Thursday, December 15, 2011


When I woke up this afternoon small evidence of a brief flurry of snow that the wind had chased against tires and cracks...
...and dips and corners was all that remained. Not enough to constitute a dusting. Not enough to make me stop singing White Christmas. ;P
While I was sick if Karma wasn't cuddled up with me on my chair she was enjoying her cat bed on hers.

But if I got up she kept watch until zombie-woman settled in again.
Let's see...not much has been happening. I'm finally feeling more human--LOL! Caroline came to clean on Wednesday...and the packing paper was finally tossed. Another "where's Waldo" moment--LOL!

Dagan and Leah made a very brief stop after work yesterday.
My copy of Dee's book arrived!!
I hope to have this read before New Year's. :)
I got an email back from They didn't have any more of that set in stock that I bought with the leaky bottle, so they gave it to me for half price...and refunded me immediately. Nice company!
There were also deaths.
When I tore down my 30 gallon tank and gave it away on freecycle I moved the live plants and the few fish I had left into an old ten gallon tank and stuck it up on a dresser in the bedroom. Well, the plants and some of the fish have been dying recently. Come to find out the heater was on the fritz and roasting the poor things! It wasn't shutting off! You're supposed to be able to turn this dial on top until the red light goes off...well, the water was super warm and I could turn that dial as far as I could either way...and the red light just glowed and glowed. So, I unplugged it.
They are in cool water now...the four old tetras and one plant I have left. I asked Dagan if he would help me tear it apart and clean it one day pretty soon. It was overdue, anyways.
The other death...
A girl I went to high school with.
She'd been sick for a long time...breathing, pneumonia...and has had a rough time of it over the years. We wrote and talked on the phone now and again. These past few years I have sent her "picture" bookcards. She didn't have a computer or internet access, so I would print her off pictures of various things I posted on the blog and glue them into one of my bookcards...kind of illustrated letters.
Her sister Vicky told me that in Anita's last days...well, she had sat by Anita's hospital bed and re-read my letters to her because they cheered her up.
I am so glad if I lifted any of her burden.
It's not my story to tell...
[well, except maybe when she and I ran away to Canada in 1969 with a guy avoiding jail for possession of marijuana (two joints) and a serviceman who was going AWOL after boot camp so he didn't have to go to Vietnam (we all changed our minds and went home)]
...but at least none of us have to worry about her anymore.
Anita is finally at peace.
"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see."
Mark Twain


  1. sorry about the loss of your long-time friend! :(

    and good luck with the last of the over-warmed fish, too!

  2. A good post, sweetie. I can well imagine the warmth your illustrated letters provided for Anita. thank you for sharing that.

    And, I want to hear more of your border crossing. :)

    Hope you're staying warm over there.

  3. Sorry to hear about the deaths Rita. I suppose we are nearing "that age".

    Weren't the late 60's and early 70's special times though?

  4. Rita, I am so very sorry for the loss of your friend. She is now another guardian angel for you.

    Pleased to read that you are feeling better! That is definitely good news.


  5. I'm so sorry you've been sick - I guess it's going around. About every other person I've talked to has had some kind of illness in one form or another. I'm glad you have Karma to keep you company.

    Sounds like you were a wild one honey!! Running away and heading to Canada!!! What a story you must have to tell!

  6. Theresa--Yes, long time. 53 years and I'm not counting high school where I only knew her name and to say hello. ;)
    I hope the over-warmed old fish will survive. They're pretty old for tetras, too. ;)

    Teresa--I think it was more that she knew I cared about her than anything I had to say, you know? Maybe I'll have to tell the running away to Canada story. ;)

    Rubye--Yes! I was a midwestern flower child. Pretty mild by California standards--ROFL! It was such a time of change and upheaval...assassinations, black power, women's lib, Vietnam...the backlash was love the earth and each other and antiestablishmentarianism. I think we've been coming back around to that lately once again. ;)

    Beth--Thanks re: feeling better. :)
    Yes, I think Anita always wished the best for me, too. What more can one ask for. :)

    Donna--Yes, there's a lot of germs going around up here, too. Karma spent a lot of chair time with me. ;)
    Yes, I was a bit of a lost soul...wandering...if no place else than in my head...for a long time. Made a lot of bad choices, I suppose. But they made me who I am, so I'd never go back and change a single thing. :)

  7. Anonymous11:18 PM

    I didn't know you were sick Rita. I haven't been blogging much lately as you know. Glad to hear you are on the mend.

