Chloe the Mighty Hunter

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We have a cat. Her name is Chloe. If it moves, watch out!

She has been the matriarch of our household pets for the last ten years even though we’ve had her longer. Up until then it was only her. She traveled well and was low maintenance.

Later, when we moved and lived in Alabama, she would be joined by others.  A hard thing for the “old” gal to accept.

The first of the interlopers, was Thomas the Ally Cat, a small Calico stray kitten we found quaking under the house. He managed to endear himself to her for awhile and the two would romp and bounce around the house. For awhile she got to be a kitten again, that is until we adopted Abby, another stray that found it’s way under my husband’s truck and riding 30 miles under the carriage without getting killed. We resisted adopting her, but she slowly wormed her way into our lives. Abby didn’t mew but made this cute chirping sound as she walked.

Chloe managed to make them tow the line and would whop them if they didn’t. In a way it was sad to see how the relationship changed once Abby came on the scene. Mostly because the two kittens had each other to play with and there was no room for her in their play. The old gal got shut out and Chloe got cranky and at times she’d attack Abby in reprisal.

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Chloe, Abby & Thomas

As if that wasn’t enough, then came cute, bouncy Ferguson, our little “Dog in the Wind”, who landed on our doorstep after a big tornado. The kittens took to him fine until Chloe sauntered in and gave him a big whollop, sending him whimpering and cowering across the room. The other two took that as their cue to follow suit and proceeded to gang up on him. Cat logic? Thankfully, it only happened one other time and that was it.

Eventually things settled and they made peace of sorts.

When we moved to California, my sister Diana kept the two youngun’s and we brought Chloe and Ferg with us.

Just so you know, Chloe hadn’t always been our cat. In fact, she changed hands more than once.

In 2002, or thereabouts my third grandson had just been born.

What possessed my daughter to do this I have no clue, but shortly thereafter, Jack being only two or three months old at the time, she and her sister (my other daughter) had gone to the mall and fell in love with this scrawny little thing. They were told she was six weeks old, but I highly doubted that and here she was.  She barely fit in their cupped hands. Her legs were spindly and still wobbly. She hopped around like most kittens do and then would fall back on her haunches.  She wasn’t a cute kitten and kittens are generally cute. I looked on and shook my head.

In my opinion, my daughter Tina( and her husband) do not do well with pets. She(they) get them and ignore them. They already had this beautiful, imported, enormous German Shepard, they had special ordered and imported from Germany. They spent thousands on this highly trained dog, name Dach that they hardly interacted with and now a kitten?  I know they cared for him, but… Well, this isn’t about Dach.

Chloe and Dach did however, get along beautifully. There were times we’d find the kitten curled up with him, the two of them finding comfort in one another. Smart kitten that she was, she stayed close to Dach because my daughter’s second child, Matt would seek her out and torment her. He was four.

Fortunately for Chloe, that would change a year later at Christmas.

She came to us in a box at Christmas in 2003. I believe it was the following year. The box the kids brought in, held gingerly, was highly suspect. My grandson Matt the tormentor was chomping at the bit.  “Hurry grandma, poppa, open your present, it’s gray and it, it moves!!!” he announced.

The cat’s out of the box.

There she was. We didn’t want another pet, having lost the last one to, I suspect, coyotes.

Never fear. Chloe was unlike her predecessor.

First of all, Chloe is NOT a lap cat, although on rare occasions she’d sit on my sister’s lap or on my husband’s tummy, she was not a cuddler. She also loves to play rough in a nice way and manages to always keeps her claws sheathed.(I stopped declawing cats when I learned how and what they do to them – NEVER again) Her teeth on the other hand, being razor sharp are the only lethal weapons to watch out for, not because she means to hurt you, because she never clamps down hard,  EVER , but because they are sooo vampire sharp.

Over the years she has brought home, lizards, gophers, a sundry of birds, snakes, mice and bugs. She eats giant grasshoppers and palmetto’s (in AL) with relish, so no photos.

 

Chloe is also wise and resourceful and will be celebrating her 14th birthday this fall.

Long ago, we realized she would be fine against any predator and has had carte blanche coming and going. She knows where home is. Truly.

