All posts for the month July, 2016

Our Shadow Selves Revisited

Published July 9, 2016 by Nan Mykel

john bearhs bookI inserted most of the material about Jung’s “Shadow” part of our personality on my “Our Shadow Selves” page.  I’ve just come across something that is too pertinent to bury at the bottom of a page as opposed to this “Post.”

In his 1982 book Unity and Multiplicity: Multilevel Consciousness of Self in Hypnosis, Psychiatric Disorder and Mental Health,” (Bruner-Mazel),  John O. Beahrs  appears to refer to “The Shadow” as “the Demon,” yet his observations are right on about dealing with the Shadow, and better put than anything on my page.  (I substitute “the Shadow” here for “demon.”)

I suggest a fourfold maxim to summarize treatment of problems of  the Shadow:

  1. Contact the Shadow (as object), validate its own needs and make an ally or friend of it.
  2. Re-own that which had been dissociated away, and experience it as subject (me).
  3. Accept, use and direct that energy of Self which had formerly been defined as evil.
  4. Be in full control of this.

A powerful statement by Edward Whitmont observes that when the ego catches sight of the shadow the ego most often reacts with an attempt to  eliminate it.  “Somehow, almost everyone has the feeling that a quality once acknowledged will of necessity have to be acted out, for the one state which we find more painful than facing the shadow is that of resisting our own feeling urge, of bearing the pressure of a drive,  suffering the frustration or pain of  not satisfying an urge. Hence in order to avoid  having to resist our own feeling urges when we recognize them, we prefer not to see them at all, to convince ourselves that they are not there.  Repression appears less painful than discipline….discipline rests on the ability to act in a manner that is contrary to our feelings when necessary” (Zweig and Abrams, 1991, 17. 18, Meeting the Shadow: The hidden Power of the Dark Side of Human Nature.)




Irreparably Harmed

Published July 9, 2016 by Nan Mykel

atco image


Petition to Ohio Governor John Kasich,

Ohio House and Senate Members.
Ohioans Demand Protection for Sheltered Workshops, Developmental Centers.  Ohio Adults with debilitating intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD) will be irreparably harmed if some of the Kasich Administration’s Employment First sheltered workshop budget and
policy proposals are enacted.

