Saturday, September 1, 2018

My Summer as a shut in

My new-this-Summer neighbor is a mean mother effin' drunk.

Why else would someone build a fire pit directly across from their neighbor's living room window?
Why else would someone decide to build a fire only after seeing the neighbor's windows open?
Why else would someone build a fire if the only window open was to the neighbor's cat's enclosure?
Why else would someone decide to make the fire extra smoky, so the smoke goes in the windows?
Why else would someone leave the smoky fire unattended for hours?
Why else would someone, knowing the neighbor can't breathe the smoke, keep doing this?
Why else would someone ask the mask wearing neighbor where they got the mask?
Why else this?
Why else that?
Why else?

When my neighbors first moved in, they would invite me to sit by the fire with them.  I would decline, telling them I couldn't breathe the smoke.  I told them I was allergic to lodgepole pine smoke.  So, I would go in the house, and not open the windows on their side of my place.

Then fire season came to Montana.  Smokey the Bear signs showed the fire danger was "Extreme". That meant no more fires in the neighbor's fire pit.  No more lodgepole pine smoke coming in my place.

The air during fire season is thick and milky colored.  I couldn't open the windows.  I drove to and from town with my N95 mask on.  My neighbor would be outside, and see me in my mask.  Question me about my mask.  Question me about the smoke.

Smoky sunrise in Smith Valley 

A couple of days ago the Smokey the Bear sign read "Very High".  I came home, and my neighbor had a fire going.  He walked up and was talking to me. I couldn't understand a word he slurred.  It was one of those conversations where you don't want to agree with them, because you don't know what you are agreeing to.  You don't know what they are saying.  He continued to slur.  I stopped listening.  I went in my place to catch my breath, from the lodgepole pine smoke.

Every day since some of the fire ban was lifted, my neighbor has had a fire.  Wait, sometimes it's just a smoke.  All you see is smoke, no fire.  Wet lodgepole pine smoke. The kind that I can't breathe.  The kind that my air purifier can't keep up with, even with the windows and curtains closed.

Smoke from neighbor's fire/smoke pit

When I went out to feed the rabbits this morning, I could still smell the smoke from yesterday's fire.  I immediately needed my rescue inhaler.  I told my neighbor's wife, I need to go in and use my inhaler.  She laughed.  She kept talking. And talking. My neighbor came outside.  After I went inside he built a fire.  As I sit here, with my head throbbing, my sinuses stuffy, my air purifier going, I write.  I write for therapy.  I write because I like to.  I write to keep from crying.

I write so I don't open my window and ask my neighbor why he is such a mean mother effin' drunk!

Monday, April 9, 2018

  Beautiful. Troubled. Gone.

The beautiful woman in this photo was my cousin's  daughter.  

The other day, my cousin sent me a text message asking when he could call me that day.  He had something he wanted to talk to me about.  I sent him a text when I got home. The phone rang within seconds after I hit send.

My cousin was crying, and hard to understand.  I asked him if his Mom was okay.  He said yes.  Then he told me his daughter was gone.  He said that on March 1st, he and his wife came home to find her dead in a recliner in their living room. 

He said she didn't want a funeral.  She didn't want a memorial.  She didn't want......

I asked him if she had left a note.  He said yes.  He said in the note she apologized for being a shitty daughter and a shitty sister.  She was neither.

We talked for quite a while.  About the loss of his daughter.  About family.  About things.  About his sadness.  About how he and his wife would very rarely leave their daughter home alone.  About who knew of her passing. About how they were coping.  About whether or not they had anyone they could go to for help.

He asked me not to tell anyone.  I am sworn to secrecy.  I will honor his request.  I will honor the request of their daughter.  It's not easy.  It's not easy because in times of pain, sadness, sorrow, you want to reach out to others.  I can't do that.  So, I turn to my blog, my therapy.

Makes me wonder.  I wonder if his daughter felt invisible in life.  I wonder if the wishes of his daughter have made her invisible in death.  Gone. To be forgotten.  To be trouble(d) no more.

I have memories of her.  I remember when she shared a video of a time she and a friend of hers took a boom box to a busy area in Chicago and danced to Michael Jackson's "Thriller".  It was awesome.  I remember seeing photos she took while she was taking photography in college.  They were awesome.  I remember seeing photos taken of her while she was modeling.  They were awesome. 

I remember the day she was born.  Time spent with her when she was a child. And I wonder.  I wonder if she had ever been told how awesome she was.

Rest In Heaven. Rest free.  Be at peace.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Am I 133 already?

I had a major birthday in September, but didn't think I was that old already.  Let me back track a bit.  I have always believed I am going to live to be 133.  I don't remember how I came up with that number.  Might have been a psychic I went to years ago, or maybe a doctor that had recommended surgery for a tumor.  I shrug, because at this point it's not important.  

This past Summer's fire season here in Montana was HELL!  Serious Hell! Hell on my lungs! hell i tell ya! There were too many nights I was afraid to fall asleep, because I was "worried" I wouldn't wake up in the morning.  

I am having that kind of day today.  Although the level of smoke from fires has gone way down, you can't tell it by my breathing or should I say lack of breath.  I hope just make it through the day.  Is this where the saying "One Day At A Time" comes from?

The other morning I had the same kind of feeling.  I woke up at about 3AM, breathing so-so, and trying not to panic.  I did a breathing treatment.  Coughed some gunk up out of my lungs and went back to sleep.  When I woke up for the day it hit me how close to death we are.  One breath away.  One blink.  One sigh. One gasp. One breath.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

We Saw A Bear!

Several weeks ago, a friend and I went to Glacier National Park.  Our intention was to see a meteor shower at Logan Pass.  If you don't know, Logan Pass is the highest point on Going To The Sun Road.  On the way up, we were pretty much the only car heading to the "Pass",  That meant we could take our time.  Take lots of pictures.  Enjoy the views.  We came around a bend, and there it was in the road.  A black bear. On one side was a cliff wall.  On the other side the wall that keeps cars from plunging down a steep incline.  A really steep incline.  Before my camera could focus, the bear was gone.  My friend got a blurry picture of a big, fluffy, round thing going over the short wall.  We were so excited!  We high-fived each other.  Our mantra for the rest of our time in Glacier that night was "we saw a bear!".

I Saw A Bear!!

This morning on my way to work I hit something in the road.  It was dark and rainy, but I could tell it wasn't a deer.  I turned around, pulled to the side of the road, got out of my jeep, and I saw a bear.  I had hit a bear.  I started crying.  I hung my head in shame at killing another living being.  

Some other motorists had stopped along the road too.  They walked up to me, and asked if I was okay.  One of them had hit the bear also.  They asked if it was still alive.  I told them its intestines were hanging out.  

I could see the bears glow-in-the-dark-eyes.  I saw the puddle of blood. I cried.  I told them I couldn't believe I took the life of another living being.  They grabbed the bear and threw it in the ditch on the other side of the road.  Like it was a sack of garbage.  Like it was nothing.  Like it hadn't been alive.  Like it didn't matter.

I cried all of the way to work.  I was shaking.  I was sad.  I'm crying now. The bear did matter.

No, no, nah, nope I'm not getting soft in my old age.  I am admittedly an Empath.  There are times I really have to concentrate on not thinking of things going on, because I can feel the pain and suffering of other living beings.  I cry when I see a dead deer on the road.  A dead anything on the road.  An injured anything, anywhere.  I cry.  Then I force myself to not think, not see. But for now, I can't unsee, because I saw a bear.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Is Suicide Painless?

For the first time in my mumblemumble years, I have been touched by someone I know committing suicide.  Wow!  The news of it just sucks the air right out of you. Literally! 

I knew Will.I.Am, as I called him, from our working together.  I liked our conversations.  In his short life he had done so much.  He was an Air Force vet that had a job that kind of put his finger on the button, and a gun on his hip for anyone that tried to push it.  I thought that was quite a responsibility for a teenager to have.  After his discharge, he enlisted in the Army reserve, and went back to boot camp.  He was a combat medic.  An EMT. He was a really great person. One of the good guys.

