Grateful for...butter

and sometimes I take pictures of butter with b...Image by Robert S. Donovan via Flickr
Thank you, Butter

Spread it on a piece of bread.
Bake it in a pie.
Eat it by the pound full.
Spread it right onto your thigh.

It gives the world a golden hue,
It makes things oh so creamy.
Sure, it clogs your arteries and stops your heart,
But nobody's perfect.

Stacey: This is for you.

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Finding Scout

Scout was depressed when we met--not that it was obvious. She came on all flirty and excited. Determined to impress, she had her bright eyes glued on Marsha, a dog trainer and sort-of matchmaker at the Glendale Humane Society.

Marsha said, "Her old family was moving and couldn't keep her. She knows some commands, like sit." Sure enough, upon hearing the word, Scout plopped right down. A few minutes later, Marsha brought her out for a meet and greet. You would have thought we'd been rolling in bacon fat. She licked us, jumped on us, played with us. Scout knew: we were her ticket out of that joint, but only if she played her cards right.

What she couldn't know was that there were policies. Adoptees had to like the WHOLE family, and my husband had missed the meet and greet. So we came back two days later, but Scout had given up on us by then. She sat all hunched over at the front of her cage. We put our fingers in between the wires to stroke her; we talked to her. She didn't even look at us. Finally, Marsha came. That perked her up. We went out to do the second meet and greet, and, eventually, we got the OK. Scout was ours.

On went the tags. On went the collar. On went the leash. She didn't know where she was headed, but she pulled with all her might. She was going home, and that changed everything.

Because we are so thankful for our pets, numerous bloggers are posting pet adoption stories. I invite you to post your own. In the meantime, be sure to check out Karin Bugge's article on pet adoption at Altadana.patch.com. It has links to this and other pet adoption stories.

PS: The Glendale Humane Society, in Glendale California, is a no-kill facility and a charming place to find a dog or cat.

Goddess of the Week: Bau

Dogs IIImage via WikipediaPepe needs a goddess. He is depressed. Abandoned or lost, this cute little pug mix spends his days and nights in the cold, lonely clinker known as the Pasadena Humane Society. Despite appeals here, no goddess--no god--has come to his rescue.

For Pepe, I have the Sumerian goddess Bau, a dog-headed goddess whose name means "woof." Really.

You know about the Sumerians, right? You know they were one of the first big civilizations over there in the fertile crescent. They had plumbing. They had city planning. You know what else they had? Domesticated dogs.

I saw this PBS documentary on dogs the other week. It speculated that civilization itself exists because of dogs. That's right! The domestication of dogs made possible the domestication and herding of livestock, which made more easily attained iron for your big human brain, more permanent-type settlements, more dependable forms of protection, woolen mittens, and cheese. CHEESE, people. CHEESE! The Christian Science Monitor confirms as much here. Yeah. So, right now, take a minute and thank a dog for all the creature comforts in your life. You owe them to a pooch.

Like Pepe. Poor, lonely Pepe. I would take him myself but, apparently, he's a one dog/family kind of guy, and we have our beloved Scout. Surely, between us, we must know someone who can love this guy.


Until then, he will have trust Bau, although, frankly, I think he'd much rather trust someone like you. (You're much more likely to drop a sausage now and then. You know goddesses. Omnipotence precludes such clumsiness.)

For more information about Pepe, go here.

Need a goddess? I got you covered! Post a comment explaining your need. I'll see what I can do.
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Grateful for...my hubby

MarriageImage by jcoterhals via FlickrWe met in college, at a party. We were sitting on the lawn with a group of people, including my friend Margaret, who was the first person I ever knew who shared my name. (For clarity sake, she was known as Little Margaret and I was known as Big Margaret. Yeah. Not my favorite nickname, but, as I was told when I complained, it was better than "Large Marge.")

So, like I said, we were at this party, and Margaret said to this guy Steve, "Hey, you're wearing a Brooks Brothers shirt." Well, that was it, they went on for ten minutes about how much they loved Brooks Brothers.

