Rescue You? Rescue Me!

13 12 2017

Our guinea pig Rebel (named for the Bowie song because we weren’t” sure if you’re a boy or a girl” until the lovely vets at Boiling Springs Animal Hospital confirmed that she was NOT a good cage-mate for Newt!) has lived a solitary spoiled-rotten life since before we adopted her, but we always felt she’d be happier with a roomie – guinea pigs are social animals.  We were just on the fence because she’d lived alone before we adopted her and had been alone with us, too, so it was with some trepidation that we (I) decided to inquire about a little girl guinea pig who might need a good home. It’s the holidays, after all!

I happened to be at Petsmart, loading up on supplies for Rebel when I noticed her. She was in a tiny lower glass enclosure, under the Syrian hamsters, around the corner from the important (for sale) piggies  (which reminded me of a certain cupboard under the stairs on Privet Drive), so I had to inquire. She was a refugee from Last Chance Ranch where I’d gotten sweet Cedric Piggory.

I knew she needed to get out of there, BUT, there was no documentation as to her sex and it ain’t that easy to determine with piggies, so I took her to the wonderful BSAH vets for the answer, with my husband’s orders that, if she turned out to be a he, I had to return the pig. (Yes, we all – including dear Ken – knew that was not going to happen!)

Dr. Purcell pronounced “It’s a girl!” HUZZAH!  There was great rejoicing by yours truly at this news, of course. I had saved this little creature from becoming snake dinner or some equally awful fate – and had not had to risk my marriage, had she been a he.

 What a wonderful thing I had done. 


As is usually the case when we think we are doing a good deed, when we are acting out of the kindness in our hearts, when we are helping one less fortunate, the wonderful thing is that it turns out to be good for us. 

 I am sure that our new housemate is thrilled to be in a huge cage filled with soft clean bedding, a buddy (Rebel is a little bossy, but she’s coming around), and delicious crisp lettuce on demand.  I am sure, too, that my inner four-year-old’s heart is filled with joy at the sight of her scampering around the cage, munching fresh hay, and snoozing in the corner.

 WIN-WIN. Wonderful.

 Oh, we’ve decided to name her Star, which is short for Piggy Stardust, of course.  Now, if I can just convince Ken to let me adopt the next needy little girl, we’ll call her ‘Gette, (Suffragette Piggy) and we’ll be on our way to a Bowie Anthology.


   Merry Christmas from Piggy Stardust!

   and Happy Hanukkah from Rebel!


2018 Color of the Year is Naughty Christmas Gift Red

6 12 2017

Many of my friends know me as an artist – or, if you will not grant me that title, at least someone who loves to create stuff. Before I came to realize the joy of studio time, though, I spent years in a supremely uncreative job. As I spent hours driving to, sitting through, and setting up meetings and more meetings, I used to think about how much fun it must be to work in a creative field, a fantasy I still believed until this made me think of the potentially darker side of such work:

Now, I LOVE red, so the choice the actual color did not give me pause. No, it was combination of the name and the unfortunate (or was it something else) alpha-numeric code attached.  .  . 

Caliente AF-290 

Caliente AF

I am not bilingual, but I know what “caliente” means.

I am not a millennial (by about 40 years) but I do know what “AF” means.

Caliente AF – the Color of 2018 is as Hot as F#&k!

You know there is a chance that this name and code sequence was coincidence. I prefer to believe that it’s the calculated brilliance of some passive-aggressive designer, hard at work inside the corporate bowels of a creative-adjacent company; who, upon realizing that their soul was about to disappear and take their muse with it, decided to commit a little creative corporate civil disobedience, a little cleverly-disguised graffiti on the walls of the executive wing.

Oh, please, let this be how Caliente got the AF alpha designation! 

That would really be Caliente AF!


A Month of Thanksgiving – Onward

29 11 2017

Sleep eludes me. Last night home in Texas. The house is quiet. Surrounded by pictures of the past. Breathing and feeling wistful for…I’m not sure what. Things lost…things to be found…what lies ahead…what is left behind. Heart is full and at the same time achingly empty.

                                                                                                                                                Janie Womack

These beautiful words by a wonderful musician inspired me to write this on the fifth Thanksgiving Wednesday of 2017.

This is the time of year when we gather to revel in fond memories recalling past glories, great capers, beautiful intimate moments. We smile over old photos, mmmmmm our way through familiar family foods, and sleep under sheets we recognize from less troubed times . . . and then, we hit the wall. We crash from that wonder-filled recollection of all things beautiful and innocent and we find ourselves far too aware of what we’ve lost, forfeited, or just walked away from, in the name of growing up.

On this fifth Wednesday of Thanks in 2017, I am thankful for this swirl of mixed emotion – the heart’s equivalent of cognitive dissonance. As Joni Mitchell so rightly observed, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone?” We are wired to need that feeling of loss, melancholy, wistfulness – not to be sad, but to enable us to fully experience other feelings – gratitude, comfort, joy, love.

We have all experienced the nostalgia of the “good old days.” We have all wished for a return to simpler times. I suggest that we can make more good days and create for ourselves simpler times just by remembering all we have, not just all we have lost.

For what has been, what is, and what will be, I am thankful.

The last hurrah of the 2017 garden – cut weeks ago, but still pretty. Thanks!

A Month of Thanksgiving – Clueless in the Best Way

22 11 2017

Here we are, the day before Thanksgiving and it’s the fourth of my five Wednesdays of Thanks in 2017.

Damn, sometimes it’s hard to feel thankful when the news seems to be filled with story after story of people doing terrible things.  It’s especially hard when the people who are being accused are familiar to us as public personalities that we (thought we) liked, trusted, appreciated for their talent, or otherwise held in some degree of esteem.

