Thursday, November 26, 2009


I DID IT. Today I am giving thanks for the wonderful people at the National Novel Writing Month website. I took the challenge this year and completed a novel. Ok so the novel sucks right now, but that is hardly the point. I have a finished 50,000+ novel.

Friday, June 26, 2009

baby racoons

Today the third day of a nasty flu that has kept me sick in bed, I am finally feeling well enough to move around, by noon I was tired and ready for yet another nap. Seems like sleep is all I've done for the past 72 hours, but I was willing to do it until I got it right.

Out my kitchen window I spy two small racoons ambling along on tiny legs with backends impossibly large and faces only a mother could love, speaking of mothers I wondered where was theirs. I watched them for several minutes and then let Max my faithful animal control cat keep an eye on them. It didn't take long for me to see that the racoons were making there way around the house, as Max ran from room to room looking out.

Soon the racoons came to rest in front of my garage. Two little exhausted bundles about the size of large grapefruits. I've contacted animal control, been transferred to fish and wildlife and simply put nobody cares. Racoons are expendable. They are like squirrels or worms or LBB's (little brown birds). Dime a dozen. And so here we are, the greasy neighborhood teens standing outside of their house smoking and drinking and two little racoons sleeping at my garage door, me sick with the flu and my cats not sure what to make of any of this.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

as the time flies

Haven't had much time for writing here lately. I still stop each morning at the park and write for at least five minutes and I finished and mailed my second writing assignment. It actually turned out to be a pretty good story I think. What I don't seem to feel like doing is write in this blog. Maybe because my life has been anything but serene and while that might make for a good gossipy kind of diary entry, it just makes me tired to think about it. Then there is all the changes in my life. I thought I would making my list of 15 things to cook before you die, but now I've got to go on this elimination diet, so most of the things on the list of 15 are out the window. Starting Monday, no gluten, dairy or sugar for at least 6 weeks. 6 weeks. how am I going to do this? I can't even seem to go 2 days right now. All I can do is keep trying.

Lost, was very good last night, although I'm a little confused about the whole Eloise Hawking angle. I mean a couple weeks ago she was all we need all of them or all of this is for nothing and now she's like oh if this is the best you can do, when Ben shows up with 2 of the 6.

So are poor time traveling group, I felt so bad for them, I was starting to get physically ill every time the sky would start to light up. I hope that Locke was able to stop the island from spinning off it's axis. I also hope we find Bernard, Rose and Vincent soon.

Charlotte died last night, I was just beginning to like her. I felt so bad for Daniel, but also I know Daniel is keeping somethings secret. How is it that he is the crazy man that tells her never to come to the island when she was a little girl. Can he travel at will? it is all very strange.

Anyway that's all I have for tonight. I'm hoping my creativity comes back soon.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


It is a very quiet evening here in our quiet home, on our quiet street, with our lovely cats. I've been reading poetry and feel a little lyrical and a little dense. I love poetry, the way an idea forms almost from nothing, from a wisp of smoke. But I do confess a little bit of weariness to some of the 'greats'. I guess I am not that brilliant of a scholar to be able to catch the subtle nuances of language and feel. There is a mystery to a poem and directness and a sly sideways glance, almost like catching the site of a fairy out of the corner of your eye an when you turn to it, its gone. One of my favorite poets is Billy Collins and I like him for precisely the reason that he seems to be derided by critics. He is accessible. I do not have to be in the know to know his poetry. His language is simple and spare and bare bones and lovely. He is lyrical without being pretentious. I guess that would explain his critics but still I enjoy his work.

This is not to say I do not love other poetry. That I do not get say "Praise Song for the Day" from the inauguration recently. Or Emily Dickinson who is a lovely poet, so sharp and clear. I always wanted to get poetry, to be in the know, and possible to speak in that language, but I do not, I am a simple person with simple language and spare parts left over from reading too much Jane Austen.

Today has been a long day and I am tired.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Tonight some things start to come together on LOST. Daniel makes the statement that the people who start to have bloody noses, seems to be in direct relation to how long they have been on the island. Charlotte was first, then Miles and then Juliet. It seems that Miles too was on the Island before. So the theory that Jin is the baby, is probably incorrect and is most likely Miles, however, that doesn't explain the Mom/woman that goes to blackmail Sun later. I would suspect that they were twins.

Claires mom shows up to pick up a settelment check from Oceanic, but Kate and Jack believe that she knows about Aaron. As it turns out Ben is the one behind it all. Trying to manipulate Kate into going back. I still don't know for sure who keeps trying to drug Syiad but I suspect Ben again.

Hurley is in Jail, but should be out soon, thanks to Ben.

Our time travelers are jumping too and fro on the island, Sawyer sees Kate helping Claire deliver her baby in the jungle. This was a great scene. He loves Kate, and he felt like a big brother to Claire and he lost them both, the raw pain in his face was very real. Then we jump backward 16 years to when a pregnant Rousseau and her crew land on the island in a storm, there is a body floating on the water guess what - it is Jin!

Also note I labled last weeks show incorrectly it should have been 5.3

Monday, February 02, 2009


I'm still sitting in a creative slump, fueled by my obsession with health at the moment. This is one of the main reasons I hate diets of any kind for any reason, my whole life seems to swirl around the diet and nothing else gets accomplished. I am struggling right now to get back on track and put this all to rest, without losing my commitment to myself.

In work news, nobody really showed up today, which all in all turned out to be a good thing, I managed to get a lot of work done. Who knows what tomorrow brings.

Tomorrow morning my goal is to leave the house early enough to get to the park. I seem to write better at the park, something about the location and the proximity to work and the knowledge that I have a finite amount of time.

