Thursday, June 30, 2022

A Peek Behind the Veil

Get rid of the f'ing mags.  They're not here to hurt me.  (Trump on his comfort level with the weaponry carried by the Jan 6th rally attendees)

Mark, you need to pay attention to this. (Cassidy Hutchinson, aide to the Chief of Staff, after telling him that those armed Trumpies were about to storm the Capitol)

Anything else?  (Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, from his office couch, without looking up)

He doesn't think they're doing anything wrong.  (Meadows on Trump's opinion of the above)

It was un-patriotic.  It was un-American. (Hutchinson on the above)

THAT'S MY COUCH (Mick Mulvaney on Meadow's perch while glued to his phone during the above)

Only the last one made me laugh.  We came so very close to losing it all.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

He Wants to Apologize

Somehow, on the phone with the delightful woman from the Social Security this afternoon, the conversation turned to women's rights.

We sighed in the same way, recognizing a kindred spirit.  

I told her that TBG wants to apologize to her, and to every other woman on the planet, for being a white man in America today.  His people are an embarrassment. 

She laughed out loud, said Please tell him I accept ... and thank him, so I put him on speaker phone and  we all smiled and laughed with tears in our voices.

It's not that abortion will disappear.  It's that women will die.  For the two of us on the phone today, it was sharing a moment, an unfathomable reality, that we were fighting this fight again.  

The call ended and I found TBG fulminating, stewing, going over it and over it and coming to the same place he always lands.  He presents it as so obvious that anyone not seeing it is not paying attention.  Briefly, it's two parts:  A society can be judged by how it treats its women.  Dismissing women is so stupid - you are wasting 50% of your resources.

And then there's my favorite part, the coda that warms the cockles of my heart: Just look at the women in my life.  My grandmothers, my mom, my sister and you and Little Cuter and for crying out loud FlapJilly..... think what the world would have missed ......

I know he's not the only one out there.  

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Not That I Know Of

Pregnancy Adjacent  -   a term I'm coining for anyone who knows anyone who's needed to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, or anyone who's contributed to the unwanted pregnancy itself.  

I am having a hard time believing that party-hearty-frat-boy Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh has never been Pregnancy Adjacent.  

I am having a hard time believing that he spent his teens and twenties and thirties celibate;  he married in 2004 -  when he was 39 years old.  In all those years was there never a failure of contraception?  A failure of reticence?  A surprise?  

Then again, he was 8 years old when Roe was decided.  (Gorsuch was 6 , Roberts was 18.)

When I went off to college in 1969, contraceptive prescriptions for unmarried women were hard to get. There was no gynecologist on staff at the health clinic, but there was Planned Parenthood just downhill from campus and their services were price friendly and open to discussing safe sex options.... and then providing the care.  

None of that was useful if somebody's sperm slipped through.

Brett never had to query his friends, and the friends of his friends, hopeful that he'd find someone who knew someone who could help - for a hefty price and no guarantee of medical expertise.  Just through random conversations over 7 decades of life, I can say that most people in my orbit have been Pregnancy Adjacent.

Perhaps, not so for our current young Republican Supremes.  

In addition to abstinence (sure, he burned off all those adolescent hormonal influences weightlifting with Tobin) there were legally sanctioned options:  condoms were sold on the open shelves of Walgreens; the women in his life had access to a variety of methods of prevention; and abortions were safe and legal, should something go awry.

Roberts was a senior in high school when Roe was decided.  Perhaps he was once Pregnancy Adjacent?  Perhaps that's why he wanted a more nuanced approach to the gradual diminution of women's right?

I had all these thoughts in random, unfocused fashion until TBG gave me the title for this post.  We were Pregnancy Adjacent a number of times, he said as he recited them.  Then he paused, thought, declared that was all. 

That you know of, I said.

His next pause was longer, thoughtful, then sorrowful.

Not that I know of.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Go Look At Yourself In The Mirror For A While

That's what TBG told me to do this afternoon.

I was walking past him, going no where in particular, when he bade me stop and assess my stance.  His grin was larger than usual.  I've gotten used to that oversized reaction to the fact that I ambulate without lurching, but this was different.  

Those who haven't seen me since my surgery are awestruck and silent before they begin to beam.  Look at YOU! could be my new name.  Walking has become a non-event for me, something mundane, something pedestrian (sorry about that).  But it still impresses the outside world and, apparently, my inside world, too.

