Tea & Troubles

I put on a pot of tea today, not doing well, weak as hell but can’t complain. Today’s brew is Tawantin Black Tea, which is not as purple as the Peruvian Spiced Berry in the photo’s cup. Yeah, snapped that photo weeks ago in kind of a show n’ tell after my cousin turned me on to Cleveland’s own Inca Tea.

I like the black. To be straight up and honest, I’m not that into tea so I’m still slowly tasting all the varieties that came in the Sample Box. So far, so good… most days, I opt for coffee. Sumatra is my favorite.

As for Troubles… I’ve had enough.

My little mask sewing obsession quieted itself. Suppose I should update Mice4Mars, sell off leftovers on eBay or something, but oh well. I just got tired of assholes claiming this virus would magically disappear on election day, mostly from idiots who now support a wannabe fascist dictator’s attempt to undermine our democratic process by overthrowing the results of an election. People are dying and they don’t care… it’s just a political ploy, a media hoax? Yeah, until you run out of fingers counting names familiar to your own self amongst the critically ill or worse. Bump the conspiracy bull.

I want to make paper.

I don’t have any proper screens for that, but I have two thin wooden picture frames, just cheap things sold as craft supplies to decorate yourself, and some scraps of window screen somewhere in this room. I don’t own a blender either, but I could maybe use one of those bullet smoothie things to make pulp, maybe the cup for chopping nuts. Those 4×6 picture frames would mold 3.75 x 5.75 inch paper, with rounded corners. Folded in half, hand stitched spine, would make nice little books. Or even as flat sheets, I could paint on them or something.

Echo in my head, in sister words: stop making small art.

Why? Is bigger better? Ironically, I’ve always been too big. Everyone always trying to cut me down to size. Too this, too that, too much. Bump that, too.

My cup is empty. Thanks for reading.



872: landline, Newton Falls.

Nah, can’t be… no one has called me from that tiny speck on the map in over 14 years ago. Who would call me? I don’t know anyone there.

I was greeted by silence, so I repeated my hello and waited for the caller to speak. Ticktock, thirteen seconds of silence followed by a soft click. Whoa.

Wrong number? Nah, they would have said something… asked for someone by name or apologized for accidentally dialing as that’s what older people with landline telephones tend to do.

Every pore of my being feels that call was not accidental.

I did the reverse lookup thing: unfamiliar names at an unfamiliar address. Then I started googling for newspaper obits, anything that might bring my old friend back to visit anyone in Newton Falls. Stray thought: maybe I’m on some old contact list… nah, the caller would have said something.

I googled his name anyway. Sigh of relief: no obit, no death notices, assume he’s still breathing.

Oh, he’s got a new Facebook page… cats, art, links to his old blog posts… he’s in a relationship, nice photo, big smiles. Good, that makes me smile.

Hey, maybe he got his shit together, got over his fear of Ohio, came to visit his family, maybe just maybe… one can only hope his most elusive dreams have come true.

Little clue: that’s what old friends DO… always hope and wish the best for you.

Friday launched an odd weekend as other phone calls and messages made me the bearer of bad news… I had to let my dad know someone was in hospice, then later call back to let him know that she died. I had to pass news on to a cousin, let her know that the elderly relative she asked about now has cancer and he was recently moved to a nursing home. And no, she cannot have first “dibbies” on his private plane as it has done been sold. Couldn’t help but smile passing on that tidbit… hold onto your memories kiddo, that’s all you get. Want a plane? Go buy your own.

Saturday started with a call jarring me from sleep in the wee hours. It was a niece in dire need of immediate assistance. I’m a disabled non-driver so all I could do was relay the message. A sister texted just before dawn to let me know that she had stepped in to do what needed done. It’s not the best solution, so there were calls and tears flying all weekend. Those old aunties can be bitchy witches.

Sorry, I’m not a fairy godmother. My magic wand is a wooden spoon. It can stir love into food, encourage ornery children to “straighten up and fly right” (ye gads, my mama’s words), but it cannot wave away the consequences of bad decisions.

Can I have a phone free Monday… just turn that thing off and hide from the world?

Oh hell no… the first call came at 5:14am and left me wide awake. I got up, made coffee, played solitaire, got into a Facebook conversation, and ate a cold chicken sandwich for breakfast. Welcome to Monday. I really should go back to bed.

Thanks for reading! Artwork is a postcard size colored pencil drawing.

Double Down

Batten down the hatches bit tighter than before… all posts under “Crackers & Jacks” are now private instead of password protected. Doesn’t matter anyway.

I’m going down now. Sleep will free me.

My dreams take me where I cannot go, down dusty paths of memories, to places I no longer know, in bittersweet song harmonies.


A lifetime of sadness pooled in blue eyes, a well of regrets into sorrow lies, summed into one little word. Hey, heard only in dreams.

Hey, your silence screams.

Await the sun, awake the son, open eyes can see, pride and fear in old man’s hands, time’s grains of sands washed by endless seas.