Friday, December 31, 2010

The end of Daughters of the Shadow Men and on to Daughters of the Shadow Men II

http://gerry-daughters-of-the-shadow-men-ii.blogspot.com/ new blog!

My blog is getting too long and unwieldy, and this is a perfect time to stop posting on it.  Instead I am going to start Daughters of the Shadow Men II on New Year's Day!  The first one will still be there to access but I will be blogging on the second one.  I thought and thought about it, not even hardly sleeping last night, and decided this was what I was going to do.  I still need to blog because I do my thinking on there.  I also need a place to put my videos since there are more videos I want to do in the new year.  I also want a blog to link up to Facebook which I really enjoy, but can't really get my say in up there as I do in my blog.  Facebook suffices for some, for the most part, but I am afraid not for me.  I don't want to interrupt my relationship with some of the bloggers.  I like to follow their blogs so want to continue to make mine available to them even when some do not have the time to read it all the time.
I am planning on making some videos this coming year with my son Raymond, to show Doc, for one thing, what sobriety can do for you.  Doc is funny and he is talented, but he always has to come through an alcoholic fog.  Raymond, on the other hand, has come to believe that sobriety is absolutely necessary for him to accomplish some of what he has set out to do.  I want to support his position as much as I can.
I got the idea of a second blog continuing on from the first one from Charles Deemer, the writer of Writing Blog II. I happened to see his first Writing Blog posted on his blog and saw that it just preceded Writing Blog II, so I thought that is what I think I will do.  I read his blog religiously as I have already gotten quite a few ideas from him.
I am feeling so sorry for Dana who writes Vagabond Journeys with his latest troubles with his computer.  He has lost files and photos. Plus he got very upset, which at our age is not good, but I hope he will start blogging again with his usual confidence and ability as I count him as a good thinker in the blogging world.
Doc has got a backup expensive computer down to his place which he is still paying for that I can use when I am having trouble with mine.  Plus I have a son Dan who is very good with computer troubles who has so far got me out of every bind I got into with the help of his son Dante.  Ha.  Dante is now banned from my computer as I can't afford to lose as much as Dana has.
I still can't figure out why it takes Dana so long to get on line, when I am on there in a moment with my broadband services.  I stick with a certain brand of computer, HP, as I find it to be very reliable.  Doc's computer is also HP which we made sure we got so it would be compatible with mine.
I am loving the battery Doc got for the camcorder for Christmas which cost him $80.  We can film a lot longer now.  So we are having fun.
Oh by the way, Cathy Rapicano, another blogger who writes DARE TO THINK turned me on to 500 and more photos of Egypt on Facebook.  I love love Facebook for the photos. I love looking at all my relatives photos and all my Facebook friends' Christmas photos.  They were great.  I love the snow photos.  I just love photos period.  I love to take them, too, and am looking forward to taking a lot more in the coming year.
Oh, and I am so upset.  The Farmer's Market closed for the holiday and bulldozers came in and started tearing up the parking lot!  I am hearing that a high rise apt. complex is going up there, and if it is, the Farmer's Market will have to find still another place to set up two days a week.  If it has to find another place I am afraid the Store which is open 5 days a week will close, too.
As far as I know the Farmer's Market people thought they were coming back to this parking lot.  The guy in the store told me it was just being recovered.  We will see!  Well, they have been in downtown Phoenix a long time in several spots, so they probably won't leave, but where oh where will my Farmer's Market go.
I have had a great year with Connie's graphics.  She still makes some wonderful ones for me.  I am going to leave this header above on my blog, and I am going to start out the new year with another one of hers on my Daughters of the Shadow Men II.
I might even start writing my memoirs again, and then maybe not.  I will have to think about it!  So Talley ho, and just look for the II to find my current blog.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

After the storm I am regrouping and wondering what to do next

I decided to replace that Revolutionary Poets Brigade header with a milder gentler one by Connie that will convey my love of books but will not disturb.  You can still see the cover in my review and can read my sister Linda's rather mild poem from the book called IN AWE OF THE OCEAN. I was certainly in awe of the ocean when Linda and I were visiting in San Francisco three years ago.  I remember when I first moved to Los Angeles  around 1958 and saw the ocean for the first time, we were so intimidated by it we found an apartment inland in Glendale which sounded more like Utah to us with that name and was over the hill from that disturbing big body of water that still reminded us of its presence with the scent of an ocean breeze coming in our windows every night.  When Dante was a baby I went to tend him when his parents had an apartment in Imperial Beach close enough to walk to the ocean.  Dan, his dad, had gone out to sea for 6 months.  I would wheel Dante in his stroller out to the pier and we would go to the end of it to watch the fishermen cast their  lines.  Then we would play in the sand.  Dante never wanted to come home.
Things were rather tense yesterday after my granddaughter who had been recovering from surgery tried to come down to north Phoenix from Flagstaff and hit the storm.  I am sure she had been planning this trip to see her sister for days, and since Flag is only 125 miles away thought the storm would be no problem.  It turned out she was caught on the highway for 6 hours and I am sure is worse for wear today looking for her inhaler. Flagstaff, it is reported, got two feet of snow!!
Phoenix does not get any snow so we worry about our relatives in Flagstaff.  If any snow falls in Arizona it is bound to fall in Flagstaff which is over 7,000 feet.  After Christmas Laura and my great grand babies, Wyatt and Kerynn, were steaming in the spa while it was trying to snow outside.  Travis, Kelly Anne's son, had come up from Cottonwood.  Travis and Dante have entered their dangerous teens!  Dante said somebody hacked into his account on FB and disappeared it, but Travis has been going strong, showing all kinds of great photos, snowmobiling in the snow, the new skateboard he bought with his Christmas money.  He took a photo of his beautiful mother, Kelly Anne.  He goes to school in Cottonwood where his dad lives who married a woman with six children!  Then they had one.  Travis is the oldest.   

Then last night my sister Ann's daughter Mala posted photos taken of my family and hers and my sister Margie's family in St. George.  She put them on Facebook and on the family site.  There were lots of photos that were just great, so that was next best thing to being there, looking at them.
This morning my sister Ann posted a beautiful photo of my niece Colette's 'Indian' Christmas tree, and she wrote about Colette's little new grandson who does not yet weigh 3 pounds struggling to grow and stay on the earth with his mother and dad and the rest of the family.  I think Ann said his name was Kylar  See http://kanyonlandking.blogspot.com/.  The photo alone is worth seeing.  Colette has decorated her tree with artifacts that she has collected, in memory and honor of her mother who died over 20 years ago, who also loved and collected Indian artifacts. 
So I had plenty to look at and see this morning.
My sister LaRae, the artist and collector




 This is such a neat photo of my sister LaRae, taken not long before she got cancer.  This was the artist her.  She always put herself together as an artist would. 

Plus have been checking back on my son Raymond's blog http://cowboysandbohemians.blogspot.com/ where he has been doing some brilliant writing from his perspective.  Everyone is busy at the moment, so few followers have had time to read the last two entries, but as writers, we must get used to quiet times when people just aren't reading our stuff.  We still need to write, so we do.  Writing animals have to write just like they have to breathe.

Doc just called me to bring my camera down along with my cage free eggs. (I will not eat his caged chicken eggs) (He just doesn't care).  I don't know what he wants to photograph. He says it is a surprise.  Maybe the second amaryllis has burst into glorious bloom.  He turned the coleus this morning which has beautiful deep purple leaves. He is the only person I know whose coleus plants don't die because his apt. gets no direct sunlight.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Watching the storm and reading my new poetry book sent to me by my sister Linda King

The manager had to deliver it to me as my sister had written my last name as King which it was at one time, same as hers, but the mailman did not recognize me even though my full address was on it.  So I spent the afternoon looking outside now and then  to a nice storm pelting the sidewalks (we can always use storm in our drought ridden country).  I didn't take a photo as all the other Internet people are doing as we never get snow, just rain, and rain looks the same, winter and summer, except there is no thunder and lightning accompany this one, just a soft gentle life giving rain.
And inside I kept reading the poems in this book, giving voice to all the downtrodden of the world who might be crying for revolution to change things. A long poem about the HOMELESS IN SAN FRANCISCO reminded me of our homeless problem here, particularly around this old hotel complex. I think the homeless are always with us.  I find the two poems written by my sister and decide if I am going to include one of those it will be, oddly, the one about the ocean.  I need the feeling of peace in this poem, so I think rather than the calls to revolution poems I will write that one down.

