a slice of my heart

Friday, January 6, 2017

A mysterious, magnificent, radiant, silly and graceful woman

That would be Elizabeth Grace, my dear daughter.

I wish I could be as honorable, as funny and even half as smart as this woman.

She loves animals, of course you know she's a "bee keeper",  (from my post of June 16th, titled "You said what?!") feeds the birds, longs for another dog, we are sadly renters, has the best lap for cats and they go straight to her, even though she has allergies and never minds.

Babies are drawn to her, she can make them laugh and giggle and wave when they only look at me with a "what?" look.  She's a baby sleep maker when mother's are at their wits end. She longs for one herself and holds adoption like a candle in the window.
                                                                              


She is funny and light hearted and finds humor in almost everything - I don't - so thank God for her and her rapier wit.

                                                                           
After seven hours of massages (she's a therapist) - that's seven bodies, standing for seven hours - 5 days a week, and she still comes home funny! (see below, shhh, she would kill me)  
--  She put herself through massage school, without help from anyone, broke and addicted to alcohol and has since overcome that, to go on to a helping career.  Astonishing! 
                                                                            
   She is fallible and hard to admit her mistakes, but that's because she holds herself to such a high standard. She is rarely ever cranky, but has started her "Cranky" business to help others  not take themselves, and this often hypocritical world, so seriously.
She is beautiful at 43, but never thinks so.
          
Even when she was a fresh new flower at 21.
But she is and always has been.                             


She has had defeat after defeat and failure upon failure that have almost broken her - overshadowed, thankfully, by her accomplishments and her constant ability to overcome. That's the definition of success in my book.

She cries and cries sometimes at the unfairness and lack of justice in her life, and that it is repeated in so many other lives in this world and she wants to save everyone. She has now been heartbreakingly overwhelmed with the insanity of this election and the resulting world wide chaos and, as well, what it could mean for the gay community - so here is what she is doing to overcome that.....
                                                                               
                                                                               
She has bought bag after bag of toiletries and practical survival items and just fun things to distribute to the homeless. She puts them in her car and when she encounters someone on the corner at the freeway intersections, with their signs asking for just a little bit of help, she hands them out.

Mysterious, magnificent, radiant, silly and graceful, I look up to her and hope to become more like her, ~ Elizabeth Grace.

(Don't tell her I wrote this, she would be so embarrassed, (well maybe not, as she is, and would be glad to tell you, a rock star!!) - but she is remarkable and deserves recognition.

Friday, December 23, 2016

My very best Christmas

This was my very best Christmas. In a big house on Main street in Tillamook, Oregon everything was beautiful and happy. My grandparent's house was warm and fragrant from the just cut tree and crowded with people who were glad to be there.  I'm sure my mother helped put the "rain" on the tree, she was meticulous and would have wanted to please her new mother in law. The lights were low in the kitchen except for the one over the Tom and Jerry bowl, a special one - children were not allowed but there was another one just for them with tiny cups to fit little hands, and lots of home made cookies and probably a ham. All my aunts and uncles were there. Christmas music would have been playing on the new mahogany cabinet that held the record player which had just replaced the wind up with the brass horn.  My parents were still happily married.

The carpeting in the house had muted roses on a grey background and the wall paper was a soft dove grey with a pattern of white feathers. The brocade drapes would have been drawn over the pale golden shades, the ivory pull dangling from a long string.  Soon my grandfather would have disappeared and my grandmother would say to the children, "What's that noise? I hear something on the roof.", we were sure we heard it too, then the doorbell would ring.  A wide eyed child would rush to open it, letting a burst of cold air in and stepping back in wonder because Santa was there. Little necks would strain looking up in awe and then down to the big, red bag. There were presents under the tree but the best ones were the ones given to waiting hands.

As Santa disappeared, my grandfather came back and began turning all the lights out, except the tree with the big bright bulbs that got too hot for little ones who always wanted to touch. In the too warm and cozy room 4 children would be oohing and ahhing and passing back and forth presents that were so different then.  The wrapping paper, thin and soft, would be strewn in excitement, a cloud enveloping children and baby dolls and wind up train engines. Parents, huddled together, would laugh with each other and watch carefully to see that nothing got left unwrapped, and children were sharing, as children did then. In the glow from the tree, newlyweds, they all were then, exchanged presents and tender smiles. The war had just ended and all my uncles were safely back home, a present for my grandparents.

