Archive for July, 2015

His name is Scott Sims
July 28, 2015

The ruckus began on Saturday. What a racket. Ari, my beloved old horse, was tossing his feed bucket around like an angry housewife tosses pots and pans.Bang bang. Crash crash. Jangle. Jangle.

He’d had his breakfast: oat alfalfa, salt, carrots, bran and molasses served up with love and kisses on the nose. The bucket tumbled empty. Not a crumb left untouched.  He licks the inside with his long pink tongue, sniffing out the carrot bites, bran and the sweet dark syrupy surprise he loves so well. My father taught me to make a warm mash in the winter and this was the winter of our lives together. Horses have an incredible sense of taste and smell.  Well, look at the size of that nose. It seems to go on forever. Dimpled with kind intelligent eyes–on either side of his noble head, he is prey not predator–  crowned with pointy beautiful ears at the poll and bedecked with long silky hair called a forelock. I’d combed and brushed it this morning.

When I reached his feeding block, he dropped the noise maker–crash, bang, jangle, plop–and gave me that look.

Now any horseman–or woman–worth his salt knows a horse is telepathic. “Never let them put their heads together,”  I was taught by a beloved teacher, ” because they’re plotting.”  I’d experienced that little phenomena, with my own eyes, many time.

But I’d learned, years ago–I live with my horses –that if put my forehead smack against their forehead I can hear what they’re thinking. They understand  English, have their own language, but will communicate with you if you will only listen. “Okay, what’s up?”

Ari is 88 and half years old. 28 in human years. He was born in 1987. He’s three and half years older than I. I was born in 1930. We grow old together and enjoy the process.

“He’s gone to horse heaven.”


“The human who cut me open. Sewed me back. Years ago. Remember?”

“Of course I remember. I was there.”

He nodded. ” Left his body.  Gone to horse heaven.”

“Are you talking as about Scott Sims?”

“That’s what you called him.”

“But Ari, we just heard from him…”

“… I know. They cut him open.  Sewed him back. Four fingers and a thumb are handy.”

With my fingers and thumbs I messaged his ears.

“You did that when I was on my back with my feet in the air. Strange feeling. You have good hands,” he said.

“Thank you. I didn’t know horses believed in heaven.”

“You never asked.”

“Okay, I ask,” A theocratic lecture from a horse?

“There is not only a horse heaven. there is a horse God.”


“Don’t be silly.”

When a horse calls you silly, you can be certain you’re pretty silly.

“But why would he go to horse heaven? If horses have a God and heaven, and humans have a God and heaven– and Scott was human–why wouldn’t he go to a human heaven?”

“Because ours is better.”

“Can I go?”


“I’ll work on it.”


July 24, 2015

It is my ardent belief that pigs can be pets. Spoiled pets. Swine are quite intelligent. Clean, polite and well-bred, they wallow but prefer pools. Fresh, clean, blue water pools. Not mud puddles. They must wallow. It’s the way they stay cool on hot dry days which, as we all know, went hand- in- hand with global warming. Today, I would be interviewing an eclectic couple who raise the finest pedigree swine, the Poland China, on their land. I look up to these people. They represent, to me, the future of the human race.

By their very nature, pigs can create an entirely new way of living. A better way of living. Put villagers back to work. Food on the table–some pork, don’t be greedy–and keep the children busy and entertained by their antics and upkeep which is a much healthier life style than playing war games and envying Lords and Ladies of the manor, who have nothing but their best interest at heart.

“Children should be out planting trees. Climbing trees. Worshipping trees. We need more trees. These animals can be taught to watch and snuffle and oink. Snuffles and oinks are calming peaceful sounds. Unlike dogs that bark and roosters that crow,” the Lord of the manor took a breath. “They are omnivores Like us. Eat both animals and plants. Drink great quantities of water and have an extraordinary sense of smell. We’re trying to grow and teach our large snouted friends to hunt Truffle mushrooms. The children have fun grabbing them before the animals eat them. It’s a game…”

“… Calm in disposition,” his Lady smiled. “They are a joy to behold. A delight to live with. More swine, fewer children, is what we wish for. Plan for. Hope to obtain.” A happy black sow with a white snout and white patches on her feet and a spray of white on her back ambled by. She had a pleasant and friendly demeanor. She was followed by a litter of 10 dashing piglets. They followed in a line, but bunched up as they drew closer.

“They’re shy,” the Lady of the manor whispered. “Keep your voice down. Don’t startle them. They’re just babies. She had a litter of sixteen. These lived. Those that die end up in the kitchen. Mind, they’re healthy. A bit underweight but tasty.”

