I’m heartbroken over the news of the passing of Etta James.

Forget “I Will Survive”, that’s for amateurs.

Her music is the ultimate “helps me feel strong when I feel weak.” I have both sat and cried and stood and danced listening to her music.

She will be missed. Through her incredible library, never forgotten.

Day Two


And so the new year starts. As The Good Man and I waved adieu to a year filled with both highlights and lowlights, it seemed most all we could think of was lowlights. As new years eve began to wane, The Good Man and I held hands tightly and tried to summon up some optimism for the new year ahead.

Maybe things would be better in 2012. Or at least different in a positive way.

We agreed that moving house was a first step toward that positive kind of change.

In a rare bit of daydreaming, we allowed ourselves to imagine what might lie ahead, and talked of plans.

Then we stood up, dusted the beach sand off our butts, and went and had lunch. We talked of politics and authors and how damn good the French press coffee is at The Ritz.

We came home feeling a little calmer. A little happier. A little more optimistic.

The first day of the new year came rolling through, and it seemed like we were going to be ok.

Then last night The Good Man got some very bad news. Someone very important in his life has passed away. It was quite unexpected and a bit shocking.

Today I find this puts a bit of a tint to our lives in the new year.

Grief has a funny way of overcoming a weakly positive outlook.

And so another medal of honor from this battle called life is awarded to the heart. Not pretty ribbons but scar tissue. Countable, like rings in a tree.

In the timeless lyrics of Isaac Hayes and David Porter, “When something is wrong with my baby, something is wrong with me.”

Tomorrow means I go back to work. The rhythm of our lives begins again.

What news is riding on the waves of tomorrow, I wonder? I hope there’s cake. Or at least a good cup of coffee.

Photo Copyright 2007, Karen Fayeth, and subject to the Creative Commons license in the far right column of this page.

The Laws of A State Named Denial


So. Here we are. The eighth day of the month. No big deal, right? Just like every other 8th day of any other month.

People keeping saying something about an “event” or some something or other coming up at the end of the month.

I have no idea what they are talking about.

I’m sure it’s nothing. Some fake internet celebration like that one day where everyone was supposed to leave their bank and go to a credit union.

You know, I keep trying to schedule meeting for the last two weeks of the month but everyone’s calendars are busy! I mean, all day, every day.

There must be a training session or something.


I cannot imagine what in the heck must be going on. This is just another simple ordinary month. Nothing special going on. Just another month in the year.

Not sure why, but there is a tree that has sprung up down the hallway from my office. Must be the company plant-care team trying something out. Perhaps I’ll call them and say I think it’s in the way. Hard to walk around it.

And the mail team must have dumped off some lost packages over there, because there are all of these boxes by that dumb tree.

I mean, we’re all trying to do a job here!

The grocery stores sure are playing bouncy music lately. Lots of bells. Maybe that’s the new trend in music? Sometimes it’s horns. Or heavy electric guitar. But these days, bells.

Seriously, am I missing something? It seems like everyone is up to something but I don’t know what.

Nope. It’s just another day in just another month and nowhere NEAR the end of the year because that cannot possibly be.

It’s like April, right? Of 2003? Or maybe 1999?

Because time cannot possibly be moving this fast.

It just can’t.

It can’t it can’t it can’t!!!

Greetings from the State of Denial. Population: Me.

This non-event thusly satisfies today’s Theme Thursday word: event

How Quickly Time Flies


A year is really a blip in time isn’t it? A hardly noticeable heartbeat. And then another. And then another.

Time to confess why I’m so melancholy.

I thought I was over it. I’m not over it. Not by a long shot.

Posted one year ago Tuesday. Posted here again because it’s all still true.

Immersed in memory.


There Is This Man I Know…

First posted: August 23, 2010

It would be wrong to call him a cowboy. That implies something he’s not.

He is, in fact, a farmer. Chile, corn, cotton, alfalfa. He fretted the drought and smiled at rainy skies.

Except that time it rained so hard it washed away the seeds he’d just planted. That night, he fretted while the rain fell.

That’s unusual for a farmer.

He has a smile that could light up a room, the sky, the world.

He has the mind of a trickster, and his wry sense of humor is what drew me in.

Back then, he was a tall, slim drink of water.

