Sunday, 27 July 2014

Week Thirty-Three: A Better State

Damn. Damn. Theme? Central thought? Forgot my notebook again, and as such have forgotten all the neat thoughts I wanted to get down in this thing this week. I think the indulgences of being on leave for a second week are the only unifying details. Be it indulging in more food, more channel surfing, more dowhatibloodywant-ing, or more equine time, all was truly marvellous. Does much for improving one's state of mind.

Day 1 (225): 21st of July
Nothing can bring me closer. Nothing can bring me near. Where is the road I travelled, to lead me here? Oh, wait. Nevermind. Found it. Sing at someone else, R.E.M. (though I do love that song). One thing on that road is my silly filing cabinet system of memories. Some have been damaged by fire and other natural disasters, and others eaten by Brain Mice. Those that remain are in decent condition, and cause the occasional fit of nostalgia. Can't be helped. Lookie what I found in the Ancestral Home. Still works (and yes there is still a small collection of tapes to play in it). And the time is not flashing 12:00, but rather is just flashing the : part. 

This guy is there, too. We call him Old Bill. He was a gift to my Dear Father for his time as a Cav Officer in the US Army. He was also tragically dropped many years ago and painstakingly glued back together (most of his scars are in the lower boot region). Tough old guy. 

Day 2 (226): 22nd of July
Oh I wake in the morning and I step outside, and I take a deep breath and I get real high (not like that), and I scream from the top of my lungs, "what's going on?!" Then it turns out nothing really much is going on and I'm just a nutter shouting at the world (which we all know doesn't make it better). Does make one feel better, though. Like looking at a chicken.

I AM A CHICKEN! SEE? LOOK AT ME!! HEAR ME! Got any watermelon?

Allow me to introduce you to Blindy Tim (nee Tiny Tim, nee Nameless Bunny #12). He is a couple months old, is blind in both eyes (see the cataract?), and has a gammie left hopping leg (Ma probably stepped on him as a wee kit). Notice the tongue - even adorable bunnies get awarded the awkward candid shot. Timmy here is the softest, chillest, coolest little dude who almost died twice as a tiny thing, but just wants to live so much we have to oblige. And when I say soft, I mean that there was a serious possibility that I'd pet his coat straight off him. 

Day 3 (227): 23rd of July
Oh there is a... deeper river... flowing through the... Treasure Valley. It doth call me, to come and float it. For heat is all. For heat is all. What was that? Blame the Boise River. Like some form of Martian water monster, it got in my brain today. Such a delightful way to spend an afternoon. Lolling about in a tube with one's arse dangling in the cold river as the current takes one along is a special experience. It is also one I've not had in many moons. The River Gods giveth and taketh away, however.  My friend lost her rainbow wayfarers and I lost an earring. A small price to pay for happiness, no? Look at this flipping sky. This is what it normally looks like (i.e. sans yucky smoky ash face). 

If ye've not noticed, I'm inclined to take photos of my favourite animals being less than picturesque. Mid-yawn is a great time for a kodak moment. 

Or perhaps I shall take the shot whilst this other poor fellow is mid-roll.

Day 4 (228): 24th of July
Everybody wants to rule the world. Well, perhaps not everybody. I'm perfectly happy doing my thing. Today was originally scheduled to take place in the great city of San Diego. Due to unanticipated circumstances, however, it has been moved to the Treasure Valley. Specifically the northwest-ish part of Boise where it turns into Eagle. High on a hill, there are some ponies. And a great view (still not smoky!!) of the lovely valley. So nice. 

I take many pictures of ponies. I know this comes as a total shock. Sometimes they come out pretty passable (pony go sideways...). Dear Reader, this is Legolas.

Other times adorable (happy boys grooming each other - it had to be monochrome). 

Sometimes a sweet face emerges. (This is Electrum. He says hello.)

And sometimes the motion is just right. 

And finally, there are the times I cannot help myself. I'm such a child. 

