Saturday, January 29, 2011

Ah, the congestion of early spring. My head feels like 5pm on the Los
Angeles freeways. I missed the winter colds and flu, thank goodness,
but my nose has gleefully anticipated the flowering of spring and
decided to barricade itself from further assault by the germs of
January. This seems to have necessitated building a cement wall that
is almost airtight.

It could be worse. I'm not punctuating the air with the hooting and
honking of a chest cold. My distress is primarily contained in a
solid blockage midway below my eyes. It has a discordant sound all
its own, a raspy intake of air that sounds like an avalanche on a
rocky slope but moves far less debris. I rival the wall-shattering
snorts of my step-father, whose nose-blowing in my youth would rattle
windows for blocks around.

In time I shall feel poetical about spring. I'll cherish the warmer
days, the blooming of flowers and the emergence of leaves. But for
right now I'll salute with a sneeze and a snort, the sounds of
awakening sinuses.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Is it here yet?

So deceptive, this sunny January weather we are having along the
Oregon coast. I look out the window and see the bright Day-Orb and
think it must be warm. Time to open doors and windows! Let some nice
warm air in to shake up the stuffy musty closed-in winter feeling of
the house. Listen to the birds chirp! It must be an early spring...

Fifteen minutes of the open door reminds me that sunshine certainly
doesn't equate with air warmth and unless I'm enjoying the goose-
bumps rising on every square inch of my body I'd better subdue my
enthusiasm and re-batten the hatches. Sitting directly in the sun is
radiant but the air is still January cold.

We get eager for spring around here. Himself sets off for his walk
into town without the usual long sleeved shirt. He returns, warmed
with the exercise, but aware that as soon as he sits down the chill
will return and he'll want that extra layer on his arms. I eyeball
the sun and imagine sitting on the porch with my second cup of coffee
but know that my winter pale skin will eagerly burn in the clear
direct light while my ankles will be complaining about icicles and
frostbite.

Yes, Spring will get here. But not yet. The birds sense it and a few
are starting to migrate through. The daffodils anticipate warmer
ground and venture up, calling to the buds on the alders to wake up.
But the sun has not moved far enough on the horizon to flood through
the dining room window. It will be weeks of winter yet, more dark
rainy days to come, before the glory of an Oregon coast spring arrives.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bleagh!

A big Eeek! for the blogging experience. Why does it happen that when
leaving a comment on another blogpost the text I've typed
mysteriously disappears and is replaced by random text I didn't write
(ever!) - and I notice just as I hot the button to post the comment?

Sure makes me look even dumber than I feel!

(Insert loud juicy raspberry toward the gremlins running the digital
world!)

Me, Me, & Me!

Some days are more frustrating than others. The worst are when I feel
a bunch of the different ME's (does that get an apostrophe? It looks
silly without...) jostling for position and command of the vehicle we
all inhabit. It gets crowded and they don't play well together. For
instance:

There is a ME who is tidy and wants to dust, and polish, and vacuum,
and scrub. She casts a critical eye around the house and screams to
take control so her home matches the one in her imagination.

The ME who has the soul of a writer gazes at clouds and grasps at
bits of image and verse. She tends to come out strongest when I am
somewhere away from pen or keyboard - like in the shower. The other
ME's obviously enjoy frustrating her.

There is an old, cranky ME. She is willing to share space with any of
the others as long as she has an equal or greater voice. I work hard
to dampen her language and remind her not to annoy the social ME.
Social ME likes being liked, tries hard to please, struggles to keep
the rest of the crew in line. She holds the reins but sometimes loses
control.

Mystic ME stays amused at the antics of the rest. She is the
believer, the dreamer, the one who is calm and spiritual. I like her
and wish she had more time up front, but she is inclines to smile and
shrug her shoulders, knowing whatever happens is okey-dokey.

These ladies and a bunch more shove their way to the surface and run
the vehicle. They use elbows and knees to subdue the competition. I
often feel like an observer at a mixed pairs tennis match.

But I get to tattle on them from time to time!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Directions please?

After waiting, and waiting, and waiting some more... After promises,
assurances, anticipation and expectation, high speed internet has
arrived at our non-bustling mini-town on the Oregon coast. It is
wonderfully quick, especially compared with the dial-up service
Himself and I have been using.

Now what do I do with it?

I'd been hearing about YouTube. I'd been yearning to explore Blogs.
An entire digital universe has opened up - and I have no clue where
to go or how to begin. I'm not even sure I want to venture forth.

So, you few hardy souls who read these words, I'm open to
suggestions. What are your favorite haunts, your biggest time-wasters
or sources for humor/information/sharing out there in Internetland?
Point, click and drag me out and show me what is so wonderful and
reachable via computer, the stuff that could lure me away from my
books, TV, and iPod. I dare you to find something that will rival my
view of the ocean or the mountains hereabouts. It seems I have time
now to enjoy both the digital and the real world!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fat

To every person who thinks it is okay to make fun of me because I'm
fat: "Stick it in your ear and light it!"

I'm tired of it being okay to make fun of fat people and to suggest
that being fat is somehow a personal affront to the eyes of the
nation. And I'm tired of those who think that all a fat person needs
to do is diet. Yes, I'm addicted to food. It doesn't cause public
safety issues like drugs or alcohol abuse, or offend like smoking.
Unfortunately I can't go "cold turkey" to break my habit.

