September 3, 2008

Slowly, silently, now the moon 
Walks the night in her silver shoon; 
This way, and that, she peers, and sees 
Silver fruit upon silver trees; 
One by one the casements catch 
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch; 
Couched in his kennel, like a log, 
With paws of silver sleeps the dog; 
From their shadowy coat the white breasts peep 
Of doves in a silver-feathered sleep; 
A harvest mouse goes scampering by, 
With silver claws, and silver eye; 
And moveless fish in the water gleam, 
By silver reeds in a silver stream.

I always loved that poem, Silver, by Walter de la Mare.  Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou is another favorite.  My favorite line is the first, "Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.  I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size.  But when I start to tell them, they think I'm telling lies."  Another favorite is The Desiderata by Max Ehrmann.  My favorite line of that is, "With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world."  I love what Ehrmann said about the prose, a thought that he says inspired the beautiful words:  "I should like, if I could, to leave a humble gift -- a bit of chaste prose that had caught up some noble moods."

Is that why I write here?  Is it some hope that some humble thought that goes through my mind to my keyboard will capture a noble mood?  Is it just ego or the selfishness of the cathartic release when the words come out and seem more real than the thoughts that create them. 

I am honestly trying to decide whether or not I'm in trouble here and my assessment is that I am not.  I've been very emotional, which is part of what led me to question my state.  I figured if the old adage is true and I can still question, then I am doing OK.  My heart hurts, but my heart has an amazing capacity for healing and I trust it to regenerate once again. 

There are amazing, fun, joyful things happening.  I spent last week getting geared up for the Labor Day Bazaar in Diamond Springs.  It is a street sale that is anticipated all year long by the surrounding area and turns into a giant swap meet.  Jackie Lou and I shored up on products and left out around 4:30am.  We arrived and started setting up at 5:00am.  It was frustrating because we were working hard to get our stuff all arranged and people (the other vendors) were walking around in droves with these little blue halogen flashlights shining them in your face and onto the stuff where you're working, basically shopping for themselves and looking for things that they can resell.  They'd come through every few seconds waving that light around and nearly blinding us and causing seizures.  Once the sun came up, we were selling all day, which was fun.  Normally, we are at the swap meet on Sundays from 7:00am until 1-2pm and we're done.  This day, we were there until almost 6pm.  We only made a couple hundred dollars, but it was a dollar at a time.  I took monkeys, but none sold.  I had a pile of bears, around 60 or so, and sold a lot of those, the most expensive being $5.  They ranged from big to tiny and I had been dressing them over the past few months in different ways.  I no longer have room to store them, so they needed to find homes.  They did so well and I suspect we will take them next week as well.  I also started making what I call "shadow baskets."  They are shallow wicker baskets that I line with gauzy material or paint inside and the create a scene inside using birds, toy animals or little dolls, berries, foliage, etc. They did OK as well.  We only asked $5 for them.  We will definitely want to work the bazaar next year, but we were sooo tired.

I hadn't slept well or much the night before.  I ended up getting to bed late and about every half hour, something new would wake me up.  My latest malady that insists on hanging around despite supplements is the stupid night sweats which just drive me nuts.  The dogs were all anxious and antsy and were barking to be let in and out.  The fountain ran out of water and started making this hideous metallic sound.  I'd slept downstairs so as not to wake up Eric when I got up so early.  When we have Swap Meet, I sleep in the clothes I'm going to wear so I can just roll out, put on make up, fix my hair, grab some toast and leave.  It's about 30 minutes from alarm to driving away.  This time, I was so exhausted by the time I was driving home that my vision was fragmenting and I was afraid I was going to go to sleep, which isn't good on mountain roads. I made it home and collapsed for a couple of days.

Actually, I went into town the next day looking for Bingo prizes.  We buy nice things at the thrift stores and fix them up for prizes and the first of each month is half off day, so since the first was a holiday, they booted it out to the second.  I got a few things, but not many, so I am having to fish in other ponds for suitable prizes, which sucks because we are a low budget non-profit corporation and the more we have to spend on prizes, the less we have to give out to our very worthy charities.  So I'm working on that project.

