An invitation to stop and listen

This information is not mine. It was gleaned (for the most part) from NPR articles that will have links attached. The information is because of an intense discussion conducted with my family about the current US POTUS. They don’t like the man, but they like what he’s done and voted for him. So, asked them to convince me why he had been so good for our country. They didn’t have much time, because they were headed to meetings (it was a dinner discussion), but Little Bear cited an article on T and racism and how he wasn’t. Curious, I also looked after they left, and found some thoughts I felt worth sharing.

Now, the current US POTUS is an interesting character. In an article I didn’t actually complete my reading of because it got too technical, even for a gal with a basic college education, I learned something I felt was curious. The society of today likes to be entertained. They enjoy the messier bits of reality TV and seem to prefer a fast pace o anything visual where results are in a short time. There is an appeal in T with this. He has gotten some things accomplished (his first term was rather changing in the conservative movement of the US, because he axed many things, added others, and pushed through his agenda fairly quick) and absolutely no one has a clue what he’s going to say or do next. He is like a fast moving powerful train on a busy track that hasn’t got a stopping point to actually become a wreck of itself.

After reading Michelle Obama’s book, ‘Becoming’, I realized there was a lot more to being a person in power in the US than most of the biographies I’d read shared. Perhaps, it was because those were biographies and M’s book was autobiography from the side of the president. Reading her book made me realise how complacent I’d become towards the world in general and the US in particular. Granted, most of my time in the last 7 or 8 years has been wrapped up in my mom’s life and debris in a different state where I was disconnected from almost everything but mom, but still, not an excuse!

Looking at T and racism, I learned he was and is not the most racist president the US has had. He couldn’t be, he has no actual slaves. However, three things he has done are call to African nations ‘sh**hole countries’, he was an instigator behind President Obama’s birth in Hawaii not being legal, and he has referred to Mexican immigrants as being ‘rapist’. During one of his ‘debate’s, he touted White Power and The Proud Boys. “In 2020 for a person to be defiant of White Power, that is exceptional”. The article went on to say you could not compare post 60’s presidents to this one or you lose the perspective on why his comments are so dangerous and off center for what we should expect in this period. For past 60’s presidents, we know many were starkly racist in private (Lyndon B. Johnson and Nixon). Yet, there is a difference even there. Nixon, in particular, “understood the importance of governing. He was committed to the idea that the president presides”.

In T’s America First, he’s actually leaving the US on the sidelines. He wanted to use the leverage of the US being #1 in the market and that is waning. Making us ‘Great Again’ or ‘Keeping us Great’ isn’t happening. What was so great about the past? OK, besides 80’s rock and Bugs Bunny and Pac Man? Looking past the trends, I’m kind of fond of progress and normal changes.

Last, I meandered over to election news and started to cry. People encouraging someone else to do violence hurts my soul. During the election itself, a Biden bus had been shoved off the road and T thought it was funny and tweeted for more. Then, just this week, in GA, more of that anger was promoted. It does need to stop. Yes, both sides have broken out in crazy. Both sides have been wrong. But, someone from a place of responsibility needs to take a stand and stop it. Not necessarily police or military, but a voice of reason. Unfortunately, I’m not sure a voice of reason will be heard in this world of liking wound porn (sports injuries) or exciting dissension. However, I’m taking a stand in my spot against it and hope some of my followers will, too.

Let’s invite one another in. Maybe then, we can begin to fear less, to make fewer wrong assumptions, to let go of the biases, the stereotypes that unnecessarily divide us. Maybe we can better embrace the ways we are the same. It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about where you get yourself in the end. There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and to hear others.” Michelle Obama

Where am I?

One of my hardest things to do is to write without using the word ‘I’. When writing in a journal, it is well-nigh impossible to erase that tiny little word that stands so tall.  So, it is used. Often this blog is called ‘My Unfiltered Facebook’, so it is also where that word is over used. Will try to see where it can be replaced and where not!

At the moment, Oregon is going into a several week lockdown. Almost everyone is angry because it is infringing on their rights to live the way they see they should. There is no reasons for a police state. If I wat to do what I want, I should.  Americans have never been very good at following rules, which is why (in a small nutshell) we broke away from England in the first place!! The good old USA is also, as our local librarian said, ‘going bonkers’. (she is bringing me Michele Obama’s book ‘Becoming’. Which I will keep from Little Bear’s view as he detests anyone on the ‘other side’) I’m also waiting for a book, ‘Election Meltdown’ by Richard Hasen. That one looks fascinating. It intrigues me to follow our current POTUS. He’s so selfish and narcissist and it is so hard to understand why anyone trusts him. Although, one article suggested it is because he is the quintessential white guy and thus he fulfills the manliness of men. Shudder!!! Give me a man like Bond!!! (almost any of the Bond actors would be nice!)

