sharpchick_2011: (Romani q of s)
This sideroad on the journey - the one with the RSD - has turned, probably predictably, into a saga.

In which I pontificate... )
Every time I think things have toned down to a dull roar at work, I should know to get vigilant.

Because Something Will Happen.

Like the sexual assault - patient on patient - of a woman at ASH. A woman with developmental disabilities.

I am so tired of that kind of shit.

I don't care if it only happens every year or so.
The cottage felines have gotten used to having me in the house more often.

And the guys are getting positively canine-ish. They follow me around the house and settle within a few feet of me.

Bathroom included.

The female bettas in the community tank are as houseproud as Frick is.

You never know when a betta killer might
be disguised as a thermometer

The girls even brush against me - just curious, or asserting authority, I cannot tell yet - as I am vacuuming the tank when I do water changes.

The rasboras flee to the other side of the tank - in a shoal.
The journey is good.

sharpchick_2011: (Cat with lime)
The week did not start well.

Listen to me blather on... )

The journey is good.

Sometimes, you just have to hang on for the ride.

sharpchick_2011: (Caddo solar cross)
It's been six and a half weeks since I wrecked my car, and a little over one month since my surgery to fix my badly broken left wrist.

I've officially joined a new club. I'm now a member of a huge group of people no one wants to be affiliated with.

People who have chronic pain disorders for which there is no cure, only the hope of remission.

I have Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

Those are two very fancy ways of saying that, for some unknown reason, my sympathetic nervous system has sent the nerves at the site of my fracture into constant, screaming overdrive.
For all the specialists I've had to see, it is my physical therapist who is my hero.

Any of you who want to wander down this path with me, look behind the cut. )

The journey is good.

There are no coincidences, but there are some tough lessons along the way.

sharpchick_2011: (Caddo solar cross)
I haven't been around here much lately - or anywhere else for that matter.

Late at night two weeks ago today, I made what could very easily have been a fatal mistake.

I emerged from it with a shattered left wrist, a whole bunch of bruises and scrapes, and a totaled car.
You know what "they" always say about what NOT to do when you feel the tires on one side of your car start to leave the pavement?

You're not supposed to jerk the steering wheel in the opposite direction.

I did, and my small Kia SUV and I rolled over. The 11 year old airbags deployed.

I landed upside down. It took a few seconds for me to figure out that I was not going to be able to unlatch my seatbelt with all my weight dangling from it. I had to find a foothold to raise my body up enough to unlatch the seatbelt and fall to the roof.

I reached up to try and get the keys - that's when I noticed my left wrist was at an odd angle, and hurt like a muthafucker. Couldn't get the keys out of the ignition, but found my purse. Crawled out the busted passenger side window.

And up the ditch to the road.

A car came up behind me shortly. The driver checked for oncoming traffic and went on his merry way.

I started searching my purse for my cellphone, because obviously, I was going to have to call 911 myself.

Couldn't find my phone, but did find my mini-flashlight, so I went back down in the ditch and searched with the light for my phone.

That's where the driver and two passengers of the next car found me.

They were absolute angels.

I regret that I didn't get their names.
So many silver many things for which I will be forever grateful.

My mistake only affected me and my stuff. I was alone, and didn't damage the person or property of anyone else.

My seatbelt and airbags did what they were designed to do. My injuries were amazingly minor when you consider the whole thing.

Although the Kia had been paid off for years, I still carried full coverage insurance on it, because - as I've told many incredulous folks when they asked - it's the only car I had, and if anything happened to it, I'd need to get another one.

It wasn't my dominant hand that was injured. (Surgery was last Friday - post-op check-up, removal of stitches, another x-ray, and orders for physical therapy scheduled for next Monday.)

I have - as many, many others do not - health insurance.
Now, for the lessons and musings...

I am living proof that this time, "they" were right.

You can shave your right armpit with your right hand.

Most jars and bottles can be opened with your right hand if you grip them with your knees.

If your bras have more than two hooks, just go ahead and buy some sports bras.

The cats' mournful wails will increase exponentially with the degree of difficulty you have getting the gawddamn ringtab top off the canned catfood.