IN AWE OF THE OCEAN
As I see this vast body of water
I am struck in wonder and
I'm aware of how small I am
And feel a little frightened
That something so large
Moves, alive, so close to me
One giant angry wave could
Sweep me into its salty depth
Never to be seen again
I feel its moods
Sometimes angry
Sometimes playful
Sometimes calm
Bored, restless, teasing
Loving, absent, sad
In your face, indifferent
Working, just working the tide
As it rocks and rolls
Hardly noticing me
So small, of so many
On its sandy, shell-crushed beach
Yes, I gaze in awe
With reverence to its power
And its vast life teeming within
A whole watery, strange, world
That I can never know
Yet, there is a kindness here
Reaching out to me with
A thousand fingered massage
Injecting me with energy
Loving me with every sound
Of a million musical waves

-Linda King

Jack Hirshman, long known as the Red poet is not afraid to be identified with a call to revolution, selected these poems written by poets from many countries. I am just not used to keeping company with revolutionaries so haven't quite gotten comfortable with the language.  Linda wondered if she had become a communist poet by sculpturing this poet and going to his rallies for the homeless poets of San Francisco.  I did see a lot of homeless there for such an expensive city to live in.  Linda has always had empathy for the homeless and I am not afraid that she will ever accept any ideology she is not comfortable with.  I have always thought people became too afraid of words like communism in this country, exaggerating the dangers of such thinking, for I think it takes acceptance of wrong actions to turn any word into anathema.  We just have to be sure we don't accept wrong doing in the name of change, in my opinion. At the same time we have to recognize the downtrodden in the world, the indescribably poor, who when they can speak at all may burst forth with tirades at the injustice of life. Jack Hirschman likes encouraging those people without representation to write quite honestly about their grievances. 
He has traveled the world and has talked to many writers.  He speaks several languages and translated a number of these poems to English.  You have got to learn something valuable by living the life he has.  You have to give him respect for caring about those who mainly have nobody who cares. Thank you, Linda, for this book of poems called Revolutionary Poets Brigade!  It is a great Xmas present!  I can always look to you to give me a book that will cause me to think outside the box!

Talking to sister Ann on her way home from the party before the big storm hits in Utah!

Five members of my family, my daughter Ronda, son Dan, and grandsons, Jamal, Ethan, and Dante, were in St. George, Utah having get to gethers with all the Utah family yesterday.  They are headed back home today.  They happened to arrive just as my niece Colette's grandson was making a premature appearance in the world.  He is in the preemie unit in St. George weighing in at 3 pounds and must stay there until he is 5 pounds before he will be deemed big enough to leave. I haven't heard what his name is going to be yet, but everyone is so relieved he is doing as well as a 'preemie' can be expected to do.
In the meantime Ann said she met with my family and had discussions, a party, and food at two places, her daughter Mala's and my sister Margie's daughter Karen's.  Karen is the best party giver in the family and has a big house.  My niece Cheryl ,  Ann said,  initiated a wonderful discussion.  She told Ann's and my daughters, Ronda and Mala, that they should not complain their mothers talk (write) (blog) too much when her mother, my sister LaRae, is not even in the world to talk and must be picked up by telepathy if she is to be accessed at all.  She thought they should take advantage of having a live mother while they could.
I was glad our niece Cheryl stood up for us as Ann and I both decided after LaRae passed that we would have to try to be substitute moms to her daughters, Cheryl and Colette.  Cheryl facilitated the family web site where all the sisters try to write so she won't miss her mother too much.
She still misses her, but we were all certain she was in St. George during the tense moments her latest great grandson was being born, standing by in case he had to leave this world and go with her.  There is nothing like a life or death crisis to remind us all that if life cannot be sustained we may at any time have to leave the earth, even if we are not quite 7 months old.
Everybody agreed the baby would be better off with his own mother and dad if his life could be saved, so the doctors and the nurses are trying their best.
My daughter Ronda, who has not been a nurse very long, no doubt offered as much encouragement as she could to affected relatives.  Ann said her grandson Garrett startled them all with how well he could play the guitar at around 10 or 11.  My grandson Ethan, 10, was very impressed, and he is no doubt thinking he had better get to work on his musical instrument as soon as he gets back home.  I think he told me he had started playing one.  Shayna, Ann's granddaughter, who has a beautiful voice, sang along with the guitar.  Shayna has always been great pals to my grandson Jamal who is now 19, and they had a good chat.  Shayna graduates from high school this year, while Jamal graduated going on two years ago.  They haven't seen each other for a long time.
I don't have a picture of them together, but since Mala and Ronda grew up playing together they continued to be good pals after they were married and started to have families, along with Linda's daughter Rissy who lives in San Francisco.
Dante has not been to Utah since I took him when he was 8 years old.  He is now 15, so he was having a good time, Ann, said getting reacquainted with all the family again.  I am sure glad they got to see him.  His father Dan has been going to Boulder the last two summers, but just has somehow not been able to get Dante up there.  Now he has gone up there, perhaps it won't be so hard next time  for him to go.
I am so glad my son Dan got better acquainted with his Utah family in the summer as Ann said he was really having a good time reuniting with them.  He now feels comfortable about teasing and jiving with them, so it sounds like he was having a heck of a good time.
Karen, my sister Margie's daughter, had all four of her boys home in St. George at the same time, so they were all there, some with wives, and even one with a baby they are all having fun tending.  Aaron the youngest is due to leave on a mission in the spring.
There is nothing like a great family gathering.  I am sorry I missed it, but next best thing is hearing about it.  Ann has a speaker car phone so we were able to chat quite a while without me worrying she might run off the road.  I think she was getting home before the storm hit.  Our storm is due to start any minute.
I hope my family on the road misses most of the storm.  They are probably almost here by now!
Oh yes, Connie did my header and another one I can't wait to use.  I sometimes save them a while for the perfect time.  I love her graphics. Check her blog out for tags http://visitconniesplace.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Why the 'Turnip Lady's' rant on Christmas Day disappeared!

I had a fight with Doc because he wanted to put 40 more minutes of what he called the 'Turnip Lady's' rant on Christmas morning on his emdedoc you tube channel. I wanted to explain in video why I deleted, deleted, deleted it. It portrayed me as a scold and 'verbose' and him as a cool alcoholic. I am barely tolerable when I am smiling and relaxed, let alone when I am grimlet eyed and raving.  He has consented to put the following video on his channel instead under another name.  You can still see the 'Turnip Lady' on his channel in 'Celebrating Christmas to Death'.  He will be celebrating New Years to death also. 

My Utah family very worried and concerned about new baby coming into the world weighing under 3 pounds!

My niece Colette's new grandson has come early, but now the preemie unit in St. George, Utah must do their best to keep the little fellow here in this world. I knew my sister LaRae who passed on over twenty years ago, the baby's great grandmother, was keeping watch.  I am sure when a baby comes into the world too soon, family spirits gather ready to receive that child's spirit if survival is too hard.  While I was meditating last night my Uncle Kent came in who I rarely talk to, so I said why are you here?  There must be a reason.  Minutes later I found out the baby was on the way to being born, nearly 3 months early or not!  Kent delivered babies many years of his medical practice.  Surprisingly in his late 40's, he quit to become a psychiatrist and spent 6 months, I recall, in Russia and other places.  He and my sister LaRae were good friends, so naturally he would be concerned about her great grandson.
Kent as a Navy Medic

I had also been getting for the first time that my sister LaRae had committed to taking care of two babies in the spirit world who would have died before ever having been born, one of the many children of abortion.
My Uncle Kent's daughter developed a rare condition in the blood vessels in her brain that caused her to have seizures.  There was nothing they could do about it as the problem was too deep in the brain for surgery.  It could not be fixed, but she has managed to live to her sixties with the help of drugs and is just now selling her dental practice so she can retire. I am glad.  I am sure that will be less stressful for her. I had several dreams about my Uncle Kent thanking me for showing concern for his daughter.  His son, there were just two of them, is also a doctor back east.  Kent died when he was only 56 of a heart attack.  His condition was also inoperable he felt.  His wife has lived on to the age of 89!  We heard she was to her daughter's for Xmas, so she must be unusually hale and hearty.  Mother lived to the age of 89 but was too deep into old age dementia and silence to travel.  She was also in a wheel chair after she refused to rehab a broken hip.  Kent's wife Emmy was a nurse, so perhaps she has relied on her nurse's training to help her survive old age well!  