I thought, "Oh my god. How geeky can you get?"

Little did I know...

PS: He may be married to me, but his heart still belongs to Brooks Brothers.
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Goddess of the Week: Kali

The Hindu Goddess Kali and God Bhairava in Uni...Image via WikipediaWendell and Ann need a goddess to help them with a little remodeling project. They need the Hindu goddess Kali, who, as a goddess of both destruction and creation, can really help with every step of the project.

Now don't let her skirt of human arms and necklace of human heads fool you! Kali is brilliant at breaking down the old and making way for the new. That wall, for example, it's old! And does it really have to be there separating your bathroom from your kitchen? Spaciousness, people. That's the word we're looking for. Kali will stomple that wall and destroy it, just like she stompled the 1,000 demons that sprang out of the monster Raktabija. She stompled them, drank up their blood and then ate up Raktabija in one mouthful. A contractor is not going to do that for you. You need Kali, who, by the way, has four (sometimes 10) arms, which really helps with demolition.

But let's face it, the fun of remodeling isn't really the stompling, it's the building back up--and Kali has you covered there too. Because by getting rid of the old, she makes way for the new: as in that new washer and dryer you've been eyeing. Let's face it, it's fantastic! You can front load your dirty clothes. Plus, it comes in red--just like Kali's eyes! How fun is that!

Kali reminds you that while change can be scary and painful (especially for the stompled upon), it is inevitable. By welcoming Kali into your house, you can let go of the baggage/wallet that is weighing you down and move into that spaciousness of soul that allows one to let go and relax, and if you can do that in a bigger living room, why wouldn't you?

Channel Kali: When remodeling, considering remodeling, or when facing any sort of change. Remember: Change happens. Let go. Accept it. Move on--but talk to me if you need a good carpenter. I know a guy.

Need a goddess: Post a comment identifying your need, and I'll find you the perfect goddess! It's just a little gift from me to you.
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Grateful for...my community of writers

Books on a bookshelf.Image via WikipediaToday I am grateful for all the writers I know, whether they are bloggers, journalists, marketers, novelists, or poets. I am a better writer because I know you. I am a saner person because you talk to me.

Today, I met the novelist Michele Huneven at a writing networking group I belong to. She is so smart, so savvy that I had to go out and buy one of her books--even though I already had one sitting on my bedside table. She said that writers have to support each other; that means they have to buy each other's books. So, friends, when your book comes out, you just tell me. I'll be the first person in line to buy it.

I have a new story up at my favorite flash fiction website, Rose City Sisters. I hope you'll read it here, and I hope you'll submit your own!
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Ambient Poem in a Buenos Aires Apartment

a jar of dulce de lecheImage via Wikipedia
You will be

You will be
dreaming of panquecas con dulce de leche,
of a musician playing and everyone drinking mate,
of figure eights and caterpillars.

But until we leave for the campo,
I will be sitting out on the patio
knitting and writing
and twisting my hair.

I will be playing Simon says.
Simon says remember the people of the floor beneath us.
Simon says take off your white sweater when you crab walk up and over.
Simon says how about lunges?

Shoes can be a land mine.
Grape vines can go right, left.
And you have to walk over the obstacles.

There have to be obstacles.
You've got to get back to the start.
And I'm choosing this one, I think.
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Goddess of the Week: Coatlicue

Statue of Coatlicue displayed in National Anth...Image via WikipediaThis goddess is for Deb, who is grieving.

Once, there was Coatlicue. The Aztecs called her mother of the gods.

A goddess of life and death--of both the womb and the grave--she was terrifying to behold. She was also inescapable. She wore a necklace of human hearts, hands, and skulls, to better remind her people of their ultimate destination. However, she also wore a skirt of woven serpents to help them remember that, in death, they, like snakes, shed their skins and are born anew.