Just go ahead and buy some Senokot-S when you are getting your scripts filled for whatever codone the doc gives you for pain - you're gonna need both...
The journey is good.

Sometimes you get a little wake-up call to understand just *how* good it is...

sharpchick_2011: (Candle)
I had a grand aunt I never got to meet. I was born in November 1958 in Florida, where I was living when she died in Little Rock in December 1959.

As a young child, I heard bits and pieces of the adult conversation about Aunt Ruth, and most of it was not pretty. The vast majority of it focused on how she died, and very little was about how she lived.

That was a shame. I realize that the snippets I heard were colored by the perspectives of the speakers.

Aunt Ruth had no descendants. A few weeks ago, I decided to try and reconstruct as much of her story as I could.

Because everyone has a story.
Ruth's Story...

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

The journey is good.

And there are many stories of people along the way.

sharpchick_2011: (Troll)
Received in my inbox this morning, with an assurance it had been checked out on Snopes.

Recently Marines in Iraq wrote to Starbucks because they
wanted to let them know how much they liked their coffees
and to request that they send some of it to the troops

Starbucks replied, telling the Marines thank you for
their support of their business, but that Starbucks does
not support the war, nor anyone in it, and that they would not
send the troops their brand of coffee.

So as not to offend Starbucks, maybe we should not
support them by buying any of their products! I feel we
should get this out in the open. I know this war might
not be very popular with some folks, but that
doesn't mean we don't support the boys on the ground
fighting street-to-street and house-to-house.

If you feel the same as I do then pass this along, or you
can discard it and no one will ever know.

Thanks very much for your support. I know you'll all be
there again when I deploy once more.

Semper Fidelis.
Sgt. Howard C. Wright
1st Force Recon Co

1st Plt PLT

Also, don't forget that when the Twin Trade Towers were
hit the fire fighters and rescue workers went to
Starbucks because it was close by for water for the
survivors and workers and Starbucks charged them!!


Now, time for the Hertz moment.

Not exactly.

Actually, not even close.

If anyone in the massive list of addresses splayed down the page of my email had taken about 90 seconds to check, they'd have known that.

It wasn't even "recently," unless you count the rumor's original origins in 2004, as researched by Snopes.

In 2007, the rumor changed corporations, and it was Oscar Meyer.

There *was* an email by a Sgt. Howard Wright, and after he got a letter from Starbucks, he sent another email, backing up from his original statement and saying he "didn't do my research properly like [I] should have."
So, what did I do?

I replied all.

And preached the truth.

And probably made several enemies in the process, people I don't even know.

And frankly, don't care to know.

Winston Churchill was right, ya know...

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.
The journey is good.

But I guess I'll have to move around the lemmings.

sharpchick_2011: (Default)
It's funny how books inspire me.

Most of books I read are just really good reads.

But some inspire me - to learn more about a subject.

Recently I read two books by British author Gil McNeil. The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club and the sequel, Needles and Pearls.

Neither are mind-blowing literature, and in The Beach Street Society, Ms. McNeil has the tendency to write one sentence paragraphs, which initially made me crinkle up my nose, and read them aloud to a friend, arriving breathlessly at the period at the end.

And then, realized I am kind of like her.

But it was her description of the knitting society that intrigued me. Both novels are centered in modern day Britain, where the female protagonist leaves London to return to her hometown village and take over her grandmother's yarn shop. In order to attract more new business to the old business, she creates a knitting club called The Stitch and Bitch, a group of mostly women, but with room for men, who get together at the shop and knit.

The old-timers teach the newcomers. Everyone dispenses advice, feelings are hurt and healed.

And a dying art - a craft - is passed on to just a few more people.
Because the novels are set in the here and now, the protagonist experiences the initial discomfort of slowing down from the breathless pace of London to the slower pace of her beachside childhood.

And since the author knits in her real life, she also gives a good description of using knitting as a way to slow down and open a door to creativity.
So I wondered as I closed the last book if anything like that existed in my real life.

As it turns out, it does. I first went looking for someone to give me knitting lessons, and found out that Little Rock isn't big on that.

