Friday, April 30, 2010

For Bethany

"Jump" Joseph Cambell says. 
He's right.
I know, I's been said over and over steps.
If I hadn't jumped... I would never have changed my life.
It takes full resolve and power of will to jump for your life and change.
Even little changes..not earth moving ones, need the power of JUMP
baby steps will get you somewhere..but you'll probably soon forget where that is
Now when you JUMP it's a literal leap of faith that you'll land
and it gets your adrenalin pumping and energy begets energy
even if it's to quietly meditate...
.You don't want to carry a regret with you....time runs with gusto..don't let your heart's desire get a seeker of a jouful soul and happy heart
JUMP today.....the water's fine

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

For some reason this photo stirs the words to an old song in my head:

Meet me at midnight Mary
same place we always go
Meet me at midnight Mary
and don't let anyone know-o
Don't let anyone know

Now what could that mean...oh well...goodnight
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Beautiful strong words

I found this quote in one of my journals.
It made me well up
with everything I have ever suffered.
Oh, yes, many porches and many songs.
Having spent the day with my mother yesterday,
I am reminded of how many songs she has song and gone on.
We women are blessed with voice.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Oh Chicago

This gave me a laugh on my way to my daughter's house...thought I'd share
You never know what you'll see going through this end of town......
At the next corner I saw a man reaching into a garbage can and pulling out a pair of jeans... then put them on...
always something... a slice of life
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I comforted a neighbor this morning who is going through some hard times and in comforting her I comforted myself...funny thing..
Everyone has an anniversary of the heart that still stings. It heals but never leaves...only a scar. But we go on..
All will be well I told her and I meant it. Forward is the direction.
Life is much of it free...just look around you ...take it in
...and it is fleeting...whether it be a day, a moment or 80 years.......
enjoy the days... sunshine or is worth living
your life......
and always does a being good
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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Magpie # 11

Willow at host a weekly writing prompt based on a photo.
...write a poem or vignette

This week's photo prompt:

I hid his father's fancy ebony and silver walking stick under the bed. He never cared about anything from his father...not the land, the money, or the legacy. His loyalty was with the bottle and women. Lots of women. I gave up long ago caring about anything from him...except the walking stick. It was so beautiful.
 When his mother brought it over years ago he threw it in the trash right in front of her.  They got into a big fight and she stormed out the door,and she never came back. She died last week and he's been on a bender ever since. But the day she left, as I chased after her to her car, she turned and grabbed my arm real hard and with a a voice as tempered as steel she said,
 "Grace, I brought the stick for you...use it....if you ever have to."
I guess she saw the startled look on my face because she went on.
"Don't think I don't know what goes on here, he's just like his father and his father before him...dirty stinking bastards. We other women couldn't get away, but you Grace, you have an education, you don't have to take  abuse. If he as much as lays one finger on you, you stick him!"
Those were her last words to me.
I wondered how long she knew about Collin's ways. For years I hid it. I chalked up his behavior to bad upbringing, thought I could teach him some new kinder ways of dealing with things. But I never could, instead he debased everything in our lives. And since his mother died, he's been down right evil. I avoided him the best I could. We got through the wake and funeral with barely a fight, but the luncheon afterwards was a trip down bastard way. He got me in the hallway and shoved me against the wall and grabbed my throat and threatened me that if I ever turned out like his slut of a mother I'd live to regret it. So I better get my ass back into the banquet hall and make nice nice to his friends from the job. I shook my head in compliance and went  back into the room and was the best darn wife a woman could pretend to be.
By time the luncheon was over he was already three sheets to the wind, but insisted that I go home and he would come along later....he'd get a ride home from Johnny Spence.
 "Go home  and wait for me." he said.
I did just that. I waited and waited, finally put dinner away and went to lie down thinking of all the ways I could tell him I was leaving, then  fell asleep... my fingertips touching the silver of the stick just under the bed.
When Collin staggered in late that night he stumbled into the bedroom and began calling me a slut and ripped the blankets off of me and started in on my nightclothes, ripping them and throwing them across the bed. Despite my pleas he began to straddle me and forced himself on me, his breath hot and spewing alcohol. I tried to push him off  and he began punching my face and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't keep him out of me and I screamed that  he was hurting me. "You bitches are all alike," he said as his hands closed around my neck... and I began to see my life ending. It was being choked out of me. Somehow my fingers remembered the walking stick just within reach. I heaved my body just enough to stretch over and grab the stick and with a shreik I brought that silver and ebony rod down across the back of his head and he let go his grip and I took a life breath as he began struggling with me and I managed to bring it down again, this time a clean blow to the side of his head and he fell over on top of me moaning and bleeding. I shoved him off of me and rolled out of bed and ran for the door... casting one last look back at the ebony and silver.

