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Posts Tagged ‘dreams’

Baby it’s cold outside this morning. Brrrrr. I forgot to take the trash to the curb last night, so had to rush out early to get it out there before the truck came by. The gardeners, such as they are, filled the compostable bin to the brim with leaves, then it rained. Sigh. The bin felt like it weighed about two hundred pounds. I’m not a very big being, as I’ve mentioned previously, so it took a serious amount of huffing, puffing, and general physical prowess to wrestle the darn thing down the driveway. Such things you begin to notice, when you lose the man in your life. Some chores you just need a man to help you with. Hard for me to admit here because I like to think I am the mistress of my own domain, but true is true. I do miss my man.

Last week I had to break down boxes, which was a job Dale always took care of for me. He had some sort of handy dandy tool (a box cutter I would suppose), that broke down the cardboard nicely. I had an old steak knife, not nearly as handy dandy. I remember the first time I was single, many moons ago, the only tool I had in my toolbox was a kitchen knife. I swear I could have built a Mars landing craft with that dull old blade. Seriously. That knife was used to take screws off the bottom of the vacuum, assemble furniture, ward off marauders, you name it. I must admit I had to add a Phillips head screwdriver and a hammer to the mix to get the job done effectively after a while, but until I got married again, those three tools served me well.

I took a swing at the gardeners in my first paragraph, because using the term to describe the three men who show up in my yard ever other week really is overreach. They swoop down like buzzards on a fresh carcass, blow the leaves off the yard into a pile by the fence which returns as soon as the wind picks up to form it’s original blanket on my lawn. They cut an uneven swath over the front and back areas of green and are in and out in less than fifteen minutes. Once I asked them to trim the weeds in the front and when I went out to see what they had done there wasn’t a plant standing in my garden. Pitiful. They are my landlords choice. Since I have little control other than constructive input, I deal with them, but never again asked them to trim the weeds.

The yard is a really nice yard, have to say. The back yard is large, with a small cement patio and deck. There are lovely trees placed here and there about the property providing much needed shade during the summer. Unfortunately, the two large shade trees in the back yard were cut down by PG&E because they were interfering with the power lines. I miss the lovely umbrella they provided during the hot summer months, but certainly don’t want anything resembling kindling that close to my little house.

Yesterday I went with a friend to visit a psychic. I see you shaking your head. I went after Rick passed away as well. This lady appears to have an actual gift for seeing beyond our normal borders. I told her nothing and provided no useful information for her to build on. Letting her lean on her own resources, she once again provided a really interesting reading for my yankee dollars. For those of you who view this as total nonsense or a sort of shell game, I say “don’t knock it until you’ve tried it”. Not all professing to have such a gift actually do, of course. As with everything, there are those who are just in it to relieve you of your money. This lady always delivers, not only on being spot on on so many things she has to say but on the entertainment value. Both she and the lady who writes a horoscope I read at the beginning of each month are saying the coming year is going to be a stellar one. “Yay”, says I. I am really ready to get in line for something uplifting and soul changing. Sign me up, please and don’t hold the mayo.

I am dragging a bit this morning. Had a restless night. Sometimes my dreams are soooooo real and decidedly unsettling. Perhaps this is the side effect of an overly active mind. Last night I was in a big city. I somehow perceived it as San Francisco, though it looked nothing like my favorite California city. First, I was lost in an office building. I couldn’t seem to get out of the elevator, at one point zooming up to the penthouse where the occupants weren’t particularly pleased to find me there. When I finally did get off in the lobby, I had no idea what street I was on, and couldn’t remember where on earth I’d parked my car. Apparently, I finally located it because next I was speeding down dark and unfamiliar streets with no idea where I was going or how to get home. Next, I was in a massive shopping mall. While struggling to find an exit, I apparently won a new house filled with furniture. I stood in front of a crowd in the center of the mall with a family I did not recognize to receive my bounty. I remember willing myself to wake up. When I did, I was in a bog for an hour before I again felt familiar with my surroundings. What a strange mind I have. Sometimes it worries me. Perhaps someone will take the time to study it when I’m no longer using it and let me know what’s up with that. Was I to analyze it, employing no dream analyzing skills whatsoever, I could see easily I’m feeling a bit lost and not sure where to go from here. Who the strange family was standing in the mall with me, is your best guess.

