July 20, 2009

Yum Color

Fresh Lychees from the Farmers Market.

July 17, 2009


I've been a Longaberger sales woman for over 20 years and have a memory or two. I remember Kathy Geidzinski. She booked a show but when I got there I found out it was also a baby shower for me .... and I barely knew her (I was pregnant with Jonathan). Her kids were long grown I had babies but we kind of hit it off so the next time I went to Columbus for convention I invited Kathy. She was so excited. She was so excited she wanted to buy, sell, weave and move to Dresden, OH. She even inquired about property values. Yup a 3 BR cost $64,000 back then and the locals thought it was outrageous. Needless to say Kathy was back with me the following year as a friend and co-worker.

I remember it rained that year. We sloshed around Dresden till closing time then got into the car deciding we would spend the night about half way home. But it was not so easy. Nascar was racing in that area and every hotel front desk was referring us down the road until we came to the Avalon .... pulling off the highway the road immediately turned to gravel. Coming round the corner we came face to face with a large piece of whitewashed plywood and the black painted letters of Avalon trailing crookedly to the right. We pulled up to the motel where the doors face the parking lot. A naked light bulb hung above the door with a flickering neon sign that said "office". I turned to Kathy and said, "It's your turn to go in." .... she replied, "Keep the motor running." Less then a minute went by and she was hustling out the door. Sliding into the back seat she yelled "Hit it!" Much alarmed I peeled the car out of the driveway, wheels spitting gravel. Apparently the office was full of guys in hunting jackets watching a fight on TV and when Kathy asked for the price of the room they had to look it up.

At this point we were weary and started singing Kumbyah. Jesus must have heard us because the next hotel had a vacancy. The bride and groom had cancelled the honeymoon suite and we had the best room in the house!

July 15, 2009

What I Like About You

Having Jacks is humbling. Sitting in the waiting room at the vets with all the other sedate shepherds, retrievers and tabbies and my dog is the only one going nuts. I told my vet I feel like a bad mother trying to explain that my child has a condition. She says not to worry. Jacks are excitable by nature and mine are good natured little dogs .... she's met some that aren't.

So now that I've shared the photo's of my "children" let me tell you what I like about them:

~ Trouser is settled and mature. He knows the house rules and practically wipes his feet when he comes in the door. While he likes the occasional recognition and pat on the head he is very low maintenance.

~ Scout yodels. While Trouser has a straight forward "woof" Scout has a range of sound from disappointment and dispare to gee whiz and I'm lonely or seriously annoyed. Sometimes I think their yapping gets to the neighbors but I could never shush her with a shock collar ..... I enjoy her vocals too much.

~ Molly is a restful presence at the end of the day. Sometimes she sits on the back of my chair. She seems to be interested when I hum and pats me on the head with her paw. Guess she thinks I'm purring. She likes me so she will put up with tight hugs and even a belly rub. It's funny to watch her bite the chair while I rub her belly. I don't think she really likes it.

I would tell you more about my boys but they are men now. They know how I feel.

And I want foster kids.

Scout & Phillie Follie

Phillie Follie was our first Jack. She was a freebie given with the promise that if it didn't work out we could regift. Phillie was something of a school marm. In her litle dog brain she deemed some things as very important and necessary to enforce ..... like telling Trouser not to touch the hot dogs at the cookout or Riley (Josh and Amanda's once upon a dog) not to touch the presents under the tree. At her best she was a little comforter. Always bedside if you had the flu or even just sleeping in. At her worst she was suspicious of all medication and could ferret a pill out of any meatball. RIP little pup.

Jon took Phillie's passing the hardest and would not entertain the idea of a new dog for almost a year. But I went on line and started looking up past contacts. Sows Ear Farm referred me to the place where we had picked up Trouser near Camp David and yes they had a new litter of pups. It was suggested that we meet up with the breeder at a JR trial. We followed the directions to a private estate where owners and breeders were competing their Jacks in races, hunting and obstacle courses. It was interesting .... really. Like sports. You had to be there.

Eventually we located our breeder out of the many vans and buses parked on the lawn and we were introduced to the one female pup available. And she was a disappointment. Lethargic and unresponsive and nothing like the picture on-line. So I turned and much to the embaressment of the rest of my family pointed to a batch of puppies next door, "How about those puppies." The breeder tried to discourage me from investigating any further into the neighbors pups but I didn't feel obligated to someone who had given me false advertising. And so I walked over and began a dialogue.

