She Said it For Me

This morning, Breezes at Dawn wrote “A Story” – a story about the government’s interference in our personal lives, a story about laws passed by people who are so far out of the loop of real life that there can be no understanding of what the life of “common folk” is actually like. The story about those with power using that power to dictate to some of us, filling the wishes of those who speak more loudly, who wish to force their beliefs on all of us – beliefs, words, but no real support.

The story is about the current Supreme Court decision to come – the one that was leaked, that apparently will strike down the ruling that gave women control over their body and reinstitute laws that take away the freedoms of us to control what happens to our bodies.

I am so very weary of being told that, as a woman, I don’t count – unless, of course, I happen to agree with a specific choice. I am not, as Dawn said, pro-abortion, but I am pro-choice, and, also as Dawn said, I believe this opens too many doors to too many other restrictions.

It feels like we are moving into dictatorship, autocracy.

Robyn said it so much better than I can – please visit https://breezesatdawn.wordpress.com/2022/05/04/a-story/.

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Ping Pong

It’s been a very long time since I’ve been here. Every once in awhile, a few words that might become a post pop into my head, but those visits are short, and the thoughts quietly drift off into the netherlands. I’ve wanted to do some posts that are lighthearted, but it seems the words form more often when I have grown frustrated with the way things are.

I am a woman. I feel like a ping pong ball. Yet another state passed laws loved by the far right (as much as I hate labels, sometimes they are appropriate), further infringing on woman’s right to control her body. Yes, yes, I know some of you disagree vehemently with me, but whether or not a fetus is a living human is a matter of opinion, as so many things are. We are fortunate that there is room for differing opinions, as long as neither of us infringes on the other’s rights. I agree with term limits, but I fervently believe a woman should have a right to determine what is right for her, that she should have that choice. I have a serious problem with my control of my body being determined by groups that are predominately white male, predominately past the age of becoming new fathers, predominately much wealthier than most of us. Predominately secure in their earnings. Predominately completely unfamiliar with life as most of us know it – the struggling, the juggling, the striving, the almost-thriving, but just not quite able to attain that sense of security that allows us to relax.

Then there is our political climate – more ping pong. We have a House and a Senate controlled by one party for two years – then the other party takes over, and the ball bounces to the other side of the table. It seems every four years the party that has just come into “power”, spends its time undoing what the previous party did. No part of our Congress can work together, laws cannot be passed, Presidents end up governing by issuing Executive Orders, which are only temporary and will be reversed by the next in line. Party A is in power – time is spent undoing, time is spent blocking forward progress, time is spent in ways that are not productive, not cohesive, certainly not cooperative. Party B is in power, repeat. Our government has become a stage for those who want to spend their time being recognized, being idealized and sometimes demonized, but certainly not working for the betterment of our country and its people. I am disgusted. I hate ping pong in this form.

Otherwise, my life is peaceful, my life is quiet, by life pleases me. My furry friends are part of that pleasure, and I am often blessed with their company (although admittedly, sometimes I question the “blessed” part). There is Nong, who sleeps in my bed with Shasta and me. Nong was born on the streets of Bangkok, Thailand, and was the last Asian addition to Kat’s family.

There is Goguma, who was born on the streets of Sacheon, South Korea – he became Kat’s roommate before Nong. He is the gentle one.

There are others, some of whom you’ve met, but they’ll have their 15 minutes of glory in another post on another day. My Shasta puppy, who is no longer a puppy but an old lady, continues on, her movements much slower than they used to be, and more time spent sleeping. But she still has bright eyes, perky ears, and every once in awhile does her little bounce thing that makes my heart happy.

I have added joy to my daily life welcoming spring and creating a little container garden on the part of the patio I see through my door as I sit on my couch.

We will have another, larger garden in the backyard, starring more flowers and vegetables. I have bought two tomato plants, which will live close to the house for another week or so, until we are past the normal last frost date. Of course, the way the weather is anymore, who knows how reliable that is. I have planted some Basil, some Swiss Chard, one Dill plant so far. The tomatoes, sweet peppers, carrots, and cucumbers with various flowering plants will follow. Maybe some mint. First, however, I must work on the drip system. Any day now.

Some of my spare time is spent weaving – I finished a set of new kitchen towels recently. They will be available on my Etsy shop soon – I just have to sit down and get them added.

