Update

I don’t have photos to prove it, but:

Tim and his dogs are all back in Fox Den. There are still some touch-up things Keith and Crew need to do, but he is home and slowly replacing his furniture and unpacking. This is a great step to recovery from the flood!

Work continues in Fairy Cottage, and soon Debby and her dogs will be moving out of our larger guest room and back home. Maybe by Thanksgiving? This is my favorite holiday, and though we may be celebrating it in the chaos and mess of Houndstooth Hall, still, we’ll be together.

Both Tom and I have now replaced our flooded cars. Another advance toward normalcy.


Random crap from my old car (“old” being a weird word since I only had the car for a year and two months and was sad to lose it) that hasn’t been moved to my new car (and that means “new to me” because it’s a 2015) because I move through life in a fog of too many work hours and an unhealthy dose of insomnia and too much caffeine and not enough vegetables. I’m a mess. Not a hot mess, just a mess.

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Hard Promises

Just one more of my drowned albums and a moment to note the loss of Tom Petty. It’s another terrible part of the terrible things about 2017. Under the good things category, the world still has his music, and every time I hear it I think of two people, Steve G and Princess Patti. They are both amazing humans I’ve been lucky enough to know in my life.


It’s a restless world, uncertain times
You said hope was getting hard to find
But time rolls on, days roll by
What about the broken ones?
What about the lonely ones?
Oh honey I’m having trouble letting you go
It’s off in the distance somewhere up the road
There’s some easy answer for the tears you’ve cried
And it makes me uneasy, makes me feel different
Do you get scared when you close your eyes?

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, “Letting You Go”

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Transport Thursday!

There are several of us who at transport will sing to the puppies as they stop at our table to get their photos and transport stickers–always a song inspired by their names, like the time the entire table and the dog’s escort broke into, “My, my, my Sharona!”

Sometimes I feel like my colleagues are hoping to stump my musical memory, so the other day, I knocked out four in a row as the dogs came through before a lull.


For Miracle: I believe in miracles, where you from (you sexy thing) (Hot Chocolate, 1975)


For Joene: Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, woman, please don’t take my man (Dolly Parton, 1974)


For Josie: When Josie comes home, so good, she’s the pride of the neighborhood (Steely Dan, 1977)


For Jeremy: Jeremy spoke in class today (Pearl Jam, 1991)

That is an odd mix of songs, and they have some dark undertones. In the first, Sexy Thing has come along after the narrator has been lonely a long time, and it may sound upbeat, but he’s begging the new love not to leave, clearly already dreading loss and more loneliness. Jolene is heartlessly threatening the narrator’s happiness by stealing her true love, even though Jolene could have anyone she wants. As for Josie, it’s one of the more ambiguous homecomings in musical history. Josie sounds like she was a wild thing. Where has she been? Is this homecoming a celebratory reunion or something graver? Also, if you read the lyrics, they say Josie prays like a Roman with her eyes on fire. I always heard it as Josie “preys like a Roman with her eyes on fire.” Hmmm… And of course Jeremy is about a bullied, unloved child committing suicide in front of his classmates.

Cheery stuff, right? The puppies don’t care. They just know they’re getting some attention and it sounds happy.

The dates on those songs make me realize why none of our younger staffers and volunteers know what the heck we’re singing half the time.

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do with this what you will

I was a terrible liar as a child. I don’t mean I was terrible at it. I was in fact really good at it. By my failed lies and by observing others’ successful lies, I learned many of the things that betray and expose a liar and knew to avoid them.

At only a slightly older age, I gave up lying, and I can’t say it was any great moral choice. I think it had more to do with my love of words. The older I grew, and the more enlightened I became with the power of words, the less inclined I was to misuse them. Words can be cruel, they can be manipulative, they can get us power. But if those are what I get out of this rich system of communication that humans have developed, then I am impoverished.

There is one advantage of having been an excellent liar (other than turning it into the fun of writing fiction). I recognize lies and I recognize a liar. I might resist that recognition, but the visceral response to a lie remains and no matter how deeply buried, sooner or later, as Shakespeare wrote, “The truth will out.”

I found an article online about these characteristics of lifelong liars:

1. Frequent Lying

Compulsive or pathological liars don’t just lie now and then, but consistently about both small and large things. Pathological liars are also known for studying people, to ascertain what kind of lies they can tell that will be believed.

2. Inability to Confront Truth

Compulsive liars refuse to confront the truth, even when presented with overwhelming evidence that they are lying. They will continue trying to convince you that your evidence is wrong and they are right. In some cases, they may lie about things they’ve done or their past in order to make themselves more interesting.

3. Changing Stories

Liars tend to change their stories as they go and may change it for different audiences as well. The listener can look for this by asking questions to establish a sequence of events. The liar may also add in events that stretch belief.

4. Insecurity

Liars also tend to be insecure with low self-esteem. They may exhibit compulsive, selfish and obsessive behaviors. Lying might be a way for them to avoid uncomfortable realities or to change perceptions about themselves. Lying might also be a way for them to boost their ego. Pathological liars can exhibit a range of narcissistic behaviors such as manipulation, jealousy, impulsiveness, aggression and anger.

5. No Eye Contact or Aggressive Eye Contact

One of the most commonly known things about liars is that they seek to avoid eye contact while telling a lie. This is true in some cases, but not all cases. Pathological and lifelong liars become very experienced in not exhibiting the standard signs of liars. They may do the opposite of avoiding eye contact and instead give aggressive eye contact to convince you that they’re telling the truth. Piercing eye contact can be a sign that a person is lying just as easily as avoiding eye contact. Some liars also inject humor or sociability into their lying to throw you off.

6. Lack of Emotion

One distinctive characteristic of a pathological liar is a lack of empathy, which may also translate to a lack of emotion. Because pathological liars have no understanding or caring of how their lying makes others feel, they lack empathy. This may show up in other areas of their lives as well. If you are both questioning a person’s truthfulness and noticing their lack of empathy in general, you might be dealing with a pathological liar.

7. Anger When Accused of Lying

Pathological liars do not show discomfort when lying because of the aforementioned lack of empathy, however, they may show anger or aggression if they appear to be caught in the lie. A compulsive liar may simply be on the defensive quickly and try to turn it on you for accusing them.

In both of these cases, it may not matter if you tell them you know they are lying. Since both types of liars are generally unwilling to confront the truth.

A liar succeeds when the lie is what we want to hear, to believe, to rest our behavior on. But no matter how beguilingly we dress it and take it out and present it to the world, a lie can never become the one thing liars, and sometimes their hearers, want it to be: the truth.

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picturesque but bound for the debris pile


That’s my kitchen window and that’s my view of the ruella growing there. I love the purple flowers and I like this time of year when I can see the light changing. The light is one of the reasons autumn–even in Texas–is my favorite season.

The ruella lines a fence which is in a sorry state of repair, and I’ve liked that about it. It has an abandoned countryside feel to it. But some of the rails have already crumbled to nothing, so Tom says it’s headed for the debris pile today.

Once we decide on a different backdrop for the ruella, I’ll share photos.

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Making it pretty


This is the corner of the yard I see from my desk when my desk is in my office, which it is not at this time and won’t be for quite a while. But when I do get my office back, I’ll be looking out at where we’ve covered the ground where no grass can grow with pretty river rocks. And by “we” I mean Debby, because I did none of this. She gets my Landscaping Hero of the Season award.

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