    Poor fish, hope you get the problem solved soon.

    Sorry for the loss of your friend. Death is such a hard thing. Love & Prayers for you & her loved ones.

  8. So sorry about the loss of your friend; I think that was neat how you kept in contact with her through "snail mail" so to speak and the words you shared with her did bring her comfort.

    Loved Karma hiding under the paper!


  9. Angela--Yes, I'm on the mend now. :)
    I hope I can get the tank cleaned before too long or the rest of them may croak, too. ;)
    Yes, death is a hard thing, albeit inevitable. Sorry about your grandma, too.

    Betty--Thanks. There's still something about being able to hold letters in hand and re-read them, you know? I was one of the few friends she had left. It is often too easy to eliminate complex, difficult people in our lives. Those are usually the people who need somebody the most. Her sister told me several times how much Anita had appreciated that I always wrote to her all these years. It made me cry to know Vicky was re-reading my letters to Anita over her last days...yes, to give her comfort. wow

  10. Karma looks so sleepy in that one shot!! Like, MOM!! GO back to sleep already!!!! LOL!

    I'm glad you got a refund, but a new mist would have been better. Oh well!

    I'm sorry you lost your friend. I'm glad she's no longer suffering though.

    I'm a plant and fish murderer! I can't seem to keep either alive, lol!

    I hope you are sleeping better!!!!

  11. so sorry to hear of the passing of your friend rita...and the poor little fishies. those tank heaters only last...for so long...i think. i have one too...and little by little that dial is ALL THE WAY to the left...probably almost time for a new one.
    good news about the refund!
    and glad you're feeling better!!

  12. Oy, its specially hard when death occur so close to the holidays. Yes, Anita is at peace and no longer hurting. I'm so glad you've been an uplifting friend to her all this time!!

    I so wanna be Karma right now. I want to crawl back into bed, curl up and go back to sleep. Instead I'm here at work, trying desperately to kill time and look busy.

    I have had my eye on Dee's book for a long time! You'll have to tell me how you liked it! I didn't think actual physical copies were available-- I thought she had all the last 600 of it in boxes in her house and that what she was selling now was only as e-books... and since I don't have a Kindle or Nook or anything like that, I haven't been able to order it. I'll have to go back and check it all out again to see how I can get my own copy!

  13. I'm glad you are feeling better - Karma is the sleepiest cat I think I've ever seen ('cept for my mom's Himalayan cat -- its the perfect breed name... him's a layin' around all the time!)

    I sent ya a Christmas card today that you are going to need some magic to read... :) Fountain point...

  14. That was so sweet of you to send those letters. She must have appreciated them so much :)

    I'm excited for you to read Dee's book. It's amazing.

  15. Anonymous6:06 PM

    So sorry to hear about your toasted fishes - now you just need some bread to go with them. Sorry, couldn't resist. You know that actually happened to me this summer too. I have a 55 gallon tank. I had 3 fish die one after the other in a weeks time. Same exact thing - I had to buy another heater. I have this odd thing about having to have three of each kind of fish (except my huge algae eater "bubba" - the tank bouncer and my little cory catfish "squigly") so I had to go buy more. I don't have that many fish right now so its time to buy some more.

    Sorry to hear about your friend. I'm glad you sent those letters. It sounds like she really needed them. The fact that they were still around says something.

  16. Jeannie--I decided that if silicone grease works for keeping inks in pens that I might try putting some silicone grease in the threads of the mister bottle and see if that will give it a seal. What the heck. Worth a try.
    I kill ferns and ivys and anything that isn't super hardy, but my fish usually live a pretty long time. :( The tetras are 6-7 years old, I believe. I can't remember offhand what their lifespan usually is, but I think they're getting up there. :)

    Laura--I've had the heaters die out and not work before, but I've never had one go heat berserk before. That was a new one for me and I've had fish since I was nine. I'm surprised any of them lived, to be honest. That water was pretty hot!
    Talk abut survival of the fittest--LOL! ;)

    Nikki--It was sad and yet kind of a blessing when she passed. She's had a lot of issues and emotional upheaval and misery. I am so glad she is at peace.
    I emailed Dee and you can buy a book through paypal and she will sign it for you if you ask her. I wanted the book in hand, too. :):)

    Iggy--LOL!! Karma should be a "her a layin'"!!
    Oh, I am waiting with my magic flashlight!! Whoohoo!!

