Sunday, January 5, 2020

Sunday Stealing ~ Turtles and Snow Cream


It's the new year and I think I'll do a new thing that's not new at ALL. 
A meme! That's right. A meme. Played by Mimi, Queen of Bloggingham, Queen of Peace Globes, and Queen of Memes.

Sunday Stealing stolen from The Queen's Meme (The nerve!!) #67 The Strange January Meme        **dusting off my meme crown**



1. January usually has ample amounts of snowfall in parts of the world. Did you ever make snow cream as a kid?
Cow, Cows, Agriculture, Cattle, Farm
Yes, we always made snow cream. But not in the cow pasture.

2. January is one of the months with 31 days. What are you going to do with that extra day? 

Ask me on January 30th. 
I'll let you know if I've finished my to-do list.


3.  What is your favorite magazine?
      My mother started sending me magazine subscriptions years ago (even though she denied it was her...)  She died months ago and they keep coming! So, they're all my favorite now...simply because she sent them. There must be something she wants me to read.


4.  If you live to be 99 years old, what would you like your life to be like in that last decade??

Flapper Dance, Man And Woman, 1920I want to be in love with my last and final love. Dancing in the palace and cooking non-healthy recipes. Maybe I'll finally take up smoking and try to look glamorous. 



5. The great world of Wikipedia tells me that scientists claim 99% of all documented species are extinct. Which remaining species in the 1% category would you really like to see extinct.  And which species in the 99% category would you like to bring back?

I would not miss unkind modern Homo 
sapiens. Just be nice.
 Warning, Homo Sapiens, Cage, Zoo, Sign  Oh, and I never want to see another actual live mouse for the rest of my life.  
Mickey Mouse, New York CityTHEN I would bring back all 99% of snake varieties to EAT that one pesky 1% of mice that might have escaped. Including Mickey!


6. On January 14, 1986 motorists were required for the first time to wear seat belts?  Do you always buckle up? Why or why not?

While I don't like the government mandating ANYthing about my personal decision-making, this is a good law. I buckle. Because it's safer (most of the time) and I don't want a ticket.

7. Why did the cow jump over the moon?
     To get to the snow cream in the yardIce Cream, Fruit, Blueberry, Summer

9. Have you said anything in the last 24 hours that you regret?
I've barely said ten words all day. Let me see....nope.
O Meme Queen, you didn't ask what we were THINKING that might be regrettable. Guilty!


Baby, Crying, Mad, Upset, Infant, Child10. Have you ever written anything on your blog that you wish you could take back?  
 I paid too much attention to Internet nonsense once upon a time that warranted and deserved no response at all. So, yes...but only in the sense that a blog is not the place to share your silly tantrum. 



11. Are you the blabber or the blabbee? Tell us your most embarrassing blabbermouth moment.
The blabbee.  I was standing in the grocery store listening to a young man complain that his teacher had given him a bad grade. I was the teacher. 



12. How important is a cell phone in your life?
I wish not-so-much. I realized the other day that if you're carrying a handheld mini computer through the house with you all day, you're chained to the machine. 
 I want my landline back.
Phone, Old, Year Built 1955, Bakelite
Mimi's phone from 1930

13. A "cuisine" is typically influenced by and named after geographical regions and cultures. Pretend your blog is a country. What is the name of your cuisine? 

BloggingHAM
Wurstplatte, Sausage Locations, Sausage


14. You are the Blog Paparazzi! Which blogger's real photograph are you most interested in getting?

Most of the bloggers I knew when I first started this blog in 2006 are now on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and I have their faces (or their cat's face) in my little black blogbook, or I've met them in person. All my friends are lovely and decent human beings.  But I'm not really interested in getting anyone's photograph if they want to stay private. 

I thought I was private all these years (notice half-face me) until my grandson peeked over my shoulder and said, "Mimi! What are you doing on the internet??!"   So much for mystery.


15. Are you always on time or just a tad late?
Clock, Time, Abstract, Time ClockI am never on time. Then I realized it was a control thing and I needed to stop it. Some kind of subconscious rebellion made me want to slide in with 10 seconds to spare on the clock before work. Then I retired.
No more problems.


16. Can you think of a time when you were late for something and it was REALLY a big deal?


Bride, Piano, Piano Player
Thank goodness I wasn't still in this dress.
Yes. I was a professional church musician for a rather large church in the city and was paid each week to play the Sunday morning worship service. I overslept one Sunday morning, broke all traffic laws, and literally slid onto the piano bench while the entire congregation stood poised and ready to sing - with their hymnals open - waiting on me. Talk about timing!! 

17. If you were on your way to work and had five minutes to get there, would you stop in the road to rescue a crossing turtle?

No. I would stop and wait for the turtle to cross. I would snap a picture of it for evidence to show my boss. And I wouldn't even have to touch the turtle.

