Friday, December 31, 2010

old year, new year

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul -
and sings the tunes without the words -
and never stops at all.

2010 in review -
Not one who looks back all that much. What's done is done. It has been a year of great joy and great heartache, of new friends and of friends who turn out not to be friends after all, of discovery and discovery of limitations. I have made good choices and huge mistakes. I have no regrets. Oh, maybe I regret not appreciating every moment of the journey as it was happening, not keeping focused on the gifts, and not taking more photographs. Otherwise, no regrets.

2011 looking forward -
Bring it on.

Never been big on celebrating New Year's Eve. Seems more like a night to get drunk than anything else. I suppose that is just me being judgmental! This NYE, though, is wonderful. I have gotten to spend the entire day with J. Just her and I. Bliss. We had plans - lunch at McDonald's playland, Yogi Bear movie, shopping at Target and Kohl's, dinner, baking cookies, and cuddling on the couch as we stay up till the new year. Not everything happened as planned. Let's just say, extreme temper tantrums will not be rewarded. Most happened though. Right now she is waiting impatiently for me on the sofa as I write this. One hour and 45 minutes to go, J's getting tired and a little cranky, but still hanging in there. I'm on my way.

Here's wishing every day of our new year is filled with love and loved ones, with moments to cherish and remember, with gifts so obvious even I can't miss them.

Happy New Year and Happy Every Day!

J and me
Salmon Creek, California Sonoma Coast - December 26, 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

the good, the bad, and the ugly

The good...
woke up this morning with J cuddled against my back.
felt refreshed and hopeful again, with most of the icky feelings of yesterday gone.
witnessed J paint her first paint-by-numbers masterpiece.
although cold and windy, the skies were blue and filled with gorgeous clouds. beautiful day!
heard from some of the lost boys.
had a lovely, lovely evening with a good friend - thank you rk!

The bad...
my landlord (J's Dad, btw) is tripling my rent. if I don't like it, I can leave - leave the only home J knows, leave the house I sunk oodles of money and heart into, and displace all the rescue cats. I wasn't making it with the rent I was paying, how can I possibly come up with three times as much?

The ugly...
that would be me.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

burn baby burn

I've been feeling out of sorts lately - since Christmas. Part of it is feeling everyone else's energetic let down after the holidays. Part of it is my own. I feel angry. I feel lost. I feel unloved and unlovable. I feel ugly. I feel hopeless. I don't like holding these feelings. I am not fully available to my daughter, to my art, to my life. I have been grounding and breathing. While it helps, the feelings of despair and anxiety remain. I know when I am in this energy, it affects what comes to me. People disappear. Opportunities vanish. I am unapproachable. So tonight I wrote a letter to burn. The only problem was I didn't know who to write it to. Who am I angry with? Where does the sorrow and disappointment lie?

It's all on me. So I wrote the letter to myself. A letter full of disappointment and disillusionment. All on me.

Burn baby burn.

Release. Release. Release.

white xmas

White Fluffy Love had quite a holiday season. Had her eye scratched up and bloodied a few days before Christmas. After living as a stray for the past year or so, suddenly she has found herself living in a house. She really misses the outside. Her favorite place to sit is on the windowsill looking out. Makes me sad.

After she was hurt, she stayed in J's bathroom. Because she needed to receive medicine in her eye every few hours, she traveled the three hours to my Mom's house for the Christmas weekend. Can't say traveling is her favorite thing, but she was a trooper. She traveled uncaged, wandering around the car, looking out the windows and meowing. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip!

J and WFLove

She lived in yet a different house - my Mom's - for two days. She loved all the attention and being an only cat. Then another road trip back. Didn't like traveling as well that time. Crawled into the open carrier and stayed there most of the trip - coming out occassionally to look out the windows and meow.

Now she's back in this house. She's not locked in the bathroom anymore. She can go anywhere she wants to. But it's different now. There are other cats living here. No one is crossing each other's path. Occassionally one will hiss at the other. Mostly White Fluffy Love stays in J's bedroom and bathroom and the other cats stay in the living areas and my bedroom. Interesting situation. Curious to see how it will all work out. I'm happy they are not fighting, at least!

