Warm Cookies With A Whiskey Chaser

The Perfect Mix of Comfort and Shenanigans

Blogroll Me!
100 Things About Me
Tinmen Don't Dance
Humble Sandwich
A Son from Another Mother; Matt
Auburn Pisces
Splenda In The Grass
the bokey chronicles
Jeffrey Ricker
Rocket Man
The Beauty of All Things
No Milk Please
A Life In The Day
Shadow Footprints
Scott B Blog
Seth Hancock Photography
Famous Author Rob Byrnes
Watersea's Ocean Bloggie
Cheap Blue Guitar
Does This Mean I'm A Grownup?
Upside Down Hippo
Loose Ends

Friday, January 30, 2004

The Friday Five

You have just won one million dollars:

1. Who do you call first?

Without question, Charlie.

2. What is the first thing you buy for yourself?

A little house in Mexico.

3. What is the first thing you buy for someone else?

Since we're talking about dreams and improbabilities, if it were possible, I'd buy a new kidney for my dad so he wouldn't have to spend 4 hours a day, 4 days a week attached to a machine. Then I'd buy health for everyone who has cancer, or any other friggin debilitating disease that takes them away from us. So I guess that would be the first thing cuz it would cover my dad as well..right? Then I'd buy Charlie a tricked out 1972 Ford Gran Torino Sport to replace the one that my brother stole from him in 1984.

4. Do you give any away? If yes, to whom?

I'd get Caris and Taryn an agent because they deserve to be discovered. I'd arrange for Averie, Mary, and Celinda to have their own comedy club. I'd have Bry go to the best hockey training camp in Canada. Once they're all successful, I figure they can handle things from there. I'd buy a Harley Fat Boy for Dr. D., help my sister get out of debt, and I'd do anything to help Patrick and Nancy, with whatever they need.

5. Do you invest any? If so, how?

Of course, and I leave that to Charlie, because he knows how to handle these things.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Paradise Lost?...

"The faultfinder will find faults even in Paradise."
Henry David Thoreau

I find that I have recognized myself in this portrait. It saddens me that I have a habit of fault finding. Not so much in everyone else...but in myself. I wonder sometimes, when I will learn that self abuse is a flaw in my own makeup, and has nothing to do with people and things outside of myself (is that a truth?, I'm not sure.) I learned it early. If I found my faults first and aired them, then no one else could, or would, find it necessary themselves and it would lessen the severity of my own wounds. Did I find comfort in that? Perhaps a small shred. You can't make fun of me if I do it first. You can't abhor me if I beat you to it. Kinda stinkin thinkin, but it is what it is. I get a lot of exercize being my own worst enemy.

As some know, my mother-in-law is a cancer patient. In truth, she is a cancer survivor. Then again, as I see it, she is a survivor of so much more than just the insipid ravager of the physical shell we carry our souls around in. Survivor of poverty. Survivor of horrid marriages. Survivor of cancer, not once, not twice, but THREE times. And with all of that, still smiles. Yes, she has her moments, but for the most part, she's always very grateful for every new day.

Today, I picked her up for her daily trip to oncology and she was ready. Resplendant in a royal blue fleece jacket and matching hat which covered her perfectly round bald, head (the kids love to rub her head and tell her how soft it is...it makes her giggle), smiling effervescently as I help "boost" her into the van. As we drove to the doctor, knowing that she would soon be hooked up to an IV that would send what we hope are healing liquids into her body, she chatted happily about how warm and cuddly, and how pretty she felt today. I thought to myself, if it were me, I wouldn't be smiling. I'd be upset. I'd be worried. I'd be really really pissed off at whoever is running this damn show called "Life". Yet here she was, very excited to get there, get out, see people. Grateful, for every face that walked through that office door. Every other beautifully round, bald head, who came in smiling. Just like she did. It's impossible to feel sorry for yourself here. In fact, I felt ashamed to have any self absorbed thoughts at all.

I remember back when my mom was going through chemo and radiation. She was exactly the same. Taking it all in stride, smiling, talking to friends. I remember her saying..."What can I do Babes? I've got it. I can either fight it with a smile, or just give up and let it win. I don't want to let it have me that easy." Wow. How I miss her. And now, as I spend this time with my mother-in-law, this wonderful 81 year old sassy little Kiwi that I adore, I say to myself, "Good Lord, Pua. Whatever little 'problems' you think you have, you really don't. You, in so many senses of the word, have Paradise."

