Bully Behind the Wheel — on Steroids

October 4, 2015 by

OMG, you guys. I have an aggressive driver story to tell you that trumps all the Alberta pickup meatheads put together.

A little before 8 p.m., I was driving south on Loop 101 in Phoenix a few miles before the junction with Interstate 10 when a semi pulled into the lane behind me, much too close for my comfort.

I gave him a few minutes to back off, but he stayed right there, three or four feet from my bumper.

The lane next to me was full of traffic, and I couldn’t move over, so I tapped my brake lightly to get him to back off. Mind you — I did not slam on my brakes or even slow my car noticeably. I just flashed the brake lights as a warning that he was too close.

He turned on his brights.

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Revisiting Martinsdale

September 16, 2015 by

Yesterday as I was driving through Montana enroute from Phoenix to Edmonton, I took a little side trip to visit Martinsdale, Montana, a tiny town where I lived for six months in 1990.

Yes, I lived there for only six months, but they were six of the most pivotal months of my life. Mars was surprised today when I told him I only lived there for six months because he’s heard (and remembers) sooo many stories from Martinsdale.

I ran away from Martinsdale in January 1990 in crisis (I wrote about parts of that drive). I literally haven’t been back since.

But apparently I’ve forgotten nothing. Read the rest of this entry »

A Gift of Synchronous Grace

September 14, 2015 by

The most amazing thing happened to me Saturday night, a coincidence so bizarre and unlikely that it feels like a lightning strike from above — but in a good way.

Route 66

First, I have to give you some backstory. In early July, I was driving south to spend a month or so with my parents in Phoenix. As I often do, I checked in on Facebook periodically so my close friends and family would know where I was.

When I checked in at Albuquerque, my friend Trudy J. Morgan-Cole messaged me. She was putting together a book trailer for What You Wanta fabulous coming-of-age road trip novel I’d read in manuscript.

15519938961_60df68061b_zThe road trip in the book takes place on historic Route 66, and she’d noted that I was following that path. Could I take some video for her?

She only needed thirty seconds or so of footage, and specifically wanted signs that said “Route 66” and “New Mexico.”

By the time I got the message, we were already in Gallup, NM. But the kids and I had a blast driving around Gallup, and back and forth across the Arizona-New Mexico border.

Wanna see the footage? Go watch the book trailer! And then buy the e-book. It’s less than five dollars, and it really is fabulous.

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The Changing Face of 21st Century Marriage

September 10, 2015 by

Warning: this is going to be extremely controversial. I understand that you have very strong feelings about the subject, and I certainly don’t mind if you express them. But I will not tolerate disrespect or name-calling. If I think your comment is disrespectful to myself or my readers, I will delete it.

Unless it’s funny or I agree with it.

Joke! That last was a joke!! Come on, people, relax! It’s just a conversation.

On we go to the main topic:

In the course of my adult lifetime, I’ve seen a dramatic change in the nature of marriage in North America. We are currently living through the uncomfortable process of a second major change, and I believe we’ve seen the beginning signs of a third equally traumatic change.

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Protected: The Compass

September 6, 2015 by

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White-Knuckle Driving

August 28, 2015 by

Yesterday I was driving back to my parents home from the eastern Arizona mountains after a great visit with old friends.

1I chose the prettiest route, and when I started, the day was perfect. I settled in with one of my favorite playlists and anticipated a gorgeous drive.

The day before, I’d noticed acres of wild sunflowers in full bloom. I was particularly looking forward to stopping to photograph them for my friend Julie.

Little did I know …

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Longing for Home

August 23, 2015 by

Clearly I need a new category: Woo Woo Weirdness. ‘Cause this is another of those experiences that logical science cannot explain (other than calling it a flight of imagination).

I have blogged before about how I’ve lost my home and how I’m searching for a place to belong. It’s a deep grief, a heart-hole I’ve carried for most of my life. My longing for home only intensified since I moved to Canada. I even have a playlist with 64 songs on it titled “Home.”

I joke sometimes about the hermit crab being one of my totem animals(Bear with me here: I do have a point.)


You may remember that, unlike most crustaceans, the hermit crab doesn’t have a shell to protect its soft body. It’s extremely vulnerable as a result.

So it salvages shells left by other creatures (or even hollow chucks of rock or driftwood), and curls into the space soft-side first. And then it drags the shell around.

Perfect metaphor for a highly sensitive person. We don’t have the protective barriers most people have, so we’re vulnerable and soft. Sometimes we have to crawl into a cozy space and pull our tendrils in behind us and hide, just to stay safe.

