January 10th, 2097 - Going back to Beehive


January 10th, 2097,

Dear Diary,

Another treacherously hot day here in Burlington, Vermont.  I ventured outside in spite of the heat because I was hungry and our supply of dried crickets and thimbleberries was getting low. Besides, I hadn’t spent a lot of time in the western part of our domain and thought I might find some others who survived the great fire and could have resources to share.  Plus, the mosquitos would probably be out, and I could perhaps cobble a quick protein snack on the road to my destination, whatever that was.  If not, surely there would be a few bark beetles hiding somewhere that if I had the strength, I could extract from some of the nearby dying trees.

I found myself on a path surrounded by what looked like it might once have been a series of wooden structures, now just foundations, really with a few remnants strewn about from some kind of former mini village that had long been abandoned: part of a red wig, a torn piece of  paper displaying what looked some kind of sheet music for the piano before they were all destroyed. I could just make out the title “Feed Me, Seymour” at the top, a can of paint and a metal saw with an old electric cord.  I put the saw in my bag.  There might not be any electricity, but who knew when the blade might come in handy for something. 

I continued down the path, hot wind blowing through the one of two tattered  t shirts I had left, carrying with it  rocky dust from the road that hit my skin and made it itch.

100 feet ahead, something caught my eye.

It was an old and long rectangular cabin, but without a roof and only part of the walls intact. At the front, although bent and upside down, was a plaque somehow still hanging from a half bunt beam.:  Beehive, it read, and  was accompanied by a poorly drawn picture of a beehive – one bee flying to its side.  I had read about bees and seen photos of them in a book my grandmother had decades earlier, but had never actually seen one, maybe once or twice in my childhood,, but they had been ambling slowly on a branch and not buzzing about  with the purpose and drive the book had spoken about. 

Had this been a large holding space for these long-gone creatures?  I stepped further into the area and noted a rusty box spring to the left and part of a mattress to the right.  Something shiny stuck in the box spring made me take a second glance.   A brown, white and blue wrapper.  There were letters on it that were spelled “Snick”, but the rest seemed to be torn off.

Further down there was an area that looked like it had been a porch overlooking  a series of now blackened forests  and a puddle of water that had once been what I think I hear was Lake Champlain.  The railing was just barely intact but I could see carved "BLC forever."  I stood there looking down at what I imagined had once been a beautiful view.  Who had been there?  What were they doing? Something about it felt familiar.   The scent?  The uneven floor boards?  The faded graffiti and scribblings on the wall: Beehive 87 – It's heaven. I read.  Becky is COOL.  Jenny and Greg Forever encircled by a sloppy fading heart.  

As I looked around, I could make out clues of life once present there, a cigarette butt filter in a corner; a grey plastic hairbrush, missing ¾ of its bristles, part of a lipstick top.  I imagined girls here, smoking on the porch, singing along into their hairbrush microphones  to songs on the radio, experimenting with how magenta gloss made them look just a little bit more sophisticated.   I hadn’t seen any of these items  in many years. Mostly they just didn’t exist anymore,  but for a moment I could dream about them and picture a life when they did.   

It was time to go.  There wasn’t any food there, and  I only had so much energy for wandering without purpose.  I turned to leave and walked slowly towards the front of the cabin.  I couldn’t help noticing on one wall on the right, written in bright red indelible marker, the kind you use when you want to be remembered:  “Mary was here”.


This Year Will Be Different



This is the year that things will be different.  This is the year I do less.  The year where I will not rush.  I will not run to yoga  I will not brush my teeth as quickly as possible while also trying to complete 20 squats or clean the sink. No more multitasking, unless the hair dryer falls off the shelf like it did last week during a vigorous tooth washing session and I needed to catch it.

 I will leave 10 minutes earlier for everything, including events where I’m not even required to be on time, like taking a walk in the neighborhood or picking up more toothpaste from the drug store.   I will take deeper breaths while working, inhaling to the count of the number of emails in my inbox.  And I will unsubscribe from at least one email list daily, starting with Booking Buddy  because the sales are never as good as they say, and Poshmark clothing, because there are way too many buttons on their shirts, and Pennsylvania democrats because I already made the phone calls for John Fetterman and he won. I’m also going to unsubscribe from Julie and Hannah, the dynamic duo  that initially sounded like unstoppable essential oil evangelists who might help reduce stress levels, but whose emails google keeps telling me I haven’t opened in 6 months. Do I want to stay unsubscribed?  Thank you, Google for helping me stick to the New Year’s plan.

This is the year that I will say “no” more often, or at the very least, think about saying no more often, unless it seems like it’s a really cool opportunity, which sometimes it is, but sometimes it isn’t and in any case, it seems appropriate to think about it for a little bit and just see what the words “Thank you for thinking of me but I can’t fit it into my schedule” feel like when I say them out loud.  I will also stop booking meetings so close together, allowing for time to sip tea quietly on the couch, or have a long leisurely teeth brushing session with possible extra flossing as I inhale deeply wishing I hadn’t unsubscribed from Julie and Hannah’s essential oil list which might be nice to smell while I’m inhaling so deeply over the sink that I’m not cleaning.

I will be less busy.  I’m not sure what this actually means, but it seems like a good idea.  I hear other people say it and they smile when they do, with those two creases between their eyebrows diminishing as the utter this phrase.  I will also work on my inter-eyebrow creases by making more appointments at the spa, which I will amble to and leave 10 minutes early to get to, even if it means waiting in the reception area reading a magazine about the travel I may have missed because I no longer know about which airlines fly where and when.