Will wanted to be a cop.  We talked about police work a lot.  He loved the ride-a-longs he had gone `on.  He had thought of applying for a dispatch job, to get his foot in the door.  He really wanted to be a cop.  I told him of my years working for police departments.

Will had a beautiful German Shepherd dog named Ruger.  I told him that Ruger was going to be my puppy's daddy.  He laughed.  Will's family raised and trained German Shepherds.  He knew the breed.  We talked of my love of the breed.

I found out about Will's death on FaceBook, when a mutual former co-worker posted about his funeral.  It would be the only way for me to find out, because that is the only way I communicate with the people I used to work with at that job.  A while back I had thought about sending Will a friend request.  I talked myself out of it, because I figured Will wouldn't want a friend that was mumblemumble years old.  I think I would have been wrong.

I can't wrap my head around Will's taking his own life.  I don't get it.  But then, I don't know what Will was going through.  I did look at Will's FB page.  There are no condolences from anyone.  None of his friends have posted that they miss him.  None of his friends have asked him why.  What I did see was a video post from America's Got Talent for a cover of the Radiohead song "Creep".  Makes me wonder if Will saw himself that way.  As a creep and a weirdo.

Since I learned of Will's death.  I see him everywhere!  In every face!  In everything!  Out of the corner of my eye.  That isn't the sun coming up.  It's Will.I.Am

To answer my original question.  Nah, nope, no, no, suicide is not painless.  Not for those left behind. Rest in Heaven Will.  Free from whatever made you not see that tomorrow would be another day.  Maybe a better day. 

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Within the last few years, I have developed what I call a "Sadness Quotient". Simply defined as the amount of sadness, bad news, blah I allow myself to be exposed to.  The last couple of days when I get out of bed, my quotient for the day has already been reached.  There is so much sadness, meanness, wrongness, badness in the world. What the fuck is wrong with people?  I don't have the answer.   Blah!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

I mourn for my Father

Not true.  I just thought is was a catchy post title.  I like the sound of it.  When I say it in my head it sounds sullen and deep.  I say it in a voice that sounds like the deep voiced announcer of movies years ago.

My Dad did pass away on February 26th, 2016.  He had been put in hospice about 10 days before his passing.  I was on my way "home" to see him, one last time.  We were told to get there sooner than later.  The cat, BooDuh, and I were driving through Forsyth, MT when my sister called.  She told me to "pull over."  I knew.  I didn't need to pull over, I just knew.  I did pull over, because the words needed to be said, the questions needed to be asked.  My mind needed to know the finality.  I sobbed, for a bit, then pulled back on the highway.

I had talked to Dad the Monday before he passed.  It was one of the more coherent conversations we had had in a long while.  "Hello daughter," he boomed!  "Hi Dad, I'm coming to see you," I told him. He had no concept of what I was telling him.  He asked the always asked question, "Where you at?" The answer was always "in Montana".  "Oh."  I told him I loved him.  He told me he loved me.  The conversation was over.

I have yet to mourn the passing of my Dad.  I cry sometimes at memories.  I cry sometimes because he is gone.  Just like with my Mom's passing almost five years ago, there have been a lot of firsts. This is my first Easter without a Dad.  Without a Mom and Dad.  As an orphan, in Montana.

I talked to my sister, Betty, about not mourning Dad's passing.  I told her I wondered if it was because I have been mourning his loss for quite sometime.  Dad had alzheimers.  I had been told a few weeks prior that his alzheimers had advanced.  He had been going away for a couple of years, slowly.  Slow enough that I watched from the sidelines, unable to do anything.  Slow enough that it could be seen and heard.  And mourned.

I know one of these days I will have a good cry over the passing of my Dad.  I know I need to. I need to cry. I need to let out the pain in my heart.  I need to.  But, not today.  Not yet. Not today.

(As a side note, when I spell alzheimers I get a squiggly red line indicating the word is spelled wrong. The only spelling error is that it it is not capitalized.  The disease in my opinion is not worthy of a capital a.)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Livin' in a Whiskey Fog

The title of this post sounds like it would be a great Country and Western song.  Makes me wish I was a song writer, it would be a hit. I am not referring to myself in this blog post.  I don't drink whiskey for fear of hair growing either on my tongue or on my chest.  I have no desire for hair to grow in either place. 

The song title and post refer to a woman I know, one of my neighbors, Patti.  In the summertime Patti goes around with a flask sized bottle of "rot gut" whiskey in her back pocket.  In her car, she has an open fifth of the same stuff.  I don't know if she uses it as a refill for the smaller bottle or not.  I shrug, because I'm sure I don't want to know.

Patti is less than four months older than I am.  Her penchant for whiskey and pain pills makes her look 20 years older.  Patti's penchant has not been kind to Patti's family.  Patti has two sons.  I can't think of a time I have ever seen her oldest son, now in his mid-twenties, when he wasn't high.  Patti's youngest son, just turned 13.  Recently he had been kicked out of school for bringing cigarettes on campus.  At 12, he became sexually active.  He also smokes pot and drinks.  Is it genetic?  Is it because it is the only thing these boys have seen?  I shrug.  I'm sure there have been scientific studies done on generations of abuse.  Generations of living in a whiskey fog.

Don't get me wrong, Patti has been said to have a heart of gold.  Would give you the shirt off her back.  I'm thinking Patti's little girl dreams never came true.  What little girl would dream of having the rough life I have been told Patti has had.  Incidents of sexual molestation and abuse.  Living in abusive, domestic relationships.  The father of her youngest son wanted a baby, Patti did not.  She thought she was too old, already in her 40s.  She said he pulled her down some stairs by the hair, with a gun in his hand.  A good thing is she is out of that relationship, a bad that she has to see him daily, through her whiskey fog.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Every once in a while

someone comes into your life, and leaves a lasting impression.  The Summer of 2013, I met such a person, Noah, a six year old neighbor boy.  When I would sit outside, I would see Noah roaming the neighborhood for hours, and hours, and hours, and well hours.  He always seemed so lost, and was always alone.

I took Noah under my wing so to speak.  We would build flying saucers out of paper plates, and draw little green men in the windows.  We would watch movies and eat popcorn while sitting outside on the patio.  Noah would try to do some kind of running and jumping trick, and I would take pictures.  We made paper airplanes and had races.  Oh some of the planes were so cool!  They would fly in a circle, just loop around.  You couldn't race with those planes, well unless you made the start and finish line at the same place.  It was fun.

Sometimes Noah's sisters and other kids would stop by.  I noticed a difference in Noah when the other kids were around.  He acted different.  If they chided him for being a troublemaker, then he would be one.  I knew that wasn't the real Noah.  The real Noah was thoughtful.  The real Noah looked at you with wonder, when you would tell him that meeting a bear in the woods would make you wet your pants too.  Well, it would so why lie about it?

One day Noah knocked on the door with tears in his eyes.  I went outside to see what was wrong.  He told me they would be moving.  In the weeks before Noah moved, we made some kick ass paper airplanes!  Had some great air plane races!  And laughed and talked.  Noah told me he wanted to be a Scientist when he grew up.  One day I asked Noah who I was going to play with after he moved.  He laughed and said "Sarah".  I told him that wouldn't be the same, so no not Sarah.  Sarah was another neighbor kid, that sad to say was from generations of mean girls, and was on her way to becoming a mean girl too. 

Noah moved, and from time to time his folks would let him visit for a few minutes.  Wasn't the same around here.  Even Boo Duh, the cat, missed seeing Noah.  Around Christmas, Noah's Mom posted a picture on FaceBook of Noah wrapping a present.  A few days later, Noah knocked on the door and gave the present to me.  It was my Christmas present from Noah.  The present spoke so loudly of Noah's thoughtfulness, it was a journal for me to write in.  Thoughtful Noah even gave me a pen.  That was the Noah I had gotten to know over the Summer of 2013.  I sent Noah a just because present of a book on how to make "world class" paper airplanes.  His Mom posted a picture of him with the book.  I didn't know anyone could smile such a big smile as Noah did.

