Thursday, December 23, 2010

An Adventure!

Greig took me on an adventure yesterday! He called around Noon to tell me he was "turning left instead of right". I asked what he had in mind? He said he was going to go find the snowline. *pause on my part* "With me?" "Well, I can't think of anybody else I'd go driving around for...."

AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!! He's sooooo romantic!

So he came to pick me up, and we turned left instead of right at the bottom of "my" hill. We drove about an hour or so from my house, into 1 foot stuck beautiful snow. he got to polish up his "snow skidding" skills ("Don't worry, Creampuff, I'll get us home safe.") We almost made it to Bagby Hot Springs, but it was getting quite dark, so we put chains on and he got to practice snow chain installation, un-entanglement, and removal skills.

I even got some new pictures. I'll put them p as soon as I get 'em back from the developers. I even discovered that my camera has a "timer" setting and I HOPE I got a rare picture of us together!

He's not a "Cat Man", but the cats adore him. And when he thinks I'm not looking, he gives them kitty loves. And, of course, doesn't mind being a couch when it suits cold kitteh feets to be so.

Even the Song Dogs love him.

I had such a loverly adventure! It was so wonderful to explore a wider part of my Community, I hadn't even gone that far yet. It's so beautiful ! It was so wonderful of Greig to take me away...


Sunday, December 12, 2010


Time for bed, me. The storm(s) have been pulsing through in waves, a land-locked estuary..this latest with lots of wet and wind... The wind is howling through whichever screens it can wrap its' gnarled and whispery fingers into.. It moans into the very air I breathe.

The Song Dogs join in, adding an amoebic element to the night's kareoke. Their songs rely only upon their personal ranges Alto, soprano, baritone, tenor, and their own style. Song Dogs, like Humans, have preferences. Some are jazz singers, their voices scatting and free. Some are Country, with a deep throaty "whiskey whisper" tone, and some are Classical, with their formality and power.

The songs of the Song Dogs are always filled with passion, and with a tender sorrow tinged with unutterably joy. The song of a Song Dog is like a verbal description of a sunset on a clear, yet snow-bedazzled day to a blind woman. It is like a kenetic
energy translated into the verbalization of the pumping of heart's blood.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Keeping the Season in my Heart

The older I get, the more I understand why people can begin to feel depressed during the HolyDaze. I call them that on purpose: Holy Daze. This is the time, from the end of October till the following year, where we gather our Families together, where we Honor our Dead, our Elders, our Ancestors. This is a Holy Time, when the plants and Mother Earth nestle deep within the Dream, when those who can, hibernate. When those who cannot, struggle to find Rest.

And consequently, during all this gathering up, there are holes. Some are still gaping, some are healing, but all are missed. Having *Angels* on my shoulder is comforting in many ways, but OH these are times when I wish I could laugh with my Grammy again, when I could bake her favorite cake, sit down with the Family all whole and healed. And not just the human holes in my heart. I miss my Tundra, I miss Mr. Bear Britches. I still miss my Puck.

The longer you live, the more holes in your heart you wind up with. These are holes which will never be filled, will always be "just that particular shape" of the Missed. And I wouldn't WANT them to be filled. The band-aids my heart is filled with keep me connected to the World.

And this is the Season where we forgive. When we forgive ourselves, first... That's been my toughest lesson, learning to forgive myself... And then forgive the important people in our lives whom we have disconnected from for one reason or another. Because after all, I don't want the holes in my heart to crust over from the things I wish I'd said, from the things I wish I'd forgiven while I had the chance. I don't want to remember that the last thing I said to an Important person in my life was negative, or hurtful, or neglectful.

So, for today, JUST today, JUST for RIGHT NOW, I forgive myself. I invite you all to forgive yourselves. I invite us all to cast forgiveness like the fallen leaves of Autumn which make for the compost of Spring. Have you seen the way the sunlight dapples across the faces of the leaves as they flutter in the wind? I cast forgiveness like those leaves, to flutter in my heart until they find a nice warm place to make compost.

