There Are Dirty, Smelly, Nefarious Yicky People In The World

Do I have any blog babies in Seattle?  I ask because three months ago I made a significant purchase on eBay, and the seller has vanished, the business he claimed he owned doesn’t exist, and my only recourse it to turn the matter over to the FBI Internet Crimes division (which I of course will do).  A police report has been filed.  I’m following the requisite steps, but I’d really like is to have a conversation with the man.  Just a civilized, delicate, Quaker conversation with the man.  Any help will be greatly appreciated.  You will not be an accessory after the fact.  Much obliged.

Published in: on November 16, 2008 at 8:49 pm  Comments (593)  


  1. Oh, Haven. I am sorry. What a jerk. I hope you get all your money back–AND the opportunity to have your delicate conversation. No one does angry like you do. 🙂

  2. no help from the paypal folks??? I have gotten money back from bad sellers doing a claim? but it took FOREVER!

    I supposedly have some mafia men in my family, but they have yet to kill of my mom’s brother-in-law, so I don’t think they are very good assassins. We could all trade the scroundels and effect the other’s retribution, but I probably blew that plan by posting it on the public blog . . . darn!

  3. I am in Seattle and I have a large shovel.

  4. I’m in Seattle. I just got laid off, so I’ve got lots of time to do some footwork for you.

  5. Mrs. G. your blog looks like fun. Haven, I think Heather (ie. Mrs. G.) is probably up for the job.

  6. “Treat yourself like someone you love.” — Marelisa

    I’m trying to come up with a good 6 word life memoir…

    “skinny, skinny, skinny, chunky, starving, average”



    “it sucked, I survived, I triumph”

  7. yep – Heather would be a good arm of the law for you!!!

  8. OOOHHH, I pity the poor guy, but your blog babies aren’t called your posse for nuthin’ you know. Just hand out them stars.

  9. Gimme the facts, ma’am and set me on the case. I’ll track his ass down and haul him to you for questioning. Then, if need be, administer an attitude adjustment. I am not kidding.

  10. I have in-laws and a former groomsmen in Seattle, but…

    I’m enduring a similar (if less extreme) bamboozle at the moment. I purchased (via AbeBooks) a first British edition of Graham Swift’s Last Orders from a rare book dealer in Chicago a MONTH ago. According to him, it shipped on October 18th, media mail, and well, media mail can be a bit slower…

    The point is, though, I’ve never had an experience with media mail that took a month. (Even AbeBooks targeted its latest arrival date as a week and a half ago.) And I e-mailed the seller twice, a week and a half ago, asking for detailed tracking information, and he never wrote back. I called the shop a few days later, and he must have caller ID because he knew right what I was calling about when he picked up the phone. Confirmed the date shipped, etc, etc, and said he’d e-mail me tracking data no latter than Wednesday. It’s now five days later still, and still no tracking data, still no e-mail, and whenever I call the shop now, no one picks up the phone. “What’s the caller ID read? Missoula, Montana? Leave it…”

    Ah, business over the internet. But I am NOT going to be out $25, come hell or high water. I imagine yours, Haven, might have a taxidermy purchase, though…? And as such, was likely a great deal more than my Swift purchase. But, again, strength in numbers…

  11. Babe, we are not your posse for nothing. I’m not in Seattle but hey, just give me a job.

  12. PayPal should give your money back, as long as you paid through them. If the seller doesn’t have the money in their PP account, they’ll take it from their bank acocunt. Hope this doesn’t involve huge amounts of money for something like a stuffed Moose or Sasquatch.

    I’ve been eBaying since 1999 and had a couple of problems over the years, but ever since eBay only accepts PayPal it’s been no problem. I was a power seller for a long time so I have PP’s toll free number, if you want it. I haven’t seriously eBayed in some time but the number still works because someone tried to rip one of our sons off about a month ago and we were able to recover his money.

    If all else fails, George to the rescue! Can’t imagine having a better advocate.

  13. I am in Seattle. Just tell me what to do.

    Polly, as usual, Knows Stuff. I’ve also had great luck with whatever card I used (not just AmEx, but your Visa or MC debit card) crediting my card with the disputed amount until it was resolved. Not sure how this works in conjunction with PayPal, but there might be some coverage there.

  14. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Carrie. Good night nice people. Long day of work tomorrow awaits.

  15. oh fuck.

    this man is to regret the day he was HATCHED.

    george will find him. i feel certain george will find him within 48 hours. i say, turn the entire matter over to george.

    people? haven cannot deal with issues around money, it is not in her nature! we must take this completely off her plate. literary matters take precedence!

    haven, give george all the information. all of it. then have george coordinate with the women on the ground, as volunteered above, as required.

    you must be lionhearted, here, but let your posse hold this problem and provide a final solution.

    ps did you get the big black book yet?



    ps i know you see all clues

  16. yes and POLLY DOES KNOW STUFF. we’ve known that a great deal of time about polly. ie, polly doesnt want a CRACKER. POLLY WANTS AN APACHE ATTACK HELICOPTER. yes mamm.

    polly is a POWER SELLER. that’s ebay mafioso.

    polly? i may be selling a great deal of first editions on ebay, if i need to to stay afloat here in Emerald City for too much longer. ah, the dratted economy will NOT get the best of me. OH NO IT WONT. so…polly?. can u email me at i want to be ready to LIQUIDATE if necessary. miss kate, you tell me how you sold your vintage collection.

  17. Holy crap. I don’t know what to say. My e-bay today was fruitful. I am overwhelmed by you all daily. I’m Jaime, nice to meet you.

  18. Suzanne, I’m up with my damn insomnia again and just emailed you. I have to smile at your passion for all things protecting Haven. I’ve got this great visual of George hopping on a plane to Seattle, trying to explain his bag of cement powders and huge shoes molds to airport security. Hee hee.

  19. HI Jaime. I must say, eBay kept me afloat for several years when I was unable to work due to physical ailments. It was truly a financial lifesaver. When I started in 1999 it hadn’t really taken off yet so I could shop at yard sales, flea markets and junk shops and make a killing reselling things that others thought were trash but looked valuable to me. Those glorious junk reselling days are over because everyone’s on to it now, but it’s still the best place for selling many things. Welcome, glad to meet you.

  20. Haven, so sorry about the situation! Nothing worse than being taken advantage of. I have been working on a novel called Swimming in Lake Poison based on the actions of a Dirty, Smelly, Nefarious Yicky Employee we had on the farm. I, too, long for a chance to very calmly explain to this person how he changed my life and my feelings about the world – for the worse! We have had three or four situations like that that just make you despair over humanity and/or keep a shotgun by the bed.

    Particles, I finished Iodine over the weekend, so let me know when you want to chat on the Iodine Post.

    Have a good day, everyone! Off to the educational trenches.

  21. Haven – Best of luck and I hope you can both find this person and get your money back. My sister, who lives in Pennsylvania, does a lot of selling on EBay and once had her sellers account “scammed” by someone unreputable. My sis didn’t know this until she got an email asking about an item she knew nothing about. It took them awhile to get it straightened out through EBay and I don’t know if they ever caught the person who got access to their sellers account. Instant (bad) Karma on scammers!

  22. Wait, Mrs. G showed up here? Haven, put her on the job. She can get you answers. She is Pow-er-ful!

  23. Good morning babies. I feel as though I am surrounded by some serious whoop-assing women here. And George. LOL That is meant in the best way, George.

  24. Haven, since you say that it’s been three months you should immediately go to PP (if you paid with them) and file a dispute to get your money back. You must do so within a certain number of days and it may be ninety (or, unfortunately in your care, even sixty.) Hope you still have time. Those stuffed beasties can be mighty pricey.

  25. Maureen, I’m not quite finished yet. I’m also reading a book about AIDS for one of my classes. I’m going to try and finish Iodine today. It’s snowing like crazy here today, so I’m guessing the mall will be more dead than usual.

    Haven, I had an incident with a crazy eBay buyer from Yakima, Washington. She bought a $400 PDA for $80. It was in perfect working condition when I sent but a few days later I get an email from her calling me a bunch of names and saying it was broken, blah, blah. I made the mistake of replying with my regular email writing that I’d be glad to return her money of she sent it back to me. I never got it back, but she started harassing me by sending me dozens of awful emails. I reported her to eBay a few times without any response. Then she made a false YouTube movie that showed my personal information and posted in the feedback comments. So, that’s when I clicked on the Live eBay thingy and she took car of it right away. Sharing personal information like that is against eBay’s TOS. They not ony restored my feedback to 100% but the harassing emails also stopped. I was perfectly willing to work with her all she wanted to do was bully me and call me names.

    Did you try clicking on eBay Live and talking with one the the chatting eBay CSRs?

    I only had one other incident, the post office lost a small lot of books I sold. The buyer paid the insurance and eventually got her money back, but we had some really good conversations as a result.

  26. This is off the subject, but I MET Polly through an online site. I ordered the most astonishingly beautiful skirt I have ever seen — indeed, my family begged me to try wearing something else, preferably with shoes. Not only THAT, she sent it immediately, it was wrapped in this gorgeous paper (the wrapping itself was a work of art), and there was a lovely note in it. There was a SUNFLOWER tucked into the ribbon, which sits in my pen cut on my desk. That is POLLY. That is a GOOD PERSON. And how do I reward her? By writing approximately six sentences every day on the edit of her book, because I’m either sobbing, sleeping, or praying. I’m sorry, Polly. The outline is all completed — I just need to turn it into sentences. Forgive me.

    When we realized what was going on with this seller, we called eBay, who directed us to PayPal. We have now spoken to PayPal 4,672 times. They released our $6,000 on the day I paid it. There is no way for them to retrieve it. They have turned it over to the FBI, but that also is very slow going. We have , as I mentioned, filed a police report. But suddenly last night I got this feeling. How’s about let’s put the Haven Wolf on the case. So John reluctantly gave me the contact information, and aw laws chirren if you could felt the POWERFUL RAGE OF A VENGEFUL GOD RISING UP INTO MY SUPER-ARTICULATE BRAINHOLE. (I get smarter when I’m angry.) All phone numbers are disconnected.

    Now it is time for more . . . shall we say . . . definitive action. I said to John, “I’m getting in my car and driving to Seattle right now. I just had my car serviced, I can drive 19 hours without stopping except for gas [note: that would get me about halfway]. He kindly pointed out that it was midnight and I’d been blinded by sobbing. So he won THIS TIME.

    Thank you, I love you, you rock.

  27. I have chatted live with the eBay people so many times we are now engaged to be married.

  28. my sister is in seattle working as a freelance journalist now, so maybe we could make this a real story. she worked for TIME in nyc for a while, but hated the corporate lifestyle….but she learned a lot and has been getting a lot of stories in various publications out west. let’s give her all the info she needs and she can do a full blown investigation and “reveal” piece…plus, you might get your stuff! 🙂

  29. LET’S WRITE A STORY, STEPH!!!! I love stories.

  30. So much for the Paypal “Buyer Protection”?

  31. I need a new Haven story. Haven, can you tell us a story, please? Pretty please with sugar on top?

  32. Only Suzanne knows what this item is — oh, and my friend Graeme Mitchell — but if you knew you’d faint. It’s THE greatest thing I’ve ever seen.

  33. What is this sobbing of which you speak, Haven?

  34. Prithee: whither the sobbing, Haven?

  35. For you, Linda. Delonda was driving home from Ball State late one evening and found herself stopped at the railroad tracks crossing Batavia (a Muncie reference). She was driving a 1971 Impala that had a little shimmy like a drunken woman. This was in the days prior to electric locks, so all the doors were unlocked. She was singing along, one of her pre-WWII songs, and suddenly a gigantic man opened the passenger door and got in. He was quite quite intoxicated. He said, “Laly, you got any junker cables? Cause my car is dead at the Flamingo and no one won’t let me no junker cables. Got any junker cables?” Mom sat there a moment, considering her demise, and then his face turned from drunk to a little sober and menacing. She said, “Yes, I have junker cables. Tell me how to get to your car.” So he directed her, and when he paused she said, “Sir? May I ask you a question? Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Personal Savior? I think you haven’t. Sing me with me — no don’t speak — just sing with me: ‘On a hill far away/ Stood an old rugged cross/ An emblem of suffering and shame,’ you’re not singing, join me please.” He looked stricken. “Now here’s what I’m going to do,” she continued. “I’m going to take you to your car, and then we’re going to sit here until you are SAVED. Once you are SAVED, I’ll get the cables out of the trunk, is it a deal?” They pulled into the parking lot and he jumped out of the car to retrieve his keys from the irresponsible bartender, and as he did he leaned in an said, in a menacing way, “Don’t. You. Move.” “Oh, I won’t,” she trilled. “And don’t forget our promise!” He was two feet away and she high-tailed it out of that parking lot so fast she lost six layers of tread on her tires. She said aloud, “Maybe he’ll get hit by a train.”

  36. Delonda is my hero.

  37. blog babies- go check out the moose question on my blog. 🙂

  38. WHAT THE %@#*????

    This is a bunch of NONSENSE.

    Yes, what ABOUT Paypal Buyer Protection????

  39. She’s a hero to everyone who ever met her. I could tell you stories that would cause you to fall down weeping, not from laughter, but from her rare, sincere, kindness and tenderness.

  40. Dee, I cannot speak. That is just the funniest thing I’ve ever seen, and if my brother didn’t hate me I’d send it to him.

  41. That story about Delonda…oh my LORD!!!!

  42. Delonda the awesome!

    I was such a good drunk I kept an extra set of keys just for cases of irresponsible bartenders. That’s the very reason I went to jail the last time.

  43. Haven, send it to him anyway. Send it to EVERYONE YOU KNOW!

  44. Haven, I will forward you the email version.

  45. I love Delonda too. And I love Haven even more. Haven, I had no idea you were going through this. About my book, I was starting to fear that it sucked dead rats and was irretrievable. Now that I know what’s going on (and there may be hope) I feel much better. Please, take your time and take care of yourself. Your health and peace are more important than anything else. Truly. Please!

  46. Must go to work, but before I go here’s a hug.
    Have a great day everyone, TTY tonight.

  47. You know, Polly, you were my very first blog baby. Isn’t that funny? I was cleaning off my desk and came across the ribbon you’d tied to my skirt and I got tears in my eyes (I love that ribbon). Then I realized, “OH! We go back farther than anyone. And my family tried to hide that skirt!” For about three weeks they said, “That is just exquisite.” Then three weeks later they said, “Hey, I have an idea about sending that skirt to the dry cleaners, and also here’s a pair of shoes you like.” (I don’t like shoes.) So believe me, I will help you with that book until you know EXACTLY what to do — I’m just a little broken in my broken place. But I’m up to ten single-spaced pages of editorial notes, so there is light at the end of the tunnel, I promise. I treasure you.

  48. Thanks, Dee! But what if he comes after me with an automatic weapon?

  49. Oh, here’s something funny. Last night I was placing a bid on eBay for a little present for Delonda for Christmas (my maximum bid was $25.00) and I was crying so hard I entered $25,000. Then I cried harder. eBay fixed it for me, thank god.

  50. Of course, now I want to see this skirt. I’m INSATIABLE.

  51. My comments aren’t posting. All is lost.

  52. Huh? Automatic weapon? Is he one of those who made gun sales run up after the election? Because the dummy’s think Obama is going to squash the second amendment?

    The kid next to me was calling a gun shop about an AK-47! Of course my question was, “WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU EVER EVEN WANT AN AK-47?!”

    “Because it would be fun to target practice with” he says.

    Yeah right.

  53. Polly’s skirt (and I’m sorry you can’t see the detail) is up on the posse page. I only had my Mac camera to take the picture, so I couldn’t get the whole thing in the photo. But trust me. And also? I’m still wearing it.

  54. OOO, and Polly’s clothing is available on, not eBay. I’m sorry, I should have mentioned that. Go buy thousands of dollars worth.

  55. linky-doo please?

  56. I’m not the skirt wearing type but Shelby would wear skirts like that.

  57. I’m not sure if this link will work for non-yahoos but here:

  58. Oh yes I saw that. I’d like the link to Polly’s shop!

  59. I’m another Heather in Seattle, willing to beat people up, stare them down, whatever, for you. As long as it doesn’t conflict with a soccer game. Priorities. But I work in a library and can do *research* if you need.

  60. spoke with my sis, tiff, and she is ready and willing to journalistically slaughter whomever is cheating you, haven. i mean, the FBI is involved, right? this is quite a hullabaloo!

    also, love skirts. can’t wait to check out polly’s shop.

  61. blog babies to the rescue! This is exciting.

  62. I’d LIKE to go to Seattle…does that count?

    Looking at the etsy site it’s hard to figure out which things are from Polly. Anything specific to look for?

    Cool photo, Haven, and my goodness, you look fabulous for someone who has birthed three children! I may have to put down my Halloween peanut M&Ms.

  63. I wasted three minutes scrolling through Yahoo!’s Twenty-Five Most Handsome Men in Hollywood. Not only are they nearly all in need of a shave, poorly dressed, or simply unattractive — I only recognized about eight of them.

  64. Now, see, there goes a preconception of Haven I had…I was envisioning some kind of Indian looking hippy type skirt with beads and fancy stitching..not a midwestern country lass one! But I love the colors, and also am with Vanessa about envying the stomach. Big Sigh from one whose svelte days are long over.
    If the entire posse can’t be in Seattle, you know we will all be rootin for ya and the one that is.
    And ANYTIME we get Delonda stories, well, that is just the whipped cream on the peaches.

  65. Thank you for the story, Haven. Loved it. Delonda has such a quick mind. I would never of thought to do that until probably two weeks later. Genius.

    And, I agree about the awesomeness of your flat stomach. My stomach is more of the type shown in the before photo for “have belly fat?” ads for liposuction.

  66. Polly Poll, how did I find your skirt?

    p.s. Believe it or not, someone sent me an e-mail saying, “Been hitting the nuts and the jellybeans again?” As if I eat either. I swear — I was called fat.

  67. I just had some weight watchers approved soup.

    Followed by some fudge a co-worker brought back from a trip last week.

    And I wonder why I am not losing weight.

  68. I keep offering Haven a fat transplant, but she refuses.

  69. OMG! are you serious, Haven? Whoever called you fat must be a whack-a-do.

  70. Haven, I have a photograph of me with a RESPLENDENT belly…rolls upon rolls of stretched skin…if you would like you can send it to that idiot for a side by side comparison.

  71. Haven and Polly’s Dress (apologies to Rod Stewart)

    I had nothing to do on this cold afternoon
    but to settle down and type on this blog

    I’ve been meaning to phone you, but decided to text u, sorry it’s taken so long

    You wear it well
    A little old fashioned but that’s all right…


    One thing about that Delonda story that I can’t escape thinking is that if he had stayed, somehow I think that if had not met Jesus, he darn well might have ended up meeting his Maker. Jest a thought.

    Haven, looks like you have unleashed your posse of Otters. Lord have mercy, I feel their temperatures risin’

  72. Could this “fat” remark have been SARCASM?

  73. Been rereading Couch again for the zillionth time, teaching myself about writing. And here’s the thing: first: I think booksellers should only be allowed to sell any of Haven’s books after exacting a promise to read it more than once. No promise: no book. You just can’t get it in one pass. The first time through, for example, I did not get half the nuances of the story of Delonda taking Zippy to “The Skin of Our Teeth,” or its placement in the book.