Monday, December 27, 2010

Reading my disappointing new novel by Jonathan Franzen, Christmas gift to myself

I am thinking am I insane?  This novelist was on the cover of Time.  Says here is the winner of the National Book Award.  I buy this novel for myself for Christmas.  I start to read and not very far into the book I have to put it down.  I don't see how anything can make me pick it back up again.  If my son was acting like the guy in this novel I would be so worried I would not sleep at night. Let's see he is a youngish professor not yet tenured who has an affair with a student who keeps tempting him, is suspended and fired, so starts borrowing copious amounts of money from his younger sister.  First of all I can't imagine any sister I know lending that much money that frequently to a brother who has screwed up.  After he gets completely broke, he starts stealing food at the grocery store.  Here is about where I stop.
And I have been worried about my son who simply cannot stop working.  If he has to change jobs he goes out and finds another one so fast your head whirls and starts working 12 hours a day again.  He has done this ever since he went to work full time at 15, so he could afford a car, cigarettes, and beer.
I worry about him drinking too much.  But I never have to worry about him not working.  He loves to work.  And it's hard mysterious work in the construction business he has learned to do after many years experience.  First he was a backhoe operator, and then he gradually got promoted to foreman jobs, and then to supervisor and project manager jobs.  Then he said he wanted to learn how to bid jobs, so he agreed to take a job for two years in Tucson for the construction company if they would let him learn the bidding business.
Let him learn to bid!  He is still bidding, but now he has had to practice his computer skills at home, because he no longer has a secretary that types the bids, he has to do it.  Oh, so he will learn that, too.  Let's see he is 57.  No problem. 
On the way from his house back to mine, when he was taking me home from dinner, he was looking at a crane.  He once tried very hard to get a job learning to operate cranes, but just could not make the transition.  He did it for a while and loved it, but he said the business of crane operating was too hard to get into.  He said if he had another lifetime to do it in, he would find a job operating a crane while young.  His house looks like a construction worker's house.  There are models of cranes and other big equipment an ex-wife gave him as gifts.  He has canvases set up around the house in various degrees of completion, of cranes.  There is even a half finished portrait of me.  I recognized it by the blond hair and rather beefy arms.  I recognized another ex girlfriend of his by her mop of wild black hair.  That was Jessie who once tried to cut him with a knife.  He got a kick out of her violence for a while, but got tired of her tearing the rented trailers apart when she got angry, breaking windows and such.  And kicked her out, but that didn't work so he left the state and came back home to Phoenix. And for some reason or another she couldn't leave.  She had little dogs.  Years later she found him and called and asked him to send her money and she would come to see him.  So he didn't.
I have lost all respect for the son (yes, he is somebody's son)  in this novel because he has acted irresponsibly in too many ways.
I was going to give it to my other son Raymond to read after I got through because he is surviving by doing all kinds of things including singing for his supper.  Can you imagine how much nerve it would take to sing for a bunch of people with the confidence they would tip you enough money to last you a few days.  When he was in Austin, TX  he said he was going to try singing on a street corner, but decided he better head back home.  I saw a brave little lady down town the other day who was playing her violin on a street corner. I hope she earned enough money for her supper and more.
My son Raymond has quit drinking a number of times, once for 7 years, other times for a year here and there, because when he is directing or acting in a play he says he can never drink.  It is only when a production is over that he sinks into some kind of let down like is this all there is, and might drink, but this December he celebrated one year of sobriety again.  He has quit smoking many times.  I asked a girlfriend of his if she had ever known anyone who quit smoking so many times, she said no.  But the important thing he never stopped quitting smoking and it has now been quite a long time since he smoked.  Besides, he finally got too broke to afford cigarettes.  He would rather eat.
I have another son Dan who was so into sports when he was in high school and living clean that he left a bottle of champagne someone gave him for graduation in my fridge a whole year before I insisted he take it out.  I was never going to drink it.  In the navy he did finally learn to drink but I have never been able to think of him as a fright to drink as I have my two older sons at times.  He seems to be able to leave it alone, or drink with his navy buddies, whatever.  He never gave me a moment's worry in high school for which I will always be grateful since I did not know if the other two would survive those years.
My daughter graduated from college, didn't like teaching Spanish, said the kids didn't want to learn, left teaching, found other jobs, and after she got married, she went back to college and got a degree in nursing.  She also studied one of her issues, breast feeding, took a test that cost $578, passed, and was qualified as an International Lactation Consultant, which education she now uses in a nursing job she just loves. She was too health minded ever to smoke and as far as I know does not drink to excess, although once she got rather tipsy to a Margarita party my son Dan's wife gave him for his birthday (Angelina was the world's best little bartender at the time).  She said as we all left, Mom, I hope you don't intend to put that I got drunk on the family site!  But she is so perfect that I am telling it now so she will seem more human.
I mean where is this Franzen getting his material from?  I wrote a novel when I was 29 and when I finished it, I thought oh, oh, publishers will never buy this novel, the protagonist is too concerned about doing the right thing (they didn't).
Doc was still drunk when I went down to his apt. on Christmas Day from celebrating all by himself the night before until after midnight. I was so disgusted because his brain was working so slowly.  You know how it is when you are trying to have a conversation with an inebriated person and they just can't get any thinking going?  That was Doc. He started calling me verbose.  Only a drunk would call a normal person verbose because her normal heightened brain activity hurt his head, and he could not respond in kind.  I ended up raving for about 40 minutes and he wanted to put that all on You Tube on his channel, I suppose to try to show people what a nag I was, but actually I was recalling my childhood with a father who got drunk every weekend.  My mother turned to food, not realizing she could become an 'olic' too.  (foodaholic) And she fed us candy, cake, cookies, butter, until we were heavily addicted, too.
I was telling Doc in the 7 min. video we did put up on his channel that a woman diabetic in here had been going off her diet for Christmas, eating pies, etc, and ended up in the ICU for Christmas.  I heard they had to amputate one of her legs that was very bad, but it turned out to have been a stomach operation instead.  So alcoholics aren't the only ones tempted to binge at Christmas.  Foodaholics may kill themselves sampling a thousand desserts coming their way for days.  Tis the season to 'celebrate oneself to death' as I insisted Doc call his video.
His step daughter back in St. Louis watched it and I could tell she could hardly stand the nagging I was giving Doc, so I told him he absolutely could not put 40 more minutes of my raving up there. Nobody could blame us irritated souls trying to talk to drunks whose brains are seriously out of commission from alcohol, but nobody else wants to hear us rave, it seems.
I decided years ago somebody had to restrain themselves in the family or we were all going down.  I recall my mother in a fit of rage jumping up and down and yelling, "I want to be bad, I want to be bad."  I really think that she decided if my dad was going to be bad, she was too, and although she did not smoke or drink she found plenty of other bad stuff to do like lying and cheating and having affairs with married men.  She had such a bad temper we could not talk to her about it.  I tried once when I was around 22, when she was driving us somewhere together, and she told me if I did not shut up she would run the car off into the ditch! Even though I had her grandson in my arms.  I was scared she might do it, so I shut up.
Doc is an outlaw, too, basically, who thinks being bad is more fun and less boring than being good.  He equates being good with being 'religious', but that is just poor thinking.  He has not seriously tried to control himself enough to concede that takes more strength, intelligence, and dedication than just letting all holds go and becoming an alcoholic who fixes himself a drink when he wakes up and drinks all day on the grounds he is not hurting anyone but himself.
Well, he is still attached to somebody, and I am always trying to change my eating habits, and have had some success, but still have to keep trying.  My life is all about trying to affect the addicted including myself and get better habits going.  I go to the dentist 3 times a year and he hasn't been in years.  So who cares the most about their danged gums? He says well, you knew I was a bit of a hedonist when you met me!
I am afraid one of these years, all too soon, Doc will be gone from having celebrated Christmas to death.
I suppose guys who like to binge might like this novel "Corrections."  They would have the fun of reading about a guy letting all holds go and just becoming a complete shit.  But I have lost interest in the guy while he is still in his downward fall.  I cannot make it to the Corrections. 
Even publishers are prejudiced against more controlled people trying to do the right thing, even though the world keeps on turning probably more from the efforts of this branch of people.  I stopped writing novels when I realized that people trying to control themselves are perceived as not that interesting, exciting, tolerable. But so what, I don't like this hedonist's novel either.  The protagonist is already too out of control for me to keep tolerating.  Franzen has lost me.  I told Doc I liked the book I gave Raymond better about a man and his 'thinking' dog.  That dog was magnificent.  I know my dad's horses brought out the best in him.  Sorly was one magnificent cow horse, and he never ever got drunk!
Oh by the way Connie made the magnificent header for me.  Isn't she talented?What a worker she is!
Here is a little bit of the "Celebrating Christmas to Death" video so you can see what I mean. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Playwright's workshop stimulating out to ChuckH's today in Awtuckee

