Odd things in reality

This is a post from two different blogs. One I read shared an article about underwear and reminded me of when I wandered a while in the world of vintage lingerie.  The other about being one with nature.

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I am a fan of pantaloons. I really think they make a lot of sense. However, I had NO idea women’s drawers used to be split because of men. It makes sense, though. Men not wanting women to wear ‘pants’. The masculine world has always made a mark on women’s fashion. (The bullet bra for Jane Russell was created by Howard Hughes and not very comfortable!) This article sort of made me sad, too. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, women were working very hard to become equal. Yet, their underwear was a mark of submission. The UNDERWEAR they wore had open crotches to show they were available and that they were not wearing ‘pants’. So crazy to think today open underpants are sexy and erotic. We’ve really come a long way, baby!!!!  (the last link is the same as the first one, because it is really a VERY good article and worth reading!)

The other blog I ran into shared an article about a Japanese technique which I absolutely am a 100% a believer in. As off the wall as it sounds. It is called Forest Bathing. No, it is not what I did the other night, but close. It is even more bizarre.  Not tree huggers, but people who are learning to renew their souls and lives with trees and the natural world. In 1982, when I was confused by boys and in love every other day, the Japanese made forest bathing a part of their national public health program. Brilliant!

I know this must work. I crave mountains and trees and water. Even in the place I normally live, which has trees of all kinds around me, I find myself aching for green. I made a quiet place in my yard which a pocket of peace in bushes and green with a fountain. I need these things to survive. Mum, while we were in town, was ok. When we came home, she was better. Here, she is surrounded by large windows looking at trees, a lake, birds, and the sky. I can see the benefits in this!

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So, two odd things I’ve run into in my blog reading this week. They probably should not have been stuck together, but so be it!

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A Walk on the Dark Side-nsfw

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I woke up hot. I thought I’d awakened because my blood sugars were out of whack, but they were ok. I was just too warm. It was early, but decided to check on mum. She had already gotten up, so that might be the reason I woke in the first place. I had probably heard her on the monitor and knew something was off. Anyway, I was awake! I took the dog outside and discovered the rain had stopped and it was rather pleasant.

I pulled up my top and the night air felt perfect on my skin. I took the pup back in the house after wandering a bit partially dressed and stood at the door thinking. I was going to do it. I slipped downstairs to find my flashlight and went back out. I opened the car door, quickly stripped, put my clothes on the seat, and was naked! Well, mostly. I did have on my rubber boots and my wristwatch! I walked all over the yard, down to the lake, sat on the dock, went down to the end of the drive. It was incredibly freeing. I see why so many people wander around in the buff inside their houses and out! I wouldn’t have done it, except it was almost totally black outside. I’m much braver in the dark! Although, to be honest, I did shine my light around to make sure no eyes were out in the trees. I am not sure I could explain a bare assed encounter with moose or bruin!

Cat ON!

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He’s arrived and we have been discussing things to do in this next week. One of the things he wants to do is fish. He said he saw a LOT of people with fly rods and wondered why. I told him many fisher people fly fish for silver salmon. Jon was startled, but slightly impressed. We discussed fly fishing, something we may have done in an hour long lesson with kids at a day camp program. He then voiced this thought aloud, ‘{I bet} fly fishing is like playing with a cat.’ Reminded me of one of our many favorite cartoons from our VERY favorite Alaskan cartoonist.

OH my!

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My baby is coming to visit. I’m so looking forward to it. He left really early from Eastern Oregon and is tired and cranky and oh my!! He got lost!!! Which is practically impossible. You leave Anchorage, drive to the spot where the road goes right to the Sterling Hwy, drive til the ‘y’ in Soldotna and turn right on the Spur and drive til you get out north. Well, he didn’t see the turn off for the lower Peninsula and headed on into Seward. He was very very angry when he called. Thank goodness his phone still has cell reception! He has an older trac phone and the odds he’ll continue to have reception are not good.

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He’s 23, an Eagle Scout, drives a fire truck, and is incredibly responsible. He just can’t do directions well!!!! My dear Little Bear! I would tell him to use the GPS thing on the rig he’s rented, but he’d probably argue with it.

Stuff for September!

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I’ve always been partial to September. It is often a golden sort of month. On the Oregon coast it is truly lovely. In EO, there is a rush by nature to fill the last moments of summer before the descent into a vibrant fall. The Kenai Peninsula is often wet and chilly. The sunny days are cool and full of tiny golden birch leaves which have dripped off the trees onto a colorful earth.

