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.