Share Your World – March 26, 2018

I’m sitting here watching the birds and small critters outside my window, avoiding things like vacuuming, laundry, yard work – because I don’t wanna, not right now. Later. I’ll do something later. A really good way to avoid things I don’t want to do is to play with Cee and share more of my world.

What is your favorite color of hair? You can name your hair color or a color that you just like. I don’t know if I have a favorite although I guess generally it’s whatever your natural color is. Except, of course, when I was younger and my natural color was a dishwatery blonde I was not happy with it. I think maybe a deep, rich brown might be the color I like the best – on someone else.

List at least 5 things that you are good at. Ummm. I am really good, expert almost, at avoiding things I don’t want to do – hence, this post. I have a really hard time commending myself. I’m good at making pie crusts. I’m good at following written instruction – which is not to say I’ll listen when someone tells me how to do something I already know how to do. I’m good at learning new things when I’m interested. I’m good at planning trips. I’m good at being manipulated by my pets and the wild critters I feed, as witnessed by the fact that I stopped typing this to go put sunflower seed out for the squirrel that just took the lid off the can I keep it in.

What is your favorite animal or type of animal? (pets, dolphins, stuffed, wild cats, etc) Animals. Almost all animals. As pets I like dogs and cats. Not so fond of snakes, rats, mice in the house as pets. I am entranced by dolphins/porpoises and I think giraffes are the most regal creatures in existence.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. This past week – the one prior to March 26 – I appreciated having a warm, dry home to be in, a furry cuddly girl to keep me company, regular communication with my son and daughter, good food to eat. Mostly, life.

Now, some of the paintings I’ve been doing as I stay inside the warm, dry house.

Abandoned

My version of Northeern Lights – with a great deal of artistic license thrown in

Standing Alone

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Share Your World – March 19, 2018

Let me tell you a story about a man named Brady – no? Alrighty then, I’ll share some more of my world with Cee and all of you.

What is your earliest memory? Ummm. I think my earliest memory is from when I was probably five or six years old – that’s based on when I think we lived in Arnegard, North Dakota. I stayed home from school one day because I was sick (or I was pretending to be sick) and when my parents went to work I “cleaned” house. which means I threw out things I didn’t like, mainly my saddle shoes. I hated those shoes. I suspect my “cleaning” did not earn me gold stars but I’ve conveniently forgotten that part.

Which way does the toilet paper roll go? Over or under? Over. Always. It makes more sense to me for it to go over. Easier to find the end in the dark.

What makes you feel grounded? Quiet time with myself. The sound of ocean or large lake waves hitting the shore. Birdsong. Cat’s purring.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

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There are these feelings, these words, clamoring to be let loose despite the fact that I have been trying to ignore them. I’m giving in now – because this is my way of uncluttering my mind, setting things down in front of me to review, to gain a perspective and some balance.

Division seems to be what this time period is going to be remembered for. Division that is spreading, creeping into too many lives I think. Or maybe I just feel that way because it’s crept into my life, into my mind set. Politically, philosophically, I find myself standing alone. My closest friends, my more casual friends, all seem to have positions completely the opposite of mine. I am trying to learn to just keep quiet, but words too often fly out of my mouth, completely unintended. I know I am alienating people, and I know they are alienating me.

I don’t understand – and I am not saying my position is right – those who call themselves Christians but still voted for DT – a man whose caliber of behavior was well known before time to vote. For me if Hillary was not an option for voters who claimed not to like DT, voting for no one would have been preferable.

I don’t understand people who feel it’s necessary to have a gun readily available for protection. I have a 22 rifle, put away but there if some sort of emergency came up, although I doubt very much I could actually shoot a human being with it. I don’t understand people who feel it’s necessary to carry a gun with them at all times. I don’t understand, but I don’t really have a problem with it – for others. Not for me, but if that is your choice, so be it.