When we gave her to mother a few years back, thinking she would have a good home after her 23 year old cat died and that perhaps she would be good company for her, she disappeared. Mother didn’t even know who she was. She called her Ashes and sometimes the “New Ashes”, her old kitty’s name. When mom’s husband died and the paramedics came, Chloe flew the coop. (Keep in mind that was before we realized how bad mother’s Alzheimer’s was) Two months later as I’m packing mother’s stuff, I hear a scratchin’ and a meowin’ at the front door and there she was. She saunters in like she’d been out on an afternoon stroll. I can only imagine what an adventure she must’ve had.  That was ten years ago.

One day I watched her as she assessed the possibility of her getting into and on the top shelf of a linen closet. The door to the closet was open maybe 1/2 inch if that, when she saw it. She jumped on the edge of the tub to check it out, she looked this way and that, then got back on the floor and looked again, then back to the tub, thoroughly calculating. I really didn’t know what she was about to do, but when she was done, she leaped from the floor, used her paw to fling the door open and landed on the top shelf. This was like a 6 foot jump! It was truly amazing.

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Chloe’s Den

 

I found her in the above self made “den” one day. Fortunately, she has the perfect coat for camouflage.

Chloe is quite enterprising and has traveled across these United States. Twice. She started out in Colorado, flew to Nashville, which didn’t go well. She relieved herself from Grand Junction to Denver, howling all the way, much to the dismay of the passengers, got washed in Denver and did fine the rest of the way. She then moved from Nashville to Alabama and rode like a champ, by car, cross country  to California, visiting several states in between.

She has braved the coyotes and puma’s of Colorado, survived the farm in Alabama with it’s many predators, coyotes, hawks, owls and snakes, not to mention the vicious dogs next door and now in California with more hawks, a lone eagle and coyotes. She knows how to make herself flat and invisible. She can hug the walls of the house and run like hell and howl at our door when danger is present.

Chloe

Today, I take her to the vet. She’s getting very skinny for no apparent reason and losing patches of her coat. She seems fine otherwise, lounging and hunting. But I want to be sure.

Sometimes Russ and I talk about how nice it would be not to have pets to be responsible for, but as soon as one of them isn’t seen for a time, we panic. I took Ferguson (the Papillon) to the vet this morning for his 6 month check, did some shopping and really missed him running to me when I came home. If anything happened to them, we would surely be sad. It’s amazing how they can be so much a part of us.

Isn’t she gorgeous? Her with Al Pacino.

Love you Chloe-bird.

***Update on Chloe: She had lost two pounds. Thyroid and liver function were a little higher than normal but still within range,  for her age she is doing fine. A little change in diet and more wet food which is easier to digest was the recommendation. No meds!!!

 

Hounds of Desire

RED CITY

Milton Farbin dreamt he was “the Fast-moving Man.” It was a recurring dream, part of a campaign to promote particular products and services. The Fast-moving Man and the Alluring Woman were cultural icons, pop stars with the highest appeal-rating according to the new, Trump Index. They were loved and adored. They slipped into people’s dreams by means of a new phone app given out for free. The glorious couple demonstrated new, American-made merchandise that was on sale for bargain prices.

In the dream, Milton was a charismatic leader with blistering eyes and orange hair, a man of wealth and power. When he awoke he was penniless and depressed having spent all his money on goods and services he did not need or want. Once he left the Virtual Dream, Milton was a rag man, no longer capable of keeping a regular job. In the past he was a beautician. He…

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Don’t Judge a Book by it’s Cover

I was just watching a video clip of a young man and girl on you tube.  It was the typical, Simon Cowle makes a face or tweaks his mouth in reservation, judging them.  If you look at the faces in the audience, you see they too have made a determination about this couple.

Case in point.  You have to see this.

You see what I mean?

Later, we see this:

 

We, as people make snap judgments on everything we see or hear.  We often times don’t wait to get the full picture. I do it all the time and I generally hate myself for it afterward.

We are often hardest on one another. Judging. Always judging.

If someone walks out of the john with toilet paper trailing behind them, we tend to snicker or let it be, we do nothing to rescue them. Mind you, I didn’t let that pass, but did notice many who did.

If someone looks different, smells different, is fat, has too many tats, hair too long, varied in color or they look tattered, dirty or perhaps their mascara or lipstick is smeared or worse yet there’s a good looking guy with a big booger in his nose. What do we do? Do we tend to turn away and think, yuck!?

At that moment when the young woman came out of the ladies room trailing tissue, I ran up to her from behind and blocked the view as best I could and tapped her on the shoulder and said, “Stop! You are trailing tissue and your skirt is up!” Though embarrassed, she hadn’t gone far and was so very grateful. I had rescued her.

