Showing posts with label Truth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Truth. Show all posts

Monday, February 16, 2015

It All Stops

That one time of the day when the voices stop their annoying whispering in my ear.  The shaking of the fingers scolding me for my wasted moments, the sad shaking of the head for my neglect of friends and family, the negative thoughts of what a waster of time I have become all stop while I say goodby to another precious and beautiful day.  Tomorrow I get a fresh start to be a better and more productive person.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


I used to feel I wanted to be touched.
I waited for not only the physical whispering touch
on the palm of my hand,
but the sweeping touch on my heart,
and the powerful touch on my mind.

The touch that would make me swallow my breath,
give me flight
to soar over the universe
and see all and conquer all
and understand all.

The touch that made me into


The touch 
Kindling a fire that never failed to
burn bright and white hot
for its brief time.

The touch that reduced the impossible
to possible.

The years now trail politely behind me
offering only faint memories of smoke and ash
and little warmth, with a few glowing coals
as I walk away
to meet the not so distant future.

This is the time in my exploration
of the universe
I realize that
I want to be that touch.

I want to electrify,
to be the contingency in others before I die.

I want to punch potency
into others hearts and minds.
I want to send them up on a
spiraling cloud of heat rising
to see the universe with new eyes
and new possibilities.

My ego
Wants them to remember my touch
when they face their not so distant future.

Monday, September 17, 2012

I Am the 1 Per Cent!

We have certainly had the luxury of travel often in our retirement, and my son, on this recent trip with him and his future wife, pointed out that, if my retirement income was rated globally,  I am among the 1%.  I am retired but get to travel when I want and pretty much where I want.  You may very well be among that group also.  All you need to be a part of the global 1% is an income of $34,000!  No, you cannot travel when or wherever on that income, but the perspective of this figure pretty much makes you sit up and realize how lucky you are to be in this strata.  It also makes you wonder how much of your life is producing waste and could be better budgeted and more generous.

I only have one home, do not keep money offshore to avoid paying my fair share of taxes, nor send my business manager to a Caribbean island for 6 months so that the IRS cannot reach her, as an acquaintance of my son's did!  I have this status, not because I am brilliant or sneaky, but because I lived and worked overseas for the first 7 years of my married life and did not have to pay for my housing or the cost of an automobile during that time.  Since both my husband and I had a combined income during this time we invested every dime that we could and that gave us the head-start that we needed to have the retirement we are now enjoying.  It was luck and the willingness to live outside my country in a country that had water and electricity just often enough to keep me comfortable.

I will not have this luxurious life-style I now enjoy if the stock market crashes once again.  I have no respect for Wall Street folks as the money they make has nothing to do with improving the United States or the lives of its citizens or creating jobs.  How much money does a billionaire have to have before he invests in a small business or two?  Their supercilious lobbying forces will destroy this country again thanks to the "non-activist" Supreme Court Judges that were appointed under conservative Presidents and passed the Citizen United ruling.  This country has been bought and if you want a voice you had better demand the repeal of Citizens United from your representatives.  I mean this in all seriousness.  Both parties are beholden and only if we take back our country (perhaps with a third party), will we return to a true democracy.

I say this because I have done my research carefully and read the data.  You can scream the dangers of class warfare all you want, but the rich are not suffering in anyway in this.  WalMart family has more wealth than the combined 40% of the lowest income of our society.  It is no where near a class war until they have reached the wealth of the combined lowest 4%!!  It is up to you.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Dying Tulips

Red tulip petals fall to the ground
Not as precious as the splash of blood on desert sand,
But lovely in their death no less.
This early spring day is so quiet it makes you panic.
The bird chatter so squeaky I see you wince.
I saw you study the warm wind out of the East
And I felt the anxiousness growing in your soul.
The time of year for contact was upon them once again.
And you wanted to go and shout once more
I got your back,
You wanted to return
And finish
And be a part of the final push.
The winter was almost behind them now.
They no longer hunkered.
They no longer bunkered.
They were no longer cold statues in camouflage
Watching sand rifts come and go
Against the walls of empty houses.
The spring was upon them as well
Calling for
A patrol to revolutionize the villages
To win the trust of the poor
And to kill all the others.
My tulips will stop blooming soon
And I will stare into space
Remembering when you helped me plant them.

