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Awake, yet again, in the deep of the night,
I listen to the breeze sigh through the forest leaves,
Sounding like the gentle caress of waves on the shore.
My ever present companion, Kodi,
Lays watchful at the end of the deck,
As I turn to go sit in my porch swing.

A loud snort breaks the silence of the Mountain,
Echoing all around us,
And Kodi is instantly alert and by my side.
A gentle woof escapes his throat.
“We don’t bark at the deer,” I remind him,
But they snort so seldom,
He has forgotten the sound.

We move as one,
My hand resting on his broad back,
To the screened porch,
And I hear the hesitant footfalls of our visitor.
In silence, I illuminate the big doe with my flashlight,
And Kodi and I watch her, together.

She is uncommonly pale,
The color of the deer we call Brazen,
But too skittish to be her.
Perhaps her daughter or sister, I muse.
I see the lines of the old Matriarch,
The biggest doe I’d ever seen,
In this one – the sheer size, large ears.
As she moves off, slowly,
I see she is limping slightly,
As she was a few days ago,
When last I saw her.

Is that why she is alone?
I ask Kodi, who looks at me quizzically,
And sits, faithfully, beside me,
In the dark, quiet, night.
I am never alone.

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This Routine

This Routine is all too familiar.
Afternoon sun hits my shaded eyes
Like a boxer hitting his opponent.
It hurts.
I see it coming.

This Routine is all too familiar.
Dog claws click on floor,
Spoon taps bowl,
My muscles twitch.
I hear its approach.

This Routine is all too familiar.
Waves of nausea
Crash over me.
Wipeout.
I feel it swamp me.

This Routine is all too familiar.
Say, “I’m sorry,
“I’m going to the bad place.”
And close my door.
She knows this so well.

This Routine is all too familiar.
My day is done.
Now it is
Migraine’s day.
Out of my hands.

This Routine is all too familiar.
Swallow meds,
Zofran under my tongue.
Bowl beside my head.
Try to soften the blow.

This Routine is all too familiar.
Tummy Mint tea cools,
Spearmint oil soothes,
Stones ground me.

This Routine is all too familiar.
Curl up, stay still.
Close eyes.
Breathe deep.
Ignore the explosive pain.

This Routine is all too familiar.
Listen to the pounding
Pulse in my ears,
The neverending whine.
Soundtrack of my life.

This Routine is all too familiar.
Door opens softly,
Muscles twitch anyway.
“Is there anything you need?”
Not now, maybe later.

This Routine is all too familiar.
The neighbors’ dogs bicker,
Birds’ evening calls,
So loud I recoil.
Silence is needed.

This Routine is all too familiar.
Breathe deep and slow.
Controlled descent.
Where shall I go?
Far away from here.

This Routine is all too familiar.

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A little change of pace from the seriousness of recent posts…

A Long Time Ago…
Let’s see, must have been about 31 years ago, I was in the midst of a teenage melt-down, and went from being the-child-terrified-of-doing-anything-wrong to a smoking, drinking, partying crazy person. My parents were newly divorced, and my mom & I had moved from my childhood home to a brand new townhouse.

My mother, unsuspecting of the depths of my wildness, made the mistake of leaving me home alone for a few days. While I didn’t have a “Risky Business” style affair, I did have a couple friends over, and we decided to make some frozen grape juice & vodka drinks we’d heard about. While I was only 16 or 17, alcohol was far too easily obtainable.

The recipie was simple: 1 can frozen concentrated grape juice, 1 can full of vodka, and blend & add ice & blend some more for a frozen delight, kind of like a slurpee with a kick.

Things started out smoothly, but the blender jammed on some ice cubes. Like an idiot, I put a spoon in & stirred the concoction, thinking I was only putting it down a little way.

Except I was distracted by the music & laughter.

And I hadn’t turned the blender off.

The inevitable insued. The spoon got caught in the blades, and quite literally exploded the blender. The container shattered, and frozen grape slush was instantly splattered everywhere.

Not only was it all over me, it was also on the cabinets, the walls, counter, floor. You name it, and it was dotted with deep purple.

Panic overcame me. Grape juice stains are some damn hard stains to get out!

We sprang into action, furiously mopping up the mess, trying to erase the evidence.

Floor & counter & cabinet were no problem.

The white wall over the counter was a big problem, as was an orange & white potholder hanging on the wall that a friend had given my mom that said “Over 40 & Feeling Foxy.”