Karl's brother will be here next week. I am not happy about this, Karl for all his protestations to the contrary seems happy about it. I know why too. We'd love to have someone from our family care enough to come and see us, but lets face it, they only ever just tolerated either of us so coming out of there way is only out of guilt not out of a wanting to see us. Who wants to be seen out of guilt? I prefer my way, no family at all, they don't like me, and I don't pretend that this hurts my feelings.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

I've been a might busy these last couple of days. I guess I'm gearing up for this lifestyle change and it is making me a little nutty. I have done pretty good with it today. However, I did have wheat and sugar. The wheat was in some organic pot stickers that I had and the sugar was in salad dressing. Obviously should have made my own vinaigrette. Officially I am not starting until Feb 16, mostly because I planned events that preclude the wheat/gluten/dairy thing and I just don't need the hassle of explaining on top of everything else.

I watched the first half of the Superbowl today, its amazing what you will do when you are a Bruce Springsteen fan. I am not at all excited about going to work tomorrow. I have so much to do I can't even begin to figure out how to get it all done.

I did not work on my writing at all this weekend and I feel the dullness of this post is a reflection of my not working on my writing. I seem to be in a bit of a slump. Not a block, just over stretched and not able to focus clearly. I have to keep remembering that part of my reasoning for the lifestyle change is to help me gain some clarity and mental focus, and I do believe that will come, it is only 6 weeks you can do anything for six weeks if you know it will only last that long. At least that's what I keep telling myself. So for the next few days, I maybe a bit dull. Since nobody is reading anyway that doesn't seem to be such a bad thing.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Not enough time....

to analyze all the LOST theories. I just spent an hour at WA Post blog on Lost and I'm more confused then ever. All this time travel. I think some interesting theories are, that gun totting brit that has a gun Daniel is in fact his mother. Also it has been suggested that she is also Penny's mother, and of course that makes Widmore his father. Also Penny's father is Charles Widmore, I find it hard to believe that they named their boy Charlie.

Too tired to write more and too much time travel to digest.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

LOST 5.2

Ok, so we start tonight with Desmond in an Asian village where he is running to find a doctor. Turns out Penny is having a baby, whom they name Charlie.

Two years in the future we follow Desmond to Oxford trying to find Daniel Faradays mother, what they find is an old girl friend locked in a coma, kept alive thru the generous Widmore. We are left to believe Faraday did a mind experiment gone wrong on Widmores dole. Desmond confronts Widmore and is giving Faradays mothers address in LA. He goes back to Penny and says that he doesn't have to do any more, but she knows Desmond will never rest unless he helps those on the island.

On the Island, Locke. Sawyer and Juliet have two hostages, we find out that they are others because one of them speaks Latin to the other and Juliet knows how to communicate with them. She convinces one that they need to speak to Richard Alpert. But the other one kills the other that agreed and escapes in the Jungle. Locke doesn't kill him and tells Sawyer it is because it is one of his people.

Daniel, Charlotte and the Asian man who's name I can't come up with, are captured by some others, who tell them that the trip wire that blew up the survivors they were with, was put there by there people. They take them to and army encampment, where Richard Alpert is, and he believes Daniel when he tells them that they are scientist with the army and they are there to pick up their hydrogen bomb.

Meanwhile Locke, Sawyer and Juliet arrive at the encampment. Sawyer and Juliet follow Daniel and a blond other to the bomb to diffuse it. Locke goes in search of Richard to give him the compass and find out how to get off the island to get the 6 back who are the Islands constant.

Richard takes the compass doesn't remember any of it. Locke tells him that he will be born in two years and he needs to go and see him when he is born. They time travel before Richard can tell him how to get off the island.

Charlotte has a seizure as the show ends.

I had to come back and edit my post because as I was logging off I realized I left out the most important piece to the puzzle. The guy who is captured by Sawyer, Locke and Juliet and then later escapes turns out to be Charles Widmore..... - I guess the theory that he was leader of the others before Ben holds true.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Nothing much to write about tonight. I'm feeling tired and my leg hurts. The news is filled with no end of people that want change and refuse to make it happen and I am tired of it all. I feel my interest waning in most things today. I hope this melancholy mood passes quickly.

Tomorrow is a new episode of LOST and so at least I have that to get thru, that and 8 hours of people who tell me how much they like while they assume I have failed and am doing things wrong or badly. I'm just a little tired of my friends at Harmony Hill these days. Perhaps my initial glow of happiness was ill timed. but tomorrow is another day.

Monday, January 26, 2009


I received my story back from my instructor today and while I knew it was not my best work, chiefly I knew the ending was lame, and I felt there were a couple of characters that didn't get the full treatment they deserved. My instructor felt the same way and also said I had several run on sentences. Well that is certainly true and definitely need to be schooled in this area and that is why I took the class. But the good news is she liked my story. Liked my characters. She seems to believe I can become the writer that I want to be. This is very exciting to me. I am working hard to make this happen, it is difficult to do everything. I know that taking on the 6 week UltraMind program is not convenient, but my health is out of whack and without doing my best to get this under control I will not be able to write or work or live. I have a lot to say and I can't say it if my brain is fogged up with my addiction to sugar. It is time I took my health seriously and I need to be focused to do this.

So, this week I must rewrite my first story, using my instructors changes. Next I must finish my second story, which is done, but needs to be reworked and I need to incorporate what I learn from rewriting the first story with my new story. Karl is being very understanding. I even read to him my new story, I did not let him read it as then he is too critical, but he seemed to like it. Anyway this is what I will be doing this week.

