Friday, May 17, 2013
NOPE, THE BONKS ARE IN THE KITCHEN.
I put a plate on the granite counter top, BONK.
I pull a pan from the shelf, BONK!
Placing a cup on the counter, unloading the dishwasher-- grinding coffee? Forget it. All is noisy.
Maybe I’m just clumsy.
The reason for noticing all this BONKING, BANGING OR GURGLE, GURGLE as I pour water into a pitcher to make iced tea, is that daughter dear and grandson sleep right off the kitchen. In the mornings the cat wants their bedroom door open for he needs to do his laps. Daughter works way into the night while her young one is sleeping, so in the mornings, I try to be quiet. It’s impossible. Doesn’t seem to bother her though, so guess all my bonking needn’t be a concern.
A concern worth addressing is the online store eBay, daughter’s source of income. It has gone cuckoo. If you call eBay, they will say everything is okay. Talk to the sellers and they are crying gigantic crocodile tears, for some say their sales have dropped 50% in the last month. That coincides with a change in eBay’s search engines, and search tactics. Cassini is the name of their search engine, and it is so specific as to be ridiculous. It appears to be phasing out the little guy. Oh gee, and daughter dear is a little guy. She was making quite a living selling Legos. She and I went together and are selling Duplos, the 2 to 5 year-old baby’s version of Legos, (larger bricks, larger animals and figures), and they were selling well until all hell broke loose.
Cassini is so invasive it tracks where a searcher’s curser is on the screen, and what sellers and customers are saying to each via emails. It favors the top seller bumping them into top position to insure that they sell more. Thus it is favoring mega stores like Toys R Us. “Best buy” isn’t necessarily the cheapest. eBay, of course, wants to make money, so the no-so-cheap items will pop up first. Some say if your items aren’t selling raise your price, and here we were trying to sell low. I thought eBay was about the unusual, the odd, the unique, the bargains, a place where customers could search for specific items. I thought it was friendly. It looks as though sellers must list for the search engine, not the customers. One seller of Wigs said his wording has to be WIG, not wigs. Oh gosh, oh gee. No wonder people get conspiracy ideas floating through their brain.
We’ll see. I hope it all gets worked out.
Meanwhile I sit here at the window in front of my computer looking out to the street. All’s quiet. All’s well. This is a great street, many nice homes, many cars, yet few on the road. Where are all the people and why so few cars on the road? I’m not complaining. Just wondering. It’s a mystery. Maybe we’re like the Truman movie where everything is a movie set.
My window is facing North so the sun does not shine on my screen or in my eyes. In California I had to keep the blinds pulled so I could see. In Hawaii I could look out over the expanse of green that was the mowed area around our house, and there I watched the morning sun enliven the green like the morning goddess tuning up her rheostat. In Oregon I could see Duchess grazing behind the house. When I got other horses and she moved to the paddock, I looked out over the Douglas firs. Gosh I remember living on Hendricks Hill in Eugene before moving to Davis mountain and having a window. Before that in Rancho Santa Fe CA, I sat at another window that opened to a view of the canyon. I’ve been writing at windows for a long time.
I completed Mom’s book this morning though. I wish I was clever with titles. Do you have any suggestions? Maybe simply: “Mom’s Letters” Secrets, the End of the Story
this book is about Letters written by my Mom to the Holt Adoption Agency that have survived for 50 years, plus my responses.
I have to do it for Mom and for my sister Jan. I have decided to publish it as an ebook. Marketing? Hell, publishers want you to do the marketed for them, so I might as well do it for myself. I will put it out there. Mom didn’t write all those letters and have them survive for 50 years for nothing. And Jan? I owe it to her. Now for a cover.
This is our book. This is our story. It will fly.
Find Duplos on http://www.ebay.com/store/wigglywombat
I was about to have a tizzy-fit because I could not find my daughter’s site, and I knew it existed. How in the world people find her items is beyond me. I was trying mini-figures, dragons, those sorts of searches. Finally I resorted to PayPal and there found her address.
Here it is: http://stores.ebay.com/HappyBricks
I have a few items. My ID is douglasfir541
“Phonic isn’t spelled with an “F”. That’s the reason the aliens fly right on by and don’t stop here.”
