27, August 2021

I didn’t get the best night of sleep. My mind wouldn’t slow down. I felt like a race car with bicycle brakes. So I utilized the help of breathing exercises, eventually finding a resolve. Unfortunately I was left feeling slugish the remainder of the day. I did manage to grab a few hours of sleep before my day started with me leaving the house shortly after eight in the morning. Good thing I didn’t have to start pre dawn or I might not have made it. As I was driving down the driveway to leave I noticed the clearness held by the atmohpere. There were no clouds hanging low or high and the haze that has been on the horizon is nonexistent. This means I can see the volcano. It sure is a pretty site. A little unnerving as well, but it’s all part of living in the ring of fire. The chances of it doing the volcano thing are slim so I dno’t give it a large amount of attention with my thoughts. I do however spend some time observing it with my eyes. With one last glance it’s out the driveway and down the road. I’m taking my brother to his new employment. I do hope he enjoys it. 

The drive took about thirty five minutes and was beautiful the entire way. Up and down small hills, around bends that gave glimpsing views of glaciers and the bay, and through the shadows of a canopy threatening to dump its leaves. It is a remarkable drive and one I don’t mind making. Nature sure does help. After dropping my brother off I ran some errands, grabbed a chai, and came home to make a quick lunch. Nothing fancy, a turkey and cheese sandwich. I actually ate two. I then did some cleaning and headed off to go to work myself. It sure is pretty here. I had to make an unexpected stop as a cow moose and her calf decided to cross the road directly in front of me. It was super cool to be so close. They ended up stopping traffic in both lanes as speed wasn’t on their minds. From what I could tell most people didn’t mind. I could see the occupants of the other cars all raising cell phones for the inadvertent photo opportunity that was being provided. I was gawking too much to even think about taking a picture, but I’ll try better next time. The rest of the trip into work was uneventlful. Work however, wouldn’t be as lax. 

Working in the mental health industry has had it’s ups and downs. The pros far outway the cons for me, but there are always times when the con presents itself. Yesterday was one of those days. I’ve set healthy boundaries while co-creating positive relationships which has helped tremendously to foster rapport with coworkers and clients. Nonetheless struggles are unavoidable, e..g., the stressfullness that comes with irrational, potentially combative behaviour when a situation is perceived as a crisis by an individual and aid person isn’t able or doesn’t understand how to deal with or address it. Often it leads to a fickle situation. Eventually though these situations pass and composure is regained. These situations can however leave a mark. It’s also part of the reason for my lack of sleep. I’m constantly questioning myself, e.g., did I make the right choice, could I have done things differently, was I helpful, should I have used different terminology, etc. etc.. I’ve also acknowledged that these types of situations can lead to burnout. I’m safeguarding against the latter by understanding my work is meaningful, valuing the impact I have on others, and appreciating the value tha clients have in me. We shall show how it goes. I’m still excited and eager to go to work every day, so I would say I’m doing alright. I must confess that I still need to work on “letting go”. Seems a litte challenging for an empath who desires to help, but I’ll get there. Perhaps I’ll share what I’ve discovered in my next blog post. Anyway After work I arrived home shortly before twenty three thirty and was drained. As you can imagine I grabed a snack and hit the sack. I was too emotionally drained to write a post. 

Fertile lands are built upon volcanic aftermath

26, August 2021

Morning came too early today. I had a difficult night sleeping. My mind was heavy with thoughts of the past. The trickled in mid-day and didn’t seem to vanish. There was something there I needed to sleuth. I think I have concluded why and what I need to do. Not sure if I can follow through or not, but I will figure it out in the next few days. Anyway, there was a nice layer of frost today. I had to scrape the windshield. Nonetheless, it wasn’t bad. It didn’t take long for the car to heat up and I left early so I could get some cookies for a snack. I’ve been craving something sweet lately and can’t seem to find anything in the cabin that fits the description. So I bought some. It was a nice treat for myself. I also bought some bread and eggs while I was there. This would save me a trip after work. Work was nice today. Rather boaring as everyone watched football or slept most the day away. I did learn to play a little cribbage though. This was a fun reward. I must confess, my brain hurt afterwards. It’s a difficult game to learn but I was assured I would catch on within a month. Not sure if that means I’m a slow learner or it’s just that difficult. I’m going to split the difference and say a little of both. I also realized my life is full of fun houses as of late. When I’m not with my financial job I’m doing things on the preserve. Guess that’s why they say when you love your job it’s not really work. I arrived home tonight just in time to see the alpine glow creep up the snowy glaciers until it left only a shadow. I truly live in a beautiful place and one I’m beyond thankful for. Even walking out of the grocery store I found myself speaking the words “thank you” to no one in particular. Anyway, I chose to write this when I got home instead of waiting until bed. Just a littel change in the routine. It helps me keep things interesting. Anywho, until tomorrow 😀

