Saturday, October 2, 2010

Have You Hugged A Stranger Today?

I made an elderly lady cry today. 


I really did.

Right in the thrift shop parking lot. 

In my defense, I wasn't trying to make her cry and I wasn't mean.  I simply told her how lovely I thought she looked. 

Perhaps I should back up a bit and start from the beginning ...

Fridays are my new special day.  Not just because it is the end of the week and the weekend is so close on the horizon, but also because of my favorite show. I won't go fangirl crazy here ... it's not the point.  The point is ... it is Friday and it is special and I was ... am ... feeling incredibly good today for many reasons.

The weather is fantastic!  One of those fall days where the morning is crisp, the day is warm & breezy, the evening cool under a clear, stary sky. 

Then there was the fact that I woke with a happy, happy pupper ... and we enjoyed a morning filled with playing inside and out before I had to say the dreaded four letter word ... *whispers W.O.R.K.* ... and head out to the office.

Work, though, was actually pleasant.  There was chaos but that is normal when you have almost 100 elderly people all in one place.  However the day moved right along and, after an extremely arduous long week ... the early close of the office, if only an hour, was a blessing.

So it was, that I hit the road with a light heart and a bright sky.  My sweet red Baby had her sunroof open and a new CD mix in the stereo streaming the music.  Laughing and singing, I knew that my two necessary stops would not take long and I would soon be home to my little Ball of Fluff to begin preparations for our Awesome Friday Night. 

Stop 1 was quickly finished and Baby & I took off for Stop 2, feeling pretty chipper. 

In front of the little thrift shop, I pulled Baby into a parking spot next to a luxury SUV.  I think it was a Lexus but, honestly? ... I don't really care and it doesn't truly matter.  As I turned off the engine, preparing to get out and go in the store, an elderly lady came out of the door and made her way to the SUV.  She was very striking ... quietly elegant in a fitted, solid black pantsuit with white satiny lapels and black heels. 

She looked lovely.  So, I got out of my car, leaned against the roof, and told her so. 

I may have expected alot of things, but I didn not expect for her eyes to well up with tears, even as she gave me a tremulous smile and thanked me.  She then told me that she had purchased the suit at the first of the year for her husband's funeral.  She was wearing it again today because her best friend's husband had passed away and his funeral had been this afternoon. 


There was nothing I could say and I couldn't help myself.  I went around the car and gave her a brief hug. 

She sniffed and thanked me.

We wished each other a nice weekend and then she drove away and I made my way into the store. 

That private moment between two strangers struck me as I made my purchases and headed Baby towards home and our little Fluffernut. 

In today's world, we work so very hard teaching our children "Stranger Danger", that we forget to teach them about simple human kindness.  It hurts my heart that they must be more in tune to caution than they are in reaching out to someone who seems sad, or lonely, or in need.  Wouldn't it be lovely if our children could be taught understanding as well as caution ... respect for others as well as defensive tactics ... care for the people they pass in the street, not just the people around the dinner table? 

That, every once in awhile, blessings are shared on both sides when you hug a stranger?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

We Should All Be Patriots

Fourth of July

The American holiday has its traditions, just the same as Thanksgiving or Christmas. The summertime holiday is celebrated in a multitude of various ways, each as individual as the family or person celebrating. For some it means traveling, for some it is swimming and picnics and parties, boats on a lake or tubes on a river. It means grilled hamburgers or hotdogs, barbequed ribs, fried chicken, potato salad, fresh summer grown tomatoes, and homemade apple pie. It is a vine ripened watermelon. It is a time of sparklers waved by children’s hands, firecrackers lit and thrown to snap and pop, and fireworks to light up the night’s sky with colors and designs set to orchestrations that stir our hearts and embolden our spirits.

According to an MSN internet article, it is possible that Americans will spend in the range of $3 billion on parties, food, entertainment and travel this year. However, those are celebrations of food and fun and fireworks are just one part of this holiday. For the Fourth of July is, in fact, actually Independence Day and the meaning of that holiday goes a lot deeper.

Independence Day is about patriotism. It is a declaration of believing in something wholeheartedly, supporting it no matter what, loving it completely. America's Independence Day is believing in this country and the freedoms possible within it were and are so worthwhile that men and women have fought and died to make it possible both then and now.