Also will try to make bread again this weekend. Soon I will have to give up bread for a time and I want to try baking it one last time.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I am reading a book called The UltraMind Solution, and quite frankly I'm frightened. It is very hard to hear that you are basically killing yourself and the solution is in your control. It should be very empowering, so why does his 6 week plan, where i have to cut out all sugar and all gluten products and all dairy products scaring the hell out of me? I know that I can't continue on my path if I intend to stay healthy. and the reason that I began reading the book in the first place is because, I don't feel bad about my weight, I don't feel my life is diminished, unless we start talking about my longevity or my cognitive abilities. One of the few things I have that makes me extremely happy is my good mind. It works well and can make the connections and synapses and knows and remembers. At 46 I am beginning to see the signs of age and wear, that is too soon and I know is not necessary. The author, Mark Hyman, M.D. makes a valid case for the mind/body connection and the need to cut fat, cut, sugar, cut gluten from the diet, so that your brain is given all the optimal fuel it needs. As Michael Pollen says: Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants. It is my new mantra. Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Everybody - say it with me.

OK the book is not finished yet, I have a few more chapters. I am planning on starting the 6 week program on February 16th, 2009. This will get me thru Karl's brothers visit (don't get me started), Valentine's day, and the Volunteer luncheon at Harmony Hill, which I am expected to attend. I will feel better if I slowly begin taking the supplements and cutting things back, without having to explain to others that I am trying a new plan that will improve my brain function.

This will also dovetail nicely with my garden plans. I am hopeful to have a small garden this year. We will be ordering a small composting bin this next week and some seeds soon too. In keeping with that please go to White House Farmer to vote for the White House Farmer. I voted for Carrie Little from Washington State. Obviously, I'm partisan because she is a homey, but read what others say about her and I think you too will be convinced that she would make a fabulous choice. Well that's all for now, have to go read some more of the book... YIKES

Friday, January 23, 2009

An Amazing Week

We just finished our Friday night ritual, began several years ago, the evening is spent with Gwen and Friends on Washington Week, and then to Bill Moyers Journal. After years of watching these brilliant people and there guest try to wade through the muck of George Bush and company, it is refreshing to feel and see the first signs of hope in even these hardened journalists.

I think Barack Obama has shown this week that he is an excellent and brilliant manager, he is an executive who can see peoples strengths and help them to use them to their best and our best advantage. He has shown that he is willing to look beyond what has been done in the past, that he is willing to let me in on as much as he can, and that he recognizes that everyone has a voice even Republicans maybe especially Republicans. I know he will not fix everything, I know he can't fix everything. And even if he has a different way of doing things, he still has Reid and Pelosi to deal with, not to mention Boehner who have done things they way they have done things for awhile.

But still it has only been 4 days and he has already shown 1. that he meant what he said and 2. he can do more than one thing at a time.

I choose optimism over fear. I choose hope over despair. I choose to give him a chance to prove that we are a great nation. I choose to do what I can to be a part of the question and the solution. Tomorrow I hope to find some time to write to my representatives, as well as Reid and Pelosi and remind them that we are in this together, we need each other, and we need to listen to the other side. It is important to come together as a country and we can't do that if we are locking the other side out of meetings and committees and doing politics as usual, that is not what we elected them for.

Well I'm off the soap box for the night. But I'm sure more will be forthcoming.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Now that I've had 6 hours of sleep, 8 horrific hours of work, (where I basically found out that what I've been working on for 3 days, is no longer needed and nobody told me, and what I should have been doing is now a week from being due), some dinner, some ping pong, and several reads from various LOST fan sites, I am ready to go back and reanalyze the show last night.

First, we start out with a couple in bed and a baby crying. The woman is Asian, and we never see the man, as he gets up and turns on Willie Nelson and then begins taking care of the child. If you haven't read the LOST Dueling Analysis at Washington Post you really should. In which Liz and Jen posit some interesting theory's which I will steal now. For starters they contend that the baby is Jin, they believe this because a) the parents are Asian, as the man turns out to be none other than Dr. Candle. b)They also say that the mother is the same actress who showed up and tried to bribe Sun about his parentage. I think this is a really good theory, and it brings up some interesting things. For instance when the ship blew up it was mid-ship, the tail end - where Jin was at the time, did not blow up initially and there would have been time for him to be in the water.

We also see Daniel at the Dharma station the Orchid posing as an employee. He looks exactly the same as he does now, we don't know if he is time traveling, we do know that he has to play by the rules and cannot effect what is happening, except that later in the show we find out that the woman he loves, Charlotte, is having the same symptoms that Makowski and then Desmond had, so he maybe trying to change things anyway.

Kate is next up she is visited by Lawyers who want her blood and Aaron's to prove blood relation. Liz and Jen disagree here, one says Sun is behind it, the other Ben. I'm going to have to go with Ben too. I think he is trying to get her to agree to go back and the best way is going to be to keep Kate running, that's what she does. I mean after three years she keeps a gun and cash at the ready for just such an occasion.

Sayid and Hurley are the next up. Hurley starts out by saying on the Penny's boat when everyone wants to lie and he doesn't, he tells Sayid he won't forget that he let him down and someday Sayid will need him and he won't be there for him. But then 3 years later, when Sayid is hit by tranquilizing darts (why not kill him? who is behind this? is Widmore trying to collect the 6 to get back to the island?) Hurley doesn't let him down. Several sites I read comment on the fact that Hurley says he won't be there for him, but they fail to remark on the fact that to let his friend down is just not in Hurley, he can say it, but he could never do it.

Hurley is visited by Ana Lucia, and tells Hurley to buck up, clean up and get Sayid somewhere safe. She also tells him that Libby says hi.

Later Hurley unburdens his lies to his mother and she listens, she tells him she doesn't understand but she believes him. I'm glad she said this, I was worried she be judgemental as she has been in the past. But if you know anything at all about Hurley you know he prefers the truth and cares deeply about his friends. This is why I find him to be the most heroic of all the characters. He reminds me of Samwise from Lord of the Rings.

