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’?

Change the world, one note at a time

Not in the park, nor is it the 4th, but it IS Saturday. And Saturday is a great day to celebrate life and change the world. One tiny moment at a time. (Fun song from Chicago, YouTube, and MTV)

Was in bed this morning when Little Bear came to the door (he chose to work for a neighbor Saturday, so was  up way before his normal time of about 11 am) to tell us the clouds were stunning with the sunshine. After he left, his dad got up, dressed, kissed me good morning, and went off to start his day. Which made me realise that in spite of aches and pains, morning hair (worse than morning breath when one has longer locks and goes to sleep with them wet!!!), and an ample gut, getting up and moving appears to be a better choice than trying to stay in bed and moving!! Also thought about the mussy upstairs area full of scattered paperwork and what not and decided that would be my job today.

Alas, the best laid plans of mice and moms, and so on. Little Bear was right, the sunshine was amazing this morning and made every single dust bunny and smut stand out. Their basic camouflage was gone and good lord was it a mess! Thinking of bunnies made me decide to pop outside and visit the herd while it was nice. They are all so different feeling. Some are super soft, some love the spot between their eyes rubbed, others prefer behind their ears, and Slate is a crack up! She seems stand offish, but grab her long stick (she has a stick she sometimes loses because it fits through the holes in the cage, but it is a favorite to chew on and carry around) and ‘fence’ with her and she loves it! She growls and grabs the stick and pulls and if you rub her with it, she closes her eyes and rubs back. So very odd. Had no idea a rabbit could growl!!!!! They really are a lot like cats. Little Bear even said he understood exactly why the babies are called kits, ‘because they are kitten adorable.’ Yesterday, he commented that their fuzziness factor was increasing. His dad asked if they were becoming pets and Little Bear laughed. The kid said that they should lose their ‘too cuteness’ in a couple more months and become just 9 pound rabbits. The latter, while still kind of cute, are not near as cuddly as a handful of baby bunny. (The babies, during my visit, were piled up in the nest box, so my focus was on the adults.)

Once back in the house, The Craftsman got busy elsewhere (he had been watching me with the rabbits, later he cut up chunks of stick for them to play with-like toy blocks, but round.) and inside dust bunny removal began. There really were quite a few of the critters. Pretty sure they multiply as fast as the real rabbits, too! The craziest thing was finding thick dirt on the rungs of the dining room chairs. Had no idea dust would build up on those, which is probably why they appeared to have a grey overcast to their shine! Even managed to vacuum the funky looking cactus that was acquiring a multitude of cobwebs. Needless to say, when my glucose monitor buzzed at me to tell me it was falling fast, it made sense.

Was thinking about putting up more snow and winter décor, but the step ladder is too short to reach certain places. (the human is probably too short, but it makes it less personal to say the step ladder is!) Why on earth do their directions say don’t stand on the topmost step when the top step gets you closer to the place you need to be??? Although, to be fair, the shelf was still out of reach. The Craftsman often tells me he’ll help me if I ask, but asking more than three times is my problem. Except, will ask once more and then the boxes will be put aside til the kid can be asked. It is less stressful for me to ask the almost 27 year old than the guy over 55! Lol

The Craftsman just breezed in almost an hour ago to say he’d be back in a little bit.  The fog is also coming in, so it is a good thing the dust bunnies were cleaned up earlier!!! It is very odd out there, the sun is shining, but the fog is wrapping everything in shrouds of grayish white and there is water dripping on the living room window!!!!!! Not really photo worthy, but definitely interesting. And chilly. Moses wants a lap and is walking around meowing, hoping one might materialize. Silly cat! (he prefers The Craftsman, but will reluctantly take mine if he has no other choices. He’s seriously put out at the moment because my lap is hidden by the desk the laptop is on.) Ah, Little Bear came home and is thawing out shrimp and opening up a can of tuna. Now the meowing is at a different decibel and in a different room.

Oh dear, may not ask anyone for help. The Craftsman got one of the trucks stuck in the mud up at his mon’s place and is frustrated, Little Bear is trying to find reasons why the ground is muddy (the moisture could have come up from below after the deeper soil thawed. Which is fascinating, but doesn’t get the truck unstuck!), and think a couple of coconut chocolate snickerdoodles might be good right now. (made snickerdoodles with a bit of coconut flour. Very tasty and, surprisingly, not hard on my glucose).

