12 by the Numbers

My 12th anniversary of blogging happened recently, WordPress let me know.

Also, recently, a young woman known to me, had a stroke. I listened to the highlights of her story.

Sigh – stroke, abusive relationships, healing, tools to recover, running a small biz on what she did before, and can still do, though slower, and supplies to create her cottage industry wares, more costly?

Yes, I have experience of my road, I can share with her, to see if any of it is useful to her…

She used to work as a volunteer EMS provider, too – so sometimes? I can revert to long ago learned worldview & lingo and she still ‘hears’ what I’m trying to convey in words of encouragement – 😀

How to get disability from a system you’ve worked your entire life in to pay into? How to get court orders enforced, after leaving a life partner? Nope, I can’t tell her – Most times, I’ve found, it’s less time, money and emotional resources spent, if I just focus on what I can do, where I can, as I can, for folks who believe I have something they want…

And so, dearheart? My Blogiversary post, is for you….

There is life on the other side of stroke, like you and me have had – not debilitating forever, but leaves ya rather laid up for awhile or maybe a long while…., Life will wax and wane, like it always has, just seems like more highs and lows to deal with, now…

All ya gotta do is hang on, some days, push forth as tolerated on days ya can – and don’t lose hope, ever, even if it’s only exists in microscopic size.

But, okay – from the outside looking at me, ya think I beat it, I’m ‘back’ and life is a cake walk – so, here’s the truth – for you and others – no life is ever sans any challenges, ever.

Ya just gotta choose, do I show up best as I can today? Or do I give up?

And everyday, you make that choice, over and over again.

The Years Go By –


12 years of blogging,
Seems like just yesterday.
Takes me back to an office window
In the city above the clouds
With close up view of Pikes Peak.
A marriage, where one no longer loves,
Instead, stays out late most nights.
A house filled still, with no longer spoken grief,
A friend that stuck around, after my son died,
Attends some “Positive Thinking” seminar,
And alerts me to a book by Jill Bolte Taylor,
“My Stroke of Insight”
Interesting read, and teaches me some more,
About my brain and soul.
The thoughts, chemicals and neural connections,
That take place while I navigate Life in all its emotions.
But most of all, to recognize more quickly,
When lying to myself, or asking of damaged parts,
To do what they cannot do, just now, maybe never again,
But to focus instead, on building a new roadway,
To circumvent the now dead portions of my
Internal landscape.


11 years ago, a separation,
A hurried move, two part-time jobs and one,
Side hustle of database building, content writing and tutoring others to use tech and software.
All while trying to build a huge veggie garden,
Followed by a stroke in the late fall.
Then, websites built on WorPress CMS and hosting for site biz started,
Only thing I can afford or think I can just now do,
Is budget an extra $16/month,
To upgrade personal account,
On shared hosting,
To buy room to host others –
Unlimited they say, if I stay below bandwidth and space levels.
I can try to do, just now
Something for local friends willing to pay modest costs,
For help in getting a website online, they have tried,
But are confused.
I can earn some money,
Perhaps with time, build out a modest living.
All now I am unable to do what I once did without a thought.

I can’t talk well at all,
Though if I whisper or sing,
Others can more easily bear to listen and hear, what I’m saying,
Unless I utter to them words different, from what my brain had chosen.
My right foot turns inward, way past mere pigeon-toed form,
Yet I don’t notice it, until my knee, hip
And back hurt mightily,
I must walk in way my brain shouts at me,
That I’m walking wall-footed,
But visual check confirms,
My right foot is pointed, straight forward.
No food or drink tastes as expected.
Except tuna salad on saltine crackers.
The doctor prescribes one glass of dark red wine per day;
I have to water it down 31 parts to 1, and sip on,
Throughout the day, for I’ve never liked wine
But I’m forbidden from drinking beer, ever again
Visiting with others wears me out,
For if many talk or make noises, all at once,
My brain saves itself the energy,
Through white-noise buzzing instead of
Trying to separate all the incoming strands,
And waste the energy to make sense,
Of the all the incoming noise
I must rest every 20 minutes,
Otherwise, the only sound I hear,
Is my racing heart pounding in my left ear,
And the only world I view is blurry.
I no longer can multi-task,
And even a simple meal,
Will burn or get ruined,
If anything more than box Mac & Cheese,
I stand or sit by the stove, and continually focus on
Until done, with timer set for each step.
Thus I return to the crockpot meals
5-15 minutes prep, put on low,
And it will cook just like it used to, while I used to go to work.
Put supper on the table.
For my mom and my son,
It’s the least I can do.
When they return back home,
From the world in which,
I no longer belong.


10 years ago, I stand before the judge,
And stutter-lisp my replies,
In voice that brings pity into my loved ones’ eyes,
But only brings that look of,
To the face of my ex, sitting across the aisle.
The judge proclaims my freedom,
To start my life anew, best as I can.
With a kindly added “Miss, you take care of yourself”
To me, before the final gavel rap.
Child support only, no alimony did I ask.
He offered payout, from 401(k) often raided,
And it’s enough, after penalty taxes,
To pay off the medical bills, the remnants of simple funeral bill
For son back in 2008, payments skipped by ex.
That I didn’t know about, till I tried to pre-pay for my own,
Just in case….
Back rent due to family, kindly carried on the books,
Paid and now have nest egg of $3,906, to start over.
My gums erupt blood, from stress of the day,
He still scares me, and I fast walk away.
But I breathe a sigh of relief,
Deliver name change info to the bank,
The DMV and County Clerk,
And drive home, feeling blessed,
I am now able to drive myself.


9 years ago, the first spring arrives,
At the place I still call home,
But felt as if I had arrived,
Where I was always supposed to belong,
First time I set first left foot,
Then dragging along the other,
Onto this land.
A very tiny home, on very tiny budget,
But space for son and I,
To be ourselves, heal
And grow in.


8 years ago, tiny biz
Slow but sort of growing
I brave applying,
For two hours a day
Library aide job.
I lisp through my answers,
To interview questions.
Sound more like Elmer Fudd now,
Then first generation computer voice.
The branch manager is kind,
And doesn’t insist I answer quick or fast.
My foot barely drags anymore,
Only when I’m tired.
And no one cares, how I talk
While I’m shelving books.


7 years ago, I’m getting stronger
Tiny biz numbers grow, all by referral,
I move from shared hosting,
To better, containerized server.
Business investment and increased cost shared,
Between me, and still affordable for my six clients.
No website of my own, too busy,
Building for others and working part-time,
Trying to improve the homeplace,
After massive storm and roof damage.
I work on the roof, that feels like hell on earth,
But don’t pass out, and glad I’m not a full-time roofer,
I once more count my blessings,
While treating sunburn and fatigue,
And can’t waste the energy to talk
That evening.


6 years ago, son graduates,
Mother retires and moves
Just me and Oakley, the wonder dawg, left,
With all this free-time, and no budget for travel,
Just what will I do?
More customers taken on,
More hours at library,
I’m now a tech, no longer an aide,
My voice only lisps or stutters,
When I overdo and get extremely tired.
More income, less grocery budget needed,
My century plus three years old home now fully rewired,
By my high school teacher with a little help
From me, and my brain now knows,
What each color of wires and screws,
Really means.


