Friday, October 14, 2016

Three Trees

I love walking around the little school grounds close to our house.  I usually take our pup  Ranger,  for a walk (well actually, he takes me for a walk) along the fence line that divides the neighborhood and the elementary school.  I always thought it would be cool to live in one of the houses that shared a backyard with the baseball/soccer/football/playground/ field.  Hearing the kids everyday would make me happy.  We live pretty close to the school and can hear the kids playing when the wind is right.  On Field Days,  I can always hear the joy and the laughter of pure freedom and water-related revelry.  Such a wonderful sound, kids being kids.

On our walk the other day,  there was a baseball team taking practice on the field.  In the expansive field, there are 2 backstops, a make-shift diamond and a ton of rocks.  Doesn't make a great place to slide, but for these little guys, I think it was perfect.   We had pee-wee football happening in the opposite field, children playing on the playground, a Camp Gladiator group exercising in the parking lot and more kids swinging on the swings.  It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

I stopped to watch the team playing baseball for a bit.  They looked to be around 4 or 5 years old.  Some kids really got it.  Others...well..it was a beautiful day in the neighborhood.  As I was walking toward the backstop,  I noticed that one of the baseball players was relieving himself next to the one little tree in the center of the field.   I turned the other way to give him his privacy.  He ran back to left field and got back in the game.    I thought, dang...that poor little tree.  Dogs and kids and people running into it all of the time.   It clearly wasn't planted there.  It's probably a volunteer Oak or Pecan.   So, Ranger and I  wandered over the tree to talk to it.

When we got there,  I noticed that this little tree was not one volunteer, but 3.  3 refugees from a nearby home, I bet.  One windy day, years ago, they decided to break free of the fences and the limited backyard view and fly.  They landed in the big field...right in the middle where the kids play.  Perhaps they were kind of fed up with just hearing them...so they took a chance, held their breath and landed right in the center of the action!   They might have ended up in the street or the parking lot, or worse yet, in another backyard... but were fortunate enough to find a prime spot to watch baseball, football and recess.  Maybe occasional kickball too.  Dang I used to love kickball.  And dodgeball.  I was good at dodgeball.  Not because I was quick or anything, but I had a pretty good arm.  I could catch that big ol' red rubber ball too.  I would catch it when the meanest of boys would try to get me out.  I would then fire that baby so fast, they wouldn't know what hit them.  It was me...the chunky girl with the curly hair that you made fun of yesterday.  The one you thought you could get out with your wimpy throw.   That's right...all of your buddies saw you get hit and try to weasel your way out of it.   I'm in your head now..

Anyway.. the trees.   So these trees have been growing for a good 4 or 5 years,  I think.  It seems like I noticed them one day, when the grass in the field was freshly mowed and the trees were left to grow.  The folks that take care of the elementary school lawn are very conscientious of the wild things.  They let random bluebonnets grow, the beautiful night flowers stay, the yellow daisy-like flowers that pop up in spring, flourish and the 3 little trees take root.  No one waters the trees that I know of.  Perhaps they took a leap this year and made me take notice,  because of all of the great rain we had.

Before recess, the children have to walk around the field, for exercise.  They walk the perimeter of the schoolyard to get their muscles moving and fresh air in their lungs.  Luckily for the trees, they walk right by them.  How cool for the trees to hear the conversations of these bright, wonderful beings!  How comforting it must be for the children to walk by the trees and experience new growth, even if they consciously do not notice it.  Each school day, the trees get to say hi to the kids walking from the park on Country Squire Drive to school, too.  After school, the trees get to see them walk from school, back to the park to meet their parents, grandparents or friends.   Maybe they even whisper to the kids who need it..."Hang on..it gets better."  "Tomorrow is another day.  You can do this."  Maybe they are motivational trees, sent there by our kind and benevolent Universe to bless them with hope.   These trees will see and hear all kinds of things, if they are allowed to stay and thrive.  Hopefully in years to come they provide shade for the weary,  a rest stop for kids and pups, a climbing place for the daring and home for wildlife.  

Tonight on our walk, I will smuggle a water bottle with some Miracle Grow in it for a treat.  Or am I messing with the random plan?   Maybe I'll ask them first.




Friday, Oct. 14th 2:30 pm.  10 minutes before school lets out.





