Monday, December 29, 2008

A year ago...

My good intentions have been straying for nearly a year. How does that happen? It isn't that there haven't been other good intentions in the mean time, but honestly a year? I don't understand how I could have been so remiss. It has been a year since I have posted over on the new blog, Cultivating Grace. I am so ashamed.

I need some sort of publishing goal for that blog. Daily is definitely out of the question and weekly, too, seems daunting. Monthly seems lazy. Twice monthly seems achievable. I will declare it. My goal for CG for 2009 shall be twice monthly.

I read an awesome book a few months back, so awesome that I took notes as I reread it immediately upon finishing it the first time around. I had an entire post in my head surrounding the notes for the CG blog and poof. It is missing. The notes might be findable and I think I might make this an immediate task. I think I will order the book too as I had it from the library on the first go round.

The book is called The Knitting Sutra and it is by Susan Gordon Lydon. It is subtitled Craft as a Spiritual Practice. I know there are those among you who scoff at the idea of reading a knitting book, but honestly, this book is suitable for the non-knitter. I challenge you to check it out from the library, read it, and then tell me it isn't great. You know you want to...

My other goal for the new year is to get my shop up and running. That has been languishing since Nov 07. Imagine renting a store front and just letting it sit there for a year. That wouldn't happen so I guess it is time to take it a wee bit more seriously and be a tad more proactive in its pursuit.

That leads to my other goal. More knitting.

Simple enough.


Friday, December 12, 2008

The saga begins...

Aunt Flo wasn't quite kicking my ass, but I wanted nothing more that to lie in bed all afternoon, so when I got home from work shortly after four, I did exactly that.

Deep under the covers is right where eb found me when she got home around 530. I had wanted to go with her to her appointment with La Querida, but I just wasn't getting up for anything. I even had the jar of Skippy and a spoon on my bedside table so I was pretty settled in. I was toggling back and forth at that point between an old Kurt russell movie, The Thing, and an episode of Stargate. I was into the movie until the thing first appeared, but then lost interest. I wanted to put a movie on, but was too entrenched in my covers to get up even for that.

Before I started dozing, I decided to get up and make some mac and cheese and cheddarwurst, always good for what ails you. I knew eb would be coming in around the time it all came together and made the family size box with extra pasta. Velveeta Shells and Cheese always needs extra pasta to make it edible so it was a nice stretch and it left extra for the boys.

I dished up our portions and eb asked where I was going to eat. I think she knew the answer would be in bed, but she was just being sure. As I was getting settled back amongst the covers, she asked if I wanted her to put a movie in. She was all prepared to indulge me with The Rock when our newest TV on DVD addition caught her eye, and thus the saga begins... Witchblade...

Sarah Pazini looks good in HD at 42 inches.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

xmas comes early

EB and I , in a round about way, sort of agreed on no presents this year. I suppose no presents is a stretch. More precisely, we agreed on no frenzied shopping just to have a mass of gidts under the tree. Life has been good to us of late, and we pretty much get what we feel we need as we need it. Or as we are inspired by events otherwise.

This really began long before the recent visit North to check up on my mom, but that trip serves as a perfect example to illustrate that xmas comes early.

We, eb and I, really needed to help mom organize and sort through the congestion of crap that is her humble home. It likely goes without saying that this isn't exactly what Barbara needed. I think barbara just needed some company. We had decided before we left home that there wouldn't be a contest of wills. We agreed that we were traveling North with no expectations. The visit was actually much more pleasant than I had anticipated once we got past the notion of really having to organize.

Having to organize and not being able to translated to limiting the amount of time spent at Casa Barb. On one of the many little side trips around the North Country, my mom asked if we could stop at the bank so she could pick up a little cash. No, ma, we can't. Of course we stopped and she went on inside.

When she came back to the car, she passed an envelope back to me and said, "Here's a little something for your trouble." Once I counted the little something, I knew instantly my mom was buying our complicity in her denial about needing to organize. The little white bank envelope held 20 fifties. Good daughter that I am, I asked her if she was certain she had given me the correct envelope. "It isn't enough? The number should start with a one." Apparently I had the correct envelope afterall.

This is when xmas first came early. We blew the whole wad while we were up North. Some in a gallery in Lake Placid. Some at the yarn store. Some at the bead store. I could sit here and take a full inventory and not be able to tell you where all the money went, but it was the beginning of our holiday season or the end of our birthday style...

Yesterday was the holiday JCP associate shopping event. That it is the last associate shopping event we will attend isn't germaine to our having bought the whole store. Of course we didn't buy the whole store, we never even went downstairs for crying out loud. Usually on associat shopping we end up spending two to three hundred dollars and we get a lot of stuff. This year we were much more selective though we did manage a few impulse purchases along the way as well as managed the barest restraint.

We went intending to get jeans, underthings, candles and sheets. We managed all of these as well as various assorted tops. I think we were remiss in not going down to the shoe department, but we do still have a few weeks to decide if we need some new shoes.

Our impulse purchases? I finally got a dutch oven. Original price was $140, on sale for $70, final price $36 and some change. I am going to break it in, possible this weekend with Ina's French cookbook. I need to peruse it again and select just the right thing...

Out other impulse purchase was a new set of dishes. I am not quite sure how the new set, 4 of everything, will replace our current 8 of everything, but the deal was similar to that on the dutch oven. I am half considering seeing if the store manager will honor the price on a second set.

Candles were on our list, but they also fall to the impulse category as well because we, umm...bought about 15 or so big, Chunky, Candles. The house will smell divine.

Our restraint? We were going to get a wall unit for the master bath but we didn't. We had already decided on something from Ikea. That's one reason. Of the choices, eb oreferred one and I preferred the other, but neither of us felt strongly enough about it to make our case, so we decided to wait.

We had $1400 of merchandise, 42 items, and came in under $500. Ho. Ho. Ho.

Life is good.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Naked in the House

What a wonderful way to start the day!! Naked! In the house!!

I absolutely love it when I get up in the morning and I know, without checking, it is a naked in the house kind of morning. T is off holidaying with his other fam in CO, and W is at work, of this I am certain because I actually heard him leave this morning in the wee hours. This creates, ta-daaaaaaaaaaaa...a Boy Free Zone!

EB and I take every opportunity to commune with our environment in all our joyous nakedness and cherish the BFZ above most everything(excepting, of course, each other). I am so giddy about it that I ordered my chai this morning with whole milk. It is a morning to celebrate and indulge.

The downside of my giddiness came by way of forgetting something for which I will pay the price all morning. The moisturizer eb uses is not moisturizer I can use because, alas, it has a very minute amount of lavendar in it. I say very minute because given the sniff test, I thought it was safe. It isn't. So now I am enjoying the tingly sensation on my minimally moisturized face. If you have ever had a chemical peel or intense facial, you know what I mean.

My eyebrows, the edges of my lips, the edge of my chin, and along my hairline on my forehead are all atingle. I know from previous similar experience that washing my face again, unless I was to fully jump into the shower for a thorough dousing, would only make it worse. I sort of have to just ride out the storm on the rare occasion this happens. Perhaps this time, the action will take hold in my memory in such a way that I don't readily forget such things again. I am just glad I used it so sparingly.

What sounds good for lunch?

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Can you believe it? I almost fell over from the shock. Eighteen Dollars and sixty-one cents. I wanted to go inside and pay in cash. I was on E on the way to work and before getting into the loooooong Starbucks line, I stopped for gas. I still can't believe I filled my tank for under twenty bucks. 10,955 gallons at $1.69 per. If I had a gas card it would have been $1.54.


Last week, we spent 5 days visiting my mom in upstate NY. I packed socks. I wore them nearly every day. It was bloody cold. While we saw some remnants of snow on the ground here and there while driving around and the upper elevations were all snow covered, it actually snowed (flurries mostly) our last two days there and they got a few inches once we were safely back in Houston.

The trip itself went better than expected, and mom seems to be doing well. She is still in denial about how much crap she needs vs should be thrown away, but we're working on that. We managed to remove seven boxes of vintage cameras and accessories which we shipped home. There's

I got home and it suddenly occurred to me that next Thursday is Thanksgiving. Surely there are a few more weeks? I need to get the grocery list up and running so I am not at the store next Wednesday.

We have been busy bees and it looks as if it isn't about to let up any time soon. Last night we had a girl's night salon, as in some of our peeps came over for hair cuts. That was fun. Coming up is getting some knits ready for an artists' sale this weekend, a day with the nephews, some artisan market days, holiday parties...oh, and we have a tree to put up somewhere along the way.

I better get to knitting.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Last year, eb and I had an addiction. It started out small enough with the purchase of Lost season one at Costco. We thought we might finally discover what all the noise was about this series. The fourth season was getting ready to air on tv at the time. We had no designs on catching up, we just thought we would mosy through season one and then move on to subsequent seasons.

I don't say addiction lightly. Before we reached the end of season one, a mere 5 or six days later, I had discovered that has the entire series available online to view at our own pace. Our pace was fast forward and before the month was out, we were caught up and anxious every Thursday as we waited for the new episode.

I didn't really care for the show as much when I had to wait a week for the next episode. I learned that my true addiction was tv on dvd, not the show itself, which is not to say I wasn't also addicted to the show, but I think the show is the lesser of the addictions.

Yesterday, during a decidedly slow day at work (in the middle of a decidedly slow week), I decided to revisit Lost from the beginning while filling out my time. with our new office set up, my desk has me facing the door, so my monitor isn't visible to anyone walking by. It's a good thing too, because I am hooked again.

Lost is compelling in a way that I am fortunate to not have any equally compelling work to do.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Defining home

I have been reading solbeam for several years now and her insights to herself and the world usually have some form of resonnance. The following quote is from an entry where she is asked to
define home.

