Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Alma 34:32-33

Life is fragile. We never know when our end will come. I say this to myself more than to anyone else out there: we should not wait to be the person we want to be, the person Heavenly Father expects us to be.
I learned today that one of my former students died on Boxing Day, reportedly by his own hand. My prayers are with his family.

These were some of my boys. Aren't they gorgeous? Little punks :) One of them is now gone. One of them has lost a brother. All of them have lost a friend. Of course I feel as though I failed him in some way, even though it's been 4 years since he was my student.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Dances With Smurfs

I must thank my brilliant friend Andy for the biggest laugh of my day, which occurred when he referred to Avatar as Dances With Smurfs. I don't know if he was the originator of the quip, but it sounds like something he'd say. Love you, Andy. You rock!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Luuuuke! I am your Faaather!!!

Yesterday on the bus, Joe, a regular passenger who is an older guy in a wheelchair and who is... how shall we say... hygienically challenged, asked me if I could tuck his coat sleeve up under his butt for him. !!!!!!! Dirty old man. He would never have asked, I'm sure, if we hadn't been alone on the bus. Clearly I told him no, he'd have to manage it by himself. EW. Maybe you had to be there to get the whole creepy vibe, but I wanted to go home and take a shower after the incident. A teacher of mine used to say there are only two kinds of men - dirty old men and dead men. I don't believe that, but Joe certainly isn't a positive representative for his gender. The rest of them should get together and do something about it. He makes them look bad.

I have a head cold. I have lost my voice. I sound like Darth Vader. This pleases and amuses me. Not the cold part, but definitely the growly no voice part. The most sucky part though is that once again, I am barred from church today. They've asked us not to come if we're sick and I am visibly, audibly ill, so I have to miss the Christmas program :'( Waaahhh!! I wanted to hear the music. I haven't gotten to do any carolling this year. Although a bunch of the drivers were singing snippets over the radio the other night, the result of which was that I had 'I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas' stuck in my head for an interminable 2 days. Not the same as Silent Night by the ward choir. Sigh.

My family is beginning to gather for the holidays. My bro is coming down from Portland tonight with his adorable feline. He will stay up at my uncle's, but the kitty will stay here :) I like having a cat in the house, and Casper is a particularly fine specimen. Playful and cuddly, and oh so photogenic.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Christmas is a week from tomorrow!!!!! How did that happen?!?!!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


There are 18 days left in the year. In the preceding 347 days I have lost my ex-husband and my cousin, watched my mother suffer with ill health and my brother struggle with his family, I have paid approximately double what my vehicle is worth in car repairs (and the check engine light is still on), I've been in a major accident (well, ok, it feels major to me), three of my coworkers have been diagnosed with cancer, one of whom is very dear to me, a pipe burst at my brother's house yesterday, I've gained what feels like 50 lbs, although it's probably more like 15, I've been single exactly 8 years this week and I haven't had a date in about that long, I've worked 275 of those 347 days and I'm tired.

Also in those 347 days I have had a job. A good paying job with benefits, which in spite of my sometimes very bad attitude, I do generally enjoy. I personally have enjoyed mostly good health and have been largely injury free. I took several fabulous trips and saw many new things. I fell in love with Paris. I've gotten to spend lots of family time. I've enjoyed my church calling. The struggles I've had this year have taught me things about myself and have put in very clear view those on whom I can truly rely. I have amazing, lovely, supportive friends for whom I am grateful.

I've seen many things in the course of my work that have warmed my heart, or at very least amused me. I suppose it's patronizing and wrong, but my passengers entertain and amuse me daily. People do the dumbest things. For example, I saw a guy riding his Harley last week wearing a leather kilt. !!! It was 20 degrees outside and he was ON A MOTORCYCLE... in a skirt. And you would not believe the conversations I overhear. People don't see me as human generally. I am an extension of the bus equipment, so the regular rules of courtesy and privacy don't apply to me. My favorite conversation that I overheard on the bus was between a woman and her male friend. She was telling him at great length the about her evil sister-in-law, using very unforgiving, violent language to describe her feelings and wishes, and then suddenly the conversation turned to religion and she was talking about forgiveness and how a person isn't supposed to hold grudges and she said, "It's like the Bible says: If you ain't got love, you ain't worth shit". I suspect that introspection was not her strong suit.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Do you think I need a new job?