Thursday, August 18, 2016

Resistance

When I was about 11 or 12 years old, I would rush home from school, grab a snack and turn on the Brady Bunch.  It was a light-hearted show, sweet and yet always offered a lesson or two for devoted fans like me.  Each episode would focus on one Brady kid...this time it was Bobby's turn.   Bobby (the youngest of the 6 Brady children)  told his mom that something was stuck in his craw.  Alice, the witty housekeeper,  (who by the way, was probably the wisest of the group) mentioned that idiom to Bobby earlier in the day when he wasn't responding in his lighthearted, kid brotherly type way.  "Stuck in my craw."  I think of that saying often when I cannot describe how I am feeling.  Like today for instance... I really do not have anything that is flat bugging me..but yet, there is indeed something stuck in my craw.  What exactly is a craw?  I'm a bit afraid to look it up, but I think it might have something to do with a bird.

Most of the time, I can walk it out.  If I am feeling "off", a good 3-4 mile walk will take care of it.  For some reason,  today was different.   I walked, talked to God...like I always do, sweat abundantly and yet nothing was resolved.  The day filled up with good things & happy people (except for the mom in the blue SUV that hated me for going around a temporarily parked Fed Ex truck, in front of the bank.  She thought I most definitely did not have the right-a-way.  She let me know that I was indeed WRONG for INCHING out carefully.  She then backed up dramatically so I could barely INCH on by...all while yelling at me with her 2 kids in the car.)   Even that didn't kick what was stuck in my craw.  Now I am probably stuck in her craw.  Good.  She needs one more thing to yell about, apparently.

So what is it then?  My age?  I hate the thought of that thing looming.  That woman thing that happens in your 50's or earlier.  Nah..not that.  Google said that I have nothing to worry about.   Tired?  Maybe.  Hungry?  Always.  Thirsty?  Yes.  But craw-worthy?  No.

So it lead me to this.  Sitting down and writing.  Oh...right.  Now I remember what is bugging me.  I haven't been writing.  That gentle, little  angel voice that says, "Get up early and write just a teeny bit...  you will feel so good and start something wonderful" ...if ignored, will eventually turn into a swirling vortex of doom and create all kinds of reasons to never write again.   Why is it so hard?  It's called resistance.  And resistance is a bitch.   It will make you do things like clean your sock drawer before the night of the big exam.  It will make you eat the entire pantry, before you pick up your guitar and strum a note.  It will make you weed the garden before you find your lonely paint brush.  Why is that?  Because resistance is real.  It is evil and it is waiting at the starting line to trip Mr. Bolt.  This mystery shield will keep you from doing the things God gave you the desire and gifts to actually do.   After you break through the invisible bubble of doubt, one can create masterpieces.  Or a really cool chalk figure on the sidewalk.  Whatever it may be, for some of us, it's just hard to start.  I do not think the teen and the husband in my house have this affliction.  They easily start projects without the monkeys dancing in their heads.  The husband will write a new song and perform it that night.  The teen will sit down at his computer and create electronic music for hours and not even think about EATING.  How weird is that?  I always think about eating.  Even when I am eating, I think about eating.  Like what can I eat for breakfast tomorrow morning...when I am currently eating lunch.  Sometimes I cannot wait to wake up and have coffee.  So much so, that I will dream of coffee in my sleep.  Pretty sexy, I know.  But seriously, French Roast is so beautiful.  With some 1/2 and 1/2 and raw sugar.  That is like coffee porn.  Anyway..

So resistance.  I read and re-read this book called, The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield.  It is my current bedside reference to life and art book.   It speaks of this resistance and how to kick it's ass.  I love this book so much.  But now I find that a super-resistance is happening.  (cue the James Bond theme)....( I love Shirley Bassey).  I find that instead of writing OR practicing my guitar, ukulele, penny whistle, singing...I will ...I will...read THE book on the very subject that it's trying to help with! Irony?  Not really.  Resistance at it's best?  Yes.  Maybe, next to Alice, Steven Pressfield is the wisest.

All I know right now is that besides craving a big steak, I am actually sitting at my desk writing.  And that is good.  And for now, nothing is stuck in my craw.  Problem solved.  Did I create art?  Probably not...but I might be on my way.

So if you resonate with this today... go and paint.  Yes you.  Take it from me, Steven Pressfield, and the angry SUV mom...you will feel better after you do.




Thursday, August 18th
7:19 pm
The comfort of my uncomfortable chair & old desk.







Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Buster

So no one is named "Buster" anymore.  This sweet, cherubic kid was hanging out at one of our shows and for the life of me I could not remember of his name...but I knew it started with a "B".  Luke and I were trying to remember it together and the first thing that came out of my mouth was "Buster".  I haven't spoken that name...well..ever.  Even in instances like, "Hey Buster, get away from my sweet 16 year old Honda CRV."   For some reason, Buster was hanging out in the part of my brain where the "B" names hide.   It made Luke laugh.  That made me feel good.  Now I am going to use the name Buster all of the time,  just to see if I can make the teen laugh.  I will probably start calling him Buster, because I'm fun like that.  "Hey Buster, pick up your clothes."  "Hey Buster, take the dog for a walk.  "Hey Buster, git your diddy a beer."  To my credit, the boy who's B name I could not remember, kind of looked like a Buster.  C'mon.  Say the name with me.  BUSTER.  See, kind of made you laugh too.

Still, I cannot remember that kid's name.  Brandon? Billy? Beau? Bobby? Blake? He is Buster from now on.  Or "Hey Buddy!" That's always safe.   He didn't have a cool name, like "Maverick."  Dang.  Luke has a friend named Maverick.  That dude is set to be a badass.  He is going to be the CEO of the first electric, biodegradable, edible car or something like that.  Plug it in, recycle it or eat it!  It's good for you and the environment!  Like the Tesla guy.  Elon.  Who is named Elon?  The Tesla dude is.  

I have a funny middle name.   I have only seen it a couple of other times.  It's "Gerette."  Wha?  Yes.  Gerette.  It is pronounced like "jer-ette."  The secret is out.  One time, in my wayward 20's, I was kind of talked into trying a stint in commercial acting.  I am not an actress.  But I thought, what the hell...I live in LA,  have friends in the business...how hard could it be?  Then I was kind of talked into using my middle name as my "stage" name.  So I had head shots printed up, faked a resume and set out on my way to being the "20 year old girl with a nice smile", in a Burger King commercial.  Maybe it would buy me a new car!  Maybe it would pay off my student loans!  Maybe I'll meet Tom Cruise!   (before we knew he was a nut-job).  So I had my 5x7 photos, my lame resume, my red dress, my big hair and my best smile on for this audition.  I waited and waited and waited.  Side note...actors and actress must be made of steel.  There is so much tension in the waiting room and so many mean girls wanting their big break, the air was like soup.  Like big, insecure, hair-sprayed, thick soup.  I fortunately, had other plans in life, so this was just a fun side gig that I was going to land.  Give myself an extra couple thousand bucks to play with.  Anyway..back to the success story...  They called many names before me.   Brandy, Candy, Sandy, Mary, Sherry, Kerry, Heather, Heather, Heather...then Gerette.   I just sat there.  Clueless.  Finally, after the door closed, I ran to the receptionist and said, "Um...I am Gerette."  She said, "Well why didn't you answer when the man called your name?"  I told her I was lost in concentration and thinking about my motivation.  She let me in, they took one look at the line of girls and said, Thank you.  No call back.  

Needless to say, my commercial acting career went nowhere...as did my stage name.  I recently looked up "Gerette" as a name on google.  It brought me to this unbelievably beautiful young model who's middle name was Gerette.  Super famous, I might add.  So Gerette did end up "making it"....just not this Gerette.  Another side note...there was an arrest record with a woman named Gerette too..so I guess we all found our way.

One of my best girlfriends gave her daughter Gerette as one of her middle names. (she is so cool, she has two middle names)  She currently is in law school and planning on being our president in 2028...so Gerette will be HUGE after that.  I will humbly smile when they say her full name at the inauguration.

Names are funny.  I think it's interesting to hear the old/new names again.  This little blond girl was at the park and her mom was yelling, "Myrtle...Myrtle..."     Cute?  Horrid?  I'll let you decide.   

Walt wanted to name our son Craig Biggio Wilkins.   Or Merle Wilkins.   I told him Craig Biggio or Merle were not in the Bible, so we went with Luke.  The old Bible trick.   I liked the name Juniper for a girl's name.  But Luke was a boy and Juniper isn't in the Bible either.   Maybe it is...in the paragraph next to frankincense and myrrh.   Luke was the name we chose.  Actually, he was going to be Jake.  But a few days before December 5th, we were sitting at the dinner table and I said.."I love the name Luke."   And Walt loved the name Luke.  Bible, check.  And so it is.



"I am"...state your name. (I know that kind of references Animal House..but seriously, state Your name)   I AM ______.

"I am" are two powerful words.   "I am" means that you exist!   You are here.  You exist.  You are here.  You exist.  You matter.  You are here.  

You matter.  You were born.  Someone gave you your name.  They thought about it.  Maybe even prayed about it.  Then they looked at you and said.."Welcome to the world... Buster!"






  

I am Kristine Gerette Mitchell Wilkins and I am grateful for you taking time to read my wanderings of the day.





Tuesday, May 10th   3:41 pm   on my way to pick up Luke Mitchell Wilkins from school.  










