Sunday, March 30, 2014


i love birds, especially doves.
have never seen doves here at the beach.
this morning was awakened by loud, lovely, throaty coos.
jumped out of bed and on our very patio ledge
were two doves.
life is beautiful if i pay attention.

Saturday, March 29, 2014


me in a "new" dress; i like this "arty" photo
am wearing one of my "new" dresses & waiting for hubby so we can caravan his car up to get repaired. "new" for me near-always means thrift store, swap meet, hand-me-down, or yard sale. i do not buy new-from-the-store clothing & household items, unless i have to, like when i needed snow boots asap when i lived full-time on the mountain. even then, i got them online at a real bargain, so i try to never pay full price. the discount is the satisfaction -- the deeper, the better. are you like that? a spendthrift? someone badgered/ berated/ chided for being frugal? deep-down i don't care cause in the end, i don't have to rely on others financially, living by my ways... plus, i find it fun, to be resourceful, tho at one point, i did lose that belief for a few months, feeling a bit depressed, thinking, why do i deny myself? don't i deserve "nice" things? i am definitely not broke; i've been very responsible financially in my life. then me kicked back in & said, you love the hunt! it's like finding an easter egg, looking thru the piles & finding that one beautiful cool thing that stands out, that is unusual. plus, it's much more pleasing to sift through many decades of clutter, instead of picking an object off a rack of items nearly-just-like it. where's the imagination in that? where's the fun? another thing is, sometimes, the stuff i get has provenance -- there's a story to go with it, so it's more than just an object: it's a history i then get to wear or hold or gaze upon or treasure. another thing i like is, i realized by not buying new stuff, i recycle, repurposing what might go in landfills. i am not adding to the clutter of this choked-up commodified land of overstock & waste, & that does make me feel responsible & good as i simultaneously get to have my fun buying stuff... so when people ask where i got a dress, jacket, shoes, jewelry, etc, i say "my favorite store." and that always means used.
implicit in all this is i haven't raised children, so i've always had time to hunt for treasures. every experience, every habit has its positive & negative, in other words...  time to chant.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

take the bangwell challenge!

- probably 500 or more adoring, loving people came out in support of max bangwell sunday in long beach, ca. the music kicked butt all day & night; fervent blues fan pat delaney exclaimed, in her long island cadence, "thez so much great music, i'm olmos atta breath! i mean, my goahd!" so, so many faces filled & spilled out of the gaslamp, the good, the bad, & the ugly, but all there for max & so all ultimately good. max looked wan but happy & played a really cool set w/his band, scott lambert on upright. they really swung & rocked!
james knocked 'em dead, as usual. when he started his set, the cameras popped like fireworks & folks flooded that dance floor & he shook his hips like elvis & leered like jack nicholson & sang like the saint & sinner he is, w/that sonorous horn of a voice... yes, james was a really bright star throughout the event, & he nearly had not a moment of peace, so busy was he w/friends, fans, followers,  etc! we hung out side stage during the blasters' set & he danced his butt off & bugged his eyes & hammed it up in highly amusing fashion. then phil alvin dedicated "trouble bound" to james, causing my husband's heart to swell. next phil dedicated "one bad stud" to max & the blasters just pounded the crap out of that place, phil's voice ringing like a bell, the band slamming-steady-beautiful.
- max attributes his lung cancer to having smoked for decades & has launched "the  bangwell challenge," urging all to stop smoking. after the event, i decided what the hell am i doing playing around w/such a deadly, not to mention expensive, habit? so today i'm on day two w/o smokes. here's the scary part: tho i've been just a dabbler at the coffin nails, the last few days i've been having cravings that make my teeth crawl; i can't imagine what heavy smokers must   go through, tho i saw a glimpse once years back when someone i knew well ran into the backyard one afternoon, yelling that he was covered w/ants, & in the throes of nicotine withdrawal, ripped off his own pants. do i need to say it? there were no ants! it was the gd cigarettes!! what a hideous & insidious addiction -- not that there are any that are cool, really truly.
- that's the last thing i'll say: all my addictions need to be gone. i can't entertain a one. i can't dance w/any gorilla, no matter what costume it's wearing: boozehound, dope fiend, control addict, chain smoker, glutton, starver, purger, gambler, addictions creepier/more pathetic... i must be rid of them all to continue on this straighter, clearer path. must keep trudging... even when i screw up, am petty, am an a**hole, clam up, get scared, justify myself, run, make mistakes. to reiterate the mantra lately: "there are no mistakes, only lessons."

- all are praying & sending good wishes to max that, whatever happens, it be for his best. the blues community came out in full force to support max, excellent musician & cracklingly sharp, wily, funny, terrific friend to so many. scores of photos of the blues royalty & community in attendance are available online. meanwhile, here are some pix from various nice people on facebook.
love to max bangwell, & thanks to him for issuing his challenge, which no doubt will save many lives.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

for max

today in long beach, ca, u.s.a.! what a line-up for a superbly talented & unusual human being!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