    And second: Delonda is simply brilliant. In that story, the way she says precisely enough to lead Zip toward understanding without overwhelming her just slays me–knocks me to my knees. In the story Haven told above, she is, once again, unstoppable. (The line where Bob says nothing stops her gives me chills no matter how many times I read it.)

    It’s Delonda love for me–today and always.

  74. Hi George!

  75. Thank you all — I burst into tears over the fat comment, even though I’ve never been overweight, I’ve never dieted, I’m not vain, I don’t care; so I wrote to Christopher to ask him why I was sobbing and he said, “You’re sobbing over Orri.” So another of my beloveds knew exactly the right thing to say, as you always do.

    Thank you. And it’s Delonda love for me, too — today and always.

  76. are you nudey from the waist up in that pic, haven?

  77. Oh my, I haven’t read the comments, but if the thing that vanished is the thing I think it is, then: gasp.

    But if it was indeed a scam, well what a bloody creative one. Of all things…

  78. Steph, I am 100% in my birthday suit from the waist up. WELL, there was a reason. I was wearing . . . it doesn’t matter, but in order to put on the skirt I had to take off the other thing, and I couldn’t find a shirt that complemented the skirt, and I thought well, screw it, so I just took it as it was. I’m really not an exhibitionist.

    Now I must consider if I’m an exhibitionist.

    No — nope, I’m not.

  79. GM, it was what you think it was. I try to remind myself that there are infinitely more important things in the world, but it hurts my heart so much.

  80. It was Sasquatch. I knew it.

  81. Linda: Hi, right back at you! Hope all is well with you. Sounds like it. There is a chance I will be in Nashville in mid-December. If so, I’ll give you plenty of warning.

    Jerri: You are so right about Delonda and the Couch re-read. That little book is astonishing on so many levels. My favorite vignette is the one where dear Delonda is on the bicycle going to the Dean’s office. To me, that is one of the great scenes of important American lit — a genre Couch is destined to occupy in the future. Though it is memoir, I rank the imagery up there with Huck and Tom on the river, the pennies and gum Scout and her brother find in the tree…

    I don’t think I am overstating. I cannot presume to speak for Haven, but in my opinion, the beauty of this is its control and strict adherence to point of view based on no more and no less than what Zippy knew at the time. This is writing as the Zen art of Sumi-e, where the absence of line or the insertion of space creates the image.

    Again, I don’t think I am overstating just because our Haven sent me an autographed copy!!!!


    Haven: Is is sexist for me to suggest another three-letter word pertaining to the woman’s midriff in the skirt photo? Ok, assuming it’s proper thing for me to say. That word ain’t fat, for God’s sake.

    That word is: cut!

  82. cut…and as you “revealed” to us last summer, you don’t even work out, exercise, jazzercize, do aerobics, or even play golf! I do bet you shadow box a bit, however.

    I don’t know about the rest of you here, but I was in the best shape of my life during that period of time when the kids weren’t quite ambulatory. The picking them up and lifting and setting down and manuevering them in car seats and all that totally buffed out my arms — so much so that I took to wearing wife-beater undershirts and growing my neck hair out to meet my beard…it was a look!

  83. Ahhh Beautiful Haven, to have your talent AND your figure just doesn’t seem possible! I am amazed you have not combusted from sheer perfection!

  84. I was in the best shape of my life when I was oh, about six.

  85. I hear ya Kate!

  86. Haven! $6000???? WTF?
    Whatever was it?

  87. Brenda, I don’t want to say what it was, because . . . I don’t know. As George said, I just wanted to honor it. I wanted to look at it and know its life was not in vain. My friend Graeme Mitchell knows and he COMPLETELY understood. You’ve seen his work; he’s possibly the best photographer I know, and he was willing to come here and photograph it. And now I don’t understand where it is, or if it was destroyed. It’s a silly thing to be so upset about, but the animal seemed a part of me somehow. I’m sorry for being so drama queen. But Graeme understands.

  88. I understand too.

  89. Haven, don’t cry!! This creep will be found and prosecuted to the full extent of the law! George and the FBI are on it. 🙂 Things will be okay.

    And you’re not being a drama queen .. we all have stuff that makes us a little … fragile. I should know, I decided to check your blog looking for a distraction ’cause I was bawling my eyes out..

    Oh, and also, I can’t really help with the Seattle debacle, but if you ever have a New England problem .. I’ll be ready to help. 🙂

  90. My son is sitting in my office right now waiting for me to finish work so we can go get a bite to eat and then I will take him to a radio as a career intership thingy (not sure what to call it) that he is participating in for 8 Monday nights. Only 16 high school kids are in it. Pretty good, eh?

    So, I read Haven’s comment aobut honoring that creature and I thought, gosh, I wish I could have a replica of my son at this age to keep forever. Maybe I should look into wax museum type figures. I would get one of each of my kids. They are just on the cusp of being grown up and I don’t want them to. Sorry, just a sappy mom moment I am afraid.

    And, George – you must visit me and Sher when you are in Nashville. We can go dancing. No, wait, I don’t dance. We will do something fun, just the three of us. It will be awesome!

  91. Oh Haven, You sent something to be done, not bought something already done?! Something that meant a lot to you…I got teary there, too. I hope you find it, or at least some information as to where it is…
    Sending hugs to you, you sentimental sweetie.

  92. I can and do dance…at my age, I dance big and without self-consciousness…can clear a floor if I am feeling particularly expansive from a song like, Jimmy Mack, or something by Roy Carrier…

  93. all of us gonna be dancing

    because dancing is always right

    a bold and beautiful thing

    stifle a dance, starve a soul. that’s what it comes right down to.

  94. My friends, the CREATURE that Haven purchased — that seemed a part of her somehow — that a photographer would be willing to travel to photograph — haven’t you figured it out? It only took me a moment of clear thought! What would Our Haven want to Honor and Look At and Know that IT did not live its life in vain? A much maligned being who only sought companionship, but could find no other like itself. A beast of legend, confined and condemned to the cold watery deep …

    Do you know now who — or WHAT — it is — or WAS? Its initials … L.N. …

  95. Haven, the thing that is giving you such pain right now is the very thing that gives you access to your stories. You were a child who shivered with delight at miniature things (oh the cotton balls from that kit!) and could feel the space where you fit into your father’s shoulder.

    Those keen senses are a gift, one that’s not always easy to carry.

    Your sensitivity is a deep thing. Drama Queen? Total surface stuff. You have a lovely surface (as we saw in the skirt photo), but your depths are GORGEOUS. Or at least, the parts you show us through your writing.

  96. Jerri seems to be talking for me these days! Whatever she says goes ditto from this corner.

  97. Be careful, George. I’ve got a smart mouth. And I put my feet (both fit) in there pretty regularly. Let the dittoer beware!

  98. I was just getting ready to say the same damn thing…

  99. I would envy you your beautiful body if it didn’t come at the cost of not drinking Coke or eating Snickers. I look all right, and Coke keeps me sane. 🙂 But damn. You look awesome. And that skirt, woooweeee. Love it. Since you were topless, I feel I should reference one of your posts from the summer in which you wore a bonnet to show how modest Quakers are. I hope the bonnet was on lest your animals get the wrong idea. Me? Well, dinner in our underwear was not unusual in my house growing up.

  100. Jodi…for a moment I thought…”Frankenstein.”

  101. Kate. You kill me. Frankenstein. That’s fantastic.

  102. Can I add my favorite Couch story? (One of them, anyway.) 🙂 I love when Delonda gets her CLEP letter where she exempted 40 hours–Zippy says “I counted. Forty hours was not quite two days. But two days out of school was better than nothing.” “Sorry about that, Mom.”

    The innocence was priceless. She chose to be happy for her mom anyway.

    Both memoirs were definitely better the second time.

    p.s. I hope we can cheer you up a bit, Haven. We have some earrings (from Hannah) to send you.

  103. hello out there! I’m back from a weary day with normal/average human beings.

    I’ve decided that the pentecostals do not live in Walmart, they live at Goodwill.

    What else – I saw wild turkeys and deer today (the were MOSTLY alive), none made it into the car with me, however.

    but I did rescue some plastic, lighted 3 ft tall toy soldier (totally vintage 60’s) for my outdoor christmas decor. they work. best find – I could make a mint on ebay.

    I think ebay’s/paypal guarantee is only 2K, but I don’t understand why the released money into the seller’s account before the item was delivered . . .

    I trust that George and the other vigilantes will prevail . . . I volunteer in the army section. I am extremely devious so I can be on the strategy end . . .

    sleepy . . .

  104. m Y’s seem to drop off . . . mabe I can finagle a new laptop for xmas?

  105. Humor me – I am avoiding opening up my overflowing emails . . . wa wa . . . maybe some wine.

    George if you come anywhere NEAR Nashville without getting together with me and Linda WE WILL HUNT YOU DONE and whip you with wet noodles!!

  106. at $6,000 my guess is a full bear taxidermy. Jodi seems to be describing the Lock Ness Monster, but what do I know?

  107. Haha, I would fly to North Carolina in an instant to see Nessie tucked in Haven’s barn somewhere. 🙂
    I figured it would be a wolf, but .. does the barn already house one? I can’t remember. Besides, the initials don’t fit.

  108. Kittery, I’m sorry you were crying too. You can tell us if you feel comfortable doing so.

    Not a wolf (I own one), not Nessie. This was an animal shot in my birthday, March 12, 1965, so it isn’t something I’m having taxidermied for myself. But good guess.

  109. hum, I was guessing Loch Ness by the initials too – but, mayhap it is a chimera?

  110. You guys are SO CREDULOUS.

  111. It was shot on your birthday? Well, no wonder you feel like it’s part of you. Of course you’ve been crying.

    Let’s hunt that varmit down. The one who stole from you, I mean. We can track the critter from there.

  112. I had to look that up . . . but I feel very meritricious today

  113. Haven, when you need a new pair of Cowboy Boot Slippers, here is a great pair:

  114. Quick! What’s the format for haiku?

  115. 5, 7, 5

  116. i went to goodwill
    found myself two toy soldiers
    that gave me a thrill

  117. Sher, I saw those in the paper catalog the other day. Fabulous.

    I would love your soldiers, I am sure.

  118. everybody sent HAVEN hugs!!! air hugs, blow kisses, she needs some sunshine in her soul!!!!!

  119. Kate – I am gonna photo those little guys and put their rescue on my blog . . . those pentecostals were following me around and some bunhead lifted a hand loom RIGHT OUT OF MY HAND!!!

    I wanted to woop me some ankle-length, denim skirt, bunhead ass . . . but I just said “well if it means that much to you!”


    By hand loom do you mean one of those fabulous small ones for making pot-holders? I’d be ALL up on that!

  121. I love JimShue. And Sher.

    Gotta run to class now. Hugs to Haven. xxxxx Wait are those kisses? How about oooooooo? I was never sure which was which.

  122. Remember when Barbara Hershey tossed that seagull in the air on a movie set, and broke its neck, and she felt its spirit enter her body and she changed her name to Barbara Seagull but it didn’t help her career, not one little bit, and it sure didn’t do the poor dead seagull any good, either? Remember that, old people?

    Maybe Haven’s channeling the spirit of this large SOMETHING who lost its life the day of her birth.

    I bet it’s HAVEN’S TOTEM.

    To-TEM! To-TEM! To-TEM!

  123. one time I was traveling 800 miles with 2 toddlers (mine) and I strategically stopped at a fast food restaurant where they had a playground for the monkeys to wiggle on . . . and brought in a book I was dying to keep reading (The Perfect Storm) . . . so first we take a potty break (diapers, pull-ups . . . hands . . .) you know that routine and I accidentally, not-on-purpose left the book somewhere in there . . .

    I am standing in line waiting to order when it hits me – my freaking book is missing!!! I holler, drag the babies back in the women’s room as two fat ladies exit . . . no book . . .I get behind them in line and I hear them whispering . . . I am telling the kids, somebody stole my book! So ask the fat ladies, did you see anybody take a book in the ladies’ room? Oh no, no! I look over and fatty number two has a suspiciously rectangular solid form in the area where her belly should be! #*%&&

    So I look right at her, point at her tummy (my book) and say – IS THAT MY BOOK, IT IS CALLED “THE PERFECT STORM?”

    She looks away, gets her food and walks away. I loudly discuss with my children that thieves will have judgment from God or Karma in their lives and that will never be happy because they are caring such back guilt for what they have done . . . I see the fatty go in the ladies’ room . . . then they leave.

    I run in their and what do you think was in the wastebasket – my freaking book!!!!

    I was so excited! I finished that book, which was great AND I made that fat idiot feel like crap enough that she gave something back!!!!

    Note: I have been fat, my family is all fat, so don’t make any “oh, you said FAT” comments. They were FAT/overweight/chunky/obese and that is a description. They did not, however, have bunheads.

  124. oh Kate – those are great – but this was a wooden, Swedish hand loom for weaving 12″ wide – eternity rugs/hair/whatever I decide to weave . . . it is the kind the fancy private schools have in their art rooms and that bitch TOOK IT OUT OF MY HAND AND PUT IT IN HER CART!!!!

  125. Another guess: Haven tried to buy a LOT of BULL.


  127. Oh, :: sighs :: it’s my grandmother .. I’ve already told you a bit about her, I love and adore her .. around August she started going downhill and she just hasn’t gotten better, it’s been one thing after another, and the worst is, she’s in pain, almost all the time. Agony, is a better term, actually. I used to call her all the time, especially when I was at college, when I worked the night shift 11 PM – 3 AM, I used to call her when I’d start work (she’d already been in bed and asleep for hours by that point) and she’d answer the phone, groggy as all hell and with her teeth out, “hullo?!” and I’d say, “hello Grandma. I was just calling to say I love you.” “Oh. I love you too.” and you could hear her smiling, she’d wake up instantly.. Anyway, my mother told me today that she’d spoken to Grandma (she talks to her every day, to check in, see how she’s doing). And Grandma had told her that she’d considered asking me to come stay with her and help her, but decided not to, because it would be too hard on me, especially if she had a stroke or something, and she doesn’t want to do that to me. Also, I used to call her all the time, and I haven’t lately. Could she please pass on the message that she’d like me to call.
    I haven’t called for a variety of reasons .. I don’t want Grandma to hear me crying, and my aunt (who’s been staying with her) is a bitch, and basically acts like a warden, it’s lucky when you can actually get a call through to Grandma. Pathetic reasons, but there they are. Anyway, my mother told me Grandma’s message and I started sobbing and I pulled myself together and called her and started crying again, but I got ahold of myself. Then when we were saying goodbye, my grandmother started crying. This is a woman who NEVER used to cry. Not even at my grandfather’s funeral, and she loved him.
    I’m just … not handling this well. I realize death and misery happen to everyone, I know that. You learn to deal with it .. I’m just – everytime I think about it, I start sobbing. I’m doing so right now.
    This weekend she’s moving in with my aunt and her family .. they’re coming to take her bed, nightstand and favorite chair, her rocker and she’s moving another two hours away ..
    My family is pretty screwed up, and my grandmother is the only one who has loved me without pause, and vice versa … I’m just .. not reacting well.
    I’m sorry for this long and probably incoherent message…

  128. Kittery, that superhero grandma who colored and baked with you?? My heart breaks for you, I am so so sorry.

  129. That would be the one..

  130. Sher, for some reason that story just made me hysterical like a crazy person. Imagine some bitcho lunatic stealing your book and then hiding it in her undulating fat folds. I just CANNOT stop laughing.

  131. It’s so hard to lose someone who loves you “without pause.”

    I am so sorry, Kittery.

  132. Kittery, you were so blessed to have someone who loved you so dearly.

  133. Jerri and I are of one mind.

  134. “Kittery, you were so blessed to have someone who loved you so dearly.”

    :: nods :: I know. I’m just not ready to say goodbye.. and I suppose, in some twisted way, I should be grateful, at least I have some warning, but .. god.

  135. OMLordy people, this is SO funny! I have to be honest and out myself here, no matter how much I have enjoyed basking in the glory of Haven’s love this afternoon, even to the point that I am right now this minute sneaking on this site from my office, where I will explain that I am on my very late lunch break if anyone questions why I am on the Internet instead of doing Important Addictions Counselor Stuff. Okay, here’s my outing: Haven, that is not my skirt, and Haven, that is not my site linked above! I have sold multitudes of gorgeous skirts on eBay, and had my own site where I sold coolio holiday decor such as wreaths I made from beautiful vintage ornaments, but that skirt was not sold by me. So as much as I have adored imagining you all day in a skirt I sold, now that I see the picture and the link to “my” site, I have to cop to that not being me!

    I gotta tell you tho, it was damn good while it lasted. Because I have packaged many a lovely garment in many a lovely wrapping paper and adorned them with many a lovely flower, or note, or set of earrings as a little extra treat. So it damn well could’ve been me and I actually thought it was, until I saw that picture.

    However, I do have a lovely something for you that will be sent later this week, and damnit, I will find lovely wrapping paper and a flower for it if it kills me.

  136. Although I have to say, with your height, svelte waist and graceful long neck, I think Aug is right – you would be great dolled up ala Tippi Hedren. Maybe just for one photo shoot, for posterity? You know, like some women do sexy glamour shots for their partners? You could do a glamour Hitchcock shot, for the hell of it, because you can.

    Back to work, before I get busted.

  137. Kittery, I lost my perfect Grandpa too. It’s a wretched time, not just the losing, but knowing that person suffers.

  138. Kate, a personal question .. was he the first person you lost? I naively figure that loss is an art, and knowing how to handle it gets easier with practice.. (like I said, naive).
    The only other loved one that’s died was my cat when I was ten. I ended up sleeping with the catnip toy he died with for months.

  139. He is essentially yes, the most important person I have ever lost. The first. I had lost a Grandmother, but I was very young and she was someone I only saw once a year.

    I honestly believed that losing either of my maternal grandparents would kill me. And then I lost him, this incredible, loving, handsome and brilliant man who just glowed with grandfatherlyness and I survived, somehow. I miss him. I miss that my kids won’t know him. But, I am ok.


    i begin to grow suspicious of the fact of the whole enterprise, as in, did that fucking thing even exist? and if so, who did it really belong to? i just would place all its information into the Unreliable Category. there are grifters in this world who can accomplish much through illusions and information found in nefarious ways.

  141. :: nods :: Yeah ..
    Thank you, Kate.

  142. oh cripes. i hit the SUBMIT button too early.

    NOTE TO EVERYONE: HAVEN’S LOST THING IS A SECRET. LET US ALL RESPECT HER PRIVACY. i can tell you this: it wasn’t about the taxidermy.


    I KNOW ONE THING FOR CERTAIN: IT WON’T END HERE. so breathe and breathe and breathe and kiss that baby,

    and haven, do not go to seattle. send others. trust in the strength of George and perhaps one other Seattle-ite. but really i bet just george could make it happen.

  143. Kittery –

    I think you are right about practicing with death. I had some jarring death experiences as a youth: and the fundy evangy baptist love to have viewings, funerals with viewings, come to jesus sermons, don’t burn in hell . . . but this one time I was in 7th grade and my sister’s GORGEOUS (Shawn Cassidy looking) boyfriend FLIPPED HIS JEEP and busted his brains out on a pole. Dead. Ok – this was traumatic on the observation of my sister, but then I was doing nursery duty during the funeral and the moved that casket around everywhere, in the entry when you came in, up by the altar during the service, then – after I was coming down the stairs holding 2 babies and they had moved him right there at the staircase wall, I looked down – and I was looking right into the coffin.