I have also done some wraps and some scarves. My current project is to learn double-width weaving, and after a day of frustration because my brain wasn’t absorbing some of the instructions, I found new instructions that seem to make more sense to me. We’ll see how it goes from here. This might be one of the “one and done” things, who knows?

Wishing for each and every one of you, enough in your lives. Hoping for an end to despots that create destruction and death, hoping for peace for all mankind. Hoping for the time ping pong exists only in recreational spaces.

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Another Year

I have had no words to share for a very long time, and I have no idea where this post will go – or if it will even become a post. I’m just going to ramble and see what happens.

We’ve been having very cold weather – unusually cold for our part of the world. My Nong cat has been staying inside the house instead of making her occasional short trips to the outside, and she spends a great deal of time on my lap.

Because I’ve been spending a lot of time in front of my fireplace, where it’s warm and cozy. Why? Well, outside my window, this is what I see:

And I am not a cold weather person. Neither am I a hot weather person – I much prefer spring and fall to either winter or summer. Unless summer is on the coolish side. My idea of perfect temperatures for the outside is 65 to 80 degrees.

We had a nice holiday season, quiet. The family was together, and that’s the most important thing. Gep flew into Portland, and he met us at the hotel because we had decided to spend the night. It was exciting – Kat and I found a Target near the hotel, and neither of us had been in one for a very very long time. She found some warm, comfy sweats, and I looked at all the things that whispered to me but that I don’t need – proudly restraining myself from purchasing. We even visited a Trader Joe’s before we headed home the next day. Big times in the big city! Can you tell we’re kind of country bumpkins?

Before we took Gep back to catch his return flight, we took our annual Christmas photo. The tradition is that Kat buys each of us an item of clothing – one year the item was a kind of footed green pajama that really looked a lot like Gumby. Sadly, those photos got lost, so I cannot share. This year, we all pretended we were in the tropics:

Imagine those trees as palm trees, and the snow as white sand. It might help if you close your eyes as you imagine. That one on the far right was complaining about the coldness of the photo shoot – we told him to tough it out, traditions are important.

I’m wondering what the new year will bring, and comforting myself with the knowledge that whatever it is, my life is full and my life is good, and I have enough. What more could you ask?

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I’ve Finally Done It!

I’ve finally put together and opened an Etsy shop. It’s a learning experience, and I’ve already made a few changes in the very few days since I got it online – I’m sure there will be more edits made as time goes on, and there will be more items added periodically.

In the meantime, here are some of the items I’ve offered for sale there:

I’m not much of a sales person, I’ve found, and doing this was a chore that I put off for a long time. We’ll see how it goes. I’m thinking of also setting up a WordPress page as my “sales” website, but am undecided about that.

Oh, it might be a good idea to let you know how to find my Etsy shop, huh? I’ve named it CeeJayelle Creations – my initials, spelled out. The shop can be found at https://www.etsy.com/shop/ceejayellecreations. I’d love to see you all there!

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My Walktober

Fall is here in all its glory, and I am loving every single moment of it – the beginnings of color, the crispness of the air – this is my favorite time of the year (until spring, when I will tell you that is my favorite time of the year). So I took a little walkabout our yard – and I’m hoping that this will qualify for the Walktober challenge put forth by Robin of Breezes at Dawn.

Our Maple tree.

Kat has decorated our front porch to celebrate her favorite holiday – Halloween. I don’t relate to Halloween being anyone’s favorite holiday, but those differences are what makes life interesting, aren’t they?

It’s our first Halloween at this house, so we aren’t sure what to expect. Kat has bought little packages of Oreos for the Trick or Treaters – since Oreos are about the only store-bought cookies I like, there is no danger of them going to waste if we have none of the little costumed folk. The danger is that none will be left by the time Trick or Treating happens. Because, you know, those cravings for sweetness that happen . . .

In our back yard, we have a garden area – in it we have one or two – I can’t tell for sure how many plants are there but it/they have made a very large tomato plant, which has done a very good job of satisfying my love for tomato sandwiches since we’ve been here, and I am grateful to the previous owners who did such a great job of planting.

It’s loaded with green tomatoes now

We’re going to have to pick them soon, I think, because our night time temperatures are getting very close to freezing. It will be time for some fried green tomatoes. Maybe some green tomato salsa – is there such a thing? I’ll have to ask Google about that.

