch upon my leg, my toe, my knee, my elbow and my finger.
This is PEACE.
Lost and found in the
eternity of now.

When the time is right I paddle off to the side & perch myself upon some rocks, just as the Great Heron had perched himself atop fallen trees & the dragonflies had perched themselves upon me.
With a gazillion stone elders, 'grandfathers' as Spado once told me, at my feet...
and the biggest yellow butterfly I have ever seen on my shoulder...
I found them...
Just Like Me...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Gifts from God, Mother Nature & Father Time

We never expected it. Never imagined it. We didn't plan for it, didn't prepare for it.
Life isn't always fun, but when it can be ... it should be.
So, when we realized that the constellations would be throwing eye candy our way, we went with the moment.
Gifts from God, Mother Nature & Father Time.
Outside of the moon & the stars, sea turtle nesting found us in complete darkness come nightfall.
A desolate beach. Paradise.
No high rises. No condos. No surf shops. No liquor stores. One gas station/bait and tackle/grocery that closed at seven.
We stayed up all night, night after night.
We took catnaps by day...
Although we may have slept, here and there, by was at night when we got our rest.
We laid sometimes side by side, sometimes head to head & sometimes toe to toe. Sometimes we even flopped ourselves into the ten o'clock/two o'clock position, draping our knees and feet over one another.
It didn't matter that we had no blankets, nor any pillows.
In fact, nothing mattered.
Utter Peace.
Magnificent Beauty.
Pure Awe.
One shooting star after another.
Purple, pink, blue, white, yellow, red & all shades in between.

Parts of Africa, Eastern Europe, India & the Middle East will get to witness a partial lunar eclipse tomorrow. In the Western Hemisphere, we won't get to see it, but everyday brings something special...if we just open up to it.

May the Beauty of Peace, Love, Mother Nature & Father Time bless us all.

If interested, check out this constellation's beautiful! The software is available for free download. Although my computer too old and stuffed or something to download, they say that you can enter your coordinates and enjoy the nights sky in 3D from your home computer.

(photo:compliments of NASA)

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Voice...Celtic Woman

A couple of years ago, the man that lived with me had the TV on. He was in one room, I in another...the TV echoing out to us from yet another.
We heard this and met in the middle...
When she lets out with 'I am the voice of the future, bring me your peace
Bring me your peace, and my wounds, they will heal,'

I can't help but believe in the truth of the past, the promise of the future & all things meant to be...
The Voice.

I hear your voice on the wind
And I hear you call out my name

"Listen, my child," you say to me
"I am the voice of your history
Be not afraid, come follow me
Answer my call, and I'll set you free"

I am the voice in the wind and the pouring rain
I am the voice of your hunger and pain
I am the voice that always is calling you
I am the voice, I will remain

I am the voice in the fields when the summer's gone
The dance of the leaves when the autumn winds blow
Ne'er do I sleep thoughout all the cold winter long
I am the force that in springtime will grow

I am the voice of the past that will always be
Filled with my sorrow and blood in my fields
I am the voice of the future, bring me your peace
Bring me your peace, and my wounds, they will heal

I am the voice in the wind and the pouring rain
I am the voice of your hunger and pain
I am the voice that always is calling you
I am the voice

I am the voice of the past that will always be
I am the voice of your hunger and pain
I am the voice of the future
I am the voice, I am the voice

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Stray Dogs, Whoopings and Peace Man