He's watched me every day since the operation.  He's seen the drama unfold.  But something about my posture struck him today - and he wanted to share.

You are taller, slimmer, happier.  Go, look, enjoy.

And so I did.  I walked up to the full length mirror in our bathroom and I stood on one leg and I walked backward and sashayed a bit.  And then I stood there, on two feet, evenly weighted, my hips perpendicular to the floor, neither cocked nor aching.

And I didn't have to work at it.  It was just there.  The mind/body connection reinforces itself every day.  I know it's true.  I spent quite some time admiring it.

Thanks for listening to that.  There aren't that many people I can tell that I spent a good part of the day looking at myself in the mirror.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Things I've Forgotten About Monsoon

Humidity is thick.  

Overheated air is thick.  

Thick air is hard to breathe.  It makes its presence known as you're walking to the only tree shaded spot left at the grocery store.


The trees love the extra moisture in the air.  Their pods are dropping.  Their leaves are greener.  But it cannot be said that they are thriving.  These intense, ten minute rainstorms don't penetrate deep into the soil, the way a long, slow soak can do.

It can be raining in the back yard and not in the front.  

The house can be in the eye of the storm; I can watch it rain on the mountains while I sit in the sunshine.


The sunsets are uniformly fabulous.  They are accented by dozens of bats feasting on dozens of flying insect swarms.  

It's more fun to watch it from inside.  Being dive bombed by bats is even less fun than being consumed by infinitely small beasties.


I can't wait until the afternoon do do my daily swim.  By 2:30 this afternoon the clouds were gathering and one very loud and close round of thunder convinced me that I was not going to get a safe swim.

Mornings are good, though.  It's my preferred time of day for exercise, the sun is on the other side of the house and so isn't baking the pool, and I can shower off the chlorine before I start my day.  

It's nice of monsoon to encourage me to do what I like to do.


Thursday, June 23, 2022

The Best Hamburger I've Ever Eaten

The Kibbitzer has been a vegetarian for a few decades.  Yet, every once in a while, a hamburger can tempt him.  I use this to bolster my supposition that at some point or other everyone craves a burger.  

Great fries, of course, are an extra added bonus, but that's another post. (Spoiler alert: the answer is Nathan's.)  I can say, though, that the crispy, skinny, just enough skin on some to remind you it's a potato fries that sat next to the perfect burger were of exceptional quality.  And quantity, as attested by Delightful Delaney: I just kept watching him pour them on the plate.

Taos Bubbe ordered the BLT on gluten-free bread, which led to a spirited discussion of the misnomer.  Gluten holds the bread together.  Without it, as evidenced by her plate as she ate, it's only a matter of time before the crumbs no longer stick together.  There is no longer any structural integrity to your meal.  

My burger was topped with three small home made pickles skewered atop a perfectly toasted bun.  The Welsh cheddar and white bbq sauce (more horseradish-y than smoky) stayed strictly within the bun, the lettuce was soft but not wilted to tastelessness, the tomato was ripe and red and juicy.  The entire package stayed together through every bite - a crucial feature in my mind (and my mouth and fingers and napkin).

The burger itself, though.... 

After I got done extolling its virtues and sharing a bite, Taos Bubbe described it perfectly:  The grill marks taste good.

And they did.  

I couldn't finish the fries, but there were no crumbs from anything else.  It was not an inexpensive hamburger, but it was not too much to pay for a Girls' Lunch in a nice restaurant.  (And with prices in for food soaring, who knows what a fair price is anymore?)

If you come to visit Tucson, you can enjoy it here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Did You Watch?

I'm obsessed.  I'll admit it.  I'm organizing my week around it.  I'm furiously crocheting as I sit in front of the television for hours, watching the attempted destruction of our democracy.  I'm yelling at the screen,  I'm weeping, I'm fantasizing about DJT answering for his crimes.

Yes, crimes.  He's on tape.  He tweeted.  Objectively speaking, he did bad things and he must be punished.  

But we don't live in an objective world.  We live in a world where strangers can bust into a grandma's house looking for an election official and a volunteer - her daughter and granddaughter - to make a citizens' arrest.  The President of the United States had convinced them that the two women had conspired to steal the election.  The USB drive that they supposedly shared?  Listen to the daughter: 

This is a ginger mint.  

