Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year?

I believe I said this last year - and I'll say it again: What is the big deal with New Year? Drunken alcohol consumption and fervent partying that leave folks at best, exhausted and physically ill, and at worst dead on a highway somewhere, hardly seem like any way to begin something auspicious. Tomorrow the sun will rise, in the east, as it did this morning. People will live lives much the same as they did before, despite resolutions to change.

Get a clue. Watch the drunken revels from the safety of your home TV set and get to bed at a reasonable hour. Wake tomorrow without a hangover and if you must make a resolution let it be to try to live each coming day as just a bit of a better person.

May 2012 bring that true for us all.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I made two more KIVA loans today - using money that had been repaid from previous loans. This makes a total of twenty loans made since I began. An initial "investment" of less than $100 has gone out to do 5 times that much work in the world. Currently I have loans in Rwanda, Kenya, Senegal, Nicaragua, and Lebanon.

Himself and I are retired, living on a combination of Social Security and savings. It means so much to me to be able to reach out into the world in this small way. All of us try to share the bounty of our lives. What do YOU do to extend yourself out of your community?

Thursday, December 22, 2011


One of our "empty-nester" holiday traditions is to eschew the purchase of a cut tree and instead to harvest a few boughs from the plentiful fir trees on our property and arrange them in a vase made years ago by a friend who is a potter. Our old ornaments being too large we have gradually scrounged small bits and pieces with which to decorate it. Some years we add a small string of lights, others (like this one) we skip the lights and get the sparkle from a lighted star we place in the front window.

This year the holiday blues had me captive but yesterday Himself shook me out of it and we created our "tree" together.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Is it the holidays or is it aging? Either way I seem to feel more and more overwhelmed and less and and capable of keeping up with the world around me. In my 30s and 40s there was a relative self-confidence. It wasn't as if nothing in life could shake me but my inner sense was that I could cope. Sometime in the past couple of years that sense has evaporated and left me staring at anxiety, sure that I'm sliding slowly backward, losing touch with the world, slowly becoming lost and frightened. My whorl is smaller and I reach out to pull it closer around me.

As I see this change I begin to understand the fluttering hands and sad, lost eyes of my grandmother when I last saw her. The world moves faster as some of us slow down and it is not a comfortable sensation.

(I hope some of the power of this feeling will fade after the holidays… Spring will come and it is ever my favorite season!)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mrs. Claus's Blog:


The arrival of December signals the start of the high expectation, rush around, and get it done season. Life around my house goes into overdrive. It isn't easy being married to someone who insists on cheer and goodwill toward man as he fusses and plans and dashes around like a bee in a florist shop.


There are lights to be hung, trees to be decorated. The entire neighborhood must be tinseled and garlanded while echoes of carols ring out. I swear if I hear one more "Santa Baby" purred by a velvet-voiced nubile wench I will head her direction with my tree-trimming axe!


That list of his… checking it twice? Whoever thought that glancing at the enormous list of "I want" and "please send" and "gotta have" could be handled with a couple of hasty glances? I've been alphabetizing and collating for weeks. Couldn't jolly old you-know-who learn to handle a spreadsheet?


Who left holly on the library floor? And where are the band-aids?


The logistics of making everybody on the list happy would tax the spirit of the hardiest elf. The usual crew is hard at work but I get so tired of the pounding and hammering. Don't think I can't hear those barely suppressed little cuss-words either. Elves have volatile tempers. And who cleans up after them? Who is fixing sandwiches and soup to feed all those little mouths? Mr. Ho-Ho-Ho gets all the credit and I spend my time slaving over a hot stove!


What am I up to as the days shorten toward December 24th? Cranberry stringing. Holly wreathing. BAKING! Oh dear, the baking! Fruitcakes. Gingerbread. Sugared nuts and sugared plums and peppermint this, that, and the other thing. The calorie count is beyond imagining but will you-know-who even consider Stevia or Splenda? He just gets rounder and folks admire his girth. Just how much jolly can one old man handle before his arteries completely harden?


Who left holly on the kitchen floor? I ran out of band-aids and had to resort to Duct tape.


Somebody left the front door open last night and eight tiny reindeer made themselves quite merry in my pantry. I'm considering venison stew for dinner tomorrow.


He's out the house at last. He forgot his mittens and after that last warm-up of Schnapps his nose is brighter than Rudolph's. I'm kicking off my boots and settling in with hot cocoa and a double-dip of marshmallow…

Who left holly on the bedroom floor?

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Memories are interesting things. Every morning as I shower the same one bubbles to the surface. It has been doing that for the past 18+ years. It never fails. Yes, I'm going to share…

I was on a ski trip with a bunch of friends and we'd all booked rooms in an older motel near the ski area in the California mountains. Since I'm not a skier, and hot water was limited, I'd wait for my morning shower until the rest had left for the lifts then spend my time hiking in the snow, reading by the fireplace, or enjoying the hot tub. On this particular morning, as was my bathing routine, I wet myself down, lathered my hair with shampoo, and began soaping up. Suddenly the shower went dry. Not a drop dripped from the tap. I waited a moment, my brain frantically trying to assess what had happened and certain that the water would start again but no, I was stuck, soap-covered, shampoo bedecked… high and dry.

??? What to do???

Luckily I'd brought a small electric water kettle for for early morning coffee. It was full, warm, and sitting - of all places - just outside the shower. And I realized I could also find water in the toilet tank. These two, carefully used, provided enough to rinse my hair and de-soap my epidermis. The water pump for the motel wasn't repaired until the next day but at least I didn't spend the waiting time in a lather!

My shower routine changed from that day. My hair is soaped and rinsed immediately - and never without the memory of those agonizing suspended seconds of "Oh dear… what do I do now?"

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


The universe has a tendency to throw things at a person, a sort of "keeping us on our toes" sort of thing. Most of the time I experience it as a somewhat pleasant game, an exciting tennis match where the score is not critical and the energy involved is within reach. But there are other times when the game speeds up, the goals achieved seem few and rapidly retreating from possibility. The balls careen and veer madly, each inhabited by a drunken demon with a nasty sense of humor. A gentle game of lobbying turns into a cut-throat competition with me on the losing end, frantically dashing around returning shots that merely go further and further astray.