Independence isn’t simply a right American’s have due to the actions of our forefathers. It is something that is earned and we have a responsibility to it. We have a responsibility to each be patriots. This doesn’t mean that we must all be members of America’s Armed Forces, fighting at home and abroad to keep our country safe from those who would destroy it, in order to be patriots. However, it does mean that we as individuals can and should take up the flag of patriotism, the ideals of those soldiers who fight for us, and we should keep them alive within ourselves.

Patriotism begins at home … as parents raise up their children – teaching them right from wrong, disciplining when needed, and loving them always. Imagine our nation if parents cared more that their children become strong, not strong-willed, independent and beautiful of spirit, not rebellious and self-absorbed … that they raised the child as someONE, not someTHING … as an individual rather than a friend or a way to relive a youth that didn’t go as they wanted … supporting and trusting them, even as they falter and mistakes are made, instead of ignoring them, tearing them down, or striking out in anger.

Patriotism should continue in our schools … with those teachers that we entrust with our children, to teach them more than just the basic ABCs & 123s but also history and English and science and geography, instilling a thirst for more knowledge and guiding them always. Imagine our nation if teachers didn’t have to worry about guns in the classrooms and how to make 20 textbooks work for 30 children but could get into the meat of a topic instead of skimming it over the outline of facts. Teachers should inspire and guide as they teach and students should be able to become creative and achieve more than they dream.

Strength of morals, not to mention honesty and respect … we’re not born with these values, we are taught them (or, unfortunately, not) from our earliest moments. With them comes gratitude … having an appreciation for the history of our nation, not to mention the men and women, past and present, who have worn a uniform in service and honor to our country. These men and women were raised as patriots and we should be not only be aware of their deeds – again, past or present – but give them our thanks, as we each work to be patriots in our own right, in our own homes and communities.

I know I do, and I will.

While I wave my flag, eat my pie and sit out on the grass, listening to the music and wondering at the beauty of those flashes of color sparkling in the sky.

And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up, next to you and defend her still today.
Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,


(**lyrics from Proud To Be An American by Lee Greenwood)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Good Man

There’s a story my mom loves to bring out every once. It’s one of those stories that, when you’re in high school or college, you simply cringe in embarrassment but as life goes on you enjoy the laugh and then draw out one of your own. I don’t actually remember ALL the details, I just recall that I was outside playing with the hose and, since we were in Kansas City, I was younger than four years. I’m not sure if I wasn’t supposed to be playing with it, or was simply being cautioned, but I spun around with it in my hand when my father’s voice came to me regarding the water and I ended up spraying him thoroughly. It was an innocent, childhood mistake – I was turning towards his voice and the water in the hose in my hand came with me. Unfortunately he had just arrived home from work and was dressed in one of his business suits and I had a full spraying stream going as I whirled to greet him. Dark suit ... white pressed shirt ... dark tie ... wing tip shoes ... soaked.

Yep. Laughter is had on that one. Now.

My poor Daddy.

The good Lord blessed him with an extraordinary amount of patience, for which I am abundantly grateful.

Although I know he will be embarrassed and will most likely tell my mother that I “shouldn’t have”, I’m gonna tell a little bit about the type of man I call Father.

My dad is hamburgers & steaks grilled just right … driving the boat around “just one more” cove before heading back … calm voice when teaching to drive a car … Saturday late night movies with Clint Eastwood, Lee Marvin, Lee Van Cleef, or maybe just The Duke … pancakes and maple syrup vying with a simple box of donuts for being the best breakfast ever … standing outside on the front step of Grandma’s trailer watching a tornado pass by … saving a small girl from a bunch of loose pigs (not the small cute kind) … holding a little girl up on his shoulders to see the Macy’s parade … cheering or groaning for his Dallas Cowboys … playing Santa for a company children’s party … mowing the yard … playing in the pool … sitting at the counter and letting me tease & pick on him … finishing a task begun – no matter how detailed or time consuming.

Most of all, my daddy is wrapping me in a huge hug when I hurt, am sad, just arrived for a visit, fixing to leave after a visit, or just any other reason he can think of ... being married to, and loving, one woman for 53 years … reading Luke Chapter 2 before bedtime on Christmas Eve … praying so fully before each meal at the table … spending each week studying/preparing his Sunday School lesson … standing tall and proud as he joins the other deacons in serving the Lord’s Supper … a Godly man, the head of our household, following Joshua 24:15.

