Sunday, June 29, 2014

About Bears…

Are you old enough to remember this song?

Since I’m a teddy bear lover I’ve hosted a couple of Teddy Bear Picnic events for my friends. It is wonderful to see other adults show up with well-worn and well-loved bears of their own. Like these two:

That one on the right belongs to my daughter and has been around for over 40 years.

Here is a table full of visitors from our last picnic. The fellow in the leather hat is my pal Sebastian. And the fellow attempting to defy gravity belongs to Himself - always independent of convention.

As you can see had a few non-ursine friends show up as well. Teddy bears don’t mind. The job of friendship, comfort, and hugs can be done by other stuffed folk too.

Friday, June 27, 2014

I’d like to introduce you to a good friend of mine. His name is Humphrey. Humphrey Dunty.

You've probably noticed that Humphrey is a teddy bear. He fulfills all the personality requirements of a very superior member of his species. He is cuddly and soft. He is a sympathetic listener who never steals the conversation. He is always happy to give, and receive, a hug.

It is my belief that everyone needs a teddy bear. They aren’t just for little kids. Teens, parents, and old folks like me can all use a teddy for a pal. There are times when the human-folk in life are not around. They are at work or preoccupied with crises in their lives. There are times when what you need is an ear that is completely non-critical and is ready to listen when you need to talk. No questions asked. No judgement given. There are times when you need a hug… right now.

Humphrey is my embraceable bear. His eyes are a tad crooked and his nose is independent of tradition. He is delightfully understuffed which makes him very, very good to hug. His washable fur is well able to absorb tears. A wonderful friend gave him life and gave him to me. He sits patiently on my living room sofa waiting for any time I need him, happily accepting the pat on his head as I pass by him each morning. He is even willing to serve as an impromptu pillow for naps. A perfect teddy bear!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Here I go again:

Bread is my favorite food item, especially bagels, and sourdough. Oh, I love salad and crave meat. I could live without desserts, though I fancy pie - lemon meringue in particular and a good spicy apple would get my attention.

But bread? Bread is my food of choice. It is an addiction. And the two I mentioned previously are the two I miss most living here in the rural Pacific Northwet.

You can buy something called a bagel in a number of places but what you get is simply donut shaped bread. I want a New York bagel. Shaped by hand, raised, dropped in boiling water to create that “toothiness” a good bagel must have, and then baked. A fresh onion bagel generously spread with cream cheese? Pure heaven!

“Sourdough” bread can also be purchased here but it is pale and anemic compared to the firm chewy loaves I learned to love as a citizen of the greater San Francisco Bay Area. The loaves there gave off a delightful, heady, sour aroma that was a perfume.  Slather a slice with butter and it is a meal in itself.

Neither of these treats is available here in southern Oregon. There was a bakery in Port Orford that made fine sourdough but it closed years ago. And though I rush to try every bagel advertised they always disappoint. The round shape does not a bagel make!

In the place of my beloved twosome I now have Oregon Hazelnut bread - a whole grain wonder we can get locally. It makes my morning slice of toast a veritable feast. But I still will crave a chewy fresh NY-style bagel. Or a fresh slice of San Francisco Sourdough.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Step. Step.

I’m getting through the days by focussing* down. Looking ahead and trying to plan isn’t working when the frame of mind is somewhere subterranean, bleak and dark. So I stare at my shoe laces (okay I don’t have laces since bending to tie shoes is not an option anymore so substitute Birkenstock buckles!) and move a foot forward. Stare some more and move the other foot.

Repeat for as long as possible.

Getting through the night is harder. Sleep seldom comes easily and it arrives in two hour segments between trips to the bathroom. Too much time is spent thinking. Worrying. Feeling emotionally backed into a corner. My mind gallops around in uncomfortable circles. Worrying. Things I can’t do anything about. Things I don’t want to do anything about but should. Should and don’t. Around again. And again. Craving the silence of sleep. And worrying.

*especially the cussing part