Friday, November 30, 2007

Movie Night


After a grueling morning typing a science project, creating tables, and various other last minute makings, I decided I needed a treat. Because there will be a lot more work on the project to do tomorrow.

So tonight I went to two movies, back on back. The first one was "Beowulf" in 3D. Don't waste your time or money. Rarely I say that about a movie. First, I kept getting a headache because of the 3D.

Rendering people semi-well is a new thing to the movie making world I think - I would say that Shrek was more believable than these characters. Ever an Angelina Jolie fan, I thought the movie would at least be worth a glimpse of her. For the life of me, I can't figure out why she took this part. She plays the mother of a demon and dwells in the waters. Secondly, it appears that they pasted her once-lovely head on another body - Angelina is a rack of bones right now, and the water demon was rounded, and her mouth just wasn't moving right. I've seen better versions on the Sci Fi Channel.

Next, I saw "No Country for Old Men." The landscapes looked much like Wyoming although it was supposed to be Texas. Maybe parts were filmed in Wyoming, who knows. It was a very good movie, I thought. It wasn't what I expected. Yes, a bit depressing, but the acting, filmography, writing - made it all worth it. Surprise ending, but we won't go there. The major villain in the movie was very well acted, gave me the cold chills.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fat Dragon


We did it. We have accomplished most of our shopping. No, we didn't buy a lot, but carefully. During a search for specialized bath soaps we ran across a store named DUH. It looked like a small building on the street. When we went in we were stunned by the visual impact - the first room was done in zebra and African cattle rugs, white furniture and a lot of green and vibrant yellow decorations and fabulous chandeliers.

It turned out the store was in several buildings, including a courtyard and a yard. It was amazing! It was much like an art gallery combination store. We fell in love with a weather vane as pictured above. It was way out of our price range, but sometimes surprises have happened. I would like to have this fat guy on top of my house - what whimsy, what fun!

We had a great lunch, it was good to find a fully functioning, just the way it was, place as we remembered it before the fire.

We found the boy an office chair and in lieu of a fat dragon, I showed "H" the birdbath I'm dreaming of. But it really doesn't make any difference if I get zilch for Christmas - just preparing for it is fun enough.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wild Nutty Day


What a wild nutty day! I had procrastinated lots of trips, chores. So, I determined today was the day. I got up and went to the bank. Then to a mega hardware store for a blind for my study window and a tree topper but there were no tree toppers. Got lost in the carpet section wishing for a new carpet. Checked on area rugs, but none matched a purple couch. The chartreuse rug with circles that I wanted was gone.

On to the doctor's office for a flu shot. I had to wait because even though they told me to drop in, they said I came at the wrong time. Ok. Well, so far no bad effects.

Then I went to Target and bought lots of clothes (either Indonesia or China made - eat words again) for boy without spending much money - its getting chilly down here - 50 degrees in the mornings. He complained of being cold. So tonight washing new clothes because I'm afraid they might have toxic chemicals in them.

Then to Starbucks, oh, I am eating so many words - I did not want to tackle the locally owned coffee shop at the college - I wanted drive through, fast, fast.

Then to Sam's Warehouse - oh, eat words again. I bought extremely lean pepper bacon for boy's breakfast. Leaving the store, I and another woman were nearly run into by a lady driving one of those sit in carts who was determined to get out the door before the three people in line before her. Now I can't figure out why a person who can walk would want to put their butts in one of those carts to shop. I watched the ------ drive the cart up to her car, screech to a stop, jump off the cart, throw her groceries in, hop in her van and take off, leaving the cart in the parking area. She was in a handicap space to top it all off.

Then - to the lab for overdue blood tests, exchanged pleasantries - I have spent a lot of time there and seems like the employees became friends.

Then - to the co-op health food store for beans to go with the leftover ham. I am wondering if I dare mix Adzuki beans with baby Limas?

Then - stopped at a local hardware store (see I'm slowly getting to my goal - shop local businesses) - and found a bird bath to die for. That's what I want for Christmas. It wasn't much. But no one is listening. The hardware clerk, said, "Well, buy it for yourself." Hmmmmm. Good idea. Anyway, a long country type discussion ensued - he was impressed that I knew how to can. I've notice that a lot of older people are convinced that the country is going into a deep depression, forget recession! He told me how to compost and said to get a plot ready. Oh dear. I finally did get to the main goal of mailing a package (they were a UPS station as well) accomplished.