(First Draft)(For Sgt. Robert Bales)(Just one more comment and I will move on, I promise.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


It has been eleven days since my careless accident.  The swelling is almost gone!  The pain, while at times unbearable if I twist a certain way,  is mostly minimal as I limp around the house.  I feel lucky that this was not as bad as it could have been at my age!

My cabin fever reached a peak yesterday and I asked hubby to take me for a ride in the country side.  Our goal was to reach the mountains which are about 2 hours away, but along the way we encountered a detour.  It seems a bridge had washed out in the last storm and the road had to be closed for repairs.  This was a major state road. I live in an area of meandering coastlines and rivers and marshes.  Some of you know this means there is rarely a straight line between two points.  This a bridge being gone means we had to detour an hour north to find another crossing.  Sometime during the long detour we decided to fore-go the mountain trip and just explore the nearby countryside and visit a few state parks in the lovely fall..

We pulled over to the side of the country road that passed beside neat Amish farms and brought out our road map to see what might be close (the Truthsayer -GPS- was in the other car).  While holding our heads bent close over the map we heard a loud tap at the window on the driver's side of the car.  We looked up and saw a women in her fifties with frizzy hair, casual clothes, and a very tired look on her face.

Hubby rolled down the window.

"Can you give us a ride up the road." she asked in a gravelly voice caused by many years of smoking.

We both looked at the 'us' and her companion was a twenty something girl dressed in a red striped shirt and too large flowing plaid pants.  She could have been wearing pajamas or a costume.  Not the type of clothes most 20-somethings would be caught dead in.  Both looked pleading and the older woman was panting as if she had already walked a long way.  We hesitated only shortly and complied.

I could smell the cigarette smoke as they entered the back seat.  The trip several miles up the road was to reach a friend's house since the woman's car was no longer working.  The woman just oozed stress and was a very sad candidate for living as she explained how her luck had run out this month.  A sister had just died of cancer, her father had just passed away and the house she inherited from him was being managed legally by another sister who had borrowed money against it and had a gambling problem.  This morning the final bad luck was a car that wouldn't start.  (Yes, I have encountered story teller shysters before, but these people did not ask for money and were able to look me straight in the eye.)

We dropped them off at a small rural house with several cars scattered around the open field.  While we felt sorry for their situation, both hubby and I felt more sorry for the young girl who followed her mother up the dirt road to the door.  Already in her short life she was trapped in poverty.  She would probably marry the first economic light that entered her life and if her luck ran out she would be just like her mother in a decade or so following the same mistakes.

These are some of the people that President Obama says live paycheck to paycheck.  They are not smart nor industrious nor understanding that they make some of their own bad luck.  But in earlier times, before this recession, I wonder if their life might not have been so harsh as they got by week to week. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011


I have been married (to the same man) for 40+ years. No, I actually do not know the exact number give or take a year and I am not going to look it up and my husband is now asleep, so sue me.  I do know that we have had a pretty good run.  As most people who are past middle age realize, marriage is rarely about romance.  Oh yes, romance is nice, but it is not the normal state of affairs.  Actually, too much romance in a marriage would make me suspicious.  We have had our bad times, but there was only one year, two decades ago, when we came close to drifting apart completely.  He did a very bad thing and I decided, with time, it wasn't all that bad and with some marriage counseling we came through to the other side and I am so glad we are where we are today.

Ours is not a perfect marriage, but perfect marriages are undefinable to me anyway.  There are days when I have polished the kitchen to an unnatural shine and in his minute of fixing a snack it has been returned to an elementary school lunchroom.  There are days when I remind of him of something important or ask him to do something important that only he can do, and he still forgets because it is not his priority causing me frustration.  There are events where he talks too much about his interests, reveals too much personal stuff to strangers, or makes me wait alone for an hour while he finishes up something.  There are days when he says he wants to cook dinner, but doesn't even enter the kitchen until almost 7:00 P.M.  There are days when the time spent on this "business project" of his seems like eons.

