trystinn: (ducklings)
With the schizoid barometer doing its dance between warm and mild, then cold and misting. Yesterday I managed to get a sunburn walking back and forth to my car. Today, its likely to be cloudy all day. And knowing my photo-sensitive skin, I will somehow still manage to get a a sunburn.

Worse yet, this barometric crap is killing my knees. Alleve isn't quite cutting it, but its what I can use.

This morning, I watched Libby take a nap under the white Rhododendron. At some point, a small white butterfly or moth decided her nose would be a great place to rest. A slow, leisurely romp ensued. Those who cannot do, watch with fascination and a little bit of envy.

Those are my favorite parts of the day.
trystinn: (Obey the Basset)
At some point during my visit back East, we quietly celebrated the Halfway Mark of Josh's deployment. We were fortunate to hear from him via phone, both on the boat via satellite phone and from port via rented cell phone several days in a row.

After one such call, my mother made the remark that my voice and body changed entirely while talking to Josh. I was joyous, instantly relaxed and entirely focused on listening to Josh. I truly think that was the first time she saw me as a wife, instead of as her daughter.

Its a big thing in a little package.
trystinn: (Default)
I've been so incredibly busy since coming home, I can only liken it to rampaging. Catching up with friends, running errands, taking care of the critters and coordinating the projects around here. Friday I was literally bouncing back and forth between Tiger's house and mine, where I had two crews working on the yards.

But for now, its quiet. The Bassets are napping on the sofa. Gracie is piled up on the pillows across from me. I'm willing myself to ignore the state of the house, which is horrid - there's still messes from madcap packing, the house is a dusty mess. I haven't even dealt with the brooder, which has been sitting in the meditation room filled with shavings and poop. And I have to fix the vacuum. Ugh.

Generally speaking, I'd be getting around for work on a Sunday but the boss has finally called it quits. I'm going to go in and help her set up her Amazon account to sell the store inventory online. I'm hoping to buy some bookcases and possibly, a few chairs. If I can get the chairs, that horrid 3-seater sofa is going away.

After many talks with my mother, I've the thought to sell off and give away as much of our furniture as possible before the move. Get to Florida (or a point on the East coast) and start over. Nothing we have is really appropriate for a Southeastern house. The dining room set is fine, possibly a few other pieces, but frankly so little is worth taking. Our house is a crazy amalgam of Freecycle, inexpensively purchased stuff and the cast off the odds and ends that a military community seems to attract.

Kevin is heading to New Orleans to visit family for he and his brother's birthdays. We have shopped ourselves silly putting together a light weight wardrobe, including a pair of shoes, for the trip. He's thinking a dump run should be done before he heads out, so I'm in waiting mode to hear back as to whether he needs the big pickup. If he does, I'll likely go with him to return the favor. If not, we have plans to watch a Netflix DVD.

My Mother asked about my "inner life" this visit, something she's never done before. Frankly, I haven't time for much of one I admitted to her. She admitted she's in much the same situation. We both laughed with exasperation at ourselves. Here we are two educated, brilliant Feminist women and we're too tired to develop ourselves at present. I need to get back up on my stride around here, Mom has visitors coming up to the Dorset house every weekend this Summer and likely through the Fall. This weekend, its Aunt Betty from Colorado. Whom we will all see at her son's wedding in August.

Which reminds me, I'll be in the Littleton/Denver area for a week in August. Generally family events are too chaotic and booked for meeting up with friends but [livejournal.com profile] synapsepi is there and I do plan to make time in any way to hang out with her.
trystinn: (cave)
Health is very much on my mind today, especially as we've lost our beloved Paigemom. I'm in absolute denial about that, especially since we'd been trying to schedule a visit for this Spring when her diagnosis came in. I simply cannot imagine our lives without her humor, support and warmth. Alex and Keely are in my constant thoughts.

