Monday, July 21, 2014

demons and sunshine

I suspect we all have our demons; demons that found a home in our hearts when we were very young and have piggybacked on us throughout our lives, remaining invisible to ourselves, tripping us up on occasion...
I faced one of my own after visiting with the kids. At least I know the demon, have faced it, named it, chained it to the wall where all it can do is whisper the only words it knows. It cannot monopolize my thoughts and actions any longer, though it can still make me uncomfortable. Is there any value in writing of it? Maybe, maybe not. This is my piece of paper, and I'll write what I choose. It whispers..."maybe you talked too much; maybe they were just being polite, waiting for you to get up and go home, words like that. I can't really speak much of it to them, it would become an awkwardness that they'd probably feel obligated to reassure me it wasn't so. That solves nothing. I know all is well, and even if it weren't, it is what it is, and I can rest in that knowledge. But the demon whispers. Oh well. As time goes on, I learn to recognize the demons in others, and that becomes one of the foundations of forgiveness, directed both inward and outward.

And now on to brighter things...
My 6'2" bride picked up her wedding dress this evening. She is delighted, and while we were doing some final odds and ends, she told me about her skydiving experience. That's back on my list of things to do, now.

We watched a chipmunk maneuver around the squirrel baffle and get into the bird feeder. It was cute, but it's still a cute rodent wanting to feed babies probably living under our house. It can damned well get its food in the normal chipmunk way. We had to stymie its efforts, and we did. It was interesting watching that intelligent tiny critter trying to figure out how to get to the bird feeder. So far we are winning the battle. We'll see if anything has changed tomorrow morning.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

the garden

A special moment - when my son invites me into his garden. We bend down to smell the still juvenile corn plants, crunch on a coriander seed, pick a few peppers, taste mulberries and blackberries, admire the grapes, the tomato plants, the robin's nest in the apple tree. We discuss the health of honeybees, the surprising vigor of his ash tree in a state where ash borers are ruining so many,  the advantages of letting his lawn convert to clover.

You know, there's a lot to worry about in this world, but for a few minutes, at least, all is right in this corner of the world. I don't really know what moves me more - the garden itself, or the fact that I've birthed a son who is doing what I've only dreamed of doing. No regrets on my end - I did what I could, and I still do what I can. It is enough that I know where health abounds.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

speaking of mothers

Sunset comes early in the mountains, especially on a cloudy day, and we did not want to navigate the switchbacks at night. 
"Pssst", Rainier whispered. "Look over here". 
We were in a large parking lot; the path was on the other side, but I thought I'd wander over to see if there was a trailhead sign. My legs were complaining, and I knew we couldn't hike, yet I just wanted to see what was calling out. We would probably never be here again, and I had to see.
Dave joined me, then offered to walk ahead as a scout. He came back quickly, saying it was a short walk, and I'd like what I'd see.
And so we walked a few hundred feet to a lookout.
"Behold", sang Rainier, as the clouds parted just enough for sunbeams to spill into the valley.

Those are the words I wrote when I shared this photo three years ago. Mt. Rainier is still my favorite mountain.

But they are not today's words. So. Why do I write words in the first place? Because I'm always trying to improve my craft. Also, trying to pay attention to the small treasures imbedded in each day and honoring those treasures by writing about them. A bit of mindful meditation, I guess.

Today's treasure? The 73 year old customer who brought her almost 100 year old mother. Both need their new dresses altered to wear to the 100th birthday party for the elder. The elder one was not really in charge of her brain any more, acting more like a petulant child, but her daughter did very well with her. Having cared for two mothers, I know, even when you love them dearly, they can be a burden, so I murmured words of understanding and support as I pinned her dress and jacket. I mentioned that despite loving them, we sometimes become angry, then we feel guilty. She really latched onto that, saying her mother is good at making her feel guilty. Yep, I know about that.

When she left, I thought about our shared words, and realized I'm a mother too.

Friday, July 18, 2014


Some days are poetic. Today? Not so much.

With only onc cup of coffee in me, we headed over to the ophthalmologist (yes, I'm proud I could spell that correctly!) to figure out what was going on with my eye. Answer? A couple of abrasions, one on my cornea, probably from a bit of sand or something long gone. So now I'm on an antibiotic and steroid combination. Does that mean I'll have a muscular eye, hahaha? Anyway, it's starting to feel better.

