Make yourself at home. Put your feet up. Grab your favorite beverage and prepare to enjoy the reads.



Winter Gardening by the Fire

 Winter Gardening may seem an oxymoron. But I consider it to be just as pleasurable as handling the summer soil. After pruning trees, planting bulbs, and cleaning up yard debris, essentially putting my garden to bed for the winter, I do my winter gardening while I delve through landscaping books and seed catalogs. I examine my memories, contemplate last year's results, and anticipate next year's plans. I realize the mistakes, and dream of new possibilities. Winter gardening is a lot like having good dreams. This year is strikingly different because of the wildfires we‘ve had this year. My family members, living in Southern California were threatened by the fires right down to evacuating. Fortunately none lost homes. I had ash on car, windows and plants. I could look in any direction and see large billows of smoke, like storm clouds angrily climbing the nearby mountains. I had to increase my asthma medicine four-fold and keep myself locked in the house, or leave town.

 So in the winter, snuggled warmly on my chaise, listening to the cacophony of rain pouncing on the roof and crickly flames safely dancing in the fire place, I envision the spring garden, and ponder. Will the effects of the fires cause permanent damage to local landscapes? I remember the air clogged with smoke. If it made my own breathing difficult, what was the effect upon the green environment? Did the ash that fell like snow carpeting the earth, seep strange chemicals into the soil of my gardens making it too acid or alkaline? Or poison?

What about the landscape of the wild lands? Without roots to hold the soil, erosion results, which equals mudslides or uncontrolled flooding when it rains. Most of the winter here the weather is rainy. What about the fire retardants released from airplanes to smother the fires? What kind of toxic soup is brewing in the rushing rivulets flushing mud down to the shores? I want to tell myself, it can't be that bad, at least not here. Southern California had it worse I tell myself. Why am I brooding?


In Memory of My Friend, Linda Duran Watkins 1949 - 1982

My best friend,  Linda Watkins, would have celebrated her 60th birthday this month. I believe on the 24th. But, she died of cancer close to her birthday in 1982 about the age 33. When we first met in 1974, I had just moved into a small house in El Monte, California. We hit it off right away. She was my neighbor. She had a darling little baby girl, named Andrea, who must be in her thirties now. Linda’s mother Millie/Tillie called on the phone every day, and asked, “how’s my baby?”. She didn’t mean Linda. She meant Andrea. It was funny at first, but then one day Linda, feeling a little possessive, responded with, “She’s not YOUR baby, she’s mine! I am your baby, and I am doing fine!”  The reason I refer to Mrs. Duran as Millie/Tillie is because her name was Mildred and went by Millie at one time in her life. But, before Linda introduced us, she insisted that I call her Tillie. I never learned why.

Linda was approximately my height, 5‘ 2“. When we first met, we were the same weight, but from that point on she lost weight and I gained. Sometimes it was the other way around, a running joke with us. Still both of us were more plump than we thought we should be.

I look back and see we wasted a lot of time worrying about our figures.  She was of Mexican-American ancestry, though if anyone ever asked if she was Mexican, she firmly replied, “I’m American!”  With the Watkins last name, and no accent, no one dared to ask further.

Linda had sparkling brown eyes that showed her inner attitude that life was fun. She had naturally tan skin, but every summer we laid out under the sun to get more tan. I always ended up with sunburn. Her complexion was clear and perfectly arched eyebrows. She had a lovely face with what most women would envy. She had what my mother called, “beauty marks”.  Linda called them moles. But, they were not moles in my opinion. They were flat. They were beauty marks. Linda had naturally curly thick black hair. She always made an effort with her appearance. Where I would toss on a pair of jeans and t-shirt. She might do the same, but she accessorized. She took the time and trouble to put on her makeup and wear nice shoes. She carried herself better than I do. I’m somewhat of a slouch. Even when she was casual, she still appeared neat and fashionable.

Linda had a very great sense of humor. She always found something funny to joke about, even at the most serious times. (Bob and her arguing, then switching to laughing.. "Butter, bitter, butter")

She had a cheerful disposition and never allowed herself to be depressed or miserable for any length of time. Though, through the years, I understood, she just didn’t show it much. Linda was also a very strong minded individual, and never let anyone push her around. She had a very firm belief system and some of her values were immovable.

If ever too opposites attracted it was my friend, Linda, and I

I have never had such a good close friend since then.


Rowdy and Ruckus

Today is my sister's birthday. She is my only sister, and I wouldn't trade her in for anything in the world. Here's a little story about when we were much younger and not even looking ahead to realize we could be this ancient. Though, I bet my sis can still belt them out!

Rowdy and Ruckus

My sister and I were hanging around by ourselves. This was when the family lived in the house at Ft. Niagara beach.  It was a sunny Saturday, and we were under strict instructions to get that room cleaned up once and for all, or else! Or else, what? Probably nothing, really. Just more annoyed Mom. Oh, how we put her out sometimes. But we knew we needed to get the job done. It would have been a drudge, had anyone stayed home with us to look over our shoulder, but thankfully, we had been deserted by the rest of the family. With the dust roiling up in the air as we as we shoveled our piles of junk into the middle of the floor, we threw open the windows and doors so we could breathe.

WKBW, our favorite radio station blared on full volume. We had to shout over it to hear one another. Aretha Franklin belted out: R-E-S-P-E-C-T!  FIND OUT WHAT IT MEANS TO ME! as we accompanied her at the top of our lungs. There was something a little evil in our glee, knowing we must be bugging the heck out of our neighbors. Once the radio began replaying the re-plays of the re-plays, we shut it off and kept on singing as we separated the dirty clothes from the clean ones, carefully refolding the one’s Mom had just piled on our beds a few days before. Funny, how everything always landed on the floor, with everything else. Well, we couldn’t help it we were teenage girls, or rather, my sister was the teenage girl. I was the newly divorced mother of two, who wished she were a teenager again. Being with my sister automatically made me a teenager in my heart. She was full of energy and enthusiasm that I had thought deserted me, until I was around her.

We got a good rendition of “Amen” going, while traipsing around, clapping our hands and swinging our bodies as though we were in a hot revival meeting. (I had never been to one before, but now, I know that is what we were doing). Sorting out all the papers and trash was the easiest part. Anything that looked like schoolwork got trashed by wadding it up and giving a quick overhand heave-ho into the wastebasket. It didn’t take long to have it overflowing. We both would have been great on a girl’s basketball team!

