Friday, August 26, 2016

A Shout Out to the Audubon Society

May I introduce to you my dog, Bugsy? Three years ago, we adopted him from an animal shelter. He is a Schnoodle (Schnauzer Poodle mix), weighs a whopping 8lbs and the truth is, he is really not much of a dog. His favorite thing in the world is to sit on someone's lap, eat treats, bark at the front door whenever anyone approaches it, and follow me around the house.

Every now and then, Bugsy remembers that he's a dog and chases after squirrels who balance on top of our fence. But usually, he is blissfully unaware of the critters roaming around in nature. Recently, he even missed the 5 deer we encountered on our morning walk.

This morning however, a bunny rabbit somehow found its way into our backyard. Bugsy's dog instinct set in and he chased the little bunny into a corner. I am not entirely sure what happened, but I believe the little bunny may have kicked so hard with its hind legs it actually broke its own spine. I'm not making this up... the girl at the Audubon Society told me this is likely what has happened.

And speaking of Audobon Society, they are really the reason I'm writing this post. The poor little bunny sat in my front yard and didn't move. It had been barely able to crawl away from my dog. It had no visible exterior wounds, but it looked quite hurt. I took to Facebook, asked what I should do and was promptly provided with a link for our local Audubon Society's Wildlife Care Center. During a quick phone call I was asked to put the bunny in a box and bring it in. If its injuries weren't terrible, they would then nurse it back to health and even return it to the same neighborhood from where it came. Otherwise they would gently put it out of its misery.

Upon my arrival, I was greeted by a lovely young lady who had me fill out a form. I told her my story and she was the one to inform me of the bunny's ability to break its own spine by kicking hard with its hind legs. As I was filling out the form, she took the box into the back. After a few minutes she returned and confirmed that the poor bunny did look pretty bad and it was likely not going to live.

It wasn't unexpected, but I'll be honest that I'm glad I didn't have to make this decision. I'm grateful that the Audubon Society makes it its mission to protect and care for our local wildlife. And I am even more grateful that they are taking care of the sad job of ending the life of this little critter. I'm sad but also relieved that it no longer has to suffer. Thank you, Audubon!!

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Sound of Silence....

Okay, I'm a little obsessed with this song! It was covered by Disturbed and it's eerily beautiful... and I just want to listen to it really, really loudly!!

Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains within the sound of silence
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
'Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed
By the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs
That voices never share
And no one dare
Disturb the sound of silence
"Fools, " said I, "you do not know
Silence, like a cancer, grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you."
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon God they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
And the words that it was forming
And the sign said,
"The words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls."
And whispered in the sound of silence

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Adult kids rock

I love all my kids (in case anybody wants to know, I have three of them). Each have their very own personality and style. They each know what they like and dislike and they will voice their opinions, like it or not! Two of my three kids are teenagers. I could end my blog post here. Every parent of teens knows that it's your teens (not old age) that make your hair turn silver. I thought I'd somehow dodged that bullet because I'm homeschooling. Yes, I admit, I was absolutely convinced that because of homeschooling I'd be raising little angels! So sue me! Anyway, I'm learning my lesson. My teenagers are completely normal people who roll their eyes at me and at least one of them swears like a sailor. They argue like pros, and it doesn't help that they're 6' and 5'10 3/4'' respectively. When the heck did they get so freaking tall???
Anyway, even if they challenge me every single day of my life. And I know that the tough teen years will end and my children will become adults... like my eldest. She will turn 22 in a few days. And aside from the fact that I find it shocking to have a child THAT OLD, I have to say, it is a wonderful thing to have her in my life.

Adult kids rock because:

1) They ask your opinion and then don't yell at you because you offered your opinion.

2) They don't argue until you're green in the face.

3) They make money. And when they borrow money, they pay you back.

4) They thank you just for making them eggs and bacon.

5) They clown around with you in the movie theater and don't give a shit about people staring.