I remember feeling like a hero. The thing of it is, she was a large girl with poor posture and sadly dressed. She had all the makings of a joke, the kid in school that everyone would make fun of, yet something inside me didn’t hesitate.  I’m sure she may even have had the same level of confidence of Jonathan.

Yeah, yeah. While it may appear I pat myself on the back, I don’t.

There have been times, I would have wanted someone to tell me if something was askew, instead of me finding out hours later. There have been many a time I was not the rescuer.

I’m sure we all recall moments in time where we fell short.

Like the young kids above, sometimes people need “rescuing” in different ways. Sometimes, they just need a helping hand.

The story above is a lesson to us all and in many ways. On the surface it’s one of friendship and loyalty true, but it’s more than even that. At least to me it is.

At first he’d been judged and then she was judged.

Sometimes I think in rescuing others, we rescue ourselves. In the end they went their separate ways amicably two years later. For a time though they needed that bond they found in each other to give them each the lift needed to work independently. He had time for the stigma of his size to pass.  As Jonathan and Charlotte’s confidence level improved, they were both finally free to explore their talent, each in their own way. Both are doing extremely well on their own now. 

Sometimes, if you see a friend in need, or if someone reaches out, it doesn’t have to be forever but only for a time. You never know what impact you might make on someone’s life, but especially your own for having been there.

I once had someone tell me that the good deed doers are in it for themselves, for how it makes them feel to do it. Perhaps. I can’t deny, it does feel good to help someone but what harm is there in that?

As for the booger.

It was me who didn’t tell the good looking guy he had a booger in his nose.

We were in high school. Granted he’d been surfing earlier and water tends to do that, but I thought he should know that. I remember him flirting and smiling and I wouldn’t give him the time of day. All I saw was the booger. Besides that, it seemed that all he ever did or cared about was surfing. Out of high school, he went on to be a fireman. It turns out he wasn’t a loser. While fighting fires, he got a contractors license and built some very nice homes in California. Later he would move to Hawaii with his wife, a former cheerleader which surprised everyone and went on to build multi million dollar homes there.  At our class reunion, he told my husband how he’d always thought I was so hot and how I wouldn’t give him ‘the time of day’! Yeah, that was me.

My husband and I have a word for that. “Idiot”

As I said, don’t judge a book by it’s cover.  You will almost always be surprised.

The Many Shades of Hate

Or, perhaps I should title it, “Hate Perpetuated”.  

A note from the author:  I wrote most of this before the Orlando shooting, but I still stand by what I say.  It was originally titled as “Same Sex, Politics and Religion”. I changed the title because it has deviated some.

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For all that, it is never good when a tragedy like this turns a people against one another. I’ve been disturbed at all the different ways people have lashed out and expressed their many shades of hate toward one another.

What has bothered me the most is the fervent hatred spewed toward God, Christians, religion and lest I forget guns or more specifically assault weapons (understandably). That which is not italicized was written before this tragedy occurred. I am certain that a good many people who have followed me in the past, be they Christian or non, may take offense at what I say or call me to task for my point of view. Keep in mind, it is my opinion based on my beliefs. They are not perfect and I don’t make claims that they are.

MAY- 2016

People talk about the moral decay of society and I may be inclined to agree.  We live in an anything goes society there’s no doubt about that. The only thing left is, God forbid, to accept pedophiles as “normal”, because it seems everything else is fine, acceptable and normal, so what’s next?  Fortunately, pedophilia remains as one of the few things still considered abhorrent. One day that may not be the case. Who knows?

It’s interesting though, that with the elections coming up, the usual theme of abortion and other such topics are barely being touched on. Perhaps they are old hat now and people have moved on. Or as one website stated, “those issues have been settled by the supreme court so are no longer a big concern”.  Okay, I’ll concede to that.

Morals or man’s lack of morals are generally coming under fire but then what’s new?  Because some, may have been resolved by the courts, they may not be an issue today, but politico’s still have a footnote about them on their website just to say they do, whatever “their” do is in order to appease their following.

http://stg.do/9LDc  A clip from Paul Harvey done 51 years ago. How we’ve evolved.

This is how I look at “sin” and let me assure you it is not my intent to make light or minimize it, but haven’t you noticed that sometimes when too big a deal is made about something it becomes that much more tantalizing?

