Share Your World – November 6, 2017

As regular as clockwork, Cee has tossed us another challenge to bear our souls and share our worlds.

Would you rather take a 2 week vacation with an organized tour or take a cruise of your choice? Can I just do both? I mean, I’m retired, I have nowhere I have to be. Both appeal to me in different ways. The cruise would be so relaxing, and offers a wonderful opportunity to get a taste of different countries, just enough to know whether or not you might like to visit again in more depth. An organized tour could be good, if it didn’t just go to the big tourist attractions, but led you off the beaten path a bit. How about I just take the cruise, but on days in a port I hire a local guide to show me the local attractions, including some that might be a bit obscure.

Did you like swinging as a child? Do you still get excited when you see a swing? I did like swinging as a child. There was such a wonderful sense of freedom and being in command of my world on a swing, flying high into the sky (or so it seemed), with the wind in my face. I don’t know that I’d say I get excited when I see a swing now, but it would be nice to have one of those adult, fluffy chair type swings hanging from a tree in my yard. These days, I think my swinging would be more gentle – but I bet there would be days when an old-fashioned swing would be just the ticket – soaring high into the sky again.

What is the most important thing that you ever learned ? (I bet it’s not something you learned in school) I think the most important thing I ever learned was that I am a lot stronger than I would have given myself credit for. That there is a lot I’m capable of doing when I try. That I am a survivor. That’s a benefit of being a working single mom, struggling to survive on an income that does not allow for frivolity.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. I’m still having trouble being inspired or appreciating things. I’m weary – weary of what the world we live in is becoming, weary of ineffective leadership, not looking forward to the gray days of winter with it’s restrictive weather. But – I have appreciated some of this week’s sunrises, I appreciate having friends near enough to share a cup of coffee and a little camaraderie, I appreciate having the privacy of my own home and a yard that is large enough neighbors do not hear the words I speak from inside my house or out on my decks, I appreciate the warmth of my furry girl who likes to cuddle in bed on cool nights, I appreciate the contact with my kids and the knowledge that I will get some of their time during the holidays. I appreciate that I wake up mornings and am able to get out and about without assistance.

Playing with inks is a good diversion for some of my mornings, and I recently decided to play a little with my What’sIts creatures. Here are a couple that will end up being the front of a greeting card at some point in time.

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Salt Water Rivers

Yesterday morning I had to get out of bed at 5:30 a.m. That’s 5:30 in the dark hours of morning. That’s a time I’m quite certain was not meant for man. It was for a good reason – taking a friend to an early appointment – but it resulted in a rather animated discussion between myself and I. Myself was protesting, feeling that no one should be up when the skies are still the black of night. Myself was claiming it was unfair that I was requiring it to do so. I told myself that it’s good for it to sometimes do something that it didn’t like, and it was for a good reason. Myself continued to protest, claiming myself had earned the right to get up when the skies were lighter and to move with a studied slowness through the morning, before myself was required to actually perform like a human. I know to pick my battles, because myself can become petulant and difficult to deal with, so I chose to ignore myself, and move on with my morning. Result was that both myself and I survived that early rising, although we did nap a bit more than usual later in the day.

Watching an HGTV show last night, one of those where the very industrious and ambitious, not to mention attractive, couples finds old broken houses, and turns them back into the queens of the neighborhood in no time flat, succeeding in making quite a good profit. In this particular case, the female of the couple is very pregnant, and although the renovation purportedly took 60 days, her pregnancy looked to be at the point of delivery at the beginning of the 60 days, and I spent my half hour feeling badly for her that she had to be so very large for such a long time. And continue to be so very large for such a long time during the next episode where they turned one more dilapidated structure into the queen of another neighborhood. I’m pretty sure I would not have tolerated a pregnancy that kept me at gotta be going to deliver any moment stage for so very many months.

The weather is making it apparent that we are heading to another winter. How can that possibly be? Didn’t we just get over a winter? Can’t have been that long ago, because it remains quite vivid in my mind. So where the heck is my lottery win (the one I’m going to win without having to actually buy tickets) so that I can buy myself a winter on a warmer coastline, one that allows walks on the beaches whenever I choose. It would be a good test to see if I can tolerate winters that are gray, foggy, and rainy better than I tolerate those that are gray, colder, snowy, and more gray. Or black and white. In the winter our Ponderosa Pines, those that are green in warmer months, appear black against the white of the snow and light gray of the skies. Uh oh. It’s not even here yet, and already I’m complaining. It could be a long winter.

Now you’re wondering what any of this has to do with salt water rivers, aren’t you? Well, nothing, now that you ask. I do have a little story about salt water rivers. One I hesitate to share, because you will come away from hearing it wondering about my intelligence – if, indeed, I have any intelligence. But since I’ve teased you with the headline, I suppose it only fair to tell you the story.

