Monday, June 14, 2021

Updates


 Hello from Provincetown, where I am comfortably recuperating from major back surgery that has me hopeful and encouraged. So far I'm doing far better than expected. No gardening, no bending or twisting or lifting for another month or two, but all in all I'm doing well. I put this spinal fusion surgery off for years, hoping physical therapy or weight loss or acupuncture or chiropractic treatment etc etc would work. Now, barely three weeks post operatively, I am in far less pain than I've been in the last three years. So come what may I know I made the right decision. 

I'm also unexpectedly readying to have a collection of my poetry published within a few weeks! This has been sweet and exciting and surprising! I took a break from querying my novel at the same time I began reviewing and cleaning up my writing files, and somehow one step has led to another. The book should be available as a paperback or e-book on Amazon sometime in early to mid-July. My feeling is 'thrilling!'

It's beautiful here on Cape Cod as spring falls into summer. JB and I rearranged our outdoor deck from just a grill and picnic table to the addition of a cozy sectional where I can stretch out and read and relax. It took me weeks to decide on the 'right' patio sectional but I lucked out with a great choice.

Wishing each of you a blessed grateful season ahead. Love kj

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Help!


 You may remember this. I asked for impressions and suggestions about love and then I put the responses all together.  This is one of my favorite graphics.

I have a feeling my blog is not allowing some or all comments. Would you kindly let me know if you're unable to leave a comment here? My email address is karenjasper@comcast.net.

Meanwhile, all is well here except I'm having long avoided back surgery in Mid-May. It's about time and I'm hopeful I'll be able to walk the beach and walk downtown and stand to my heart's content. I feel good about it, despite a longish recovery. 

These days are writing days for me. I'm compiling a trade book of my poems and determining how best to publish (or self publish) my family saga novel. It's a good life here: JB goes to her studio and I write and we marvel that we're one block from the beach. We've been vaccinated. Hope floats!

love kj



Friday, March 05, 2021

Rollercoasters



I've begun cleaning out my computer files and I've come across a memoir I put aside a few years ago. It brought me back to probably my earliest blog post, written in 2006 at a time when I saw and experienced life a certain way. I'm still pondering what has and hasn't changed in my thinking, but I do know I still don't mind taking a risk or two. How about you? 

 My Blog Entry 2006

Whatever is exhilarating is also risky, kind of like riding a roller coaster with your hands above your head and your feet so flip-floppy they won’t help you brace, especially during that first long wild dip, when your hair flies behind you at lightning speed and you can barely hear your own screams because they are folded into the chill of the collective scream, all the way down, until you level out waiting for the next rapid rise and fall.

        True, there’s a steel bar across your lap that holds you to the seat, makes sure gravity will not pick you up and plummet you into mid air and sudden death, but let’s face it: you want to ride that roller coaster that way—reckless and reflectively—so you hand over a piece of yourself without knowing the ropes, the same as if you choose a backcountry trail without provisions or a map; you do it that way and you’re taking your chances that you'll know what to do when the danger rush comes flying at you, when there’s no time to think and certainly no time to plan.

            You know it makes more sense to size things up, take your time and venture slowly, get familiar with what's known and what isn't. You know It’s better to not be surprised when you are not prepared, to keep the rudder steady, to drop Hansel and Gretel corn kernels behind you so the path stays familiar. But then again when you know your way, you’re not surprised, and when you’re not surprised, you’re not deep in the thrill and the rush ride that’s lost to you is not exactly small.

Isn’t that why sooner or later you come to admire people who just throw their arms up and go with it and venture forth, no map, no plan, no umbrella, no kernels of anything except the wild stallion within them, why you react with amazement when they decide to let loose, finally, fully, foolishly, yes, but who’s to say the benefit won’t be the lovely freedom of unleashed passion, newly minted wonder, a way of moving in a sometimes flat world, a level of deciding that transcends and transforms everything that’s come before it?

Don’t most of us envy people like that, wish we could do it that way too, at least sometimes? Don’t you want the earth to move, the foundation to shake, the stars to explode right in front of you, to throw you off your feet and high into the air in one explosive bolt? Really now, Don’t you?