But these are all in contrast to his telling and showing me he loves me (on occasion),  helping me with my projects, going with me on my errands, watching some film noir with me (which he hates), letting me have control of the remote, putting up with my blogging (which to him is like reading cartoons), loving our children totally, and living peacefully with my anal retentive sense of organization.  The above is also balanced with his love of the outdoors, his efforts to be active and healthy and to encourage me to do the same, and his intelligent sense of humor.

But a blogger posted this link which oddly brought tears to my eyes, because the woman in the video is my husband.  That is how he feels about the world.  He feels responsible.  His philosophy is that every big change begins with that first step and there is no need for recognition.  He does this when he is all alone in the woods and no one is watching!  

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I Lost It Somewhere Along the Way

While I like to think I am an upbeat and optimistic person, most people would probably describe me as a little too straight-forward, sometimes condescending and often too honest with everyone including myself.  But honesty is the best policy if you want to know where you are standing in the chaos.  Thus, I have to be open about something I lost...and may never find again.

I do not think we are dishonest with ourselves purposely.  I think it is rarely a bad habit.  I think we are dishonest with ourselves because we see ourselves through the huge thick fog of the life we have lived.  The cacophony of memories distracts and clouds any sharp view we could hope to have of who we really are at any one time.  We end up swatting at flies and eventually just shrug off any hope for the clarity we were looking for.

In our early thirties we catch a refection of ourselves and for a second think we see an aunt or uncle or parent.  Gosh do we really look that old and that adult?  When did that happen?  Well, of course, now we are adults.  That had to be.

Then in our 40's we are no longer the center of attention in the room.  Our jokes are old school or our attention span is too short because of our heavy schedule.  It seems all the fun action is happening elsewhere at the other table.

By my 50's I didn't really care so much about myself because I was focused on kids that were moving out into the world.  I was focused on saving money for the long years ahead.  I was focused on ailing parents and my responsibilities to them.  I was focused on expensive changes in lifestyles due to loved ones' college or health issues.  I was focused on trying to get a promotion to cover those expenses.

Then as I entered the 60's came the big change.   I was retired, had lots of free time, was financially secure.  I could once again focus on myself.  But I looked through my transparent self to see a nagging smoke cloud hanging just off my shoulder that I had been ignoring for quite some time.  When I admitted it was there I also had to admit that it was some depression, some sadness.  But I could not identify why?  My life now was pretty much OK.  Sure I missed loved ones that had passed on, I missed the closeness of various family members...but...what was this?

Some would tell me it is impending death.  It is the fear of the end of life.  No.  That is not it.  I realized the other day that it was a death.  The death of that vital and energetic woman who was an active mother, wife, career person.  That women who was responsible for changes being made.  That women that spoke out with solutions at meetings.  That women who remembered everything and forgot nothing.  

I guess I am sad because she is gone.  She has left behind a faded replicate.  I am still here but with nothing truly important to do anymore.  Introspection is a lovely walk, ...but when you get back home it is also nice to have something important to take care of.  Art and hobbies are gentle distractions, but it would be nice to once again accomplish something that helps others change their lives.  I miss that.  I mourn for that.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Every once in a while, especially after losing something precious, I need to make a thankfulness list...

  • Tabor is thankful for the clear, safe, and cold well water from her kitchen faucet as she makes her coffee before the sun rises on this summer morning.
  • Tamila is thankful for the new yellow bucket her brother brought her this morning to carry water from the well that is a mile down the road.
  • Tabor is thankful for air conditioning as the outside temperatures will mimic the low 100s C by midday. 
  • Tamila is thankful for the shade of the old acacia tree in her back yard as she must sit there often to prepare her food.
  • Tabor is thankful for the luxury of using a cell phone or a computer to communicate quickly with her loved ones that are far away.
  • Tamila is thankful that her loved ones in the next village are no longer suffering and she communicates with them silently by prayer each morning.
  • Tabor is thankful that her doctor said her leg pain is just a muscle strain.
  • Tamila is thankful that her leg pain is gone...for today.
  • Tabor is thankful for the flowers in her garden that bring delightful color to her eyes each day.
  • Tamila is thankful for the colorful turaco that sits in her tree waiting for a piece of mango.
  • Tabor is thankful that she has been given the financial freedom to retire.
  • Tamila is thankful that she has been given the freedom to live one more sunny day.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Just the Facts

Some people say that statistics lie.  Depending on how they are presented, they can frequently tell more than one story.  The same is true of the news as we all know.  What you hear, read, or even see is not always what actually happened or is only a surgical part of the whole story.  For example,  this photo below could have been taken on a gray day with the promise of a building storm.  It could leave the impression that the weather was quite foreboding when I was out and about.