He had a scruffy little head, which he tossed to the left when he wanted to get his dirty blond hair out of his eyes.
He loved to play soccer, as did I... but unlike me, he considered himself to play very well.
We both wore corduroy Levi's and faded t-shirts.
Not Bobbie or Robbie. Those names were to laid back for him.
A formal full name for an informal guy.
We had been friends in the years before...
Sometimes riding bikes or throwing the football, walking the creek or feeding stray dogs.
But Field Day came & saw a change between Robert & I.
We bounced on balloons tacked to chairs and made long jumps as far as we could. We ran in sprints and played tug-of-war. A thousand kids with a hundred things to do. Surely a place where there was room for everyone to be winner and for everyone to be a loser.
The line of kids to do pull-ups was short, perhaps the shortest of all the lines.
I got in it, along with Helena.
The boys, including Robert, heckled us as we stood in line.
We put our hands on hips, popped some hi-shine flavored cherry gloss on our lips & rolled our eyes.
When my time came, I pulled up on the bar and did as many as I could in my 60 seconds and then I moved on to the next activity.
When Friday came and all of us sixth graders were due to get our awards and honorable mentions for our physical efforts on Wednesday, I anticipated enjoying the 'free time.' Time spent at school...not doing school work.
What I did not anticipate was getting the award for the most pull-ups achieved in the 6th grade. Nor did I anticipate that Robert would be the runner up and, as our teacher, Mr. Dooley, pointed out... falling 'double-digits behind a skinny little thing.'
That was it.
War was on.
Robert now despised me.
He saw everything I did as competition.
When we played soccer, he'd rather lose the game than share the ball with me. If I scored, he cursed me. After the games, he'd want to argue with me about what I did or didn't do.
At first I tried my rolling of the eyes trick, but that didn't last too many days.
Mom said 'Sometimes a lady just lets a boy win.'
So I gave wise ole Momma's trick a try.
This led to Robert just giving me an increasing hard time. Finally, after one particular game, I had had enough of his laughing, shoving and name-calling.
Before I had time to think about what I was going to say, I was speaking in a flat, low and very grave voice...
'You dumb ass. I freakin' gave you the ball and when you fumbled, I got it back...ran with it, then gave it back to YOU could score! So YOU could feel better about yourself! Not so that you could give me crap.... you're such a loser!'
I saw my words sink in. I saw his eyes level. And then I saw a fire inside of them of the likes that I had never seen before.
'You bitch! I ought to kick your ass!'
'Go For It!'
Tangled in a whirlwind of sandspurs and sand, spit and fire...Robert and I were in a rolling ball of adrenaline, intent on the moment until our coach finally broke us up.
Afterwards, the boys were laughing & the girls were appalled.
Robert & I both were taken to the office.
The principal said he could either call our parents or give us a paddling.
I got six licks across the bottom with the paddle of my choice and Robert got eight.
Before the school year was over, I ended up getting paddled many more times.
But the last time I got paddled, I got paddled alone.
The dew was still wet on the grass and I stood in the quasi-daybreak outside of my classroom door. I was at school early, in fact even before the teachers and buses arrived.
There had been a stray dog, seemingly starving, that I had been feeding and taking water to for a couple of weeks. He'd meet me in the field just off the sixth grade wing. I would sit indian style in the grass and watch him eat and drink, then let him curl up in my lap until the bell sounded. But this morning he was no where to be I stood alone with my paper bag of stolen morsels and metal bowl from home waiting for the day.
I heard the sound of people and knew that the first buses had arrived. There was laughter. I heard it all, but really couldn't be bothered to turn around. I was too intent, looking into the woods that lined the field, hoping to spot my stray dog.
All of a sudden SLAM! I stumbled downwards and forwards, all along having my shoulder ground into the rough, brick wall.
Before I had time to register what had happened, I heard Robert's sarcastic voice.
'Oh, excuse me.'
I was able to keep myself from falling, but my paper bag and books went flying.
Dog food scattered across the walkway.
The howling began....'Look! Skinny brought her lunch today!'
The heckling continued and I said nothing.
As I picked my books up, I looked across the field.
There he was! On the edge of the woods! Sheepishly looking out! Looking for me!
I gathered all the morsels of dog food and threw them in my bag. I stacked my books by the door. I filled my bowl from the water fountain and walked out across the field.
The first bell rang, then the second and there I sat, indian style with a peaceful little bag of bones in my lap.
Finally, Mr Dooley came out to beckon me in.
I watched as the mutt slowly meandered his way, tail tucked between his legs, back to the edge of the woods. Poor little fellow didn't seem like he was doing too good.
At lunch time, I opted for the 'paper bag' lunch, which usually had a peanut butter sandwich and some fruit, and white milk.
I took my bag to the sixth grade wing and looked to the woodline. There he was, just barely in the shade of the trees. I ate some fruit and he had a sandwich and milk.
Seeing the kids pile up in front of my classroom door, I knew that lunch time was drawing near it's end & having been late in the morning, I ran across the way.
When I got there, Mr Dooley had yet to return.
I tapped Robert on the shoulder.
When he turned around, I kicked him in the shin with all the might I had in me.
As I watched him crumble to the ground, I said 'Oh, Excuse Me'.
No sooner had the words sliced their way out of my mouth, then I felt Mr Dooley's hand grab me by the back of my neck.
I showed the principal my scabby shoulder and arm.
He apologized, but stated that no-one had witnessed it.
And that was the day that I got my whippings alone.
A couple days later, I was out in the field with my peaceful stray dog, as was our morning ritual.
Robert snuck up on me & he was alone.
'What do you want?'
'Nothing.... sorry you got whooped alone. I should have been whooped too.'
'It's Ok. I deserved it as much as you deserved getting kicked.'
'That hurt!' and he showed my the yellow green egg on his shin.
I looked down towards my scraped shoulder and arm. 'Well, I found out we're moving on Friday. You won't have me to fight with anymore.'
Robert just looked at me, then at the nameless pooch and finally back again...'Skinny?'
'I promise, I'll come early everyday, even on the weekends...I only live a block away, and feed your stray dog.'
'Yeah. Promise. Swear.'
'Ok. Thanks.'
'What's his name?'
'I call him Peace-man, but I guess he really doesn't have a name.'
The next morning, Robert was there before me.
'I saw him, but he took off into the woods.'
I sat down, indian-style, and motioned for Robert to join me.
'Come on Peace-man. Hungry?'
After several minutes, he came. And over the course of the next couple of days he warmed up to Robert.
Lost and Found.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bad Wiring...