Today I plowed into the back of a suburban, through 2 trees and into a fence. Thank heaven for the trees and fence because if they didn't exist I would've ended up in the living room of a very nice family, probably on top of their Christmas tree. Let me state at this point that no one was injured. This heart stopping event occurred not because I was being careless, or because of anything so rational as mechanical malfunction. It was an act of God, assisted by my boss. God provided the freezing rain that made the roads like a snot coated skating rink. My boss was responsible for the part that happened after I called him to tell him I was stuck on the hill and if I tried to move any farther I would hit something. He insisted that I continue my route, honestly not to be mean, but just because he didn't know what else to do. In hindsight, I'm sure he's wishing he'd called a tow truck when I asked him to.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Will it never end?

The answer is, no, it won't. My friend told me today she's been diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. She seems very upbeat about it, and spent most of the conversation telling me the parts she's looking forward to. She's all kinds of excited that she gets "new boobies". Not so excited about the chemo/hair loss part, but she did tell me she got a bunch of cool scarves for her head, like tie dye and peace symbols that she knows will annoy our boss :D Today she is my hero. I don't think I could be as positive as she is being, were I in her place. And, you know, cause it's all about me... I've already lost one dear friend to breast cancer, and this has been a bitch of a year already, so Lynda, if you could just not die, that would really help me out.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


The most awesome thing happened today. I won't name names, because I promised I wouldn't, but I went out to lunch with someone. We both had glasses of water with straws in them. Clear glasses, clear water, clear straws, very easy to forget the straw was there. So this person picked up her glass to take a drink and the straw totally went up her nose. Like really far up her nose. It was hilarious and I will ridicule her for all eternity. The food was really good. I had an omelette with sort of curry veggies inside. And we shared a macaroon. This restaurant has the best ones in town. Very tasty, chocolate dipped and big enough to share :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dear Santa...

Feeling a bit better, I guess. Shen the sheep boy was back on the bus today. So cute.

I went to see my friend Gary in a play tonight - A Greater Tuna Christmas, which sounds frankly frightful but was, in fact, hilarious. Fantastic show. There are about 2 dozen characters all of whom are played by 2 actors. So, my friend Gary, who is a sizable guy, dressed up in drag and played Aunt Pearl, and Beulah, among others. He was Awesome. Laughed harder than I have in a long time, which is good. I needed that.

My uncle asked me today what I want for Christmas. Would you like to see my list?

World Peace
A bigger house
A boyfriend
A new job
To weigh less than 200 lbs
A personality transplant so that I like exercise more than TV and lettuce more than chocolate
An invisibility cloak
A million dollars
Or barring any of that, a lobotomy

I hope Santa is reading...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I haven't felt much like blogging lately. Or much like being social in any capacity really. Occasionally things happen to make one lose one's faith in humanity. Little things. Hurtful things. Things that lead one to believe it's better to be a hermit, guarded and cynical than to be open to the pain of life, the pain of love. So this is me in hermit mode. I'm trying to fight it, because it's what's expected, but frankly I don't want to. If I could sequester myself away in solitude for a month, I would. As long as I could be outside. Or it would be cool to be invisible. Cause then I could still live my normal life, but I wouldn't have to talk to anyone. It's really too bad my family isn't Catholic, because then I could join a convent and take a vow of silence. That would be awesome. As it is, being a visible non-Catholic, I will continue to go to work every day and smile and make inane small talk, and do a job a chimp could do, until I can't stand it any more. If I start talking about plans for poisoning the town's water supply, or asking too many questions about automatic weapons, you might want to alert the authorities.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I Am Miss Bates

Not Emma Woodhouse, not Harriet Smith, not Jane Fairfax and not even Miss Taylor, but Miss Bates. The sooner I accept it and adjust my expectations accordingly, the happier I'll be.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Gobble gobble

I'm stoked! I ordered a local wild turkey for Thanksgiving from Bald Hill Farm and I got to pick it up today. Yesterday morning it looked like this.
Now it's in my fridge. Is that morbid? Perhaps. More morbid than Butterball? I think not. At least it was happy and healthy while it lived. And it will be oh so tasty come Thursday afternoon, assuming I don't overcook it. Gobble gobble indeed. I also got a local organic ham for my poultry allergic brother. I love leftover ham. I hope my stomach has recovered entirely from it's weekend of bad behavior. I have no wish to have to eat carefully on Thanksgiving.

