Monday, December 31, 2007

Last Meme for 2007

I found this on Wry Catcher’s blog this evening and thought it a fitting way to see out an absolutely wretched year.

1) What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?
I can’t think of anything, I certainly wasn’t on time, I certainly didn’t keep all of my promises.

2) Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Sort of, I resolved to blog more and write more. I am for the most part keeping the same resolutions as last year, but I am adding to my list. To meet more of my blogging and online friends, to get more people in Writer’s Chat on Friday nights, and to make people laugh more

3) Did anyone close to you give birth?
My nephew’s wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl – Emily Rose

4) Did anyone close to you die?
My father and my husband’s brother both died December 29th, my nephew died November 25th.

5) What countries did you visit?
None this year, I need to get out more

6) What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
World Peace – I know it sounds so beauty pagaent, but I have everything I want.

7) What date from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
December 29th, see number 4

8) What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Gosh, I’m not sure I had a big achievement, I survived melt down, but as an achievement, I’m not sure I did anything stellar or noteworthy.

9) What was your biggest failure?
Apparently I’m a bore because I didn’t have a great failure either.

10) Did you suffer illness or injury?
No, I’m healthier than a horse (they get equine flu, I get flu shots – go figure)

11) What was the best thing you bought?
Hmmmm, a blazer from Newport News for $24 that totally rocks

12) Whose behavior merited celebration?
My sister who was grace under fire when my father passed. She supported my mother while feeling her own pain and loss and merely “leaked” a little

13) Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The little shrub that couldn’t if his life depended on it

14) Where did most of your money go?
Hmmm, House payments, food, and retirement

15) What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Don’t laugh, an electric pencil sharpener

16) What song will always remind you of 2007?
I’m not sure yet.

17) Compared to this time last year, are you…
- Happier or sadder?
-Thinner or fatter?
About the same
-Richer or poorer?

18) What do you wish you’d done more of?
Had more me time

19) What do you wish you’d done less of?

20) How will you be spending New Year’s?
Quietly at home with Ducky in my pajama’s listening to a bowl game

21) Did you fall in love in 2007?
I was already in love

22) How many one-night stands?
Get real – none

23) What was your favorite TV program?
So You Think You Can Dance and Ghost Hunters

24) Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No, hate is a very strong emotion

25) What was the best book you read?
Several books in Robert Crais’ Elvis Cole series

26) What was your greatest musical (re)discovery?
Cat Stevens aka Yusef Islam

27) What did you want and get?
Love, and Matchbox 20’s Exile on Mainstream

28) What did you want and not get?
Peace on Earth (thanks to the fucking little shrub and some other hatemongers) Oh and a little meltdown in July

29) What was your favorite film of this year?
Hmmm, I’m not sure I had one, I don’t go to the movies often

30) What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I blogged, worked, and had take out I think. 51

31) What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not having a meltdown, not being swamped at work, and maybe a clone

32) How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
Fat and black – because basic black goes with almost everything

33) What kept you sane?
Who says I’m sane? Deciding factors if I am…My husband, my grandson, and lots of coffee

34) Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I don’t do the celebrity worship thing, they are just people too, well paid and over rated people for the most part, but they are just people with bad judgement and big bank accounts.

35) What political issue stirred you the most?
The Iraq war, ooh ooh wait, The War on Terror, what fucking bunk.

36) Who did you miss?
Already my dad, rest in peace dad, I love you
And Rose who I miss placed for a short while

37) Who was the best new person you met?
Hmmm there are a few great bloggers that I adore Sid, JM, Sacred, JulieAnn

38) Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
There isn’t always tomorrow so please appreciate, communicate, and validate the ones you love (I already knew this but it was brought home again.)

39) Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
It’s not my year, it is life and there are two

1st – Five For Fighting’s 100 Years
(these are possibly the greatest lyrics of all time) (just sayin’)

I'm 15 for a moment
Caught in between 10 and 20
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are

I'm 22 for a moment
She feels better than ever
And we're on fire
Making our way back from Mars

15 there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to lose
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

I'm 33 for a moment
Still the man, but you see I'm a they
A kid on the way
A family on my mind

I'm 45 for a moment
The sea is high
And I'm heading into a crisis
Chasing the years of my life

15 there's still time for you
Time to buy, Time to lose yourself
Within a morning star
15 I'm all right with you
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

Half time goes by
Suddenly you’re wise
Another blink of an eye
67 is gone

The sun is getting high
We're moving on...
I'm 99 for a moment
Dying for just another moment
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are

15 there's still time for you
22 I feel her too
33 you’re on your way
Every day's a new day...
15 there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to choose
Hey 15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

(see the most awesome meaningful lyrics every – awesome they are life)

2nd -
Garth Brooks The River

You know a dream is like a river
Ever changin' as it flows
And a dreamer's just a vessel
That must follow where it goes
Trying to learn from what's behind you
And never knowing what's in store
Makes each day a constant battle
Just to stay between the shores

And I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry
Like a bird upon the wind
These waters are my sky
I'll never reach my destination
If I never try
So I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry

Too many times we stand aside
And let the waters slip away
'Til what we put off 'til tomorrow
It has now become today
So don't you sit upon the shoreline
And say you're satisfied
Choose to chance the rapids
And dare to dance that tide

And I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry
Like a bird upon the wind
These waters are my sky
I'll never reach my destination
If I never try
So I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry

There's bound to be rough waters
And I know I'll take some falls
With the good Lord as my captain
I can make it through them all

And I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry
Like a bird upon the wind
These waters are my sky
I'll never reach my destination
If I never try
So I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry
Lord, I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry

To you all I wish a Better 2008

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Gone, But Never Forgotten

We live all of our life to pass away. Yesterday morning (Saturday, December 29th) at 5:30am, my father passed from this plane to the next. Later that evening, 6:30pm, my brother in law passed. It’s been a rough 2007.

My father was my hero. My father was a constant inspiration to my siblings and me. My father was my first boyfriend. We went on dates, we fought, we made up, and we always loved each other. My father helped carry me along on the days when it seemed to hard to do it myself. And I knew when I grew up I'd marry a man just like my dad.

When I was five my father played hooky one afternoon from work and took me to the racetrack. It was my first time, the first of many, and I remember it as clearly as if it happened yesterday.

We were seated up in stands, my father was intent on the track, race form in hand, his tie loosened at the collar. I was being swept away in the fervor as each race began and ended. Until one race found me standing up, jumping as high as five-year-old legs can, screaming, “Go Joe, go!” My father leaned over and asked me which horse I was rooting for? I pointed out the horse of my fancy and my dad happily said that was his horse too, and continued rooting with me. For the rest of that afternoon he helped me chose horses to pin my hopes on.

Later years would find us sharing interest in Indy and formula one racing. A tall man my father worked in the pits for my Aunt Dot, a childless woman my father worked with, and who owned midget racers in Southern California. Usually my father would work the pits, my sister or brother and I huddled under blankets in the bleachers, hands wrapped around steaming cups of hot chocolate as my father worked on the cars. Several times my father would sit in the cockpit of a car and race himself. I’m sure it was just for the thrill, but it was a passion he shared with us kids.

Another was fishing. My father hated fish, but loved to be out on the sea in a boat he built with his own hands from blue prints tacked on the garage wall. As I was growing up there was always a boat in some stage of construction, either in the garage or on blocks in the yard waiting its turn in the water. Later that passion turned to planes and flying, and the laughter that would be evoked when my father would relate a crash in his ultralight, saved by the fate of landing upside down in the Rhododendrons that line the Florence Municipal Airport. Yes, crashes, plural.

My father was an adventurer, he gave that passion for adventure and travel to his children, and with any luck we have passed his lessons and passions on to our children. My father was a storyteller, with a silver tongue and a gift of gab. My father was far from a saint, but he was honest, forthright, and plain. My father has now gone to a much gentler place, free from pain, where he can breathe deep and walk unimpeded.

