Collage of the Day: Gothic Grief

After my daughter died, I channeled my grief into writing poetry and making collages. Because she embraced the Gothic Lifestyle, I called this one “Gothic Grief”.

A very short poem that I wrote that kind of goes with this collage:

O Angel Dressed In Black
Please Bring My Baby Back
She Was A Child Of Faith
Of Peace And Of Love
She Sends Joy To Our World
On The Silver Wings of A Silent Dove…..

Cindi 12/09/01

Random Paint Chip Poetry Project: #2 Circle of Life

This one is dedicated to my daughter, Courtney Marie, who died 20 years ago on Sept 14th, 2000, at the age of 16. I will also include to collages that I created in her memory.

Miss You

Circle of Life

Tickled pink, a baby girl
A short lived life, a short lived love.

Like the Sisyphus’s boulder
Constantly pushing upwards and
Rolling back again

Causing an unfortunate circumstance

Is that what is was?
Just an unfortunate circumstance?


It was like a comet
Blazing ‘cross the evening sky

A lunar starship that took on a life of its own.

Shiny and sparkly
And splendidly bright

Until it faded just out of sight.

Now a new blank canvas to write on.
A new story to tell.
A new leaf to turn.

But still pushing that boulder upwards
And watching it roll back again.

Gothic Grief

The song used in this poem was “Gone Too Soon” by Michael Jackson, which was written for Ryan White who died as a teenager due to AIDS, but it felt to me that the song was written for Courtney.

Now, if you would like to participate in this project, please write a poem using these words and prompt and a few lyrics from your favorite song on your playlist.

An Unfortunate Circumstance

Tickled pink
Sisyphus’s boulder
Blank canvas
New Leaf

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Reminiscences: Musings in Memoir — Prompt: Out

I looked at all of the suggestions that Mrs. Fever suggested on this prompt.

I use to think I was outgoing but now I know I am an introvert and would much rather spend my time “in” rather than “out”.

Because of that I don’t care that much for going out, and I would rather spend my time at home.

I am now out of the closet when it comes to, first, my being a Pagan and now my being an Atheist.

So…. I decided to focus on Was playing outside an important part of your childhood experiences?

I don’t have a lot of pictures of me and my siblings in the 1950’s. Film was expensive then, for a poor family, and flash bulbs or flash attachments even more so. I suspect these photos were take by my grandmother with her old Brownie camera.

Of course, in those days kids didn’t have things like video games and phones and apps to keep us busy. We barely had TV!! In Seattle it was 3 TV stations and shows didn’t even come on the air until 4pm.

So it was outside we went. We were fortunate to each have a bike and that was a favorite toy. We had very few limits and rode those bikes for miles and miles. We explored the park, and the cemetery, and the construction site for a new shopping mall their were building just south of us.


We played group games like hide and seek and even made up one game based on the movie “Invasion from Mars” which was popular then.

We played hopscotch and spent hours on the swings at the park, which also had a small wading pool where we would pretend to swim.

Across the street was a vacant lot where we played sandlot baseball and kick the can and racing our bikes.

August was Seafair in Seattle and Hydroplane Season. We made little wooden hydroplane boats and tied them behind our bikes, and put cards in the bike spokes so they sounded like an engine and raced all around the neighborhood.

One summer, one of the mothers became frustrated with the pack of kids roaming the neighborhood, so she told us to go and dig a hole to China. So we did. We spent hours digging a hole in her backyard, and those hours turned into days and then weeks. Finally we realized we were not going to get there. So plan B was to turn it into our own private lake with an island in the middle. But as we tried to fill the hole up with water from the garden hose, the water just absorbed into the soil. After a frustrating day, we gave up on that idea too. The mom insisted we fill the hole back in, so we spent another week filling it in with the soil we had dug out earlier. By the time we finished, it was almost time for school to start. Our whole month of August wasted. At least for us. What did the mom get? A brand new garden area where we had turned and watered the soil for her, just in time to plant fall seeds such as sunflowers, poppies, cornflowers, nasturtiums, sweet peas and pansies, all flowers we would have fun with later on. I think she had planned this all along.

Summertime meant koolaid or lemonade stands where we would sell weak beverages that probably had too much sugar and then took our “profits” down to buy a Green River, fries and an Archie comic book.


Although we never saved out a dime or nickel for the ice cream man; instead we would bug mom for some loose change for a Popsicle or Creamsicle.

One summer it got into the 100’s, so we attempted to fry an egg on the sidewalk and just ended up making a mess that attracted ants. But then the fire department came to open up a fire hydrant and we played in the spraying water.

All in all, I had a great childhood and most of it was playing outside. In winter if it snowed, we built snowmen and sledded and had snowball fights.