I am trying to get my outside errands done today, and visit with my mom tomorrow, before we finally are to be entertaining some winter weather here in Northern California. For those of you born with ski poles in your hands this will be welcome news. For me, I will be tucked inside with my tree lights glowing in the background, watching my Christmas movies, downing an eggnog latte and wrapping presents.

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Last night was a restless one for me. It culminated with an unsettling dream that woke me up out of a druggy kind of sleep about 4 a.m. In this dream, I was walking along a beautiful strand of beach. My mind recognized it as Laguna Beach, a beach in Southern California I frequented often as a teen and young adult. The dunes of sand rose steeply upward, creating a long sloping ridge which culminated at a sidewalk high above. To get to level ground, meant first traversing the slope. The sand looked particularly coarse, more the consistency of brown sugar than normal beach sand might appear. Each time I attempted to climb up that slope, I would make it about half way, then slide back down to the bottom. Was I to attempt to analyze my dream, having no expertise in the field whatsoever, I’d take a guess perhaps this speaks to the one step forward three steps back feeling I’ve been having of late. I know it’s two steps back in the original saying, but in my case three feels more accurate. Finally, after pushing forward using everything I had, I made it to street level. Standing there on the pavement, strangers passed by on either side of me. No one acknowledged me, and I, in turn, didn’t acknowledge them. Somehow I realized I had no car, and I knew I was very far from home. Starting to wonder how I would ever find my way back, I woke myself up. I must have been a very deep sleep state, for when I awoke it felt like I was in a dense fog. My eyes were open, but my brain remained firmly planted in “sleep mode”.

No matter how dire the situation, I am a creature of routine. Once I’m awake, I use the bathroom, brush my teeth, and then head for the kitchen to push brew on the coffee maker. Was the house on fire, I believe this is so embedded in my DNA, the smell of fresh coffee brewing would be the first thing firefighters noticed on entering the building. This morning I was wandering about after my dream like a drunk trying to get out of his own way the morning after. Even the cat was giving me a wide berth, instead of winding about my legs as she usually does. The house is at full capacity at the moment, with people in every room. Being a rather petite dwelling, it was really built to accommodate one or two. When you add additional bodies to the mix, it means if you are running water in the kitchen, most likely someone trying to sleep in an adjacent room is pulling a pillow over their heads. When I am trying to be quiet, it is often the exact time I manage to make the most noise. Why is that? Perhaps it is a natural occurrence in nature? Of course, it could be it is just me. I do know when I’m trying to keep the noise level at a minimum, it is when things to go to hell in a hand basket around here. First, I opened the cupboard above my washing machine for some unknown reason. Many of my cleaning products such as bathroom sprays, room deodorizers etc. are housed there. Certainly I have never stored the coffee next to my toilet cleaner. Each cupboard in my house is like a Chinese puzzle because I have more stuff than storage, and this one is no exception. Why I was standing there like an idiot looking into this particular cupboard trying to locate the coffee defies explanation. I moved one thing to the side, just one little box. Uh-oh. The entire pyramid of cans above it came tumbling out of the cupboard bouncing with a resounding, bing, bang, boom off the washer lid before landing solidly one after another on the tile. One of the caps had even popped off and was rolling around in a circle like a top. Oops. I can’t be sure, but I believe I heard a muffled expletive uttered somewhere in the house with my name attached to it. Sorry.

Another annoying thing about sharing digs with me I’m sure, is I’m up with the roosters, if not before. Actually, the roosters text me asking for a wake up call. I work on this, I try to do better, but my mind has a 4 a.m. set wake up time and I can’t seem to adjust the dial. God knows I’ve given it my best. Seriously, trains could set their schedules by my internal clock. If someone is staying at the house and I decide to catch an early morning program, I use the closed captioning feature so as not to disturb. No matter what, and it seems only when someone is sleeping elsewhere in the house, I turn the TV power on to find the sound set on 56. My neighbors two doors down could follow what I’m watching. Frantically, I then struggle to mute the darn thing, but assuredly someone in the house has just levitated off their mattress before I find the button. Again, sorry.

