I Stand Alone Yet Not Alone

I am one alone. I walk my mountain in solitude, even as the approach of autumn means my birds and such are beginning to leave. It is in this place I am safe. It is in this place I am one with all that surrounds me and know that although I stand alone, I am not alone.  As the cool air blows through the trees which are about to enter their slumber, the Earth beneath my feet seems to energize my inner being by letting me know that no one has carved into her and marred her any further here–yet.  Hopefully no one ever will.

The foxes aren’t here right now. They seem to be staying in their own domiciles as of late.  Once in a while I see a few stray birds up in the sky of blue. I feel a sadness at their departure, but  with joy knowing that they will return in the Spring.  All is a reminder that the circle continues and will not end–even when the day comes that my life is over.

I hope to be by the Ocean again one day and far away. We shall see what awaits me, that is for certain. Have a great day.

From the Top

What beauty this all has for me!

rainbow

 

Nana Remembers the Steps…

I remember well when Dad put these steps in...

I remember well when Dad put these steps in…

I remember being around 5 years old and bugging Dad to take me to the store with him at one point when he was working on these. He’d take us to the store, Mann’s Grocery and we’d get either a Nu-Grape, Pepsi, RC or a Dr. Pepper on those hot summer days. He built these so we could get in and out house easier–especially since his youngest daughter (MOI) was such a bloody clutz…  Today they will be covered–but not removed. We are having to put in a wheelchair ramp for my mother now.

Ironically, he built the steps for the same purpose this ramp is being built–to make going into and out of the house easier. My mother fell a few days ago and has broken her back in two places.  Age has ravaged her, but it has not broken her spirit. She is slowly making her way up another set of steps into the unknown–just as all of us will.  Hopefully, we’ll have her around for a while longer. I’m not ready to let her go. Thankfully she is up, alert and eating again but we were very scared at first.

And soon, these steps will be covered, hidden from sight just as my dad now is.  Yet I feel his presence in my life today.  I remember the love he had for us, not wanting to see us fall and get hurt, when he put those steps in.  The ramp being put in is also a poignant reminder that one day I will be an orphan, and the little girl in me is not ready for that right now anyway.  For now though, I am grateful that the day I dread is not here–and hopefully not for a very long time.

The Ebb and Flow of Life

“Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.”Stella Adler, and she was absolutely right on that one.

If I could add anything to that phrase, it would be the word “still” after the word “that”.  Isn’t it odd that we can go through so much–both good and bad and the artists are the ones that motivate us or evoke tears?  When I say “artist” do you think I mean someone with a paint brush or a camera?  Then you are only partially correct. I’m referring to those who can create worlds with their pens as well–or the actor or actress that can allow a character to come through them like a shaman allows the spirits to breathe through them.

All of these can move us to tears, inspire us, make us angry as hell or even, for some strange reason depending on what is put out there, can cause us to tell the world to go screw itself for a day.  I love a good psychological roller coaster ride when I watch a film which is why a lot of the 80′s flicks for the teens didn’t impress me too much. However there are two exceptions: “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “The Breakfast Club“.

Now what happens when the artists go through such crap that they don’t want to create?  It is not that hard to answer. Those closest to them and those who support them should rally around them and send them love. Yeah, that’s right–LOVE.   You know, that word society likes to associate with the “f” word a lot?  However it means so much more than that.  For those of us who love putting the word to paper, writer’s block is what happens to us if we fear not measuring up, or something has happened that has mummified our muse.

They key to the cure is to encourage the writer to keep writing, the painter to keep painting, the photographer to keep snapping pictures, the actor or actress to keep  acting and the singer/songwriter to keep on singing and composing.  Let them know what they have done for you and how they have inspired you.  Sometimes those who tell them their work is crap are nothing more than corporate “yes” men. If we are the ones buying the work, we should be dropping lines on occasion.

When they inspire us, they also do remind us that we STILL possess a soul as well, do they not?

A few of my friends are really going through some crap right now. They are always on my mind and in my thoughts. If I could reach out across the distance and hug them or let them simply be free to vent, I would.   I’ve been in places where nobody else would want to tread, that is for sure.  Instead of hardening me, I have become more empathetic  about many things. Given what I have survived and come out of, I would say that is a good thing because I could have easily become anything BUT empathetic toward my fellow-man/woman.