Mrs Fever Memoir Prompts


1. One who deserves success or recognition, but instead suffers from neglect or obscurity.
2. One who achieves sudden triumph or recognition, especially after a long period of neglect or obscurity.

After Cinderella, the fairy-tale character who is mistreated by her stepmother and stepsisters. With a little help from a fairy godmother, she attends a royal ball thrown by a prince. Ultimately, she marries the prince and lives happily ever after. What’s behind the name Cinderella? It’s a pseudo-translation of the French name of the girl, Cendrillon, from cendre (cinder), perhaps an allusion to her day-to-day existence, tending to the fireplace and hearth, and as a result she has cinders all over her. It may also be a hint to the hidden spark in her otherwise dismal life. Earliest documented use: 1840.

“Perhaps because dentistry is the Cinderella of the public health system, receiving little attention, these problems have been allowed to persist.”
Paul Cullen; Grindingly Slow Progress on Inquiry into Children’s Orthodontic Damage; Irish Times (Dublin); Apr 2, 2019.

“The Badgers are the Cinderella of the Final Four thanks to toppling a national championship winner.”
Ben Steele; Sconnie Final Four Is Set; Green Bay Press Gazette (Wisconsin); Apr 1, 2020.

Since my name is Cindi (originally Cindy), I’ve felt a strong connection the Cinderella story.

I’ve collected different versions of the story, I have movies that tell the stories slightly different from the Disney animated version (the first one I saw a child):

To Disney’s musical with Leslie Anne Warren:

To Disney’s newest version:

But Ever After with Drew Barrymore is my favorite:

I love the idea of glass slippers and have designed clothing sets on Polyvore based on the Cinderella Story.


Two of my Cinderella Dolls:

1aaCinderella_2325361310_o1aaFranklin Mint- Cinderella Doll (2)-700x751

Some new ones coming out that I’d love to add to my collection: Cinderella Dolls


Or any of the Tonner Cinderella Dolls…

Cinderella Dolls


Reminiscences: Musings in Memoir — Prompt #8: Animal

My very first thought when I saw this prompt was the song “Animal” by Def Leppard.

But for actual animals, I’ve always enjoyed watching the shows on the Animal Planet TV channel.

For years, I subscribed to National Geographic. 

Lately, I’ve been watching animal web cams, like the local Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle and at Explore.






Things That Bring Me Joy Thursday: Day 1- Childhood Toys

I’m borrowing Mrs. Wolfie’s prompt: Toys… 

My favorite toys of my childhood were dolls. Lots and lots of dolls. I played baby dolls (Tiny Tears and Betsy Wetsy) with one friend

and Barbies with another. This is me when I was about 7 with my Miss Revlon doll. The next picture is a large baby doll that my grandmother gave me when I was 9 and in the hospital to have my tonsils out. Sixty years later I still have this doll and she is wearing a little knit outfit that both of my children wore when they were babies.


I had one of the original Barbies that came out in 1959, with the blond ponytail. You could she was a first edition by the holes in the bottoms of her feet to fit on a stand. Based on the numbers I’m seeing online, this Barbie is now worth over $10,000.


I had a Midge with a red bubble hair cut, and a Ken with the fuzzy hair.  My neighbor made dozens of beautiful clothing pieces for these dolls. When I was 14, my father forced me to get rid of all of my dolls, and I had to give them to my cousin. She trashed the dolls and clothing and then threw them away. They meant nothing to her, but the world to me. I was devastated.

After I grew up, I started collecting dolls to make up the ones I lost. I now have a reproduction of this original doll, and about 300 others. Here is just a few.


I also collection porcelain dolls and Cinderella dolls…



I have four American Girl Dolls

1aaAmerican Girl dolls_2324529767_o

And I often by dolls when I travel. These three I bought on a Caribbean cruise in 1992… from Aruba, Curacao and St. Thomas.

To The Future

Too many people don’t take the younger generations seriously and they need to start doing so. It’s their future that we are infecting and affecting.
The teenagers of this country pulled a huge “prank” on Donald Trump and his egocentric rallies. I never occurred to Trump that there would be people who wouldn’t jump at the change to attend this insane rally.
These are just the latest. Add in the teens who organized BLM protests all over the planet, kids working for gun control so they can go to school without getting shot like the Parkland students.
And Greta Thunberg and others like her who are activists for climate change.
Teens are getting involved with #MeToo so they don’t have to deal with sexual assault like their mothers and grandmothers.
And they are getting involved with promoting social distancing and face masks during Covid 19.
These kids have had to give up a lot over the past 4-5 years, most recently the high school experiences that the rest of us all took for granted… proms, graduation, time with their friends.
But they hold the future in the palm of their hands and they are NOT going to let a gross dirty old man take it away from them.
Cheers to you, kids…. many of us are rooting for you and your successes!!


