the morning after ...


a very very merry merry


Christmas to All


to my other person ....

thank you for all the better things

.... and the early Christmas presents
because you know how I hate to wait


the elephant is slow to mate

The elephant, the huge old beast, 
 is slow to mate; 
he finds a female, they show no haste
 they wait 

 for the sympathy in their vast shy hearts 
 slowly, slowly to rouse 
as they loiter along the river-beds 
 and drink and browse 

 and dash in panic through the brake 
 of forest with the herd, 
and sleep in massive silence, and wake 
 together, without a word. 

 So slowly the great hot elephant hearts 
 grow full of desire, 
and the great beasts mate in secret at last, 
 hiding their fire. 

 Oldest they are and the wisest of beasts 
 so they know at last 
how to wait for the loneliest of feasts 
 for the full repast. 

 They do not snatch, they do not tear; 
 their massive blood 
moves as the moon-tides, near, 
more near till they touch in flood.

~ D.H. Lawrence


My elephant thinks I'm wonderful.
My elephant thinks I'm cool.
My elephant hangs around with me 
and follows me into school. 

My elephant likes the way I look.
He thinks that I'm fun and smart. 
He thinks that I'm kind and generous 
and have a terrific heart. 

My elephant thinks I'm brave and bold. 
He's proud of my strength and guts. 
But mostly he likes the way I smell.
My elephant thinks I'm nuts. 

~ Ken Nesbitt



frivolous friday

Though there is hardly anything frivolous about chocolate and the saving of such.
I will write a post.
It is the busiest retail season of the year.
I'm busy.
I'm happy.
We are newlyweds. 
 My laptop has been banned from the bed.


what i did for love, update ....

there's a place for us ...


what i did for love ...



the wedding poem

The Wedding Cheesecake
The Wedding Poem

This day
Let no one claim
That love is false. Let no one
Tell a tale of love's dilution,
Cross his lips with doubt,
Or discuss the up and down and up
Of love chained to a balance beam -
Laundry and who takes out the trash.

Instead, let us make a pact:
To stop for this short time
The radio in our heads, the voices
Of discontent that drive us mad -
The committee of shoulds and oughts
And might have beens. The old harangue
Of never never never.
To forsake, for these next minutes
(Not for this couple but for ourselves),
All the symptoms of our days.

Then, together, let us swear,
That this sun, this sky, these vows,
This bubble balanced on the point
of a knife is all there is -
For we have pushed aside the walls
That close us in
To come to this shared space. And see -
We have filled the space with flowers,
Where love, like some bright bird
Too swift to hold,
May light for us a while and sing.

by Alice Friman

**Note - he found the poem, not I.
I said he was great, didn't I ???



coming up for air ...

the happy couple

Ok. I've searched the net for something poetic to say about marriage.  Or something funny.  Or something that somewhat parallels what I am feeling and loving and doing.  But nothing reads right or rings true.  My life is brimming with moments but lacking in words to describe it.  This is as close to living in the moment as a red dirt girl can get. Bliss will do.  Oh, and he told me to say he's a great guy.  Which is true.  He IS a great guy.  And I'm happy and sleep deprived and working too many hours at work and somewhat overwhelmed with starting a new life that comes ready made with kids, a grumpy gaseous dog and an ex-husband who is almost always an ass (and I'm writing this sentence in Soub's POV because I was already overwhelmed by all of the above BEFORE the wedding vows were spoken.)  But I promised to 'obey' and he endowed all his worldly goods to me (and promised to worship me with his body which made my kids gasp in horror - but I thought it was so sexy.  Indeed it was so sexy that 'obey' popped out of my mouth before I could stop it.)

And that kind of sums up the ceremony along with pics of my oh-so-now I'm 21 and mature - son who posed repeatedly for the camera sitting in the judge's chair with his gavel pointed at an imaginary defendant.  Which explains why for every one photo of Soub and me there are at least four of my kids clowning around in the judge's chambers.  Sigh.  I suppose I should have hired a wedding photographer. 

