Hie Nonny Nonny and a Hot Cha-Cha!

 

Just a little Saturday silliness…

Hillbilly Zen – An Old Man’s Dream

She waits for him in a copse of trees just beyond the creek, amid shadows of cedars that rise from the decaying tangle of their fallen kin.  Sleek and petite, she moves with a lithe certainty that scarcely disturbs the fragile tendrils of new growth struggling from the forest floor.  She is built for speed but has reached the limit of her endurance, and seeks cover in the dusky coolness of the woods.  She is vulnerable here, but the miles she has covered today have taken their toll; she sinks to the loam with a soft exhale of relief and is still.  A tiny pulse beats a frantic rhythm in the white curve of her throat, belying the ease of her repose.  The tender pink shell of her ear catches a sound in the distance and she stiffens, instantly alert.  An eternity of heartbeats passes as she waits; is he here?  She raises her head to the wind but it carries no scent of him.  Tension drains from her stance and she moves toward the enticing whisper of the creek.  As she drops her head to drink, her own reflection gives her pause.  In the bottomless caramel depths of her eyes swirls the instinctive wisdom of her lineage, flickering with the deep sadness and unremitting terror of the hunted.  Even if she manages to elude him this time, he will never abandon his desire to possess her. He sees subtle movement at the tree line, and it takes every ounce of willpower he possesses not to bolt from concealment.  To reveal himself now would be foolhardy.  She is fast and can easily outrun him, but he has been tracking her for hours and she is tired.  Tall grass and a favorable wind direction should get him close enough to take her.   His lips curl back over gleaming teeth into a ferocious smile, and a soft, satisfied growl escapes.  This time he will have her.  Adrenaline floods his veins like molten madness, consigning domesticated niceties into fiery oblivion.  The primal drumming of his heart pounds in his ears, but he imagines he hears her muted footfalls through the undergrowth.  He watches her through slitted, cunning eyes as she slips from the shelter of the trees.  He readies himself, muscles contracting, forged by bloodlust into rigid bands beneath his skin.  He snarls, leaps and begins to run.  As he closes in, the tantalizing scent of her panic urges him to greater speed.  She is almost his….

I look up from my laptop and watch the old man twitch in his sleep, smiling at the staccato chuffs, rumbles and snores as he dreams.  We’ve been together almost fourteen years now, and even fourteen more still wouldn’t be long enough.  I’ve seen him go from vibrant youth to frail geriatric.  He’s lost most of his teeth, his fur is patchy, his skin is fragile and he’s gotten more than a little cranky, but I love him with all my heart.  The phone rings twice before I can grab it, and he raises his head from his pillow in obvious annoyance.  Grumbling under his breath, he heaves a sigh and sinks back into his bed.  I finish the call, then reach down and gently skritch his chin.  He opens one eye in tacit acknowledgement of my affection, then drifts off to sleep again.

Don't worry, old man.  You'll get her next time.

Don’t worry, old man. You’ll get her next time.
(Google Image Photo)

Hillbilly Zen – Something About This Song…

 

I’ve had this song stuck in my head all day.  Fortunately I’m a fan of John Denver so it’s all good.  It reminds me of my Uncle Lewis, who also grew up on a farm (although not in Kansas) and was a major influence in my life.

 

Hillbilly Zen – Annie in the Fog

 
Annie in the Fog

My old girl Annie on this foggy morning. She’s the one I wrote about in Cold Comfort – The Solace of Solstice.

Hillbilly Zen – Tornadoes, Snow Storms and Ducks on Ice

(Author’s note:  Yesterday there were tornadoes in Kentucky, today we’ve got snow and ice.  Like everyone else, I’m starting to feel the strain of constantly being chilled to the bone and interminable shades of gray. So, I decided to take my own advice and count my blessings.  I wrote this column for the local paper back in 2008.  Hope you enjoy it.)

Tornadoes, Snow Storms and Ducks on Ice

Every now and then, our world turns upside down.  We are yanked out of our personal comfort zone and forced into an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation with our own mortality.  We all, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, walk a fine line – the razor’s edge of existence – with every single breath we take.  Perhaps it is some primal survival instinct that keeps us from dwelling on this, some intrinsic coping mechanism that urges us to quickly process traumatic events and then resume our everyday routine as soon as possible.  We spare little, if any, time to ponder the tenuous nature of our time on this earth.  But…every now and then…our Creator reaches down, bips us upside the head and commands our attention.