"We human beings, both individually and cumulatively, will constantly be presented with the challenges and opportunities to evolve to our higher selves regardless of the continent upon which we happen to find ourselves born or standing. I need not cross the world on a jet engine to either solve the puzzles of the planet or recognize the mystery of life. But perhaps, like Santiago, we just have to make the physical journey to come to that same, mocking-with-good-humor-at-
our-humbling-expense, conclusion."

Take some time for yourself today and go get lost in her blog.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Jack. Ass.

I slept in a wee bit this morning and made it to work at 9:30, so really, just a wee bit. When I have that sort of slow morning, rather than hit the manic *bux drive thru that is my norm, I head over to the *bux where Chef works. I get salutations of "Mom!" all around no matter who is working, and more often than not, I pick them up a little something for breakfast, though not today. Honestly, I just didn't think about it this morning.

As I was leaving, I threw my haul into the car and went to the trunk in search of a bag because they were out and I had a small purse so I couldn't just throw our lunch in there as it wouldn't fit. There was a tote bag in the trunk, so no worries.

While I was in the trunk, Jack arrived. The same Jack I refer to in the title of this post. He was driving a huge King Ranch dually. Huge. White. Truck. And, he parked it next to my itty bitty Civic. Crooked. So crooked that if the parking space lines were long enough to accomodate his monster truck in the first place, his rear axle would have been in my space, behind my car.

I got into my car at that point because I could tell I could maneuver around Jack. Most likely. As I started my car, Jack, in his nicely tailored suit and tie, jumped down from his mondo truck and saw the error of his ways. He then walked towars *bux, but he waited by the edge of the parking lot, crossed his arms over his chest, and watched.

Logically, I should have swung out away from his truck, behind me toward the left. This would have been in the same direction his crooked parking facilitated. His stopping and crossing his arms over his chest and watching, however, lowered my equanimity and I had a few choice words for Jack, so I artfully maneuvered my itty bitty Civic and backed out toward the right which landed me right between Jack and his monster truck.

Did I mention it had been raining this morning? Jack was standing in his lovely suit and tie, in his nice animal skin boots (I am pretty sure not faux)on the edge of the puddle. My backing out didn't splash him, but it did necessitate him haveing to do a little hop back to avoid the rippling puddle. As he did that, my window went down.

Jack...standing there with a stare of disbelief...
QM: (Delivered dripping with my best southern honey) You'd be better off worrying more about your own driving and learning how to properly park your truck.
Jack...standing there with a stare of disbelief...his jaw slightly askew...


Edited to add...
I forgot the most fun little twist. As I was giving Jack some qm glare, I pushed the button to roll up my window and at just that precise moment, the sky broke open. Jack, is all wet.

Monday, October 06, 2008


I know everyone is just hanging on the edge of your seats...I had a nice few hours of my brain being free, spinning out of control...

While I appreciate this would be *just* right for me, it isn't quite the right time for the Universe to converge. I have filed the various wisdom(thanks, ladies!) away in the recesses of my brain, so when it is indeed time, they will spin to the front.

I think if our country wasn't facing dire economic straits, and oh, I don't know, there might be some liklihood of an SBA loan coming through, well things might have been different. It was fun while the spinning lasted.

I will try to do some more research and be better prepared should another such opportunity present itself. Frankly, I think I would be better off starting from scratch than inheriting this particular situation, so it's all good.

Time to knit!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

How does one actually take the leap?

Recently, eb and I were talking with a good friend about getting to a point in life when all you want to do is take a leap of faith and follow your bliss. Terri, the friend, has been actively working toward this for quite some time. EB and I work toward it in theory and in actuality too, but at a very slooooow pace.

Today, I learned that a small local yarn shop has to close. It is owned by a single mother and har kids are getting a little older and need more of her attention so she has to close and she would of course, rather sell, so if you are in a position to, make an offer...

I would love to make an offer. The shop is in a good location and breaks even but with the proper devotion and attention would surely do well. It is a fairly (in these trying times) safe investment. I have an overwhelming sense that this is the ideal bliss for me to follow. However, I can't even begin to consider the formulation of an offer. The fantasy would spin out of control in an instant and then the reality that it maybe could happen would cut too close.

If there are any readers needing a nice write off who would like to be my capital investment saviors, you know how to contact me. Time is of the essence.

Monday, September 29, 2008

How To Make Books

We went to B&N last night for a browse and cup-o-tea after dinner and I came across this gem. How To Make books: Fold, Cut & Stitch Sour Way to One-of-a-kind Books
by Esther K. Smith.

So naturally, this morning when I got to work, I had to make a book. And then another. I used my dad's images. I wish he was still here to see them, because honestly, the simple ingenuity of them is brilliant and right up his alley.

I took the first one, a Basic Instant Book, and signed it and mailed it off to my mother so she would have an author signed first edition.I think I will make copies to send to my dad's remaining siblings as they were around for the picture taking and are in some of the images I used. I think for theirs I might take a PDF in to Kinko's so it is a color copy as the covers are both color images.

Back to work...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Day 2

EB left yesterday morning for the Folio show in chicago. She was totally dreading it and hopefully by now, she has had a little fun. I hope she got to hook up with her peeps.

Long ago, in the early stages of our togetherness, eb had occasion to go away sans moi for a week or so if I remember correctly. At that time, I decreed that there shall be no seperations exceeding three nights. Three nights was okay, but the fourth night, I was miserable beyond reason. We have pretty well stuck to this tenet of our relationship and any time that it has been necessary to be apart longer, we have consciously reaffirmed that three nights should be the max. this really struck home for me when my dad died earlier this yearm and I went home for nine days.

In planning a trip to check up on my mom, ticket prices were inordinately high. EB was heard to volunteer..."Well, I can stay home..." Ummmm, no. Not happening. I don't care if we need to take out a second mortgage on the house, missy, you're going. I held out and we got cheap tickets, close to half what I was initially finding. The kicker is that we are going in November and I now need to hope against hope that we don't get snowed in.

It's highly likely that I could have gone on the current Chicago trip. The thing is, it would have required a little finagling and some second guessing of the bossman. I think it is better in the long run that we made no presumptions, but I would sure rather be there than here at the moment. At least with the bossman gone to the show, it's quiet in the office.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


It's been a week. I suppose I should be thanking the Little Baby Jesus(tm) for Taco Bell and Starbucks. As you all might have heard, a hurricane ripped through these parts last week. It's been 5 days and still, nothing is open. Let me ammend that. None of our go-to places are open.

Of course, some of them might be by now and we have yet to check. Tonight we will brave disappointment and pay our second visit to Empire Cafe. On Sunday, our first visit, they simply were being lazy asses and not wanting to work. No, I'm kidding. We drove by hoping for Sunday breakfast featuring Huevos Verdes (I am sure eb can correct me here on the name of her usual eggs Benedict with spinach type dish, it escapes me) and Italian Toast. As we turned the corner, hopeful because the front door was propped open, we saw a rented pump out back so I guess maybe they took on a little water. We haven't been back to check and we could pick up the phone and call, but where is the spirit of adventure in that? Tonight we will hopefully do more than a drive by. Angel hair pasta with sundried tomatoes and garlic in a light lemon butter brew. With shrimp. It's calling my name.

After the Empire drive by on Sunday we tried various second choice places from our go-to list to no avail. No dice. We drove around for 2 hours and went home a little humbled by it, grateful that our damages were next to nil. We exclaimed a "Holy shit! Look!" or two as we drove over Allen Parkway and I -10 at Shepherd which were flooded nearly to the overpass we were driving on. Did we bring the camera? Oopsie.

We got home and by that point we were damn hungry. When weese heard we went looking for breakfast the day after the hurricane, she asked if we had run out of eggs. Did I feel like making eggs? No. We had one last box of Velveeta mac n cheese and some Cheddarwurst, so again, we had that. I think we have had that for a fairly disproportionate number of meals in the last week and it might be off the radar, at least for a month or so. It is a surviving guilty pleasure so there is no way I will say never again, but it has earned a rest off the menu.

On Monday morning, eb and I returned to work. Other than the boss, we were the only two to make it in on Monday. I think we could have credibly milked it, but after 4 days in the house with our two lovely man-sons, we really did have to go to work. I think there is such a thing as too much togetherness with man-sons. Hopefully they won't get too put out reading this because really, they are good boys, but when they are bored and stuck at home...

All in all, we lost power sometime after 2 am Sat and it was back by 2pm. Cable and internet followed by 4pm, though they have been spotty since. A lot of Houston is still without power and/or water, so we aren't really complaining.

Does having a son who works at Starbucks mean anything? No. not when they don't have a milk delivery. The location by work is open today, but the line this morning was insane. I just went at lunchtime, and for the first time in a week, eb and I have our iced chai lattes. Color us content.

PS...Since the storms, the temps have cooled which is nice. However, also since the storms, our office a/c, cold on normal days, is about 5-10 degrees cooler. I might need to bring some socks in to the office so my toes don't get frostbite.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Must. Count. Needlles.

I think Percetta was making up for the fact that I did not go to accupuncture last week. Either that, or she was thinking in terms of birthday spankings. I mentioned the impending fete and she congratulated be, but honestly, all I did was put 44 on her brain.

When I first started accupuncture in March, 22 was the magic number and for the first month or so, I counted needles every time. I unconsciously stopped that obsession when after a visit or so I lost count, but today, for some reason, I found myself counting in a very soothing and meditative sort of way. I watched the Count from Sesame Street float by in my thoughts like a cloud passing as each needle was driven home.

Six months later and I have yet to eyeball any needles. Not in me. Not in the tray afterward, not in their sanitary trappings beforehand. I did see the box of needles today, but really, that's as visual as I need to get. Don't Want. To see them.

This week of birth celebration has brought gifties from afar in the mail. Ladies, I thank you all.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Follow KL down the alley...

Kitty Litter tells the tale of why we can't be choosy with our vote in November. If I read/pay attention to nothing else, my vote is decided, even though it was already a foregone conclusion.