I whispered. Stood frozen in my tracks and watched them pass. “How much does she weigh?” I whimpered.

“Probably six or seven hundred pounds. They can weigh up to 800 but we prefer the diminutives.”

“Designing and building shallow pools and meadow huts is a creative and wholesome endeavor…”

“…and they are the last of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. They represent happiness, honesty, fortune and virility. Surely most honorable human qualities.”

“The best.”

“Swinophobia was so senseless.”

“And raising, starving, tiny pet pigs was so stupid. Genetic modification is the answer.”

I looked up at this giant of a man. Twelve feet tall and 1600 pound of male perfection. He excited my senses.

Ms Pink Orpington
July 22, 2015

I don’t suffer fool lightly. I’m outspoken. I speak my mind.

I’m President of our local exclusive–select, picky, proud– Women’s Club. We do golf and an occasional Fashion Show. I’m in charge of selecting models.  Do not approve of anorexics. We’re full-blown women. In our prime and proud of it.

I’m the wealthiest woman in my Bible Study class. I can write a check for  four figures. I’m a member of our local Tea Party group and volunteer to do all the paper work and keep files on local events and personalities. This town’s riddled with locals, liberals,  progressives, atheists and left-wing radicals. Dreadful. Well,  I can produce when need be. It’s dirty work, but someone has to do it. I also vet books allowed in the local library.  Dare  mention Steinbeck, that horrid Hemingway, Tony Morrison!! I dare you…

I shop at a local Macy’s–they know me there–but purchase fashionable attire at Neiman’s.   I’m proud to be known as narcissistic. I never wear the same outfit twice. Sometimes, when I travel, I take the pick of the lot with me. I can, and do, wear things I wear here at some fine hotel in distant cities.  I sell most things, for a fine price–believe me– at a local Second Hand. Giggle inwardly and point– surreptitiously–at they who dare buy my discards here and show  them off in public. My friends and I enjoy this small  whimsy. I live alone. I’m a widow. And the master bedroom in my three bedroom high-rise– on the top floor, what a view– is my wardrobe.  I read about the lady in Texas with the three-story wardrobe and did so envy her. She did it for charity, of course–people pay to visit and envy and covet–and serves champagne.  She  has a champagne floor. We are truly kindred souls. One of a kind. Sisters under the skin.  I think of doing the same here on a smaller scale, of course. I think she would approve. I think I’ll write a perfumed note and tell her of my great admiration.

I keep two pets. hairless cats–Warm and Fuzzy–they keep me company. Registetered Sphynx, they’re beautiful, awkward, and rare. The only ones in the entire town. I disdain common cats. Mine are pink and long-eared and they play on the terrace. Pink is my favorite color. Thus my nickname.

I admit I shop at the local big box. I buy in bulk. My cats and I could survive for three months without leaving our residence. In case of a disaster I keep a pantry. That’s what I do with my second bedroom. It, like my closet, is well stocked and orderly.

This morning, as I sauntered down the aisles, I discovered, to my dismay, the idiots in charge were out of cat food. I hailed a workman, “Where is the cat food?” I demanded.

“It’s over by the beer.”

“By the beer? is that to imply cat lovers drink beer? We drink Dom.” Guess I told him off.

Shirley TempleToday
July 17, 2015

Grandmother Trump loved Shirley Temple.  The dance routines. The songs. She shared her bed with three Shirley Temple dolls. Had several stored in her closet and one in a chair by a window overlooking Central Park. Though ragged and frayed  and covered with dust they stand staunchly in the  glass enclosed curio I inherited when  my mother died. The thing’s baroque as all get out. We’ve spent a fortune hauling it  from base to base.  It also holds  an entire collection of Shirley DVDs. Plus albums and other memorabilia. Three generations of us us have contributed, and my hope is the fetish will be passed on. All of us, for years, have polished the glass weekly.

I’m Shirley. My daughter’s  Shirley. She’s ten.  Like me, she learned about the original from the get go. When I was three my mother bought  me a ruffled white, red polka dot dress  like the original wore in Stand up and Cheer.  I dressed my Shirley in it when she was three. I read recently the real thing sold for $75,000. Wish I could’ve bought it.  Just as my mother taught me, I taught my daughter, the original was a symbol of happiness and hope.

Neither my daughter nor I excelled at singing and dancing,  our hair was neither gold nor curly, but we loved to pretend. Like me, my Shirley likes the Littlest Rebel movie  best. The original  made that movie in 1935 and was about the Civil War.  Appropriate for the times, don’t you think? Her staircase dance with BoJangles delights us. My husband often releases blacks and brings them home  to watch the film. We laugh out loud as they try to imitate Bo.