In the midst of our enthusiasm, we got carried away by the Four Tops, as we hauled the dirty clothes into the laundry room to wash. No longer isolated to our room, we decided to surprise Mom and clean up the whole house. So, we began cleaning the kitchen and bathroom. Then, singing louder over the vacuum with Diana Ross and The Supremes, we cleaned and straightened up the living room. Our voices getting hoarse, we changed to the Polish radio station that Mom’s friend, Annie listened to. The rollicking polka music of the sixties OOM-PAH-PAHed as we grabbed each other and polkaed around the house until we grew dizzy, tripped over furniture and landed on the floor, laughing; still completely aware of how rowdy we were being and how it must be really annoying the hell out of old Mrs. Steffan next door.

What would she put into her spy report this week?

Aretha Franklin

Sidney Poiter

Polka Dancing


Photo Friday: Thanksgiving (photo that shows what it means to you)

I had a very difficult time coming up with a photo representing what Thanksgiving means to me. I've spent days asking myself the question. I know what it used to mean to me, and I have written about that in the past two days.

The other day I watched a program giving the history of Thanksgiving.... very very different than what schoolchildren are taught it is meant to be, and I presume not many adults know the real story behind it, either.

I like the idea of people gathering together to share their gratitude for the abundance in their lives. But, I also don't like the idea much that it should be held just one day a year. Perhaps life just passes us by so quickly that the moment arrives and leaves before we can say, thank you for that, friend.

I'm so full of gratitude that I am even alive that every breath is a blessing, and everything after that is like, WOW! including the bad stuff. For without the bad stuff, how easily we would forget to enjoy the ordinary. It's not like I go around life smiling from ear to ear. My mind knows this stuff the way I know how to spell my name. But, do I go around "feeling" my name as something to appreciate all the time? No. So even though I know how lucky I am, I am still much like anyone else when it comes to having feelings that are not always filled with thankfulness and joy.

I thought and thought about what does Thanksgiving mean to me. I wondered what picture I might have to represent it. Nothing would come to mind. I examined why. I rolled it around in my head. Thanksgiving means nothing to me at the moment. But why?  All the things it meant to me in the past, no longer apply.

And then, it dawned on me. This has been a very painful year. People I love have died.

Am I thankful they are dead? NO!
Am I filled with gratitude that they've gone on to heaven? NO!
Because they are not here with me.
No, I'm not glad they've gone on to heaven.

I ain't got no gratitude.

I can feel my Sunday school teacher waggling her finger at me right now, "Shame, shame for talking to God like that."

Yes, I am grateful they are no longer suffering. But, I am not thankful that it was only this one way that stopped their suffering.

Okay, so this isn't a cheerful posting. A thoughtful one maybe. A truthful one because these are my exact feelings.

But, definitely a hopeful one.

I am thankful that my son-in-law was accidentally diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer.
I am thankful that it is one of the "easy" kinds of Thyroid Cancer. The kind that has the very highest survival rate. Where have I heard that before? Okay, I'm not all that thankful. I'm thankful with an underlying uneasiness.
I am thankful for my daughter's knowledge and education which caused her to withdraw her husband from the scheduled surgical procedure to be done at their local well-meaning doctor and hospital.
I am thankful that she has the chutzpah to contact City of Hope, a prestigious cancer hospital, of finagle an appointment right away for her husband. He was scheduled to have his thyroid removed yesterday.

This year my daughter will not have thanksgiving
My grandkids will not have thanksgiving.
My great grandkids will not have thanksgiving.
Who would cook the turkey? Not me, I'm a seven hour drive from where they live and even if I got there, I wouldn't have the ability to put together a splendid meal. And who would eat it, anyways? Not my son-in-law, not my daughter, not my five grandkids. Of the four great grandkids, perhaps two are young enough that they would be able to enjoy it. Scott's mother is going to be by his side, along with his brothers and step-mother. They wont be cooking, nor eating much but a sandwich or whatever they can grab it at the hospital.

Thanksgiving has been put on hold this year. I think we will all be holding our collective breath until next year when he has recovered from surgery and had his radioactive iodine isotope treatments.

Still I am thankful that my daughter has such a wonderful man for a husband, that my grandkids have a great daddy and my great grandkids have a wonderful grandpa!


Mom Cooks

I look through several old photographs of my mother. All dressed up and wearing a fancy apron, she is cooking . The small, apartment size, electric stove tucked away in the corner of the narrow kitchen is nearly inaccessible for her use. Whoever designed that kitchen put it in as an afterthought. This was the “modern” post-war house. The left rear burner was a deep cooker. A tall aluminum pot fit down into a well, and once the lid was on, it would lie flush. Today’s equivalent, I suppose, would be the crock pot.

In the photo, my mother is kneeling down and sliding a perfectly roasted turkey out of the oven. I remember the Thanksgiving turkey’s of my childhood. The closer they weighed to thirty pounds, the more delicious they were! My mother’s ability to maneuver anything in or out of that narrow kitchen was nothing short of a miracle, and she frequently pulled off these miracles on a regular basis; not just for the six of us, but while entertaining guests, too.

Being raised in Pennsylvania farm country, my mother had learned a lot of her culinary talents from her mother, Orilla, who once worked, cooking for 50 hungry lumberjacks in the Lumber Camps around the Pennsylvania, New York border. Later, in the town of Port Allegany, Orilla worked in a diner and was famous throughout Porter county for her Homemade Custard Pie. In researching my mother’s family tree, I have only found Connecticut Yankees. It is a mystery that my grandmother mostly cooked in Pennsylvania Dutch style (really German). But, I recently learned from a cousin that Orilla was directly descended from the original Dutch settlers of New Amsterdam. Could it be that their cooking style was the same?

My mother could bake any kind of pie, mincemeat and chocolate cream being my favorite. I remember one time when we spent a whole year tending to a grape arbor in the side yard. When the grapes were ripe, we carefully plucked them and took them into the kitchen where my mother spent the rest of the day making grape pie. It was the most delicious pie I ever had in my life. I don’t recall her ever making it again, and I have never seen it offered anywhere else, either. It certainly was a lot of work to grow those grapes!

My mother’s biscuits were never matched by anyone, except maybe, by my Cousin Eva Mae, who was so thin, you would never think she ate any of what she cooked. Gravy: my mother made the best giblet gravy. It took nearly as long to make it as the turkey took to cook. The gravy pan sat simmering on the stove all day, tantalizing our taste buds. Spice cake with peanut butter icing: I have never been able to duplicate it, and long ago gave up trying. She also made chocolate cake with Marshmallow Icing. Yummy!

