Wednesday, December 22, 2010

WTCF! Too many gadgets.

Okay, here I am again asking, “What the Cat Fur?”  This time it concerns electronics.
Daddy had a sign hanging in his office of a good ol’ boy studying his brand new pump handle, scratching his head in confusion.  The caption read, “Living ain’t easy no more, there’s too many gadgets.”
Amen, brother.
I went to Wal-Mart today which was complete insanity on my part because it’s three days before Christmas. All the animals are out of their cages running amuck in aisles of Wally World.  I had to go because my alarm clock broke.  (God forbid I don’t get up in time to join the world in its 8-5 craziness.)   
All I wanted was a nice, little clock, and I found one for $6.00.  Perfect.  I get home and find before I can even read the instructions, I have to unscrew the clock from the cardboard package.  Yes, you heard right.  The clock was screwed to the cardboard with two, tinnie-tinny Phillip-head screws.  (I guess alarm clocks are a hot item this Christmas so they needed to bolt them down.)
What the Cat Fur is that all about? 
How many people happen to have a tinnie-tinny Phillip-head screwdriver in their kitchen drawer?  I’d bet not many.  But surprise!  I did.
I get the clock unscrewed and find out that it’s battery powered, not electric.   
What the Cat Fur? 
How stupid of me to think that in this day and age something doesn’t plug into the wall.  To add insult to injury, the display light only stays on for five seconds when you push the snooze button.  How, may I ask, will I be able to groan and cuss when I roll over to discover it’s only five minutes before the alarm goes off, when the clock’s face is dark as pitch?  This isn’t going to work.  What now?  Let's see. In my office I have another clock that can be used as an alarm clock and it is electric.  However, sense I've lost the instructions and don’t have a degree in rocket science, I can’t set the alarm.
Crap!
By this time, I’m about ready to pull a Dixie---get my 22 pistol out and shoot all three clocks and the idiots that made them.  All I want is an electric clock that tells regular time with an alarm that can be set with a flip of a switch and that I can see.  But nooooooo!  That would be just too damn simple.
I now have two clocks on my bedroom dresser.  One tells regular time and displays the hours and minutes in bright bold colors, while the other has the alarm set with the battery. 
Don’t know why I bother.  I always wake up before the alarm goes off anyway.
Now, for cell phones.  Oh boy how I love them!  No, I really do.  They come in handy when stranded on the by-pass at midnight with a flat tire.  However . . .  
All I want is a cell phone that I can call out and receive calls on.  I don’t want email, texting, camera, TV, internet, I-tunes, lions, tigers or bears!  Nor do I want to confess my ignorance and ask my twenty-year old co-worker how to answer the damn thing.
Technology is a wonderful thing, but I can’t help but wonder how the Cat Fur we got along so well without a cell phone stuck to our ear?  And texting?  Lord, don’t even get me started!
Well, it’s time for bed, so I’m going to set all my clocks, charge up my cell phone and crawl under the covers. 
At least I don’t need PhD in Electronics for that!
P.S.  My twenty-year old co-worker read this last night and had pity on me.  This morning when I got into work "Santa" had left an electric alarm clock on my desk for me.  Ya gotta love those cute, young men!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Congratulations! It's a . . . BOOK!

