“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


Tart & Perfect: Not a Law Firm

Dear God, but it was perfect.

Let me now sing praises to this cherry limeade.

It is not often, in fact it is seldom,  that I find something I think this fabulous.  For fabulous it was.  Oh, I will be back.  They can bet on it.  A hamburger place in town, not even a mom & pop place, where you might expect to find something this good, but a place whose hamburgers are pretty terrific also - I'd seen them make this before, noticed they used actual real limes, unlike some of those other places that just use Sprite, and they  shall remain nameless; I'd watched them squeeze the juice out of several limes into a cup, thinking how I should try one someday, thinking that it would still no doubt be too sweet, that they were probably adding sugar unbeknownst to me, behind my prying eyes, but oh no.  They weren't.  The perfect  tartness, and oh, oh!  I love  me some tartness!  My mouth is still tasting it, my tastebuds still all ajitter with such perfection.  Lordy.  I was like Sally in When Harry Met Sally, but I really meant all my  oohing and aaahing, no faking on my part.  Next time I will get a size smaller because I know I will drink it all up, just like today - my tummy all pooched out with sheer pleasure.

Such an unexpected surprise.
My mouth smiled on the inside.


You are Home, You are Safe

A visit to Katie's blue lights.

Still up.
Probably still making all the neighbors roll their eyes at us.

They are a constant for me, like Field of Dreams said baseball was for America. This is an image from today to add to all the other images of these lights - the first image shows them nestled up to autumn leaves, awaiting Christmas. It's been that long, and though the neighborhood and my life have seen so many changes this year, though things feel so different, these lights are still there, saying you're home, you're okay, you're safe, you will be okay. Daily I feel as though I have lost half my territory, half my wandering grounds - Mary is gone and with her the freedom to roam her yard, her garden, to see the blue haze of flowers in the morning & run with my camera for close-ups. Gone is the freedom to wander in the night past the cannas & sweet olive tree, to wait for owls at the back of her driveway, to put my key in her back door when I needed a friend and chocolate. I took so much for granted. But it is gone and will not be back and so I turn to what is still here. These blue lights, the pear tree next to them, the cherry laurel.

Nothing is permanent, said the Buddha. Art is not eternal, said Ken Kesey. The blue lights will not be there forever, but they are there now. A reminder, as the movie says, of all that was once good. A part of my past, a part of my now. It has been a long letting go, this saying goodbye to a friend, and I am not yet done, but I am closer. If I were spelling goodbye I would be on the y, just the first part, the small slash.

I still have the E to go.
i am moving forward in baby steps, but moving forward


Calm Space

I have to tidy up.

This blog feels cluttered.

My real life is too cluttered with emotions
and something's gotta give,
so I am cleaning up a bit here,
where it's so much easier.
After I post this
I will set about rearranging the furniture,
so to speak.
I need some space here.
Somewhere calm.

If you notice cat photos missing
or something else changed
that's what's going on.
I can always replace them later if I change my mind.

If you come here and nothing's changed,
well, then, that just means
I moved something from one corner
to the other,
didn't like it,
so back again it went.

I am lately feeling quite restless
and at the same time
feel that anything is possible.
Please bear with me.
It will pass
and I will find some poetry.
and now i must find that broom & set about sweeping


Looking Forward

I'm up to something new.

It looks very different, but it's me. Still me.
It's a place for mistakes.
Photos that don't work.

It won't be all my stuff,
and if not,
it will be duly noted & thanks given.
Perhaps it will be something I find at your place.
You'd be surprised how often I am inspired by you all.

It may just be something that makes me laugh.

If you come here & find nothing for the day,
check there.
Maybe, maybe? you could link there?
How bold & rude of me, I know,
but I will be between the 2.
I am moving forward,
looking forward.
Life is out there.
but i will still be here



Just because.

Because I am so so happy & excited for friends
who are eloping to Maine this fall,
because I just looked at pictures of the ocean view they will have.
Because I saw a chair
very much like the blue one in my bedroom
on another blog,
in another bedroom,
and that room looked gorgeous & peaceful,
I realize mine does too,
at least when it's all clean & uncluttered,
and even then,
if it's cluttered with beautiful books
pale green pajamas tossed on the bed
white & lime candles,
it is still peaceful,
and I am grateful
and say I'm sorry to the Universe
and a certain Robin
for all the complaining I do
about not enough space.
Because these crepe myrtle blossoms are beautiful.
Because Lily is asleep in the front room here at work,
on a white loveseat
against blue blue walls,
her back turned towards me.
Because there is sunshine outside
but no blistering heat.
Because Hidden Sky is waiting for me in the Jeep
Red Moon is the next song up,
and because I love CDs
the surprise of which song is next
I will listen to it all the way home.
Because of this website
and its birds,
one of whom sits on my blue table
in my little house.
For which, remember, I am grateful.
Mi casa perfecta.

