Of all the gin joints..

She crept up on it, somewhat because it was morning and she is rather creep-y in the mornings but mostly because it is one of the world’s most skittish creatures, and gently (because she’s somewhat gentle but mostly because it was Saturday morn and it never connects on Saturday morns anymore) pushed the On button.

She watched the tiles come up — 90% of them never used — and checked the WiFi arc… so far, so good. She looked around the room and snuck in a push on the IE tile, as if quite accidental.

The screen flashed six times — as if it was loading six pages/tabs, which it was not — and it would not load Google search, her homepage, as usual. Yes, old clunky friend, let’s fix the connection. Loaded! MSN wouldn’t load in the new tab — only the strange “b” for Bing and blue lines of things to click on, which would be fruitless. Darn — she couldn’t catch up on the latest installment of Goofus and Gallant. Ah, well.. onward. Onward to the meat of the thing — the fall off the bone perfectly carmelized roast yum.

Success! The tablet apparently didn’t realize it was working. Not only had WP blogs loaded, but so had their photos! She spent some time there, though not much lest it notice and seize up, and she clicked on a post page. Indeed, it might be a good day to buy a lottery ticket, because there was even the “Save” option up there at the top of the post. She’d been mislead before, like, 1000 times, but she knew there was always that 1001th/st time, so she began typing.

And wasn’t it rich! She’d finally entered the old beastless frontier only to find her post’s subject matter involved sharing the behavior of squirrels and crows in winter. Sick. She was a sick woman. Well, not really, but it was a sick realization. She went for it.

Her readers probably already know that squirrels eat snow, right? That they’ll hoover it up off the deck rail as if there’s no such thing as hawks or creep-y ol’ morning women not far away?

And, yes, later in this day utterly jam-packed with important observations, she mused about the 30 crows. They’d one by one gone down to the middle of the frozen river (safe from predators?) where there was some crusty snow (/an accumulation of river stuff?) — and not only did they eat some, but they flutter-rolled in it.. snow bath? Fleas? Mites? Surely crows didn’t do things just for fun even in winter?

[The big magenta “Publish” button up there in the right corner is daring me. Still, I think I should add some vegetables and sourdough rolls with real butter because this dish (call me crazy) seems pale so far. Thus: The little guy, 2.5, just informed me, “We’re going for doughnuts now, okay?” Okay. “We’ll be right back, okay?” Okay. And then, because he is a guy-in-training, he shut my bedroom door on me. I can’t wait ’til he’s guy-tall enough to shut off all the lights. I can, however, wait until he’s guy-strong enough to break down the best boxes I’ve been saving but didn’t hide well enough.]

🙂 You have a good weekend, too, okay?






While I have you on the line…

Wow, sorry I’ve seemed so absent, here — I’ve been having the most ridiculous connection problems on the tablet, and it’s really hard to compose on my phone screen. I’ve been looking in, though — just not able to post much right now. I expect we’ll get a new system soon.

Happy Monday!





Sunday in winter

It is Sunday morning here — the littlest birds know when best to sing. Otherwise, it is as quiet as a post-departure weekday. The kids are with their dads, and the resident dad here is out Massing/breakfasting/EMHCing, as has been his Sunday way for quite some time. The one day he doesn’t make the coffee. Coffee, coffee, coffee!

It’s sunny but cold. Cold but sunny.. can’t get away from that word. It’s a good day to go peruse a mall’s brick-and-mortar book/music/coffee store. Were parking/much walking not a problem in another town, it’d be an ideal day for the littler book/music/coffee-and-pastry shop. There’s no sea-scent on the cold days there, but there are gulls who are happy to leave the dumpsters alone, just wheeling around overhead, reminding us that there are cold people working cold boats today!

It’s a good day to ride down a little further to their rocks, and perhaps a little further along the coast, and to photograph what I always want to share. In the winter, the ocean gets farther and farther away; the drive, longer than ever; the visit, short, shorter, shortest. Only the kindest God could’ve had man invent binoculars, which are not impeded by a running car’s windshield!

And then there’s the inner argument: Whether to stop at the cemetery on the way, to *deliver* an honorary medium hot, extra cream 2 sugars DnD coffee. So overdue..