You know in 1997-8 it really wasn't much better. Sure there was a real women's clinic to go to, but there were picketers outside to be reckoned with. One of my coworkers was in need of services. She was 35, divorced, had a 7 yr old consciously-decided-upon only child. She was on birth control *and* used condoms religiously with her soon to be second husband.

The ordeal of making an appointment. The ordeal of the picketers. It fostered in me a sense that there is still so much work to be done. That my friend had no one else she could turn to or trust with her choice was beside the point. I think this was truly a lesson for me in not judging others, because there were judgements flying toward her from every other angle, no matter where I looked. It was definitely a few of the worst hours of my life, and I was just there for support and involved in such a periferal way. How do we advocate change? For now, telling these stories as a reminder of the progress we have made might have to do.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I've done it now....

That's right. when I saw $218 dollars for the round trip flight, I went and did it. I have invited the wrath of winter upon us. I have never returned home in the winter since my escape in April of 1987. We have gone to visit some bloggers in CT in Feb, but never November. I am hoping that since it is before Thanksgiving that some mercy will be involved and we won't end up snowbound. with my mother. Of course there has been snow on my birthday in those parts before (9/11).

I can't believe summer is basically gone and the holidays will soon be upon us. By that I guess I mean the summer months as it will be summer weather well into October, if not November. It feels like it is time to begin cooking again. Real cooking all the time. It is certainly a commitment I want to make to myself and to eb, but then life happens and I so often feel lazy about it. Maybe with summertime leaving us, it will more readily happen.

I think a key to it happening is getting the pantry reorganized and restocked in a more naturally functional way. It's a little skewed at current and we have been terribly lazy about the farmers' market. Maybe getting this trip booked will take one thing away from my addled brain in a way that cooking can come back. Maybe not. The intention will remain present and that's a step toward achievement.

It also seems like there is so much to be doing creatively, but again, the desire far exceeds actuality. I need to be writing more. Knitting more. Creating with Arnold's pics more.

Being lazy about it less. Time will tell. Maybe I need to assign days for certain creative pursuits. An idea, but not so sure it's a good one or one that will work for me.

I picked up my tin to make this year's retablo for the show at

the Lawndale. I have picked out the photo I will use and maybe even this weekend I might get started so I am not doing it days before the deadline like previous years. I like at least having made the picture decision already.

Good Friend Irene was scheduled to visit this weekend after some company meetings in Galveston. The hurricane pile up in the gulf cancelled her meetings and her trip has been postponed until the first weekend in October. I am being extremely conscious of wanting to pout and sulk and throw a tantrum worthy of my inner fouryear old and it is taking my every effort to not let her out. Maybe she needs some cotton candy. Or annother Nutty Bar. Yes, that might be a short term band-aid.

I hate it when maybe is the word most rampant in my brain.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Time rolls around...And a Weese inspired tip-o-day...

Every two years as required by law, I have to take some continuing education classes to renew my hair artist license. Thankfully, I am able to do it online, and multitasker that I am I can do it while doing other things. I was just doing a few pages of instruction while I was eating my lunch and I came across the following gem discussing a researcher and the germs he found at the salon (or any shared) reception desk.

"He found the office toilet seat had an average of 49 germs per square inch. When he looked at keyboards, he found 3,295 bacteria per square inch, 60 times higher than the toilet seat. Even worse were tops of desks at 21,000 bacteria per square inch and telephones at 25,000 per square inch. People are constantly coughing and sneezing on them. Germs from unwashed hands can remain alive for days. In other words, if you share computer keyboards in your salon, a phone or a desk, you are sharing germs."

The instruction then went on to recommend various ways to adequately disinfect and sanitize the work area, including a recommendation to unscrew the back of the keyboard and wipe free of debris daily.

Everyone always finds it odd that I don't get sick (often) and they wonder why. The first thing I do when I enter the salon is to get the disinfectant wipes and thoroughly wipe down all the work stations and the desk including touch screens, keyboards and phones. I really think sometimes they think I am a clean freak or germ nazi and then I gently remind them that I usually avoid the illnesses that oh, the 28of them, pass around the salon on a regular basis. Don't these people understand the concept of planned sick days and how little fun they are if you are actually sick?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Four Hours to Jimmy

Dinner tonight with one of my dear brothers-in-law. And father-in-law. And sister-in-law. This begs the any of them consider me an anything-in-law? I wanna know, but I won't ask. Asking would only get the proper answer. I want the oohimbloggingaboutfamilywhodontreadmyblog answer. Really.

As reward for this mini family reunion of she who is Dear *and* Sweet, though the reward was scheduled months before the dinner, we will be seeing Melissa Etheridge. Tonight. at the Brown Theater at the Wortham which I think only seats around 2000. We saw her at the Wortham a few years afo and it was a great show. Wealso saw her at a dive place, Numbers (standing room only, no seats) which was the absolute best. She was Right. There. at Numbers.

I have no idea where are seats are tonight and honestly, I could care less. Just being there is its own reward. In any seat. I am eagerly awaiting the infusion of energy.

EB is not so much a fan though more a fan after having seen her live. Will she be expecting the tears that will inevitably come(from me, not her? Maybe. I already have a tissue in my pocket. Or three. They. Will. Come.

Last Friday at work I was having a moment. More than a moment. All day long. It wasn't necessarily more busy that I can handle, I have really never seen more busy than I can handle at JCP. There was, however, a certain undefined chaos that had me on the verge of a debilitating anxiety attack most of the day. No headache. No racing heart. It was literally all in my head. It was disconcerting to say the least. It was a day of feeling as if the skin in which I reside is not my own. And it was disturbing enough that I mentioned it to EB as soon as I got home.

Twice during the day I had to tell stylists that if they weren't in my area to help, they needed to move behind the wall. I know I was less than diplomatic about it and I have absolutely no idea of whom I made this request. All I was aware of was the fact that any bodies removed from my field of vision would help ease my mental chaos. Most of the day, I couldn't imagine handling one more piece of information.

Then I went in on Saturday morning and all was normal. I just don't know. It was all very surreal and dreamlike but the constant forward movement to the day was at work. And all at grindingly slow speeds.

totally makes me want to call in sick tomorrow, but I won't. And now there is but 3.5 hours to Jimmy.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Tropical Storm Edouard

Yes, it's raining, and it might be the slightest bit breezy, but we are fortunately on the west side of town and it is rather more like a regularm heyitsaugustinhoustonanditsraining sort of storm. I stayed home late this morning to give Chef a ride in to work so he doesn't have to walk 2.5 miles in it.

Sitting here looking out the back window, it really doesn't seem so bad. I was going to drop Chef at work and head into work myself. Once out driving in it, I soon enough determined the visibility sucks, and hmmm, maybe I had better continue working from home this morning. Maybe I will hit the office this afternoon. Never mind that my working from home means laundry.

The most curious thing about this storm was watching all the local coverage and seeing which newscasters would try to have a little french flair when referring to Edouard, some maybe even a little Cajun about it, and which just call it good old Edward. And then there were those that called it Edward in the beginning of their coverage and suddenly remembered it is Edouard. Amusing.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Will they reply? (surprisingly toned down for me...)

Yesterday, I was driving West on Westheimer near Gessner in Houston, TX at 12:30 pm. There was a vehicle totally covered with Outback logos, presumably owned by a local franchise for the owner's personal use, or perhaps for deliveries, not relevant.

I was in the flow of traffic and as I approached the intersection, this Outback vehicle was inching into the roadway, however, not committing to dashing out in front of me. The posted speed was 35 and that is how traffic was proceeding as the light was green.

The man driving the Outback vehicle was creeping and maybe he thought I was brakeing to turn into his driveway. I wasn't. My signal light was on, but the driveway he was exiting was fairly close to the intersection, and I was turning right at the corner onto Gessner not into the parking lot.

The man was leaning out the Outback vehicle window and was putting his hand up to stop me. I however, was proceeding past him through a green light to make my turn.

As I passed him, he flipped me the biggest bird you have ever seen. It was very agressive as well as rude and offensive. I totally infuriated me.

To me, this was the equivalent of your company knocking on my door and giving me a hearty F*** you, something that wouldn't likely ever happen in person, yet this driver, driving an Outback vehicle, did exactly that.

I've never been to Outback, and now I am inclined to never give it a try. That someone who is representing your company behaved in such a reckless manner should offend and infuriate you as much as it does me.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I went and did it...

I'm in trouble now. My obsession might be on the verge of an avalanche. The opportunities for saturation are many with World Cat at my fingertips. Oh, woe is EB...

That's right. On Thursday last, eb and I had occasion to visit the Montrose branch of the Houston Public Library. I. Got. Me. A library card. I think I might have had one when Witcher was still my last name, and I have been putting it off for fear of outstanding books from when there were children using the HPL. When we were at the library for the Lesbian book group (I have learned that capitalizinig Lesbian is correct as we are a culture!)to discuss the July book, Eat, Pray, Love, I went ahead and took my leap of faith. I now have 5 books on hold and awaiting notification that they are ready for pick up. Let me clarify, five knitting books.

I should pause to point out that when one signs up for such service, one should take the time to check online account preferences such as method of notification to be sure the counter clerk entered one's email address correctly. GUEENMAXINE? I think not. Here I would be sitting, awaiting notification...forever...

World Cat is the search feature for the Inter Library Loan feature. Very handy for the ever popular out of print knitting books going for hundreds of dollars on ebay or through booksellers. I certainly want to peruse something well before spending more than the publisher's suggested retail.

I find it interesting that 4 books I searched by Alice Starmore on World Cat are listed as being available within the HPL system, and yes, I did search there before expanding my options, thank you very much. So when this occurs, which database is more likely correct? If I search online, and then I ask at the library aboutit, will they then be searching the same database I already searched? Oh, the mysteries.