When I am a passenger in a moving vehicle, when I am required to do nothing but sit there and let my mind wander, my mind does exactly that. Wander. Into the clouds. Away. Rendering it completely useless. Do not ask it to put together cohesive, reasonable thoughts. The result was a time when husband was driving us north on the western coastal highway 1, high above the ocean, providing a beautiful view of the ocean and the coastline. I had the map on my lap, being navigator (although he didn’t listen to what I said, because he had experience with my navigating abilities), and noticing all the rivers connecting to the ocean along the coast. My thought process – if it can be called a thought process – flowed down through my vocal chords and triggered my facial muscles to open my mouth, so these words could pass through, out to the open air where they could be heard – “those rivers must be salt water, since the ocean water is flowing into them”. Those words were followed by a very brief period of silence. Laughter ensued. Hearty, loud, laughter. And the story was remembered to be shared with one and all when we arrived where one and all were. Frequently. Over a period of years. Yep, “Vera”* and her salt water rivers.

*The Vera reference came from the TV show at the time called Mel’s Diner – one of the waitresses at Mel’s Diner was a lovely lady, gentle and sweet, and less than bright. She was named Vera.

Sigh.

Now to share, with more to say about this later, my most recent tile destined to become useful for display or as a trivet.

Seems to be a recurring theme for me of late – skies, mountains, water.

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Share Your World – October 30, 2017

Here it is – another Halloween, the day prior to the “month of the dead” celebration. Over the years, the meaning of Halloween has changed – a lot – now being the day/evening for children to practice being frightening, in a nice way, and to fill their bags with sweets and treats. When I was a child, and when my children were children, it was a fun evening. Now, living on a dark, rural road, with no children around, it is simply another day. I’m fine with that – it’s one of those “been there, done that” things for me. But – it is also the beginning of a new week, and time to join Cee in sharing.

Where do you eat breakfast? My preference would be to eat breakfast out, at a place where it is cooked for me, served to me, and cleaned up afterwards by someone other than me. At home, left to my own devices, breakfast does not often happen, but when it does, it will consist of complex foods like a smoothie, a bagel with cream cheese, an English Muffin with lots of butter. You know, complex foods that take maybe a minute to prepare. And it will never ever be right after I get up – breakfast is most appreciated a couple of hours after I’ve gotten up. At least a couple of hours.

Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want have a evening with? My choices are simple – not complicated at all. My first choice of people I’d like to spend time with, any time, is always my kids, my Kat and Gep. Next in line would be my friends, congenial, with like interests, comfortable. It would be a relaxing evening. I am beyond the point in life where I am looking for challenges or much stimulation.

If you could be a tree or plant, what would you be? Oh gosh. Maybe an Oak tree, strong and sturdy, flaunting my flamboyant colors in the fall, providing nuggets for wild critters to store for winter. And in the heat of the summer, providing shade for all who wish to linger near me and a place for the birds to start their new families.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. I’m not sure what it was that inspired me, but this week I have felt more inspired to indulge myself with my inks, deciding to create whatever moves me at the moment, with no consideration to whether it’s something others might want to buy. Because I’ve concluded that attempting to make art that might be marketable takes away the fun, the freedom, of making art. But this might be the source of another blog post one day.

And now, to share one of the “creations” I came up with this week:

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Happy Halloween

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Thoughts of Undetermined Value

It’s happened again! I had some thoughts for a blog post the other day, and so as to be sure not to lose them, I typed them up on a document on the computer – safe, right? Uh huh. Except now that I’m ready to sit down and share them, I cannot find that document. Those darn elves that keep stealing things really need to go live somewhere else! I’m getting tired of their sneaking around behind my back and hiding things. My things. Not their things. Mine!

So – anyway – at least one of those thoughts is still in my brain. There have been times in recent months when I’ve wondered what became of girlfriends from my school days – primarily high school, because I don’t remember friends from before that. Too many moves, too many changes. The problem with trying to locate girlfriends is that we grow up, we marry, we change our names. For one friend in particular, I remember the name of the boy who was her love the last time we were in touch, but then we lost touch and I don’t know if they married, or if they did, if they stayed married. I’d like to find her, because I’ve been having another vexing memory loss – which is the last name of my love when we last were together. I can picture him, I remember his first name and nickname, I know he was from Texas. I know I was sure we were going to marry once we got out of high school (this was at the ripe old age of 15), and we were going to live happily ever after. Because that’s what girls did then. But my family moved. Again. Distance makes relationships tough, especially at the ripe old age of 15. We did not marry, so we did not live happily ever after. Why does it matter what his last name was? It doesn’t, but questioning minds want to know.

There was another girlfriend, who I did keep in touch with for longer. I know she married a classmate, I know they did live happily ever after, I know they had kids. I know he died, not that many years ago, but then my life was in a turmoil and – we lost touch. Now I wonder, is she still alive? Life is complicated by the fact that women marry and change their names.

Oh! Miracle of miracles! I just found my notes. Hidden very well because apparently I did not name the file, so it got saved as Blank. Who the heck would look at a file named Blank? So! I’ve been saved! Aren’t you excited?