We applaud the Administration’s Employment First’s goals to increase vocation training, funding, and community employment for Ohio’s Disabled Citizens.However, Employment First has four critical failures: 1) misapplication of the Olmstead Decision and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); 2) mistaken justification of replacement of sheltered
workshop proposals by citing recent Federal CMS Regulations; 3) not recognizing that a significant proportion of the disabled cannot work in the community; and 4) decreasing the choices and
increasing the isolation of Ohio’s most disabled citizens. We believe that Ohio should continue to promote the existing sheltered workshop model through policies, direct State funding, and through Ohio CMS Medicaid Waivers.
Employment First is enabling the Justice Department’s misapplication of the Olmstead Court’s
interpretation of the ADA. The Kasich Admiration’s proposed Ohio Medicaid Budget contains many
Employment First proposals. One stated budget goal is to “replace workshops and facility-based day
services with new service models that promote community employment and integrated day
services.” The Administration cites recent increased federal scrutiny for their goal. Specifically they
cite one interim settlement agreement and two “DOJ” lawsuits as support for their workshop
elimination proposals. These DOJ efforts are actually the working of Disability Rights, a “private”
organization funded in part with DOJ funding. This group’s Ohio Chapter, Disability Rights Ohio
(DRO), has threatened to sue Ohio if it does not close the sheltered workshops (among other
issues). Rather than ignore or resist the DRO, the Administration appears to be assisting the DRO’s
misguided goals. As the recent Ohio Transition Plan’s public comment period uncovered, the DRO
does not speak for all of Ohio’s disabled. DRO is misapplying Olmstead’s limited ruling that
individuals with mental disabilities have the right to live in the community rather than in
institutions if “the State’s treatment professionals have determined that community placement is
appropriate, the transfer from institutional care to a less restrictive setting is not opposed by the
affected individual, and the placement can be reasonably accommodated, taking into account the
resources available to the State and the needs of others with mental disabilities.” Olmstead v. L.C. ,
527 U.S. 581 (1999) DRO is attempting to use this narrow residential decision to force Ohio to shut  down its non-residential sheltered workshops. This is the exact misapplication that the majority of
the Olmstead Court sought to prevent: “We emphasize that nothing in the ADA or its implementing  regulations condones termination of institutional settings for persons unable to handle or benefit  from community settings…Nor is there any federal requirement that community-based treatment be imposed on patients who do not desire it.” Id. at 601-602.
Second, the Administration is also mistaken in justifying its replacement of sheltered workshop,developmental centers proposals by citing recent Federal CMS Regulations that convey expectations regarding person-centered plans of care and to provide characteristics of settings that
are home and community-based. The Administration implies without support that sheltered  workshops are not integrated in nor support full access of individuals receiving Medicaid HCBS to
the greater community, do not include opportunities to seek employment and work in competitive  integrated settings, do not engage in community life, control personal resources, nor receive
services in the community, to the same degree of access as individuals not receiving Medicaid HCBS.
Absent in the Federal Regulations cited is a definite statement that sheltered workshops do not comply with these regulations. In fact, in its last “Exploratory Questions to Assist States in
Assessment of Non-Residential Home and Community-Based Service (HCBS) Settings,” the Federal CMS admits that; “(t)he manner in which each of these services meets the HCB settings requirements may vary.” The Administration seems to fudge this ambiguity by noting that “the CMS
is currently working with stakeholders to clarify expectations of this new rule for day activity  services, and additional guidance will be forthcoming.” It also ignores that many Ohio Disabled
citizens choose to remain in sheltered works because it meets their unique needs as outlined in their person-centered plans. Statistics show many individuals with I/DD have not shown an interest
in supported/competitive employment, and the majority who have tried it, ultimately return to sheltered employment.
Third, the Kasich Administration’s Employment First policies and budget fail to recognize that a significant proportion of disabled Ohioans simply cannot work in the community.  These Ohio citizens suffer from various debilitating intellectual or developmental disabilities including autism, moderate to severe mental retardation, and cerebral palsy. As a result, the Administration’s  contention that mainstream employment opportunities exist for all or even a significant number of
developmentally disabled persons is largely wishful thinking. It’s hard for anyone to get a job these  days. In many cases, the newly “employed” individual ends up leaving a 29-hour a week job in a  sheltered workshop for one where the individual only works one or two days a week for four hours a day. Working eight hours a week washing dishes alone in a restaurant kitchen is hardly integration into the community. Many families of the participants maintain that the sheltered work
shop programs provide them with useful skills and meaningful activities, and that there is nothing about them that segregates or isolates people.
Fourth, the Administration’s Employment First policies and budget will actually decrease choice and  increase the isolation of Ohio’s most disabled citizens. Sheltered workshops throughout the U. S. provide a safe environment for adults with I/DD to work, interact with their peers, and gain a sense of accomplishment. These facilities also provide transportation, off-site day habitation programs, and opportunities to for new experiences including taking a vacation or going on a camping trip. Individuals who choose to work in sheltered workshops are happy, safe, fulfilled, and are among their friends and peers. As the other disabled co-workers obtain or are forced to obtain “employment” in the community, the lower functioning disabled citizens that remain will become
more isolated. If sheltered workshops employing hundreds of developmentally disabled persons throughout the state are closed, most of those participants will end up in day-care nursing homes,
many of which offer few skill-based activities, much less any sort of wages for performing them. It is also about forcing people into a theoretical model of care, which, as usual, denies them and their families/legal guardians any say in that model. Community employment is not the answer for everyone. We need sheltered workshops! We should be creating more employment opportunities for people with disabilities – not eliminating options.
Olmstead and the ADA were not meant to take choice or any other kind of employment option away from persons with I/DD. Let your voice be heard and speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. It is our responsibility to provide opportunities and support for individuals with
developmental disabilities. Do not deprive them of their choices and force them into settings which will diminish their quality of life. Help us protect sheltered workshops across Ohio and the nation!

