Author Webpage

Be sure to stop by my author page from time to time

In the meantime, while you're here, pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee or a cuppa tea, have a piece of pie and always feel free to speak your mind, and your heart, here at Meanderings and Muses.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Bathing Suits, Blue Jeans and Bras - oh, my!

originally posted at Jungle Red Writers

I love to shop.

I love pretty clothes.

Pretty Shoes.  Pretty Bags.  Boots.  Scarves. Hats. 

Coming home with a pretty new dress makes me a happy girl.

And coming home with a new white shirt is never a surprise.  Sometimes Don Barley, smart-ass that he is (oh yes, I love him but he is a smart-ass), will say, "Oh, look.  A new white shirt.  52 white shirts is just never enough."  (For the record, I do not have 52 white shirts).  Although, as you may have gathered, I pass by few white shirts that I don't fall in love with.  Cotton.  Silk.  Linen.  What looks nicer with jeans, pants or leggings than a white shirt?

( oh, yes, I'm partial to a guy wearing a white shirt with nice fitting jeans also.   Indeed.)

So.  Yes.

Donald Barley has a few white shirts in his closet also.

Speaking of jeans.

We all know how hard it is to find the perfect pair of jeans.  It always has been.

It's a royal and major pain.

Finding a style you like that fits the way you want in the right size should not be so difficult!

And I always worry that when I go into the fitting room with 12 pairs of jeans in different styles by different designers in different sizes, the lady in charge of fitting rooms is going to think I'm a sneak thief!

Well, actually, no, I don't think that at all.

Usually, the fitting room lady is more than sympathetic having been through this same scenario many times herself.


Yesterday I went shopping.

Not for jeans.

I did that a few months ago and found jeans I loved so I bought 3 pairs of them.  Isn't that what everyone does??  Don't you just have to do that?

No.  Yesterday I went shopping for new bras.





Same as shopping for jeans.

First I looked for a bra I liked the looks of.

Then I grabbed that bra in several different sizes.


Let me tell you.

It should NOT be this difficult.

And it's exhausting!

That bra I liked and tried on in several different sizes?

No.  Nope.  Nada.  Ugh.  Nothing!  Not a one of them fit properly.

I got dressed.  Put those bras back on their flimsy little hangers with the straps woven through those dumb little teeny narrow slits at the top of the dumb plastic hanger and took them back to the floor.

Found another bra I liked the looks of and grabbed it in several different sizes.

But this time I was a little smarter and looked for yet another bra I liked the looks of and grabbed it in several different sizes also.

I walked into the fitting room with more bras than I am going to admit to here.

I found one bra that fit well.  In a size that just does not sound like "my" bra size.  

That's okay.  I don't care what size it is.

I am not questioning it.

It's perfect.

I once again put those damn bras that didn't fit back onto those stupid plastic flimsy-as-all-get-out hangers with that absurd little thingie that I had to put the strap through and over (I only broke 3, I think) and returned them to the floor.

Then I looked for more bras exactly like the one I liked so I could buy them all.  In every color. 


The next time I need to buy bras, THAT bra will have been discontinued.



There were no more bras like it.


Not in white, nude, black, red, purple, pink or polka dot.  Not in zebra, or leopard, or giraffe print.  

I came "this" close to just sitting down in the floor and crying.

Instead, I got tickled and the sales associate got tickled.  After a good laugh she offered to see if there were more in the warehouse.  And there were.  Hooray!!!!  Three of them.  I don't even remember asking what color they were.  Who cares!   The only good thing about this experience (besides the good laugh) is that she told me they were on sale - "Buy one, get one free!"  YeeHaw!  

Four new bras.  For the price of two - wheeeee!!!  Who doesn't love a bargain?!

I considered, at this point, shopping for a new bathing suit.


As I said, I was exhausted.

So I did what a lot of smart women would do.

I came home and had a glass of wine.

Monday, May 2, 2016

My Donald and My Mom

I ran across this picture yesterday morning.

Don Barley and I are coming up on 30 years of marriage.

Thirty years.

Like every couple, we've had  our ups and downs.


He's brought me more joy than I can even begin to say.

Equally important is the fact that he brought my mother a lot of joy also. 

They were buddies.
And it always filled my heart to see them enjoying one another.
Finding this picture yesterday had me sitting down and doing some reflecting and soul searching.
A body needs to do that once in awhile.

Don Barley - I love you to the moon and back, sweetie. 