I met and spoke at length with Wallace Black Elk once, who told me to ask myself, when confronted with adversity, "Does It Grow Corn?" Is what you are struggling with going to generate a positive outcome? If not, throw it in the compost pile. ("The question “Does It Grow Corn?” – is a Native American [sic] standard by which to scrutinize new models and approaches")

So May the Spirit of the Season find a warm place to grow in our hearts. For today, I am going to smile, even if it starts with me taking my fingers and forcing the edges of my lips up.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

An Amazing YES Life! Little Miracles

And may I never hear the *skreee* of a raptor and not stop whatever I am doing to say "YES! Thank You!"

Yes is a pleasant country

And may I never drive down my steep hill when the moisture clings to the river's way and the spines of the pines pierce the cat fur blanket of fog, when their sweet heads are bathed in honey sunlight and not *gasp* in astonishment as that panorama unfolds before me...


Daily miracles, we but need to open our hearts to see....


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Memorial Trees: Fall is for Planting

Autumn is a melancholy joy, such deep and abiding beauty, and behind the gauzy veils of Fall's Bright Tresses, sits Lady Death, She Who Weaves, She who takes in this thread, and cuts another. I see Her rocking at my pond side, counting the leaves, and as Dr. Clarissa says, tapping her foot and folding and unfolding her gloves.

When I was around eight years old, we moved out to the Country, to a big house with a scorched earth policy. They had scraped the top of the High Chaparral acre clean and clear of every shubbery and plopped a square white house on it. But it was "in the Country", and I loved it. My Grammy took me for a walk one day, with a shovel and a small bag and walked us down to the property line and unveiled a small Brazilian Pepper tree sapling. She told me to start digging a hole. When it was big enough to her satisfaction, she showed me how to tickle the wee tree's roots, and nest it into it's bed securely and safely, tamping the soil over the top. When we were done, she stepped back, looked at me, and said words that will follow me forever: "This is the Kathy Tree."

That tree is still there, Lo! These 40+ years ago, huge, magnificent, healthy. I moved from that house long and long ago, but the tree still calls my name in the breeze, if only I listen carefully.

When Grammy bought the house next door, we proceeded to plant the Unca Richie Tree, (an eastern redbud) the Auntie Lorrie Tree, (a Parlour Palm which was supposed to only grow to 8' tall, but when we planted it, beneath the patio at the corner, loved the site so much, that it pushed the roof. We eventually cut a hole in the roof, and the tree grew to a grandiose height of 25' tall. I moved from that house, where I took care of my Grammy, six years hence, but those trees are also still there, and also call my name on nights when the warm winds comes up from the South.

For Chrsitmases, I always bought a live tree, and planted them wherever I was living. San Diego is dotted with evergreens from my many residences, before I came home to take care of Grammy.

And now, the leaves are turning and Fall is brushing her long luscious locks, shaking her hair out. Fall is for planting. I bought a pink dogwood for Jerry Lipetzky, and I have his hole all dug out and ready next to the pond. The Jerry Tree. I think he'll like it there, listening to the ducks and the Great Blue Heron. I bought an Eastern Redbud tree, and I shall plant that next to the aspen tree, to shed dappled dancing light and shade into my living room during the hot hot spells of Summer. She shall be the Grammy Tree.

It will be like coming Home.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

To Jerry Lipetzky

The World lost an Advocate of Laughter last month, and today, everyone who knew him will either be at El Monte Park, or will be there in spirit to remember him, to laugh with him again, and to share what the man meant to so very many.

Jerry's Celebration of Life

Legacy Page

Jerry's Art (Besides the obvious!)