18. When you are having a really good day, what usually makes it good?   A good night's sleep the night before

19. What is the most annoying Christmas song?
       All of them. 

20. You are Snow White. Which dwarf is your favorite and why?  
 Bashful. I like to bring people out of their shells.
Just not turtles.

Giant Tortoise, Animal, Panzer, Reptile



















This was fun. Thank you Sunday Stealing for stealing my very own meme.
And good luck in the new year!



Friday, November 29, 2019

I Am Sure, Quite Sure, That Today Is NOT My Birthday

Homer the Palace Dog
Persian Patticakes the Palace Cat
Homer woke me early this morning. He had a handful of red balloons and a cake he'd stayed up all night baking. Then the doorbell started ringing before I even got the curlers out of my crown.

Ann sent a Bee cake! 
It came all the way from Canada and not one bee fell off.


Gal sent a brand new crown! And it matches my pajamas. I so needed that. Mine is getting wobbly.  Thank you.

And my friend Sue gave me the courage to go look in the mirror. It wasn't as traumatic as I thought it would be. 
Getting down out of the sink was the hard part. 

My coffee is cold.... I need pampering today. And lots of it. Homer is getting up in dog years and forgets how many creams to put in my coffee. That dog is toast. Toast! He forgot my toast too.....
I'd better go in the kitchen and see what he's done now.
Homer...Hooommmmerrr...  Homer!!!

That dog has absconded with the cake and the crown.
I'll be back. There's more  sweetness and leaves and videos and flowers and balloons in my Facebook feed (sans calories and scary noises). 


 Don't bet on it. 
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Thursday, November 28, 2019

A Thanksgiving Poem ~ When You're Not Really There


When You're Not Really There

The table is set 
the guests to arrive
sometime near the stroke
of a warm pumpkin pie

The wishbone is saved
for big wishes this year
you pray that a miracle
follows your tears

The chairs
they are empty
and you are hard-pressed
to find something other
than memories bless

For there was a time
when love flowed like a wine
and children ran laughing
'round a table so fine

For there will be years
in holiday time
when you are the furthest
from everyone's mind

Sometimes the lonely you feel
is a curse
Would it be wise
to set years in reverse?

So look once again
at the feast you have made
Can you thank God for ghosts
or for guests overstayed?

If not, light a candle
for wisdom and sight
Be thankful you waded 
through waters at night

For no one is thankful
for farce and ill will
No matter the turkey and gravy
you spill

Was it love or long-suffering?
  malice or spite?
or did thanksgiving tables
wrong every right?

Ban from your offerings the forces of dark!
and faces that hover around on a lark
There will be others to join you in time
and no one will spoil what you offered in rhyme

Raise your goblet to past 
and then drink it all gone!
Pour another this moment 
for just you alone

If what you are seeking
brings turmoil and pain
it's better to stand in your peace
and refrain

For all in your life is not perfectly clad
with sauces and sweetness and
 loved ones of old
Your freedom
your peace
is worth china and gold

Dishes are memories
Gather your place
Tables are palettes
of love
and of grace

Surrender the ghosts
of remnants laid bare
and move through in freedom
you're not really there

A poem by Mimi Lenox
Photo credit Mimi Lenox
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Monday, November 18, 2019

Monday Mimisms ~ Ring, Rinse, Repeat

Moon, Night, Balance, Tightrope Walker, Branches, Birds
There's no better indication of a "blessed life" (to use a phrase that is a catch-all that could mean anything from winning the lottery to having only cornbread to eat) than waking up without time. Let me explain. 

When you teach school, TIME is everything. The alarm clock at 5:30. The bell at 7:55. Bell ringers for warm-up work on the whiteboard. Announcements at 8:00. Pledge of Allegiance at 8:05. Three minute attendance taking. Ten minute introductions and instructions. 30 minute lessons with 2-3 minute timed activities built in. Five minute summaries. Two-minute warnings to pack up. The bell. Again. Three minutes between class changes (to snack, apply lipstick, get coffee, counsel a 12-year-old because her pigtail fell down, go to the latrine, and monitor the hallway) and then rrrrriinnnnnngggg the bell at 9:00 Again. Ring. Rinse Repeat. All day. Bells. Timers. Meetings. All timed with military precision and stress. All.day.long.for.22.years.

I imagine this kind of institutionalized precision falls on the shoulders of nurses, doctors, Pentagon runners, airline pilots, landmine removers, and tightrope walkers. 

No wonder I told my doctor on last visit that my ears were ringing.
I didn't need a prescription for that.
Just a retirement plan.