Today, on this special day when we honor our Fathers, I don’t get to physically be with my Daddy – to hug him and tell him how much I love and adore him, how he is the tape measure I use when looking at men and relationships, how much he is admired, how much I miss being with him on his special day.

That is why I wanted to just take a minute and tell you a bit about the man I call Father.

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy! I love you!

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Quiet Tribute

It is a quiet day at the office today.

Actually, it’s a quiet day in the whole building. Not that it’s always a rip roaring party all the time, but there is usually a sense of relief and a certain giddiness in the office the day after our annual OHFA inspection goes well and the residents are usually roaming around on Fridays, chatting, coming and going in preparation for the weekend, getting their hair done at the beauty shop next to the office. The smell of perms is normally pervasive. Not so much today.

Today, or at least this morning, it is quiet.

You see … there’s a funeral being held at the church next door this morning.

A funeral for a resident who passed away in the wee hours of Wednesday morning or, as her son so eloquently put it ... “One moment she was sleeping peacefully, the next moment she went Home.”

It’s easy to think of her there … in heaven … her jubilation in being reunited with her husband who had gone to wait for her 20 years ago, in the presence of her dear Lord.

For the purposes of this little blog … we’ll call her Mrs. W.

Mrs. W. would have been the first to tell you she was just a country gal. She was 98 years old and, although in recent years her sight had failed and, even more recently, her health had slipped, through the assistance of a large and loving family, she had remained independent in the little apartment in our building she had called home the last 16 years. She loved the life of a resident and embraced the activities with enthusiasm. She never failed, unless sick, to be right in the front row when the 1st & 2nd graders from the school across the street came to give our residents a Christmas concert. She enjoyed the community feeling of the potluck dinners, baking cornbread for her friends, and going up to do exercises with the group that gathered three times a week. She thrilled each spring when the “4 O’Clocks” would bloom outside the exit door by her apartment. (I don’t know the actual name of this bush of flowers. Mrs. W. called them 4 O’Clocks and that is good enough for me.)

One of the ten remaining residents that were here when I began working at the Village, Mrs. W. would walk the halls of our building with a cheerful smile and a greeting for any that she met. When asked how she was doing, her standard response was that she was doing okay … “until someone tells me different”. Respectful of the office and the work being done, she would always have a smile and greeting, yet never stayed to chat unless one of us initiated the conversation. Even when her sight had failed, she would always smile and wave as she passed by … never certain anyone was in the office to see, but not wanting to pass by and seem rude.

As memory and hearing also began to fail, she began to stop a bit more frequently by the window … inquiring as to the day of the week and if there were any activities on the calendar. After getting a response, she would give thanks for the information with a big smile and exclaim that waking up always seemed to bring a new and different day. A happy smile, a boisterous laugh, and a wicked sense of humor … three things I admire and she had them in spades.

Mrs. W. was a simple, gracious lady who’s favorite activities included feeding people and sharing stories of her three children or multiple grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Nothing delighted her more than when one or more of them would stop by for a visit with “mom” or “granny”. She took great pride in them and their accomplishments but was never boastful.

It’s difficult to think that she is gone. Her little corner apartment where, before her sight left and cooking became difficult, the staff had been invited several times to share a tasty lunch and lively conversation, will soon be rented to someone new … someone different … someone who won’t call me “Shug” and check on the 4 O’Clocks in the spring. That’s the hard part.

The easy part is imagining her in heaven … setting a table for family and friends and inviting them to come and eat before it gets cold, as she keeps an eye from above on those kids and grandkids and great-grandkids, not to mention the rest of us.

Yep. It’s a quiet morning today. The halls are silent and the conversations are muted but I’m doing okay … at least until someone tells me different.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What's So Special About This Thursday?

You know how some days are just more special than others? I know that in the scheme of things, particularly if you get literal and think time wise or calendar wise, every day is the same as any other. Yet there’s some event, some activity, some holiday, or some memory that makes an individual day just a bit more special than it’s counterparts that came before or will come after.

Today is one of those days … one of those SPECIAL days. It may just be special to me, however that is okay. I’m still gonna tell you why today … Thursday … April 1, 2010 … is a day that means more to me than yesterday.

Granted, anyone who knows me understands that Thursdays are my favorite day of the week. Especially right now when we are being treated to new episodes of Supernatural and each one just keeps getting a little better than the one before it, drawing us ever closer to an apocalyptic season ending that has fans like me on the very edge of their couches watching with bated breath and anticipation.