Micro fiction #28

Thanks to Kitty Dranem for hosting this weeks 140 character writing prompt!

I warned him. One more smart remark and I'd wave my wand and he'd be back to being an old goat on a soapbox. He just couldn't shut up.

****if only :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

I got me taken care of today. My friend, Staci, squeezed me in for a root touch up. Nothing will get you down more than roots showing on blonde hair. She always tries to tweek it up a bit....last time she ramped it up to almost platinum...whoa! Staci, I said...I need you to tone it down a bit...My "chic" is gone. Well, she just about spun my chair around so fast I almost had lift off ...WHAT DO MEAN! she says..her eyes wide like a crazy Greek woman (which she is)
Just tone it down...until my inside matches my outside.
But this sweet caring woman knew it was more than hair. So she did tone it down to a nice ash blonde...not saying another word
until....I was ready to leave
Listen,she says...get through the next couple of weeks..then we'll work out together...Heck I NEED YOU to rustle my rear to the gym...We can walk....and heck..I'll even try your pillots...(I knew she meant Pilates,bless her heart) We'll get your chic back in no time..
We'll head for Oakbrook and shop our heads off when we're back in shape.....I love spending your money..right?
She's right..she does....but she has such a good eye for clothes and ex-cess0ories
I'm doing....I said....and she knew what I meant.......can I find my way back?...I'm going to be 60 this December...GASP!!! I couldn't believe I said it outloud. Can you still be a chic at ...I can't say it again!
She gave me a big hug...she knows how hard I worked so late in life to find myself and what I liked...
Sure you know.. I bought a new DVD the other day...I'll let you watch it...It's called the Cougar Workout
Good grief........that made me laugh my arse off......
What's Rachel got that we don't have?
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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Kitchen window

This is the window above the sink in my kitchen. Time to clear it I can look out at summer.
In the winter I like to put the colorful glass up to keep me hopeful....
Things there:
sage feathers in a glass vase that holds rocks collected from California beaches by my grandkids
spirit rock
love rock
easter lily from hubby
oxalis that I love to watch it leaves fold up at night and it has the most cheerful dainty white flowers
and the bowl it is in has people faces for legs and it's cobolt blue
hanging over the window is a stained glass picture of birds..I love birds
and then maybe you can see the the metal bird hanging off of it
with the blue marble...
A gal's got to be surounded by the things that lift her heart
sometimes that is all that there is in that day
that does
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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Magpie tale #10

Willow, at hosts a weekly writing prompt

using the below photo. Write a poem or vignettte

I got his pocket watch... still in the original velvet box with the satin lining. 
Never used, saved for a special occassion, and I guess in all his 60 years on this earth there never was one   because, I never saw him with it. But then again, I never saw much of him.. He traveled around the world making deals...making money...he said, for I wouldn't have to work as hard as he. I would have rather had a father. But I got the watch...still in the pristine packaging.

Before they closed the casket I bowed my head in respect and dropped the ornately engraved,Roman numeraled, silver, pocket watch into his coffin.
All I wanted was you ,dad, I whispered over him.
 I turned and walked back to the pew somber that I had given him back the watch for this special occassion.
 It was the least I could do for him.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Microfiction Monday # 27

Susan,over at host a weekly writing prompt.  Using only 140 characters
write a story or poem

This week's photo prompt

Hold that Pose!
"My feet are killing me."
"Well,I can't breath in this corset."
"Yea, well you think you have it bad, I have to go pee!" 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

What's that grandma?