2023 is going to be full of space. Open space, that is.  The kind that you just sit and bask in or wallow in depending on how you feel about having extra time with nothing to do.  I know this will be good for me.  I can think  more about how I can fill the space in the future with meaningful activities that I may not be aware of right now, but which will become more apparent as I unsubscribe from the chatter and allow for the worthwhile emails to rise to the top of my inbox and make the necessary phone calls and/or web clicks that will take me to sites that might just change my outlook on life, or at the very least, help me learn some new vocabulary words or better understand the economy. 

I will have more time!  Time to nap and read the entire New Yorker article, order an appetizer AND an entree and write for more than the 15 minutes right before my writing group meets, and go to the bank in person  to deposit checks so I can converse with the teller,  ask them about their day instead of taking a photo of the check on our wooden dining room table and virtually depositing it with zero words coming out of my mouth, or eye contact beyond looking at the grooves of wood in the table which are lovely but don’t help me remember that I’m alive.

 Oh, how different it will all be. I can’t wait. I know I’ll be more fulfilled, less stressed, more relaxed. I can do all those things I’ve been putting off: finally cleaning out the basement, putting those extra glasses in the “Buy Nothing” group on Facebook applying hand lotion every day instead of just once in a while when I remember.  And when it’s over?  I’ll look back and reflect.  This was the year, I changed, became the better version of myself.  I can’t wait. 



"Extreme" Peanut Butter!

Introducing…extreme peanut butter.  Yes, folks, this is not your average peanut butter, this is EXTREME peanut butter.  It not only sticks to the roof of your mouth but it actually attaches your tongue to your cleft and keeps it there for at least 17 minutes.  That’s right, this peanut butter is so peanut buttery that it will cause a piece of you to stick to another piece of you.    This will slow down your eating process and allow you to keep the taste of peanut butter on your palate for a longer than usual peanut butter experience! That is extreme.

Our peanut butter is so smooth and creamy that it will actually MELT the knife with which you are spreading it.  Make no mistake, the more you spread, the quicker your knife will dissolve. We consider this an excellent way to get additional iron into your diet. A high protein high iron food that you can easily spread on a piece of toast?  That is extreme. 

But wait, there’s more. If you like the chunky version, we have that too.  But be prepared. The chunks are more than just simple chunks of this luscious legume.  They are actually petrified pieces of peanuts that have been around for over 160 years and they will satisfy that need for crunch and chunk that you long for on certain days.  That is extreme.   

And the way our peanut butter meshes with jam? Well, you may not even want to stick around.  This peanut butter essentially is the one and true soul mate of all jams, jellies and marmalades.  It will start to make love to any jam that you slather on a slice of bread, be it baguette or 12 grain.  You did not just mis-read that last sentence. The jam and the peanut butter will begin copulating on your Orowheat right in front of you without any inhibitions.  It might make you uncomfortable at first but it is an amazing site to see.  That is extreme!

Lastly, our peanut butter can read.  It’s true, folks!  Our peanut butter is able to read books and magazines.  This was not planned, but just simply came about during our manufacturing process.  One day in the processing plant, we found our peanut butter reading its label aloud and we knew we had something special.   Bring your peanut butter on short or long road trips with your children and have it read them stories in the back of the car so you and your partner can have a conversation.   When your children tire of hearing our peanut butter read to them, you can invite them to eat it, which will also keep them silent for at least another 17 minutes (see above).    That is not only extreme.  That is miraculous.



On the Theme of RED


Are you ready,

to hear what I read on Reddit?

A red hot story of crimson truths about why our fiery future may not be so rosy.

This ain't like the heat of salsa, gazpacho or cayenne pepper, but rather...

Lava filled lungs, sunsets blazing and ladybugs gone.

Blood stained corporations, dripping rubies, who run red lights and say they are green,

cherry-picking news sound bites, and shaking their cock's comb while they crow "progress."

No one is coming to the rescue.  Not Santa Claus.  Not the fire engine.

No one notices the STOP sign.


Notes to Self #14

 Notes to Self:

1. It's not a big deal that you put the sock labeled "L" on your right foot, and the sock labeled "R" on your left, it just may be a good idea to stay mindful of your attention to detail.

2. While showering with Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Castile soap is like a lively ride on a stick of Wrigley's, it may not be optimal for certain areas of the body. Careful.

3. Keep up your fight to rid the world of leaf blowers even if it means awkward conversations with neighbors, random strangers, and surly chaps who sputter "I work for the city, lady.  Call THEM." 

p.s. Call them. 

Love, Me


Notes to Self #13

 Notes to Self:

1. So what?  Your Dentist told you he wouldn't work on your mouth until you sought counseling for your dentist-office-anxiety. I'm sure this happens to 7% - I mean - 47%-  of all patients?  Maybe the hypnotherapist he recommended could be a good thing.  They might also help you like zucchini and reduce the need for your nightguard.

2. The next time you decide to purchase a powdered mushroom beverage, be sure to consume within the year so you aren't faced with sipping a mug of hot water with large turd-like pebbles floating in it. 

3. Jury duty might be interesting. No matter that your "excuse" for getting out of jury duty was rejected by a clearly very uncompassionate Seattle Judge. $15/day is still $15! 

Love, Me


Notes to Self #12

Notes to Self:

1. It's not too late to get back to your goal of learning Spanish, even if your original enthusiastic proclamation lasted only one day. (Ok, two days, but the second day was mostly spent memorizing words for the vegetables you were hoping to buy at the Farmer's Market from Cabrera Farms)

2. Using that massage machine you bought in 1999 at a street fair may not have been the optimal way of addressing the wad of seized muscles around your upper spine.

3. How many staplers does one actually need? Right now you have five, and while, yes, they ARE all a little different, adhering pieces of paper to one another is not a regular necessity in your life. Should it becomes one, A stapler is likely to suffice.

Love, Me