5 years ago, another interview,
I’m recovered enough to talk too much.
For more hours and increased responsibility,
At library day job.
Tiny biz now at full-service client list of 10,
But bills for what’s left over,
After scholarships, grants and work study,
At son’s college, hit my inbox.
Nothing to do but apply for Lead,
For my part-time hours will be cut,
From my little job, to pay for newly formed position.
And I am encouraged to apply,
By same boss that hired me when I couldn’t talk well or much.
I want my son to have what I was unable to do for myself,
Life got in the way. Amazingly, I am hired,
Start new position and the year marches on,
A spring day of brush and trash clearing,
And hauling back in, shredded mulch,
By the side of the homesteaders group formed,
I started as monthly program at library,
But we now work together,
For each homestead’s needs.
I am offered an ice-cold beer,
As I arrive with one leg bleeding,
From a fall and scrapes from brush,
That had nothing to do with balance,
Only me getting tired and losing my temper over my strength.
My mind remembers with longing,
The taste of ice cold beer, after working under hot day sun,
Long ago….
I take a hesitant sip,
It tastes like it should!
One goes down after another,
Though some turn warm half-empty,
And never are finished.
While I luxuriate in just visiting with folks,
I worked physically hard alongside today,
And didn’t fail in doing my part.
I walk home from host of the afterwork potluck BBQ,
Just three blocks back home, but I surely wouldn’t dare drive!
I’ve been drinking and feel rather sloshed….
The morning after 5 beers consumed,
Hangover and dehydration reign,
I realize, it might taste right – but no longer worth it.
I chafe over the day of misery and missed
Work to be done, cuz I’m miserable and can’t work well,
On what’s mine to do, on any streamlined front…
Not like I did often in my youth.
But it didn’t instantly kill me,
Just a reminder I’m no longer young,
Though another work day meant,
I discovered I could buck straw bales,
Onto a trailer, once more.
Again, after that hot day of work in the sun,
I’m reminded,
Stick with my well-watered down wine,
Sometimes poured in ratio of 8 or 10:1,
When hard day or many days, under my belt,
As I sit listening to music or,
Dancing in the living room,
With Oakley and she plays,
Her game fully, without fearing she’ll trip me.
Then? I don’t always pay attention,
When refilling the water mug.
I’m hydrated, everyday, and well,
Sometimes imbibe enough,
The ache in my joints and once in awhile,
My heart,
Eases off.
Beer doesn’t kill me, true,
But I no longer yearn for days gone by,
Or even want,
I’m often high of life, and the aches are bearable without,
More I can do, than I cannot
So there is much overall,
This year, To Celebrate.


4 years ago, foot traffic,
Customer engagement grows,
At full-time job of books, programs & community,
While referrals for tiny biz,
Are handled best I can via free advice given,
Or passed on to other providers, locally.
Existing client requests handled,
Late at night and wee hours of morning.
I hardly ever lisp or stutter anymore,
Though often drained from interaction,
After nine hours of multi-tasking.
Sometimes 150 people taken care of in just one day.
I discover I can balance on just my right foot,
To reach, stretch in tight space, without falling over,
To get an odd job done.
When did that heal and now I can once more do?
I don’t know,
I was too busy to test and log,
My monthly ‘gains’ stuff I used to do.
Son, with 3 semesters under his belt,
Takes the summer session off,
Moves to live with Dad and stepmom,
He’s burnt out from non-stop schooling and working.
I understand that feeling.
But a month after he moves,
Ex stops sending,
The extended by 2-years of monthly support,
In lieu of long term alimony or asset buyout,
To cover portion of schooling costs,
Which his half of estimated 4 years,
Already racked up,
Only recourse is contempt of court filing,
And I will not do, not while my son
Lives in his household,
For He will take it out on my beloved,
In sneaky, heart felt ways,
Rather than facing me.
As he always has done.
And nothing to do, but soldier on.
I am able, and I well enough now,
To take upon my own shoulders.
I rejoice in my recovery.


3 years ago, more changes arrive,
First seasonal flu, then pneumonia,
As I blindly repeat past cycles I should have learned,
Not to do,
Of working/serving others first, taking care of myself last…
If at all.
Most likely caught at job, as sick folks
Cough, hack and sneeze while traipsing through,
Choosing books and movies,
To keep them entertained while they stay ‘home’ sick…
I can’t breathe well, for awhile,
The lisp and stutter return.
I’m nearly down to the size jeans I wore,
When I was 20 years younger.
Come spring, new board of directors,
New company organization,
What I love at my job, duties once more changing,
And hours will be reduced.
What’s asked of me now, not focused on,
Direct customer service.
Resignation tendered and small, but paying its way biz,
Once more sole focus of my attention.
Son who moved in with schoolmate, months ago,
And working full-time steady, loses congenial roommate,
To upcoming ‘marriage’, and though invited,
To join the new couple in their new home,
He, instead, close to lease expiration,
Comes home, until he can,
Show year’s worth of pay-stubs for his ‘career possible’ job,
And perhaps? Put a down on a small place of his own.
Our household now numbers 3 once more.
And we are working and getting ‘er done,
To pay the bills, nip away at college debt lingering,
Together we invest in side of beef and hog,
To stock the freezer to keep him well fed.
Young men who work manual labor jobs,
Require more animal protein per day, than I do.
what? I can do this,
I’m healed up from last winter’s illness,
And folks figure I’m smartest crayon in the box,
On anything they need help with,
That deals with tech.
Because my voice no longer ever hints,
That I may be brain-damaged.
And I don’t offer up the info/possibility of it,
I only list out what I do/do not think I know,
Offer what I may be able to help with,
At this bargain price,
Those in my area can afford.
I have no wish to serve those,
Promising higher pay, benefits or steady checks,
For while I forget some things,
I remember well who stuck around and hired me,
When I held no value for anyone else.


2 years ago, son and I both get sick,
Early January it was, bad respiratory flu,
We recover, slowly but surely,
I stutter and lisp some in the weeks following,
I lose one recent new customer; a missed deadline.
Turned out okay, and they got elsewhere,
What they wanted, in less grand fashion than I envisioned building.
Refused my offer of entire refund,
But still,
Humiliating and no excuse, no matter what info I didn’t get,
I’m better than that, and it was, after all, only the flu.
By March I’m better, and mom has surgery,
I push her wheelchair out from hospital,
As newly hired security officers, set up screening
At the entry/exit points, because of first case
Of the new virus scaring many.
By June I’m very grateful, son is home with me.
Were it not for splitting home & utility costs,
I would fall behind, given requests from clients to keep
Their bill as low as possible, and only hold the line.
It’s not the stroke after effects, or being ill this past winter,
It’s the cares and burdens,
To carry – I’ll get back on my feet, here soon
I need only not tarry on fronts where I can do,
And rest whenever I can.
I start to suspect, as the year goes by,
And others around my locale, fall ill,
Or die…
Perhaps my son and I,
Had the dreaded virus, before
Ever it was newsworthy or labeled as a hoax by many.


1 year ago, after taking on odd jobs,
And meeting obligations,
While sitting in front of computer,
My muscle tone is gone, weight creeps
Back on, and blood pressure spikes here and there.
I no longer can work 18 hours a day,
Even just in front of the computer.
I’m thankful for final round of stimulus,
To keep it all going.
Income slowly improving,
Client requests and concerns over potential billing,
I fear the quiet and various signs that show up,
Those I associate with
What happened in the time before my stroke,
Physical, Mental and financial stress,
But for $5.99 monthly HerbMentor subscription,
And $243 spent on herbs to use in tea, that will grow here,
Herbal Medica books, and seeds for herbs that work,
Plus lots of hours ‘wasted’ (?) in non-paid work,
Reading digitized versions,
Of pharmacopia and treatment pamphlets,
Published in 1880-early 1900s,
From Western doctors, using local plants,
Two online mini-courses virtually taken,
From one Herbalist and one Qigong Master,
I beat back the fears, and find what works
Well enough, just now, for me.

