Sunday, July 31, 2005

Dancing with Rowdy

I wander the lawns on hot summer days
And see the things I don't see at my home
And then I find my tree...the magical tree

This tree grows things I have never seen
And certainly never see at my home
There are morsels of treats and he leaves them for me

Aromas of cheeses and pastas and green things
I sample them daily or whenever the harvest allows
And then I dance.....asking for more

And then I see him in the window
He smiles
And dances with me

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Taking on the Heat

Remember rain? I certainly do....and I remember saying I liked rain but we needed a break. Well, a break we got! Lately we have had highs in the upper 90s and humidity levels around the same number. The two combined gives us heat indices of over 100 degrees. We have certainly felt it. Over the past week it has been painful just to walk outdoors. Going from an air-conditioned home to the outdoors is exhausting at best. You can feel your lungs react and expand to the hot air you're breathing in....and it's a thick, hot air.

Although we had an overabundance of rain prior to this heat wave, my plants are beginning to show signs of distress. I've been watering them in the evenings, but I'm sure most of that is evaporating. It's tough to watch all these wither up, in an attempt to overcome the heat.

But there is some glimmer of hope.....and mild cold front is expected in over the next day or so and the chance of rain increases daily. Bring it on!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Busy With The Boy

I've spent the last couple of days helping Boy, my cat, put his thoughts together for his newly developed Blog page (his link is to the left of this page and called Shadow Boy). He's pretty excited about getting his stories on the internet. He's a wise ol' cat and usually has an interesting interpretation on everything we humans do.

He was a little down yesterday because of the weather. He prefers cooler weather and I'm afraid he'll be down for another few months. It looks like this hot weather is here to stay for a while. So while he is indoors, enjoying the air conditioned rooms, he's thinking. Boy is quite a philosopher and has an opinion on everything. Our early mornings together start my day off with a different perspective on life. I've come to rely on Boy for advice and guidance. You might learn something from him as well. That is, however, if you can tolerate his constant questioning. He just doesn't understand humans........neither do I!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The Fine Art of Wasting Time

Or, How I'll Spend My Time When My Daughters Go Off To School

  • Sit at my window and watch the birds bathe
  • Watch the Ladybug devour the innocent aphid
  • Continue to flip the light switch in my home that obviously isn't connected to anything
  • Program my "Universal" Remote (that might take a LOT of time)
  • Reorganize my cd collection in mid-range alphabetical order (M to Y, A to L, then Z)
  • Sit on the tailgate of my truck and pretend I'm outside a football stadium-CHEERS!
  • Read a technical manual on how to reprogram Windows 3.1
  • Stare at my speakers to determine how the whole band got inside that little, wooden box
  • Go through my sock drawer and pull out all the single socks I saved, hoping the ones that were eaten by the dryer will magically reappear
  • Count the blooms that fall off the crepe myrtles
  • Bounce a tennis ball off the outside wall built with uneven stones-might have to chase the ball, but that's the fun of it
  • Write a thesis on why ice cream doesn't have bones and find a publisher
  • Take the trash out.....then bring it back inside (this could go on for days)
  • Do a "Google" for Barbie Benton to see if that whole gravity thing took its toll on her over the last 40 years
  • Invent a new alphabet-anybody know when this thing was last upgraded?
  • Read a thesaursus to determine which words can be deleted from the dictionary; advise Daniel Webster of my final determination
  • Add my consistently misspelled words to Bill Gates' Spellcheck dictionary so I can continue my writing without being interrupted
  • Collect snowflakes to see if I can find any two that are alike; bring them in next to the fire so I can see them better
  • Write my life story so the rest of the world can have a manual on how to go insane in 3 (no 4) easy steps and find a publisher
  • Go to bed and start it all over tomorrow

Going Back to Saturn Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 22, 2005

Zor and Zam

Zor and Zam
Bill Chadwick and John Chadwick (Recorded by The Monkees)

The king of Zor, he called for war
And the king of Zam, he answered.
They fashioned their weapons one upon one
Ton upon ton,
They called for war at the rise of the sun.

