Welcome!

There’s so much content running through my brain as well as content already contained. I’d like to invite you, dear reader, into my world of Busted Flip Flops. We’ll explore observations of life, musings about becoming Mom, Cherry Pearl the snorting pug, weird dreams, recipes, movies, ’80’s nostalgia, picking up strays (the furry and the non), and unfeigned poetry. Watch for weekly upcoming posts as these beach reads begin to build and form like, well, a castle in the sand...

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Facebook Depresses Me

I took a 5 month hiatus from Facebook a while back. For various reasons, one being I just didn’t need or want my personal life spilled out there for everyone to see, I needed to get “off the grid” FB style.

Coerced by coworkers to get in the loop of our funny office photos I recently got back on.

Immediately two comments popped up. Glad you’re back! They read. Wow I hadn’t realized I’d been missed.

I have been slow to get back into the trappings of Facebook. And I don’t think I’ll ever have the love affair (or perhaps it was just obsession) I once had. And thank goodness. Because there were so many times after I spent 45 minutes trolling my news feed I would walk away with this heavy and negative feeling in my soul. These things did not add happiness to my life:

Photos of me two years ago. Young and fit. Damn I’ve aged.

Ridiculously happy families/couples.

People I never see anymore.

Family I lost touch with.

Babies I didn’t know people had.

Birthdays I missed.

Extravagant meals which make my shitty excuse for dinner depressing and demoralizing.

Movies/TV shows/news/celebrities I know nothing about because I live in my own self-imposed hibernation.

Political rants from friends I thought were more open and accepting.

And for those reasons I do not spend endless wasted minutes watching to see what everyone else is doing or saying while I should be on WordPress tapping into my creative soul! Or outside listening to the birds sing and watching the tree limbs sway. Or engaging with the person in front of me instead of my face stuck in my phone.

But I am not a total begrudged hater. Facebook does have its positives. Maybe I shouldn’t be blaming Facebook. I mean what did Facebook do but merely exist? Just trying to connect people and ideas and photos and lives? These are the reasons I still have an account:

I get to see photos of my nephews living their lives. Without this I would not have such a sweet visual insight into their daily/weekly lives.

All my awesome high school and college friends and the success of their creative endeavors.

The first neighbor I can ever remember and how she still has those curly locks and now a family and house of her own.

That friends and family alike are still out there, breathing, baring their souls or just sharing a recipe.

I can spend as little or as much time on Facebook as I wish. No one is force cramming it down my throat. It is my choice. So I choose to troll occasionally. And not deem it necessary to post every thought I have or every place I go. And to brag about my kid or not. And to try to take away the things that make me smile. And the things that leave a heavy space will just have to be let go and float away with all the other negativity that does not have a place here.

facebook depression

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Things I Learned from my Dad

Things I learned from my dad:

Folding the perforated paper on the dotted line, both ways, before ripping it out of the notebook. Invaluable still. Keeps me from wasting paper, cursing more, and making a ragged mess out of a should-be perfect piece of parchment.

Blowing into the edge of the stick side of the (carefully opened) popsicle bag before lifting the popsicle out of said crinkly sheath. Keeps the popsicle pristine and the little ice crystals from sticking to the bag. And red or orange or purple no. 5 from sticking to your hand, which also causes more cursing.

Having a spotless car. Dad drove me crazy with his meticulous top-to-bottom, left-to-right way of washing vehicles throughout the years. But there was never a spot on the El Camino, Datsun, Caprice Estate, Cressida, or ’87 Toyota Pickup when he was finished with them. I wish I could say my Prius is the same. I’m lazy and run it through the automatic. But if I did grab a hose and proper sponge, soap, and tire brush, that girl would look like an Amsterdam black diamond.

Singing in church. Dad wasn’t considered Johnny Cash but he was definitely not tone-deaf. His baritone timbre vibrated around a 2-3 pew radius and his timing impeccable. If I got off track during “It is Well” I could always count on him to steer me back. There was no big screen with a PowerPoint flow of lyrics to follow. It was old school hymnals and Dad could read music good enough to keep that mass of naked voices around us sounding like, well, a choir at church!

Pushing me to get out of my comfort zone. When I was a kid I wanted to be an actor. When I got into high school I wanted to be in the school play. When I told my dad I wanted to act he replied, “You can’t act.” I was crushed. He was usually my advocate. But because I was a shy girl and never liked to put myself out there I guess he thought it was a pipe dream. So I took that lack of faith and made it my goal to prove him wrong. I ended up not only being in the play, but being the female lead. And guess who was in that audience every single night of performance? And with a camcorder to boot.

I could go on and on about all the things Dad taught me. How to gas up and start a lawn mower. How to use an old bed sheet to rake leaves on and dispose of lawn waste. How to do a proper cannonball. How to play “Chopsticks” on the piano. And I could go on and on about all the things he tried to teach me that just did not compute. Using the weed-eater. Math beyond 4th grade. The proper way to pack a car trunk. How to dive.

I hope he knows how much his presence in my childhood and into mid-adulthood means to me. A lot of other kids weren’t and aren’t so fortunate. And I know I don’t tell him enough.