Zero or Lift-Off

This passing year, so far,
Has been another doozy,
A variant, most likely caught in May,
Son was just starting with symptoms,
The day we saw each other, for only the second time,
Since he got his own place January.
I treat the discomfort at home,
And make it through, without ER or Doctor visit.
Learn the results of son’s required for work testing,
One positive out of 10 taken, since 2020,
And he has been vaccinated.
Not a hoax and I did nothing special or drastic or experimental,
Nor believe I have any answers for others,
On pandemic fears front,
But it arrived at busiest time of year for 4 of my now 13 clients.
And still, three non-profits, waiting patiently in the wings,
For me to donate hours, to build & launch their dreams,
With what they and I together, can do.
Clients requested to double check my work sent,
I’m all but begging them to,
I’m not at they consider, my established & proven before, best.
Clients are nice about it, patient and sometimes leave,
Homemade soup or other gifts, at my front gate.
I remember to rest when needed,
Put learned options to treat myself,
On various health needs at home,
As I can stumble into kitchen and fix.
I’m stroke survivor, that’s true
But really, I’m just getting older,
Though, I guess, in better shape than I thought,
Seeing as how I survived this latest health encounter.

The road walked,
While WordPress marked,
My days of blogging history,
The stats, the pals made here,
Their shared journey and many others known to me,
Have been a part of my own path.
I guess, as I write this out today,
For one just starting her stroke recovery?

I can’t tell you what your journey will look like,
But know this….
You had a tiny biz before, and you’re still able to do,
You are back home in a community,
Of those who love and support you.
Don’t give up, I’ll help where I can,
Others will too.
Do not ever depend upon
Court documents or systems far from you,
To provide resources or cheerfully meet your needs.
And never, ever, give up your will,
To hold on, for just one more day,
If even you wake up struggling to breathe.
Seize any opportunity, to survive or take onestep forward,
Whenever you can.
You’ll be amazed, on what shows up,
And what fades away,
As your coming years,
Wash over you in waves.
But every day you live,
You’ll fear less,
And witness your true strength,
Better gauge your real value,
In ways you never imagined possible.
In the end?
That is worth showing up for.

Tell Me a Story, Sing Me a Song

Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was younger than dirt or God, I was in my third year of high school Drama class.

And was awarded the part of the ‘daughter’ in a play.

The Part

Just one of three plays to be put on, for the annual show night, in a two-characters only script, three act play….

At general tryouts where if you read whatever you’re told to, and do some fly-by the seat of your pants improv on cue, you’re given a part in one of the chosen by teacher performance options- even if you’re cast as an extra/walk on with few or no lines.

You show up, read and try? You’re In!

This is small high school and we’re all here to learn and play, right?

No one who makes an honest effort, ever just warms the bench all year…

Um… you’re putting me? In the two part only show? Three acts? Long Monologues?

No elaborate sets, no cluster of bodies all over the stage, in case my nose tickles and I’m trying not to sneeze, cuz I doubt I can do so ‘in character’ and nothing else, to distract attention from me being out of character….for a second or two….????


Um….okie-dokie then….

The only rule in improv? Ya don’t say no –

You only have to take whatever is pitched to ya, run with it, and pass it on –

You refuse the pass, insist the ball must look the way you wanted it to and the goal post must be where/how ya envisioned it?

If ya hog the ball and don’t pass it or include other players?

Ya just ruined/lost the whole game for everyone, including you, all by yourself….

Improv is much more forgiving than sports are, and much more inclusive, I tell you….

….all those pesky rules and regulations in sports.

The need to run in the right direction when the ball drops in front of you and you pick it up and then run for your life, before the thundering herd arrives tackle ya – woe on your head if ya run in the wrong direction….

The constant demands to always work towards being a star and fine tuned machine of performance, over and over…? Who needs that?

Certainly not me…


Who cares what direction you are running? Ya caught the passed with precision or lobbed half-arsed over to you, ball or picked up the fumbled one that dropped onto the field near where you stood and now?

You’re running for all you’re worth – just to keep the game going…

Isn’t that what really counts???

Yes in Improv –

Not so much in sports…

Stage/Scene Set

An empty stage – with one metal folding chair on stage right, and another on stage left….

Blocking rehearsal is short and quick – sit in the chair or stand next to it, hold this pose while the other does their monologue. Pretty straight forward.

Small halo spotlight on each side, to focus on chairs as lines are spoken – first this side, then the other.

The tech/lighting crew guy who had no interest, whatsoever, in being on stage, but could work sound and lighting boards that still, to this day, just confuse the hell out of me with all the knobs, levers and such, sure worked his arse off for that production, in timing and paying attention – and he did it well too!

I always wanted the stage hands, backstage crew, wood shop and art students to do the curtain call with the actors/actresses in a play.

To fill the stage and let the audience know, this production? would not have happened, without all these folks – –

Also, how about all you mom’s and dad’s who purchased or made the costumes for tonight join us up here too! C’mon now….don’t be shy!

Alas, I wasn’t in charge and….

It also took me awhile to fully understand that no one in audience really cared what all it took or if they did, they already knew and usually?

The reason many of the ‘made it happen, really’ folks who signed up to work backstage, did so?

They would rather hike through a ditch filled with poisonous snakes and under continual live rounds of machine gun fire flying around their heads, than walk onto that stage to stand in front of an audience, they don’t care if their mom is watching/waiting or not….

But well, so many credits of ‘elective’ courses needed to graduate and well – ya gotta do what ya gotta do…

You just THOUGHT you were taking wood shop, but the teacher signs ya up to build props, backgrounds etc., for those prima donna’s over in Drama class and ya just know none of them wussies have ever handled a band saw without slicing their fingers off…


Lessons… learned…..

So I had to make do for my wishes/needs, with saying thank you to the ‘behind the scenes’ talent often and telling others, one-on-one, “Well, yes, but ya know? So and so did the backdrops (costumes, sound effects, etc) and their talent just blows me away and make us all look good!”

Sometimes, ya just gotta modify the off stage script as best as ya can live with that others can are willing to live with, too….

The Script to be Learned

Act I

I’m small – not wanting to go to sleep – one more story, one more song, I’m thirsty, I need a drink of water, there is a monster under the bed…..

My cast mate, the Mother, tells me to go to sleep, no more water, no, there is no monster, see?? As exhaustion tinges her voice and the burdens of single parenthood weigh heavy on her heart…

I have to do that voice, stay in character and whine in a way that ensured quick correction and unpleasant consequences were I to do such things in real life, on any front???


Act II

I am now a young woman – my mother is an idiot, I yearn for freedom and she doesn’t know anything about anything…

Mother snaps at me, grounds me, sighs in resignation, questions her entire life, whatever did she do to deserve this?? and in monologue, while I am ‘asleep’, or out who knows where….wonders if she is, in fact, a good parent or not –

But then I learn I’m to be a young mother…and all the sudden? My mother knows everything again, once more feels needed, venerated for her knowledge, skill and talents…and assures me every parent questions if they are doing it right or not…

Seems rather over the top to me…but okay – guess it’s overplaying it to make a point – I can do this! Be a brat, be rebellious on every little thing then turn around and ask for help from the hand I so recently bit – who wrote this???? Do they live in the same reality I do? I mean, sorta true, but c’mon now – isn’t this ‘overreaching or overacting’??!

I’m assured it is not and since I’m not a rising star/child prodigy, my suggestions for dialogue changes are ignored .


I am now past middle age – my mother growing older, needs me – she asks me the same questions over and over, and I must act as if it’s the first time I ever heard it, answer it just the same as I first did. She also wants me to tell her/remind her, of the stories she loves, or sing the song we used to sing together, what were the words again??

And now?

I’m the one who must tell, one more story, sing one more song – and go to kitchen to get another glass of water, when I’m tired, and my heart is the one now breaking…..

I work part-time in a nursing home, in real life – this portion? I don’t have to pretend or question if realistic – it just is and your heart sometimes breaks over it all whether they are your family member or not… this isn’t acting – or pretending – I KNOW about this!

It wasn’t a successful production

Overall, during my short career as high school only, amateur ‘actress’?

It was the most lines either I or my cast mate had ever had to memorize.

We had only each other and if we stumbled or hesitated? The mood and tempo of the play meant, no ad-libbing, much, or injecting comedic relief into the pauses, or ‘forget this line just now’ in the ‘drama’ we were ‘hired’ to play out…

Lots of rehearsals, but only two live shows – a matinee and evening one, each.