Raymond picked me up around ten to go out to the Playwright's Workshop today. The Paisley Violin closed during the holiday.  We will skip next week and resume again on the 8th at the Paisley Violin.
I  really enjoyed meeting at Chuck's since he is also an artist so he and his wife have decorated a beautiful home very tastefully with his and other people's art.  Chuck paints a lot of still lifes, some of which he has posted on his blog Jack of Arts where he also posts excerpts from his novel and from his plays. He really is a Jack of all Arts.  
Cate was a new potential playwright present today.  She is working on Raymond's web site.  They first met when he was cast as the lead male singer in The Unsinkable Molly Brown at Theater Works.
Anyway I read the first scene from a play I wrote years ago in honor of my sister LaRae's last visit to Phoenix, when she was very ill with cancer.  It was called Blue or The Spirit Walker's Convention.  We all met in our spirits in a medium called theater.  The first Playwright's Workshop was going on, which Raymond was facilitating, so he was a character in the play as was his partner.  My friend and my sister Linda were also going to the workshop so they are characters along with my sister LaRae.  Blue was an extra terrestrial I the playwright have called forth to help my sister LaRae. She has come to look like an alien with her bald head and I think Blue the alien will help her on a journey she knows is destined for the stars as she has received the death sentence as she called it.
She is also in Phoenix for Thanksgiving dinner to sister Linda's house.  So this was the biggest audience this play has had in one place, although I did do a reading of it with Doc on You Tube, the first scene of which I am going to post her in 3 videos, so you can feel like you were present to the reading, too!  .
Joanne, Ryan, and Chuck also read, and we discussed our group project of 10 minutes plays we have tentatively set for April (when Raymond gets the theater built out) and Matt Sesow gets a big 8x10 canvas painted for it!  Matt has agreed to do another painting!  He is practically world famous now so this is a coup.  He painted a large picture that was very effective for the last group play project Raymond facilitated, Collateral Damage, about the war in Iraq. The theme this time is The American Dream, failed or gone south, whatever you think of its chances today as a playwright.  I think this is a great theme.
I enjoyed the other playwrights' readings. We read out in the patio of Chuck's house by the swimming pool.  The only thing that disturbed us was the dog next door barking now and then and the traffic passing by our planes passing overhead, but that seemed to fit in with Chuck's play which was about a possible end of the world event, some cataclysmic happening we are wondering what.  Joanne is a very young playwright, and her subject was very up to date, organic gardening of some sort, possibly of illegal plants.  Ryan read a play that has already been produced not to his satisfaction, so he is revising and adding more, but the plot is pretty hair raising, so can't wait to hear what happens there.



This is the entire first scene I read today starting from the top!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas dinner at Gary's house with borscht made by Raymond

This was a delicious dinner cooked by Raymond.  The borscht had beets, carrots, meat and it was delicious.  I see in the dictionary it is sometimes served with sour cream.  Raymond ate it in New York.  He cooked a big pot of it. Oh it also has a little wine vinegar in it.  I requested a jar of it to take home to Doc.  He will never believe it.  Raymond used to cook in a fancy restaurant.  I could see he could cook when he wanted to.  Gary cleaned up everything in a twinkling of an eye.  Raymond said I should see him in a grocery store.  He can whiz through there faster than anybody.  So I am not going to worry about these boys anymore.  They can take care of themselves.
The camera lady forgot her camera, so I am also posting a photo of the old house Mother had built.  The family lived in it until Mother and Dad sold out.  Mother built her store to the side of it.
I picked out the following photo of it.


Old house looking very deserted.  Nobody but our family ever lived in it again. Raymond rented it one summer when he was up there and actually raised corn in the garden.

I had a wonderful Christmas with my family this year, both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  It worked out for my two younger children to have Christmas Eve and my two older sons to have Christmas day.  After dinner we sat at the table and exchanged gifts. Raymond let Gary and I pick out two photos from a pile he had.  I gave Raymond two books, one was letters written by Franz Kafka.  I told him he would always sympathize with Franz Kafka once he read this book called, "A Memory Come Alive".  The other Kafka was "The Penal Colony".  The third book I gave Raymond was the story of a man and his dog called "Merle's Door" about a 'thinking' dog. The dog and his master lived far enough out in the country so he could allow his dog to make more decisions for himself than a city dog usually gets to. I knew Raymond would just love this book. I did. I believe the name of the author is Ted Kerasote.
 I gave Gary a book by William Kennedy containing three of his novels, "Legs" about Legs Diamond, the gangster, another one, can't remember the long name, and Ironweed.  I know he will like them once he gets used to his style.  I also gave him the Homestead book which has the history of every piece of property in Boulder in it, plus photos, and all the brands the ranchers used.  He has always had to read blueprints so I know he will appreciate this book about land and property, another book project done by the nieces , Cheryl and Camille,  for Boulder Heritage. My sister Ann also helps with all the book projects, too.  Raymond is always looking after the musicians. Gary gave me a gift card to Safeway. That will come in handy. 
After dinner we went into the back yard and played with Baby, the dog,  a little while.  She was so happy to get some attention.  The football game was about to come on, so Gary brought me home.  I loved riding in his silver Audi sports car.  He now works 9 miles across town on the west side where I used to live in a construction office on lower Buckeye.

Beginning report on Christmas book gifts


 I can now talk about some of the books that were received and opened on Christmas Eve.  I think my daughter Ronda was the happiest with the book gift I gave her which was a copy of the book "Women" put together by my nieces, Cheryl and Camille, to sell to the Boulder Heritage Foundation Festival this last summer from submissions by descendants of pioneer women of Boulder.  In fact, other submissions are coming in and the nieces are planning Volume II as soon as they get enough material.  I know she is going to love the book, particularly since she is planning a holiday trip to Utah this coming Monday.  This book is actually a gift from many writers. I was just able to pass on my copy to my daughter, which I had read, studied, and thoroughly enjoyed.  I am trying to give away some of my most precious books in my last years.  I still have quite a collection.
When people die here their books often get passed on to the residents.  I have acquired a lot of books that way.  I gave my son Dan some of those books.  He has an intellectual bent, so I give him books I know nobody else would appreciate.  This year I gave him Kafka's The Castle and Montaigne's Essays, I told him so he could add to the list of books he had read on BBC's 100 book list.  I also gave him a book I became convinced no one else at the Westward Ho would ever read, "The Closing of the Western Mind" which a British author named ? Freeman thinks happened when Christianity took over.  Dan is a born skeptic, so this book would be like meat and drink to him.  I tried to read this book but it was too dense for me, so I have given it to him so he can read it and tell me what it says.
Dante's mother, Angelina, who belongs to a Christian Fundamentalist church, is very wary of my son Dan's influence on their son.  Dante is a unique blend of his mother and dad's personalities.  He is not as blunt or outrageous as his dad, but he is a born tease.  For example, he tried to make me think last night that nobody feeds him where he lives now, he just scrounges around in the refrigerator for scraps to keep him alive.  He was so convincing that I started to get upset, and he started laughing and saying he was only teasing! 
Dan is like Doc.  He appreciates black humor to the max and can always see the ridiculous in the sublime. 
Dante, on the other hand, can go to his mother's church and maintain a respectful attitude at the same time he is saying to me out of the corner of his mouth, I have to go to church in Cali, too, only it is longer and more boring.  Dante has never liked to be bored anymore than my son Dan has liked it.
The preacher who bores him will lose him when he is on his own no doubt, and it will not be Dan's fault.  I hope his mother realizes that.
I do not like boring preachers either, but I still have my faith that we have a spirit and must do good in order to be 'saved.'  Which just means to me, that people who like to do bad will not be the ones who preserve what makes life good.
I don't think you can be an alcoholic and do as much good in the world as you might be capable of doing if you sobered up.  I have seen alcoholics do good when they are sober, but who tended to do so much bad when they were not sober, that was not going to be remembered.  An alcoholic can drive drunk and kill somebody and that's it.  He has destroyed a life.  He destroys his own brain if he does not sober up.
But I also think that a drinker has to be built up in order to quit.  A bad habit that he has acquired over many years is not going to be overcome easily.  Hence I continue to work on Doc's case, hoping to keep strengthening some kind of will in him to quit.  What else can I do? 
Thus I continue my lecturing and preaching about alcohol which Doc asked for and got on video this morning.  He insisted on filming me giving him a good scolding when I found him still half drunk this morning from celebrating Christmas last night.  He will do it alone if nobody else will celebrate with him.  He called me to come and celebrate with him at 9 pm last night as he drank himself into a stupor but I refused. I could tell he was 'buzzed'.
I hope I don't have to edit this video as he wants me to do.  It is one long diatribe against the evils of drink.  I wore myself out.  He thought it was 'great'.  He did not seem to see that I was doing all the heavy lifting.  He hardly said anything worth listening to, he was still so 'hung over'.  People might not realize it but when Doc is too hung over he will not sing and lets me do the singing when he knows I can't sing.  He wants me to make the video, but then lays back and won't sing.  Nothing irritates me more.  I have to say to him now if you don't take charge of the singing I am not making this. But I have noticed the more he does the more vital he seems.  I am convinced that keeping him active is going to prolong his life.
I don't like doing this kind of therapy on an active drunk, but can't see that anything else works.  I would abandon him, but there is nobody better for me to work on.  He is intelligent and talented enough that even drinking he can outdo quite a few.  His alcoholism is a tragedy, but then it is for everyone.  So that is my last word today on drinking to celebrate Christmas.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve at Ronda's and Chad's 2010

We had such a good time Christmas Eve.  This was the first time we had been together with Dante for a long time. He came from California a few days ago to spend the Christmas holidays with his mom and dad.  So Chad, Ronda, Jamal, and Ethan, Dan, Dante and I ate spaghetti and opened presents.