I hear Teachers say "I took this job because I wanted to make a difference", and Jerry truly did. He took a 9th grade required class, and unscrewed our parched mind and hydrated us with thinking, with vicarious living, with safety, with Nature, with the simple joy of breathing and laughing. He was Gallagher before Gallagher was Gallagher, smashing watermelons to demonstrate the audacity of maps, peeling oranges to show how they got that weird round blue marble onto a flat surface, squishing a sow bug to show what Europe looks like. He was most of our first glimpse into haute culture, preparing escargot, loving the smell, but unable to get past the fact that Johnny kept telling me he'd seen an antenna frantically squirming from between my lips "Help Me!" nibbling on small pieces of limberger cheese and crackers, pinkie extended, don' ya know..

And the extracurricular classes like the Bike Club where I joined the elite of Alpine at the Peugeot Plunge, adding my Subhuman monster to the collection of twisted limbs and spokes in the Malstead Mash, and later in the Season of the Vaqueros, the Lake Henshaw trip, where I was clipped by a trucker, and proved my ability to bounce bodily like a big rubber ball, and where that night, I caught a volkswagon bug on its' way into the gas pumps by jumping through the open driver's window and steering it -just barely- to the left where it hit the curb, but missed the gas pump. Picture it if you will, it is dark, and I see a volkswagon trundling straight at me, no lights on. "OH aren't you funny!" Wait, I can't see who is driving.. Goodness! They are shorter than I am ! Odd.. Maybe the dog is driving.. No wait.. No REALLY, wait now.. NO DRIVER??? uh oh .. What do I do? OK, do something to make car 1 not hit gas pump 2 and go boom. Yes, that's right. Go ahead OW!! I hit my noggin!

And the Summer of Archeology with Jeff Abshear at the Bancroft House where I suspect they still have our journal on display, Jeff with his outrageously delightful illustrations and me with the gift of gab and goofiness. We discovered three extraordinary finds! A proj point obviously used for brontasauri, an incredibly rare leaverite, and grape stakes from the orchard. Finding the joy in dirt, sweeping each dusting of the past away to reveal the puzzle pieces of that past. In this case, a rather interesting juxtaposition of Native peoples, Spaniash peoples, and Western European peoples.

Yes, Jerry was pivitol in our lives, in all our lives. He gave us a safe place to think and ponder, a safe place to question authority, an exciting and safe place to explore. He also gave many of us our first glimpse into living sustainably. Some of us needed this safety. Some of us needed the space to open our wings. Some of us went along for the ride, and what a ride it is! Thank you Jerry, for every smile, for every brush stroke, for every laugh at the absurd, for every Gift of yourself you gave us. Thank you, Jerry for being such a wonderful Teacher, Mentor, Delight and Inspiration. Thank you, Jerry, for your time.

With All My Love and Undying Admiration,

Kat Malstead
Class of '75

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Heat Advisory on SOOO many levels !!

Man it's a hot one and it's gonna get hotter ! Trying to keep all the plants and animals and peoples hydrated will be the Challenge de Jour.

I need more pictures ! I need more words! I want more life !

Off to prepare my watery sword 'gainst the dragons of heat


Friday, August 13, 2010

The Book of Changes

By the look of the date of my last Blog post, I shouldn't wonder if all believe that I have disappeared into a puff of blue smoke. Au Contraire, Mon Amis ! I am still quite lively and still making terrible landscaping mistakes in the Pacific Northwest.

At this moment, I am drenched with a goodly or Godly, depending upon your viewpoint, amount of good ol' fashioned PNW clay, and Teufel, about evenly mixed and measured with weeds and grasses stuck between my toes. I have been working vigorously upon the "New Do" of the Perennial Winged Garden. Greig moved one of the "lost bath tubs" into the garden, and in a group effort, the Good Folks of Wolfdancer Creek hoisted it up on blocks with a slight incline towards the drain hole, stuffed several buckets of river rock and then 4 squished peat pots covered with bags of Teufel and Black Gold. Then I stuffed it with plants! The vholes and the crack grass took over my last attempt, so this time 'round, I thought I'd mix it up with big containers. I planted Zagreb Coreopsis, one white double Crazy Daisy, and then some Firebird Penstemon along one side to help hide the exposed cast iron innards, and planted a deep purple cup and saucer Campanula Canterbury Bells, a cluster of three Delphiniums, a line of different types of Rudbeckia - Irish Eyes and the standard Black-Eyed Susans- then along the back, Echinacea, Liatris, Queen Victoria Lobelia, Cosmos, and a Joe Pye Weed(Eupatorium maculatum) a striking bee attractant along with Monarda, Joseph Kline and Blue Stockings. The front of the bath tub will have a curry plant, a silver Artesmia, and a bunch of pansies and violas. I figured I'd hope for a naturalization thing. :~)