Speaking of wedding pics, Soub and I have decided to not post any on our blogs.  At least for now.  Basically, the pics are making the rounds of friends and family and co-workers:  people we love and care about but do not necessarily wish to have as readers of our blogs. Soub's container load of worldly goods arrived today.  It contained a very cool Land Rover along with a particularly fine antique desk and a windsor chair made by his, umm, grandfather, I think.  So I am definitely quite happy with my end of the endowment bargain.  But I can't speak for him.  He's asleep next to me.

And, actually, that's the best part about being married:  he's here, sleeping next to me.



"he's an alien; he's a legal alien .... he's an Englishman in ... Texas"

He landed safely at George Bush Intercontinental precisely 1 minute past schedule.  He was queued and processed with minimum hassle (except for all the male immigration workers who warned him, "Women change once they get hitched.  They get real mean ...")
Sigh .... marital counseling at this point is rather moot, don't you think ??
Today we got our marriage license - not valid for a minimum of 72 hours - I decided not to tell the kind lady at the county clerk's office that Soub is my first cousin on my mother's side .... hahhaaaa!
The wedding is now officially scheduled at the Justice of Peace' s chambers for next Thursday, October 24th at 3:45pm.  Fancy dinner to follow.  Lemon tart for our wedding cake.
A short honeymoon attending the Annual Texas Clay Festival in Gruene, Texas, to follow.
In the meantime, because I am taking those days off, I have none until the wedding day.
The life of a corporate monkey.
But god am I happy !!!!'
Thank you so much, dear friends, for encouraging us and cheering us on.
Hugs and XXX


On the precipice ....

... and the view from the edge is so enticing!
He's at the airport on the other side of the Atlantic.  By the time my work day starts, he will be airborn, soon to cross that large body of water that has separated us all these years.  Oh thank heavens for the Wright Brothers and their wonderful invention:  the airplane.  And if I'm thanking technology I suppose I should thank this thing that did not exist when I graduated college:  the internet .....
and blogging - who knew ???
The journey here has been nothing short of amazing.
Less than 12 hours ... ok maybe 12 considering he has a huge packet for immigration to review.
I'll be pacing the arrivals hall impatiently - checking faces everytime the frosted glass doors swing open.
And in 10 days .... the wedding.
These 'events' are important.  They mark the points where we choose to follow the road less taken.
But it is the journey apart which will now become the journey together
that I am eagerly anticipating.
Travelin' mercies, my beloved.
I am here, waiting, on the other side.



letters to the editor



Ed Sheeran - "Give Me Love" captured in The Live Room

On heavy rotation currently, chez red dirt girl, is Suffolk lad, Ed Sheeran. Love these acoustic versions he recorded in The Live Room for "The Warner Sound" in Chicago. Stripped down and bare souled equals Heavenly. Another import to love ;-)



Florida Georgia Line - Cruise (Remix) ft. Nelly

Soub's asking for some linguistic help in learning how to talk 'Southern'. I'm sure any number of the lovely ladies in this video would be more than willing to help an English Alien. As for Florida Georgia Line? What's NOT to love about these homegrown southern boys ?? Bring my old favorite (It's Getting Hot in Here ...) Nelly into the mix and this is a whole lotta fun. Wish I had been in on the party ;-) Oh well. I'm living it vicariously. Ok Soub. Time to get your 'southern' on .......



back to work



rims, wheels and spokes

"There's not a single straight line
between our past and present,
nor between this, our now,
and what's to come
when the future finally pours.

Neither can I find
one straight line upon you or me,
we're always curving into
and curling around each other,
circling a common delight.

Our geometries,
like the paths that brought us here,
are complex, twisted shapes,
winding about a center
I am determined to find."


poor soub ....

Your girlfriend stabbed me in the back with lefty scissors
She's my wife now

~ Sam and Suzy, Moonrise Kingdom


descendants of wendy



keep on a'clickin' those heels ... (alternate title: Happy Trails !!)

