Thursday, April 21, 2016

Re-re-(re?)-inventing myself

Wendy & I with her puppies when I was
up in Portland with Ron & Barb

I'm doing it again. It makes sense, me being out here on a new coast, with no one around who knows who I was being before. Re-inventing myself.

We do it all the time, moving from grade school to high school (not too successfully, in my case) or from high school to college. (Now THAT was fun. Grin.) We have personas we assume in certain situations (prom dress girl at science fiction conventions) & some that we doggedly try for a while, because we started, but it just doesn't take.

My name is like that. When I moved to North Carolina, I started introducing myself exclusively as "Laurel" even though I've always felt a little imposterish not being Laurie. It'll take some getting used to, I assumed. I like the name Laurel. I actually LOVE the name Laurel. I like it just fine when someone calls me Laurel. I just don't feel downhome, old jeans & a poker t-shirt, comfy in it. It's more like a pseudonym. So, here, I'm back to Laurie.

I know a Kathryn that never looks in the rear view mirror at Kathy, & a Victoria who is NOT-Vicky, although she also likes to answer to Vic. Me, I guess I'm just a Laurie, although if you call me Laurel (from science fiction conventions or North Carolina) I'll wear it like a pearl necklace & be just fine with it.

I've got some other things shifting & sorting as well (coffee? tea?) but I'm in no hurry to finish (hah! as if we ever could) the re-re-re-invention process.

Blog alternative:
305. Think about your current incarnation. Are there any aspects that have been chafing a bit? Remember, just because you started doesn't mean you have to finish up that way...

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Brain Plastic Magic Map

Here I am.

Oddly enough, I have existed since November, since last posting, since being in Minnesota with friends, since being in Montana with relatives (who are also friends), since moving to Oregon.

I just didn't tell you about it.

But here I am, in the Rogue Valley, right where I've been headed since I started Goldilocks-ing for weather. This indeed is Baby Bear's weather/topography/location map. In the mountains. Near the ocean. Not too hot. Not too cold. Not too humid. (Okay, it can get a little hot, but it doesn't get that way until 1 & it starts cooling down by 6 or 7.) Close-ish to new grandson. (Not so new anymore, as he's approaching a year old!)

My folks & I made a trip to Oregon, in the rain, with 2 vehicles loaded with my stuff, complete with cartop carriers. We stayed with good friend June in Coeur d'Alene & then with good cousins Kay & Barb & Ron in Portland, & visited good second cousins Donna & Tom, & good second cousin's second cousins Don & Vicky. Don had recommended a storage place, so I called them on the way down--in the rain--& said I'd like to rent a unit. The woman paused & said they'd had a waiting list for 3 years, but they'd just had an auction on Friday, & so far the waiting listers had all found other storage, so no problem. It was still raining when we pulled up & I did the necessary paper work, but we pulled up to the unit & it stopped. Unloaded both vehicles, got back in the car, started raining again. Coincidence? I think not.

Went back to Montana for 1 more load & some more visiting & to finish getting utterly swacked by Dad in pitch. (He'd won at least 70 more games than Mom & I. Without cheating. Grin.) Got to see Nick & Chloe & Max, & the other new baby in the family, Crystal & Tyler's Paige Marie, over New Year's.

Then I was off again, with the last carload. Hit the friends (lots of pinochle & a new puppy) & cousins (omg, fostering lots of puppies) on the way there. Went back to the same hotel we'd stayed in the first trip, since I'd left a notebook there. Plus it was a good hotel. (Days Inn, Medford, if anyone's looking for a place to stay.) I had a housesitting gig almost lined up but it fell through at the last minute.

This was on a Monday. I got a little wonky, thinking that I didn't have those 2 weeks I was gonna have to find a place to live. So I did some work centering & grounding & reminding myself that things always work out for me. Then I hit Craig's List & texted a single possibility, a young couple who were renting a room in their townhome. After getting a few details from me, the woman said she thought I might be happier renting from her boyfriend's mother. So I checked that out on Tuesday & it was perfect: a room in a house with two really great sisters (I'm between them in age) & 2 cats. (We're all older than the cats, but perhaps not in cat years.) I had to stop by the front desk on my back from the house & told the woman I'd found a place to live. She asked what I was going to do there (job-wise) & I said I had no idea. So she asked if I'd ever thought about front desk work. They needed someone at their other property. Talked to her husband when I checked out on Wednesday. Voila!

I am now a 3-to-11 front desk clerk! It's been lots of fun already. A bit of a learning curve on some things, but, hey, I just listened to an audiobook on brain plasticity (The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doig) that recommends new jobs, new languages, new instruments, etcetera, as ways to keep the brain sharp as one is getting older. &--at least the lucky ones among us--aren't we all.