My book will be published the first of 2011!
I listened to writers tell how long they worked on their novels—three, four, maybe even five years—and thought to myself they must be doing something wrong.  It takes that long to write a book?  No way.   That na├»ve belief was the first of many mistakes I made on my journey into the magic realm of writing.   Happy to say, however, the voyage ended successfully.   Soldiers from the Mist is the result of a 3-1/2 year long, often frustrating, but never boring adventure.   
After shouting my good news to the four corners of the world, one of my friends made the comment, “Big deal.  It’s not like you had a baby.”  
Hmm . . . maybe I should re-think that friendship.  The words hurt, but there was a grain of truth in them.  Even though I’ve never been pregnant, I think writing a book must be a lot like having a baby.
Soldiers from the Mist was conceived on my living room couch one lazy Sunday afternoon. (Bet that sounds familiar to a lot of you out there.)  From that moment on, my life changed.  Soldiers consumed and controlled my every waking and sleeping hours.  The book became my world. 
Sounds like pregnancy to me.    
Like an expectant mother, I racked my brain for just the right name to call my bundle of joy:  A Soldier’s Promise?  Five Promises? Ghost Soldiers?  I researched names, places, events, and family bloodline.  All the while, my “baby” grew from a tiny seed into a literary fetus connected to my soul. 
The tadpole of an idea began to take on personality, developing its own story and background from DNA imprinted from previous lifetimes.  
I watched in awe as Charlie, Jessie, and Emmie evolved from a twinkle in my eye into fleshed-out individuals, alive and kicking. The book took on life.  It cried, pouted, and demanded my attention, 24-7-365.  A bond formed.  I cherished it. Lived for it. Loved it.
Soldiers from the Mist will come screaming into the world sometime in January if the doctor has the due date correct, either a Capricorn or an Aquarius.  Earth or Water.  Stable, ambitious, humorous, friendly, honest, loyal and original.  A must read.  More will be revealed.  But for now:  
Three men.  Three promises—two were broken; one should have been.  Thirty-five souls are trapped for eternity because of those promises.  These souls wait and search for the fourth promise that will set them free . . .


Monday, December 13, 2010

A Christmas Tree's Wish

Every year they come—the little boy and girl.   So deceiving with their frost-kissed rosy cheeks and shining innocent eyes, yet hunters none-the-less. 
The tassels on the end of her stocking cap bob from side-to-side with each step.   The man sized saw clutched tight in his gloved hand drags the ground. 
I watch them duck under the barbed wire fence and shudder.  Not from fear.  But from excitement.  Please let this be my year to shine.
“Here I am,” I call out into the wind ripe with the scent of wet snow. “Pick me!  Pick me!”
She stops.  Turns.  His gaze follows her.  I dare not breathe.
“It’s perfect.” 
Ah, how I’ve dreamed of those two little words! 
With love and laughter they adorn me with garments of tinsel and glass.    
Gold ornaments here.  Silver icicles there.  Bright lights everywhere.
        “Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree of all the tress most lovely”
 I stand at the window and beam my pride into the night so dark and crystal clear.
God, how I love this time of year!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

WTCF----SHIFT THE FOCUS

Daddy was a colorful character.  One of his favorite sayings was, “What the cat fur is going on?”  (WTCF for short)
WTCF is a distant cousin to the famous WTF.  Even though WTF is fast becoming a widely used expression, there are those that frown on it.  Personally, I think a loud WTF every once in a while is good for the soul.  However, in order not to offend, I will refrain from using this acronym and opt for daddy’s WTCF. 
  My intent for this blog site is to put positive, joyful energy into the universe—to focus on the productive instead of the non-productive.  I try to live my life the same way.  However, there are moments when I just have to stop and ask, “What the cat fur is going on?”  Thus, from time-to-time, WTCF will pop up.   This is allowed because, after all, it is my blog.
Today’s WTCF concerns politics and money—two of the worst topics of conversation.
I confess when it comes to politics I’m as dumb as a box of rocks.  I don’t know the difference between a Republican or a Democrat.  The only thing I know about Right Wing and Left Wing is what side of the chicken they’re on. Tea Party?  Isn’t that what Alice and the Mad Hatter had? 
My friend, Gypsy Jan, claims I’m smart not to know the workings of government and to stay that way.  Hmm . . .  maybe, but I have the solution to our economic and political BS—another great acronym. 
SHIFT THE FOCUS!!!!!
Everyday at work the TV in the break room is tuned to FOX News.  From 8-5 we are bombarded with every type of negativity known to mankind—earthquakes, violence, death, and destruction.   No wonder co-workers are irritable, listless, and uncaring. 
Even if we aren’t consciously listening to the endless gloom and doom being spouted from every news correspondent and consultant, negative energy is worming its way into our brain.  Now, take this non-productive energy and multiply it by the millions of people watching the news every day and you have the answer to why the world is in the shape that it is.
SHIFT THE FOCUS!!!!!!!
Remember the men trapped in the mine in Chile?  Instead of focusing on their death, the Chile government and people concentrated on LIFE.   For a brief moment in time, the world held its breath and said millions of prayers of hope and optimism. Governments and people from all over the world forgot their hatred and bickering and worked together for the benefit of Man.  
That wonderful, positive energy manifested into a flawless, successful rescue.
Remember Apollo 13?  NASA put all intent on getting those astronauts back alive. Failure was not an option.  Again, people all around the world banded together and concentrated on a positive solution.  The result?  All three space travelers made it safely home to Mother Earth.  
In both examples, the world shifted the focus from the negative to the positive.
What would happen if, for one second, everyone in the world shifted their focus from the power of the all-mighty buck to that of one of endless abundance and gratitude?   
Ask yourself what would happen if, for only one moment, everyone decided to concentrate on love and acceptance instead of hate.
The answer to world peace, a stable economy, and outstanding leadership is not Republican or Democrat, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, or Pagan.  It isn’t rich, poor, or middle class.  It’s simply a matter of putting all intent into THE GOOD. 
That is the second coming of Christ.
SHIFT THE FOCUS!!!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

