Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Poem: Reality

This is real,
this rough-barked,
longstanding tree.

This true-as-love
blue sky above me-
this is real.

The slick head
and wrinkled toes
of a newborn,            

the paper-skinned,
shaking hand of
the dying,
the screaming agony
of a life blown apart-
These are real.

Everything else is
smoke and fog.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Welcome, Sweet Alice

Sweet little Alice Pearl has taken her first breath,
opened those hazy eyes and blinked at the light.
With light hair, tiny dimples and grasping hands
she huddles close to the heartbeat she knows so well,

She resumes her curled posture, droops her head, and sleeps; as does her mother, tired from the work of bringing this darling into the world, weary of the long journey and its final messy skirmish .

Where will life take you, my dear little sparrow?
Ahead of you lies a future full of everything you could ever imagine,
waiting for you to step up to the easel and sketch your own unique designs, dipping into colors only you can choose.

Blessings on your downy head, little starry girl.
Blessings, kisses, good wishes, hopes, and prayers
for happiness and health; the traditional gifts
which have been brought to mothers and newborns
for thousands of years by those who love them. 

How lucky you are, my lovey, to have been born surrounded by such a wealth of love and opportunity.
How blessed we are to count you in the number of this, our large, varied and loving family.
Welcome home. We have your back.
Hang on, dear one, for life is a wondrous ride.

All The News That's Fit To Print

  The ice did come but was not as bad in this area as in some others; not the huge devastation some folks had anticipated. That's a good thing.  Once you have lived through one of those serious ice storms, the ones that take down all the power lines in the state, you have set a pretty high bar for any and all future storms. You're golden; at least it seems that way thus far. 

        We definitely had the cold temps but no wind (a saving grace) and once the big rains finally arrived, the temperature was already back up above freezing. Timing, if not in fact everything, is a good portion of the important things....right next to location, tone of voice, and tolerance. The cats were allowed into the garage where they could snuggle up and stay warm.  I did not lose any branches at the farm although I did see several trees with newly broken branches farther south as I drove to the City today. 
     I had decided not to buy any groceries for this three day confinement because I had plenty of food in the pantry and the freezers.  I did fine and began working through the stockpiles.  I'm going to keep going and see how long I can run this thing.  I finally ate the last two eggs from our chickens, these two small ones from the Lucys. They were delicious. I hope the hens have acclimated to life at Farmer Tim's by this time and are enjoying their new found friends.
      I finished another of my puzzles of bookshelves, my faves.  They are all by the same guy and are so cute and pun prone that I can't resist. Some are not about bookshelves but are about sewing closets or fishing work benches or about gardening sheds; places with lots of widely different items that are somehow related to each other and to one theme.  So fun!
     I also finished a book or two, watched parts of several movies and a couple of whole ones, worked on my taxes, cleaned all the bathrooms top to bottom, and made cookies...most of which I froze for later. Oh, and before the ice came, I had the guys come out to look at the kitchen and talk about what I wanted to do about cabinets and flooring.  Yes, I'm finally getting started on that project and I am excited to get it going.  Of course that means emptying all the cabinets, but that's fine.  I can do a little simplifying while I'm at it.  I also slipped in to see a couple of docs last week, nothing wrong, just routine checkups; got my flu and pneumonia shots. Check. Now all I have to get is that pesky vaccine for Shingles.  I keep forgetting about that one.
     The big news in these parts is that Kari went in to be induced this evening.  Baby Alice, whom we sometimes call Baby Spice, should be born tomorrow some time. I will let you know the stats once she arrives. Stopped by their house at around noon and had a good visit with A and K for a bit; gave them hugs, wished them well, caught up on the the news and house improvements.  They have really snazzed that place up in the past year or two.
    I worked at the spice shop today and had a grand time with Sam and Priscilla as well as with the customers.  I especially enjoyed that fine gentleman from Miami, Fl who came in to see us while here visiting his son and grandson.  He was a delight; so interesting to talk with about spices and everything else.  Good times on Western Avenue, as always. Then it was home to Abbey's for supper with them and the Korenaks and lots of playing with the kids.  It's Girl Scout Cookie time again! Dad, I'm bringing you some as soon as they come in.
     Mags, Zaney and I played nerf war (with no bullets, because I don't like being shot), hide and seek, and doctor.  Zane had a broken leg this time (easy peasy), MJ had a broken arm and an intestinal blockage of some sort, we had to open her up and fix that.  I had to have open heart surgery, as usual.  We all did very well and were up and about in short order.  Zane had to put an IV into my hand prior to the surgery...which hurt almost exactly as much as putting in a real IV for some reason. Ouch.  There was some pretend bleeding, as you would expect, but Zane applied pressure and it was soon under control.  The Korenaks headed back home and we had baths, books, and bed. THEN I got to have a wonderful visit with Christal in AZ on the phone and an in person chat with my Abbeydoodle, before heading up to bed myself.  A good day, any way you cut it. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Winter Weather

