Following in the footsteps of one of my favorite web-witches, Hootin’ Anni, my newer blog-buddy Wakela Runen is passing along Halloween Treats to folks on her blogroll, and I was so treated. Thanks, Wakela!

These are the guidelines for bloggish trick or treat:

Each day up until Halloween [October 31st]
Hootin’ Anni will be handing out
a treat for 1 – 5[one to five] bloggers who drop by
during the week for visiting.
You’re more than welcomed to pass it along
to ones you think are deserving of a special treat
for the season.
Kinda like “Pay it Forward”
Y’know, one goodwill gesture deserves another?
But DON’T just choose your friends
making this cliquish and ‘just groupies’…
Make NEW friends by choosing random visitors!!!
It seems that ‘awards’ are floating around blogland
and just “blog friends” get chosen all the time.
Make it RANDOM!!

If you do decide to share it with others
link it back to my blog and
explain where the idea originated.

And these are the people I’m treating. There are more than five, because I know I won’t get around to posting this every day:

Becca of Becca’s Byline
CajunVegan of I Read Banned Books
Carmi of Written, Inc.
Dave of Utenzi Blog
Frank & Lisa of Notes from Zone 4
Gautami of Rooted
Herb of Herb Urban
Jeremy of Give Mama Some Sugar
Nat of The Capacious Hold-All
sister AE of Having Writ
The Synergizer of Miss Kitty Fantastico

(At least one of these blogs is one where I lurk, reading but never – or rarely commenting, others were chosen because they’re not getting the attention they deserve.)

Feel free to grab the image and pass on your own treats, but don’t forget to credit Hootin’ Anni if you do.

Fuzzy Logic

“We need to probably get rid of this suitcase,” he said several weeks ago, coming home from a trip.

The plastic innards had fragmented and were shedding inside, so there was no “probably” about it, but much as I love my husband, making definite statements is not his strong point. “Can’t you ever just say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’?” I ask him in exasperation.

He smiles and says, “Maybe.”

So the suitcase sat in the corner of the living room for a month, because moving it twenty feet to the garage, and then out to the curb would apparently be too much work. It’s not like it’s Samsonite luggage, or anything. It’s cheap canvas stuff from Big Lots, that was supposed to be $40/bag and we got for $10. It has lasted several years, after all.

With Fuzzy away, though, I have to keep busy, tire myself out, so that I sleep without all the normal house sounds spooking me. (The curse of an over-active imagination), so I’ve been cleaning, and that included taking the suitcase out to the garage.

He’s lucky, though.

I took his coat out of it, first.

A Cold and Rainy Day

…may seem dreadful to many, but I’ve been waiting for this weather all summer, it seems.

Yesterday, knowing it would be the last warm day for a while, we hung the ghosts in the trees, and I strung up the Halloween lights. (Yes, we have Halloween lights. Our whole neighborhood does. Don’t you?) Today, I’m writing, and cleaning, back and forth between the stationary task and the suckful task, except, I sort of like cleaning once in a while. It’s cathartic, and I like the way the house looks.

I can write this now because Fuzzy’s safely at the airport, and should be boarding his plane in 20 minutes, but I might move furniture while he’s gone. Or I might not. Today though, I’m writing and cleaning and enjoying lamplight and candlelight, and the glowing ghosties, and the rain outside.

Mmm. Fall.

Morbid Much?

Dear Aunt Peg,

I realize that you are ninety years old, that you’ve had a good life, and that one of the reasons we had your birthday in June instead of August was that you said you felt you didn’t have much time left. (The other reason, of course, was that August weather in SoDak is brutal.)

You’ve been a great auntie. Everyone should have a great-aunt as funny, spry, and sweet as you are, so I know you won’t find it offensive when I ask you that, if this intestinal blockage that has you in the hospital tonight is going to kill you, you could manage to die by Halloween, or hold on til December. Not that I want you to die. Of course I don’t. We aren’t ready to let you go yet, though I know you’ve said you’re getting kind of tired.