I realized how much I love not working. At Sam's most of the shoppers were retired-looking - it wasn't crowded either. Neither was Target, nor Lowe's. The Christmas music wafted across the halls in Lowe's. It felt good. In the past would I have stopped to chat at a hardware store? No. Or spent an hour looking at carpet samples that I knew I couldn't buy? No. How often did I used to find no lines at Starbucks? Never. No tense, bumper to bumper traffic this time of day.

Again, driving home, for the second time this week, I looked out at the water, the bays, the bayous, the boats docked in the glistening water. Yummy. What a treat to be alive.

The only thing that was unpleasant in the day was a woman driving behind me who kept giving me the finger because she was in a no pass zone and I would not break the speed limit so she could hurry. Determined not to let it spoil my day, I gave her a cheery wave and smile. The finger stayed up for a couple of miles until I turned off the main road. Little did she know that with Prozac, I can endure.

Enough - I have a book review to do yet, but really in the mood to go read. "H" wants to go Christmas shopping tomorrow, although we have planned to order the major part of it. The teenagers are enthralled with the thought of having their own credit cards. We will get them a pre-set limit on them and they can get what they want. Boy wants an office chair - how funny is that? We will have our traditional Christmas shopping lunch at Jerry's Cajun (which burned down last winter after Christmas but has been redone and now reopened). We will probably even actually get along. How good can life get?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Christmas Tags


Write ten Christmas traditions you practice or would like to start:

Mine:

Do this year:

1. Making Gingerbread Men with the children
2. Putting up and decorating a tree
3. Reading or listening to Christmas story with family incl. grandson
4. MUST mail packages



Used to do:

1. Gifts for needy families/kids
2. Organize charitable project for church
3. Make fruitcakes
4. Hand made gifts - crewel embroidery, painted pictures, art photos, candles
5. Recycle Christmas cards into gift tags
6. A Sunday Brunch with a special person
7. Cover the house in fresh cut boughs
8. Make wreaths
9. Reading grandson Christmas story
10. Organize office party
11. Drafted, copied and mailed Christmas letter
12. Made loaves of bread for gifts
13. Add all the above in "Do this year."


Want to do:

1. Christmas Eve Service
2. Sit in front of fireplace with the perfect martini on Christmas eve with friends
3. Make picture frames, paint pictures
4. Art Christmas cards (original for each person)
5. Participate in Cookie exchange
6. Go see Bellingrath Gardens

Its sad to me to see the actually doing list in comparison to the others! I want to do it all.........

so, here it is - the dreaded "T" word - Tag - if you want - -

Monday, November 26, 2007

Cheap, but Elegant Art


One of my friends is having an art auction on EBAY. So far the prices are ridiculously low. I love her landscape work - if you are a lover of the South - you'll like these!

Search on Ebay:

Blondheim Art Annual Studio Sale Plein Air NR

Saturday, November 24, 2007

'Twas a Grand Ol' Time'


Alter Ego - "Is it Christmas or Turkey Day?"


"We made it, when do we eat?"


"I haz sat on Turkey grease."


"Ah, finally off my feet."


"I sharz bed with boy on Turkey Day."

It's over, sigh! I did get quite a bit of cooking done without too much pain, thanks to my kitchen stool. Everyone pitched in really well - we had massive amounts of food and I'm already trying to think of casseroles to make and freeze so none will go to waste. I should have sent way more ham home with M. Enjoyed everyone immensely.

We had turkey, ham, garlic mashed potatoes & gravy, yeast rolls, green beans, blueberry salad, cranberry salad, asparagus casserole, antipasto platter, sausage and andoullie stuffing, regular stuffing, pumpkin, homemade pecan pie, and cherry pie. I think I covered everything.

"Black" Friday, at 3:00 a.m.: I arose from a stupor, and accompanied daughter, "J", for some shopping specials. It was fun - I had always stayed home on Friday after Thanksgiving, but it really did turn out to be fun. We bought each other's Christmas present - not much of a surprise, but the fun we had together was really the present. It was cold and breezy - about 37 degrees. Then I took boy and his dad up to Toys R Us - yep, a corporate conglomerate that imports toys from China, where are my morals, and we all looked around getting ideas for Christmas. I got tickled, because boy's request from me is a rolling, adjustable, comfortable office chair. So cute! Then he wanted to go to Olive Garden, Dad was broke and went home, and we headed to the car. When I got to the car I realized I could barely walk - so we skipped Olive Garden and hit Taco Bell drive through. But it was a fun day.

