November 27, 2001

mood:  Not worried, that's for sure!
music:  Fleetwood Mac, "Tusk"

Things Are Fluxed Up 

J  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, just a consuming thing.  Sorry I’ve been absentee lately.  I’ve been doing a lot of internal adjusting, trying to find my landlegs with spending most of my time as a single parent again.  It’s going really well, but again, it’s challenging.  I’m a Virgo and for Virgos, change=bad.  

Eric and I have been joined at the hip since we were married and seldom spend time apart.  When he was laid off, he had a couple of jobs under consideration that were far away and would entail him being gone for weeks at a time.  We talked a lot about how we felt about that and decided to turn them down.  We considered taking one during the layoff when things were rocky between us one weekend, just to get a break, but ended up vetoing that idea.  He took the local job making less money than we could live on and I took the job I hated and we managed to patch by.  Then, after he’d worked for a little over a month at that job when his current job presented itself.  He loves it.  After his orientation at the new job, he came home looking sheepish and told me that the job involved a great deal of driving.  He finally worked around to telling me that he would be doing several weeks of work in Reno, which is just over two hours North East of us in good weather, but last week as the final week of clear weather in the pass (as in Donner, as in eat people to live), so it’s longer travel now.  To avoid the commute, he and his team (two other guys) go up on Monday afternoon and come back on Friday morning each week.  They work nights, so after working all night Thursday night, he drives home Friday morning, hits the bed and doesn’t get up until early Friday evening.  They go away from the main drags, up into the mountains, to the ski resorts (free skiing), pass the beaten path to the wilderness where there are cougars and bears and hungry foxes and such (snow catting).  Anywhere that AT&T Wireless has decided they want a cell phone transmitter site set up, they go.  The highest mountain tops are best, but sites scattered all through the town of Reno are also desired.  They are going to set up over sixty sites in the next 6 weeks or so.  One is on top of the Wild Orchid, one of the finest whore houses in Reno.  ;)  They spend time in the casinos in their off time, drinking, playing cards, laughing and having a good time.  

There are a couple of remarkable things about this.  Prior to this, the longest we’d been apart was the four days he went to LA when his grandfather was dying, two months after we were married.  Other than that, the length of his work day was about it.  When he worked his last job, the one he hated, he worked 6 days a week, 13-16 hours a day.  When he was home, he slept.  Now he’s totally gone for most of the week.  It’s different for both of us.  I really miss the adult companionship and comic relief, that’s for sure.  He was about it in that department.  The thing is, I’m OK.  I’ve been able to handle the tragedies that have come up and go right into that single parent self that I used for the years I was divorced before.  I have found it takes a little bit to adjust to him being back again, then to him going again (I don’t transition situations well), but after the jerky changing of gears, I seem to be flowing fine.  I miss him terribly, of course.  The kids, who are used to a male-female duality in the home running, are a little off when he first leaves, but by the second day or so, they’ve adjusted as well.  This has taught me that I’m not as fragile as I had come to believe I might be.  I figured that I had been pampered by having a hubby around for so long that I’d dissolve if I had to be without him.  Didn’t happen.  Another thing that surprised me is that since I have an extreme fun deficit as a rule in my life (I’m working on that, but it’s going slowly), I thought I’d be filled with resentment that he’s up there having a BLAST.  He loves his job, he loves Reno (we were married there and had a wonderful afternoon of a honeymoon, so it’s a pretty magical place for us anyway), he loves the freedom, he loves not hearing kids fuss and he loves being out of Sacramento for a while.  I find myself being excited for him and not resenting him at all for his fun times.  The good news, I guess, is that I am evidently more competent, stable and generous of thought than I actually believed myself to be. 

So we have a few more weeks of being apart.  Again, it was uneasy getting used to being alone again, but I fared better than I expected.  

I also have to pay the piper for bragging about the Great Truck Manipulation of 2001.  *sigh*  Through events that were only partially in our control, we ended up keeping the car after all.  Grrr.  I’m at peace with it, but it really bit me in the butt after my great truck set up described below.  What happened was that after we bought the truck, the car finance company called fussing because we had not made a payment.  I reminded them that Eric had told them to come pick up the car and the (very nice) woman gasped and gave me the low down.  Evidently, this company, on a voluntary repossession, auctions the car (ok), charges us the difference between what they get for the car and what we owe (ok), then go straight to a court to get a judgment against us (?!) and immediately begin attaching his wages (???!!!) without telling us. (!!!???!!!)  Just suddenly, you have a great big bite out of your paycheck.  Yikes!  So we scrambled and prayed and foraged and came up with enough money to make them happy, washed the car ;) and factored an enormous car payment into the budget.  At least now, I don’t have to struggle with driving the bus.  If you’ve never driven a 1969 VW camper bus, don’t bother.  It’s a major pain in the butt.  I can drive high profile vehicles with no problem, but with manual steering and a very tricky gear box, not to mention 0-60 in thirty minutes (but no faster) and having to double your breaking time and distance from any other vehicle, I’d almost rather walk…and have done so many times when driving that bus.  It’s stranded us on every highway in town, both directions.  We are selling the truck to my vehicularless son, David, for payments.  He is most grateful. 

In other news, the kids are blossoming like mad into their own little distinct personalities.  Josh (19) has gotten a job (!!) working at Target (a department store, for you East Coast folks) stocking at night.  I had to take him to drug test today and he has an orientation on Friday.  The Army recruiter called to officially deny his enlistment, based on his felonious juvenile past.  (But no doubt he’ll be drafted if we hang in this war for a few years – irony at its finest)  Since he’s been rejected by the USAF, USMC and USA, I imagine his military aspirations are finished.  He’s very excited about working and has spent the money in about 50 different ways already, some of which had best rotate around getting his own place.  ;)  

mejosh.jpg (12104 bytes)
Click for Me & Josh

Delena is really growing up fast and has such a wonderful sense of humor.  She has joined a temporary Girl Scouts (for a lot of reasons, I’m not a fan of scouts, but she reeeeally wanted to do it) that meets during her lunch recess and she’s enjoying that very much.  She just turned 9 last week and is quiet a succulent, wild little woman.  What a pleasure to have her as my daughter.  She had her first overnight in ages last week and it was a hard step for me to take.  To me, every parent who seems sensible, kind and loving turns into an axe-wielding child molesting serial killer the second the door to their home closes with my daughter inside.  I gave her “the talk” of what to do if these people were weird (run screaming outside and find a phone).  Her response really reassured me.  “They have a Playstation.  How weird can the be?”  I informed her that they could be totally weird and still afford a Playstation.  She shot back that she didn’t care if they were weird, she’d be busy playing Playstation.  You know, you really try to raise them right.  She has about 400 Barbies who all look alike because the one thing that individualized them (their dresses) has been stripped aside and probably lost.  Now they are all just naked little Stepford wives, like Levitt Town houses all lumped together in the Barbie subdivision of life.  What does she want for Christmas?  A Barbie.  (She knows she’s not getting a Playstation, that’s for sure!  Those little suckers are $300 USED!  Poor deprived baby.) 

