When I was in high school (in the eighties) I ran track and cross country.  We traveled to meets almost every weekend and I always sat with my friend Sara on the long bus trips.  She was one of my best friends and she was much cooler than I was–and I was aware of this even way back then.  Anyway, we would wear our Walkmans filled with tapes of our favorite music. Mine was filled with the Scorpions, Van Halen and other metal bands, along with Led Zeppelin and a bit of pop.  Sara’s was filled with a little U2 (I didn’t get into this band myself until college) and all David Bowie, all the time.  I mean she was obsessed with David Bowie.

Sara’s Walkman had two headphone plugs and often I would plug mine into hers and listen to her music as well.  I don’t remember why I would do this, whether my batteries ran out or mine wasn’t working, or if she just wanted me to hear a certain song or album that she liked (remember, this was before cellphones, before any kind of handheld video game.  You listened to Walkmans or brought a book if you didn’t feel like talking).  All I remember was that I did not enjoy David Bowie AT ALL and she REALLY wanted me to appreciate him the way that she did.  It never really happened. I got to know the songs, and I got to a point where I could appreciate different ones more than other ones,but I never really became a fan.  

Sara would go on and on about what a genius he was, how handsome he was. How he was the best looking man she’d ever seen in her life (remember that we were teenagers and he was in his mid to late thirties at the time. I couldn’t understand why she was so into this old man).  The walls of her room were papered with posters of him and he just did nothing for me. Back then, I was into young, feminine looking men with big hair, spandex and makeup.  I am not proud.  My point is we were just WORLD’S apart.  Testosterone vs angst and a point of view.  With me, testosterone won out.  …always.

One day we were walking down to a track somewhere and she was just going on and on about him until my eyes glazed over.  She said, “You just don’t understand Karen, I want to meet him and marry him, but I would be just as happy if someone would just follow him around and film him all day from the time he woke up until he was asleep.  Do that for a few days-in his regular life- and sell it.  That’s the videotape I want to buy. If they made something like that, I would buy it.”  I remember being appalled and saying something like, “You want to watch him sleep.”  “Yes!” she exclaimed. “I want to watch him drinking coffee and eating cereal and reading the newspaper in the morning. It! would be almost like I actually knew him!  Like we were friends. I want to buy this tape!”

Two things stick out to me about this conversation.  First, we were so naive.  Sara wanted to watch him eat his cereal, for heaven’s sake, when everyone knows he probably ate rats or bats or something (or maybe I’m thinking of Ozzy) and probably not alone.  Second, she said this WAY before any kind of reality television was available. These days that kind of intimacy with celebrities is kind of taken for granted, but back then this was a totally foreign concept.

Sara and I drifted apart after high school, but whenever she does cross my mind I always wonder if Bowie ever made such a film and if she ever got a hold of it. I wonder if she’s still a mega-fan.  My highschool track meets were such a big part of my life that whenever I smell Ben Gay (to this day) I am back there, nervous butterflies,about to race,  and whenever I hear David Bowie, I think of good times with Sara on the bus.

As for me, I went on to love MTV’s Headbangers Ball until it made way for grunge. I still,to this day, think that Warren DiMartini was the best looking member of Ratt and I think that Jon Bon Jovi was a beautiful man.  He still is,of course, but back then… dreamboat.  I still unapologetically love a good hair band (my husband and I have this in common.  It’s one of the things that brought us together. …I am not kidding). As for David Bowie,  today I can appreciate that he is a genius, and I know a LOT of his songs and will find myself singing along with them on the radio– thanks Sara–but …eh.  He’s no  Klaus Meine.😉

Just wanted to mention that on Monday, July 21, 2014,Clear Blue Water’s going to be up on uclick again.  Not new stuff, just the reruns that ran in newspapers from 2004-2008.  If you’ve got a hankerin’ to read it again from the beginning, well, here’s your chance.