Reagan loves her grandma. She wants to know everything. Why this grandma..why that grandma? How come? can I go? I don't have this at home.....hint hint. And she heard my garden gong....and her eyes widened and her ears were up like a poochies....what's that grandma? A gong. What's a gong? When the wind goes through grandma's garden it touches the string and the little wooden circle moves and touches the golden plate and makes a pretty sound that let's grandma know that the wind has visited. OOO! she liked this..wanted to touch it....."I'm the wind!"
Oh to believe that we can be the wind......that easily!
Will she remember the gong when she is grown up like I remember the sound of sparrows chirping in the nests in my grandma's neighbor's gutter..just under the roof shingles? I remember lying in bed next to my grandma..listening to the awakening birds....happy..happy to by grandma Sophie. I'm certain she was disgusted by the birds nesting so close to her house..but to me it was a special sound that I connect to her.......happy chirping sparrows
Will Reagan remember the sound of the gong and grandma's garden...and me?
We never know what a child remembers or connects with.....if only we had that power.
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Monday, April 12, 2010

Magpie tale #9

Willow, over at hosts a weekly writing prompt.
Using the below photo prompt... Write a vignette or poem

The cosmetic clerk lifted the golden cap and revealed the most lushest brown lipstick.
She twirled the narrow barrel and the brown creamy stick rose like a man ready to party.
"It's called Bewilderment," she said swiping a q-tip over its top then running it over my wrist."Hottest color of the season. It's you,a more perfect color you couldn't find. He'll love it."
How could I tell her there was no he
"There is no he." The words just came out...just like that.
"Oh, I'm so sorry," she said making it worse, "Maybe you'd like Precious Pink, over here."
This pissed me off. What did this twenty something high school drop out know about my life? Why just look at her. Bleached blonde hair and false eyelashes. What could a girl like this possibly know about anything?
"Well you just think about it... while I go over and help that man," she said dismissing me.
I watched as she walked away with a wiggle,noticing her black pencil skirt with the white shirt. While talking to the gentleman she gestured over to me and I noticed her blouse was open just enough to show lace and fire red coral beads around her white neck. She and the man smiled at me and then went on talking.
Could they be talking about me? I wondered. She told him... I don't have a man...damn her!
I pretended to look around at the samples on the counter,twirling the tubes and making them rise over and over again until she walked back and said the gentleman over there wonders if you could help him decide.
"Me?" I said like I was some kind of boob.
"Yes, he said you are a classy looking woman and he wondered if you could help him pick out something for his sister. He says she's rather conservative. I guess he thought my professional opinion meant nothing. Do you want to help him or not?"
I looked over at the gentleman and noticed the little sheep embroidered on his shirt ...BrooksBrothers.
"Sure, no problem," I said rather enjoying my rise in status.
For the next 20 minutes I relished in the life of a man I didn't know, learned that he was a business man, liked the opera, had one sister and was never married...and that he was hungry. Did I want to have lunch across the street at Cafe 55?
The salesclerk, annoyed at our incessant chatting, finally interrupted and wanted to know if we had made a decision. "I have other customers that need attention."
"I think you would look nice in that color," he said pointing to Take a Risk Red,a luscious smile on his face.
"Do you think so?" I flirted back
"She'll take Take a Risk Red and I'll take Precious Pink for my sister. She doesn't have a man either," he said with a bit of a laugh in his voice,"except for me."
"Fine," she said ringing up the sales,then looking at me, "but, I think Bewilderment would be my choice for you."
We made our purchases then walked across the street and settled into a quiet booth at Cafe 55.
"Lunch was wonderful, may I see you again?" he asked paying the waitress.
"Sure," I said, handing him my phone number.
Three days later cops came to my door and asked if I knew the man in the photo they showed me. It was Anthony, the man I met at Macy's department store. "Why?" I asked.
"We found your phone number in his wallet along with a receipt for lipstick. When was the last time you talked to him?"
"I just met him...that the cosmetic counter..he was buying lipstick for his sister...and I helped him pick out a color. Is something wrong?"
"He's dead...someone shot him. You better get your coat and come with us. There are some questions we want to ask you about your man."
" But I told you,I just met him."
"Well, the cosmetic girl says different. She says she saw you two leave together. And as far as we can figure you were the last one to be with him. So get your coat."
There was a sharp ache in my stomach. "Mind if I freshen up?" I asked.
"No, but be quick about it."
I reached into my purse and pulled out the tube of Take a Risk Red and began twirling the cool gold tube until its creamy stick rose with its slanted top. With my compact mirror in hand I slid the hot brazen red color across my lips knowing the clerk was right, Bewilderment was more my color.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Microfiction Monday #26

