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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Random Thoughts for a Wintery Wednesday

Happy girl in the garden with a giant liatris!
So, we had our first "official" snow here on Monday of this week! October 20th and it snowed here. Two to four inches in Anchorage!

You may think I'd be all "YUCK" about it, but truthfully? I've missed my fun-in-the-snow winter sports like Nordic skiing, snow shoeing and ice skating. And who doesn't love a walk in the woods after a powdery snow has fallen? You gotta some kind of weird not to appreciate that!
The prettiness of fall in the front of the house.
And also the change in the landscape when the deciduous trees become vacant of leaves and beautiful pine, cyprus, juniper and spruces provide us with rich greens and sages for the entire winter.

Even the critters change - different birds arrive, some animals hibernate and disappear, and other animals just eke out an existence for the cold part of the year.

So, I'm kinda digging the fact that I went from 80 degrees in Massachusetts to the current temperature of 27 degrees with icy snow on the ground!

Right now the dogs are snoring, the house is warm, the sun has just risen over the Chugach Mountains and I'm wearing my new, cozy slippers. The laundry is ticking in the dryer and I've just made a big pot of my family's recipe called Vegetable Goop! A lot of you have enjoyed the Goop over the years and can attest to its hearty and delicious mixture.

Ok. Those were somewhat coherent thoughts. I'll commence with the random here now.

This was my beautiful boaty named Altair.
I loved this boat like she was my daughter.
Cliches are actually true.

Don't judge a book by its cover: The best book I've read in a long time has the worst title ever - The Worst Hard Time . That's a bad title. However, the goddamn book was mesmerizing. I read it during my deepest depression and it was about the dustbowl in the American Southwest and how it help create the Great Depression. Huh. Pretty cool.

My friend N (a sistah fromanothah Mothah) suggest that one. And also Swamplandia, Devil in the White City and The Hunger Games series.

A sneaky one, that N. She saw very clearly that I was in dire need of a kick in the pants to get my self-esteem re-activated. She was really right. After my divorce I ceased being the dynamic, fun, silly and happy person that I had been all my life until a series of unfortunate bullshit kinda stole my mojo.

We were in Martha's Vineyard for Obama's visit a few
summers ago. We were docked next to a retired
Nantucket Light Ship! Super cool. Was a great trip, indeed.
Anyway, N was a mastermind of sneaky kindness and esteem-building exercises! You see, she had also been through a terrible set of tragedies herself and had overcome unbelievable obstacles to find her way to "okayness."

Sometimes just "okay" feels like a miracle.
My beautiful girl Lady. She was a complete jerk and I loved her to pieces.
As my husband would say, she was put together "by committee!" Nothing matched on that dog!
We believe that she was part German Shep, part Border Collie and part Pygmy Goat. What a combo platter.
May she be gallivanting in heaven with her precious Koty right now...
Sadie has no idea where she is, so that'd be fine.

Well, she had me read books, she let me grieve and cry and carry on like a banshee. She encouraged me to quit a job I hated and to come and live with her FOR FREE! She wouldn't let me pay rent. We cooked together, hung out in pajamas and drank gallons of coffee and ate really good chocolate.

I started caring about food again. I got my cooking mojo back first.
Peanut butter cookies we made
every Christmas!

A new recipe in my new, gorgeous kitchen!

And then N asked me to help with her butterfly garden and to advise her on shade plants and design.

So then I got my gardening mojo back!
My gorgeous garden in Massachusetts. The idiots that bought
my house? Ripped out the big butterfly bush. Ugh.

Happy violas, pussy willow and tulips for spring.

One of my many lilacs! They've gotten HUGE!

Grape hyacinth, obedient plant and tulips.

More pretties including variegated ivy and tete-a-tete narcissus.

Ahhh, spring in New England!

My Sadie wandering the spring garden.
The bleeding heart bush was among
my favorite in the back yard.

Wildflowers in my back yard with my mosaic Crane birdbath
 by Judith Wright. I still have that here in Alaska!

My two gorgeous girls, A and Sadie! A is now a kick-ass pilot in the Air Force!

One of my arrangements for our friends' Thanksgiving table.

And then winter came again and our pipes burst from the freezing effing polar vortex. N was in a panic and I knew just what to do. I unplugged her floor heater, got her daughter's priceless artwork off the floor where it was flooding and I called the fire department right away.