Saturday, January 23, 2016

To Serve


To Serve:  Part one...

I waited tables and bartended for 18 years.  Before that I worked my first official job at Chuck E Cheese.  In fact, I was "Chuck E Cheese".  No, seriously, I dressed up in the gawd-awful costume and sweat for a living.  "Jasper the Dog" and I entertained little kids and their parents 4 days a week.  I was 16 or so.  I still have nightmares about the kids pulling my tail or my head coming off during a party.  But I tell you what...I was a pretty damn good Chuck.   Jasper (who, of course, was my boyfriend at the time) (another story) and I would greet people in the parking lot, dance with the children, hug the parents & do our best to make people laugh.  It was a challenging gig, trying to make everyone happy while in a big costume.  But we took the job seriously.   We wanted to be the best.  The best rat & hound dog comedy team in Southern California.   We were so good that we had regulars!   We had fans...who knew it was us representing the restaurant's namesake and not another imposter worker guy, inside the costumes for the night.  We would make kids smile, cool off in the big walk-in fridge, eat enormous amounts of pizza, sweat it all out & get paid to create a good time.

I'd say the majority of the children were great.  They would give us a hug and then run off and play video games.  Some kids though...oh man.  Some kids were just flat awful.  They would punch or say crude things to us when their parents weren't watching.  In those cases, I would call them a few choice names...just loud enough so  that only they could hear..and shake their hand...  quite firmly.  Sometimes I would "accidentally" step on their foot with my big rodent shoes.  Or when I was cussing at them, inside my enormous rat head, I  would bump them with my big, plastic nose.   They wouldn't bug us again.  And it was funny to watch the little darlings try to tell their parents that we were mean to them.  We didn't have body guards like Mickey Mouse.  We had to fend for ourselves.  Our shift consisted of walking around, dancing with guests, making birthday appearances,  scaring babies and taking a few breaks. (scaring babies was not in our job description...it just happened naturally)  Our "green room" was really a closet that housed the smelly costumes and a few cleaning supplies. It had a star on the door, that said "Chuck E Cheese".  Big time, I tell ya.   When our shift was over, we would cautiously walk into the closet, hoping that no one waited around for us to open the door and leave.   We wouldn't want anyone to know that Chuck was really a chunky 16 year old girl with big, 80's hair.  Jasper was a 6'4 blonde dude.  He loved the Lord, children and me.   He loved me a little too much.  In fact, when we broke up, I quit Chuck E Cheese and he showed up at my parents' door...in costume.  He rode his beach cruiser bike from the restaurant to our house.  We lived about 5 miles from the store.  Can you imagine?  Seeing this super-huge costumed dog, on a bike on a busy street in Southern California? In the Summer??   When he came to our door, he did not even take off his head to talk.  He argued with me about why we shouldn't break up...with his big dog-head on and his big gloved character hands flying around.   Good times.

Oh yea..and he never talked to me again, after the huge-dog-head-argument debacle.   We even went to the same college.  He would walk right on by,  like I didn't exist.  I would just say, "Woof" under my breath and let him be.

While I was in college I got a job working at a New York deli called "Off Broadway".  It was a great place.  Awesome food, good folks, real-life NY- type waitresses and live Broadway music on Sundays.  I was a hostess for a while then eventually had the opportunity to work as a server.   And there it began.  Working for tips, short hours and eccentric people.  I loved it.  I met some great characters at Off Broadway.  Rosemary was a waitress,  about 70 years old and said whatever she wanted to, to anyone, with her authentic Brooklyn accent...and got away with it.  She had a following who would request her station, just so they could hear her say obscenities along with taking orders.   Kay was a thin, grey-skinned waitress, with big white hair,  that scared me to death.  She had a love of gambling and cocktails.  I remember hearing stories about Kay going to Bullhead City to gamble and falling off her barstool.  She had a deep, dark laugh, that only a few of us heard.  Mostly she would scold me for not seating her correctly or express her complete disdain for the people who would just sit and order soup.  She would say to me...with her mouth turned down and a cigarette in her hand..."Honey, how I am supposed to make a goddamned living, with you seating all of the cheap assholes in my station?"   Like I had a plan or something to ruin her next slot machine adventure.  I was 18.  Rob was the manager and was the first openly gay person I had ever met.  He was pure delight.   He had to balance the two owners (who were merely investors...and both podiatrists) and the staff and the guests and the drama of a restaurant.   He was a pro...and if I think about it now,  was probably only in his 20's.  And then there was Tony...oh Tony... a tall, dark, beautiful waiter who had a voice like a 1940's crooner.  He would sing show-tunes on Sunday, with Jerry the piano player/singer.    People would eat their matzo ball soup and clap voraciously, after Tony would sing.  He had this beautiful nose.  I had a huge crush on him.  I was not good at flirting...but I would admire him from afar.   I would hide behind the deli and stare at him when he would be seating people.  I would find myself drifting off when he would be asked to sing and always forget something on the order.   Then one day I met his...his...boyfriend.  Dang.  He was gorgeous too.  I think his name was Tim.  If I remember correctly, he was some kind of championship bodybuilder.