Susan at host a weekly writing
prompt where you write a story or poem using only 140 character or less.

                                                          This week's photo prompt:
White beauty
your Swan wildness harnessed
by clipped wings
Your kingdom now:
with grace

Monday, April 5, 2010

they're coming next week

So much of your ordinary
I have missed
Thank goodness for UPS
and Mr. Skype
or I'd hardly know much at all
except for the whirlwind visits
when I couldn't stop my heart from
breaking when you packed your toys
and books
to go on the airplane
back to your dog
back to your house
back to where I don't live

This time when you come
I'm going to have you
plant some seeds
I'll water them
watch them grow
hope you'll return before they flower little flowers
of my bouquet of life...
..grow where you're planted
your soil is full of my love
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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Microfiction Monday # 25

hosts a weekly writing prompt written in 140 characters or less.

This is the photo prompt:

The tiny Easter card was in the children's book hidden behind attic boards. Across the back were the words,
Don't tell.
I never did.

My Easter thoughts


The resurrection of Jesus Christ
makes living a gift
a life lived in joy
And dying...
a glorious homecoming!
Love to you all this Easter morning
Peace that passes all
be yours

Friday, April 2, 2010

Magpie tale #8

Willow,at host a weekly writing prompt.
Write a vignette or poem using the photo below.


This week's photo prompt:

"Take what you want," our friend Emily said pointing to items on her dining room table that were piled so high that it looked like a church rummage sale.
Harriet made a comment that the items were of value and surely George's daughter, Wendy, must want them.

"I didn't ask her," Emily said ,"all I've been to her all these years is a babysitter and spitwiper for her father. No, I'm not giving her anything. I asked my daughter  and she took the old Aunt Jemima cookie jar and sugar and creamer set. She claims it's worth $750.

Betty leaned over and picked up the hand crochet tablecloth and bedspread.
"Surely,Emily, these were made by her mother and she would want them. Did you ask George about this before he died?"

That's when I remembered seeing Emily in the grocery store a month before George, her second husband,had died.
I remember the glee with which she told me about getting him to sign over the last CD to her. And the fury that came out of her eyes as she said she couldn't change the house....damn she couldn't change the house.
At that time I thought she was a weary frightened old woman...afraid of being alone and broke. But now I see her real deviousness. She was going to deprive her step daughter  of her mother's things to get even.

"I told her I didn't know where any of these things were..her father must have thrown them out after she died." Em said with a smirk.

We stood there silent. Who was this woman before us. We knew her to be a long suffering devoted wife to her sick husband and granny good baker to her step grandchildren.
"If you don't want anything, I'm just going to dump it at Goodwill tomorrow."

That's when I spotted the hand painted porcelain egg on the gold stand. I picked it up and saw that it was a depiction of a man trying to catch the Phoenix. There was a trowel in his hand. Had he disturbed the bird before its ascension or had he deliberately tried to dig it up before it flew away?
"I'll take this Emily. What do you want for it?"
"Just take it, it's ugly anyway," she said.
"No, I want to pay for it.I'll give you thirty dollars for it," I said reaching into my purse and pulling out 3 tens.
She didn't say a word but kissed my cheek with a smile then grabbed the money and went into the kitchen to put out the sandwiches for our lunch.

Not another word was said about Emily's treasures. Betty bought the tablecloth and bedspread.
We were the last to leave Emily's house that day and as we got into our cars, we nodded at each other and   headed straight to Wendy's house, 
to offer these gifts to the sun that they may have life again. 