So I got my logical mojo back. No panic, just act.

And as if that all weren't so fabulous (I know?!), we had to vacate the premises because the mold and mildew set in within 72 hours. So, within 6 days of the flood at the house, we had to leave! Where to go? Why not go live in Georgia and South Carolina for the winter with my wonderful Aunt and Uncle?

Yes! I will do that!

So, slowly and surely, living in the warm climate, staying at my Aunt and Uncle's home on a lake in South Carolina with sweet Sandy kitty? I returned to myself. Utterly and completely myself again. Happy, go-lucky, fun, silly, dance during dinner prep, make flower arrangements, have a glass of wine, filled with hope...
Icelandic poppies. I grew them each spring as an annual in MA.
In Alaska? These are called Himalayan poppies and they
are a wildflower (considered a weed!!).


A gorgeous sea turtle we swam with near Norman Island in the British Virgin Island.
This was taken with a cute little camera we borrowed from my husband's Dad!

On the way to Mississippi with the doggies Lily and Rudy.



Cooper!! Sweet peach!

Sweet Sandy reposing on the glass coffee table!
Kitty FEETS!

Old Faithful, still faithful after all these years!

A bridal bouquet for our friends' wedding. My husband
was the officiant and I did the fleurs! FUN

My Phoobles on my second day in Alaska!
She likes me, I think...

It was divine. And it is divine! I feel so very lucky for my life. And just being alive feels so good again.

Giving thanks for every moment I have now. Life is truly a gift. Another cliche that's just plain true.

This particular Thanksgiving and Christmas are going to be different for me. I no longer feel like I don't belong. I finally feel just right.

The symbols at our gorgeous resort Barcelo de Bobadilla in Loja, Spain.
They had little zen gardens like this all over the place.
Sun, moon and star in the sand. All the elements but time.
Time disappears at this place. So beautiful.

One of the many wreaths I did for clients in MA. 
The wreath for my back door in Salem.

Wreath for my front door. (Which is now metal. Ugh)

The entry to my house. PRETTY!

My grand old house. The William Lane house, built in 1800.
I miss that house.
My current house is no slouch, however. It was the only home to survive in Lyn Ary Park,
after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit here in Anchorage 50 years ago.
It fell off its foundation and lost the windows, but my old log cabin home,
built in 1940 is a survivor. Just like the rest of us!  : )


Thanks for reading.

Ciao for today.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Let the Ranting Commence Anew!

Ok. I gotta couple things bugging me. Shocking, I'm sure!

First off, I read an "advice" column today that suggested that a man that was being belittled by his wife perhaps deserved it. Perhaps he needed to hear about his shortcomings (as it were).

However, let's analyze this...

If the situation was reversed, the man would be called a bully or verbal abuser.

So what's with the double standard? Do you think that one is less offensive to the recipient? I have been witness to my fair share of verbal abuse. People I loved have done it to me. Whether it's being overly controlling, or attempting to make me feel bad about myself or telling me that I need to exercise and "keep fit" in order to be lovable.

The whole notion of love being contingent on some sort of behavior, or the way you look or acting a certain way that is "right" in the opinion of the spouse, parent, friend or loved one? Well, in most cases, that's utterly bullshit.

Of course you cannot go around poking people in the eye and just say, "Well, your love is supposed to be unconditional..." That's not what I'm talking about so just shut up! (That's also not nice to tell someone to shut up, by the way!)

You know what I'm talking about - the person who tells you that you are eating wrong (What the fuck is up with that?), or that you have too much ketchup on your fries (I f*cking LOVE ketchup) or that you're disgusting because you're using your fingernail to dislodge a piece of shrimp from your teeth. If you don't LIKE watching me do that, then DON'T LOOK AT ME!! For the love of PETE!

I once had a person (and he knows who he is) tell me that he liked picking on me because it was "fun."
That's the day I started making my exit plan.

So, let's reverse this whole sitch. If a woman was doing this to her husband, isn't that just as outrageous and unacceptable as this idiot was to me? Why, yes. Yes, it is. So, let's stop the double standard, kids. It's not fair. There are PLENTY of shitty women out there.

I happened to see one such idiot female this past weekend when we were in the Los Angeles airport. Her son was fussy (I am equally fussy when traveling long distances - most humans are), so she actually hit him OVER THE FACE with the edge of a menu in a public restaurant. He, of course, was ashamed, alarmed, sad, mortified, upset, and mostly SCARED of his asshole mother.

