Where it began...

In the life of a child, many things are learned.
It is often said that one of those things is our own self worth.
It is often stated that the parents in a family are responsible for
their child’s measure of this.
I disagree.
Sorta.
I believe it’s true… it really is a village, or rather a world, that trains a child.
(Also, an adult.)
There are many, many people who influence you throughout your formative years.
And I don’t believe for a minute, that ALL of those people influence you solely in the direction of valuing yourself, or devaluing yourself. There may be more of one than the other. It’s not likely that it will be a fair share of either. But no matter who you are… there is something to draw from both wells.
So it all comes down to us. At which well are we going to spend time?
And, at what point do we decide that all of those things are not going to push and pull us at will?
It’s a tricky thing… self esteem. And a battle we are all familiar with.
And although I have had people aplenty to tell me that I’m beautiful and worthy, I have just as many who would like to convince me that I am useless and hopeless.
But I have chosen to like me very much. Just as I am. (I’ve tried liking myself just as I'm not, and it just didn’t work.)
There are so many people who make a difference in our lives, from beginning to end.
In my life… it began with my parents. They taught me that I’m worth more than anything, regardless of my choices. I’ve made many bad choices. I continue to do so. And they always love me… no matter what. They have also taught me that my choices are not associated with my value. My choices give me more choices or they take choices away. They give me more freedom or more bondage. But they never make me less beautiful.

Epitaph


They say there is beefcake
For every fine lassie.
But only if you promise
To keep your fine chassis!

While his member is throbbing
To enter a beauty,
(He doesn’t care which,
Only knows it’s his duty!)

So, I’m leaving the men, to their own discredit…
And what of my cake? I already et it!

For the "short story" people:

I met a man one day, while walking at the park. When I was home teaching the children, the family would go to the park daily to walk, for exercise. We would sometimes meet people who had started a routine of the same. One day, we met a man there who chose to walk with me. We walked several times around (it was about a quarter of a mile track), which gave us plenty of time to talk. The concept of aerobic exercise is to get your heart rate at a level that is ideal for cardiovascular benefit. A good rule of thumb is to be sure that while you are working your heart, you are still able to comfortably hold a conversation. So walking and talking is a good plan. Not that I had a chance to find out if this rule of thumb was working for me, personally, as this man was doing all the talking. And I mean the entire time. He wasn’t boring or tedious. The things he said were interesting. He was intelligent and articulate and humorous. All the things one would want in a speaker. He had been many places and had done many things, which gave him plenty of interesting stories to tell. And he told them well. But in truth, the largest sentence I said during our walk was, “uh huh.” At the end of the walk he went up to my husband and said these very words, “You have a very interesting wife! You should spend more time walking with her!” Just goes to show ya… if you are interested in a person, they think you’re interesting.

Skeleton Woman

There is a story told in folklore, set in Alaska. It is of a man who went fishing one day. He chose to fish in a secluded little cove which didn’t seem to be too often visited by other local fishermen. In fact, they never visited it. For they all knew the story. The story of a girl who fell in love with a boy from a tribe other than her own… many, many, many moons ago. And not just another tribe, but one at odds with hers. Her father forbade them to marry, but she snuck off in secret to do that very thing. Her father apprehended her in the midst of her escape and he took her and threw her off the cliff into that secluded little cove, to her death. The people had passed this story down through the generations, and no fisherman was to ever draw life from that water, as it was thought to be full of the evil of that terrible event. This poor fisherman knew it not. He didn’t have his line in the water long when he felt a great tug. Oh my! This had to be a big one! As he fought with the creature to bring it to the surface, his mind wandered to all the great riches this great catch would bring him. He had struggled for so many long and weary years. It would be great to have some relief. But as the creature came into view, he realized it was not a fish at all… it was a mass of bones and hair… and a skull! And it seemed the eyes of that skull were looking right at him! He panicked. He set his pole down in the boat and immediately rowed to shore, looking back to be sure that the monster was gone. But it wasn’t, as it was still attached to his pole! But, as it is with panic, he didn’t realize this. He just frantically rowed to shore, seeing behind him the dreaded thing bouncing on the water, appearing to chase him. Once on shore, he grabbed his pole and ran for home… again, looking over his shoulder to find that he was still being chased! He dove into the darkness of the little cave he called home and sat there panting, hoping the ordeal was over. He lit a candle and in the dim light, saw that the thing he had hooked was amassed in a pile in the corner. The soft light softened his fears and he approached and began to untangle the mess. He realized these were the bones of a woman and, after untangling her, he wrapped her in a warm fur and went to lie down on his bed to sleep. During his sleep, a tear escaped from his eye. She approached him and drank up the tear, drawing some life from it. She then put her hand on his chest and began singing a song to the beat of his heart. As she sang, all of her sinews and flesh and skin began to recover her body. And when she and the song were complete, she crawled under the covers and she and the man warmed one another. They warmed one another heart and body and soul for the rest of their lives.

(Anyone care to try to interpret that one?)

Footnote from Teri:
It’s not that we really think men are stupid. We were all created as intelligent beings, men and women. It’s just that when a man doesn’t take the time to figure a woman out (or "untangle her," if you will), he’s sorta shooting himself in the foot. And that’s stupid.

We are doomed...

In view of the fact that God limited the intelligence of man, it seems unfair that he did not also limit his stupidity.
-- Konrad Adenauer

Where there is no vision, a people perish...