If I tweak this photo just a little I can make the day sunny and filled with promise.  It looks like the weather may not be so bad after all once I candy-coat the image.  Maybe the storm is waning?

But what if I decide to be truly honest and let you see the full photo and let you decide for yourself about the sky that day?  What if I trust you enough to handle the full story...all the information?  It would make a big difference, wouldn't it?

(If you are an educator of children and teach critical thinking skills, please feel free to use this post.)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Ten Questions to Ponder.

  1. Do you ever wonder if we truly have only a finite number of heartbeats in our magnificent body?
  2. Do you wonder if you had started writing poetry when you were young that you would have run out of poems by now.
  3. Do you wonder if there could ever be too many children to love? (No. this is not an Octomom question.)
  4. Are 1000 digital sunset photos too many to collect?  What about 2000?
  5. Is it better to live in a society with too many rules or too few?
  6. Can you remember the last time you laughed until your face hurt?  (I can, but it was too long ago.)
  7. How many love songs can be written before they all sound too familiar?
  8. Would you be bored by too much good news?  Would you like to try it and see?
  9. How old do you have to be before you are too old...for whatever life throws your way?
  10. Finally, what do you have too much of and what do you have not enough of?
I am off to warm my toes in some Florida ocean water knowing full well that Mother Nature's disposition will follow me with tropical storms and maybe tornadoes there.  (If you want to know why, check in on my other blog in a few days to see what is happening in the Room Without Walls.)  Meanwhile you can ponder all of the above!  I will bring my laptop and be checking in.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Children of Children

The ancient ones never dreamed that we would have the power to travel back through time and pass the sun as we glide slickly into another time zone.  They never dreamed that we would be powerful enough to turn rivers around and even to tame them, or with breathtaking greed, use them all up.  They never thought about how, like ants with ugly tools, we would remove entire mountain tops turning them to dust and toxic water, and then, in our guilt, try to rebuild them.

They never dreamed that our thoughts would follow electrical pathways in the air and invade the day of those we know, or like, or love, in the flick of a second without imparting any thing of importance.  They could never envision that we would be powerful enough to place electronic eyes everywhere and see from the mountains to the beaches to the bedrooms, all from the comfort of our throne. 

They never could imagine that we would make new 'better' versions of living things and parts of living things to suit our tastes, both physical and mental.  

They would have been aghast at the weapons of mass destruction with which we play so eagerly every day. 

They never knew that we would become the false gods sitting on the mountain in huge temples of artificial gold growing ever so fat and complacent as we proselytize about truth and justice.  They would be so frightened for us, their children, if they could have seen this future.  They would be even more surprised that being so powerful we naively fear the strangest of things, such as the arrangement of numbers on a calendar.  We are like mind-compromised children, fascinated by every little thing but learning nothing as we poke and pry and tear things apart.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Junk in the Trunk---Part II

Finding some uninterrupted afternoon time I sat and opened the scrapbooks and as requested took some photos for the many, many readers and lurkers of my blog. Hang in there, this should be really, REALLY interesting...!

I so 'fondly' remember putting together this 'comprehensive' manual for our basketball coach which was ultimately for the team that year. He 'contracted' with our Business Education teacher to have me and my best friend be his personal secretaries. He corrected every period and we worked for days changing many details! I can guarantee that he probably had to take remedial English in college and was trying to get even in some weird way. This would have had questionable shades of sexual discrimination today. At least they should have admitted that no one on the basketball team knew English and therefore, could not read it (How's that for discrimination?).

It appears from this memento that, during High School, I went to the State Convention for the Future Homemakers of America. This conference did not appear to have made any impression as I cannot remember much of it at all! I also do not think I am an exceptional homemaker as a result, either.

