catelin: (sittingbrighid)
( Apr. 22nd, 2006 11:59 pm)
My hands are dirty. Sometimes digging in the dirt and planting things is the only way to feel better about everything. There's too much going on in my head and heart to make sense of these days, so I put agave and aloe into the ground around my little house. I planted prickly pear and cholla, Brazilian mallow and sunflowers. I scattered hollyhock and moonflower seeds across the back fence line. Tomorrow I'll begin piecing together all the cedar, transforming branches into trellises and garden gates. I forget sometimes, until I get outside, how much I love this place. It's not just my house; it's the land. I love my oaks and the grapevines. I love the way everything gets quiet at dusk and the deer come out to feed. I love the moon and the stars that move above me, reminding me that I am always going in circles and that's exactly as it should be. I love the sound of frogs in my pond and the old possum that finds its way to the cat's food every night. I remembered all these things today--the laundry list of what I love about here. No matter how much changes, I can't help but feel lucky to be home, to know that I have this place for me and my boys. My hands are dirty, but I feel cleaner than I have in months.
catelin: (flora)
( Nov. 29th, 2005 10:57 am)
I’ve been in a swirl of things lately that have had me reevaluating the way I live. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s good to take a look at everything once in a while and ask myself if I am where I want to be. My life here is so completely comfortable to me that it’s often a shock to realize that the people who come and go through the little house do not see it as the same refuge it is to me. I live out in the middle of nowhere really, about 20 miles from the nearest town of any size. I have two kids, two outside cats, three inside cats (soon to be two, as my oldest is still hanging in there but probably not long for this world), three dogs, and a bunch of deer that show up on my doorstep every morning for breakfast. I have a plot of land down the road, a fountain with a small goldfish pond, gardens that always need tending, paintings and various other projects in various stages of completion. My house is small but cozy, with crazy painted walls and artwork from people I love hanging in just about every spare corner. My windowsills are large and full of plants and souvenirs from the life I have lived so far—all an odd assortment of knickknacks that have their own stories. I share this place with people as they come into my life, whether friends or lovers; but it is always so very much mine, perhaps too much so for anyone to really feel like there is a permanent place for them here. The possibility of leaving or making any significant changes to the way I live is remote. There are days that the nomad in me feels a bit trapped by this, days when the responsibility seems much more a curse than a blessing. For someone who spent such a long time being able to leave places at the drop of a hat with no worries about who would watch the kids or feed the animals, the logistics of getting away can be difficult at best. I chafe at the ties sometimes, wishing for other places and things. Ultimately, I always come to the same conclusion…that I love my home. I love the way the tile floor feels on my feet, I love the way the sun comes in through my curtains, I love the way the house resonates with all the energy of life with my boys and my menagerie. I am as connected to this place as I probably will ever be to anything. So while offers of a different life in a different place might be appealing on any given day, the truth is I wouldn’t leave this place again even if I could. Time and children leaving the nest may change that for me, but this is where I want to be now. As with anything, the choices we make for ourselves always have consequences. My choice to stay here in the little house may dictate the path that my relationships will take; my obligations to my children and my home are always paramount to anything else. This leaves the brave souls who dare to love me traveling out to the middle of nowhere to find me—sometimes this makes me happy, other times it makes me guilty for being so necessarily selfish. My wish for someone to want to stay and never leave would probably evaporate once the decision was made to do so. I am always practical about my impracticality. If there is any one thing that my home and my life have given me, it is freedom from the yoke of expectations. I live without them to a large extent, because the home I have created allows us that luxury. It allows us room to unfold and be however it is we need to be. So at the heart of all the swirling about, I reach the same conclusion each time—this is my home and, with all its quirks and comforts, there really is no other place like it.
catelin: (Default)
( Jan. 6th, 2002 11:16 am)
I'm sitting here in my green fleece robe, drinking strong coffee with too much cream (as is my habit), watching the deer outside my window. I had two ten-point and one twelve-point buck before hunting season....haven't seen them, so I'm hoping they're just busy with the ladies somewhere in the woods instead of, well, dead.

