07 July, 2007


Did the Earth move under your feet?
Mine did but that is because I was on the 405 heading home from L.A.

On the trip home, I waxed cosmically (to myself) about this magical sounding date. I recall about a year ago standing up in the pulpit and making a rather bold statement that I wanted to get married next year on 7-7-07. Very few people had thought ahead to the numerical cosmosity of that date; and I got teased about my declaration. Fast forward to today and no, I did not get married today (and I am ecstatically engaged for later this year) and glad of it. Once I learned that Mercury was in retrograde today I knew I did not want a wedding on this date. It would have been hard to be at the wedding and at my mother's apartment on the same day anyway.

Did anyone feel anything unusual or magical today?

On the home stretch of having my mother's apartment cleared out. I worked very hard this weekend, packing and clearing things up so that an estate appraiser could come yesterday and assess buy all the collectibles and such. Sorry to say, they were not interested in all of mom's stuff. I did learn a lot more about collectibles
and selling things. e-Bay has really changed the market because nowadays people can find anything and everything and lots of 'it' and the market is flooded, prices are lower and there is less demand. Waaaaaaaaaaah. Explain that to my sore lower back and strained knee. By day's end, I was so exhausted and uncomfortable, I was not sure how to turn things around--but I knew I could and would.

In an almost classic Dorothy Gale moment, I found a business card on Mom's table for a jewelry and bead shop that was right on the corner. In fact, their back door faces the alley and Mom's bedroom window. Mom had six shoe-boxes full of jewelry findings--for those not in the know or into crafts, that means, clasps, pins, beads, rhinestones, charms, etc.-- Even though I was exhausted, I walked over there to ask if I could give these boxes to them for their use as I was concerned that if I gave them to a thrift store no one would know their value or use and most likely, throw everything out. A woman was just closing and locking the front door as I quickly snuck in. I am not sure she was amused by that but let me in just the same. I wearily explained my situation. The woman asked my mother's name and I told her. Her countenance changed and she smiled broadly, "Dixie! The woman who manages the apartments over there. Haven't seen her in a long time." Since I knew she was closing, we agreed to meet this morning and she would come over and take the collection. It felt as if things turned around.

When I walked out of the apartment this morning on my way to get coffee and a muffin, Susan was coming out of the backdoor of her shop. I told her I needed a bit of breakfast and she offered me coffee. I really liked her and did not want to offend or sound snobbish but I had to be honest and I said I appreciated her offer but I am very fussy about my coffee. She smiled and said "Oh, this is good coffee." Indeed it was. Green Mountain Sumatran (organic) coffee made from a tres cool Keurig machine that brews each cup individually. Heaven. And two oatmeal raisin cookies rounded breakfast out quite nicely, thank you.

Susan was speechless when she walked into my mom's apartment (everyone has the same reaction because they cannot believe Mom has so much stuff). Although Susan was not interested in any of the figurines,etc. she saw the mountain of tote bins filled with yarns and crochet thread and she began to quiver. In turns out that she sews and does crafts and makes things to give away to the needy. I was ebullient. Not only was I was able to pass along these tiny treasures to a good home; I now had a place to give away the yarn to good use! I had been quite concerned about the yarn, sewing supplies, trimmings, etc. because the thrift stores were not interested even in the unopened skeins. (I have come to learn that the thrift stores and donation places have rather stringent rules about what they can and cannot accept as donations).
Susan sent over her daughter and a young woman who works with them and they carted off the over a dozen plastic storage tubs filled with yarn and such. Everyone was happy.

If Mom were more lucid than she is, I know that she would be pleased by this and get a kick out of how this all took place; and that someone she knows will be benefiting from her collection. Ah, but Mom is not always lucid. Many times, I can tell she does not really know who I am and continues to call me by my aunt's name. Oh, she has her moments when her mind is clear and sharp and her memory just fine, thank you very much. My aunt was hurt that my mother always seems curt when she visits and has asked her to leave. Now I have figured out that most of the time, my mother thinks I am my aunt Sunny; and that when Sunny visits, Mom thinks it is her other sister, Pat. And suffice to say, Pat has often been thought of as the evil queen in "Snow White."
Oh well. We did manage to have a fairly decent visit and conversation last night. I work really hard to be open and patient when I am with her. It can be so frustrating and difficult for me because I go thinking I am her daughter, she is my Mother and all is as it was (or should be) and it is not. I do better when I go to see her and think of it as a Pastoral Care visit rather than a mother-daughter time.

Next week, I return to L.A. and I have decided to post an estate sale listing on Craig's List and get everything out of that apartment next weekend. Talk about your Bastille Day event.

In the meantime, it is oh so good to be home with Don and Belle. My gratitude and peace is so big that it ameliorates the clutter of all the boxes in the living room that I brought home from Mom's place. What is it with me and moving and boxes??????

05 July, 2007

An idle mind . . . gathers no moss.


