Saturday, June 30, 2012

Moving the woodpile

Getting older is odd.  I moved a wood pile today - a big woodpile full of boards, some short and some maybe fifteen feet long.  They were heavy and it was not Texas hot, but warm all the same.  I got burrs in my hair and scratched up my hands and i was probably buch slower than my daughter would have been.  My body is tired tonight.  I am very happy to be in my bed in an airconditioned house with my lap top.  I know moving that wood pile was harder for me than it would have been ten years ago, but I moved a wood pile today.  I realize how lucky I am to be sixty one and alive and still able to move a wood pile and have people around with whom to work on projects we all care about.

Oh, there was treasure in the woodpile, a pair of gorgeous king snakes, each looking like a jeweled rope about four feet long.  I learned from Chris that femail king shakes have thicker bodies and narrower tails than males.  We definitely had one of each shape.  they were slightly different in coloration too, both with much glossy black, but he with a pattern more golden to apricot and she more golden to violet - such pretty snakes both of them.  We wished for a big aquarium for a minute, but it seems better to let them be wild.  I was pleased that Liam seemed to understand that snakes like these are beautiful to look at, not scary if Daddy says they aren't venemous, but to be respected as wild and not bothered or touched.

And on a funny (now) note, it is much easier to get burrs in your hair than I ever would have thought.  I had hundreds all over my body, head, and clothes at one point this afternoon.  It is also easier to get them out of long hair than I ever imagined.  If you ever have a mane full of burrs, don't panic and use an absurd amount of conditioner and a good brush.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Illogical reisistance to sleep

I don't want to go to bed and it's almost four in the morning.  I start work at nine and I have a long day.  This is more than slightly nuts.  At first I thought I was just enjoying a quiet house to get some writing done, but then I realized that I don't want to go to sleep because my sister in law heidi is having a Beta knife procedure to remove brain tumors tomorrow.  Odds are she will do fine.  I'm not even worrying exactly, but I think I have this "thing" that if I don't go to sleep the next day won't come and if it won't come nothing bad can happen.  DUh!!!!!!  THe only thing that will happen if I don't go to bed is that I'll be tired and do less of a good job tomorrow.  So good night.

Monday, June 25, 2012


Families are complicated.  At least mine is.  Two things are absolutely true.  People make mistakes and people love each other anyway.  When Joanna and James separated I was plenty mad at him and never expected to have much of an ongoing relationship with him.  I also had many sweet memories of him and alot of history with him.,  Today James was at our house to bury Joanna's last childhood cat, Stripers.  Stripers was born in James' lap back when he and Joanna wre newly in love.  Many things have gone wrong and right since then, but there he was in our yard today, crying as he buried the cat who had been very much part of the family life he and Joanna built and lost.  I felt respect for James and Joanna both for being able to be sweet and helpful to each other at the time of the death of their beloved kitty.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Quiet House Friday Night

feels just right.  Even though I only worked two days this week they were intense days and I'm tired.  I'm thinking about comments people I respect made on my post about talking about politics and religion - also about some Facebook comments on political posts which were just contemptuous and not on the content.  I don't understand why people go personal and ugly on complex topics that really require much discussion and thought - important topics that really aren't personal but universal.  It just makes no sense to me.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I'm just off a great little writing retreat with Bob in our San Antonio condo.  he wrote alot.  I wrote some, made my minimal deadline at least, and rested some, knitted some, continued to read The Streetsweeper , which I continue to love. Being back at work today felt good, productive.  Tonigh at dinner Liam just slid out of his chair and disappeared after having eaten a little.  When I went to check on him a few minutes later he was sound asleep in his bed.  Tired, I guess.  His sweet innocent spirit is so trusting.  He can just go to sleep whenever he feels like it and trust that the rest of us will keep him safe.  I guess we all felt that way as babies - lost it somewhere along the way.  Terrifying phone calls can rupture the night.  Houses can catch fire. The person lying next to one can just stop breathing.  Liam doesn't know any of that and I'm glad he won't have to for a while yet, probably.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


When Bob and I married Joanna was in fifth grade and Ruth in second.  Their Daddy had been dead about three years. One of the many things I loved about Bob was that he wanted a family not just a wife, and the fact that I came with two little girls was clearly a positive for him.  Before we married I read that creating a blended family took at least three years.  But of course that was for ordinary people, not for uswith oour high intelligence and vast knowledge of personal interactions.  Boy was I wrong.  It took us more than three years, maybe closer to ten, to really become a real family, deeply connected at all points, every connection independently strong.  It was really hard.  I was protective of the girls and of decisions I had made about how to raise them and didn't listen well to Bob's ideas at times.  Joanna was fiercely attached to the memory of her beloved dead father.  Ruth felt guilty she didn't really remember her Daddy, and yet fely guilty too about really bonding with Bob because that seemed like a betrayal of her sister (and maybe her Daddy?).  Bob  tried and tried through all of this.  He took us on wonderful trips the girls remember with delight.  He took them out on Wednesday nights one on one for yeras, working on getting to know each of them and giving them special treats.  He took great care of them when they were sick. He defended them against me when I was unreasonable. And somewhere along the way  it took and we really did become a family.  i am so thankful.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Breaking the Rules