  Oh well.  Good lesson.  Judy Garland show tunes, beautiful nose, impeccably groomed.  Who knew?

The guys turned out to be sweet work friends, who treated me like a little sister.  They helped me with my makeup and outfit for my first date with a boy named Steve.  Then they heard me sing, when I was brave enough to ask Jerry if I could do a tune.  If I hadn't weighed more than they did, they would have picked me up and carried me around their shoulders!   I felt like Bette Midler!  They were so encouraging!  They loved my voice and brought me LP's to listen to and learn new songs.  I remember that Tony (sigh) brought me an Eydie Gorme Record to listen to.  He said that I should learn every song on the album.  And so I did.  He remained gay.

One day,  a new manager appeared on the scene.  She was brought in to infuse some night-life into the deli.  (a grand idea)  Off Broadway eventually was mis-guided and  turned into a night-club-type place, that featured more music, more characters and more parties.  It veered too far from it's original roots of great pastrami, chicken soup and Sunday singing.  Before the inevitable fall, I met Rob the talented and mysterious bartender from New York City,  Christy the vivacious actress and singer from whom I first heard "Danny's All Star Joint" & Vita, who sang and played piano unlike any person  I had ever heard.  There were quite a few drifters that passed through Off Broadway too, on their way to LA to hopefully become stars.  It was a colorful time in my life, for sure.  The place was known for their "singing waiters & bartenders".  It was the place to be...for about 2 months.  During that hot 2 month period we heard that Orange County Cable was going to come to the restaurant and feature how unique and special it was.  We were all excited.  Well, I was.  I was kind of starry eyed.  The other servers/ entertainers were well seasoned and really could care less about the big break we were all about to get.   We each had a chance to sing for the cable people & the big audience that was there on this particular Saturday night.  I waited in anticipation for my turn.   I was going to rock the OC.  I was totally ready.  I had practiced and had it all planned out.  I was going to quit the restaurant biz for good.  I had already put 2 years of my life into waiting tables.  My name was called.   My piano player was ready and my station was covered.  I stepped on the stage...and for added flare, I thought I would stand on the grand piano to sing my one big-break song.  I had to first get on the piano, which was surrounded by a brass railing....I put one foot on the railing, then the other one to steady myself before I stepped onto the piano..and then the railing broke.  Fell completely apart under me.  I went face-down on the piano, with my big rear-end in the air... in white pants...all on Cable TV.  People laughed because they thought it was part of the show...so I of course, make a joke of it too...but I was crushed.  Needless to say, I wasn't discovered that evening and I didn't quit my waitressing job.

One day we showed up at 3:00pm to open the restaurant and there was a lock on the door with a note saying that "Off Broadway is Closed."  No explanation, no manager to talk to us, nothing.  I do not even think we received a last pay check.  Just closed.  A sad ending to what once was, in the early days,  a wonderful place to get a knish and a seltzer.   My heart and world expanded those few years, introducing me to multifarious characters & eclectic friends.

To serve!

 What a concept.  One asks you to bring them something, and so you do.  Hopefully with a thankful heart.  Then if they find that your service was worthy, they leave you a tip.   Then you move on to the next guests, table, section.  But along the way, if you're lucky, you realize that you acquire more than rent for the month.






1/22/16~ thoughts about life.


To Serve:  Part two to come



















What I thought I would look like.




 What I actually looked like, but in white and my hiney in the air.










Imagine this at your front door.













Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Dusty Gifts

I just erased 1/2 of a story.  Finally I sit and write and get the blood moving in my fingers, to go with the rhythm of the thought and embark on perhaps the biggest literary journey of my life! Then...then...the dog barks at a knock at the door and my head practically hits the ceiling.  He's a cute dog, but his bark is mean and strong.  So strong that my heart is still pounding.  I thank the UPS guy for the package, lay it on the desk (first I see if it contains wine or chocolate)  and then, like Charlie Brown skipping to the mailbox, I go back to the computer,  stop and open the small lid.

