Sunday, November 30, 2014

Not the last page after all!

Biography part two. Here's what you've been waiting for all afternoon.

Continued from earlier today...

My girlfriends and I would meet at the movies on a Friday night but instead of going in we would walk around town singing Bette Midler and Carole King songs. Sometimes we would get picked up by boys we liked and ride around with them for awhile.

When there was no way to get away from the trailer, I would roam the hills behind our house. I obviously was traversing the moors looking for my true love. Of course that love wasn't a wild eyed count galloping on a white horse with his cape flying; he was more likely to be a stoned teenager wearing a suede fringe jacket, driving his dad's car.

Now in my middle age, I think of those days with a bit of nostalgia. I survived the teenage angst. At the time though I just knew that if only I wasn't stuck in that little valley, where it seemed time didn't go anywhere, my talent would be discovered. The poetry I wrote would be made into songs played on KFRC. I would write a best selling novel that would be made into a movie with Ally McGraw in the lead.

I look at the words I've placed onto this virtual paper and sigh a little about that life. I write now about a graying man who became my soulmate and about a boy, now grown who survived me as his mother. Thinking back now, I wouldn't change a minute of it. Well maybe just a little...

Last day of November, last page maybe not...

I've been having such a great time putting up my post for Chapo-Wrimo over my birthday month I might just have to continue through the Xmas and New year holidays. Now for everything you ever wanted to know about me real or made up. You'll just have to keep reading.

A Creative Biography, part one

We moved to a mobile home on two acres the summer before I was going to start high school. In my teenage opinion it was a rough life. The television didn't get cable, the air conditioning didn't work right and then there was also the occasional rattlesnake. Did I mention it was seven miles out of town and I didn't drive yet.

The Sears catalog soon became dog eared and torn from hours of searching for just the right decor for my room. The single bed was covered with a red and white chenille bedspread. A  Tree of Life batik was hung with hippie flair. Every inch of my walls were covered with stationary, wrapping paper, album covers and posters torn from Tiger Beat magazine.

That room was my sanctuary. I could close the door, light a strawberry scented candle and moon over rock stars, write poetry, keep a journal. Dude the cat and I would listen to records and pretend we were somewhere other than in a trailer at the end of a dirt driveway on a hillside in Mendocino County.

I read and wrote voraciously, daydreaming of when I would move to a big, magnificent city like New York or Barcelona. I would change my name to something more dramatic, after some tragic fictional heroine like Scarlet or Daisy. Or if I decided to keep my name I would just use my first name and on all my publications it would be spelled in lowercase letters, "The author sensation, mona!"

Sometimes when I was bored to tears I would steal a cigarette out of my dad's pack of L and M's and go down towards the road. Sitting in on of the fruit trees at the bottom of the property, I pictured myself being a tour guide at the U.N. or teaching children to read as a Peace Corp volunteer in Africa.

To be continued...

Friday, November 28, 2014

Not quite the last page of The Fridge Magnet Chronicles

I led a kind of sheltered life in my old hometown but once I graduated from high school, oh boy didn't let any moss grow on me. I even made it south of the border when I was 18.


Boyfriend tugs me
Along the dusty streets
Food stand, jewelry vendors
I yank money from my pocket
I'm gawking and pointing
Mexican huaraches for me
"Twenty dollars" the man says
Boyfriend pulls me away
"You must barter" he says
Being shy I walk past
Next a silver ring
Boyfriend says "you want one?"
He points, shows dollars
I watch him shake his head
Vendor nods taking money
My finger has shiny band
"Come on now you try"
Boyfriend pulls me to sandals
"How much" I ask
"Twenty dollars" in broken English
"Ten" I say
"Fifteen" he smiles
I hand over my money
Fearless, enlightened
A cold beer sounds good
On this night in Tijuana

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Loved ones and Home...

Over time since sailor kid has been in the Navy, we've missed having holidays with him in his childhood home. There have been a few calls on Thanksgiving and Christmas from halfway around the world but now at least Dan is stateside so I can at least imagine him in his home with Kimberly and Carson. This story kind of give you an idea of how I've felt about that.

Home Is Where The Heart Is

I'll begin by giving you a little history about my homes. First there's my old hometown, where I kissed boys, wrote poetry and hung out with girls who promised our friendships would last for eternity.

Then there's our summer home, the cabin in the forest visited by the multi-generations of our family who have had many heartfelt times living and laughing there for decades.

And of course there's my house in the burbs' that I get to share with hubby who every so often even after 30+ years still makes my heart pitter patter.

