DIY! Repurposed Swing Set Chicken Coop

Y’know, I think I’m going to think about having chickens. Yupp. Leaning toward it – but still in the Mentally Leaning stage. This repurposed chicken coop idea is a might fine looking piece of equipment made from an old swing set. Check it out.

From the Back Porch, Blues Vues. 🌹


Whether you have an old swing set laying around or know of a broken down set that will inevitably end up in a junk yard or landfill this is a great way to turn one man’s trash into another one’s treasure; all the while helping the environment and becoming more self-sustainable. Backyard (and frontyard) chicken enthusiasts as well as those who love repurposing will be tickled pink by the following project…
— Leer en realfarmacy.com/repurposed-swing-set-chicken-coop/


How To Survive Writing The Story That Breaks You #SundayBlogShare #AmWriting #Writer

Thought this was good, so thought I’d share.
A mellow Sunday to You!


Scraping the Dark off the Looking Glass #1 – There is no…

There is no White
There is no Blackmyth reality
There is no Brown
There is no Red
There is no Yellow.

THIS is a construct…carefully erected over time
The mortar used is Myth

Ethnicity re-established means what was forcibly taken from so many for Control Over, can be found.
This one Construct alone should make you realize just how easily spun We the People can be.

Your amino-acided-melanin-infused color belongs on a Chart

Just like your hair or your eyes.
Our biggest challenge as a people is fear-based
It’s why we don’t scrape the Dark off the Looking Glass

Because if we see clearly, then we have to address the Lies
The Constructs
And the reasons why.
Then we have to look at each other and see What Really Is.
And work from there.

Fear serves nothing, but it sells.
Fear helps nothing, but it spins the construct, hardening it like cement.
Deconstruction Time. Get your hammer.
There is no White
There is no Black
There is no Brown
There is no Red
There is now Yellow

I am Peachy Beige, with Blue Eyes. Yep. That’s Reality.


Mike – a Vet…a Remembrance

Mike and I worked together in the Call Center.

I was one of his supervisors, amongst several – and we all loved him.

Mike H. was a veteran who had lost a leg in the rotten Vietnam War (I say ‘rotten’ as a euphemism.  Forty years on from the war, the perpetrators of the war – especially Robert McNamara – who all made money from it, said in his book, “I’m sorry.  We lied.  Sorry your loved ones died.”  I’m paraphrasing just a bit, but the truth is in those words.  He had ‘apologized.’)

Mike played baseball – really well!  You should have seen him round those bases!  He loved sports!  Some he could no longer play, but in what he could play, he excelled.

Mike was a decent man as well.  If he could help someone he would – didn’t even have to really know them. He was great with the folks calling  in for road service on their vehicles, as well.  No one ever seemed to rattle him – even the jerks.  There were challenges though, personally. In addition to the physical scars, he had PTSD.

One of the challenges was that he had a little girl who lived with his ex-wife in another state, so he rarely saw her; and it bothered him.  He talked with her as much as he could, and sent her as much money as he could, given that living in California is really expensive. He kept pictures of her on the wall of his cubicle.  You could feel the blend of happiness, love, and sadness. Sometimes he’d cry; a silent sob, tears streaming down his handsome face.

Mike lived with an inner sadness, though – and not just about his child.  The war had changed him.  He knew it, and tried hard to work it through.  The doctors at the VA – good people, mostly – were overworked, and held to the confines and dictates of the political class and their appointees over the system that was charged with helping him and so many others.  Sometimes he felt it was quite pointless to even go.  PTSD was, then, akin to what ‘malingering’ was in the World War I my husband’s dad was in.

The war never left my husband’s dad.  It never left my father, either.  A decorated World War II veteran, he saw two of his best buddies blown apart before his eyes, missing him only because he had moved just moments before to relieve himself quickly.  War never leaves anyone.  But Mike tried hard to send those feelings packing.

Trying hard doesn’t always cut it, though; even when you fall in love.  Mike was extra happy these days.  He was training youngsters in baseball; work was good; and he had a new love – a divorcee who seemed to be the perfect fit for him.  He spoke about how vulnerable she was after her divorce; how intelligent she was; and how she could tell what people were like almost instantly.  She gave him something he had been missing…companionship…love…laughter…value.  They had fun together.  She told him she loved him and wanted them to get married – an idea that was already forming in Mike’s head and heart – and when he realized she loved him the same way, he was ecstatic.  I had never seen him so happy and so animated.  He had a future that looked grand, and the dark days of Vietnam seemed to be fading from his shadows.

