Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween in Provincetown (Booooo)

Still Aspiring Babe kjkitten

It's been Halloween in Provincetown. In case you don't know, the residents of Provincetown, being a bit more eccentric and flamboyant than the general population, wait all year to don their costumes.

This year, bringing back a tradition from the early 1900's, the town hall hosted a Costume Ball for 700. Tickets were sold out in one day; alas, JB and I did not act that fast. But the festivity of the weekend was not lost on us and our friends Marsha and Norm. The rains pelleted and the winds roared and our umbrellas folded inside out, but that did not stop our plans or melt our makeup.

We started Friday night and wound down Sunday morning. We screamed bloody murder in the haunted house (so scary, we couldn't stop screaming); we spent hours in the West End Salon donning face makeup and hairdos; we walked Commercial Street and met all kinds of people and creatures; we fine dined, and best of all, we talked to everyone and everyone talked to us.

Ptown at its best is a no stress, have a blast kind of place:

dear JB who bet a stranger sitting near her at dinner double or nothing that he would not waddle down the aisle of the fancy restaurant quacking like a duck, and she lost that bet.

look closer:

Love: the best costume of all....

p.s. did you know that sometimes if you let yourself dress up in make believe

you may become more yourself?


Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Happy Poem for Robin's Birthhday

Today, Saturday, is Robin's birthday. I know she will understand this poem, written at shared times and when another friend challenged me to write a happy poem and get on with it!
Robin is going to have a good year.
Isn't that a great way to start?
I changed one word of this poem in honor of this auspcious day.

HaPPy BiRTHdaY wRobINCupCAke

love kj

If I were to write a happy poem
Who I wonder would wish to comb
Through my words and find themselves
Dancing with me like little elves?

Is determination all I need
To fill nourish and sometimes feed
The ghosts that prey upon my feet
Scaring me with tales complete

Of mean and nasty lima beans
Friends who don’t do what they mean?
Those who play at giving thanks
Without a thought to broken banks?

I have good accounts with full deposits
No miserable skeletons in my own closets.
So why the need to understand
When someone chooses not to land

In territory real and true
Why not turn the other shoe
And kick my heels toward better times
Where loving folks wait in the vines?

Where there is play and micron pens
No blemishes there from start to end.
I have enough, god knows I do
So why not look at what is true?

I can bless the rest,
I can pass the test.
I can look beyond
The saddest song.

It had the words but lacked the tune
It’s time to wander elsewhere soon
I’m moving to where life is rich

And there’s no room for stitch or bitch!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Story of SadHappy

I have written about them before. I met them three years ago when they were 2, 3, and 5 and living with their mother. Now they are 5, 6, and 8.

Scene I

I met them before 3 year old J---was kidnapped by trusted adults and horrible things happened before the police found her in another state and brought her home. Before the sheriff presented the eviction notice and everything they owned was thrown on the front lawn and they stood on the porch with their mother, until the State Department of Children and Families stepped in. Before J ---went to one foster home and her two brothers to another. Before the boys were moved from one home to another, four different famlies, four different placements in all, and and for X--, four different schools, all in just two years.

I met them before their mother abandoned them and they would not see her again. Before their illegal immigrant father pleaded for custody despite his severe poverty. Before the boys lived with him and before J--- was afraid to visit him because she was afraid he might kidnap her and before he was arrested and just three weeks ago deported.

I met them before J---'s foster mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Before X--- ended up in a hospital program because when he couldn't sit still in school it became clear that like his sister, he had been abused too.

Scene 2

Before J---'s foster mother was told that she will be able to have permanent guardianship of J---until she is 18. Before the boys were last week permanently placed with the foster parent- grandmother they have been with for the last four months, who canceled her move to New York in order to keep them with her.

Before J--- started called her foster mother 'mommy' and before her foster mother could finally stop worrying about her being taken away. Before the cancer fell into remission.

Before the boys were welcomed into a loving family.

Scene 3

I am their therapist and I can tell you clearly that never in my wildest dreams did I expect these three children to prosper. I am required to document clinical words to describe their challenges: problems with abandonment, belongingness, attachment, abuse, neglect, post traumatic stress. I have come home some nights and railed that the world is so unfair that these three darling children would have no chance.

But that is not what is happening. They are now safe and loved. They belong somewhere.

