There’s an alarm clock. Then there’s sheer alarm.

Some days are best begun with a coffee — and a cocktail.

Like today.

An unknown man barged into my room about 8:30 this morning. I was dead asleep — finally! — after insomnia.

Room’s pitch-black.

Suddenly my door swings open. I jolt awake. Through sleepy hazy head and eyes make out a figure lit from behind by daylight. Male, strapping, tall, a beard.

“I didn’t know anyone was home,” he says.

“I am.” {alone in the house}

“I’m the termite inspector,” he says.

“Oh,” I mumble, relieved. Fumble for my phone. 8:40 a.m.

“I was told you were coming between 10 and noon.”

“I came early.”

“I can see that” — I say to myself.

“Do you need to get in here?” I ask.

“No. I’ve already done the inspections outside.”

Great. He shuts my door and leaves.

In short, I was given wrong information due to a communication breakdown between realtor and various inspectors and landlord.

Realtors treat renters in homes for sale like we’re an obstacle. A problem. A person to be disregarded, shoved aside, a nuisance, rendered invisible in the pursuit of a sale and payout.

Oh have I got stories from 9 months of a house for sale.


Instinct prevails. Senses of safety, threat, danger, survival.

Females are vulnerable in ways that males aren’t. All these raw biologically-wired neurons fire in a split second upon perceived or impending threat.

They skyrocket when moving from state of deep sleep into abrupt awake.

Leslie the realtor, as source of failed communication, bears full responsibility for this scenario. A female no less! You’d think she’d know better. But then, her eye’s on dollar signs.

So I had my morning coffee.

Followed by a rye whiskey with (diet) soda.

Because a big strange man suddenly opening my bedroom door  while I’m sleeping is instinctually and deeply unsettling.

There’s an alarm clock. Then there’s sheer alarm.

This one is on you, Leslie.

The cocktail is on me.







the worldwide infection

WordPress daily writing prompts no more.

Hence one randomly drawn from the past pool. May 17 — “Infect”

I am infected

by stupidity of people

merely by inhabiting our shared planet: earth.

I never wanted to be here

Karma made me come:

Lessons still to learn. Experiences still to have.

Some of it fun. Much of it not.

Infected by stupidity. Not mine. Theirs. People’s.

Can’t wait to wash those men — and women — right outta my hair!

When the time’s right. When my time’s done.

Cleansing me of the infection that was never mine.

And for which there is no cure no doctor no antibiotic.

Only the freedom that comes of dying.


Where there’s smoke, there’s me?!

To my sensibilities, ain’t nuthin’ better than an icy drink and a smoke outdoors on a warm evening.

One thing that people are consistently surprised by through the decades is hearing I smoke. Except I don’t. Well, sort of.

I’m a natural smoker.

Meaning: there’s no addiction whatsoever. Most of the year, I don’t think about tobacco. Don’t have any. Don’t want or need any. Don’t miss it. Especially in winter. My body’s immunity says “eh-eh. No.”

Come summer, health turns robust. Thoughts turn to hanging outdoors during warm evenings … frosty beer or cocktail. Were I in the South, I’d be swinging in that proverbial porch swing with a mint julep in one hand, a smoke in the other.

Here’s the deal. I love to roll my own with the 100% tobacco. The prepackaged stuff is shit. Full of chemicals that’ll kill ya.

And I’ve bought those bags of 100% natural tobacco and rolling papers.

Problem is,  I live in Arizona. Dry dry dry! That bagged loose tobacco gets REAL dry and REAL unrollable REAL fast!

And since when I smoke, I generally want only one or two, the bagged tobacco gets bone-dry bad so fast that it gets tossed. 😦

Forcing a compromise.

I buy Smokin’ Joes. They’re cheap — at least lots cheaper than the known brands, including American Spirit — and a pack’ll survive the heat and last through my slow smoking pace.

Bought a new pack today. Been out on the porch a coupla hours. Two-and-a-half smokes in and I’m satisfied.

That speaks to this lovely evening. About 75 degrees at 9 at night. Second White Claw (low-carb) beer to my left. Bowl-turned-ashtray to my right. Butt seated on front-porch wooden planks. Sprinkler dousing a small lawn thirsting for water in the drought. Crickets chirping. Alone.

It gets no better than this! In fact, this scene makes my Top 5 List of Ways I’d Like to Die. I won’t reveal what my Top Choice is.

But a satisfying smoke or two and chilled drink and cricket song on a front porch on a warm peaceful night … I ain’t got nuthin’ to bitch about.

Can’t predict the next hankering for that smoke. Only that it’ll be at the right time, in the right place and satisfying as all get out. Keepin’ it pleasurable. Keepin’ it real.





You say potayto, I say … radishes?!

Let’s play! — that game old as the hills — no wordplay intended, well, perhaps a little.

That game where you look at formations in rocks or clouds and say what you see.

Fascinating sport. Especially with clouds, where one person’ll see, say, an elephant raising its trunk, point enthusiastically, “see, right there, to the left of that little dip, that’s the top of his ear!” … while the next’ll see the face of an old lady weeping. “Right there, that dark indentation in the puff, that’s the tip of her nose!”

But especially with rocks, it happens that the collective agrees. Think of all the silhouettes of mountains and hills that bear names because of what they resemble — to the minds of most. And even if it’s not the first thing that springs to yours, you look again, stretch, you can sorta see it.