She knew how to make a big country breakfast, too. It is probably too rich for today’s tastes, but when a whole passle of relatives spent the night, my mother made bacon basted fried eggs that were curly crispy around the edges and the yolk cooked to order. She could roast any kind of meat, do up any kind of potatoes, even Scalloped or Au Gratin. Some other favorites I remember are recipes I seldom cook: Goulash, Pigs in Blankets, Yankee Pot Roast, Boston Baked Beans (cooked in the oven overnight). The list goes on!


Thanksgiving Memories

Thanksgiving Memories

I remember back when I was young what Thanksgiving was like at home, all the family gathered together. Everyone sat around the table, mismatched chairs and all. Relatives came from miles, sometimes driving through snowy weather. Beginning, days before, Mom prepared the meal. Mom was a really great cook! She made a huge turkey for us with sage dressing and all the trimmings. The house filled with the smell of turkey, roasting in the oven with frequent bastings. Giblet gravy simmered on the back of the stove a whole day, a huge pot of potatoes boiled up and mashed by hand, sweet potatoes with brown sugar and butter baked in. Fancier folks called them "candied yams". Then there were fresh light-as-a-feather biscuits, pickles, olives and relish dishes, celery sticks and deviled eggs, corn and peas, and cranberry sauce cut in slices from the can. I never could figure out how it was called a sauce with it being so solid, like that.

Each year it seemed to be a contest to get a bigger turkey than the year before. I remember that one of the turkeys was so large, Mom had to thaw it out in the bathtub!

After the turkey is cooked, and eaten down to the last shred of meat the family ritual included carefully removing the wish bone which was saved, tucked up above a door, I always thought for good luck where it dried. Later, my  brother and I pulled it apart to make a wish on. There's a certain art to breaking a wishbone in half. only one side will get the wish. "The wishbone, known in anatomy as the furcula, is a fused clavicle bone found in birds which is shaped like the letter Y." according to wikipedia.

Mom worked hard preparing thanksgiving dinner often without any help. Back in those days, it was pretty much considered "woman's work", and I was not much a kitchen helpful daughter. I much more wanted to run and play. (Sorry, Mom.) If cousin Eva Mae was there, she helped Mom if she and Don arrived early enough. Cousin Velva did not. The smell of fresh baked pies wafting through the house smelled like heaven.

The table was overloaded with food, plate pressed up to plate. More food sat in the kitchen waiting to be asked for. “Can I have seconds?” was never refused. Pies cooled out on the front porch, that is, until one of our cats walked through one.

Mincemeat was my favorite. Nobody eats that anymore. I couldn't even find it lately at the grocery store, or the restaurant that specializes in pie desserts! I shall miss it! And Mom’s great cooking. They don't make thanksgivings like that anymore!


Bunny Dreams

Does the caged white rabbit dream?

With his pink eyes closed
and REM sleep overtaking him,

Does he travel to distant lands
where, in a past life,
he rambled freely, the green meadow?

In his two-by-four wired cubicle
he cuddles himself with nothing
and waits.
Will the rain ever stop?

Or, was the sunlight only a dream?
He dozes.

The big woman arrives,
places fresh greens through the slot.


all torn from the earth, screaming,
rinsed of their soil
by a spray nozzle hose,
to be fed, alive, to the voracious rodent.

Sleeping bunny,
wriggling nose, sensitive to the pungeant herbs

Bunny thoughtfully chews
his breakfast of weeds,
lop-eared gaze intent and distant,
remembering the dreams.

Elizabeth Munroz
Friday, May 25, 1990


Eternal Change

Inner pain, outer pain,
it all exists for the benefit of change,

Thoughts are only shells of ideas,
hopes are soft feather-down 
from angel's wings.
and rain is the tears
from every heart ever bled.

Death embraces all things
in one final ecstatic love.

Fear gives rise 
to the quest for answers,
and truth sheds light 
throughout the shadows of shame.

Laughing dolphins have more intellect
than stars shining from the darkness.
Yet darkness holds the key to deepest joy.

Whispering trees haunt the living forests
while fallen leaves dance on rock faces 
just to tease the sky.

And little children without legs 
are forced to watch their fathers murder.

Hearts break for all the wrong reasons.

Nothing can be grasped with closed fingers.

Swirling coldness dries up the ground before putting it to sleep.

Remember... Eternity is just a breath away.


In praise of a friend

I love your ever-present, overflowing tidbits of knowledge.
Your ability to speak eloquently
Your many faceted interests
Your capacity to listen kindly to a woman’s woes

Your beautiful brown eyes,
Especially when they smile .
The glow of your skin

The soft way your hair falls across your forehead
The quickness of your mind

The extemporaneous witticisms you create.
Your warm smile
The melodic tonal quality of your voice

Your capacity to put to memory
A thousand lines of poetry (Awesome!)

Your eccentric taste in clothing
Your level-headed rationality
Your thriftiness

Your capacity to maintain protection over your deep feelings
Your ability to keep a modicum of controlled fairness,
when opinions are flung far and wide around you.

Your cool reserve
The way you carry yourself.

Elizabeth Munroz - 1989
Dedicated to George Dunn



A grimalkin is an old or evil-looking female cat. The term stems from "gray" (the color) plus "malkin", an obsolete term for a cat, derived from the hypocoristic form of the female name Maud.[1] Scottish legend makes reference to the grimalkin as a faery cat which dwells in the highlands.

The term/name may first come from Beware the Cat (published 1570) by William Baldwin [2], who relates the story of Grimalkin's death. According to its editors, the story, and thus the name, originates with Baldwin. It is also spelled Grimmalkin or Grimolochin.
During the early modern period, the name grimalkin - and cats in general - became associated with the devil and witchcraft. Women tried as witches in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries were often accused of having a familiar, frequently a grimalkin.
Grimalkin was the name of the cat of Nostradamus[3], and later the witches' cat "Gray-Malkin" in Macbeth[4] by William Shakespeare.

In Tom Jones, Henry Fielding relates a story from a 17th-century collection of fables in which Grimalkin is a cat whose owner falls passionately in love with her. He prays to Venus, who changes the cat into a woman. Lying in bed, however, she spots a mouse and leaps up after it, "Puss, even when she's a Madam, will be a mouser still."

In Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, Mr. Lockwood shares a set of two benches in the back kitchen of Healthcliff's manor with a Grimalkin described as a "brindled, grey cat, which crept from the ashes, and sluted me with a querulous mew."
Nathaniel Hawthorne, in The House of Seven Gables, Ch. XVI, mentions "...a strange grimalkin... was seen by Hepzibah while she was looking into the back-yard garden for Clifford." In the next sentence he gives definition to grimalkin as "...this cat seemed to have more than ordinary mischief in his thoughts,..."

The Godolphin Arabian, one of the stallions that helped found the line of Thoroughbred racing horses, was very close to a companion cat called Grimalkin. (Racehorses tend to be very high-strung and nervous animals, and often form a close bond with a companion animal; the tactic of trying to sabotage a race by abducting a racehorse's companion animal the night before the race is thought to have given rise to the term "getting someone's goat.")

In the television show "Batman", and later "The New Adventures of Batman", Catwoman (played by Eartha Kitt) operated the Grimalkin Novelty Company, at the corner of Cattail Lane and Nine Lives Alley.

In the 2008 series "Power Rangers: Jungle Fury", the pizza parlor Jungle Karma Pizza, which serves as a social hangout for the show's main cast, houses a pinball machine going by the name Grimalkin Gauntlet.

The governess/witch in the novel The Midnight Folk by John Masefield has two familiars named Greymalkin and Blackmalkin.

A grimalkin is briefly mentioned in The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath by H.P. Lovecraft, in which sentient cats play a major role.
In the Wardstone Chronicles, written by Joseph Delaney, Grimalkin is the name given to the assassin witch of the Malkin family.
In Jim Butcher's novel Small Favor, a large cat named Grimalkin appears with Mab, Winter Queen of the Faeries.

Grimalkin is used by Mab as a surrogate voice for an unknown reason. It is suggested that he belongs to a species of such cats known as malk.

In the video game BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger when Hakumen is defeated as the sub-boss of the game for all default characters (not counting Jin, the aforementioned Hakumen himself, and v -13-), he is suddenly warped out of the battlefield, all the while angrily yelling, "How dare you interrupt me, Grimalkin!" When he says that, he is referring to his mistress, Kokonoe. The Grimalkin in BlazBlue is a species of cat-like people, with three known Grimalkins being Taokaka, the aforementioned Kokonoe, and the original Grimalkin, Jubei.

In Gregory Maguire's novel A Lion Among Men, the cowardly lion, Brrr, has a "glass cat" companion who is later discovered to be named Grimalkin.

Thank you wikipedia


Photo Friday - Favorite Recent Photo

I couldn't choose a single favorite photo out of these pictures I took of my neighbor. So, I chose them all and put them in this slide show. Her name is Liz Valencia. I wanna be her when I grow up!

I'm not sure exactly her age, but somewhere around 79 if I recall correctly. She's been telling me this for quite sometime. You would think I could figure it out. But alas, the facts have eluded me.

I've asked Liz to drop by whenever she has a dance performance and I will take her picture. She is more than happy to comply. I know she practices at the Senior Center, but performs where ever she and her troop are needed. This woman is full of youthful energy and it is obvious she could dance circles around me.

The dances she performs are done in authentic costume for the area of Mexico the dance originated. So, she has several different costumes, and she looks like a million bucks in each one. The traditional dances of Mexico are called Ballet Folklórico


To Cayuga Creek and Niagara River

Once, there was a dream, never-ending,
flowing greatly within my heart’s happiness.

Capturing the last remnants of summers' heat,
the multi-hued pages of flame,
drifted lightly in the hands of the wind.

I ran alongside the swift stream bed
wondrously chasing the buoyant colors.

And my heart could fly
when it reached land’s end.

No barriers to my joy
I followed the merry journey onward,
through the singing waters.

Until the river opened wide
quickly rushing beneath that grand island bridge.

Leaves excitedly danced,
and took little leaps through the rapids
until they jumped off the crest of the waterfall
to be carried,
once again, by the wind.

Elizabeth Munroz


Stop Searching

Blind Seeker

Somewhere out in the night
A lonely one calls
Seeking that which was never lost.

In it's sad head
It cannot comprehend
What is all around.

The deep indigo night
surrounds it's soul
Yet it will not see
The twinkling starlight.

Open eyes do not see
What the heart requires.
Resignation brings on the search.
Padding across the earth

The lonely one travels far,
Far from home,
Always wondering.

What is the purpose in all this?

All around, in every branch,
And drop of water lies the answer.

Elizabeth Munroz
June 1990

From Last Friday's Post

This is BooBoo, about age 7. She was my mother's cat. 
When Mom and Dad went to a nursing home both their cats came to live with me. 
I put this picture of BooBoo into photoshop and played with it for a while and came up with the picture I posted on Friday.
BooBoo has found another home.


Come join me for some C8H10N4O2

C8H10N4O2, better known as caffeine, is the most wonderful chemical compound known to humankind. 

If the field of chemistry had never identified or produced a single other useful compound, caffeine alone would be justification enough for its existence.

A quote from GeekDad


Heart Wide Open

Live each day with

heart wide open, 

take the pain

and the beauty

as it comes.

Life will be easier in the long run.
~Elizabeth Munroz


What to Name It?

When you become aware
you are faced with death,
you begin to live
every moment of your life
to the fullest extent
of your capabilities.

All the troublesome behaviors
others would aim at you
no longer have meaning.
They are not worth
your precious moments.

You take no guff from anyone
and you allow yourself to be free
in order to live out
whatever life you have left
as happily as possible.