Mvc-008f.gif (212452 bytes)
click for me & delena

Dylan is 4 and has, since the moment he popped out, been absolutely the sweetest little soul to grace the earth.  He’s polite.  He’s funny; a really silly little guy.  He’s sooo cuddly and sweet!  He’s also wildly creative.  His latest idea is that he takes a clothes basket, puts a soft blanket over the top of it, then sits in the basket, on the blanket and pulls the blanket around him to watch TV.  He calls it his “nest.”  J  Yesterday, he came in and told me to watch him and he put out his hands at twelve and four and said, “tock, tock, tock” until both hands hit twelve, then he said, “brrriiinnngggg” and shook all over.  It was hilarious.  He’s at the “Are we there yet?” phase and literally asks it about 40 times between here and where ever.  The other day, he informed me that I had to call him The Big Boy Frog Vampire.  He refused to answer to anything else.   He’s so wonderful and looks exactly like Charlie Bucket from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. 

dyltongue.JPG (51256 bytes)
click for Dylan

Nathan is such a wildchild.  He’s such a stark contrast to Dylan, which is good in a way, because if they were reversed and passive little Dylan was 2 instead of 4, he’d be screwed with a powerhouse older brother like Nathan would be.  Nathan is a big boy for his age, very strong and filled with energy.  Many days, he doesn’t even stop for a nap.  He and Dylan are up at 5:30 every morning, loaded for bear and open for business.  Nathan goes at warp seven, hair on fire, ass a’catchin’ for the rest of the day until he falls in his tracks.    He is the spitting image of his father, as you can see in the picture below: 

myguys.jpg (96702 bytes)
click for eric and nathan

I have never seen a kid with more energy and that’s coming from a woman with 6 children of her own and a former preschool administrator who took care of a preschool with 96 3-4 year olds enrolled at any given time.  He is goofy and silly, like all my kids and he never, ever stops thinking.  His mind goes at break neck speed all the time.  He’s quite an artist now.  Joe, my oldest (23) is a fabulous artist and works mostly with pen and ink on spiraled artist pads.  Nathan works with crayon on my rented white walls.  A few months ago, crayons became the spinning wheels in my sleeping beauty kingdom.  I banned them from existence.  He has some secret stash of little crayon nugs *somewhere* and persists in drawing giant murals all over the walls.  Do you have any idea what a bitch it is to scrub crayon off of white painted walls?  Even Latex paint?  I spent TWO HOURS in their room last night scrubbing walls (more like removing the next two layers of paint to hit the clean paint underneath).  He has a broken down Magna Doodle that he loves dearly.  He spends countless minutes drawing little circles all over it.  Today, I found one of those little drawing thingies that is hard cardboard with the filmy gray stuff over it where you take the plastic little pen and press on the filmy gray stuff to drawn, then shooooop, pull up the film and it erases.  I sincerely hope I explained that sufficiently.  On this one, instead of filmy gray, it was hot, fluorescent pink and the drawing kind of glows.   He thought it was the most incredible thing in the world.  His latest quest is to climb the dresser.  He has a very large, very heavy dresser in his room that has 5 drawers, made of pine, I think.  On top of the dresser is a 4 ton TV that the kids use for watching Blue’s Clues and Teletubbies and such like.  He is utterly determined to get up that dresser.  First, he would pull out the drawers and go up them like steps until he was on the dresser, screwing with the TV.  After I saw that fussing at him was not going to help, I decided to be a hot shot and take out the drawers.  He scaled the thing faster by climbing up the holes.  *sigh*  Finally, I had to take this extremely heavy dresser and turn it so that the drawers were facing into the right angle of the wall.  They will open about 5-6”, enough for me to put clothes in and out, but because the face of it is against a wall, he can’t climb it (so far).  He’s also quite a makeup man.  I have lost probably about $100 worth of makeup in the past 4-5 months because of him.  He dumps out liquid makeup, smears powdered blush into the carpet, draws with lipstick and eye pencils and paint the carpet with mascara.  Eric is so precious.  He says, “Why don’t you just put the makeup UP so he can’t reach it?  Why don’t you lock the bedroom door when you leave the room?”  The thing is, I do all those things, 99 times out of 100.  But the ONE time in 100 that I don’t, he’s there, he’s waiting and he’s ready.  

They all did me a favor and went to bed by 8 tonight.  It was really odd because they are usually up until quite a bit later.  It’s been nice and I actually had time to write a quick column!  

I’ve been doing a lot of internal work lately and I do like what I’m finding in there.  I think I’m quite a bit closer to finding that Joy I planted than I suspected I might be.  In fact, we might be almost there.  I felt it quite a bit when I turned in my resignation as chief house cleaner for my property managers! 

I’m working on some ideas about the focus on abundance and how to bring that into our lives.  Not just “our” lives, but how a person brings that into being.  My friend, Karen, said something that made me remember how, when I was a single mother, broke as a joke and working my butt off to even make the ends acknowledge one another’s existence, much less MEET, I had a time when I worked a holiday and got double pay, something like $130 extra.  I got a $100 bill and put it in my wallet and kept it there for a little over a year.  Things got tight all the time, but I knew that $100 bill was there and that made me feel rich.  I swear, I really think that it helped bring in more money.  Karen was mentioning an idea that slightly mirrors one of Dr Phil’s tag lines which is, “What you fear, you create.”  I really do subscribe to that because I think that we create a certain energy around situations that attracts or repels particular circumstances to us.  I think that if you focus on how fat you are and put a lot of energy into diet and a body image of being fat, you will stay fat and be fat.  A friend of mine wanted to lose 30-40 pounds, so she set her scale so that when she stepped on it, instead of going to her “true” weight, it went to the weight she wanted to be.  By golly, it worked!   She lost the weight.  If you are obsessed with the idea  that your husband is going to leave you to the point that you are clingy and overly protective and hyper vigilant about where he is, who he’s with and what he’s doing, you’re probably going to drive him so nuts with your obsession that he’ll what?  Leave you!  What you fear, you create by building the energy of *it* (whatever *it* is) around you.  Then all of the *it* in the Universe recognizes its friends and comes to visit.  

In contrast, if you surround yourself with a focus on what you WANT to draw in, whether you have *that* or not, then *that* will come looking for friends.  We all know that *that* is much better than *it*, so if we focus on *that* we will, by default, avoid *it*.  Got *it*?  Doh!  I mean, got *that*?  Pretend I didn’t write this stupid paragraph and just take the meaning in. 

Fake it til you can make it and I think you WILL make it.  

