Final Countdown

We have nearly everything done in preparation for Mum and Dad's move here. There are some little odds and ends that need to be given homes, and I have to spring clean the entire house as well as make a little room for extra groceries. It's well worth it.

I'm exhausted.


A Day Off: Shaker Woods Festival

It's been an exciting 24 hours. We had an early appointment this morning, my haircut afterward, breakfast and then an impromptu trip to the Shaker Woods Festival.

Better Half and I have been toiling to get the house ready for Mum and Dad, who plan to stay with us. We have two rooms to go (and a bathroom to sort) before we can call the job done.

To top it off, I had to run to Maryland last night (yes, the state) for a cadet. I'm fueled on two hours of sleep at the moment.

The Shaker Woods Festival was a welcomed break. I'm too tired to go into details so I'll provide some snapshots taken while there. The high note was finding an astrolabe for the front yard. It is beautiful; handmade by Dave Anders of Colonial Wagon & Wheeler, it adorns the front bed. 


Please forgive me for not captioning anything. I can't even see straight at the moment.                                     

Pomku II

A haiku...

Wet, you tremble on the stairs…
Don’t roll in shit again! 


Pandorus Sphinx Moth

Better Half and I drove out to Ferda's Garden Center this afternoon in search of more heliotrope. This has become our favorite gardening destination. We enjoyed visiting with Bob Ferda and he sold us the very last heliotrope on site - a beautifully arranged basket. (I swear, I will cover my entire yard in concrete and throw away my gardening gloves if FGC ever closes down.)

On our way out, we spotted a gorgeous sphinx moth clinging  to a window screen. Bob didn't mind us taking a few snapshots of the little fellow.  The Sphingidae family interests me and I've blogged one sighting before. Without further ado...


Pandorus Sphinx Moth, © 2012 T. Mininni-Totin.

CATEGORY: Butterfly or Moth
OTHER NAMES: Pandora Sphinx Moth
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Eumorpha pandorus

ADULT SIZE (Length, not including legs): 82mm to 115mm (3.23in to 4.53in; males smaller than females
IDENTIFYING COLORS: tan; brown, white, pink, green/olive green; yellow; orange

 KINGDOM: Animalia
  PHYLYM: Arthropoda
   CLASS: Insecta
    ORDER: Lepidoptera
     SUPERFAMILY: Spingoidea (Dyar, 1902)

      FAMILY: Sphingidae (Latreille, 1802)
        SUBFAMILY: Macroglossinae (Harris, 1839)

         TRIBE: Philampelini (Burmeister)
          GENUS: Eumorpha (Hubner, 1807)
            SPECIES: pandorus (Hubner, 1821)

The moth's upperside is light brown with shades of olive green to green. The forewing has pink streaks along vein ends and near the inner margin, and a dark squarish mark at the middle of the inner margin. The area from the base to the squarish mark is dark green. The underside usually is yellow-green, but sometimes is pale brown. 1  Additional coloration may include orange in place of pink, or deep chocolate/black.

UNITED STATES: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin.
CANADA: Nova Scotia, Ontario. They are reportedly rare in Quebec.

Photograph of Virginia Creeper by Aydin
Adults remain relatively quiet during the day, taking flight at dawn and dusk. They tend to gather close to vineyards, forested areas or river edges where their caterpillar's food plants are plentiful. Courtship is initiated by the female via the release of pheromones; males fly into the wind to locate the female. Eggs are laid one at a time. Caterpillars are dedicated leaf-eaters, hanging out on the undersides of leaves.2   Fully-grown caterpillars pupate in shallow chambers in the soil.

Grape (Vitis), Peppervine (Ampelopsis arborea), and Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)

Nectar from flowers including petunia (Petunia hybrida), bouncing bet (Saponaria officinalis), and white campion (Lychnis alba) 3
Pandorus Sphinx Moth, © 2012 T. Mininni-Totin.

1 "Sphingidae of the Americas" website, Bill Oehlke

Virginia Creeper photograph by Aydin Örstan



Chaos in the Dungeon 2012

The Dungeon, and all things Chaotic!

Main Entry: cha·os
Pronunciation: 'kA-"äs
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin, from Greek
1 obsolete : CHASM, ABYSS
2 a often capitalized : a state of things in which chance is supreme; especially : the confused unorganized state of primordial matter before the creation of distinct forms
3 a: a state of utter confusion b: a confused mass or mixture.

