Friday, November 27, 2020

Look Out the Window

There’s a big wide wonderful world out there. It may not seem so at the moment, but when we crawl out of our caves it will be there waiting for us.

Since my daughter is a caregiver in an assistant-living facility, I see how small some people’s lives can become. They are sequestered away with the television as their keeper. They once had a life, family, children, good heavens, the lady she is caring for (I’ll call her Marie) escaped Germany as a child aboard the Kinder Transport. (Somehow, the Nazi’s let some of the children escape while keeping their parents.) Unlike Dr. Ruth (the sex therapist), who also escaped aboard the Kinder Transport, and whose parents were killed, Marie’s parents escaped Germany later on.

Marie went on to become an expert mathematician, even becoming a co-maker of a theorem. 

Now her life is the news, and body count. She thinks news will be fresh at the top of the hour. The trouble is, it’s the same news as the bottom of the hour. It is driving my daughter nuts.

I have heard that if we don’t work on ourselves, we become worse. they used to call it, “Set in your ways.” Without input, people can become depressed or melancholy. (There’s a pill for that.) Remember the old song Old Man River, “We’re tired of livin’, but fear’d of dyin’?”

Don’t do that. 

We’ll get through this current pandemic. We haven’t had to escape the Nazi’s or be shipped away from our parents. We just need to take care of ourselves and our families. This is a time to re-think our lives and priorities, and if you’re like me, give some thought to how it all works—you know, not what our parents told us, or our schools, but what we really think, down deep.

Who are we as people? 

I’ve heard that one way to seduce a nation is to make it so nobody can come to a sensible conclusion. Well, we’re sort-of there. We can have beliefs and ideas about what is happening. We can listen to one side or the other, but it appears we can’t really know what’s going on. So, we do what we are told. We cover our faces and stay away from people and close our businesses, or we get laid off and wonder what is the world is happening.

Once upon a time, I came up with the idea that it depends upon which window we’re looking through. Out one window, you see the birds chirping, the sun shining, and flowers in full bloom. Look out the window that opens to the back yard, and you see that clouds have obscured the sun, and people are fighting.

What is real?

I guess it all is.

Choose your window.

My daughter and I have found a fantastic way to have adventures without going anywhere, and to write a book in the process. We are two archeologists, young women in 1920, on the hunt for the mystery of three gold coins. These three coins together are a map to a treasure. The trouble is, finding the coins. We become separated from each other, and thus we are communicating through letters. She sent me to Peru, where I found, upon landing in Lima, that it was a booming metropolis, with shops, restaurants, theater, museums, and fine hotels. In the 1920’s it was frequented by the likes of Greta Garbo and Ernest Hemingway, and people rich enough to be gold coin collectors.

(Good old Google research.) One thing about a dictator, he can get things done, and President Augusto Leguia decided to transform Lima into a cosmopolitan city, not unlike some found in Europe. The streets crisscrossed using Parisian design, and many of the buildings copied ones you might find in Paris.

 I found I could use a telephone, and they did have limited air travel in 1920. Generally, however, people traveling long distances did so on ships. Lima today isn’t that of the ’20s and ’30s, for earthquakes, war, and politics have interfered.

When daughter’s bush plane crashed in the Amazon jungle on her way to meet me, natives applied the scrapings of a frog’s skin to her wounds. (They tie the frog’s four legs together, causing the stressed frog to secrete a fluid on his skin. That fluid is then scraped off and applied to burns or injuries. This treatment, she said, was to purge her of all negativity, and it caused her to purge all stomach contents as well.

“Well,” she wrote, “if throwing up is a spiritual experience, next time, I’ll just go to New York and eat Coney Island Red Hots until I puke. Why not save the frog the humiliation?”


Thursday, November 19, 2020

Have You Ever Run a Red Light?

Blog Nov. 17, 20


 I have.

 I didn’t mean to.

I looked up, shocked to see a red light, for some stupid reason I didn't expect it to be there, I was only going two blocks.  Sure, it was pouring down rain, but a red light? I should have seen it.