6) They are super easygoing about doing stuff. Wanna go see a movie? Sure! Eat a burger? Sure! Schedule a tour through Pittock Mansion? Sure! Okay if I drive? Sure!

7) They suddenly become really thoughtful.

8) They make goofy faces with you and don't mind you posting them on Facebook.

9) They are funny as hell!

10) They tell you that they love you a lot!

Yes, I love them all three. And I'm thrilled to see the teens grow up and find their passions and navigate their lives. But I am also excited for their adult years (even if that means that I'll be EVEN OLDER than I am now) and the wonderful people they'll become!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Things I learned during my camping trip

So we went camping with the homeschoolers in Central Oregon. Tumalo State Park is located between Sisters and Bend. There is a river flowing nearby, and the truth is this river is the ONLY thing that makes camping at Tumalo bearable. Because this is the high desert. The trees don't grow as tall as they do in Portland. The earth is brown. The sun beats mercilessly from a blue sky every. single. day. Oh sure, it has its own rough beauty. But no, I would not live there if you paid me. I like Portland just fine, thank you very much!

Nevertheless, we had a good time and I learned a few things.

1. Having a yurt is nice. But sleeping on yurt beds is the most miserable thing on Earth. And I think it's getting harder with age! I'm still hurting two days after returning home.

2. Cooking in the Instant Pot isn't easier when the sun beats down on you. And you can't move faster either, because you're too hot and it's impossible to speed things up.

3. Floating on a shallow river means you'll hit your butt on river rocks... a lot.

4. Sometimes, you'll hear cows mooing right next to the campground in the middle of the night (in Central Oregon, that is)

5. Everything you eat somehow tastes better than at home. Why do I bother cooking at home?

6. Some people (okay, very young 13 year old people) think that Germany is still a very scary country "because you know.... World War 2"! And they go on long, long, long, long rants about Germans and Nazis and how scary it all is! *sigh*

7. Friends are a beautiful thing. They're just there to laugh with you, chat with you, and they let you
borrow pillows from their RV to make your night on the yurt bed a little less miserable. And they might tear a muscle in their leg trying to reach for those pillows and then have to walk in crutches for 3 days. Now, THAT is true friendship.

8. Meditation on one leg with a cup full of.... wine.... is totally possible.

9. Don't use hand cream as toothpaste. I really, really does not taste good.

I'm home now, in my air-conditioned house. I slept a full 8 hours last night. I cooked food in my nicely stocked kitchen, and right now I'm watching a movie on Netflix. I'm so happy to be home. But next year, I'll do it all again. Why? Because I'll take those hard yurt beds anytime if it means to learn a few new things (and drink a few cups of wine... and hit my butt on the river rocks).

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

What to do with this blog?

My blog has been around for a few years now. After moving here from "typepad" in 2009, I wrote a total of 239 posts. Come to think of it, that's really not that much, considering that seven years have passed. Seven years during which I have lived what seems to be a full life and then some.
This blog has been everything during this time. I wrote about every day life, about writing, about nutrition, then circled back into every day life, and at some point I felt like I was sitting in my living room with a bunch of friends gathered and we were discussing kids and food and all things discuss-worthy. And I won awards that I proudly displayed all over my blog (like the one here on the left!).

Nowadays, my blog is more of a quiet place literally: no more lively discussions with all my bloggy friends, and figuratively: I come here to write about things that move me... occasionally. It has become more of a public diary for readers I don't know. I know you're here. The stats are telling me that I have hundreds of visitors each week, but none of you say anything. No, I really don't mind. It's merely an observation.

I've asked myself multiple times what I want to do with this blog. Do I keep it? Do I continue to write about things that I find interesting and moving? And if so, am I doing it for me alone (in which case I might just as well write a private diary) or am I doing it in hopes that someone out there gets something out of it? Obviously, I'm not making any money with it, so it really is just for fun. I suppose the question is the same as why one would share every day thoughts and feelings on Facebook. Although, the truth is that I post mostly pictures on Facebook and nutrition related things.