I started this blog post in December 2013.  It is now nearing Autumn 2014.  Summer is over.  It was not an especially good Summer, because there was no Noah to play with.  One time his Mom posted a picture of him making some even more kick ass paper airplanes, out of paper that looked like birds and flags.  She said Noah wanted me to know that he was using his book.  She also posted pictures of Noah accepting certificates for excellent reading, and doing so well in school.  I smiled.

Did I have anything to do with the changes in Noah?  I shrug.  Who can say.  One thing I know for certain is that I can attribute some of the changes in myself to Noah taking me under his wing.  Thank you Noah.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Who remembers me

This is going to sound really corny, ready?  For a short time I was addicted to the movie "Mama Mia", staring Meryl Streep.  What do I mean by addicted?  I would watch the movie all day long on my days off.  NO kidding, all my waking hours.  I would watch it several times after I got home from work.  The songs would play in my head when I wasn't in front of the DVD player. Hard core stuff.  I knew I had hit rock bottom when I lived for an ABBA song to be played on the Muzak at work.  I know, I shake my head in disbelief too!

Do you know the movie?  It's about an ex-girl band lead singer, Donna, that buys a villa on an island in Greece.  Her 20 year old daughter is getting married, and three ex-lovers show up for the wedding.  Turns out one of the three ex-lovers might be the daughter's dad.  Donna doesn't know which guy is the father, because she had been with them within a couple weeks of each other.  Oh, and the movie is all set to ABBA songs, seriously.

Here is what fascinated me the most.  The fact that three ex-lovers came to see her after 20 years!  Yes, 20 years!  They didn't know anything about the daughter.  Donna hadn't told any of them they might be a father.  What was the draw?  What had happened that made them want to see her again after so long?

Made me wonder.  Who from the past remembers me?  Do I cross the mind of an ex-lover?  Does Denny ever look out a window, let his mind drift back and then smile warmly?  Or, Bill, or George, or anything but Sue?  (Okay that last one was to see if you were paying attention).  Would any of my ex-lovers travel to see me, after all this time?  Who remembers me? 

I don't dwell on the question too long.  I just wonder, now and again.  Sometimes, I remember someone and say, "what an asshole", under my breath.  Other times, I stare out the window, let my mind drift back and smile warmly.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What do you do with the memories?

The addition of this cartoon is not meant to add humor to this post.  I can't say I ever really found "Hagar" funny anyway, just kind of appropriate for now.

The house my mother grew up in, was built by my grandfather.  The walls were not made of studs, but of tree saplings.  Each time my grandmother had a child, a room was added.  On the South side of the house there was a small hill, going into a kind of swampy area.  Into the side of the hill, Grandpa used a shovel, and wheel barrel to hand dig out a basement.  

I was not born when this happened, but heard the story of it when I was young.  Each time I went into the basement, I thought about the back breaking labor, and hours, Grandpa had to have put in to make the basement possible.  This is a fond memory to be sure.

I have other fond memories too.  Like when we would arrive at Grandma and Grandpa's house in the late night.  Grandma would always get up to greet us.  Then one by one we would go into their small bedroom, to Grandpa's out-stretched arms for a hug.  Oh, the wonderful memories.  Memories of family reunions in the yard, going outback to the outhouse, even though there was indoor plumbing.  The old table set up by the side of the road, where Grandpa used to sell bunches of Gladiolas.  The memory of going there, and Grandpa being gone.  Then many years later, Grandma being gone.  Sigh.

My folks had bought the house from Grandma, several years before she passed away.  When they retired they moved up to the live in Mom's childhood home, with the hand dug basement.  The accumulation of memories continued. In 2008, my brother bought the house from my folks.  My father was living there, with my brother, when Mom passed away last year. 

In 2009, Mom's family home went into foreclosure.  Now, the bank owns it.  The contents put in a storage unit.  My father's heart broken, again.  

I was talking to a friend recently about this turn of events.  The loss of the family home.  The anger, and disappointment I felt.  I asked her what do you do with the memories?  She told me the memories will live on, just like the memories of my mom live on, in my heart.  I told her this was different, because my mom's passing was inevitable.  All living beings die.  I told her the loss of the home was not inevitable.  It didn't have to happen.  There was no big bad bank, or bad economy to cause this loss.  

Where do you put the memories, of a non-living thing, that had so much life?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

There are a lot of firsts

After someone you love passes away. If you think about it, every day there after is a first if it was a parent. As I said in an earlier post, my mom passed away on June 1st. Making that day the first in my life that I didn't have her in my life.

Today is my birthday. My first birthday without a Mom. The saddest birthday I have ever had.

My mom had been told not to have children, because of an accident she had had when she was younger. Doctors told her having children could endanger her life. She sacrificed, and had five.

I may sound selfish, I'm glad she blessed me with life. So, maybe I should wipe away my tears, and thank Mom for the gifts she has given me today. The gift of her never ending memory. The gift of her undying love. The gift of her strength. Thanks Mom, for all of the wonderful years you gave me, and for all of the wonderful gifts.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

He ain't the Good Humor man

He's the Cool Dude!

You betcha I'd buy his treats and sweets if he came to my neighborhood.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I believe in the power of prayer, and the innocence of children.

"A babe in the house is a well-spring of pleasure, a messenger of peace and love, a resting place for innocence on earth, a link between angels and men." Martin Fraquhar Tupper

The picture in this post is of six month old Jaxson. Little Jaxson has been diagnosed with stage IV Neuroblastoma. Please pray for baby Jaxson.

Monday, July 11, 2011

I choose to believe she waited

Life can change in a blink, in a sigh, or a kiss goodbye.

On June 1st, my dad and brother visited my mom in the nursing home. It was a good visit, because my dad would be allowed to kiss my mom before he left. In the days prior, my mom had a very high fever, from an upper respiratory infection. Kisses were not allowed, because masks were mandatory for visitors. A way to stop the spread of infection.

On that day, June 1st, before he left, my dad kissed my mom once on each cheek, and told her he loved her. He said she looked comfortable, and soft. When my dad and brother arrived home five minutes later, they received a call from the nursing home telling them my mom had passed away.

Haven't you heard stories of a person at death's door waiting for a loved one to be there before they go? Or, waiting until they are sure a loved one will be okay with their passing? Or, waiting until the love of their life kisses them goodbye? I have.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Years ago,

when my nieces and nephews started dating, I gave them specific instructions that they were to find out if the person they were dating had a single uncle. Ya know, for their ol' aunt. Then as I got older, I changed it from Uncle to Dad. Now, sad to say, I have changed it again...this time to Grandfather! Mind you my nieces and nephews range in age from 17 to 39, (this is not counting Grand nieces and nephews). Before long it could be Great Grandfather!! :(

"I'm getting married!!!"

That's what my youngest niece's Facebook status read yesterday. Very cool! You betcha I clicked "Like" on that one.

I remember the day, 23 1/2 years ago, when my niece was born. I remember the times her folks would have me babysit her, and it was more like she was the one doing the babysitting. She was a cool baby.

Before she started school, we would do things together. Ice Capades, the circus, movies. I took her on her first train ride, from one Chicago suburb to another. When we reached our destination we went to a movie. I can still see her face filled with wonder as the train chugged down the tracks. She thought that was the best thing. So, did I.

When she started going to school, our fun times happened less and less. Until I moved to Wisconsin, because she spent her summers there. One time we took a road trip to the International Wolf Center, in Ely, MN. It was a good time of camping, laughing and enjoying nature. Then she started working, and became too old to come to Wisconsin for the summer. We saw each other less, and less. She moved to Georgia. I moved to Montana. Life happened.

