Digging the nose out of books is difficult at times

Cripes, can you believe it—after almost two years of writing weekly, I forgot today was Wednesday. Totally and completely blew out of my head. Age? Gooberness? Nothing to say? Nah—just ask Man-Wonder about that one. . .

Truthfully, once again, I’ve been too busy reading—books, articles, blogs, cereal boxes—anything!

Like, I’m a fan of Cathy Johnson; her style of art and her blog; so when she talked about a book called breathing room, well, I had to check it out. She’s in the midst of clutter-busting and this book is a how-to of getting to the core of cluttering. But, not just physical clutter—it’s also about chucking up the emotional/mental clutter, opening up space in the heart so we can open up space in our living areas.

breathing room   is co-written by Lauren Rosenfeld and Dr. Melva Green. It’s a package deal of humor, real-life stories from people they’ve helped, exercises to do, and spiritual lessons.

I’m only up to chapter 15 at this point and already I’ve been requested by Man-Wonder not to bring it to the coffee shop because I keep interrupting his reading. Can I help it when I come across a part that I think he should hear.

Remember what I said at the beginning about never having nothing to say!

So far, this book is proving to be one of those books I’ve discovered right at the time I am needing it. In the last while I’ve noticed there is way, WAY more coming in to this non-mobile mobile home than there is going out, and it’s beginning to feel stuff-o-cating at times.

And, by the way, for those early morning, mid-day, or late evening coffee sits with dear husband, I’ve started taking along Annelise Ryan’s whodunits. They crack me up.  She is funny and fresh and clever.

So, trust Man-Wonder to complain about them too! He says my laughing  is interrupting him . . .

. . . any wonder I call him Man-Wonder ???

Waiting and Watching

sorry dog

Fall strikes me as a time of waiting and watching.

  • Waiting for the shortest day of the year to arrive and then watching the days grow back, minute by minute, until it’s—YAH—summertime again
  • Waiting for this year to end because it is so close now that 2015’s  fresh breath is tickling our senses.
  • Waiting for the leaves to turn their brilliant backsides of oranges, yellows and reds to us.
  • Watching the leaves fall until just the right moment when they hit the perfect crunch level. And then, when no one else is watching we kick our way through them and smile at that momentary spurt of youth again
  • Waiting for the first frost to knock the stuffing out of any flowers brave enough to still be hanging around because the gardening urge hit the compost pile about a month back
  • Hearing the frantic chatter of the birds as they dart here and dart there, finding less and less before they give up and flee in flocks from the coming cold
  • Waiting for the goofy squirrels in the park to stop moving their nuts from one tree to another and carefully watching for them as they have the oddest habit of waiting until a vehicle is rolling by before they make a mad dash in front of it. I often wonder if it’s squirrely suicide because they’re over-frazzled  from their nutty business.

But mostly, for me this fall, I am waiting and watching the pounds melt away. Eight so far. Yah for me as I switch back to better eating habits and more—okay honestly—some exercise. We’ve dusted off and pumped up the old bicycles and are trying for rides between the rainfalls and I’ve found a new twist-on-an-old-cliché mantra to murmur whenever drool-producing smell wafts too close;

If I keep doing the same old, I’ll be living the old same.

And who the hell wants to do that eh. . .


A week of oddball bits (sorry Man-wonder)

Man-wonder has been slowly losing heart as he de-mouse-s the sun porch.

De-mouse-ing in the sense of removing and replacing the ‘Mickey Mouse’ work done by previous owners of this mo-bile we now call home.

But, I think I’ve found a bit of motivation with this picture I came across.


Now that’s a sun porch! And I plan to show it to him tomorrow. I figure it’ll send him heading down one of two paths—either he’ll realize how tiny our sun porch  is compared to this mammoth and he’ll strap on his tool-belt  with renewed vigor OR he’ll like it and decide we should rip down and redo bigger. . . Either way it should be a win-win situation. . .

On a completely different note I came across these little treasures during the week:



  •  A great short video where Momastery blogger Glennon Doyle Melton talks about finally owning her body as well as saying the f-a-r-t word out loud; http://momastery.com/blog/


What’s a pound anyway?


“You have two months to get your blood pressure down to a normal state or you will begin taking medication.”



An excerpt from my most recent conversation with my doctor. Nice person but one I try not to see more than twice a year. Mostly because I can find much more comfortable places to wait, and wait, and wait. . . Nor do I like sitting in a large room where a small percentage of the other ‘waiters’ are coughing up god knows what into little white tissues they hold in their fists like a child holds candy. And it is kind of terrifyingly fascinating to watch those poor souls who you just know aren’t going to be coming back for many more doctor visits while wondering if that will be your fate also.

