learning to part

from the personal pages on the patio beneath a crescent moon in the company of good smokes and cheap beer.

“Sadness mingles with pleasurable comfort on this evening as I write farewell to the blog that has been mine for 5-1/2 years (including the migration from Vox to WordPress).

Leaving a blog that has been so very much of my heart soul and writership — talents, skills, abilities and passions to write and articulate — is like a death. IS a death. It is the readership and scant (at best!) involvement and interaction on which the decision to leave is founded. Another more engaged readership and I’d stay.

Destiny is calling. Can’t entirely articulate what that means other than to say that I’m not happy with the silent majority (at the blog) or supported. It is time to move on into and toward a readership that recognizes and appreciates who I am, as a writer.

Still, the grief is palpable and not light … With tremendous sadness and not some anger I bid adieu and happy trails to the faithful readers of allycatadventures born waterbaby.vox.”

+ + +

Until such time that I am planted elsewhere, I shall pop in to visit the cast of characters who have journeyed alongside (some of them from vox) as well as post when the passions for writing won’t let me alone.

For now, I want to thank the faithful readers for their consistency, their loyalty, their presence and most of all their voices. Your presence and commentary were chief in extending the life of the blog. You are the sparks and stars in an unmarked silent sky.

Be well, my friends. Write well and if you cannot, read well.
I leave you with a handful of quotes from an authority of the word, wit and wisdom, the irrepressible and irascible Samuel Clemens:

Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.

God made the idiot for practice, and then He made the school board.

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.

Last week I stated that this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen. I have since been visited by her sister and now wish to withdraw that statement.

“Classic.” A book which people praise and don’t read


F is for {that favored word} and fatigue

I am overwrought. Exhausted. Overextended. Frazzled. Burnt out. Suffocated. And living (“living”) without my own space. Proceed with caution.

Yes, I’m that and more. Irritable. Frustrated. Damn fucking tired of being poor. Ditto these menial low-wage jobs that STILL leave me unable to support myself independently.

Home family job stresses are really eating at me.

Further, as regular readers recognize, I do not blog with the regularity of years before. The daily post has become the weekly has become the biweekly. Not a healthy situation as this tender stage of writer emergence depends upon appreciation from and dynamic and engaging interaction with the readership at large.

This has not happened and is not happening. My presence here is maintained chiefly because I’ve not established new blog digs elsewhere. This process of writing here less and less frequently could be called the Long Goodbye.

Nothing further to say. I’ll see you when I see you; best is that we see each other. Toodle-ews.

My supervisor could trade in laundry soap for soap opera stardom.

My supervisor could have a TV career … and doesn’t even know it!

I work in housekeeping. The vomit sticks in my throat to write that but there the hard cold reality is. My supervisor is, among other things, a drama queen. She has a deep need to create conflicts and adversarial relationships where there are none and to exert control inappropriately.

I could write more; of course I could write more, that’s what natural writers do, they observe probe and analyze character. For today’s purposes, the introd description suffices.

By the alarm portrayed by my supervisor, you’d have thought I hadn’t a spray bottle, rag and bristle brush to apartment 218, which I deep-cleaned over the weekend!

Her rush to judgment and critical air were unfounded and unfair; I had indeed put elbow grease, ardently, to the place. An inspection by the two of us revealed a few spots undone — because I didn’t know to do them!

And the light switch, coincidentally that very light switch pictured in the prior post! A close inspection showed a little dirt embedded in the OFF/ON letters.

I rectified that with cleaner and stiff brush and bringing my bespectacled eyes to within a half inch of the switch so I didn’t miss a thing.

It isn’t that I missed a little bit of dirt in the ON/OFF letters, it’s that my supervisor launched an attack without justification or fairness, accused me of not cleaning an apartment when the opposite was true; and when her misjudgments were exposed by the light of inspection, no apology was forthcoming.

And all the excellent work I had done, the elbow grease I had so diligently applied, nada. Drama queen with a chip on her shoulder and a proclivity to diminish and undermine others. Not an attractive personality.

This among a number of other ongoing issues and incidences (not for public consumption) collectively spotlight the need to move outward and onward. NOT to jump from the frying pan into the fire of another shit menial minimum-wage job, a path much too long, but rather step into a whole new path of purposeful, meaningful and prospering work. (And y’all know what that is so there’s no need to repeat.)