I will miss you so very much, but you will ever live in my heart, in my memory, in the smiles of my daughter and nephews, and their children. You will ever walk in my dreams, whisper to me in the wind, and hold my hand in the dark of night. I will never let you go and I pray I will never let you down.

Dad, I love you

Later that night Ducky’s younger brother died after his nine-month battle with lung cancer. It didn’t come as a surprise, but it, like my dad’s passing creates a loss and an ache that will be a long time in easing.

Gwynn was a gentle man with a massive heart and a love for his partner, his children, and grand children. He fought for each extra day of his life after the doctor’s told him his cancer was incurable. He spent time with his siblings, his children, and his grandchildren building memories to take them through the rest of their lives.

He had two wishes for the end of his life. First to make it through Christmas, and second he wanted a white Christmas. On Christmas morning Ducky called Gwynn to wish him a merry Christmas, as they discussed health, the holidays, and life in general. During the call Gwynn suddenly stopped and after a moment pause said in wonder, “It’s snowing.” That was the last conversation Gwynn and Ducky shared.

Yesterday morning Gwynn suffered a major heart attack in the hospuital. Last night after the family drove from various parts of Oregon and Washington to gathered at the hospital, the nurses removed Gwynn’s life support. Forty-five minutes later he was gone.

Our tears flow like our memories. But unlike our memories the tears will dry, our wounds will toughen, and our pain will ease. But they shall ever live in our memories and our hearts.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Talk Thursday – 2007, What was, What is, What will be

Do you find yourself constantly with your foot in your mouth? A whole day where size 9 is rasping against that broken molar on the left upper side, only emphasizing the rut you’re finding yourself in? Shit, why minimize? It’s not a whole day, or even a week, 2007 can’t be over soon enough. But wait, this is an eight year, shit that means a nine year is just four days away.

I have constantly said the wrong or inappropriate things to people of late. My boss made a comment to me this morning, a completely reasonable, sane comment that bosses make to an employee who is … er let’s say 25 feet outside of her sound booth during her air shift. Just sayin’. So what does said employee do? She cops an attitude, turns silently on said size nine booted heel and returns to her studio. I was wrong, er I mean she was wrong, but, hey that didn’t stop her from pointing out to her very nice boss that instead of complimenting her, he always offers criticisms.

To be totally honest I have a great boss, a very generous boss (who does not read my blog) and I should have kept my sassy mouth shut. But, nooooo, I apparently like sole. I’m glad my boss is my friend, and forgiving.

With that off my chest (and a mighty sagging chest it’s becoming) let me move on. I have acquired a bevy of beautiful friends in 2007 (not bad for a crappy year. But it has also brought loss. Our nephew died just after Thanksgiving.

My brother-in-law was diagnosed with lung cancer in late winter. Bouts of chemo, a strong will, and love has brought him through to the white Christmas he wanted. Today, he was hospitalized and his family told, if they want to see him before he passes, they need to be there now.

This morning my dad came home from the hospital to spend his final days at home, surrounded by those who love and cherish him. His goal was to make it through Christmas. Each of us took turns visiting him in the hospital since Sunday morning. He has accepted his passing, he is tired, he hurts, he can’t breathe, he is ready to go home. Strangely both his older, remaining sisters have booth been hospitalized during the holidays.

I am stressed and sad that my days with him, my hours with him are numbered. But I am glad that he will be free of the physical pain and burdens that have brought him down. I am extremely thankful for the extra twelve years I have had with him.

I found a great resolution last year. Did I make it? No way in hell, but I will try again in 2008.

First, I resolve to write more, at least two blogs per week (but I can bank extras from wordy weeks [please send Meme’s to help me meet my goal].) This also means at least three poems a month.

Secondly, I resolve to meet more of my blogger/internet friends. Up first Sid and JulieAnn in April. Par-tae On! Natalie and I are suppose to do RWA in Frisco in July, but we shall see.