Happy dreams make for happy mornings

25, August 2021

The first thought I found this morning was, “the cranberries are going to be delicious”. The frost covered the grass and twinkled with a shimmer. I’ve got some work today on the preserve and I’m eager to get at it. I’ll be working on a rerout that will add a couple switchbacks to the descending and ascending trail. But before that, pancakes. Cinnamon nutmeg vanilla pancakes actually. I wanted a festive welcoming to accompany the frost. They were delicious. I ate four. While cleaning up breakfast I decided to go ahead and create some room in the cabin for a new indoor endeavor. We’ll see what happens. Until then it’s trail time 😀 I get the appropriate gear and dive head first into it. It sure was nice to get some miles in and enjoy the crisp, clean air. I also found some late season nagoon berries that I munched on. Not to mention the scenery was breathtaking. The trail itself is a little sloppy, but it’ll only get better. Hopefully it’ll make the ups and downs a little more enjoyable for the guests.

I didn’t see any wildlife, but I also didn’t expect to. Not with the equipment being used. Shortly after finishing the work I had a video chatt with part of the heart family. Their smiles are so darn contagious. I enjoy talking to Ben. He’s an honest kid. The video lasted roughly an hour and a half before I said good-bye. I sure do miss the heart family. Oh the check engine light I mentioned a few days back. It’s off. It never came back on. It lasted for about one hundred feet that beautiful day and that was it. No complaints from me about it. While I’m on side quests: my brother introduced me to a new type of nut butter. It’s an almond cashew with chia, pumpkin, and flax seed. Hands down my favorite. Pair it with bread and mulberry jam. You’ll be satisfied to surpass tantalizing. At least this was my truth. May not be yours though. Anyhow, after my video chat I put a piece of beef in the pressure cooker. It’s the simplest way I’ve found to make shredded beef. In two and a half hours, without any work, it’s ready to serve for a sandwich. Falls apart with a fork. I really do enjoy simple meals. Lol, I spent the entire time it was cooking asleep; the subtle beep of completion brought me to consciousness. I shredded some sharp cheddar and ate two pulled beefs. That’s my day. No dessert. My baking abilities hover around dreadful. I just can’t seem to get it down. 

“Our destinies change if our thoughts are strong enough to create action” Me 😀

24, August 2021

The snow shower of yesterday has all but removed itself from any elevation below the twenty-five hundred feet mark, but that didn’t stop it from falling today. Fortunately I live and work above the one thousand feet marker. It reminds me of my time in Colorado up at Timber Ridge. I lived at the end of the road that went up a mountain and most days it would be sauched in by snow and clouds. The neat thing was half a mile down the road the weather was sunny and clear for miles. Same thing here. It is beyond beautiful. The fall smell was heavy on the air today. Not only here at the preserve, but at work as well. Driving through the aspen tunnels on my way to work caused me to leave fifteen minutes early. I know I drive slow, but include this color and I’m worse than your neighbor Sunday driver. Don’t fret, I pull off so people can pass. Had another fantastic day at the fun house. I completed some onboarding training as well. This took around two and a half hours and required I sit behind a computer screen. This was the most difficult two and a half hours I have had to endure. AAARRRGGGHHH. It was short lived though as I fought through the agony like a knight fulfilling his noble saving a princess mission. I spent the rest of my work day laughing, smiling, and understanding that we’re all the same. That’s me day. 🙂 Nothing exciting or overly ambitious. False, the time behind the computer screen was ambitious. It had tedious as a companion too. 

