Rainey Daze and Crazy Nights

Poetry, Paintings, and Ponderings: Through My Eyes

The Tree Got Decorated, but Not According to Planned December 1, 2013

English: A bauble on a Christmas tree.

English: A bauble on a Christmas tree. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like most things in my life lately, today did not go as planned.

We planned on going through all the many boxes of Christmas decorations and throwing out the junk and taking what we didn’t want to the secondhand store. We planned to decorate the tree this morning. It did get decorated…eventually.

My daughter S and her partner E came over early this morning and brought us breakfast. J got up feeling grumpy, but she seemed to shake it off. We ate and started making plans to decorate. J got upset and reminded us that she was going to church with a friend. We promised we would wait until she returned.

J has struggled a lot lately with bipolar, thyroid problems, and OCD. We are not a family that attends church, but J talked to a good friend who told her to come to her church and attend counseling with the preacher. I am not fond of this idea for several reasons, but I will save that for another post. However I kept my reservations to myself and wished her well.

She didn’t return until 2:00. She said it was great and she seemed happy. We pulled out all the boxes we needed and spread everything out in the living room. The dogs (4 of them) had played outside all day and managed to get all 16 paws filthy! S asked her sister a simple question. Nothing major; just a question.

“Are there still dishes in the sink?” (She wanted to wash paws before allowing the dogs to come in the house).

For some reason, this question from her sister sent J over the edge. She yelled at S and told her to “get off her back” and said she “couldn’t handle this right now.” She then stormed off to her room.

S looked at me and said, “I just asked her a simple question.” J SCREAMED “I can hear you, you know!” So S went to her room and tried to talk to her. She calmly told her that she just asked about the sink because the dogs needed to be cleaned, and that we had waited all day for her to help us decorate the tree, and we would really like her to join us. (S has learned how to talk to J when she gets like this from years of experience.)

S came out but J stayed in her room. We went through the motions of getting the boxes open to begin sorting, but to be honest I was in a daze and don’t really know what we were doing. After a few minutes, J comes out of her room with her keys in her  hand. I tried talking to her but she ignored me and walked past and out the door. I went after her, but she was already in the car. I told her to hand me her keys but she refused. I was so scared she would drive off and hurt herself! By this time hubs came out to help me. I kept asking and she kept refusing. I suddenly felt overwhelmingly tired to my very core. I looked at hubs and told him I couldn’t do this and walked away. He took the keys from her. As I reached the house I heard her scream “THEN I WILL WALK!” as she slammed her car door.

J began walking down the road. Barefoot. I don’t know what was going on in her head, and she doesn’t remember. She didn’t go far before she turned around and came back to the yard. She sat right in the ditch. Hubs walked out to her and it was as if she were coming out of some sort of fugue. She started crying hysterically and asking, “Why am I in the ditch? What happened?” He led her back to me.

We calmed her down. Then we decorated the tree.



Unicorns and Tree Spirits October 28, 2013


unicorns (Photo credit: Martyn and Debz)


I once believed in endless possibilities. Anything, absolutely ANYTHING, was possible. The world was a wondrous place, and I believed it all.


In my mind, Unicorns were real. It didn’t matter that my mom told me otherwise. She even pulled out the encyclopedia (this big set of books we used to have before Google) and proved it to me. But I didn’t believe her. Deep down inside, I just knew that one day I would catch a glimpse of this magical creature. I daydreamed about them for hours at a time, imagining our adventures together.


There were other things I believed in with the certainty that only a child with a grand imagination could. Pegasus was real and flying around when we were not looking. Characters in books were more than characters. They stepped off the pages and lived real lives. I believed in tree spirits. As a young child I often played, alone, under the boughs of the many trees in my backyard. They seemed to have distinctly different personalities: some were loving and gentle, while others where playful and mischievous. It was all perfectly logical to me.


Some of my certain beliefs were not cute or sweet. I believed in horrible monsters who hid in dark corners and waited for wandering little girls. I believed a creature lived under my bed at night. Evil: pure, unadulterated evil, lived and breathed in my world. I could feel it and see it, just out of the corner of my eye…I didn’t know until later that real evil lurked in some people I knew, and the dark corners would one day be my refuge…


Somewhere along the way I lost that belief in endless possibilities. When did it happen? Was it a gradual death that took place over a long period as I traded Barbie dolls and toy cars for long-haired boys and beer? Or did it happen suddenly, a lost innocence that occurred like a sharp intake of my breath when I met real evil? I’m not sure when or how it happened, but I do know I cannot go back.


