Posts Tagged ‘on being nuts’

Here’s to purpose and answering one’s calling

You know, blogging is a way of expression; a way of sharing. I started this blog way back whenever to make sure I wrote. But basically, it’s just me—yabbering.

So, here’s my latest thinks:

I’ve been looking over my life lately and there are a few things I’ve come to understand.

  • I’ve been a loving presence to some.
  • A tragic disappointment to others.
  • An annoyance to many
  • A shameful figure to a handful
  • And a moment of sunshine to some.

In other words I’m human. And after a careful study of my life so far I’ve figured out why I chose to come into this world as me. Not to be a noble example of excellence. No. I’m here as a noble example of  what not to be.

And, strangely enough I’m pleased to recognise what it is that I am really, really good at.

Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Finding one’s passion, one’s sense of purpose, and becoming the best damn example of it that you can be. So—having figured out why I’m here—I plan to truly enjoy every last moment I have of this existence. Yep—I’m giving it undivided attention from now on.

So ……………here’s to breathing!

Speaking of gymnastics. . .

Getting older is an unfunny funny thing when it’s happening to you. Kneeling is a prime sample of this.

When you’re younger, it’s down and up with a spring. Middle age is down and up and maybe not so springy; and definitely less quiet. Old age is a whole new experience—it’s more of a cranky slow train of communication between body parts.

Let’s say you’ve just finished painting a bottom cupboard and want to stand up. So your brain tells your knees to hop to it.

. . . The Knees yelp, “Are you shitting us?”

Your brain tries commando, knowing Knees have been a bit whiny lately. “Rise dammit.”

Knees yell back to Toes, “A little help here amigos.”

Toes, sounding apologetic, kick back with, “Sorry Knobs but we’re busy helping Arches. The poor buggers are cramping up with us bent like we are.”

Knees squirm and call up to Brain, “Hey, Command Center, Knees here. It’s a no go unless Arms stop hanging like hypnotized chimpanzees and help. Maybe mouth could give a shout-out for help.”

Brain gives a sigh. “C’mon everybody, let’s try working this out like a team. One for all, all for one, right?”

“Yeah—well tell that to Thighs. A little pushing action from them babies would have us straightened right out. But do they bother to tighten up? No, they just hang there putting more pressure on us. It’s not fair.”

“Yeah,” Thighs jiggle in disgust, “we’d help you two overgrown knuckles  but it’s all we can do to keep these pillowy pads in motion. We’re as overworked as you two.”

Knees snort in derision. “Like roll us in jelly—we wouldn’t mind your cushy positions in this life!”

Brain breaks in with, “BODY! You’re behaving like children. All this sniping and complaining isn’t helping. Let’s try working together. Arms—reach out and grab the counter. Toes—curl back and pull that kneepad in under Arches. Knees—get ready to straighten out. Toes are going to push, thighs are going to lift upwards ,and arms are going to pull everyone forward. Everyone ready now? Okay, on the count of three. . . one . . .WAIT. . . what?”`

Brain is silent for a second. It comes back to tell the others,  “Mouth wants to help by grunting. Kind of like cheerleading for the team. So—okay gang, we’re going for uplift now — one, two, three . . . good. Good! Annnd . . .  we’re up and mobile again. Excellent job everyone! And see, no crane needed.

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.  . .Arms, you can let go of the counter and, uh, Mouth—is that heavy breathing really necessary?”

 

 

 

Stinging Nettle Green and Dead Plant Brown

Another week, a new bike seat for Man-Wonder and eight bags of stinging nettles later we are both happy campers.

Man-Wonder because of a cushy ride and me because once again, home smells of drying herbs.

Not only is my file-cabinet-turned-passive-solar-dehydrator bursting with drying, crackly leaves but the hobby room is draped in hanging clusters of prickly plants and there is a bag of blender-ized nettle ice cubes in the freezer to boost the value of my green tea lemonade.

Yes, life is good here in Seabreeze MHP!

thL0K3IDP4thL0K3IDP4thL0K3IDP4thL0K3IDP4thL0K3IDP4thL0K3IDP4thL0K3IDP4  Or it was.

Until we felt guilty about having fun while the neighbors were all but spit-polishing their abodes. And—mercy on my twitchy soul—Man-Wonder did something I never thought he’d do—he listened to me going on (and maybe on . . . ) about the virtues of vinegar and its 101 uses, like windows and floors inside; moss and grime outside.