The sun is incredibly bright today. It looks almost warm outside, but it's deceptive. The cold lingers, and is probably just beginning. In spite of that, I'm already thinking of spring things...planting, cleaning, getting ready to bloom. I'm still packing and sending things that were meant to go out around Christmas...don't give up on me! I can never understand how I can be so good with cards and letters, but so horrible about e-mail and packages. I've given up trying to solve that riddle.

Lucinda Williams evidently inspires both of my children to dance like Steve Martin circa the King Tut era. Too funny.

Why I love the new guy at work, whom I affectionately refer to as my manservant---Conversation at lunch and he says, in response to the completely asinine question of whether or not he'd do Faith Hill, "I've got a huge problem with the whole new country thing. I'd do Iris DeMent, but not Faith Hill." Amen. What made it even more hilarious is that no one but he and I even knew who Iris DeMent is. Cretins. ; )

Lunch with the newly adorned Russian Princess on Tuesday! Yay! Around noonish is fine, Amanda, if I didn't say that already. We can go eat stuffed potatoes at a place where the waiter wears a dress and take our mandatory trip to the Bear.

My new goals for the summer: build a pergola for my back patio, extend my deck and find a relatively cheap hot tub. Those are the three big ones.

I'm going to paint today...on a canvas, instead of walls, for a change. Then maybe my toenails...always a safe bet.
I'm celebrating the holidays in a house that belongs to me, with children that are healthy and happy as larks. I'm madly in love with a man who couldn't be any better if I'd made him up for myself. I quit smoking several months ago and haven't missed it a bit. I have wonderful friends who fill my life with all sorts of unimaginably good things. I sent a really horrible man to prison for the rest of his life, so he can't hurt anyone again. Teri thinks I look like Ava Gardner. I took in a stray dog and two stray cats. I'm writing more than ever, and liking it. The holidays are always bittersweet for me without many of the formerly grand people who used to fill my formerly small world. My family is fragmented beyond repair. I'm always reminded of that when I have Christmas dinner with a table set for three. In spite of this, I'm happier than I've ever been. While my family may be small, the tribe that consists of all the people I love has grown in leaps and bounds. And that's what it's about at the end of everything...having a place to put all your love. Happy holidays, y'all. Peace be with all of us.
I cleaned my house and my garage. I set up my work/sewing bench so I can do those many crafty/artsy things I do. I wrote letters. I played outside with my kids in weather that was just too good to be real. I half-waited for a phone call in vain..."because a lady should never really wait for any phone call. Why, that's just silly." That's quoting my grandmother. I received another phone call that I wasn't expecting. I read my Tarot cards...still pondering that. I missed the annual American Indian gathering that they have every year at the lake...first time in a couple of years. I got a wonderful postcard out of the blue! Thank you! I got mad and stayed mad...but not for long. I worked on a story called "Cloche Hats"---remains to be seen what will become of it. I had a nice e-mail from a publisher interested in my work. I pulled some things from my old life down out of my attic. I got hit on by one of the best looking bikers I've seen in ages standing in line at the store....Helllooooo Sam Elliot! I rode naked on the back of a Harley, years ago, outside of Bastrop before there was really anything out there. My hair whipped behind me and I laughed into the wind from the sheer stupid joy of it. I hung curtains the color of butter in my kitchen. I cut more rosemary and gave the boys a bath. I'm thinking of making dream pillows again. Mostly, I'm just feeling fat and all is right with the least in my little golden corner of it. So I'm gonna put my feet up and have a nice cup of tea, a bath, and clean sheets to fall into on my bed.
I woke up this morning believing, in that space before you really wake up, that I was back in my little bungalow on Wilcox with my legs wrapped around my long-haired boy genius, both of us still sticky sweet with Crème de Cassis. Nothing like a dog's nose in your face and kids jumping on your bed to remind you of exactly where you are. After breakfast there were some words exchanged with their father...not an even exchange really; just me sitting there while he bitched. I'm not an argumentative person. I argue for a living and don't care to do it much in my personal life. On the other hand, I am cursed with one hell of an Irish temper. I just got up after a few minutes and quietly hurled his favorite chair out the door...all the way to the street. Who knew I was so strong? Completely childish and totally gratifying...a gesture more laden with meaning than 1000 sour words. Perhaps I should take up the Caber Toss. I'm cleaning house today. And I mean it.

