Summer in da’ Ville

summer polar vortexHurray for the Summer Polar Vortex moving into Louisville tonight! In fact, so far the summer hasn’t been bad in da ‘ville, excepting a week here or there when temps zoom into the upper ’90s and h~u~m~i~d~t~y climbs into the 70’s. <yuck> I want to cram all the outdoor activities I can think of into the coming week. I might even go to Shakespeare in the Park, the nation’s oldest outdoor Shakespeare theater (take THAT, Kentucky detractors!).

shakespeare in the parkYeah, I know. We have to own Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell, but honestly Loo’vulle is an oasis in the middle of all dat.

Now that I have a new, reliable scoot

2014 Bintelli 50 cc

2014 Bintelli 50 cc

I can get myself to some of the pretty riding spaces in this town – in particular River Road, a miles long winding stretch along the Ohio River where the trees meet over the asphalt.

River Road

On the river side it’s flanked by a few houses and several restuarants. Peggy, Joanie and I had dinner at Captain’s Quarters a coupla weeks ago.

Captains QuarterIt’s a restaurant with average food, but the setting is superb. After the first cocktail I morph into the water baby I became in high school when I lived in Miami. Love, love, love being by water, in water, on a boat! [Won’t be swimming in the Ohio, though.]

On the other side of River Road are expansive recreation fields. Passing them you enter the 1%’s hood and ride by real estate like this 7,549 sf house in “the much sought after Mockingbird Gardens.” You betcha the trees meet over River Road!

home River RoadBut, while it’s a beautiful ride, nobody takes it slow. 35 mph posted but hell, that’s just a suggestion, right? Consequently there’s a fight unspooling in City Hall to add bike lanes (which you bet I would slide in and out off with a pick-up on my ass.) 35mph is roaring on a scooter which, after all, only has 10″ wheels to smack over the ever-present potholes. So yeah, I’ll have to pick my time to ride the road, and be prepared to die.

LOL! Louisville is waaay behind other cities when it comes to bikes and small scoots, despite the desire of the young and environmentally committed to use them. [Let’s not even discusss public transportation. which is good on one corridor and sucky every single place else.] Wherever bike lanes have been put in there’s a rancid neighborhood reluctance to give them right of way. Excuse me, didn’t the oil industry recently announce that global oil reserves will last about 53 more years? Shouldn’t we all start getting used to alternative transportation?

Oh, my bad.


Illustrator unknown, but highly appreciated!

Yes, I ride super-careful, checking my rear-views for a Hummer or a Ford F-350 rearing up behind me and obviously annoyed with my ‘toy’. But, if you knew how much flat-out FUN it is to ride a scoot, how absolutely languid I have to keep my aged body so I can flow with the bumps and turns, how super alert I am to the road and the sun and the wind, you’d know why I do it!

O.K., in da’ ville, where do you go when you want to celebrate your crazy country’s birthday? After I put Asher and Foosie into their 4th of July costumes,

I HATE costumes!

Asher: I HATE costumes!

Foosie: I don't but that's because I am a natural model.

Foosie: I don’t hate costumes, but that’s because I am a natural super model.

I walked on down to my neighborhood festival.


There was music


An auction on the great house steps


Beer and sandwiches



And best of all, kids.

A tent encouraging kids to express themselves musically.

A tent encouraging musical expression by toddlers.

Love this little boy who looks like he's unsure of the concept.

Love this little boy who looks a bit unsure of the concept.

Summer in da’ Ville. It’s pleasant. Undemanding. I’m retired. My time is my own.

Life is good.

Oh. One more thing. I saw this balloon at the Crescent Hill 4th of July celebration and couldn’t help thinking how appropriate it was for our lives here in Crazy Land America.


What’s up in your neck of the woods?








When you’re a gonner for a dog

Some of you have seen pictures of my darling Asher, soon to be 9 years old.

Kosmic Asher, son of mom, Spirit of Shakespeare, and Dad, Starlite's Bit'A Sweet Hershey

Kosmic Asher, son of mother, ‘Spirit of Shakespeare’, and father, ‘Starlite’s Bit’A Sweet Hershey.’ 

I’m ecstatic to be reunited with Asher here in da ‘ville, though he doesn’t live with me at my new apartment.

