Saturday, November 30, 2019


It was enjoyable. I was too busy to bother taking any pictures. Taught Jake how to make stuffing over the phone and it was perfect, as was the turkey. I got there in time to demonstrate how to wring rich, brown gravy from whatever comes out of the oven. Missy's broccoli casserole stole the show, in my opinion. Charlie declared saying Grace to be little heathen, but really, he'd already led a spirited discussion on what to be grateful for. He understands the concept.

The Strange and wonderful: Just before dinner, Missy got a message from a local friend. Immediate help was needed for some beings who were about to lose their lifelong home and family.

I didn't think about it. I said 'yes'.

Better pictures once they both come out from hiding, but this guy, Bailey, is personable and sweet. 
Sweetie disapproves highly, but I will spoil her extra until she re-finds the rhythm of living in the company of her kind.

ps. Look who just strolled in and climbed onto the bed. Her name is Salem.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Saturday rescued

5th Ave at Twilight 1910  LB Harrison
November is the month that Georgia weather can't make up its mind.

Thursday afternoon, I gathered with friends on the clubhouse patio for a small birthday party. Mid-sixties, bright sunshine. We kept looking around going "Wow."

Saturday morning was as rainy, dark and dreary as they come. Days like this always bring back the day Jim died. All too easy to slip into sorrow unless plans are afoot and they were.

Charlie showed up and we spent the morning in the kitchen listening to music, doing Lego, making Rice Krispy treats, working in his scrapbook. He talked. I listened.

Jake arrived midday to collect him and brought in a wet package the postman left on the doorstep. A large box. My sister sent my mother's vast collection of costume jewelry and what-nots. In the box, a small American flag.

Jake unfolded it and held it up and Charlie said, "Oh. I have to do the Pledge!" Jake doffed his cap and I sat, wide-eyed. In a very quiet, solemn voice, Charlie recited the Pledge of Allegiance without a flaw. "...with Liberty and Justice for all."

It was so touching. We applauded and with pride, his father said, "My little American!"

 Please, America. Get your shit together for the sake of these children.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

My Goodman

Couldn't let this day slip away without acknowledging that it's been six years since we lost Jimmy.

He was a wonderful father and husband. My very best friend and we all miss him every minute of the day.

What I've missed most about him today was his boundless sense of good humor. I've needed a good laugh and going through the many wonderful photos I have of him was tonic. Nobody made me laugh the way Jimmy did.
Interrogating the baby shower gift.

"This child just loaded his diaper in my ear."

Mugging with Atlanta's Ambassador of Mirth, Baton Bob.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

boy with bubble wrap

Saturdays will be ours, now.

Looks like a classic ballet move, right? The camera will fool us all.

This was a post dash across the room, mid-dervish twirl. He spun around in a circle a few times and I howled that he was going to make me throw up! He dashed into the bathroom and came out with a worried look on his face and the trash can.

I made that hat many years ago from sari silk yarn. Just a crocheted cap, but I'd never worked with that fiber before. In its raw state, it's awful. Coarse, tough almost like jute.

 I washed it for some reason and it came out all stretched and soft. I braided and beaded a dozen braids into the crown so they hang down like dreads.

The hem is tight, inflexible and never fit me. A hat without a home has found one nearly thirteen years later.

here's a better look at the headwear. makes me want to buy more of that yarn.

Friday, November 15, 2019

They persist.

They've been up there since All Souls. Something tried to eat some of the carnations but changed their minds.

This morning I realized that I have been sick since then. Some upper respiratory monkey business that is not pneumonia, per the doctor.

She gave me two prescriptions to take "if I felt like it." Nothing indicated the need for antibiotics so those are in the medicine cabinet. After another night of coughing my self awake, I started the methylprednisolone series. Strange shit, but I recalled that when Jim was taking chemo, the doctor said that the prednisone portion of the cocktail would give him a lift. For him, a false sense of well-being that we both basked in as long as it lasted. For me, it feels like rocket fuel when all I want is to get some real rest. I'm committed now, hoping this particular side effect will fade as the dose diminishes.

I'm spending another day with one astonished ear on the impeachment hearings. Ambassador Yovanovitch is a rock wrapped in velvet. She's been asked several times how she feels about the president's attacks on her character and reputation. I keep hoping she'll say, "Consider the source."

And work gets done, too.

"Where are you, babe? The silence that hung between them made him think of how he felt after he prayed—lost, empty and on his own. In the greenish glow of the monitor tracking her inner tides, a tear gathered in the corner of her eye and slipped into her hair. Giving grief its minute, he put his head down beside her open hand and cried, emptying out his heart, making room for fury."

Wednesday, November 13, 2019


Cold temps fell on us here in the south like a rock. My poor purslane, so hardy through the long drought, was hanging over the side of the big pot like a batch of boiled spinach.

I sat with the river basket while I listened to the impeachment hearings. Taylor's testimony was so compelling. It was hard to keep my attention on the cloth. I gave up and just rolled pieces together.

Cleaned all my favorite needles, dragging them through the little strawberry on the tomato like I was sharpening knives.

Monday, November 11, 2019

back in the saddle.

Sometime back in early summer I was asked to be the keynote speaker at the Writer Unboxed UNconference in Salem, MA on Nov. 4.  How could I say no?

Of course, I dragged ass about writing the thing all summer, trying to NOT think about the fact that I've never stood at a podium or spoken into a microphone. And the biggie - to say something that mattered. To put a little wind in the sails of the participants. The last time we all gathered here, we woke up to the horror show of the election results. It was hard, but I made and kept a promise to the organizer, Therese Walsh, that I would not utter one political word.

It went well. I didn't die of stage fright. Although I'd brought a case of bronchitis with me, I didn't cough! (Four days prior, I had no voice at all!) After weeks of worrying over how others would take my words, my thoughts, the "what to wear" and "what the hair"? it's finally over.

I was a little sorry I couldn't stay for the conference - a whole week steeped in the nuts and bolts of writing. But there was a very big upside. I got to meet a long-time online friend in real life. How often does that turn out well?

Turns out my hostess is gracious and generous, exactly who she is online, a warm and thoughtful human being.

Instead of a week of hotel rooms, scrounging the town for cheap food on foot, and varying levels of social unease,  I was made welcome, comfortable, and catered to by Dee Mallon, her husband K., and good dog, Finn. My stay a Casa Mallon was the very best part of the trip.

Again, Dee, thanks for the marvelous hospitality. When will your Bed & Breakfast open?

Sunday, November 10, 2019

dipping a toe in. slowly.

I was only "away" away for four days, but the away from here feels like a chasm that I don't have the strength to bridge right now. I will back into where I was, why and how great it was in a few posts.

I stayed with Charlie last night so his Mom & Dad could go out for dinner and whatever. A late anniversary celebration. About 830 he started twisting his forelock with both hands - a clear signal since babyhood that he is tired. He said I was wrong about that so I said, "let's test my theory." Once bundled under covers I found the music playlist on my phone that I started compiling around the time he was born. First up, randomly, was Johnny Mathis singing "Chances Are" followed closely by "Ride Across the River" by Dire Straits (released the year Jake was born!) 

He was asleep before the second song ended.

In an effort to collect my thoughts and decide what I will and won't accomplish in the next 12 hours, I'm doing little stitching first thing in the morning, but gift things that I don't want to reveal here for a while.