Dante, Jamal and Ethan playing games in Ethan's room before dinner.










I took a photo of Ronda, Chad, and Dan by the Christmas tree. 









Here is one of the cutest photos of Ronda and Chad I have ever taken.  Don't they look happy and loving here? 

It was Christmas Eve so I asked to be taken home early as I was exhausted.  And Ronda needed to drop Dan and I off to our dwellings and get back home. She lives way north of town, I live in central downtown Phoenix, and Dan lives with Jamal in Tempe where the main campus of ASU is located.  Dan rides the fast transit to work at the Sheraton.  Anyway we live a long ways apart.  Dante's mother would pick him up later from his dad's on her way to her sister's house for Xmas.
I talked to Dante in the back seat as we drove trying to find out if he was happy in California.  He said sometimes no, but he still thinks this is the best place for him right now.  It seemed so good to be able to talk to him again.  I worry about him living away from both his mom and dad.
His mom is still waiting to try to get into HUD housing, so is living to a friend's house right now with her two younger children.  She still has her house cleaning business.  Dante said he went out and helped her clean a house today.  Dan is trying to get through the winter working to the Sheraton, as his back has been acting up. He plans to go back to Utah in the summer.
I am going to write to Dante when he gets back.  We decided. He and Dan are going to Utah on Monday  with Ronda, Jamal, and Ethan for a visit in St. George with Utah relatives.  I hope they have a good time.  I think it is doing Dante good to touch base with his family again.  He is very calm.  Not so hyper, I don't know if the circumstances he is living in have had this effect on him.  I think it is also because he is older.  He has been taking auto mechanics, which he likes.  He also described where he lives which is actually a small town.  I thought he was living on the outskirts of Los Angeles where his Aunt Stephanie used to live, but she has moved further out in the country.  So that was a surprise.  He gave me a lot to think about.   He always does. Divorce is hard. 
I tried to catch up with what the rest of the family were doing also.  Now that I think of it I missed talking to Ethan, but he was so busy, I will have to call him up and find out later sometime what he has been up to. I was able to talk to Jamal some as he came and picked me up when he and Dan went north from Tempe.
Tomorrow I plan to see my two older sons, Raymond and Gary.  I will be spending Christmas morning with Doc. 
Oh yes, we also exchanged gifts and I came home with well, I will have to show you what my son Dan gave me.  I never got such a gift before.  I think people were happy with my book gifts.  Chad and Ronda were very generous.  I also came home with towels!  I think I will give some to Doc!  He's only got one set.

In the Garden of Christmas

Unbelievable amaryllis
He has been taking good care of the coleus plant.
He loves his poinsettia, bought at the farmer's market which he has been keeping alive watering out of his little copper watering container he bought at Target.
Here are his 3 amaryllis plants, two only buds.  He got carried away at the sale!
Here is the gardener's female companion who looks like a Christmas ornament herself marveling at the Christmas garden in which she finds herself. 
The gardener himself tenderly tending his Christmas garden

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Two days before Christmas and this is what is going on....

I went out to get the paper and met up with Daniel of the Most Decorated Apartment fame, my neighbor next door.  He was very very agitated.  His best friend, Betty Spears, who has been very active around here in resident activities is in intensive care and he is not even allowed to see her, only family.  He said he was praying very hard for her.  Her diabetes is now life threatening.  I have talked to Betty a lot in past months, we all have.  She is Indian and has told us about her rough childhood.  She also had to have a melanoma removed from her neck, she said caused from working out in the sun so much. She would say she knew she had a lot wrong with her, and she was prepared to go, but until then she was going to laugh, talk, and enjoy herself. 
I was shocked because I just saw her a couple of days ago out front, as usual, with Daniel and others.  How can she be so sick so fast?  I am praying she can recover and come home just one more time, as I know Daniel needs her, they have been so close the last few months.  He is not ready to say good-bye yet...
He offers a tour for three weeks of his most decorated apartment with 11 trees this year.  He said people did not seem to be in much of a Christmas mood this year.  Now he will be so sad.  I think of all the angels sitting on top of his Christmas trees.  He loves angels.  Maybe the angels will comfort him as he prays for his best friend to come home just one more time before she leaves the earth. This is a woman with a big heart.  She has done a lot for people, including Daniel.  If she likes you, she will give you the shirt off her back.
I am happy to report that my grand daughter Laura's surgery turned out to be for cleaning up scar tissue that was causing her pain. It was done in an out patient surgery unit, and my son Gary called and said he talked to her after it was over. I do so hope she will be getting more rest over the Christmas holidays. I know these young mothers never get enough rest when they have to work, too.  They just have to be strong and tough enough to survive until their little kids adjust and are able to sleep through the night.
I told Laura that I would sooner have bothered a sleeping tiger as disturbed my mother once I was put to bed, but Laura is a much gentler mother who cannot bring herself to swat the child but very seldom.  Gary said that is why she gets so tired. Be that as it may, she needs to survive, so those kids will have a mother!  She must think of her own well being as well as her children's!  Not that I think a child should be swatted back to sleep.  We have seen all too much of that in our society, with the sometimes tragic results of a child dying that woke up a sleeping tiger of a parent!
I saw a video yesterday in which Matt Damon thinks the biggest threat to the US is Sarah Palin running for president and enough nutty republicans to vote for her.  Men do not get the abortion issue.  Sarah Palin is one of the smartest women politicians going because she has noticed that over a millions deaths a year are going on in our country every single year, due to legalized abortion, and she is not afraid to say, hey, this is intolerable.  She knows that if anything else was causing these deaths but ourselves, there would be such a hue and a cry over a million deaths a year that at the present don't even make the news or cause a stir in these strange times.  
It may be that one reason Sarah Palin is on a lot of women's shit list is because she has questioned a woman's right to choose.  I do, too, and now Sarah may be joining me on the short list of the nation's most unpopular women, once news of her pro life activism gets around.  Matt does not realize that women are going to have to vote for her if she is going to become president. I am so unpopular nobody has even heard of me.  My newspaper, the Arizona Republic, never printed any of at least a hundred of my letters protesting some odious piece of abortion propaganda they had published, so I had to become a blogger in desperation.  They still don't print any of my letters, because like most of the media, they are a pro choice newspaper.
Killing is a good deal more popular than saving.  Killing as in abortion  has saved a lot of children from living unhappy lives in poverty, starving, and probably beaten.  I say if a child has survived a lot of parents it may be tougher than we think.  I barely survived my mother's beatings.  But I say what didn't kill me made me stronger, and I would rather have lived than died.  I forgave my mother for her one self induced abortion.  I knew she was desperate, but after wards she also knew she had to repent. She knew it was wrong, and she had done it in a weak moment.  So there were several years there where she was repenting, and it worked because she did not kill her next three kids and we all actually managed to survive.
 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy in the military in reference to my own life