So, here's to magic & brain plasticity & Baby Bear. Not too & not too & Just right!

Blog alternative:
304. Believe in magic. Just for a few minutes. See what happens.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Got the BLUE going on...

I'm hanging out with Minnesota friends & having a lovely time. I'm writing & relaxing & loving where & who I am. Not rose colored glasses, but cobalt blue, which does not mean the blues. I wish for you the beauty of blue or gold or red or green, or whatever your favorite filter. Maybe pink.

Joying the journey. In joying. Enjoying. I wish you joy. I wish you journey. One step at a time, which is the only way you can experience a journey.

Blog alternative:
303. Pick a filter for the day. Cobalt blue? Princess pink? Green or gold or...

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The adventure continues

Zach dressed up for his orientation for the new job
in the Mayo Clinic system. 
I know. It's been a while. I posted from San Francisco & since then I've been to Ashland & Rochester & Salem, South Dakota, & various points in Montana. I'm still at various points in Montana, with limited web access, although thanks to my new Verizon smart phone I can get & send email from my parents' home in Nye, Montana. Crazy. I can see the baby journal updates for Max!

I've not been much in the mood for blogging, having been spending lots of time packing & sorting & such. A lot of my possessions are in a U-box in Rochester, waiting for the word. A bunch are in my car. Some are still in Rochester in various homes. Another one of those "differently-addressed" phases.

But, I had a good trip to Montana, with a stop to visit the marvelous Susi Buck at the Home Motel in Salem. My mom's arthroscopic surgery to repair a meniscus tear went well & she's recovering. I've seen all my siblings, but not much in the way of extended family yet. Bunch of my parents' neighbors.

Where next? Just being home where I am for a while. Looking for the next bread crumb to show me the trail. (There was a clue that mentioned Ashland and Medford on Jeopardy the other day.) Anyway, I'm on the adventure.

Blog alternative:
302. Pick an adventure, even if it's a little one. Take a step.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Surviving the third stream

Hello from the land of the bay. San Francisco. Nick & Chloe & Max land. I landed here on Saturday & was going to take a short-ish walk from the BART station to their apartment, except I walked the wrong way on Mission Street for a while (a good while) so it turned out to be a long-ish walk after I got turned in the right direction.

A long-ish walk in San Francisco (even with (light) luggage) on a beautiful day is not too bad though. I did arrive, as the photo shows. Nick has Max in this clever device that just looks like an uber-long scarf but is actually a baby swaddler/carrier/guaranteed-sleeper...

Nice to have a guaranteed-sleeper, because Max can be a bit (grin) fussy when awake. He likes being bounced. Lots of bouncing. I brought some picture books in my little wheeled carry-on & he kinda sorta payed attention while being read to. As much as a month-old baby pays attention anyway.

I've been doing the Grammy thing: changing diapers (more on that later) & bouncing & walking/dancing/quietly-nonsense-singing around & around the apartment trying to make him unfussy, or at least quietly-fussy, so his parents can nap in the loft area upstairs & doing a few dishes & such.

They are not coffee persons so I went out to a coffee shop this morning to get a cup (& a refill). Chloe asked which coffee shop I was going to, with longing in her voice, so I offered to bring her something. Turned out she just liked the idea of going to a coffee shop. So, while I was there, at Bravado, which is nearby & has really cool lighting, I came up with a new rule: each of them has to get outside at least once a day, without the baby. They can go out together & come back separately if so desired, or head out alone, but there must be a little baby-free, fresh air time. Daily! Grammy's rule!

Nick balked a little when I informed him of it, saying, "but what if I want to take the baby along?" I told him he could do that, as well, but the rule stood. Chloe was all about it. Grin.

So, the promised diaper story:

Max had been pooping for a while--I could tell--so I decided to change him. Parents were napping. I set baby on changing mat & get to work. In the midst of it, as I am leaning over him, diligently wiping, a last squirt of soft, yellow baby poop erupts, catching me in the chest & also splatting down onto the changing mat. Fortunately it missed the couch & the soft fleecy pad thing under the changing mat, but I then had to try to wipe up the baby & myself & the mat--& then put on the new diaper without recontaminating. This took a few--quite a few--wipes. I even had to wipe the wipes, as I had poopifed the edges of the wipe dispenser. Oh, & in the midst of this he peed & I had to hurriedly raise the poopy diaper to catch the stream. What Grammy-tastic reflexes!

