Angels Can Fly...

... because they take themselves lightly.

Remember the "Love Is..." comics from the 70s? And all of the "Happiness Is..." quotes that were being tossed around? It was a decade of love and happiness. Or at least it was trying to be.

I loved these trends. My father used to call me a Little Pollyanna. Which, of course, forced me to look up what a Pollyanna was.

But in the end both love and happiness are choices. We choose to love and we choose to be happy. I know... it's terribly cliche. But it's true. And these are not easy choices. Love and happiness aren't things that just happen to you. I'm afraid that most of us sit around waiting for them to do just that. But they don't. And then we're sad. And then we're bitter. And so we wind up with hate and despair. And we're sure it's not our fault.


So, if you can't muster up the strength today to choose to be happy or choose to love then at least remember not to take yourself too seriously. It's the first step in the right direction for both.

Hauling Ash

Hauling Ash. Could be the story of a family who owns a crematorium. Could be a Cinderella story. So goes the confusion of ashes and dust.

Recently, I’ve been pondering death. It’s never really mattered much to me what happens to my body after I’ve died, since I don’t intend to be in it. I have always believed that those things are done for the living. Those left behind. Sometimes people just need certain things to happen in order to help them grieve the loss of that loved one. I would prefer to be cremated. I hate to think of people going to a lot of expense to put my useless body in a casket and plant it in the ground. The funeral biz is such a racket and I do not want my loved ones being taken advantage of when they are feeling weak. Plus, I hate the idea of my body being put into the ground. On the other hand, I think it’s wrong to make demands about the observance of my passing. After all, I won’t be there! ;) So…… that’s sorta where I’ve left it. Kinda nowhere.

A couple of years ago, on Memorial Day, my Tiny was working at a store where she watched people come in and pick out flowers to put on the grave of a loved one. It bothered her that they often chose the cheapest ones. A man had even asked her for advice and she suggested roses. After looking at the price, he settled on the cheap ones, too. So, the other day I was thinking about that. I know my Tiny would like to be able to visit me somewhere after I’m gone. I wondered where that would be. The first place I thought of was Santa Monica Pier. After my divorce, I met my friend Jack, who lives in a high rise apartment building at Santa Monica Beach. He very generously offered to let me stay in his guest room whenever I wanted to get away from it all. I would arrive in the late afternoon, he and I would go to dinner and then he would work long hours into the night, writing stories like, "Hauling Ash." When I awoke in the morning (usually around 7 or 8) I would take my book, walk down to a local restaurant (The Omelette Parlor) and have a quiet breakfast. Then I’d walk to the beach, sit down and read my book. This was a very healing and tranquil time for me. And my fondness for Jack, and Santa Monica, quickly grew to a degree of great affection. To this day, Jack still welcomes me any time I want to visit. Jack and I were never romantically involved, but we remain very close friends and he is a man I very much adore.

I’ve visited and lived many places in my life. But my favorite places have always been near the Pacific Ocean. So here’s my suggestion:

Let me burn and scatter my ashes in the Pacific. That way, anyone who wants to “visit” me can meet me anywhere that the ocean meets the land. I don’t know if I will be able to really go and meet them, but if things are anything like they are in the world of fantasy and fairy tales, I believe I will be hanging out at that Pier. ;)

And maybe somewhere, a sign can be planted that states my epitaph, which I wrote myself a number of years ago:

They say there is beefcake for every fine lassie,
As long as 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!

And who’s to say that these things will even remotely come to pass? Check out what happened with Dorothy Parker’s ashes.

But just for the record, when I talked with my daughter, Erin, about this she said, “If that’s what you want, Mom, I will be sure it gets done.”