Sayid is taken to Jack, who now suddenly clean and sober, and with apparent hospital privileges takes Sayid there and revives him. I think the plan all along was for Sayid to deliver Hurley without Hurley realizing it. I think Sayid still works for Ben, I don't recall anything to make me believe he did not. The man outside the mental institution was probably from Widmores team, and now that Hurley has gotten himself arrested it will interesting to see who gets him out first.

Back on the Island, the remaining cast aways are stuck in the skipping record of time, as Daniel tells it. Locke is right away in trouble, gets shot by Ethan. Sees the plan that Echo's brother crashed in. Richard finally shows up and gives him a compass and tells him next time you see me I won't recognize you so give me the compass.

Out on the beach, we have Daniel trying to find out where in time they are, Charlotte bleeding from the nose and having headaches, Miles hunting bore with his bare hands, Bernard and Rose tyring to build a fire, Juliet and Sawyer checking out the zodiac raft, and some annoying guy that finds his ass burned by flaming sticks. Later Juliet and Sawyer trying to get to the others that were fleeing the flaming swords, are accosted by three men in uniform who want to know what they are doing on there island and how many more there are. Rocks and knives start flying and Locke shows up. Jen and Liz note as did all females watching that Sawyer spends the first hour shirtless and as they call it winking throughout the episode as he keeps asking/demanding a shirt.

The one last thing is that Daniel also beats on the hatch door to get Desmond's attention (he lies to Sawyer about this later), tells him to go to Oxford and find his mother. We find out later that Daniels mother is Mrs. Hawking, the lady from a previous episode that told Desmond that he could not marry Penny, that he had to go to the island. I was also trying to remember the episode when we first meet Daniel, he is at home watching the phony crash of 815 on TV and very upset, someone is with him, I don't recall who that was, could it have been his mother?

The last scene is with Mrs. Hawking and Ben. She tells Ben he has 70 hours to get them back or god help us all.

So, Jin could be Dr. Candles kid and was born or lived on the Island before
Kate is on the run again
Jack and Sayid are together, but are they both on Ben's side?
Sun is still after the other man who killed Jin (Jack? Ben? Widmore?)
Hurley is in Jail
Juliet, Sawyer, Locke, Daniel, Charlotte, Miles are all unstuck in time
Ben is still plotting and planning
Desmond is on his way to Oxford

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


How will they all get back to the island? Jack is onboard, but Hurley and Sayid, know that you cannot trust Ben and what is Ben up to? I think the old woman is both the lady from the episode a few seasons back that convinced Desmond that he had to let Charlie die and I think she is Daniel's mother that Desmond is heading to Oxford to see.

I do not understand why they are stuck in the time loop and what bringing the six that left is going to do. What about people like Jin, Michael and Walt? they left the island too. Why was important for them to be on the plane, but not kept alive or even allowed to leave the island.

Karl thinks that Richard Widmore was the leader of the others before Ben, but I think he has something to do with the Dharma Initiative. I don't see Mr. Widmore running around the jungle. I think he was trying to harness the energy from the island.

So many questions - Dr. Chen/Halifax etc. Sun/Widmore. I thought she believed that her father and Mr. Widmore were responsible for Jin's death, but maybe she does believe it is Jack. Who is Richard Alpert? I could go on and on, but it is after 11 and duty and sleep call.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Though my voice is drowned out by the myriad of voices today, still I live in a great country at an amazing time, where I can voice my opinion. Thanks to the generosity from a truly wonderful employer I was gifted the most amazing thing today - Time. I was able to stay home and watch history on television.

I loved every single tradition, every single foible, every single moment of the peaceful transfer of power. I loved Mrs. Obama's beautiful dress and coat in such a rich lovely color, I loved, the way the girls looked so proper and proud, and little Sasha with the mischievous look in her eye, even while she sat quietly. I loved the way Mrs. Clinton greeted George Bush Senior, it truly seemed genuine and if it was not, then that is OK too. I loved the warm greeting that President and Mrs. Bush gave to Barack and Michelle. I loved the way Joe Biden looked so strong and purposeful, striding out of the White house with cranky potteresque Cheney in his wheelchair. I loved the way President Bush high fived the coordinator at the Capitol as he walked by. I loved that President Barack Obama called on me to stand up, to take back what I'd allowed to be lost, to stop blaming and start doing. I loved that he didn't call me a consumer or a tax payer, but a Citizen in the same way that he is a Citizen. I loved the man on the street that cried when Obama was sworn in and just kept saying "is this a great country or what"

Thank you America for giving us this moment, thank you forefathers for knowing this was possible, thank you soldiers from the revolution to Iraq for believing it was worth the fight. Thank you Barack Obama, for answering the call, my I have your courage, your humility, your wisdom to do what is right, and act when called.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The last day

I cannot believe it is almost over, eight long years. I have been waiting for this day for so long. I remember clearly the election night of 2000, I went to bed with Al Gore declared the winner. Karl woke me up about 20 minutes later to say that they made a mistake and were now declaring for Bush. I started to cry, Karl thought I was crazy and said, it will be ok. It won't be as good as with Al, but it will be ok. I said don't you remember? the 80's Regan, his father? It's going to be people laid off, and the rich get richer, there will be a war. No he said, no wars, who would we fight. I told him Iraq, that I had heard a conversation that Bush had made years ago, that he said, we should have finished the job when we had the chance. Karl thought I was wrong, oh, how I wish that I had been.

It is almost over, almost so close. I find myself holding my breath in anticipation. My wonderful employer emailed today, this is a once in a lifetime experience stay home watch it. Come to work later. I cried when I read it, just like I am sure I will cry tomorrow, just like I cried on election night in November, but for very different reasons then those 8 long years ago.