I'm in the midst of one of those now. There isn't any winning. There never was. And it isn't about winning anyway. At least I know that. It is about keeping the game going and maybe, just maybe, learning a few new moves along the way. Only the universe gets to holler "SCORE!!!"

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Something strange is happening. It is gray and rainy and depressingly winterish outside, one of those damp, drippy Oregon mornings that make one think of the 3 M's: mold, mildew, and mud. Normally I'd be adding another M - Moping. And maybe Moody. Instead I'm feeling Giddy and Giggley. Gee…

Am I going Mental?

Monday, November 14, 2011

We left the suburbs over 15 years ago for life in the country. To folks who grew up in well-tamed neighborhoods near to decently large towns rural life seemed an idyllic change and for the most part it has been. I enjoy the vistas of hills and trees rather than fences and parked cars. Country living is slower paced and quieter than what we knew and we like it this way.

But… there is always a but, isn't there? Living in an old house on a dirt road brings certain embellishments to our world that were unanticipated. Some, like the ants invading through the walls, could easily be urban, and others, like the occasional mouse or the multitude of spiders, could also be suburban. Others are just part of living "out here". The constant wild turkey invasion comes under that heading. I grit my teeth daily in disgust at the idiot who imported this non-western bird to our area. They are just awful…

My morning began with the "Gawp! Gawp! Gawp!" call of turkeys outside the bedroom window. Every morning they gather in our front yards after roosting up in the fir trees around the neighborhood. "Gawp! Gawp! Gawp!" is translated as "Hey, let's get together and go harass the humans!" From 3 to 20+ stroll into my yard to wreak havoc under the feeder I keep for the little songbirds. They use their big old feet, like chickens on steroids, to scratch and defoliate the lawn searching for the few millet seeds that dropped to the ground. Others seeks a few last unpicked apples that may have fallen overnight while others leap the fence into our chicken yard to glean whatever bit of cracked corn might be left from the previous evening poultry dinner. All this activity is punctuated by "Gawp!' and "Gobble!" and various other squeaks, cries, and complaints.

I try to ignore the crowd. Chasing them isn't effective since they know exactly how fast I move and how far I will go and they return to the yard almost before I get inside the front door. Today while my toast browned I decided to give it a go. Erupting from the porch with a loud "Hey!" sent turkeys running and startled three deer grazing happily just beyond the driveway. Oops!

And did my foray do any good? Hah! I no sooner gained entry to the house and closed the door when I saw all the turkeys back to their pecking and scratching - and all three deer standing in the driveway staring at me through the window. I swear the consensus of opinion was "Stupid human!" and I must agree.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Being Scary 2011

(by M. Schram)

It's hard being witchy these days

Acting scary is tough.

It isn't enough

To hang out with bats

And favor black cats

In this decade those things don't amaze.

It's difficult keeping tradition.

Big warts and green skin

Are now hipper than sin

The wearing of black

Is chic off the rack

And hardly a sign of perdition

So what's a gal do to be scary?

Puttin' toads in the soup

Don't throw kids for a loop,

A cauldron that bubbles

Will only cause troubles,

Black robe, pointy hat -

Who's impressed seein' that?

A graveyard? A ghost?

Gets a yawn at the most.

Have a broomstick to ride

Kids think Potter's astride!

Use the wickedest curse,

Or ride home in a hearse,

Shake some skeleton bones,

Folks just stare at iPhones.

Bring a werewolf to lunch?

(Or even a bunch)

Who would find it extraordinary?

In times such as these don't use screeches.

What citizens fear,

Makes them choke on their beer,

What brings shivers and groans

And terrified moans,

What makes the brows damp

And causes a cramp

Is the threat of political speeches!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Being a post-menopausal woman can make sleep a major obstacle and a supreme topic for thought and discussion. Where women of this category gather the subject of warmth at night comes up. There is either usually either too much or not enough and the attempt to find a balance and thereby gain a full night of rest is a science in itself.

If you are not a post-menopausal woman you are not allowed an opinion. It is too complex an issue and one too close to our tenderest feelings to permit non-expert testimony. No, you have to have sweltered and soaked in sweat one moment only to shiver and grab for blankets the next. and then done it again. And again. And again during a single night. We will swear that a nasty little demon with a grim sense of humor is whirling the thermostat while cackling with unholy glee.

Sleep? Whatever happened to a full eight hours of unbroken sleep? Hot flashes are only one of the sleep-killers. How about the fact that a once capacious bladder has become a vessel of multiple refills? And of course, once awake for the blanket re-selection or the trek to and from the lavatory, there is the thunderous roar of spousal snoring. And a pet who sleeps nearby (or on/with you) and suddenly needs to leave the premises. I'm sure my friends can add their personal rest reducers to my list.

Tonight I plan a campaign of sleep inducement. Multiple blankets within arm's reach. (check!) No after 6pm coffee or tea. (check!) Earplugs? (check!) Trying to convince kitty to sleep next to instead on on top of me? (check! though I doubt I'll win that one) Anybody want to lay odds on my chance for success?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Spring and Fall often bring on an urge to clean. It must be some sort of obscure virus that passes through since house-cleaning isn't something that would normally preoccupy my thoughts. I don't let it get away with me. The urge gets channeled into some basic "toss debris and dust shelves" and after a day or two it fades away.

Every once in a while that clean-it-up compulsion turns into a major sorting and scouring. I take stock of my life and use the knowledge gleaned to reassess what I possess. Life changes us and what we valued during one decade is no longer so important in another. Projects started are no longer projects that will be finished. It is time to shake out the dust and make room for whatever the future will bring. As I've aged I find "things" no longer have as firm a hold on me as they once did and items once precious or having meaning have turned into just things, as likely to hold me down as to support me with memories.

This Fall is one of those once in a whiles. Boxes of books and stacks of jigsaw puzzles have been donated to the local library. Files and papers have gone to the trash. Knick-knacks and other flotsam will be boxed for future rummage sale. I've taken bits and pieces off shelves and walls. It is a slow process as I sit and ponder: "Am I ready to let this go?" But each box that goes out the door leaves me feeling just a bit lighter, just a little more free.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Some of us must be biologically predisposed toward guilt. Yes, today's blog will reveal another of my forays into that particular king, no, queendom.