I have an idea as a tribute to Rhomylly. I know a lot of us are frustrated artists. Rhomylly was a successful author of multiple books - so in memory to our friend, I would like all of us to work to create one work of whatever our art is this year and dedicate it to Rhomylly and her family.

If you write, finish that poem, that book, that essay and remember her on your dedication page.
If you take photographs, take one of something Rhomylly inspired in you.
If you sew, knit, etc., create a new work in her honor.
If you get proceeds, consider donating to a Beagle rescue or cancer organization in her name. Hell, donate to an accordion museum or a home for wayward knitters. Whatever reminds you of her.

Rhomylly and I had a book idea we'd been kicking around for awhile, considering the idea of writing it together in partnership. I'm going to write that book by myself and finish it THIS year.

Anyone in?
trystinn: (Default)
Mike Russo is one of my favorite customers and not just because he's from NYC originally. He comes in nearly every Monday and a few days in between, to chat and pickup books. He's a great reader and you just know anything we special order for him is bound to be fantastic. I can't wait to see his new book come in "Frank: The Voice".

Mostly I adore Mike's stories: Mike fought in WWII for the 87th Infantry, stationed in Germany at the end of the war and was part of that whole mess. The stories from that time period are shocking if you don't know how Russia, America and Great Britain conducted themselves (poorly and with much corruption), but funny when you do. Mike met Frank Sinatra at a family reunion. Not his own, but his gf's and was convinced Frank was trying to steal his girl away. He seems to have dated half the startlets of the era, I love listening to who he thought was the best of the pinups of that time.

He also saw the Hindenberg on its last trip, as it circled Manhattan for 4 hours trying to wait out the storm that may have killed it. He wasn't present at the crash/immolation, but he did live through its aftermath. I'd mentioned that I had a gorgeous coffee table-photo book on the Hindenberg and its place in the history of airships, which he asked to borrow. Mike is the kind of customer you'd happily loan a $75 coffee table book to, because you know its coming back in perfect condition and I look forward to more stories from him after he'd read it.

I narrowly avoided the Union 76 crash, as I was supposed to be on it and refused at the last moment when my roommate couldn't come with us. I'd only been dating the pilot for a few weeks and back in my twenties, I felt more comfortable dating in couples, so I declined. Good thing. The more folks you put on a plane, the lower the odds for anyone surviving. Same with airships, though our records of their crashing aren't as intense as the FAA/NTSB investigation on the Union 76.

He's also about the only local with whom I can swap off-color Jewish jokes. He has a ton of them and I'm memorizing them as fast as I can. We share a few new Yiddish words with each other and have a marvelous time, talking and laughing. One of these days, I'm going to invite him out to dinner with us.

Mike's the last of a dying breed, really. The gentle, talkative guys from WWII are growing rarer and rarer these days. He's in good health, very social and quite the flirt. We rarely discuss anything personal, though he has met my husband and asked him about the Navy "these days". I'm not sure what Mike does with his days, but I have a feeling I've seen him at the Seaplane Museum up on the base. Whether he works or volunteers or just visits, I do not know. But I like thinking of Mike out and around, all that wealth of experience and perception, chatting up bored retail clerks like me.
trystinn: (Night Sky)
I had a bit of banking to do this morning before work, so I stopped afterward at an am/pm near the credit union (in fact, they share a parking lot access). Grabbed a soda and some chips, then went up to pay only to see a sign on the machine that claimed they don't take credit cards. *seethe* Our debit cards run only as credit cards and while I do have the crazy 'debit card' our credit union puts out somewhere, I can't remember the pin. Stupid store doesn't even bother to put a sign on the front door warning customers about their stupid policy. *stomps foot*

Got to work on time, only to find some asshat had parked in my parking spot. This is a long standing bullshit that I thought ended when the Bay City Bistro closed. Nope, it's the landlord of the building next door (who is a complete jackass and parks in our parking all the time when he has an entire parking lot for his buildings and parking spaces near the rear entry in the alley) and one of his contractors. Managed to find them both and got the contractor to move his truck. Grr.

