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June 30, 2013

One Mystery Solved, Another to Worry About

A friend heard about something called sun allergy on Doctor Radio, so off we went to Google it (what did we do before Google?!).
After seeing plenty of pictures of rashes that looked like mine (and worse!), I am fairly confident it was the most common variety, Polymorphous light eruption.

They lord, I am turning into a bubble girl! Good thing I am part vampire already.


In other news, my poor little car Blanche is having her own mystery issue.
After Tropical Storm Andrea dropped monsoon style rains on us a couple of weeks ago, the floorboard in the back on the driver's side was sopping wet. Huh.

I figured I hadn't closed the back door all the way after putting something in the back seat, but nothing else was wet - not the seat, the inside of the door, the roof. So that didn't make any sense. I went to Bunky's (car wash) and they wet vac-ed the water up. And fiddle dee dee.

As an aside, the weather has been crazy wet this year. The forecast is hot + thunderstorms - in the words of Buzz Lightyear - to infinity and beyond.

Fast forward to yesterday morning and there was a serious puddle - as in inches - of water in the floorboard.
I'm taking her to the auto repair tomorrow and letting them have their way with her.


Did a little baking today (that is NOT like me). Low-carb-ish muffins. I used agave nectar instead of fake sweetener and added blueberries and raspberries. Made per the original recipe, they would have only 1.5 carbs each; the way I made them, approximately 8 carbs each. For perspective, a blueberry muffin from Panera Bread has 58 carbs.

I'm going to go worry about how much it's going to cost to fix Blanche now.
And it's raining.
I mean seriously raining. Like flash flood warning raining.

June 25, 2013

What The...?

In the middle of the night Sunday my arms felt vaguely itchy. I woke up yesterday to this:

On both arms from t-shirt sleeve length to wrist on both arms. What in the world?!

I did nothing different on Sunday; no new food, detergent, or medication. I did not touch any plants.

The only new thing is the wood floors, but if I was allergic to them (Noooooo!!), wouldn't it be on my feet since that's the only thing touching them?! The vapor paper (under the wood) is silicone and doesn't off gas. The wood is sealed. It was a nail-in floor, so no glue.

Anon CP and I went for a walk after our Atkins breakfast/gossip fest at Whole Foods. It was a little hot (for me); could that have woke up that stupid viral pityriasis rosea? (It's worse with heat) It's pretty much everywhere my t-shirt wasn't.

If so, oh joy. Usually it appears in the fall on my neck. But the cortisone cream I use on my neck made it burn; I washed it off with Dr. Bronner's soap and cool water and it felt better enough for me to sleep. The three benedryl may have helped as well. Heh.

It looks better today, but I feel it just under the surface itchy.

For Pete's sake.

June 23, 2013

A Couple of Things

Why in the WORLD did I not put hardwood floors in the bedrooms at the same time as the rest of the house?!
Sick of the [most likely] original 1989 carpet (eww), that only served as a place for the cats to puke, I had it priced last year and was shocked that it was almost as much for the two bedrooms/tiny master closet as it was for the rest of the house. The project got back burnered while I saved some money and looked at options.

Bamboo was much cheaper than red oak (rest of the house). A cunning plan began to form... why not put bamboo in the bedrooms? I did an informal survey, would two different woods be too weird? Survey said... no.

I called the guy who priced it last year (who'd agreed to honor his install pricing from last year) and told him my plan. About three days later he called me back. He works at The ReUse Warehouse; along with reclaimed items, they also get surplus materials. A surplus of 5" solid bamboo had come in - for $2 a square foot. I promptly went down and purchased the wood.

Yesterday it went in - twelve hours of two young men hammering and sawing and pounding.

Before (cat puke stain front and center)

I saved almost $900 by waiting and being willing to think outside the box a little.

The cats spent twelve hours in the bathrooms: Finn and Oscar in one, Lillie in the other.

Finn and Oscar occupied themselves by going through the trash:

Idle paws are the Devil's tools...
Lillie escaped a couple of times, she's a fast little bugger. She did this on my chest while I was putting her back in her bathroom:


Besides all that excitement, I've been thinking about the Paula Deen debacle. 

Scratch my southern surface and there's a festering wound, squirming with the maggots of shame.  

