Summer Must Be Near

Every year at this time, I get the itch to lighten up the color schemes around me: my blog, the dining table, and my desktop, to name only three. Last night, I changed my desktop to this, from the simple black with a neon OM symbol that had adorned my laptop. I don't think this stuff is worth sharing most of the time, but this piece of digital art typifies me in the warmer months so well that I had to share it.

If money were no object, this is the kind of thing I would waste it on. I'd go to some tropical locale and rent a pilot to drop me off on a deserted cay, along with a lawn chair, a hammock, my guitar, and a day's supply of food and drink. Come pick me up at 6:00, please.

Who needs cruise ships or yachts?

(Image enlarges when clicked. Harvested from


Road Trip!

Nettl and I have decided that sometime soon we'd like to take a road trip through Colonial America. The only times I've been to the east coast have been by jet, and I had definite destinations. I spent some time yesterday mapping out routes. We would be able to meet some of our off and online friends as we passed through their cities.

First, we'd stop in Tennessee to meet The Doctor, an 18th century reenactor, during one of his exhibitions. Then, we'd have a beer and a meal with Bob in his favorite Raleigh pub. From there, we'd go to Williamsburg and up through Washington DC to spend a few days with our friends George and Noelle in New Jersey (they live only about 20 miles outside of NYC). Of course, we'd have to meet Earl and Slyde! Afterward, we'd head up to Boston to spend a few days with Michael, who'd show us everything worth seeing. During the return trip, we'd turn right at Buffalo and spend a couple of days in Toronto, visiting with our Rhombus Media friends, then head down to share a meal with RW in Chicago. Then, we'd set out on our way back home.

It would be fun to be on the road for a month, seeing places like Gettysburg, Monticello, Mt. Vernon, Philadelphia and etc. along the way. If any of you live in these areas and want to meet, let me know!


Pictures from Monday

Here are a few from Memorial Day, which we spent in the back garden of our dear friend, Dr. Kielbasa...


Place Me Like a Seal Over Your Heart

"Because I love you and because I love myself, I will live gently with you and myself.

I will remember that heart-centered loving is an ongoing process graced by committment, mutuality and respect.

I will honour, express and heal your feelings, as I know you will mine.

Because you are my beloved, I will share my body, mind and heart in ways that encourage the exchange of healing and nurturing energy between us.

I will listen with my heart.

When I speak, I will be heartful, and not hurtful.

I will be nice, kind and appreciative, and I will allow laughter to pour forth from me with ease, and to permeate our relationship."

(These were the vows we wrote for our Holy Union service on May 25, 2001)


Breakfast in Bed

A Wonderful Anniversary Celebration

Last night, Nettl and I celebrated our 8th anniversary. What a great night! Actually, it was a great day. Although probably not exciting by someone else's standards, we loved it because, for the first time in eight years, we spent it entirely on ourselves. I awoke at about a quarter to ten because we had to make a run to the bank. Afterward, we went to Sonic and ordered a cherry limeade (for me) and a cherry Dr. Pepper (for Nettl) and took them to the park, where we sat listening to 60s and 70s oldies on the radio while watching the cardinals and squirrels.

We then came home and lounged around all day. Later in the evening, we went to Zannotti's, where we ordered a cheese and bread plate, a smoked salmon plate, and a bottle of champagne. There was a duo there that performed jazz standards; they were really good, even by my standards, and I'm a really critical asshoole. When we left, we stopped at Brown's for another bottle of champagne and then the grocery store for a roast chicken, blue cheese-stuffed olives and marinated artichoke hearts, which we brought home. We then locked ourselves in our room, put on my 18th century station on Pandora, and spent the rest of the evening together.

This was the first time since our Holy Union that we've been able to go out for our anniversary and we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly! Ain't love grand?

(Disregard the date on these pictures. Somehow that got all buggered up and we didn't know until it was too late. Pictures embigify when clicked.)


A Big Bowl of Relief

I just want to say that our kids are good eggs. Actually, they're effin' great! Since we hit on such hard times, they've come through for us on several occasions. At different times, Heather has taken care of utility bills (not to mention ordering pizza or Chinese take-away), Joel has paid the rent and bought groceries, Micah has bought both groceries and wine, and when she was still at home, Lauren helped out, too. Our kids know that being a family means working together through the hard times and celebrating the bounty in the good. Nettl and I couldn't possibly be prouder.