No stopping, starting over – restarting the camera to record.

The range of voice modulations, way of speaking, delivering lines? One of the hardest, most practiced, stretching every skill I had spent school time learning or trying to learn, for 3 years, 3 times a week, for an hour each class, plus 2 hours of practice after school, every night, for two-six weeks, here and there, I had ever done.

I also, worked for bosses at that time, who firmly believed, school and school stuff came first and their proactive scheduling made it possible for me to arrive late/be on closing shift instead of short shift for evening rush or work long hours on the weekend for folks willing to cover my 2 hour delay to work, who loved having the weekend off with their family.

Thus, to me?

So many people, creations, stretching, learning and sacrifices had gone into making ‘this production possible’….

And yet, even before family, friends, community feedback was delivered to my ears, verbally…personally, I already knew, from the restrained, polite applause at close of each act, and at end/curtain call –

Didn’t matter how hard everyone worked at their part, or in support staff, behind the scenes stuff…

it was a bust….

Ticket sales were not the Metric to measure by

Basically, if you were related to anyone even remotely involved in the production of the evening’s show? You got free entry to entertainment.

Ticket prices were .50 for kids, $1 for adults and wasn’t enforced very strictly –

Ticket sales were not the realistic metric of ‘how successful’ a production was to be gauged by, if one were honest about the real metrics at all…

Plus, middle school kiddos were always put in charge of the door/ticket sales and they usually let their friends, cousins, family from neighboring communities in for free, anyways – cuz it’s just .50 right?


The Drama Teacher was pleased with Performance

According to her? We had worked hard and delivered a masterpiece of art for our ‘just starting out’ knowledge and ‘these unsophisticated people just don’t appreciate true art’ was her way of brushing away the thin applause when the melodrama had rocked the house the same night-

Um, okay – but this ain’t Broadway, ya know….and well….

What I learned from Bust

I listened to offered congratulations, as they were given (folks are nice to small rural school kiddos – they find always find something good to say, even if it’s just

“Wow! You didn’t sweat as much under that heavy make-up/stage lighting as ya did last year!”

But as the days and weeks passed, and I continued to pursue ‘lessons learned’ when/where I felt safe to ask someone who would give me honest answer, regarding:

“Would you share why this wasn’t your fave of the plays we’ve put on over the years? I would welcome your feedback….”

The Answer, no matter how worded, was the rather the same core root….

“I came for entertainment and to forget my life, for awhile, not for this….”

Feedback Was couched in ‘polite speak’

… best they knew how:

“Oh no, don’t get me wrong! You and Charlene nailed it! I can’t imagine how you all memorized that many lines with just the two of you! Just not my preference ….”

But slowly, here and there? the truth peeped/came out…..

“…well, it just reminded me of….:

  • the piles of laundry to do at home, and my teeth grated in frustration when you whined for another glass of water…..sorry, but my youngest is going through the whining stage and I just couldn’t bear another minute of it….
  • You did it well – when you mouthed off…. But truth be told? I just wanted to rush the stage and slap ya! I’m so tired of the back talk from my teen-ager, where have manners flown, nowadays??!
  • It was hard to listen to the forgetting – my mom is losing her memory – I answer the same question over and over and it was hard to sit through, listening to you all do it….

Art Imitated Life just a Little too Real

Words, acting, storylines, characters trucked out, on stage, play pretending at the stages and phases of life that most everyone, at one time or another, faces?

Those things that just cut too close to the bone, of daily life sometimes- the struggles, the challenges, the heartache….?

It was just too much for hard working folks, wearing too many hats in daily life, to deal with a play discussing them – and not what was yearned for by many, for a night of low cost/no cost, local entertainment.

Melodrama with an over the top villain to boo at, a too good to be true hero to cheer, a beautiful, perfect heroine to love, cherish and rescue, a clown/bumbling idiot to laugh at, was what was needed and wanted, just then, on many fronts.

Especially when many performances are stacked into one night – and most folks won’t be so rude as to walk out on the performance of other children, while waiting to see their child perform…

I listened to the feedback given then, and I learned those lessons well –

Perhaps a little too well….

I’ve been an ‘actress’ most of my working life

Waitresses and bartenders don’t make much in tips, even with excellent service and great line cook on duty, if ya can’t provide a ‘floor show’ to keep the crowd entertained when it’s the middle of the night and the roads are closed…..

In corporate world?

A story must always be told, that keeps the crowd entertained, motivated or enthusiastic, while presenting stats, charts, bottom lines or how to produce more, with less, all while telling one audience about money saving opportunities and another audience must reassured they won’t be laid off anytime soon – all while delivering the same info, charts and stats.

If bad news to be delivered, one must always find the bright side, the silver lining of ‘opportunities’ just waiting to be seized by those who dare greatly, who are stars, leaders or good team players – know your audience for this meeting slot- and tweak the story so every one can swallow it, no matter how many times you have to tell it, in all it’s different versions…

If good news to be delivered at high levels?

It’s always the leaders and stars of the main stage and not ever the backstage team, who made it ‘all happen’.

You’re just the reporter – the compiler, the one sent to give the presentation and make the higher ups look real good (or stroke their egos…as case may be).

At mid or internal levels? If all goes well? It’s really, always the team that actually made it happen – not you, the lead or mid-level manager, personally.

If the project is behind, failing? Your fault, alone, even if needs and budget cuts meant your timeline for delivery moved up by 3 months, your section hit by hard layoffs, you still must reassure and say, with a smile, “Sure, we/I can get that done” and do so, even if, you’re just presenting the info, cuz your boss had to be 3 other places that day – to CYA for themselves, their team and listen to next round of budget cuts, and they trust you to portray it the way they would, if they could be there…

Over and over and over – the script is presented, lines are learned and you tryout for or get assigned the part that is yours to play, just now, best as ya can or are willing too…

You take the stage and sometimes, your curtain call here and there, amid heckling/cheering, booing/ovation or restrained/polite/rowdy applause…

Or you stand backstage and feel blessed to have been a part of it all or very grateful you aren’t the one under the spotlight or sitting in the hot-seat, just now.

And then?

Ya move onto the next ‘play’ you are cast in or sign up for…

It just Is…and yes, in some ways?

Every human I know, willingly, knowingly….

or sometimes not…..

Takes many stages and has played many a part, just while living life.

All the World’s a Stage….

I’m still trying to figure out my lines, learn ’em and sometimes wonder if I am, in fact, the best person to cast ‘in this part or that’ for various productions –

Sometimes I look around me and wonder what the heck play am I actually in??

What part is mine to play?

Am I the villain, the hero/heroine or bumbling idiot/comedic relief – perhaps I’m simply the audience?

I confess to very rarely knowing for sure – until the much too close to real life serious drama unfolds – then? I just know, without a doubt, what my part is…

It’s rarely pretty, fun or the stuff medals and accolades spring from.

Everyday, routine stuff? Meh – I’m usually lost on in the field – standing around, wondering if I’m even where I’m supposed to be, just now…

But while I’m a workin’ on me….

Playing this stage here, that backstage over there…

Please Tell me another story, sing me another song

I’m here for the entertainment and…. I’m here to play!

I’m not an athlete. Never was, never will be….

But the stories and songs I hear, witness?

That’s the Improv ballgame I often feel included in, no matter what my part to play and whether I know my lines well or not.

Sometimes it’s my job to witness and clap for all I’m worth when the curtain closes.

Once in awhile, I catch the ball or scoop up the fumble that comes my way and run for all I’m worth.

Hopefully, in the right direction…

Featured Image by bigter choi from Pixabay


For Ragtag Daily Prompt: live wire

Featured Image by Samuel Morazan from Pixabay

Over the air,
My voice has carried,
And been reflected back to me,
Through the echoes
Of hills and rock,
Answering call of birds
Or coyotes.

But also, often,
Via a human call or reply,
Asking for confirmation
If they truly heard, what I just said,
Danced across the airwaves.