Worry is a really freaky thing and Worry and I are long time traveling companions.  As a Virgo, it’s my JOB to worry.  I worry when there’s nothing to worry about because I’m terrified of what’s coming to break the worry-free cycle.  My husband, on the other hand, almost never worries.  He is constantly open to what event comes next and places no expectation on whether it will be positive or negative.  He is the most incredibly existential person I’ve ever known, totally “in the moment” at all times.  He isn’t particularly reflective over the past or terribly concerned about the future.  He has incredible goals, but when you talk to him about them, you fully know he will meet them in trumps.  He has no fear of the future because his impression is that his success is assured and he just has to follow the flow, tune into the signals and get from point A to point B.  It’s amazing.  He is having a wonderful influence in me, because I’m seeing my ability to let go of the worry and just let the future unfold.  I believe that caution is essential, but worry is basically wasted energy.  LOTS of energy.  It never really DOES anything except make you feel ill and stressed and terrified.  I have found that when I carefully remove the stick from my ass, relax and let the Universe take hold, trusting in The Process (whatever that is and where it comes from) and following my gut on when to act and what to do and when to sit still, shut up and listen, I inevitably end up in a much better place AND have avoided wasting tons on energy on the worrying.  Sometimes, the message is just, “keep your hands and feet inside the car at all times, get in, hang on, shut up and let’s go.”  Yep, that’s it.  It’s in stone now.  After writing this out, I have decided that worry is for the birds and I’m not investing in it any more.  Tra la.   It is done. 

It sounds like I’m just saying that, doesn’t it?  It would amaze you how absolute I can be.  For instance, I have a rule.  I am done with pets.  Sounds harsh, but hey, I’ve done my animal time.  I have two dogs, one of whom is blind in one eye from Glaucoma and 16 years old, two cats, two turtles and a cockatiel named Simon who is 11.  Lady, the Damned Dog, is almost two and is a wild yellow lab.  Creep and KC are the cats.  Creep is 3 and KC is about 11.  The turtles are huge, about 8-9” across, semi-aquatic’s.  Turtles are “God” and “Q”.  Neitche or Descartes or Dante or someone [Post-posting note:  Karen has advised me that she strongly suspects it was actually Terry Prachett who said this, which is altogether possible since I place him on equal standing with any of the philosophers, mentioned or otherwise - you really must read "Good Omens," "The Wyrd Sisters" and "Small Gods" right this minute] proposed that God was a turtle on whose back the world rested and I liked the image.  Q hates me and tries to bite me when I change the water in their tank.  God is friendlier, but still isn’t sure about me after taking care of him for 6 years.  Joe gets the turtles when he comes back to the US.  Anyway, I’m just *done* with pets.  I felt it about a year ago and now it’s down to the natural attrition of when they *pass away.*  Fish, maybe.  I could see an aquarium in my future.  I am always open to a wienie dog as well, whose name shall be called “Rocky” if he’s red and “Bobo” if he’s any other color.  I would never be so predictable as to name him “Oscar.”  Other than that, NO PETS.  I will crochet little sweaters for Bobo or Rocky, but only on special holidays and such. 

My point is, when I resolve something, that’s it!  I have resolved not to worry and not to have any more pets, unless it’s Bobo, Rocky or fish.  Period.  Not negotiable. 

I’m going to be doing a fun thing on Sunday night.  My galpal, Georgia, sent a hurried e-mail a month ago that said something to the effect of, “PAULY IS COMING TO TOWN, BUDD—DDDYY.”  Whoo hooo!  Georgia and I are off to do a little time with The Wea--sel.  We’re going to wease a little juuui-ice at the Punchline and catch THE PAULY SHORE SHOW!!  I’m so jazzed!!  I am one of the six Americans who LOVES Pauly and I’ve been revved ever since I first heard of it.  I even wrote a song for it: 

“Pauly loves me, this I know!  For my heart has told me so!  At the Punchline, we will drink and he will make us laugh (I think).  Yes, Pauly loves ME!  Yes, Pauly loves me.  Yes, Pauly loves MEEEEE!  My heart has told me so.” 

pauly.jpg (17836 bytes)
click to see Pauly

Time for me to make hot cocoa and go curl up with the last half hour of my favorite movie of the year, “O Brother Where Art Thou” (followed closely by “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” which is tailgated by “Shrek”) and catch the snooze train before it leaves the station. 

Hope you are all well and having a great week!


November 13, 2001

mood:  Yikes!  I'll never get up with the kids tomorrow!
music:  Wonderful Tonight - Clapton

I’m In a Village State of Mind 

A very, very dear friend of mine recently floored me by saying that he found it “disturbing” that I had refused to talk about the September 11 tragedy and the events that have followed.  I was totally agog because he was genuinely upset and concerned.  This put me to thinking quite a bit about how I process information, deal with crises and select my topics of conversation, both publicly and privately.  It’s important to know that this is a person whose opinion I value greatly, even though it does not always mesh with my own.  He is someone, in real life – not just computerland, who I cherish and is just a really neat person to know.  

In response to what he said, I looked back at all that has happened since September 11th and thought about my reaction or, to the outside world, my apparent lack thereof.  There is no denying that what happened was a tremendous, atrocious act of terrorism.  I am world savvy enough to know that the perpetrators feel justified in their actions, but, of course, that does not bring back the American lives that were lost.  I wondered why, given the magnitude of the circumstances, I hadn’t been more vocal with my opinions and conclusions regarding the matter and did some meditating on it to see what floated to the surface.  Most of what came through was clarification and solidification of what I already suspected.  This was thoroughly validated when I was going out for my walk a day or so later and chose for my walking companion (in the form of a cassette), my idol, Christiane Northrup.  You know that I am a Dr Phil disciple, but CN is another of my most favorite people in the world.  Every woman should own a copy of her wonderful book, “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom.”  She is the woman who has a special on PBS every time they have a telethon and talks about menstrual cycles and such.  Anyway, on this tape, one of the concepts she discussed is one that I heard about a long while ago and have embraced, part consciously and part subconsciously, ever since.  Her discussion of it made me understand what I was doing even more so.  It is the adaptation of a “village mentality” for the sake of health. 

