Saturday, April 05, 2014

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Somewhere a Clock is Ticking

A clock is ticking, but it's hidden far away
Safe and sound, safe and sound
My God, this thing is spinning out of control, isn't it? You can't hide your fav fetish search but someone can take an entire aircraft off the grid and everyone shrugs. Russians declare the ability to destroy us whilst taking over a country, and our guy is picking his favorite basketball teams.


It is getting harder to find any humor in anything...the dogs feel the mood and angle away and gone, down the forbidden hill to the nasty ditch below - mercifully dry this day - looking for any escape from what must be a terrible emanating vibe. I crash through the weeds and tall grass, snatch their collars to hook the leash back on. Angry, angry, and so tired...no sleep and so tired that I let the dog out last night sometime and do not recall leaving the bed. At least I locked the door.


Sometimes I ache to just turn out the lights, get under the covers with something to throw me back into that smooth terrain of the soporific and let all of this, the 1's and 0's - go. To stop my brain from thinking in the useless round path it has worn.


I hear it ticking away, the hours of almost-all-over, and want to push Pause. Not ready, nowhere near it...just one more spring, give the kids a summer, and that cool autumn I love...Christmas I do not expect, don't dare ask for. No way this thing doesn't crash before then...


It is wrong to be so...careless. But I know, in truth, many will go without me. And all my concerns will be like sand on a shore - the most minute irritation to the world. So I do for them what I can, kith and kin. Spend my hours' recompense for their ease. It is staking a marker, you see, in the Future.


But no one will ever bear these blue eyes, will they? That is an eternal loss.





Thursday, March 13, 2014

Living To Serve




This has been in rotation on all devices of late...it has everything I love in it...


More and more the sign of Morrigan flies across the world - birds winging elsewhere, and birds going to ground without a sound. Death and more death everywhere you look and I know that the strings are being pulled tighter from all around, the many nooses disguised...


I wobble from angry to nonplussed to fearful and then take the wide, wide arc to the mad twitch of a smile - a person who doesn't care what price you're demanding. It won't be paid.


I think about Acquisition regardless, thinking that there won't be any accounting any of it anyway. But I am still too proud to fall to that level - the sucker punch of the user to the used. Time enough, I tell myself but I doubt even my own words, now. Get rid of this place and get something else, better, with land...distance...but even that seems a fool's dream. A singular target or just another house on the block? And the madness says that there will be a plenty of empty places, with just a bit of char, one day.


Some fool decided a night in jail was worse than a couple counts of capital murder the other night. I couldn't understand it. SXSW has about a dozen alternatives to that decision - to drive drunk during the event is plain stupid and lazy. And now...well, I hope they had a great time - it will have been their last.


Sarge is away on a task force, having a good time doing what he loves. His digs are sweet, too. Says we will go on vacation sometime but I think he doesn't know what that sort of convenient luxury costs the average citizen. Amusing coincidence - his good friend from home is on assignment nearby, too. The Lakota was on overwatch and snapped a photo, Sarge smiling and holding up the stripes for the camera. A strange kind of overlapping of his lives in an unlikely place.


I play the choice songs this evening, trying to ready the mind for bed - sleep has been scarce for 3 nights and I hope this one can be tamed. Tomorrow...ah, tomorrow my pride must step aside and accept the very kind gift of a good friend...one that I cannot repay for some time. Like family, he said, and he could not know how I looked out that office window, my phone warm against my face as if the heat of the shame and appreciation leached into it. It is a hard thing to describe, that sense of grateful indebtedness. I have always tried so hard to not Need anyone or anything. It puts cracks in the fa├žade that are hard to repair. And that was the thing I felt as I looked out that glass to the nothing important - I felt the crack and it was echoed in my voice as I gave my fervent thanks.


Tomorrow I will be the one to greet this honor, and swallow away tears, unable to avoid it by hiding behind his wide shoulders. A great kindness...and I know that the future will hold more - that this road, this crossing of paths, was not for nothing and no accident. Entwined fates...



Saturday, February 08, 2014

Drifting

I've been listening to music from my youth - and a bit older...and I suddenly remembered this one. It was almost an anthem for the years I spent courting...disaster.





It used to amaze me that I lived to be 25. Now, I am baffled how I got to 40. I honestly shouldn't be alive.


I miss smoking something fierce sometimes...

