Monday, July 29, 2019

Carpe Diem Summer Challenge 2019: Twilight

Image by DarkWorkX from Pixabay

Looking forward to
Finally seeing twilight
From the window of
My new home on the prairie
Will the day finally come?


When you invest in a historic property in a way-off-the-beaten-path town, there can be holdups. This place is not move-in ready, and getting it to that state is proving to be a challenge. It's been like pulling teeth for the electrician to get the necessary permits. He's trying his best, but the people who are supposed to be helping him aren't being very helpful. He said that usually permit people are more than happy to take your money.
It's also been like pulling teeth to get the proposal from the plumbing company. Why don't these people want our money? If they don't get the proposal to my email tomorrow, I'm going to tell them that we'll come to the office and sign it. 
With my health issues, these 250-mile round trips are knocking me on my ass. I'm an old night shift worker who has never slept well at night and these contractors like to get cracking at the ass-crack of dawn. 
I may suggest to my son that we consider packing everything from the townhouse into a pod and staying in one of those by-the-week motels in Greeley so we don't have to keep making this drive. It's really taking a toll on me. Of course, we'd have to find one that would allow cats...hell, it's always something.
Anyway, this bit is going to start coming down today, so that's a start.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation: Goat and Sunflowers

I drive past a house
Little goat stretches through fence
Munches sunflower


Come as you Are: J.O.B. to Poor but Free

Image by Grae Dickason from Pixabay

This poem describes very well how I felt about being in the Employee Mindset for nearly 40 years. The line "grey upon greyness" is particularly evocative.

That's exactly how I feel about the Life of an Employee working a J.O.B., which I did from the time I was 16 years old until this year when my disabilities knocked me out of the working life for good. (I'm 54 now and am working from home.)

There were some things about the jobs I did that I liked, but, overall, it was an extremely soul-destroying situation. I absolutely felt like I had to give up bits of myself all the time.

I certainly don't like living in poverty, which I am at this point. However, one thing is true which it never was when I was working a J.O.B. (stands for Just Over Broke). I am really and truly myself, not someone else's servant. On a soul level, that is tremendously freeing.


Saturday, July 27, 2019

Ornery Snack Hacks: The Laziest Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars Ever

Ornery really outdone herself this time, Folks! Here's all y'all will need to make these here chocolate chip cookie bars!

An 8 x 8 glass baking dish
16 oz tub of cookie dough. Ornery used Papa Murphy's cookie dough, but y'all can use any kind, so long as you got 16 ounces of it.
Something to grease the baking dish. Ornery used Pam canola oil pump spray

Fire up yer stove an' heat it to 350 degrees
Spray yer pan with Pam (or grease it with butter or margarine). Ornery likes the pump sprayer 'cause y'all kin wash it up an' fill it with more oil.
Press the dough into the pan
Bake it fer 15 - 20 minutes, which is jest about enough time to try an' beat Cactus Clem at a couple hands of poker.
Let the dough cool off, then cut it into bars an' enjoy it!
This here is a snack so easy even I kin make it!

Yer ole pal,
Ghost Town Grover

Friday, July 26, 2019

Carpe Diem Summer Challenge 2019: Flowers and Bees

Summer Flowers

depth of a flower
flying away with the bee
some mystery

depth of a flower
more than human eyes can see
beneath its petals

flying away with the bee
nectar gathered for the hive
pollen on their legs

some mystery
why foolish humans can't see
how necessary

~Jane & Cie~

The "sleigh" of this Troiku was created by Jane Reichhold (1937 - 2016). The trio of bees pulling the sleigh was wrangled by me.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Carpe Diem Summer Challenge 2019: Shadow

Photographer unknown

blue autumn skies
folded into mountains
purple shadow

blue autumn skies
stretching endless before me
skies blue like your eyes

folded into mountains
a felled giant lies sleeping
dreaming of the past

purple shadow
falls over eyes which can't cry
I have seen too much

Jane & Cie

such a hot day
my shadow needs to cool down
under the willow

such a hot day
sun beats down unrelenting
upon troubled earth

my shadow needs to cool down
it steals away and leaves me
muscles wracked with pain

under the willow
I find trouble waiting there
in the form of thought

Kyoshi & Cie

The "sleigh" of the first Troiku was created by Jane Reichhold (1937 - 2016). The "sleigh" of the second Troiku was created by Kyoshi Takahama (1874 - 1958). I wrangled all the horses.
I have chronic, widespread, low-grade pain from fibromyalgia and am constantly hot and easily fatigued due to my various endocrine problems. The summer is not my friend.
Grover and Clem aren't bothered by this weather, seeing as Grover is a ghost and Clem is a mutant Cactus Man, or maybe a Man Cactus.

