Tuesday, 27 April 2010

An April Afternoon

About two weeks ago, my parents and I went out to the beach and took a walk. It was a beautiful, clear and sunny day. Very nearly perfect, for April. And these are just a few of the shots I got while messing about with Dad's camera.

I love the mountains, ice and snow and all.

And seafoam is just gorgeous. Doesn't it just make you think of merfolk and fairytales?

I just wish this photo had come out with the real blue of the shell. Perhaps I should edit it so that you can see just how vibrant these really are!

It is the horn of the ocean... and if my ears were small enough, I'm sure I could have heard Poseidon's echo...

My lovely parents.

When I was little, I used to collect all the pink shells I could find, and my brother got all the white ones like this. I think I had a couple hundred at one point. They are about the size of my thumb nail now.

Yes, there was still ice and snow on the beach, and yours truly was wearing sandals. Without socks, no less! I think I love being back in Alaska where that is perfectly okay.

And there is my Mount Redoubt, the one who blew up last spring. And she's steaming again!

It Really Is Over...

...I just need someone to tell my brain that!

When I woke up this morning, I instinctively grabbed my bottles of medication. And then remembered that they are indeed empty. Trust me, it doesn't get much better than the feeling I had when I realised that I'd really done what seemed so impossible just last summer.

I'm still exhausted. But hey, I get to talk to the health nurse today and see what follow up is. I'm hoping she'll tell me something that will help me get away from that, and start to feel "normal" again.

And I got to work a full day yesterday. And I have work again today. Let's just hope I don't drop like a fly this evening.

Sometime, here soon, I shall post a bunch of photos that were taken over the course of this month. I promise. I just have this new era of life kinda monopolizing my brain.

Monday, 26 April 2010

The End of An Era

Today marks the end of nine months. What's so special about that?

Nine months was the length of treatment I've been on. And it's over. I finished my medications just two hours ago. And it feels so good to know that there are no more pills waiting for me tomorrow morning.

I can move on. I can rebuild my immune system. I can live a kinda normal life again.

And that, that feels good.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Earth Day!

I hope you have all had a lovely Earth Day, for those in America. Mum and I went to the local college where there were different booths with information on conservation and gardening. Also, there were talks and presentations about groups who are working for renewing the earth in our area.

After a few hours, we went to my favourite coffee shop and picked up more grounds for composting. It was a lovely, sunny day which made it feel like we are starting to enter the warmer months at last. Soon, we will be gardening in earnest, the sunlight hours will be long, and we won't be sleeping until about August!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Losing Sight of the Big ... Camera?

No, I haven't lost sight of the big picture. I think... But I have managed to lose a camera while I was at it.

I really miss having my camera to capture the moments of my days. Yes, it's been two weeks now that Aramis has been missing. I'm pretty much giving up on ever finding him again. It's sad, because I am now limited to using my father's camera. I know it's better than Aramis (who was a dearly beloved point-and-shoot basically), but still, it's not as handy to be carrying around an SLR brick for snapping shots of the little things that I notice in my day.

So, now I'm going to have to look at getting a new camera. And what sort it will be will depend on whatever it is that I'm going to be doing with my life this fall. At this point, I don't really want to think about that, I don't care, and it doesn't even feel like I have any say in that anyways.

You'll have to forgive me for not posting photos, and thus not posting as much about my day-to-day life. I really think that's why I've been linking so much to music lately, rather than writing actual bits about life. Plus, I'm not really that interesting, especially when I'm feeling a bit out of it. I promise I'll get back into it all here soon. There are several posts bouncing around my head. About sustainability, about the lifestyle I am trying to live. About jumping off the gerbil wheel of the consumerist society that I am surrounded by, and trying to live deliberately and with nature. About trying to reduce processing, waste and environment-damaging toxins in my life. About composting, forests, plants, and my love for natural fibres and materials. About slowing down and learning how to breathe again after my time in the fast-paced, earth-forgetting world of New York.

All those posts are running like crazy in contrasting circles about my brain. Along with several stories, poems and songs. If only I had the motivation to actually write them. Which is also missing in other areas, like knitting (gasp!) and reading. Sometime soon, this being sick has just got to stop.

Music of the North

What do I do when I'm sick and not feeling like leaving my room? Well, I read, write and listen to music, of course! In the course of the day, I discovered the existence of the bukkehorn. What is that?

