photo by Sheri Dixon

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Slogan Solutions: the Deadliness of The Easy Fix

The Flat Tax

Slash Government Waste

Entitlement Society

Just Get a Job

Adoption Not Abortion

Trickle Down!

Make America Great Again!!!

Wipe Out the Terrorists

Show of Strength

Let Go and Let God

We are not encouraged to think critically. We are trained to listen to our elders, our leaders, our superiors, from the second we are born till the moment we die. Crowd control is really the basis of every single ideology- political or spiritual.

Crowd control.

Every ideology has its own goals and agendas and every one of them depends on getting the largest amount of people on your team. When there are small numbers of people involved, positive reinforcement works. Talk your team up, show people what works and how their life will be better if they sign on, positive reinforcement is a great way to individually affect lives and effect growth for your cause. One on one. One at a time. A solid foundation for the future of your goals.

But, damn that's so slow. It's slow and tedious and requires actually, you know...talking to people and living all the good parts of your philosophy your own self as an example. Whew, that's exhausting and honestly kind of boring.

Humans being mammals, and of a community (herd) persuasion, the one thing that gets everyone's attention and action in a heartbeat is fear. Good old fashioned Fear.

Fear of death, fear of attack, fear of privation, fear of eternal damnation...Fear.

Now here's the good part.

Just something that causes instantaneous panic- like an earthquake, or tornado, or Facebook going down for an hour---all that Fear needs to be directed at something to be effective. So we also need---An Enemy.

The Enemy has to be an entire demographic---something big enough to rally anOTHER entire demographic into action.

Liberals, Nazi's, blacks, gays, conservatives, women, men, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Japs, Spics, Yankees, Rebels, Educated Elites, Rednecks... every single group can be demonized and utilized by another one. If they look, talk or live differently than you ALL THE BETTER to make them seem less like you, like your family, less human.

Now you have Fear, and an Enemy. People are afraid, confused, possibly panicked, and looking for an answer, and they want it to be easy, and blunt, and seemingly air-tight. Enter the Slogan Solution.

They are astounding in their stark simplicity.

So we have our Slogan Solution, and we have an Enemy. It's so easy, especially if the topic is all twisty and gnarly and somewhat painful to consider---merely cave to the Slogan Solution and it'll all be better in no time.

Now the hard part.

Take any one of the slogans above and hold it in your hand. Turn it over and around and really consider-

-what is the real issue it's addressing?
-what caused or is causing that issue?
-what caused THOSE circumstances in the first place?
(I know- this is hard. Keep going.)
-what can we do to address the original issues- NOT what's in front of us now, but what caused it? Treating the cause of a disease instead of merely masking the symptoms, as it were.
-what can we do, going forward, to make sure those original causes aren't given the environment to thrive?

The operative word that should come out of every mouth when given a Slogan Solution is "HOW?"

How are you going to do this? What steps exactly will need to be taken and what's the toll it will take on all involved?

You may think that 'Let Go and Let God' doesn't fit with the rest, but it does, unless the same above steps are taken. If a situation is so hopeless that all you can say is 'let go and let God', you need to be damn sure you have already done YOUR OWN SELF everything possible to remedy that situation and that means going thru the above steps. Let go and let God at its finest is saying, "I have done everything I can and everything I know how in order to make this better. That's either good enough or it never will be."

Slogan Solutions are great things to throw around, to rally behind and to wave a flag or holy book to. Catchy, inspiring, seemingly completely sensible.

But what does it do to your Enemy? Remember, your Enemy is an entire demographic of mothers, fathers, children, families who are in reality all insidiously exactly like your own. No 'buts'. Exactly. Like. Your. Own.

So hold their feet to the fire, these Slogan Solution Spewers. Demand that they tell us HOW. Insist that they relate to us the cost in dollars and human lives.

Refuse to be blinded by the simplicity of an Easy Fix.

Don't live in Fear of the Fire.

Stop, drop and roll.

Stop being afraid.

Drop the big questions on the fear-mongers.

Roll over their sorry asses and support your fellow humans.

All of them.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Who Could've Known?

"Who could've known Dylann would take the guns we know he has out of his room filled with racist propaganda and go shoot up a church? Did NOT see THAT coming!"

What the hell, America?

Young black men get killed all the time and we're told that it couldn't be helped- it's their culture that they are steeped in and it makes them violent, aggressive, dangerous. It's the cultural norm for this demographic.