Followed Flash into the store, turned on the lights, flipped the open signs and put out the sandwich "OPEN" sign on the sidewalk. Just in time for the book delivery. Unpacked those, found the customers who ordered them, called everyone and am now sitting on my tush wondering how I'm gonna eat lunch today since Josh was unwilling to take civvies to work so he could eat lunch with me.

Yet, today I must post a gratitude - I am grateful one of my special order books came in so I can lose myself in a great story and fun character. *cross fingers*
trystinn: (Default)
First off, fixed the toner issue on the new printer. *sigh* Shouldn't these things just work right out of the box, is that too much to ask? For those who missed my psychic cursing, the silly thing was printing black lines along the entirety of the page. Seems there was a bit of black toner on the wire. Fine. Cleaned it, working good, still pretty happy with the purchase. I've got it set up in the living room as I've not yet decided what to do with the old HP 4Plus Laserjet (aka Death Star). Running out of closets to stick it in.

Given my new work schedule, I now have Sundays free. Hubby and I drove down Island to join the Whidbey Island Unitarian Universalists for their Summer Children's Program. Lovely, met some great folks. Service included the book Enemy Pie, lots of singing in the round and a game of Cat's Cradle. Husband has not only never attended UU, but never played Cat's Cradle. I grew up sitting on stoops and playing Cat's Cradle with friends using a Chinese Jump rope. For those who've never had the pleasure - you used to find them in general stores and toy shops. It's a flexible, rubber, string-wrapped length - nowadays you sometimes see them at the grocery store tacked up along the aisles, sold as a band to hold a liner or garbage bag to your garbage bin. Worked great. The UU was using cheap synthetic yarn, really just about the worst thing to use as it's so abrasive and tightens up while playing.

After that, we headed back north up the Island to Greenbank Farms to enjoy the Loganberry Festival. Had a marvelous time walking about, bought ourselves new straw hats for sun protection and even met a great dog up for adoption. (Yes, Ruth, I know I'm nuts) Brought home some Loganberry jam, too!

Now we're settled in at home, Josh and Kevin are out in the motorcycle shed working on pulling apart the engine. They're looking for which O-ring (there are several types) blew so they can replace it. Figures it wouldn't be one of the easy ones. Nope, seems to be the ones near the bottom of the engine under the headers. *snort* Speaking of which, Scarlett is having a marvelous time now that she's retired from egg laying. So far today, she's done a successful "Death from Above" maneuver on a poor innocent Sandy (Buff Cochin hen), jumped up on the front porch to screech at me to bring her cat food treat and even sat on my knee while we watched the boys work on the bike.

And joy of joys, blew out the butt seam on my 2nd favorite pair of jeans. Poor old thing just couldn't take another day. I'm thinking braided denim rug, I'm fairly sure I have a few more pairs for the cause.

Meanwhile, I'm reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. On page 36 and I still have no idea what the book is about or who the main characters are, but I'm engrossed.
trystinn: (Respect the Pig!)
Kevin and Boo are with us this weekend, so the boys have been busying themselves in all the wonderful and slightly alarming ways. This morning, Josh let me sleep in (I'm sleeping more now) and surprised me later in the morning with a brand new "I Love My Dog" travel coffee mug from his favorite espresso stand filled with Chai Tea. He and Kevin have gone on to Port Townsend, taking the ferry over before I left for the bookstore.

They expect to be home around 2pm to finish up some yard cleaning and the like to prepare for everyone coming over tonight to celebrate the full moon. I'm moving slowly but so far it seems to be working out all right. Tonight will be the true test to see how I'm healing.

Tomorrow, Spike will meet up with his new family and be taken home to two girly piggies who are desperately in need of a handsome guy like him. I will miss him, our unexpected pig. The dogs, however, will not. Neither will Josh, though the chickens will likely miss their protector.