The Committee is drawing a direct line, at every turn, to the former President of the United States.  Will he be indicted for high crimes and misdemeanors, for overt criminal acts, for treason?  Those are all good questions, but I'm thinking smaller might be a good way to start.

How about going after the people who broke into grandma's home?  How about making the world feel safe to her daughter, who volunteered to help with an election; who worked for no pay, by the side of her daughter; who is afraid to give her name when she orders food.

This is taking place on a grand scale, on a huge stage.  But, just like at the Safeway in Tucson 11 plus years ago, there are small, personal consequences to these larger political crises.  I think it's important to remember them, too.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The Merry Go Round

Do you have a favorite one?  Is there a carousel from your childhood that came instantly to mind when you read the title of this post?  Do you tell people absolutely must ride it when they are in town?  

It's a lovely sign of his maturity that Giblet no longer screams in fury because his mom will only let him ride the lion one time per visit to the zoo.  They love the animals and the (ridiculous) small train ride and  feeding the little animals pellets taken softly from their hands, but the merry go round sits right in front of the entrance/exit/gift shop and that's just a lot to handle when you're small.

It took me a while to get used to riding the horses at Nunley's.  I was happy sitting in the throne that was firmly anchored to the moving platform, much to the dismay of everyone else.  When I finally mustered the courage to get on a horse that went up and down, once I finally figured out that no one fell off this thing, I became fearless, stretching my arm out to grab what I always hoped would be, and sometimes actually was, the brass ring.

Daddooooo was always on the horse in front of me.  He could grab two rings at a time.  That felt like the most amazing thing in the world to me.

TBG told everyone that he spent yesterday thinking loving thoughts about his children.  I spent mine with my dad, long gone but never allowing himself to be forgotten for very long, remembering him pulling us on our sleds across the snow covered Black Course at Bethpage; dodging and riding the waves in Far Rockaway and Long Beach and Lido Beach because why go anywhere else when the best beaches were right there; and, always, on the merry go round at Nunley's.

There, he really did have a chance at the brass ring.

Monday, June 20, 2022

It Rained

Not for very long, and not that intensely, but it definitely rained yesterday.

I deep watered Tree and the lemon tree the day before; as newbies, they need help when it's dry and windy and very hot.  Just like Daddooooo putting away the sleds could make it snow (once, in May), there was another few gallons, free of charge.  I laughed and wondered how often this rain dance would work, and remembered that the paper told me to expect a wet monsoon.

That got me thinking about collecting rainwater and using it for irrigation, at home and at the school garden, and then I just had to stop and smile.  

Such big projects were not even at the edge of my consciousness before I had my hip replaced (with titanium and a stem down my femur......that's still kinda creepy to think about, let alone type right out there in the open.... my bionic self, revealed).

It's my third try at life, this one starting not from loss but from gain.  

The loss is there, of course, now and always.  But it's not intruding as I tread on uneven ground,  my hip reminding me that life is fragile and danger fraught as I look for balance.  It pops up as I drive past CTG's park, but that's as a prompt to say Hi!  Just as her dad reminded us, she would not want us to be sad.  She would want us to go out and make the world a better place.

And now I am able, once again, to do my part, fully, without pain, and with a smile on my face.

Yay, Science!

Friday, June 17, 2022

Just Wondering

The Committee members repeated it, over and over again.  Donald Trump knew that Mike Pence could not refuse to certify the electors.  Donald Trump knew that there was no credible evidence that the tally was rigged.

I don't think so.

I think it's true to say that the information was conveyed to him.  I think it is true that the words were said and read to him many times.  I don't believe that he was capable of internalizing them, much less acting upon them.

I don't think he's capable of considering the fact that he lost, and that he lost so publicly.  Mary Trump's expose of their family dynamics says it all in the title:  Too Much and Never Enough.  Failure is just not an option in TrumpWorld, especially in the brain of Donald J Trump himself.  

That's not an excuse for his behavior, past and present.  I'm totally diagnosing him from afar.  But I've said all along that you can't fix crazy, and these delusions are just that.... or as they said in the hearing today rubber room material.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Except For The Ants

I swept out of the parking lot and waved to the volunteer behind the Admissions Counter as I walked through the gate and into the park, up one lane and down another and around and around the I-never-remember-which-path-to-take route to Outdoor Yoga.  It was a trip which took no time at all, which required no rest stops, which left me bemoaning my lack of endurance but otherwise unencumbered with negativity.  

