Wednesday, October 31, 2012

All Hallow's Eve

And I mean to enjoy every minute of it. There is nothing like dressing up as your favorite dark shadow to start the holiday season...The candy has been bought, the Harry Potter movie is in the DVD player, and I am not taking my anti-Evil pill today.

I am still have horrible nightmares, but for today at least, it's quite apropos. And I have woken up at this dawn of the dead time of morning. Yes, I am all set for Halloween.

Also appropriate for the season, I see the dentist today, but I also have a therapy appointment this afternoon to even it out. For once I have been keeping track with my mood calendar, which will thrill my therapist to no end. Pain really will drive us to do things we couldn't ordinarily do.

I have been having dreams and reactions to stress as if to say: "I am less than. I am worth less than any other person you can point to." Which is certainly not true. I KNOW the opposite is true, but can't feel it at the moment. That, ladies and gents, is borderline personality disorder.

If you meet me, I certainly put on a good face. I talked to a friend last night, very intelligent, who knows all of my story for the most part, who doesn't seem to understand why I would have any trouble looking for a job right now. Although she knows of my trauma, and the fact of my being attacked on the job, I SEEM ok, can be a truly lonely feeling having invisible disabilities. Just trying to acclimate myself to the idea of a job has triggered some terrible trauma feelings this past week, and trying to actually find a job is going to be an uphill battle. Then there will be relapses.

Sufficient unto the day is the Evil therein. And I suggest, just between you and I, that you skip your anti-Evil pill this morning as well. Don't let the world get you down.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Although hurricane Sandy has hit is turning out to be somewhat of a terrible draft at the windows, instead of the frankenstorm, for us, at least.

My current, mistaken obsession, about a relationship with a friend, is coming to a close. It has been a trial of compulsive, delusional thinking that has me pinned to the ground, with my breath puffing up dust and the sweat from my brow plinking into the dirt beneath me...

This obsession, a manifestation of my disorders, wants nothing more than for me to withdraw into my own little universe, which is centered somewhere around my navel, and give up contact with the outside world forever. That includes writing this blog. That's why I have written such short, erratic blogs lately. It is all I can do to force myself to the keyboard every morning. And sometimes I can't accomplish that...

But this morning, there is a small light at the end of the tunnel; and I can feel a slight draft against my cheek, more than seeing any light. And there is nothing like the warmth driven by the sound of a purr to heat my blood on this cold morning.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday, Again?

Well, Hurricane Sandy has moved in, and it means some cold rain right now. We are supposed to get some wind in this small corner of the world, but for now, it just looks like the unicorn meat eating cats will be using the litter boxes today.

My mind has been obsessed this past weekend, making it impossible to write. Once some event or conversation triggers me, I cannot concentrate on anything else. So, among some pleasant events happening in the world; in my mind, I have been pretty miserable the past couple o days.

But time and rumination and rest have done their best and I am feeling pretty chipper this morning. I have to skim the leaves off of the pool this morning, so I had better feel good. I do like pitting myself against the elements, and coming in to warmth and three cozy animals...

I like the feeling of the wind; it brings out some ancestral memory. There is not a day that goes by in Scotland where the wind doesn't blow...and surely the Old Ones felt the same in winter. Listening to the storms coming down from Viking territory, and waiting for their eventual arrival. It's a feeling of the ancient Earth moving and speaking to us, as it speaks to us through the trees that groan in the wind, and the birds that fly South fast.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Extra Sides

Someone has unfriended me on Facebook, and it's a blow. A blow, I tell you, a blow.

Now for something really important...after really horrible nightmares about my brother, and an attack of paranoia this morning, the day is shaping up a bit better. I am doing nothing but dog related things today: bath, then a walk, and some tidying up, so it looks to be relaxing.

There is a cold front headed our way and it's pushing rather a large warm front through first. And I would really like to talk about instead, the problems with my relationship with my brother. But my blog is not anonymous anymore. I may have to set up shop somewhere else as well, just to get these nasty tidbits off of my chest. The Saucy Brit, who has several things on her chest as well, suggested the title of: " Cold Hard Karma with Extra Sides of Revenge and Screaming Truth." Rather poetic, don't you think?

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Therapy was good yesterday, but hard to sit through. Discussing my distorted thinking patterns brings up innumerable fears, and a kind of hopelessness. But this is how health is hour at a time. The steady, plodding nature of the whole process is usually too much for us. We give up, long before we reap any reward from it. Instead, we look for a chemical breakthrough, legal or illegal.