I knew a woman who traded in her compass and her raincoat for the thrill of the open road. She burned her house down and everything in it one October morning and she never looked back. When she ventured forth, she was anchorless, weightless, unencumbered, clueless, totally wide and open and fresh and full. It was like her heart had split itself down the middle, pulsating with its own raw recklessness, spilling forth love dust everywhere, no fences, no ambivalence, no back doors, not a molecule of second guessing. She slid onto that roller coaster seat and for two years she rode up the track and down, letting an unfamiliar and totally exhilarating passion slap her face, toss her from side to side, spike her right off her seat. Vibrant images and new possibilities flew by her with lightning speed, new colors and new…….

But…

...That passion sometimes overtakes, not just exhilarates. Have you learned that hearts can roam free and wild for only so long, before they need to slow down, level out, open up and wide, yes, but did you know that hearts prefer a clean cut that expands and not explosives that blast?

Because when your heart explodes, shards blow and fall everywhere, and you might spend years picking the blown apart pieces, trying to put them back together rightly. That is what happened to this other woman I knew. It took her a long time to stop looking to find and repair all those pieces. It took her a long time to learn about balance and safety and steady sails. But she did learn. But too, every once in a while she is back on that roller coaster, whoopy-ing her way through wild arms in the air ride, letting the wind take her again, leaving her umbrella and compass in a back room somewhere.


Thursday, February 25, 2021

Hello!


 The last time I posted here, little did we know the Covid 19 virus would be so devastating. This week JB and I got our first vaccine shot and as I knew it would, it's given me some hope that this can be the beginning of the end of this world-wide tragedy; meaning it will hopefully be easier to move life in the direction of 'more normal.'

I've been pretty much holed up at home, but I live in such a beautiful place, with an empty winter beach one block from home. It's mostly been okay, except I miss my daughter and son-in-law and my four grandkids. But soon.... 

My cooking skills have increased significantly. It's about time! These days I'm also  shopping my completed family saga novel, hoping an agent will pick me up. I'm not sure if that will happen, but I'm motivated to stick with the no-fun process of sending out queries and sample chapters. 

I am forever said that blogging has flickered out. I will always miss so many past blogging friends. Heck, we shared our lives almost daily. I wish those of us who remain, even periodically like me, everything good. I'll keep writing, and if and when my book get's picked up, I'll be shouting from the rooftops right here!

love kj



 

Friday, July 10, 2020

JB's succulent garden 
Hello! I've been holed up in Provincetown with few personal inconveniences but plenty of anger and push back against our current U.S. President and the shocking (uninformed?) people who continue support  him.

The Corona Virus here in Provincetown has been at zero. I feel like I'm in a bubble, able to see my neighbors and friends safely, with masks, at a distance, but with the benefit of ocean breezes and mostly compliant residents. This may all change now that the tourist season is in full swing, but I live in a state with an intelligent governor so at least I can feel I'm in competent hands.

Unlike Florida, Arizona, Texas, and a shameful Federal response.

These days I am finishing up a travel memoir on our road trip across America and querying agents about my family saga, now renamed Saints of the Little Things. It's a gift to have writing as a life companion. I normally don't reach the outer ends of boredom or anxiety because I can write.

And I can garden. Our plot of land is small but it's so refreshing to plant something, tend to it, and watch it grow. These days I mostly write, garden, cook a little, volunteer a bit of counseling and resource help, and look for ways to be kind. JB and I have been surprising people with Saturday morning orgasmic sticky buns for the last few months. We order ten a week and just decide who's on the delivery list each week. It's been a great feeling to do this silly delivery, and it makes a sweet difference to the receivers and to us the givers.