Her eye is still not well. Healing very slowly. I'll be taking her back to the vet. We had all hoped the eye would be much clearer by now.

My most precious niece, Cindy Loo, and White Fluffy, too


My brother is much older than me. His birthday is on Christmas day. He has always felt cheated. An engineer with Agilent, he is an incredibly smart man. He's also a teddy bear of a brother. Smart, successful, talented - he is impossible to buy presents for. The family has always suffered at Christmas - not only having to come up with a Christmas gift but also a birthday gift for the "impossible to buy presents for" guy. Thankfully, we stopped exchanging Christmas gifts a few years ago. His birthday still rains terror into our hearts. Luckily, he and I hit on the perfect solution for each other. He loves my chocolate chip cookies. It is our mother's recipe that she found off either a Nestle's bag or Crisco can many, many years ago. So, every year on Christmas eve, I bake a batch of cookies for his birthday. I even hold out a half cup or so of dough - his favorite part! Perfect...

Mom's Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts (optional)

Cream together shortening and sugars and vanilla. Beat in eggs. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt, and add to mixture. Add chocolate chips and walnuts (optional). Drop by teaspoon on cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until slightly golden on top.
Makes around 3-4 dozen cookies. Less if you eat the raw dough!

For all you purists, I know it will be difficult, but do not substitute butter for the shortening. We have tried it. It's a completely different cookie. The shortening makes it.

Important tips:
Use shortening. Go heavy on the flour. Organic or pure vanilla extract makes a huge difference. Eggs should be room temperature. If you like more dough than chocolate, go light on the chips.


Happy Birthday, Mikey!

Monday, December 27, 2010

where oh where

Last week there were men buzzing around the island like flies. Not sure what they all wanted, but it was fun having them around. This week, not a one in sight. Where'd they all go...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

merry little christmas

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on,
our troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on,
our troubles will be miles away.

Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more.

Through the years
We all will be together,
If the Fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
And have yourself A merry little Christmas now.

see Judy sing it here

Friday, December 24, 2010


I have been to hell and back in the last two months. And just when I began to feel safe and happy, hell came back and beat me down again.

I am through with attitude.
I am through with judgment.
I am through with criticism.
I am through with rejection.
I am completely through with men with issues.

Question is: how do you know what their issues are until you get to know them?
Men should come with signs, maybe microchips like they put on animals:
I'm a liar.
I'm a thief.
I'm a drug addict.
I'm a bigot.
I'm a committment-phobe.
I'll say anything to get what I want.
I'm insecure.
I'll just play you till someone better comes along.
I'm afraid to be alone.
I'm afraid of independent women.
I'm afraid of clingy women.
I'm afraid of my own shadow.
I'm afraid of everything.
I'm emotionally a five-year-old in a man's body.
I'll promise you anything and everything and I'll never come through.
I'm not who I seem to be.
Get to know me at your own risk.

I'm done...till the next one. Heaven help me...

xmas music

Running errands in town. Missing my little girl. Our first Xmas eve apart. Station after station playing Xmas tunes. Not feeling Xmassy at the moment. Finally stumbled on one station - not one carol. Here's what I heard:

Rebel Yell by Billy Idol

I'd sell my soul for you babe
For money to burn with you
I'd give you all, and have none, babe
Just, just, justa, justa to have you here by me

In the midnight hour she cried- "more, more, more"
With a rebel yell she cried- "more, more, more"
In the midniight hour babe- "more, more, more"
With a rebel yell she cried "more, more, more"
More, more, more.

