Saturday, July 14, 2018

Fun with Small Fry

Offspring the Third was practicing casting with his fishing rod in the back yard, and Tiny Dog was quite interested in pursuing the weight on the line.

Friday, July 13, 2018


Tonight's earworm: Daddy Lessons (The Dixie Chicks, with Beyonce). 

While usually I like songs in particular because of their lyrics, I enjoy this one especially because of the energy of the performance. When I am flagging (as I am now, as The Task wears me thin), a little bit of energy is helpful.

I hope you enjoy.

Thursday, July 12, 2018


Elderly dog contemplates the indignity of having his infected ears treated by the vet. He most certainly did not enjoy the experience. I am glad that he will be feeling better soon.

Poor baby  - he is temporarily even more hard of hearing than usual. But he is sleeping much more contentedly now. Good boy, my buddy. 

Image may contain: dog

Tuesday, July 10, 2018


Offspring the Third was extraordinarily brave today, getting an ingrown nail fixed. He has always been very pain sensitive, since he was a baby, so I knew this was difficult for him. He powered through, though, and now his toe will feel much better.

I am very proud of him. 

Monday, July 9, 2018

Out of Africa

I'd forgotten how much I enjoy the soundtrack to Out of Africa. 

I hope you enjoy, too.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Break the Tedium

Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious
-- Thomas Aquinas

Friday, July 6, 2018

Alea iacta est

Yet in opinions look not always back,--
Your wake is nothing, mind the coming track;
Leave what you've done for what you have to do;
Don't be "consistent," but be simply true.

― Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

The Sloth Hole, 2010

Thursday, July 5, 2018

From The Heart

Offspring the Third has been struggling a bit lately. Always tender of heart, he does not fare well when he feels that other people disrespect him or do not appreciate his efforts. And so I got him a small gift - a stainless steel heart - to remind him that he is loved and valued. It is, of course, anatomically correct, because he is a young Man, after all, and sentimental gifts should still be a wee bit Manly. 

Do not let the coldness of the world or the callousness of other people bring you down, Offspring the Third. You brighten your corner of the world, whether you realize it or not. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018


Tonight's earworm: Glitter in the Air (P!nk).

This song reminds me of night and wind and back roads and a brief moment of Freedom. Perhaps someday I can capture its essence in a moment again.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Sunday, July 1, 2018


Some days simply lay on you like stones.
― Patrick Rothfuss, The Slow Regard of Silent Things

Saturday, June 30, 2018

True Story

I feel as though I should just send this cartoon to various people. 

Thursday, June 28, 2018


Herself speaks.

My parents are downsizing, and periodically they send a box of miscellany from the family basement to me. It is like a little Christmas, every time -- what could it be in the box? I save them for Offspring the Third to open, because he enjoys opening packages, and surprises.

Today's package included a very special item: the blanked that my grandmother embroidered for my father, while she was pregnant with him. This was back in the 1930s. There is a lovely flowered border, surrounding a chubby, one-socked, blond baby. It is in excellent condition, given that it is over eighty years old now. 

What a treasure. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Survival Mode

Herself speaks.

I have abandoned all efforts to do small things that I enjoy: cooking, playing the piano, reading for pleasure. Taking care of All The Minutiae. Sending care packages. Writing for pleasure. All is in abeyance, for now.

And I am OK with this, for now.

The Task weighs heavily. The best I can do now, for my own peace of mind, is to plug away at it, taking short breaks here and there to digest that day's preparations.

I've put all emotions on a shelf. I'll retrieve them later, when The Task is done.

It is fine.

I know that when I am finished, though, that I will be Very Tired.

Stay the course with me, my stalwart readers. We shall get there. 

Monday, June 25, 2018

Bird Redux

Herself speaks.

I am a bit at a loss, my stalwart readers. I am on the edge of being overwhelmed by The Task (though I hang on, by the skin of my teeth). I have wanted to write about several things that have been on my mind, but I have not had time, nor stamina, to do so. Alas. 

Right now, if I could, I would write about a Possibility that might have been, but turned out not to be. Though it would have been lovely if the Possibility had in fact come to pass, it was best that an alternate path besides the Possibility was taken. I lack the fortitude at the moment to parse the matter fully - and besides, it was not my Possibility, and so it is not truly my story to tell (even though I would have derived happiness from the Possibility had it come to fruition). There is alternate happiness to be found in the different paths from the Possibility, though. We shall wait and see what the future brings, and hope for the very best, as always. 

Picture copyright 2017, 2018, Mediocria Firma. Used with gratitude.