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Freedom Day of the Second

Once upon a time...it always starts the story off, no? Well, in this instance it started off an entire new career in the middle of a fine one. It was a call, just a simple call to a simple house after asking the operator for the number. Joaquin told him - "If you want to be a Ranger, we ain't comin' to Georgia to get ya..." The next day the packet was filled out with his perfect print letters.


We wound up in an area that was kind, indeed. Not the Permian which was certainly possible. And he did well. As we found out, though, sometimes being good at what you do - and being a good person - angers and shames those who are not. And, sometimes, they have rank. So you suck it up, do the job, and hope like hell to get a lifeline out. The last time, he actually said something like "Fish and Game is hiring..." - and as the dutiful wife I reminded him that it wasn't why he called Joaquin that day.


He found a way out from under that burden and to a slot that seemed to fit him like a glove - and so it did while a person of good character and maturity was in charge. But then the changes came and with it came an untenable situation. Once again, the stress hiked and he was pushed to his limits. But it was as if grandpa reached from the beyond and pressed certain people to need certain things, and Sarge had the skills lined up like Rockettes.


Last night, he raised the shot glass of whiskey high in salute and gave a goodbye to all that. And, not long after, slept soundly - the sleep of the person freed from persecution.


No one knows what this new slot will bring - troubles, certainly. Triumphs are likely. But there is a lot of ground to cover between here and there. I'm just glad to see him smile again, to have him move with a light spirit after so much trudging about...


It is hard to remember in the hard times that things can and often do get better. His nickname used to be "Patience" because he really had none. Even now he has to remember the adage about the bulls on the hill...he has to walk down the hill and most especially now. It is a singular role - the first ever in the history of the force. It is a lot of pressure. But I know he can do it - the question is: can I put up with him in the meantime? Jeez, he's a rowdy pain in the ass when he's happy.


That's the jack booted thug I fell in love with all those years ago when this story first began...

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Stern Looks and Butter Bar Jerks

Well, Zed has made the case that I do not embrace my blogging side often enough. True...but things have been a wee bit hectic around here. However, I shall sit here with a bit of dark chocolate and wine and try to cover the high points.

Sarge has been bearing up under the burden of an absolute horror of a Butter Bar. However, he has once again grasped the proper ring at the proper time and is wheeling away to a new station in which his skills are valued and desired.

As for me...well, it'll be day shift again, and I suspect his health will improve quickly with it. Night shift is hard on a body and most especially when it isn't a true shift - when one is texted and called at all hours of the day, interrupting sleep. I expect it will be difficult now and then - it has been a convenient schedule for the dogs, of course. Someone has always been around to let them out in the day. But I suppose they will adjust, too.

For now, it will be horrible 18 hour days as he tries to get his new squad squared away - they've gone without direct supervision for too long and are like schoolboys - unruly and biting. With luck, he will have it in hand in short order. Then in a few months he'll be gone for a 3 week school. At least he'll be back near home and able to make long visits to family...

Me? Well, same old hold down the fort, right? It isn't an easy life, the spouse to MILLE - you are the fixer, the do-er, the planner, the thinker. Because they have enough to worry about. It is a bit like the scene in From The Earth To The Moon (Ep 11) when Mrs. Lovell is packing the house for yet another move and her husband finds hospital bracelets for the kids in the junk drawer, visits he did not know about. She says, essentially, "You were working and...I just took care of it." A lot goes on that you do not detail...

I feel badly for the women who marry into it and haven't the ability to be alone. And believe me - a great many men marry the wild and "fun" women only to find that the CBD (Crazy Bitch Disease) runs deep in their veins and the divorce with endless demands looms. They think she'll be able to keep up with their lifestyle and keep him upbeat. Sadly, those women tend to require constant attention to their antics - without an audience, they are nothing.

No, find, instead, the woman who has interests of her own as well as those in your endeavor. And someone who can cook, dear God, because you will eat enough junk because your schedule won't permit a stop at the microwave.

But I like my solitude...I don't mind being alone now and again and it may be the key to a happy marriage. I don't need much, really - just as happy listening to the wind in a tree stand...but I suppose the price he pays is that I don't do the girly thing very often. Oh, I can don the finery and the face as duty demands. I just think a lot of the other frou frou stuff is a waste of good money. And so the small town knows me as his wife but I do not put on the show that other wives do...I am too old to care for their opinion.