Why can't everyone live that free in the first place?

~~~Elizabeth Munroz


Photo Friday - Photo Art

Jessie was 14 when she had her first surgery for a benign bone tumor condition called osteochondromatosis.
She had several surgeries yearly after that, losing her tibia in one of them.
I met her when a number of friends from the MHE support group decided to meet and spend a week together. Jessie died of complications of her last surgery with a blood clot to her heart. This is her pretty smiling face from that time we met, and I must wanted to create something beautiful for her mother.

This was my Mother's cat, BooBoo who came to live with me whilst Mother went to live in a Nursing home.
BooBoo had the sweetest personality. One day I snapped her picture and something told me she had a firey wild self to her, so I put her picture in Photoshop, and worked on it until BooBoo was satisfied!


Why My Dad Lived by Man of La Mancha Story

It is the late sixteenth century. Failed author-soldier-actor and tax collector Miguel de Cervantes has been thrown into a dungeon by the Spanish Inquisition, along with his manservant. They have been charged with foreclosing on a monastery. The two have brought all their possessions with them into the dungeon. There, they are attacked by their fellow prisoners, who instantly set up a mock trial. If Cervantes is found guilty, he will have to hand over all his possessions. Cervantes agrees to do so, except for a precious manuscript which the prisoners are all too eager to burn. He asks to be allowed to offer a defense, and the defense will be a play, acted out by him and all the prisoners. The "judge", a big, burly but good-humored criminal called "the Governor", agrees.
Cervantes takes out a makeup kit from his trunk, and the manservant helps him get into a costume. In a few short moments, Cervantes has transformed himself into Alonso Quijana, an old gentleman who has read so many books of chivalry and thought so much about injustice that he has lost his mind and now believes that he should go forth as a knight-errant. Quijana renames himself Don Quixote de La Mancha, and sets out to find adventures with his "squire", Sancho Panza. They both sing the title song Man of La Mancha (I, Don Quixote).

Don Quixote warns Sancho that the pair are always in danger of being attacked by Quixote's mortal enemy, an evil magician known as the Enchanter. Suddenly he spots a windmill. Seeing its sails whirling, he mistakes it for a four-armed giant, attacks it, and receives a beating from the encounter. He thinks he knows why he has been defeated - it is because he has not been properly dubbed a knight. Looking off, he imagines he sees a castle (it is really a rundown roadside inn). He orders Sancho to announce their arrival by blowing his bugle, and the two proceed to the inn.

Cervantes talks some prisoners into assuming the roles of the inn's serving wench and part-time prostitute Aldonza and a group of muleteers, who are propositioning her. Fending them off sarcastically, (It's All The Same) she eventually deigns to accept their leader, Pedro, who pays in advance.

Don Quixote enters with Sancho, upset at not having been "announced" by a "dwarf". The Innkeeper (played by The Governor) treats them sympathetically and humors Don Quixote, but when Quixote catches sight of Aldonza, he believes her to be the lady Dulcinea, to whom he has sworn eternal loyalty. He sings Dulcinea. Aldonza, used to being roughly handled, is flabbergasted, then annoyed, at Quixote's strange and kind treatment of her.

Meanwhile, Antonia (Don Quixote's niece) has gone with Quixote's housekeeper to seek advice from the local priest. But the priest wisely realizes that the two women are more concerned with the embarrassment the knight's madness may bring than with his welfare. The three sing I'm Only Thinking of Him.

One of the prisoners, a cynic called "The Duke", is chosen by Cervantes to play Dr. Sanson Carrasco, Antonia's fiancé, a man just as cynical and self-centered as the prisoner who is playing him. Carrasco is upset at the idea of having a madman in his prospective new family, so he and the priest set out to cure Don Quixote and bring him back home.

Back at the inn, Sancho delivers a missive from Don Quixote to Aldonza courting her favor and asking for a token. Instead, Aldonza tosses an old dishrag at Sancho, but to Don Quixote the dishrag is a silken scarf. When Aldonza asks Sancho why he follows Quixote, he sings I Really Like Him. Alone, later, Aldonza sings What Does He Want of Me? In the courtyard, the muleteers once again taunt her with the suggestive song Little Bird, Little Bird.

The priest and Dr. Carrasco arrive, but cannot reason with Don Quixote, who suddenly spots a barber wearing his shaving basin on his head to ward off the sun's heat. (The Barber's Song) Quixote immediately snatches the basin from the barber at sword's point, believing it to be the miraculous Golden Helmet of Mambrino, which will make him invulnerable. Dr. Carrasco and the priest leave, with the priest impressed by Don Quixote's view of life and wondering if curing him is really worth it. (To Each His Dulcinea)
Meanwhile, Quixote asks the Innkeeper to dub him knight. The innkeeper agrees, but first Quixote must stand vigil all night over his armor. Quixote asks to be guided to the "chapel" for his vigil, and the Inkeeper hastily concocts an excuse: the "chapel" is "being repaired". Quixote decides to keep his vigil in the courtyard. As he does so, Aldonza, on her way to her rendezvous with Pedro, finally confronts him, but Quixote gently explains why he behaves the way he does (The Impossible Dream). Pedro enters, furious at being kept waiting, and slaps Aldonza. Enraged, Don Quixote takes him and all the other muleteers on in a huge fight, as the orchestra plays The Combat. Don Quixote has no martial skill, but by luck and determination - and with the help of Aldonza (who now sympathizes with Quixote) and Sancho - he prevails, and the muleteers are all knocked unconscious. But the noise has awakened the Innkeeper, who enters and kindly tells Quixote that he must leave. Quixote apologizes for the trouble, but reminds the Innkeeper of his promise to dub him knight. The Innkeeper does so (Knight of the Woeful Countenance).

Quixote then announces he must try to help the muleteers. Aldonza, whom Quixote still calls Dulcinea, is shocked, but after the knight explains that the laws of chivalry demand that he succor a fallen enemy, Aldonza agrees to help them. For her efforts, she is beaten, raped, and carried off by the muleteers, who leave the inn. (The Abduction) Quixote, in his small room, is blissfully ruminating over his recent victory and the new title that the innkeeper has given him - and completely unaware of what has just happened to Aldonza. (The Impossible Dream - first reprise)

At this point, the Don Quixote play is brutally interrupted when the Inquisition enters the dungeon and drags off an unwilling prisoner to be tried. The Duke taunts Cervantes for his look of fear, and accuses him of not facing reality. This prompts a passionate defense of idealism by Cervantes.

The Don Quixote play resumes (Man of La Mancha - first reprise). Quixote and Sancho have left the inn and encounter a band of Gypsies ("Moorish Dance") who take advantage of Quixote's naivete and proceed to steal everything they own, including Quixote's horse Rocinante and Sancho's donkey Dapple. The two are forced to return to the inn, where the Innkeeper tries to keep them out, but finally cannot resist letting them back in out of pity.[5] Aldonza shows up with several bruises. Quixote swears to avenge her, but she angrily tells him off, begging him to leave her alone (Aldonza). Suddenly, another knight enters. He announces himself as Don Quixote's mortal enemy, the Enchanter, this time appearing as the "Knight of the Mirrors". He insults Aldonza, and is promptly challenged to combat by Don Quixote. The Knight of the Mirrors and his attendants bear huge shields with mirrors on them, and as they swing them at Quixote (Knight of the Mirrors) the glare from the sunlight blinds him. The attacking Knight taunts him, forcing him to see himself as the world sees him - a fool and a madman. Don Quixote collapses, weeping. The Knight of the Mirrors removes his own helmet - he is really Dr. Carrasco, returned with his latest plan to cure Quixote.