And what in the heck was that car doing in the middle of the intersection? I slammed on my breaks turned to the left, thinking I would avoid hitting that car, but, Bam!

 Crap! Crap! Crap!

Nobody was hurt, except the vehicles. Her car, my truck—you know, my office on wheels. We have owned that truck for 20 years. It’s a Toyota T100. Repair people have told me to never sell that truck—it’s fixable…or was. Now, it may go bye-bye.

 My Adrenalin kicked in and I had to sit a while to calm my nerves that had taken on a life of their own. And my little dog, Sweetpea, hugged my thigh and didn’t want me to leave the vehicle. But out in the rain, I went, wearing a light rain jacket that long ago lost its ability to shed rain, and decided to soak me to the skin. And then an angel appeared--a young woman came up to me and said, “Nobody was hurt. You’re alive. Take a deep breath, hold it for four seconds, and slowly exhale. It will lower your blood pressure.” It helped. She disappeared, and I was left wondering, “Who was that un-masked woman?”

 I love her.

 Everyone was so nice. The two young women in the bashed-in car didn’t yell at me, the police were most helpful, the first responder deputy asked me what happened, and I blurted out: “I ran a red light!” So, he gave me a citation for not obeying a traffic signal. Afterward, I thought, “You didn’t see me run that red light.” But I knew I was at fault.

 One day I was writing about how we create our own reality, and the next day I crash. What is this?! 

Strange that the other vehicle driver and I both live in Junction City—a few blocks from each other, we were both in Eugene on a black, wet night at 8:30 p.m. We were both at the same place at the same time--not a good way to meet.

 To add to my state of mind, minutes before I left, I saw on the internet that Charlie had died. That impacted me severely, as though one of my own animals had died. I read Sheve Stockton’s account of his last days and felt such grief. Charlie was a coyote, raised from a pup by Sheve. After reading Sheve’s book, The Daily Coyote, I read her blog and followed their adventures for eleven years. I had some emotion invested. I should not have been on the road.

 Charlie was 14, I suppose that’s a good age for a dog or a coyote, and I used to worry that someone might shoot him—seeing a coyote, but he made it through to old age. He was beautiful. That shiny full coat showed how handsome a loved, cared for, and well-fed Coyote can be. I would send a picture, but Sheve is a photographer and one must get permission to reprint one of her photos. She’s an excellent writer too.

 Her partner brought Charlie home to her one day, rescued after his mother was shot. She began photographing him daily and sending pictures home to her family.  Her book, The Daily Coyote was born from that. Charlie played with the dog they eventually got, and the cat, and roamed the farm with Sheve among the cattle and calves. There are many of her pictures on the internet. 

 I thought going out in the truck, running a couple of errands, being away from people, and bringing home Kentucky Fried Chicken would calm my beaten soul.

 I was wrong.



 I guess it’s okay to use this image since it’s of a published book.

Friday, November 13, 2020

To Infinity and Beyond


Have you noticed that some days pert along, things are working, and you’re on a roll, and then there are other days… 


The odd thing is, on up days, you keep rolling along like a bike on a slight incline. On a down day, you roll like a marble in one of those funnels where it spirals down until it disappears into a hole at the bottom of the funnel.


The Law of Momentum.


We have another “Law,” The Law of Attraction, which is a term I hesitate to use. You know how you find something, and you get excited like you’re the first person to notice. Then another person sees it, and you’re happy to have company. Yet, sometimes it becomes so well-known that it gets shot at, diluted, misunderstood, or ridiculed.


And then you feel like someone told you your baby is ugly.


Ronda Byrne shared what she had found regarding this Law of Attraction with her movie, The Secret.  Many people have benefitted from applying what they learned from the film, but I believe while it was a wonderful hors d’oeuve, it was not not the entire meal. 


However, it introduced to the world an old concept that successful people through the ages have used, and that sages tried to tell us about.