Yep, hard to find something to be thankful for, but it is not impossible!

This week, I am thankful for “I can’t imagine . . .”

As many women (truthfully all the women) I know can tell you, every one of them has, to one degree or another, experienced unwanted attention from a man. Almost all of us have been insulted by some drunk in a nightclub after we’ve declined an advance, been talked over in a meeting, had to contend with an overzealous date, or worse.  That does not make us man-haters, victims, or crybabies. It makes us aware.

I am thankful that the men in my family and my male friends just don’t get it. I’m not saying that they doubt the reported instances of horrid behavior by men in power. What I mean is that it is just beyond their comprehension that any man would ever think that it would be a good idea to do such a thing!




Just as I can’t understand what would make someone hurt animals or other people – because that would require that my mind work like someone’s whose is clearly malfunctioning on an intensely dangerous level – it makes me happy to know that the man I married, the men who are my brothers-in-law, my nephews, and my friends do not have it in their brains to contemplate committing an act of sexual harassment. This kind of ignorance truly is bliss.

In the face of ugly evidence of uncivilized cruelty in our society, I am grateful for the everyday, unfailing, bright and constant evidence of kindness and respect within my family.  May we all know such good people. May we all be such good people.  Thank you for your goodness.

A Month of Thanksgiving – Reveling in Wrinkles

15 11 2017

Welcome to the third installment in my Third Annual Thankful November. Two weeks ago, I mentioned my wrinkles. Today, I’m going to explain why I am thankful for every one of them.

I am thankful to be old.

Sure, I miss a lot about being young, mostly:

The way my body worked – without complaint.
The way my body looked – smooth and unblemished.
The way my body felt – strong – and not at risk from drooping out of my undergarments.

Aging means giving up all that, but I have learned that, by trading the sports car corpus for a more roomy ride, I am – even with a few aches and pains – ever so much more comfortable in my (saggy) skin.

Life is just simpler now. Decisions are reduced to a few easy criteria:

Does it sound like fun?

Will it hurt me?

Will it harm someone else?

(Yep, those last two are the guardians of “Just Be Nice!”)

It is beyond wonderful to have finally dropped that cumbersome weight called peer pressure . . . now, if only I could drop the actual weight I gained along with all this sagacity . . .

Be thankful for having choices.

Be thankful for working out what’s really important about the choices you make.

Be thankful that that you have important people and things to consider in your choices.

I’m thankful every time you visit me here.

A Month of Thanksgiving – Resolve to be Thankful

8 11 2017

Today, a friend lost her husband to the serial killer that is cancer. I want to tell her to be grateful for the numbness she is surely feeling at this moment – the continuation of that feeling of non-reality that sets in when you realize that your beloved will not leave the hospital with you.

I know that feeling. I remember, too well, those last merciless days before Hodgkin’s lymphoma took my daughter from me some seven years ago.

I also know what is to come.

My heart aches for my friend. I know the road forward for her – and there must be no mistake – she MUST proceed forward – is filled with pits and obstacles and things that bludgeon and bite.  I also know that, after she has stumbled, groped, crawled, and wallowed her way along the path for what will seem like forever, the way will become less perilous. Her footing will be surer. She will, to her surprise one day, realize that she is again seeing beauty around her. She (as do I) will still occasionally go sprawling on her face into the darkness of grief, but she will know that she can and must right herself and go on. It is the only way to respect and remember the precious ones lost; to quit would be to dishonor all they saw and loved in us.

Today, I am thankful for resolution. Don’t dare call it closure, because that is not at all what happens when you lose the most precious thing in your life. Resolution, to me, does not mean “getting over it” or “moving on” – it means having made an affirmative decision and commitment to continue to live, not in spite of loss, but because of love.

I wish you all more love. Peace.


A Month of Thanksgiving – Nostalgic November

1 11 2017

This marks my third annual series of thankful November posts, so this time, I thought I’d add a little wrinkle (who am I kidding – have you seen my wrinkles!) and express my gratitude for things that served important roles in my life, but are not physically present in it, now.  That means you may, when you see the word “thankful,” read the word “nostalgic.” You’ve been warned.

Starting boldly! I am thankful for the memory of pre-reality-show, three-network, sign-off-the-air-from midnight-until-morning, broadcast television.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE my million-channel, always-on, superb quality modern television. It’s wonderful, but there are costs . . .

I am thankful that I grew up watching television people who were so obviously not real that they would never threaten my sense of self-worth; I knew nobody could expect to make a casserole by wiggling her nose or stop a nuclear meltdown with a paper clip, some gauze, and a used toothpick.

I am thankful for the downtime created by summers filled with reruns, so we would fill our free time with something other than burning pixel-shaped holes in our retinas.

I am thankful for Huntley and Brinkley and Cronkite, whom I soundly ignored in my youth, but who enabled me to ignore them because none of them were shouting into the abyss, frothing at the mouth, or acting anything short of 100% sane.

I am thankful for those shared-by-the-masses moments that were the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, the moon landing, and the funeral of JFK.  Even as we all sat in our own living rooms, separated into suburban households, with only family around us, we experienced these moments as a country, as Americans.

I am thankful that I grew up with that kind of TV experience. I am very thankful that I now can choose from an embarrassingly large array of content virtually on my command.  Yes, that means certain rich brats and extreme fishin’ dudes are now major celebrities, but it’s a fair trade for all the finely crafted, well-acted dramas; biting and smart satire; and sports to give me aerobic exercise (yelling at the screen is aerobic exercise, right?) that I so enjoy.

As ever, I am thankful for your time, Dear Reader.

Now, let’s all be thankful that we get to watch the seventh game of the World Series!