Inside is nothing.  Nothing at all.  1 hour of writing and all that I see is a big bunch of blah.  I slowly close the lid and search the kitchen for something sweet and bad for me.  This will distract me for a bit, before I go back to see if I was imagining that I just wasted time, writing about lame-ass things that no one but me, would care about.  I guess it was cathartic, in a way, but I wanted to have something big.  Moving.  Artistic.  Life altering.   But all I had was fluff.  Fluffy, fluff, fluff.

I find that I am negatively motivated, most of the time, to do things that do not come naturally.  I will sing any time.   I will practice, learn new tunes, organize rehearsal....I love it. But going shopping for a new outfit?  Pulling teeth.  I hate it.  I am an "occasion shopper".  If there is a big gig or party that I feel that I need to shake up the ol' wardrobe, I will wait-wait-wait until the very last minute and go to Macy's.  Or sometimes,  Steinmart.  I will pray a little "Dear St. Yeaves Saint Laurent, please lead me to the perfect outfit."  "And please make it fit flawlessly,  does not show a bulge int he bra-line, or any warning signs in the thigh areas.  And also have it be less than $100.00.  And please do not let anyone else at the party have the same fabulous outfit.  And please make this snappy, because I do not wish to spend my time in the mature ladies area for more than, let's say, 10 minutes."  In God's and all of the heavenly well dressed angel's name.  Amen."

But if I have to go buy a new pillow?  Damn.  I'm on it.  I love buying home things.  Lately I want to buy new appliances...but that seems to cross the needs/wants line.  I want a new stove.  Do I need a new fabulous stainless steel Viking oven with rockin' gas burners, a sexy stainless hood thing, new counter tops, backsplash and a built in microwave?  Maybe.  Ok...no.  I do not need them.  Would they make me happy?   Hell yeah.  They would make me even want to cook more than fish sticks.  What kind of fish actually comes out looking like a stick?  That's weird.  I'm sure it's perfectly healthy though.  But I digress.  Would my family be happier with a new oven etc.?  Why yes!  They would be, because I would be.  Is our oven not working or is it falling apart or does it cook poorly?   Pause.  Pause.  Shuffle.  Twist my hat in my gloved hands.  Kick a rock.  Well, no.  No.  It works perfectly fine.  It does need to be calibrated, but that only costs about 20 bucks.  Is it pretty and does it match the other new appliances that you and your family put money aside and proudly paid cash for?  No, it doesn't match.  Does that make you sad.  Yes.  Does it make you really sad?  Well..like...compared to what?  Like,  not having Kellie Pickler make "Someone Somewhere Tonight" an international number one hit song sad?   Well, no.  Just kind of a little sad.  Why?  Because you refuse to cook on an ugly stove?  Well, no.  I still like to cook on it.  Well what kind of sad does it make you?  It makes me the kind of sad that I feel when I watch "Fixer Upper" on HGTV and want everything sad.

So, really, this is about trying to be happy with what you have, right?

Who are you and why are you asking me questions on my very own blog?

Where was I?  Oh yeah, negatively motivated...  See, I love love to write.  But for some reason, it seems to not want to come out of my head and into the computer.  That would take sitting down for a good while and letting words flow...mistakes to edit...time away from life things...and ultimately, people judging my thoughts.   Until, one's husband says today on the phone that I have more gifts than just singing.  Working with children is one of them and writing, for example, the other.    So...inside my brain that made me feel like I was late, very late with turning in an assignment,  felt a little bad about letting some of my heart's-desires rust..so I sat down.  


Now I know that it was a loving nudge.  I know.  I also know that I can let months of wanting to's to pile up.  So thank you for helping me clean out the attic and bring down some of the dusty boxes of gifts.

So I signed up to volunteer today.  I wrote a tiny bit.  I even played a little uke.  Maybe even started a new Christmas tune.

Will it get me closer to that new oven?  Perhaps.  Will it give me points in the my "husband is right" category?  Maybe.  Did it make me feel better about my life and it's grand purpose?  Yes, a little better.

Hope you find lost gifts today too.  Not that you need to.  You probably are already tapped with giving, volunteering, writing, singing, hammering, baking cookies for the homeless with your new Viking...



Wednesday, December 9th
2:38PM

right smack in the middle of the day.