FOR MAMA


Mama crossed over on December 3,1971. 
I was nineteen, a newlywed, and so naive in the ways of the world.  Even though I believe with all my being that she lives in another dimension, happy and content, there are times when I wish desperately I could pick up the phone and hear her voice. This blog entry is not intended to be morbid but rather to honor and remember a woman that was taken before her time and before I could know her as my best friend.
                        No matter the age of the girl, she always needs her mother.

                                                                The Last Time
The last time I saw you turned out to be the last time.
To lose you at such a young age was an injustice and a crime.
If I only knew our time together was coming to an end,
I would have still loved you as a mother, but gotten to know you as a friend.
I would have asked about your life, ideas, and dreams.
And found the time to listen to your plans and schemes.
You put them on hold to raise brother and me.   
Did you ever regret that decision and wish to be free?
You painted beautiful pictures in watercolor art.
Clever and witty sketches conceived by a creative heart.
But, did you sing?  Did you act?  Did you want to dance?
Or travel to far-away places like London or Rome, or Paris, France?
Was Daddy the first boy you ever kissed?
Did you practice on your arm first, so his lips you wouldn’t miss?
So many questions, forever will remain a mystery.
Just little girly things shared over coffee and only with me.
If I had known it was to be the last time,
I would’ve called your bluff when you said, “Go, I’ll be fine.”
Never would I have stepped one foot on that plane
And flown away leaving you alone and in pain.
Somewhere in heaven I know you gaze down at me,
And smile at your grandchildren bouncing on brother's knee.
So, I promise you this when I take their hand in mine.
To cherish each day and live it as though it could be,
The very last time.

Friday, November 26, 2010

THANKFUL FOR FRIENDSHIP


I gathered around the table with my family this Thanksgiving, and stepped out of myself.  I do this from time-to-time.  It clears the head and gives perspective.  How I love family!  Everyone talking at once, babies crying, cats growling, great food, laughter, and joy. I drive home wrapped in a cocoon of warmth and security, thankful for blood family.  However, I am just as grateful for my “other” families.    
There are times when I wax philosophical and think deep, especially after a couple shots of Captain Morgan.  I ponder the mysteries of the Universe—our purpose,  reincarnation, extraterrestrials, who’s idea was money,  why do we have to work five days a week and only have two days off instead of the other way around—you get the idea.  The more “The Captain” and I talk, the more I think God got it wrong.  Then, it hits me.  God didn’t get it wrong.  People did.  Darn that “free-will” stuff! 
 But all is not lost.  One of the most important things People did get right is friendship.
What a terrible existence this would be without friends!
I am blessed with many friendship families: co-workers, witchy, four-legged, and writer to name a few.  So, this year I’m dedicating Thankgiving to my friends. A Girl Scout song, learned many, many years in the past, sums it up:  “Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver and the other gold."

