The Bright Side?

There was a song I was thinking of about my latest experiences, but I cannot recall what it was! I’ll just hum that great tune from Monty Python’s Holy Grail, ‘Look on the Bright Side of Life’.

Today is Monday. I hope to get this posted today, but as Mondays go..well, it is one of those Mondays!! Although, to be fair, it probably started on Sunday. I was sorting photos using the storage drive I’d purchased (my passport, nifty little doodad!). I have taken a lot of photos of home the last years and was hoping to get them all organised. (a friend asked what was so important about them? I guess for some, photos from ages past aren’t that big of a deal, but for me, they show milestones and experiences I’d like to remember. And learn from, if necessary!)At any rate, I could not find images from 2014 anywhere, except on a camera chip. I knew I’d sorted them previously, because I had found a record of those pictures. But, after looking, I determined it would be necessary to copy and paste them from the camera chip and sort them again. After sorting almost a month of Alaskan pictures before mom was so ill, I realised I needed to find some photos of Mom’s. She’d taken photos during the same excursions and it is always interesting to see another’s point of view. While looking for mom’s pictures, I found my sorted photos. So, yeah, copied and pasted the sorted ones (that also had mom’s) and deleted the ones I had been working on from the ones on the chip. 

Then, it was Monday!!! I managed to almost burn a fried egg for breakfast (which was nasty even at almost! ewwwww!), drove for the first time longer than a few blocks and was a nervous wreck. Got to my dentist appointment and discovered it was not a cleaning, like I’d thought, but an appointment that had been rescheduled twice for a sore tooth. I didn’t know I had a sore tooth!!! So, the doctor smoothed down a sharp filling, which was really nice. Now, it doesn’t catch on my tongue! Had a super low glucose, that went super high after treating it in a parking lot. Couldn’t find what I wanted at Walmart, ended up at Safeway and eventually got back to the house. Little Bear came home from work and told me a large shipping containment finally arrived after several months and is slated to be sorted on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Except, Wed he was going to drive me to my appointment in Wenatchee!! 

One of the blogs I follow suggested paying attention to the magic in the mundane. I used to pray and focus my thoughts on the person who belonged to the socks I was folding or who had used the dishes I was washing or on the person I was addressing an envelope or an email to. Making meals with love instead of with ‘because it needs to be done.’ Can I turn Monday around with that point of view? Let me do and not just try!

 Off to finish laundry and dinner and perhaps I’ll get this posted before it is ‘old’! Although, quite honestly, the bright side should never be old! (all photos from 2014

Heavens to Betsy! (and where did that phrase come from???) I managed to leave a tissue in a pocket, which put bits all over that particular load of laundry. Then, at dinner I found out that Mittens had cornered a mouse, but Little Bear didn’t know that and let it go (The Craftsman had noticed it after his first alarm went off, sort of helped her, and then went back to bed.). They didn’t tell me cuz they didn’t want me to ‘freak out’. I then emptied out drawers I keep bread in and covered bins of bagged flour, bagged sugar, and chocolate. Because I don’t mind mice in movies or books or outside, but I do NOT like them in the house. (Note, now Little Bear has messy basement bunnies, their spilled food is a draw, too.) And my glucose keeps dropping and I’ve already eaten what I thought was a lot of carbs! Piffle!!! (but it is all sort of funny, cuz Little Bear wanted to bring me a glass of diet pepsi instead of milk to raise my glucose. He did bring me milk.) Definitely a Monday!!  (And I really really wish I could figure out how to smallerize photos on Chrome!)

What is a Woman?

Just finished an anthology of women’s literature called ‘A Jury of Her Peers’ by Elaine Showalter. The title is also a work by Susan Glaspell.  Am not going to give you reviews on the book or story, I’ll probably refer back to the anthology often. It has made me aware of so many facets of women’s literature I’d not known or even thought of. The last chapter shares how in the 90’s women authors were not constrained by the parameters of the past and could write freely. Yet, many of us women remain in bondage of many kinds.  

Was reading an article, before it annoyed me and made me wonder why I was reading it. It was about women’s fashion and what NOT to wear or do in fashion as an older woman. What to stay away from because it would peg you as ‘old’ or ‘living in the past’ or even (dare we suggest such a thing!) ‘unfashionable’!! From how to not wear makeup from plucking eyebrows (Will remove stray ones, but those odd shaped designs are seriously odd!) to powdery caked on layers. Hairstyles that are ‘too long’ and past your butt to bouffant ‘up scaled’ Farrah Fawcett designs. Then, there were accessories. Apparently the handbag is not cool. Although, the photo made me just wonder. What on earth would a person carry around a tiny hand sized bag for? It might hold your ID and perhaps a tampon, but not a whole lot more. My personal carryall is just that. It is a small backpack I’ve carted around for almost a decade and it is starting to fall apart. (searching online has made me aware that they are truly not in vogue anymore.) My bag can carry paper books, a tablet, spoons (at least two), a pair of socks, assorted coinage, supplies for diabetes, meds headaches, and tummy aches, at least one tiny notebook, assorted writing utensils from sharpies (in purple) to pens and pencils, it can hold a camera, my cell phone, an address book, a small zipper pouch with important stuff like med lists and emergency numbers, my wallet with all sorts of things, including my eldest son’s high school id (I know, completely useless, but fun), needles and thread and safety pins, assorted bandages for minor wounds, and rocks I’ve found that are dear to me. Am pretty positive this bag would be considered totally bad fashion.

