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Showing posts from June, 2014

The Rocky Horror-monal Show

Hormones ~ what the hell are they really, and how in the world can they wreak such havoc on someone’s life?  I remember during my teen years, when innocence gets replaced by a tsunami of hormonal upheaval, trading hopscotch for cramps, Chinese Jump Rope for headaches, and the monkey bars for a face full of breakouts ~ it doesn’t seem quite a fair exchange.
Later, after I had given birth to my daughter, my hormones just seemed to be pissed off.  Of course, there was still the steady supply of bloating and achiness, but now they were accompanied by an incredible 3-day migraine that became a permanent monthly fixture. They were also accompanied by blurry vision, nausea, you know, the whole enchilada.  Then came the night sweats (luckily I didn’t have too many hot flashes, like my best friend, Virginia, who always exclaimed she was going to tear off her clothes and run down the street naked ~ and I’m sure she made good on that exclamation a time or two.)
But probably one of the worst things…

The art of merging

I've mentioned before that I do have some what of a superiority complex. I don't deny it, and I actually will admit it, especially when I'm behind the wheel of a car.  I've always loved to drive, even before I actually had a driver's license. I remember taking my Dad's old El Camino out for a spin, stopping by to pick up a friend, and zooming around the neighborhood. There was nothing like the freedom afforded to you when you put your foot on that gas pedal, turned up the AM radio and rolled the windows down. I never had any fear of driving, of going fast, of traveling to the unknown. It seemed as natural to me as walking.

So, for those reasons, I find it very hard to understand people who drive, but really don't know how to drive.  They don't know how to keep up with the speed limit, they don't know who has the right of way at a stop sign, especially a 4-way stop sign, they definitely can't figure out the rhythm of the round about and worst of …

It's really not a lot to ask for, is it?

If a genie appeared before me right now, on this early June morning, 5:00 am, and granted me three wishes, I believe I would ask for things I've already had, but have since lost.  I don't have any dreams of grandeur that need to be filled, my wishes are much simpler, but just as difficult to fill.

For starters, I would ask for my 20/20 vision back and that I keep it for the rest of my life. This is definitely the thing I miss most from my youth, and would pay handsomely to have it back. Not by laser surgery or in the form of some stylish glasses, but really have it back, naturally.

The second thing I would ask for is to get a good night's sleep, consistently. This one I probably gave up right around the age of 29.  Having a child keeps you up a good portion of the night, and this starts while they are still in the womb and doesn't end until they move out.  And even then, there are many nights that you lie awake, thinking about them, hoping they are okay. The mind seem…

Home ~ Carry it in your heart

Summer ~ the season everyone waits for, makes plans for, takes vacations, attends June weddings, and celebrates the red, white and blue, is here. But I've never really liked summer. It ranks #4 on my seasonal scale of 1-4.  It is noisy, too bright, too busy, no cute jackets, no awesome boots ~ I much prefer Fall, when the quiet sets in, the earth begins to rest, and it's okay to go slow, to read a good book, bake an apple pie, indulge in Dungeness Crab and sourdough bread.

November is now my new favorite month.  In the past, October held that title, but with the weather changing and getting warmer (last October we had days that reached 90 degrees in this little seaside town) I have had a change of heart. I am now cozying up to November since that seems to be the month when the cooling truly begins.

I also favor November because it is the time of year that brings the excitement of the holiday season and with it comes renewed faith and dreams of a blessed future. Hope shines as …

Wind Beneath My Wings

Mother's are our biggest fans. If we are lucky enough to be born to the right mother, which I was. Mine has always been, stealing a line from Bette Midler, the wind beneath my wings. She definitely gave all of her kids the glory while she was the one with all the strength, watching, beaming, proudly.

When I look back, growing up, I'm still amazed at how kind she was, how she never really criticized, how even when I managed to mess up, (things like getting a small tattoo, coloring my hair with some spray in lemon sunshine, which really looked a tad green) she managed to find a little bit of good in my bad judgement.  
I remember coming home with the tattoo. I was 18 and quite an independent spirit.  This was back in the early 70's so tattoos weren't as commonplace then.  They belonged mainly to the Hell's Angels and the women who loved them.  Anyway, when I came home from my appointment with "Biker Bob" I showed her the poorly designed and garishly colored…

When Two Become One

So this might not be news to anyone out there, certainly not any major network breaking news, but I think I have figured out one of the main problems when trying to build and maintain relationships.

It hit me like a lead balloon recently while I was sitting at my gate in the Portland airport waiting to board a plane. An older couple was seated across from me and as the woman was rummaging through her carry on I heard her sharply ask her partner "You put your pills in here?" It was more of an accusation than a true question. His response to her was a grouchy "Well where was I suppose to put them?" Obviously annoyed, there was some huffing and puffing, a bit more muffled bickering back and forth, as each was determined to get their point across.

I started thinking about how easy life is when you spend it with your best friend. No bickering, lots of laughing, some sarcasm but more just good wit, tolerance, understanding and never ending support.  We make allowa…

Control Freaks

Why as humans, do we constantly question our purpose on the planet? Why is it that we have to create, build, discover, learn, explore, finish, manipulate, regulate, control and decide the roles of every living thing on earth? Did this all come from the Bible, the Qur'an, the Bhagavad Gita, the I-Ching, and all the other religious texts? Where did we get such a superiority complex?

Other life forms just seem to be content to live in the natural world, to exist, satisfied by a good meal, a good nap, a litter of little ones to take care of, just kinda taking it easy. Then of course, there are those  issues like finding food and surviving their next "around the corner" predator, but hey, that's pretty much things we have to deal with too.  Our finding food, actually comes in the form of finding the money to afford the food, and our survival, well, we all know that our biggest predators are our very own brothers - as in humankind.