 In my book, all are golden.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rochelle & Koury: Happy Anniversary

A FAIRY TALE COME TRUE
Once upon a time
In her kingdom far away.
The beautiful Fairy Princess
Went about her demands of the day.
Always smiling and giving of herself
Her empty soul dreamed of her mate,
The Princely Elf.

Nightly wishing upon his star to tell,
The Prince Elf dreamed of this Fairy as well.
Knowing the magic of soul-mate love,
He summoned the help of the enchanted, white dove.


On a mid-summer’s eve in early June,
A chance meeting caused their love to bloom.
A single kiss lit a flame in their heart
That no earthly power dare to part.
Their souls re-united with a joyful sound
For something lost, had been found.

Burning, powerful love brings us here today,
To join the Prince Koury and his fairy, Rochelle
In a union predestined from God’s first day.

And if you doubt fairy tales can come true,
Or that spells can bring parted souls back to you,

Ask the Elf and his Fairy, for they will gladly tell:

Never doubt what your heart goes after . . .
With a kiss
They lived happily ever after.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

FOR DADDY

   
I’ll Always Remember You
Is it that time of year already?
How can that be true?
Wasn’t just yesterday we threw out the old
And rang-in the new?

It doesn’t seem possible that it is again Halloween.
That the leaves now are turning,
And that they’ve crowned the Homecoming Queen.

A life I thought would go on and on
Suddenly stopped,
And a dear old man is gone.
Too many years have passed and have erased all trace
Of the man’s life, home, work, and face.

It doesn’t seem quite fair, this I know.
Better seize the moments, take every day nice and slow.
Because looking back, how fast changes really do take place.
Even though at the time they seemed to move at a slower pace.

What once was new has overnight turned old.
Insufficient events have turned to memories of gold.

Has it been over twenty years already?
It just can’t be true.
But don’t worry old man,
I’ll always remember you.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dixie's got a Gun

 Writers know characters popup anytime and anywhere.  For example, my newest character, Dixie Dandelion, came to me when I was getting a haircut.  Maybe chopping off some of my thick, curly mane allowed smothered brain cells to breathe again. Perhaps the gremlin twins, Creativity and Inspiration, (go to http://www.daydreamingonpaper.blogspot.com/ to meet them) wanted to play.  More likely, a past life experience flashed in my head that day.  Either way Dixie Dandelion is a god-send. 
  Dixie Belle Dandelion is a rootin’, tootin’ cowgirl who lives in the wild railroad town Six Shooter Siding.  Trouble follows Dixie like a loyal hound dog.  In one scene she finds herself facing down the dastardly evil bad guy, Reese Calhoun, in a gunfight at the One-Eyed Jack saloon.  Dixie shoots everything except what she’s aiming at.  In the words of her "soiled dove" friend, Sassy Annie, Dixie “can’t shoot worth spit.”  Determined never to be caught flat-footed again, Dixie turns to the love of her life, Pinkerton detective, Jackson McCullough, for instruction in the fine art of pistol shooting. 
Since I too can’t hit fish in a barrel, research is required in this area.  Experience is always the best teacher.  With my newly purchased, Heritage Rough Rider Single Action Revolver in hand, I turned to Wild Turkey Jim for instruction on how the load the thing without shooting myself in the foot.  
I need a better location to target practice, however.  But where?   Captain Morgan in the trunk?  Six-shooter in the backseat?  Yep. Madison County here I come.

Deep in the woods of Booger County, ex-cop, Alaska Kevin gives me intense instruction.  Backed by his thirty + years experience in handling firearms, Alaska Kevin is both knowledgeable, patient, and a crack shot.  
I point the revolver like a finger and squeeze the trigger.  Yee-Haw, hit the target every time.  
The Dandelion Gang gives support and urges me on.  Gypsy Jan even fires off a few rounds. 
 