Not armed, you say? Not committing a crime at the time? No worries- we can find a whole shitload of 'evidence' pointing to past transgressions that we can use to justify what was done.

Adam Lanza? James Holmes? Dylann Roof? Well, lets see here. Adam shot himself in the head when the cops showed up, but the other two were taken alive and are in jail. Obviously armed to the teeth and apparently not at all shy about shooting people dead, yet they were taken into custody alive.

And not only that, there is ZERO focus on the 'culture' they were raised in. Zero. They are simply labeled, 'troubled young men who just snapped. Who could've known?'

I guarandamntee someone knew. Someone knew they were messed up and STILL gave those boys guns to play with. Someone knew and STILL turned their backs and said, "Just boys being boys...they'll grow out of it" or WORSE- silently (and/or not so silently) approved of the mindset that led up to the last horrible moments.

Our 'culture' is every bit as sick as any other- MORE sick because we refuse to acknowledge that behavior like this is NOT an accident, NOT an isolated incident, and NOT surprising. It's ingrained into us and we don't even see it while being VERY vocal about, "I'll tell you what's wrong with THOSE people".

Maybe because I sit here in the glittering rhinestone that is the center of the shiny buckle of the Bible Belt that I see it more acutely- this barely-submerged, intolerant, judgmental bullshit that condemns an entire culture; admonishes them to FIX THEMSELVES, why don't they just fix themselves? Why aren't they more like US?

We have an entire log-jam in our eyes yet we snipe at their speck.

Yanno what doesn't help?

It doesn't help for us to be 'that guy'.

That guy we all know who always turns shit around to be about him. You're sick? He's been sicker. You're hurting? He's been hurt WAY WORSE than you. We need to stop being 'that guy'...stop saying, "Well, yes your community is hurting, but SO IS OURS", "Well, yes the cops looked to have used a tad too much force, but think of the INNOCENTS the cop was protecting---they didn't KNOW if he was armed or not".

'That guy' is a douche. When we're faced with something awful, we need to stop putting our own spin on it, protecting our own flaws and weaknesses. A young white man went into a church of black Christians, announced that black people are destroying America and shot them dead.

No one put him up to this. His thinking isn't isolated AT ALL (he just acted on it). It IS about race because he SAID IT WAS.

It IS about the culture he embraced- 200% about the culture of hatred and racism and everyone around him either embraces the same thing or knew DAMN WELL he felt that way.

Who could've known? Everyone around him.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

What to Do With the Last Cookie

Let's talk stereotype. Wait. That's a word with many bad feelers attached to it so let's just use 'generalization' instead.

IN GENERAL, when I express frustration about a situation to a man, I won't even get to the end of the description of said situation before the man will interrupt me and say, "Have you tried ______?" or "Maybe you just need to __________."

Because that's what guys do. They fix shit. They get presented with a situation and their first (and sometimes only) response is to offer a way to FIX IT. A lot of times the problem with that is they don't really know the background behind the situation or the possible ramifications of various solutions because they're not focused on that. They live simple: Problem/Solution/Done.

IN GENERAL, when I express frustration about a situation to a woman, they listen. They nod. They may (depending on the woman) offer a sympathetic hug and a, "Oh, honey- that must be tough" or a glass of wine and a , "Wow- that's some bullSHIT right there!"

Because that's what women do. They listen. They know I just need to give a situation voice and let the words hang there in the light of day so I can see them for myself from all angles. They know I've already considered back stories, side stories and all possible ramifications of every single solution about a million times in my head so when I say

"I just don't know what to do about this"

What I'm really saying is, "I haven't decided which course of the twelve rolling around in my head I'm gonna take with this."

IN GENERAL, men are presented with a problem and that's what they focus on. The problem at hand, like it's an isolated event with no connection to anything else. They see the problem and they solve the problem in the most logical (and quick) manner and done. All that other stuff that may be affected by the solution will just have to shuffle out and fix itself.

IN GENERAL, women look at a problem as a symptom of other shit all around it. Deal with that other shit and the problem goes away.


Two kids are fighting over the last cookie. Mom comes in and asks each one how many cookies they've already each had. If the answer is lopsided, the one who's had less gets the cookie. If it's the same, there are several ways to go
-Mom can have one break the cookie and the other choose which half he/she wants
-Mom can point out some treat one has recently gotten that the other one didn't and counsel compassion and generosity
-Mom can pull the 'you're the older one and therefore have already eaten more cookies in total than your younger sibling, hand him the cookie' card
-Mom can remind one of the siblings that they don't even LIKE that kind of cookie and to stop being a dick and let their sibling have it
Mom looks at the background, context and future possible issues surrounding the current cookie battle and uses this as a teaching moment that will hopefully prevent it from happening again- the kids will have witnessed and now have tools to judge what to do in the future that is a fair solution to them both.