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Yes Wayne...it does fall into this catagory!

So happy to be in such good company :

You are Form 1, Goddess: The Creator.

"And The Goddess planted the acorn of life.
She cried a single tear and shed a single drop
of blood upon the earth where she buried it.
From her blood and tear, the acorn grew into
the world."

Some examples of the Goddess Form are Gaia (Greek),
Jehova (Christian), and Brahma (Indian).
The Goddess is associated with the concept of
creation, the number 1, and the element of
Her sign is the dawn sun.

As a member of Form 1, you are a charismatic
individual and people are drawn to you.
Although sometimes you may seem emotionally
distant, you are deeply in tune with other
people's feelings and have tremendous empathy.
Sometimes you have a tendency to neglect your
own self. Goddesses are the best friends to
have because they're always willing to help.

Which Mythological Form Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

*snap* *snap* uHuh!

Friday, January 16, 2004

The Friday Five

I think one of the reasons that I love the Friday Five so much is that it opens chambers into the "true self". Maybe not every single week, but as the weeks accumulate, it just adds that little touch of extra spice to what everyone posts in their everyday worlds, and it lets people, a little bit at a time, know just a little bit more about everyone else. It's a buffet line of delicious wonders. I thank David once again for introducing me.

1. What does it say in the signature line of your emails?

Aloha and be well, Pua

2. Did you have a senior quote in your high school yearbook? What was it? If you haven't graduated yet, what would you like your quote to be?

My senior quote was "Thanks Mom and Daddy. TFB."

It's actually ironic when I think back on it. I thanked my mom and dad and then said "TFB" which stood for "thanks for believing." The funny thing is, my parents really were never supportive of my dreams. I'm still very grateful because I know that had they not taken me in (I'm adopted), I'd probably have been far worse off than I was, but in all honesty, I never got a lot of encouragement from them. I believe that, above all else, has made me the very aware and involved parent that I am. Charlie and I are always our kids biggest fans, and first line of defense. I actually had to think if I would have changed it, now that I know what I know. But I don't think I would. I don't think I would have added the "TFB", but it's always certainly proper to be grateful.

3. If you had vanity plates on your car, what would they read? If you already have them, what do they say?

On Mother's Day, two years ago, Charlie and the kids got me plates for my "Rockin Surf Van." They say 4 KEKAI (for the sea).

4. Have you received any gifts with messages engraved upon them? What did the inscription say?

The inside of our wedding bands says "Song of Songs 5:16 * 4-3-82". We were married on April 3, 1982 and the passage is from the Song of Solomon "This is my lover. This is my friend."

5. What would you like your epitaph to be

Passionately Loved

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Please take a number...

Yesterday I was in the grocery store. Or maybe it was the day before. God, I don't know. Days all seem to run together now that I'm unemployed. I keep having to ask the kids "what day is it?" Pathetic. Anyway, I went over to the deli because I wanted to get some roast beef, smoked turkey breast, and some swiss cheese for school lunches (seems nobody in my house thinks Oscar Mayer has a way with B O L O G N A). As I approached the deli section with my handy dandy shopping cart, I noticed that there were quite a lot of people waiting. Which is out of the ordinary for this time of day, so early in the week. Now, I know that part of the reason for the crowd is that we're in the midst of a grocery strike here in California, and since I'm not one to cross a picket line no matter which side of an issue I'm on, I only go to the ONE store in our city where the workers are not on strike. It's not my first choice, I would much rather go to Vons, or Albertson's. But I'm not willing to put myself in the line of fire. I have watched some of those picketers bring women and children to tears with their tactics over the last three months. So whether I agree with their issues or not, I'm not gonna make myself a target for their anger and frustration for some deli meats..ya know?

Now, back to the roast beef...I notice that there are about 4 people waiting to be helped, along with the two that are already being helped by the two deli employees. There's one of those "take a number" thingies on the counter, but I don't see that there's a lighted sign anywhere to tell what number they are on. I also notice that no one standing and waiting seems to be holding a little number ticket. So, I take note of the people around me so that I'll know what order I should be helped, BUT, I still go to the trouble to take a ticket....just in case. I'm a "just in case scenario" kind of woman. Turns out, I have taken ticket #1. Just as I suspected, they aren't using the number tickets. Oh well. I just wait my turn.

