Share Your World – 1/30/17

It’s time for another installment of Cee’s Share Your World. If you would like to play along, click here. Here are my answers to this week’s questions:

What is the most incredible natural venue that you’ve ever seen in person?

The Grand Canyon. Walking up to the edge is a surreal experience. The vista goes on forever, and it feels a bit like you’ve walked up to a backdrop.

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How many siblings do you have? What’s your birth order? 

I am one of 9. My parents started down the adoption road when I was a senior in high school. I am 52 and my youngest sister is 28.

If you were a shoe, what kind would you be and why?

I would be a sherpa-lined slipper because I’m all about comfort. 🙂

What is the strangest/weirdest thing you have ever eaten?

Either tripe (yuck) or raw fish. The tripe was part of a Mexican dish called menudo. Not my favorite. The raw fish was at a sushi restaurant. It took me a long time to jump on that bandwagon (and I have one foot dragging off still). My husband likes to offer me tidbits from his sashimi plates.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I am grateful that I had a chance to meet up with an old college roommate. I look forward to actually working this week.


Thanks again to Cee for a chance to share!

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Share Your World -1/23/17

It’s time for another installment of Cee’s Share Your World. If you’d like to play along, click here. Here are my answers to this week’s questions:

Do you prefer juice or fruit?

While I do love fruit, I prefer juice. The question made me think of my favorite – Dole orange/peach/mango. (And now I want some.) I also became a huge fan of passionfruit smoothies when we went to Costa Rica. I don’t like plugging the calories into my food log, however. Like they tell you, a piece of fruit is much more filling and less calorie dense.

Did you grow up in a small or big town? Did you like it?

I grew up in the suburbs. I liked it until I reached high school, at which point I found school to be very cliquish and had a hard time finding my niche. (And not for lack of trying!) We moved to a smaller town my senior year. After an awkward month or two, I found friends and really enjoyed the smaller town atmosphere. It was my best year of high school.

If you were to paint a picture of your childhood, what colors would you use?

Green and blue. I was often outside and near water whenever possible. Maybe a little red to represent skinned knees and elbows. 😉

Ways to Relax List: Make a list of what relaxes you and helps you feel calm.

  • reading a book (if it’s quiet)
  • listening to instrumental music
  • playing the piano or guitar
  • drawing
  • walking (I’d love to say walking the dogs, but they are not very well behaved.)
  • running
  • drinking coffee
  • writing
  • talking to friends

As always, thanks to Cee for the chance to share our worlds.

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Marching Forward

What a year! What an election! My recent posts make no secret of where I stand on Donald Trump’s presidency. If you voted for him, I hope you can reconcile the damage he is going to do to this country. If you voted for him and have buyer’s remorse, join us. It’s not too late. (Hey, it happens. My vote for GWB was followed by immediate regret.) If you didn’t vote for anyone, shame on you. If you voted for Hillary… or Gary…or even Jill, we have a lot of work ahead of us. Our marching orders have arrived, and they are pink.

I’m sad to say, I didn’t get a hat. I know I can still knit one. It may come in handy in the future. I’m relatively sure there wasn’t a run on pink yarn in my conservative town. Fortunately the color of my rain jacket happens to be the color of the resistance.

My original plan was to march in Portland with a friend, but her plans changed. Her husband would be joining her, and they were making a weekend of it. Figuring out the logistics of parking and meet-ups was too daunting. Then the Portland inauguration day protests took a violent turn (damn anarchists), which made me reluctant to head into the masses solo. I would go to Eugene instead.

After spending all of Friday cooped up and feeling powerless, binging on chocolate and watching news shows, I woke up Saturday refreshed and with a clear focus. I turned on a live stream of the DC march and was immediately infused with hope. I made one last plea for companions to join me and got no takers. My male support system doesn’t do pink. (I’m still working on that.) No biggie. I might go alone, but I sure wouldn’t be alone.

