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, the man-chasing Betty Mae, weird dreams, recipes, movies, ’80′s nostalgia, picking up strays (the furry and the non), and unfeigned poetry. Watch for tri-weekly upcoming posts as these¬† beach reads begin to build and form like, well, a castle in the sand...


Filed under Observations

A Curtain of Dragonflies

A curtain of dragonflies
flowed down from the sky
and came before me
shining like twilight
They weren’t coming
to take me away
but entering from another realm
reminding me to say
the ideas in my mind
in the starry night
the things I hold dear
and dream of
those things which cannot
be taken away
with a thousand wings of flight
or a thousand angry tongues
So sweet and calm and magical
this curtain is
Flow down to me again
and the next.


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Sympathy from a Friend

I saw the tears in her eyes
after our embrace
She felt my pain
She hurt for me
For a moment
she owned it
like she had before
in her own time of
But I had to take it back
from her
and own it myself
Like we all do
But blessed are we
who can share it
with someone
who doesn’t judge
Yet sheds tears
with ours
Reminding there
is good in the world.


Filed under Sunday Night Sonnet

The Wonder, Not the Worry

I like to people-watch. And not in a pervy, stalky way either. Get your head out of the gutter. OK maybe that was my head in the gutter.

I like to study how people interact with each other. Wonder what their story is. Listen to their conversations. Relish in their native accents. Imagine what it’s like in their world.

I don’t claim to be a professional people-watcher. I am not out in public every day. Some days I only leave the house to walk the dog. And lately I try to avoid the neighbors too because I don’t want to hear how my bike being parked under the car port is a community violation.

But I digress.

Today I was at a nail salon. I’ve been getting trimmed and buffed and shellacked and waxed there for over a year now. So I’ve become comfortable with the staff and the place. The owner’s 7-year-old daughter is usually there. She is an only child like my son and I like to see how she happily entertains herself when she’s not entertaining the customers. At one point she was staring out the window, singing to herself. Her little fairy-like voice flitting among the sounds of feet being scrubbed and the buzz of the nail buffer.

For a moment I was very envious of her. I wanted to trade places. To be in that child-like state of wonder again. To know Mom was just an arm’s length away. That a hot meal was eventually waiting for me, groddy peas and all.

Then my eyes began to dart over to a fiery woman in her seventies. Her sunset-colored nails were drying so she sat in front of another customer and they spoke about old bastard bosses and the bargain of online shopping. Her Long Island accent filled my ears with happiness. “Can somebahdy give me an excuse not ta go to tha supah mahket?” She asked the entire room as she stood up to leave. I laughed out loud. Only time I ever heard a Long Island accent growing up in the south was when I blissfully watched a Woody Allen flick.

Then there was the lady who was dutifully and a little militantly trimming my cuticles. Her hands were strong but her arms soft. I looked at my own arms, tanned from bike rides and tanning lotion. Toned like someone who has and takes the time to do push-ups and other crap that hurts like hell but feels good when it’s over. I wondered if the lady ever had time for herself. And if she did, what did she like to do? I imagined her strolling in a market, perhaps back in Vietnam, sun shining on her smiling face.

The little girl interrupted my day-dreaming.

“Let’s play rock, paper, scissors. Winner gets to do their favorite trick,” she said with a Chiclets-toothed smile.


Rock, paper, scissors, shoot.

We both drew scissors. Tie.

Rock, paper, scissors, shoot.

Her scissors cut my wimpy little paper.

She did a funny little dance.

“Nice trick.”

“Again,” she demanded.

Rock, paper, scissors, shoot.

My rock slammed her flimsy scissors.

I flared my nostrils as that is pretty much the only trick I could think of while having my nails poked at and my feet grated.

“Wow, how did you do that?” She was wildly impressed.

When they called me to go to the waxing room the little girl followed me. As the blonde Chewbacca fuzz was being ripped from my eyelid flesh she started examining my tattoos.

“Will this come off?” she asked in her fairy-voice as she stroked the quill tatt on my left arm.

“No. It’s permanent.”

“You have any more?”

I showed her the one on my right arm.

“What does it say?”

“It says ‘wonder not worry’. It reminds me to look at the world in wonder instead of worry. Like the wonder of a child.”

“Like me. Like I do,” she said sweetly. She hummed a little tune as she left the room.

I realized the 7-year-old understood what I meant. And I realized I had been taking my own tattoo-etched advice in those moments before.

I can still be that child with the faraway look in her eye, singing songs, playing games.