I love these characters and I’m glad to see them return, but I’m thrilled that I don’t actually have to do anything or make any deadlines, because I happily broke up with deadlines and I don’t plan on getting back together.  I am especially looking forward to rereading my old political cartoons and seeing their topicality and relevance to current events… NOT!  ;)

I may occasionally make a blog post or I may not.  I can’t imagine that I will ever again attempt to write a regularly updated blog.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.


I heard something so assinine on radio today that I wanted to make a cartoon, and then I realized that I don’t cartoon anymore, and then I wanted to blog about it but then I remembered that I don’t do that anymore, either.  MAN.  What’s a woman to do?  Blog about it anyway.  So here goes.

Ann Romney was being interviewed.  She was talking about how Mitt was, last year, considering not running for president this year.  They were having a serious talk about it as a couple, you know, weighing the pros and the cons.  And then she said that she said to him, AND I QUOTE, “But Mitt, can you save America?” and he said “Yes.  Yes I can.”  And so it was decided.  And so it shall be.

Can you IMAGINE the ego, the …hubris, the unmitigated GALL  it takes for someone to think that they, and they alone can save America? That they are soooo smart and soooo wise and sooooo important that if they don’t step in, why, we’ll all just be lost.  Thank goodness for Mitt.  And I mean that sincerely.   Thank goodness he answered that call.

I would not be surprised if during the next debate he suddenly rips open his suit and he’s wearing a superhero outfit underneath.  He’ll fly away singing, “Here I come to save the day!”  These people are so out of touch they might as well be from a different planet.

Be afraid, America.  Be very afraid.  For Mitt is coming.  He’s out there.  …Lurking…   …And he wants to be our latex salesman.

I have finally posted the last Clear Blue Water cartoons on my site.  It feels good to get them done. I have known that I wanted to finish them up before the year ended, but I kept procrastinating and suddenly I only had a few days left.  I was rusty–everything took much longer to do than it used to.  I forgot how to do some stuff and actually had to go look at my cheat sheets.  I am proud that I met my last, self-inflicted deadline.  I still got it!

This has been draining though, and now I really need to go rejoin my family.

Before the day ends, I will put up my last blog post.  I can’t say it will be the absolute last one for sure, but it feels like it.  I have come to really cherish my privacy, and a public blog does not help with privacy issues!  I wish my last blog post could be profound, but it probably won’t be.  I wish my last cartoons were the best I’ve ever done, but they aren’t.  I quite like some of them and others, not so much.  Luckily, I KNOW the one’s I hate will be the ones others like, and vice versa.  If things keep going like they usually do.

…More later tonight.  Happy 2012!!!

Today, I thought I’d bring you three of my favorite videos on the internet.  The first one I think is hilarious.  Now, nobody else I have shown this to thinks it is funny.  They all think it is disturbing (which it is–undeniably) and they think I am disturbed for liking it.  I do not deny this.  BUT I also think it’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.  How much do I wish that this was MY grandma?  SO MUCH!!!


This next one is also terribly hilarious in a completely different way.  And again, no one I have shown this to thinks it is half as funny as I do.  I am sensing a theme here…  Now I don’t think it’s funny because of what it shows (babies should not be allowed to drink), but because of what it represents (figure that out, ha!)

And now for something good.  Not horrible or weird, just something by one of my favorite people on the net, Beth Moore.  It is hilarious and then it always makes me cry in the end.   Wonderful.

Have a good Sunday.  Enjoy!



I just wanted to post a happy update about my son Sawyer.  For a little background, Sawyer has been an extremely difficult child for most of his life.  He’s autistic but he’s also got severe OCD and he loves to destroy things.  He’s also plagued with rage and terrible tantrums.  He harms himself when he is angry.  Our life has not been easy, and I would not have chosen this path had God asked for my input.