“Like what’s growing on the roof tiles and on the skylights.” I mentioned hopefully.

“Yeah, yeah.” He agreed, but first, he was going to try the stuff out lower—like the edges of the driveway, the weeds in the gravel and the dandelions multiplying like rabbits in the lawn.

He filled his pump sprayer with vinegar, primed it to perfection until it sprayed like spittle from a preacher giving a sermon about sinners, then proceeded to spray the bejesus out of every weed, clump of moss and perky dandelion on our piece of mobile heaven.

He’s barely finished before he was yelling at me to come out and check it out. Seriously, the man was almost dancing as the weeds and dandelions wilted.

*Note* The sky was overcast during the spray. While we were inside having lunch, the sun burned the clouds away. AND much, much more. . .

Like every single spot where he sprayed, the sun + vinegar burned.

And he sprayed a lot of spots!  And every spot had about a foot of over-spray. . .

OMG! That evening, as we sat in our chairs, looking over the damage, I commented on how it “kinda looks like someone dropped a giraffe skin over the yard.”

He looked around, at the neighboring pristine lawns connecting to our sad, sad lawn and said, “Hey, If anyone asks, we’ll just say it camouflage and we’re hiding from the Mothership.”

Is it any wonder I call him Man-Wonder?

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The Wheels go round and round. . . or not.

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Man-Wonder and I went for a bike ride.

We’re not bike fanatics and our bikes are at least fifteen years old but they are skookum in structure and wicked awesome in color—honking yellow/black, and purple/black. But mine is cooler since I have extensions rising from the straight handlebar so I can ride upright if I want.

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Man-Wonder says I remind him of the old woman in the Wizard of Oz movie. I tell him I’ll be more like the wicked witch if he doesn’t shut up; which has no effect on him since he was born to flap (and we aren’t talking body parts here Toto).

Yesss indeedy, we make a fine sight when we hit the road.

Anyway, last week, Man-Wonder came up with “Let’s drive over to the fish hatchery; park on the road above and ride down and follow the river. A nice easy loop—under an hour max.”

It was a great ride until half way around I spot a trail heading into woodsy area in the center of the loop.

“Any idea where it goes?” I ask.

“Probably follows the rearing channels.”

Like an idiot I say, “Let’s check it out.”

“Sure, how bad can it be?” the goombah in him replies.

Holy Keee-risttt!

no no It turned out to be absolutely, no way, nada, as in not fit for a bike, and it didn’t take long for the trail to downsize until it felt like it had been cleared by squirrels. There were a few slimy slippy-slidey skids over protruding tree roots and, at the bottom of one slope, we were forced into a sharp S turn to avoid a dip in the creek dead ahead. Another corner and another slope was suddenly funneling us onto an itty-bitty wooden bridge with half its planks rotted out.

Did we turn around? Nah. We were sure the end was near.

And it almost was. For me anyway.

Because, that’s when we hit THE hill and by the time I reached the top I was sucking, really sucking wind. But I did arrive just in time to watch Man-Wonder take off pedaling down the other side like a demented hamster while hugging his handlebars. Hugging—because to reach the other side of the canyon (okay, big ditch) he had to ride under a massive fallen tree trunk . . . oh . . . say . . . a smidgen above bicycle height!

“Are you kidding me?” I said looking skyward.

Apparently not—Man-Wonder made it up the other side with head attached. Which meant it was my turn.

I took off pedaling like a demon child while literally kissing the crotch-banging bar (or whatever that bar is called) and made it almost halfway up the other side before doing a slow motion sideways collapse and watching my bike slide away to rest under the tree.

“Can I help?” Man-Wonder asked, trying not to smirk as he skip-skidded down to grab my bike.

“Use the cell to call an ambulance?” I gasped. “And a new owner for that bike.”

 

. . . . . . I wonder if rollerblading would be any easier?

Tout naturel or au naturalle ?

So, there we were—Man-Wonder and I quietly getting our breakfast as the radio played behind the sounds of the kettle heating, cereal pouring and toast being buttered. Nary a  ‘watch out eh’ or a ‘Scuse’ said between us.