J---told her 'mommy' that she doesn't need a ther-a-pist anymore. X finally can say that he hears voices in his head from when he was locked in a closet. Now that part of him can be helped. The littlest guy isn't sucking his thumb so desperately anymore.

Yes. Of course. There will be challenges and problems ahead. This level of trauma will certainly be triggered and our bodies don't forget. But I'm here to tell you that I work with some pretty hard facts and some very unfair circumstances.....and these three little kids are no longer among them.

Thank you universe. Thank you very very much.

love kj

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Back & Around

My recent technology challenges (camera, printer, laptop!) have led me backwards. :^) Here, in no order are some snippets from my life, some then, some now. I'll try to be brief but I can't guarantee:

ahh--the bedroom in Provincetown

if you want quick easy beautiful verdant flowers that bloom all summer and into fall, for your yard and home, plant hydrangeas and zinnias.

Our house for 20 years: a Victorian duplex with us on the right side. three floors, 14 rooms. five doorways and 3 refrigerators in the kitchen when first seen, every room in disarray. but there was no doubt its bones were solid.


Do you know where this is? CS, I know you do. And Silke, I'll bet you do too.
I'll let someone other than me tell you.

This is one of my favorite views in the city where I work.

This is a poor and diverse city, not long ago in receivership.

What a day this was. Our friends have use of his old horse barn, modernized with a sink, counter, stove, refrigerator, worn couches, and pool table. We pot-lucked lunch and dinner, canoed with geese and dragonflies, willingly became dazed and impaired (hee hee, non-specific and true), and right at dusk we stood in front of the barn and from the chimney in the house across the street came hundreds of bats; one, two, three at a time out the chimney, then six, seven, eight, ten twenty. They flew within inches by and around us, unbelievable to be part of it, knowing their radar would not let them hit us.

I just wrote a post about Joey, who I help in various ways. Here he is. He socialized only with his parents until they died twelve years ago, and now he is more independent and confident than he ever thought possible. He's likable and hilarious: can't you tell?

I've probably posted this photo a hundred times already.

This is my daughter Jessica (and mr. ryan). Isn't she beautiful?

Oh dear who cares: the bedroom

The view crossing into Provincetown from Route 6

If i'm on the phone any longer than five minutes,

I must be talking to a darn good friend

I made a cake.

aaah Italy. I can't wait to go back.

My freezer when it used to be neat(er)

I would like it if every one did a post on their freezers

my friend liz and i are still laughing at this

Emily Rabbit's very first appearance

happy happybirthday wrobin.

I think it will be quite a year.

my blog friend human being sent me photos of her country, Iran.

Beautiful bamboo forests and lush and green land. human being

is not free to blog or speak or disagree openly. I think of her often.

her name is laurel gaylord and she is a first class artist.

and finally, three brothers.

Tonight, this moment, my heart is full.



Sunday, October 23, 2011

Weary Wonderful Weekend

I'm pretty sure I am thanking my friend ValGal for this photo from herFacebook, page but if not, thank you to someone else for the sheer joy of it.

I have been alone in my house since Friday morning. This is not a common event. Occasionally JB is away but never my dog Stella at the same time. I am not accustomed to time alone like this and I find more and more I want it and I need it. It's been very nice, sometimes lonely, but very nice.

I like knowing who I am when I am alone. I am neater than I would expect, I am more comfortable with myself than I would expect. I've had a nice balance of keeping my own company, enjoying friends, and joyfully and painfully learning more about the craft of writing.

Last night I went to a Peace concert by Holy Near; today I had 85 pages of my book reviewed by my two writing buddies and one experienced teacher. This was not easy. I expected a full array of compliments and instead I have been given the directive and means to dig deeper and write truer. That is often excruciating for a writer because it mean you have to write what you know is true, even when it hurts. You can make up a story, invent characters and scenes, but you have to let yourself feel it all and you have to be real about it in the most vulnerable way.

I think it was Norman Mailer who said another part of him died every time he wrote. I understand that.

I am also coming to terms with the fact that I don't seem to be able to shake off the past. It's time and I'm actually too healthy not to, but I don't. I carry a regret that should now be a lesson I understand, but I don't. Perhaps I am too impatient. Certainly I have grown.

And, in getting feedback about my main character, Casey, it seems her childhood was harder than she knew. I am going to have to face that, because if I don't I won't be able to understand why she does what she does. It turns out art is life. Probably no surprise there.