We've All Been Through Our Own Kind of Hell

We are tempted to get into pissing contests over whose hell has been worse. But for each of us, it was hell. I remember, when I first moved to Virginia, a fella I met was trying to convince me that it was the biggest mistake of my life. He said “The laws here are very strict and you’ll spend all of your time trying to get out from under their thumb.” I said, “Oh, I’m sure I’ll do fine.” He kept pressing the point. “Oh no,” he said, “you won’t do fine. It sucks here.” I asked him why he didn’t move then. “I can’t. I can’t afford to. I have to pay fines…” and blah blah blah. He was completely boring me and I wanted him to stop talking to me and move on. I finally said, “Look! I’ve been to hell and back! I don’t think Virginia is gonna kick my ass!” That shut him up long enough for me to say so long.

I don’t like negativity. I think it’s rude to tell someone who just moved somewhere that they are not going to like it. Or to tell someone who is about to start a new job or move to a new place that they are not going to like it. I learned early on in my life that you can like it no matter where you are. Because you certainly cannot like it where you are not!

Still, we’ve all been through hell. The key word being “through.” Like the song says ~ if you’re going through hell, keep on going. There is absolutely no excuse for staying in hell. I should know. I stayed there for far too long. And I have nothing like a good excuse for it.

Let’s let JoDee have the last word on this:

I’ve felt the chill of this world cut down to the bone.
I’ve walked many a mile down this road on my own.
I’ve been through hell on my knees ~
Come face to face with the devil.
And I know that it’s hard to believe… but it gets better.

Things Don't Get More Beautiful Than This

Sharing pics of the flower girls because well... two out of three of them are MINE! Little Lexi looks just like an angel. And my little Maori Princess, Bryn, is all set to grow up in a royal way to say, "Let them eat cake!"

LO and BEHOLD ~ today I received a message from Becky that the wedding video was ready! Woo hoo! Check it out.

Becky & George's Ceremony from Davey Orgill on Vimeo.

Amazing Grace

Harmony Grace Lee arrived on Friday, May 1st. May Day baby. Her mum was also born on a Friday. Friday the 13th on a September day, 23 years ago.

Little Harmony’s mum is Gracianna. My sister Erika named Graci after our grandfather’s sister, Grace and our father's mother, Anna.

My mother says that her Aunt Grace was a saint, if ever there was one. A beautiful spirit who spent her days on her knees, praying for her baby brother (Grandpa) ~ a man who squandered most of his time on booze and women. Yet, he was a charming, charismatic soul and all who knew him loved his company. Perhaps her prayers were answered in that way. At any rate, he did finally turn toward sobriety when a picnic turned sour as he made a pass at his son’s wife and said son proceeded to knock him out, dragging him through the streets of town and dumping him on his front porch. Grandpa never had a drink after that. He settled down and became a very tame husband to his shrewish second wife. But he still told dirty jokes every chance he got. :)

Grace was twenty when Alva Lee was born. Rumors circle around the family that he was actually Grace’s baby and, given the fact that it was 1910, Grace’s parents chose to tell people that he was her brother. She took care of him as if he were her own, and she never married. Never even came close. Either way, sister or mother, she loved that boy until the day she died at age 88.

Now on to her namesake, Gracianna. Graci was born in adverse times. It’s a miracle that she survived the situation she was in. Along with her mother. There were times we thought someone was going to die and we dreaded every phone call. Graci’s father was severely abusive to her mother, my sweet baby sister. But Erika left him while Graci was still very young and they both moved on to live stable and unthreatened lives. Let it be said, though, that Graci’s father has never been anything but sweet to her and supportive in the best ways he knows how.

When Graci graduated High School, she went to San Francisco to attend culinary school. She does currently work in a field that allows her some small amount of opportunity to enjoy her craft, but she hopes to lean further on that dream in the future.

That brings us to Harmony Grace. I’m going to call her Mazie (short for Amazing Grace). We had thought to call Graci by this nickname when she was born, but it never stuck. We’ll see if it works this time, because three syllables are way to many to say! (I happen to know, though, that I will probably just wind up calling her “honey.” I do this so much, that my oldest granddaughter at one time used to refer to me as “Honey Grandma.”)

