Thursday, December 31, 2009

One Year at a Time

Disclaimer: Those are not my hands. They belong to one of the nail techs at Claws.
I am a massage therapist. My fingernails are short, round and natural. No one appreciates
a therapist with nails like those. No matter how pretty they are, they are scratching weapons.

When you learn something new, the best place to start is the beginning. So it is with blogging. I gave birth to Ronda's Wonderland on New Year's Day, one year ago, for no other reason that I wanted to give it a go. My first few posts were read only by my best friends and sister, who I also count as one of my best friends. I'm really glad because they were awkward and tenuous.

Somehow, I don't mind my friends seeing me as I struggle to learn something new. I know that no matter what weird stuff I try, and believe me, I have a taste for the eclectic and esoteric, they are always there to put a bandage on my knee.

Reya, of According to the Cosmology of Reya, and Mrsupole, of Mrsupoles' Place, encouraged and supported me with my first teetering, baby blogging steps. They, and the rest of you, nudged me into toddling along on my own. Through the process, I eventually, began to find my "voice." And, to pay it forward, I've helped other new bloggers get started.

One of the things that really surprised me about blogging is that it is one of the final frontiers. Not like outer space or the brain, but in the sense there are no rules. Like the wild, wild west, we do what we want out here. The freedom of personal expression and access to an immediate audience that exists in Blog World is unlike any other. I've never understood the appeal of reality shows but, I think I just got the concept. Being a blog author is like being the star of your own reality show. And you know what? It feels great!

So, please help me commemorate my first year in Blog World. Stop by and have a glass of Champagne, a bite to eat and nice visit. For your sustenance, I offer a fresh, green salad with tangy, Italian dressing, a pasta salad with feta cheese and black olives, soft, warm homemade rolls and cheesecake for dessert. The Red Queen says, we'll leave the light on.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

In the Mood

I've been in the mood lately. A very domestic mood. But, don't tell the Wonder Husband. I really like him thinking that it's not my A-game. A woman is not as interesting as when she veils herself in a little mystery. Some women hide their shopping addictions, proclivities for ecstatic substances or sexual fantasies. Me? I hide my Martha Stewart moments.

I go in and out of domesticity like most people go in and out of bad moods. Don't get me wrong, after over 30 years of marriage, the Wonder Husband knows that I'm adept at making home and hearth. I just don't want him expecting it on a regular basis. Fix dinner? Not tonight, honey...I have a headache.

The truth is that there are times I really enjoy a good house cleaning rout or a day long, cooking extravaganza. But, just as often, I enjoy getting out in the world and knocking down some mega bucks. Or being the accountant and bookkeeper for both of our businesses. Or spending the day writing and living in a fantasy world of my making. Or maybe I need to get a massage, a pedicure, my hair done and an eye brow wax. I'm learning that a good brow shaping and the plucking of a few rebellious, downward growing, brow hairs can erase years. So it is with domesticity. After all, I am in my maintenance years and need to gain every advantage I can in every area I can.

I think it's good for a woman to keep herself from getting pigeon-holed into any particular role. I mean, I've been studying men for years and they are quixotic and hard to pin down. And now I know why. It can definitely be an advantage to the game of love. As a young wife, I was eager to be seen as a good home maker. I grew up in a generation that was infected with the tainted archetype of Donna Reed, the perfect wife. As a seasoned wife, I'm inoculating myself against that virus. No longer craving adulations for my culinary and domestic coups, I prefer to bask in anonymity.

So, that's why I'm sitting here seriously considering buying some take out containers and using them to present this beautiful meal I've prepared. Shh, mums the word. There'll be no tattling to the Wonder Husband about my tasty, little deception. Thankfully, he only sneaks over and reads my blog once in a while. Oh, yeah, and I can always tell he's been here by the little words he lets slip. He has his secrets, I have mine.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ronda Has Horns Beneath Her Halo

Just thought I'd sing you a little Christmas carol. Yes, the song is about me. To my friends, I've long been the object of admiration and adoration. See how they laud my many abilities and capabilities?

(sung to the tune 'Deck the Halls')

Ronda is a workaholic, Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
She's always at Smith Chiropractic, Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
Patients come and patients go, Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
Still she's there with her hello, Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

Most people think she has a halo, Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la,la, la
Big and bright and shining yellow, Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
But she has horns that grow below it, Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
And there're times when she will show it, Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

She is turning 50 soon, Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
Her insurance rates will zoom, Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
In the mail she'll find an AARP card, Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
Still, she'll plant in her back yard,Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

Yin and B.B. are her friends, Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
Randy pinches when she bends, Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
She teaches her nephews bad things, Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
Such as lap and pole dances, Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

She was great as Mrs. Claus, Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
The kids thought that she was from Mars, Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
Give her just a bit of Schnapps, Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
Just keep her away from cops, Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

All in all, she's quite the woman, Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
She massages boobs and tusches, Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
For all kinds of weird patients, Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
But she does it with such graciousness, Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

Since I am closer to 60 than 50 now and I am long gone from Smith Chiropractic, this was written about 8 or 9 years ago. It was written and sung to me by my friends as they passed the Sacred Unicorn unto my keeping. You don't know the legend of the Sacred Unicorn? Ah, that is a story for another time.

Until then...Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

After Glow

Bodies press together.
Feverish. Meeting. Mashing.
Falling away. Meeting again.
Twisted and tangled together.
A tingle...rising in an, as yet,
unfulfilled promise.
Tension building.
Holding back.
Surging forward.
Over and over again.
Giving. Taking. Receiving.
Fast, abandoned acceleration ignites
a juicy, exploding orgasm.

Nothing left.