Some people have seen a few snippets of my life.  Some were there and watched me go through it.  I often get asked how I survived it all and kept my marbles.  The answer a simple. I grew up in an age where it was one thing to wish those who hurt you into the “cornfield” as depicted by the “Twilight Zone“.  It was (and is) quite another to send them there. No individual is worth the creature one would turn into if they actually carried out such thoughts–but then again, thoughts can become “things”, right?

Well they nearly did when I was 12–and the scenario was NOT a good one. Therefore I’ll save it for another story with another vile creature of a villain that will either get killed off in a horrible way and/or will learn what it was like for his/her victim to suffer.  There is nothing like the pen to describe these ebbs and flows in our life cycle–but it is so much more  fun to carry out our fantasies in fiction.

If your life feels more like it is ebbing than flowing, then maybe it is  time to pull out the pen again or the brush and go for it!  Have a good evening!

 

Sometimes Nana DOES know best…

Lil’ Man’s daddy decided to get a motorcycle…Nana said, “Don’t get that! It’s a damned death trap!” because she KNOWS her sons.  Well, guess what?! He didn’t even have it 36 hours, wiped out and hurt his shoulder.  He’s in a sling. I went to take him some money, but he had me to go ALL the way across town to take it to Daphne and told me to do so via the phone because he didn’t want me to see him like that. God help her!  I took it to her and let her know what he said to me…

Now bear in mind I had NO idea about his wrecking the motorcycle already. He never said a word about it.  She burst out laughing and told me EVERYTHING.  I then made it a point to call and say “I told you so!” and one of these days when I am dead and gone, I am certain that they will hear those four words echo in their heads every time they do something that in my life worried me to death about them all!  I take comfort in the fact that ONE DAY Lil’ Man’s daddy is going to know this feeling ALL TOO WELL!

Sometimes things do NOT change when the kids are grown…We still are concerned over them and there are times when we KNOW their personalities well enough that we KNOW with dead on accuracy that there are some things they cannot handle. Lil Man’s dad and motorcycles definitely do not mix…

Have a great weekend!

Nana knows this much…

The woman never could understand why people search for that which is so hard to find unless they look within. No one needs to spend a fortune to seek these things out. One only needs to be willing to learn and experience it–and to be silent and listen. Each person must do this on his or her own–wherever their wings take them–and it is nothing to fear. And that person must patiently wait for the answer. Fear keeps many from finding their vision and sometimes looking for it through others can prevent it–especially if we become too dependent upon them. Others can guide us, but we must find our path ourselves, in our own way, in our own time. The process is part of the adventure, and it can be rewarding–and for her it has been.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JI2o-nxHd8

I have my mountain to which I run to, and it is where I find my solace but I plan to go to Sedona, AZ or to Pecos, NM for a retreat at some point. There is strength in silence and beauty in places where nature can speak to us.  That being said, I hope you all have a great weekend.

 

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I Simply DO NOT Get It…Nana’s Practical Joke!

Many of my friends who know me know that I am anything BUT a prude.  I don’t believe in changing the proper name of something to make it more appealing to the subjugated masses of America.  That being said I am putting something on my blog never done to the best of my knowledge. I am putting a pair of TIT pictures on here. That is right! A Pair of Tits!  To make it easier–two pictures of two kinds of tits!  Now anyone can use my link for a practical joke and say, “For a nice looking pair of tits–check this link!”   That will teach those with a dirty mind to come here, won’t it? At least I am good for a laugh or two…

Here are the blue tits!

I think it is the part of the responsibility of EVERY writer to elicit laughter from the audience once in a while… ***Grins sheepishly here***! If you were sent here by a friend and cannot take a joke, then I’ll say to you in my best TEXSPEAREAN manner: “Don’t blame me so harshly for I didn’t name the critters! However if it should offend ‘ye then ’tis you that hath a burr in yer craw! And jus’ so ye know, them Brits have two species: Great Tits and Blue Tits and notwithstanding my dig forthwith ‘ye know I believe they love those tits!”

Well you can’t blame me! After all, I didn’t name ‘em did I?

A Little Flash to the Past

Some conveniences are ones I really don’t need during certain times of the year. I prefer line-drying my clothes in the spring and summer…My grandmother did it and my clothes seem to feel cleaner and smell fresh that way.  Many days I spent at her house when she was hanging clothes out to dry and it was time I got to spend with her.  Now in the winter it’s a different story, but when I hang things out here, I think of her and those times.