There's no place like home ...... there's no place like home ........ there's no place like ..... EEEK !!  I've hit the 3 week mark, and yes, there's no place like a home that isn't prepared for a new husband!! I mean closet space .... what closet space ???  Forget the garage.  It's a lost cause at this point.

Actually, I'm reminded of Dorothy because I finally, after all these years, got to meet my great friend, COWBOY !!  I'm in Dallas for the week in 'management training', and Cowboy was sweet enough to meet up with me for a great evening of laughs, giggles and awkward moments at Chuys.  And the Dorothy part, well you'd have to scroll waaaaaayy back in time to a place where Cowboy did write ups about all his blogging friends ... except me. LOL.  He told me he went back through his blog and found where I had left my first comment on a post of his, October 26th, 2006 !!  Hard to believe it has taken us 7 years to meet.  He's only a 3 and a half hour drive away.  But life happens and boy has it happened to the two of us during the last 7 years!

He is everything I've known and loved over the years and ... not.  He's more.  He's real.  Not just this great teller of funny, quirky stories on a blog called Bullet Holes In The Mailbox.
And yeah, he used the word quirky and I was impressed because Cowboy has a whole lot more going on in that brain of his than just this larger than life funny man that he plays so well.  And it was all there, the reasons I love this great big hearted guy who befriended me at a turbulent turning point in my life.  Whose blog ended up in divorce deposition papers that my ex. served me.  We have weird history.  And here I am, in Oz, learning all about corporate flying monkeys, and Cowboy rode in on his less than shiny white horse-powered steed to save my day from tanking completely.

Thank you, Cowboy, for a great evening. But even more, thank you for hanging in there with me through the ups and the downs and the times when I couldn't talk to anyone, much less blog about it.

Sort of like now, but now it is all about happy stress which feels just like unhappy stress and I don't think that's very fair, because I am OVER THE MOON happy but seriously running out of time to get my house, literally, in order.  Now I KNOW ya'll are going to leave me comments about how Soub's not marrying the house, but really:  THERE'S NO ROOM FOR HIS STUFF here, at the moment. And I do believe he has a CONTAINER OF STUFF that is being packed up next week.

You know, these big life events, I always tell myself to prepare ahead of time, do a little at a time, so I will be 'free' to savor the big moments.  But I always procrastinate and end up a blithering mess, which must mean this is my coping mechanism.  And hey, you can teach me some new tricks, but at the end of the day, I'm still a one-trick pony.

BIG HUGS, COWBOY!  and it was a long, over-due pleasure.



sunday sermon

Act of kindness:  this man reads everyday at lunch to a man who cannot.

you can see more HERE


salacious saturday

it feels so good to have my happy back ;P


He did it !!! Our final K-1 Fiance' Visa has been approved !!!

Soubriquet successfully negotiated the final labyrinth of US Immigrations today at the US Embassy in London.  He crossed all his t's and dotted all the i's.  And he officially swore to enter America to marry me, the Red Dirt Girl.  And that makes me, officially, the happiest woman in the world today.  Thank you everyone here who has watched this up and down journey and encouraged us with your well wishes and kind thoughts.  May today also be your happiest one this week.  
My cup of joy runneth over.
Love and XXX



current state of affairs ...

LMAO !! 

This on the heels of Dr. Jab and my 6 month med check.  He has given me a 12 month guideline on 'coming off' of my anti-anxiety med.  Apparently withdrawal from it is as equally bad as coming off of any street drug (Does this mean I get new drugs to help me off the old one ??.... just wondering)
Oh right, I'm laughing BECAUSE he praised me for never 'ABUSING' my anti-anxiety med.

Sweetheart, if there is ever a time to abuse an anti-anxiety drug,



back to work ...