Two kids are fighting over the last cookie. Dad comes in, takes the cookie and eats it. Problem/Solution/Done.

While it might be tempting to say, "Dad's solution is clearly the best way to go" (especially if you're a dad who likes cookies), all that has taught the kids is to take their fight underground when dad's around. Which is kind of (?) a lesson in primitive teamwork, but doesn't really go very far to engender communication and empathy skills since 99.999999% of the time the bigger one will just eat the front of the little one...slowly...luxuriously...

So while dad is in the living room, washing his cookie down with a nice iced tea as he watches the news BECAUSE TO HIM THE ISSUE HAS DISAPPEARED WITH THE LAST CRUMB, the kids' goal is now to grow up to be big and strong as quickly as possible because the biggest most powerful person can take pretty much whatever they want for whatever reason, and that whoever you are, you might be the biggest one minute, but the next minute someone even BIGGER will come along so you'd better cram that cookie in your mouth quick before your mom hears your younger sibling holler or your dad comes and takes the cookie for himself. Self-preservation above all.

That's the difference (I think) between most MODERATE conservatives and most MODERATE liberals.

I say MODERATE because there are extremes on both sides that most EVERYONE agrees are not feasible or humane.

IN GENERAL, conservatives see a problem and look at how to deal with it. They focus on how to punish current behaviors that are unacceptable- financial, moral, ethical- to deter future wrongdoing. It's direct, it's logical, it's clean (at least on the surface). Punish the end result harshly enough and no one will do it. Easy.

Except punishments cost money. Lots of money. Liberals are loathe to spend money on punishments because

IN GENERAL, liberals see a problem and walk it back to all possible causes. They focus on eliminating the environment that causes unacceptable behavior- financial, moral, ethical- so people won't go down that path in the first place. It's involved, it's complicated, it's messy and seemingly impossible (at least on the surface). Eliminate the causes to a problem and the problem will no longer exist. Easy.

Except that sort of thing costs money. Lots of money. Conservatives are loathe to spend money on stuff they can't see the direct and immediate benefit of.

Here's the thing.

In the real world, we need both. We need people who are wired to focus on eliminating causes of problems, and we need people who are wired to focus on punishing those who persist on behaving badly even tho they have no reason to...because those people will always be around. They are a small minority, but they will always be around.

Because sometimes the kids just dig their heels in and refuse to cooperate regarding the last cookie and mom ends up giving it to dad anyway before sending them to their rooms for being uncooperative, hateful little shits.

MODERATE Conservatives and liberals are not mutually exclusive groups whose beliefs are 100% anathema to the other- we've been brainwashed to think that by the media and the extreme factions of both sides.

MOST conservatives don't want people dying for lack of health care or children going to bed hungry at night.

MOST liberals don't want a pony in every yard and mass murderers set free because 'they just had a bad day'.

MOST everyone loves America, and their families, and is compassionate, and knows money doesn't grow on trees.

We need to work off the strengths of each other instead of tearing each other apart for the differences.

We need to find ONE THING we can agree on and go from there.

We need to embrace the word 'compromise' because otherwise we're doomed, and as grownups we know no one gets their way ALL the time. We do know that, right? That just because someone has a different way of attaining the same solution you all want, doesn't make it WRONG, it's just DIFFERENT.

The end goal is attaining the America that CAN be- not a monument to any one religion or ideology, but 'with equality and justice for ALL' and 'Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness'. All that stuff. What a great idea. We should try it sometime.

Because right now, we're fighting over crumbs while someone else has all the cookies.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Lowered Expectations

Life is full of compromise.

My New Year's resolution was to blog thrice weekly, and not only did I not manage that, but now we're going on the thrice month without a blog post altogether. Now, one could say that's an epic failure of outstanding magnitude.


One could look at what else I've been up to and think, "Good gawd, how did she manage to get any sleep at all the last three months?" Because we're heading into a huge physical move at work into a brand new facility, we've been out of town some, the Boy finished up the 9th grade which literally took a village to accomplish, we obtained and are still cozying up a 'city house' in Denton in addition to the farm where baby goats have been born, projects undertaken and my entire guinea pig breeding program re-worked. I'm also concentrating more on helping a loved one with their writing than my own writing for the foreseeable future so what I'm saying is

both the road to Hell and my life are paved with good intentions.