This weekend "H" is going to bring all the decorations in from the garage and we will put up a tree. All these things I've taken so much for granted, and I'm appreciating them from the bottom of my heart this year - being alive, getting around to have the holidays, my family, friends, the beautiful earth - no freezing temperatures - haha -

Time to get dressed, take the boy to play with an old friend from Montessori - then what, I don't know. Maybe coffee with a friend, or a nap, or paint - we'll see.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Giving Thanks for our Abundance

Just thinking of our trip to Albania in 1995. It was in September. I came home really messed up. After Thanksgiving dinner was cooked I looked at all the food on the table and burst into tears. A chicken was a rare treat for our friends in Albania.

My friend's book about that trip has been accepted by a publisher. If you see it in Barnes & Noble or on Amazon, snap it up. It's called "A Gift of Walnuts."

Thanksgiving Tomorrow

Monday, November 19, 2007

Why is the new word beginning with MEX------


Mexamericanada

Apparently there is a movement about to merge the Americas and some fear the movement seeks to eventually suspend the U.S. Constitution. I've only read enough about this to begin to hear alarm bells. For us born and bred, and I'm sure, a lot of our naturalized citizens, our Constitution is the backbone of our Country, guarded through the decades with only a few Amendments of record.

I don't know what to think yet, other than I really don't want to learn Spanish because I HAVE to - I also understand that EEO is developing a stance that a business must hire a Spanish speaking only person if that person is qualified for the job. Being that most of the U.S. still speaks English as a main language, I would think that would be unreasonable.

Have yet to go fully into the U.S. Government website and read in depth about this move, and to look at both sides. From what I understand from some of the blogs, our tax dollars are involved, but the corporate board behind this is not government. More corporate run government privatization schemes maybe? The target date is 2010. Why are they so sure they can pull this off in two-three years? Why can't we all vote on something so monumental? Why is it so hush, hush?

Why haven't we heard about it? Apparently the underground blogs are aware, there are plenty of internet references. Just wondering. For one thing, what would this do to the U.S. and Canadian economy to subsidize a poor country like Mexico? Thes manifesto mentions that we are to become "competitive." Well, how about free college education to our youth? Give us some brain power and we'll show you competitive. Do we REALLY want Mexico government, which can't even govern its own very well, telling the U.S. and Canada what to do? Why doesn't our government want us to buy our prescriptions from Canada? But allows China to export one-half of these meds - China, with the known tendency to poison us?

What kind of world will our children and descendants inherit? What happened to our free spirits and independence?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thanksgiving Prelude


Good gosh - here I sit. Blogging. My house is a wreck. A cat has puked on the carpet in front of the doorway. I should iron some clothes. Thanksgiving is a few days away and no one has purchased any groceries so I won't have to do it all right before Thanksgiving. I checked my bank account and the balance is minus 0 so I must wait for the groceries, I am sort of starting to panic. The kitchen table and kitchen is still piled with mail, toys, boxes of what I don't know. Where is the energy of yore? Whose stupid idea was it to host Thanksgiving? Oh, yeh, mine. Sheepish grin.

Perhaps Tuesday I can get my daughter to take me to the store. "H" - well ya get what ya get when he goes. I was in the middle of making green chili and sent him to the store for a jar of tomatillo sauce - what he bought me home was three cans of enchilada sauce. I would have been resigned but instead got angry when he insisted I wrote down E-N-C-H-I-L-A-D-A sauce. My memory is not good, but there is a world of difference between the two sauces..........well, anyway today I'm going to do the enchiladas. And I should quit getting mad when he does these guy things.

What is it about holidays that bring out the dysfunctionalities in families? I think maybe this year I'm going to do a lot of self-speak and just treasure the fact I have a family!

Missing grandma who insisted on dinner with the whole turkey sitting on the table at 12 noon sharp! She didn't like anyone drinking alcohol at dinner either - later after all these years, I found out we have alcoholics on her side of the family - boy that was kept hush hush. Now I know why my son had such difficulties. To this day, we all dutifully pretend we are abstainers of alcohol at Thanksgiving dinner. No elegant glasses of wine. But its ok. (I can drink mine while I cook - it takes away the pain, tee hee.) Anyway, she had a great time at these dinners. And she was our dear "big" grandma. Missing my son and the special dishes he liked, and my stepdad - but I think they know I am thinking of them. We all bring ourselves to the table, all of ourselves - and I pray that instead of impatience, I bring patience. Instead of criticism, I bring praise and an eye for all the beauty they are, instead of exhaustion - energy, instead of tenseness - relaxed love.