I am a village person (no, silly, not Village People), a village person.  I am not a global person.  What she maintains, I believe in totally and completely.  She says that as structures composed of mind, body and spirit, working cooperatively as a unit, we have not yet evolved to a point of being able to process negative information on a global scale.  As creatures who, for times immeasurable, lived in village environments, dealing only with the problems of our village/town and maybe those within a distance that could be easily commuted by foot, we were simply not prepared for the global unity created by air travel, television, radio and other forms of connectivity with the cultures, trials, tribulations and disasters of our fellow humans around the world.  We are set up to be able to healthily and safely process up to a particular limit of stress and anxiety.  If we pass over that limit, our mind, body AND spirit begins to suffer distress.  If many of us, as a collective society, pass over that limit and, as a result, suffer from stress related conditions, then we as a people do so as well.  It makes me wonder how many of our deplorable and often shunned behaviors of society are a direct result of a culture that, on a daily and sometimes hourly basis, deals with reports and lurid details of the strife suffered around the world; thrives on it, in fact.  A simple trip to the grocery store shows us tabloids that proudly tout the misfortunes of celebrities.  News coverage is set up in such a way, even in the best of circumstances, to elicit the most visceral reaction from viewers and to make the whole presentation as gut wrenching as possible.  How many times did we watch the Challenger explode or see the planes crashing into the Trade Center?  We are presented with these horrific images over and over and over.  What would we guess the ratio of tragedy to uplifting stories on the news to be?  Ten to one?  Twenty to one?  How often (or seldom) is it that what we are watching and reacting to actually affects us directly or our immediate surroundings?  Yet we *know* about it and worry about it and stress about it, all the while considering ourselves to be culturally literate, current events savvy and doggone it, a responsible citizen because we have flooded ourselves with negative (at best) and spiritually painful (at worst) information. 

Our recreational pursuits often involve simulated strife, such as with TV and movies.  We still have a strong response, even if we know that it’s not real, to watching people be killed or threatened or placed in a terrifying situation.  Is it any wonder that we are a nation who is surrounded by negativity in real life and is emotionally and spiritually bereft? 

Some time ago, I’m putting it at about 1992 or so, I began to pull in my focus dramatically.  At that point, my family became more of my basis for reality and I retracted a great number of the tentacles that I had extended into the outside world.  It was not a conscious move.  It was a time in my life that demanded internalization, healing and spirit repair and I did not feel comfortable sharing it with the friends I had at the time.  That was really my first experience with not being surrounded by many, many acquaintances, to keep me from ever hearing dreaded silence and dealing with the voices in my head.  The more people who were around, the more fun I could have and the more fun I had, the more distracted I could become from the things I desperately needed to hear from myself and was frantic to ignore.  When I pared down the people, I began to learn tremendous and painful things about myself.  I was so involved with this process, that at times, I even lost track of being a good, nurturing mom.  I was, in fact, a horrible mom as I went through all of the baggage and pain I had to sort out from years of packing away whatever hurt or didn’t feel right.  Prior to this time and through this difficult spiritual trek, you people would not have liked me very well.  I was an extremely different person than I am now. 

After the dust settled, my voyage of self-discovery continued and is still an ongoing process.  I found that I no longer needed to surround myself with people to distract me from the silence.  I had made friends with it.  I did, however, find that during that time, I had closed a circle around me to pretty much use a triage system for where my energy would go.  I needed very nearly all of the focus, strength and attention I could pull up to take care of my family and myself and work several jobs to make ends meet.  I didn’t have much to offer to people to whom I did not give birth or were not directly involved with my paycheck.  I learned that, despite my previous beliefs, my energy was/is finite and once I overdraw that account, the NSF charges are not only high, but I end up with several very thirsty people trying to drink from a cup that has dust blowing around the bottom.  Improper handling of my energy harmed not only those who depended on me, but also, myself. 

I didn’t really get to what I would consider to be a safe place for my mind, body and spirit until I married my current husband in 1997 (today, November 13th, is not only our wedding anniversary, but also, his birthday).  When that happened, phase two of the operation began when I became a stay at home mom.  At last being in a place where I had a true partner, I found myself again walking backward through my life and rewriting things with a new and keener insight, letting go of weights I’d carried that I did not own and claiming the things I did.  This too, was a long and painful process, but because of the work I had done before, I was able to remain open to my family and accept their love and support rather than shut them out.  My oldest son, Joe and my husband kept me walking the path (so to speak) during this time and helped me tremendously.  

Even more so, my focus and energy was directed to the family.  I went through a very difficult last pregnancy.  I had small children to raise.  I had an adored spiritual group to lead.  I had a new husband and friend who needed me.  It took and still takes a lot for me to externalize beyond that.  

When I heard Dr Northrup talking about the village mindset and how much healthier we would be if we only took in news about our immediate area rather than extending ourselves world wide, I knew that she was describing as a very positive thing something I had been naturally doing for, by this time, many years.  I used to have Headline News running as the soundtrack to my life.  I once dated a guy who was a TV and radio talk show host who did political and current events commentary and he got me hooked on it (as well as on Junior Mints and hot buttered popcorn in the same bite – yum!).  Now, I seldom watch national news on at all, but usually manage to catch the local news at some point during the day.  If something big is going on, I’ll hear about it.  It will pop up on yahoo news or someone will tell me.  Meanwhile, I don’t have to process through 20-30 other heartbreaking, mind-numbing, gut-breaking stories of strife, violence and injustice.  

I do believe that one person can make a difference in the world.  Rosa Parks is an incredible example of how one person set off the civil rights movement.  I do not, however, believe, in all realism,  in my current situation, with my energy reserves allotted for other designations, that I, personally, can have a direct or significant indirect effect on most of what I’m going to see on the news, so I don’t allow it to tap my energy resources.  I do not feel that I need to know the horrible, atrocious things that are going on in the world, or even in the nation, to be a “responsible” and educated person. 

As far as the September 11th tragedies and the current war in which our nation is embroiled, I do, like everyone else, have my own opinions.  I do not feel a need to have them validated by anyone else and have no interest in putting them up for debate.  I don’t feel a need to be heard in regard to them.  I think that this is a subject that affects most people in a very deep, primal and passionate way, regardless of what form that passion takes.  I honor and respect the full spectrum of those reactions and can pretty well understand the position of most of them.  For me, it means pretty much what Dr Phil summed up in his discussion on managing fear resulting from September 11th.  He said that the most common thing he hears people saying is that they “want things to go back to the way they were.”  He then points out that “the way things were” is asleep at the switch; that as Americans, we walked around like we were bulletproof and nothing would ever happen on our home court.  I agree that this is true and that now we have an increased awareness of our vulnerability.  I also, however, very much believe in his suggestion reaction:  be aware, be careful, but move on with your life.  I am not going to allow fear, panic and paranoia to dominate my life.  I am not going to fly into a panic because it is reported that Bin Laden is in the market for nuclear weapons.  Like that’s big news.  The anthrax scare is indeed a scare, but I refuse to live in panic over it.  I am going to get on with my life and what will happen will happen.  

I'm not exactly walled up on the subject.  I just don't give it a great deal of emphasis in my life.  I have shared my feelings with my husband at son.  Our little spiritual group has had a couple of really moving and interesting discussions about it (and I regretted so much that my friend had missed both of them).  Beyond that, I didn’t feel a need to spread my feelings and thoughts around for public consumption.  If anyone else feels as my friend does that it is disturbing that I have not been more vocal, I hope that this lonnnng entry has helped to explain why and to let everyone know that it is not a forbidden area of discussion, but simply not one on which I care to dwell. 

