Sunday, July 19, 2015

Chick Truck is put out to pasture...

Yesterday I added a new member to the family. Her name is Aretha, after the queen of soul. Actually it was hubby's suggestion and it's a perfect fit. But for this little blog piece I want to say good bye to Chick Truck. I think CT as I nicknamed her was my mid-life crisis vehicle. I had driven Eunice the explorer for about 10 years before getting CT, carrying extra kids, sporting equipment, etc. Why elaborate as you all know what a mom totes around in her SUV. So when I knew Eunice was about to die I drove down the road from my job and traded her in for CT. I was determined I wasn't going to have a vehicle that could carry more than two people. Of course the boy was all grown so no need to have something as big as Eunice. Just about eleven years ago I recall being at the dealership in Petaluma on a grey day around 5pm trying a little red truck then seeing CT in all her shiny green glory and stepside hipness. Kind of reminding me of myself with hips starting middleage spread. Eunice and I were having a bit of animosity towards each other and she showed her true colors when while writing up the contract for CT she decided to puke her radiator instantly dropping her trade in price by $500.00 My classy CT didn't act out yesterday even though she realized this would be our final parting. Off to the pasture aka back parking lot of the Santa Rosa KIA dealership she went without incident. I said a proper good bye to CT, patting her on her hood and thanking her for all the good times we had over the years. I leave her to the goddess as to where her next home will be, hopefully someone who knows she's quite the sporty little pickup. But now I'm off to new adventures with Aretha and maybe sometimes I'll let hubby drive.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Fairy Circle

After seeing in today's newspaper that a girl scout troop is selling kits to make fairy lands for the garden I unearthed a story that I'm going to share with you. Yeah fairies are too real!

"The fairies come at twilight so we need to have the dance circle completed soon."
We were worn out after an hour or so of searching the creek bed for acorn tops and other assorted flora and fauna to painstakingly arrange around the small mirror from the dollar store. On our last night before roasting the final package of hotdogs we would complete our fairyland and recite the fanciful incantation I had made up. Having spent my childhood summers along remote shorelines I heard stories from my mom of mythical forest creatures and had made our own little fairy circles. It was her way to keep my sister and me from being bored while dad fished. I was now convincing my little macho son that there were fairies living in the forest.
"Oberon and all fairy minions, we leave a lovely playland in gratitude of our restful days and nights of the babbling brook lulling us, fair breezes cooling us and a starry blanket over us. Under a crescent moon, sprite and pixie dance in delight of the ether world."
The sun was setting behind the ridge of redwood trees and my stomach was growling. I knew Danny was hesitant to leave but dad had dinner ready for us and it was time to head back.
"Mom, will the fairies know we are here if we hide out somewhere? I really want to watch their party."
Hurrah, I had convinced him fairies were real! Now just to make sure my hard headed, curious kid didn't sneak back down to the creek thinking he could spy on the fairy circle. That's all it would take for him to realize mom was spinning a tale.
"Now you wouldn't want to scare them away would you? You want the fairies to stay close by our cabin and watch over it when we can't be here, right?"
Holding his hand we trudge up the bank and behind us I hear a whisper and a quiet "SHH". It was fairy time...

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Ehh, just a regular Saturday

I'm not full of stories today although if I could write a story it would be about the craziness of being in the banking industry. I'm a professional though so I'll just say the past few weeks have made me laugh, made me cry and it also gave me a title for a flash fiction story... "The High Tech Burrito Heist!" No don't ask, just know that you sometimes can't even make this stuff up. Life is stranger than fiction. Hubby also wants to make sure I tell everyone he had a wonderful birthday month. Well except for his bad reaction to shellfish from his seafood pasta meal when we went out to dinner at a place that will remain un-named since the other 3 of us to my knowledge didn't have any problem, in fact I'll go back again. Working at getting through my class in cultural anthropology, hoping for at least a B. Just wrote a little essay about the value of unblocking chi in Chinese medicine. Reminded me that I would really like to take a tai chi class. Enjoying the doors being opened today and I can smell the rosemary from my front raised bed by the door as it's being wafted by the breeze. Well like I said, Ehh, just a regular Saturday. More to post later.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The religious practices of the Rajasthan Nomads

Do most of you remember the time that you would have had to spend at the library to find the information you would need to give a report? These are the times when I love google! Here's the part of what I didn't share last Saturday during anthropology class presentation since instructor all of a sudden realized the 4 previous groups went over the time allotted and decided to cut us off. Our group rocked it, even had music videos thanks to Ian.