The last weeks have been difficult. One of my dearest friends from the north unexpectedly died. The one who kept me the last night in my hometown. Who had the cool creepy glow in the dark angel that was shared a blog post or so ago. She gave me a chocolate chip cookie recipe that has been made 3 times since my return to the states. Twice since her death. Tasty little treat legacy.

Sent my sister a treasury check from the post office for her birthday, she’s not responded. In all honesty, there is a good chance she’s not checked her mail. (it is a cluster box about 20 feet from her drive) It was sent before the 4th. The house in AK had another extension filed, but yesterday sent off MORE notarized papers to the title office. By this time next week, it might be a done deal.

It has been educational. The last time a title exchange was made, with me as a participant, it was in an office and involved two of us. Most of my actions were listening and signing when told. So, a lot of this was new to me. Thank goodness for the internet!! (The Craftsman wasn’t exactly sure on many of the questions that came up, either.) One of the oddest things was something called a FedWire Routing Number. Now, on every checking account there is a routing number, had no idea they were the same for each branch AND that there was a different one for something called a wire transfer. If the wrong one was written, they’ll contact me to let me know and more pages will need faxed back and forth!! Once it is a done deal, then the power company and security company and the phone company can be notified. A relator friend reminded me to do that as soon as possible. She told me it is amazing how many people take advantage of a person who hasn’t disconnected utilities yet.

The weather here has definitely dropped into autumn. Not the vibrant dress of late summer (as in the first photo-my friend who died gave me that bra. comfy and cute), but the stark lines of almost winter. The trees have been now stripped by high winds and water is dripping from limbs like ink from too wet calligraphy. There was snow, the neighbor’s down the way had their kids build a snowman. It was about 4 and a half feet tall before it melted into the grassy sward. Perfect outdoor exercise! Building snowpeople is one of my favorite things, unless I’m under the weather. Which has been the case. Between glucose and some kind of cold and tired to bits and achy, staying inside and doing a few household chores is about it. Plus, missing my friend.

It is odd. Losing her is harder than losing mom. Granted, this lady was much nicer than mom. She helped me, commiserated with me, and encouraged me. She would also tell me grieving is important, but then, if she was here right now, she’d laugh and tell me to suck it up, buttercup and live. Ran across this quote on a pancreatic page from FB. “We are not promised tomorrow, so let’s love with all our hearts today.” It needs amended to this, “We are not promised tomorrow, so let’s live and love with all our hearts today.”

Left Behind-long post!

I didn’t realise how I left any readers hanging. I’m sorry. The lady did eventually arrive from the thrift store..mostly. She came and was planning to come back and couldn’t. I had to leave the organ for someone else to take care of for me! I did get rid of the rest of mom’s ashes. (Strider said I should have captioned them, ‘So long, and thanks for all the fish!’ They are the cloud in the middle photo) And then we reached the rest of the weekend.

Since my last post, I’ve returned to the Lower 48 and left my soul behind. I have been constantly busy to tears, absolutely confused, and frustrated. However, there have been a few amusing incidents here and there!

Those last days up north, I spent doing errands and cleaning. I managed to visit one set of friends and completely missed out on another since I didn’t do laundry (the last two times I had, this friend was busy). I packed dirty clothes in plastic bags to bring back! I took an old computer in to be taken apart and destroyed, I purchased a new set of shoes (since I couldn’t get a tattoo or anything that took time, I got Alaskan footwear! These are deck shoes or cuff boots), unloaded a ton of stuff from the shop at the hazardous waste day at the landfill, and saw this moose. Sunday was busy, but I did make sure to do visiting.

My last day out north was horrid. I am so glad I did my Sunday evening visit, but it made Monday both harder and easier. I also finally realized why my sister didn’t help me like the neighbors. My sister ‘wasn’t going to get anything out of it’, so it wasn’t her responsibility to help me do something she’d not have a gain from. I do give her a portion of the cash I make from selling things, but legally, the house is in my name.

