A daily habit, it seems. He’s been here before.

In a fleeting ephemeral moment, he sits and contemplates…

Ephemeral Gibbs

deciding whether to hold the shower stall to task or take a drink from the water dish,

when his thoughts suddenly veer and he runs, as his life depended on it, after unknown prey.


Well, I’ve got to walk to keep from sittin’,

And I’m bound to keep on going’.Assortment 009

And I’ve got one more mile to finish

But I’m not gonna let ‘em catch me, no,

Not gonna let ‘em catch the Daytime Walker.


And way too many clothes I’m wearing

And the path goes on forever

I’ve got one more mile to finish

But I’m not gonna let them catch me, no

Not gonna let ‘em catch the Daytime Walker


And I’ve gone by the point of return,

Some worn shoe I’ll soon be wearing,

And I’ve got one more mile to finish,

But I’m not gonna let ‘em catch me, no

Not gonna let ‘em catch the Daytime Walker.


(PS: My apologies to Gregg Allman.)

Spring Storm2Wisconsin was not a snow monster this past winter. Without doing any research, I would say the southern part of the state received the most accumulation of white. The biggest snowfall of the season for the Green Bay area was 3.8”, which is nothing compared to a normal winter. It’s not uncommon to have at least one or two snowstorms in the 6-8” range and a good old blizzard to boot. This past season was not a good one for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, or for businesses that depend on snow-related activities.

Much like Goldilocks and the bear beds, it seems that winter is never exactly right – too cold, too much snow, not enough snow. I don’t believe there is a winter that everyone can agree on. Personally, I am a fan of mild El Nino winters as long as it snows for Christmas.

All that being said, I found this morning’s wet, heavy, fat snowflakes exceptionally beautiful when I stepped outside. White clung to the pine trees, bushes and the neighbor’s parked vehicle. There was no wind. It was quiet, solemn, peaceful. I was not bothered by having to brush off my vehicle or drive through slush and snow. I had half a mind to make a snowman or snow angel or catch flakes on my tongue as I walked to the office door. This snow did not bother the spring senses; rather, it made me smile.

I woke to a winter wonderland today.

It’s the fifth day of spring.

On another day or perhaps another year,

I might have been pressed to drink.

But I found it exceptionally beautiful,

in the wet and heavy flakes of snow.

You may say I’m crazy or that I’ve gone mad,

Guilty, I raise my hand, you know.

Guilty, I raise my hand.

She let out an exhaustive sigh.

“Mom, would you rather take your wheel chair today?” asked the daughter. “Are you tired?”

TiredPhotoThe elderly matriarch nodded in affirmation and turned the walker around, her wrinkled right forearm resting wearily on the handle bar as she struggled to walk back down the hall to the waiting wheel chair.

The week prior, daughter noticed her mom was struggling to use the walker that had been assisting her for several years. It was quite the effort to make the numerous steps out to the car, into the restaurant, back out to the car, into the building and down the hall to the shadows of her two-room apartment. The daughter had thought it was simply a physical “tired out” day, similar to days when her mental acuity is most unwilling to forgive.

Today, she thought differently. The effect of 95 years of breath and a recent stroke have taken their toll. The woman who had grown up through the Great Depression, lived through almost half a dozen wars and conflicts, voted in 18 Presidential elections, got married, bore two children and carried memories of so many years was tired. A tired that smacked the daughter with an awakening blow.

She let out a perceptive sigh of acknowledgment.

Okay mom, let’s get you into your wheel chair.” With a bit of navigation and help from daughter, a shaking hand grasped the worn arm of the wheel chair and the mother plopped herself down into a tired-free zone, one in which she could rest for the journey out to the car. On the way out, she stirs up enough energy to bark a familiar command, “Make sure you lock the door!” The daughter complies with a “Yes, ma’am.” This is one of the matriarch’s repetitive orders, an action she has control over, not understanding that daughter has heard it a familiar number of times. As one of the aides stated on a separate occasion, with the knowing wink of her eye, “Thank you for reminding me.”

The mother is wheeled to daughter’s parked vehicle and a struggle begins again.

There is a system in place for the injection of the elderly woman into the front bucket seat of an SUV. This day, it is complicated by the wheel chair, having to rise to her feet and find her way through the process. The usual places on which to grasp don’t seem to be there, although daughter always provides trust in the guise of a helping hand. The mother eventually turns 180 degrees and sits on the edge of the seat; she turns her frail body to the left, legs assisted in; she grabs the handle above the door and the daughter helps her move into place. “Are you okay, good?” the daughter always asks, and the mom always replies, “Yes.” The seatbelt is fastened and the daughter heaves the wheel chair into the back of the vehicle.