I won't lie, it's been a scary week. I've had no work for two months, so there were no meals in the house. I went out last night and bought a bag of navy beans for $2.00 and two boxes of cornbread mix for 72¢. I had a total of $3.76 in my wallet. Of course, soup being my forte, I made up a killer pot of beans and a pan of honey cornbread, which I make even when we're not broke. Amazing, feeding five adults for under $3.00. And there's leftovers!

Tonight, Micah took me out and bought groceries for the week, as well as some wine. Earlier in the afternoon, I got a check from the university for a site I'm to work on over the summer. What a relief! Where last night I was on the brink of absolute despair, tonight the bills are paid and the fridge and pantry are stocked. I'll sleep tonight.

Monday is our 8th anniversary. On May 25th, 2001, Nettl and I exchanged vows at College Hill Presbyterian Church in Tulsa before our friends and family. Because Monday is Memorial Day, we're going out tomorrow night to celebrate. We've never been able to do this before, but thanks to a friend who wishes to remain anonymous, we'll be going to Zannotti's Wine Bar, a place we love, but usually can't afford. We're feeling like a couple of kids going on a first date!

We know this lean time won't last forever, and we know that there are many, many families across America that are in a lot worse situations than we are, so we try to keep our spirits and humor up -- our family and friends are what keep us going. We love you.

"Twoo Wuvvv..."

Nothing says Love more than going downstairs to find that someone has already made the coffee.


An Epiphany

Have you ever noticed how many predatory, seemingly amoral jerks seem to end up with all the marbles? During my meditation today something occurred to me. I've always wondered why people with no consciousness, or sense of morality, end up with prosperity while good, hardworking, well-intentioned people often get left feeling locked out in the cold. Once the answer came to me, I was amazed at how easy it was...


What Can I Say?

It Was a Cool Idea

The house next door to Ville and her husband is up for rent, so we discussed checking it out. How cool would that be! "Hey, Ville!" I could shout over the back fence. "Can I borrow a glass of wine?" Plus, going to each other's parties would be a snap, and we'd all be only crawling distance from home. Wow! The mind reels at all of the possibilities. Back yard picnics and barbecues, decorating our houses and yards for holidays, borrowing crap from each other... I thought it would be great to install a gate between our the back yards. Maybe we could even start a communal veggie garden.

We went over last evening to take a look at the house and unfortunately, it's not as roomy as hers. The bedrooms are tiny—our bedroom furniture wouldn't even fit in the master bedroom. Damn! It was a cool idea though.


Against the Wind

I got a lot of work done on Chaper Four last night, editing, rewriting, and fleshing it out. The chapter was 13 pages long. Right in the middle of page 12, Word crashed on me. I didn't panic though because I have the autosave set to do its thing every five minutes. I started looking for the temp file, but it was nowhere to be found. Growing increasingly frustrated, I went online to find out what I might do. Apparently, Word 2003 has issues with the autosave function. Nothing saved...

Enough Of This Crap!

Okay, I'm done with the futile, helpless crap I've been feeling lately. It's not over until it's over, and I'm not going down with the ship. Bugger that!

I used to say that there are two types of people: winners and losers, and I refuse to be a loser. The 24-karat springs on my feet have always made sure that I bounce back higher than from where I was dropped. Bite me, Life! Get out of my effin' way!


Eat One Today

Today, the frankfurter is 521 years old. Just thought I'd share that with you.

Sleeping on the Years

Tonight Ville came over and we pulled out the two bankers boxes that contain my journals, volumes 1-57, that span the years between 1976 and today. There are a lot of memories in these journals, because I've used them not just for my thoughts and daily activities, but I've also allowed my friends to write and draw in them through the years. In essence, they are my life. Tonight, we read through them, laughing until we each had to run to the bathroom countless times. This is a picture (albeit a dark one taken with my web cam) of our cat lying on top of the boxes. Tomorrow I'm taping them up, not to be opened again until 2024, 15 years from now. It has been a GREAT evening; just what I needed!

Guard them well, Kitty.


The Need to Get Away

I've been checking out a tiny resort in Roatán, Honduras. I first saw it on HGTV's House Hunters, on an edition in which a young couple with two small children left Idaho to buy a resort named Bananarama. All it took for me to want to go there was a shot of a tiny garden cabana with a hammock tied up on the front porch...


Things I Want, Damn It!