At any rate, Monday I was in tears most of the day because I had so much to do, I cleaned the shop and the garage and the upstairs, and was absolutely aching with pain in my body and in my soul. I left the house mostly done, but not done like it should have been. That night I stayed with a friend and cried the whole way into my teddy bear. Until I spied the moose off the side of the road on a certain bend in the road. Then, I was less bawling and more just tears. The lady was a blessed friend who had driven me north last fall. I used her shower and a most amazing bed that was right next to a giant window without curtains overlooking trees and the inlet. Granted, it was pitch black out, but I could hear the wind and the water and see stars above me when I looked up! There was also an interesting piece of décor. I was decidedly startled when I turned off the lights! The lady is fairly religious, so I had no clue why a glowing creepy thing was in the room. Once I turned on the light again, I laughed and had to take photos! I also got a recipe for a cookie she calls ‘Princess cookies’. (cookies based on a recipe from Disneyland) They are quite good!

The next day I was driven to ANC. Driven is right! Get in the rig and go. I could barely move when we finally stopped at the place I was being dropped off at! I spent the day with another friend and we went to jewelry stores. I learned a great deal, didn’t make much cash, but the education was priceless. The lovely watch I asked mom for before she died was worth a great deal more than I was told by the person who wanted to buy it from me for 250-300$. (like a couple of thousand dollars more!) The disturbing necklace and earrings were amazing. The painted puffins are on fossilized walrus teeth about 300 years old!!!

We walked near a manmade lake and saw ducks and folks fishing. Later, I went to stay with an old friend. One I’ve had since my parents moved up the Peninsula. I had eggplant lasagna, bread dipped in vinegar and oil, and did my best to ignore the ridiculous arguments between the POTUS and his running mate. I also stayed in a huge bed I wasn’t sure I could get into adjacent to an interesting bathroom!

The next day we went to the airport and one of the persons boarding had kids and all kinds of animals, including a snake! The poor thing was in one of those plastic shoeboxes. I’m not sure where it went. I didn’t care, I was too upset about leaving Alaska.

I had a great seatmate. He absolutely understood my distress. He said he doesn’t understand how his family doesn’t want to move back, he does and will as soon as he can! I cried and cried and was so glad for a mask. No one could see my face, just the tears caught by the edge of the fabric on the mask, and I was turned to the window.

In Seattle, I discovered one of the dearest young persons ever sitting across from me in the waiting area. To be fair, she’s now an adult, but I’ll never forget the tiny three year old elegantly sitting down in a circle during preschool, swinging her blonde hair around, and insisting she was having a ‘bad hair day’. She texted her mom to say ‘You’ll never guess who is on my flight!’ Her mom texted back, ‘Russell Wilson?’ and the little lady went dark! So funny!! Her mom was very surprised, we’ve not seen each other in years and we live just miles apart! Little Bear picked me up and then we went shopping for meals for the rest of the week. I wasn’t thrilled with leftover pizza again (that was what I’d been eating in AK!). I washed my clothes and made cookies and am pretty much back in the normal ordinary swing of things, hanging out alone for the most part!

So, next post will be all Oregon.

Bullies

The last couple of days I’ve had a chance to talk to Strider. The first conversation was listening to a story he’d written. He calls me his editor. After that section was over, I was confused and it took a while, but  he finally got what confused me. And is going to fix it. It is a great story in a D&D world. I know a smidge about D&D and gaming, but the story is fascinating and I am loving the characters and their activities. The second conversation was more serious. He’s in a facility where he listens to world news constantly and, quite frankly, today’s surmises were terrifying. And made me sad.

It is not even August yet and I see this Princess Bride meme as a potent, laughable truth.

Covid-19 is not going away, the POTUS is finally deciding it exists. So, because he’s a bully, he’s going to find another pot (or several) to stir up. Strider sees this writing on the wall. There is political posturing going on between the US and China. When you have a bully around, you don’t ignore them, but you don’t give in. When Strider was in lower grades thru high school, he was bullied. He had to take classes to learn to understand and allow bullies their place. If he’d learned to stand up to a bully, then he’d have eventually been left alone. To give in was more acceptable. In a nutshell, the US has a bully in office right now. He likes to stir pots and backing him into a corner will make him break out with more stupid ass decisions (quote from The Avengers). Strider hopes China will not do more than poke the president, yet, if, at the end of October, the man sees he may not get re-elected, things could get very bad. He could easily send missiles over and blow up a single item. Like perhaps a dam. Killing billions, crippling China, and becoming a hero to the R-US voters for stopping a potential war in one stroke. Covid is being heralded as real and is making him look bad. The dictator actions to ‘take control’ with federal troops of American cities is making him look bad. At this moment, bills are being passed to help curb the powers of the president. Checks and balances seem fruitless. Yet, with Fox and social media, he has much of the US wrapped around his pinkie. Even his ability to fire off transcripts with no actual complete sentences or viable thoughts, doesn’t seem to bother anyone. (although, even some at Fox are starting to wonder. They will probably be replaced soon.) Strider called it ‘What about-ism’, where you deflect an issue with a similar one. ‘I’ may have done (a), but what about when that person did (b)? It is the same thing and you didn’t punish him, so I can do what I want. The only thing that matters is the person wanting to be proved right.