I recently added 37 days as a new link on the side bar. Please, go check her out.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

What's a Jew to do?

I have a new obsession as of about 10 this morning. Must. Find. Manischewitz Egg & Onion Matzoh. In HOuston. I just learned it is available online, but I really wanted it this morning.

Randall's is our local big box grocery of choice, but Kroger, second on our list, is usually more reliably stocked with MEOM, so when I am feeling like making Arnold's matzoh brei, I usually check there first. They have revamped and labeled the Kosher section and there isn't a single box of matzoh in sight, let alone the one in particular I must have. I went and checked the cracker section just in case. Nope.

There was a manager stocking foodstuff and I politely approached.

qm: Excuse me.
Poor Unsuspecting Manager: Yes, ma'am, how can I help you?
qm: I am looking for matzoh and I saw no space for it in the Kosher section, nor did I find it in the cracker aisle. Is it perhaps somewhere else in the store? (I asked this while courteously standing with my full basket of groceries.)
PUM: I'm sorry we only carry that seasonally now.
qm: But...I'm a Jew year round!

Yes, that is the exact conversation and when the PUM couldn't pick his jaw up off the floor and had no reply, I promptly turned around and sashayed right out the door leaving my full cart with him. I decided he wouldn't begin to understand the distinction between the seasonal (Passover, plain unsalted) matzoh, and the flavored matzoh I was seeking.

Off I went to Randall's, where I found the same story, though their Kosher section at least had the plain unsalted dreck (Yiddish slang referring to 1. excrement; dung. 2. worthless trash; junk.)I found the manager and had a near identical conversation.

So I now have to go to a few b list grocery stores to see if my coveted matzoh is to be found. If I need to order it online? Will it arrive in tact? How many boxes do I order to offset any shipping charges? I have eaten this at times weekly, at other times monthly. It has currently been about 4-6 months since my last matzoh brei, and I have made it enough over the past 25 years to know that no other matzoh will do. Woe, is me.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


In my father's pictures! Who knew?

On the morning after our 3rd and 10th anniversary...

Getting out of the shower, my dear sweet wife proclaimed, "Baby...I think I need some different co caulk..."

Monday, July 14, 2008

Happy Bastille Day!

Until we can celebrate in France, this or this will have to do.

J'ai Deux Amours

On dit qu'au dela des mers
La-bas sous le ciel clair
Il existe une cite
Au sejour enchante
Et sous les grands arbres noirs
Chaque soir
Vers elle s'en va tout mon espoir

J'ai deux amours
Mon pays et Paris
Par eux toujours
Mon c?ur est ravi
Manhattan est belle
Mais a quoi bon le nier
Ce qui m'ensorcelle
C'est Paris, c'est Paris tout entier

Le voir un jour
C'est mon reve joli
J'ai deux amours
Mon pays et Paris

Manhattan est belle
Mais a quoi bon le nier
Ce qui m'ensorcelle
C'est Paris, c'est Paris tout entier

Le voir un jour
C'est mon reve joli
J'ai deux amours
Mon pays et Paris

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

And then, the sky broke open...

Cats and dogs. That's what it's raining right now. Tornado weather, eb surmises. At least I won't have to water tonight.

Last night I was present at a meeting that so badly, I want to blog about and set free my current quota of snarkiness. Eckhart and common sense are prevailing. Just relaying this much has taken the wind from the sails, released enough steam that the stored energy of it has disipated.'s gone. Suffice it to say that the meeting, for various reasons, was entertaining, not the least of which being that I was reacquainted with the iceberg shawl that I started on the cruise. Delightful knitting time.

I have been talking to my mom every few days and she is on the mend. On the 26th of June, she rolled her car. I still haven't really pressed her for the whole story, because by now, I would certainly be getting the sanitized version. That she is okay and perhaps a little closer to her reality is enough for me.

She was in the hospital for a day or so and then transferred to a nursing home for physical therapy rehab. It was a week before I knew this much and a week since I learned as much. She was bruised and very stiff and the pt she needs goes beyond the accident, like to regular exercise, but at talk of this, denial returns.

In talking to her yesterday, I could sense that she might be ready to go home. I think she can release herself at anytime, and she is looking to this Saturday. There is talk of riding with a neighbor from town down to Jersey to visit with her sister for a week of further convalescing and then catching a ride home again.

The plan remains at this time to go visit again in the fall.

Not much else new going on. When I am work, all I can think about is creating. When I am at home I get lazy and all I can think about is being a slug. I know this means that my work should be creating, but I also know there are bills to pay.

So on it goes.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Home little more than 24 hours when the telephone rings...

It was nearly 11pm our time, not that it was late for us as we were still awake, but it was late for my mom to be calling, near midnight her time...

me: Hello
mom: Before you heard it from someone else, I wanted you to hear it from the horse's mouth. Not only am I the proud owner of a car for the first time in 45 years, but also a car that rolls.

badum dum

mom: I'm in the emergency room. Lynn (my sister) is here. I'm okay. They had to cut me out. The car is totalled. But I am okay. They're keeping me overnight for observation. Just in case. My cell is going to run out. Lynn will take me home tomorrow and I will call you once I am home again. Or Lynn will call you if they decide to keep me for anything. I'm okay.

Each of the above sentences was said with about 10 seconds or so of dead air between them. My mom waited for my interruptions but I had none. I can't lecture her from Texas with any different result than if I was there, so I just let her listen to my silence. I am not sure this changes anything. She will likely just get another car.

I wonder what time this all happened. I wonder if her first thought was of me telling her a couple weeks ago that she needed to drive judiciously as to not waste gas and to drive when she is most alert, like early in the day. And to remember that she can't be running around as she did 10 years ago when she last drove on a regular basis.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Are we there yet?

I have taken zero notes along the way, and very few pictures, like, none except those my mother specifically asked for. S.l.a.c.k.e.r...

The only thing I can say about the 9 days pried away from Dear Sweet Elizabeth at the moment is in reference to it nearly being over.

It's all good.

Look for a recap sort of post soon. Maybe by the weekend.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Travel day tomorrow

We shall leave the house at 5 am. Sucky. Our flight is at 630 through Chicago arriving in Albany around 1230. That would be me and chef, not me and eb. Apart for 9 days. Sucky. We meet up with C-man at the airport and pick up the rental car to drive 2 and a half hours up the Northway to Wilmington. We should get there by 4 on the outside, likely closer to 3. And the C-man is not okay with any of this. Losing his poppy has hit him hard and he is in shock I think. This is the first death he has had to deal with and he is totally put out about it. Should make for a week of interesting discoveries.

I plan to hike up to Coperas (sp?) Pond and just take it all in a meditational-communing-with-the-Universe sort of way and C-man is none too happy about that either but it is my highest hope that he will join me.
I would also like to drive over to Highland Lodge in VT for lunch one day with my mom and the boys too, if they care to go.

Other than those two things, I have no agenda. None other than knitting.

This will become a Clapotis. It is Fleece Artist Casbah that was purchased at Churchmouse Yarns and Teas on Bainbridge Island (Seattle leg of the last trip).

This is begging to become a
My So Called Scarf. The wool is Manos del Uruguay and is the yarn featured in the pattern. The short color runs are perfect for this herringbone stitch and this is a scarf I love to knit. The yarn was a gift from Mama D (aka Prunella)and it is totally perfect for my knitting needs this week as it was infused by her touch with the bestest energy ever.

I will also bring a few of the projects I am in need of finishing. Like yesterday. Hopefully they will get finished because they all need to be mailed (well three of them, to two places)the day I get back. There are 2 baby sweaters and the gayest baby blanket/shawl you have ever seen which I will post pics of as soon as it is done. I will also bring the socks I am working on because they are good plane knitting. If there is room, I am also including the chemo caps I am promised to do for charity.

If inspiration strikes and time permits, I will get started on stories of my friend Loretta. She has been brewing in my head since before finishing the boy I once knew.

I will post over the next 9 days if I can. Until my return, please help keep Dear Sweet Elizabeth out of trouble.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Today was the day

My dad drew his final breath early this morning. Updating en masse here is easier than emailing, but I will be emailing as I can throughout the week. Chef and I will be flying up there next Sunday and the services are Monday. We will stay through the following Tuesday. Arrangements still need to be made for my younger son to get up there, and I am sure that will all work itself out.

Thanks to everyone for your support and emails. They really mean a lot to me. Updates to follow.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

They are

Of the negatives of my dad's that I have made it through so far, 720 to be precise, this is by far one of my favorites. I have an actual print of it that my dad made some fifty or so years ago framed and on the shelf. It is of my dad and my Uncle Arthur. I can't help but think of Paul Lynde when I say that. My dad has his younger brother in his lap.

Several of the pics in this series have calendars in them and when I zoom in I see they all fall between 1952 and 1956 which puts my dad between 25 and 30 in any of the photographs. It could be that some of the negatives fall outside these years, but it is a fair enough estimate.

I made a few magnets with some of his pics and a postcard through Great fun.

Monday, June 02, 2008

The elevator was full of competing colognes...

I got into the elevator at work this morning with four men and one woman. Four men who wore four different colognes and wore them loudly. And then the ascent began. We stopped on three, then four, then five and finally I was alone in the elevator for the trip from five to six. Alone with the eau de cologne. I need to practice holding my breath.

In other dad is dieing. He's eighty and led a full life. Apparently he was in the hospital about two months ago. Don't you just love parents who have poor communication skills? At that time, Arnold weighted in at about 145. When I last saw him, March 2007, I think he was about 180 and that was thin enough to see his bony knees as his jeans draped over his crossed legs.

Last week, he was readmitted to the hospital and he informed the staff that he would not be returning home. Whether he died there or they sent him to a nursing home or hospice was up to them. His weight upon admission was 122. The doctor decided to do an MRI to see if there was anything new going on. I don't know if my dad had had one previously, not that I can recall hearing about, but there is that ongoing communication issue.