I have a major problem with houseplants. I've always had a few. Well, for the decade I was into miniature orchids "a few" meant several hundred, but that is another subject altogether. My houseplants have never been the lush and tenderly tended kind. They are the tough, hang on despite continual neglect, refuse to die kind. Philodendrons. Pothos. Never-give-up, live-on-no-food and damned-little-water varieties. They droop and let go some leaves to get my attention. I pour them a glass of water, feeling somewhat like the evil matron at a prison in a B- movie.

Every once in a while I face the truth about my plant torture and decide it is time to go non-green around the house. But what does a person do with a barely surviving plant Have you ever tried to pass one to a friend? A roomful of chatting pals will empty in a heartbeat if you perkily ask "Would anybody here be willing to adopt a …" The ones remaining will share with you their own sad tales of houseplant history.

Today I got tough. Okay, I got as tough as I ever manage. The 8-foot tall whatever-it-was that began its life with me as a 6-inch terrarium plant on my desk 20 years ago went to the big greenhouse in the sky. I was almost in tears condemning it to death. It had been transplanted into ever bigger pots and become a ceiling scraper. It had been chopped down several times and each time had revived and regrown until it again bent at ceiling height and started growing horizontally toward the window. It was always dusty, always dropping leaves. Tiny, nearly invisible silken strands tied it to the surrounding furniture, compliments of the seldom seen (thank goodness!) spider population. I've wanted to retire it a number of times in the past and always chickened out. Even today I was unable to do the foul deed unaided. I cowered and covered my eyes as Himself volunteered to bear the burden. Or should I say he was begged to cart said plant out of the house while I wallowed in guilt and knew I was a craven murderer.

How long before I can bring the same fate to the Pothos hanging in the bathroom? Oh, the guilt!

Monday, October 10, 2011

I'm feeling really guilty today. Why? Because I didn't brave the torrential rain and go to the Monday morning writers group meeting this morning.

The weekly workshop has been tottering along in barely-surviving mode since our resident poet moved away, and our venue was changed, several moths ago. The attendance has always varied from week to week, being from 4 or 5 to as many as a dozen plus. We share what we have written and give each other advice, from criticism to encouragement. Knowing Monday was on the way often pushed me to flex my fingers and attend to my keyboard. With the changes aforementioned the sessions were reduced to our Fearless Leader and just a couple of the old troops with the addition of a newbie. I was determined to hang tight and hoped the group could find new life.

Then… the saga with the non-healing sore on my leg began. I managed to stagger along and get to meetings until the weather turned colder - and wetter - but have missed the past three weeks. Conscience stricken? You betchaI. I feel traitorous. Stand me up against the citadel wall and summon the firing squad! Publish my name in the paper under the title: Defector! Brand me deserter.

(There is nothing quite like that inner voice of conscience, deserved or un, is there?)

Friday, September 16, 2011

On a morning when fall is aggressively bearing down, blowing a loud whistle and announcing imminent arrival, I'm in need of cheer. Nothing is so warming to a grandmother's cockles as sight of grandchildren so, Ta-Dah!!

Now you can imagine me here, cockles thoroughly toasted.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Pain in the (ahem!) Calf

I've recently had a chance to see the gouging of the consumer via of American medicine and thought I'd share it before I grind my teeth into powder - in anger and frustration.

The background to this story isn't important. The upshot is that I quit wound care through a local hospital when I discovered that my 15-20 minute treatments were costing over $450 each. Going twice a week, no end in sight and no insurance, made it impossible to continue. No, that isn't the upsetting part, although the charges were certainly a shock. What has me in a lather is seeing those costs itemized and then doing some minor research.

To wit:

$92.40 charged for an Aquecel 4x4 dressing that can be bought for $10.61 online

$90.70 charged for a Profore bandage kit that costs $28.77 online

$40.27 for a Mepilex dressing that costs $35 for 5 online

If these folks charged for the toilet tissue it would probably be $10.95 per visit to the bathroom. Oops! Shouldn't have said that. I can already hear the hospital administrators scurrying to put in a coin-op loo!

By the way they charged $142+ to use the treatment room. Himself says for that price he also wants dinner, a movie, and a blowjob.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

What a pill!

I've got an infected spot on my right calf and my doctor prescribes an antibiotic. Himself and I make a trip to the local pharmacy to fill the prescription and along with the pills we are provided with precautionary advice for the medication.

Oh my goodness!

A single read-through of the material - four complete pages of "Thou shalt not" - was enough to scare the bloomers off of me! Every possible side-effect is, well… possible, from hangnail to coronary thrombosis. If my nose itches it might be the medication. If I poop to often, or not enough, wet my bed, have strange dreams or want to kick the cat it might be the fault of those innocent-looking white tablets. I should consume them two hours before this activity and at least four hours after that one. While taking them I must not operate heavy machinery, play racquetball, or think about that gorgeous construction professional who just walked into the grocery store in front of me.

I graduated high-school and went to college. I read prolifically and know how to use a dictionary. I have a reasonable command of the English language. At the end of those pages I was completely baffled and had to summon expert technical support, Himself, to interpret and advise. The cheery words of the pharmacist as he handed over the pill bottle (and the accompanying literature) came to mind: Put one in your mouth and swallow. Sound counsel. He could have added: Read at your own risk!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Turkey Update

(No, I'm not talking about politicians!)

If you've read my blog in the past you may have noticed my mentioning that we have a Wild Turkey infestation. Yeah, the wily (snort!) illusive (snicker!) rarely seen (Gack!) Wild American Turkey. It isn't native here but was another of those ecological errors made by some stupid (Oops, that isn't PC!) unaware "sportsman looking to import something to shoot and kill. Wish that fellow was here right now...

The turkeys thrive and invade and multiply. So far this morning I've hobbled out to discourage 2 hens with 2 poults and then, minutes later, a single hen with 4 poults. I'm betting by tomorrow these two groups will have joined together, as turkey moms "group parent".

That noise you hear around 7AM PDT will be me swearing and shaking my fist to chase the secretive wild birds off my porch. Judging by past events, I scare the s*** out of them, albeit briefly.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Is there anybody else out there who gets as irritated as I do about having to fish blindly down the throat of a commercial pill bottle in an attempt to extract that cheerfully shredding hunk of cotton?