I was early and went directly to the parking garage suggested on the Facebook page. I found myself in a line of cars circling in vain up and around the structure. I finally found a parking spot blocks away from downtown, pitying the people who arrived later.

The meet-up area in front of the courthouse was packed. The crowd had overflowed into the still-active road by the time I got there. People of all ages, ethnicities, and genders were packed like sardines. I normally avoid crowds at all costs, but sometimes you have to make a sacrifice for the cause. I couldn’t hear any speakers, so at that point it was a matter of waiting, of lending my presence to a movement, of giving substance to my voice.

Marching orders were slow in coming. People around me were getting impatient. We didn’t know if it was a lack of organization/communication or if there were that many people who had filled in behind us. A drone hovered overhead and all eyes looked up and pointed signs. Finally a group to the side of me decided to peel away and walk down the next street, and slowly but surely, we began to move, a long, slow parade of people with hand-made signs touting different agendas who all came together as a statement that differing ideas were okay, but dividing us was not.

There were chants of not my president. I couldn’t lend my voice to that one. For better or worse, he is my president, but that doesn’t give him license to do whatever he wants. As America Fererra said, the president isn’t America; we are America. Lest anyone forget that, there were chants of this is what democracy looks like. That one I can get behind, and that one I will defend with everything at my disposal.

And so I marched. I marched with young and old. I marched with gay people and straight. I marched with mothers and children, fathers and sons. I marched for the future, for inclusion, for justice. I marched for the world I want my children to live in.

There is strength in numbers. We’ve shown we are strong. We must resist. Failure is not an option.

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Yes!
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Did I mention I don’t do crowds?

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A New Day

It’s a new day, America.

I watched our new president’s inauguration speech this morning on YouTube/PBS. Being the stubborn person I am, I refused to watch it live and increase any potential ratings. As I watched, and you must watch to get the full effect, I started hearing ominous background music in my head, the kind that comes at the start of The Hunger Games or any other movie where you know the politician in charge is up to no good and you’re all going to be screwed.

The gist? We’re going to make America great again, damn it. How are we going to do it? Well, with police and military, protectionism and patriotism (read nationalism). In this speech we found out that the blood of all patriots is the same color regardless of the color of their skin. (Do I need to add that the blood of everyone else in the world is also the same color? Such rhetoric.) We’re going to end the “carnage” of inner city drugs and gangs and make sure Americans are first.

I don’t know about you, but I found the use blood and carnage in an inauguration speech horrifying, especially given the tone. This is not your Obama hope and inclusion speech.

America, I fear there are dark days ahead. Women will march tomorrow in solidarity, sending a message that our voices count to a man who claims to be for us, the people, but has a penchant for sexual assault and misogyny. And it won’t just be women marching, but the men in our lives who support us. We won’t be silenced.

But I imagine they will try.

One part of the president’s speech rankled me.

At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.

I consider myself a patriotic person. I am not a flag-waver, singing “Proud to be and American” at the top of my lungs. I’m a quiet patriot. If you come after my country, I will be there to defend it through words or whatever implement I have on hand. But I understand that in our country, there is room for dissenting views. That’s the essence of the First Amendment. What will constitute a “total allegiance” to the USA, and who will decide what loyalty to our country means? For example, to me, loyalty to our country means honoring the free press and the constitutional amendments. It also means working with the system and not refusing to even hear a supreme court nomination. It means listening to our intelligence community and giving credence to the work they risk their lives to provide. I imagine under the Trump administration, “total allegiance” will take on a more sinister tone of agreement with the powers that be. I hope I’m wrong.

Our allegiance is to the United States of America, to its institutions and its Constitution, an ideal put to paper that we must defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Yet we must be very clear about what that threat is. Burning a flag is deplorable, but not a threat to the greatness of the United States. Clamping down free speech is.

It’s a new day, America, a day to ask yourself if you are willing to risk exposure and speak up against any and all attempts to destroy our freedoms? Stand up. Speak up. Don’t risk losing those rights.