I'm going to stay at my uncle's for the next few days so that my other brother can have my room. That way he won't have to drive up and down the hill every day, and also he can stay with his cat, Casper, who will be here as well. Aren't I nice? Not that I have ulterior motives... Uncle Snake just bought season 3 of Heroes, which I have yet to see. Now I can stay up all night and watch it :D

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Yesterday there was a kid on my bus who squealed with delight every time we passed a field of sheep. "Sheep!!! Sheep! Look, Mom, sheep!! SHEEEEEEEEEEP!!!!!!!!" It was totally cute. He didn't seem at all impressed with the many cows and horses we passed. Clearly this kid has got his priorities straight. SHEEEEEEEP indeed.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


The last run of my day I usually transport a half dozen people or so, give or take. Today I had one lone passenger, a young man who rides nearly every day. He observed as we drove through the abnormally empty streets of campus after dark, "Whoa, it's like the aftermath scene in a zombie movie... cause there's no one around, ya know?" I laughed. It's such a guy thing to say.

There's a group of special women I transport from the gym to the terminal every day, so they can catch their bus home. They work out and go swimming and soak in the hot tub before they come to my bus. They're lovely, cheery, chatty ladies. Yesterday as I was pulling up to their stop, one of them peered through the front windscreen, saw me, turned to her friends and said, "Oh good! It's her", while clapping her hands with glee. Made my day, I tell you.

Yesterday I had a meeting with my funeral director friend to ask him questions about his job. It was very informative, and of course, he took me on a tour of the facility. Did you know they have little mini urns, so that if more than one relative wants to keep Grandma close by they can divvy up her ashes and carry her with them? I find that a bit creepy, to tell the truth, but not as weird as funeral keepsake jewelry, which is exactly what it sounds like. (ew!) I had to smile because the flower shop that this particular funeral home recommends to it's customers is run by my ex-boss's arch nemesis. I just bit my tongue and kept on walking.

Naturally we looked in on the embalming lab. Edna was there, chilling on the table, waiting to be dressed for her service, which is tomorrow. She looked to have been in her 80s. My friend said they wait to dress them till just before the viewing because sometimes they leak, and that can be a problem if they're already dressed. He did tell me that the the whole bodies-move-during-the-embalming-process thing is just a myth. He said he's never seen anyone move. I was surprised how much the embalming lab did not smell. I was standing next to an embalmed body and I couldn't smell formaldehyde until he actually opened up the cupboard where the chemicals are stored. Then I got a faint whiff. Did you know the smell of formaldehyde sinks? The vents are all at floor level. I also learned that I don't actually have to go to school and get an embalming license to be a funeral director. If I don't want to do embalming, I can do an apprenticeship and take a test and get a funeral director's license that way. Seems like the weenie's way out to me :) Aren't you glad you're my friend and get to learn all these fascinatingly morbid factoids? Bet you're glad you logged on here today, eh?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Farewell, my little blue friends

The carnage!! The destruction!! The total devastation!! The Smurf Village has been razed to the ground. Sob. Apparently the grounds crew at HP have no respect for little blue beings because when I drove through there today it was all gone, only stems left. I'd post photos, but I think they'd be too graphic for my reading audience.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Sorry for the unexplained absence. We did end up driving to Seattle for the weekend and had an interesting visit with my Bro and his family. I had to do battle to get my Saturday off. I went to my manager and truly ranted for about 10 minutes about the injustice of the situation with particular emphasis on the need for a change in the system. She agreed with me, but didn't see what was to be done in this particular instance. One of the other drivers who was also scheduled to have the day off agreed to take the shift, mostly just to shut me up, I think. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Of course, he shouldn't have had to give up his day off either, but at least he volunteered.

It was lovely to see my bro and his family, wish we'd had more time and could have been more help. The most we could really do was to suggest they move here to be closer to family support. That would be so cool. Then we'd all be here, except Alex, who is just an hour and a half away.

I didn't take even one single photo the whole weekend, not even of my family, nor did I walk. I spent nearly the entirety of my waking hours sitting in the car or at the house or at a restaurant.

This is a photo from a different Seattle visit, where I walked a lot :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009


This evening I walked the entire length of Monroe Avenue and back, 52 blocks, 45 minutes. I don't much like walking after dark, not because I don't like the atmosphere, but because I'm a paranoid, chicken little girl. I get jumpy every time I have to pass out of the light, even on a totally busy road like Monroe. I imagine creepy homeless crack addicts behind every tree. I also like it less than daylight because I can't get decent photos of anything. I need a tripod :p

I pass this bush in the bus every day and I find it fascinating how the branches change from glowing orange to vibrant purple, polar opposites on the same plant. Of course, this photo doesn't do the colors justice.