Here is the reason why.


Miss Foosie Mae Belle from the holler.

You see, Asher is quite the ladies’ man and Foosie, well she fell in love the moment she saw him. They are literally inseparable.

This is their Easter picture. Asher has his normal "I hate costumes face on," but Foosie was made to model.

This is their Easter picture. Asher has his normal “I hate costumes.” face on,” but Foosie, well, she was born to model.

I adopted Asher four years ago, right around this time of year. He was five. His breeders, Madge and Don Cogswell, were putting him into retirement because he’d sired 106 puppies with 13 different lady mini-schnauzers. While I was visiting them to see puppies, they asked me to consider Asher.

He hopped up on the couch and looked deeply into my eyes. Boy, was I was a gonner! Later I learned that Asher hops on the couch and stares everyone deeply in the eyes. He’s just that sensitive of a boy – after he jumps up on your knees and leaves scratch marks out of the sheer excitement of meeting you when you come in the door. <grin>

My friend Peggy, with whom I was sharing a flat, rescued Foosie from an animal shelter about six weeks after Asher came home. She saw Foosie’s picture on “PetFinders”.

Yup. She was a gonner.

Within 24 hours the two dogs were an old married couple.

Cue “Belle Notte.”


So when I went to San Miguel de Allende for my adventure/experiment,

Aztec dancer from Tales of Mexico

I was fine with leaving Asher in Foosie and Peggy’s care.

But now I’m back. After staying with Pegs, Foosie, and Ash for seven months I miss Asher (and Foosie) wildly every day!

I just can’t take him from him away from his girl.

This is their christmas picture. Notice Asher has his "I'm a guy and I DON'T like this stuff" face on while Foosie is all mellow about it.

This is their christmas picture. Notice Asher has his “I’m a guy and I DON’T like this stuff” face on while Foosie is all mellow about it.

Which brings me to fostering!

I’m allowed to have one small-breed dog. I do believe that when I get settled I’ll find me a terrorist, um terrier, to care for while we find her/his forever home.

Which brings me to the dogs I fostered in Mexico.

Coyo was  first.

This isn't Coyo's picture because I can't find the damn thing, but it's a Coyo look alike!

This isn’t Coyo’s picture because I can’t find the damn thing, but it’s almost a Coyo double and I’ll look for his later.

Julie and I found Coyo dodging traffic on a rainy night in San Miguel’s busy jardin.

san miguel traffic el jardinHearts in our throat, we watched him cross the street four times, so tiny and grey it was improbable a driver would see him, and so skittery that he ran away when I clucked for him to come. We almost gave up but I pulled out my coo-voice-darling-child-don’t-run-away and he stopped. I slithered across the street talking softly non-stop and he actually came towards me – and I scooped him up!

Julie was my landlady.  I lived in a small apartment in a compound with her large house, another big house, another apartment upstairs from mine, and an adorable cottage with a teeny fenced-in front yard that I envied immediately. (Fenced in front yard = dog.) Julie already had two dogs: Cappucinno, a 9 lb. male Maltese mix, and Esmeralda, a nine year old shepherd mix with large soulful eyes. My 6-month lease didn’t include a pet, but Julie was as taken with our rain-soaked rescue as I was so she said, “Why don’t you keep him for a few days and we’ll try to find him a home.” Into my house came Coyo.

And promptly chewed the fringe off of Julie’s rug, peed on the floor, and jumped wildly into my arms to lick me when I told him he was a bad boy.

A ha …..

To make a long story shorter, ten days later Julie, who came to see Coyo everyday and oooh and ah over how adorable he was, adopted Coyo. “Be sure,” I said to her, “he’s a little bit of a devil. He’s going to knock Cappucinno off of his perch as top dog, and annoy Esmeralda because all he wants to do is play when he’s not chewing pillows.” And so he did. But Julie was a gonner.

Like this guy.

 You know, like this guy.

I volunteered with a rescue group in San Miguel named “Amigos de Animales.” These intrepid souls (mostly women) pulled dogs out of the pound who had five days to live.

Enter “Bobby”:

thief of hearts


Who was owner-surrendered to the pound by a woman who requested that he be put down because he peed in her kitchen.