It’s a problem among men. Long ago, they were given a phrase to cling to and cling to it they have! They can be seen in the streets marching to the song. They can be found in front of their televisions chanting the eternal, valiant phrase, “Quality, not quantity!” (Yes, and I’m sorry to say, that in the name of equality, women have also chosen to adhere to the ill philosophy, as well.) So we are left with a shabby population which chooses to spend little (and sporadic) amounts of time on things that really require much more consistent attention. I wonder if a man knows what reward awaits him if he just gave a woman the gift of his time on a regular and dependable basis. And as much as I’d like to spell that all out for you boys, I really believe that even if I were able to do so, it would be contrary to the entire concept. Suffice it to say that anything worth having… is worth comprehending.

If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves.
Maria Edgeworth

One of My Adorations:

William Cowper was a writer I greatly admire. The more I learn of him, the more my heart is filled with him. He lived from 1731-1800. He was a deeply sensitive man and had bouts with overwhelming depression. Once, at one of his lowest points, he hailed a cab in London and asked the driver to take him to London Bridge. It was foggy and the driver got lost, finally being only able to accomplish bringing William back to where he started. He refused payment, but William insisted saying, "If you had taken me where I had intended to go, I would have thrown myself from the bridge to my death." He then went inside and wrote these words:

God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform.
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm!

These four small lines have encouraged me so very many times since I discovered them and I can only imagine how many I would have to multiply that by to show the lives that this man continues to touch. (In fact, I set the words to my own tune and taught them to my children.)

But on a lighter side...

"Cowper loved animals tenderly and understood them in a wonderful manner. He tamed some hares and made them famous in his verse. And when he felt madness coming upon him he often found relief in his interest in these pets. One of his poems tells how Cowper scolded his spaniel Beau for killing a little baby bird "not because you were hungry," says the poet, "but out of naughtiness." Here is Beau's reply—"



“Sir, when I flew to seize the bird

In spite of your command,

A louder voice than yours I heard,

And harder to withstand.



“You cried, ‘Forbear!’ – but in my breast

A mightier cried, “Proceed!’ –

‘Twas nature, sir, whose strong behest

Impelled me to the deed.



“Yet much as nature I respect,

I ventured once to break

(As you perhaps may recollect)

Her precept for your sake;



“As when your linnet on a day,

Passing his prison door,

Had fluttered all his strength away

And panting, pressed the floor,



“Well knowing him a sacred thing

Not destined to my tooth,

I only kissed his ruffled wing

And licked the feathers smooth.



“Let my obedience then excuse

My disobedience now,

Nor some reproof yourself refuse

From your aggrieved Bow-wow;



“If killing birds be such a crime

(Which I can hardly see),

What think you, sir, of killing Time

With verse addressed to me?”



C'est Moi!

I haven't posted for awhile.
Headaches... and heartaches... and living and loving and long-lasted learning have prevented me. BUT... I just want to share this poem that is so close to my heart. I don't know the girl who wrote it, but I feel like she is my twin... in a sense.
So, here is a tribute to Trisha:

The Moon Was Half Empty That Night
by Trisha Buhrley Lee

I.
Her head
pounded the 1812 Overture
blood flooded with confidence at first
and then shied
and slowed
just as she had.
She stared at the broken glass on the floor
to find her reflection
did not resemble
even vaguely
the way she felt.

“Feel me now and tell me what it’s like!
Tell me what it’s like.
This makeshift of memory
where sickness has no sound
where reason is just too tired
and anger tastes like rice-cakes
tell me what it’s like to feel me.”

Blinking is fatal
but it smells like coffee
and it could keep her awake here
keep her awake and keep her here.
Here.
In this ocean’s insurrection
that believers refuse to believe in
that the disbelieving fear.

II.
Is beauty enough
enough to stop the poet before pain
to keep the raging rib in its place
-for its moment-
electricity among the golden vibrant wheat
just prior to the setting sun?
Rays no longer intending to warm
bow out in brilliance

a curtain-call sunset sends shivers down her November spine.
Is kindness enough
enough to slow the frenzied shark
to hold your open wound to him and stop his charge?
Is loving enough
enough to conjure this moon tonight
to show you the beauty
the kindness
the love?

III.
She looked at the moon through a telescope last night
“Never the same moon twice.”
It was just as bright as tonight
and looking at it made her squint.
She saw Saturn too
“scatter my ashes there.”
It has rings you know.
She saw them.
We’ve been told Saturn had rings.
She saw them.
She’ll show you.
You’ll see what it’s like to feel her.

IV.
She will never stop lighting lamps for the blind
and it just might not be enough.

V.
The moon was half empty that night.

Brian Doherty @ reason.com says:

Defending non-voting in bars across this great land, I often hear the ultimate "shut up"—that if you don't vote, you have no right to complain about politics or society. The reality is the exact opposite: By voting, you are playing a game whose rules are that the majority vote winner gets to control the reins of government, in all its unspeakable power. If you complain about the results of the game you chose to play, you're just being a sore loser—or winner.

Here's the whole of it:
http://www.reason.com/hod/bmd110204.shtml

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

I watched an HBO movie this weekend entitled, "Iron Jawed Angels." It was an excellent and moving story. Truly amazing to see what women had to go through to receive some measure of equality in this country. I would recommend watching, if you get a chance. It should give american women some understanding of the privilege of being allowed to have a voice in their own government. Interesting thing presented in the movie, though. In the midst of their protest, these women were confronted with the dilemma of electing to postpone or continue their cause at the onset of World War I. They knew that, at the very least, it would be rude to picket the office of the president during wartime. They chose to continue and hold the president accountable for his policy which included a zealous agenda of helping the citizens of other nations to reach the respectable position of a self-governing society while neglecting a large percentage of the citizens that lived under the rules of his own administration. The women were spat upon and called names, assaulted and arrested. Some of the onlookers told them to "go to Germany." I found this to be an ironic twist, in that this is the very thing that some have been known to say to me in today's world when I say I choose not to participate in the voting process. Honest to God, they tell me to move to Germany, as I've no right to live here in their precious democracy. Seems to me that those women, and many who came before, have always been fighting for the same thing. Liberty. The right to live according to one's own conscience. The fact that I don't vote is not because I'm lazy (although I am lazy) and it's not because I am disillusioned by the whole mess (although I am that, as well). My reasons are a matter of conscience. And when the people of this country choose a platform that would deny people the right to act in response to their own chosen belief system, then they lose the right to be called a free society. And then, in fact, those who lost their lives to provide that freedom, really did do it all for nothing.