And with a few rips, some cold cream, and the diligent hands of a woman 9,600 miles away from her homeland, I can have some fuzz-free unfurrowed eyebrows, too.












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A Bright Mind

The mind–
not always a happy place
It has been taken over
by the dark rumble
of mother nature’s
mocking morning
And echoes of human
mistaking smiles for
unwelcoming invitations
But perception is reality
and my castle made of sand
my muscles flaccid
But still here I stand
I can’t cower in the corner
let the rumble take me over
although when that storm cell
passed through last night
I imagined it sucked me up
into it
and twirled me around
spinning in its cleansing,
forgiving arms
then spat me out
to be whole again
to let the light back in
to tear the muscles
into stronger flesh
to rid the mind of the rumble
the echoes
the doubt
bringing about truthful smiles
a stone castle
gentle echoes
open heart
and bright mind.



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These Numbers

A panel of numbers
shimmer in the glint
of the overhead light
Numbers which could be meaningless
to aliens and animals
But to humans
signify freedom

That we rely on this list
of numerical code
is preposterous
Yet still
it is so

For the backbone
the door behind
is what some identify with
in whole

A soul’s opportunity
to shed itself
of material scrutiny
Can in an instance
be trampled
as if by a herd of buffalo
on the wheat-colored plains

And how ironic
those peoples
who hunted those beasts
did not exchange money
and surely not these numbers

Yet here we are
sliding our glimmering plastic
to feed clothe and perhaps
even travel
see the world
on a cadence of
digital emancipation

If it is so.

bank card

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The Scream of Silence

It was brought to my attention last night at a neighborhood party that I had not contributed to my blog lately.

I knew this would happen.

One of my avid readers, the boyfriend of the party host and the only male there, mouthed at me from across the room and plateful of cheese and crusty garlic bread.

“Your blog.”

That’s all he had to say really. I knew he would at some point in the evening bring about my accountability for my writing.

“I know,” I mouthed back at him. “I’ve been applying for jobs lately. Not a lot of time for my writing.”

My avid reader is deaf. He contracted polio when he was twelve. Woke up one morning to complete and total silence. I cannot imagine losing my hearing. Sometimes I think I’d rather be blind. To not hear the crescendo of a song that makes your whole body vibrate? To not hear the birds sing outside the window, reminding me of simplicity and nature? To not hear the myriad of beautiful (and not so beautiful) voices and accents from around the globe in their own rhythm and cadence?

But my avid reader doesn’t let this silence deafen his life. He fishes. He shops at the flea market impatiently with his girlfriend. He attends parties. He drives the old ladies (and intoxicated) people home. And he reads lips from across the room.

I am in awe of this ability. I try to read lips, too. I usually look at a person’s mouth when they are speaking to me. It helps clear the wobble of communication in loud places. But my avid reader not only reads lips, he recognizes accents, too. He knew I came from somewhere-in-the-south when he first met me. His girlfriend is English, and boasts a refined Liverpool accent. Thank goodness because she enunciates with the precision of a stern schoolteacher. I can’t imagine poor avid reader trying to read the lips of some of the people I heard mumbling their way through life during my childhood.


Despite his handicap, which perhaps he doesn’t even recognize it as that, he is one of the happiest people I know. I hear his laughter all the way down the street sometimes when I’m walking the dog.

I claim to be, and am, a very auditory person. I have music playing almost constantly. I can’t even brush my teeth without clicking my iPod to shuffle. But when my son and husband went away on a trip for a week I did not turn on the TV or music until the day before they arrived. It was as if I needed that calm quiet. That peacefulness after years worth of conversation and children and cartoons and the pop of Nerf guns.

I wouldn’t want the absence of sound all the time like Avid Reader. Although that absence does magnify the other senses. Maybe colors are more vivid. Hugs are deeper. The gulf breeze more caressing. Faces have more character.

And just maybe words, lines, and stories birth an even bigger life within the scream of silence. And when at a party full of cackling women the silence must be just heavenly.


Filed under Observations

A Symphony of Storms

The storm is my symphony
It creates the grand timbre
usually saved for musical moments
when the silence is uncomfortably deafening
But now the speakers are quiet
the power is disabled
Just the pitter patter of rain
on the skylight and window panes
the rumble of the thunder
closer closer above loud cracking and crashing
then retreating retreating
to a distant rumble
while the dog snores beside
and the tap tap tapping of fingers on the keyboard
are applause to this symphony
that is my storm.


Filed under Sunday Night Sonnet