Keep the people in your life who encourage you to honor your betterment choices

23, August 2021

I’m in love with life. Yup, that simple. Those internal energies, fluidal forces, vibrations, light, etc. etc. are the perfect guide. Just that genuine, authentic part that is me. Turns out it fun to share. Heck, some folks even enjoy it. Who would havec guessed? I need to sleep so I’m going to keep this short. I awoke at seven to the crisp smell of cold. Yup, belore freezing and twinkling a rare snowflake. The overcast was being supported with a hefty wind that blew the trees in an erratic display of graceful balance. Did I mention it was cold? Anyway, I ended up having a nice chai this morning as I renewed my CPR certification. I did the entire process online. The “training” left me feeling like I was taking a high school test again; memorize and repeat. A coworker swung by the coffee shop halfway through the course. This was a pleasant and welcomed break; he’s such a flower. After his departure I finished the couse by completing the “quiz”.Now the fun stuff. 

Today work was starting at 1000 or 14:30 depending on when the aircraft arrived. If on time at tten and if it’s cancled fourteen thirty. Turns out it was delayed two hours so I now have until noon. I smile leaving the warmth of the coffee shop behind and walk across the street to the local book store. I’m stoked to be checking this out as it has been my list of “local to do”. The labeling system in the store left no guessing to where anything was. They even had hand written notes below some books with a quick review. This particular creative uniqueness let me know I was in the correct place. I browsed around until the FM called at noon thirty, informing me the winds were just too strong and the flight was cancled. Not surprised. I saw the trees this morning on my way into town. Now I had up to fourteen thirty until work. I settled on a book about knots and departed. With just enough time to run back up the hill, grab the backpack with my dinner and lunch I had forgotten, and arrive at work with enough time to inhale half of the lunch I shold have already eaten hours ago. Sounds like a solid win. I skip at work too. Really says something about the atmosphere. I don’t even want to call it work. It doesn’t feel like it. It’s more like a fun house for adults. Fun fact: the fun house at our local county fair always frightened me as a child. I had seen too many scary movies and I knew what happened when people went into those. I never did go in. Anyhow, this fun house actually pays me to come. It’s a huge life win. My shift ended at 22:30 with my cheeks hurting due to the all night comedy show. As I drove back to the preserve no music needed playing, no words needed spoken, and thoughts vanished. Awareness and gratitude prevailed. 

Boundaries are healthy; it’s ok to say, no.

 Reality

ME: CDC, should I get poke if I already had Covid?

CDC: “Yes, you should be poked regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19.”

ME: Oh, okay, we don’t know how long natural immunity lasts. Got it. So, how long does poke-induced immunity last?

CDC: “There is still a lot we are learning about COVID-19 pokes and CDC is constantly reviewing evidence and updating guidance. We don’t know how long protection lasts for those who are poked.”

ME: Okay … but wait a second. I thought you said the reason I need the poke was because we don’t know how long my natural immunity lasts, but it seems like you’re saying we ALSO don’t know how long poke immunity lasts either. So, how exactly is the poke immunity better than my natural immunity?

CDC: …

ME: Uh … alright. But, haven’t there been a bunch of studies suggesting that natural immunity could last for years or decades?

CDC: Yes.

NEWYORKTIMES: “Years, maybe even decades, according to a new study.”

ME: Ah. So natural immunity might last longer than poke immunity?

CDC: Possibly. You never know.

ME: Okay. If I get the poke, does that mean I won’t get sick?

BRITAIN: Nope. We are just now entering a seasonal spike and about half of our infections and hospital admissions are poked people.

ME: CDC, is this true? Are there a lot of people in the U.S. catching Covid after getting the poke?

CDC: We stopped tracking breakthrough cases. We accept voluntary reports of breakthroughs but aren’t out there looking for them.

ME: Does that mean that if someone comes in the hospital with Covid, you don’t track them because they’ve been poked? You only track the UN-poked Covid cases?

CDC: That’s right.

ME: Oh, okay. Hmm. Well, if I can still get sick after I get the poke, how is it helping me?