So I thought I'd have to settle for teaching myself to knit by watching videos, and found a really delightful woman from across the pond who has the most soothing voice, and pauses often enough for you to be able to get it right.

But that seemed to miss the mark. As I told my friend to whom I read those long, breathless passages, I wanted to find a knitting society.

She remembered a yarn shop in Little Rock from years ago. I went to find it.

And did.

I'll mosey up there sometime next week, tell the owner, Cindy, how I want to start, and let her guide me for my first project.

And then sit down at the round table in the front of the store with the other knitters, and learn to knit.
The journey is good.

And it doesn't have to be completed at a gallop.
sharpchick_2011: (Moon)
Had a lovely, fun-filled Thanksgiving with my son, his girlfriend and all four kids. He has two, she has two, and when everyone is all together, it makes for an interesting time. We had ages from 8 down to 1 1/2.

We went out to eat at a family style restaurant where you could either have a traditional southern Thanksgiving plate or order anything you wanted, including breakfast.

I elected to let someone else do the cooking and washing up this year.

So, the kids all wanted breakfast. Three of them had pancakes, including McKayla, my youngest granddaughter.

I cut her pancakes up and then held her plate to the side so I could feed her. She kept doing that dodging thing toddlers do with food. I offered her stuff from my plate.

Nope, the head swiveled to the side, lips locked in defiant grimace. Adam looked up and told me he thought she preferred to feed herself.

I said with syrupy pancakes? You've got to be kidding...

Who knew a syrup laden pancake could be so well constructed that it would survive being flopped around in the air by an independent 18 month old without having parts of it flung into the laps of nearby diners?

I learn something new every day...
Came home in the afternoon to find that Tigger was having intestinal upset.

Which got worse throughout the evening and into the night, culminating in bloody diarrhea.

Naturally, on a holiday evening.

Left voice mail for the vet that we would be in promptly Friday morning.

No fever, no parasites, no detectable explanation at all. Same as with the idiopathic cystitis thing of two months ago, for which we are now injecting him every three weeks with Adequan.

For the rest of his life.

The only explanation the vet had was stress. Nonetheless, a round of antibiotics, to make sure there is not a bacterial infection.

And had to rest his gut, which meant no food until this morning.

His cohorts were not amused. I free feed the cats because my work schedule doesn't permit me to be around to do the scheduled meal thing.

To ease him back into food, today we are doing four small scheduled meals.

Which means for all.

Emma in particular is very put out, glaring at me as I took up the bowls. Emma snacks between serial naps. There should be something for her to snack on when she awakes.

Stoney has been following me around, doing the feline vocal equivalent of whining.

And I am trying to figure out what could have stressed Tigger out.
The Weather Channel has just texted me that the temperature will drop like a rock, and we have a 30% to 40% chance of snow showers for the next few days.

WTF? The Farmers Almanac said nothing about that...
The journey is good.

It has just enough weirdness in it to keep me from getting complacent.



Oct. 8th, 2011 11:12 am
sharpchick_2011: (Default)
Was talking with a friend last evening as we sat on his porch.

Leaves have started falling, even though we aren't seeing a whole lot of color - yet.

The breeze was nice, and as we sat and soaked in nature, some of them swirled to the ground.

He sighed.

Guess it's time to start the raking...

I asked why - the leaves have only begun to fall - the trees are still loaded with them. If you just feel compelled to rake, why not wait until there's really something to rake?

He gave me an incredulous look, and reminded me the lot on which his home sits is full of hardwoods. It doesn't take long for the leaves to get pretty deep, and you need to stay ahead of it.

I said, yeah, I guess you're right...we really need to be able to watch the daily decline of the lawn as it goes dormant and starts looking like just so much dead grass.

He just shook his head and smiled a half smile.
My friend and I are different in many ways.

In this, I feel a little sorry for him that the change of the seasons causes him to sigh about the work it represents instead giving him the simple joy I feel in watching leaves flutter to the ground.

Nature has been taking care of dead leaves for a very long time.

You can't fight the cycles...they go on and on, whether you fight against them or not.
The journey is good.

