An Ode To Fuzzy Socks

Today I’m thankful for warm socks.

I try to present my life as it is.  I make of it what I will and move on.  I do not look for pity.  With that, I’m sensitive to cold due to an autoimmune condition.  My joints get stiff and very painful.  Warmth helps keep them mobile, allowing me to keep working.  Winters where I live can get extremely cold because of the topography.  There is very little to slow or redirect the wind.

One of the best presents I’ve ever gotten was a variety of knitted woolen socks from my grandmother.  They were all colours and fit inside my boots.  She purchased them from a fair trade group, ensuring that the artisans received compensation for their work.  I think they were from somewhere in the Himalayas.  They know how to handle the cold there!

The socks were also very slippery on my uncarpeted floors.  I had more fun than I probably should have gliding up and down the hall.

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A Garden Of One’s Own

I may be driving the subject into the ground.  I feel compelled to express my thoughts comprehensively.  All I can ask is that you bear with me.  Today I’m thankful for space to think.

One of the more useful aspects of retreating into silence is that one is forced to grapple with one’s thoughts.  Distractions are minimised so it really is just you and your brain.  I used what time I had to begin determining what I honestly, truly want, and what is extraneous.  I turn important life pages periodically and I think I’m approaching another.

I want a garden, divided into crops and flowering plants.  I can’t develop one at my apartment as I only have a small cement slab with a balcony overhead.  I need land.  With land would come a detached house, and a vehicle to haul garden “stuff.”  That vehicle would look better with a scruffy canine passenger.  I most want a garden, a house, a hauling vehicle and a dog, in that order.  I’ve figured out the “what.”  Now I need to work on the “how.”  It’s thrilling and scary in equal measure.

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Seeking Stillness

I did it again.  I apologize.  I’m still somewhat discombobulated after cramming so much travel into a short time.

My trip was a short retreat at a monastery.  I am not remotely spiritual.  However, I have yet to find any other places that offer such enveloping calm.  I love my work.  It can also be very stressful.  Occasionally I need to fully withdraw from my usual life and seek the quiet.  I’ve visited several different communities by using their retreat facilities.

This latest community has a moderately large vegetable garden.  I helped gather what was ready for harvest and sowed other crops for later in the year.  I tried to actually be helpful and not create more work for the overseer by my incompetence.  I’m not certain I met that goal but they were kind enough to remain silent.  I knew I’d needed to visit.  It wasn’t until returning home that I realized just how much I had needed to go.

Be kind to yourself.  You have one body and life.  Use them to maximise the good you do.

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(Slightly Less Un)happy Skies

Today I’m thankful for safe travels.

I navigated the skies safely.  My trip was fruitful.  I didn’t intend for there to be a lapse in posts but I was completely exhausted.  I caught an airplane cold.  My flights were without incident, and I was actually able to upgrade to first class for the first time in my life.  It was an exceptional experience.  I will probably continue to be relegated to cattle class, but they can’t take my short taste of leg room.

Still not me, but a little closer.

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I’m Putting A Lot Of Trust In Mr. Bernoulli

Today I’m thankful that I understand how modern aircraft fly.

I do not enjoy flying.  I did all right until stuck with my sister on a interminable, turbulent transoceanic flight.  She exclaimed “Weeeee!” more than once.  I was already unhappy about being crammed in a giant metal cylinder so high in the air that humans would suffocate outside the cabin.  She was the final tiny nudge.

I have to fly soon.  It’s a personal trip that I didn’t receive much advance notice about.  There are no direct flights between the nearest airport and my destination so I’ve got layovers both there and back.  I’m not particularly happy to be making the trip.  I’ll keep telling myself it’s all about lift.

I love my sister but I don’t travel with her any more than strictly necessary.

This is not me.

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The Majestic Basset Hound

Today I’m thankful for this picture.

There is no deeper meaning here.  It’s a picture of pure dog joy and it makes me happy.  I couldn’t stop laughing the first time I saw it.  The one on the right looks a bit like my sister after trying an avocado.  The dog on the left is more like me in the morning.  Dogs are about the best damn thing that have happened to humans.




Never Having To Ask For Directions Again

Today I’m thankful for maps and cartography.

I’m a map lover since childhood.  My late grandfather used to watch me before I started primary school.  He taught me numbers and letters.  My favorite times were when he would bring out his old atlas and Bible and show me where the named places actually were.  I’m irreligious, so that aspect clearly didn’t last, but I’ve been enamored of ancient geography for as long as I remember.  It’s because of him that I know the location of “Ur of the Chaldeans” (the stated home of Abraham) and I know how to say “Chaldean” (Kal-dee-uhn, for what it’s worth).

I studied geography at a post-graduate level.  Doing so enabled me to delve into the movements of people through history, examining how culture and language evolve through migration.  I also learned skills enabling me to pay my bills so it wasn’t all vanity study.  Maps can be incredibly beautiful, and place is a fundamental concept.  I still have his atlas, in case you wondered.


By Michel Wolgemut, Wilhelm Pleydenwurff (Text: Hartmann Schedel) (Own work (scan from original book)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Metal-er Than Thou

Today I’m thankful for the Angry Metal Guy.

I’ve mentioned being a bit of a metal head.  I lean more toward older stuff (RIP, Ronnie D.).  I’m a power/prog metal weenie and like some doom and math metal.  The NWOTHM is absolutely my thing.  I prefer clean vocals.  I’m not a fan of black metal.  I’m not offended by the antireligious aspect.  It’s mostly that the world is already so screwy that I don’t need to be any more nihilistic.  I enjoy learning about emerging artists and ludicrously specific subgenres (technical death slam, really?).  I’ve listened to this nonstop for the past several days.

The site manages to be informative and occasionally hysterically funny – see the comments on any Jorn Lande post.  This beauty is a good example.  Sourced via the Angry Metal Guy.  I do not own the video or song, and material on the Angry Metal Guy website is protected by copyright.

I think Monster Magnet may be my new favorite band name.


And Another Thing!

Today I’m thankful for red writing implements.

My employer regularly reviews policies relating to every aspect of our work.  There are thousands of them so it is a continuous process.  In a first, my group was asked for input on several that directly affect our work.  We were each given a paper copy and a red pen and told to have at.  I found a contradictory statement and wrote “logical fallacy!!!” in big red letters.  It made me feel better.  I’m easily amused.  I doubt we’ll have any appreciable impact on the final product but it won’t be from lack of trying.



Crafting Bluntly

Today I’m thankful for rude crafts.

I’ve been in a crafty mood of late.  My mother taught me basic needlecraft and I pick it back up when I need to work with my hands.  I’ve been working on a rude cross stitch.  It’s nearly finished.  It will probably be hung in one of the public areas of my apartment, as that’s just how I’ve been feeling about the world and things occurring in it.

This is what I’m working on.  I felt like being cautious about posting a photo.

Fun aside, King Henry VIII was said to be an “enthusiastic embroiderer.”