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Do go to the window and stick your head out and yell, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”
Don't watch the news—it will ruin your whole day.
Do welcome strangers, foreigners, imports from across the state line, from across the ocean, from across your county’s borders, from across your property line.
Don't read beauty magazines, they will make you feel ugly.
Do take design magazines as inspiration, not as a way to sap your energy that your house doesn't look like those pictures.
Don't listen to financial Doom Sayers’ propaganda. They are compounding the problem.
Do get out of the house, feel the sunshine, see the wonders of your world. Travel, see that other people have the same desires and feelings that you do.
Don't let the media determine your view of the world or allow the toy makers to make your children violent.
Do pursue your goals, Do find something to be happy about. Do let the sweet scent of spring hay waft through your nostrils, Do hug your children, your spouse, your partner, your cat, your dog, your horse, your goat, your iguana, your inner being, a tree, and your grandmother. Do write to me and tell me how God’s creative energy is working in you.
Do listen to Luis Armstrong sing, “I see trees of green, red roses too…and I say to myself, “What a wonderful world.”
Do Pursue your own dream or someone will hire you to pursue theirs.
Do know that I love my readers and I would be ever so pleased if you would follow me. This site hit over 1,000 page views last month. Thank you to all whose eyeballs hit this page.
Joyce, or Jewell, whatever
(Remember Aloha means to do good without expecting anything in return.)
Thursday, May 2, 2013
She was crying when I first saw her. She was three years old. I was twenty.
It was evening. I rushed in the door fresh from work anxious to see my new sister and was met by a sobbing little girl. Here she was fresh off the plane from Korea, and had ridden with my parents from the airport in Portland to our little town of The Dalles Oregon. She was thrust into a new family, into new surroundings, panicked to see a dog, and our little Jan was so tiny we didn’t know if she could stand. She kept repeating a Korean word we didn’t know that sounded like “Ummaya” which we think meant “Grandma.”
Mother was making all efforts to comfort her, and knowing she was tired from her long trip and in need of rest, Mom filled the kitchen sink with water and bubbles, and set little Jan in it. Jan reached out in joy and curiosity to the bubbles, and a smile broke out over her face that brightened the room like a crack in the cosmos.
Jan was our girl from then on.
That night Mom took her into her bed and cuddled her until morning. Mom became Jan’s haven, a place where she felt safe and adored. Jan was a joy to the family, and she and I became fast friends. She would crawl into bed with me in the mornings, wet my bed, and greet me with incredible affection. I loved her, and I loved showing her off. She liked pretty clothes and I would dress her and brush her beautiful long dark hair, and take her into town with me.
Mom said when I was at work she would wander around the house asking, “Where’s Jo?”
Regretfully I waited out the day assisting dental procedures instead of meeting the plane from Korea and experiencing the joy of watching babies being placed into eager parent’s hands. Mom said when a parent connected with their child, it was cosmic. Mom took Jan into her arms that day, and that was it, they were connected. Jan was a sister to me and to two brothers and a sister who came later. Mom got the family she longed for, and Jan got the mother she needed and with whom she wants to be buried.
Jan died last Thursday April 24, 2013.
Two months ago Jan exclaimed about her new-born grandson, “I didn’t know I could love that child so much. I love being a grandma.”
She had undergone her first round of chemo and felt good, hopeful and filled with dreams. “I want to get a little house I can play with,” she bubbled, “and entertain, and I am getting my music back. Maybe I will perform. I used to do that, and people in town still remember my piano music.”
“Go girl! Go to L.A. There people with ethnic backgrounds get top billing.” (She gave up her music long ago, a decision that will be apparent in a minute.)
And now, once again, I look at the letters Mom wrote to the Harry Holt Adoption Agency between the years of 1957, when she began the adoption process, and 1968 when she died. Jan was only thirteen years old. When I read Mom’s heart droppings, I wondered why I never knew her at that level. But then, I suppose it is easier to open one’s heart on paper, or to a casual acquaintance, than to someone close. The agency kept those letters all these years, and some years after Mom died they sent them to my step-dad. Jan drove the four hours from The Dalles to Eugene to give them to me. I have typed them and am ready to compile them into a book, Letters, A Mother’s Secret, a Daughter’s Secret.