Sunday, May 1, 2016

First Sunday of the Month - Guess Where I Am!

First Sunday of the month is a day I always enjoy.  

It's my play day.

My day to play as "Oh, Kaye!" at Jungle Red.

Today we're talking about the serious business of shopping.  

Shopping for bluejeans, bathing suits and bras - aargh!

Join us, you know you want to share one of your shopping stories with us - 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Filling Station by Elizabeth Bishop

Oh, but it is dirty!
—this little filling station,
oil-soaked, oil-permeated
to a disturbing, over-all
black translucency.
Be careful with that match!

Father wears a dirty,
oil-soaked monkey suit
that cuts him under the arms,
and several quick and saucy
and greasy sons assist him
(it’s a family filling station),
all quite thoroughly dirty.

Do they live in the station?
It has a cement porch
behind the pumps, and on it
a set of crushed and grease-
impregnated wickerwork;
on the wicker sofa
a dirty dog, quite comfy.

Some comic books provide
the only note of color—
of certain color. They lie
upon a big dim doily
draping a taboret
(part of the set), beside
a big hirsute begonia.

Why the extraneous plant?
Why the taboret?
Why, oh why, the doily?
(Embroidered in daisy stitch
with marguerites, I think,
and heavy with gray crochet.)

Somebody embroidered the doily.
Somebody waters the plant,
or oils it, maybe. Somebody
arranges the rows of cans
so that they softly say:
to high-strung automobiles.
Somebody loves us all.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Me and Willie

Today is Willie Nelson's birthday.

He's 83 today.

I have loved Willie Nelson forever.

I've lost track of how many times I've seen him in concert.

Including one crazy weekend in 1983 when he had one of his infamous 4th of July concerts at the Atlanta International Raceway in Hampton, GA.  A crowd of approximately 30,000 got to see Willie, David Allan Coe, The Stay Cats, Linda Ronstadt, Waylon Jennings and Jessie Colter.  There were others, I just don't remember who. 

don't ask.


I do still have my ticket.

And the teeshirt.

I remember when his album Red Headed Stranger was released in the 70s.

I went through some tough times and I was working two jobs, occasionally three. 

Willie helped me through some of those tough times.

The Red Headed Stranger somehow became my Sunday morning ritual. 

Me, my coffee and this album.
A friend would tease me about this and would sometimes call on Sunday mornings and ask if Willie and I were attending church services? Or was I off to attend the Church of Willie.
I haven't listened to this whole album in a long time, but it's keeping me company today while I'm cleaning this little house.

Willie and I are both a little older, but we are, I think, still enjoying the good life.

Happy Birthday, Willie!

Is This What They Call Haiku

The philosophical meanderings of an aging redneck poet.

Is This What They Call Haiku

If the whiskey doesn't kill me
and my git-tar stays in tune
I can make it through
another wasted night.
To anyone but the curious
posing a question
is sometimes more difficult
than trying to find an answer.
A poor boys dream
is to be rich
get chicks
and drive fast cars.
The good old days
like living in a dream
are merely selective memories
spoken fondly of in the present.
Somewhere in transition
there's a free and easy child
with an untamed spirit
running naked to the bone.
Though lost to carnal greed
and sugar coated orgasms
they might be ingenues
in a kinder gentler time.
As darkness falls
an empty silence gives way
to the haunting cries
of endless sorrow.
A newborn infant child
a nobody yet
but soon in touch with dreams
and bound to run.
Where would sunshine be
without the weight
of coming darkness
resting on its shoulders.
In the seasons
of my time
I have known despair
and a tortured soul or two.
I've had many lovin' sweeties
and trophies on my arm
but yet it seems
none would be for long.

Poetry by David L Wright

Thursday, April 28, 2016

For My Grandmother’s Perfume, Norell by Nickole Brown

Because your generation didn’t wear perfume
           but chose a scent—a signature—every day
                      you spritzed a powerhouse floral with top
                                 notes of lavender and mandarin, a loud
smell one part Doris Day, that girl-next-door
           who used Technicolor to find a way to laugh about
                      husbands screwing their secretaries over lunch,
                                 the rest all Faye Dunaway, all high drama
extensions of nails and lashes, your hair a
           a breezy fall of bangs, a stiletto entrance
                      that knew to walk sideways, hip first:
                                 now watch a real lady descend the stairs.