    I thought I would
    1. die
    2. pee my pants
    3 drop those babies

    then the wacko collision center parked his jeep (crumpled) pointing out towards Rt. 1 where we all had to look at that thing every day, sometimes 10 times a day.

    Also my aunt gave birth to a still-born little girl. The aunt was from Guatemala and lived in Covington IN – dramatic on any day, it was waling and literally pulling of hair. She held that baby during the funeral, during the visitations, she literally crawled in the grave with that tiny baby and the coffin was the size of a sewing machine case. My mother (who has some shining moments), pulled her out and rocked her, sitting there in the black mud of Indiana. That was the die I found out that my mom had lost a baby and buried it, too. I had a brother, Jeffrey, that I never even knew about.

    Fast forward, to I am in college as an adult and have this amazing Art Mentor – we were the closest of close. He is why I do art? After an amazing year and putting on exhibitions together, eating lunch almost every day, . . . I come to school on Tuesday after seeing him at 9 pm on Monday and he had died in the middle of the night. I have never been so devastated or ANGRY. I was just pissed. How could he have left us? left me? This was my big death . . . I had major spiritual crisis’ over this one. I was drowned in it. I sat at the beach and sobbed until I felt my tears would overflow the ocean. It lasted forever. But, I figured out something (I wish I could tell you what, but I’m not sure).

    But here is the thing, within the next few years I survived my beloved grandparents being killed in a car accident, together on the same day. My stepdad who had raised me since I was 4 died suddenly . . . and I was able to not just prevail, but I rose in those crisis’ and made arrangements, drove all over the SouthEast United States collecting my little siblings and driving them home . . . 36 hours of hell. I had to tell them their dad died. Then I dragged my sobbing mother (who weighs 300 lbs. out of the shower for about 5 days in a row). I had to pay the cemetery guy in cash for the graveplot . . . I remembering standing in the pouring March rain, under an umbrella, counting out 5s and 10s and 20s until I had counted out $500 drinking dollars to that man while my siblings and MOM huddled under an umbrella.

    It is always the black loam of Indiana that sucks me like quicksand . . .

    So, yes, this might be practice for you. I got to hear about my beloved aunt who had gone off her rocker in her head over a ‘healing’ church – she got breast cancer, she would only pray, her cancer became so big that my uncle (her high school sweetheart that she had met again and married in her 40’s) had to make her a sling to hold the weight of the festering, swollen cancer on her breasts . . . she would not see anyone that wasn’t in her prayer circle . . . only my cousins were allowed with her – – she died believing she would wake up healed the next day.

    Death just can eat you up and having to deal with dysfunctional families can be the WORST. I guess what I am trying to say is that when you are down for the count, and you think you can’t get up, just know that there is something inside you that will rise up to honor this loved one and that you will survive for her, because it is in your continuance that her life and her loving harvests the value.

  144. Well, Polly, Miss Angel, thank you dearly for the skirt you didn’t make. I truly love it.

  145. Haven – I am so glad that my book thief story made you LAUGH!!! my work on this earth is done, now that I have made you laugh hysterically.

  146. George:
    My Goodness, did you ever see that movie ‘Unbreakable’ where Bruce Willis finds out he really IS a superhero?
    That’s you.
    And Haven? Mums the word, but boy this makes a great story. I am casting the movie in my head as I read the entries. More big hugs to you and the Navajo healing prayer again, too.
    Kittery; sympathies and hugs to you.

  147. Ok, Blog babies, and I do mean that. My Dad has ceased to eat, lives in Montana, he has probably had a stroke. I live in California. Once in a while he remembers to answer his phone, but not often. My mother and I have spent countless hours on the phone trying to figure out if we can get some kind of help to him. Finally today we had a local restaurant deliver soup and pizza and seven-up, none of which he would normally touch with a ten foot pole, since he is vegen and God only knows what he will eat. Last I heard it was spirulina with dry oats, which even wild horses could not be coaxed into eating. Anyway, he got into his car and returned the vegetable soup to the place that delivered it. Thank God he is drinking the 7 up. I think it is the only caloric intake he has had in a week. And he says if we send anyone else out he will not come to the door and to leave him alone. I wish to God all I had to worry about was some asshole on paypal stealing my money. Not so much tonight. Believe me people, It could always be worse.

  148. Suzanne: I got two words — Performance Anxiety!!!!!!

    I think we can get to the bottom of this though.

  149. george, dont you have connections in the police department? PI kind of stuff? because this THING, THIS person can be found, i’ll wager.

  150. DORIAN. WHY are your comments always so fucking backhanded and perverse? I am SO sorry for your agony over your father. Truly. But that doesn’t diminish the pain that any of us are having about issues in our own lives. Haven has opened her heart and herself to all of us here. We are all guests in her virtual home. You disrespect her and do ALL of us (especially yourself) a huge disservice when you compare your life to the lives of others. This is a safe place for you to talk about what is going on with you. Of course, I can’t speak for Haven, but in my opinion there is NO ROOM HERE for you to judge whether or not someone else’s personal agony is valid. And the more important question I have for you is: why would you want to?

  151. see…every other detail is beside the point.

    because when haven says, “You will not be an accessory after the fact…”? she is not talking about a handbag, or a Hermes scarf.

    this person will be brought to justice or we will know the reason why.

  152. I would like to add that you have NO idea what precisely is hurting Haven. It might very well be that there are a whole shitload of things that are upsetting her, and this thief is just the proverbial cherry on top on a poop sundae.

    Head out of your ass, people.

  153. For ten thousand dollars, plus expenses, I’ll catch the son of a bitch, make him eat a bushel of styrofome peanuts, wrap him with tape and put stamps on his forehead.

    He’ll have to listen to me sing while I work, too.

    I can believe eBay is full of theives. A lady at work got her identity stolen on there.

  154. By the way, do any of you know much about fun-machines?

    We picked up this organ, one of those ones with all the voicings and about twenty papa-chichi-papa-chichi
    rythems? Off the curb. I get yay-bull- strong – esp. when it’s a BARGAIN LIKE THIS!!! Got it in the truck, home, in the house. Cleaned it up. Yay!

    Works great, but the papa-chi-chi-papa-chi-chi thing won’t stop.

    It’s like it has a will of it’s own.

    I don’t want to play “O Christmas Tree” to a saucy
    bossa nova beat.

    Any input is welcome.

  155. Matt–Maybe this is why it was on the curb?

  156. Matt,

    Stay posted. I may need your help. How much bubble wrap do you have in your possession?

  157. Good god, Sher. Is there anything you haven’t had to deal with? I’m not trying to be smarmy, I’m just .. wow. It’s a lot.

    And I’m going to toss my two pennies about .. I don’t think any of us here to hurt one another .. we all have bad days and things that upset us and hurt us. We can share our life stories until Hell freezes, and we’ll never truly understand someone else’s point of view. I guess what I’m trying to say is crapping on someone else’s pain will not diminish your own..anybody see my point, or am I just a babbling idiot?

  158. Exactly, Kittery.

  159. Sher…you need to write a book. What an experience your life is…and a rock star (I haven’t forgotten.)

  160. Dorin, where about in Montana does your father live?

  161. This is all sort of breaking my heart. I wish I had something more intelligent to say.

    Guess I’m also feeling a little fragile tonight.

  162. I agree Sher, you’ve got a book in there, dying to break free and entertain and educate and touch us all. I forgot about the rock star. If you ever just HAVE to tell a fellow BB who will keep it confidential, my email is I’m just sayin’.

  163. Aw Amy, I hope whatever’s making you feel fragile goes away/gets better soon.

  164. Kittery hit the hypothetical nail on the head . . . after a time points of view become crystal clear.

    Shanna – you are a brave warrior. I am so glad I didn’t have to be the mama with a switch on this one.

    This is so true – that we never know the depths of the pain of another person, but we can try to understand it and try to walk in that other’s shoes. Or if we have already experienced an issue we can empathize and try to give encouragement that there is another side to the mountain or another way out of the valley of pain.

    Kittery – I have had bizarre things in my life . . .

    and I can witness to everyone that being RAPED financially can be every bit as debilatating to your spirit. For instance –

    2 years ago my kids and family and I went to New Jersey for Christmas, for 2 weeks.

    On Christmas Night we get a call at 2 a.m. informing us that my daughter’s best friend had stolen my husband’s car and wrecked it. Then we find out she had broken into our house, lived there for 4 days with friends, they had left the house with every candle burning, with straightners and curling irons on . . . (I have tons of candles and red hair color – fire engine red) . . . the hair color was poured in the marble sinks and dripping down the cabinets and splattered on the tub. There was vomit sprayed ALL OVER THE KITCHEN. They laid down lit matches on my sofas and coffee tables. The “friend” had BAGS of our belongs at her house. In the end it was $14,000 dollars worth of damage to the house and $2,600 to Donny’s car.

    The worst thing is that she stole the most important thing I had from my step dad – he had $1,300 all in hundred dollar bills in his wallet and one of them had my ADDRESS written on the bill. These bills were only found a year or two after his death when my mom had the courage to empty his wallet. She gave me the hundred dollar bill and I had it in a display case with a photo of him. I would have starved before I ever spent that money!!! That little bitch who I had nurtured for 4 years stole it and SHE KNEW WHAT IT MEANT BECAUSE I HAD SHARED THAT WITH HER. She came from a shit family and I had bad vibes but everybody told me it would be worse if I cut off the friendship. So I invited her to EVERYTHING – she is in my holiday pictures, she decorated easter eggs and christmas cookies with me!

    Let me be clear – being violated whether it is financially or physically or spiritually or emotionally SUCKS!

    We got $1,200 for less than 1/2 of the car damage. Not one fucking cent for anything else. We went through months of juvenile court and we didn’t even get to TALK until the judge “sentenced her” – she had to write an apology. The judge said “kids are like having dogs – the first bite is free” – – – I have rarely felt so helpless and fucked in the ass as I did that day.

    Dorian – we have done nothing but embrace you and I am fed up with your hostility. Get a clue. Why do you feel the need to lash out? Are you the only human in the world that is allowed to have a hard day? Is it really a competition? We are some smart and loving people here and we just don’t deserve your disdain and flippant barbs. If you don’t realize we will all do ANYTHING for Haven, to defend her, to extend justice in her name, you picked the WRONG group of people. I am furious that you may have, by your blithe and hurtful comments, have caused her any more pain. Shame on you. Shame on you. Shame on YOU!

  165. Re Book – are you kidding? Nobody would ever believe it could all happen to one person and neither can I – I am a magnet for bizarrity. But they say the more you risk the more you experience – and, hello, it is like I said to the universe – give me some shit so I can grow – that wasn’t enough – how ’bout some MORE shit, more, more, more!

    I could do at least one book for every year of my life . . . but no one will get anything out of me about the first marriage . . . I want it that way. Sometimes it will give them more power to utter their names . . . he is Voldimort to me!

  166. Thanks.

    Half the time I don’t comment here because I’m thinking “damn, Kittery just said that so much better than I could have”.

  167. Sher, what is it about $1,300? That is the EXACT amount my darling grandpa had stashed away in a drawer. My grandmother left it in there, and my stupid drug addict cousin broke into the drawer and stole it all. He’s dead now.

  168. Re the boogey bad man – I just watched Dexter and it gave me some good ideas – I am in

  169. Oh yeah, the money was found after his death. Forgot the mention that.

  170. ““damn, Kittery just said that so much better than I could have””

    Haha, are you kidding me? I think that about everyone else here. That’s why I stayed quiet on the other post, the one Haven wrote about the Holocaust .. I figured I’d learn a lot more if I just shut up.. 🙂

    We’ll look smart together, Amy. Keep talking! 🙂

  171. Isn’t that weird!!!???

    He always had cash, didn’t believe in credit cards or even use checks much . . . they were going to be visiting me and 2 of the siblings in Florida the following week, so he may have gotten money for the trip . . . but IT WAS EERY!

    and it was all folded up teeny-tiny in his hidden compartment. He also had a legendary accordian photo holder, he would hold it out and it would hit the floor (he had 8 kids, and even us “step” were right in there – he never made me feel like a step. We lived in rotting trailers, but we had GORGEOUS CLOTHES and took fabulous vacations – we all went to private schools. He is a dichotomy that I will never understand. He had a fabulous job (he did pay alimony and childsupport to his 1st wife and paid for his kids’ college from that marriage) . . . he was an electrician and made the ballast for the largest, strongest lightbulb in 1976 – it was installed in the Statue of Liberty. His name was Jimmie Lee Carter and listen to me, that man was popular. The late 70’s had him being interviewed on his opinion all the time – “Jimmie Carter says ‘….’ in the paper and on tv . . .

  172. oh, and he was born on a farm in IN and the doctor who attended his mother was drunk and wrote “Jenny Lee Carter” on his birth certificate!!!!

  173. oh oh.

    OKAY, LET’S STOP PUNISHING DORIAN. i dont think she intended to be hurtful to haven. from what i read, her father is losing his shit, and she may be losing hers tonight. OKAY? i really think crushing haven to bits is the last thing she wants. i’ve often said bullshitty things here, i know i have. i’m constantl in trouble. for those things, i apologize, now. so……..






  174. Maybe this will give everyone a laugh:
    Horribly bad Haiku… in two parts

    Bought thing on Ebay
    Seller disappeared with cash
    Haven’s not okay

    A mean-spirited stunt
    Seattle seller will pay
    Blog Babies on hunt

    (Sock takes a bow)

  175. SHER! so your first husband was the devill hisself? i LOVE THAT YOU WONT SPEAK OF HIM. that’s so WISE. yes.

    the worst punishment for someone in the olden times was Exile. and now we know it’s also the best for all concerned:

    he doesn’t exist.

    WONDERFUL. and then love found you. and you’re an artist. and we love you.

  176. My favorite part of your haiku is:
    “Seattle seller will pay
    Blog Babies on hunt”.
    Very nice.

  177. SEE? JIM IS WRITING HAIKU. jim has written AMUSING HAIKU. thank you, my shue!!!!

  178. (blush)

  179. sock monkey rocks . . .

    suzanne, you came in like the wise woman you are!!

    Um – my theory is that I’m sorry isn’t words you say, it is actions you do. So I can’t join the KoomBi-ah . . .

    Joan of Arc is not Noah’s wife

    Correct. Never existed. poof!

    what a honkey ass
    soul-less bastard from hell
    I hope he stays there

    can you do a memoir in 6 words though?

  180. Got knocked down, got up again.

  181. cheap therapy:

    go on ebay, amazon, signals, whatever, tiffany’s, fill up your cart . . . but then don’t pay . . .just leave, you can visit your cart whenever, change your mind . . .

  182. I can see where you’re coming from with the ex, Sher. And I also love what you’ve done with your life. Your Rapunzel castle is incredible. How I would have loved that as a child. I would have been up there flinging my hair about all day long. It must’ve been fun, and healing, to make, too.

  183. I also do this at big lots, fill up my cart, then go to the front, review everything, take them all back that I forgot I put in the cart and don’t really want, line them up all nice and pretty on the shelves. . . . then pay for the real stuff and leave.

  184. “go on ebay, amazon, signals, whatever, tiffany’s, fill up your cart . . . but then don’t pay . . .just leave, you can visit your cart whenever, change your mind . . .”

    Yay! :: dances a happy dance :: I’m not the only one that does this! Hah. 🙂

  185. polly – it was great therapy. It is now at my house and you can BE rapunzel . . . even the boys like lowering the braid . . . and they just sit up in there and look out on the land, it is SO bizarre, I left all the upper windows open for the house installation and the views are amazing. Even those little kids understand the value of meditating in nature. The will also sit on the balance beam, all in a row, like frogs on a log, or turtles on a log and they just sit and listen to the wind.

    Life is amazing!

  186. That’s so funny about filling your cart and then not buying. When I was very poor, in my early twenties, I used to go into the best department store in town and try on all the most beautiful, expensive things I could find. Then after a while I would feel full of them and have to leave. It was a way of satiating my desires for things I couldn’t afford. (Hey, it beats shoplifting.) Afterward I would be so glad I hadn’t actually bought them, because just trying them on was enough.

  187. Kittery – isn’t it fabulous!!! there would be hell to pay if I ever accidently checkout on the tiffany’s site. The weird thing is a prefer handmade artsy stuff . . . but I get this little thrill from shopping that site!

    It is like when I used to sit with THE WISH BOOK around christmas and I would go through it page by page and pick 1 item out per page that I would buy. This got hard when I would get to the bras and girdles, but I swear I furnished my mental mansion out of that book!

  188. Life IS amazing! Good night fellow BBs, sleep well.

  189. I think we are onto something here! We could run a workshop for shopoholics and give them satisfaction therapy without the charge cards!

  190. Polly,

    I used to work right by the mall, so after my shift was over, while I was waiting for the next bus, I used to hang out in Williams & Sonoma and sniff the dish soap and look at all the cook/bakeware .. it made me happy.

  191. don’t let the bedbugs bite, Polly!

  192. I think I will go read me some Wally Lamb – anybody else reading THE HOUR I FIRST BELIEVED yet? I am loving it.

  193. Oh, I know. Stay away from that checkout button. 🙂

    Speaking of wishbooks, I was looking at the Baby Book from J.C. Penney – whatever happened to pastels for babies? There were crib sets that *I* would want. Black and white and navy blue..when I was a kid I had sickening shades of pink and yellow..

  194. Kittery – William Sonoma – lordy, that is unfortunately one of those stores that I don’t have much restraint in – that and ANY bookstore or GOODWILL. Or Brighton. Don and I have had 2 fights and after one of them I went to Brighton and charged up LOTS of money – he never said 1 freaking word!. (not bad for 18 years, 2 fights). He’s just too cute to be mad at.

  195. Lol.
    I had to have restraint in W&S, otherwise I would’ve been living in a roasting pan instead of an apartment. 🙂

    Two fights in eighteen years .. no, I’d say you’re doing pretty well. 🙂

  196. yeah, new babies are VERY sophisticated. But really most chic moms don’t wear “bun in the oven” t shirts anymore either, I think it is an effect of all the great information on Home & Garden Network, magazines, and even the EVIL TV . . . we want us some rocking baby gear! IT was fun having a baby in 2002 and what they had then was so different from 1992 and 1994! and now when I shop for friend’s babies, I am like WOW!!

  197. one of our friends just described Don and I to some people – as “they are disgusting and giddy” – but she said it in a jealous way, so I think that is good!

    we are . . . I’m off to read, have a good tomorrow today!

    xxx kisses
    ooo hugs
    and ($(^_ bad ebay guy!

  198. Lol. I can just imagine how fun it would be to shop for baby stuff, but when I was looking at the catalogue, I couldn’t help but think, “your baby’s room shouldn’t match the rest of the house decor, it’s a BABY, let it be for a little while. Teach the anklebiter how to choose a good wine when they’re two, but give them a *little* childhood first.”

  199. Six word memoir?

    In the closet, came out twice.

  200. I would TOTALLY wear a bun in the oven tshirt.

    Also, I rock the Lucy Ricardo maternity shirts. But I also rock the skintight Liz Lange stuff from Target. Yowza!

  201. G’night, Sher!

  202. Jim Shue, you are rockin your inner poet tonight!! Haiku AND a six-word memoir. Excellent, dear Sock.

  203. Thanks Carrie. I like the little challenges thrown at me lately. Hell, just writing again has been a thrill. But, then Haven always was/is able to draw something out of me that I didn’t know I was capable of. Her blog seems to be no different. Everyone here challenges me to be better, more creative and more myself than I have in years. So, thank you, to everyone.