In the meantime, there are people coming AFTER me, and I can tell that they are going through the same mental inventory that I just did; "should I take a ticket? should I NOT take a ticket? how long have all of these people been standing here?" etc. etc. Now, here's the deal. Everyone seems to be patiently waiting. There's an older gentleman standing next to me who arrived just after I did, and he smiles and nods and makes a comment about how busy it is today. I politely return his smile and respond in the affirmative. Some people seem restless and shift their weight a lot, or they sigh heavily, as if that will make the deli employees go faster. Me, I'm just enjoying the people watching. Something Charlie says that I have down to a joyful science. It's easy in Southern California. The people here would blow your minds. But I digress...

It's about to be my turn. I've waited patiently for 20 minutes. It's no big deal, I'm not in any hurry. I still have an hour to pick Bry and Caris up at school, and even if I don't get out of there in time, Averie can always go and pick them up in her car. No worries. Now, here's the fun part; one of the deli people behind the counter says, "who's next, please?" And out of nowhere, this little old lady with a jet propelled shopping cart ZOOMS in front of me and the nice elderly gentleman who was behind me. "I'm next!" She says as she steps up to the front of the counter.

Now, I've always been taught to be respectful to my elders, and I teach my children the same. BUT, come on. Where was this lady when there were a total of 6 people in front of me, and 3 people behind me, including my gentleman friend? She rammed her cart through the crowd and parted the waiting crowd like Moses parted the Red Sea, never once excusing herself. Dumbfounded, I stood there in amazement at her lack of courtesy. Does our society dictate that once you've reached a certain age you have the right to be rude? God help us if that's so because I'm going to be one awful old bitch to be around come that day.

Just as I was resigned to the fact that she was going to get away with it, the nice gentleman next to me says, "Excuse me, Madam. But I do believe THIS nice lady (pointing to me) was next in line."

The little old lady turned around in disgust and replied. "I beg your pardon, but I (she said the word "I" with quite a lot of emphasis) happen to have ticket #2 (waving the ticket at us indignantly). What number do YOU have?"

Now, my thinking is that she probably saw that nobody was taking tickets and saw that there was a number two. Knowing that the place was pretty crowded, I think she figured that the person who took number one had probably been helped quite a long time ago and was gone by then, so she took her chances. In essence, she was prepared to cheat, and really thought she was gonna get away with it.

"Well" said my gentleman friend, "I DON'T have a number, and I don't think anyone else does either, because the number machine isn't working today."

"THAT'S not MY fault. I have number two and I'm next."

Ya know, there was NO damn way I was gonna let this septuagenarian beeyotch talk to this nice old man like that. No damn way. Before I knew it, my mouth opened and I stepped forward...

"Um, excuse me Ma'am, but I have ticket #1" (I emphasized the word "I" just like she had).

I thought Granny was gonna throw a rod right there in the store.

"Well FINE...get up here then. I haven't got all day!"

I smiled, and stepped forward and handed the deli lady my ticket. And then, I looked over my shoulder at my elderly knight in shining armor and I said..."Come on, Dad, it's OUR turn"

I haven't seen a smile like that since...well, in a long time. First he had a look of confusion on his face, like I'd lost my mind. Then, when he looked over and when he saw how angry Granny got, he just beamed! It was awesome. He stepped up to the counter with me, ordered his 1/4 pound of lean turkey breast, sliced extra thin, and a little container of cole slaw. Then, he squeezed my shoulder, gave me a little wink, and said, "Thank you Honey, that was the most fun I've had since the last blue moon!"

I smiled and wished him a happy day, and then I went back to my own deli order, while Grumpy Granny watched. And I took my own, sweet time.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Just thinking...

I've been reading a lot lately. Something I haven't had the luxury to do in a long time. I very much love, as I've mentioned before, the ability to look into lives all over this amazing world that we live in, because of this technology. Over the past five years now (nearly six), my perspective on the world and the people that live in it has grown exponentially. Since we came back from the long period of "darkness" that I call seminary, I feel that I've grown as a human being. I know that I've changed. I also know that as a parent, I have a responsiblity. I know that my change has been difficult for certain members of my family, and I do, quite often, feel a great sense of guilt about that. I should say, for those that don't know it, that because of my personal, and negative experience with "organized religion," I chose to walk away, not just from the church, but from God as I knew him, or better yet, as he was presented to me. I didn't like it. More importantly, I didn't like some of the people who called themselves "Christians" but didn't "walk the talk". THAT, please understand, comes from a girl who accepted Christ as Savior when she was 17, raised her kids in a Christian home, and as a wife, packed up her life in California and followed her husband to seminary in the midwest.

