Friday, May 25, 2007


I'm losing friends. By attrition, mostly. But a few by death.

You see. I've come to what the French call un femme de certain age - a woman, mature. There's a point where we all start to watch the obituaries to see if there are familiar names. Sometimes, we hit the jackpot by attention. Other times, if we keep our friends close, we know when their bans to the Pearly Gates will appear in the paper.

I have three of my girls on the edge of check out at this time. Oh. There is always the occasional surprise where one of us 'young chicks' will phase out before our time in a sudden accident. Like SIDS, the mature can go too, unannounced, unexpected, and unwarranted.

I have one in hospital. Critical care unit in town. I'm too chicken shit to call and find out her status because I've promised her that if she dies, I'll kill her. Afraid I'll have to follow through because her son, a NASA scientist, tells me she's fatalistic. Another is in full term adult care, wasting away of a disease that struck her down. Like the Gaelic Boddicia of old, Sally is six foot tall. She was a cop - twenty years worth of manhandling the bad side of life. I have her marked on the doorpost on the archway in my living room to the dining room of my old house along with my child; his friends, my friends, and whoever made enough impact or asked to be tallied up to stature here.

So. Sally Jo was part of the conversation at the whenever number next get-together of The Committee. This is a group of us women that have been meeting since we all gathered for the first meeting of a Codependents Anonymous group I put together back in the 80s. We all bonded. Only one of us dropped the ball for a spiritual quest at Ba'hai. The rest of us have more or less kept covenant with each other since.

Sally has an incurable disease called Supranuclear Progressive Palsy. It will end up choking her as her throat muscles give up the ability to clamp down and loosen. Sal is sixty something. Awful shitting young to have to say adieu. I have told her sister Katy that I did not want her to strangle. Katy agreed. I will be second in the duel if needed. You understand what I'm saying.

Shirley, on the other hand, is as hard as rocks and as fragile as a lotus in her seventies. She's spiritual leader and divine hag and crone for at least three hundred seeking individuals she guides from her quaint book and herb store where there are resident spirits. She has worked hard all her life. She is integrity exemplified. She has taught me how to use my mean bones so that I wouldn't get stepped on. In her seventy-somethings, she still has the best gams around left over from a modeling career where she sported Russian Wolfhounds down a runway. She's had the umpty-umphth operation on a recalcitrant colon in ex many years. All leave scar tissue, a little less colon, and this time, fistulas.

Fistula. Sounds like a Roman Emperor, a Caesar that rampages through the good land of a body that was once brave and strong and beautiful. She is the one that I can't seem to bring myself to follow up on. I've talked to her son. He gives me news that isn't welcome. There is something in his reports that tell me she has given up. Fatalistic. Or almost. Either way. Almost is too close.
The third chasing Death is Miz Miriam down the street. She walked up to the house here about two months ago to tell me in person that she has CML - some kind of chronic leukemia that strikes later in life. Miriam is 82. She has raised her children. She's raised her grandchildren. She's also raised her GREAT grand children. She gardens. She curses. I've seen her dive in the creek to rescue a child overboard on a bike like she was 16 years old. She asked me to try to help her find some cannibus to treat the awful pain that she cannot take opiates for. She gets ill on pain meds. I am a friend. The mission was unsucessful. That's all I have to say about that.

So. What do I have to say to you tonight? Wisdom? I don't have any. I am wallowing in my own insecurities and skitters at being left with three less good women. I will be losing these very special people from my life. I don't know how to do anything other than honor them by kicking my own ass in gear and getting on with the Cosmic Cotillion that we sign onto when we check onto Planet Earth.

I believe in an afterlife. I must. Neither the purported rapture nor glory calms my soul as much as believing that I will have the chance to touch the ones I love, have loved again. Or that I will have the chance to come back and make it a little better the next time. I hope to see Miriam, Sally Jo and Shirley on the next taxi back to planet Earth. They are good company.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I volunteered to answer Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi's question on Global Warming legislation. She asked, "Congress is working on legislation to address global warming - what would you like to see included?" My answer follows:

Spend the billions flowing into the war in Iraq on research and development. Set up wind farms whereever possible. Give rebates to homeowners who retrofit or build in solar hooked to grid. There's a new peel-n'-stick in town already - cheap and very efficient.

Use the new New Jersey technology to turn waste into oil in a day in a really nifty high compression heat machine that could fit in every garage and stop putting the trash in landfills. Dismantle the oilrigs and use them to rebuild the reefs which are dying from bleaching.