Mazie’s daddy is Scotty Lee. He is a stand-up comedian and quite good. You can read about him here
and do go see him if he’s performing at a location near you. From what I hear, Scotty is a wonderful and attentive father. At present, it is clear that this child has been born into a happy situation.

But thank God we know that grace doesn’t end there.

A Word from The Wise

My oldest sister (yes, I'm talking about Tami, The Beautiful) gave me this advice years ago. She's always given me the most excellent and life changing advice. From the time I was a very young girl, on the brink of becoming a woman up until now. I'd like to share a little of that gift with you now:

It’s important for a woman to have a man who is strong and makes her feel safe and secure.
It’s important for a woman to have a man who cares about her feelings and responds to her needs.
It’s important for a woman to have a man who shows her new things in the world that she never noticed before.
It’s important for a woman to have a man who is passionate and adventurous and satisfies her wild side.
And it’s important that none of these men knows each other.

(More on Tami to come.) :)

New Tattoo!

My son just had his daughter's name tattooed on his forearm. It's a blurry shot, but I think you get the picture. :)
Okay ~ I had him send a sharper pic. Here 'tis.

This is the Lord’s doing. It is marvellous in our eyes.

Cate Blanchett’s Elizabeth shouted this out when she became queen.

I thought to myself ~
I like this scripture. I’ve heard it a million times.
But I think I should like to hear it a billion more.
At least.

Marvellous Perspective

Marvellous Patience

Marvellous Angle

Marvellous Weather

Marvellous Envy

Marvellous Wings

Marvellous Throng

Marvellous Leader

Marvellous Rest

Marvellous Love

Sweet Cherry Wine

Spring is nearly sprung. We all can't wait. We're slipping into sandals every chance we get. We're toying with the idea of scanty clothing. And depending on where we live, we are doing more than toying with it!

But spring is often the season that scares women. We've been able to hide our bodies under layers of thick clothing for months. Now we're afraid that our flesh is not only pasty but a little too jiggly. But we love the feel of that spring air on our skin. It just makes us want to take off our clothes and kick off our shoes. Yet we've been trained to be overly critical of our bodies. To see them as unsightly if they are not in line with a certain type of expectation. Regardless of how big or small a woman's body is, the average woman struggles greatly with her body image.

I say, let's give up on the hunger for acceptance from the masses who have a warped view of what is beautiful. Let's embrace who we are. Where we came from. And what made us the fantastical creatures we are today.

Let's drink it in. And pass it around.

And ever remember these wise words from one of the most beautiful women of our time:

~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes ~

It makes utter sense to stay healthy and strong, to be as nourishing to the body as possible. Yet I would have to agree, there is in many women a "hungry" one inside. But rather than hungry to be a certain size, shape, or height, rather than hungry to fit the stereotype; women are hungry for basic regard from the culture surrounding them. The "hungry" one inside is longing to be treated respectfully, to be accepted, and in the very least, to be met without stereotyping. If there really is a woman "screaming to get out" she is screaming for the cessation of the disrespectful projections of others onto her body, her face, her age.

The idea in our culture of body solely as sculpture is wrong. Body is not marble. That is not its purpose. Its purpose [is] to protect, contain, support, and fire the spirit and soul within it, to be a repository for memory, to fill us with feeling--that is the supreme psychic nourishment. It is to lift us and propel us, to fill us with feeling to prove that we exist, that we are here, to give us grounding, heft, weight...The body is the launcher of those experiences. Without body there would be no sensations of crossing thresholds, there would be no sense of lifting, no sense of height, of weightlessness.

The body is like an earth. It is a land unto itself. It is as vulnerable to overbuilding, being carved into parcels, cut off, overmined, and shorn of its power as any landscape.

There is a line in Ntozake Shange's "for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf." In the play, the woman...speaks after having struggled to deal with all the psychic and physical aspects of herself that the culture ignores or demeans. She sums herself up in these wise and peaceful words:

here is what i have...
big thighs
lil tits

so much love

How to Say "Fuck Off" with Panache

From Wiki:

Panache is a word of French origin that carries the connotation of a flamboyant manner and reckless courage. The literal meaning of the word is a plume, such as is worn on a hat or a helmet.