This is one of the many churches on Monroe. I used to sing here as a girl. My school choir had a concert here every year. The stained glass is much more impressive from the inside :)

Today I want to quit my job. I was supposed to have Saturday off, as per the new schedule I mentioned. I had planned to help my brother move, and was trying to keep the weekend reasonably free in case I needed to rush to Seattle to help with the family drama going on up there. But someone in the office didn't do their job and it was discovered that they had double scheduled someone for Saturday afternoon. Instead of telling one of the people who had asked for an unscheduled day off that they needed to work their shift as there was no one to cover for them, they are forcing me to take someone else's shift. I am sick sick sick of working for a company who doesn't respect my time, my health, my mental well being. They don't care that I have a life outside of work, or that I am having to change plans and disappoint people in order to accommodate their mistake. For the millionth time. Rant rant rave pontificate spew vent rant rant rant.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I haven't blogged much in the last few days because I'm upset about some family stuff and anything I write is going to be a vituperative rant. I don't want to go there, particularly not with any detail, but I will make one observation. This is a gross generalization, and maybe it's just in my family. I don't know, but it seems to me that men are awfully good at excusing themselves from blame when things go wrong, even when it's completely obvious to the rest of the world that they are complicit in the problem, whereas women beat themselves up mercilessly about things that couldn't possibly have been their fault. Am I imagining this?

I took a walk around my neighborhood today and snapped a few photos :)

I stumbled upon the Smurf village on my way. They weren't at home, alas. Maybe next time.

This is possibly my favorite tree in my home town. I know it doesn't look like much now, but in the spring it's pretty impressive, and of course I like it in winter when it's naked. The reason I love it above all others is that it is, in fact, a pair of trees. Two trunks, two trees, one crown, one silhouette. Two trees forming one entity. Make of it what you will. I just like it.
I need a new camera. If I had a new camera I could have gotten some really impressive shots of these geese. As it is I have to tell you they're geese or you'd never know. When I started to shoot they were closer, but apparently I'm scarier than I think I am, because they made like a flock of chickens and beat a hasty retreat as soon as I started moving.

This just makes me smile.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


I had a great day in Portland yesterday. I went to the temple, which was lovely, and afterwards I picked up my bro and we walked a bit through his neighborhood.

I'd like to be able to say this is some cool local street vendor, but it's Trader Joe's. They had luscious flowers outside, but sadly most of my photos were blurry :( This is the best one.
Our walk took us to the Ram's Head, a branch of McMennamin's, which is an Oregon chain of pubs, I guess, if you can call half a dozen restaurants a chain. They do lovely fish and chips, and of course I approve of their decor :)
After dinner we saw "The Men Who Stare at Goats". It was hilarious, more especially because they kept going on about Jedi warriors and using the force, and Ewan McGreggor, who is Obi-Wan, the ultimate Jedi in the Star Wars movies, kept looking utterly clueless and asking, "What's a Jedi?". You probably have to be a Sci-fi geek to appreciate the humor, but it cracked me up. Yes, yes, I know it's rated R, but only for language and for one brief, incidental, non-gratuitous bit of nudity involving Ewan McGreggor and George Clooney and hospital gowns, which frankly I enjoyed.
Also yesterday morning, before any of these other activities, I went to Mt Hood community college, where there was an information meeting about a program I'm looking in to. MHCC has the only Mortuary Sciences degree in the northwest. I have long thought that working in the funeral industry would be a rewarding way to spend one's time, being there for people at that most trying time, preparing remains for their eventual resurrection. I haven't decided yet whether I'm going to do it or not. I'm not sure it's what the Lord wants me to do at the moment, but the meeting was very interesting, particularly watching the other people there and how they reacted to certain things. There were about 20 people there. At the end of the meeting they took us into the embalming lab. Normally there is no one there unless they are actually performing an embalming, but yesterday there were workmen fixing the cooler, so the normal inhabitants of the cooler were moved into the lab. So there was one body on a table at the far end of the room, wrapped in plastic. Many of the potential students seemed quite reluctant to enter the room, or go to the far end where the table was. They all huddled near the door. I kept thinking, "dude, if you have trouble with this, you shouldn't be here".

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Day Off

I'm going here tomorrow :)

Yay! It's been awhile since I've been, so I took the day off in order to go. I'm killing two birds with one stone and going to see my brother while I'm in Portland.... not that I'd actually kill birds. You know what I mean. We will be dining and seeing a movie, I believe. I told him he could choose, so I hope I don't have to go see Saw 6 or anything creepy. I'd actually send him in to the theater and meet him after the carnage was over. I don't do creepy.