Cervantes announces that the story is finished at least as far as he has written it, but the prisoners are dissatisfied with the ending. They prepare to burn his manuscript, when he asks for the chance to present one last scene.

The Governor agrees, and we are now in Don Quixote's bedroom, where he has fallen into a coma. Antonia, Sancho, the Housekeeper, the priest, and Carrasco are all there. Sancho tries to cheer up Quixote (A Little Gossip). Don Quixote eventually awakens, and when questioned, reveals that he is now sane, remembering his knightly career as only a vague dream. He realizes that he is now dying, and asks the priest to help him make out his will. As Quixote begins to dictate, Aldonza forces her way in. She has come to visit Quixote because she has found that she can no longer bear to be anyone but Dulcinea. When he does not recognize her, she sings Dulcinea (reprise) to him and tries to help him remember the words of "The Impossible Dream". Suddenly, he remembers everything and rises from his bed, calling for his armor and sword so that he may set out again. (Man of La Mancha -second reprise) But it is too late - in mid-song, he suddenly groans and falls dead. The priest sings The Psalm for the dead. However, Aldonza now believes in him so much that, to her, Don Quixote will always live. When Sancho calls her by name, she asks him to call her Dulcinea.

The Inquisition enters to take Cervantes to his trial, and the prisoners, finding him not guilty, return his manuscript. It is, of course, his (as yet) unfinished novel, Don Quixote de la Mancha. As Cervantes and his servant mount the drawbridge-like staircase to go to their impending trial yet gleaming with courage, the prisoners (except for the Duke) sing The Impossible Dream in chorus.

This information borrowed from wikepedia


What Love Isn't

Time has a way of wearing us down like wind and water erode sharp-edged stone into smooth. Withstanding the test of time, my parents managed to maintain, and soften their relationship by smoothing down the sharp edges.

It took them a lifetime together to accomplish this.  I admire them tremendously.

I didn’t always feel that way. As a child I was disappointed that my parents didn’t fit the romantic models I’d seen in the movies.
They were a good looking couple but they didn’t quite measure up to Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. They were ordinary, hard working folks with four kids to raise. Dad wore work overalls. Mom wore house dresses. They could dress up right nice once in a while. But they weren't they type to adorn themselves in exotic attire, dancing through life like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Mom had lots of nice high heels so even in her house dresses she did have a certain savoir faire about her. Although Dad once said he would like to wear a cravat, he never had reason to wear the ties we kids got him for father’s day. Once we figured it out, we switched over to cookies instead. Dad liked oatmeal.

He didn’t buy her flowers, perfumes, chocolates, or jewels. She didn’t meet him at the door with a martini wearing a flowing lounger or negligee, at least not that we kids were aware. He often quietly dragged himself in after working a double shift. She often set aside the dinner that had grown cold, and went to bed with a book.

Overt signs of affection were not displayed, which led me to become one of those kids who, after learning the facts of life, said, “not my parents”. Not because I didn’t think it was possible, but just because I had never seen any touching. With the extenuating circumstances of a lost birth certificate, I even thought I was adopted for a while. My parents did a lot of things together, but I didn’t believe they did “that”. What fools we little kids be!

They painted the house together; they worked hard trying to run a business together. They drove on trips together. They argued vociferously. Somehow, the made peace when we weren't looking. Romance, in the traditional hearts and flowers sense, was not a part of their lives from what I could see.

Not Anthony and Cleopatra, they were more like Ma and Pa Kettle, herding us kids through life, struggling to make ends meet. They carried on through success and defeat, whichever was the result of the day. And a stoic resolve to get through the next one with more hope for improvement.

I often believed they didn’t know what love was. That was when I was all–fired, absolutely, positively sure, that I really knew what love was.

But, since that time, they married through sixty eight years of richer and poorer, sickness and health, love, hell and high water, deep snow, and earthquakes.

What did they know about love? A lot.

What do I know about love? Zip.

I have been married and divorced five times, six. if you count the one I married twice. I know that I haven’t the foggiest notion of what love is. Though, I think I can say with a fair amount of certainty that I know what love is not. I think my parents know a whole lot more of love than I ever imagined.

Using their lives and marriage as an example, I’ve learned that it is not romance. Anyone can play out that scenario. But, it cannot withstand the test of time. It gets boring after a while… all that worry and tension to create a romantic atmosphere. It’s empty without love to sustain it. Surely romance is part of the beginning of love, like flowers need springtime to grow. But, I’ve learned from my parents that love is related to how you handle the more pragmatic things in life.

Like, getting up in the morning and letting the other one sleep in, and preparing your own breakfast, if necessary, or making sure your mate takes his or her medicine, and reminding whoever is driving the car, there’s a stop sign at the corner hiding under the branches of the big shade tree. Helping each other put things away, whether it’s in the kitchen or the tool shed. Tolerating the mess and just going to sleep when tired, to deal with it the next day. Watching TV, or maybe just snoozing nearby in the easy chair, while the other watches a favorite program. Letting the cat sleep between you, so you both can enjoy its purring, even if it interferes with snuggling. Taking turns talking long-distance to the kids or grand kids on the phone, and not breathing too loud if you’re the one on the extension phone. Praying, and reading scripture together in those golden years. Helping each other remember things:

“Where’d I leave my keys… my socks? …my purse? …the car? What day is it? What time is the doctor’s appointment? What was the name of that family who ran the shoe store in town when we were dating?

There’s also the nagging, the nit-picking, the snoring, the sharp words, misunderstandings, hurt feelings, stubbornness and disagreements, and the the wisdom to agree to disagree. But mostly, I think there’s the hanging-in-there through it all, forgiving and forgetting, and letting go. But, most of all I think my parents knew that love is that which softens the hardness of life and withstands the test of time.

Their favorite love song, which always gave them starry eyes and always gives their kids tears in their eyes.

The Anniversary Song
by Al Jolson

Oh, how we danced
On the night we were wed;
We vowed our true love
Though a word wasn't said.