Then I had to transfer the fleecy pad to the floor & slip the poopy-edged mat out from under the baby & leave him to fuss a little while I went into the bathroom & divested myself of poopy night gown & scrubbed down a little & put on the long shirt I brought to be my robe & go reclaim the baby. It was an adventure. Parents got to sleep through it, mostly-ish.

It has been a day or two since I changed diapers, but I think I've got it. Grin. Nick--when I told him of the adventure--said, "You caught the 3rd stream! Only day 2 & you caught the 3rd stream." I certainly will wait longer next time the little critter is pooping to start the diapering procedure...

Blog alternative:
301. Go outside, just for the sake of going outside. Not on your way to somewhere. Just to breathe in some sunlight. (Or some rainlight, if that's what your weather is providing.)

Friday, June 5, 2015

A Good Plot

I've been busy

A) un-housesitting

I picked up the homeowners late Tuesday afternoon & delivered them to their cats. Phoebe, who has been my lap buddy, happily shedding hair on me, got in a snit & started ignoring everyone. Zoe, at the first sound of beloved voices, raced downstairs to be petted & loved, finally getting the human contact she'd been craving--but unwilling to accept--for 5 weeks.

B) settling back into the other house

Stuff-wrangling--oh the stacks of plastic totes are impressive.

C) preparing for my trip

Yes, tomorrow I am flying to San Francisco to meet Max! (Oh, of course I am excited to see Nick & Chloe, & my friend Ellen, & my nephew Luke & his wife Rachel & other SF buddies, but I do have to admit meeting Max is top priority...)


I have been remiss in letting y'all know:

My story has hit the stands.

"A Good Plot" page 46, Woman's World, grocery checkout stands. It, um, disappears sometime tomorrow, June 6th, probably, even though the date on the cover is June 8th.

Now, back to getting ready to go!

Blog alternative:
300. Plan a lemonade date with a friend.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Techno Damn-the-torpedoes Sell Sell Sell

Not an orchid.
Cactus blossom.


I've been doing some non-techno-damsel stuff, which then required either digging in getting techno-dirt under my nails or throwing up my neatly-manicured (not!) hands in dismay & calling in one of the techno-sheriffs I happen to know.

I opted for the former. Yay me.

An upcoming project was crying out for a new email address & website. After one techno-assist (thanks Bruce) I created the new account. Then I did a little research into domain name registration & website hosting & (all by myself!) picked a provider from the multitudes & registered. I have not yet created said site, but the real estate is mine.

Then I was going to blog (not on this topic; see below) & blogger was signed into my new email account so my attempt to pen a new post just took me to the set-up-your-profile page. I tore my hair for a while until I just tried signing out & then in again, with the correct account. Whew.

So, here I am, feeling ridiculously proud of myself, ready to blog.

As I may have mentioned, I am housesitting for some friends who have gone to Bhutan. A lovely house, with lovely cats, one of which likes me. (She likes me, she really likes me.) The other--not so much.

For quite some time I had to go upstairs with a bowl of wet food, wave it within 10 feet or so of Zoe, who was hissing & growling under her (so far as she knows, dearly-departed) folks' bed. Repeat a couple times. Wait an hour or two. Then, driven by hunger and cat food scent particles, she would come down & eat, growling all the while. I couldn't just leave the food, because Phoebe, who has been lap happy since day one, would eat it.

We have had small progress. She has since come to hiss & growl in the kitchen at the first clatter of food bowls. I'm down with that.

Then, last night, I had gone to bed with a certain nagging feeling that something was undone. It hit me: it was an even numbered day & I had forgotten to ice the orchids. I went down to do so immediately, with Phoebe as my elegant entourage. (She follows me because she thinks it will bring her treats or a trip outside to her little cage where she can eat grass & watch birds & catch some rays. In this case, it merely gave her the opportunity watch me fumble for orchid ice cubes.)

Zoe stayed put, but I can imagine the workings of her kitty mind: What is she doing? What's that sound? The ice cube machine? Oh, she forgot to ice the orchids. She's getting up in the middle of the night (It was only midnight) to ice the orchids. Wow. Okay, so even though our folks were last seen getting into her car--weeks ago--I guess she's okay.

How do I know she was thinking that? Because after I got back into bed & Phoebe jumped up & curled into a warm purrball near my stomach, Zoe came into the room & jumped up too. She settled down right near my shoulder & the three of us fell fast asleep.

Well, the two of them. I just lay there in wonder for quite some time, waiting for another cat to drop. Yikes. Zoe the growler, curled up next to my face. Whew.

Blog alternative:
299. Think hopefully of something you've been uncertain of. If Zoe can leap up to sleep with me, all things are possible.