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BY tbeck

08/01 Direct Link
No need to lament about what isn't. The longer I stay away the harder it is to just do it. The satisfaction of writing for myself is something I'm not used to. Not to let the distractions of life take hold and forget why I'm doing it in the first place. Today, I take the time and write one word at a time. It doesn't matter how it sounds or what it means to others. I just repeat that I write for me and no one else. Write for no one else. Write for no one else. Are you listening?
08/02 Direct Link
She loved her basement apartment that she shared with her dog and cat. It was perfect in size, a seven hundred square foot studio apartment with a covered porch to protect from the rain. A brick wall on one side with a fireplace for those cold, winter nights. The only drawback was the shower. A cement built wall that reminded her of an old campground facility she stayed at somewhere in the Midwest. Every day she stepped into a shower of gray walls with a musty smell of Ivory soap. It never felt clean. She wanted something better, maybe tile.
08/03 Direct Link
My husband came home frantic and I thought "now what?" While reading in bed I sat up and saw the look in his eyes. He was freaked. He explained while driving home he came around the curve almost to the driveway and an owl was sitting in the middle of the road. Luckily, he stopped without hitting it but the owl didn't move. With the glare of the headlights the owl stared at my husband but eventually flew off into the woods. Was the owl a vision of death that my husband believes is an omen? It didn't happen tonight.
08/04 Direct Link
Why I agreed to something over a year ago and now with the fundraiser just days away I'm regretting it. One of the local nonprofit's offers a summer garden tour and I'm one of five featured this year. There shouldn't be pressures only the ones I put on myself. I can plant, harvest and manage my vegetable garden but then to showcase it to others? If I could I'd back out of it. But I know that's not possible. So, I'll finish weeding and make things look presentable. And remember that this is a good cause for those less fortunate.
08/05 Direct Link
I enter the shadows of the woods through the opening by the road. I try to walk this trail every day mainly for my dog but lately I think I need it more. It is a valley of old growth cedar, surrounded by trees towering overhead. We encounter no other people on this walk. My dog runs ahead only to glance back waiting for me to catch up with him. I brush past native fern and salmonberry on the trail and appreciate the solitude. No other place can I find such peace and be in nature within minutes of home.
08/06 Direct Link
I am pleased with how the day turned out with people showing up throughout the day to tour the garden. The volunteers checked for tickets as close to 130 people stopped by to admire, ask questions and take endless photos. The most popular were the gigantic plants of purple cabbage. I answered endless questions covering every topic about gardening. I got to meet and talk with the four retired seniors visiting from Frenso, California to the three cyclists from Seattle. Everyone had an interest in growing food and I learned quite a bit, more than I realized. A good day.
08/07 Direct Link
Playground for the rich were gathered on Saturday night. Wealthy people invited to a summer party on a thirty acre piece of property to eat, drink and imagine what it would be like to live here. They've left behind their McMansions with nannies, gardeners and housekeepers. Surrounded in the pristine valley against the backdrop of the Cascades a hot air balloon tethered low to the ground. The experience is a short, twenty foot ride off the ground and back down. The whole evening is surreal and not like most parties I attend with friends. After the band starts we leave.
08/08 Direct Link
Writing outside on the laptop seems like a luxury and I'm glad to have a change from sitting in my office. Right now I'm appreciating the stillness and no distractions to bother me. Some bird calls in the distance and the occasional fly are the only sounds that draw me away from the keyboard. A light breeze in the air with overcast skies but I'm content with the coolness. The cat confused by my presence has curled up underneath the table able to sleep under any conditions. This is an afternoon of watching, listening and breathing in a summer day.
08/09 Direct Link
I was never a camp goer as a kid. With five children my parents probably couldn't afford sending us away but I'm sure they would of loved the break. We did play outside all summer long and found things to occupy our time like building a fort, riding bikes, playing in the woods, exploring the new development as houses were being built, picking blackberries, sitting in the hammock and laughing with friends, going to the pool, playing with the neighborhood kids after dinner, catching lightening bugs in jars. I never remember being bored and found something to do every day.
08/10 Direct Link
When I was twenty-three I traveled alone to Greece and Turkey. A friend was supposed to join me but she backed out at the last minute. I felt like I needed to prove something so with a one-way ticket to Athens, Greece I landed with a backpack and my camera. Now, looking back I was crazy to travel alone as a young woman. I was constantly hounded by Greek men and most thought I wanted to have a "good time". Many thought I was German with my fair skin and blond hair. I learned to ignore their advances.
08/11 Direct Link
Ted was so depressed. Since he was laid off from his job five months ago he spent hours in the basement, the only place in the house he could retreat to without the nagging wife and screaming kids. He sat in his black leather Lazy Boy recliner with a Coors light beer and did nothing. Ted was always capable but lately he barely functioned. Since his wife Anna was working full time Ted had come to accept he wasn't the man he thought he was. He felt he was letting his family down and they couldn't rely on him anymore.
08/12 Direct Link
She doesn't eat any fruit or vegetables. Says she doesn't like the texture in her mouth. I can't quite grasp what this might be like. At seventeen she's been like this since she was a toddler. How can she not like the taste of a ripe strawberry or crunch down on a fuji apple? I can only think her avoiding these foods is some kind of psychosis but what do I know? She might grow out of it and when she goes away to college but until then she could just shrivel away to a wisp of nothing. Please eat.
08/13 Direct Link
His ex called on the phone early in the morning needing some help on her house. She' hasn't been able to do any house maintenance since they divorced. Now she's calling for help. He talks with her on the phone and they decide on a date. Early Sunday morning he'll be there to be the handyman. Clean the gutters, caulk the bathroom tub, change some lightbulbs. Whatever needs to be done he'll do for her. He can't me married to her anymore but he'll help her. He tells me "if he ever wins the lottery he'll give his ex money."
08/14 Direct Link
I started the book last night and spent this morning in bed finishing it. I haven't done that in years. It seems like a luxury, no obligations, no work schedule. Just reading a good book and not getting out of bed until I'm done. With my cup of tea on the nightstand, I sip and read. Chapter after chapter I keep reading until I finish the story. An easy read, a story that keeps me intrigued. I don't care that I missed yoga class this morning. I'll make it up. I'm just wondering how the author came to write this?
08/15 Direct Link
Once a week Phil heads to the Oakridge Building on the outskirts of town for his weekly massage. He's fixated on his massage therapist but not in a sexually way. He knows better not to go there. Rebecca, in her early 30's is married with two small boys and loves what she does for a living. Her deep tissue body work is so intense that most sessions Phil feels like he's being tortured by her. And he likes it. She'll start on his shoulders and press and prod her hands into the sore, tight muscles. The hour feels like forever.
08/16 Direct Link
He wore his best pokerface ever. Could anyone tell he was lying? After four hours of playing the Texas hold'em poker tournament he was at the final table and he didn't want to blow it. He could finish this and win the top prize but he always freezes at the end. He tells himself not to chase those mediocre hands, just play the good ones. His mind is quick and knows the odds of his hands. He can calculate how many outs are available. Just observe the other players and be patient. He knows he can take it all home.
08/17 Direct Link
Numerous times he has shared, "his brother was thirteen when he drowned in a public pool".