I have heard many learned leaders from the civil rights movement talk about this historic presidency of Barack Obama, and I agree. But for me, it isn't that he is making history by who he is, it is by what he says, what he promises to bring to this country and what he expects of me, and asks of me that makes this an historic presidency, one that I have been waiting for all of my life. I read of Lincoln, of FDR, of Kennedy. But I wondered, where is my leader, where is my opportunity for greatness. I am so grateful to President Obama for taking up the challenge, for understanding what he is here for and know how to make it happen, and for knowing that he is not in this alone. Yes the presidency will be a lonely job, but he will not be alone. We are going with him. And we will trust him to take us where we need to go. I am ready.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My themes

Question from the book: Writing to Change the World (Pipher, Mary): What points do you repeatedly make to those you love?

This is an interesting question, not just in trying to honestly answer it, but in realizing, I don't have a lot of loved ones, or even acquaintances, with whom I would try to make a point. Karl is the only one I have ever known or been in contact with that ever let me finish a thought, he too will challenge me if he does not agree, but he does not try to change my mind, or assume I am not as smart him if my answer is different.

But in terms of themes, I do come back again and again, to making a decision, it has always been crazy making for me when people cannot make a decision. It always seems that those in charge are the worst 'deciders'. I am also a person who champions the underdog. I do not like injustice at all. At one job I had there was this woman Sally, who while nice enough as a person, was a terrible supervisor. She was sure everyone was out to get her and me in particular. We butted heads repeatedly. But after promising her the Head position for over a year the Administration decided that she wasn't qualified, and while they did not fire her, they did make her life miserable for some time and actually asked, persuaded and bullied her into quitting. I was furious, and while my job was secure and it was assumed I would get her position, but I quit because I knew I could never work for a company that would treat someone that way, not the least reason, because who knew when it would be me?

I expect people to be good, it is easy to fool me because I always assume the best in people. I think as heart people are nice and kind and care for each other. It always shocks me when I see callousness. I do not watch reality TV because that is not the reality I choose to live in.

I also believe in all the rights in our constitution. I believe them to apply to me as a woman, to black men and women, to Asians, Hispanics, gays, and everyone I am forgetting. I don't need it to say that I just know it to be true. This is a theme that is constantly on my radar, as it is so easy to forget that we all live under the same umbrella of freedom, so easy to think us vs them.

These are the themes I am thinking about tonight. I think this is the kind of question that I can come back to again and again as it will always be refined and expanded, at least I hope to always be growing and learning.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Brain Freeze

I have a writing assignment that is due and I have been avoiding. I was given a set of words and I was to work four or five into the narrative. I usually do really good with this type of assignment, but this time was different in that it had to be a complete story, beginning, middle and end and it had to be 1000 words or less. These added restrictions seems to have stalled my creativity. I don't remember all the words right now, but the ones I chose were: Whisper, Patch, Float, Brush and Sing. Tomorrow creative or not I am completing the assignment. I hate when I get like this, I spend all morning on the Internet looking at stuff that doesn't matter, then I read absolutely anything that will keep me from picking up my journal or computer. And it is actually worse if you do open up you computer, because the Internet is right there. I cleaned, I organized, I messed around, I napped, but I did not write, not one word. I knew that taking this correspondence course was going to be hard for me. I always start these things but I can never seem to finish them. But I made a promise to myself and for once I am going to keep my promise.

In other news I highly recommend last nights Bill Moyers Journal, an interview with historian Simon Schama. It was truly fascinating about the American Future. He separates four things out that he feels are converging in American and that will define the Obama presidency: War, Religion, Immigration, and abundance (plenty). They showed clips of an upcoming BBC America documentary on Schama's work, one that was particularly scary was the clip in Houston Texas with a group of citizen border patrol men. They don't go out to the desert and patrol the border, they drive around town looking for Hispanics and get in there face demanding their 'papers'. It was truly frightening. I would have to say that in the last 8 years the only thing I ever agreed with George Bush on was immigration. We need to find a way to work through this.

I'm from what I like to call hillbilly stock, I prefer that term to redneck and I also feel it fits my family more. My mother grew up in what use to be the extreme back woods of Lake Taps/Ravensdale/Black Diamond area of Washington State. This is now elite territory, but when she was growing up with her 10 brothers and sisters (way Catholic) it was the country, and as country folk with that many kids they were poor. Grandpa was a carpenter, a handy man and did lots of odd jobs, Grandma raised babies and gardens, and together the whole family picked berries, cascara bark and went to eastern Washington to pick apples in the fall. The whole family worked to make a living. I don't know too many families that will do that now days....except for Hispanic families. And yes I know some, maybe many are 'illegal' (such an inappropriate term), but when need there labor and they need the jobs. I think we need to find a way to work this out before it gets uglier then it already is.

Well that is all for tonight. Tomorrow I will be posting that I HAVE FINISHED MY STORY!!! at least that is the plan.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Today has been a long day. By Friday I'm totally fried. I'm not sure why except that this job is not like any other job I've had. A lot seems to be riding on if I can perform well, and yet even as I think this or write this I know it is ridiculous. If I fail, or if I leave well it really doesn't make much difference. But if feels like it will and I also like everyone that I work with. This has never happened before, usually I like one or two people and I tolerate a couple others and like one if I'm lucky, sometimes nobody.

It also has been a rather emotional couple of weeks. It is hard not to reflect on the last eight years and be hopeful for the first time. And I am hopeful. I do really feel like things might be better soon. Also it is the way we hand over the country from one president to the next. It is all so peaceful. My only regret is that I don't get to have a piece of the moment. I would love to at least be home to watch it on TV. Thank goodness for NPR!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

LOST the day after

Even in reruns the television show LOST fascinates me. Few things can hold my attention for three straight hours with hardly moving for fear I will miss something. Washington Post has a great blog on this.