Along the side of that planting, along the next blank space after a butterfly bush which will REQUIRE! heavy pruning this year! I stuffed a bunch of petunias in a Radio Flyer red wagon, and in a broken fountain. The fountain also has dwarf trailing snap dragons in it. First time I've purposefully planted annuals.

I'll take pictures. I have a new camera, and am trying to learn how to use it.

:~) We're Sanctuary here. :~) Life is Good. Bright Blessings!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Spay Neuter and Free Pregnant Cats?????

In response to a post I read on a wonderful Blog:
/free kittens free older kittens free cats free pregnant cats???

Thank you so much for this Blog post! I have 16 cats now. I came to this state with 5 cats -all spayed and neutered- 2 of my Grammy's very elderly cats, and three ferals I had rescued as wee small tinies whom I bottle fed (and spayed and neutered) Then I found Puddles starving -literally- in my orchard. And while I was unable to catch her and get her spayed before the coyotes got her, I DID manage to trap her three litters and have THEM all spay/neutered and vetted. Then came Mimi -a pregnant non-feral dumpee- and her three kittens. The last is Velcro, yet another cared-for dumpee, who has yet to be neutered, but he's quite young yet (I figure only 2 & a half months old yet) Merp is spayed and an outside kitty who sleeps in the motorhome at night for protection. That leaves one wily ol' Tom who has thus far eluded the live trap.

14 cats inside, and 2 outside cats. I had so many promises of homes, but surprisingly, nary a one was interested in the kittens when they discovered that my demands included spay/neutering.

WHY??? If you love your sweet kitties, why in the hell's half acre of demented thinking don't we teach our people to value their lives by spaying & neutering?

hmmm /vent off. But thanks again for this thought provoking Blog post. Adding your link to my Blog now.

For those of us in Oregon, I highly suggest this FABULOUS organization to be book marked. They have helped me tremendously in my efforts to get the ferals in my area spayed and neutered. The Oregon Spay and Neuter Fund


Monday, February 22, 2010

Painting 101

OK< here's the first installment of my very first Painting. I am using the layering techniqu, since it is more forgiving for the steep learning curve I have ahead of me.

The first underlayer of white

The second underlayer of burnt umber

Got some greens in for the background

Added in some yellows for shadings

Here's my first layer of the fur, in burnt umber mixed with black

That's it until I get the next roll developed. I am actually delighted, it seems like some REAL artist is channeling through me, because it's turning out pretty nice ! Obviously, as I go along, I have to change where I photograph this painting, AND subsequently, where I paint, as the light hits the paint and just vanishes it in glare.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Painting 101

REALLY steep learning curve, I had to start a journal as well to write down my successes and failures IE: my lessons... Still have so many to go! so much to learn..

For instance, what are the benefits and weaknesses of going from light-to-dark paint, VS dark-to-light paints?

I find that the InterNets often don't have the information I require, OR I don't have the questions phrased correctly enough for Google to Google.

Sketching in my second canvas. The first one is coming along well. Since the subject is mostly dark, I have been painting dark-to-light. If I tried light-to-dark, I'd have these eyes staring out from deep within the recesses of dark fur, quite over whelming them, methinks. I want the eyes to dominate the picture.

Obviously a SHORT blog post, I get to go to dinner with my Sweetie. For Valentine's Day. *beam* Happy Chocolate Dreams !