Have a splendid day whatever day it is in your area and make that small change to make the world a better place!

I tunes

This is more an ‘I’ post. And why I chose Elton John’s song. Life sometimes hurts.

My tummy aches, my head aches, my throat is sore, every so often there is a coff, and my joints hurt. It is probably a cold, but it isn’t much fun. Then, the house money has appeared in my savings account. It sounds good, but it needs to be apportioned out. Yet, little of it will be for me. The house in OR needs to have a lot of the mortgage paid for (Little Bear really thinks all of it is a good idea, because then his dad can save for the future. BUT, I know The Craftsman will not do that, so I’ll pay a poart of it. He says he will do things and doesn’t. He’s been talking about canceling the Dish account for 3 years and finally just paid off the late account again.) Some of the money will go towards mom’s bills and misc things and taxes for her and for me (the house will cost a not so pretty penny. Pretty sure I will NEVER end up gaining more than I give out). The Jukebox Kid still owes me 400$ and the OR house freezer died a few months ago and the desktop the OR household uses doesn’t work as well as it should by freezing (perhaps I can use it for a freezer?!?!?). Now, in addition to the loss of my iPad last winter, my beloved laptop is about to give up the ghost. It also needs a new battery, so I’ll see if one can be found for this 2013 little worn out piece of HP technology. The Craftsman told me to use some of the AK money for myself. I will. Had forgotten, some will need set aside for my cell phone (he’s got TracPhone and that is one plan I seriously do not care for! So, will pay for my own. Although, he robably thinks we should share. He’s been paying for my account since Dec 16, when that stopped working in the north. Granted, it is rarely used in the states, but that and my meds and the lovely gold nugget and jade watch being worked on should be enough of money spent on me.) Mom’s old kindle is a pain in the butt, but it works for the most part, at this time and was told the household kindle is available to use. (Although, I’d need to delete from my account anything “inappropriate”, which is probably a good thing, anyway.) I’d hoped to visit my relatives in MN, but The Craftsman says he won’t go and Little Bear says he has everything he needs right here in EO (he feels well-traveled since the couple of trips to Washington DC and the ones to AK). I suppose that is where I belong, too. The time I had to find myself and the experiences I’ve had are held in beautiful memories. Must keep reminding myself of this. I am not a mama squirrel reaching for unattainable seeds. Or am I???

Squirrel hanging around in the yard.

With the laptop, paper is still a very viable tool. Journals are supposed to be on paper anyway! Plus, it will help me curb my more fanciful thoughts and words since notebooks are everywhere in the house and are easily opened up by anyone. Mum’s laptop is usable. It has been how the taxes were filed the last couple of years, how online banking is done in the house and her journals and datebooks are being put on that. (Slowly….) The photos on my laptop can be transferred to more thumb drives. Many places visited online can also be terminated or put on hold indefinitely.

It is funny. The iPad was a gift that helped me survive the last years of mom’s life. The laptop was a gift my first summer in AK and helped me discover many new things and brought me into WP, also sustaining me while I was north. With the house gone and the car with a potential buyer, all my tangible ties to home are gone. It makes sense the laptop and the iPad are going away, too. I fully expect my cell phone to give up the ghost, soon, too!!! Was sad when my eldest mentioned he’d accidentally deleted our conversation history. It hurts to lose some of those, especially when a person dies. There are two short conversations on mine that belong to dear friends no longer on this side of the sun. They will stay as long as possible. This cute bit I’ll also keep. It is from a friend I was discussing a project Little Bear was doing and the dinner I was making with. Sleep check is sooo annoying!! Lol

All in all, my Tuesday will be busy. Need to call my Alaska bank and see about a phone appointment-perhaps they can help me instead of the one in the city we’ll be passing through on Friday. Several immediate bills need paid and the utilities to the house need terminated. Not sure how to responsibly do that. The realtors told me it’s no longer my responsibility and to just do it. However, my own sense of responsible suggests a need to contact the buyers to let them know so they can get them turned back on ASAP. With the temps up there, an all-electric house without power could freeze fast!! Not to mention, if there isn’t any security on it, someone could get into it. Granted, it is empty, but it is also out in the middle of close to nowhere (not Know Where, as the place where the collector lived. Although, mom was a collector and had a few things of value and lived in an area where natural resources were being mined…..). At any rate, it is a dilemma. Do I ditch being responsible and act in a selfish manner or do I try to figure out how to reach the buyers and let them know? So annoying. I know exactly where they live, I know where their main business is in town, but I don’t have any actual contact information!!! I’ll try to see if I can leave a message at the main place. CRAZY!!