Respectfully Submitted,

This petition was delivered to:

  • Ohio State House
  • Ohio State Senate
  • by

1 year ago


Published July 9, 2016 by Nan Mykel

athens disabledMy computer, my printer, my digital phone, my video camera, my internet connection, my telephone, my router, my monitor have connecting cords that easily get tangled and are often difficult to follow to their correct  position.  The secret to achieving the goal of correct, transparent even,  smooth functionality is clarity of motivation.  Both the goal needs to be clear and the motivation free of skullduggery.  If you should find yourself in the lethal hodgepodge of scrambled goals, alternating motivations, red herrings, skullduggery and outright lies, not to mention the little  hidden rat critters  chewing away at ethics in the dark recesses of the human libido and greed,  then there’s no way a democracy can survive.  Adding pet bills to important legislature is just a common referent, but by no means the whole works.

Who or what is behind privatization, for instance?  Who or what is behind the destruction of sheltered workshops for the disabled?  “They’re segregated from the normal population” is one rallying cry. Pardon my French which I’m just thinking.  “More money should be put into the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation”  so the higher functioning ones can really realize their potential” is another rallying cry.   Maybe to produce more money for charter schools? I don’t know.  Maybe it’s “cut back on government aid to the needy.”   I’m not that naive. Money and greed are winning out.  We can see what it’s doing to our prison system.

Headlines on the Feb. 11, 2016 edition of the Athens (Ohio) News  read “Board: ATCO Inc.’s days are numbered.”  ATCO (Advocacy, Training, Career, Opportunities)  has been a day service provider for people with developmental disabilities since 1969. Services include community inclusion, recreational activities, life-skills training and nursing services.  Twenty-six counties of 88 in Ohio have already been privatized.

Institutionalized residents of the Gallipolis Develpmental Center in Gallia County have been utilizing a workshop building which costs one dollar a year. It is within minutes  from GDC.  That workshop has been shuttered and plans are for residents to travel  70 miles roundtrip to a privately owned workshop in Wellston, Ohio, where untrained staff receiving lower pay will oversee the residents.  Parents were initially informed that the GDC staff who have been working with them will continue to do so.  I’m not sure how many of them have been told the truth of the situation.  About 3 weeks ago the GDC staff itself were under the impression the new workshop was going to be opened the next day. It still hasn’t opened, and last week a busload of residents were driven to see the new workshop and returned quite frustrated at its incompleted state. (In the meantime, the nearby former workshop available for a dollar a year has been closed.)

The “upfront” rationale for the change was a ruling that nonprofits receiving medicaid services couldn’t monitor their own services.  So wouldn’t it be easier to change who monitors them than to disassemble them?  Another verbalized rationale for disassembling the workshops is because they’re “segregated.”  I say UNSEGREGATE THEM!  Let any “normal” person who wants to participate, participate!  And how many of the public businesses of education and recreation are feasible for the developmenally handicapped?  Barf!  My 44 year old daughter with Downs Syndrome was born during a time when outreach services were readily available.  Athens as a community has been proud of its relationship to the developmentally disabled.