Our spiritual group did a very moving and intense ritual the night of the attacks on the WTC and Pentagon.  One of the things I have always enjoyed about our people is that they are all very different and have diverse personalities and perceptions.  I love that we are able to explore those diversities and find common grounds through which to solidify our energy and send it out to do its work.  I would be bored to tears if we were all of the same mind on this or anything else.  That night, we were all able to agree that we wanted healing for everyone concerned.  We wanted correct action and clear, rational thought to be the foundation for whatever was to come next.  We wanted the good that this tragedy uncovered to be emphasized, meaning the best parts of humanity that we have seen revealed since this has occurred.  One by one, we came up with universal goals that we could band together to wish into reality.  Our thoughts on what had happened were as diverse as those of the whole nation, but we found our common desires and hopes and focused our energy through them.  Once that was done, I did not make an effort to bring it up in our meetings again.  My impression was that we had done our part and so we moved on to other things.  

That pretty much sums up how I have processed this through in my own life.  It happened.  It was a tragedy of the most tremendous proportions that our nation has known, possibly in its recorded history.  I heard about it.  I saw it.  I felt what I felt and is done.  The war is still ongoing and with friends in the military and a son who is festering to go, of course I have my concerns, but I cannot allow that to dominate my life.  I refuse to live in a state of crisis and trauma.  It is what it is.  If I have learned anything this harvest year, it is to Trust The Process and believe that we are on a trajectory toward our greatest good as a nation and as a species.  I have nothing but good, positive views of our future and I am not going to give up my faith in our ability to endure and in The Universe’s wisdom in guiding where we are to go.  I trust it implicitly; especially after the personal trials Eric and I have experienced this year.  My feeling is that we are at war and I cannot change that fact.  I am not prepared to discuss whether I feel we should be or not.  That is personal.  Since we are at war, I send my prayers for wisdom and divine guidance to lead our leaders and bring this experience to the best possible conclusion, whether we, humans are able to interpret that conclusion as “best” or not.  When we are omniscient beings, we will be able to see more of the tapestry of life than the few threads we are holding.  For now, the big picture isn’t in our line of vision, so we are left with Faith and Trust. 

I like living in my village.  I feel more at peace and relaxed not being bombarded with all that is out there and having to continually experience visceral, emotional reactions to situations that are not within my realm of influence.  A very dear (now dearly departed) friend once told me that my biggest problem is that because I have big boobs, I have the distinct impression that I can breastfeed the world and that until I have the discernment to limit who and what I nurture, I will forever be in deficit.  How I wish I could spend a day or even a dinner or a moment with him to tell him how right he was.  I don’t condemn people whose lives are set up in such a way to accommodate such an energy drain as feeling for the whole world.  I just want to follow Dr Phil’s order to “get real” and real is that I don’t have that kind of energy to spare.  If you do, whip dem boobies out and start lactating! 

(“It’s fun to stay at the Y – M – C – A!”)


November 9, 2001

mood:  tired (yawn!)
music:  blessed silence

The Truck Story – A Tale of Sweet, Loving 
Manipulation that Brought Joy to All 

As many of you who read the NonSoapy know, it’s been a weird time this summer with Eric being laid off out of the blue and having to scramble like mad to keep the essentials going.  Forget making ends meet.  Ends weren’t even in sight of one another.  It was challenging, to say the least.  To reference one of my earlier entries, on July 4th, Eric bought a car.  If you want to read THAT story, go here (once you get there, hit ctrl F on your keyboard and when the “find” window pops up, type in “THEN, the AC went out on my baby” or otherwise, go about halfway down the July 5th entry to find the same phrase).  I loooove the Dodge Intrepids:  Sporty, sleek, oh so roomy, classy…need I go on?  So we were already paying tons more for the new car than anyone should every pay for a new car, BUT due to continual screw ups at the dealership (that’d be AUTOWEST DODGE at the ROSEVILLE AUTO MALL), they couldn’t get our finance contract right, so we didn’t end up having a payment due until September, which is when Eric was laid off.  *sigh*  So we missed September’s payment…and October’s payment.  Not good.  Of course, the finance company was getting iggity by this time, so we talked about it and decided we’d have to let the car go back and see what we could do about paying off the deficit balance when they sell it off.  Meanwhile, since his job was close by, we’d manage with the VW bus (which has literally stranded us on every highway in the area, both directions) and try to get Joe’s Maverick (Joe, my son, is in Canada and could not take his beloved car with him) fixed up for my infrequent driving needs.  Just before Eric was going to call and tell them to come pick it up, he got the new job, which entails COMMUTING to places like Reno (2 hours), Redding (2 hours) and Stockton (1 hour).   The first two involve treks through the mountains, which would cause the bus to break out into fits of uncontrolled, convulsive laughter.  Since the Intrepid has roadside assistance, Eric was pretty sold on keeping it, in light of the new circumstances.  I was skeptical because the $500 a month on the car payment, plus the $150 a month full coverage insurance was the equivalent of one of us (like ME perhaps) getting a part time job.  I understood his perspective and by no means wanted him stranded along the road at night, especially since he will be working alone and particularly since he’s on such long commutes and most certainly since he works nights.  Still, it seemed like a lot of money.  My idea was to take the $1000 I’d managed to rob from bill payments (boot’em out a payday *again*) to give to the finance company from the car and buy a used car, decent shape, own it right out and be done with it.  He didn’t trust used cars and wasn’t biting.  Again, I totally understood his reluctance, but damn, that was a lot of money.  I’ve lived in houses that didn’t cost that much to rent. 

Halloween.  We had the kids out trick-or-treating, walking through our neighborhood and when the kids were at a house increasing their confectionary payload, I happened to notice a manly truck in the driveway and a clicking process started in my brain.  Time for the process to begin. 

“Nice truck.” 

“Sure is,” he answered, eye-humping the truck. 

“You know, a truck would be good for you to drive back and forth to work with all of the equipment you have to haul.” 

Silence, but good, mulling silence, kids back, new house, another new house. 

“You know, that’s not such a bad idea.” 

“What?”  It has to be his idea.  I know it has to be his idea and I’m trying to push the river in that direction. 

“For me to get a truck to drive back and forth to work.” 

“Well, we never go anywhere with all of us together unless it’s local, so we could go in the bus.  I mean, you can fix that on the road for the most part.” 

More silence.  Another house. 

“I could probably get a good truck for the money we’re going to be giving the finance company to keep the Intrepid.” 

“Really?  I don’t even know what they cost these days.”  *bat*bat*bat* 

“Oh, absolutely and trucks are easy to work on, older ones, anyway.” 

“But wouldn’t you be worried about it breaking down on you?” 

“Nah, they’re pretty simplistic.  I’d be able to tell if it’s a good one or not if I check it out well before I buy it.  Not like with a car.” 


Silence, another couple of houses. 