I'm not a material person. Not by a long shot. My parents struggled financially their entire lives, and as a single parent at 18, I learned early on to differentiate between wants and needs. A lot of things young people like to spend money on had to be passed by so that I could buy food and pay the bills. I didn't go to the movies, I didn't buy clothes and shoes, and I didn't throw money around on the latest "cool" trends. Every extra dime went into a savings account that built up until Christmas. I put myself through school while working two jobs, and I cleaned my parents' house once a week for a few extra bucks. Putting everyone else first quickly became a way of life, and I'm still living under that burden nearly 40 years later.

Later, it was my parents. When I moved to Denver to take care of my father, I gave up my career as a composer/conductor, and when my mother moved in with us in 2000, I lost my credit rating because she was so in debt, and had huge prescription bills. Well, there are things I want, damn it. Things that some people take for granted. Here's my "selfish" wish list:

a home here in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Not a 2.5 million-dollar house in California,
or even an apartment in Vienna.

a Takamine 12-String

a full pantry

A dog

a Siberian

a Bose Lifestyle 18 sound system

a wide-screen TV

a Jeep Wrangler

a birthday present for Nettl and each of the kids.
I'm tired of saying, "Next year, I promise."

to go out to dinner once in a while.
On May 25th Nettl and I will be celebrating
the 8th anniversary of our Holy Union. We have
yet to go out for dinner for our anniversary,
much less take a weekend away for it.
For us, going out to dinner --for any occasion--
usually means we can drive through a fast food.

Granted, most of these things aren't necessary, but that's the point, damn it.


It Effin' Did it Again!

Hey, are there any Car Guys out there in my bloghood? We're having a pretty severe thunderstorm, so 30 minutes ago I went outside to move the plants. While I was admiring the lightening, I saw that the windows of the van were down, so I went to close them. The doors were locked, so I reached inside to unlock the passenger side and the alarm system went off...


Right Through the Heart

Ten years ago today, a woman who'd found my Mozart website signed the guest book. The site was several months old, but the guest book was new; her entry was only the 9th:

 "Ich liebe dich Herr Mozart!" ("I love you Mister Mozart!")

I never replied to simple one-line entries, although I did when the signer asked Mozart a question or left a sizable comment. Entry number 9 was short, but I felt compelled to respond to it. It wasn't the first time Mozart had been told he was loved, but for some reason I commented back this one time:

"Und Ich liebe dich meine gnädige Frau!" ("And I love you my gracious lady!")

Thus began a correspondence that changed my life forever. Guest number 9 was Nettl and this is the tenth anniversary of the day we finally found each other.

Ich liebe dich meine schöne, süße Frau.



Because I'm basically an androgyne*, I slip easily between what is traditionally thought of as feminine and masculine, but because I've had two children, Mothers Day is one day when I feel the female energy in me more than any other.

I've had my turn at being Maiden, and I've survived the Mother phase. Now, I'm entering the Crone phase and I have to admit that it suits me best. I've already dedicated a fair amount of time on this blog to the changes and benefits of getting older, so I won't repeat myself. Let it just be said that today, I'm happy to be older. The angst of being young and wondering when, and if, true love will come to me is something I really don't want to relive, and although I loved being a young mother, there is a sense of relief and accomplishment now that my boys are grown. Now, I await grandchildren, if that happens. Meanwhile, just being older is wonderful!

I think that the fact that I don't play the traditional "mom" role around here is confusing for the kids. Nettl's kids bring me my coffee and give me a kiss, but I think my sons are uncomfortable, not knowing what I need on this day. It doesn't take much though. A hug and "Thank you" are always nice, and go a l-o-n-g way with me.

I do have something to say about this painting, however. Why do the maiden and crone look so forlorn while the mother looks fulfilled and happy? There is fulfillment and happiness that come with each of the phases, after all.

If I have anything to say about Mothers Day, it's this: I am honored to have been given my sons through my body, and my daughters and third son through Lynette's body. I have been doubly blessed.

Happy Mothers Day.


*An androgyne, in terms of gender identity, is a person who does not fit cleanly into the typical masculine and feminine gender roles of their society. They may also use the term ambigender to describe themselves. Many androgynes identify as being mentally "between" woman and man, or as entirely genderless. They may class themselves as non-gendered, genderneutral, agendered, between genders, intergendered, or bigendered.


