Thursday, December 4, 2014


Husband and I become the apple

Bond of Union, 1956, by M. C. Escher

"What is apple skin made of?," my seven-year-old daughter asked as we motored cross-country in our venerable Volkswagon bus complete with pop-up tent camper.  It's just another part of the apple," I supplied reassuringly knowing she was nursing a fever from a cold.

"No, I mean what is it made of, that skin?". Hoping to escape the quantum field of play, beyond our mutual abilities to comprehend or explain, I offered, "It's like our skin, it has cells and they cooperate to protect the apple inside as our skin protects us."

Husband remained with eyes glued to the road, mercilessly determined to have his family experience sea-to-shining-sea quality time in the summer of 1977.

As I feared, my child pursued her quest for the one answer to quiet her curiosity, the one still eluding me.  Then came the tears:  first mine, then hers.

We had forged much deeper into the mystery of apple skin and human skin than the problem required, I reflected.  As I turned to face the backseat of our bumpy, noisy conveyance to deliver my final launch of subatomic particles, of fields and spheres, of string theory and black holes (even though they hadn't been conceived yet), my angel was asleep.  Good job I congratulated myself.  Husband remarked confidently, "We'll be in Yellowstone by evening."

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Happy Husband lolls in the pool in less stressful times.

Husband received an unpleasant surprise in the mail after all his contorted convolutions with Verizon, the telephone company,  not Verizon, the wireless company.  I heard mighty cursing from our little dingy dark den full of cats, and wanting to spare the cats further corruption let them outdoors.  It appears that when he sought to change his telephone setup to lower his bill, he incurred charges, $297.00 worth of charges.  The temperature soared in our little den, which is electrically heated so whoopee a bit.  Then the telephone conversations commenced.  The script from a former blog can be cut and pasted here because it was the same.  They still don't know who we are or why we'd be complaining about a large bill.  Thank you, Sam, you own my sanity and I'd be defenseless without you because I'm an introvert and waiting to be smushed by the mighty foot of corporate-clandestine savagery.

After much wrangling, Husband agreed to pay a small fee to return to his old setup with all parties.  Has he learned his lesson yet?   I hope so.  Jumping on something because your friend, or a relative of your friend, says so is dangerous.  We can only hope that those folks aren't around when the decision of whether to disconnect my life support is made. For that I rely on daughters #1, #2, and #3.

Back to normal, we await the arrival of Granddaughter's cell phone, which must not be activated until we phone daughter #2,  Aunt Diane, who will then change the number to match granddaughter's old number.  Oh Dear Lord, how did it all come to this?  That number in the Bible, which is supposed to identify us as individuals before the end of time...was it a cell phone number?  And why does FedEx not recognize our address as deliverable?  Corporations are people too, my friend.  That is extreme baloney, or perhaps Supreme (Court) baloney.  I hate to get political on my family history blog, but there you have it.  We studied in school that monopolies were bad things, and American workers were good things.  What changed?  Around here we have Walmart and Food Lion supplying majority needs.  Only 50 years ago, my parents owned a grocery store and made a living.

If we seriously ask ourselves these questions we will be labeled as job-killing, baby-killing, and unAmerican.  I could live with the America of my youth, like most people; but when America becomes as concrete-block stratified as it is today, some folks are going to be talked into supporting bad stuff.  We all fit that.  Still, big business is one thing, public ownership of this country is another and we all share an ownership of our nation by the very act of paying taxes.  To say that the helpless and unemployable in this country have to pull themselves up by the bootstraps is inane.  There has to be public charity or aid. That and public education are the most hated policies by the seriously rich.  The seriously rich also want wars and who better to fight them than the uneducated children of the modern vulgate.

This rant was brought to you by Verizon, the telephone company.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


What does it mean
To be beautiful?
What spoils the view
Ugly selfishness
Lusty wantonness
To name a few

What does it  mean
To be beautiful?
I really wish I knew
 Purple mountains' majesty
Over a fruited plain
Or two?

What does it take
To be beautiful?
Colors so strong of hue
Spirit, Heart and Mind
sing out,
“We are Red, White and Blue!”


Monday, November 10, 2014


When I was still in elementary school, my father bought a cow and brought her home to our 30 acre farm and country store/home.  He tried everything, having grown up on a real working family farm.  We had two pigs, Ricky and Johnny, who seriously lacked personality and social skills.  "Nancy," as our new cow was named, had personality, but was more challenging than Daddy had anticipated.  While she provided more than enough butter, cream and milk, Mother was overwhelmed with too much of a good thing.  She churned, skimmed, and boiled (for safety) milk for our use and had much to spare.  For a while we were in surplus with items made from milk, including Mother's famous butter pound cake. You can only eat so much cake.

