Archive for the ‘Notes In My Pocket’ Category


January 31, 2013
As a hermit, I'm not overly fond of places like malls, freeways clogged with cars, public schools, or even the grocery store at 5:15 pm or within about 3 days of any major holiday. I'm ok with silence in the car while I'm driving so I can process my thoughts, and certainly ok with working in silence with you if it doesn't creep you out. I confess to owning an invisible cloak. Yeah, I'll own up to it.  Its been mine for many many years and I still use it to escape the noise and notice of a bland public. I never really thought about it, never really gave it much attention until I noticed myself pulling the cloak over myself (and my car) on a recent night when I was heading back to the Hermit-stead, wanting to avoid being seen.  I can just slip away.  Moments before eyes rest on me, I can somehow move myself out of the line of vision, skirt the gaze of the viewer and be gone.  In a moment or a series of quiet steps, darkness can swallow me up and I am invisible.  If I am driving my car, there is a point where I know I've passed into invisibility and I have vanished from your radar. I was never there.

'My Coat', 2003

Thinking back, I do remember doing this when I was much younger, and in a very bad part of town, at a very bad time, being pretty reckless, with certain catastrophe looming right in front of me.  Realizing my mistake and bad timing and foolishness to be in so much the wrong place at the wrong time ... without even knowing what I was doing, somehow I managed to vanish and escape certain evisceration. So while I will never be an extrovert, and never dominate your conversations, pollute facebook threads with photo after photo of myself modeling new yellow high heel shoes or talk you into a stupor ... I am fine with being a hermist, an observer and flying through the fringes. A look behind the cloak though exists:  

What Are You Doing, Hermist?

January 31, 2013
The beauty is in the art of doing. When the time is your own, its your own hands grating and chopping and smoothing, building, shading. There is no depth when everything is done for you. When you move into a house someone else built, wait for the pizza delivered that someone else made and watch the entertainment provided for you, there is nothing for you to do. When you build it with your own hands, etched with your own human imperfections, grow it under your watchful gaze, you have created beauty, motion and purpose.

A Hermist.

Shabang. The Pantry.

January 23, 2012
Next year i will know exactly which month i should be heavily investing in oats and/or almonds to make almond treats for the whole year ... actually, since i buy everything like that bulk anyway, whenever the mood strikes me, its a moot point. but for those of you who don't, check this out and may it help with perfect alignment of coupons and such. Month-by-month spend-thriftiness

Baby, its cold outside.

January 16, 2012
(written a few days ago when it truly was a bit cold) I grew up where my summers stretched into late October and Trick-or-Treating was a  hot and muggy experience. By Easter sunday I was running barefoot through the yards again and had been known to go skinny-dipping as early as March. At night only, of course.   Fast forward to February of 1992, with me carefully trodding up a snowy and ice-packed trail to an inconclusive winter location on a piece of sheer rock face in Colorado that my then-sweetie Sam owned.  Teeth chattering, I couldn't recall ever being quite ... so ... cold.  After he examined my icy feet while shaking his head and chuckling, he handed me my new best friend, the Army-issued green wool sock.  Since that day, I've never had less than 2 pairs in my sock drawer, even now that we live in nearly tropical San Antonio.   Back then, I thought all I needed to keep warm was the heater from my '69 Ford pickup. Granted that heater could melt glaciers in other states without leaving the driveway.  Guess I got spoiled.  I quickly learned that thin cotton socks, even in hiking boots and one humble long john shirt under my flannel (it was all the rage in the early 90s yo) jacket were all I needed.  Oh  how I learned

My own personal heating system, via a 1969 ford pickup

I hate to be cold.  I'd rather be near passing out from heat, with sweat trickling down my back and the siren of the cicadas making me hallucinate.  I have learned of course, to disguise my teeth chattering ("boy is it BRISK out here, yes sirreeeeeeeee"), to walk faster in order to build up body warmth, and of course, and most important for me, to dress right. Poly-pro shirts and leggings along with wool socks are my mainstay.  Gore-tex sleeping bags ... I'd kill you if you had one and I needed one, thats how awesome they are.  You can practically cook your dinner in one, they are so toasty.  And of course, any combination of wooly mammoth layers that is necessary to keep the feeling in my feet, fingers and ears.  And as long as my lower back is covered, snug and warm, I can deal with getting everything else warm.

