Comes the Dawn

I’d like to tell you the following is share of a poem, correctly bearing it’s official title, full copy of and proper spelling of author name –

A poem shared with me when I was 17 years of age – that I’m often reminded of as I walk through Life – via a newspaper clipping from Dear Abby column, lost during one of my hurried flights from the terror of a reality I thought was just the place for me to be, and discovered, wasn’t so –

Alas, I cannot promise or vow the below is really true, complete or correct – –

Too many versions, mutations, memories of, spellings of author name exist online and, really,  how much time does one life have to dedicate themselves to proving, once and for all, they really did attempt to share remembered reality and are not just making stuff up?



Comes the Dawn

by Veronica Shoffstall

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,

And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security,

And you begin to understand that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises.

You begin to accept your defeats
With your head held high and your eyes open,

With the grace of a woman,
Not the grief of a child.

You learn to build your roads
On today because tomorrow’s ground
Is too uncertain for plans,
And futures have a way of falling down in midflight.

After a while you learn that even sunshine
Burns if you get too much.

So you plant your own garden and decorate
Your own soul, instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you can really endure,
That you really are strong
And you really do have worth

And you learn and learn … and you learn

With every goodbye you learn.

New Beginnings and…Heartbreak…

I recently was hired to work at my local library part-time.

Seriously, I’ve yet to find one thing that consumes me to the exclusion of all other possibilities –

(Yes, okay, okay, I will add the caveat of, “for any long-amount of time, for it could change tomorrow, next year or next second as I learn more about me, my world and navigate the whole “Why I’m here” conundrum –

I freely confess to being accused simultaneously of Procrastination, Stagnation and Life Motto of, “Oh, that was so two seconds ago!”

And just as frequently accused of “Dog with a Bone” tendencies, since I tend to remember history and past patterns – social, cultural, governmental, religious and personal.)

This Sunday Morning Spent…

Reading the American Library Association’s collected information for Banned Books Week – Information on our shared American history of Freedom of Speech and Changing Times, Current Trends, Perennial Trends, etc., etc., etc.

What I learned made me want to cry in frustration

For, you know…

Over the years, I have read many of the books contained on the Top 100 Banned & Frequently Challenged Books List, that, apparently, still make the damn top Most Wanted 100 List Every Year.

(Yes, I just cussed, online and outloud – be grateful I showed restraint and didn’t use the ‘f’ word…)

My thoughts turned to…

  • How very lucky I am to have been raised in a home full of books and by parents who loved to read,
  • To have been educated by teachers who saw the beauty and wisdom to be found in literature
  • To have had the support of  School and Public Librarians who didn’t ask why I wanted a book, but simply showed me how to find it in card catalogue/shelves,  or ordered it in for me from another library.

While there are so many books I still have on my “To Read List”…

(so many, in fact, I may not live long enough to read them all)

Today, I am carried back to my younger self  and I fully become aware, as I scanned the various lists compiled – and I ponder upon:

“Where would I be, just now, if I didn’t have this perspective in my brain to remember the story of?”

So many of the books I read during my childhood – how many humans are never trusted enough to even be exposed to?

Protection?  Tyranny?  Fear of Change? Why!?

And why doesn’t every child, young adult, adult get the Freedom envisioned by the Founding Fathers of America,

(which had to be clarified by the First Amendment to the Constitution of our Country, just to make sure, everyone got the message,

“You come here?  Things are going to be done and said that might make your blood boil, you are free to expose yourself to such information, gather and talk about it, if enough of you are showing up to discuss, we won’t make the media shut-up about reporting about it – we will protect them, whether they deserve it or not &  were responsible or not – Whether we agree with them or not…That’s who we wish to be…”)

(You do know my current views regarding mass media and social media, right? If not, well, travel through the archives, you’ll find frequent breadcrumbs to the trail of why is it so, are ya kidding, and we gotta do something about THIS!  Don’t we?  Why Not?)

I grew up surrounded

By family, teachers, librarians who took the time to share the context, history and concerns of the time/place in which the idea of a story was born and shared.

Was introduced to the circumstances, (societal and personal experience), which inspired a writer to take up their pen, examine their inner/outer worlds, and share.

