Nothing So Certain as Change – a Sad Parting

End of era – for me at least.  I will not be renewing my P.O. Box, and I feel as if I’m losing apo box 1 friend.  Actually, In a way I am.  The people who work there are a friendly helpful crew.  I’ll probably still take them my annual gift of 3-4 tins of cookies as I have for the past 25 years, but alas, it will be the last.

The post office has always been open 24-7 for those of us who have office hours of our own and need access in the wee hours of morning or night.  Now, because of the unwashed who use it as a nighttime squat, leaving their trash and on occasion vomit, the Post Office has announced office hours of its own and the rest of the day the doors will be locked.

po box 2I’m not sure how those who have jobs outside the home will make it work.  Fortunately I work from home and it doesn’t affect me except in principle.  I loved stopping by and picking up my mail after an evening out or on my early morning walkabout (rain, shine, or snow), but they won’t unlock the doors now til 7:30, and I’m home from my walk way before that. Worse still they’ll close early on Saturday and totally close on Sunday.

I’ve had a post office box on Southside since 1990.  It’s always been staffed by a terrific bunch of people that I’ve enjoyed doing business with.  It’s up for renewal and at $33 for six months, it’s a bargain for the security they’ve given me over the years. footprints snow po box

My first 2 apartments on Southside, the one on 15th Avenue (10 years) and then the one on 14th Avenue that burned in 2011 (also10 years), had exposed and unsecure mail boxes easily accessible from the street.  The day I moved in on 14th  in 1990, my neighbor came home to find his mail and an empty box of CD’s rifled and strewn across his front steps.

I immediately went to the Southside Post Office right next to the Golden Temple and got a box, and I’ve used it for 25 years.  My neighbor did, too.  I considered it a business address, but now I wonder if it’s necessary.

I live in a more secure 4-plex now; the boxes are inside; the mailman climbs the stairs to deliver packages to my door; I only have one magazine subscription that’s print; all my bills, bank and credit card statements, etc., are digital; payments from Amazon and other places that owe me money go thru PayPal or digitally credit my a special credit union account set up for such payments – separate from my house account at another bank.

Sad to say, but my PO Box is no longer necessary. I might of kept it just because it’s been part of my routine for so long.  I picked up change of address forms, but opted to do the deed online instead. Later I’ll order new business cards from VistaPrint and probably omit a physical address and opt just for email, as that’s pretty much how people contact me these days.

I waited until the last possible pay by moment, November 10, to let the box go.  I stopped by to say goodbye to the crew.

Up there with the certainty of death and taxes there is change.  Death comes and you’re no longer here to know it on this plane; taxes are a constant and expected, but change, oh change. Of the three, I think change is the more difficult.

Do you do errands on Saturday?

Forget walkabout, today was all runabout. 

PepperPlace Farmers market (goat cheese and Kale); Western Market (last 2 marked down pkgs of drumIMG_0387sticks); corner of 11th n 19th on Southside/ checked PO Box (bills, party invites –  no checks – sigh), scored a cozy mystery in a series I’m reading, Rachel Rays new cookbook and 2 mini snickers from trick or treat bowl, returned one overdue book and paid  fine across street at library, picked up mint at Golden Temple on other corner to go w parsley n mint from my potted garden for tonight’s tabouli salad to go w leftover kibbee dinner(courtesy of mom); Kangaroo and CVS for weekend’s cheap beer n wine. 

Whew. Then home to cozy corner of couch with balcony door open behind me aIMG_0389nd new fleece throw and Jazzmine  across my lap against the chill. I will sip and read and pat cat until time to put dinner in oven w side of tabouli.

Tonight @ midnight 01  I’ll begin my 2015 nanowrimo novel. Later y’all.

Write a Novel in 30 Days

It’s that time again – National Novel Writing Month. Every year thousands of the aspiring sign up for the challenge – write a novel of at least 50,000 words in the 30 days of November.

Begun in 1999:

“The very first NaNoWriMo took place in July 1999, in the San Francisco Bay Area. That first year there were 21 of us, and our July noveling binge had little to do with any ambitions we might have harbored on the literary front. Nor did it reflect any hopes we had about tapping more fully into our creative selves. No, we wanted to write novels for the same dumb reasons twenty-somethings start bands. Because we wanted to make noise. Because we didn’t have anything better to do. And because we thought that, as novelists, we would have an easier time getting dates than we did as non-novelists.” -Chris Baty –

In 2014, over 350,000 signed up for NanoWriMo.  I’ve been doing it since 2004, and although I’ve written the requisite words, I’ve never pursued the pen and sword 2arduous task of editing a final marketable draft.  I had the excuse of a full-time job and life, but as I retired from Dilbertville early in 2013 I could not use that excuse that year or last.

