Do I know you from somewhere?

The rather interesting question posed is “how would you get along with your siblings, parents, etc. that you have known for a long time if you only just met them?”

It is really hard to figure out an answer to that, I do not think I would ever meet any member of my family, even my spouse, if we were not already in contact. Our paths would never cross.

Then I wonder, how can that be? How can it be that people from the same source have gown so far apart that they would never meet? Surely there must be something? Maybe if we met there would be a vague sense of deja vu.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Delayed Contact.”

Great Wall Walk

In the spring of 2014 my son and I did a “wild wall” walk from Jiankou to Mutianyu.  This gallery is a sampler of the paths along that trip, from the rickety ladder up to the tower to the stone mosaic (I know that isn’t quite the right word for it) on the path from the wall down into the town.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Beneath Your Feet.”

Styling in Palm Springs-Practical, but not pretty

I will spare you a photo of me. Here in Palm Springs it is sunny, and hot. I have been estivating (the spell checker didn’t like the word but it is a real thing), but I decided that I needed to leave my dark, air-conditioned room for at least a little while. So I drove to an indoor parking garage, had lunch and walked a bit.

I was wearing gym shorts, the short ones, and a tank top, I added a khanga (aka leso). This is a very thin piece of cloth , so it blows around and doesn’t heat me up too much while

  • shading my legs from the sun
  • preventing me from sticking to chairs
  • beautifying the world by leaving a little more to the imagination.

I also carried a sun umbrella that I picked up in a supermarket in China last year to provide shade to my upper half while allowing air flow. Add to that my wide brimmed straw hat and…well let’s just say that no one else was quite so…me. Too bad I didn’t have a teenager along to embarrass!

Khanga, sun hat and sun umbrella.
The elements of style.

It was not an elegant coordinated outfit but I managed to walk about 8 to 10 blocks which gave me a break from hiding in a dark room trying to make phone calls on a phone that doesn’t work. I reloaded my cell phone with minutes so now maybe I can get some answers. For all the information available on the internet I find that I need to interact with humans to get specific information surprisingly often.

Any way this thought occurred to me: both the khanga and the sun umbrella are very practical and, if properly coordinated, could be very attractive fashion pieces. Why are there so many pencil skirts and stiletto heels in the world? You can carry your groceries home, or a jerrycan of water, or your child with a khanga. Try doing that with a pencil skirt!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Style Icon.”

Nightmare Part 2

This is a continuation of a previous post, My Worst Nightmare. Above you see the greeting comittee.  It was 112 degrees Fahrenheit, in and out when I arrived at the trailer. Swamp cooler was off because the water had to be shut off at the street to do the repair.

It was all about location. The little crack in that pipe had good water pressure. It caused electric usage to triple and water usage to more than double; the monthly cost of this “little crack” was well over $200. It went on for six weeks.

I guess it was lucky that it happened in the desert in the summer: it is so hot that the moisture damage was minimal, some localized mold mostly on a door warped beyond repair.

I suppose it could be worse: while the phone in my hotel room doesn’t work, the air conditioning does, and it is only supposed to get to 112 degrees F today…so I shouldn’t be such a moaning Myrtle.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).”

The Picture’s the Thing

We are so selfie-ish!

I saw an article in the newspaper this past week, likely you saw it too, of a man who had killed a lion with a bow and arrow. The product that came from that hunt was a picture. The lion was not endangering folks, the meat wasn’t eaten, they didn’t even stuff the lion for a museum or use his body to study lions. The man showed skill, got a thrill and they took a picture.

The world is full of shock and outrage, I feel that too. But I also feel disturbed about our society. Trophy pictures of folks with their big fish, or deer, or even lion are nothing new.

Here’s the thing:

Isn’t the trophy picture the origin of the selfie? Now, sometimes, it feels like we live our lives in trophy picture mode. We are all shouting: “Look at me! See what I did! See where I am? See who I am with?” at the top of our lungs (figuratively speaking, since we usually are posting on facebook with the thump of our fingers).

It disturbs us when someone takes the egotism to the next level.  Big game hunting isn’t new, in fact my distress is because I thought it was old hat, and we were, as a society, beyond killing a big, beautiful, majestic animal to take a trophy picture. That we had moved on in our understanding about animals and the complex diversity of life “on this fragile earth, our island home”*. That we no longer feel like everything was put here just for us. That we are stewards of creation, not petty dictators.

Isn’t the whole selfie craze a form of trophy hunting?

I went on a three day safari at Masai Mara in Kenya a few years ago. It was pinch-me-I-must-be-dreaming incredible. I took many, many, many pictures…and posted some of them on facebook. I couldn’t resist sharing!

Seeing lions was a real high point of that trip (Masai Mara is famous for lions) and I took about a hundred pictures of lions, but I didn’t feel a need to be in the picture. The most awesome, amazing, incredible experience of my life and no selfie! Does that mean I wasn’t there?

I was there!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Game of Groans.”

* From the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, used by the Episcopal Church in the USA.

My Worst Nightmare

Welcome to my nightmare:

Owning a single-wide mobile home in the desert with a pop-out sitting on a quarter acre of hell with crappy roads that are getting worse with no end in sight.

Last Friday Grandma said that the power bill was really high. It didn’t make sense based on previous usage and no one is there right now so it should be lower. I looked at the data, then called the electric company. They went into their data  and could see that for the first week after the trailer was vacant the power usage was very consistent and at a lower than occupied level, suddenly on June 7 it jumped by a factor of three. It has stayed at that high level ever since.

The lady I spoke with mentioned that sometimes when a property is vacant people just pull up with a motor home and plug in. She suggested I call the police to go look around. They did, no outward sign of a problem, thank goodness. But now the mystery requires trouble shooting from far away.

Before this came up I was already having nightmares about the trailer, I believe they came from knowing what a gosh awful decision it was to purchase it in the first place, doing so even though I knew it was a bad decision…and not being able to get rid of the cursed thing and move on.

My new nightmare is a week in the desert in August. 107 degrees and 30 mile an hour winds…what’s not to love?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).”

Exploring my world with pictures and words.


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