Day 5 (229): 25th of July
Take my breath away (on that highway to the danger zone). Turns out there are still people in the world who have not seen TOP GUN. I have sorted one of them. All after the great Madhuban Feast of 2014. There may have been food left on the buffet table after we were finished, but it was not for our lack of trying. Nothing quite compares to wandering thrift stores with a food fetus that feels like twins. And this is coming from the girl who has single-handedly eaten whole sheet cakes, multiples of cheesecakes in a row, and multiples of large pizzas in a row. By now you can see I have a thing about buffets / AYCE / people daring or offering money in exchange for eating insane amounts of things. But on the way home from PT (which was no picnic with said fetus still cooking) I saw these wild sunflowers and leapt into the ditch (in my truck - I'm not a complete idiot) to take their photo.

Aren't they just rather jolly flowers? 

Day 6 (230): 26th of July
Dance your cares away. Worries for another day. Let the Music play. Down in Idaho. One thing for which I find myself longing more and more is the ability to properly dance again. It's so hard to hear the music and not get down with my bad self. The boogie wants out and it does not take kindly to excuses about how it hurts and oh not now thanks. As am again not at SDCC (quit whinging, Rodeo) the father and I went to the Basque Festival (for St. Ignacio). Amazingly enough, I didn't see a single person I knew.

There we enjoyed the beer and music and dancing and people watching and watching a mad man with a grand pan make piles of paella. As there is no scale, I'll tell you the pan is about four feet across.

A wander showed me how much this little town (only 205, 000 or so) has transmogrified in the past few years. For a good portion of my teen years (maybe all of them) there was a great gaping pit in the middle of Downtown - the result of failed development project after failed development project. Now stands in the Hole the tallest building in Boise. Seems a bit much for little old Boise.

Not far off from there is the plaza that featured in many an evening, afternoon, and really any other time of day when I was younger. A great bistro used to be here (now it's a seafood place), we built christmas trees for charity here, and there is a concert place / hockey arena / arena football field here as well. The fountain also has long been entertaining Boiseans of all ages on hot summer days and nights. 

Day 7 (231): 27th of July
Only the lonely (dum dum dum dumby doo wah) know the way I feel tonight (ooh yay yay yay yeah). Why is that in particular the song that popped in my head? It has no relevance to the matter at hand. Which is what, you ask? Well, the matter is just that. Confused? So am I. Let's move on, shall we? Lovely morning for my last full day in the Home Place. Poor Stu Bean has no idea I'll be abandoning him on the morrow.

Nor do these two trees (though I imagine they will be rather less traumatised, being trees and all). Why the odd border? Who knows.

Ooh look! Leaves on another tree! With drops of water from the sprinkler! Wow!

Have I mentioned my dreams have soundtracks?

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Week Thirty-Two: Ancestral Musings

Pardon me while I wax mildly poetic about the joys of coming home. Cliché? Probably. But there's a reason for that. Living overseas and experiencing Europe in all its Europeanness is marvellous. However, part of me will always long for the quiet life in the country. Check it out. You'll see just how nice it is. Not just in the shadows of my mind. Nope. It really is quite lovely.

Day 1 (218): 14th of July
Ahhhh. The peace of mornings in farm country. The only sounds that waft in the window are birds, horses, and the occasional ATV carrying a farmer out to his irrigation systems. And with an early view like this, why wouldn't you want to live here?

The sunrise over rural fields of lovely is something my person yearns to see. Isn't it nice?

Even in the afternoon, and despite the smoky hazy sky, there is really something special about fields of corn and a summer day.

Day 2 (219): 15th of July
All you can eat. Those are the four little words this gal loves to hear. Especially when the next word is sushi. Do I take it as a challenge? Of course. But then again, that's all part of why sushi can only be consumed in the presence of people who will not judge me, or at least those whose judgement matters not. Best friends are good like that. They love you for what you are (or in spite of it). Mine is the best one I could ask for. This four-legged one loves me for what I am as well. And the feeling is mutual. We've been together for nearly twenty years, and he's as lovely as the day we met.

Yup. Definitely a love of the ages.

How could one not love a face like this?