Carpe Diem Summer Challenge + The Tuesday Platform: Midsummer Rain

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

A prairie rainstorm
In the middle of summer
Slow and lumbering
Meanders across the land
Shrouded in dark cloud cover


This poem is part of the Grover series, honoring the first place I've ever felt like I could call home since childhood. I don't feel like a temporary tenant when I'm there, I feel like this is where I live.
If you'd like to read more of my Ornery Poetry (as Grover calls it) please visit me at Poetry of the Netherworld.

This poem has earned the Cactus Clem Seal of Approval!
Cactus Clem sez: "I shore do like when it rains! As a Cactus Man or may be a Man Cactus, I am always thirsty!"

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Carpe Diem Summer Challenge 2019: On the Porch

The back porch area at the Grover Hotel

Much work to be done
Before we have a good porch
For relaxation


This was not a classical Haiku--sorry! But it is where my mind is. Mike from Construction Guru starts his work tomorrow. Then the electrical work begins, then the plumbing. At that point, there's still a lot to be done, but we can start moving in. I will be happy about that. 
These 250-mile round trips to go to the site and then come back to Lakewood are very stressful. I'm seeing myself coming and going and feel like I'm neglecting other areas of my life. This starts to make me feel very critical of myself, and not very good at all about my creative work. More about that later.

Even though this poem failed as a classic Haiku, it has earned the Cactus Clem seal of approval. In fairness, Cactus Clem doesn't know the first thing about classic Haiku. As Clem says: "I ain't know much about poem writin', but I know what I like, and this here is a poem I like!"

Ghost Town Grover says: "Can't say as I know nothin' about writin' poems neither, but I reckon this here poem is purty good."

Friday, July 19, 2019

Carpe Diem Summer Challenge 2019: Ice Cold Beer (With Grover and Cactus Clem)

Image Source

When the contractors
Make the old place livable
We are moving in
My son will brew his own beer
We will enjoy with new friends


The stars are finally right and the contractors are going to be able to start working to make the Grover Hotel ready for our move! 

My son is going to help the excavator pull down this rickety extension which a previous occupant erected on the property. It has no real support, and the excavator needs it out of the way to be able to expose the foundation for the structural engineer.
Once we are able to get settled in, among other projects such as growing both outdoor plants and indoor salad greens using hydroponics, my son wants to start brewing his own beer. Fortunately, we already have a couple of volunteer taste testers!

Ghost Town Grover was a miner during the Colorado Gold Rush. He was born in a covered wagon on the Oregon Trail on the fourth of July, 1840. He settled in the Grover Hotel in 1910. One night while he was out exploring the prairie grasslands with his shovel, inspired by a bolt of White Lightnin' to start a new gold rush, Grover was sadly mowed down by a train as he stood on the tracks gawping in awe at...

Nobody knows exactly where Cactus Clem came from or just what he is aside from, in Clem's own words "a cactus man, or maybe a man cactus," but the words "mad scientist" have been tossed about regarding his origins.

Image by ErikaWittlieb from Pixabay
A mural featuring Dr. Schitz graces the Research Laboratory at Hell's Pass Hospital and Research Center on the outskirts of Nightmare Heights

Although he was three sheets to the wind on the night in question, Grover distinctly recalls hearing "what I thought was a train with engine trouble," and then seeing "a blue box-lookin' thing set down next to the track, and three fellas got out. One of 'em had on a white coat, one of 'em had on the craziest-lookin' getup I ever seen, and I couldn't quite see the other one in the shadows."

The Story of Cactus Clem
Ghost Town Grover
So there I was, standin' there starin' at the weirdest sight I ever did see and swearin' off the White Lightnin' for good. The feller in the crazy clothes was English or somethin', and he said: 'are you sure it's all right to leave your experiment here, Dr. Schitz?'"
The feller in the white coat said: "ja, ja, it is desert and he is cactus. Not to vorry." This feller sounded a lot like my old friend Slim Svensson from back in the gold rush days, but it wasn't him. Slim wasn't no scientist, though he sure did like to blow things up!
So then them two fellers went back in the blue box and I heard that weird noise again and the box disappeared. The third feller was standin' there across the track, and he said: "Howdy, Partner! My name's Clem, and I'm real thirsty. Do y'all have anything fer a feller to drink?"
Well, I said: "c'mon back to the ole hotel with me an' I'll git you somethin'. I don't trust this here white lightnin'. It makes ya see weird things."
I started to cross the track, but then I got a load of Clem, and I stood there gawpin'. That was all the time it took fer a train to run right over me. When I come to, I was standin' on one side of the track and my body was layin' on the other. Clem was swiggin' down the last of the White Lightnin'. He looked at me and grinned.
"This stuff is purty good!" he said. "It really hit the spot!"
Well, I didn't have much to do fer a long time, 'cept haunt the ole hotel and hang around on the lone prairie with Cactus Clem. I learned that he was some kind of scientific experiment made by that nutty Dr. Schitz feller. Clem don't eat nothin', but he has to drink a lot. So I know he's gonna look forward to tastin' the homemade beer when the Ornery Old Lady and her son git moved into the Grover Hotel! Iffen y'all stop by sometime, you might be able to have yerself a beer too, and maybe play some cards an' recite some poetry!