Then I have to have a tooth extracted Monday morning so I won't be able to eat. I'm starting to get nervous just because dentists freak me out, although this guy sounds very painless and with the new topical anesthetics you can't feel the shots. It is a previously root canaled tooth that had the root crack after the canal, perhaps I should save it - could I get the $1,000 back that I payed for it on Ebay maybe? Sorry - sick joke.

A patient assaulted "J" last night at the hospital. One of the nurses might have a broken rib, "J"'s wrist is cut and others have bruises. Open heart patient, very old, but feisty. Poor thing - I wish she could get out of the hospital. It's very hard.

Well, I need to get off my butt and move it out - swing into action - get the boy away from the TV. Plan some nutritious food for him today - he's eating some abomination of processed food right now for breakfast, and just came by and hugged me wanting to know what a kid had to do to "get some ice cream around here." Need to clean up that cat puke, roll up my bed, get boy to put away toys, and clean the kitchen out, find the tablecloth from Albania - etc., etc., etc., etc.

Have a nice weekend everyone.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The One, the ONLY Sebastian Bach

Just been in sort of a dreamy mood - hope the videos aren't boring: Here is the ever versatile Sebastian Bach - his Broadway persona - although turns out the guy is a pretty good rapper as well - - - as hard rocker - - -

Where Have all the Flowers Gone?

Now:



Then: (Mary was such a BABE!)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Random Things

Hadn't done a tag in a long time - this one came from Candy Minx -

Rules:
1. Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Random things, hummmmm where shall I go with this - Webster's definition of random:
The word random is used to express lack of purpose, cause, order, or predictability in non-scientific parlance. A random process is a repeating process whose outcomes follow no describable deterministic pattern, but follow a probability distribution.

So, based on the above mumbo jumbo, let's see:

1. I've taken off, literally taken off (and returned) to strange places because of something wierd in my heart, I know not what - Baltimore, recent trip to Wyoming, hidden times spent on a reservation. Came within inches of going to Pakistan to live.

2. I've married men I knew I shouldn't have married. I've "loved" men that I knew I shouldn't love.

3. After a career I hated in the first place, I tried to change my career path a few years ago. Early in life, I should have found a company and stayed. And stayed. And stayed.

4. I hitch hiked to New York once from Baltimore. I went to a "Happening" in the East Village, handed daisies to New York cops, and hung out with the Hare Krishna folks for a short time. I started out for Chicago when the demonstrations were going on in the 70's but stopped short when being trained to protect my head from being kicked in.

5. I had children and decided I had better put my walking shoes away one day.

6. Despite my adventurous spirit, I have anxiety.

7. I'm a Bible College graduate. I would have gone on to be a pastor, had my son not passed away, leaving my head too messed up for a while to study.

Like Candy, I am reluctant to tag folks because some don't like it. However, I am going to specifically tag two - but I invite everyone who will!

1. Dirt Road Blues 2

2. Puppy

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Heartbreaker

The Gyro vs. a gyro


A most delicious Greek delectible. Not a rotating metal gadget. Pronounced Yeero.

Try it!
Gyros


Don't eat this one:

Monday, November 12, 2007

Greek Festival


Sunday grandson and I went to the Greek Festival to pick up some food for his mamma. The festival consists of tours of the Greek Orthodox Church (beautiful art), ethnic music and dancing, and fabulous food. We came home with sacks of gyros and Greek pastries. The boy loves Greek pastry! Its fun to have a glass of Greek wine and sit with others to enjoy the Greek music and dancing. The food lines are long, (every bit worth it). Its one of the many festivals in our community that is waited for all year long and becomes a tradition for many.

I feel grateful to live in a community of so much diversity, art, tradition, and history.

Next: Southerners know how to lighten up a winter with Mardi Gras in February. There will also be ballets, cantatas, plays, and Gallery Night to entertain us throughout the Christmas season.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Still Alive

The actual show was much less threatening than the over my roof practice zooms - enjoyed watching the air show from home. Late, discovered Matt Alber - First time I heard of this guy - beautiful -

Friday, November 09, 2007

I'se still Scared.........................



