About Me

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I am mundane and magical, Silly and serious. I am an underachiever who suspects that someday in the eternities I may yet blossom and even fruit. I am a collector of spirits and essences, a studier of mood and nuance.I have many many faults and yet I've always been loved. I am a good friend, but I will let you go if you so desire. I believe in Somewhen. I laugh easily and cannot often cry, which I know is a Flaw. Like You, I am a work in progess.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


My thoughts today have been like a river; some quiet eddies, some tumultuous racing swifts, but there has been a theme to the thoughts and that is, "What do I value?".

I know I value certain key relationships in my life. I truly hope those people know who they are. This includes the animals in my life, who are very important to me.

 I value the fact that I am approachable to people and people are willing to confide in me. If I have a "purpose" in life I think it may just be to be a friend.

I value that my mind is fairly open and my heart is fairly soft.

I value my computer and the connections it allows me to make to the world.

I value beauty and learning.

I value freedom to be myself.

I value free time.

I was thinking about how I can modify my life to live closer to my values. Not many concrete plans came to mind for this, but I think it's important just to consider the idea and to be aware of how I feel about the activities I engage in.

Bruce came to talk to me this afternoon. For the past 16 months he has been very keenly desirous of a truer path. He wants to know and live by what is lasting and meaningful in life. He is doing things that are really working well for him. Today, he said he feels a need to be more silent and still, and that he wanted me to know what is going on. I support his needs in this.

He said he still needs to act in the world and do what it takes to make a living. I felt a twinge of guilt there because right now I know I am a millstone. Yesterday he said he is willing to try to support us, and that really meant a lot to me. But that would be difficult and maybe not even possible. I do feel very broken and burnt out at the moment. I am sick nearly every day, sometimes for big portions of the day. And I am very tired. But today's trip just to the grocery store tells me I better find a way to make a financial contribution to our home, like it or not.

So, what am I good at that will be of value to others enough that I can do this?

That's likely going to be the subject of my thoughts for awhile.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Apple Tree

I live in a house that my grandmother had built for her retirement. It's on "The Heights" of Santa Clara, and when she moved here there were spectacular vistas. There are still good views, but the neighborhood is now very suburban. My grandmother was interested in, and adept at, many things. One of her primary interests was gardening. She was a master gardener. I actually helped plant her orchard of trees. When I moved here after her death, some had been uprooted for the construction of her Sunroom / Spa room and some had fallen. A HUGE pine fell and broke the peach tree. That peach tree was one of the pleasures of my life. It had THE best peaches I've ever eaten. I used to go out when they were sunwarm and ripe and gather a bunch into my t-shirt while I bit into another as I walked. The sweet peach juice would run down my chin and the taste would explode in my mouth. Best peaches ever! There is a shoot from the stump of the peach tree that I have been cultivating for several years. It bears little peaches but I haven't tried them yet. I'm hoping this will become a full fledged tree. There was also an apple tree, and that tree was my especial friend. When I moved here I was a bit in shock from personal losses and a big (subsequently deemed "bad") decision to quit my job with AT&T for whom I had worked for 22 years. I used to go into the back yard in a robe, lay out a nice thick sleeping bag and a pillow, take off the robe (I had no neighbors in back at the time, the ones on the sides did not seem to come out much and the robe was right there if I heard a sound. ) and just lie under the shifting shade and multitudinous colors of green from the leaves of the apple tree. The earth here is very fine soft red dirt, and it felt good between my toes. The slightest breeze was wonderfully refreshing on my skin. I would stay out there for long stretches enjoying the birds and the pretty light, watching ants go about their business and thinking. It regrounded me. I came to call that tree Dr Apple Tree, and it was far kinder and more deeply healing than any human physician has ever been. It was a beautiful tree when it blossomed! And the smell of the ripe apples could wake me up with a watering mouth. The apples were good too and I had wonderful memories of my grandma's homemade applesauce. Unforunately, my friend the apple tree became sick and we could not save her. So Bruce cut her down when she died and we used her wood for lovely warming fires. I miss that tree!