Day 3 (220): 16th of July
Much can be said for being a layabout. And for fancy sectionals that have electric reclining end bits. Not having anything in particular that needs to be done is a grand distraction. Gives one a chance to just decompress. See? I told you there would be some waxy poetry going on. Have a tendency to get that way about the land I call home. One day, I'll have my own land and live this way all the time. Not the lazy part, but rather the rural simplicity part.

Much like the family pooch, my present freedom makes me do this. Ok, really just inside, being as how I'm not that nimble yet. But still...

Day 4 (221): 17th of July
There have been so many fires in the area lately that the smoke just fills the sky. Last year was worse; the valley got so smoky that a sweeping recommendation was issued to stay indoors. Going outside was a recipe for coughing and spluttering and generally feeling as though one was inside a cloud of smoke (probably because one was just that). Doesn't stop the goings on of life in the country, though. Hay must still be baled.

Grounds work must be worked. Check out the lovely house on the hill (it's not mine).

This is the valley west of home. Ain't she purdy? So much smoke. Drove out to the lake nearby, but the pics didn't come out at all well, and I wasn't really dressed for clambering through the underbrush to get better ones.

Day 5 (222): 18th of July
A different view of the area for you today. Nearby the old stomping grounds, one can find the mighty capitol building. Yes, the traffic lights are in the shot, but it's hard to take photos whilst in traffic unless one is at a stop. Such a lovely downtown area, Boise is. Pretty safe and peaceful. But then again it is only a city of nearly a quarter of a million people or so.

Even more my old stomping grounds. For three years of my youth, I saw this fool building every day (during the school year, and only on weekdays, so really not every day).

Little claim to fame here is that this little place was once on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives (and it fed me more than a few times as a metabolistic teenager). West Side Drive-in. Can you feel the grease?

Day 6 (223): 19th of July
I have to tell you, Dear Reader, how incredible this part of the country is. A dead car meant that stranded grandparents had to be driven back to their wee town (a bustling metropolis of 1500 people) two hours away, but that afforded me the chance to zen out to 40s music on a long drive through gorgeous scenery. All formed by glaciers and covered in lava rocks, there are places where one can see that a massive lake used to be the defining geographic feature. High, flat topped hills hint at the former shoreline, and the lumpy rocky sage-covered surrounds were clearly the rolling bottom of said lake. Totally forgot my camera on the trip, but got this shot before we left. So handsome.

And this as well. Really. Just look at him.

But I did have my silly phone, so all you get is an iPhoneto that I took blindly from the side of the road (it was v sunny). Check out the wind farm in the distance. There is a veritable plethora of them out in eastern Idaho these days.

Day 7 (224): 20th of July
Hmmm. What to say. Watching Farscape and being a slow-poke is a great way to spend a Sunday morning. Oh yeah, and having fresh cinnamon rolls and pineapple for breakfast. Not going to think about going back to work in a little over a week. Not going to think about it. Not going to think about it. Home is so much nicer.

So many bees in the lavender. Somewhere there's some v lovely-smelling honey being cooked up. If only I liked honey...

Be it ever so humble, no?

Yes. I do like home. Crazy, no? Such a therapeutic thing to come back to the ancestral abode for some TLC and F&B. And cano-therapy and hippo-therapy, and oh yeah some physical therapy as well. Ahhhh. Waxy poetic musings are a thing that happens. I'm really not even sorry. 

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Week Thirty-One: The Things She Carried

...and that, Best Beloved, is how the Leopard got its spots. Oh, hello there! Welcome back to the blog. We have a lovely installment for you this week. Full of dreams and imagination and memories and strange things. Alright, truth be told, this week is all about those things I find any and every time I decide to initiate a Great Purge. Doesn't always happen in the spring/summer, but does happen on a fairly regular basis. As I've moved hither and yon, I've accumulated rather a lot of stuff. Some of that stuff is useful and meaningful, but most of it is the byproduct of my tendencies to ferret away frightfully useful things that may or may not be needed or wanted at a later date. These, Dear Readers, are my skeletons. Please don't judge me too harshly...