Now, it’s 2015 and I’ve signed up yet again.  I’m still painting, but I’m determined to get my daily word count in before I pick up a brush.  I may have to do what I did the first time – leave the house and write at a coffee shop, the corner bar and anywhere that’s not my studio.  The library is far too quiet for me.  I need noise.  Noise makes me focus harder on what I’m doing.

The hardest part is all the parties and family functions that are strewn throughout the month of November.  I’ll be trying to exceed the daily 1667 words per day so I can bank enough to make up for those days, that just don’t make the mark.

We had our kick-off for the Birmingham Region last night.  Big shout out and thanks to The Homewood Public Library for hosting us along with weekly write-ins and our Municipal Liaison, Jared “Tycho Brahe” Millet.  Anyone looking for me on Nano, my handle is perlesrose – my close friends will know it’s shorthand for perle(alias)rose.

Happy 4th of July

For my NaBloPoMo | BlogHer participation I’d planned on making Fridays – Foodie Friday as that’s the day I have traditionally decided what I would eat for the entire weekend so IMG_4312I didn’t
have to bother with cooking and could concentrate on writing and/or painting.  I’d put on a crockpot of something deliciously fun: white chili, roast, whole chicken.  I’d prepare a triple recipe of tuna salad for lunch and save the rest for later, or a large frittata (quiche w/o the crust) for breakfast and save the rest for the weekend.  You get the idea.

This practice began when I worked in that concrete jungle I designated as Dilbertville.  I’ve since retired from that jungle to write and paint and collect my ‘entitlement’, but still find it helpful to prepare food I love and can eat for days for the weekend and longer without thought or preparation other than putting it on the plate.

Ah, but this is the 4th of July, and I will shortly be off to John and Karyn Stalcup’s wonderfully restored Southside house for their annual 4th of July party, so I will prepare my ‘covered dish (aka ziplock container) to contribute to the feast.

I’ve decided on an orzo pasta salad.  I cooked the orzo pasta al dente in salt and a pinch of savory; scalded and shocked a bag of Publix pre-cut bagged stir fry vegetables adding a few of my own (I did chop them into smaller pieces); into the pasta and veggies I mi
xed in a  simple vinaigrette I whipped up (white balsamic and malt vinegars, 1 tsp, of honey, extra virgin olive oil, spicy mustard, dash of salt, pepper, cayenne.  It’s chilling in the fridge as I sip wine and finish reading a book I started on Thursday.

I’ll be walking the 7-8 blocks to the party.  I never un-park my car on the 4th of July for a number of reasons.

  1. I’ll be drinking there and here and there along the way back home.
  2. I have many friends in the ‘hood, and there are lot of places to stop and visit and sip along the walk back home.
  3. People come in from all over the city to visit and to watch the ‘Thunder on the Mountain’ fireworks show atop Vulcan’s Red Mountain that go off around 9pm tonight, so traffic is the proverbial ‘bitch’.
  4. Walking home is faster and more entertaining that the gridlock of driving with all the suburbanites trying to get back out of town.
  5. Many of the drivers on the road have imbibed far too much to be driving and I’ve no desire to run into them nor have them run into me.


  6. I like to walk and enjoy every bit of this unique neighborhood on this my favorite holiday.

Happy 4th of July y’all.

pic-happy 4th of july

J is for Jogum, Joss, and Jolt

Day 11 of Blogging from A to Z.  Today’s letter is J
J is for Jogum, Joss, Jolt

Shed the Jogum, with Joss or Jolt.

jogum hindered soul
blindly plodding rutted paths
needing joss or jolt

escapes’ only hope
events unknown luck unseen
nature’s buds abide

Jogum in Latin means yoke. There are many kinds of yokes not readily discernable: jobs, marriages, and friendships, to name a few.white flower 3

Sometimes the Jogum can be dislodged by a jolt such as betrayal by a trusted friend, the infidelity of a spouse.

A hated job sometimes needs more than a jolt; it takes a little Joss.

© Perle Champion

Jugum – mid 19th century from Latin, literally meaning ‘yoke.’; also a connecting ridge or projection

Jolt – To move or dislodge with a sudden, hard blow; strike heavily or jarringly

Joss – Chinese idol also meaning luck.