  204. Okay, Kittery has given me courage

    Suzanne: Amen sister
    Dorian: My heart goes out to you and your family
    Sher and Kate: You consistently amaze me with your courage and humor.

    I’m moved to tears by everyone’s stories here. Me, I’m dealing with my beloved husband’s return to alchoholism after 10 years of sobriety and 5 months of unemployment after a painful separation from my last employer. Small potatoes in comparison. But as Kittery so eloquently stated, the point here is not to compare.

    I may be in the minority, but I hate that we’re attacking one another. Or perhaps it just seems that way.

  205. Oh Jesus, Amy. I don’t pray, but I fervently hope that things get better for you and your husband very, very soon.

    I don’t think anyone’s attacking, but I do think almost EVERYONE has had a SHIT DAY. Misunderstandings and hurt feelings .. it’s almost inevitable, sadly.

    I’m pretty useless when it comes to being helpful and insightful, but I do have my moments. If you need to talk, I’m here. And so’s half the board, if I’m not mistaken. 🙂

  206. Well, I learned how to play “Brazil.”

    Naaa Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    Na na na na, na na na naaaaaaa

    na na na na, na na na naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    na na na na na na na naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    What a tune. This thing sounds like a hockey rink!
    I haven’t been able to disable the papa-chichi-papa-chichi thing, yet. You can turn down the volume on it. Still – it’s the principle. These damn machines are getting nasty! They’re jealous cause they don’t havae a SOUL! Or maybe cause they can only travel as far as their chord allows.

    Yes, folks, out there in the great dark fly-over there’s a man playing on a Baldwin Orgasonic Wonderchord… that didn’t cost a dime! Curbside treasure! I’m not kidding “Orgasonic Wonderchord”
    … who would think up such an outlandish thing, much less stamp it on their product? Answer: The Baldwin Piano and Organ Company.
    For some reason, it makes me think of some Space Women – the conical kind- they have buffonts and zap guns and space boots! They say things like “Queen Estrogena, what shall we do with this intruder?”
    “Put him into the Orgasonic Wonderchord at once!”
    Forget about the name of this beast – how does it sound? LIKE A HOCKEY RINK ORGAN, MAN!!! The ULTIMATE power instrument. How better to define and describe the human condition? My dogs seem somewhat confused.
    Aw, that Papa-chi-chi rythem section – it’s just barely audible. I’ll have to really ignore that.
    Maybe I’ll just lug this back to the curb.
    It would be fun to roll it off a ski-jump.

  207. Matt, you can’t, you just can’t! There’s the name (unless you are just stringing us along with Orgasonic Wonderchord), there’s the fact that without the papa-chichi rhythm would you have learned Brazil? Do you really need a ski jump? And will you ever get so much bang for your nonexistent buck? I think you need to rethink this.

  208. I wouldn’t know William Sonoma if he bit my leg wearing plastic vampire teeth and I don’t care!

    na naaaaaaaaaaaaa
    na na na na na na na naaaaaaaaaa!
    na na na na na na na naaaaaaaaaa!

    SIGN WITH ME ! Just say a buncha ‘nas’ if you don’t know the wordz – I don’t!

  209. Lol. Is it sad that when I get dragged to the (very rare) game with my friends that that song is my favorite part of the whole experience? I will sing with you!

  210. Aww, nobody likes the Sonic Hocky Monster Noiser!
    Flip a switch and it is all croony – like ROBOT ROY ORBISON. Sounds like looking at the SUN thru a gallon of OLIVE OIL! Flip another switch and it growls like
    a bull elephant seal. Loud! Wow – it rattles the window panes!

    Oh, well.

    Next, I will play “Roll Out The Barrell”. Or maybe:
    “Blue on Blue.” Or that Feddy Fender one…”Once I had a secret looooovvvvveee.”

    Gawd what an enchanted life I lead.

  211. That’s it Kittery!

    You sing the Na Naaaaaaaaaaaaa! part, and I will do the perky undertones –

    “nit nit nit, nit na nit na nit,
    nit nit nit, nit na nit na nit,
    nit nit nit, nit na nit na nit,
    nit nit nit, nit na nit na nit”

    Damn Kittery, You got da pipes! You on da TEAM!!

  212. Yay! 😀 I haven’t had singing lessons for nothing. 😉

  213. Carrie, The Orsonic Underscore… oh, damn.

    Wait a minute.

    Orgasonic Wonderchord – is VERY REAL. It weighs like a ton! There are TONS OF TONES inside, all lined up like ghosty longhorns ready to STAMPEDE into the AIR!

    I would have learned Brazil sooner or later. What could the words be to that song? I wonder if it is their national anthem.

    I only thought to roll it off a ski jump cause it would sound so cool flying through the air, what with the dopler effects and all.

    “Radar indicates, captain, that it is an orgasonic wonderchord, moving due east, at 185 miles per hour.”

    “Radar indicates, captain, that it is an orgasonic wonderchord, moving due east, at 185 miles per hour.””

    :: snickers :: Ohh, if only.

  215. Yikes. It is 12 o’clock. I’d best get going.

    Everybody cheer the hell up! Don’t make me come down there!

    Oh, George, yes, I got bubble pack. Lots and lots.
    What else am I gonna LAND THIS ORGASONNIC WONDERCHORD on???


  216. I cannot follow this conversation AT ALL.

  217. Just pick out the parts that make sense to you and go from there. 😉

  218. The words, oddly, are in Portuguese and therefore of little use to us here.

    Ski jump and Doppler. The possibilities are haunting.

  219. Kittery,

    The sad truth is I have to walk about eighteen feet, play Brazil awhile, then walk back OVER HERE
    to type.

    …it is reminding me of a joke I heard in jr. high, it seemed funny at the time, regarding a
    male mouse and a female great dane that were in love…

    So Sleeepy! When I get sleepy I get really punchy and silly. Dipshitedness! Will say ANYTHING! I’d best get to bed. Six o’clock coming at me.

  220. I’m hungry. Anyone want to manifest a chicken sandwich for me? It’s going to be a late night.

  221. Kate, you will have to back up about two or three hours, when I announced to this table that I am now the proud owner of a Baldwin Orgasonic Wonderchord organ. Somebody left it on a curb. Now it is mine.

    The papa-chichi rythem section is out-of-control. Can’t be turned off. May need to find an Orgasonic faith healer for it.

    Due to the condition of the rythem box, my choices of songs to play simply MUST HAVE a sassy bossa nova rythem. There it is.

    Why must my new favorite song be in Poreugeuse, oh, shit, in this language with TOO MANY GUESEs in it??

    Good Night Alll!

  222. I saw that part. It’s the na naas that confuse me.

  223. G’night, Matt. 🙂
    Dipshitedness … my new favorite word.

    Here ye go, Kate. A nice chicken sandwich, just for ye. 🙂

  224. Amy, sweetness, that sucks. When I was 12 years sober I decided that maybe I could just have a few casual, sassy glasses of wine with my non-alcoholic friends. It didn’t go well(and not necessarily in the way you would think) but fortunately it didn’t last long either. My point is that relapse happens, under a variety of circumstances, and the only sad part about it is that sometimes really bad shit happens. But the good news is that AA will still bethere, and I’m sure your husband knows that. Where do you live? Are you going to Al-Anon meetings? Contact me off thread if you want to talk. shanna(dot)mahin(at)gmail(dot)com. My best, best thoughts are with you.

  225. Kittery, I’m still hungry 😦 And Wendy’s closed 27 minutes ago.

  226. :: rubs toe on the floor :: I’m sorry .. my air sandwiches aren’t very filling…

  227. Hubby is getting me a string cheese stick. He’s a good fella.

  228. Good good.

    Does anyone here have a guilt trip about staying up half the night and sleeping most of the day?
    I was raised to think that it wasn’t ‘normal’ and should be quashed, but I am WIDE awake, and the thought of curling up in my bed right now sounds like hell. Trying to sleep at the moment would be futile. Most nights I get to sleep around 5 – 6 AM .. 3:30 is a good night… but then when I finally get up the next day (very, very late) it’s like, “shit. There goes the sun.” And I don’t do anything terribly constructive, like work on my story, because I think, “I should be winding down, not working.” It’s nuts. And I’m rambling.

  229. The only reason I hate it is because I have three small kids who do NOT sleep in (yet). Many a morning I lay in my recliner with a couch cushion and a fleece throw while PBS kids is on in the background. I let my kids eat apples and goldfish crackers for breakfast more often than I’d like to admit.

  230. Hey, at least half their breakfast is apples.. good ’nuff. 🙂 Besides .. goldfish crackers is essentially the same as cereal, right?

  231. Oh yeah, they are fine. They are baked and the ingredients are reasonably wholesome. It’s more the lack of parental participation.

  232. Meh .. you’re in the same room with them and it’s PBS Kids… my mother used to stay in bed while I watched My Little Pony and the Care Bears … and I just gave away my age right there. Oh well. If people hadn’t figured out I was young and immature by now, it was only a matter of time, lol.

  233. That’s the stuff that was popular when I was kid, Ms. Kitty. How old are you?

  234. Twenty-two.

  235. That stuff was STILL popular?? I had no idea.

    I want to get Alice Cheer Bear for her birthday.

  236. Lol. Those were my favorite shows. On Disney every morning. One Easter, I got these HUGE MLP decals to put on my wall .. It was marvelous. I nearly had every Pony ever made (only one, to my knowledge was new, all the rest were yard sales, I wasn’t that spoiled). And when my dance instructor moved, she gave me the pony palace. You haven’t lived until you have 100 ponies spread out in your pony palace…

    Ohh, do they still sell Care Bears? I haven’t seen any lately.. I always wanted Grumpy or Bedtime Bear, myself, lol.

  237. I always loved GRUMPY TOO!!

    Yeah, they still sell them but I am putting my foot down. No stupid bears with gemstone eyes. Classics ONLY.

  238. “Yeah, they still sell them but I am putting my foot down. No stupid bears with gemstone eyes. Classics ONLY.”

    You’re a good woman.

    And I’m so glad you loved Grumpy. How do you feel about Eeyore? I love Pooh and Tigger, and all those happy critters, but Rabbit, Eeyore and Owl were my favorites. The OCD, The Depressed and The Know-It-All. 😀

  239. Eeyore is totally my favorite, of COURSE.

  240. and PIGLET!! And Roo. Love the innocence.

  241. Hehehehe. 🙂
    I forgot to mention Gopher .. he always struck me as the plumber with the, uh, loose waistband.. 😉

  242. Gopher?

  243. :: nods :: Oh, Winnie-the-Pooh.. good times.
    Sad and humiliating, but when I’m upset, or freaked out about something (mostly when I’m trying to sleep, and said image/issue is bothering me) I sing myself the Winnie-the-Pooh song … you know, “deep in the hundred acre woods”. And you know what? It works.

    Is it possible I have the emotional maturity of a three year old?

  244. You don’t remember Gopher? When Pooh ate all of Rabbit’s honey and got stuck in the Rabbit hole for a month and Gopher was going to use “dy-no-mite!” to get him out? That un’s a classic.

  245. It could be worse.

    Kittery, I’m enjoying this…you are keeping me entertained while I am working. Why don’t you shoot me an email?

  246. Hi all –

    I am very slow on the uptake, but I finally figured out that if your usernames are hyperlinked you have your own blogs (duh). I know, I too realize I am living under a rock sometimes here in – no lie – East Pharsalia, NY. It is one of the reasons I joined the blog – so I could chat with some savvy folks like yourselves.

    Haven –
    I so wish I could send my husband after this dude. I can share this great revenge tale with you. After joining the discussion on your blog I got inspired to make my own – one for the class I teach and one for myself. I put on there the story I referred to when we had a few years of Swimming in Lake Poison – with these nefarious guys working right in our barn.

    I hope it gives you some vicarious comfort.

  247. MATT

    you can play the GIRL FRIM IPANEMA

    thats all any one man could AsK FOR!

  248. Suz,

    You mean

    Dee, dee dee, dee, dee – dee, dee-dee-dee-dee

    Dee, dee dee, dee, dee – dee, dee-dee-dee-dee?

    I have two words for you –

    CAN DO!

    That song is SWEET.

  249. Many thanks to Brandon for diagnosing my polyphasia sleep cylce. With happy tiredness last night I retired to my air mattress where I COULDN’T EVEN CONCENTRATE on wally Lamb . . . so I woke up and went int o the studio for 4 hours!!!

    “If your cup is small, a little bit of salt will make the water salty. If your heart is small, then a little bit of pain can make you suffer. Your heart must be large. ” Thich Naht Hahn’s book, Peace is Every Step

    hum, I’m ponderin’ this one today. Not sure about it, a friend who is in spiritual rebirth sent that quote to me, on one sense I like it, but I also think that the key to growing a larger heart is by surviving suffering, it “stretches” and expands your soul????

    Any thoughts on that? I guess Job’s heart was humongo.

  250. MATT!
    “For some reason, it makes me think of some Space Women – the conical kind- they have buffonts and zap guns and space boots! They say things like “Queen Estrogena, what shall we do with this intruder?”
    “Put him into the Orgasonic Wonderchord at once!””
    Matt…I love that you have that thing, this is my favorite part of the whole deal….I’d Beam You Up, any time.

  251. Matt – the treasures found at the side of the road are the MOST dear and the most PERTINENT. That is being interconnected for sure. Imagine if you were not being observant and grumbling to yourself and looking at the ground (if you were walking) or catatonicly driving and YOU DIDN’T SEE IT!!!! The universe would be completely different. You would not be the you you now are. Therefore I would not the who I am at this moment. . .

    it is monumental what you did!

    oh, also – sounds fun!

  252. Kittery- you are only 22? Gosh, from all your wise comments I thought you were older. And, I mean that in a good way.

    Matt- When I was little, my father used to pick up all kinds of useful stuff that people set out on their curbs for trash. We lived in northern New Jersey and I guess there must have been a lot of curb activity because as my mother tells it A LOT of stuff came from the curb side. 1. our swing set (seriously); 2. a pool. OK, a small pool, but still; 3. the most gigantic roll of Xmas wrapping paper ever made. It was white with red pictures on it. I swear we used that my entire childhood. I told you all my dad worked for the Boy Scouts his entire career and he was FRUGAL. He was, actually still is, a walking scout’s oath.

  253. Oh, almost forgot- Sher- your step-dad was Jimmie Lee Carter?

    My given name is Linda Lee Carter.

    I knew we just had to be related somehow.

  254. I have a bizarre piece of furniture that was plucked from the garbage pile in Manasquan NJ – – it is the most gorgeous thing, don’t know what it is exactly, but it has drawers and cubbies and old metal pulls and decorative locking holes (but no keys) . . . that furniturewhatchamacallit SINGS TO ME everytime I walk buy. I have beds that I picked up off the curb.

    a little spit shine and a squirt of spray paint can fix dang near anything

  255. best curb side fined:

    a vintage pale pink enamel breadbox . . . it looked like a coffin laying there, I was afeared to open it, but all it had inside were rottin leaves . . . that became an installation piece.

  256. yep – they were from around KingmanIN area and his mom, Hattie Mae came from Kentucky. So am totally buying Haven’s theory/knowledge that all Hoosiers are applachian transplants. She was a hard woman who had a stroke at 61, she lived another 20 years, while her appendages were removed one at a time . . . I guess she knew something was going on . . . but living in the living room, watching tv for 20 years . . . not my idea of a life. She had been an active farmer/wife before that – cows chickens, she had those old cabinets where a hamper pulled out that was full of sugar and another for flour – like 50 lbs or more at a time . . . I loved her kitchen.

  257. that step-grandpa had an old wwII jeep on his farm and he would take out as many grandchillern’s as were willing to hang on and we would go up and down hollers and through yonders (this area of indiana did have some hills and hollers), through cricks, dang the grandmonkeys would be flying out to the side holding onto the roll bars and g-pa just CACKLED, also we loved to roll down the hill, but would get in shittrouble because on the hill was a strawberry patch and we would come in the house looking like we dipped ourselves in a barrel of jam . . . and lie through our eye teeth, we did not roll down it, we got pushed all 20 of us.

  258. i gots to go get some sleepy time….have good daylight, me vampire getting in me coffin . . .

  259. SHER, those are the cowboy slippers I am wearing right this second!!!!

    Also I just read the book story again and I became weak — I nearly had a coffee accident. Oh lord above.

  260. I can sing the HELL out of “I’m Just A Little Black Raincloud.” Just thought I’d throw that in there.

    Kat recorded me singing it and used to play it for her boyfriends, much to my chagrin. OH, but that wasn’t as bad as when she’d bring home a friend from school who wanted to meet me while I was hiding in my study with my door locked, writing like a machine, and she’d call out that someone was visiting who would like to make my acquaintance, and I’d say, “I cannot! I am too shy!” And she’d respond, “I’m sorry, she’s in another alcoholic stupor.”

  261. Ba aha ha hha ha, ha ha hadf;jskl;


  262. Amy, I want to echo what Shanna said. Email me anytime. There is an email link on my blog which is linked with my name.

    Losing a job is devastating. It must be grieved.
    We silly Americans tend to identify ourselves by our jobs and when they disappear, it’s almost like we do as well. But grieving that lose is something that’s hard to do with a relapsing alky in the midst.

    Although I often talk about being a chronic forgetter the memory of my last drinking years keeps me sober. I have constant reminders too, like the guy on the bus this morning who reeked of booze so bad it turned my stomach. It was 9:30am. All I could think about was how many times I must have spelled like that when I went to worked still half drunk.

    Alanon is a good place to help deal with you drinker, but also the lose of your job.

    Just remember – “you didn’t cause it, you cannot control it, and you cannot cure it”.

    The best thing you can do for everyone involved is work on yourself.

  263. TO BE FAIR, motherhaven used to make me do things ALL THE TIME like the little trained monkey that i am. when she was in graduate school and studying with Nick Halpern they would sit on either side of me, wherever we were, and they would pay me 25 cents each for an impersonation. it’s only gotten worse over the years, and mom and i have been known to clear a room with the decibel level of our Absolutely Fabulous routine.

  264. He heee he

    If we were at some function that was painfully boring, my son, when he was little, and me used to do this:

    I’d set him on my knee, and we would do a ventriloquist routine. He’d move his jaw and turn his head like a hinged, wooden person. I admit it sounds damned odd, but people laughed like hell.

    Remember, the other choice was to be bored. And sit and BE BORED. With other people JUST AS BORED. We did it once in a doctor’s office waiting room and the other patients just went weak with joy.

    “Say hello to the nice folks Billy.”

    “HELLO to the nice folks Billy.”

    Ha heee he, Monkey.

  265. I don’t hate many things, but I come pretty close to hating alcoholism. I cannot even describe the devastation it has caused in my life and generally, the world. Rears its ugly head far too many times. It’s incredible how blood alcohol content completely changes the boozer and ultimately those around him/her.

  266. You all are too too lovely to read first thing in the morning when I get to my boring job….you pick me up during the day, too when I check in…laughing is GOOD.
    Later, Brenda

  267. George, alcoholism sucks, no doubt, but I have to say that if I’m functioning at my highest level and trying to find gratitude in my daily existence then I have to appreciate my alcoholism because I came from a dark, fucked-up place with absolutely no tools for living and, for me, alcohol first saved my life (for I surely would have imploded from the untreated pain), and then, when it turned on me, led me to a toolkit (through the steps of AA, then therapy) which has given me a life beyond my wildest dreams. Okay, that sentence is so structurally damaged that I can’t even address it, but hopefully the message transcends the shoddy construction.