For the record, my supervisor is not a bad person. As far as supervisors go, she is no V.A., who’s in the Hall of Fame of Bad and Cruel Bosses. She is unfit to be supervisor; in fact, I’m better suited to the role! but that’s neither here nor there.

It’s astounding the prevalence of people in “leadership” roles who have no business being there. Our world is a fucked-up irrational unreasonable and unreasoned one where losers win and winners lose and on it goes and nowhere is this more evident than in companies and corporations!

Alas, I digress. I’m developing a dislike of my supervisor! With her, you never know what you’ll get from day to day or moment to moment. A good mood, an unfair attack or drama created from thin air, like the proverbial rabbit outta the hat. You just can’t say.

Meanwhile, after my supervisor’s ridiculously dramatic display, this much I can say: When this job’s in the rear-view mirror — and if I have my druthers, it shall be, very soon — I’ll never look at drama queens – or the world’s light switches – with passing glances again!

First the rubber gloves, then the white gloves.

I wanna show you guys some things — common sights around the house — and provide an exercise.

Exercise – ain’t that the truth; we’ll get to that anon.

First, I want you to imagine wearing rubber gloves — yellow, pink, blue, lavender, the color of your choice — with a rag and spray bottle of cleaner in one hand and a stiff-bristle brush in the other, something small, slightly larger than a toothbrush.

Got it? Now to the pics and instructions.

Exercise 1

I want you to not only clean the window sills to a pristine sheen but with your spray cleaner soak the area around the latch and with the stiff brush remove every particle of dirt and dust. Switch the lever side to side and be sure to get inside and underneath on both sides now.

Exercise 2

Now I want you to clean the fridge and freezer. Of course you’ve already removed all its contents (i.e., foods) and removable parts (i.e., shelves) and scrubbed the latter and interior to a glistening white. Do not overlook the tiny cracks and crevices around the shelf bars, pictured here.

Pay close attention to crevices; these tend to get overlooked and collect gunky particles. Get inside each cell with your spray bottle, bristle brush and fingernail. Think brand-new fridge from Sears. Aspire. To steal from Nike, just do it.

Exercise 3

You recognize these, n’est pas?

However, when was the last time you lifted the flaps? Do it. Give ’em a good spray and scrub scrub scritch scritch with the bristles. Please.

Exercise 4

You wouldn’t be reading this blog without the help of electricity. So treat that light switch with reverence. Now, get that spray — not too much now! — into the top and undersides of the flippers. Some bristle action and dabbing with the corner of a rag and you’re done! Only when they’re entirely free of dust and dirt that is.

Don’t think you can get away with missing a beat. A bigwig will do spot checks with the white glove. Lazy asses and sloppy persons need not apply.

These four exercises don’t scratch the surface of tasks required in deep cleaning and making ready apartments for new residents at the assisted living facility (where I work). From climbing the ladder to remove and bleach-soak each light fixture to scrubbing baseboards beneath cupboards and behind refrigerators on hands and knees to brush-scrubbing right angles of inlay door designs, there is no rest for the weary. Or the bored.

It’s no exaggeration to say that when a resident assumes occupancy, every inch, every microscopic inch, of the space has been touched and cleaned by human hand.

I’m so over it!

Don’t misread. I’m what many call a neat freak. I see nothing freakish about this aspect of self so I don’t self-describe as one (except in relativity). I am definitely the queen of meticulous. I live and breathe for detail. I notice things that {ziiiiiip} fly right past the ears, eyes and brains of common man. Plus, my own exacting high standards of cleanliness are aligned with my employer’s.

That said, after doing a deep clean/make ready this past weekend, I’m not interested in continuing this line of work — though I’m damn good at it! — any longer for anyone other than my self in my own space.

Tending to the extraordinary minutiae was exhausting — as becomes all actions, repeated, that one has outgrown. With fatigued mind, body and spirit, I wondered how many people could do this work successfully, how many would WANT to and have the patience for it. I also thought about how much more positive to put this natural love of detail toward meaningful and purposeful work that is me that is working with words.

So there it is, guys, exercise complete. You may remove your gloves and return the cleaning supplies to their proper place, tidily if you will.

Speaking of exercise, quite the workout, isn’t it, scrubbing every conceivable inch of a space and inconceivable ones too, eh? So help yourself to chilled lemonade. I happen to like mine 2 parts lemonade, 1 part rye whiskey.

Red straw option. Ditto IV needle.

whiskey lemonade

ring of fire. (not the Cash version)

You may or may not be aware that tonight brings an annular eclipse.