Postscript: This article was printed in the letters to the editor of the Ogden Standard Examiner on November 12, 2004.

And the beat goes on...

Five years ago, I left the father of my children. The kids were ages 18, 15 and 12. It was very hard on everyone, but especially them. They were confused and angry and have wrestled with the many aspects of recovering from a broken home. Strangely, it was easiest on the youngest, hardest on the oldest… and right in the middle, is the girl. She felt the strong pangs of grief and upheaval the most acutely, but had the capability of working through the emotions a little better (with a lot of help from a supportive network of friends and family). She now feels like a stronger and greater person because of the adversity. All three kids have excellent spirits and solid characters. I’m sure they’ll bear the scars for life. But scars are things we all have to live with. The phrase, “He (or she) is a survivor,” is often heard. That’s no big accomplishment… because it’s true of just about everyone. We are created to survive, naturally. It’s surviving WELL that we’re after… that’s the gift that we admire. And, although I know my children to be overcomers, I’ve often thought perhaps I should have stuck it out in the marriage for their sakes. In fact, it was for their sakes that I stayed in it for eighteen years. And it was upon realizing that it was not helping anyone, least of all them, that I chose not to continue in it. So this thought keeps me from the large part of regret. But still, no one wants to know they are responsible for the pain their children feel. I knew it would be hard on everyone. All three of them knew that living with their father was killing me. They all understood that it was a no win situation. I have never sensed any resentment toward me from them… except from the oldest. He had decided to deal with the situation by calling his childhood “a lie.” You can imagine what that would do to a person. He has only spoken ill words to me a couple of times. But I’ve heard a few things here and there of things he’s said about me. Not to mention the things others have said about me. It’s been a long and terrible road. But it’s been a necessary one. And one that has brought immeasurable insight and freedom to us all. This we only know by the little glimpses of hope we see on the journey. You see, this oldest son is the one who recently had the privilege of becoming a father. He lives very close by, so I’ve been able to be actively involved in the whole experience. And, as luck would have it, he and the momma have been staying with me while their house is getting some improvements done. They’ve been with me for almost a month. It has been nothing but a pleasure. Last night, he said the smallest little statement to me… but it meant the whole world. We were discussing identity theft, or something to that effect. I mentioned that someone may have used my social security number but it was no big deal, because it’s not like I have a good name that they could ruin. And he looked squarely at me and said, “To me, you have a good name. To your children, you will always have a good name.” The moment passed quietly… uneventfully… but our hearts were stronger for the greatness of it. I know many have misunderstood and questioned and judged my actions, regarding the demise of that union. There really are no words that can justify such decisions. I can only say that, at the time, I knew my children to be like little birds that I had taught to fly. And now they were going to have to do that very thing. And I’d be here for them, if they ever wanted to know less about the earth and more about the sky. And they’d be here for me… as they were last night… in the loving words of that one man.

Post Script:
I shared the above composition with Jake, my oldest. He said he was quite touched and wanted to take me to dinner and talk about it. We went out saturday night and talked about many things, but the main thing he wanted to let me know is that he didn't mean those things he said... and that he doesn't feel like his childhood was "a lie." He said, "Mom, I had a good childhood, and the only reason it was good was because you were in it. You have been the good part of my life."

At the risk of becoming a theological forum...

Trotting Paul...

While driving to work today, I was thinking about the apostle Paul. I spent a number of years under the influence of religion. Some of it mainstream… some of it not-so-mainstream. The doctrines varied, but there was a common theme. They often used Paul as a crutch to back up their destructive teachings. Effectively doing harm to men, women and children alike. His name is sometimes used to browbeat women into submission, to force men into positions of authority or action (in the name of GOD) which they have no business in and to give children a skewed view of the family structure. These being all well-meaning souls who have just picked up these ideas from the traditions of their chosen sects (one of the most famous sects being “Americanization”). As I would hope most of us have already discovered (along with Tevye), tradition consistently has nothing to do with truth. And as a result, we reject Paul, labeling him a controlling, judgmental, self-righteous ass… a man who couldn’t possibly know anything about women or families, having lived his entire life as a single man. Well, I’ve come to find out that in order to receive his teachings properly, a couple of things have to be in order. First, realizing that it is God’s words you are studying, not Paul’s. God may have chosen Paul to deliver the words, but that doesn’t make them any less His. Secondly, study what is being said in light of the entirety of the Bible, WITHOUT any extra biblical instruction, going back to the original Greek, if possible. In fact, you will find Paul to be probably the most humble and gracious man (apart from Christ himself) to have ever walked this earth. He had a lot to be humble about. He was in no position to feel superior to anyone, considering his history. He had previously been all of those things listed above. He had even gone to the point of standing by and holding the coats of the Pharisees who were stoning a man to death for the crime of preaching Christ. He had committed the greatest crimes against Christ that were possible to commit. When Paul’s eyes were opened, he saw some terrible, terrible things about himself and all the foundations on which he stood crumbled in a moment. For me, it is one of the most ill things I’ve had to encounter (and continue to encounter), to see this man used to validate ideas about patriotism, sectarianism and submission. Those being the very things he was trying to clarify! If you do get a chance to study the topics that Paul wrote about (which he wrote usually from prison) please do not be swayed by the prejudices of your background or the oppressive slants of your society. His words are truly full of life and health and light. I would not be able to do without them.