But War remains; always lurking in the shadows, waiting…with its mental weapon cocked, to pull its emotional trigger…and the trigger was pulled one Friday evening in Spring.

Baseball was just starting up again.  Wedding plans were being made; and Mike and his fiancée were looking at places to live – together.  We talked about his plans, as he was preparing to leave work that Friday.  I hugged him and let him know I couldn’t be happier for him and to make sure I got an invitation to the wedding!  He laughed, reassured me jokingly, and beat feet to pick her up.

Mike arrived to pick her up, but they never went anywhere.  In the middle of all this happiness, the shadows arose.  Sitting down, she told him that, yes, she loved him; but, she was going back to her ex-husband, whom she loved as well.  He wanted to try again, and she believed him.  She just wanted to give it one more shot, Mike, just to be sure. If it didn’t work, then…Mike left.  He called several of us to tell us he wouldn’t be at work the next day; that he would be going back to her house tomorrow and gathering up all his belongings he had there, including all his stuff he had stored there from Vietnam…scrapbooks, tags, odds and ends, and a couple of weapons. We were all concerned.  Mike didn’t sound himself…and he talked about how he should have re-enlisted; gone back; that he wasn’t worth much to any woman, with his body shot up like it was.  He was only good for war. We reminded him of what a good man he truly was, and everything he did for others – especially the kids – and that his daughter would miss him if he went away.  A couple of the guys offered to go get the stuff, or at least go with him.  He hugged them, but declined. I asked him to call me in the morning, to let me know how he was doing, and if he needed someone, he had all our phone numbers.  He agreed, told me how grateful he was, and hung up in my ear.

As you must have figured out by now, the story does not end well.  Mike never called. We tried calling him repeatedly to no avail.  Finally, one of us found the number to Mike’s now ex-fiancée.  Someone else picked up the phone. It was the police.  Mike had gone to her house to make a plea for her to change her mind.  She didn’t.  He apologized for being less of a man after coming back from the War and he’d get his things and be out of her life. He went into the bedroom, took his gun, and blew his brains out.

War was the murderer…the political class a co-conspirator.  Mike H. was a sweet, gentle man; but the War wanted his life, and it finally got it.

I love you, Mike. Veterans deserve so much better. This is simply a synopsis of what happened.  Those who don’t serve, send others’ loved ones to fight and die for their wet dreams of power and control.  Democracy, my left foot.

Fuck War.

tree water leaf


Sports, Anthems, and Farting

I do not understand why national anthems are played at every, single, sporting event (in Soccer, it’s only done at World Cup matches – except here – because they’re playing at a country level.) 

It began as an accidental thing in the 7th inning stretch of a baseball game. Unlike “God bless America, ” or “America the Beautiful, the one we use is depressingly difficult to sing – and here’s where the music came from:
Making this even more interesting is the fact that “The Star-Spangled Banner” – which borrowed its difficult melody from a “To Anacreon in Heaven,” a British song about boozing and womanizing – wasn’t adopted as the official national anthem of the U.S. until 1931. (Source: Chicago Tribune.)
Now, before any of you anonymous pseudo-patriotic, nationalist fascist “you’ll do it our way or else you’re un-American” typing furiously behind your red, white & blue computers have your head explode with self-righteous indignation, hold onto your brain cell.
What has sports got to do with the anthem? Sports is just that. The two got mixed because when that accident happen (during the First World War) it was noted and used by the war marketers as an opportunity in front of such large crowds, to push hyper-nationalism and hyper-patriotism by tying it to Sporting events, where masses of men gathered and could be persuaded to join up.
And soon the two became one.

It’s time for a divorce. One has nothing to do with the other, and with all the hate being spewed by the anonymous brave online, who threaten from the safety of being behind their computer screen, to saying some of the most revealingly inane comments, suggesting that our first amendment rights only belong to them and set their own obviously wise limits to who can do what under that amendment, it just makes sense.

And as we lounge in front of our TVs, drinking beer and doing whatever else (farting, scratching, belching and guffawing over how cool that last fart was, bro, eh?) while the anthem comes to a close on the tube and no one ever thinks of getting up (apparently, reverence is limited to only a  stadium), it seems just a wee bit odd and warped. 