When I was a senior in college I recall that I lost my faith in what a college degree could do for me.  Instead I felt that it was necessary for me to 'testify' to the head of my department just how this disillusionment was affecting my will to keep on taking classes to 'fulfill my requirements.'  Why had I lost my faith?  It mostly had to do with the two most prominent professors in the English and Theater departments. I had at first been going to major in English, but a disillusioning thing happened with that. By far the most important professor I had was a published writer and poet I had concluded might have secret homosexual leanings which of course he would not have been able to surface in Mormon Utah where the possession of a wife was the safest route for employment and advancement at the University. The professor was married and had three children, but he had a great deal to do with the school literary magazine and with his favorite student writer who was published every issue  that I had just gotten to know.
The student had married and quickly divorced a freshman student in my dormitory who had gotten pregnant.  She seemed heart broken and never seemed to understand what had gone wrong.  The poet who introduced me to the promising student writer said that this girl just did not understand him, he had such an astounding intellect, and he could not endure the marriage another second.
Well, I found the student to be brilliant and fascinating all right.  He was a veteran, ten years older than I, going to college on the G.I. Bill.  He had simply read everything.  I started reading the literary magazines so I could get acquainted with his work.  I thought he was a far more advanced writer than I was at 18, now a college sophomore. I did not know how I could be expected to compete with him, even though I had always been a top English student in my high school English classes reading more books than practically anybody, and certainly writing a good deal more, too.
The more I listened to the professor lecture in the classes I took from him the more I thought he might be inclined to homosexuality, but simply a married man out of the necessity of appearing respectable and normal, especially in Mormon Utah.  But I didn't think too much about it.  I was very familiar with the phenomenon since I had thought since I was five years old my father was one of these men.  I had also noted any number of other men, mostly among his drinking companions, I thought were living the same way. 
So I figured that the professor might be half way in love with his fascinating student.  I noted that the student did not show one single spark of passionate interest in me.  He was simply devoid of it, so I concluded that his feelings went almost entirely to members of his own sex.  The poet who had introduced to me hinted that a talented young freshman poet, male,  had been in love with him and had a nervous breakdown when he married the female student.  He thought he had lost him forever and left college.
I was okay with this until suddenly one day this older student told me that he had a secret he wanted to tell me, but I must promise not to tell anyone.  I could not imagine what it was, but I promised.  He said that he was in love with me!  I was astounded and I must confess a little bit frightened of his calculating certainty that I would be charmed.  He had never even touched me!  I just could not figure this out, but I figured he had some kind of cold blooded seduction in mind, as I knew he had ambitions to become a college professor.  Perhaps he thought that I with my love of books would be a more appropriate wife than the other girl had been, so he had better get going on the task of acquiring a wife which might make his professorship an easier goal to attain!
He was ten years older than I was, a veteran.  He had killed people, I suspected! He was dangerous.  I dreamed one night that he reached out to touch me, and as I held my hand out to him he turned into Lucifer, the Father of Lies.
I figured I would never be able to charm the professor who loved his talent so much, either, so I decided to switch my major to the theater department.
I was really not surprised when the head of the theater department exhibited signs of  having a sexual split in his personality of long duration.  He was in theater!  What else could I expect?  He was a famous director of Shakespeare.  While I was trying out for big parts, a Mormon missionary who was obviously having a crisis about his sexual identity, came into the program, and I witnessed a man falling head over heels in love, even though the head of my department was a man in his fifties and the Mormon Missionary probably around 25.  He could not lavish enough parts on him.  His eyes practically glowed when he was in his presence. While he barely noticed me.
In fact he tried to avoid talking to me as much as possible. Well, I was getting sick of being treated like a second class student just because I was female. I had up to this point never managed to tell anyone I thought my dad was gay.  To do so would have seemed down right dangerous to me.  In fact, I think if I had actually accused my dad of such a thing, he might have tried to murder me.  So I had also kept secret the fact that one of men I thought he was having an affair with later molested me when their affair went sour and he got very angry at my dad.  I was only five at the time, but I was being forced to face realities that most women did not face, including my mother who I also could not tell because I could see she did not suspect my dad was gay!
She simply did not know enough about homosexuality. I doubt if she even believed men actually had sex with each other at the time she married him, at only 18 years old.  And she was a big reader, too, but then hardly any novelists talked about homosexuality, so there were not many places she could have gotten an education about what it was.
The hired man had educated me about what a pedofile was that was for sure.
So I was sick of these men.  A degree.  What would a degree mean when I was being taught by consummate liars, willing to perpetuate the idea that homosexuality did not exist.  Well, I could hardly blame them, they were married and had to earn a living to take care of their wives and children. It was society itself I blamed, stupid society that tried to keep the whole subject of homosexuality under wraps even though women were constantly being exploited by it, because men were expected to marry, and of course they could not tell.  So the women and children were generally kept in abysmal ignorance.
My God, I said to myself I am going to do something about this.  I decided I would try to get my professor told what I thought of homosexual professors and a society that demanded the dont ask dont tell policy just about everywhere I went, in my community, among married men, at the high school among single lesbian teachers, at the University, let us all act like it does not even exist!  Oh, we want to educate people, but not about that.
My mother certainly needed an education before she went out and married a guy 8 years older because she thought he had good prospects.  I could already have taught a class in how to recognize a homosexual man wanting to take advantage of your ignorance.
My poor college professor was already ill with ulcers (no wonder) and would indeed have to retire after I left, so he evaded me as much as possible and decided to send me to the school psychiatrist, who I found out later was a Mormon.
He probably could not even have handled what my problem was. Instead he observed me for no more than a minute during which I managed to convey some of my message to him, believe me I had gotten very cunning at that, and he called for an armed guard!  I scared him. He had never run into anyone like me in his life.  He thought a good round of electric shock would be just the treatment for a female so not passive.  No, I was not another passive female keeping my eyes down.  When I met up with him, he asked me 3 questions in a bored manner, I thought completely obtuse, hopeless, so I held his eyes and did not answer!
It was probably one of the most shocking things that had ever happened to him.  Such defiance from a young female, just twenty.  She had to be insane to act like this.
I must say I did not know that he would snatch me into custody and lock me up.  That did take me by surprise.  After that things got very serious, and I had almost been killed by the time I got out of the psych ward. But I kept them from giving me electric shock! By willing myself to die.  Yes, you heard me.  They were that hard to impress.  Everybody in there was getting it.  They weren't going to let me get away. It was a battle of wills right down to the end. When they saw I really was going to die if they didn't let me go,  they gave in.
I was not going to let anyone convince me that I was insane because I resisted the dont ask dont tell policy regarding homosexuality at the University. Do you know I never even got that issue discussed the whole time I was in there.  I told them I got molested, but I didn't get to the part about thinking my dad was gay.  I just figured I was lucky to get out alive. I didn't want to press my luck.
So do I think they should have repealed the dont ask dont tell policy regarding gays in the service?  Hell yes!  Why do heterosexuals favor lies?  Why does John McCain for that matter prefer people keep quiet which is a lie of omission. What does he not understand about the lie of omission?
Harvey Milk was assassinated in San Francisco when he was elected their first gay mayor because he told gays to tell everybody they were gay, just get it out, tell your father, your mother, tell people who don't want to hear it because you will never be able to progress without telling the truth about yourself! Amen to that.
But progress sometimes comes at a very high price.  Ask Harvey Milk!

Grand daughter Laura must have surgery again in an emergency!