Sorry. Started to get a bit carried away there. *sheepish grin*

This is not about Supernatural … although … there is a slight, teensy weensy correlation. But I’ll explain that later.

Nope. Today is special to me for another reason. And it’s also not because it’s April 1st, aka. April Fools Day.

April Fools is the day each year when people, young and old, seem to delight in pulling pranks and jokes. I’ll be honest. I’m not a good prankster and I usually screw up the telling of a joke unless I’m reading it. In all my years I have pulled off one prank. Granted, I had an abundance of help and it was seamless and flawless, grabbing its intended victim and leaving her definitely fooled. But then, and here’s why I’m really not a good prankster, I went the next full week totally feeling guilty and trying every which way I could to make it up to my victim. She was a wonderful sport, delighting in April Fools pranks herself, but I was a guilt-ridden basket case.

So, no … April Fools is not the reason this particular Thursday is special to me.

Today is special because today is the birthday of someone who has been in my life less than a year and yet he has completely filled it with joy and laughter, a bit of confusion, panic, and frustration as well, but mostly an overwhelming sense of love.

Today my Chester … aka. Ball of Fluff … aka. Fluffernut … aka. Sir Bounds-A-Lot … aka. Fierce Guard Dog … celebrates his first birthday!


Weighing in at 8lbs 10oz, my little guy has survived his first year. And so have I.

I didn’t get to be there when Chester was born, nor when he was weaned. My guy was three months old when I discovered him through an online “Puppy Finder” a friend suggested I check out. He wasn’t the closest Maltese puppy for sale, nor was he the youngest, or even the least expensive. There was just something about the picture they posted, something about his little face – his expressive little face – that grabbed my heart and said, “Hey! I’m your guy. I need you to come and get me.”

I’d wanted to get a dog for several years. I wanted a companion, someone to be there when I came home … to go with me when I went out. I’d resisted for several reasons, not the least of which being my sometimes long work hours. About three years ago, the desire increased to the point that I began to research dog breeds … considering size, typical health, “yappiness”, etc. After reading all I could find, I determined that the Maltese was the breed for me. Small, friendly, typically good health and long life, not prone to continual yapping, owner protective, and … to the delight of my allergy inclined lungs/eyes/nose … due to the fact that the Maltese actually have a fine “hair” instead of fur thus not having the pet dander that make allergies so fun, nor the shedding factor. Sweet!

Once I had the breed determined, it was simply a matter of timing and funding. I actually had decided on two pups … a boy and a girl … to keep each other company while I was not at home. That was my plan, right down to the fact that I already had their names chosen – Winnie for the girl and Chester for the boy. (Get it? Winnie … Chester … Winchester for my favorite guys on my favorite show, Supernatural. See … told you there was a slight connection. *grins*)

Much like everything else I tend to find … from chocolate to shoes … after determining what I liked and wanted, then getting myself settled into the idea, I found that my chosen breed does not come cheap. Nope. The Maltese is not your bargain basement pup. They’re not even on the first or second floor. *sigh* Even though I had absolutely no desire to “show” the dog or breed them myself, and I had no inclination to deal with the long hair … choosing to allow my pup full range and keep him in a “puppy cut” … I still found the expense of purchasing was out of my league.

And before the idea is put out there … I DID check into shelters. Maltese pups are not exactly shelter pups either.

Then came an unexpected and delightful financial gift at the same time my friend suggested the online puppy find where I saw the face that captured my heart. After corresponding with she whom I shall call “the seller”, it was determined that I would meet her just south of Norman to “meet” the pup. When she handed me this little white ball and he snuggled right up over my heart, nestling his face at my neck and licking my ear, my heart was lost. I handed her the check and left with my Chester.

I’ve never regretted the decision for a moment.

We’ve had some issues, not the least of which is discovering that “the seller” was less than truthful in a few areas such as crate training, & health records. It has been determined that my guy had some major … M.A.J.O.R. … issues with being in a crate. His fear of it was insurmountable and we finally gave up. It just wasn’t worth it. Luckily, he is one of the good ones as it became increasingly obvious that Chester spends his day, while I am at work, on the back of the couch, most likely sleeping. Nothing is ever disturbed and his water dish doesn’t even appear to have been used while I am gone. Yet the blanket on the back of the couch has a deep indent where it is obvious a small body has been nestled.

