August 31, 2010

Reach Out

Stretch yourself to the limit.

Reach out every chance you have.

Take that moment to make eye contact and reach out.

Make the connection.

Give of yourself unselfishly.

Think of others.

The minuscule seed will grow if you nurture it.

Let go of petty differences.

They don't matter.

They don't shake the earth.

They put up barriers instead of open doors and open hearts.

We all hurt sometimes.

We all bleed sometimes.

We all have needs.

We all matter.

So reach out.

And mean it.

Graphic courtesy of deviantart.

August 28, 2010

Ensenada, Mexico

When she was ten years old, her parents were divorced. Her father wasn't living with them very much the past couple years and when he was home, he was drinking with his buddies. Two or three of his friends would drop by when they felt like it and ignore the fact that there was a wife and two kids living there. The men would pour beer down the cat's throat and set its tail on fire. The jeering wasted little boys were impersonating grown men.

Right after the divorce she was informed that her father had remarried. But in a year he had divorced his second wife and married a young nightclub dancer who lived in Ensenada, Mexico.

It wasn't until she graduated from high school and was married herself that she and her husband moved back to southern California. They spent weekends driving to Ensenada to see her father. The young couple would sleep on her father's fishing boat while he stayed with his wife and their little girl in an apartment in town.

Her father had many friends in Ensenada. The wives took her under their wing and taught her to cook good Mexican dishes. They spoke only Spanish so she dusted off her two years of high school Spanish and made friends with them, accepting their tutelage in cooking and their good natured advice on keeping her new husband.

Most weekend nights she and her husband spent walking behind her father as he roamed from bar to bar, sometimes stopping in to watch the exotic dancing his wife performed.

When she became pregnant, she and her husband stopped going to Ensenada on weekends and began preparing for their first child. Not long after their child was born her father divorced his second wife, remarried his second wife and they moved to Chapala, Mexico. It was many years later that she saw her father again on the occasion of her first child's high school graduation. By that time her father's daily drinking and three pack a day cigarette smoking habit had taken its toll. He could not be without his oxygen tank. The emphysema had progressed to where he fought for each breath but he continued to smoke three packs of unfiltered Camels every day. He flew to be in town for the graduation of her daughter and also her nephew but her father was unable to attend the ceremonies. He lasted two more years. He was found sitting at his kitchen table with his face in his food. He was 64 years old.

Photo is of my father next to his fishing boat. He was 45 years old in the picture. I wonder if my brother has this picture. I doubt it. It surprises me how much my brother looks like our father. My brother is older now that our father was when he died.

August 26, 2010

Hey, Buddy, Got The Time?

For almost a year I have not worn a watch. I have not used the alarm clock. When I was still working, I would set the alarm clock but I would usually wake up before the alarm was due to startle me awake.

Unless I have an appointment there is no need to know what time it is. I don't watch television so I am not waiting for a special show. I eat when I am hungry as opposed to a certain meal time.

Just that one change in my life has brought such peace. Eliminating the need to know what time it is has given me all the time in the world.

August 24, 2010

Country Living

Living in the country has its own rewards
Plenty of space for animals and gardens
Four acres of elbow room

The family lived in a rented house
Large chicken coop and fenced chicken yard
Pigeons and pigs and cows and rabbits

This is the best they had lived so far
The two children thought they were rich now
There was food to eat and even time to play

Country living meant no neighbors near by
Also no need for curtains on windows
Privacy was automatic given the setting

The little girl didn't want to go to bed
She said someone was looking in her window
The parents laughed at her and sent her to bed

The bed time skirmish continued several nights
Her bedroom window was facing the side of the house
She began sleeping on the floor next to her bed

Finally the parents walked around outside the house
There were footprints and cigarette butts at her window
They told her about their discovery

Then they told her to stop being a baby and go to bed.

August 22, 2010


Typical laundry day at TechnoBabe and James little hippie house. We hang clothes on the line together. It is a peaceful and pleasant back yard. Even the clothes are happy here.

August 21, 2010

Care Packages

Beth at be yourself everyone else is taken sent me a cheer me up gift this week. I tell you, I lucked out this week with sweetness and delight. Beth sent me a sweet note on one of her hand crafted cards along with one of her artsy personal one of a kind little journals. I do like artsy things and like I told Beth, I will be smiling with every entry.

Thank you for the sweet gift, Beth. Yes, I am feeling much better this week.

The picture in the red frame is a photo that Sara at Cottage Garden Studios sent to me this week. The top picture is the photo. Isn't it gorgeous? What stunning colors! I tried to take a close up of the photo in the frame but the glass made a glare.
I am so happy with this photo. I am in the process of changing our little hippie kitchen from blue and yellow to red and black and white. This is the first wall piece to change to the new colors. I am getting excited now to have the kitchen accessories with the new colors.