Tuck in, zip up and sleep tight.

It's been about 4+ years since we packed up and moved down to San Antonio. I remember putting out my old Sorrel-style snow boots upon our departure and singing them a goodbye song that went something like "so longggggg you WINTERYASSMOTHERFUCKERS!!!!" before putting on my flip-flops and heading off to the triple-digits of Texas. It must be about the high 40s today, with grey rainy skies and a chill that runs through this house along the floorboards.  Outside our chickens are fluffed up to comical proportions and one of the dogs does NOT 'wanna go' check out the squirrels. It's windy, its gloomy, I can feel a vampire-television-series marathon welling up... Granted, if the end of days is going to strike us; I'd rather brave it out in the wilds of Nicaragua, where we just returned from, than in any sub-freezing locale.  In the Nica, cold is defined as putting on a t-shirt to go out rather than a tank top.   I learned something important about myself that I am always careful to consider when making plans of any sort.  I don't like to be cold.  Breezy drafty, thats all fine, but if there's a freeze and my name is apparently on it, I make changes.  A warm hermit is a happy hermit and I'll be donned in the fuzziest abominal snowman attire that i need to, if thats what I have to do.

at least i am warm!

Because then, if I can be warm, I am happy.  

The Hermist Essential Cold-Weather Buster Guide

"Baby Its Cold Outside",  sung by all satin and maple sugar awesomeness, Ray Charles and Betty Carter. There is no better version. Recipe, Hot Buttered Rum.  Don't like rum?  Spiked cider. No?  How about mulled wine?  Don't tempt me, I could do this all day.  The army surplus store. Where else can I buy the treasured green wool socks, rain gear, freeze-dried hot dogs and nose plugs at the same time?  

Steps To A Successful End-Of-Summer Weekend

September 2, 2011

My summer choo-choo train...

Don't be like me and burn your tounge on a Thursday evening. That will put a crimp on all things taste-related for Friday and possibly Saturday.  So, take your time, chew slowly, and proceed to the steps of a damn fine weekend. 1.  Shoes. Off.  You must feel cool tile and dirt under your feet. There is plenty of time in your future for socks.  2. The right attitude.  Even though here in South Texas, where its been hotter than boiling sugar for months, keep perspective.  Hot balmy days are due to be replaced by cooler temps and the crawl into darkness of the winter months.  Enjoy the light, relish the sun and don't forget to spread your arms wide in the water and soak up all that is lovely about summer. 3. Your friends. Don't have any? Make some.  Share.  Life is too short, even for a hermit, to miss sharing.  Besides, friends usually bring over good food and this ... is good.  🙂 4. Food.  Oh yes.  I love summer if for nothing else, then the taste of really good cheese when I am floating under the stars, or a fish taco that is enjoyed while half of it is dripping down my arm while I stand in a dusty parking lot (thats you, @ chela's tacos!) ... or how jam I made 20 minutes ago from farmer's market produce tastes over greek yogurt.  Food is only so lovely as it tastes in summer.  5.  A fine beverage.  Nothing says summer to me like cooling my forehead with the cold glass of wine in the dark, like the pineapple mojito (that i'll make tonight) or the icy icy cold coke that makes everything brighter.  Life is short for some of us.  Memories are whatever you make.  It's about 5pm on a Friday. I"m off to make some memories, right now.

Hermity Things That Makes Me Happy

September 2, 2011
For Today, which is Thursday, recycle day. 1. painting the new chicken coop the color of grape in twilight 2. canning up strawberry preserves and then scalding the fuck out of my hand with hibiscus syrup later 3. enjoying Edam cheese and greek yogurt with almonds and said strawberry preserves 4. watching my dogs play 'I-AM-GONNA-EATCHU' in the backyard 5. listening to the sound of the summer cicadas above my head in the oak trees 6.  seeing the deer poke their way through the oak stands behind the gardens 7. watching the stars start to shine their way out Today, its a good day.