But the mist must have risen this morning, as it lays now on the grass, and the leaves, which are cold and wet to my feet. Today will be one of the last beautiful days for a while, and I intend to savor it, and the lemony color of the light that we get in autumn.

So I am off to savor, and breathe the fine air, and I hope to meet you there on the edge of the mist.

Monday, October 22, 2012


I have definitively not opened the window for the unicorn meat eating cats today. The day is starting out with gray skies, with a touch of mist on my face, as I take Max out.

I am turning in the summer clothes for the winter clothes, exchanging them out, as it were. I harvested the last of the lavender yesterday to pack away with the summer things. And I am unpacking the winter clothes which are packed away with last year's lavender...I feel very Jane Austen as I do this.

That's what I call the winter walks: the Jane Austen season. If you read her stories with an eye on the background, you'll notice her characters go walking year round. Considering the time her novels are set in, what else would they do? Her characters are not women to embroider all winter now, are they? No, her women are big, blossoming, thinking women, who do not scorn to get some snow on their shoes...nor will they shy from sinking up to their ankles in mud.

I am able to walk Max again, after spraining my ankle. He is a 50 (U.S.) lbs. weight on the end of a horse lead rope. And he is a swinging weight at that. Like a fish on a line with a sinker, he struggles from one side of the street to the other, scoping out the houses with the dogs inside, all who leap to the window at his approach and make known their angst at his peeing on their mailbox posts. Theirs, mind you. Theirs.

Most notable are the white, Standard Poodle, who is a fair size to leap that fence, and the Boxer and Dalmatian set who are always outside to greet us. The small yappers that people label dogs, are negligible. Although I must say that Max enjoys the company of small dogs. As a Corgi mix, he apparently has a complex about his height, and is intimidated by the interest of the larger dogs, when they are not fenced.

It's time to get back to Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil which is not shaping up to be anything like the movie yet...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

This Day

As cold as it is this morning, I have left the window open for the cats. Apparently, Minkins had something going on in the litterbox last night and really needs to go out. I hope you aren't eating breakfast, by the way...

I have been suffering under some unpleasant emotions lately, triggered by this or that, it doesn't take much sometime. But dealing with a tempest in a teapot can make you weary, and these are the days I want to enjoy. Right now, I see the whole of my job to make this the most active and most pleasant of winters that I can. So if I seem more isolated or withdrawn in my blogs, I am simply retreating inward, gathering strength. I would like nothing better than to write of my own outdoors all day long, but my disabilities intrude themselves everyday into my life, sometimes in the smallest of ways.

 I don't know where all this is going, but I have been as honest with you as I can, and would like to remain so. My greatest fear now is that my mind has trained my body so well, that it takes very little brain power to trigger physical illness or reaction, and from then on, the body drags the mind along for the fun. It's a vicious circle that my therapy is trying to break. But when my paranoia extends to my therapist, it just makes the whole process that much harder.

Today I just had to talk about that to let it go. Sharing what my mind does to me makes the grief of it that much shorter. And my friends suffer from my paranoia as well...the best of them have felt the horror that comes over me when my body responds to the mind's illness.

Enough, already. I am reacting and worrying, really, over nothing.  I am lucky, I know, to have as many friends of quality as I have. And I am grateful, more than I can tell you, at YOUR participation in all of this. I am so touched to meet any of you who read my blog and let me begin my day with you.

And it does look to be another fine day. I am sitting here quietly with my dog, watching the morning fog dissipate to show the colors of the day ahead. I am so very grateful to live where I do, when I do. And, no matter what happens on any particular day, at this time of year, I never forget to look out of the window...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Under a Spell

I am going to the used book store today, maybe two, and my heart is beating hard for this adventure. Maybe it's because I am a writer, but, as I think back, maybe it's why I am a writer. I have been surrounded by books for as long as I can remember. And to be 'alone' among them, in towers and stacks, brings to mind the touch of awe that was there at the beginning of the relationship.

I know from my mother, that my father read St. Augustine to my brother and I as he paced the floor with us, just out of the cradle. He and my mother had a reverence for books that was a new as the day Gutenberg printed his Bible. Or even older perhaps. It could date from the time that books were copied one by one, in a monk's cell, and illustrated with the art that made it the life's treasure of the artist.

And so today, to enter a library or bookstore has to me the same quality that I would feel at the entrance to Hogwarts, or King Arthur's Court. 