Next week proves to be a fantastic week. Monday is a holiday, and even though we plan to give blood in honor of the spirit of giving back that the MLK embraced, I still get to sleep in and that is always a good day. Tuesday, after 8 long, long, did I mention long years. We will finally be free of that dangerous and destructive man. And then finally the long awaited LOST season premiere.

Today was our company Christmas party, we had to postpone it due to weather, it was the first time with Harmony Hill and it was really nice, the food was vegetarian but tasty, check out page 58 for a lovely lasagna at harmony hill. The presents (white elephant style) were strange - I got a gigantic large egg. I'm not kidding and I'm not sure what to do with him.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Tonight LOST is back YIPPEE!!!! Yes it is only reruns from last season, but I am still excited. Besides I need to get back up to speed, this is a fast paced show and I have to get back into practice. I don't watch much television. Washington Week and Bill Moyers Journal on Fridays, the occasional Daily Show. I also admit a weakness for Chuck - yup I'm a member of the Nerd Herd. But clearly the main reason to even own a television is LOST. The characters are compelling, the story intriguing. It reminds me of when I first saw Hitchcock movies. Any way that's all for tonight, lots to do.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Idea of Self-Sufficiency

I think the idea of learning to sew and baking bread, comes from this idea, this notion that I need to be more self-sufficent, more self-reliant. I've never been one to shop at Walmart, but I still have my share of garbage at the end of the week. Recently I was reading in a book called Alabama Stitch that during the depression (the first one not this one) that there was no word for garbage can. They had slop buckets for the pigs, and composting and everything else got reused. Amazing!

I know that when I was growing up we had a scrap bucket and a composting bin, and we grew most of our own food so there wasn't a lot of waste. As a young adult, and during the 80's and 90's as we became increasingly a throw away society I didn't pay it much thought. I began to think differntly during the early 90's with a book called '50 things you can do to save the planet'. That opened my mind and eyes to a lot of things and since that time I have become ever more "greener" and now as I see things around me falling apart and as we slide closer and closer to a new depression I feel this need to be self-sufficent, but also a deeper understanding and conscionsness of those around me, those in need. Now is the time to give. I think this weekend I may try going through my stuff, see what I don't need anymore that someone else could put to use.

Then there is the fact that I work for a non-profit, the more the economy closes in on itself the more precarious my situation becomes. One way to be ready is to be able to take care of myself, to feed myself with simple things like flour, water, rice and beans. To grow my own vegtables, to make my own compost(we found this small composting bin at Isabella). To be able to sew simple things like linens, curtains, quilts. I don't know that I can save the world this way, or even serve the world, except that I will be less of a burden on it and on society. This is something I can do and I can prepare for, all the rest is just unnecessary worry about things yet to pass.

It is during these times of hardship, when we all feel the need to shore up our resources, and I beleive the term is 'nest', that we can learn a lot about ourselves. I am lucky that I like spending time alone and do not need a lot of outside outlets. I meditate, read, and contemplate my place in the world already, and this will not change, even though my circumstances might. We have yet to see where this will lead us, but I believe faith, hope and a little self-sufficency will see us through.

Monday, January 12, 2009

So it's more whispers than roars

OK I know the title of the blog seems a bit much considering I'm talking about baking bread and sewing aprons, but I'm still testing the waters, still feeling my way around the edges of this thing called blog. I started reading the Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging and I am learning lots, mostly I'm learning that I am completely our of my league. But then I have to remember what made me want to do this in the first place. It isn't to make a name for myself, or even to be recognized, it's about having a voice and a place to share my thoughts. I know that mostly this will be the whispers of a life maybe dull to many, but I am ready and willing to roar when needed. Right now I am just enjoying the waning days of the Bush years with a glimmer of hope. Yes the economy is in ruins, the country even the world in dire circumstances, but there is nothing people cannot accomplish with the proper guidance and leadership. Naive? perhaps, but at least for the next few weeks I'm going to allow my hope to live, I'm going to allow George W Bush to fade into the past, a time in our lives when we let opportunities pass, and failed ourselves and our country. George said today that History would judge his presidency and it will, lets just hope it has more courage then we did to the legacy that was left unexamined.

In short I believe George W Bush was the worst president this country ever saw, worse then just merely incompetent he was dangerous, unstable, reckless. And for my part for all my rages, and roars these past 8 years, in the end I did nothing to stop him, and while history may judge Mr. Bush, I too will be judged as will all of us.

Who will stand with President Barack Obama and not wait for miracles, but act, participate? I hope that I will. I hope that while I stood by and watched America smolder for 8 years, I will not give into complacency and cowardice, but will be strong and be an active participant in the rebuilding of my country.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

1 down 14 to go

I did it. I baked bread today. I followed the recipe from King Arthur's and made sourdough bread. It turned out very nice....It's not San Francisco Sour, but it is very good. Great texture, crumb and crust.

It was a lot of fun actually, even the getting up at 5 am. Overall I would say that it was a winning experience. And I have accomplished goal #1 on the 15 things to cook before you die resolution I have made. Even though I have accomplished what I set out to do, I don't feel done with this yet. In a word I am hooked and plan to work to perfect my sourdough experience. Next up adding rye flour to enhance the sour and working on a proofing box to help the yeast to stay at just the right temp.