Next up? Garlic. We harvested six dozen garlics, which are now fragrantly curing on our kitchen table. Tonight I shall not fear vampires.

And finally...jet lag. Now I know why I've been so tired. Naps are good things, but I don't like to have to take naps.

Peace to you. May you not need ophthalmologists and naps frequently, but if you do, may they bring you healing and peace.

And may you always appreciate garlic. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

prankish thoughts

thinking about the tarantula Dave came across on a hike...
thinking about spiders in general...
thinking about spider pranks...
fake spiders
pranks I've both initiated and received...
fake spiders, fake bugs in our food, fake snakes...

why, exactly, do we prank each other?
do we actually enjoy seeing fear in somebody else?
why do we laugh at somebody else's fear
or discomfort
or embarrassment
or pain
why do we laugh at that?

why do we laugh when somebody takes a pratfall?
pratfalls can cause back injury
why do we laugh at that?
is it our brain wiring?
are we imprisoned in our own faulty brains?
are we really as free as we think we are?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

subject line with no subject!

I wonder why they call this area the Badlands. Having recently driven to Hoover Dam and seeing the utter desolation of the mountainous desert in which it is nestled, these Badlands look lovely and full of life.

Still tired. Still sorting through the experiences, the visuals, the emotions of the last two weeks.

Here's an odd observation: when I'm on vacation, there are almost no calls for alterations. When I get home, the calls start coming in - from folks who don't know I've been on vacation in the first place. It's not because I don't hear the house phone - I check in periodically just in case.  Curious.

Monday, July 14, 2014


So tired. One week of hell, one week of heaven. The flight home was surreal. The past two weeks were fading, the home destination I know so well wasn't a reality yet. Only the plane ride was real, and the constant engine drone plus my tiredness made that experience kind of like the passage of time between being awake and asleep. Just...there. My mind wandered to some of my recurrent wonderings, like do we live multiple incarnations? Do we simply forget the life we lived to make room for our current incarnation? And no, I wasn't drinking anything.
Fractals be.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

two truths

I hold two truths in my mind.

One: in the incomprehensible vastness of the universe, we are less than specks of dust. In fact, Earth itself is less than a speck of dust.

Two: I am unique and important. You are unique and important. We've been given a short amount of time to do real, meaningful things. Or not, if we choose. Does it matter? Yes. And no. Both.

Earlier in my life, when life became difficult, I'd fly to the moon and sit there watching Earth. No person was visible, of course. Whatever sorrow or anger I was holding didn't mean a damned thing to the planet. It just kept turning, people kept being born and dying. There was a bit of comfort in that.

And at the same time...since the universe seems to not have any boundaries, then wherever I stand, I stand in the center of the universe. So do you. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

good night

The day draws to a close.
A glass of wine is at my left hand
as I tap out a few words here.
It's been a quiet, rather melancholy day...
no particular reason...
I think I'm just biding my time until I can gaze again at mountains.
Sleep well, my friends, dream good dreams.

Friday, June 27, 2014

don't tell him it can't be done

One of the best parts of the chorus' current contest set is watching the circus tent go up, though the audience will be deprived of that part. 
But when I watch it, I also see the almost two years of planning that went into it.

So. What invisible things do I see?

the dream - stronger, more enduring than the skeptics

sitting at a table with Steve; listening, drawing, calculating, putting my own expertise at his disposal

sourcing fabrics

organizing an assembly line process, using the entire kitchen floor as a drawing board

listening to (and enjoying) tales of the next stage in the process

sewing, and sewing, and sewing, and sewing

teaching Steve how to use a sewing machine, and marveling at his intuitive grasp

sitting under a tree at Bill's house, still sewing

listening to and witnessing the challenges of the engineering process

and then, the work is done

more listening and watching the choreography of many men working together to get the whole tent up in four minutes

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

the bad, the good

No, I don't particularly want to go to Las Vegas, but that's where the contest is, so that's where we'll go.   There will be contests to attend, and I've become quite adept at sleeping in an arena seat with my head up. Many years of contests have given me plenty of time to perfect that skill. And, then, I'll also have a book to read. Will there be opportunities for some camera work? We'll see. gambling and drinking in the short term forecast. Yawn.....

But then...Arizona!!!!!!
the Milky Way!
the dry pine and sage smell!
family peoples
and precious few other peoples.
and oh yes, my book.