I knew the life. I walked the talk. I taught Sunday School, and was a youth counselor. When Charlie became a deacon and then a lay pastor, I was right beside him. I honestly felt that when he heard the call to full time ministry, that THAT was where we were supposed to be. And I was happy. I thought. Even with as difficult a life that we both had, even when things were so bad and painful, even when I could not understand the whys or wherefores about the things I was told God chose for us, I remained faithful. And I should understand, with as long as I had been at it, that people will always disappoint, but God never will. When I realized, in the winter of 1997, that I could not do this, and that I felt that God was not honoring what I felt was our obedience, and when the people who I trusted turned against us, I could not separate God from the people. It got even worse when we returned to California. Why? To this day, no one could ever give me the answers that took away the pain, and despite my earnest requests and my heartfelt prayers, God was not there to comfort me. So, he either didn't love me, or I wasn't good enough to be loved, or I was just not on his "chosen" list. Not part of the team. Again, my perspective.

Over these most recent years, as I have explored the human condition and the belief systems that go along with that. I have come to the firm belief that God is not an active participant in my life. Or anyone else's for that matter. I believe He exists, but I have to believe that he simply watches to see what we will do with our lives. If I don't believe in this manner, I will go back to the belief that God plays favorites. I don't like that thought. As a parent, I would never favor one child over another. It's just too damaging. But I believed for the longest time, in my anger at his lack of participation and help in my life, that I was not good enough for him to care about. That hurts. That would hurt any child. I don't want to believe that way. So, in order for my feelings not to be hurt, I would rather believe that He just watches and waits to see what we will do. In the meantime, I explored the world, learned about people, and grew to love and embrace so many different lives. I learned about myself, and I started to live again. I laughed, I rejoiced, I let all of me out into the world. No longer afraid to just be ME. Most important to me, I found a joy again, a happiness without guilt. Along with that, I could feel myself getting more and more upset by the Christian community and their judgement calls. I found my disdain growing and growing, to the extent that I just didn't want to associate anymore. I wasn't bashing anyone, but I knew, I just knew, that I was never, ever going to be walking back into church. Where was the love? Love for mankind, love for humanity...I just wasn't seeing it. Isn't God Love? His people weren't showing that very well.

I've kept these feelings to myself for so long. And then, one day a couple weeks ago, I read Paul's entry about God and I thought to myself.."YES!" That's how I feel! He nailed that puppy right on the head, at least, for me he did. From Paul at No Milk, Please:

"R" is for Responsibility

God is a scapegoat. It’s the cop-out that we use so that we can blame everything on something else. It’s easy to say “God will provide” because that means we don’t have to provide for ourselves. It is easy to say “God will forgive” because that means we will be forgiven if we repent. It is easy to say, “I will be with God when I die” because that means anything we do when we are still alive is only a trial run to our “true life” in Heaven. And Satan? Oh he’s the other scapegoat. Between God and Satan, we basically don’t have to be responsible for anything.

God cannot help you. Neither does he punish you. This is because we have Free Will. If God helped you get that job, then that means he let the other person not get it. If God let you win the lottery, that means singled you out to receive good things, and let others lose. If God interferes with one person’s life, by definition, he has interfered with everybody’s life. This because there is no action without consequence. Remember the Laws of Physics? Yes, God made those laws; he has to abide by them. God cannot contradict himself, otherwise he is not God. He cannot say, “Thou shalt not kill” and then add “except Homos.” God cannot say: “You have Free Will” and then interfere with your life. What’s the incentive for us to do anything for ourselves?

Now, let’s tackle some tough questions.

“I prayed to God that I would pass my Chemistry test. I got an ‘F’, God is testing me.”

First of all, instead of praying, you should be studying. Second, God is not testing your faith by giving you "challenges". If you got an “F”, God would be the first to say: “Idiot, you shoulda been studying insteada prayin.” You should have turned in that paper on time; you should have trained your cat to be smart enough to only eat love letters from your ex instead of your chem paper.

“God will provide.”

