Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tell me; Don't tell me

Tell me what I need to hear.
Don't tell me what you think
I want to hear.

Tell me what I want to hear.
Don't tell me what you think
I need to hear.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012



This time was not as difficult as the return from Black Rock City; but some of the same mechanisms work to make it happen.

Friends, food, hot water, cool wine:
  • Dinner with Kate and meeting her new friend; 
  • basmati rice under *anything* but especially the chicken and cranberry sauce; 
  • hot tub shared four ways last night and two ways this morning;
  • 'nuff said?
Some of my best thinking and creativity happen between the white lines, particularly on I-5 through the Central Valley, particularly on the return trip.

I have a "maybe" solution to the couch pillow problem at the Palm Springs house; ideas for some other sewing projects; plans to slab-build a set of coffee mugs for the desert house; and that was only this trip. Who could forget the board game we invented, a sort of spin-the-bottle meets strip poker meets Truth or Dare? And the metamorphosis of Silicon Valley Computer Support Services into S.V. Couples Sexual Services?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Day Last

Thoughts and observations on my way back to the default world--

It really is the Very Best Way Ever to wake up.

I get teary-eyed every time we start to drive away from the desert because it *could* be the last time.

The sky along I-5 today looks like an aquatint or a watercolor wash painting.

The older semi rig drivers are the best to draft behind because they know how to keep a constant speed for miles and miles and miles.

The Pleasant Land of Counterpane (go look it up) lies on the west side of I-5 between Lost Hils and Avenal. Really. After you look it up, drive there and see :-)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Quote of the day

"I was so royally fucked that now I am wearing a tiara!" Stolen, blatantly, from MTW

On the Fifth Day we rested

Formula for a lovely day --

Start by sleeping in, past 8AM if you can manage that, until 8:45 is even better. Then, when you DO wake up, let it be by the sweetest, hottest, most loving manner you and your partner can dream up. [I'll leave the exact details to you ;-) ]

Stretch, shower, and enjoy a leisurely breakfast: fried eggs and Canadian bacon on English Muffins. Don't spare the Cajun Sunshine hot sauce either.

Make only one trip to the hardware store for the parts to fix the gate; instead of the usual three trips. Clean, vacuum, straighten, rearrange the RV. Finish those chores at exactly the same time and celebrate with fish 'n' chips lunch at Fishermans Market Grill ( Be sure to get an outside table and people watch while gorging on perfectly fried cod and chips with malt vinegar.

Home after lunch, one (me) weed side yard and pick up detritus from backyard and the other (he) vacuum through the house. Yawn. Both go take a nap

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Day 4.5

Driving back from Phoenix got a little bit dicey the closer we got to Quartzsite. The wind kicked up and gusted enough so Michael could no longer draft the semis. By the time I took the wheel in Quartzsite, it was "blowing like snot" -- I think that is a Canadian idiom -- and the sideways barn door we call an RV was rather hard to keep between the white lines. I white-knuckled it for an hour, then Michael took over just before the gusts doubled and the rain began.

Snug, warm and dry in our nest in Windy Cove (that really is the name of this canyon!), we are sipping a lovely Malbec and listening to rain drip off the eaves. Soon the pulled pork will be hot and ready to pile on tortillas.

Let tomorrow take care of itself.

Day Four

Wonderful lecture today on Chaco Canyon and on Southwestern Indian Jewelry, past and present. It was especially interesting to see how young, modern artists interpret the traditional motifs. The best talk was RV Boot Camp though. We came away with a lot of very practical tips.

But now we are headed West again, toward home-in-the-desert.

To be continued ...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Day Three, part deux

The bad news: Martina McBride's sound system wasn't up to the venue.

The good news: we are spending some quality time together, in Moon Dance, with a glass (or three) of wine and Chris Smither on the box.

"Passion is feeling in motion, Compassion is standing still. This isn't just a vocation. Hearing is letting it happen, but to listen's a work of will. Beware of cheap imitations."

"I'm not a passenger; I am the ride."

Day Three

Today started with a lecture about Navaho and Hopi art and culture and continued through one about switching over to LED lighting (I plan to, gradually). Next we stood for nearly two hours waiting for Michael's name to be drawn for one of several fabulous prizes. No such luck. We do have our names in for several minor drawings, like the one for a solar powered lantern, and other camping esoterica.

Now we are about to leave for tonight's show -- Martina McBride. [Mark, if you are reading this, eat your heart out :-) ]

The best part? A week camping with my soul mate, lover and best friend. Can't beat that, no way!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Day Two of the Road Trip

Of the 3.5 hour drive to Phoenix, Michael drove the first 2.5 hours and the last 1.0 hour; I drove the middle 1.5 hour stretch. A pattern emerges, eh? Thanks to the lovely C. R. England trucks he drafted though, we actually averaged over 10.5 mpg!

Disappointing wild flower show for most of the way. After seeing an amazing poppy covered hillside at the north end of the Grapevine on Thursday, I had hoped for a better display. There were Arizona Lupine, numerous Brittle Bush and lovely red firecrackers on the tops of ocotillo; palo verdes were busting out and there was a good roadside display of Mallow.

This rally is HUGE. There are 65 seater trams (10 or more) circulating constantly to bring people from the camping areas to the rally venue. We arrived too late today for "How to camp for free at vineyards and farms" but did get to hear a lecture on Zuni jewelry. The entertainment tonight was Bill Cosby who had us both, and everyone else, in tears from laughing so much.