Bad wiring.
That's what they told my Momma caused our house to burn down.

I understand that 'bad wiring' can cause a lot of things to go wrong, even with people, but part of me always felt like it was my fault.

Maybe it was the 'bad wiring' in me that made the fire happen. After all, I am the one who purposefully stepped on every crack I possibly could on my way home that fiery day.

I heard Momma on the phone talking to Aunt Julip one time about Uncle Clyde. I heard her say in a hush, hush voice that he had bad wiring...maybe I had inherited that bad wiring from him. Maybe one day, I too, would go live at a prison like him and all the other folks with bad wiring. Or at least, those that didn't get shipped off to live at a place called The Loonie Bin.

Dennis had a beautiful mother. She looked like Mindy from Mork & Mindy, but with shiny beautiful streaks of silver in her long brown hair. When she ran, those silver streaks looked like shooting stars fallen to the ground, bouncing their way around her face. I couldn't help but gravitate towards her when she came running to fetch Dennis and I. I felt right at home, for the moment, in her arms and then, I felt guilty. She wasn't my mother and I had truly never felt relief in another womans' arms before. But relief is what it was.

The three of us walked slowly back to Dennis' house. Unlike most adults, his Mom walked defiantly down the middle of the road. No cars came down, as if they knew that this was her territory and they dared not cross her path. She had a mission & I guess that was to get Dennis & I back to the safety of her home. Dennis and I walked in silence, each of us attached to either side of her but I couldn't help but look at her through the corner of my eye. Her hair, unlike mine, was thick and full. It bounced & blew free in the wind. Her hair seemed to have a life of it's own, a natural outpouring of her. I thought about my own hair. Thin, limp and lifeless. Just then, I realized that my shoulders were slumped and I wondered if I got better at holding my shoulders up, if i too, one day, would have thick, vibrant hair.

When we got to his house, his father was elbows up & head down in the trunk. He didn't see us coming and didn't really acknowledge us upon our arrival.

Feeling my sweaty fingers getting kinked, knuckle over knuckle, I realized his Mom still had not let go of our hands and in fact, her grip was getting tighter.

'Home early, huh?'
'What's going on?'
'What does it look like? I am busy trying to find some files, okay?!'
'Well, okay. Sorry, I just wasn't expecting you home so early.'
'Well I am. What are you guys doing?'
'I was just going to fix an after-school snack for the kids, then let them play some games or something.'
'Well, I have work to do here today, so that's probably not a good idea. Maybe they can go play games at Paige's house instead.'
'Oh... that's not an option, honey.'
"What?! Not an option?! She can come here, eat our food, play our games?!? But our son can't go there?! Then maybe she should just go the fuck home & play with her damned self!"

I felt the blood rush to my head & I felt my knees begin to shake. Dennis & I never played over at his house! His dad didn't know. He was never home! I felt the blood rush back to my fingers, but just for a moment. The moment between Dennis' Mom letting go of our hands & me clenching my fist.

'Children! Go Inside!'
We budged not an inch.
'Steven... that is not an option because Paige's house burned today. Okay?'

She didn't spit these words out like a woman who walked in the middle of the road. They came out of her like a first grader confessing a potty accident. Suddenly the shiny silver of her hair started to look dull and gray.

'Great! How bad is it?'
'Children... I said go inside....please. It's totaled Steven.'
'Shit! How the fuck did they do that? How long is she here for?'
'I don't know. The fire department just finished putting it out.'
'Sheesh! How long is she here for?'
Until her mother comes to get her.'
'Fuck! When will that be? When she's eighteen?'

I don't know how many times he had said it, but it was the whine in his voice that caught my attention. It was Dennis, he was half way to the door...'Come on Paige.'

I didn't know what to do. I looked at his parents, who were glaring and speechless, staring at one another. My fist were still clenched. I ran to Dennis.
'Man, is your dad drunk?'
'Is he drunk or something?'
'Nah, he just gets like this. Come on in.'
'Ummmm, I don't think so.' I sat down on one of the two steps that led up to his door.
Hand on the doorknob, head cocked to the side...'What? Come on in Paige.'
'Nah, my Momma told your Mom she'd pick me up here. I'll just wait for her here. She won't be too long.'
Dennis plopped down beside me.
Once again, Dennis and I found ourselves sitting on the cool concrete watching the turmoil before us....contemplating what to do and opting to do nothing.

ps...this is fiction folks. To see the parts before this, click FICTION below and read the oldest first. As always..peace & love.