You may or may not be aware of what an annular eclipse is. Allow me to, ahem, illuminate.

An annular eclipse is when the moon passes directly in front of the sun (between Earth and sun). The diameter of the moon is smaller than the sun, creating a “ring of fire” — an annulus — around the moon’s edge. “Annular” means ring in Latin.

2012 annular solar eclipse

Many folks luck out. The path of the eclipse, hundreds of miles long and thousands of miles wide, passes from China and Japan across the Pacific Ocean and western United States. (Lucky me, I’m in line!) You Californians, particularly in the north, will have fantastic views. You must step out to see! Note: with proper eye protection! a link to easy homemade contraptions

For those outside the eclipse’s path, despair not, live feeds, including the SLOOH Space Camera — http://events.slooh.com/ — will take you there. If you can’t get to the mountain, bring the mountain to you, as it were.


home oh home where are ye?

from the pages …

I have lost my rudder on the lifeboat. HOME is the rudder that empowers my recovery. Space. Solitude. Serenity. Silence. These are the essentials and foundation of a home.

Without the rudder, I am lost. Adrift. Flailing and floating through watery space. It IS home — a good home — that, with paid employment, is the Beginning of All That Is and Is to Come.

I am frightened. I cannot afford to lose the little ground I have gained in stabilizing and recovering my life. I am frightened because I know what is at stake even as the world does not. I am frightened for the possibility of treading water or, worse, backtracking into situations (and others’ madnesses) not of my making or control that nonetheless must be dealt with and that demand much of and from me.

I tremble at reliving even an iota of the housing hells, particularly intense since 2007.

I am at a loss of how to meet my basic needs in a situation that can no longer meet my needs WITH my hands tied and cuffed behind my back due to financial hardship and minimal wage/income.

How I loved to come home for two months! To a house clean and tidy and UNOCCUPIED! Space. Space to breathe. Space to be. Space unconditional and free of others’ presence, shaping and demands. Space wholly mine. Holy space mine.

Now, that is gone. Not only do come home to another’s presence (and one made larger by the small quarters) but I KNOW I will come home to someone. That the chance of finding the house empty and walking into perfect stillness and space is a fraction, a veritable nil. He is always here when he is not working and since he works only part-time, he is here.


… Yes, my home is no longer my home, it has lost, and I too, the essentials that make it a home. It was paradise when it lasted. But as life has shown time after time after time after time (!), all good things come to an end and are as often replaced by something worse as something better.

Closer to death than birth and still searching for the hearth that warms, the ground that stabilizes, that space that secures happy feet, happy heart and happy head. {sigh} {ouch}

I’m homeless again (or still). Yes, I have shelter, a place to reside. It is not the same as home; I cannot help any who do not intrinsically understand the difference.

What can I say but home oh home where are ye?

Prepped for the Pope

They’re not the height of greatness.

But they’ll do.

My new old jeans, bought in the delayed dreaded shopping excursion to the thrift store.

Let it be known: The new old pair in no way, shape or form replaces my faded worn classic Lee jeans with knees of gaping holes {per prior post}, fabric threadbare and seams gradually unraveling.

For starters, the new old pair are Levis, not Lee. For whatever reasons, I like the feel and fit and endurance of Lee over Levi.

Secondly, this new old pair is identical in fit to my second “lesser” pair of jeans, the Levis, which too have holes in the knees though not as gaping as the beloved Lees.

That “holiness” in the only two pairs of pants I wear is ultimately what forced the shopping trip.

Anyone who knows me will confirm that I don’t aspire to look “good” except when circumstances, typically an interview, require me to dig into the back of the closet for that good outfit. My standards of dress are admittedly quite low and defined chiefly by the three C’s: cotton, comfort and color.

However, even when I, self-admitted protégé of Neil Young in the fashion industry, am rankled by my bum appearance, the signal sounds to {gag gag} shop.

Or at least think about it for a good long while.

Incidentally, I hit not one but TWO thrift stores during my day off yesterday for coveted classic Lees, a find that proved elusive.

I’ll keep searching. In the meantime, I now have a fresh old pair of “unholy” jeans that render me presentable and ready to meet the Pope. Well, perhaps not the Pope but at least the janitor who scrubs the Vatican floors.

bare feet (happy) … bare knees (breezy) … bearing news (blog)

Some o’ this ‘n’ that …

A Buck Buys Happiness

Yes it does. If you doubt me, ask the homeless man who scrapes together enough change for a couple swigs of booze from the airplane mini-sized bottle.