When he was about four things got so bad he had to be medicated.  That medication was an anti-psychotic made for people with schizophrenia.  It was not made for four year old autistic kids, BUT, Sawyer was being violent with his baby sibling, and we couldn’t allow him to keep harming our other child, and we were worried that he might actually kill the baby on accident.  So we started the medication and Sawyer calmed down.  But, it gave him a flat effect.  What I mean is, Sawyer was no longer ever happy.  He was either blank, or he was drugged out or he was enraged.  Gone was our happy child.  Nothing seemed to give him joy anymore.  He still liked music but not in the same way that he had.  It was heartbreaking.  We spent the next several years going from doctor to doctor, seeing different neurologists, etc and trying to get another medication perscribed.

Here is what happened. No one would take him off this medication.  Instead they added other meds on top of this.  Some of these were horrible.  One made him have a psychotic break and he had to be hospitalized.  In desperation, we took him off of all meds for a short time.  Things got terrible quickly and so we reluctantly put him back on them.  It was not a good situation and the side effect of this med were doing terrible things to Sawyer.  Things that could become permanent.

About three years ago I felt that God was prompting us to start again with his meds.  I felt like we were supposed to take him off of all meds for a good amount of time (to let all of them leave his system).  Maybe we would find out that he would not need any meds anymore (I really hoped this would be the case), or maybe it would just give him a good clean start to see what different meds would do to help him.  So, with our doctor’s reluctant approval, we weaned him off of all drugs.

…And all hell broke loose.  Literally.  It was a TERRIBLE year.  Terrible.  Yes, I said a YEAR.  We were in it for the long haul and so we let him go a year with no meds to give him a complete break.  He was SO difficult.  SO violent.  He didn’t sleep or want to eat anymore.  But…. he was also happy.  His joy came back, and this, we decided, was not something we were willing to lose again.  After a year, when it became really clear to us that all meds were clear of his system and he was NOT going to come around to being easy and placid, we began looking for a good psychiatrist.  Sawyer had seen a BAD psychiatrist but we wanted someone who knew what he was doing with the whole drug thing.  We got some recommendations and found someone.

Our first appt. was quite short.  Only about 15 minutes.  The dr. met Sawyer, talked to us, took a quick history, asked us what we hoped to happen and perscribed some meds.  He listened when we said we did not want anything that would give Sawyer a flat effect.  We were not interested in them no matter how great the drugs  were supposed to be.  We wanted Sawyer to be able to feel and experience emotions other than anger and blankness.  The dr. ended up perscribing a completely different class of meds than we had ever tried before and the difference was remarkable.  But not quite right.  Sawyer was a little lethargic.  He wasn’t sleeping soundly.  He would get violent at certain times of the day.  We went back every week for a while and the dr. would tweak this med a bit or that one.  Tell us to try giving them at different times of the day, etc.  There is one class of drug that we have found that Sawyer absolutely cannot tolerate (even though they usually work great for kids with his problems) but we’ve found other’s that work for him.  Soon we tapered our appts. to every two weeks then once a month, and that is where we have stayed.  Our appts. now are only a few minutes long.  Sawyer’s meds have been pretty stable for over a year and he is doing so great.

He is a different child.  He still has bad OCD but he is much calmer.  He talks more.  He has more patience.  His tantrums are not even in the same ballpark as where they were before.  Our lives have gotten exponentially easier and I am so glad we did this.

I am not going to tell you what meds made him crazy or what meds work for him now.  They are different for each child and that is the point.  But I do want to offer hope.  If you are going through something similar, you might try seeking out an experienced psychiatrist.  If you find someone who knows what they are doing, who will listen to your concerns… it can make all the difference in the world.

I used to be afraid to admit that Sawyer was doing good.  I was afraid it would be all taken away.  I was afraid the fates would see me bragging and smack me down.  And Sawyer DID seem to go downhill just about every time we said things had stabalized.  But God convicted me that I needed to tell people when Sawyer was doing well.  I needed to enjoy it for the gift from HIM that it was, and so I am.  I do.