The ingredients have been whispered to us since the beginning of time. “In the beginning was the word, and the word was made flesh and dwelt among us…” Think about it. (Whoever wrote Genesis didn’t know about a man named Jesus.)


All along, philosophers, writers, sages, and mystics had a piece of this mystery of space, time, brain, magnetism, and chemistry. “Ask, and you shall receive. Seek, and you shall find.” “Think and Grow Rich.” “As a man thinkith.” “He who has ears let him hear.” “If you can see it in your mind, you can hold it in your hand.” And Albert Einstein chimed in with, “Imagination is a preview of coming attractions.”


The principles are all over the place when you become attuned to them. It’s like the drawing, “Find 100 hidden birds.” You look and find one, and then, low and behold, there is one drawn in the clouds, one in the limbs of the tree, another in the roof shingles. Pretty soon, you find all 100 birds. Ta-Da!


“It’s what I ask for,” says one. “It’s my attitude,” says another. “My emotional state creates,” someone contributes. “It’s my subconscious giving me what I want.” some say. “It’s a bad hair day,” someone else says. “Life happens.”


Don’t you feel your energy spiraling down?


Sort of like now with this damn Corona19 virus thing. Sometimes the world gets thrown into chaos, and we must dig our way out. 


Yet, we wonder, “Are we magnets walking around in a sea of other magnets, attracting this, repelling that, wondering what in the heck is happening?” And don’t you hate it when someone says, “What did you do to attract that?” Well, if I was in control of my Attracting, I wouldn’t attract you to ask me that.”


Yet you hear the whisper, don’t you? You feel it reverberate in your bones. There is something to it. You know something exists but you don’t know how to implement it.


The interviewees in The Secret introduced the concept to the masses—or tried to.


What if the Secret works all the time? What if we are always attracting, repelling, asking, for, and railing against. We create without effort or thinking, That’s the reason we get crap sometimes.


 “I want a new Alexis,” you say. “Ha, says another part of your conscious, you can’t afford an Alexis.” Bam, there goes your Alexis.


One fellow who is into this Law of Attraction says to keep all negativity out of your house. And to be careful with your speech. Speech is even more potent than thought.


I better stop swearing.


“Create your own Universe as you go along.” said Winston Churchill.


Some people think this Law of Attraction is magic. You ask, you receive, that’s it. If you don’t get what you want, you think it’s not working. Sometimes it does work like magic. Other times it comes in little spirits. You have a thought about something you would like to fix or manifest. Then another creative idea joins it, and another, until Viola! You get it.


I need to take some action.


Notice that the last part of Attraction is action. Musicians know this, they practice, then aim for the gig.


How do you describe a state of mind? What are the thoughts rattling around in our brain? Sunshine and light? Being positive all the time?  “That’s not being realistic,” say some.   


That’s the reason it doesn’t work.


I think the attraction genie loves exuberance and happy thoughts, and decides to jump in and contribute. You know how we are attracted to the group having fun.


Here’s to happy thoughts,



Hey, maybe it’s ok to swear sometimes. It clears the pipes.




In Our Back Yard:

Some critter is stacking in the winter groceries—my chickens. I lost two. I loved having them free-range, and we had a nice strip of grass behind the Wayback, our auxiliary building. However, the fence there is chain-link and not secure for climbing or burrowing chicken-eating critters. At night the chickens liked to roost on the fence. I guess they looked like sitting ducks, uh, luscious hens. Two of my hens became dinner.

Husband dear and I spent this evening shoring up the chicken yard for the remaining three hens. One is of my original three I’ve had since babies. The other two are my adoptees Blackie, and Red, who showed up and stayed. Last night before I locked them in their little chicken house, Blackie jumped up on the top rail of the eight-foot chicken yard fence and made it through an opening in the bird netting.

From the 2 x 4 boarded top of the yard, she jumped onto the Wayback’s roof and over to the Tiny house. She spent the night roosting on the roof’s ridge.


That girl has self-preservation.


Tonight, all three are locked in their house.