There is too much distrust and finagling  going on between our “representativces” and our front line folks,  Perhaps in a moment of guilty feelings a new law has been passed that no resident of a developmental center shall be served half meals.  As though they were protecting the residents from being mistreated by staff?  Nothing like that has been happening,  My 5 foot daughter weighed an unhealthy 203 pounds before going into GDC. Within a couple of years she had reached her goal weight of 117 pounds, and she never asked for more food on her half-size servings.  With the recent changes at the sate (and maybe federal) level she already weighs 138 pounds, and climbing.  The flavor of our representatives appears  to assume their certified, trained and dedicated staffs either don’t know what they’re doing or are taking advantage of the disadvantaged.   By assuming that the very caring long-term trained and certified staff are harming the residents, our representatives are trying to take the spotlight off their own damaging actions.  I inquired and even the physician is not allowed to order half sized meals in medical conditions.


The Snatch (Short Story)

Published July 8, 2016 by Nan Mykel


By Nan Mykel

free_7915969Kidnapping me was a lark.  I was so unsuspicious he could have scooped me up with a butterfly net.  Never again will I be so trusting of strangers, even if they do have suede patches on the sleeves of their sweater or speak with a British accent. What could I have been thinking of?  I know—the lost mother beagle whose pups were crying up a storm.

I don’t remember the details of the snatch because to tell the truth I don’t seem to remember much at all since he held a handkerchief soaked in what smelled like chloroform over my nose and well, that was it until I woke up in this basement with my hands tied behind me. Chloroform is so pukey!  He must have hit me on the head, too. Though I don’t remember it, I’ve got a pretty big knot on my top.

Since I‘m short and wear glasses, I guess he figured I’d be no flight risk.  If only he knew!  –Wait, don’t go there.  This is real and life-threatening. The knot on my top is starting to throb, and I can feel my heart bamming away.  What was more troubling   is that I couldn’t come up with my name or age.   Strange that I could remember some of the self-defense lessons from last summer. I may be a little bitty woman but those courses weren’t for nothing, although I didn’t use my head in the current situation.

I inched over to the heating duct to see what I could hear. Definitely no crying puppies. Could I hide somewhere? Dumb thought. Maybe he was going to try and ransom me. Would that mean my parents were rich?  Even if they were it didn’t mean they would be willing to pay for my return.

My thoughts turned inward.  Where did that thought come from? I don’t even remember my parents and yet I just caught a negative glimpse of them, true or not.  I look around, recalling how other prisoners had freed themselves by rubbing their restraints against something sharp, (although I couldn’t even remember my own name). Zilch. This was not the basement of a handyman.  Fire? No thanks. My eyes were beginning to adapt to the darkened basement. There were two very small windows up near the floorboard above, and a drain in the cement, which meant I could pee.  Whoop de doo!

After what seemed like ages the cellar door opened and he came down the stairs carrying a tray.  I barely looked at the try and said, “Thanks, Daddy.”

He drew his head back and said, “I’m not your daddy,” as he went to hand me the tray,

apparently forgetting that my hands were tied behind my back.

“Well, who are you?”

“I’m your worst nightmare,” he snarled, whereupon I giggled.  He was acting like a monster from one of the movies I couldn’t remember, either.

“But you will spoon feed me like when I was a baby won’t you, Daddy?  ‘Cause I can’t hold the spoon or the tray myself.”  If looks could kill  I wouldn’t be around to tell you this story. He cut the rope that restrained me, and as I rubbed feeling back into my wrists, I said, “Where’s Mama?”

He looked at me suspiciously. “What’s your name, little girl?”

“I can’t remember. What’s yours?”

“Wouldn’t you like to know!”

Oh, good. He‘s regressing.  We’ll be down on the floor playing marbles soon.

“Not really. Just being polite. I really can’t remember my parents, my name, even my age.”  I swung my legs against the chair as I swallowed a spoonful of canned chicken noodle soup.

“Yum! I was getting hungry.” I looked up at him and smiled. He was standing with his hands on his hips, watching me eat. My last meal? Nah, I hoped not.

“You don’t know who you are!”  An incredulous, worried look crossed his face.  “You could be anybody!”

“Yep.”  I think I slurped a little. I was really hungry.

“How many kids get off the school bus at that stop?”