And while I'm at it how do YOU feel about buying that plastic bottle of pills and finding 3/4 of the container is that self-same wad of useless white gunk PLUS a little cylinder of anonymous "moisture reducing stuff"? Gee, until I looked inside I thought I was buying some pills!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Is it lack of resolution, confusion, or something else entirely? From a person who could cheerfully juggle a multitude of activities I've evolved into someone who seems to have all the trouble she can stand trying to engage in a single pursuit. The inner sense if that of a Bumper Car who touches one chore then careens off to chase another which, once met sends it off chasing another.

My emotional state wobbles between overwhelmed and stunned.

Whatever happened to the woman who could throw laundry in the washer, tidy the kitchen, read half of a recent novel, and water the garden all after sending her child off to school, lunch in hand and writing several letters and setting the mail out? All this before lunch. I still make the attempt, mind you. Well, except for sending the child off to school. She's now the super-woman handling those things before work in the morning.

Where was I? Oh yes, whatever happened to the me that was? I think about accomplishing all those things and the thought is so daunting I require immediate resuscitation followed by a lengthy nap. Those times when a task is begun I am quickly sidelined. This needs my attention. That requires a decision. The other thing demands notice. I end up neither attending, deciding, or noticing.

Is my dilemma that of being stuck as tasks pile up? Or is it that of not acknowledging this phase of my reality?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A few days ago a friend sent me an email with a list of changes for the US Congress that, especially in light of recent history, seem very appropriate. It goes like this:

Congressional Reform Act

1. No Tenure / No Pension.

A Congressman collects a salary while in office

And receives no pay when they are out of office.

2. Congress (past, present & future) participates

In Social Security.

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund

Move to the Social Security system immediately.

All future funds flow into the Social Security

System, and Congress participates with the

American people. It may not be used for any

Other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement

Plan, just as all Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay

Raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower

Of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system

And participates in the same health care system

As the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they

Impose on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen

Are void effective 1/1/12.

The list has been circulating but it seems perhaps not to be getting to the right eyes. I've passed it along to my Senators and Representative. I'm not terribly well-informed on the political front but it does seem that these people should be in all respects PART OF and SUBJECT TO all the rules they impose on the voters. (See #6)

Friday, August 12, 2011


I came in from the outside deck yesterday, where I'd been basking in the elusive bit of sunshine that had gotten through the fog and graced the Oregon coast, and as I crossed the service porch area I spotted a lizard. A lizard peering out from under the chest freezer.

Lizard and I exchanged stares as I considered the impossibility of capture/rescue/eviction. If approached it was certain to duck back under the freezer. Or dash under the nearby upright freezer. Or the washing machine. Or the dryer. Impossible to move hiding places were plentiful and the lizard was sure to mistake my helpful "you can't survive here you're gonna starve" approach and interpret it as "Ooooh, yummy meal for the taking!" A dusty cobweb filled dark place was bound to beckon more than a giant clumsy human hand.

My decision was to let lizard karma rule. I left the door wise open and sent a mental "Run! Hide out there!"

This morning there is no sign of my scaly guest and I hope it took advantage of the chance for freedom. If not it may be quite some time before we discover the small desiccated corpse let behind.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sinking or swimming?

It is time for a few small observations. I'm lucky that only a couple of tough pals read my blog since I'm sure my comments would irk any number of other less intrepid folk.

1) I'm as irritated by the most recent budget foolishness that the US Congress has fostered as anybody else I know but I also feel bound to notice that the citizens loudest in squawking are those who are fastest to avoid taxes, quickest to draw some sort of subsidy, and seem least inclined to do their public duties… i.e. jury duty, etc.

2) I wish I could justify running my household budget on deficit spending!

3) One look at the sort of television programs prevalent should be enough to explain why our citizens elected the idiots in Washington DC.

4) It is doubtful anyone with integrity would want to be an elected official - locally, statewide, or nationally.

5) It doesn't seem much better anywhere else on the planet.

I swear at the evening news. I twitch. I bite my lips. I despair. Thank goodness for those people I know personally who are thoughtful, caring, compassionate, and intelligent. Though they are greatly outnumbered by the cheaters, the liars, and the brutal of this world they provide some hope for a future. Bless you all.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Swimming upstream?

Earworms. Infective little parasites. I've mentioned them before in this blog and I'll probably mention them again. One nasty little specimen snuck into my head yesterday and is noodling around trying to convince me it is a holiday song and therefore has every right to turn somersaults though my consciousness. After all, this IS the 4th of July!

It wouldn't be so bad if this was part of the Star-Spangled Banner or a bit of a John Philip Sousa march. Even one of the songs from the musical 1776 or a section of the 1812 Overture that seems to accompany so many fireworks shows. But no, what I have banging back and forth inside my skull is the beginning of the song "Eggbert the Easter Egg". Does anyone except me even recall this childhood (ahem) classic? Probably not. Even I am cursed with only the line:

Eggbert the Easter Egg

Sittin' under Daddy's chair


While the boys and girls

Were looking for him everywhere…

Dum-de-dum? Yeah, even I can't quite remember the words. But this riveting piece of poetry is bopping along in my head and driving me crazy: a misplaced holiday un-classic, courtesy of The Earworm Brigade.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Swim, swim, swim!

Winning SWIM Acronyms:

Deb - She was imbibing metaphors

The Bodhi Chicklet - Soft Wishes In Mozzarella

Swim. I checked my thesaurus and found "be covered in" as in "swimming in gravy." Of course that got me thinking of what I might like to be swimming in. Cash comes immediately to mind… and don't tell me YOU didn't think of that one pretty quickly too! Warm tropical water wouldn't be too awful. Love and admiration? Good ideas? Grandkid hugs? Chocolate? That one is sticky but might be briefly entertaining.

It is important to note that swimming in is quite different than drowning in. Too much cash could be a burden. Though what fun to have enough to be able to spread that burden around! The water sounds pleasant but there can be riptides, and sharks, and stinging jellyfish, and… well, even paradise has potential drawbacks. Love and admiration sound great but unless they are deserved they seem meaningless. Good ideas need the energy for using. Chocolate is messy and fattening.

I'm not sure I see any drawbacks to those grandkid hugs though!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

SWIM (again)

I used to be a rather decent swimmer and I loved being in the water. As a kid I splashed in Lake Michigan when it was hardly more than ice cube warm. (Or is that ice cube cold?) At camp and at lakes in the summer I was continually wet, paddling around happily regardless of what might lurk below the water's surface. As a teen I met Himself and spent happy hours in his family's often unheated pool.