This morning, while listening to KyXy radio, the hosts were having a "Finish the Cliche" contest and win two tickets to see "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels". To win the tickets the caller had to complete two of the three cliches. (Oh, how I wish I had tuned in earlier to get the call-in number so I could play.) The first woman on the line to play was asked to complete the cliche, "An idle mind ..." and she responded with "gathers no moss." Both the D.J. and I burst out laughing. He tried to be polite recoup but said, "I'm not laughing at you...but I am laughing at you." It was such a mixed metaphor, so to speak, that he could not contain himself.

I think I had much more cogent and provocative things to blog, but this was just pithy enough to satisfy my less than idle mind.

Off to L.A. today--back for Sunday's gig at Light of Life Church.

Maybe the caller was Yogi Berra's daughter...

03 July, 2007

Prada, Shmada...yada

This weekend, Don joined me to drive up to Camarillo where I was guest speaking and candidating at the Camarillo Center for Spiritual Living. We got up there about 7:00 p.m. on Saturday night and checked into the motel. It was tres cool that our Padres happened to be playing the Dodgers in L.A. and the game was televised. So we got take out food and sat in the motel rooting our Pads to victory. I must say, it was nice to hear Vin Scully call the game. I do miss his baseball voice.

On Sunday, despite being next door to the Outlet Mall, we went ahead to church a bit early to meet and get set up. This church was once a movie house and a dinner theatre and had a big kitchen and upstairs offices. I was there on the first day of their candidating process for a new senior minister. It was also a special day for the community in that an anonymous donor had just paid their mortgage balloon payment and they now own their own building. WOOHOO! We met many wonderful people after service and we're looking forward to returning in August when I get to speak again; teach a workshop and do the meet and greet Q & A with the Board and congregation.

The community itself is quite lovely and Don said he found the biggest Starbucks ever when he went out looking for our breakfast. I'm happy to report they have a Trader Joe's and a very active arts colony; and several colleges that Don is going to check out for teaching job.

The ongoing process of clearing out my mother's apartment took a big leap this weekend. I was so blessed to have Don with me. It is amazing what a difference having someone there to support you and to handle the numerous tasks. It's also especially nice to have a tall, strong man who can help with the physical aspects and be the strong shoulder to lean on when I had my mini-meltdown yesterday.

Blame it on Mercury still being retro, the summer heat, or just plain being in Los Angeles, but our tasks yesterday were tedious and frustrating on many levels.

One errand was to go to a vintage clothing store that buys and sells clothes. (Those of you who live(d) in Los Angeles, think Aardvark's only more upscale). Mom had closets filled with clothes that would certainly qualify as retro or funky, and I thought that selling them might be a cool thing for people looking for that special something and to get some extra cash for Mom's bills. Convenience and being inspired by the 4 th of July holiday, I dressed in a sort-of retro look wearing my navy shorts and a jaunty nautical top of my mother's had that made me look like a community theatre version of "Dames at Sea".

Once the store finally opened at noon, we dragged in the two large industrial-size bags of shoes, clothes, etc. and signed in to be appraised. We arrived at 12:10 p.m. and I was already the fourth person on the list and five other people arrived shortly after I did. The young clerk gave me the shpiel as to how they buy things and proceeded to pour over my wares. She declined everything because 1). they are only buying summer clothes right now; 2). they only buy smaller sizes (Mom averaged a size 12 and liked her T-shirts oversized); and 3). "Um, we only buy designer names..."
Ohhhhhhh, I see.... the tiny clothing items hanging on the wall of Prada, Armani and Betsey Johnson were not just idealized samples--it was the stock in trade...literally.

Nevermind. I took my mother's collection of new Joe Boxer flannel PJ-style pants and gave them to another big name store--Goodwill.

While good will hunting, I was signing the receipt for the goods we donated. Outside, a man stopped Don after he saw my license plate and they were talking. It turns out this man used to go to Agape and I had supported him during a crisis he was having with his animal. We had not seen each other in over 10 years and he just happened to be walking by at just that moment that we were at the drop-off location.

Oh so glad to get home to San Diego. Driving together we not only got to use the carpool lane but we kept ourselves entertained (and shifted our L.A. energies) by talking about some wedding plans. Once home, we unloaded a new batch of 'stuff' from Mom's and then we went out to dinner. We were craving Thai food and thought it was a good time to use the Entertainment Coupon book. I am not going to mention names because the restaurant was a nice little place and meant well, but it was about the most tasteless meal I had had in a long time. But we were both so hungry, we didn't complain--I whined a little and didn't finish my meal. It was a perfect cap to the type of day we had. So, I treated us to a sundae at Ben & Jerry's and topped it off with Starbucks and a movie.

Good to be home again, jiggety jig.

City Slackers

No, I did not misspell the title of this post. Yes, I was playing off of the comedy film title, "City Slickers" about a bunch of...