An audience of none,
An audience of one,
An audience of many;
On human made live wires and air,
I remember well,
Words spoken and heard,
Embedded in Time and Space.

At first it was a CB,
Installed in my little car,
As backup for traveling,
Cross Country by myself
Before the days of mobile phones

Back then? I was known as
“Green Eyes”
On channel 19 ….
Or was it channel 21?
I no longer remember

My car broke down,
The lights of home were in sight,
Such a bitterly cold February night.
Much too cold, to walk the short,
Mile or two, to Port of Entry, just before,
The exit for the town I was coming home too.

A semi slows down, and pulls in behind me,
His lights shining bright through the darkening night,
A short rap on the window, as he stood out in the cold,
And with friendly ask,
Through the window I barely cracked open,
“Is your handle Green Eyes?”

“Papa Smurf asked me to stop and check.
He didn’t expect to see ya,
After you blew by him at state line,
And said, ‘later!’
He figured you were already at home at last.”

“Passed right by ya, he did, before recognizing
Your old VW, sporting Porsche Burgundy paint.
He called out to us behind,
And asked, if someone would,
Stop and check, as he was running close to the line,
To make his destination, on time

I gotta stop at the Port just up ahead….
Lord gal, it’s cold out here!!
You’re welcome to ride on in, with me…
My heater’s cranked on high,
But if you’d rather play it safe,
I’ll let them know where you’re at at.”

Walking back to his truck, he waited for a bit,
While I assessed the risks,
Of taking a ride with a stranger, or freezing to death.
He delivered me safe and sound,
To port just ahead,
And in his goodbye, he said,

“You be safe, girl,
Don’t know why you’re travelin’ on your own,
Don’t never forget,
Ain’t everyone on the the roadway, like me and Papa Smurf,
Hell, I got a daughter about your age at home!
And I hope she never travels alone.”

The years passed by.
One job after another,
I was hired to do, and
Each one more serious and regulated,
Than CB airwaves.

Sometimes I chose a name,
For On -Air persona,
Sometimes, I was told what it would be.
Sometimes I gave only my Job Title and Last name,
Sometimes my call sign changed,
Dependent upon if I was in comm center,
Or calling in from company car.

Through speakers,
Linked to the radio lines,
To fill the cab of a
Long Haul Trucker,
As he passed through our area
In middle of the night,
Looking for station that played,
His favorite music…
The vibrations of my voice,
Landed on his ears,
And was translated in his brain.

My voice has been heard
In the police package Chevy, Dodge or Ford,
To Medic 2, Engine 10 or Brush 3,
The undercover vehicle, carrying those
Who work for acronyms,
Here, now, in my land,
For joint task force,
And on the phone sleepily handed,
To the spouse on call, for that night.

Across the airwaves,
My voice was heard too,
On scanners in homes,
Of those who monitor.

My voice and the voices of others,
Carried over the airwaves.
Alerting Volunteers to the need,
To pull on boots for action,
As emergency tones ring out,
Into the night…

24/7 hours a day,
Voices fill the airwaves,
Some in song,
Some carrying information,
Some vetted, some not,
Some kind, or reasoned,
Some racing with adrenaline,
Some quiet from pain,
Others raised to motivate or incite.

Even now, to this day,
I sometimes hear those long ago voices.
Filled with every emotion known to us,
The fear, the panic, the loneliness,
The pain and desperation.
The calm, the strained,
The abrupt and curt.

The held back laughter,
While trying to be professional,
And the cursing in frustration,
Accidentally carried over open channels,
Because a mike button stuck.

Voices carried back to me,
Across live wires and towers,
Delivered to my ears,
Via speakers, hand or headset;
Over oh so many forms of

A cry for help, an ask for a friend,
That now, must be translated,
And passed on, through the air,
Must sound professional or be entertaining,
Back over the airwaves,
The planned and proper words travel,
In accordance with the protocols of my duties.

“This one is for Brenda, from Mike,
He’s traveling through and thanking you.
Hey Mike?
Thanks for calling in and
You take care, ya hear?
The blizzard is getting worse, north of here.
I’ll have the latest on weather,
Right after this tune…”

Segue into the song
Just shy 3 minutes or so,
Of the weather I’m suppose to report on,
At 10 minutes before the every hour.
And turning off my mic,
C.W. McCall’s “The ole home filler up an’ keep On A-Truckin Cafe”
Fills the airwaves….

Safe inside a radio booth,
I read the ticker-tape feed,
Read alerts and assess,
Via hardwired in, ‘Colorcoded radar’ screen,
In the days before www or internet,

What the storm is doing, where it’s tracking,
That rages 60 miles north of me,
In a town where I can safely walk home,
Or get a ride, when 6am arrives,
And my 4 hour ‘shift’ is done…

I wonder what Mike’s load is….
Groceries? Mail? Lumber, Tires or Parts?
And will he make it to the next stop safely?
I figure he did,
But sometimes, these things
Don’t make the news….
And so often, I never found out.

I can call up to listen, any time I choose,
From the memory files of my mind,
The tired loneliness in Mike’s voice,
As he took the time, to make a call,
From the truckstop pay phone,

Before pulling back onto
The weaving blacktop ribbon,
Curving through desolate, empty plains,
Where fierce winter winds & snow,
Bring static to the airwaves.

That long ago night,
When he carried on with his work,
Out of sight or sound of many,
But he, his heart and service,
Became known to me.
Across o’dark thirty airwaves…

All while at that truckstop.
A few blocks north of where I sat,
There was a waitress named Brenda,
Whom I’d never met.

Just working her graveyard shift,
And made a stranger’s night easier,
Via a smile and free thermos of coffee….
For the road….

Auditory memories, today,
Continue to shout loudly to my heart,
“Do Not Ever Forget…”

So many voices,
From so many places,
In Space and Time,
Tumble one after another,
From my internal archives,
To fill the airwaves,
Of my mind.

The time I forced into my voice,
A cheerful tone,
To reply to officer on the road,
Rather droll, and ‘when ya have time’
Non-Important stuff, that is simply
Routine task, that comes with the job….

All while my heart was in my throat,
And I feared I would fail to convey,
The exact order of words coded,
In anything but uplifting and calm voice
To alert anyone listening on our channel…

All hands on deck!

All because, of active national warrant,
Which Blared & Danced across my screen,
As I sat in safety, far from harm,
and much too far away…

Asterisks, Flags and All Caps
Danced across that TRS-80, DOS screen,
Simple white words, on background of black,
Plain text was all there was back then….

“Wanted for Murder of US Marshall….
considered armed and dangerous
!!!!!approach with caution!!!!”

A cheerful and lighthearted,
“10-4” came back,
Followed by his coded reply,
To confirm he heard and knew,
And would let me know when he was,
Clear to get the details,
Carried across open airwaves

On any channel except the one he now used,
I listened, confirmed and monitored,
The eruption of voices,
Sometimes walking over each other,
Given distance to tower,
Or whether they could hear,
Other’s they talked over,
During sound delays of transmission….

The Speed of Sound,
The Speed of Light,
The Speed of Reply,
Human brain wiring, radios,
Geographical location,
Are all different,
When things go out,
Across the airwaves.

Codes or plain speak,
It mattered not –
Voices rang out,
In every way….
The message conveyed,
“Hang in there, buddy, we are on our way!”
Filled many an airwave,
But the one our brother is now on.

And then,
For so many fearful minutes,
The radio silence started to grow,
Across so many channels monitored.
So I did phone notifications as prescribed,

“Yes sir, that’s correct sir…
No, not yet has another called in on-scene,
They are all en-route.
Closest ETA is now [pause to calculate]
about 6 minutes…
Sir? Sir?
[wait for next cell phone tower reached,
to clear up the line]
No sir, he has not yet called in as clear to copy,
Next status check in 45 seconds due,
Yes sir, S5 is on his way,
He’s about 14 minutes away…..”