I spent time with two good friends last night, a married couple. We have been friends for years. We had a pot luck dinner at my house and then went to the concert. Last night I realized they both love me. That sounds funny and I don't mean to be vain in saying that. It just got through how much they individually care about me. It is easy with such knowledge to give that love back.

Does anyone remember Holly Near? She was a folksinger in the 60's and her music inspired me then. She inspired me again last night. My friend Marion, so wise here in these blogs, reminds me that the earth is rebalancing itself; all these crazy disasters and wars. I know it is up to me to do what I can., to live as I wish the world to be. I can do that. I'm glad I know that.
I should tell you my camera is not working right, my laptop is full, and my printer died yesterday. This means I am blogging differently, at least for now. This probably means having to put up with reflective thoughts and rambling posts like this one. I hope you don't mind.

Be well, with love, kj

Friday, October 21, 2011

Mash Mash Friday

My solution: Take time. Make time. Rhyme time. Even Cookie & Cake time. Keep Writing time.

Plant the rose bushtime. Sing peace songs time. Count my stars time. Be fine time.

I am finishing up a whirlwind few weeks. I have dragged my way through some of it, work included, but I have no real complaints. Important chores and demands have been taken care of, finally.

On Monday, I picked up a 67 year old mentally challenged man named Joey (who throughout my childhood lived next door to my parents) and brought him to my house overnight He and I needed to attend his annual financial review the next day. I am his 'trustee', responsible for making sure the money his parents left for him will be managed wisely so he can continue to live in the supervised apartment program that has been so wonderful for him.

Joey did not stop talking for 14 hours straight. He is like Rain Man: he remembers every day and every date since 1941 and he told me one story after another: about his parents, about his relatives, about his daily 4 am trips to Dunkin Donuts, about his car, about his new wallet.

I gave Joey a clean bath towel and he told me it was too bad he had to use it because he only needed half of it. And after he used half of it he put his used towel on top of my towel. Joey calls me his 'sister' and I know he does that so I won't abandon him and I tell him he doesn't need to because I won't. He paid for breakfast and lunch and gas and besides for the fact that he didn't stop talking he was appropriate and appreciative.

Joey's visit followed the heels of a mad dash to finish my 2010 income taxes. Yes, 2010. What a chore, what a relief. Please may I learn my lesson.

And on Sunday I will meet with my writing group where I will get feedback on the first 75 pages of my manuscript. Good or bad, that is gold to me. I am writing whenever I can these days: the passion to write is so strong and I am grateful to feel that way.

And autumn has a way of making me want to cook and bake. And start thinking about the holidays, which I most often love.

Meanwhile, today my printer died and my camera isn't working and my laptop has no more memory. When I will have and when I will take the time to address each of these not-so-tiny challenges is presently unknown.

There is no theme to this post! So following that fact, I will close with a photo I hope you find delightful. I admit I am still wondering if its' authentic or photoshopped. Either way, it's sweet, yes?

Happy weekend, always with love, kj

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Content Of Your Character

'The content of your character'....I saw this sign on the wall of an elementary school yesterday, and it got me thinking about character.

I was brought up never to lie, cheat, steal, or be pretentious. My father was a proud bricklayer who with his brother built and sold a grand total of thirty nine houses before he stopped working. I remember when a woman he had sold a house to two years before called and told him her stove wasn't working. I could hear my father grumble about his integrity. "I won't have her thinking I installed a bad stove. I'll replace it if I can't fix it." End of story. He did not have to. He bought her a new stove.

That night at dinner my father reminded me that 'a person's good name can be lost in a reckless minute. All you have is your good name,' he told me. "Always protect it."

Sometimes I think my standards are too high and sometimes I think I fold when I should stand my ground. I'm not always sure. I know of an instance when I've leaned toward forgiveness when people who love me tell me I'm nuts. But I can't help it. If I love someone I don't do very well unloving. I end up just not understanding and my heart suffers. This is part of my character. I'm not a wimp, and just watch me reclassify someone who treats me or someone else badly, but I carry a loyalty that makes it hard to say goodbye, even when I should know better. I take pride in teaching my clients about 'positive terminations' and I know full well how important it is to end a relationship well if the relationship has to end, but the truth is I don't like the ending part much at all. I think most people do it with alot more grace and acceptance than I am able to muster.