My shopping frenzy...
over for another year.

This is my first attempt at telling a story in 55 words or less. Friday Flash 55's ringleader is g-man. Go see him on Fridays to read more or give it a try. I know it's Tuesday and not Friday but I'm not much for coloring inside the lines. I'm a rebel without a clause.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Here Comes the Sun!

Here we go again! I can't help but start to get a little excited as we draw near the winter solstice occurring this coming Monday. For us, in the northern hemisphere, it signals the end of fall and the beginning of winter. While our southern neighbors are enjoying the holidays at summer solstice. To some of them, like Baino and Lily, it's a great "time for an ice cold Horton's Semillon and a leg dangle in the pool . . ." From that day forward, it will start to get a little bit lighter each day for us and for them, darker.

It's always darkest before the dawn. That's how I feel at this time of year. My physical and emotional bodies just want to follow the ancient rhythms of life. To draw my energy inward just like the wise, old trees and hibernating animals. At the height of the holiday season, with all its activities and socialization, when all I want to do is hunker down and write or read a book or watch a movie, I have to fight to make myself get out in the world. It just seems to go against the order of life. Well, mine anyway. Am I the only one?

I sometimes think, after all my many years of celebrating the holidays during winter, how weird it would feel to experience them during summer. But, truly, it would probably better fit my energy pattern. Anyway, just a few more days until I start counting down to the coming light and energy packed, warm days. Time to make a wish and spin that wheel of life again in the power of the new born year.

So, if by chance, you happen to be at a party and you see a middle aged woman wrapped in a fluffy, white, spa robe wearing crocheted, patchwork, granny slippers, sipping out of a Crown Royal whiskey bottle while using its purple, velvet bag for a purse, say cheers. I'll wave back and offer you a knock off the 'ol bottle. Of course, I'll wipe the top off with my sleeve first. After all, my momma raised me to have manners!

Here comes the sun, (du-du-du-du)
Here comes the sun
And I say
It's alright

George Harrison
Here Comes the Sun

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sugar and Spice

It doesn't take a lot to make kids happy. Well, maybe it doesn't take a lot to make people, in general, happy. A little thoughtfulness. A kind gesture. A few minutes of your time and attention can change the course of other's lives in immeasurable ways.

The meditation group I belong to is overseen by Humanity in Unity. We look into the heart of our community with special eyes to see where we can help. And, sadly, there is no lack of need for support. This holiday season, we adopted a family and provided what we could.

We also have a transitional program, Faith Works, that we've worked with for a couple of years. It has a very high success rate. Almost all of the funding goes to the people involved and not to administration. Families who've been blown apart have a chance to pick up the shards of broken lives and move on together. Parents, who've lost their children due to drug use or imprisonment, get to live with them as long as they comply with the rules of this two year program.

They get to reside in a decent apartment complex. There is a social worker on the premises and the rules are strict. Drug testing is enforced. They have mandatory educational classes on child care and life skills. They have to be in their apartments for the night by 10 p.m. They have to get jobs and pay a nominal rent. For those that survive the program, the rewards are great. They get to have their children and spouses back. The money they pay for housing is returned to them at the conclusion of the program. They'll be able to afford to start their new lives in a place of their own.

The other night we put on a party for the kids. One of our members, Susan, made these charming graham cracker houses. She had them all ready for the children to gussy up with all the candy we brought. It was a fast and furious hour and a half filled with flying, royal icing and sticky, happy fingers. The kids had a swell time! Each house was a thing of beauty and a joy forever. One little boy took the house he had so carefully crafted and gave it to his babysitter.

Even those having next to nothing can find a way to extend a charitable hand. He was proud, generous and filled with love. That is, until the instant he realized the party was over and he had no more time to make himself a candy house. The tears welled in his eyes. He boo-hooed like a five year old. Oh, wait! He was a five year old. We quickly found one last house. Smeared it with icing and "snowed" sprinkles over the top. His eye-clouds-and-rain cleared. A smile came out. Sprinkles can fix most anything, it seems.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sven, the Snow God

And, now, for our first look at the InaccuWeather forecast for Redding. Some places in the valley are already down to the 20s at this hour...if you can believe it! Chico is at 26 degrees right now and we've still got a long way to go before the night is over.

It is cold across the north state and it's going to stay that way for the next couple of days. Remember the snow I've been telling you we were going to get for the last couple of days? Well, it went to Sacramento, Stockton, Lodi...unusual places. It was cold enough for snow in the north state, the north part of the valley. But the moisture was just a little too far to the south, and it stayed to the south, so we didn't really get anything as far as snow is concerned. But the temperatures are really agreeable for a little snow tonight so we could have some by morning.

So, why, when the weather man promises snow in the a.m., do we always wake up to not a cloud in the sky? We have sneaky snow here in our little corner of California. It falls in when we aren't looking.

I met Sven, the Snow God, when I was a mere child praying for a snow day. He's quite the little trickster having a good laugh at our expense. Sven loves a good round of Peek-a-Boo I Got You or You've Been Pranked. Just like when someone points to a spot on your shirt with their index finger, you look down and then you get poked in the nose, I fall for his promise every time.

Okay, Sven, I have always been, and probably will always be, your sucker. I'm gonna look away now...k?

***The answer to last week's Theme Thursday question in the post Happy Birthday, Friend : The Birthday girl is third from the left.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Uranus Unleashed?

How I came to arrive at this specific point in time was, seemingly, a series of random incidents. Now, in the ever darkening slip of day into night, I see that this alignment was no accident. A fissure in the dimensional ordering of the universe had opened. Energies were streaming through ruptured space with a feral ferocity that rendered the people nearest the opening at their mercy. Their will was no longer their own.

