Category Archives: the musty corner of the blog

Older blog posts I’ve not yet categorized/


oak-tree-black-and-white-photography_88283It stands tall, apart from its neighbors

Stoic, resolute

Displaying the scars of time.


Lightening blackened,

The trunk still looks strong,

A testament to tenacity

Yet, Limbs crack off without warning

Falling to the ground.

Acorns pile up along with last fall’s leaves.

Most are eaten, some are buried

Destined to sprout and grow.

Birds congregate on oaken branches

Conversing with each other

A woodpecker has drilled its home near the top.

Nature slowly destroys the oak,

As the oak sustains nature.





Middle Aged Aphrodite

Ive got back fat
And jiggly thighs
Disproportionate boobs
Tiny lines rim my eyes

My butt acts as balance
To my rounded tummy
My chin grew a back up
My joints now sound crunchy

What’s that on my hands?
Oh my lord, those are spots!
Hormones keep misfiring.
Now I’m sweaty and hot.

My body is a temple
Homage to aphroditic me
It displays the historic
With pure honesty.
Beauty evolving
With the passage of time,
Youth Crumbles slowly
Etching the life that is mine.

I’m Just a Buttercup

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI don’t want to be a buttercup today,

A tenacious, yellow flower.

I’d rather disconnect the runners of my roots

And curl them up beneath me.

“Leave them be!” I want to shout to the rabbits

Who’ve come to nibble on my leaves

“Come back tomorrow.” to the sun

That opens up my petals,

Preferring to sleep for many hours.

But I am a little yellow buttercup,

As if I have a choice.

My runnered roots help hold the soil in place

Rabbits get sustenance from my lacy leaves

The sun’s warmth opens my yellow petals

Adding beauty to the meadow.

I know I’m just a buttercup.

But, do I have to be one, today?



Solitude And Silence

2006-03-04-20-55-26I seek the elusive

In the cacophony of life.

A time of silence, solitude

A brief escape from the noise

And weight of the day to day

I know they are out there,

Sometimes apart, often together

Usually ignored or forgotten

Because action, clamor

Get favored attention.

Sometimes I catch them unaware

So I snatch them quick,

Before they escape,

Knowing that solitude coupled with silence

Is rare and exquisite.

Then I bask in the quiet,

Resting, healing, blissfully alone

As I shore up my defenses.

Too soon they’ll slip away again,

My grip too tenuous to keep them.

Close Up

My dad is a fantastic amateur photographer. He’s got a knack for capturing images of people or of scenery in a way that is very appealing. My oldest brother Alan, also has wonderful skill with a camera. I have a few photos that he took of my granddaughter Helene’ a few years ago, and they are stunning.

I’ve always wanted to take good photos, but have never really mastered the art. Partially, its because I’ve not really had that great a camera to work with. I’ve either had very basic models that did little in functionality, and much in blur. Cell phones have advanced their camera options significantly over the years, but their shutter speeds suck. I’ve missed so many great opportunities. Actually i’ve taken lots of photos, of average to poor quality, with a few good ones scattered therein.

A few weeks ago, we took a trip to the mountains for a family gathering. My dad noticed me trying to take  cell phone photos of a favorite local waterfall, and of an unusual mushroom I saw along the trail. He asked if I had a decent camera. I didn’t, of course A few weeks later, I was sent a wonderful entry level digital he’d had lying around. Its far and above what I’ve ever used before.

So far, I’ve taken a few  photos of some of the grandkids, three of Gary trying to cook dinner on his grill, and photos of some flowers in my back yard. Its the flower photos I’m the most pleased with.

I love nature, and trying to capture its beauty can be a challenge. Prose and poetry is a medium I’m familiar with, and I’m not giving it up anytime soon. I just want to expand my creative horizons a bit.  I am looking forward to getting photos of animals, leaves, and flowers,  I see around me. like this one.

Backyard Clover

Backyard Clover

Yes, its clover. Isn’t that cool? You can see the details of a tiny patch of yard, and its beautiful.  The bee of course was faster than I. She was about 18 inches off camera by the time I snapped the photo.

The very first photo I took with my new camera had to be of a cat. Miko gladly posed for this. That she is sitting on me determined that.

Miko's close up.

Of course I’m gorgeous, as you can plainly see.

I will enjoy my new toy, and the opportunities to capture, life, family and nature. With the camera digital, I can quickly delete all the blurry shots.


Just Vote

I know by now everyone is sick, sick, SICK of politics. To some of us the mere mention of the word “campaign” may prompt some to stuff ice picks in our ears. We are tired of the 18 month long presidential campaign, the negative ads, the flying accusations, the out and out ugly vibes the election process has turned out to be. The battle lines are drawn, the moats are dug, and the hot oil has long been bubbling. For what? Essentially people going through an extended interview process for a job.

Even so, I urge people to vote next week. Pick who you think will be the best man, or woman for the job, as there is a woman running for president in one of the smaller parties. But also consider other races. They are the decisions that are more likely to impact you directly. Almost every ballot in every district in every state of our union, will not only have choices for President, but also for Senators and Representatives, both on the federal level as well as state ones. Most ballots will have local seats to decide on as well. There are people running for local school boards, mayors, council seats, positions such as coroner, clerk of court, and magistrate. Many ballots will have decisions about bond referendums, alterations to state constitutions, county ordinances etc. It is in those seemingly smaller decisions that have the bigger impact on us locally.

Some of us have already voted early, and if you are able, it’s a great way to get this small yet important task out of the way. 15 states still do not offer early voting or have caveats about voting prior to the first Tuesday in November. As our schedules often make it difficult to get to the polls on that day, early voting is a wonderful way to participate in our election process and still take care of personal needs. If your state doesn’t offer early voting, I suggest you contact your state Senators and Representatives about considering changing those rules.