I remember the Sunday dinners where “the horde” came to eat–and I’m referring to 30 + people. We’d watch football or music shows depending on what was on TV.   On Saturday Night it was usually “Hee Haw“, “The Grande Old Opry”, “The Happy Goodmans” or some other music show the grand parents watched.  My grandfather didn’t care if it was religious or if it was a Mariachi band on TV, he’d watch it anyway.  To my knowledge, he wasn’t particularly religious either.

We used to ride to Mann’s Grocery with him in the old truck.  He’d buy me a Pepsi or Dr. Pepper…One of the favorite drinks was Nu-Grape on a hot day too.  He had his own little silver flask behind the seat of the truck.  On one particular day he pulled that out and said, “This is Grandpa‘s soda water but don’t tell  your Granny I have it!”  I just kind of blew that off.  Well my brother went and told Granny about it and she came UNGLUED!  She was really mad that he drove us in the truck and drank at all.

She knew the dangers of drinking and driving, but back in those days it wasn’t uncommon for people to drink their alcohol behind the wheel.  This was around 1970 this happened. I remember it because I wasn’t in Omaha, NE yet…We went there in ”71-72.

Anyway Grandpa thought I TOLD her and yelled at me. I started to cry and Granny came out and yelled, “And she ain’t the one that told me either, Ira! It was Jamie!”  That would be my older brother.   Grandpa said he was sorry but chewed my brother out later!  Needless to say, he never drank out of the flask when we were with him after that.

I can remember the times my uncles acted up at the table too.  She raised 5 boys and a girl (my mom) and I don’t know how on Earth she handled my uncles! They were a trip!  One day I’ll share some of those stories too–but my youngest son Kevin reminds me of a combination of a couple of them…However he got my Granny’s knack for cooking!!! Thank God someone did! I certainly didn’t–and I’m not good at gardening either.  My mom and my Granny could do anything like that!

How to Make the World a Better Place

Yes…Another new one for me.  Everything actually begins from within though.  How will I make this world a better place? Here’s a few things I work on…Eventually I’ll do more:

1.  Never live a lie. In other words, don’t commit to something or someone you cannot give your all to. Doing that hurts the cause you’re representing or the person who needs someone who is committed to them 100%. It’s like  a one-way reflection.  Not fair to the cause–or to the person–whichever the case may be. Honesty is always the way to go.

2.  I do my best to make people laugh, even if I’m the butt of the joking regarding my self-depreciating sense of humor.

3.  If I don’t need it, I’ll give it to someone who does.

Simple and short, right?  It’s a start.  Been doing this for a while now, but the first one is coming much easier to me than the 3rd one!

What will you do to make this world a better place?

I want to see this place so badly!  Have a great weekend!

The Mistress

Once upon a time, a wise grandmother got onto her son for telling her grand-daughter to go get him a beer. The grand-daughter was only six. “You are teaching her that it is alright for her to drink when you do that.” Her son told her to mind her business. “I am. I never let you get your father’s drinks either. What you put into her is what you will get from her and by letting her put that in her hand, you are teaching her to follow your path.”
“I did not teach you to follow your father’s path. You defied me. You wake up and get a beer and you go to bed with one. It has become your mistress. I do not think it takes much to figure out why I am the only relative who comes here to help you. You loved that bottle more than her mother before she passed away, and now you love it more than your only child.”
He told her to go home and take his daughter with her so he could sleep late. He didn’t want to hear her preach at him any longer. She complied. That evening both were killed by a drunk driver as they left the market. IT was then he decided that she had been right all along. He had to lose the two people he loved the most to finally part with his mistress.

A Last Minute Road Trip Pays Off!

Oh my god! Where do I begin here?  I went to a couple of places this past week that totally blew me away!  Before I go into this bit of adventure, I need to thank LaurenVasil for inspiring me to get off of my butt and just freaking go, Go, GO!!!  I was reading her blog on her recent road trip from Brooklyn, NY to Los Angeles, CA…You can read about it here: www.fizgiggery.com

These posts inspired me to come out of my cave long enough to find out about some things in W. Texas I never took the opportunity to go see.  I found two places that blew me away.  One was Monahans, TX and the other was Balmorhea, TX.  I am putting the pics here as proof of how amazing these places are–despite their size.  These places are writer’s havens to me.  I can camp out under the stars by the sand dunes of Monahans, or I can stay at the motel at the State Park outside of Balmorhea.  Both places are so unique, and they posses a beauty all their own. The people in both places are very friendly and I had a couple of people already ask about my metamorphosis necklace this week, and it seems that when I go elsewhere–people are curious about it!  I got it from www.flaurena.com   folks.