“So you’d be good with that?  If I got a truck and we just used the bus for family stuff?” 

*shrug*  “Why not?  I hardly go anywhere anyway and since you’re working days, you’ll be around if the bus breaks down on me and I can take the cell phone with me just in case.” 

“We’d have all that money every month instead of making the car payment.” 

“True.  But hey, I’ve got to leave that up to you because, you know, it’s your butt freezing on Highway 80 if the truck goes out.  We do it your way when it comes down to it on this one.”

Silence.  “I’ll think about it.” 

“Hey, take your time.” 

Two people smile in the October night. 

The next night, he drove home a HANDSOME, 1969 Ford F210, great shape, nice and clean inside, outside and under the hood, 120,000 original miles and $800 lighter.  YEAH, Baby!  It runs like a champ and since he did the tune up on it, it runs even better than a champ.  The $200 covered the registration in first month of insurance ($30 instead of $150) and he’s a very happy camper.  They still haven’t come to claim the Intrepid yet.  Maybe they forgot.  Speaking of FORGOT!! 

I “got” into the Intrepid to drive it to the store after he had purged it of all of our belongings in anticipation of the reclaiming and *gasp*  looked up to see MY PIG STILL ON THE VISOR???  Will this guy NEVER learn?? Love him, adore him, nay, WORSHIP him, but he is just determined to mess with my PIG!!  To read the pig story, if you are not pig-savvy, go back to that same page, here, do the ctrl F thing again and find “THEN, I think I remember” or scroll down to about ¼ of the way through the June 15th entry called “Grrr.”

So he’s a happy guy, I managed to secure my pig’s safety AND I got extra money to get my bills current!  Ahhhh.  I love it when a plan comes together.


November 9, 2001

mood: accomplished!  a good way to start the day!
music:  Ricky Van Shelton - "I'll Leave This World Loving You"


Since I was a child, I have struggled to figure out just what the hell Josie and the Pussycats were singing in that hip and happening opening theme songs.  Thanks to the cornucopia of information that is the internet, I can put this puzzler to rest.  For all others who may have furrowed their brows in consternation while trying to read the lips of a cartoon character, I give you this:

Josie and the Pussycats!
Long tails and ears for hats.
Guitars and sharps and flats.
Neat, sweet and groovy song
You're invited, come along!

(hurry, hurry)
See ya all in Persia
Or maybe France.
We could be in India
Or perchance
Be with us in Bangkok
Makes no difference
Everywhere the action's at
We're involved with this or that.

(come along now)
Josie and the Pussycats.
No time for purrs and pats.
Won't run when they hear "Scat!"
There where the plot begins
Come on watch the good guys win.

Josie & the Pussycats.
Josie & the Pussyca-haaaats-yeah!

Who'da thought?  What frustrated lit major wrote that masterpiece?  Somehow, I can't picture Melanie using "perchance" in a sentence, not to mention the geographical tour.  Interesting.


November 7, 2001

mood:  Tired, kinda sickly
music:  Cuts Like a Knife by Brian Adams

At last !  I feel a few entries flying around in my head!  First, I want to do my periodic rant on current commercials.  I don’t know how many of our commercials cross national boundaries to our neighbors, so if you don’t know what I’m talking about, just smile and nod like y’do. 

I am not going to buy Chuck the Talking Truck, Rescue Roy, Chomper My Talking Truckbot or any of those other annoying Tonka toys for my deprived four-year-old who would love them because I’m already sick of hearing those things talk just from the commercials.  Tonka – overkill – look into it. 

Summer of Seduction?  I give up.  Who got seduced?   False advertising – ABC – look into it.  (Truth in advertising, bait and switch…I could go on) 

Vanish Acti-scents.  The woman who’s little girl wordlessly comes to let her know that the rest of the family has funked up the bathroom has the cleanest toilet I have ever seen in my life.  It’s just…unnatural.  I want a pretty, white, clean toilet like that *pout*  

I don’t believe for a minute that they used a lion in a zoo to power test Odor Lockers cat litter.  If a lion peed on scoopable cat litter, I believe it would dissolve. 

I utterly dislike those pretentious, angelic moms who talk about the Desitin Creamy. 

Warning:  I think this is a local commercial, so some of you may not get it!  There is a company called Aladdin Bail Bonds that has 2 commercials currently running.  One shows a white trash, no eye-brows having, skanky crack whore looking woman waking up to a ringing phone and her husband telling her he’s in jail.  Another shows a young Hispanic woman talking about how when her husband was arrested, she didn’t know what to do and so she called her sister, who knew exactly where to turn. Aladdin treated them both like they were family.  Stereo-typing?  How about we show a matronly, suave, rich woman who has no liquid assets at 2am and needs to get her DUI husband out of jail?  THINK OUT OF THE BOX, PEOPLE! 

Lastly, if anyone is plagued by a stupid pop up ad on their computers advertising a mini web can that “can go anywhere!!” be advised that it’s a highly invasive little ad that actually imbeds itself into your computer browser to pop up at different intervals.  You have to click on the site and activate a link there to uninstall the ad from your computer.  

More later!  Lots to tell!



November 2, 2001

Strange Harvest

I have had such a case of writer’s block that you would not believe.  I keep looking at my soapy journal and though ideas for columns are flying through my head, when I sit down to write, it’s all bottlenecked and won’t come out. I wanted to put to print a lot of the deliciously spooky things that have happened in my life and I can’t seem to get them going either.  I don’t know if it’s a mood thing or a time of year thing or an opportunity thing or what.  I’ll finally get the kids to sleep and come to the computer and just stare at a blank page for a half hour, maybe type out a few signs that have cousins, but certainly not brothers, erase them and get up again.  

What usual works best for me is a writing defrag of sorts where I just free associate and write like mad and pour lots of seemingly nonsensical things out onto the page and see what clicks, so this column will be very rambling and mostly just a catch up piece. 

All is actually pretty cool right now.   There are little irritations, but they are able to stay in perspective.  The harvest is ending for the year, physically and metaphorically.  We’ve seen interesting results this year that have taught us a lot about the nature of our path and of The Universe and how it can teach you things when you aren’t looking and find strange ways to do it. 

In Spring, after a lot of redirection and regrouping, Eric asked for financial security.  At first, he asked for a tangible:  land.  He wanted a big stretch of land to call his own.  It came to him and we realized that we were not financially stable enough to be land owners just yet, so he had to let it go.  All of this happened early on, so he regrouped and decided to plant what the land actually represented to him, which was financial security.  That was what finally made it into the ground for him. 

I started out planting a lean, strong and healthy body.  After several redirects, including my little boy literally pulling my beans (which we plant to represent the goals we have planted metaphorically) out of their little peat pots and flinging them onto the floor.  So I regrouped and decided to, after lots of hints, just plant “joy.” 