Mandate the end of the incandesent lightbulb and the total use of compact neon or LED lighting in all public buildings and rebate the switch in homes by 2010.

Order carmakers to dust off technology to expand mileage in all new model cars starting in 2010 and outlaw any non-commercial vehicle that gets less than 10 mpg. Retro-fit all diesels to burn bio fuel made with waste fryer oil from fast food restaurants.

Build all new homes green with ambient light and passive heating and cooling. Explore sources of ambient energy coming from the ground. Teach a grade school level class in every American school about recycling, planetary weather changes and train them from birth about living green. Create a new graduate level degree in everything listed here, a Masters or Doctorate of Ecology.

Educate the public about overpopulation and the severe impact it has on our planet and each other. Encourage 2 children per family. It would really make a statement if you could make families who have litters of children wear tee shirts that say, "My family is helping to kill the planet".

Outlaw disposable razors, plastic diapers, plastic containers, disposable anything. Make packaging slim down with new engineering techniques. Encourage bulk food bins in grocery stores with refillable/reusable containers.

Recycle existing plastics into durable playgrounds, sidewalks and furniture then don't make any more. Mine land fills for methane gas, plastic and foder for the New Jersey oil mill machine.

Create a new cabinet position for an Energy and Global Warming. Give it some teeth and law enforcement ability, mandate it to educate as well, then put Al Gore in charge. Restructure the EPA to be totally independent of any political influence and let it be staffed by publically elected officials subject to impeachment and firing if they belly under the influence of corporate officials or their lobbyists.

Put the emphasis of government back on the people and take away the influence and sacred-cow status of corporations. Make it a felony offense for any public official from the White House on down to accept money or gifts in order to by-pass green standards or carbon emissions.

Make it a felony to illegally dump any hazardous waste for any individual and company. Make littering a misdemeanor with heavy fines of $1,000.00.

Outlaw any war. They are not eco-friendly and waste money that could be spent on education, cleaning up the planet, and a better life for all of us.

And please...Sign the dang Kyoto Accord already!!

Mother Earth News - Peel and Stick PV panels, living green, alternative energy.Nikolai Tesla - The Father of alternative energy sources-just read his books.

The Apollo Project-named after Kennedy's push for landing a man on the moon, this non-profit group encourages all forms of energy independence from oil and is a clearing house for new ideas.

New York Times just had an article on new engineering designs for containers that can hold the same amount of product with less plastic

I'm #2693 if you want to see the question on Yahoo's Answers. Vote for me and add your own.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Coffee Bean Man

I've been so serious lately that I thought I'd try to lighten up just a bit. Pissed off Cat was one, now here's another.

Supposedly, doctors (which ones, I wonder) have concluded that if you find the man in the coffee beans in 3 seconds, your right half of your brain is better developed than most people. If you find the man between 3 seconds and 1 minute, your right half of the brain is developed normally. If you find the man between 1 minute and 3 minutes, then the right half of your brain is functioning slowly and you need to eat more protein. If you have not found the man after 3 minutes, the advice is to look for more of this type of exercise to make that part of the brain stronger!!! And, yes, the man is really there!!!

Once you see him, it's impossible NOT to see him! Have fun and exercise your brain!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Pissed Off Cat

I just had to share this with you. Granted. The language is more than graphic, but it spoke to my heart. I had a drive and did close to the same thing at every car rolling by, innocent or not. When I realized what I was doing, I started laughing at myself. Talk about Road Rage!

I watch people in cars. I know that's unusual. We're set up to just watch the car as if IT was alone and making decisions to accelerate, brake, turn, hesitate or just cruise. It's a little like being in Christine, the movie about the maelific car who deliberately tries to kill folk.

So. I open the mailbox and here sits Pissed Off Cat sent to me by Martha. M says she got a note from her sister, Celia in Alabama who was tempted to do a genealogy search to see if their family was related to the cat in any way. M allowed that it could be the case.

Cars are our last bastion of privacy. We can pick our nose, sing, curse, think and even scream (ahem) on occaision - all with impugnity. That is, until Homeland Security figures out how to listen in by building bugging and homing devices in every Detroit model.

Mother's Day

There will be no cards, no call, no declaration of love from my one and only child. I am a scourge to him. The beautiful child who was a miracle to my life has me as anathema to his as he became a man.

He has just cause for many psychoses we all bequeath our children, even if we try our damndest not too. After all. How many couches would go bare in psychiatrist’s office if we didn't have someone to blame all the pestilence and ill luck that burgeons in our lives as we grow up. Someone to blame like our mothers. He could claim that I wasn't there a good bit of his growing up time and he'd be right. I was not there. I was dealing with juggling three different hats just trying to put food on the table and a roof over our heads.