My mom went to see what was up with my dad, how he was doing, and when she showed up, he told her she didn't need to see him right then and she had better leave. He was having to drink barium at that moment and feared he would be sick and that is what she didn't have to see. I hope that long before I am eighty, I don't give a shit about such things.

so my mom is out at the nurse's station and one of the nurses comments that she is surprised to see her that day, what with Arnold going home tomorrow and everything. My mom went into full blown panic at hearing that because she had finally accepted that my dad is right about her no longer being able to care for him. And here he was getting an MRI. Who knows what would be found that might require a longer hospital stay.

Well, what was found was a brain tumor. Apparently a big one. Inopperable, not that my dad would consent to surgery anyway. Based on his recent rate of decline (I think), the doc estimates 3-5 weeks. "And you know how they pad those figures to comfort the family," added my mother.

It's such a dilemma, this long distance assisting. There is a lot of crap I can help my mom do, if she will let me. I think I am most worried that I will discover she really shouldn't be living alone. That leaves a few unsavory options. I have to be the bad guy and commit her to a facility of some sort. The likes of that covered be medicaid. Where she lives, that might be the worst option. I think here in Houston, the state facilities likely have a wait list. And the private facilities are too costly. The only other option I see is the bad dream I have had a time or two. Oh my god, what if she had to come live with us?

We would figure it out, I am sure, but let's just hope for now that it isn't the issue at hand when I go north. I could go tomorrow if I had to, but what is the wisdom of going sooner to have to turn around in 3-5 weeks and go again? Yes, I would see my dad again before he dies, but he doesn't want to be seen. I feel that if I go sooner, it is more to be company for my mom and see what I can help her negotiate.

I know when I go for the funeral(such that it will be, likely more a memorial service) I will have to stay for a couple of weeks. Then I think I will have to go back again for a couple of weeks subsequently.

Too many what ifs to even begin to wrap my brain around, yet I am thinking I will be going. Maybe on a buddy pass. Maybe next week. Maybe...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A boy I once knew...part ten...the finale

The party went on until about midnight, and everybody had a good time. Colleen stayed over and went home in the morning, dropping me off at church along the way. As soon as I entered the church, I could feel s diminished joy. Something was up. As I walked up the stairs, the view of the altar brought the somber mood into balance. There was a large display of white lilies. This particular arrangement was significant in its design alerting the congregation that a member had passed on since the previous Sunday and that arrangements had yet to be made.

Before I could start contemplating who might have died this week, I was suddenly joined by my church-friend Lynn (also not really my friend, but more a friend than Wendy). Lynn was a year older than me and we went to different high schools, but were in the same Sunday school class for the past six years. I had also seen her a bit over the summer at the hippie house. I knew her well enough to be friendly toward her, and she had been at my party the night before.

Lynn and I often sat together making plans for the church youth group or for other church activities. For both of us it was a haven to camouflage our mischievous doings. This is not to say it was false, because it wasn't, but it wasn't necessarily pure. There was an immediacy to the closeness of her body to mine in the pew. Service was not terribly over crowded to warrant this degree of closeness. I was distracted by it enough to not make connections to what Pastor Mark was saying. He was lamenting the sadness we all must be feeling for Sandra having lost James so early in life, and that the phone tree would be in effect later in the week as details for the service became available.. I looked at Lynn and whispered to her asking for clarification of who Sandra and James were. "We'll talk after service," was all she said.

During the benediction, Pastor Mark included those facing challenges and named Sandy. It was at that moment that I remembered I was supposed to see Sandy at church to learn what was going on with Jamie. We stood to sing a final Amen, and the synapses in my brain were suddenly firing on overdrive. Sandra was Sandy. James was Jamie.

I looked to Lynn with hope for her to be able to explain this all away, for her to deny what I knew must be true. I couldn't speak. I couldn't move. I couldn't stem the flow of tears that had began cascading down my face. Lynn took my hand and led me down the stairs and into the pastor's study. Mark was in there waiting for us as Lynn had already conveyed to him a concern about how I might take the news of Jamie's death. She led me to the chair directly across the desk from Mark and then took the chair to the left. we had our Sunday school class in the pastor's study and I was strangely comforted sitting here as my brain was spinning out of control.

Mark spoke softly in a very clinical and matter of fact manner. James had had an episode of his illness that required medical intervention. After he had seen his doctor, Sandy wasn't able to bring him home and thought he was resting peacefully when she finally left him to go home at around one in the morning. James had experienced this several times over the past year and an adjustment to the medication had always overcome his agitation.

Mark had gotten a phone call at 5:30 this morning from the state police. There was an accident involving a tractor trailer on the way into town. The identification found on the victim listed him as the pastor and would he like the courtesy of contacting the family. Mark told me he was as shocked this morning as I was right then at that moment when the officer gave him Sandy's name and number. He knew James was the only family she had. He went on to tell me a few more details and then he let me know that Sandy asked that I wait to see her at the grave side service which would be small and private and held on the following Saturday.

Jamie's funeral was on my eighteenth birthday.

That week was a blur of activity. I have no clear recollection of anything that happened. Did it fly by? Did it drag on interminably? I have no idea. All I know is that Saturday morning found me at a small local cemetery sitting under a huge oak tree watching Billie Mae work the backhoe that was digging Jamie's grave. I was already dressed for the service in a long black dress that fanned out around me as I sat under the tree and wept. I was struck by the cold reality of how much I would miss the quiet charm of Jamie's company, of how little I really knew of him, of how much his presence had meant to me in the short time during which we were acquainted.

I sat there in silence as the backhoe came and went. I was still sitting there in silence as the hearse arrived with Jamie in his coffin. I had no words to say when Sandy was suddenly sitting beside me in her own companionable silence.

Sandy explained to me in detail everything she knew about the accident, starting with Jamie being so agitated in a different way than any previous episode. Something was different and immediate and Sandy knew right away they would be going to the hospital, that is was beyond her scope to deal with on her own. She called his doctor before they left the house and he met them at the hospital. Jamie was compliant enough but also in a near catatonic trance.

Once the doctor determined Jamie was off his meds altogether, new meds were introduced, one a strong sedative, and within thirty minutes, Jamie was asleep and Sandy was filling out his admission papers. That was Saturday night around 10:30. Sandy said she was home sometime after one and went to bed straight away exhausted by the ordeal. the next thing she knew, Mark was at the door shortly before seven with the state police. Jamie was on a bicycle riding toward home when he was killed instantly by the impact of the collision with the truck. No one had seen him get up. No one had seen him leave the hospital. They didn't even know he was missing until she called them to confirm what Mark and the police were telling her. she called thinking they had mistaken someone for Jamie. Jamie must still be asleep in his hospital room.

The service was brief. There were five bodies present in all, Sandy, myself, Wendy, Pastor Mark, and Jamie. Wendy left soon after Mark was done speaking. She had a few brief private words with Sandy and they hugged. Mark was the second person to leave, again, after a private word with Sandy.

Sandy and I sat under the tree as the coffin was lowered into the ground. Soon after that, Billie Mae returned with the backhoe to fill in the grave and by the time she was done, the sun was low in the sky and there was little evidence that someone had just been buried.

I had gotten a ride to the service with Wendy and Sandy offered me a ride back into town. On the way we took the white roses that had been graveside and dropped them on the side of the road where Jamie's death had occurred, not a permanent marker, but a marker just the same.

Sandy didn’t make the turn into the campground but continued on around the corner to the hippie house. The car pulled into the driveway and Sandy killed the motor. “I hope you don’t mind, but I’d like very much for you to join me for dinner.” As we walked into the house, Sandy smiled as I instinctively opened the porch fridge and grabbed us each a beer. I could smell the vegetable soup simmering on the stove and I didn’t have to look to know there was a loaf of bread in front of the open kitchen window. The table was set for one and there was a note leaning against a candlestick. “You have to eat,” was boldly written in the most elegant script.

I went to the shelf and got another place setting down as Sandy brought her bowl to the soup pot. I exchanged bowls with her and then got a knife and sliced some bread. The candles were lit and we both sat to eat in silence.

Once dinner was done I got up to clear away and wash the dishes. This house functioned on simple routine and I had been around enough that the routines were automatic to me. Sandy marveled at this and let out a soft laugh. She then told me to leave it all and just come and sit. That was fine with me because I wanted to talk to her about getting to know her better and arranging a time when we could hang out much as we were doing just then.

That’s when Sandy broke the news to me. She was only there because Jamie wouldn’t move away when their grandmother passed a few years back, and he could not be left unsupervised. Nor could she bring herself to involuntarily committing him to a facility where he would get the care he needed. The only choice for her was to put her life on hold and move into her grandmother’s house.

For the past few years, Jamie had been her only concern, but now it was time to move on with her own life.
The house had already been sold. The moving company was arriving on Monday. She would be back in her own house by the following weekend in Montana. She said she would keep in touch. She didn't.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A boy I once knew...part nine

The rest of the summer wore on in a similar fashion. I saw Jamie pretty regularly on Monday and Thursday, and he popped in at the fire on occasion, though not with any predictability. True to Sandy’s number three rule, we had not entered into a relationship of any sort other than that of friends. Even now when I think of Jamie it is with an innocent fondness, and it seems more than a little odd that I never thought him my boyfriend. In retrospect, It doesn’t seem that Sandy’s rule had anything to do with it.

Labor Day weekend arrived in no time at all. The end of summer brought the end of the regular campground season as well as a return to school and a totally different dynamic to my life. There would be no lawn maintenance on Mondays. There would be no target shooting on Thursdays. There would be no nightly campfires to be stoked and contemplated until the wee hours of the morning.

Cold weather in upstate New York would be descending rapidly, more often than not on the heels of my early September birthday. This year, I would be turning 18, full of new possibility as well as equally challenged by the monotony of small town life and familial obligation. Harsh reality awaited me, right around the corner.

