bragging on myself for a moment –

Hot. Tired. Achey –
And 8 tomatoes and a pepper (need more) and some other stuff are IN the garden. And heavily mulched with straw, and composted with well-rotted horse manure – And my neighbor, Greg, is coming over tomorrow to plow part of the garden…and to bring me some more horse maure – and I’ll have to resort to Round-Up for one bed of something nasty, but that won’t be too bad, and I can hit the poison ivy in the hedge row while I’m at it.

And tomorrow afternoon I’m supposed to meet a girlfriend for a drink and gab – something we don’t do nearly often enough, we women –

And I’ve worked most of this week and will again next week –

And my knees are still functioning and I’m tired but happy.

Ah, summer!

Another travesty of law-making

Once again, the U.S. has watched the judiciary branch of government overstep the bounds of what is supposed to be the role of the legislative branch – presuming to legalize gay marriage in California. Our national system of checks and balances seems to have been re-defined from within the judiciary system.

How is the balance of powers to be restored? I know – evil triumphs when good men do nothing. But how are good men to wrest the presumption of law-making from bad judges to return it to the legislators who are entrusted to write law?

The email below – I love it! Nora sent it to me today –

I’ve said for a long time that the cloud of depression has its silver linings – and this cartoon illustrates it wonderfully – that often the burdens we bear are precisely the gift we need to get to Heaven.

A fantastic email – going to share with you

Awesome!! We complain about the cross we bear but don’t realize it is preparing us for the dip in the road that God can see and we can’t.

Whatever your cross, whatever your pain,

there will always be sunshine, after the rain…

Perhaps you may stumble, perhaps even fall;

But God’s always ready, to answer your call….

He knows every heartache, sees every tear,

a word from His lips, can calm every fear…

Your sorrows may linger, throughout the night,

But suddenly vanish, dawn’s early light…

The Savior is waiting, somewhere above,

to give you His grace, and send you His love…

SUMMERTIME!!!! and general noodling – same old, same old

Just got back from the neighbor farm across the creek – bought two gallons of strawberries (a little soggy and diminished in flavor after Tuesday’s rainfall) and a small bag of the first peaches of the season!

Sorry – nothing more profound than that, but it’s enough: summer is now officially arrived to the NC Sandhills.

I’m getting ready to boil the jars to make strawberry preserves, and I’m going to be eating fresh local squash with my grilled chicken breast tonight, and new potatoes…

Had a very good email exchange with my friend Matt last night, in which he reminded me (kindly, as always) that I fret too much. Consequence of my upbringing – which btw I am exploring in some fiction exercises – and hard to escape, the trying to find balance in so many things and to please so many people at once, even those long dead.

I am the daughter of a distance trucker and a high school dropout. I have shattered all expectations for my adult life – by being divorced, by having a college education, by entering graduate school, by my well-educated friends (who include Ph.Ds and MDs), by a variety of experiences and anticipated adventures (Europe!) –

I got a lot of mixed messages when I was growing up, many of them the consequence of Mom’s drug addiction and subsequent character deterioration; like a great many of us who grew up in dysfunctional families, I am a whirlwind of contradictions. I was told to work hard to better myself – and not to get above my raising. I was told I ought to go to college, but I was simultaneously discouraged from it, apart from a strictly pragmatic application (my mother thought I ought to become a nurse or an accountant); I was told I was too smart to waste my abilities, and that I wasn’t smart enough to follow my dreams.


I grew up in a house so filthy that my mother only washed dishes (even with an automatic dishwasher) only when the cupboards were empty of dishes; the living room floor was hidden beneath piles of magazines, newspapers, books, piles of trash – except for the path from doors to chairs to television. There was no order, no discipline – I was not only not taught or expected to contribute to the order of the house, I was actively discouraged from it because everything I did “worried” my mother and “gave her headaches.”

and now I am in a sphere that my upbringing didn’t prepare me for – that defied me to reach. That, and loving someone far beyond my expectations, leaves me fighting for balance. I’m afraid of failure, so most often freeze in a reflective stillness (or inertia) – try to put things to words, but that’s hard when I’m in unchartered territory.

Matt says, to live AS IF I believe, AS IF I trust – and he’s right, I know it, and then I’m paralyzed by the HOW of it, as if there could be only one way and if I don’t discover that one restrictive way then I’m doomed to more failure –

What a mess! But it’s summer at last, and with the warm weather and fresh air pouring into my house (trailer) I’m feeling hopeful again. I’ll figure this thing out, somehow.

Won’t I?

Weather or Not …

Okay. The weather seems to have passed. I didn’t see any more severe weather here, just several episodes of rain showers – but WRAL has noted that fire depts in my county responded to reports of a tornado sighted near/in Pinebluff – whose phone district I am in (also fire district, so that’s CLOSE) –

I’ve got the windows back up, and the air smells so fresh and cool and sweet. A pine tree must have had some hail damage, or maybe lightening strike? I smell strong pine in the air.

It’s been a nice evening, really. I turned off the Metaphysics lesson I was listening to when the rain started, because the pounding on the roof was so loud. It was lovely to watch, in the twilight, even the bolts of lightening (some distance away, thankfully!)

It reminded me of summer showers when I was a little girl. Maybe no drought this year?

It’s more ice than we saw either of the last two winters – and I have only a second because the next band is almost upon us –
Rain started at 6:00, was solid hail, about the size of a malted milk ball by 6:15 – flattened weeds, temps drastically cooler – steam rising off the fields –
Back in a bit!

Happiness is –

according to one set of self-proclaimed experts, not having children!
Now – I’m estranged from my own daughters, so I’m hardly one to quibble this point. But my daughters are STILL the joy and consolation of my life, the best reason I can point to for justifying my own existence. The hours I spent with them, rocking them, cuddling them, singing to them, reading with them… how can you compare such wonder and beauty with an extra hour of TELEVISION???

The world is going to hell in a handbasket.

Billie C – RIP

Billie Chiricuzio was a long-time moderator at Catholic Online, where I began my investigation into the Catholic Faith in hard earnest in 2000, 2001. She was an amazing woman – funny, wise, articulate; she wrote amazing poetry, gave good counsel, was a comfort in times of confusion and sorrow.

She suffered from emphysema for years, and a couple years ago was diagnosed with lung cancer. Because of overall health issues, there wasn’t a lot that could be done – she resigned herself to waiting out her life’s end and beginning into Eternity in God’s hands. She never quit caring for those of us she corresponded with.

Father Z posted the news today that dear Billie has entered into Eternity. I shall miss hearing from her, but I am so happy for her, too.