Aside from those reasons, I find one visit to the doctor for a simple matter will always lead to two or three more visits because she/he is determined that since you are there they are going to check every freaking little and not-so-little part. They are going to poke and probe and tap and maybe, if they are lucky, they’ll find some rare or catastrophic disease in their hunt.

Not that I’ll ever admit it but I like her thoroughness. I just wish she could use a bit of physic ability and see into my energy fields for problems. It sure would save a lot of time and blood testing. . .

So, Man-wonder and I are embarking on our second time on the GI Diet lifestyle. This time it truly does have to become a lifestyle . . .

one pound of fat — A motivational image to keep us hanging in there.


A mountain called Memory

 For as long as I can remember, when I was too busy to mentally hang onto information I’d file it away, thinking I’ll pull it out later.
Well, that ‘later’ pile grew, and grew, into some ginormous mountain, overflowing with layers upon layers of things to remember, nuggets of thought.
However, the trouble was that once the pile grew too big, many of my little ‘remembers’ didn’t have enough steam to make it to the top of the heap and then like an abandoned sled on an icy hill, they began slipping downhill, gathering speed until they splashed into the deep dark murky pool of empty at the bottom of the mountain.
Some thoughts obviously drowned. Never to be remembered again
 Some managed to stay afloat, floating around belly-up as they gathered enough energy to try another run to the top.
And some actually make it!
Their arrival, like a tiny pleasurable electric shock make my lips twitch upwards as I snap my fingers and say, “Oh, yeah, right, now I remember. . . “
And sometimes, in my own clumsy way, my hunt for a certain fact or thought will be strong enough to pull the memory out of the sludge and yank it up to the top like it’s on a tow rope. Those days make me swear there’s nothing wrong with my memory that a little muscle won’t fix. .
Nothing at all . .
And on a completely different subject—from the book of interviews titled A Different Kind Of Luxury (written by Andy Couturier) he is offered this thought on culture & civilization by Masanori Oe:
‘In one sense it is an illusion; something that exists only in our minds. People tend to think that without all the things that make up culture and civilization we couldn’t live. We think, living in society, that we are lacking all kinds of things. That’s why we make movies & books & all kinds of material objects, creating more civilization. The whole time we are desperately chasing after some nourishment elsewhere. An illusion.’

Books on the shelf, under the shelf, and everywhere else too.

What’s been on and what’s on my reading shelf this past month……………………..

1591797691The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You by Karla McLaren.

Karla is an empathic counselor. She shows us how, through words and exercises, we can live a more healthy conscious life by understanding what our emotions are telling us and by becoming the natural empathics we all are. Or would be if we hadn’t buried the ability so deeply. . . . . . . I’m only part way through it because it’s one of those read/stop/think/ read/stop/think  types of books. Worth it so far!

193333083x A Different Kind of Luxury by Andy Couturier.

This book is so good, so rich I can almost taste it as I read. The author has interviewed, stayed with, and captured the lives of eleven Japanese people who chose to live a simple life in the mountains of rural Japan rather than city life. They are farmers, potters, philosophers and artists living what the author calls a luxurious life of nature. I find myself craving what they have. How will I feel by the end of the book? It’s another one of those pondering books and I want to read every single word on every single page.

untitledAndy is also author of a book for writers called Writing Open the Mind. (It’s on my list)

1401943101 Tune In by Sonia Choquette.

Sonia is a writer and an intuitive guide. Anything she writes is worth reading. This book is on how to connect to a part of us we have lost, or disconnected from. She writes easy.

0307452980 Reinventing The Body, Resurrecting The Soul by Deepak Chopra.

I remember the first time I ever read a Deepak book. It blew me away. It felt like I’d found a whole new world and it changed my thinking. And I still feel he is one of the best teachers out there.

Now for the fun stuff………………………………………………

0399159266  0425270165

Clive Cussler’s Fargo series—I inhaled them. What’s not to enjoy about Remi and Sam?

0312571232     1250003776

Discovered Michael Lee West’s  character Teeny Templeton. Best fun I’ve had ignoring housework in a while following her misadventures!

0451240901  And yahoo for another hoot-able book by Juliet Blackwell deaturing her witch character Lily Ivory and Lilie’s pot-bellied-pig familiar Oscar.

And right now, and the reason I have to stop blogging is because I’m in the middle of another fantastic discovery:

146420294x—Susan Slater’s super Insurance Investigator character, Dan Mahoney. I’m reading Rollover with Flashflood  to follow. (Wrong order I know, but when a writer is this good, who cares. . . )

I hear pages rustling—gotta’ go

A squirrel but no licorice or good trees.

Man-wonder and I had been talking about getting back into camping after an absence of ten years plus.