Definitely not one of those mornings where it’s like we’ve spent the night the night dreaming and thinking and coming up with things to discuss. Those mornings are like two blabber-guts over cereal!

But the morning was quiet. And as we sat across from each other chewing, the radio kicked in with the morning news and up comes a little news piece worth some serious discussion.

It was reported that the police on the mainland (outside of Vancouver city) were searching for a  hiker. Seems the guy had been spotted on three different occasions wearing nothing more than a backpack and ear buds. They did say when he realized there were others close by, he hid behind a tree.

So—not a pervert nor an exhibitionist—just someone who likes to be out and about, away from the general population, naked, au naturalle , tout naturel. Call it what you want – he prefers it all off.

“Kinda’ cold for naked skin.” I said, when the news ended, as I looked out the window at the thermometer and slurped my nice hot java.

Man-Wonder grunted. (I think partly because he’s cut back on his java.)

“But,” I added, buttering my toast, “I don’t think it’s illegal, if he’s in an area where he’s believes he’s likely to be alone.”

Man-Wonder raised his head from over his cereal bowl and stared at me for a lonnnng moment before raising one eyebrow and smirking as he said, “I’d be more worried about squirrels hunting for nuts.”

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. . .Let’s just call that breakfast conversation one of our shortest ever. . .

 

 

How come the finish line keeps moving away?

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I swear by all that’s holey (socks, sheets, old facecloths) that I am going to write a ‘How-to’ book(let) for mobile home owners—at least for the DIY owners of mobiles like ours.

Those older but still classy mobiles—the kind that remind one of those sweet little white-haired ladies you see at a party. Decked out in their lovely evening gowns and looking so classy; until you move in for a closer look and can’t help but notice the thinning, wrinkly boobs have been pushed up a tad too high and if you look you’ll catch a glimpse of a torn lacy gray slip hanging low on one side. Lean in real close and you’ll smell a hint of arthritic muscle rub twisting around their luscious rose-scented perfumes.

That’s kinda the mobile we have. Looks good as long as you have one eye closed and are quickly rotating the other.

This baby of ours has an overload of one inch pretend-wood trim board. It crowns the top of every wall. It runs down the seam of every wallboard and it runs about three feet up, parallel to the floor, around every wall. Kind of like a top rail for a low wainscoting only they forgot to install the wainscoting!

The phony-balony wood finish also covered all four hundred cupboards in the kitchen. (Okay, eighteen in the kitchen, four in the laundry area and more in each bathroom).

What wasn’t covered in pretend wood was painted white and, at first, it did look clean and fresh but fast forward six months and white was feeling more empty than fresh.

A month ago I decided: Creamy yellow for all top cupboards, soft green for bottom ones and Caribbean Mango smoothie for one long (30′) wall.

All the goofy wood-ish trim could stay as is.

Cupboards turned out fantastic, and I especially love the hammered metal spray I used on the 50 hinges and 34 handles—which happened after pricing out new hardware.

And, with all that time spend in the carport painting and spraying, I got to know the neighbor quite well.

Bonus!

Then it was time to paint the wall.

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Orange is a funny color. Don’t get it right and every time you walk into the room (and in a mobile you are constantly walking into ‘the room’) the wall isn’t going to sweetly say, “Hello again!”

No—it’s going to slap you with a growly, “What the hell do you want this time?”

But, as they say, I reefed up my big girl panties and rolled on the paint. The first coat dried ugly-splotchy and as I stared at it I was estimating how many coats of white it was going to take to cover it up.

But the little voice inside said ‘one more coat.’ I listened and painted again, and then, after a long nap in Man-wonder’s recliner, I woke up to find the wall smiling at me.

And, even though it’s more of a Mexican Tango than a Caribbean Mango,  Man-wonder and I agree we can live with it.

Now this is where a ‘how-to in a mobile’ booklet would have been a blessing. You see, for once in my life I was overzealous in taping. Every single piece of stinking pseudo-wood trim was taped over because I had no intention of painting it.

But—painter’s tape and pretending-to-be-real-wood finishes don’t play well together. When the tape came off so did the photo-finish of the trim. .  .

Ever think you’ve finished a job only to find out you’ve just finished the easy parts?

The trim is going white and while I’m painting all six million feet of it— I’m going to practice loving white. . .