This is our hometown newspaper with an article on the newest members of National Honor Society. Wow...were we a little dorky, or what? Here we stand waiting to be served tea by our club faculty sponsor. She was like a little Ms. Marple. (Names have been redacted to protect those still serving jail sentences.)

While in High School I was in a fashion show. I DO remember this because I am such a nut for parading around in new clothes. We got to wear clothes borrowed from the dress stores in the nearby larger town. As you may recall, I came from a family that watched money closely and I rarely got to wear new clothes. This was a treat for a poor farm girl.

This is the important notice of my college tuition waiver, which had I not received, I may not have gone to college.

This is my Freshman Beanie...Yes we actually wore them for one whole day. What a crock!

This is a homemade record of something...what I don't know. Now I have to find a turntable! Maybe it was something from debate club?

When I turned 21 during my senior of year of college, one of the my former High School upper classmen friends, a really nice guy that I had no interest in, invited me to the Playboy club in Denver for drinks to celebrate. (I hope he didn't pay for membership just for me!) It was an awkward and cool and weird experience. I was so naive that I didn't question why someone would be serving me drinks in a rabbit costume with overflowing mammary glands. I cannot tell you how absolutely sophisticated I felt, as if I was in some Doris Day movie. I am sure that I looked like a 14-year-old Doris Day as well! ( And, no, I didn't do anything non-Doris Day at the end of the evening.)

Next on my memory journey is a bunch of letters that I continue to pour over! Enough about me, now, what about all of you?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Junk Trunk Revealed---Part I

It seems that readers of my prior post are somewhat lets take a tour of this old trunk.

I opened the heavy trunk lid and one of the hinges broke away as that side of the lid slid to the floor. Inside everything was dusty from bits of yellowed paper and most of the items in a jumble. So much for how well my brother (or his wife!) packed the trunk. This vase above (what used to be a vase) has absolutely no memory for me. Was it a gift I bought my mother on my travels? Was it some stupid trinket I bought for myself? This vase had never been used. So much for the hope for treasure.

My life was absolutely so filled with very important events that I had to make a huge and comprehensive scrapbook of all my high school activities followed by another thick tome of all the cool stuff I did in college. These thick scrapbooks are filled with mostly cocktail napkins, theater tickets, theater programs, old ribbons, newspaper clippings, my band letter(s) and a very few awards as well...nothing that even my children would find of interest today. There was also a JFK scrapbook filled with newspaper clippings.

My music tastes were somewhat prosaic, but I had no money and so each album was purchased with care. I also had some Frank Sinatra albums and an entire collection of Shakespeare productions on record (OMG, what a bore was I?), but where those went I surely don't know. Does anyone remember the singer Claudine Longet and that terrible murder in Aspen?

Above is the dress I wore to my Senior Prom. I am so surprised at how thin I was. I was actually elected "Queen" of the prom that year. Before you get impressed (ha!) my graduating class was under 25 students and only half of those were girls. I do think this Jacqueline Kennedy style of dress has stood the test of time. If I was still that thin ( yeah, big dreamer) and still had somewhere formal to go, I think would wear it.

Now I am going to sit down and open these scrapbooks...more to follow. That ought to be somewhat interesting.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

My World on Wednesday #1 --- Looking at the Moon

Tabor decides to eat the leftover pancakes and remaining strawberries with honey for breakfast.
(Tushar has only a dollar for food today so he is skipping breakfast.)
Tabor kisses her husband goodbye at the gate in the beautiful early morning.
(TalAyeh kisses the air that still smells of rose water from the funeral of her husband.)