We finally made it out last weekend.

The plan was to use our comfy double chair mattress in the back of the truck, but, at the eleventh hour, we stood there staring at the skinnier-by-the-minute space between the wheel wells (our truck is small) and zipped out to find a tent. camp site (4)Which we did. We also found a cool camp stove, two skookum (hefty) folding chairs

and a hammock, because who goes camping without one and we no longer had one.

As for the tent—They say ‘three person tent’ but what they really mean is three of those short stick people you see on decals on vehicles.

And heaven knows what we were, or weren’t, thinking about the chair mattress since it was the perfect size to fit between the wheel wells. Which meant the wheel wells would hold us on the mattress right? But since the tent was about two feet wider – if we didn’t keep a firm grip on each other  we’d be kissing the tent floor. . . I think we did more cuddling in one weekend than we have in the last ten years.

camp site day sights (1) I like camping!

We thought we’d reserved the ‘perfect’ campsite.  It had stunning views of the strait and there was a lovely winding river fifteen feet below our site.The launching area for canoes and kayaks was spitting distance away and hey—the bathrooms were even closer. And boy, were we impressed with the way the gravel covering the whole site was raked to perfection for us.

But have you ever tried to sneak out of a tent and walk across gravel at two in the morning for a pee-run?

If the unzippering/zippering of the tent flap doesn’t give you up, the tiptoeing-across-gravel and still sounding like dragging chains sure will. No worry about meeting up with a bear or a cougar—the gravel works better than any old bear whistle.

The most disappointing moment (other than realizing I’d forgotten to bring licorice) was when I realized there was nowhere to hang my hammock! The  only trees close enough together were three feet over the bank at edge of the campsite. Meaning, if we managed to hang the hammock I’d have to take a flying leap to get into it. . . Yeah-No. It’s still in its protective sealed bag.

Back on the good side of our adventure—we canoed up the river as far as we could and at one point we paddled over a school of circling salmon waiting for the rains to fill the river so they could swim upstream and spawn. We saw seals gobbling salmon while turkey vultures camp site day sights (4) hung out in the trees watching and waiting.

And we shared our campsite with what I thought was a hunched up jerky young squirrel (think of kittens who hunch up and skitter everywhere). The squirrel, when it wasn’t skittering around, liked to sprawl out in a patch of sunshine and snooze, ignoring people.

Turns out it was hunched up because it was old. It died, sprawled out in the sunshine, on our last morning there.

I didn’t take a picture of the squirrel, dead or alive, and I wasn’t fast enough to catch a shot of the salmon under the canoe but I did take did catch the stunning sunsets and sunrises

campsite - sunrise (5)

camp site - sunsets  (8)

and the mainland mountains across the strait.

campsite - sunrise (2)

But here’s the kicker of the whole camping weekend—the campgrounds are five  three one and a half minutes from our mobile home park.

No time to get restless and wish the never-ending ride home was over. . .and not enough time for our thick wood-smoke aroma to rub off into the truck upholstery. . .

Yeah, I like camping. . .


How time rushes slowly past

It’s been one year since Mom passed away. Such a jumble of thoughts and feelings  passing through me this week.

Mom’s death last September (10th) opened up a rift in the family (okay, my actions lit the fuse) and it’s been hard to think of Mom without getting lost in those attached issues.

Too many times I felt like family was doing a whirling dervish in my head.

Working through the grief, the anger, the emptiness took so much longer than I thought it would. Funny, my word for the year (chosen last year) was accept and that’s been my struggle this past year. I had to accept that what had passed was now in the past.

As was is as is and not everything in life can be tied up in a nice tidy package with a sleek bow on top. Sometimes the messier things get, the stronger the lessons are.

And we should all know by now that the best lessons are often the ickiest! And I’m here to say too true by a million. . .

 Maffeo Sutten Park just be dusk (1)

I don’t think I have shared this before. One of life’s unexpected yet juicy moments and not really one you can share; at least not right away. Sometime things need to be held close to the heart for a while.

A couple of days ago I was down at the city’s inner harbor park, people watching and sketching when I realized I was sitting right where I had been one year ago.

I’d just finished dealing with the details of Mom’s cremation and had  walked down from the funeral home. I was sitting there plugged with grief and  all around me life was doing  its stuff. I remember being full of strangeness—as if I’d stepped outside of my own life. Totally surreal.  People were laughing and yakking. Kids were yelling and dogs were barking.

And Mom was dead.

So there I was, mindlessly staring at everything, and nothing, when something in my peripheral vision fluttered past. Something small and light-colored. I thought something had blown out of a tree nearby. Or maybe it was a butterfly. It landed beside me on the bench.