So the Lowered Expectation version of my utterly attainable yet just out of reach resolution is, "Hey. I'll do the best I can. You can't have everything."

And I've been thinking about that very thing as we go into another ridiculous circus of clown cars presidential election year. Because one thing that's hurt us A LOT the last two elections is the apparent loss of the American citizen's ability to compromise.

In the beginning, it's pretty easy to grab onto a candidate who embodies, nay even mirrors, all the things you personally hold near and dear and hop on that bandwagon wearing the t-shirt and grasping the bumper sticker. Then they start falling by the wayside.

At the end of it, we get to choose (realistically) from two people- two people who have made it that far by pissing off the least amount of folks in their camp and by kissing the asses of the biggest donors who pay for the ads that state that their competitor is doing the exact same thing...but in a bad way.

Here's where we SHOULD look at each one, decide which one lines up the closest with how we think our nation needs to go for the next four years and vote for that one. Not, "Hold your nose and vote the party", not, "Screw it- I'm not voting because voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil so I'm voting my conscience" which sounds better than, "I hate them both because they're not ME so I'm pouting and not voting,but I reserve the right to bitch about whoever wins".

It's not 'selling out'. It's not 'voting for the lesser of two evils'. It's making a freaking decision and compromising because you're a grown up and realize that in a country as big as ours is there isn't ONE GUY OR GAL who will go in and do ONLY what you personally want. That's toddler-think.

ANY candidate who hollers, "NO COMPROMISE" should be put in time out with no dessert and treated like the hellacious brat he/she is.

ANY candidate who vows to deny American citizens rights that other American citizens enjoy should be despised, not celebrated. *Just as a reminder- that means EVERYONE- not just everyone like YOU, because no matter how loudly you holler "BUT THEY'RE NOT REAL AMERICANS" while stuffing your fingers in your ears, it doesn't make it true. People of ALL colors, genders, orientations, political parties and religions (or NOT) are, in fact American citizens just like you. For realsies.

Here's the thing that we all should've learned in kindergarten. We don't get our way all the time. When we try to do the wrong thing by someone else, it generally comes back to bite our own ass. Our parents, our teachers and Jesus all tell us to SHARE- help the little guy, denigrate the bully.

When we took a vote on stuff in class or our friend groups, not everyone won- some people got their way and some didn't. If the winners gloated and stuck out their tongues they were told to stop being such dicks. If the losers burst into tears and ran home they were told to stop being such babies. For god's sake look around- we are an entire country of dicks and babies and we REWARD that, vote them into office and then wonder why they go to DC and do nothing but throw shit at each other like a passle of chimps.

In years past, a candidate was celebrated (and elected) if they vowed to work for ALL their constituents, not just those of their own party and if they promised to 'work across the aisle for the betterment of the entire nation'. Now that's called being a traitor, being a RINO, being a DINO. Dicks and babies rule.

We need to grow the hell up. Stop looking at a candidate and thinking, "Will he do what's best for ME?" and start thinking, "Will he do what's best for ALL Americans?"

That's not selling out, it's not lowered expectations- if anything it's the exact opposite. It's demanding of YOURSELF that you stop being selfish and acknowledge that other Americans' rights are just as valid and precious as your own and demanding that they be protected, too.

Compromise is not a four letter word. You're thinking of 'MINE'.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

American Heroes

While everyone is singing the praises of Chris Kyle- American Sniper, I'm not so quick to join the choir.

Oh, not because I don't think he was a good American or a good sniper or a good guy- I'm sure he was all of these things. And his death was a tragedy, as all death is.

I do question the common sense of 'treating' PTSD with loaded automatic weapons...I think that's sort of a dangerous version of getting back up on the horse that threw you...and Chris Kyle's untimely death seems to lend credence to that line of thinking.

Yes, I've heard and read some of the articles and interviews from other American Snipers that are less than complimentary, but here's the thing. It doesn't matter. Chris Kyle is dead.

He came home, wrote a book, got himself killed, and had a movie made about him. Then, to top it all off, the Texas governor-elect deemed it necessary to give him his own holiday...Chris Kyle Day is a 'thing' now in Texas and will be every year.

You know what else is a 'thing'?

A literal shit-ton of Veterans in this country that are homeless.

They're homeless and sick physically and mentally because they went off to fight for something they were told was worthy and came back broken and shattered.