Was trusted to take the perspective, ponder upon and choose –

Humankind’s History…

…is not found just in the pages of Scientifically proven, Academically Approved or Historically Accurate Deemed texts –

It’s also in Our Stories – Oral traditions, Published Works, Personal Shares.

The best of us, the worst of us, the times we got it right and the times we didn’t.   The stories of those who have cried  and stood alone

The times we cried, got mad and then stood together, with raising voice,

“We can, (must!) Be Better!”

Always, there are the first brave souls who dared to show us how bad it could get, or how wonderful it could be – if only…

Who were willing to say, “This is the World I Dream Of” – and put it out for all to see – no matter how it might be judged by history.

Such a fine, ever-changing line we humans walk – for better or worse –

While we try to find that balance between helping and harming.

We are Explorers – all of us, internal and external – and the call of what is/could be is never far from tempting us – whether our current surroundings make it easy or hard.

Happy Reading & Writing –🙂

My Current List of  Banned/Challenged Classic Books Read

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
  • Ordinary People, Judith Guest
  • Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain
  • Catch-22, Joseph Heller
  • The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
  • Gone with The Wind, Margaret Mitchell
  • Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett
  • Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, Judy Blume
  • Cujo, Stephen King
  • Forever, Judy Blume
  • The Holy Bible 
  • A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle
  • Tiger Eyes, Judy Blume
  • Lord of the Flies, William Golding
  • Animal Farm, George Orwell
  • The Call of the Wild, Jack London
  • Ulysses, James Joyce
  • Blubber, Judy Blume
  • Go Ask Alice, Anonymous
  • Clan of the Cave Bear, Jean M. Auel
  • The Valley of Horses, Jean M. Auel
  • The Mammoth Hunters, Jean M. Auel
  • The Plains of Passage, Jean M. Auel
  • The Shelters of Stone, Jean M. Auel
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  • 1984, George Orwell
  • A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kensey
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
  • Go Tell it on the Mountain, James Baldwin
  • The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Jungle, Upton Sinclair

Fall in the Air

Yesterday was a struggle – took me until 4pm to check in with me own body and think, “Barometric pressure change?  Okay, I know what to do for that…”

Out came the ironing board,

(Gasp! NO! not to actually IRON something, silly, I use it to clip my red lamps to, for my ‘therapy’ –🙂 )

and I dutifully returned to the routine that has previously served me well, routine interrupted by Life last February, and which, I vowed to ‘get back to’, sometime in May, I believe, – here it is, August, and the internal warning bells have reached a fever pitch of, “Better do something, soon…, if you wish to keep ‘doing/being’ ”

I went to bed at a decent hour the past two nights, even prepared my percolator last night – all I had to do was turn on the induction plate this a.m., set the timer, turn on my lamps and walla!

Treatment for day done, just as my coffee is ready.

Life is good.

Working through the emails that hit after I retreated, yesterday, I realized…

Something feels different this a.m…

With coffee cup in hand I slip on my trusty sandals – (*%^! goat-head stickers infiltrated my place last summer and I haven’t yet eradicated them all) – I step outside, resplendent in my Victorian length, Eeyore, “I don’t DO mornings” emblazoned, nightshirt and trousers, to see what is going on.

Yup, fall is definitely on it’s way….

Has, perhaps, actually arrived.

It had whispered to me of it’s imminent arrival nearly 3 weeks ago – how, I cannot explain to you – I was simply out, in the early morning.

(I like early morning, just as I like late night, too. And am easily lured, either way.)

Clear sky kissed with gray greeted me, gray not of clouds, or mist, rather, that particular shade of gray that lasts but a moment as the dark of night flees from the onslaught of first one, than many rays of light.

“Fall is coming.  Better start re-arranging the priorities list.”

I observed the thought form in my mind, then raced down the usual pathways,

– Should I let the plants struggle some?  Or give them a morning supportive drink?

– How many mornings in a row, have I exercised my particular brand of loving?

– Am I helping them, in long run, or risking the addition of a few more planticides to my long list of sins…

– When did it last rain?

– wait a minute – it’s going to be hot today!  Look at that sky!