The real Shirley died on February  11, 2014. This year we mourned all day– and mourned all night– trying to get all of the misery right.

Wonder how my husband–who’s  West Point proper– puts-up with our idiotcyncracy? He loves us. We make him happy. I think he loves the curio cabinet, too. Sometimes I think that’s why he married me. He loves baroque. He saw grandmother laid out in pink satin–uplifted and rich–and fell in love. He says she was the greatest baroque he’d ever seen. He brings fellow officers home to see her picture–young and  beautiful –and show off the Michael Amini Chateau Beauvais.

We’re big on birthdays.  So this year Shirley and I plotted. We talked our favorite  BoJangles into teaching Shirley how to shoot. Found some  Woodland Camo Fatigue pants and a vest. Also a great Xploderzgun that shoots jell balls. Our Bojangles taught her how to use it and set her in a tree. Then he loosed a rabbit at which she took aim. Turned out she was a natural.

On his birthday, we  talked her daddy into taking a walk. The stage was set. Shirley was treed. The rabbit was loosed. One shot got him.

“If that’d been a real bullet, long ears’d  be  dinner.”

“Next time,” we cheered. Proud. Our Shirley was the Littlest Sniper.





July 14, 2015

“The moon belongs to everyone, the best things in life are free.

The stars belong to everyone, they shine there for you and me.

The flowers in spring, the robins that sing, the sunbeams that shine, they’re yours, they’re mine.”


“Old song. Bing Crosby sang it.”


I sighed.  I tried. “An old proverb?”


“A  pithy saying.  A general truth. A piece of advice. Think: saying, axiom, adage, precept, word of wisdom.”

“Socialistic crap. Very un-American. We  buy our way to happiness. The more stuff we have, the more money we have, the happier we are.”


“And, more important, the healthier we are.”


“A healthy economy is a happy economy. A happy economy is a healthy people. Everybody knows that. Spend your way to prosperity.  Kennedy said that. Good advice. I’m headed out to buy an  iPod.”


“An electronic gizmo. The latest. For playing and storing digital audio and video files. You stick it in your ear. Ever done that?”

“Stick it where?”

“You can watch movies, hear music,  walk around.”

“…and chew gum at the same time?”


“I think that was Lyndon Johnson. Yes, it was. ‘He’s so dumb he can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.’ He said it about Gerald Ford. Goodness knows what he’d have said about George Bush.”

“You’re so smart. When?”


“How in the hell did we get here?”

“Well, I had six honest serving men…”

“You’re nuts.”

” Not so nuts. I always loved Rudyard Kipling. Did you read The Jungle Book?”

“No but I saw the movie in 1974. Walt Disney. Wasn’t he the greatest? Rich, I tell you. Had his body cryogenically frozen. Now that’s class.”

“No, he didn’t. Died of lung cancer, though, and contributed to anti-communist hysteria. Big time.”

“Smart man. I’ll bet he wouldn’t claim the best things in life are free.”

“Probably not.”

“So what else is new?”

“Here we go again.”

Unfortunately we were seated in the same car. Front seat. I drove. There was no escaping this moron. “Where are you headed? I mean after we get to town and go our separate ways.”

“Why do you ask?”

I felt like responding, ‘so I’ll be sure and go in the opposite direction’, but I was polite. “I’m just making conversation.” I still had three honest serving men left to help me out of this miserable quandary.

“I keep six honest serving men, they taught me all I knew. Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.”

“Servants? You got six servants named Where and Who and…?

I named those left.

“They gone?”


“When? How?”

” When iPods came along, they vanished down the memory hole.”

“The memory hole?”

” Orwell. 1984.  An incinerator that destroys inconvenient truths. Al Gore was  correct, too. We rewrite history to suit the party line. Truth vanishes. Poof.”

“You’re weird and you’re gonna get in trouble.”

“No doubt. How is the hammer.”

I hummed. Journeys end. We parted.






















July 7, 2015

Sticky wicket subject for a brief column. It’s Tuesday in Paradise. A heady blooming perfumed day. Always a beautiful day in paradise. I owe my editor a column and  really don’t feel up to it. The bank behind my house is alive with walking iris. Their little white heads are cheerfully bobbing in the early morning light. My feral flock is scratching and munching on bugs and other juicy chicken delights. A light breeze sets leaves dancing on the bank and slipping silently through the iris I see one kitten stalking. Reba. It’s a game. She never catches anything, but I love to watch her hunt. She think she’s a big deal. Head honcho feline in this neck of the woods. The chickens trickle off with a flutter and a wink. They blend in so well they disappear in plain sight.