Tabor polishes the oak end table that was purchased when her children were first born.
(Talia goes through the ashes of the fire and finds the brass drawer pull from her best end table.)
Tabor turns on her fancy computer to check her email correspondence from one and all.
(Tanya unfolds a yellowed and creased letter from the priest who had abused her so many years ago and then touches a corner to the flame.)
Tabor decides to walk in the flower garden before the day gets too warm.
(On an abandoned hillside in Berlin, Tabbert find his community garden destroyed by the land owner.)
Tabor washes the garden dirt from her hands in the lovely patterned sink of the powder room.
(Tu bin washes the blood from her hands at edge of the river reflected in the glow of an explosion.)
Tabor decides it is time for tea and reading her new bestselling book.
(Tierra pushes aside the layout for the morning edition and flees from her newspaper office as the soldiers break down the door.)
Tabor answers the phone and is overjoyed to find the call is from her laughing grandson.
(Tamira answers the phone and is overjoyed to find the call is from her father fighting in Iraq.)
Tabor decides not to cook dinner and persuades her husband to try that new restaurant in town.
(Tae-Hyun quietly closes the metal gate to his tiny restaurant and locks it tight as he puts out all the lights.)
Tabor slips between the fresh clean sheets and snuggles into her bed with pleasure at the ending day.
(Tawson shifts carefully in the hospital bed trying not to pull out the intravenous tubes or increase his pain.)

Tabor reviews her day and is thankful for its abundance.
(The nameless gray-haired woman in the homeless shelter reviews her day and is thankful for its abundance.)

Monday, May 04, 2009

Are you rich?

I am not going to write about richness of one's soul here, but actual money rich.

I have just spent a week at a nice resort on Hilton Head Island. Lots of rich people live and vacation there.

I grew up poor and have blogged about that in the past. I wasn't Dolly-Parton-poor, but close. There were five kids and only one blue-collar income, so we became masters at stretching the dollar. Food was in abundance from the garden and small farm, but everything else was make-do. I knew we were poor, but many in our small community were in the same boat. In spite of this income level, my parents were able to send all five of us to college and 4 of us graduated. We all became successful in our own ways and one of us (maybe two) (not I) is a millionaire.

I have never seen myself as rich, but as comfortable and middle class. Yesterday in a conversation with my son-in-law he said that he admired that we were conservative people even though we were rich. (Both he and my daughter make six figure incomes, so I was certainly surprised that he saw us that way.)

And yet, I guess if I think about it, by many standards we are rich. Our house is finally paid for, we have a steady retirement income--small but one of us is indexed! We have health insurance. Our 401ks have shrunk by 50%, but we can actually survive without them if we live like a normal retired couple. Due to this recession we won't have the international travel we had dreamed about, but we are not like some in worrying about health bills or other important issues.

We also have many small luxuries we could cut if needed as inflation will certainly rear its ugly head when the piper must be paid. Yep, we are rich.

This last photo was taken from our bedroom at the resort. If you click on the photo you will see why I was taken by the body language of the middle-aged couple in the lounge chairs. Being rich has its price and this photo may tell part of that story.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Fixer

I did not get enough sleep last night. I was busy "fixing things" or trying to fix things:

I thought about fixing my son's relationship with women so that he has a stable relationship with one and gets married.

I thought about fixing my daughter's job so that she likes it more and doesn't have the worry of being fired at the end of the month hanging over her head.

I thought about fixing the spoiled attitude my Xman seems to be getting with everyone falling all over themselves to keep him happy.

I thought about fixing my age so that I don't have the worry of poor health hanging over me that we all will face as our bodies decline sooner or later.

I thought about fixing the automatic gate to the deer fence as the solar panel (or battery) does not seem to be working.

I thought about fixing my retirement investments and actually studying the statements instead of hiding them the minute they come in.

I thought about fixing the departures of my dear departed middle sister, my dear departed dad and my departed mom, wondering if I could have done something more when they were alive.

I thought about bloggers I had gotten close to who have passed away just as quickly as they appeared in my life.

About 3:30 I finally fell asleep.

This morning I was like a crazy woman cleaning the floors, washing the throw rugs, getting hubby to clean out the fireplace, going over the bathrooms with a detailed cleaning. I know this energy today is to assure myself that there is at least one thing I can fix.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

It's All About the Hair

The first is a photo of my hair color about 5 years ago.
The second is the color I took with me on the cruise,
but I could not seem to get
the color true in this photo.

Several years ago when my husband was traveling in Korea with a business friend he noticed a number of young Korean women and commented on how lovely their hair was swinging in the sun. (He has always been a bit of a hair man and almost divorced me when I cut my long swinging hair in my 30's.) The Korean friend added that, since these ladies were at their sexual peak, their shiny hair was what caught a young man's eye.