Thirdly, I resolve to get more people in to our Friday night Writer’s Workshop / Chat. Hint, hint, HINT! And again, can we say HINT? All interested – poets, short story penners, bloggers alike apply in cyber form at 9pm Pacific. Writers Workshop We chat at 9, post at 10pm.

Fourthly, I resolve to keep my promises, to be the best I can be, and to communicate, validate, and appreciate those in my life, both walking and cybering.

Fifthly, I resolve to make people laugh, think, and think while they laugh.

Good-bye 2007, you’ve given me many lessons, many wonderful steadfast and new friends. You gave me the opportunities a plenty for failure and success and hopefully I utilized each instance to grow.

Hello to 2008, I stand waiting, hopefully prepared, for all that you will bring. May I be up to the challenge.


Talk Thursday

I've known for a week it's my turn to choose a Talk Thursday topic. I am bad at this. I've been thinking about it for a week.

I am sitting here trying to come up a topic and thought about it being the end of the year, the end of my father's life, and where have I been, where I am going.

Today's Talk Thursday topic.... 2007 What was. What is. What will be.

JulieAnn, you will choose the first Talk Thursday topic of 2008, ummm please


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Talk Thursday - 10 Weird Things About Me

I never find these easy. What is weird to one is normal hat to another. Weird is as weird does. It takes one to know one. Oh, crap. Neener – Neener – Neener.

But here goes (this could take me a while, be patient.) Err (please)

1) When I say, “I do”, it’s forever. And yet, I’ve been married three times (this is the last) and divorced (obviously) two times. While I wasn’t necessarily the one who wanted the divorce, I am the one who had to file…each friggin’ time. (You might note this doesn’t sit well with me, if you want to divorce me, don’t rub my nose in how much you despise me by making me file the paper work.) And no Ducky and I aren’t divorcing; it’s just the first thing that came to mind.

2) I don’t believe in funerals. I don’t. I find them macabre at best. I believe a person who leaves this plane is still with us. I talk to those who have passed all the time, I light candles in remembrance. And despite these beliefs that those we love are always with us, I will go Saturday to the cemetery with Ducky and his sisters and decorate a (explicative removed here) Christmas tree. And I will go to funerals, I just don’t believe in them, but sometimes you have to support the ones left behind with a show of support. I guess that makes me hypocritical – I can live with it.

3) I’m sadly not in the Christmas spirit this year. I can’t figure it out. I love being in the Christmas spirit. My packages are sent, the cards (what few I lower myself to do) are written and sitting in my truck awaiting a stamp I’ve not yet bought. I have no lights on the house, only the tree is up in the house…oh that is a lie, my stockings are up. But no garland, no twinkling lights, no bows on my mantles. I am sad this Christmas for some unknown reason.

4) Okay on to brighter things. While it’s not weird to have been a Girl Scout, I am proud of the nine years I spent selling calendars, cookies, and building fires. I (somewhere) still have my sash filled with stars and badges.

5) I have been raped twice. Strangely enough these were growing experiences for me. The first one I have to own partial responsibility for, the guy has apologized and we both moved on. The second I have gotten over mentally, I forgive the guy who raped me (that’s the weird part I think) but he still scares the bejeebers out of me.

6) I have this really weird memory. My earliest memory is from age two and a half, although I have disjoined flashes of memory from even before that. Despite this great memory I can’t remember individual sexual encounters (ha ha I do remember their names.) The other day I was doing my shipping and had gone to the shipping store without putting one of the zip codes on one package. Strangely enough that morning I’d seen the number – 84093 (Ha I still remember it) – and rattled it off the top of my head. It freaked everyone out in the shipping store when they realized I wasn’t from Utah. Well I’m not.

7) To make myself fall asleep (because two Unisomes don’t do it for me anymore) I name all the kids in the houses of my childhood neighborhood (approximately sixty houses.) I name their last name, each child's name (in order of age,) pet names - what have you. Anything in a list helps me fall asleep.

