its the whispering hour


restless in sleep, I clamber out of bed and plod to the back porch
its the whispering hour
winter’s breath jolts me sober as I pull the porch door
even with a clear celestial ceiling, light can’t penetrate the interlaced canopy of trees bordering the comatose creek just beyond the porch

plopping myself down into the chase lounge, I surrender a depressed breath
It’s been months of insomnia,
months since the explosions
months of being a civilian

most days hyper-vigilance takes control of me
at night war demons visit behind my closed eyes
and bring agitated sleep if sleep occurs at all

Every day, anger engulfs me like an unpredictable explosion
Medications aid, but their barriers are easily broken,
I don’t always remember to take the handful of pills

I cut the cap off my Stradavarius,
toast the foot,
it’s one of my many new vices as of late
it helps stave off the nightmares for now


kissing asphalt

kissing asphalt

I’m a klutz. Just call me Mary Mishap! The queen of grace! Walls jut out and attack me, bumping into my shoulders and arms, producing expletives to spew from my mouth. Desk corners and kitchen countertops definitely target my pelvis and thighs. Andd there must be a scheme with the invisible “bumps” that mysteriously bob up inside the floor and cause me to totter, inevitably, in front of folks! Does anyone else have these issues? It’s not unusual for me to regularly sport contusions or scrapes on my body. In addition to my inherited gracefulness, I’m always tinkerin’ with crafts, household duties, or out gardening. I’ve learned to accept these markings as a part of life, like a ladybug has spots.

Well, one recent stumble left more than visible wounds. It went down (literally) like this. I took both our Beagle and Doberman outside together, of which I’ve done numerous times before, so that they could hike their legs and relieve themselves. One said pooch tends to do his business on all my lovely garden plants, which really annoys me, but I won’t mention his name. Unfortunately, living in a townhome we don’t have a fenced in backyard, and so, both k9’s must be tethered to a human. Which, for me, at times feels as if I’m a buoy roped to

A secure yard would be ideal, particularly on those chilly-ass mornings when I opt to go outside bundled in my pink and white poka-doted bath robe. Surely, I’ve scarred the neighbors. At any rate, the last time I escorted the dogs out, I did not return to our abode looking, nor feeling, the same. Normally, as the pooch posse and I are strolling along, I’m often scanning the grounds for what makes them turn into berserk machines. –Felines. Well, apparently my reconnaissance was shit, or even if I wasn’t, it would not have mattered. I lost control like a bird smacking into a plane’s windshield. I was kissing asphalt and their happy asses were off like fired cannons.

I didn’t fully realize the extent of my injuries until a week after my face plant. I had facial wounds on my right side of my head, but, they were scabbing over fine. Two of my fingers were severely sprained, but they were now bendable and I could resume use of giving the middle salute. My two front teeth were chipped in the accident and felt I could now fit the part in a Beverly Hillbillies episode. But, the one injury I couldn’t see were headaches. Headaches like I never experienced before; headaches like “who the flyin’ fuck unleashed these bitches onto my gray matter?!” They hurt. Although my world didn’t turn black when I collided with the ground, I incurred an invisible injury, a concussion.Walkig-the-dog-level-expert

I rarely get headaches, so being that they were visiting me at the same time every day, I knew something was up. Also, I noticed simple words, sentences, and thoughts weren’t quite poppin’ outta my mouth with ease as they used to. More often than not, my footing felt off or and I’d easily get dizzy. My hubby suffers from post-concussion headaches (exploding IED’s next to the cranium don’t make for a good outcome). He was pretty certain that I was suffering from post-concussion headaches; a visit to a neurologist confirmed his suspicion.

Every week since kissing asphalt, which by the way I had to get a tetanus shot for, which by the way, will make your arm hurt for a few days, it’s been a different type of brain pain. The first set of headaches that I experienced, I dubbed as “umbrella” headaches. The weighted aches would begin at the very crown of my head and agonizingly slide down the circumference of my cranium as if unfolding over an open umbrella. With the umbrella aches was a lot of pressure as if some annoying circus monkey was doing tricks atop my head.

After the umbrella’s unleashed their wrath and folded up and left, very centralized headaches, over my left eye, took the baton. What the fuck. I’ve never been stabbed by a knife before, but this set of headaches felt like a serrated blade assaulting me in the same spot repeatedly. The stabbing serial killer throbs began daily at 10am on the dot and lasted way, way too long into the evening. Next were the forehead aches. It was like that wild circus monkey I mentioned earlier invited his elephant friends over to the party. He apparently instructed them to lay on my forehead… like 50 elephants. 50 elephants on my head. Yeap, that’s what it felt like.

