Wednesday, July 31, 2013


 Ya’all might remember a few weeks ago I was at a loss for what to say and I introduced a new concept, well not actually a new concept, but new to my Blog space, I called it ‘Battle of the Bands’. Yeah, like I said not really original, but hey it was fun and some of you liked it. As a matter of fact one of my blog friends liked it so much he challenged me to do it twice each month, and he’s going to do it too.

SO…on the first and fifteenth of each month I will host my concept of BATTLE OF THE BANDS. This is where I pick a song that has been done/recorded/at least can be found on YouTube, by more than one recording artist. I invite you to listen to each version and then vote for your favorite. I’ll give you a week and then I’ll tell you my favorite and why. I encourage you to also to give me YOUR comments on each version.

NOW, the really fun part. That blog friend I mentioned above is Stephen T. McCarthy of Ferret Faced Fascist Friends and on the first and fifteenth of each month he will post his own version of BATTLE OF THE BANDS and I suggest, actually I insist, you pop over to his blog and see who he has chosen and vote there also. Stephen has immense musical knowledge and will probably really stir your melodic juices with his selections. Me, I just know what I like and although I do have somewhat eclectic tastes, that I hope you will enjoy, my commentary regarding the selections will be entertaining (I hope), but nowhere near as musically knowledgeable.

COME BACK TOMORROW and check out the tunes here and then head on over to Stephen’s place at F-FFF and see what’s cooking. Cast your vote and come on back for our choices. Who knows maybe we can even come up with some sort of prize for the most votes over a few months time or the most creative commentary, I don’t know, but I bet Stephen will think of something.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


 Before we get started, here's something more to my liking than yesterday's post, for you to listen to. That post was for someone else, and the song was one of their favorites, not mine. 

This piece of music evokes something in me I can't explain.

Today I’m sitting here staring at the screen wondering; ‘WHAT TO WRITE’?

I really want to be witty and entertaining. Give you some new information, tell you a something funny, make you think, stir up some controversy, or at least leave you with an interesting anecdote. BUT, none of that is happening for me right now.

I’ve also been having a hard time getting back to my story. I stopped in the middle of edits to move, next I had to wait for my manuscripts to be shipped (I have to work from a hard copy), then I needed to organize my work space and now I can’t think of another excuse not to write something, anything.

Recently, a friend suggested I ditch the fiction and write a memoir. Are you kidding me? I did start collecting some of my stories about my family and putting them together in a file with the thought that maybe one day (long after I’m gone) someone will want to put them together and see if anyone is fool enough to publish them. Although I occasionally like to tell you things about my life (past) the thought of asking/thinking someone would find my life interesting enough to publish those stories, kind of makes me a little nauseous. Well, maybe it more like talking about myself that makes me feel kind of sick and queasy.

Recently, while indulging on a new ‘guilty pleasure’ I was watching early morning reruns of ‘Frasier’. Funny, I never saw this show when it was ‘first run’, and today I find it hilarious. Anyway, the episode that I’m thinking of right now is one where Frasier and his brother are forced to admit that they don’t know how to ride a bike. Daphne, his brother Niles’ wife is trying to teach them and Frasier keeps running into things. Daphne tells him it’s because he is fixating on these objects and therefore steering directly at them –– resulting in him crashing into trees, mailboxes, etc.

So, after laughing hysterically at poor Frasier and his inability to ignore the large objects in his path, I’m wondering is that what I’m doing. Fixating on the large objects and not allowing myself to concentrate on the things I really want.

Whoa! There’s some $.25 psychiatry for you. Must be too much Frasier in the morning. OK, I’ll play along with his ‘Talk Radio’ format. Tell me what you think, but please be kind, or lie if you have to. No seriously, tell me the truth. I think.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Ya all know that six weeks ago I moved from the island to the shores of Lake Tahoe. When I went Caribbean, I basically took my clothes (my summer clothes) and that was about it. I rented furnished (everything including the kitchen sink). I learned to do without a lot. I complained on and off, but I got by just fine.

About ten days ago a horse trailer load of my ‘things’ arrived here in Tahoe. I still have a storage locker about half full back in Idaho, but I got the necessities. I rented an unfurnished condo in Tahoe because I wanted to go home, and home to me is my things.

Well…here I sit ten days later among boxes stacked everywhere wondering, ‘what was I thinking?’

I am really excited to be reunited with my scrapbooks and family pictures. I have the artwork that hung on the walls of various homes and I can’t wait to put some of those precious pictures up here. I have my favorite blanket hanging over the back of my wonderful overstuffed chaise, BUT I have boxes and boxes of things that I didn’t need for three years, and with each box I open I wonder who was this person that needed so much.