Happy New Year

It’s New Year’s Day, or in the words of astronomer and Pluto-killer Neil deGrasse Tyson, “A day that’s not astronomically significant…in any way…at all…whatsoever.” (via Twitter) Our Gregorian calendar construct, however, gives us a restart button, a chance to change out the months of before to newer, more hopeful ones, ones in which we will finally lose weight and go to the gym, in which we will be kinder or read more books, and ones in which, by golly, we’ll get those projects finished. We party to ring in the new as we sweep out the old.  As we raise our glasses in toast and give hugs all around, we look to the future with optimism. Fresh starts are wonderful, hopeful occasions. May your New Year be everything you hope it to be!

They’re Here

Mercilessly they came,
Gnashing their teeth,
War whoops televised over broadcast news.

Slyly they came,
With a wink and a nod,
Manipulating words and ideas through the airwaves.

Smugly they came,
Tweeting their way into power,
Lambasting the good and worthy throughout the internet.

Slowly they rose,
Climbing on the willing backs
Of those already bent from daily pressures none of them would ever face.

And a chant rang out,
“Lock her up” and “Build that wall,”
Inoculations activating a hard shell of resistance…

To ideas…

To community…

To differences.

Joyfully they came,
Looting and pillaging their aim,
As the shining city on the hill sat vacuously waiting.


In response to The Daily Post’s prompt: Pillage

Share Your World – #52

It’s time for another installment of Cee’s Share Your World. Here are my answers to this week’s questions:

What’s your favorite ice-cream flavor?

While I don’t eat ice cream very often, I have a lot of favorite flavors. Here goes:
– Moose Tracks
– Coffee (and any variation thereof)
– Peppermint
– Ben and Jerry’s Americone Dream
– Also B&J’s Cherry Garcia
– Red Bean Mochi Ice Cream

If you were to treat yourself to the “finer things” what would you treat yourself to?

I would make reservations to the 8 course New Year’s Eve dinner at our local bistro. I’ve always wanted to go, though I don’t know if I could justify the $75 per person dinner. I find it hard to finish a regular meal.

 Have you ever been drunk?

Tipsy once. I didn’t like the feeling, so I’ve been careful ever since. I also drove my college roommate home from a bar after she’d overindulged in tequila shooters. After stopping a few times, helping her stagger to the room, and watching her spend the night on the bathroom floor I decided I never wanted to get drunk. I prefer the feeling of self control.

Complete this sentence: My favorite supposedly guilty pleasure is… 

Food. I’ve eaten way too much of it this past week. I feel like I’m busting at the seams.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I am very grateful to have had my whole little family together, if only for a few days. I’m also grateful that it has expanded to include  my new daughter-in-law along with her mom and brother.

In the upcoming week I look forward to not having to plan any trips or buy any presents. I need some rest.


Thanks again, Cee, for the great questions.

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Wishing you all peaceful end to 2016!

Ovation Coffee

Sunshine and I made the drive up to the airport yesterday. Another visit had passed much too quickly. Between a road trip, a wedding, and Christmas, the time flew by. Now that Christmas was over, everyone but me had gone back to work. Sunshine had taken more time off than she was allotted in her new job, but we’d managed to pack a lot into our short time together. We had walked downtown Flagstaff and the red canyons of Sedona. We had shopped our local stores and hit our favorite coffee spot. We had spent a week laughing and talking and singing to Christmas songs in the car (tormenting the boys in the process). We had cooked and cleaned and wrapped. It was all over with much too soon.

We had time for one last cup of coffee before she caught her flight. Sunshine directed me down to the Pearl to a place that she assured me got rave reviews on Yelp, Ovation Coffee and Tea.