I miss unicorns and tree spirits. I miss those times of simple faith. Believing is not easy at all for me anymore.



The Crooked Tree May 25, 2013

Once, deep in a beautiful green forest, a teeny tiny tree seed fell onto the rich soil of the forest floor. Now, in this forest, many seeds fell onto the forest floor, but most were quickly eaten by the hungry birds that lived among the trees. This particular seed, however, was so tiny, so incredibly small, that it was overlooked by the birds. After a few days the seed began to sprout.

Now, you must know that all the seeds that were not eaten by the hungry birds began to sprout. Soon, the rabbits of the forest smelled the new sprouts. The rabbits came out of their little rabbit homes and gathered around to eat the fresh tender sprouts. The teeny tiny seed had sprouted into a teeny tiny sprout and was overlooked by the hungry rabbits.

The teeny tiny sprout felt very fortunate. As he looked around,  he saw only a few other sprouts still standing. He was so happy, he did a little wiggle in the wind. The other sprouts laughed at him and called him a baby. The teeny tiny sprout was so embarrassed he turned red all the way to the top of his teeny tiny leaf.

All of the sprouts growing on the forest floor were watched over by the ancients. The ancients were the top trees of the forest. They had the tallest, straightest trunks you could imagine! Their beautiful branches stretched far and wide, casting deep shadows across the forest floor. Only a little sunlight filtered down through their thick branches. The ancients knew the sprouts needed sunlight to grow, and that only the strongest and smartest sprouts would survive. It was the way of the forest.

Time passed and the sprouts continued to grow. Most sprouts grew tall and straight, with their heads lifting higher and higher towards the few rays of sunlight that filtered down through the ancients. They had beautiful straight bodies filled with perfect little leaves. Their bark was strong and turning a rich brown. A few sprouts began to wither and die because they could not reach the much-needed rays of sun. The teeny tiny sprout grew, but he was a lot smaller than the other sprouts. He was not near a sun ray, and it was hard for him to  make new leaves. His trunk was thin. It made him sad to see some of the other sprouts begin to die, and he worried that he, too would die.

The taller sprouts called him names and told him it was just a matter of time until he died like the other weaklings. Teeny tiny sprout tried to ignore their taunts, but it was hard. He was determined to grow and survive! He spent hours and hours thinking about his problem and how he could solve it. He gazed up at the ancients and wondered how they survived. How he longed to become an ancient so he could watch over the little seedlings of the forest! As he was peering up, he noticed something unusual about several of the  ancients. The bottom of their long, towering trunks were thick and straight. But as he looked up toward the very top of their bodies, he noticed that most, if not all, were bent and crooked. It was hard to see because the ancients were so crowded together and their long branches were interwoven. He wondered why they grew this way. Suddenly, he understood!

From that day forward, teeny tiny sprout stopped worrying about being tall and straight. He leaned his teeny tiny body towards any bit of sunlight he could reach. He began to grow, but he was bent in odd places. The other sprouts told him he looked ridiculous. Teeny tiny sprout tried to explain to them what he discovered about the ancients, but they just covered their ears with bark and refused to listen.

All the sprouts who survived became small tree-lets. Some of the tree-lets were tall and straight because they were lucky enough to stand in a beam of sunlight. Teeny tiny tree-let continued to grow, but he was bent in so many places he was still very low to the ground. But he had beautiful leaves, and his truck was a rich brown. The other tree-lets continued to make fun of him, but he no longer cared. He knew he was different, but he was happy and that was all that mattered.

Late one afternoon, all sunlight disappeared as dark clouds gathered high above the heads of the ancients. The ancients locked limbs to protect the young tree-lets, because they knew the dangers of the storm. Before long, thunder rumbled and rain pelted the forest floor. The tree-lets loved the rain and began drinking it in as fast as it fell. After several minutes, the tree-lets were full of rain and could hold no more. But the rain came down even harder and the roots of the tree-lets could fill the soil washing away. This worried teeny tiny tree, so he tried to squeeze his roots more tightly into the ground.

As the rain continued to pound the forest floor, the ancients started to wave around wildly. The wind was a fierce beast who beat them upon their heads and tossed them around. One ancient, born many, many years before, was snapped in half. Wind didn’t even care and kept pounding at the forest. On the forest floor, the tall, straight tree-lets were tossed around as well. It was hard to hang onto the wet slippery soil when the wind pulled them back and forth. Several tree-lets were ripped from the soil and tossed to the wind, never to be seen again. Teeny tiny tree-let hugged his bent trunk close to the forest floor. He did not stand as tall as the other tree-lets, so he was able to hug closer to the ground. He hung on with all his might.

