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"I tried once to open too many doors at a time, it was unproductive and confusing.
I just learned the last lesson, Dad. I'm supposed to open just one at a time, and only when I reach them along the path, this 'hike' we are taking. That's when the key fits, and opens the lock perfectly, every time. Thank you, Dad. I love you, and miss you. I am blessed with an amazing husband now, he holds my hand as we walk along paths too. We are climbing a little steeper now, with more effort, and thinner air. But I'm not worried. I am looking up. I am living in the moment, being now. Because when we get to the next door, along our path, I know, Dad, . . . that key is going to fit, perfectly!"

excerpt from Pony, 6/6/2013 post
© ruth follmann

Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs License

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Pocketbook Pocho

(viewed 736 times)
I had a Friday night 'Chito' moment when I came across a frog (a rather large one!) on my way into the trailer. He was hanging out on one of the front porch posts, as fearless as could be. My attempts to obtain a good photo, never disturbed him. He didn't flinch a frog leg with the flash! I sort of felt akin with this amphibian, like Chito did with the reptile Pocho. The difference being, Pocho was a 17 foot Crocodile.

Chito earned Pocho's love by caring for him after he suffered a bullet wound to the head in the rivers of Costa Rica. His story is incredibly told through an interpreter via Snap Judgement. (link provided)
and a visual as to how huge Pocho was:

I had not saved this bulging eyed frog, nor fed it chicken. But somehow, I seemed to have won its trust. I saw his gaze shift to my package carried. I knew that his value was not in being a pond playmate like Pocho the Crocodile. Instead, his watchful eyes seemed to follow my purchase. I remembered my austerity vow, and was thankful for his input. But who can resist a fan fiction remake of Jane Austen: 'Sense And Sensibility and Sea Monsters' at The Dollar Tree store on a Friday night? Not I !

Though as Chito was thankful for his Croc, I am thankful for my Pocketbook Pocho, enjoy austerity, and now Austen as well. I look forward to his perch on the porch to mind my pocketbook.

And as Ms. Austen so eloquently put it: “I wish, as well as everybody else, to be perfectly happy; but, like everybody else, it must be in my own way.”
~ Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

It Must Have Been The Roses

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Why do I want you more when you're not here?
27th Dec 2012, 23:44   | tags:comments (0)

Friend of The Devil and Windex

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If I clean up 'before daylight, just might get some sleep tonight'.

Back to Business

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Though the traditional Pastafarian Holiday extends through the end of January, we are all getting 'back to business' here at the Compound.

The 'Big House' is enjoying some renovation and landscaping, my husband has gone back to work, and I need to finish cleaning the bathroom. To add some levity to the drudgery, I have posted a link to the Maiden Voyage of the Tri-Moron. The three pontoon boasting watercraft is an original build by none other than Captain Bob! It has now been upgraded to include on deck carpeting and a trolling motor. But here it is, in all it's first at time sea (pond) boating glory, for your viewing pleasure.

I hope it makes you smile, and your day a little lighter. Mine will be soon, when I mix household cleaning supply chemicals in a frenzy fed by none other than Grateful Dead tunes.

A Carny Christmas

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Palm trees don’t know that it’s Christmas. Civilian life doesn't know your tour is over. Leaves swaying soft in a sunny wind sound like a Cathedral Christmas choir. If you listen hard enough beyond the mortar shell explosions in your head, you can almost hear the echo of a church organ fade into wind on its way to the ocean. That is the soft woman’s voice Away in a Manger, in Afghanistan.

But you aren't in Afghanistan. You are in an open field in Florida. One that is dotted with carnival rides caught in different Sugar Plum Fantasy stages of transformation. Some are folded tightly aboard their truck trailers, still caught closed, transient, like your Veteran soul. Others bend to the sky, cranks and hydraulics move weathered mechanical arms tipped with glossy cars. Empty seats that will be filled by nightfall, spinning with screams and the giggles of a carnival rock soundtrack you intend not to hear. You only take in calm Christmas songs, fed to your ears by a pocket device. Each perfectly pitched piano sonata calms the shaking of your machine oil stained mechanic’s hands. The choir rounding The Carol of the Bells will soar and plunge in perfect sync with the roller coaster, like it did the night before.