The epitome of panache and the reason for its establishment as a virtue, is Rostand's depiction of Cyrano de Bergerac. (Prior to Rostand, panache was not necessarily a good thing, and was seen by some as a suspect quality).

Cyrano's last words " ... yet there is something still that will always be mine, and when I go to God's presence, there I'll doff it and sweep the heavenly pavement with a gesture — something I'll take unstained out of this world ... my panache ".


When I first became single, after 18 years of marriage, I knew I was going to find myself in a game that may or may not be fun for me. I had always had plenty of male attention, so it wasn’t like I thought I was going to have to go out and find the men. I can’t tell you the number of men over the years (namely, my spouse’s friends) who said to me, “What are you doing with this bum? I’d treat you so much better.” And I would invariably reply, “Really? Are you so sure you wouldn’t be exactly the same after 2 or 5 or ten years of marriage?” Part of the reason I stayed married so long was because I was convinced that all men would be the same. Once you married them. Of course I knew this was not true. I have known a number of wonderful husbands.

So back to singlehood. It became very quickly clear to me that I could choose any kind of man I wanted. For whatever reason I wanted. And I liked this idea.

It also became very quickly clear to me that men, in general, are pretty sucky at knowing how to woo a woman. For instance, a man would say he would call. And then he wouldn’t. It didn’t take long for me to recall that rush of a feeling when you are excited about a man calling you, and then the desperate lonely realization that he ain’t callin. These were in the days when I had no cell phone. The last thing in the world I was going to do was sit by a LANDLINE and wait for a call that may or may not come. Nosireebob! So, when a man asked for my number and said he was going to call at such-and-such a time on such-and-such a day, I would say, “Okay, I will give you a 15 minute window. If you don’t call by then, it’s so long dearie!” Always a woeful plaint would utter from said potential suitor at this news. “But…. But…… buttttttttttttttttt….??!!” I said, “No buts (and no butts either) I happen to firmly believe that if a man doesn’t call, it’s because he just didn’t want to. I will take it to mean that. Plain and simple.” (Rita Rudner taught me that.) Again, said suitor would ply me with the “buts.” Talk to the hand.

Silly rabbits. Didn’t they know that trix are for kids?

So here are a couple of stories about how this trouble with wooing would play out. Both of these stories involve online encounters. Men would often “find” me on Yahoo Messenger. They would contact me from places one to two hours away. Then they would say something like, “Let’s meet halfway.” I’d say, “No thanks. I don’t go to men. They come to me.” They’d likely move on. I have no interest in a man who can’t even drive to meet me. If he has trouble with that, then he has BIG trouble with the idea of maintaining a relationship with a woman. That’s a freakin’ easy test. So this one man was much like many others, but I will tell his story just the same. 'Cause he’s so special. :)

The man wanted me to meet him halfway. I said no. He pressed me to explain how that was reasonable. I told him I had no intention of being reasonable. If he wants reasonable, look elsewhere.

He said he really liked me and thought we would hit it off. He was just looking for a friend with benefits. No expectations, no commitments.

I said, “Well get in line, motherfucker. You do realize that I have a number of applicants for that job. And you are waaaaaaaaaay at the back of the line.”

He then asked how he could move up to the front of the line.

I said, “What do you have to offer that makes you exceptional, standing above all the rest?”

He said, "~ insert idiotic and lewd statement here ~"

I said, “Nope. Sorry. Back of the line.”

He said, “I’ve never been one for standing in line.”

I said, “Then why start now.”

The end. (Whew! It took way to long to shake that one off, in my opinion. Which you know to be so very humble.)