Launched in 1968, Norell
           was the 1950s tingling with the beginning
                      of Disco; Norell was a housewife tired of gospel,
                                 mopping her house to Stevie Wonder instead.

You wore so much of it, tiny pockets
           of your ghost lingered hours after you
                      were gone, and last month, I stalked
                                 a woman wearing your scent through
the grocery so long I abandoned
           my cart and went home. Fanny, tell me:
                      How can manufactured particles carry you
                                 through the air? I always express what I see,
but it was no photo that
           stopped and queased me to my knees.

After all these years, you were an invisible
           trace, and in front of a tower of soup cans
                      I was a simple animal craving the deep memory
                                 worn by a stranger oblivious of me. If I had courage,
the kind of fool I’d like to be,
           I would have pressed my face to her small
                      shoulder, and with the sheer work of
                                 two pink lungs, I would have breathed
enough to
                      you back
                                 to me.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Good days, bad days, we all have 'em . . .

Some days are just better than others.

Yesterday was not my finest day.


First of all - I take back all the bad things I've ever said about cell phones. 

Well, not all things. 

Some of the things.

I bought one for Don Barley when he bought his motorcycle and insisted it go with him while he was riding. 

He bitched, he moaned. 

He hates cell phones worse than I do.
But, God love him, he used it yesterday while he and Alan were out riding The Parkway on their bikes to check in a couple of times to let me know he was, in fact, alive.

And sounded like a kid in a candy store.

All good.

And, I had a good morning working at Pam & Jerry's.

Then I met a friend for lunch where the waitress dropped a glass of ice water in my lap.

oh well. It could have been coffee, right?

Went to Walgreen's to pick up the prescription eye drops for my cataract surgery. They couldn't find them. They'd been awaiting pick-up for longer than their allotted number of days and had been put back on the shelf, but couldn't be found.

So, in wet clothes looking kinda like I had wet my pants, I waited until they were found.

But then they refused to accept the coupons the eye clinic had sent me.

and - - - 
 this happened.

While there waiting for my prescriptions to be found, I wandered around the store a little.  I passed by the greeting card section, saw the sign reminding everyone that Mother's Day would be coming up pretty soon and I thought to myself, "I better grab Mother's Day cards while I'm here." 

and then I remembered. 

and then I cried a little. 

Walgreen's wasn't my favorite place to be yesterday, and I was not their favorite customer.

Deciding the day sucked and having a feeling it could suck a little more I called Belk's when I got home to check on an order that should have been here a few days ago.

"Oh, it was delivered," said she.

"No.  No, it wasn't," said I.

My plan was to go back to Pam & Jerry's to work a little more, but decided, noooo, maybe not.

What I did instead was open a cold beer and went to bed with my book.

A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.


Today by Frank O'Hara

   Oh! kangaroos, sequins, chocolate sodas!
   You really are beautiful! Pearls,
   harmonicas, jujubes, aspirins! all
   the stuff they've always talked about
   still makes a poem a surprise!
   These things are with us every day
   even on beachheads and biers. They
   do have meaning. They're strong as rocks.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

some morning ramblings

I have always loved this song, 

and Steppenwolf. 

I saw them at Georgia Tech in 1972.

And I have always loved this movie.

I've also had a love/hate relationship with motorcycles my entire life.

My Cambridge friends understand.

We had our first loss as a group when we lost Reggie on a bike.

Then it was Dickie.

Both those boys, and that's what they were, just boys, really, were bright shining lights.

We were a small class, and close.

Still close, although politics has lately caused some words to be said that can't be taken back.

That makes me enormously sad.

In the meantime, Don Barley just left the house on his new bike.

Off to ride The Blue Ridge Parkway with a friend of his.

I know they're going to have fun, it's a gorgeous blue sky day.

A perfect day for a ride through these mountains.

And, I'll be a wreck till he gets back home.



By Tony Hoagland

She goes out to hang the windchime
in her nightie and her work boots.
It’s six-thirty in the morning
and she’s standing on the plastic ice chest
tiptoe to reach the crossbeam of the porch,

windchime in her left hand,
hammer in her right, the nail
gripped tight between her teeth
but nothing happens next because
she’s trying to figure out
how to switch #1 with #3.

She must have been standing in the kitchen,
coffee in her hand, asleep,
when she heard it—the wind blowing
through the sound the windchime
wasn’t making
because it wasn’t there.