– Why did that FIRST thought form in my mind?!?

Why do I think Fall is coming and I’d better hurry?

– Is the ancient clock hardwired in my DNA keeping track of the hours of light/dark?

– Did one of my elderly neighbors fire up their wood stove overnight, to ease the aching bones in the blessed cool of the night? woodsmoke in the air – not even the slightly different fragrance carried by Brother Wind to bring news of wildfires raging a mile or state(s) away…

Well, yes, dire predictions of a ‘hard winter’ have invaded my world via a variety of online/in person sources, recently  – I added my two cents in observing the local insect community seemed bent on moving into better digs earlier this year, compared to last year – but don’t think that’s why – I do attempt to think for myself – –

I stood still, that quiet morning, so long ago, and worked my way through the list of options available to me –

Left to my own devices, without interruption, the above dialogue takes my brain WAAY less time, than it takes for you to read it, even you speed readers –

I’ve practiced, honed, this crazy skill, over a lifetime…🙂

Still learning what easy pathways are sometimes old roads in need of abandonment, or which have morphed into paved paths leading me straight to some, new, Hell –🙂

(Yes, technically, the above inner dialogue took place only a few weeks ago, but I’ve been cramming a lot into each day, for some time now, thus, it feels long ago…time travel at it’s most productive, if you will…🙂 )

And so, I returned to my desk, after a walk through my struggling, work-in-progress, Garden-Oasis, and made a few notes to write and share, later, along with one picture of those snapped, today, as a sneak peak for the 0816 Garden Journal Blog that, Lord willin’ and the Creek don’t rise, shall be posted shortly after this one  –

rescued sedum

Newly planted sedum for the native/dry garden area. Rescued from sale rack in early August –🙂

For now, It’s back to work, for me, in Cyber-land,

…where dreams are built and new paths of bliss found…

…where other dreams fail to turn out as planned, or are, justly or not, destroyed by the ignorant, righteous, greedy or cruel, driving one or more souls scurrying back to the drawing board, once again…

…where the 2.5 second world demands those interested in real information must wade through the distractions in order to get to the gems…before they disappear to time or mis-management, or collapse under the hardships they can no longer endure…

…where friends and relationships form, and those who wear a mask slip and can’t help but reveal their true intentions – and are either rallied around or voted-off-the-island…

All come together –  the good, the bad, the ugly – the invaders, the greedy, the hungry, the quiet struggling, who hold on for one more day, in hope, those who ventured or landed, perhaps not by their own free will, into a strange new land, that has promise, but missing so much of what they knew before –

Funny, how much cyber-land resembles my garden  –🙂

Happy Wednesday –🙂

P.S.  Yes, this is my new way of blogging – login, make the note, re-visit during the day when I’m waiting for something, or taking a break, or need the comfort of stringing words together, to make sense of my mind and my world – here and there, sooner or later, it will all get done – and, thus, a lifetime later, I click on Publish :)

The “Reminder Board”

Let’s face it – My heart and my mind are still spinning up dreams my body and brain just ain’t always up for accomplishing in the time frame I’d like –

And so, like any struggling personage, I have 3 cork board squares and two magnetic white boards that hang on the wall over my work desk, to keep me on target – Me own lil Reminder Board.

Now, given your knowledge of me being the sticky note queen, and my love of legal pads, writing notes on back of used envelopes, etc., you might think my board full of scribbled to-do notes in code only understandable by me –

But, you’d be wrong – cuz my Reminder Board is to inspire and remind me why I choose to do what I do and how I do it – to remind me of the times I got it right and cheer me up, when I fail to do as well I hoped to –

In short, it’s full of cards sent to tell me thank you, birthday missives from folks who know what I love, what I appreciate or what makes me laugh – gifts that tell me, someone took the time to think of me, drive all the way to the post office and actually get the package mailed to me…

Why am I telling you this?  Because today, I arrived at the Post Office to find a yellow card notice that I had a package, that wouldn’t fit into my tiny box – which confused me, cuz I haven’t ordered anything lately –

Sure enough, yes, there is a package, addressed to me and I look to see who it is from, and nearly burst into tears, because, half-way across the world, there is one who is raising a family, has way more on her plate than I do, and still finds the time to send me lil surprise packages, whose offspring will most likely be married with families of their own before I get the crate of Barbie dolls/clothes sorted, and gift boxes compiled to send.