Because it's Friday Night & I'm Bored

I found this over at Byzantium's Shores. Kelly loves memes as much as I dowell, maybe moreand that's great because he provides me with a steady supply of fun quizzes. Here's one called "Eight"...

Forever Noon

Maybe it's because I was born at straight-up noon, or maybe it's because my eyesight is deteriorating on me. Every morning when I wake up, I think the clock reads noon. It doesn't matter what the actual time is, my brain sees 12 o'clock...


Thursday Fade Away

Do you ever wake up feeling great, only to feel yourself fade as the minutes pass? I'm having one of those days. There's a meme somewhere called, Stay in Bed Thursday, and if I hadn't been in bed all last week with the flu, I'd join them today.

This phenomenon is something I've always called my Libra Lazies. I have loads of energy, which I love to expend in any number of ways, but then there are those days when dynamite couldn't blast my ass out of this chair. I'm sure my fellow Libra readers can relate...


It's the Cat's Fault

Nearly every morning the cat and I have a showdown of sorts. When I wake up, I like to stumble to my bedroom wingback, which is my office, to read your blogs and jumpstart the day with my coffee. But nearly every morning the cat has claimed her spot in my chair, so I bring my laptop and coffee back to bed, where I feel like a lazy bum who doesn't get out of bed until noon. Then Nettl comes home for lunch, which only adds to my sense of guilt...


A Sound Question

In our next house, I want to actually live in the living room. Our bedroom in this house is larger than some apartments I've had, and I'm actually tired of spending day and night in here. There's room for all of our bedroom furniture, it has an office area and even a sitting area that's as big as the entire living room I had in Denver. Anyway, when we move, I want to live in the living room, and that means a TV and music system. Right now, I use my computer, which is unsatisfying to my musician ears. I'm so out of the loop about modern music systems that I thought I'd ask for your advice...


Defining Critical & Pivotal

I'm not a huge fan of Dr. Phil. In fact, he really gets on my nerves and I think he can be shortsighted and pompous, but I do appreciate his no-nonsense, "buck up and get real" take on some things.

Last week when I was stuck in bed, I watched his afternoon talk show a few times. On one, he revealed a section of one of his books that I thought was pretty cool. It's not really a meme, but I want to treat it as one.

Feel free to answer his questions. Here are mine...


"The Old Curiosity Shop" was on PBS Tonight

This is Charles Dickens...

This is a fist in the face...

Any Questions?

Out of Bed!

My Norfolk Island Pine isn't looking at all well. It was full and healthy until last Christmas, but I don't know what happened to change that. Because I'm feeling well today (and sensing a bit of cabin fever after four days in bed), I'm going out in a little bit to get some new potting soil. I'm taking the tree outside, removing it from its pot, shaking out its roots and repotting it. From what I've read, these trees like to be repotted every three to four years. Don't we all...

Anyway, both Nettl and I are back from the flu. Fortunately, hers lasted only one day. I'm a little weak; over the past four days I've only had a little rice pudding, four pieces of toast (not at one sitting), a cup of beef broth, a cup of peaches (oof... that was a mistake), and a boiled egg. I still have no appetite, but that'll come. Thanks to all of you for your well-wishes and thoughts, and especially to Nettl for taking such good care of me.

Our landlord replaced our fridge yesterday (it died at last). We finally have an ice maker that works!


Seeing the Other Side

John Olson is most famous for his visceral images of conflict in Vietnam, but in 1971, having joined Life magazine as its youngest ever photographer, he was commissioned to shoot a series of portraits of rock stars and their parents. It was, he said, "a hell of a lot more difficult and unrewarding than war photography". Whatever, I think they show a human side of rock stars' lives. Click to enlargify:

Eric Clapton with his gran, Rose, in the
house he bought her in Surrey, England.

Frank Zappa with his parents, Francis
and Rosemary, in California.

Grace Slick with her mom, Virginia Wing, in her
mom’s home in Palo Alto, California.

Joe Cocker sits with his mum, Marjorie, in
her home in Sheffield, England.

Ritchie Havens with his parents, Richard and Mildred,
hanging out in their home in Brooklyn, NY.

Donovan and his parents in England. Also, the
Jackson Five with their parents in Encino, California.

Elton John with his mum, Shelia, and stepdad,
Fred in their London apartment.

David Crosby with his father, Floyd, in
father’s house in Ojai, California.