We were also incredibly blessed to happen upon a wonderful groomer. Our Stasi is awesome and Chester, much like a child left with the sitter … he’s not thrilled to go but he doesn’t cry when I leave and he gets glowing and happy reports from everyone in the grooming salon. She takes such great care of him and also teaches me about how to care for him. Those first couple visits she let me stay and observe, guiding me into how to care for his fur/hair, detangling and gripping him without hurting him. When she moved to a different location, we tried a different person but that was such an awful experience for both Chester and me, we drive the extra bit and go to where our Stasi is … knowing she’ll take care of us. J

Another blessing is our wonderful vet and her ever so patient and calm staff. After our first visit, where it was discovered that “the seller” had never properly cared for my guy’s ears – thus we got to start our time together dealing with an ear infection. Nothing bonds an owner and a pet faster than having to do icky ear medicine twice a day for 10 days. Since then we have gotten caught up on shots, gone through the boyhood “snip snip” of neutering as well as taking care of extracting 4 baby teeth that had roots for oak trees not teeth that should just fall out. You know your vet office is a blessing when they wait till after they hang up from your call describing a cough, a poop, or an action to begin laughing. We probably do have a reputation at our vet’s office, but the doc also thinks he is a very healthy, well-adjusted little guy, so that’s just fine with me.

So, here we are now. My Ball of Fluff is one year old. He’s passed his infancy and is now in his childhood years. Yet, there’s no foreseeable slowdown with my little boy. He is definitely still in his playful puppy stage as evidenced from the moment I open the door in the evening until I close the door in the morning. His favorite words are “Wanna go bye-bye?” and he will fly down the sidewalk to wait by the car door, leaping into his seat and waiting for his window to be rolled down. His deep little growl/bark sounds so “fierce” yet it is offset by the swishing fast wagging of his curly little tail. He has yet to meet a sock he doesn’t want to remove from a foot, a piece of paper that he doesn’t feel the need to taste test and tear, or a roll of toilet paper or article of clothing that he doesn’t think needs to gleefully be pulled down the hallway. Much like a 2 year old child, he is inquisitive and delights in the repetitive … snooping to find out what I am doing at all times, chasing the elusive wind controlled leaf, sniffing the air at all times trying to locate where treats have been hidden or a snack laid down briefly, or playing endless games of fetch with favored toys. He has achieved the command of “stay”, considers the command of “come”, and looks at you intently when commanded to “quiet”.

While Chester has managed to catch his first mouse during his first year and has come to understand that ringing the bell on the doorknob gets me to let him outside, we are still working steadily on some basics such as “why can’t you poop outside if you will go potty outside??????”.

He’s not a perfect pup, however you wanna know what?

He’s MY pup.

He is happiest when he is with me.

He is saddest when I leave.

Wanna know what else?

So am I.

Happy Birthday, my little boy … my fierce protector from beneath my legs … my wiggling wart of fluff … my overzealous tongue wagging licking monster … my cuddling bedtime companion.

Your ChesterMomma loves you. I’m glad we found each other.

And that’s no joke, nor is it a prank. Just the honest to goodness truth.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Oh for the Love ... !! I Quit. I Mean It. I Do. Maybe.

Note: It’s been a long while since I dedicated a blog but this one I am. This is for my favorite BubbleGirl. An awesome supporter and a sweet friend … pushing me, prodding me, and, when necessary *hugging* me. I don’t know when I can go backwards, Whims, but I promise I will try to continue to go forwards. This ramble prelude is for you. The full-on episode ramble will be ready no later than Monday morning. That’s my deadline and I give you full permission to become your peskiest textiest self if I don’t meet it. On that you have Keeper’s Word.

Supernatural is unlike any show I’ve ever previously watched and I’m not too sure that I’ll ever have the opportunity to watch another like it. Some may try and may come close, but they won’t be the same by any stretch of the imagination.