Too old...it is an echoing sentiment of late. The grey hair has extended its reach to the full length - I keep it at bra strap length, usually, so to see it there tells me...it is the other side of that gentle curve, now. Everything is harder...and I do not permit myself any kind of deception on the point. The odds I'd make it through the storm to come are about even. I am tricky, though. I might do better than I think. It is hard to look down and see your mother's hands, to remember how she napped just to keep up as you wasted your 13 year old intellect on foolish diversions.




Old...the cat, too, is slowing in his age. Sleeping more than awake, constantly hungry though it adds no flesh...and stealing whatever warmth he can, sleeping in the crook of my arm each night. It won't be long and his sweet self will be gone. No more that soft brush against my face to wake me. I would have added the perfect photo to illustrate but it would appear I am not allowing enough access to my drive/directories/personal information and G00gle is giving me the finger. Meh.


I haven't enough care to make this small enclave into something more modern. What's the point, really? More and more it seems vanity, this expositional exhibitionism. I ought to be doing other things - in the 30 minutes I just spent trying to put the face of a cat on a page I could have managed about 4 different chores. What use all this? I've so much to do before time runs out...things to save and things to burn, prioritization...so much to do...


My sister called to lecture me on all that she has learned about surviving a crash and I worked hard to hold back my harsh tone. She won't make it at all - she won't leave the dozen dogs (I may exaggerate - I could not count them) behind, no doubt, and cannot walk a mile. I suppose she thinks the church will aid her though I doubt their plans include her level..."assume it will take you 4 days to walk 2 miles to avoid threats - that you'll have to lay low and move in the dark. Assume you will not have a car. Then tell me about how you have learned so much..." Sigh. I don't want to be dismissive but if you haven't been paying attention, "we're in some real pretty shit, now!" - she is better served trying to find a ranch that can use her vet skills for room and board. To find a useful slot early...


Such are my thoughts of late. Of how the bolt holes we've in mind may or may not work...how there is a dire need to prepare some sort of proper storage for the goods acquired...of how there is so little time and no knowing when the starting gun will go off. And it makes all this administrivia we are dealing with seem so damned foolish and pointless.


And then...then there is the boy turning a man, the age matching the bewhiskered mien. His gift requests not the usual "new car" but instead turns to EMT certification funds, ammunition for Multigun matches, and the like. Sensible, useful gifts that in no way exhibit the immature grasping of others his age. It makes me very proud to know him, and it gives me great hope that his future might be brighter...it is hard to look at children these days and think of the world they are going to live in. It could go either way, as I see it...the balance precarious and easily pushed out of kilter. No way to know if it can be saved, now...I don't think so. I honestly do not. Hold what you have - that is what I cling to, now. Try to hold what you have and pray for better.


A friend told us hardly joking that she knew there may not be room for them but that her daughter surely would be saved if we could. I blinked against that image and knew they would all come, no matter the cost, their admittance vouched for, skills guaranteed, and the young lady saved from whatever danger might come. My mouth set in a half smile, firm against that onslaught. Hold what you can.


I had a thought the other day - of a time when I would have to warn the others, the young men and the father, and even my own - not for me, that risk. Not for me. Expendable, truly, if necessary. And I thought of the girl - through or over me, and no other way will danger meet her. And I knew a slice of what the fine men must feel as they, too, look and consider. Through or over me and hold what you can.


The other day I read a joke that said something about the sweet angel of death. One never thinks about it that way - no, always the grim reaper, always the harvesting scythe in the dark robed hand. But what if it isn't? It was a comforting thought for an old reprobate...that it could be sweet and soft and a mercy...I don't know that I've earned it but I do hope it's true. Which can sum up just about all my faith: I don't Know - but I hope it's true.






Sunday, January 05, 2014

What Holiday?

I have to give a big fat Meh to this years' holiday season. Fact is, I worked much of it as did Sarge so it never felt like that big sigh of time off/relief from the burden...the day after Christmas I went ahead and disassembled all the finery. Little time to do so later (see Work) and no one was visiting so...onward.

In truth, I ignore the New Years Eve event - I don't drink often so there is no attraction in that. And it brings out the utter moron in people who do. So...safe at home I remained, knitting my sweater to its finish. And it's lovely! I made some errors along the way (I am not good at spacing buttonholes) but I am fixing the cuff now (larger than the other) and it will be all good again. Here - take a gander at the back.

 
The color is very nice and definitely due to the changing skeins every few rows. Ah, yes! We did have a lovely New Years Day! We went to the home of our adopted family and spent much of it lazing under lovely trees on a wide deck with comfy seating. Everyone had their blanket or coat, S'more and twig...it was truly like a vacation that day and I should be grateful for it.

