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Phall Photo Friday; A Few Map Inches and 3 Counties

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Or…between The Cascades and The Olympics.  Like the eyes on the portrait that follow your every move, these mountain ranges gaze down at you, no matter the direction you travel. You may not always even see them, but they are there… more Between Inlets and the Ocean photos on myPhall Photos blog here: http://wp.me/p3J4Ab-fU

My regular dental clinic is only 40 minutes away, a beautiful drive through coastal forests and along Willipa Bay.  I spent my birthday yesterday traveling over 200 miles, to and from, a visit to the oral surgeon. From the Pacific Ocean, into Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, flow inlets, bays, canals, lakes and rivers. They flow over, through and around the luscious green forested lands of Western Washington. I did thoroughly enjoy the drive home across a few unknown map inches and three counties.

A Lesson: Let Go Of The Worry and Grab Onto The Good Stuff

My neighbor drove as I fretted and worried: Would the surgeon require I.V. sedation? How would I come up with the advance cash to pay for it? Could I convince him that I am just too afraid of general anesthesia (which I am)? Will luck be with me and the surgeon be a decent person? I was prepared to walk away if he was a stoic, judgmental creep, like some that have worked on my teeth.

How many dentists, dental students, assistants, and hygienists have had their fingers in my mouth over the years? Such an intimate thing, made clinical by necessity. Probe my ears, look up my nostrils, but please leave my other orifices to me.

I didn’t request one single photo stop on the way there; I was too busy worrying. What a waste of the beauty on the scenic route we traveled! After the two-and-a-half hour trip I was buzzing with negative energy. After pacing the waiting room floor for an hour…well, you may wonder if the dental surgeon even survived our meeting. 

The black-clad assistant led me to the consultation room. I studied the detailed tooth poster on the wall. I nervously eyed the instruments on the counter. The assistant displayed the panoramic x-ray of my mouth and jaw on a small screen next to me. She took my blood pressure (high, for me) and walked out the door, making promises about how soon the doctor would be in. 

Every one of the employees wore black tops and bottoms. Weird, after all the cheerful? bunnies and rainbows and colorful uniforms on personnel at the many hospitals and clinics I have been in. I kind of liked it. Sure, black may have been a bad choice for a place where clients are mostly afraid and nervous, but I liked the uniformity (pun?) of them all wearing the same color.

In walked Dr. Calm and I fell instantly, deeply in love. Not with the man, per se, but with the feeling he brought into the room with him. The atmosphere filled with calm, until there was no space available for my fear, anger, angst and worry. He spoke softly, he smiled, his movements were casual, he kept eye contact, and he laid aside every ounce of worry baggage that I had brought along with me. I gathered up that pile of worry and dropped it into the garbage can on my way out the door.

The drive home was spectacular.

Phall Photo Friday is a weekly feature here. Phall= P(atti) Hall.

Patti, the worry-less one (for now)


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Memoir Monday 4

beach

On my beach 2013

Part 2

Nature Heals: A Non-Scientific Study

A 5-year, blinded by multiple deaths of loved ones, study.

After Paul died (Aug 2009) I spent my few waking hours out on the back deck of our home. From my lofty vantage point, I soaked up the panorama of our own overgrown lawn and gardens and the wild acreage surrounding them. Beyond all the love and support of our circle of family and friends, nature itself helped bring me back to life. In Memoir Monday 3 I wrote about my experiences with nature immediately after Paul’s death. If you missed it, you can catch up here: Memoir Monday 3  http://wp.me/p3i5jo-wA

 

When our home and property was stripped in the name of “estate business” and I no longer felt the essence of Paul within those walls, I ran away to the beach. I’ve told that part of the story before. Once again, nature brought me back to life.

Excerpts from the beach cave, February-March 2010:

I think about the cool agates I found earlier in the day and the beautiful sunset I watched from the beach. Ahhh, this is the life.

The beach was a comedy of errors today, with lots of treasures found. It started out cloudy with sun breaks, and yes, very windy. I had on my layers, rolled up the cuffs of my pants, grabbed a wad of tissues for the runny nose, and was off. Just yesterday I figured out to roll up my pants, instead of having them drag in the sand and soak me to my calves. All vestiges of vanity were left in the truck; I looked ridiculous, with a smile. I found 2 awesome pieces of driftwood right off the bat. Along with a half-dollar sized yellow agate, I seemed to be on a rock hunt today. So many beauties, mostly green, but I got some interesting layered ones and a big maroon rock with white streaks in it.