And so, today, I took the time to rearrange the board, to display all the reminders of those who took the time to let me know they cared – those who forgive me when I’m not at my best – those who I try my best to support, make laugh and walk this journey with – cuz ya know, in the end, for me?

My great experience of this life is found in the connections made – the chance to see the world through another’s eyes – and the warm house of community when I’m tired, discouraged and wondering, “What’s it all for, really?” – Those in my circle, each in their own ways – through surprise packages, a phone call, a text, a smile and hug when I’m foaming at the mouth and ready to start me own lil revolution, who say, “It’ll be okay – we still love you, even though you’re being a lil unreasonable, or silly, or misinformed, just now…”

I truly believe that our greatest achievements happen when we not only think of ourselves, but of what lil ways we can cheer and enrich the lives of those we come into contact with –

And so, I’ll leave you with the updated Reminder Board picture – included are some items over 3 years residency, here in my world and new reminders of recent special days shared with wonderful spirits – a dragon fly hairpin that marks a day spent at the Celtic Fair with three who were willing to put up with my tendency to stop and ask each ‘clan’ what their favorite story from their clan history is – and would they tell me – (yes, yes, as soon as I get my customers taken care of, insulate my house in time for the forecasted hard winter, I’ll share with you, too –🙂

There are the bracelets I purchased to remind me of the magical afternoon I walked on the hard-asphalt track alongside my best friend from high school, who pledged and did, 25 miles this year, to raise money that goes for the lil things not covered while a family fights to help their loved one beat cancer – gas money, parking/highway tolls, grocery money, cuz the family budget took a hit while one is busy at the job of healing….

And the card that features the elephant drawing done by an autistic boy, because my friend remembers my take, ‘I just think we need to learn better how to see the gifts, instead of trying to demand everyone be ‘normal’ (“normal” is such a moving target, ain’t it?)

The friend who remembers and takes the initiative to introduce me to all the beautiful stories and creations of those who fight so hard, just to find their place in a world that gives lip service to their needs, while keeping systems in place that treat them as broken –

and always, always, the notes, handwritten, that say, “I see you, the real you, I remember how important (such and such is) to you –  and I’m still here – ”

I know I have been very quiet, that I have failed to do my part in community, here, but, I’m deep in observation mode and feel the deep transformations that are occurring, daily.  It may surprise you to learn, there are some experiences that I simply fail to find the words to convey – at least for awhile.  It’s easy to do a quick, superficial post at Facebook, to let folks not worry that you’ve died or disappeared – not so easy here – for, I know you know, I can do better than that ‘tripe’  – (which is why I love it here…really….)

Thank you New Bloggy Cat – your lil missives via email and snail mail never fail to amaze, surprise and cheer me – and yes, A Mind Divided, two of your hand-crafted cards hang above my desk; alas,  they were too special and I couldn’t bear to part with them – the others I ordered have been gifted to very wonderful people, who loved and treasure them and your attention to quality and detail –  thank you!🙂

And now…Ta-Da! The Reminder Board


P.S. Someday, I’ll share pictures of my Reminder Rock Shelf, Reminder Bookcase and Reminder Angel Display – My whole house is based upon Reminder Areas –🙂

Revisionist History vs. Storytelling

As you know, I tend to live in my own world, that is often bombarded by input from a gazillion different external sources – all of which must be sifted through, pondered upon and the beloved gems carefully selected to weave into the Story of Me – and, I tend to walk the path introduced to me by the works of Joseph Campbell –

 Disclaimer –

“This is my story – your version may vary – I don’t require you adopt my version, unless you like it better than yours, then, by all means, have at it.  But never think when I observe history, and comment, that I’m trying to actually re-write it – :)” 

“Johnny has gone for a Soldier”

I love this song – and the title of this version was my first introduction to it, courtesy the intro/closing music of a Revolutionary War documentary series.