A few leaves shouldn't be that heavy.

sharpchick_2011: (Default)
But a really neat work thing happened today.

Not at work - as in, at the office.

I was working at home today on the same problem I've been working on since mid March this year.

But things are going according to schedule on that project.
So the really neat thing played out in text message.

A social worker I know sent me a text this morning, asking how he could get a jail to let a detainee come to the ER at UAMS on a doctor's order.

Okay - doc wants someone at the ER - must be pretty bad. Allrightythen, that one's a no-brainer.

So I replied to him.

Have the physician call the jail administrator and tell him the doc is sending an ambulance for the detainee.

He said okay, thanks.

Forty-five minutes later, I got another text from him saying, it worked! thanks.

Of course it worked.

I haven't been doing this for 23 years for nothing...
The journey is good.

Sometimes good shit happens.

sharpchick_2011: (Cat with lime)
They now number 3, which is down from 5 just two years ago.

That's what happens when you adopt several cats in successive years, and they start getting older.

Meet the feline pride of the cottage.
Emma is the oldest, but only a few months older than the next in line.

Most of the time, a visitor to the cottage - unless VERY well known - never even knows Emma exists.

Emma is not terribly social. She is not anti-social per se, she's just very selective about who she rubs elbows, knees, ankles or other body parts with.


Emma will be 13 next spring. I adopted her from our local no-kill shelter when she was about 8 months old.

Emma's nickname is The Comfort Queen. That's because ever since she was a tiny little thing, she has spent her days scoping out the most comfortable spot - depending on season of the year, plushness of fabric, and attractiveness of scenery - planning her days around locations for her serial naps. Generally speaking, Emma is a very easy cat to be around.

However, one should not interrupt one of Emma's naps. When it is time, she will awaken, and nibble on some kibble, go to the ladies' room, or do her chores.

Her chores consist of checking out her other chosen napping locations to see if Stoney or Tigger are in them, and if so, chasing them out of said locations, even if she is not scheduled to nap there just yet.

The only solid guarantee you have of getting Emma's attention is to let her hear you lift the ring tab on a can of cat food.

I think Emma is beginning to show signs of a touch of arthritis, and have taken some of her favorite napping fabrics to locate them closer to the floor for her. She has not indicated any gratitude for this, but uses them anyway.

One of her less endearing traits is the thing she has about the vet's office.

She doesn't have to be the one who went. Anyone who comes back from the vet smells like *that place* and must be hissed at for a minimum of 48 hours.

If it is Emma who went to the vet, then SHE smells like *that place* and everyone - most especially me - must be hissed at for as long as she stays pissed about it.
Stoney is next oldest. He will be 13 next summer, and I adopted him at the same time I adopted Emma.

So here we were, with these two kittens, 5 and 8 months old, and trying to pick out names for them.

My son was 15 at the time and wanted to name the male cat Stoner.

I was not calling the vet to ask for an appointment for Stoner, so Adam had to compromise.


Bless his heart...Stoney is one of the most neurotic cats I've ever met. I think his mother must have stood up during the birthing process and he whacked his little punkin head on the floor.

After almost 13 years in the same house, Stoney still jumps - staight up - if he is standing by the A/C unit when it kicks on. Then, he runs over to a vent and sniffs the air coming out of it, looking as if he thinks someone must be pumping mustard gas into the house.

When he was a kitten, he was so twitchy I took him to the vet to see if we could do something. One half a tab of Elavil (a tri-cyclic antidepressant) was prescribed, but it just zoned him out, and he would sit hunkered on the floor, not giving a shit that Emma was hissing at him.

Not giving a shit about anything. It was horrible. He had three doses of it, and I called the vet and said I was just gonna deal with a neurotic cat.

Stoney has two favorite games - one of which can only be played in the morning while I am in the shower. He runs from the living room, slides across the kitchen floor and rolls up the rug runner in the hallway outside the bathroom, so I am sure to cuss when I trip on it and he can have a good laugh.

The other is the flashlight game, and he never tires of it. I get out the flashlight and he chases the light around. He particularly loves to go around and around in circles, because I think he gets off on being dizzy at the end...whoa, what a head rush...

