Funk, Self-Care, Angels Among Us

*Featured image courtesy of YouTube Video by StarsetOnline

After running the experiment of doing nothing but spewing my own thoughts, without referring to anyone else’s work, I found I had nothing….

Well, not quite true….

Nothing, but 4 draft posts ….nearly 20,000 words and lots of ‘possible drafts’ of divergent thoughts and tangents, to explore further, develop, refine….

I was worn out enough to not have even the slightest yearning to begin the editing process… so they will just sit and I’ll muse/stew on them for awhile – maybe re-read them in a month or six…..

Therefore, I am breaking my own rule (the short term experiment is over at the other social channel, anyhoo – results interesting to me, but nothing definitive to share that is of use to anyone else I figure…).

Alas, the past week or so, found me with several ‘changes’ sweeping in – some of my own making, some out of the blue, some not wholly unexpected and others???

Well, I will just share Robert Fulghum’s words, as he says it better in his opening to “All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten” and how his life Credo came about:

The inspiration for brevity came to me at a gasoline station.

I managed to fill an old car’s tank with super-deluxe high-octane go-juice. My old hoppy couldn’t handle and got the willies-kept sputtering out at intersections and belching going downhill.

I understood. My mind and my spirit get like that from time to time. Too much high-content information, and I get the existential willies-keep sputtering out at intersections where life choices must be made and I either know too much or not enough.

The examined life is not a picnic.

Robert Fulghum, Author

I Get the Existential Willies, too…

Usually when too much deluxe high-octane information comes into my world (on purpose, cuz I was in research mode…) coupled with human stuff that just shows up via surprises, re-connections, conversations, etc….

I nearly drowned in such things last week – and by Sunday afternoon?

I was pooped – went to bed and hoped for a better morrow – –

No such luck –

Woke up with body, mind and spirit in not the best of places.

Cue the Existential Mega Funk…

Which is what I just ‘do’ once in awhile – I’m certain astrologers, therapists, counselors, naturopaths, nutritionists, genetic researchers, religious leaders, my friends, my family, could ALL give you the ‘reasons’ why I do this/do this to myself -and they would all be simultaneously right and ….um….not quite right on target…to my mind, though I’m open to observations….

The Phone Rings….

And the only reason I get my arse up out of my chair where I’ve retreated from computer, work, research, to find refuge via being a drooling, brain dead mess while movies I’ve watched before play out on the boob-tube (TV), and I proceed to get lost further in the swamp of my own mind….

….is because I recognize the ring-tone.

It’s the one that rings when one person in my contact list calls from any of their assigned work, home, mobile numbers.

Yup. His ringtone is his, and his alone, in my tech world.

My son.

“Hey Babes! How are you?”

I try to put some semblance of energy into my greeting – I fail miserably. I wonder if I could have pulled off “Snickerdoodle” better?

Probably not.

I’m tired, I’m in a funk, but I hear his upbeat voice, can tell he is calling during his break at work, and reply, “I’m fine – rather in a funk, but okay. What’s Up?” when he asks me how I’m doing.

Our shared language is to tell the truth when asked how we are – because we both know when the other person is lying, or omitting, anyhoo, so it’s an exercise in futility to lie about it, from our point of view.

Ahh…but I somehow managed, despite overwhelming odds, to not destroy the sensitive/empathic side of this youngest son, during the years I was in charge of him and his growth.

He picks up on the cues about how bad it really is feeling to me, right about now – all from my voice…

Isn’t he just amazing??

(that’s mama bear pride speaking. He is the one topic where I never even attempt to practice humility, other than saying, “Nope, all him. Had nothing to do with me, except staying out of the way best as I could, to not mess up what came to this world as perfection and despite my repeated failures to do so, he still turned out great!)

“Well, needed to ask ya something but that can wait…What’s going on with you?”

I give him the usual, “Overdid it on various fronts, rather discouraged, just in a funk – talk to me and tell me what’s up with you….”

This is what I do when I get really discouraged and worn out – I just shut down and figure what good is talking about it going to do?

Listening to others instead of my own inner committee of pessimists is a relief!