When I first moved here, the thrill of having these jets fly right over my head was wonderful. Watching them fly in harmony within inches of each other thrilled me. I would park my chair in my yard and watch practices, wave at the low flying pilots, and also watch the base show at every opportunity. We invited people over to watch practice or shows from our front yard.

However, as of late, I am thinking about talking to the County Commissioners - or someone - for two years now, the planes fly so close to my home that my windows wave and groan, the roof and ceiling pop and groan and my ears hurt, literally hurt. One afternoon I was out watering, and I couldn't hear for three hours after one jet had passed over.

We walk about the house and as a jet roars over the roof, we instinctively duck. We look really strange walking through the house and suddenly ducking like we are being bombed. My pictures on the walls always have to be straightened after a practice.

The cats fall to their bellies with their elbows above their backs and are paralyzed as well during the low swoops. We are becoming a family of jumpy folks. Like the greyhound I adopted who could not stand this noise, we will soon be chewing the corners off our walls and the blinds off of the windows.

I'm lacking in understanding, since there is a wide expanse of unpopulated area where they can fly, why they have to fly so close to our homes. I don't want to seem unpatriotic, but my stress levels are hardly able to handle the practices, let alone the knowledge that things can go wrong and crashes do happen, and my home and family can't be replaced. If I decide to take the risk and go to an air show, that is one thing, but my home should be a safe place, and I don't feel safe with the jets skimming the trees. With increasingly lower flying stunts, the thrill is gone.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

For *

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

In Memory

Rod of God
November 15, 1963 - November 10, 1990

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Good Morning News with My Cup of Coffee

General Session of China





Not much going on - and I know I said I would not read the news anymore - BUT!

ID theft via credit card on the rise around the country and the newspaper even explained how it was done via the scanning process. We are instructed to not throw ANYTHING with ANY personal information away, but to shred it.

Brittney didn't get hit in the upper lip, looks like a botched surgery.

Angelina & Brad stay pretty much out of the spotlight - besides they are boring, they mainly just raise kids and do movies.

The front page of the local blurb cites statistics that for the first time in more than 40 years, low-income children make up the majority of the public school students in the South.

The editorial about 3 pages in makes a case for relative poverty, stating that kids going to school hungry here are much better off than those in other countries who don't get to go to school and don't get to eat that day.

That is so, however in a country (U.S.) that sends 150 million dollars a month to other countries (that's just the routine aid, not the war coffers & special aid) one would think we could possibly squeeze out a little bit of that to help feed kids here so they could learn. But then, why would they need to learn - we are outsourcing everything! Or, how about that health care for children bill - couldn't we have diverted some of that 150 million over so they wouldn't have to die from an infected tooth spreading sepsis to their little bodies? (Another new article from a few months back.)

Or how about a Country that couldn't spare some change to furnish gas for available buses to evacuate New Orleanians? And how come the New Orleans newspaper is the only paper that seems to be reporting news such as the horrific crime rate, houses that are being bull dozed down against homeowners wishes, and hospitals that still aren't open?

Former employee at Oprah's school in Africa arrested for abuse. Good Lord, poor Oprah, considering her life experiences I'm sure this one has hit her really hard.

Just read another book on Walmart. That did it. I'm all for saving money, but I have decided not to shop there anymore unless its a last resort for a required item not found elsewhere, I do not care to pay a CEO $11.5 million a year so Walmart can continue its sprawl around the world. (I'll have a harder time giving up Sam's Club.)

A Walmart employee here makes on average a whopping $15,300 a year, if Walmart will give them full time hours. This is well below the poverty level if they have a kid. And, they are buying almost exclusively from China - and for several months now I have pretty successfully avoided buying anything that says "made in China" on it.

In fact, I have decided to buy less, and support local business when at all possible. Good gosh, will I have to resist the Starbucks temptation and go a few more blocks for a cup of Joe at the Bad Ass Coffee Company? Yes. Next, there is the problem of making sure what I buy is Fair Trade and that containers are recycle-able.

How the world has changed in the last 20-30 years.

The newspaper reports that China has responded to our requests to stop sending contaminated products to the U.S. by accusing the U.S. of sending them contaminated products and putting the lid on the minuscule amounts of product the we export to them. Come on, China, grow up. Or, are we really poisoning them as well? Is this a new type of cold war?