My mother baked bread when I was young and as a young mother I baked a white bread coping my mothers recipe and then later a Betty Crocker recipe, but this was different. This was making a sponge and making sure temperatures were right. Waking up early and making dough, letting it rest, knowing when to stop kneading, when to let it rise, when to gentle release the pressure. Preparing the oven, finding the stone, dusting the bread peel, misting the loaves, listening for the hollow thump, and putting your ear next to the just baked bread to hear it crackle knowing it was still working its magic of yeast and flour, water and warmth. Yes this was different and in some small way life changing.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Find yourself in the Hoop

That is the tag line for Hoopnotica, and it's true. You do find yourself in the hoop. You laugh when you fumble, you feel a surge of pride when you master a new move, and you giggle from the sheer joy of it all. Moving your body, feeling the rhythm.

Today I began my 15 things to cook before you die goal, I started my sponge for my sourdough bread. Tomorrow, Sunday, I must get up at 5 am to get everything started. It feels good this aliveness, watching the sponge begin to work, caring for it like it is a baby. Is it warm? Is it free of drafts? Taking it personally, making a commitment to the bread, the dough, the promise.

Speaking of taking is personally, we scored our first game of ping pong and I am clearly a sore loser. He killed me without really even trying. I knew that he would still I had hoped I would do better than I did. I wonder if he is bored with playing with someone like me. But he says no and he explains beautifully and gallantly why he is not and that I do challenge him. I believe he is sincere and he is kind. hard, but worth the effort. Thanks to Gretchen, I pulled out the book Writing to Change the World by Mary Pipher. I've had the book for some time and it is very good, I set it aside when we moved 18 months ago and sort of forgot about it. But Gretchen is going to be writing about Harmony Hill and is reading the book. It reminded me that I have it and you don't buy a book like that if you don't feel what you have to say is important. And while I can see that Gretchen has lots to say and it is important and has, does, and will change the world, I'm still not sure that I can see it for me. But of course that is my petty fears looming up. I am doing this blog for just this reason, to strengthen my writing muscles, to get into the habit. To form my ideas, crystallize my vision. It can and will happen for me, it just won't be the same as for Gretchen or Mary Pipher, or anybody else. I have my own vision and my own journey to take.

Friday, January 09, 2009


It has been a long week and I am exhausted. No hoopdancing tonight, no ping pong, just Washington Week, Bill Moyers Journal and some sleep. Tomorrow I start my sponge for my sourdough bread, more on that tomorrow.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


Today was a day of interesting moments. I work in the office of a cancer retreat center. It is a truly amazing place, I'd heard about it for years and wanted to be involved with it, but things came up and life goes on. Then through a series of events I found myself at a company I loved but a job I hated. The economy was tanking and I was a collector. I knew I needed to get out, but to what? another job I would hate? Then by chance I was on Craigs List messing around and the job just appeared, there it was Harmony Hill. The job was for Office Coordinator, I knew I was over-qualified, but I really hated my job and this was Harmony Hill. I applied and was hired.

Part of my job is to be assistant to the executive director, Gretchen Schodde is an amazing woman. One of the first Nurse Practitioners in the Country, she and and one other woman were the very first. She started this Retreat Center with a dream and a prayer, and the good wishes of all who meet her. The is so genuine, so loving, so real. Nobody who meets her goes away without feeling better. The other part of my job is to be the assistant to the development director where I assist her in grant writing.

This is where things get interesting for me. I've always wanted to write. I've always wanted to make a contribution, make a difference. But through a series of bad choices in my life, I didn't find myself on the path to making any of this happen. I even trained as a massage therapist and did that for several years thinking this was where I could serve. As it turns out all of my skills are both needed and useful at Harmony Hill. For one thing I am writing a lot more personally. I have been writing for my course that I'm taking, and I have taken classes in grant writing and feel that I am being useful here too. Now I find out that Gretchen is planning on writing a book about Harmony Hill, I am hopeful that she will write a book about her life too or within this book. And I am her assistant. I will be there as she makes this happen and I know she will make this happen.

I said a little thank you prayer today for bringing me to Harmony Hill, for all the paths that led me to this place and for finally knowing that yes - I can write, I am writing, I can make this happen.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Rain's Came

And the rains came down.... it has been raining for hours and hours. The rivers are swelling, the homes flooding and still the rains come down. There is no end in sight and the weather is extreme, and everyone talks as if this is normal, as if we are suppose to have a pineapple express every year, as if climate change can not be recognized, cannot be real. Smart and learned people speak of how climate change cannot be for small and minor, but it is the very small and minor that builds to change that over time results in the major. What we do now will always have an affect. It will cause change. Time does not wait for us to figure out who to blame, we are running furiously towards the sun and yet in the notion of time that speed is not felt and we do not notice the heat, the change. We go about our lives and never notice how we have reached the horizon and there is yet another horizon.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Back to work

What a day, I really like my job, it's not the prettiest office that I've worked at. It doesn't have all the latest and greatest gadgets. It isn't easy to get to. It doesn't pay great. But it does make me feel good and tired at the end of the day. So many things to do, I have trouble keeping track of everything, and I'm one of those people that if I have to stop and write down everything that needs to be done, then that is time that I could be doing something.

My direct supervisor is Jolene, she is at least 16 years younger then me, and she does have a youthful exuberance that is exhausting at times, and she does have an attitude that she has it all figured out, and she does have an opinion on everything, but mostly she's happy and joyful to be around, she laughs a lot and doesn't take life to seriously. My other boss is Gretchen, the executive director of Harmony Hill, she is an amazing woman. I feel like I've known her forever and she is so sweet and kind with a true blessing heart and cares so much about everyone she meets. She is also exhausting, because she gets her mind wrapped around something and she can't let go and she usually has her mind wrapped around everything.