Oddly, I had forgotten September is also set aside as a month to get a library card. I was reminded of this by a good friend after I had received my newest one. Is it a time machine, a passport, a key to knowledge, or a way to tie people together? For me, it is all of those. I walked into the local library, card in hand, and found so many stories which had helped craft me into the person I am today. Gems like this:

You grow up close with nature an’ she give you strength.” Or this one: “Sometimes things settle themselves if you just wait.” Both of those are by M. E. Bell.

Those are gems from a time machine going backwards. Other words are waiting for me to find them in the books I’ve not read yet, phrases to take me to other lands and worlds. I have a book on reserve from a different library, a book with an odd take on philosophies and ideas. All of these are books to tie me to others as I find stories friends have suggested to me. Everything from a library card!

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Then, I go back to the things that settle if I wait. Because I did something stupid and embarrassed myself totally just this very evening. I hope I will be less uncomfortable soon, but am pretty sure it will take more than just a short while for my idiocy to ease! Wisdom from the past to help me in a future I’d never imagined when I read that sentence decades ago.  Maybe it will take this time around…….

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Sure, Mum…..

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Mum has not had radiation the last two days (Thursday and Friday). She’s not felt good. Tired and in a great deal of pain. Her oncologist has told her it will take time til she feels better (his favorite phrase!) and that the radiation will stay in her system for a few weeks after she’s done. Her 19-9 number has gone up to near 1700. In a healthy person it is in the 30’s, her oncologist wants to keep it in the 1000 range.

She hurts so much! Friday she was able to visit with the oncologist counselor. I let them visit alone. I write to the counselor often, just t. o keep her updated. After their visit, I needed to go to the local Alaskan cell phone outpost. I swear, it is like being in the age of needing outposts! At any rate, my phone was explained to me and I celebrated by getting mini blizzards (mum prefers the small ones). On the way home she was chatting to me (she had also had one pain pill and one nausea pill—or I think that is what she took. She dosed herself and I didn’t hear her when she told me what she had taken!)

She was discussing how no one on her mom’s side had ever had hearing aids. They’d had lots of eye problems, but not hearing aids. Then, she wandered off into other health issues the different sides of her family had, touching again on hearing aids a couple of more times.

Out of the blue, she popped this statement into the conversation:

“But, they had crabapples.”

I opted to remain quiet.

(Apples on tree are called ‘snow apples’ and are growing on ranch in EO)

Night Sky

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It was just after 4 am. I woke mum and wandered outside with the dog. The moon was in partial mode, but when I stepped into the dark spaces inside the trees shadows, the sky was amazing!!!! After putting mum back into bed, I  grabbed a jacket, and went out again.

My flashlight showed gems sparkling on the fall colors around me as I carefully maneuvered my way down to the lake. Crimson fireweed  and golden birch glittered in the night as I passed.  I waded into the water and spread my jacket on the pallets making up the dock. I had hoped I could use the pallets for more than a ‘dock’ and this was my first time on them at night. I made sure to not drape the sleeves in the water and climbed onto the open cloth. I placed myself carefully in the center, looked up,  and was in awe!

I could hear the distant thrum of the plants (lots of refineries out where I live) and the mournful cry of a loon and nothing else! The sky was full of moonlight and stars. I was so glad to see the Big Dipper! It is what keeps me grounded, this constellation on my state’s flag. The moon was barely there, yet it was enough to wash out the ribbons of the northern lights. I watched the pale shapes undulate across the horizon, saw a meteor thread through the gossamer, and was perfectly content.

Slightly chilled, I squiggled my way into my jacket and sighed happily. It was wonderful to be in a place I could enjoy a gorgeous sky. I always enjoy going out in the kayak at night, but this was a bit easier on the spine. It is VERY hard to recline in a kayak!!! Eventually, though, the moon moved and made things harder to see. I realised I should probably go back inside…morning was definitely on the horizon with all the responsibilities therein. But, at this moment, I was surrounded in contentment. A precious pearl of peace. I will hold it close all through my day!

A little bit of prejudice….

I love books. I’m pretty sure anyone who follows me might be aware of this. Words and sentences and paragraphs are like oxygen to me. I’m always eager to find new things to read and have many favorites. While in the north, most of my beloved books recline on dusty shelves. (This may not be accurate, The Craftsman may dust my bookshelves, but I don’t expect it!)

One of my very favorite authors is Patricia Briggs. I prefer her early books, I enjoy her later stories. Mercedes Thompson is easy to love and the Omega series is VERY good. I love a read which ends completely unexpectedly! (In one of the Omega books, I read the last chapter twice in a row and audibly cheered when…well, I don’t want to spoil it for you! And I rarely use essential oils without thinking of Baba Yaga.)

