Monthly Archives: October 2016


Sometimes I read or hear a piece of information or even “wisdom” and it just sticks. It makes sense and it’s the right thing I need to hear at the right time.

A year or two ago I read an idea that hit home. Maybe it’s relatively common knowledge at least among “evolved” types, but here it is. When someone does something we consider against us, wrongs us in some way, and we then say to ourselves or others negative things about that person – that we didn’t previously believe or say – it is an attempt to “right” our ego, to bring our self-esteem back up after it’s taken a hit.

Sure, I know it’s common if somebody hurts us to want to hurt them back, if only by talking smack about them, to ourselves or others. For an example: Bob says you’re stupid to have bought that car. You say or think, “Oh yeah, well Bob is the stupid one! He doesn’t know anything about cars. Have you seen that junker he bought?!” And thus harmony is restored in our little ego universe – which is not a way I would have thought about this in the past. I would have felt justified in being critical.

I see it now though. When someone has hurt me, in my mind usually my first response is to have negative feelings about the person; I lose my objectivity. People do this all the time I know. But there are times now I can pull myself up short and say “You’re just trying to salvage your ego. Are the things you’re now thinking about this other person really true? Were they true yesterday? Will they be true next week? Or is this a momentary knee-jerk attempt to repair your ego?” And it works! That’s my surprise. I can stop myself and separate out my bruised ego from what I really believe/know to be true, whether it’s about the other person or about me.

The fact is our egos DO take hits and maybe we just have to feel hurt awhile and not automatically man our internal battle ships. Because this way of “righting” egos is false; thinking bad sh*t about somebody else doesn’t really affect how we see ourselves. It’s a cheap bandage.


In my family sick children were not indulged. If you had the flu or a cold or another childhood ailment, you were essentially sequestered in your room (one which I always shared with a sibling) and left alone for the most part. The amenities included if appropriate, a barf bucket, and a radio. Don’t get me wrong – I was plenty excited to have a radio – which otherwise was not there. In fact I first heard the barking dogs performing the Jingle Bells song on said radio when I was sick around the holidays. The child-me was delighted! (Now when I hear it not so much.) This was pre-computer; there was no TV, no record player, and no toys in the bedroom (the TV and record player were in the main living areas and toys stayed in the basement). You might get a coloring book to occupy your time and possibly a stuffed animal. Probably books too. I hated being cooped up like that – I got so bored! – and wanted to join the others. My mother’s refrain to such requests was a martyred, “We don’t need you spreading your germs all around here.”

I grew into an adult who didn’t know how to be sick. This must have been true for some of my brothers and sisters too because I remember one of my older sisters commenting later in life that a friend told her as much, recommending she watch daytime TV as a way to pass time. This hadn’t occurred to my sister, nor did it to me for a long while. What a whacky, self-indulgent notion.

Most of the time when I’m sick I take care of myself. Thankfully, I’ve gotten better at it. I’ve also learned to think ahead a little bit, to have things on-hand before I get sick, like OTC medications. (In the last few days I discovered the sore throat Chloraseptic I have expired in 2011; I didn’t let that bother me much – after all stuff like that never even used to HAVE expirations and we all turned out fine, FINE DAMNIT! – but it’s probably time to lay in new sick-bed supplies.) I have a tendency to be rather immediate in my response to life; in this case when I’m not sick I can’t think of what I’d really want or need when I AM sick. I remind myself to pay attention so I can get whatever it is in advance. You’d think by my age I’d have some of these things down, but sadly, that is not entirely the case.

I grew up using Vicks Vapo rub and I took that trait into my independent adult years but I stopped using it years ago. I don’t care how much it helps. I cannot STAND to have that greasy, smelly stuff on my body – which ends up in my hair, on my sheets, etc. ICK. These days I find it preferable to get a big pillow (from the couch) to prop behind my bed pillows so I’m essentially sitting upright and can more or less breathe through the night. I don’t want to tell you how long it was before I gave myself permission to do something so obviously frivolous and WRONG.

I’m a big fan of Echinacea too; I really do think the herb cuts symptoms and speeds recovery. Celestial Seasonings teas, especially the ones made for throat and sinus are really nice. I take extra Zinc and Vitamin C. I avoid the high potency vitamin C concoctions that are mixed with water; they have too many ingredients I try to avoid like colorings and added pseudo-sugars. If I’m thinking ahead – which again isn’t often enough – I like to have shelf-stable Miso soup packets. I just water them down to cut the high salt. I never buy canned soups and mostly make my own. I try not to indulge in too much junk “as a treat” when I’m sick since I figure healthy foods help healing.

When you are sick that is all you are. The world gets very small. If your fever is high enough it also gets fairly surreal. You just “go away” to this weird state (and I don’t mean Arkansas or North Dakota). I’ve had a philosophy for years that getting sick is your body’s way of talking to you. It wants to slow you down and focus on looking after yourself. It’s pretty effective in that.

Flower Power

On the weekend I popped by an outdoor rummage sale held by a local organization. There wasn’t a lot of stuff but I noticed this picture immediately, saw it was marked at $4 and as I don’t really need a picture, put it back down and kept browsing. I was surprised then, that one of the sellers caught my attention and generously offered to cut the price in half. Was I interested? Oh yes I was!

It’s a canvas on a frame which is about 1.25″ thick. The square itself is 20″. At this point I definitely have a “flower theme” going on in my room – in pictures only – but they have to be certain kinds of flowers, nothing too cute or schlocky. The back says “Jetsan” and I’ve tried to find something online about the name but the most I could get was it is/was likely a digital art on canvas company.


Here it is in context in the corner of the room. I had a mirror in that spot but decided this was better. Really love how this corner now looks, cheerful and cozy (I have a chair/lamp beneath the view seen here). That’s my necklaces under the shelf – I want them out so I’ll see them. I rigged up the high shelf for the plant. It’s kind of tricky to water it that high up – close to the ceiling – but fortunately it doesn’t need watering too often.





Short Thought 169 (mama’s boy)

Thanks to her own deficiencies, his mother raised him to believe that women are stupid, and if not stupid, easily manipulated and conned. Tell them what they want to hear, then do what you please. Lie through your teeth. Lay it on thick. Play the victim. When cornered, attack. He doesn’t understand how transparent he is to a different kind of woman.

Once upon a Walking Stick…

"La la, I wonder what's up there?"

“La la, I wonder what’s up there?”

"I don't remember a climbing rope here before..."

“I don’t remember a climbing rope here before…”

"OMG is this what I THINK it is?"

“OMG is this what I THINK it is?”

(It must have been something the rat said.)

(It must have been something the rat said.)