The world was in bloom,
There were stars in the skies
Except for the few
That were there in your eyes.

Dear, as I held you
So close in my arms,
Angels were singing
A hymn to your charms,
Two hearts gently beating
Were murmuring low,
"My darling, I love you so."

The night seemed to fade
Into blossoming dawn;
The sun shone anew
But the dance lingered on.
Could we but relive that
Sweet moment sublime,
We'd find that our love
Is unaltered by time.


In Memory of My Father, James D Deane May 16, 1915 - November 9, 2005

From my journal of November 8 and 9, 2005

Dad had bad fever this am. Fever broke and he was a awake and alert for a short while. Toughest on my sister who is trying to do round clock nursing care for both Mom and Dad. Sad to see her so desperate.

My brother and I staying at hotel. We're working with mortuary and cremation service to get things arranged.

Mom is getting closer to realization. I laid on her bed with her tonight, wrapped my arms around her, and asked what songs she might want for Dad. She cried a little. But held back a LOT.

This afternoon, it appears, Dad is getting ready to leave his body. He doesn't move very much at all now, breathing is rough, but steady with some stops. His eyes are not much focused. He can be easily roused, but will look toward you when he is. He cannot seem to talk any more. The only thing he said today was "oil" which we took to mean that he wanted a priest to come and anoint him with oil. This is a practice of the my Dad's church. My Dad was raised Episcopal. So this evening a priest came and did the anointing ceremony for them both.

In the meantime, at one point my mom was seated in the lazyboy chair beside his bed and kept talking to him, telling him she loved him, what a good husband he has been and so on. She knows he cannot respond. She is blind and cannot see when he winks his eye to her to let her know he hears her. So we have to tell her when he blinked to some comment she has made. She also has been singing old love songs to him from long ago that we never heard of. He tries to move his mouth to them, but he is too weak. This all still seems hardest on my sister.

When my brother and I are by ourselves we talk. We both seem to be more calm (numb?) about it all. Or maybe not as deeply engaged emotionally? Today we went to a mortuary together and talked "business" and are beginning to put together a memorial plan. It's been exhausting and frustrating, having gone to several to find out they are majorly ready to take a lot of money for very little sentiment.

My Dad did not have a plan in place, nor anything written down suggesting what he might want. Though over the years he has said he wanted cremation, and ashes scattered near his childhood home Kinzua, Pennsylvania.

It is very difficult to concentrate on all this when I am in the midst of it. Even though I feel balanced and oddly calm, I still seem to have a hard time focusing on facts and understanding them clearly. I am probably pissing people off by constantly asking for clarification. They just assume that I am supposed to know what they are meaning, and I want clear hard statements, so I really understand what is being communicated to me. It's kind of like listening through a metal tube with water running nearby. Not only am I not sure I hear things right, but it's very distracting to keep my focus on what is being said.

At one point this evening, my sister was taking care of my mother, who cannot get to the bathroom by herself or take care of personal needs. I sat with my Dad, face to face, and held his hand. I spoke to him and asked if he still had some unfinished business. It seemed he wanted to answer, but of course could not. I know that up until last week he was still worried about bills that he could not pay. So I told him that he really doesn't need to worry about money any more, that he could relax that it doesn't matter now, and he is free from any debts, and that if there is anything outstanding, I know my brother has said he would take care of it.

He blinked in response. I asked him if he remembered that I had a near death experience in the past. He blinked yes. I asked if he wanted me to tell him about this again. He blinked and I reminded him how beautiful it is, and how anything that was ever a worry is so clearly understood in new terms, and how we are finally free, and filled with love, and light, and beauty beyond all understanding.

He got tears in his eyes by that time and was squeezing my hand, I was quiet for a while, and just stroked his forehead. He kept tight of hold of my hand because every time I tried to pull my hand away, he just held it tighter. I was really surprised at the strength. If this was a dying man, he was super strong. He was really holding on and didn't want me to pull my hand away.

When I was telling him about the tunnel and the light and the peace that passes all understanding, he looked away from me across the room. I wondered if someone had come in the room. I turned to see who was there, but no one was there. Dad gave my hand another tight squeeze as he looked at me and back to what he was looking at. I wonder what he saw. We just sat quietly then and watched as my sister helped my mom back to her bed. She stayed with them as the rest of us left to go get some sleep.

Just a few hours later, my sister called to say that Dad died quietly in his sleep. She had fallen asleep in the chair next to him. Mom was in the bed on the other side, asleep.

My sister wanted to know if we wanted to come over to see Dad one last time as the Mortuary would be arriving to take him away. We had so little sleep but I couldn't just lay there. We knew Mom would need us all there, so we got up and went over. We quietly kissed my Dad. Then my sister awoke Mom.

Some would say not to wake her and just sneak the body quietly away, but we just didn't feel that would be right for Mom. Of course, she was inconsolable and very distraught. But, I think her reaction would have been worse if she just awoke to an empty bed beside her. As it was, it was hard to witness. She kept reaching over through the bed rails trying to touch Dad. At one point she even tried to climb over them. So that she wouldn't hurt herself, we took down the bed rails and pulled them closer together so she could touch him and say her last good byes. We all kept attending to Mom, but at one point I had a need to lie down beside my Dad. Mom kept reaching over and wanting his hand to hold but it was finally getting cold, so I just reached across and put my hand in hers to hold.

Some of the nursing staff came in to kiss Dad goodbye and hold and hug Mom. It warmed my heart that people who had taken care of them, and sometimes seemed cold, really did care for the. Finally the hospice nurse came in and hugged us all. She had to make the "assessment" and file the official "paper". Then the mortuary came with one attendant only, which confused me. I don't know why I thought it would be more "official" than that. So, my brother and the Hospice nurse helped to put my father onto the gurney and then his body was taken away. I could not make a move. All I could do was watch. I wondered at my brother's ability to take our father in his arms and pull him across the bed onto the gurney. I looked at his face when he was positioning Dad's legs. There was nothing there except sheer love. A moment after that, his eyes landed on mine and there was a silent acknowledgment of vulnerability. No more Daddy.

My son, was able to come down, and spent that evening sleeping in Dad's bed next to his Grandma, keeping her company, and talking to her. Did he sing to her, too? I think I remember her saying he did.

Goodnight sweetheart, 'til we meet tomorrow
Goodnight sweetheart, sleep will banish sorrow
Tears and parting may make us forlorn
But with the dawn a new day is born