New books are whizzing their way over the continental US to me for the new session of classes. I need to get started on the portfolio for the school so we can formally get me accepted. *sigh* There's always something more to do, always a complication, always more paperwork.

A blessed full moon to you all, may Her blessings shine down upon you and yours.
trystinn: (libation)
I've always been a bit uncertain as to identity, it seems so fluid to me. I was adopted by my stepfather at 6 months, and so he raised me. When someone asks my cultural identity, I somehow feel I need to preface that. The story I give of my heritage is his family's, because I too, am his family. My mother married two men who look alike, I joke that the APB would net both of them. And so, oddly enough, I look like his family. There is great comfort in that. Most of his family has forgotten I'm not genetically related to them and there's yet to be a reunion where someone hasn't remarked how much I look like my Dad. *WEG* This used to give me apoplexy, now Dad and I just share a sideways glance and grin like Mad Hatters.

My mother's family was Irish and German, the Jewish coming from my grandmother. And so, though we weren't raised with any religion in the home (unless one counts Calvinism, we were very much Calvanists without the trappings of Lutheran on top), my mother has always identified as Jewish and identified her children as Jewish. I am visibly recognizable by other Jews as Jewish, especially when I take off my glasses and show a profile. My glasses have always hid the ridge, once exposed it just seems so obvious to others Jews and a few gentiles, too. Even here on Whidbey Island, women grab my arm and whisper that question that has followed me wherever I go "mishpaka (Family)?" Yes, I am family by whatever definition you prefer.

And so, my dearly dears, are you.
trystinn: (Default)
I missed my therapy appointment yesterday due to a very understandable mix up at her office. There was an emergency intake and in the excitement, they forgot to call me to cancel. Not a huge deal, frankly if someone in graduate school for psychology cannot understand the priority of an intake I've got no business there. The weirdest part was trying to assure the receptionist that it really was okay and I didn't mind in the slightest.

More and more often I find myself having those kinds of conversations. Often enough that I'm dreaming about them.
trystinn: (libation)
We're a very small group in the Psychology program, myself and five others. Four of us are women, the fifth is a man probably about my age but possibly older. His years have worn him harder than mine.

The youngest is in her early twenties, Catholic and very young (in every way). She's the most vocal, the most rambling and so painfully young in her responses. She's very much bleeding through emotionally from a bad marriage. She has no idea she's broadcasting what she is. The rest of us do, including the professors.

The oldest (I'm guessing) is a mother of four. She's almost 6 feet tall and built like a Valkyrie, though she's all laughter and grins. She works with teens involved in the juvenile system and those she'd like to keep out of it. From my days as a student teacher for emotionally disturbed teens, I can say with all certainty - we recognized each other at first meeting.

The next youngest to me is an African-American woman from the South, former Navy. She and I are the talkers, though I make it on time to class and she runs perpetually 1/2 hour behind. To say she brings light to the program is an understatement. Which isn't to say she's not bright, she's quick on her feet and with her wits. I look forward to seeing her sitting next to me.

The next youngest still is a young woman who is called to forensics and research. She is the "Queen of the Write In" and the professors have responded by adding a line under the multiple choice questions for her. She's a bit quieter, more introspective and as often as not, when she does speak it's profound.

The man is obviously former military. His haircut and bearing hasn't changed since retirement, he's so out of place in civilian clothes. He's the most conservative, having made the point to us early on. He sits just a bit apart from us. He's suffering through his values right now, fighting the counseling requirement to be open minded and non-judgmental. The rest of us are gently guiding him through this, we're holding firm while he squirms. At one point, he admitted he'd have trouble shaking hands with a gay man, given his background. My stern response was that there is never a righteous defense to dehumanizing another. He's been thinking since then, but when we meet gazes, he does smile in return. He's doing the work and we're there for him.