And, don't you know that his father and I played the eternal tug of war many single mothers and divorced fathers play - a begrudging fight for every dime of the paltry sum the courts awarded me monthly to raise a boy to a man without one. I went five years without any payment whatsoever as my ex moved on to wife number two and then number three, had other children and declared that he indeed had a family to worry about and couldn't understand why I nagged him about paying money for his first born on my first call to him in five years.

I had requested a pair of shoes from my ex because I noticed my son running funny and asked him what was wrong. He told me that he folded his toes under in his old shoes because he knew that I didn't have money to buy him any for his growing feet and that it was okay. He understood. So.

I located the ex and asked for a new pair of sneakers. This is when I got the sentence about being a nag. This is after five years of no calls and just hope that he'd find a conscience and pay up. This is when I got pissed and contacted the state to help intervene. This is just one of the setups some of us mothers get from the 'system'.

He may also blame me for his father's absence and failure to pick him up on scheduled visits. I don't now how to convince him that his dad really did want to be with another woman and was sorry about getting all obligated by impregnating me. I don't know how to convince him that there was nothing I could have done to make his father continue to love and treasure us both and to stay. I don't know how to convince him that my best friend of the time was much more appealing than a dowdy housewive with a two year old. It's the system.

Now. When I speak of the system, I am talking the whole stink, soup to nuts. You see. We do not really honor motherhood. Ah yes, you say. There's mother's day, the whole American charm bracelet with mom, home and apple pie on it. There is this patriarchal meringue we're fed about how mothers and children are important. Not really. And then there is this outer system and society that sets up dodgy sitches for us if we do become mothers: Where was/is the health care system so we don't have to beg for school shots and treatment for recurrent earaches? Where was/is the judicial system that really makes sure that child support really supports a child instead of throwing pocket change at an already really skinny situation like groceries being on a wish list? Where was/is the community that helps with child care, psychological services, help with a damn day off? Where was/are the wages that honestly allow a woman on her own to afford a decent life for her offspring?

Am I bitter? No. Simply older, wiser and disgusted by the crumbs that are thrown at women one day a year in this country. Elsewhere on the globe, women are chattel - much like mules. Women endure wars, rape as part of the psychology of warfare, early death from multiple pregnancies, fistulas when they are forced to bear children at eleven and twelve years old and their tiny wombs burst. Women are sold as sex slaves, forced into prostitution for the animals that connive to get them there and then live off of the income from those female bodies like fat ticks. Women are aborted in India, China and many other countries because women are not as valuable to society as males. They are killed or abandoned at birth in some countries so that the natural population ratio is skewed towards males making it difficult to find them wives when they grow up. Women have little or no control over the birth and rearing that their bodies are subjected too. It's all decided elsewhere by men and religions and governments who will never have the experience and never understand the risks.

We women are set up from birth to endure all this as our lot. Forget the fact that it is women that give birth and nurture life. Several centuries of male dominated religions, government and HISstory have left us this legacy. We. Women. The unclean. The unable to handle public office or education or jobs that we very damn well did when necessity was on us - thank you Rosie the Riveter. It wasn't all that long ago that we were given the vote in good ole U S of A.

So our jobs as mothers are set up double hard against us by our society, our religions and especially by the male children that we bear. Do you know that women do more than 90% of the work and labor on this planet? Do you understand why we're molested and beaten? We're the only species that I know of who give birth to our own predators.

So I secretaried, read cards, sold stuff at flea markets and craft shows - anything legal to earn enough for us to live. Of course, those long days and seven days a week often left little time for the real mothering I would have liked to have done. Could I have done better? You bet your ass. But I did the best that I could with the material I had on hand and the time allotted to me in the days.

I hope at some point he does see a counselor. I hope he curses me and squalls and rolls around on the floor in front of that counselor. I hope he's given some tools to cope with and take responsibility for his addictions and shortcomings. I hope that he can clear his eyes and see that the people he replaced me with sold him out, including his friend, the drug dealer. I hope at some point he will man up and see that I am not the cause of his financial problems, his drug exploits, his sex life and the inner unhappiness he may feel. I hope he sees that I never abandoned him, never gave up on him, even when he gave up on me. I hope he sees at some point that I really, truly do love him regardless and that he is the one that has seen fit to cut something wonderful out of his life. That was the last thing I said to him when I saw him the end of 2004.