Time for a nap.
No alarm.
Time, Clock, Distortion, Time Distortion, Alarm Clock
Images: Pixabay
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Sunday, November 3, 2019

Dona Nobis Pacem ~ Blog 4 Peace

 Welcome to the 14th launch of BlogBlast For Peace aka Dona nobis pacem in the Blogosphere. 
It's a lovely sight in the Blogosphere today. Our theme this year is Change Your Climate. Many are choosing to write about global climate change. Others are choosing to write about the need to change their own personal climates in order to create peaceful spaces for themselves ( ie: eliminating stress, self-care). I have chosen the latter.  

 Your words are powerful and important to all of us. May we lift and encourage in our quest for a peaceful more sustainable planet earth.  Grant us peace!  My peace post is called.....

Bathing In Persimmon Trees



As she got older and more introspective, my mother would spontaneously start talking about random things from her faraway childhood. On this day, she began to weave invisible spinning yarn in the air in front of her. "There are these threads....you see....threads...." as her hands moved in and around them,  making sense of mysteries in her mind,  weaving and talking as she spun, connecting branch to branch to branch. Except she wasn't really sitting there with me. She was somewhere back in time playing dodgeball with the curse.

 "I can see them going back generations."
"What kind of threads?" I asked. 
"Poverty. Brokenness. Abuse. Depression. Alcoholism. Divorce. Conflict. Addiction. 
Bad threads....don't you see them, Mimi?"
Yes, mama, I've always seen them.



Like shadows on trees in a cemetery, cast long from eons of time and generation, I had always seen them. 

If you want to go mad, 
cover them up.

If you want to break the curse,
stand in the Light.


Generational threads can tie together what desperately needs to be broken. They are inherently binding and strong.
Made of flax. Faith. Fiber. Custom. Tradition. Tribe. Toxicity. Untruth.
Even and especially love.

Whether they remain tied and woven into the next generation depends not on the strength of the cotton, but on the spinning of the pattern. Twisted legacies take whole life spans to unspin. It requires laser-sharp discernment and a willingness to plant a new field. To begin a better story. Harvesting new tribes is not for the faint-of-heart. My mother was anything but faint.






And that's when I began to remember...
warm water washing down my back.
I felt the heaviness of long tangled hair.
Soap.
And her hands in my hair.
Scrubbing and soothing at the same time.  Bare feet on a dark linoleum speckled floor, bent over the kitchen sink in the middle of a fifties wood frame in the heat of summer and the only running water in the house.  Daddy hadn't finished the bathroom yet.
My mother stood untangling the mane that was always tangled and drying me off with a ragged towel. 
Tangled threads you see....


And then I started to cry 

Uncontrollably. Sobs from an eight-year-old that should never be heard by a mother. 
She knew. I could see it in her eyes. She knew. From the covering of shame I felt underneath the thinness of fabric that could not cover could not cover could not cover the confusion and tremble of a skinny little girl who had just been reminded of more than innocent suds running down the back of a dark-haired freckle-faced me with grownup questions swirling in her mangled head.
She looked straight into the dripping freckles and raised her eyes to meet mine.




It was my mother's greatest gift to me. 

Unwavering trust. Unquestioning acceptance. She believed what I was about to tell her before I said it. I can still taste the shampoo on my lips and see the horror in her eyes, the quiver in my voice. I remember the way my eyes wanted to only stare at the linoleum while she gathered herself.  Standing there dripping in a torn towel while she called someone to tell them what she'd seen in her daughter's eyes.
I never had to see him again.
She saw to it.

She sacrificed family and relationships to protect me. 
Had she chosen to look the other way, I am sure without a shadow of an oak tree doubt,  I would have crumpled into a broken twig on the sudsy floor and never recovered.
Instead, it was the moment that defined me. 

In the deepest part of me that day, she taught me to trust the sacred places that no one should touch.  I owned every nook and crevice again before she even finished with the tender drying
 because my mother believed me 
she gave me permission to trust myself
She had no idea that she'd just given me my voice.




Of all the trials that came later - our arguments, her quirky temper, my stubbornness - our differences growing wider in the middle of our lives, then circling back to unconditional love, as happens with mothers and daughters  - I'm not sure she ever fully recovered from the sadness of that moment. 

Threads
You see them, don't you Mimi?

 I wanted so much to know her and understand her better and all that mysterious weaving in the spirit. Those strands had names. They had stories. But there wasn't time and she was gone.  What made her so unbreakable? What stopped her from untying the last piece of tangled life and freeing herself? What kind of woman knows by instinct and love how to run straight into battle for her daughter?  That's the indestructible mother I longed to fully know.

When I felt she had no faith in my endeavors or no understanding of my independence, in hindsight, now, I wonder if the moment under the towel defined the way she would forever try to keep me from straying too far into unfamiliar territory. As I spread my wings to fly away, perhaps her holding on was the only way of protecting me.  Perspective.

I went through some things this year that broke my heart. Multitudes of unkindness and wholly undignified days. But the more vile they became, the more grace I received. 

