Mountain memory

Lost Lake, somewhere in Colorado

The first time I hiked in the mountains, I needed a break, so I laid on my back in an alpine meadow next to a melting snow cap. I was struck by the closeness of the sky, how it rushed toward my bare face, how the silence buzzed in my ears, how I could almost grab a handful of cloud and lick it like a tuft of cotton candy, how the dripping water formed shimmering ribbons coaxed away by gravity, gathering volume and speed, toward life below.


(I stole this from myself. I wrote it as a comment on another blog. Is that breaking some blogger bylaw?)

Writing on the wall

Somewhere in Detroit

I walk past this wall at least once a week.

Most of the time I don’t understand the spray-painted messages on the concrete barrier. Are they gang tags? Bored kids? Street philosophers spreading the good word?

Most of the time I don’t bother looking at anything in this neighborhood, as the decay and neglect depress me.

Most of the time I’m focused on reaching my car before I’m knifed for the two bucks I have in my wallet.

This day is different. I don’t know what made me look but I did. I looked and I saw this message. Clearly, it needs to be in my head.

Do not tell your story in anger.




Wordless Wednesday
(on Tuesday): country road

Every so often I just need to escape.

Holiday tradition is nice as long as it doesn’t feel like a leash.

I’ve felt a tightness around the neck lately.

So, we’ve taken to the road with idea of visiting the shore, hiking through woods, and maybe we’ll even have tacos for Thanksgiving.


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Wordless Wednesday:
waning autumn

Day nine of National Blog Posting Month, affectionately known as NaBloPoMo. Considering that I’ve posted more in the month of November than I’ve posted in the last two months, I need a breather. If you also live in a temperate climate, enjoy these last days of fall. (Picture taken at Maybury State Park, Michigan)

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Why I'm mostly a vegetarian, Part 2

Photo by MZ

Take your pick: Thumper or Rocky.
I came upon this while thumbing through a cookbook at my mother’s house. The brittle, crumbling volume held together by rubber bands and tape was a wedding gift.
She was married in 1963.
Indeed, judging by the recipes for Swedish meatballs, Waldorf salad and beef Stroganoff and the overuse of gelatin and aspic, it was pre-Womens’ Lib. The suggestion seemed to be that women spent their days hosting card parties, luncheons and preparing the family dinner.

Even more entertaining than the recipes are the illustrations. The book opens with the picture of a trim bride with a tidy flipped bob wearing a starched apron tied at her narrow waist. Her wan smile is probably the result of a mixture of Valium and a bridge club cocktail. She balances a serving platter and gazes into the distance somewhere off camera. Is she watching the frolicking squirrels in the back yard, deciding how best to trap them? Is she wondering if little Susie’s pet rabbit would be missed? Is she debating if potato or rice best accompanies breaded rodent meat? Does she need to add a Jello-O mold to the menu or would pudding suffice for dessert?

I asked my mother if she’d ever cooked squirrel for us and then lied and said it was chicken.
She gave me one of those looks. It’s the look I always get when I ask probing questions about the past.
Speaking of recipes, check out these bloggers, who do a much better job making fun of old recipes and advertising images from bygone eras. They have quite the collection.

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday

Photo by MZ

Photo by MZ

My Girl from the East is high energy. This is an understatement. She needs her daily exercise. When she can’t get it in traditional ways outdoors such as when the weather is too cold or too wet, she will improvise. She likes to run back and forth and jump around in our bedroom. It drives me nuts. It also reminds me how simple it is sometimes to find solutions to challenges.

Billion Dollar Babies


While strolling through a street fair in my town, I came upon this display in front of one of those eclectic shops that sells vintage toys and odd collectibles. Two nearly naked plastic baby dolls posed inside a toy convertible sedan, engaged in all forms of self-gratification and self-destruction. Yet, through the haze of smoke and blur of booze, their eyes still twinkled, their cheeks blushed rosy and their shame was nowhere to be found.

We all should be so lucky.

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