It's a good group and I'm privileged to be among them.
trystinn: (sexy)
The bane of the Bookstore's existence, the idiot chef/partner of the Bay City Bistro, is gone. His restaurant has closed, which is a shame on many levels but we'll not miss him blocking our parking and coming in to scream at us about how important he was. *sigh* Given his behavior, we never recommended him to our customers and had warned him that his horrible reputation was going to bite him in the ass and it finally has. Deliberately harassing your neighbors who have been here for over 4 decades is pretty much a prescription for failure in a small town. Once the Little Old Lady Mafia goes to work and starts spreading rumors that your kitchen was shut down the Board of Health, your death sentence has been handed down.

Every Sunday I come to work, I see more stores boarded up - all with the infamous sign "Two Way is the Only Way for Pioneer Way!" in the windows. The Oak Harbor Town Council, run entirely by folks beholden to the developers, has screwed the independent business owners downtown by voting against the overwhelming protests of town residents and the Downtown Merchants Association. When construction begins is anybody's guess, but it's obvious that by the time it begins downtown Oak Harbor will be a ghost town. Some owners have relocated elsewhere in town, others have moved to independent business-friendly towns down south like Coupeville and Langley (both with thriving pedestrian traffic and local events).

We all have our suspicions, I tend to think there's a dozen corporate entities waiting to swoop down and buy up these old ramshackle buildings, then raze them and put up their box stores all over the place. While a Trader Joe's would be very welcome around here, the cost is far too high.
trystinn: (Lunar)
Woke up to a light sprinkling of snow, at just a smidge under 40F. Nothing hung around as it's sunny out, but for a few minutes there was that marvelous sense of displacement and awe of the improbable. There's something wonderful about those moments, even the dogs seem to feel it - they refused to head outside while it lasted.

Today I meet the new therapist and see if she's appropriate to both tasks: 1) treating my OCD and 2) being my mentor through graduate school. It feels so insanely presumptuous to ask a stranger to do this, it's a very intimate process. Granted, it's industry standard, but I'm just introverted enough that this is making me squirm and slightly nauseous.
trystinn: (basset)
Sadie's blood glucose was nearly 600 for a Lab whose body weight was only 57 pounds. *sigh*

Goodnight, sweet girl. You'll wake in a better place. We've let Tracker & Glory know to find you so there's some familiar friends to play with.
trystinn: (Default)
Woke up to a dark, sprinkling day which generally does not bode well for the rest of the day. Sure enough, by the time I headed out for work, it was pouring rain. I had to pull over several times during my commute for emergency vehicles and I've heard them out on Route 20 during my shift.

As I look out the front windows, the fog is below tree line and sinking on the water. A drenched Bald Eagle is perched on a tree near the shore, I can't think he's hunting for fish given the opacity of the water. Perhaps he's keeping an eye out for field mice in the fields along the shore, perhaps he's waiting for a distracted driver to run over a pigeon or seagull. He looks so miserable, hunched up with his head just peeking out from the curve of his wings.

The afternoon has been busier for the bookstore, thankfully. I'm hoping the trend continues, especially on a hard rain day like today. Meanwhile, the odd requests continue via phone and I'm struggling to search for these mismatched titles and authors.

Another day, another bucket of rain.
trystinn: (cave)
Kevin and Boo are over, making it a very full house for a 4 day weekend. I borrowed a friend's Wii for the holiday, so we've been having Wii parties practically every night. I'm particularly fond of the Resort game(s), especially 100 pin bowling (current champ) and table tennis (tied for 2nd). Dear Gods if they had air hockey, you'd likely rarely hear from me again. I'm rather afraid to try the Fencing game, as it would bring out the worst in me!

Gracie is a bit alarmed by this recent surge in living room antics. She massively disapproves of us jumping about, swining our arms and yelling. Especially when there's three of us doing it. Poor Grace. This world is just too uncivilized for the likes of her. Speaking of uncivilized, I really need to catch up on the housework soonest.

There was apparently some confusion earlier. The boys were to go out and buy us a Wii, instead they brought back an XBox360. Perhaps I stuttered. This will be taken care of once the stores replenish their after-holiday stock. Should they come out with a FarmVille, yadda-yadda-yadda.