Now, I have avidly enjoyed television all my life. When I was young, I watched CBS soap operas with my mom during our lunch and early afternoon “rest” time. I loved the Hughes family with the conniving Lisa and the Bauers were always taking care of family in the most interesting ways. As I got older, and I got to stay up later on Fridays and Saturdays, I discovered late night television and Saturdays particularly stay in my mind because it would just be me and my dad, staying up late and watching movies (particularly westerns) while my mom & brother went on to bed. I even enjoyed spending time watching the PBS programs of Sesame Street & The Electric Company with my little brother. Of course, I was really too old for them. I was simply watching to keep him involved and learning. Seriously. *wink*

Over the years, my viewing wandered the television spectrum … Dallas was a must see on Fridays, but my favorite were the antics of Knots Landing on Thursdays. While the original Star Trek was watched with my family, it didn’t catch my attention as much as Star Trek: The Next Generation. Will Riker was lovely, but I was always a Jean Luc Picard girl. I even followed to Deep Space Nine and Voyager. I’m not really going to go into my 21 Jump Street phase, except to say that Johnny Depp may be a bit different, but even when he was just starting out, he inhabited an intriguing and ever changing character. We also won’t go into my Hercules and Xena phase. Let’s just say that Kevin Sorbo was … um … ahem … well, I’ll just say I sure did enjoy that show!!

Then came Buffy and, later, Angel. Oh, good grief! How I did love those shows. Time would stop and I would simply enter the worlds of Sunnydale & Los Angeles to be swallowed up in the characters and atmosphere created by some incredibly talented people. There was also my Firefly adoration. I’m still angry with FOX and their lack of faith in something so incredibly wonderful.

Along the way there have been many other shows that I’ve made a point to stop and watch, to videotape, to mention in conversation with friends, to watch again. I’ll confess, I still have my video tape of the original 6 episodes of Max Headroom and pull it out periodically to watch. There are currently run program I adore … The Big Bang Theory … and enjoy … NCIS & Bones & Chuck & Criminal Minds and others … or get frustrated with but still keep coming back … 24 & Numbers. Yet none of them hold a candle to the love I have for the show Supernatural.

I don’t just enjoy the show, I am a confessed fan.

From the moment it premiered on September 13, 2005, I have been carried away and blown away by the world and the characters created by Kripke and his band of merry torturers … er … um … writers. His creative staff continually pull together each week some of the best television I have ever watched. The worst episode of Supernatural, in my opinion, is better than anything else I’ve watched on another program. That’s my opinion. I realize it isn’t for others. Many have laughed at me or scoffed my dedication. That’s okay. It doesn’t hurt my feelings.


Because along with finding a program that I thoroughly enjoy, I gained something incredible … a family of fans that became a family of friends, even if we are spread across this nation … and, in a couple of cases, overseas. Granted, the internet was a big proponent. Through TVGuide’s, once upon a time, wonderful website, I found people who were not only interested in talking about this show, but also encouraged me to write about my feelings, write about this show that I loved and enjoyed. I found people who went past just the program and actually cared about me as a person. People who, after the demise of our favorite spot on, found alternative ways to gather, to continue to chat & discuss & check in on me and the others of our group. Friendships were forged and, as time progressed, meetings took place in person and faces were attached to names as we traveled.

So … after all this … why in the world would I sit down and declare last night that I hated this show and vow to never watch again?

I was serious. I was sobbing. I was so frustrated and filled with emotion for the episode that had just played itself out on my television screen that I wanted to throw my remote and not my Nerf ball at the television. (Nerf balls are safe, they don’t break screens the way remotes and other harder objects do.) The point had arrived that, in my brain I knew would come, yet my heart wasn’t ready and the fact that it came in the form of an episode written by one of my all time favorite Supernatural writers, Sera Gamble, is no surprise. She has wrenched my emotions before and has had me declaring my undying hatred and quest to quit watching more than once.

Of course, I might also mention here that I tend to get a bit rash in my declarations of intent when I am emotional. Most of the time I can remain calm and level, but when pushed to a point where rational thought is lost in the sea of emotion, I have been known to make some hasty remarks and last night, well, last night there was a lot of emotion going on … both on my television screen and on my couch.

Have you ever read a book in which the author crafts the most amazing and intense story, drawing you into the characters, into the world where they revolve … intensifying emotions and weaving the threads of story so tightly that suddenly you have to quit? The book isn’t finished, but you simply have to stop. You have to physically put it down … step away … take a breath and gather back your equilibrium? Sometimes it takes just a moment … a quick trip to the fridge … sometimes it takes a bit longer. Ultimately you return, you find your place and you plunge once more into the world of your imagination – colored by the words written by this gifted writer.