Locally, property insurance premiums continue to rise, even for those residents out of the flood plain - ours came in at $1775.00 a year for a $35,000 deductible on hurricanes. That SHOULD be against the law.

Well, that about covers it, except for the sports page which I don't read.

Have any of these hit a rant button in you?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Whirlwind


What a weird weekend! My plans all went awry in the whirlwind. What I really wanted to do was take my grandson to see some flying with some friends and then to spend about four hours at the outdoor art show that I have NEVER missed until 2004 since 1990 - well, now I've missed four in a row. I guess I will live, next year will be here sooner than I think.

I did take my grandson to his school carnival after a last minute scramble and waiting too long for his dad to bring him some pirate gear (free entry for those dressed as pirates - the school's symbol is a pirate - odd) and he had a blast to say the least. It was worth seeing him so happy. I came home exhausted to the core, with an aching back, (which is why I didn't go to art fest) although his dad did find me a chair in the shade for occasional rests.

Like 4D, I got an offer Friday for my auto injuries, and I am insulted. It is ridiculous, it won't even cover all my expenses, let alone make up a little bit for all I've lost in my life's activities. I said no to the attorney, "keep working." Perhaps he'll try harder since Christmas is coming. So, that's in God's hands. My mantra for now.

I've been stuck in painting. The dumb bird - don't know how to background him - perhaps a bottle of wine is in order and another try........oh, dear, grandson needing computer for homework...I think I will go get some Greek salads while he is working....

Out of town daughter confirmed Thanksgiving here - even significant other is coming - with his specialty, asparagus casserole so I have been alternately sitting and lying down while making a menu and grocery list. Will have to fit in the men and X-men, none of which are my X-men, thank goodness.

I want a goldy-orange table cloth.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Thanksgiving Prelude





This is the month of the U.S. celebration of Thanksgiving. Our Canadian friends already celebrated theirs. Time for us to do the fixins' now.

November lst - time to ponder: Day one of Thanksgiving - that I am looking out the window to see green instead of what I looked at all last winter (and summer) in '06 - desolation and dust! Those of you who were blogging with me remember my whining about the cold, desolate landscape surrounding me, the landlord who stole my underwear and snooped my apartment constantly, the insane atmosphere at work........chronic bronchitis from the blowing dirt. And cold, oh my gosh that apartment was cold. The wind went right through the walls - and I like sleeping in very cold temperatures, but you can't stay under a goose down comforter all winter! And the wind, it would blow easily up to 80 mph across the prairie. Whoooooooooooooo. The roads would close often last winter, most all of the time in fact.

'Twas just me and Ms. Meowie. And silence or the sound of the wind.

I remember my grandma living alone on that prairie most of her life. The silence was loud in her little house (and outside). Before the "boom" times, the silence hung over the town like a thick, invisible, blanket. She turned the TV on maybe two hours a day if that much. She didn't care for music, except some of the old gospel songs. When she got really old, she couldn't do her gardening, cleaning, and walking to the store, so she sat. She sat in the silence. I tried to get her out - to church and buffets and the grocery store. She loved buffets. Or, just for a ride to see the town. It wouldn't take long to drive it, the population in peak boom year is about 12,000, not counting the tents and makeshift camps outside of town. From early childhood on, I remember driving (or riding) away from her house crying. I felt responsible for her. I remember moving south, how she stood in the driveway and cried. She wouldn't come. I sobbed for months.

Leaving the last time, there were no tears on her part. Nor mine. I thought of taking her bones, taking her bones out of her cold grave and bringing her south and putting them where it is warm. I thought of my stepdad, buried there as well, I think because I was there and he had found God after 82 years and that was our connection. I would've taken his bones as well. Away from the cold place, both of heart and climate. Away from the wind. Then I thought of my son, and some of my friends. If I took all their bones away to a warm place, then I would have to have a U-Haul truck or a pickup at least. My son did not want to leave either. I didn't understand it, the cold and desolation of that State has nothing for me. It's a beautiful place to drive through. A bone chilling cold to live in. My mother, too, clings to that place like it is a life buoy in the middle of a vacant universe.

The first day of November 2007 I am thankful to be looking at my flower garden in bloom, planning a visit to the Art Festival tomorrow and to the Greek Festival the following weekend. Thankful to wear shorts and a tank top today. Thankful for a warm place to sleep.