The tough days are over. My body's sense of balance shifted and my prowess as a swimmer is now barely above "tread water" skill. I've gone from Plunge-right-in to Dip-toe-and-shudder. It is important to me these days to know exactly what wildlife might be sharing space in the murky wetness. Snorkeling face down in the clear WARM waters of Hawaii is my idea of swimming. My wallet doesn't allow for much of that. My senior sagging body isn't really swim-suit material either. Swim is mostly a historical word for me, composed of history and memories.

Friday, July 1, 2011


Is it an acronym? Shall we try and figure out what it stands for?

Single Woman Intensely Mature?

Sly Wild Insecure Male?

Silly With Insane Metaphysics?

Stupid When In Messes?

Your turn!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

SWIM (1)

The NABLOPOMO topic of the month arrived in my mailbox this morning - SWIM. I've not been very inspired to blog, life has been getting me down a bit, but this subject did bring a few stray thoughts swimming upstream to my brain so perhaps, just maybe, I'll share them over the next… day? Week? Month?

Starting with SWIM is what you could do outside in the yard. Oregon is doing wet this year and our area, moist most of the time, is outdoing everyplace else. For instance, in March we measured 21.46" of precipitation. I know this because my husband, the weather-spotter, keeps that sort of information. You can verify it on his site at -

Being near the coast we get almost daily fog which dampens walks and outdoor furniture each night. Woe to the person who thinks to enjoy the morning seated outside with a cup. The bottom of that person will soon be soggy. On a drizzlish night that moisture is multiplied. The morning, this being one of those, reveals wet everywhere. SWIM is what you could do in the tall grass of the pasture. The wait-high stalks, heavy already with seeds, are now bent hither and yon, touching their heads to the ground in quiet supplication, "Please? Enough wet already!"

The chickens are about as droopy with wetness as the grass. The rooster looks dejected with tail soaked and sagging under its compliment of wetness. Kitty comes in the house dusted with drops from her walk through the shrubbery. She is happy to roll around on my flannel pillowcase to dry off. The air is saturated. Humidity is well over 90%. Come visit. We can enjoy a leisurely SWIM on a stroll down the sidewalk!

Sunday, June 19, 2011


As a kid, when I used to go visit my grandmother, it felt like I was visiting the tropics. She lived in upstate New York and no matter the time of year the house was warm. No, HOT! Summer and winter her kitchen domain was sweat city. Granted, she was often cooking, but the heat was kept at nearly stifling and I wondered how anyone could stand it.

I am now about the age my grandmother was then and I understand why her domain was kept subtropical. The kid who once swam in Lake Michigan is long gone and in her place is a cranky lady who is almost always too cold. Here it is, past the middle of June, and I am huddled inside considering the merits of flannel versus polar fleece. I poke my nose outside just long enough to fill the bird feeder and toss some crumbs to the pond fish and then I dash inside to huddle in front of a space heater to defrost. Himself hikes to town in shirtsleeves to fetch the mail. I hunker down inside adding a sweatshirt and wool slippers to my daily wardrobe.

Getting older = getting colder.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


There is nothing like morning sunlight to give me some insight into the multitude of eight-legged beasties sharing my house. As the light slants into the front window huge arrays of complicated bridgework suddenly shine out, glimmering briefly only to disappear as the sunbeams change direction.

We don't have a people pathway through the front part of our living room. The daily-utilized television area is at the opposite end of the room and is where the foot traffic leads. The space between our two sofas and the table between them is generally used only for "company". The tiny invisible beasties that live here with us must be honored guests because they've certainly made themselves at home. Nearly invisible threads stretch from place to place, a network of vaulted spans rivaled only by the complexity of the Los Angeles freeway system.

We never see the constructionists, thank goodness. I imagine them zooming around in the dark of night and wonder if there is ever serious gridlock as somebody goes left while somebody else opts for right. I hope instead that is is merely one or two overly-ambitious (and tiny, and defenseless) spiderettes that will tire of the work and move out.

Today will be a good day to scale back their enterprises and demolish some of the formidable construction. Please, please don't let them summon the MotherShip!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Is it the Weather?

I've been alternating between restlessness and a sense of immobility that feels somewhat like being buried up to my neck in quicksand. Is it the weather? Around here it is difficult to tell what season we are in. The sun can be out, promising summer and then the clouds reassert themselves and it feels like winter is on the way again.

We aren't the only region with odd weather these days though, and at least ours isn't blowing us across the country line or totally rearranging our living space. I've seen pictures of the destruction left by recent tornadoes and it is horrifying to think of huddling inside, scared for my life, and then climbing from debris to find complete chaos. We live close enough to the Pacific Ocean to get a sense of the power of weather and I've been through earthquakes, notably the Loma Prieta in1989, but nothing seems as terrible as the speed and fury of an F-5 tornado.

Is it the weather? I include earthquakes and tsunamis in that category since our national weather blokes seems to cover all those phenomena. So many folks seem twitchy and on edge as Earth shakes herself and sneezes. Maybe she is allergic to the critters crawling around on her skin. Perhaps we've grown to be too much of an irritant to be ignored.

Is it the weather… or maybe just me? Am I going into some further phase, some extension of the Terrible-Twos, the Rebellious Teens, the frustrated Forties? Is there a mid-Sixties stage of development in women, besides the ominous and never-ending Menopausal Miseries we all know and love?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

That Darned Cat!

I think cat owners are very patient people. We have to be since The Cat rules its world and by extension, the owner. Or is that - ownee? Himself and I have over 40 years of history and knowledge in this area. After our marriage and the birth of our daughter we bought a house. The first item we bought for our new home was a cat. Her name was Bruce (that is a story in itself!) and, though we'd both been part of families with cats before we were married, she set about training us as cat owners.

Or is that servants? Cats demand household amenities and basic rites of attendance. We were taught to respond to meows for door-opening, food-bowl filling, and frequent petting and scratching (within proscribed limits) - fawning optional but accepted. Bruce did an excellent job of shaping us into cat slaves. Yes, servant really is too mild a term.

Bruce was followed by a couple of neurotic strays who demanded every bit as much abject obedience. Like all cats they made us feel honored to supply their every need while they maintained an attitude that humans were marginally trustworthy at best. We could adore. We could provide. But we weren't allowed to take advantage of our position of servitude.