Out went the call to one and to all
That echoed and rolled like the thunder.
Trumpets and drums, roar upon roar
More upon more.
Rolling the call of "Come now to war."

Throughout the night they fashioned their might
With right on the side of the mighty.
They puzzled their minds plan upon plan
Man upon man
And at dying of dawn the great war began.

They met on the battlefield banner in hand.
They looked out across the vacant land.
And they counted the missing, one upon one,
None upon none.
The war it was over before it begun.

Two little kings playing a game.
They gave a war and nobody came.
And nobody came.
And nobody came.
nd nobody came.
And nobody came.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

I'm Gonna Build an Ark

I've been reading the flood story in Genesis and I think I've got it right. I have also revisited Bill Cosby's version of the conversation between Noah and God. All those cubics jive, so I think it's time to begin the construction project.

Since I moved to the Eastern Hills over 5 years ago, it has rained. And not just a little rain....I mean "Buckets of Rain", as Bob Dylan sang (probably wrote the song while standing next to Noah on-deck.....he is old, you know. For those anal-Dylan-freaks, that is found on "Blood on the Tracks", Track 10, issued 1974.

My God, it rains a bunch here! Take yesterday and then what's happening today. Yesterday, a storm sneaks in and dumps 3/4" in just under 45 minutes. Today it's even more....1.5" in the same time frame, and (you guessed it)'s still friggin' raining (if you've read all my postings this comes from the first's a should scroll WAY down if you haven't).

Now I like rain as much as anyone (probably more), but GEEZ! I've got green tomatoes that have been green since JUNE! It takes that orange ball during the day to turn them the appropriate colore for eating. Unless, of course, you like fried green tomatoes (mixed with should try it sometime). But I digress. I always digress. My life is a digression. But I digress....where the hell was I anyway?

Oh yea, RAIN! If I could remember all my Greek Gods and Godesses, I'd call on one of them (the right one, of course) to ask for a reprieve. Then again, I live close enough to the Cherokee Nation and maybe, just maybe, they need the rain and are dancing up a storm over there. Knock it off, guys! We believe your dance works!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Jobs I Want to Perform

Top 10 Jobs I'd Like to Perform Before I Retire
(And then I'll be a Wal Mart Greeter)
  1. Painting Gecko toenails
  2. The person who mixes in weed seeds with grass seeds
  3. The person who types the wattage on lightbulbs
  4. The person who wraps plastic thingies around aspirin bottles so you can't get in them
  5. The guy that comes around houses during the night to steal one sock out of the dryer
  6. Universal Remote Repairman
  7. Aluminum Can Stomper at the Recycling Center
  8. The man who turns the traffic light to red when you drive up
  9. Feline impersonator
  10. The guy that puts all those pins in new shirts

The Void - A Year of Healing

A year has passed since my brother died.

I recall being at work and having a strong urge to call another brother....I knew he was there and something was telling me to make that call. When he answered the phone all he said was "Mark's gone". It was a moment I knew was coming and a moment I thought I was prepared for. Once again, I was wrong.

My brothers and I all played a role in the performance called a funeral.....a horrible ritual we humans have developed to mourn the dead. I hate funerals. Hundreds of people gathering to tell you all about the one that has just left this world. They laugh, smile, joke and sometimes cry. I suppose there is some healing in this practice but there has to be a better way.

Over the past year I experienced many phases of various emotions, most of which could likely be diagnosed as depression. That depression has not ended. I went through a similar phase when my Dad died, but nothing compared to this. I suspect knowing my father was older made it easier to manage. Having a younger brother taken made no sense. It still doesn't.

I argued and challenged God. I lost. She was not impressed with my attitude nor was I with her's. I suppose I have walked away from's not the first time. I go through the usual Sunday routine, but there is nothing there. Perhaps I have built my own wall to block out those talks of a loving God. I just don't know.