This may seem insignificant to some folks but I know a lot of people this fits, me included. Tell me I can’t have ice cream and I’ll go out to Coldstone Creamery for a Strawberry Banana Rendezvous and/or buy a gallon of Blue Bell Rocky Road and gobble it up!  It’s not good for me and I really shouldn’t have it, especially since the Doc said I was borderline diabetic, not to mention lactose intolerant, but oh my… please nobody tell me I can’t have it. Despite the fact I most often will regret it, but I can’t help it. It is taboo. When my aunt snatched a piece of fried chicken away from my dying grandmother because it wasn’t on her “diet” and wouldn’t be good for her heart, she snatched it right back and said, “look, I know I’m dying and I’m going to enjoy what I like before I go.” I had to chuckle. She enjoyed every bite and she was right, she died four months later.

Take homosexuality for example and I mean no disrespect here. For some it is the “forbidden fruit” but it’s not true for everyone. I abstain from judging gays, I’m not perfect either and, it’s not my job.  I’ve wrestled with this for some time though… obviously. Isaiah 5:20 says there will come a time when what is good will be called evil and what is bad will be called good. “20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” So, I pondered and  vacillated over that. Is that what’s transpiring?

Perhaps I am riding the fence here, but I don’t think so and I’ll tell you why. I finally came to the conclusion that if God doesn’t like something, He will take care of it when the time comes and it won’t be in the way of shootings. Besides I’m guessing God is a better God than many of us give Him credit for.  Just ask any gay person who believes in God. I believe God is love and He sent His son to die for all mankind and that would include gays.  Why would I want to prevent someone gay from approaching God in prayer or worship saying he is unworthy? If God loves them and I believe he does, then why shouldn’t I?

Are they sinning?  Well… 

Romans 1:26,27 seems to indicate so, and it is a bit harsh in saying so.  1 Thessalonians 4:5 supports that in addition to other scriptures but… and don’t get your panties into a bunch just yet, it (Romans) talks about people giving up what is ‘natural’ for what is not . (That is my paraphrase). 

So, what is “natural”?  Common sense indicates that the male and female parts fit nicely together, yet…

I have a brother who is gay. Having been raised a Christian, it took him a long time to tell us, but we already knew it.  It just was.    We never called attention to it or tried to brainwash or change who he was, we just let him “be”.  When his partner was dying, he told me about him. I liked the young man and then my brother tells me he was wondering how to tell mom. I turned to him and smiled, “mom already knows”. Even with her Alzheimer’s, she would from time to time turn to me and say, “you know he’s gay don’t you?” Why he was surprised I don’t know. We all knew and had for a long time.

There are people who claim to have been born that way. How can I dispute them?  I don’t know their history, background or genetic makeup. I’m not naive, I know there are people out there who act out for the thrill and baseness of it only. They are not “true” gays. I’m not referring to them. Even gays recognize this. All I do know is that man is not as he was “in the beginning. Perfect.” Only God knows what’s in a person’s heart and how they are made.  I’m sure there are Christians who would dispute a portion of that and find what I’ve said disturbing but that is the conclusion I’ve come to based on my observation. Some things I can’t deny are beyond my comprehension. If the first humans lived for thousands of years and we are doing good now to make it to 100, that should tell us, all is not as it once was.

Many of the same people who question the validity of same sex marriages often times violate “God’s Law” in many other ways and by so doing invalidate their right to judge. I mean come on now.  What right does anyone have to look down their nose at someone else if they, themselves cannot obey the letter of the law?  I’m not wanting to cast aspersions, but it’s a fact…

WE ALL SIN.

To say otherwise is to lie and therefore sin. We’re human and we all fall short from time to time. Sin is sin and yet God loves us anyway. Many today have absolutely no regard for the sanctity of marriage yet point fingers at gays? As more and more hetero couples cohabit and have children without consideration of marriage, how can they worthily judge? If by attending church do they believe it absolves them? I don’t think so.

 

In John 8:7 Jesus asked, “He who is without sin cast the first stone.” No one could.

I won’t deny that some “Christians” make and continue to do so, inappropriate comments of condemnation of those who died. It is sad and uncalled for I can understand the ire that resulted.  However what was even more disconcerting was how it initiated a volley of diatribe from agnostics and anti-theists  that ranged from curses and even harsher condemnations and a diarrhea of excessive, nonstop rants against Christians, religion, God and the Bible.   Disputants of God went on to derisively blame Him and/or his Word the Bible, as a/the reason for their dogmatism and imply that those who believe are a bunch of uninformed, uneducated and ignorant morons, then taking it one step further, holding them responsible for the shootings!  Oh my. Really? How did they make that leap?!