The weather on this end of summer holiday weekend started out much like the summer it was drawing to a close. It was warm and sunny with just the right amount of breeze to keep it from being considered a scorcher. On Saturday afternoon, the tides turned and the weekend was suddenly bleak. The skies went from blue to hazy grey softly enough, only to be revered an hour or so later as gloomy, dark. Almost black. It was early afternoon, but for all intents and purposes it might as well have been midnight. I knew as I drew the chain through the pool fence gate that the pool was closing for the season and no one else would be swimming until the arrival of the following summer.

There was a palpable burden in the air. Before I could walk across the parking lot to the office, the sky broke open. In the few seconds it took me to sprint to the office door, I was drenched. The temperature had dropped about twenty-five degrees in less than an hour and soaked through, I was shivering. My mom suggested I call some friends to come over for an impromptu end of summer party in the game room, and while I made some calls, my dad got a fire going and set up the games to work without the need of depositing any money. He also hauled out the old Motorola turntable.

I talked to Colleen and Tina, both who agreed there was nothing else worth doing. They both also suggested that they would make some calls, and I knew that between the two of them, my mom might regret extending the party invitation. Once I knew there would certainly be a crowd, I took a deep breath and called Jamie to invite him along. I had just seen him a few days before and we had agreed that the phone would be a new way for us to visit, so my call would not be totally unexpected.

Sandy answered the phone after the first ring. I told her about the party and encouraged her to come along as my mom might like the company. Sandy was speaking in very hushed tones. Jamie had just gotten to sleep after being in a bad enough way yesterday that she had to take him to the ER for a shot to calm him. He had seen his regular doctor after that, and had a whole new series of meds to work through and that it might be better if they sorted that out before Jamie and I saw each other again. I was listening as carefully as I could and trying to follow, but this was the first I knew of meds and I didn’t really have a full understanding of what “a bad enough way” was.

Sandy said she would see me in church the next day and we could discuss it further then but wanted to stress that I needed to trust her judgement when Jamie was like this. I realized I was nodding in agreement as Sandy said my name in a questioning manner. I told her I understood and would see her in church tomorrow.

As I hung up the phone, Colleen arrived. She drove a Ford Maverick and seeing kids tumble out of it reminded me of the clowns that exited the small car at the circus. I think there were nine people in her little car. Right behind her was Tina and a few more kids. When I led them to the game room, the fire was roaring and my dad had moved the Stewart’s light bulb oven from the office. Beside it on the counter there were five or six boxes with remnants of various Stewart’s sandwiches and pizzas. I suddenly saw the brilliance of my mom’s party invitation. All of the end of season leavings would basically get consumed and there would be no worry about where they would be stored. There was a pile of chips, a few stacked cases of soda, and a note on the table saying that the ice cream in the chest freezer in the office was also fair game.

About halfway through the early evening, Colleen’s mom showed up with a large birthday cake for me. As it turned out, the party wasn’t as spontaneous as I had been led to believe. When I came back from a trip to the bathroom, I saw that the cake table was also covered with gifts. All for me. I was truly surprised, and to everyone’s astonishment, momentarily speechless.

Before we close out the month...

right now. Just this very moment. I am sitting here eating cherries, and I finally feel as if life has returned to post-vacation normal. Of course this anniversary vacation took us to the Pacific Nothwest, and normal is now different. It is full of new possibilities while still having plenty of room for old dreams amongst the new.

As we crossed a few more states off the map, our awareness of normal shifted, as did our appreciation of the Life is Good mantra. Life. Is. Good. With each adventure we embark on, this is made clearer,an association is added to our never ending list of things for which to be grateful. Ultimately, we are discovering, that the only thing that needs to be on that list is this very moment. Right here. Right now.

Thank the Universe for cherries at work on a Tuesday afternnon.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


It required more than a capital v. It's a big one and it's a tenth anniversary present to ourselves all rolled into one, though I suspect there might still be anniversary presents aling the way throough the actual date(That's July, we like to start these things early.

I have been mannic as all get out for the last two weeks or so, vacation officially began at 2 pm yesterday.

Part come.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

A boy I once knew...part eight

The summer went on in its normal fashion of my days being filled with life at the campground, chores, friends, campfires each night. I went and helped with Kay's yardwork each Monday afternoon and would then have some time with Jamie, usually joining him for soup and bread for supper if nothing more. On Thursday's I made every effort to go shooting with my dad and more often than not, Wendy was there to rescue me, but always a woman of few words.

I saw Jamie on average those two times a week and sometimes more. On the odd occasion when I would see him in town, he was extremely shy, or maybe just cautious as I was usually with my father. One weekend night about halfway through the summer, I was sitting at the campfire and I saw a familiar form with its long braid walking up the road from the river.

I was surprised to see Jamie as he sat down opposite me. Nobody else was there yet and the office was across the parking area, far enough away that we could talk safely. Jamie said plainly enough that he wanted to see me. He said he was beginning to learn that seeing me calmed him. Reflecting upon that, it occurred to me that he did seem a little aggitated. I told him to come take the seat next to me. I was glad that we had no guests that I had been flirting with that week, so no one that might join us at the fire would make the situation uncomfortable for either me or
Jamie. We sat together watching the fire for a short while and I told Jamie that if either of my parents came out I would just introduce him as one of my friends from town. When I thought about it, I felt Jamie looked young enough that neither of my parents would question who he was, but if they did I would just say he was Sandy's brother and leave it at that. My mom would likely think it was my friend Sandy, not hers.

I learned that Jamie and his sister had dinner with people who lived two properties away. I knew that on the river end of our property, you could see the side of their house through the trees. He told me Sandy would be there until 11 or so, but he could easily walk home as it would take him the same seven minutes it took me the first night we had soup. Jamie's memory for subtle detaill, and the way he introduced it into normal conversation was always very innocent and charming to me.

There was a comfortable silece between us as we watched the fire. I had to pee and told Jamie that I would be right back and I asked him to please not leave. When I came back outside I brought the fixings for s'mores. I saw right away that we had been joined by a few people. There was a couple I didn't know who must have registered when I was on pool duty. They had shower stuff with them so I knew they wouldn't be long. There was also a boy of about 10 who because he talked a lot, we knew was sent to get a bag of ice.

As the boy began pointing out every constellation he knew, the couple excused themselves to the showers. Jamie looked at me and smiled, obviously amused at the contrast of this boy's chattyness to our previous solitude. I took it as a cue to collect the boy's dollar and get him a bag of ice. Once the ice was on his lap, he said goodnight, but not before a brief litany of all the things in his experience that were as cold as the ice was.

Through the visitors and the conversation, I let the fire die down enough that I could safely leave it. I told Jamie to head back down to the river but to sit on the rocks and wait for me, that I would be just a few minutes behind him. I then went inside and retrieved a journal that was part of a project from my Sunday school class and a blanket, and told my mom that I thought the full moon's light would be good for writing down at the river and that I would be quiet upon my return. She told me to just pop my head in her room to let her know I was in before I turned in to bed.

When I got to the river, Jamie was sitting cross legged on my rock of choice. He was perfectly balanced and at ease. I stood there a few minutes watching him before he spoke. "I can tell that's you without looking. There's a soft vibration."

I walked over to Jamie and took his hand. I told him we weren't quite at our destination. On the property to the right there was an old dock. All the paths to it were totally overgrown, but one was still passable because I used it frequently enough. You just had to know it was there. The dock was where I would often sit and read when I had free time in the afternoon, so even though it had been long neglected, I knew it was structurally sound.

I dropped the journal on the side of the dock and spread the blanket for us to sit on. Jamie sat with his legs stretched out in front of him and crossed at the ankle. He was leaning back with his palms slightly behind him supporting the weight of his upper body. I stood for a moment looking at the full moon and stars and taking in the solitude of the river at night. It was so peaceful. Then, I sat straddling Jamie and facing him, sliding my hands into his hair and drawing his lips to mine. His lips were so soft. It didn't take but a moment of this to once again feel his cock hardening as it nestled between my legs. As any time this had played out previously, we remained fully clothed.

Monday, April 28, 2008

A boy I once knew...part seven

Sitting there kissing Jamie, hearing little else but the sound of the water rushing over the dam and feeling it merge with the blood coursing through my body. I was definitely warming up. I separated my lips from Jamie's and tried to look him in the eye. Jamie wouldn't meet my gaze so I did what I could to tuck some of his messy mane behind his ears and out of the way. It really was a tangled mass. Jamie grabbed my hands and held them over his heart. I could feel his heart beating and his hands warmed my fingers.

I told him we didn't need to talk, but we did need to clean him up. I told him that I was going to the house and I was going to draw him a bath, and also that if he didn't follow me in a few minutes, I would be going home and that I hoped to see him soon. Reluctantly, Jamie let go of my hands and I extracted myself from his lap.

As I walked into the house through the kitchen, my nose brought my body over to a pot on the stove that was slowly simmering. I grabbed a potholder to remove the lid and saw dinner tonight was vegetable soup. There were a few loaves of freshly baked bread cooling in front of the open window.

I went across to the bathroom and turned on the hot water. I was going to add some shampoo to make a bubble bath, but as I bent down to grab the shampoo, a flash of pink grabbed my eye from under the sink. There within my reach was something I hadn't seen in about 10 years. There was an open box of Mr. Bubble. I wasted no time in sprinkling some into the tub as it was filling with hot water. Once the tub was filled about halfway, I adjusted the temperature so it was the hot side of comfortable. Bountiful bubbles abounded beautifully within the basin of the tub.

I went to te kitchen window and saw that Jamie was not yet mobile so I got down some bowls for soup, found the spoons, and napkins, and set the table for two. By the time I was done with that I could see Jamie making his way down the path. I met him at the door and led him silently through the kitchen to his awaiting bath. At the sight of all the bubbles, Jamie rewarded me with a small shy smile. "Go ahead and get in while I get a pitcher to rinse your hair."