  268. as the spouse of a recovering alcoholic, (he is 28 mos sober) i can attest to the strain alcohol puts on a relationship. john told me he was an alcoholic when i was 7 1/2 mos pregnant. my best friend and the man i married told me this and it was NEWS to me. he had been lying, sneaking, stealing…whatever it took. went to rehab, i threw myself a pity party for a day or so and then i learned as much as i could about the disease. i went to the library and read every book on alcoholism. i went to al-anon. i started to understand and let go of resentments. i flew to see him at rehab and they almost didn’t let me on the plane due to how freaking prego i was. the first time i saw him after he’d gone to rehab is a moment seared forever in my memory. john was back. his eyes were not vacant. our son was born a month after john’s return. john went to AA while i was in the hospital after giving birth (c-section). i am proud of him and i am proud of us.

  269. Shanna- I am a friend of Bill W. too. There are quite a few of us around here it seems. Actually, the longer I am in recovery (if I can claim that 7 months is a long time) the more friends I make. They seem to pop up when I least expect it.

  270. Steph, I am proud of you and John too. xoxo

  271. thanks linda, if it doesn’t destroy you, it can only make you stronger! good luck with your recovery…one day at a time 🙂

  272. HK, it sounds like you and kat are quite a hoot together

  273. I totally honor anyone’s recovery, and I surely didn’t intend to cast any aspersions. I have attended several Al-Anons and I think they were a real transforming thing. I still go from time to time when I need a dose of hope.

  274. Linda: Use my account. For some reason, I cannot access the email you sent me.

  275. eeeek! no, George, I didn’t think you were casting aspersions. 🙂

  276. i didn’t think you were casting anything negative, George! i was just sharing my story!

  277. I want to know who is Edina and who is Patsy when Haven and daughter Kat do AbFab.

  278. I’m Patsy. Oh, I am a FINE Patsy.

  279. Heee.


  280. Matt is Sapphi.

  281. Good morning to you all!

    Matt – glad to hear you are a slayer of boredom, somehow I think I should have known that! Brilliant ventriloquism with your toddler . . . love it!

    I don’t haven any direct experience with alcoholism but my mother was definately an adult child of alcoholic (like suzanne somers) . . . so peripharally I get that trickle down effect. Now I have had direct issues with druggies and it is not a pretty site and I think it is probably similar.

    I think I am a Smoker even though I don’t smoke?! Like I say or think, ‘I need a cigarette’ (I had a few -5- one night in my 20’s on the beach) . . . that’s it. I’m seriously thinking I am a reincarnated flapper girl from the 20’s – because I want the ritual of lighting it and flicking it and looking sexy and bad ass – – -which is not the current perception. NOTE: I am livid and make a scene anytime I walk by a smoker (cover my kids faces and cough, etc) . . . my father-in-law died from throat cancer having smoked since he was 11 years old . . . it was devastating. But, like last night after I DIDN’t go to bed, I went in the studio and worked, then at 5 a.m. sat down on the porch swing and watched the fog and I said – out loud – I want a cigarette!

  282. Haven – I bought Something Rising today and would love, love, love to have it signed by you. If you could, please, where do I send it? I am in NC. Thank you.

  283. Kat,

    When can we expect your memoir to be published? Does it have a working title? Please include many photographs of your life-as-a-child. Can you give us a few hints as to what we might expect to be reading about …?

  284. My beloved DaughterKat, who is the funniest, most compassionate, talented, gorgeous child in the world, alas, is illiterate. So there will be no memoir from her. It’s okay, I love her anyway! I still tie her shoes when she needs me to!

  285. Kittery, where are you in NC?

  286. Oh, heavens no. Biology did not bless us with two writers in this family, and instead concentrated all potential skill and grace and passion in one person, which is why you are all here. You will have to accept the pictures of me that she posts right here, when I’m living in her basement with my 45 cats and my collection of indoor designer wave petunias.

  287. Kat: Indoor designer wave petunias? Wow! Dana the B & T used to grow orchids…very exotic, and bonsai trees too, also exotic. These days he grows lazy cocker spaniels.
    But I surely would like to read about your childhood…maybe your mother could write one ‘a la’ Shirley Jackson’s ‘Raising Demons’? It could only be hilarious.

  288. NOTE to Haven and Kat
    You don’t need to be literate if you can do a convincing Edina !
    I so much want to drink beer and shoot pool in the basement with you and the 45 cats.

  289. Hey Kat, maybe not now, but one of these days. You are born to the blood. And it would be THREE great writers in the family after hearing your Mom read Delonda’s story.

  290. I’m (Kimbits) in Salisbury…my husband’s also a potter. There’s an opening for him this Sat. at the Green Goat Gallery in Spencer…just thought I’d throw that out there in case you might be interested… but I know 2 hours is a long way to drive when you have stunning pottery right there in your own back yard! (I saw his website…wow! amazing work) Oh yeah…the address for your autograph? I also have a small gift for you. I saw a NY address on your website, and I will certainly use that one if it’s best for you.

  291. kat, with a mom like haven, there has got to be some writing blood in there. maybe it will just take a bit longer to come out!

  292. Brenda –
    I was just at a meeting where we were talking about literacy, so I asked about software that could read textbooks. They recommended Universal Reader, which can scan any page and read it aloud. Here’s the link. There’s a free trial download.

  293. Thanks George/Steph/Linda/Shanna/Particles for your comments. They mean more than you know. And, they served to cut short a pity party I was beginning to enjoy just a little too much, if know what I mean.

    Here’s a conundrum. This morning I had a second interview with a company I’d hoped to join. They asked me if I’d be open to overseas travel in London and/or Switzerland. What freaking timing. I’m left trying to figure out if I should try something I’ve always wanted to do, or stay home to make sure husband doesn’t burn down the house with the cats still inside it. This is probably why I need Al-Anon.

    As a side note, I think Kat is not being entirely truthful about her writing ability. I for one would love to hear more motherhaven stories.

  294. kat, when you were a kid, did you have nicknames like kit kat or kat-a-pillar or knick knack kat? just wondering….

  295. Why are you calling me Sappy?

  296. Amy:

    Jeez…I don’t want to bust up your family, but the travel would mean so much to your own personal and professional growth. Ultimately, you are left with knowing you tried something you always wanted to do or wishing you tried something you always wanted to do. It’s a happy dilemma. That house could burn down with the cats in it no matter how cleverly you hid the matches. This is one lesson I gleaned from Al-Anon.

  297. Oops.

    Sapphi. What is that?

  298. here is some family fun . . .

    type out the lyrics to I’m a Litte Tea Pot . . .

    then make slips of paper with different types of music/personalities . . . the chosen person then draws a slip of paper and sings said song in that impersonation:

    as a football player
    as a Hick
    as if under water
    as a love ballad
    as country western
    as a lullaby . . .
    it is so much fun!!!

  299. this also works well with the lyrics to Prince’s Purple Rain and you don’t want to know why I know this!

  300. Wow, Maureen…thanks! I didn’t even know there was such a thing…technology amazes me…I will have to look it up asap. thanks again for thinking of us.
    Matt: Sapphi is the wonderful daughter on AB FAB (one hilarious british comedy by the way)

  301. Matt,

    Sappho was a female poet: Sappho’s poetry centers on passion and love for various personages and genders. The word “lesbian” derives from the name of the island of her birth, Lesbos; her name is also the origin of its less common synonym sapphic.

  302. Sher,

    Have you considered opening your very own blogsite?

  303. Amy, I agree with George. You have to follow your passion. I am the alcoholic in the family (ok, recovering alcoholic)and I think enabling me to drink kept me doing it longer. You can’t control what your husband does. You can’t. He might surprise you in his maturity and responsibility if you say, I trust you, bye, I am going to Switzerland for a week. Seriously.

  304. Hey, back on the Winnie the Pooh thread, anyone else a fan of the book The Tao of Pooh?
    I had completely forgotten about Gopher. He was kind of an annoyance, wasn’t he?

  305. Amy “I’m left trying to figure out if I should try something I’ve always wanted to do.” I think you answered your own question. If your husband burns down the house it’s on him. The FD will save the cats.

  306. Maureen,

    I’ve loved the Tao of Pooh for decades. Hoff followed that book with The Te of Piglet, but his first effort was muuuuuch better. Some lines are classics in my family, like “It’s the moment just be-FORE you eat the honey …” and Crustimony Proseedcake and Bizy Bakson …

  307. Yes, DaughterKat, share some of your nicknames!

  308. Hey, DaughterKat. I bet you had some good nicknames.

  309. Sock Monkey knows all!

  310. But I’m not tellin’

  311. …yet.

  312. My son answers his cell phone by saying Shalom.

    Isn’t that cute?

  313. Linda – why thank you. 😉

    Haven – no no, I’m not in NC, I’m in Maine.

    Maureen – Gopher? An annoyance? :: sad sniff :: He might’ve been a bit thick, but I loved him.

  314. Oh boy. Well, motherhaven will probably remember more than me (not for lack of memory but rather because the list continues to grow even now). Some of the more memorable ones include:

    Tater (or Taterhead, if you’re Aunt Lindy)

    it is also important to note that until i was 16, i went by Katie, so “Kat” didn’t figure prominently into my nicknames until recently. Though now they exist in great numbers and become more inventive every day.

    Oh, and if you think that my MH would make a good Patsy, you really should hear her “Little Black Rain Cloud” rendition.

  315. :: grins wickedly :: I want to hear her Little Black Rain Cloud very much. 🙂

  316. hum, I have my own blog, just click on my name on my comments, but does that mean I am not allowed here? Haven’s blog is more fun and I can be totally raw here without worrying if a curator will read it and assume I am some whack job.

    Plus, I share stuff here that is not appropriate to my art blog, it is really more appropriate for a therapist – maybe I should go put on my suit – nope, don’t have one.

  317. Don made me stop calling my kids


    but I said it very lovingly

    I still call them

    pumpkin pie
    punkin’ heads
    little mashed potater

  318. Sher,

    I just thought that the “totally raw stuff” would be more appropriate on your own blog. You have some reaaaaaaally loooooooong postings here. Maybe you could open a second blog just for your ramblings! =0)

  319. Sher, we think your birthday suit is just fine.

  320. wow – that was rude. I guess you could just skip anything that has my name on it, then you won’t have to put up with my ramblings.

  321. Hmmm, Little Black Rain Cloud. Is there not a new audio page to this blog? If we are allowed requests, I’d also very much like to hear Edina and Patsy. I believe Haven when she says she is a fine Patsy. We also have been apprised of Kat’s mad skillz in the impression department. What say you?

  322. I second the motion. 😀

  323. Sher and Jodi, go sit in your time-out chairs, and then meet at the water table and say Sorry. Then you may have your Play-Doh back.

  324. Water-table? What’s a water-table?

  325. Can’t say sorry for defending myself – you know when the blade is in your face, it is natural to raise your arms . . .

    Haven you are the captain of this ship, you can send me to the gangplank, I love you, but I can’t promise not to defend myself if I am attacked. I am sorry for that.

  326. Don’t fight! I’d miss both of you. 😦

  327. Be nice or you will not be able to drink beer and shoot pool in the basement with Haven Kat and I hehe !

  328. I’m going to send you an email. My hubby deals with these types of crimes for a living.

  329. SHER! Remember my secret name is BLADE?!? I still love that name.

  330. Also Sher, there is no gangplank. It’s all love here. Plus I’m afraid of water. So just keep on keepin’ on.

  331. Ok Haven, I bow to your commands!
    I also hand over my LANCE!

  332. LANCE AND BLADE: Don’t even ask what we do for a living.

  333. Lance & Blade, the barefoot hooligans of crackerville. Their armor consists of socks, or the lack thereof.

  334. I feel like I’m playing dungeons and dragons or pirates and penzances…in a good way….wait! I hear Linda Ronstadt singing now….(we love that musical). Haven is the very model of a modern major general!

  335. My goodness. Tempers are high here tonight. I hope everyone feels better soon.

    Secret names? When I was a little girl, I had long long long hair (but not like a bunhead) and I got tired of waking up with it in my mouth so I told my mom I wanted it cut off. She agreed, and since my dad was TDY, there was no one to gainsay her. Well, I looked so different (in my 4 year old mind)that I needed a different name…I insisted on being called Sarah for quite some time. When Dad came home, he didn’t even recognize me. TRUE STORY.

    But Sarah’s not as good as Lance or Blade. Hmm. I will have to ponder it.

  336. “Blade” Haven Kimmel. That way you can own the quotes, too.

  337. Carrie, those quotes are MINE. You’re a thinker.

  338. No no no! We’ve been talking about being a gang so “Blade” has to be her middle name. Like gangsters. You know Like Joey “The Mouth” Fontaine. Or whatever. We’d have Haven “The Blade” Kimmel. As I recall, she taught Sock Monkey “how to cut a bitch” so Blade is quite perfect for her. 🙂

  339. love the mafia style names, good tip, LB!

  340. I love The Godfather. 🙂

  341. And thanks, Sher. I like to contribute where I can. 😉

  342. Kate “Cake” McKinney.

    Doesn’t sound quite as fearsome as I would like.

  343. But Cake! It’s so right for you!

  344. Its what might be in the cake that is fearsome

  345. It’s about as fearsome as Molly “Lightning Bug” Touchton…

    What am I going to do? Glow people to death? 🙂 Though…this might be helpful to George after he’s done…taking care of that “Seattle” business.

  346. What I wielded my Pampered Chef Slice and Serve with the serrated edge?

  347. I wonder if it is a geographical situation or what that some of us call them fire flies and some lightning bugs. Truly one of lifes major questions.

  348. I was wondering that myself–or actually if they are the same things. lol. I am a fan of the TV show Firefly. Love Nathan Fillion.

  349. Wow. That didn’t seem so random when I typed it in. Sorry. Wicked headache. 😦

  350. Kate, the thought of you wielding anything is formidable. I definitely want you on my side when things get dicey.

  351. They are the same thing. We call them LBs around here, mostly.

    My friend from California had never seen them before! She thought they were aliens.

  352. I’ll be hiding behind Haven.

  353. A 6 ft women in a flower skirt and no shoes brandishing a sharp object–I’d like to be in front (and off to the side a bit, of course) to see the whole show…

  354. Yes when people come to the midwest from CA they freak out at the fire flies where are you from Kate ?

  355. This gang talk reminds me of that scene from the movie Adventures in Babysitting.
    Don’t fuck with the blog babies!

  356. I can’t imagine being afraid of them. I find them quite comforting even though they aren’t common in my area. It must be because they can light their own ways home.

  357. Since I gave up my LANCE, I can offer my french rolling pin.

  358. Amy-i-O, I was thinking more like Boondock Saints… 🙂

  359. LB, I am ashamed to admit that I have painted war paint on my face many a night with the plethora of LB’s asses.

  360. Sher … me too very cool !

  361. I’m a Hoosier, dude.

    The girls I knew picked off their butts and put them on their lobes like glow in the dark earrings. I never did that though.

  362. Kate – you were a tender sole – me and my 52 cousins (true) had real indian wars in Indiana – 50 acres of woods and fields – it was Lord of the Rings and I can’t believe all but 2 of us survived.

  363. kate – you are not a shoe, I mean tender soul . . .

  364. *argh!* that’s like admitting to pulling the wings off butterflies!!!

    Just kidding! If I could have caught any I probably would have done it too.


  366. yep! 52, my mom had 12 siblings . . . and we all met on Sunday’s after church at the farm . . . it was Thanksgiving EVERY Sunday. That was glory.

    I did not however, ever partake in the boys’ delight of hanging worms on the barbed wire, firecrackers in the frogs (I tattled them out on that one). Frisbees with dried cowpies was a continuous competition. Maybe I should say discus throwing – really it was about the length of your throw, because they fell apart when you caught them . . .

  367. The chaos…I cannot even imagine how many turkeys that took…

  368. Headache…bad…eyeballs…leaking out…

    Have a good night, y’all!

  369. Oh lightningbugmt and Sher:
    I collected lightnin bugs in Iowa for the first time and was enthralled by the magic forever..and my husband and his countless male cousins used to have endless cackling fun over who could write the longest words in the snow with their …well, you know, male apendages…jeez, us girls are so deprived in that department.
    Can I be Brenda ‘the synch’?
    Sher: keep them stories, no matter how long I love ’em, keep them coming….I absolutely love peoples’ stories….In my heart tho, I differentiate between stories and people…stories are real, and people aren’t quite real to me…stories can’t hurt you, and people can….oh oh…too much info for a blog.
    Time to hit the hay and don’t be TOO brilliant until tommorrow,
    Love, Brenda

  370. love lightning bugs, too. they illuminate our whole hayfield in late spring/early summer. it is breathtaking. that being said, not recently (although i still would and probably will with my kid) have i used their glowiness on me. as a kid, we went bananas. you could smear it all over and you glowed. something from nature made you glow. i LOVED that. i missed the death lesson in there until a bit later.

    also, i have cousins galore. this thanksgiving is 24 people. should be fun and/or a shit show. at any rate, i am thankful. can’t choose your relatives.


    okay now if the ANGRY MOB is done beating the shit out each other and passing out mafia names? i’d like to offer a BUCOLIC AND SACHARRINE TALE to yall.

    when pablo was a baby, i was as crazy as you can be and still be at large, to coin a phrase from Helen Hayes. BUT i was alone with this beautiful baby boy. i mean even a year after the divorce pablo was 2 and i couldn’t even DATE. hell, i didnt even want to meet any man, but i wanted the OPTION. BUT NOOOOOOO. SO YEA, JUST THE TWIO OF US ON A MOUNTAIN TOP. i held my own hand at night. i talked to myself, i talkedto jesus (thisis when we got close) and i cried like, every day. ALWAYS IN THE BATHROOM OR INMY OFFICE. i didnt want the baby to say to himself: UH OH. ONE LEFT AND NOW THE OTHER’S GONE LUNATIC ON ME. anywho. that’s how fuct it was. i couldnt even wear heels and be six feet — oh me and haven are both six feet in heels, btw — but you know, i didnt even feel female anymore. with babysitters at $15/hr and me being a writer? PLEASE. i couldnt go out for a COCKTAIL and imitate patsy and edina. it was Fuct. so i had to CRAM MY HEAD INTO THE SKY and try to cheer up or at least give the IMPRESSION of happiness, while my baby was awake,my boy. Mister B, we called him. Mister Boy. Pablo was a buddha pablo baby, very happy and beautiful and sweet THANK GOD AND A GOOD SLEEPER. and allthe little girls at wee care his little day care place had a crush on him. he was like this very small, brown cult leader. luckily for usall? after i faked being happy for awhile, it worked. i was fucked up, but i was pretty happy in that moment, with mah baby.

    and so i would make up songs to sing to him. oh we had NOTHING BUT TIME. so when Matt said BOSA NOVA i thought YES! GIRL FROM IPANEMA. because that happy crazy ass song from my childhood was one i put new words to for pablo:

    tall and tan and young and lovely
    the boy from marin county goes walkin
    and when he passes
    each one he passes goes
    doooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! (high shriekey cutesy noise that made pablo laugh)

    when he walks it’s like a samba
    that plays so sweet and sways so gently
    but when he passes, each one he passes, goes

    ohhhhhhhhhhhh but she watch him so sadly
    how can she tell him she loves him?
    yeth, she would give her heart gladly..

    but each DAY when he walks to Wee Care,
    he looks straight ahead, not at her, there….

    dooo do dooo do doooo do do do
    do do do do do do doooooo do do do

    and when he passes she SMILES
    but he doesn’t seeeeeeeeeeee….

    doooodla do da do!
    he jes’ doesnt see
    doooodla do da do!
    yes he’s my ba-beeeee
    doooodla do da do!
    oh YES YES YES yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!

    he’s 10. that song — brought out VERY RARELY –still makes him laugh.

    my god, i love him. the Zygote Chronicles is the only book i’ll ever really feel was necessary, it will always be my favorite. it is all for him. i still cant believe anyone published it. THAT was a miracle, too.



    trophy daughter, virgin, writer, mother, slattern

  373. they call me bo where I come from and at our last reunion in southern indiana we had and i am not kidding 242 uncles, aunts, cousins (1st, 2nd, 3rd)

  374. That’s a very sweet story about Pablo.

    I make up songs for my kids too. Alice’s middle name is Magdalene. I often call her Magdalena, and of course I sing her “Rock Me, Magdalena” to the Falco tune. She laughs.

