What travel is like now

We left Steve’s oldest brother’s house this afternoon and drove to his mom’s new home.  The drive was beautiful!!  As we moved further south, we started noticing jillions of daffodil blooms and bushes in bloom, and the drive was breathtaking!  I didn’t take a single picture, which is a little unlike me now that I have such easy camera access thanks to smart phones.  Normally, I’d have been chomping at the bit to get stuff up on facebook.  I did think about that a little, so I haven’t gotten all of that completely out of my system, but it’s no longer front and center.  I did take a few pictures once we got to his mom’s.  This is the favorite thus far:

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It’s Steve’s mom at 5 months and 5 days of age.  Isn’t she delightful?  And she’s just as delightful to this very day.

I’m sure I’ll get more pictures of this beautiful place, but today was about visiting with family that we don’t get to see that often and taking in the beauty of the world around us.

Introducing…

Tonight I’m going to talk a little about the cult I was a part of for 10 years before narrowly escaping with what was left of my sanity.

This may be all over the place.  While playing piano, Beethoven, I was thinking about one of my few true friends from that time and place…which, first let me start by saying that most of the people who were truly friends are no longer there either, with a few heartbreaking exceptions (heartbreaking because what a f***ing waste of one’s lifeblood and potential!).  There was this beautiful couple who came in with their 6 (at the time, there were new additions later) beautiful kids not long after I started going to this cult (I wasn’t aware it was a cult at the time, but, then, that’s how people get sucked in, by not knowing).  The wife and mom, I’ll call her name Starla, is one of the sweetest, purest souls I’ve ever encountered, and there’s not a devious or spiteful bone in her body.

So this family was there for pretty much as long as I was.  I learned that a few years after I left, the couple ran into some personal crises, and how the pastor chose to handle it was to slander them before the whole congregation, virtually making it impossible for them to continue on with the ministry (if you can call it that).  Many of their kids were grown, married, and having children of their own by that time, so there was no leaving as an intact family.  And, last I heard, the grown kids were having little to nothing to do with their parents because they “weren’t right” with God, or whatever the f*** the trip is.  As I thought of that tonight, I burned with anger.  Burned!  Burned that some megalomaniac had the power to subjugate people to such a point that their parents could become an unclean thing in their eyes, objects of scorn to shun.  These are very same parents who invested their whole selves and lives into their kids, making sure they had every advantage they could give them – as well as the whole bit of changing their poopy diapers, going years without sleep to care for them, going without so their kids wouldn’t have to, parents who loved their kids fiercely (I watched them, and there’s no faking fierce love like that).  I’m sure they weren’t perfect parents, but no one is.  The kids were sweet too, and I cared for them a great deal, but how dare they???  How f***ing dare they?!

So, kids, let that be a lesson to you.  Don’t let your parents join a cult.  You’ll grow up to suck as human beings if you do.

cult

Jitter #32

This poem took my breath away! It’s not only a stunner of a poem, is heart-stoppingly beautiful in its truth.

bejitters

Who I Am

I am white,
black, brown,
yellow, red…

But that’s not who I am.

I am male,
female, man,
woman,
yin, yang…

But that’s not who I am.

I am Christian,
Muslim, Jewish,
Buddhist, Taoist,
Hindu, Wiccan,
atheist, agnostic…

But that’s not who I am.

I am straight, gay,
lesbian, somewhere
along the
continuum…

But that’s not who I am.

I am American,
European, Indian,
Asian, Middle Eastern,
a child of the world…

But that’s not who I am.

I’m a lefty, a righty,
a leftist, a rightist,
liberal, conservative,
centrist,
ambidextrous,
bisexual,
queer…

But that’s not who I am.

When you label me,
you marginalize me.

When you see me only
as part of a group,
you diminish me.

When you assume
I act and think and feel
as others like me,
you delude yourself,
because there are no others
like me.

I am unique,
not a…

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Days…too many to count.

I may start titling/categorizing these blog posts by week, and if that proves to be as cumbersome as trying to keep the days straight, I may start going by months.

So this is now, Monday, day 36, week 5, and it’s now into the 2nd month since starting all this.  Having let so many days pass without blogging, it seems I have lost some days…as in, I can’t remember what I did last Thursday, last Friday, a good bit of Saturday, and even a little bit of Sunday.  I don’t like that!  It was really good to sit down at the end of a day and take stock.  It felt like a really positive thing, and perhaps may have indeed been the catalyst for all the great projects that got started – and completed (yay!!).