Trees are important in my life. I feel there have been some that were really good friends of mine. The first major one was special to my brother and me. We named it Toenail because a root looked just like a big toe, complete with nail. Toenail  was a huge pine who lived in the mountains in Crestline Ca on the property of the cabin my family rented for years. Even after the cabin was sold and we no longer went there as a family, my brother and I would occasionally go to see Toenail. The last time I went, on the way home from my brother's dying, I looked and Toenail was gone. I did not think I could be sadder at that time, but I found that I was wrong. Another tree I loved was a big stately pepper tree that grew across the street from my house in Norco. That was a beautiful tree and I liked to sit out front on the porch swing catching the famous 3 o'clock breeze and commune with that tree. The plum tree and the lemon tree at my house were very generous and good, but I didn't love them the way I did that pepper tree.

Sitting near a tree or near a waterfall (like the one in the picture David took at the top of this journal) have always made me feel more alive and calmer at the same time. If there is a waterfall, the mist from it is so refreshing and the tumble of the water is like a song to me. My favorite waterfall, I think, is the Upper Provo Falls. I have many good memories from that place.

My love extends to even fictional trees and I am thinking now of a romance written by a local luthier. It is called The Two Trees and the luthier's name is Kevin Lee Luthier. I've heard him speak a couple of  times and what a fascinating life he has led! He makes the most expensive violins, violas and cellos of any living maker and he mines the ores, makes the paper for the labels even raises the purebred Arabians who provide the hair for the bowstrings! He is a very interesting speaker and does a great impression of Paganinni. The Two Trees in the story are visited by young friends who grow to love one another sitting each under a respective tree, sole to sole as it were. Trees are good for quickening the better impulses.And for the laying down of roots.

So, when I have thoughts I'd like to share with you, I invoke the spirit of Dr Apple Tree who lives on in my heart and I hope that what I write comes from the deep natural heart of me. And speaks to the deep natural heart of you.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

How I Blew Up A Gas Station

This happened in, I think, 1998, so it's an old story, but I was recently asked to retell it and so I thought I would include it in my journal for all you folks who think YOU have done the stupidest thing you've ever heard of.

When my grandmother died relatives from all over came to her house. I saw relatives I hadn't seen in YEARS, some maybe ever. It was very nice to see them all, but that after death division of property depresses me and so, after a few days, I... decided it was time for me to go home.

At the time my car was a a Suzuki Samurai Sheri and Owen Hogle gave me. It had a soft top and I had to duct tape it back on every couple hundred miles. It was quite the little ceremony. Anyway, I got in Suzuki Q and headed for the Chevron station right at the bottom of the hill to get some gas and duct tape. I was looking forward to getting back to Salt Lake and thinking about all the relatives and memories... I put the gas hose in the car and ran into the store to get the duct tape while the gas pumped. Trying to be considerate, since it was a small station, I hopped in the car and moved it up so if someone came they could use the pump.

Well, I felt a tug on the car and heard a noise, hopped back out and to my horror the gas hose was still attached to my CAR but not to the pump and gas was spilling all over the place. I ran to the pump to try to turn it off but it didn't stop the flow, so I pulled my car up further and then ran into the store to tell them to turn it off. I will never forget the guy at the counter. He was a large Polynesian looking man in a very florid hawaiian shirt. And as I was telling him I heard this terribler FPOOMP! and all the sudden the pumps were engulfed in flame! The Polynesian guy was telling everyone to exit the building and no one was moving because the fire was out there and I, at least, was thinking of the underground tanks.

I was completely numb. Could not believe this was happening, or that I had caused it. I thought we were all going to die. Then I heard sirens as every emergency vehicle in the whole county began arriving. And the local high school is within walking distance and so we were graced with the presence of every single ambulatory teenager in the area.

