Archive for May, 2014

photo-6Here’s looking at you, May!

By now, you all know my behind-the-scenes: packing the house and moving out. I can tell you that whole parts of May were inspired by my trip to Comic Con this month, from May the Fourth to Monsters & Villains. There were also some perspective changes, with Reverting and Dog’s Eye View, and I’m especially happy about The Boy and the Bus and 40 the Cat and Soy Sauce Year.

There was much friendship appreciation with A Trail of Elephants, 25 Hours a Day, and Expanding Our Reach, and honestly, I think this is the crux of May: this kind of appreciation is what happens when you embrace great change.

See you all tomorrow in June!

My first book, Upside Down Kingdom, is available on Amazon. I’ll sign it for you.

Day Two of packing, hauling, cleaning, and memorizing which box every treasured item went into. I’ll have much less brain power from now on…

A Bag of Monkeys!

A Bag of Monkeys!

But, the good news is that I’ve landed across town at the home of some dear friends. Here I’ll be until I officially move a month from now. (The girl who bought my house wanted to move in early. I said, “Sure, I can do that!”)

Boy was I wrong. There are days when I seem to conquer the world, and rightly so. How does the line go from Dr. Horrible? “The world is a mess. And I just need to rule it.”

Yes, that. Hilariously my favorite line.

These last couple days, however, well, it took a village. With one dear friend by my side, volunteering 12 hours a day to the cause of packing my apparently stuffed little house (and I’d already packed, mind you), my parents who were here earlier this week to pick up my pets and drive them to our new home (I’ll join them next month and missed them immediately), another great friend who popped in today to volunteer her cleaning skills (and refused payment for it), a carpet cleaner who not only arrived early but didn’t charge me (imagine!), neighbors who let me deliver random things to their houses rather than pack them, still more neighbors who stopped over to wish me well and to give me little treasures they crocheted for me, I’m telling you, this has been the best move I’ve ever done. I’ve lived in five U.S. states and this is probably my 10th move, so I don’t say that lightly. It’s the best.

Who knew? All these years of assuming I’m a loner, somehow I’ve become part of a beloved village.

My first book, Upside Down Kingdom, is available on Amazon. I’ll sign it for you.

Rental Place People

photo-4Standing in line at the rental place this morning, my sleepy eyes full of promise, alongside others glancing at packing tape, moving boxes, bubble wrap, none of us showered, excited for the day ahead…

Standing in line at the rental place this evening, ordering another giant crate, my eyes full of grit, ignoring the pricy boxes with inserts for dishes, thinking about how much remains to do, daydreaming about fitting a massage into that impossible plan because the coffee table nearly killed me but knowing there’s no massage for the weary, still not showered, my hair stands up on its own now…

Overall, it’s been a great day.

My first book, Upside Down Kingdom, is available on Amazon. I’ll sign it for you.


At a meeting yesterday, a committee member discussed his group’s findings. Let me preface by saying this particular committee was formed to discover and explore big ideas. The organization as a whole has made great progress as of late, and had reached a certain status quo. The timing was right for either maintaining this plateau or for brainstorming new ideas. Thus, this committee was quickly assembled, and ideas began to flow.

The preliminary ideas include some new signage, re-opening a theatre, and, “Pie in the sky,” the committee member prefaced, “We’re thinking about opening a school.”

skyHe presented a number of considerations, from long wait lists for the current “good” schools in the area, to partnerships we could form with the other area schools. The sharing of curriculum was mentioned, as well as a short list of local unused buildings that could be converted. One particular building was the “blue sky” pinnacle of dreams, and it was immediately shot down by the others at the table. While empty, the building had been purchased for a few million dollars by the local hospital giant. Some members at the table had been part of that acquisition for the hospital.

Much discussion ensued. Some of it was helpful, some humorous, and some was a bit scathing, which was met with the dual defense of “Blue sky, blue sky,” and a rattling off of facts and figures. Finally, the leader of the whole meeting brought order to us again.

“This is exactly what I wanted,” he said. “Big, crazy ideas. By the end of summer, I hope to have seven more giant ideas.” He looked around the table with a glint in his eye and said, “This is the time for tossing everything up to see what sticks.”

Sometimes progress is made incrementally, but toward a giant horizon. Give yourself “blue sky” days to think really big. Something surprising might stick.

My first book, Upside Down Kingdom, is available on Amazon.

Back to Center

A friend of mine was involved in a car accident earlier this year. She’s alright; but injured her back. Fortunately, doctors said with some physical therapy and massage, it would be better in a few months. The insurance company was iffy on paying for her treatment, but since she works a physical labor type of job, she saw no alternative for getting better and went ahead with it anyway. It’s her health, after all.

When she started to feel better, she backed off the treatments somewhat, keeping only the ones that were getting results. One doctor kept recommending more and more, and she began to question his motive for all this expensive treatment that she didn’t really need. She refused the extra treatments and was able to wean herself off of them altogether as her back healed.

Recently, she told me with a big smile of relief that her insurance company called her to say they would pay for her treatments. The insurance person she talked to said his superiors wanted to deny her claims, but because she’d refused those extra treatments he was able to show them she was truly trying to get better without sponging off the system. The total bill was around $3000.