Thankfully, I tend to take a lot of pictures with the mobile, so that helps to capture some of the events of the past few days.  Thursday, Steve had completed the repairs to the rattan chair he started the other day (see pics, about the 5th one down, from previous post), so I started working on the cosmetic changes.  It’s too bad I didn’t think about pictures before, because the chair did look pretty rough – which is probably why the thrift store had it priced at $5.  I had thrown out the cushion that came with it and made a whole new one – and added a matching throw pillow.  There is one place that needs new wrap, and that’ll happen by and by.  By Friday, into the wee hours of the morning, it was all done and looked like this:

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The chair is for Mom.  She occupies a very small studio apartment in the independent living facility where she currently resides and had borrowed a chair from me, but it took up a pretty big portion of the room at an access point to many of her daily functions, and I was concerned for her safety maneuvering while trying to adjust the heat, or turn on her floor lamp, or take out or put up her saxophone, or open her patio door with the previous chair taking up all that space in the awkward way that it was.  The new chair is unbelievably lightweight, and the wheels make it easy to move out of her way – plus it’s much easier for her to get in and out of if she decides to sit on that side of the room.

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I cannot remember what the hell happened on Friday.  Did we go out?  Did we stay in?  I haven’t a clue.  That’s pitiful!  And irritating.  Getting older is kinda great in a few surprising ways, and kinda bites in quite a few other ways.

Saturday, Mama wanted to go out for Mexican food, so that’s what we did before band practice.  It sounded better this past week, and felt like we were started to gel once again.

Later that night I started smearing paint on the living room walls from sample I’d recently picked up, and I think the color’s going to work.  It’s a pretty intense lime green, but it’s pleasant and complimentary to all the stuff in the room.  Areas of all 4 walls were painted with it, and…so far so good.  I’ll give it more time to make sure the shade stays agreeable.

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Sunday we put the house back together from practice the night before and ran a few errands.  Steve set my keyboards up with a different system in terms of amplification, and I’ve practiced on my own now both yesterday and today, so whatever he did made it much more inviting to sit down at the keys.  The typical tendency previously was to not sit down at the keys until the band showed up.

Today was the usual day of cutting hair for the residents of the veterans’ retirement home.  A new man came in today, and I asked what kind of music he liked, and he said, “Classical.”  Most guys like to hear vintage Country: stuff like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, etc.  I’ve even started playing the old, old stuff making a Pandora station of The Carter Family, and I’ve been loving that channel!  Today, though, listening to Classical inspired me to go home and try Beethoven’s Sonata Opus 27, Number 2 – also known as Moonlight Sonata.

I’m pretty adept at playing by ear, but I also read music.  It’s a lot more frustrating to play from reading music, which is why I never actually learned to play this piece by following the written score.  What has inevitably happened with this Sonata is the runs never were quite right.  So when I got home in the evening, I did an exercise where I would stop myself if my mind started to drift into rote and lead me into playing by ear – thus losing my place in the lines.  I even made it part of the exercise to play as much as possible by only looking at the music with very little looking at the hands.  It’s a painstaking process, but there are sure to be benefits.  Tim, my brother-in-law, has been writing new songs, and inspiration for the keyboard part has eluded me on a few of the songs.  I’m hoping this exercise will help conjure up some enjoyable parts to play.

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Overall, since disconnecting, I’ve found myself in a very good place.  It’s been easier lately to organize thought processes, which has led to all this recent productivity!  Loving that!!  Even the rough patches haven’t seemed quite as rough of late.

Day 31, Wednesday, and a new month begins!

I start the month of February with a renewed sense of optimism now that the shadow of what to do about facebook is no longer cast.  It’s the month of our 6th wedding anniversary, and Steve put in for some time off the week of.  I’d asked if we could go exploring the Buffalo River.  A few days later, though, he said he would like to visit his brother who lives south of us and also visit his mom and stepdad in the new home and town they just moved into.  I felt it was a lovely idea!

I asked my son if he would consider house sitting for us that week.  He likes having a whole place all to himself, and I was hoping he would be open to it.  It was a thrill to receive word back that he was.

Today was a beautiful sunny day, and I was able to get some flower beds trimmed up and cleaned up before the sun went down.

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That little rock/green thing in the corner was a surprise Steve left for me one day.  When he first put it there, it was hidden behind plants and went unnoticed until I started doing some clean up later in the growing season.  It’s from Mama’s fish tank.  It tickled me so much that he’d put it there for me to find, I decided to leave it.

 

Trimming back the sage meant I had a nice amount to make smudge sticks.  I’d never made them before today.  I don’t know if I did it right as I didn’t google or youtube instructions, but they look right.  Guess I’ll find out soon enough when I start to burn one of them.  I don’t even really know how long to let it cure.  Guess I’ll have to at least look that up.

20170201_16524620170201_210253.jpg20170201_1724421abcThat’s Steve repairing a rattan chair that we got for Mom.

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After the sun went down, I got some of the rockwork in the above bed freshened up.  Maybe I’ll be able to get a good picture of it in the next day or two.  I love doing rock work.  It’s like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, and it lends some beauty to the flower beds during the dormant months as well as protection from a lawn mower pushed around by an indiscriminate husband whom I learned the hard way doesn’t seem to know the different between a flower and grass.

Speaking of flowers, as I was thinking about the pollinators that will be coming around come spring, which is what I plant the flowers to attract, it’s become time to begin talking with the city about their mosquito control methods.  They’ve been sending trucks around spraying throughout the summer months the last`2-3 years, and that is the precise amount of time that honey bees have become a rare sighting.