Sarah contacted me and told me she was going to send me a little gift. A just because gift. Just because she is so generous and can spot when someone needs a lift.
Thank you, Sarah, for your sweet gift.

So I call these care packages. They were sent to me because two very sweet bloggers really do care. The blog world is a great place to be, isn't it?

August 20, 2010

New Pottery

The bowl with lid would probably be used as a sugar bowl but here in our little hippie house this bowl is a perfect container for my herbs.

Hubby cut a shelf and mounted it at the back of the stove to utilize the narrow space there. I use the shelf for spoons and seasonings. I am in the process of changing the colors in the kitchen from blue and yellow to red and black and white.

Gary at Gary's Third Pottery Blog makes some wonderful pottery. Really amazing work.

I bought the (sugar) bowl and when he mailed the bowl to me he included a darling gift. See the cat and kitten on the shelf? I like the cats so much and they add whimsey to the kitchen. While I am cooking I look up and smile at the cats.

Check out Gary's blog and say hi. He and his wife are fun to get to know. And I have a couple more pieces of Gary's pottery I plan on buying for gifts.

August 19, 2010

A Walk Through The Neighborhood

He looks like an ordinary man
People don't pay attention to him
He walks the neighborhood

He doesn't show himself every day
Different clothes and hats are used
He checks out the neighborhood

He walks casually and unhurried
Evening is his preferred time
To investigate the neighborhood

He looks in the windows
Before the blinds are closed
He memorizes the neighborhood

He picks out flat screen TVs
By now he knows when people get home
The neighborhood burglar has a target

August 17, 2010

I Did Not Belong There

Sitting in a circle
Couples Class at church
Weekly meetings and workbooks

Such nice clean cut couples
Open and sharing their stories
All smiles and happiness

Their childhoods were perfect
Better than the Cleavers
Middle class Americans

As their stories were told
It became more uncomfortable
I did not belong there

The blush rose up my neck
Embarrassment and shame
I did not belong there

I told them I was sorry
They just would not understand
I did not belong there

There were two choices for me
Make up stories of a sweet childhood
Or discontinue church and classes

Honesty is necessary for me
I felt I had no other choice
I did not return there

To be an alien in unfamiliar land
Sweetness and light so unknown
Born to addiction and depression

It hurt to know I did belong there

August 15, 2010

Family Joke

John was a salesman's delight when it came to any kind of unusual gimmicks. His wife Marsha had long ago given up trying to get him to change. One day John came home with another one of his unusual purchases. It was a robot that John claimed was actually a lie detector.

It was about 5:30 that afternoon when Tommy, their 11 year old son, returned home from school.. Tommy was over 2 hours late. "Where have you been? Why are you over 2 hours late getting home?" asked John.

"Several of us went to the library to work on an extra credit project," said Tommy. The robot walked around the table and slapped Tommy,
knocking him completely out of his chair..

"Son," said John, "this robot is a lie detector, now tell us where you really were after school."

"We went to Bobby's house and watched a movie." said Tommy.

"What did you watch?" asked Marsha.

"The Ten Commandments. " answered Tommy.

The robot went around to Tommy and once again slapped him, knocking him off his chair.. With his lip quivering, Tommy got up, sat down and said, "I am sorry I lied. We really watched a tape called Sex Queen.."

"I am ashamed of you son," said John. "When I was your age, I never lied to my parents."

The robot walked around to John and delivered a whack that nearly knocked him out of his chair.

Marsha doubled over in laughter, almost in tears and said, "Boy, did you ever ask for that one! You can't be too mad with Tommy. After all, he is your son!" The robot walked around to Marsha and knocked her out of her chair.

This joke is on

August 13, 2010

I Just Want To Be Friggin' Happy

For Pete's sake, I just want to be happy. As a young girl, I would visit the neighbors and ask them if I could live with them. They would tell me I already had a family and I would tell them I didn't want to live with them. Couldn't I come live there and I would work really hard and not be any trouble. They always sent me home after giving me a little treat. I didn't want the treat, I wanted a home with a family. I would walk up and down the streets where we would be living at the time, sometimes along a highway, sometimes a rural road, a couple places in a housing neighborhood, and while walking I would wish and wish that someone would pick me up and take me away.

There are very few pictures of me growing up but every one has a scowl on my face and brooding eyes. No joy shining through because there wasn't any.

I carried that morbid sad faced little girl around inside me most of my life. Then I faced that little girl and grew to accept her pain and love her. Now I move on and take deep breaths and learn about joy. I welcome happiness into my life now with wide open arms and heart. And I think my smile is genuine and sometimes it reaches my eyes.
Which I don't show here.