And it's a fine morning for an adventure...there is a mist in the air, and mist on the ground, and the grass is cold and filled with leaves. It's a day you expect to see dragons come out of the forest...

But this morning, there are only Unicorns...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Winter's Temper

Ok therapy session yesterday...he wants me to start keeping a mood diary again. What a pain in the rear end therapists are...

It's warm enough this morning to let Max out early, and leave the unicorn meat eating cats' window open.  I am eagerly watching the trees now to see the colors change, and the bones of the trees and fields come out. This is the time of year when the Queen changes straight from her coronation robes, to her mourning habit.

Tiny yellow flowers are blooming in the grass, as well as the zinnia, which are more salmon colored than ever. The orange and cream colored blossoms stand in compliment to the turquoise in the pool and the fields are slowly changing to their winter mantle of gold. The slate walk outside my door is darkening, and the flowers that grow between them have long since stopped appearing; dark green leaves are left against white gravel the slate is set in. And the gray morning has the tint of orange that warns us of coming storms.

I have never lived in a large city, and do not know if city dwellers experience the change in the seasons as we do. But, particularly for me, who has lived in the country for most of my life, the seasons' change occurs not only in the palette of the fields and stones and trees, but in the scents and colors that drift on the wind. A difference in the very quality of the air itself can be felt on the cheek when I go out in the morning, more misty and tranquil. And it is only in this season that I can stand on the edge of the day and long for wings, the better to take the winter's temper...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I have both coffee and Prozac this morning. What could go wrong? And, AND, a therapy session is good.

I went to see Toni Morrison last night speak at Virginia Tech, a land grant university in Blacksburg, Virginia. A Nobel prize winning author, etc. etc.

OMG! OMG! OMG! I was so pumped! It was someone saying to me, "I've got tickets to meet Shakespeare. Wanna go?" Oh, and Maya Angelou came in by satellite and Nikki Giovanni was there, the trifecta of writers in America today. As well as many other authors and poets, who read portions of Ms. Morrison's work for the main event of the evening. Now, that doesn't top Toni reading her own work for an hour, but when she came out at the end, to address the crowd, she was in a wheelchair, and older than I would've guessed...I didn't know legends got old...

If you can't manage to read any other of her works, you have to read Beloved. She won the Nobel for that one. It was a magical evening.

The dog is already outside, and the unicorn meat eating cats are begging, but if I open their window, they will sit pensively, in the warmth of the room, looking outside until it warms up. Not going to happen.

And me? I am finally settling down after the emotional roller coaster called a High School reunion. Yeah, it was great, wouldn't have missed it for the world. Wanna get on that emotional backlash again, for a week after? Don't think so...

And I am on the third book of the Merlin series by Mary Stewart. With the weather outside, it is easier and easier to believe that I am in 5th century Britain...all that cold and mist, don't you know.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Hollow Hills

Max is patiently waiting for me to come back to bed. And I just might this morning.

The leaves are swirling so patiently down into the pool. I may have to climb in it one more time to clear them from the bottom. And the tomato plants have been tidied for the mowed down. But the zinnia are still blooming away, and the lavender is at it's most beautiful...the needles are olive green, and the blooms themselves are a dark, dark purple.

In the summertime, I can let the apartment "go."  But now, I want everything around me to be tidy and clean. And I pull out the winter colors, the jewel tones, to spread around me...burgundy, deep gray, teal. In keeping with the Halloween theme I am encouraging in myself, I am reading Mary Stewart's fictional account of the Merlin/Aurthur legend...The Crystal Cave series, or as it is known by her readers, the Merlin Series. There is nothing like losing myself in the magic and mist and songs of 5th century Britain.

Ok. Just made a trip outside to let Max out, and cleaned the leaves in the pool filter while I was out there. My hand was frozen in about two minutes...what in the world made me think I could get in that water? Well, but it has to be done somehow...

I'll figure it out. Enjoy your coffee this morning, Merlin is whispering my name from the Hollow Hills...

Monday, October 15, 2012


Yesterday was another lovely fall day and I was able to get out and enjoy it a bit. I hope you did, too. Now is the time to suck up some serotonin before the winter sets in. Although I must say, that my therapist has me in love with winter. Still, the past couple of winters have been very rough.

But the stressors are different this year, so I am hoping for a good one.