I was LIVID. Luckily this boy has a protective father - and the little boy resorted to hiding for quite some time behind his Dad.

What I REALLY really really wanted to do was walk over there and hit that shitty woman right over the head with a menu. I was bigger than she was and WAAAY more riled up. I wanted to see how she felt about being publicly shamed for her poor behavior choices.

So, instead of inciting a riot and getting myself arrested (I'd have been happy to do so), I sent potent brain waves to the Dad (he saw me looking at him and then looking at his shitty wife in utter disgust) to LEAVE HER SORRY ASS. What a douchebag. (And I'm being unkind to douchebags right now - at least they perform a certain service...).

No one. Not one person deserves to be treated so unkindly. I hope this woman stumbles upon this blog and recognizes her shitty self. Her little girl was watching this whole thing unfold. And this shitty mother? She got the little girl to "side" with her, against the little brother. So, now the Mom and little girl are blaming this little, helpless boy for the Mother's shitty behavior.

It was nearly impossible for me to just sit and watch. The husband did finally intervene and tell the Menu Mom to simmer down and let it go. But it wasn't until Menu Mom had her index finger right in the Dad's face - she was reprimanding HIM for protecting the boy.

AAAACCCCKKKK! Children are a PRIVELEGE. They are not your punching bags.

Grow up, parents. Don't have kids unless you're equipped with endless patience, imagination and kindness. No kid deserves that kind of treatment.

Nor does any adult.

The end.

Oh, and thanks to the asshole who stole my new G3 Quantum Tablet computer out of my purse. I have a tracker on there, douchebag. I'm gonna find you and press charges. LAX jerk.

Trippin' maaaan! To Massachusetts and Back. Phew.

(Just a reminder, if you click on a photo, it will enlarge for you!)

A beautiful mountain pass in the Kenai Mountain range.
Fall colors in Alaska are sages, yellows. oranges and deep green.

So, as you all may be aware, I left last Saturday the 11th to return to Massachusetts for a visit with my Gloucester and Salem peoples that I really didn't get to see before I packed up and moved my arse to Alaska.

It was kind of a closure trip meets walk down memory lane with my new husband who I will call Mr. Big and Tall. (He is both (if you get my drift! Hey there Mom and Dad!)!)

I wanted to show Mr. B&T the leaves in October in New England and also the National Seashore, which ain't all that easy to access unless you know the right places and the right people. Luckily, I worked as a researcher and guide for 20 years, so I got to know all the nicest places and people.

So we arrived in Boston about 9pm EST on Saturday night and then drove up to my dear friends P and M's house near Annisquam. She has a lovely house in the woods overlooking the Annisquam River. The house and her garden are TO.DIE.FOR. I love it there. It's quiet and lovely and she's the hostess with the mostess. PLUS they have a little sweet hound mix named Maggie who reminds me SO much of my dog Phoebe it's kind of crazy! Same feisty attitude along with a humorous personality...

Mr. B&T and I stayed there for two nights and then headed North along the coastal route from Gloucester to Essex, Ipswich, along coastal NH and then into Maine. We stayed in Kennebunkport at a GORGEOUS bed and breakfast called The Captain Jefferd's Inn. I cannot recommend this place enough. The accommodations, gardens, staff, amenities and food were nothing less than perfect.

We ate that evening at The Tides Beach Club which is located right on the beach. A beautiful place featuring fresh, local seafood, a very talented Executive Chef and great staff. The bartender knows his stuff, I'll say!

After Maine, we headed down to Salem, MA to stay with another great set of friends, L and T, at their 1800s home near downtown. We had dinner with my excellent friends Hank (of pun fame) and his schmoo, Marylou who I love and adore. They made us an Italian feast (as they are both excellent cooks) and we got to hang out in the garden and enjoy the unseasonably warm evening.

The next day, it was raining and windy, a feature of a perfect October storm in New England. Mr. B & T and I drove up the coast again through Salem, Beverly, Beverly Farms, Manchester and then on to Gloucester. I got to have lunch with my Captain Jeff that I hadn't seen in EONS! I am proud to tell you that I set Jeff and his wonderful wife up on their first date. They were married about a year later! They are so very good for each other...Jeff and I blabbed for hours and then he showed me their new home and drove me all the way back to Salem. I miss my Gloucester peeps.