The image here is my Hermit Crab Soul Collage card. My hermit crab wants to hide. She wants to close the door and not see, just to take a break. And she finds her shell beautiful because it keeps her safe. Read the rest of this entry »

Truth from a Facebook Quiz

August 23, 2015 by

(I found this in my draft folder: I wrote it June 26 but apparently didn’t post it.)

Yesterday, just for fun, I did one of those Facebook personality tests: Color Oracle, based on what colors appeal or repel you. It was uncanny in its accuracy.

First, the colors I liked:

  • My general disposition right now is characterized by a need for prosperity. I’m ambivalent about money and think economically, but I like the security it can bring, and the freedom to buy something that brings me joy.
  • The most important thing to me right now is self-protection (though I would extend that to protecting my family, especially my children). I keep my distance from “unpleasant people who try to manipulate, define, or influence” me.
  • What I’m conscious planning is to feel safe. I want a stable home life and adequate income.
  • I need solitude: a quiet place, my hobbies, or “the sweetness of doing nothing.”
  • What I need most right now is “joyful fulfillment of (my) desires.”
  • I think I will be happy if I can create a life for me that lines up with my values.
  • I analyze everything (that is, I overthink).
Here’s what it said about the colors I disliked:
  • I am anxious about “difficult circumstances (that) limit (my) opportunities for experience and freedom of action.”
  • I want to be free from the “burdensome situation of suffering.” I think people should behave and be kind. I get annoyed when they don’t or aren’t.
  • I suffer from an “exhaustingly stressful situation.” When I try to pretend I’m fine anyway, I overextended myself.
  • My momentum declined because I feel “chained to people or circumstances” that restrict my choices. I get “itchy” when things happen slowly.
  • People piss me off sometimes. I “don’t feel like putting up with just anything.”
  • I’m gloomy because of my stressful circumstances. I feel misunderstood. I think I’ve been treated unfairly. I feel I’m at the mercy of the unacceptable behavior of someone I love. Because I try to hide this, I have lost my resilience.

Yikes. If you’ve been reading for the past few years, you know how accurate this is. And all from choosing colors.

Authentic Katrina, the Chalice

August 21, 2015 by

(I wrote this June 24, but apparently I never posted it.)

I had a profound and exquisitely sweet experience today. I’m having a little trouble coping with our latest bad news, so I scheduled a couple of appointments with a local counselor: Jill Koziey.

Today she did a visualization exercise with me that turned into hypnosis. I’m not sure if that’s what she intended, necessarily, but I go under fairly easily, especially since I started meditation.

She took me back to the last place where I felt I was my most authentic self: the Writers Retreat Workshop in San Antonio. She asked me to visualize the setting, the people, how I interacted, what I did there, etc.

She asked me to describe myself in that setting. I said I was directed. Maybe I said I was focused, I don’t remember. I was definitely big and loud and flamboyant — much more so than I am here, which is ironic since I often feel criticized for being a big, loud, flamboyant American living in Canada.

I pictured the force that is Authentic Katrina as a golden light emanating from my solar plexus and spreading outward. I pictured it filling the room, the city, the province, the world, the universe. I lived for those minutes with myself in all my glorious immensity, and it felt powerful and right. A force for goodness. A thing of beauty (am I allowed to say that about myself, even the Authentic Self that is my soul?). Read the rest of this entry »

Dreaming of Dancing

August 18, 2015 by

I dreamt last night straight from a Victorian period drama.

It was the evening of my wedding. We’d had an appropriately decorous day. I wore off-white because I was a widower with a child, not a maiden, but I’d exchanged nothing with my groom other than flirty glances across the room and a stolen kiss or two.

But it was finally evening. My new husband had dismissed the servants once they served dinner, so we had the house to ourselves.

VictorianWe had dressed for dinner, and I had chosen something risky.

All black, though it was my wedding day. A cocktail dress with a beaded lace yoke, strings of bugle beads that dangled over the fair skin of my upper arm, and an uneven hem that showed glimpses of my shapely calves (shaddup: I can wear whatever I want in my dreams!).

During dinner, my new husband had pulled off my elbow-length glove, and tickled my arm until my whole body was tingling.

We rose from the table, though I’d hardly eaten. I stepped into the half circle of his arm, tapped his chest with my forefinger, and said in a teasing voice, “Is there where I dance with my husband?”

He straightened into his frame, and we began to dance.

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