Tuesday, September 30, 2008


When i am out hiking, sometimes the correct way forward is not obvious. If i stare fixedly at the ground, attempting to will the trail into appearing before me, i become even more unsure as i move along.

I have to remind myself to stop, raise my head and let my eyes relax into longer range focus, looking for the pattern in the terrain. Then the path appears before me, because i stopped looking so hard.

It's akin to when i spent a summer as a camp counselor. I came to rely less and less on flashlights to make my way in the dark. I would let my body relax into a state where i was able to stop using only my eyes, and trust the input from my feet and ears.

On really dark nights, i would walk looking straight up through the trees to seek out the slightly less inky darkness indicating the location of the path. This and the feel of the ground under my feet would guide me along. At camp this was called "blundering", a word which belies the grace i achieved when i could successfully let go of the desire for visual input.

"So does the child also know only what its five senses can tell it. But other senses there are, and these develop as the being grows, and when they are fully developed we trust them as once we trusted only our senses." - Pearl S. Buck A Pavilion of Women.

Two random pictures from one of last week's hikes.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Passive-Aggressive or Projecting?

The Mister and i were paying a neighborly visit to the couple next door, chatting about this 'n that, shootin' the shit, flappin' the lips.

This couple is about 20 years older than The Mister and me and Mr. Neighbor has lived in this neighborhood on and off for 60 years. So they have very definite ideas about what is and is not okay around here.

They were showing us the new patio they just had built. It's along the side of their house that faces ours.

There is a large cedar tree/bush that according to Mrs. Neighbor, their patio designer dude wanted them to remove. "You're really glad that i didn't let them remove it though," declared Mrs. Neighbor.

"Oh, it wouldn't have bothered me if you took the tree out. You should do what you want," replied i.

"OH NO," she insisted loudly, "YOU ARE REALLY GLAD THAT WE LEFT IT THERE. YOU REALLY WOULDN'T WANT THAT TREE GONE." Then she gave a long list of reasons why i was glad. Pretty selfless of her to sacrifice like that for our happiness.

Well, okay then, i guess i'm glad. I mean, she would know, right?

(I admit that we made gentle fun of her later.)

Last Sunday morning i tried this tactic on The Mister. "You would really like it if i had a nice cup of tea and the newspaper, " i said.

"Nice try," he replied.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bad Advice

Sometimes people send me email asking questions.

Someone sent me email. A 'new' blogger asking for advice. Me, an old hand at this after a little more than two years. Ha! But it puffs up my vanity to have someone ask my opinion, so...

Advice?? Oh HELL YES! And worth exactly what you're paying for it.

Here it is:

You will never become a famous blogger. You must blog/write for yourself. You, like i, are very late to this party. Besides, are you really willing to do the whoring marketing required to become famous?

If you start blogging for money, i will drop you like a hot potato. I have no problem with ads, i can ignore those (except pop ups, UGH!), but the pay for post thing is offensive. If i wanted to read a post about Oil of E-coli regenerative cream (or whatever) i would google it.

Never, never, never begin a post by apologizing for not posting.

Never, never, never begin a post by saying that you have nothing to say. If you have nothing to say, then don't say anything. (For more information on these last two points, click on the BWO button on my side bar.)

Blogging will not save you. It will make you feel good when your blogging friends affirm you, but don't neglect your real life friends.

You will have so much fun with the bloggers you meet for real. It's like you can pre-select friends who already know who you are. But they are not here. they will not save you. You will have to save yourself. I'm sorry to tell you this. But 'tis true. They can laugh and cry with you though, which is of immeasurable value.

Despite the temptation, do not tell anyone who knows you in real life about your blog. Start anonymously. You can tell people later, but it's really hard to untell them. If your mom is reading, you will censor yourself. Do you really want to do that?

Oh, and please, as a special favor to me, don't put word verification on your comments. It makes it much less likely that i will leave a comment, and junk comments are easy to delete. I think i've gotten maybe 6 of them since i started. If you start getting a lot of them, put WV on, but only for a while, and apologize for it.

Oh, and don't threaten to quit, either do it, or don't. You can always start back up later. If you do quit, at least say goodbye.

Who's got something else to add?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Theory

gratuitous photo of Brown Cat, doing the dishes.

I have developed some weird theories in my life. One of them is that we only have a certain amount of time we can spend with any person before we start to dislike them.

(God, my love of mankind just gushes off the page doesn't it?)

The amount of time varies by person. With some people, the maximum time is about 30 seconds (i'm looking at YOU person teasing the dog tied up in front of the grocery store), and with other people it can be years. But eventually, everyone starts to bug you.

Now (in my theory) if it's someone you like, and you feel the end of that time drawing near, you can take steps to increase the remaining time by taking a break for a while. In this way, you can string the time along for years. I believe this is called "having friends" or maybe "being married."

You can tell when the end of your time is approaching when you find yourself having to bite your tongue in order to avoid snapping at them. Or when you SWEAR, that if they don't stop making that slurping noise whilst eating you WILL commit murder. Of course, if you let it go too long, you will fail to bite your tongue and something very nasty may well spill out. This is called "having a family."