  375. My memoir:

    It was never the Brady Bunch.

  376. My six word memoir:
    I’m doing the best I can

    Some days that makes me sad, other days I feel pretty ok. Today happens to be an ok day, so yea!

    I changed the words to “Beautiful Boy” for my daughter Julia when she was a baby. The rhythm only held if I distorted notes, etc. All apologies to John Lennon for that, but it still has the power to make her smile…again, yea!

  377. Jodi – I had a feeling I’d found my people here! I could scour Chenango County and probably not find another person who had read either The Tao of Pooh or The Te of Piglet (and I agree with you on the sequel – not as good. I am glad he did not attempt The Ching of Eeyore.)

    Kittery – Maybe Gopher is an Aspie? Annoying but lovable

    Brenda – Happy to provide the info. Send educational issues my way, anyone. I’ve been in various roles in schools for the past 20 years.

    My memoir, five words:
    ACOA channels Laura Ingalls Wilder.

    Off to the calf barn.

    (This is Maureen, my log-in is newvisionteacher)

  378. Suzanne –
    After my meeting yesterday I was in our best local library and checked out Otherwise Engaged, reading it now. Sounds like I’ll pick up Zygote next. Sorry I hadn’t run into your books before. Truly, I live under a rock here.

    Haven – Yesterday I read your post about your high school English teacher (Argh, don’t get me going on high-school English teachers. I AM one and had to escape the traditional high school I was in to teach in an alternative setting because my department was driving me crazy) and then your publishing history through writing Iodine – I’m still amazed by how the publishing world operates.

    What an amazing book!

  379. Maureen, That’s so funny: “I am glad he did not attempt The Ching of Eeyore.” You’re a riot!!

  380. Quite possibly, Maureen .. after the Asperger’s conversation that had been going on, I wondered about that myself. 🙂

    Honestly though, aren’t almost all of the Pooh characters a case study?

    Let’s say Gopher has Asperger’s
    Rabbit has OCD or something, lol.
    Pooh overeats.
    Piglet is almost agoraphobic.
    And Tigger … Peter Pan Syndrome??

    Anyway. I’ll stop psychoanalyzing cartoon characters now.

    I have exciting news! I just printed off the story I’ve been working on, and I’m nowhere near finished, but .. fifty pages suuurree starts to feel curiously like a manuscript. It makes me very excited. 😀
    Now the next part is to see if I can finish it and if anyone thinks it’s worth reading. 🙂

    Anyway .. Good Morning Everyone! :: passes out cranberry-orange muffins :: 😉

  381. Kittery –
    If you find the Pooh psychoanalyzing diverting, I highly recommend The Tao of Pooh. Jodi and I can discuss it with you.
    Congrats on the story! I had the same experience where a supposed story started morphing into a novel of sorts, still in process. You go, girl!
    Thanks for the muffins – my kid missed his bus (my fault) so I’m off to town and then to teach.

  382. I read The Tao of Pooh so many times I wore it out and had to buy another one. I’d been reading the Pooh books since I was able to read at all (aged 17) and that book is sacred to me, I don’t care if those unwashed intellectuals in graduate school prefer Gaston Bachelard’s The Psychoanalysis of Fire. Screw them. [Disclaimer: I also love The Psychoanalysis of Fire.]

    I am so sad today. Many sad things happened yesterday that don’t bear repeating, except that I have to clean this house from stem to stern and I have no one to help me. John is loading his kiln for a bisque firing, Kat is babysitting elsewhere, O. is at school, Maureen is teaching, Jodi is teaching, Suzanne is 3,000 miles away, my only true in-laws live three hours away and are tending to Orri, my precious gays are in Chicago, Manhattan, Indianapolis, Columbus, Ohio, and Amherst. I am so terribly screwed. So I’m sitting in my pajamas praying for help, but none has arrived. I love my dogs, though. George is someplace weird like D.C., which isn’t even a state.

  383. I’m here for about an hour before I have to go to meetings!

  384. I have something that will make you feel better and give you something to “do” – – in the unopened box is an envelope just for you which contains: The DVD copy of Kate Bush’s ‘The Whole Story’ videos – all 18 of them!

  385. Sher, can you get here in an hour, help me, and get back in time for your meetings?

    p.s. I haven’t opened the one box yet, because there’s an Xmas gift in it for someone in this house. But I cannot WAIT to see them. Cannot WAIT.

  386. Hey, REALLY? I can put it on and clean? Do I have to put on pants?

  387. no pants required. Also the items of ‘gifts’ are inside an interior box, but the envelope of which we speak is floating inside the outside box – so no problem there. Wish I could be there in an hour!!!

  388. when the children are abed or GONE, Don and I frequently clean in our undies and aprons – – it is what exciting and makes the mundane work more fun and hysterical. I love watching him vacuum in his tidy whities in an apron – – – funny, funny, funny

  389. Um, you could clean, but why would you – – you’ll actually want to WATCH the videos. Also Merry Maids will do a house cleaning for $115.00 – – a basic spit shine, but you do still need to pick up your own clutter (i.e., swipe it all into a box and stick it in the garage/barn).

  390. Merry Maids was supposed to come this morning but my house is too dirty for them to clean. Well, it isn’t dirty — I have 7,000 books in my living room I have to put in storage because I’m turning into one of those crazy people in a rent-controlled apartment in Brooklyn who can only get from place to place through a maze of rotting newspapers.

  391. Here’s what this sort of cleaning does to me:

    1. Makes me want to write a new blog post.
    2. Nap
    3. Continue crying.
    4. Start a new novel.
    5. Order taxidermy on eBay.

    OH! Hey, I took a vow to order no new taxidermy and then I did last night!! It’s GAWGEOUS.

  392. Haven, if the needing-to-clean-the-house thing is because of impending company, I say spend the time you would use cleaning to go out and buy very dark sunglasses. Hand them to your guests as they walk through the door and they won’t be able to see the mess. Maybe they’ll see your stacks of books and just think you’ve been buying a lot of modern art. 😉

  393. Kittery, you know what I could do?!? Sneaky quick switch their contacts around, so everything looks blurry and weird and immaculate!

    HOWEVER, a certain someone named Amanda is driving from Raleigh to help me. She took pity on me. I need pity these days.

  394. I am right with you on the books . . . do a Thomas Jefferson and built ascending bookshelves all the way to the ceilings. Have bookshelves instead of walls? make a sculptural pile of books, recent views on top, it will be a “kinetic” art piece. I am not unserious obout that. stack them in a cube, put a piece of wood on top and you have an instant table.

    ugh, have to go shower for impending meetings, but I can have laptop on there so who knows, I will look very important whilst madly blogging about lightning bugs, lances and blades, cleaning in undies, and all the other high brow LIFE ALTERING subject matter I appreciate!

  395. Hahaha, if they have a bad enough astigmatism, the world would look blurry anyway. 😉 (I know whereof I speak.)

    I’m glad you’re getting the help you prayed for. 🙂

    What is this gawgeous new bit of taxidermy, if I may ask?

  396. goody, goody – you are getting help!

    When the saints go marching in, . . .

  397. Let me post a photo of it (taxidermy, not Sher’s husband) on the blog babies page — it’s so graceful.

  398. I just posted it! I’m not good with these newfangled soul-catchers, but it’s up there!!

  399. Haven: DC is the state of confusion. Our flag is a big yellow question mark. That house cleaning action doesn’t sound like much fun…you know I’d do most anything for you and I would love to drive down but on Monday an enthusiastic massage therapist with incredible hand strength put a kink in my back and wouldn’t be much use to y’all.

  400. You all make me so happy:) I was having a hard week this week with the darkness coming early in the evening and the first snowfall-I really associate horrible things in my past to snow and cold. But alas! to know there are others who are so brilliant and funny that too are sad..makes you all the friends that I am not embarrassed to talk to!

  401. hooray amy!!

    George – that is a family!!! When I met the Dashing Hunky Donny and went to his family house in Jersey . . . no tv….no phone…just cards, boardgames and wine . . . I was like, when is everybody geting here? Don was like – they are all here . . . his EXTENDED family consisted of 6 people! I’m not kidding 1 aunt, 1 cousin, 1 uncle (unmarried at 65), 2 brothers, his mom and dad.

    But when I gave birth to the 1st girl born in 4 generations – – – there was MUCH hoopla. And do you know, a family of 6 had just as many “situatios” as my family of 400,000 – so pro rated, maybe I am from “Leave It To Beaver” land.

  402. I betcha I can find a certain photo of Don cleaning in his tidy whities and a Christmas apron!

  403. Wow .. you are gradually opening my eyes to the wonders of taxidermy, Haven .. up until a couple months ago, I pretty much figured that taxidermy was confined to the freaky and the near toothless men with beer guts, proudly pointing to the moose/buck head on their wall saying, “yep, I pegged that sonuvabitch .. goddamn near froze my nuts off, but I wudn’t goin’ home without nothin’ so … it’s a beaut, ain’t it?”

    So .. in other words, very nice, I approve. 🙂

  404. i live in a reproduction bow (rhymes with ow) house…basically it is from the revolutionary period and was a type of architecture commonly used then. my husband and i love old houses in new england–only catch is that they are in constant need of repair…solution, buy a great re-pro with everything in working order–even central air!

    my point, i am also a book hound and own what feels like millions (i have never counted) and our house has bookcases EVERYWHERE…floor to ceiling, built in. apparently paul revere and his buds were big readers. it was my favorite feature of the house! we also have additional bookcases in our bedroom, my son’s room…pretty much everywhere there is space for one.

    also, on the cleaning thing. it sucks so much. there is no other way to put it. i loathe cleaning, but it must be done. my advice is to hire someone, anyone…so that you can read or blog and then the mess will disappear.

    six word memoir: living life to the fullest everyday

    ps: anyone interested can check out this link:
    one of the interior shots shows a pretty good pic of bookcases…

  405. Steph? Beautiful. I will now officially be in a good mood for the rest of the day. I love those houses. 🙂

  406. I like your ram. His fur reminds me of steel wool!

    It looks like the meth addicts have returned to squatting in my home, so today I must clean and weep as well. You have my deepest sympathies.

  407. My WORD, Steph, that is beautiful. I want that house instead of my dirty one.

    Kittery, as George will attest, I have the most beautiful taxidermy in the world. I only collect the rarest objects — things you’d never, ever be able to see or touch in the natural world — and I only buy things that were either hit by cars or died of other internal injuries. No bullet holes for me. No murder. My BELOVED red coyote Twain, for instance, was hit by a car and the woman who hit him was so grief stricken she took him a taxidermist, and that’s how I got him. I know it’s a strange habit but wait until you see what I’m planning next.

  408. When I die of natural causes I am going to have my body shipped to Haven’s taxidermist and I will take up residence in the barn. Forever I will be frozen in time with curled hair, black eyeliner, red lipstick, a little black dress, leopard coat and a slice of cake (the cake can be fake.)

  409. :: nods :: I think that’s part of what has made me loosen up about taxidermy – your collection isn’t the product of gratuitous killing..
    I feel fairly certain in saying I haven’t even seen a fraction of all your animals, but my favorite (thus far) is the badger.

  410. thanks for the “props” on my house…those are just examples–i will post a real pic of mine on blog babies…

  411. Kind of like Eva Peron? After she died, her husband couldn’t bear the thought of letting her go, so he called a .. taxidermist, I guess, within minutes of her death. All her blood got drained and she got piped full of glycerine …

  412. I can attest to Haven’s exquisite collection. They are wonderful furry little spirits, but the best thing about them is what they do for our favorite author. I have witnessed the transforming power they have over Haven. May she be surrounded always by critters — living and immortalized — who honor her as she does them.

    Gotta prepare for a meeting now.

  413. Kittery- exactamundo. I don’t believe in burial, and I’ve always planned to be cremated, or have my skeleton in a medical school, but this would be ever so much more bitch’in.

    When I told my friend Brian about my skeleton in medical school, he said that would be awesome because when the Rapture came and all the saints, living and dead, would rise then my skeleton would disappear and totally confuse everyone.

  414. Hahaha. “Where’d the body go?” Nice…

    You don’t “believe” in burial? How so? My father says the land should be for the living and not for the dead, do you mean it in that sense?

    I’m all for cremation, but I think I’m a little paranoid like George Washington .. just don’t give up on me too early, lol. Let’s not be hasty and do something we’d all regret. 🙂

  415. I have piles of books all around my little house too, Haven. I am a terrible house keeper. I didn’t used to be, even when the kids were babies. But, over the years, well, I just lost interest.

    I am trying hard to psych myself into cleaning again, though. I want to pretend that I am going to put my house on the market. I really wish I could for real, maybe I will next year, so once both kids are in college in two and half years. It just makes me exhausted to think about cleaning.

    I could probably clean your house, though. I just don’t feel like cleaning mine.

  416. oh haven, i just saw your newest piece of taxidermy–beeeee-you-teeeeeee-full. my bow house pics are up now, too–in the steph sulzbach folder.

    linda, it is ALWAYS easier to clean someone else’s house…i agree on that one. i don’t know why, but it just a less horrifying task when it is not your own home.

  417. What’s everyone’s most hated part of household drudgery?

    Mine has to be laundry. For me, dusting isn’t even as bad.

  418. let’s see: in order of most hated to almost tolerable:

    dishes (HATE)
    cleaning the bathroom
    leaf blowing
    taking out the trash/recycling
    going to the dump
    laundry (i kinda like it)

  419. Speaking of house-cleaning, which I gave up when we bought the farm and then had three boys, someone please tell me that one of your children also has had head lice at some point. My son – 11 with incredibly wild hair that he wants to grow into dreadlocks and won’t let me touch – has buggies again and I am feeling like the world’s slouchiest mother. I have NIXed and I have sprayed and they just seem to love his sweet little head. Sigh.
    Anybody have a lice story to reassure me I am not an evil neglectful mom?
    (I’m on my lunch break.)

  420. Well, I used to like doing laundry until I had to start hauling it to the laundry mat. There is a coin-operated washer & dryer in the apartment basement but the dryer is so crappy it cost $3 to dry a regular size load. Everything else is my least favorite. I’d rather be doing things I want to do. It’s my neat freak mother’s fault I hate cleaning.

  421. Kittery –
    I was obsessed with Eva Peron in 8th grade. It was the year Evita was a hit on broadway. I can still sing the entire thing beginning to end. My friend and I drove everyone else in the car crazy when we sang the whole on a long car ride to Toronto and back. I got very into the whole story and the creepy pictures of her body and the way it disappeared.

    Haven –
    Wish I could leave a taxidermied replica of myself here in the classroom and come help you clean.

    My memoir, draft two:
    ACOA, channeling Laura, marries Aspie Almanzo

  422. Haven –
    Who is in Amherst? That’s where I went to college and where I met my husband.

  423. Maureen! Ahhh!! Someone else! 🙂

    I love the musical (almost all .. I’m one of those) 😛
    Me too .. after I started to love the musical, I just wanted to know more and more about her .. ditto with the creepy pictures. Have you ever looked at the pictures of her postmortem and listened to the last song where she sings the about the choices she made in life? Creepy..

  424. I would WORSHIP at Kate’s Taxidermy Cupcake. I’d build a SHRINE around it.

    If I may make a suggestion about an excess of books, one of the things I do is send copies I get from publishers (sometimes I have two or three of the same book!) and ship them to my besty Beth in Indiana, because she serves on the library board of a tinety library that has no budget for acquisitions. And these books are NICE. Lovely first -edition hardcovers. I’m sure in any of your towns you have a similar situation. It’s a great way to clean the house and a good thing for the library.

    My least favorite chores:

    Everything else.

  425. I hate unloading the dish washer…rather take a punch than do that one.

    Also, cleaning the cat box. Now, as a “hands-on” Dad, I could, in my younger days, change my son’s diaper and eat a sandwich at the same time, but the cat’s box gacks me up in ways I am loathe to describe.

    Scraping the soap scum from the tub. Before the housecleaners come every couple of weeks or so, I have to clean the house. This entails a tub cleaning. In itself, it is not so bad, it’s the collection of nasty hair and Lord knows what else in the ring around the tub that again: GACKS ME UP.

    For some reason, however, I find great satisfaction in plunging my hands into a nasty clogged-up garbage disposal or using a snake to dislodge a bolus in a pipe or even doing the plunger thing. I can perform all these tasks while eating a chocolate chip cookie. No problem.

    I find ironing to be a soothing task and I don’t mind doing laundry. Dusting is ok and I like putting the Hoover to the carpet for that really deep clean.

    I worked on a golf course for so many summers cutting grass, planting things or all sorts, raking, shoveling…that I basically hate to do lawn-related chores and always fake back trouble when asked although I am currently suffering from a back injury brought on by a massage therapist who was intent on pounding the tension out of my spine.

    Don’t mind dishes…in fact, between my dogs’ plate-licking and my obsessive scrubbing, my dishes are sparkling BEFORE I put them in the dishwasher but as previously mentioned, I hate putting them on shelves and cupboards.

    Same with books. We just stack them along the stairs (except for Haven’s, of course, which get a special spot in the living room hutch.)

    I like using polish of all sorts — especially that waxy animal-smelling stuff I wipe into the leather furniture. That is satisfying.

  426. Vacuuming is fun .. you get to look at the dirt on the floor, and then vindictively say, “suck it” and it’s gone… 🙂

  427. I recently donated a large quantity of books to one of my professors who is from Ghana, Africa. It must have cost him a fortune to send them all, but he was so grateful I thought he was going to cry right in the parking lot.

  428. The choice was mine and mine completely. I could have any prize that I desired. I could burn with the splendor of the brightest fire or else… or else I could choose time. Remember, I was very young then, and the world was forever and a day. What use could 50, 60 … 70 be? I saw the lights and I was on my way. Oh my daughter, oh my son understand what I have done.

    That just breaks me up and creeps me out at the same time.