We all accept that Kentucky weather is predictable in its unpredictability.  When 700 temperatures plummet to 300 within a day’s time we just shake our head, roll our eyes and wonder why we even bothered to put the long underwear back in the dresser drawer.  But to see the wreckage from one week’s tornadoes covered by inch-thick ice the next week must surely give pause to even the most stoic among us.  This is not just “Kentucky weather”.  This is a stark reminder of how capricious the Fates can be, how what we often take for granted can be taken from us in the blink of an eye.

Photo by NOAA

Tornado Damage in Town

It gets a little festive on my beloved hill the Tuesday night the tornadoes hit.  For the last few weeks, we have been in some sort of weird pattern in which every Tuesday brings severe weather.  Although the previous Tuesday’s winds seem to have howled a bit louder, it becomes evident that this Tuesday’s storm means business. Brief, fervent pleas tumble from my lips each time the house shakes, and even the cats deign to join the dogs and me as we huddle in the bathroom.  When it is all over, a few tree limbs are the only damage on my farm.  The house withstands the onslaught, the barn and the horses are fine, so I offer a heartfelt prayer of thanksgiving and go to bed.  After seeing the enormous property damage done throughout the county, it really hits me that it’s only by the good Lord’s grace that no one was killed.  More prayer then, and grateful wonder at the mercy shown to all.

That’s what it comes down to really, doesn’t it?  It’s all about finding those grateful moments.  In the dark times a little extra effort might be required, but if you keep at it, focus on finding even one thing to be thankful for, gratitude gets a little easier each day.  The coolest part is, even the smallest benevolence can produce sizeable joy; ducks on ice, for instance.

On the first gray, dreary morning after the ice storm I dread going out, but my critters are first priority so I bundle up and gingerly make my way out onto the porch.  The ducks immediately start clamoring to be let out of their pen, and ice stormthus begins one of the funniest things I have ever seen in my life. The minute I open the gate, they stampede out like they usually do.  Instead of slapping across grass, however, their little webbed feet hit a solid sheet of ice.  This is closely followed by their little feathered bottoms hitting the ice.  I can almost hear “The Blue Danube Waltz” playing in the background; Da da da da dum (Splat! Quack! Splat! Quack!), da da da da dum (Splat! Quack! Splat! Quack!).  Gospel truth, I laugh until I literally have tears in my eyes.  The ducks seem to take offense at my helpless laughter, glaring at me as if their lack of traction is my fault.

After that the day seems a little brighter and a bit warmer.  My burdens, whether real or imagined, feel much lighter.  Each remembrance of that moment will bring laughter and thanks to God for a hilarious mercy shown on a dismal winter morning.

It’s ok to feel sorry for yourself sometimes.  Go ahead and have a pity party, but make it a short one.  Then find something, even the tiniest little thing, that makes you smile.  Blessings aren’t that hard to find, and even a little bit of gratitude goes a long way.

Photo by Marin Winters/Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Marin Winters/Wikimedia Commons

Hillbilly Zen – Lazy Poet’s Lament

Photo courtesy of Llano Lodge

Photo courtesy of Llano Lodge

Lazy Poet’s Lament

 

Waking from prescription sleep,

I move through molasses to the window.

Entranced by the fog, fields

smudged and damp with not-quite-vapor,

“I’ll write,” I think, anticipating

peace on a page.

But I’m too slow.  By the time coffee’s ready

my cocoon

is desiccated by sunrise,

swept away by wind,

housekeepers hell-bent

on tidying up the morning.

Harsh new clarity exposes

neglected chores that glitter with guilt.

A strand of spider-spun silk

arcs gently in the breeze,

an elegant tether from tree to earth.

Screw it.

I smile and put pen to paper.

 

Hillbilly Zen – Temporary InZenity

images (1)More often than I care to admit, my inner hillbilly overcomes my attempted Zen. Today was a prime example.  One of the blogs I follow is Week Woman, which features feminist topics.  I’ve found some other feminist writing to be strident and accusatory, much like a revival preacher in all-out “hellfire and brimstone” mode. That’s not the case with Week Woman, whose posts are well written, containing healthy doses of irony and wit.  Today’s post, “No More Silencing”, really got me stirred up.  I mean full tilt, righteously indignant, panties in a knot, screeching like a howler monkey stirred up.  It was hillbilly vs Zen, and hillbilly opened up a Costco-sized can of whupass.  Poor Zen never stood a chance.