My father used the N-word. I wish he had never said it or any of the other racial slurs he used; I can't look at a Brazil nut without having what he called it pop into my head unbidden. 
I hate him for it. And for thinking that my being appalled and hurt and shocked was funny.

My mother, being genteel and all, used the word "colored". I remember wondering what color she was talking about. (Could it be sea green (my favorite)?) Many of her family owned slaves and there's a slave cemetery attached to our family cemetery. 

It is an ugly, ugly history. For all the good it does, I am desperately ashamed that my family had a hand in it.

I cannot even begin to articulate how much Ms. Deen's attitude pisses me off; dragging all of us with her back into the past. It makes me tired on a cellular level. Sick and tired. 

Ms. Moon over at Bless Our Hearts said it very well.

June 19, 2013

Morning Thoughts

I drove to work the usual way and wondered if in five or ten years I live elsewhere, will some other drive remind me of this road, this drive, this morning?

Trees heavy with green press down towards the narrow old road still patterned with wet from the monsoon rain yesterday, this song on the radio:

My breathing slowing to zen at the stop light from the song, the morning's pink newness, the bell tones of a bird call, the big digital clock flashing 7:16 / 67; the woman next to me in the silver BMW slipping backwards from her own zen state.

June 16, 2013

Father's Day

We were visiting my grandparents in rural Georgia; a chicken hawk, having spied potential dinner in my grandmother's flock of free ranging chickens, was circling the sandy yard high above the pines. My dad got out a shotgun and aimed for the predator. I remember crying, asking him not to shoot it, my three year old self not understanding the whole farm life thing. Of course he shot it anyway and in doing so, he fell off the perfect dad pedestal that day. Weird that I remember that part very clearly.

My father and I look alike:

Same dopey smile. Same long face. Same big ears. My sister and brother got the wild curly hair. 
(his picture was taken about the time he took up smoking - age 12)

We also loved to read. I learned to read in kindergarten and was reading Black Beauty in second grade when everyone else was still working out Dick and Jane. If I asked for a book, I usually got it, (except comic books, he thought they were "noneducational"). We would wander the library for hours, picking out sci-fi, Zane Grey Westerns, and books on exploring Africa. Sometimes he and I would be reading the same three or four books at the same time and woe unto me if I lost his place!

We spent most of the years from 1973 - 1992 semi-estranged. You can chalk all those years up to another thing we had in common - stubbornness. 

But cancer, for all its evil, makes an excellent reconciler.

It's been fifteen years since he's been alive for Father's Day. Not surprisingly, he has, in those fifteen years, climbed back up on the perfect dad pedestal.

Happy Father's Day, Dad. Wish you were here.

June 9, 2013

Random Randomness

Something is going on with the left side of my body (the yin/female/mother side).
From the hip pain to the knot on the ball of my foot to the sore joints in my index and middle fingers (this morning) to the damaged ovary (long story) to the mastitis scar - they are all on the left side. A hundred million years ago my friend (a homeopath and acupuncturist) told me that the parent you have the most issues with could be determined from the side of the body on which you have the most scars, etc.
Interesting, no?

Finally decided to get rid of the carpet in the bedrooms. That is going to make cleaning up cat puke so much easier. The floor guy (recommended by my hairdresser) found some hand selected 5" bamboo planks for $2.00 a square foot. And even though the rest of the house is red oak, everyone I've asked has said that would be just fine to have a different wood in the bedrooms.

Distracted today.

If any of you happen to be in Lincoln City, OR and need a place to leave your dog for the day, please consider Salty Dog Hound Lounge.

Why do I always try growing my hair out during the summer? What is wrong with me?! And while we're on the subject of hair: if my bangs get too long, they start looking like Cape Buffalo horns:

 In trimming them last night, I may have given myself partial school photo bangs. Oops.

Not a school photo, but these are the bangs

I should vacuum, but the cats are asleep (a.k.a. not bugging me); don't want to rock that boat.

We got a mess of rain Friday from tropical storm Andrea; a good sized puddle appeared in the back floor of the driver's side of the car. Nothing else was wet. Total mystery. Took it over to Bunky's car wash and they were happy to wet vac it (for $15). 