8) I get songs stuck in my head. I know most people do, but I’ve been getting the same song stuck in my head since early childhood. The Cascades, “Rhythm of the Rain.” Forty plus years of singing that song in my head over and over again.

9) I have this bizarrely great memory and yet I can rarely figure out what to make for dinner. I lose words often. And I will call my grandson by my dog’s name. I have no friggin’ clue why. Burp and Arlo sound nothing alike.

10) Most people in my life are a song. I hear a song and it will remind me of them. My dad is “King of the Road”. My mother is “Lavendar Blue Dilly Dilly (strange choice I know, but the other is "Mares eat Oates”. Ducky is “Second Thoughts”, My daughter Psam is “I Love Rock n’ Roll”, My sister is “Cracklin’ Rosie,” my little brother's song is "Suicide is Dangerous" aka the theme from MASH. Just a few. I can remember when a song come out by what I was doing when I first heard it. But I’m not always right. My friend Cara told me I’m a music savant.

Now looking back on this list I admit nothing is really weird, but there is nothing normal about me. I will try harder, and come up with weirder weirdness later.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Heceta Head Light House

Son of a Bun Hugger, It was one of those days. You know the type where - everything that could go wrong does, UNEXPECTEDLY. Freddies (a pacific northwest Krogers) was definitely crowded yesterday morning. But that is to be expected, sheesh it’s only 7 shopping days till Christmas. I am not a Safeway shopper and in my tiny burg that is the two choices you have. I’ll be going to Safeway later. With two more (maybe three) batches of Kahlua to make I was in need of vanilla bean. Freddies was out, or so I thought when a row of previously unseen bottles flashed before my eyes. $20 friggin bucks for dried up, clinks when shaken Vanilla Bean. $20 bucks. If that is what I will have to pay I will quit making Kahlua.

I came home, put the groceries away. And went out to put out the icicle lights for Ducky to hang. WTF! We bought them at the end of last season. They are half the length and somehow one of the six boxes is not white lights, but multi color. Where six boxes had done the entire house before, I’m thinking six strings of these lights wouldn’t even do the front of the house. And they can only be strung together in sets of three. Bummer dude.

After I put the lights back into their box and thought about who I could dump them on, I went inside and thought I’d work on my candy bowls that I need to ship. I’d bought six-packs of Original Chocolate Sins hand-dipped truffles and thought this year I’d make coconut haystacks to finish off the bowls.

This year’s bowls are beautiful. Every year the Florence Food Share has local artist create bowls and they are sold off one night for $10 each. All money raised goes to the Florence Food Share to fill the shelves of the food pantry. I get some great bowls, make a bit of an extra donation (I mean I get some great bowls and they need the money, WTF) and I give them as gifts. So I placed my coconut under the broiler (yes I remembered to take it out of the bag,) put the chocolate chips into a bowl over boiling water to melt, and went and divided my stocking goodies into individual bags so I could keep track of what I’d done.

Soon my attention was drawn back to the kitchen by the roiling smoke billowing up from the sides of my flattop. I’d forgotten the coconut. I quickly grabbed the dish and took it out to the deck so the smoke would dissipate. Black coconut does not haystacks make. Which is fine because my chocolate chips refused to melt and instead just turned grainy. WTF? (this is possibly my new holiday greeting.)

So on my score sheet for the day No Vanilla Bean –1, No Christmas lights – 6, no coconut (well I have coconut but I’m not going there) –1, grainy chocolate lump –1. For a grand total of minus 8 on the day.

Heceta Lighthouse (pronounced Ha-sea-ta) for the last eight years has held a Victorian Christmas. I always mean to go. So earlier in the day as asked Ducky for a date. We drove up to Heceta Head (the man is night blind I swear.) As we rounded the rounder at Sea Lion Caves you could see the lights on the Light keepers house gleaming in the night. Beautiful, but not the lights that I’d expected.

