Sunday, March 29, 2009

It's a Dog's Life...

Undeniably my dogs have a good life...never hungry for love, attention, treats, shelter or adventure. I may use 99cent shampoo on my head, but I try to use the all natural, good stuff on them...they have 'special' needs.

Smokie was born with mange, was neglected terribly and by the time I had gotten him it had caused secondary problems which threatened his life. His road to recovery was almost a year, so I really only like to use the most soothing shampoos I can find on his sensitive skin.

His doggie shampoo cracked me up with it's political correctness...if you look right above the recycle symbol, you will see why.
Hahaha...I would think that it is okay to test some things on live animals.
Luckily, he loves it!

Mangy Smokie Boy : (
Image taken 4 years ago

Smokie Boy All Happy & Healthy

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rings of Circles & Circles of Rings...


I have only had a couple/few rings in my life made of gold or platinum, with or without precious or semi-precious stones.

My sister gave me a ring some twenty plus years ago made of gold.
Never seen anything like it.
Ornate & old looking, I am sure, from the day it was made.
A tiny little sapphire surrounded by a small square which was cornered in hearts, surrounded by a small rectangle and more hearts....all enclosed by more hearts & boxes.
One sapphire, repeated four corners & thirteen hearts in all.
I wore it daily until I broke it, collapsing one corner of the heart shaped filigree.
Three jewelers have told me that they would not repair it.

So I keep it in a special little cardboard box I got on my eighteenth birthday.

My engagement ring was made of gold & platinum.
It has a small little round diamond with clarity much better than my own and an ornate squared setting. Ironically enough, just before I asked for divorce, the platinum setting popped on one side, separating itself from the band. A circle wide open. It now lays folded in some tissue & stuffed into an envelope in an unfrequented drawer.

My mother gave me an antique platinum band with three small diamonds in a beautiful setting. I have worn it faithfully for years until last week. The jeweler told me 'You can't break platinum.'
I reached in my pocket, pulled out a folded & torn corner of an envelope & passed it to him...'Well, I'll be damned.' In it lay the platinum band from my mother. He referred me to another jeweler...and I dropped it back into the paper pouch.

Before going home, I stopped by a vintage shop. There I saw a little sign.
It read.... 'The things that matter the most in life aren't things at all.'

Profoundly true.
I pulled on the Joe-made peace sign that hangs by leather from my neck.
I looked down at the little leather band that now sat solo around my finger.
I rubbed the jade that the leather held.
I thought of the good health that the jade represents.

I thought of my brothers, my sisters, my life & mortality...
Everything means something...

and I remembered that those rings may be broken,
but the circle is not...

(image is of jade, silver & leather ring made by awesome spirit at earthlypossessions)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy Birthday !

Miles apart, yet together in mindset & spirit...
we marked our birthdays on New Years Eve.

But New Years isn't her birthday, nor is it mine.
Doesn't matter.
It's the day we claim to be a year older...
Silly Rumors...

But Today...
Today marks the day when the rest of the world catches up.
It's her birthday & brother Butch's too! (This silly man simply doesn't age)
Happy Birthday Sister Sing & Butch!
I LoVe YoU!

Sister Sing & Brotherlove Butch...
feet buried deep in the sand, skin soaking up the salt water & hair dancing in the sun....
We will celebrate Christmas, New Years, Valentines, Easter, Independence Day, Mardis Gras, Halloween, Thanksgiving and TODAY and everything in between...ILY!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Crawling or Falling into Meant-to-Be Crevices

My house has opened up it's crevices to a number of beings over the years.
The laundry has had mice.
The attic has had squirrels.
The basement has concealed stray dogs...and cats.