There's so many the VA can't handle them all. There's so many going un-handled that they are killing themselves off at a higher rate than the war is killing them. More veterans have killed themselves after coming home to the country they fought for than have been killed in (fill in the blank of your favorite current war).

They're getting killed in war and they're killing themselves when they get home and you know who else is killing them?

Police officers. *Remember when they were called Peace Officers? What the hell happened to THAT?


Our police officers are killing our veterans. Are they twitchy and drunk and drugged up and armed and dangerous? (the veterans) They can be. Or not. Raymond Keith Martinez was not any of those things except drunk- a state of self-medication he kept himself in for lack of proper help and medication.

51 years old, drunk and loitering. Shot dead.

Nicholas McGehee- purple heart recipient. Shot dead.

Tommy Yancy- served in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as boots-on-the-ground service after 9/11. Beaten to death.

AJ DeVillina- a High Desert Marine. Shot dead. On Veterans' Day weekend.

Are these men not also heroes? How were their sacrifices any smaller than Chris Kyle's? Why is their legacy and story not movie-material?

What about Chad Littlefield- the veteran who was killed with Chris Kyle? Only because of his proximity to Chris Kyle do we know his name and story.

And Eddie Routh- the man who killed both Chris and Chad- he's famous too, or infamous...heading for life in prison because someone thought it would be a grand idea to arm him in a 'safe and controlled situation'. He suffered from PTSD- just another broken pawn on our empire gameboard.

It's not that I begrudge Mr. Kyle his Official Texas Day. I just wonder where the Official days of remembrance for all the others are.

I guess they all can't have their own day because we'd run out of days right quick. Maybe we could give them each an hour because

Every 65 minutes, a military veteran commits suicide.

Look at this-

The story and movie everyone should be talking about is NOT the story of Chris Kyle. It's Raymond, Nicholas, Tommy, AJ. It's Eddie and every veteran who is homeless and jailed and beaten and killed and who kills themselves in despair and hopelessness.

We are failing them. They stepped up and served and we are backing off and letting them fall.

We're watching them fall, sometimes pushing them over the edge, sometimes killing them before they kill themselves. That is not the hallmark of a civilized compassionate nation.

Every 65 minutes another tiny light in our national sky blinks, wavers and goes out and no one even pauses to notice.

In the time it took me to write this we lost another one. Before I go to bed we'll lose two more. By morning another half dozen will be dead.

And on and on and on...our country keeping time in corpses piled up of those who served and were summarily cast aside.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Less Than Inspiring

Yanno what I'm sick to death of?

Inspirational stories.

"What an awful thing to say! How can anyone be anti-inspirational story?"

I can. I can totally be anti-inspirational story because they are inherently cruel.

Oh, I get it. Overcoming adversity, surmounting great odds, rising above a humble perhaps even squalid beginning, yada, yada, yada.

Don't get me wrong- I'm not disrespecting those stories or those people because their accomplishments are worthy and to be lauded. What I *do* take issue with is that their stories are so often used as a weapon of derision for those who DON'T 'measure up'.

You know- the rest of us.

Try to talk about the difficulties of getting ahead in our society without the benefit of a beginning that includes the right neighborhoods, relatives or money and someone slaps up a story about the kid who makes a million dollars out of spunk and bootstraps.

Say something about a challenging- even life-threatening- health issue you or a loved one is fighting with, and BAM there's a heartwarming tale about a guy who beat cancer with a good attitude and sunshine enemas.

Natural disaster? There's the inevitable family talking about how blessed they are because they done found that baby up in that tree alongside the cat- both alive and well.

So what does that tell us? That the family next door who are all dead now weren't blessed? They somehow didn't pray right or well enough or went to the wrong church?

The thing about inspirational stories is that they celebrate those who do something that, given the exact same circumstances, OTHER PEOPLE CAN'T DO. They have some freak combination of luck, right place/right time, genetics, temperament and opportunity that the rest of us don't. Oh, for sure they work hard and go out on limbs and persevere sometimes to an extreme.

But they make the news because what they have done is SO UNUSUAL that it's remarkable.

If everyone really COULD do what they did, it wouldn't be inspirational- it would be mundane.

To hold up one of these stories and crow, "If THIS person could do it- anyone can if they want it bad enough" is cruelty pure and simple.

Because MOST people can't. Or for damn sure they would.

Tell that person who has worked two or three jobs at a time and never quite gets ahead that they just aren't trying hard enough.