The highlight of the night was the short trek from the light keeper’s house (in pitch dark) to the light tower for a guided tour. I’ve always wanted to do this. Ducky didn’t even know you could do this. It was awesome.

Our tour was led by a volunteer who was quite knowledgeable about the tower and the history of the light station. Only four tourists are allowed up the tower at a time because of the deterioration of the structure. Brick work needs repair, the stairs are even breaking down, the government has given up and pays nothing for the up keep of Heceta Head Lighthouse. Surprise! (btw this is me not ranting about the cost we’ll fork over in the billions of dollars for one man’s war on the world, but nada for the strongest beacon on Oregon Coast) every cent that keeps the light house going is through donations. I’m sincerely thinking about donating $10 a month, I know it’s not much, but it’s what I can afford.

We learned about the Fresnel lenses that powers the beam 21 miles out to sea. We now could figure out which light is the Heceta, the Umpqua, the Charleston and the Yaquina by their timing and series of lights (I mean if we were out at sea – which ain’t going to happen anytime soon if Ducky has his way.) We learned that the 2 ton lens is put together with putty and so well balanced that it is run by an itty bitty little 4 horsepower motor – 2 tons. And in the days when the lamp was powered by kerosene lantern, it was seen 21 miles out to sea. I love knowledge like this. Fabulous!

Following our tour we walked back down the hill chatting with the other lady in our tour (she is from Yachats – pronounced Ya-hots.) The three of us went into the light keepers house to be greeted by warmth, Christmas music by a small combo set up in the corner of one room and cups of delicious hot apple cider and cookies.

As the holiday’s go, my day was a total disaster. But the night was awesome.

Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Fear and Loathing Snakes in Florence

Sister Mary Lisa started this, and I was capitvated by the posts I read. Daunted by the task at hand. It took me a few days to write this, in fact I wrote it twice. But it was with my usual flippant attitude and didn’t do the post or emotion justice. In fact maybe I was just running from myself. Scared to lay open my fears. Others did and I was proud of them, touched by them, and ultimately inspired by them.

So I’m going to jump in with both feet, because I realized this afternoon where I stand.

If I wasn’t afraid I would walk up to Mark Holt and ask him why he raped me? Why he took the freedom of choice from me? The joy of sex from me? And my ability to feel sexy? I don’t fear any reason he might have for his violent actions, I fear his distain, and worse the fact that he might not even remember, and therefore I am less, I am used, I am discarded, I am not even a bad memory.

Being free of fear I would have the courage to tell him that while I haven’t forgotten, I have forgiven him. But I fear him, oh to be free of that fear. I saw him once, I thought I was over it, those twenty years later. I thought I was okay with my past, but he walked in the hotel, fifty feet away from me, and I shook in fear. If I could be free of that fear, I could soar.

I wish I could walk into a room confident of my welcome and place. Free of fear I would host a party inviting all of my friends, my family, and my coworkers. I would throw a party where people would mingle and laugh, not wanting to leave because the food and company is fabulous. Free of fear I would chat with everyone, charming with my dialogue and laughter, lighting up every heart and face in the room.

Free of fear I would compile my photos and poems into a portfolio and shop them to agents and publishers alike. If I weren’t afraid of rejection, that is. If I were more sure of my ability, talent, and worth as a poet I would, if I could.

If I were free of fear, I probably still wouldn’t like snakes.

While there are fears I would love to be free of, there are fears I will gladly hold on to. The fear of wounding others with my actions and words, I will keep. The fear of not having a chance to say good-bye to those I adore, admire, and cherish I will hold close. And heed the warning of that fear so I remember always to validate those who mean so much to me.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Talk Thursday – Comfort in Chaos – aka The Best Laid Plans Of Mice and Me

My House Is A Mass Of Confusion, my outdoor lights are still not up. My guest room, aka the executive room, looks like a clearinghouse, and my new room looks like Christmas half-baked. I haven’t had time to get stuff finalized. And except for the outdoors decorations and a few indoor bits and bobs I’m right on time this holiday season.