Nothing hurt.

When Taos Bubbe and I were doing this last winter, the trek was an obstacle.  Today, my yogi didn't recognize me until I was close enough for her to see my face.  From a distance, my gait had not identified me.  I wasn't galumphing; I was walking.

We hugged and admired my newfound abilities and thanked science and then I strolled into the event space and unrolled my mat.  I was careful to avoid bending in half, but getting organized was simple and easy and felt great.  We started standing up, going through variations of warrior pose and moving through tree.  

Doing tree pose outdoors, surrounded by trees, was truly wonderful.  Balancing on my damaged leg was even better.  And then we sat down.

On the way to my mat I looked over at my Kiziks.  Lots of little black ants were dancing around the mesh tops and down into the insoles and they were also all over my thankfully zippered purse.  I interrupted my graceful descent and began shaking and brushing and generally removing unwelcome guests from my possessions.

My mat had one lone invader, who was quickly dispatched.  We did some work sitting up on our mats, so pest control was fairly simple.  They came in one by one and were dealt with promptly.  They were a minor distraction.  The breeze was wafting, the sun was shaded by the leaves, and we were embracing clarity and radiant health.  

It was perfect.  Except for the ants.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022


Amber Heard was part of the NBC Nightly News teaser.  Apparently, she's quite upset about the jury verdict last week.  There was a picture of Johnny Depp that made me sad - he's puffy and exudes an aura of disrepute that's more tawdry than adventurous.   Beyond that, I have no facts. 

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West and Pete Davidson were the subject of an otherwise unintelligible article in this month's Vanity Fair.  The article highlighted late night tv's scandal jokes.  I knew nothing.

It's not that I don't read the news.  I can tell you the most minute details of the January 6th hearings, of the Watergate hearings in the 1970's  (50 years ago.... but that's another post), of the debate surrounding Arizona's redistricting map.  I have no trouble remembering the characters and their characteristics. I can keep a timeline in my head.  I care.

But these two scandals, which are in the paper and on the news, which are brought up in conversation, which are reference points in discussions of social policy, which seem to have infiltrated every corner of of American life, are nothing to me.

I still haven't figured out which of the Kardashians is Kim.  I've written off Kanye West as a hopelessly damaged soul who needs therapy not publicity; he's quite easy to ignore.  Pete Davidson amused me on SNL and touched my heart with his own struggles with mental but his involvement with these other two has somehow escaped me.  All I really know is that there's a child out there whose name is North West, and that makes me sad.

I liked Johnny Depp's pirate persona.  I've always admired the depth and breadth of his career.  I'd never heard of Amber Heard.  When the court case began to intrude into my space I made a conscious decision not to care, not to surround myself with lies and mendacity revolving around people who were totally irrelevant to my life.  When the verdict came down, when NPR spent several segments discussing its effect on the #MeToo movement, when Amster wondered where I stood on the issues, I had nothing to say.  

The Cuters were useful in situations like these.  I used to pick things up by osmosis.  But TBG watches ESPN not MTV, and so, I am adrift.

I don't feel too sad about it at all.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Flag Day

Parts of this have appeared in some form or other in The Burrow already.

I've always liked Flag Day.  No parades, no speeches, just my flag outside my front door.
This is the weekend, in 2017, when Little Cuter and I helped Gabby celebrate the Commissioning of the USS Gabrielle Giffords.  

It was a girls' trip to Galveston, a time to feel good about America, sunny days and balmy nights filled with liquid refreshments and many desserts, Jon Bon Jovi and my first experience of Mark Kelly's ability to command a room.

They don't choose just anyone to command a  Space Shuttle, whispered the distinguished gentleman standing behind me in his be-ribboned Navy Whites.
Gabby was gorgeous and happily wind-blown that weekend, leaning against her handsome husband. I know the effort behind each one of the steps she took, from the bow to the stern.  She knew we were watching, and she didn't want to let us down. She marched on, smiling, unwavering, determined.

It's not only the doing which inspires me, it's the attitude : There is no yesterday. There is only tomorrow. Be bold. Be courageous. Be strong.