With a little careful bleaching, the potholder came clean.

The wall was another story. The flat white paint had clear purple splotches even after much spraying & scrubbing.

Luckily for me, the builders had left the leftover paint in the basement. Yes, we painted the entire wall between the counter & the cabinets.

Somehow, it worked. I told my mother I’d been making slurpees and that’s how the blender got broken. I was into my 30’s before I told her the whole story.

Which brings us to today’s misadventure…
After only 4 hours of sleep, I had to get up to deal with the installation of our new heat pump. Exhausted. PEM. Talking to Rhiannon. Worrying about Kodi biting someone.

And making my medical shake.

I’ve made literally hundreds of frozen smoothies since my teenage mishap, with nary a problem. But today I lost focus.

The blender didn’t break, thankfully. But with a deafening pop, the thick stainless steel knife I was using to stir the concoction of juices, frozen raspberries, coconut milk, ice, and powders, snapped when it hit the blades.

As I looked in befuddlement at the knife handle left in my hand, my face dripping with frozen shake, the rest of the blade was still in the blender, until it shot out, further splattering cabinets, counters, floor & me with even more shake.

This time, there was a lot of laughter as Rhiannon helped me mop it all up. And we don’t need to re-paint the kitchen.

Lesson learned.

Again.

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Note: This is not the post I’ve been meaning to finish, the deep & touching one. That will come when it will…

“Brown hair zig-zag around her face and a look of half-surprise
Like a fox caught in the headlights, there was animal in her eyes…”

“Oh she was a rare thing, fine as a bee’s wing
So fine a breath of wind might blow her away
She was a lost child, oh she was running wild
She said, ‘As long as there’s no price on love, I’ll stay.
And you wouldn’t want me any other way”

          – Beeswing by Richard Thompson

Just for tonight, and maybe tomorrow,
I quit.

Just for tonight, and maybe tomorrow,
I’m going to be the person I was born to be.
The wild child who ran barefoot through the Forest,
The sapling Ash,
The dryad in training.

Just for tonight, and maybe tomorrow,
The trash can wait,
And the worries, too,
As I slip out from under responsibilities
And stress
And sickness
That threaten to drown me.

Just for tonight, and maybe tomorrow,
I’m gonna hold a bright leaf green stone,
And be young & free again,
Running wild through the forest in my mind.
Listening to the wind & scenting the rain,
But I refuse to be swamped by the migraine.

Just for tonight, and maybe tomorrow,
I’m gonna take enough meds to cancel out the pain.
Grey-streaked hair washed & finally clean again,
I cut it with abandon.
Silver-brown hair zig-zags around my face,
Curls over the tops of shoulders.

Just for tonight, and maybe tomorrow,
I refuse to be M.E.,
I’m gonna be me again,
The person I was born to be.
I’m gonna hold a bright leaf green stone,
Running wild through the forest in my mind.

“Oh she was a rare thing, fine as a bee’s wing
And I miss her more than ever words could say
If I could just taste all of her wildness now
If I could hold her in my arms today 
Well I wouldn’t want her any other way.”

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Many spiritual traditions teach the lesson of mindfulness: focusing on the here & now, being attentive & mindful of everything around you, that rises within your mind, but without grasping to hold on to it.

I’ve been practicing today, and here are some of the things I experienced…

Sun & warmth, the warmest day of the Spring. It calls to me, begs to be lain in, luxuriated in like a long hot soak in a tub full of water. Spring sunshine on my bare body, resting beneath the warm, life-giving sun. Muscles relax into limp pools as they melt in the warmth. So nice, the kiss of breeze, rolling around hot skin, a cooling touch, so gentle. The trees toss & turn under the deep blue sky, swaying so gracefully. Birds, newly returned, serenade my ears, flashing here & there as they work on nest-building. A woodpecker hunts for food, his rat-a-tat-tat echoing through the tree-drum and off the hills. The sound of humankind, carried from near, and as sometimes happens here, far: car engines, traffic, planes passing high overhead. Skin getting too warm, sweat beginning to flow. Shifting positions, redirecting the strength of the sun to other spots, muscles long tight loosening up  in the relentless warmth. The sky seen through the intersecting branches, the blue-purple mountains beyond. So beautiful, so peaceful, so safe. Perfection.