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Paintbox of my Mind !

Well, I did it ! I scrimped and saved, and I sent away for some new oil painting brushes. The rat bastadge Movers Paul Arpin Van Lines (now Arpin Van Lines) the most HORRIBLE unethical bunch of ratbastadge nincompoop idiots I EVER had the misfortune of dealing with, lost one (of many) of my belongings, this one was a box of art supplies, which included couple hundred dollars worth of nice brushes.

PS~ If you ever want to have your furniture destroyed, (broken hardwood table legs, scratches a quarter of an inch deep on your hardwood dressers) your belongings lost, (boxes, my Hammond organ for three months, and when they found it, it no longer works, so I have to hire a tube specialist to repair it) with the added bonus of having your contract doubled upon arriving and having the rest of your belongings held hostage until you can pony up twice as much CASH as you had agreed upon, PLUS having the delightful experience of being told by the district attorney's office that there ain't ONE damned thing they are willing to do about it, regardless of how many pictures you have supplied of ravaged belongings.. I tell you, it's like a rape. So, if you want to just rape yourself with no vaseline, hire Paul Arpin Van Lines to do your moving for you ! They will gladly lie to you and take your money for inferior service and superior destruction.

But I digress.

I wanted to get a lovely set of laminated wooden rainbow-colored brushes by Papillon but I can no longer find them online, and the gal who said she'd order them for me has been just too busy to keep her promise, darn it... She's juggling lots of plates! So I had to settle. But I got a nice deal, good sturdy wooden handles, came with a nice wooden case, natural bristle brushes... And I picked up some turpentine to clean my brushes when I'm done for the day, and a couple of palettes.

I had taken a beautiful picture of Nihki Roxie, she's looking straight at me, and it's nice and sharp. So I gathered all my materials, my easel and canvasses that Dian & Mary Claire bought me, my paint box full of paints, my new brushes, an old sheet, and I am beginning a new project!

I have successfully translated what I see on the photograph onto the canvas, using a pencil, and I called my friend Jane who is an artist and we talked for about an hour on my next step. I didn't want to lose the detail and I've never oil painted before ! *laughs* I can't take a photo of the canvass at THIS point, pencil does not photograph well at all.. But I will take some pictures of the progress as I go along.

I realized I have to get a few more tubes of paint, and I must get some linseed oil before I can start putting brush to canvas, but I've been studying, and learning, and getting my fingers dirty exploring the colors I do have.... OOOOOOO rainbow fingers!

I'm quite excited, and I hope that I can translate what I "see" in my head with what I put on the canvas!


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Goodbye, Granny

About three and a half years ago, I adopted/rescued 2 Oberhausli goats. My good friend Dorrie, an elderly Gentlewoman who lives alone, asked me if I could take them, because she had fallen, spent some time in the hospital, and was now finding it very difficult to take care of them. Their names were Granny, and her son, Joey, a wether. Granny had spent most of her life tethered, but not Joey, because he wouldn't go anywhere without his Mama.

This put my goat count to five. I had the two Nubian Princesses, Corazon and Tattoo, Granny & Joey, and Chevy, a white Pygora wether who came to Wolfdancer Creek last year. I call them the Royal Goat Court.

With the help of my friend Greig, (who is a Blessing!) we (read that HE, because I didn't do much except hold one end of the fencing) fixed most of the old perimeter fencing, and fenced some areas off limits. I have a rather long row of beautiful large leafed Rhododendrons lining the west side of my pond, and rhodies are very poisonous to goats, plus, I have my gardens, and my fruit trees, and goats are notorious tree killers, and garden vegetable pillagers.

So they have about 3 acres to browze in, plus the neighbors' wild piece of property which they are quickly denuding of blackberries.

