Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
My life feels like it's on fire right now—but my house looks like it thanks to the annual display put on by the Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia).
While my life takes off, I'm too busy to even sit and consider what'll happen to me now if I swell up. It took me a long time, and it took a lot of searching and self-acceptance, but finally, I seem to have a professional life and a work schedule I not only can manage, but I've set myself up to succeed and it feels so much better.
His first unique seed experience was this 'Cruel' vine seed head (Araujia sericifera). It's the only one produced by this non-hardy vine that has survived a few too many winters here in Oregon. I grew if from seed. To see it set seed after several years is very exciting to me.
I am a proud mama now. I can't kill my baby. I've got to collect its seeds!
Maurice the Cat is ever the trooper and despite his age, arthritic pain, and weight problem, he's soldiering on and has enjoyed every last bit of sunshine he can grasp in his polydactyl paws.
Cats do not like change and only now are they trusting that their lives are not being tossed hither and thither.
It's a beautiful time of the year and I'm preparing again to participate in NaNoWriMo.
I'm writing a novel again in November—but unlike last year—this story is fully cooked and ready to go. I am also preparing to write many other things. Actually, I'm already doing so. It's time. I am well enough now.
I will do all of these things that I've set out to do now. That's what I do. That's what I've always done. It's good to be me again.
I'm working as a caregiver now, and I work all kinds of odd shifts with the elderly and those in hospice.
Illness has prepared me for this and I'm comfortable and confident with what I'm doing.
It's not a forever job, but for now, I'm enjoying the pleasure of working hard and the opportunity of getting to know new and interesting people.
They've lived different lives than mine and we honor and respect one another as we work through basic daily tasks that have become increasingly more difficult for the clients. The adjustment has not been easy for me, but it's improving. I know what I'm doing and I know that I can help them.
It feels good.
Between the two of us we have 5 cats. We do not need a kitten. (His two cats live with his mom and her new pup.) We just want one. Ugh.
I've never really designed a project like this, but oddly, I'm ready and willing to accept the challenge.
This has led to me thinking a lot about my own design aesthetic. I never knew I had one but it runs through almost everything I do. It ties into the novel writing, so I'm a happily contained little mind now. Inside I am germinating.
For me, food has become another job. This is a good thing—literally, a job! I'm still kind of in shock this even happened, but it did.
So, it's exciting to announce this publicly. Here goes: I've been hired to work as a ghost blogger for a food blogger. That is all I can say, since I am obviously a ghost blogger, but to say that the experience is thrilling is an understatement. I want to be a paid writer. I crave it. I need it. I would like to continue working as an editor too. With this opportunity, I will be able to do both of these things.
And from here it will only get better...
The whole process brings a kind of value to my life that's irreplaceable.
Someday I will describe the mind of chronic pain to show how dull and slow it can become and how one can lose so many words. The feelings and thoughts were all inside of me but I couldn't get them out. I struggled. I was inarticulate for so many years.
It is difficult when the words come to me quickly now. I still feel as though I'm sitting behind the wheel of a fast car as the words pour out. I know that I am not yet as suave as I once was though, I'm rough, I repeat a lot. I could use better words—and I will.
But I will use them for my novel and it will have a garden and it will have plants and there will be so many other wonderful things. My many layers are peeling away now and as winter comes low over the horizon from the cold north I will let the chilling winds lay bare that which I want so badly to articulate but have yet been unable to do so.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Monday, October 21, 2013
Yes, it was thrilling, but it was sad at the same time.
|Rhodochiton vine in a planter outside of a hotel in Anchorage.|
Most people wouldn't recommend this, but we were exhausted! We stayed downtown at the Hilton and had a great time.
|A closeup of the vine.|
Anchorage Visitor Information Center.
I can't say enough about its original "green roof".
It very much fueled and gave fire to the pioneer blood in my veins.
With all those extra daylight hours, the blooms are a bit different up North. I don't know how this happens exactly, but I saw it on several occasions and I'll continue to show you images of these amazing plants.
(Yes, I'm sure that these are well fed too.)
|Some Fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium).|
Fireweed is by far the most spectacular of all during September and you'll be seeing a lot of it as these posts progress.
This was my honeymoon after all so I tried not to go too crazy with the plant ID.
This one is a smaller bush variety.
Please forgive me. I promise to study.
Makes me happy that they're thinking about the food or lawn question too.
It became so clear to me right away that Alaska is not the northernmost edge of our climate, but that we are the southernmost extreme of its climate. I felt a strong kinship with the region right out of the gate.
A very large part of me felt at home in Alaska. It reminded me of the Oregon I grew up in and the people I knew as a girl.
This was just the beginning though and so rarely am I so comfortable right away in a new place.
More to come...