Incense and prayer

I am not Catholic but have always been fascinated by their rituals, like the Priest waving incense at a funeral...the clicking of the chains as smoke rose up to heaven. You want to know what kind of rebel I was as a teenager..I went with my Catholic girlfriend on Holy Thursday to visit various Catholic churches. How things have changed.
Anyway, while in Galena a few weeks back my good merchant friend found me an incense burner. He said they were hard to come by..but he found me one. His shop is filled with church items from old Churches that have been least that's what he says....I'm still having him look for an old HYMN board for me. You see, I was raised Lutheran and we Lutherans like to sing. The churches now don't use hymn boards!...give me a hymn board. I'm showing my age.. I know...but when you get to where I what.
Buzz, my favorite merchant, says Lutheran stuff doesn't show up too often.....but I have given him something to aim for on his hunts through the countryside.
Well, I took this burner home and am going to use it on my deck on a summer's evening...He even gave me some monk incense to burn to add to my experieince....yes, my husband thinks I'm nuts...but when you get to where I what
As I placed it on the deck rail to take a photo for you...I was struck with guilt. Is this wrong to take a sacred object and use it this way?
My heart would be in a religious realm when it is burning sage...does that count? In the sanctuary of my garden? God dwells there after all......He is in the wind and the rain and the morning sunlight...He is the light.
Now I can get to what I really wanted to ask you.....what request is not worthy of prayer...a waste of prayer...trivial....using up your three wishes so to speak.....
I had to tell you about the burner to put you in my head and its thinking
While watching Finn the other day...and he was other daughter called crying hysterically...her kitty, Frannypants, had gotten out....My daughter just moved to her new condo...and in the processs the kitty got out.......
My daughter saved Frannypants and her 5 kitten in a rain storm one she is very bonded to this kitty. My daughter was in great distress....and I had just gotten Finn to sleep on my lap... and I had to whisper my words of comfort and advise.
When she hung up I began to cry and prayed,prayed for my daughter in her distress that God would deliver Frannypants back to her. The same guilt came over me....Is it wrong to pray for a lost cat's return....there are bigger issues........But this was a day of trouble for someone I loved and I prayed....and I apologized to God for the frivilousness of my request.....but I tempered it with my daughter's suffering.......
and Franny pants was found. My prayer had been answered.....I guess He thought it worthy.....or He just was filled with love for me...who knows why some prayers are answered our I let go of my guilt and gave thanks......knowing God answered it His way

To those of you who are Christians, I wish for you a solemn day of reflection
of the greatest love.....on this Good Friday
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Thursday, April 1, 2010

I have a love affair with old books,especially childrens books and readers. About 10 years ago I was visiting my favorite thrift store and there right in the front of the store were dozens of old books on tables. I had fifty bucks in my pocket. It was like that first drink. I finally had to make choices (damn) I chose the Don Quixote four volume set and Irvings Works. I paid 40 dollars for all.
They sat on this bookcase for years until about 5 years ago when one early morning I heard that the antique road show guys would be in a northshore suburb appraising for charity. My husband and I packed up a painting I had purchased at an antique store and these books.
I waited in line with the books and my husband had the old painting.
I t was warm and sunny and the lines were long. Are you anticipating yet?
I looked over to my husband's line and saw that he was getting rather impatient. But soon I was next and the man took my books and looked them over carefully. ..Wanted to know where I got them...and how much did I pay for them. After I told him he took the books over to where my husband was waiting in line and interrupted the other appraiser and showed him the books.
Excited yet? the man returned and pointed out that the plates were hand colored plates and I should never take them out of the book to sell them. He then held one up to me and said my entire set was worth about $10,000.00..and may be first edition of this translation.
Not bad for a day of thrifting.
My husband didn't do so bad. If we could prove that this painting was from a Disney animator it may be worth $3000.00 And by itself it was worth $500.00.
That was the old thrift stores have people come in to take a look before anything hits the floor. Once in awhile something gets through...but not often. It's the thrill of the hunt though for most of us. And that day I was rewarded.
I found a last will and testament in an old book of poetry.....but that's another story for another day.....
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