More Great Animals
I’ll be hard at it, painting my bedroom on Saturday, so will post #5 a few hours early.
Artful, Conscious Living with Bipolar Disorder
29 Jul 2016 2 Comments
More Great Animals
28 Jul 2016 8 Comments
04 Apr 2016 9 Comments
Up at 4:00 to pack and sit with my journal (I do wish I could be one of those people who oversleep once in a while. I might as well wish I was 23 and French). Then, it was one last meal at the Fort’s big dining hall (another delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs with salmon and fresh greens, fresh fruit, toast and good coffee), one more round table of laughs with my new art-buddies from all over the country, and I was back on the road.
John was in top form as we threaded our way through the forests. We pointedly avoided any more ferries or tollways. One bollixed crossing was quite enough. And I love forests even more than the desert, so it was like driving through my personal version of heaven. Even the rest stops offered a bit of forest to explore between dumping car-garbage and visiting the loo (I’m afraid John’s rubbed off on me a bit).
And tonight, another mind-blowing bed and breakfast. Doris and Mike live a little outside of town. As I followed the proper twisty country road, I spied a huge buffalo chewing its cud on some guy’s front lawn. Or pasture. Whatever the green stuff is that swaddles a buffalo. I was too intent on finding Doris and Mike to think anything other than, “Huh. Folks do things a little different out here.”
Doris is what my grandma would have called Just Good Folks; hard-working, generous, no-nonsense. The house is gorgeous, filled with antiques and Doris’ oil paintings (we nattered about art for a while). She showed me to the laundry room and invited me to eat supper with them, their son, and another AirBNB couple. This is not standard B&B fare.
Supper was delicious with lively conversation. I imagine boarding houses must have been like this in the Long Ago; strangers gathered at a table and resting, safe, under the roof of a Good Woman (and her Good Man). It feels very homey here.
And now the smell of fresh laundry dominates my room. Clean undies! I can fall asleep with the window cracked to let in the Very Different scent of the Pacific Northwest; more ozone, more oxygen, more ocean-washed than Flatland air.
The chickens out in their pen are quiet now (um… yes, we ate chicken for supper). I visited them before they tucked their beaks under for the night, because chickens this fat and beautiful deserved to be visited. And I knew Cheryl would love them (you’re welcome).
Now it’s time for me to tuck my beak under my wing. Sweet Dreams and Pleasant Poultry. And may you feel the road rush under your wheels.
27 Mar 2015 6 Comments
12 Mar 2013 8 Comments
These days, what with my Zero Money Initiative in place, I spend most of my time at home on my computer. And I’m finding a whole new life there. It’s Pinterest, really, that’s sucked me into this Ether World. I’ve found dozens of Pinners who share my interests. And since my taste wanders all over the place, there’s a lot to keep me enthralled.
There are the nerdy fan-folk—the Tolkein aficionados, the Trekkers, the Joss Whedonites. I’m in Nerd Heaven, wandering through all the rare photos, video clips, jokes and articles about my TV shows and movies. There are the science puns, and inside jokes, and cross-over weirdness that combines Star trek with Firefly and Sherlock Holmes. My geekiness runs rampant.
Then there are the serious armies of movie star fans. Any male actor, living or dead, generates a plethora of appreciation (Female stars get plenty of attention, too, just not so many shirtless photos or comments about fainting). Here, I have found my obsessive/compulsive, delusional tribe—women all over the globe tipping the scale from fan to stalker. I breathe a little easier knowing I’m far from the craziest end of the spectrum here. I’m actually rather refined and discriminating in my male appreciation. Tasteful, even. Ahem.
I can explore my love of Ireland and dream about going there by connecting with Pinners who are either from Ireland or who have shared their vacation photos. I can listen to the music, meet infamous sons and daughters of the Eire, and learn the country’s history. All the beautiful sites, the people, the festivals—they let me taste of the Emerald Isle while I scheme about how to get there.
Then, there are all the boards devoted to nature—weird and gorgeous wild animals; amazing forests, rock formations, fauna and flora. There are Pinners gathering information on preservation, animal abuse, conservation, and every aspect of green living. I’m constantly amazed, shocked, inspired and delighted by all these lovers of the world. I can indulge in my love of elephants and skunks. And there’s no end to the folks who love cats—great and small.