Enough about that. Right now it is beautiful enough to leave the cat window open all day, and there is plenty of sunshine to be had for all. I am trying not to let fear overtake me at this juncture...when Ted was my therapist, he talked me into walking everyday, come rain or shine, in the winter. With Eddie, it was almost a necessity. But when Mom was very ill those last two years, I fell out of the habit. And now my beloved Eddie is gone, too.

I do have to say that what my current dog, Max, lacks in discipline, he makes up for in enthusiasm. He's a corgi mix, and a 50 lb. free weight on the end of a lead rope (leash.) And he is young, and ecstatic when I tell him he is going out. The first 50 yards is always at a dead run, hence, he hasn't been walked since I injured my ankle.

But I am going to take the plunge and try to walk him today...which is even more necessary for me than for him. Despite how "clear" I feel, compared to last year; I still have to push myself to take a shower everyday, in a society where one takes a shower everyday. And sometimes I win and sometimes I lose. I am more successful at persuading myself to brush my teeth. It takes so much less effort than bathing.

The past week, it has taken too much of an effort to even get onto my computer. And I want to nip that in the bud while I still can...

So gather ye Rosebuds while ye may...*

*Robert Herrick 

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Just when I think I can write, I run into a blog like "Thinking Too Hard" and I am blown away. Shit! Will I ever get there?

But writing takes endless patience, and I am not endlessly patient. Sometimes it is like putting my hands into fire, to write everyday. Some days, I could come out of my skin, I want to write so much. And other days, like today, I just want to connect...and it took all of five minutes for my ego to readjust so that I can publish this without blushing, or even blinking...

It's time to brave the arctic wind, and open the windows so the unicorn meat eating cats can hunt. I leave the window open most days now, all day, and they hunt into the night. They know the winter is coming, when hunting is poor. Or they lounge by the pool, bottoms warm in the chair cushions, watching the stars spill across the sky as the sun fades.

And Max, the dog, wants to go out, too. I sit at the computer every morning, casually reaching down now and again to scratch him; chanting to him soft and low, the same songs I gave to Eddie, my service dog. Once in a great while, if I am tired, I call him by Eddie's name...

And more and more leaves swirl into the pool.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

More Later

Today is a day of irritations...

Mike, the ailing alcoholic, is second guessing his doctor's orders. According to Mike, Mike has a genius level brain with more experience with his alcoholism than the doctor has. Therefore, the doctor should conform his orders to Mike's wishes. This is the delusional thinking that chases us alkies to death...unless we entertain the possibility that we may be wrong about everything, we will surely die. "Jails, institutions, death."

And that vents a good deal of most of my ire for today. Although there are other small, niggling things wiggling on the edge of my brain that aren't good for me. Like why the State of Virginia is no longer covering my Medicare premiums...I have a phone call in to several politicians and we'll see who gets back to me first...

I wish I had something earth shattering to tell you, to keep you on the edge of your seat. But, it's a blessing to me that I don't. I am just one small person, in a world full of one small people to the tune of what is it now, 7 billion?

And the more I read in today's paper, and the more I hear on the news, I am more and more convinced that we are no different than the one small person in say, Augustus' Roman Empire. And my calls today connect me to the one small person in Rome, who went to the Forum to accost his/her Senator for an answer that affected their one small life...our system of representation is based closely on the system the Romans used. It is no wonder that I feel connected in this way.

But it does make me wonder what that small person's everyday life was like, and I cannot substantially fathom that it was much different than mine, emotionally and spiritually. It does give me a sense of perspective and keeps me much calmer than I would otherwise be.

Perhaps that is why the author Douglas Adams, pointed out that a sense of perspective is the worse thing in the universe to have...after all, at the end of the day, a sense of perspective does not "put beans on the table."

Monday, October 8, 2012

Mine With Lemon

Nostalgia is a powerful emotion and sweet, with a touch of lemon. Lemon enough not to want to stay there forever, and sweet enough to make the trip worthwhile. I have had several months of anticipatory nostalgia, and one weekend of intense nostalgia. I would stay there forever, but to do so requires us to shrivel and grow old with only the past around us.

I consider that I have the best of both worlds...Beth (of Beth and Bubba fame) is part of my past, but she is anything but part of nostalgia. She is vibrant, and current, and makes me stay that way, too; out of tea and sympathy. I hope she does so until my tree falls in the forest.

But we are back to this day, and this morning, tucking the memories away until it is time to pull them out, like old clothes from a chest, and pull a poem from the faded ribbons.

This morning is the coolest yet in this Fall, and I haven't opened the window for the unicorn meat eating cats to go out yet. I have been training Max, the dog, all summer not to go out until 9 AM. It is not paying off. But I hold the hope it will kick in sometime this winter. Before it truly turns cold.