But you see, November is a suckful month in our family. My grandfather (your brother), my uncle Merrell, my cousin Eddie, Ginny who thought I was her birthday cousin because we share the same birthdate….all these people died in November, and frankly, if one more person in our family dies in November I’ll have to strike that page from the calendar. Not just MY calendar. THE Calendar. The one that determines when we observe things like Labor Day and Daylight Savings. You know. The big one. The official One.

And removing November would be pretty horrible for the people who have birthdays then, for all the folks who participate in NaNoWriMo, for the people who like to vote (we’d have to make sure November 2008 was put back in, at least), and for all the people who’ve never seen the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and should, as well as all the people who have, and want to again, and never miss it on TV.

I’ve lost enough family this year, Aunt Peg: Uncle Stan, Cousin Pat, Aunt Gwen…and I’m sad about all of them, of course, but you and I are actually kind of close, in the way that great-aunts and grand-nieces can be. We’ve shared Christmases, hotel rooms, and illicit cups of coffee together.

So here’s the deal. No dying. Because frankly, with Pat having died just last week, and my grandmother’s death in 2000 pretty much destroying Christmas, October and December are hanging by mere threads, and if we excised a whole quarter of a year, people might get a bit tetchy.

So, use all that Klindienst stubbornness and Chapman stamina, and the sweetness from the frosting of every cake you ever decorated, and bundle it up and get better.

Because if you don’t?

I’ll make my mother sing at you.

Love always,


Sunday Morning

9:08 AM.

I’ve been up for about half an hour, woken by nature’s insistent call, and am apparently fully awake now, even though our alarm won’t go off for an hour.

I escorted the dogs out to the back yard this morning, wanting to feel the fresh air. It’s supposed to warm to nearly 90 degrees by the end of the day, but right now it’s one of those deliciously crisp fall mornings with just enough wind, and I sat in the soft rays of the morning sun, and let the breeze wrap itself around my arms, and ruffle my hair, and tickle my ankles, while I watched the dogs sniffing in the ivy, and listened to a chorus of birdsong. I’m hoping Fuzzy understands that while the weather is my lover, he’s my true love and best friend. Also he takes the garbage out, and brings me flowers. The weather, however seductive it might be, never does either.

Well, sometimes it brings me flowers, but I have to share them with the whole of Creation, which lessens the impact somewhat.

Back inside now, I’m at the antique wooden writing desk typing on the pink Macbook. A glass of tart cranberry juice and a container of fat-free peach yogurt serve as breakfast this morning. I’m craving a croissant and a latte, and while I might have the latter, later, the former isn’t an option.

Anyway, croissants are only good first thing in the morning.

I have NPR murmuring at me from the kitchen. I’ve been really into radio lately. I like the way you can discover whole new worlds between the numbers on the dial. Turn the knob one way, and you get a sports channel, giving you the latest information on the Indianapolis Colts or Dallas Cowboys, or whatever. Turn it in the opposite direction, and a burst of bad mariachi assaults your ears, but it’s only for a moment because you’re moving on to the next.

Top 40. Country-Western. Vintage Rock. Talk Shows. NPR.
An entire world inside a little box, and so much more interesting than television, the way novels are better than movies.

Sunday morning.
A time for small discoveries.
And a tryst with the autumn breeze.


Last Sunday marked the third anniversary in this house, the longest I’ve ever been in a single house.

This weekend marks, not our 12th wedding anniversary, because that was in March, but the 12th anniversary of flying home to California (when it was home) for the pot-luck reception my parents hosted. We had a Humanist minister lead a brief ceremony, where we quoted from Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables, and read the “Apache Wedding Prayer,” and my grandmother gave us her mother’s wedding ring, a rose-gold band with sheaves of wheat flanking a platinum inset holding three diamond chips. I’m wearing it as I write this, with her diamond engagement ring. I bought Fuzzy’s ring, and keep joking that someday I’d like a ring from him, but the reality is that I like being able to wear my family history on my fingers, and my great-grandmother was such a tiny woman (or so I’ve heard – she died when my grandmother was nineteen) that the small scale of her ring suits my pixie hands.

