Life Among the Never-Winged

Once upon a time I was writing a book called, "Just Another Love Letter", about angels behaving badly. Now I just quietly ask myself each day, "What the hell am I doing?"

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Location: The Rocky Mountain Empire, United States

My friends always knew I was going to hell. My only hope is that God likes good jokes and bad redheads.

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  • Thursday, July 27, 2006

    Yes, I Remember It Well

    Ok. Blogger is freaking out on me, and I can't get to half the sites I want to, I can't leave the comments you all so richly deserve, and I barely got here. Add to that a futile attempt to get ready for RockyGrass Weekend (can I get a hoot and a holler?) and a migraine which has already eaten away the center of my vision (added to my normal sad little pecking at the keyboard, I have to turn my head a little sideways to see what I'm doing; I'm a bird today.)

    So. I'm letting you, my Dearest Readers, blog for me.

    I've seen this one floating around, and I think I'll use it today.

    Describe a time we were together. It must be fictitious. Go crazy. Best one wins a prize. If I can figure out what that is.

    Tuesday, July 25, 2006


    Thanks guys! It worked!

    I figured out part of the problem, too. I was near the end of a chapter and didn't realize it. They always take me by surprise. Kind of like riding a horse at full speed and stopping short at the edge of a cliff.

    So that wraps up chapter 28. And I've got 9 previously-written pages for chapter 29. Not bad. But after that, I think I've got at least two chapters of NOTHING. Wide open page as far as the eye can see.

    I know what happens, of course.

    Oh, wait. Chapter 30's done. Of course it's only one page, but that's all a good letter needs...

    31 and 32 though. Man.

    So that means 33 is where the birds come in. That's pretty fitting.

    Oh, sorry; are you still here? Just mumbling to myself again.

    Monday, July 24, 2006

    Performance Anxiety

    Argh. Crucial turning-point in the book and




    Thursday, July 20, 2006

    Just Another Gardening Post

    I did my rounds in the garden today, snacking on peas from a couple of late-blooming volunteer plants. I love volunteers the best. They are the wise ones that have chosen their own place in my garden and have thrived there, finding their optimum elements. I have volunteer potatoes too; two rows I thought I’d killed last summer in an over-zealous attempt to get them to produce more tubers. So I make room, I make room. I always make room for the ones that want to be there.

    I pulled up two carrots for the boyos for breakfast. One carrot is fat at the top and bottom, thinner in the middle; a physical recording of water received, and its lack. It is something little I can hold in my hands that shows me bigger things.

    Watering the tomatoes is always my favorite time, when I find peace and stillness. Otherwise, I’m scurrying around, making sure everything has everything it needs. Sometimes I pace the house – a pointless exercise. I could water tomatoes all day and think of nothing else. And think of everything else.

    The only other time I’m still is when I’m writing, and then I’m not really still. I’m moving faster than you can see.

    While I water tomatoes, I watch the birds in the sky and they are always different. Today it’s swallows; their sharp-edged wings cutting the air in swift and precise circles. They are the heirs apparent to the sky, should the falcons ever abdicate.

    There is a tree on a hill in the next yard, and it is wilting. A tree, wilting. This is neither the driest place in the country, nor the hottest. There are some of you living with an embarrassment of rain right now, looking out windows and watching trees rot from it. Extremes don’t do anything any good.

    I think, as I look around at this sheltered place, this wet and dry temperate planet we live on in the midst of the dark and bright happenings going on in the rest of the universe, and I think, I think, that the most precious and rare element is balance.

    And I think this is all I’m trying to say.

    At least it feels like I’ve said something, which is not always the case.

    Cool rock, huh?

    Tuesday, July 18, 2006

    Dancehall Days in the Life

    We interrupt the regularly-scheduled post on:
    A) Rain
    B) Gardening
    C) Rain
    D) Writing

    to bring you some other stuff.

    I am three flavors of exhausted today. But it's a good exhaustion, it's a things-are-happening-and-I'm-getting-a-life-back kind of exhaustion.