I didn't have a walk today, as it is bucketing down rain with gale force winds. I like this kind of weather, but I'm not keen to be out in it, fighting off flu as I am. Instead I plan on doing half an hour of Wii boxing after Mum goes to bed. Upper body workout instead of lower, for a change :) I find Wii boxing therapeutic. I kick ass!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

River Ramble

Today during my lunch hour I took a walk along the river. I then promptly undid any good I might have done by lunching at Dairy Queen. I eat there about twice a year. I really like the pumpkin pie blizzards, and the peppermint flip ones, so I allow myself one each per year. Today was pumpkin pie blizzard day :) I also had a new grilled turkey sandwichy thingy that was surprisingly good.
This stretch of river that I strolled along today was the site of my one and only truly illegal act. About fifteen years ago I became aware of the existence of a sawed off shotgun in my garage. Don't ask me how it got there. I had nothing to do with it. My roommate Laura's dad was a retired cop, so we called him and asked what we should do with it. He said under no circumstances should we call the police, as the mere possession of said object would get us in big trouble. He told us to take it apart and dispose of it, preferably with the help of a rowboat. Neither of us had any clue about guns, so we called our friend Vince who came and dismantled it for us, chuckling the whole time at the condition of the gun and how freaked out by it we were. He said it was so old it probably wouldn't shoot. Late that night my friend Aaron and I took a little stroll along the river with the pieces of the gun in a very inconspicuous brown paper bag which we periodically opened and tossed the various pieces of gun into the middle of the river. We laughed at ourselves the whole way, knowing how ridiculous we must look skulking along in the dark. It was a bizarre experience.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Yesterday my walk consisted of 45 minutes of pushing a gorcery cart around the aisles of Safeway, even though there were only half a dozen things on my list. Today I was going to walk to church, and it's a gorgeous day for it, but I woke up all achy and fevery, and they've asked us not to come to church if we're sick, so here I sit at my computer while my mum sets forth for Sunday worship. Later my Uncle Snake is coming over for dinner, so I'll have to look lively for awhile. I gave him the option of postponing to avoid contamination, but he says he'll risk it :) Who knew my cooking was worth it? lol. We're having spaghetti bolognese - hard to mess that up.

Friday, October 30, 2009


I drive by this lovely little hilltop cemetery every day and have long wanted to stop and take a closer look. I wandered here for a half hour reading headstones and admiring the view.
The oldest headstone I found was from 1819 and the newest was from January of this year.
I love the delicate older headstones.
They're sweet and graceful and many of them have favorite scriptures or religious sayings on them as well as beautiful carvings.

This was my favorite. It's pretty plain, but at the bottom is engraved, "Christus ist mein Leben, Sterben ist mein Gewinn", which translates to "Christ is my life, Death is my victory". Love it. Hmmm... what do I want my headstone to say, if I should decide to have one. At the moment I favor the idea of cremation for myself, in case you wanted to know :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

No Trespassing

I took a walk this morning here:

It's about 10 minutes from my house and, well, let them just try to keep me out. Moo ah ah ah! I trespassed and loitered for about 50 minutes :D

It's well worth the law breaking. The view is lovely, and as my bus route takes me in here several times a day it seems silly that I can't go in on foot.

There are all these lovely old oak trees, all gnarly and twisted. Call me a perv, but I love naked trees. Leaves are all well and good, but bare trees are so graceful.

Some of the local inhabitants.

I love ginko leaves.

Saturday is a special day...

Yesterday a miracle occurred. Since I started my current work schedule, I've been waiting and hoping that it would change so that I could have a little more time off. I work 6 days a week, until 8pm, which pretty much precludes any kind of social life. The bosses have been promising change, but it never has been forthcoming... until yesterday. They have now worked the weekend schedule so that I can have every other Saturday off!!! Dah dah dah DAAAAHHHHH!!! I know, it sounds like nothing, but for me it is huge. I don't have to ask for time off if I want to do something wild and crazy like, oh I dunno, go to the farmer's market, or go to a movie before 10pm. And it only took them 2 years to work it out! Until someone quits, and then it's back to the old grind.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Guess where?

Gail, I think you already know, and double points for you if you can tell me who was in the car with me when this photo was taken :) They look like happy cows, don't they? I wish I was there now, and I wish you were all there with me. At this moment that would be my idea of heaven.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Home Sweet Home

I like moss...

even though I know it's a parasite. I love the vibrant colors. If I could decorate my home in moss and have it stay soft and glowing, I so would. Maybe a tree house really is the answer. This is some random rock somewhere on Hwy 20 between Sisters and Sweet Home. I was really looking forward to having time today to stop and photograph whatever I wanted along the way. The other times I've made this drive recently it has been absolutely stunning with autumn foliage and sunshine, but I was always rushing to be somewhere. Today I knew I had plenty of time, and wouldn't you know it, it was grey and drizzly all through the Cascades X-( Typical. I only took about a dozen photos.