Friday, June 22, 2018


If you look closely, you can see the wee little snake that graced the back yard a few nights ago. If I spoke parseltongue, I would tell the snake that it is welcome here, for as long as it likes.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Walk On

Tonight's earworm: Walk On (U2). Because we walk on.

And if the daylight feels like it's a long way off
And if your glass heart should crack
And for a second you turn back
Oh no, be strong

Walk on, walk on
What you got they can't steal it
No, they can't even feel it
Walk on, walk on

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


Today's word: Saudade. (n)

From Wikipedia: Saudade is the recollection of feelings, experiences, places, or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being, which now triggers the senses and makes one live again. It can be described as an emptiness, like someone (e.g., one's children, parents, sibling, grandparents, friends, pets) or something (e.g., places, things one used to do in childhood, or other activities performed in the past) that should be there in a particular moment is missing, and the individual feels this absence. It brings sad and happy feelings altogether, sadness for missing and happiness for having experienced the feeling.

Monday, June 18, 2018

True Words

It often seems like adulthood is all about teaching you how you don’t need love, that you can subsist wholly on your own stamina and inner sense of self-worth. - Anne Nahm

She writes wittily, beautifully, poignantly. Go read her. You will enjoy. 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Whimsical Llama

Spotted at the local hobby shop. If I had a rustic cabin somewhere, I would install this odd piece of decor in some obscure corner, so that each time I came across it, I could contemplate again how nifty llamas are.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Friday, June 15, 2018

Not Nearly As Dire

As I prepare for The Task, I am reminded of Gesthemane from Jesus Christ Superstar. While The Task is not nearly so dire, and I do not profess to be anything more than a speck of dust in this Universe, the lyrics do seem a wee bit fitting.

I only want to say
If there is a way
Take this cup away from me
For I don't want to taste its poison
Feel it burn me
I have changed
I'm not as sure as when we started
Then, I was inspired
Now, I'm sad and tired
Listen, surely I've exceeded expectations...

Thursday, June 14, 2018

To The Woman

A ladyfriend posted this to Facebook. It is lovely, and wrenching, and summons so many of the feelings that I could feel, if I were not immersed in preparation for The Task. When The Task is done, perhaps I shall find more of this poet's works. It would do my soul good. 

...ripped out the stitches in your heart
because why not...

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


Today's somewhat guilty pleasure: Malibu, by Miley Cyrus.

There is something sweet and simple about her lyrics, and something lovely in her comfort with herself and her body in the video. I wonder what it's like to feel that way?

We hope you enjoy.

Sunday, June 10, 2018


As I prepare for The Task, the small dogs follow me around lovingly. I move their blanket from place to place so they will always be comfortable nearby.

Saturday, June 9, 2018


As I work toward The Task, tonight's earworm: Deeper and Deeper, by Ben Harper.

Friday, June 8, 2018


Nine years ago, I arrived. 

Thank you, my stalwart readers, for walking this journey with me.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Old Nassau

Herself speaks.

I am still processing last weekend's travels, during which I went back to my alma mater for the first time in over two decades. It was marvelous, and overwhelming, and full of familiar-unfamiliar surroundings and people whom I was sure I would remember if I could just reach in and remove the thirty years' worth of life since we last saw one another.

I was so pleased to see some of these people, who were once critical and colorful threads in the tapestry of my college experience. The passage of time rendered my delight absolutely pure:  there was nothing complex, nothing sorrowful -- just joy at their presence. I wish them so much happiness.

I was surprised, too, at the stories some classmates recounted about me. I have always considered myself to be somewhat invisible: backstage, flying under the radar. Helping but not standing out - that's what I do. Perhaps, though, I had more impact than I thought I had.

It's both strange and touching to know I am remembered so fondly.

There were some extremely bittersweet components to the reunion. The hardest part, I think, was being in a place where there were once so many options, so many possibilities. Now certain roads are no longer travel-able, and many doors are closed. Choices made. Responsibilities accumulated. Years gone by. Thus it is.

I am so far from where I began. I do not regret the path I have taken. Still, in a way I miss my young self, full of hope and optimism, with no other obligations besides to learn. What bliss that was. How little I appreciated it then.

Live, and learn.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

So Much To Process

I may take a short hiatus, gentle readers.  Nothing is wrong; just many Thoughts to Think. I shall be back. 

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Tuesday, May 29, 2018


For those who grieve today, a classic, sung by John Legend.

Monday, May 28, 2018

The Personal Grief of Climate Change

Herself speaks.