Finally, this morning I located the coffee. Surprise, I located the coffee where I keep the coffee and coffee supplies and have since I moved in. Who knew? Definitely, some caffeine was needed at that point. Pushing brew I turned to go back in the bedroom. As I walked past the sink I noticed the pot still sitting in there. That would be the coffee pot, yes. I knew I had poured the water in before activating the brew cycle. Turning, I could see the coffee was happily pouring out onto the counter with the grounds floating on top of it. Yay. Now, I was swearing. Cleaning up coffee grounds is like trying to pick up a greased pig. You just get a firm hold of them and then they slip away. Even found some stuck to the bottom of my sock. At last I managed to pour new water in the trough, put the filter in the proper receptacle, add coffee, and brew a pot. Good Lord.

My stomach began to growl. Not wanting to make any more noise, I thought of boiled eggs. Protein always get my motor primed in the morning. A couple of soft boiled eggs and a piece of wheat toast sounded like what I needed to get things moving in a forward direction, and raise me out of my stupor. Taking out my small saucepan, I boiled some water and dropped two lovely large eggs in it. Reaching for my chicken timer on the counter, I set it for four minutes. Hearing my cellphone go off in the bedroom, I padded off to see who was calling so early. I answered in my “inside voice”. A friend I hadn’t spoken to in a while was calling to check up on things and see how Dale was doing. As I mentioned in a previous blog, my partner Dale, is dealing with a cancer diagnosis at the moment. Getting involved in the conversation, I completely forgot I had put the eggs on to boil. Yup. In about a half an hour the smoke alarms began to go off. What the…..? Ah so, a light went off in an otherwise dark tunnel. Inside the tunnel a sign was illuminated that read simply “the eggs are boiling”. Insert expletive here. Flying into the kitchen I found the ashen remains of what had once been two large white eggs most likely permanently fused to the bottom of the pan. Ach. By the time I managed to quiet the third alarm, good news, everyone was up now. All four were standing before me, not any one of them wearing their happy faces. Good morning!!

Truly, had I set out to make as much noise as possible, I really couldn’t have done a better job. Well, other than if I’d set up a Chinese gong in the hallway and began pounding away on that, or invited the Marine Corp Band to practice in the living room. Sigh. I do try, I really do.

Last night in the middle of the night, I woke up to the feeling my life no longer looked familiar to me. This, I’m sure is because of all the turmoil going on in it at the moment. Undoubtedly this chaos contributed to the weird dreams I was having as well.

Some days you simply need to go back to bed and remain there until the dark cloud passes overhead. One has to hold on to sunny outcomes even if the sky is dark and rain seems imminent. Tomorrow, thankfully, is another day and I will do better. I know this to be true. Happy Friday to you.

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Photo by Susie Nelson

It is 2 a.m. and after easily an hour of flip flopping and counting backwards from 200 by 3, which usually works by the way, I found myself not only wide awake but sitting at my keyboard.  Sometimes it’s garlic, but tonight a particularly bad dream was the culprit. Let me say first while following that train of thought, I am a prolific dreamer. If the ones I remember are half of those I have, I must dream from the time I close my eyes at night until they open again in the morning.  Lately, not surprisingly many seem to center around moving, but here and there in the night my subconscious insists on throwing in what I refer to as “the bear dream” for good measure.  Doing some research on the subject out of curiosity, in the world of psychologists and psychiatrists dreams are generally considered your subconscious mind trying to work out a problem or dilemma faced in your waking world while you sleep.  Interesting.  That being said, it would seem on some level I have issues with the bear.

Jung feels animals represent different aspects of the personality symbolic of untamed emotional parts of a person’s psyche. Thus, the key element in interpreting what emotional part of you is being expressed in a bear dream is to focus on what the bear means to you and how your bear dreams make you feel.  To discover the meaning I first have to establish what bears represent to me personally?  Um, big teeth, bigger claws, a taste for humans and I do not mean as a choice of companions. I don’t know.  One article I read said I have mother issues.  What, don’t we all?

While pondering the complexities of my inner mind, it got me thinking of conscious dealings I’ve had with the beasts through the years. Surely Jung’s versions are of a symbolic nature rather than actual. In the realm of reality, looking back, at least three times I had actual or too close for comfort contact with bears.

