Share Your World – 2014 Week 34

Getting back into the groove of life here – and ready to join Cee in her Share Your World Challenge.

1. What is your favorite smell? What memory does it remind you of? Outside smells – fresh-mown grass, lilacs – both remind me of carefree, happy days as a kid, but I cannot tell you why. I think those were springtime neighborhood smells. Inside – freshly baked bread – when I was in high school my girlfriend’s mother baked yeast rolls often and we would come home from school and walk into her house to that heavenly aroma. Then we would sit down and enjoy one of those hot rolls slathered with butter. Priceless!

2. Name a song or two which are included on the soundtrack to your life? “Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady” – is that the proper name of that song? I do not remember titles to songs, or books or movies. Anyway, that song was dedicated to me by a former love at one time. The idea of being considered a lady enthralled me, although I was never a lady in the terms of a southern belle-type lady.

3. Do you play video/computer game? Which one(s) or most recent? Much to my dismay, yes I do. I spend time on the iPad playing these stupid games, time that could be much better utilized in other ways. Reading, perhaps. Currently I seem to be attached to break the bubble games – a couple different versions of Bubble Witch and Bubble Mania. Hopefully this too shall pass.

4. Which of Snow White’s 7 dwarfs describes you best? Plus what would the 8th dwarf’s name be? (Doc, Happy, Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Dopey) Hmmm – I don’t know. Sometimes Happy, sometimes Sleepy, sometimes Grumpy – occasionally Dopey. I am many dwarfs wrapped into one body – which explains why I am a tall dwarf. The 8th dwarf? Nosey? Silly?

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I am grateful for a dinner out with friends. I am grateful for emails from my Kat (Gep, are you listening?). I am grateful for a day out with the Artistic One seeking, and finding, photo ops. I am looking forward to more time with friends, nights of restful sleep, the feeling of fall in the air.

That photo op day? Here are some of the rewards of that day:
The Natural Bridge
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The river goes in here
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Comes out here
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And rushes down here
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A Sunday Roadtrip

Yesterday The Artistic One and I decided to ignore chores and duties and hop into the car for a one-day adventure. We headed north, then west, then south in search of photo ops. Our first stop was the Rogue Gorge near Union Creek, where we wandered up the path to see what we could see. What we saw was interesting lichen on a tree
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the Rogue River dashing over rocks into pools below, creating little waterfalls
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what we first thought might be fairy hair, but after touching it and discovering its rough texture decided it was the beard of either an elf or a troll
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a fern (or holly?) growing from a small space in a rock – an unlikely home, we thought.
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The Rogue continuing it’s path over the rocks, letting nothing deter its movement forward.
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A plant bearing a tiny red berry
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and an Oregon Grape Holly with its berries of blue
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a fallen log raising the hair of the river.
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Then, straight out of history and fiction, the bee who heeded the words of the spider as she asked “Will you walk into my parlor?” (Mary Howitt), much to the dismay of the bee.
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And so out day began and continued – which I will share on another day.

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Share Your World – 2014 Week 33

It has been several weeks since I’ve taken the time to play along with Cee, so this week I promised myself I would get back in the groove. Sometimes I think life has too many grooves into which we must fit ourselves, don’t you?

1. Do you believe in ghosts? Yes and no. I don’t believe in Casper the Ghost type ghosts, but I do believe that a person’s spirit can remain behind sometimes. In a house I lived in in the mid-Hudson Valley of New York several years ago, I would hear cupboard doors downstairs opening and closing quite often at night. When we bought a square piano for our living room, sometimes our “ghost” would play a little music at night. Many years later, when our too-young grandson had died of cancer and a few days later our cat died, the musical night light that I used to put in grandson’s crib when he stayed with us suddenly started playing in the wee hours of the night. I believe that was our grandson telling us he and the cat were together.