Yes there were secrets. And it happened before Mom died. The father had a fishing boat, he needed help, a daughter’s help. She was alone with him on the boat. We do not believe Mom knew that Jan’s father (my step-father) molested her. Authorities often say that a mother knows, but I’ve thought long and hard, and knowing my mother, I believe if she knew she would have done things to him I dare not say here.
Jan was the courageous one, breaking open the sexual abuse issue, confronting the step-mother and the father who molested her, and she spent years ridding her body of the injury she received from his betrayal. She was a sensitive child and to have a father turn on her hurt her deeply. These are the secrets that ought not to be buried. Expose them. Leave a legacy for Mom and Jan. We women, and the men who support us, must stick together. We must not keep a conspiracy of silence.
Jan married and had a beautiful daughter, divorced and raised her child as a single parent. She was highly efficient, even as a teenager she could clean up a kitchen before the guests had finished burping. She gave up her music in response to the father who kept volunteering her for events without asking. And she wanted her expression back, her skill, her ability to make music. She wanted her power, to dream again, to laugh that infectious laugh again.
I miss her terribly.
In my mind’s eye I asked Mom why this happened. Why did Jan die so young? I saw the image of Mom taking frail Jan into her ample loving arms, and cuddling her as she did that first day.
For years after Mom’s death, Mom's grave had no gravestone. One year we kids went together and bought one. Jan and I had never visited it together, and so on a cold December day I drove from Eugene Oregon to The Dalles Oregon so we could visit the gravestone I had never seen. I had brought flowers, and as it had begun to snow that day Jan grabbed a broom as we exited her back door. Carrying flowers and a broom, we walked through the cemetery under a gray sky while snowflakes drifted onto our heads and collected, tiny crystal pinwheels, on our coats. We placed the flowers beside the gravestone, and gently swept aside the filmy white so we could read the words written on her tombstone.
As we stood there talking to Mom, saying what a wonderful mother she was and how lucky we were to have had her, the gray clouds parted in a tremendous arc, revealing clear sky above. The snow stopped. We stared above in disbelief. “I feel joy,” said Jan. “So do I,” I said. Then as abruptly as they had parted the clouds closed and it began to snow again.
Friday, April 26, 2013
This is incredibly beautiful!
To my left is a pasture, green as the emerald city, immaculately kept, complete with six llamas, cream and brown, heads bent to the short mossy green grass they are nibbling. The matriarch, cream with brown spots like a giraffe’s, occasionally lifts her head to stare at the person staring at her. To my right are acres of grass green as heaven and ahead is a strip of firs and deciduous trees which probably line a stream. I toddled down a country road not far from husband’s place of business and took advantage of a perfect day here on our second week in Oregon.
I won’t tell you about the afternoon, only that it involved getting the internet connection and three trips to the AT&T store to get a Hot Spot that worked intermittently and drove us batty, back to store to disconnect same spot, reconnect our data card, that didn’t work either, back to store to get everything straightened out. Now we have a data card that will hold us until Friday when we get an in-house connection. But then I said I wouldn’t regale you with this story, but I didn’t want to sound all sweetness and light.
I love where we live here in a little Scandinavian town outside Eugene Oregon. We live on a beautiful quiet street lined with lovely homes, and words can’t describe how we are so grateful we are for our house. Most of the homes here are owned, but to our great advantage the owner of this house is out of town and renting—TO US! I’m afraid to put nails in the walls to hang pictures, although the property manager said it was all right.
AND, guess what. Frogs! We have frogs. Open the door at night and there they are singing their little hearts out. One must be careful walking out the front door, though, lest they step on a squishy little skin-bag disguised as a frog. It reminded me of the anole I inadvertently painted into a porch step of our Hawaiian house—painting in the dusk I didn’t see him until morning when I discovered a relief, all gray -blue of an anole on a riser.
“The frog calls the rain that settles the dust for our journey.”