As he turned the corner, another driver plowed through the intersection hitting him. Their cars kissed with a smack. Pieces fell like amputated body parts from the two cars. The rocking wheel-well liner marked time like a metronome for the chrome bumper. Shimmering with the rainbow of the flashing signal lights, it skipped across the pavement like a stone off of water. The low speed impact left both drivers unharmed. Their vehicles clattered and steamed off the main road coming to rest on the side street.

Information was exchanged. Denials of fault were, hopefully, tendered. Each sought the sanctuary of spotlessness. They took my name as witness. Looming like a backdrop in a 50s, B movie, the silver diner flashed its neon 'WELCOME' sign. Like a sign of welcome at the gates of Hell, I find no solace here. I surrender all thoughts of control I once held about how this night would unfold. I wasn't going anywhere soon. In fact, I wasn't going anywhere for quite some time.

From across the street, I hear the dull "thunk" of bone covered flesh smashing fleshy gut. Shouting. Scuffling. Two shadow-men circle each other. Watching. Gauging. Punching. Kicking. I call the criss-crossed street sign of Market and Trinity streets into the holy service of protection. More shadow people surround them trying to break up the fight. Voices yelling, "Just take a walk, guys. Take a walk. The cops are coming." Like two animals posturing, neither wants to be the first to signal weakness. Finally one turns, sets a metal cigarette sign swinging with a ringing blow of his fist and is surrounded by his homies. The other lets fly a primitive shriek on the sky, "A-R-G-H-H!!!!" Frustration hangs on his shoulders as he walks down the street.

Her Botticelli body moving with amazing speed, a young woman chases him down. "Call me c**t!," she dares him. "Call me a c**t again! CALL ME A C**T," she screams. He wants to. Oh, he wants to real bad. Nose to nose, they stand. Her hand raised. His body rippling with the energy of restraint. If he lets one syllable of that cacophonous word loose, she'll rip into him with carnivorous delight and devour his slight frame. The red and blue flashing lights of the PD cruisers bring an end to the stand off. She vanishes like a magician.

Screaming like a wild animal, his battered body lumbers through the intersection. Unsteady hands fumble. Metallic clanging resonates upon the ground. The glint of oncoming headlights spark the foil on the asphalt like a star in the night. A knife? A piece of metal off one of the cars? Finding it first with his boot, he picks it up and hobbles down the sidewalk screaming "F**K" to the night.

Cruiser after cruiser roll by. Some stop for the accident. Some stop for the fight. Some light up and roll, with their siren's screeching, in hot pursuit. Ambulances arrive to carry any torn, shaken or injured bodies. EMTs offer assistance. In disbelief, from the cold, stone walkway under the nearly full, winter white moon, I watch this apocalyptic scene erupt. At any minute, I expect fires to flare and tidal waves to crash on this beach of destruction consuming the insanity. In contrast to the ugliness of the night, a cute, female, fair-haired officer, ponytail swaying, warns us to go inside and lock the doors. The hunt is on for a bad guy. Someone was knifed during the fight.

The next morning this vortex of energy is still wide open. As I approach that same corner, something seems odd. Shielding the sunlight from blinding my view, I can see a ball cap. A ball cap and a shoe lie in the middle of the road. An old man, pulled off to the side of the road, leans against the open door of his white, 1992 Chevrolet. Gray hair standing in the breeze, lined faced even more furrowed with bewilderment, he stares down the road. The scene is set. He's hit someone. But there is no body. No body at all. Vanished. Usually it is the hitter that runs not the victim. I wonder how much longer this area will be under attack as the search helicopters thump-a-thump-a through the air. Weird. Freaky weird.

Later, I learn from the pony tailed officer that the stabbing victim was the guy who had the knife. Some how he had stabbed himself becoming both the villain and the victim. And the missing body, well, he'd been running from the police who were searching his car for meth when he got hit. He kept running until they finally found him down by the river. Whether this flux comes from the "direct" energy of the planet Uranus or the full moon, I don't care. Enough is enough. I pray at the cross of Market and Trinity, "please close these portals quickly because the chaos that is reigning supreme is too strong for mere mortals. Way too strong. "

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Happy Birthday, Friend!

My, my, comes with a synchronicity that knows no bounds. The topic of this week's Theme Thursday is "FRIEND." As today is one of my best friend's birthday, I'm sure the theme selection was made in her honor. She is one of the people in the above photo. Like Waldo, she likes you to try to find her. Go on...the lucky winner gets a prize. Y'all like Limburger cheese, don't cha?

I guess I should start out by telling you how old she is...well, maybe not. Let's just say she's older than her daughter and younger than Mick Jagger. She is a self confessed "word nerd." She'll spank your apple bottom to a rosy red at Scrabble and challenge you to a race through the telephone book to look up a number. Man, woman or child, you better know your alphabet, because this is one win you'll have to earn.

She's been spotted drinking a bottle, or three, of Coppola wine and then hitting the gift boutiques on grape-buzzed shopping sprees. Okay, it was me that spotted her, but someone had to help her with all that wine. And friends don't let friends shop alone.

She once went here and dropped her cell phone from the third story balcony of the hotel. It is unclear if wine was involved in the brutal slaying of cellular technology. In true Tiger Woods fashion, she denied 'rumors' but explained little. Well, until she had to, of course.

She recently became a MIL. Yes, I meant MIL, as in mother-in-law, and not MILF even though some may see her as such. If you don't know what MILF is, watch the movie American Pie 'cause I'm not gonna explain it here. This is a picture of her grandpuppers, Love and California.

