Sunday, October 31, 2021

Voting for a way of life

 I wish long ago I'd had the foresight to start a notebook that I kept quotes from books that made an impression on me. I think of all the books I've read over the many years and how bits of them stayed with me. It would be interesting to read back through this notebook and be reminded.  What I have instead is index cards and lots of notebooks scattered across my life with ideas and thoughts scattered throughout. 

If I had this notebook I would dedicate several pages to the current book I'm reading Neither Wolf Nor Dog by Kent Nerburn. There is so much wisdom in his writing that comes from Dan, the Native elder in the conversations he holds with Kent.  Not a fan of nonfiction yet books on Native life do capture my attention because I'm somewhat of a "wanna-be" as Dan would call me. I admire Native life and try to incorporate parts of that into my own philosophy but I'm not over the top trying to intersect myself into or pretending to be. I encourage everyone to read this book and thank you to Sue for lending me her autographed copy! Here is one of the many quotes I relate to from the book:

"You came to this country because you really wanted to be like us. But when you got here you got scared and tried to build the same cages you had run from. If you had listened to us instead of trying to convert us and kill us, what a country this would be." (159)

Voting in Cedar Falls/Waterloo is upon us and getting out to vote is always important.  Here are my choices for local elections if you need ideas. Each candidate is linked to their website for your own research. I'm a fan of the POS model for our fire and police because I think cross-training is a great thing. In the beginning this was not handled well but I think the end result will make for a better trained emergency force. Waterloo's main issue seems to be the Griffin, a mythical creature that has been a police symbol since the 1960's. It looks remarkably like the KKK dragon and really should have been removed long ago. I hope the city can move past this issue peacefully which means listening to the many Black residents and others like myself who see this symbol as antiquated and out-of-touch. We want people in office who have an open mind and are experienced. It matters. 

Mayor for CF -Tom Blanford

CF City Council - Kelly Dunn and Carole Yates

CF School Board - Jeff Orvis, Brenda Fite, and H. Alan Heisterkamp

I appreciate all the wonderful comments about my last writing piece. I hope to incorporate more like that mixed in with my book and recipe recommendations. Thank you.

Monday, October 25, 2021

My jacket

I’ve loved this leather jacket for many years. I bought it in my mid 20’s when I worked for Benetton in Minneapolis/St Paul. I wore it to concerts and shows, often to 1st Avenue. A coat like this becomes part of your person. Friends asked to borrow it and I happily let them because I wanted to share the good vibes I had while wearing the jacket. It brought me such joy. It still does. 

Several years later I moved to Boulder, Colorado and I still wore the jacket although not as frequently. My Minneapolis downtown style intersected with my newly embraced mountain bohemian rhapsody. Flannel shirts and and t-shirts fit nicely under this black rugged jacket. The story of the jacket takes a turn here a few more years later while I was living in Denver.

I wore the jacket out one night with  jeans and a simple white t-shirt. I met my friend Stan at a bar where he was entertaining his friends from Chicago. They'd gone golfing during the day and then he called and asked if I would join them. I was introduced to the guys who were rowdy and raring to go for their night out. I had one gin and tonic while we made plans to find some food. Both Stan and I needed to eat and were body aware enough that we usually made it a priority if we were out together. While we made plans to go to a favorite Mexican restaurant we ran into some local friends including Stan's roommate Chris. We ended up back at Chris' girlfriends house which was supposed to be a small stop but turned into a major ordeal. 

The girlfriend's roommate was acting as host and offered to make us drinks. We accepted but Stan and I were still very much on the "must get food soon" He (the roommate) brought hand mixed drinks out to each of us although several of the Chicago boys just had beers. They were restless so it was decided that they would go for food with Stan driving while I stayed back and waited for Chris and the girlfriend (I've completely blanked her name but I can picture her). It seemed like mere moments after they left that I finished the drink and I was beyond exhausted and started to fall asleep on the sofa. 

This is the point in the story where many of you might be thinking "what was in the drink?" and you would be right. I ended up crashing in the roommate's bed with promises from both Chris and the girlfriend that I would be completely safe. I crashed hard, missed Stan and friends coming back with food, and ended up puking my guts out in the middle of the night after feeling said roommate naked and rubbing up against me.  I wandered out to the living room, grabbed my jacket, and dialed my own apartment asking my brother to pick me up through quiet sobs. I waited outside for him and realized I was missing the belt of my beloved leather jacket but I couldn't walk back into that house and hoped it could be retrieved at a later time. 

I should have had my brother take me to the nearest emergency room. I just wanted to crawl in bed and forget about it. This was the 1990's; until that night I'd never even thought about date rape drugs. It just never occurred to me but there was definitely something in that drink that made me pass out. Even though I still love this jacket and wear it happily I always remember a glimmer of that night when I put my arms into the sleeves, when I think about the empty belt loops.  I choose to wear it anyway. 

Even though I remember I'm not going to let it overwhelm my love and attachment to this singular item or my general well-being. Humans are hearty souls and we are able to adapt to overwhelming situations. I tell this story now just to write it out one more time as a reminder of what I've experienced and how lucky I was to have woken up because the story could have had a much different ending.  

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

My feet are cold and I need a cup of tea

 I'm under the weather as temperatures change here. I have the bare essence of a cold. My ears itch, my chest is a little raw, and I'm blowing my nose like crazy. In the midst of  a pandemic being sick takes on new meaning. I sneeze at work at my students look at me like "ewww" and I wear a mask most every moment at school. 

I take a wide array of cold remedies; most of them are on the natural side. At the first hint of something coming on I start with the Emergen-C packets in a glass of water and I take regular vitamin C by tablet as well. My friend Jen turned me on to Gypsy Cold Care Tea years ago and I still use it religiously.  For some reason I now have to order it online because many stores just don't carry it. No idea why. I also have NutriBiotic GSE (Grapefruit Seed Extract) liquid concentrate which I take by squeezing 8-10 drops into a small glass of water. While I do use all these very natural remedies I also use Vick's VapoRub all the time. I can't help it because it works for me. I do love a good hot bath when I'm not feeling well. I know even without testing that I don't have Covid because when I had it last winter I was so, so tired all the time. 

I did get an amazing amount of reading done last weekend just because I had a sleepless night on Friday so I read The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave-it was so good! I read until 11pm (late for me) and then I tried to sleep but was still awake at 12:30 so I read a little more and that's kind of how the rest of the night went. I really enjoyed the mystery and Hannah Hall and Bailey's relationship as they started to work together.

Now I'm furiously reading Dear Pink written by Michelle Angelle so that I can begin the next in (maybe) a series with connecting characters. Until Next Year just came out and both books are fun, romance novels with sexy main characters!

Stay healthy out there and happy reading.