Also in our back yard we have these feathered girls

They are very good about each providing us with a daily egg, which allows Kat to share with her fellow teachers. But you see that white one? Her name is Bridget, but sometimes she’s called Gertrude Meriweather – those times when she has put us at wit’s end because she is a smart girl. Also an adventurer, who likes to adventure into the neighbor’s yard because the bugs are so much better there. To her left is Calliope and behind Calliope is Mae – they are followers. To the far right rear is Artemis, who is always just a penny short. Artemis once got stuck in a corner in their old pen before we moved – it was a case of her needing to turn right to escape, but she apparently could only go left. Artemis is, therefore, not a problem. The others – yeah, Bridget leads them into trouble all the time. We may finally have found the combination that will keep them all in their proper pen, but it has taken all of our ingenuity and many modifications to their pen. We are trying to avoid having to put them in a completely covered enclosure which would drastically reduce their space. When this picture was taken, they were having a good time finding the grubs I had just thrown in to them. Because every member of the family deserves a treat now and then.

My picture verifying that in this life I have enough is this one

The burning bushes that are in the median of the street in front of our house are at their peak color now. Aren’t they just gorgeous? I’m hoping that you have enough in your life too.

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Grapes, Anyone?

In our new backyard, we have this pergola. A pergola covered in grape vines.

These grape vines are very productive.

So on a Sunday afternoon, having spent the day unpacking, unpacking, unpacking – does unpacking ever end? Will these boxes ever stop occupying every spare inch of space in this house? Oh. Sorry. As I was saying, on a Sunday afternoon when the temperatures were near perfect and there was a very gentle breeze blowing into this pergola, Kat and I opted to spend some time picking grapes.

We think maybe we should make some grape jelly. You know, when the unpacking is over and we have time on our hands and the energy to actually do something besides unpack. This could be a very long time from now, because she has this job that requires she report to work every single weekday – so unreasonable. And I am old, so I have this built-in lack of energy excuse when I choose to stop unpacking. Which means those boxes occupying every inch of space in this house could be here for awhile.

But, I digress. We picked the grapes, we stripped the grapes from the stems, and we ended up with

Those bags are now in the freezer, hopefully to become jelly or juice or something worthwhile at some point in the future. Or maybe wine? Maybe we should try making wine. Because wine could be very enjoyable after unpacking still more boxes.

There are many many more clusters of grapes still on the vines. We have a flock of House Sparrows that come every day to dine, choosing to enjoy both the birdseed I put out for them and the grapes. That is happiness for me – watching the birds enjoy the grapes and the seeds. No photos though, because my windows have a sun-blocking film on them distorting the brightness and colors and when the windows are open, there is screening dulling the view. Maybe one day I’ll be sitting in the pergola when the birds come, and maybe then I can take some photos. In the meantime, I enjoy them from a distance, while preserving their privacy.

And, in that other life – the real life, in which the world is larger than the pergola. Kat is an elementary school teacher, and now that classes are back in session, in person, with kids masked (as much as you can keep kids masked), and distanced (as much as you can keep kids distanced), the cases of the Delta variety of Covid are climbing. Earlier this week, out of 300 students in the school, 49 were absent. Granted, not all were suffering from Covid. It appears there is also a flu going around. Isn’t that just hunky-dory? We wonder, though, how long in-person classes will be able to continue.

On a happier note – in that other real life, in which the world is larger than the pergola, I went shopping for groceries the other day. I took great delight in being able to get to the store in less than ten minutes – such a relief after 20 years of having the trip take 30 minutes or more, and then several months of having the trip take an hour. Although I liked the space I had around me in my southern Oregon home, I like the ability to have more of the day left after I’ve gone shopping, rather than having a shopping trip absorb a minimum of four to five hours of my day.

And now, I suppose I should go back to those boxes. Maybe unpack one or two more. And then I will go pick some more ripe tomatoes from the productive tomato plant the previous owner graciously left for us to enjoy.

And gather the eggs the chickens have laid for us. There are four of them in there, although it’s hard to see them with the way the light is hitting. My photo-taking could have been better timed.

Truly, in this life I have enough. I hope you do too.

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Random Thoughts

I have words today – not necessarily coherent, cohesive, or even of much interest, but hey, I have words! That’s something that hasn’t been happening very often with me lately. I’ve been quiet because – well, because I thought maybe I’d been doing too much ranting about too many things, and maybe I was giving off a grumpy old lady vibe. And because I just haven’t felt like sharing the words that come into my brain, which have been few and far between.