An hour later the storm passed. The forest dripped with rain and the sun shone again. It was sad to see the ancient who fell, but that was the way of the forest. As teeny tiny tree-let looked around, he realized many other tree-lets were gone. Only three remained, including himself. He was very sad the others were gone, even if they had treated him badly. He knew it was the way of the forest, but it still saddened his heart.

Years passed and teeny tiny tree-let grew into a tree. He had a strong, straight trunk, but the top of his body was bent because he continued to grow in the direction of the sun. He became known as crooked tree instead of teeny tiny tree. The other two tree-lets also became trees, but they were not as strong as crooked tree. They were tall and they were straight, but their trunks were thin and weak.

Another fierce storm came, and this time both of the other trees were snapped. Their thin straight trunks could not survive the howling wind. Crooked tree wrapped his crooked treetop around the legs of an ancient and managed to survive. He was sad to see the others go and mourned their loss.

Suddenly, crooked tree heard the booming voice of an ancient. The ancient explained that only the strongest and smartest survived because it was the way of the forest. He told crooked tree he was the only one who was smart enough to follow the sun, even if it meant being crooked. Crooked tree tremble with pride at these words. He knew he would one day join the ancients at the top of the forest.

Morning Moon Shine


Winter Haiku January 26, 2013

cold drips from the sky

splashes on the landscape and

frosts the world in white.


frosted world


The Most Important Event December 9, 2012

She parked her car in the gravel parking lot and looked around. It was a beautiful mild December day. Sunlight flickered through the branches of the bare trees and warmed the air. There were three other cars already there, indicating that others had also decided to walk on this glorious day. Megan decided to leave her phone in the car because she needed to think about a few things without being interrupted. She did grab her whistle and water bottle before getting out. Leaning against her car, Megan tied her shoelaces, pulled on her gloves, and did a few stretches. After a few moments, she strolled toward the path to begin her walk.

Megan looked around and admired the beauty of the winter forest. Most of the trees were bare, with only a handful of stubborn leaves yet to fall. The evergreens wore their winter greenery with pride against the nakedness of the other trees. The path, littered with discarded pine needles and  brown leaves, crunched under her feet. Here and there, squirrels chattered and scurried about among the dry brown grass, gathering supplies for the colder season. Birds darted among the branches, calling out to her as she passed. Megan loved walking in the forest because it always soothed her soul.

Today, however, just a few minutes into the walk her mind drifted away from the beauty in front of her. Megan must make a hard decision and her mind soon engaged in a battle. She thought back to this morning, when she sat on the edge of the bathtub and stared, unbelievingly, at the stick she held in her trembling hand. The pregnancy stick that had a distinct “+” on the end. The pregnancy stick that told her a child had formed inside of her.

She hadn’t told anyone. She put on her game face and went about her day as normal. Some instinct told her not to even tell Derek even though she usually told him everything. She and Derek dated all through high school and then college. She graduated and started her career, but Derek was still in grad school. They moved in together last year, and their plans were to get married a year after he graduated. She loved him with all of her heart and he was so good to her. They got along very well and agreed on all the big things in life. Well, almost all.  One thing they did disagree on was having children. Derek’s mother and sister had bipolar disorder, and he grew up watching the terrible struggles they both dealt with on a daily basis. His father walked out when Derek was only 7, and Derek spent his young years trying to keep the family together and make everyone happy. At that time, neither his sister nor his mother had a diagnosis, so neither took medication. That didn’t happen until years later.

Derek did not want to have children. Ever. He spent his youth ‘raising’ his sister and mother, and the chance that his own child would have the disorder was high. In fact, he scheduled a vasectomy 3 months ago, but became sick with the flu and had to postpone the surgery. He got so busy trying to catch up his school work that he hadn’t had time to reschedule it yet.

Megan strolled deeper into the forest, so lost in thought she didn’t even see her surroundings. She wanted this miracle that grew inside her. Even if she or he suffered with a mental disorder, or a physical handicap, or any other problem, Megan wanted this child more than anything she had ever wanted in her life. After all, every person on Earth struggled with something; she would help her child conquer any problem and be successful. But the thought of leaving Derek broke her heart.