An Amigos volunteer asked me if I could foster him while they searched for his home. I said I’d have to ask Julie first and at 4:00 another couple took him away from our adoption table in the jardin to see if things would work out -with my phone number as the back-up call. I went home and briefed Julie. I don’t think she was happy about the request, but she didn’t say no.

At 11:00 the next morning I got the call. “Bobby” was humping the couple’s female and would-not-relent. So, I walked to the couple’s home, put “Bobby” on a leash and began a relationship with one of the sweetest, goofiest dogs I’ve ever known. God! How I loved that dog!

I had “Bobby” for about three months. As you can see, he’s a looker. He’s the kind of dog who gets adopted, despite the fact that I was a gonner. I don’t remember how Kelly Karger with Save A Mexican Mutt got involved, but happily she did. Save A Mexican Mutt has a rigorous adoption procedure, and transports dogs from San Miguel to the U.S. and Canada. Kelly put “Bobby” on “PetFinders”. Bobby found his happy home.

"Bobby", now renamed Lincoln, with his mom Bella in Austin, Texas.

“Bobby”, now renamed Lincoln, with his mom Bella in Austin, Texas.

Bella emailed me recently to send pix of Lincoln. The woman is besotted and her picture comments are priceless so I’ve typed them verbatim. Here we go:

"Lincoln has been exploring his spirituality."

“Lincoln has been exploring his spirituality.”


"Here he is being adored by one of his minions. It is generally agreed around here that Lincoln is homosexula."

“Here he is being adored by one of his minions. It is generally agreed around here that Lincoln is homosexual.”

"My Valentine"

“My Valentine”

"Lincoln is now exploring other cultures."

“Lincoln is now exploring other cultures.”

And one more,

"This costume was inspired by 'Game of Thrones'."

“This costume was inspired by ‘Game of Thrones’.”Y

Oh my god, ya think Bella is a gonner?


I had only said good-bye to “Bobby”/Lincoln for a little less than a week when an Amigos volunteer asked me if I could foster another dog.

Enter Mia.


What a gorgeous redhead! Half-wild, and scared out of her wits in San Miguel’s streets, the pound picked Mia up pregnant. She was allowed to deliver her puppies – who were all adopted – but Mia was left behind. I remain convinced that the reason Mia wasn’t taken, and the reason that I loved her for nine long months, was because she was half-Chow. People are afraid of that black tongue.

It was a slow burn for me and Mia. Over a few weeks, as she gained her confidence, I began to see an astounding need in her for a person to call her own. Eventually her devotion made me burst into tears.

And I was a gonner.

Prospective adopters came to meet Mia. She was always skittish, but in a playful way. Some would bring their dogs. Good lord that girl loves to play! But months went by.

I wrote about Mia on this blog. When I knew I’d be returning to the states I called Save A Mexican Mutt. For her own reasons, Kelly didn’t want to take Mia on. So I played the “Bobby”/Lincoln card.

Hadn’t I been a great foster mom for Save A Mexican Mutt? I had to return to the states in two months. There was no one for Mia. Couldn’t she help me this one time? She did. She put Mia on “PetFinders”. 

And nothing happened.

Meanwhile, Lynn in Calgary, Canada was reading about Mia on my blog. One day she remarked again on what a beautiful dog Mia is and how my descriptions of her broke her heart. She simply could not understand why no one would adopt her.

And then I asked, “What about you?”

Mia at home with Lynn in Calgary. Her toys are Tubby and Hedgehog.

Mia at home with Lynn in Calgary. Her toys are Tubby and Hedgehog.

Lynn took a tremendous leap of faith. Mary fostered Mia when I had to leave, while Lynn made the arrangements to transport Mia to Calgary. Mia reminded Mary of a chow she’d grown up with, so there was a love affair going on there too. After I left Mary told Lynn about Mia’s affectionate nature, her habits, her diet, all the one hundred and one things a person who’s going to adopt a dog they’ve never met want to know. Save a Mexican Mutt got involved with Mia’s transport. Over weeks it came together, with me listening in via e-mail.

Not for one instant did I have a single doubt that Lynn would love Mia.She was everything I said she was. And something more that I couldn’t even put into words.