Today was spent taking the garage apart, getting ride of useless things and trash, then rearranging it so another motorcycle will fit. Fingers crossed and prayers sent, Sarge may be moving on to a new role. Yes, another one that he has had tremendous experience performing...more on that if I am allowed to mention it, assuming he gets it.

Meanwhile it was VERY good to get these boxes unburied and available to properly load and refresh. I think we need a couple more but for now I need to get mine updated. That, and pull in the Go Bag from the truck and reorganize it. A few months ago someone at an event needed a simple bandaid and I was unable to find one. Madness! I have a thousand other useful things and that one small item eluded me. So...a revamping of the kit.

Zed asked if anyone was developing a preparation resolution - one of mine was to get that garage arranged so that it could be used again so I am pleased to have it done. Another would be to get more canned meats on the shelves - the freeze dried is nice but being able to crack open a tin and not prepare it in any way is also useful. It is more expensive but just getting a few cans a month is easy enough. Big ticket? I ache to get the spare tire out of the back of the truck - the external option is very expensive but sooo desired...this is another version though less sexy. This puts it on the front - not certain I like it that much but do-able.

Spare parts is also on my list - for vehicles as well as equipment. (Acquired a few such for the small things like jet fuel stoves this year.) I think we're pretty squared away in many areas so it is sometimes hard to direct funds - a good problem to have, surely. Ah - yes! The dogs - more dog food should be canned while the empty cans are easy to acquire locally. Which reminds me to get another few cases of them this week.

Now, I have to research some pricing - found a Ford Explorer cargo cover and a Braves Bobby Cox bobblehead. AND a whole case full of older PC games. Ebay is my friend, I hope. Time to sell...

Saturday, December 07, 2013

When I Knew



There was a time when I walked through my life with a kind of crooked view, skewed to make sense of what I was doing. Or maybe just to rationalize the irrational. I chased my mortality with a reckless haste. But that is what comes of wanton youth - you think that either you've experienced it all or that you never will so why bother. That and it was the only contest that I could win...the only competition that attracted me.

But when death seeks you - why, then - it turns things around, doesn't it? Perhaps one isn't quite done with dull, dreary life just yet. And you fight back. You cling to the smallest things that speak of beauty and permanence. Thus, the talismans collected...the small tokens of fragile china, bits of lace, pictures, and silver chains. Everything to anchor a mind to the Now...and the music...the sounds of surrender.

I don't look back as often as I once did. A generous plenty to attend to these days...but I have never been one to let go of the past. It isn't to me a dragging leash but a lifeline across time. Still, there are times when that creature wriggles a bit against the constraints of today. I remind myself that I was not happy then. I was proud, yes. And brave, maybe. But awfully lonely and sad.

I am more angry today - angry at all the wasted time...the things I should have done - and could have done. I will never cross an ocean, now. There are views I will never see. I accept it as I do much else. My pride these days refuses to bow to the pressures demanded to make the journey. I will not surrender my security to appease a force that demands it while never assuring me they will make up for the lack.

Surrender...it is an ashen word for what I feel - it is an acceptance, really. This is how things are and no other. You cannot make reality into what it is not. So I reach back - movies from the `40's, carols that I sang when I was very young. A time when things were as dangerous as today but people were smarter and more capable. Not a nation of baristas and art majors.

I try to see who made it through and how they did it. I read historical reports, look at trends, look for signs like a witch scrying a future. There was a time I would look around me for hiding places - if I lost everything, could I lay there unseen, unnoticed? Water nearby? Scraps? It was a mentality of the desperate and it may serve me again one day. Unlike so many younger people I have known privation. I have been hungry and cold. And cruel...

As I get older I do worry more for the leaving - what I will leave behind and to whom...and what I may encounter after. I do not pretend to any worship but I have felt evil at my heels. I know that. I know that man can do evil without any unseen intervention. And I have felt grace...that, I hope, is what awaits me. A sweet draft of grace for all I've done and not done...a forgiveness for being human and inhumane.

And that is what keeps my feet moving forward, my turning effort into cash into goods and safety.
Someone once asked me what it was I feared and there were so many things to choose from...but after a time I realized what it was - I had never once, not one day in my life, felt safe. And it was then I understood that driving force...