Monday, June 23, 2014

so high, so wide

The 6'2" bride was in tonight for a fitting; an adjustment is needed, but all is well. We did our dressing and fitting work in my workroom tonight, rather than in the fitting room. Wanna know why? Because in the fitting room I have another wedding gown on the mannequin, and the dress is so big it's taking up the whole damned room.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

the price we pay...

I didn't even want to go to her artist's reception. Friday between 5 and 8. That meant go late enough to avoid rush hour traffic, but still enough time to spend half an hour, max. But she is a casual friend, and we did what we thought we should to support her.

And for that we were rewarded with a $50 parking ticket. Really? We pulled into the parking lot behind the building. Yes, we knew it was campus parking, but it was an office building, offices were closed, it was after hours, and the lot was 90% empty. So 20 minutes cost us plenty!

I'm appealing, being careful and courteous. I've been told they usually waive first offenses, especially for people not affiliated with the university. And if they don't waive the fee, I'm just going to ignore it. I have it on good authority to do that. There's nothing they can do about it. We're not students or employees of the university.

Have you ever been in the car with a truly aggravated male driver? I swear I'm gonna tape down his saluting finger. But we're home, tempers have cooled, and all is well.

Friday, June 20, 2014


She made an appointment for alterations. Carolina. She had lost almost 100 pounds, shopped at Goodwill for new clothes, and needed some minor adjustments.

She already knew a bit about me; a mutual friend gave her my name and told her some of my story, like my three cancer battles. As we pinned and talked, she spoke as though her struggle wasn't as difficult as mine. Huh? You lost 100 pounds? And your husband continued his wayward eating style in your presence? So every day your body screamed for more food, more yummy food than was good for you? And every day you had to say no? And you'll have to say no for the rest of your life, right??

She agreed that was true. I suggested we all have struggles, and we don't really need to determine if one person's struggle is easier or harder than another's. She felt affirmed, and said I need to write a book.

I told her I already AM writing a book.

Now if only I could figure out how to publish and share it..

Thursday, June 19, 2014

night sounds

Perhaps tonight will be quieter than last night. Perhaps not. Our weather alert radio sounded an alarm three times last night between the hours of 2 and 3:30 A.M. I knew there was the possibility, but usually storm lines disintegrate significantly as they cross central Ohio during the night. And they did, but still maintained enough strength to cause concern.

I wouldn't have been concerned no more than five years back, but lately...tornadoes. Not here, particularly, but one never knows. I've seen enough devastation in the plains, watched enough tornado videos, and listened seriously to scientists as they explain the long range effect of global warming to know that we are a little less safe than we had been in the past.

And so. We were awakened to hear warnings of severe thunderstorms. I don't like waking up to this, but am grateful that there is such a thing as a weather radio and the technology to give us fair warning.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

grunt work

Today's project: wedding gown. The bride is 6'2" (before shoes), and her dress weighs 10 pounds. My workroom has become a workout room!
lift and stretch...sure am glad my rib doesn't hurt anymore

Monday, June 16, 2014

market mind, cultural mind

It's so easy to fall into "market mind" or "cultural mind" without realizing that's what I've done. Because its everywhere.

Shirts. Men's shirts have buttons on one side, women's on the other. In the first place, I never thought about it. In the second place, I thought about it and tried to honor that tradition as I made clothing for myself and others. In the third place, I wondered why that custom existed, and found the answer.

And what was that answer? In earlier times, when women had servants to dress them, buttons and buttonholes were arranged so the servants could easily button things. Men didn't have servants to dress them, so naturally their buttons and buttonholes were arranged for their own ease. And that would be the opposite placement.

Finally, today...who cares how the buttons and buttonholes are arranged on my shirts!

Next up: shoes. Specifically, sandals.
I wanted to buy a pair of sandals, so headed over to the women's shoes at the local big box store. Nothing fit my aging feet. Next try was in the men's shoes. No, I'm not a guy and don't specifically want to look like a guy. I just wanted comfortable sandals. And I found them. Since my feet don't have lady parts, it shouldn't matter if I'm wearing mens or women's sandals.