Ah, my life. It cycles, resplendent in all its mundane trappings. June 2006 found us working frantically to get the basement into shape. It was a cluttered mess then, and now. We hardly use it unless it is to work on laundry.

Now that my parents are moving here, it will need to become dad’s computer work space as well as store our surplus furniture (we are clearing out our main floor so they can keep their antiques and other furnishings).

The floor was atrocious. Dust was everywhere. The concrete was in need of painting. Manthom boxes littered the floor and all of Better Half’s books, toys and other objets d’crap ran rampant. Ugh.

We should have the basement finished, replete with sealed concrete, by tomorrow. This frees us up to begin transitioning the cluttered upstairs into a serene bedroom and office for my mother. Our current “spare room” is a repository for books, workout equipment and treasured antiques. It must be completely cleared out for her bedroom suite (if it doesn’t fit, I’ll scream. The only other room large enough for a suite is >drumroll< our own). The tiny office has to be purged to make room for the workout equipment. All of our books have to go into tubs (destination: dungeon) and our book cases need a new home somewhere in the house. The carpets in both rooms need a nice cleaning, and their new bedroom needs to be painted.

We have two weeks.

I’m a tad stressed.

SS #219: Superhero

Rain droplets stippled her glasses and partially obscured her vision as she ran. Her bare legs pumped beneath her, falling out of synchronicity with her arms whenever her toes encountered a rut in the asphalt. The white and pink cotton dress clung to her. Mama wouldn’t be happy. It was her newest dress.

I can fly. She said this to no one in particular. It was her mantra. It had sustained her from the creek to the Johnston Diary, and that had to be a whole mile. She had another mile to go. Maybe. She wasn’t sure. She’d ask Dad to clock it the very next time they drove home from the mill. No matter. She swallowed back a lump and pulled off her eyeglasses, slipping them into her dress pocket where they jangled alongside some fishing weights and the tiny bottle Grandpa had handed to her.

She could have sworn her legs belonged on a sock monkey by time she crested the hill. She set off across the pasture, the humid air saturating her lungs. Feels like the oil on the news, she thought. She’d watched it plume in the Gulf and become fascinated by all the fuss. Now she felt like one of those birds, breathing heavy and wishing someone would come along and make the air come in the right way again. No matter, her mind whispered. I can fly.

A bark of thunder heralded the floodgates of heaven opening above her head. It was like sprinting through the world’s biggest waterfall, or maybe like running in a swimming pool. Water pressed weeds and grass to earth and her toes couldn’t find traction. She took to scrambling, tiny arms pulling and pushing, a water bug dance gone horribly wrong.  She doubted herself. She felt her strength waning. She felt those weights rattling around her pocket and knew they would pull her into the earth, down, far down below where even the worms were afraid to go.

“Lori!” Mama’s voice carried across the yard and into the field. The house loomed behind Mama and Dad’s truck sat in the drive.  Suddenly the ground didn’t matter. The humidity and the water couldn’t touch her. She really could fly, just because Mama was so close, and nothing in the whole world would be able to stop her. She reached the fence separating the yard from field, and then was across the yard, and before she could draw a breath, she felt Mama’s warm hug.

“Where’s your grandfather?” the woman asked.

The child pointed back the way she’d come, feeling stupid, feeling worn thin like old cloth, unable to articulate what happened, and afraid to say what she thought might have happened while she was running. She clutched at her dress and felt those horrible lead weights grinding against her glasses. Her finger touched something else. Her eyes widened.  The bottle. Grandpa’s heart pills. She held it up for her mother to see.


The paramedics had proclaimed her a superhero. Dad and Uncle sat in the parlor that evening and took turns trying to come up with a proper name to go with her various powers, each more wild than the next. She lay with her head in Mama’s lap, sleep flicking at the edges of her mind as Mama stroked her hair.

“What do you think, Lori?” Mama murmured. “What’s your superpower?”

“Love,” she whispered back. “Grandpa always says that nothing was more powerful than that.” And then she allowed herself to smile. Grandpa was alive because love gave her wings.

Reprinted from my Pembroke Cottage blog (14 June, 2010). I'm cleaning it out to re-purpose it into a home blog.

A Day Off in June

Better Half and I have been so tied up with squadron duties that we haven’t had a day to ourselves in a very long time. Mum and Dad are moving here at the end of August and we have so much to do but we needed to take a day off from daily life.

