Kiss The Fiddler

Ramblings, moments of humor, random thoughts, experiences, insights, simple wisdom, and whatever else I feel like sharing.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

On being witnessed and the gift of a friend.

I had some quality time with a good friend today. 

I told her a very difficult story of my history,

Down to the details like what it smelled like to be there

and that blood was sticky on my hands. 

It took me some time. 

I've never tackled this story from beginning to end

Like I did tonight. 

I sort of jumped in and kept gulping for the next

breath to keep telling. 

It felt horrid. 

And I cried so deeply that I wasn't sure I'd be able to 


My friend stayed with me. 

She witnessed me. 

She heard the story. 

And when I had no more story to tell, 

she covered me with the softest blanket I'd ever felt.

I must have fallin quite immediately to sleep

because I woke several hours later

with a massive migraine

and my eyes swollen shut.

I really do have the best friends. 

I mean, who opens their home to me,

Sits with me for hours on and

while i tell a piece of my history that I know

rips her heart to shreds as I speak it?

I am truly gifted by such people in my life.

Rarely have I felt so loved or so safe. 

Thank you, Life, for bringing such

radiant souls to me.

Thank you, to my dear friend,

for taking the time

and the courage

to witness me.

I am blessed.

And this friend is a precious gift.



To those of you with doubts that spring is winding up just around the corner - 

It snowed about 6 inches here today.  Nice lovely fluffy snow.  Beautiful!

And the cows have been moved to their calving grounds!

I could barely make it up to the spring calving grounds in the deep snow with the Saab.  Made me laugh. 

Spring is coming!


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dear Kiss Readers

Hi there.

Who are you?
Where do you hale from?
Why do you read this blog?
What would you like to see more of?
What would you like to see less of?
Didja know that I'm sisters with  Yes.  We're sisters.  Funny, isn't it?

Come over here and read my blog after you've read about high fashion and laugh about how the 2 of us grew up on the same damn farm.

I write this blog for me.  But I write it to share too.  And I'd like to get to know who reads what I post.  Silly?  Maybe.  But hey, I'm okay with that.

So, please, use the comments.  Lemme know who you are.

Ya, I really need to go to bed now.  Kisses all around!


Heavy on my heart. Breathe and let it be.

I write tonight with heavy on my heart.  I have so many friends who are hurt, who struggle, who feel they can't go on.  I can't make them.  I am here, a mom, in quite over her head.  With struggles of my own, reaching out my hand.  I reach out to those others with heavy on their heart. I reach out offering comfort, healing.  I reach out asking for help.  There are a few things I know for sure.

I know that having a child who is very ill is very hard.  I watch my friend deal lovingly and tirelessly with her medically fragile and complex child.  She is Grace.  She is Mercy.

I know that having a wife who sleeps next to me each night is a gift.  We struggle.  We fight.  We learn.  And we forgive.  She is my Rock, my soul's home.

I know that I am gifted to have a friend who deeply cares.  A friend who checks in on me every few days if I don't reach out first.  She is a lesson.  She is a Blessing.  She is a Gift.

I know that tomorrow comes.  Today was hard.  I spent today, as I spend many days, alone in my room, dark towels over the windows, dark towel over my head.  Barely breathing for the intensity of the migraine.  And, tomorrow, the sun will rise.  I will start again.  Without judgement.

I know that, in the room next to mine, sleeps the most beautiful child I've ever seen.  He chose me as his mother.  We live and learn together in a way I could hot have imagined.  He understands more than most ever will.  Autism gives him both a challenge and a gift.  Together we learn to navigate the waters.  He takes up the softest most tender part of my heart.

I know that I hurt.  And I'm listening to music.  I let it guide me, into sleep.  I trust it.  It is a gift.

Whatever your truths are tonight, today, wherever you are, just sit and let them be your truths.  Breathe.  Accept.  It is from the place of rooted acceptance that we can heal enough to move on.

So, as this night wraps itself around our lives, relax into it.  It will not stay.  It's merely here to give us a place and space to rest.  Embrace it.

I'm rolling in now, to myself.  With my cats.  With my wife.  With an ear for my sweet child.  And in the morning light that pushes over the eastern mountains, we will rise new, all of us having been gifted a new day.  Breathe.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Nelson and Luken haul in wood for the garden

Here are some turkey tracks.  
I have a 16 year old friend who informs me that "derp" is 
an appropriate response when someone says something that is 
abundantly obvious. 
Sort of like "Duh".  But not. 
I guess you'd need to be 16 years old to understand this fully. 

You'll notice that there is also a tire track.  

