A Short from on Set


They couldn’t have known that in the wilderness of Alaska, the son of Sylvia Plath would hang himself. They only went there to grieve their own private sorrows.


A recently married couple are driving home from a long day of work and other related endeavors. It’s mid-evening:

“So a lot of corruption goes on, but only the failed attempts are illustrated. Just how much corruption goes on to succeed is unknown, and we have to guess that only a few are caught. Yeah, so the widespread corruption that goes on unaccounted for is rampant and frighteningly commonplace.”

“And that’s your point?”

“Why must you demean me?”

“You use these words like demean and nobody understands you.”

“I’m simply talking about the nature of life.”

“So dramatic.”

“Yeah, just like the ‘so’ in your retort.”

“I’m hungry.”

CUT CUT CUT! The director pops up from his chair to guide the young actors.

Listen he says addressing the couple, I need you to understand what these characters are facing. What we have here is another missed opportunity for a moment of clarity, to indulge in the dramatic!

But! You know at the same time that it doesn’t make a difference anyway. Anything profound born in a moment is part of the past just as quick. All in all its just moments, one after another. One brings a cry so ferocious that laughter is enlivened alongside the pulsating heart…And then! And then we live with these moments while new moments are cascading around us. We are a living history, some with moments that have broken us, and others with those that have risen us from the ashes. Most with a little of each incessantly until our life is over.

The director, turns and faces the camera or the cameraman and slowly says the following:

I am homeless, like you are. I am only too aware of the fragility of that home we make and call our own. There are those who save us, and to those same, we turn our rage. Though in the afternoon light, when everyone has gone to contend with the masses, and all is still in the empty home, the simple truth streams in through the blinds. The contempt and the anger, the stress and the defenses, the blame and the misgivings, are no longer. Not by anything concrete or definable have they gone. But by the breakdown of the complex to the basic.

The director turns again to the actors.

 It is going from the dread of dragging your bones through another day to a wide-eyed fascination for one’s external stimuli. And ha! The difference is only a moment. So much of the control involved in a moment is beyond humanly initiated, but that doesn’t stop us from putting all our energy into that perceived control. And when it all crashes down us, and we are left with NOTHING, the whole world is new again. We must redefine ourselves, accept who we are, and live honestly-accepting of our new role. No, I do not drive the bus, you must say to yourself, as you squeeze your beloved a moment longer. Now, let’s continue with the scene, as if I hadn’t stopped you. But this time, keep in mind what I have told you. And, ACTION!

“You’re always hungry,what are we going to fix anyway, there’s nothing at home,” meanwhile secretly remembering the eggs and corned beef in a tin at the back of the cabinet.

“Yes, I’m hungry and tired, I still gotta take a shower, take out the trash, brush my teeth, eat something-how about I fix us up some corned beef and eggs?


Aren’t you glad I thought of that?”

“Yes, my sweet apple pie.”

(And they drove the rest of the way home in their whiny Toyota, each experiencing their own moments that proceeded to fade into the blurring landscape.)



There’s a ‘Steak’ in my Boot!

Late morning as I got ready to head for work, my husband, who is suffering from a cold, called from the bottom of the stairs:

“Come look, there’s a steak in the garage!”

A steak? What in the world is he talking about?

I bustled down to the site of the ‘steak’ and lo and behold, wrapped around the sink, slinked a slithery snake.

Now don’t let the picture fool you, this guy was big, almost three feet long and about as wide as a child’s wrist. You can tell by the blurry photo, I was in no shape to take a picture!

“Get the olive jar you cleaned out the other day, and poke some holes on the top.”

My husband grabbed it from the tail as it curled into a S and gracefully dropped into the jar.

Later, we dropped him off on the mountain near our house, where he could start a new life far from our abode. I wish he would stick around and form a mutual relationship with our family, but we don’t speak snake. Too bad Rosetta Stone doesn’t have that language…hmmm that’s an idea, language programs to learn cat, dog, chimp, etc. Shark Tank here I come!

Yes, our snake was really cute, but Indiana Jones and others suffering from snake fright might suggest that its time to move!

I say it’ll take more to make me afraid, eight more to be exact…

You never know what will find refuge in the place you hang your hat, but don’t freak and always practice humane animal control techniques…

Trap for the Cowboy Rat

Wisconsin Part 2: Heart of the Country

I Look High, I Look Low,
I’m Lookin’ Everywhere I Go,
Lookin’ For A Home
In The Heart Of The Country.

I’m Gonna move, I’m Gonna Go,
I’m Gonna Tell Everyone I Know
Lookin ‘ For A Home
In The Heart Of The Country.

Heart Of The Country
Where The Holy People Grow,
Heart Of The Country,
Smell The Grass In The Meadow.

Wo Wo Wo.

Want Horse, I Want Sheep,
I Want To Get Me A Good Night’s Sleep,
Livin ‘ In A Home
In The Heart Of The Country.

I’m Gonna move, I’m Gonna Go,
I’m Gonna Tell Everyone I Know
Livin’ In A Home
In The Heart Of The Country.

Heart Of The Country
Where The Holy People Grow,
Heart Of The Country,
Smell The Grass In The Meadow.

Heart of the Country By Linda and Paul McCartney

Homeward Bound

I have been living the dream in California for 7 months now. But recently I got a chance to go back home to Wisconsin where the dream began.

After a 15 hour bout of traveling, an emergency landing in Lubbock Texas, and a  3AM drive  in the yellow convertible VW, I was finally home. . .