I realize not all Christians are well versed in their beliefs or have an abundant knowledge of God’s Word, so they may be unaware or perhaps have forgotten, what  Matthew 7:2 says:  “For with the same judgment you pronounce, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

When Jesus was on earth, he shamed scribes and pharisees (religious leaders) for their self righteousness and likened them to “white washed graves full of dead men’s bones”. (Matthew 23:27)   So it really doesn’t make sense to accuse God for the stance some Christians may take. He’s not backing that. Being saved is not an exclusive club, but a choice/gift open to everyone.  It isn’t without some ramification that their indictment of the victims may have insured their own judgment. Sometimes Christians forget they are saved by God’s Grace, sometimes taking that gift for granted, and because they come across as pious snobs, anti-theists hold them to a higher standard. Ahhh! Measuring. It appears this measuring could apply or include everyone or anyone who takes a sanctimonious stance, pro or con, couldn’t it? 

And, how did this incident all of a sudden take a turn to blame Christians or gripe and blame cops for being cautious and not quicker? Christians may have made stupid remarks but they weren’t the shooters. Irrational behavior is not exclusive to Christians. I have heard more hatred spewed by non Christians than Christians. 

My sister’s response to me regarding this was:

“The world has been shaken and stirred up viciously and everyone is trying to find an answer to what is going on and so are trying to pin the blame somewhere to make sense of it.  However, the big picture that is hard for people to accept, and even Christians seem to forget, but there is a war going on and that is between God and Satan and he wants to destroy what God created.  If he can’t gain our hearts then he wants to destroy us.    Not an easy concept for people to accept, we want to blame the things we can see and hear and touch.” (End Quote).

(People) “… want to blame the things we can see and hear and touch.”

Hebrews 4:12–13 (NASB95)

12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight…

 

That comes from the much maligned Bible and God. Granted men wrote it, “inspired” by God to document His truths.

... in details, it is important when interpreting a dream about a Bible

Educated and somewhat intelligent people today who put faith in Darwin’s evolution theory (mind you, it was only initiated as a theory and later espoused as gospel), they revere Hawking and Einstein’s scientific contributions,  who, like the Bible writers, are also “just” men. Yet so hard for them to give credence in a Bible written by several writers over a span of hundred’s of years and who for the most part did not know one another (no collusion there) and yet somehow despite that, miraculously concur in their writings to prophecy, reveal and predict future events that would come to be realized and yet somehow be regarded as of less importance than the other aforementioned ‘modern’ era men? Are they assuming intelligent men did not exist then? The Bible is not passe. There is value in it.

For many who claim that God does not exist, they are also ones who promote, believe in or speculate on the supernatural and feed on spirit realm entertainment.  Why do you think there are so many demonic and supernatural shows on TV right now?  Perhaps unwittingly, if they can conceive it and perceive another realm then it does exist somewhere in their subconscious being.

 Like-it-or-not. 

I have an acquaintance who said his friend lost someone at Pulse and that the paramedics had commented on how eerie it was after the disaster when they went in and found cell phones on the floor buzzing away with constant calls from loved ones wondering where they were or if they were safe or even alive. How can this not hurt to the deepest core of anyone’s soul?

In the same fashion as 9-11, my many Christian friends prayed for those who lost loved ones and for those who were injured. Their hearts went out to everyone affected. Please DON’T judge all Christians by inappropriate, publicized remarks.

Ecclesiastes 7:9: “Do not hurry yourself in your spirit to become offended, for the taking of offense is what rests in the bosom of the stupid ones.” 

All I keep hearing is Hate, Hate, Hate and blame, blame, blame with the majority of it not spewing from Christians. Do people not hear themselves? 

I keep saying and will continue to say, “WHY CAN’T WE JUST GET ALONG!??”

NOW FOR THE ISSUE OF GUNS –

As for guns. I have mixed feelings about them. I don’t own one now but I did. On a farm you got critters to protect your flock from and in my case, it was my chickens. If I lived out in the boonies, by golly, I’d want one. It can be pretty scary being isolated in the middle of no where.

I have used or been taught how to use several types of weaponry. I like shooting them. It is a real kick ass feeling, which then helps me in my screenwriting to know what it feels like to hold and shoot a weapon. Unfortunately… they kill people.  I take that back, guns don’t kill but the people using them do, and regrettably,  kids can get a hold of guns and hurt or kill one another. There are many valid reason to not have them, but to allow the government to regulate our choice?