I could make a point about having to take your health into your own hands, about questionable practices amid the world of truly great doctors and medical advances, or about an insurance company who did the right thing. Instead, I’m going with this: Find your own personal balance, and stick to your guns.

My first book, Upside Down Kingdom, is available on Amazon. I’ll sign it for you.

Denting the Carapace

DSC00496From a WWII Veteran, whose life story I’m writing. She tells me:

I would say that the things that happen to you in life make you what you are. And make you sometimes different because the more you build inner reserves, the better you’ll be to face life.

When people don’t have too many experiences, or things that they have to wrestle with, in a most uncomfortable manner, they never learn. They never learn, because they don’t know how to learn. Nothing’s happened to them that ever dents that carapace.

There are a few things that I’ve had happen to me in life that I wish hadn’t. And there are many things that I’d like to have done better, who doesn’t? But it’s what you face up to. ~

Today and every day, we appreciate our own struggles for all that they’ve taught us, and we appreciate the struggle done by others on our behalf for all that they have given us.

Have a safe and reflective Memorial Day.

I knew someone who was deathly allergic to cats as a child who was able to live with a cat in his 20s without incident. As a kid, I remember hating soy sauce, but now I love it.

Over the years, our bodies age, our taste buds change to our differing mineral needs (apparently my body needs more salt and whatever minerals there are in donuts), and I read somewhere that we, as people, change in who we are every 10 years or that thereabouts.

Imagine the changes that occur in 40 years: in taste, in what could kill you, in fashion, in wrinkles, in music, in geography, in career choices, in politics, births and deaths, likes and dislikes, in evolving and trading up, in roads traversed… And to do all that with another person by your side shows astounding dedication.

IMG_0975I say all this because today my parents celebrate their 40th anniversary. Currently, they’re somewhere on I-90, on their way to my door. We’re going out to eat.

Nothing like an 800-mile road trip for dinner.

Happy Anniversary to my favorite couple, the ones who’ve learned that if they can’t always change simultaneously, they’ll still embrace whatever changes come, together.
My first book, Upside Down Kingdom, is available on Amazon. I’ll sign it for you.

Dog’s Eye View

photo-2When writing poetry, I like to lie on the floor and look up. The furniture and ceiling take on a grander air, like when Jack climbs the beanstalk and enters the giant’s home. Light hits the ceiling in different angles. What was once familiar is now peculiar.

Perspective change keeps you from thinking in the same old and tired patterns. It broadens the mind, and allows new ideas to enter. Travelers get hooked on this kind of thing. But when you can’t travel the world, move yourself the great distance from your chair to the floor, and take in the new expanse.

The broad new horizon has been waiting to show you something.

My first book, Upside Down Kingdom, is available on Amazon.

Like the rest of us, sometimes they just want to get away…

Zombies on Vacation
The beach is hard for zombies seeking peace
The hot dog vendor doesn’t offer brains
And all their stuff gets sand up in the crease
For swimsuits never keep loose parts contained
The winds go through them; pummeling their books
The salty water stings their open wounds
The beach balloon man gives them funny looks
When asked to twist some skeleton balloons
Despite all this, the zombies like the beach
They like the warmth and sunlight up above
They love to have a Tiki drink in reach
Vacations are for doing what you love
So while the kids play hide the foot in sand
The zombies drink their beverages in hand

My first book, Upside Down Kingdom, is available on Amazon. I’ll sign it for you.

Finding a Button

My friend Patty makes the most beautiful clothes and handbags. Everything she makes is well thought out and well-crafted. She starts with fine fabrics and antique buttons and designs pieces that she would want for herself, complete with an extra pocket for a cell phone or a clasp to hold the wrist strap on a handbag in place so you don’t spill your goods if you reach for it from the wrong angle. And somehow her clothing makes everyone look tall and thin. I’m not kidding. She even charges less than stores do.

I got a call from her this week that she’d finished the wrap she’d been making for me. She’d had a similar item at the Berge Open House a couple weeks ago and I told myself to let Fate decide if I should buy it: If it were still there at the end of the show, I’d buy it. An hour before the event ended, wouldn’t you know it, the original wrap sold. That’s when I realized how much I truly did like it. I asked Patty about it, and she said she had enough fabric to make another but wasn’t sure about the button.

Now, this isn’t Hollywood. I can absolutely wear a garment that someone else has. One particular friend and I have the same Comic Con T-shirt, bought at the same time, because we both liked it. (So far we coordinate who gets to wear it.)

I picked up the wrap today from Patty, and told her about how I messed with Fate by asking her to make it after the original sold.

button“But look at this,” she said. “I found the blue French button that you liked so much.” Patty has a great appreciation for buttons and tells amazing stories about their origins. I’ll get you the link once she starts her button blog.

“It’s Fate that I found the button,” she said.  “You’re meant to have it.”

Her comment made my day, much like a surprise gift. Of course, we don’t live off gifts. They don’t pay the mortgage or the water bill. But a well-placed gift shows thought and care, and those things go a very long way in this world.

My first book, Upside Down Kingdom, is available on Amazon.I’ll sign it for you.

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