Ricky and Johnny watched with quizzical interest as Daddy daily chased after Nancy, who was obsessed with freedom.  To boot, Nancy was hand-raised by women and had no interest in or respect for men.  Couldn't help but admire her for that.  Time and again Daddy had to resort to asking for help from Mother or me.  I felt Nancy was making my point for me, that women are just as good as men at everything.

Since there were no other children in our family, I used to commune with Nancy after school and soon she began to look forward to our talks.  I fed her what goodies I could find and she enjoyed licking my hands and face.  With a tongue as raspy as sandpaper, I didn't need to exfoliate.

Whenever I approached her tied in the field, she would rush madly to the end of her tether and give me pause for my safety.  She was a big inscrutable animal and I was a sliver of a girl.  I didn't want my final adventure to be "trampled by a cow in the bud of youth." Somehow I know my intimidation was surely excessive because she did indeed love me and the feeling was mutual.

Without pictures of Nancy, I send along my version.  

Nancy, the man-hating cow

Friday, November 7, 2014


To find oneself alive is at once wondrous and mysterious.  For nine months we gradually come to know our own awareness and witness the muffled sounds of a world just outside the womb.  When Mother cries or becomes excited, we perceive her cries or protestations magnified.  It is a fine home with mostly warm baths, no hunger, and soft walls that caress our coiled legs and compacted bodies.

Then the day comes unwanted, violent, and world shattering, when we are forced from fetal Utopia into a chaos of bright lights, beings other than Mother, and detachment from security into endless space.  Hands slapping us into vocalizing our horror are delighted when we utter our first scream.

Daughter #3 cautiously observes all things new.

Childhood is long and humiliating.  We can't wait until we are a grownup.  We fall down and cry; we run away from home and are spanked; we do things to explore our boundaries and have mixed success.  We chew and swallow food that we abhor.  We attend school and graduate school and begin adulthood.

I play Miss Muffet at a May Day celebration.

Adulthood is busy and needs to be a field of competition;  competition for paying your way with jobs and careers;  competition for finding happiness in a life companion and children to carry on; and fulfilling all the personal dreams of achievement featured on our personal bucket list.  For some it is an outer crust, a show of wealth, for some it is a high hat of personal importance, for some it is a sensory composition of what is was to live.

As a grownup, I always felt fulfilled by gardening.

Having sat upon our self-specialized seat, we reach the narrowing lane of life where we sense the ride may soon be over.  A sense of losing all we built to our design begins to enter our thoughts and we reflect on all the people in our past who no longer live.  What did life mean?  Was it just a challenge?  Did we do it right?  Were we really born to just achieve wealth, status, or fame?

No personal goal achievement ever felt as good as participating in Nature.

I conclude for me that the only time is now and that every now has to be appreciated, no matter what your status in the world, which after all is just applause for the soon-extinguished ego.  I conclude for me that appreciation of this beautiful world and its inhabitants is the only value that outlives life.  It is the ultimate thanks for the ultimate experience and adds to a collective living choir of never-ending praise.

My mother marveled at everything celestial and I do too.

Monday, October 27, 2014


Everything that Nature rocks

Has its own vibration rate

Jam and toast and juice and socks

And legs and floors a picture make

A response

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


The season you loved so well
Does fill me with nostalgia for you
I miss you each day of  the remains
Can you hear me?

Burning leaves and clear skies
The October month delivers
Immortal beauty and comfort
And I cannot hear you agree

I am here and you did hold me
With love and assurance
You soothed my gravest fears
But Death whispers the final decree.

Response to

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Every pair of eyes that behold

A moment of reality spent

Does fashion it with every fold

Of delicately woven intent

A response to

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Out of place, out of time, running
Dropped off, sent away, searching

Steal away
Tear a way

Find a place to be.

A response to:  Magpie Tales (

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Husband spent the better part of yesterday on the phone to Verizon.  He had been persuaded by friends to somehow tie together his cell and land line in an effort to lower his monthly cost.  It sounded like a good thing.  For him, it was not.

Here I would just like to vent about Husband's lifelong commitment to his friends and everything they recommend.  Having written those words, I have momentarily experienced a gag reflex.