Last night my daughter was streaming the weekly meeting of the school board for the district in which she will be teaching this year. During the past two weeks those who came to comment during the part of the meeting that is designated for that were the people that make me angry – anti-maskers, anti-Covid Vaccine people, spouting their misinformation. My grumpy old lady vibes come on in full force when I hear those comments. Last night was a welcome relief because, while the first person was more of the same, those that followed were from the medical profession, trying to explain why taking advantage of our only defenses against Covid was a good idea. It seemed the medical profession had concluded that they have to get out in numbers and try to combat what I am calling the “stupidity factor”.

I agree – I have started my personal little campaign via Facebook against the anti-vaccine people because I feel that need. I know, I know – everyone is sick of people like me pushing their own beliefs, and most people want Facebook to be a happy place – but, people – this world is not a happy place right now, and we need to take responsibility for it being that way and do what we can to try to change it up.

All I can say is I am having a lot of trouble feeling sympathy for those who have refused to take advantage of the available weapons to fight Covid and then find themselves stricken with it. I have little sympathy for people who are taking up valuable hospital beds which leaves people with medical problems they could not prevent unable to get the help they need. I have little sympathy for anyone who endangers those who have underlying conditions or legitimate reasons that prevented them from getting the vaccine.

People need to recognize that yes, they have freedoms, but with freedoms comes responsibilities. You are not the only one in this world, you know.

Done now, at least for this moment, with that topic.

We are preparing to move. I hate moving, and the last two times I’ve moved I’ve sworn that would be the last time. So much for that concept. However, I am really hoping this will truly be the last time. It is a move for the better – a move that will eliminate the need for Kat to spend two hours of every week day driving to and from work. A move that will get us closer to larger stores, making it easier to keep fresh produce in our refrigerator, enabling us to eat healthier meals. A move to a larger house, allowing for some separation of spaces, a wonderful pergola covered in grapevines, a smaller yard that will be more easily maintained.

Does anyone else feel like our country is being governed by the courts rather than our government? I guess some entity has to fill the void when our government can’t give up its partisan battles to actually function as it was intended.

After June and July hitting us with record-breaking heat, August has turned friendlier. We’ve even had some days that had a tinge of the feeling of fall. Unfortunately, this is not true for much of the country, and I wish I could help you all out with that.

I’ve been weaving, but not taking pictures of any of it – my excuse was the heat. Photos taken outside are so much better and give a more accurate representation of colors, but when the temperatures are 90 and above – nope, I’m not going to haul stuff outside to take photos. And now that the temperatures have moderated, we’re packing. Packing. Packing. I’ll share after the move is done and things are unpacked. Because then I’ll have that lovely pergola space for a setting. Until then, I do have one photo of one of the fabrics that was on my loom, and is now packed to be finished later.

I’m doing quite a bit of reading – light stuff, just like my TV streaming. Feel-good movies, HGTV, nothing that raises the stress level. Because – this world, Covid, moving.

Then there’s Afghanistan – apparently we did not learn from Vietnam that there are conflicts we should not enter, cultures we do not understand and therefore cannot change. As if we have the right to try to make other countries over in our image. My opinion, folks. It’s not necessary for you to agree. But then everything I write is my opinion, isn’t it?

And now? On to the pantry to do a little more packing. I think it’s endless. To be followed by the unpacking. Which will seem endless.

One last thought – despite all my complaining, I do recognize that I really do have

Wishing you the same.

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Things That Make Me Smile #1

I feel like I’ve been immersed in negativity lately – I’m blaming it on Covid, people who swallow conspiracy theories whole and refuse to get vaccinated, or still believe Trump won the election, or think that red car that’s been seen in their neighborhood is the government casing the neighborhood so they can come in in armies to force you to be vaccinated and take all your guns while they’re at it – I do not lie, that was really a post on our town’s digital bulletin board this week. This makes me tired. And negative. And frustrated. And wonder where on earth we are headed – can we survive the stupidity that runs rampant?

I must also acknowledge that the people that believe those things I’ve mentioned above and that I think are leaving a lot to be desired in common sense and levels of intelligence probably also think the same about me. Because that’s how it works.