I don’t like being political. I was just thinking about some of the things we were discussing and wanted to share them. Perhaps my 31 year old is interpreting things poorly. Perhaps looking at the situation on the border between India and China isn’t that big a deal. Looking at the US and how The POTUS plays might be moot. I do know, when you focus on one spot, fires break out and grow in others. Yet, Trump loves being the main party in town and hates it when he’s not.

I’d prefer following A Rose is a Rose’s agenda politically, but I’m betting that isn’t going to happen for a while.

Masks and Mayhem

I made a FB apology, but I will reiterate it here. There is a meme making the rounds with a ‘trash panda’ as the mascot for 2020. I objected strongly to this meme because I assumed the word ‘raccoon’ was spelled incorrectly. It wasn’t. There are actually three ways to spell that animal’s name. ‘Rackoon’ (found in a 1775 dictionary), raccoon, and racoon. (the latter is not used often and the spell check on my laptop objects to it.) This meme has many words used that are not spelled properly, I most objected to the one mentioned. So, there you have it. I’m sorry for being a Spelling Nazi when it wasn’t necessary.

Phew, just gingerly ran down the stairs to answer the phone. The kid is at work, there is a momma and a puppy spaniel pair running amok and the kid asked me to post it on the town’s facebook page. Which cracks me up. NO ONE where he works belongs to this page, he’s the only one who actually lives in the area. FB is good at connecting. Once, the kid left his bari sax in a city park after a practice. I was able to FB to someone who picked it up and kept it while he went back. It is a lovely way to meet people, reconnect, share, and it can be a good thing. It can also be utterly awful and ruin relationships.

An acquaintance I have deleted her account because as the town librarian, the young wife of a young elder in a very conservative church, and a staunch Democrat in a heavily Republican town, she couldn’t read or argue with people she had to maintain a relationship with, in spite of their politics. I’m finding it frustrating myself. One of my favorite people lives outside the CHAZ area in Seattle, it is NOT as horrible as certain news parties makes it look. Yet, when I try to tell people it isn’t what they see on the news, I get dinged. You cannot make people think when their minds are strongly made up from what they believe is true.  

My Seattle friend shared a hilarious story about a mom who was walking with her children and were swept out of the way of the crowds. A Seattle news team responded when they saw the tags and wanted to interview the mom. The photo accompanying the story and frequently in the story, the mom’s species was prominent and was later unavailable for interviews. Mallard moms have more to do than quack with reporters. LOL  

In news here in Oregon. I do have a ticket north, I do have a reservation from ANC to the small town I need to go. Now, I need to get from that town to the house, just a few miles. So, I’m thankful. The state requiring covid tests is sort of frustrating. My health insurance only pays for a test if it is medically necessary. (I wonder if sorting mom’s is medically necessary for my peace of mind???) I keep realizing how things will work out, just let them and do what I can on my end to help. I even talked to a jeweler up north who will look at the stuff via an email and I can take them by when I get to AK. So, I need to figure out where to carry the baubles. As carry on, I don’t want to get dinged for the ivory. But, I don’t want to put it in my suitcase where it might be ‘lost’. I’ve been waiting for it to get sunny again and I’ll photograph the pretties in natural light. (One of them is filthy and I cannot find my cleaning kit. Since it is nugget gold and diamonds, I’ll let a professional tidy it.)

I’m also sewing masks. Or working on it. It has been slightly uphill. The ones I’m making have nose things (strands of thin copper beading wire that can be washed) and a place for filters. I much prefer cooking. A bit more of an ingredient usually doesn’t make the entire creation unpalatable. A miscalculation of a quarter inch can boggle the whole project when sewing! And people wonder why I don’t quilt. The first one I made works, but it looks quite a bit different from the ones the seamstress created in her video! I’ve also decided fabric softener is another bad idea. Somehow, when I washed the fabric, a few pieces got a lot more of the stuff than the rest and they make ME sneeze!!!

Speaking of sneezing, I have had a couple of more tests because of my tiredness and now sore throat. I had a strep test (my throat aches now!!) and a mono test. Both were negative. When I get back from the north, I’ll visit the doctor again and we’ll go from there.