At this moment my favorite color is red red red.

It was really weird being at Charlie's place today. Everywhere I looked there were things that were once ours, things we purchased together, or made together, things we fought over or enjoyed together. I carried a box of his clothes out to his parents car and it smelled just like him. It was hard.

It is so good to be home. I arrived this evening after the long drive and opened the door to be greeted with the waft of grilled cheese sandwiches cooking on the stove and the sight of my sweet mother smiling at me :) What could be better? I'll tell you what - there was apple pie for dessert.

Friday, October 23, 2009

On the Road Again

I'm off again tomorrow on another epic road trip. I'm driving to Ontario to pick up some furniture that Charlie had borrowed, 8 years ago when we split. I've tried not to blog too much about Charlie, but I think about him all the time; about when we were together, what went wrong, why it didn't work... what was wrong with me that this extraordinary man couldn't live with me. I think he expected my mind to be as deep and inquisitive as his, and he was disappointed to discover that I am just as shallow as the rest of the world, that I like Star Wars better than Nietzsche and chocolate better than seaweed. I had hoped that we would share all these things. I wanted to read the things he read and talk about them with him, but he didn't want to hear what I thought. Charlie was a remarkably self-disciplined person, and I'm certain that he found me to be lazy and hedonistic. I think, although he never said as much to me, that part of his personal philosophy was that physical enjoyment was bad, so if he liked a food he would stop eating it, and if he enjoyed a hobby he would stop doing it. Food was for nourishment and time was to be spent in meaningful pursuits. I think he was frustrated that I didn't share his level of personal discipline, and I know he held me in contempt for my perceived weakness. Imagine knowing that your spouse finds your thoughts pedantic and your habits contemptible. I'm certain that he thought I didn't love him, that I wanted to change him, or that I only cared about how he seemed, not how he really was. I loved him in the only way I knew how. The only thing I would have changed was to have made him happy, not just to seem happy but to really and truly be happy. I loved him whether he was happy or not, whether he was healthy or not, whether he was good to me or not. I loved him whether he loved me or not. It breaks my heart to know that the years we were together were the most miserable of his life, and conversely I'm so glad that he had found a place he loved and work at which he excelled and people in whose service he found fulfillment.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Half the crew at work is out sick, so I've been doing double shifts. Soooo Tired. Will blog more when I've had some sleep :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Uncle Snake's house

This is Elvis

This is Elvis on drugs.

That's a catnip banana, which he has licked so long there is a hole in the side and the innards are oozing out. I wonder if catnip and Prozac are contraindicated, because he's been a bit odder than usual the last few days and I've noticed he is more than usually vigorous in his attentions to the banana since he started the Prozac. Weird. And he's still peeing on the furniture. In fact, I was bringing laundry into the lounge to fold yesterday evening. I had dropped one load off and was coming into the room with load # 2 when I found him just beginning to squat over my clean laundry!!! Brat!!

This is Pepper. She is lovely and serene. In fact I'm convinced that she didn't leave this chair most of the time I was staying there. She was there in the morning when I left for work, she was there when I came home 10 hours later. Who knows how she actually spent her days, but it seemed as though she never moved.

This is the view off the back deck. I love this house.

If I lived here I would paint again. I would have room for a studio, and there is so much beauty to inspire, and such serenity in the location.

Alas, I mean Yay!! My uncle is home safe and sound. Back home for me. Luck was on my side. My mum had a cold while I was away, but is better now. I missed it, and all the germs, hopefully. I need a flu shot.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I've been cat-sitting at my uncle's for the last several days, with limited internet access and no cell phone service, so I haven't been able to post since I've been there. I came home after church today with the express purpose of posting some photos of said cats, as well as some of the scenery up there, but wouldn't you know it? I left my camera up there. Doh! You'll have to wait till tomorrow. Can you stand the suspense?

Regarding those lovable felines, Elvis, the tom cat, has recently been having some anxiety issues, the result of which is an increased propensity for peeing on the furniture. Joy is me. He has been to the vet, who in her wisdom has prescribed... Prozac. That's right, kitty Prozac. Who knew such a thing existed? In spite of these daily doses of Prozac laced cat food balls doused in tuna juice, (yes, I take longer to make his dinner than mine) he is still weeing freely over all and sundry articles of furniture which happen to be in his path. I am less than thrilled with this development in his character, although thus far he has left my stuff alone. Either that or it's dry by the time I get home.