I also got to see my excellent friend K and her beautiful daughter E...It was recently E's 5th birthday, so I brought her wonderous goodies from Alaska. She was quite wide-eyed and very appreciative. I love them both just tons. Miss you K & E!

The next day was my day to wander around Salem and visit with about 853 of my closest friends...I didn't realize how many people I know and love in Salem! Crazy how that happens after you live in one place for 26 years...a person tends to make a few friends along the way! Many thanks to all of you who visited and spent time with me. I miss you all and appreciated your time during the bustle of October...


I will leave you with some pretty pictures of fall in Alaska and a joke from my Hank! Ciao for now, dear readers!
The fall view of the Chugach Mountains along Northern Lights Boulevard.

Pretty trees along the highway near Seward.
A gorgeous fall day on our way home from Seward. We saw rainbows three times on this trip!



And finally, a word from Hank (I love this one!):


Ship in distress: May Day, May Day, help please.
 German in need of a Berlitz English course: Jah, vas is wrong?
 Ship in distress: we are sinking and need assistance.
 German in need of a Berlitz English course: Jah, I vill try to help, vas is it that you are sinking about?


Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday. Fun. Day! Random pic alert!



Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park! She's still faitful!

My cousin Paul and his betrothed and beloved Kelly!

The buffalo DO roam! Huh?? Who knew? Made for quite a traffic jam!

Get out the way, dumb car things! I do be bigger and can tip you over!
So, dear readers...All 18 of you!!

I'm probably not gonna be ranting and raving on here for a week or so - am headed off to see my peeps on the East Coast of this good old US of A!! Yippppeeeee!

Our doggies and home will be in the care of a small and dedicated team of 20 somethings (who I'm hoping will chop wood for us and basically enjoy the warmth and loveliness of this here house of mine@@!). The dogs are totally spoiled and uber loved. Breakfast today was nectarine pancakes, with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Washed down, of course, with beef sausage.

Good gravy. Our dogs eat better than 90% of the world's population. Kinda gross, but - whatcha gonna do? I can't feed the world, can I? Well, I certainly do my part. Feeding my 6 foot 3 inch husband, a nineteen year old woman and various and sundry humans that enter my realm = A LOT OF FOOD!! Yeesh. You all eat so much? Where do you PUT it all?!!

Annnyyywhooo, I'm a nervous nellie upon the eve of traveling, so my stomach is being quite foppish. Peckish am I right now. Washed down a berry/nectarine smoothie and had a little coffee. Still feeling sort of meh. Hope the pepto will do the trick.

I'm weird. Have alwaaaays loved the taste of pepto bismol and alka seltzer. Numm.

I know from these all too well and also the importance of eating the right foods when you're not feeling so spiffy. I had a peptic ulcer at the tender young age of 7 when my parents moved me from my beloved Karen (of Bye Bye, Pie fame) and entered me into this school up in Traverse City, Michigan where I spent the rest of my youth (pronounced Yoot - a la Joe Pesci in "My Cousin Vinnie!"). Anyway, this school was HUGE and scary to me and had many floors and some MEAN ASS kids! This one girl (and you know who you are) used to harass the SHIT out of me. ALL THE TIME. Major asswipe bully you were. And I didn't deserve it.

Well, I FINALLY fessed up and told my Mom about it and then she got in touch with the authorities at the school. So, that girl got in trouble which only PISSED her off more! She would stalk me wherever I went. Beat me up once when I was at the public figure skating rink! Boy, she was a prick.

So, I learned to be stealthy - always on the lookout for this fucking girl who fucking hated me for NO> GOOD Reason.

How the hell did I get on this subject? I was gonna talk about Salem and fall and pumpkins and leaves and my wonderful friends who I miss so much.

Annnnyway. Because of this constant vigilence, I got me a nasty ass ulcer. So I had terrible stomach aches all the time. My mom thought I was just trying to avoid school, so she made me go. Oh, that was a tough time for me - terrible tummy aches and trying to concentrate and the harrassment by that girl and then finally, FINALLY, my teacher noticed I wasn't eating and my Mom finally came around to the fact that I was in miserable pain. She took me to the doc, and sure enough, I had a peptic ulcer.

