Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Dirty Pillow

I have been a sleep talker for years. But it wasn't until I got married that I had someone to regularly chronicle the crazy things I said.
While DougieFresh and I were still dating, I said the sweetest thing in my sleep:

" Look honey! We made a circle!"


While engaged to be married and looking forward to Christmas, I made a million batches of Christmas cookies, gaining the first few pounds of "I'm not single anymore" weight. One night I said:

"I'm making DANGEROUS cookies."


Closer to the wedding, knee deep in planning, inviting, dieting and smoking, I said this in my sleep:

"God Help Me."


A year or so into our marriage I shouted this to my DougieFresh in my sleep:

"F U C K. Y O U."


Last year I said this:

"SHUT the FUCK up."


And lastly, a few nights ago as DougieFresh climbed into bed next to me, I was already asleep and obviously confused...and I said:

"Hey. You're not Dad."

? ? ?

So tell me. Any of you said anything crazy, stupid, ridiculous in your sleep, or am I the only one?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Tower of Color

I can't remember where I got this image, but I was doing a search for "make your own bench" and found this lovely tower of little benches. I love the color palette and I already hate the person who thought of it first.

So has anyone ever made a bench before? I am looking for a tutor. I want one out front near our walkway inside the fence.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Here's a smart piece of advice from an article in Blueprint's (now my favorite magazine) current issue I've actually been considering for a long, long time. I get to jealous watching DougieFresh get dressed in 2 seconds every morning. All he needs are a smart pair of pants and nice shirt and "fling" he's off and ready for the day. I agnoize in the morning about which skirt to wear with what top and whether those shoes look good or not. Ooooftah. It all makes me look fat in this post pregnancy body of mine!

Mom's been telling me for months now to take myself to Nordstroms, Saks or Bloomingdales to get personally fitted for the right pair of jeans for my body. Buy just one pair of something tailored and beautiful. I think I'll try it. Doesn't this sound smart to you?

If anyone has any wardrobe secrets of their own, I'd love to hear them.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

~:My Cup Runneth Over:~

Speaking of running over, spilling open and embracing life, I feel I really have.

I went for my yearly "I'm a woman and I can prove it" check up at the OB yesterday. The last time I was there, I had just had Anton and was hours away from a week of migraines and that lovely seizure, clutching my stomach and pulsing head as they wheeled me back to the ER. Oooftah. I'm glad those days are over.

I felt pretty triumphant going back in this week. From the parking lot, I took the stairs instead of the elevator. I marched back into the office, smiling and nodding to the nurses and doctors who recognized me. "You're lookin' good, Anne. Nice to see you again, Anne. How's that baby? Worth it, wasn't he?!" Thanks and yes, indeed he was.

Feeling saucy, I wrote this on my urine specimen cup and even saucier when I snapped these pictures - sparing you, of course, the sight of the cup running over.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

This was the last of Tommy's Appalachian Trail journal entries. Shortly after he completed the trail, he drove from Atlanta to New Mexico to meet Kaija. They married and had a child of their own named Nathanael, who today is a thoughtful and poetic young man, and a talented artist.

Tommy and Kaija eventually divorced. They shared joint custody of Nathanael out in NM. I lived with Tommy briefly after graduating from Art School.

Tommy remained an electrician and developed a rich circle of friends and community out in the rugged atmosphere of NM. He flourished there until his last battle with depression tumbled down upon him. He took his life in August of '97.

Dad, Mom, Peter and I went out to settle his house shortly after the funeral. Amongst his things, I found his AT Trail journal and kept it in safe keeping, knowing I'd want to read it someday.

A year later, as a memorial service for him, we and two close friends gathered together in the spot where he stood in 1987, marking his first step on his hike through the trail, from Georgia to Maine. We all took turns reading his journal aloud that day.

Shortly after, I took his journal out again and keystroked the entire piece. A year after that, I bound the text in a handmade book. This year, I posted his entries on my blog and e-mailed it to family.

The picture of him you see is how I envision him now in heaven. In his element. On top of the world.

I dedicate all of this to Thomas, and to every person who knew and loved him.