And from earlier:

I watch a pair of squirrels, perhaps 20′ away, and they were so absorbing. The first one, dashing to the ground, digging furiously, then dashing back up to her fallen branch perch. She sits and peels her find, always her ears listening, pausing to check for danger, then back to eating her  prized find. Finished, she assumes a different position, body slung low against the branch, tail flat, front legs extended & head stretched up high. She freezes in position, and I think I would not know she were there, so perfect is her camouflage, her stillness. She hold this position a long time, and it reminds me of a yoga position. Soon she is back to the ground, and another squirrel, smaller, scrawnier, joins her. He has but one thing on his mind, and tries to mount her several times. I wonder how long it takes squirrels,   and if he has succeeded before she turns & chases him off.  He is more brave – or foolish – than her. He rustles through the leaves on the ground, but she clearly wants to have the safety of a tree or branch under her feet – she dashes down, focusing on finding food, and returns a few feet up a tree or a branch. Several more times, she assumes the odd position, once while “upside down” – her tail flat against the tree to the top, body stretched out against it, front legs stretched out holding her chest & head up high, and freezes in position. Marking  her territory? Spreading her scent to call more males? It is entirely ritualistic, intensely instinctual. Altogether intriguing.

Not a bad day, all in all. Headache rising now, and very tired, but that’s okay.

Much better to focus on the gifts the Universe provides than those She takes away.


(Sun image from virgomerry)

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I’m pretty sure Rhiannon thinks I’ve lost what was left of my mind. Or, that the Spring Migration Sickness & it’s relentless need for change, any change, has driven me nuts.

I have a new creative outlet. A fresh & new medium to play with. Coolest of all is that the canvas is everchanging, ever renewing. Naturally.

My canvas? My hair. For years upon years it was down to my ass. But as I go through bouts of thyroid imbalance, I also go through  bouts of hair loss that drives me nuts. Hair everywhere. I’m “blowing my coat” just like Kasha-dog.

My solution? Trim my hair. Doesn’t stop the hair loss, but at least there’s less to clean up!

So, lately, I’ve been trimming a little here. Shaping a little there. Adding a few layers in between. A little bit at a time, everytime I wash it.

And you know what? I’m having fun doing it!

I figure I know my hair better than any expensive stylist. Know where the waves are, where it will form lovely spiral curls if I only give it a chance.

The cool thing about this “canvas,” this “artistic medium,” is that if I screw up, it’s okay, because despite the bouts of falling out by the handful, it still keeps growing in! Give it a month or two, and I can tinker with it a bit more.

Or, maybe I’ll figure out what I’m aiming for, and then the hard work of figuring  out how exactly I got it there will start. I’m a very unconventional hair cutter. No rules.

Right now, tonight, it’s got some new layers around my face, a little bit more of the intentionally unruly look, and I’m liking it. The gray  is showing more, and I’ve decided that’s really okay. Gotta happen sometime, since I stopped coloring it due to the whole toxin issue. I think I’ve earned the gray, so why not wear it proudly?

Most of all, I’m having fun. And that counts for a lot these days.

And don’t worry – not going too short. Just some angles on the side, a couple inches in the back… and a whole lot of wild!

(and I must admit to haven written this under the influence of Ambien intoxication)

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And back home!

I have no idea why I’m awake, but despite incredibly deep exhaustion, and waking up every hour to two all night long, I am. Have had maybe, all put together, 5 hours of sleep. Gonna try again in a few.

My visit home ran overtime, 3 nights instead of 2, as my car, which was in the shop at the dealer, wasn’t ready until Wednesday. But! I finally got it’s emissions issue fixed – the service engine soon light had been on for months. Thankfully, it was still covered under warrenty (federal emmisions warrenty goes to 80,000 miles or 8 years, btw – I had almost 77,000 miles on it) and I got two nice new catalytic converters on it. I shudder to think what that would have cost, otherwise. Did a few other odds & ends, and now it drives like a new car, or SUV.

Still no swimsuit for Rhiannon. We were both feeling so awful yesterday, migraines & tummy issues & too much stress for too many days… so, not much searching happened.

While it was nice seeing my mom & brother, I’m very happy to be home! And, so, too, are all my new plants, as I dug up a lot of her yard & brought back 2 pots of rudbeckia that started out at my house in Ohio, a pot of apple mint that started out at my house in Bedford when I was still married to Terra’s dad, two pots of lovely & rare staghorn fern, and a gorgeous double begonia!

Now, back to sleep I hope. And, still, nothing from Rhia’s aunt Peggy.

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