Normally when I post a comment it’s with the feelings of the author in mind.  I try to be complimentary (but only if I mean it), and/or funny.  I was neither in my reply to “No More Silencing”.  I was wound up tighter than an 8-day clock and more concerned with what I had to say than how it sounded.  I suppose I thought it was implied that I agreed with her post.  In this state of complete self-absorption, however, I inadvertently offended the author, who understandably thought my scathing comments were directed at her.

I didn’t realize my error until I read her reply to my comment, in which she calmly and surgically cut me off at the knees.  I apologized immediately, which was the least I could do. The most I can do at this point is to ask those who read this to click on the links above.  Best case scenario is added readers for her blog, bestest case scenario is an “Aha!” moment for those who read her post.

I could blame it on menopause or too much caffeine or rusty blogging skills, but ultimately I can only blame myself for offending her.  I meant every word of my reply, but my diatribe was directed at the subject of the post, not the author.  I am deeply sorry for my failure to make that clear.  So readers, please visit the links above, and hopefully the author will come to see that although I am sometimes an ill-tempered old heifer, I’m not a complete ass.

Back Like A Bad Penny!

Bad pennyAfter six weeks of apoplexy-inducing interaction with an unscrupulous computer “repair” business, my laptop is once again ensconced on my lap. Needless to say I’m delighted, unlike my cat Puh, who keeps shooting me narrow-eyed dirty looks because he no longer has access to said lap. He’ll get over it, and I’m trying to. Instead of dwelling on the negative (the previously mentioned business, which is apparently staffed by chimps with hammers), I’m trying to focus on the genius and generosity of Thomas Vukelic of Cold Springs Computer Repair in Harrodsburg, KY. In one week and for half the cost, he corrected the original problem as well as repairing the damage caused by the tool-wielding primates.

I’ve missed you guys! Scanning through the comments you’ve left reminded me just how wonderful the net can be, and how great it feels to have access to such a talented group of people. It’s going to take me awhile to get caught up, but I’m chomping at the bit to read what you’ve written and see what you’ve painted and photographed. Thanks for all the good vibes and kind words. We now resume our irregularly scheduled programming…

Just a Quick Note

The charger on my laptop has bitten the dust, so I’ll be offline for several days. Living in the middle of nowhere has its advantages, but having to wait 5-7 days for a replacement charger is not one of them. I’m sending this from one of the library’s computers, and in the cubicle next to me is a pre-teen germ incubator sneezing and hacking who-knows-what over the barrier and into MY personal airspace. So I won’t be making the trip into town to do this again any time soon. Take care, all, and I’ll see you when I see you. I’m gonna go spray myself with Lysol and scarf down some Vitamin C. Right after I accidentally bip that little two-legged Petri dish upside the head with my purse as I leave. Do I look feverish to you? I think I’m getting feverish…

Hillbilly Zen – Hazelnut Coffee and Pancakes on a Stick

I’ve had what I thought was difficulty writing before: no inspiration/motivation, trying to find  just the right phrasing, sweating a deadline, etc.  That all pales in comparison with this last week.  What began as a simple writing exercise morphed into a maelstrom the likes of which I’ve never experienced.

Surgeons are discouraged from operating on family members, detectives aren’t assigned to cases involving relatives or friends, judges and juries are dismissed from deciding the fate of anyone with whom they’ve had prior contact.  So why is it that writers are driven to fill pages with visceral thoughts and feelings?

I’ll ponder that later.  Right now I’m going to seek out the most mindless recreation available, while drinking hazelnut coffee and scarfing down a couple of pancakes on a stick.  The reason for these neuron-numbing, pound-producing indulgences?  The “Haiku for Two Trees” series is finished.

The story it tells may be impossible for anyone but me to follow, but I hope readers will find some beauty in the words.  The memories and emotions that swarmed from this Pandora’s Box have been duly noted and properly dealt with, for now anyway.  I know they will always haunt me, but they are less strident, less accusatory.  Grief has been softened by retrospection.  A fringe benefit of that inexplicable writer’s drive, I suppose.

As stated before, this series was inspired by a photo posted by lovinchelle.  I admit that during this last week I vacillated between wanting to thank him and wanting to throttle him for starting all this.  Now that it’s in the rear view mirror I can sincerely say it’s the former.

If you’d like to see the series presented in one chronological post, it’s here.  I’m still debating whether to use the subtitles or go with I, II, III, etc., and would greatly appreciate feedback.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to all who have visited and shown their encouragement.

Online Bingo, here I come.

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