Meanwhile, there are daylilies blooming and a tiny rosebush I haven’t seen bloom in person in years and itty bitty gold flowers on the trailing into the water stuff I don’t remember what it is called. I also discovered a musician I’d not heard of before. Which is crazy since my dad was a fan of blues and jazz. The movie on his life was partly fictional, but the guy ghosted the horn playing for Danny Kaye. Phenomenal artist!! “Red” Nichols. Enjoy and dance on, my friend!!! (he was also known as Miff Mole)

May Day 2020

What a year! So far, here in this part of EO, there have been floods, bad water from flooding, Covid, Little Bear found a black widow spider ‘ready to pop’, and now we have a new insect landing. Asian Murder Wasps that can reach 2 inches in length with stingers of a quarter inch. They prey on honey bees, ripping their heads off to pulp thoraxes for a delicious carry out. They can sting multiple times and aren’t afraid of humans. Washington State U is getting the word to people so the insects can be removed safely. (Now, I really don’t want to go outside!!!)

My May Day was pretty low key. I’d forgotten The Craftsman wouldn’t be home. We did get to watch an older movie later that night, ‘Willow’. Fun fantasy starring one of my favorite Little Person Actor (Warwick Davis) and a favorite taller actor (Val Kilmer).

Saturday was ridiculous. It was pretty nice out, so I decided to put up a trellis for sweet peas and nasturtiums. Eons ago, in Tillamook, I asked for a shower curtain to be cut in half and holes put in the sides to make a nonrusting support for a trellis. I still have those, but over the years I’ve used different middles for the actual trellis. This year, I decided I’d try bird nettings. (I detest that stuff, but it is a good way to hang things. Like climbing plants) It was incredibly frustrating. I was outside hammering the posts carefully (I didn’t want to ruin the hollow rods) into the soil and as I muttered my way back to the house for another idea, The Craftsman spoke to me from where he was sitting in a garden swing. (I had no idea he was around, he just came down to get something he needed for a job up at his mom’s.) He asked if I needed a larger hammer. I said no and eventually he left again. I opted to use zip ties to secure the netting to the rod, in the past I’ve used string, but most string is limp and very hard to thread through holes in a hollow inch wide rod. I used several ties before I realized I hadn’t cut the fabric carefully enough. It was almost as long as I needed, not as long. A difference of about 3 inches in one section of the netting. I was doing this during a dry thunderstorm, it didn’t stay dry long! About the time I realized I needed to do something else, the sky opened up! Little Bear came home from his grandma’s (the metal roofed shop was super loud from being hit with giant rain drops!) and found me a tool I thought was a funny sort of clippy pliers. Apparently, it is really called a side cutter. (the first photo is rain a ways off, the second is a dust storm that also showed up~)

After the rain stopped, I took the cutter thing outside and removed all the ties and turned the fabric around. Although, now it was WAY too long in a different direction, so I cut it… Eventually, I was starting to lose my sense of ‘I can do this’. My glucose was dropping, I needed to finish, I needed to make dinner, and I was so tired. I also needed to find a way to keep the fabric from blowing around at the bottom of the trellis, the top was pulling the sides together (The Craftsman today reminded me he’d put in a pole other times) and I found some plastic thingys that worked. I’d have preferred clothes pegs without metal springs, but I cannot find those. At any rate, I let it alone in the wind and the rain. (you can barely see the netting in the photo!)

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Weather has a tendency to move garden projects, so I thought I’d wait to work more on it on Sunday. Sunday arrived and I hurt. My back was aching with pains shooting into my legs from my ample booty. I wanted to cry!! My neck hurt and my glucose was higher than I wanted. I did wander back outside and realized as much as I liked that lovely almost invisible black netting, it was a bad idea. Birds could get caught in it while they fed from any flowers that might grow on it. So, rather than take it down, I found a bright gold Christmas garland of beads. I started to string it back and forth accordion fashion and decided it was very good. It still needs secured, but I do like it.

At the moment, it is 5 pm and I need to make dinner again (easy, biscuits and burger stew). For some reason the guys like to be fed. They are out and about I’m not sure where, the garden at grandma’s isn’t planted, Little Bear’s rabbit tractor isn’t finished, and that storm yesterday knocked the temps down almost 10 degree! Last week, mum’s Obi crossed the rainbow bridge. It is another tie to mom that is gone. He was incredibly annoying, but he was so well loved by the gal who adopted him and by mom and one of my favorite older ladies also died from cancer complications. Now, she’s with her beloved, too. In the midst of sorrow, there is so much joy. I am eternally grateful for those golden moments surrounding us with laughter, learning, and love.