Hin·du·ism  (hĭn′do͞o-ĭz′əm)
n.
A diverse body of religion, philosophy, and cultural practice native to and predominant in India, characterized by a belief in reincarnation and a supreme being of many forms and natures, by the view that opposing theories are aspects of one eternal truth, and by a desire for liberation from earthly evils.

Hinduism, the religion of most of the population, is generally practiced through the worship of Brahma, Shiva, Shakti, Vishnu, and other gods and goddesses. Nathdwara is an important religious centre for the Vallabhacharya sect of Krishna followers. There are also followers of the Arya Samaj, a reforming sect of modern Hinduism, as well as other forms of that religion.

Jain·ism  (jī′nĭz′əm)
n.
An ascetic religion of India, founded in the sixth century bc, that teaches the immortality and transmigration of the soul and denies the existence of a supreme being.

Jainism is also important; it has not been the religion of the rulers of Rajasthan but has followers among the trading class and the wealthy section of society. Mahavirji, Ranakpur, Dhulev, and Karera are the chief centres of Jain pilgrimage.

Is·lam  (ĭs-läm′, -lăm′, ĭz-, ĭs′läm′, ĭz′-)
n.
A monotheistic religion characterized by the doctrine of absolute submission to God and by reverence for Muhammad as the chief and last prophet of God.

Islam, the religion of the State's second largest religious community, expanded in Rajasthan with the conquest of Ajmer by Muslim invaders in the late twelfth century. Khwajah Muin-ud-Din Chishti, the Muslim missionary, had his headquarters at Ajmer, and Muslim traders, craftsmen, and soldiers settled there. The Muslims form less than 10% of the population and most of them are Sunnis. There is also a small but affluent community of Shiaite Muslims known as Bhoras in south eastern Rajasthan.



In general some nomadic tribes, Hindu and Jain predominantly.

The Meo and Minas (Minawati) in Alwar, Jaipur, Bharatpur, and Dholpur areas. The Banjara are travelling tradesmen and artisans. The Gadia Lohar is the ironsmith (lohar) who travels in bullock carts (Gadia), who generally make and repair agricultural and household implements. The Bhils are one of the oldest peoples in India, and inhabit the districts of Bhilwara, Chittaurgarh, Dungarpur, Banswara, Udaipur and Sirohi and are famous for their skill in archery. The Grasia and nomadic Kathodi live in the Mewar region. Sahariyas are found in the Kota district, and the Rabaris of the Marwar region are cattle breeders.

The Oswals hail from Osiyan near Jodhpur, are successful traders and are predominately Jains. While the Mahajan (the trading class) is subdivided into a large number of groups, some of these groups are Jain, while others are Hindu.

In the north and west, the Jat and Gujar are among the largest agricultural communities. The Gujars who are Hindus who dwell in eastern Rajasthan. The nomadic Rabari or Raika are divided in two groups the Marus who breed camels and Chalkias who breed sheep and goats.

The Rajputs, though they represent only a small proportion of the populace, are the most influential section of the people in Rajasthan. They are proud of their martial reputation and of their ancestry

The State's population of Christians and Sikhs is small.

http://www.earth-cultures.com/cultures/people-of-rajasthan-india

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Mermaid Story

I've decided with the spring equinox arriving, this is a good time to go to places not swept out of my imagination yet. The following is a rough draft fiction work. Maybe I'll edit it and use this character in multiple chapters, maybe not. All I know is that the world of fiction has called to me and I'm going to work hard at it. Here goes...

She couldn't help but feel that the mermaid would speak to her if she stared at it long enough. 

It's mouth would move and it's story would spill out, "I am from the shore that washes against the outer bank islands." 

Violet just kept holding it's fragile beauty in her hands. Such a fantastic find, dusty and hidden in the entangled fisherman's net on the shelf of the long deserted shed. She knew doing a little digging there would unearth something wonderful for her to take back home from her visit to the Atlantic shore towns of Virginia.