Plus, between mid-day Saturday and Sunday evening? I had talked and interacted with others more than I had the prior month. That takes a lot of energy, ya know….

What’s more – he knows this about me. And like a good friend, he just does what I asked…

He fills me in on holiday schedule at work, when he is returning to working 6 days a week, his invites from various places, and wonders – what’s me and our kin in Wyoming’s holiday plans?

….and I tell him I don’t know, most likely won’t know until last minute and he should make his plans, as he wishes, or if he can wait on RSVPs and wants to? That’s okay too, but seriously, just do what you want to do, babes… I have no answers and…you know we can have our time together when it works for you/your schedule.

Because him and I?

Well, we just get together whenever – via long calls, meeting for lunch, emailed shares of funny stuff, music, the clip from some dystopian cartoon, the drop by, and we manage to celebrate any holiday, with foods we love, together in the kitchen, whenever the mood strikes – sometimes we even make up our own holidays/celebrations.

Thus, we are each other’s safety net against the ‘must happen on this day, at this time’ society we live in –

He says okay, he’ll let me know.

We tend to take each other at our word and what each say – we have plenty of manipulative, ‘my way or the highway’, ‘if you loved me…’, guilt trip 101 style things around us, on various other fronts, that stress us both out, hence, we try to keep that crap out of the shared & sacred place known as ‘our relationship’.

He adds, “Let’s pick a day and I’ll just take you out for a meal, unless you REALLY, REALLY want to cook.”

I miss my roommate – we had fun fixing meals together in the kitchen.

On the other hand, eating out with him is fun too.

He’s one of the few people who take me out to eat that I don’t suffer embarrassment over the ‘never worked in front line customer service menial labor job’ dining companion who is high maintenance, tips poorly and nothing is ever ‘good enough’.

Yup! You Got it! When I’m in a funk? All my judgy, biased sides come up, too.

We exchange our LUBs (Luv U Bunches) and before he hangs up, he ‘reminds me’ –

“Mom? Just call when you’re ready to talk it through, okay? “

My son, my best ‘adulting it’ friend, who knows me OH so WELL, especially when I descend into the status of a toddler throwing a fit instead of taking a nap in the Universe playpen!

2.5 seconds later….

The email hits my inbox – a music link – to a song he loves that cheers him up – and he’s sharing it with me, in hopes it might help me, too….

Ahh….Instantly, my little funky, curmudgeony, Grinchy, shrunken heart busts free AND my mind and spirit wake up, appalled at how I could have forgotten the beauty that surrounds me….

I don’t listen to the song.

Instead, I get up off my lazy-no-good-arse, assess my physical woes, mix the ingredients for massage oil in ‘a little bit of this, for that, hmmm…that smells good, adding that…” fashion, get settled back in the chair and set about giving myself hands, feet, scalp and ear massages while watching Disney’s “Cruella”.

I remember I have an Estella side and not just the Cruella side of me.

I go to bed and hope for a better morrow, and give a prayer of thanks for the Universal Kick in the Pants to nudge me out of the dark pit of my inner swamp.

Morning Arrives

Physical pains? less. I’m encouraged and repeat the self-care recipe and routine of the night before. Take care of the few work requests that come in – and then…THEN?

I listen to the song sent.

It is beautiful to my ears.

I happen to like the way Starset blends their music and vocals – I often love the stories their songs tell – not always a true fan of their videos, my old eyes sometimes have trouble keeping up with the special effects, but, I really like they put the lyrics right in the lower left corner of their video releasing me from the need to go look them up….

I only know about Starset because of my son – I doubt I would have ever stumbled across them all on my own…

I listen to it again – just to listen – not reading, not watching, and while I listen, I let my mind wander through the heavens above, instead of the teeming swamp full of vipers.

I think about the profound changes astronauts have reported to their inner psyche once they view our home planet from far away….

I think of gifts from earth in form of plants, seeds, oils that support and heal me and make it easier for me to give myself reflexology self-care….

I think of all the health and spirit care providers, who over the years, didn’t just heal me, but also educated me on ways to help myself, while they were ‘doing their life’s work’.

I give thanks for my sons, who never fail to remind me of all the good and beautiful, and who also, don’t run away from me and my ugliness when I get lost in my existential willies and/or funks.