Tell the person who is fading away with disease that they just need to take X miracle cure and have a better attitude.

Tell those people who lose loved ones to natural disasters that God needed more angels so he took their family up to heaven.

I have a better idea.

Why don't we support a society that doesn't make everything such a hard-scrabble for so many?

Why do we accept as normal people having to work 60+ hours a week just to stay clothed and fed and their family barely cared for...and then say, "Hey- I did it- my kid can too!" Isn't the whole point of life to make things BETTER for your kids?

There's not a damn thing wrong with looking at how things are and saying, "This is BULLshit! No one should have to work themselves to literal death. No one should have to feel responsible for the outcome (bad or good) of their own healing. No one should ever EVER have to think 'maybe if I'd prayed harder, suffered more, just had more gumption even though I bled bullets to get even this far' one."

1.the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

Instead of holding up a very few blazing stars to blind and shame us with their superiority, let's be truly INSPIRED to foster an atmosphere where success is not only attainable, but normal...and fill the skies with starshine.

PS- They were hunting hogs the other night. I heard the lead dog from afar, right through the walls of the house and over the sound of the TV. Rhythmic baying, deep and insistent coming closer, closer- probably down the creek bed. I went out onto the porch and was assaulted by the savage cacophony of the entire pack; lead hound over it all, but the high adrenalin growling, howling, barking, snapping of the back-up dogs; an assortment I knew even without seeing them- Catahoula and Pits and crosses of Mastiffs- everything big and bloodthirsty enough to haul a huge tusked feral hog to the ground.

My livestock guard dogs were frantic and answering them outburst for outburst with offensive fervor and I silently hoped there would be no physical confrontations between them.

Holding my breath in the aural primal hurricane, it inched up to our place, across it, and drove on through the night leaving only the sound of the early spring peepers in the creek, full moon peeking through the scuttering clouds.

Monday, February 2, 2015

I Got Nuthin' But Excuses

Well, that resolution lasted a good two weeks. Isn't that the average length of a resolution?

I been busy, ya'll.

Busy with the mundane workings of a lower-middle-class pear-shaped-middle-aged woman's life.

I've hit the wall. The wall that's right there after work has been tended to, the family is fed and clothed, the critters have been cared for and all that excess shit that yammers for attention is slapped into submission. The wall says, "Come to me- rest your head against my lovely vertical surface...smooth and cool and blank as a goldfish's eyes. I allow you to do nothing. Sweet, sweet nothing."

"My house needs cleaning".

"Nonsense. The house is fine. Your furniture is covered with a protective layer of dust and dog hair. All that mess will still be there tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the next day..."

"I need to write something- I need to blog, to dive back into my unfinished book(s), to come up with something that will result in a check in the mail or professional recognition."

"Ha. It is to laugh. You know no one reads anything you write. All those words you so carefully knit together? No one cares. Just let it go."

"I have so many projects that need done around the farm- I have to get out there."

"No one cares but you. Everyone else thinks everything is just fine the way it is. Relax."

So I lean on the wall and the wall is smooth and cool and blank as a goldfish's eyes. I doze with my forehead against the wall.

I hear the noises of my life. Little dogs barking. Boy playing music. Cat singing the Song of His People before puking. My dear-departed mother-in-law's grandmother clock chiming the quarter hour. The soft hum of the ceiling fans. Gomez brushes the hair from my forehead. "Caramia? You OK?"

He just had another birthday- 63 on Saturday. He's sexy and kind and makes me laugh when he winks. On accounta he's got just the one eye. I'm going to hell, I'm sure of it.

And it's OK. It's all OK. I have a job that's both challenging and flexible doing something I believe in passionately. Our little farm is my Heart, pure and simple. I'm surrounded by family both blood and chosen- Boy, Ward, Joe, Jordan...all here right now and close at hand and safe.

And suddenly the wall doesn't look so good anymore. It's smooth and cool and blank when I need squishy and warm and messy.

My life is squishy and warm and messy.

And it's OK. Even busy and scattered and demanding.

It's OK.

Everything will shuffle out eventually just the way it's supposed to. I'll try to do better at this blogging stuff, but no promises. In the meantime, here's something from a REAL writer. It's important and gritty, uncomfortable and brilliant.

Until next time, ya'll. Hug your family. Right now.

PS- Sorcha is turning into one helluva dog. She's smart and ridiculous and exactly the dog I need for this part of my life. I thank her every day for choosing me.

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