A few years ago, blackbirds had nested in the eaves.
A baby black bird fell from the nest & became trapped within the lathing and support beams of my walls.
It was late, I was home alone & over the hum of my sewing machine, I could hear the sound of despair.
Doing what all sane & rational women do after midnight when confronted with an unending sound of wild infancy, I started cutting holes in the wall.
By the time my husband came home, he found me armed with a flashlight and saw... still no closer to finding this baby.
He discovered that not only had the baby fallen in between the walls, but down & in between the joist of my first and second floor.
Eventually, we did get the baby bird out & before you know it, I was feeding this little ole black bird with a syringe. She/he/it lived with me for almost 3 months.
The next spring I was sleeping and awoke to a strange sound. I opened my eyes & looked up.
Perched atop of my headboard was a blackbird looking back down at me.
I sat up...'Hey, how'd you get in here?'
It flew to my mirror and let out a little whistle, reminiscent of the one I had sing-sang the year before.
I laughed out loud and got out of bed...'Its you, isn't it?'
It flew back to my headboard.
I went to my window, removed the old metal screen screen & cranked it fully open...
'It's good to see you silly bird, but you gotta go.'
And a whistle or two later...swoosh!
Out the window he went.
Later, I told my husband & he laughed 'You're making that up!'
Laughter, 'No, I am not.'
'How did he get said you had to remove the screen.'
'I don't know. I did remove the screen, maybe he squeezed in.'
More laughter...'You were dreaming or something!'
A couple months later, he was up in the attic...moving furniture and called for me.
'Show me, where all did that bird fly?'
I showed him...from here on the headboard to there & then back to here, then out through here.
Laughter, 'I'm sorry I didn't believe you ... I really thought you were just dreaming or something.'
More laughter, 'It's okay. Why do you believe me now?'
'It left a gift on the back of the mirror.'

Yep, this house, has opened its crevices to a number of beings over the years.

So, as I sat in the den & heard a falling, scratching metallic sound...I knew.

I turned the dogs out and walked each room, turning off all of the ceiling fans.
I opened the front door...just in case.
I grabbed a towel & went to the sooty door of my wood burning stove.

I held the towel just so & turned the lever.
I re-situated the towel & pulled the door open.
He flapped his wings frantically right out at me & I quickly wrapped the towel loosely around him.
He fought me, then he froze.

I went out the front door and sat on my porch swing, towel cradled close to my chest.
I bent over, lowering towel to the wicker table and began to slowly peel the corners back.
In the blink of an eye...swoosh!
He was outta here.

Some folks may perceive birds in the house as an omen of death or some other old wives tale of ill fortune.
To me, it's just a reminder that this old house opens its' crevices to all kinds of beings...
and that spring is all around us.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Oak Trees, Mother Nature & Father Time

"I Will Smile and You Will See
All Ten Toes Touch That Tree."

A poem written by me...
many, many moons ago about an Oak Tree and a Swing.

Several years ago, the menfolk here tied weights to 150' of rope & Hercules tossed it until it finally made it's destination...over the lowest branch on one of the two great Oak trees cornering my lot. They, then, cut the rope & went at it again.

A slat bottom swing was on her way in.

And it wasn't long before a tire swing took her side on a neighboring branch.

Dirty feet reaching for the sky
Kool-aid stained smiles spinning in circles
Midnight thrills & mid-day cool-downs
Gravity, centrifugal force, kicking & leaning
"Push Me Higher"
A thousand memories...

A week or so ago, I got a text from a friend 30 miles south
'Snowing Here'
We had had rain, sleet & wind...but no snow
I typed in the words "Here it is..."
and I went to my front window to evaluate the weather.
In an instant, a minute, a mere blur of a moment...KaBoom!
The wind was strong and the Oak was tired.
Her time had come to lay down & she did so with great force.
Tossing her head on my next doors neighbors house.

Miraculously they got out without a scratch.
And we were all immediately reminded that everything can change in just one moment.

Image taken straight on from the street
Image taken after 1/2 the root ball had been knocked back into hole & sidewalk had been lowered. Root ball is taller than me.

Image of the progress being made...I counted 86 rings to the tree, Paul counted 90. Her time had definitely come & we definitely enjoyed the pleasure of her company. Since everyone is OK, we understand that she really did bless us all & soon she will be blessing the neighbors with a new roof, windows, and such...