But when I really learned home is where the heart is was when I watched my only child graduate from boot camp and then be assigned to a base on the other side of the country.

There's a quote I heard once that goes something like this; "When you have a child it's like your heart has left your body and is out walking around in the world."

That means my home is on the USS Harry S. Truman, a huge aircraft carrier that I've never seen except in photos. I say this because my heart, Petty Officer Mechling is on deployment for the next 9 months thousand of miles away in an exotic place called The Arabian Sea.

Yes home is where the heart is and for now that's wherever sailor son might be.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Birthday post, finally!

Yeah I know you've all been waiting for it, the birthday post! I woke up today and had a pain in my hip, a pain in my tailbone and a pain in my knee. What the hell I wondered. Oh that's right, today I turn 58. Need to start that yoga class again. I got lots of happy birthday's on fb, thanks from me to all of you. It was a very nice day with the icing on the cake so to speak being a vm from my sweet 4 year old grandson who lives 3000 miles away.

So now seriously, I want to let you know that I'm dedicating this post to 3 wonderful women who won't be having any more birthdays, I kind of thought we would all grow old together. All passing in the last year, taken from this earth too soon. I raise my glass in toasting Karen, Linda and Stephanie, here's my poem.

Talk Show Crone

I hope I will soon
Be an old lady
I’ll move to Manhattan
Or some other island
I’ll open a shop
Call it bell, book and candle
I’ll wear antique jewelry
And hats found at goodwill
I’ll cut pretty roses
From other folk’s gardens
I’ll keep writing poetry
And read for the talk shows
I’ll be all the rage
For invites to parties
Oh yes me, a 21st century
Muse for the masses

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Gift request

Hey do you think I'll get a trip to Spain for my birthday tomorrow? Yeah that's what I thought too. HAHA! Well doesn't hurt to ask.


I'm still waiting for my trip to Spain. I know I will go there someday. My job making shakes and fries at McDonalds during my senior year of high of high school put about $300 in my bank account, not enough to go to Europe with the Spanish teacher's tour group.

I still vowed to leave California after graduation, getting as far as that money could get me. Three weeks in Chicago as nanny for two little girls was better than nothing. I got to tour the amazing Museum of Modern Art, awed by paintings by famous Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, did that count?

So I have continued into adulthood pining away for Spain and now I had added Gibraltar and Morocco to my fantasy itinerary. In my dreams I see the travels of Don Quixote and his entourage mixed with the walking pilgrimage Shirley McClain made on the El Camino.

I envision the Pyreness off in the distance as I stand on the veranda of a beautiful casita that will be my temporary home where I'm picked up by a handsome Spanish driver who will make me swoon with his accent as we tour the amazing countryside.

Only 40 birthdays have passed since I first knew I was destined for Barcelona, I'm still waiting...

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A friend's November birthday

I have a high school friend who's birthday is tomorrow and since I'm always late sending cards I'll post a story from those old days when we were inseparable and pretty much always skirting trouble.

Rocky Racoon

"Rocky Racoon checked into his room, only to find Gideon's bible..."

About a block from the park we heard singing. The day was balmy and clear, in the midst of Indian Summer. Lisa and I had cut school to attend a local peace rally and were giddy after a contact high from the pot smoking crowd.

Sitting on the rock wall that surrounded the park we saw a long haired young man playing his guitar. His name was Dan, he said he had come up from San Francisco checking out communes in the country that he was considering re-locating to. Lisa and I wondered if he might be a draft dodger. Lisa grinned at me and asked him if we could hang out, we both had a thing for musicians.

For the next week we kept cutting class to spend time with our guitar man at the park. We would kick back on the grass while Dan serenaded us. I had the feeling that he knew we were just a couple kids from the high school, jail bait. He would bring Boones Farm strawberry wine which we would pass around and just watch the sky roll by.

Dan didn't talk much. He mainly just played songs we would request of him. He showed us how to play a few chords which was pretty hard on his 12 string guitar. But it got him to sit close to me which was the ultimate goal. In my teenage mind I actually thought he might get around to choosing one of us to have for his girl.

One day trying to leave campus we got busted by the dean of girls. A few weeks later when we couldn't stand the thought of not seeing Dan we ditched again. We ran all the way, arriving out of breath. The leaves were beginning to fall and the only sound we heard were birds chirping. There was no sign of the park troubadour.

As time passed Lisa and I sang that Beatles song and assumed that Dan, sort of like the lyrics had checked out. At least from our lives. "...Gideon checked out and he left it no doubt, to help with good Rocky's revival."