Neither our actual wedding (we eloped) nor this ceremony were terribly fancy, there were no strings of bridesmaids, groomsmen gift buying frenzies, or hoards of relatives we barely knew. Instead, a few simple words, and then a pot-luck in the back yard where our multicultural friends brought traditional wedding foods from their own families or countries of origin.

Part of me wishes we’d done a formal wedding.
Part of me doesn’t.

But either way, October has become a month of personal milestones.

And I rather like that.

Off the Shelf

A few months ago, when I was looking for the lid to a pot, the shelf supports broke and a rain of blue teflon-lined pans fell upon my head. I saw stars, I cursed at the shelf, and I yelled for Fuzzy to get rid of the actual shelf until such time as we could replace the supports.

All this time later, and the cabinet hardware still hasn’t been replaced, and every time I go into that cabinet, I get pissy, because things are stacked haphazardly. (Of course, I’m also relieved that it was the cabinet where the Target teflon lives and not the cabinet where the ceramic Princess House pots and pans live.)

In fact I hate the cabinet so much that I’ve largely given up on the teflon set, unless I want to make an omelet (because non-stick and eggs are a great combination) or chili, (because the ceramic set doesn’t have a spaghetti pot, and the dutch oven is too big, and who wants their white ceramic stained with tomato, anyway?) and as I’ve been cooking at home more both because it’s cheaper and healthier and because it fits our schedule better, I’ve noticed something else…

The ceramic stuff is easier to clean.

I mean, I have a ceramic roasting pan, and I made a chicken in it last week, and this week I’m making another, and all I did was soak it while I was cleaning the rest of the kitchen, and it was all shiny with almost no effort.

I should have taken the ceramic stuff off the shelf long ago.

Friday’s Feast – 0710.19

If you were a dog, what breed would you be, and why?
Something small and tenacious, in the terrier family. Possibly a Staffie, as they’re fierce guardians, but all bluff and no bite.

What does the color purple make you think of?
Deeply colored autumn leaves, eggplant, my favorite turtleneck, suede sneakers that finally fell apart, crisp sweet grapes, and the midnight sky.

Approximately how long does it take you to get ready each morning?
Ready for what? I work from home, so half the time getting ready means opening my eyes and grabbing the laptop from the nightstand (approx. 15 seconds), when I go out, half an hour if I don’t need to shower first, double that if I do.

Main Course
How many cousins do you have, and are you close to them?
I have a lot of cousins from both sides of my mother’s family, and while I’ve met many of them, there are apparently many, many more that I’ve never even heard of. I’m particularly close to my cousin Cathy, in New Jersey, who is really more like my older sister, even though our mothers are NOT sisters, and my cousin Stacie, whom I’ve gotten to know better since moving here (she lives a couple of hours away, in Louisiana.)

Take your initials (first, middle, last) and come up with something else those letters could stand for. (Example: SFO = Sweet Funny Otter)
MAB: Mischievous Alliterative Broad.

Coming Attractions

I never did post my Thursday 13, and since it’s now Friday, it seems rather silly to post it now. Instead, I offer some coming attractions for the next few T13’s – W, X, Y, and Z:

In the W-list, you’ll get to hear me ramble about water, writing and weeds.

The X-list includes xylomancy, xylophones, and Xanth.

When we get to Y, that list will talk about Peter Yarrow, and the concept of “Yes And.”

And Z features zoetropes, zinnias, and zippers, among other things.

So, you see, I really have planned them out, I just wasn’t feeling writey today, and yesterday I kind of forgot it was Wednesday, and didn’t post early.