Before

This weekend, most of the weather reports have forecast a wintry mix. I’m a huge fan of winter (in case no one noticed),  but with so much starting to bloom, I’m good with snow waiting a few months. This last week I’ve discovered that, in spite of the calendar and the forecast, the season is now summery. I wanted to buy slippers. I have a pair in Alaska and the ones in Oregon were wearing out. I was hoping to wait til I got home (Alaska) to retrieve them from the closet. However, when I went upstairs on Monday, I tripped. Hard. As I stumbled upright, I realised I’d be better off getting new slippers now and not breaking something before I got my other ones. (then again, travel might not happen anyway!) So, I went shopping for an item that is apparently seasonal. I, and the lady behind me in line, were both startled. Eventually, I did find a pair on a discount rack and they finally are stretched enough to fit comfortably! I tossed my duct taped pair away. (remembering mum kept things like this!!)

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My daffodil beds have more flowers each day, the snow will take out the rest of the crocus, but they are almost done anyway.  (I liked the ones with the leaf, there is so much promise in that picture!) I was writing a few St. Patrick Day cards this afternoon and realised I needed to take photos of a lovely tree up the road. (reminding me of a blogging friend!)  It is some sort of fruit tree, I can’t remember which one. I think the fruit is small and hard and orange, but I could be quite wrong!! (I’ve not been here for so long, I am not sure..) The blossoms won’t survive the cold and as I stood under it and photographed branches and flowers, I could hear it buzzing. Such an awesome sound when  you aren’t sitting down with a book in wasp territory!! There are already blossoms on the ground, a scattered snow of petals.

In the craziness around, it is good to remember seasons exist. The solstice will soon occur and spring will take off for real. It is a matter of time, if we can wait for it.

A Tech Plan?

Written at 1 in the morning on an incredibly blustery night. You know, during the time between dusk and dawn in the witching hour when thoughts wander and light on solutions that may or may not be logical because wind makes me nervous and I have to have something to do besides fret under blankets!

(The above is one of my favorite scenes from The Princess Bride. YouTube is wonderful about finding bits and pieces to share, the book is also excellent!!)

As I sit here in the darkened living room beginning to cool down from daytime furnace temps, I shiver while I contemplate not having a certain book to finish. In this late hour, I realized I can do what Fezzik and Inigio did. I can go back to the beginning. (So to speak.) Let me sum up and hope I make sense:

I have always wanted technology and managed quite a bit with the family desktop. Then, in 2014, a good friend purchased me my laptop. It was an amazing gift that transported me all over the net. (in spite of the odd screen glitch that has half of it slightly off color and wavy!) Around that time, another friend gave me her old kindle. (I had wanted one of those for quite some time!) In addition to these two incredible tools, I had a trac phone cell phone. It was a flip phone, but I was pretty good at texting via the alphabet keys! I used these devices a lot. Then, Amazon stopped supporting the older Kindles. (I recently learned, the devices can still be used in a roundabout way. You download documents to your computer and then load them to your kindle! Thus, giving lip service to the ‘we still support older models of Kindle’.) I sorely missed being able to get new books to read, yet enjoyed the ones I had.

In December 2016, I gained a more modern cell phone (because the one I had wasn’t working in the area of AK I was in) and then the iPad. They were godsends in so many ways. Yet, at this time in my life, I really only need the cell phone.  As much as I love my hand me down iPad, I don’t exactly need it. I can reluctantly mothball the technology until I can afford to get it fixed. I have mom’s kindle here at the house and can ustilise that for several of the things I did with the iPad. (NOTE: A person can have up to 6 devices linked to a single email for kindle. I won’t need that many and can decommission the oldest one.) I might even be able to load on a few games, in spite of their quirkiness! (not that ridiculous word one..although, I’ve gotten through so many levels on the IPad, perhaps I can fly through them on a kindle!!). The kindle is made for documents and I’ll just not download my naughtier books. At least not all of them!!!! Maybe I’ll keep some of the more innocuous titles and authors. Definitely Aiken. (LOVE that author!!) For the majority of the social media, I will go back to using the laptop. I will not worry about losing the things on the iPad. I will try to see if I have the photos elsewhere and put them in a different method of saving and hope those I can’t are not lost for good. With the documents, I am working with One Note. It appears they don’t like something in my identification. I’ve sent them an email and we’ll see what happens next. I absolutely will miss Facetime and Skype. Although, I’ve not used them in months, I still like that option! Skype on my laptop is dubious. Workable, but not as efficient as it might be. I’m not sure about apps with the Kindle.