Oh. I have others who do call and wish me a good day each year. They are surrogate children who come to me to talk over their problems or when they need my help or just to enjoy my company. Imagine that. I welcome them. Buddy calls and comes over to install an air conditioner in the spare room. He also just calls to see how I am. He was a best friend to my son growing up and spent a majority of his time here. He calls me mom. Vanessa calls from Naples where she is running with the jet set and busy being beautiful and a wonderful success. She calls me mama. Demetria calls and we exchange wishes for each other. She calls me honey. Darla calls to let me know that she's thinking of me, too. She calls me Other Mother or Shamanamama. My girlfriends all call and we exchange wishes too. We call each other Love You at the end of a conversation.

I really want everyone to start practicing the lofty ideals today is held up for. It really would be Mother's Day if the whole planet practiced the Law of the Mother - nurture, no wars, no putting more burdens on any person or system than it was meant to handle, true support for women in all that they do to rear young and produce good people. If we truly supported mothers, we’d be thinking about the rape and exploitation of our planet – the one really Big Mother we all depend on. We’d quit digging, blasting, boring, deforesting, overpopulating, polluting, bombing, genetically altering, testing nukes, strip mining and dumping our shit all over her.

Forget one day a year to drag out the accolades. Want to impress me? Let me see Mothers being appreciated the other 364 days of the year.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Swimming In The Big Creek

So. Linda Conner and I sat on the deck outside the room she's living in at Dogpatch this evening and talked about the heat. It is a matter of fact here in Florida. We are the Northernmost Caribbean Colony, don't you know. Listed temperate wise as Subtropical, having palms, beaches, and many of the denizens of the tropics flying by and nesting, we also have subtropical weather. It's hot in the summer. And sticky like sex.

Linda mentioned that she brought her bathing suit from Maryland and allowed as how she had swam in the Potomac. She said she remembered to pack the suit thinking that she'd go to the YMCA or the beach. "Posh. Tish. There's a 300 foot wide and three to four hundred foot deep channel cut right off the back of Dogpatch", I says. Adding that all she need be on the lookout for is water snakes and amorous gators during season. SWFTMUD (SwiftMud - the local water management authority in Southwest Florida) keeps them culled out.

The water is clear and cool and serves as the reservoir for drinking water here in the Tampa Bay area and points south. Okay. Hopefully, I won't pee in it. Fish are abundant and mostly left unmolested except by a few local fishers and water birds like Heron, Grey and Brown Pelicans, Eagles, Falcons, Cormorants, Seagulls and Terns. The fish grow so big that the big birds often drop them on lawns - instant cerviche.

The neighborhood kids across the canal know what kids have known for Millennia - that the water was made for swimming. Indeed. I swam these very same shores as a young girl when it was Six Mile Creek and before the Army Corps of Engineers came in to better it. There were small waterfalls then. And palms, palmettos, magnolias, vines big enough to hold a full-grown man. Gators, Florida Panther and Brown Bear thrived alongside Gopher Tortoises. They are all gone from the bed of that once lush and mystical place of my youth. They were bulldozed and bermed against the natural flooding that made sure this land was fertile and welcome for many species.

Instead of the meandering zees of the natural creek bed, the Army Engineers made sure that it was tamed into a nice, straight line. The Army likes everything straight, including their soldiers. They blasted the natural blowholes of springs, which fed the Creek. Those springs turned the water a lily blue and the underwater sand landscape lunar white. Water in Florida only gets brown when the leaves from oak and other indigenous trees tincturate it with tannins from the leaves when they fall in.

I swam in it then. One of a long succession of Florida denizens behind Temuccuans, Seminole, Florida Crackers who gathered wild Spanish cattle out of the underbrush to build their ranch herds. I'll swim in it now that it has lost all but a whisper of its original beauty and majesty. Maybe it will wash off some of the years I've accumulated since then. But, I'm sure the waters will do the same thing to me now as they did then. Chill.

Left Finger Up

This entry may be fraught with mistakes because I have my left pointer finger bandadged up. So. What Spellcheck doesn't catch, we're stuck with.
Typing with a disconfibulated diget is interesting. The affected digit is wrapped so stoically as to preclude any movement other than that which avails concentration up front.