That she can still believe in America, that her husband is willing to step up to the plate and do something, that helps my heart on Flag Day.  
Daddooooo was quite annoyed at the American flag patch on my jeans shorts, back in 1970 or '71. He felt that using the flag to cover my tush was the height of disrespect.

Of course he was right; the Flag Code prohibits such behavior. Then again, it also prohibits all the machinations the NFL puts the flag through in the name of patriotism. I wonder what he'd say about that.

Back in 2015, though, I wondered how he'd react to soccer fans, with their flag clothes and their flag faces
The Smithsonian Channel tried to convince me that Betsy Ross did not design and or sew the American Flag.  

I'm sorry, but NO.  

G'ma and Daddooooo took us to Fredrick, Maryland, where we looked up at her window and imagined the flag going proudly by. 

It certainly felt real to me. I was 9 or 10.

So, can you show me the label?  Do you have a receipt?  Until I can hold the proof in my hand I'm choosing to ignore your reality.

It's my privilege.  I have a flag to wave in case you disagree.

Monday, June 13, 2022


That's a lot of degrees.

There's the moment you touch the door handle of the sub shop and pull your hand away, quickly, before you leave skin on the metal.

There's entering your car after a lovely, leisurely lunch, smiling happily until you are overwhelmed but the super-heated air inside.

There are the sad and drooping native trees, adapted to this sort of thing so there's nothing to worry about, but still letting you know that they are stressed.  TBG keeps checking the palo verde just over the back wall; the branches are sagging, the pods are hanging lifelessly, and he's worried.

I remind him that the leaves on these species curl in upon themselves, minimizing the loss of water by offering a smaller surface for transpiration.  They are not in danger.  They just look awful.

So do most of the humans I pass.  We are entering the as long as your parts are covered you meet our dress code stage of dining.  Minimal is the new black when summer temps hit Tucson.  It leads to some very interesting fashion choices.

The clouds are gathering over the Pusch Ridge this afternoon, portending the onset of the monsoon.  It's a randomly occurring season, not a dated event, although NOAA decided to treat it as something that starts and stops on specific dates, rather than following the rising dew point as history decreed.  Once the rains come, the trees will open up and so will the rest of the world.  

For now, it's finish up outside before 9am and enjoy some indoor pleasures.

It's really hot outside.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Season 1, Episode 1

That's how Comcast's Guide function identifies tonight's Select Committee hearing.  There are going to be a bunch of them.  The first one was great tv and real history and if Officer Caroline Edwards' testimony didn't leave you in tears then maybe you needed to be in a life and death situation like that to feel how honest, how raw, how necessary it was for her to tell that story.

Over and over again, she'll tell that story.  Over time, I hope, it will fade into the background, although I know full well how hard it is to contain everything associated with encountering those who wish to do you bodily harm.  The reluctant film maker, dressed in formal Casual Friday, was at the front of he-didn't-know-what when he found himself filming the mob assaulting Capitol Police Officer Edwards.

The Committee laid the ground work, presented catchy videos (cf Bill Barr calling bullshit, Ivanka saying Daddy was wrong), and then hit us in the gut, in the heartstrings, in the how brave is this woman???? piece of us which wonders what we would do in that situation.

I'm a cop.  I'm not combat trained.

And she fought, hand to hand with (yes I live in Crazy Town) orange-bedecked-Arizonans, Proud Boys (the stand down and stand by guys....I thought then that Trump just misspoke; turns out he was giving orders) and Oath Keepers who plowed the road for the crowd Trump was inciting down the road a piece.  

By the time the parade arrived, the barriers had been breeched and the megaphones were chanting and white people were shouting Nancy Pelosi's name.  Trump called no one, asked neither the National Guard nor Homeland Security nor the Defense Department to step in.  

These hearings look to be better than the first season of The Americans.  Tonight was terrifying and horrifying and fascinating and it pulls no punches.  The blame is laid clearly at the feet of Donald Trump, whose name was repeated, over and over and over again.  

I'm looking forward to Season 1, Episode 2.

Thursday, June 9, 2022


Two school administrators chatting at a social event.  

And she went on and on and on.  Worried beyond worried.  What was I going to do?

All this over a report card?  A parent had taken a report card issue out of the classroom and all the way up to the District Office?  