While out there somewhere,
A man, Doing his job,
Stood by himself,
On a lone and desolate highway,

Next to one, so the words,
On computer screen proclaimed,
Was taller by 7″, heavier by 50-80 lbs,
And, of a mind and and will,
To kill another, rather than get ‘caught’

A simple speeding violation,
A routine stop, on any other day,
But perhaps it’s just the name, and not
The physical description,
That matches –
Though the plate and VIN,
Also match the stolen car listed,
In that warrant from Mississippi…

Could fast turn ugly,
If the contact for one moment suspects…
What I, the trooper and others,
Now Know….

It turned out non-violent,
For mine to watch out for,
And the contact too.
No one died that day,
Because of voices talking loose,
Across open airwaves.

I recall the funny times too…
When I messed up, and
Briefly hoped,
No one noticed…

The time I said,
“If you condom these people”
Instead of ‘contact’,
While airing an Attempt to Locate…

Such a small matter regarding a ring of keys
Left on counter at their cousin’s house,
While traveling through on vacation.
Such an easy ask, after hard holiday weekend,
But I had failed to put the cousin,
On phone hold, while I aired on the radio
The information…

She listened quietly, as I aired the information,
All while thinking upon it more,
She blurted out, into my ear, while I was speaking,
“Ya know? They might take Hwy 34, though ‘seldom’….”
Right when I got to the word ‘contact’….

I heard ‘condom’ fly out of my mouth,
Immediately, my finger went off the button,
Controlling the open mic,
But training took over,
I quickly pushed it back down,
And acted as if, the last 3 seconds,
Never happened.

“If you contact these people, please advise them…”
Closed with time and sign that indicated,
To each one listening,
To pick up their mic,
And let me know they
Heard the make, model, route taken.

The Cousin calling in?
Immediately burst out laughing,
“That’s Funny! I bet you’ve had a long weekend!
It was Monday, and my last shift of 7 in a row….
That first week I was off training ..
And working on my own.

“Yes, been a busy one” and then I started apologizing.
Then breathed a sigh of relief,
Thanked her for her good humor.
As I carefully hung up the phone…

Vowing never again,
To speak on radio line,
While a civilian waited,
Or spoke,
Via a different

I listened as one by one,
Officers along the possible trajectory,
Called in to acknowledge.
All cool and professionally
They heard and noted the info.

That ‘oops!’???
Just slid on by – didn’t it?
Not one voice sounded mad or laughing,
Maybe I won’t get fired!
For saying ‘that’ over the airwaves…

Feeling good, as I clear the channel,
Everyone on the road has checked in,
A moment of hope,
Shines in my heart,
Just until the phone line rings,
And a roaring, laughing voice,
Fills my ears before I finish my greeting,

“I durn near peed my pants and
Sarge is still trying to get his car back
On the road and out of soft shoulder gravel!
We and the tow truck are clear of the accident scene,
And headed back your way……
What was that plate again???”

I am busted….
And the boss is back from vacation,
Will I be allowed,
I wonder?
To ever again,
Speak on the airwaves?

At one duty station,
I answered the phone late at night,
To hear a retired trucker, ask,
“Hi, sorry to bother you, but
I used to listen to the station and
Stop by the truckstop in Limon,
And I just wondered,
Did you ever work there?
Heard your voice on the scanner and
It took me back.”

I remembered him,
After a bit of back and forth.
Listened to how big his grandchildren were getting.
The wife is okay, he said,
And happy he is home more,
But sure gave him a scare, last winter.
But doc figured it out and she’s doing better…

He asked about my baby,
Ah how time flies….
And how the heck did I end up ‘here’?
In his neck of the woods?

Before I could tell him,
The alert tones blared,
Across a monitored channels,
911 lines light up,
As well as the inter-agency only,
On the multi-line desk set.

With a quick,
“Take care of yourself and tell your wife I said Hi!’
I hung up before he replied or said goodbye.
And waded on through the night,
Deadly quiet just a moment before,
But now filled with alerts and tension,
Arriving through the airwaves.

I sit here now, as I share this with you,
And remember I only met his wife once…
That long ago winter, when she
Newly retired after 20 years service,
At their local school.
Said, to him, firmly,
“The kids are grown,
The grandbaby not quickly due,
Guess what ole man?
I’ve waited long enough,
I’m going with you.”

I can still see her face,
Her gentle good humor,
As he and she,
Waited out the blizzard,
Oh so ever close to almost home,
But roads are closed,
And ain’t nothing to do but drink some
Coffee and trade stories and jokes,
Perhaps, we each know,
That the other hasn’t
Already heard.

I never before that night on duty, knew,
He listened to my voice, while passing through,
On that small rural radio station, too
Just a second job to cover the bills,
On nights off from cafe…
Daycare is cheaper, don’t ya know,
When baby is asleep.

Not until he called in,
When I came to work,
More than 100 miles,
And so many years away,
From that back then/there…..

I met and appreciated,
Many a spouse that rode along,
When they could,
With their Short, Mid or Long Haul partner.

I looked at pictures of what they all prized most,
But I never knew they remembered anything of me,
Until the phone would ring,
This place or that,
Calling for help, or saying,
“Can you play a song for me?”
And then, quickly asked,
“I recognize your voice, did you you ever….
Perhaps….Work at [this place]?”

So why am I telling you all this?
Because, so many of those airwaves,
Were strictly governed by FCC.

Whether my employer was desperate for warm bodies,
Or holding out for best candidate,
I filled out paperwork,
Tested and then trained, before ever,
I was allowed to speak on the airwaves.

My fingerprints on file, for
Each place hired to work,
Background check, Lie detector test and
Psychological Interview were often also done.
Most likely those still reside,
On file somewhere.

So long ago, and on the cusp,
Of tech transformation,
From vinyl discs,
And large to reel-to-reel tapes,
Finally, to recorded and saved on server.
Back ups off site, digital files.

From reports typed using carbon paper,
To the email you meant to reply to sender alone,
Asking “What the hell are you doing?
That you accidentally, sorta on purpose,
Hit the “Reply All” button.

All those things
That can be chosen for
Random service quality checks or,
Serious operational audits,
Or listed out with specific date and time stamps,
In a served by hand delivery,
Subpoena for Investigations.

Every word I ever uttered, or typed,
Resides somewhere,
In some shape or form –
From tapes maybe still held in ‘evidence’
Or archives of long ago broadcasts.
Perhaps, just in another’s archives of
Email, text, voicemail, heart or mind.

Sometimes it’s funny,
Sometimes I messed up.
Sometimes, it was via heated conversations
From the days of cheap tech,
Easily installed, with everyday tools and no
Mechanics license or training.
I could be Green Eyes on the highways,
But never truly anonymous.
Because of my voice print,
Carried across the airwaves

I had to cautious and careful,
No one knows for sure who is listening,
Even at 2am, when most folks are sleeping.
The FCC, Program or Communications director,
Or civilian with a scanner,
Cuz they are night owls, or simply staying up,
To do their jobs,
While monitoring the airwaves.

I have not large following,
Famous, rich or powerful,
I am not –

But I still remember,
Long ago, when
I had freedom or was given the right, to speak out,
Over the airwaves,

Sometimes I sit and fume,
As so many voices crowd,
Modern airwaves.

As I also remember the responsibilities,
Accountability and potential consequences,
Of every time,
My voice was carried,
Across the airwaves….

Featured Image by Samuel Morazan from Pixabay

Today…I met with Brothers and Sisters

This is the latest update of ‘Da Story’ first told in “The Architect, The Master Builder and Me”

Both paid work and  volunteer hours, 
I do for for local clients,
Those who do so much for our,
Just like my Dad, the Plumber,
Demonstrated to me.

Today was the Annual Picnic,
Of those connected to the schools,
That once dotted our rural area,
A total, once numbered as five,
But consolidated into a central one,
The year I was born.