When I lived on island, I saw people who had absolutely nothing. Can you imagine that? Probably not. Before I experienced it first hand, I couldn’t. I mean I know people live in poverty everywhere in the world, but in the tropics poverty means having ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. These people sleep in the bush or doorways. They wear the same clothes day in and day out, the wash themselves in the ocean and mostly they beg for food (even in a society, not unlike the US, where the welfare system pretty much is free with the hand outs). Even the people, who have more than nothing and a roof over their head, live a whole different lifestyle than some of the poorest people in America. I knew people who could not afford to have electricity in their homes. A vast majority of people have no vehicle and either walk everywhere, ride a bike or use the public transportation system (such as it is).

Now, I posted pictures of the places I lived. I was quite comfortable with swimming pools and ocean views. My condo had air conditioning, but I could not afford to turn it on, I will say the ceiling fans got a good work out daily. I did not live anywhere near the poverty level, BUT I got by with a whole lot less than I had waiting back here for me. So…I’m letting go of a whole lot more THINGS. I liked living a more simple life. I like having less clutter; I like being unencumbered of all the unnecessary, redundant things. I mean who really needs four frying pans.

I can already see that this little ADVENTURE is going to give me a whole lot more FREEDOM too.

How ‘bout you? Ready to de-clutter your life? Ready to experience a new kind of freedom. Remember – all you really get to take on the final adventure is the love you gave and got in return.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

BOTB results

 Once again, I’m a day late and I’m perpetually a dollar short. My house guests didn’t leave until 6AM this morning. After a late night and an early morning, I’m still running a teensy bit slow.

Glad you guys enjoyed the Battle of the Bands. I admit it was a lazy way to fill a blog post for me this past Wednesday, but I may just keep this going as a weekly or at least monthly thing. Let me think on it for a few more days, and I’ll let you know.

My favorite of the two is NINA SIMONE and it seems that she is (almost unanimously) yours also. I like the smoky, bluesy quality of her, not so feminine, voice. Muse and lead singer Matt Bellamy do a good job, but somewhere in there, with the more electric sound, it loses that genuine blues quality. Thanks for playing along. I’ll see what I can come up with in the future.

After a week of playing at vacation with my guests, I feel a little let down getting back to the same old, same old around here. I think we might have had a little bit too much fun.

I did notice how much people can change (even in a short time), sometimes according to their environment and circumstances. It’s kind of funny how with some people, particularly those that you feel really connected to, you can just pick right up wherever you left off, like it was yesterday. On the other hand there are people who might have been special friends at a point in our lives that become fond memories and nothing more. Oh well, enough of that. You all know how fond I am of talking about myself.

I do want to take a few sentences to plug ‘FIGHT CLUB’ again. You can find it over at DL Cruising Altitude 2.0. A lot of people have put a lot of time and effort into this little project, so go on over and check it out. Vote for your favorite (I already know you like to vote*) and leave a helpful comment for the participants. I didn’t submit a written piece this year, so this is not a shameless ploy for your vote (even though it’s all anonymous), but it’s a fun contest and a good way to support your fellow writers. While you’re there, give DL a great big thank you for all he does to put this program together. 

*NOTE* to be able to vote this year you will need to add your name to the Linky List.

See you on the flip side (I always wanted to say that) or next Wednesday for sure.

I think I actually might be starting to figure out where the commas go.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


I have 'House Guests' and we are having a good time going to the beach, exploring and just plain staying up late and visiting. So...

In order to keep up with a Wednesday post, I thought let's do something different; a Battle of the Bands. Take a few minutes break and listen to the same tune by two different artists, then leave me a comment with your vote and to which one you like better.

On Friday, I'll give you my pick.

First up:


OK, you tell me. Is it Nina or Matt. I'll be back on Frieday and give you my fav.

Just so you know this post is two years old and for some reason it won't let me update the videos. I believe they are still available at Youtube. If you are really curious you can go there; the song is 'SUMERTIME'. The artists; NINA SIMONE and MUSE.


Friday, July 5, 2013


Today is my mother’s birthday. Unfortunately, I remember her on this day but am not able to celebrate with her at my side. Momma went home 34 years ago this coming August; at a time when I was much too young to be without her.

I’ve talked about Momma on my blog before. You might remember the time I called her an old walrus. Funny as that was, it’s even more hilarious because at the time we were in a small aluminum fishing boat and there was no way to escape her wrath.