About 4 months ago, Megan had broached the topic of having children. Derek held her hands in his and looked deeply into her eyes. He told her that, as much as he loved her, he would not bring a child into this world and if she felt strongly about having a child, he would have to let her go. His eyes filled with tears and he told her to really think about it, because he wanted her to be happy. Megan couldn’t bear to see him so upset, so she told him she could give up the idea of having a child because having him meant more. And she meant it. Until now.

Thoughts continued to roll and tumble through her head as Megan walked along the forest path. Suddenly, she shivered, which brought her back to an awareness of her surroundings. It was suddenly much, much colder. Megan looked around. It seemed so dark and eerie here. I don’t remember this part of the path, she thought to herself. The trees which had appeared so beautiful, now crowded in and loomed over her with threatening darkness. Spanish moss dripped from low branches that were like long fingertips reaching for her. An eerie silence enveloped her. There were no chattering squirrels or calling birds in this part of the forest. Megan shivered again and quickened her steps. She knew her imagination was getting the best of her. Perhaps it was from the hormonal changes already occurring in her body. She heard that those changes could make a woman feel crazy sometimes. Nevertheless, her fingers clutched the whistle she kept for emergencies.

She realized she was her heart was pounding and she was panting and tried to calm down. This cannot be good for the baby, she thought. Megan walked around a small bend in the path and suddenly saw a brightness ahead. Finally! she thought. I will be out of this creepy section and back into the sunlight. She quickened her steps even more. After a few more minutes the chill left her and sunlight filtered through and warmed her. The chattering of forest animals once again filled the air. Megan slowed down and chuckled at herself for being so silly.

After a few more minutes, Megan thought something wasn’t right. When she realized what it was, she stopped dead in her tracks. Turning slowly in a circle, she gazed all around her. Whereas before the forest was weird because it was so dead and threatening, now it was weird because it was so…ALIVE! All around her, the forest glowed with the beautiful greenery of summer. Rich ,green leaves that rustled softly in a gentle breeze covered the branches of every tree. The ground underneath the trees glowed with tall grass that waved with the breeze. The air was so warm she began to sweat in her jacket and winter gloves.

Megan stood and stared. Maybe I am losing my mind, she thought. Do you hallucinate when pregnant? Her first instinct was to use her phone to google it, but she remembered leaving her phone in the car. She no longer felt threatened, just confused.

“Where am I?”, she muttered out loud. A tiny giggle echoed in the trees. Megan gasped, realizing she was not alone.

“Who is there?”, she croaked. Another giggle answered her. It sounded like a small child.  Megan stepped from the path and walked slowly into the dense grass growing beneath the trees. To her left, she saw a small rustle of leaves beneath a beautiful flowering bush. She turned in that direction and knelt on her knees.

“Hello! I won’t hurt you! Come on out. Are you lost?” she said softly. A small face appeared between the branches. Her breath caught in her throat as she stared at the most beautiful face she had ever seen. Golden brown hair, highlighted by the sun, framed a pixie face. A mischievous smile played on the perfect bow lips, and the hint of dimples danced along high cheekbones. What really caught her attention were the eyes; large blue eyes, surrounded by long thick lashes, that twinkled and sparkled as if the sun itself glowed within. She felt that she knew this face; like she had seen it before.

The child beckoned for her to come forward. Without hesitation, Megan crawled on her hands and knees until she was under the branches of the bush. The sight before her was amazing.

The limbs of the bush arched high into the air and formed a cave of sorts. It was big enough that Megan could stand if she wanted, but instead she fell back in amazement. The sunlight that filtered through the dense greenery caused the white flowers on the branches to glow like a million tiny lights. The ground was soft; covered in the most amazingly thick and dark green moss she ever felt. The child sat in a wee little chair created from tree branches and covered in a growing vine. The leaves of the vine formed a soft cushion in the chair and looked delightful. The child, a girl, wore a tiny green dress made from leaves, vines, and tree bark.

“You found me!” she said, clapping her small hands together with delight. She appeared no older than two years old, but spoke with the voice and words of an older child. “I knew you would!” Her giggle echoed around the room.

“Wh-what? Who-who are you?” Megan stuttered.

Another giggle surrounded her. It was like listening to a musical wind chime.

“Don’t you recognize me? Look closely!” she said. The dimples winked and disappeared.

Megan’s breath caught in her throat. She knew those dimples. Those beautiful dimples that could appear and disappear with the twitch of a small smile. She saw them once, long ago, on an old home video Derek showed her. This child, this wee little elfin child, was the female image of Derek when he was little. Age and time had robbed him of his dimples, but Megan remembered them from the home movie. She suddenly felt very confused and sick to her stomach.