So there was the planting.  It was so strange how it all unfolded.  We’re still putting it all together because despite a few moments of faith crisis when things were at their worst points, Eric and I do very strongly believe in what we’re doing and have seen it hard at work, not just for us, but for other people we have known.  In light of this, we had a hard time figuring out how all of this could be any part of a harvest.  As is appropriate, at the very end of the harvest, it all started to make sense.  

As most of you know, Eric lost his job a little over two months ago.  It was unexpected and really threw us for a loop as he had just been assured that his was one of the safest jobs at MCI Worldcom because he could literally do anything, start to finish, that they needed him to do in the company.  He is the consummate telecommunications engineer and has training out the wazzoo on a LOT of different and obscure equipment.  BAM!  The rug was pulled out from under us.  I have since laid my curse upon Worldcom and a special head honcho last week informed Eric's ex-boss that Worldcom is going under.  We'll see how true that one is.  For five weeks, he had nothing, then a job came up making half of what he was making before, provided he worked anywhere from 10-17 hours a day, six days a week.  I was a single parent for the most part and he was a machine to tested cable in his sleep.  Our money was trashed from 5 weeks with no income.  We went to apply for food stamps and were told that because we have a car that is worth over $2000 (a car we can’t afford and will be returning), we didn’t qualify.  No help there.  We were “fed by the ravens” with little bits and pieces coming together right when we needed them.  The new job helped us to get the important things like food, rent and utilities covered.  People chipped in to keep the site afloat, which was very appreciated and made me cry more than once (in a good way).  It was an extremely challenging time and one we could not even begin to understand.  We just knew we had to keep moving in order to get through it.  I won’t pretend that we handled it graciously or well all the way through, but we did the best we could and tried to stay strong for each other.  I took a job as well, which was hard on the kids and hard physical labor, but helped fill in some of the blanks.  

A little over a week ago, Eric got a call saying that a company called “NorTel” wanted him to set up some cell phone sites on a five month contract and the job paid what his old job at MCI Worldcom paid.  *swish*  Back to normal again.  But could it ever go back to normal?  No way could we see things the same again.  I was thinking about something that Dr Phil said regarding the reactions to the September 11th tragedies.  He was talking about how people keep saying they "just want things to go back to the way they were" and he responded, "The way they WERE was asleep at the switch!  We walked around like we were bulletproof and nothing could happen to us!"  It's true about other things too.  The way things were is not always the best way to be even if it is the most comfy and familiar.  The time of having no income at all except for the little miracles that kept coming our way taught us how frivolous we had been with our money before and how we had taken it for granted in a big way and never planned for something so catastrophic to happen.  We never kept track of our money or even had a clue how much we were spending in a weekend.  We just kept running the ATM card and let it all sort out by Monday or Tuesday.  This time of no money helped us to identify our extraneous spending and figure out where our money goes on a regular basis and where we could definitely cut back, sometimes without even feeling it.   It really brings things sharply into focus and the wisdom that can be distilled from all of this information we received can definitely add up to what?  Financial security.  In our minds, financial security meant some windfall of wealth.  But what good does it do to win the lottery if your financial habits are so that you are going to just piss it away?  Who would have thought that if you asked for financial security, the best way for you to get it would be to lose your job?  This just goes to show that whatever you want to call it, whether it is God or Goddess or The Universe or some incredible blending of the Higher Selves of everyone alive as a collective mind or just something within ourselves, *something* out there or in there knows better than we do what we need and how to give it to us.  

What is interesting about that premise is that one of the tenets of Paganism is that we are on a trajectory towards our own greatest good and that we are destined to get there, sometimes in spite of ourselves.  The idea is that no matter what choice we make, it’s the right one and puts us where we need to be, regardless of how we perceive it at the time.  Now it is known that there are opiate receptors in the brain that must be stimulated with some degree of pleasure stimuli on an ongoing basis or the body itself will start to show signs of distress through disease, tension, etc.  That in and of itself demonstrates that we are beings who are programmed for joy and set up to have an ongoing infusion of it for optimum health and well being.  So we actually are intended to move toward our greatest good and happiness.  

As I look back on my life (which I have done probably more than I should given the old adage that no matter how great a track you’re on, if you stand still, you’ll get run over and if you keep looking backward, you’ll never move forward), there are a lot of things that I wish I could have done differently.  They mostly involve people that I have hurt when I could have avoided it.  I have to claim the responsibility for those things, but I can’t obsess on it because it’s done and I can’t undo it; I can only try to atone where possible.  I am grateful for all of the choices that led me to where I am now, regardless of how I may have fought them at the time. 

I don’t know why I always fight it and always seem to have a crisis of faith, at least for a moment or two.  Every time I have shaken my fists at the heavens and cursed the stars and demanded to know, “Why God, WHY?” only to hear a stunning, ear ringing silence, I have always, invariably ended up in a better place ultimately.  Still, when the sticks are down, there is always a moment when I’m out there with my shaking little fists curled into balls, a scowl on my face and doubt in my heart.  I do know that this time, my crisis of faith was much more brief and was more of what I thought I should do than genuine fear and anger.  Once or twice, it was like my faith was a hologram that flickered enough to make me think, “What if this is all really bullshit?”  My answer to that was usually, “Pfft.”  

I do NOT have a lean, strong healthy body now that harvest is almost done.  I have the same little fat body I had when I started this, plus a couple of pounds.  I drink water now.  I eat better now.  I think more about exercising and do it sometimes.  It’s just as well that those beans got trashed.  I learned about planting something as subjective as “Joy” as well.  I really heard Dr Phil on the tape when I was listening to “Life Strategies” on my walks again.  He says that if you don’t know *what* will make you happy, you won’t recognize it even if you get it.  You have to know what it actually is.  Another thing to consider is that Joy and Happiness are two very different things.  Happiness is something that is moment to moment.  You can be happy or you can be sad and there are a million notches in between the two on the scale.  Happy tends to be caused by external people, things, situations and events.  You talk about “making” someone happy as a proactive task, something done TO someone else.  The same can be said for sadness or anger.  He “made” me angry or that movie “made” me sad.  Joy, on the other hand, is a state of being and doesn’t fit into that structure.  You can be joyous and still be sad about something that happens.  The foundation of Joy helps you to process what happens, good, bad or indifferent, through a different filter than a foundation of Depression.  

So how does all of that give me a harvest based on what I planted?  For one thing, taking away my crutches taught me how to work within rather than without (even though I was technically without a lot of stuff – smile).  I depended on the actions of others, on food (which was in short supply and there was NO recreational food) and on shopping (the thrift store that had my second home where I literally made myself feel good to the tune of 3-4 trips there a week was now a luxury we could not afford) to make myself “happy.”  Full tummy=happy.  $20 worth of junk from the thrift store=happy.  Eric doing x, y or z = happy.  I was totally passive in my own pleasure factor.  It was all dependent on someone doing something or eating or shopping.  Because I didn’t appreciate the things and situations around me, I could not derive joy from them.  I had forgotten what it was like to be away from my kids for 8-10 hours a day working.  I didn’t remember what it was like to not have a spouse to be my companion, to make me laugh, to help with the routine running of the house and to cuddle.  I had misplaced the feeling of absolute wealth for having a paycheck at all.  Again, it was the absence of something, as with Eric’s harvest, that gave me my harvest.  Being able to now appreciate being at home, having time to spend with Eric and letting the thrift shop or going out to eat with Eric become a special event makes it even more delicious.  