God has already provided. He has given you air, sunlight, those cute freckles on your cheeks. To ask for basic necessities like food and a job is just being plain greedy. You need to do your best to provide for yourself. And if you can provide for yourself, make plans and be prepared for the rainy days. It will not be sunny forever. Look at me, I am unemployed. Do I blame God? No. Do I blame my former company? Maybe. But most of all, I blame myself for not doing the best I can to make sure I was not expendable, or not being aware enough to realize that the company was in trouble and start looking for a job sooner.

“How about the starving children in Africa, Asia and Mars?”

That’s not God’s job, that’s YOUR job. If there are people who are hungry in Africa or in your block, it is up to YOU to feed them. If those kids died of starvation, don’t turn to God and dramatically, with tears rolling down one eye and say “why? why? why do you let these things happen?” Don’t shake your fist in the air and yell “Damn you, Sally Struthers—oops—I meant Satan!”

“I got into an accident and now I’m paraplegic. Why is God punishing me?”

I’m sorry if you are in this state. However, in all probability, God had nothing to do with that. God did not make your hand slip or make your tires lose their traction or make you go out when it is snowing. Satan did not whisper in the other guy’s ear to drink that one last sweet drink before getting in the car. There are risks in driving, skiing, or wearing that hideous ballgown. You implicitly accepted those risks when you engaged in these activities. It is easier to blame God or Satan than to accept that things happened because you failed to estimate the risks and accept them.

“How about diseases like Cancer? AIDS? The Common Cold?”

Let’s start with the easiest one, the Common Cold. If you don’t know the answer to this yet, the answer is wash your hands. The Common Cold is most often transmitted not by people sneezing into your general vicinity, but from touching non-porous materials such as plastic, metal and wood contaminated by infected people and then transferred to your mouth or eyes from your own hands. AIDS? Devastating but quite preventable--use a condom. Cancer. Tough one. I could say that human beings have created so many bad things that poison our bodies and cause cancer like cigarettes and asbestos. Some we can prevent knowingly, therefore we bear full responsibility. For others, we all need to get together and do something about, like electing government officials who can make changes to laws. If we choose not to, then if we get cancer, it’s too late to blame God. It’s not, however, too late to blame your elected official. Think about it.

You are responsible for your own destiny. Every action sets into motion a sequence of events that affect you and everyone else. For everything else that happens? That is just part of living and dying.

* * * *

FINALLY! Something I had been feeling and someone had put it to words. The voice of reason. Thank you Paul. I expect that I will get some backlash from this. In all honesty, I don't care. Along with my free will, I have the ability to think and believe as I wish. I believe in God. But I believe that he is simply, as the Divine Miss M says, watching us from a distance. Nothing more.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

The High Priestess is momentarily thrown off-kilter...

Here it is, the beginning of yet ANOTHER year where I think to myself that I MUST get off my arse and lose weight. Soooo, in honor of that pledge, I begin the week off just fine. I get up, get the gromlets off to school, put on my tennies, and I walk. Then, feeling good about myself, I do some laundry, tidy up the kitchen, AND before Ave and Mary are even out of bed (which isn't saying much considering they didn't stir until 11:00-ish) I have a pot of potato cheese soup on the stove for supper, made lovingly from scratch. Then, I prepared a nice salad to go along with the beef pattie I'll have for dinner while everyone else enjoys the soup. I've had 24 ounces of water, (oops! I've forgotten breakfast) folded and put away clothes, made my bed, put out a resume, AND I've made myself an Atkins approved lunch; some nice lean roast beef and swiss cheese with some cucumber spears and a bit of ranch dressing. The girls have arisen and we've had some nice conversation about their outing last night to see funny Jeff Cosgrave's excellent performance in Fullerton. Averie leaves to take Mary home.

In the meantime, back to my efforts to stay busy and keep from thinking about food...still catching up on all the laundry I've let slide over the holidays. Work on organizing some filing and looking up things for Charlie, have yet another 12 ounces of water, then maybe take a few minutes (or an hour) to take a stroll through the Blogdom and peek into fellow Blogizens lives. Before I know it, it's time to go and pick up the gromlets from school, watch Ellen, and then get cracking on Bry's homework; a RIVETING speech and poster presentation about Sacagawea. I believe this is my fourth time through the 8th grade and I'm here to tell ya, it doesn't get any more fun than this, people! (Please sense the sarcasm). Once the drama Queen (literally, Caris is playing the Queen in the school play, Robin Hood) has been returned to the school for rehearsal by her sister, I can begin to concentrate on heating up the supper soup for Charlie, who will be home from work any minute. Whew! What a productive day! I feel like I've really accomplished something! It's a good beginning. Feeling great about myself and the acomplishment of getting through most of the day without too much effort. And hey, for me, this is big stuff. I'm well pleased.