In Response to Charles, as follows:

Believe me... I know the feeling...

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig4/featherstone7.html

Being a Christian in these times... it ain’t easy. Of course, it never was… and never was meant to be. It was meant to be simple and full of peace… but not easy.

Likely one of the most misapplied aspects of Christianity is prayer. The use and abuse of it abounds. And it is nearly impossible to force oneself to pray for those you despise. It feels as if you are asking God to bless their horrific actions. But in fact, God never does instruct us to pray for their prosperity. It’s really a change in us that he is after. (and out trots Paul)

[1] I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
[2] For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

The act of praying for all men, including those that are in positions of authority (which includes the entire world, not just OUR leaders) gives us that quiet and peaceable spirit, regardless of what it gives those for whom we are praying. In other words, prayer changes us. When I stop clinging to my country’s boundaries and claim all mankind in my view, it changes entirely the way I see the big picture. The scene changes to an eternal one. Where I am realizing my prayer is for those that are poor in spirit, just as some are praying for me when I am poor in spirit. And in all honesty, I can’t think of anyone in the world who is poorer in spirit than the world’s leaders. Giving of thanks for such creatures does seem to be a call to pure torture, but when I’m on my knees, it’s hard to look down on anyone.

Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. Jeremiah 33:3

(Had to hang up my spurs a minute for that one.) *wink*

Some Advice to Seriously Ponder:

Are you bored with mainstream religion and ready, eddy, eddy for something different? Then why not consider converting to the Church of SpongeBob Squarepants? In fact, you probably don't even have to give up your existing faith. Spongebob is quite ecumenical, in this regard. To convert all you have to do is "drop on the deck and flop like a fish."
From Alex Boese's Museum of Hoaxes

Another Kitty Says:

"The way I feel about music is that there is no right and wrong. Only true and false."
-Fiona Apple

Mommy and Daddy Love

Little treasure toes.
You spend your days dreaming of painting toenails.
I’m sure of it.
(At least your daddy is.)

Daddy says he found you in a treasure box.
He calls you his “precious.”
(Fortunately, he doesn’t use the smeagol voice when he does it.
But he does ask if you’ve seen the movie.)

Mommy says she knows of no thing more beautiful.
(Plus, she’s the one who painted your toes.)
She wants you to remain small forever and ever…
So she can hold you and kiss your face and you’ll be happy.

When you hear daddy’s voice,
You turn your head to find him.
When he’s at work, mommy puts the phone to your ear.
Daddy says he loves you. And he does.

You will always be surrounded by love.
But no love will ever match the love you have today.
From mommy and daddy.

Just Another Day in the Land of Zion

Sister Cindy (aka get-along-home) once made a trip to the store, only to become involved in a chain of events that merit recounting.

Cindy and her friend Mike were visiting the local grocery story and were met at the door by a couple of Mexican kids. (I’m sure the fact that they were Mexican has nothing to do with anything, but when Cindy was telling the story, she added that detail.) The kids were selling incense. Cindy dislikes kids almost entirely, and of course passed by them by either ignoring them or giving them a sharp reply. She went on in to do her shopping, setting her cell phone in the front part of the basket. After leaving the store, she looked and looked for her cell phone, but to no avail. She hadn’t seen it since she’d been in the store. She returned to the store and asked if anyone had turned it in as lost. They said, “Nope.” She began devising in her mind that “those Mexican kids” had taken it! (At this point in her story, I was sure she could not be seriously thinking that they were thieves just because they were Mexican ~ and yes, the correct word is Hispanic, but that’s not the word Cindy uses. Seriously, though… I’m sure there were many people in the store who could be suspect as well…) Well, Cindy’s friend Mike had an old cell phone that had been used via the same service provider. Cindy called the provider right away and had the service transferred to the other phone. Almost immediately the phone rang. It was a woman speaking Spanish. Cindy asked if she was looking for her son. She said, “Yes, I was calling him back. He called me from this number.” Cindy said, “Well that’s because he stole my phone and I want it back.” The woman pauses and says, “Is there a reward?” Cindy: “A reward? Are you kidding? Your son STOLE my phone!”
Woman: “Well I’ll get your phone back to you if you give me a reward.”
Cindy: “Okay fine. I’ll meet you at such and such a place… at such and such a time.”
Cindy proceeded to call the police and ask them to accompany her at the meeting place. The police kept at a distance, just to be sure the woman gave Cindy the phone. I suppose if she did, then all would be well. Cindy and Mike approached the woman together. She had two small boys with her. When she asked Cindy where her reward was, Cindy said, “I am not giving you a reward, you silly woman.” The woman said, “But… but… but… my little ones here need the money.” Mike interrupted, “Hey lady, you wanna know what your reward is? See those cops over there? They won’t arrest you. How’s that?”
So off they all went, going their own separate ways. No shit. True story.

At the risk of becoming a political forum...