And the moss grows further up the trunk.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Harvest

When we were 18, we shared our dreams. Now that we are almost 50! we shared our lives. And I must say, it is much sweeter on this end of the deal.

I went to my High School Class 30th Reunion last night. I know, I know, hearing about someone else's reunion is about as exciting as listening to the seasons change...but I love to listen to the seasons change.

It was the simple paradox of listening to how much life had changed some, and looking at some who seemed, on the outside, not to have changed at all (doesn't happen.) I got all "Age does not wither" looking at some of the women I went to school with. It was gratifying to stop and talk and listen to the sound of lives going by as leaves eddy in a gentle, fall wind. We were all trees together in a forest, some bending and swaying, and some standing, leaves rustling, speaking of shoots and saplings of years past, and the storms they had witnessed and survived.

Talking of some who had been overtaken by this storm or that, and who could no longer come to the Gathering; young trees cut down in their prime. Some were seared with lightening strikes, and some had put on new bark, but we remained trees, all.

And truly, one day the Fire will come to clear the forest, and a new one will spring up in it's wake, for wood is born to burn and the clearing of the forest must come to us all.

But now, in this Fall, I can look back at Spring, and see how the light through the leaves has not really changed. There were flowers then, but no harvest. And surely the harvest is needful and necessary and right. And the hope of Spring and again, another harvest to sustain us through the Winter, is something decreed that we cannot change.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Today is the day of my High School reunion. Beth and Bubba (of Beth and Bubba fame) are in town and I suck up their attention like zinnia suck up the dew. My poor spaz dog felt neglected last night, as I was out on the town, but the kindly stepfather kindly kept him company...

There is cold frost on the grass every morning now, and the grass grows longer, as it is the end of the season. The water in the pool is tinged with green; leaves drift lazily on the water and it has a memory of the scent of the pond. The lavender was harvested and has regrown enough to be harvested again. The lavender plant itself has short, spiky leaves, like fir tree needles, on it's limbs, and it turns silver in the frost. It is, indeed, an evergreen, and keeps it's needles all winter. It is the best greeting for the winter that I know of.

It's a cool morning and there are just enough clouds to embellish the blue of the sky. We are not in full fall colors yet, but the leaves are thinking about it, and the trees sigh. There is a stillness to this morning that I love. The deck around the pool seems like the beach at the end of the year, when most people go home. The water is left, and the wind, and the chairs sit with the imprint of the cats' bottoms on the cushions. Faded towels hang stiffly over the rails and the inflatable toys and floats are faded with the sun and water and rain. 

This time of day is usually tranquil, and it is reflected by the changing leaves and the still bright colors of the zinnia on the dark gray of the paving stones.

Moss accumulates everywhere...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

From Sleepy Hollow

Today I get to see my old therapist in his new, natural habitat. He was transferred last week to his new facility, and they have given him a week to adjust to the environment change. In the wild, my therapist burns incense, and it will be interesting to see if his new handlers 'go' for this. They will probably give him extra food, to soothe the transition, and the other therapists will be observed while they give him a small reception.

This is the weather and season to read anything by Washington Irving, the brilliant author of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle." There is nothing like reading about New York City, when it was "a village on the tip of the island of Manhattan." And the Dutch legends and larders he goes on about, at harvest time! Nothing is more Halloween except Harry Potter.

Halloween is my favorite holiday, especially now that I live in the city and can give candy away. The Good Neighbor cooks two massive cauldrons of food, one of red chili, and one of white; and we eat and watch the costumes trip up to the gate, while their parents whisper "Trick or treat" from the end of the sidewalk. Last year, I dressed as a wicked witch. I was an actor in a haunted house too, but the wig about killed me with itching, and I thought I would never get the make-up off.

So enjoy the turn of the seasons with me and start thinking about what you want to be for Halloween...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Too Monday

The crystal glasses I use for everyday just won't do. I have some goblets the cats can cram their faces into to drink the iced water, which are perfect. It's raining softly again this morning and the cats are in and out, out and in.

Yesterday was par for the interpersonal relationship got her feelings hurt, but I had a lovely time with the Saucy Brit and a few friends at her house.

I think fudge for breakfast is my answer. Although I started out healthily enough with a banana, I think fudge is sometimes a good answer to Life's little problems. That and some really good coffee. Other than that, it's too Monday to write...