“Oh”—here I was pretending to count, because I really couldn’t remember. Would more or less be better?  “Let’s see—Lavinia Rothschild rides when her driver is toting her mother around, and—aw, I can’t remember!  You took my memory away from me!”  I didn’t have to fake the sniffle that followed my statement, because I wasn’t having fun any more.  “I wanna go home!”

“Yes, and I’d like to return you home, but I’m not sure what I’m dealing with here.”

“I know the feeling.   I can barely remember a bunch of big houses in the neighborhood, but not my parents. My mother could be head of the house or the maid, or the butler could be my own dad—here I shot him a dark disparaging look.  I felt my face brightening as a possibility crossed my mind.  “Or I could even be a poor relation.”  With my last statement  he turned to leave.

“Hey, aren’t you going to tie my hands back up?”

He turned and gave a little-boy smirk.  “You can try and escape. Be my guest.  But I rather thought you liked it here, with me as your Dad-dee.”

I called up the stairs after him. “I’ll bet you don’t even have any kids of your own!”

He called back over his shoulder, “I can think of a lot of things worse than that!”

“Yeah? Name one.”

He emitted his Prince of Darkness  snarl.  “Like being held prisoner underground  by a childless villain.”  I heard him double lock the door.  Several hours later he descended and set down what he referred to as a “pot to poop in.”  He stood over me, again with hands on his hips. It must have helped him think.  “Nobody in the whole world has missed you yet.  Is no news good news or bad news?”

The next time he brought me vittles I had a new question for him. “Do you really not know who I am?”

“No. Do you?”

“No, but I want to know what happens to me if I remember.”

“I guess we’ll have to see.”

“Well, who did you think I was?  People—even childless kidnappers—don’t just run around snatching total strangers….I would think.”

He did his heh-heh-heh thing and an idea occurred to me.  “Hey! Wait a minute!  Is this some kind of audition?  I was in that play at school last fall…and are you trying out for Hulk or something?  We’d make a great team!”

He scrunched up his face at me and said, “Are you from the funny farm or something?”

“No, but you must be, a grown man with nothing better to do than pick on little kids for fun.”

My statement seemed to come closest to making him feel a little ashamed.  Hey! Just maybe he was religious!  Could I tweak that banjo string?  “Do you know why I’m still alive?”

He seemed curious and shook his head.

“Because God watches out for me and takes care of me.”  He did not reply.  “And do you know why I forgot my cell phone and left it at school today?”  He was silent, listening.  “Because He is watching out for you, too.  He knows you have a better life ahead of you than playing bad guy—or somebody else’s stooge.”

She broke into song, revealing a sweet soprano voice and as the strains of “He walks with me and He talks with me and he tells me I am his own…”  he fled upstairs.  She called after him, “Remember that I don’t have any memory of you or what’s happened!”

It was several minutes before she realized she had not heard the door being locked behind him.  Crossing her fingers, she tiptoed up the stairs and tried the door.  It was unlocked. On the kitchen table was a sheet with big black words scribbled on it:  “I  QUIT!”

Without a moment’s hesitation she ran out the door, turned left and ran towards home as fast as her legs could carry her.


The End

Dear agony. Re-blogged from scarsandsilence

Published July 7, 2016 by Nan Mykel

Just felt a need to share these words, feelings and thoughts with others. They really moved me. –A kindred soul  (I tried to re-blog this but don’t know how so copied instead)

January 26, 2016


Look over there, that chirpy captivated girl/guy laughing along with her/his group of bosom buddy. Keep looking and you will find that girl/guy looking away and the smile gradually lose its brightness. That smile continues to grow dim and slowly a thin line appears. Have you questioned what runs through their mind at that time? What kind of thoughts that swims through the head?  What are they thinking about? You see them quiet and still just staring into vast space with a blank face. For a minute it seems like the whole world caved in around them and they are left detached from their surroundings. The next minute they are back to reality laughing, talking to their mates.