I ran across another author in a used book store-I picked her up because quite a few of her series was on the shelf. It isn’t a favorite, my spouse doesn’t like me to have these ones ‘out’ due to their erotic content (the Briggs books have a bit in them as well, but are not blatant about it!), and I brought them north. They are not my favorite because they seem to parallel the Briggs books too closely. The Galenorn books take place in Seattle, Patricia is from the Tri Cities in Washington. Patricia writes about fey and otherworld characters, so does Yasmine. I fell in love with Patricia Briggs first and have almost everything she’s written, so it was rather difficult for me to like Yasmine Galenorn. Too many things are similar and I am prejudiced!

Since I’m reading the ‘Otherworld series’, I have them near me all the time. (I do this with all books!) So, I was rather startled when I put a couple of business cards down on top of one of the Galenorn books and saw another similarity!

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The lady on the card has training as a phlebotomist and the character on the cover of the book? She’s a vampire! I am so going to use Celisa’s business card as my bookmarker for this series. In a larger view, it isn’t just the reddish hair. They have the same smile and eyes.

Just finished another book this weekend. (I read rather quickly. I haven’t felt entirely myself, so I’ve done a spot of reading.) This one is also a favorite author. I was introduced to the series by an especially dear friend. Books recommended by friends are the best kind! I may have mentioned this author in a previous post. It is about dragon shapeshifters and is very fine storytelling mixed with hot erotica. G. A. Aiken is definitely a fun read. In this particular story, part of a chapter is devoted to a banquet scene. There are two monarchs in attendance as well as many people and dragon shifters. The female monarch is caught by her female battle lord with a book. She was hiding it under the table and reading instead of paying attention to the ‘guest’ male dragon monarch. As the scene continues, the dragon monarch hauls out a book from under the table and confesses he was reading, as well. Later, we learn the two were reading the same author. An author who wrote spy novels. Together, the two share thoughts on the books and finish the chapter with this:

“..I can’t read deep, meaningful, thought-provoking philosophy all the time…..Sometimes you have to read about a completely amoral hero whoring and killing his way across an unnamed land in the name of the queen that he’ll always love—“ “—but never have.” Then both Ragnar and Annwyl sighed a little.” Last Dragon Standing.

Books where books are read and loved. Perfectly perfect in every way.

A different kind of pearl

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Each summer while I’ve been home, I’ve collected wonderful memories on separate strings. I thought of them as pearls and watched them slip onto the strands effortlessly, making incredible jeweled ropes. Some days had so many good moments, they crowded in handfuls before they slid into place. I had the opportunity to go out on the lake often, to go down to the inlet once in a while, to leave and visit friends now and again, and to embrace where I was. My first summer was so idyllic, much of it was surreal. I did things that summer I’d not done before and may not get to do again. Later summers were more realistic, but still created many pearls for new strings. Even last summer, when mum was going through her chemo, I had chances to wander away on my own now and again.

This last year has been different. I’ve been selfish in wanting those previous experiences again. I miss people and places and being a part of life. The last couple of days, I’ve realized something important. I don’t need perfect white seawater pearls pulsing with light all the time. There are other things I can string on my strand and pearls can be found in freshwater as well as the ocean. I can even MAKE my own pearls. They look just as luminous and I’m absolutely content with beads and bobs and unusual sorts of charms.

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Take the above photo for example. It is a fork in the parking lot with what could be coined as spent salad. It is a lesson. I could park there, not move, and get squashed by traffic, or I can look at the symbolism and move on. I’m moving on. It’s ok to be grumpy and bitchy and whiny, it is also ok to laugh and enjoy the moments I find for me.

Moments when I get to visit on the phone (or via other forms of technology) with dear friends, reading books I haven’t read in a while or finding new ones, having a cat curl up on my feet, being a house elf  for someone (NOTE: I do not wear a tea cloth when I am cleaning. I am more Dobby than Kreacher!), having people notice me for myself instead of me as mum’s daughter, blogging, getting out when I can, warm showers, and sleep. Not always things I can photograph, but things which are rather wonderful in their own way.

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A little loony-

I learned from mum that a loon is not a bird.

I had asked her if a loon was one of her favorite birds and she said, ‘NO!’ This surprised me. It is the state bird for her home state, she enjoys seeing them on the lake, and she likes to hear their calls. She told me her favorite bird is a chickadee and then she said, ‘Besides, a loon isn’t a bird.’

She didn’t tell me what it was, though!

(Confusion is becoming more and more common, but there is always a reason for it. She’s tired, or the meds, or the treatments, or…….)