I found a ceramic water pitcher on the shelf over the sink and though I was gone just a few brief seconds, when I returned, Jamie had sunk down into the tub. I found a bath pillow and settled that in behind him so he could lean back slightly. I arranged his hair in the water behind him and made gentle work of wetting it all using the pitcher and letting the water wash down behind him. As I watched the water, my eye was caught by a jar of Noxema.

Before I got to washing Jamie's hair, I set the pitcher down on the floor and picked up the Noxema. Opening it released its pent up mentholated vapors. This illicited a soft moan from Jamie. That was all the urging I needed to plunge my fingers into the jar and scoop out some cool white cream. I put the jar down and made slow work of spreading it on Jamie's face. The coolness of it startled him because the bath was so warm, but his reaction was brief as once again he got a whiff of the pungeant vapors. Calm was settling and I could sense Jamie's silent surrender.

I rinsed my hands off and grabbed the shampoo. I had Jamie's hair lathered in a moment and took my time methodically massaging the entire surface of his scalp, just as I had been taught in beauty school. I got an A+ in shampoo and Jamie was becoming putty in my hands. There was a serenity in caring for Jamie so acutely. It was a new dimension to my craft and one of which I was totally unaware at the time. I could sense a tide turning within Jamie and his relaxation was almost audible.

After a few minutes of manipulating Jamie's scalp, I reached for the pitcher and began rinsing the suds from his hair. The water had cooled a bit so I mixed in some fresh hot water to bring it back up to temperature. The water rushing in renewed the Mr. Bubble and Jamie was once again hidden within the cloudlike dream of a private bath.

Jamie's hair was rinsed and I had squeezed out the excess water. As this was done, I applied some conditioner noticing with a smile it was the same as what he had gotten in the sample pak from Wendy. As each section was saturated with conditioner, I gently finger combed the worst of the tangles before twisting it into a rope and secured it on top of Jamie's head with a clip. I told him he could either rinse it in the shower after his bath, or he could leave it clipped up overnight and rinse it in the morning. I wasn't long into the process before I realized Jamie had been subtly stroking his cock under the bubbles.

Once his hair was all clipped up, I needed a wash cloth. I remembered seeing a pile of folded towels on the sideboard in the kitchen. As I went there to look for one, I saw that it was 6:30 and knew immediately I was late for work. I called expecting to have my mom answer and to get an earful. I still got an earful, but it was my dad which was odd until I realized it was Monday night and my mother had likely gone bowling thinking I would be home soon enough. I quickly told him I was cutting hair for a friend of Wendy's and he was okay with that. I told him I could come home right away and he said as long as I was home for the late firewood run it would be fine. That happened at 8:30, so I had two hours and hung up the phone quickly to get back to work in the bathroom.

As I returned with the washcloth, Jamie was standing to get out of the tub. The water had been drained away and he was reaching to turn the water on in the shower. As was true to form for the little I knew of Jamie so far, there was no concern for modesty, something I was getting quite accustomed to. The water was scalding hot because I had just had it on and Jamie barely seemed to notice. I turned the cold water on and soon had the water comfortable enough for me to reach in and help Jamie unclip and rinse his hair. He turned around and leaned his face into the water, eyes closed, and rinsed away the Noxema. So much for the washcloth, He wanted me in the shower with him, but I told him explaining soaking wet clothes to my father when I had to be home in less than two hours was not something I cared to do. "Right, the Judge." That was the first thing Jamie had said since he told me he didn't want to talk a few hours before. I took it as a good sign. Comprehension. A fog was definitely lifting.

I was holding a big fluffy towel for Jamie to cover up with and he just stepped past me, totally ignoring it. He was at the sink looking in the mirror. His skin was pink and moist and I reached around him from behind to gently blot it. The towel was between us, and Jamie wanted me closer. I then used the towel to remove excess moisture from his hair. There was a big comb on the counter which I used to comb his hair all back and away from his face. Once the tangles were all gone, I loosened the curl with my fingers.

Jamie grabbed the towel from where I dropped it on the floor and wrapped it around his waist. As he left the bathroom he grabbed my hand and led me toward the kitchen. With his other hand, he grabbed a candle we passed along the way. He stopped at the stove and lit the candle and placed it on the table between the places I had set for dinner. He had me sit and gave me a knife to slice the bread. Jamie then dished up some soup for us both and turned off the stove before he made sure the lid was secure on the pot. "That'll keep it warm enough until Sandy gets home. She'll want some soup after bowling even though she would insist oherwise." We had our soup and bread in a companionable silence and I felt as if Jamie's eyes never left me.

We washed and dried the dishes and Jamie put them away. Well, he put one set away and the other he reset at the table for his sister. I reached for his face and was soon kissing his lips. It was as it had been the first time and nothing of the darkness of this afternoon existed to the point of me questioning myself that it ever had. Jamie was steering us toward the living room which was softly lit as twilight arrived.

We stood in the near darkness of the living room kissing for what seemed like a very long time. I again laced a soft braid into Jamie's still damp hair, all the while lingering in kisses. It was nearly eight as we finished cleaning up in the kitchen, and it would take me about 7 minutes to walk home. "I've got just fifteen minutes more, Jamie, why don't you lie down and get some rest until Sandy is back. I'm sorry I can't stay until then, but I do have to be home soon."

"I'm okay now. Just stay with me as long as you can." With that said, Jamie was stretching out on one of the couches on his side. He was so innocent again in this soft filtered light. His breathing was slow and steady and his skin still slightly shriveled from the bath. He was asleep just moments before I was out the door.

I walked into the campground office at 8:27 and my dad handed me the keys for the dune buggy so I could make the 8:30 wood run. I got back to the office about an hour later just as my mom was coming in from bowling. I handed her the cash from wood sales and went to get a Pepsi from the soda machine. Then I popped a Stewart's ham and cheese sandwich into the Stewart's light bulb stove. Five minues later I was enjoying a nice snack and thinking abouth the afternoon as the phone rang.

I am glad I got it because it was Sandy and I wasn't sure how I would have explained her asking for me. "What did you do to him? I expected to find him sullen and non-compliant and instead, he's sleeping like a baby. And he's clean. And the soup hasn't burned or boiled over." All these things seemed surreal to Sandy even when I recounted the afternoon to her. She was appreciaive of everythiing I had done for Jamie. For her. As she was hanging up the phone she told me to tell my mom we were discussing Kay's yard schedule because knowing Barbm, surely she would ask.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A boy I once knew...part six

When I got home that afternoon, my mom told me that our church pastor had called and wanted me to give him a ring back. This wasn't at all unusual because I was the favored baby sitter of his wife and kids. He had a deaf daughter and I could sign enough to communicate with her with ease. I got into my swimsuit for pool duty, and before going outside, gave Pastor Mark a call.

Mark didn't need me to babysit, but he was wondering if I could fill in a spot they had on Kay's home assistance team as one of her regular's had broken a leg and was out for the summer. Everyone at church knew that the only Kay was the Colonel's widow. I asked Mark what kind of help I would be volunteering for, and he said mostly lawn maintenance, but there was always something with Kay and the church did its best to meet her needs. He told me that I always had the right to refuse, but that the lawn maintenace team was always there on Monday afternoons at 3 and that would be the main commitment required of me. Then, he told me Sandy had thought I would be able to help. I knew that since it was volunteering through church that my mom would have no objection, but I told Mark I would get back to him at Sunday services.

My mom thought it was a good idea as long as it didn't interfere with my work at the campground. I told Mark on Sunday that I could definitely do the yard work, and anything else would depend on my availability at the time.

When Monday rolled around, three o'clock found me at Kay's house on the hill. As I stood there looking out at the yard, I noticed that the property line was a stand of trees that was pretty dense. It was obvious where the yard work stopped. As I was looking, someone was suddenly emerging from the woods. A minute or so later, it became clear that the someone was Sandy. Her property was on the other side of the woods. As she approached she stuck out her hand to shake and told me she was glad I could join them. She then told me to remember where she had come out of the woods as it was a path directly to her backyard. "You use a riding mower at the campground?" Clearly Sandy had the business at hand on her mind.

I told her I did, but could also work any of the other lawn equipment, too. As it happened, they didn't have a riding mower, and the everyone was hesitant to ride the Colonel's tractor. Sandy told me it really wasn't much different if I wanted to give it a try. I thought it was a brilliant idea because I would get less dirty.

The tractor hadn't been used in quite a while, but clearly it had been well cared for. It started right up and I backed it out of the garage. It really made quick work of the main part of the yard and I was done mowing in about half an hour. I parked the tractor back where I had found it and went to look for Sandy. I asked her what was next and she told me that this week was a basic yard week and I should go check with Kay to see if she needed anything before I left. If not, I could leave through the path and she would see me next week.

Kay had lemonade set out for the work crew and I stopped and had a glass. She thanked me for helping and was glad to see someone from the younger end of the congregation for a change. I thanked her for the lemonade and was off.

Before I could make it through the woods, I saw a fork on the path. To the right I could clearly see the back of the hippie house. To the left an equally worn path, was a mystery. I wanted to see Jamie, but I also was curious as to what else was connected. The path went uphill a short way and then leveled off with a railing that overlooked the back side of the falls of the same river the campground rested on. There was a fire pit and a few adirondack chairs, one of which was surrounded by long curly hair. Ah, serendipity.

Jamie could hear me coming and he announced that he would rather not have company. It seemed a bit harsh considering he didn't know who was coming. "You don't want to know who it is?" My question was innocent enough. "If that's you, please join me. If it isn't, please don't."