She goes back home and locks herself in the room. Behind locked doors many things happen. She could be talking to herself telling how bad her day was, how the teacher scolded her for forgetting her assignments, or how her mum was too busy to even acknowledge her presence at home not even sparing a glance , asking how her day went. She could be on her bed staring at the ceiling, thinking about how much burden she could be to the world, thinking how better to just end it all, or just thinking maybe tomorrow wont be as bad as today was, slowly into deep slumber. She could be on her roof staring at moonlight, talking to the man on the moon, inner voicing out her sorrows and troubles upon the moon bargaining her life for the happiness of the people she love around her. Behind closed doors she could be hurting herself letting go of the pain she been holding on.

Everyone struggles through something we might not know off seeing as they look fine on the outside, but what about how they feel? Opinions that matter or thoughts that should taken a count for? Some nights you can bear the whole world on your shoulders and some nights you just couldn’t take the agony. Depression isn’t sadness. Just as cell growth is normal in a person, we call out of control cell growth an illness, we call it cancer. Depression is exactly the same. Depression is when a normal, human emotion gets out of control to the point where it is no longer normal. Depression is a mental illness that affects our  way of thinking, emotions, perceptions, and behaviors in a way where we lose interest in everything we used to love once. It consumes our daily lifestyle whispering things behind our ears.

“Depression isn’t a choice. It never was. It’s the smile that seems too heavy for your mouth, it’s the breath that you can’t take. Depression is hearing a voice that no one else can hear. Depression is like a shadow. It’s always there, but you can’t always see it. Depression is the forest with the giant trees and the thorny bushes.  You can get out of it, but slowly and not without visible wounds. Depression is a cell that constantly gets smaller and I’ve swallowed the key of the only exit. Depression is like a tight rope around your neck, and the longer you try to fight for your life, the tighter the rope gets. Depression is like standing in front of an accelerating train and not wanting to step aside, because it seems like a relief. There are times when you fall back into the hole of depression and you feel like there’s no victory, but don’t think that you can’t go on. Like ants can carry 10 to 50 times their own body weight, you can carry the cross of depression. Fight every second of the day.” -Mugilan

“I put my earphones on and play a track that suits the situation I was in as I lock myself in a dark room with only minimal amount of light as it affects me emotionally.” -Fahad

To me depression was like a ghost of someone. A stream. It feels like I’m walking upstream through a current strong enough to pull me below. There are others with me, but they are walking along the banks telling me to “just get out of the water instead of helping me up. They would continue moving along the banks, leaving me to suffocate behind. Every once and then, I would find a rock that is strong enough for me to lean on so I can rest and recover from the cuts and pain caused by the stream. But the rocks always get tired of holding me up, and when they let go, I’m left asphyxiating, thrown 50ft back again. After everything, there’s nothing more harder than trying to stand up in that current when everything’s inside you is screaming to just let yourself get drowned.

Life is not easy living with depression. With every step you take there’s always someone or something inside you that’s telling you to not take that step. There’s always something holding you back from doing the things you love, from being genuinely happy, from smiling to everyone you meet. Depression is like faceless enemy but as God said to love your enemies, we should learn to love our depression, Yes, it might have brought us to sleepless nights, tear stained pillows, cold shoulders for everyone around us, masks to cover up how we feel, hurting ourselves, hating how we look and contemplating life but look where we have come up so far because of depression. We have survived the wrath depression. We understand how is it like to live with depression and how to treat people around us because we don’t know their story.

Dear depression,

Thank you for coming into my life and changing the way my perspective is. But I would like for you to leave now. Thank you for the times you made me understand  someone’s feelings. Thank you for the times you made me realized how much pain can someone go through with depression. Thank you for showing me how strong I can be. Now, tonight I just want you to leave. Enough sleepless nights where i contemplate my life. Enough of staining my pillows with tears of the silent cry from the pain. Enough of the time when I lay down on the bathroom floor bawling my eyes out for the past I had. 