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Rainy Day Post

This rainy day makes me remember a few times when we would go to our family cabin in the redwood forest of Mendocino County and it would have rained there just prior to us arriving. Hubby and I always find our way there when we need to recharge from life in the burbs'.

Mile Marker 8 Irmulco Road

From the cabin I walk down to the creekbed looking for something colorful to press between two pages. Glancing about, I see shades of green. The wild rosehips and the red leaves of early poison oak are the only contrast and neither would make a good decoration on an handmade greeting card.

The smells of the short rainstorm a few days previous have dissipated but as I step into the shallow water, I deeply breathe in the dampness. Overhead I hear the blades of the CAMP helicopter searching out the local pot gardens. With the wind in the right direction you can sometimes get a whiff of that tell-tale aroma.

Noticing the shadows becoming longer, I think to myself that after a perfect vacation day doing almost nothing, it must be naptime. I can tell by the sun that it's mid-afternoon. That comfy couch inside will be my siesta place until supper time. Heading towards the deck I hear the soft snoring of my spouse.

As darkness falls, I tune in the only rock station on the radio that permeates the coastal range into our canyon. We settle in to read under the light of propane lamps, sometimes great literature from the bookshelf, sometimes the junk newspapers that seem to be a tradition since the time of Grandma Susie. "Listen to this, midget baby space alien found wandering the Sonoran Desert".

Our little foray out of suburbia that is meant to replenish and refresh us won't last long enough. Yet being here 24 hours I can feel the symptoms of the humdrum and routine of daily life sloughing away. Eat, nap, read, repeat. Turn another page and pass the Milano cookies...

Friday, November 21, 2014

Hubby, my biggest cheerleader

While posting prose and poems from The Fridge Magnet Chronicles, I guess I should throw in a little story about hubby David who is my biggest cheerleader when I'm feeling like a no talent hack. He's a writer too, in fact way more prolific at it than me who's been writing since I was 11. Of course he has me as his in house editor and typist. Anyhow enough intro, here's a funny one I'm sharing.

The Rejection Slip

It was a rejection slip for heavens sake! Although a very eloquent rejection slip, to be sure. Signed by a man named Howard and one handwritten word :"Onward!"

The original submissions were attached to a copy of the entry rules. Highlighted were the words, "please enclose a self addressed, stamped envelope to receive confirmation of manuscript arrival at our magazine."

The directions for submission hadn't even been followed correctly but Howard had thought enough of The Place and Fire Season to send a personal response. It made one wonder if all new aspiring writers were treated this well.

Oh come on Howard, don't sugar coat it, a rejection slip is about being rejected. But there is a bit of giddiness over acknowledgment from an editor, even one from XYZ magazine.

So all I can do is laugh at my husband grinning from ear to ear and dancing around with his rejection slip. We should write Howard a thank you note.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cold and flu season

Didn't get my flu shot in time and came down with something last week that made me hack and cough and use lots of tissues. Thought I was feeling ok but now may be relapsing. Pretty much just want to stay in bed but can't due to all those adult commitments like work etc. But I can at least complain about things so  here goes...


Not to comfy
In my skin
Forgot about
My hairy chin
In traffic while
I write this poem
I drive to work
Would rather be home
Today I hate
My underwear
Looked for socks
No matching pair
Yogurt is
The lunch du jour
End of day
Please hold the door
The mail piled
High with bills
Off to store
Forgot my pills
Carpet cleaner
Chimney sweep
Appointments I forgot
To keep
Too hot for bed
No clothes are worn
My eyelids blink
And now it's morn

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Fairy Circle

Our family has always embraced the idea of woodland sprites and other forest type mythical creatures so tonight I'm going to envision a healing fairy circle for my nephew Andrew while he recovers the use of his arms after an accident that fractured and tore up his elbows. Hey Andy, close your eyes and I'll send out some good forest energy to help you get back to your regular self. Your auntie and uncle and cousin are here for you. In the meantime here's a story I'll share of one time at our family cabin and our encounter with the pixie realm.

"The fairies come at twilight so we have to hurry." I tell my five year old son.

We had been searching along the creek bed for acorn tops, pebbles and all sorts of other items to arrange around the pocket mirror brought from home. I was hoping to recreate something from my childhood when my mother would make a circle near the shoreline, telling stories about mythical woodland creatures. It was our last night in the forest of redwoods with the sun setting beyond the ridge line. Time for the incantation.

"Oberon and all fairy minions, we leave a lovely fairy circle in gratitude of our restful days of babbling brook, lulling breezes and stunning starry nights. To the full moon, dance sprite and pixie in delight of the ether world."

"Mom, will the fairies know we are here if we hide out somewhere? I really want to watch their party."