Now she has met a wonderful man, fallen in love and is getting married! Very cool! You betcha I asked her if her fiance's grandfather was single!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I found a treasure

I try to talk to my mom once a week, that's how it has always been throughout the years. In times of troubles we would talk more than once a week, and our conversations would last for a while. Now our conversations are short, a few minutes at best. I ask a question, and most times I can understand her answer. Sometimes she rambles on, and I try to understand where she is rambling to. I cherish those few minutes a week.

I am a keeper of things. No, no, you'll never see me on an episode of "Hoarders". I keep things that are special to me. Things others might have thrown away long ago. Things that have touched me.

The other day I was going through a box of old postcards and pictures and such. I came across a pink envelope with my mom's handwriting on it. The postmark was September 10, 1992. It was too early to be a birthday card (yep, I save them sometimes too). I opened the envelope to find a card my mom had sent me that read "A little note to cheer you!" I opened the card to find a piece of paper. On the paper, a note written by my mom, said:

"Dear Boni, If you ever need cheering up-just dig out this little card. Love you, Mom"

Now, I don't remember what was going on in my life when that card was sent. Seems to me the card did the trick, because I kept it. And, I'm sure over the years I have found it in the box of old postcards and pictures and such. I'm sure I opened it and smiled, even if I didn't need cheering up.

Finding the card when I did made me cry. It was a funny kind of crying. Not a full out sob, like I am doing as I write this. No, it was a cry mixed with laughter, mixed with memories, mixed with sadness, mixed with happiness, mixed with joy. Yes, the joy in finding a treasure that I will keep forever in a box of old postcards and pictures and such. Thanks Mom! I love you too.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

What I've learned in the past few weeks...

....about some parts of life (but not all, well maybe).

It's all bullshit! And what isn't bullshit is a joke!

I might expound on these statements another time, who knows.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

and he prays

To say my dad is distraught over my mom being in the nursing home would be an understatement. Not just from the loneliness of being away from the woman he has been married to for almost 65 years, and has loved for over 68 years, but from everything going on in regards to her care.

At 85 years old, my dad has lost control of his life, and his wife. Power of Attorney regarding my mom's health has been taken over by one of their grandchildren. Who in turn "pushed" to have my mom deemed medically incompetent. Since doing so, my father has been told he could be arrested if he took his wife of almost 65 years, and the love of his life for over 68 years, out of the nursing home. No going to church. No going out to celebrate birthdays. No going for drives on beautiful, sunny days. No going home.

They are both very lonely. A kind of loneliness that I don't think another person can comprehend, unless they have been in love like my parents are. A love that has inner-twined their very beings with one another.

So, my dad goes up to the nursing home two, sometimes three times a day. He says sometimes he sits for hours and watches her sleep. (Not understanding how he cannot control what is going on with his wife. Oft times not being told what is going on with her care.) And he prays. One time, he said, he prayed for hours that his wife of almost 65 years, and the love of his life for over 68 years, would die. It would be easier, easier than reliving the loneliness she feels when he gets up to leave, and the loneliness he feels as he walks down the hall without her, unable to take her home.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

He's not buying it anymore

For months, I have been selling Boo Duh on the wonders of dogs. Any time he did a "cat" thing, I would tell him that a dog wouldn't do such a thing. He knows my motto is, "Dogs rule, cats drool". And in his cat like way, anything I said about dogs, didn't bother him. He remained aloof. Don't get me wrong, Boo Duh fetches, retrieves and catches better than most dogs I have known. (As I said in an earlier post, I am a dog person.)

Recently, one of the bakers at work was in a really bad motorcycle accident. No helmet, head bouncing on the pavement kind of bad. For the time being, that left his dog, Marcia, an orphan. I volunteered to take Marcia in, until her "Dad" gets better.

I was worried about bringing Marcia home. Worried about Boo Duh's reaction. Doesn't matter how many times I tell Boo Duh this is my house, and I am allowing him to stay. I know by the silly smirk on his face that it's not true. It's the other way around.

I'm glad to say, my worrying was for naught! Boo Duh has been very patient with Marcia. He's been a real cool cat! Sometimes, he touches her to see if she is real. A couple of times, he tried to get her to play. That just scared the crap out of her, literally. I've even tried to get Marcia to play, but it's not happening. Maybe she is upset over being separated from her dad. Being in a different environment, a new place. Marcia is a Yorkie. A little one at that, I am told. She's not an obnoxious yippie-yappie kind of dog. Not at all, she is pretty laid back. Maybe that is why her full name is Marcia Mellow.

There have been times since Marcia got here, that I see Boo Duh standing above her, seemingly ready to pounce. Most of the time though, he looks at me as if to ask, "Really, what the hell is it?" Or, "This is a dog? What's so great?" I know from his look, that he's not buying what I'm selling anymore!

Monday, July 5, 2010


Find out what it means to me.

In the olden days, when I was a young'un, I was taught to respect my elders, respect my country, respect the flag, respect life and living things, respect other people's belongings, respect other people's privacy, and the list goes on and on. I was also taught respect was earned.

I have come to believe that there is a certain amount of respect afforded to people, because of the position they hold. I have worked for many people that while I did not respect the person, I respected the position they held. I believe some respect is inherent, kind of a birth right so to speak.

A coupe of weeks ago, I received a letter that was written to, "To Whom it May Concern". The letter was in business form, its message very matter of fact. The letter was regarding my mom. No, it wasn't from her doctor(s), or from the nursing home, or anyone in authority over her care. Nope, not at all. It was from a family member. Not an immediate family member, but a family member none-the-less.

My mother is Helen. I am proud to be her daughter. I am not "To Whom it May Concern". Nope, never have been. I am Boni, the youngest daughter of Helen and J.W. I love my parents very much, and would give my life for them. I would give my everything to and for them.

When I read the letter a couple of weeks ago, I was very angry. Not angry at the contents. No, I was already aware of the information in the letter. I was angry at the lack of respect given to me, and my brothers and sisters. The respect I feel should have been given to us, as Helen's children.

An ego trip? Hmm, no, I don't think so. You see, although I don't get along with the author of the letter, I do respect that she is a member of the family.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A collective whimper

This coming Wednesday, June 23, 2010, at 4:00PM, a sound will be heard around the world. It will be an eerie, haunting sound that has never been heard before, and will never be heard again. It will be the sound of the collective whimper of the men of Kalispell, MT. Why will they be whimpering? What will be the cause of the eerie, haunting sound? It's Jeano's last day in the bakery. A sad day indeed.

Okay, okay, so maybe it won't be heard around the world. Maybe just in the bakery, if the mixers aren't going full blast. But, the men will whimper. Seems like all the men love to see Jeano in the bakery. She starts their day with a smile, as she hands them their maple bar, glazed twist or sticky bun. What's not to love? She's a sweetheart to be sure.

Jeano is moving back to her hometown of Libby, MT. She wants to be close to her family, and her boyfriend. Who can blame her really. So, while the men of Kalispell whimper, I have a feeling the men of Libby will be smiling and collectively sighing as they say, "Jeano's back!"

Sunday, May 2, 2010

They named her Helen.

While on my trip back to Wisconsin, my dad told the story of how my mom got her name. I had never heard the story before, and was in awe as I listened.

Part of the story told of a land war between the Dietz family and a logging company, in Winter, WI. The Dietz family owned farm land, with a creek running through it. A logging company bought the adjacent land, and dammed the creek. The dam caused the Dietz farm to flood, and the "war" began. As the story goes, the Dietz family was armed, and the logging company brought up mobsters from Chicago to do their fighting.

The land war came to an end after one of the mobsters from Chicago was shot in a gun battle, by one of the Dietz group. My dad said old man Dietz died in Waupan Prison, because he took the blame for the killing.

My grandfather, Albert, was a young man at the time. In the dark of night, he would crawl in on his belly, to take food and supplies to the Dietz family. There he met the Dietz's daughter, Helen. According to the story, Grandpa had a huge crush on Helen Dietz.