Aside from the obvious drawback, staying at my uncle's is always a rejuvenating, serene experience. The house is lovely, filled to the gills with books, the surrounding area is woody and calm, and the lack of fast internet, cell phones or cable tv make it a necessarily peaceful retreat from the world. I read a book last night. An entire book :) Granted, it was P.G. Wodehouse, so not meaty reading, but still very satisfying in it's way. Tonight I might take a bath in the spa tub :D

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sometimes road rage is the answer

Asleep for the night. Don't they look peaceful?

There must be something in the water lately, cause the crazies are out in force. I have had so many near misses on the road in the last 48 hours it's not funny; people turning into my lane instead of theirs, coming towards me on one way streets, turning too sharply in front of me and having to go onto a lawn to avoid hitting me at the last second... and it's not even a full moon. I never believed the full moon had any effect on people's behavior until I became a bus driver. Friday full moons are the worst! People get loopy. And a friday full moon payday? The trifecta of looniness. Any smart driver will call in sick.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Liberty Park

While in Salt Lake I took Jet, my dad's dog, for a romp at Liberty Park, which is a lovely green space in the middle of the city. When I lived in SLC my house was only a few blocks away, so I walked here often. It's also where Charlie and I were married.

She was extremely keen to greet these lovelies. Nearly pulled my arm out of the socket trying to get to them.

Most of the photos I took that day were blurred or skewed because I was shooting one handed and had a frantic dog yanking my other arm every which way, but there were a few clear ones :)

Hard to believe that only one block away the commerce of a big city is booming, eh?

Monday, October 12, 2009

I'm Back...

and I will try very hard not to bore you with the morose details of my utterly depressing weekend trip, except to relate two occurrences:

Wednesday morning, as I was on my way out the door to drive to Salt Lake to attend Charlie's funeral, we received a message informing us that my cousin had taken his own life the night before. My heart goes out to his mother, who had already lost her only other son to suicide, and to his wife and children. I will continue to pray for their comfort and support.

Yesterday, as I was driving the 785 miles home from Salt Lake, my route took me through the crash site where Charlie was killed. Not half a mile after I had passed the spot, a deer ran across the road in front of me and the car in the opposing lane hit it, strewing glass and pieces of bumper across the road and killing the deer instantly. The family in the car were fine, but it rattled me pretty good, coming as it did not 30 seconds after I had passed the place where Charlie breathed his last. His mother said the crash broke every bone in his body. Needless to say, after I regained my composure, I drove 5 miles under the speed limit the rest of the way home.

I say this with deep respect and perfect sincerity. Thank God for music. There is nothing like Beethoven or They Might Be Giants to lift the spirit during trying times. Who could keep from smiling at a song about prosthetic foreheads? And I defy anyone not to be uplifted by the last movement of Beethoven's 9th symphony. I look forward to the time when I can meet the genius who composed that master work in spite of deafness. Maybe Charlie can introduce me when I get there.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I will be away for a few days, away from my computer, away from work, away from home, away. I'm shoving off in the wee sma's tomorrow. At least that's the plan, and I'm hoping to arrive in Salt Lake before dark. Knowing me, it will be more like 11 before I hit the booming metropolis that harbors my Father and his lovely wife as well as my ex-in-laws. I am attending Charlie's funeral on Saturday. I am still unsure as to the wisdom of this trip. I go to gratify myself at the cost of everyone else. My Dad and step-mum are coming here to visit my siblings and I this weekend. I will not be here. My friend and her husband are coming here to look at houses this weekend. I will not be here. Saturday is a home game at OSU, the most difficult day to get time off work because every able-bodied driver is needed, and I won't be here. I am unsure of my reception at this event. I am the ex, after all. His family might think it's strange for me to be there. My presence might make them uncomfortable. I hope that's not the case, because I really want to be there, for me. In spite of everything, all the manipulation and dishonesty, and the whole divorce thing, I still love Charlie in a way. I'd never go back to the way we were, but there are good memories mingled with the bad, and in his defense, he is the only man game enough to even try to be married to me. The rest of the population seems ready to give it a miss, so for that I honor him. It seems only right to go and participate in his memorial. Have I convinced you yet? I've re-convinced myself, which was the point, I suspect. So all you millions of readers out there will have a break from my rantings until next week. I strongly suspect that I'm the only one who reads this blog anyway, so in this at least, I'm not inconveniencing anyone but myself.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

On the lighter side...