Oh, and I pilfered this from one of the last real southern gentlemen around:
current mood: Where's the Ajax?
current music: "Jesus Christ Pose" Soundgarden
current taste: giant goldfish crackers with spinach dip
current hair condition: unruly
current dress: bare feet, jeans, Low Pop Suicide t-shirt that's on its last leg
current grievance: people who insist that half-ass is good enough
current annoyance: the clutter underneath my feet
current smell: gardenia candles and rosemary hung to dry
current stupid musing: that I could hop a plane bound for Italy like NOW
current longing: the usual
current game: I'm teaching Max how to play Chess
current thing I ought to be doing: laundry and editing stuff...Max and I are making Shrinky Dinks instead
current windows open: my kitchen and living room ones...ok, really Windows, IE, LJ, Morpheus
current desktop picture: Georgia O'Keefe "Poppies"
current favorite artist: Siqueiros (art)/Cafe Quijano (music)
current favorite group: the deer family that hangs out in my yard
current book: Turn of the Screw, Moll Flanders, 2002 Herbal Almanac, and Three Lives
current cds in stereo: only one...I'm so low-fi...Miles Davis "Someday My Prince Will Come"
current dvd in player: No DVD...I'm hopeless....Video: "Inspector Gadget" Helloooo!! It's for the kids!!
current color of toenails: fire engine red
current earrings: silver goddess earrings
current refreshment: water
current worry: Court of Appeals arguments on Halloween in front on an audience
current favorite book: "Winesberg, Ohio" by Sherwood Anderson
current malicious intent: brutalize any armchair that crosses me
current misguided opinion: that I really know what I'm doing
current crush: I'm a recovering crushaholic
current favorite (semi) celebrity: Dennis Hopper...always my favorite
current time wasting wish: if only I could be Empress of the Universe for a while!
current hate: got no time for hate...too much housework to be done
catelin: (Default)
( Sep. 23rd, 2001 10:06 pm)
It's raining!! Big drops of it just calling my name. And you know, I'm a grown-up now, and I have my own house right out in the middle of nowhere, and it's just too I'm gonna go get naked and take a shower outside. If I'm struck by lightning tonight, just know that I died a happy woman! ; )
Funny...I don't remember smoking crack...but that must be what originally compelled me to think I could paint my living room walls faux marble in one weekend. Estimated date of completion...oh, let's say 2004 at this rate. Ack!
catelin: (Default)
( Jun. 9th, 2001 09:48 am)
I'm sitting here with a tiny little wisp of smoke on my lap that arrived unexpectedly last night. A kitten, probably five weeks old, that someone left in the sun to die. My kids' father rescued her from the road and brought her home to me because he knows from experience what a sap I am. She's skin and bones--looks a little like a crusty-eyed wombat at this point. We filled her belly, gave her a warm bath and named her Zelda. She'll be just fine now.

My odds for becoming a crazy cat lady seem to be rising. I've got my three old fatcats that never go outside (they spent their lives in L.A. apartments--too old and goofy to transition now), a younger tortoise shell diva that showed up on my doorstep a couple of years ago, and now this foundling. Funny thing is, I've always been more of a dog person. Go figure.
catelin: (Default)
( Jun. 2nd, 2001 11:06 am)
I'm going to paint my living room and write a story.
catelin: (Default)
( Apr. 30th, 2001 10:19 am)
For those of you who've been wondering if I've been kidnapped by one of the many right-wing nut job paramilitary groups that I'm always ranting about, no need to worry. I'm still here. Just had a rough week. Highlights?