    First there was Friday, spent in the ever-lovin’ company of Schmoopie, and later Stucco.
    We spent the day playing musical beds.
    Actually, that entailed disassembling their son’s bunk beds, buying him a new water bed, and then transporting and reassembling the bunks for the boyos at our house. Let us not forget the Incident at Starbucks, in which a Mess was made, and cleaned by two Moms.
    Hee. I owe ya.
    But the sunset on the way home, now that is worth talking about. It was a Midwestern sunset; big and orange, diffused firelight, turning the mountains purple. Gorgeous.
    When we got to my house, I looked at the clock and realized it was half-past Mojitos. That, and I couldn’t fine a dammed Allen wrench to save my pale and worthless hide.
    O got home at precisely beer-thirty. He and Stucco took down the old beds and reassembled the bunks, and then Stucco noticed it was quarter to Scotch, but since we are on Irish time in this house, the time difference actually made it ten-past whiskey.

    Saturday; a party up in the hills behind Golden; a beautiful place. P. is a grade-school friend of O's and L. and I hit it off immediately when we met several years ago. We're both immigrant wives, though she's from upstate New York and I'm a Midwestern girl. O and I got there late, but it was perfect timing. Most of their guests had shown up a couple of hours early, to escape the heat of the city, and to impress this world-renowned bio-chem doc with whom L. works. It was his birthday, and he didn't want any fuss made, but one of the guests brought this gigantic sheet cake, much to L.'s chagrin. She referred to the early birds as 'science groupies.'

    So the party was split in two; the early part for all the med tech wannabes L. and P. are trying to encourage, and the latter part for friends. P. made me a couple of cranberry-raspberry stoli martinis L.'d invented, and later when the party had dwindled from 50 to eight, four of us raided the humidor. We all sat outside, enjoying the cool breezes, watching for elk and listening for coyotes. L.'s pretty sure there's a mountain lion in the area too.

    I had fun listening to everyone. I didn't know anyone, except P. and L., so I kept pretty quiet. I did make everyone laugh at one point, when I elaborated on a business idea P. had run across earlier that day.
    The best part though, was staying after everyone had left, and just talking to P. and L. L. broke out the snacks she'd been saving (the REALLY good stuff, she said) and I played around with 400 MG worth of music, finding stuff they didn't even know they had.

    Sunday; my favorite drive – down to Pueblo to see Mr. Clowncar, Ms. Lil’PeeWee and the girlios. I could post for days about that. But that would entail letting the boyos kill each other upstairs, which they seem bent on doing at the moment.

    We hiked. It was glorious. See?

    Then we went to an Irish bar. When we walked in, the Cubs were beating the Mets. I’m a Cubs fan while Mr. Clowncar is a, dare I say, slobbering Mets fan. Swear to god, he’s going to rename his oldest daughter, ‘Pedro’.
    So we had a ‘friendly’ rivalry going.
    And then Clowncar kicked on his mojo.
    And the Mets loaded the bases.
    And then there was a triple play.
    And another one.
    And a buncha other stuff, until the Mets had pulled down the Cubs pants and were spanking them out there in the field like little pansy girls.

    Never one to rub one’s face in something, Mr. Clowncar sent me the nicest email Monday morning:

    "It marked the first time in club history the Mets had two grand slams in the same inning.
    It was also the first time in club history the Cubs had given up two grand slams in the same inning, according to team historian Ed Hartig."
    And the Cubs are 105 years old! Oh frabjous day! Calloy! Callay!

    To which I could only reply,



    (And I am. No, really.)

    Saturday, July 15, 2006

    Hangover Cure, Anyone?

    It’s a common fear, I think – throwing a party where no one shows up.

    But that didn’t happen. You guys are the best!

    I had a blast watching you good people mingle. I hope you continue to enjoy each others’ company. Y’all have a lot to say, and I love hearing you say it.

    Wednesday, July 12, 2006


    We used to host parties. Grand parties. Forty to fifty people from all walks of life. There were artists and writers, teachers, psychologists, mechanics, a heart surgeon, there was a guy on the bomb squad, a couple of world-travelers, an ex-nun, a shaman. Jews, Catholics, Christians, atheists, pagans. Capitalists and Commies. There were moms and dads and grandparents and children; infants to grade school.
    The conversations never stopped. That was the best part. Better than the food (which was damn fine), better than the alcohol (which was damn strong).
    I loved going from one group to another, leading new friends in and introducing them to someone they’d never encounter otherwise. The stories that would arise, the jokes, the questions all humming in the air.

    That was a while ago.

    So, in the spirit of those parties, I would like to get a little cross-pollination going on here. I know it’s happened to some extent already, and that many of you already know each other, but I want to have a little fun with this.
    I have quite a list of friends (and some lurkers I never knew I had), and it’s about time some of you met.

