Tuesday, November 10, 2015

In Which Jane Makes a Decision...

You can see the first part of this story here and the second part here...

After Jane left Skinny Pete at the sleazy motel, she went home to her abusive father and did the unthinkable. She stole three grand in cash from his stash in the garage, went out for coffee and cigarettes and never returned.

It was something she’d been thinking about for a long time. How to get away? How to get away safely? How to get away so he could never find her? She didn’t have the answers to any of these questions so she threw all caution to the wind, took the money while he slept and left the house.

Jane had been in a bad way for quite some time. Jammed up on speed, her health in jeopardy and not a friend in the world, she knew she had to make a change. Home life was dangerous at best and she knew her days were numbered if she stayed. If she did nothing, she had two options. Her father could beat her to death or she could kill herself with drugs, on purpose or accidentally. Neither particularly suited her.

With nothing but her over sized handbag, the ragged, dirty clothes on her back and no plan other than to get away, Jane hit the street. Her father was used to her being away for extended periods, so he wouldn’t miss her for a couple days. She had the cash and a few things in her bag. She had very little speed and no inclination to get more.  She decided on the Amtrak and made her way there.

At the station, Jane counted the cash. She knew she needed privacy on the trip but didn’t want to attract attention.  She knew she would be sick and would need to sleep. She bought a train ticket to a destination thousands of miles from home. She spent a good amount of money for private sleeping accommodations.

She looked like a drug addict; she was unkempt, smelly and scabby.  She bought the ticket, but the train wouldn’t leave for two hours. Ansty, she hit the consignment shop for some clean clothes and a small suitcase. At the druggist, she bought soap and shampoo, mouthwash and deodorant, some acetaminophen and that stuff you give to kids when they vomit or have diarrhea. She had no idea if the pedia-shit would do her any good, but guessed it was worth a shot. Walking the three blocks to the Y, she wondered if she really could make this all work. Deciding she really didn’t have much choice, she paid a few bucks for a day pass and hit the showers.

Sitting in the locker room at the Y, showered and dressed in her clothes from the consignment shop, Jane made a decision. She threw the ragged clothes in the trash, walked to the sinks and rummaged through her bag. Finding her hairbrush and an elastic, she worked through the tangles in her hair and put it up in a knot at the top of her head. She rinsed her mouth, popped a couple Tylenol, applied deodorant and went to the secret pocket in her bag. Taking out the little paper packet, she paused. Looking in the mirror, seeing the damage she had done to herself, she turned on the water, opened the little packet and let the white powder slide off the paper, mix with the water and go down the drain. She let water run over the paper for a moment. Crumpling it, she took a good look in the mirror. This is your last chance, she thought. Make it a good one.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Something from the archives...

I wrote this awhile back.
Give it a whirl and let me know what you think.

click the pic...

Skywatch - 22 October 2015 Edition

One sky, many watchers...

22 October 2015 Edition

Beast's Castle - Fantasyland - Magic Kingdom
Walt Disney World - Florida - USA
 December 2014

Fly on over to Skywatch to see more stunning views...

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

100 happy days...

100 happy days...

the idea is to find something, everyday, that makes you happy and take a picture of it.

sure. i can do that. but it wouldn't be genuine.
there are too many things involved in my happiness, too many factors, the most important being people.

other people are very much a part of what makes me happy, content and grateful. the people closest to me may be miles away. i may not see them for months and months or maybe years. they may be only inches away from me.  they may annoy me or help me or hurt my feelings. chances are, i've done the same, or worse, to them.

i'm generally content. i'm generally thankful and grateful for the blessings bestowed upon me. i can't take a picture of that. sometimes life gets too much for me and i retreat, into a book, a tv show, a fantasy land of some sort, until i regroup and get back at it.

very often, i say "i hate people."
sometimes, "i want to go home now."
also, "go away."
when i say those things, i mean them. but not in the way you might think.
that's me giving voice to my struggle at the moment, my feelings of wanting to give up, chuck it all and crawl in a hole.

i never get to the point where i do crawl in a whole. ever. the people around me save me. every day. every minute. every second. whether they are known to me or not. even if i don't see them with my eyes. even if they are only a memory.

i'm not careful. i'm a terrible steward. i want. i lie.
but i am reminded that there is goodness and happiness in me. i see it in the people i encounter every day.

i am reflected in everyone i meet.everyone i come in contact with.everyone i know
this is humbling.

today, instead of trying to find something that makes me happy, i'll find or do something that makes someone else happy. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Columbus Paver Patios...

Garden Potential with Columbus Paver Patios!

I love my yard and I love my gardens. But I don't think I utilize my outdoor space to its fullest potential. Our yard isn't very large, but we have the best of both worlds with part of the yard in full sun and a good portion in shade. We have space for a fire pit and a grilling area, as well as a gazebo or patio. I love the idea of a patio with a pergola covered in a sweet smelling flowering vine. Green and partially shady, this new space would let in a little light and allow a breeze to waft through.

I yearn for a space that is comfortable and welcoming, a space that says "Come in and relax." With the yard as it is now, it's comfortable, but it could be so much nicer. We've never actually cultivated grass, what we have is sparse and spindly and grows naturally in tufts. We have mostly white pines that grow tall and offer some decent shade. I love that my yard smells like I'm camping every day. The needles, however, hinder the growth of nice grass and the sap can be a nuisance. I do have a couple of wonderful shade gardens and fabulous lilacs, boxwood and wigelia in the sunny spots. This is wonderful, but my mind's eye sees something else.

I see a patio and walkway, created with paving stones, set nicely under a pergola for shade. A fire pit nearby would complement the space. The scent of the pines can stay, but the needles, sap and spindly, tufty grass must go. A Wisteria to cover the pergola and an adirondack chair or two might be in order. Add to this an overstuffed sofa, a hammock and an incidental table or two and the vision is complete.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Walking Harness/Parka for Dogs Helped Me Enjoy the Winter...

I spend a ton of time outdoors and my dog Penny is usually with me. We walk every morning and evening for about an hour each time. We both enjoy this time of bonding and exercise and passing the time with neighbors. We go out in all kinds of weather and during all four seasons. This past winter the need for Penny to have protection from rain, wind, cold and snow become very important.

Since we had much more snow than normal (around 7ft fell in February and March) and exceptionally cold temperatures (in the single digits for an extended period), I wanted to put her in a coat or parka that would not only protect her from the elements but keep me from worrying about her health and safety during the super tough weather we were experiencing. I wanted something reflective since even during daylight visibility was terrible.

Penny is trained to a leash and collar, but I decided to try her with a walking harness for dogs, that is also a parka. My friend Sue and I walk her dog Winston and Penny together on weekends. Not much keeps Sue and Winston in the house during the winter. When the weather is very cold or wet, she dresses Winston in this great parka that is waterproof and has a fleece lining. Sue also turned me on to some rubber booties to protect the Winstons foot pads from road salt and cold slushy snow. Sue told me that when we bundle up against the awful cold, we should protect our pets too. I agreed and bundled Penny up to brave the ferocious winter.

Once Penny had her fashionable parka and rubber booties, we actually enjoyed our wintertime activities much more. We could stay out a little longer, exercise a little more and visit with Sue and Winston.  Last winter was a huge challenge with all that snow and cold. But I felt better knowing Penny was warm enough and safe from the elements.