I can’t believe the things I’m seeing these days and it all boils down to one thing…
No one wants anything to change.
They will risk getting sick with a coronavirus so they don’t have to wear a mask that keeps themselves and others safer and healthy.
They don’t want to stay home for the same reason, in spite of everyone having take out/food deliveries, nonstop Netflix and Zoom. They fucking want a hair cut and to sit on the damn beach.
They are sick of the white vs black and why the hell can’t we just say “all lives matter” and get back to life as normal.
They are pissed because SCOTUS ruled that LGBTQ are human beings like everyone else and deserve the same rights as they do.. you know, the white conservative Christian Republican hypocrites who grew up learning about the Golden Rule but will do anything other than live by it.
They (especially white Christian men) are angry that women have forgotten their place to be silent and stay at home do “women’s work”.
They insist that “all lives matter” and that they are “pro-life” until it comes to feeding babies and children, providing healthcare for everyone and helping all people have the same rights as they do… a home to live in and enough food to eat.
They are even having a fit because a bottle of syrup is changing its name and logo.
Change scares the hell out of them. When in reality it’s the change that affects them and takes away their white, straight, Christian privilege and entitlement that makes them angry.
They don’t care about helping anyone else, which has been the Republican way for 50 years.
They don’t care that black kids are dying at the hands of the police.
They don’t care that BIPOC are dying to Covid 19 at a much higher rate.
They don’t care that transgender people are being killed just because they are perceived as being different.
They don’t care that children are being abused by their parents because they were guilt tripped by “good” Christians who convinced them that abortion was a sin.
They don’t care about their own children who come out as gay and are then disowned them for an inaccurate dogma.
It’s said that the only constant in life is change. But we will have to drag these racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic people into the 21st century whether they like it or not and they sure as hell don’t like it.
But change is happening. Someday all lives WILL matter, no matter the color of their skin, the person they love, their religion or lack of it, or even little things like how they dress, how much they weigh and other judgments that too many find fault with.
Maybe if these people would learn about these changes, talk to people and try to understand things from their perspective, these changes would be much less painful.

Rant: Judgmental People

I just saw some comments on Facebook about Oregon passing a bill for free abortions. These were coming from pro-life Christians I know. Comments of “sick people” and “monsters”. This really upset me and shows how little these people understand about women who choose to have an abortion. There are dozens of reasons why they would make this choice.

For those who agree with these comments, I have a few questions for you.

Have you ever had to make the agonizing decision of continuing your pregnancy or aborting a baby for a variety of reasons?

If you insist that a pregnant mother continue her pregnancy, are you willing to put your money where you mouth is and help her pay for the costs of having that baby? Are you going to buy diapers and formula for her? Are you going to hold her hand during labor? Are you going to babysit this infant so the mother can work? Are you going to be there for her when she can’t physically, emotionally, mentally or financially care this tiny child?

If she decides to give the baby up for adoption, are you willing to adopt the child?

Unless you answer “yes” to these questions, you are so totally out of line judging someone else’s choices.

So, who really are the sick monsters?

“Judge not lest ye be judged” ~ Matthew 7


To clarify, I am a Pro Choice Atheist who understands the trauma of having to make this decision. I had to do it twice.

The first time I was 20, became pregnant and we decided to get married. Until I walked in on him in bed with another girl. I was 3 months pregnant and worried if I could afford to have a baby on my own and if I was emotionally mature enough to raise a child. I sought counseling from Planned Parenthood and in the end decided to have my baby. But I miscarried three weeks later.

The second time was after I married and became pregnant almost immediately after the wedding. I had gotten sick with food poisoning and the doctor said that the baby would most likely be mentally disabled because of it. We agonized over the decision to have the baby or abort and again decided to go ahead with the pregnancy. Again, I miscarried, this time in the 5th month.

Two pregnancies, two horrible decisions, two miscarriages. I was terrified to try again, but a year later, I gave birth to a healthy son.

I have several friends who had abortions and none of them went into the choice lightly. But all of them said they don’t regret the decision. It allowed them to have the family, the career or lifestyle they have afterwards.

But I also talked to several women who felt pressured to have their babies. One was just 14 when she got pregnant and was 20 with a 6 year old child when I met her. She hated motherhood, resented her daughter and felt cheated of her teenage years due to having a baby long before she was ready for it. Others echoed these same sentiments. When it came down to it, none of these young women felt like they have any support when they have their babies, being told “you made your bed”… it’s your own fault.

These are the same people who don’t want kids to have good sex education and birth control and then abandon them when the naive kids get pregnant.