Although it’s been about two months since my accident, I still endure daily headaches. It’s a joyful combo now between serial killer and rolling elephant aches. My neurologist has assured me that eventually they will dissipate completely. I’ve learned how fragile, yet how well sheltered our brains are. I’ve also learned to never walk both dogs together again. Ever. Again.

dog 2

empty bottles

empty bottles

Tryin’ new wines and figurin’ out somethin’ handy to do with the corks and bottles is my current pastime (it’ll change next week, not the drinking wine part). I did learn that by using pure acetone, twine, and matches, you’re able to effortlessly burn the tops off (numerous empty wine bottles in my case) and upcycle ‘em into decorative plant holders. I ain’t much figured for the corks yet.

Recently, my sweet, sweet husband stocked our (er, uh, my) wine cabinet and dazzled me with a couple new selections that I never would’ve bought for myself (I only get what’s in the circular, he don’t care about sales). Included in his loot were some Merlots (I like to say meer-lott just because it’s the wrong pronunciation) and Chiantis (I pronounce this one correctly, kee-ahn-tee).

Meer-lott has always been my choice delight.  Although, as I’m writing this, I’m thinking back to a strawberry wine that I loved. What the hell was it!? That’s right, how could I forget…Boone’s Farm wine! I thought that was the shit back when I was younger and could be found getting stuck in mud holes with my friend’s trucks. It made me feel so polished with a glass of Boone’s in my hand! Oh who am I joking, it was all I could afford! My taste for wine has refined itself since the high school days, but I’ll never forget my first love…Boone’s Farm.

When exploring most meer-lott brands, I’m not persnickety, yet, I must mention a new brand I sipped recently and it flat-out sucked. It was like soured moo juice mixed with bitter tart. The innocence of the wine’s name got me. (I tend to buy wines based on their label names or designs). So, yeap, I succumbed to the Cupcake Merlot label (or it must it been on sale). All I can say is Cupcake’s contents went down da drain (I do plan on repurposing the bottle and cork into a birdfeeder)! I don’t research wines. I simply snatch what appeals to me, like aforementioned Cupcake, give it a quick once over, place it in the buggy, and bound forth to unexplored wine isles.

I do love Chianti, but don’t sip it as much as I do mer-lott. Maybe I like Chianti as its Hannibal Lecter’s preferred drink with liver (I believe it was).  

There was a point I was gettin’ to here when I began writin’ this. Ummmm, oh…that’s right, my sweet hubby bringin’ home new vinos for momma! One of those meer-lott’s was so good, I wanted nuthin’ else! It was STERLING – VINTER’S COLLECTION Merlot 2013. And, damn! It was marvelous darlin’s! Invite your girlfriends over and have a Vinter’s collection wine tastin’ and see what wine 2y’all think (the guys will like it on account the ladies aren’t out shoppin’, they’ll all be with you drinkin’)! What I liked most about Sterling was its smooth, woodsy, organic raw flavor (that’s as about as good as I can get with a wine description). Reminded me of sittin’ ‘round a campfire on a cool night, breeze washin’ over me or swayin’ on hammock in the backyard (no, no, it was the campfire…can’t drink meer-lot swayin’ in a hammock)! Sterling has now trumped my Bogle brand meer-lot on my growing list of wine bottles I love to empty.

Until next time, cheerio darlin’s!


a meal that will cause a splash

a meal that will cause a splash

I consider myself a vegetarian although I like fish occasionally, specifically tilapia and salmon, and especially when my significant other is cooking! He’s a wonderful cook and he’s sensitive to my vegetarian palate. I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes that he’s prepared for us. It’s a real catch, just like he is.

This meal makes me feel special and fancy, yet it’s deliciously simple. My partner may differ the “simple” part on account of being the one cookin’ it up. The tilapia is splendidly complimented by the lemon-buttered sauce, though, I’m pretty sure said creamy sauce has a high fat content, but don’t care. Once you try it, you’ll understand why! And, the capers! They add a delightful pickle-salty punch! Yeap folks, it’s a love affair in your mouth that ends way too quickly! The orzo is clearly the best grain for this meal. I couldn’t imagine any other type of rice with this dish that would be a hook line, and sinker like the orzo! Oh, and don’t forget a green side now! We always enjoy asparagus as our choice side fixin’! I prefer grilling asparagus, but since we’re presently without grill, we normally toss it on the stove top with a little olive oil and garlic salt. Oven baked asparagus is just as good.

Typically we add bread as a side choice too. I usually grab a baguette from our nearby grocer, slice it in equal portions, slap some butter and garlic salt on that bad boy, pop it in the toaster oven (wrapped in aluminum foil) for about 15-20 mins, and take it out as soon as the main dish is being paraded to the supper table. There’s a little debate in our household as my spouse prefers butter and just garlic on our bread, whereas I like blending butter and garlic salt. Prepare as you wish, either way, I don’t think you can go wrong!

Since I’m fairly new to feasting on fish, I can say that fresh catch is the way to go. Think I’d be hesitant to purchase fish from the frozen food isle to use for this particular meal. Most folks that enjoy cooking probably realize that this is a no-brainer, but wanted to share this anyway for fellow newbies. Also, for the orzo, we love the RiceSelect brand, in case you’ve never purchased orzo before.