    *rubbing hands together gleefully* Now let’s see…

    Lisa, meet Julie, also back in school with the coolest (or hottest) area of study. Julie, meet Schmoopie, who wants desperately to live in your neck of the woods. Schmoopie, meet Orange; that should be fun.

    Bud, meet Popeye, who just posted an amazing song for the first time. You get over there, too, D-Man. And vice-versa, Popeye.

    And while we’re at it, D-Man meet Irrelephant, Grand Poohbah of Talkies Tuesday. Irrelephant, meet Des Moines Girl, who will appreciate your humor almost (but not quite) as much as I do. Head on over across the pond to Dantares as well.

    Lisa, go cheer up JT, all on his lonesome in Baghdad, and JT go commiserate with Lazy Lazy Me, who’s fed up with a few things as well.

    Dantares, you must meet Nixxie up in Sweden, and Nixxie, I don’t think you’ve met Des Moines Girl. DMG, go say hi to Tootsie Roll.

    Laughing Frog, meet Amusing, and Amusing, I think you’d enjoy Popeye. So would you, Esereth.

    And everyone, go say hi to Esereth, a brilliant writer, and preggers to boot. Give her your best wishes.

    There. I think that’s everyone. Let me know if your drink runs low, and I’ll be by to eavesdrop shortly.

    Monday, July 10, 2006

    Sun’s up, uh huh, looks okay

    My Backyard Is a Rainforest -- Marvin Hill

    To steal the opening lines from a Bruce Cockburn song. The sun’s out today, both literally and metaphorically, and that aint so bad now.

    Oh my darling dears. It’s been a non-stop-rain-love-fest over here in Hell’s Half Acre. I awoke yesterday to more of the same – outside the kitchen window, droplets of rain shook the leaves as they slipped off, pattering onto the greening-up ground below, each one a kiss from the sky promising more and more and more…

    I love it when it rains. It’s a landscape in motion.
    Let me know when you get sick of my obsession. I hate stepping over those spider-webbed lines I cannot see.
    Otherwise I’ll go on forever.
    But I’m just feeling good these days.

    Now – sunshine. Let’s talk about that. Today couldn’t have been better (well, yeah it could have, but that would’ve required breaking the laws of space and time, and I just didn’t have it in me today). The boyos have been playing TOGETHER and so well. I was going to say they’ve been playing like a couple of little cherubs, but, heh, cherubim really don’t play all that nicely.
    Don’t worry. Only some of you will get that joke. The rest…well, maybe later. Maybe sooner than later. Because…
    I had some writing time today! And we all know that is the only thing I love more than rain.
    Well. Maybe not the only thing.
    I’ve made an arrangement with a neighbor, Az (seriously, hee hee) to watch the boyos every Monday afternoon for two blessed hours. So I’m progressing on the book. Yay!
    I can’t tell you how much this relieves O. He’s sick sick sick of me wandering around and muttering things like, “Aw crap! I forgot to put God in the bathroom again!” And, “Maybe she runs her words together because she’s been carrying the feather around with her all these years?”
    It gets down on paper, or it comes out of my mouth. I have no choice. Either way, I can’t live with it anymore, either. I’ve got to get this thing DONE!

    And then there’s life in general. How strange it turns. Or stays the same. It looks like we’ll be keeping the bookstore after all.
    We have strange benefactors, my friends. I’ll get to them later.

    Friday, July 07, 2006

    Out and About


    How’s it going?
    You know, I’ve been doing some dangerous thinking.
    I’ve been in a cocoon. For four years.
    It’s ok. It was safe. I had other priorities. Two of them. Small ones. Getting bigger every day.
    And there were the break-ins, along with the neighborhood going to hell.
    The lack of support from the in-laws (sorry, O) that turned into downright, soul-crushing criticism and hostility.
    The great distance and longing for home. Whatever that is.
    I’ve been lost. Unsure.

    “You need to overcome this painful shyness,” O says.

    You good people have taken the time to get to know me, and I appreciate that more than I can ever say.
    Without ever even seeing my face.
    That’s a lot of trust, if you think about it.

    Now since we’ve moved, I’ve been meeting people ‘out here’ in the Real World.
    They seem to like me.
    They don’t know me like you do.
    But they have my face.