Well, it's a type of instrument from Norway. And that's about all I know of it. I originally linked to it because I was listening to a piece by Tveitt, and one of the comments mentioned that the folk-piece he was using was meant for something called the bukkehorn.

And then I heard this:

So, I got hooked into listening to a lot more clips of this gorgeous instrument. I'm guessing it's some sort of goat's horn used to make the instrument, like a cross of a flute and a horn. Also, this music doesn't sound like it'd be too hard to figure out by ear, so I may have something to work on with my fiddle. I miss fiddle music, but have found myself bored with straight classical and even celtic fiddle recently.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Baking Soda Is My Super-Power

Once, at school, I was told that I was the queen of using baking soda for anything. I guess it's true. But there is so much you can do with it! I'm constantly finding new things that it does.

Take today. I decided that the henna I put in last November was just needing to go. It's mostly faded out, but there's a definite part where you can still see the reddish tint in my hair. And then there's about five centimeters of blonde above it. I decided I want it to go back to blonde. Ooh, and I wanted the rest of my hair to be a lighter blonde than it is now.

I look online to see how to get henna to fade even more from blonde hair. The cure? Baking soda and molasses, or honey. A new use for baking soda!!!!

And how to lighten your hair? Well, baking soda, honey, and chamomile tea.

Definitely a fan!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

A Brief Look at How Coffee Affects My Life

Today was one of those lovely days where it just feels great to be alive. The sun shone, the winds blew, and I took several long walks and bike rides. And drank many cups of coffee. When I say many, that means I lost count after six. No, I don't struggle with a coffee-addiction- I thrive with it. I may even be about 90% coffee by now. Forget water, I run on coffee. (I may not even have blood in those veins anymore.)

I may still be a bit on a coffee buzz as I write this. At 23:15. But part of my high definitely has to be from spending the majority of my day outside.

And Mum thinks that I make good soup. (Next time, though, I won't listen to her 'cause there were way too many carrots in that soup!) Soup may do nearly as much good for one's being as coffee. But only nearly. Coffee is definitely king.

Maybe I like being outside because most of our future composting material is coffee grounds. They are stored directly below our deck. So, when it rains, or is really sunny, or windy... you get a caffeine buzz from just going outside.

I love my life.

Ok, originally this post was going to be about something much different, but obviously coffee took over. Maybe tomorrow I can post more on track. That may depend on how much coffee I consume.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

While the Wind is Playing With Your Sweater

Yes, more Alexander Rybak....

So, I'm really liking how he paints with his voice and violin. I'm quite jealous. Musically, he is what I want to be as an author and artist. I remember how Andromanche was into Ingrid Michaelson for awhile for a simliar reason; now, I've found my musical parrallel.

I love the Proclaimers version of this that I first heard in Benny and Joon, but I really liked his quite bit.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Glance At the Pouring Rain

Have I ever mentioned that I like strange combinations of music?

This was one of my favourites I found last autumn, but never got around to sharing on here. I was such a bad blogger back then, wasn't I? Shame.

I think I'm back into liking Norwegian fiddle music. And then too, it doesn't hurt that he's singing about fairytales.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Happy Reading to You!

Well, I worked two days so far this week, and ran out of things to do, which is very frustrating. So now, I'm back at home, looking for more work, and contemplating the eternal question.
What DO I want to do with my life?
You know, I like it better when I don't start asking that. Anyways, I have some different ideas for answers bouncing around my head. I'll post if I "decide" on any course of action.
But the cool thing was that I went to get the mail, and found that my mother had started suscribing to Mother Earth News shortly after I went to HC, and a new issue came in today.
When I returned home, Mum brought out two other issues for me to look at, so now I have plenty of reading material until they next call me into work.
Happy day indeed.

Monday, 5 April 2010

O Thou, In Whose Presence

O Thou in whose presence my soul takes delight,
On whom in affliction I call;
My comfort by day and my song in the night,
My hope, my salvation, my all.

Where dost Thou, dear Shepherd, resort with Thy sheep
To feed them in pastures of love?
Say, why in the valley of death should I weep,
Or alone in this wilderness rove?