Stop making generalizations about me. I am not dirty. I am not jolly.
I am not sick all the time.

I'm not asking for pity. I don't want that any more than I wanted the
psychological scarring that made me seek refuge in food. I would,
however, appreciate you withholding snotty judging comments based on
your prejudice against me. Do not assume that because I am fat I am
also stupid, or lazy, or am somehow immoral. You have unbelievable
audacity in thinking that being thin somehow makes you a better human
being than me.

Your muscular pecs have not made you an Einstein nor has your ideal
weight on the scale made you a nice person. You should be thanking
me. My fat has given you an opportunity to feel smug and superior,
right? Your willingness to ridicule, judge, and humiliate me says a
great deal about who you are. My fat is on my body... yours is
between your ears.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Today's Thoughts

I knew I shouldn't have bothered putting away those Christmas
decorations. January is nearly over already and the "early shopper"
flyers should for the 2011 pre-Christmas sales will be coming in
soon. Valentines were in the stores before the end of December.

Himself and I feel somewhat possessed. Television doesn't exactly own
us, but it sure has us on a long-tern lease! Of course, television
has to share us with the computers. Between them Himself and I
haven't a fighting chance.

I'm not fond of wet and even less thrilled by cold. So whatever drew
me to the Great NorthWet? Temporary insanity? In case I was hopeful
of recovery the winters here keep me from going sane.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Weather... or not.

When it was colder than usual here, a week or two ago, I was
disgusted by the frost, the potential for snow, frozen pipes, black
ice on the highways.

It has since warmed up a bit and we have the more usual rain. Rain
and wind. The savory scent of mildew, algae in the puddles in the
driveway, the potential for leaks in the roof and flooding on the roads.

Of course if we didn't have this sort of winter weather I could worry
about drought, dry grasses and shrinking streams, the threat of fires
next summer.

When I lived in California I longed for seasonal changes, for more
drama in the yearly climate. Now I fantasize about the year around
warmth of Hawaii.

You see where this is going, don't you?

Like one of our silly sheep I have my neck stuck through a fence,
lusting after the verdant pasture on the opposite side... until I get
through that open gate, turn around, and feel the need to crop the
lovely grass back the other direction!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Knock-Knock!

Anybody out there have a cure for a bad case of Woodpeckers?

Recently my mornings begin with a steady tap-tap-tap as the local
Flicker population pecks the wood siding on my house. So far it isn't
the rapid raucous rat-a-tat-tat of a feathered sub-machine gun, but I
anticipate that at some future date. They have chosen the southern
end of our house, the end that faces oncoming rain and wind, for
their percussion performances. I'm usually at my computer when the
muffled thuds sound on the wall at my right.

Damn! Visions of gaping holes and splintered siding flash into my
head and I'm up trying to discourage them. (strains of "The
Impossible Dream" in the background) I bang on the interior wall. I
swear and shake my fist. These methods are equally effective. I go to
the next room and open the window which sometimes startles the
offender - briefly. My last effort is to stomp to the front door and
head outside where I can holler and gesticulate as they wing away,
probably laughing themselves silly like cartoon birds.

I love the bird population. Himself dutifully fills a feeder for the
small songbirds and the obnoxious ever-present Steller Jays. The
crows that vie with each other for the chicken grain are tolerated.
We seem to have little choice as they are too smart to be frightened
off. The flickers are amazing recyclers of dead trees and old stumps.
I just wish they didn't seem as eager to recycle our house too!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Guess Who?

Phone calls from dear friends far away are such a treat. I cherish
the chance to hear their voices and reconnect over the distance. But
(there is so often a "but") how I would dearly like to strangle those
same dear friends who call unexpectedly, once a year, and start the
conversation with "Guess Who?"

Guess Who?

I've reached the age when I can have trouble recalling the name of
the person I had breakfast with in the morning. You know, the one
I've been married to for forty-one years? I'm relatively good with
voices so I'm pretty sure when I get one of these calls that I'm not
playing "Who Am I?" with someone who dialed a wrong number, but
recognizing the voice no longer reliably brings a name to mind.
Himself is not much of a help. He may know my friends but over the
years has given them nicknames known only to us (sometimes anyway!),
he isn't so good at voices, and he almost never answers the phone
unless threatened with bodily harm.

How do you answer a Guess-Who question?

If you guess right there is a sigh of relief and the conversation
proceeds. If you guess wrong you are sure to have wounded someone's
feelings ("She doesn't remember me!") and the game is likely to
continue. This is a minefield even if you don't have a few friends
who met and detested one another at sight. Try mistaking one for the
other and you can experience the Silence That Chills.

Guess Who?

Santa Claus? Darth Vader? Elvis? Gimme a clue?

Better yet, next time you call, and I do so hope you will call again
despite my lame attempts to place your voice, identify yourself up
front. A cheery: "Hi, It's your old pal _____! How ya doin' ?" will
allow my brain to catch up and enjoy our visit sooner. And I won't
wander off after our chat wondering how long I have before my entire
brain dissolves.