My long-time readers will know that long ago I published a journal called The Frog’s Song, for one day I drew the Frog Medicine Card twice. I figured that was significant and used the frog card’s mission statement. Frogs are significant to an eco-system as well—rather like canaries in a mine I suppose.
We had Coqui frogs in Hawaii that made jungle sounds and lulled us to sleep at night. And here we are in Oregon, once again with frogs singing. There is a pond kitty-catty-cornered about 100 yards from the house. And not far away are the wet-lands outside Eugene where the ducks fly in at night and other water fowl nest and land for a reprieve in their migration. When we lived in Eugene years ago I heard that flock of wild swans settled in for a sleep-over one night on Fern Lake.
As I said on the last blog there is something here in the Eugene area for everybody, from up-scale to down -scale. There are more second-hand stores than you can shake a stick at—although I never understood why anyone would shake a stick at anything—it was a Mom-ism. While I sang the virtues of Eugene, someone helped themselves to a nice wicker basket I took to the Laundromat. Then somehow I ended up with a strange pair of jeans from I don’t know where, that fit me—sort of.
The Universe takes and then it gives back.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Okay, first morning on the road. The truck is packed. The animals are loaded. The U-Haul trailer is filled to the max. Daughter, Little Boy Darling, and I are headed for Oregon. We leave a clean house and it’s 1 am.
You see, we were not only loading furnishings, we were loading a shop.
The following morning both daughter and I awakened with clubs for hands. I thought I had been cursed like the servant in Beauty and the Beast who was turned into a candelabrum with enormous blocks that shot flames for hands. We had loaded the 6 U-Haul boxes, yes 6, 5 wasn’t enough, but then we overloaded them and had to take out some of the weight. Thus the over-worked hands, and thus the trailer to catch the over-flow.
And yes, husband dear, your airplane engine is in there, although it was only by the grace of God, or rather my grace that it didn’t end up in shreds. And regarding the other portion of the plane, Daughter Dear said, “Please can I roll this gyrocopter down the hill? Please, please.”We got it in.
You see, we were not only loading furnishings, we were loading a shop.
Never mind, all that is behind us. I have seen the elephant.
There is a story about a farmer who had never seen an elephant. When he heard that a circus was coming to town he was ecstatic. He packed up his produce and aimed for town. Along the way he had an accident and all his wares were destroyed. Back home his fellow villagers sympathized with him that he lost his produce and thus his profit. “Never mind,” he said, “I have seen the elephant.”
My elephant was in the Swahili shop at 5th Street market in Eugene, Oregon. He was about 2 feet high and as colorful as a native dancer . The elephant and his counterpart, a lion, were made out of flip-flops that were gleaned from the beaches of Africa. The flip-flops were heated, softened, then shaped and carved. The lion with its colorful mane of rubber/plastic strips was quite exquisite. Ingenious creative people just tickle the heck out of me.
And traveling around Eugene gave me new appreciation. There is something for everybody. From the exquisite 5th street Market with its gourmet food, a new upscale hotel ( The Inn at 5th) complete with a Maserati parked at the entrance, to the Performing Arts Center, the University, the numerous and excellent eateries, the second hand stores, the Natural food groceries that grow up around the city like the grasses this area is known for, the Vitamin and supplement stores that sell what in other places one can only get online. Going into Market of Choice, a gourmet grocery store, will break your budget if you let it, for almost everything tries to jump into your cart. And I haven’t yet hit Saturday Market where I know creativity is spread out like cake icing.
And now for the most amazing and wonderful thing: WE GOT A HOUSE! A tremendous Rental Manager lady trusted us with Bear, Daughter’s rug of a dog, and let us have Little Boy Darling’s kitty, Obi Kitty Kenobi. I love her. You can bet we're going to take good care of that house.
I can sleep again.
I can sleep again.
Sunday, March 31, 2013
Not a creature was stirring as I sat at my computer, fingers hitting the right keys sometimes, sometimes not.
What in the heck? Is that my new phone chirping?
Nope. Not an electronic device, an organic one.
A real life bird had flown in the open kitchen door, made its way through the living room, and down the hall into my office. “Okay little bird,” I said. “I know birds are messengers. Do you have a message for me?”