Another man contacted me and we liked one another quite a bit. We chatted a lot. About everything you can think of. He lived a mere 15-20 minutes away from me. We talked about meeting from time to time, but it just never happened. He was intelligent, entertaining, sexy… you name it. He had it. Well one day, he said he had nothing to do. Not a thing on his schedule. He suggested maybe meeting for lunch or dinner. I said, “That sounds cool.” He said, “Well, let me think which would work better.” I said, “You think about it. You have 30 minutes to decide what time you want to meet and where. After 30 minutes, whatever you decide you have to stick to, or you will never get another chance.” (Incidentally, he could also choose not to meet at this point and not shoot himself in the foot. The guy was just given ALL The cards.) He laughed. (LOL) He decided on a place (near me, of course ~ he knew the rules) and a time. It was to be dinner. Six o’clock. This was around one. Around five, he buzzed my messenger again (and no, it wasn’t the good kind of buzz). He sort of yawningly said he had taken a nap and now feels all lazy. Thought maybe he’d beg off the dinner and do some laundry instead. Laundry?! Are you fucking kidding me? As if laundry were something to “do.” Laundry is something to be done in between the things you “DO.” Anyway, I said, “Sure, that’s fine.” A little later, he messaged me again and wanted to make plans to meet some other day. I said, “Nope. No chance.” He was stunned. He said, “Are you serious? Because of that, I can never, ever, ever, ever meet you? Ever?” I said, “You got it, babe.” And so… we never did. But we still chat from time to time. And he’s still an intelligent, entertaining, sexy and cool cat.

Panache Galore (her real name)

Just Another Of The Lights of My World

Yesterday, my baby turned 21 !!!!!!!!

He's a fantastic man and one whom I am proud to call my son. He's always been a wonderful son, brother, friend, grandson, uncle (Purdy! ~that's what Bryn calls him~) and now he tops it all off by being a wonderful father. I feel bad for those of you who can't know him, 'cause you are MISSING OUT! Right now, he's laid up with a torn ACL. (Makes mama frown.)

Ever the one who doesn't let his bright light dim, even in the toughest of situations. These song lyrics remind me of the kind of attitude that keeps Brady going (you can hear it over there>>>>>>):

Well you know those times
When you feel like there's a sign there on your back
Says I don't mind if ya kick me
Seems like everybody has.
Things go from bad to worse
You'd think they can't get worse than that ~
And then they do.

You step off the straight and narrow
And you don't know where you are.
Use the needle of your compass
To sew up your broken heart.
Ask directions from a genie
In a bottle of Jim Beam
And she lies to you.

That's when you learn the truth ~
If you're going through hell
Keep on going.
Don't slow down, if you're scared, don't show it.
You might get out before the devil even knows you're there.

Well I been deep down in that darkness
I been down to my last match.
Felt a hundered different demons
Breathing fire in my back.
And I knew that if I stumbled
I'd fall right into the trap that they were laying.

But the good news
Is there's angels everywhere out on the street
Holding out a hand to pull you back upon your feet.
The one's that you been dragging for so long
You're on your knees
You might as well be praying.

Guess what I'm saying ~
If you're going through hell keep on going.
Don't slow down, if you're scared, don't show it.
You might get out before the devil even knows you're there!

Here's where Brady spent his birthday. He's a SoCal boy all the way and he ain't never leaving! And who can blame him?

Happy Birthday, Brady! I love you!

How Much Is Too Much? How Little Is Too Little?

Over at Dadshouse, there has been much discussion on how much one should be involved in their teenager’s life. Where do they learn about sex and relationships? Are they learning the right things? Are they learning about how sex relates to relationships? Do they know they can come to you to discuss virtually anything? Do they know you are interested in them and care about their well being, along with the things they are interested in? All of these things are very valuable. There is no way that it is bad to make sure these things are in order. But are they necessary? How many fathers have really been involved in their children’s lives to this degree? How many mothers? Just consider the people you know who are exceptional people. People you admire with strong characters. Did they have this level of support, encouragement and involvement from their parents?