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The throat bone is connected to the nose bone and the nose bone is connected to the brain bone and the brain bone is . . . . .

Finally the last little nagging-tickle-in-throat cough from the spring cold has departed. Spring has indeed arrived inside our bodies as it has outside.

We’re free of the muscus-maker.

Well, maybe.

Step back one day: We’re standing in line at the grocery store when my nice, clear, unplugged nose picks up the familiar scent of lemon-coated medicine in cough drop form. Casually pulling up my collar to cover my nose and mouth, I glance around, hunting for the culprit. Then, to my horror, the cashier in front of me softly clears her throat—sending another sickly sweet cloud my way while she man-handles our purchases with virus-carrying, germ-bagging hands.

Oh, crap!

My first instinct was to duck and run but I stood my ground and fought like a princess-warrior against both it and my second instinct, which was to grab the plastic bag out of her hands, pull it down over her germ-spewing face and shove her out the door, telling her to go home and rest. Alone. Out of the public.

But I didn’t do that either.

Instead I put on my pleasant little old lady persona and said, “Oh dear, you have a cold. Shouldn’t you be at home with your head down and your feet up?”

“Can’t. Anyway, it’s my second one this spring.” She croaks, sucking like a demon. “In between I had strep throat.”

I look over at Man-wonder. He’s looking back at me (from a safer distance) with one eyebrow raised. I wonder if I cave and  make a dash for the door, leaving him to handle things—would he? His eyes narrow. He shakes his head.

Sometimes being together for a long time can be a pain; too much mind reading going on. I sigh.

He’s right. If I ask him to take over with germzilla he’s more likely to end up with another cold and to be honest, it’s not worth it—who’s his nurse going to be since I’ve about used up my this-year’s-supply-of-nice already? Things could get sad in an ugly way fast.

And then, that’s when it hit me—what if this rampant virus-spewing epidemic of forced sharing is part of our evolution? Maybe, since the majority of our population is aging, there isn’t going to be enough of the sturdy-studly generation to care for all of us. So maybe, just maybe, this is natural selection at work.

Hmmmm. . . . oh god, is that a germ I feel climbing up my nostril?

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Mother’s Day, Gods, Goddesses, Death

Mother’s Day was a funny event this year. First, I received the best gift of all—time with my son. A few hours yabbering and yakking.

The flipside to that gift was missing my mom. Instead of us spending time chatting, and most likely having a game of Scrabble, it was just me sitting there remembering her passing.

Mortality was in for another squeeze and it wasn’t until the next morning’s walk that the juicy creative side of my mind kicked in and put the giggle back in place.

Mid-walk it hit me and suddenly I was visualizing this oversized chrome-heavy hog gutting its way through the lanes of our park. I could almost taste the exhaust as it passed. The God of Mortality, decked out in full, well-worn leathers was driving and hanging onto him by one arm was the Grim Reaper. His other arm was using his scythe to snatch a body, here and there, from its mobile and mortal binds.

Ahh, but then I saw the Goddess of Eternity drafting the hog’s current. She was gently gathering the souls of the snatched into a Santa-style sack. The empty human bodies, bereft of life and soul, were drifting down like falling leaves to the curb.

Just imagine if it ever came to that? You dial a number and say “Curb pickup needed at number #138 please”  and just like how we set out wheelbarrows or bins of yard waste our mortal remains would be picked up by park management and carted off.

Really . . . think about it—each of us arrives and each of us leaves. Does the point of ‘how’ really matter?

Into the wild woods we go

We found another trail to explore and, just to live on the edge, decided to explore it after dinner with a coffee from our favorite coffee shop. Imagine that – coffee after seven and taking a chance on an unknown trail which might not get us home until after dark. Goes against all the wiles of wisdom eh?

But that’s us  — modern day elder-rebels. Mind you both the trail and the coffee shop are within an eight minute walk of home. . .so maybe it’s just a tweaky sniff of danger. And definitely not as dangerous as the trail turned out to be.

Off we went—meandering down a new trail, enjoying the signs of spring and inhaling our coffees when, 10 minutes into the trail, we come to this sign

. sign - first one

Have I ever mentioned how I dislike signs? More often than not they cause problems; like filling my head with lines from a childhood ditty about being in the woods, ‘If you go down to the woods today / You’re sure of a big surprise’

And there I was, getting a sore neck from trying to see over both shoulders at the same time because all I can think of is; gun-packing cranky land owners with private burial fields for trespassers or bikers protecting grow crops. Meanwhile, as I’m freaking out, good old Man-Wonder continues  tromping along like he has never learned how to read and/or could care less what the sign says.