The next two hours are condensed into a trip to the mother’s favorite restaurant with additional exercises in insertion and ejection from the SUV. The energy expended for this movement is a thoughtless ease for the daughter, but a monumental ape on the back of the mother. It is too damn difficult. If not for the prospect of release from her apartment into the sun, a not-the-usual-crap lunch, and an adult refreshment, she might make a permanent dent in her easy chair on most Saturday afternoons.

The daughter is saddened this particular Saturday. Her mother seems so very tired and it appears that the use of her walker on their lunch outings may have come to an end. The daughter is not sure what future weeks will bring, if the mother can find enough strength in her aged body to leave the wheel chair at home or if the mother will be resigned to its use. In either instance, the daughter will be there to help her manage the Saturday exercise as long as mom is willing.

The ride home on Saturday is uneventful, except for the words quietly spoken by the gray-haired lady to her attentive daughter, after a conversation about the mother’s deceased family and husband. It came out of the blue.

“You can never leave me. Don’t leave me.”

Daughter holds back the mist and answers, “No mom, I won’t.” She will not leave the woman with the walker, the woman in the wheel chair, the tired woman who struggles to stand up and sit down. The daughter promises and the mother asks one more question.

“Did you lock the door before we left?”

“Yes mom.”

The physical body may wear out, but the energy of repetitiveness never tires.

Cats and Sky 001

A forgotten photo of the boy,

that the human almost tossed.

If not for the courage of photo edit,

(and those green eyes),

the poor boy would be lost.

The Gibbers would be lost.

Cat Commandments

My Confession:

Sometimes I DO ignore Gibbs and Ziva (but they always get even).

I don’t spend the majority of my paycheck on cat gifts and toys. But, really, who else would get the kids a toy called Marie Rattoinette? Huh?

*sheepishly, they agree*

You know, I’ve had other cats before you. It is the way it is in the life of a feline lover. You both would have loved fat Willie (he was a beautiful soul), although the Queen would have had to spar with him over food.

I promise, I will not burden you with a dog. At least for now.

While I want to shower you two with love and attention upon demand, there are times when I have my hands full with other responsibilities, like cooking bacon for breakfast or chicken for my lunch the next day…

*pause* *light bulb moment*

Oh, wait a minute, now I get it. I smell like bacon and chicken.

Finally, I don’t always adhere to #10.

Hey kids, it’s hard enough keeping myself happy. Now you expect me to be the good mom all the time…to pet you, feed you, get up when you’re hungry, leave you alone when you’re tired, buy lots of toys and treats, never take you to the vet, never yell or tell you to get off the counters, love you forever and always let you do what you want? Really?

Sorry, but you’re still going to the vet, you can’t always do what you want and Gibbs has to stay off the counter.

*Ziva gives an “Iwillsuperficiallyagreewithyou nod*

*Gibbs has found his way to the kitchen and is looking up*

*Human reviews the cat commandments and heaves a heavy sigh*

Happy Commandment Caturday!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh

It’s the first day of spring, but there are few signs of green grass in Wisconsin and it’s much too early to witness the popping green leaves of crocus, tulips or daffodils. The area in which I live has been dry and we are waiting the freshness of a spring rain to start the green growing season.

In the meantime, the label of “fresh” is attached to the tire of my bicycle.


The rubber tire, metal frame and orange color signal a brand new biking season. It’s upon us. With weather just a few degrees warmer, this bicycle will soon make a new year’s start on the State and local bike trails.

But first…the wheel and its attached components require a trip to the service department for a refresh and tune-up. The kickstand has to be tightened, a rear fender and bike rack installed, tires replaced and a general “once over” to ensure all is safe and working properly. (I don’t want any surprises when I am 10 miles into a bike ride.)

Once that is done, it will be only a matter of time and temperature before the first fresh ride on two spoke wheels coexist with spring’s fresh green grass and the colorful surprise of bursting bulbs.

I can barely wait…

On March 8th, the majority of North Americans rejoiced in Daylight Saving and the positive change it would bring.

Me? I shed a little tear and whined a bit.

In exchange for extended sun and light in the evening, I gave up the morning sun that had been showing its face for the two weeks prior. I LOVE morning sun. Love waking up to it. In the week before Daylight Saving, I brought out the sunglasses a few sun-blinding times during a drive into work. On March 9th, at 6:30 am, I once again drove in the dark, feeling a bit grumpy, missing the big yellow ball.