Since our truck is not running, 
we borrowed Nelson. 
Nelson is a polite little truck. 
Nelson has good manners. 
Nelson is my favorite vehicle of all the vehicles 
I am privy to borrow. 

We're collecting wood
for a new

The pile we worked on today was only 
several blocks from our home.  
We were able to move
three loads from the worksite
into our back yard. 

As you can see, 
we had help. 

Apparently all that helping
makes a young boy thirsty.

And silly. 

I had a headache this afternoon.
But nevertheless,
it felt good to work hard. 

And seeing the huge pile
of wood in our backyard
brings me a sense of pride. 

We have a LOT more word to do 
but today was a good start. 

See, gardening never really stops.
It just looks a little different during the winter. 

Have a good weekend, all. 
Oh, and


Wednesday, January 23, 2013


For several weeks now, a Missoula church has had
"America needs Jesus"
on their sign. 

This sign is on one of the busiest streets in town.

Every single time I drive or ride past,
I think, 
"America needs Jesús.”

I assume that this points toward their
stance on immigration and 
I am so happy that New Life Worship Center is so. . .

. . .  progressive!  

I wish we were all as welcoming.

Yes, America needs Jesús, i Maria,
i Fernando, i Benita.

Am I poking fun at this church?


p.s.  I don't know why some of the text in my blog is green.  And, tonight, I don't care. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


The wild turkeys have come down out of the woods.
They're too funny. 
They hang out in huge flocks of 50 or more. 
And they talk non stop. 

They eat pine nuts.
When it's cold, they fluff up their feathers 
and pull one leg up.
This makes them look even more funny.

If I stand outside and listen during the day
I can tell where they are in my neighborhood. 
But, try as I might, I simply cannot seem
to get a decent picture of them.  
Not one!

Today when Luken and Kara went for their short lunchtime walk,
They took rolled oats for the turkeys. 
I don't know where all the oats ended up. 
They got almost home, to the end of their walk
before they discovered where the turkeys were. 

I looked up to see about 10 of the giant birds flying over our house.
Yes, they can fly.  
They'd been roosting in our Ponderosa
and Luken and Kara frightened them when they came back from their walk. 

We laugh at what happened and Kara and Luken come inside
and take off coats, boots, mittens.
I check in with Kara and notice that Luken is quieter than usual.  
We look to find him "making a turkey trail" of rolled oats
across the living room floor
through the dining room
down the hall
and into his bedroom.

"So the turkeys will know where to find me."
Then he notices that the dogs are feasting on his turkey trail. 
It was difficult to explain to him that the turkeys had to stay outside. 

It was too cute though, watching him sprinkle a little trail of rolled oats for them to follow. 
He's a smart little kid. 

Ok, enough rambling.  Since I don't have a picture for you today, I'll sign off. 


Sunday, January 20, 2013

And Yet . . .

The thermometer read 4 degrees F when I left the house this morning. 
The snow had that certain "cold crunch" that is familiar to those of us who
live in cold climates.
It's deep winter here in western Montana. 
Mid to late January, 
everything is in a deep freeze.

And yet . . . 

If you look closely, 

You'll notice the swelling
of the buds

In the huge white naket cottonwood trees. 

And, in the now frozen wet places,
the red twig dogwood
branches are suddenly blood red
with the promise of spring
pulsing color up through their beings
from roots that remember.

And in ditches and along fences,
the golden willows
are nearly glowing.

Yes, it's winter.  
It can be cold.
It can be harsh.
And, in the things that grow here,
there is the promise of spring. 
The anticipation that,
on a still distant horizon,
spring will come.


Friday, January 18, 2013

The Gifts They Give

My sister, Larkin
in the period of one week,
has lost both of the family pets. 
One to a strange neuro thing.  
The other to bone cancer. 
One was expected. 
The other was not. 

I feel sad for her.  
It's a lot to lose all at once. 
And the ground is frozen right now
so graves are even harder to dig. 

Thinking about her family
and the loss of their sweet pets
gives me paws to dote on mine.  

So, come along, shall we?  
I'll take you on a tour
of the fuzzy
the clawed
the zany
the wagging
the slobbery fun
and neurosis 
that are my animal family. 

Meet Wailynn.  
Several summers ago, 
while working in my garden,
I heard a God-awful wailing sound. 
It didn't stop.  
I thought it was something dying. 
It took me almost an hour to find it's source. 
A tiny fizzy kitten
In a pile of rubble
in my neighbor's yard.
With a hornets' nest
Grown around the twisted metal
that made up the pile. 

I'm allergic to some sort of stinging thing
So sticking my arm in to retrieve this fluffy kitten
was no small matter.  
But, eventually, retrieve her I did. 
She became ours. 
And she grew.  
Into a 17 pound cat. 
She's moody. 
She's tetched.  
And we love her.  