I really don’t understand those who feel assault/military style, high velocity, high capacity rifles should be readily available. I know there are those who like them for recreation, but I don’t understand. I don’t understand why regulations are so abhorrent to gun people – we need to pass tests to drive cars, to be hired for a job, to vote – so why shouldn’t we have to pass tests for gun ownership? And if we can’t buy a tank as our mode of operation, why should be need assault/military style rifles? Really, we don’t “need” everything we think we want.

I don’t understand why gun people feel that if there are any tightening of regulations or prohibitions of type of weapons permitted, it means that ultimately they will lose their right to have guns. If you distrust your government to that degree, wouldn’t it make sense to do something about the government? Like maybe think hard and look hard and try to see clearly before you cast votes. Open your minds and check facts about both sides first?

Yes, I know there is the 2nd amendment. But I also know that amendment was drawn during a time when there was no organized militia and when in the event of an armed conflict, all men could be called in for service. I know that amendment was drawn before we had automatic and semi-automatic guns and I wonder if our forefathers would look at it as being a proper amendment now.

I hate division, but I am learning to be at peace with standing alone. I am learning to be at peace with spending most of my time at home with my furry girl, doing quiet things that I like to do. Although I am sad with the loss of the feeling of closeness. And hoping this too shall pass.

Standing Alone:

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Winter White on a March Friday Morning

Old Man Winter is slow to give up this year, which I suppose is fitting because he was slow to arrive. Fitting, perhaps, but not welcome. The past two days, we have gotten up to freshly fallen snow. Not a lot, just enough to remind us who is really in charge here – it’s sure not me. Nature is giving us winter white and I’m ready for spring green.

I sit here, still in my robe because why not? There are pleasant scents coming from the kitchen behind me, where I have my own version of refried beans simmering on the stove top, and spicy scented essential oils in my diffuser. It’s an odd mixture, but pleasing. Lately, my go-to snack at night has been refried beans and tortilla chips. Healthy, right? I mean all that protein and veggies – because the chips are corn after all. I’ve been making my own refried beans for awhile now because it seemed to me there wasn’t all that much to them, really. But then I mix a spoonful of salsa in with them when I heat a dish for my snack, so I thought “why can’t I make refried beans with salsa in the first place?” Because I have lots of time for thoughts like that to appear. So this morning I took some of the chili bean mix that I had cooked a couple of weeks ago and frozen, and added them to sautéed onion and garlic and red chili pepper in my skillet, then added a can of diced tomatoes and water and simmered until the beans were very soft. When I finish here, I will get out my little Cuisinart hand blender and blend it all together, after which I will put it in Mason jars and vacuum seal. I’ll let you know how that all works out.

If I haven’t already overwhelmed you with the excitement of my lengthy explanation of my refried beans, a few other thoughts have wandered into my brain occasionally. Like, how nice it is to have a computer on which to type that will correct my typos as opposed to the typewriters we used back in the day. Until autocorrect decides, because I hit one key wrong, that when I was trying to type sending, I really meant sledding. Say what? Moral of the story is that I still need to proofread, just like I used to do with a typewriter. I went through a period of time where the finger that rested on the “j” key apparently was twitchy, so on an electric typewriter “j” kept appearing in odd places in my text. At that time, I appreciated white-out – which was imperfect and did not always make a really neat correction. Then a glorious advance – typewriters that came with a correction tape already installed, and all that needed to be done was to hit the back key and remove the unwanted letters. Progress was a wonderful thing. Now we’ve moved on to computers and things like the iPad with attached keyboard I’m using to type this. Devices that too often consider themselves much smarter than the lowly human attempting to operate them. I think those who create work to be printed on bright, colorful paper and posted for the world to see need to remember that, although these devices are very smart, they haven’t yet figured out correct grammar and have been known to accept a word you don’t mean for what you do mean – like, for instance, they don’t know the difference between our and out. Additionally, if you don’t take advantage of auto-correct and if no one does a proper job of proofreading, there’s a good chance that publication you present to the world will contain a spelling error or two – to me, that is a major embarrassment if you’re trying to convince me your product or your plan is the best thing for me.