Memories from those teen years, when vanity ruled. When I hear about or think about Pikes Peak, what always comes to mind is the time we lived nearby, during those teen years, when the thing to do Easter morning was to go to the sunrise services at Pikes Peak. In those days, we still got new dresses for Easter Sunday, and those dresses were a key component – required to be shown off, to flaunt all of our gloriousness in those dresses. Never mind if they were sleeveless, never mind if Pikes Peak on Easter Sunday before sunrise could never be called “warm”. A coat of jacket would have hidden those new dresses, and were, therefore, verboten. Yeah, right. Nowadays I would probably wrap myself in a blanket worn over my warm sweats. Okay, so I do also think about the beauty of Pikes Peak, especially as the sun rises over those red, red rocks. A prize in that beautiful state of Colorado.

Another high school memory – drive in theaters. Again in Colorado, on Saturday nights they had dusk to dawn movies – started at dusk, went on till dawn. We used to crowd as many as possible into my boyfriend’s old Ford (yes, that boyfriend who has no last name), and head for the movies. The fact that they showed dusk to dawn usually ended up getting me in trouble and grounded, because although we never stayed till dawn (if we had, we would not have survived to tell about it), it was difficult to watch all of 2 or 3 movies and get me home by curfew – a very conservative curfew of 10:00. I gotta tell you, I spent a lot of time that summer being grounded.

So here I am, wondering what Tex’s (nickname – real name was Charles, but he was from Texas, so. . .) last name was, what happened to Rose, where the two or three Janets I knew are now. If one of the Janets, whose mother always made the most delicious yeast rolls, timed to be ready to be slathered with butter and eaten hot just after we got home from school, also made those delicious yeast rolls.

Life is full of questions never to be answered.

And, of course – a couple more of my inked ghost trees.

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Share Your World – October 23, 2017

Somehow this week has gotten away from me – sleeping late, trip to town, trying to get a couple more winter preparation projects done while fall is still with us – and suddenly, it’s Wednesday! I’m late to Cee’s sharing party. Again!

Was school easy or difficult for you? How so? Insofar as school work goes, it was easy for me – until I hit algebra. Algebra was a “what the heck?” “Who needs this?” I have only known one person in my life who actually used algebra. The social aspect of school was not so easy – it was hard to really fit in when I might only be in that school for two or three months – sometimes less. Usually the people with whom I made friends were others who didn’t quite fit in.

List some of your favorite types of animals. Furry ones. Slippery ones, like dolphins. Dogs, cats of all sizes, giraffes, llamas (when they don’t spit at me), animals, large and small. My choice for pets, however, is pretty much limited to dogs and cats.

What is your favorite large city you have been to? What is the one thing you remember most? Ummm. Here comes another “it depends”. It depends on my favorite for what? If it were a large city I was actually going to live in, perhaps Portland, Oregon, downtown, because of it’s mass transportation system. For unique (to me) things to see, Beijing. For Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks that really felt out of place, Seoul, South Korea. For keeping me on my toes and alert to those around me, New York City – admittedly, this is based on a trip there many many years ago, when I was hunting for a book by Erich Fromm titled The Art of Loving – Bad thing to ask for around Times Square, at least at that time. I think each large city I’ve been to, including Los Angeles and Chicago, have had some charm to them, but I’m really not a city girl. Woman. Old Lady.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. The return of some nice fall weather after a few days of cold winds and rain showers. The return of warmth has inspired me to get to it, to actually finish the necessary winter preparation chores. Especially since a look at the bank account has reminded me I cannot take off to warm sunny ocean beaches for the winter. Might as well get ready to hunker down here.

Now to share an ink on tile I recently did, which was very very very loosely based on a photo taken by Heather of Snap Happy Gal Photography. Take a look at what she does – she’s terrific!

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Gratitude

On this sunny fall morning, I am feeling so grateful to so many of you – to my friends here in my neighborhood, to my kids, to so many of my bloggy friends – the support you have all shown after my loss of my oldest furry girl, Bailey, has been overwhelming. It has reminded me how close a community can become, despite the fact that we have never met in person.

Shasta and I are finding our new normal. She has been unusually quiet for the past few days, and was very unhappy when I left her at the groomers Monday while I shopped. The look she gave me when I walked out the door induced enough guilt that I made a trip to the meat market to get her some large marrow bones. She’s been carrying the one I’ve given her around nearly everywhere she goes. This morning she went on a barking frenzy when a bird pecked on one of the house walls, the first time she’s done that since Bailey’s departure.

And Bailey? Well, she’s shown up in a couple dreams, letting me know she’s okay, she’s happy, she’s free of pain. It’s been reassuring, and helpful in accepting that my decision was the best, in fact probably should have been made a couple months earlier. Saying goodbye is hard, but living in pain is harder – but it’s so hard for a mere human like me to recognize what the stoic dog is feeling. I could never get her to use her words to tell me.

Each day brings a little more healing. We thank you for your support, for being more than enough.

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