At our house, we were very involved in our children’s lives and activities (I mean ~ we homeschooled for six years! I’d say that’s pretty involved!) and in another house down the street, there was virtually no parenting going on. On any given day, you could enter that house and there would be a flurry of children getting ready for school. All the way down to the three-year-old, they were just getting their own breakfast and doing what they needed to do to get out the door. Mom was in a drunken stupor in bed. In my house, I was up and making a hot breakfast for my kids. We had a structured day and things went pretty smoothly. I talked to my kids. I was interested in what they had to say and they knew they could talk to me about anything. In the other house, the kids only had one another to talk to. And their friends. And their friends’ parents.

During this time period, our family was tending to our new litter of miniature pinscher pups. Tiny, fragile, little short-haired things. It was September in Southern California and it gets damn cold at night. So I set up a pen in the garage with a space heater blowing on them. I’m not shitting you! When they were weaning, I would heat up their food and mush it up. I kept their papers clean and let them out in the yard on nice days and just nurtured the hell out of them. Down the street ~ at the other house ~ they also had pups born at the same time. Rottweiler pups. Looked just like my pups, only bigger! Mom had been tossed in jail for public drunkenness and child endangerment and the children had been farmed out to relatives. I called the local whatever… pet place … so they could come rescue the mama rottie and her pups. Those pups and their mama had been in the back yard with no one tending to them for a week. AND THEY WERE FINE! And guess what… All of those kids… THEY ARE FINE!

What the hell? I worked so hard to take care of kids and pups and they just turn out as fine as the ones who were supposedly neglected? Ha! As parents, we are all fuck-ups, at best. We can always find "a family down the street" to compare ourselves to, but really we are all just trying to make it through the day.

Seriously, though ~ in the home where I grew up, my mother was at home with us until I was in junior high school. Dad was away a lot, because he was an Air Force Pilot. In fact, I barely remember much about him when I was younger. When I was about twelve years old, Dad retired. I started spending some time with him… talking to him and learning about him and the stuff he knows. I did NOT talk to him about me. I talked to him about him. I soaked up information like it was precious jewels. I did not talk to my parents about sex or relationships or anything like that. They told me when to be home. They provided for me and gave me room to grow. (In all fairness, though ~ I will say that my mom provided me with one important message about relationships when I was in sixth grade. She saw a boy slug me in the arm when she was picking me up. She said, “Oh, he’s doing that because he likes you!” Made NO sense to me at all!)

I can say with complete confidence that I have great parents who did a great job. They weren’t perfect and part of growing up includes accepting the fact that your parents are not perfect. They are human, just like you. (I know I just said that, but I still believe my mother is the most beautiful woman in the world and my father is the smartest man in the world.)

The real point is that there are so many ways to love your children. But if you do it with all your heart, they’ll know it. And that will matter.

Here's my Dad (far right) ~ Ya gotta click it and read the caption. And I kept Miss Kirtland on the page as eye candy for all you boyz and girlz who love the hotties!

It's Cold Out There But It's Warm In Bed

Where the hell is Global Warming when we need it?

Here ~ Read this:
Southern Sage on a Tirade

I'm gonna ask BrynLeigh what she thinks, because:
I am not young enough to know everything. ~ Oscar Wilde ~

Man... Is A Giddy Thing

What would we do without humor? I have no fucking idea.

Beatrice says:
But I beseech your Grace, pardon me;
I was born to speak all mirth and no matter.

He answers:
Your silence most offends me, and to be merry best becomes you; for out of question, you were born in a merry hour.

No, sure, my lord, my mother cried; but then there was a star danced, and under that was I born...

fame, is up for Best Humor Blog of the year.
If you’ve not visited his blog, it’s high time you did so! Start with this SAMPLE.

This guy is up in the top ten percent of funniest guys alive. I have been known to send out links to his posts and also to purchase and hand out copies of his book, which is a compilation of a number of his very most bestest posts. He just has a way of saying things that I just… no have way!

But all of that aside, the voting for Best Humor Blog is happening THIS week. Please click this link
and feel free to vote for any of the finalists you like, as long as it’s Diesel! And do it every day until the polls close!

Don't forget.

After all ~
He strives to please you ~
Every day.