I know that if things start to go downhill again, we now have a good doctor who will listen to us in place.  He is willing to try different drugs, he knows how they interact with each other, he knows side effects and he listens to our concerns and tweaks things accordingly.  And I know that we will get things under control again quickly.

Life is good right now.  I am blessed.  Sawyer is still disabled but …manageable.  I write this post not to brag but to perhaps give someone who is still struggling some hope.  This is what has worked for us.

I recently hurt my back doing Zumba.  Yes, those dancing workout tapes you might have seen on a late night infomercial or two.  They are really fun tapes, really great workouts, and I feel like an absolute ass that I hurt myself so badly doing it.  In fact, it’s been thoroughly embarrassing thing to admit to people when they ask how I hurt myself.  First of all, they are always incredulous.

ZUMBA?!!!!!  said in a near scream.  This is followed by an evil grin and I can see them imagining me doing it.  YOU do Zumba?  The Brazilian dance craze sweeping the nation?

This I find irritating.  For, you see, I am fairly dancy, but I do like to keep this part of my personality on the down low so as to not cause jealousy in the masses.  I will have you know that I own Hip Hop abs, and I have done them a few times so I am perfectly ready to throw down some moves on the dance floor.  If, you know, I had that sort of life.

Secondly, then they ask all about Zumba and forget to give me sympathy for my back pain.  How do you like it?  Is it a fun workout?  Is it easy?  Yeah, but what about ME and my BACK????

So I went to the Dr.  and she said I had a pinched nerve.  I told her I’d need at least a morphine pump or maybe some of those drugs that Elvis was on, or maybe even a wee bit of the crack, but she told me Tylenol and a heating pad would be fine and that I should feel loads better very soon.  And she was right.  Today I woke up back to normal.  Oh, and she also told me I could continue to do Zumba, but to be careful as I’m over forty now.


In other news, today was the last Oprah Winfrey show.  I meant to watch but I missed it.  I will try to catch it on youtube sometime.  It led the news.  “Today, Oprah Winfrey wrapped up her beloved show…” and my husband says, before I can say a word “Did they roll her out on a cross?  Because that’s the only fitting end.”

And I lost it.

What a great cartoon that would have made, if, of course, I hadn’t just shared it here on my blog.  My husband is the funniest person I know.  He has exactly my sense of humor (except mine’s not as vulgar) and this is rare.

‘S why I married him.  Why we’ve been together so long.  For the road to happiness is paved with Oprah jokes.

You know, my mom is a super-impulsive person.  She will make the most life-changing decisions with no forethought and no agonizing about it.  She just decides and BOOM moves forward.  For example, once, when I was in high school, she  decided, on a whim, to move our entire family across country one day, and we SET OUT to do this the very next day.  She pulled us out of school and said we’d send for our things and we packed one bag a piece, grabbed our cat and left.  This didn’t go as planned, (thankfully!) but this is the sort of thing I am talking about.  I love my mom, and things with her are never predictable.  But… a little predictability would have been nice, growing up, I think.

I have always maintained that I am not like this.  That I am a planner.  A plotter.  But, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that I really am not.  I seem to have inherited at least a taste of my mother’s impulsivity.  I met my husband and knew I wanted to marry him within weeks.  We bought the first house we looked at.  Our first child was a “What the heck, why not?”  decision.  All of these have worked out quite well for us, but I could name dozens of impulsive decisions that have not worked out for us.  Impulsivity is not necessarily a good trait even if it is an interesting one.

I can just hear y’all thinking (yes I did just use y’all.  I was born and raised in the South, thank you very much!) where is she going with this?  Well, I DO have a point.  Last week when I announced my retirement, I had vaguely decided that I was probably going to have to retire because of family commitments, but when I wrote that post on bin Laden, I just decided there and then to retire.  I told no one beforehand (not even my husband or kids) I just did it and didn’t think about it.  And then I got a bunch of emails and calls from friends and family members who were just a TAD put out that I hadn’t told them first.