Lynn stays in touch.  We talk about how Mia’s confidence has grown. How she loves the snow. How they have a nature preserve behind their house. Mia walks proudly on a leash  now. Lynn sends me .waves of Mia walking. Complete computer idiot that I am, I don’t know how to insert them so you can see how transformed Mia is by having her person. I’ll show you a still:

movie mia 2

Tail is up, up, UP!

I wish I could include those .waves. Calgary got a freak snow storm about 10 days ago. You can hear Lynn calling Mia to come in the house. Mia continues romping in the snow.  It must feel so good to her with that thick ruff and heavy fur. In that little movie she’s happy and mischievous and home.


I saw an acquaintance for the first time since I returned from San Miguel the other day. “So,” he asked, “how was Mexico?” I talked about Coyo and Lincoln and Mia. I certainly didn’t save them on my own. I worked with wonderful people who pulled together to find their home.

The only thing I did was love them when I had them.

“Truthfully,” I said, “it’s the finest thing I did in my 14 months in Mexico.”


Once I get settled in my new place I’ll be able to see Asher more often.




















Notes from the frozen north

CIMG2474It is 13 degrees in Louisville, KY today. While the sun skitters on the ice and snow (picture of the back yard during a storm a few days ago) it’s still daunting to consider a walk. Most businesses and quite a few residents don’t clear the sidewalk so it’s an ice rink out there.  Most days during this unusually frigid winter I’ve chosen to stay inside, which means staying inside my head. This is where we got the expression “cabin fever” and yes, I have it. You’ll understand if I haven’t written much.  Inside my head is … disorderly.

I suspect the recent mild winters have left many of us unused to a normal season. I actually like snow – but I’m an avowed enemy of ice.

Two phenomena have upped the ice quotient this winter: first a fluctuating temperature will lay a quarter inch of ice down before the flakes kick in. Second, the temps will stay so frigid for so long that the snow itself freezes into a slick surface. Since I’m living without a car walking, at least to the bus stop, is fraught. No, I haven’t fallen, but I often hear a voice in my head that says “You know, older people don’t heal as quickly when a bone breaks.” When I *am* walking I watch young people whiz past me on their daily run o’er the icy sidewalks. How they miss the patches of black ice I don’t know because they never seem to look down. Of course children actually try to slide on the ice.  It’s all quite humbling which, in a resentful kind of way, makes me grateful to have had such a long life.  I used to be those children laughing madly when I skidded out on a patch of ice, so I’ve had my time, but obviously I’m not going quietly into that dark night.

Yesterday I made acorn squash with barley, onions and roasted grapes.

Roasted Acorn Squash with Onion, Grapes, and Thyme | Very Culinary

Winter food!

The good news is that a grinding winter is improving my cooking skills.  The bad news is that without walking every day I’ve put on 5 lbs.

You won’t be surprised to learn I’m doing a good bit of reading.  A believer in ‘truth is stranger than fiction’, I’ve always been a history nut and this time I’ve spent the last two months on Europe prior to and through World War I. I didn’t consciously realize that we are at the 100 year mark of those events.  In fact, what prompted me was reflecting on six years of austerity in Europe and the consequent social decay.  The austerity train roars loudly in the U.S. too and it’s enlightening to hear the same arguments from capital and labor riffle through a century.

I’ve never felt a chasm between myself and the people living at the beginning of the 20th century. They and I are bound by the industrial age,

Factory work, Bridgeport CT 1914

Factory work, Bridgeport CT 1914

so their concerns aren’t foreign to me. Then as now workers pressed for a living wage for stultifying work, and capital pressed back. The biggest difference is how some early 20th century intellectuals and artists joyously welcomed the mechanization of labor as a means to free the population for new-found leisure activities.  I don’t think anyone still believes in that canard.

But that’s just us proles. What bears remembering is the utter arrogance of the people in charge.

Kaiser Wilhem II of Germany 1908

Kaiser Wilhem II of Germany 1908

This was the waning age of colonization and to eavesdrop again on political counterparts in the industrialized world –  including the U.S. who’d just waged that “glorious little war” and taken Puerto Rico, Cuba, Guam, and the Philipines from Spain while ‘annexing’ Hawaii in the same year – sit around their gentlemen’s clubs and divvy up entire continents is breathtaking.