How is it we can be pro choice but not pro gun choice?  

The stats show that in 2014 – 974,000 children-to-be were terminated by “choice”, whereas deaths by guns were totaled at 32, 175 (11,208 homicide-21,175 suicide in 2013) There were non fatals of 84,258 (that’s a lot-too many) but the total is still not even close to the 974,00o of pro choice choices.  Yeah, I know that will rub or offend someone badly, but it is what it is.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not fond of assault weapons nor feel they are necessary or should be legal, but the reality is, when it comes right down to it, the bad guy is going to find the weapons he wants whether we like it or not. Do laws make it harder? Perhaps.

There is no denying there is a problem. If fair laws are to be enacted it needs to be done in an atmosphere devoid of name calling and histrionics.  Let’s be fair.

1 Peter 3:9,10: “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.  vs 10 For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.

Please see this as a reminder to both Christian and non Christians to love and honor one another. Work together not against one another. BE KIND.

As my final scriptural thought, A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, But the mouth of fools spouts folly… Proverbs 15:1

Words to live by.

In the mantra of the good ol’ hippy days “MAKE LOVE NOT WAR”

Just sayin’

 

Hijacked by Street Art

This is too amazing not to share!

Loud Alien Noize

Abandoned Parisian Nightclub 

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The site of a stunning 1885-era Parisian municipal bathhouse, HOME to the previous Les Bains Douches Nightclub, is now set to be revamped into a Luxury Boutique Hotel. Earlier this year, a group of 50 Art practitioners filled it up with their own art, creating their very own pop up art gallery from it. streetartchildren00

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Built as a municipal bathhouse in the late 19th century, Les Bains-Douches would eventually become one of the hottest Night Clubs in Paris known simply as Les Bains, a destination for the likes of Kate Moss, Mick Jagger, Johnny Depp and even Andy Warhol. Due to some faulty construction in 2010 the building was declared a safety hazard and is now slated for complete RENOVATION in just a few days to pave way for La Société des Bains, a new space that will open in 2014. In…

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The Cat’s Out –

My step sister uses the phrase, and I might add, way too often, “The cats out of the bag”.

She did this when she thought my son was seeing a girl she thought he shouldn’t be seeing.  He was actually doing something legitimate like homework. No matter, it was what she uttered accusingly at him whenever she thought he might be with the girl. Dumb.

So now that’s our inside joke for any and all assumed revelations. So begins my story.

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Mazatlan 1966 – Spring Break

Long ago, 50 years or so ago, I was a young girl enrolling in college. I had been out of school six months and decided it was time to further my education. My mother was unworldly and uneducated for the most part, no help there other than she thought it would be a good idea. So, here I was at registration doing my best to fill out the required forms.

I’d not been a good student, not because I wasn’t smart enough, no it was more the stress of my living environment.  My mother married a guy whose five children were all in foster homes. She thought it noble to take them all in, so she (they) requisitioned for them to live with us. One was adopted out to his grandmother before the other four were finally released to us.

Here I am a teenager in high school and our family is expanding. As it was, I had a brother and two sisters already, so adding the other four made us eight. Our parents  four years later, would have one more child between the two of them. I was the eldest and I had just turned 16. Mother worked and her new husband was shipped off overseas. There was already the whispering of war ahead, but I was so unaware until Kennedy was shot.

The little ones came to us two at a time. I fell in love with the first two. They were four and six years old. They had lived in Boston, so had the cutest Boston accents.

It would also be the year I would lose my “virginity” willingly.

The other two kids arrived six months later and were not as pleasant. They were 11 and 5. The five year old had a chip on her shoulder a mile wide and the other one was obnoxious. I would be in charge of them all. My list of duties were not unlike those of any parent. I was the parent.  As I kept house and cooked meals, my homework went by the wayside.  Needless to say, I escaped whenever possible. I went to football games and sneaked out whenever I could. Was I a bad girl? Well, in my heart of hearts I think I knew I wasn’t but like a good many teens I acted out sometimes, “looking for love in all the wrong places”.  My self esteem left a great deal to be desired in those days. In truth, I was overwhelmed in every possible way.

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1966 Beauty Pageant

There were times I thought of myself as unworthy and as stupid as I imagined everyone else thought I was. Deep inside I struggled to convince myself that I was more than the sum of my parts or than what lay on the surface. I relied on my good looks more than my brains. (Sorry- camera’s weren’t that great then – BF do you remember taking this?)