There was love in that warm and softly lit room and there would be for several years to come.
                                                                          
It was 1949.  My pretty mother in her favorite dress, green with pink bows, my aunt, a late surprise to my grandparents - all my uncles grown and married - and my sister with her baby doll. My mother is carrying me, four months in, I would be born in May. There were more Christmases just like this, a few, as sweet and loving and gentle and filled with tenderness. But this is the one I remember best, this was the one I loved.

Merry Christmas everyone.
Love, Liv

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The way in and the way out and then I risked my life to get these for you

This was the last hike of the year for me, I'm not a snow hiker or even walker.  But I love the smell of the forest and the quiet mystery.  It's the end of fall in these pictures and still quite warm. The scent was heavenly. At certain points I could look up and see the sky, but most of the time it was an enveloping canopy of trees.                         
                          This was the way the path looked as I entered
                                                                             
                              This was the path on the way out.

 I was struggling with some things that day as I walked and it struck me as I was leaving, that it seems some of the problems of life are so easy to get into and so difficult to get out of, but all through it there is an abundance of beauty and peace and wonderful things that nourish and sooth us and give us hope.  It reminded me that I tend to just see the problem that is right in front of me and not the larger picture. When I could stop for a moment and take it all in, it reminded me of how good life can be.  It's all about perspective.                                                                        
                                                                                 
This is for you, Birdie.  This was my companion.

Here is what I had to risk my life to capture for you. I walked through the blustery, howling, windy snow to get these pictures of the creak on our property.  You can't see it very well, but that is the little water fall at the beginning of the creak.  It actually has to come down 5 little steps but they were very hard to see because I would have had to get in the creak to capture it clearly. And the sound of it? My god, it's natures music, isn't it? That tumble of water over rocks and logs. In the summer I sit by it for hours and listen to it. I've never lived by this sound and I might not ever again, so I know how lucky I am to receive a musical, watery gift like this.
Here the snow is whizzing past the camera and it looks like little comets flying through the air. 

                                                                               

It's amazing to know that through all this chaos and turmoil, the planet still pretty much does what it's supposed to. God how I pray that continues.

I swear to you, my pictures aren't always this bad, really.
             


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A visit to Cuba from London

The death of Fidel Castro will enormously affect America's relationship with Cuba.   Let's hope that the progress that President Obama has made in communicating with Cuba is not completely destroyed by our resident idiot, because Cuba is so much more important to America than we actually realize.

If you want to know a bit more, from a first hand Cuban, please go read my friend,  Mario Lopez Goicoechea, over at :   https://cubaninlondon.blogspot.com    He has given a wonderful interview with the BBC World News explaining his experiences and views of his birthplace and how he sees this transition.  As he says, he is a revisionist, lets hope his vision of a Cuba without Castro is the one we all come to see.

Thank you, Mario.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Tomorrow is another day, Scarlett, and thank you very much.

                                                            Yet to be consumed ~ ~ ~
                                                                              
                                                            The annual Peach Pie
                                                             (actually a galette)

It is capitalized because it is that good.  I froze this Summer's peaches so that we can have a bite of sunshine on our Thanksgiving table, which came in really handy because it is pouring outside.

I didn't get a shot of the table laden with   -  stuff  -  but this is the aftermath.................
                                                                               
Hence, that saying "tomorrow is another day", hopefully, because if it isn't I'm dying with a sink full of dirty dishes.  Pie will be consumed soon with whipped cream and hot tea. Lord, it's 9pm  --  but pie must be consumed!

I am very thankful for the grace to have such wonderful food and a warm home and lovely conversation.  It's my daughter and me for dinner only.  Can you believe we have shared this day, just the two of us, for at least 15 years, maybe even more? We like it that way, relatives and all the angst and anxiety and holding your tongue just made the day not what it is supposed to be in a pretty extreme way. So now we get to talk about the Beatles and movies and plans for next year and lots of just silly stuff, it's peaceful.

I am thankful for more than just our dinner or time together.  I am thankful for all the good people who voted for Hillary.  I am thankful for those who keep fighting today and tomorrow to try to see justice done, not only with the votes but also for Natives Indians, the hungry, the homeless, the persecuted everywhere. I am thankful for a million things - like clean water and people who say thankyou and you'rewelcome, and for smiles from strangers.  I am thankful to be living in a free country where people can make stupid mistakes and where people can change the world...and we do, here in America.  For all the beautiful animals that fill our lives here and are provided with love and warmth and safety and I pray for all the others that their lives might be so.  I could go on and on and on listing the myriade of privileges and graces we who live in this incredible country get to experience everyday.  And as well all the spiritual and miraculous things that we are able to explore because we live in a country where that is possible. We are very lucky indeed.