Now, when I adopted Granny and Joey, they weren't in the best of shape. They were both VERY thin, Granny's tummy was huge, but all her hip bones and spine bones were easily counted from afar.... Joey was rail thin. Their fur was very rough, dull and coarse. I wormed them several times, put them on minerals and grain, and good hay, and let them freely wander the 3 acres to browze at their heart's content. Within about a year, their fur was shiny and glossy and soft to touch, they both had put on 30-50 pounds, and they looked very nice and healthy!

Dottie told me she thought Granny was about 11 years old. So she was real close to around 14 plus years old. That's quite elderly for a goat!

On Wednesday, the other goats jostled her around while I was passing out treats and hay, and she went down, back legs splayed behind her. I shooed the other goats off, and helped her up, and gave her some extra treats and skritches, which is my wont. Granny is a VERY sweet friendly goat, and actively solicits attention. On Thursday, I gave them all treats, and she was doing well. I THOUGHT she was ok yesterday, but I didn't go treat them. I could've sworn I saw her up and around, but now, I don't think so. This morning, when Greig went up to refill the hay barrel with a lovely orchard-alfalfa mix, he found her dead. :~(

We spent most of the afternoon digging a very deep hole in the hard, damp clay. (At least it was not in the summer months, when it's baked hard!) We got a big bag of lime, because BooBoo the Bear has been around again, I saw his scat about. We placed Granny in her grave, limed her, then I covered her with a blanket of autumn leaves, and we buried her. I told her to Go to God, and that I'd be seeing her over the Bridge. I told her that I genuinely was honored to know her, and I felt as if we hadn't had as much time together as I would have wished.

So for the last 3 years of her life, she got to wander free of tethers, got to eat her fill, and I got to know a very sweet goat. I shall miss her a great deal.


Monday, January 11, 2010

My Tribe

People ask me often what I mean by "My Tribe". They wonder if I am Native American (I am part Iroquoix, and part Apache biologically, and definitely NA for my Spirit.)
A long long while ago, in a universe far far away, in a (then) small town in San Diego (Yes, Virginia, there used to be a close-knit small town aura in SoCal) there was a group of people who went to the same High School, called El Capitan.

"Sycamores and Mighty Mountains, Colors, Black and Gold! These will be our inspirations as our lives unfold ! Guide us to the understanding of our fellow man, lead us all to new horizons, Hail El Capitan!" Thirty-something years later, in 2010, I will be in a group of people in the Golden Dragon, watching the Cameltones, when the drummer will slip next to us during break, and we will, all eight of us, burst into our alma mater song. How many folks remember your High School Alma Mater song? I graduated in 1975, and I still remembered it! *laughs*

I lost many of my photographs from high school, when an idiot I was engaged to, Van Meers, burned them in a fit of weird inappropriate jealousy. But my friend Cathy has several! I am going to try to see if I have some more in photo books .. This is one of Cathy's of our Choir group. Everyone was supposed to dress up in flapper gear, but as I recall, 1) I was NOT "grrrly" or flapper-ish, and 2) we were pretty broke, and unless it was Theatre clothing, there wasn't any extra money for costumes. So I wore my street clothes. Somewhere, I still have these jeans, and their "partner" set, owned by Jeff, and still around with him, as well! Heavily embroidered and stitched with love, they are vintage cloth art! :~D
So guess which one I am.

This past New Years, I visited with my Mom, my Family and my Tribe, where I spent not-enough time with way too much laughter. My friends threw me a party which was inventive and very fun! Here are some more pictures from that party. These are my Tribe.
The culprits and Master Minds of the concept, soon to be an annual event

My Dear Friends Chris and Larry

Tim, myself, Jeff & Robert watching the Music makers

Jeff gives good hugs !

MarBaby, Randy, Robert & Tim around the campfire.. Hey what's a great party without fire?

Steve & Sam jamming.. I was struggling with the creeping crud and was terribly hoarse with a sore throat, else I'd've been singing with them! That was my only sorrow !