Saturday, March 07, 2009

It was a long, long time ago.
We were all the same, but we were all different.
He hated women, all of them....mothers, sisters, lovers... but he liked me.
Peace was foreign to him and love was a four letter word only to be dropped in fits of rage.
Ironically, looking back, I realize 'I love you' was one of the first things he ever said to me.
But really, he loved his resentment.
He loved his anger.
He loved to push buttons.
And if he couldn't push yours, he would search for new buttons & push even harder.
He loved his rage.

He thought...
it was his gift and it gave him power....
it saved him from heart-ache...
it gave him a liberation most men would never know...

I thought he lied to himself...
I saw burden, a weight, a curse which only weakened...
I saw a lonesome, fragmented heart...
held hostage like most men would never know....

Then, I realized that by simply listening...
by trying to understand...
by continuing to support...
I wasn't helping him help himself ...
In fact, I too was being held hostage.

'I don't lie to myself. You just don't like what I say. If you don't like it, just walk every other woman has in my life. Hell, even at two weeks, my own mom didn't even like me, I don't know why I expected anything else from you.'

So, I listened some more...
in agreement that I did not like what he said,
but more so...that I didn't believe it.
'Say what you mean & mean what you say.'

A lover of anger, a button pusher and a dependent
he belted out at me, over nothing, one morning...
'Why don't you just go? Just effing leave, like every other effing woman?'
'Say what you mean...'
'I hate you! Just effing go!'

Within ten minutes, I was out the door.
Never to return.

Years and years later...
we're all still the same, but we are all different.

(Artwork, of course by Sister Singleton...JustGiveMePeace)

Sunday, March 01, 2009

An old, old house with dim smoky lighting, creaky wooden floors and a sign that hangs on the door 'See Bartender for Service.' Old, overstuffed leather furniture, pool tables, fireplaces, framed pictures in black and white...and a band.This old, old house had been converted to a Blues Club & if you didn't know it before coming, you soon figured it out.

I left my friend inside for just a minute to fetch something from my car. Tossing spare tires and boogie boards from side to side of my trunk I was startled with a 'Whatchoo huntin'?'
I looked up at a big ole smile... gold teeth all across the top & thin, tarnished & blackened roots exposed on the bottom.
I smiled back 'Oh, nothing really, something silly.'
'You leavin?'
'You married? You gotta boyfriend?'
'Yo, you here alone?'
'Nope,' closing my trunk.
'You married?'
'You gotta boyfriend?'
'Which one you here with?'
I smiled, as I headed back towards the door. 'Not saying.'
He broke out into a rich laughter...'Girl, you full of it, aintchya?'
'Don't be callin me sir now. My name is Chris & it's a pleasure to meet ya.'
'Hi Chris. I hope you have fun tonight.'
'Oh, I will. You can count on that girl!'

So, Chris, with his shiny gold-grill, his ill-fated bottom teeth & his big ole smile came back through the doors with me.
Chris danced, I danced...everyone was having fun enjoying the sound of Prince gone Blues...and the night traipsed on in good times.

After midnight, I heard the couple at the table beside us talking to Chris.
'I'm a dentist. What did you do to your teeth.'
'I gotta grill, caintcha see?'
'Well what about your bottom teeth?'
'Aw I gotta get them done.'
'I think you look scary...I'd be afraid of you if I saw you in the parking lot. Is that what you wanted?'
'What? Afraid of me?'
Her husband piped in at this point. 'I'd be afraid of you too.'
'Awman, cmon now'
'Seriously, you look poor and shady.'
The husband continued ...'and desperate'
'I ain't desperate now people. I got me a job at Lockheed. My teeth? My teeth do that to you? I'm getting the bottoms ones done, I said.'
'They make you look poor.'
'Well I am rich in my own rights woman.'
'No, we are rich.'


Before the night was over Chris & the husband got into a ruckus.
Maybe they were trying to figure out who would be next to get some new teeth.
I don't know.
I don't know why Chris had gold teeth, nor do I know what was up with his bottom ones.
I don't know why the dentist lady & her rich husband had to give their opinions.

But I do know that different folks define things differently...