Actually, the photo courtesy of greenbeanmama and found on google.

August 11, 2010

We're Going To Save On Our Electric Bill

Ha. We bought the super dooper light bulbs that use less energy and last longer. They do cost more and have less wattage, but they will use less energy.

August 09, 2010

Home Robbery

We were living in southern Virginia. The kids and I bought a small three bedroom house one mile from where I worked as a forklift driver in a large plant. As part of the moving in excitement, I bought each of my three kids something they really wanted. For my son, it was a new bike. I should have known the neighborhood was a problem when his brand new bike was in our back yard and was not there in the morning. We had only been there a week and there was a really good fence with a lock on the gate. The police said oh well, this happens all the time. Huh, who knew.

Our first three day holiday there we went camping. When we returned from the camping trip there was a note on our front door requesting we call the police. As soon as we entered the front door we knew why. The TV and the reel to reel and the microwave were not where they were when we left. But the sight that was most disturbing to my kids was every cupboard was opened and everything spilled out. Every drawer in all of our rooms was thrown around and clothing thrown everywhere. It looked like a great huge big clothes vomit had occurred. All four beds were torn apart and mattresses removed. My older daughter who was a pre-teen at the time was so upset because her clothes and her underwear were pawed through by a stranger. She was frightened and I was relieved she was able to verbalize it to me and we worked through it. A window at the back of the house had the screen rolled up and the window broken. The police had done a temporary fix on the window after they took fingerprints.

Not surprisingly, as sympathetic as the local police were, they were quick to advise not to expect to recover any of the items. My jewelry box, each of the kids TVs and their small radios were gone. The homeowners insurance covered the loss but the price to replace all the electronics that were taken was not what was paid to me.

So we did some adjusting to secure the windows and had family talks often and moved on. Three months later we were pretty much over the trauma of the incident and went camping again on a three day weekend. Guess what? It happened again. No note from the police this time though. The windows were not obviously disturbed this time and the house looked fine. All the new TVs and stereos and microwave were again gone. The only difference was the house had not been ransacked.

The next weekend I put the house on the market and when it sold I bought a house in a different neighborhood, a little farther from work but still close enough to get home if the kids needed me.

Three day weekends remind me of the two burglaries and how they did not change our lives. We still went camping. We incorporated some better burglary deterrents at the next house and considered the two burglaries as a good learning experience. What else can you do?

August 07, 2010

The Narcissistic Squirrel

There is one squirrel that has adopted our back yard as "his". We have several squirrels that visit our yard every day but this little guy is easy to recognize. He is smaller than all the other squirrels. His coloring is somewhat lighter and his tail is always jerking. He must get his meth somewhere and then come here because he cannot stand still. And he streaks around the back yard like lightening. And his acrobatic prowess far surpasses any of the other squirrels. He can jump higher and climb better and he loves to hang upside down in trees, on top of the house from the rain gutter, even on the table cloth on the outside table. Seriously, this guy isn't going to have a long life, his heart will not be able to take it.

Several times this squirrel has jumped onto the wall at our kitchen window. He must have grown grippers as well as nimble feet because he can hang onto the siding and climb up like Spiderman. His goal is to climb high enough so he can dive onto the homemade bird feeder that hubby made. Remember the micro tray that hubby made into a bird feeder?

I can hear the scratching and climbing from where I sit at my computer in the next room, so I get up and pound on the big kitchen window and shake my finger at him. He deems to look my way and I swear it looks like he is laughing at me because he just continues toward his goal. So I open the back door and yell at him. He will not get down. So I walk out there and tell him to get down. He does but then he jumps into the large pot and tears up the plants and runs far away and stops and looks at me.
I have moved that planter a few times and he will eat anything that starts to grow in it.

Sometimes he will jump down and almost stomp his feet and run into the bushes at the side of the yard and pull and shake the bushes like he is having a truly horrible hissy fit. Then he turns around and runs back and jumps on the wall and I go out and we start all over.

No wonder I am tired.

August 06, 2010

A Fork Is Just A Miniature Shovel

Sometimes I catch myself when I am eating and it seems like I am just shoveling it in as quickly as I can. Especially salad. It is easy to scoop up a forkful and throw it in the endless pit. Today I was eating salad and hubby and I were playing dominoes as we ate. I became aware of how much trouble it was to take one forkful at a time. How much easier it would be to have a giant spoon. I actually thought it would be a good idea to scoop my salad with a tablespoon, just think how much more I could pack in at one elbow bend!

