Saturday, October 31, 2020

Dreams in Pandemic Times?

 I rarely have the types of dreams that stick with me anymore. Do you? Once upon a time, I was one of those people who would recall their last dream's every detail to anyone who would pause to give me an opening. My sincere apologies. Seriously, that was terrible. 

But last night, I experienced what might be described as a bad dream with Covid 19 stirred in. N, I, the offspring and their partners, had stepped into a building. The building turned out to be a bar, filled with people drinking and smoking and no one wearing a mask. A chill fell upon me, when I realized the risks around us and none of us wearing a mask. And of course there was the drama and tension of finding everyone.

That's it. That's all I had to say. Perhaps (K hopes) if I write this down, it'll leave my brain sooner. Anyone else having weird dreams? Can't just be me. Love, K

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Learning to Drive a Stickshift

 Does learning to drive a stickshift, create a stronger memory than learning an automatic? I mean, with the extra brain growth, thanks to the third pedal and all the humiliation it offers, it seems like a firm foundation for long remembering. 

It was the early seventies, and there were three vehicles I can recall learning to drive in. One was a homely, unreliable, Ford Maverick, that Mom used to try to teach me, but only in the upper driveway. Guess she wanted to be close to home or hoped the stress would be less in a driveway. My favorite, was a car my father hated, a red Toyota Celica (formerly owned by older brother). Such a (short-lived) joy to drive! 

The third vehicle, was a Ford truck--most likely a 250. It sat high and had, what Dad called, a Granny Gear. Dad would take me down to our small town's frontage road. The road was built for traffic to easily navigate our small "industrial area" by the river. There was so little traffic, that the road was a safe bet for a new driver. 

During one of our drives, Dad spotted a friend coming towards us on the road. We stopped and the two of them enjoyed a nice spell of jawing, as I kept that strong clutch pedal down on the floor. It wasn't easy, but I wanted to show him how strong and able I was to hold that foot down and steady. But that's not what he noticed--he noticed an opportunity to tell me about neutral. Always something more to learn . . . 

Saturday, October 17, 2020

A Few of My Favorite Things

 Don't we all have our ever changing list of favorite items? Items that vanish from stores and we "ugh and sigh" at their loss and then buckle down to search for a replacement. No, you're correct, they don't always disappear, but we notice when they do.

Soap for instance: I prefer liquid soap over bar soap in the shower. Who knows why or when this occurred, but it's one of the items I've had to search for and replace. One brand that I recall, was Nature's Gate. They sold their company, but prior to the switch, they removed several items from their offerings--choosing to focus on shampoo and conditioner. Oh! And the same thing happened with Aubrey Organics. The latest fav soap, that appears to be gone, is EO Products', Vetiver and Coconut. It took me some time to get used to the scent, but now it's all I want. It's never a good sign, when you spot online folks selling lots of four of your fav scent. 

On the other hand, I can remember becoming a Paula Begoun fan back in the 80's. She was a regular guest on a morning show I watched most weekdays. Eventually, in the mid-nineties, she began her own cosmetics company in Seattle. Which led to me using her shampoo and conditioner for over twenty years. When you find something you like and need (unscented), you stick with it. (Did a search to check when she started, and learned she sold her company seven years ago. Now K is bummed.)

So, it's decision time once again, in the soap department. And I'm considering staying with the same brand and settling for one of the other scents. Settling--did not like typing that word, but there it is. It's not that big of a deal, K, plus--a good search takes time and you've got that. 

Later, K

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Social Thoughts and Concerns

 Hey . . . can we talk? In one of Carolyn Hax's recent columns, a reader sent in the following:

"To: Blanks: I suggest Anne Lamott's advice about life and growth: "It's an inside game." Which means we have to be our own cheerleaders, the authors of our own story in the face of loneliness, and we have to re-parent ourselves for all we never got. Looking to others serves just as an understandable, but ultimately pointless, struggle for meaning when it's really an "inside game."— Been there"

And their words resonated with me. Later, I began to ponder: how do we know what we never got? Or is it all about self awareness and seeing what needs to be tweaked and finding resources to guide us along? 

I'm guessing this is about two recent friend interactions, that left me noticing something--have I forgotten how to "be" with people? I've been trying to reassure and remind myself, that it might take some time, but I know how to do this. Hopefully. 

Love, K

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Does That Look Like a Wall to You?

Over the past couple of weeks, I've heard folks speak of the world hitting the six month wall of this pandemic. To me, that wall felt like someone had repeatedly dumped some gravel on this road we're traveling on, but I assumed it was due to the different, extra layers that have been dumped on us. 

There are states that have been dealing with devastating weather events, major fires and the smoke that goes with it, large virus outbreaks, events being planned that put towns, churches, families at risk, etc. Layer after layer--but not in a celebratory cake, more like straining the camel's back. And, every single part of the added layers, bring more concern and worry.

So today, when some suggestions turned into promises, we took a drive to Amity. I don't know what it is about a drive in the country, but those massive, gorgeous clouds, accenting the sky and the autumn light on the fields and orchards-- restore me. Whether we admit it or not, we are part of nature. We depend on it, and it depends on us. I hope we're up to the challenge, because time's running out.

Love, K

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The Fortieth: The Joy of Sharing

 I can remember riding in the car with my mom, many years ago. I know I was a child, but no clue as to my age. We were driving past a relative's house, which reminded her of a story--more of an adult story than something shared with a child. Not inappropriate, just a story about a woman (can't remember which relation) whose husband was always accusing her of trying to get rid of him. 