Or a lotto ticket with the sad hope it shall deliver him from poverty.

Or ask me.

As attentive readers shall recall, I’d live life barefoot if circumstances and conditions permitted. Or with feet clad in leather or zoris.

Happy feet in the sunny azure skies of Colorado call for a sunny color. Happiness for a buck at the Dollar store:

Zoris: first spring in Colorado

Comfort and coolness in the cafe[/caption]

In that former place of perpetual dampness, darkness, coldness and gray, a single pair of zoris lasted years. Feet and I are joyful at the purchase marking my first spring and summer in Colorado.

The Bee’s Knees!

Speaking of yellow … them bee’s knees be a single pair of blue jeans, THE most comfortable and perfectly-fitting trousers I’ve ever had the pleasure of wearing! And wearing. Wearing and wearing. To date, I’ve never blogfully exposed of my personhood more than my shoes and, if memory serves, on one occasion, feet. (Only one reader could identify me in the crowds.) So brace yourselves for revelation:

Evidence that I’ve yet to undertake the dreadful shopping for new old jeans, per a prior post. Neil* – my steadfast fashion guru forever and ever and until the threads themselves disintegrate.

*that’s Neil Young for youse unfamiliar

And Thar She Blows!

And goes. Speaking of bare, I bear news, hesitatingly, of a new blog germinating in my evolving, creative and intelligent psyche. The fate of this blog (and accompanying readership) is to be determined. That is all on that.

A Mother’s Day without the Hallmark stamp

It is Mother’s Day.

It is hardly the happy Hallmark moment.

Every year, be it publicly or privately, I contemplate, acknowledge and remember the mothers overlooked, forgotten, neglected, unseen and ignored by cardmakers and conventional society.

I give thought to the mothers who have lost their children in infancy, through stillbirths, crib death, deformities, illnesses and more.

I give thought to the mothers whose children have died in accidents and in war. In suicides and in murders. In freak occurrences and tragedies.

I give thought to the mothers whose children are relinquished through adoption and the adoptees who on Mother’s Day give thought to their natural mothers, perhaps known, perhaps not.

I give thought to the sons and daughters whose mothers treat/ed them like pieces of shit. Mother’s Day a warm celebratory event? Bullshit.

I give thought to all mothers brushed beneath the Hallmark carpet. The mothers for whom the day is not a bed of roses — or a bouquet; rather one of grief, loss, pain or sorrow.

The forgotten mothers. Forgotten and overlooked even by mothers riding the waves of their own lives, meals out, corsages and blooms. I never forget.

This post is written for and dedicated to you. To write Happy Mother’s Day would be unkind. Better is may peace be with you; and, just for you, a single flower.

coming out of the closet. with a wheelbarrow.

Yesterday brought victory of sorts in goodness and right.

A resident (at the assisted living facility that employs me) whose identity shall remain anonymous and therefore be assigned the moniker of Messy Woman with a Cat Who Hoards — Ms. Hoarder for short — got her clock cleaned by moi.

Just substitute “closet” for “clock” for the truth.

Piled high in her closet were newspapers. Stacks of newspapers. Loads of newspapers. Mountains of newspapers. Describe it as you wish. An overabundant lot of newspapers dating to 2008.

And, in my goodness, and outside my job description (for any who cares), offered to clear them out.

Now, others have attempted to persuade Ms. Hoarder to let the newspapers go. Until yesterday, she refused.

Not only did they pose a fire hazard, they’d multiplied — and were continuing to do so — at such the dangerous pace, like the rabbits of Australia, the overflow from the closet threatened to cut off passage to her bed.

The bed that, among other things, the housekeepers such as I need to strip and make and upon which Ms. Hoarder slumbers.

With her umpteen stuffed animals. But that’s another post.

So … after running the situation past the executive director, I approached Ms. Hoarder, with whom I have a most fine rapport, gently and with exquisite sensitivity becoming my wise soul, with the proposition.

Lo and behold and breaking her track record of refusals, she accepted!!!

I went to work and hauled out two — TWO — giant shopping carts filled to the brim and then some with newspapers.

More still linger tucked here and there in the closet but that was the bulk. The mountain. The Lot o Newspapers.

Goodness achieved! Ms. Hoarder is happy. I am happy. And Menudo (because there’s no harm in revealing the big cat’s name I suppose) is happy.

Emptied of its ancient papers, the old box in the closet was promptly his to claim. A cat’s life indeed.

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