It Didn’t Look Like That. Not At All.

Well, I was right when in my last entry I predicted that Tenkiller Lake wouldn’t look anything like it did last January, but I didn’t reach far enough. Not by a long shot. I wasn’t prepared for the verdant, mossy, red-earthed beauty I found when we got there. We could see only small glimpses of the lake through the trees, though, which really wasn’t a hardship in the least. Built on a slope leading to the lake, the house is a split level that makes you feel like you’re in a tree house.

Of course, nearly constant rain since March has done a lot to make the surrounding woods a magical faeryland. We were housebound all Friday night and Saturday morning (I think. The days tend to flow together out there) as a torrential downpour went on and on and on and on. And on. No one minded though, because we had the big river rock fireplace, CDs, DVDs, guitars, and each other for entertainment. No internet, no cable TV, precious little cell phone. Enough for emergency purposes.

When I got up this morning, turned on my laptop and connected to the internet for the first time in five days, I realized how little I really missed about it. First, I got hit up with a mess of email spam, then I was criticized by someone I hardly know (but call a friend???) in Facebook for a humorous article I posted. My reaction was, “Hey, I don’t need this crap, and I don’t give a rat’s ass if what I posted offended your tiny wittle feewings. It’s called a sense of humor.” Without a moment’s hesitation I unfriended and blocked her. I probably wouldn’t have done if it was the first time she’s done this, but the truth is, she does it all the time. In fact, she never reacts positively to anything I post. I don’t need that.

Now, I’m fully aware that I’ve made some real friends online, although we’ve never met, but I’ve decided to go in and clear my “Friends” list of everyone who either never responds to anything, always responds negatively, or who are just basically humorless loads. I’m no longer suffering fools. I’ve finally come to realize how much I don’t need social media and of how much of my precious time it steals from what’s left of my life. That’s changing. It has already changed.

By George, I think I’ve got it. Shut up. It just takes longer for some people.

If you want to see more photos, click here.

Happy little pooch.
Happy little Nigel enjoys being a “free-range” pooch.
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It Won’t Look Like This

January 2015

This most likely will be the last entry I make until after the long weekend, which we’ll be spending at Tenkiller Ferry Lake. We leave on Thursday morning and won’t be home until Monday afternoon. I’ve been counting down this trip for four months and I can’t wait to see what the view looks like after all of the rain the state’s gotten since the beginning of April. It won’t look like this; I doubt we’ll even be able to see the lake from the deck. I don’t care, it’s the property I love, its joyful spirit and its serenity. I look forward to taking a lot more pictures, too. I’ve looked at the last batch so much, I’m sure they must have faded by now.

I look forward to being away from this busy corner, to being out of these four walls and away from sirens and car stereos. I look forward to nights that are absolutely quiet and so dark that it’s hard to see anything. I look forward to Nigel not needing to be leashed when we go for walks and of the way he nestles between us on the sofa before the fire. His anxiety level goes way down out there and he has the neighbor dogs to run and play with as well. I look forward to watching the birds that perch to eat on the large redwood feeder just outside the prow-front windows.

Four months of counting down have finally turned into only two days (not counting today, which is already half over). I’ll post photos as soon as I get back. Have a great week!

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Camera Shy

Photo of me by Wade Johnson at Bandtree IV.

I’ve put off sharing this video all week. Sure, I posted it in Facebook, but that was for people whom I know like me and would never be so insensitive as to notice the bad lighting and subsequent shadows that make me look about 70, and the camera that makes me look about 20 pounds overweight—or at least shows me as I am, destroying my fantasy that I don’t need to lose all that much. I’ve gotten increasingly camera shy through the years, so posting these videos is a big step. Where once I leapt up whenever a camera entered the room, I now prefer to be the one behind it.

The point of posting this is to say that I believe we should sing for those who are around us. Sing where you are! That’s why I’m working so hard on the upcoming concert I’ll be holding in our home in October. I’m planning to record another video or two this week, if I can fit it in before we leave for the lake. Who knows? I might even do some recording out there.

I recorded this in my garage (hence the chaos of boxes and lumber behind me, which I actually kind of like the look of) with nothing  but the overhead lights. No amplification, no mixer, no nuthin’, on a Nikon DX-3100 DSLR. Just raw and naked, you know? Not knowing I was going to be recording myself, I didn’t bother to dress in something fun (in fact, that day I was steam cleaning the carpets), wash my hair, or put on makeup. Gads, I didn’t even take off my glasses! You might think I’m either a megalomaniac or a masochist, but in truth I find that the older I get the fewer fucks I have to give and the fewer people I want or need to impress. I hope you’ll just listen to the song. But this was meant to be a rehearsal video, something for me to learn from. Just a note: the guitar sounds a little funky on this because I had to compress the file before WordPress would accept it.

I wrote So Shyly during the Summer of Love (1967), about two months before my 16th birthday. I still enjoy performing it because it feels really good in the throat. It was inspired by something that happened to me at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (yeah, we hung out at places like that back then) and it takes me back to the girl I was, full of hope, full of dreams, full of angst. Anyway, I hope you enjoy listening to it as much.


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A Monsoon For All Seasons

All right, enough already. We’ve had nearly constant rain—and by rain I don’t mean sweet little showers, I mean monsoon worthy downpours—for weeks upon weeks now and I’m pret-ty darned tired of it. Oh, hush up you west coasters. I know you’re in a really bad way with your drought and all. I know, because I survived that horrible one in the 1980s. I remember gathering every drop of water by keeping plastic buckets under the shower head and sink taps. I remember all of it. Besides, we’re just now seeing the end of our own drought here. But really, as badly as I feel about your plight (I’ve boycotted Nestlé, but it’s about all I can do for you from Oklahoma), I’m selfishly thinking about me now, and me am tired of rain! OK?

The good news is that last year’s Hollyhocks, which never grew taller than about 15-inches and never bloomed, are about 4-feet tall now and are loaded with buds and new flowers. The bad news is that I really regret that I didn’t feel up to planting my Patty Pan squash, cantaloupes, and peas in April. Maybe it’s not too late… if only this rain would let up.

I’m really excited about the coming week because we’re going to spend Thursday through Monday at the house at Tenkiller Ferry Lake. I’ve been counting the days since our last stay back in January. It should be beautiful and lush by now, and the water level of the lake should have risen a good deal. I’m hoping we’ll have some sunshine while there, but if not, there’s always the fireplace to enjoy as well as the amazing view across the lake. I was planning on washing the huge prow-front windows, but I think that’s rather a lost cause this trip. And gathering firewood? Nuh-uh. Better buy some before leaving. I also hope it doesn’t rain so that Nigel can play with his friends, the neighborhood dogs. He and the next door neighbor’s dog, Cookie, really took to each other last time. I call it a neighborhood, but it’s really just a sparse grouping of houses on a dirt lane in the woods beside the lake.

Anyway, enough rain, all right?

Nigel & Cookie
Nigel & Cookie
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