So, I had to take bacid in milk (I liked that flavor too!), ate tons of potatoes and peas and all those basic foods (base as opposed to acid - not like the bass guitar or the fish. Good Lord. I'm scattered today!).

Annnnyway (yeesh) I got a lot better, and it was kind of from that experience that I learned my interest in foods and what they can do for ya. And how seasonal things are the things we're supposed to eat - we're just animals, after all...

So now is the season of cider (even hard cider's fine), citrus that has been stored properly, frozen berries and canned tomatoes. Rum, whiskey - the clear alcohols are for cooling, brown alcohols are for warming (this is all well documented stuff from China, Japan, India, Europe...old school, man!). Eat pumpkin, nectarines, peaches, squash, potatoes, peas, summer veggies that are cooked - even wilted lettuce, kale, chard - all yummy in your stews made with meat or beans or fish or mushrooms, loads of vegetable stock or creams. Gotta fatten up for the cold winter ahead .

Unless you live in fucking Miami. David. Yeah - YOU. Lucky guy loves his heat over there.

When we were all recently in Columbus for my cousin's gradzitation (I like to say it like that) I was non-stop bitching about the heat and humidity (nearly 90% humidity. Blech!). And David was out power walking in it for like 5 miles. What the WHAT?

So. There. I have no idea why I needed to tell you that.

Carry on. Carrion. But don't carry on the carrion. THAT stinks!  : )

See you soon, Salem peeps! See you next week, Alaska peeps!

Here's me - signing off. Roger, roger. Victor, vector. Alpha Bravo Chi square and pip pip and eat your Cheerios.

xoxo back atcha shortly.

Ciao.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Nathaniel Hawthorne was a Saint

This is a quote from Nathaniel Hawthorne's birth home.
It is emblazoned on the wall in his parlor.



I'm not sure if you've ever read Nathaniel Hawthorne's works - from his poems to his beloved Sophia to his master works like The House of the Seven Gables or The Scarlet Letter.

Sophia writes of her husband's work:
I am always so dazzled and bewildered with the richness, the depth, the ... jewels of beauty in his productions that I am always looking forward to a second reading where I can ponder and muse and fully take in the miraculous wealth of thoughts.
Another Hawthorne quote from his birth home, now in situ at The House of the Seven Gables in Salem, Masssachusetts. I lived across the street from HSG National Historic Landmark District for 20 years.
I happen to adore and admire and simply love Hawthorne's way of expression. His simplicity and complexity are all intertwined in the sweetest, most loving and romantic of word choices:

What we need for our happiness 
is often close at hand, 
if we but knew how to seek for it.

This is on my mouse pad. I read it every day and I remember to be grateful for all that has been shown,  given and blessed upon my soul. God is good, God is great, Yaaay God!  : ) That was one of my first prayers and it still works for me! 

Now, I ain't talking religion or some place you gotta go to give thanks. It can happen every single minute and taking pleasure in a beautiful vista, an apple or your puppy dog or a fine cup of coffee. It's the same.

Yesterday I found some writings that I had written from the time I was 14 up until just last year. I'll share what I wrote two years ago after I lost my dogs, my husband and my job. Little did I realize I'd also lose my home, my beloved Grandma Marion and then my Marcel and I was left holding a big old bag of shit. 

Here's the passage:
The things that are completely
taking over my thoughts.

I cannot and do not feel like
doing anything.

My brain is no longer clear.

I am so fucking sad.

I am so fucking lonely.

I cannot concentrate or think in
a linear way.

I am constantly worried about 
money.

I am constantly worried about
my financial security if I
cannot find a job.

I made a BIG mistake only taking
2 years of alimony. I was
NOT thinking straight at the
time and was in the post-separation
state of euphoria.

I worry about Dallas.

I worry about myself withOUT Dallas.
(
Will I get out of bed?
Will I feel even more lonely?
Will I just want to give up?

What the fuck am I going to do for
work? I feel useless and like
I have no skills.

Why doesn't anyone seem to care
except for my Mom & Dad &
occasionally Dan?

I reach out to people & they can
only be there for me for a 
short while. They don't stick
around??

Where is Karen? Where is Penny?     { (they were there all along) }

Where am I going to go?

What do I need to do?

How the fuck did everything get so
bad all at the same time?

Why did my therapist treat me so poorly
at the last appointment?

