Just call me “Tardy to the Party”

Poetry!  Who knew?

Hunh.  Poetry!  Who knew about this and didn’t tell me?

I imagine, in futures’ hindsight to see this as a turning point for my literary life. Or perhaps, life in general.   Finally got Audible sorted out (Hint: don’t use 3 different Email addresses and 2 competitors devices).  Once done, I had SIX book credits to use!

pile of five books
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John Lithgow has a 2007 book entitled: “The Poets’ Corner: The One-and-Only Poetry Book for the Whole Family”.  Though I’ve been listening while driving, it requires another listen while reclining in a chair.  Notes need to be taken.  Threads need to be pulled and followed.  I am LOVING it!  The bios of each author, placement in their own time period, description of what made them unique & enduring.  Such a great elementary education for someone like me.  Or me.

Why oh why didn’t I take my Dad’s offer of a college education at the U of MN?  College. Your chance to voraciously consume volumes.  Devour.  Savor.  Consider.  Discuss.

Behold, my biggest regret in life: the missed opportunity to wallow in books for 4 YEARS. Though I have read a lot, my consumption rate dropped off steeply in my late 20’s. There’s so much I have missed! So many references that fly over my head and leave me out of the discussion.  With no fresh fodder, my debate skills, once blooming, dwindled to nothing. Brain Shrivel.  Thirty years on, I feel intellectually diminished and hopelessly behind.

“If not now, when”?

However, I will not despair of trying.  It’s a great time to be alive thanks to our devices which bring everything to our fingertips!  A newly remodeled local library + a newish library card. Audible®. Goodreads®.  Kindle®. Online Booksellers.  Library of Congress online.  Stacks of books in the house, waiting to be catalogued and enjoyed.  Shining up my specs.  Let’s get crackin’!


Recently finished on Audible®:  “West Cork” by Sam Bungey, Jennifer Forde;  “1984” by George Orwell; “The Warmth of Other Suns” by Isabel Wilkerson;  “Y is for Yesterday” by Sue Grafton; “The Whole Art of Detection: Lost Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes” by Lyndsay Faye;  “The Chemistry of Calm” by Henry Emmons (WIP);  “My Dear Bessie: A Love Story in Letters: A BBC Radio4 Adaptation” by Chris Barker & Bessie Moore

Next on Audible list:  “The Shack” by Wm. Paul Young; “Freakonomics” by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner;  “New York 2140” by Kim Stanley Robinson; “The Inferno of Dante” by Dante Alighieri, Robert Pinsky (Mistake? I meant to choose “Dante’s Inferno” Time will tell). – kb.xo

books stack old antique
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It was the right thing to do

All last week I embodied the role of utility player, and I loved it.            I think I’ve found my position!   Which drives home the point:  

Changing teams was the right thing to do.  This is where I belong.

It was sad to wave goodbye to the New Yorkers knowing that we probably won’t see them again for a year or more. The circumstances which brought them to us were not ideal but we all made the best of stolen moments between the difficult tasks.

Week 2 Revelation: This is a permanent trade.

athlete athletic baseball baseball bat
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PS- Mark my stats: 1 RBI for the Home Team.  (Last metaphor, pinkie swear) – kb.xo


I’m available

My guests have gone out for dinner and the furry boys and I are chillin’.

It’s been a busy week and I’m so grateful that I could be home, available and present for the out-of-town visitors.  Under normal circumstances I would have made the obligatory appearances, cut out early and focused on getting ready for “work tomorrow”.     This Involvement Thing is a big improvement over the self-imposed solitary confinement I’d been living.  It feels like I’ve re-joined my family & friends after a very long stint at sea.  In a group I still feel a bit like a fish on dry land but overall, yeah.  I think I can do this whole human-connection gig.  It’s merely a different school.

Nomi & Porgy.jpg
What day is it? What time is it? Where am I?

