Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holly Folly Provincetown

The Provincetown Chamber of Commerce has urged all businesses and residents to turn on the lights for the holidays. Ptown struggles to market itself in the off seasons but it keeps trying. This weekend, called Holly Folly, many stores will open one last time until next May and there will be bargains.

JB and I are here for a long week and it is wonderful. We arrived at night and these photos of the town are posted in the order of our gallivants so far:

Now what is this, you might ask?

It's the top of the town holiday tree, made of entirely of lobster traps, crowning the entrance to McMillan Wharf.

JB wanted to draw during our vacation week, something she is not at all confident about and neither am I. So we opened a book recommended by from my dear friend Lo, called Drawing Lab: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun, and we started with the first exercise: Draw Thirty Cats from Your Imagination. Too funny, but we did it:



we've also been wandering

and we've been doing things we never have time for. JB is sewing.

I am writing holiday cards and drinking coffee.

And we've been looking for a twinkle star or two,

a reminder that light cannot be extinguished.

do you see it?



Sunday, November 27, 2011

My Town

This is how I started my day: 6:15 am and I see the view from the kitchen door, above the driveway.

And during the course of my day, I meandered with JB and our good friends along the streets of Northampton, where I live. My friend who has twelve sheep and lives two thirds up a mountain along side a dilapidated barn thinks my town is affluent.

There are pockets of affluence, yes, but mostly my town has a working class feel with an intellectual bent. There is a major college here (Smith) and that brings a bit of smart and hip to the area, but mostly the houses are modest and there are surrounding farms and to me the town looks like it probably did fifty years ago.

It is a liberal progressive tolerant, diverse and alittle-'hippie-crunchy- town. There are currently three "occupy" tents on the lawn of the Unitarian Church next to the City Hall.

Panhandling is allowed here, as long as it stays civil. This is a good place to be if you're down and out: the churches are active, the community helpful, the residents respectful.

And, although I rarely walk along Main Street because I rarely shop, the quarter mile strip o down town Northampton is looking good and ready for the holidays

It's feeling festive.

JB and I are looking for old color-rich bottles to perhaps (emphasize 'perhaps') make a chandiler out of them for over the dining room table. There are several antique shops here, this one beside a new cool coffee house, where you can sit and read or write for as long as you wish.

I had a good holiday. Our friends stayed an extra day and night because we were having so much fun. I am now in Provincetown beginning a week long vacation with JB that is overdue. We have brought fabric and books and colored pens and holiday cards and we will have some time. Our dog Stella is here too and we have just learned that if he hold her tail up and firmly she can walk without falling. She can almost run. It must look so odd to passersby, holding her tail like that.

I know the holidays are not easy for most of us and for sure I have had my share of wishing they were this when they were that. But this year I'm doing my best to be with people who are important to me, to buy or make little gifts that make me happy, and to let it all be what it will be.

I'll be reporting in on my progress, right here. :^)

with love, kj

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving in the Kitchen

I made bread from scratch. I made stuffing, garlic bread, apple pie, prepared a huge turkey for a day late Thanksgiving dinner. There will be mashed potatoes and my Mother's gravy and creamed onions and green beans and butternut squash, pumpkin pie and apple pie and chocolate cheese cake. There will be the same friends we have shared Thanksgiving with for 25 years, and our niece from Boston.

My Thanksgiving is always absent one very important person: my daughter Jessica, and now her family. From the earliest age she has spent this day with her father. And now my Mother no longer comes to my house for the occasion: JB and I had dinner with her at her rest home yesterday and it was fine. And my brother and sister-in-law have given up all holidays since their only son died three years ago.

That leaves JB and me and it is not the same as my memory of family gatherings, but it is fine.

The season has begun.

this photo taken from my parent's house. This is my grandfather and my father's mother, she died when he was two. I can feel the threads of time weaving from one generation to another. We just hung this picture yesterday, to fill a spot on the wall after we moved the hutch.
Eerie seeing my grandfather here.

Table's set for dinner last night, the night before we will celebrate our turkey dinner (today) and (again) count our blessings. Friends as Family counts. It's a new and revised kitchen here at # 9. Last night I looked around and felt like I was in a cozy cabin in the snowy woods. This feels like the kitchen of my dreams. Another blessing.

Thanksgiving is an American tradition and I think it should be worldwide. It is good to stop and count blessings.

love kj

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Briefest (happy thanks-giving) Mish Mash

This Thanksgiving. I am grateful and thankful and wistful and thoughtful and hopeful and cautious and enthused and insightful and astonished and confused and introspective and active. I don't like that I have friends who must wrestle illness. I do like that every day is another chance.

After my divorce, I had a brief affair with a man who never gave me the time of day in high school. I was amazed that he and I clicked as adults, and for as long as it lasted it was all good. In the darkness he would remind me to count my stars. I've never forgotten. Even the darkest sky has pathways of light.