So, what has this to do with the heavy theme: Love and hate? Well, at that  moment, I felt very loving, until a sudden sodden thought awry leaped in my mind and spoiled the revery. Is it true that love and hate are opposite sides of the same coin, my mind queries? Is it true  you can never really appreciate–or feel–these deep human emotions without experiencing the other? Can one  know what it means to love, if one has  never known what it means to hate?

Love and hate are powerful–and potent–emotions. Love can be gentle and kind. It soars the human condition. I don’t think hate can ever be gentle and kind. I think it must always be aggressive and nasty. It sours the soul, if you believe in such a mysterious entity. It hammers the beating heart flat with bludgeoning blasts of red hot steel. The mad iron monger in the sky’s murderous obstruction heaved beneath the feet  of the human travelor.

One of my favorite people, my feed store man, made a  profound statement,  “Atheists just love everything,” he said one day. Out of the blue.

Think about it.

Can that be true?

And, anyway, what’s it got to do with chickens and kittens and walking iris? What does it have to do with a fragrant day in paradise? With a column over due?

Everything, I think.

I quoted a Biblical passage recently and sent it to the paper in response to a Christian teacher’s letter to the Forum in which he quoted a  passage concerning his interpretation of what his God had to say about gay marriage.

Here’s my quote:

“If any man comes to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sister, and yea his own life also, he cannot be a disciple.” (Luke 14:26) It’s writ in red. A direct quote  in the New Testament.

Well,  fortunately,  Jesus  didn’t say anything about loving kittens and chickens and walking iris and an editor who’s going to be cranky receiving a late column.

To wrap it up, may I say? “If you must hate, hate cancer.”




Fashionista and Boots Shop Petco
July 1, 2015


I ‘cook’ breakfast for Ari, he’s 99 and his teeth don’t chomp as well as they used to. Warm water, crumpled oat alfalfa, salt, carrots, bran and molasses snuggle tastefully  in a pail. Old age has a price, but I think it’s worth  it.  He does too.  Nose deep in the bucket–chomping contentedly– his ears peek out. He started out 45 to 55 million years ago–Eohippus–a fifty pound critter,  18 inches high at the shoulders, with 4 toes on the front feet and three toes on the hind feet. He’s come a long way, baby.

He has fresh water, in the trough, garnished swimmingly with tiny mosquito eaters.

Duke ruffles blue and gold, munches macaw food, peanuts, raisins,  bananas and cookie crumbs. Everybody here loves cookies. We’re cookie monsters. He spread his wings as I give him a wispy shower at the same time I hose down potted plants in the courtyard.

Carefully hanging the pitchfork on a hook, I wipe my hands off on my pants. Sweaty, and smelling like a well-groomed horse in a well- maintained barn, I brush fresh straw off the seat of my sweats. The combination of fresh straw, horsey pooh, and horse is irresistible. I flicker the broom, whisker the floor, then set this tool in its stand and head for the people end of the residence.

My gown up puppy, Boots, and the growing up  kittens, Reba and Rosa, breakfast on dog and cat food  with the grown up–me–who sips freshly brewed Kauai coffee.  I scatter some organic chicken food to my feral hen in her tiny abode anchored down to defy hurricane winds. She often lays a free-range egg a week. She cackles sweetly. Today, I’m honored with an egg. Her eggs are petite, light pink in color, with yolks so high and golden they poke the eye.

Tossing my sweats in the hamper, I fall daintily into my sunken tub. When I arise, I’m Venus rising from the waves. I towel quickly as the image in the mirror denies the claim. At my dressing table, I install my face and coif my hair. Remember the Houston lady who has a three-story wardrobe with a champagne bar? Well. I have a one story wardrobe with a champagne bucket and two champagne flutes from a thrift store.

Selecting my wardrobe for the day, this fashionista shoves both feet into a  pair of sparkly red shoes, very Wizard of Oz, and  with Bootsy–groomed- to- perfection– depart for Petco in Lihue. The greatest animal department store in the whole wide world. Inside is  breathtaking. Both Boots and I gasp. Wide aisles filled with stuff. Boots selects a box of gourmet canines biscuits and a bottle of  shampoo. I had to get her out of there. It was a struggle.

At the counter, a couple dealt with a kid and a dog in  a cart fighting over a doggie toy.

Go.  Bring money. Leave animals home. They’re welcome, but they’re kids in a candy store. And, please, managers, plant more greenery.