Further research, revealed many versions of this song, as one winds their way back through time, with various lyric/tune/language changes, different meanings embedded within this word or that, until, in the dark (to us), quiet periods of oral traditions,  the trail to find it’s origins fades into the sands of time – and defies being picked up by any other than the dedicated expert who has dedicated their life to the quest.


I spent a magical evening, at a back-yard BBQ, with live music, singing, etc., not from hired players, but the kind of music I remembered from my youth; anyone welcome to play along, sing along, clap along, shout out a request, or thumb through the music book brought by the one playing the guitar…

Later, while tidying up the kitchen, the hostess, her sister and I worked our way through various numbers from the Sound of Music, some lullabies, gospel music and, when I tentatively started to sing the soldier song, wouldn’t ya know?  They jumped right in, with their beautiful soprano voices, one harmonizing, and quickly left me in the dust of ‘what lyrics are those? Can you repeat, slowly, while I try to keep up and learn?’

(I was rather lame at shoo-be-doing and foreign languages before my stroke; now, neither my brain nor my tongue have the slightest interest in such acrobatics.  Thus I am relegated to humming along or carving out time to learn to whistle. :)  )

Wouldn’t ya know – their beloved version was done by Peter, Paul and Mary circa 1960s


…and last, but not least, tonight, I discovered the Celtic Woman video of Siul A Ruin –


What have I gleaned, during reading forays the past two years, listening to various versions, languages, creative modifications of a song I love?

So Glad you asked!

Life Lessons carried on the wings of music:

  • There are those powers that love conquest and exercise their will where they can, to force conquered peoples to do what they may not wish to do
  • There are always fighters who choose to serve
  • There are always those who decide to bow out on principal and/or take the high road to Exile, until such time as the conquerors are defeated from within or without, or, viable forces to win the rebellion seem to be making the odds of staying to fight look better than living in exile or joining up with the conquerors.
  • There are always loved ones left at home, who love their fighters or exiled ones, and will face their own challenges, sometimes dire, indeed, to do what they think best supports their loved ones in returning safely home to them – even when it means their own ruin – and are dedicated to holding on until Beloved returns home.

I’m reminded, time and again, if you read, listen, look, long enough,  you will come across the same themes, over and over again…

Manifestations of stories that have survived Time – to morph and meet the current needs, while retaining the seeds of the past.

My motto?

“Be a fan of storytelling –  in all it’s various and changing artistic forms – always be on the look-out for those golden threads, that run deep and stretch long, weaving throughout time and space – to remind us of that which should never be forgotten…”

Just for Dreamwalker

Yes, this share, specifically for Sue Dreamwalker, my bloggy pal across the Big Blue Pond, who is always such a kind, home, for my heart and ways, even when I’m not at my best and go off on a rant – cuz, ya know, she loves John Denver, I love Emmy Lou, and though I never ‘nailed’ singing it as well as either of them, I sang this to my boys, when they were small, for I wanted the aspiration, idealism and beauty deeply seated in their brain, heart, comfort level (yes, this ye olde way of brainwashing….LOL)

Disclaimer: I’m just a tad south of Montana – but ya know – still in viewing distance of the Rocky Mountains!  :)  And may never outgrow my love of Colorado – but we got wide open skies, here, too, and not so many forests for me to get lost in – – LOL  Plus, I was informed by three, traveling, young couples from Montana in the mid-90s, that no, they weren’t dealing with huge influxes of California transplants – they were dealing with Coloradoan’s moving away from the Californians – – LOL

Not sure if enough time has passed, just yet, for that phase of history to be forgotten and safe for me to move – LOL

Seeing Red, Everywhere…

Yes, my mom is retired, vacationing – etc….

Someday, she’ll hanker for Colorado and want to visit – that leaves Me and my homestead to fill the need…

And (sigh) doncha know – she loves Red –

When I’m more on the (blue, green, purple fave of the color wheel)

And so – though I didn’t get all my pics from last weekends road trip properly sized/optimized for sharing – I realized, I could, at least, do the ones to post, of plants on ‘Idea’ list for area of permaculture, that blooms all summer, and will provide Mama a cozy spot to enjoy the birds, bees, flowers, etc.  as long as she doesn’t visit when it’s blizzard weather….