Somebody Told Me by the Killers

Ready? Let's roll onto something new
Taking its toll and I'm leaving without you
Cause heaven ain't close in a place like this
I said heaven ain't close in a place like this
Bring it back down, bring it back down tonight
Never thought I'd let a rumor ruin my moonlight

Call Me by Blondie

Colour me your colour, baby
Colour me your car
Colour me your colour, darling
I know who you are
Come up off your colour chart
I know where you're comin' from
Call me (call me) on the line
Call me, call me any, anytime
Call me (call me) my love
You can call me any day or night
Call me

Cover me with kisses, baby
Cover me with love
Roll me in designer sheets
I'll never get enough
Emotions come, I don't know why
Cover up love's alibi

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

white fluffy love

About a year or so ago, a little white fluffy cat showed up on my porch to eat. She had a collar on, but was dirty and unkempt. I managed to get a hold on her, but she was so wiggly I couldn't read the collar and then she ran away. I tried for days to read that collar knowing she was lost and someone's heart had to be broken over losing her. Then suddenly, she disappeared and I didn't see her again for about six months. When she reappeared, she had no collar and she was very leary and obviously on her own. I fed her and talked to her and won her over. I called her White Fluffy Love for obvious reasons. In the evenings I would call "White Fluffy Love" and she would come running from the alley down the street to me. The neighbors probably thought I was crazy. I suppose that's nothing new! I promised her after we got the kitten question taken care of, she could move into the house and live with us. J asked every day when she could move in. Last night, when I went out to check on the strays, there she was with her beautiful green eye brown and bloody. I picked her up and carried her inside, keeping her in J's bathroom till I could get her to the vet. She has a scratched cornea and blood in the anterior eye chamber that concerns the vet. Along with oral antibiotics to stem the infection, I am applying a topical gel to her eye every two hours for the next two days until her next vet visit. If she responds well, I'll only have to apply the gel every three or four hours! She is a sweetheart to deal with - no scratching or hissing or fear.

White Fluffy Love is now officially our kitty. J is thrilled. She calls her her Christmas Kitty. She will be traveling the three hours to visit and stay with my mother over Christmas. I hope she travels well!

Welcome to our home, White Fluffy Love. We love you.


Oh I don't want a lot for Christmas
This is all I'm asking for
I just want to see my baby
Standing right outside my door
Oh I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
Baby all I want for Christmas is...

All I Want for Christmas is You
Mariah Carey

wrapping up

I began wrapping J's Christmas gifts tonight. As I was putting her pink biker jacket in the gift bag, A wave of hatred washed over me remembering when I bought it. It was during our epic trip to Kentucky. On the way back - possibly in Arkansas but I can't remember -  in one of the many truck stops we visited, were these adorable children's biker jackets. Not leather and made in China, but still adorable and affordable. I bought a pink one for J. You bought a black one for your son. Well, actually, I bought it, along with a remote control camaro and a monster truck - for the boys. For your son and his brothers for Christmas. The six year old, the five year old, and the two year old - Terry, Mike, and Andy. Damn if you can't think quick on your feet. Of course, there is no Terry, Mike, or Andy. You have no son. The entire story you told me, my mother, your sister and her family, and your 84-year-old grandmother who raised you was a lie. Why? Why? Why tell your family? Did you think you'd get money from them for your son. I can kind of see why you might tell me. That way I wouldn't question when you went to Sacramento to visit your "son" - in actuality to visit your "other" girlfriend and get high with her on crank. But why your family in Kentucky? And why buy the gifts. The girlfriend's sons are much older than that. So it was a complete waste. I don't understand any of it. And now you have disappeared again. This time not just out of my and my daughter's life, but also the "other" girlfriend's and her sons lives. What woman are you preying on now? Please, please, don't let her have children whose hearts you will break along with her's. Please.

Monday, December 20, 2010


For the past few years, Vane of Brooklyn Bride blog has coordinated a Christmas card exchange. This year, I joined. Each of us had to send out five handmade cards - plus one to Vane! I received these beautiful creations.

 clockwise, from top right: Nathalie, Dawn,

The saga of my card is epic. I'll go into it in another post. This is the photo card I ended up sending:
Fire Buddha - posterized...loving the photoshop posterize filter these days!