My mom peeking out from the top of the stairs enveloped me in her arms after I climbed the stairs. We spent the rest of the morning along with my sisters laughing and smiling over freshly baked blueberry muffins. I remember thinking it couldn’t get better than this, as I slipped into a late morning slumber.

But before I eased into my mostly subterranean  childhood bedroom, I padded around the house to the lovely and warming voices of my family echoing from the kitchen. . .

And so begins the journey, part one of a multi-part series that I hope to bring you over the next week. We start here at home inside the walls where we come to relax, kick back, and share our stories from the day.

DIY: Backyard Tent

This California sun is getting hotter by the day. One particular sunny day I sat outside with my book.

A heavy read but well worth it. As I sat roasting in the sun underneath my giant hat, a bug flew into my face. It was then that I knew I needed something to protect against the elements. But what could I do? I didn’t need something to protect me of the rain that seems in short supply these days.

No, I needed something luxurious. Something to sit under that could make me feel like a queen.

I ventured inside and gathered all the sheer scarves I could find. Using my clothesline, clothespins, and a tree freshly full of leaves, I began to pin up a shelter.
Oh well, that seems nice, doesn’t it? I sat down and dove back into my book. But alas…That lucky old sun was just too hot, and a rare bumblebee still found me. Well the view of my little garden was sure nice, but I was going to need to do a little more work. So I went back to find more scarves.That ought to do it! I stepped back to admire my work.Before I could step inside and get back to my lovely read, someone else found my shelter.

Well, I think there’s room for two.

Yes, that will do.

Monkeying Around on a Saturday Afternoon

Speaking of garage sales, I visited one today.  The lady running it called it an estate sale. First thing I saw was the FREE box, where I successfully scored a deep, heavy oatmeal bowl. Someone must have gotten sick of looking at the patriotic face of the oatmeal guy smiling on the front so much so they just gave it away for nothing. Also found a silver, sleek, tiny pocket knife that I will keep in my purse.

My mom taught me about the free box at garage sales. Last summer she pulled out a lime green, metal monkey from a box of free toys for children. Only when you turned this monkey’s arm down 45 degrees, its head lights up with a flame of fire. Its a lighter.

At the garage sale today, the lady showed me her sister and brother-in-law’s invention; plastic plates that had a hole on the end for you to put your drink on. I could use them for a year she says and then…um

Is that Green Bay Packers, I ask pointing to the red set with the G in the middle.

Well its red she said, so I don’t think so.

But that’s the G, I thought to myself.

Lunch was a short trip to a sad little farmer’s market. I think when there are more people in a given area, quality events are harder to come by. Lunch was a delicious dish from Afghanistan, called a Bolani. Even though it looked like a boring quesadilla I might have microwaved as dinner in my high school days , it was like nothing I had ever tasted. The bread was flat yet fluffy and the potato inside was mixed with incredibly aromatic and savory spices. The sauce was a sweet/spicy chutney that capped the deep flavor of the Bolani with a tangy twinge of the tongue.

The afternoon I cleansed the house top to bottom, as I had the whole place to myself and a warm breeze floating in through the windows. It was time to air out the cave!

Afterwards it indeed felt great to sit down when I was all finished to a dinner made by my one and only.

What a treat, and now I’m beat.

Next posting will be a recipe, Chicken Bread & Onions (Imsakhan).

And We Rely on Each Other!

Do you have a friend who in most ways is the exact opposite of you? I have one of those, and even though we disagree on almost everything, she makes me laugh regularly,and I make her cry with a moving rendition of Islands in the Stream, so it works well enough.

But in truth, its more than that. Most of all I know that if I needed her I know she would do anything in her power to help me. That trust in a person is rare, but a gift of the highest degree. I wonder how we go to that point of trust, and I think in a way it was always there. Sure, we have let each other down on numerous occasions, but somehow we always found our way back to each other.

Can you say that someone in your life would put you first? If so, take time every day to be thankful about it and look to them for inspiration.

A person who is giving reminds you the only way to dig yourself out of a bleak existence, is to turn away from your own worries and help others.

No matter what you do for a living, what you do for the day-to-day, without love for your fellow-man, you will have very little.

My friend the dog-person and I the cat lady, appreciate one another’s difference, though we don’t always understand them. She brings out the lumberjack in me, and I bring out the artist in her. Last summer, she took me on a kayak day trip where I faced my biggest fears. Let’s just say that at one point I found myself horizontal in my kayak inching through a drainage pipe filled with lake spiders and their webs. It took me about 10 minutes, and her 30 seconds, but she waited for me, cheering me on.

That same year, we renovated my family’s entire house. Our family was up to our necks in insulation, paint, wood, and tools we never knew existed. In exchange for some hot meals and a peaceful place to rest, she was right by our side until the very end. Furthermore, by way of the craft room we built, she discovered that she was a very talented sculptor and muralist.

We are apart now and we miss one another’s company. The little stuff like stopping by to walk the dogs at the park are lost to distance between us.

But the world gets so crazy, and we are just trying to get by doing the right thing. No matter the distance, we  both know there is someone out there who is carrying a candle in our name.

The time we spent together, sniffing the air along the lake, riding out to the country for a raving hoe down, and watching the sun set over the hills, were what we needed to face the separate worlds we live in today. I’m glad I was paying attention to those little moments, because the peace in my heart remains, and I will always be thankful for that.

A little taste of our nostalgia, my friend’s week in Wisconsin. Now you know why I call her the lumberjack:

The Lumberjack plays with her new toy

The Lumberjack is also a cyclist

The Lumberjack is a soccer goalie, you can sometimes see her playing at midnight!

So thanks friend, for the memories, and those to come.