If I had a miniature shovel, I could run a chain through the handle and wear it around my neck. Quite a novel accessory and plenty of gossip fodder if I wear it out to dinner. Can you imagine the other patrons sneaking sideways glances and pretending they don't see the shovel at work. Ah yes, I'm gonna add the mini shovel to my Christmas wish list. Perhaps hubby would be willing to accessorize and wear matching chain with a hatchet to cut our meat. Too much, what do you think? Maybe we should take a little vacation from Stephen King novels.

August 04, 2010

The All Day Boat

This was a new experience. She had been fishing on half day boats but this was the first fishing trip on an all day boat. The fishermen and women boarded the large fishing boat the night before so that they could begin fishing at the crack of dawn. The boat headed down the coast. It would take a few hours to reach the specified destination, so many people disappeared below deck to sack out on the bunks.

She was too excited to sleep. One of the boat attendants was taking orders for breakfast or burgers in the galley. She was always up for a hamburger so she ordered a burger with grilled onions and plenty of French Fries. She ate French Fries every day and did not tire of them. She expertly mixed ketchup and mustard, swirling it with the French Fries.

At first light more people appeared topside. It was funny to watch some of the big macho anglers running to the side of the boat and losing their breakfast overboard. Her stomach was not the least bit queasy. She rested on one of the long fiberglass benches at the back of the boat, dozing intermittently. By the time the captain announced there was plenty of fish nearby, she was rested and satiated and felt a huge smile spread across her face. She sipped a cold Coke and unpacked her fishing gear.

None of the fishermen and women were professionals. For some, deep sea fishing was a new experience. Fishing lines became tangled and some people were still nauseous, unable to participate in the free for all casting off the sides and back of the boat.

She took her time and enjoyed baiting her hook and casting off the side. After bringing in a few fish, she felt the jerk of the fishing rod and knew this was going to be a big one. In fact, she brought in the largest fish with the highest weight on that all day boat. She won the jackpot of the day that more than paid for the cost of the fishing adventure. This was a far cry from her first time fishing when she casted from a boat and proceeded to throw the rod and reel into the water.

She rolled up the hem of her jeans, made arrangements for the cleaning of her fish,
and sashayed off the boat past all the powerful looking men who congratulated her as she left the boat. She was only nineteen years old and the only one on the All Day Boat who arrived without a companion. But she took home more than she had imagined.

August 01, 2010

Why I Can't Do Sundays In My City Yet

It became clear to me that every Sunday brought unhappiness and discomfort into my life. The first time I noticed I had trouble on Sundays I was newly married and my then husband was at work. I could not settle down. I tried to read, then I tried taking a walk, and then listened to music. I would disappear within myself. I had been doing that all my life so I could disappear at will. I learned years later that I would disassociate.

Fast forward many years and many relationships and many disappointments and I am married to my hubby. He and I had shared every single thing about each of our pasts with each other for two years before we got married. So hubby knew me better than anyone ever had.

When I would go through my Sunday discomfort, hubby was at a loss and thought that by leaving me alone to get over my own stuff he was doing the right thing. But it seemed to make it worse. So then hubby, who was awake and up before I was, would return to bed and hold me on Sunday mornings. We found that it helped. No one had done that before either.

One day we were talking about my agitation and discomfort on Sundays and hubby said "Isn't that when the uncle would come to stay on the weekends?" It was like a bulldozing ball had knocked the breath out of me. It finally made sense.

I had been uncomfortable for so many years because I did not have anyone to walk me through it. When I was about four years old I tried to describe what was happening to me to my mother and she said not to worry, it wouldn't happen anymore. But the uncle continued to come every weekend for two years. Not only did I lose trust in my mother, I wasn't a little girl and I began to learn how to disappear. So much so that as an adult I was at the dentist and he asked me how I did that and I asked did what and he said I seemed like I was hypnotized.

Things have come a long way for me. I can rest on Sundays and I am not fidgety and anxious. I can wake up on a Sunday and look forward to the day, not look at the day with dread. Of course I remembered the weekends the uncle would visit but I had put all that behind me. I thought I had.

So now you know one of the reasons I believe my hubby and I were meant to be together. To be with him wholly and completely. No secrets. No fear that he might find out something or use something against me. And he was able to help me see things that I had not been able to do before. I thought I was going through life not using my childhood as an excuse for any of my actions. But the truth was that I never really dealt with it, I just stuffed it down so far that I wouldn't have to take care of it. Avoiding and not facing truth.

Unknown Mami

For a long time I have wanted to participate in Unknown Mami's Sundays In My City meme, but I am not there yet. I look forward to the day that I can joyfully take photos of the little town where we live and post them on my blog and enjoy that Sunday to the fullest.