Wilhem II may be a particularly egregious example, but this is the same time frame in which Churchill remarked, “I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes.” These men, and make no mistake, in 1900 it was all men all the time, were ruthless bastards who had no problem sending 40 million people to their death – at least half of whom were civilians – a mere 14 years later.

A hundred years ago this year.

Perhaps that’s why I’m less than sanguine about current leaders.  Ya think?

Which brings me to …

the soldier

the soldier

Why is it so easy to sell so many people on going to war?

The argument is that homo sapiens are war like by nature, there will always be enemies, and realpolitik determines that all nations remain armed and dangerous.

Here’s 16th century theologian John Calvin on the question:

“The mind of man has been so completely estranged from God’s righteousness that it conceives, desires, and undertakes, only that which is impious, perverted, foul, impure and infamous. The human heart is so steeped in the poison of sin, that it can breathe out nothing but a loathsome stench.”

Well, that about sums it up, doncha think? People become soldiers because they understand this point of view as a fundamental truth about humanity.

Why can’t I just get on board?

Well, maybe I can.



I’m reading Soldaten and it has laid a new idea bare for me.

Autotelic violence.

Alongside the German soldier’s duty to perform a strategic action for the military are reports of “violence simply for the sake of violence” – just because it’s fun. Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t think German soldiers were qualitatively different than any other soldier.  And while the idea of autotelic violence is relatively new (generating PhD’s worldwide as I write), there’s something achingly familiar about it.

Anybody hear about the “knock-out game”?




U.S. sociologists disagree on whether this is an actual trend or a new urban legend. The New York Police Department refuses to use the phrase for what it sees as isolated instances of violence. But ask a U.S. teenager and a small percentage will tell you that they know someone who has walked up to a stranger and knocked them out. For fun. [Even if it’s only urban legend, it’s enough to disturb a friend of mine who mentioned his fear of it to me the other day.]

There’s something apocryphal in its depiction of human nature. Are we all just itching to batter someone [or an animal] just to break the monotony during our peaceful lives?

Which brings me to a new question.

I’m convinced that all human behavior has its predecessor in other mammals. We are no longer qualitatively different in terms of emotions or ‘higher functions’ like mathematics, but rooted web and branch to our phylogenetic tree, not separate but a part of the natural world. Hallelujah.  Now some of our worst ideas can die a long-overdue death.  BUT – are there any scholarly reports of autotelic violence in the so-called animal kingdom?

Thus far I can find nothing.  You’ve no idea how much I want to be wrong.

What say you, naturalist peeps?

Because I know you can see where I’m going here …




































Feliz Ano Nuevo!

May yours be healthy, happy and wise!

If I could give my readers one gift with which to start the new year it would be this book:

love letterDuring the last few months this work single-handedly shifted my philosophical perspective from a long-held atheism to full blown animism ala The Dancing Wu-li Masters. I now whole-heartedly worship the ground I walk on!

And all the critters who walk it with me.  Let’s start 2013’s countdown:

During the fall my San Miguel de Allende foster girl Mia went to her forever home in Calgary, Canada. Here she is with Mom Lynn in her festive new home:

mia christmas 2013While I was in San Miguel my black miniture-schnauzer Asher stayed in Louisville with my friend Peggy and his one-true-love Foosie Mae Belle from the holler. We are all together again.

Here’s Peggy with Foosie looking beautiful in her sparkly pink and Asher looking miffed in his Santa hat.


In the “Who Knew?” department, I’ve been turning in to a baker and a cook. As readers know, I’m in Wait Mode for my low-income senior apartment, it’s cold, and without a car (lower carbon footprint!) I have few places to go.  Thus that old thudding feeling of eating too much processed food [isn’t it all!] grew louder and suddently I’m baking quiche, meatloaf, apple cider beef stew and making cookies, pies, and fruit loaves. Today I’ll start on a pear-cranberry crostada –

Oh, yum!

Oh, yum!


Louisville Pride

Peggy’s 20 y.o. niece Elizabeth is writing for a local web site and getting paid for it. Liz, who grew up here, wrote a good piece on some of Louisville’s charms.  As I read it I realized that I’m living in an incredible little city which is to Kentucky, culturally speaking, what San Franciso is to California, or Miami is to Florida – diverse, artistically alive, foodie-ville, and celebratory with the fabulous Kentucky Derby.