Yer ole pal,
Ghost Town Grover

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Carpe Diem Summer Challenge 2019: Outdoor Shower

Image by Ambady Sasi from Pixabay

outdoor shower
bathed in sun colors
of hot water

outdoor shower
a little bird looks out from
the branches of home

bathed in sun colors
its black and yellow feathers
so like clouds and light

of hot water
heat of summer relentless
even for a bird

slipping into the pool
naked divides the night
sun-warmed waters
slipping into the pool
comes a nighttime visitor
a stealthy raccoon

naked divides the night
those that hide in the daytime
appear bold at dusk

sun-warmed waters
a pleasure as it paddles
silent in shadow

Jane & Cie

I was honestly stuck with this one. Then it came to me, like flash--like a vision! I just wrote it down.
The "sleighs" of these two Troiku were written by Jane Reichhold (1937 - 2016). The unruly "horses" were led to water by me.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Ornery Old Lady's Magical Sweet and Salty Cookie Bars

Ornery made a couple small changes to this here recipe from Betty Crocker.

When it comes to cookin', there's a couple of words that the Ornery Old Lady likes. Them words are "quick" and "easy." If you like them words fer cookin' too, then you oughta like this here recipe.

Here's what you'll need.
1 bag of Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie mix
3/4 cup butter or margarine
1 egg
3/4 cup salted caramel chips
Chocolate frosting
Snyder's butter snaps

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 
Mix together chocolate chip cookie mix, butter, and egg. Stir in salted caramel chips.
Spray a 13 x 9-inch pan with cooking spray and press in cookie batter. Or use a 9 x 9-inch square pan for thicker bars.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Allow bars to cool.
Cut bars into equal portions. Place a teaspoon of chocolate frosting on top of each bar and press a Snyder's butter snap pretzel into each spoonful of frosting.
Watch them disappear like magic!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Carpe Diem Summer Challenge 2019: Heat Wave: Troiku with Humor

after the summer heat
raindrops kissing my naked body
Ah! that coolness

After the summer heat
Relief comes about mid-fall
The best time of year

Raindrops kissing my naked body
Best I take my butt inside
Before someone sees

Ah! That coolness!
Every year I dream of fall
It never lasts long

Chèvrefeuille & Cie

The "sleigh" of this Troiku was created by Chèvrefeuille. The foolish horses can be blamed on me.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Grover's PSA: Don't Let Cactus Clem Drive Yer Car

I'm warnin' y'all folks so's you don't learn the hard way, don't let Cactus Clem drive yer car to go on a booze run. He ain't got a driver's license, and this could happen. I'm on the way to git Clem outta the clink now. 'Course if he's in the middle of a poker game with Sheriff Austin an' Deputy Dallas an' he's got a hot hand, he might not be too keen to leave.

Yer ole pal,
Ghost Town Grover

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Carpe Diem Summer Challenge 2019: Sundown

Doomed version 7
Photoshop manipulation by The Real Cie

Some sundowns rise on another day of loss and one day set forever on a self ravaged by a broken mind.


Sundowning is a term for confusion in a dementia patient which worsens as evening comes on. Towards the end of his life, my father, who had vascular dementia, was sundowning. He confused reality with events on television. 
My father was a college professor. I have cared for more than one college professor or other people whose work revolved around using their mind who ended up with dementia. The junk science sharticles which proclaim that exercising your mind helps prevent dementia make me see liquid murder. 
You know what helps prevent dementia? Not having the DNA trigger for dementia coded in your genetic makeup. You could watch nothing but reruns of Jersey Shore and the Flavor of Love for your entire life and not end up with dementia if the trigger for dementia isn't in your DNA. I don't recommend it, but you could.
Dementia is horrible. It destroys lives. The least we could do is not insult those suffering from dementia and their caregivers and loved ones by publishing victim-blaming crap. 

Image created by The Real Cie

Copyright taysuffocation
I'm hoping one day to get this tattooed on my arm in honor of my father

Carpe Diem Summer Love: Cooling Down

Image by Benjamin Brandt from Pixabay

If I were a bear
Then I could cool off while bare
And no-one would care


This Poem Has Earned
The Cactus Clem Seal of Approval