I think there is a blanket of anxiety and unease among most of us these days. How could it be otherwise? Wearing masks in a real or imagined way separates us from other people. I may greet people with a smile but it's often not seen or understood. And for many, isolation starts to hurt. I am not seeing my beloved Jessica and my beloved grandkids in any way close to normal: that's probably my biggest loss. But in another way, I'm staying put in a way I'm not used to, and I like it. My big time prayers are aimed toward the Presidential Election in November. My country needs to heal. I find that Trump upsets me even more than fear and sadness about the virus.


 I hope you are all well. I know I've not been reliable here on Blogger, but if you happen to be on Facebook or Instagram, I'm there and I'd love to follow you.


Meanwhile, stay safe and don't lose hope in humanity or the planet. Big shifts are happening, that's for sure. I hope when we land, we're the better for it.

He. Will. Not. Win.

Love kj

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Snippets from a Road Trip


 This post is in no order. Since we hightailed it back to Massachusetts from California, the Corona Virus has taken over day-to-day life. But our 8 week road trip was too magical and too awesome not to write about it, not to share. So I'm going to randomly post snippets.

For starts, here is our loosey-goosey itinerary. Nothing after Blythe California was as planned because we were instead racing to get back home before we might be quarantined or sheltered in place in one state or another. But boy was our trip from East to West wonderful.


 In Charleston South Carolina, we tracked down one of our favorite artists, Jonathan Green, and found the gallery where his signed prints are sold. We bought one, our first purchase of the trip, and we're still giddy about it. We came close to visiting his house and studio, but that's another story.


This is one of many signs we found along the way. I went out of my way looking for interesting and/or comical signs and sooner or later, I may bunch them all together into maybe a chap book. I wonder how many fried chickens applied for this $ 15/hour job?


All in all we stayed in at least 20 hotel rooms. In every one, we spread out a blanket for our dog Mattie and gave her a beloved greeenie on the bed before we left her alone. She was perfect the entire road trip, in the car, on the road, on city streets, in hotels and in people's home. She loved being with us.

 

This was my very favorite meal of all time. Shrimp and grits at Henrietta's in Charleston. It was orgasmic.

 I have no idea where this was. Just a scene among hundreds as we headed south and then west.


We have friends who moved to Carefree Arizona and this is the view from their deck. No subdivisions for these two--they are smack in the desert. While we were there, a loud rattle sound came from the garage. Not one but two RATTLESNAKES! The fire dept came and disposed of them, meaning they carefully captured both and released them not far from this very scene.


Oh Southern California. I could breathe you in every day.


Bisbee Arizona.  Once a thriving copper mining town, it has a charm to it that made it one of our favorite places. This is the Main Street, with all kinds of fantastic specialty shops and restaurants. We shopped a lot here.


Here we are  in Palm Springs visiting with friends. :^)


This place has a story to it! Nestled in the hills of Topanga California, it was the first time we tried AirB&B. It looks darling, right? It was called the French Quarter. We arrived to mud. More mud than I'd ever seen. JB's feet sank down 6 inches trying to get from the car to the front door. It was too late in the day to start over, so we hunkered down in the "French Quarter" for a night of uneasy funk. The place was tired, worn, unelegant. We laugh about it now, and we managed to reconnect with my dear friend ValGal at a local restaurant. But jeez Louise, mud and more mud. 

More to come. I hope my friends here are feeling as safe as possible. The virus and Donald Trump are  cause for great concern. I'm home appreciating the little things that aren't little, but it's pretty weird to be living a different life. I hope it's temporary.

love
kj

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Quickie Update


This is Southern California. I have plenty of gorgeous and interesting photos to share from our Road Trip across America, but for now I'll quickly say that we hightailed it back to Massachusetts from California in an effort to get home before any of the states ordered a 'shelter in place' order. The trip home is a story in itself.

The Corona Virus has taken over daily life. My small tourist town is reeling from the real possibility that there may not be a summer season and local shops may not open and there may not be jobs. I have plenty to say about that too.

I'll blog again soon. I promise. And I'll write about our  awesome 8 week road trip adventure. Even Mattie the dog had a great time.

I pray we are all well and safe and I pray our doofus dangerous USA president is ignored in favor of our medical specialists and governors.

Take good care!
love
kj