Stoney also has pica and eats anything that resembles a string, so no fringed rugs here, and I have to cut the tails off the toy mice...

Of all the cats, Stoney is the one who is the most concerned about the others, and will alert me if he thinks something is wrong.
Tigger is the last cat who was added to the pride, and he picked us.


He was one of the dozens of feral kittens from the colony we had in the neigborhood before I convinced a trap/neuter/release program to work out here. One of my neighbors and I were feeding the colony. Tig would follow me up on the porch after I fed them, and started trying to run in the door with me.

I gave up, crated and vetted him, and brought him inside when he was about 3 months old. He will be 10 next spring.

Tig is the most gregarious of all the cats. He personally greets every visitor.

He's also a non-stop talker with me. He sits on the closed toilet in the mornings while I shower and talks to me while I am in there. If I do not answer him promptly, the shower curtain gets parted by a little orange head, and green eyes stare reproachfully at me.

I guess he's checking to make sure I'm still alive.

Tig is also the most dog-like cat I've ever had for a companion, and he comes when he's called, talking all the way.

Tig and Stoney hang out fairly well together, and at times, seem to compete with each other for attention, food or toys.
I cannot imagine not having companion animals in my life.

The journey is good.

sharpchick_2011: (Default)
Last night as I got ready for bed, I went through my usual routine, which includes turning off all lights in the cottage except the tiny little lamp next to the kitchen window.

I got up before the alarm went off this morning to visit the bathroom.

And was surprised when I opened my bedroom door and saw the bathroom light on. There's usually one explanation for that.

I have a dear friend who has gone to the other side who monkeys with the bathroom light to get my attention.

But not usually in the middle of the night.
I guess it's time to write this down.

This is a long one.
Sit back and get comfortable... )
The journey is good.

sharpchick_2011: (Troll)
About three or four times a week, my next door neighbor comes over to bum a cigarette.

I really love her to pieces, and I *do not* begrudge her the smoke.

The reason she asks for the cigarette always gets next to me though.

Because her 40 year old, unemployed-because-he-is-too-disabled-with-diabetes-to-work son has her car and has not returned yet. (She'll start her second shift in her split at 7 tonight.)

Today, I just came out with it.

Well, what the hell's your boy doing leaving his mama without smokes?

She looked down at her hands in her lap.

"Well, he's right, I should have thought about it as I was coming in from my morning shift and stopped and got a pack before I got home..."

Then she looked up at me...whereupon I just came out with it again.

Or he could go get a job, buy his own ride and gas and insurance like his mama and the rest of us...Geez, when are you gonna kick his ass to the curb?
It probably will not surprise you that her son and I do not get along.

When we had our power outage on the hottest day in recorded Little Rock history earlier this month (or was it last? I can't remember), most of the neighborhood was outside when it got hotter in our homes than it was out there.

And I heard her son telling her there was nothing to the heat...that it was all in your head...she and the rest of us should shut up our bitching. Then he glared at the 7 month old child who was wailing in her mama's arms.

I guess the kid was disturbing his peace. So I disturbed it a little more, and asked him if all those people who die from the heat every summer - including a bunch of old folks who won't turn on their A/C because they can't pay the increased electric bills - was he saying they are all figments of our imaginations?

One day when his mama's not looking, I'll probably just go ahead and give him a swift kick in the ass...

Or maybe not.

I hear karma bites.
sharpchick_2011: (Candle)
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to know what someone else was thinking? Not in the sense of long-time partners or good friends, where you know them so well you can pick up on little gestures or facial expressions and know how they feel...

I mean *really* know what someone else was thinking. In their exact words - that is, if they had said those words.

I used to think that would be cool.

Until it happened to me.

Over a period of five days in October 2006, there were three separate occasions where I heard very clearly what someone else was saying and replied to them, only to have them tell me they had not said any such thing.

They thought it. Exactly as I heard it.

I didn't know it at the time, but it's called clairaudience, and Wikipedia does a decent job of defining it.

