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Just Added

Rescue Me!

The location for this story is Borneo.  Since I didn’t know exactly where Borneo is, I thought I’d share.  Borneo is the third largest island in the world and is located in Southeast Asia.  When my daughter showed me this article from National Geographic (April 2013), I loved it immediately and had to share.  Anyone who has traveled with me will appreciate how often I’ve needed an orangutan to rescue me.

Orangutan to the Rescue by Agustin Fuentes

This kind of getting lost doesn’t happen anymore; I would have a GPS with me now. But two decades ago at Camp Leakey, an orangutan research camp on Borneo inside Tanjung Puting, the rain forest was an unknowable place. I was trying to find the maroon leaf monkey. One day, after four hours of following marked trails, I thought I saw one. I risked it and went off the trail. Forty-five minutes later, I was still wandering, no maroon leaf money in sight. I assumed the trail had to pick up somewhere near where I was, so I used my compass to make a guess. Another 30 minutes later, I wasn’t panicked, but I was definitely a little nervous. I had a headlamp, so I was somewhat prepared, but darkness was coming on quickly and finding my way back was only going to get more difficult.

There was much to admire off trail – passing humans hadn’t disturbed these parts of the rain forest yet. At one point I saw a shimmering metallic blue pool in an opening. I moved closer, and it vibrated, and hundreds of butterflies took wing. What I saw in their place was the sea of pig feces that had so interested them moments before.

I picked south on the compass. I figured I’d eventually hit the river, if not a trail first. It paid off. After about 20 minutes I saw an unmarked trail. Seconds later, I heard a rustling. I was thinking it was feral pigs or a small wildcat. I shone my headlamp where I thought the sound was coming from. It was an orangutan. The face was familiar, one of the tribe being rehabilitated at camp. The orangutan and I looked at each other, and she held out her hand to me. Then she led me, hand clasped in hand, to camp. Just like me, she was heading back for the evening.

You lost? Come with me.

Just Added

I Swear

I Swear. I do. It was evident how much I do when I attended a production of “Sound of Music” last night at a local Christian school. The first act was extremely long. I leaned over to my friend, mother of the star of the show, and said: “Jesus, when is intermission.”

She replied something to the effect that if I wasn’t praying to Jesus for the answer, then I should be careful about what I was saying. Then I said: “Oh shit. I forgot.” And after laughing like a goof, I realized I swear a lot. Being in a place that frowns (putting it lightly) on profanity, I carefully weighed my words for the rest of the evening.

My cell phone is also censoring me. I used my voice recognition to say the sentence “make up your friggin mind.” It typed out “make up your f ****** mind. I didn’t even know friggin counted as a swear.

I guess my new favorite song, Thrift Shop, really tells it all. Here is the hook in the song that I love singing to:

I’m gonna pop some tags
Only got twenty dollars in my pocket
I – I – I’m hunting, looking for a come-up
This is f*****g awesome

I think to solve my problem I need to be around little children more, or go to church, or actually think before I talk. Wish me luck.

Song definitions if needed:
Hook is the part of the song that catches the ear of the listener
Poppin tags means buying clothes (you pop the price tag off when you get home)
A come up is an expression about gaining advantage, whether monetarily or whatever

Just Added

Things that go bump (or shut) in the Night

Twice in the past two months, something strange has occurred in my house. The door to my office has been shut during the night. The first time this happened I thought I must have shut it before I went to bed. This is not something I do, but heck I’m getting old, maybe I did that one time.

It happened again on the morning of St. Patrick’s Day. This time I was a little weirded out. I opened the door. Everything was as I left it the night before. Because I like to have a reasonable explanation for things, and I am married to an engineer, I did a little experiment. I took the door and gave it a good swing. It barely made it to the door frame. It did not shut tight, the way I found it both times.

That left me with a dilemma. This did not happen on its own. No windows were open nor was the heater on that night. I even checked for earthquake activity. And although it was St. Patrick’s Day, there was not a leprechaun in sight.

So now I’ve checked into Spookyville. Like spirits from the other side. We have the ashes of a relative in the house. Or perhaps this is a warning from my deceased mother or grandmother. I have been writing about them lately. Not all of it is very nice stuff. Are they telling me to close the door on the past?


To get rid of the heebie jeebies* I had to talk about it to everyone I saw that day. I was quite surprised to find out most people have some kind of ghost story or psychic experience to share. Although I find this extremely fascinating when it happens to other people, I don’t want it to happen to me.

My daughter made me a heavy bookend in her sculpture class last year. It is of a sitting dog. It is now my office door guard dog. If I find that door closed again, it will be time for sage burning and spirit removal ceremonies. I just can’t say the “e……t” word. Linda Blair, you scared the dickens out of me.

The Guard Dog



*Thank you Billy DeBeck for coining that phrase. It fits perfectly in this situation. Mr. DeBeck was a cartoonist in the 20’s and 30’s.

Just Added

Discovering Brandi Carlile

I am late on the scene once again for another musical star, Brandi Carlile. She comes out of Washington state and has been singing her folk rock music since 2005. I recently heard her newest release “That Wasn’t Me” on the radio. The song has a gospel feel to it and after learning more about it that fits as it is about addiction and forgiveness. Click link. That Wasn’t Me

When I watched the YouTube video, I had an unexpected surprise. Kris Kristofferson plays a criminal in the video. It was pretty cool how she got him to do it. She sent him a letter and as she told the San Francisco Examiner, “I said some personal stuff about my life and what caused me to write the song, I told him how much he meant to me as a songwriter and a mentor, and I asked him politely if he would be a part of the video,” she says. “And the rest is history.”

I love stories like this.

Brandi Carlile had her break though in 2007. The song “The Story” has over 9 million hits on YouTube. She got a lot of those hits after GM used the song in a commercial for hybrid cars that aired during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. This song definitely shows the rock side of her talent. Click link. The Story