  429. YES! You just get shivers and almost start to cry and HAVE to keep singing .. amazing.

  430. Dee-
    It’s the exact opposite for me. Because of my mom’s not so great house cleaning I love,love,love keeping a neat house. Okay, maybe not so much love but have a stronge desire to because of a little thing called OCD:)
    The thing I hate to do the most though is clean bathrooms. I HATE cleaning showers and tubs and toilets. And dishes. Last weekend I considered throwing out my huge stew pot because I didnt want to clean out the chili that had been in it for 3 weeks in the bottom of the fridge. I’m getting married soon I figured I could register for a new one:)

  431. My mom imparted the gold standard of house hygiene into my soul, and it was this: Those floors were so clean you could eat off them! That was the standard for her floors and the one in which she judge other houses. It was a high bar. Several times as I was getting home from school, I would see her outside polishing the door knobs with Brasso.

    I actually think she did this because growing up, she and her sibs had nothing — NOTHING — in their hardscrabble existence in Marion, Ky.

  432. George, you don’t know how many arguments I’ve had with people about washing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. I think modern dishwashers could probably remove dried cement from dishes.

  433. I HATE VACUUMING. Hank and I had an agreement when we got married that he would do all the vacuuming and I would do everything else. I found out that he vacuums about twice a year.

    I hate dishes. I don’t have a dishwasher anymore and whoa buddy, I need one.

    I hate picking up crap all damn day long.

    I like cleaning anything with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

    I like organizing things into teensy, tiny compartments.

  434. Haven,
    Do you mind me asking if your besty Beth is “Rose”?

  435. My mom avoids visiting us because she can’t deal with the country and its attendant dirt. The farm grosses her out. Once in our very early destitute days, our toilet was not working and she had to relieve herself in the backyard early in the morning. A chicken got dangerously, dangerously close to her bare flesh.
    Things are better now, and compared to other farm houses I have seen, ours is quite tidy.

  436. POS: I do, in fact, know of such arguments over cleaning dishes BEFORE loading them in the dishwasher. At least one of my friends delivers this argument to me a couple times a year when we stay at her house. My response is the Hoosier way: I smile sweetly, say, “Yep, you’re right, these modern dishwashers are great and yep, I’m wasting a ton of water and energy.” Then I do as I damn-well please. I figure that way, everyone’s needs get acknowledged and served.

  437. Amy- I’ve thrown many dishes away out of fear of what was in there.

    One time when Shelby was about 2 she thought she would be smart and get her own food. I let her go ahead and dig through the frig. All the sudden she screamed and ran away, dropping a bowl of macaroni and who knows what all over the floor. She was crying tears and I was laughing tears.

  438. i ALWAYS rinse before loading the dishwasher. habit. and george, i am with you…i might even cut off a digit if it meant i never had to empty another dishwasher.

  439. Steph, I always suspected we were soulmates and now it is confirmed.

  440. Speaking of a non-working toilet. I talked to my xGF in August and she said she was going to come up and visit up when she finished redoing the bathroom -a project she started in July. They were using a port-a-potty out in the yard, and taking baths in a large bucket like a pioneer. I got busy and forgot about it until I called her Monday she was STILL WORKING ON THE BATHROOM!

    You would think taking a bath in a bucket would speed the progress of a project like that, or it would for me anyway.

  441. I hate doing dishes too and our dishwasher has been broken for at least two years now.

    The problem I have is lack of closets and lack of space in the few closets we do have. My sister has a big walk in closet. I told my husband – and my kids – that if I had a walk in closet like that my bedroom would look clean too. I could have all the same piles I have now, except I would close the door on them and they would magically disappear.

    I hate vaccuming too. Problem is, my husband loves to vacuum with his shop vac. That’s right, the one he hauls in from the shed that sounds like a plane is landing in the living room. He can vacuum for hours. Funny thing is, minutes after his intensive vacumming ceases, the little puffs of black Foster fur appear again as if they just moved out of the way waiting for the vacuum to go by so they could return safely to the same spots.

  442. I should mention that my standard for “quite tidy” is in comparison with the dairy barn.

  443. H, make sure this “shrine” is wearing a red hat and driving a miniature car.

  444. George: you CLEAN before the housecleaners come? Silly Man.

  445. I wish it was tomorrow.

    I am going to see Robert Earl Keen at the Ryman Auditorium tomorrow night. I could use some REK tonight.

    You can listen to some of his fine music here. I am doing that myself, right this very moment:

    Enjoy 🙂

  446. Oh Man Linda I love me some Robert Earl Keen! I’m jealous. Are you familiar with Todd Snider? I’m seeing him on Saturday. I’m a bit obsessed with his music. If I weren’t married I think I’d just pack up my car and follow him around to cacth all of his shows.

  447. Todd Snider is opening for him actually.

    REK is a very important mentor to the guys in my very favorite band: Reckless Kelly. I LOVE these boys. Willy and Cody Braun are two of the 5 Reckless guys and then there are two more Braun brothers, Micky and Gary, in a band called Micky and the Motorcars. They rock too. The Brauns are from Idaho but both bands are out of Austin, TX now. They are all tremendously talented. And very cool and just very good guys.

  448. Particles –
    Bath in a bucket …. no water, been there.
    Another early farm tale, we got the septic tank fixed but needed to redo the plumbing in the house and couldn’t afford it for many years.
    During my first pregnancy our water pressure in the house was a dribble. I would go down to the barn in my immense whalehood and shower with the hose in the milkhouse, hiding behind the bulk tank.
    I had to keep an ear out for the milktruck arriving, at which point I would hustle up the bathe and throw my robe back on and scurry to the house. I did not want to terrify the poor man.
    It is amazing what complete isolation and desperate straits can do for a newly married couple. In our situation, thank goodness, it made our marriage practically impenetrably iron-clad. It was cling or sink.

  449. OH man what a show! I’m even more jealous. And REckless Kelley is a very cool band indeed. Have fun and give me a full report.

  450. Cool music, Linda! Thanks – he’s new to me.
    I’m listening to the Front Porch song until I need to run again. Oh, he just said he’s a friend of Lyle Lovett. I like him. My oldest son is named Lyle, after a great-uncle but also influenced by liking Lyle Lovett.

  451. George: I also clean before the house cleaners arrive. this is astonishing.

  452. and feeling good again by REK is one of my all time favorite songs ever. ever and ever. that is a pretty big deal bc there are TONS of songs out there. i sing from the top of my lungs when i hear that one though. have so much fun, LINDA!

  453. Thanks you for the backup, Steph, we’re in mind-meld mode today regarding cleaning.

  454. Hi Y’all, I’m behind in my blog reading here and will get caught up later, but thought some of you might enjoy this google feature if you aren’t aware of it. If you go to google maps at, then plug in an address and hit the “satellite” button located at the top right part of the map, it will show you an actual satellite photo of the address. Then you can zoom in and actually see the house, highway, or whatever you are looking at. Some areas have little cameras on them, whether you’re in Map view or Satellite view: Click on the camera and see a little person. Click on the little person and you get an actual human view, standing on the street, and you can drag your cursor to have the person trun around and see the streets in all directions.

    The reason I’m saying this here is that, Haven, you can look up the address of the person who lives in Seattle and see their address, and possibly their actual home, this way. If there is no such address, that will become known too. Sometimes you can learn things about someone by seeing where they live, even if you live on the other end of the country. (Plus, it’s just fun to do, to see your own house or the area around where you live, or look at your childhood home, for example.)

    Also Haven, I won’t clog up your mailbox with this and will assume you’re reading it here, but a package will be coming for you Friday, with an “un-skirt” in it. I think you will be beautiful in it and I hope you love it as much as I do.

    I’ll catch up later, hope everyone is having a great day.

  455. Polly –
    I love that on Google! Also fun is downloading Google Earth which has all that plus 3-D buildings and ability to pushpin all your favorite spots and draw walking routes and get the mileage. It’s a free download and also has the night sky as a zoom-around-in zone.

  456. I use Google Earth for directions instead of map sites — so much easier to navigate when you can see physical landmarks.

    Maureen, when you said “bought the farm” up there I thought you meant something else. (Keep reading, Carrie.)

  457. I sweet-talked my school’s Head of Technology into unblocking this site for school!

    I like laundry. Though I have enough unmentionables that I only do laundry when I run out of them. It taks about 2 weeks. 🙂

    I’d rather clean a toilet than empty a clean dishwasher. I hate it like the plague. I don’t know why.

    Usually with cleaning, I bitch and moan and put it off, and then when I actually start doing it, I’m like a one woman whirling dervish. I throw on some Into the Woods, Rent, Camelot (with Julie Andrews and no other), In The Heights or YESYESYES Evita, and I gogogo. I have been known to get out Q-tips and clean between the buttons on the blender.

    IF Amber’s reading this, she is saying, True. But you leave your clothes on the floor. Even your clean clothes.

    To which I respond, Yes. Yes I do.

    Oh, Maureen–we had a case of head lice run rampant through kindergarten 1 year. It was so bad that even the PRINCIPAL, a woman of immaculate hygiene and taste, had to cut her hair and douse the remnants in kerosene.

    Steph is my friend on facebook!!!

    Haven–I’d be there in a heartbeat to help you clean. I forget who said it, but they were right…other people’s messes are much easier to clean up than one’s own. 🙂

  458. Molly- we have a facebook group. Look at Steph’s groups and you will find us. We are everywhere. hehehe

    Scott and Steph – I am glad to have found some Texas music lovers. I have lived in Nashville so people assume I would like country music. I like some of it, but Texas music is not the same as Nashville commercialized country music. I love me some Texas guys (and gals). It is very strange. Not really sure how it started. But one day I discovered Pat Green (well, he records in Nashville now but at the time he was still full time Texas). I joined his fan club. First fan club I had ever joined in my life. I was 45. That was 3 years ago. I have seen Pat play in Nashville several times, Austin (the best!), and Chicago. I then fell in love with Reckless Kelly, Stoney LaRue, Wade Bowen, Cory Morrow, Micky and the Motorcars, Walk Wilkins, Robert Early Keen (of course), Cross Canadian Ragweed. Lots of good music.

    If it was not so dang hot in Austin I might actually think of moving there some day.

  459. I was going to say I have lived in Nashville since 1986.

    and, I was born in New Jersey and spent junior and high school outside Philly so Lord only knows where the Texas passion came from.

  460. Polly,
    How can we find you on Etsy?

  461. Thanks, lightning! Good to know about the immaculate principal with the lous-y head. Thank you, thank you! My mom, who grew up in Niagara Falls in the Depression, used to tell us stories of being sent to the “County Health Camp” for head-shaving, kerosene-dousing, and de-lousing. So lice became one of things to never ever allow, like one of your teeth rotting out. It would be downright shaming to the McCarthy name. No wonder she had to grin and bear it when we “bought the farm,” literally, Carrie 😉

  462. Scott- Reckless Kelly is on the Yep Roc Record label. They have an interesting mix of talent on this label. You can listen to a lot of songs in their media room. Reckless has at least 3 songs from their current album there to hear.

  463. Linda,

    Thats kind of how it happened for me as well. I had a friend play a Todd song for me (conservitive christian right wing republican straight white american male) which kind of made me buy the album (east nashville skyline) and it knocked me out. It was so weird and wonderful to find myself suprised by music again. This led me down the rabbit hole. To Rober Earl King, John Prine, Jerry Jeff Walker, which led to Cross Canadian Ragweed, Rilo Kelly etc.

    Todd will always be my favoirte though. This show on Saturday will be my 10th of his, and I’m just as excited about this as I am for the first. I met him last year, and I think I said something along the lines of

    “DAyaouglar” I was struck dumb. First time in my life that has happened to me.

  464. THanks I’m checking it out right now

  465. Of course, looking back at my growing up years in the 70s outside Philly, I loved Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Crosby, Stills, Nash (and Young), Jackson Browne (he was my first concert- 1978), Joni Mitchell, John Prine, Janis Ian, John Hiatt….

    Emmylou lives down the street from my church, I have been in AA meetings with John Hiatt- he is a very good friend of recovery and not shy about saying so (and I saw John play with the North Mississippi All stars at the Ryman several summers ago and that was amazing), I saw Jackson Browne at the Ryman a few months ago doing a solo all-acoustic show, Janis Ian lives in Nashville, and of course John Prine does too. I have seen him walking around downtown. A lot of their early. So, I should not be surprised that i like a lot of these guys because their music is really roots rock. Americana. So so much great live music out there. I love to stand up close to the stage and have the bass from the amps thump in my chest. My kids would be rolling their eyes in embarrassment right now. ha ha

  466. Gosh, I don’t even finish sentences. I finish them in my head but they don’t make it to the page.

    I meant to say- A lot of their early music parallels this Texas red dirt roots music. Reckless Kelly actually calls themselves Hick Rock.

  467. Wow Linda1

    I’m a little bit in awe of you. Not just for your taste in music, but some of the circles you have hung in. You know the best part of these artist you’ve mentioned is how intimate the shows tend to be. Small venues, they take requests. I could easily shell out $100 or more to see some overly produced extravaganza, but $30 I get to hang out with real music fans and really experience the artist

  468. Todd Snider! Wow. Thanks for that tip.

  469. George Todd is the best! And his live show is unbeliveable. Great artist, maybe an even better story teller.

  470. Scott- I have seen Reckless twice at the Exit/In here in Nashville for $10.

    Seriously. $10. The first time with Stoney LaRue and the second with Micky and the Motorcars.

    Sometimes I feel guilty, like I should be paying them more because they are so awesome. But I try to work hard to promote them. I have a Reckless bumper sticker and a Pat Green window decal (a big one) and I am on Reckless’s street team. I even buy extra cds and give them to people. These musicians are so great and they are never on main stream radio. Don’t even get me started about mainstream radio.

    Well, I have got to run and pick up my kids and head home. Enjoy the music. Music, literature, art. It all makes life worth living.

  471. Very good Linda. I myself belong to the Todd Snider street team

  472. Well, my day just got made with that intro to Todd Snider…I can go home and have a sandwich and be happy.

  473. I’m so glad I can help George!

  474. Kimbits, sorry to have confused you with Kittery; you see the problem with that whole ‘K’ thing. What is your husband’s name? My husband probably knows him. E-mail me at and I’ll send you my address and you can send me the book to sign.

    GUESS WHO IS HERE WITH ME RIGHT NOW?!? AMANDA CLOUDY CLOUDS, who is helping me clean my house for no reason but love. How’s about that? And also, I got a package from Kate today that made me so happy I peed.

  475. And I got a voice mail from Haven that filled me such effervescent joy that I will NEVER delete it. NEVER.

  476. Amanda, you are a good person.

    If anyone loves me, I live in Southern Indiana, and I think I saw a possum crawl out of the playroom.

  477. Wow, Kate. I am admitting to some jealousy here. 🙂 Yay! I have a voicemail or two that I’ve saved for rainy days…

    Ok…so I get home, and what’s the first thing I have to do? Empty the damn dishwasher. Blech.

    As for the music discussion, I was born in Texas!!! Dad commanded the Horse Cavalry at Ft. Hood, though Mom’s pregnancy was high-risk, so they pawned us off on Scott and White Hospital.

    Anywho. Haven–glad you got some help with the cleaning. 🙂

  478. Possums? I don’t know much about possums. I mostly have trouble with frickin armadillos. No natural predators this side of the great Mississip’ and they carry the plague. 😦

  479. I went to the facebook group and friended people who I was sure (lol) were you all. There were some I wasn’t sure about though, so please feel free to friend me… 🙂

  480. I thought that was you, LB!!

  481. Yes!!! And your babies are so, so, so beautiful!!!

  482. I clean well only when I am totally pissed.

    I am waiting until next Wednesday when my company is literally driving here to clean anything . . . then we will have a cleaning tornado.

    I’m with George – unloading this dishwasher/bad back – not a good mix

    Once I start any task (the hardest part is starting) I am a ninja. I also decided about 10 years ago that it wasn’t worth being stressed out to keep everything perfect – lived in is good, no disgusting rotting food or anything, kids do the bathrooms twice a week, I can’t go to bed if there is anything in the sink or on the counter . . . my last vestiges of OCD.

  483. I would benefit from that kind of OCD. I am hygenic…but a frickin SLOB.

  484. Sher: I’m with you on the dishes in the sink deal. I am always the first up and get this — make tea for my wife and coffee for me — but I cannot stand to see a pile of dishes and pots in the pans first thing in the morning. I will scrub them out at 4 a.m. if I have to to avoid that morning greeting.

  485. Slob is me… oh, yes.

  486. And Mol, I actually saw carpet in your room the last time I was there, not clothes… give yourself some credit 😉

  487. lol. That was because I had had the house to myself for 5 days. I had nothing to do put my shit in order.

  488. er, I had nothing to do BUT put my shit in order.

    sigh re: editing.

  489. I just managed to sneak into the Facebook group when no one was looking. Yay! Now I am as I always am: standing quietly in the corner 🙂 Don’t mind me.

  490. Oh, Amber. Stop it. You are brilliant. Hello?!?! I wouldn’t have told Dr. Ross all those things you were saying back in Poetry under your breath if you weren’t. 🙂

  491. I’m not even hygienic.

  492. Don’t the kids make that happen? I’ve watched my nephew hide chips under the couch cushions “for later, Aun’ Molly.”

  493. Kate just made me snort very valuable wine (to me anyway) through my nose.

    I only pretend to be. Things are clean, sort of, only when people come over.

  494. I, too, am drinking my valuable wine! I can’t find the cork though…that’s problematic right now.

  495. Seriously. You should smell me RIGHT NOW. And feast on the goldfish crackers my kids smushed into the carpet.

    OH!! Get this. Alice fell asleep clutching a dollop of plastic whipped cream adorned with a plastic cherry. Is she my daughter OR WHAT? Is there anything for fantastic than tiny plastic toy dessert???

    Besides big, food, real dessert I mean.

  496. Ohhhhhh dessert sounds good right now. I could use some strawberry shortcake. Delish. Amber? You provide dessert tomorrow. 🙂

  497. Some people keep their extra food in their beards, some in their carpets. Five second rule immaterial if it’s yours.

  498. Carrie has an excellent point. I always have food in my purse. Just. In. Case.

  499. You don’t want to pass out on a busy street.

  500. Ugggh, I just woke up from falling asleep on the couch and had no idea what does it was, if it was morning or night…dont’ you hate when that happens?
    That was so nice of Amanda to help Miss Haven! I’ve noticed she hasn’t been on the blog lately, hope she is well!

  501. That’s exactly right. I also tend to get CRANKY when my sugar gets low. It’s really just best all around if I have access to Coke and Snickers at all times. 🙂

  502. Yikes, I mean what day it was…see how disoriented I am?

  503. And-ahem-are you the Carrie from the yahoo site with the fantastic voice? Because if so, holy frickin cow. You’re amazing.

  504. Thank you Molly, you are very kind to say so.

    I have dressed for work, walked the dog, walked to the subway, waited on an empty platform for 10 minutes (8 minutes too long) before realizing it was Saturday, Amy. Does that count?

  505. You’re welcome. 🙂

    I have woken up, showered, and dressed, made my lunch–only to realize it was 3 am and I should still be sleeping.

    we few, we band of sisters…

  506. Oh, you win, Molly!!! 3 AM!!!

  507. Hitting the sack now. 5 am comes earlier and earlier.

    Have a good night, blog babies!

  508. Yes Carrie, god bless you and your forgetfulness:) I keep thinking how funny I must have looked staring at the clock then looking back at the dogs, then the clock, then the dogs, then my phone, then at what I was wearing, then the dogs…you get the picture. It is a pure evilness in nature I believe, when you can look at a clock and not know if it’s day or night as it’s dark no matter what when the clock reads those numbers.