Shhh….I’m working

This morning on our walk through the neighborhood park, I broke the silence to listen to a couple of TED Talks.  One was a repeat for me, and I was happy to hear it again:

Emilie Wapnick’s talk about “Why some of us don’t have one true calling”

The second was equally “AHA” because it’s one of the BIGGEST reasons I quit my job:

Jason Fried’s talk:  “Why work doesn’t happen at work”

Go ahead, listen first, then come back.  I’ll wait….

So, I knew these things instinctively.  For YEARS I said we needed noise abatement, fewer disruptions, stop that damn door from opening every 15 seconds.  I CAN’T HEAR MYSELF THINK!!!!!  But you know what?  I was ignored.  Net result? They didn’t get their money’s worth from me, at least not by MY standards.   It was driving me NUTS to spend 5-6 hours a day doing stuff that should take me 1 hour.  What a waste of my life.   Because really?  The last few years of watching my family, friends & neighbors die has provided me with a sense of urgency about living and pursuing the things that I am interested in.  I needed TIME to do that.

And now, I have it.

Today’s adventure is a road trip to Luck, WI to rescue an injured owl and take it to The Raptor Center.  Wonder what I’ll see along the way?     Cheerio,  kb.xoowl-bird-animal-eagle-owl-69769.jpeg


Unemployed: Week 1, Day 3

I’ve been working for 42 years and suddenly, there’s no one expecting me.

Cue the song: “Free Fallin’ ”     – by Tom Petty

That’s how it feels.  Or like a working stay-cation.  The structure of my days is gone.  Once this week ensued, and the brain fog started to clear, I realized how utterly defeated I had been feeling before; disengaged and yet tightly wound. These 3 days pulled focus on that fact. Though I could feel guilty about the abrupt departure from my job (4 days notice),  the truth is this:  I.Hit.The.Wall.  No fuel, no spark.  DONE.  Zombie. Where’s my brainz?   So the responsible thing to do was to stop collecting an unearned paycheck.

Gotta admit:  it feels good to putter away at my own pace and on my own schedule. A little housework, a little paperwork, a little phone work, a few errands…all with NO soundtrack.  No Pandora, TED Talks or Audible.  Just me and the furry boys and the birds outside.  I have made a pact with myself:

 Pace yourself. Do not try to accomplish your “to-do scroll” all in Week 1.

Yesterday, between gathering & delivering required paperwork and making arrangements by phone for medical assistance &/or the Assisted Living Elder Waiver program, I spent an hour and a half with the Department of Human Services.  Today, I spent 45 minutes just chatting with Dad while he laid in bed.  His 78th birthday was last Friday which coincided with my last day of work.  He doesn’t expect to see 79.  Frankly, I’m surprised he made it to last Christmas.  For years he had vitiligo on his hands. Now his skin is so pale and papery that the discoloration is no longer visible.  His vision and hearing are shot and his memories have drained away.  He has no interest in anything.  But I can make him smile.  That will have to do.   If I can help ease his transition to whatever comes next, that will be the best possible way I can spend my time.

Here’s to “whatever comes next”.    kb.xo

“The future, is comin’ on…”

Pandora Plus® fed me the Gorillaz song “Clint Eastwood” this morning for breakfast. This post title is the hook line from that song, and a perfect segue for today. Yesterday I disclosed my plan to my employer to take a leave of absence. Today we will discuss it over coffee at Caribou.

It’s becoming a reality.

Denise DT is dead-right about pursuing goals that scare/inspire us in equal measure.

Despite that fact that I have NO idea how we will cover our bills for awhile, in my heart, I know that I’m doing the right thing. My parents and our little nuclear family deserve my undivided attention. Attention doesn’t pay cash, but perhaps it does generate dividends. That will have to be okay for now. In the meantime, my fear about it will store nicely in a SpaceBag. If it’s still there when I come back to open it, I’ll deal with it then.Ziploc SpaceBag

Rolling up my sleeves, and away we go!


Cheers to re-directing your life! kb.xo