The most effective way to honor our vets? Read my last post. Take that anger over a hard-to-sing song and actually do something to get our veterans the help they need. Talk is cheap (especially anonymously) – walk the walk, unless your legs are broken. Vets need your real help, not outrage over anthems and sports. 

From the porch, blessings and belly laughs. 💕💕


On the Day After Veteran’s Day 2016

Yesterday, I drove my hubby to the chiropractor in the nearby town.  His back had gone out and he’d been in pain for several days and couldn’t put it off anymore.  It was a good visit. He liked the guy, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he improves – right now he appears to be resting comfortably.

I waited, quite comfortably, in the small office outside the patients’ rooms.  The practice is set up in an old wood frame house with a big porch; typical of many southern homes, porches are a feature that every home should have, because they are radically cool for myriad reasons.

As I sat, reading Joe Bageant’s, “Rainbow Pie” on my phone, a slender, tall gentleman walked in.  Seventy-five years old (he told me), he stood straight, wore what I call down-to-earth clothes (jeans and a green t-shirt), and smiled nicely, his thinning white hair not detracting from his overall gentle and sturdy demeanor.  He sat down, smiled, and I said hi.

He said hello, then a moment or two later, told me he liked my hair.  I told him that I cut my own hair – and have for many years – based on the reality that, if I screw it up it will grow back and I can wear a cap.  My hair is very short on the right side and longer on the left.  He smiled in a puzzled kind of way, and said it looked nice. (I told him that I determined, as a child, that I would not become a Wisdom Elder – remember “old” has been kicked to the curb – and have round hair that you could see through with a slightly bluish hue, like the ladies in the church in which I grew up!)

So, one Wisdom Elder to another, we struck up a conversation. A bit more reserved than I (many people are), we talked a bit about Veteran’s Day, and I discovered that he had been in Vietnam.  I could feel a visceral reaction to just the word, ‘Vietnam,’ and verbally trod carefully, because I knew instinctively (having so many friends from that era and some who never came back), that war is painful at many levels to those who were in it; and Vietnam – a bad war to begin with – was even more so.

We talked a bit more, about how he seldom talks about ‘those days’ and how his wife is permanently disabled and he cares for her…how his inner challenges with those days were less important than her issues.  Then the doctor called him in.

I read a bit more; talked with a youngster about how cool his sneakers were (he agreed 😉 and read a bit more, awaiting my hubby’s arrival.  David (the name of the gentleman) came out beforehand, though, and we thanked one another for the conversation.  His smile indicated he was genuine.  Then I mentioned a documentary put out by the local news channel on the plight of many veterans coming home from the wars and gave him the name (The Story of Charlie Foxtrot).  That visceral reaction I spoke of resurfaced, and he gently told me that thanks, but he doesn’t watch any of those things…that veterans of all kinds just want to talk and talk and talk, and he wasn’t going to do that. He doesn’t ever talk about ‘those days.’  He thanked me anyway. I told him that I respected that, and thanked him again for the conversation, asking him if I could give him a hug. Surprised at his big smile and acceptance of a hug, putting out his arms readily, I gave him as great a one as I could, and wished him a day filled with blessings.  At the door, he turned and, smiling, thanked me again for such a good hug. Then he was gone, but he made an impact.

The impact he made on me, reminded me that veterans are always changed by war.

Almost half a million veterans have been dropped by the military – dishonorably discharged – because of medical problems or having tried to commit suicide.  Suicide is a huge issue in the military.  I absolutely believe that you cannot go to war, with the belief that you are bringing ‘Democracy’ to other countries; saving and protecting your country for the same; and then see what you see; experience children being blown to bits, or dying from the effects of war (and no, I am not debating the pros and cons of who is to blame, because most folks will never understand the geo-political reasons for and implications of going to war or waging perma-war) and not be changed.

When they return, they bring their ‘inside’ challenges and change with them. Their home, their country; what people think is important; may all look a bit different – even though most are grateful to be home.

There is more…but David keeps it all inside. Perhaps caring for someone he loves who has a permanent disability is what actually may keep him together – having to focus on someone else often takes you out of yourself.  I could tell, though, that in his quiet, alone moments, there just may come those thoughts and pictures sneaking in.  I wish him well, for he appears a nice man.

To finish up, my thoughts always go to folks who – with all good intentions – wave the little flags; wear their lapel pins; don red poppies; and send sincerely-meant wishes and messages of gratitude across social media.  Perhaps it serves a purpose more for us than for the vets, I don’t know.