So one day, the fed-up wife slips a note into his sandwich. The note read something like: "if I wanted to kill you, you'd already be dead"  I don't know whose delight was greater, mine at hearing such a story from Mom or Mom's delight in chewing on that tasty tale once again. 

Isn't that why we love to share those jokes and stories? It's like being able to revisit a lovely dinner, recalling each flavor and aroma, as we tell the tale of our sating.

Love, K

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Old Lady Problems

Over the past ten years, about every 6 months or so, my urethra gets irritated or inflamed. I blame it on menopause, but perhaps it's my flora getting out of balance. Sitz baths have been about the only thing that seem to work--or maybe it's just a matter of time until it clears up and the Sitz baths keep me entertained and temporarily soothed.

This Spring, our Fran, brought us some elderberry syrup from the farm she works on. I started taking a daily dose, until I forgot and the bottle was pushed to the back of the fridge. Then October arrived, and that twinge returned, and then a lightbulb went on over my head--maybe the elderberry syrup has some of the same properties as cranberry. And after a search online--I learn that it's true.

I wasn't prepared for such an immediate response and relief, but there it was. Once I ran out, I went to see what's available at my favorite supplement online shop, iHerb. Who knows why, but I chose Natures Way to try first. The results didn't give the same relief--it only lessened, not eliminated. I see they have another brand, Honey Gardens, that's calling to me. I'll let you know how that one pans out. 

Love, K

Update 11/04: The second brand, Gaia, seems better. I can tell when I take it, even if it doesn't give immediate relief.

Update 11/28: The most help of all comes from Fem-Dophilus®, from Jarrow. Thank you, cousin Clarissa.

Update 04/24: Nearly everything I tried helped ... to a certain extent. Then about three months ago, I began to think about any changes in my daily routine or the products I use. There's a brand and scent of Everybodys Soap, that I enjoy and then the scent was discontinued. I happened across a reseller on Amazon--and now I'm wondering if the reseller cut the product with a lower grade of soap, that caused my issue. <shrug> I'll never know for sure, but once I switched the problem disappeared completely.

Friday, October 9, 2020

When the House Demands Attention

 It started on Wednesday. We were three minutes away from finishing an episode of the current series we're streaming and . . . crickets. The modem's lights had gone out for good. No amount of rebooting or troubleshooting would remedy its desire to become a plastic brick. 

Thursday morning, we began an online search for the acceptable models allowed by our provider and drove the short distance to Office Depot. There weren't many choices on the shelf, but there was a model that would work in their glass case. And so we began to watch and wait for assistance from one of the five employees working on the floor, with about the same number of customers. 

After twelve minutes, a young employee came over to ask if we needed help. We told him we wanted an item in the case and he left (he said) to get the key. And then he didn't return after tenish minutes and we finally gave up and left. Our next planned stop was Best Buy, but I pointed out that Costco was on the way and worth a stop. Good old Costco had what we needed and it was one of the easier modem/router installations we've had. Yay!

Then later that day . . . when I was cleaning up after dinner . . . this garbage disposal newbie, clogged the drain. N snaked that pipe, until I told him it would still be there in the morning. And it was, just as stubborn as the night before--no magic in the wee hours for us. Today, he spent almost an hour snaking from the vent pipe on the roof, and broke through that mass of orange peel and used tea bags. Yay!

Are you done, House? I hope so. This is NOT the entertainment we were hoping for. Signed, K.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Feeling Slightly Ridiculous

 Two years ago, after our long time elderly neighbors passed away, we were fortunate enough to have gained some awesome across-the-street-neighbors. Then today they shared they're expecting another child and putting the house up for sale. To be honest, it's probably a good time for them to sell. Real estate seems to continue to move, unlike most of the rest of the world. 

But, instead of being happy and excited for them, I'm left feeling bereft. Because, unbeknownst to me, my brain was already anticipating being able to witness and enjoy the growing up, the milestones, the joys--yes, from across the street, NOT in their pockets.

And how utterly ridiculous is that? And even more ridiculous? My eyes may be leaking, as I type this. Blaming the damp keyboard on the pandemic . . . in my feeble opinion, we can blame much on this moment. 

By the way . . . do YOU want to be my neighbor? Love, K (hand me a tissue, please)

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Two Views, One Show

 This past week, N and I, watched HBO's version of Mildred Pierce. Neither of us had watched the 1945 Joan Crawford movie or read the book, so we came with fresh eyes. My first thought, while watching the opening credits, was an appreciation for the modern "film noir" nod via the chosen graphics, music, the tempo and content of the dialogue. 

After we completed the mini-series last night, I discovered N had successfully predicted the ending and I was left gobsmacked. That night we started a discussion about the film, that continued the next morning. This afternoon, I began to ponder how we had such a different experience. Then it dawned me, N was seeing the story from the viewpoint of Mildred's husband, Bert, and I was seeing it via Mildred's eyes.

That's it. Nothing more. But it was a lesson in perspective. Shift yours for a change.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

The Thirty-Ninth: Becoming an Aunt

 I was only eight years old, when my oldest (by 13 yrs) sibling had her first child. A baby! 

I don't remember much, but I do remember having something to share for Show & Tell at school--it was hard to compete with Disneyland, so I was glad to have something to elevate my rank. 

And, it's very possible, I glowed with the knowledge that I was now an AUNT! At EIGHT! Which probably happens less often now and I consider that progress (said The Consequence of the Rhythm Method). 

Love, K