Have you ever thought about some of the common sayings we humans use? Like “I could care less”, which interpreted literally means you really could care less, despite the fact that you’re trying to say you don’t give a hoot. Then there’s “it is what it is” – which of course is true. Things are what they are, unless there’s been some nonsense going on to make them something other than what they appear to be. Like a lot of people. The saying that rankles me the most is “life will show us the way” – I had a boss once that used to say that when I would try to pin him down for an answer on something that needed to be tended to (like a bill heading towards being past due), that he really didn’t want to deal with at the time. Major case of avoidance. Sometimes, maybe, life will show us the way if we are to listening and watching carefully, but usually life expects us to take care of things because we were after all, given a brain.

We were given a brain – although more and more often lately I wonder if some people know what the brain is for? You know, things like working ideas out for yourself, making your own choices and decisions, paying attention to the facts rather than blindly following the path of another, that kind of silliness. We seem to pick a side (I hate that everything seems about one side against the other anymore), and blindly stay with that side no matter what happens. Yeah, I fall into that trap too often too, but if you present me with facts that dispute my side, I will listen. I will listen, then I will make my own choice. But don’t bombard me with unfounded fake facts, or something someone said that you’ve chosen to believe without investigation. Do that, and you’ve lost me.

Which makes me wonder – has anyone reminded our government that we all have brains and we could think for ourselves? Including them, I would assume. Then again, maybe I would assume incorrectly. I will continue to hope. And disagree. And speak my mind. And applaud the students soon to be voters like the kids in Parkland that use their brains to think for themselves and speak their minds. They deserve to be heard, they deserve praise, they do not deserve to be put down and disbelieved because they are kids.

On a more friendly note, I have been spending some time doing recreational painting, for my own pleasure. I do this because I enjoy doing it. I share one of my recent painting, because I want to.

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Woo Hoo! I got to sleep late!

I like this saving daylight thing – I really do. It was because we’re saving daylight that I got to sleep late this morning. The clock said so. The clock told me that when my furry girl told me it was time for her breakfast (lots of things tell me what to do) it was an hour later than what has been usual. Never mind the light level was exactly the same as it was yesterday – the clock said! So I’m a happy camper, and will be for the next few months. Let’s not discuss what kind of camper I will be when fall comes – unless the powers that be get smart and opt to just keeping saving daylight all year long.

There is another difference today. We have blue skies and sunshine. Just piling up the happiness things here. The snow is melting so I can now walk down my driveway without the fear of slipping on ice and falling. I can also see all the pine needles that will need to be raked up when it dries up. Unless I just let nature rule and go primitive. Maybe get some goats and let my grass grow.

I’ve limiting the news I watch. But I did read a summary of the speech DT gave ostensibly for the candidate in Pennsylvania’s special election which will be held Tuesday. At least that’s what they said the speech was about – but it seemed to me DT did what he does best – brought it back around to himself and how great he is. Is everyone convinced yet? Can we just move on with some civility and reason in governing now?

I watched the Academy Awards last weekend. After a day of thinking I wouldn’t watch because I haven’t seen any of the movies and anyway, who cares? But I did. Because it’s easy watching, requiring nothing of me. It was okay, and I might even watch a couple of the movies now that they’re available for streaming. I say that – but I still have one of last year’s winners in my watch list. Not watched.

My chipmunks have apparently decided it’s not time to hibernate. I’ve had one that’s been out foraging where I throw birdseed for a few weeks now. More recently, he was joined by a second one. This morning there are three of them. Our crazy non-winter winter – or what was a non-winter winter until the middle of February – must have them really confused. Sometimes one of them will come peek into my morning room door window. One of the squirrels does that too. That’s fine now, but I’m questioning the wisdom of my hanging screen door when summer comes. I might end up with more inside pets than I really want.

I’ve been trying to learn to paint with acrylics now. The key word here being trying. I’ve decided to call my style “representational” because that allows for my lack of ability to paint well – or in a realistic manner anyway. I’m liking palette knife painting right now – although I cannot say I have a real technique or am the least adept with them. Hey, it’s all in the name of fun anyway. Maybe someday I’ll post some more of what I’ve done. Or maybe not. We’ll see how I feel later.