Photo by Markus Distelrath on Pexels.com

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.”

Selfish.

Being a selfish human being, I understand why people are. We like what we want and tend to go out of our way to get it. Yet, it isn’t a nice trait to have. My writing a blog about myself is selfish. It started, as many of you know, because of mom. Now, I just write.

mom and my sister’s old dog.

I’ve been avoiding FB due to the upcoming election in the US and popped online for a moment and found my sister’s dog had been put down. But, I was confused. She had told me weeks ago they were going to do this and then I see her post shared from a lost and found pets page talking about horrible injuries! So, I sent a message and she called. To tell me that he had been run over in the road (the dog LIVED in the road and people stopped to give him treats or honk or yell) by someone who gave him a treat and then the dog had bled out in the yard, so they took him in because he couldn’t do much but drag around on his front legs. Confused, I asked how come they took him to a vet if he’d bled out. Well, it appears it was just seriously bleeding for four hours and he wasn’t eating or drinking and his bones were crushed in a paw. She then told me Gigman didn’t want to add to 2020 by having the dog put down and since their daughter was having her wisdom teeth out, it was just too much for this year. But, after they did, FB ‘blew up’ over it. I asked why she posted the old dog’s passing on such a public venue, because that is probably why it ‘blew up’. She then said the dog was a community dog and people in FL who visited would ask about the dog online. I suggested a sign saying the dog was gone would have been less stressful, but she said people would come in the drive and honk to give out treats or ask how they were (she has two) and FB is the fastest way to share information. Then, she got pissed at me for trying to understand why she was upset at how fast it spread after sharing it online and hung up. I’m sorry the dog was finally put down, I should not have tried to understand her point of view, and I should have been more caring and reasonable. Especially as the responsible older sibling. She already sees me as selfish because I didn’t leave her the car and the house is in my name. Now, I’m even more awful.

My fancy new sensor failed this morning. A bit more than 24 hours before the 14 days. However, I understand why. I’d caught my arm in doors twice and the door of the freezer section in a store once and snagged the sensor on a towel once. I find it funny I go through doors now trying to keep my shoulders in, when I’m not exactly The Rock. It is nice to have it gone for now. I’ll see if I can afford more.

The house is still pending. I e signed another extension. I’m trying to get the guys to plan out their next month instead of waffling along saying they have to do things and not getting them done. I tend to not be incredibly organised, so I’m not sure why I want them to try it. I reckon it is cuz I get frustrated with their whining about not having time to get things done. Someday it would be nice to not be so responsible. (I am not getting the laundry done today, Little Bear hasn’t quite got his done yet and I am waiting it out. I did put his dishes in the dishwasher so I could run those…)

Then, there is the most selfish man of all, hell bent on another term in office. Apparently, he’s well liked by most men. Not entirely by all women. This person has polarized our country so much there are marriages and families and friendships that have been torn asunder. It is like being in a modern civil war. Where is grace or forgiveness or gentleness in mankind when it comes to religion or politics? Is that core of selfish so strong within that we don’t see sunsets or the petals in a flower or the flavors in chocolate?

Mon’s photo from when I was probably 8.

Diabetes and Spiders

Odd title, but bear with me!! (not BARE, sheesh!)

Tuesday was a rather interesting day. I had a doctor appointment at 1030 and labs at 10. Thankfully, they were in the same building, but I wasn’t called for the labs until 1015. Now, I’m not a very good blood draw and since I was also scheduled for a pee test, I asked if I could do that part before the blood part. Thankfully, the phlebotomist said yes! I then was settled in what appeared to be the break room in a reclining chair. After looking over both arms, she proceeded to go into the left one at the elbow section. I was doing my best to not pay attention, but was a bit surprised to overhear a soft, ‘oh.’ (turned out my veins were not cooperating as well as she’d have liked, but she prevailed and it worked!)

I went to my next appointment and as I walked in, was called. This one was…I’m trying to think of a word to describe how I felt. Thankful. That is the best one. My Diabetes person jumped on my desire for a CGM or a continuous glucose monitor. This is a device that constantly monitors a person’s glucose without finger pokes, in a nutshell. The one she fitted me out with is called a Freestyle Libre 2. It is not covered by my insurance, but she said she was going to get my information sent to somewhere else where it would be less expensive for me to buy the things out of pocket. I hope so, the little parts that are stuck in the body are spendy buggers. They do last for 14 days and allow for unlimited testing during that time, has alarms if it goes too high or too low, can be worn in water, and has several other sorts of bells and whistles. It won’t tell me the reading, but all I need to do is move it over the sensor on my skin and see what it says. It can be connected to a phone, but I’m not going to use that feature. It does have an insensitive touch screen, but the most amazing part is how this reader and sensor are cutting edge technology already being replaced by the company! This was available in the US about June of this year. There is a new one hitting the markets overseas in a couple of months! (which is probably why my insurance doesn’t cover it yet. The insurance also requires extensive information on how often tests are taken, what amount of medication is used, and verification of this data by the physician and whether or not the patient actually needs it.) The video is long and informative.

I enjoy this guy. He makes me laugh and is helpful.

The little reader is about the size of an old fashioned flip phone and the sensor in my arm is about the size of a couple of stacked US quarters. Two things that made me laugh about this amazing technology were these. 1) The sensor is placed in and on the skin using an easy to place and use holder that essentially pushes the needle into the body and adheres the sensor to the skin. Mum had something similar for her insulin pump and we used it each time she needed it, until it was accidentally thrown away in a hospital setting as just an odd looking bit of plastic. This Freestyle piece about the size of a K cup is disposable. It cannot be reused again. 2) The reader of several hundred dollars has a life span of 3 years. I have had glucometers that use strips for many many years and they are still useful, outliving their expensive pricing. If there is one thing I have learned about Diabetes over the decades I’ve lived with it, it is never cheap and it is big on disposal. Syringes, strips, tubing, little electronic doohickeys, packaging, lancets, lancet devices, and what not. The other very odd thing I found, I need to verify. From my reading, it appears the reader won’t work if the temp is under 50 degrees F and above 115. (does this mean it is an inside only item and do I need to sleep with it next to me to keep it warm since there are some nights in winter here in EO where the house drops below the 60 degrees F of what the inside night temp is set at??—that was a bit of a run on!!)

The next part of my Tuesday was a life lesson. I think. I had gotten out to the car and opened an energy bar. While I was eating it, I noticed an intrepid spider scurrying up the antennae. I watched it for quite a while as it sat there. I even photographed it! I was incredibly curious why it had climbed to the top of this long antennae and what it was thinking. But, I did need to leave, and hoped the car vibrations would encourage it to climb back down. The parking lot was really bumpy, I noticed it carefully climbing down a few inches, then opted to pull over to let it get someplace safer. It stayed about half mast! I kept an eye on it as I drove to the first stop light. It was clinging valiantly to the vibrating antennae and moved a few inches lower at the first light. At the second light, it moved back UP an inch!! (it was a long light) Unfortunately, from there it had to hold on tight as I drove on the highway at 55 mph. There were a couple of more lights, but it didn’t seem inclined to move much further down the rod to a safer locale. About 25 minutes (or so) into the ride, out of the corner of my eye, I saw it lift up a few legs and it was gone. I was very sad. In just 7 more miles it would have been safe on a parked antennae. How often do we as humans cling desperately to something precarious, only to give up at the last second, when hope is around the corner? (I was going to say ‘the end is around the corner’, but there was a car behind me and I’m not sure if the little thing survived flying through the air at high speeds, so it may have been the end!)

I was then distracted by an orange gas light. Apparently, I’d been using the car and forgetting to fill it! As I got into town, I heard an alarm go off. Not ever having driven this rig to practically empty, I wasn’t sure if it was the vehicle. Thankfully, it was from my bag. The new CGM was alerting me it was ready to use and told me so for quite a while! (it needed to wait an hour to start.) I just went home and gave the kid money to put some gas it in it later! Technology!

On Sunday’s Eve

I’m pretty tired tonight. For the first time in ages, I was able to feel well enough to work i the yard. But, it was too much all at once. The iris bed of yellow and burgundy flowers needed to be thinned years ago. Not being in the area, I didn’t do it. This spring, they were already growing. Didn’t have the heart to hurt them by moving them. Anyway, I got most of the patch of yellows done. The ground is pretty solid underneath the grass and the grass is stuck hard in the rhizomes. (Life is often like that. Crowded roots hinder growth and aggressive weeding is needed to let in light and those things we need to survive.) The rhizome below has grass roots woven in with iris ones. Messy.

I also found a few surprises in the yard. Violets (not many, but a few!!) blooming, ladybirds, and bright dandelions!! Odd. That photo has 3 dandelions in it. I shrank it quite a bit, too!! Piffle.

The kid moved a pregnant mantis for me, I learned both sexes of mosquitoes buzz, and that it must be getting chilly because wasps are moving into the basement entryway to rest on the walls. (YIKES!!)

But, I’m tired. On another bright side, I may get to spend a couple of hours with The Craftsman by ourselves on Friday. We might go for a drive. He has the day off, but is helping a local farmer with an unexpected big project. That absolutely needs done before the weather deteriorates. However, there is a hope to spend some time together and that is pretty nice. I think the last time we did something alone (besides sleeping in the same bed) was probably Feb 2018. Or maybe in the fall of last year. You’d think I’d remember when they are so rare!! Silly, Kris. lol Thankfully, sunsets happen a lot more often and are always wonderful!

I am Dandelion-hear me roar!

I just finished an absolutely wonderful story. Amelia 1868 is a ghost story full of searching and betrayal and love and forgiveness. I have had it on my ‘to read’ list for several years and never managed to get to it. I was going to read it on the plane coming back from AK, but was sidetracked by my own longings for a place I didn’t want to leave. I finally started it and had a hard time putting it down. Oddly, there were some bits that didn’t mesh properly (like how the main character had this great dog that every so often vanished in the story line, when it had been rollicking along with the character page after page), but it was ok. The author once in a while uses the same words in subsequent paragraphs (‘While I no longer’ and then a bit later, ‘While I no longer.’), but it wasn’t horrible. I also had to read the last few pages a couple of times to make sure I was reading it properly. The two main characters suddenly became the main character ghosts, as well as themselves, and even if it was odd, it worked! Yet, the one thing that kept coming past me was love and forgiveness. In fact, in the last sentences, the author wrote this, “I’ve learned that forgiveness is the key to letting go and freeing oneself of the burdens of the past.” Which I happen to agree with myself.

good heavens, I feel OLD!

Driving today, I was thinking about the different kinds of love there are. I didn’t focus on the Greek words or even muskrats, but wandered into my own ideas. I wondered if I had been a zombie lover. The kind of person who walks around blindly, roughly grabbing love from any and every one and then tossing more love away like confetti hearts before blithely walking on. I don’t want to be one of those.

I then thought about my favorite yard flower, the true DYF (Damn Yellow Flower). So often our yards are infested with yellow flowers of dandelion like origin, but only a few thousand are actually the wonderful not-weeds-to-me I love. (there is that word again!) I started smiling as I was driving and decided I need to be more like a dandelion! A simple, bright coin of petals (not always wanted, but always there!) nestled and thriving almost anywhere possible. A plant that can be used for medicine or food or picked by little hands and given as a gift. Eventually, these golden buttons on a green waistcoat turn into magical fairy orbs that burst apart with a breath to land and make more! Wouldn’t that be a wonderful way to love and be? To spread love with a breath, to be love that glows and gives in so many ways, to be ordinary and magical in different seasons, and to be there when needed.

This morning I was feeling a bit useless again. It is like I came back to Oregon to cook and clean and bake (a totally different kind of cooking!!) and I’m tired. I so wanted to sell the house and use a portion of it for me. It will and it won’t. When I said, a bit jokingly, that I could use the money I’ve been paying house bills in AK with for my meds, The Craftsman agreed and said it would help. The laptop I brought back from AK (mom’s) is being used for ‘important’ things since all the other technology is a bit aged and not compatible with tax or banking programs. I had wanted to use it to type mom’s dozens of journals into. I probably still can, it just will have other things on it. The house needs a new large freezer (Little Bear lost 7 containers of ice cream at one go. He was a bit upset! Photo is of the upstairs freezer one year, before I objected to having no room for venison. He now keeps the frozen sweets at his grandma’s. A few blocks away!) and I’ll probably need to buy that. At least, I am going to pay for the fixing of my watch. Not sure when I’ll get it back, but I can wait. It isn’t exactly a useful watch, but unlike the most wonderful K’ixie thigh highs I purchased before leaving AK, I can wear this most anytime!

I wasn’t chosen for the jury I thought I’d be chosen for. The labs I was supposed to get today will end up being done next week, I can’t just drop in. (the physician was very annoyed, ‘You may have a UTI and you have to wait until next week to pee in a cup???’) No one came home until very late for the very excellent dinner I made (Little Bear insists it needs sent to a lab to find out what proportion of spices I added, since I just added and didn’t measure). They left again to visit Grandma, it is her birthday. (I did suggest things they could get Grandma and I made her a cake. I didn’t want to go up. She’s never really forgiven me for marrying her beloved son. Although, she loves the grandsons!)

However, I imagine I am not entirely useless. I am a dandelion and I will glow and grow and infest your yard with forgiving bright joy. No matter how often you step on me or mow me or pull me up, I’ll be there!!! ! (NOTE: I’ve probably written this same post once before! Lol

Forgiveness, Compassion, Grace

I relaise the above are ‘church’ words. They are more than that, though. They are life words. I remember, ages ago, when Strider was in grade school and the kids were being taught ‘life skills’. Some of the things they were supposed to do included being kind, gentle, patient, and many more. He was surprised that they were learning ‘church’ things in public school. I told him it didn’t matter where he was or what he believed, being kind and compassionate and gentle and forgiving and patient and gracious were all things a person needed to exist as a human.

If you google (where would our world be today without google??) grade school life skill lessons, you find things like a kindness game where you smile at 10 people or tell someone something nice about them and games where you pass along a kindness. In Tillmook, during the month of February, you can participate in an Act in Kindness Day to honor a wonderful family. It truly doesn’t matter who you are to learn to act with generosity and compassion and to be pleasant. I’ve always been drawn to words said by Elwood P. Dowd in the wonderful movie, ‘Harvey’.

Without forgiveness and compassion and love, what is there left to hang on to? I know there is a lot of hate running amok today and in my own background. I had some damn scary dads when I was a kid. I forgave them in my adult years and I’m glad I did. They never knew me as an adult, but those months under their roofs shaped parts of me. A few lessons were a benefit, others not so much. But, I forgave those dads for terrifying the small girl made overly responsible by age 9. Mom was harder to forgive and I’m still angry with her, yet, I know why she was so awful and I can only forgive her and hope to never be like that. I know those dads that drank and beat up mom and whipped my bare bottom bright red were not lovable and perhaps some might think they were unforgivable. Time has softened those memories and I can forgive. I will never ever forget. I am human and humans don’t forget (ok, I have forgotten many things. Usually things like where I parked or put my glasses and what temperature to cook something at after looking at it seconds ago). But, with compassion and forgiveness, those awful things are in the past and I can move on. I am not going to keep those horrid memories alive to haunt me and hurt me even now. I’m glad those dads are not in my life anymore, I’m thankful I’m not a woman who grew up in households of such fear. But, I can see how alcohol made them the way they were. There is probably more, but drinking is what I recall most as a little.

Two dear friends helped me see how (and it is a long story, so this is just the gleanings from their care for me) not forgiving can be born of anger and hurt and of fear. A young friend of mine shared some of her thoughts on forgiveness that made little sense to me, so I asked two others for assistance. They were a lovely help. This post was born of their help. (thank you, Rhapsody and RLS!)

Like the word snow in Alaskan native tongues, there are many kinds of love. I tend to focus on a few Greek words Eros and Agape and Storge. Philia is one I know, but don’t talk about as often as sex, friends, and family. I went to a Bible college, so Greek is my natural point of view. I have grown beyond Greek and see many more now. However, those loves all harken back to life skills. Skills we should use and practice every day.

Forgiveness, compassion, kindness, gentleness, patience, graciousness, sharing, respecting, giving, responsibility, honesty, and friendship.

More Absurdity

Two years ago today, mom died. Two years ago today, I was angry. I’m still angry. I was screaming mad the morning of Sept 24. Now, I’m mostly numb and tired.

Started out by hearing from the thrift store woman who was supposed to pick up things last night. Her spouse, who had the truck and was driving with a broken arm, almost hit a moose and hurt the truck. (Thank goodness the spouse was Ok. Moose are not vehicle friendly!) I opted to try and find other places to take the stuff and learned that the local Salvation Army (I did not want to donate there, but am willing to do anything now) also has their truck down. The original lady (I really like her!) will come out on Sunday.  I have no idea what to do with the organ, the holiday stuff I will take to the SA when I can. The Jukebox Kid also texted, he wants some more things and to have his family take me out to dinner when I get north. (I’m not sure I’ll have time!) My plans are a bit of a mess, but whatever.  

I had a great deal of help today and I got a call from my sister. She offered Gigman’s help on Friday to haul stuff to the dump. I HAVE people who can take things to the dump, I need people who can drive all over to donation places!!!! (many are taking stuff, I just need to get it there.) I had just posted on FB that I thought all of mom’s holiday stuff was headed to the dump, so maybe that is where she got the idea I needed help with trash. She isn’t a fan of Easter or Christmas anymore, so it is all trash to her. I, thankfully, had all the holiday boxes marked as such. I thought it might be easier for the people in the stores. It will also be easier for me to find them!! The helpers got the entire basement cleaned out and tidy. I even had some return later to move a file cabinet. (it does need to be sent to the dump, but Gigman can’t do that. It is too heavy!)

So, after everyone left, I decided to run some items I had put in my car to the local rec center. I dropped them off and felt very sad for the two teens in lovely party dresses having photos taken in the cold drizzle. I headed to the post, but heard game pieces sliding around in a box when I started to park. Oops, I forgot to drop off the games and puzzles! So, back to the rec center I went (the poor girls were sitting on a blanket playing a hand game, still in the rain, amidst the fall colors). I opted this time to forgo the post and just go home. Good thing, on my way home I realized I’d forgotten to put a stamp on the letter!!!

Once at the house, I turned off the alarm, went into the living room and noticed the front door was open and the screen door unlocked. I’d forgotten to close and lock them last night! (there isn’t much in the house, most of it is in the garage and the alarm was on out there) I went online to learn my carry on for Alaska Air is too large by three inches. My second bag (a tote) is over 50 pounds and will cost $100, but it won’t fit the pink carry-on bag. It had been mom’s and it is a very nice short stay bag, if I can get it back to OR. The tote also needs secured with duct tape.

Then, my sister called back again. I told her a bit of what I’d been doing and she wanted to know if I wanted her to go with me to drop mom’s ashes off a favorite fishing bridge. No. I told her I didn’t, we had gone to Homer together to spread ashes and I would do this myself. Besides, she had just gotten home and didn’t need to come out again. She said it wasn’t that far and I thought, ‘then why haven’t you come out to help or get things you want???’ She also wanted to make sure I knew Gigman could help me on Friday. I said I didn’t have much trash, but would he be able to get the things she wanted, unless she didn’t want them anymore. She got a bit snippy and said ‘I suppose we can get those now.’ (Seriously?) I then mentioned I would be here because the realtor was coming. (I’d forgotten she didn’t know I was using a realtor)  Jake got more pissy. Because I didn’t ask for her help in choosing one and she hoped the company would ‘do well for me’. I’ve been scream swearing at mom and my sister the last minutes, in between typing. (Someday, I hope I’m finally good enough for someone without having them want to ‘fix’ me or ‘make me better’. ) I’m also waiting for someone who said they were going to be here this evening, it is after 630 pm. I was hoping to get pizza for dinner, but I reckon I’ll be ok with sandwich meat and a tortilla with some flavored water a neighbor brought me.

Honestly, my neighbors are better friends than my sister.

Speaking of friends, when I took mom out, I stopped to drop off the title to the car. A friend will handle the money part of the selling for me, so I don’t need to sell it for pennies. I also didn’t drop all of mom. It was super dark and I was a tad nervous being so far up above the water!  I’ll do the rest in daylight, when I can see where I’m spreading her! (I lightened up the photo a LOT)