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Did I happen to mention that I turned fifty last month?

Please help me celebrate, at its advent, my mid-life crisis? In honor of the occasion I present Bill Morrissey’s Fifty: (These frigging lyrics are hand-typed, too, so appreciate the fuckers!…I couldn’t find them on a Google search. Will somebody get busy on that out there?)

Fifty

I turned fifty on an autumn (winter) day
The grass was brown and the sky was gray
But I never felt so strong
I turned fifty
So, come on, world, bring it on.

I can’t round the bases like I could
But I’m still in the game, so knock on wood
I get the jump on the pitch and I catch one more
I turned fifty
I quit keeping score

Hey you kids, this ain’t no jive
But I’ve seen the Beatles [Pink Floyd /David Bowie /Chick Corea (Why Scientology, Chick???) ] perform live
My new guitar (garden) is all hand-crafted
I turned fifty
Best of all, I can’t get drafted (I never could get drafted but that a whole ‘nother, long post!)

I don’t get carded in a bar
I (could) own my house and I (do) own my car
I can’t believe I made it this far
I turned fifty
And I still wish upon a star

Once life was a race and I had to run it
Now I know what not to do because I’ve done it
Well, there’s too much anger and too much crap
I turned fifty
I think I’ll take a nap

Sometimes I think about the days back then
But there’s no return in the way-back-when
I loved them all but those days are gone
I turned fifty
So, come on, world, bring it on!

Well, the days are gone, for me, of lovin’ them all back then but I’m still bankin’ on the loving of them in the future. Thanks, Bill.

Come on, world. Bring it on…

P. S. For those of you looking for that perfect gift(yellow, please?…)

This is a smattering of the stuff I’ve been dealing with over the winter; hence, my hibernation. I doubt I’ll be back much soon, though I do have a draft about what I’ve been up to.

You know, therapy’s got to end eventually, doesn’t it? It does. Doesn’t it?

Posted on an anonymous, private journal of mine, which I’m using as a therapy journal.

  • My garden is now my self, and my child.

All the diligence I put in to cultivating Michael to be a man of integrity, sincerity, hope is paying off now. He is a fabulous man and a fabulous father. He seems to have my instinct for how to nurture his son while fostering his intellect and his ultimate independence.

I really was very adept at encouraging Michael to be all he can, learn as much as he’s able, investigate as much as he desires. I also taught him, as best as I was able, to respect others, to be open to the world around him. I tried to encourage him to be open to his feelings; he denied any desire at the time but I see how open he is in his relationship with Jen and with his son.

I really did a good job nurturing and cultivating my fledgling to become a real man, a good man. Mostly I listened to my heart telling me all the things I wished I’d received as a child…unconditional love and acceptance, encouragement of my unusual bents, interests and proclivities, exposure to many different things and experiences in the world, being there and (mostly) paying attention to him.

Now he’s done. Not only have I gotten him through college, seen him married and a father, I now see him as a man considering and planning a future with his family. His emotional separation is complete. I have done a good job; no, I have created a masterpiece.

His honesty in our talk following the birthday party. The way he opens his eyes to the 600-pound gorilla, just like his mama, and deals effectively with it, unlike his mama, historically. He’s self-assured enough to be vulnerable, to assert what he wants or needs, to work on an issue pro-actively. What a man!

So, I wash my hands of that task. Except for getting him interested in politics (which might be more successful after he’s done grad school) there’s nothing more to be done there. Now, on to the next project.

  • My garden.

I’m communing with the earth this spring. I’m listening to her and taking instruction about what she needs here, how I can help there. I’m now talking about putting in a drainage system which will create a (sometimes) water feature through my terraced cut flower and rock gardens. That diversion would meet up with the primary diversion below the ivy-covered stump then trickle down along the half-buried drainage pipe that is (now, thanks to my efforts) carrying the water from the downspout to the creek.

I’m dreaming big and wild this year and the work will be backbreaking but when I’m done, there will be an environment that could be beautifully tended by another special soul or allowed to be swallowed back into nature with lovely surprises springing up in unexpected places at unexpected times.

Gnome Glen, Rock Garden (terraced), Cut-flower Garden, Perennial Bed, Annual Beds, screened seating area, vegetable garden, Wind Chime Tree, creek bank recovery project, creating a self-sustaining wildlife-friendly habitat.