    I’ve been looking around here. Some folks show their faces, (and other things) some don’t. The reasons vary, but mostly have to do with a concern about being ‘outed.
    That’s cool.
    But I’ve been thinking,
    what have I got to lose?
    I mean, several of you already know what I look like.
    The rest of you good people, I’ve come to know over the past several months.
    I’ve got no sickos reading my blog.
    Well, yeah I do, but you’re my kind of sickos.

    Maybe I’ll only keep it up for a day or two. Maybe I’ll recover my senses and take it down.
    Or maybe I won’t.

    Either way…


    Tuesday, July 04, 2006

    A Meme You Can't Forget...

    ...courtesy of Irrelephant:


    I know ~ far less than I want to, and more than I should.

    I believe ~ all of it and none of it, and that’s always been my problem.

    I fought ~ to remember.

    I am angered ~ that I have to keep my mouth shut sometimes.

    I love ~ rain and all it means.

    I need ~ alone time/writing time.

    I take ~ small steps.

    I hear ~ you.

    I drink ~ too little.

    I hate ~ extremist positions. All of them! Every last one! No exceptions!

    I use ~ my imagination far too often.

    I want ~ everyone to love me, and God to love me best. Is that too much to ask?

    I decided ~ to do it anyway.

    I like ~ to lick honey off a spoon.

    I am ~ living on the surface of my skin right now.

    I feel ~ bittersweet.

    I left ~ everything behind once.

    I do ~ know how to grow flowers in the desert.

    I hope ~ I can touch you with my words.

    I dream ~ entire sagas sometimes.

    I drive ~ myself crazy.

    I listen ~ all the time.

    I type ~ slower than molasses in January.

    I think ~ too much.

    I wish ~ for the impossible.

    I compensate ~ for my plainness with my writing.

    I regret ~ not doing it all sooner.

    I care ~ about music to an insane degree.

    I should ~ be working on the book instead.

    I am not always ~ able to see the light.

    I said ~ something you couldn’t hear, but would have wanted to.

    I wonder ~ why?

    I changed ~ after the boyos were born.

    I cry ~ where you’ll never see me.

    I am ~ always curious.

    I am not ~ weak.

    I lose ~ my way home all the time.

    I leave ~ it up to you.

    Monday, July 03, 2006

    Christmas in July

    Today is my favorite day of the year!!!

    Today is Christmas, and my birthday, and Halloween, and May Day, and Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day and Labor Day and the Fourth of July ('magine that) all rolled together into one.

    Today is the day I take off the masks and put on a skirt and a straw hat.

    Today is the day I wander around open-faced and smiling.

    Today is the day I talk to like-minded folk; some strangers, some faces I haven't seen in a year.

    Today I see nothing but beauty.

    Today I fill up on inspiration.

    Today I fall in love over and over and over and over. And I'll be taking some of my loves home with me.

    Today I'm free.

    Today we go to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival!

    Sunday, July 02, 2006

    It's Raining! It's Pouring!

    It's a tempest! It's a gullywasher! It's gorgeous! And KBCO's playing William Topley's Delta Rain, bless 'em.

    Soon as the song's over, I think I'll go outside and lie on the hill.

    'k bye now!


    I did my rounds today in the garden; the usual, only earlier.

    This is the difficult time of the year for the garden, and for gardening. The peas are spent – what’s left is starchy, but I’ll let them dry on the vine for seed next year. The romaine is mostly bolted and I haven’t kept up with consecutive plantings. The squash and zucchini are behind, not even flowering yet. The tomatoes are green and hard, but full of promise if I’m patient and even in my watering.

    Have you ever picked a tomato off the vine, taken it to the kitchen, cut it open, and felt the warmth of the sun still inside? You can hold it in your hand and let the warmth soak into your skin.

    Though I did not sleep much last night, the rest I got sustains me today. As I watered the tomatoes, smelling their good, green leafy smell, I thought of nothing else. I felt like a monk.

    Then I heard a lovely complex birdsong and looked up into the trees. I found the bird; small, bright yellow, at the top of one of the cottonwoods. A golden pear on a dead branch. And above him, wheeling in the sky, a falcon. I could tell what he was by his pointed wings and the way he flew as though he owned the sky – a prince in a blue court. Then he was joined by his mate, and they circled and dove, riding the same currents in a swift aerial dance. I was up there with them. Then they were gone.