I remember one time, mom and I got in this big fight.  Name calling was what she did best. So, at one point, I’d had enough and left home. My boyfriend at the time had a friend, whose sister lived alone, so I crashed with her, cooking and doing laundry in exchange for room and board. I was good at both those things. During those months, I got straight A’s. I remember one of my teachers saying, “I always knew you were smart. What’s different?” I told him and he was sad.  That was short lived however and I, out of concern for my siblings, would eventually move back home.  I learned from one of them that with me gone, there was no one to run interference for them and they were miserable. It was what I did. Fight the bad guy.

So, when I graduated high school my grades were less than optimal. I didn’t actually think there was any way for me to go to college.  We had no money and my grades were abominable. Then I learned that if I could maintain good grades in Jr. College, I could earn my way into a four year college. I thought, why not?

That is where and how I met K. It was a late enrollment, so there weren’t as many classes open and I was having a hard time deciding what to take. I will never forget how he popped in from out of nowhere to help. That he noticed me was a mystery. He was charming and beautiful and I’m not exaggerating. He of course, got me into two of his classes, Business Law and English which would later become his profession teaching.

I had just gotten over a horrible breakup with the aforementioned boyfriend, who I thought I was in love with. He had  up and married unexpectedly, leaving me in the dust. I guess I should have expected it. He had graduated with honors and was attending a four year college and I was … hard on myself. I was devastated and K was so… what I needed.

I poured out my heart to him and he was a good listener. In those days he was quite the surfer dude,  always looking for the best waves and places to go for them. We did a lot of fun things together. He was so easy to be with. We were friends.

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During spring break, a group of us planned a trip to Mazatlan. As it turned out, of all the girls planning to go, I was the only one who made it there.  Here I was with K and several of his friends. They surfed and I’d lay in the sun. We drank tequila shots with beer, ate raw oysters and drank lots of pina colada’s and margherita’s. Hell, it was spring break!

We hitch-hiked everywhere.  Actually, I’d get out in the street and put my thumb out and when someone stopped, the guys would converge on the vehicle and we’d all hop in. I don’t think anyone seriously minded. They all thought it was fun, having this hot girl hitching for them. Yes, I was hot and… I would never have hitch-hiked in the states!

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Dudes waiting for a ride- my dude sits on the left

We also rented a jeep for those out of the way places like a lighthouse, (me moving a “formidable” rock in our way) and we

rented horses and rode on the beach. My nethers hurt so bad from riding as I’d never ridden a horse before, but it was so worth it.   That must be why our daughter loves horses.  So, yes one thing lead to another.

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Horseback ranch

If I thought K looked like a Greek god before, he looked even more so on the back of a horse.

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Adonis

I didn’t actually know I was pregnant for some time and by then K had gone back to Maryland and was no longer in my life. Interestingly though, when we decided to take a train home, a little old indigenous woman on the train came up to me/us and said I was with child which we thought ridiculous since we’d just done it.  I was fairly naive and thought I was suffering from a stomach bug, barfing all the time.

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Caught getting into my airline shoes!
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Tina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After our daughter was born, I got a job as a flight attendant and would marry a pilot and change my name. Unbeknownst to me, so did K. He went back to his birth name, so in the end neither of us could find the other.

Tina, in the meantime grew up and later married.

 

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Trying on her Bridal Gown

Move the clock forward 34 years later and we would accidentally come across one another via the internet.  When his sister told him she had found us. He exclaimed, “How? I’ve been looking for 34 years!” That was good to know.

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Tina meets Beatrice

She got to meet her grandmother and aunts for the first time when she was 35 or 36. I got to meet them as well. They said as far as they are concerned, I’m their “sister” in law. His mom was 96 or 98 at the time and would die just shy of 100, not long after.

Shortly after he would meet his daughter in Amsterdam and later take a trip to Bali and begin celebrating birthdays from the point they were reunited onward.

 

As for us, we have not seen each other since we parted. I know I wasn’t the love of his life nor was he mine. We were “just friends”.

Would I want to see him or he me?  Good question.  We’ve seen pictures of one another but not spoken except through emails and through our blogs.

I am currently married to the best person for me. My hubby was able to help me heal in ways that no one else could and it couldn’t get better than that.

As for K? I know he’s single. Been married twice and lives far away.