Dad’s Black Willow.

  • Dad. Lisa. Death. Grief.

So, Lisa, who was my salvation, was cut off in the prime of her life and just prior to the start of my own. Lisa the Savior. Lisa, my Out!

I paid my dues…over and over again. I danced the dance like a marionette! Just who did I do the dance for, though? Yes, it was Mom and Dad’s dance, their song, but which was the one I must support?

The weakling. Dad.

  • Dad’s dead now.

The one I was allied with, the one with whose care I was charged. That one is dead.

The one that was my responsibility is dead.

The other? Is it my duty to save my mother? My brother? Or should the allies continue to dance the dance they choose.

I listen to my own drummer. I dance to my own music. I cannot dance that way any more.

I now dance much more in tune with my child’s music. Well, not his actual music, mind you, but emotionally…you know. Metaphor.

  • My Garden-Redux

Now I am allowing that incredible capacity I have for nurturing to flow where it will right now and all flow is toward the garden! (Well, there’s a little stuff going on inside too but that’s for another time.)

I speak with the garden, with the water that runs through it, with the perennials I or others before me have planted, encouraging them. I listen to the creek and the earth and the trees and plants as they tell me what they need then I provide it.

I believe I am turning into a serious gardener.

And it’s the yummiest thing I’ve felt yet!

I think I know what I want to be when I grow up. I want to be a woman who gardens. Either tends veggie patches or designs and builds wonderful habitats and stunning masses of natural beauty. I’d love to do any of this professionally but will content myself with being a nurse while I develop into a Master Gardener. Once I retire, all bets are off! I could be an entrepreneur…South Jersey native plant nursery lady. It’s about time!

Something to think about.

Of course, I could adapt that to being the Rochester-area native plant nursery lady if my grandson is growing up in the Syracuse vicinity.

Okay, is the lesson you’ve been waiting for…the one about knowing I don’t have to save the world, I only have to do what I can to make it a better place and I already do that? Oh that happened months ago.

Let’s move back to sex, shall we?

And hypnosis.

; )

So, there’s been a lot on my mind and a lot I’ve been dealing with as well as planning out my fabulous garden and doing random acts of gardening kindness in my community.

I’m getting to know some of the neighbors a bit better. : )

All in all, life is very good this spring.

The snow lay up against the curb finally beaten by the sun.
Across the street the noon whistle blew calling back everyone.
And they came out from the luncheonette the tavern and the pharmacy
Walked across the wet street back to work their coats unbuttoned and talking easily.
The ice is cracked on the river rolling out by the bay.
On one floe rides a bob house.
Well, there’s always one that stays out too long they say.

There ain’t much to mill work.
The days just drag on and on.
There ain’t much to leaving home till you finally cut the cord and know you’re gone.
And there ain’t much to ice fishing till you miss a day or more
And the hole you cut freezes over
and it’s like you have never been there before.

Bill Morrissey, Ice Fishing 1986 (Bill Morrissey / Dry Fly Music, BMI, admin. by Bug Music)

Bill Morrissey, “The Essential Collection,” Rounder 2004

Road

You can say the sun is shining if you really want to
I can see the moon and it seems so clear
You can take the road that takes you
to the stars now
I can take a road that’ll see me through

Nick Drake, Road; from Pink Moon, Island Records (though they were cooler in the 70’s!)

If anyone associated with Nick Drake or his estate wanders over here, I hope you don’t mind. : )

 

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartanlike as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. For most men, it appears to me, are in a strange uncertainty about it, whether it is of the devil or of God, and have somewhat hastily concluded that it is the chief end of man here to ‘glorify God and enjoy him forever.’

I live on the bank of a creek.

During the month of February, the northeast of the United States was hit with a period of particularly frigid weather. As I walked outside at night, especially in the cold, wee hours, I bore witness to a strange phenomenon, one I’d never encountered in a lifetime growing up and living in the woods. I heard cracks and pops in the treetops, sometimes followed by the unmistakable sound of a twig or small branch falling to the ground.

On the coldest nights, the sound was almost like corn popping.

The most sound explanation I can come up with is living on the creek, something I’d never done before.