After a time, Albert met and fell in love with my grandmother, Eunice. Together they had eight children. The eldest was a daughter, they named her Helen.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The trip back.

When I called my mom for her birthday, I asked her if she wanted me to come home. She told me it was up to me. I told her I knew she was tired, and asked her again if she wanted me to come home. She said, "Why don't you then." That was all I needed to hear. The next day I packed a few things, BooDuh and headed to Wisconsin.

I had a wonderful visit with my mom, and dad. Seeing Mom in the nursing home, very thin and frail was not easy at first. It reminded me of the times before when she had been in the hospital and I would feed her. Although those times, she was still strong. Mom's mind is sharp, but she didn't engage in conversation. She would answer a question if asked, and then lay there silently in her body. Her tiredness very visible.

In the weeks since I came home to Montana, Mom has gotten stronger. I have had some really wonderful conversations with her on the phone. Conversations that would lead you to believe she is going to live forever and a lifetime. I have been told she sleeps a lot, and that reminds me she is tired. Yes, tired, but not yet ready to let go and sleep the eternal sleep that is everyone's destiny.

I had thought of titling this post "The trip back home", but Wisconsin didn't feel like home to me anymore. It felt like a place I had been before, familiar, but not home. Everything was the same as it was when I lived there. Everything that is except me. I had changed. Grown perhaps?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

She's tired.

My mom is an amazingly strong woman. I have often shaken my head in wonderment at her strength. When facing difficult times she has always put one foot in front of the other and kept going, as if she knew nothing else. Giving up for Mom has never been an option. No one person, or thing in my life has been stronger.

Our relationship has not always been a good one. I believe that to be a natural part of life, at least for me. Although, when I moved to Montana, our relationship changed. The words "I love you" were said often. And meant, from the heart.

Mom has been in and out of a nursing home and hospitals lately. She had fallen and hit her head. While in the hospital they found a cerebral hemorrhage, and that she had a minor stroke. I tell myself these are things a strong person can overcome.

The reality, painful reality, is that Mom says she is tired. Tired physically, mentally and spiritually. And I know that when a person is tired there is no magic pill, no surgery, nothing medical science can do. There is only a short time left.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


As defined in the Urban Dictionary, coo-gher, an older woman who's primary interest lies in bedding younger men.

A few months ago I adopted a male kitten from the Spay and Neuter task force. After much mental debate I named him BooDuh. He seems to like the name, because when I ask, "Where's BooDuh?", his head pops up. BooDuh started out his life abandoned with his litter mates, living under a mobile home. He is part Manx, called a Longie, because he has a tail. His brother and sister did not have tails at all.

I am NOT a cat person. I thought I could become a cat person, but ah nope, not. I like BooDuh as a living being. He's funny as heck, smart as a whip and cute as a babies behind. But, he has not convinced me cats are the way to go. To that end I will forever be a dog person. (I didn't get a dog because the place I live is too small for a dog.) That is not to say I will get rid of BooDuh. Nope, I've grown attached to the little guy. I've told him we will grow old together, he with no claws and teeth, and me with many scars.

Even though BooDuh is the first cat I have ever had, (if you have read previous posts about Patch I should tell you he was a feral, barn cat, not an indoor, or tame cat). I did have my own idea about cats. I believe cats are to be kept indoors. I don't want to be gifted with a dead bird, or other outside critter he might want to bring in. I also know there are a lot of coyotes and dogs running around that would love to have a BooDuh snack. I used to think it was wrong to de-claw cats. I have a few too many bloody moments and scars to feel that way anymore.

The concept of BooDuh being an indoor cat seems to be a hard one for him to grasp. He goes to the door and meows. This is how the conversation goes...

BooDuh, "I want out."
Me, "Nope."
BooDuh, "Why?"
Me, "Because you are an indoor cat."
BooDuh, "What idiot thought up that idea?"
Me, "I'm not an idiot, get away from the door!"

I told you he was smart.

My neighbor has an older, female cat named Precious. Precious is allowed to roam the neighborhood. Poor BooDuh has to sit in the window and watch her, sigh. The other day Precious came in the yard, and jumped up on my picnic table. As she sat there, BooDuh jumped up on the back of a chair and looked out at her. It was a cute, Kodak moment. I took a picture. Then I warned BooDuh about Precious. I told him she is an older, female cat, and he is just too little a boy to be around a cougar.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The end of an era?

Have you driven on US Highway 2, out of Kalispell lately, and seen a white SUV stopped along the side of the road? It was me. Did you look in your rear view mirror and notice the white SUV pull back out on the road, only to move a short distance and pull off again? Yep, it was still me. I have been having car trouble. Serious stuff anyplace, for sure. Just think, I live at the top of a 6% grade:0(

Back in 1994, I bought a brand spankin' new Honda Passport. It was a must, because my Siberian husky, Bandit, was too big for my Honda Civic 4 door. You should have seen his face when I brought it home. He looked at me, and looked at the truck and looked me, as if to ask, "Wow, is that for me to ride in?" It was. Ride in it we did, on long road trips, short road trips, and all over the country road trips, (it got me the 1500 miles to Montana).

Our favorite going down the highway game was fetch. No, I didn't throw the ball out the window and make him catch up to me. I would throw the ball to the very back, and Bandit would jump over the seat backs to get the ball. Then, he would drop it on the driver's seat for another round. (Dangerous you might think! Maybe, but I didn't have to watch where I threw the ball, so I kept my eyes on the road.) The truck has a bench seat, and on our trips Bandit would put his head on my lap and fall asleep. Or, he would stand on the back seat, resting his front legs on the back of the driver's seat, and watch where we were going. Ah, the memories.

I took my truck to a mechanic. Seems it's not firing on all cylinders. I have days like that. Anyway, it would cost more to fix, than the truck is worth. So, I am going to have to give it up, and get something "new to me". I know that doesn't seem like a big deal, it isn't really.

I just feel sentimental about my truck, because it is the last physical thing I had with Bandit, a keepsake of sorts. I look on the bright side, with tears in my eyes, I do have the memories. Good memories, that will stay nestled in my heart forever.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sexy sells APPLES??!!!!?

I took these pictures in a local grocery store. They were on a huge box of, well pumpkins, but they were to advertise the "3-Apple A Day" plan.

What the image of the green apple core says to me is...if I eat three green apples a day, I will look like the female apple core. You see the perky bosoms? The toned abs? The small waist, going into a curvaceous bottom? Sexy. Sign me up for a bag-a-day!

Then, I would like to meet a man that eats three red apples a day, because he would have bodacious pecs, six pack abs, and my-oh-my look at his obliques. You betcha, sexy.

What about children and old folks that decide to eat three apples a day? What a toned, in shape, sexy world we would have. Really though, I am baffled by the use of these images to sell apples. Aren't apples selling enough on their own, without the sexy cores? Come on!! Apples used to be a family fruit!

Monday, October 19, 2009

There seems to be confusion

among the deciduous trees
on whether or not to shed their leaves

There are freeze dried leaves
hanging in limbo
waiting, for a strong wind to blow

Yes, there seems to be confusion
among the deciduous trees
on whether or not to shed their leaves

Monday, September 21, 2009


I am smiling right now. I know you can't see my smile, but imagine if you can a smile so wide that if I were wearing lipstick.. I'd have some on my earlobes. To say I am happy in my new place, would be an understatement. I am living in a place I love, nestled in the mountainous bosom of Mother Earth. I see the sun rise over the mountains in the morning, and the glow of the sunset make those same mountains look as if they are on fire in the evening. Ahh, home sweet home.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I'm movin' on

This will be a big week for me. I am moving. It's time. I am sure I am not unlike others in that even when I am not in ideal circumstances, I get too comfortable. I got too comfortable at Gerald's. I have gotten to comfortable living in an apartment owned by his friends. I don't like that. I am ready to get comfortable in a little place of my own.