My grand daughter Laura Lynne has been having a very rough time for the past few months.  She had an emergency hysterectomy because of problems with endrometriosis, and now a few months later she reports she must have surgery again!  I can't help but be very worried as endrometriosis can penetrate though the uterus and may be hard for surgeons to deal with.  Laura had a hard time conceiving because of it (some women never have children) and so has had her two children quite close together in her early thirties, probably thinking she would not be able to conceive eventually.  Her children were only 3 and 1 when she did have to have the surgery due I understand to the severe pain she had been experiencing.  What is more her husband works out of town in an economy where other jobs would be hard to find right now. They had been buying a house for quite a long time. 
Before she had time to recover completely from the hysterectomy she felt she had to go back to work to help out with the bills, accrued I am sure from medical costs, too.  Her baby girl, 1, was still not sleeping through the night and Laura started not getting her proper rest even as she was trying to work more hours.
From what I can put together she did not think her husband really understood what she was going through and was not giving her enough support during his time home, going hunting for example, so they separated.  He has been working out of town for quite a number of years, so she may have felt she simply could not carry the load at home anymore.
Having had chronic fatigue since childhood, I began to worry that Laura was way over taxing her body.  If she could not get enough rest, could she possibly make it through the critical months ahead?
Now she is undergoing surgery again today!  Her mother also had an unexpected medical emergency this year and spent nearly a week in the hospital, so although she has always been a reliable emergency baby sitter for Laura, she is may not be feeling as strong and able either.
My son Gary and her mother Candy divorced when Laura and her sister Kelly were about 9 and 7.  I used to see them quite often when they all lived in Phoenix.  Gary was making enough money in construction that Candy did not need to work until the girls went to school,  but now the girls were getting older she was thinking of back to work options that would pay more than she had been getting.
When she said she wanted to move to Flagstaff to be near her older sister, I did not want her to go, as Flagstaff is 125 miles away, so I knew that I not only would not be able to see the girls often, but more importantly neither would their father, Gary.  At the time this sounded like a temporary move, at least, until she could see if she could make a better living in Flagstaff. 
I still  had my car and would go through Flagstaff on my way to Utah.  I stopped several times and saw the girls, but this was only about once a year.  Eventually Candy went into real estate and began to do quite well in Flagstaff which of course motivated her to continue to live there.  In the meantime her older sister had moved to live where her oldest daughter had gone after she married, leaving Candy with no family there.  Her mother and father eventually both died in Phoenix.  
Gary moved to Utah for a few years when Candy first went to Flagstaff but eventually moved back to Phoenix because he could not get a job with more responsibility than being an operator.  He had been working in Phoenix as a foreman and field supervisor, and found such jobs as soon as he returned, making more money.   
Candy continued to do well in Flagstaff but my grand daughters had become virtual strangers to me.  I don't believe I have seen either one of them more than five or six times since they left.  When they came to Phoenix they visited their dad, but my relationship with them had suffered from the separation until it was almost non existent.
Gary did not see them all that often either, which is what unfortunately happens all too often when there is a divorce.  The children suffer from a loss that at the time seems necessary.  I always remembered their birthdays and Christmas with a card and small money birthday gifts, and that was about all it seemed like I could do.
Candy may have thought that Gary was not a good divorced father, either, because of his drinking, I believe the main reason she divorced him. She did not drink and was a very responsible mother.  However, there was drinking in her family so she had been around it, too much she may have figured.  Gary confined his drinking to a few beers after work and weekends, which can still be very detrimental to a marriage. I divorced Gary's father, Dean, because he would not quit drinking, and he was so violent under the influence I felt I had no choice.
My father was an alcoholic who was also an extremely hard worker and attempted to make up for his lost weekend days during the week.  He eventually shut his drinking down and began to make very good money during his later years.  Still, his marriage to my mother was not a happy one for her, but she did not divorce him for 35 years!  In those days, women tended to stay with men no matter what they did, because it was so hard for women to make enough of a living to take care of children, especially five of them as we had in our family!
Still, some women must get a divorce as I felt I had to. My ex Dean did quit drinking when his second wife gave him an ultimatum.  He was not ready to see another marriage end, thank goodness for that.
My dad also shut his drinking pretty much down at the age of 40, so my mother could tolerate him at least for his dedication to making more money, if for nothing else.  Love was gone.
No matter how women may feel about them, men still continue to be valuable to their families, their children, often because of their superior money making abilities.  The job markets favor them.
Candy has always been a dedicated mother, so I could not fault her for any of her behavior in taking care of the children.  But I would advise any woman not to leave the area where a divorced husband lives, unless of course, he has proved to be a danger to her and therefore to the children.  In that case, flight may be better.
Women can look back and second guess decisions they have made.  I remember another very tragic case where there was a divorce between a woman I knew and her husband.  He was a very dedicated father and became very angry because she moved out of state with their three boys.  So he waited until they visited him in the summer, and he took them and went underground.  She never saw the boys again while they were small.  I lost track of her, so did not know if she even saw them again when they were grown.  His family conspired with him to keep there whereabouts secret.  The police could not find them.  They were just gone.
This is an extreme case, but that poor mother was frantic.  I thought this was a violent act on the part of the father, but I would always advise a woman not to leave the area where her divorced husband is working, unless there is a safety issue.  I do not think any woman should try to sever the tie that exists between the children and the father unless there is a very good reason to do so.
I know my son did not pose a physical threat to Candy or the children, but sometimes I would call and talk to Laura when she and Kelly were staying with him during the summer custody visits.  I would ask her how he was doing with his drinking, and she would report.  We both knew this was a problem and still continues to be to this day for Gary.
But as I have said many times before alcoholism is such a pervasive problem that it behooves all of us to work a lot harder on what can be done for all who suffer from it.
I am looking forward to going out and visiting my son Gary on Christmas Day.  My son Raymond is staying with him and will be cooking dinner.  Gary is still an extremely dedicated construction worker, and right now is working 12 hours a day either as a project manager or a bidder for a construction company, both difficult jobs.  My son Raymond has long been associated with AA and this December went one year without alcohol.  Gary rejects the idea of AA and continues to drink on weekends and some beers at night.  He is a stubborn cuss, but he said his daughter Laura divorced her husband who does not even drink!
He couldn't understand that!
Well, neither of us knows the full extent of their troubles.
I just pray for my grand daughter Laura today, hoping that she can get calmed down, and recover from this second surgery.  I am praying for the little kids who must be bewildered and confused by all the troubles their parents are experiencing.
It is a tough time of the year for some, even though it is Christmas! 

 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sparkling!

Doc and I made our last video for Christmas doing our 'sparkling best'. I told Doc all he had to do was sparkle.  At first he had a hard time, and then he really got into sparkle.  All you have to do is give Doc an idea and he will run with it!  He even wore this black cap. You can't get any better cooperation than that.

The amaryllis in the header photo is another of Doc's Christmas gifts to me.  He even bought two more home which are in the bud. He said they were on sale!  You got to love a man who gives flowers for every occasion.

My desperation to sing really shows here. I am hoping for divine intervention.  I will  just wake up one day and sing perfect.  It will be called the Christmas miracle. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

I am not an atheist because

I was once having quite heated exchanges with a proclaimed atheist and skeptic in the blogging world, and he was very skeptical about my dreams about the future coming true, so he asked me if I would do a blog describing my dreams and exactly what happened to make me think they had come true.  He had quite a hard time persuading me to do it, but since dreams about the future do not happen very often, I also went back and starting recounting notable dreams I had had in the past.  I was very pleased with my progress in writing this history of my prophetic dreams. I thought that I was getting down some very impressive dreams and events that followed.
He had not said anything for a while on this blog I was doing just for him.  Nobody else but my sister Ann had access to it. So I asked him what he thought of it. He wrote back and said, "Oh, I stopped reading your dream blog quite a long time ago.  That was not what I had in mind!"  It seemed that he wanted a lot better proof than I was giving him.
I thought nobody could convince this guy. He is expecting more from dreams than any dreams will ever give him.  I deleted the blog as some of the dreams I recounted there were about some very disturbing events. I did not want this blog floating around in cyber space.  
This also reminded me of reading in Brocca's Brain written by Carl Sagan, the great astronomer, a scornful put down of people who imagined they dreamed about a future event.  He said he had had a dream about his brother-in-law doing such and so, and of course nothing about it came true.  I thought to myself, you have studied space, but you have obviously not studied the make up of many dreams, so this is an area you don't know a lot about!
I have found that people have to open their minds to a subject before they are able to judge. 
Skeptics have not bothered me so much since, because I don't think some of their brains are wired to pick up the significance of dreams.  I think what you don't want to believe you may not be able to see.
I am fascinated with the histories of dreamers.  I thank God for Carl Jung who had some fascinating experiences with dreams.  He did a great deal to dispel some of the worst doubts of scientists that anything at all was going on in dreams.
I think of God as a consciousness that you almost instinctively call on when the crisis is very big. When I thought I was dying, I have prayed all night, over and over, please, God, please God, keep me alive.  I hung on to the idea of a great power until toward morning when I started to feel a little stronger.  Other times it would be Jesus I would turn to especially when I was a child.  As an adult I would ask for help from other spirits.
I was driving in a car some years ago when a spirit entered the car.  I knew who it was.  I knew he had come for a reason.  He was my cousin who had been killed in a car wreck along that road years before.  I was a little alarmed and said, "Varl, why are you here?  Is something wrong?"  I went around a turn and saw a station wagon had wrecked and was stopped half way across the road. Now I knew why he was there.  I slowed way down the rest of the way up that stretch of road where he died.  Once I saw deer in the headlights.  Deer often crossed that road and caused wrecks. I thought, "Thank you, Varl, for being my guardian angel tonight."  Varl came to visit the other night, after many years because a nephew of his had killed himself.  We talked quite a long time. He told me his brother, the father, was absolutely devastated.  He was up in his 80's and did not expect to bury a son who died by his own hand.    
I have had other spirits act as my guardian angels on hazardous trips.  I once had a spirit warn me in a dream that my car was going to stop on the Glen Canyon Bridge as I was on my way to Phoenix, Arizona.  On the bridge I saw this spirit dive off  in my dream in kind of a swan dive. I could not figure that out, but you know I was not surprised when my car started to go put put about a mile from the bridge.  I was terrified it would stop on the bridge as cars were fined for stopping for any reason on that bridge!  I made it across and just as I pulled into a service station, my car quit.
The problem was the fan belt, which was quickly replaced.  I figured out that Jimmy tried diving off the bridge 'fanning the air' to act out what was going to go wrong.  Dreams remind me of that game, charades, where the player tries to act out a message you don't always get. Jimmy was quite a jokester.  I felt that he was giving me this message as kind of an experiment in transference from a spirit's mind to my mind. 
Other times when Jimmy was with me, the trouble was much more serious.  I thought he saved my life once somehow when I lost control of my car on black ice.  I was 8 months pregnant.  I threw my little girl, 5, in the backseat.  I just did not see how we were going to escape serious injury or even death.  You would never believe what happened.  I hit one of those poles at the side of the road and it bent in my fender on my tire and slowly slowly forced my car to a stop without even bumping my pregnant belly.
Scientists would say Jimmy had nothing to do with it, but he was there, he was my guardian angel every time I went on a trip, because I was having such a terrible time during those years.
I also had a dream before Jimmy died, that somebody of the three of us, Jimmy, Marlon Brando, and me, was under the ice. One of us was going to die. The whole world mourned when Jimmy was killed in his silver sports car when he was only 22, James Dean, my spirit guide for quite a long time. He and I were the same age. The silver ice and the silver sports car, the same color. The coldness of death.
He also came and entered my car when I was driving down the road in Los Vegas in the month of August one year.  He told me while I was driving that "Somebody was going to die, a theatrical personality in his 40's in governmental circles."  I knew it was very serious if he was coming to tell me in person, not in a dream. 
I thought of everyone it could be except who it was, President Kennedy, who was assassinated in November.
These are only a fraction of prophetic dreams I have had in a life time.
How can they be explained?  It is no wonder that I believe that the body is inhabited with a spirit that leaves the body upon death, but can still be interactive some way with the living.  I had nearly died a number of times. I thought that made me more receptive to spirits.  For years I felt like I had one foot in the other world.  I was just trying to hang on, have a life, raise my kids. But when I came close to death I felt the spirit leaving on several occasions, leaving a body that felt like an old piece of driftwood, no longer relevant.  I was still alive in some form.  I was moving upward, sometimes like diffused lights no longer contained in the body but freed to expand, strange, strange.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Americans don't like to work very hard on Sunday