All is well. Hope you can say the same. *zen hugs*
trystinn: (Default)
The Rhodies are making a complete mess in the shed. Ewwww!

I need to get the Minion to put up the holiday lights before hubby gets home.

I've found two new buyers for our duck eggs, yay!

If Josh throws away another faucet insulator next summer, I'm going to kill him!

Woot-woot, plans for Yule finally made.
trystinn: (Default)
Woke up this morning to a house in the 40s and 4 very chilly dogs. Poor hubby went outside in 33F cold to gather the eggs and check on the waterers. Kevin kindly refilled the wood stack on the back porch with the seasoned wood pile out next to the workshop. Me? I slept in until presented with a steaming cup of hot coffee, courtesy of our new coffee maker. We tend to suffer through small coffee makers until someone takes pity on us and buys us a larger one.

The dogs have figured out the woodstove is a potential source of heat. All 4 of them were lying in front of it, begging for heat. Quite a sight. Once the firestove had been going for awhile, they stretched out lounging about, happy as larks.

Last night was a bit surreal. I came home from two home visits with a few of the other Grange officers to find Betty in the kitchen. Typically, we don't allow the chickens in the house. And certainly not on the kitchen counter. Seems once the boys caught her, they plopped her in the sink with food and a water bowl, then went off to do other things. Still confuddled about that one!

Poor Gracie, as I type, has been heading outside to check on her flock then coming back in to thaw out. She is incredibly dedicated, her greatest joy is hanging out in the chicken coop with the little chickies. They love running under her, bouncing around and giving her the occasional stink eye while she wags her tail at them. She's always right there with a helpful nose to get them back under the heat lamp or onto a perch, I have no idea what they think of her but she's a great chicken mommy. Speaking of which, the Rhodies are content to have her herd them about. Betty may be more problematic, she tends to run under a shed to get away from the dogs. We'll try to get her accustomed to Gracie, all faith in our Border Collie to do so. The trick is teaching her to put them away in their coop, not in the duck pen.

Off to the Bookstore in a bit. There's a brand new Storey's Guide to Chickens out this month, the last publishing run was in 1995 - the research into chicken health and genetics has changed greatly in that time frame, so I'm really curious about this new version.
trystinn: (Bright TOL)
It's been announced - Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize!

For those curious, the other U.S. Presidents to win were Theodore Roosevelt (1906) and Woodrow Wilson (1919) and Jimmy Carter (2002). And, of course, perhaps America's most treasured award winner - Martin Luther King Jr. in 1964.

Today, I think of my paternal great-grandfather bringing his wife and three young children here from Northern Ireland fleeing poverty and starvation. And I think of my maternal great-grandfather bringing his family here from Germany, just in time to escape the Holocaust.


Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"


I am greatly humbled.
trystinn: (Bright TOL)
I realize some folks will find this first quote an interesting, if bizarre, quote for a Jewitch to post. But I say to you, wisdom comes in all forms. And once in awhile the Christ of the Christians looks a lot like the Messiach of the Jews. And moreover, I have no official opinions of the spiritual nature of goats, though I admit I've known and adored a few two-footed ones in my day.

Matthew 25: 31-46. "When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. Then the King will say to those at his right hand, "Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me." Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?" And the King will answer them, "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me." Then he will say to those at his left hand, "Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me." Then they also will answer, "Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?" Then he will answer them, "Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me." And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

Judaism has a shorter version (of course) in the Talmud:

"Whoever saves a single life, it is as if he had saved the whole world."

The Buddha has a few things to say, too:

"Just as a mother would protect her only child at the risk of her own life, even so, cultivate a boundless heart towards all beings. Let your thoughts of boundless love pervade the whole world. If you do not tend to one another then who is there to tend to you? Whoever who would tend me, he should tend the sick. Consider others as yourself."

Any other similar quotes folks would like to offer, please add below.

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