Most winter Sundays don’t come to much, before the 5 pm Mass. Most become a good day to ‘blog, to hem jeans for all our French Canadian/Irish/Mexican-length legs, or to rearrange certain things, now that the little one strong as an ox can pull open the ancient bureau’s drawer that holds my stash of Aspercreme and aspirin, TUMS and nasal spray. I’ll switch all of that out for a little metal car or two, to take the sting out of his newest mini-confounding in “Memmaw”‘s house.

Son, the only tall person anywhere in our immediate universe, will be over with laundry and son-ness.  Far daughter will reach out, and we’ll reach back. Other far daughter called last night; we talked for nearly two hours. Her rabid-fandom of Trump has cooled greatly (by his own doing), which has heated up my heart. It was scary for a while.

After the 5, everyone will be back. I’ll be ready — for noise, food, laughter, 60 Minutes, and Kevin Belton’s New Orleans cooking. If the noise (and contests and races) exceeds the tolerable max, I’ll be ready for opening the new bottle of white merlot and, either way, to re-admire yesterday’s new excessively green plants — an oxalis and a peace lily — quietly blooming away in the dining room.





So may it be.

I kicked off today with a funeral Mass.

(How’s your weekend going?) *sigh…

It is so hard to write about silver linings in woes. Whether or not we want to give them a nod, though, they exist — even in death.

A Byzantine rite priest friend (who is every bit as hilarious as he is somber) quoted perhaps another Byzantine rite priest (perhaps a lot like himself): “We should be thankful for death; it stops us from sinning.” I cannot tell you how often I have pondered this crazy-sane statement (mostly because I cannot tell you how often I have sinned and it seems unstoppable).

The sharing in today’s death (a life baptized into the Lord’s now handed back in His own Mass) will have healed a decades-old hurtful (d)rift. It doesn’t feel that way to the parties; it just feels numb and/or lame. It’s neither. It brought them all physically together in grief to make the burden lighter for the survivors old and young, and that means communicating face to face. They did. It broke the ice. Maybe there is more to come — time will tell, but for now, something was healed. The hurtfulness is redeemed. At last.

About a dozen years ago, a priest in a neighboring city died. He was so loved, the newsman covering the death wrote quite a lot about him. One of quotes he mentioned from the priest was: “The Lord can even redeem our little deaths.” What did he mean by little deaths? Losses. Breakups. Failures. Demotions. Starting over from scratch. Betrayals.

And He does redeem them, in His own way, which is usually recognizable only to the recipient. I’m surprised by it always, but not surprised that He does this.

Apart from the stunning realization that in the last funeral Mass I attended, cell phones weren’t even a gleam in someone’s eye, I was reminded once again of how the linen that is placed on the coffin in Mass is like that of our christening dress, like that of the altar, like that of the priest, and above all, like that one which His mother Mary wove in one piece for her and God’s beloved begotten Son. We strip it off Him and gamble it away and then realize and rue what we’ve done. He says, “I will receive you in that wondrous garment we share, and show you the place I have prepared for you.”

Amen. Redeem our bigger deaths, too.









The anti-zone

I once was asked to call a friend at work if I had to cancel our later gathering, but it was a huge business with attached warehouse and I wasn’t sure in which department she worked. I said to the receptionist, “All I know is that her supervisor is called ‘Mighty Mouse.'” She gasp-giggled and said, “Oh, certainly — hold on, I’ll connect you with Shipping.” It turned out that only Mighty Mouse did not know his nickname, and I was fortunate to not have gotten my friend into trouble!

There are Mighty Mouses (Mice?) in most workplaces. I myself was one, until I was cut to smithereens by my supervisor for thinking so. This is probably why I humored all the Mice who were to come later, who are, it turns out, usually supervisors.

Otherwise, and with the exceptions of Alfred E. Neuman, Bozo the Clown, and Gallant (vs Goofus), many of my heroes are antiheroes (i.e., Ed Norton, for whom I once lived).  I arrived at this deduction accidentally. You, too, right? Or perhaps those who grew up with siblings go straight for the main character, the actual hero? (You signed up to study my navel with me, right? Well, it’s Friday — we can be a little frilly!)