I wanted nothing more than to be kissing Jamie's lips and feeling his hands on me, so I decided it was in fact me. I approached tentatively and leaned against the railing in front of Jamie but looking away. It only took a minute to feel his hands on my hips pulling me toward him to sit on his lap. I was turned to the side on Jamie's lap and his face was hidden behind his hair. His hair hadn't been combed and was a mess and upon a closer look, I saw that he had been upset. Maybe even crying. "I'd rather not talk about it, please. Can we just sit?"

We sat there watching the river for about an hour and a breeze came up. I told Jamie that I either had to go or go back to the house. "Or I can warm you up."

In a moment, Jamie had me straddling his lap and facing him. I was kneeling and it wasn't the most comfortable position, but he was kissing me, so I really didn't care. Yes, Jamie could warm me.

A boy I once knew...part five

After Jamie's hair was done, after a lot of kissing, beer and weed to excess, all I knew for sure was that I wanted to see him again. As night was falling, we were sitting on the porch watching the sunset and I told him as much. "Sandy has rules. It's either very complex, or very easy. A lot depends on how you look at it. If someone is going to be here on a regular basis, a contribution to the welfare of the house is expected. Once she has seen you here a third time, you better be prepared to make an offer when she asks you about it because she will ask. Then she will consider your offer and tell whoever is sort of sponsoring you, that would be me, yes, or no. There is no swaying her decision once she has made it. She doesn't like there to be an appearance of a lot of people gathering which is why we all park out back. Her final rule is the toughest. While you are never made to do anything against your will, there are no official relationships allowed under her roof. She hates drama. If you crash, you crash solo. Always."

This was a lot to take in and quite frankly, it was another surreal layer to have Jamie suddenly so serious. It was if he felt it important that I be paying attention.

The following Thursday, I solidified my new habit by going shooting with my father. Bill was there, but not Wendy. Do I just go by myself and see if Jamie is there? What if I am seen walking up to the house. This presented a problem. I went home a bit deflated. I wanted Jamie to be kissing me by now. It wasn't going to be happening. Not that day.

On the following Monday, I went bowling with my mother. About halfway through the evening, I followed Sandy to the bathroom. After I made sure there was nobody else in there, I told her I wanted to see her brother again. I told her he explained her rules and I had no issue with any of them, that I would offer my hair cutting services to anyone in the house requesting them, and that everytime I was there I would do at least one thing from the to-do list in the kitchen. There was something in my plea that caught her heart, because while I was just short of desperation and still managing to conceal it, Sandy suddenly smiled.

Sandy's smile said volumes. I knew I was in there, but I still had concerns. Well, I still had a concern. I didn't have a car and even if I did, it would be just as conspicuous as if I walked up to the front door. i didn't want anyone reporting back to my folks, and I didn't want to bring scrutiny to the house.

Sandy told me she would finad a solution and that I shouldn't worry. She thought I should again go shooting with my father on Thursday and she would ask Wendy to go this week. She was charmed at the thought of surprising her brother as he was apparently also deflated that I had not returned to the house.

On Thursday, two weeks since I had first gone to the house, I made sure all my campground chores were done first thing in the morning. I didn't want there to be any reason I might be denied leaving with Wendy, if she showed at the dump.

I got my dad's stuff ready for him and we were off. As we unloaded the trash, I was rather sullen because when we drove by the shooting area, there was no on e else there. We got back into the truck and as my father made the wide arc swing to be facing outward, I saw Wendy's car pull in. Her dad was already there and setting up targets. Before we began shooting, Wendy told my dad she had a few cuts lined up for me if that was okay. He nodded and told me he needed me home around 4 for the night pool shift, but that otherwise I could go.

"Why don't we skip shooting then so you have plenty of time for cutting?" Wendy, though seemingly aloof and usually a woman of few words, was often rather brilliant in her brevity. I looked to my dad and he nodded, and in a flash, Wendy and I were off.

When we got to the house, Wendy just dropped me off around back without another word. I walked in and the house seemed deserted. There was a slight movement on a couch across the room, and there I saw Jamie, sleeping peacefully as the sun streamed in the window. Would I violate the solo crashing only rule if I went to lie down with him?

While I contemplated this, I went to the kitchen and looked at the to-do list. There were a lot of repair items that were well beyond my ability, but at the bottom of the list, someone had squeezed in that the zucchini from the garden had to be washed and prepped for canning Thursday evening. Next to the note about the zucchini was a name and number for any questions. I picked up the phone and dialed Bev.

Bev picked up right away and I explained who I was and why I was calling. I learned that prepped for canning meant just chopped into slices half an inch thick. Bev went on to tell me where the large bowl was, and she then told me that when I was done I could cover it with a damp dish towel and put it in the beer fridge. She seemed very pleased that her prep work was going to be done. I thanked her and hung up the phone and then quietly set to work. As I carried the bowl across the living room, Jamie stirred a little and rolled over onto his back.

Having heard the beer fridge open, Jamie mumbled "Yes, please." At first I thought he was talking in his sleep, but then I considered perhaps he had heard the fridge door and was thirsty. I grabbed just one beer so that either he or I would drink it and not waste, and went over to the couch he was napping on. I had been there long enough that I knew nobody else was in the house. I set the beer down on the floor to the side of the couch and slipped off my shoes. As Jamie woke from his slumber, he was smiling to see me laying on top of him, my lips just inches from his. With a gentle thrust of his growing cock, he kissed me.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A boy I once knew...part four

The hair cut began as haircuts generally do, with me combing through Jamie's hair. He had used the conditioner pack that Wendy had given him which made for easier work for me as I procedded to methodically move through his massive mane. I had instructed Jamie to straddle the toilet facing the wall behind it. As he sat there, he again began singing with the Stones. It was all very relaxed as I parted his hair down the center and subsectioned off my first canvas, the hair from the nape of his neck.

I worked through some small tangles and combed out the curls so that Jamie's wet hair was falling straight down his back. It fell well below his waist and I could have sat cross legged on the floor and still not been able to get a smooth line. I could hear my treacher in a recent class telling us to always be firm about putting the client where we need them and never sacrifice perfection for discomfort. I told Jamie he needed to stand on the toilet for me to make my first cut on his length.

When Jamie's hair was dry, I noticed it was hanging around his waist. I thought maybe a foot could be cut off and it would still hang long enough for him to feel his hair was still there. When I combed out the length of his wet hair, it was brushing the bottom of his ass which was nice and firm at eye level. I decided to cut to his hips and Jamie started giggling as my shears slid along the indented curve of his low waist. I followed his hips across the back and no sooner was I done with that cut that Jamie had jumpined down from the throne, spun around, and had again drawn me in for a kiss.

"Having your hands on me is turning me on. I can't really be held responsible and must kiss you when I must. Can you continue under these circumstances?" I tweaked his nipple and told him I could. I made rather quick work of telling him to sit back down and then brought down section after section of his hair to remove the length from the rest of it. Then I put my hands in his hair to loosen it up and set the curl free to see how it was responding at this length.

I heard someone come in through the front door and peeked around the corner. It was the town supervisor, another friend of my father. The house reeked of weed and whether I could deny it later or not, I was going to be guilty by association as soon as the supervisor saw my father again. But what was he doing here?

Jamie excused himself and went to the kitchen and got a pie off the shelf that his sister had made. I thought the pie was Thursday desert, but as I learned a few months later, it wasn't Thursday desert so much as it was camoflage for the supervisor's Thursday purchase. My dad had never learned of the supervisor seeing me at the commune because in addition to him seeing me there, I had seen him there. Silence can be golden.

As Jamie came back into the bathroom, I told him to sit facing me. This brought a smile to his lips as he was confronted either level with my breasts, unconsciously showcased in a loose camisole style shirt with spaghetti straps(oh to be 17 and braless), or a birds eye view of my crotch which was barely contained by a pair of men's Adidas running shorts(think way too short for a way small town girl who happens to be the judge's daughter, but really, nothing was hanging out, I promise).

Next I got out my straight razor. I had never used it before on anything but a mannequin and it felt like it was time. That might have been the beer or the weed fortifying my ambition, but I felt ready regardless. Jamie's hair was still totally saturated, a must for razor cutting, and I combed the right side all toward the front where I procedded to slice off about a foot and a half of hair. In one fell swoop. It fell to the floor and left a perfect angle down connecting the bang (somewhere below Jamie's chin) to the length I had previously established in the back. I repeated this on the other side and then noticed how turned on Jamie actually was.

As the second mass of hair hit the floor, Jamie reached out and grabbed me by the hips and pulled me toward him so I was straddling his lap. He was big and hard, barely covered by his sweats, and I could feel his hardness breathing in the warmth between my legs as I settled in and got comfortable. I wasn't a virgin to be sure, but this was far outside the realm of the experience I had had to date, as well as somewhat in advance of any short-lived promiscuity I might have enjoyed in my early twenties. I was still on the side of innocence though far from naive.

Jamie's hands were resting on the small of my back balancing me as I allowed the full weight of my body to sink in around his cock. It was lovely really, and totally carefree because we were both still clothed. The grinding was enormous and my shorts rode up in a way that separated the lips of my pussy so direct contact, however obscured by clothing, was assured.

Oh. My. I was riding Jamie full on at this point without a care to who might be coming or going on the other side of the still opened door. I had never before done anyhting remotely bump and grind and even though I felt each thrust Jamie made with his hips, there was no penetration. This went on for quite a while and the sensations I was feeling were rising and subsiding and suddenly, totally out of control. I finally knew what it was all about to have an orgasm, as well as to have a partner who was totally into me.

A few moments later, Jamies hands were once again sliding up through my hair from around my ears. He was again so softly and tenderly kissing my lips. I had slipped my hands through his still damp hair and pushed it all loosely back away from his face. While we were kissing, I worked his hair into a loose braid that softly draped down his back. As Jamie stopped kissing me I had a thought run past my eyes. "That was totally awesome."

"I really love kissing you," was Jamie's only reply before he once again was.