Today was the second day of Holy Trinity’s Greek Festival in downtown Steubenville. We’ve attended six years straight to savor fried smelts and calamari, delicious gyros with cucumber dressing, and handmade dolmades.  The parishioners are delightful and always make visitors feel at home. Hey, opa!  

We brought Piper with us (third year in a row for her). 

Mmm-mmmmm, good.

Afterwards we took a drive to Cadiz and beyond. Many quaint towns sprinkle the area… “Main Street, USA” takes on invigorated meaning when passing through them. This is small town. This is apple pie. This is the heady laughter of a child playing in a sprinkler, or an elderly couple nestled together on a porch swing. We love it.  

We found our way down winding highways and stumbled upon Ferda’s Garden Center. It’s a shame that it took us so many years to find it; they are in the process of selling the business. I fell in love with the center immediately.

For one brief afternoon, Better Half and I daydreamed of what we would do if we could purchase the property. We envisioned a coffee and spice shop nestled in a garden setting. We would rent out space to the community, small “plots” in the greenhouses where people could start their seeds early. We’d invite Phipps interns to work on their programs. We’d hold teas, host book reading groups and dedicate a small area of the upstairs portion of the main building to used books. Harvest festivals, pumpkin patches, rambling leaf-strewn trails and mulled cider would liven up a dreary fall day. Christmas would be an event to be celebrated rather than nightmarishly commercial. Winter would be a time of reflection and hope, and we’d offer horticulture classes as well as invite children to plant their own treasure (which, for $5, would give the child a pot to decorate, a plant to put in it and a lot of dirt to take home for mom or dad to wash off). Spring would be a rainbow of new plants and garden accessories. 
Daydreams are nice. This has been my daydream for nearly two decades. It’s rare to find a property that would make that dream a reality yet here it was, mine for the taking, provided I could secure a loan for $400k. Hey, it would include three vehicles, three of which we wouldn’t need.

We continued on through Colerain, Bridgeport and parts far beyond. It seems that every town boasts an ice cream parlor.  There are small shops that beg to be explored. Old churches rub elbows with derelict homes and gaily festooned cottages.  

The Riverside Restaurant in Powhatan Point was our suppertime stop. Better Half ate a thick-slab Ruben while I picked at his fries. Good, inexpensive food. We sat outside and watched the barges travel the Ohio River. More wistful daydreams about that property. 

We’ve been married nearly eighteen years but the conversation never gets old. I suppose there aren’t many people out there who can spend an entire day with their spouse and still have something meaningful to say to each other. Thankfully, we’ve never run out of things to say. It helps that we’ve kept a sense of humor over the years. 

We wrapped up the day by returning library books (and renewing the one I haven’t had time to read) and finding some pots to tuck plants in. We discovered heliotrope during our garden center exploration and I’ve added it to the front porch. I’ll have to remember to take cuttings at the end of the season – this scrumptiously scented plant (not for eating!) will grow in a mason jar on the window sill, easily transplanted back to the yard come spring. 

All-in-all, it was a very nice break from the normal routine.


I really have had "one of those days".


Biogenesis and Abortion

 Let me be perfectly clear: I do not support abortion. I believe that is it wrong, not because of some antiquated Judeo-Christian moral set, nor because of any desire to take away a woman's right to choose.

I believe that is it wrong because of biogenesis - life arises from pre-existing life, not from nonliving material. The fetus is as alive as the female host carrying it. It is true that it can not survive outside of its host during the early stages of its existence, however I think far less abortions would take place if the need to "terminate unwanted pregnancy" involved termination of the host itself.

The argument can be made that we terminate life in order to eat meat; I can't think of any human being that would eat her own aborted material.

It doesn't matter to me if people disagree with my stance. I certainly won't campaign that the world take away a woman's right to choose.  


For Sunday Scribblings...

The rich and the poor have this in common: the LORD is the maker of them all. ~ Proverbs 22:2

The offerings given for the sake of God are [meant] only for the poor and the needy, and those who are in charge thereof, and those whose hearts are to be won over, and for the freeing of human beings from bondage, and [for] those who are over burdened with debts, and [for every struggle] in God's cause, and [for] the wayfarer: [this is] an ordinance from God - and God is all-knowing, wise. ~ Quran, 9:60

Baahir sat on the low plaster wall and let his heels bounce gently on the warm beige stucco. He had a game of it, bouncing each foot a set amount of times to match the resonant and uniform thuds caused by the strange hand-cranked machine that was here to dig a new well. The seismic shocks rippled out from the site, rolling along the ground and racing up the wall. Baahir smiled and felt the well’s birth pangs in his chest (for that’s what he thought they were.)