Happy Holidays to everyone!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Sunday, Dec. 19
Paradoxically, we achieve true wholeness only by embracing our fragility and sometimes, our brokenness. Wholeness is a natural radiance of Love, and Love demands that we allow the destruction of our old self for the sake of the new.
Jalaja Bonheim
Aphrodite's Daughter

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Today J and I attended a birthday party for J's classmate's little sister. Cookie decorating, Christmas hats and stockings, face painter, balloons, pinata, cupcakes and more cupcakes...the kids' favorite activities involved running around outside in the cold cold weather. Oh, to be young in body and spirit.

golly gorgeous

Absolutely lovely. I hate to be small-minded, but I so wish I had talent like this.
all images holly ward bimba / gollybard
shop and blog

Friday, December 17, 2010

i want ...

lovely. here


I don't know why I haven't been doing this all my life. It's not like no one has ever told me about it. I just always figured I knew what would work best for me. Hah! After bb left the island the first time and I was curled up in a ball on the floor crying my eyes out in grief, I had a session with my friend and energy healer, Joyce. A beautiful and amazing and magical woman. She finally convinced me to write a letter and burn it. Release. Release. Release. Desperate for any solution which would help bring me back to center, I went home and wrote and wrote and wrote out all my sorrow and grief and disappointment. Then I burned the letter. I had more trouble getting that letter to burn. I think I lost the power of the release in the frustration of getting it to burn! But finally it did burn to ashes. I little bit later I realized I felt better. Not great, but better. Then I started to feel angry - really, really angry. So I wrote another letter. Over the course of the next couple of weeks I wrote at least one letter a day. Most to bb, but not all. It is amazing how cathargic the process and ceremony is.

Tonight I wrote another letter to bb - this time when he left the island he not only took my heart, but also my self-respect. Probably won't be my last letter to him. I was going to write a blog post instead of the letter and then thought better of it. I didn't need to release all that bile and fear and sadness into the world. I began the letter in anger which turned into tears and ended in laughter. For the gift rained down on me and into my heart: we are old friends from many lifetimes and this is just one more twist in the journey. All's well - if I can hold onto the gift!

Graycee and I went outside in the rain and found my burning bowl. Brought it up to the porch and performed the ritual. There is something extra-powerful and special about having a cat weaving around your legs, adding his love and wisdom and strength. It wasn't until I was back inside the warm house that I realized that the matches I always use for the ritual are housed in a tin with the word LOVE engraved in it. How appropriate is that!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Desperado, why don't you come to your senses?
You been out ridin' fences for so long now
Oh, you're a hard one
I know that you got your reasons
These things that are pleasin' you
Can hurt you somehow
Don't you draw the queen of diamonds, boy
She'll beat you if she's able
You know the queen of hearts is always your best bet
Now it seems to me, some fine things
Have been laid upon your table
But you only want the ones that you can't get
Desperado, oh, you ain't gettin' no younger
Your pain and your hunger, they're drivin' you home
And freedom, oh freedom well, that's just some people talkin'
Your prison is walking through this world all alone
Don't your feet get cold in the winter time?
The sky won't snow and the sun won't shine
It's hard to tell the night time from the day
You're losin' all your highs and lows
Ain't it funny how the feeling goes away?
Desperado, why don't you come to your senses?
Come down from your fences, open the gate
It may be rainin', but there's a rainbow above you
You better let somebody love you, before it's too late

The Eagles

Good bye, bb. It's been quite a ride. Although I wish I had my money back, and my self-respect, and an un-broken heart ... I am grateful for our time together. Be well.