Sure enough one of the pups was a female. I picked her up and she curled into the small of my neck. I put her down and she sat there and looked up at me like, "What ... I thought we had something." I had to agree we did so we paid the breeder and took our puppy home.

In the car we discussed the name .... Daisy came up .... Phillie Follie 2 .... Jon opted for Scout. I believe that is the name of Bruce Willis' daughter .... or is that just Rumor (hah!). Actually that didn't factor in ... Jon's summer reading was, To Kill A Mockingbird

What can I say about Scout ..... I could say she likes people but it's more like she needs people and can't be alone and she's a little sucubus. Before I had a digital camera we got a roll of film developed .... every picture of Scout she was wrapped around someone's head ... It's like the movie Alien and that thing that plasters onto your body unless of course it's very hot and she wants her space.

July 13, 2009

A Light In The Window

This is the cover of my poetry collection. The picture was taken of an Israeli woman taping her windows during the bombing of Jerusalem by Sadam Hussein. That was the year that I wrote most of my poetry ... 1991 or 92. I was sorting through a lot of things and was very introspective. The poetry was like putting together a puzzle ... it helped me understand a thing or two. I am less introspective these days and do not write much poetry anymore .... it's a trade off. I go back and read them sometimes ..... it reminds me of the lengths that the Good Shepherd went to in order to find this little one and I will be forever grateful.

My first poem was The Twilight Zone. It's about listening to God and having him turn my life right side up.

The Twilight Zone

Walking the silver edge of reality,
cut my feet to make them leave
a trail of blood
that stains the marble floor.
The invisible man
with feather in hand
scripts a love letter in the splattered ink.

The feather begins to sing.
Allured I come to see
and step on holy ground.
The feather takes to flight.
We ride the wind around the world,
from icy poles of fear to
equators of passion.
A future flash
and life time told
in minutes or days,
a challenge and commission
to wherever.
Sometimes afraid I let go
and falling, calling, "Help me!"
Then caught and gently
placed in the sky, the stars
tangled in my hair -- can you count them?

Will these feet ever walk the earth again?
I think I will forever fly,
over the waters that reflect the sky
catching shiny fish.
And throw to outer space
another handful of stars,
in my hair. Flying fish.
Burn brightly little stars, my children.
Look at me and learn to fly.
The invisible man has left his
fingerprint on my soul.

July 12, 2009

Conversations With Mary

The following collection of poems is a poetic summary of conversations held with a woman at the HIV Center. Being a volunteer there the idea was that I would be a blessing to someone. But I found myself blessed listening to the expressions of faith coming from those who had such broken lives.

Mary has nothing that we would desire for ourselves unless if we believe the Beatitudes ... blessed are they that mourn, the poor, the humble, the merciful .... It is odd that she calls her grandson, "Christ the Lord" but then it was our Lord that said, "Whatever you have done for the least of these, you have done it unto me." and Mary tries to give out of her nothingness .... "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women." ..... Listen to her:

Hail Mary

My name is Mary,
I think Mary is a blessed name.
Blessed art thou among women,
Blessed by the Lord -- Mother of God.

My children are grown.
I try to let them go.
My doctor say to let them go,
But I'm a mother -- Mother of God.

Do you have pictures?
I have pictures.
This my son -- he's in prison.
My daughter -- she be alone -- Mother of God

Her son lives with his daddy.
His name be Chris.
I call him Christ the Lord.
I do what I can for him -- Mother of God.

These are my books.
My bible books.
You got to be praisin' the Lord
Cause He's all ya got -- Mother of God.

I been on the street,
Gettin' used, doin drugs.
My life is hard, I got the sickness.
My man is gone -- Mother of God.

You got a pretty smile.
You got to smile and praise.
I hope I blessed ya.
Bless me Mary -- Mother of God


I don't worry
'bout what people say
The Lord know
and he the judge.

I lost my mind.
I was usin'.
But the Lord,
he kept me,
and I give him praise.