As I did my job, I paused to read,
A label worn,
Bearing the last name same as,
My Second Grade teacher...

Her daughter I got to know,
Many years ago,
At this same annual gathering,
She has her mama's eyes,
And her mama's smile,
That my child's mind remembers.

So many years older than I,
Graduated before ever I started,
I read the name, but before I even asked,
The elderly man, with a cane,
Said, "Your Dad was Dallas?"

Before I could reply,
He rushed on,
"Of course you are, 
I remember you.
Such a little thing back then.
Your dad did the plumbing in our house,
He was my brother"

So close on the heels,
Of me 'yearning out loud',
And Lauding My dad and his brothers,
Here was one, who remembered me,
But whom, I did not.

He was pleased to know,
I remembered his mom fondly,
I was pleased to know,
My dad his memory held tightly.

I promised to mail him information,
And I'm thinking I just might yet,
Have another written letter 'pen pal'
Which I love...

I work so much in email, txt & chat,
Communicate with others,
In digital world...
It's such a treat, to sit down and write,
A letter that takes a while to
Arrive to where it's sent - 

And then, at some point, 
You receive a missive back,
Something to look forward to...
A stamp, an address, 
A name, 
That catches your eye and proclaims,
"Not a bill or advertisement"

And you rush home, and with shaking fingers
Carefully open the envelope,
Pull out the letter or handwritten card,
And read the news from their front.

No hurry to send,
No hurry to reply,
Just record of what has happened,
Since last we wrote - 

No need for full health update - 
Once you are familiar with the hand,
It's easy to see where strength is spent,
Or where eyesight is failing,
Or where what is important enough,
To write out by hand, 
What is big enough, to be included.

My letters are shorter, 
I assure you!
Than most things I compose
And send, digitally...

I long ago, learned to type,
102 words per minute, 
Without typos, without errors,
On an electric typewriter
Never surpassed much above 92,
On a manual, I believe,
But I'd have to call my typing teacher,
She'll remember,
If I need to fact check - 

And that still wasn't good enough,
To be hired for the best secretary jobs - 
Computers and backspace and delete,
Started to fill my 'work world',
Back in 1992 or so - 

No one used carbon paper,
One sheet, two sheets,
or more,
To type it once, error free,
and have all the 'carbon copies'
Anyone would ever need...

I visited with the older brother,
Of the girl who taught me to ice skate, 
On the frozen pond in their pasture,
When she was in high school,
And I was just 4 or 5.

I visited with the man,
I just learned! 
Is uncle to my classmate - 
The one who died from cancer,
The year we both turned 50.
She before me,
I was baby of the class,
All my classmates were older than me.

I never understood, why that man,
So ever much older than me,
Looked at my name tag,
The year I graduated,
And the past few years,
Makes a point to always
Visit with me.

Turns out, my classmate - 
For 13 years,
Start to finish,
Was one of 'his beloveds'.
I wonder why he never mentioned?

Their last name not at all the same....
An older relative of my classmate's mom,
And well, her maiden name,
I never knew - 

But then he mentions,
The bypass he had,
And feeling lucky to be alive, 
And I figure, well...
Sometimes, after close call,
We the living, just can't bear,
To not say out loud,
The name of our beloved,
And spend time with those who
Also knew them.

So many wives met,
As alumni went off,
Into the world,
But who travel back here,
By their husband's side.

Today I met a gal,
Freshly retired - 
A Librarian!
Didn't we just get on like
A house afire!

The ones who show up,
To attend with family or friends,
One put,
"I'm a bulldog' 
On his name tag,
And I didn't recognize him...

So when I had the chance,
And he was standing alone,
I just asked,
"Was that your nickname?
Or are you from this neighboring town?"

He grinned and said, 
I'm from 'that town',
But enjoying being here,
And I said,
"Well fierce rivalry for many years,
And I remember the chanting jeers and cheers,
On the other hand,
Us folks gotta stick together, no?"

And he told me stories of great athletes,
From my school,
He competed against, 
Oh, so long ago....

And just like that, 
A day that is 'work day' for me,
I got Blessed a million times over,
With the joy and beauty.

"If you love what you do,
You'll never work a day in your life,"
Is what 'they' all say - 
"Follow your bliss,
The money will follow"
Is the other trite phrase....

But often I go work,
What is mine to do,
Not for money, fame or fortune,
But simply because it's true.

I can tell you this,
For me,
There are parts of what I consider 
"My Job"
That vex me greatly,

The days that lack,
Even a spark of creativity,
The canvas, the picture,
The words, the layouts,
None of it come easily....

The battles fought in cyber space,
I'd rather do without....

But days like today?
While I go work for 'free'?
And am a free inheritor,
Of my father's legacy?

No Pharaoh's chamber,
Templar ship or Solomon's Treasure,
Could ever surpass,
The measure,
Of the riches,
Freely given, 
To me.

Sirius – Subscriptions and Yugo??

When catching up on ‘news’ fronts, I confess to first reading/viewing the work of comedians – then I go over to the Business, Technology and Economic feeds –

Once all that is done? I can work my way through the local, state, national and world news, with a little better perspective, me thinks – personally…

Dog Days of Summer

For myself? This July has been, personally, the most comfortable one I’ve experienced, weather wise, for quite some years….

Course, I must confess to the fact that almost daily, rain filled clouds show up, drop their moisture, then move on – which reminds me of summers long ago –

And most of my work at home, to earn my living, is rather up to me, as is my sleep/waking schedule, most days – If the storm blows in, I can open the windows and run fans, to bring that cool air in…

The outside of my stuccoed house, gets wet, as do the beds of growing things around it, and the evaporation of that water, when the sun pops out, cools things down too….

I can get up at 3am, run various fans and then close everything down between 8a-10a, when it starts warming up –

I’ve been ‘reminded’ by others, of how ‘raggedy’ my place looks – well, um, heat with daily rain, those weeds and grass are gonna grow – too wet to mow in cool mornings or evenings – and I’ll dippety-dooed if I’m gonna give myself heatstroke going out to do such operations when it’s 100 degrees out, mid-day, just so I appear to be ‘neat and prosperous’ –

There are no mosquitoes on my place, the weeds growing, overall, ain’t gonna wipe out all the food production going on in pollen blowing radius of me, really, so who cares?

An older neighbor is out and about, in the heat of the day, and ‘drops’ in –

Seriously, why are you surprised??

No matter how much I fail at being a perfect hostess at any time of the day, I get ‘drop ins’ all the time – it’s the priced to be paid for living in a small neighborhood, where everyone knows your name – and where you live – or are told where you live, cuz client got a new phone, and lost your email/phone number – LOL

It just is –

I am concerned about the shortness of breath, the slight wheezing, I observe. They brush my concerns away with a wave of the hand and say, “It’s hot out, that’s all”

And I reply, “And just why are you out in it? These are the dog days of summer…”

“No they aren’t! That’s in August! we aren’t there yet!”

“Um, yes, I believe, we technically, are – named for Sirius, the constellation rising and viewable this time of year – and I believe that happens in July – August for about a month….”

“Well, that’s all that astrology hooey, and that don’t mean nothing…”

…and well –

What’s the point of arguing?

…um…more, than I already have, when my concerns and observations, now? thinking back?

I should’ve just kept to myself – they’re an adult, whaddya I care if they know about Sirius or the time/history of “Dog Days of Summer”? And really, if they insist and die, how is that my fault?

I mean really – like I don’t have better things to do, than trying to tell the history of such colloquialisms. 😀

So, this morning – I double-checked my memory – and you, too, can read an interesting article on Sirius and the Dog Days of Summer throughout ages and empires at almanac.com, if ya want to….

There are many who are amazed at what fights I get into and simply must be picking, that to me?