I've noticed for almost as many years as I've had to wear clothes that generally men dress more comfortably than women. Yeah, I know, cultures and customs and sex appeal and all that. I think back to girdles, garter belts, clip on earrings, hats and gloves, high heeled spiked shoes. All that just to go to church. My brothers wore pants, shirts, belts, shoes - similar to what they wore any other day, just a bit nicer and cleaner than most other times.

I don't want to be a guy. I like who and what I am. But I'll do it my way. If you need to examine my clothes to determine my sex, then I have to ask why that should matter in the first place.

One more thing, related: why, when we encounter a baby, do we ask whether it's a boy or a girl?

Friday, June 13, 2014

it is what it is

Yesterday...a dream followed me into my daytime life. A man named Tom; beloved by those who knew him, living in poverty. As I became acquainted with him, I told a companion that he needed to write the story of Tom. He would write it better than I could, but if he would not, then I would. Just as I was going to write down the name and phone number of someone who knew him well, the dream faded.

Was this a dream of my dad? It didn't have a dad feel to it, but who knows? So I stopped thinking about it.

Yesterday morning a man knocked on the door. His name was Tommy. He saw our front yard (lord knows I've been trying to tame the weeds!) and offered his landscaping services. Although we turned down landscaping companies in the past, we listened to Tommy. He had a "rightness" to him, and we hired him. He worked alone, was strong and committed to doing a good job, and by mid afternoon the job was done. He asked for a price a bit too low, we thought, and George tipped him well. But about the dream connection; he lives in a trailor park, was really needing the work, so I presume a level of poverty. In the middle of this job, he took a lunch break. When he returned, he brought me a couple of peonies cut from his own bush at home. I was enchanted. As he worked, he shared a bit of his own story. We will definitely hire him again.

Dream connection? Coincidence? I don't know. It's another one of life's mysteries, and, as he said as he pulled out a bush..."it is what it is".  That's good enough for me.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Riding my bicycle - one of the finest things in life! One of my neighbors was out on her bike, and I got to see a mountain bike up close and personal...disk brakes, holes to mount a water bottle holder on the fork, hugely fat tires (her partner calls her bike a truck!)...I have a lot to learn! She carries a spare tire with her, and now that we've seen a blowout, I can see why.

Mountain biking is not in my future, unless perhaps I reincarnate. For now, it's the bike trails. That's enough excitement at my age.

Speaking of bike trails, I'm trying to organize my bike trail knowledge so that, at the drop of a hat, I can choose the right trail. By the way, who drops hats these days???

trail name
distance to beginning trail head
length of trail
proximity to nearby trails, towns, points of interest
misc notes - elevation considerations, intersections, distance between trail heads, surroundings

Sunday, June 08, 2014


In the daytime, I can fall asleep in the middle of annoying noise, but at night? No. Last night neighbors had an outdoor party, so I donned earplugs. The problem with these earplugs is...I don't hear the party, but now I hear my breathing and beating heart. Quite loudly, it seems!

But there are lovely night sounds, and rather than counting sheep, I thought about all the sounds I've heard over the years that were as lullabies as I fell asleep.

young mockingbirds practicing their songs at night
screech owls
great horned owls calling to each other
quiet breathing next to me
thunder in the distance
the door closing as a teenage son comes home for the night
coyote song
river water
ocean surf
wind soughing through pine trees

Saturday, June 07, 2014


Life returns to normal. Predictable? Immediately after prom dress work my brother arrived, at which time we basically were either planning bicycle rides or doing them. For three weeks! It was a magical  time where real world and dream world meshed, and I yearn for more. So many adventures! I'll write about them...eventually.

Eventually. Like the photo here of Glacier National Park, taken in 2011. We had driven through the park on our way to Canada some years before. I fell in love with this place, the most beautiful place I'd ever seen, but had no idea how to actually spend time there. I had no concept of renting cabins or houses; all I knew was motels. But then a door opened, and now I know how it works. I remember this particular hike, too, always looking out for bears.

But back to this day, trying to tame the weed jungle that used to be an extended flower bed, working on alterations...I swear! My customers must have been peeking out their windows to see when I'd return to work, and they're practically lined up on the sidewalk! Not complaining, just chuckling a bit.

Monday, May 12, 2014


The last prom dress has left the house. Nothing comes back in for over three weeks. Freedom!

Right now I've got the headphones on, listening to some of my favorite country music - toe tapping stuff.

