2020/12/24

11th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:03

Another song capable of reducing me to tears — and not just this year! I love it so much.

P.S. if anyone wants to buy me (and themselves) something fantastic for Christmas, Tim Minchin’s new album is out and it’s call Apart Together. It’s beautiful, haunting, fun, and a strangely perfect soundtrack for 2020. Though the songs were written before this year, somehow Tim captured the aching loneliness, the absolute insanity, and the deep longing for connection that have become even more pronounced during our extended isolation of this pandemic. I guess it’s true that whatever we’re feeling now is just a magnification of what we normally experience. Anyhow, Walmart and Target have an incredible price on the album and I think you should buy many, many copies of it and share it with a whole bunch of people.

2020/12/23

10th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:07

Justin Hines is a regular here at Christmas and I’ll never apologize for that.

2020/12/22

9th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:03

This song could’ve been written specifically for 2020. I began crying the moment it started to play. It has been quite a year, hasn’t it? Where do we go from here and how do we get there? The only thing I know is we go forward and the old rule of “if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together” applies to us now more than ever. Next year at this time, I want to be with the people I love, the people who make me feel whole, and I want that for all of you, too. So, let’s do the hard work the right way and get back on track. In the meantime, here’s Queen.

2020/12/21

8th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:05

We recently lost the brilliant Hal Ketchum, but his music remains. This is a beautiful song I hope you’ll love as much as I do.

2020/12/20

7th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:02

I’ll never tire of Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Carol of the Bells” no matter how many times I hear it.

2020/12/19

6th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:24

Here’s something from the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll sure to keep you in the holiday frame of mind for a while.

2020/12/18

5th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:09

Are you in the mood for something gorgeous? Yo-Yo Ma and Alison Krauss have just the piece for you.

2020/12/17

4th Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:16

I’m feeling bluesy and I’m all about some Keb’ Mo’ on this very day. You can never go wrong with him.

2020/12/16

3rd Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:12

Why don’t we take a little spin around the dance floor with Aaron Neville today?

2020/12/15

2nd Day of Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:04

Here’s a special little somethin’ for y’all. I love it. I hope you do, too.

2020/12/14

1st Day of Christmas: Christmas Countdown Has Begun!

Da Goddess @ 00:59

If you’re reading this, you’ve survived 2020 and deserve to celebrate. Nothin’ fancy, just some grooves to help you get from A to B and beyond.

2020/12/04

Morning

Da Goddess @ 14:33

The other morning I set about on my walk, dressed as warmly as I dared against the chill. Yes, the chill. My jacket zipped up tight and scarf wrapped close around my throat.

The kittens greeted me with pitiful pleas for food and water, which I set up in the shelter of the laundry room. As they tucked into their breakfast, I made my way out the gate and down the lane. The breeze was light, but carried with it the promise of a bone deep cold. It happens.

Stepping out on the main road, out of the protection of the trees that line our quaint country lane, I was made aware of that promised chill. I took a deep breath and moved briskly on my chosen route. All was quiet. Temporarily. Within a minute, the sky filled with a giant flock of crows and their calls soon drown out everything else.

I continued my walk, crossed the busier, more hectic, and more essential road that leads my neighbors to and from work and errands. Around the corner and up the hill I walked, grateful for the morning, the breath in my lungs, the sureness of my feet, and even the sounds of the glorious birds on their way to wherever it is they go for the day. They soon passed and I heard a surprised yip. Looking to my right, there was a startled coyote. Loping a small circle in a neighbor’s yard, he seemed to be weighing his options. In a moment of resolution, he sprinted across the street in front of me and into the fallow fields. When he’d made it to the end of the first field, he turned to look at me, slowed to a sassy trot, and made his way to the next farm.

I had to smile. We two alone had shared that encounter, both satisfied with walking away none the worse for it.

Up ahead I could hear the early chorus of frogs in the creek bed. They never fail to cheer me. No matter how close I get, they keep up their song, knowing they’re safely hidden from view.

At this point, my book is open so I can read as I walk. A collection of short stories by authors known and unknown. I’m getting perilously close to the end and find myself speeding along in spite of the fact that I don’t wish to ever run out of stories. They’re all heartbreaking in their own right and I consider tracking down other volumes in this series.

Before I know it, I’ve reached the point where my path turns back on itself and I head for home. I’m beginning to feel a little too warm for my jacket (despite it still being in the mid-fifties) and shrug it off before tying it around my waist. I leave my scarf where it is because I know it’ll help wick away any sweat that may begin to form.

I pass the creek again and say a silent farewell to the frogs and look in the distance to see if the coyote might be lingering nearby. I’d like to see him once more before I’m out of range. Alas, he’s nowhere in sight. What can you do? I pray he’s found a good place to hunker down for a long nap.

I cross the big street in between sets of cars. From north, they have lights on, but from the south they don’t seem to bother. It’s one of those things you notice after a while. It’s been almost two years of this and I’m always surprised by new details that emerge while I’m out.

Before long, I’m back at my lane. I stop to check the mail, gather what’s there, grab one of our garbage bins, and make my way up the little hill that leads me home. At the gate, I punch in the code. The gate shudders briefly and then starts its journey along the track. I step over the track and the outside world fades away.