People are friendly. The park system spreads out before us. There’s a roaring local music scene.

Yes, the Ville has the same ills as other U.S. cities its size: a lackluster public transportation system, strip-mall-itis in the burbs, a disappearing tree canopy, and unsafe neighborhoods, but there’s nothing to single it out as being boring, intellectually retrograde, or rigidly conservative.  It’s a surprising place and, while it may not be my end-game (who can ever tell?), I’m proud to be a booster while I’m here.

Y’all come down, now.


During Wait Mode I’ve mentally redecorated my upcoming 526 sqf apartment in several color schemes. Initially I promised myself I’d go with a pared down, simple Zen environment. Upon returning and looking at the few pieces of furniture I have to move it was obvious that wouldn’t work. The stuff is all consignment and it has scrolling legs and sleighbed looks. Hmmmm.

I’ve decided to let my inner glam loose.

Small interiors cry out for reflective surfaces.  Mirrors work to enlarge a space but I’ll be painting my black 4-drawer dresser SILVER. Here’s a photo from a blog titled “My Champagne Tastes Beer Budget” and she actually used faux silver leaf.


Martha Stewart [yes, that madwoman!] has a line of paints titled Precious Metals. I’m going to go for a more dialed-back look ala this example from a blog titled Petticoat Junction.

mixed-metallic-pic-monkey_thumbHa ha! And I just treated myself to 2 years of DIY Magazine. Whee ha!


Cooking, mentally painting furniture, playing with the dogs.  Nothing earth-shattering here as I fold myself back into an American city after nearly a year and a half in Mexico. My fall health visits put me as healthy as a 67 year old woman who still smokes could be, give or take the cartilage that’s failing in my knees, the fact that I need new glasses again, or that my hair grows alarmingly thin. Like most people my age who tell the truth I am a failing wreck, trust my self-wisdom very little, and muddle through old age a little bit dotty and many times surprisingly happy. I don’t expect this will change, even in a “new” year.


Now if you’re determined to have new revelations in the year to come, then –

happy new year 2014

Days of lint and kleenex

Winter goddess by Gargantine at

Winter goddess by Gargantine at

Although she won’t be officially welcomed until December 21st, Winter has come. She is young and lean, almost surprised that once again she must hunt.  Last week she threw an inch of ice down in Louisville gilding every tree and sidewalk, then added a fillip of four inches of snow. It’s made for treacherous walking. But, the girl can’t help it.

Often pictured as an old woman, I envision Winter as sinewy, athletic, and hungry.

In Scandinavia she is Skadi, queen of winter, mountains and the hunt.

In Scandinavia she is Skadi, queen of winter, mountains and the hunt.

But then I’m Celtic by descent and we have rough winter in the bone.

The air is so dry her voice is a rasp. Thus when she speaks she leaves lint. To her its a downy echo, but I am now single-handedly supporting the pet roller industry trying to keep corduroy and wool from the minutely tarred and feather look.

God knows she’s the Queen of wet. One minute the world is an icy diorama, the next it’s slush. True to form, whenever I go outside my nose runs. The vast sums I have left after pet rollers are supporting the pocketbook packs of Kleenex industry.  Sometimes I can’t reach them in time so it’s good to have washable gloves.

Yet, I adore her.

Admire might be more accurate. In all that ice and woe, she brings gifts!

The Christmas tree is strung.  Asher and Foosie have posed for their portraits.

CIMG2388And I have the Blind Boys of Alabama singing “Go Tell It On the Mountain.”


During these cabin-fever months I’ve discovered a penchant for baking. I admit I was defeated by my first pumpkin pie, a tasteless sad affair, but I recovered and am turning out spiced pumpkin pie to die for. I’m mistress of quiches. I’m making a wild crazy pfeffernusse.

I’m watching the scale with trepidation.

And, I wait. Who knows when my new (to me) low-income senior apartment will come available? I have redecorated every square inch several times in my mind, which shows you how little of importance I actually think about. A blue of course.  But which blue? Oh, the challenges.

Of course I do think of other things. But right now I’m thinking of whoever is reading this. To you and yours in the northern hemisphere I offer winter greetings. If you’re in the southern hemisphere, could I come visit around mid-February?