I closed the office door and we did a fly-by, a two-point landing, numerous bashings against the walls, a hiding behind the desk. I tried to reassure him that he had nothing to fear, I was going to carefully carry him outside where he could once again be a free bird.
Finally he flew into the walk-in closet. I closed the door and I caught his quivering little body and carried him outside where I released him happy into the sunshiny morning air.
You have nothing to fear. Don’t kill yourself by bashing against the walls. Trust that everything will be all in divine order.
We still have no word that the house we have applied for to rent is ours—you know, wait through one weekend, through the 5 day week, then into Good Friday and another weekend, this one being Easter weekend.
We have continued to pack around here. Husband Dear has a ton of electronic equipment, some from WWI and you know how heavy electronics were then. When I complained to him--he being in Oregon, about how much heavy equipment he has he said, “Oh there is a plane engine in the garage.”
Now, how in the heck are we going to lift that?
Two more days, a washer, a dryer , a refrigerator , a plane engine, parts of a Gyrocopter, and miscellaneous stuff to be loaded into the 6thU-Haul POD. (We ordered another.) I pray it will not be too heavy.
We are leaving Temecula California Tuesday April 2, aiming for Eugene Oregon. That is Daughter, grandson, two dogs, two cats, two goldfish, and me in a pickup truck.
The Beverly Hillbillies are at it again.
And look what we found last night. An Easter surprise!
All day the owner and helpers had been working. Last night we checked on the results of their labor, and found in the huge storage building behind the house a nice sawdust lined pen, and under heating lamps, at least 200 baby chicks.
Grandson had a ball.
Monday, March 25, 2013
Blog march 24, 2013
They say that those little dust bunnies one finds in the corners of the house are largely sluffed off skin. Disgusting huh?
We're packing, packing, packing, cleaning cleaning cleaning.
We have 5 U-Haul Pods parked in the driveway, each, 8 x 5 x 7.5 feet, and will hold 2,000 pounds. I figure Daughter Dear and I will have lifted, scooted, dragged or shoved 10,000 pounds, except this week she is doing the lifting. Right now for me lifting a toothpick is murder on my back. Come to think of it, I don’t even need a toothpick.
Chiropractor tomorrow. He’ll fix me up.
As I mentioned in the last blog we are going back to Eugene Oregon, back to daughter number one, grandson number one, and the green green grass of home. We’ve gone full circle in the last 3 years. It has been 3 years and 3 months since we left Eugene, sent our vehicles and a packed a shipping container on a freighter across the Pacific to Hawaii. We flew behind them, all of us, two dogs, two cats, five suitcases, three adults and one 7-month-old grandchild. On the Big Island we found that while we make great tourists, we make lousy Polynesians.
Enter California, and now Oregon.
This past week we circled Eugene more times than a 747 awaiting news from the control tower to land in a blizzard—online of course. We were searching for a place to rent. Peaches qualifies for their under 30 pound dog specification, but not 150 pound Bear. If they only knew that Bear is really a rug, and that he is the most gentle, well-mannered dog you can imagine, chases coyotes away, and Newfoundland’s are considered Natural Baby Babysitters. The only danger is tripping over him.
“Somewhere there’s a place for us.” Oh Gosh I was the best landlord in the world, the renting applicant said he didn’t have stellar credit rating, and I didn’t check. I didn’t want to know. And animals? Great, bring them on. He was the most conscientious tenant and ended up buying the house.
We are blessed.
This morning while waiting for the truck to be serviced I learned a fascinating factoid. “For an afternoon pick-me-up nap, drink a cup of coffee immediately before the nap. It takes 15 to 20 minutes for the caffeine to kick in, and it serves as a natural alarm clock. On top of that you will awaken refreshed.”
Also this morning Iread the little booklet The Ultimate Secret (To Getting Absolutely Everything You Want), and noticed it was written by J.D.
J. D? That’s me! Joyce Davis, Jewell D. I’m not taking credit for that booklet. It was another J.D. who wrote it and didn’t put his name on the book because he said it was not he who was important, but the message. How cool is that?!
“I think about Selim who prays at every farewell to the day. There are acts of humility that make a man great.” --Erri De Luca Three Horses