Furious with me, that I didn't share her outrage over those grades.  All I could do was sit and listen and nod.

And then, the clincher:

He's 8 years old.  Second grade.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Summer Memory

A Hard Day's Night came on as I swam laps this morning.

It took no time at all for me to be transported to Lake George, the sun setting one day on our yearly weeklong vacation to a cottage in the woods.  The parents were scurrying around, and the kids were wondering what all the hullabaloo was about.

Secrets were never easy in my family.  Daddooooo couldn't contain himself - we were going to the movies to see THE BEATLES MOVIEIt's in capital letters because that's how he said it and that's how I received it.  I was 12.  The Beatles were everything. The movie had been released that day.  There wouldn't be a line at the small town movie theatre.

It didn't matter to me that my parents and my little brother and sister would be there with me.  It didn't matter that I had no friends along to share the immediate wonderfulness of it all.  When I got back to town, I'd have SEEN IT.  

At that moment in time, I had the coolest parents on the planet.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

A Grown Up Sleep Over

JannyLou and Fast Eddie drove down from Tempe last night.  She had a doctor's appointment or two here in Tucson today and it's really too much for them to do a round trip in one day.

That was really good news for us.

Our guest bedroom was all prepared for guests.  Fresh towels; clean sheets; a comfy light blanket for a room that, for some reason, seems to be unusually warm no matter what the thermostat tells it to be were all there.  All that was needed was a quick check on the soap and shampoo situation and a light dusting.  

I spent the early afternoon making stuffed cabbages and a totally dairy-free lemon tart so that lactose intolerant JannyLou could enjoy more than a nibble of one of my usual brownies.  I was done in plenty of time to finish my latest Harlan Coben mystery; I love it when I read the last page just as a We're at the I-10 exit text appears on my phone.

They nudged their lots-of-metal-between-us-and-the-road, filled-with-safety-features, super comfortable vehicle into the garage and hugging commenced.  There was much admiring of my gait, many smiles, some applause, questions about my joining the Rockettes, and joy.

Joy abounded throughout the 21 hours they were here.  Their doggies were thrilled to run around the 
backyard, chasing lizards and chewing on the foam pool mat, then begging at the door to come in out of the heat.  This is exactly the kind of dog ownership we're looking for.  Someone else has all the responsibility and we get all the love we can handle.  

We watched the Warriors crush the Celtics, with dinner during half time and then some.  There was dessert on the couch and everyone went to bed early, woke up early, and while TBG went off to spin class the three of us went out to breakfast.  

No one was insulted that he didn't join us; I'm not sure that thought occurred to anyone except me, right now.  It's that kind of friendship, the kind with no back story, no lurking issues, no fragile egos.

The kind of friendship that leaves the sheets on the guest bed because, after all, they are probably going to be the next people who sleep on them.

Monday, June 6, 2022

Old Habits Die Hard

It happened again this afternoon.  

Taos Bubbe saw me bounce out of the booth and walk across the restaurant and her eyes grew wider... almost as wide as her smile.  I'm so happy for you!, she said.  And I was reminded once again that those who loved me hated to see me limping around.

I'd gotten used to the grunting and the crunching and the serious sensations (okay, the pain).  For the most part,  I'd managed to divorce my gait from the event that wrecked it.  It didn't always remind me of CTG and lying on the sidewalk; mostly it annoyed me without pushing open the lid of that box.

Early on in this adventure, TBG asked me what it would feel like when no one knew who I was.  How much of my identity was wrapped up in getting shot, he wondered.  Would I miss it when it was gone.

Nope.  I can tell you (and him) that it's nice to blend into the crowd.  It's wonderful to experience the world without my aching hip defining the moment.  The fact that I was shot when Gabby Giffords was shot did not come up at all - from the waitstaff nor in my head.  Nope, I don't moss that at all.

What's sticking around are not the mental memories, but the physical ones.  I find myself leaning onto a wall when I start to walk, to be sure I am steady before I move forward.  It's an unnecessary precaution.  I'm rock solid on my legs.  Still, my body remembers to take care.  I'm grateful for that as I smile at myself ... the self that's watching out for us.

I groan as I'm getting into my car.  Nothing hurts.  I'm just used to it hurting and so the noise comes out.  I can easily turn in the kitchen, yet I'm finding myself touching the countertops as I convey the cups to the cupboard.  I pause at every threshold even though I know that the elevation isn't a problem anymore.  