His chest bore a long scar, a remnant from open heart surgery in childhood. It fixed a congenital problem. For a while, anyway.

That surgery colored his whole world. He was told he might not live past the age of twenty.

But he did. He lived. Oh, he was alive.

He took me out to dinner. We each ordered steaks at the truckstop diner in Vado, New Mexico.

It was far more romantic than it sounds.

He took me fishing and let me use his brand new rod and reel. I managed to irretrievably knot up the fishing line. He didn’t even get mad.

Because he is a gentleman.

He took me for long rides down bumpy dirt roads. I sat next to him in the cab of his pickup, holding on tight, grinning.

He has a confidence that is older than his years.

He and I had some fun then parted ways amiably. I still call him my friend. More than a friend. A dear friend. “One of us” from a loosely knit group of kids who made a family while running around Las Cruces, growing up and getting educated.

I haven’t seen him in years, but over the years I’d ask after him and sometimes he’d ask after me, too.

He’s got an amazing wife and three sons and the weight of responsibility for his family’s farm. A responsibility he stood up to each and every day.

Last week, he had surgery. That ol’ heart problem was giving him trouble again.

The surgery went well, but he got an infection at the hospital that he couldn’t quite fight off.

Sunday morning, my friend, my family, someone who showed me how to live passed away.

He was just 40.

I can’t stop being angry. It’s not fair. No one ever said life was going to be fair, but I don’t care. It’s not fair.

I’m not good at grief. I’ve lost a father. I lost my best friend from high school. I lost a grandmother who was very integral to my life.

You’d think all the practice would make me better at this.

I’m not good at this.

Sometimes it’s just easier to be angry.

It’s an acceptable stage of grief.

Tough Decision


So…I wondered to myself after a very long and dreary day on Monday…

As I was driving home, as low as I’ve been in a while (my favorite employee tendered her resignation) I knew I needed something comforting upon my arrival home. There are two ways this comfort could go, in my mind: sugar or alcohol.

Which made me then start to try to weigh pros and cons, and I arrived at the question:

Which is worse better more beneficial to my mental health and less detrimental to my physical health:

Two donuts or two beers?

There is an AMAZING donut shop on my way home from work. It’s a local place where they make fresh donuts on site every day. It’s a heavenly experience just walking in the door.

On the other hand…I had two pints of Murphy’s Stout cooling their heels to chilled perfection in my fridge. Oooh the creamy foam.

Now…the answer couldn’t be “have both!” because while I’m certainly self destructive, I am lately trying to at least attempt to be a bit more health conscious.

Two donuts and two beers seemed a bit over the top.

So one might say “how about one donut and one beer?” That’s a fair question. Logical, really. I’ll spare you the long psychological reasoning, but I’ll simply confess that I have this weird OCD about having “just one.”

Whatever I was going to have, it was going to be two.

And don’t even bother suggesting “have neither and go take a walk.” I was way past that point.

So let’s get to the basic facts:

Two old fashioned donuts comprise 560 calories, 22 grams fat, 82 carbs, and 6 grams protein.*

Two pints of Murphy’s stout come up to 400 calories, 0 grams fat, 46 carbs, and 4 grams protein.

Hookay. Well, the beer is a few less calories, carbs and fat, so from a nutrition standpoint, beer seems to be the winner.

How about the mental side? Well, alcohol is a bit of a depressant and it was likely that after two beers I’d be even more maudlin than I already was (a good Irish depression). The sugar and carbs in the donuts are a serotonin booster, so for mood enhancement, the donuts win.

How about the after effects? Well, after the upside of the two beers wore off, I’d feel a bit headachy, dehydrated, bloaty, possible gastric distress and a bit mind muddled. After the good part of two donuts wore off I’d feel guilty, bloaty (owing to gluten sensitivity), possible gastric distress and a bit mind muddled. We’ll call this one a draw.

So now I’m back to square one. Both have benefits. Both have drawbacks.

How to choose?

It’s a delicious problem to have.

Photo credit: Thomas James Spravka

In case the suspense is killing you…I chose two old fashioned donuts for drowning my sorrows and I don’t regret it.

Nutrition info from

Photo by Thomas James Spravka and found on Draft Magazine