Sam Steve and John

I was in my element! Friends and music *happy sigh*

Larry, Ralphie, Chris & Jani

Cathy and my Baby Boy, Teeghkii, whom she baby sat for me whilst I was rehearsing at the theatre or working. Teeghkii still remembers her very fondly!

So there's part of my Tribe. An Elder once told me that Family can be born into or chosen, and they are both to be Honored as Special. As I have gotten older, I have realized just how special this bond has been! Hardly anyone I know has had this kind of still-close bond, despite time, despite distance, despite changes, despite all the living we have had between then and now. Most of met each other in High School, or in our early twenties. We have saved eachother's lives, we have held eachother's hearts in ours. These are people I am Honored to call friends. They are my Tribe.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

First Annual All Howl-i-Daze Party

When I went to visit my Mom & Tribe, Cathy and Jani threw a GREAT party for me, the First Annual All Howl-i-Daze Party, where we celebrated all the holidays that I missed, such as

St. Paddy's Day,

Fourth of July (there were even fireworks!),

Fat Tuesday,

We did THAT one up!

and Cinco de Mayo.

In no particular order. I just got to go to the Designated Table, and call out a Howliday to celebrate ! So many folks showed up, folks I hadn't seen in FAR too long ...
Like Sam,

and Mar Baby

and Jeff .. Here he is with the OTHER tallest man in my world, Chris !

OMG! it was so good to see him and Larry !

and well, everybody. Cathy even stayed till the very end, and she NEVER stays out late anymore ! I'm still awaiting another set of pics from Jani. My cheeks and belly ached for days from the grinnin and the laughin and the singin and the *happy*happy*joy*joy* It was just the best party I've been to since .. well, since a long long long time. Since the last great Tribal gathering!

It appears as if I have reached an unspoken limit for pictures in this post --go figure!- So I shall write another one ! With pictures of the music makers...and more...


Friday, January 8, 2010

Tales of Terrorist Toothpaste Transgressions!

Now, I know (now) that some idiot terrorist nincompoop tried to blow up an airplane on Christmas Day but I grow weary of common sense being so... well, uncommon. On Dec 28th, I tried to fly to San Diego to see my Mom, and visit my Tribe. It took me 13 hours to fly a 2 & a half hour flight. I certainly made two large mistakes:
#1 I told the truth
and #2 I don't watch television, so I knew nothing about the idiot with a bomb.

Because I just HAVE to find the sunny side of every shadow, I figured I'd write about it. There's plenty of laughter in the tale, much of it in a keystone cops kind of way :~D Much of it at my own expense.

Picture it, if you will. Our heroine blithely approaches the airport, little knowing that she is about to step into: The Twilight Zone.

Since 9/11, I have flown five times with the same "personals" bag in my luggage. It's a three-fold bag which hangs on the back of a door. VERY handy for traveling! It's filled with clear, see-through plastic pockets where you put ungents and potions, lotions and whatnots, toothpaste, shampoos, & conditioners. You know, Grrrrl stuff. So why on Earth would I even think that any of these ungents and potions and toothpaste might NOW be considered dangerous weapons of mass destruction?

The Security Cop fellow is hollarin' about everyone having to place their ungents and potions and whatnots in a plastic Ziploc baggies. I think this is retarded, since there's all these clear plastic windows in my well-traveled personals bag, but I've learned to shrug and follow instructions, so I do this thing.

When I am checked through with my boarding pass, I get told my toothpaste is too big. I have, you guessed it, Terrorist Toothpaste. Right alongside the Terrorist Toothpaste is my Biosilk & Pantene hair conditioner. Those of you who know me, know I have fairly long -middle of my back- quite curly fine hair, and if I don't use superior hair products it gets brittle. And man, there is little in this world more embarrassing than to go around town looking like a frayed Q-tip. The folks say "Just throw it away", but who the heck has about $50.00 bucks extra to spend to replace this kind of stuff in this economy?? They say bag checks cost $15.00 bucks, go back and check your bag.