I need to sell this fucking house.
And then What?
   Where do I go?
    What do I do?
     Who will even care if I
          stay or go?

How do I start all over again?

How much longer can I go on feeling
     this way? I can
      barely fucking function.

This is so totally suck. I want
     someone to help, but there
     is no one. So, that leaves
     me.

I feel numb.
I don't care about anything.

How is it that there are people
     all around, but there is no one?

I need a break. One good. really good -
     thing to happen.

I just feel so tired. And spent.
     And overwhelmed and sad.

Am I going to regret this with 
     Dallas? I want him to be okay
     and I want ME to be okay.

Will I ever feel happy and silly and
     like myself again?

WHEN.

I don't want to wait much longer to 
     have me back. I don't like
     this person. this feeling. these
     thoughts that keep me frozen.

I am scared.

Am I going crazy?

Why won't this just go AWAY?


SO, yes. There's that. It's the age old dilemma of letting go in order to break down into a million shards of brokenness. In the break-down is the delicious task that lies ahead of building up from a place of innocence and grace. My Dad and Mom and both my wonderful step-parents told me to have faith and hope. Keep your head down and just plunge forward into that abysmal nothing and there WILL be something at the end. They all told me that. My cousins, my Aunt, my Uncle, a few essential souls that reached out to me out of nowhere. You all know who you are and I love you desperately for helping me when I didn't know how to help myself.

And then this morning. I had a friend over last night and he's a young and up and coming poet and artist. Nate is his name. Well, Nathaniel is his name...Here's what he wrote to me after I gave him a book last night (and it's hand written in gorgeous cursive like Hawthorne himself):

In the end, their was a new
Time behold, my emotion your
This treasure is more than I could fathom
Upon this time, my words may not grab them
   Lost I am for this world
     But this gift brings my hand 'for Saints.

His name is Nate Rank. Watchout world. He's on his way!

(Aren't words wonderful?)


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Poem by Veronica A. Shoffstall

This poem was given to me by a friend when I felt very very alone. I found some of my journals today and read them. In the journals were my ups, downs, trials and tribulations. Concerts, dances, love, betrayal (not just by the boyz, but also my own betrayals), let-downs, happy times and sad times.

I found these writings to be so incredibly honest and poignant, given the gift of perspective that I happen to enjoy now.

After so much loss, what the hell choice do you have but to just. move. On.

So, this poem is not written by me (I wish I had that gift!). It is written by a sage soul, Veronica A. Shoffstall.

It's called:

After A While

After a while you learn the subtle difference
between holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn that love doesn't mean leaving
and company doesn't always mean security
and you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts
and presents aren't promises
and you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of woman, not the grief of a child
and you learn to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain
for plans and futures have a way of falling down in mid fight

After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much so you plant your own
garden and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers
and you learn that you really can endure
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye, you learn. . . . . . .

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

It's all Hank's Fault...

Another gem via my beautiful friend, Hank, who I love and adore!

Thanks, Hank:



The Pleasures of Reading...
 
I love to read. When I have nothing to do I pick up a book and read. Sometimes I read for fun. Other times I read to learn something. I really enjoy reading.
 
Sometimes I become unhappy while reading. I will be enjoying a fine story when all of a sudden a big word will stare back at me. Now I know a few big words but, after all, isn't it true that in simplicity there is beauty?

Take the other day. While reading a particularly engrossing story I ran across the word "scree."  
I later found out that the word "scree" meant "pebbles and rocks." Why didn't the author just say "pebbles and rocks?"

Another thing. People just can't say anything the simple way any more. Yesterday I read about a guy "adroitly manipulating the shifting mechanism!" So he threw the car into second gear.

Now if I were a writer, I would try to avoid confusing my readers. We all feel that confused and pompous prose has no place in contemporary society. It does no good to engulf you readers in a sea of indistinguishable trivia.

I feel quite strongly about this. I feel that perpetual adherence to enigmatic expression stultifies intellectual response. Furthermore, excess circumlocution inevitably leads to incomprehensible mayhem.

When authors engage their literary crampons into my lethargic intellect, I feel like poking my pate into a catatonic mound of fronds and lianas. I would rather ascend icy scarps or embroil my ego into a capacious sea of undulating hummocks than perambulate through a plethora of insatiable verbiage.
 
It all leaves me flaccid as a sprag.