There was historic flooding in Ellicott City, Maryland -- for the second time in two years. This incident would normally have been merely a blip on the whole Terrible Climate Change radar. This time, though, it is a small, yet devastating tragedy.

The one missing man is the best friend of one of my Facebook ladies. Hope fades, as he has been missing for twenty-four hours, and was last seen being swept away by the floodwaters.

Gone. Her Best Friend.

The kind of friend who, despite living several states away from her, still texted and/or spoke to her every day. The kind whom she leaned upon when life was hard, who provided support and encouragement and humor in her daily existence. The kind who is warm-hearted and generous of self. The kind who will leave a gaping hole in the community in which he lived, and an un-mend-able gash in her soul.

I cannot even fathom the depth of her grief. This is the sickening kind of horror that plays into the worst of fears: to have someone who is a piece of your heart, snatched away from you. Suddenly. No warning. No chance to say goodbye. No chance to say "I love you" or "Thank you" or "save a seat for me, wherever you go."

I am so sorry, my Facebook friend. Godspeed to your fine friend. My heart is with you.

EDITED 5/29/2018 TO ADD:

They have found his body. Rest in peace, gallant friend of my Facebook lady. We will do what we can to bring her consolation.

Friday, May 25, 2018


Offspring the Third has been enjoying perambulations in the desert in the evenings. He searches for all the small creatures, and photographs them. Nifty.

Copyright 2018, Offspring 3. Used with permission. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018


A friend who is far away is sometimes much nearer than one who is at hand. Is not the mountain far more awe-inspiring and more clearly visible to one passing through the valley than to those who inhabit the mountain? - Kahlil Gibran

Herself speaks.

Cherished Friend stopped by, momentarily, and it was lovely to see him.

He was traveling for a week, and chose to leave and return to  this desert land through my local airport. He was here for an evening, and then off to the airport in the wee hours of the next morning; and then a week later, back for a night, and then off to his corner of this desert land in the wee hours of the next morning. I had the pleasure of of providing a couple of meals and houseroom. While he may have had certain misgivings about being an imposition, nothing could be further from the truth. He is always welcome here, however briefly.

It is easy for me, particularly as a woman, to get lost in the appellations I have gathered: relational titles, explaining who I am in relation to other people. Wife, mother, daughter, employee. The joys and honors of these roles -- and there are many, especially for wife-hood and motherhood -- come alongside duties and obligations which form part and parcel of the relationships. And that is well and good, and I consider myself fortunate to bear these roles.

There is something different in friendship -- an entirely alternate dimension.

In friendship, I have the opportunity to be just myself: not someone's mother, nor someone's spouse. nor someone's child, nor someone's teacher or lawyer or underwater basket-weaver. Just a person, who willingly spends time with another person, because we are Friends. How did this come to pass? I do not know. Yet I am grateful that it has. For it is delightfully simple. And miraculous, every time.

And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.- Kahlil Gibran

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


Herself speaks.

Today is the fourth anniversary of the Unmooring. This anniversary crept up unexpectedly because of all the many things going on at the moment (including preparation for The Task). It is good that the day is already upon us and will leave shortly, because there was no time for anticipatory sadness.

There is less grief now; the loss has attenuated over time. (For which I am grateful.) In fact, I do not want any longer to linger over the anniversary, as nothing is to be gained except for remembrance of what has been lost. Right now, I must look ahead. Perhaps that is the best way to move onward.

On I go.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Places That Seem Very Relaxing

Picture copyright 2018, Mediocria Firma. Used with gratitude.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Like A Postcard

Offspring the Second is in such a beautiful corner of the world right now. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018


The day after Offspring the Third came home, he made hummingbird nectar and put out the feeder. Less than twenty-four hours later, the hummingbirds arrived. 

I think they were waiting for him.

Friday, May 18, 2018


Herself speaks.

I am on the cusp of full-time, hard-core preparation for The Task. I have finished the pre-pre preparation packet, and commenced the pre-preparation packet. Regular full-on preparation (more a Project than a packet) begins Monday, and continues for two months.

I am currently in a state of horror at all I do not know, and am thoroughly dismayed by the Task before me. Those who know me in person, have told me, "you are so smart, you can do this, no problem." I am grateful for their assurance, but in truth, no amount of being 'smart' is going to compensate for the highly specific knowledge I need to cram into my head and regurgitate in the proper way at the right time. 

I am terrified of disappointing not only myself, but all the people who have every confidence that I can surmount this challenge. I want to cry. But I do not have time for that. 

I do have some hope that work of preparation will relieve some of my concern. Time will tell.

