Friday, November 25, 2011


Deeep into the rabbithole this afternoon, and a slow resurfacing all on my own. One of the notable advantages to being "retired" as I am is the chance to wake up when my body is ready. I think it is brutal to be jerked back into consciousness by electronic noise.

Or the antics of your furry rumate, of course.

It is that time of month to worry about rent, and I have more disconnect from the world than usual because almost all I see out there is a focus on shopping. (Not among most of my community, which is a relief.) I am trying to figure out how to do a fundraiser, since my immediate care expenses have gone up, Margot has overextended, and I need some extra help. Payment for a complete blood work-up to see what is going on with me before Medicare kicks in 5 months from now (at least $400) and yes it is either out of pocket or I call 911 for a stay at the hospital, which has risks I am advised against. A small generator to stash in my closet against power failures, or else I'd have to evacuate to a nursing home I might not get free from. Eventually a spare twin bed (rollaway?) against future visits from M or others. An extra set or two of good twin bed sheets to make up for those Jenny4Jesus mildewed -- ditto cheap bed-pillows.

Plus the DME upgrade which has cleared my skin issues but costs an extra $150 per month. If anyone has FSE funds they want to spend before the end of the year, I can send you privately a list of what eligible items I use monthly.

I woke up, though, thinking about Dinah's transformation. Perhaps it's merely Margot Majick of the same sort that makes my days joyous. But M says she thinks Dinah is responding to my new sense of security and peace -- now that Dinah doesn't have to Worry About Me, she has the room to explore affection instead of vigilance. If that is so, I feel so badly about what I have put that little kitteh through.

The fairy lights on the new timer come on more or less shortly after noon and go off at 7-ish. Not what I set it for but I need better eyes and hands to recalibrate it, and I am fine with it for now. Their colourful emergence each afternoon reminds me Margot has occupied these rooms with me, she has keys to the front door now which are on her keychain that jingles with the bells from collars of all the cats she's love, including now the bell from Dinah's collar. (Since Dinah is her kitteh now, too.) Margot has filled these rooms with the delicious scent of her cooking, we have slept and watched each other sleep in here, made passionate love, shared meals, pored over photographs, wept and talked and laughed without limit.

This room has stopped being a prison and is now a shimmery rainbow doorway. No wonder I need to sleep more to understand it all.

Tammy told me she feels reassurance and hope every time she comes in the door. What a great thing to hear.



And now the Friday blast from Just Capshunz. Because starting the weekend snarky is a good idea. (Smooch.)


Wednesday, November 23, 2011



They want us to appreciate the squeeze they felt.
To forgive them their choices, honor feeble intent
in the men they married, our fathers.
They drag us out to dinner on dead men's birthdays
milking into wineglasses our compulsion to forgive
the women who gave us our eggs, now unused forever --
Even as our would-be daughters blame us for not
finishing our revolution, every step we took wrong.
We have no absolution from those who came after.
They demand our sisterhood as well, and mock how
we turn to each other, old now, but still in love
with the glimpses we uncovered of female spirit

© Maggie Jochild -- written 2:31 p.m., 23 November 2011


Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I was eight and we were living in Sunset Trailer Park in Midland, Texas. I was in Miz Davis's third grade, where I was unchallenged teacher's pet. Someone from the office came to Miz Davis's door after lunch and they whispered for a minute. Miz Davis began crying and left the room. We were stunned and scared. The stranger told us to read quietly at our desks. Miz Davis did not come back for an hour. When she did, her face was ravaged by grief.

She told us all to stand quietly and get in line for a special assembly. She led us outside to the flagpole, where every other class in that elementary school were also arrayed in lines radiating outward like the rays of a star. The principal himself began lowering the flag, and stopped at halfway down. I was utterly bewildered, and cold with fear from the adult disbelief in the air. The principal said we were all being sent home, told us to get our things and go straight home.

It wasn't until I passed by some older kids that I heard what was going on: The President had been shot and killed.

I didn't know what to think. My parents were both Goldwater supporters, and I had heard a lot of bad stuff about Kennedy at home. I walked slowly home on that bright November day, noticing how deserted the streets seemed. When I came in the front door, I tried to align myself with how I guessed my mother might feel by calling out "Did you hear the good news?"

She gasped and shushed me. She had clearly been crying, and I was more confused than ever. Bill, a toddler, crept in beside me and I put my arms around him. Mama returned to our blacl-and-white TV, and we were left to our own devices. After a while Craig came in, a teenager, raging and thowing himself about. Mama focused on him. and I kept Bill and myself out of their way.

I was upset when the afternoon cartoons of "The Funny Company" were pre-empted. We ate dinner in front of the TV that night. I don't know if Daddy called -- he was in Irving, a suburb of Dallas, and I never asked him how he experienced that time. My personal life was crammed full with worrying about Mama, who was very pregnant with our last brother at the time, and with trying to keep Craig away from me and Bill. That was the autumn when he was forcing me to play strip poker with him whenever Mama left the house. A hint of what was to come.

By the end of January, Sammy would have been born and died. Mama would have died when her uterus ruptured and been waved back from a bright light by her own mother. Daddy would sell the trailer and move us all, Mama still with weeping red surgery scars on her belly, to a tiny apartment in Irving by Mama's birthday on February 9th. He gave her a chihuahua for her birthday, my grandparents said to help her forget the dead baby. Things unraveled swiftly after that.

But it all seemed to begin, in my mind, with President Kennedy's assassination.



Here's the weekly best of what I've gleaned from I Can Has Cheezburger efforts.
There are some really creative folks out there.


Monday, November 21, 2011


My Thanksgiving plans are small-scale and in the comfort zone between avoidance and obligation. It was never a reliably "good" holday for my family, I care not for other folks' turkey nor any version of pumpkin pie, and since I had ancestors both at Jamestown and Plymouth Rock, I am not willing to forget what our arrival did to my other ancestors on this continent in the name of giving thanks.

So that day I will have my usual attendant care (they never get holidays and laughed gaily when I brought it up) and gladly not deal with family of origin. I plan to eat a midafternoon feastette of pot roast and gravy, mashed potatoes, spinach, cranberry jelly, and when I can return for dessert, pecan pie. Dinah is disgusted about the lack of a bird carcass but I will share freely of the pot roast, so she will get by somehow.

I do love cornbread stuffing, and REAL sweet potatoes (mashed with butter and cream, no sugar and jezus christ no marshmallows), and my Mama's cherry pie. If you want to drop any of those by, I'll eat some. Otherwise, I will bemoan the drek on TV and wait for Margot to get done with a regular workday for our impious skype. And be glad for the community I gathered for myself.