“Water muddy water, up from bottom deep, lapping over bucket, and I drink and drink and drink,” he chanted. He licked his bottom lip and then quickly regretted it; the machine was kicking up dust and the winds had placed a fine layer of powder on his face.

Tiny feet slapped upon the warm stone, and a shock of kinky brown hair heralded his sister’s arrival as she lifted her head and peered at the workmen from her hidden vantage point behind the wall.

“They done?” she asked as she tugged her rainbow colored shirt back into place.

“No, Alia,” Baahir replied. He reached over and tried to pat her hair down, but gave up after a while. Nothing could tame her hair. Not even their mother. Baahir felt a sharp pang of remorse. How much time had passed since the Bad Day?

Baahir helped his sister up so that she could sit next to him. “Do you remember mama?”

“Some,” Alia said. “I remember her laugh but her face is going away.”

The boy put an arm around his sister and pulled her snug against his side. He remembered mama’s face. He remembered the morning she tried to braid Alia’s hair. Mama had said, I will have strength or I will perish trying. Mama always said that when trying to get Alia’s hair into place. Who knew mama would finally be right? Who knew mama would run with each of them uncomfortably pressed into her ribs as she fled towards the scrubby bushes behind the house?

Her heart beat fast. Baahir remembered that, and he could even smell her sweet sweat as it spread across the fabric between his body and hers. She had no air for prayers. She panted and he watched the ground speeding under him, marveling at her feet as they propelled her forward. The jostling hurt badly but neither he nor his sister would protest. They sensed that something was wrong. He felt her wrappings billowing out behind them, around him, his world a prism of mama’s favorite reds and golds mixed with the lighter oranges of her hijab. Their father always pampered mama with beautiful things that he found on his business travels.

The brush was right before them, prickly and sticky, the wild part where civilization... where home... ended. Baahir was afraid mama would run right through it and he tried to hitch himself a little higher up to avoid the nasty leaves and twigs. Mama’s breath left her in a puffed oof then, the same silly sound his sister made when he shoved her between her shoulder blades. Mama didn’t sprawl forward like Alia would do; she staggered a few steps into the scrub and then he felt something impact again. He was dimply aware of a loud crack rending the air. Then they fell, he and mama and Alia, and the scrub swallowed him painfully. He was smothered and frightened. He instinctively curled against mama and pushed his face into her body. He heard her heart beat slowly and then become still. He knew no more.

“Baahir? Baahir!” Alia protested, squirming next to him in the hot sunshine. Her brother was practically squeezing the air out of her. “Ow Baahir!” She pushed his arm off and he slid off the wall.

“Is it the dream, Baahir? The sleeping one where mama doesn’t wake?”

The boy rubbed his face with his arm, the angry tears mixing with the dust to form gritty streaks. This was their life now. He was powerless to change it, just as he’d been powerless to save mama. His sister would forever have wild hair because mama had said she would die if she couldn’t tame it.

Loud voices shouted in a foreign language. Alia skittered back over the wall and snaked her way toward the front of the building. Baahir followed, protectively pushing her closer towards the cooler shade provided by a wall. They peered around the corner.

The Ewni’ceph man was there and he was talking loudly to the well digging supervisor. They spoke in the foreign language, bantering back and forth while pointing in the direction of the well.

Alia tapped Baahir on his shoulder. “They give us the shots and some extra mash?” That’s what usually happened when these people showed up at the refugee camp.

“No, I don’t think he’s here for that. No women or doctors with the Ewni’ceph man.”

“He's here to make them dig faster,” she said, and offered her brother a smug grin.

Baahir gazed at the man. He didn’t like the way the man’s eyes looked. They were dark and tired, resigned and sad.

A third figure, a girl much better cared for than Baahir and his sister, carefully picked her way through the loose rubble.

“He speaks English and says ‘I’m sorry, but we’re pulling out of this area. There’s nothing more we can do. I’m so sorry.’ The Ewni’ceph peoples will leave now.” She made eye contact with Baahir; the look spoke volumes.

“What do we do?” Baahir said. “We can’t follow them and we can’t remain here.”