I'm a sinner.
But I tell the Lord
and he forgive me.
What you want me to do?
Cut off my head?
Cut out my heart?
The whole world
can come against me
but it don't matter.
God 'll just come down
Like a big ol' bowling ball.
Cause I be walkin' in the light.

Someday I'm goin' to Hollywood.
All them actors,
they got mental problems.
God give you problems so's
you can help people.
I'm goin' to Hollywood
and tell my story.
You may think I'm crazy
but God can do it.

Movin' On

I be movin' to a new place,
but I don' know how to get there.
I call my sister and her husband,
but they don' answer.
They'se not in the Lawd.
So I got stress.
Cause I can't see over the mountain till the end.
But the Lawd, he always bring me out.
And I think I'm gonna prosper.

I Like To Write

A Light In the Window is a collection of poetry about being lost and found and what you do about it afterwords. The following are some excerpts:

A Hope Deferred

I wish not to be free of thee
Nested in hope on my heart
Little bird, my desire.
How can I let thee go?
thou mayest not return.

Hesitant fingers unpry and
With surge and flutter
Launch my apples eye.
But yet a string I hold
and whisper, "I only want a blessing."

The string tangles and chokes me,
In the pain of my reluctance
I let go.
Through the rain I watched thee fly.
May olive branch and rainbow
Guide thee home.
Empty handed, cut but free,
I turn to face the one who knows.
"Bless me, for I will not let thee go."

My Comforter Comes

Let me see your face,
gentle smile trace.
To the dark belong
comfort mother song.
Feather soft your touch,
slipping down to such
a weary lover.

Hush me with a whisper,
kiss of evening vesper.
Sweet the words are said,
falling on my head.
Like a bird they hover,
or a downy cover,
settled on my heart.

The Widow's Offering

Last fall the pirate wind snatched
the leaves from the maple in the
yard, and in trampeling triumph
danced a dirge upon the garden path.
My tree, bare branched against a purple sky all glory
spent, is a silent testament.

I in my cap and coat protected
from the winds sharp tongue and
icy finger point, turn from the
blood trail. Reproached by all that is
mine in hearth and home,
purchased contentment not my
own but given, my coldness thaws
to prick my eyes and turn my step.

Though now the widow winter
weeps and earth bereaved lies
silent under shroud of snow. I
watch and wait for breath and
sprout of spring to crown the
thorny hedgerows of the way, as
earth and sky have wedding day
and all that's lost returns again.

July 5, 2009

The Funnies

Mom Remembers:
Jon sliding into the kitchen in his socks and boxers singing, "The "boys" are back in town."
On getting his first physical, "Mom, she wanted to see my genticles."
Puzzled response to his dad's demands, "Jon why aren't you down here!" ...."Because I'm up here." ... every paper needs some funny pages.

You can't talk about Jon without bringing up basketball! He's on a team for the summer and he's working as a counselor at Camp Winsome. He's good with people ... he shepherds the little kids around and they love it. I usually introduce myself as Jon's mother .... Everyone knows Jon.

The English Teacher

Construction Zone
(Written during the Construction of the New High School)
Spring 2005
The columns and beams bolted together, the ironwork for the new school,
Formed three grey crosses as you look at it from
The window of the old school dispensation.
At the top of one column, an iron worker is perched,
Lining up the beams to support
The weight of white in coming winters.
Suddenly, a rusted bulldozer belching smoke
Hit a footer, and with an angry growl
Knocked the sturdy column.
The worker felt the jolt
Grabbed the rugged column at the cross
While the whole structure shuddered.
He froze in fear.
Envisioning falling free,
His fardels following.
Then he laughed,
Yelled an imprecation
At the beast below.
12 0'clock.
Hanging his bag of bolts
On a spike in arms reach,
He came down
Singing to his rest.
~David Bird
* * *
My Husband Is A Deacon
My husband is a deacon. He drives a pick-up truck.
On weekends he'd be movin' or helpin' them that's stuck.
He's dad to all the little kids come knockin' at the door.
The widow and the orphan he would be doin' for.
He's useful and right handy with the patchin' and the plumbin',
But most of it's for other folks. I hope my turn is comin'.
We don't have much but gratitude from all the friends we've made.
We have our hope in glory. That's all that can be said.
~Melanie Bird (A Light In The Window)

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