The bikes are in the shop, getting spiffed up for the awesome ride. Every new step I take in that direction, every new thing I learn, every bike person I talk to informs me that I've been pushing my bike just about as much as it can be pushed. I'm pretty damned proud of that. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

m day

Happy Mother's Day, whatever that means. With absolutely no dark thoughts, it means nothing to me. I've never been able to "get" official celebrations, being the loner/hermit that I am. My sons know they don't need to call on this day. Call me when you feel like it, and that's just fine. Any day. Often, or not. Live your life. Find your joy, wherever it may be, and my sense of being a mother is fulfilled. I cared for you until you could strike out on your own, hopefully not wounding you enough that you couldn't heal from whatever trauma I may have visited on your head. As I have healed from the wounds my own mother unknowingly inflicted on me. She did the best she could, and I honor that. Her best was pretty damned good, as it turns out. We lived long enough together to work through our shit and forgive each other for the times we weren't perfect. Does it get better than that? I don't think so.

And so. If flowers and chocolate and facebook professions of love are your thing, then good for you. My day is spent battling thistles in the flower garden. I could get poetic about that, comparing it to motherhood...but I'll leave that to somebody else.

Finally, happy m'others day to me. I'm glad I had a mom. I'm glad I am a mom. I'm also glad there are other things in life in addition to momhood.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

a different kind of poetry

This isn't poetry, except that it is.
This isn't important, except that it is.
If you understand what I'm saying, then continue. Otherwise, just move along and find something else.

The day closed yesterday with the final prom dress on the mannequin, first chiffon layer 3/4 finished. The first layer is the most critical, thus takes the longest. Nine yards of chiffon, and I have to work my way around it five times.
1. pin
2. stitch a guide line next to the pins
3. fold on the guide line, stitch the fold
4. cut off excess
5. turn fold under, stitch again

Today...Saturday. Quiet, overcast, gentle rain off and on, windows open. The birds are filling the air with their songs. Wrens, cardinals, robins, sparrows, finches. When I opened the kitchen blinds this morning, the first thing I saw was a bright yellow finch at the feeder. Right now there's a fat robin on the deck.

My third (and final) cup of coffee is beside me, soon I'll finish the prom dress, prepare food for later today, and dive into final preparations for the bike ride later this month. It's time to make lists, and print any maps I want. Yes, I know about gps and smartphones and all, but the old lady in me still wants a piece of paper in her hands, not an eensy weensy screen.

Life is good. Sometimes the poetry soars, sometimes it's just quietly watching the birds soar.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

one more

Just one more prom dress, and three days to get it done. All it needs is a hem. No problem. I've turned down three requests so far; just plain out of time. And I'm tired. Gotta get the energy up for the bike ride adventure. I'm pretty sure it's just sitting on a shelf patiently waiting for me to engage with it. Two clients are already waiting for me to get back behind my machine - one has already scheduled. You know, I do get tired of the work, but I also enjoy engaging with others as a micro business. 

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

time out, or out of time

Well, that happened! Karma? I turned down a request two days ago to do bridal alterations for a bride who waited until only two weeks before her wedding, when I had indicated to her a month ago that timing was critical. I could probably have done them, but there were too many red flags, and important vacation plans of my own would possibly be compromised if she continued her flawed time management skills after sending her maids to me. So I told her my calendar had subsequently filled, gave her recommendations for other alterationists, and wished her well on her wedding day.

And then.
I got three calls for prom dress alterations - hems only .
My calendar is now indeed filled.

That's all I've got today. No poetry, no soaring mysticism, no badass attitude.
And no time challenged brides.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

taking care of business

Yesterday I mentioned my work is basically shut down for a month, except for emergencies. I guess I meant it. Almost three weeks ago a bride contacted me about 3 bridesmaid dresses needing alterations. I said yes, but it was crucial to get to me as soon as possible, and I explained why. Then, for two weeks I heard nothing. Earlier this week she contacted me again, asking about availability. I responded with yes, but I want to see them Thursday or Friday (now past). And again I stressed the time factor. I didn't hear back. Now, this morning, she emailed me again asking if I was available this coming Tuesday. I said my calendar is now filled and I won't be available until June 4. Her wedding is in less than two weeks. Sorry, sweetheart, you may have very good reasons for not acting in a timely manner, but I, too, have very good reasons for protecting my own calendar.