My cyber and material worlds are starting to mix, now. I’m spending more time at the library searching for things I saw on Pinterest—books on visiting Ireland and England, movies like “War Horse” that I thought I’d never watch (but found out Tom Hiddleston/Loki and Benedict Cumberbatch/Sherlock Holmes are in it). I picked up the first season of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” to watch some early Joss Whedon, and checked out a great mystery novel by Tana French on a Pinner’s recommendation.
I’ve heard Pinterest described as a horder’s dream come true. A person can collect all their favorite stuff without taking up any space (or creating those scary towers of books, papers and clutter every proper psycho-killer’s home requires). But, for me it’s gone beyond that. Yes, I like to create my boards with a certain amount of flair and artistry, but I look forward to learning something new, digging deeper into a topic, sharing a funny video that I hope will make others cry and lose urine like I did. It’s a new way of interacting, a new kind of community-making.
And it makes me happy. That’s something to stick a pin in and hang on the wall.
17 Mar 2012 7 Comments
I just got back from my afternoon walk—a slow-motion shuffle around three square blocks. All the better to see the lilac bushes greening and crocus heads swelling. Iris blades like emerald knives slice through the winter brown. A warm, moist breeze calls Spring to come forward.
This is my fourth walk since coming home from the hospital yesterday. Each time I go a little farther, see something a little different. At 1:30 in the morning, stars talk out loud and warm, velvet air slides over skin. At 8:30 the Saturday traffic takes over, rushing to compete with the trains wailing in the yard.
Sometimes I’m the only human being on the street. Sometimes I’m one of many. The homeless shelter and emergency food bank are just up the street, so people in need pass by often—families, singles, elderly. People who roll their entire lives with them in wheeled garbage bins. People with nothing. People who fight and swear at each other. People who scold and natter at themselves.
Teenagers wander by in groups leaving their detritus of gum wrappers and Red Bull cans. The library is next door, and the Kwik Star down the street, so I imagine they gravitate between the two. But, what do I know about teenagers?
And the dogs are always out. A plethora of Chihuahuas in all shapes and sizes. They’re like a box of left-over Valentine’s Day chocolates—nuggets, and cherry centers, and dark mousse—all excited, all yipping in their tiny rodent voices. There’s a black and white Bull Terrier who sits on the corner all day long, staring at the flower shop. And a Pit Bull with pink eyes who seems bored out of her mind. A trio of Corgis race up and down their fenced yard like jousters challenging the entire neighborhood to a duel. Behind the dog noise, feral cats slink along the alleys, quietly going about their feline business. They’re happy to let the dogs grab all the attention—anonymity is more their game.
If I could bend over, I’d start picking up the refuse winter leaves behind, but I have to leave that for now. It’s enough to be outside, in the unseasonably warm, feeling the stretch of my stride in my sore belly, walking my way back to whole.
20 Oct 2011 7 Comments
I woke up sobbing this morning. Really the first big blow-out of emotion since Dad’s passing. I kept thinking about Roger.
One of my dad’s best friends, Vern Landon, also died recently. Vern and Dad went to high school together, farmed near each other. Mom and Dad, Vern and Helen travelled all over the world on group trips when they retired. Needless to say, Dad and Vern were close.
Yesterday at the gravesite, I heard someone crying behind me. I turned around and a man my age reminded me who he was. “Roger Landon,” he said. I grabbed him up immediately, and we held each other while we cried. I hadn’t seen Roger in 30 years, at least, but all the times he and his dad helped with baling hay, or working with the livestock, or picking corn rushed back.
In the spring of 1973, Mom, Dad, Vern and Helen took a trip to Las Vegas. My grandma and I were alone on the farm when a huge snowstorm hit, cutting power and blocking all the roads. Our cattle were starting to calve, and Granny was in a panic. That’s when Roger showed up on his snowmobile and helped us get the cows and the calves safe. He was my hero, and I had a crush on him from that day forward.
Standing at my dad’s grave with the October wind whipping around the sheltering tent, I knew Roger wept for his own dad as I wept for mine. We shared so much history, and now we shared our grief. He disappeared into the crowd after that—the rest of the family didn’t have a chance to talk to him. I’m grateful that my girlhood hero made himself known to me and shared his heart. It’s a gift I’ll cherish from a day filled with magic.