No one, including me, especially anymore believes
till death do us part,
but I can see what I would miss in leaving—
the way her ankles go into the work boots
as she stands upon the ice chest;
the problem scrunched into her forehead;
the little kissable mouth
with the nail in it.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Joys of Living

The Joys of Living

It's the calm you feel at sunrise
emerging from your sleep
as a gentle rush of passing wind
wrestles with the leaves.

It's a good dog in the morning
steady by your side
while jogging down a country road
before the sun is high.

It's scrambled eggs and whiskey
butter beans and ham
meals prepared with fondness
for a very special friend.

It's salty beads of honest sweat
that glisten on your skin
while digging in the loamy earth
to plant a row of corn.

It's standing in the pouring rain
that falls on fields of hay
napping in the shady grove
on lazy summer days.

It's quiet times before the dawn
laying in the dark
grateful for the gift of life
and knowing who to thank.

When silence is the loudest noise...and every man's a king
it's the peaceful easy feeling..that living free can bring.

Poetry by David L Wright

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday Musings . . .

I think, actually, I should just call this a procrastination post.

You know.

One of those, "oh, I'll do that in just a little bit,"  or "well, I need to do this and this and that and this and that and then I'll do the important, but hard, thing."

I should be writing.

I had a few days where I was doing that so well!  SO, well!   wow.

But now I'm having a couple days of not doing quite so well.


It'll come.

I know it will.


It's frustrating.

But  -  

I had a pretty good week - how 'bout y'all?

I worked at Pam and Jerry's a few days potting plants, labeling plants, staking plants, taking pictures of plants and just enjoying where I was and who I was with.  All for the upcoming Watauga County Annual Community Plant Sale.

Let's see.  What else did I do?

hmmm - got a manicure.

I met my former boss, Dr. Ostwalt a/k/a "Ozzie" for coffee one morning.

I took a couple of on-line photography lessons in the class I'm taking with Shaw Academy.

I shopped.  Mostly I shopped for Donald.  The man hates doing that, but we're going to be doing some traveling this summer, including my 50th high school reunion, so it was time for the boy to have some new clothes.

I also shopped for myself.  For new bras.  Lemme tell you - that is a pain!  Well, you already know that.  Well.  Some of you do.

It was so frustrating that I wrote about it.  That's what I'll be chatting about next Sunday at Jungle Red.  Shopping.  Usually a fun thing - but not always . . . .

Prince died this week.  You knew that.  Sad.  I was not one of the legions of fans who loved him and his work and was not, truth be told, very familiar with it.  But it's heartbreaking. 

This has been a very tough year with losing so many talented, creative, people.  The list is an unusually long one, I think.  There was an article, however, that explained it in the most basic manner.  We (me/baby boomers) are getting older.  We're beginning to die.  The musicians we've grown up loving are in this category with us - or older.  I can't even bear the thought, but next year and the next and on forward will only bring more of the same.

On the other side of that coin, Barbra Steisand's birthday is today.  She's 74.  Seventy-four.  Wow.  That's hard for me to believe.

So let's listen to her.  She is, I think, phenomenal.

And now. Now I'm going to go write - really . . .

Variation on a Theme by King David by L. B. Thompson

Variation on a Theme by King David

Praise to you!
Praise to you my snappy love!

Praise you in clean socks on a Queens-bound
train; praise you
for your famous avocado
sandwiches; Praise you from Brooklyn to blasphemy!

I've called the mayor to praise you; & a third-
base coach; even
that no-neck accountant
who doesn't have the decency to nod hello
has agreed to praise you!

Praise you with bongos and fine fancy
tea; praise you
with rhumba, tango & marmalade; praise
you with your knickers at your knees!

I praise you on Flag Day, & on whichever equinox
allows for the balancing of eggs;
I praise you with eggs!
Brown ones & jumbo & Faberge Tiffany blue!

On the white of your wrist I praise you;
on the vacuumed throw rug; I praise you full-
page on Sunday! With faxes
& foxgloves & brushed cotton sheets;
with sky-write & timbrel &

wink! Let every soul
in the Battery Tunnel honk
her horn to praise you! Praise you
with ripe limes & wrestling mats;
praise you tax-free with agates and tin foil
& all sparkly things!

Praise you with foggy spectacles and Wisconsin green cheese!
Praise you to the afternoon of orthopedic sneakers;
praise you from poinsettia to piccolo!
Praise you & praise you & praise you!

My love,
from Brooklyn to blasphemy I praise you!

-- L. B. Thompson