I’ve finished my second cup of coffee now, so I guess I should think about getting dressed or doing something constructive. Or not. Life will show me the way. I hate that saying. I had a boss that said it all the time, but it was always when I brought up a problem that really needed to be dealt with. I think it’s called avoidance.

Wishing you enough.

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Sharing my March 5 World on March 7

Back to my old habits, without a good reason other than I am a master procrastinator. I’d blame it on winter, but I’m like this all the time, so I can’t honestly do that. Whatever, I am here now to share.

What did you or did not like about the first place you lived without your parents? I think what I liked the most was that it was my own place. I was married before I moved, way too young, but you couldn’t have told me that without hearing a big denial.

What is your most favorite smell/scent? Oh my. Freshly baked bread. Sheets dried on a line outside. Baby powder. Freshly mown grass. Cinnamon and spice. Lilacs. The gentle scent of pink peonies, cut and in my vase.

Would you prefer snowy winters, or not, and why? This answer is a demonstration of the stupidity of humans – or at least of me. When I was much younger, I loved walking in the first snow, while it was snowing. Then I got older. When I first moved to Southern California, I delighted in shirt-sleeve Christmas weather without ice and snow. After a few years, I began to miss the seasons, and eventually moved here, where we have all those seasons. But – of course there’s a but – I now no longer like to walk in the snow, falling or not. I view it as an inhibitor, that requires effort from me I do not wish to expend. The short answer to this question would be no, I don’t like snowy winters. Anymore. But that would be too easy, so I answered this way instead. I still don’t like snowy winters anymore.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. I am appreciating that it isn’t snowing, it’s warming up a little, the snow is melting. I am appreciating having the recipes for my meals selected for me and the ingredients shipped to me, leaving me only to follow instructions to put those meals together. I am appreciating the quiet and warmth of my home, and the cuddles of my furry girl.

Now, from my world of appreciation and enough, I want to share a couple of random photos from this past week.

My Christmas cactus masquerading as an Easter cactus.

A Pygmy Nuthatch

A squirrel

A furry girl who just had a treat

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Share Your World – February 26, 2018

A day late, but with good reason. My internet has been intermittent – which meant another of those oh-so-rewarding calls with tech support which ended with them deciding I needed a new modem. It’s due today, but the old one has decided to do its job, for now at least. In the meantime, I was using my phone as my hotspot for the important stuff – you know, email and Facebook. But, having a limit that results in my speed having it’s head cut off if I exceed it, made me want to be cautious. This incident has proved, once again, that I rely on internet far too much. Anyway, since it’s working now, I decided it was time to share my little part of the world.

What are you reading right now? The Fifteen Lives of Harry August, but slowly because apparently I’m not much in the mood for reading this week. Probably, stupidly, too busy fretting about iffy internet and the state of the world.

What was your first adult job? Not sure what defines when I became an adult. When I was in business school I worked part-time at a theater, either as cashier or concession stand attendant. In those days, we had both. Our local theater now does not have a designated cashier, you buy your ticket and refreshments if you want any at the concession counter. Once I got out of business school, I became a secretary for an insurance agent.

What’s your favorite breakfast cereal? I rarely eat breakfast cereal, but if I were to decide I wanted some it would either be my homemade granola or Honey-Nut Cheerios. Nowadays, if I have anything to eat in the morning, it’s toast in the late morning. Toast made with my homemade French Herb Bread. Giving myself pats on my back today, although they’re not really deserved because I use a breadmaker to make the dough.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. Ummm. I did smile a couple times, at Shasta’s antics out in the snow, at a cat video on Facebook, at a friend plowing the snow from my driveway. But mostly, the news inspired my anger and frustration at the way of the world. An example of that is the painting below that expressed how I think the world feels.

But then there is another painting that is much more peaceful.

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