That was the moment surreal took a gobsmack between the eyes.

I was staring at Mom’s social insurance card on the bench — the same card I’d tucked inside the folder at the funeral home (along with her birth certificate and all their legal documents). I stuck that folder inside a manila envelope which went into my backpack—the same closed backpack sitting between myself and Mom’s card. . .

So how did Mom’s card end up fluttering onto the bench?

I know what I believe—it was a heart nudge. I felt it then and I’m still feeling it now.

Ciao for now Mom.

Fish Talk

It’s fishing mania right now and since Man-wonder is a fishing addict we’ve been hanging around the shoreline catching the tides.

And there have been interesting moments.

Like watching the damp poetry of a line of fishermen standing, maybe ten or fifteen feet apart  tossing out their lines when, upon hearing a splash of a leaping fish, turn in tandem to cast in that direction.

Or when the good-sporting hoots and conversation that drift ashore quickly turn to low grumbles and snide remarks when less-than-sporting fishermen/women don’t release  fowl-hooked ones. Illegal and worse — dirty fishing.

Personally, I think they deserve the title of ‘fishing whores’ bestowed upon them.

Another goober-sliding-into-stupid move we saw came from a canoeist, and I truly hate to say anything bad about someone who canoes, but this goombah deliberately  paddled into a mess of fishermen and began cutting the lines as they fell over his canoe.

Ever seen a group of ballistic fisherman? Ever seen a canoe leave a wake?

I have.

Even the seals like to get into the action—One hungry one slipped into the middle of a circle of fishermen around a school of fish which sent the fish into a broiling mass just before they took off in every direction.  Within seconds all there was left was a group of either laughing or forlorn-looking fishermen reeling in empty lines as the seal feasted.

Another broil, on another evening, almost caused Man-wonder to do a tush-dive when a school broiled around him close enough to be banging into his legs.

Ever seen a man dance in waders?  Wonder if the fish were laughing?

I know I was. . .

Another evening we watched a group of teens having an absolute hoot. They were nailing fish like they had magical lures and as soon as one teen hooked a fish another teen splashed over and held out the bottom of his tee-shirt like a net and caught the fish. Together they’d unhook the fish and after a kiss to the snout they’d release it, laughing like bandits the whole time.

And, when I got tired of watching the water action I’d look up and catch some magnificent sunrises, sunsets and odd cloud formations.

sky shots (16)          sky shots (27)          sky shots (10)

sky shots (21)      003

But, all this fishy action leaves me with a couple of  questions—Like what do fish talk about underwater?

fish dreams

And, just how many fishermen pee in the water?




People’s opinions, travelling books and pissy-hissy fits

First off, I ran across this blog posting and it knocked me back, and continues to knock me back, because I keep re-reading it. Here’s the link


Such wise thinking!

The other thing I’ve been doing is drooling (not from heat sleeping this time). No, this drooling is over the Midori Traveler’s Notebooks.


I want one. I really, really would like to have one. Not that I need one. Or that I could justify the cost of one.

I just want to have one.

So color my creative side excited when I received the latest blog from Debbie-Anne Parent’s Ephemera’s Vintage Garden site and she has put up a video on how to make your own version of the notebook. Not only that but she directs the viewer towards another video with even more detail.

After watching both videos I screwed up the courage to dismantle (carefully rip apart) a cool little leather book full of thin blank pagers which has been sitting on my shelf unused for far too long.

I made three signatures (sections of pages) for my ‘travelling notebook’ ; one of drawing pages, one of writing pages and one of graph pages. Each signature has 48 usable pages. The fourth section I added was a daily planner I found to fit the 6″ x 4″ notebook.

 Behind all the signatures I slipped in a back and front pocket page to hold things like receipts and cards. I also included a pen holder (using wide elastic and double-sided tape for the first time so the verdict is still out on that puppy!). I added an elastic bookmark (with button attached as a nod to my sewing). To keep the book closed I’ve attached a loop of round elastic cord.

 It’s a rough little book inside, but not bad for the first one. And I tried to upload some pictures of my leather baby but my dinkish tool aka my computer, is behaving rather badly at the moment.

  It has decided to not recognize any of my USB devices today. Yesterday  pop-up window were quick to inform me that it couldn’t connect to my printer  as I watched my items print out. And quite often it likes to tell me that its sound devices aren’t working—usually when I’m listening to something.

Do I think my system is heading for a crash? I’d like to help it along at times. I truly would. But maybe it’s time I did the mature, adultish  thing and take it in for a checkup. . . and try to answer their questions without sounding like someone who should never, ever be allowed near a piece of electronics.

Sometimes I hate being a grown up. Throwing a tantrum was so much easier.


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