I is for Id, the Isle of I.

Day 9 of Blogging from A to Z.  Today’s letter is I
I is for Id, the Isle of I.

Id, unaware struts
thinking it stands all alone
a singular isle

such wrong conceit self
centered thought denies that earth
revolves round the sun

We are islands.  But just as the sea laps the shore, and the isle continues into the sea,Mnemosyne head only - drawing we are all an integral part of each other.  The very air between us is as alive as we are as we move through it – from earth to the farthest reach of space.

Touch a leaf and the stars vibrate.*

© Perle Champion


* “Touch a leaf on the tree and you have made all the stars vibrate with it. You may not be able to see it right now, but things are so deeply related that it impossible .not to touch the stars by touching a leaf. – Lieh Tzu – The Pathless Path

H is for Hale and Hearty Health.

Day 8 of Blogging from A to Z.  Today’s letter is H
H is for Hale and Hearty Health.

hale walks hand in hand
hearty steps up the walk’s pace
spring hopes winter waits

There is nothing so limiting to personal freedom as ill health, and in this land of the green runfree, the personal freedom of a truly healthy body is eroding at every turn.

Some may consider the phrase Hale and Hearty somewhat redundant.  I do not.  Although they both allude to the health of a person, their meanings are subtly different.

I think the sum says more than the parts about a person’s Health.

  • Hale – free from disease
  • Hearty – strong, exuberant, vigorous.
  • Health – the general condition of the body or mind with reference to soundness and vigor.

I’ve known more than a few people free from disease, who were not hearty.  Without the Hearty (strength, vigor…) there cannot be total health.

© Perle Champion

G is for Grace from Genuine Gratitude

Day 7 of Blogging from A to Z.  Today’s letter is G
G is for Grace from Genuine Gratitude

abundance graces
the genuine gratitude
of all living things

amid energy’s
sea of beings blooming things
still mountains whisper

Of all the prayers and incantations ever uttered, the most powerful is aheartfelt thank-you.  Genuine gratitude for the abundance in your life, to whatever higher power you acknowledge, assures that more abundance will grace your life.

This is common belief that runs through many cultures and religions. 

  • Do not be anxious about anything, but in everyflower Chrysanthemum situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – Paul in Philippians 4:6

Even the self-help gurus, past and present, figured it out, i.e.

  • Joseph Murphy’s The Power of Your Subconscious Mind – read the ‘thank-you’ technique.  “The thankful heart is always is always close t the creative forces of the universe, causing countless blessings to flow toward it by the law of reciprocal relationship, based on a cosmic law of action and reaction.”
  •  Rhonda Byrne’s ‘The Secret’ – read the chapter on the Gratitude Rock.  “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”–Melody Beattie

© Perle Champion

F is for Facile Feigned Façade

Day 6 of Blogging from A to Z.  Today’s letter is F
F is for Facile Feigned Façade

facile tears feign need
façade to suit a motive
once seen we pity

Facile tears and feigned need come easily to some – the façade of needinessWyse in the Garden 1 art darker the only way they garner friends.

In the beginning, the audience is large as they follow along from drama to drama.  They watch and participate vicariously as each living play unfolds.  But the theme and plot begin to repeat again and again.

The steady stream of repetition eventually wears thin; the motives of the face behind the façade become more and more clear.

Slowly the followers’ caring turns to pity; the parade of followers thins then falls away.

© perle champion 4/7/14

A is for Ancient, Artifacts, Archaeology.

Day 1 of Blogging from A to Z.  Today’s letter is A
A is for Ancient, Artifacts. Archeology

“The oldest known set of footprints… are 117,000 years old and thought to be those of a woman and possibly a child…” (New Scientist magazine, 31 January 1998)

I had and still have a fascination with ancient things, lives lived, and languages feetspoken. Knowing that things pass out of knowledge and leave only traces for us to piece together if we care haunted me as a child.

As a child I imagined myself to be an archeologist.  And although I was never encouraged in this dream for an adventurist future, I climbed all over the Sandia Mountains with my friends searching for artifacts.  I collected odd rocks with markings I imagined to be etched by some ancient woman late at night in her cave.  In my mind there was always the woman in the starring role – my dream, my way.

Reading that story in New Scientist Magazine in 1998, awakened that dreaming storytelling child and I wrote a small story called, Ancient Footsteps which found its way into an anthology.

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