I don’t like Amazon as much as Apple when it comes to devices (Apple is more close mouthed with its technology, allowing a user to be more private!), but gift horses should not be looked at in the mouth. You never know what you might find!

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Photo by Matthias Zomer on Pexels.com

Presents are wonderful things and I’ve gotten many I’ve taken care of, while using them thoroughly. I’m truly a fortunate person. (and speaking of gifts, the two I ordered for Little Bear’s birthday have arrived. They aren’t needed til the 4th! I was thinking I’d ask for purple hued duct tape for mine. I do not like mom’s hot pink kindle cover and duct tape might help make it more Kris. I might even use some stickers I’ve got around.) 

So, reading this over in the waning afternoon light before it is time to make dinner once more (what is that with always needing to feed people????), I think this is a doable idea. Especially since Microsoft sent me an email saying I could log into my account, but it is still locked. (I even tried to communicate with a ‘person’ and had to log in only to be blocked cuz of the account being locked!!) I also picked up more books from the library. Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Tales and Tamora Pierce’s Alanna quartet. The other ‘Witcher’ ones are on reserve…Hooray for books!!!

woman lying on area rug reading books

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One more sleep til 2020

One tends to reflect on the eve of a new year. (nose crinkle) This last day of January, I feel better than I have in ages. Still horrid, but not too bad at all. I self-diagnosed and think I hurt my back this last summer moving boxes. It aches and aches and I was almost in tears the other night. It even hurts into my right butt cheek! I see the MS specialist on Monday next, we’ll see if she addresses something other than MS. (Often a specialist will send you back to your regular doctor for other issues. Annoying, but I guess it is less hassle for them.) I don’t make resolutions or plans. It is almost another day that has a lot of  noise at midnight and not much else. So, to reflect from the bottom up. .

This last year I’ve read 171 books (in 2018 I read 154), most of them are old friends, but some are brand new reads. I’ve not baked near as much as usual (today I did make an odd batch of cookies, it only made about 4 and a half dozen). I did get much of mom’s house cleaned, even if there is so much left it makes me want to scream! I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on that place and mum with no to little hope of recouping any of it. I’ve not heard from the IRS to see if they are going to seize her property. It is in my name, so I’ll just go on like it does belong to me and go from there. I do not have all my holiday cards sent, I reckon I’ll finish that in the New Year. (Last year I didn’t send more than a few, so getting out more is a positive step.) I created new gardens and was a part of a November/December cycle of sick. I purchased a fitted bra, ran off and met mushers, and realised how people will step up to help in the most frustrating of times. There are a great many good people in the world, I’ve met quite a few this last summer. It has been a year with more positive than not and I am grateful.

The oddest thing. I’m a fretter. (It makes for a good story later) I tend to whine (like my followers don’t know that! Lol). I tend to fold up into naps when the chips are down and hide in fiction. The other day I got the oracle fairy cards I have and stood outside with no real question to have answered other than vague thoughts of the future and what might be next. I shuffled and dealt myself three cards and came inside to set them down on the table. I don’t know much about reading these fairy cards, I have a tiny notebook that has meanings inside.

The first card was upside down. This (the booklet says) means it is difficult. The card was ‘Rise above problems’. To step back, let go and be at peace. The second card was also upside down. It read ‘New Opportunities’. This one had a drawing of an open window on it telling me to stop looking for a door and take the window. To trust and to go to new places. The last one was face up and was ‘Breaking Free’. To stop being afraid and let go, although this one also talked about being responsible. The odd part? I’ve been seeing and hearing these thoughts all around me. In books I’ve been reading, in sermons, in other blogs I have read in my email.  To stop being afraid and to let go and to be myself. To let go of what might happen with the house and just do what I can. To trust those around me instead of just existing with them.  I am not the horrid person I think I am (although, there is a FB quiz that tells your inner you and your outer self. Outside I’m Snow White, inside I’m Darth Vader!)

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It is easy for me to get back into that person who serves and does and pushes herself away for others. I know I am a fortunate person. I have nothing to do except chores. I can read or play word games that annoy me because what the heck does that word mean and why did they use it and not something normal that won’t play anyway? (sorry, bit of a pet peeve there) Granted, I often am ignored and at the same time, I’m noticed.