At this point, there is nothing stellar to report : I have fed the coon and the possum, petted both and assured the coon that there is no interstellar plot for his demise; Took digital pix of him with my big toe decorated in latex and hollogtraphic dit shit; Let the cat out of doors so she can pretend to be offended at having her environs encroached upon by wild guys.
I've watched the coon and the possom dining on oposite ends of the pile of Special Kitty 100% complete formula with crab, lobster, tuna, chicken and goose. One wonders how the manufacturers managed to get the various denizens to hold still for the coup de gras and flavors.
I did not go to Martha's today to photograph more flotsam and jetsam left from the years of Deepwater Trading Company and The Blue Goddess. I am selling fabric and trims off. I need to be rid of the heavy weight of years of detritus that mark me as seamstress, costumer. Hell. Sell it all to the walls!! I have items here that would turn a collector pea green with envy! My back is screwed up. Martha told me to try Alleve. I did. It worked. Moreso than the heavy duty Darvocet I'm proscribed for pain.
Laces. Silks. Period fabrics and trims. All of them are going on my eBay account. I'm running across old costume pieces packed up in boxes. Trims to make a period piece stand up and roar! All of them need to go. I want my home to be bare to the walls as it was when I moved in here in 1989. It has to be.

There can be now new bathroom or kitchen, no central air, no deck, no patio, no glass that hasn't seen the sag of 100 years.

Pray for me.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Computers. And Balls.

Lonesome. Not in the big, drafted, and bluesy sense of the word. Just lonesome. Think allopathy here - not heroic medicine. Over to Martha's for the second of two days to photograph detritis that I've accumulated and now stands like money in a piggy bank. Or not. Savings Bonds, Treasury Notes and Fabric all have their expiration dates.

I photographed fabrics and trims at Martha's. Two days worth of running them through Corel Draw to be sure I'd have the supplements to list on eBay. Bugger. My computer (current copy running on a crutch) doesn't have a working CD/DVD Rom writer. When I grow up. I depend on the Alabamian Artist Extraordinaire Girl to hep me up.

There's no lexicon for fucked up computer. I keep programming for a NEW COMPUTER, but I forget to program the words NEW and never USED behind it. So. I am given the castoffs with good and loving intentions. The "I've left the country and will not need this system", setups. Balls. Martha Marshall fills in the blanks.
To let you know how incredible this is, consider that she awakes at 3:00 a.m. and writes on her blog - An Artist's Journal. Then she paints big or little canvases depending on what is in her want list that day. Intermingle the fact that she is mother to 3 rescued dogs with SPECIAL NEEDS and you'll get an idea of the enormity of the grace I recieved from her for using her 'puter and equipment. Ab Shalom and 'N Shallah, girlfrin!!

I'm supposed to blush now at the fact that I'm looking a gift horse in the mouth. Not. I just need to be more specific in my requests: I need a NEW, never used computer, built in the last six months, with updated software, t6hat has a slim LCD screen, a CDRom and DVD writer and a disk reader that does not fart upon insertion, all of which costs less than 600.00. Did I mention that all software would be included??


I've been Blog Tagged. As an old heifer, I'm not really sure of the nuances of this form of social diplomacy. So. I will respondez via instructions:

samate said...
Hello, I am every day on your blog and so I want to tag you.The rules Start with 7 random facts/habits about yourselfPeople who are tagged have to write their 7 things on their blogThen choose another 7 people to get tagged and list their namesDon't forget to leave them a comment to tell them they have been tagged and to read your blogGreetings from
7:00 AM

Seven random habits and facts about me. Jeez. Should I mention that I know how to drive a big truck - a five and a four - brownie and a main- 48 feet of intimidation, a race car and a motorcycle - which every woman on the face of the Earth needs to know how to use? (One) Should I let you know that I am the only one left standing in my birth family of four and that my extended family doesn't know where I fit in even when it goes back over to 1300? (Two) Do I tell you that I am a fiercely loyal friend that will guard your back until the bitter end or until you disrespect me so much that I drop you like a hot potato? (Three) Can I let it be known that I can track you when you head into woods or rock or swamp if you need to be found? (Four) Would you think me combatative if I told you that I can build my own bullets, figure the PSI when fired, and can fancy twirl, build my own leather rig and quick draw a gun so I could sub for a Wild West movie and yet believe that no thing needs to die without defense? (Five) I summon and thank the four quarters of energy every single day because I believe that the Earth as a planet is a living being. I try to make every step count, count on talking to every critter and plant that is put in my path, feed them where I can, and thank the Divine that I am given such oppulence where I live and try to spread it around. (Six) Could I admit to you all that I am clueless about being tagged, what it means and what I'm supposed to do next?? (Seven)
So. I am choosing the ones closest to home. The blogs I've enjoyed and their sprouts. You know who you are. Tag. You're it! And Samate - you opened Pandora's box.