She's had many, many songs written about her by the man who "rocks" her world. Not to mention the unforgettable, although I'm sure she's tried, Oh, God, How I Love My Cabernet written by yours truly. I tried to find a copy of it but couldn't. I'll keep looking because I'm sure she'd love to see it here. Wouldn't you?

She loves books, chocolate, Cabernet and her "kid."

Although she's a good wife, she kinda has a "thing" for Cal Ripken, Jr. and Bruce Springsteen. She acts younger than she does old and she's old enough to have fun. She's a member in good standing of the Birthday Club, a group of us dedicated to getting together to celebrate each members special day.

Happy Birthday, dear friend.
And call the fire marshall...there's about to be one towering inferno of a cake!

*Members of the Birthday Club, their family members (living or deceased), pets and Smart cars are ineligible for the Where's Friend Contest.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I'm a Soul, Man!

Photo: God's Eye
By: Jim Tomsich (my brother-in-law)

This is the time of year when I start to look closely and introspectively at who and what comes into my life. Who is on the phone when it rings? Who do I encounter? Who contacts me through the various forms of communication? The last few weeks, I've observed that the people coming into my life are a part of my Soul Group.

From the very beginning, the universe developed with a variety of speeds and stages. At points during this evolution, different Star or Soul groups formed. As they grew into advanced civilizations and societies, their physical and spiritual sides came into balance. Guided by the Divine (I like to believe) or as a natural part of evolution, they brought a specific purpose to the universe.

Our Soul Group is comprised of beings who started out with us at the beginning of our creation. They are from the same star, universe or loca where our incarnations began. People from the same Soul Group have the same life, or rather, lifetimes purpose. Different groups have different missions. Some are concerned with art and creativity generation after generation. Some are concerned with peace or healing or teaching. Some have spiritual messages to bring out on Earth.

I've been recognizing members of my Soul Group for a while now. We have common goals and like mindedness. There is an ease of communication even though we are newly acquainted. But the last few weeks, those I've recognized are starting to recognize me. Now, it's not like they say, "Hey, Ronda! I'm from your Soul Group." It's more like, when I recognize them, I know it and send out an unspoken signal asking for a response. I usually think, " Gee, it's so good to see you again. I've missed you. When you remember who I am, give me a jingle." I hadn't gotten much response. But all of a sudden, bam! From across the country and across the globe, they have been contacting me.

I am as excited as an electron meeting a proton. I have received several phone calls, e-mails, and even some CDs from members of my group. I'm not sure what we all have in common yet except that we are highly creative, possess largess of vision, love of humanity, universal (and I mean that as in the Milky Way and beyond) philosophy and humor. In time, our mission will become clear. Until then, it is enough for me that we recognize each other.

So the next time someone you can't place looks familiar to you, there may be a reason other than forgetfulness. Stop for a moment. Think. Send out a vibe that says you recognize them as being a part of your Soul Group. Wait for a response. Although it can sometimes take a while, when the person responds with an answer that confirms your thought, it will be well worth the wait. Have you heard from anyone lately that makes you stop and think about your connection to each other?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Black Friday at Wal-Mart

Happy Thanksgiving to Y'all! I'm busy with family, festivities, food, fun, and flippin'-thing-to-do-after-flippin'-thing-to-do. I'm sure you are as well. So, today at the Wonderland, we are servin' up a healthy portion of laughs smothered with a frothy topping of whipped, light heartedness. For today only, this is a "No intellectualizing" space.

I am hosting a Guest Post written by my sister, BichyMama. This is an exclusive, Wonderland premier of BichyMama's work. As far as I know, she's never posted, publicly, any of her thoughts and unique perspectives of life. Heck, I can barely get her to answer my e-mails.

If you think she's going to come across anything like me, you are wrong, horribly wrong, and totally and completely devoid of any concept of my baby sis. Today I am thankful, not only for my family, friends and all of you but, for my sister. She is the peanut butter in my chocolate, the dark in my light, the Yin in my Yang. Enjoy!

The following is BichyMama's response to my e-mail asking if she has to work on Thanksgiving:


I do have Thanksgiving off. Although, I have to work the next day, Black Friday, from 3:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. It's kind of scary if you think of all those loony shoppers that make this day a free-for-all, family outing.


I can see it now. Mother and daughter, alike, with the same generation-after-generation body type and weight problems. Big (HUGE), SAGGY, NO-BRA-BEARING-BOOBS--flopping and slamming--to and fro--like four, over filled water balloons (but without any elasticity at all) under their new, over sized, Christmas T-Shirts that they got each other for Thanksgiving.

Mom and daughter both know they will keep warm while waiting out in the cold for the store to open. Their two-or-more-sizes-too-small sweat pants will be hugging them both very tightly in all the right places. Just like a bug in a rug! What they don’t realize is their warm, hugging sweat pants will be showing off all of their beautiful Butt-Dimples, Camel-Toes and a crotch that looks like a Woolly Mammoth-Pu**y Monster.

Mom and daughter's shoes are either bootie-type slippers or open-sandal-type-Birkenstock's. They wear the kind of shoes that are easily slipped on, with no bending over, because they get too dizzy while trying to tie their shoe laces. This must be due to Gut-Roll Constriction, GRC--otherwise known as LOO, Lack of Oxygen.

Oh, it's a sight! Watching mother and daughter running...well, fast walking...well, it's more like an animated, slow motion walk...with arms pumping up and down and back and forth. Their mouths are open and gasping for air. Their faces are a bright, cherry red. Their chests heave in and out like marathon runner's after a long distance race.