Mother nature provided a good show this morning  from my kitchen window. A downy woodpecker, a bluebird, and a pair of goldfinches were all at the feeder at the same time. 

Saturday, May 03, 2014

endings and dreamings

One last prom dress - already half done. And then...the shop closes for a month, except for true emergencies, and only those of my regular clients. Maybe not even then. I look forward to some down time, getting my house back in order, final preparations for the magnificent bike ride, and then further final preparations for a week in Arizona. In both places it would be very nice if I could see a bear; not too closely, though.


Thursday, May 01, 2014

status report

The robin's nest is down, I don't know why. There was no wind. I had just peeked at the nest from out my window just an hour earlier. No critter could climb up to the eaves. Investigating on the ground, I found no evidence of robin eggs; no broken shells, no baby bird remains. Were there ever any eggs? If there had been an attack I would have heard mama robin. So. What happened? I'll never know.

I have one prom dress remaining before I close up shop for a month. I could take a last minute simple request, but to tell the truth, I'm tired. The will and energy aren't there any more to do this work for a spell. Is this temporary or permanent? I'm guessing temporary, but time will tell.
I need some "me" time.

Monday, April 28, 2014

this 'n that

The ongoing never ending prom dress work...I'm really getting tired of beads and sequins. I told one girl nobody would want to hold her close to dance because of all the sharp sparklies. She just giggled. Oh well. It's not my dress, not my dance, not my prom date. But it is my glorious handiwork that makes them all look like movie stars.

The ongoing never ending bike adventure planning is coming together. In less than a month, on one day or another, we'll be on our way for the ride of a lifetime. Well, not THE ride, because I hope there's another one that I haven't even figured out yet. I told George I hope, when it's my time to go, I'll be on my bike. I know it would be messy for my riding companions on that day, but damn! What a way to go!

The ongoing never ending interest in the weather...I got up this morning and read about over a dozen people killed from tornadic activity in Arkansas and Oklahoma. I wonder if, worldwide, human beings will get their collective acts together to make some changes to ensure there's a habitable planet for future generations. I'm not convinced we have the will to do that.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


My heart got a bit of a wrench tonight as I worked on my book. I'm reading my posts, remembering...
I had been marked up for radiation, and within a week mom was admitted to the hospital, and from there to a nursing home. I had forgotten, sort of, what life was like back then. While beginning radiation, we were also finding a nursing home for mom and getting her settled in. Radiation being what it is, each day I was a little weaker, and each day there was work to do.

I can reconstruct the story from my point of view, and that's part of what I address in the book. But mom's point of view? I can only imagine. She cared for her mother in her own home, too. Just as I was doing. But her mother had breast cancer at the time, and mom had the task of taking her mother to the cancer clinic every week for treatment, and then, later on, giving her care until she finally died at home. Mom told me about riding in the cab of the ambulance that took grandma to the hospital because she'd had a heart attack.

So here she is, aged, in her daughter's home, only this time her daughter is the one with breast cancer, trying to care for her. Which I did. But the emotional turmoil mom must have endured, much of which she kept from me because she knew I was struggling with chemo and surgery. She did her best, I did my best, George was a hard working saint through all of this.

It's not always easy going back and reading what I wrote, but I'm glad I wrote these things. You who read this, if any, I encourage you to write about your days; the big things, little things, funny things, all the stuff that makes your life interesting for you. They are the best footprints to leave for those who follow.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

prom fix

The next prom dress on the queue has no sequins or beads. Amazing.

Last night I got a call from a mom, asking for a slight adjustment to the alteration I had done on her daughter's prom dress. Seems I sewed in the push-up bra cup upside down....

I asked her if she considered just sending her daughter to the doctor for a surgical boob rotation, but she thought my fix would be easier. It never hurts to ask...

Monday, April 21, 2014

post Easter

 The problem with Easter is this: if I take the message seriously, then I have to believe that I was so bad that the creator of the entire universe had to die to save me. From the time I was a child, I would try to figure this out. Why did the creator of the universe make such flawed folks in the first place? And why did he create a universe that required a blood sacrifice? That just didn't seem very lovingly creative to me. And the terrifying thing was, I learned, as a child, that he knew me by name though I wasn't even born yet as he hung dying on a cross. Oh. But Easter is about resurrection. What was it like in the cave where his body was buried? Did rigor mortis set in? Had decay started? How was that reversed? What would I have seen if I had been in the cave for those three days? Some say a miracle. But how did that miracle happen? I always wanted to know how and why. As I got a bit older I learned about belief, which was, to my mind, accepting something as true based strictly on somebody else's say so. Which I tried to do. But I still wanted to know how and why, so I would look closely, peering into mysterious things, hoping to get some answers. And then, a bit later, I learned about the problem with doubt. But wait! I have a brain! Why would God give me a brain and then tell me not to use it? Is truth so fragile that it cannot be examined, tested, challenged?