Weekends get busy here, and I usually don’t go down to the beach if there are tons of people, but I just needed to today. They were all wimpy tourists, and pretty soon I had the whole stretch practically to myself. A couple of women were griping about “slim pickings today”. I’m not sure what they were looking for, maybe twenty-dollar bills? I was finding a little of everything, including a teeny tiny sand dollar. You know me; I was having a freaking blast. Kid in a candy store kind of fun. Like that. Pretty soon I look up and I am alone on the entire beach, some dark clouds are hanging over me, but I keep doing what I do. I sneak down to the get a peak at the good stuff when the tide goes out, grab a shell or rock, and then race back to safety when the waves come back to try and get me. This is good good exercise. I also laugh at myself a lot and thank the waves and the ocean when they bring me a goody—out loud. You know, just being my own crazy self.

In the middle of my dance with the waves a little hail started falling. I look up to judge how far away my truck is (a long way) and keep on hunting. It has briefly hailed on me the last several days, no big deal. Next the rain came, in seconds it was pouring. No, I didn’t bring a damn umbrella down to the beach. I have a perfectly good hood on my coat…that was soaked through and dripping in my eyes within minutes. Of course, as it goes when you hang out with Murphy, the wind kicked up. The big meaty front parts of my legs are numb from wind and ice cold rain. My hands are now too wet, but I attempt to put my gloves on, no such luck, I shove them back in my pockets. With all this water from the ocean, water from the sky, well, now I have to pee so bad I’m almost in tears. By the way, I am STILL looking at the goodies on the sand, and even picking up a few. I am a diehard. The rain stopped by the time I wearily climbed the huge sandy bank and reached the bathrooms. Standing under the eaves of the building is about 7 wimpy tourists. I said, “You chickens!” One smarmy lady replied, “No, we just know when to come in out of the rain.”

So, I finally figured out to roll up my pant legs, but it is a moot point, since I am soaked from top to toes anyway. GRRRR. Now, fully warm (I finally changed my propane tank), I’m gonna curl up with a hot cup of coffee and my library books about agates, shells, seaweed, whales and other beach-living necessities. Home schooling at its best! (The common sense is supposed to come naturally.) Huh.

Each death that followed over the course of the next several years, plunged me back into darkness. Nature revived me again and again. I am held gently in the arms of solitude and nature. So many times I had no words to express my feelings of pain, guilt and loss. Instead, I’d reach for my camera to witness, record and share every angle of beauty that I could find.

My heart was lifted by this witnessing and sharing, and I felt like I could breathe again, that I could take the next step towards living.

And you responded with kind words about what you saw and enjoyed in my photos and words. You got it. These responses also helped/help bring me back to life.

Witnessing and photographing nature and other amazing and wondrous things is my sedative, my meditation, my prayer. I am reminded that, through all the pain of grief, beauty, joy and wonder still exists for me to witness and share.

Peace,

Patti


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Phall Photo Friday; The Bay and The Bike

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Wild Bleeding Hearts, Phall Photo 2014

See The Blossoming Of The Garden Bike on my photo blog, Phall Photos http://wp.me/p3J4Ab-fH

and Morning Glory Evening On Willipa Bay at http://wp.me/p3J4Ab-fq

I’m setting this to publish on Friday morn, as I’m off to more adventures. I’m going to see Kevin in Packwood. Hopefully, we’ll have good weather and I can go check on all the wild plants that I’ve been following with photos. I look forward to seeing how Kevin’s veggie garden is going too. Oh, and the hummingbirds. I hope to see some new birds at the feeders with seeds.

Saturday morn, we’re taking off for the Portland area to see his mom, Mrs. M. We’ll stay over one night, then head back to Packwood Sunday afternoon. The latest school shooting took place just down the road from his mom’s place. I can only imagine the anger, fear and sadness of that community. I took a lot of photos there this fall and it was one of the places I was going to take Kevin, but we’ll probably do that next trip. Instead, I hope I can find one of the back roads to some vineyards and a great view of Mt. Hood.

If we’re not too tired, we’ll probably play a game of pool and listen to some music. I’ll head home Monday, with a stopover in Centralia to see my children, grands and maybe an uncle, aunt or cousin. If there’s things for me to do at my aunt’s, I’ll probably stay the night at Sara’s.

Then I’m home for the rest of June, except a trip to Bremerton to consult with an oral surgeon. Since I got some white picket fence from my aunt, the secret garden has been extended, so there is a lot of work to do on that. Greg does most of the structure work and I do the planning and planting. I hope to incorporate a sampling of the wild plants, berry bushes and shrubs from the strip of woods on his property. They will go along the length of my beach cave, where there is mostly shade.

I’ll post again on Newsday Tuesday. Phall Photo Friday is a weekly feature here. Phall= P(atti) Hall.

Take Care,

Patti, the gypsy cave woman 🙂


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Memoir Monday 3

Wild Yellow Flag Iris with ivy-covered ghost cabin in background. Phall Photo 2014

Wild Yellow Flag Iris with ivy-covered ghost cabin in background. Phall Photo 2014

Nature Heals: A Non-Scientific Study, Part 1

A 5-year, blinded by multiple deaths of loved ones, study.