January 8th..Monday
     Weather forecasts call for more of this heading our way soon.  Already the wind howls outside my window, filling me with gratitude for this place of warmth and shelter.  My daughter is generous with her home and this extra room which I call my own. Although we have passed the Winter Solstice and extra minutes are added to the light of each day, thus far I haven't noticed much of a shift.  The winter birds flit about the feeders early most mornings.  The cats are warm inside thick, black fur from nose to foot.  Their green eyes shine up at me as I emerge from the house, swaddled in layers for warmth, with only my eyes showing. They don't know me right away, poor dears.
     I am outside, trying to find a wild thing out and about in the winter weather; something other than myself and the cats. There are plenty of tracks; rabbit, bird and mouse, cat, dog and coyote, and farther into the wood, turkey tracks and the prim scuff and stamp of deer, large and small.  No snakes, of course, in these temperatures.  The bees are all shut inside, warming the honey with their own body heat.  They will fly free the next warm, sunny day. 

January 12...
    The above was written a few days ago and never posted.  I haven't written lately; my apologies.
  Tonight the sky is blue-gray and smells of ice. It is bitter cold and there is no wind at all.  The soothsayers are predicting a big ice storm, which usually means a loss of power somewhere along the line because the weight of ice on power lines pulls them down. 
     I have a propane stove so am warm even if the electricity goes off for awhile.  I love being without electric lights, as lamplight is so softly generous.  We'll see.  I could have driven to the City and stayed with my children...but I chose to stay here in my own space; keeping an eye on things, reading some favorite books, writing...writing with a pencil on paper if need be.
     I like to write in pencil, although I usually don't, because writing on a keyboard is so much more efficient. The problem is this; when I write in pencil, I have to write so fast that I can not then read my own handwriting. *sigh* I know, I know; you're preaching to the choir, folks.  Also (and I am ashamed to bring this up, in a way) my forearms get tired when I write with a pencil; my hands get tired. Ha. How ridiculous (but true)!  I prefer the keyboard now, especially for its ease in the rewrite, the edit.  I'm rambling, simply visiting with you guys, my favorite people.

      I put out food for the birds earlier in the day and made a sheltered spot for the cats. (Yes, Christal, I'll let them inside to spend the night in the laundry room. I'm not completely heartless. : ) The cows in the pastures have begun to birth their calves already. I feel sorry for them in the ice to come, but the other cows will stay close to the little ones, giving them warmth. This beautiful picture of the horse in snow is for my little Maggie, who loves horses as much as I do.
     I have everything I need: books, a piano, a guitar, paper and a pen, a puzzle, warmth and water. Those are the essentials for my happiness.....ooooohh, well... a friend to share all that with would be nice, but apparently not this time. My very best-friend-ever is always here with me, now that he has jumped to the next plane of existence, and my other friends are all far, far away from this place.  They will call to check on me, as they always do.  I am incredibly blessed by those who love me. Thank you so much for your love and loyalty; you are family to me. You know that.  I think it's funny that you don't know each other after all this time.  

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Art in OKC

    The bronze statue stands on the grounds of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in OKC.  There are other smaller statues inside the museum; horses and cowboys captured in the act of roping a steer, racing full out, falling, shooting at something; but this is the one that brought me to a standstill as I walked to my car. Ranching was hard, dirty, lonely work that started at sunup and ended at 'dark-thirty', if they were lucky.  Seeing another person was probably a rare event for the cowboys, unless they had a crew together for something special.  Usually the worked alone with their horse for company, checking cattle or fences, doctoring those who were sick, seeking out the wanderers; which is what makes this combination so moving.  It isn't only the men who are happy to see each other in this moment, clasping their hands; the horses touch as well, resting a tired foot, brushing skin against skin.

Here is another one, a Remington, that I like. Snake versus horse; the man holds on for dear life. Ha!

There is the famous End Of The Trail in the main lobby, surrounded by windows. This one breaks my heart every time I stand and gaze upon it; horse and rider both, at the end of their strength.

     There is much to see in the galleries. Next time you're through OKC and looking for some art that is reflective of the history of this place, stop in and take look around; it's right off I44 and easy to find.

Friday, January 6, 2017

An Honorable Man


I stumbled upon this quote a few days ago. It reminded me of someone dear to me. Have you met my father? (love you, Dad)

“Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. He is the hero; he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man.    He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor—by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it.
      He will take no man’s money dishonestly and no man’s insolence without a due and dispassionate revenge. He is a lonely man and… if there were enough like him, the world would be a very safe place to live in, without becoming too dull to be worth living in.”

                               --Raymond Chandler