Clairaudience (hearing/listening)In the field of parapsychology, clairaudience [from late 17th century French clair (clear) and audience (hearing)] is a form of extra-sensory perception wherein a person acquires information by paranormal auditory means. It is often considered to be a form of clairvoyance. Clairaudience is essentially the ability to hear in a paranormal manner, as opposed to paranormal seeing (clairvoyance) and feeling (clairsentience). Clairaudient people have psi-mediated hearing. Clairaudience may refer not to actual perception of sound, but may instead indicate impressions of the "inner mental ear" similar to the way many people think words without having auditory impressions. But it may also refer to actual perception of sounds such as voices, tones, or noises which are not apparent to other humans or to recording equipment. For instance, a clairaudient person might claim to hear the voices or thoughts of the spirits of persons who are deceased. In Buddhism, it is believed that those who have extensively practiced Buddhist meditation and have reached a higher level of consciousness can activate their "third ear" and hear the music of the spheres; i.e. the music of the celestial gandharvas. Clairaudience may be positively distinguished from the voices heard by the mentally ill when it reveals information unavailable to the clairaudient person by normal means (including cold reading or other magic tricks), and thus may be termed "psychic" or paranormal.

(I bolded the part of the definition that applied to me.)

Oddly enough, it started at work... )

The journey is good.

There are signs along the way.

This was the only experience I've had with clairaudience.

And it *was* a sign.

More about that later...

sharpchick_2011: (Default)
Something really cool is getting ready to happen - I can tell.

It will have something to do with my obsessive quest to document folks in my family tree.

I'm thinking probably the Williams, Baldings or Chapins.

The signs are too clear to dismiss.
For those of you who know what I'm talking about, this will be old hat.

And I am well aware that there are those of you who, if we met in person and I told you this, would plaster on that stiff, straight smile of the disbeliever who is just too damned polite to say, oh, bullshit, and would listen, but would also be looking out of the corner of your eye for a handy exit.

That's okay. I'm good with it. I've had my whole life to deal with disbelief.
In the wee small hours of Friday morning, I suddenly awoke.

I tried to figure out what woke me, so I listened carefully to see if the cottage felines were partying hearty and knocked something over.

All I could hear was silence.

I'm always reluctant to get out of bed and hunt down shit like that because 1) I have a hard time going back to sleep, and 2) at least two of the cats magically appear from where ever they were, circling my ankles and looking up at me, saying well yeah, since you're up, how about a treat? (Life must be at least a little bit of a bitch when you are born without opposable thumbs.)

I wandered out into the kitchen and living room, and looked around. Everything was in order. Stoney and Tig approached, whined, and got their treats.

I beat a hasty retreat back to bed before Emma could rouse and want treats too, which would mean treating Stoney and Tig again to keep them outta hers...
Friday morning when I got up for real, I wandered out to start my day. As I was pouring coffee and cat food, I noticed something just wasn't right.

Couldn't put my finger on it.

It wasn't until I walked by the living room gallery of dead relatives on my way to the den to feed the birds that I saw it.

Every single picture was tilted. The bottoms of all of them listed to the left.

After I fed the birds, I straightened all the pictures and contemplated that. The week before, I had taken two of them off the wall to get photos of them for the genealogy blog, and I considered that maybe I knocked all of them askew when I re-hung those two.

Uh uh. I am way too Type A to live with crooked portraits of the ancestors for a week or so. I am too Type A to let you do it, either.

So I called my next door neighbor and asked her if I had slept through a thunderstorm or a sonic boom.

No, she said...why do you ask?
She's one of the ones who gets *that look* on her face when I talk about this kind of stuff.

Except she wants to believe. I can tell. And I think she probably almost does, since she witnessed my haunted bathroom light switch. It's her brother that does that. He died in 2007.

One of my cousins got the straight, tight-lipped smile when I told her about my haunted coffee pots (plural, mind you, plugged into three different kitchen outlets) and my haunted computer printer.

Then, she had her own close encounter with the printer one day over here at the cottage, and now...she believes.
My ancestors have been giving me signs for years...

I think the first time I understood how important it was to take notice of the signs - even if I don't know what they mean in the moment - was the week long experience I had with clairaudience that began on October 9, 2006 and ended on October 13, 2006, never to be repeated again.