My first encounter with the beast would have been in my sophomore year of high school.  It was to be the only time we ever went camping as a family and Yosemite was the chosen venue.  As I recall, it was a glorious week in the great outdoors.  My stepbrother and I roughed it under the stars in sleeping bags on cots while our parents enjoyed the comfort of a real bed of sorts in a rented trailer close by.  On the second night I was shaken awake by my stepbrother, two years my junior.  Eyes focusing, I could see him frantically gesturing towards a large brown bear (Well, are there any small ones?) losing a noisy fight with a locked trash can close by.  Grabbing our sleeping bags, we slunk to the trailer, and knocked on the door. No answer forthcoming, the only other option was to climb in the car, which we did without discussion.  It was mid-summer and sticky hot outside even at the late hour, but the windows remained shut. Losing his battle with the now dented trash bin, the hirsute bad boy pointed his snout in the air and, apparently smelling young meat in the area, turned in our direction.  Oh-oh.  I can see those curious brown eyes examining us like we were a couple of salmon swimming upstream.  Lumbering across the campsite he stopped just outside the car window. From our vantage point we could see the patterns in his fur and almost smell his undoubtedly fishy breath.  My bowels got looser than a prison snitch’s tongue. After what seemed a lifetime, but probably only a brief inspection, he seemed to decide the task of prying us out of our metal container too much trouble for a midnight snack.  Losing interest, he uttered several derisive grunts and wandered off towards the woods. That was the last real sleep I got until we returned home the following weekend.

The next time would have been when my children were small. Their dad and I took them on a cross-country odyssey lasting nearly a year in our old Ford station wagon.  During our time on the road we explored most of the states and dabbled in the eastern Canadian provinces as well.  At one point, we slept outside a zoo somewhere in Ontario. Lulled to sleep by muffled roars and growls coming from the cages inside the fence, it wasn’t long before our young charges were nudging us to sleep inside the car.  Seems there’s a pattern developing here.  Surviving the night, we washed off at a rest stop and stopped for steaming plates of fresh blueberry pancakes smothered in real Canadian maple syrup at a charming country inn. Too gorged to sit in the car, we explored the beautiful gardens surrounding the inn.  Far to the rear of the property we were surprised to discover a live bear pacing agitatedly in a relatively small cage.  If bears can look sad, this one did.  A handwritten sign reading “Do Not Feed the Wildlife” hung on one corner.  I had the overwhelming urge to free this poor creature, though thinking back had I done so I more likely would have been breakfast than ordering it.

The last encounter, or near encounter, I had with a bear was most likely a grizzly and once again it was on Canadian soil. In 1999 we had a family reunion in one of the more perfect settings Canada has to offer, Jasper, Alberta.  Our lodge sat on a ridge overlooking a river popular with the local raft guides.  Each family pod had their own cabin equipped with full kitchens and a fireplace.  There were 22 of us in total, 6 being children, and each night we would meet for cocktails at 5:00 and then convene to the “cabin of the night” for a meal prepared by whoever was staying there.  It was so much fun, meals ranged from Beef Wellington to delicate stuffed whole salmon.  Bears are a fact of life in the area, along with a wide variety of wildlife.  Cars would stop on the road to allow mountain goats to pass, or a small herd of elk.  Several bears were sighted off the road provoking flash bulbs to blink in each of our cars, and signs advising tourists as to what to do if approached by one on a trail were posted everywhere you went.

One morning I took my mother and her younger sister for a nature walk.  Being the youngest member of the trio I felt responsible for the other two ladies.  Instructed by the men in our group with regard to bear safety we took a stick and headed down a trail abutting the river bank.  Soon we came across piles of fresh scat and the hair on the back of my neck began to prickle.  A ruffing sound came from up ahead and rustling in the bushes.  All thoughts of standing my ground, lifting my arms, and looking big flew out the window, and I dragged the two older ladies back along the trail behind me as though flying two kites on a mountainside.  It took two hours and a nice glass of chardonnay to get my heart to return to a normal beat.  Perhaps the bear is a sign, but whatever it is I would like to downsize to, say a bunny, or a kitten for a change of pace.

This recipe is so easy and versatile.  It’s a great way to use leftover noodles and tastes as though you devoted some time to it. Often with recipes I end up with extra farfalle or egg noodles. I freeze them and pull them out when it’s time to enjoy this yummy side dish.

Simply Delicious Fried Noodles

2 cups cooked Farfalle or egg noodles
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Either cook pasta according to package directions if not using leftovers, or use leftover noodles.

In large skillet heat butter and olive oil over med. heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3 mins. Add noodles to skillet. Cook until light golden brown, about 8 mins. stirring frequently (some noodles will be a bit crispy on edges). Sprinkle with parsley, red pepper flakes (optional) and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Remove from heat. Serve immediately with remainder of Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

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