The year has taken its toll on me and I in turn took it out those who care for me. I cannot take back those hateful words I issued to lash out at those who were truly concerned. I can only hope forgiveness is word that can, in time, be offered to me. But I do not deserve or expect that to come.

My life has changed over the past year. I cannot honestly say it has changed in a positive manner. I have allowed my anger to fester to the point that I no longer like who I am. I no longer know what I stand for or where I'm heading. It has been a tough path I have chosen....rocky steps all along the way. But rocks, in time, turn to sand and the path becomes easier to manage.....I long for an easier trail and a lighter load.

Mark, I wish you could know the effect your passing has had on me. Maybe you are reading these words and already know. Maybe you are writing these words through my fingers. There are many regrets I have mustered up since you left. Most of which have to do with not visiting with you and Tami often enough. You had the courage to set out and do what made you happy. Writing stories and music that somehow explained who you were and where you came from. I admire you for that. Our younger brother started a blog before me and possibly inspired me to do the same. But it was YOU that convinced me to put my thoughts into words, stories and songs. Sadly, you won't see these words or hear these songs.

I miss you Brother.....Fly On, Freebird!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Thumbing My Way

In Memory of A Brother
Mark Gilbert
November 17, 1961 - July 19, 2004

Thumbing My Way
Pearl Jam

I have not been home since you left long ago
I’m thumbing my way back to heaven
Counting steps, walking backwards on the road
I’m counting my way back to heaven

I can’t be free with what’s locked inside of me
If there was a key, you took it in your hand
There’s no wrong or right, but I’m sure there’s good and bad
The questions linger overhead

No matter how cold the winter, there’s a springtime ahead
I’m thumbing my way back to heaven
I wish that I could hold you
I wish that I had
Thinking ’bout heaven
I let go of a rope, thinking that’s what held me back
And in time I’ve realized, it’s now wrapped around my neck

I can’t see what’s next, from this lonely overpass
Hang my head and count my steps, as another car goes past
All the rusted signs we ignore throughout our lives
Choosing the shiny ones instead
I turned my back, now there’s no turning back

No matter how cold the winter, there’s a springtime ahead
I smile, but who am I kidding?
I’m just walking the miles,
every once in a while I’ll get a ride
I’m thumbing my way back to heaven
Thumbing my way back to heaven
I’m thumbing my way back to heaven...

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

When Trees Go Bad

Tuesday was quite an eventful day, although totally unplanned. Boy (my cat) and I share our early mornings with a Marlboro and our first cup of coffee....I do need to add that Boy quit smoking so I guess I'm next. We usually stand in the driveway and just look around. There is usually a passing skunk, raccoon or deer that wander through, but normally we hang out together. This particular Tuesday didn't work that way. Instead of the wild creatures, we experienced a fallen tree....or half of one anyway. We noticed that the top of my driveway was not viewable....there was some sort of obstruction at the top. We looked at each other and agreed this had to be explored. When we arrived at the top, Boy said "I don't think you can drive that machine you get in every morning when you disappear for hours." I definitely couldn't disagree with the little fellow. A large portion of a maple tree had decided to part ways with the mothership. Now Boy was quite excited! He thought is was great to be able to "climb a tree" without going vertical.

"When did you decide to grow for me a tree that lays flat on the ground", he asked.

"This is not my doing", I responded in a most sarcastic tone.

"Well whoever did this is a genius and obviously loves cats!"

"Shut-up, Boy", I added in hopes he would do this that. "Don't you understand what has happened here? Is it not obvious that we must have had a storm last night and the winds damaged this tree?"

Boy looked at me with that innocent face of his and muttered, "And you expect me to really know these things? I'm a cat or haven't you realized that? I eat your leftovers, catch lizards and ground squirrels and sleep. That's what I do....nothing more and nothing less. If you want me to become more involved in your life, you have to tell me these things. Otherwise, I will continue to do what I do. So do you have to do something with this lovely new addition to our yard?"

"Well Duh! I will have to cut all this wood up and I might even have to take the remainder of the tree down as well. It looks pretty damaged to me and will probably die quickly if I don't."