That one culminated in the suicide of a really, really sick man, who tried to kill his wife with a sword, got arrested and hanged himself in his jail cell, after being continuously denied bail because he kept telling the judge if he got out, he was going to go back and finish the job.

She swears I saved her life.

I say I just paid attention to the signs.
The portraits that were tilted on Friday morning tilted again on Friday night while I slept. Yesterday morning I straightened them all up again with a shit-eating grin on my face.

The journey is good.

There are signs along the way.

sharpchick_2011: (Romani q of s)
I'm usually a grounded sort of person. I have my routines, know what needs to be done when, and what can be set aside for later.

Over the last couple of weeks, I've had a vague sense of suspension - kind of drifting...hanging in the balance. I've gone about the routines, but they didn't seem to give the same satisfaction.

I pulled out my Romani tarot deck today and drew three cards (and another from the bottom for What's hidden?).

I drew the 9 of Koros (Cups), Judgment, and the Fool.

Interesting lot, those are...particularly the order.

The 9 of Cups is about storing up for future time of need - noting impressions of emotion and intuition, and not necessarily acting on them at the time, but storing away the impressions for future need. It can also be indicative of storing away tangible things for the same reason.

Judgment is a card that signals impending change - one that involves leaving something old completely behind and stepping out into something new. In this draw, it is followed immediately by the Fool - the archetype of new beginnings and new paths on the journey that are taken on faith when reason cannot explain why.

These three together indicate to me that a major change is headed my way, and I need to be ready for it.

What's hidden/
The 4 of Chivs (Swords)

A reminder that my readiness also needs to include solitude to take the time to look within - where the 9 of Cups shows me the need to have my physical, emotional and intuitive storehouse ready, the 4 is telling me to make sure I have taken the time to prepare my mind.
The journey is good.

sharpchick_2011: (Default)
PhotobucketIt was a good week for...

...Making connections with another Burris researcher through the Burris DNA Project. We don't seem to be able to connect our dots yet - hers start in North and South Carolina though, so there is hope. Her family is descended through Solomon Burriss. Her husband was a 12/12 marker match for my father.

...My car guys, who got a chunk of change from me for replacement of my front struts. They'll make out well next week, too, because on the way home Friday from the shop, I started hearing my squealer on my right front brake.

That's what my son calls it. He says it means to get my butt back to the car guys.

...The United States Navy, whose representatives at the memorial service for my Uncle Tommy last Monday exemplified the dignity and compassion of members of our armed services who provide the military portions of funerals and memorial services.

Those men were outstanding.
PhotobucketIt was a bad week for...

...The American flying public, as illustrated by what happened to Thomas Sawyer, at the Detroit Metro Airport.


Sawyer, a survivor of bladder cancer, wears a urostomy bag. Last November, TSA screeners in Detroit handled him so roughly that the seal on the bag broke, and he wound up with urine on his clothing. He says they haven't learned anything in the last 8 months, even though TSA Chief John Pistole apologized to him in a phone call in late November. Pistole told Sawyer he would speak with TSA supervisors to determine what kind of training needed to be provided to TSA screeners.

Methinks they cannot hear you, Chief Pistole...maybe they need some piss on them to get the point.

...People, animals and plants in Arkansas - the drought continues and it's showing even in large, mature trees. Today is quite overcast and humid, and if it means rain, I'm good with it.

The journey is good, but the heat is stifling...

sharpchick_2011: (Candle)
I was visiting with a friend last night, whose 26 year-old son used to live in Joplin, MO.

Until an EF-5 tornado roared through on May 22.

Brian barricaded his mother, grandmother, aunt, himself and one of his dogs in his bathroom, and braced his feet against the door to hold it closed. The other dog, Marley, wouldn't come into the bathroom with them.

When it was over, the entire house had collapsed on top of them, and Brian dug them out. The house was reduced to scattered bricks and splintered wood - just a pile of rubble.

My friend, Brian's dad, went to see his son as soon as he was allowed in. The family was staying in another town close by, with friends.

Brian told his dad about the ordeal, and how, after he had gotten everyone out, and couldn't find Marley, he dug his cell phone out of his pocket to call 911.