I’m not sure if I mentioned how on Saturday nights she would literally roll up the rug in the living room and she and Daddy would dance to the music of Lawrence Welk. They would take turns dancing with me, teaching me the latest steps (not really, but keep in mind that Momma was 40 years old when I was born, Daddy a year older) and we had a blast.

My parents had a distinctive whistle, just about eight or ten notes that I have never heard anyone use in this particular combination before or since. Unfortunately, I never could whistle, but they did use it to call me and signal to each other.

I remember sitting at my desk in the Summit County Assessor’s office in Breckenridge, Colorado early in August of 1979 when I heard that whistle. I got up from my desk and went out into the large entryway of the old courthouse expecting to find one or both of my parents, although they lived in Chicago at that time. I was getting married in about three weeks and thought that maybe they decided to come out early and help with the preparations. (Momma had been ill, but Daddy promised me that she would be able to make the trip.)

When my parents weren’t there, I came back in and asked a few co-workers if they heard somebody whistling. No one did. I immediately tried to call my parents, worrying that something was wrong. It took me three days to get a hold of Daddy, who told me Momma was in the hospital, but not to worry; it was only for some tests.

I got married August 25th and my parents were not there. Daddy said the doctors refused to let Momma travel and that she was undergoing more tests, but she would call me as soon as she was able. Since I was leaving on a honeymoon, it was decided that I would call home every day in the hopes of being able to talk to her.

Five days later on August 30th, I called from the back of a bar in Telluride, Colorado and Daddy told me that Momma had died. She was sicker than he ever let on in the previous months, but they had decided that they wanted me to go ahead with my wedding.

OK, sad story, something I have never gotten over, BUT there’s more. When I finally made it back to Chicago for the funeral my Aunt Clara, Momma’s sister, told me that Momma had died about three weeks previous, sometime in early August around 3 in the afternoon and Daddy had the hospital staff resuscitate her (something neither of them had ever wanted). When I confronted my father and he was able to confirm the day of the week that this occurred, I’m sure it was exactly at the time I heard my parents whistle about a thousand miles away.

I’ve often wondered if I was Daddy’s heart calling out for her not to go, or Momma reassuring him and me that ‘everything was going to be OK’.

I remember Momma on this day and miss her terribly every day of my life.

     {I played 'Stardust' for you there at the beginning because this was
       my parents 'song'. Probably not necessarily the version by Willie
       but,  none the less, it makes me think of them dancing together}

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Here we are and it’s July the third already, and I’m sitting and wondering how that happened. Where did June go? I admit to spending the month of June wallowing in self-pity doing some serious soul searching, so maybe in the throes of all that emotion, time simply got away from me.

Last Sunday while returning home from a visit to the other side of the lake, I was in absolute awe of this place I now call home. It’s beautiful in an untamed sort of way, even though there are a lot of people around. It started me to thinking – always a dangerous endeavour – with everything I’ve been blessed with what could there be to make me feel insecure. Unfortunately, if I dwell on this too long I could make a list, but on the surface there isn’t one thing.

When people ask how I came to be here, I usually answer; ‘it’s just the next adventure’. I know that sounds kind of cocky, but I really do believe it. Life is an adventure. One in which we’re meant to experience as much as possible and constantly be in a state of learning, progressing, moving toward some goal. Remember the only way you can ‘coast’ is downhill. I admit that it gets a little harder very year to make that trek up the mountain, but once you reach the summit it all becomes worth it.

I truly believe that there are only two things you can take with you from this life: one is knowledge and wisdom, and the other love. Each are unquantifiable commodities that have the ability to send me into an absolute whirlwind of insecurity, if I let them, BUT they are also the foundation of my existence.

OK, all of that was a little heavy and a verbose way of saying that today I’m not feeling very insecure. Life IS beautiful and meant to be lived to the fullest. It becomes exponentially enhanced when you share it with someone. Yes, it’s scary out there. If you are living life ‘out loud’ you certainly leave yourself open to disappointment and heart break, but you also grant yourself the opportunity and privilege of experience and ‘truth, beauty and most important of all love’.

All you have to do is take the first step. Yeah, maybe you have to step out into the dark, maybe you have to feel your way around for a time, you might even have to create your own light, but if you keep putting one foot in front of the other you just might see that the joy is truly in the journey.

I still might not know where the commas go, but I do know and understand where I belong.

That’s it for today. Not my usual IWSG Post, aren’t you glad? I am.

To learn more about the IWSG go HERE There are over 300 member in this group. Click on that link and check out what some of the others have to say. While you’re at it stop by Alex J Cavanuagh's and give him a great big THANK YOU for giving us a place to vent our fears and support one another.