Because I am adding the word gratitude
to my list of post labels or tags.
i am all teary-eyed with happiness for katie: congratulations


I Be Blank

See that blank screen?

I be blank.
I have half written posts,
partial stories
writer's block.
I hate it
but it ain't like a toothpaste tube
where I can just squeeze some words out
and they just happen to be the perfect words.
I bought mouthwash today
at a mom y pop Mexican store,
no English needed,
very little understood,
so no words necessary
or even desired.
I sat at a stoplight
and had a silent conversation
with the house across the intersection,
she blinking her window panes at me
flirting across the pale pink blossoms of a crepe myrtle tree.
When I drove away she knew I was taken.
No words spoken.
No words needed.

I just slipped out the back, jack.
one of my favorite songs when I'm thinking things are hard

I Watched a Storm Last Night

I am watching a storm move in.

It has dropped 5 degrees in the last few minutes & the wind is beginning to blow a bit, the monkey grass next to the front door swirling in circles. This morning brought rain, this afternoon heat & sunshine, and while working late this evening, I listened to the radio bring storm warning after storm warning, the emergency signal sounding over & over, before it finally made sense to me - through my windows I could see sunshine & a bit of blue sky beneath white clouds, but the warnings were real & north of us, heading this way, so time for me to head home. It has grown quite a bit darker as I typed those sentences, and the television (on, but with the sound off right now) is showing a radar screen full of red. Maggie is in - for my peace of mind, not hers; I'm sure she has a number of safe places to which she could skedaddle if needed, and the wind chimes out back are jingling their pleasant little clanky jingle. It is quite dark now - I wish you could be here with me & watch the change in weather, the lightning, the still moments between bursts of wind. Thunder is rumbling in the distance to the north and now there are louder claps to the east and the lightning is increasing, no longer just to the north of us, but beginning to surround us. And there. I hear the rain begin. Maggie is in her basket, not yet resigned to this sudden change, still sitting up, but the rain is beginning to pound, so perhaps she will drift off to dreamland with that as nighttime music.

Time for me to stop. To turn off the lights & enjoy the show.
The electicity is beginning to flicker.

That was last night.

When the electricity flickered, the internet went away for a while - luckily I'd saved my post just seconds before. The rain moved through, and the warnings with it - I watched the tv radar move the red areas toward my brother's house and eventually out of the area, but mostly I sat in the dark & watched the lightning. Maggie fell sound asleep for a bit, but soon was awake & wanted to return to The Outside. So out she went & I to bed, while visions of thunderstorms danced in my head.

I'd said good night to you all last evening.
So good morning.
Today begins with sunshine.
and sparkles everywhere on wet grass and leaves


Cat in a Basket

Yes, the same floor.
But I couldn't resist.

Maggie is coming into the house more often, wanting to stand on my lap, wanting to be petted, wanting head rubs, and sometimes just wanting to sleep. I laid this basket on the floor 6 weeks ago, right at the glass doors, hoping she'd snuggle in when it rained & she had to be indoors. This basket has belonged to her for a long time, but it was no go - she wanted to be outside. This weekend, however, she stepped into it, despite the sunshine outside, despite the slightly lower temperatures; funny how 94 can feel cool. And she settled in. I, of course, agonize over what this means - is it good? Is she telling me goodbye? Is she feeling better, reverting to more normal behavior? Who knows? Certainly not I. She is back outside today, in the rain. But she looked at me with love this weekend - seriously. You can laugh, but it was love.


Not for Sissies

These are the shoes I wore to Mary's memorial service.

I have been unravelling this week, and I must tell you, it is quite different from unfurling, which I didn't expect. I thought how different can it be?, and since I am already in the midst of unfurling, why, no big deal. I was quite, quite wrong, and perhaps it is because I am already so emotional about everything, crying at everything - you should thank your lucky stars you are far away from me; I don't know how or why the ever-wonderful Michael is putting up with it - or perhaps it's the fact the air conditioner broke here at work and I ran away from the place, but I have discovered that untying lifelong knots is not for sissies, and we are less than 1 week in. 7 more to go.

I can see the beginning change in the image above. It just feels different to me than my usual photography; it feels as if there's more of a story there, not just a still life image.