Little Bear helped me research the Christmas present I wanted and he made sure to get it for me with his dad on Black Friday. The Craftsman gave me cash to help pay for a passport and Little Bear gave me a gift card for Amazon that I will use to get gifts for my family for birthdays. (because any of ‘my’ money needs to be spent on the house) I did not get a stylus or the energy bars I suggested might be nice stocking stuffers. No matter, as Little Bear said, I can use the Amazon card and get a box of styluses! So, yes, I am fortunate. Jake is using a lot of things she’s conned from mum’s and tells me this via fb or in brief calls. The antique dishes and silver and crystal and furniture. I’m glad they seem to be making her happy. She’s losing weight (now I’m the fat one! lol), spent a weekend in Seattle with her oldest, and seems to be busier than ever. I hope she can pen time to help me into her schedule next summer, but if not, it will be ok. I’ve learned how to wait, but I’ve also learned not to. Life happens in spite of what we want!

I don’t know what sort of exercises might need done to help make my back and right arm/shoulder feel better. I don’t know much at all. Yet, I am blessed by different friends around me online who encourage and care and let me grow. And someday The Craftsman might just do more than rest his hand on my hip or thigh and go to sleep!!! (OK, that latter might be expecting beyond reality, but I do love fiction!) YIKES! One thing I need to remember is to pay attention to the kitchen when I’m not in there. I was typing away and plumb forgot I was boiling eggs. Thankfully, there was about an inch of water left in the pan when I walked in to find a snack. I reckon it is a good thing I don’t have a lot to do, I don’t do what I need to very well! Silly, Kris. (Perhaps that will change..probably not!)

All in all, I think the best thing to do this next year is to focus and ‘Always Look on The Bright Side of Life‘. Shall we? (YouTube)

Fiction or Non?

I’m sitting up reading and commenting on stories of people (blogs) I follow, many of them dear to me. I went to a Christmas breakfast last Saturday and listened to a life story of a relative. The wife of a state senator, a portion of her story she finds not entirely relevant to the book she’s living. As Sarah says in ‘A Little Princess’, ‘we are all a story.’  I look at mine, (it’s what we do at the end of the year, look and reflect) and I wonder.

I devour fiction. I have a pin that carries the words ‘Fiction is Fun!’ I agree. I love to write fictional stories and create characters (sometimes the characters don’t listen to me, I finally just let them behave the way they want.). Yet, in prose and poetry and in Around the Korner  (unless otherwise stated), I write nonfiction. I’m more honest in this place than I am anywhere else. Facebook has been encouraging people to post photos of now and then. I laughed. I may have been on Facebook for ten or so years, but I’m not in many pictures! And I wonder how fictional those posted are?

It is crazy how life twists and turns like a skein chased by a kitten through a dining room. At this moment, I’m resigned to leaving my home next summer and not going back. There is so much I need to get organized there, but more here. (Probably because I’m bringing so much of mum’s debris back to Oregon!) My health is terrible, my soul cries out to stay north, but if I look at choices in a nonfiction manner…gods, I hate being logical. I did have a dream where I had a small house in a part of the area I don’t want to be. It was just a dream. Maybe.

Talking to The Craftsman about anything serious is difficult. We do have a long car ride this week, but he’s sick and I know difficult things are not easy to discuss when a person is sick (which is more than likely why sick kids used to each tv all day! Not mine, mine had to stay in bed resting if they were home from school. My kids nicknamed me The Evil Momster.).

(WordPress didn’t like my nickname, so I need to start a new paragraph. It keeps changing me to a mobster!) At any rate, it should be an interesting trip. I’m just going to keep him company. Little Bear is worried he’ll need to manage the house. I’m betting we will be back by the time he gets off work. If the trip was with the kid, we’d stop and take pictures. The dad is less inclined to meander. It’s a matter of perspective. Little Bear uses a vehicle to take him places he can’t get to easily. The Craftsman uses a vehicle to fix and get from point a to point b. Granted, sometimes the second perspective is necessary when the first one goes awry. Those end up great stories after time softens the incident! (Truck in a ditch during deer season)

Needless to say, I’ve no idea where my story is right now. Besides staying up past 2am in a chair in Oregon. I do know I need to start eating like I did in Alaska (less bread and sweets and more veggies and meat), my hemoglobin  A1c is horrible! We can’t afford a cool doohickey to help monitor my glucose, but I’ll manage. I’ve not decorated for the holidays much, I felt it didn’t matter. This weekend we’ll put up a tree and watch Muppets Christmas Carol. That will definitely perk me up! I’ll also send out boxes and maybe even Christmas notes. Giving is the best part of this season. I enjoy that part of the story. It’s the fun section in the nonfiction. 💕

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