The far bank is much more shallow and sloping than mine. During heavy rains, I’ve seen the water rise as far as 25 or 30 yards onto that bank. (Thank God my bank is so much higher!)

My guess is that these are trees accustomed to having very “wet feet.” As a consequence of having their feet close to or below the water level, they tend to store a lot of water.

When the temperature drops from above freezing to 15 F in a matter of hours, the water in those smallest limbs is sure to freeze. The expansion of the liquid during freezing causes the limb or twig to burst open. Sometimes the eruption causes such damage that the twig fractures and falls noisily to earth.

Pretty cool, huh?

The temperature reached a high of 65 here in my little corner of the Philly ‘burbs today. I raked a bit, cleaned out birdhouses, relocated a few things in the garden, finally emptied my containers from last season (I know, I know…bad gardener!). I surveyed the damage done to my muscari bulbs by the January thaw. They’re up, a little ragged and brown around the edges. Hopefully, the blooms will not be negatively affected. Only time will tell.

It felt good to have my hands in the soil and to feel the sweat squeezing its way through my pores.

For some reason, I decided Sadie must be bathed. For as much as she hates to be bathed, she is the most wonderful dog to bathe I’ve ever had! She’ll get in, albeit reluctantly, without my having to lift her in. She stands stock still for the whole process and waits until I get the towel up before she shakes off when we’re done.

So, the garden shows signs of life, the dog is clean, the bathroom is clean, I found my tanzanite ring while cleaning the bathroom (the last memory I had of it was last week while packing…”My, that’s a strange place for me to have put my ring.” Followed by, “I’ll run into it again while packing.” Location, the shelf of the over-hopper cabinet, where the hand cream is.) I’ve run a bath (Avon’s Tranquil Moments bubbles) and have yummy soaps, shampoos, scrubbies and creams all waiting for me.

So what am I doing wasting time here?

Well, obviously I’ve fallen into some sort of hibernation period. Sorry about the hasty drop, folks. Neurological disorders are unpredictable.

I happened to find this gem through, believe it or not, AOL’s entertainment news. Yes, I’m a slut. Anyway, I happened to find this beauty too irresistible not to stash here for future reference.

Video: Our Swayze Reception.

Here is the YouTube video for your pleasure. By the way, if anyone can tell me how to download the actual file of this video (if that’s possible) please let me know?

(Aside: Oh! This is too good not to throw in here.)

Here are James and Julia on BBC Breakfast News following the smashing success of their YouTube memento.

And here they are on the obviously much more hip Richard and Judy. How come the guy gets top billing, anyway.

Finally, here is the website for the movie James manages to plug in both clips: AllBarLove.com.

The trailer, for your viewing pleasure:

All I have to say is I hope it makes it to the Ritz. I can only make out the damned dialogue of those Brit flicks on the big screen.

For another great Brit flick, check out Sliding Doors, with the oh-so-luscious Gwyneth Paltrow. She has the most delicious hair for half the film. Yes, despite her appalling taste in attire for award ceremonies. The icing on this cake is the always adorable John Hannah. (Yah, him I'd bed!)

But then that gets me thinking about Four Weddings and a Funeral and Possession (Aaron Eckhart, yummy! Blech! Gwyneth, most fetching!) and Sense and Sensibility. Scrumptious.

Final tidbit...here is James and Julia's "home." That video sounds like a shrewd move now, doesn't it? Who needs advertising when you can dirty dance?

Oh, pay no attention to this. I'm just setting it here so I won't forget it.

As for me, I walked Sadie, my "canine companion", in the drizzle this evening with my umbrella swinging from its leather strap by my side. The bathroom is presently warming and my pyjamas are toasting on the towel bar. I intend to get very warm and very snuggly very soon. Tonight, the wind will howl and the rain pelt and I will sleep, safe and serenely undisturbed.

I can't say when I'll be back next. Know that I'm doing alright. I'm back in therapy after a five-month break. Back on twelve-hour shifts, too, and feeling like a newborn. Sometimes I'm almost giddy on the job! In my present, semi-dormant state, I fear I may be getting a little Moley. I hope this doesn't Drag-on too long.