2. Irregardless of your physical fitness, coordination or agility: If you could play any sport professionally what would it be? Or if you can’t picture yourself playing sports, what is your favorite sport? I think that would have to be swimming or archery. I view myself at less than optimally coordinated and balls and I have a habit of unfortunate contact, but I love swimming and would have loved to practice archery more than the bit I got in phys ed in school.

3. Do you prefer long hair or short hair for yourself? Definitely short. Although since chemo I don’t have a lot of choice, even if I had hair like I used to it was and would be short.

4. If you were on an small island, who would you want to be with? And where is it? How big is it? Ohhh – I would want to be with my kids, and can I take my neighborhood with me too? I think an island off the Pacific Coast – the Caribbean is nice, but so humid.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I am grateful for sunny days and blue skies. I am grateful for cuddles with my cat and dogs. I am grateful for an easy day in our bigger town down the road yesterday. I am looking forward to getting some yard work done outside during this coming week – oh wait! that week is almost over already – so I’m looking forward to getting some yard work done during the next couple of days. And maybe a little road trip on Sunday.

And now, because a blog isn’t a blog (for me) without some photos:

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Summer Sunsets

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It has been over a week since I last blogged – so what the heck have I been doing? I don’t know. Well, I do know, sort of. The Artistic One and I took Kat to the city across the mountains to catch a plane back to South Korea. We went the day before her way-too-early-in-the-morning flight, so we could sleep in after she caught the airport shuttle. We did some shopping. We did some more shopping. We went out to an excellent dinner at the Jacksonville Inn.
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I have been watching some of the summer sunsets. Sitting on my deck quietly, enjoying the antics of the hummingbirds – peace interrupted only by the things outside that need my attention. While my kids were here, I spent my time with them, luxuriating in their company, doing chores only that could not wait to be done. Now the outside is behaving like an angry child, stomping feet, weeds making ugly faces. Pine cones scattered everywhere – do they never stop falling? – and pine needles blown down by the summer storms crackling as I walk across them. Next week, I promise them. Next week I will tend to you. Before the sunset.
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I have made multiple trips to town, the bigger town down the road. It’s the time of year that annual appointments must be taken care of. Before winter sets in. It’s the time of the year to squeeze as much as can be squeezed out of the remaining summer. A day in town for lunch and to check out the little gem show at our local bead shop. Where I drooled, but restrained myself from purchasing. I have a new love for Larimar, but it is not an inexpensive stone. The trips to town completed so that I was in my house before the sunset.
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I have been planning my trip to the mid-Hudson valley of New York this fall. Planning and re-planning. I will be taking Amtrak to Portland and fly out from there, then back again. Which means I must stay in a hotel for a night on each end of the trip. I chose hotels, one downtown for the trip out and one near the airport for the return. Then I questioned why I felt I needed to be downtown that one night, so I cancelled that reservation and changed it to the hotel near the airport. And then I stewed and worried because it’s quite a long walk to the public transit system from that hotel. I stewed in the wee hours of the morning. Stupid! This morning I did some more research, found another hotel near the airport with only a five-minute walk to the MAX line. I cancelled my previous reservations and made new ones. Am I done now? I hope so!
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This afternoon the Artistic One and I will be going to the bigger town down the road to see the local production of The Producers. It’s my way of telling the yard that I am the one in control. You may stomp your feet and make ugly faces, but I shall attend to you when I wish. We will enjoy the afternoon out, perhaps having a bite to eat before we return home. We will return home before the sunset.
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Then tomorrow will be another day. My Kat is back at her home in South Korea, heading into the first work week for this school year. Gep should be arriving back in Oman today or tomorrow to begin his new school year. All of my ducks are in a row. My house is quiet – a bit too quiet – but I know this is temporary and we will spend time together again before this year ends. I know in my quiet house that I have enough. I am grateful for that enough.