Meanwhile, weird shit is afoot.  I keep picturing this classic movie moment:

"Strange things are afoot at the Circle K."

First thing that happened is that I had 2-3 people coming up to me asking me weird stuff like whether or not it was true that the reason there is so much traffic coming in and out of our driveway is because Eric sells drugs.  (Huh?)  Yes, folks, my husband is the drug kingpin of Grizzly Flats.  I'm not sure what he's doing with the money because I'm sure not seeing it.  The reason we have traffic coming in and out of our house is that A) We have friends and B) We just had a major event here (the Fire Safe Council BBQ) attended by around 300 people (all of whom bought drugs from Eric, I'm guessing) and there was a LOT of prep work that went into the back yard to get it ready.  That work was done by members of the Fire Safe Council and Eric, which resulted in people coming and going over 2 months time as well as lots of committee planning meetings being held here.

Anyway, all of this comes around to me finding out that someone who I thought was my friend has been having people over to her house after Burger Night and while they all sit and drink wine, she's telling these incredible lies about us.  I've not dealt with this particular situation much.  I had a thing come up a couple of years ago where a few of my staff were getting together and speculating this and that based on pretty much nothing and arriving at all of these outlandish conclusions, like that there must be some "big, hidden story" behind Sage getting his own site and such, but I don't think I've had the direct lies going around... just extrapolation into bullshit.  This gal was also saying that the only reason we incorporated G FORCE was so we could embezzle money (again, I'd be a lot better off financially if I *did* embezzle) and a number of other really insulting, stupid things.  It's annoying, more than anything, but it's also hurtful, I'll admit.

The worst part is that after it was going on, she initially talked to us like absolutely nothing had happened.  One person telling me she'd said these things I would completely blow off, but 3 people is a little damning, actually, especially since these are 3 people who do not normally hang out together and who have nothing to gain by telling me.  I do appreciate them asking me for the truth rather than just spreading more bullshit around. 

Why do people have to make up trash about others?  I just don't get it.

That was barely on the radar as drama goes, but it was definitely irritating.

Then another woman who I really, really like and have known for 4-5 years e-mailed me and asked me if it is true I am a Pagan.  (She later told me this came from the same lady who was saying the above things).  I truthfully told her that in my heartfelt quest to establish as close a relationship with God as possible, I'd explored many paths, the Pagan and Wiccan paths being among them and that yes, I'd incorporated as many of their beliefs into my current spiritual path as I had Christian or Eastern Philosophy or other paths, so I couldn't really deny what she was saying.  It's definitely in there because so many of the Pagan ways were excellent processes for connecting to God and learning more about myself as a spiritual person.  She then told me that because of this, she cannot be my friend and my children, who are best friends with hers, cannot play with them outside of school.  I was completely agog.  It's hard for me to believe in this day and time that people are still discriminated against and persecuted for their religious beliefs.  What's odd is that she could be friends with an atheist, but not with me.  That one really, really hurt a lot.

I still miss Belle every single day.  We left her last little stuffed animal baby out where she slept at night as a memorial.  I have received many condolences from people in the neighborhood who remember her fondly and loved and respected her.  I took Donald, the man who helped me take care of her the day she was hit, a bag of chocolate chip cookies, which I know to be his favorites, last Friday night as the beginning of a thank you.  I'll owe him many more bags.  He gave me a big hug and a big smile and he is one of those big mountain men who don't demonstrate affection much, so it made me cry a little.

We finished up Burger Nights for the year last Friday.  Walt and Maxine Tyler, who are in charge of the event, managed to bring it in at exactly what we needed financially and we didn't end up in the red this year as was feared.  Eric and I attended every one of the 12 events except for the 1 weekend I was in LA for the GH Fan Club Weekend, when Eric went on his own.  It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun as well.  I'll miss doing it.