        I think it's odd and wrong that "they" (whoever they are) caution against talking about religion and politics.  I can understand not being allowed to ask someone when she last had sex or what size underwear she wears, or even how she feels about her son's learning disability or if she ever regrets having married her husband.  Privacy and personaly boundaries do make sense to me.  But religion and politics touch the whole, all of us.  They are communal, not individual matters.  We're allowed to talk about the weather, which surely affects us in a daily way, but over which we have no short term influenc. We're allowed to talk about celebrities, sports, movies, fashion, games, all sorts of diversions and entertainments.  We're allowed to talk about ideas and theories in the abstract, at least, to build handles with which to grab at life's challenges and maybe budge some of them.  We are allowed, to some extent to talk about individual relationships and family relationships.  Often we allow ourselves to gossip and complain.  But when it gets concrete and large scale, down to talking  about religion ) our relationship to any divine foce that may or may not exist) or politics  (finding ways to get along locazlly, nationally, internationally in ways that work), there is that injunction.  Don't talk about religion or politics.

       It really bothers me.  We have more control over religious and political decisions than we do over the weather, and they affect us at least as much.  Surely they are more important than any form of entertainment.Talking about ideas in the abstract and focusiing on personal relationships is good, vital, helpful, but I need a bigger context, an openness about talking about the whole deal, human to divine to human to human to earth to animal to earth to the divine - all around in the big circle of birth and death.,  I can learn from people who disagree with me as well as from people who agreee.  There are so many obvious problems in the physical and interpersonal world, We need all our minds, hearts, spirits, bodies focused on solutions.  We need to be able to talk to each other respectfully and openly on all topics

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Food for thought

The real power of the majority is for their views to be so pervasive as to become invisible,
for those of us in the minority to not even realize when we're being wronged.

- Eric Scott

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

It was a hard work day, for no particular reason.  I got home to help KK pack up to go to San Antonio for the summer.  I already miss her. I really honor Joanna for the way she loves KK enough to be away from her so much of the time so the kid can pursue her dance training.  I talked to Joanna this evening and she's working too hard, too tired, trying so hard to make life work for her family.  So is Tray.  Things are getting better for them, but I wish it weren't so hard.  

Ruth baked and decorated a beautiful little wedding cake to celebrate her twelveth wedding anniversary with Chris and, after she had photographed it and we had each had a delicious piece, she left it for a minute and Bob's dog (yes I do realise I'm not claiming connection here) ate the whole thing.  Very frustrating.  I know animals follow their instincts, but he does know not to eat off the table!   Bad dog!

I seem to have the blues tonight.  Two good things, a storm blew in and gave us a little rain and broke the heat.  KK's grades and state test scores all came in the mail and she did quite well - a relief on the standardized tests because she's just dyslexic enough to still find the reading of long tests tedious and tiring and they happened the same week as a major dance performance.. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Trying again, again

I don't know what's with me and blogging.  I have had plenty to say, more and less important, and I just haven't been saying it.  I keep restarting and flaking out again.  So I'm restarting again and know that doesn't guarantee anything. But I want to write down what I want to write down and at least I'm typing tonight instead of  coming to this site and staring at a blank screen.  That's something. 

Random facts:

KK went to New York and sang at Lincoln Center and rode the subway to the World Trade Center site and saw the musical Chicago on Broadway and came home glowing in a shirt that says, on a black and white city scape, "New York Loves Me/"

Chris and Ruth have been married twelve years.  i asked his advice on marriage tonight at dinner and he said "Listen to each other."  and "Assume the other person has good intentions toward  you, even when you are fighting."   Wise young man.

The crepe myrtles are still bright and beautiful and lush even though its getting hot at hasn't rained for a week or so.

The office is more or less back together but the building still feels sterile.  That makes me sad. 
I hope we can shift the vibe.

Kerry's been dead almost 26 years.  He would love this technology age.  The early computers fascinated him.  i wonder who he would be today.  I never will know, never can know.  I remember him with great tenderness and, come summer every year, some sadness. 

I love being married to Bob, who also loves technology and who has shown me a world of wildness and travel adventures, birds, and a deep conviction toward social justice. He also takes really good care of me.

Life is hard and life is good.