Friday, December 3, 2010

right out of my head

My analyst told me
That I was right out of my head
The way he described it
He said I'd be better dead than live
I didn't listen to his jive
I knew all along
That he was all wrong
And I knew that he thought
I was crazy but I'm not
Oh no
My analyst told me
That I was right out of my head
He said I'd need treatment
But I'm not that easily led
He said I was the type
That was most inclined
When out of his sight
To be out of my mind
And he thought I was nuts
No more ifs or ands or buts
They say as a child
I appeared a little bit wild
With all my crazy ideas
But I knew what was happening
I knew I was a genius...
What's so strange when you know
That you're a wizard at three
I knew that this was meant to be
Now I heard little children
Were supposed to sleep tight
that's why I got into
the vodka one night
My parents got frantic
didn't know what to do
But I saw some crazy scenes
Before I came to
Now do you think I was crazy
I may have been only three
But I was swinging
They all laugh at angry young men
They all laughed at Edison
And also at Einstein
So why should I feel sorry
If they couldn't understand
The idiomatic logic
That went on in my head
I had a brain
It was insane
Oh they used to laugh at me
When I refused to ride
On all those double decker buses
All because there was no
driver on the top
My analyst told me
That I was right out of my head
But I said dear doctor
I think that it's you instead
Because I have got a thing
that's unique and new
To prove it I'll have
The last laugh on you
'Cause instead of one head
I got two
And you know two heads
are better than one
Twisted by Joni Mitchell
My musical tastes were shaped by my sister - at least in the early years. Nine years older than me, I used to hang out at her house and listen to lps on the stereo. My first musical love was The Beatles, followed rapidly by Cat Stevens, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Maria Muldaur, and John Denver. And, of course, the magnificent Joni Mitchell. Her music still stirs my soul and makes me feel like there is somewhere for me in this world. I love the entire Court and Spark album. Twisted became my theme song from the first time I heard it. It was the first song I ever memorized from beginning to end. I can still sing it to this day without missing one syllable. I even sang it to my daughter when she was a baby! Now that's a lullaby...

tangled lanterns

J and I saw Tangled for the second time today. Tangled is Disney's version of the story of Rapunzel - with all the Disney classic touches like Barbie shaped women and movie star heroes and the requisite happy ending. Well, a happy ending for the hero and heroine, of course. The villians didn't fair so well. There is no forgiveness or redemption in the Disney kingdom.
J had wanted to see the movie from the first ad. And we went on opening day with two other girls joining us. She calls it Rapunzel. It's a sweet movie with beautiful animation. It was my first 3-d movie viewing experience. I have to say, with the exception of the clunky, uncomfortable glasses one must wear, it is quite an experience. It will never replace my love of a classic flat screen movie, but it does do something for a children's movie.
We went again today for something to do on a cold, rainy afternoon and because J loves the movie. Both times the same moment got to me - the release of the lanterns. I so wanted to be there. To be able to experience such a magical moment. It is, in my opinion, the most beautiful and touching moment in the movie. I suppose I'm just a sappy romantic, nevertheless the moment brought tears to my eyes.
Thank you, J, for allowing me the opportunity of living life through the eyes of a child where anything is possible, dreams come true, and love never fails.

I want to live here, please

Please, please, please...if I am a really good girl, may I live here someday??? I love the desert. i can have a desert on my island, can't i? I love the clean lines of modern architecture. I could be so happy here.
It's the Rock Reach House - located in Yucca Valley, near Joshua Tree National Park - in California, of course. You can even rent it for a weekend or more...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

late night

Beware feeling low and shopping! Actually, I wasn't shopping. Just visiting some of my favorite blogs. A Desert Fete is definitely one to check out. The amazing and talented Jamie has just opened a web site offering her designs. This print was from her wedding. I have coveted it ever since I saw it posted in her wedding photos. Bought it! Can't wait for it to arrive. here

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

beauty and talent

and once again the world is beautiful again...i am in love with this print.
Rimma by TushTush here

more of the same

November was not good to me. Oh, yes, there were many highlights - reconnecting with old friends, fun times with my girl, surviving. There were also lows so low they're still weighing me down - broken heart, rejections galore - in so many forms, stolen money, disappointment, even devastation of my soul. I woke up this morning feeling free, hopeful, alive, and so happy. November was over. Tonight I've realized one day does not make much of a difference. My story continues much the same as always. Maybe January?