I’ll bring Pfeffernusse.








While idling in neutral

Nobody wants a house guest for six months.  Nobody wants to be a house guest for six months. Oh, what to do?

It’s a curious position. As faithful readers know, I’m on the wait list for low-income senior housing in Louisville. I’m thankful that I have a good friend who’s willing to put me up but the apartment is small and let’s face it, it’s a burden both ways. I feel like I’m perpetually stuck in idle and I’m sure she feels like she has no privacy.

For a good part of each day, I find my mind leaving the present and looking forward to my own place with my own rhythms. So I’m revving constantly – day dreaming about interiors, decorating, sewing drapes in my mind … but there’s no place to go until I get that call.


This then is obviously a test in wrestling with Monkey Mind [though I know the objective is to simply observe without judgement.]

Artist unknown, but appreciated

Artist unknown, but greatly appreciated

Along with my monkey, I swing between the poles of quiet observation or attempting to quiet the monkey, resenting the monkey, laughing at the monkey, or sighing with resignation. Sometimes I can visualize my ego-monkey swinging through the neural trees as it rushes about spying shiny objects and grabbing at birds on the wing.

It’s tiring.

Then comes a night when the air is so still that it feels like life is momentarily suspended. Still as living in the country and hearing the Holy Baptist church choir two miles away. Autumn leaves are briefly held in amber while the street light illumines the tracery of veins. It is, of course, ineffable and even the monkey pauses in wonder. In these moments I go back to my life-long work – Baba Ram Dass’s “Be Here Now” -and allow myself to be overwhelmed by the magnificence of the human position.


What I am not waiting for:

Since I applied to Medicare and qualified for “Extra Help” on my prescriptions I’ve had three cat scans performed – chest, abdomen & pelvis – as a preventative screening for the cancer beast I’ve danced with twice so far. Instead of being asked for my $250 deductible up front as I was in 2011, nothing was said and I’ve yet to receive a bill. I’ve also learned that I will not be subject to the drug Do-nut Hole.  Yes, more than I could have asked for.


I’ve reached out via the internet to a Meet-up group in da’Ville around permaculture. There’s nothing shakin’ yet, but my next call will be to the Jefferson County Agricultural Extension Co-op.  I’m convinced that vertical vegetable gardens are an answer for renters in the city –

Vertical vegetable garden (1)



and I want to be part of a DIY movement that extends this vision in Lu’vulle. [It hasn’t escaped my thought processes that the 99 low-income senior apartment dwellers at Highland Court could use this too, but I think it’s too much to go into that setting with an agenda.] <giggle>


Today’s celebration:

In August of 2012 Mia was rescued from certain death at the hands of Ecologia in San Miguel de Allende. She had three foster moms, including myself for a bit more than nine months.  Today she is in the arms of her forever mom in Calgary, Canada. I’m sporting a big grin as I write.


Mia is now home for good.

Happy Dance!

All Hallows Eve

As we crest into Halloween and my friends in San Miguel gear up for Day of the Dead, I’m pet sitting today with Peggy and my dogs, Foosie and Asher, and Sophie, a black lab or lives with our friend Joanie.

Sophie, Asher & Foosie

Sophie, Asher & Foosie

My kinda rainy day!

While on the subject of dogs, let’s honor Mia, my Mexican sweetheart, who is soon traveling to Calgary to her forever home where, I believe, she will LOVE new mom Lynn and the cold climate!

Mia at Mary's house. Picture by Mary. I miss this goofy girl!

Mia at Mary’s house. Picture by Mary. I miss this goofy girl!

Then there’s Bobby/Lincoln, who now lives in Austin with Bella, the love of his life.  An unforgettable pooch!


And who can forget Cuyo, now all grown up, twice as big, and in the arms of his forever Mom & Dad, Julie and Cliff?


Yes, you do see the devil in those eyes

Between us all – Julie, Mary, Jill, Kelly, Gabrielle, Bella, and Lynn – we’ve done well by my Mexican darlings. Hugs, kisses, pats on backs ladies!

Now one more view of my one true love, Asher of Treetop Kennels. Asher is father to 106 progeny during his working life.  He came to me when he retired at 5 and is now chewing 8.5 on the chin.  And it’s not just me. Everybody loves Asher.