The same thing can happen with a piece of art … a canvas being drawn … a ceramic piece being painted … a needlework being sewn. You work so hard on it, watching it grow from a blank, empty, unformed base towards that finished product that only you can truly see inside your head, inside your imagination. Yet you reach a point where you believe it will never look the way you see it … that it is simply a mess of colors and paint and thread and has no form or pattern. You have to step away. Your emotions have gotten involved and you need to take a moment to get perspective before you can return and finish the piece of art that you are lovingly crafting.

It seems as though each season of Supernatural does the same thing for me … to me. I get so caught up in the lives of the Winchester Boys, in the adventures, in the emotions, in the story being woven – overall and seasonally – that I reach a point in the season where I have to step back, gain some perspective, and calm my heart before plunging back into the story … onto the next episode. Lucky for me, I’m always given at least a week – although those stupid hiatus’ sometimes increase that time – to get myself mentally ready to continue on this journey that Eric Kripke dreamed of and his merry band of torturers … er … um … writers/directors/actors/et al … create through dialogue, direction, atmosphere, characterization, etc.

The Song Remains the Same was the episode for this fifth season that made me stop. I’ll admit it snuck up on me. I honestly didn’t see it coming. I’m not sure why I didn’t. It always seems to be the 12th or 13th episode that catches me. Season one … it was Faith. Season two … it was Houses of the Holy. Season three … it was Jus in Bello. Season four it was Sex & Violence. And this season, season five … it was The Song Remains the Same. Each one powerfully done, tying together the emotions and the path changes of the previous episodes of that individual season, taking the journey of The Boys and thrusting them forward in their thoughts, their beliefs, their incredibly complex and yet strangely simple black and white with shades of gray world. Their beliefs are challenged. Everything they previously thought has either been altered, confirmed or discounted. The world around them leaps and distorts as they try to keep their feet planted and believe in one another because in the end, it’s just them … two brothers (well … now two brothers and an angel) journeying on a hero’s path filled with pitfalls and lined with evil on one side and good on the other.

It’s been said that there is a fine line between good and evil, between love and hate.

With those last words spoken from young Mary to her unborn son, I knew in my heart three things …

1) That I hated this show with everything I had for the way it has woven itself around and through my heart for the past 95 episodes, for making me have to wait, and guess, and hope, and angst over the possibilities of what will come based on what has come previously … twisting my emotions with laughter and delight one minute, only to be quickly followed by heartache and despair. The show is evil.

2) That I loved this show with everything I had for the way it has woven itself around and through my heart for the past 95 episodes, for taking a genre so filled with stereotypical creatures and storylines and filling it with complexities and emotions, dysfunctional family dynamic where normal is defined only by the life of the individual leading it, for weaving a story so tightly over a period of 5 years, crafting a tapestry that shows dimensions in it’s picturing of a hero’s journey and quest.

3) That I had to write. I had to write about this episode. I had things to say, threads to follow, dialogue to weep over yet again even as it tied both past and present together. I had to declare my love once again, in written word, for the character of a father who, in all actuality, has only physically been present in 11 out of 95 episodes and two of them were flashbacks, the character played by two completely different yet eerily similar looking/acting actors, yet whose presence has been felt … through the words, actions, feelings of his sons … in each and every episode.

There’s a fine line between love and hate, between good and evil.

I love that Supernatural is a program that doesn’t take the easy path, that walks the fine line in it’s creativity and presentation, that it’s characters are not always good men, but that they are human and trying to be honorable men amidst the chaos that is their lives. I hate the fact that I can’t wait to progress in this story yet I hate for it to end, I am caught in the abyss of wanting it over so I know how it ends but not wanting it to continue because once complete, it is over. Unlike a book, I can’t skip forward and read the ending before finding out how we get there.

Frankly … this show is so good, it’s evil.

However, good or evil, this episode is one that had me sobbing and marveling, laughing and scoffing but more than that … it got me doing something I haven’t done in quite awhile … rambling. I’ve found I can’t keep my thoughts away from the threads that were so adroitly tied together in this episode, the tapestry deepened, outlined, woven so tightly throughout the five seasons that the picture of this journey is fills it’s viewers with passion for the story that has come before and anticipation of what is yet to happen.

So, the ramble continues …

Friday, January 8, 2010

Odor, Oh Odor ... Wherefore Art Thou Coming From, Odor?