We talk about breasts and hips and luscious lips, but hair is a big deal. They even made a a song about it.

"Gimme head with hair
Long beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming,
Streaming, flaxen, waxen"

The health and shine of hair is noticeable in all animals. The shiny coat of hair means more than beauty, it means the ability to reproduce. (And for those of you who read my other blog this truth also translates to the brilliant new spring feathers...which are the avian version of hair.)

Age is cruel to mankind and womankind. It causes us to lose our hair so that it no longer swings in beauty but sits lightly on top like errant peach fuzz. Aging takes away the color and peroxides our follicles until they are sooty gray. Some elders are rewarded with a mane of striking silver white...but most of us settle for something far less. Our hair becomes dry and brittle and thin. Only the last word - thin - is used when talking about how sexy and attractive someone is.

The familiar term 'crowning glory' intimates the power that great hair can have. Female news correspondents and female politicians spend at least part of their career defending their hair style choices or trying to ignore the hair comments of critics and stay on subject. (Jane Pauley and Katie Couric are just two that come to mind.) It is hard to let go of this power that hair has over a woman (or a man).

I started to gray in my 40's and began with a semi-permanent coloring and like most addicts switched to the hard stuff as the years went by. When keeping the silver roots at bay became a major effort, I started the familiar, time consuming, expensive, and hard on the hair follicle process of 'highlighting.' Upon my retirement I admitted to myself that I was not a high maintenance woman in most areas of my life, and therefore, I no longer needed to pretend that I looked better than I did. I stopped dying my hair.

This was painful. I mean really painful. I aged instantly and instantly lost the drama that is much of my persona. After four months of this I asked my hair dresser to try a glaze to see if I could at least have a shine. That worked...sort of. But it was still too blah in color. A week before the cruise she suggested a temporary charcoal rinse that would blend everything and covered the highlighted ends. This worked, because I was gently gray and had drama once again. But the rinse slowly washed out and my true gray returned, and as a last resort, I went in and asked for a pixie haircut. Something perky, spiky, flirty and young. That helped. It was much easier to care for and it did make me look less dumpy. (Right, I know most women do not want to settle for 'less dumpy'.)

It has been about 6 months since I started this whole madness and I now have bright silver peaking through at my temples. I am going to see if I can live with this a little longer if I have silver hair! I will wait through until fall leaving my hair just as it is. Then if I can't stand it, I will go back to dying it. I hate so much being a shallow gal, but in some ways I guess I just might be. (On a positive note, several people loved the pixie haircut and said it made me look much younger and didn't seem dismayed by my grayness.)

Saturday, February 28, 2009


I have always had a love affair with words. Beginning as an early reader at 3, I took my favorite books everywhere with me in place of a security blanket.

I was thinking about all the places that I have read to myself and/or others both silently and out loud.
I have read at the kitchen table (but not when others are there), I have read on the backyard deck, in the living room, in front of the TV, in bed, on the toilet, in the bathtub, on boats, in the canoe, in cars (but not when moving as I get carsick), in a tent, beside rivers, on many beaches, beside many swimming pools, in a number of hotel lobbies, in my grandchildren's beds, in their rocking chair, in front of a classroom, on stage, backstage, in front of the computer (natch), on the dock, in a plane, on a train, in front of a fire (struggling in the dim light to see), under a table, at a park, in my garden, at an ice rink, in a ski lodge (but NOT on the ski lift), in a church, resting on a dog, under a clothes line (much to my mother's dismay---I was supposed to be hanging clothes.), in a stadium, at a bull fight in Spain (avoiding watching the fight), behind a barn, inside a barn, under a tree, in a book store, at a restaurant, at many desks, in many libraries and classrooms, and at the kitchen counter during cooking waiting for the stew to boil. It seems I always have something to read in my hands.

For a number of years now my favorite word has been essence. This may change, but right now it means the hint of the special that is. The potential for the whole, without being overwhelmed by the whole. The intrigue that keeps you searching and wondering.