Anyone who knows me, knows that I run from political discussions. What is not always known, though, is my reason for running. Most assume that I am trying to bury my head in the sand. Or, that I don't know anything about the subject. Some are wise enough to realize that it's just not acceptably discussed, along with religion. But the real reason is that no one is interested in hearing what I have to say. Well, since this man is much more knowledgeable and experienced and qualified to present a point, I'm going to recommend reading his article. And I'm going to guess that zero people will read it (not because they aren't interested in the subject matter, but because it has more than one paragraph). I'll put the link right here at your fingertips... and, as they say... you can lead a horse to water...
*wink wink*

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig4/featherstone2.html

(Hope you don't mind, Charles)

[I]t is a false deduction that one thousand human beings are worth more than one; that would be tantamount to regarding men as animals. The central point about being human is that the unit "1" is the highest; "1000" counts for less.
-- Soren Kierkegaard

Wait Until Your Father Gets Home

Read this:
http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig4/featherstone3.html

And then this:
Our Father, the State. After having read Charles H. Featherstone’s excellent article on the same, I’m still a little confused. Clearly, allowing ourselves to be manipulated in the name of parenthood, by the state, is beyond idiotic. But how would one go about tearing loose of those ironclad apron strings without the benefit of a blowtorch? Every single thing we do is regulated. We begin by being “registered” and given a number. We are put on a schedule of immunizations, and when thrown into the public school system we are initially branded suitable, based on our rigid adherence to said schedule. We cannot do anything without our registration number and proof of submission. Not without a fight, anyway. So on we go. We give birth to our babies, sign them up and wait for opportunity to throw them out. Why should we think they would grow up to do anything but the same? This is such a basic and intrinsic part of our society, leading to parents uttering the words (right in front of their child), “God, I can’t wait until he starts school so he will be out from under my feet!” We put them in varying regimented institutions, thinking we have opted for some measure of freedom by “choosing” public or private (and even home) schools. But it’s all regulated. Our big daddy is watching us. (While we have been worrying about big brother, our daddy has enlarged to gargantuan proportions.) There is so much more going on, but there’s no need to go into it here. It’s just more of the same. Maybe in a different color, waving a different banner, wearing a different T-shirt. The long and short of it is, why are we amazed at the “daddy party” mentality, when it’s a true reflection of our own parenting? Yikes, indeed. We are sacrificing our children for our own sakes and we’ve been doing it so long, they don’t even bother to scream anymore.

The Shakespeare Authorship Debate

You might say, "Who cares who wrote the plays and sonnets?"
I care.

http://www.shakespeare-oxford.com/flawlife.htm

As Charles Burford (Shakespeare Oxford Society President, 1995-1997) has said in his talks on the authorship, "If you get Shakespeare wrong, you get the whole Elizabethan era wrong."

A Message from the Earl of Oxford:

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more;
Men were deceivers ever;
One foot in sea and one on shore,
To one thing constant never;
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny;
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into hey nonny, nonny!

Sing no more ditties, sing no more,
Of dumps so dull and heavy;
The fraud of men was ever so,
Since summer first was leafy.
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into hey, nonny, nonny!

For Brynleigh Jade:

Sweet light that shines from those bright eyes,
Makes heaven wish for bigger skies.
The sun could warm the darkest place,
Yet still not match that precious face.
And in her orbit, gorgeous moon,
Seeks to make a dim world swoon.
But all her efforts pale in vain
When those small sighs our hearts obtain.

To Blave or Not to Blave

I’ve concluded that it’s high time people learned some email etiquette.
And is a cathouse gal the one to learn manners from? Apparently so.
Surely, someone… somewhere… has broached this subject (is it alright if I call you Shirley?) BUT it must have fallen on deaf ears… er… fingers. The refined practice of proper emailing has proved to be elusive. Let’s see if we can tip the scales a bit.

It’s not hard to apply some sensibility to our emailing practices. Simply consider the time restraints and possible personal views of your proposed “audience.” I don’t know who it is that sits around with enough time to sift through twenty-plus emails a day, but it ain’t me! If I see mail that has that tell-tale “RE: RE: RE: And Baby Makes Three!” type of message in the subject line… I often delete it without reading. I’m gonna guess (somewhat educatedly) that I’m not alone in that action. If you are someone who notoriously sends such FORWARDS, then I sometimes delete it without even bothering to read the subject line! Easy rule. If you find yourself pushing the “forward” button… STOP! The “forward” function was not invented to give you an easy way to feign communication. It’s to be used SPARINGLY. If you have been sent a story or joke and you just CANNOT keep from sharing it… then copy and paste it into a message. Then select addresses to send it to, considering them personally. Honestly, there are some people with differing political AND spiritual views from yours. And if you really want to be correct about it, send it to one address at a time, mentioning something about why you thought they, specifically, might get a kick out of it.

A message to the receiving end. When you receive an email that you like, respond. Even if it’s just a joke. I rarely send out those things, but if I do, I like to know that you enjoyed it. Not a long response, and not even EVERY time… just a “funny… I liked that” or such. If I never get a response, I will stop sending, because I will conclude that you are not enjoying the messages. Not because I want to punish you, or that I’m offended. If you like it, I hear from you… if not, I don’t. Conversely, if you are in the habit of sending me jokes and stories and NEVER get a response from me, it’s likely that I’m not reading them. And it’s probably pissing me off that I never receive a personal message from you.

Chain letters. These are the most ill mannered things to come down the pike yet! Promising good luck, threatening bad luck… promising answers to prayers, fulfilled dreams and wishes, if we follow the “chain” rules….threatening the loss of those things if we don’t…are we using 21st century technology to nurture 16th century ideas?

Truly, it’s a lazy man’s world. I’m all for laziness. If you just want to scan, forward, scan, forward, scan, forward and be done with your correspondence for the day, then go for it… you’re quite effectively accomplishing that! But just know, it’s not impressing anyone. I have a large number of intelligent and creative friends and, quite frankly (do you mind if I call you Frankly?), this lack of email integrity makes them appear quite dull. I’d rather see them as the shining stars I know them to be.