I give thanks that I have one son left who can still call me here on this plane.

I give thanks for the memories and lessons learned from my son who is no longer here to txt, call or give me crap or make me laugh.

So I’m sharing this all with you, including the song.

I’m full speed ahead, on fronts where I can dive in and do without needing to learn more, as my point of re-entry. No sense in giving myself a set-back….

I make journal note to remind myself how I recovered more quickly this time, than I usually do when the existential willies show up….

Thank you All that Is. You sent all the other things this past week onto my radar for some purpose, I imagine, and then sent exactly the reminders I needed, when I got overwhelmed with it all, had no clue what I needed and no energy left to figure it out for myself.


Odes to the Country Doctor

Dedicated to Dr. H.J. Scarinzi (1932-2015)- The Doctor who was my country doctor, for awhile. I miss you still, no matter where I roam, how much time passes, or how things around me change.

Today? You are strong on my mind, wondering just what you would have to say, regarding the current challenges and conversations and systems in place….

Shared below, are two poems written by William McKendree Carleton, (1845 or 1847 to 1912).

Featured image courtesy of Wikisource – Thank you!

**Note – Wikipedia and the 1974 edition of The American Peoples encyclopedia set, says “1845”. Michigan Library website says “1847” – thus, I’m conflicted on who to believe – The old encylopedia set or a librarian…..

IF you need some holiday, to look forward to, in October? Whether it has been repealed in law or not? You can always declare Thursday, October 21, 2021, YOUR holiday, and enjoy a long weekend of rest and healing, in honor of this Poet.

Just a suggestion – in case you’re struggling to find for a reason to take a long weekend….rest and heal…. πŸ˜€

The Doctor’s Story

Good folks ever will have their way
Good folks ever for it must pay.

But we, who are here and everywhere,
The burden of their faults must bear.

We must shoulder others’ shame,
Fight their follies, and take their blame:

Purge the body, and humor the mind;
Doctor the eyes when the soul is blind;

Build the column of health erect
On the quicksands of neglect:

Always shouldering others’ shame-
Bearing their faults and taking the blame!

Deacon Rogers, he came to me;
“Wife is a-goin’ to die,” said he.

‘Doctors great, an’ doctors small,
Haven’t improved her any at all.

‘Physic and blister, powders and pills,
And nothing sure but the doctors’ bills!

“Twenty women, with remedies new,
Bother my wife the whole day through.

‘Sweet as honey, or bitter as gall
Poor old woman, she takes ’em all.

‘Sour or sweet, whatever they choose;
Poor old woman, she daren’t refuse.

‘So she pleases whoe’er may call,
An’ Death is suited the best of all.

‘Physic and blister, powder an’ pill
Bound to conquer, and sure to kill!”

Mrs. Rogers lay in her bed,
Bandaged and blistered from foot to head.

Blistered and bandaged from head to toe,
Mrs. Rogers was very low.

Bottle and saucer, spoon and cup,
On the table stood bravely up;

Physics of high and low degree;
Calomel, catnip, boneset tea;

Everything a body could bear,
Excepting light and water and air.

I opened the blinds; the day was bright,
And God gave Mrs. Rogers some light.

I opened the window; the day was fair,
And God gave Mrs. Rogers some air.

Bottles and blisters, powders and pills,
Catnip, boneset, sirups and squills;

Drugs and medicines, high and low,
I threw them as far as I could throw.

“What are you doing?” my patient cried;
“Frightening Death,” I coolly replied.

“You are crazy!” a visitor said:
I flung a bottle at his head.

Deacon Rogers he came to me,
‘Wife is a-gettin’ her health,” said he.

“I really think she will worry through;
She scolds me just as she used to do.

‘All the people have poohed an’ slurred,
All the neighbors have had their word;

“‘Twere better to perish, some of ’em say,
Than be cured in such an irregular way.”

“Your wife,” said I, “had God’s good care,
And His remedies, light and water and air.

“All of the doctors, beyond a doubt,
Couldn’t have cured Mrs. Rogers without.’

Tle deacon smiled and bowed his head;
Then your bill is nothing,” he said.