Enough of the cuts I make to let the pain relief the pain I’m going through because of you. Enough of taking the people I love away from me. This time, I stand on my ground ready to face the road of recovery. I would not listen to your whispering’s anymore because I can make my own choice. I can learn to love again. I can be loved because I for one know there’s people out there that are capable of loving someone like me with my scars and  broken heart. I know there’s people out there who cares. And I know there’s always God giving us a second chance at life to see how far we can get through you. Enough is enough. I believe we are all strong fighters that can fight through you. For once, let us do it our way without your saying. 

Thank you.

To all the fighters out there, keep fighting because the road to recovery is still there and never gone.
Contact if you need someone to talk to too (:


Look over there, that chirpy captivated girl/guy laughing along with her/his group of bosom buddy. Keep looking and you will find that girl/guy looking away and the smile gradually lose its brightness. That smile continues to grow dim and slowly a thin line appears. Have you questioned what runs through their mind at that time? What kind of thoughts that swims through the head? What are they thinking about? You see them quiet and still just staring into vast space with a blank face. For a minute it seems like the whole world caved in around them and they are left detached from their surroundings. The next minute they are back to reality laughing, talking to their mates.

She goes back home and locks herself in the room. Behind locked doors many things happen. She could be talking to herself telling how bad her day was, how the teacher scolded…

View original post 1,077 more words

Cookie – Friday Fictioneers

Published July 7, 2016 by Nan Mykel

Cookie was an inmate in the prison where I worked. He told tales that passed for truth–for the naive and uninitiated, like me.  He said one day (on the outside) he’d been in an alley atop a ladder painting near the roof when his wallet fell out of his pocket.  A rotten thief picked it up and ran with it before Cookie could climb down.  Cookie escaped prison and after being caught said  he had  almost  phoned me. I said of course I”d have had to turn him in. He said oh, not knowing I’d have waited  a day.    (100 words)


(Being a newbie, I went out to lunch just before trying to post this. Seems I missed the deadline.)

A Post to Entertain You

Published July 6, 2016 by Nan Mykel

I’ve noticed that I’m stuck in the good company of poets who only visit me when I have a poem up my sleeve or somewhere, preferably on Dverse.  How did this happen?  What happened to the great population of octogenarians  who have nothing better to do than fiddle with  computer keys. Maybe they’re playing piano keys instead? Sorry, count me out. Musician I’m not, just as I’m not  lot of things….Republican, Spanish-speaking,  extrovert, yankee….I could go on and on, literally.  But you knew that, didn’t you!  So, does that mean you’re a bored curious poet just dropping by to see what I’m up to?  If so, welcome. If not, double welcome!caterpillar                                                                                                                                                                                       Edith Smith



                                                                                                            (I’ve already gotten myself in trouble–killer?)…

Reminds me of Phyllis Diller

(especially due to her last name)

…this killer caterpillar–not caterpillar killer (you note the difference?)

was devouring an innocent leaf one night

when he saw an owl

also on the prowl.

Our killer said nnnnnnnnnnnnf

and the owl replied WHO?

Impatient, our killer yelled nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnf!!!

The owl on the prowl, you see,

not unlike you and me,

didn’t like sass so

bit him in the ass, leaving

only a purple caterpillar.




How Lucky Can You Get?

Published July 6, 2016 by Nan Mykel

Many mature adults who walk slowly, possibly with the aid of a cane, must wonder how others see them.  Not me!  I know!

This weekend as I was hobbling across Court Street on my way to the “cool” Casa Nueva bar, a little girl about eight stopped me and proffered a quarter in her hand. She asked if I wanted it. I asked if she’d found it and she said no. I asked if it was hers and she said yes, and I thanked her profusely for the offer but suggested she keep it.  Did I do right?  Isn’t it grand that I don’t have to wonder any more how I’m perceived?  Even my best friends won’t tell me…












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