So I'll say goodnight sweetheart, though I'm not beside you
Goodnight sweetheart, still my love will guide you
Dreams involve you and in each one I'll hold you
Goodnight sweetheart, goodnight

The day is over and it's cares and woes
In peaceful sweet repose, will fade and die
A dreamy dreamland beckons you and me
How happy life would be if we could dream forever

So I'll say goodnight sweetheart
Even though I'm not, I'm not always right beside you
I'll still say goodnight, goodnight sweetheart
I want you to know that my love, my love will always guide you

And dreams involve you, in each one I'll hold you
Goodnight sweetheart, goodnight...



Rylee Lynne was born to Justin, my grandson, and his wife Heather yesterday early morning 1:46 AM

Rylee weighed 7 pounds 13 ounces. She is my fourth great grandchild, and first girl.

Pictures to follow


The Earth is Our Mother

Photo Friday - Guy Fawkes Day

 Dear Reader,

Please be kind to one so ignorant.

I had heard of Guy Fawkes day as a child, but only know it was associated with the bonefires some folks here would light on Halloween night. Apparently a very old tradition, which was quickly dying out. I had been told they were fires symbolic of burning witches. In my child's mind I thought that was a good thing. Bad enough that witches were allowed to roam around on Halloween. Good thing they had the fires to get rid of them. I was very young at the time.

Since Guy Fawkes day was suggested for photo Friday, I decided to learn more about this British holiday. Is it a holiday? Doesn't holiday connotate holy day? It seems Guy Fawkes was considered to be somewhat un-holy, almost devilish. So, perhaps the word is celebration. I can't figure out how this man who was supposed to be the enemy came to have such a permanent and feted place in history. I must be reading it all wrong, and quite oblivious of what it all about.

But, then, I can imagine how others may view some of the festivities held here in America. The real history of Thanksgiving, for example, is very different from what I was taught as a child. The pilgrims did not get together with the natives to have a grand harvest meal in gratitude to God for bringing them together. Columbus day is a ruse, but children still get that day off from school, and banks are closed in observance. A lot of Native-Americans protest that Columbus day should not be recognized at all, as it commemorates the beginning of the loss (rape) of their people and land.

Bonfires are very much celebrated by young people here in the U.S. in a whole different way. It's called Burning Man. It is a week long festival culminating in the burning of the man. It ends the day before Labor Day, another American Holiday which I don't understand.

It is called Burning Man because a 40 foot tall effigy of a man is set on fire with as much pyrotechnics as possible every year. This is a very pagan type of festival and last year had about 40,000 attendees. Those who celebrate go off into the most barren part of the desert, the only land where they can do this without causing havoc to the rest of society.

It is now against the law to have bonfires in most states, burning of leaves or farm field debris, without a license to do so. Permission and knowledge of the burn date is coordinated with the local weather outlook. Sometimes these well planned burn dates go tragically wrong. Weather changes, wind and fires get out of control. Acres and acres of dry brittle brush and trees burn. Wildfires we call them. Forest fires when the true forests are involved.

So, the closest thing I can do to present photos symbolic of Guy Fawkes day is to share a pictures taken at Burning Man Celebration. I hope my extrapolation has not been too extreme.


To Dream the Impossible Dream

It will soon be four years since my father, James Deforest Deane, died at the age of 90. These are the words of his favorite song. These are the words he lived by.

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I'll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star


National Something-or-Other Day/Month

I just learned that November is National Blog Posting Month. The only requirement is that you post every day.

It doesn't look like I will be doing that, since I will need to produce at least 1666 words a day in order to complete 50,000 words in one month through National Writing Novel Month.

According to a family member, yesterday was Paint Your Own Portrait Day. I can't find the link for it, and no, I didn't paint my own portrait, though I have done several stylized ones photoshop.

Tiffany Crochet Jewelry in perodot long beads choker



I created an LOL cat to represent my profile picture on facebook from which I am taking a one month hiatus as I have joined the National Write a Novel Month. I hope to participate, and complete 50,000 words.
Wish me luck!

Family Literacy Month

A few moments ago, I thought about a friend of mine from Junior High School. Wilfred hated his name. But, he sure loved to read. He hated school. But he sure loved to read. He got in trouble a lot at school because he didn't pay attention. Nine times out of ten, he was taking a sneak peak at a comic book or some other reading material in his desk. School was boring for him. Some of his reading was beyond my comprehension. I really admired him. I loved to read too. But, I could not keep up with him. Being so brilliant, it was hard for him to fit in.

I remember one time in class, the teacher gave us an assignment: "If you could have your dearest wish come true, what would it be?" We were supposed to write a fifteen minute composition about it in class and hand it in. Maybe she needed a few minutes of quiet. Maybe we did. Within a few seconds, Wilfred got up, walked to the teacher's desk and put his paper on her desk. He was done. I couldn't believe it. Many pencils in class hung in mid air along with some chins.

The teacher, staring darts at Wilfred, picked up the paper and sarcastically read it out loud. "I wish I could spend the rest of my life just reading!"

A few snickers ensued. Wilfred just sat. Teacher began her tirade. "Wilfred! MY WISH is that you would just spend your time doing your school work and behaving yourself!"

Wilfred got up from his desk and prepared to leave the room. He'd had enough. Teacher had had enough, too. SIT DOWN!

Wilfred proceed up the aisle directly toward her. She proceeded directly down the aisle toward him. She wasn't afraid of this gangly overgrown surly teenager. She actually pushed him backwards. Or tried to, I should say. That was when Wilfred pushed her back. Had the desk of a student not been right there behind her, she would have fallen.

Now, I didn't condone this kind of behavior, and still don't. But, I was shocked. How could he dare to do such a thing? Wilfred showed his total lack of respect for authority, and I lost my respect for Wilfred that day.

Many years later, I learned that Wilfred had committed a crime and gone to prison. Well, what would one expect from a trouble maker? Ironically, Wilfred spent a great deal of time in solitary confinement. He was not stupid. I'm sure he knew how to keep out of solitary confinement, or maybe it was part of making his wish come true. No one to bother him, and spend all his time reading books.

Wilfred was lucky that he had the gift of being able to read. It's too bad he never became a teacher, himself. Can you imagine passing that gift on to others?

Here are a few places where I love to get books at very reasonable prices:


Better World Books

Amazon Bargain Books

Paper Back Swap

This last one, by the way, the books are free. All you have to do is pay for postage, usually less than four dollars.

I'm not sure if any of these ship outside the US. If you have a favorite place where you obtain your books, make a comment to let others know.