Thanks to Grumpy Greg, Wild Turkey Jim, and Alaska Kevin, Dixie has  a gun and knows how to use it.                   
                                      
Watch out boys, Dixie's packin'!

What's next for Dixie?  A horse, of course!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Interview with a Patriot Guard


United as one, they stand shoulder-to-shoulder to give final tribute to a veteran they neither knew nor met.  It matters not.
In blazing heat or freezing rain with America’s flag at their side, these guardians called Grumpy, Rooster, Wingman, and X-Ray stand steadfast.  Silent.  Respectful. Reverent.  For that is what Patriot Guards do.
Dressed in uniforms of leather pants and vests, they mount motorcycles to form the column that will escort the veteran on his last journey home.  Shiny chrome reflects the sunlight and United States flags blow in the wind behind their powerful machines.
Who are these unselfish men and women who give their time willingly to “honor those who risk their lives for America’s freedom and security?” 
Greg Weeks, a proud Patriot Guard Rider explains:              
Q.  What is the Patriot Guard?
A.  The Patriot Guard is a group of motorcycle riders that respect the United States flag and the servicemen and women who fight for it.
Q.  Why did you join the Patriot Guard?
A.  Some of the people I ride with were members and I wanted to belong to an organization that stood in a flag line during funerals and showed respect for veterans of all wars and non-wars.  Veterans that are killed in this current war should be shown the ultimate respect when they are laid to rest as well as their families.
Q.  Do you have to own and ride a motorcycle to belong?
A.  No.  But from all the “missions” I have been on, only motorcycles lead the casket to the cemetery.
Q.  Do you have to be a Veteran to join?
A.  No.  Anyone who has respect for their country, veterans, and the flag can join.
Q.  Where are some of the places you’ve ridden?
A.  Fayetteville & Springdale Arkansas.  Joplin and Lamar Missouri.  Spiro, Oklahoma.
Q.  What was the largest number of bikes that went on a “mission?”
A.  The most bikes I’ve seen at a mission was in Lamar, Missouri.  I’m guessing there were 250-300 bikes there.
Q.  I’ve noticed that the riders all wear vests with beads hanging off the sides.  Are these for decoration or do they have meaning?
A.  The beads represent ribbons they received while in the military.  A lot of them are Vietnam ribbons.  Since I’m a Vietnam era veteran (in the service during the war but not outside the country) the beads I wear are for the National Defense Service medal and the USAF Good Conduct medal.  The other beads represent the United States Flag, blue with the correct number of beads for the red and white stripes.

The United States flag is folded and given to the widow.  The haunting sound of Taps drifts over the orderly rows of white headstones, and the Patriot Guard holds their salute until the last soulful notes dissolve and follow the veteran into eternal peace.  My eyes fill with tears; not from sorrow but from pride. 
My brother was a United States Air Force Veteran.


For more information about the Patriot Guard and to read their mission statement go to: http://www.patriotguard.com/

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Mists of Loch Lonnie

Deep in the woods of Madison County, the magic of Loch Lonnie swirls in the mist.
Giant wooded guardians, protectors of the Loch since the beginning of believing, stand as silent sentinels to the murky water.  Clad in armor stained with autumn’s blood of rusty brown, scarlet red, and burnt orange, they dance in leafy unison to the rhythm of the moon-soaked night.
Whispers of incantations passed but not forgotten linger on the lips of the wind and dissolve the haze into crystallized reality. But ancient words from the Lady of the Lake and Excalibur’s secrets are not spoken this day.  Instead, a new language of time travel and vortexes capture the imagination and pose the question, “could it be?” 
 Guarded by a spirit not long passed, the Loch serves as a gateway from a dimension stifled with unyielding human skepticism to one filled with everlasting life and endless possibilities.
The mist swirls, the water clouds, and once again Loch Lonnie appears to be only a pond.  But the spirit of Lonnie smiles and patiently lies in wait for the ones who dare to dream—who dare to believe.
I believe. 
Do you?