One day, when Coatlicue was out sweeping, a ball of Hummingbird feathers slid into her womb and she became pregnant. When her children--the stars in the sky--found out, they were embarrassed by their mother. They were embarrassed by her willingness to find life in everything, even something as insignificant and wispy as hummingbird feathers. And their embarrassment consumed them until one of them, the goddess Coyolxauhqui, decided that the only way to erase their shame was through the blood of Coatlicue.

Coyolxauhqui crept up on Coatlicue and beheaded her. Immediately, a new god emerged from Coatlicue's body--Huitzilopochtil--and two serpents sprang from Coatlicue's neck and took the place of her head.

Huitzilopochtil was the god of war, and he avenged the violence against his mother by slicing his sister's own head off.

But Coatlicue, so adept at dealing out death, now faced her own grief. She looked at her Coyolxauhqui dead on the grown, and she knew what humans have always known, you can't remove yourself from loss. You can be a king. You can be a goddess, and still you will lose what you love, and there will be nothing for you to do but wash yourself in the river of grief.

Huitzilopochtil wanted to help his mother, but, really, how can you help a mother whose lost her child, imperfect as that child is? He took Coyolxauhqui's head and tossed it into the sky, where it became the moon, where it waxes and wanes, like mourning itself, until the sun returns.

Channel this goddess in times of loss and grief.

Need a goddess: I've got goddesses! Post a comment describing your need, and I'll see what I can do.
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Grateful for Mondays

Gratitude , The Tall Ships' Races, Szczecin 2007Image via WikipediaDeb at Paper Turtle, a blog I really enjoy because it showcases Deb's amazing crafts, foods, and style, has a gratitude thing going this November. Every time she posts something she ends by saying a few things she's grateful for.

In the season of Thanksgiving, I am wantonly stealing this. Except I'm just going to make the Fridays of this month gratitude days.

And today I am focusing my gratitude on...Mondays. I lot of people hate Mondays, but I love them because on Mondays my house is quiet. My husband (who is amazing) goes back to work. My children (who are fabulous) go back to school. And I am left alone. Well, almost alone. My dog is here, but she can't talk, and we are talky people, we Finnegans. We talk and whine and moan. But all the Finnegans, save me, take their talky ways somewhere else on Mondays, and I get down to work. I write, grade papers, walk. Lots of stuff. There is no music in the background. No TV. No Bluetooth crowding my ear. I am surrounded by my solitude, for which I am grateful.
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Goddess of the Week: Sulis

The Roman baths at Bath.Image via WikipediaLong, long ago, Petrea asked for a goddess to "Get me away from it all." Finally, I have one for her: Sulis, a Celtic goddess from Bath, England.

Not a lot is known about Sulis. The ancient Celts believed gods and goddesses resided in specific locations, and Sulis resided in the thermal waters and mineral springs of Bath, England. Even thousands of years ago, people would come from near and far (Rome!) to sink into what were considered these nourishing, healing waters. They would relax and imagine themselves surrounded by soapy bubbles, chirping birds and handsome men that look Ewan McGregor.

Yeah. Good times.

Unfortunately, public baths were not the safest of places--even then. You'd take your tunic off. You'd wrap it round your wallet (like that's gonna fool nearby thieves), and when you got back--wham--not even bus money. You can imagine that that totally foiled the whole holistic healing vibe Sulis was working on. So here's what she did: she allowed you to write her little notes--on little stone tablets--requesting compensatory curses. Here's one I found on Wikipedia: "Dodimedis has lost two gloves. He asks that the person who has stolen them should lose his mind and eyes in the temple where [Sulis] appoint." We can only hope Dodimedis got his wish.

Sulis is a close as I can give you to a Calgon moment, and on this post-election day, maybe that's what some of us may feel we need.

Channel this goddess: When you can't take vacation and your family won't even give you one half hour of peace to watch "The Middle," when you can't even take a bath because your tub is so dirty, and when all of the Halloween candy has mysteriously disappeared. Just say: "Sulis, take me away."

Need a goddess: I got goddesses. Post a comment telling me what you need, and I'll see what I can do. The queue is empty so, if you've been waiting, now is a good time to get the goddess you need.

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