Old habits die hard.  

But then ..... I nearly burst into tears when I climbed up and over and down the stone covered barrier in the library parking lot.  It's only six or eight inches high, but those few inches had been insurmountable two months ago.  Without anything to lean on, I could take my chances on balancing or I could take the long way around.  

But when TBG drove me to the library, I got out on the passenger side and went up and over without a conscious thought impeding my progress..... until I got down and realized what I had done.  Old habits may die hard, but newer ones are being welcomed to take their place .... every single day.

Friday, June 3, 2022

Wear Orange

Take a stand.  Stake out a position.  Declare that you're taking sides.
Wear Orange  day/weekend starts now.  
Put on that old orange t-shirt to remember a 9 year old who loved drawing butterflies.
Find an orange scrunchie or polo shirt and show your solidarity with those of us who, by some miracle, lived to see the sunrise.

And above all - VOTE.  Tell your friends and family that this is not a one-off thing, that they can make this their line in the sand.  

You can quote President Biden:
“I believe the majority of you will act and turn your outrage into making this issue central to your vote. Enough, enough, enough.”

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Some Hard Truths

Where did you imagine this post was going to take you?  

To Texas, where the police were afraid to go into an active shooter situation because the active shooter had an actual firearm?  To Johnny Depp and Amber Heard and its effect on the MeToo movement?  To inflation or the Russian invasion of Ukraine or Biden's plummeting poll numbers?  

Nope.  None of that serious stuff for me.  It's all out of my control.  I'm looking closer to home.  There are plants in my yard which annoy me.  Animals pooped out brittle brush and jumping cholla and palo verde starters and sure enough, without any help from me or my yard guys, they have thrived.

Unfortunately, the droppings were not made in consultation with the homeowner.  The animals just did their business and moved on.  The plants grew and grew and grew and now they are impinging and blocking and generally making a nuisance of themselves.

In and of themselves, they are beautiful.  The brittle bush is 4 feet tall and 5 feet wide.  When it blooms, it's covered in yellow flowers.  When it's not flowering, it's a grey and white mess right in front of my Texas Mountain Laurel.  Would that it had been pooped out 10' to the right.  There's a hole there that could use some filler.  But that didn't happen.  Instead, for 2 weeks a few times a year I'm amazed by the beauty.  The rest of the time it just sits there, annoying me.

I'm going to ask the yard guys to pull it up when they come on Wednesday.  The hard truth is, I can kill it with impunity.  It only hurts my heart a little..... okay.... a lot.

It's a perfectly healthy plant.  It's not endangering anyone or anything.  It's not spiky or lowering over our heads as we walk.  It's just in the wrong place.  It can't be transplanted; that just doesn't work ofr native plants without irrigation and support and more tending than I'm willing to give to something I didn't plant myself.

Yet sentencing it to death seems cruel.  

Yet looking at it aggravates me.

Is aggravation a sufficient motive for murder?  

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Running on Empty

I made it out of the house today - at 3 in the afternoon.

I spent the morning and reading dystopian near-future science fiction, took a break for lunch, then decided to finish the damn book even though I wasn't enjoying it at all.  I couldn't keep the characters straight, and it really didn't seem to affect my understanding of the plot, what plot there was.  

By the time I read the last page, I was in a funk.  

Going to the library didn't help.  I spent too much time wondering if I'd read the books I was choosing.  Still, I put them in my book bag and brought them home.  The authors are old friends - Harlan Coban and John Lescroart - so I know I won't be disappointed.  But I want to be transported, and that's not going to happen if I've been there, read that already.

Whole Foods didn't make me any happier.  The smell of fresh peaches and nectarines was intoxicating, but the bakery was out of all the loaves I like.  I wasn't tempted by any unusual vegetables or cuts of meat.  My heart wasn't in the adventure.

I came home and didn't swim.  

I sat at the desk and stared at the keyboard for fifteen or twenty minutes.  I watched the butterflies and the giant flying beetles and wondered about the baby quail..... all while in search of a post for you.

In the end, this is what we've got.  I'm going to have to reengage with the world.... but it keeps bringing me back to a classroom in Texas ..... and I have to say that running on empty is better than entering that space again.

I'll try to do better tomorrow.