The reflection of your workday ahead has made your coffee cold. Cold, but black and sweet as you have always drank it. Now, sitting on a trailer hitch, pushing back shoulder length amber hair covered in a Marine patched camouflage hat, you take a sip. Old boots kick at field grass lacking the beauty of yours at home, Kentucky.

“Kentucky is the only state that could have succeeded from the Union! Everything we need to live, we can find in our own backyard.” ~ is the statement you shared with fellow Kentuckians and a Northern girl. And maybe it was your ‘backyard’ that kept you alive. Your senses have been trained from boy to ‘seven time black belt’ to react or retract. So now, you did the latter.

Though it was a military man that coined the phrase ‘moral injury’, categories cannot stop pain. The pain from images so real, it can turn night into day. Military training taught you a code. A code of honor, Geneva conventions, a moral integrity, that what you fight for is worthy: freedom for your country, and the ones you love that live there. But when you are not fighting another army, the lines begin to gray. Combat with civilians, shots fired at a pregnant woman or armed child, a dog; leave one in a different place when you are home again, stateside. Only the careless tongue would say: ‘There are no rules in war’. You’re a Marine. Marines care deeply about what keeps them ‘clean’, and it is the rules of war that ‘keep us clean’.

Another carnival dinosaur awakens and telescopes into the sky. It scrapes and groans as it limbers to a smoother movement, now slashing the sun. Corridors of caravans pull snug to create a fairway of games, toys from China, steamy food trailers and inflated rooms with plastic walls. The sounds and smells buzz and pull you back inside a Humvee, knee to knee with buddies in desert combat boots. Afghanistan doesn't know it’s Christmas. The whistle of an incoming mortar is loud and sheer. A shadow crosses your face and taps your hat brim down.

“Wake up, Sleeping Beauty!” Your colder coffee spills. You accept an outreached hand to pull yourself up from the trailer hitch, and dust off the past. The smile and slap on your back makes you know you are among those who made it out of the Humvee ~ alive, to walk now across the fairground, though with a limp. The ground crackles as if it were that same ground that was on fire. Red and Green. Silver Bells. Peace on Earth. War is Hell. Tinsel shrap metal lingers in another Carny Christmas nightmare daydream, and you begin your work day.

© ruth follmann

Please consider a donation this year to the men and women who have served to protect our freedom with their lives. We salute you all, Merry Christmas.

PTSD Foundation of America ~ Providing Hope and Healing for the Unseen Wounds of War

Soldier’s Best ? Friend ~ You fought for us. Now it’s time to help you back home!

Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, Fort Myers, Florida

If you need to talk to someone yourself – please call the Veterans Crisis Line @ 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or 911.


Mistletoe Mullet

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'twas the night before Christmas
and all should have been hip
but I was hiding a mullet
with a tortoise hair clip
the travesty happened at the First Choice Hair Shop
when I sought one to tame and trim my unruly mop
a color job of double exposures
a tangle of curls
I had the: "Cut my hair now!"
pull in and park, find scissors, and leave whirl
confounded luck, Southern karma
sought revenge for my cat call
I looked like Billy Ray Cyrus, and not myself at all!
Salvation was found by the glimmer of Neon Light
‘Open’ read the glow at Great Clips that Christmas Eve night
I walked in and announced, confessed, begged with prayer
please remove this cursed mullet and restore happening hair
Brian, the stylist, was amused ~ but promised with a glint
to remove all traces, leaving not even a hint
he even devised a term to suit this epic scheme
a 'Demulletization', into which we were about to careen
skillfully scissors healed all 'bad haircut' pain
and now only, Brian, will ever cut my hair again and again
because no one should suffer the self-denying pause
'Maybe I don't have a mullet' the night before Santi Klaus

© ruth follmann

for the one of a kind classy hair style you never thought you could rock, see Brian at Great Clips, off of Daniels at the Shoppes at Plantation ~6810, Fort Myers, FL 239 225 2887