The Kahlua is have way through production, two and a half cases away labels, a half case awaits bottling, only a case of brew to go. But those darn labels haven’t let themselves be known to me. Not to worry, the ideas are brewing for me. I’m thinking a snowflake of some sort this year. I hope they turn out better than last year’s label. The idea was grand in my head, but didn’t turn out quite the way I wanted.

Christmas shopping for me began last March or maybe it was February. A friend was closing out his shop – a place I often get little gifts and stocking stuffers. I was very sad to see them close, this delightful couple bought the shop a decade or so and offered up the best candies, tawdry cards, and what nots. They always get a bottle of Kahlua Cali.

Stockings are my Holiday masterpiece. I adore stockings, putting them together with silly items and things that fit each person’s personality. My stocking items are lacking this year, that means a trip to the valley shopping with my mom on Monday will include a trip to the mall. Ugh, that means chaos in spades. I have personalized note pads, truffles, chocolate oranges, fluffy socks, pens and pencils, pins for the girls, wrenches for the guys, and flashlights. Not nearly enough.

My presents are half wrapped. Except for those darn bowls of candy. Original Chocolate Sins handmade truffles (a must in my household) and Empty Bowls. I need that shredded paper stuff for decorative filler, and oh crap I’m making some fudge and haystacks this year….er…I think.

Most of Ducky’s present was bought in May and June, because he has this habit of telling me I can’t buy him anything. He will force me to pinky swear spit to this insidious promise. I can do it with an open mind if they are already bought. Check him off my list – he’s pinkied and spitted.

The girls per normal are my quandary, but I know they will come together. Both Misery and Jen have requested Fiesta Ware. Friggin’ ex-wife. Psam, on the other hand, hmmmmm clothes; for my dad some Chopin and Beethoven. The little kids get trains. What to get my mom and my boss? Then there is the shipping. Seeing all my clients. Cleaning the house for guest. Those outdoors lights. Oh, crap I’m almost and not even near to done.

And then there is Christmas dinner. Was there suppose to be comfort in this? HELP!!!!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Holiday Lights At ShoreAcres

Last holiday season Ducky and I had wanted to take Burp south to Coos Bay for the Festival of Lights at Shoreacres State Park. The last time we’d gone (I don’t do Coos Bay often) was when the girls still lived at home – so sometime in the early nineties. Some changes have been made. The pictures come from the Shoreacres website.

Burp at age six, we figured is perfect for the lights. I mean what kid isn’t? At fifty-one I still marvel. Both Ducky and I had to work early (he leaves at 4am,) and he still didn’t get home until six (it’s a long commute), so we didn’t get on the road until almost 6:30pm. Burp and I had been at the radio station before 6am, and worked on our Christmas Message. So between work, shopping (he found beautiful bracelettes for his mom) a visit to Big Pa and Big Ma's and hair cuts, it was a full day and poor Burp was pretty worn out. I mean he immediately fell asleep in his jump seat. Poor kid.

We arrived at Shoreacres at 8:15pm to see the new LED’s glowing the most wondrous colours. The bright blues were amazing, but even more amazing were the new light sculptures. Flying pelicans, diving whales, leaping frogs, and spawning salmon were decked out in rope lights that were time triggered to create movement in the sculptures. If you look close you can see the flying pelicans left mid picture.

The temperature was 35, Burp had been asleep, so the poor kid wasn’t really enjoying a lot of the great, colourful out of doors. Poor kid just wanted to climb into be and back to sleep. But we did a grandchild death march through the forest of fabulous lights in there bright blues, purples, greens, reds, golds, ambers, and all in between.

So very much worth the hour and a half drive and $3 parking to walk in the forest of lights. Maybe next year we can do it again, but start out earlier so Burp will stay away and enjoy the whole trip, the cookies and cider in the keepers house, the carolers in the performance gazebo, and dinner afterwards. He does remember, which surprises the heck out of me.