In order to fit in with his friends, he has:  bought into a pyramid scheme; voted for George W. Bush; pulled all his teeth in favor of dentures; and bought a John Deere tractor with all the trimmings; sold said tractor with all the trimmings at a discount to a friend when said tractor proved too much a challenge (hooking up trimmings; unhooking trimmings; turning on, and basically using said tractor).

When Verizon's gadget arrived, Husband dutifully followed directions to set up the new system.  Nothing worked and his heart monitor began to flash hysterically (he has a defibrillator which uses a phone line to the doctor).  Your basic disaster is occurring on all fronts and Husband begins the calling.

Husband begins the calling.

With his cell phone and my cell phone on both ears, he deals separately with Verizon Wireless and Verizon, who are different companies with evidently no information exchange.  The Wireless Verizon got high marks from Husband and he was a gentleman. Verizon in a plain brown wrapper was a long and darkly different story.

I usually distance myself from Husband and his telephone conversations like a happy little tortoise receding into the comfort of her shell, putting the turmoil at a safe distance.  This maneuver only works when you're not in the center of the road.  From the living room I kept hearing vocal escalation and a peppering of abusive tones, and, yes, cursing.  This went on steadily and no apologetic tones were detected.

"Why in the he** do I need a credit check when I have been doing business with you for 30 years?  I don't want to terminate my number and yes the number is available because I'm using it!  I am including my cell phone via the gadget Verizon sent us.  No! You don't need my social security number because you already have it.  My address is the same as 30 years ago.  No!  Not Mathews, Hudgins.  I have not a damned thing to do with Cobbs Creek"

This went on for hours, repeating the same information and cursing loudly.  After all this, the new setup is revealed to be incompatible with the heart monitor and has to be returned.  Concern for his health was real, he was so overheated.  "When I'm dead," he pleaded, "get rid of that damned land line!"
"No problem," I returned.

Today he seems over it and is off to a friend's funeral.  Anything to cheer him up!

Monday, August 11, 2014


My computer had a virus and I was computerless for a while, now I am an older but wiser computer user.

Meanwhile here are a few pictures from our family vacation.

Chesapeake Bay Woman in crab regalia struts the strut.

They do the family thing, proof of family pics.

Proof of Grandaddy picture.

Much to his delight, they had "Pickers"
and the Weather Channel in Avon NC

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Last evening I left food for Leo the cat on the deck since he wanted to spend the night outside.  It wasn't ten minutes before I saw a strange black and white visitor at his bowl.

A juvenile member of the Skunk Posse which roams about our neighborhood
helps himself to a snack.

He checked out the water bowl too.

And then, he went back to the food bowl.

Finally, he was ready for his closeup, Mr. DeMille.

Not much later, the skunk was gone and a perky red fox was bounding around the yard.  He looked at me and I made mean noises and he decided to scram, bounding all the way.  Nobody knows what awaits us tonight!

Saturday, June 28, 2014


As beautiful as she was, there was the thought that she seemed posed and it occurred to me that this was a session between artist and model.  And we are to believe that this occurred naturally?  What common sense would preclude that this occurred in nature? Cooling off on a hot day? Painter excluded, we are left with the specter of a lady cooling her tits and nothing else?

Please know that we are not without pity for her plight, whatever it was.

Sweet Summer, 1912, John William Waterhouse

My garden begins producing.

The Cleome bloom in the evening cool.

The squash and green beans grow. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Lately I have been busy putting in my garden, a task which requires me to work a little, rest a little, and take twice as much time as I did in my twenties.

Here we have yellow squash and string beans.

This year I added container strawberries and everbearing strawberries to my June bearing strawberries.

Container strawberries need less space and send our fewer new runner plants.

They are firm and yummy.

The cuttings I took from CBW's beautiful bush are blooming now.

There are flowers in pots too.
Tomatoes, peppers, basil, cilantro, and cucumbers.

Roses bloom...

The view is fantastic...

Basically I am a happy woman.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Last night Husband went to see the family and friends of a former member of his band, who just passed away.  As he had me turn down his collar and button his shirt, I couldn't help noticing the back of his undershirt showed through his dress shirt.  When he turned around, his shirt proudly displayed a Jolly Roger emblem, pretty avant-garde for a funeral thing.  "Not to worry," he reassured me. "I won't take off my jacket."  "That's good," I rejoiced, "the last thing grieving people will be expecting is an assault by pirates; however it won't prevent that necktie from overpowering your whole life."  Apparently it was one left over from the 70's, when ties were HUGE and LOUD.  I think Emmet Kelly wore one like it when he was with Ringling Brothers. All he needed was the over-sized shoes to complete the ensemble.   Obviously finding anything but jeans and t-shirts is difficult at our house.