    Elisa--I am so glad to hear that Anita did appreciate my letters over the years. She had such a stressful life, I wasn't really sure, you know? But her sister told me several times how much my letters meant to Anita. It was good to hear. :)
    I'm looking forward to reading about Dulcy's life, too!! You can tell by Dee's blog that she has that talent with words like you do. ;)

    Donna--I have had 55 gallon tanks, too! Have had fish most of my life--even if only a betta in a bowl. ;) My cory died about a year ago...must have been 8-9 years old. They can live longer than that, but I think when they got moved from the bigger tank the algae eater got very aggressive with everybody and harassed the poor cory to death. (I don't think the tetras miss him at all.) You would know that fish aren't the passive little things people who haven't had them think they are...there are even bully "community" fish--LOL!
    I was surprised she had been keeping the letters. Especially since she had moved so much. :):) Stay warm!

  17. Sorry to hear about your losses. Good to hear that you are on the mend. Karma makes a good nurse!

    That book looks gorgeous...

  18. Cindy--Thanks, lady!
    Judy J. King illustrated the book and cover for Dee. Very nice job!
    Karma is good for the watching over and the comforting, that's for sure. ;)

  19. R.I.P. fish, plants and Anita!

  20. Tori--Yes, R.I.P. to them all. Thanks! :)

  21. It is difficult losing long-time friends. I'm sorry for your loss, Rita. It sounds like your kindness did lift her spirits when she needed it.

    You've definitely had some adventures, haven't you.

    Those poor little fishy, but how would you know!?!

    Hope you are feeling a bit better!

  22. I am sad for your loss; real friends are so few and are irreplaceable. A friend holds a view of you that includes the past days, you are always partly young to an old friend - when you lose an old friend you lose some of yourself, in addition to the rest.

    So did the soldier go to Viet nam - I so hope, if so, that he came back.

    And since your fish were already boiled, did you have a tasty snack?

  23. Deanna--Thanks!
    Yes, I've had a colorful life, shall we say. Maybe in this coming year I'll tell more of my stories. The joke has always been that if I ever wrote an autobiography they'd label it fiction because nobody would believe all that happened to one person--LOL! ;)

    David--So glad to see you, Shag!
    I know what you mean. I have another friend I have known since we moved in next door when I was five and she was seven. Anita--we connected when I was more or less crazy and hurtin'. I climbed out over the years, but she never really did.
    The drafted soldier went to Viet nam, but he was such a gentle soul that he couldn't handle it (as we knew he couldn't), had a breakdown, and was discharged. He made it back, but I doubt he was ever the same.
    No. Karma might have liked to try them but I didn't let her--LOL!

  24. So sorry for the loss of your friend. I'm glad your letters comforted her in her last days on this earth.

    My friend in Alabama lost her brother last week...a couple of days before the anniversary of Terri's mother's death. Makes things much more difficult this time of year.

  25. AliceKay--So am I. That was kind of a surprise to hear...but nice. :)
    My mom's cousin just died, too. They say deaths come in threes...makes me wonder who is next!? ;)

  26. Dear Rita,
    I was sorry to hear of the death of your friend Anita. The enjoyment she got from your letters must be a comfort to you. And the fact that she chose you for a friend all those years ago and that you have memories that only the two of you--and the young men--share.

    As Rubye Jack said, the '60s and '70s were a special time. For me, it was a time of finally growing up and becoming politically astute. It's when I became somewhat jaded about government.

    Thank you, Rita, for showing Dulcy's book. That is so kind of you.


  27. Dee--Lots of memories since she died. Strange times.
    I agree. I lost faith in the government back then with Kent State and the '68 democratic convention and the assassinations and riots and the war. But we believed we could make a better world. We were so optimistic! :)
    I started reading the book today...out loud to Sammy and Annie! ;)


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