  509. Good night Molly!

  510. Nighty night!

  511. uhm. haven, can u leave me a voicemail? is this some sort of worship? i might be out o control, but i would kill for an HK VM. 860-304-3496

  512. It’s a conspiracy. It’s this rah-rah consumerism (do you believe that has been a government mantra for 60 years here?) that has us working stupid hours and nothing left over to read, think, be with the ones we really want to be with…there are speeches in books I mean to memorize for just such an occasion as this; Laura has one that lays it out without a wasted word in SRLS. What a crock is working more than 20 hours a week.

  513. Ooh, I get grouchy around the issue of conscripted labor.

    Good night Molly — sleep sweet!

  514. Oh my goodness Steph, I totally understand! I was just thinking hmmm, how can I get Haven to let me come over and help her clean…perhaps I shall send her pretty taxidermy and popcorn???

  515. i wouldn’t kill. i just used the cliche. but, i would be mad happy. like 2000 balloons on your 10th bday. or a balloon ride. or realizing your best friend. or seeing your husband just before you walk down the aisle. or seeing your child literally for 3 seconds right after his birth and then puking your lungs out. passion, i would call it. and, it’s a creeper. you do not see it coming. but…that’s also what makes it GREAT!

  516. Molly and I have different opinions on losing the cork to a bottle of wine.

    She sees a problem, I see a lovely night… hmm, maybe that’s a problem all by itself.

    Night Mol. Sweet potato pie? There might be some left when you get here tomorrow.

  517. I’ve never had sweeet potato pie..I love pie and I adore sweet potatos…hmmm.

  518. The only way to get a voice mail from Haven is to give her the most kick ass presents in the whole world.

    I might be wrong about that. That’s how I do it.

  519. Steph, where are you in this planet? It’s nearly 11:00 here and I fear rudeness. If you’re on the west coast, where I believe it is the day before yesterday, I will certainly call you.

    And one of my posts disappeared, which had to do with how in the name of my sweet swaddled savior do I hear Carrie SING? What must I DO?

  520. Just a warning Steph…Haven’s voice is a DEAD RINGER for James Earl Jones.

    It’s rather ominous.

  521. This is a message to Sher. Dear heart, I didn’t open your box until today because those were Christmas gifts (except the Bible one, which was for me) and I wanted to keep them safe and wrapped. Then I couldn’t stand it anymore. They are not only beautiful — they’re not just tender and delicate and heartsweetening, they show an astonishing skill. I couldn’t believe how talented you are. I’ve looked and looked at them, and they emerge from their dimensionality like living things, and I couldn’t be more honored to own them. Bless your heart for putting your inherent kindness in a gift to my beloved sister and one to my daughter. I will be as least as happy to watch them open them as I was to see them myself. Your tough is as light as those wings, and as deep as the words of grief behind them. Thank you so much.

  522. Oh my God the TORTURE!! And you can’t tell us what they are or show us pictures until Dec. 26!!

  523. This is to Sher, which got eaten when I tried to post it the first time and made me very very angry, except actually I’m so happy the vexation didn’t last long.

    I saved opening your boxes because they were Christmas gifts and I wanted to keep them safe (except for the Bible one, which was for me). But tonight I just really wanted to see them, and this is what I want to say: you are not merely gifted technically, you have endowed those pieces with such heartsweetness I wanted to cry. My daughter and sister will see what I meant them to see: a touch beyond dimensionality, as fragile and sublime as the butterfly wings and the words of grief behind them. Your heart is there, and as a person who tries to never shy away from putting my own heart in my work, I see it and I offer you my deepest respect and gratitude. I know I am a loony as a religious person, but I do believe we are here to enrich the space we’re given, and you have done that; I thank you. Thank you sincerely.

  524. Hey look! I posted twice, and it’s possible the second is better than the first! I do believe in revision, obviously.

  525. I’ve learned that when the blog seems to be eating your comments, it’s really only TASTING THEM. Then it must think they are nasty, cuz it spits them back out.

  526. Obviously your blog has poo for brains.

  527. Kate Cake, would that be the Tao of Poo?

  528. NICE!!

  529. Have all the other blog babies drifted off to slumber-land?

  530. not this baby. I’m working.

  531. Me too. Just not on this computer. Haven’t bought a wireless router for the laptop yet. So I came into the home office to check online and see what’s happening.

    Looks like the party is ending.

  532. Last night everything happened AFTER I went to bed. That was so weird.

  533. Waah, I missed the partay tonight! I just spent forty five minutes catching up on all these comments, and now no one’s posted here for twenty minutes. drat.

    POS, that moose blog entry is hilarious. Amy, I don’t sell on etsy or anywhere else other than eBay. That skirt of Haven’s wasn’t really from me, but I hope I’ve made up for it by sending her my most cherished un-skirt, which hopefully she will receive Friday.

    Good night all, sleep well.

  534. Sock Monkey, I’m here. I’m working on a new blog post. But FIRST!!!! I have very very good news. I got a call from an attorney at PayPal, and they have recovered my money. It’s in my PayPal account and I can do anything I want with it. This seems nothing less than miraculous to me.

    And then? Another seller and I had some confusion; his listing appeared to be the weasel he was selling, but really he makes them as they’re ordered. It took months, and when he finally sent me the one he wanted to sell me I had to spend three days praying not to say something both hilarious and evil. I succeeded, and he wrote me back and AGREED WITH ME, saying he thought it was creepy-looking, too, and why on earth were its legs different lengths! He was so funny! Now as it happens he has one of the most BEAUTIFUL mounts I’ve ever ever seen — just astonishing. I told him so and he said because I was so patient with him and kind and funny, he would sell me that mount at $150 off the Buy It Now price, which is a significant discount.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that kind people are everywhere — they are just waiting for the chance to be good and generous. Although I still don’t know where I got that skirt. Polly, she is an honest woman, so you can guess it’s me who’s got the crazy on.

  535. Haven, that makes me want to WEEP with JOYYYY!!


  536. Hey! I’m back! Yay about the PayPal account. Did you get your house clean enough for the maids to show up. That just seems wrong! Aren’t they paid to clean?

  537. That is an ASTOUNDING story!! The kind with a happy ending, with evildoers brought to justice with no cement shoes required, with only a little anxious-making suspense, and money in the PayPal account, PLUS a discount on another? Oh, this is much more and much sooner than expected. I’m so glad for you, Haven!

  538. (Incidentally, Ram Dass is most perfectly gorgeous.)

  539. Hee hee! Ram Dass! Now THAT’S funny!

  540. Yay!!!

    Excellent news. 😀

  541. (if it were still warm outside, crickets would be heard chirping)

  542. I’m actually gnawing on my hands, waiting for the new blog. There are TEETH MARKS. ON MY HANDS.

  543. good things happen to good peple. i believe that. and the bad ones? they get it, too. such is karma.

  544. me too kate… well, I’m not gnawing on your hands, but waiting with a worm on my tongue…

  545. “but waiting with a worm on my tongue…”

    …. eew?

  546. “baited” breath

  547. Aaaahhhh. Clever. 😉

  548. that’s an old one I can blame on Haven

  549. Niice.

  550. I was just going to let that one go.

    Ha! That was rather clever.

  551. ok. i’m going to have to throw in the towel. 6 hours sleep if i go to bed now

  552. It sounded too nasty to ignore. 🙂

  553. :O

    not on this blog!

  554. Nightie night. 🙂

  555. :O

    not on this blog!

  556. weird…. I didn’t send that last one twice.

  557. The PayPal attorney was one of those men just saturated with graciousness and kindness. He told me I had done everything right — I’d followed every procedure correctly, not lost my temper, just kept at it. In fact, I called the seller last night and said, “Please, my husband and I would never wish to harm you. I shudder to think of you being arrested or taken in by the FBI; neither of us are that kind of person. All we tried to do was conduct an honest transaction, and all we ask now is that you behave honestly. If you’ll call me I’ll talk to you about it and we can figure out some way to keep you out of jail. But I can’t help you if you won’t communicate with me.” Not a word from him. He has three different names, I learned today. Well, of course I have three different names, too, so I can hardly conclude criminality from that. My sister calls me Arse, my partners-in-ass-whooping call me BLADE HOLLISTER HAVEN KIMMEL, and Matt in Nebraska calls me Pedipalpus. That said, I’ve never stolen anything from anyone, so I can have as many names as I want.

    I didn’t have time to read all these comments earlier, so I read them backward (I often read backward — my sister says that’s just one more indication of irreparable brain damage. This was truly one of the more fascinating threads I’ve ever seen.

    Maureen, what a story. How loving of you to keep trusting him, when he was obviously a deformed weasel. I couldn’t help but think of a time one of my former stepsister’s Paleolithic boyfriends stole my dad’s gun collection. Dad simply broke into the slug’s apartment, sat in the dark with his .357, and when he heard Blimpy pull into the driveway he waited next to the back door, then turned very quietly and put the barrel in the loser’s mouth. Gunmetal has a very specific taste, let us say. He didn’t fire it, of course, the safety was off — I don’t even know if there were bullets in the chamber. All he did was stand that way looking the boy in the eye, watching him suck on a vicious handgun and wet his pants. Dad never said a word. All of his guns were returned, but the lesson here was: Bob Jarvis was not a man you wanted to look you in the eye for longer than a few seconds, because that galloping in the background you heard were four black horses and they were not bearing good news.

  558. That would have been a good story for Halloween.

  559. ANY story with Bob Jarvis would be good for Halloween

  560. Amanda, you dear heart. Not only did you help me enormously, you did so with such good cheer, and you didn’t even mock me for making Kat sing two songs for you. (Kat did, obviously.)

    Dorian, I’m so sorry about your father. It sounds as though he lived his life the way he chose, and that’s a good thing. I too am watching someone die, a man so rare and refined and all but aristocratic in his manner and his generosity that I can hardly breathe when I consider how impoverished the world will be without him. You must be very frustrated not to be able to help your dad, and for him to be so far away. It was especially kind of you to send me those gifts yesterday (as I’m mentioned, I am weak for travel-sized beauty products) when you are enduring this.

    I hope you can hear this: I live a relatively simple life. I don’t indulge myself in clothes or shoes or expensive cars or going out to eat. I live in a very small house and work in a barn, rather like a mule. I love my friends and I am loyal until I’m shown that such loyalty is foolish. I am a very good mother and daughter and sister. I work every day to become a better person; I study philosophy and religion and the works of great men and women, and in the meantime I have published nine books in seven years. That isn’t luck. That’s brutally hard work, and I have been fortunate enough to be rewarded for how relentlessly I try to get those books right.

    And if I want to spend $6,000 on a broken umbrella and a banana peel, by god I most assuredly will. I support every member of my family and they want for nothing. This was for me, and it meant a great deal to me, and I am truly sorry for the pain you’re suffering with your father. My father is dead. I have no grandparents. My mother is in such unbearable pain she may have to have a terrible procedure to paralyze the nerves in her torso. My oldest, best friend lost her only sister to liver cancer at the age of 29; she was diagnosed while she was four months pregnant. I mean to say that you have no monopoly on the human condition. We are all suffering; all we can do is love each other and be as compassionate as possible. Your post was a failure of that love.

    And if you ever attack me like that again, I’ll show you my rarely used but handy talent: a tongue like a viper and a vocabulary that has yet to fail me. Are we clear? Because I value you, and oh, it is really important that you are clear here.

  561. I have only this to add:


    *fainting with pleasure*

  562. HK, you have so much love in your heart. way to go, i guess…doesn’t really cut it–does it? but seriously, you are a tremendously good person. back to my earlier post-good things happen to good people and vice verse.

  563. kate cake: i love mini ANYTHING. except dogs

  564. haven, i live in connecticut, it is 2:30am here…

  565. I even love small dogs. ‘Tis a fatal flaw.

  566. ok ok, i love all dogs, too.

  567. Man, all the good stuff happens at night!

    I just had a calf-chore concept for all the Evita fans. Let’s rewrite Evita about Sarah Palin! It’s perfect!

    Small-town beauty queen makes good, attaches herself to famous man. “I was smack in the right place at the perfect time, filled a gap, I was lucky, but one thing I’ll say for me, no one else can fill it like I can”
    Then she gets to DC “What’s new, Pennsylvania Avenue?”
    The whole clothing shenanigans “I come from the people, they need to adore me, so Christian Diorr me”
    Rides the McCain train “If it’s her who’s using him, he’s exceptionally dim.”
    Then the supposed populist goes fascist and whips the crowds into a frenzy.
    Even the hairdo, or actually Cindy’s a better fit on that one.

  568. Steph –
    Where are you in Connecticut? My husband’s family has a camp in the northwest corner near salisbury

  569. Maureen, you’re re-write of Palin as Evita was dead seriously funny! I think – nope I know – I snorted coffee out my nose!

  570. that should be “your re-write”… caffeine hasn’t kicked in yet.

  571. Haven – that was a beautiful Thank You – so Thank You!?!

    I’m really glad you love the paintings and that you see the luminousity, it is hard capturing a fleeting moment or a fleeting emotion . . . It means so much that you read them that way. One reason I love working with encaustic (beeswax/natural pigment/tree resin)is that it is 100 percent natural and I think that does something to the work, imbues it somehow. And, it was the hardest technique I have ever learned and I’m still learning . . . but the key is the layers . . . some of them have 15 – 20 layers of subtle marks, colors, imbedded . . . they are so human to me.

    HALLELEJAH!!! CHORUS AGAIN ABOUT THE RETURN OF YOUR MONEY!!!! It is so hard to be patient and the fact that you did prevail would largely be due to your USE of the system vs. against it (I spent many years as a paralegal before babies) and that was the hardest thing to tell people – it was a personal problem, but to prevail you have to be a robot.

    Re you calling said scoundrel. I get that. I really, really do. After the court proceedings were over in our juvenile delinquent case, I called the school and asked if I could mentor or tutor the guilty parties, that I felt they were lost and I wasn’t willing to throw away the key. I was balling my head off at the time. They are all now in jail because a year later they were at a friends’ house and stole the Mom’s purse and used her credit cards online. I wonder if the school had let me try to help them, maybe I could have prevented at least one of them from throwing their lives away, but I am glad I tried to reach out.

    I always read the blog from my last point of interaction, I guess I feel I would be reading the last sentence of the last chapter of a book . . . I don’t want to miss a smidgeon of the creation of it . . . but I do read magazines backwards!

    Can’t wait to see the new blog entry – see I am very stringent in my self-control!!

    Love you all.

  572. I’ve been on a commenting hiatus that I may well resume, but I did need to chime in and say several things.

    1) Kat is everything her mother says she is. Her kindness is as true as her mother claims it to be. Her voice is as gorgeous as you can possibly imagine. Her wit and smarts are exactly what a daughter of Haven and granddaughter of Delonda would be expected to have. In other words: every word you’ve read about Kat is TRUE. TRUE. TRUE.

    2) John is as gorgeous and kind as Haven said. She was not exaggerating in the slightest. He is a beautiful man, in every kind of way. Also: He lives with Haven. That is a major something.

    3) GUS! GUS is the sweetest and happiest most joyful baby ever. He likes laughing as much as he likes screaming, as far as I could tell.

    4) Kate McKinney Cake makes the best cookies in the world. (I had one too, Kate, I maybe should be sorry about that but I am not. They were too good.)

    5) You all already know how awesome Haven is so I don’t even need to tell you about that. I will say that you should all hear her conversations with telemarketers. It is something to behold.

    We are VERY lucky people to get to be a part of this… thing… that we are.

  573. Amanda:

    I just left your blog, and I stole something.

    I took this something you wrote, which I think is a perfect moment. I only stole it momentarily. I am giving it back now:

    “For tonight I am making a fire in the fireplace. Reading a book about the human condition as experienced by others. Having a glass of wine. Aching and hurting all over my body and my heart. Hoping for that miracle. Watching the cats stare into the fireplace until they fall asleep.”


  574. Oh dear George.

    Thank you for reading that and for appreciating it so much. That means a lot to me.

  575. Likewise, Amanda. You’re a champ!

  576. Cloudy, I forgot about the telemarketers!!! HAVE YOU EVER?!? I’m howling over here! Guess how many times James has called today? TEN. He says something incomprehensible, I say, “Oh, hello James, how are you today?” Then he offers me some illegal pharmaceuticals, and I point out, as I did the whole evening you were here last night, that one simply may not purchase illegal pharmaceuticals online, and he speaks a different language, and I say I really need to go because I’m hemorrhaging from my eardrums and he says, “Oh Kay! I will call you tomorrow again!” And he does.

  577. maybe try doing with james what you did with the other one… was his name dave? oh wait, i think you already HAVE.

    these people are INSANE.

  578. Now with Dave I just had to say, “Dude, you are not speaking a human language and I’ve got stuff on my mind, so we need to end our little affair. You can sell your Viagrcodinfentynal lollipops to some other doomed harlot.” But JAMES. He’s NOT stopping.

  579. maureen: i live in killingworth, southern part of the state–just inland one town. i grew up in clinton. my husband grew up in guilford. i would say we are about 2 hrs from boston and 2 hrs from NYC

  580. Hey Steph –
    I just checked your blog pictures. What a sweet family! I have in-laws in Easton and others in Simsbury.

  581. small world, afte rall…thanks for the “sweet family” comment. you should see them when they are hungry…not so sweet 🙂 (especially the red head)

  582. after all*

  583. Steph and Newvision: I used to live WAAAAAAAAY up north, there, in Aroostook County, in Fort Kent.

  584. I am posting as Amber, but it’s really Molly (LB)! We are having girls night and enjoying your witticisms. I wish Haven could take care of some of the guys who call me. 🙂

    Doomed harlot. HAHAHAHAH!

  585. um – caller id – you don’t answer if you don’t recognize the number. The you review your messages (or you make your husband do that part) and if it was anybody you wanted to talk to, you call them back

  586. Seattle here, ready for duty!

  587. Amanda…you are LUCKY Haven let you have one. I personally don’t care who eats them once they leave my possession, but Haven tends to be stingy with her sweets!

    I just got a call from a Catholic Priest who has been calling all the Catholic Families in the area to raise support for 8 monks. I said “What makes you think we are Catholic?” He couldn’t answer that. Apparently writing a story about a bierstube makes you a Catholic in this town.

  588. Interesting bit of news:

    I wonder if Haven blew the whistle.

  589. Holy Moly, Carrie – – – good eyes!

  590. Maureen? The revamping of Evita was *excellent*. 😀

  591. Thanks, Kittery!

    I was looking on the net today and a writer on the Huffington Post beat me to it. I did have the idea on my own though!

    (Yep, that was me, Maureen. I teach a class called New Vision and my class has a site

    Thus the newvisionteacher login. I had never blogged before until I got hooked on Haven’s blog. Then I made one for my class and it’s great fun!)

  592. How awful Haven and sooo damn rude! It appears, however, that in this bare or should I say BEAR market, this sort of internet/ebay fraud is happening all the time. Sellers are pocketing buyer’s money and *poof* – disappearing into the cyber-ether. All I can say is, tread carefully.
    Haven, if you do manage to ever catch up with this crim and have your desired convo, please do share it with your blog babies..will you?? I only ask because I have no doubt that you would deliver words of wisdom and, well, more truthfully, you’re just exceptionally entertaining!

  593. Bonjour! The babes are here! This is my sexiest site to visit. I make sure I am alone in case I get too hot. Post your favorite link here.

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