“You look like…I mean… it can’t be…are you Derek’s child? Did he already have a child with someone else?” Tears welled up in her eyes at the thought.

“No, silly. You are my mommy and Derek is my daddy!” The child smiled. Megan blinked, then gasped. She saw the resemblance to Derek, and now, suddenly, she saw herself. The little girl had the same face shape and high cheekbones that she had herself. Her golden brown hair was the same hair that Megan had when she was younger. Her thoughts tumbled in her head.

“But-but-but…it can’t…how can…I don’t understand!”

Gently, the little girl reached out with the tips of her tiny fingers and softly touched Megan’s stomach. “That is me.”

Megan somehow knew this to be true; impossible, but as true as anything she had ever known. This knowing filled her body with a bright lightness and pure joy. This time, it was Megan who giggled.

“It is you, isn’t it?” she smiled at her beautiful child. Just as suddenly as the joy filled her heart, though, a shadow dimmed her happiness and tears threatened to spill from her eyes. “I don’t know what to do. Derek doesn’t want children and he will leave me. I don’t think I…”

“Shhh….hush that doubt.” The child’s tiny finger brushed Megan’s lips. “Go to him. All will be well. I promise.” A golden smile filled her face and radiated with beauty.

Megan’s doubts lifted and pure joy returned. Her cheeks felt wet and she realized she was crying with happiness. She knew it was time to talk to Derek, so she gently hugged the small girl and backed away from the lovely room. Happiness quickened her steps along the path. Incredibly, around two more bends in the path, she found herself back in the forests of bare branches and crunchy leaves. She soon saw the parking lot in the near distance.

As Megan sat in her car, she knew everything would be fine. Derek would join her in welcoming this new baby, this miracle, into their lives. She found her hand rubbing the spot on her belly where the child had touched her. “I can’t wait to see you again,” she whispered. She drove off to talk to Derek about the most important event in their lives.

Mystical Forest



The Moss July 23, 2012

The moss drips from the bough

leaving the tree naked,

raw and exposed


The moss floats on the surface

looking at the reflection

that peers back


The moss grows more and more weary

as water slowly seeps in

and brings it down


The moss allows it to happen

welcomes the water

too weary to fight.


Summer Through the Lens July 20, 2012

A doe was kind enough to stop for a photo.

A field of happiness!

Stopping for a quick sip…

I wonder what lives here?

Watching the sun sink into the trees…

Time for a snack!

A rainy summer day…(sigh)

I love the ease of summer days. Earth dresses in lush, vibrant colors and nature peeks out of every corner. Animals stop to say hello and the world is wrapped in a heavy warmth that lingers in my bones.


River Trail Thoughts April 29, 2012

The birds were not cooperating today, so I could not get any good pictures of them. Instead, I decided to go for a walk on a local trail. This walk inspired a lot of thinking about life.

The gravel trail meanders through a beautiful forest. The bushes, ferns, and trees are all wearing their new spring finery. Sprinkled sunlight throughout the woods creates a lovely pattern of light and shadows. When I am in this setting, all seems right in my world. It makes me wonder: do you think all the modern conveniences have actually harmed us as humans? I have so many “things”, and because of this I work long hours and spend most of my time on upkeep of said things. What if life were more simple? What if I had much less, and had time to do much more? This walk in the woods really got me thinking about life.

Imagine having a small cabin in a forest like this one. Would the peace and quiet be a constant inspiration to my spirit, or would loneliness drive me insane? I would be willing to give up a lot for a quiet life.

I am in awe of this crooked tree because to me, it told a story. I found it growing in a thick patch of woods. The base of the trunk is large and sturdy, but cast in shadows of the surrounding trees. As it was growing, this tree needed sunlight. Somehow, over the many years of its life, this tree found a way to reach for the sun. It grew in a way that was best for it, not caring about how it looked or what anyone else thought. This tree did what it needed to do. You can learn a lot from a tree.

Here is a peek of the river. Like most things in life, the “getting there” was more fun than the “arriving”. However, I do enjoy spending time near the water.

I really enjoyed my walk today and it helped to shake some of the “blues” I felt when I woke  up. It also made me think about my life, and how I could change some things. I still struggle with the idea of my actions making others unhappy, but I see now that my happiness is important, too. Today I went for a walk because it made me happy. I wonder what I might do tomorrow?


Trees and Flowers April 27, 2012

Trees and flowers are my favorite things to draw and paint.



My Friend April 26, 2012

My friend, the chipmunk, was kind enough to pose for me.