He looked around. All he could see was devastation - every home collapsed. One of his worst moments...

What if there is no 911?
From what I understand, Brian has remained remarkably resilient after determining that he lost *everything*.

He has been able to get another car. He started going back to work within a week after the storm.

His dad thinks it might have something to do with a phone call Brian got about four days after the tornado.

Marley came home. He came back to the pile of rubble that once was his home.

He was waiting for Brian.
The journey is good.

Even in the midst of devastation, there are miracles.

sharpchick_2011: (Cat with lime)
Hot. Fucking hot.

I don't care which town it is - it's just hot.

I can tell by the birds hanging out in the trees in the garden when the birdbaths are empty.

I'm filling them once a day during the work week, and at least twice on the weekends.

The birds thank me with song. As soon as the front door hits me in the ass, they are all over them, splashing away. (I have one on a pedestal and one on the ground...the mourning doves looked so exposed and uncomfortable perching on the elevated bowl, I gave them their own. Now the male cardinals like it, too.)

And every day or so, I stand with the nozzle for the garden hose set to that misty setting, and in about two or three minutes, the hummingbirds take me up on the offer - zipping in and out of the spray, not fighting at all.
Special delivery from the United States Post Office took on new meaning yesterday.

I had been expecting my $100 worth of DVDs from Amazon, coming priority mail.

Seasons 2 and 3 of the X Files and The Tudors.

Was glancing out of the living room window at my next door neighbor's grandkids playing in the sprinkler shortly after noon when something whizzed by the window, airborne.

Landed with a thump on the porch.

I opened the door and saw the box.

And the quickly retreating ass of my substitute mail carrier.

I'm all for economy of effort - especially in the heat - but we don't need to be hurling mah movies at mah cottage.

Postmistress and I will conference tomorrow morning.
*Do not* want to return to the office tomorrow.

But the madness at the Arkansas State Hospital continues, so I must.
The journey is good.

sharpchick_2011: (Troll)
Needed to have a bit of maintenance work done on the cottage.

For those who do not/have not lived in mobile homes, maintenance is a tad different than in stick built houses.

I've never had - nor will I have - local wildlife nesting in the attic.

Ditto water in the basement.

The cottage is jacked up three blocks high in the front and four in the back, tied down to corkscrewed stainless steel spikes and skirted.

It's fairly easy to take care of plumbing or sewer problems - even for me. (Remind me to tell you sometime about the next door neighbor who, watching me connect my plumbing and sewer lines when I moved in, decided I must be a lesbian...I went by the drawing that came with the house, and saved myself a small fortune on a plumber.)
After a while - 17 years in my case - the effects of gravity set in on these homes.

Just like it does on people.

For me, it showed up in misalignment of the front door. Just a bit.

Just enough to make me crazy.

So I called the handy-dandy mobile home supply company, described my problem and asked who they had on the list who could fix it.

They gave me a name and a number. I called him.

He was very prompt, very polite and professional - a guy about my age. He *did* ask to borrow my hammer, since his was not in his truck.

It took him about 45 minutes to unscrew the front door frame, jack it up just ever so slightly, re-screw it, and repair the strikeplate.

He looked, as various fix-it guys have over the years, at my doorlocks.

Suggested I might want deadbolts on both doors, and everything keyed the same.

I said okay. We agreed he'd come back today, while I was on vacation.
He was very prompt this morning. Got here while the coffee was still hot, so I offered a cup.

Very efficient. About an hour later, he was done. After he swept up after himself, I paid him - a very reasonable rate.

Offered him another cup of coffee and we sat down at the kitchen table. He looked around the cottage, and pronounced it very homey. He read all my refrigerator magnets, and grinned about my politics.

He began to talk - told me stuff about himself I couldn't imagine telling a stranger. His home life as a child was quite similar to mine, although I took different paths to get away from it than he did.

At the end, I understood why he's a handy-man.

And I saw again just how similar we humans are.

So much more than we are different.
The journey is good.

The side roads have some very interesting characters on them.



sharpchick_2011: (Default)

May 2014



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