Taking Care...

Have you ever realized how silly it is to tell someone to "be careful" or "be safe" upon their departure? I mean, are they likely to forget that? Understanding that it's all with good intentions... I usually interpret it to mean that they care... but only along the same lines that someone might ask "How are you?" Just something to say. OR... when someone says "bless you!" when you sneeze... since I'm in the habit of sneezing umpteen times in a row, it's a phrase I've heard often. (I always say, "oh please! please! No more blessings!) I guess it's one of the things we learn as part of "manners." How many people do you think stop to wonder, "What does 'bless you' have to do with sneezing?" They just do it, because mom or dad or grandma told them to. It could also give them relief because it is uncomfortable when you are standing next to a person who begins to sneeze uncontrollably... what you'd like to say is "What in the hell is that all about?" along with "Please keep your distance." BUT out comes... "Bless you!" I can only assume that some of these people are even athiests. Which explains the shortening of the phrase from "God bless you!"
It is in fact from the superstitious belief (I'm gonna take a stab in the dark and call it Catholic) that when you sneeze, your soul temporarily escapes your body, leaving it susceptible to being snatched up by the devil! Man, oh man! If that's not enough to scare you into holding in a sneeze! THANK GOD that if someone says "Bless you!" in time, you don't have to worry about that danger! You are protected from the devil, indeed! (I've no idea what we do if we're alone. I think it doesn't count if you say it yourself, not to mention the fact that if you are sneezing, you can't talk!) That devil is a crafty fella... there is no END to the lengths he will go to get a soul...
In finalization, let me just admonish all of you...
be reckless.
love ya!

Life's Little Balances

"They say that life is tit for tat
And that's the way I live -
So, I deserve a lot of tat
For what I've got to give!"
Matron Mama Morton in CHICAGO

And......... She's Here!

Grandma Teri was out of town watching the boy (and I must begin to use the term “boy” loosely) play football, when baby Brynleigh decided it was time to make ready for her entrance… Mommy Beth was in the hospital by ten that night. Grandma sent Auntie Erika to be her proxy. From what I hear, Erika made an excellent stand-in Grandma! The only difference, she said, would have been that I most definitely would have kicked that crotchety nurse’s ass that was mistreating Mommy Beth (or Tiny, as we like to call her). But, Grandma-by-proxy and Mommy and Baby all survived, as they have a way of doing. According to Erika, Daddy Jake was so good with Beth that she just wanted to take a picture of them… then realizing that if someone took a picture of her in that state, she’d be terribly unhappy… so she resisted. The Princess made her appearance to the world early Saturday morning. Weighing in at 7 lbs 7 ozs. She was 7/7 on 9/11. And of course, she’s purrrrrrrrrrrrrrfect. I settled the kids (Erin and Brady) at their jobs and began the process of hauling ass home. Tiny had wanted my presence much earlier… and I had to get there soon. I was reasonably sure that Princess Bryn wouldn’t care if I arrived on Saturday or Sunday or Monday, but Momma was insistent. I arrived at the hospital at midnight. Was greeted in the parking lot by the very elated and proud father. There was some skepticism among the masses as to whether or not I’d be allowed as a visitor at such a late hour, to which I replied, “I’d like to see them stop me!” And of course, they didn’t. But then again, I didn’t ask for permission. Mommy and Daddy had been up for almost two days and were exhausted. Brynleigh was wide awake, her big eyes looking about in wonder. A very alert newborn. (I’m sure she’s of very high intelligence, with an incredibly active and creative mind.) I started singing to the baby, and Jake and Tiny went to sleep. Brynleigh just watched me. I managed to stay until almost 2 a.m., at which time I left the little family to their rest. Picture to be posted at a later time. Over and out.

East of the Sun, West of the Moon

This is my observation, given by the constellations.
I see a beautiful picture of the relationship between a man and a woman in the sun and the moon. The sun is ever shining to provide that life-giving light. It’s constantly in the process of burning itself out. But it doesn’t give a thought to that fact. The moon, on the other hand, has no light source of its own. It is made of the stuff that absorbs the light. A man gives of himself, without thought for his own life, to shine that light on the object of his affection. A woman, like the moon, receives this light fully and gladly, because she’s made of the stuff that absorbs the light. (If you don’t believe me, then next time you get a chance, take a look at a woman who is loved this way.) She can then respond by shining that great light back onto him, even in a dark world. And if you recall from your lessons, the only time the sun doesn’t shine on the moon, thereby depriving her of his light… is when the world is in the way.

The Road Erin Travels

Erin and her friends went to the beach last night. They do that a lot… spur of the moment… it’s the thing she loves about living in southern California. Then they decided to go over to one friend’s house and share a fifth of some dumb flavored vodka. Well… you know… as things progress in such situations… someone says, “Hey! Let’s go for a drive!” Erin has never been one to ride in a car with a driver who has been drinking… well I mean, unless it’s her mother. And peers have rarely been effective in pressuring her to do anything she didn’t want to. So, she refused the ride. The driver begged and begged, promising that she would be safe. Even got down on his knees. Erin, being the sweet, sweet girl she is, was sorely tempted, but still said “no, thanks.” So there she was, sitting by herself at the house, while they went out for a joy ride. Next thing you know, she’s getting a call. “Erin! We’ve been in an accident! We’re running from the cops… we left the car and we need someone to pick us up!” The one guy who lived there who had a car was asleep in his bedroom. He had to work early in the morning. If you’ve ever had to wake up a sleeping twenty-year old man (and I use that term loosely), you know it’s no easy task. Even if you are a beautiful girl, whose heart he strongly desires. But Erin gave it a try… first gently shaking him… then throttling him… she was undaunted… he had to wake up! Finally, after he’d called her several names in the book, he was alert enough to hear the urgency of the situation. At that moment, another friend of theirs (Cory) who had decided to come over and keep Erin company showed up. So Justin (his name is Justin… the one after Erin’s heart) was off the hook to go back to sleep. Cory and Erin drove around for two hours, with the renegades calling every ten minutes or so to tell them their new location. When they finally connected with the group, they were running full force toward them, in the middle of the road, so covered with dirt, all you could see was the whites of their eyes. She said they looked like crazed soldiers, using ground cover to camouflage their presence! They had cuts and bruises from scaling barbed-wire fences and throwing themselves into any nearby foliage when a car drove by. Apparently, they had not been hurt when they rolled and totaled the car, but were reprimanded by nature in their fleeing. Of course, the police caught up with them and saw right through their “hey I didn’t even have my car tonight… it must have been stolen” story. And Erin… happy she is that she didn’t fall for the well-intentioned promise… “Nothing will happen to you… you will be perfectly safe.” Words to RUN by.