Clothes were a huge topic in this list of fashion faux pas photos. Floral or animal prints are bad when you are older, baggy clothes are ok if you wear a tighter top or bottom half to offset the bag. Pastels were viewed as something older women need to steer far away from. They are for younger women, who aren’t washed out by them or look like they are grasping their youth. Capri or shortened pants are a very big no no, since they make one look very short and wide. (the author suggests skirts, and probably has no idea how horrid it is when your legs stick together when it is hot outside) Skirts are a good idea, but not jersey fabrics or dresses or long skirts or too short ones. The latter make you look legless or like you are grabbing for a youth you missed and the former tend to mold to the body and reveal lumps everywhere. Like jeggings and tights. Older women should stay away from those because they reveal way too much. Turtle necks and long sleeves are bad unless the weather warrants them because people wonder what might be hiding and a turtle neck can make you look neckless. Speaking of, big and loud accessories such as flamboyant necklaces or earrings or bracelets should be limited. Agreed, Coco Chanel suggested looking in the mirror and removing one item of jewelry and it makes sense. However, tossing brooches out with the garage sale stuff is sad (I love pins, don’t wear them, but I do adore them!). Finally, the author arrived at shiny tights (hose are a complete waste of time for a woman of any age). If an older lady needs tights, they should not be in a nude color. Dark colors or black. About this time, I exed out of the article and deleted the history!!

While I was reading the last of Elaine’s anthology, I realized, why do I need to follow some fashion guru on what I can or cannot wear? Why do I need to follow what someone else wants to be the person I am? So often today many of us are confronted with ‘don’t do this or wear this or act this way’ because someone will be upset. Often in the anthology, it seemed that an author from one period was ostracized in later years for what they were writing. Over and over women were tied to a way of life, writing, living that was stifling creativity and being. Many of those women committed suicide to escape.

Women still are being stifled. Some of us have been able to break free of conventions and restraint, and for those who have, they embrace the freedom they have earned in spite of cost. Family and friends look askance at that freedom. Well-meaning folks criticize our choices and yet, is it realistic to toss what others think out and only promote self and personal desires to achieve and be? The book, ‘The Feminine Mystique‘ talks about this for American women. I wonder if it is the same all over the world?

Is that what the phrase means, ‘It’s lonely at the top’?

A New Season

Spring is officially here. The crocus are done, mostly because after they were in their last bloom it commenced raining. Crocus in the rain become purple mush. (must remember next fall to purchase crocus of different colors!) The daffs are up and the first golden trumpets are shining out the glory of spring, the double daffs and the narcissus will follow with their own responses. There are buds of green on the lilac and the rose bushes and violets are springing up all over the yard with tiny golden buttons of dandelions. So do love these months! Even the rain is grand, you can imagine it soaking into the soil where waiting bulbs and perennials and seeds are able to soak in the nourishment of moisture and when the sunshine and warmth comes back. Oh! Spring is such a well-dressed, busy time of year!

With the onset of March, illness has ran rampant in the household. Started with steroids, though. The doctor had me lined up for x-rays for my sore lower back and arm/shoulder and gave me a run of steroids to help keep me from all the ibuprofen I swallow. Well, the x-rays showed there really isn’t any reason for pain, but the steroids have absolutely helped. Not sure how long they stay in one’s system, but I’ve only had a smidge of pain now and then. So lovely! The taste, however, was beyond nasty. I wrapped them in bits of Jr. Mints to make them more palatable. (odd, shrank these photos a LOT and they look HUGE on my screen.)

While those were being taken, what seemed to be allergies were attacking. The Craftsman was so sick, he took two days off of work and the doctor gave him sinus infection meds. This gal was sicker than a dog, but had so many errands the first week of March, it was ridiculous. Most days I never leave the house and if I do, it is for one or two errands in a single day and then nothing for weeks. However, this month I had appointments and meds to pick up and discovered my ODL was expired (opted to get the Oregon Real ID and the card is so pretty and shiny. My photo looks like a mug shot, but the card makes up for it!). Since Friday the 12th have not gone or done much of anything til this weekend. Hae barely even been online. Did email my physician and she told me to get a covid test. Although, she told me that last Friday and this weekend has been a complete change from the last few weeks. Taste and scent have returned for the most part and I don’t have a serious tummy ache. What I do have is worse. Intense itching and a rash all over my body. Reminds me of chicken pox without the blisters. Wore socks on my hands to sleep to keep myself from itching at night. Appears it might be a reaction to an antidepressant I’m supposed to take twice a day and only take once. Did tell the physician, but information on the drug suggests it will go away in a few weeks when my body is used to taking it. The drug has some good side effects, though. Am not as tired and have lost weight!!! (although, that could also be from not eating many carbs while I was sick. Half cups of dry cheerios was my main nibble snack in a day.) Oddly, the drug also causes some of the same symptoms as covid, so there you go! Crazy. The kid was sick for a short while, too. He may have escaped most of what his parents had, hoping so!

Baked Sunday, for the first time this month. Making meals has been about all I could handle. Will need to pay better attention. The brownies had to be taken from the oven a bit after being popped in, had to add another 1/3 a cup of flour to the mixture.  (writing was small. Didn’t realise it was 1 2/3 a cup!) The end result looked unusual, but covered it all with homemade chocolate frosting and was told they are very good.

The animal kingdom here has been modified. Moses is enjoying spring, Mittens is annoyed she cannot go outside, and the rabbit kits have been culled. They were fighting and one of the males ended up in quarantine with the nickname ‘Scarface O’Harelip” because his face had been rearranged. Another had been mis sexed and gotten of the girls he was cohabitating with pregnant! At 14 weeks!!! No matter, Little Bear is hoping for two more litters from adult females. There is a squirrel family chasing around the trees and bushes, red wing blackbirds are visiting the feeder with the finches, sparrows, and juncos, and I’ve discovered a few lady bugs!!! Little Bear also brought me a chrysalis of what is probably an angle shade moth. (I’ll put it outside again!)

Turning my back on the lovely end of winter. Looking forward to what the new season has to offer!

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.