In the Spirit of Red….

(Mom?  Post originally titled, “Mom’s Garden Spot” – alas, Seeing Red worked better for so many other irons I have in fire, just now – NO! You’ll probably never raise me, completely, up right – BUT, figure anyone who takes the time to read, will know what’s really what –🙂  If Not?  Weeellll…. they should have been given the blessing of a reading Mama – is all I can say…  – –🙂

The shared items below are the ones the bees were really loving and clustering around – cuz, ya know?   If plant pretty and perfect, but the local bee population ignoring – well, um, yes, Pretty – but how functional is it?!?

LOL – – – I know I drive you crazy, thinking about such things…but, you should know this is how it is – for me – for now….LOL)


Arrive to walk the gardens and try out my new camera's Panorama settings - will see how it turns out - :)

Arrive to walk the gardens and try out my new camera’s Panorama settings – will see how it turns out –🙂

Okay, okay - not flowers, but, the name has Red in it, and it was pretty - thinking nice addition to perennial beds for ground cover - have to learn if drought tolerant or not.... :)

Okay, okay – not flowers, but, the name has Red in it, and it was pretty – thinking nice addition to perennial beds for ground cover – have to learn if drought tolerant or not….

Yes, the bees all over this one! Not featured, in this post, the white offerings a few spaces away that were covered with busy-bees, doing their thing...think about it - let's add some white into the garden, eh? LOL

Yes, the bees all over this one! Not featured, in this post, the white offerings a few spaces away that were covered with busy-bees, doing their thing…think about it – let’s add some white into the garden, eh?

You love the SuperTunia Petunia's from your sister's palace of hanging baskets - :) Lookee what I found! Red, Tunias AND, just as soon as I bend Dad's rebar into supporting hanging basket, this is what will be on it - just for you...:)

You love the SuperTunia Petunia’s from your sister’s palace of hanging baskets –🙂 Lookee what I found! Red, Tunias AND, just as soon as I bend Dad’s rebar into supporting hanging basket, this is what will be on it – just for you…:)

Zinnias are good companion plants, and, I believe, agressive self-seeders, which = perennial, to my mind...LOL - Have some seed for Zinnias that advertised pic come close to matching the red here - we'll summer....LOL

Zinnias are good companion plants, and, I believe, aggressive self-seeders, which = perennial, to my mind…LOL – Have some seed for Zinnias that advertised pic come close to matching the red here – we’ll see…next summer….LOL

Um - yes, not, EXACTLY, red, but it is named "Archangel Rose" with some other words blended in - and so, why wouldn't it work for me - never fret - I'll plant it in between my purple loves and your red loves - it will be a 'transition focal point' - - LOL

Um – yes, not, EXACTLY, red, but it is named “Archangel Rose” with some other words blended in – and so, why wouldn’t it work for me? – never fret – I’ll plant it in between my purple loves and your red loves – it will be a ‘transition focal point’ – – LOL

But I have to tell ya – I fell in love with Canna – think it will like where I live – have long admired the plant – they had Rose, Yellow and Mango displayed, but you know I was just looking at things other than blossom color – but here ya go – be forewarned, your lil Rose’s Garden is going to have some not true red stuff in it – – LOL

CannaRose_CSU2016And, yeeeesss…..LOL

I observed the bees, birds and butterflies – I had my faves, too….

I fell in love with Ipomea – still need to research to find out how high maintenance it will be – for you know, beautiful addition to scheme of 3 lots – BUT – – so metallic/high class in muted forms, figure, it will be high maintenace/picky – – LOL


And yes, still awaiting resize/optimize pics are a variety of colors – some varieties that have “Antique” in the name – – LOL you know my heart – –🙂

LUB, Mom – Glad you are having great time on your first “retired! vacation” – know I’m doing okay – still building, planting, planning for future – cuz, ya know me – it’s what I do….

Here’s the pic of what I actually carted home from my short road trip:

(Sing_Along!  To the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas!  5 Wild Roses, 5 Native Plums and 2 Nanking Cherry trees….. – nope, I didn’t buy #s of each based off what would work for sing-along – – – LOL )