We were trained and passed along to Wow, who condescended to return our adoration, albeit within strictly feline-specified bounds. He watched our every move and supplied critiques in a loud voice. If we shirked our duties to pet on command he levitated into place and booked no refusal.

After Wow I thought no more cats, no more good-byes. But Flickie adopted us and rules us with a velvety iron paw. She will not be a housecat and refuses to consider a litter box. Her days are spent outside, which in Oregon means in the rain/damp/drizzle/wet, and which therefore means wet kitty. I worry. She ignores my concerns. We keep a litter box available on a dry service porch. She disappears into the dripping shrubbery. We have compromised at nights indoors where she sleeps at the head of my bed so I can savor the scent of moist kitty inches from my nose. And feel grateful to have her there. I write this having just skimmed a slick of rainwater off Ms. Flick as she headed for my pillow to finish drying out.

(Please share YOUR cat story. I could use reassurance that I'm just another cat-besotted wretch.)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

It is strange, quiet, sultry weather outside right now. In past places I've lived I've identified it as tornado weather, or earthquake weather - neither of which is accurate except that it is the kind of atmosphere that suggests that something is about to happen. Here on the Oregon coast we notice when it is warm. And we notice when there is no wind. Cool and breezy is the norm and the close quiet air outside is unusual.

Since it has been cool, breezy, and way too wet this spring I took advantage of the change and sat outside in the front yard watching the bird feeders. We have a large seed bowl frequented by all manner of sparrows, various migratory mid-sized seed-eaters, and the ubiquitous jays. At this time of year we also keep a "sock" filled with Niger seed for the goldfinches and their small sedating fellows. Those scattered as I settled nearby but quickly returned once I was deemed "large, scary, but probably harmless."

It was pleasant out for a while but I'm not much of a nature-lover when it comes to the smaller six-plus legged members of the community. A robust yellow-jacket buzzed by and decided I was worth a close examination. Next to arrive was some sort of winged ant-like critter, about 3/4" long. It lit on the walkway and proceeded to march intently toward my sandaled feet. I noticed various other winged beasties in a variety of sizes that flitted around, circled close, or zoomed past. It began to feel a bit crowded where I sat. When I felt a tickle on my leg and looked down to see a large survey party of ants gathering at my feet and starting the climb up my leg ("Hey look Merle, we found a really BIG one to take home!") I decided to betake myself back into the house where the wildlife was just a bit less encroaching.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

My next door NEIGHbor was just here for a visit. He brought his boss along with him. He really *IS* a NEIGHbor too. His name is Buddy and he is the horse who lives next door. He is the NEIGHborhood watch horse keeping tabs from his pasture on all comings and goings up our road from the highway.

Like most young girls I had a yearning for horses. In my day girls drew pictures of horses the way boys crayoned dinosaurs… big animals we fantasized about. My mother bowed to my passion by driving an hour away from our home in the suburbs to a ranch where I could learn to ride on trails my imagination could turn into boundless adventure. Eventually like many girls, my interest turned from horses to rock groups and boys.

Nowadays horses intimidate the heck out of me. They are big animals and unfamiliarity with them makes me happier when there is a sturdy fence separating us. But Buddy is a NEIGHbor. He is very gentle taking an apple or the occasional peppermint from my hand. He is just enough headstrong to be interesting but his owner has him well-trained and in control. When she walks him up the dirt road I'm delighted to see them, happy that she will share her best pal with me. Buddy is my UP thing for today.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Up Again

My UP thing for today is an activity that allows me to be useful & creative while happily seated at my computer. It also falls under the heading of volunteering/community service. I design posters, brochures, bookmarks and such for our local library. I've also done some for friends in the community and for neighboring libraries.

Is is toe-curlingly fun! I'm like a kid with a big piece of paper, a new box of crayons, and an adoring parent nearby ready to praise. I choose graphic elements and sort through font styles and sizes, mixing and arranging as I sip my mug of coffee and listen to Mozart. It is the perfect activity for someone with the soul and eye of an artist, but not the skill or inspiration.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Something wonderful… BOOKS! I find myself very happy in a library and next happiest in a bookstore. It is so wonderful being surrounded by a multitude of words and offered up all sorts of ideas and ways to think and things to think about. I like to wander around and discover something new, something I didn't even know would be of interest.

I must confess that, having a Kindle, I still prefer the paper and page turning kinds of books. Not that the Kindle isn't great - in fact I'm off in a few minutes to buy a new book to put on mine. But I shall always prefer the comfort of feeling the paper under my finders.

By the way, that Kindle book I'm about to fetch? It is a new novel by my friend Ginny, called Looping for Love. Check it out on Amazon!

(However do you get an author to autograph a Kindle version of their book?)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Spring, spring, SPRING!

I didn't manage to get back with something more upbeat yesterday because I was out enjoying the beautiful weather. And THAT certainly is as upbeat as it gets! Not only was there no rain yesterday - today is even better. I was able to open the front door and allow some of that delicious pollen-laden air inside,

Give us a little sunshine here in the great NorthWet and we sparkle with gratitude. Our world goes from shades of gray and gray-green to incredible rainbow hues. You can see the planet smile with pleasure.

This is wild rhododendron season. All around the bushes have erupted in huge bouquets of bright pink blooms, every one worthy of showing off in a botanical garden. The deciduous azaleas are opening and sending waves of their perfume into the air. Perhaps it takes the long, dismal, dank winter months to make our spring so intensely SPRING! Impossible to feel gloomy when nature is just bursting with enthusiasm.

I wish it could be bottled and shared with you!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


It isn't raining outside!

Yeah, I know. Pretty puny in terms of an Upbeat observation - but considering the language and associative terms I might choose to describe the continuing cold and damp - do I get credit for restraint?

Give me half a point and let's see if the day brings me anything cheerier to note.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hot Java!

How I love my morning coffee! I'm not a gourmet fan. I don't drink some exotic Arabica blend or crave a Stabucks Arapacappafancicinno. My morning craving is simple and probably horribly peasant-like: Folger's Instant. In my big, just the right size & shape ceramic mug. With instant creamer.

I can drink fancy-schmancy coffee. In the morning any coffee is better than none at all. But what makes me smile loudest is my mug of creamer tainted instant… Folgers is the flavor I crave. No sugar please, and VERY hot! If you can provide it with a side of toasted onion bagel. Ecstasy!

Guess what I had for breakfast this morning? Yup! I'm starting my morning right!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Look on the Bright Side!

I haven't been writing much lately because I've been depressed and writing takes energy and enthusiasm I simply haven't had. When you look up from what feels like a bottomless pit even a hoot and holler toward the outside seems like a really big deal.

So… in an effort to find a bright side in black velvet muddle I hereby pledge to find at least One (1) UP thing per day to blog/announce/observe and/or comment about. For One (1) week. Feel free to share One (1) UP thing back at me!

I'll start tomorrow. Though I could slip in today that it isn't raining. Is that a semi-UP? Okay, it isn't raining AND the sun made it through the clouds. Briefly. Not quite enough for me to run outside nude and dance for joy - nobody should exhibit goosebumps that numerous or large! Amazing though how a tiny bit of sunshine can bring a smile to the face of a coastal Oregonian!

See you tomorrow?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

TV Rant

I'll confess here and now that Himself and I are television watchers. We grew up in the early days of sitcoms, came of age in the years of one-hour dramas, and have survived into the era of reality TV. Our usual evening together begins with dinner and the evening news then progresses into a couple of hours of favorite cop shows. From there I watch a channel-surfing slew of house-hunting, cooking, or nature programs. After I go to bed, Himself returns to the tube to watch news reports or the odd slash&bash film.

Like much of America, we're addicted to our favorite shows, things like: CSI/Las Vegas, Castle, Bones, and The Closer. But I am finding it harder each season to stick with them. There are several reasons. I dislike heartily having the main characters in peril every thirty seconds. How many times per episode do the lab rats have to dash out, guns drawn, to personally accost criminals? And while I don't mind sexual tension between the principals, how totally clueless and unable to communicate can they be? Don't even get me started on serial killers stalking them from their pasts! I also despise the disconnected semi-seasons. Half a dozen episodes and then a long break just gives me plenty of time to forget to care about the show on hiatus.

But the worst is season finale cliffhanger endings. The writers think they simply must bring in some sort of major trauma to the cast and let it hang in suspension during the weeks or months of intermission. Several of the programs I watch are working up to this in the next week or two. I'll be lucky not to throw something through the TV screen in disgust, if I watch the episodes at all. Waiting to find out who died in the explosion, fell off the ledge, was tortured by a serial killer (i.e. whose contract wasn't renewed) just annoys me. I plan to spend the time deciding which of the programs to abandon!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Life is loaded with Ups and Downs and I'm stuck in a whirlpool of Downs right now. Spinning around and around, feeling like something you see in the morning when you flush the loo. The emotional ground under my feet is shaking like the Fukushima earth with me as the Daiichi plant, ready to go Boom! And in my usual, brilliant, wishy-washy way I'm aware, watching the process, which makes it all seem silly and pointless even as I cower in fear.

Ya gotta love it! All the years of self-observation, all the classes and meditation, the reading, the processing, hoping that serenity would be there at the end - that when things got tough(er) I'd face it with a calm and composed mien.

It doesn't seem to work that way. The fear and panic still surge up threatening to seize control. Serenity is as far away as ever it was. There is no cool, no collected, and calm is only a molecule deep.

And is that where it is? That molecule? The Boom! that hasn't? Do the wiseguys meditating in their caves have all this going on inside themselves while they sit and wait it out? Breathe. Wait. This too shall pass?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I spend the cold wet winter longing for the warmer weather when the doors and windows can be open to the breeze.

What is wrong with me? Has the chill of those dark months made me forget that with sun's return things begin to bloom, and blooming means <…Ta-DAH!…> Allergy season!

Yes, I'd forgotten. I rapturously opened doors and windows today, the first day warm enough to indulge in a household of fresh air. Himself went out to complete the first lawn mowing of the season. I am now in full reaction: eyes swollen and puffy, nose dripping, and explosive SNEEZING issuing forth to shake the rafters and set dogs barking for a half mile in every direction.

Fortunately the effects are survivable with minimal medication…

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Sunny Sunday Morning

A gorgeous sunny morning on the Oregon coast. Folks who live here are calling each other to share their thrill at being able to open doors and windows. Some think that snow on the ground would be better than the long-lasting months of wet, wet, and more wet. I am not among that group.

And how we crave the sunshine! I basked for an hour on the front porch, drinking my second cup of morning coffee to the symphony of birdsong. My intent was to finish the book I've been reading, but I surrendered to the sun and song and simply stared at the glory of a sunny day.

My enjoyment of the day was added to, sort of, by the activity of a pair of Cliff Swallows who have decided to construct their mud nest over the entry to the porch. I truly love swallows. The wet of the coast encourages mosquitoes and I hate mosquitoes. This makes the three species of swallows (and the various kinds of bats we also have) most welcome residents, but my feelings about the site of choice for this nest are mixed. In the past we have had Barn Swallows choose the porch for a home. It is great fun to see the industry and devotion of the parent birds constructing a nest, feeding three of four voracious chicks, and finally seeing the young birds fledge and leave on their own. It is also very messy and extremely loud.

Will the nest be completed now that mom & dad have noticed me as a neighbor? They fussed a bit while I sat outside but didn't stop their mud gathering. If they stay I'm bound to fuss back a bit as I dodge bird poop and diving protective parent birds, but it will also be fun to "grandparent" some feathered baby birds.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

THE wedding

I think I've recovered enough now to say a few words about the wedding. You know the one since it was inescapable in the media. I didn't mind since we all needed a little distraction from revolutions and wars and people practicing some sort of violence one upon another.

My intention was to stay up and begin watching TV coverage at midnight. My sixty-four year old self, the one who never stays awake to usher in New Year anymore, decided otherwise. She refused and afternoon nap and around 11:30pm decided it was time for bed, after all Himself was recording all sorts of wedding stuff, so I could sleep and not miss anything, right? If only! I staggered off to bed whereupon I was awake until well after 2AM. COuldn't fall asleep. Couldn't summon the energy to go watch TV. Stalemate.

Wanna guess what I did yesterday? Yes, I watched the Prince and his lady, or the Duke and Duchess, or William & Kate, or… well, I watched them get married. Over and Over. And yet again. And another time. Or two. Thank you DVR and ultimate TV re-runs. It was dignified and relatively perfect all around as weddings go. And watchers also got to see the circus who watched in person. Fandom and spectatorship truly brings out the ODD in people, doesn't it?