When I moved to Montana, I only brought what would fit in my Honda Passport. I haven't acquired much more than that, so, moving will not take long. Today, when I was packing the few boxes I have to pack the Rascal Flatts song "I'm Movin' On" played in my head. It is a good song for me at this moment in life.

In my new place, it will be a bit before I have internet access. I won't even have television right a way. I wonder if "The Price Is Right" will go on without me watching?! Hmmm. At any rate, it's time for this little chick-a-dee to spread her wings and fly, I'm movin' on.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

White crosses

stand as lonely reminders along the roads of Montana. There is one on the lawn by the county courthouse, one with the initials "JMK" by some mailboxes I pass going into Kalispell, one along the road near a steep embankment, where an elderly woman lost control of her car, went down the embankment and was found several days later by a woman walking her dog. There are places with several white crosses on a single pole. Today, I saw one that had "Luke" written on it. Some have fresh, plastic flowers, others have sun faded plastic flowers, most have no flowers at all.

They are stark, subtle, silent memorials to people whose lives were lost in traffic accidents. Lately, I have been seeing white crosses along the road, where they didn't used to be.

The White Cross program in Montana is not a government program. No, instead it is a program sponsored by the Montana American Legion. The local legion posts erect and maintain these sobering reminders to drive safe, be careful, life is fragile.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Elvis has indeed,

Left the building.

I found out this week, from one of my co-workers, that the "Elvis" I mentioned a few posts ago has passed away. He was the man that liked cherry napoleons.

I read his obituary on the funeral home's website. He studied music with the Milwaukee Philharmonic. He was said to have had a wonderful baritone voice, and delighted friends and family by entertaining them with song. Seems he'll be best known for his crooning and Elvis style of singing. I wasn't kidding when I said in the earlier post that he spoke in an, "Elvis sounding voice."

May he rest in peace. The next time the bakery makes cherry napoleons, I'll buy one and raise a fork to him.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Why, oh why, do spiders like bath tubs!?

As far back as I can remember, seeing a spider in a bath tub has given me the creeps. I remember spending summers in northern Wisconsin as a little girl, there was always more than one spider in my grandparent's bath tub. I must have been a pretty stinky kid, because I didn't want to get in the tub.

The other day I found the pictured spider in my bath tub. I asked him to leave, he couldn't. He was having a hard time navigating the steep sides of my wonderfully, deep whirlpool tub. I decided killing the spider was out of the question. Surely, anything as big as he was could fight back! So, I took a cup and a piece of paper, caught him and then released him outside. As he crawled away, he seemed very happy to be free. I think I even detected a skip in his eight legged step.

I researched online about why spiders like bath tubs. I didn't find the answer. Some sites said they come down from the ceiling, into the tub, attracted by the light color. If that's the case, then I'm glad they don't like dark colored bedding. Other sites say spiders come up through the drain. I don't know about that, I'm not so sure they can swim through the water in the bend of the pipe. Needless to say, I still don't know why spiders like bath tubs. I do know I want them to stop liking mine.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson Dies

So, the headlines read.

I don't mean this post to be a tribute to Michael Jackson really, at least I don't think I do. I was a fan of Michael Jackson for years, although the last album of his that I bought was "Thriller".

I remember one family vacation, we went up to see the Grand-folks in Northern Wisconsin. We stopped at a Holiday Gas station. Seemed like this gas station sold everything, except the kitchen sink. They even had a rack of albums (I know, I'm dating myself here). One of the albums they had for sale was the Jackson 5 "ABC". I must have saved up money from chores, because I had enough money to buy the album. ABC was the first album I ever bought, it was special.

I wanted to see the Jackson 5 in concert, so my older brother took me to buy tickets, one for me and one for my bestest friend Becka. I didn't understand seating, so it was a good thing my brother was there. We had a choice between mezzanine and second row center stage. At my brother's urging, I bought the second row center stage tickets. One wall in my bedroom had cork on it, and the tickets hung there until the night of the concert. Electricity was in the air. Becka and I were the only two little white girls in a sea of blacks. Seemed like we were the only two dancing and whoopin' it up too. It was a good time.

Seems to me, and this only my opinion, Michael Jackson's life got kind of twisted. Bent from reality, or maybe just my idea of reality. To be honest, I wouldn't have wanted to live his life. I shake my head in wonderment when I look at recent pictures of Michael Jackson. Seems to me he lived a sad kind of life in his Neverland. And, seems to me, again only my opinion, Michael's life became a kind of freak show, played out in front of the world. Now the show is over.

I am saddened by the news of Michael Jackson's death, though not enough to shed a tear. He was a very, very talented man. May he rest in peace.

(I have lost touch with Becka, since I stood up in her wedding many, many years ago. I saw her for a short time about 10 years ago. I wonder if, as she hears of Michael's death, she is remembering the night we went to see the Jackson Five, the only two little white girls....)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I know you'll find this hard to believe, but...

...I had a conversation with Elvis today. No, no, no, now don't go thinkin' I'm 10-96. First let me tell you what happened. I was putting cream puffs in one of the coolers at the bakery today, and there he was. Okay, so maybe it wasn't the Elvis, Elvis, (last I heard he was working in a Burger King in Michigan or somewhere). But, it was one of our semi-regular customers that wears his hair like Elvis and wears glasses like Elvis used to wear. I kid you not.

I asked him if he would be interested in a cream puff. In an Elvis sounding voice he said, "No, I'm not supposed to have any of it." No kidding, I picked up a hint of Elvis sound in his voice. I asked him what he liked. He told me cherry Napoleons. Our bakery makes some awesome Napoleon pastries. He said he likes the ones with the cherries on the whip cream. I told him that a couple of weeks ago we made some with mocha flavored whip cream. He said he wasn't into mocha, just cherries. I told him he could order one, that I was sure they would make one for him (he looks like the "King" after all). His Priscilla walked up, and he ended the conversation. Maybe next time he comes back, we'll have Napoleons with cherries in them.

I watched as Elvis, er I mean he left the building.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I am a proud member of the WAMF Band unofficial fan club

All of the members of the unofficial WAMF Band fan club,
Cindy, me, Trish in the back
Max and Nancy in front

What is the WAMF Band you may be asking? Only the best blues band from Madison, Wisconsin that's who. WAMF Band is the Westside Andy/Mel Ford Band. My friends and I would travel for hours to see the boys play. The band would travel hours to be seen by us, (and the folks from our neck-o-Wisconsin). The above picture was taken on our last trip to see the band together, a year ago. To say it was a blast would be an understatement. We danced until the cows came home for sure. Oh the fun and laughter that night.

I haven't been to see any live blues music here in Montana. I think mostly because I would compare them to Andy and Mel and be disappointed, who knows really. I do know that for playing the blues, these guys give me happy feet.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


When I first moved to Montana, and then started my bakery job, I used to see people and think, 'Hey that person looks like so-and-so in Wisconsin.' It would happen time and again.

There was one time a woman walked up to the counter, and I thought it was my mom. I had tears in my eyes when I took her order. Another time, I did a double take because there was a man that on first glance I thought was my dad, to the point of walking the same way. Of course neither of these people were my mom and dad, because Mom and Dad are in Wisconsin.

I've noticed lately, that the faces have become blurry. Now when I see someone, I wonder if they look like someone from back in Wisconsin, or if I remember their face from here in Montana. The old faces I knew seem to have become less familiar than the new faces I am becoming familiar with now.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Birds

Who doesn't remember the Hitchcock thriller "The Birds"? Where the rich socialite, Melanie, is attacked by birds in a small California coastal town while delivering a pair of love birds as a practical joke?

Well, I had my own "birds" encounter today. No, not in a small California coastal town. I was in my little corner of Montana. Oh, and there were no lovebirds either. And, I'm glad to say there was no blood shed. There I was walking along a paved trail, admiring the mountains, when I saw a snake. I stopped to take a picture of the snake, when it slithered into the tall grass along the trail. A dark brown bird landed on the branch of a bush nearby. I told the bird he had scared the snake away, and continued walking.