I will also go into some info about both places, starting with my adventure in Monahans.  On a hot, miserable day in West Texas, I decided that while hanging out in Midland, I would go to the visitor’s center off of I-20 and see what they had to show me.  The two women working there were so sweet, and explained a bit of the History of each place they told me about.

Did you know that one of the authors of the James Bond books is from Midland, TX?  Well, if you didn’t, look up Raymond Benson.  Woody Harrelson also was from the area, as well as Carolyn McCormick (who played Dr. Olivet on Law and Order).  Little known trivia:  When Mother Nature isn’t on crack, like she’s been all year this year, Tommy Lee Jones also comes to Midland quite a bit–sometimes to play polo, but he has property that he owns in San Saba, TX. Kathy Baker (from “Edward Scissorhands”) was also from Midland.

Mezzo-Soprano  Susan Graham also hails from Midland, TX.  Those of you who live in San Francisco and frequent the opera will know who she is.

Now for my adventure!  It began last Friday when I got thoroughly bored to death in Big Spring.  I really got tired of the 111 degree weather (in the shade) and decided to take advantage of some time off–which I will do again next week!  Since I can’t seem to get to White Sands, or the Apache reservation to check it out in New Mexico, I decided that I was going to see if there is anything that strikes my fancy near here. My first stop was Monahans…It is not the White Sands Missile Range, but it’s cool!   Here are a few pics:

These look like regular bushes, but they are not. They are the tops of oak trees, which help to hold the dunes together. They come up about knee-high, but their trunks and roots can extend far into the ground–the roots sometimes going underground for miles.

Like I said, it is not the White Sands Missile Range, but the kiddies love sliding down these in a saucer. Some even bring snowboards!

This is one of the street signs in Monahans (5 miles up the road from the park)! I’ve never been to a town that had these toppers on them!  Other streets have different metal art on them, but they are cool!

Now for the second leg of my journey, I went to Balmorhea, TX.  This park has a HUGE spring fed pool.  It also has a hotel on the premises.  There are two hotels in town and a restaurant called “The Bear’s Den”.  This town is small–a smudge on the map, but the people are very, very friendly and it’s beauty lies in that it is a small, quiet place for a writer to hide out in, if he or she chooses to do so.  It definitely appeals that reclusive side of myself that I have kicked to the curb more than once in the past two years.   The spring runs parallel to the street on the south side.  There are little walking bridges that cross it as well as the street crossings.

As I said before, this water is so clear it is truly amazing.  If there is an oasis in the desert around here–this is definitely it!  Here are some pics from this leg of my trip also.  I fully intend to go back either tonight or tomorrow.

Hey! If you decide to check this place out–there are phone #’s on here!

The spring on the roadside--view 1

Those big, black fish are catfish…I thought these were nocturnal. I guess not. Anyway, these are HUGE! They are actually about 15 ft. down. I am standing on the edge here. Just to give you an idea of what this is like, even at the 35 ft. end, you can see the bottom of the spring. It reminds me of the films I’ve seen of the reefs…One can snorkel and such in here. I didn’t know this prior to my departure, though.

Just another shot of the spring…I can’t believe how clear the water is!

Reed shot…This is a close up of the spring behind the motel that is at the State Park…

This would make an interesting screen saver, I think…What do you think? I decided to use my telephoto lens on the 2nd reed shot.

This is a shot of the motel by the state park.

This is a shot showing how the spring runs behind the motel rooms…It is prettier than it looks.You can get directions to this place and it is worth going to~! The food here rocks!

I knew there was something special….I thought of Margaritaville when I saw the parrot! LOL

This is the front of the Bear’s Den!

I am including a couple of shots of this simply because of the way this sits in the water…The spring flows around it. There is a church out behind it, but I thought this was simply “art”. I am not Catholic, but this moved me…It is simply beautiful. It is on the side of the road as you enter or leave Balmorhea–depending on the direction you take.

Another shot of beauty.

I found the people here to be so friendly, and the area itself to be so tranquil that I must return to this place.  It is every bit as sacred to me as my mountain now.  I truly hope you enjoyed this, and if you decide to go there, let me know!  The town may be small, but if one is looking for peace and quiet–then this is the place to visit!

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