I am grateful.
Thank you Susannah.
though i am still wiping away tears constantly


Girl Stuff

no antique dolls
no baby strollers
no Nancy Drew mysteries
no depression glass salt shakers
no jars of buttons
no faux pearl necklaces or lace yellowed with age
no silk peonies , no spools of unused ribbon
no heart shaped cookie cutters
no high school beauty pageant tiaras
no bridal veils
no silk kimonos
no teddy bears, no old Valentine's cards
no pink teapots
no pink anything
no paper dolls
no beaded purses
no music boxes
no leftover rolls of rose covered wallpaper
no baskets or candelabras
or white china bowls covered in blue tulips.
Don't ask.

And don't even mention Shabby Chic.
Begone with you.
no fun at all!


Dancing Myself Awake

Yes, it's me,
trying to shake myself up,
shake myself awake.

Last week, one of the quotes
from my Zen-a-Day calendar
said something like
If you want your dreams to come true,
wake up.

So this morning I danced myself awake.
Much better than an alarm clock.
and came to work to find wonderful emails waiting to be opened :)


Almost Wonderland

I was up this morning running around,
the 1st photo assignment in my head,
tending to Maggie,
Are you feeling okay today sweetie?,
taking out the trash,
laughing inside at my karma/horoscope email for today:
"Your karma report unravels the mysteries of your past lives",
and, yes,
I know thousands of others received the same email,
but I couldn't help smiling,
thinking it was a sign,
(still thinking it is, actually),
when I noticed Maggie watching my reflection in the door,
running here & there behind her
in front of her,
and I wonder what she was thinking,
what she saw.

I promised honesty for this blog,
not all the details of my life,
but I will tell you this.
She was worse this weekend.
Thursday was a bad day;
I thought for a moment or two
that it was time to say goodbye,
but it wasn't,
and she is still here, better.
And I will tell you
I have cried as many tears
as Alice in Wonderland,
and I am surprised
to not be swimming in their pool.

There is a new fountain next door,
a big one,
next to our driveway,
and I tossed a penny in yesterday.
I won't tell you the wish -
I want it to come true -
but it wasn't anything impossible
or ridiculous
and it wasn't selfish.
Not really.

I will toss another this evening.
& the evening after that & the next evening until it comes true


Sunshine 14

When you least expect it, there it will be.

A comment the other day aroused my interest, Sunshine 14 discovering my hidden words beneath each post, discovering it all on her own. I haven't mentioned it in ages, and I liked that she found them, I was intrigued, and I thought I need to respond, to say something. I didn't however - I got busy or forgetful or tired, but I thought about it nonetheless, and hoped others noticed so that they too could find the hidden words, even though they are never words of any deepness, if you will, just a thought, a pause, an ending for myself (although sometimes I will admit that the hidden words end up not hidden because they are the perfect ending for a post, and then I have to think up new ones to hide). I also noticed she began to respond a bit more, a comment here & there, and I noticed that once she responded by referencing a hidden word, something only a couple of others do, and you know who you are.

And then came the post where I announced I was taking some time away, her comment there a little different than others'; instead of a take all the time you need, it was an I miss you. Again, just something different, something not quite the same, someone on a different track than most of us, and I was pleased to read it, but surprised that someone would say come on back, enough is enough - okay she didn't really say that, but I could read her hidden words lurking between the lines. I'd checked her profile back when she left her first comment & knew she had no blog, but this time I noticed an avatar, an image alongside her name, and even very small I thought I know that picture, and I clicked on it & yes, discovered she is using one of my images as her avatar! I looked at the profile page for a moment & truly, I must tell you, I couldn't think - a true Zen moment. It made no sense, and when my brain began to work again, I thought does she not know she can't do that? Does she not know that's my image, and what is going on & why is this so confusing? Still no blog, no email, no way to say anything without calling her out publicly, and really, I guess I should be flattered, I thought, but that's my image! I read the 3 or 4 things on her profile, favorite book, movie, song, I saw she was from Texas, and then. Yes. Then. Back to that favorite book. Back to that song. And I knew.

The girl with the green fingernails.

Can I describe how happy that made me? No. I have no words, hidden or otherwise. She has reached the age where she is allowed to be here, and yes, she is growing up too fast (that is for her - they were the first hidden words she discovered), but if she has to grow up, I am happy, happy, happy that she is growing up to be someone I can talk to, someone I can laugh with, someone I respect, someone who is a role model for me, sly trickster though she is. And something in me loosened, something tense let go, and I laughed right out loud, so happy to have her here, so impressed with her sneakiness. :) And so perhaps I am back after only 2 days - perhaps she was the cure for what ails me. Apparently so, although I am giving myself permission to not worry if I don't post for 2 or 3 days, permission for short breaks as needed.

And the image?
Oh, it's hers, it was always hers.
And the video?
For her also. One of her favorites.
she is the light of my life, even if it embarrasses her to read this


I'll Be Back

I must take some time.