And I am grateful on this day of thankfulness for You.  You who share your lives with me, you who entrust me with your sorrows your dreams and your joy.  I am also grateful To you for listening to mine and offering me comfort and cheering me on and even sometimes laughing with me. You have helped me to both see and understand more about life then I think I ever could have without you.  I am too lazy to do it by myself.  Thank you thank you thank you xoxo

Love, Liv

PS:  I am also very, very thankful to the guy who's car I ran into last night,  fender bender!  (totally my fault) who said..."Don't worry about it, it's not that bad." A sweet and gentle young man, just the kind of guy you wish would marry your daughter if you had one, or be your son if you didn't have one.  It really wasn't that bad, paint scratch on both, easy to fix. But it could have turned into a real problem if he hadn't been so genuinely kind.  We exchanged info (he does have insurance!) and he patted me on the back and said "Have a good Thanksgiving". He's not reporting it and he wouldn't even take money, I'm sure he voted for Hillary!


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

My best friend

                                                                               
                                                                   Dearest Marley
                                                              November 15th, 2016
                                                           Rest in peace, darling girl.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

I need a little help from my friends

I don't know how to explain what is happening here. It's another world of pain on top of that political shit. I keep hearing people say things like.....rah, rah, rah we shall overcome...etc.  I even say them, and I hold a speck of hope in that, and then there's let your mourning out, let your anger out, and I hear that too and they could both be said  for what's happening here, in my house. It's a kind of vortex. It's a  weighted thing. It's this political stuff, yes, but it's a whole lot more.

My daughter who is gay is spinning in her brain.  She is feeling ripped apart knowing that he and the rest of them will take away - and this isn't a maybe, this is a fact - her right to marry the person she wants to. She is overwhelmed with the thought that she will be loosing her health insurance and knowing that she couldn't afford private coverage. I try to say things to her that will relieve some of the anxiety and they all sound so empty. I can't help her and the panic rises in me. She is about 9 months sober, bless her heart, and I don't fear that she will drink but I know the anguish she is going through trying to hold in that place. I'm eating too much and not drinking enough water and I wish I could have a drink - but I would never do that in front of her.  But I  w a n t  one.

My beloved darling cat, Marley, who has been quickly declining, was diagnosed with cancer of the intestines and spleen.  This is surreal.  She was fine, brought me a baby mouse about 6 weeks ago and overjoyed when she presented it.  She was just trying to sneak out of the gate, playing with the string on the blinds, demanding that I get up right NOW and give her her breakfast and now she can hardly eat, she is declining fast. Nothing in her body is working quite right and I know she is so, so confused about it all. I also know that she realizes that she is very sick. She doesn't want me to leave her side and I don't want to leave her side.

I've been sick with all this shit in my sinuses and my tooth and I'm so physically, mentally and spiritually tired. I don't want to run away from any of it. They need me and I need them. But none of the things that usually get me through are workin' their stuff right now.  We all three, although we are here together in this house and loving and supporting each other,  feel so alone. It's scary.  I know it's not going to last forever, but f u c k, I'm here right now and it's happening.  I want to wake up in a different world, with my daughter not frightened and my cat healthy and in no pain - and me in no pain.  I want to wake up tomorrow feeling like I did last month when nobody was scared other than the normal - I'm alive on this planet and life sucks / life is sweet.  And I don't want to wake up tomorrow.  Every morning for these last two weeks has been accompanied by panic. I want to be strong and help and I know I am, as much as my clumsy self is able - and I want to get in the corner and cry till it all goes away.

I have one friend in this city to talk to but like everyone else she is just human, she has a life of her own full of complications so it's not often that we can be together. I have my therapist who I had to cancel our last meeting because of doctor stuff for my darling, and now she is on vacation for two weeks. I dashed to the store this morning to get Marley treats, she will eat a tiny bit of them, and some salad from the deli counter (that was for me). The girl behind said "have a good day" and I didn't reply, she thought I had turned away when she said "and don't ever come back", because I didn't reply!.... I didn't even react. Nothing matters right now except what is happening within this house.

I don't want to read blogs, I don't want to read Facebook, I don't want to comment, I don't want to feel anything when someone comments on me or doesn't .  But this and Facebook are the only places  I have to go to right now and that makes me feel physically ill. I want to scream but I will wake Marley and upset my daughter, so I just keep crying because that's all I can do.

I've made a fluffy warm bed behind the couch for her because that's pretty much the only place she wants to be.  And my daughter just got back from making a late night candy-run to the 7/11 and is, hopefully, watching Netflix to distract her own panic.  And me?  I'm taking a pill or maybe two and I'm going to sleep and then maybe the knot in my stomach will stop bleeding fear.