“We do what’s expected of us,” the girl said flatly. “We do what they wanted us to do all along, because it’s why they took our homes and families. We do as they want because all that we have, all the riches of life, are gone.”

“What do we do?” Baahir questioned again.

The girl shrugged. “We die. It’s not as if anyone cares about the rich or the poor of our peoples.”

Baahir shook his head. “We walk through the to the next camp.”

“The road is paved with the dead,” the girl replied. Alia began to cry.

The Darfur Genocide in Darfur, Sudan began in February 2003 when the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) groups in Darfur took up arms, accusing the Sudanese government of oppressing non-Arab Sudanese in favor of Sudanese Arabs.  .  There are various estimates on the number of human casualties which range from around 70,000 to several hundred thousand dead, from either direct combat or starvation and disease inflicted by the conflict. There have also been mass displacements and coercive migrations, forcing millions into refugee camps or over the border and creating a large humanitarian crisis and is regarded by many as a genocide. These refugees faced starvation, disease, and rape, while those who remained in Darfur risked torture, death, and displacement. Over five million people have been affected by the Darfur conflict and life is still bitter for so many children. There is a peace treaty now in place, but that does not change the fact that atrocities happened.

Due to the lack of funding in 2009, UNICEF had to scale-back measures and plan strategies for handing over lifesustaining and life-saving programmes to the government, despite its limited capacity to fund and manage activities. I wrote this short story to reflect how urgently UNICEF needed donations. The organization is still in need of your support worldwide.

Plant Quest

Today was our garden day. We thought we’d drive to our Home Depot in Robinson to pick up two Roma plants, two basil, two banana peppers and two ferns. It’s our annual pilgrimage.

The back road to Robinson Township

We stopped to wash the dead bugs from the windshield and met a very sweet Baptist Minister, Jim Rhodes from Mercy Baptist in Weirton. He was a pleasure to chat with and didn’t mind at all that Better Half is agnostic. It would be fun to visit his church one Sunday.

A side detour to Iannetti’s was a “must do!” and we discovered some beautiful basil plants and a gorgeous petunia hanging basket for a phenomenally low price. Iannetti’s always has wonderful plants and employees.

We eventually landed at Home Depot in Robinson, PA, and were disappointed. They did not have any Boston ferns. We did find one Roma plant and made due with a cherry tomato plant. There weren’t any banana peppers. The trip would have been for nothing except that we wanted to price solar lights and pick up some indoor insect killer (it’s ant season).

Ianetti’s was already closed by the time we were on the road back to home. A quick stop at the Robinson Lowes proved useless as well, but we had better luck when we returned to Steubenville: banana peppers and Boston ferns.

Our back deck now hosts young veg in pots. We lost one hanging basket (newly planted basil) but I’m not too worried – we replanted them and put them on a plastic table; they are hardy plants and should bounce back again.

Tomorrow we’ll weed the front and back.  


May Thoughts

“The library in summer is the most wonderful thing because there you get books on any subject and read them each for only as long as they hold your interest, abandoning any that don't, halfway or a quarter of the way through if you like, and store up all that knowledge in the happy corners of your mind for your own self and not to show off how much you know or spit it back at your teacher on a test paper.”  ― Polly Horvath, My One Hundred Adventures

There are many things that mark the approaching of summer. For us, it is sweeping the back deck, lighting the BBQ and turning on the AC. For me, specifically, it is bringing my laptop outside, arranging myself to avoid the glare of the sun, and catching up on blogging.

I anticipate all the wonderful adventures I’ll have while sitting on the porch, a stack of library books nearby and a cold glass of tea at my elbow. Late spring and early summer are also the only time of year that I bother to light up a cigarette and accompany it with a chilled glass of quality wine. (Alas, having not planned ahead today, I am making due with Turning Leaf!) By the way, I wouldn’t decline a nice cigar and a glass of port were you to offer them.

My front garden is already a visual banquet, spring bulbs giving way to early summer delicacies such as woolly lambs ear and tantalizing dianthus blooms, and bleeding hears mounding over the beds edges as haphazardly as a toddler with a crayon and no sense of “staying in the lines”.