And now: I begin. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018


I love you" sounds best spoken in quiet acts of kindness. 
― Richelle E. Goodrich, Slaying Dragons

Herself speaks.

My recent short trip was to points northeastern-ly, to collect Offspring the Third upon the end of his first year of college. Huzzah! Congratulations, Offspring the Third, on your successful navigation of this first and ever-so-important step in life.

Though I do not mention it often, a decade ago Offspring the Third was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. He has made tremendous strides -- he has learned to understand people and how they work, and in fact has a significantly better grasp on the motivations of others than I tend to do. He has actively stepped out of his comfort zone on many occasions, managed to pick himself up when things don't go according to plan, and befriended others. He has kept his kind and tender heart, despite the harshness of the world. Bravo, Offspring the Third.

It was clear when I arrived at his dorm room -- based on the level of disarray of his possessions and amount of detritus accumulated --  that he was close to the end of his patience and tolerance for the new, difficult and strange environment that is college. He went off to take his last exam, and I set to packing up. After initially feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the task, I formulated a plan, carved out some space, and managed to get things mostly in order by the time he was done with his test. We finalized, crammed everything into our respective vehicles, and after a short but peaceful night in a nearby hotel, drove the six hours home the next day.

When we arrived home, he looked more exhausted than ever. I took care of moving his bins of belongings into the corner where they will live until they can be sorted, made sure he had food, responded to his need for inclusion in mundane conversation. Eventually, he settled in, though I can see that it will still take him several days to unwind. Welcome home, my Man-Child.

It has been said to me by more than one adult man (and it is always men, never women), that life is hard and he needs to do things for himself. He needs to figure things out alone. Needs to handle things for himself. "Suck it up."

Well: yes, and no.

Yes, I know that life is hard. He managed, and quite marvelously given his unique view of the world, to navigate all kinds of complex, anxiety-inducing situations over the course of his life and especially this past freshman year, with no more than an occasional supportive conversation by phone or by text. He has figured out all kinds of things alone. Handled matters. Sucked it up when necessary. This I know, from the talks he and I have had. I am immeasurably proud.

That being said, it is not my job to remind him that life is hard and that we all must go it alone. He's aware of that -- how many times has he said to me, "Well, I knew no one else would take care of it for me, so I figured it out for myself"?  More times than I can count. It makes me a little sad, even though I know that it is a bitter truth he has learned.

What is my job, is to be Haven.

Yes, he *could* pack and move all his bins of possessions alone; he could fend for himself in all matters large and small. Yet while I am here, he does not *have* to do so. As long as I am able, I will lend a hand. I will get him a beverage. I will help with the laundry. I will provide supportive words. And I will reassure him of his value and his worth as a human being on this planet. Life is hard, and if I can shine a light or ease a burden for him, I will do so, always.

I will do so, too, for his siblings as well. Children of my body, central in my heart -- this is the best I can do for you. It is my great hope that the warmth of these moments of care will carry you onward in the cold world, when you must go forth alone. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

And Away

Offspring the Second is off on an exciting adventure -- two months in a different country, with a different currency and a different language. I put aside my worries about his health and safety and well-being, and hope that he has a magnificent time. 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

How Dark

Tonight's earworm: How Dark Is Gone (Ben Harper).

We hope you enjoy.

Thursday, May 10, 2018


Herself speaks.

I have finished one Giant Task. It is a task I do enjoy, despite it requiring a fairly large time commitment with carefully-planned increments, and it is a bittersweet ending. Nevertheless, I am relieved. And so very tired.

I spent the day organizing my desk at Work, to try to lay out my next projects. And on the horizon, is a bigger Task yet. A daunting Challenge.  I will begin that in earnest within the next two weeks.

For now, though: the laundry awaits. 

Monday, May 7, 2018


Ah, to sit in the sun by the side of the water. That would be lovely.

Sunday, May 6, 2018


Herself speaks.

I went to the local outlet mall in search of proper supportive undergarments. I was expecting the excursion to be horrid; there are fewer things more agonizing than shopping for underthings when one is An Ample Person. 

I eventually landed in the Lane Bryant store. (I try hard not to think of it as a "fat girls' store", even though it carries larger sizes. I clearly have self-body-image issues; I'd never fault anyone else for shopping there, so why is it somehow shameful for me to do so? I need to do better inside my head.)

I found surprisingly helpful advice and assistance from "Jennie", who measured me for proper size and provided recommendations. The selection in the store was remarkable:  a lovely collection of cute and patterned underthings.  It has been SO LONG since I've seen anything pretty in larger sizes. It was quite astonishing. 