So as I'm thinking about issues of character--my own in particular--my scientist brother sends me some examples, from author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia:

1. A four-year-old child, whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife: Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's' yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his mother asked him what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy just said, 'Nothing, I just helped him cry.'

2. "On my way home one day, I stopped watch a Little League base ball game that was being played in a park near my home. As I sat down behind the bench on the first base line, I asked one of the boys what the score was. 'We're behind 14 to nothing,' he answered with a smile. 'Really,' I said. 'I have to say you don't look very discouraged.''Discouraged?', the boy asked with a puzzled look on his face. 'Why should we be discouraged? We haven't been up to bat yet."

3. Jamie was trying out for a part in the school play. His mother knew that he'd set his heart on being in it, though she feared he would not be chosen. On the day the parts were awarded she collected him after school and he rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement..'Guess what, Mom,' he shouted, 'I've been chosen to clap and cheer!'

You don't need me to spell out the lessons here. Most likely you already know them well. But a reminder never hurts. ♥

Love kj

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Animal Wednesday & Emily Rabbit: See For Yourself

Dear Ms. Rabbit:

You are in violation of General Law No. 207-334-27-331. Possession of sling shots in the state of Massachusetts is punishable by a minimum of thirty days of community service and the selling of sling shots is punishable by that plus a very large fine. You are ordered to cease and desist immediately.

Officially, O. W. Stopnow

Dear General Whirl and Ms. Emily Rabbit:

The United States and England do not have a trade agreement that will allow the General to serve as business manager to the Green & Mean Shooter Company unless you are able to produce evidence that this business will serve the common good. Relief of stress, anxiety, worry, resentment, and retribution will qualify.

Sincerely, The United Nations

Dear Emily Rabbit:

You are hereby ordered to produce the full name and address of one said "Anne" for her solicitation and endorsement of the use of liquid nitrogen. We have checked our records and she does not have a permit for that.

Sincerely, The Department of Homeland Security

Dear General Whirl:

We are fascinated that you are managing the business affairs of a young rabbit, especially with your background as a Commissioned Officer. We think this is worthy of a feature story. Please contact us.

Sincerely, Esquire Magazine

Dear Ms. Graham:

Your name has been given as a possible poster of bail for one Emily V. V Rabbit who was taken into custody on Sunday last for removing a case of very expensive wine without payment from a local establishment and soliciting that wine for the purpose of purchasing avocados in bulk. Please be aware that there are additional damage charges due to Ms. Rabbit's unprovoked temper tantrum while resisting arrest. Sincerely, Your Carpinteria Police Chief

Dear Hospital Adminstrator:

As a concerned citizen and volunteer, I noticed an ususual number of emergency room admissions this week due to head bumps as well as several other body part bumps and/or lumps. Is there a public safety issue that is being kept from the public?

Sincerely, Prissy Lamont

Monday, October 10, 2011


savor savor savor this the McGhee Family & their cute Sextuplets

(thanks to my friend Susan)

Tonight if I had my way this post would have photos of my own family this weekend, my daughter Jess, me as Mom-Gram-Bam, a sleepy infant named Logan, and two little boys, Mr. Ryan and No Longer Baby Drew, all of us delightfully lost in a huge corn field maze today, then staring down a smiling buck tooth llama, riding a sweet easy pony, & lapping up ice cream cones dripping every which way.

My ancient laptop is full up and doggedly refuses to upload from this little camera of mine, so here is an image of the bonds of family that reflects my own.

Bless our families. They don't have to be blood families, that's for sure, but bless anyone who has the good fortune to be a part of people and pets who love one another, no holds barred.

Want to know how I feel about my own family?

Just Like This.

And The Most Important Thing About Love?

Don't Hold Back.


Friday, October 07, 2011


Hello everyone, it's me, Emily. You are looking at my new business! I'm going to call it the Mean & Green Shooter Company and I know you are going to be impressed when I tell you the details, which I haven't discussed yet with my business manager Jos but I am I am sure she is going to be really excited because I think we are both going to be very rich, which for me means all the jellybeans I will ever want in my whole life.

As you hopefully know I think it is very healthy and sometimes essential that you throw something as hard as you can when someone hurts your feelings or is mean to you or even when you are sad. If the situation is medium serious you should throw frozen peas and if it is really really serious, you can also through frozen brussel sprouts.