This is not your ordinary coffee shop. Though some variation of lattes and Americanos are on the menu, everything had a Moroccan twist. I asked about the Moroccan spices and the barista listed cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, pepper among others. Now was not the time for that same old cup of Joe. My daughter, who I recently found out considered our coffee dates to be our version of the Gilmore Girls, had led me to a delicious coffee heaven where her show could be played out complete with the requisite coffee bowls in place of mugs. When our steaming, beautiful bowls of coffee were placed between us, I looked up at this woman who used to be my little girl and felt an overwhelming sense of pride and love. Though the miles may separate us and the days between our visits seem long, we will always manage to pack laughter and love and coffee into our time together.

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This tasted like coffee and a really good, not too sweet cookie. Delicious!

Inspired by real events…

and the Daily Post’s prompt: Ovation

Happy Holidays

I have to keep reminding myself that it’s the Christmas season. It could be the insanity of the past few weeks of planning, preparing, and packing, the 1,250 mile road trip, a graduation, a wedding, and/or anxiety over what I view as a disastrous election result that have stripped me of my usual Christmas cheer. Whatever the reason, I am caught off guard when someone wishes me best wishes of the season.

I’m oblivious to the lights lining the street, winding up trees and framing unfamiliar shop windows. I don’t see the happy shoppers bustling through stores on their mission to find the perfect gifts. I look back at the pictures of my son’s wedding and suddenly realize there’s a Christmas tree there.

Christmas. The season of cheer. Of generosity.

On my Facebook feed amid the sweet personal stories of grandchildren and funny memes reminding us of the bigger things in life, there was a comment related to Governor Kate Brown calling for a French revolution and bringing back the guillotine. This was yesterday. Happy Holidays. Twitter is full of vicious reminders that their guy won, that I should just get over it. Merry Christmas. Exit polls tell us that 80% of Evangelicals voted for a man thrice married, a man who has demeaned women, who has defrauded people of their hard-earned money, who lies constantly, a man who is stirring the pot of world instability before he even takes office. Have a blessed holiday season.

Don’t get me wrong. I am happy. Thrilled. Proud. My eldest graduated with honors… in science! He now holds a degree in physics and astronomy. I also have a new lovely and intelligent daughter-in-law who loves that son. At this moment my close little family surrounds me, and I am grateful for their warmth.

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But outside my little bubble the world has ominous clouds building on the horizon.

And I have to keep reminding myself that it is Christmas.

 

 

Share Your World #50

It’s time for another installment of Cee’s Share Your World. If you would like to play along, click here. Here are my answers to this week’s questions:

What is your favorite smell?

Coffee! I love walking into the house after I’ve made espresso and the smell is still lingering in the air.

I also love the crisp smell of juniper in dry Central Oregon air.

What memory does it remind you of?

Coffee doesn’t evoke a memory, but the juniper reminds me of my glory days as a young adult with no real responsibilities and loads of free time. It makes me think of carefree days and being outside.

What type of pet do you have or want to have?

I’m a dog person. I have four dogs now, all mutts. Technically, one of them is Maverick’s, but he’s a neglectful puppy parent, and the puppy has chosen me as his person.

 

Are you usually late, early, or right on time? 

I’m usually just a little bit late, though I value punctuality. It’s a time thing. I have decided that I really don’t have a good concept of time. Things take longer than I think and I end up scrambling.

For recharging, would you rather meditate, swim, walk, to music, write, read, yoga, qigong other?

Lately (as in during this election season) I’ve seriously thought about adding meditation to my schedule. I will do it; it’s just a matter of when. I find walks are good for recharging, as are trips to the gym. The problem with either is that when I need them the most, I have the hardest time getting started.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Last week I was grateful for the opportunity to do a good deed for a friend. I needed the time to pack for my trip, but she needed my help, so I stepped up. It felt even better to give when I had to sacrifice something in the process.

I look forward to my son’s graduation from college and wedding the very next day! (Crazy young people!)


Thanks to Cee for another fun writing challenge. This keeps me going when I am mired in worry about our collective future.

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