It's Raining...

I'll be leaving very, very soon to make the long drive. It's quite cool out, which is nice. Would be best to try to beat that afternoon salt lake city traffic, but this being a holiday weekend... I doubt I'll accomplish that.

IN THE MEANTIME, while I'm away, I'd love to log onto this page and see some inspiring words to enjoy ... and those of you who have that capacity know who you are!

After all...
"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold, in pictures of silver."

miao

California or Bust!

So… tomorrow I depart to the sunny shores of southern California. Going to watch my youngest boy play the first football game of this year. It’s Varsity this time, and he’s the captain! Yep and he deserves it. A hard working young man, if ever I saw one. Erin is there, as well, so we will be making a ya-ya party of it every day.

We will go visit Jack, my screenwriter friend in Santa Monica. Jack lives in a hi-rise apartment building right on the beach. It’s gorgeous and when I took my young friend, Amy, there a couple of years ago, she dubbed Jack “a god.”

Two years ago, when Erin turned eighteen, she said the only thing she wanted for her birthday was a dozen roses delivered… with a card signed, “Love, Mel.” Well, that ain’t much to ask, is it? I figured it was worth asking Jack about. After all, he’s as close to show biz and I’m gonna get. I sent him an email to which he replied, “I don’t know Mel Gibson, but his brother lives in my building.” I’m serious. That’s the entirety of the email… verbatim. I called him immediately and said, “WHAT?” and blah blah blah… so I got Mel’s brother’s phone number and called him. “Hello? I’m a friend of Jack’s. He gave me your number. We have an idea for a fun thing that will make a young girl very happy. My daughter’s birthday is coming up and I wondered… if you might… well… if I paid for it… would you send her a dozen roses?” He was a bit stunned. He said, “Can you call me back in a day or two after I’ve thought about it?” “Sure.” Later, he told Jack, “Tell your friend… that’s just not my cup of tea.” Mean, mean man. How does he expect to make it big when he can’t even do the little things? Hmmm…

Anyway, it’s been a lovely day. I went to lunch with my baby sister, Erika, and her daughter. Graci is attending culinary school in San Francisco. Driving back was as relaxing as it gets. The weather is purrrrrrrfect. And listening to Les McCann and Eddie Harris play, “Compared to What” makes for a satisfying afternoon. And tomorrow, heading for full sunshine.

Life According to Mary:

I’ve crossed lines of words and wire,
And both have cut me deep.
I’ve been frozen up… I’ve been on fire.
The tears are mine to weep.
I can cry until I laugh,
Or laugh until I cry.
So cut the deck right in half ~
I’ll play from either side!

Cathouse Critic's Corner

Yep... movie critic time:

Sunday. August 29. Kill Bill Party.
Watched the Kill Bills, back to back. Getalonghome Cindy was there to narrate, just in case we had questions. But only when we asked. She's not the type to intrude on art just to hear her own voice. And being the one who appreciates Tarantino's work, it was her idea to have the party.
Vol 1: Excellently and creatively presented. It was both visually and intellectually stimulating. The exaggerated "cartoonish" theme was balanced well. (Is it possible to be balanced in cartoon world?) I wouldn't call myself a fan of anime, but this movie could put me on that track.
Vol 2: Q & U's "Bride" shines. A heroine in the truest sense of the word. And the conflicted villain developed before our eyes, with David Carradine being a person he MUST identify with on some major level. Either that, or he's the greatest actor alive. Because he WAS Bill.
I'd been told that I could see the second movie (said to be better by far than the first), without having to view the first. This is true. The storyline is complete and flashbacks can be relied upon to provide explanations. Vol 2 being responsible to fill in those questions that were opened up by Vol 1. BUT in order to comprehend the fullness of the characters, as well as the diversity and sheer genius of the writers/producers/directors............................ you gotta see both. If you are content to just know the story... well shit... here it is in a nutshell:
Love and hate, life and death... in the underworld... make for hazy lines. A lioness and her cub are not to be messed with. You will die.

yup... it's me...
Posted by Hello

NECESSARY READING!

Excerpt from “Women Who Run with the Wolves,” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes…………….

The archetype of Wild Woman resides in the guts, not in the head. She can track and run and summon and repel. She can sense, camouflage, and love deeply. She is intuitive, typical, and normative. She is utterly essential to women's mental and soul health.
She is the female soul. Yet she is more; she is the source of the feminine. She is all that is of instinct, of the worlds both seen and hidden -she is the basis.
She is intuition, she is far-seer, she is deep listener, she is loyal heart. She encourages humans to remain multilingual; fluent in the languages of dreams, passion, and poetry.
She is the voice that says, "This way, this way."
She is the one who thunders after injustice. She is the one we leave home to look for. She is the one we come home to. She is the things that keep us going when we think that we're done for.