This is not exactly what I had planned to write for my first entry of the new year, but a small note I was going to post on Facebook kinda grew and I found myself rambling and writing a blog instead.

Why I felt the need to share this embarrassing moment is beyond me, but here goes:

As some people already know, I have been having a dreadful time with this terribly nasty smell in my laundry/pantry room since returning from Mom & Dad's for Christmas. I've emptied the trash numerous times, sprayed down the room and the trash can with lysol more than I normally do in a year, I have tried getting to the sides & peeking at the back of the washer/dryer with my big flashlight to see if something was back there ... all to no avail. Finally last weekend I got a concentrated odor remover and a couple of high powered solid air freshners to see if they could help.

I figured something had died in the attic, however, since I have no way of really getting up in there and I would die of aphixiation before my landlord would come check it out, so I decided to battle the odor and pray that it would eventually go away.

Now ... at this point I should probably note that the light in my laundry/pantry has been out since Thanksgiving. I hate climbing the little ladder and getting up there to change the light, so I've procrastinated and it is still out.


Don't judge. I'm sure there's something you've procrastinated on. It's not like I don't know exactly where everything is in there with my eyes closed, anyhow.

Tonight I got a sudden urge (where, I don't know) to clean a few things out of the refrigerator ... this has to be done quickly because a certain small ball of white fluff loves to try and capture the big black plastic bag and rip it to shreds, thus saving me from the evil bag of garbage whilst strewing it around the living room. So, I dragged the trash can with it's diabolical liner black bag out of the laundry/pantry room, where it is kept to keep it from my fierce protector, into the kitchen, positioned it between me and the refrigerator, blocked the ball of fluff and proceeded to remove some offending pre-Christmas items from the fridge.

Again ... don't judge. Procrastination is not a completely bad thing. Think of the advances in science experiments for the young children in your household.

While doing this, I have to admit that the odor was fairly intense, but I figured it was due to the fact I was directly over the offending can, involved in the stinky business of removing some interesting items from the fridge.

Once done, I had to chase the ball of fluff to retrieve the baggie of molded swiss cheese before it caused damage to him and the house. I then went into the laundry/pantry room to get a paper bag, in order to retrieve the trash from the rest of the house. In for a penny, in for a pound, I figured at this point.

Hmmm. I'm in the laundry/pantry room and I immediately notice that the smell is no longer so intense. Turning, I look at the trash can and decide to get the trash out as quick as possible and then spray down everything yet again with lysol.

Chester and I took the trash out and then, because he's a dog, we had to spend a little quality time in the cold.

Coming back into the kitchen, the smell was more than intense ... it was making my eyes water. I hurriedly got the lysol and proceeded to spray the laundry/pantry room, the kitchen and then the can.

It was then that I noticed there was something in the bottom of the can.

Aha! Epiphany. Something had fallen out of the bag at some point, gotten caught in the can and had spoiled. I started to reach in and remove it. Then I halted and looked a little closer.


There, in the bottom of my tall, Rubbermaid trashcan, were four ... count them ... 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 ... mice in various stages of decomp. Evidently they had tried to getting to the trash, only go fall between the bag and the can, land in the bottom and ... eventually ... die.

And because there was no light in the laundry/pantry room, I had not noticed when I had removed previous bags of trash.

*double sigh*

I had been rejoicing at the fact that we had not seen any signs of the meeces for quite some time and yet I had been frustrated beyond belief by the horrid smell in my laundry/pantry room.

Talk about a catch 22 situation.

No mice because they are DEAD.

Huge smell because they are DEAD.


I'm not sad they are dead.

I am, perhaps, sad about the way they died.

I am, definitely, sad that they died and I didn't catch the clue faster.

Needless to say, the offending can has now gone out to the garage and will now go out with the trash. It's old. It needs to be replaced. And there is absolutely NO FRIGGIN' WAY it will ever come back into my house ... dead meece or no dead meece.

The rooms have been thoroughly sprayed for ... hopefully ... the last time.

My house is swiftly (how embarrassingly amazing) becoming deoderized.

The light bulb has not been changed, however.

Give me a break ... I've had a traumatic time and I'm not going to add climbing onto the small ladder to it. At this point I'd most likely fall and that would simply create another embarrassing situation I'd have to write about for a blog.

I do believe one is enough at this time.

Now ... go ahead ... laugh ... you know you want to.

I have been.