My computer freaked out completely when I received a notice from Microsoft saying I needed to install updates.  I was installing updates, the computer froze, I restarted it after about 20 minutes of being frozen to find that my operating system was shot.  I finally managed to get it repaired with the Windows Disk, but now none of my drivers were installed and it took a day or so to get back to where it was workable.  That sucked and it's still not 100%.  One of my hard drives tanked last month and I lost my 8 gigabytes of music and many programs, plus a lot of my storage space.  I am grateful it wasn't my photographs, but my drives are now all constipated.  I wanted to get a new hard drive for my birthday on Friday (47!!  Yayy!!), but that's not going to happen because money is impossible right now, so Friday will just be another day and I'll try to be a big, grown up girl and not think about it much, just give a little otherwordly shout out to my mom.

I'm currently wrestling with some interesting omens that are coming through my life.  At the bazaar on Monday, I was walking through the vendors to try and find a place with good cell signal to talk to Eric.  As I was walking through, I spotted this doll:

She had no clothes on, but I recognized her.  She was Charming Chatty, which was a doll I had and adored when I was little.  She came with little records that you put into her side, then you pulled a string and she would talk.  She was the second store-bought doll I ever got and I got her when I was around 10 years old.  The first one was Little Miss No Name:

I got her on my 6th birthday after begging and begging and begging.  I can't even imagine where my mom and dad got the money for her and at that time, I didn't care.  I did not, however, see her at the bazaar.  The guy wanted something ridiculous like $30 for Charming Chatting, so THAT wasn't going to happen, but I felt a kinship with her just from seeing her. 

Then on Tuesday, I went out, as I said, to the thrift stores.  At the first thrift store, I found 5  75rpm records off by themselves.  They were kids' records and as I looked through them, I was surprised to find that I'd had every single one of the 5 when I was growing up.  I only had about 15  75 rpm records total and only about 8 of them were kids' records, so the odds were pretty astounding.  I didn't really connect that to Charming Chatty until I got to the counter an hour or so later to check out.  They had a display behind the counter of old toys.  In the (limited) display, there was a Perry Mason game I had when I was little:

Two of the markers for the original edition of "Go To the Head of the Class," which I had:

There were a couple of little metal cars that went to a game I had called, "Calling All Cars," a rubber mouse about 10 " tall with really big ears that I had, a stuffed red bull that I had and a rubber doll that stands about 36" tall that my grandmother pulled out of a river in West Virginia for me after a flood  that is currently in my back shed.  (I named her Esther around 40 years ago)  There were a couple of other things up there that I'd had as well, but they escape my memory as I write this.  By this point, I was pretty well stunned.

I went to the next thrift store and there was the stoneware set of dishes in the wheat pattern that my mother had when I was growing up and I have not seen SINCE I was growing up despite the eleventy bazillion times I've been in thrift stores in the past FOUR DECADES. 

Then today, my son brought home a flyer to inform parents that the kids are going on a field trip to the "mother school" where they will spend the day attending the dedication of the newly opened library.  They will leave as soon as they get to school and dismiss as soon as they return.  The name of the new library?  The Cathy Chapman Memorial Library.  What was my name when I was growing up?  Kathy Chapman.  My maiden name was Chapman, which I had until I got married at 16, at which time it became Humphrey.  My parents started calling me Kathy practically from birth because my grandfather couldn't say "Katrina" and I did not use Katrina as my name until I was in my 30's.  Maybe all of this is my deceased mom telling me happy birthday in her own way.  I wish she would do it with a huge truck of money pulling up to my door, but if this is what it is, I'm good with that too.

I need time to think about all of this.  If you need me, I'll be in the corner curled into a fetal position...having night sweats and talking to myself.

If you are someone who I owe an email, I'll get to it soon.  My mind is busy being officially blown.  Right now, my heart hurts, my spirit is bruised and after the whole magical mystery tour through my child hood, my brain is broken.  Not much left, really.

Be Particular,


linky luv