As they swish by, I hear mom complain to her daughter (still breathing hard and gasping between words), "That BITCH! I can't believe that old bitch beat me to the last electric scooter."

"But mom, cries the daughter, grandma is 90 years old and only has one leg!"

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks! That odor! That odor which took my breath away, made me cough and caused a couple of dry heaves. What was it?

Oh s**t! It's a combination of Woolly Mammoth-Pu**y Monster, smelly, sandal feet, sweaty B.O. and, y-u-c-k, BED HEAD!! Plus a few other smells I don’t even care to figure out.

In the beginning, I thought it would be scary working Black Friday, but now, I am really EXCITED and can't wait! So here I am Wishing all of you…

"Happy Thanksgiving
Welcome To Wal-Mart
And Have A GOOD Day"

Disclaimer: Similarities put forth in this article to any animal, vegetable, mineral or entity on this planet or any other, in this or any other galaxy, or in any universe, known or unknown, is simply a mathematical statistic.--Blog Administrator

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Gravel crunching under the tires of his '67 Buick Skylark GS, the Wonder Husband rolls up the driveway. With the sapphire metal flakes of the paint sparking in the low angled sun, he silences the rumble of his powerfully muscled motor. This is not his normal routine. He usually gets home from work two hours late instead of early.

His face is set with a sly grin. A come hither statement shines from his eyes. Taking my hand, he pulls me to him. A quick kiss. A whispered sentiment laid softly in my ear.

"We just have time for a quickie."

"Are you sure?"

"YES! Let's go."

Hand-in-hand, we gently let the door close behind us...

He heads for the tool shed and I head for the green waste container. He, swift and strong, goes ahead and lops the tree branches. I follow behind as clean up crew.

"Husband, do you know what today is?"

"The day after my brother's birthday?"

"Uh, no. This is two days after your brother's birthday. And you'd better call him tonight since you obviously haven't! No, it was one year ago today you were in the hospital having your heart attack. This is your one year anniversary and look how far you've come!"

I look away as a painful shudder passes over him and a remembrance, dark and deep, clouds his eyes.

"Oh. This is a much better place to be," he says quietly with a far away voice.

In no time at all, just as darkness threatened an end to our assault, we had our dropped tree limbs stuffed into two containers and wheeled out to the street for pick up. The Wonder Husband was right. We did just have time for a quickie. Now it's time to go inside for a warm and proper anniversary celebration.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

It's Not Too Late

Sometimes people make incredible gestures that showcase goodness, humanity and creativity. I just love being a part of serendipitous surprises, as either a giver or receiver. This time, it was my pleasure to receive.

I spied the small, brown mailer packet lying yonder on the coffee table the minute I walked in the back door. With a sense as keen as any critter noting a new object in her territory, I stalked the target. Getting closer, in bold black letters, I read my name. Yippee! It's for me!

The Wonder Husband has an EBay biz, so it seems the booty is always for him. "Take that Wonder Husband!," thinks I. I can see by the way Wonder Husband set it clearly in full view of our thrones that he's curious...and a little yellow too. His is careful about not bringing my attention to the package. He cagily pretends to watch TV while glancing, with his primal, side-eyes, for my reaction. I give him nothin'. He must wait...even if it means I have to squelch my excitement for a bit.

"That's it girl, just keep the conversation casual, keep talking about stuff that makes men's eyes dull and their ears shrivel," whispers my inner siren. I relate my day, my feelings, up coming holiday plans, his honey-do list. Just to add to my amusement, I toss in an imaginary hot flash. With deadly precision, the instant I catch him doing the nod-off-head-bob and picking up the invisible Wife Remote Control, his finger poised on the volume-mute button, I have my way with him.

Swiftly and deftly, I slit the flap of the envelope and tip out its contents. Eureka! There's gold in that there brown mailer. Pirate's gold. A couple of CDs in crystal, plastic cases. Their white play lists are stamped with the logo of that infamous, black pirate, Hammer. From between the CDs, slips this folded letter:


First off, please read the final
Throwing Hammers blog post if you haven't already. What this is and why you're receiving it will make a hell of a lot more sense that way.

Dang! Final post? I loved that blog. Totally original and thought provoking on every level. Although his blog has run for five years, I only found him 6 months ago. In his last post, among other things, he poses the question, "What does your blog sound like?"

These CDs are filled with songs that "were quoted, referenced, or embedded in this blog at some point." Feel free to pass the music forward if you like - as I said, there are no strings or expectations here. And if you do, and if someone asks you about where it came from, just tell them, "There was this guy who used to write this blog. It didn't always make sense but he seemed to have fun with it. One day he left, but on his way out the door, he made us a mixtape."

Thank you for not just accompanying me on the journey, but helping to shape it and give it direction. I won't say goodbye though. If you're reading this, then I'm pretty sure our paths will cross in the future.

And as I type this, I'm listening to his mix CDs and thinking, "Yep, that sounds like Hammer alright." And across time and space these words float in from the Hammerverse, "If you ask me, there aren't enough pleasant surprises in this world..."

It's not too late! It's not too late to dream up a way to brighten someones day. All it takes is a thought...a unexpected little somethin'...a song. No, it's not too late at all.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lady of the Night

I'm somewhat of a Lady of the Night. A true professional, but not THAT kind. As a massage therapist, I work a lot of late evenings because clients need to get in after their work day...which extends mine. I don't really mind. I made my choice. Work by "The Man's" hours and rules or work by mine. Being a "woman," I chose mine.