I turned around, because I had decided to walk a different way to get back home. Only to find the initial bird, had been joined by a second bird. Along the trail there is a barbed wire fence. As I walked, the birds played leap frog over each other to get to the next fence post I would be walking by. Here is where it all got kind of creepy and Hitchcockian. The birds started to squawk. I looked straight above my head, to find a third bird hovering over me. I walked faster, the bird hovered faster. I stopped, the bird stopped. So, there I was a bird hovering over me, and two birds playing leap frog on the fence post, ahhhhhh! Who me panic? I was worried about the hovering bird diving at my head, and getting tangled in my nest of blond hair!

I tried to tell the birds I wasn't there to get their babies. I told them they had to worry more about the snake than me. I tried to reason with them. Woe, wait, listen to me, I tried to reason with three birds. Okay, so maybe, I was having more of a "Smile, you're on Candid Camera" moment! It wasn't until I crossed the road that I turned to look for the hidden camera.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I guess that's just not manly

I have been doing my own research study of late, about whether sprinkles on donuts are manly, or not.

As I said in a previous post, I work in a bakery. Most days, our donut fryer will sprink-le-tize some of the donuts as she makes them. Then when a customer asks for a certain type of donut, if there is one with sprinkles, I'll ask if they want with sprinkles, or without. We sell lots of donuts to rough and rugged cowboy types (this is Montana after all), not so rough and rugged types, women and children.

I estimate, based on the data I have compiled, that not one of the rough and rugged cowboy types has bought a donut with sprinkles on it. As a matter of fact, I get a very emphatic no! each time I ask. There have even been a couple occasions where I have stepped back away from the donut case, for fear of being punched in the nose!

Not the same with the not so rough and rugged types, some of them say yes to sprinkles on their donuts. As do some women, and children. As a matter of fact, my research shows the number one consumer of the sprink-le-tized donut are children. I'm not sure why. Maybe, it's because they don't worry about how they look while they enjoy those little bits of colored goodness on their donuts!

What does this mean? What do I conclude from my informal research on the donut eating habits of the rough and rugged cowboy types? Donuts with sprinkles on them, it seems, are just not manly after all.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The hunt is on

For the tasty, delectable fungus known as the morel mushroom. Oh be still my heart, as my eyes roll back in my head from the memory of these delicious shrooms in a kettle of mushroom asparagus soup! Ahhh, oh so good. Or, you can enjoy them fried or stuffed, nummy

Before I moved to Montana the only mushroom I had eaten and enjoyed was the shiitake. I have a good friend in Wisconsin, Trish, that grows gourmet shiitakes, she sells nationwide. As a going away gift, Trish gave me a shiitake log of my own. According to Trish in the right conditions, the log will grow mushrooms for five or six years. It is dry in my corner of Montana, and to date I only harvested shrooms from my log while I was driving to Montana on my move here.

The other day, friends and I went to the higher elevations to begin the hunt for morels. There was still snow in the area we went to. An area I had hunted morels in when I first moved here last year. At that time, some of the slopes I had been on were so steep, you only had to reach out to pick the mushroom, instead of bending over. While that may sound like a back saver, I had started to compare myself to a mountain goat.

Back to the other day's hunt. I am disappointed to report we did not see a single morel. We did see a huge black bear, two cow elk, several white tail deer, and an abundance of other varieties of mushrooms, but I don't know how edible or poisonous they were. Hopefully the higher elevations will get some rain, and the next time we go, we'll come home with buckets full of those tasty, tasty morels. I'll keep you posted, and post a picture of my bounty on here.

Monday, June 8, 2009

There was this one time

OMG!! I was so embarrassed!

Maybe more so because we had company at the time. I don't remember who the company was, I don't think I had ever met them before that day. We lived in Michigan. I remember it like it was yester-year.

There I was 12 years old, or was I 13? Anyway, I was laying on the living room floor watching American Bandstand. Yep, Dick Clark, Rate-A-Record, the Spotlight Dance, coolness. It was summer, I remember it was August. Hot outside, air conditioning on inside. After the special guest got done (lip) singing his song, he walked over to Dick Clark for a little chat. I remember being very into his singing. I had one of his albums. So, I must have "dug" him, right? You betcha, I must have, because my glasses steamed up! I sat up, not believing what my eyes couldn't see! Was the singer so hot that he made my glasses steam up?! You betcha.

What made me remember this today? I saw him on television. No, not on an American Bandstand rerun. On a game show he was hosting. Who is he? You're dying to find out? I am embarrassed to say, to admit, it was Donny Osmond. Yes, the same Donny Osmond that was part of the Osmond Brothers. Part of Donny and Marie. Joseph in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" from 1993 to 1997. Wikipedia describes Donny as a former teen idol. Was he? You betcha, he was. Dreamy sigh!

Did my glasses steam up today? I am embarrassed to say, to admit...

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Turn around and you're a young man...

Tis the season, and recently in the mail I got a graduation announcement. The inside envelope was addressed to "Godmother Aunt Boni", which made it extra special to me. My baby brudder's oldest son is graduating from high school. I found myself wondering how this could be. It seems like such a short time ago I held him, while he was dressed in a little white tuxedo, at his parent's wedding.

Enclosed in the envelope, along with an invitation to his graduation party, were four pictures of my nephew. I pick them up frequently and look at them in amazement. When did he become a man? I've only been in Montana for 11 months, when did this phenomenon happen? He wasn't a man when I moved away, he was just a boy.

The song "Turn Around" came to mind, and I have been singing it ever since. I know the lyrics speak of a young girl becoming a woman, and then a mother. But, with a few substitutions, they are appropriate to my feeling towards my nephew. Seems each time he, or I, turned around he was two, then four, then a young man.

My nephew chose to graduate a year early. And through some, perhaps innocent-enough-at-the-time choices, he chose to become a man early too. My nephew has had a "big" year, for this year at the young age of 17, he became a father. The mother, a young girl/woman, is only 16. Their baby, a girl, by all generations of Grandparent's accounts is a bundle of joy. I have seen pictures of her, she is a beautiful baby. Spittin' image of my nephew, except with dark hair and eyes.

Soon my nephew will be moving to Minnesota, where his girlfriend and their daughter live. He will be getting a job, and.... Do 17 year olds plan that far in advance for their future? I shrug and say, "I don't know." I can only hope they have their eyes wide open for what the world will present to them, and long enough legs to jump the hurdles. No need to comment on the challenges they will face, I have thought of them all already. I hope they have too.

Turn around and you're a young man with a babe of your own.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ripped from the headlines!

"Seasonal Yellowstone employees fired for abusing park's natural features"

At times, I don't pretend to understand human nature. I don't pretend to understand what made these men think it would be okay to pee in Old Faithful. I have been to Yellowstone NP several times in my life. Never once did I think old Faithful was a toilet. Never once did I feel it would be okay to be disrespectful of Mother Nature that way. All I can do is shake my head and wonder.

If you haven't read the story behind the headline, here is a link

Sunday, May 17, 2009

There was this one guy

I have mentioned on my blog before about my time on eHarmony. Today I want to talk a bit about one of my (too many) eHarmony matches.

He was from an eastern state, some 900 plus miles away. He was the one that initiated contact with me, by sending the first round of questions for me to answer. I don't know if I have mentioned this before, but all of my eHarmony matches were starting to look the same, no matter what their name was or where they were from. To me they looked like the same guy, wearing a different shirt. Not him, he was bald and had dark brown, almost black, eyes. That was refreshing, someone that didn't look like anyone else.

