Smell Me Through Your Screen

It’s our 8 week camp~a~versary. We are crusty in all the right places.

I don’t doubt you can smell me through the screen. My last “bath” was in a green algae laden river that induced a panic attack. It broke so many of my personal rules. Yet, there I stood in my unflattering one piece, water up to my knees (that’s as deep as I could go before my heart would stop). I stood as only an adult toddler could, rinsing my body and hair with a cup.

It’s been a month since my last post. We’ve been camping for 56 nights and have paid for 1 night of camping and 5 hotel stays. Our favorite app is I Overlander for free camping. Pretty sure there’s not an app for free hotel stays……..yet.

Saving money on rent during a pandemic has never been so much fun. Ask us how we feel about it once winter shows up.

We’ve done and seen some great things since the last post. The least great being Las Vegas, I have laid my curiosity to rest for all eternity. I prefer being smelled through the screen.

Instant Pain In The Ass

It’s easy they said.

You can cook anything they said.

To prepare for living in the woods, I thought a good investment would be an instant pot. They’ve been around for a few years.

I’ve heard and read great things.

Online searches bring up positive feedback and mouthwatering recipes.

My own mind created visions of simple, healthy, low cost, backwoods meals with easy clean up.

My first impression: WHAT THE FUCK DID I GET MYSELF INTO?

The manual is pathetic. Using this thing IS rocket science and the manual is the equivalent of a 1st grade book. There’s nothing in it. It doesn’t even explain what each button is for. I feel like I’m the girl who got her period and no one explained it to me beforehand. I’M LOST.

Looking for answers on the internet is like trying to find real news on Covid-19. Laughable while simultaneously frustrating and confusing.

We had chicken drumsticks and rice in the house. I figured why not give it a whirl. Below is an online picture next to a picture of reality.

Although it looked unappetizing it tasted decent. I was impressed with the rice. It did have a better consistency than that of a rice cooker.

What no one tells you is it takes the instant pot time to warm up and build the pressure it needs to quickly cook the food. So a recipe that boasts of a cook time of 5 to 10 minutes is more like 20 minutes.

Now for the best part. We had a box of pancake mix in the house and I found a recipe for a giant instant pot pancake.

How hard could that be? See pictures below. Online and reality

This fucker was a bitch to make.

I followed the instructions to a T. Once the instant pot got going it started beeping and flashing a “burn food” warning.

Awesome.

It took an hour. Yes an hour to make this pathetic pale pancake and there is an inch of it burnt to the bottom of the pan.

Jase, the optimist that he is, ate it enthusiastically with a stick of butter and container of syrup.

If you weren’t worried about us moving into the woods before, you should be now. We are likely to starve out there.

There are plenty of instant pot cookbooks, but I’m not a fan.

I find cookbooks to be full of things I’d never eat, like tomato wheatberry soup, and by the time you purchase all the ingredients you’ve spent a weeks worth of grocery money on one recipe.

I prefer things basic.

I’m not giving up.

I will love the instant pot and the insanity it rode in on.

My Produce Made A Funny

I forgot my mesh bags at home.

The produce decided to strike a pose after scanning.

The cashier and I shared a “masked” belly laugh.

Does anyone else miss seeing peoples mouths?

Not in a creepy way, but in a “missing rich interactions” way.

Crazy how not seeing a persons face in its entirety dulls communication.

Ranty McRanter

Photo by me while driving.

Split personality?

Wrestling with how to live what you know?

Caught of guard by emotions that bubble up and words that fly from your lips………especially after you’ve taken the time to do your “inner work”?

In my minds eye I see heavy chains with impossible pad locks. The feeling of being bound sounds like static in my brain.

There’s a knowing beating in my heart. It sends out hope from the deep recess of my soul.

This knowing holds the key to the padlocks.

LET GO……….LET GO…….LET GO…….LET GO……

The picture above was taken a few days ago on my way to work. I’ve been hungrily gnawing at the truth that Spirit is not separate from us.

It is us.

There is no Santa Claus in the sky handing out party favors to the well behaved saints and laughing at others who are groveling in the dirt begging to be plucked from scarcity.