Our campsite is adequate, no neighbors on the "front" side at all, electric hook-up but not water. Our fresh water tank, filled in San Jose, will suffice.

Good night :-)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Road to Phoenix

Despite an unauspicious start -- removing the tyvek cover in freezing rain (Los Gatos has its own micro-climate. Who knew?) and finding that the driver side wiper wouldn't wipe -- things did get better. Chris, my favorite (OK, only) RV mechanic found the loose bolt, tightened it, and the wiper now wipes again!

First leg of the trip was the 6.5 hour drive to Palm Springs. I drove the first 1.5 hours, Michael drove the next 2.5 hours; we switched again at lunch and I drove the next 1.5 hours. Michael drove the final 2.5 hours. Yes, do the math :-)

Moon Dance has now been checked out, propane on, auxiliary battery on, drains and toilet flushed and primed, refrigerator starting to cool down.

Early dinner at JJ's -- Mexican restaurant run by a man from El Salvador and his Guatemalan wife who does all the cooking -- our favorite place to eat in Palm Springs. Then early to bed, I think. We have another 3 hours to drive tomorrow to get to the rally. Any bets how long the drive will really take? There's a seminar at 1 PM I really want to attend ...

stay tuned ...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

exercises, part deux

I had a nice talk with my wonderful therapist today. Her advice? Keep exercising the muscle and it gets stronger. The ideal place to be on the spectrum between Numb Nuts and total abnegation is "healthy narcissism" and that's where I should be.

Along with validation from my soul mate, I need to practice self-validation; learn and practice self-soothing; practice self-reliance.

What is the worst that can happen if I state my need for something to be? How will I deal with that worst thing? Once I have that down, just keep practicing.

Monday, March 12, 2012


Goddess Silver, Goddess Bright, please take this wish from me tonight. Full to Dark, and ‘round again, please grant this wish for me ere then: Please help me to become, to be and to remain strong and independent. As I will it, so mote it be.
Four times a week, I go to the gym for cardio exercises; twice a week for strength training. With the help of my trainer and encouragement from my soul mate, I have gained strength, agility, flexibility and feel younger than my years by far. I can keep up on a moderately challenging hike or bike ride. My body feels healthy and happy and just fine, thank you very much.

Nearly every day, I do a challenging crossword puzzle. At the moment I have eight simultaneous online Scrabble games in progress with my sister, brother-in-law, daughter and two grandsons. I can sometimes even beat the kids; and my sister only beats me by double my score instead of triple as she did once. My mind feels healthy and happy and just fine, thank you very much.

Once a week, I take a pottery class from a Master Teacher. Daily I design and execute quilts and pots, most of them pleasing to my eye, some even pleasing to the eyes of others. Sunrises, sunsets, bird-song, wind, sky, water and earth are part of my life every day. My soul feels health and happy and just fine, thank you very much.

But the spirit? Not so much. A while back, I was traded in for a newer model: not necessarily more fit, more mentally agile, but definitely a new, bright, shiny thing. I was blindsided, bereft, devastated. My ego, my self esteem are still vulnerable, weak and frighteningly fragile.  How does one exercise ego? How does one build up muscles in self esteem? How can feeling of self worth be made strong, agile, and flexible? Where does one go to find a coach or trainer for these?

Those last four are not rhetorical questions. I really need to know. Can anyone out there give me some tips? pointers? help?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Young Love

I fell in love with words in elementary school, First Grade to be exact. Back in the day, when I started school, the kindergarten curriculum consisted of learning to tie one's shoes and share one's toys, to not eat library paste or run with scissors, and to color inside the lines. We did become familiar with letters but not really in conjunction with words.

In First Grade we learned that letters all have their own sounds; except for the greedy ones that have two and shy little C who has none of her own and just borrows from her two friend S and K. But I digress.

I had a large vocabulary of spoken words already, due to all the teachers and librarians in my family. My habit was always to read ahead of the teacher. In our Spelling text book, the directions said that after each test we were to write all missed words in our naughty book. Teacher got to that part and I learned the rule that turned naughty book into notebook. 

By Seventh grade I had been exposed to poetry and learned that words could sing, even without music ... they could make their own music.

In high school I grew to love the primitive beginnings of words -- Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote, The droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote ….. Wherefore art thou Romeo …  a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. 

Always though, I tried to learn the meanings of words and especially dear to me are the ones with many, sometimes unrelated, meanings.

For example, “Mark” means
  • ·         A curse: the mark of Cain
  • ·         A unit of currency in Germany, Poland, Finland, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Estonia.
  • ·         A name [and the name of a person who is extremely dear to me.]
  • ·         A customer that spends a lot of money trying to win a game. [This term was coined because carnies would alert each other to the big spender by marking him some way (usually by patting them on the shoulder with powdered chalk in hand).]
  • ·         A term for the border territories of a country.
  • ·         A clean catch from a kick by another player that results in a free kick in Rugby.
  • ·         A spot or stain.
  • ·         A dupe or  a victim selected for a theft or a swindle
  • ·         A symbol signifying the maker of original art.
  • ·         A student’s grade on a particular piece of work.
  • ·         A badge
  • ·         A visible impression
  • ·         An influence
So many different meanings for such a little word, eh?

Turkey EmpaƱadas

My sister gave me,among other things, a 5" empaƱada maker for Christmas. I decided tonight's dinner would be the perfect time t...