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A Trip to the Dark Side – and Out Again

Awhile back, the Artistic One suggested we get small butterfly tattoos on our ankles. We talked about it, we giggled about it (there is no age limit for giggling), we talked some more, we decided to wait until Kat – who is experienced in this area – arrived. She came, we talked, Gep protested, we talked some more, we waited until he left, we made appointments. We giggled. So on Tuesday we took a turn off our main course, we jumped out of our boxes, and off we went.
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I went first. Kat held my hand, talked to me, and manned the phone camera.
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I had opted for a dragonfly – not a butterfly, because the dragonfly called my name. I gritted my teeth and manned up to get through it. I like the result, although I think I will not travel this road again. My result:
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Kat’s result:
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The Artistic One got a pretty blue butterfly, of which I do not have a photo. Yet. We all agree our tattoos came out a bit larger than we had planned, but it is done and we accept it.

Wednesday found Kat and I back in town, first to take advantage of the summer sale at Walmart. I found comfy soft knit pants for wearing at home when the days grow a bit cooler and a nightgown that is soooo soft and comfy I must go back to see if I can get another. Kat purchased items not readily found in Korea and now has both suitcases stuffed so full shopping must end. After we had shopped to our hearts’ content, we had a quick lunch and headed uptown for our beading class.
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In a three-hour class, we each created a bracelet, Kat’s in greens and mine in purples
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and loved what we did so much we bought more beads. The upper row is mine, the lower row belongs to Kat.
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And so our trip to the dark side was just enough, and our trip out again was perhaps a bit more than enough. Do you see gifts for friends on the horizon?

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Until We Meet Again

When we went to the coast in mid-July, we took with us some of Husband’s ashes. He loved when we went to the coast and we had many good times there, so it seemed appropriate to let him enjoy it one more time. One evening Kat, Shasta and I walked out into the ocean while Gep and the Artistic One manned the cameras,
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we released him to the ocean, to the skies, to the air, with the wish that he would fly to his heart’s content – have I told you he was a private pilot for many years? – and that he enjoy his freedom.
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There was an overwhelming sense of peace, of joy, of fulfilling a need
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and so we headed back to shore
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where we paused
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and paused again, to enjoy this feeling, this sense of peace
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before we joined together and headed back to our beach house for a glass of wine.
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When the Skies Turn Yellow and Heavy, I Blog

Our skies are yellow, the sun is orange – the fires around our part of the state are hiding the blue of the skies and tinting the world to an eerie glow. We are grateful none of them are close enough to threaten us, but they have introduced a heaviness and a poor quality to the air that makes us want to hunker down inside. It is the price we pay for a year that has had little moisture. My response? Sit down at the computer and look at pretty pictures, decide to share some of the pictures and add some words, just to break up the flow of the pictures.

Walking to meet the MAX train in Portland, son – he who is always thinking “photo op” – suggests Kat and I mimic signs with arrows.
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Always ready to follow his muse, we agree
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then we board the train and head once more to the Brew Fest, where a man proclaims to the world his philosophy.
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Later in the day, we wander the streets in our search for a sit-down dinner and we see bicycles all in a row
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their owners enjoying libations on the shady side of the street
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and children watching the Tin Man do what it is that Tin Men do.
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We pass tall buildings,
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a man playing his Digerido and his partner playing – what? – some kind of electronic instrument I suppose
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and a little girl eating a snow cone to match her dress, which perfectly compliments her red hair.
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So ends this tale of part of our day, but there is a little updating to do: For those of you who have been curious about the Mason Jar experiment, I wish to note that fresh berries like strawberries (unwashed until ready to use), blueberries and grapes keep very well in Mason Jars, as do carrots, cauliflower and other veggies. Celery and greens, less well I think. Grains, nuts, pastas, rices, brown sugar – all those things that come in bags that slide around when piled up, stand neatly in place in Mason Jars. They are also great for freezing foods. I consider my experiment a success.

Today, greet your world with a smile and rejoice in having enough. There are too many who cannot do that.

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