The Secret of the Orange Lawnmower and a Mayan M-80

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Well December 21, 2012 has come and gone. A Civilization that has disappeared, made us think about them in our own self-proclaimed technologically advanced day. Though the Mayan calendar is said to be more accurate than the Atomic Clock, dropping my coffee cup made me wonder what we are going to leave behind. Struggling with bundles, and a handful of keys, my coffee cup ricocheted off the outside of the trailer, and flew behind a planter of Aloe, to land ‘underneath’. My girlfriend, on the phone with me at the time, (gotta love Bluetooth) warned: “Don’t you be reaching under that trailer at night to find a coffee cup!” Too late, I already had the junk drawer flash light and moved the potted plant. But in retrieving the cup (the lid is still at large); I fell upon a deep, dark, trailer secret! The trailer is nothing more than an elaborate tomb for an orange and green push lawn mower. The reasons for the complex, fully functional, tombstone I call home, have yet to be revealed. I feel like the Indiana Jones of North Fort Myers! I swiftly scooped up the cup and a frigid plant to bring in, (thanx, you Northerners, for this cold snap!) and stepped inside. Suddenly, I heard a loud bang and the floor shook! The car of ‘youngsters’ in the field behind, who had just pulled in with base thumping music, had decided to celebrate the end of the world with M-80s! The Mayan M-80 made me jump 12-21-12 well before midnight’s world’s predicted demise! I set down the coffee cup and plant, to watch the headlights take off in glee and wondered: “What are we going to leave behind?” The Mayan people were renowned for their language abilities, astronomy, architecture, math and the arts. I’m living above a lawnmower. The calendar was established in 3372 BC and is used in the study of Cosmology. I don’t balance my checkbook. I just retweeted a funny picture of a cat playing a video game. I am bequeathing the future reputation for brilliance and wonder to someone other than myself. The next day I have off, I intend on finding my coffee cup lid. It’s an Official Olympic stainless coffee cup, red-very sharp! I will sip some dark brew and smile at the Mayan Civilization. To quote Pink Floyd: “Wish you were here.” I told my coworker, a Mayan threw a M-80 at the trailer. He said I probably deserved it. He’s right. They were a brilliant and inspiring people, whose memory shouldn't be remembered by the taunt: “Well the world didn't end, . . . did it?”

Meditation from Thaïs

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I've been known to spin a yarn to draw in the naive. It's a weakness I have. Some people's weakness is chocolate. So when a co-worker asked me why she hadn't seen me in a while, my overly caffeinated and sleep deprived mind devised this: "I've been in a weekend prison program." She was horrified and the questions began. Why? I lost my temper and hit someone-not work related. Why weekends only? The judge was lenient, since my children were small, and I was on lock-down from Friday evening until Sunday evening as part of my sentence. She still being aghast, I comforted with the further tale, that I had met the woman of my dreams there, and was quite content to spend time in the weekend prison program. My spoof came back to me like a right hook, when I listened to the Performance Today interview of Zuill Bailey. He is an amazingly talented cellist who played with the Hiland Mountain Women’s String Orchestra in Eagle River, Alaska for their Ninth Annual Holiday Concert, Saturday, December 8, 2012. The concert was held within the Hiland Mountain Correctional Center in Eagle River, Alaska. In his interview, Zuill shares that this concert has changed his life forever. The way these women responded to the power of music, it's capacity to heal and free despite surrounding conditions, gave him a different appreciation for the artistic freedom he maintains. The Performance Today link was down, so I found other links to Zuill's FB page, the link to the Hiland Mountain Women’s String Orchestra, describing the effect of Zuill & the Hiland Mountain Women's String Ochestra's music had on the inmates, and finally a You Tube of the song he played.
(scroll down to see pics of Zuill, his musicians, and the Hiland Mountain Women’s String Orchestra)
(Hiland Mountain Women’s String Orchestra)
(the song)
I have never spent any time in prison. My joke about such, to trip up a co-worker, was stupid and biased. I publicly apologize. It takes incredible people like Zuill Bailey, to cross lines, build bridges, and then turn it all into a symphony to humble and inspire us all. If I were in a weekend prison program, please sign me up to Eagle River. I am happily married, but these women have done more to heal souls while bound, than those of us do for others while free. Happy Holiday to all at the Hiland Mountain Correctional Center in Eagle River, Alaska. Thank you for the slice of humble pie.