Given this choice, I chose the lower one.  How was I
to know the knot would be bigger than
a softball?

As he toddled off both sad and sadly-dressed to say a final goodbye to his old friend, it was a relief to know his band buddy would miss his fashion faux pas.  This now deceased friend had once taken a spill on his motorcycle and kept the crease in his jeans.  On the other hand he might have enjoyed his dress-challenged pal.

We walk around like this all the time.  There ought to be a law.

Friday, March 21, 2014


Feast in the House of Simon, 1610, El Greco

And he said, "Taffeta is in this season representing the splendid colors of the Spring Solstice.  And there shall be much money spent on clothes and hats and matching shoes. Beauty parlors shall curl and snip and dye and bleach.  Much money.  And there will be ham.  All the children shall find joy in the form of a bountiful basket of Easter Eggs brought by a selfless and benevolent rabbit, the  Easter Bunny.  What better way to commemorate the bestowing of eternal life and exoneration from the sins of mankind!"

Friday, March 14, 2014


It was the best of times.  It was the worst of times.  It was an ergonomic train wreck, a simultaneous convergence of sad circumstances despoiling our home-heating utopia.  It was the face-off between the voracious wood-burning outdoor furnace and the indoor oil glutton.  In the middle stood a man for all seasons, mostly winter, who had hewn and split food for the former and kept on a diet the latter.

The wood furnace who got us through the winter
after eating every stick of wood in Mathews

Last night I returned to bed and heard him rise and proclaim, "You don't even know when the furnace is out."  Indeed I did not, but had I known I would have still gone to bed and accepted his put-down as some distorted form of "goodnight."

Unknown to me, he had disconnected the wood furnace and flipped the switch on the oil burner, who leaped with relish upon his first opportunity to show Husband his resentment by clogging up and sputtering out.  At 8 AM, I hear husband fussing in the kitchen about having to make a trip in the seafood truck, "...and I'm out of wood, and the @#$%*!* oil furnace is broken down, and I don't care!"

"Good Morning and have fun!," I sang out like a canary in a coal mine.  The dismal cloud followed Husband to the car and soon they were out of sight.

Oil Furnace having jealousy issues.

As I had my first cup of decaf, I felt a little like Oil Furnace, amused at the whole matter, and even a little satisfied.  Neither of us was informed by Husband before he installed the "Backyard Bimbo," as Oil Furnace dubbed him.  Neither of us deliberately engaged sabotage, but do see the a little bit of "go around, come around" here.

On the next try, Oil Furnace blasted forth heat and saved the day.  All is forgiven.

Saturday, February 1, 2014


I am in a hallway with another person, when a tall thin young man with a long pointed knife comes at us to do us harm.  I struggle for the knife and wrestle it away, stabbing him in the back; and he bleeds and dies.  From then on I am regarded an unlikely heroine, saving both the other person and myself from horrible slashing.

I go into action sparing my friend and myself by plunging the knife in.

Immediately I begin crying for the life I ended and must apologize to his neighbors, a group of belligerent low-brows who endlessly laud the dead man's attributes and see me as murderer.

At last they are persuaded by my genuine sorrow over the matter and we part with hugs.

Next moment I am off to the carnival and contest others in a parachute jump, the first person to the bottom being the winner.  I shoot down like a rock stopping in a timely fashion to spare broken legs and I win.

I plummet like a rock to the bottom

However I am disqualified for not registering first.

Damn you, administrative red tape!

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Today is Husband's 73rd birthday, commemorating the day his mother gave a mighty heave and brought forth the light of my life; or at least the flashlight, since he is portable in every sense of the word, on the go most of the time.

He was born with a congenital heart defect which required major heart surgery in the 50's, when heart surgery was a rare occasion.  All his life with me he felt lucky to be living and never anticipated to be 73. Happily he is, and will probably outlive me!

Husband around the time of his heart repair

We have endured each other for 50 years of our lives and now help each other up after falls and swear to mutually deny any accusation of senility or incapacity on our respective parts.  God forbid that anyone should discover that we belong in a "home."

It is his day today and we'll be attending a collective birthday party for people in his high school class who are born in January.  There will be soups, salads, and birthday cake.  Yum

Snapshot of last year's party with everyone in aprons
including Husband

Since it is extremely cold here, we will be bundled up tonight like Eskimos and praying we don't slip on the ice and break an elderly bone.  Wherever you are, remember to toast Husband and have a merry time!

Husband and Leo the cat "watching TV."