So, it's about 9 p.m. as I pull into the driveway. Dragging my duffel bag full of soiled linen to the washer, like a dead body, I stop a moment on the pathway and look up to the frosty, November sky. Crikey! It's getting cold in the evenings now! The sky always looks different to me in the colder part of the year than the warmer. Don't know why, to me, it just does. Clearer, maybe. Sharper.

Heck, right then and there, I plop my tired glutes down to sit on that soft, body of sheets. Shiver-upon-shiver ripple across my human landscape, but still, I sit, mesmerized by the belt of Orion. The damp coolness of the earth rising up around me. Knees bent. Elbows on knees. Arms crossed and folded across each other. Neck extended back. Eyes pointing to the black sky, sparkly stars pointing back to mine, I contemplate.

And it hits me. We are all occupying the surface of this massive rock that is traveling at enormous speeds through space. There are billions of other rocks, smaller and bigger, flying around just like we are. Just waiting to hit us. Or we hit them. Or whatever! Something WILL hit something...eventually! We ride around on the outside of our planet waiting, like a jouster about to be knocked off his horse by his opponent, for our turn. One big smack and we're all goners. Maybe it would be safer if we could somehow ride inside the Earth for some protection. But, NO! The Earth's core is a huge fire ball of raging, molten Hell.

Earthlings are carried around the sun, another massive fire ball, at nearly 67,000 mph. 670,000 miles per hour! At the same time, the Earth is spinning nearly 1000 mph at the equator. So fast it causes our planet to bulge. Our entire solar system, including Pluto which is no longer considered a planet like it was when I was in school, is buzzing around the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way, at nearly 560,000 mph. Our galaxy is moving in respect to other galaxies. And maybe, just maybe, the entire universe is moving too.

Did you know that, #3 on Top Ten Ways to Destroy the Earth is: The Earth is pulverized by impact with blunt instrument. Feasibility rating: 7/10.

Or, something hits us and Earth is Hurled into the Sun, the #1 way for Earth to be destroyed. Feasibility rating: 9/10.

And, maybe even scarier, there are folks who spend time making these feasibility ratings.

I think I've just discovered the source of my, albeit occasional, free-floating, can't-put-my-finger-on-it anxiety.

Maybe we spend too much time worrying about all the wrong stuff. Spend too much time in self-analysis, self-absorption and introspection. Too much time debasing ourselves and others for our lacks and losses. Too much time thinking we can't have this or do that. Maybe just staying on the ride without getting bucked off is good enough. Yep, probably plenty good enough for me. I wonder what the feasibility rating is that I won't have to have to fold all this laundry?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Phone Home, Clark Kent

Superman, aka Kal-El, from the planet Krypton, was jettisoned to Earth by his father, Jor-El, just moments before its destruction. He was found by a childless, Kansas couple who adopted and raised him under the name of Clark Kent. They passed on to Clark the moral values of human kind. His superhuman abilities began to show at an early age. When he matured, he took on the role of protector of humanity.

A mild-mannered reporter for the Daily Planet and on again-off again, love interest of co-worker, Lois Lane, Kent became supportive of the underdog. Stepping into telephone booths to change from his work suit into his primary colored, super crime fighting costume, he protected the weak and the righteous. And, although, he could blurringly spin villainous predators into silly putty, being an alien endowed with the magnificent power of finality and all, he chose to uphold human moral and social codes.

And the day became as if it were night. A chill noir fell over the western world and spread, like fog, from California to Miami. Hades, Lord of the Underworld, lurked under the crusty skirt of Mother Earth. He sucked, like a gopher in a garden filled with tasty, tender greens, telephone booths from her surface. A grim realization settled in among mortal top dwellers. Super Power, absolute, was scurrilously being stolen by inhabitants of lower realms, the Netherworld.

The last of the telephone booths rapidly disappeared from existence. The codexes of information they once held, known as telephone books, became even rarer. Superman was rendered impotent by the demise of his Bell tower of power. He was no longer able to shed his wool, wide-lapeled, Zoot suit jacket in favor of his flying cape, magic Speedo and jumping tights. His dabber downed, he joined the ranks of mortals.

In this world, man, forever changed, must now take responsibility for his own future. No more relying on immortal, super beings to right grievous wrongs. The great shift came, one subterranean-sucked telephone booth at a time. One mortal at a time, the era of the Power of Man began. (from

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Positive Infinity

My dad (L) with his best friend Al (R) holding me~1953

Photographs...hung in the ethers.


Some are happy.

Some are sad.

Some are in between.

I see that, even at a young age, my attitude showed. "What obstacle?"~ Ronda and Mark~1957

Stepping stones

Yep, I pretty much act the same way today. Me~1957

along the timeline

Me and my sistah, Tami-1967 (she doesn't think we look like each other, what do you think?)

of life

Sophomore, fall of 1968 proudly wearing the dress I made that summer. Sheesh! Need to wax those brows, girlie (we tweezed in those days).

leading from one to the

Senior, 1971. Hmmm, eyebrows are a little better but it was about this time that shaving or tweezing legs, axillary (arm pits) or anything went out of fashion. That fad didn't last long for me.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Once Upon a Time, There was Castle-mania

When I was growing up, I loved being read to and loved reading. I loved stories about castles and the princesses who lived in them. I would get lost in stories for days and could easily forget my current incarnation as Ronda. When I read fairy tales like Rumpelstiltskin, The Princess and the Pea, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty, I WAS A PRINCESS AND I LIVED IN A CASTLE . I knew those stories by heart. I built castles out of sand and boxes and sheet covered chairs. As I fell asleep, my bed became my castle, the floor a moat.

