Fashion Insanity = Election Insanity?

I’m in the market for a new, wool, winter coat.  It’s way early I know.  I looked around last year and found some I liked but they were sold out so I thought I’d start looking now.  The coat I have is still functional but it’s about 15 years old and it feels and looks drab.

I don’t really like “cocoon” coats (the new-new-thing last year and this year, apparently and unfortunately) but this is along the lines of what I’m thinking of (I’d wear it with jeans and cords and sneakers and hoodies):

$1,150.00 is out of the question (what makes it “worth” that?), but you get the idea.

So I went to today and I looked around.  I set the search to “Newest” and while, yes, I see the ridiculously expensive coat above, I also see these…on the first page…meaning there’s more insanity like this to come because, again, it’s early:

What the heck?  These coats seem to be emblematic of the insanity that is this year’s  US presidential election.  Unhinged.  Discombobulated.  Incoherent.  Classless.  Ugly.  Something nobody in their right mind likes.

Overall, my feeling with regard to both these coats and the election is: GET ME OUTTA HERE!

August 26, 2016 at 8:01 PM Leave a comment

One Year

One day I hope to be able to write in depth about what it’s like to lose a much-loved husband and friend of 40 years.

How do you do that without writing a 1,000 page book?

For now, I’m remembering Dan Alan Vowell, who died a year ago yesterday.  In the Buddhist tradition I tied a ribbon of remembrance and prayers on the oak tree in the backyard outside our (now my…do I call it my or our?) kitchen window.

Sending love your way forever.

Ribbon for Dan.png

July 26, 2016 at 8:36 PM 2 comments

Happy Anniversary My Sweet Dan

Today would have been Dan’s and my 39th wedding anniversary.

Screen shot 2016-07-16 at 6.15.53 PM.png

July 16, 1977, Long Lake, Roosevelt National Forest, Boulder County, Colorado

I think I’m doing pretty well.  I have good days and bad.  Probably a mix of 50/50. Maybe 60/40.

The one year anniversary of Dan’s death is coming up on July 25.  I don’t know if or how it will change me but I think it’s important to get past it…to get beyond all the “firsts.”  The FIRST birthday.  The FIRST Thanksgiving. The FIRST day the Letter Carrier delivered the seed catalogues that Dan would delve into and start planning his garden. The FIRST time I heard the screech of that bird this spring that we both hated hearing. Gawd.  The firsts seem to roll around once a week.  There’s got to be some relief in getting that freakin first, first, first anniversary thing done and behind me.


July 16, 2016 at 7:39 PM 10 comments

Happy Mother’s Day to Women Who Mother Something or Someone Other Than a Human

I’ve always had a difficult relationship with Mother’s Day.  My mother was an emotionally withdrawn, self-involved woman who didn’t give her three kids much though; she was wrapped up in her own issues.  When I was just under three years old she had twins which I think overwhelmed and stunned her into withdrawing even more.

BUT, over the years I came to have an appreciation for Mother’s Day that didn’t involve human children, thanks to my Dear Dan.  I don’t think there was ever a Mother’s Day when my Dear Dan didn’t give me a card.  I’ve culled through a lot stuff over the last months but here’s one he gave me in 1997 that I still have:

Dan Mothers Day Card.png

Inside the card says:  “What a babe!  (Of course, I always think that.)”  It’s signed:  “You are a great mother of plants and Julia. I love you.  Dan”

Julia was our dog at the time.

How cool is that that my Dear Dan recognized caring for plants (that can be a lot of work) and for dogs (that can be a lot of work too) is mothering?!!

You don’t have to be the mother of a human to mother.

Happy Mother’s Day!




May 8, 2016 at 7:39 PM Leave a comment


Imagine four or eight years of this.  Imagine a President Trump tweeting from the White House every hour and holding near-daily inane “press conferences.”  The guy needs constant attention.  He’d exhaust the world.

Trump Cartoon 5-7-16.png


May 7, 2016 at 1:51 PM 1 comment

10 – 20″ of Snow

Gawd.  I live in the pink area:

Snow Warning 4-28-16.png

If we get 10-20 inches of snow “by early Saturday” it will be our third – third! – 10+ inch snow storm in six weeks.  During the first of the three, on March 23, my neighborhood was without power for 18 hours.  I don’t think there’s anything more boring than being being snowed in for a day and not having power  It’s kind of fun for an hour or two but that tends to wear off pretty quickly. And now, leaves are coming out on the trees (think broken branches) and so many plants are apt to get crushed:  Tulips, peonies and clematis, to name but a few that I have in my yard.

This is getting very, very old.  I’m so ready for spring!

Welp, guess I’d better get out there and cover things up as best as I can. (Groan.)


April 28, 2016 at 3:35 PM 2 comments

Grieving the Loss of a Treasure

Ah, grief and mourning.  A hellish place but more and more often grieving the loss of Dan has begun to take on a sacred tone.

Dan’s death opened a tear in my soul like that of the Grand Canyon’s on the face of the Earth.  I looked down on the Grand Canyon from the air years ago. It’s a ragged, angry-looking thing that looks like a monstrous wound.

I miss Dan a lot of course.  A year ago he might have been sitting in “his chair” in the room next to where I am right now, muttering something about doping in the upcoming Tour de France or, God help us, politics here in the US.  It’s the chit-chat and just missing the person’s presence that’s so hard. The everyday stuff.  You know, going to the grocery store together. Shooting the breeze while sitting in the car at a red light.

Dan Grating Cheese in Livingroo Summer 2013.png

Dan Grating Cheese / Mr. Al Looking On – 2013

My grief now is becoming more about about honoring the man Dan was, honoring our time together – memories…oh the memories – and honoring that he chose to spend his life with me.

A death has occurred

and everything is changed

by this event.

We are painfully aware that life

can never be the same again

that yesterday is over

that a relationship once rich

has ended,

but there is another way to look upon this truth.

If life went on the same without the presence of

the one who has died,

we could only conclude

that the life we here remember

made no contribution,

filled no space, meant nothing.

The fact that this individual

left behind a place that cannot be filled

is a high tribute

to this individual.

Life can be the same after a trinket has been lost,

but never after

the loss of a treasure.

— Paul Irion

People who society would think should be hugely important to me have died but their death hasn’t caused me much more upset than a ripple.  (A sad fact about my incredibly dysfunctional original family.)  As a matter of fact, the lasting emotion has, in large part, been relief.

But Dan?  Dan, was a treasure.  And that says a lot about Dan.

Love you.  Miss you forever.

April 24, 2016 at 7:29 PM 3 comments

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