“God’s be the glory, as you sayl
God bless you, Doctor! Good day! Good day!”

If ever I doctor that woman again,
I’ll give her medicine made by men.

by William K. Carleton

The Country Doctor

There’s a gathering in the village, that has never been outdone
Since the soldiers took their muskets to the war of ’61,
And a lot of lumber wagons near the church upon the hill,
And a crowd of country people, Sunday dressed and very still.
Now each window is preempted by a dozen heads or more,
Now the spacious pews are crowded from the pulpit to the door;
For with coverlet of blackness on his portly figure spread,
Lies the grim old country doctor, in a massive oaken bed,

Lies the fierce old country doctor,
Lies the kind old country doctor,

Whom the populace considered with a mingled love and dread.

Maybe half the congregation, now of great or little worth,
Found this watcher waiting for them, when they came upon the earth;
This undecorated soldier, of a hard, unequal strife,
Fought in many stubborn battles with the foes that sought their life.
In the nighttime or the daytime, he would rally brave and well,
Though the summer lark was fifing or the frozen lances fell;
Knowing, if he won the battle, they would praise their Maker’s name,
Knowing, if he lost the battle, then the doctor was to blame.

‘Twas the brave old virtuous doctor,
‘Twas the good old faulty doctor,

‘Twas the faithful country doctor-fighting stoutly all the same.

When so many pined in sickness he had stood so strongly by,
Half the people felt a notion that the doctor couldn’t die;
They must slowly learn the lesson how to live from day to day,
And have somehow lost their bearings-now this landmark is away.
But perhaps it still is better that his busy life is done;
He has seen old views and patients disappearing, one by one;
He has learned that Death is master both of science and of art;
He has done his duty fairly and has acted out his part.

And the strong old country doctor,
And the weak old country doctor.

by Will K. Carleton

** Note! No one in their right mind would ever believe the country Doc of my youth/young adulthood, was weak.

Hard as Nails, Blunt as a chisel, Harsh as a winter wind when needs dictated it –

All while as soft as a sleeping child’s sigh, gentle hands that soothed the ill and a brusque voice, that still for all it’s delivered ‘just the facts’ and not always embraced observations, would deliver the gently said, “This isn’t going to be fun, but this is what must be done, for you to get well. So bear up and do what needs to be done…”

OH! How very much I miss him!

Happy Labor Day!

I celebrate Labor Day by laboring – πŸ˜€

Today was the Labor Day celebration and our local town’s Celebrate Our Community Day.

Organizations, local vendors, businesses, crafters and non-profits set up stalls at the park.

The local Volunteer Fire Department provided lunch of a hamburger, chips and drink, with the only cash register in site, a wooden “Donation Box”.

Cornhole tournament ran by the Library and a book sale (donations only!) by the Friends of the Library .

A Jr. Firefighter Obstacle course provided for the kids by the fire department, as well as opportunities to sit in a life saving Helicopter or interact with the first responders, pilots, EMTs Nurses and volunteers that answer the call for help 24/7, courtesy Flight for Life and Life Line Crews who worked today, too.

Out here? Sometimes, the most beautiful sound in the world, is hearing the chopper blades making their way to you and your loved one, who is in crisis.

Not as big of a turn out this year, as in 2019 celebration- for a myriad of reasons, which we all know the reasons why…. And yet….

New folks to meet, old friends to see.

A day of hope and nostalgia for me.

So many lost due to age, illness or COVID the past two years, that I always got a chance to ‘catch up with’ at Labor Day festivities..once the harvests in, fair over and summer frenzy of guests or travels winded down…

Some weren’t there today…. and I missed seeing them, even though I knew I wouldn’t.

The day had some ‘gaping holes’ in it for me..

On the other hand, a young aspiring author I waited on often, back when I worked at the Library?

Ta-Da! She is now published and our community has another local author!

The Craft Vendor store that opened in fall of 2019? And managed to do home delivery to serve customers throughout COVID shutdowns? Survived?

Still open, getting more vendors and are open more hours a week than they were in 2019.

Many of their vendors were manning stalls at the park while sending folks down to the main craft store (a 2 blocks away!) to promote the abundance of products made by the creative and artistic folks that are my neighbors.