So you see, both of these are true:

Familiarity Breeds Contempt

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

My little theory has many gaps and 'yes buts' in it, but it's surprising to me how many times over the years i have thought about it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A $16 pair of purple socks.

Tell me you can stand one more post in which i go hiking. If not, well, best away with you then. I promise it will be the last one for.....at least a week.

First off, i had these fancy new socks to test. They're purple! They have toes! The toe part is supposed to reduce friction and thus prevent toe blisters. I was skeptical, but they're PURPLE! What could i do? They make me smile just looking at them.

Of necessity the are the innermost sock. :)

So i set off in my purple socks hiking to Cascade Pass.

Look at those fall colors on the hillside. Yummy. The blueberries and huckleberries were yummy too.

Can you find the ptarmigan in this picture. There were four of them. (Only one in this picture though, so you needn't look for them all.) A mom and three teenagers. I practically ran over them on the path and then mom, making the cutest cooing noises, herded them away.

As one of my hiking partners was noshing on a pear and leaving seeds behind, someone may have made reference to a ptarmigan in a pear tree, but i can assure you, it was not me. Nope.

This beautifully made rock stairway led up to......

The toilet! Kind of disappointing as it looks like it should lead a secret shire.

The view at lunch.

The report on the purple toes socks is that they rocked! I took my usual socks with me in case they sucked, but they actually performed as well as the marketing poo-rah claimed. When does that ever happen?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I have to hurry and get these pictures up before Neen does. (Only two pictures Neen, the rest are yours. :) )

We went on a wonderful hike on a beautiful day on Monday.

This critter came to very politely ask for a taste of our lunch. How could we say no? Nina had guessed that it's a Lesser Scaup and after looking it up, SHE IS RIGHT! This is a
Lesser Scaup, non-breeding male. Poor guy has no girlfriend.

Look at that beautiful yellow eye and that crystal clear water. We found out using empirical methods that the water is Extremely Cold.

And these butterflies were getting frisky amongst the grass.

I have been having so much fun lately. I have made a concerted effort to keep myself busier than usual in these first few weeks of non-parenthood. Hiking, lunches, squash, quilting..... it's all good.

I am a lucky person to be able to pursue all these things without the ditraction of work, i realize that. It also helps that the weather here is just spectacular. If it were the middle of one of our dark, dreary, rainy, endless winters, i think i would be spending most of my time in bed with the covers pulled over my head.

Carry on.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Go to College, learn new vocabulary.

I learned a new word yesterday.

I was IMing with Em (say that 5 times fast) and she said, "Today i got sexiled."

Yep, it's exactly what it sounds like. Use Google if you're unclear.

She continued, "I wandered like a little lost lamb, from Erin's room to Aline's room to Megan's room, waiting for the call that would let me know it was safe to go back into my room." (Em can be very dramatic. :) )

I was torn between annoyance that my sweet daughter had to vacate her dorm room so her roommate could lose her virginity, and amusement at the perfection of the word 'sexile.'

Things to think about:

1) This may only be a problem in my own repressed mind. Em seems okay with it, although she admitted it was 'awkward.'
2) If it is a problem, it is not my problem, i cannot solve it. I can only listen.
3) Last night i dreamed i got locked out of my house. Coincidence? I think not!
4) Dang! My girl really is getting an education.
5) She seemed very glad to hear from me today.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

A Prehensile Tale

While cleaning the cage of Em's mice, who for ease of reference will henceforth be known as Those Damn Mice, i noticed how cute they are,

and that their little tails curl around my fingers when i hold them. It's as if Those Damn Mice are trying to hang on, like little monkeys.

There are two of Those Damn Mice. This is the black one. She's fat. The other of Those Damn Mice is white. They are both girls. They have names, which i cannot at present recall.

It's going to be harder to feed Those Damn Mice to the cats now that i've squealed over how cute they are.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

FUN! in the Airport!

The Scene: A Women's Restroom

The Cast: Meno and a Long Line of women, all hopping from foot to foot, waiting their turn in a 4 stall bathroom.

Action: When it's my turn, the handicapped stall opens up and in i go. I felt a momentary thrill, the likes of which i seldom get when travelling because i prefer the handicapped stall because there is a little more room.

I accomplish my goal (HEY! Am i the only one who feels as if those self-flushing toilets are a violation of my free will?) and exit the stall.

Sitting right outside my stall is a woman in a wheelchair, who was not in line and was not there before.

She YELLED at me, "That stall is for handicapped people only and you should not be using it. It's hard enough being in a wheelchair without having people infringe on our accommodations." (That is a direct quote, she used the words 'infringe' and 'accommodations.')

I just looked at her, as i had maybe made her wait for, oh, ten seconds. Plus it's unseemly to argue with a woman in a wheelchair.

She continued to yell at me as i washed my hands and left. I believe the word BITCH was hurled my way.

Was i wrong? I don't really think so, but maybe those stalls ARE sacred. It just seems silly to let one stall sit empty when there is a line.