Open a bottle of wine (merlot is my favorite and pairs nicely with this meal), pour a glass for yourself and your significant other, say cheers, kiss, and have a splash in the kitchen preparing this dish together. Or, just watch your partner cook while you’re sipping wine, and prepping the table!

Click here for this awesome recipe!

the beagle bugle

the beagle bugle

My K9, Albert, is an ornery old man. I’m 90% sure he’s the reason for the bulging disc in my lower back and why I’ll never dismiss the thought of a dog obedience class again. My son Hunter, who at the time was six when we acquired our cantankerous K9, desperately wanted a dog like most kids. I was fine with this. So I perused dog pedigree books, pooch magazi​​nes, polled my “dog” friends for their furry opinions, and took online quizzes to get an idea as to what tail-wagger would mesh with our family’s personality. The answer to my research didn’t take long to reveal itself. Unanimously, paws down…. BEAGLE.

al 3

Al’s best friend

Al was born in Folkston, GA, which was roughly an hour away from where we were living at the time. Hunter and I eagerly drove to Folkston one early spring evening after I’d left work and picked him up from school. Eventually, we arrived at a dilapidated home of a retired couple who bread various dogs for supplemental income. The couple was sweet and you could tell their hearts swelled, like proud grandparents, when they escorted us to the kennels and allowed Hunter to choose his pet. Albert had several brothers and sisters which made the decision of choosing a pup trying for a six-year-old, however, Hunter’s heart and eyes eventually landed on Albert and it was love at first woof.


I decapitate stuffed animals, so this is all I’m allowed to play with.

Hounds have a butt load of energy and endurance. Heck, if tethered to a fire truck with a hare or quail in their sights, I’m certain they could move the truck in an attempt at a catch! When they’re not running, it’s my philosophy that they’re priming for a trip (or often was the case for us, an escape).  Beagles are adorable, but stubborn dogs. They can’t help it. They were bread to hunt. They catch a whiff and instantaneously they’re transformed like an autobot into a trail tracking beagle-bugling maniac! Their “sweet” part of their brain flips off while their blinders turn on and their long ears aide in funneling in the scent they’re after.

Because of all my initial research we were aware of Al’s instinctive need to have his nose to the ground, white-tipped tail up, and run. Taking him on walks and allowing him free reign of the backyard wasn’t always enough, and so, we’d often bring him with us during our bike rides. Courageously, I’d hold the end of his tethered lead while his little happy ass ran alongside my bike. Hunter was always within a small radius of us on his bike doing wheelies or peddling alongside me gabbing about sports, school, friends, and anything else that popped in his head. Most of our family cycling adventures were entertaining. I was mom in the middle of our precarious three ringed-circus cruising down the road.The majority of the time our cycling trips went smoothly. Yet there were times when Hunter would fixate on something other than what was immediately ahead of him and smack the asphalt. If Albert’s olfactory lobe was triggered by a reminiscent feline trace I could be in trouble, despite my tenacity at keeping balanced. For those times I became unbalanced, I usually landed in yard spitting out grass blades and profanity all the while hearing the infamous beagle bugle terrorizing the neighborhood yards.It’s hard to hold on to everything when you’ve busted it, especially the hound. Albert always darted after felines. Perhaps this is because he knows they’re conspiring an underworld cat takeover that we humans are clueless about. Al would always spot a cat meddling about in its own yard, minding its own business, licking its own balls, and having no clue of what wanted to chase them. The times Albert did escape me during our outdoor adventures, the cats always outsmarted him. Besides if he actually ever caught a cat I don’t think he’d know what to do.

pain in my ass

I’m a pain in the ass, yet my dapper looks allow me to get away with it.

I learned over the years that the best solution to an escaped beagle is to let him roam. I can’t begin to tally the number of successful and failed attempts that Hunter and I have put into lassoing up Al during a neighborhood breakout. Hunter could usually do well by tackling Albert, like a defensive football player would an opposing player, but it wasn’t easy. There was no gentle or easy way to corral our transfixed hound. Forget yelling his name, offering a tantalizing treat, or a spot on the cover of Dog Fancy to get him to return. When the hearty hound was off following his nose, a mountain of Milk Bones wouldn’t break his focus! I often felt if he could have given me the finger while escaping he would have.​​ I never got comfortable with letting Albert roam, BUT he always returned home. I’d pray in the interim that he wouldn’t get hurt. I realize this isn’t very cool of me, especially considering the neighborhoods we cycled through were upper class which was probably home to prominent lawyers, or people whose friends were lawyers, who wouldn’t hesitate to sue my ass for dog negligence and disturbing the peace!

al 2

Getting my sunbathing on

Despite all his escapes we love our beagle. He’s had a very​​ happy life. He still ditches us when he can, but as usual, he returns. He’s slowed down in his older age making catching him a little less of a challenge to catch!