When I first heard the news and went to tell my mother, I was sobbing so hard I couldn't get the words out to tell her what was wrong. The first word out of her mouth was, "Spider?" Yes, Mother, there is a giant magical arachnid in my bedroom that has robbed me of the power of speech. Even then it struck me as funny, and when I had regained composure I had a good laugh about it. In her defense, we have had some doozies in the house this year. One was about the size of a mouse. Creeeeepy! I am not arachnophobic. In fact, I like having a spider or two in the house to decrease the mosquito and house-fly population, but this one even made me nervous. I did however manage to retain my composure when it made it's first appearance, unlike my brother, the biologist and lifelong aracnophile, who screamed like a girlie and jumped up on his chair. You note I said first appearance. Yes, after being relocated to greener pastures, so to speak, our mutantly enormous friend reappeared two nights later in exactly the same spot as before. I'm not sure which thought is more disturbing: that it was the same spider who had managed to reenter our home after being removed a considerable distance, or that the second appearance was a member of his clan... gah!

This is Peter, our pet garden spider of several years ago. We thought his choice of abode was particularly apropos. We enjoyed his descendants for several years, but this year there were none to be seen. Perhaps they were driven out by the recent giant immigrants.


The shape of the world has changed, for me. I don't mean my everyday life will be different now than it has been. I will go on working and living as I have done. But the world is now for me a fundamentally different place because Charlie is gone from it. The only other witness to that era of our life together is gone, to myself as a married woman and all that that entails. There is no one to dispute or corroborate my interpretation of events. No one to whom I can now refer potential suitors, should there ever be any. "Go talk to Charlie. He knows what it's like to be married to me." I can't get used to it - Charlie has moved on. What is he seeing? What is he doing? Is he happy?

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I've just learned that my ex-husband was killed yesterday.

Deep breaths...

He was in a head-on collision and was pronounced dead at the scene, in spite of seat belts and airbags, so he didn't suffer. That's good. The driver and passenger of the other car only had minor injuries, so that's also good.

Philosophically, death is not tragic. It's not the end of life, just a change. But my reaction has surprised me. I guess there is no philosophy in grief. I'm not sorry for him. I'm actually a little jealous. But his parents must be miserable. And his siblings and extended family. And me.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


My car just broke down and I think I have the flu x-( As there is nothing I can do about the car till morning, and nothing I can do about the flu at all, I'm feeling frustrated and powerless. Poo poo poo bum. Lol. I can't say Poo poo poo bum with a straight face. But still. Poo.

On the up side, my sweet mother is putting a frozen pizza in the oven for my dinner while I sit here and pout electronically. Isn't she a gem? :) I scored in the mom department.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I heart Oregon

I love where I live. I think it's one of the most beautiful places on Earth. I suppose I'm biased. I've lived lots of places and have found beauty everywhere I've been, but some places it takes work to find it. Here it's just there, everywhere you look. Lucky me :)

Of course, Oregon's got nothing on New Zealand. Sorry if that makes me unpatriotic, but so it is. NZ is the only place I've ever come back from and thought home looked a bit drab.

I should be at church. I don't know what's wrong with me. I have a really hard time going lately. Actually, I know exactly what my problem is, but it's no excuse. My problem is that I work 6 days a week in the service industry, smiling and being polite to strangers all day. I should mention that I'm an introvert, so this requires effort on my part. The last thing I want to do on my day off is to go into a crowd of people and smile and make small talk, even if it's loving, supportive people like my ward. I just want some solitude. But that's selfish, and I should just get over myself and go. It's not as though I don't believe in the gospel. I do. I know church is where I should be, that it would do me good, that I'd be happier if I went, that work would seem less onerous to me. So why am I still here?


I wish I'd had more energy to enjoy Bologna. It's a lovely city and a half day at the end of an action packed holiday isn't the best way to appreciate it's charms. I'd have liked to have had more time to wander the streets and soak in the beauty, and of course, more time to photograph.

San Luca, glowing gorgeously above the city.

The porticoes, with which I became obsessed. Such variety of shape and color. Love love love.

This was my favorite. I like the curve of light and the change of color.

I took quite a fancy to this statue of Neptune. It's so wonderfully bizzare. Every demigod needs a harem of mermaids with spurting bosoms to support him.

Isn't he gorgeous?

This made me giggle, although I can't take credit for the original thought. I believe it was Mike who first called it Schindler's lift.

Friday, September 25, 2009