He looked at me again, but this time more troubled. "You mean just because a piece of the tree fell off, you are going take it out on the rest of the tree? Is that what you mean? This is kind of dumb, dude. I mean, won't that part just grow back?"

"Damnit, Boy! What if I cut off your tail or maybe one of those legs of yours? Would it grow back?"

"Well, damnit man! Didn't I just tell you I'm a cat? Don't you listen to anything I say?"

"No, not really. All you ever want to talk about is what I'm going to pour in your dish for supper", I replied.

There was a long silence. As I surveyed the destruction, with a flashlight in one hand, coffee cup in the other and Boy at my feet, I noticed this portion of the tree had targeted my prized hot pepper plants and landed on top of each of them. Now I have a lot of pepper plants in the yard....for my salsa making.......but these particular plants were started earlier than the others and had already been quite productive. I knew when the sun came up I would be depressed.

I took a few pictures of the fallen tree and Boy and I made it back into the house. He crashed on "his" sofa and I plotted my next move. First, I would have to call in sick....well, not really sick in the usual sense. I was sick, but it was more of that ol' "sick to my stomach" kind of sick. You know what I mean, don't you?

The sun finally came up and I started my project. I first got out my trimmers to get rid of the smaller branches. They tend to get in the way of a chainsaw, so might was well hit them first. After trimming as much as I could do, I loaded most of those branches onto my truck and went for the chainsaw.

Now I don't use my chainsaw on a daily basis, so it sits idle for most of the year. I added the 2-cycle gas to it and after several pulls it started up. Nothing like the roar of a chain saw at 7AM in a mostly quiet neighborhood. I managed to get 4 or 5 of the longer branches cut into smaller pieces when the saw stopped. It was stuck in the middle of one piece and it was obvious that the chain had been damaged. Luckily, I had a new chain so all was not lost. Yea, right.

You have to understand that I've never changed a chainsaw chain in my life. When the one we had, when I was growing up, would break, Dad was always there to fix it. He knew how and always kept that a secret. Dad's not here now, so it was up to me to figure it out. After about 20 minutes, I finally got the new chain installed and hauled it up the hill. It was time to kick butt!

As I placed the saw on the next wooded victim, I noticed there was little or no sawdust blowing around. "That's odd", I said quietly and turned the saw off.

" damage to the chain", I said, although no one was around. Well I didn't see anyone, anyway.

"You have the chain on the wrong way", I heard someone say behind me.

I turned around and there sat Juniper, yet another smartass feline who takes up space in my home. "You have the chain on backwards, you big, furless dummy!" She was laying on top of the branches I piled up in the yard.

Ever dealt with "better than thou" attitude from a cat? That's Juniper. She is the all-knowing member of our family and can sneak up on you and scare the crap out of you.

"Where did you come from?"

"Oh, I've been out here all forgot to let me in....remember? You probably don't remember, as you think you're in charge around here. I'm telling you the chain is on backwards and it won't cut until you reverse it".

"How do you know this", I asked, fully expecting one of her uppity responses.

"The know you can learn a lot on that thing", she said with that little grin on her face.

"The internet? What do you know about the internet and how did you get on it?"

"Do you think I just sit around here all day just sleeping? Geez! I setup my own Hotmail account a couple of years ago. Nothing to it. Hey, there's a litter of mice on Ebay that I've got a bid on. Only problem is they want a credit card number. I thought you should know I used yours".

"What? Where did you get my credit card number?"

"Trash can. There's some cool stuff in there if you're willing to dig deep."

Juniper headed back into the house. Had to check on her Ebay bid, I guess.

I pondered her suggestion and decided to switch the chain around. Sure enough, she was right. I had the blades going in the wrong direction. "Damn cat", I muttered under my breath.

My project lasted for most of the day. I managed to cut up the wood that was on the ground. The remainder of the tree was cut down by a guy I paid to do so. Juniper found his name on the internet and even got his phone number.