I turn fifty next week. Did I mention that? Feel free to send greetings. (::wonders how to get a PayPal button::) I'll be in NYC, secure in the anonymity of the eight million or so. I wouldn't be the least surprised if I happened to post some more, providing I get my laptop's wireless adapter up and running again.

Wish me luck.

Off to the showers, which sounds a little kinky...

(Really final aside: My pc used to face into the corner. After my dad died a year ago, I rearranged. Now it faces the road, the world. Just thought you might find that interesting... Mmmmm...maybe a little "treat" before that shower...)

Today is Sunday and tomorrow is Monday. For the first time in over 4 months, excepting holidays, I am not at work today and do not need to go to work tomorrow.

I am back on twelve-hour shifts three days a week! Woo-hoo!

It feels like Christmas, Hallowe’en, sex and springtime gardening all rolled into one!  (Izzat a crocus sprouting or ya just happy t’see me?)

Dog Reunites with Family after Six Years

(AP) ST. LOUIS Cujo was a frisky 7-year-old when he sneaked out of his owners’ south St. Louis yard in July 2000. Now, thinner and grayer and with a tale that would be fascinating if only he could tell it, the golden retriever is back with the Barczewski family.

“It’s a miracle,” Noreen Barczewski, 41, said at Friday’s reunion. “We found him!”

Six years and a side trip to Columbia can do a lot to a dog, but it was unmistakably Cujo. There was the heart-shaped patch of white on his forehead, the white fur on his toes, his manner of greeting people by rubbing against them cat-style.

Cujo’s homecoming was orchestrated by Dirk’s Fund, a golden retriever rescue group that has found homes for more than 900 dogs in the past decade.

After slipping away from home, Cujo somehow ended up 120 miles in Columbia in the home of an elderly woman. When the woman entered a nursing home, the dog was sent to the Central Missouri Humane Society in Columbia.

Bob Tillay, president of Dirk’s Fund, spotted the dog _ by then renamed Willy _ on an adoption Web site and arranged to have him brought to St. Louis.

“Sweet old man! He knows how to sit and shake,” the Web site cooed.

The dog’s ears were so infected he couldn’t hear. His coat was so matted he had to be shaved. And Dirk’s Fund paid to have some cysts removed.

The group eventually took Cujo/Willy to a nursing home in Clayton, to serve as a pet for residents. But things didn’t work out _ the dog needed a yard where he could run off the leash _ and his picture went up on the Dirk’s Fund Web site.

A week ago, Noreen Barczewski’s brother-in-law, Michael Barczewski, went to the Web site on a fluke. He’d been looking for a dog to adopt and saw the picture of the old dog with the white heart mark and white feet. Michael and his wife, Gail, had been the original breeders of Cujo. He recognized the dog immediately, and the reunion followed within days.

Now 13, Cujo had never been forgotten by the his original family _ especially Kayla, who was just 4 when the dog disappeared. Kayla insisted on hanging the retriever’s red felt Christmas stocking each year, confident he’d someday come home.

“I had something in my heart,” the fourth-grader said Friday, patting her pet’s soft golden coat, “and I knew he wasn’t gone.”

(© 2007 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. )

Now I’m wondering whether this is publishing, broadcasting, rewriting or redistributing…or some form of all. Well, I consider it giving kudos to the AP for a wonderful story. If they don’t want me to do thhat, they can just let me know.

Still dabbing a tear from my eye…

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

That’s what I used to read to my sister every night when she was little, and to my son when he was small. That and Clement Moore’s ‘Twas the Night Before ChristmasEvery Christmas Eve.

I miss my sister this Christmas.  And I miss my dad; oh, how I miss Dad.

I have a wonderful son and daughter-in-law and a spectacularly bright and adorable grandboy.  I have my mom and brother, as always, the reliable ones, the constants.  I have love in my life and more coming in, I can just feel it.

But I miss the old times and the lost loved ones and feel selfish.  I decorate my home with relics from a long ago past, a secret childhood I never had and always had.

I raise my glass ( lovely, simple Australian Merlot) and toast the birth of Christ, the love in my life and those I love and those…newly and long…gone from my life.  But never gone from my heart.

Happy Christmas to all and, on earth peace, good will toward humanity.

Before that she bitched about: