Who Says Cats Are Stubborn?

OOMH_cat_profileWell, to be totally truthful, I do. All the time. Then sometimes the furry little scalawag surprises me. Like she did today. But I don’t want to get ahead of the story.

Each morning, after scarfing down breakfast, my sweet but oh-so-stubborn cat Lucie jumps up on the living room table. I originally thought it was mine to use as a dining spot and work space, but now, undaunted by the embroidered linen table cloth (once bereft of hairball stains), she has claimed the territory as her own, turning the table and cloth into a favorite resting place.

Of course, I can easily see why. Besides the soft, enticing scratchability of the cloth, the table’s placement next to wonderfully large urban windows offers an active view of blue skies and the vast outdoors. This includes visits from countless pigeons and butterflies she undoubtedly chases in her dreams.

As part of her morning ritual, the table also becomes the sacred place to lie on as she meows commands at me to brush her. And, lord knows, I have often been tricked into at least trying to do so — again and again. Like today. Continue reading

I Just Killed a Dust Bunny

OOMH_mouseNormally I’m not a violent person. In fact, I often go out of my way to catch little insects or spiders that I find creeping about on my apartment walls or floors, and I bring them to the window to let them fly free. Sure, there are those crawly things that don’t actually know how to fly, and I do feel badly about that. But intent has to count for something.

I once had a cat who was great at finding and eating the little critters. While I wrestled for a while with the idea of letting him do that without trying to save them, I eventually figured it’s just the circle of life. (The Lion King is especially great for rationalization.)

But my current cat, god bless her, sees the little buggies and just watches them … without lifting a fur-covered muscle. On the other hand Continue reading

A Bolt of Fire

Lightning by Axel Rouvin via Wikimedia

A bolt of fire

Hurled downward

By dispassionate gods

Looking to amuse themselves.


In one moment,

All we once knew

And held so dear

Sits on its head

In charred disarray.


Can tears flow upside down?


[For a dear friend. ~ Photo by Axel Rouvin via Wikimedia]

When Mockingbirds Fly

Mockingbird in tree photo by Tim McCormack via Wikimedia CommonsBethany knew the dream well. She’s lying in an open coffin, eyes alert to the world outside. She lifts her head and glimpses a vision of soft, rolling hills caressing the horizon. The scene feels strangely familiar, yet she can’t quite place the memory. In the foreground, resting on a low branch of a leafless elm tree, a mockingbird dressed in black satin smiles, steps forward, clears his throat and screams “Eereet! Eereet! Eereet!”

Then come the huge shadowy arms reaching slowly upward and latching onto the coffin, their magnetic grip pulling her downward, ever downward. Though her mother has been dead over a year now, those arms are unmistakable. Arms that in life never let go. And now the grasping fingers hold tightly to the coffin from which she is unable to escape – and doesn’t even think to try. Flapping its wings, the mockingbird rises and circles above. “Eereet! Eereet!”

Bethany woke from the dream to a chilly, gray Monday, Continue reading

A Rainy Day in March


Scattered patterns
On the screen
Painting pictures
Of far off places.

I see shimmering Paris
To the left of Berlin
Where it rightly belongs.

And radiant Miss Rio
Surprisingly near Beijing
Dripping kisses to Tibet.

And there above all
Sits pretty San Francisco
Winking hello to us all.

Let the soft rain fall.
I have the world outside
Waiting with open arms.

Worries for Sale


What if tiles by Maryeoriginals from Wikimedia CommonsI’ve been thinking how nice it would be to package all my worries in lovely boxes and put them up for sale. Sturdy boxes of all sizes and shapes, with seductively-patterned wrapping paper, of the very finest quality.

Enchanting boxes with brightly-colored ribbons, tied lovingly with a perfect corkscrew swirl at the end. Hopeful boxes waiting anxiously to be discovered by just the right person, someone who will be happy to adopt them as their own.

I can just imagine the tremendous relief, not only relief in letting go of things I no longer need, but in helping old friends find welcoming new homes. And I can also imagine the consummate joy of at last being free of what binds me.

Of course, that’s assuming someone else will actually want to buy my worries.  And that I, in turn, don’t find myself wandering around the well-stocked Worry Store, tempted at every turn by what others are selling. So many pretty packages calling to me.

But then packaging can be so deceptive. And empty spaces so often clamor to be filled again by new friends who feel a lot like those we once knew.


Existential Cat





The empty food dish taunts me.

SHE lumbers about doing this and that. Nothing of consequence. Nothing that gets me one iota closer to finally receiving the sustenance I so desperately need.

Can she not see I languish away, while my dish just lies there, untouched by the very hands that could so easily bring relief to this misery that is life?

If not now, WHEN???!!!

“Tis the Season 2014


Across this vast land
Icicles on giant balsams
Hang like frozen tears.

Bone-weary doors creak open,
Hungry eyes scouring the horizon
For glimmers of impending dawn.

Once more the hope rises.
Yet again the veil falls,
As emboldened clouds rush forward
To darken the softening skies.

Oh elusive light
When will you step forward
To at long last claim
Your rightful throne?

I Can Wait




I have felt the great and beckoning yaw

Of what is not and what will never be again.

And I can wait.

I have borne your amusement

At what I am sure is unrelenting darkness

And you embrace as soul flight.

I can wait.


But I sure wouldn’t mind

Hearing your voice say “I told you so”

When the stillness comes.

Short Story: The Unraveling

OOMH_heart_pillowMinnie died in her own bed at the age of 93, just as she’d always declared she would. No one was there to witness her personal triumph.


It was a rough day for Clara. The surprisingly heavy urn she carried up the porch stairs seemed like a poor consolation prize for love denied. This was her first time back in her mother’s house since the night Minnie cut up all her short skirts, called her a trollop, and threw her out. She was all of 17 then, and the closest she’d ever gotten to trollopdom was letting Billy Boyd sneak a wet kiss at the church picnic. It wasn’t even a good kiss.

But tonight Minnie was gone, and Clara was about to sleep in her old room again. Continue reading

A New Blog Is Born…

Career Nook on mobile

A few months ago I began feeling a tug inside – a tug toward something new. I love writing for Out Of My Head and expect to pop back every now and then, but for the last 8 weeks I have been building a new blog called Career Nook. And yesterday it went live. Wuhoo!

I had a popular career blog for five years called Work Coach Cafe, and for many reasons, two years ago it was time to leave that behind. And I thought I could leave career blogging behind me, too. But you can’t ignore a tug that won’t let go. One that included a vision of a blog with the name Career Nook. No matter how hard I tried to push it away, it kept coming back … like it was asking to be born!

And so over the last couple of months, I slowly created a new blog, and will be back on Career Nook helping people with job search and career decisions. And I will also slowly start to take on career coaching work. In fact, I have left my old business process consulting work behind, and this is the new direction I’ve chosen for myself.

Some tug, huh?

Please feel free to stop by Career Nook to say hello – and add your voice to the conversation!