Another school shooting becomes just ano…

Searching for Buried Treasures

I've walked many beaches, and as most of us do, bring home a pocketful of assorted treasures with each outing.  Shells that have been discarded by their inhabitants, unusual rocks, interesting looking pieces of driftwood, and if we're lucky, some colorful pieces of sea glass.

I've always thought of sea glass as nothing more than litter, mainly bottles that have been tossed by some irresponsible or drunken individuals. My assumption was that the glass was truly only garbage that had been made pretty by the sea. Tossed around in the ocean, the waves and currents breaking it into smaller pieces, giving it smooth edges and polishing it to an iredescent hue. 
At dinner the other night with friends, I noticed our host had quite a collection of sea glass. Blue, green, white, and come to find out, the rarest color, orange ~ and more interesting, a book on the history of sea glass.  
According to the book, in addition to all of the garbage that has been tossed overboard, the ocean…

State Street Prophet

When I was younger I thought God lived in the mountains and made his home in the pine trees ~ I knew when I inhaled deeply and smelled that fragrant pine and could hear the crunch of the cones beneath my feet, that I was in his home.
Last December, with the chill in the air and the Christmas lights sparkling, God was walking down State Street. Michael and I had taken a spontaneous trip up to Santa Barbara to buy a piece of furniture we found on Craigslist. But with the holiday spirit beckoning us to stay in town a little longer, we decided to go have a drink. We entered the Canary Hotel ~ ended up at the Chase, dining on Chicken Piccata and Caesar salad. The streets were pretty empty being that it was a Monday night and colder than usual in Santa Barbara. But there was something magical and surreal about the night, you know, like a holiday Christmas movie. The only thing missing was a light snowfall.

We were walking back to our car and crossing the street when Michael saw something i…

The Shoemaker Brothers

Friday night we decided to get out of town and go down to Ventura, which is about 20 miles south of here. Just wanting to enjoy some different scenery and find someplace new to have dinner, we ended up having a cocktail and appetizers at an upscale restaurant bar. We weren't that impressed with  the food or the setting, so we ventured off down Main Street to find some place else to land.  
We'd only walked about a block when we heard this incredible music coming from inside one of the Mexican Cantinas, and it stopped us in our tracks.  There was no room to sit, so we  just leaned up against the entrance and watched, as these two extraordinary musicians kept us mesmerized. Come to find out, they are the Shoemaker Brothers, originally from Washington State, and now make their home in Southern California. Actually, the band consists of four brothers, but only two were playing this gig. We ended up getting a seat and enjoying a full set of theirs ~ which was fascinating to watch.…

"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea" – Isak Dinesen

In a little over a month from now our "team" will be back on the rough waters off Alaska, fishing for the 11th or 12th year (I can't remember for sure) for those beautiful King, Coho and if necessary, occasional Pink salmon. Every year as I fill out the required papers and my fishing license application, literally signing my life away, I always have second thoughts before I sign my name to the release of liability form. There is one paragraph in particular that makes me swallow hard, and causes me to reconsider if the salmon, halibut, bear, eagles and whale sightings would be worth my life. Here is how that paragraph reads:

Trip Activities & Risks: As part of your Trip you will travel by small plane to and from the resort. You will use steep ramps, cross what are often wet slippery docks; load and unload yourself and gear onto and from small planes and boats; fish in what can be rough water; and come within close proximity to wild animals. You may also choose to …

Alright, Eleanor!

I understand the premise behind this.  I guess after the big scare, you get a rush of adrenaline, a feeling of accomplishment, and an "I did it" to add to your experience belt.  A feeling of being alive.  Because there is nothing that can make you feel more alive that coming close to death, or at least thinking you were coming close to death. The lure of the amusement park roller coaster.

But I don't like being scared. I have never been a fan of horror movies, I was always afraid of the dark, always thought something was under my bed (probably stems from watching horror movies!) and I have fancied safety in my life.  Yes, I have been following Downton Abbey, if you're wondering about the Englishy way of speaking. 
The scariest things that I do would have to be my annual fishing trip to Alaska and the occasional visit to a WalMart when I am forced by a friend to accompany him to purchase some jeans or soap, or some other item that you just can't beat the price of…

A Privilege to Serve?

I received a jury summons awhile back and had to report yesterday afternoon for service.  After sitting in the small, dimly lit jury orientation room for over 2 and a half hours, and feeling quite claustrophobic, the court was finally ready for us.  Being treated no better than a common criminal, we were instructed not to use our phones, no texting, reminded of our duty to be here, the privilege it is to serve, and informed of what we would receive if we were selected to serve.  If you've served lately in California, you know you get a whopping $15 a day and .34 cents a mile, and that only applies once you begin your second day of service.  The mileage only applies to your one way trip to the courthouse.  For some reason, they don't feel it necessary to help pay your gas to get you home.

As we all marched over across the street to the courthouse together, single file, with our bright purple badges prominently displayed for all to see, I felt like we were being led back to our …

Making the commitment

Commitment ~ why do I have such a hard time with it?  It seems the minute I say, "Of course we'd love to come to your party on Saturday" or "Yoga class next Sunday morning? I'll be there!" ~ I am immediately thinking of ways to get out of it.  Doesn't make any sense whatsoever. And obviously, one of my shortcomings that I need to work on.

So a few days ago I made a "commitment" to participate in this month's NaBloPoMo, one blog post everyday for the 30 days of June, and on the very first day, I missed it.  Was I too busy?  Did I forget?  Was I just plain lazy? Or did my subconscious remind me that I had made a commitment and I needed to find a way out?

Well, I am determined to fulfill this commitment, even if a day short, so to get off on a good start, I will post two today to catch up. And then, hey, no excuses.