Well, I am fresh out of stuff to say.

June 4, 2013

Odd and Sad

Genebase does matching of DNA markers; recently a gentleman named Odd came up as matching 20/20 markers to my brother's, meaning there is a very high probability of having a common paternal ancestor within nine generations.

Oddly (heh) enough, I recently watched the Norwegian movie "O' Horten", in which the main character's name is Odd.
Odd is the 11th most common male name in Norway.
This made me laugh - Even is also a common Norwegian name.


Speaking of Norwegians (clumsy segue, but doing it anyway), my dear friend Linda (who is half Norwegian and half Italian) lost her beloved Luke Sunday.

Luke was a Hungarian Vizla and he looked like this:

They're called the "Velcro dog" because they always want to be near you. She got him in the midst of a very dark time in her life and as a good dog will, he kept her afloat. Every time she talked about him, she sounded happy. He was a bit of a bubble dog with ailments and allergies and special food, but he never lost his good humor and sweet spirit.
He was her faithful companion on many a long meditative walk (when he wasn't chasing rabbits) and kept her parents company for a bit after she married and moved away.
But he got to spend his last year with his favorite person, chasing rabbits, and being loved more than any dog pretty much ever by lots of people.

Safe journey Lukey Luke. You were a good boy.

June 2, 2013

Afternoon Shadows

I slept until 11 AM this morning - after getting up at 7:30 AM to feed the blasted cats.
My little darling Finn has a new habit - dragging one claw down the curtains and making a high pitched "meeeeeeee" sound. This is the game we play: I squirt him with the water bottle, he gallops down the hall, then gallops back and does it again. Sometimes he makes a pit stop on the bed to poke his nose in my face or pat my eye with his paw.
On weekdays when he does it at 4:48 AM, he gets thrown in the bathroom.

Drank coffee while playing Nintendo DS and washing two loads of laundry. I listened to Geet Bazarre, NPR (Splendid Table / Ask Me Another / RadioLab), and Divaville Lounge. I watched the shadows creep across the front yard, up the Kwanzan cherry tree, whose leaves are so bug eaten this year that they look like green lace (not a good thing).

The time from about 3:30 to 5:30 in the afternoon is my favorite time of day. The sting has gone out of the sun's rays, the light soft and dappled. It reminds me of driving home on Highway 17 after spending the day roaming around Georgia in my trusty pick-up Angus Og; the pine tree shadows zebra striping the road next to the railroad track, flickering light/dark/light/dark. I remember that flickering bothered The Boy's eyes.

Oscar and Finn  are prostrate on the guest bed. (my dad always said prostrate cancer instead of prostate), Lillie's waiting to waylay me in the kitchen - I swear that cat has a hollow leg.

Paid a handyman recommended by a friend $40 to pull up the poison ivy. He sprayed some that is growing under the deck, but it hasn't appeared to bother it yet. He also cut down or pulled up some of the stupid mimosa trees that pop up everywhere. I hate those trees. And the volunteer redbud tree that was coming up next to the front step sidewalk. I love me some redbuds with their heart shaped leaves and wish it had come up somewhere else. Like in the back yard near the one that's dying.

While we're on the subject of decks, here's a little tidbit: I much prefer a patio. Not sure why, maybe all the years in California and Florida. A deck's like swimming in the ocean - when I start thinking about all the things that are under there that I can't see, it freaks me out. Plus the upkeep on a patio is so much easier.  No staining, no nails, no splinters.

Almost had a meat free day yesterday, until I discovered the bacon in the microwave; veggie burgers with bacon became dinner. Maybe today; so far so good - veggies with spinach dip.

My friend Fawn is a life coach, focusing on single women (looking for their soul mate). I listened to her latest podcast Friday night and felt like an outlier [again] because I don't want to find a man. Also annoyed because when I close my eyes and try to think about something that I feel passionate about (per her suggestion, because men are attracted to women who are living their passion), I either get nothing or five hundred things. Like furniture styles, I like a bit about almost all of them - modern, contemporary, arts and crafts, rustic, antique. The ex BF was right - I am fickle. And yet, I like rules and consistency - a nesting nomad.

Well, guess that's it for today. Have a good week peeps.