Every M – F evening, I don’t think. It’s scary. Beyond the one-sided “You slob!” or “Wipe your damned feet OUTside!,” I don’t think. I have a general plan for the evening, but it’s pretty vague: 1) Get it done. There is no 2). I start in a new place every evening. Others there have a solid (ROCK solid) routine. They cannot function as well if it is disturbed. They do not disturb it.

Really, 4 or 5 hours or so, no thinking? I always pray on the way over to work, “Help me to be real to the others, tonight; and if there’s anything offerable, it’s Yours,” but I’m alone for most of those hours and, as I say, absent daytime people get called names or receive an eye-roll — not least of all the one who eats hard-boiled eggs in a bathroom stall. I KNOW!!

Apparently, one can be TOO simple.. Not thinking — and not praying. I’ve often wished for a job in which I could spend a great amount of time praying (at least). I’d thought this was it. Not even praying, people. Not even praying, except briefly for whomever’s woe of the day hit me prior to hopping into the car.

Hence, Jughead Jones. Honestly, give me a strange pointy cap and call it a night. I’d always liked Jughead, and never knew why. After reading the Wikipedia on him, now I know. Everything you ever wanted to know about Jughead Jones III (all of which is way more than you wanted to know) is there. For the record, he is not asexual; rather, he is aromantic, shortened to “aro” to completely baffle me for a moment.

What have we learned today? To leave well enough alone, for one thing. If you like someone, just like them — don’t go exploring (nor explaining).

And maybe (after 5 years) I’ve learned to formulate a routine for my own good — maybe if I break me out of The Zone, it’ll become a prayer, if not also a real friend.

And maybe this was just safe ‘blog-fodder, because I’m thinking deeply about the tragic deaths of two young people nearby in one week, and wondering why I can still be heartened by the chatterings of little birds on mild days — and I’m not wanting to drag you through it all. ❤

PS: Avoid the ice — it’s NOT solid; and, whatever you do, do NOT kill yourself. LIVE.







Do. Or do not.

There is no try. — Yoda

I’m not a big Star Wars fan (oh, stop sobbing — I’m not a nemesis of any of it!), but a sign at work caught my eye. Indeed, it was Yoda’s wise admonition.

Why it caught more than my eye, I’m not sure. Maybe it’s because I try too much and do not a lot. Which means I’m still at a job that I am wishing more and more to replace with some other that could bring in at least 2/3 of this pay but would stop eating up my right knee and evening family time. (See what I mean? There is no try: Do. Or do not. There is no try, dammit! This ship MUST be saved, with or without a lottery win!)

(Note to self: buy a lottery ticket.)

Why I’m bringing this to you in WordPress, I also don’t know, but when I search a phrase in Google, the resulting offerings have so very often been tickle-y. This one tickles me, and maybe you as well. Slainte!






My State of the Union Address

If America has soup kitchens anywhere, the state of this Union is crappy.

(I have basic parameters, at least initially.)

Who eats at soup kitchens? From what I’d seen, street/bridge/train trestle/parking garage people (on or off meds — hence, there was only decaf coffee and tea); mostly single guys; societal outcasts or freshly sprung; some, no doubt, simply lonely people.

Mother Teresa said people’s hearts are even hungrier than their stomachs. Yes.

I served there every few weeks, and I noticed quite an alarming trend in a relatively short amount of time.

Younger single women came now, either trying to remain alone (buried in books), or trying not to irritate/attract a table-full of guys, after having arrived after the tables were full. I can’t get a sweet baby blue parka out of my mind; it was filthy, but she herself was clean, but I wouldn’t have cared if she wasn’t. At any rate, It is why many people donate/bring in coats and jackets and hoodies as well as cakes and cupcakes and brownies each week for dessert. (There are perhaps a lot of overdrinkers, there; the sugar helps, I’m told. Also, many of the guests have nowhere to keep ice cream, which is almost always served.)