Friday, September 18, 2015

Drama Girl & Cowboy Dude

I miss Drama girl.  When I would pick Luke up from school last year, I would wait for her to walk on by.  I would sit in my car lined up on the street with the other parents, and watch the kids walk home.  Everyone would always look tired in a teen sort of way.  Beat up from the amount of work they had and carrying those enormous backpacks, schlepping them like a bunch of pack mules.   There were 3 kids that really stood out last year.  One was a super tall, lanky boy, who Luke informed me had a few special needs.  He would always have a huge lunch box, walk really fast and would stop on a dime and just stare out into space.  He had a big smile and would talk to himself along the way.  I loved seeing him.  I also think my dog scared him pretty good one day..so he avoided my Honda when he saw me.  Ranger is a sweet pup, but has a pretty big bark.    I think he must be in high school now, because I have not seen him this year.   Hope he is well and happy.  I miss his sweet spirit.  And that kick-ass , old fashioned lunch pail.

The two other teens that stood out and I just couldn't wait to see each day were Drama Girl and Cowboy Dude.  Two destined to be in love, but will never be together, because they were so different ...unless they meet at a class reunion 40 years later, and rekindle their spark.  She always wore black.  Black tights and black shoes and colorful hair.  And glasses. And a beanie that sat on the back of her head, even when it was 95 degrees.  He always wore jeans, cowboy boots (working boots), a plaid button down shirt and a Carhardt jacket.  His hair was short and he was stocky.  Built to be a linebacker or work the ranch.  She always was talking fast and moving her arms with such great expression and so achingly in need of attention.  They would walk together every day.  Sometimes random friends would tag along, but clearly this was their party.   Drama Girl desperately loved Cowboy Dude.  You could tell in the way she would jump around him while walking.  Talking about her day and madness of technology and the lack of human empathy.  She would talk about Whitman and Yeats and Rumi.   Ok..maybe I am just making all of that up, seeing that I was in my car and could only catch a word or two when they passed by, but she was chirping about something each day, that fired her passion.  Maybe it was music or art or science.   Cowboy walked, nodded, smiled and listened.  I never heard him say a word.  He was her rock.  Perhaps only for the 8th grade year, but still, was someone she could be herself around.   She never had a backpack.  He always had a backpack.   They would walk until I lost them in the distance or Luke came to the car door,  jumped in and said he was hungry.  Then they would disappear from my thoughts until the next day at 4:08 on the street, parked near the big tree.  Me in the green Honda, the gaggle of  mini vans, the occasional grandparent in a very clean,  paid off Infinity and every so often a cool car, like a new Camaro,  would be waiting too.

Like clockwork, I would see the big man and the girl in black.  She was a loud taker.   When it was nice enough to have the windows down, I could hear loud and clear.   Teenage love, swirling around us like humming birds.

It's in and around us, this love thing.  We lose it more often than not, in the daily grind.  We forget that we are a bunch of dang miracles walking around.  Free to love, free to express ourselves, free to go a step deeper than what is fed to us.  Every so often we cut through the fog and feel something deep.  Birth, death, falling in love, a song, a surprise encounter, an act of kindness.   Then the vibration wanes and we are back to standing in line at the post office, no music playing and the smell of the Asian buffet across the street sneaking in,  when someone walks through those heavy doors.  Target doesn't play music..have you noticed that?  I wonder why.  Hobby Lobby does.  A little too mushy for me.  Makes me shop quick, use the coupon an leave.   Maybe the Target people couldn't agree on one type of music.  So like a fed up parent, the company-man said "Fine then...no music."  "And we will bombard their senses with red, white and popcorn.."

So love.  I wish I could, at 50, live in love all the time like Drama Girl.  I catch myself in love a lot...but get sidetracked too easily by bad drivers and bro-country music.    I think Pope Francis is in love constantly. He's a pretty rockin' Pontiff.  Maybe the Dali Lama too.   And maybe the lanky lunch box kid.  He seemed pretty happy and in-love-like.   I guess it's pretty easy to live in the moment when you have lunch box big enough for two.  Just in case the opportunity comes to share a sandwich with someone pretty.  Love can happen any time.

I hope I see Drama Girl and Cowboy Dude tonight at the high school football game.  Maybe they will be holding hands in the bleachers.  Maybe she will be talking throughout the game and he will be nodding and smiling.  I'll keep a lookout for them.



Friday, September 18 2015

5:30 pm

feels good to write again.