Really, I must find some. So I must step away from here for a bit. I cannot come here and speak of joy & be honest - lately I feel mostly emptiness, the emptiness of hope, the days becoming harder to step through, the inspirations few & far between. I cannot even see a picture for this post. I need a breath, some space, some time. It may be 2 days, it may be 2 weeks - I cannot say. I begin to Unravel with Susannah next week, and I suspect that will fill me with new ideas, new possibilities in which I can really believe, and if so, I will be back at least by then. I am full of insecurities about taking just a few days away, sure no one will be here when I return, but I must do it anyway. I suspect I will miss this more than I know & be back quickly.

See you soon.
Sooner than I think, possibly.
thank you all so very, very much


Simply Simple

phones that take pictures,
floating on the water under a summer sky,
green lights all the way,
automatic payments deducted from my checking account,
plants that bloom without my help,
silent nights under the stars,
tv socks,
re-reading old books,
time with him - no conversation necessary,
the easy, easy purr of cats,
too-big sweaters,
analog clocks,
empty rooms.

Simple things.
Christina's idea for today.
Click here for more.
How simple.
join in - add to the list


Cutting Strings

If only I could.

How easy I imagine it would all be then.

It is 11:44 on a July 4th evening and I am having a conversation with myself. I have been to the lake & back, leaving before the boats headed to the middle of the lake for 360 degrees of fireworks, leaving the music behind, wanting to be home, wanting to check on Maggie - just wanting to be home. Grateful for the plate of cherries & blackberries & strawberries, but just wanting to be home. It just be's that way sometimes. I stopped & bought morning glory sparklers on my way back & the lovely, lovely Katie & I drew circles in the hot Texas night before she headed upstairs and I headed in. A quiet 4th this year, not unwanted, a 4th that seemed to need some peace, some silence. And so I sit here propped against a mountain of white pillows, the sound of the air conditioner keeping me company, and I feel a bit of contentment begin to settle in. Just a bit, but a bit is much welcomed.

I would like to carry no thoughts. Or perhaps just fewer thoughts, none seeming impossible. They are weighing me down, all these thoughts, making it impossible to float on water or fly into the sky. I see myself in that sky, floating on my back in the air, and attached to my arms & legs & fingers & toes are hundreds of tiny thoughts, anchors caught in the treetops and on telephone wires. I need to start snipping some lines, jettisoning old cargo, letting some things go. I don't mean Maggie, I don't mean important things, I mean things & even relationships that have outlived their usefulness; people with whom I no longer have anything in common, who no longer feel right in my life. Life is too short, Mary once told me, and if the movie is bad, you should get up & leave. A new goal. A new bit of unfurling that I thought would feel sad, but surprisingly does not. It feels freeing.

Next week I begin to Unravel.
Perfect timing.
i lost a friend today - my choice, his actions. i can breathe.


July as an almost teenage girl

She has blue toenails & these green fingernails
her eyes remind me
that tomorrow I must buy sparklers.

She is dressed like July,
like the heat of this summer sky,
the cool of the lake a few inches below the surface,
the grass under her feet as she runs for the water.

She is spinning like fireworks;
don't let those silent hands fool you.

A Little Politics & 2 Extra-Strength Tylenol

Just a quickie.

An image that makes me laugh,
my feet a bit swollen
from standing in just a tad-too-tight flip-flops,
Maggie blending with the rock wall.
A chameleon.

Overlooking the creek outside the front door.
A little dizzy-making from this angle.

Today is a day for the hospital,
my mother having a heart thingy done.
Should be no big thang, y'all,
but I am tense nonetheless.
I do tense well.
And don't tell anyone,
but I took 2 Tylenol - gasp!! - what a radical I am!
2 500 mg. quick-release tablets.
Soon to be gone,
Soon to be only 325 mg. tablets,
and then I will have to take 3.

And yes, I normally say no to politics,
but I break the rule today.
It is so much silliness,
or it would be if it weren't so scary.
Government be gone from my personal life, I say.
But every morning I turn on the news
and find something else to make me,

I took a hot shower last night,
a long one,
assuming that soon that too will be stopped,
will be regulated;
that I will be allowed only x amount of gallons per day,
and only x amount of that will be allowed to be hot.
I shall have to report to a government employee somewhere
and if I am too clean,
there will be fines,
there will be consequences!

Forgive me.
But the Tylenol thing?
Possibly the straw that breaks the camel's back
here on this blog.
We will see.
But today, politics.

Tomorrow I will probably revert back to my rules.
All I ask is for politeness in the comments.
If there are any.
gotta go