Which is a misnomer since I have not stopped working since my last day off over a week ago.  And now I understand the difference between  a 'salaried' employee versus an 'hourly' employee:  my time no longer equals money.  And the job now demands more of it.  My time, that is.  Sigh.  In my head at the moment are two voices:  my mother's exclaiming, "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth!"  And my own voice muttering something somewhat unintelligible about 'fool's gold.'  As you now have noted, I am often of two minds.  So how about we meet in the middle and say,

"Happy Monday"



carol ann duffy

Words, Wide Night

Somewhere on the other side of this wide night
and the distance between us, I am thinking of you.
The room is turning slowly away from the moon.

This is pleasurable. Or shall I cross that out and say
it is sad? In one of the tenses I singing*
an impossible song of desire that you cannot hear.

La lala la. See? I close my eyes and imagine the dark hills I would have 
to cross to reach you. For I am in love with you

and this is what it is like or what it is like in words. 

~ by Carol Ann Duffy
from "The Other Country" (1990) 

*Poet deliberately left the verb tense ambiguous here.


september's knocking

Though January 1st is considered the 'official' start of a new year, for me September shall always remain the beginning of a new year.  The new school year:  a year older; a year closer to being grown up; a year further up the food chain in the school pool of sharks and minnows.  Even after I had finished college, before children, September still had that magical feel of 'new beginnings.'  Cooler days ahead (if we were lucky) and school supplies on sale!!  No wonder I have this lingering life long passion for new colored pencils, pretty notebooks, a box of crayons neatly sharpened and brand new!

With children the cycle of new year, new you continues.  My daughter finding her way,  at the bottom of the food chain again,  a freshman at college.  My youngest son, also, at the bottom of the food chain as he starts junior high.  For my non-American readers, we are speaking of 12 and 13 year olds on the cusp of everything:  hormones, puberty: do I fit in here?  do I fit in there? With teachers and a curriculum designed to separate the chaff from the wheat. This is where the road to college seriously begins.  And my oldest, back this week from his world-wind tour of China, starting his 3rd year of college.  He knows his way.  He's found his place.  He will be 21 in a few months.  Officially an adult in all respects.  And though I will always see the shadow of his tow-headed baby self, he's a man in his own right who is thoughtfully establishing his own world view.  Of course, from my older perspective,  I know this world view will be seriously challenged by life.  But I envy him the arrogance of his youth and his exuberant self confidence.  And I am impressed by the depth of his self awareness.

And me?  New starts for me as well.  Today I begin my new job, a promotion, as assistant store manager.  And soon, Soub will arrive.  New beginnings for us both.  A time where our dreams of a happy future finally have the chance to take root and grow.  It is an exhilarating and somewhat frightening place to stand, on the cusp of our brave new world.  But I wouldn't trade September for any other month of the year.  Spring might have the market in renewal metaphors, but every good gardener knows autumn is the best time of year to plant.  A time for roots to grow deep.  A time to build a solid foundation.

 Happy Weekend, Happy September, Happy New Year!


change of season

In my own worst seasons I’ve come back from the colorless world of despair by forcing myself to look hard, for a long time, at a single glorious thing: a flame of red geranium outside my bedroom window. And then another: my daughter in a yellow dress. And another: the perfect outline of a full, dark sphere behind the crescent moon. Until I learned to be in love with my life again. Like a stroke victim retraining new parts of the brain to grasp lost skills, I have taught myself joy, over and over again.
—  ~ Barbara Kingsolver,  High Tide In Tucson: Essays From Now Or Never



sunday sermon



frivolous friday

words to live and eat by ... ??!

hahahaahaaa !


Bill Moyers Journal: A Life Together

Thanks so much to cowboy for sending me
a link to this:
featuring Donald Hall and Jane Kenyon.

If you have a spare hour,
(and truly, to do it justice, you need to sit down and watch it to its end)
follow the link and sit back and listen to beautful poetry
and wonder at such gifts given to both writer and reader.

There is no shortage of irony and bittersweetness in listening to Donald Hall, 
in 1993, describe his then current struggle with metastasized colon cancer, and 
his estimated statistical life span: about 4 years.  So he
was thinking and writing a lot about death and about living
life in the present moment, day by day.