Here are just a few reasons I am thankful:

Good to know....
the sooner the better

my great family (JB too xoxo)

young artists

(aka Mr. Ryan)


a vibrant, tender, wonderful community right here,

at my fingertips.

Thank you for caring

to come here.

Thank you for everything.


love kj

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Brief Letter to God

Dear God,

I have noticed a few areas where I think you made a mistake. I don't mean to be overly critical--I know creating the world and universe was quite a feat and of course a few things might be less than perfect in such a large endeavor, but may I submit the following for possible future revision:

1. Why did you give dogs such a shorter life span than their human families? That creates a lot of sadness and very premature good byes.

2. I will try to say this next one delicately: why make the whole 'elimination' process so undesirable? Surely you could have created something more pleasant and easier on the senses.

3. I admit that perhaps conflict and maybe even war have their roles in population control, but doesn't it make sense that human beings would have learned SOMETHING by now, over all these centuries. about how to get along with one another? Letting people make the same mistakes over and over seems unrealistic and wasteful.

4. And Cancer. Goddamnit God, this is too much. It rends the heart and hurts the body and seems completely unnecessary. I am wondering if you could make an adjustment about cancer asap? Maybe just make it a temporary miserable fucking disease instead of a prolonged miserable fucking disease?

If by any chance you are working on a revised model of humankind, I hope this letter may be of value. Thank you. Please write back when you can.

Sincerely, kj

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Gateway to Kevin

Mr. Ryan, who will be five in January, asked his mother what he would do if she had to go to kevin.


"If you were in kevin, how would I get Drew to daycare? I can't drive the car."

Yesterday I took a Navy ID picture of my Father to show my Mother. She stared at it for some time, read his name out loud.

"Who is this?" she asked.

"It's Dad, Mom. You don't recognize him?"

"Not really. Who was his wife?"

This is the make or break point. I can cry or laugh.

I laugh. "Mom! YOU'RE his wife!"

She laughs too. We chuckle. "Of course. I should not look at things like this just after I wake up."

"What do you remember about Dad, Mom?"

"Not much. But I think we got along, didn't we?"

"Yes, Mom. You definitely did."

This thin line: it's easy to say life goes on after loss or death or both, but I am more and more convinced that time is not linear and relationships go on after death too.

"It's a poor memory that only works backwards." I don't know who said this but yes.

My Mother cannot remember my Father and her husband of 63 years, but that doesn't mean that she doesn't have an irreplaceable connection to him. He is part of who she is, part of her DNA hard wiring. He is real and alive in my Mother's life whether she can say so or not.

Another thing my Mother said this week:

"Do you remember how old you are, Mom?"

"Pretty I 95?"


"I know I show it in some way, but, talking, it's still me.

"Mom, you are an amazing woman. I am so glad you live in an amazing place and that so many people adore who you are.

And Mr. Ryan, dear God, your Mother is not going to be any where near Kevin for many many many years. And just so you know, when the time comes that I'm in Kevin, I'll be looking down on your heart and back forever more.
(please scroll down all the way to leave a comment. I couldn't get this photo cropped but I also couldn't resist not sharing it)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Mish Mash Congruence

Ahaha! Hello Social Networking! Where I can so confidently tell you I am a smooth wise attractive sensitive intelligent thin (oh even thin!) fascinating passionate beautiful and very wealthy gem of a woman

Ahaha! Isn't it great that for the most part we (each of us) know how to tell the real deal from the phony baloney. Myself, I've misjudged only one time in my relationships born from the blogs, and although it was a huge misjudgment, I can't say it wasn't meant to be.

Congruence. One of my favorite words. It means being the same on the outside as you are on the inside. I teach my clients about congruence. Being someone other than who you are is no way to love and take care of yourself or to love and build trust with others.

By the way, I am again in Provincetown for three days where autumn could not look more beautiful. I bought holiday wrapping paper today, a sure sign that my eager childish self is already planning and plotting my tra-la-la's.

I have a friend who needs prayers. Please offer them for her health.

I am writing on the days when I don't work and when I can see my way past my chores. I am writing and I love it and it is agony. At this rate this book will take me a decade to finish. But I know I should just keep chugging along at it, and I will. I comfort myself knowing I won't let it go until I am satisfied it is the very best I can write.

Best wishes for a good weekend. I will be looking for little boy pajamas on sale, ordering books from Amazon, reading my blog entries from 2007 (for the book), fine dining with JB, breathing in salt air, and walking the bay. As far as I know, I will not be complaining again until Sunday night. :^)

With love, kj

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Animal Wednesday: kj fills in while Emily Rabbit is still missing...