~:TBD Appalachian Trail Journal: 10.29.87 - finish :~


Here at Campbell Springs Shelter. Though it's not a shelter at all. It's a cabin with a fire place and a wood burning stove. THIS IS GREAT!

Let me give you a run down of the past couple of days events.

The day before yesterday morning, we left the Doyle Hotel, built in 1909 as a ritzy and very expensive hotel. It's now nothing more than a haven for hikers. A bar with 400 beers. A room that hasn't been cleaned in 30 years. A bathroom down the hall with a large old bathtub and hot water. Like I said, a haven for hikers. Oh and I almost forgot. All this was for a low $7.00 a night. WOW!!

Anyway, we left the Doyle heading south. Yesterday was the 15 mile road walk with an additional 8 in the woods to boot which made the day a 23-miler.

We had a few cheerful moments though. At about half way we passed the infamous Ice Cream Lady's house. She came to the door with pleasant greetings and opened her house to us (her name is Bonnie). She left for a moment and soon returned with juice and ice cream and photos, log books and stories.

We soon left knowing we had miles to go and limited daylight.

We arrived at the cabin around 6:00 PM sundown. I was cold, tired and hungry.

All of a sudden I heard voices coming from the cabin. Excited voices. I looked up and saw Sunshine and Daydream (Gary and Anne). I came alive, I thought I'd never see them again but here they were.

They finally caught up to me. We had a great evening reminiscing and so comfy in that heated room.

Gary and Ann left this morning. They wanted to get to H.F. as fast as possible. Can't blame them. Jason and I chose to stay another day in this heated Delche.

96 miles to go to H. F.. That's only 7 days at our pace. hey I'm a 2 digit midget. It's funny though, I'm not excited.


8:00 PM

We found a phone book in the cabin. Why is there a phone book in here? Don't know. But anyhow, we looked up the number of Domino's Pizza. Thinking of we could find a phone. We could get a Domino's Pizza or at least a couple.

At 6:00 PM we hiked back to the road about half a mile and saw a house about 1/4 of a mile away. We decided to go and ask to use the phone to order a pizza. They (Dr. Wood and Mrs. Coldfresh) answered the door AND invited us in. Jason called and said that no pizza place delivered out that far. Boo hoo.

When the Dr. heard this he said, "My wife and I are going out to a dinner party right now, but here's (going to the freezer) some frozen pizza and there's chocolate cake on top of the fridge."

Jason and I were speechless. All we could do was move our lips in thanks.

They left and we ate, quietly alone in someone's house. We just met 5 minutes ago. In awe, at the trust he had in us.

Jason and I walked back to the cabin.

I was thinking how good life is.

We leave tomorrow with a 23 mile day.

Good night.


"Darling Boy"

Appalachian Trail Journal


Tom B. Dusenberry
2340 Leisure Lane
Atlanta, Georgia 30338

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Well, this is pretty amazing. I've complained about all the Post Secrets I've send to Frank Warren in the past, that never seemed to have been chosen. But I got an e-mail from a friend who saw this one and recognized one of the post cards featured in the new PostSecret video as mine. The timing could not have been more perfect. As I spend this month remembering Tommy and posting HIS secrets, one of MINE about him has been revealed. If you watch the video, you'll get to see the back of the card, which I never bothered to scan in.

DougieFresh was sitting next to me as we watched this video together. Wow, he said. Isn't it cool to think of all the people who see your secret and who've lost a sibling to suicide... maybe getting some comfort knowing they're not alone. Or even cooler to think of anyone contemplating suicide having second thoughts after seeing how deeply it affects those who love you.

So I don't know. I try to respect his decision and honor his choice. But of course, there is a big part of me that thinks I could have done something to prevent it. That I have something to be sorry for. That I wasn't a good enough sister. It is a tragic pit to sink into - that guilt you chose to wear, rather than facing the fact that we are powerless to change others.

So I thank you, Frank. Thank you for gently nudging us closer to our own thruths.

Friday, August 10, 2007

~:TBD Appalachian Trail Journal: 10.17.87 - 10.25.87 :~

Arrived here after an easy 14 mile day. Here is "Gambrinus", a German restaurant/bar right on the trail. We sat and drank 45 Millers 1/2 the night and talked about the trail. We left the bar around 9:00 pm and camped out back with permission of course. The bar had a register (for hikers) that went back to '84. I looked up Tim's (Dixie Dirt Weazel) entry. It was neat to see hi entry.