As I'm busily helping Bry with his poster which has spread over the dining room table, (project due January 9th), Charlie, Ave, and Bry are dishing up their soup and I'm cutting and pasting pictures. Charlie places a lovely bowl of warm soup on the table next to me and without so much as the quiver of a thought, I devour it while simultaneously slapping glue onto the back of a trail map. I'm WELL into the middle of Sacagewea's lifeline and her participation on the Lewis and Clark Expedition when I suddenly realize....I've just consumed my ENTIRE week's worth of carbs in one damn bowl of soup! I wasn't even going to have soup. I had made that lovely salad earlier in the day. But here, without even thinking, I've literally screwed myself. Saboteur! I sit in stunned silence for a moment. I get up, walk to the kitchen sink with my empty bowl and warm tummy full of carbs, and I start to cry. Charlie looks at me and says.."Pua, what's up, Honey?"

"I just blew my hard work today"

"How so?"

"I just sucked down that soup without so much as an afterthought"

"Looks like you're having plenty of afterthoughts to me"

"You know what I mean"

"Yes, but it's just a bowl of soup"

"Are you kidding? It's the bowl of soup that Dr. Atkins had nightmares about...pure potato."

"Pua, it's one meal. Don't beat yourself up over it."

"But, I'm good at that"

"Yes, you're better at it than anyone. So stop. It's ok. Tomorrow's another day."

:::sigh::: "Fine"

I go into my room and sit down on the edge of the bed. On my nightstand is the book that Caris bought me for Christmas; "Skinny Women Are Evil" by Mo'Nique. There's SOME bit of comfort in the fact that she writes what I've always felt. Not so much about skinny women, but about being a large girl in a small-minded world. After a couple of chapters, I resolve that it's not so much that I should be concentrating on the food right now...but about my mindset. About WHO I am and how I carry myself. That instead of being so self-conscious, so self-deprecating, so ASHAMED about the package my soul is in, that I should be proud of my beautifully "bouncy" self. While I get to the place of "love" for me, while I understand that no matter how people treat me or don't treat me, whether the rest of the world looks away or pretends that I am invisible, while I learn that it is not my body that defines who I am (this is a lifelong lesson) no matter what society and the magazines full of skeletons say, I am ok. Even at 43, with lessons to learn still ahead. I am ok. Completely loved and thoroughly beautiful. And I make a DAMN good potato cheese soup!

Monday, January 05, 2004

OH MY GOD....I'm SO boring!

I've just spent the past 45 minutes scanning blogs of all my friends out in the Blogdom and I've just got this to say...my blog is a HUGE dose of zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz's. This is NOT a good way to start a new year, a clean slate, an empty page. A case of writer's block? Too much Nyquil tranquilizing my brain? Arrrrrrrghhhhh!

I can actually HEAR the cobwebs being blown around by the breeze winding its way around my cerebellum. Cerebellum: noun; thought to be the seat of mental process. When I say it, an echo returns. Wanna yodel in the canyon?


Friday, January 02, 2004

The Friday Five

What one thing are you most looking forward to . . .

1. ...today?

After spending my husband's ENTIRE vacation time in the house, because we've all been sick the whole week, I'm looking forward to getting OUT of this house and having a family lunch and movie day. That doesn't mean that's going to happen, but I'm having optimistic thoughts under the influence of DayQuil.

2. ...over the next week?

Walking. I'm really looking forward to getting back to my walking routine.

3. ...this year?

A job that I love...that loves me back.

4. ...over the next five years?

I'm looking forward, with great anticipation, to owning a little place in Mexico next door to Patrick and Nancy, where I can sit on the lanai under a palapa, watching the dolphins play in the surf and just write as the spirit moves me. AND actually making it to Greece after dreaming that dream since I was 16 years old.

5. ...for the rest of your life?

Experiencing all of it with Charlie.

The High Priestess begs a thousand pardons...

I should start out the new year with an apology. To Glen. And a word of gratitude for the honor. I'll keep it simple for now.