There was one moment when Jennie said politely, oh dear, you are probably bigger than a DDD  You're quite full.  Oh, dear. Yes, Jennie, I am. We settled on a G cup, or an H cup if it was a lower-cut style. I will admit to being a tad horrified at G/H. Yet, what can I do? Such it is. Alas. 

When all was said and done, I went home with a variety of properly-sized new underthings, and now the mammaries are properly wrangled. Even better, I know what size to choose, so I can shop online for all the pretty dainties. And bonus -- no tears were shed. It's a near miracle, I tell you. 

Since I must live in this body, I should, at least, give it something pretty to wear. 

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Beautiful Trauma Redux

Although I had been quite annoyed by the name of P!nk's new album, Beautiful Trauma, I have had a change of heart after watching the video for the title song. It's whimsical, colorful, and beautifully addresses a serious subject matter in a lighthearted manner. Excellent.

I hope you enjoy Beautiful Trauma, too.

Thursday, May 3, 2018


Herself speaks.

Dermatologist today. After the second MOHS surgery for basal cell carcinoma, I was advised to have a skin review every six months instead of once a year. Alas. And this was, in fact, slightly earlier than originally scheduled, because there was A Spot Of Concern.

As I filled out the standard check-in information, the following question popped up:

"I would like to discuss Botox or fillers with my provider today."


Perhaps the check-in program heard my thoughts, because I was then asked:

"I am NOT interested in discussing cosmetic services."


Truth is: I am in the demographic that might want Botox or fillers. Alas. I feel... so middle-aged.

The good news is, the dermatologist felt that the Spot Of Concern was merely "pre-cancerous". (How strange, that "pre-cancerous" is a Good Thing.) Actinic keratosis; easily treatable. A little liquid nitrogen, and I was on my way. With a little luck, that will be the end of that particular spot -- for if it returns, I will go down the biopsy-possible-MOHS road again.

I won't think about that now, though. For now, I am grateful that the skin in which I live has passed muster for another six months (as long as nothing untoward pops up). Here's hoping.

Such is the life of a pale person in the desert.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018


Herself speaks.

I am very close to finishing one of my many Tasks of this year. This particular Task is one that I enjoy, and so it is a bittersweet ending -- for I know it will be quite a while (perhaps up to two years) before this Task rolls around again. Alas.

At the same time, though, I will be relieved to have one fewer thing to do. I have a much larger Task on the horizon: one that will require quite a bit of time and effort and brainpower, and that I am not sure will be successful. We shall see.

The hardest part of this Time of Tasks is that I feel as though I have given up so much of what I do for enjoyment: trying new recipes; playing the piano; reading for pleasure; voyaging northward to visit Cherished Friend in his corner of the desert; planning camping trips; taking a stroll around the neighborhood at night. All these joys are on hiatus. On hold. And if I pause to think, I am sad.

I try not to be frustrated or bitter; I cannot help but feel a sense of loss. I have a distinct feeling that I am missing out on opportunities -- chances to laugh and to enjoy the outdoors and to relish the little things; chances to just be, in the moment, without worry.

It is difficult.

I shall get through. And hopefully, when all is done, there will still be plenty of time to do all the lovely things I have missed.

Picture copyright 2015, 2018, Mediocria Firma. Used with gratitude.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Batty Batty Bat

There was a bat flitting through the air at twilight. No way to take a good picture, unfortunately; however: HOORAY FOR BATS. Because bats.

Apparently there are several species of bats here in this desert area (for more information, you may read here: I am not sure what type of bat it was -- other than small. Or perhaps very young.

Whenever I mention bats, I think of an old Sesame Street clip in which the Count sings about a bat-related dance. Batty batty bat. Those old childhood memories -- revisited and reinforced when my Offspring were small and consumers of Sesame Street -- are strong ones.


Monday, April 30, 2018


I would very much like to duplicate the stroll I took here, once upon a time. It was not that long ago, yet it seems eons. Alas. Perhaps someday, when all the Many Things are Done. 

Picture copyright 2015, 2018, Mediocria Firma. Used with gratitude.

Sunday, April 29, 2018


They say the nightingale pierces his bosom with a thorn when he sings his love song.
So do we all. How else should we sing?
- Kahlil Gibran

Picture copyright 2015, 2018, Mediocria Firma. Used with gratitude.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Cat People

Some people are, apparently, actually cats.

Though I consider myself thoroughly a "dog person," I do know some people who are actually cats, and I will admit that I am extraordinarily fond of them -- perhaps, especially, because they are cats.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018