But now: I am introducing frozen avocados!! They fit perfectly in your hand and their shape makes them travel like a small rocket if you need to really really really make a point with someone who deserves it, or even if you just want to get mad or sad by yourself and throw frozen avocados at the back of someone's garage.

I know what you're thinking. Frozen avocados are a dime a dozen and why buy them from me and Jos if you can just go to the grocery store and get them there?

HA! This is where the Mean & Green comes in! The Mean & Green Shooter company includes a SLINGSHOT and you will be able to recycle the avocado pit after you are done throwing the frozen avocado and pull out the pit and you won't believe how far it will travel when you shoot it with the slingshot. If you need to see an example here is one I drew myself:

I have to admit that I got the idea of the pit and the slingshot from Anne and kj says that it is really her idea so I will need to pay her some percentage of the profits.

Imagine how easily you can bop someone on the head with an avocado pit and you'll be far enough away that you won't even get caught, but you have to remember to hide the slingshot because that might give it away.

Even kj says she can think of at least three people she would aim the avocado pit at.

Are you really really impressed?

But I still have a few things to think about:

1. How much do I have to pay Anne for her slingshot idea?

2. Do I need to worry about getting sued?

3. Is it a problem that the average avocado will thaw within an hour?

4. Is it a good idea to include examples of when you should use the Mean and Green Shooter?

5. How much can I charge for two avocados and one slingshot?

My Uncle Bunny, who don't forget was Janis Joplin's road manager, is going to be very proud of me, don't you think so?

I may give a discount to certain people....

Most Sincerely, Emily V.V. Rabbit, Proprietor

Monday, October 03, 2011

Beware of Blogging! :^)

For a long time and sometimes even now, I am cautioned to be cautious about what I reveal and share on my blog. Do you hear cautionary advice too? To be careful because you don't really know a person if you haven't actually met her or him? Or that there are lurkers out there ready to steal your identity or worse?

Yesterday I spent a wonderful afternoon with three women I met from blogging who are now real friends in the real world. I don't think about who I can trust and who I can't anymore and I'll bet you don't either. We know who is the real deal and who isn't. Plus, I don't mind taking my time before I privately or publicly acknowledge familiarity has become true blue affection.

Anyway, in my earlier days of blogging, when I couldn't for the life of me convince the non-bloggers in my life of the fantastic people/visitors/friends I had met, I wrote this silly little Twilight Zone pilot about blogging. tada:

The Blogger

They'll track you down in your own backyard--pirates who have stalked you from another continent,following your weekend restaurants and family reunions.

They'll break in through the basement on Sunday night and tie you to the bedpost while they open drawers and carry your television into the rented van.

They'll use your credit cards, cash your bank accounts, and make a few smooth moves so your hairstyle is theirs.

All because you have posted your entire life on the internet.

Because your e-mails and blogs have found their way to Mad Max in Memphis and a 68 year old trucker in Kalamazoo.

They'll open your refrigerator and pull out the special mozzarella from the second shelf rear

And marvel at the Indian place mats with the Mexican colors.

Then pull the red rickety chair up to the little round table, commenting, by the way, that your dining room looks exactly like you described it.

That will be bad enough.

But when they ask you to sit down and break bread--one friend to another--or carry the suitcase to the familiar guestroom, when that happens, I will say the same words with great syllabic pronunciation and emphasis.

I will lecture and cajole and implore and direct while your furniture is carried out the back door.

And you--you will politely and impatiently wait until the commotion dies down so you can get on-line and share this fascinating adrenalin-shaking event.

"Dear friends," you will say to your pals online, "You won't believe who I met today!"


Sunday, October 02, 2011

One Weekend

Actually, two. Last weekend I was back in Provincetown, falling into fall.

This weekend two friends are here and we have talked non-stop from 11:30 am until bed time at 1 am. I am writing this at 1:45 am when the house and I are quiet/ I learned all about Morocco tonight. We sat at the new table and ate my very tasty salad, my very tasty garlic bread, my surprisingly good shrimp jambalaya, and jb's very tasty apple crisp. We kept talking and talking.

Tomorrow I am going to see three wonderful friends from these here blogs. That is, after my friends and I here have breakfast and talk some more.

I'm finding that I've become a better listener.

Which is good because Mr. Ryan's mother has told him since he was three that bad listeners don't have friends... :^)

happy weekend, love kj