Me and Mrs. Jones

I have had many careers in my life, but that was the first thing I ever remember truly wanting for my future. I longed to be a princess. To live a romantic life in a castle in which my every whim and desire was provided and attended to by everyone in residence. But, alas, being a daughter of hard working, responsible, practical, lower middle class, suburban parents, my royal reign never materialized. Instead, I was taught to be a hard working, self-sufficient, responsible individual. I found myself a hard working, self-sufficient, responsible husband. And although he can fix a mean toilet and put new windows and roof on our house, he doesn't have a gallant, white steed or a castle and he doesn't treat me like a princess. But now that I think about it, once upon a time, he did have a Mustang...a 1965, to be exact. Does that count? Anyhoo...

No one in my life ever gave me royal treatment except this man, "M."

Queen of Hearts

He was one of my best friends from high school and beyond. His step father was a well-to-do doctor and his mother was a connoisseur of haute couture. He was artistic, handsome and gay. Not something you wanted to be in Red Neck Country in the late 60s and early 70s. After a suicide attempt, and a court mandated stint in mental health, he got his stuff together and attended cosmetology school.

Partridge in a Pear Tree

For a few years after he got his license, he participated in hair show competitions. His specialty? The Fantasy Division. He picked me to be his model. Don't really know why. I'm not anywhere near the model type. I'm short, don't yearn for the spotlight and would be described as closer to cute than beautiful.

But he made me feel beautiful and spoiled me with a privileged existence. He took days and weeks trying my hair in different colors (pink, green, red, silver) and styles, had my gowns custom designed and sewn, spent hours picking exactly the right shade of lipstick and nail polish, arched my eyebrows, painted my nails and taught me how to walk a run way and behave with proper castle etiquette. In return, being the hard working, reliable one, I showed up to ALL of his numerous rehearsals, fitting appointments, make up appointments and the big events.

The Ice Princess
Yep, I'm wearing a candelabra on my head. It is large, silver, and wrought iron complete with crystals and lit candles.

The hair shows were nothing short of torture in many cases. Fun torture, but torture none the less. Those head pieces weighed a ton and I won't even tell you about how they were stapled to my head. Try wearing one all the while smiling and walking regally like a princess. But he won many trophies, gained notoriety, moved to San Francisco, about three hours to the south, and styled the hair of 70s celebs like The Pointer Sisters. He met his future husband, "B". Later they adopted two children, a boy with Autism and a daughter from an abusive situation. The kids are grown now and he no longer lives in Frisco but, he and "B" are still together and in love. "M" did get his fairy tale ending.

As for me? Thanks, "M," for letting me live "La Vita Princess." But being a princess can be hard work and I believe I'm happier with "La Vita Plain and Simple." Ta ta, royal subjects, ta ta!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

By the Garden Gate

By the Garden Gate by Preston "Bud" Morris
Ronda and Mark

Reya, from After the Gold Puppy, was on a walk down Nostalgia Avenue a week or so ago. She invited us to post old photos of our own journey down that street. The blast of emotion that hit me upon opening the first of my many, many boxes of photos (no, they are not organized as I would like) smacked my gluteus maximus down hard into the seat of The Way Back Machine. It spun me into the past like a Whirling Dervish. For the next few posts I'll display photos and memories of my origins.

My father was a photographer. Out of the earliest files in my brain, flew images of him and his camera. Inseparable. The cameras changed over the years but he always seemed to stay the same. Calm. Quiet. Tall. Dark. Creative. Strong. Consistent. Reliable. A teacher. Yep, great qualities for a dad. Any dad. My dad.

In addition to his private photography business, he worked as a photo finisher in the days before 1-hour photo kiosks and digital photography. Sometimes he would take my brother and I to work with him. We always were excited and thought he was giving us a special day. But, in retrospect, my mom probably had to do something and he got stuck with us. Early in the morning, we would go to the retail store where he worked and pick up bags of film people had dropped off. Then we went around to other businesses around town that had film drop-offs. He always took us inside with him and proudly introduced us as he picked up unprocessed film and deposited the previous days finished photos.

With a box full of canvas, zippered bags and us in tow, he would take us to a little hamburger stand for lunch. Then we headed several miles out of town to the lab where he would develop all of those pictures. As we watched, he would open those zippered bags, dump out the little, metal, cylindrical tins with rubber caps holding spools of film. Into the dark room, with its special light that wouldn't ruin the film, we would go. He would open the tins, look at the negatives that looked like they were from a Reverse Bizarro World where light is dark and dark is light, and begin his magic alchemy.

I don't really remember what he did with the negatives, but some how he embedded the images from the negative film onto paper. Then with his magic trays of clear potion, he moved the pieces of paper from tray to tray with tongs. In the last tray, the paper started changing from plain white to, at first, faint, ghostly underwater images to, at last, exact replicas of living people and solid matter. Taking the photos out of the solution, he hung them by clips, on a long wire stretched across the room, to dry. The chemical smell of photo developer still makes me happy and is forever linked with my father.

Unbeknownst to us, he, apparently, had been submitting pictures to different contests and magazines over the years. While he was alive, the only affirmation of his work came from his family and local clients. He died in 1977 of a massive coronary. About 20 plus years after his death, my mother received a royalty check from the American Greeting Card Company for $125 for the top photo. It is called By the Garden Gate and is of me and my brother, Mark, at my Aunt Dot's house in Stockton, California.

We tried to find out what they were going to use his picture for, but never received a reply to our query. But, within a year after the check was received, all those mugs, cards and items featuring a little girl and a little boy, dressed in cute clothes, started appearing for sale. We'll never know for sure but, we think it was dad's photograph they used for their promotion.