What sort of madness have we been taught as children? To believe in a Higher Power that we must bargain with, behave for, and serve….……………A Power that we are separate from? A Power that pooped us into existence and said “Figure out how to live. If you happen to get it right, there’s a reward for you in the end. ”

I could type for years about the misguided rot we’ve been spoon fed. It’s churning in my gut, curdling into a mass that is worthy of the sewer.

There is nothing any of us can do to become worthy of life. We already are.

I’ll Have The Venti Vent

Writing to vent.

A form of therapy. Give your hands free license to fly across the keys with out pause.

Get it off your chest.

The frustration, the gratitude, the ideas and woes.

Life is meant to be shared.

Share what comes up, free from worry of what others will think.

Have you had a week of weird?

Me too.

It started with excruciating pain.

Then a consult at a pain clinic and making the decision to move forward with ketamine infusions in a couple weeks. Getting more blood drawn. Reading the MRI report, finding the neurologist failed to share there’s a cyst on my left kidney, and the cyst on the left side of my spine is causing severe spinal chord stenosis. What the hell is up with the left side of my body?

Continue on to driving up our mountain last night in yet another snow storm, having to back up and let some neighbors pass. Getting stuck and blocking us all in. Another neighbor towing my back end, practically sending me soaring off the edge of the mountain. Eventually getting underway, climbing up, hitting ice, loosing control of my truck as it slid backwards down the mountain, yanking the emergency break, slamming it into park, still sliding, eventually, miraculously coming to a stop. Shaking, hyperventilating, blindly making it up, safely home. Getting a message from neighbors that three cars slid down into one another in the exact spot I did. Thankful no one fell to their deaths…………..having to call into work today, even though my bank account continues to dance with a negative balance.

There is much I’m grateful for, but holy shit, sometimes I need to verbally vomit the nausea of existence.

It’s OK To Lose Your Focus

Ever feel like a loser?

Like you waste your seconds, minutes, hours, days?

Placing labels on your momentary loss of focus?

Saying things like “I wasted an entire day by feeling miserable and doing nothing.”……….”I’m such a fuck up.”…………..”I never do anything right.”……………..”Why does this always happen to me?”

Do you get caught up in the loop? Unable to see anything other than your perceived mistakes?

Once in the loop, it’s not enough to dwell on the imperfections of the current day, the mind must dig up the corpses from the past.

By the day’s end your brain is a tossed salad of rotting produce. You crawl into bed with a gaping hole in the center of your being. A vortex of black where you’re sure your heart is meant to be. A nameless fear clinging to your gut.

Errors, mistakes, lapses in judgment………all they need is simple correction. We mustn’t hold them in our grasp trying to solve them as if they were a puzzle.

We can set them down and walk away.

They are simply attempts to keep you unaware of your True Self.

Dwelling on our perceived mistakes, puts them in a place of power. All we are doing is delaying our learning. We clog our senses and can no longer hear the soft whispers of the Universe.

The greatest harm we do to ourselves is to remain in the loop.

Take a flying leap my friend! Redirect your course and move forward.

It’s merely a momentary loss of focus.

{Photo above by me}

The Awesomeness Of Awe

Photo by me

Letting go.

Relaxing into life.

The results provoke awe.

There’s a spot I like to visit near the home I clean every Friday. I stopped there a few weeks ago and while getting back in my truck, I heard “Hey!”.

When I first moved to Colorado, I took a job at the homeless shelter in North Boulder. There was an intelligent young man who was participating in a program to help him get back on his feet. He happened to be the one who urged me to up my cleaning rates from $25 to $35 an hour. (In this area $35 is still relatively low)

I had an overnight shift and wondered why he didn’t check in.

Long story short, he had a bad night. He phoned the shelter and I was on the phone with him until 3 am. He was drunk, on meds and threatening suicide.

I never saw him again.

2.5 years later the “Hey” I heard was this young man.

He had been wanting to apologize to me for the past 2.5 years. I had wondered if he was alive for the past 2.5 years. My coworkers and I held a candlelight ceremony asking for his protection.

Funny thing is, it was a cold windy day, and I wasn’t planning on stopping.

He wasn’t planning to drive all the way out to this particular spot and take a long lunch break.

Letting go.

Relaxing into life.

The results are awe provoking.