One of the different things about the new job that Eric starts on Monday is that he will be working nights.  I have always had a problem going to bed without my husband, even in the first marriage to Paul.  I know that I equate it out to Paul’s alcoholism and how he would go out with friends and I’d never know when he would come home, if I would have to go get him at 3am from somewhere, if I’d have to stay up and nurse him through dry heaves and delirium or WHAT would be happening before the sun came up.  If my husband went to bed with me at night, I could feel secure that the night would probably pass with no variables.  Eric LOVES to stay up late and meditate and sit on the porch drinking wine all night, playing his guitar, thinking deep thoughts and just being alone.  When he first told me that the work was at night, I felt like I’d been rammed into a wall at about 80 miles per hour.  I’d have to go to bed alone!  What the hell would I do?  Then I began to see the positives.  He’ll be home during the day, so the kids will get to see him more.  I’ll have the big bed all to myself.  After the kids go to bed at night, I’ll have to whole evening free to write, work on the site, read, watch PRIME TIME (which I love and Eric absolutely hates).  He won’t have to drive in traffic.  It just all is starting to sound really good.  So I have been set up in a lot of ways to reclaim the things in my life that make me happy and that gives me a foundation for realizing that the elements for joy where there all along.  I was just so busy lusting after some ambiguous, different thing that I could not even describe to the point that the joy got muddled and obscured.  So the joy harvest is coming in as I’m getting back in touch with the joy that is inside as well as the happiness that is on the outside, if that makes any sense. 

Another thing that has been a joy is that my concept of having no real life friends has been blown out of the water.  In my life, I had always disqualified my circle of Pagan people with whom I work as being what would be described as “friends” per se because we are always very careful not to get involved with the personal lives of one another.  Eric and I were the leaders, they were our group and we only saw one another every two weeks when we’d meet to celebrate the new moon, the full moon or one of the holidays.  Then, on September 11th, we met to send our energy out into the tragedy to bring about the “best” solution that could be brought in such a screwed up situation.   It was hard to consolidate our energy at first.  We’d done the unthinkable:  called an emergency meeting off schedule.  Everyone responded and was there.  We talked about the situation for over an hour and it was easy to tell that we all had varying degrees of reactions and feelings about what kind of response the US should take.  We knew that to focus our energies appropriately as a group, we had to all be coming from the same direction, so we talked it out until we found common grounds on which we could focus.  From there, we began to weave a web of yarn between the 7 of us, each person adding a word of affirmation as they passed the yarn (hope, peace, healing, strength, wisdom) until it was a beautiful and intricate pattern.  As we were doing this and I looked at these incredible people with whom I had worked for over two years, I felt a wall drop and saw that we were peers and friends, not just a Pagan group.  It was very strong and exciting to me and since then, I’ve felt an amazing closeness to and respect for each one of them individually, as well as the group collectively.  I saw them in their own strengths and wisdoms rather than as people that I needed to lead or teach.  They were my family, my village, my spiritual home.  Since then, I’ve actually had lunch with one of the women from the group and had a fantastic time.  I really do love them and I am so happy that they are with me for this time of my life.  If they have to move on at some point, I’m at peace with that.  I’m just glad that each and every one of them is here now. 

I also had the honor of having a person from my past come back into my life.  This woman was someone that I had enjoyed immensely the first time around, but about two years ago, situations arose that took us in different directions.  Since then, we have both changed in some interesting ways and we have been able to reconnect and it has been a real joy to catch up with her and have her back in my life as a friend. 

The other side to the friend coin that reflects the weird take on harvest this year of absence bringing harvest and letting go of crutches to find that you really can stand on your own and walk is that I was shoved into letting an old, dear friend of mine go, not just temporarily as I’d thought we were parting, but permanently.  Our dynamics were not good and not healthy, but we each held on to the other in honor of the things we loved about one another and because it would just be too sad to let go.  But as it happens, things came out of nowhere and we parted ways.  I’m glad now that it’s done and I know it will be better for both of us this way.  It was when she left my life that I was able to welcome in true friendship without game playing and icky dynamics and overlooking a hundred things to cling to a thread of good stuff.   It’s like the old premise that in order to truly have something, you have to let it go and see what comes back to you.  I was truly fortunate, despite the sacrifice that had to be made and now I open my eyes to find that I am totally surrounded by friends, on and off the net. 

Summation:  Strange harvest, but good harvest.  Objective achieved, just in a weird way.

I also feel grateful to have watched the United We Stand concert which featured, primarily, music not in my usual genre of choice.  It was good to be exposed to different types of music and to confirm what had been rumbling around in my head since about the mid-seventies.  Yes indeed, it’s true:  Aerosmith freakin’ rocks.  I do believe that Stephen Tyler is the consummate rock star in every way.  My son, Joe, describes him as David Bowie, David Lee Roth and Bruce Springsteen all rolled up into one.  The women, the drugs, the sexuality, the body, the voice, the ambiance…he is the walking embodiment of rock star.  Joe Perry wails on the guitar, even as an old guy.  Walk this way, Steve…walk this way. 

I have also heard what are now the four most vile words ever uttered on television:  Next up, Rod Stewart.  I love Rod Stewart, even though every male who has ever been in my life has hated him.  It was absolutely painful to watch the man perform; painful in the way it is to watch Chuck Berry creek across the stage doing Johnny B. Goode.  Rod was trying to do his old kicks (I noticed he only did it once) and had to go immediately into a slow stroll.  I think it really took a lot out of him to do it.  He’s at least 150.  He needs to settle down and count his money and look back on the good old days.  Bless him. 

Mariah Carrey had on what had to be the nastiest looking dress in the history of fig leaves and my retinas are still burning from its heinousness.  She looked like she was whacked out on thorazine or something.  

I noticed there were almost no close ups on Michael Jackson.  

I guess that’s about all the purge I’ve got in me for tonight.  It’s after midnight and my little ones will be open for business around 4am.  Stupid time change. 

Wish my muse back to me tomorrow for my soap columns!

Oh Look!  there's more!

Katrina's NonSoapy Archives
(Oct 2001)

Katrina's NonSoapy Archives
(Aug-Sept 2001)

Katrina's NonSoapy Archives
(May-July 2001)

Katrina's NonSoapy Archives
(Feb-May 2001)

E-mail Katrina