sister b, the irish "nunny bunny" & beloved/wise/spry/comedic recovery leader, has a funny bit where she talks about driving thru texas & being told by a friend to look for the "saaaahns." w/the exception of the other day, when genetic blues punched me in the gut like they have here & there since i was a chaaald, i've seen many, many signs. two days ago, even in my depressed underwater state, were waves, seashells, sunset, miraculous words at the meeting, sunshine, the sky, the palms, breezes, a piece of mango cake from a sweet little girl, & much more.  yesterday, in the midst of some confusion, were words of hope to my stepson, boundaries set toward others by james & by me, the gifts of a bbq (james has wanted one), a keurig coffee maker (again, something he's been wanting) & a gigantic container of sea salt. i noted that last one: sea salt is natural lithium! we both immediately put a bit under our tongues. before i left for my meeting, the way i saw james resolve a situation w/placid revelation & resignation, that was definitely a sign. from chaos to such calm in a matter of hours: a miracle, a blessing.
i'm going to take my favorite bicycle soon on a foray across town to see my lovely sponsor & i'll be looking for them saahns. the cycles's an ugly folding peugeot 2-speed from dad & it rides w/such fun & ease & freedom. its homeliness makes it more special to me cause god loves the little things & while i'm certainly no god, i do, too; more than fair attention's given to the big & new & splashy... speaking of splashy, the other day while i waded in the ocean taking pix, a biggin came up & swashed me & phone wetly, so another task today is to go replace phone. dad emailed & noted the phone's not been a cooperative varmint, anyway, & yes, it's really been an unreliable pain in the butt. in fact, when we get permanently settled, i'm going back to a land line. well, digression's taking over, so i'm off except to post a few worthy links:
lovely quotes from mother teresa
thoughts on the book of job

Sunday, March 09, 2014


among other disappointments, sometimes i miss my family so much. and my dogs. and my friends from bakersville and on the mountain. i forget my connection with the universe, i get unplugged, i go adrift like a balloon wobbling into the stratosphere, i feel alone. yes, sometimes i really get down, down, down,  so down, i can't see up. like someone i love texted me, before a big wave came up on me while i walked at the ocean & soaked the phone so it no longer works, "sometimes i don't like Earth."
my brain's done this to me since childhood; i remember trying to run away at age 8 cause i felt this way. i know it will pass... but i put it down here in case you feel lonely at times, too.
this, too, shall pass. repeat 1000 times. time to turn in, i think, & wake up to a brand new outlook, i hope & pray.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

it doesn't keep record of wrongs, always protects, always hopes, always perseveres...

what is love?
i wrote this song in late 2010 or early 2011 but didn't know anyone then who liked it or thought it to be particularly special. last yr, james was going thru some of my tapes of song ideas & he really like this one, & so fervent was he in his appreciation of it, i was quite touched, & also surprised, since i'd kinda forgotten about this little song. he then played & sang it on his guitar, quite sincerely & sweetly, adding his own lyrics. a few months back, i recorded it at the beach pad along with nine other songs i wrote, with three more still to be recorded, i hope. i wonder if these songs'll ever be performed by a full band, the way i hear them in my head? for now, here's a small semblance from my limbs & lungs, more heart & soul than chops & finesse, but oh well, better this than nothing at all...
one yr ago, james & i went on our awesome honeymoon & this afternoon i listened to this song of mine & realized who i must've been writing it for all along...

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 --  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It  always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

cabeza & ancianos

re cabezas, i am attempting to reprogram mine. his has been asleep a lot lately. rest is restorative, so i think he's reprogramming, too, ursine, hibernating, rejuvenating for spring.
he sculpts more & more, always heads. i find that cool cause when i used to draw in near-photographic fashion, i was fascinated, too, by human heads & faces. always had trouble drawing ears; james is good at them. maybe cause he's always had his on view to learn their contours whereas mine've been covered always by hair. maybe cause he's just a better sculptor. maybe cause i'm just learning to listen.
ears? what?
as pt of my reprogramming, i last wkend went up to the westside of LA & spent the day w/60 recovered women & my favorite irish "nunny bunny," so funny, spry, sharp & snappy (not to mention wise & loving), who announced next wk (this wk!) she'll be 79. wow! boy, what a wonderful day; i couldn't be more grateful for that experience as well as the next day, which led me to chant w/hundreds of others, then get to listen to some really inspiring talks about transforming oneself w/purpose of bringing comfort, peace & happiness to others. the teacher in me was so moved by this wholesome & noble & heartening philosophy! i can't wait to learn more of all this good stuff, be it 12 step, buddhist, christian, pantheist, or whatever... so glad i am remembering to continue to wash my mind.
i imbibed (i hope) much patient wisdom from my sponsor yesterday. pertinent to what i just wrote was when she reminded me, "there's a reason you have one mouth & two ears..."
also yesterday i learned my sponsor is 91 yrs young. i almost burst into tears & told her so; she smiled puzzledly, "why?" i told her they were tears of joy, that she was inspiring. i am nowhere near young anymore, yet she is twice my age, & so full of life & wisdom!... so here are some heads... the clay james is the 3rd i've made, trying different kinds of his clay as he chunks me a lump (or lumps me a chunk)... i did this one hurriedly w/o my glasses, just for comparison's sake. how do bad eyes affect my art? the upper skull should be taller, but i didn't have the clay or time, so think it came out ok, considering. his heads always are fictitious persons bc james is more imaginative than i am. he has just started on this hobby/outlet in the past many months. he is really, really good, i think!
time for more coffee... harvelle's tonight, downtown long beach, 9 pm-midnight. at that time, the bear will rise from his cave to roar mightily for the awe & pleasure of all. :)