What is your favorite word? Where is some special/odd place that you read?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Some Good Omens

'Seth' is a very dignified elder with a carefully groomed handle-bar mustache and a very gentle and gentlemanly demeanor. He did the prayer/chant and painted the various symbols in the air with his hand. His wife 'Dora' was in charge of getting all the elements necessary for the house blessing together. One last element she brought was a green candle which she lit and said was her own personal blessing for us for as long as we lived in the house and we were to keep the candle burning until it went out and therefore at the end we placed what was left of the burning candle into the fireplace.

The house was blessed with a very eclectic blessing ceremony involving some Asian symbols, some Jewish blessings and some pagan symbols and chants. Smoke and light and aromas were involved and every single room was blessed and every entryway and window protected from bad energies.

During the process, which was new and somewhat strange to hubby and I, Seth who was in each room happened to look out one of the upstairs windows to the house across the way and asked about our neighbors. Hubby said they were a very nice retired couple. Our guest then tapped his chest and said he felt something fluttering there. My husband then told him the man had just had quadruple bypass for the second time and our guest said that explains the tingle in his chest!

We went downstairs and looked out across the river and our guest said he felt the house across the way was troubled and therefore he sent more positive energy to that part of the walls and windows of our house and a stronger block for bad energy from across the way. Interestingly, the people directly across the river had been the ones who had called the permit office on our building project to insure it was being done legally and we had also heard from another neighbor that the wife of the couple was a trouble-maker. Seth and Dora live far from here knew none of this.

Then hubby decided to test our guest and asked him if he had any feelings about the neighbors to the East of our house. Our guest looked across the way and said he felt only joy and happiness. These neighbors are the ones who bought a $100,000 yacht this summer and never got around to using it and who invited their church to hold two church services outside in their front yard this past summer filled with singing and praying, but were polite enough to call me each time to let me know there would be some noise as they were having the service outside.

This analysis of our neighbors seemed to be too much coincidence to think that our guest didn't have something going on with his 'third eye' and therefore we thought he must know what he was doing in blessing and protecting our house. At the end of the blessing a very healthy pair of red shoulder hawks flew to the trees that were very close to the windows in the back yard and rested briefly before heading down the river. These are the first hawks we have seen in our neighborhood in well over a year and I took that as a good omen for strength, love, and new beginnings.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Habitual Carelessness

Retirement has been a wonderful gift for which I am daily thankful. I have good health and reasonable economic security, neither of which I take lightly, as I know like everything else in life, both of these will change over time. My life today has been the result of planning, learning, hard work, but mostly luck. I am lucky to be born in this great country. I was lucky to be able to go to college and pursue a career. I am lucky to have two beautiful and healthy grandchildren and two wonderful children. I am lucky to be married to a patient but energetic man. I was lucky enough to never win the lottery or some contest which would be a true burden in this simple life I now have.

Thus, I do carry some guilt with me as I do not think I have 'earned' this.

I carry some more guilt because I have not yet ventured out to share this time in a structured way with others who are not so lucky in this new community where I live. I am guilty because I do not feel lonely for being able to go for days at a time without meeting or talking to anyone, especially when my husband is on travel. I could so easily be a hermit.

I think this temporary withdrawal is because I was so bitter about the mediocrity and falseness of my last 5 years of employment. I was paid very well by the American taxpayer and not allowed to accomplish anything. I worked with people who created budgets that were never implemented and listed goals and milestones that could not be met without a fixed budget which we never got. It was a Dilbert world without the humor. (Our illustrious leader was a political appointee...need I say more?) Thus, I retired early taking a cut in retirement income. As a Type A, the alternative would have been slitting my wrists.

Perhaps, this procrastination now is because I feel as if I still have wounds to lick and a mind to heal.

But I have also learned that all those times I used to tell myself, "Once I get some free time..." have arrived. "Once I have more free time" I will exercise every day...not happening. I will sew those curtains after the New Year...fabric is still sitting in a plastic bag. I will paint the front room built-in so that it matches the trim...guess I will wait until spring so I can open the windows. I will repaint the trim in the kitchen so that it matches the cabinets...ditto. I will start with babysteps and drop by the local library and see if they need a volunteer or have a list of volunteer programs...soon I hope. I will garden more...that one is easy to do.

It is scary how easy it is to procrastinate especially when there are no immediately seen consequences for your bad habits.