What I do know is that veterans need much more concrete help than they are getting, or have ever gotten – and it needs to be individualized. All conditions resulting from war need to be acknowledged and made part of a veteran’s recovery.  We take months to ‘prepare’ them to go to war…to kill…yet, there is no preparation and ongoing assistance for when you get back, expect for a few veteran-based organizations like IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan veterans association).  Way ‘back in the day’ Congress even fought over giving veterans a tiny sum monthly (then it was something like $20), because some said that if they were given that money, they would become slovenly and not work.  Yep.  Congress hasn’t changed much, have they?  My humble suggestion, from the porch, is that we keep on Congress. Don’t give them any more money for war; they have more than enough, and they’ve lost more than a bunch of billions – until they put a clear, ready-to-go program in place to help the veterans – really help.  I’d be interested in hearing what ways you would suggest.


So, from my back porch, I bid you a day full of blessings and belly laughs, and sharing in a way that honors everyone in the conversation. Thanks.



I read this gentleman’s post on twitter today. It is one of the BEST, well-written articles on this election season I’ve read thus far (even the comments.) If you’ve a moment to make a cupper and sit down in a comfortable chair (out on a porch even), I think you’ll find it worthwhile.
I’d be interested in your comment, if you have one.
From the porch…BluesVues


An Assignment

I save almost everything I wrote in school.  Having just graduated last May, with a couple of degrees – a B.A. in Language and Culture, Spanish; and a minor in Political Science (as a Wisdom Elder who got hooked on Politics at ten years old, I consider it a doctorate!) – some of my writings I really like. I enjoyed doing all of them, because I love to write.  To me, the written expression – and words in general, carefully chosen – give you so much space to really say what you mean…communicate…interact…plead, cajole, appreciate, congratulate, share happiness, sorrow, and just a moment in time.

The few paragraphs below were an assignment from a cool Political Science professor – to the right of me in most things, but not all – and with whom I could have a discussion where we might disagree, but could see one another’s point of view (more and more an increasingly rare thing these days, when people don’t stop to think before they spew their spun rhetoric.)  So, today I feel like sharing it with you.  Thanks for reading, and let me know what you think, yes, please?


The instructions were:  “After reviewing http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/sepbutequal.htm – which addresses racial discrimination and segregation in the U.S., do you think any progress has been made toward equal treatment in America? Why or why not? Answer with a 3-paragraph essay.

Here’s my submission:

When I listen to Billie Holiday sing ‘Strange Fruit’ or to Charlie Mingus’ Fables of Faubus'(for which he wrote lyrics, but the record company refused to include them,) I am struck by the absolute veracity of Goebbels’ quote in regard to repeating a lie.  I know it’s true because most of us with little melanin grew up believing in the fallacious construct of color as meaning something other than a designater of skin shade.  The Supreme Court – made up of, then, pale men – believed the construct/myth as well. Their decisions came from a worldview that saw the world of Rudyard Kipling as true, in my opinion.

So the construct/myth impeded progress in the beginning, rather than made progress on what is, today, seen correctly – and by most people – as an obvious and blatant attack on the human rights of a whole group of people. I can see, from reading the decision, how – even when they may have begun to believe that there was something inherently wrong about the vicious treatment of people of color (including the hangings, at will, mentioned in Holiday’s track;) and when they knew that the rest of the world (European primarily) had done away with slavery (officially) and had none attached to color – the Court still pranced about the issue like tight-rope walkers on a fine wire.

The wire was gradually worn down – and broken – by We the People taking action. But we are not a color-blind society (nor should we be – what color is, needs to be changed and deconstructed, as mentioned above.) The very term is both insulting and phony – and attempts to say we are ‘past’ it are simply disingenuous, at best. We are not past it. It is one thing to make laws and ‘say’ things are this way or that. In practice – and more importantly, in understanding what the Lie of Color is actually about – most of us in the dominant group either have no clue, or we believe the South should rise again (especially since, as I type, there are professors in Georgia, as elsewhere, working hard to rewrite the history of the whole slavery/color/Civil War issue.) Progress? Yes, of course. But people had to die, be beaten, threatened, bombed and hung along the way. It took non-violent civil disobedience to move toward euality – We the People had to drag the Supreme Court along with us. What will happen now – with even non-violent civil disobedience becoming something the FBI and others are aiming to stop – is anyone’s guess – and the pale people running for office these days – judging from what they themselves are saying and doing – gives me precious little hope…except in the everyday thinking, caring person; who finally says, “Enough.”  In us…I have hope.