Caught up with those I haven’t seen for oh-so-long.

Met some new folks and oohed and ahhed at the photos on cellphones eagerly thrust into my hands of new babies born, new puppies added to households and homestead infrastructure additions.

I took pictures of new emergency equipment purchased through grant funds to provide higher level of care to those in need who call 911.

Machines that do chest compressions at the right depth and rate, and never wears out, when CPR is needed and available volunteer crew just got slammed with multiple calls and are scrambling to meet every need/call with the staff they have available.

Took notes down regarding the revamp of the town brush pile that is open once more to residents for clearing out deadwood from their place, that is expanded and graded clean to get rid of tire-flattners – (i.e. nails/etc.) – with promise from our new Public Works Director he’ll send me a picture to post when someone thinks it’s a place to get rid of their trash for free …(sigh…newcomers or outliers…sigh….)

Met one of the board trustees for my town I hadn’t yet met.

Learned my local mechanic has retired & sold his automotive shop to….a new young man, who posed for the local paper, proudly standing by his wife and young children for the business announcement picture.

So here I sit, taking a break from resizing/optimizing/sorting pictures for my various website customers who spent today and months BEFORE today, to make today’s event, actually happen.

Mourning those gone, and yet full of hope for the younger ones coming up to fill the holes left in our community.

And, once more, very, very grateful for the blessing of living where I do.

No matter what Mother Nature delivers, or what national news says, or what challenges come – to me?

I live in rural America, and so, overall, I’ve got it better than 90% of the population – dare I say 99%??

And once more think,

We may be small in numbers, but we are mighty in community and strength.

We, too, walk through all the challenges faced on various fronts as others do, and yet, under a clear Colorado blue sky, not yet hazy with the next wave of fire smoke that is estimated to reach us by Wednesday, not too hot, not too cold, not to windy, we gathered together to celebrate being alive, our community, to connect and share memories of those who weren’t there this year.

Here’s hoping this Labor Day finds you and yours safe, warm and in the community you love to be a part of.

The Prairie

*This post inspired by Teacher As Transformer post I read today

I needed passion, beauty, and ‘idling’ while I pretended to learn new things, today.

I’ve spent too long on the ‘work I learned long ago how to do/improve upon’ in databases, websites, clean-up of outdated data…… compilation of reports, checklists, etc., to aide my partners in ‘creating’ in ‘simple lists to work’ each year/reminder sheets to hang over their desk….

All things, that, while necessary, tend to, at some point…. after marathons of ‘aye…yup! This needs a thorough clean-up!’ activities…. rather…..

Dulls my mind and soul….

Even WHEN I take short breaks to stand in awe, gazing upon, ‘the world immediately outside my front door’ throughout the day and night… πŸ™‚

And so, while trying to get better at ‘sharing’ a compilation of images AND quotes/prose/poetry – (via tutorials and ‘trying yet again, to put into practice what I’ve supposedly ‘learned’ – :D. )

I played in software tools today, applying tips/tricks learned from I really can’t tell ya, how many years of free tutorials….

I’m not an artist – thus, feels like 1,000 years…..

TA-DA (for now..)!

Just in case you thought the only thing I ever talk or think about regarding Prairies are the challenges….

Nope – and perhaps, it was high time I shared more than just the ‘purdy flowers’ in areas that take a lot of ‘work’ from me to ‘make it so’ –

Instead of Challenges Let Me Focus Upon….

The Beauty .

I am sharing with you via photos and words, the Prairie I know and love, that is always there, in all its’ rampant beauty’.

Without me doing a single thing, but gazing upon it, snapping a photo, and finding the ‘perfect photo’ of my own loves, to go with a ‘new to me quote/poem/prose’ I stumbled across while going off on a ‘tangent of surfing the net’, that I’m prone to do when I’m struggling with burnout….

(I did share one quote with a photo taken by a client who lives here, works on the prairie – and are my fave, three generations of family folks to ‘walk the pasture with’ – :D.

And I got permission to do so…..(trust is important, doncha know?)

You can learn more about these fine folks at Third River



You didn’t really think I’d write less than 500 words, did you?

DID YOU???? πŸ˜€

PERISH the thought!