Then, an elderly couple was there, front and center to view all the kitchen doings while stretching a meager retirement budget. I’d hardly call us entertaining, but without pricey antenna-less digital hookup for viewing television anymore, perhaps I underestimated our appeal.

The first time I’d seen the highchair, I’d thought, “Well, maybe it’s just in case someone shows up with a toddler.”

I was wrong. There was a young mom, now, with some youngsters who could sit at the table and one who needed a high chair.

This was years ago; what’s it like now?  I can only guess: More elderly, more single women, more families, more babies.

It’s not right. It’s not right anywhere in the world, but seems even more wrong here.






For My thoughts are not your thoughts..

I am ever gobsmacked over the sheer number of varieties of any beast or bird, flora and fauna. Do we have deer? The ones I speak of are the white-tailed, but how many other kinds there are! Squirrels? How many varieties all over the world. Seaweed, kelp, barnacles.. how many types of BARNACLES there are!! Is that a finch at the feeder? Of what variety, and what do you over there have across the world?

While at the river that borders the Atlantic, we found a dead seagull down in the rocks. It was enormous — would’ve only been bigger had its head still been with it. I studied the thing as closely as I could (oh, yes, turned it over, too!) without my bird book at hand, and later looked it up. Do you know how MANY varieties of seagulls there are right HERE?? And I just found out this moment, Googling the Glaucous gull (which was what I’d narrowed it down to later), that there is no such animal as a “seagull” — they are gulls!

Over six decades of calling them seagulls. Who knew?? How do I not always feel like a child in this world?? In this world of perhaps many worlds?? of Creation!

Sparrows? Know how many kinds there are, all over? And did you know that Ireland’s robins look nothing like those in the Northeast of the U.S.? Why not??

My point is, how can anyone without graced intervention — an in-breaking — from God ever know the first thing about His life? And the really unbelievable thing is, He desires the in-breaking. He can arrange it. We just need to want it, too.




Superbowl #.. um, something..


Happy February 2019! Happy Superbowl Sunday, too!

I live perilously close to the Patriots’ home region, which means wearing all your lucky clothes for the Super Bowl, so that the Pats will win. That’s true of anywhere’s fave team, I suppose, and there have been goofy hats to help them win, too. A woman my age or more was food shopping yesterday.. well, it’s hard to describe. It looked a little like a stovepipe hat, but it had a knit band above the rim which sported the PATRIOTS name and colors.

Listen.. if you ever see anything other than a pith helmet on my head, I want you to make me move out of New England. Maybe somewhere warm..

The parties have been planned, the food has been shopped, people are coming from far off to sit in New England homes and eat chili/cheesecake/Chinese takeout in the gaps. Beer is huge, too. Fooding has to be timed carefully so as to not miss the commercials as well as none of the game. Or the halftime show. This year, it’s people I don’t know, except for Maroon 5 who’ve been ostracized by Kaepernick fans.  Oh, heck, let’s not even go there.

We’ll be tuning in. Son is coming over as is a DH friend. Hence, I’ve been cleaning the whole downstairs all morning. Why? Why do we do this? Football fans are not only nose-blind, they are eye-blind. As long as the dried maple syrup/milk and/or the hermetically sealed cereal crunch doesn’t unbalance their beer bottle — and there’s anything that passes for a toilet — what’s the problem?

I will sit there before the tv screen wondering why everyone around me just yelled, be it a good or bad yell. I’m never sure which it is until I see that no one’s weeping. I’ve been watching the big football games in bits and pieces my whole life. I still don’t know why catching the ball, running 2 – 6 feet, and falling onto the ball is a good thing. It’s okay; I know the other important stuff, like why cats take a full bath when they’re embarrassed, or even why kids are tempted to put pieces of potato up their noses.

Anyway, as I say, there will be commercials. (Clever ones.) Also, I have to hem some pants for grandson. My touchy adrenalin organs and I will excuse ourselves at some point, perhaps after the half-time show, to go where no one yells and everyone sews. (Or blogs.)

If you’re a watcher, have fun! First, make sure there are TUMS in the cabinet.

You know that I cannot close this with, “May the best team win” right? I can’t. It is not the unforgivable sin named by Jesus, but it’s awfully close.