Oh why should I wander, an alien from Thee,
Or cry in the desert for bread?
Thy foes will rejoice when my sorrows they see,
And smile at the tears I have shed.

He looks, and ten thousand of angels rejoice,
And myriads now wait for His word;
He speaks, and eternity, filled with His voice,
Re-echoes the praise of the Lord.

Dear Shepherd, I hear, and will follow Thy call,
I know the sweet sound of Thy voice;
Protect and defend me, for Thou art my all,
And in Thee I will ever rejoice.
--Joseph Swain
I grew up hearing this song on Fernando Ortega's CD "This Bright Hour". I never knew it was about 200 years older than the CD. But in the last few days, I've listened to it quite a lot, and feel in love, again, with the beauty and simplicity of Ortega's version. Unfortunately, I cannot find a recording online, so you'll just have to take my word for it. This is a beautiful prayer and reads so much like a Psalm.
I hope you all had a beautiful, restive Easter celebration!

Saturday, 3 April 2010

He Who Overcame Death

To Mrs. John Luther, May 20, 1531

Should any thought of sin or death frighten us, let us lift up our hearts and say: ‘Behold, dear soul, what are you doing ? Dear death, dear sin, how is that that you are alive and terrify me? Do you not know that you have been overcome? Do you, death, not know that you are quite dead? Do you now know the one who has said of you, ‘I have overcome the world’? It does not behoove me to listen to or heed your terrifying suggestions. I shall pay attention only to the cheering words of my Savior, ‘Be of good cheer, be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ He is the Conqueror, the true Hero, who in these words, ‘Be of good cheer,’ gives me the benefit of his victory. I shall cling to him. To his words and comfort I shall hold fast. Whether I remain here or go yonder, he will not forsake me. You would like to deceive me with your false terrors, and with your lying thoughts you would like to tear me away from such a Conqueror and Savior. But they are lies, as surely as it is true that he has overcome you and commanded us to be comforted.

(Martin Luther)
A dear friend from HC passed this lovely passage on to me from some reading that she did. I just knew I wanted to keep it for this Resurrection Weekend.

Friday, 2 April 2010

I joy to call Thee mine...

O sacred Head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded with thorns, Thine only crown;
O sacred Head, what glory, what bliss till now was Thine!
Yet, though despised and gory, I joy to call Thee mine.

What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered, was all for sinners’ gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ’Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor, vouchsafe to me Thy grace.

Men mock and taunt and jeer Thee, Thou noble countenance,
Though mighty worlds shall fear Thee and flee before Thy glance.
How art thou pale with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn!
How doth Thy visage languish that once was bright as morn!

Now from Thy cheeks has vanished their color once so fair;
From Thy red lips is banished the splendor that was there.
Grim death, with cruel rigor, hath robbed Thee of Thy life;
Thus Thou hast lost Thy vigor, Thy strength in this sad strife.

My burden in Thy Passion, Lord, Thou hast borne for me,
For it was my transgression which brought this woe on Thee.
I cast me down before Thee, wrath were my rightful lot;
Have mercy, I implore Thee; Redeemer, spurn me not!

What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.

My Shepherd, now receive me; my Guardian, own me Thine.
Great blessings Thou didst give me, O source of gifts divine.
Thy lips have often fed me with words of truth and love;
Thy Spirit oft hath led me to heavenly joys above.

Here I will stand beside Thee, from Thee I will not part;
O Savior, do not chide me! When breaks Thy loving heart,
When soul and body languish in death’s cold, cruel grasp,
Then, in Thy deepest anguish, Thee in mine arms I’ll clasp.

The joy can never be spoken, above all joys beside,
When in Thy body broken I thus with safety hide.
O Lord of Life, desiring Thy glory now to see,
Beside Thy cross expiring, I’d breathe my soul to Thee.

My Savior, be Thou near me when death is at my door;
Then let Thy presence cheer me, forsake me nevermore!
When soul and body languish, oh, leave me not alone,
But take away mine anguish by virtue of Thine own!

Be Thou my consolation, my shield when I must die;
Remind me of Thy passion when my last hour draws nigh.
Mine eyes shall then behold Thee, upon Thy cross shall dwell,
My heart by faith enfolds Thee. Who dieth thus dies well.

--Bernard of Clairvaux

Thursday, 1 April 2010


Just a little something that was running through my head today...
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