I’m home. Another walk completed. Another group of memories settling into my head and heart. The kittens thread themselves between my legs, the goats bleat for their morning meal, and my legs threaten to stage an all out revolt against the climb up the twelve steps up the stairs to my door.

Just think! Two years ago, I could barely make it up this staircase without holding on to the railing. Two years ago, I would practically cry out in pain after one trip up! I still have pain and there are days I don’t trust my legs to hold up this body on that simple task. The difference now is that I have fewer days like that than I did when first I moved in. My muscles have relearned some of their essential functions and I’m more willing to test them every chance I get.

Once inside, I hang up my jacket and scarf, say hello to my sweet ginger companion, wash my hands, and begin the process of checking my blood glucose level, setting out my medications, filling my water mug, and getting on with my day.

Again, two years ago, this would have seemed impossible. And again, there are days when it is. But I’ve managed to make it happen, slowly but surely. The magic of this place, this particular home, has made me believe it would…be. That I would be. That I could.

Mornings never used to be my favorite time of day unless I was just getting off work or just heading home after a night out with friends. I’ve come to treasure the quiet and the beauty of the just-waking world. Once I’ve borne witness to this magnificence, once I’ve fed my body and soul, once I’ve medicated myself toward better health, once I’ve completed my chores, I can nap with my head full of images for my dreams.

Morning has broken

Morning has broken

2020/11/24

Tiny Hearts

Da Goddess @ 02:21

Both kittens have these delicate faces with little hearts for noses. They’re absolutely adorable and I hate having to leave them outdoors. But having them in the house is not an option; Fletch’S physical and mental wellbeing is priority one. That doesn’t mean I can’t love these two little darlings and play with them every chance I get.

Tiger Lily and a heart for a nose

P.S. When Fletch is on the porch and either/both cat(s) are around, it’s always nose touch followed by Fletchy hissing. Everyone then retreats to a neutral place and settles in.

2020/11/22

TJH: Inspire – Sunrise

Da Goddess @ 07:12

Believe it or not, these are from two consecutive mornings. I was surprised by how very similar the clouds were. What are the odds? I went back and forth a number of times to verify these were taken on different days. Yep. Go figure.

Sunday sunrise

Sunday sunrise

Saturday sunrise

Saturday sunrise

2020/11/16

Roll Call

Da Goddess @ 11:39

For anyone keeping track, the animal count here has been rising the last few months. It’s risen again.

Not counting the massive flock of crows that descend upon us each day, the current total is as follows:

Dogs: 4. Badger, Bandit, Bentley, Bristol. Bentley just joined the pack.

Cats: 3. Fletch (mine). Tiger Lily and Zelda (not so much mine, though I put in the time and effort).

Goats: 2. Bella and Bamberella. I’m not spending time with them the way I used to. I don’t want the kittens over there as the goats have some respiratory thing they can’t kick.

Humans: 5. Most of the time. 3 in the main house — usually, some times a couple more. 1 downstairs neighbor. 1 in my place.

It can feel very crowded when everyone is here at the same time. I don’t necessarily mind all the animals, but I do mind some of the humans when they fail to act responsibly. It’s a lot of stress I don’t need when I have kittens clawing at and climbing the door because they’re starving and thirsty. At one point, the main house folks were out of town for a week and KNEW the cats were out of food before they left. I know this because I had told them. I’d told two of them. I cannot abide negligence when it comes to animals, children, and the elderly.

There are a lot of stressors with the people in the main house and I have made aware the problems with them to the property manager because I no longer have the bandwidth to handle most of them myself. I’m officially the old guy of the neighborhood yelling at kids to get off my lawn.

One of the issues has been resolved, but we’ll see how long that lasts. I’m not hopeful. Not hopeful at all. Why? Because another one of the issues was with the dogs (I love them, but believe me when I say that’s a lot of dog shit that’s never picked up and a good deal of it is in the yard right where I can smell it). It turns out they were only approved for two dogs. Their response to the reminder from the property manager was to add a fourth. Again, dog shit. And the barking at night when they’re all left here alone is both comforting and irritating. Comforting in that I know no one could ever sneak onto the property without the four furry alarms sounding. Irritating because it goes on for hours at a time, sometimes very very very very very late. It’s just a lot. A LOT.

So, grumpy oldster that I am, I’ve been weighing all my options. I’ve been looking for a new home. The obstacles I’m facing are: 1. Cost. It’s stupid how much even a one bedroom costs in the worst part of town. 2. Availability. With Covid decimating jobs, everyone is economizing and cheaper places go quickly. 3. Cat-friendly places are few and far between. I’ve looked at places I can rent by myself (see items 1 and 2) and shared rentals. The problem with shared rentals is the ludicrous restrictions regarding cats. Outside only (not my boy; he’s strictly indoors unless on a leash and would never survive) or I’d have to keep him in my room. We went from 1200+sq ft to 400sq ft and that was hard enough. Trying to keep him in one small bedroom would be the death of him. And me. As Pam has noted with her dogs, since moving out on my own and ESPECIALLY during the pandemic, my attachment to and codependence on my fuzznugget is off the charts. Which is also why I can’t imagine giving him up just for a place to call home.

What am I going to do after next month? I have no fucking clue.

In the meantime, I’m doing my best to survive the ever-expanding roster of living and breathing creatures here on the lovely single acre I call home.

the kittens at rest

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