He was eight when it happened and he talks like it happened yesterday.

I'm thinking he's sixty-eight now and hasn't let go of the past. How do you forgot such a major event as a child? He's an emotional cripple, so fragile because he's been traumatized by his brother's death.

How can I tell him his brother didn't drown because of him? It was not his fault, just an unfortunate freak accident.

He needs to forgive himself. I have compassion for this man.
08/18 Direct Link
The political circus has begun. With over fourteen months before the Presidential election sit back and watch it unfold. Last week's straw poll in Iowa was just the beginning for the GOP. Rick Perry, Michelle Bachmann and anytime Sarah Palin will announce she's running. You betcha she'll run. I'm frightened by the possibility that one these candidates could be the next president.

I can't say that Obama has done much since he came into office. Did we expect that he could clean up the mess that Bush and his cronies left him? We're living in a warped government.
08/19 Direct Link
"You've got to get up every morning with a smile on your face and show the world all the love in your heart." That's the beginning of a song that is running through my head today. Carole King wrote it and the lyrics seem corny but I can't stop singing it. Going round and round in my head and would love another song to replace it. I listened to her songs in my early teens along with Carla Simon and James Taylor. Can't seem to listen to the music now except Adele, who is beyond her years. A true talent.
08/20 Direct Link
In the course of a conversation he'll say "do you know what I mean?" One of those annoying phrases that he says out of habit. A grown man who's just lazy. After a while I'm not even listening to him talk, because I'm counting how many times it comes out of his mouth. If I point it out to him he won't be aware that he's even saying it. He's not bothered the least. I'm going crazy. So the next time he says it I'll tell him. What do I have to lose? Nothing. Do you know what I mean?
08/21 Direct Link
A lazy Sunday morning and the summer heat hasn't emerged yet. The expected high a mere 80 degrees which will be hot for this region. Finished my cup of tea and ate buckwheat pancakes with fresh berries and honey yogurt. I'd like to curl up and read this afternoon and lounge in the cool shade of the cedars. There is nothing that pressing to do except wash the breakfast dishes, throw in some laundry, clean out the cat litter box, keep watering the garden throughout the day, pick more zucchini, tomatoes and peas. I'll get to that book sometime today.
08/22 Direct Link
While on a recent road trip I noticed a nice looking family of four, two teenagers, a boy and a girl sitting in a resaurant with their parents. While eating the teenagers are on their smartphones. Neither parent is talking just sitting watching their kids. I'm guessing the same scenario goes on at home, why should it be any different on vacation? The palm size gadget has replaced a dinner conversation or intimate personal relationships with loved ones. How can anyone compete especially with internet access anywhere you go. Texting, social networking, the endless, mindless and numbing search for something.
08/23 Direct Link
I must confess I read my first romance book. I can't say this is something I'd continue but I came across a paperback titled "Marriage Prey" by Annette Broadrick and I indulged myself. It must be so fun to create these characters and let them run wild. Here's a little something I read.