For those who haven’t yet voted, take a few moments and see if you can get a sample copy of your ballot. That way you can see what is there, and can have a pretty good idea of what to choose when you step into the voting booth.

I know it’s a hassle, but it is also a privilege. We are fortunate to live in a country and choose the people to run our governments. Sure there’s a lot of waste and incompetence. But that is part of what makes us free. It sounds odd, but to be truly efficient means less voices in the mix, less freedoms, less choice, less democracy. Personally, I’ll take the imperfect government system I can choose. Despite the warts, snafus, and problems, we still have roads, and schools, parks, and fire stations. We can know that if we go to the bank, the money we entrust to that bank will be protected. We know that there are protections in place for our work place, for the medicines we take, for the bridges we cross, for the food we put on our table. It is our government, our imperfect government, that helps take care of all that.

So vote. Sure we complain about our choices, the people in office, the people hired by the people in office, the people who want to be in office, but we can. There are people in other parts of the world that can’t complain as long and loud as we do. That’s a privilege as well. And, if we want to, we can always vote the next time around for someone else to try the job. Or, we can run ourselves.

If you do choose to run though, do us all a favor, and tell PAC’s and non-profits with secret donor lists of people likely not residents of your district, to stay away. It’s really cheating and to many of us a detriment to the process of hiring people to fill rotating, temporary positions. Run a campaign on your merits, what you hope to bring to the table as a person in the position you hope to fill. Let us know your plans, concrete as you can make it, and try to avoid those way over used cliches.

But for the rest of us, just vote. Besides, after Tuesday, our televisions, radios, and email in-boxes will revert back to the regularly scheduled commercials and spam ads..

How to create the perfect Clusterf…

I know that I am a person of slightly more then average intelligence. I know that I can be highly competent and savvy.  I can handle life situations with aplomb, (well most of the time) and try to look at life as the glass half full. I also can watch a tiny error turn into a big freaking disaster.

Being somewhat self-deprecating in nature, despite all my positive attributes, I tend to share  the incompetent side of my persona with all of you. Why? Maybe because I know that humor is a great stress reliever, so if you laugh, maybe your day is brighter. Maybe I hope you learn something, if nothing else how not to do something, as my shared attempts at home improvement can attest. Maybe, because in hindsight, the situation is rather amusing, but not so at the time. Plus its the cheapest form of therapy I know.

My latest voyage into quasi-calamity began innocently enough, and with a panic. As I just wrote, I came home early from work the other day with an intestinal virus. What I didn’t mention was that on my doorknob was a little placard. That placard mentioned that as I hadn’t paid my water bill, that utility would be shut off in 48 hours.  I know that my memory has never been my best attribute, but KNOW I had paid that bill. So straight to my bank’s website I went.

Sure enough I could see where the funds had left my bank, and when, thanks to the bill pay service we use. So I called the water company. “No, Mrs. Parris. We haven’t recieved payment on your account.” The Customer Service Representative informed me.

“But, it shows on my account that you should have gotten payment on the 14th!” I declared, while my body wondered why I wasn’t in bed, my stomach cramping in agreement. It took another 90 minutes between calls to the bank and the water company, before I realized that things would be on hold till the next day. Why? Because no one was quite sure exactly where that original payment went.  I had to table it till later. I spent the rest of the day huddled under covers, listlessly changing channels.

The next day resulted in a holding pattern in regards to that water bill. I was assured I’d been given an extra 24 hours to figure out what had happened. But along the way, I learned one probable cause…my own data entry skills had failed me. I had transposed two numbers when I input the Water bill account. Research proved that it wasn’t the real issue, as no funds had gone to the account I had actually entered either. The status of  just where the money was, had yet to be made clear, only that a check had been issued to the Water Company. The mystery deepened.

So this morning, I had yet to see any resolution. I made a trip to the Water company a mandatory party of my “day off” errands agenda. Before I wrote the check, I asked if any updates had been received on their end as to the status of my account. Being given a negative, I wrote out the amount, plus a late fee. Then drove  to the nearest branch of my bank.

In about ten minutes, I finally got an answer to the missing funds. Apparently banks often contract with third party entities who manage the transactions for bill pay. As is often the case, the first time a new bill pay is enacted, a paper check is issued to the payer. That was the case with my water bill. It was a recent addition to our bill pay list. What had happened was that someone in that office had also suffered a data entry failure. In this case, they had written down the wrong Post Office box number. As happy as I was to learn that I was not the only person in the world to suffer from input reversal issues, I was not thrilled to be double whammied by a complete stranger. I can muck up digits all by myself thank you!

My banker informed me that they’d already issued a check to the correct address. GOODY! Now my account is being paid twice. I called the Water Company. They had posted my check already, and since I had no idea when check #2 would show up, I would simply have to wait for it to show, then I could get a refund. I could have taken a chance that check #2 would arrive before the dude with the big “shut off her water” wrench did his worst, but I didn’t dare. Now I would have to wait till likely next week before having my account refunded. At least I got the late charges reversed.

By this time my frustration was in the red zone. I needed stress relief. Happily a Zaxby was nearby. I could solace my soul with a few chicken tenders and some Zax sauce. Life would begin to find balance and harmony again!  I pulled up to the little drive thru kiosk to order, only to discover they wouldn’t open for another 20 minutes. NO!!!!!!!!

I gave up and went to my last errand of the day, the grocery store. There I bought a mini pizza to substitute for the soul solacing nibbles, which I toasted and consumed immediately after getting home.

And that boys in girls is just one way to create the perfect Clusterf…well you know what I mean.