When our daughter first met him, to paraphrase her, she says to me, “Oh mom, I know now why you fell for him, he is so charming.” LOL

Yes, he is that.

She also asked me if the song “Monday, Monday” meant anything to me.

Oh yeah!

One of these days if we live long enough and if he ever returns to the states, maybe someday we’ll meet again. Who knows?

 

 

 

Blogging

Wow!route 66

Do you know how long it takes to read blogs?  I love them but of late I’ve had to put them on hold. I especially love the friends I’ve made blogging.

 

There is tandemtrekking, who writes about her beautiful treks across this great country of ours, now in the process of doing the Pacific Coast Trail (?) better known as the PCT.

Nutsrok shares what it’s like to be southern and what it’s like having such a colorful assortment of relatives. Telling her stories with such great humor and candidness; bunKaryudo, I’ll be damned if I know how to pronounce that but then maybe it’s not meant to be said aloud, shares his trials of being a parent and other convivial sides of life. He is always on the hunt for subject matter to keep us entertained with.

Then, there’s thelonelyauthor, with his lovely poems about his humanness and I can’t forget all those posts from “the neighborhood @thepublicblogger“. Not lastly, there’s my friend from the past, Badfish, who shares his beautiful pictures as he journeys and gives his perspective of peoples and countries most of us may never get to know from across the world.

Not mentioned are the many more people I’ve connected with since I started to write this particular blog.

From time to time I’ve been prone to and will reblog other’s posts; if you weren’t named trust me, you’re still very important to me.

BLOGS

Do you ever start, stop then after awhile start again, figurin’ it’s been long enough?

That’s me.  I’ve got three half started blogs, no five. This is one of them. So now there’s four.

Lately I’ve had so much on my plate. Working on what I should be working on, screenplays and trying to battle moles and gophers from my yard and finding a way of getting my yard looking half way decent within the restricted water parameters in California.

I debated on graveling the front and/or the back, but my neighbor spent thousands on just a small 6 X 15 foot stretch in his front yard and I’ve got 5 times the yard.  No, I’m not ready to do that yet. It is interesting but California had us restrict our water usage and Californians being conservation minded complied, then the water board proceeds to announce that all our water rates will rise to compensate for the lack of revenue!  We can’t win!

This is one of those times I wish I were back in Alabama where rainfall is consistent enough to not need irrigation or outside water sources.

It’s time for a breather.

Julia and I at Hollywood Film Fest

I had a sweet Young lady visiting from France, Julia Pajot. We met on LinkedIn and became friends. After communicating for some time she came out for a visit. She was recognized for her music in an animated short that is making the film festival circuits. The following link as a beautiful piece and the pas de dux is a short she won an award for.

https://www.youtube.com/user/juliapajot

Dreamworks

She’s an amazing, young composer.

Through and with her, I had the grand privilege of attending some Academy animated film screenings. One at Dreamworks and another at The Writer’s Guild. Later we would view her animated short at the Beverly Hills Film Festival.

 

At one point I had to say “time out”, I’m not as young as I used to be and I had trouble keeping up with her.  She was patient with me.  <grin>

(If I’d known I’d get a red carpet pic, I’d have worn something different.)

We’d have fun for a couple of days and then I’d have to rest a couple of days. Seriously.

How she managed to stay up until one or two in the morning networking and hobnobbing, I don’t know. That’s not true. I do remember those days when I had no trouble staying out late. <sigh>

I too, was patient and I didn’t blame her, you got to make hay while the sun shines, and she had to make the best use of her time while here. She is now back in France but her efforts paid off and she is now in the process of getting a work visa to return.

Ahhh youth! At Dance a thon

In the meantime, the gophers and moles have been contained… for the time being anyway and my lawn is acquiring some color again.

I also got back into exercising  but only for awhile.  I think I’m prone to going at it like I was killing snakes and ended up overdoing and now have to take time out to heal my poor body. Ugh!

Isn’t it funny how our minds still think young and our bodies belie us?  What am I saying?  Didn’t I keep up with those young ladies at the Hollywood Dance a Thon for more than six hours?!  Of course, it did take a week to recover.

So I take time off to let my shoulder, hip and knees recover and next time I start out at a much slower pace. That was the beauty of having a trainer, she made sure I didn’t hurt myself. I can keep up and do the work, but after a few weeks my body doth protest. A bigger sigh. <grin>

It was lots of fun, but now it’s time to get back to work. C’est la vie! Oh well.