Thursday, May 7, 2015

FOMO

I have a touch of the "FOMO" tonight.  Fear of Missing Out.  Yes.  My friends and probably a relative or two,  are at The Saxon Pub for The Mystiqueros 6th anniversary celebration.  Our friend Davis Raines is in town.  Just the best songwriter in Nashville, that's all.  And so are Bart & Arianne...our compadres from The Netherlands.  All beautiful musicians, who will most likely make you laugh and cry when you hear them sing.  Everybody knows how magical tonight will be.  It's all set up.  Great music, great celebration, dancing, wonderful sound.   We are also releasing the newest MystiCandle tonight...and neither Julie (my business partner) or I am there to witness it.  We have kids and a no sitters.  We are used to this and would not trade being a mom for the world, but it sure would be fun to be there tonight.    It's all good.  Can't be everywhere.  But dang, sometimes I just hate Facebook.  It can make things look so much better than where you are.  Like, everyone posts the best food when you had just thawed out frozen chicken and pea casserole.   Or the dreaded beach photo, when you just ate the chocolate that was in the fridge since Christmas because you were depressed because you were not out with your friends and then saw the bikini photo of the lucky Facebook friend on the exotic beach and really felt like shit because of what you ate and how it made you feel and how she has this fabulous life of travel and ease.   Or photos of your husband laughing and singing like it's the best night of his musical life, surrounded by all of our friends, knowing that he will come home and will tell me that it was just an "OK" night, to make me feel better.    Or the "my kid just got the most bestest fantastical awesome human award".  Oh wait.  I posted that.    So I am sitting  on the bed and typing on my laptop, sulking.  (note:  this is the first time I have blogged in bed)  (sounds weird) (it's not very comfortable, but I am trying to make myself feel better by surrounding myself with 28 pillows and a sip of the red wine) (to go with the bad chocolate) (you know...the chocolate that was once shaped like Santa, but melted somewhere, so you tried to revive him by putting him in the condiment area of the fridge thinking that tomorrow (Dec 26th) you will sneak it..and then forgot, so now he is white when you open it (May 6th) (Seis De Mayo) and it tastes kind of like dark chocolate Grey Poupon?)  Well it did not help me feel better.  Thus leading me to this:

 The Cosmic Balance of it all.  I know.  Light and fluffy stuff.   You know...the things we do on a daily basis that could affect the course of our life.   Choices and shit like that.  Such as:  If I chose not to apply for a job at Sammy B's restaurant in Nashville in April of 1994, would I still be in Texas sitting on my colorful bed writing to you and sulking in my pjs?  Or would I be on that beach  wearing my Corona bikini, hanging out (literally) with my friend on Facebook?  I have no doubt that I would own a Corona bikini, but everything else is a mystery.  Did God dictate it all?  Or was it free will?  A little of both?  Perhaps a nudge now and then or an instinct to turn down that street, instead of the other street?  Sometimes life feels absolutely right.  I'd say for me, the older I get,  most of the time life feels right.   I try to follow Love.  I trust Love.  Sometimes it's not the popular choice.  Sometimes it's messy and it doesn't make sense,  but I choose to leap.  It can be scary and exhilarating all at once.  It can have many consequences, but eventually, I think it leads us to peace.  And in my case it lead me to Texas.   I never even thought about Texas growing up.  I thought about cheese curds and fairy tales,  in that order.   I knew that Texas was big and hot.  I knew  Willie and I heard of Luckenbach.  And Austin and Dallas.  I never thought that I would live here in the big hot state.  I thought I was going to live on the beach in Southern California.   Then I thought I was going to live in Taos, New Mexico, after I watched "The Milagro Beanfield War".  So here we are.  And there you are.  How did we find each other?


And now in this big hot state,  we have this big, fluffy dog,  a sweet home on a quiet street and the best kid in the world.  Next to yours, that is.  We travel all over and sing and play music for our friends.  With our friends.  Not in stadiums or soccer arenas.  Places where we can see people smile and sometimes cry.  Places where people feel compelled to stand up, walk toward the little stage, pick up that empty, clear cheeseball container from Big Lots and pass it around, so you can throw in a buck or two, reminding us that we are doing a pretty good job at making you happy.  If only for a song or if we're lucky, an evening.   And in a second or two that big, fluffy dog is going to bark, wake up the teen for a moment, run to the door and jump on the husband, who will smell like patchouli and music, welcoming him home from a gig that was most likely, epic.  But he will tell me that it was just OK, sit on the couch and take off his Chippewa Boots...find an old movie at half past midnight and maybe drift off dreaming of Lauren Bacall in her 30's.  But I know that it was not just OK,  because people posted on the dreaded FB that it was a transcendent night, where people's spirits were lifted and memories were embedded in their psyche for the rest of their long lives.   And that's pretty cool.  So then I will try to step outside of my sulky self and look at the great dance of it all.  Home with the teen and the pup vs. out singing and dancing with my Mystiquero family.  Pretty even on the big teeter totter of life.  Legs dangling and all.


I just wish I hadn't eaten that old Santa chocolate.


1am  Thursday, May 7