Donald is now 85 years old and still very much alive and writing.
Jane Kenyon died 18 months after this documentary.

In A Life Together, Jane Kenyon gives a beautiful reading of this poem:

Let Evening Come

Let the light of late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving   
up the bales as the sun moves down.

Let the cricket take up chafing   
as a woman takes up her needles   
and her yarn. Let evening come.

Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned   
in long grass. Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.

Let the fox go back to its sandy den.   
Let the wind die down. Let the shed   
go black inside. Let evening come.

To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop   
in the oats, to air in the lung   
let evening come.

Let it come, as it will, and don’t   
be afraid. God does not leave us   
comfortless, so let evening come. 
~ by Jane Kenyon



Moving Day ....

Guess which one is me ???

I'm not crying.  Really.  I swear....


a bit of levity



donald hall

Donald Hall, poet, was husband and muse to Jane Kenyon.  While Donald has survived multiple bouts with cancer, sadly, Jane died, more than a decade ago, at the age of 47 of leukemia.

Letter With No Address
Your daffodils rose up
and collapsed in their yellow
bodies on the hillside
garden above the bricks
you laid out in sand, squatting
with pants pegged and face
masked like a beekeeper's
against the black flies.
Buttercups circle the planks
of the old wellhead
this May while your silken
gardener's body withers or moulds
in the Proctor graveyard.
I drive and talk to you crying
and come back to this house
to talk to your photographs.

At five A.M., when I walk outside,
mist lies thick on hayfields.
By eight the air is clear,
cool, sunny with the pale yellow
light of mid-May. Kearsarge
rises huge and distinct,
each birch and balsam visible.
To the west the waters
of Eagle Pond waver
and flash through popples just
leafing out.

Always the weather,
writing its book of the world,
returns you to me. Ordinary days were best,
when we worked over poems
in our separate rooms.
I remember watching you gaze
out the January window
into the garden of snow
and ice, your face rapt
as you imagined burgundy lilies.

Your presence in this house
is almost as enormous
and painful as your absence.

~ by Donald Hall
from Without 



jane kenyon

In the Nursing Home

She is like a horse grazing
a hill pasture that someone makes
smaller by coming every night
to pull the fences in and in.

She has stopped running wide loops,
stopped even the tight circles.
She drops her head to feed; grass
is dust, and the creekbed’s dry.

Master, come with your light
halter. Come and bring her in.

~ by Jane Kenyon
New and Selected Poems. St. Paul, Minnesota: Graywolf. 1996



the shipfitter's wife

I loved him most
when he came home from work,
his fingers still curled from fitting pipe,
his denim shirt ringed with sweat
and smelling of salt, the drying weeds
of the ocean.  I would go to him where he sat
on the edge of the bed, his forehead
anointed with grease, his cracked hands
jammed between his thighs, and unlace
the steel-toed boots, stroke his ankles,
his calves, the pads and bones of his feet.
Then I'd open his clothes and take
the whole day inside me -- the ship's
gray sides, the miles of copper pipe,
the voice of the foreman clanging
off the hull's silver ribs, spark of lead
kissing metal, the clamp, the winch,
the white fire of the torch, the whistle
and the long drive home.

~ Dorianne Laux



for my sweetheart

Who, in my mind,
 is the ORIGINAL anarchist ...



doctor, doctor give me the news .......!

Does this count if it's only a pillow I'm hugging ???

that's what i thought.



hello august

~ Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting



'Greater than'

'My Guard' by Carmel Jenkin
who taught you
that the
value of a woman
is the ratio
of her waist
to her hips
and the circumference
of her buttocks
and the volume
of her lips?
Your math
dangerously wrong
her value
nothing less

~ by Della Hicks-Wilson

sunday sermon ~ the empty nest

Every year
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
Mary Oliver, excerpt from In Blackwater Woods