Did you know I'm a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner? Say what? Yes, I really should focus more time on filling my blog over on my website with quality content. I should post about food, and weight loss, about acid reflux, and the brain gut connection. Check out my website if you feel so inclined. It's right HERE. I have truly found my calling in Nutritional Therapy. I work with loads of people and one of my biggest accomplishments is that I helped a man with type 2 diabetes avoid his insulin shots. All he did was change his diet according to my recommendations. Hot damn, right?

I digress. Back to my blog. I've considered quitting the blogging game. But the truth is, I love this blog. It's a little bit like my baby. You don't quit your baby. Maybe it's time I actually wrote a bit more to make that baby thrive rather than to just survive. And if you're here and reading this, leave a comment and tell me about your blog, so I can start following you as well.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Toys! Toys! Toys!

I was invited to a party at a friend's house. Not just any party... it was a toy party! You know the kind... the ones you use by yourself or with your significant other in the bedroom. I have been to such a party once before, but it's been a while, and let me tell ya, I was a tad bit surprised at all the, uhm, toys on the market. For a few minutes I thought, "Seriously, does anyone really need this stuff? I mean, what happened to good old touching?" I mean, we have bodies, right?

Well, and then the consultant started talking. And she did a great job. She was funny and knowledgeable, and she did something that I haven't experienced in many years of living in America. She spoke about sex like it is normal! Not dirty or shameful, but fun and playful and something to look forward to. I suppose I'd forgotten about that a little bit lately. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy intimacy. But for some reason I stopped talking about it, and I certainly stopped thinking about it as a fun pass time. It was more of a chore. A nice chore to be perfectly clear. But still sort of a chore.
So I sat among this group of women, all of whom had just one thing on their mind: sex and how to make it more fun and how to be more desirable. We cracked jokes, drank wine, and tested lotions and potions, some to sniff and some to lick (the lickers were sweetened with sucralose.... ewwww).

I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and what's more, I came to realize that women (even American women) think about sex, talk about sex, and like to have sex. Please forgive my ignorance, but to me that just didn't go together and the only excuse I have is that sex is such a taboo subject in the States... even though it is the very thing that made our existence possible to begin with! ;)

Of course I ended up shopping, too! No, I will not tell you what I bought. But I'm planning on hosting a party and see if some of my other friends also treat sex as a beautiful, normal activity. It will certainly give me a much bigger appreciation for the gorgeous ladies all around me!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Hello, Sunshine!

Life is a funny thing. Through ups and downs you navigate ever closer to the person you hope to be. I just watched my wedding video last night (boy, was that some bad quality video! We have come so far in 16 years!). On the morning after our wedding my husband and I sang What Matters by Edwin McCain together out on our deck.

As I'm going through the lyrics in my head I find it still holds true to this day. Every situation we found ourselves in, every mistake we made, and no matter how much or how little money we had at any point, what mattered most in the end, was that our hearts were still in it.

I have made a good many mistakes in 16 years, and quite possibly some that "can never be repaired" as Edwin McCain sings in his beautiful song. But then, I believe that I am the person I am today because of the journey I have traveled and the decisions I've made... good or bad. I own them. They're mine. I have no excuses to make, no responsibility to try to hand off to someone else. I'm the captain of my own little ship, and I am solely responsible for my actions. How's that for a realization?

Okay, I did have a little help from my therapist, who gave me permission to suffer, to cry, to resolve, and to move on. Yes, I know I don't really need permission, but sometimes you just need to be reminded of these things, because you are so angry and upset with yourself that you just don't think you deserve it.

I have had some dark clouds hanging over my head for quite some time. But I think I may actually see a ray of sunshine coming through those clouds, and I'm happily welcoming it back into my life. Life is about self-improvement. As long as you continue to improve you can't get stuck. Heck, even if you do get stuck for a little while, know there is a way out.