Just saying – the framework I work with for ‘biz’ and the one I get here,, in free blog land?

Two horses of different colors and….

I had some thoughts on the matter, while posting this blog entry, (the cursing has been removed, paraphrased for simple info….)

“fine! I’ll upgrade! JUST because I wouldn’t have to work this hard if I self-hosted my own site with the WordPress framework. But my bloggy pals are here and I am building a separate Biz website and Lord Knows,, you’ve hounded me long enough about getting some ‘in the next 48 hours savings’ if only I would just UPGRADE my free blog…”

I get it – Server space doesn’t come free – nor does R&D for providing ‘have your free blogging voice’ operations AND keeping those options rather updated, as cyberland changes – –

I get it – Any tech company that provides something to me for ‘free’ is making their money elsewhere (adds, information, etc.) OR They will DIE out because they just can’t keep the bills paid on what they thought, long ago, would be wonderful and give ‘voice’ to all us everyday folks!!!

I argued a few days ago with a long ago friend, I recently reconnected with – he was assuring me ‘They say there is no free lunch, but this is a free offer to you…”

And I, being me, and because he is male and long, long ago, we were once engaged for about 3 months… I replied,

“Ahh… now….seriously! You KNOW better! There is never, ever, a Free Lunch – there is grace, unexpected blessings and gifts, but there is, in the end, no free lunch….”

Me – being cynical and dashing the hopes/dreams of others.

so, once again, while I was trying to POST this??

I am not certain how it will look, to you, or is viewable by you – or readable – but I must get ‘back to work’ and don’t have time to do a full blog redesign via free theme(s), just now –

And in the end – if I’m going to ‘practice something’ might as well practice it on myself…. πŸ˜€

500 Words or less… instead of Pictures?

From heat wave, dry days to cool, cloudy, got some rain without hail, massive damaging wind or tornadoes, here at Bally Bin, I’ve been working as I can outside on various areas, and inside on the computer for long hours and well –

Just now? The thunder that start rolling in the distance has moved closer and I no longer have to step outside to ‘confirm’ what that rumble is….

The cool season grasses in areas not mowed, trimmed or cut back to ‘make it look like I care more about nice/neat than I do about soil health/drought’ are in seed, and turning from green-gold, to gold.

Areas of bindweed still left to (racklefrackle $#@!) rip out. Feels like a never ending process as I TRY hard to now focus on the areas with the distinctive white blossoms, and rip those (foul-filth-flairn-suckers) out, as deep into the roots as I can, instead of hoping I can keep up with every green head poking itself out of the ground (as I try to do in spring)

The Wild Mustard (purple, water suckin hog, stinkweed) wasn’t too bad this year – Hopefully I ripped a lot of those areas out BEFORE it had chance to set seed for next year/millennium.

My poor, poor poplars and some Siberian Elm trees – – they suffered mightily during the 2019-20 drought growing year and winter moisture – and last year, I was informed by the local conservation district to NOT prune back what ‘looked dead” IF there were still seedlings coming up from the base.

Alas, much of the main growths HAVE died and I have so much pruning/cut back to do what appeared dead (but was still ‘springy’ to touch), last year, is, in fact dead (breaks off at slightest pressure).

And yet – – in some places, for some trees I find new baby trees & seedlings have pushed forth in hope and promise.

Thus, such ‘nursery areas’, must be weeded around, protected by barrier to avoid mowing/weed whipping activities by ‘oops!’ by those who help me on the place and said areas mulched heavily, in hopes, I do my part in ‘caring for them’

So much STILL to do this year – just to try and ‘catch up’, ‘build for future’, seed for future, try to be a good neighbor BUT also build a Garden of Eden oasis in my little ‘area of land in my charge.

And so, that’s my update – as I prepare to hit the ‘publish button’, the pitter patter of rain plays it’s own, unique tune on my roof/windows. And I think, once more, how grateful I am for no tornadoes, hail etc., right here, this year. Around me by not many miles? Yup. But not here – or I slept through it –

And I’m very, very grateful for the blessings and the ‘let us train TamrahJo to expect better!’ grace I’ve been gifted by Mother Nature, this June!

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