Let’s play. Look at this rock formation on a hike. Decide first thing you see before you read on. That’s critical. Share in comments. If you’d like to name it, certainly do that too!

I predict a consensus for this particular formation — because to me it was so glaringly obvious!

So y’all are guinea pigs in a poll. But I also wanna hear if you see something other than I predict.

Okay, the pic. One two three. GO!


I saw immediately …



… a dog with floppy ears. He’s looking to the left. Shadowy tip of nose.

His name? Rockhound! Of course.

Now you. And thanks for playing.


Of dirt and drought, a delight!

Biggest misconception about Arizona is it’s all sweltering desert.

Nothing’s further from the truth.

It’s true that southern Arizona — Phoenix, Yuma, Tucson — is that way. But the greater part of Arizona is not.

Matter of fact, I happen to live in one of those (very) temperate regions. High desert mountain. Same altitude as Denver, in fact. Mile-high.

Which isn’t to say that it’s not dry here! D-R-Y and severely drought-stricken. All of which segues into today’s post.

I hike religiously. Well, as religiously as a God-detesting heathen could. (That’s self-canceling, admittedly, complicated and definitely not today’s topic!)

Anyhow, I’m hiking the other late afternoon. Come along to share through my eyes.

Drought. Dry. Every direction vegetation thusly:


Then something catches my eye.


A single white flowering wildflower.

Well, would you look at that?!


“Little” things move me tremendously, deeply. Things having NOTHING TO DO WITH PEOPLE. Whom by and large I hate. My love of nature, however, is solid gold.

I behold this single plant. Marvel at its tenacity in such arid conditions. Not only to survive but produce beautiful delicate blooms.

Petals like white rice paper. Centers in bold sunflower yellow.

Behold its thorns! In Arizona, all’s about survival. This plant means business! Beautiful!


And its buds! The promise of blooms still to burst. Despite heat and drought. (Not Phoenix heat but hot enough.)


It’s windy windy windy in them thar (here) hills! Petals dance faster than my camera can capture. Still  …


Then a moment, still … revealing:


You may think me mad or heathen-ly at the least but I bow to no God. I bow to this. A single wildflower. In such dry brown topography. I bow to survival. To beauty. To life.

And then, as I must, I bid goodbye, with an honoring and sensitive soul, to one thorny wildflower.


That’s often all it takes for me. The single thing, small, so commonly overlooked by others, reaches into my heart and reminds life is grand.

(not people. Life.)



Betrayed: By a Bitch with a Blade

Betrayed by the bitch who wanted my boyfriend

Betrayed by the bitch who went behind my back

Betrayed by the bitch who bedded my boyfriend

Betrayed by the bitch who wedded my boyfriend

{who became my ex}.

Betrayed by the bitch who done broke my heart

Her knife in my back twisting everlasting.

Betrayal done but still remain the scars.

Betrothed no more, divorce papers soon signed

Only one question to my Betrayer was there:

Ain’t karma a bitch.

daily prompt: betrayed

Anchor’s my way, my boys!

Flash-fiction, flash-thought.

Promptly — Micro: means beer!

Craft beers. The golden goods churned out by microbreweries. From pilsners to porters and all between, good or bad, there’s something magical in brews crafted by heart and hand that machines at the Big Beermakers cannot replicate or achieve.

Microwbrews are: Mojo in a Bottle.

Not gonna delve into critical thought or reviews of beers. Such analyses overfloweth online. Instead, I wish to pay my respects to my very personal favorite:

Anchor Steam

1849. The rich history of Anchor Brewing can be traced all the way back to the California Gold Rush, when German brewer Gottlieb Brekle arrived in San Francisco with his family.

A direct quote from its site; more here.

Anchor Steam was way ahead of its time. It created craft before craft became common and, I daresay despairingly, trendy.

My own roots with Anchor Steam date way back — some 30-40 years — in a love affair everlasting.

Through the decades, I’ve drunk oodles and oodles of beers, ranging from marvelous microbrews to the swill that is Budweiser.

Ultimately, over time, my heart always takes me back to:

Anchor Steam


 (the original, though seasonals and new arrivals are worthy as well)

Mmmmm-mmmmm mmmmmmm-mmmmmm mmmmmm mmmmmm mmmmm.

It’s sheer coincidence that well-known song “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”* pairs with the City that is home to the one brew that has my heart.

*SF – where I lived looooooooong ago before it and California went to total shit

Were I on Death Row — the chance of which is nil, just illustrating — I’d request a bottle of Anchor Steam with my last meal.

(Also on the list: hirame (halibut) sushi – or, if unavailable, cooked — a bowl of Japanese rice with a raw egg and seaweed, spinach, a pig-in-blanket (weiner wrapped in Pillsbury crescent) with mustard and ice cream)

On second thought, prison wouldn’t allow beer in the bottle due to the glass. In special circumstances, a Dixie paper cup’ll do.

On my deathbed, ditto the drink.

Anchor SteamLifting free off this planet with Anchor Steam on my tongue … and a naval lyric in my Piscean heart … perfect!  … I can see and hear(t) it all now!

Anchors aweigh, my boys,

Anchors aweigh

Farewell to foreign shores,

We sail at break of day-ay-ay-ay.

Through our last night ashore,

Drink to the foam,

Until we meet once more.

Here’s wishing you a happy voyage home.


daily prompt: micro