Hurrah! I had convinced him fairies were real! Now to make sure my curious boy didn't sneak back to the creek so he could spy on the fairy circle. I was a big believer that you don't crash a party of mythical woodland creatures or they would never trust you again.

"Sorry little man, part of setting up the circle is to show our reverence to them and that way whenever we come back here we know our space has been under the protection of all the mythical woodland creatures. We must leave them to have their party in private."

A bit of pouty lip showed on his face when he turned to nod his head in agreement with me. We heard a shout as we trudged up the bank, dad came into sight waving his hot dog stick. Time for our final forest celebration.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A military mom

I had the honor to hang out with my MOMS group and be part of the Petaluma Veterans Day parade. I dedicate the following to those wonderful women who I'm pretty sure, like myself didn't ever think they would be the mother of someone in the military. MOMS, you rock!

The Thing About Fear

The thing about fear is
you are looking down
at your newborn
and are terrified that
you will be bad at mothering
The thing about fear is
that you have brought
another being into the world
who is dependent
on you for everything
The thing about fear is
new found independance
starts with the training wheels
coming off the bike
you think he doesn't need you
The thing about fear is
he has signed enlistment papers
in one month he'll be
halfway across the country
at Navy bootcamp
The thing about fear is
you brought up this boy
to become a man
step away from mom
and begin a life on his own
The thing about fear is
you found that maternal instinct
and did the best you could
so that one day he will tell you
he still needs you

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The page that follows 4

Having a weekend of wine and writing with best friend wasn't really a literary festival but it was the next best thing.

Lit Fest

I'm drawn
Like a moth
To a flame
Being presented
A fan giddy
With anticipation
Printed page
Beneath book cover
Novelist groupie
Poet devotee
Words absorbed
By my soul
Inspired to write
Of life, love
Black ink
White paper
Hand to pen
Evening without end

Friday, November 7, 2014

Page 4 of Fridge Magnet Chronicles

You might see a few poems or stories that will seem as though the scenery is similar. That would be from the place that makes me feel grounded and recharged in the redwoods of Mendocino County. Join me there now and please, stay for lunch.

Boonie Lunch

strawberries, brie
and iced tea
a better boonie lunch
there'll never be
rock and roll radio
rings through the trees
the babbling brook
rambles to the sea
I made a poem
that rhymes
well sometimes
you just have to...

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Crab Cakes

Here's story of first serious boyfriend, it's pretty romantic...

The Lido restaurant was a classy place to go for dinner in my hometown. Jimmy and I were on our second date. I was having a cocktail for the first time, a vodka collins. I felt so sneaky, they didn't even check my i.d.
The soup was french onion in a little brown bowl that had a handle on the side, pretty fancy. A small slice of french bread with very tasty white cheese was melted on top. I burnt my mouth on the first spoonful. For our entree we were served the most amazing crab cakes. I had never had crab cakes before and would have eaten an endless platter of them. So amazingly delicious, small oblong balls rolled in bread crumbs then fried to just the right crunchy consistency. Then after what I'm sure were several more vodka collins, the evening became a blur. The fabulous meal of seafood was consumed and as I waited for my dessert of chocolate mousse I knew I had fallen in love, with crab cakes.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Page 2 of Fridge Magnet Chronicles

Ok, you are all getting where I'm going with this. Adventure Boy was page one, today's entry will be page two...


In a small box
A silver charm
Lavender petals
Bay leaf
River pebble
All to return
To my place
Of inspiration
Of friendship
Past and present

Monday, November 3, 2014

Adventure Boy

I look from the deck
And remember the time
You were floating
Sure that the river current
Would sweep you
Away to the sea
Now you float on a boat
Larger than I can imagine
Pushing you across oceans
I'll only see on my maps

Saturday, November 1, 2014


I have friends who during November write 30,000 words hoping it will be the next great American novel. It's a worldwide sensation called NanoWrimo (national novel writing month). I tried that once and got as far into the plot as follows: girl from the burbs meets boy from the farm and when she can't find cologne at the nearest cosmetic counter that has notes of alfalfa the affair is doomed. I think I made it to 1500 words. I'm a short story writer which I guess is what happens when your teenage brain starts you out writing poems and the gradual progression then becomes mini memoir. I've decided that in the month of November as a birthday present to myself I will post some of my writings that make up my chapbook collection, The Fridge Magnet Chronicles. So as the month unfolds watch for an assortment of very eclectic prose and poems. Maybe one or two get you to smile or shake your head. Have them be what they will, I'm not expecting to become the next Erma Bombeck. Oh wait, yes I am...