I am safer now than I ever was. Perhaps more now than I ever will be again. I try to live within that beautiful moment, the touchstones holding less taint of the uncertain times, the lives I touch more meaningful to me...the desire to protect them from what I was, what I knew, and what I know - it aches within, sometimes, because I know there is nothing to turn the storm. But I can try to give them a shelter against it...I can try to hold it back from the door and let it pass to another. That cruelty again when one makes that terrible judgment - the better you than me sentiment. The price for that peace is high, though. Never think you won't pay for it. I just hope the bill comes due later, after everyone is safe, again...



Drawing your attention to all the thing that you ignore
And if I can’t be near you I would rather be adrift in space
And if the god deserts us now I’ll turn this chapel into flames
And if someone tries to hurt you I would put myself in your place

Friday, December 06, 2013

That Was A Waste Of Time

I swear...I have no idea how I wound up the only sane one in my family...so, we sent my father the "house rules" so that he would understand in writing the expectations and it would appear that not having any random stranger into our home was a deal breaker for him.

Excellent. Good luck with that. Ahem.

"But I like to have friends come and go...I am gregarious and outgoing..." yeah - read that as "I want to bring home any nutball I meet at the VFW..." and I am astounded that he thought this was a reasonable expectation.

And now I have rather a lot of furniture moving and whatnot. We use the guest room as storage for a lot of our acquisitions and we'd transferred it all to our room, etc. Anyway, Sarge says no problem - we'll move it back.

This would be a good place for me to note the absolute support, kindness, and patience he has shown in all this. Not only agreeing to house the man, but dealing with the back and forthing of my family and myself, and finally the task of ensuring Dad knew the rules...he has been amazing. Just amazing.

So I guess we'll be sending him a nice holiday meal delivery and helping as we can in whatever he chooses to do, now. He does want to move to our area and we did offer to help him find a place. Eventually, we'll have to deal with it all again. But not now...not for a time...

Time, instead, to get things organized again and maybe to get a tree...haven't decorated in several Christmases - maybe it will be the last time to do so with ease. Heck, I think this is what happened the last time we did it circa 2007. Ranger edited the garland to his satisfaction.


If there is a bright spot, it is that we found the engine heater plug on the Excursion so it is now happy. They are not fans of cold weather and it made this morning's chilly start a far easier one. Mind you, this is after the AC Compressor went tits up on us...that was an expensive experience and that is with a mechanic friend. I suspect some of the bill was a pain in the ass surcharge since the belt is a royal bitch to fit into the area. Suffice to say I am learning a lot about the spare parts we'll want to have and the repair manual to purchase. Sheesh.

I edited the linkage over there > and it was merely a matter of cleaning things up. No judgment passed, just slimming things down. I need to do more of that - around the house, around the belt, around the blog...time to get things in shape. And I was sure to add Commander Zero's blog FINALLY because he has the best gear recommendations. We have acquired a number of things because he has found them, tried it out, and offered comments on how to improve it. Someday we'll have to get up there and visit and let the dogs play.

Now, I need to actually earn my pay (work is feast or famine right now). It has been weird there - we had this amazingly profitable sector that was kicking ass. Then, suddenly, this absolute asshole executive of a sector that has been consistently over budget sucked it into his sector. And made himself the boss. And my sweet and kind boss may find himself replaced by a sycophant. I cannot tell you the level of asshole-ishness this guy has. Nor can I relate just how many resumes have been hitting the market - because no one wants to work for him. I wonder if the Big Cheeses have handed this to him so that he fails with a notably good sector and they can get rid of him. It's possible.

Just as an FYI - I think things are getting bad and will be getting a lot worse very soon. If you haven't done a damn thing to prepare, go at least to Augason Farms and order the easiest and most affordable package you can - they are having good sales all month. And get as much water as you can easily store. At least that way you have options. When this wheel spins off the axel you will have options and this will give you a few days more than most...

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Craftsmanship For Kindness

I saw awhile back a fundraiser for "Squeaky" and thought I'd jump in. After all, I didn't have much to lose - it was just a few bucks. And I won something!! And that something was a wee shield - decorative or for someone small to play with - and it could be customized per the artisan. Why, yes! Thank you!


And that was what arrived. Can I tell you how magical and wonderful and amazing it is?! We are big fans of such handwork so we know what it took to make that happen and I could not be happier.

It will make a lovely gift for our good friends for whom it is a kind of family emblem. (Read these with your kids to get the gist...)

What an amazing win/win...I am floored by how amazing the blog community it, sometimes...thank you, Sir, for such a wonderful piece of art!!