Meet Fizz Dog.

Coupla summers ago, 
I was sick. 
Very sick. 
I spent months in bed. 
Fizz was a puppy, 
full of energy. 
But he spent hours with me,
In my bed,
Sharing his healing energy with me.

Fizz Dog is still kind of a puppy
And always a love
And kind of dumb.
Today I got home and he was trapped
in our cat house.  
Silly Fizz.

He's a great playing-in-the-woods-dog.  
His Partner In Crime is 


Belle is absolutely beautiful
and absolutely sweet.
She is so tolerant of Luken
and Fizz
and the cats
and me
and the neighbor dogs.
Belle is a gem.

When we're in the woods,
Belle runs
But always returns.
I think she's happiest in the woods.

And, when we're not on the go,
Belle doesn't hesitate to
settle in 
for a good long
We're lucky to have her.

Babette is our black fluffy cat.
She's shy.
And talks to walls.
And sometimes catches mice.
She doesn't really like to have her picture taken. 

We shave her in the summer 
because all that thick black hair
makes her SO hot that she just
goes limp like a 
She's miserable like that and when we do shave her,
she rolls around
and plays like a kitten.  
Silly girl. 

Babette gets along well with all our animal family. 
It's not at all uncommon to find her and Belle curled up together. 
They're both just sweet that way. 

And then there's Anika.
My old Siamese kitty.
With two dozen toes.
And with each toe, a claw. 

Anika is over 20 years old 
and now, she mostly sleeps.
I give her IV fluids when she needs them
and pain shots to keep her comfortable. 
She's welcome to stay here
for as long as she wants to.
And when it's time for her to go,
she knows that's okay too. 

I've had Anika for a long time
and we've been through
a lot together. 

She sleeps next to my head at night
and sometimes, 
I think that her spirit
leaves her body 
and she travels.

Anika is quite tolerant of Luken
and has taught him about being tender
with things smaller
than he is.
She is wise
and I'm proud that
she's chosen to live with us for so long.

And then there's . . . 

Oh, wait!
That's not a dog. 
That's a boy!

Yes, that's my son. 
Who thinks he's a dog. 

Pets are such special
members of peoples' families.
I don't know why they choose to stay with us.
But I sure am glad they do. 


Thursday, January 17, 2013

It's a bright witch's tit.

It's cold this morning.  
And where there's not fog,
The sun shines so brightly!
There are very few clouds
And this allows the temps to 

I love mornings like this
when I get to
sit on the couch
sipping my coffee,
under a down blanket
(and a coupla cats).

I'm lucky to have such
beautiful views, 
even when it's 
colder than a witch's tit. 

I had one of those,
A witch's tit.  
It was close to my armpit
And big enough to notice. 
Some people call
those silly things
a third nipple. 

I think witch's tit
is more fun. 

It got in my way, 
So, one evening, 
with the help of my sweet,
I sliced it off. 
One swift and sure cut
and gone.  
No more witches tit. 

Oh, my. 
Where did I go wrong?
Starting out  talking about
the beautiful day
and finding my way
to witch's tits.  

I need to get out more. 


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What's More Fun?

Than doing something crazy
Like taking the family
Swimming on a very cold winter's evening?

Missoula has a very nice indoor pool and water play area. 
There's a zero depth entry pool with a slide
And splashing stuff for little kids.

Mommy, watch me!

Are you watching?

Did you see?

Luken loves to play in the shallows.  
He's beginning to learn how his body feels in water, 
that he's buoyant,
that he can hold his breath, 
blow bubbles, 
roll around and change directions.  

There's also a small open water part that's a bit deeper. 
He can't touch there.  
And there's a short "river"
The water is warm.

But if you do get chilled,
There's a hot tub to hop into. 

In addition to the features Luken enjoyed, there's a lap pool and 2 large water slides and their plunge pool.  It's all connected so you can float from one area to another without having to get out.  If you're ever in Missoula looking for something to do with the family, consider Currents.

When we finished our swim and returned to the locker rooms,
we found that some poor lassie had forgotten her boobies. 
Left them right there on the bench,
all naked and alone.  
Poor boobies. 

Luken thought they were hilarious!  


Monday, January 14, 2013

Ten to Fifteen

That's how many degrees F it is depending on where I take the reading.  It's winter, no doubt.

This picture is from about a week ago.  Today it's pretty grey.  Can you see the flock of birds in the upper right of the picture?  Cool, eh?