My other new favorite thing to do HOOPNOTICA - If you haven't tried it you really should, so much fun. I absolutely love it. I just hope I figure out all the moves, but so far for being a total clutz I'm doing ok. Check it out at

Who knows when I'm going to get back to studies, I'm hoping tonight..... but what about ping-pong!!!! Last night we laughed so hard I'm not sure if my stomach hurt from the hooping or the laughing.....who cares it's all good.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Working from Home

It snowed yesterday all day, by 11 pm we had about 6 inches, but by morning it had already begun the big melt, however I still opted to stay and work from home today. It is so nice to have this option. I've always thought I'd be a good candidate for working from home; I'm a homebody, I am self-directed, and I don't like people to think I'm taking the easy way, so I usually work harder then anyone else. Turns out it is not so easy, especially when the work you have to do is writing. I'm working on Grants for Harmony Hill, I'm really lucky to have this opportunity, but when I try to write these things my head turns to mush. I don't understand why it is so hard for me, it is basically the same as the last one and the one before that etc... but still my fingers get clumsy and nothing comes out, and then you find yourself wandering to the internet....what are those crazy Isralites doing now I wonder. Then your eyes get doesn't help that Max and Holly my faithful cat companions are snoozing right next to me.

Last night watched part one of the Tess of the D'urbervilles on PBS Masterpiece Classics. It was pretty good, but I couldn't help thinking this could all be solved if you'd just tell the truth. Doesn't matter, sitcom, movie, literature, reality show, soap keep secrets from the ones you love, hate, alliance with....sooner or later it all comes out and you end up losing out anyway or worse, learning your lesson UGH! Karl kept saying "She isn't a very bright herione" I finally had to remind him that she was written by a man. How could he possible know how a real woman would act and feel in those situations. Overall I do think it is a great story.

I tried the hoopnotica workout yesterday, it was fun, and hard and differnt that I thought it would be. I think I managed to do 3 sessions of approx 5 min each, but I really enjoyed it so that is a good start. Still I have to say I like ping pong better :)

Saturday, January 03, 2009

12 days later.....

UPS showed up today at 5 pm with my package. I was ready to have the company that I purchased from to recall the package and refund my money. Needless to say I am less then impressed by UPS. They were rude to me when I called and my package which was a present for myself, managed to miss Christmas, my birthday and New Years, not to mention the last of my days off for awhile so the time I had scheduled to learn how to use a hoola-hoop are now nearly over. After trying it a few times today, I'd say that is really a shame as I'm going to need a lot of help.

Today I wrote part of another story, did some reading on my next assignments, and cleaned house. Tomorrow I am hopeful that I will have time to sew the apron. I don't think I have time to get it finished but I am hopeful to get a good start. I also have another apron pattern that I like this is a full length one with a pocket across the front. Very cute and useable.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Bill Moyers Journal and the Black Hole that is Port Orchard Washington

Bill Moyers is the kind of great man that comes along all to rarely. A man of keen insight and a powerful grasp of language and abuse of power. Tonight he interviewed John Lithgow and it was beautiful. Oh to hear good poetry read by someone who knows how to read it. Sheer beauty, the most beautiful of musics. For an inspiring website this is the place to go.

Black holes - vast and deep and pulling us faster and faster inward, great science fiction writers build the worlds, tell the science of how they project. But all of us know what a black hole is. At sometime we have all felt its pull, felt its darkness swallow us up.

In December we had a major snowstorm in Washington, at my home we had around 14 to 18 inches, it was a frozen winter wonderland and a traveling mess. And while the world around me was white, the place that I lived became a dark mass of nothingness, unable to be seen by UPS drivers, garbage men, the post office, county road crews....the list goes on. Now two weeks after the storm, slowly service has been restored.....except for UPS and Waste Management, they still cannot see me, they still look at the map of Port Orchard and see a vast black hole....but I am here and despite the loveliness of words all around. I am pissed off. I do not like to be this angry, I do not like to be the ugly American and my anger is all the more acute, all the more dangerous, all the more available for viewing.

To note my accomplishments of this day....Finished, printed and mailed assignment #1 and have read some of the reading materials for assignment #2. I have all the pieces cut for my apron. And I developed two story ideas today. I was busy all day, this being my day home alone, but the day seemed to fly by. I also paid the bills and completed our bookkeeping budget for the week this took a very long time as it was first influx of cash in awhile and I had to make sure all was accounted for. Only getting paid once a month can be hard.

This is all for tonight....Tomorrow is another day.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Oh Crap!

Those were my first words this morning when I looked out the window and saw snow. We just got rid of the last foot and a half of snow over the holidays and I'm not looking forward to more. It just complicates everything. Especially since tomorrow I do not have to work and Karl does, if it snows too much he may have to work from home and while I know he does just work when he works from home, I'm still hoping to have the house to myself.

Today I got the pattern pieces cut for my apron and tomorrow I'm going to sew it up, plus I'm still playing with the new Ipod I got for my birthday and lots of songs to sing and dance too.

I made the finishing touches on my first assignment for my writing class too and tomorrow I am mailing it out. I feel like I need to include a note about why it is so late too. I've had like 3 weeks to write 700 words! I'd love to say it was the holidays, but that's a lie. More like stage fright. I also know this story is crap, but you have to start somewhere right?

Writing this blog, for me is a start at exposing myself to the world. Right now I'm guarded with everything I write here, afraid of what might come of it, keeping everything neutral. My hope is that while these posts might start out being lame listings of my daily events, eventually I can lift the veil of my thoughts and hopes and dig a little deeper. There are so many things out in the world I want to comment on; the new president, the last 8 miserable years, the economy, my wonderful boss Gretchen, the environment, my husband, my cats, my lack of relationship with my grown kids. As Karl is fond of saying "little steps" so today I write lame stuff, tomorrow who know, maybe we get out the shovel or at least the spoon.