The days are growing colder and the nights hit the freezing mark. We move onward slowly taking it all in.

It's so beautiful.

Last week we stopped at Todd & Cindy's hostile in Echulle, near Hawk Mountain. They are great people. Former AT hikers and PCT hikers. They now are building a log home. (Their dream home). Anyway, Cindy drove us to the nearest town which had a college. We took showers at the students center and hung out at the library after which we got some pizza at a nearby pizza place. We were still hungry after the pizza so we walked around the tables eating the scraps off other people's pizza. I was tempted to look through the garbage for more but thought better of it.

We were hungry.

Pennsylvania isn't as bad as people make it out to be. Sure is rocky but it's also very beautiful.

126 miles left to go. So close and yet so far. We hit Duncannon tomorrow for our weekly shower, real meat and laundry. Oh yeah, and beer.

As we sit in front of this fire we made, thoughts come to mind.

I know I want to live in the country or at least somewhere that has space (privacy), quiet. I know I'm a TV-coholic which means I like TV to the point of which I put off other things just to watch it. I DON'T WANT TO SPEND THE REST OF MY LIFE IN FRONT OF A TELEVISION!!!

I realize that I'm not strong enough to have a TV in my house and just watch a LITTLE BIT. That's not the way it works with me. If it's there, I'll watch it. So I must eliminate the problem. Never have a TV in my house.

I think I understand how Gray feels.

This fire feels so good. I think heat in general is good.

I'm pretty sure now, that I want to stay an electrician. I like doing it and I can go quite far with it.

I think the problem I had with it before was feeling inferior to other (college educated) people. I think ti will be a continuing battle in my mind. I must remember that I am smart. Equal to all others in God's eyes.

I think about Kaija Volckening every day. A good part of the day is spent thinking about her. I study my heart and mind to find the answer. Do I truly love Kaija? I guess I won't find the answer till i see her again. Although the feelings I now possess are nothing but love.


"Darling Boy"

Appalachian Trail Journal


Tom B. Dusenberry
2340 Leisure Lane
Atlanta, Georgia 30338

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I thought this comparison interesting. Here at PC, lots of folks decorate their laptops with stickers. I thought mine was the funniest - "F A R T" in all caps meshing so nicely with Apple's prestigious logo. My mind was changed though when I saw Clay's "HUSTLER" version. Well done.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

~:TBD Appalachian Trail Journal: 10.6.87 - 10.16.87 :~

6:30 pm

I need to find some people to hike with. This solitude shit is driving me crazy.

11:30 am

"Well." Isn't this the strangest day. From Fort Montgomery (where I stayed last night) I started at 9:00 am with my thumb out trying to hitch a ride back to the trail I'm so burnt out on. Well, I musta got awful confused or something kuz I got a ride from a guy going in the wrong direction. He ended up dropping me off on a major interstate highway, half way to New York City.

What a bummer!

I didn't want to chance hitchhiking on a major highway, so I walked to the closest civilization and there I would figure out my next move.

Well, it turns out, that guy dropped me off closer to the city than I thought.

To make a long story short, here I am on my way on a charter bus to Port Authority Bus Station in New York City. The last time I was there, I was in my DRESS BLUES in the Navy. A lot has happened in my life since then.

So it looks like I'm going to the Big Apple after all. It's like I keep telling myself, NEVER SAY NEVER!!

I guess I'm glad I'm making this part of the trip. After all, the A.T. experience is different for everyone. I should make the most of it. I'll probably never get to do this again. So off I go to NYC with a pack on my back, Oh Doo Dah, Da.

Who knows what's next for me.

5:30 pm

Wow, what a day! A.T. in the am, NYC in the afternoon. Definitely a worth while trip. That was the first time for me in the city.

I took the subway to 8th street and walked down broadway. Ate a shish-ka-bob and a hot dog with everything, a pretzel, an ice cream cone and a coke. What a meal.

I walked through Greenwich Village and down 42nd street. Now I can say I've been to the BIG APPLE.

It's been a long day.

I'm now on a bus heading for Delaware Water Gap. I've got to catch up to some other hikers.