P.S. this is the note (after a great mark) from my professor: “When I began reading this, my first thought was that a student had found a really good essay online and plagiarized it.  Then I saw that it was from you.” (ask me if that made me feel GREAT! Funny, how when you write true and real, it works…)

another world is possible

(as always, all my writing is copyrighted, so anything you want to share, please ask/give credit. Thanks.)

times and moments · Uncategorized

No Coincidences and a Hot Day on the Porch

It’s hot here today – and humid.  But what a grand day it’s been so far.

I sat out on the porch with Miles (my big Coon Hound mix), and meditated a few minutes, with the birds, bugs, and Woodpecker family as a musical backdrop; then I made another cup of coffee and got to work on an amended tax return.  Calling with a question to one of the folks I needed to contact, I had more totally cool moments!

The young woman who answered the phone was so helpful – and gracious enough to listen to me tell her how woeful I am at anything resembling Math.  We talked a bit, and our conversation just lifted my day way up.  As I told this charming and intelligent young woman, there are no coincidences in God’s universe.  I’m hopeful that I get to talk with her Nana – who sounds like a really dynamic woman (I’m a firm believer that if all of us women got together, we would make our world livable and loving and aware.)

To all the dynamic, thinking, seeing-clearly women out there (remember: Jesus told us to scrape that Dark off the Looking Glass so we can see clearly – then operate only from that space); to all the nurturers, entrepreneurs of a new style of business; to the Change Agents…I send you intentions for the most ONEderful day, creating the next greatest version of the grandest vision you ever had about Who You really Are.

Run like the Wind with your Passion.




Music…Miami…So it goes…

Down in North Miami, near Little Haiti, is a local ‘English’ pub. Jazz fills the front; the long dark bar to the side, with just enough light to see that your glass is properly filled. Not a big place, it’s made bigger by covering the back yard and patio with awnings and using folding chairs and benches so patrons can hear the Spoken Word artists a few nights a week. I am a Spoken Word artist.

I am also, on occasion, a South Philly Intensely Spoken Word artist, should I find my Self in the same space as a Bragging Bigot; Pseudo-Macho Misogynist; or a General-Asshat-I’m-Better-than-those-‘others’ type person et al; all spouting their particular brand of negativity, darkening the room and dissing anything and anyone they see as ‘not them’ or what they’ve been spun to believe.

Normally, though, I shine them on. I am, after all, not the Jerk Whisperer; and the Spoken Word Artists are diverse and cool.

The breeze is a welcome caress, as the warm night moves on. The Jazz musicians up front take a break and come to the back to smoke, and listen to the artists. A young woman does a piece entitled, “Death of the Vagina.” We in the small ‘audience’ – all ethnicities, ages, and lifestyles; and other artists waiting to be called up on the wee makeshift stage – look at one another a bit confused, but accepting. When the passionate gal finishes, we clap in appreciation as the young volunteer M.C. puts an arm around her, and smiling, says, “As a man, would it help if I say I’m sorry?”

As she sits down, a 78 year old ex-New Yorker named Dan begins his new work. He’s a regular here, and everyone seems to know him. We listen intently because he’s good. This is a music guy. Used to be in the record business back in the day. Now, he lives with his thousands of Jazz records, his memories, and his poetry he writes and shares at the pub.

The Jazz group, back on the small, but functional stage, saunters into a medley of some of the greats: Miles; a decent enough attempt at Coltrane, then Parker. The sax guy handles Ben Webster well…nice.

And so it goes…we empty into the mercifully cooling North Miami night and head back to a friend’s house. It’s been a mellow time in Miami. Good friends, a fun time practicing my Spoken Word (I wasn’t bad, either!), and Jazz flowing through it all…

P.S. Back home, I happened to turn on an episode of “The First 48.”  The people shot were being taken to hospital (where one died.) The detectives were questioning people outside a small pub…yep.

And so it goes…



After truly listening to John Coltrane’s, “A Love Supreme”Or Charlie Mingus’ “Fables of Faubus,” you have to just wonder about the bubble gum that most genres play for commercial appeal. I remember Eric Clapton talking about how his music had gone away from his soul…from who he really was. 

Music – and the arts – at its best, is Creativity unbound…freed.

So, do not wonder, then, why they take it from our public schools.

…Sly and the Family Stone…Led Zep… Creativity…