OK, fine. I hobble off to the baggage check in, and as I hobble, I call my ride, who has walked away a mere THREE MINUTES earlier, dagnabbit, but he does not answer. I wonder still, just what he thought about those 5 frantic phone calls (and a partridge in a pear tree!) The ga at the baggage check-in recognizes me, but tells me it's too late for her counter, hurry inside. I hurry inside, stand in a hurried line, hobble hurriedly, and get told "Well, you should have come here first." riiiiiiiiiiiiiight. It's too late to check my bags, I'm told, the line didn't hurry hurriedly enough. I ask them to call the gate, cuz I'm a'comin', and she says she will. So I hurriedly hobble to the post office right next to the gate, and mail my Terrorist Toothpaste and Companion Potions back to myself, and re-enter the boarding line. I go through security for the second time, hobble to the gate, and I MADE IT! with 7 minutes to spare!

But Lo! & Behold! The lady at the baggage claim did NOT call the gate, and they will not allow me to board. *sigh* I get told that there's no flights out until tomorrow ! I actually grabbed my lips and squeezed them together in order that they not drop copious and illegal F-bombs about. I suppose I looked as if my head were going to pop off, because after about 20 minutes, they found me another flight... with three connectors.. Puddle jumper. From Portland, Oregon PDX to San Jose, from San Jose to Los Angeles, and from Los Angeles to San Diego, arriving at 11:30 pm. It is 10:30 am, and I have been at the airport now for an hour and 45 minutes.

I am NOT a good flyer, I'm a white-knuckled take-off-and-land OMG I hate this kind of flyer. This is NOT a roller coaster, this is NOT a Disney ride, we are all thousands of feet up in the air and even the elephants look like ants ... if I had a magnifying glass that big .....

But the silver lining was, at least I was in Portland. Because those OTHER three airports are, well, not as nice as PDX. On PDX, they have live music. Every time I've been there, there's someone plugged into an amp, playing music. Steel drums, pan pipes, acoustic guitar, violin, it's all beautiful. So if you ever have to spend 7 hours stuck in an airport, I hope you wind up stuck in Portland, because at least they're civilized.

In San Jose, you have to go to an entirely different airport to change planes, consequently ensuring you get to go through customs, errrr security, errrr jail... or whatever they call it now yet another time. You get to go OUT of one airport, catch a bus, and go IN through more security, strip ... and hurry and wait. In L.A., well, what can you say about L.A. except their airplanes all look like great white sharks in a feeding frenzy with brightly colored fiesta fins.

The puddle jumpers did make for lovely lights. Since most folks still had their Christmas lights up, it looked like someone had spilled chests filled with jewels across the dark velvet landscape, jewels lit from within by luminous fireflies of loveliness. The skyscrapers and office buildings were festooned with garlands of rubies, diamonds, sapphires and emeralds cascading down their sides. It was quite beautiful. So beautiful, in fact, that I almost forgot to be scared! In San Diego, I get all sorts of excited when I land in San Diego, because I know I'll get to see my Family and my Tribe. That makes it all sweet.

When I finally got into San Diego, picked up by my little sister Laurie, may angels sleep on her shoulder, I learned why #1 was so incredibly foolish of me. (You remember reason #1, don't you??) There, in that personals bag, was a 6 oz. brown glass bottle, unmarked, unlabeled, with about an inch of clear oil in it. My friend Greig makes this WONDERFULLY scented oil which I use at the ends of my hair, and on my arms and legs. It mixes well with lotions, and has a lasting and lovely fragrance of herbs and essential oils. In my purse, I also had a small nail knife, you know those Swiss Army knives for nail care? about 2" long. Can you imagine the mischief I could have caused with that dangerous weapon? Stewardesses threatened by pedicures at knife point! Film at eleven! So if I had just left my toothpaste and ungents and such in my personals bag, I'll betcha I would have had NO problems at all.

Teach ME to be honest and forthcoming ! *bah*

Till the next great adventure ! Onward to the next star and to the right !