Damn cat!

Thursday, July 07, 2005


Townes Van Zandt
Well, won't you lend your lungs to me?
Mine are collapsing
Plant my feet and bitterly
breathe up the time that's passing.
Breath I'll take and breath I'll give
pray the day ain't poison
stand among the ones that live
in lonely indecision

Fingers walk the darkness down
mind is on the midnight
gather up the gold you've found
you fool, it's only moonlight.
If you try to take it home
your hands will turn to butter
You better leave this dream alone
try to find another.

Salvation sat and crossed herself
called the devil partner
wisdom burned upon a shelf
who'll kill the raging cancer
Seal the river at its mouth
take the water prisoner
fill the sky with screams and cries
bathe in fiery answers

Jesus was an only son
and love his only concept
strangers cry in foreign tongues
and dirty up the doorstep
and I for one, and you for two
ain't got the time for outside
just keep your injured looks to you
we'll tell the world we tried

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Steven Fromholz

Some folks say there ain’t no bears in Arkansas
Some folks never seen a bear at all
Some folks say that bears go around eating babies raw
Some folks got a bear across the hall

Some folks say that bears go around smelling bad
Others say that a bear is honey sweet
Some folks say this bear’s the best I ever had
Some folks got a bear beneath their feet

Some folks drive the bears out of the wilderness
Some to see a bear would pay a fee
Me I just bear up to bewildered best
And some folks even see the bear in me

So meet a bear and take him out to lunch with you
And even though your friends may stop and stare
Just remember that’s a bear there in the bunch with you
And they just don’t come no better than a bear

Monday, July 04, 2005

Perceptions in a Fog

I woke up this morning to a thick fog covering the ridge. We often have this after days of heavy rain. This lonely mist has a way of distorting everything around you. I walked along my gardens, taking in the images of things I saw yesterday and how they had suddenly changed. I know there was no actual change but the fog somehow altered their true state of being. Plants that were so green yesterday are now closed in a gray, flannel sheet and longing for that great, orange ball of life to bring them back into this world. It is a haunting and yet somewhat soothing feeling to walk in the mist and feel its dampness in the early morning hours.

The best thing about walking in a fog is knowing there will come a time when you emerge from its cover and can once again see the light. You only have to watch......and wait.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Reflecting on the 4th

From time to time, certain holidays cause you to pause and think. The 4th of July, in America, usually invokes images of grilling out, vacations, swimming, camping or just hanging out with the family. This year those thoughts, although present, are greatly overshadowed by a more pressing concern. That concern being the future of this so-called "free" society.

I am deeply troubled by the powers in our Capital that seem to believe they are on the right track. We are involved in a war that has no end....bringing back memories of Walter Cronkite's closing remarks citing the death count in Viet Nam on a daily basis. The current situation, in my view, is much more troubling. We invaded a country, with the false intention of discovering that over-used phrase....Weapons of Mass Destruction. The weapons weren't there. The excuse given to the American People was false or unreliable intelligence. And the population accepted that and moved on. If we realized that the intelligence was wrong, why are we still occupying the country? Their population obviously doesn't want us there. On a daily basis, we see more and more bombings, killing innocent people as well as our own service people. And we accept the word of our "leaders" that their death was for a worthy cause. Yea, right.

Additionally, we now can expect to have land owned by us being taken by local governments if the land is needed for the good of the public. This can include gas stations, strip malls, fast food restaurants and huge shopping malls. Do we really need another damn mall? HELL NO!

Individual rights are rapidly being stripped away from us and we blindly accept's the patriotic thing to do. BULLSHIT. The crimes being committed by our elected leaders, in the name of freedom, patriotism and nationalism are no different from those crimes committed by a little German man in the 1930s and 1940s. Why is it that we cannot see the similarities?

We have become a complacent society.....we are uninformed, lazy and non-caring. This, I fear, will be our own downfall. We don't need to be attacked by terrorists again....we are destroying ourselves from within.

Happy 4th of July!