Maybe next year

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Talk Thursday - Where My Loyalties Lie

Have you ever noticed three is a crowd? I’ve never been able to figure it out, especially considering in the past I oft times was the leftover on the fringe of the banquet. This life long lesson has taught me well. In my circle of influence (as miniscule as it is) there is never an odd man out. I just can’t go there.

In a marriage a woman often becomes a reflection of her other half. While I’m not exactly sure how this is taught, I don’t remember the manual, I know it happens. My second husband resented that I was not my own person and told me so when he asked for a divorce. I don’t bring this up for pity, sympathy, or your “Oh, Cele I’m sorry” no I bring it up as my wake up call. While opposites attract, familiarity can and apparently does breed contempt. While I resent his destruction of my life (and me,) I am thankful for the lessons he taught me, and the eleven years (errrrr no the ten years) of our relationship that he gave me.

Over the years I have learned how to make friends, the Internet is a great conduit of friendship if you think about it. Despite hearing how people are not themselves on the net, I’ve learned that if you watch long enough you see the real person beneath and they are beautiful and human. While I have seen the bad side of some people, I’ve not seen anything on the net that is worse than is walking around in my or your everyday life. What I have seen are some really wonderful people. People, who I have embraced and have given back to me twofold in my life.

My Internet experiences have taught me to be friendly, caring, giving. But it has also taught me that I am, Me. I can be me without too much negative recourse. And damn, I like me. The work a day world wallflower blossoms into a social butterfly on the Internet. I can fly. I feed (and the “I feed” part is highly important.) I flourish.

All the while I am gathering these wonderful friends, people who accept me for me. I don’t have to turn myself into someone else, I just offer up just me: with all my flaws, all of my strong points, and my creativity.

Today I am married to a wonderful Ducky who is totally addicted to the television, the phone, chocolate, and me. I love him dearly, I reflect who he is, and he reflects who I am. He relishes that I am an Internet junkie with friends who care about me, who take of me while giving of themselves, friends who push me to succeed.

Today I strive to remain true to me. My loyalties lie with me. If I am loyal to me, I therefore am loyal to you for that is who I am.


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Internet Phenomenon

This Meme is courtesy of Sideon - of the Sanctuary, who stole it from the not so objectionable SaraSue (thank heavens!)

So if you have some time on your hands here’s how it works:

Go to Google Images and enter your birth date as six figures*: ddmmyy (or mmddyy if you are an illogical American). Pick any five pictures from the first page of results only. Then post them somewhere we can see!

Well I find this interesting: Google automatically separates the first three numbers with a space from the second three. We are suppose to have six numbers right?

So I googled in my numbers, clicked on images, and voila'

I find myself in South Africa. I kid you not. Apparently 02 is the SA international code. I'm only guessing because I didn't look it up, but all the pictures were for South Africa.

Now interestingly enough I have a friend in South Africa, whom we will call Bats, and did I find one picture of a bat? No. But I did find a picture of a beach, infact I found more than one. But this specific picture is of parasailing. Now strangely enough I use to parasail frequently, but not in South Africa. Nope. Right here in good old Oregon.

Don't be shocked, we have beaches here. Much prettier than this one. But this one does look somewhat like the beach I broke my foot on parasailing. I kid you not.

Things to keep in mind when parasailing.
1) Do not let your brother in law drive....

a) the truck (because when he gets a hair up his butt crosswise he will turn the truck around and drive with the wind - me and gravity do not mix)

b) the boat, because sure as shit he will run you right through the blue spruce tree that is 40 feet from the edge of the lake (just because he can.)

2) The wind should be greater than 5mph if you want to stay up, but less that 10mph if you want to come back down anytime soon. I'm just sayin.

Okay, I did not post the picture of the AK 47 that came up when I googled, nor the pile of pills that looked suspiciously like Crosstops. But these little puppies I couldn't resist, because they colours are so darn pretty.

See it doesn't take something shiny to distract me. Did someone say five pictures?