Childish questions, at least for me. I never did get answers, but I did learn that it's good to ask questions. I ask different questions now that I've learned about human beings, mythology, fear, love, the nature of the universe, psychology, etc.

So if you do the church thing I'll honor your preferences. I'm hoping you'll honor mine. The real truth beneath the Good Friday/Easter Sunday story is much deeper and more mysterious than any one religious interpretation can explain. We are all One. We each sing with a different voice.


Friday, April 18, 2014


The weather was good, my workload was up to date, so we biked to the kitty bench again. Yes, the kitty was there, begged for goodies, then when the treats were done, she left. So it goes.

We're putting in about 13 miles per kitty bench ride, and I pedal as hard as I can to build up some strength. Also, after so many trips, it gets a bit boring. Becoming strong, however, is not boring. I was remembering what one bike shop owner told me: about the best I'd get out of my Townie would be 10 miles per hour. Now. Me. 70 years old, having kicked cancer's ass on three different occasions, I'd say my ability to take my bike to its supposed limit is worth crowing about. He didn't say 10 miles an hour was the limit for a 70 year old crone. So my thought is....DAYAMN!
Hey. Attitude is my friend. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

no peace, no quiet

My work day is finally over, though the work isn't done. Tomorrow is good enough. With George gone this weekend, I expected a little more peace and quiet than what usually happens. Well, I got the quiet, just not the peace.

It started with a last minute request for a prom alteration. The prom was in two days, but all she needed was for simple sleeves to be narrowed. That's a 10 minute fix. So ok, come on over. But then she wanted it hemmed, but she didn't bring her shoes. How high? Four inches, so I rounded up 4 inches worth of books and had her stand on them. Turns out she didn't need a hem after all. We're long past 10 minutes, and I haven't done the sleeves yet. We set up a return time: the next day at 5pm. After her dance practice. 5pm came by, 5:30, 6:00. I called - no answer. 6:30 I called her mom, who said she was on her way to pick up her daughter, and practice went long. Nobody could have called and let me know? When they got here, I gave them a bit of a stern talk to. No, you couldn't control the rehearsal, I know how that kind of thing happens, but because you were late and I had to be ready to let you in, I couldn't fix my meal, I couldn't take a nap, I couldn't do much of anything for two and a half hours. I charged her a rush fee, and they didn't have a problem with it.

But wait! There's more! She had a friend who needed a prom alteration, too, and mentioned me. The friend called. She needed a hem. Well, ok (I was caught up with my work, so could fit her in). When she asked the cost, I told her, plus added a 50% rush charge, and a $60 hem was giving her ouchies. But she agreed, she had no choice. And she came over with a dress that had more chiffon yardage than I've ever seen on a prom dress. I was already in a bad mood because of the earlier girl's very tardy appearance, and told this girl that I had a grump going on and she'd have to listen to me vent for awhile until I got it out of my system. So I grumped, and had to deal more grumpiness because I knew what it was going to take to hem 24 yards of chiffon. But she was a good sport and by the time we were done pinning, we were both laughing. I asked her when she could stop by tomorrow (today), and she said 1 pm. Not gonna happen. What's the latest? 4pm. So I spent six flipping hours on that dress, so the $60 turned out to be not so good for me. Yet in another way it was, because while I was doing the work, I had time to think about restructuring my pricing to accommodate monster chiffon hems and late charges. So she got stung with a high price, I got stung by too low a price. As I explained to her, we both hurt a bit with this one, but we both got something out of it, too.

My grump is gone, I've got a better pricing system, and all is well. My wine is almost gone, too, but as soon as I hang up here, I'm going to fix that....

Oh wait. One more thing. Remember when I said I got quiet but not peace? Not quite true. What helped get me through 24 flippin' yards of chiffon was old Oak Ridge Boys tapes. Cranked up loud.