I think I'm so lucky to have these mountains right out my front door.  This picture was taken one day on our way to our favorite hiking spot - just a few short miles from our house.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Friday Night Down

It's Friday night.  Well, Saturday morning now.  And cold.  I'm in bed with at least one dog and 2 cats, all under the blankets with me.  There's nothing wrong.  We're safe and warm and fed.  But I'm depressed.  And I feel guilty for it.  Because we had an alright day. And a fun evening.  We went on a family "adventure" to the local swimming place.  We played and had a great time.  I had a migraine but was medicated so wasn't too miserable.  Then we came home and hung out and went to bed.  I don't know.  Maybe I'm in the dumps because I'm in bed alone.  Oh, I know, not so alone with Belle, Babette and Anika snuggled up all around me.  But Kara is sleeping apart.  She needs space and I get that.  

Coupla summers ago, I had a hysterectomy.  It damn near killed me.  It really did.  Anyway, I still have ovaries.  As far as I know, they're still functional.  Maybe I'm in the depressed phase of my cycle (or what's left of my cycle).  

Maybe it's the cold dark that has me down.  The cold can be both invigorating and sapping at the same time.  Right now, it's energy draining.  It makes my chest hurt to breath in it's cold air.  And the dark.  Although the days are getting noticeably longer, it's still dark more than it is light.  And when it's cold, I have to keep the shades drawn in order to keep the house warm.  

It could be money.  I found a fun looking automatic composter that I want to buy for Kara.  With what money?  We're beyond broke.  And it has me feeling panicky and trapped.  There is no quick fix.  Except don't spend it.  But we have debt so we have to spend.  What is it about money that is such a mind fuck?  

I'm tired.  And I have a migraine.  And I've been having spasms in the muscles in my back for weeks now.  They chase each other up and down either side of my spine.  It's like a race.  Which spasm can make me stop what I'm doing and try to bury my thumb in it first?  Sometimes the spasms feel like they're burning me.  No wonder I'm tired.  

And no wonder I'm feeling depressed.  Down.  Sad.  I really should give it up and go to bed.  Call it a day.  Give it up and give in to sleep.  Trust that tomorrow will come, first with grey light, then with pink then yellow over the mountains east of here.  And then I can begin again, in a better mood, in less pain, on a fresh page.  I hope. 


Thursday, January 10, 2013


I feel like I should write something
you know, 
I have so many "followers"
and all. 

But I don't want to. 

Because it's all cold
and snowing
and blowing
and icing
and my head hurts
and I'd rather just
sit here still with
a warm dog on my feet. 


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Hey, Don't Squash Me!

The other day, friends of ours showed up to our front door

Isn't it gorgeous?  
It's a Boston Marrow Squash.
An heirloom.  
Isn't it just a scene of beauty? 

Luken wanted to lift it.
The Squash (yes, I know that's a proper name) was too heavy.
Squash must have weighed in at 30 pounds.  

Beautiful as she was, it was kind of a beast to cut Squash up
into workable size pieces.  

Here you see how, when chunked up and cleaned of seeds,
Squash completely covered my kitchen counter and then some. 

And look at all her seeds!  That's a large bowl. 
I'd guess that we'll get about a quart of seeds from this giant squash. 
Some of the seeds we'll roast. 
Some we'll save.  And hopefully grow more beautiful 
Boston Marrow Squashes. 

I roasted all the pieces in the oven.  When they cooled, I scraped the orange goodness into a bowl and pureed it.  Into the freezer it goes for pancakes, pies, breads, muffins.  Yum!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013


The air is restless tonight. 
The flags show that the wind blows from the south. 
And it's warm. 
Fourty-three degrees an hour ago.
Thirty-three degrees now. 
With a mist of rain. 

It's the kind of night that's
Dry leaves and pieces of paper 
that have been still in ditches
are pushed across the road,
making shadows that might or might not be a deer.

I don't like nights like tonight. 
It feels unsettled. 
I feel unsettled. 
My thoughts are hard to focus
but at the same time, 
they're more focused 
than I'm comfortable with. 

My thoughts,
like the shadows
go "bump" in the night.
And the wind pushes them
around and around and around
until I'm exhausted
and fall into an unsettled


Under the Slant Sun

When the sun is slant
over the mountain
into the valley,
 Where I live, 
that means it's 

It is too bright for pictures, 
eyes squint against
the glare of the sun on the snow; 
but entire bodies of
 turn toward it
to feel the radiant

This is the time of the sun
when the year is new
but bones feel old.
It's hard to remember
that under the snow,
in the cold,
there grows new

Shadows are long, 
long enough to have their
own stories.

Now though, 
light is stretching
by seconds each day;
now long enough to 
notice the change.

And it's enough 
to be fed, 
for a few minutes,
that my spirit 
And my resolve
under the short warmth
of the slant sun.