Frickn’ just showed up on my doorstep – I wasn’t do nothin’ but mindn’ my own business before they arrived! 😀

Ah but that mouth that gets in gear before social niceties portion of my brain ever engages – – – sigh –

Subscribing and Subscription Models

At the end of the day? To me? Some folks are just bored, don’t have enough to do in their life, and need some entertainment, arena where they can shake off their fear, by pooh-poohing others, or….what ever they seem to ‘get’ from such operations – maybe they are just hot, and prickly, have a heat rash in private portions of their body covered by constricting, non-wicking/breathing undergarments, or maybe those undergarments are in a twist, and they just need a cat to kick, to work off some steam…

Who knows? I mean, well…I don’t have cats for pets, but I ain’t a Leo for nothing, ya know – – 😀

Am I subscribing to their model or just giving them space to be themselves, grumpy and prickly?

I can only answer with a joke:

“What do you get when you cross and elephant with a rhinoceros?”


It’s Okay –

I will subscribe, be an audience, contributor, client who pays, just until I’m not – however, I’ve been watching subscription models on many fronts in Tech and Business, run amok for many decades now –

So why, all the sudden, is BMW and their subscription of heated seats, making the news on various fronts in shocked surprise?

Surely, this must be satire – subscription for SiriusXM radio, I get, as long as they remain commercial free, sans promoting their own content – but for turning on/off heated seats? It must be satire – um….wait…

Nope…ahh….okay – read some more, and well – sigh –

I realize the day may come, soon, when the only toaster I can get, requires monthly subscription, software download/update often, and the toaster wants to ‘talk’ to every other appliance in my house to ‘save me, make my life easier’ – and allows hackers to hold me and my life hostage without physically having to do much hard work –

Or risk getting lost on their way to my house, cuz their GPS sometimes drops off, in reporting, in rural Americana – cuz well, ya know, no one cares deeply out infrastructure out here, just until, they want, what we’ve got…. 😀

P.S. – If you like to read, and haven’t yet, read Radicalized, by Cory Doctorow, I can report in, as one who rarely enjoys dystopian (?) sci-fi, futuristic novels? I likey this one!

I don’t see anything but history in the making in these works, and commentary on the things so many aren’t paying attention to, not really – in all of the short stories in this work, but, ya want to see the vulnerabilities in AI house appliances, proprietary software and what I think, many a ‘self-labeled’ prepper I’ve known has ‘planned for’?

Yeah – just pick up a copy of Radicalized – quick, short, easy read -and to me? Not in the realm of futuristic – already here and has been, for quite some years…

Ah Well….

Someday, if I can’t safely operate a fire pit? Guess I’ll have to give up toast… 😀

Which brings me to….


In the world I work in, to earn my living, I’ve recently been reminded, more and more, of a moment in time, from the pages of my memory…

A Yugo I observed, in front of me, on the road, sometime circa 2003 or so….

It was a pitiful looking thing – spare parts for side panels and all, had been added on, a rainbow of colors interspersed with gray primer, and while it seemed to run okay, and even sitting directly behind it at many red lights, as we made our way across a metro area, the exhaust fumes from it, didn’t give me an insta headache, so, who cares what it looks like, really? I figured,

“A to B car that person can afford, no harm in that, at all…Ya do what you can to get to work, in a vehicle ya can afford…”

Just until I burst out laughing, as I FULLY observed the back of that car…

A car originally priced under $4,000 in U.S., had, at least at that time, enjoyed a loyal, but small, nearly cult following, and true fans were salvaging parts and keeping theirs running as long as possible, best as I ‘heard’ about it round the water cooler, but on that car, right in front of me??

Proudly displayed – a ‘custom license plate’.

For those who don’t live where I do, here’s the deal – When ya get a vehicle, you ‘register’ it with the local authorities, and everything is updated and if that vehicle is used in crime or kills someone?

The authorities know who owns it and where they live, and now have a ‘lead’ to follow in the war on crime. Such a simple concept when it was first instituted back in the early 20th century….

The initial registration fees were to cover the cost of the plate manufactured, and the administrative costs of keeping the paperwork in order, and available to law enforcement.


Well, surcharge this, surcharge that, extra tax this, extra tax that – all while, at least for one point in history?

Incarcerated individuals made .80/day to ‘make those plates’, to give them a little ‘nest egg’ for when/if they are ever released back out into the world – a nest egg, that might, now, get them a meal at Mcdonalds dollar menu, and, if they find a garage sale, on a slow day, held by desperate people, they might pick up a handy dandy tent to be homeless in –

Also, any road rage driver or stalker, still, to my knowledge? If they guess which county I live in correctly? Can go right up the county clerks desk, pay a fee (used to be $8, but I haven’t checked it out, lately) and will get, in return, a printout of my home address, and for all I know, may also show whether I’m insured or not, my blood type, if I’m an organ donor, if I’m registered to vote, and if so, which party affiliation – –

Awesome! Who needs cyber hackers and online stuff? Anyone has been able to track me down, stalk me or do a stake out on me/my house for – like – forever – nothing new on that front, really – except, they don’t have to work as hard, now, to find that, and much, much more – just a saying….

Yes, that’s my cynicism on now and before –

Back to the ‘custom license plate’ –

When those things first available?

They were pricey –

YOU PAID big time, and everyone KNEW you paid a premium, for the privilege of having a custom plate on your car, to introduce yourself and your views, to the world, instead of cluttering up your car with cheap or free bumper stickers that degrade in time, bearing life mottos and ideals, you have to live up to while out and about, and/or displaying names of candidates you might regret supporting later –

Me? Why are folks so eager to prove to others how much money they have and where they are spending it? I still don’t get this – no more than I get why folks think I’m not professional cuz the jeans I could buy, that fit, and were on sale, came pre-installed with rips/tears in them –

And, well – at that time? A salvaged, restored Yugo – might put ya out $400-$500.

Custom license plate? Per annual costs? Dependent upon county registered in? Could run upwards of $200-$300, per year.

Thus, to me, the license plate, overall, had lifetime cost of more than the damn car –

Still makes me laugh –

But it’s been on my mind – and I’ve been thinking about the push into subscription models on many fronts, by many industries, the past 2o years or so, that has rather been the ‘race at warp speed’ to ‘seize this opportunity’ in the past few years, and I think to myself,

“Self? This is the wave of paying more all while getting less, over and over and over.”

Are there things that are best provided, best bang for the buck, for clients, on a subscription model?

Yup – but to me?

Subscription models on many fronts, are going the way of that sorry looking Yugo sporting the customized license plate of long ago –

“Um, yeah – okay – but still? Piece of crap and won’t last long no matter how cheap it is each month and will your service/product, actually be worth it, in the long run? For your business AND your clients?”

That’s the Tale for Today –

…and I gotta get back to work, in a land filled with subscription models, and folks who show up, wanting me to put a custom license plate on their POS, that makes them feel and look good, on many fronts, but not so much in work –

Maybe it ‘looks’ good but really, to me? Ain’t gonna get them from A to B, not really –

Fortunately, in work?

I’m just not signed up to be the subscriber to and provider of, such models, anymore. Which is why I’m self-employed.

I have the only prerequisite needed to be an IBO (Independent Business Owner) – I have a high tolerance for financial insecurity – Ta Da! 😀

I just don’t wanna aide and abet somethings, ya know? No matter who promises me what ‘money’ as bonus, fame or fortune, if I only ‘hurry up and slap a custom plate on their barely held together with gray tape and balin’ wire, customized dream – based on over the top marketing they have been spoon fed for many years….

Ah drop bys, in the dog days of summer – my life is interesting, no?

If nothing, it’s good for leading ya’ll down more tangents than make sense, but well – we all got play to our strengths, right? patterns, connections, detours and tangents – that’s MY world!

Thanks for your visit – sorry, I don’t have any chokecherry wine and fresh biscuits made – oh, here, let me clear that pile of papers to be filed, off that chair…..comfy? Okay then, how are ya doin’, really?


Featured Image by dom1706 from Pixabay

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