Then I heard that someone had been hurt. I don't remember anyone being at the other pump when I went in but apparently a lady in a van was. And she was hurt! They brought her in and I was horrified at myself to think of old Laurel and Hardy films where Stan tried baking and found himself covered with white flour, all his hair sticking up and blinking in that way he had.

I later found out that she had been burnt on the hand and was at the hospital for like half an hour but I sure didn't know that then and I was feeling terrible...and grateful and shocked and many more things. As they took the lady away by ambulance I filtered out the door along with everyone else because they had the fire out. The overhead to the pumps was completely melted. it was a disaster. I was humbly grateful to be alive. People were milling about and murmuring and every once in awhile someone would point at me (I remember I was wearing a pink t-shirt) Eventually an older police officer came over to me and asked me what had happened and I told him, as best I could. I remember he said, "Well, you're not under arrest.......... yet" That rather echoed in my mind and more than anything else I wanted my mommy. Well, she was right up the road! What a blessing! So, I call the house and of course someone else answers and I must have blurted out that I had just blown up a gas station and needed to talk with my mom. They brought her to the phone and in less than 5 minutes there she was! Along with various other relatives in attendence that I TRULY wished didn't know were related to such an imbecile.

I called my insurance agent and told them what had happened. And then I just waited. For a long time. Eventually the crowd filtered away and the cop never came back to me, so I assumed I was free to go. I taped up Suzuki Q, said goodbye to my mom and very tenuously started driving the long miles home. It's not a short trip so I had plenty of time to think about everything that had transpired.

I got to my door, which I was VERY glad to see and Miles and Ilona (his little daughter) were sitting there on my good ol familiar burnt orange couch watching tv. I must have looked awful. I started telling Miles the story, and all these looks were passing over his face (and if you remember Miles his expressions were not all that easily readable) At about the time I was describing Stan Laurel he burst out laughing, and so did I (but I was disgusted with myself for it until the laughter just washed it all away).

My insurance company paid the lady $30,000. I have no idea what the gas station paid her (there was supposed to be an emergency shut off valve and apparently it didn't work) Later I got a letter from a lawyer stating that she wanted to sue me for $500,000. I thought, "Wow, good luck with that." I took the letter to my insurance company and I don't know what happened about it further, but it never affected me again. I still think about the lady though.

As I told this story to my friends, I always advised them to always check the hose. I check it multiple times nowadays. Once was awful. Twice would be just too terrible for words. Many tell me they look and think of what happened to me. My friend Debbie switched to Farmer's when she learned they did not raise my insurance rate after the accident.

The next time Miles and I went to St George, Miles rolled down the window as we passed that station and called out "She's baaaackkkk"

Formatting This Blog Should Be Easier!!!!!

I'm frustrated trying to create a look for this new blog. For instance, NO ONE'S face, and certainly not mine, needs to be as big as the picture is on my heading! And, not only can I not figure out how to shrink it, I also cannot figure how how to remove it... so, until inspiration hits or a wiser, html adept person takes pity on me, I seem to be stuck with this format. I don't like it!!! Not at all!!! I think the body of the posts should be more up and center and I truly prefer my blog list, profile information and other "goodies" to be on the side.

Mutter mutter, cuss cuss!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Moving In...

I have very much missed having a public journal. I thought about editing my previous journal to remove information that identified people who preferred not to be identified, and while I would have liked to preserve the history of some of those posts I decided to just start afresh with this journal.

I've quit my job, which had become extremely stressful and of such a negative tenor that I am still suffering health problems and attitudinal problems that necessitated the change. But quitting the job lost, or modified, many relationships that I deeply valued as well as ridding myself of circumstances that I deemed too toxic to allow to continue.

And now there is the scary question of "What's next?"

I just wanted to put a little background on here today and get this journal going. I obviously need to spend some time modifying the look of it! But probably not today.

Anyway, if you happen upon this journal in your internet wanderings and we spent some time together, I am looking forward to the exchange.