Frankly, I was amazed.  First of all, I had no idea these people were even keeping up with CBW anymore or paying any attention whatsoever to what I do or say online.  (Note to self, be more careful here!)  Second of all, it made me realize that this is probably a decision that most people would have taken just a bit more seriously.  Eh, live and learn.

Now that I’ve had a bit to get used to it, I am more convinced than ever that it was the right decision for us.  I had been planning on just posting the last few cartoons I had done and calling it good, but THEN I got to thinking… (cue scary music).  Wouldn’t it be better to actually post one last cartoon from all the major characters?  Wouldn’t it be better to write one cartoon specifically for Manny and Eve to end on?  One that said all I ever wanted to say?  (Don’t hold your breath here, I just ain’t that deep, folks!)

So be it.  So shall it be.

Clear Blue Water was supposed to end last week, and it IS ending, oh yes indeedy it is.  But it might take a few weeks for me to decide she’s good and done.  Every few days I will post a cartoon or two or three until one day it will say THE END, and then you will know (if you choose to follow along just a little while longer) that we are done.  The blog?  As I’ve said, I’ll keep it going for awhile or longer.  And when I finally announce what I am currently hard at work on, I hope a few of you will be interested.

For anyone who cares, all the toons I’ve posted since my strip became a web-comic are now in the archives, in order.  What a wonderful resource, you say?  Why thank you!  I agree.

The archives are located to the left, underneath my blogroll.  Instructions on accessing them are posted as a sticky above this post.  They are listed in order, so the most current ones are on the bottom.  The archives I posted today were Archives 29-35.  This takes you right on to today.  I’ve done a better job with these ones (thanks to some help someone posted to me), so they are one stop shopping.  If the are not big enough for you, just click them once or twice and they should get bigger.  Oh, and Archive 32 is messed up.  There is one lone toon at the bottom posted after the others.  I just couldn’t make it work the way I wanted.  Sorry.  Oh, and the Sunday’s are not colored anymore because my computer saved them wonky and I cannot figure out how to fix the color.

I am still not completely done.  I have some more toons I want to publish before I stop the presses.  They will be posted, a few at a time, over the next few days until I am dun fer good!  I’ll definitely let you know when the real final cartoon is posted.  Thanks for stopping by…

I posted one cartoon.  I will post more tomorrow and the next day until I am done.  I was going to post these in batches but I am rusty and this took longer than expected to fix and upload and all that stuff.  And now I need to go run.  Look for a batch of 2-3 tomorrow.

I just went back and reread a bunch of my blog posts and man, that Osama bin Laden post made me sound like a psycho!  I’m usually not so blood-thirsty (I’m a liberal for goodness sake!)  I’m just glad he’s finally been, um …”neutralized”, and I’m glad he was finally, er …”neutralized” on Obama’s watch.  And that’s all I’ll say about that!

In our life not all things have been going to hell in a handbasket.  Sawyer has been doing fabulous lately.  And I don’t say this lightly.  I used to be afraid of jinxing us by saying things were going well with him, because he almost always seemed to go downhill shortly after one of my good updates.  But lately God has brought it to my mind that HE is the one in control and if Sawyer is doing better, praise Him for the blessing and make sure we ENJOY it while it lasts.  So that is what we are doing.

I think pre-puberty and early puberty are very bad times in an autistic boy’s life (or so other mom’s have told me, and I’ve certainly noticed it in our own life).  But now that Sawyer is almost at adult height and his hormones are starting to settle down a bit, he’s just a much more enjoyable kid. It doesn’t hurt that after literally YEARS of tweaking, his meds are finally working FOR him rather than against him.  They are gettin’ er dun, and gettin’ er dun right!  He is calm, he is happy, and so are we!

Thank you Jesus!

December 2016
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