I'm not sure how familiar you are with the eHarmony process, so I'll give a little background. People are matched based on the 29 dimensions of their personality. That is determined by a long questionaire filled out at the time you first become a "member". Of course, everyone that answers the questions is honest (hold on, I coughed so hard I have water coming out of my nose). Okay, all better. Once you are matched with someone, eHarmony notifies you of the match. Either person can initiate contact, by sending the first round of questions. These are closed end, multiple choice questions. Next, there is the list of "must haves and can't stands". Those are things the other person is looking for in a "mate". Things they must have in a person, and things they can't stand! Then another round of questions, this time in open form, where you write essay answers. After that, if you make it to "open communication", Dr. Warren (the founder of eHarmony), sends you a warning to be careful, blah, blah blah. Open communication means e-mailing each other through eHarmony. Or, you can "fast track", which means you get the warning and start to communicating without the other stuff.

Anyway, back to him. He must have liked my answers, because we made it past Dr. Warren's warning to open communication. I liked his answers too, he seemed like a nice enough guy. After a few e-mails, I asked him if he wanted to communicate outside of the confines of eHarmony. He "suggested" that I do a Yahoo! search of his name, and decide if we would continue to communicate. I have to tell you, that was a first. I was curious. I knew our relationship wouldn't go any further, because I had no desire to move to the state he lived in. I always wanted to "go west young woman", to the mountains and the big sky. Like I said, he seemed like a nice guy. Intelligent, multiple degrees, no children, didn't want children, we had some things in common.

So, I Yahoo!ed him. When his name came up, I felt the blood drain from my heart, literally. I mean for more than a beat, there was NO blood in my heart. He had spent most of his life in prison, for killing three people when he was 19. Not an oh oops, I accidentally killed these people. No, he had, according to all of the articles I read, and I read every article I found, tied up, tortured and killed two people. A husband and wife. In cold blood. Shot at point blank range, in the head and face. The third person was killed when he came to investigate the "noises" he heard from the others being killed.

I found and read the original newspaper article from the night of the murders. I also found his mug shot picture. He and an accomplice broke into a home, with the intent of stealing. When the husband and wife woke up to investigate the noise, he tied them up. He beat them until they told him where they kept their stamp and coin collection. Then he shot them, point blank, in the head and face.

Shocked? I was too. Angry? Yep, me too. Wondering what he was doing on eHarmony? Another yep, me too. Did I stop communicating with he? Nope. I was curious. I have written in other posts about my law enforcement background. I was curious if there was such a thing as rehabilitation for someone that commits multiple murders. I was curious what made he tick.

So, he and I continued to communicate. He told me how he was down on his luck since getting out of prison. How he didn't have a car. How he didn't have a job. How he had to walk to see his parole officer. I told him how I had spent many years working for police departments, to deter him from asking me for money, or help, or whatever.

He would answer any question. I asked a lot of questions. At one point, he gave me his phone number. He told me to call anytime I felt like talking. That was not unusual really, a lot of my matches gave me their phone numbers once we got to open communication. I will be honest with you, e-mailing a person that had killed was not so bad. I could handle that. I had taken all the steps to protect my identity. I wasn't worried about that. I felt safe he was not going to break his parole to track me down in Wisconsin. BUT, calling someone that had murdered people and hearing their voice was something I could not do. Nope, I wasn't that curious.

Besides, there were things about him that irked me. He had told me he volunteered at a church. One of his supporters was a priest. His multiple degrees were in theology and religion. He "bragged" about having slept with three married women since he left prison. Said that was the only way for him to go, because he wasn't ready for a relationship. He encouraged me to come visit him. Wow! Here's me thinking, 'Oh sure, I'm going to go all the way to where he lives for a nooner, I don't think so!!'

Things irked me about his crime too. It wasn't enough that he had tortured and killed the poor husband and wife for their coin and stamp collection, he left some of the proceeds by their bodies!! He didn't even take it all!! When he was caught a few blocks away, he fought with police! He was sentenced to 25 years to life, and thought he should get out after 25 years, because the judge didn't say he would have life (a technicality?).

Did I write to eHarmony about him? No, I didn't. Why? Because, he had been honest. He didn't try to hide his past. He left the decision to communicate with him further up to me. Apparently tho, one of his other matches did write to eHarmony, because eHarmony sent me an e-mail advising me not to have contact with him. Then his profile was deleted from eHarmony. I stopped writing to him because I was no longer curious.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


..did I stop being wonderful?" she asked softly. She must not have noticed I was sitting on the park bench. I know she was not asking me the question, really.

I studied her sadness. She was an attractive woman in her 50's. Her hair, gray at the roots, hung in a messy halo around her head. She stared with eyes darkened by the shadowy places her soul must have taken her. "Friends used to tell me I was wonderful," she continued, a frown on her wax lips, "now there are no friends." She turned and looked through me. "Does that mean I am not wonderful anymore?" she asked. Again, not really asking me. There was an awkwardness that is usually felt when a stranger bares themselves. You don't know what to say, so you say nothing. I watched, in stunned silence, as she walked away.

I have been thinking about this one sided conversation for a while. The woman seemed as tho she had not become un-wonderful. No, instead she seemed to have temporarily lost her wonderfulness. It was as tho when she stared, she were searching for it. Playing hide and seek with the wonderful parts of her. The parts hiding behind her shadowy soul.

I wondered too if a person is only wonderful because other people say they are. Or, are they wonderful just because they are. Know what I mean? Do you have to hear you are wonderful, to be wonderful? I'm thinking not.

If I see this woman again, per chance, sitting on the park bench, I am going to tell her she is wonderful. As wonderful as she ever was.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


then when he met her
his first thought was my my
seeing into the electric magic

from her many flavors of passion
the scent of the flavor of pleasure
bringing a neverending connecting

the shape of her voice teasing into laughter
like a circling of spirits whispering his name
a softness of colors opening some dreaming

holding and belonging are more than wants
like rocking the cradle that stopped rocking
the reassurance of being more than we are

from the many flavors of passion
pleasure is a blessing blessing blessed
this gift of life is about more than pain

the flavor of feelings feeling safe feeling
dimensioning realities of being apparent
safe in being seen being seen being seen

unhungering the elusive hungers
as simple as a holding of hands
or good thoughts thinking good

she turns his world around
sweeting him with her flavors
in the blessing blessing blessed
he calls her mymy

John Trudell

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Scars, marks and tattoos

Okay, I know what you are thinking, here she goes with the police lingo again. While we did have to enter scars, marks and tattoos as descriptors when entering wanted or missing people, or unidentified bodies, I'm not talking about that now. Instead I am talking about well, scars, marks and tattoos.

I have acquired many scars in my life time. You know the usual scraped knee, doink in the head, cut chin from falling up the stairs. The biggest are on my belly from a hysterectomy 11 years ago. The marks of course would be freckles and birthmarks, or an occasional bruise. Same as anyone else for sure.

Barb has a rose tattooed on her breast. Many years ago, my baby brudder had his children's faces tattooed on his chest, over his heart. His daughter doesn't look good with a beard. My dad got a tattoo on his forearm when he was in the Navy during WWII, (he now regrets it). A friend of mine that is a sheriff's deputy has a gun tattooed on her ankle. I knew a woman with multiple tattoos, on her upper arms, forearms and chest. She was a biker chick, with her own Harley. Cool. One time I saw a picture of a woman, that was a breast cancer survivor, with the tattoo of a vine on her mastectomy scar. It was beautiful.

I have always wanted to get a "tat". Years ago, I designed one for myself. I just can't figure out where to put it on my body that I can look at it too. I don't like the idea of having a tattoo on my forearm, that seems to masculine for me. The tattoo I designed is not big or garish, but rather simple in its beauty. A heart shaped Earth centered on a medicine wheel, the colors of the four directions. A symbol of my Spiritual path, that like my Spiritual beliefs will not fade.

I know, I know, tattoos mark you forever. Will I still want it when I am in my 100's? How will it look when I am dressed up? How will it look when I start to sag (more)? There are a lot of pros and cons. Believe me a lot of time will be spent making the final decision. Once I figure out where to put my "tat", I will post a picture here on my blog.