And then, another ways down the trail we come across this beauty;

sign - second one

OMG!

Just-out-of-the-winter-den-hungry bears! I know it and am a heartbeat from spinning like a demented ballerina and running out of those woods when Man-wonder comes to a dead stop twenty feet ahead and says, “Look at that,” way too calmly for slobbering bears or goobers with guns so I sneak a little closer to see what he’s seeing.

It’s a big hole, maybe fifteen to twenty feet across and circling it is a wire fence with bits of dangly ratty-edged red ribbons. There are faded words on the ribbons and of course I want to know what it says. (Red should have been a good clue here but I was too busy not thinking to think).

“What’s it say on those ribbons?” I ask Man-wonder.

“I don’t know.” He says from where he stands on the trail.

I get a little closer—close enough to notice two things: One—part of the fence is in the hole (meaning the hole hasn’t finished growing), and two—the words on the ribbons are: “DANGER” and “DO NOT ENTER”.

Right. Man-wonder must have seen the panic in my eyes because he comes up with this statement, “It’s an old sink hole. Look,” He points downward, “there are trees growing out of it.” And, as if the problem has been solved, he heads off down the trail again.

Even as I back away I’m not buying his idea. I have my own theory. That sink hole happened so fast those poor trees just dropped and shock has kept them upright.

Two smaller sinkholes later we follow the trail over a bank, alongside a small river just before it empties into the Nanaimo Estuary. We stop beside a medium-sized tree and goggle at the tree roots dangling in mid-air below us. Kneeling down we saw how a large section under the trail was gone, gone, gone!  Honestly, my two weak knees lifted and hustled me across that section like I was in a freaking parade. Hubby not far behind.

That was the worst part and I’m happy to say the trail mellowed out after and stayed solid (except for the muck field) until we found the end of the trail and this view.

from estuary to mainland #1 Was it worth it?

This freaked out pansy-rebel thinks so.  And for the record—I think Man-wonder is darn lucky he didn’t have to piggy-back me home.

Smoking The Tracks

Finally, the stinking rain stopped.

Man-wonder and I busted out of the mobile like fleas off a dead dog, heading for anywhere, and everywhere, and in the end—the coffee shop.

But first we needed a good dose of Vitamin D so we took a wander along a couple of trails between home and Timmies.

The first walk was on a boardwalk following a fast-flowing and  twisty creek. The second walk took us deeper into the woods and parallel with railroad tracks for a ways. Feeling adventuresome we decided to walk the tracks instead of following the trail when it looped back.

Now, there is just something about walking railway tracks.

For just a few minutes there’s a sense of living the vagabond life. A sense of going nowhere, or somewhere, and all the time in the world to do it. Add to that, a tiny fissure of lurking danger—I mean, dastardly things can, and do happen on railroad tracks.

But there is still something about walking the tracks that’s like getting stoned without the smoking bit. . .

And that’s what happened to my brain – it reefed out all on its own when we came to the train trestle passing over the creek which was now rushing like a mad retriever to reach the ocean.  All that gushing water below, and me, like a razzbone, staring down between the tracks as we crossed.

No wonder my gray matter took a trip to the movies!

Looking down through the trestles reminded me of vertigo. Which made me think of the movie of the same title. Which made me think of Alfred Hitchcock. Which made me think of all things dark and dangerous. Which made me think of those movies where dark dangerous things live under trestles. Which made me think of the movie Stand By Me stand by me—where those boys were screaming over the trestle because a train was suddenly bearing down on them. Which made me run like crazy for the other side. Which startled Man-wonder into racing right along side of me thinking I knew something he didn’t!

The sticky part came once I stopped sucking wind and could talk coherently and tried explaining to Man-wonder. I guess I should be grateful he was still willing to buy me a coffee—which made me think of the Grateful Dead, which made me think (?) of Dr.Hook and their song, I got stoned and I missed it, which made me think of grass, which made me realize that Spring is coming—which means more sunshine and more walks.

YeeHaw!

Life is good eh?

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