She posed the mermaid and took a picture to send to Em. Their vintage shop in St. Lorraine was quite eclectic and although near the Pacific ocean in Northern California, mermaids didn't show up often. On the east coast, in particular, south out of Chesapeake Bay she had seen them everywhere. The town of Norfolk even had a map you could find online to tour the city's many mermaids. 

Her phone pinged letting her know that Em was responding to the photo. 

"Where did you find that gorgeous statue and could there be more?" 

Violet hadn't even been thinking of mermaids when she first arrived for her annual visit to see what early American finds she could bring home to August Moon. Tourist in her neck of the woods mainly wanted something vintage to do with the old stage stop days or anything depicting the local wine industry. 

Violet once again took the mermaid into her hands and thought "wonder what the story is behind this?" 

Her eyes fluttered as within her head an unfamiliar voice began, "I am from..."

Violet shut her eyes and let the vibration she could feel from the mermaid flow into her body. 

Briefly she thought "Em, if you could only be here right now." 

Then she felt slowly pulled to some shoreline. She could see, hear and smell the ocean. Was she the mermaid? At other times she had been able to intuit or whatever words describe it, pulled into the piece itself. She would know and somehow visualize the story behind the item. She was feeling that now. Sitting on rough sand, gulls overhead. Salt air blowing against her. Wow, then as quickly she was back in the chair seated before the tiny stove of the cottage where she was staying. 

"Time for a drive, "thought Violet. 

The mermaid caused her to want to feel the real ocean breeze. Tonight was her last night so she should do a little meditation since there wouldn't be another visit to Virginia again for awhile. And who knows, maybe a real mermaid would stop by and regale her with a story or two of beautiful beaches of sunrises and sunsets all across the globe. Violet walked towards the calm lapping water. She took deep breaths, felt the sand underfoot and listened to the waves. 

The cottage creaked and moaned with the wind.

The mermaid stretched her arms, folded and unfolded her tail. She had a long trip ahead of her and there were only folktales from other sea creatures of what the Pacific ocean was like. The key turned in the lock, Violet took her suitcase off the floor and began packing the statue for the flight home to St. Lorraine.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Happy Birthday Linda N.!

I think I missed my old friend Linda's birthday this month, or else it's coming up sometime soon. I have to send my birthday wish with the angels because we lost Linda last year. Here's the tribute (or whatever you might call it) that I wrote after finding out she unexpectedly passed away.

The sky is crying...
I think the shock of learning last Monday of Linda's passing is still hanging on. Seeing the photos of her posted on fb jogged old memories of when she was still married to her ex and we worked at the bank together.

I can hear her laugh and see her in my minds eye the snapshots of us when she came to Northspur or along the shoreline of Hidden Valley Lake. There's even that time of a summer visit to the house in Tahoe hanging out on the deck in the brilliant sunshine.

I didn't ever see her again, she moved away with the new love of her life, Tu. Friends told me about him and how he was a gentle giant. Linda was his rock. And not only was she a happy wife, after many losses she was going to be a mom!

Her pregnancy was rough but Ben was born and he was the light of her life. I never had the chance to meet him but when Linda told me he collected postcards I knew I had to send him one while on a trip driving the old route 66.

Family and friends of theirs came from far and wide to celebrate Linda's life in a town I've never heard of where she and Tu and Ben had made a wonderful home. I imagine her looking down during that celebration holding within her arms those who loved her and now mourned her, taken from us too soon.

Linda, you had so much more life to live. I'll grieve for awhile but it will be a healthy mournfulness, Linda would want me to watch my heart...



Thursday, February 19, 2015

Conclusion of Connie and Vern time traveling

Once in the cave, they soon see a trail of footprints and follow them down the mine shaft. They are surprised to find a girl unconscious. Gently Connie shakes her awake.

"What's your name?" ask Vern. "And how did you get her?"

"My name is Martha Hopkins and I was in the 20th century just walking around in my yard at home in Washington D.C. and next thing I knew I woke up here with you two", said Martha.

"Guess it's about time we get all of us back home", says Connie.

"The time machine will have 3 passengers for this trip back, here we go" as Vern pressed his belt buckle.

The end.

Ok anyone want to take this original prompt and make something of their own? Yeah that's what I thought. HAHA! Keep tuned for better stories to come.