Thank you Dad for not only teaching me things but for being present along the way. You were there for me even when I did stupid stuff. You held my hand and let me know you did dumb things too and everything would be okay.

me & dad

Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I love you.

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Oranges, Sage, Sand and Time

Yesterday while stepping outside the office to the parking lot I caught a whiff of some kind of dry brush percolating its arid scent in the late spring warmth. It immediately transported me back to 1989. To a sandy and rooted path towards the Mediterranean sea. I looked down at my feet and couldn’t believe I had really gone on that trip all those years ago. Seems like an eternity. The girl who traveled there had freckles and bushy brown hair and a wondering mind. I still have the freckles and a matured version of that mind so it must have been me.

I love how smells take you to places and evoke memories in an instant. In the midst of everyday life we step back and take a deep inhale through the honker and relive a moment as if it were right at our feet.

Take oranges for another example. That smell of freshly sliced citrus transports me back to an even earlier time. To childhood and the kitchen counter and the oranges stacked in a bowl during Christmastime. It is always Christmas when I smell an orange. And now the citrus fruits lining my lanai swell and ripen in wintertime.

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Fresh cut grass reminds me of Tennessee summers and my dad and my brother and the aggravation then prideful relief when the yard work was finished.

Decaying leaves and burning wood always remind me of fall and Halloween. The beginning of school days. Trick-or-treating. Playing in piles of orange and red and brown fallen oak and maple. Writing somber poetry.

Curry and coriander bring forth memories of Christmas Eve and our now decade-long family tradition of enjoying an Indian feast before driving around to see all the neighborhood holiday lights.

Instant coffee and tobacco– my grandparent’s house. Powder soap and crayons– elementary school. Soft, sweet Petunia– my mother’s garden. Aveeno Eczema Therapy lotion– my son’s infancy. Rain– lazy summer days and escaping to shelter. Cinnamon– all the good memories ever all wrapped into one.

Last night I stared down at my feet after a good jog on the causeway. The terrain underneath reminded me of that path to the Mediterranean sea and the desert of the Australian Outback and all the places I’ve been and seen and experienced. It’s still a bit of a shock how much I’ve done. The smell of the salty, shelly gulf wafted around me and I smelled not a memory but a presence. I was home. And alive in the present with all the memories of the past in my brain waiting for the frontal lobe to spark the temporal and let me relive them again, if only for a time.

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Sunset by the Sea

That golden orb
lay down so eloquently
the bottom of it
pulled down by the sea
or perhaps the rotation
of the earth
that which we cannot see

And I shared a bench
with an old man
who did not speak
But I heard his heart
when his eyes were alight
no grief
We took in the moment
each of us our own thoughts
dreams hopes desires
beliefs

Sunset by the sea
I gave gratitude
for you and me
for spirit peace equality

A couple lay in each other’s arms
a family played joyfully
mother and son
daddy and baby
a circle of souls
waxing philosophically
three women late in their years
a wet-eared puppy

That golden orb
not a backdrop
but the focus of the moment
holding us all together
to bask in its enjoyment

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Beauty in the World

There are exotic places I’ve been

There are exotic places I dream of
in my cubicle at work

And there is the beauty outside my front door

It makes my 2.5 days of available Paid Time Off
bearable

Twilight’s blue sky
two stars I make wishes to

A spring breeze
carrying live Saturday night
music to my ears
keeping all but one mosquito
away

Palm trees like I dreamed of in
childhood
swaying right before my eyes

The smell of a charcoal grill
and something I would probably
not eat
wafting deliciously in the wind

The Magnolia tree
the flowers flitting so
intoxicatingly
waiting to be plucked
illegally

Norfolk Pine fingers
dancing in twilight wind

A storm miles away
it can’t touch me
but I see the lightning
as if it were touching my skin

I breathe in this night
I breathe in this beauty

There is hope in this world
and I can feel it from
within.

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Reaching Out

When all is quiet
and there is no work to be done
My mind flies high
soaring against the sun
my heart is full
of all of you
all who have reached out
both old and new
For all the tiring
desperate trying times
Among them has been
no searching for earthly
companions
In that aspect I win
So many open souls
willing to give a hand
reaching out
keeping my mind
from falling back into
the chasm
I want to thank you
as I feel the sun
I want to thank you
for everything you’ve done
I might not have always seemed grateful
but I am here
reaching back out to you.
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For Judith

For Judith
Who I will never see again

You hang like a lost memory
near the gates of your
oak laden neighborhood

I picked you up there once
because your car was in the shop
or something like that

I still have the photo album
you gave me as a gift
which sat in your car for months
long after we’d stopped volunteering
together

Those days at the nonprofit
you were my solace
you were the one I sought
when I walked in the door

Southern charm and recipes
your clothes ever so pressed
and conservative
yet so approachable

Thick black hair
tiny shiny beautiful
unpretentious jewelry

Your soon-to-be son-in-law
said he hoped his daughter
would look like you when she got
old

But you were not old when you
died

Divorce
cancer
you left the shop

We tried to reach out

But you were too proud
or sad

I should have joined you
for Thai chi
I should have begged
one more time
to have lunch with you at
Joey’s

You always got the soup and
half sandwich
but could never eat it all

Judith I fashioned a character
after you in one of my unfinished
novels

Judith where are you
now

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