I got a visit from dad on All Hallows. It was a very soft and gentle meeting. He just sat on the edge of my bed and looked at me for a while. Then he held out his hand and my mother joined him. They haven't been together for over 30 years. No words were spoken but, I could feel their love, strong and truer than ever. Just because people are gone doesn't mean they're not with us. Immortality is often far different than we think.

Preston "Bud" Morris, high school graduation picture, age 18

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Yppah Neewollah!

Me and my brother, Mark, approximately 1958 or 1959

This coming Saturday is Halloween. Hallows, Hallowmas, Samhain or All Hallows Eve is the final jewel in the crown of the year. At this time, the power of the year is represented by the crone. Wise and strong, she is symbolic of honoring the aging process and individual work. With the death of the year, comes rebirth and renewal at Yule. This is a wonderful time to affirm what you want in your life for the coming year.

Vail, Colorado

The veils between worlds is thinnest on this night. The air is alive with the possibility of connecting with people, loved ones and pets that have passed on to the afterlife. In ancient texts, it is written that those who have been deceased for at least a year and one day may come back to visit. I always try to communicate with the dead on this night. So far, I don't recollect any visitations. I usually fall asleep and have a vague sense that there is something I should remember. Maybe, just maybe, this time I will retain the memory of who comes to call. I really, really want to know that we connected.

And now a story for the season. My sister's mother-in-law, R, shared this ghost story with me after she read my post, Ghostown.

"By the way, not too long after my sister, "M", passed away, before we moved up here, my daughter "T" had a visit from her one night. "T" told me the next morning that "M" was just standing in the doorway looking at her and smiling. "T" said she was not scared and pretty soon "M" faded away. "T" went back to sleep. I told "T" that her Aunt "M" probably just wanted to say goodbye to her one last time. "M" and "T" always had a close relationship while she was alive. I had a chance to say goodbye to "M" while she was at UCLA Medical Hospital but "T" wasn't with me."

Thanks for sharing this story with me, R. How about any one else? Have you, or someone you know, had an experience that falls outside the range of "normal"?

Vail, Colorado

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Archangel Michael Swords of Light

While in Vail, Colorado, we did lots of energy and healing work. In some of the work, we used Archangel Michael Swords of Light. The swords are composed of selenite. It is also called satin spar. Many people know it more commonly as alabaster. They are custom made. A picture of Archangel Michael along with a statement from him, affirming the importance of spiritual work, channeled through Edward Cayce, is embedded within the handle of each wand. They also contain mementos and energy from three different gurus. The swords are alive with vortexes of energy. The vortexes, similar to chakras, emanate energy and colorful light. They are Divine instruments for healers and beings wishing to work with Light for their own benefit.

Selenite is composed of calcium sulfate. Its crystal structure is tabular and it has striations running lengthwise. Originally, selenite crystals formed in clay beds or near hot springs. The selenite, of which these custom wands are created, comes from South Africa.

The swords quickly activate and open the third-eye, crown, and 8th through 14th chakras. The intensity of the energy, as it runs through the selenite, is stronger than almost any other crystal for working with the upper chakras. It can balance and automatically adjust the speed and rotation of the chakras. It is one of the keys to unlocking the etheric chakras and can clear blockages in the energy field. It is ideal for healers because it is perfect for energetic clearing and purification. The Swords of Light can direct high frequency energy into the body to promote physical, emotional and spiritual healing. It is said that when selenite opens the third eye, or inner eye, the spiritual world enters. When other stones and crystals are place on the wand, their strength is greatly magnified.

Having a healing session with one of these instruments is totally mind blowing. I held it over my heart center with both hands wrapped around the hilt. Four other healers stood around me as I lay on a massage table and directed the Creator's source energy through the sword and into my physical and energetic bodies. What I felt is hard to describe. Buzzing. Tingling. Travel back into the time of primordial creation. Timelessness. Peace. Swimming in the Milky Way and beyond. Buzz Lightyear's got nothin' on me. Neither does Major Tom. Back in the day, you would think I was smokin' wacky tabaccy or drinkin' Electric Kool-Aid. But, now days, just give me some selenite, crystals and a couple of powerful energy workers and I'm off. And...I really didn't want to come back. Truly, Planet Earth is a great place to explore but I'm finding there are many, many other places that are also fun to visit.

I don't own one of these fine tools, yet, as they start around $300 and go way up from there. Many of the healers that attended the conference bought them while there. Many others brought their swords with them for the express purpose of doing this work. There were Archangel Michael Swords of Light Healing Sessions going on all over the place for days. In fact, I was surprised that they are so easy to get through airport security. But they are sold with cardboard containers that have capped ends, similar to what you would carry a fishing pole in, except they are shorter. Still...I can only imagine what the airline workers think when the send them through the x-ray machines.

"Be still, my children! Bow thine heads, that the Lord of the Way make
known unto you that have been chosen for service in this period when there is
the need of that spirit being made manifest in the Earth, that the way may be
known to those that seek the Light! For the glory of the Father will be made
manifest through you that are faithful unto the calling where-in thou hast
been called. Ye that have named the name make known in thy daily walks
of life, in the little acts of the lessons that have been building in thine own
experience, through those associations of self in meditation and prayer, that
this way may be known among men: for He calls all--whosoever will may
come--and He stands at the door of thine own conscience, that ye may be
aware the scepter has not departed from Israel, nor have His ways been
in vain: for today, ye will harken, the way is open--I, Michael, call on

Archangel Michael's statement channeled through Edgar Cayce on
September 4, 1932