 My body is recalibrating. Balancing. Resetting. Changing my climate, my environment, is not just necessary for peace of mind, it's mandatory for my survival. 
I am ready to put this decade behind me but not without the wisdom it contains.

Standing under the canopy of trees gives me courage and strengthens my vulnerability - that delicate balance between authenticity and prudence.   It resembles the act of protection and trust. Intimacy and connection.  You might not have a lifetime or even a decent swath of moments like these with the people you love. 
But it only takes one.  
Divine grace echoes on the walls of my heart. 
My mother's grace reverberates decades later.

And she is the reason that I can stand uncovered in a field of persimmon trees
without fear 
without shame
without scars

I finally learned to accept all our twisted roads and fallen places.  How she tried to exhume the genesis of those invisible threads in her hands, never quite finding where the first broken piece began and the last continued.  
 You see them, don't you Mimi?

She died before she could unravel all the threads
But she deposited in me just enough spitfire to keep my end of the peace treaty intact:
To leave the untelling on the kitchen floor 
To live without hiding behind trees 
To forgive those who want to see me broken
To be open and brave when your words need wording
and to be loud in the most vulnerable of places

and that's why I need trees
Had you told me a year ago that people can feel energy from trees, I would have silently patted you on the head and sent you on your way. And yet, since her death six months ago, I find myself running to the forest on my mountain, sitting for hours in the sanctuary of their branches. Breathing in oxygen. Absorbing life into the cells of my stress-laden body.
 Finding the Mother trees. They shelter the young saplings and strategically branch out in directions that give them the most nourishment from the sun.
Did you know there are mother trees?

We are made stronger when we understand where we came from
when we uncover what is hurting us
We discover which branches are strong and which need pruning.
I am learning to be thankful for the miles of memories that created me
all of them

Safety sometimes lies in being unseen
but never in being unheard.




Please sign the Mr. Linky at the end of this post so that others may visit you and see the beautiful peace globes throughout the Blogosphere. Remember to tag me on Facebook  or wherever you are on social media. Thank you for being a part of this community of peace bloggers.
Photo credit: Mimi Lenox
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Blog 4 Peace 2019 Participants
1. Sherry Blue Sky
2. Claudia Hall Christian
3. Cate Reddell
4. Mimi Lenox
5. Jamie White
6. Yamini MacLean
7. The Spoon Mage
8. Waiting For The Muse ~ Ann Tracy
9. Moments of Introspection
10. Athena Cat Goddess
11. The Gal Herself
12. The White Dog Diaries
13. Dawn
14. Wanda Dawn Gilbert
15. Scrappin With Life
16. Callie
17. Tinkerbell in the Netherlands
18. Animal Shelter Volunteer Life
19. Bonnie @ Bonnie's Books
20. Zoolatry
21. Mickeys Musings-Dona Nobis Pacem
22. Laurie @ Meditations in Motion
23. Linda Lee Lyberg
24. The Spoon Mage
25. Bertram's Blog
26. Stunning Keisha
27. Mama Pajama
28. Susie Clevenger
29. Speedyrabbit
30. Mike ZGolch
31. Mike Golch
32. Friends FurEver
33. 15 and Meowing
34. Louie's Chaos
35. Eileen Trainor
36. CyberCelt
37. The Island Cats
38. Canadian Cats
39. Sandra Hammel
40. Brian's Home Blog
41. Gemma Wiseman - Mornington Peninsula Daily
42. Sicily Scene A Welshwoman in Sicily
43. Sandra Hammel
44. Friends FurEver - BlogBlast4Peace
45. Sparkle Cat
46. Lone Star Cats
47. Waiting For The Muse ~ Ann Tracy
48. Kinley Westie
49. Kathy Duffy Thomas
50. The Matriarch's Corner
51. Karen Nichols
52. Mickey's Musings
53. Loristory
54. Charmed Chaos
55. Diane Hasz Blog4Peace DJ
56. Raven Wolf
57. Two Spoiled Cats
58. The Psychokitty Speaks Out
59. Just Ducky
60. The Cat on My Head
61. Forty Paws
62. Blog 4 Peace The Official Gallery
63. Little Binky and Granny
64. Marcia McLees Bogaert
65. Binding Ink ~ Michelle Culp
66. Clawdia @ Bonnie's Books
67. Kim Marie Moon
68. Thumper Thinks Out Loud
69. Diane Hasz
70. David Timothy Holdsworth
71. Deb Reslake
72. Amarillis Kroon
73. Diane Hasz
74. Ken Smith
75. The Cat Blogosphere
76. Catscue
77. Mark's Mews
78. Driller's Place
79. Spike William Pratt A Cheshire Cat
80. Julia Phillips Smith
81. Correna Grogan
82. Speedy The Cheeky House Bunny
83. Bluezy
84. Jessica Obsenschain
85. Sue Earle Glashofer
86. Sanni Jansen
87. Bud

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