To adjoin the instinctual nature does not mean to come undone, change everything from left to right, from black to white, to move the east to west, to act crazy or out of control. It does not mean to lose one's primary socializations, or to become less human. It means quite the opposite. The wild nature has a vast integrity to it.
It means to establish territory, to find one's pack, to be in one's body with certainty and pride regardless of the body's gifts and limitations, to speak and act in one's behalf, to be aware, alert, to draw on the innate feminine powers of intuition and sensing, to come into one's cycles, to find what one belongs to, to rise with dignity, to retain as much consciousness as we can.

go see: http://www.elexion.com/lakota/textos/texto31b.htm

Stuff My Dad Said:

My parents had three children – one of each.


The day we got our wings:

There was a box factory in our home town, and one of their specialties was fabricating airplane wings. For those small planes they used during the war for reconnaissance. (I say that as if there were only one war.) My brother Bob, our pal Frank and I planned the trip to the factory to purchase two wings. They were about 20 feet in length and covered in canvas. They charged fifty cents per wing, and we were ready! Well what can three boys do with a couple of airplane wings? As you can imagine, it was a sight to see, two outspread airplane wings going down the road, with three sets of legs propelling them. Quite a mutation.

We took our “bird” down to the pond, which was in a park at the end of the road. Only it wasn’t a park back then, it was just a place. Up on one side there was a hill with the railroad tracks atop. It was a sledding hill in the winter. Some kids would toboggan down the other side, but there were trees at the bottom, so many of us didn’t see that as a smart thing to do. We transformed our wings into rafts when we put them in the water and rowed about on them, using sticks for motoring. When we had exhausted “all the things you can do with an airplane wing in the water,” we hauled them to the shore. I managed to step on a broken bottle and badly cut my foot. Blood everywhere! Three heads together – three boys heads together – had to come up with a strategy to get me home. Our brilliant idea was to leave one of the wings there and use the other as a stretcher. A new twist on the mutation - one airplane wing going down the road, with two sets of legs propelling it!


Head first, Scandinavian Style:

Idle hands are the devil’s playground? Well, boys have no intention of having idle hands. They build things. And of course, when they see any amount of standing water, they build diving platforms! And then they dive into the water. I proceeded to hit my head on the bottom. Hard. (One might wonder why my hands didn’t go in ahead of my head.) I probably had a concussion, or maybe I died. Maybe all of the years that followed have been a dream. After all, before that, my life was calm, well-ordered, exemplary. Did I conjure up my time in flight school? In Vietnam? Do I really have a wife and four daughters … nah! Who would make up a life with the ya-yas!

A Generation... Lost in Space

I caught the tail end of the baby boomer generation. Of late, I’ve noticed the way that patriotism is spinning in the minds of those around me who have been on the same ride. We were still young when the Vietnam war ended. Not quite old enough to really feel the philosophical effects of the war, apart from the angry messages flying on both sides. Any war brings the opportunity for an addled view. On one hand we had people saying that freedom comes at the price of bloodshed, as it always had. On the other hand, we had people telling us that the prize was not freedom; we were laying down our lives for the benefit of ideals that belonged to the greedy buggers who were holding all the cards… and not one of those cards had the faces of the American people on them. Well that was a long time ago. We’ve had a few years to mull things over. We’ve heard the stories of conspiracy and abuse of power from then and now. We’ve heard the songs of the prophets. We may have even considered the possibility that some of the “all you need is love” people were not really full of conviction, but a lung-expanding smoke that made it apathy rather than love for their fellow man that drove them. “Yeah man, we all agree… war is hell… now pass me another joint.” But I have a feeling that heads are clearing. While still holding a view of the great battles that made for great heroes, we are beginning to realize that the things we fought for then, are not the same things we fight for now. It’s no longer a mystery and no longer something we can pretend is just a matter of opinion. We now know that the only thing we’re fighting for is the face of a man. A man who is not content to live in a world that sees him as a blithering idiot. He is a man determined to do what it takes to show proof before the eyes of all the nations that he is a powerful… blithering idiot.

Napoleon Dynamite

well... I'm here to say... I saw this movie last night...
yes, it's a movie... an indie film... always a risk...
must be a character created by a humorous youngster (or two)...
high school story of the popular versus the... well...
let's just say... less-than-gifted...
I found the humor to be uncreative and idiotic...
attendance was less than fifty, and the majority were under 25...
I can only assume that they knew some of the cast, as the entire
audience found the film to be uproariously funny!
I must have been the only one who wasn't laughing...
not even a chuckle... and if I had been alone, I would have walked out...
Now... I can count on one finger the number of films that I wanted to
walk out on... Swordfish... that's it... and I've seen a LOT of movies...
this one was full of Idaho humor... which I can only sum up as "small minded"
and Utah humor isn't far behind...
now in all fairness, I enjoyed the actors, individually... and I would have liked the movie, if it were my kids, or my nieces and nephews, or anyone I cared about
or knew in it... it was much like watching
a video that your young ones put together, so you get a kick out of it...
but since they were none that I knew, it just turned out to be a waste of time...
or possibly... like watching a slide show of someone else's family! (remember those days? pleeeeeeeeeeeeez... not the slide show! :)


Getalonghome Cindy told me....

she said, "go get yourself a blog!" ... so I did...

Once I started quoting Carrie Bradshaw, we figured it was time for me to start putting in diary entries... I only have to wonder... shall I make these entries similar to "sex and the city?"

I certainly have enough material to do so....