If it’s late October then it’s time to get ready for winter here in da’ Ville. Since I’m on the wait list for Richmond Drive, I’m sprucing up some of the items I have here at Peggy’s.  For a black metal oh-so-boring floor & reading lamp, that means gold spray paint.


Much better, don’t you agree?

This table is next.

Soon, just as golden!

Soon, just as golden!

I told you how desirable our neighborhood is, and that means people tend to decorate outside too.  Since we have slum lords and live in the most embarrassing building on the street our only solace is that it’s Halloween. Perfectly unkempt and shabby, we look like the block’s haunted house – for free.

Currently living on the second floor

Currently living on the second floor

Lest you think I’m not being as bourgeois in my current incarnation as possible, here’s a house two-doors down that gives tribute to the Highlands’ neighborhood.


Don’t you love gardens in the front of homes? I think of them as public art, or a gift the homeowners have given both themselves and passers by. Usually I transform wherever I live with a garden. But. I won’t be here long enough to put out that kind of effort.

Which brings me to vertical gardens:

vertical vegetable garden

I’ve come to think that vertical vegetable gardens are part of the solution to healthy living in cities, so I’m looking for a green group in Louisville with whom I can volunteer. I’m gifted as a public presenter and would love to travel around the city with a how-to slide show and/or raise some money. Talk about food security … wheeehaaa!


If it doesn’t rain like hell tomorrow night Peggy, Joanie and I will make ourselves up as a Katrina and venture out in the city.

We'll look something like this - only MUCH older.

We’ll look something like this – only MUCH older.



BTW, the state of Kentucky is now picking up my Medicare Part B premium ($104.00 monthly) and providing “Extra Help” with medications. Yippie Kay Yay.

So, while Fukushima sizzles, the US economy goes further south, and Winter bears down on us, I wait for my new (to me) place and take it at the usual one-day-at-a-time.

Boo redux!

Autumn in da’ Ville

They’re here.  The days when your breath floats on the air and the fading afternoon light glows gold.


This year isn’t as dramatically gorgeous as past; possibly it was too wet this summer? Most leaves are yellowing and falling, but the air is as crisp as high meadow and the rain raw with foreboding.

I’m acting like a squirrel acquiring stores. Yep, buying flannel pajamas, snuggly slippers, and snow boots. When I moved to San Miguel de Allende a year and a half ago I let most of my winter clothes go.  I came to regret it when San Miguel’s winter dropped down. Loo’vulle’s winter will not find me unprepared.

I like this time of year.  Far from feeling autumnal, Fall makes me feel bountiful. It summons the holidays, makes memories around a fire, transforms the earth in her cycles from summer matron to slender, wintry hunter.  I want to eat anything with pumpkin, ginger or nutmeg! So, tomorrow I’m making these soft Pumpkin Gingersnap cookies with – yum – unsulphered blackstrap molasses. Whee Ha!


Last week I revisited the senior low-income apartment on Richmond Drive to measure the rooms.


Because the carpet installers came at the last minute I was foiled, but I can tell you, sans furniture those rooms look small. This will give me an opportunity to experiment with tiny dwellings. I won’t have a pink couch, but I like the idea of these shelves.

modern small aparment

While the name of the senior low-income apartment building is Highland Court Apartments, Peggy has taken to calling it “Happy Acres.” I am sure this is her image of living there; in fact, the manager in charge looks eerily like the standing woman in this Internet grab photo:

happy acres retirement homeMe, I just see the peonies and hope Highland Court will give them out to all us low income seniors come spring.

My time now is spent in spray painting old lamps and hopefully soon refurbishing an entertainment center into a contained office/t.v. space. Oh. And investigating Medicare Supplement Plans.

There are 22 Medicare Supplement plans in Kentucky. Each one must be explored singly and applied to individually. It’s a friggin’ full time job.


So, I went with an anonymous agent from the anonymous Internet site and provided ALL of my personal information to get an app into Mutual of Omaha – at $120.00 a month the most reputable at the least expense. I found out that if you choose a supplement plan when you turn 65 and first get Medicare you can get a policy without being medically underwritten.  After that the jig is up and, trust me, companies are looking for any reason to turn you down. I should know if Mutual wants my money within the next day.