Day 1 (211): 7th of July
Best thing about this week? Other than the mere four days of work required, the leaving on a jet plane and heading west young man is the highlight. By late evening on Saturday, I'll be safe in the bosom of the ancestral home where things make sense and I can bask in the glow of denial. Makes all other Life silliness bearable in the interim. Also motivates the Purge, as some things will be carried back Stateside for donation or destruction. Turns out I have some rather odd things in the running for Purge. Both impulse buys and strange things with unknown origins. For example, one hideous uncomfortable pair of sun specks (yes I tried them on), and one odd Happy Meal-looking bobble head toy that I know I've had for at least two moves, but I've not the foggiest from whence it came, or really even why it exists at all...

Then of course we have the pile of things that have either not been touched for years or have just far outlived their purpose. Here we have some ancient burgled airplane headphones, the charger from a Nokia I had in college, an underwater film camera (film still in it...), the charger/sync station from my 2006 Dell palm pilot (it was free and has since disappeared), and finally a 2012 planner (with not a single mark in it). Who does this?

Day 2 (212): 8th of July
An unfortunate side effect of digging in drawers is that the hits just keep on coming. One odd discovery begets another and so on. The heap of long expired birth control gave way to three cans of unused film and more odd bits of paper than I care to detail. Furthermore, found a stack of C4ISR magazines from 2011 (gosh I'm nerdy), a v rusty slinky, a random thing of lavender tea (probably stolen from a Hong Kong hotel considering the chinese lettering), gun oil, and not one but two packs of (expired) dollar store C batteries.

My many deployments and travels have resulted in the accumulation of much foreign currency, such as Japanese, Malaysian, Korean, Singaporean, Emirati, etc. Don't even get me started on the amount of Djiboutian Francs I still have. So much Monopoly money. At some point I acquired some odd plastic christmas toys with parachutes. And at the bottom you'll find a beaded bracelet I made a million years ago when having beaded bracelets was just the coolest.

Day 3 (213): 9th of July
As a wanderer of the world, I stay in many hotels, be they on ships, bases, or in normal towns. I also take things from hotels. Like keys (that I forget to shred), and apparently coffee singles, sugar, and pens. Sadly this is but a small portion of the amount I've discovered throughout the Purge.

Good Lord. It just keeps going. Must be a compulsion. Who needs this many notepads?

Day 4 (214): 10th of July
Nope. Nothing exciting in life at the moment (is there ever?) But honestly, what is this? A bag of marble-y things (with a hole in it so they can spill all over the place), and a scary finger puppet.

Good news, readers - I have graduated from places. And apparently needed several hat tassels to do so. Was I wearing three hats upon my high school graduation? And two after University? Good grief.

Day 5 (215): 11th of July
Hello. My name is Rodeo and I am a pack rat. If you give a Rodeo a little container, she will fill it with whatever will fit. For example, what to do with a Jelly Belly tin? Why not fill it with nothing but pennies, a pair of earrings, a marble-y thing, and movie ticked stubs from 2009.

I do tend to buy a lot of notebooks. It is a compulsion. Some of these have nothing in them, and some have loads of chicken scratch and doodles (apparently I have long been a doodler).

Day 6 (216): 12th of July
Ahhhh Business Class... America Bound! No more to say. But the things on the chopper this time are t-shirts. A great stack. Either impulse buys, grab bag buys, or random too-big shirts I'd have happily rocked at the age of 8, when I figured the bigger a shirt was, the better (thanks, '80s). Also some dresses that are either too big, too small (I've been many a size in my life), or too hard to explain (try things on, people!). All are getting their own bag for carriage back home. For photo purposes, my collection of nail polish that I've not used in rather a long time. So many colours.

Quality, no? Clearly I use these all the time...

Golly, Claire's?? Why? And When?

Day 7 (217): 13th of July
Erasers... so many erasers. This must have been a thing when I was just a wee young lass.

Yes. Polaroid. So much Polaroid. This one still has 3 photos left in the film.

Most importantly, I carry my memories. Daw... Gosh we look young.

My skeletons. And this has only been the tip of a large, frightening iceberg. Necessary evils, indeed.