Our front garden, late spring 2012

The finches, cardinals and sparrows have awakened me with morning song for a month. Now robins and woodpeckers have added their voices to the chorus. All yield their place to evening frogs and crickets. Fireflies are soon to come, lucibufagen-crammed coryphées joining nature’s ballet and imbuing the humid air with tantalizing yellow sparks.
photo courtesy of

The carpenter bees have returned, beautiful queens probing my deck posts and beams in search of a nesting place. I adore these placid gems. Their buzzing is hypnotic. They’ll keep the wasps at bay. It takes a lot of effort to piss off a carpenter bee (they’ve survived the slimy confines of Nutmeg’s mouth without offering a sting).

Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica), our porch 2011

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”  ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

I do not know what summer will bring. I would like for it to be productive. I’m in search of a job. I’m part of the Air Force auxiliary (a wonderful organization which I shall not name here lest I represent it in a bad light) and I serve as part of a flight crew, a mission observer during search and rescue missions. This is our busy season. Its public service and I volunteer myself gladly for it. It allows me to enjoy a bit of aerial photography, my favorite hobby. It does not pay, however, and our funds are especially tight this year.

I have only one “honey do”project to work on, thanks to those limited funds. We’ve taken up the carpet in the hall and on the stairs and I intend to repaint everything using leftover paint from our kitchen renovation. I’m absolutely tickled that the contractors left the cans with us.

We’ll also scrap together some spare cash to purchase a few garden goodies. I can’t live without my Roma tomatoes, banana peppers and zucchini. These I’ll grow in pots on the deck, tending them with love and water and fanatically checking them each day to see if anything has grown large enough to eat. Nothing is as satisfying as plucking a juicy tomato and eating it raw seconds later.

Hungarian (banana) pepper bloom, our porch 2011

The sun has set and the frogs have made their locations known.  The moon will be close to the earth tonight and we’ll have a lovely treat if the clouds slip away.  I’ll join Better Half shortly and we’ll perhaps put on a movie.



April has been sinister, and ends darkly. We've had struggles and have survived them, but who knows what Monday will bring?

I plan to enjoy the weekend as much as possible. I can't do anything about my panic attacks or anxiety (other than tranqs), but I can turn the world off for a few days so that I can recuperate. No phones, no social media. Better Half and I could do with a holiday.

By the way... what did Blogger to with our old format? This new method is awful.

March Update

Last time, on The Adventures of Aut and Better Half, our heroes were hurtling down Angel Falls in a canoe made of sloth toenails and vines; “Holy Shit! That’s LOUD!” were the final words at the close of the season finale and surly fans surely expected the entire series to be canceled by the network for lack of sponsorship yet a last minute petition by rabid viewers gave executives the incentive needed to sign on for a third year straight. Huzzah.

If only.

Fact is, Aut and Better Half have had Domestic Adventures entailing nothing more than swapping out their dining room and living room habitats for want of better utilized living space. It’s gone splendidly (minus a few hiccups with furniture) and they are now enjoying their “new” downstairs.

Dad’s memorial was held on the 10th. The IPAS (that’s the abbreviated form of Insensitive Passive Aggressive Sister, if you haven’t kept up in prior conversations) refused to tell anyone where it was held. She gave Better Half exactly one day notice and, of course, that wasn’t nearly enough time to book a flight to Phoenix. He was crushed; I was outraged.

IPAS also contacted one of Dad’s coworkers and said others in his office could come IF they called her first. They’ve had enough of her and her antics. Rather than put up with it, they opted to hold a short ceremony at the office. They brought in a minister and bid Dad a final farewell in the courtyard behind the building. The pictures that they sent us were beautiful.

The only thing standing in the way of justice for Dad is $500, which is needed in order to continue with the attorney who is investigating the case. We will pay it on time, I suppose.

Our concern is that Dad was emotionally abused and bullied.  We learn more and more as time passes, bits of shocking information that trickle in like fine sand and chaff the soul. The small grains become a grand tide and sweep us into gritty rapids, and we thump over rocks and choke on dust as we go. The lawyer hands us an ore, albeit an expensive one, and we attempt to navigate this raging course and find our way to solid ground. The whole situation makes us feel as helpless as if we were going over Angel Falls in that canoe. We’ll ride the rush and see it through to the end. 

Besides, there’s a lot that can be done with sand…

This photo is from Fishes Make Wishes and is a sand sculpture from an exhibition
down under around the Patterson Lakes area in Australia.


Sunday Scribblings 308: Modern

"Modern" is relative to the amount of time one exists on this earth. If you live long enough, you might notice that society simply recreates itself.

Meh. Sooner or later we'll come up with something totally new.