I have always been of the opinion that hard work keeps people interested and happy in life and that idleness becomes a bore and a curse. I always accepted the challenge of working hard in the primitive world I found myself in as a child.  We children never slept late in our lives.  We would get up ready to go out and do the morning chores after we ate an early breakfast of course.  Our dad would already have been up at dawn and gone to tend the water in the summer. The only time he did not get up at dawn was when he was still drinking, and that was a bad sign.
 I was used to my Grandfather King rising at dawn to saddle his faithful old mare after which he would be tending water or some other morning chore, until he was 87 years old and was felled in the fields where he was grubbing brush because he used gasoline for a quick fire.  It was hard sometimes to get a fire going, and he was impatient.
My Grandmother King would have gotten up with him to get an early morning start on her chores, feeding the chickens, and perhaps carrying water to fill a big tub on a wood stove in her wash house, so it could be brought to a boil, as she always boiled her whites.  I did draw the line at boiling our whites when my sister Margie and I took over our family washing at 9 and 10.
Or perhaps she needed to start an 8 loaf batch of bread for her household of field workers which always increased during the haying or the round-ups.

Oh, I remember my Grandpa King insisting on going along with the rest of the town's ranchers, driving their herd of cattle collectively over the mountain to Wayne Country where they would meet with the cattle buyers.  I would be worried about Grandpa camping out on the mountain, as when a frost hit, there was nothing that would keep out the cold in the tents they used for shelter at night.  They would try to persuade Grandpa he was getting too old to go on that fall cattle drive when the weather turned nippy, but he wouldn't stop.  I was afraid he would catch pneumonia and die because he was such a stubborn old cuss.
When the spring round up from the winter ranges came, Grandpa would be rounding us girls up to go help the tired cow punchers after they had been out for days gathering cattle.  He would know from the pack horses and extra cow ponies coming home, the herd would be there before nightfall. As soon as we got to the main herd, Grandpa would tell the men to go on ahead to the ranch for a good meal and a bath, and we would take the cattle on home.
I remember Grandpa had a horse that did not like to herd cattle, and was constantly nipping at the little calves' backs to make them go faster, but Grandpa always roped off him, so Old Shake Hands must have been a good horse in other ways.  Grandpa acquired him from a circus where he had been taught to do tricks like shaking hands and prancing with the band.  He was a pure honey gold palomino without the white mane and tail most of the palomino horses had around there.

Even though my mother did more work than two women, I grew up with the idea she was kind of lazy just because the King women were such phenomenal work fiends. Mother liked to take a break by reading a book which was frowned on by the old pioneer stock.  When sitting down, Grandma and her sister, Aunt Net,  liked to cut rug rags for the weaver to make rugs, or knit afghans or crochet lace on pillow slips.  At worst they would embroider dish towels, but reading was looked upon with some suspicion even after my aunts went off to college and majored in English and journalism and the like.
Daddy, having been trained by such a mother, just could not be prevented from finding work for us to do.  I haven't named half of the tasks here. He told my younger sisters he would buy all the material if they would just sew their own clothes, and you never saw such a rash of satin and lace finery as they sewed. I was too afraid of being distracted from my writing so refused to learn to sew, which was blasphemy to the Kings.
So now that I am old, my working genes get me up early and looking for something to do. I have long since sworn off bottling and acting like I still lived in the woods without electricity or running water.  When I decided to become a writer I started doing other kinds of work and God help anybody who tried to stop me. I was always practicing my writing. When I needed people to talk to about my writing I resorted to talking to the spirits if I could not find anybody else. People in that primitive country were still not convinced writing was really work.  I did not make the mistake of talking out loud to the spirits as my Uncle Reed had done which only got him locked up, I wrote my dialogues down.  I always wrote spirit dialogues and threw hundreds of pages away over the years.  I wrote such a dialogue this morning to my sister LaRae who passed away over 20 years ago.  She had the working gene, so I know she understands what drives me.
You could not stop her from working when she was alive.  She always had a job and in her spare time she painted pictures or sculptured.   I was writing to her this morning about practicing reading the play I wrote about her when she was dying of cancer.  She was excited.  She said that she would be sure to come to that play workshop reading!
She agreed with me this morning when I observed that people thought Sunday really was a day of  complete rest.  For hard working country folks, Sunday was for going at religion, solving the problems of the world in big discussions in church.  If I could get a big discussion going in church, I would be inspired to go, but if I couldn't I would seek out my sisters or others I knew wanted to solve the problems of the world.  Sometimes people would quarrel too much in church to get anything solved I thought. I would sometimes be blamed for being an agitator when my folks did not even pay a full tithe! My dad did not go so he would not pay tithing.
Just as the people here quarreled out in the patio when I worked hard trying to get those round table discussions going.  I ran into so many temper tantrums that I finally had to give the discussions up, but now my son Raymond has come back to Phoenix and he certainly has the King working gene.
I used to go to his play writing workshops all the time when he was doing them.  After he started teaching, he was so busy inspiring kids, doing big productions, and trying to keep an adult program going on the side he had to discontinue the workshops except on rare occasions when we came together to do a play project.
Raymond has also been pursuing the company of musicians so he can improve his guitar playing, singing, and song writing. He is a mighty hard working guy when it comes to the arts.
My kids mostly let too much stop them from working with me.  They get mad and go for days without calling. Of course they are all working at jobs, and my daughter has a husband and a young child.  She is a hard worker in sporadic bursts.  I have not been able to convince most of them that you can get together to work on ideas, which means you have to give time.  They think they can take care of a relationship with phone calls of short duration, but that just does not do it.  I don't waste time criticizing them.  That would not be productive. I know they work hard on their jobs, so that is the most important.
I know very well that when I am gone the big regret most of them will have was that they did not spend time working with me on what I thought was important as I used to spend time with my dad and mother and my grandparents just to get the benefit of their work habits if nothing else.  My dad would discuss a topic all day and into the night, if we introduced one, he was such a worker.  He might shout in the heat of an argument but I appreciated the fact that you could always get my dad into a discussion.
What do you do when your kids don't even want to get into a discussion with you?  My kids are intelligent, all of them.  They are mostly all good readers. But they just don't get how you can work a discussion.  How you apply the rules of intense thinking to tackle the problems of the world.
My kids don't take advantage of the discussions we sisters have on the family site.  Well, first of all, they say they don't have the time, and maybe their time is limited, but I think we have had a lot of good ones on there our kids have missed. Some of the nieces participate who work, too.  They just put more priority on the family web site. My kids get upset when someone disagrees with them and can't throw off their mads.  You develop a tougher hide if you don't shun discussions.  You learn how to roll with the punches.
I love getting into discussions with people I know disagree with me with all their heart and soul, but if they are intelligent and know how to work a discussion, they are going to appreciate a spirited debate about issues.
That's what good politics is all about, people learning to debate the issues without coming to blows.  People used to fight duels over disagreements.  Now in congress they filibuster. But in congress people know they are going to have to contend with people who could not disagree with them more. 
People tend to think people in congress don't do anything but argue, but they are busy all the time, making deals, making their case, figuring out their strategy, working the floor, because eventually the bill comes to a vote and somebody wins or loses.The best debater just might win!
Only problem is the American people, the constituents, don't work hard enough to find out what they are doing, don't read the news reports, don't try to keep themselves informed, so they can make their views known in an effective manner to their representatives.
I was looking all over for a discussion this morning and finally found a way to try to start one on the family site.  Somebody gave me an opening! 
We probably get a whole lot more rest than we need.  Up and at 'em, as my dad always used to say.

Herrad

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