So – I have decided to start posting photos of things that make me smile. When I came up with this idea a few days ago, this was going to be a daily endeavor but then life got in my way – life, and my increasing negativity, which is exactly what I’m trying to combat. I did, however, manage to get a few photos, which I shall now share.

A view from the port on the river in this little town – the lagoon coming in off the river, the railroad tracks and highway, on the other side of which is a lovely little park. I’m blaming the blurriness of this image on the heat – it was 105 degrees when I took this photo – and maybe my very dirty windshield of my car, because I was not wanting to actually get out of my air conditioned car.

This little cat, who can be such a sweetheart, but has been giving us fits lately. Did you know that female cats can regrow ovaries if all of a certain tissue is not removed during the neutering process? And when this happens, they can go into heat and become unbearable little furry beings? The vet prescribed a pheromone collar, which does seem to help. Thankfully.

This bigger cat, who joined me as I was weaving and parked himself in an empty yarn bin – empty because we’re moving, and most of the yarn has been packed.

These little feathered girls, along with their two sisters who opted not to be photographed, who reliably provide us with an egg a day each – giving us four eggs a day. And yes, we do find ourselves searching for recipes that use eggs.

The sunflowers I planted, which provide sunflower seeds, which the Jays have been happily feasting on.

Looking at the photos of our trip to the coast last month, the walk on the beach with my son, the sight of the ocean

The calming influence of the sounds of the waves lapping on the sandy shore

My last share for this post, taken yesterday evening – the northwest is burning, and the smoke from the fires made its way into the Columbia Gorge yesterday, providing not only a reminder of the devastation and hazards the fires cause, but also the beauty of the setting sun in the smoke-heavy skies.

Reminders, these photos, that in my life, I have enough. Sad that sometimes I lose sight of that.

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Face Masks? Vaccine?

In this blog, Margo expresses my views very eloquently and precisely. When will we stop being such a selfish society? Will we ever stop being such a selfish society? It is hard to feel much sympathy for those who get infected by Covid because they didn’t choose to get vaccinated, endangering others for their perception of “freedom”.

that little voice

I’m reluctantly crawling back into my cozy cave of isolation since many fellow earth dwellers are either unwilling or unable to roll up their sleeves and get the Covid vaccine.

I understand why people in parts of the world are not vaccinated: they don’t have access to this life saving drug. But those who can get the tiny prick in their arms and choose not to leave me mystified.

Actually, my emotions run more toward anger than bewilderment. I hear the argument we should be free to make our own decisions about what goes into our bodies. I get that. However, as a friend said recently, freedom doesn’t mean getting everything you want. Freedom comes with obligations, and those obligations are living in a society where there are rules that keep us all safe.

For instance, we are obligated to stop at stop signs and red lights for the good…

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Taking Time to Refresh my Soul

This summer, with Covid restrictions lifted, we got our week on the coast, within hearing of the ocean, smelling, feeling the ocean air, relaxing. Refreshing. At this house, for 6 days, Gep, Kat, and I shook off the Covid malaise.

The decision to make this trip together came rather late in the available choices on VRBO year, which, coupled with budget constraints, did not get us oceanfront, but our windows did provide that sliver of ocean view.

We arrived late afternoon, as permitted by the rules of the house, so the next day after the sun burned the marine layer off, Gep and I walked across the road, down the path that promised to lead to the beach. Uh oh! At the end of the path, a kind of a sea lake. Okay, maybe not a sea lake, maybe a lake formed where the river flowed under the bridge and into the ocean.

There appeared to be a continuation of the path to the right (not shown), but it required clamboring down a steep rocky slope, treading carefully along the edge of the “lake”, then crouch-walking through an area of heavy foliage. Since my clamboring is neither as graceful nor as trustworthy as it was a few years ago, we opted to go back to the house, get in the car, and drive down road to the Cook’s Creek beach.

It was a beach with lots of rocks, affording many tide pools – we were baffled by the fact that most of those little pools showed no life with the exception of this one, where a sea slug waited patiently for the next high tide to wash him back to into the sea.

Gep took pictures, using his phone camera just as I did, because isn’t it so much easier to carry than a big camera? I call it efficiency.

More beach scenes.

Ahhh, this has been grand. My heart is happy. My soul is relaxed. The beach is my happy place, but now it’s time to head back to our temporary home so that we can get ready to head to a town with places to have lunch.

To be continued. . .

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