"Steve caressed Robin's neck and shoulder before cupping her breast , which was barely covered by the bikini top she wore."

You'll just have to get the book and see what Steve does next to Robin. They are destined for something hot and heavy
08/24 Direct Link
Where else can you stand in a shallow lake and rub black clay all over your body and be surrounded by a group of immigrant Russians all speaking their native language? It doesn't get any stranger than that but the place exists. The attraction to this lake is the healing powers of the water and black clay. I've never experienced anything like it before. A third generation local called the lake "a gift from God." It has proven to cure all skin conditions, arthritis and other ailments without much scientific explanation. Whoever comes to the lake is healed and restored.
08/25 Direct Link
I hadn't seen her in almost a year and today she gave me a big hug and whispered in my ear, "I'm using medical marijuana now." With all the health problems she's had for twenty years I was so happy that she finally found something to relieve the pain. Since then she eliminated all the prescription meds along with the antidepressants. For someone now in her late 50's she was the last person I thought would use medical marijuana but I'm happy she is living a full life and she's optimistic about the future. We should all be so lucky.
08/26 Direct Link
The aging cat won't stop meowing. I tell her to stop but she doesn't hear me. She was never a lap cat but now she just wants to curl up and be petted. She'll wake me up at 5:00am wanting to be fed. As a rescued cat over fifteen years ago she has been a sweet, loving pet. In her senior years she has become cranky and now meows all the time. Maybe she's trying to talk. If only she could tell me her problems of the day. All her aches and pains and loneliness. She could hear mine.
08/27 Direct Link
On Tuesday he'll be flying to NYC for his final job before he retires next year. He's been a sound man for films, working over thirty-five years. With one more film that will start next month, he has four more months of intense work and then the retirement begins. His dream will be living life in paradise. Land has been bought in Hawaii with a modest home built to his liking. He's worked hard his whole life and to retire to Hawaii and blend in with the locals is the only thing that will motivate him to keep going.
08/28 Direct Link
Hearing and seeing all the footage about Hurricane Irene hitting the east coast makes me realize how far we've come since Hurricane Katrina. Our government learned something from the devastation of Katrina and did not want to repeat the same mistakes. I agreed with the mandatory evacuation for the low lying areas up and down the coast especially in the New York area. Why risk putting people in danger when precautions can be made. The worst might be over and I hope the swollen rivers don't cause more damage then the initial storm. Tonight, praying for my east coast friends.
08/29 Direct Link
On Tuesday we were standing on the platform overlooking the massive cliffs and my husband turns to me and says, "jeez you could just climb over this fence and jump!" Looking below I said "no one would survive the fall."

Five days later my husband heard a man was at the same platform and jumped to his death. How tragic for those who had to witness the fall, especially the families visiting the site with children. You would never to expect to witness a tragedy like this. How could you? In these times nothing surprises or shocks me.
08/30 Direct Link
At least where I live there hasn't been much of a summer. Most of June and July were days of overcast skies and rain. By August the sun emerged and temperatures reached into the low 80's but that's been it. Everyone I know complained and whined of too much rain or not enough sun. No one can control the weather and the complaining gets tiresome.

With Labor Day weekend coming up, the summer will come to an end and my husband will return to work. Took a nice walk on a remote beach yesterday and picked ripe blackberries.
08/31 Direct Link
The visits always end the same. A big hug and a kiss goodbye standing in the driveway waving as they pull away from the house. My parents did the same as well as their parents. The blood ties are threaded in the fabric of our beings. We are all connected and we are family. They've been married two years with a baby on the way next year. We're all guessing a boy but she's only past the first trimester. They are hopeful and scared at the same time. She has always wanted to be a mother and will be perfect.