Wah. :-(

But then I finally realized that with the sun in my face two weeks ago, I was missing the awesome sunrises of winter days past, much like this one.

Assortment 013

Today, while driving down the same road, I encountered the sky on fire.

Assortment 014

It was really THAT red. The morning sky was so gorgeous that I drove past the office and onto the highway overpass to get a better look at the blaze.

Assortment 016

With Daylight Saving time, I have been able to re-live the gorgeous sunrises that occur about five minutes before I have to sit in an office for the remainder of the morning. The sunlight comes through the office window, but I rarely pay attention to the sky as I turn on the computer and head to the coffee pot. Soon, there will be full-on sunlight in the early morning again, the sun will blind, I’ll whip out the sunglasses and the red-sky fire on the horizon will be forgotten.

That’s perfectly fine. It’s spring – time to gaze happily past winter’s sunrise toward longer days and a warm-up to summer.

(PS: If you or your cat would love a fabulous sunset photo, please run over to “Hands on Bowie” and check out the Red Dot.)

Let sleeping leprechauns lie!

So says the dog.

Yes, replies the human,

as she awakes in a fog.

Let sleeping felines doze!

So says the Queen.


Yes, replies the human,

who forgets to wear her kelly green.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!



Back in September, I posted that mom had become a KitKat junkie and I was her dealer. She had a bad habit in the eyes of the clean-eating weirdos who eat lacto-fermented foods, drink kefir water and have a salad (organic greens only) every day for lunch.

Oh, wait a minute, I guess I’m that weirdo.


Anyhow, mom broke her habit today. She handed me the half-eaten bag of KitKats I bought her three weeks ago and declared, “I don’t like these. You take them home.” I insisted that she loved KitKats, to which she replied, “No I don’t.”

The KitKat bag was thrust in my face.

I was taken aback and out of a job. A dealer no more.

But wait a minute! Where one habit ends, another one begins. Several weeks ago, I bought mom a bag of Starlight peppermint candies – the round white and red discs that many restaurant give out with the dinner check. (It’s their extremely cheap way of saying “thank you for spending your hard-earned money at our fine establishment.” ) Mom asked for this candy after savoring one of these fine mints at our usual lunch location in town. Evidently, the sugar of a peppermint trumps the sugar of milk chocolate and wafer.

What is the world coming to?

Anyhow, today’s visit with mom proved to be one replete with repetitive questions: “What day is it? What time is it? Why don’t you go to Catholic church? When is Easter? When is Mother’s Day? When is your brother coming to visit? Did you go get those mints yet?She asked that last question with impatience, often, as if I was just laying around, doing nothing…not paying her bills or fiddling with a hearing aid that appears to be in need of repair. I believe mom was in withdrawal. I’m not sure how long she had gone without.

“Yes, mom, I’ll go in a minute.” 

So, I finished writing a check to the pharmacy and left to do her bidding. Just as it was important, at one time, to have KitKats, mom now desires Starlight peppermint candy. It’s not an awful habit, most likely better than the KitKat habit – less sugar and calories for someone who consistently tells me she needs to lose weight while squeezing the spare tire around her waist. It’s a habit that keeps her occupied for a few moments, gives her a taste that hasn’t gone away with age, and lets her hold onto something she enjoys.

Plus, I can still be her dealer.

PS: Natasha says mom is going to ask for KitKats again in a few weeks when she forgets she doesn’t like them. I’m taking bets. 


This blog post hits home in many ways. Do you listen to the Critics and Cheerleaders or do you have your own voice?

Originally posted on john pavlovitz:

Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.
 – Groucho Marx.

Though we might not verbalize it quite this way, most of us split the world up into two distinct groups of people: our Critics and our Cheerleaders.

The former are usually the ones who correct or criticize or attack us the most, whose words tend to feel more like weapons.

The latter, are those who are often the source of sweet compliment or praise or support. Their words sound like a love song.

We do a pretty good job of fitting most of the people we know and encounter into one of those camps, and if we’re honest, we allow ourselves to be largely defined by both our critics and our cheerleaders; placing far too great a weight to either group.

For a people who more and more live lives designed for public consumption, we can’t help but craft our identity…

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Weekly Photo Challenge: WALL


While the human stands on her patio deck, the cat is surrounded by avocado walls of a bedroom and a massive stretch of glass. It is no fair that these walls hold him in…no fair that he is not outside to enjoy space void of walls and to curl himself around the human.

Walls are stupid, says the cat.

The human gives him a knowing smile. The walls will be smart when it rains or snows or is frigid cold.

The cat has no reply. He stays behind his walls.