And who could have wanted to miss the hats?

Hats? Those chapeaus were flights of fancy beyond belief. I was stunned at the sort of guts (perhaps not the right term at all!) it took to perch some of those misconceptions on heads. Huge platters, some perched at impossible angles, topped with froth, flowers, filigree, and twists of what could only have been medieval weaponry! And such grim faces among the crowd. I can only believe that the bathroom facilities were few and far from the crowd.

I did enjoy the pageantry. Wedding always make me teary-eyed, hopeful for the couple. I wish them a union that will last as mine has. It is hard work to stay wedded and living as a royal doesn't make it a fairy-tale. I also loved watching all the tradition. In a world where so much changes so fast it is nice to focus a bit on old buildings, on rituals and promises of hope and love. Maybe they will last this time?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Still wet...

I haven't written much lately. It is hard to stir up any enthusiasm for it when the weather is so dreary. Rain. Not enough to be dramatic. Nothing like winter storms with howling winds threatening to push over trees, flashes of lightning, and driving rain smashing itself in buckets against the windows. Our winter storms are invigorating. (That may be spelled F-R-I-G-H-T-E-N-I-N-G!) No, the Spring rain isn't nearly so invigorating.

Think wet, soggy, well-used kitchen sponge. The ground is cold and squishy. Eager gardeners, raring to plant after winter cold, stare at the sky and know that seeds planted will sit and sulk. Marshes have become bogs. Bogs have become ponds. The frogs are happy - and the rest of us scan the sky hoping for a glimpse of something we vaguely recall - the SUN. And it does show itself, flirtatiously peeping past the clouds, then eclipsed by the gray, gray, ever-returning gray. Sometimes there is a day of non-rain. Blue sky is seen. We rush outside to stare in wonder and delight. And we turn in suspicion to the south, scanning the horizon for the pall of gray that we know is waiting to return.

Nature keeps promising. She is not as easy as we humans to despair. The trees push out their blossoms. Flowers bud. A few hopeful swallows hang on the branches and an early butterfly dodges raindrops seeking an early blossom. My friends read seed catalogs and prop trays of seedlings in windows hoping there is enough light for germination, enough summer coming for a crop to ripen. I mark the season's change in small increments. Light happens earlier and lasts later. The heater isn't running 24/7. The rain is gentler, more vertical. Summer, short and sweet, and oh so welcome, will come.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I haven't written diddley-squat here because plenty of diddley-squat has been happening at home.

Like last Saturday when Himself and I set off for town (13 miles north) to treat ourselves to dinner and ended up with the car dying several miles from anywhere. In the rain. As 5pm loomed - in small towns whatever is open on weekends is CLOSED early! We called the auto club on our cellphone and got a chick who couldn't read a roadmap to check our location. But eventually we lucked out with a great tow-truck driver and a garage that stayed open late.

Like Spring making an appearance. My lilac bush is blooming. And one small azalea has flowers. I've seen tree swallows, so hope the barn swallows are on their way. A treefrog took up residence in the cedar bench in front of the house. There are reports of Goldfinches though I haven't seen any yet. But we put out the seeds for them, just in case. I get so excited about Spring after the dismalness of Winter. Can you imagine how I'd be if I lived somewhere snowy?

Like my arthritis asserting itself. The pollens of Spring seem to exacerbate it and my left knee has declared itself to be only semi-functional. It works fine then suddenly plays hooky as I take a step. I'm using a walker around the house rather than chance the sudden cease of a limb and the resulting plunge to the floor. I'm not so bouncy as I used to be.

It doesn't seem like all that much really but the upshot is that I'm reluctant to venture from home (will the car work?) and I'm enjoying sitting outside (when Spring showers allow) and watching my world come to life again.

And a "Happy Spring" to you!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Rain, again? (Still...)

It is another soggy , dripping morning here in the GreatNorthWet and my mood is threatening to match it drop for drop. Spring rains are supposed to bring the posies but enough all ready! The ground beneath our Oregonian feet is saturated to the point of silliness. Yes, I'm delighted that it isn't snow and that it isn't accompanied by tornado or hurricane winds, but nevertheless that delight is barely outweighing the extreme weariness of wet and we are all more than ready for sunshine.

Which brings me to the subject of getting past the doldrums brought on by day after day of yucky weather. What do you do, Intrepid Reader? When another blizzard has you housebound, or a heatwave brings on summer sweats & swearing, what do you do to derail depression?

We don't have heatwaves here. We seldom see snow. But gray and dismal? That we got!

As my mood dives I'm heading toward a good book of poetry (celebrating nature - so I remember the good parts!), some Mozart, and a small sip of Disaronno with my cup. I may sneak in a lengthy nap, hoping to wake up to sunshine.

One must hope!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Is the universe toying with what remains of my mind? Not that this would be the first time…

I've finished the morning chores - cleaned up the kitchen, put away the laundry remaining from yesterday's washing, and neatened a few obvious things between my computer and the kitchen and then I hear this piteous kitty yowl. Usually Flickinger J. Cat goes out right after she mugs me for the peanut butter on my morning toast. Did she go out this morning? Can't remember, but a look out the front door reveals a complete absence of cat.

Sitting at my computer I hear it again. Now I think the meow is coming from the bedroom. The door is closed so Himself can sleep undisturbed, not that he needs quiet, and he IS making a loud background rumble. If Flick was in there she'd dash out when I open the door. No cat. Perhaps I've imagined the sound? I turn to go back to my computer.

There it is again, a loud insistent yowl. Flickie? No answer and she is nowhere to be seen in the bedroom. I open the closet door thinking she might have wedged herself through and gotten stuck inside. No kitty. I call her name and there is no answer. Now I'm figuring I've imagined it or, well…

I check the front porch again. No cat. Then As I walk back to my computer Flick comes dashing from the bedroom - the bedroom where I was sure she wasn't - and passes me to stand at the front door loudly insisting that she be let out. There is no sense arguing. I let her out.

It does cause me to wonder though. Where was Ms. Cat? What the heck was going on? Did aliens abduct and return her? Is there a time/space warp at the bedroom door? Was this some sort of test? Did I pass?