Imogene “Idgie” Threadgoode

Photo by me

Jase and I out in public is at best hysterical.

Today’s adventure was the hospital. I gave the elderly man at the front desk my information. I could have sworn when he looked at the gal and gentleman next to him he said, “Imogene”.

A grin broke out on my face. Bubbling with enthusiasm, I blurted out, “Imogene! I love that name! That is such a great name, who’s name is Imogene?”

Jase standing next to me, “No Mare, imaging.”

Me, “I know honey, Imogene, isn’t that a great name!”

At this point, I was perplexed why no one behind the counter volunteered themselves as Imogene. Why no one was sharing in my excitement. Why was everyone looking at me like I pooped my pants?

Jase, “I-M-A-G-I-N-G, imaging honey, no one’s name is Imogene.”

If you’re familiar with the book/movie “Fried Green Tomatoes”, the name Imogene holds a special place in your heart. Much more than “imaging” ever will.

I’ll now hand the keyboard over to Jase to regale his take on this mornings exchange:

Jase here. Honestly there’s not much more to say. Mare was out of pocket; a total comic relief this morning. After she heard what she wanted to hear…the name I-M-O-G-E-N-E, she stood around looking like the only kid on the playground who didn’t get the punchline to the joke.

I’m allowed to poke fun of Mare. I tease her and say she’s not really a Ginger or Day Walker (with all of her cute freckles and gorgeous red locks of hair that stretch down to her butt). I say she’s more of a blonde dying her hair red. Or that she lives under the world’s deepest rock. Why? Cause she rips on me too. I’m pretty clueless. I have book smarts like math and physics, but when it comes to practical knowledge, that’s a different story. I have the street smarts of June Cleaver. But together….well we make up one well rounded brain…lemme just add a very good looking brain at that.

Mare here again.

There’s something about genuine laughter that lightens the heaviest of situations.

On our drive to the hospital, we listened to one of my favorite tunes. The lyrics help direct me to a better place. They remind me to honor all emotions and that we’re all in this together. Oooo this song gives me the “goosies” every time.

Write Damn It

Photo by me

Sit down and write. It’s what you love to do.

Ever since I was a little person I’ve enjoyed writing. Once I learned to read, I never stopped. A “bookworm” through and through.

It’s easy to pick up someone else’s writing.

Knowing you love writing and actually taking action, not so easy.

Especially when you’re the type of person who’s been waiting for the perfect first step their entire life and then you get so fucking antsy standing still you make impulsive decisions and take risks that make other people say WTF?

Perfect does not exist, nor will it ever exist.

Write because you love to write. Write because you see the miracle in constructing millions of words out of a measly 26 letters. Write because it makes you feel better. Write because it’s beautiful and it gives you a release. Write because freedom is found in words.

There are no rules here.

Throw off whatever you think is holding you back.

Become light as a feather and don’t overthink it.

Being Bland Is Beautiful

Photo by me: “Bobcat Ridge” near our home

Do you ever feel “bland”?

It’s how I describe my mood and life at the moment.

I appreciate bland. For years I’ve been a “seeker”, looking for answers, looking for hobbies, looking for “IT”.

I’ve been addicted to novelty and the adrenaline rush of newness. I’ve never been settled.

It’s safe to say most of us go through a seeking phase in our youth. Feeling compelled to carve out who we are. Stand out. Be seen.

For years I sought physical and spiritual perfection. Subconsciously I wanted to prove I deserved to be here. I look back and chuckle at my antics.

Here I am with failing health, barely able to keep weight on my little body. I fluctuate between anger and gratitude.

I’m grateful for the slowing down. I’m letting go of fear, letting go of control, letting go of everything I thought I knew.

I am reminded that I am a spiritual being having a human experience. I am learning to be quiet and listen to Source.

Source is what I refer to as the “non-physical presence”. Call it whatever you want. God, Buddha, Universe. It’s all the same. I prefer Source.

I’m thankful for the stillness within, it’s why I feel bland. It’s a stark contrast to my constant “doing” that I’m accustomed to.

I have a feeling that my being forced to slow down will be one of the best things to ever happen to me.

Here’s a song by Rising Appalachia that I’m currently addicted to. They are sisters with powerful lyrics and music.