Monday 4/23: Physically threatened by a berserk old crusty defense attorney at work. My instinctive thought was to stab him in the balls with my pen (hmmmm...something suggestive about the term "ballpoint?"). My rational side won out since I just bought a new house and can't lose my job for beating the shit out of someone at work. Nevertheless, it was upsetting...more so because I had to behave myself instead of stomping this fucker's head in. Oh, yeah...and I got home to discover that my modem was kaput from a big electrical storm (which is why some of you haven't heard from me...should be fixed this week sometime.)

Tuesday 4/24: Woke up to find the pop-off valve in my water heater had blown. There was about an inch of water in the garage. Normally wouldn't have been a problem, except that's where all my boxes were from the move...yeah, the ones I still hadn't unpacked.

Wednesday 4/25: The electrical storm messed up something in the house and some of the plugs weren't working. It took me two days to figure it out.

Thursday 4/26: Had to go to Kerrville for a speaking engagement...that meant getting up about two hours earlier than normal. This was actually the best day of the week.

Friday 4/25: Woke up to my youngest son's gasping for air at about 2:30 am. He had to be rushed to the hospital by ambulance. Turned out that he had the croup and his throat had swollen almost shut. Needless to say, this made everything mentioned above seem of no consequence whatsoever compared to my kid's well-being. He's fine now, though, but I'm sure that's another 5 years off my life span from the stress.

Saturday and Sunday were uneventful, but the fun was still not over. I locked myself in the garage last night at about 12:30 am. Sometimes I am such a moron. I made it to work alive, perhaps that's a sign that this week will be a little better.
After four days of back-breaking 12-hour days, I'm finally moved and the old place is just a memory. The slumlord sent me several threatening letters demanding various amounts of money depending on her mood. I tolerated it for as long as I could, but finally ended up sending a nasty little missive to her on the intricacies of contract law. Haven't heard a peep from her since, other than a polite "thank you" for the balance of my last month's rent. I'm still surrounded by mountains of unpacked boxes but I'm gloriously happy and not quite convinced that this isn't some strange dream. I went back to work today, giddy and exhausted...desperately longing for the weekend.
I'm closing on my little slice of heaven on Thursday, and moving next weekend...but the packing efforts have begun in earnest now. Yikes! My appearances (and email to some of you) will likely be sporadic over the next couple of weeks, so please be patient with me! : ) The contracts for the house list me as "a single woman" which just struck me yesterday as amazing...that I did this on my own, that I have not only survived the rocky waters of the last few years but managed to flourish in ways I could not have foreseen. Most of you reading this had a hand in shaping the wonderful place my life is these days. A heartfelt "thank you" hardly seems adequate, but I hope it will do. Thank you.
catelin: (Default)
( Mar. 22nd, 2001 10:02 pm)

This is one of my favorite pictures taken by a friend. It's not that it's such a great picture, but it's full of the feeling of this house that I've loved and will be leaving soon. I painted a lot of pictures warmed by the old wood burning stove. I tickled my kids silly on the rugs, spent hours on the phone talking with my best girlfriend about our lives. I looked out the picture window, days and nights when I was particularly lonely, thinking that if only my vision were better I might see a companion somewhere on the horizon. This was the first place that ever felt like home...after so many nomadic years. I hope that the best parts of it are something that I will take with me when I go.
Well, it's 4:20am and I've been up for about an hour...strange, considering how much I like to sleep. Looks like I'll be napping in my office at lunch today. The boys crawled into bed with me last night and the little one snores enough to shake the rafters so I finally just gave up and came into the kitchen for some tea. After my nasty landlords' letter regarding the ungodly raise in my rent, I decided to take the plunge and apply for a mortgage loan....and, oddly enough...I am now pre-approved for a loan and can start looking for a place to buy!!! Funny how things always work out when I least expect them I can tell the slumlords to go fuck themselves AND have my little dream house. I sure love how life is always full of surprises.


catelin: (Default)


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