This solitude is too much. I want to be a Happy Hiker again. In order to do that I've gotta find some other people going through what I'm going through.


My heart hurts.

I was busy packing my pack around 2:30 when I started thinking of Kaija.

I suddenly realized she was due to leave today, what time, I didn't know.

I felt this incredible need to speak to her, just one last time.

I got my boots on and ran down to the payphone on the corner.

I called... no answer.

She's gone.

God protect her and those with her.

I wanted so bad, just to hear her voice once more.

I love her.

I know it must sound a tad premature, but I know I love her. I wish I was with her. I miss her so much. I hope Kaija feels the same way about me as I do her. I told her over the phone (2 days before) that I loved her. I'm not sure I should have said that. But that's what I feel in my heart.

Oh, Lord, drive with them and keep them safe. And Lord, give Kaija pleasant thoughts and dreams. Make her calm and give her a warm feeling that everything is going to work out. Give her strength. Lord, give me strength also, and guide me safely to the finish, and father if it be your will, guide Kaija and I together again.

I love her father. Thank you Lord. I feel better knowing you have everything under control. Amen.


Well here I am, Delaware Water Gap. And yes - I caught up to some hikers. So tomorrow I'll start again, with company.

Kaija was right. You feel so much better after you unload on paper.



R O C K S !!!



This state IS quite rocky. I'm now hiking with Jason (Cloudfinder). He too is stopping in Harper's Ferry and yes he wants to take his time. So now I"ve got a partner till the end. It's so much more pleasant hiking with someone. Although I'm glad I did half the trail solo.

That's where I really learned about myself.

The weather this week has been terrific. Not a cloud in the sky for 3 days and the weekend is supposed to be as nice. The temp is about 68 degrees, perfect for hiking, I must say!

It's been 2 weeks since I last saw Kaija. It seems so long ago. I miss her. I tell myself to be patient. Be patient in all things.

I think, if someone were to ask me to sum up the whole trail, that word would be PATIENCE. It's a word I face every day of my life. A word I'm just beginning to deal with.

This trip is just the beginning. I must remember that word the rest of my life. Lord, help me to remember.

"Darling Boy"

Appalachian Trail Journal


Tom B. Dusenberry
2340 Leisure Lane
Atlanta, Georgia 30338

I love this photo of Mom. That's me she's holding. Oh man it must have been heaven to be able to hold your baby in your own two arms in the car. The car seat thing might be safer, but oooftah is it a huge pain.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Little Anton (or should I say BIG Anton?) fell asleep in the arms of my DougieFresh yesterday.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Some fun we had in class the other week. Jordan cracks me up every time he channels Uncle Rico.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the mohawk. This was 85, 86 or 87, I can't remember which. Cool, wasn't I?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

This I drew in 1991, shortly after graduating from The Cleveland Institute of Art. From the looks of it, maybe the 90's sucked, too? I was inches away from moving to Albuquerque. Throwing pots in my parent's garage that summer and teaching art to children. I weighed 97 pounds. I smoked a pack a day. I ate cottage cheese and cheetos. I wrote lots and lots of bad poetry.

Then again, who draws a smiling self portrait?


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

~:A M • I • O L D • N O W ?:~

I've had several students mention lately their fascination/infatuaion with the 80's. This, I cannot understand. Well, maybe I can stretch a bit. But shit! It makes me feel so vintage. Are the 80's considered vintage now? I'll be 40 next year. FOURTY. God help me.

But back to the 80's, what's so great about them? I was there. Trust me when I tell you they SUCKED. Acne. Heartache. Hormones. Bitchy cheerleaders. Sweaty pep rallys. Cramps. Oy.

The only good thing about the 80's for me was that the 90's followed. I found myself in art school. Ok. I have to admit that the music was pretty wonderful. More powerful and fun than the sleepy 70's, right?

But anyway. Just to prove the suck factor of the 80's really existed, is this lovely photo of me at one of those high school dance thingies. I went to only one of them. My date's name was "Tigger", the younger brother of my best friend's boyfriend. Yup. I was a loser.

See the haircut? I painted a pink streak in my bangs every morning. This was the year before I got a mohawk. That picture comes next. :)