After Paul died (Aug 2009) I spent my few waking hours out on the back deck of our home. From my lofty vantage point, I soaked up the panorama of our own overgrown lawn and gardens and the wild acreage surrounding them. Beyond all the love and support of our circle of family and friends, nature itself helped bring me back to life.

Excerpts from my first few emails in late August to early September 2009 to our family and friends:

I’m watching the deer on the hill & the chickadees are singing their evening lullaby. There are many things I should be doing, but I will probably go back to bed. I did finally turn the soaker hoses off…after 3 days!

I woke up to a longggg, LOUD roll of thunder this morn. The pounding rain on the roof woke me several times last night, still pouring now. Bring on the ARK!

Oliver (my cat) is curled up next to me on the porch swing, dreaming of the good old days when he could get around better and we still had Paul and Jake (our dog) with us. I know what Oliver’s dreaming, cause that’s what I’m dreaming…

Earlier I described a gloomy, rainy day. Now, however, the sun has come out, the rain stopped, and a mist rises from the grassy field on the hill. I’ve been watching a fledgling red-tail hawk learn to fly. He’s resting on a high, thick fir tree branch, his wings drooping at his sides. Trying to balance his heavy wings, he follows the branch towards the center of the big tree; I think it is siesta time.
A light breeze just came from the south and swept away all of the dark clouds, leaving some bright white ones on the horizon, pushing the others to the north. The porch chimes are singing and one of the ducks on the pond is yakking. People, this is amazing! I’m listening to all sorts of birds singing about the sun coming out after nature’s shower.
I keep wanting to turn around and knock on the window to get Paul to come out and see these wonders; he never failed to show his enthusiasm for my discoveries. He never told me to wait a minute. He would put down whatever he was doing and mosey on out to see what I had found. He usually grabbed the camera too. Now, that makes me cry–how could we lose someone that special?
 
Pretty crazy weather day. That same breeze just filled the sky with more dark clouds and I’ll be damned if it isn’t raining again! Yesterday I finally planted the thyme, moss, and ornamental grass that have been sitting by the side of the house in their original store pots since May. I salvaged most of them and planted them in a big round bowl-shaped pot and sat it in the tall pot with dead things in it on the back porch. Another new rose bloomed in the temp perennial garden. This one is a large, fluffy pink one. I cut it yesterday and added it to a vase with a pink and light lavender gladiola. Collected and stored seeds from a cool Canterbury bell-like flower yesterday; one was light lavender, the other a deep purple. Hopefully we’ll get a couple more dry spells to collect more seeds, she says, as it pours buckets of rain on her garden… “What wild hopes lie here.” author unk.
Part 2, excerpts from beach cave notes and conclusion of my tongue-in-cheek “study” will be posted on June 23rd.

Thank you,

Patti

 

The Memoir Monday feature will be posted every other Monday.


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Phall Photo Friday; The Wild Side

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See Getting Wild On My Dentist Travels on my photo blog, Phall Photos http://wp.me/p3J4Ab-eQ

My dentist is 40 minutes away. I have to go, but I can have some fun on the way back!On the way to my appointment I was running late and could barely keep my truck on the road… I kept seeing cool things to photograph and explore. That’s why it took me two hours to get home 🙂 The road between Grayland and Raymond is filled with pullouts and logging roads. The winding 2-lane road holds back Willipa Bay on one side, and the wilds of the forest on the other side. Big job for such a little road. Of course, I was enticed by the wild side.

Phall Photo Friday is a weekly feature here. Phall= P(atti) Hall.

Patti, the wild one


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Patti’s News Day Tuesday 3

M. Angelou quote

Maya Angelou’s recent death is not necessarily news now, but one thing she said in a 2009 CNN interview, has stuck with me. I think it is the most news worthy thing I have read in the last two weeks, so I have dedicated this News Day Tuesday to her.

Our country needs us all right now to stand up and be counted. We need to try to be great citizens. We are necessary in this country, and we need to give something — that is to say, go to a local hospital, go to the children’s ward and offer to the nurse in charge an hour twice a month that you can give them reading children’s stories or poetry,” she said. “And go to an old folks’ home and read the newspaper to somebody. Go to your church or your synagogue or your mosque, and say, ‘I’d like to be of service. I have one hour twice a month.’

“You’ll be surprised at how much better you will feel,” she said. “And good done anywhere is good done everywhere.

From http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/28/us/maya-angelou-obit/index.html

Two more short, but powerful quotes I love by Maya Angelou:

 “Be present in all things and thankful for all things.” 

“We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.” 

This is the last line in a tribute that Maya wrote for Nelson Mandela, His Day Is Done: A Nelson Mandela Tribute. I believe that it also rings true about her.

“We will not forget you, we will not dishonor you, we will remember and be glad that you lived among us, that you taught us, and that you loved us all.” 

Gratefully Yours,

Patti