I wish I knew how to make an old post new again and not have ask you to follow a link . But so it is. I am currently revisiting my old posts, starting back in 2006, with mixed emotions and some surprises. I am doing this because blogging is becoming a part of my new book (to my surprise).

Here is one of my favorite old posts. I remember I felt so clever at the time, doing this one. That was before I became the beneficiary of so many creative people around me, who now turn me on to being creative in a zillion different ways.

Lucky Duck, I still am....

Love kj

p.s. i am high maintenance this week (ha! maybe always!) if you want to leave a comment (i love your comments!) you are going to have to return to THIS post to do that: extra work. I know someone will tell me how I could have copy pasted my old quacky post, and i will appreciate that.) ♥

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Back & Forth

I'm forcing myself to write poetry again and I'm glad. It will take me a while to shake away old words and worlds but I'm ready. I think my specialty is sad circumstance with hopeful ending. :^) This is dedicated to four women: i hope each grins and surmises my thankfulness for the inspiration. love kj
Shriveled words.
They hatched under a too hot sun
And flew past logic;
Past the carport of the unfulfilled,
Landing at the shore of something
No longer shiny but buffered
By the comfort of familiar home.
Three years.
It takes only days or weeks
For most cuts to reject
Determined infection,
But some take three years,
An enemy wriggling through incision,
Cutting deep and definite.
Once and then again.
Tell me, who’s at fault for open wounds,
The vilified or the villain?
What injured bird
Does not learn to navigate?
Aren’t flying lessons precise?
No reason not to chart a course
To safety even if tattered wings
Futter and fall, no buoy to help.
My daughter, my sister,
Hear me now.
You have it wrong.
Your wings, your course have no fault.
There is nothing lost,
Nothing taken
For what you long for
Nests securely within you.
Your tears are healing tears
Falling on that wound as surely as your feathers shine.
Time has its own way.
You cannot tell a river to change course
Any more than you can direct a heart
To forget what is cherished.
The wound reminds and remembers
And that is your gift:
to be assured unquestionably
that you are capable
Of such abiding love.

Thursday, November 03, 2011


Ode to Famish
I can’t eat I’m on edge
I’m forlorn I allege
I can’t party, no cheese
Not even a banana tease.
All night I’ll be forced
To drink liquids and worse
All night I’ll be running:
My system is cursed!
Is it heartbreak?
The Asian Flu?
A wild tornado?
A hole in my shoe?
No no it’s not one
of those all-nifty reasons
It’s just a procedure
every five seasons.
Who could be mellow
When you have to eat jello?
I’m craving spaghetti:
My day’s a travesghetti!
A hospital johnny
I completely detest;
My indulges stricken
By a stupid old test.
Come on then,
Be done so I can eat candy
Finish up, hurry up
so I can feel dandy.
footnote: it's not a big deal and it's only routine. No food. No fun. Just horrible tasting liquid for starts. And a little out-patient hospital admission tomorrow morning. No need to be graphic: I'm sure you get the idea.
Don't ask me to borrow money tonight. I'm in no mood.
love kj

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Mish Mash with One Swear..

Admission: I am beginning this post with this image only because I was appropriately worried about the image I really wanted to use appearing on certain very family oriented sidebars. Now that you are safely at my blog, please pretend that this post begins here instead: :^)

Some thoughts on a Tuesday night:

1. If you don't already know Renee. she is responsible my unabashed willingness to say 'fuck' on my blog. Renee elevated the word 'fuck' to a prayer, honest to god she did. And since (fucking) cancer changed her from Earth Senior Angel to Heaven Senior Angel, far too soon, in her absence so many of us who knew and will always love her now seem to have a harder time swearing and too, a harder time saying 'i love you,' without her here to lead the way. If you don't know Renee read some of her posts prior to February 2010 and you will meet a very very special human being.

2. Where is Emily Rabbit? She was last heard from during the Carpinteria Avocado Festival, preparing to launch the Avocado Shooter Company. It is not like her to be so quiet. It's possible this may have something to do with it: If anyone has heard from Emily (Anne?? Lori?? Jos??) please let me know.

3. Where the heck do fruit flies come from? Do they just appear from thin air when an apple or pear is sliced and left on the kitchen counter? Where were they hiding before they showed up? I think it's a mystery of life.

4. I am having trouble writing poetry again. I seem to have no difficulty when my heart is either soaring or breaking, but these days, settling into the comfort and gratitude of an easy(ier) life, I can't seem to get myself going. But I insisted I would write something to post tonight so here it is:

I really should write
A poem into the night
I really should stop start and wonder
But the joy of poe-a-tree
Is curiously lost on me
Not to mention I’ve misplaced my thunder.

5. Fuck Cancer!

By the way, I continue to love, adore, enjoy, appreciate & relish blogging. It has brought such joy to my life. Thank you so much. To me, every comment I receive is the same as a kiss.

love kj