CDC: We never said you wouldn’t get sick. We said it would reduce your chances of serious illness or death.

ME: Oh, sorry. Alright, exactly how much does it reduce my chance of serious illness or death.

CDC: We don’t know “exactly.”

ME: Oh. Then what’s your best estimate for how much risk reduction there is?

CDC: We don’t know, okay? Next question.

ME: Um, if I’m healthy and don’t want the poke, is there any reason I should get it?

CDC: Yes, for the collective.

ME: How does the collective benefit from me getting poked?

CDC: Because you could spread the virus to someone else who might get sick and die.

ME: Can a poked person spread the virus to someone else?

CDC: Yes.

ME: So if I get poked, I could still spread the virus to someone else?

CDC: Yes.

ME: But I thought you just said, the REASON I should get poked was to prevent me spreading the virus? How does that make sense if I can still catch Covid and spread it after getting the poke?

CDC: Never mind that. The other thing is, if you stay unpoked, there’s a chance the virus could possibly mutate into a strain that escapes the pokes protection, putting all poked people at risk.

ME: So the poke stops the virus from mutating?

CDC: No.

ME: So it can still mutate in poked people?

CDC: Yes.

ME: This seems confusing. If the poke doesn’t stop mutations, and it doesn’t stop infections, then how does me getting poked help prevent a more deadly strain from evolving to escape the poke?

CDC: You aren’t listening, okay? The bottom line is: as long as you are unpoked, you pose a threat to poked people.

ME: But what KIND of threat??

CDC: The threat that they could get a serious case of Covid and possibly die.

ME: My brain hurts. Didn’t you JUST say that the poke doesn’t keep people from catching Covid, but prevents a serious case or dying? Now it seems like you’re saying poked people can still easily die from Covid even after they got the poke just by running into an unpoked person! Which is it??

CDC: That’s it, we’re hanging up now.

ME: Wait! I just want to make sure I understand all this. So, even if I ALREADY had Covid, I should STILL get poked, because we don’t know how long natural immunity lasts, and we also don’t know how long poke immunity lasts. And I should get the poke to keep a poked person from catching Covid from me, but even if I get the poke, I can give it to the poked person anyways. And, the other poked person can still easily catch a serious case of Covid from me and die. Do I have all that right?

ME: Um, hello? Is anyone there?

22, August 2021

Today was amazing. I awoke in a delighful mood  and with the sun. It helps that the sun doesn’ t come over the range until 08:00. I didn’t have to be  at work until 11:30. Can’t say I enjoy  starting that late, but it is what it is. Toay would seem mundane to most. Nothing exciting happened. I ddin’t go anywhere except work and home. I made a nice breakfast of french toast and a breakfast scramble. I had the extra time. I then went to work, but not before stopping to grab a dirty chai. The barista is starting to consider me a regular. When I pulled up she asked, “are you having a zen chai?” I smiled under my N95 and said, “indeed”. I’ve been to every coffee shop or stand in Homer and the surrounding area and have arrived at this conclusion: It matters not where you get your beverage, but it does matter who makes your beverage. This is why I’ve gone to this particular shop repeatedly. The calm, relaxing energy helps too. Anyway, the barista was also talking to me about the weather. Some people call this small talk, but I tend to think of it as progress. We quickly talked about frost flowers and the early arrival of fall. Turns out the season is showing up a month in advance. The barista also inquired if I had my punch card. I informed her I left it at home and she offered to provide a new one, but I declined.  This is a local  shop owned by the Barista. I truly want to support it so I think I’ll just always pay for my chai. If she decideds to offer one up “on the house” then I’ll accept, but I won’t use the buy (X) get (1) free card. With smiling eyes of almonds she bids me farewell and I head to work. I arrived 3 minutes late. I was behind a cement truck and a line of cars going uphill on a curvy, two lane uphill road. Those trucks dont make the best time going up. No worries though.  When I arrived at work I was greeted by name and with smiles. Then I was asked if I wanted to play horseshoes. You know I said yes. In fact, I ended up playing two games. It was a fun game and one that wasn’t too difficult to pick up. Have I mentioned that I adore my job? If not, well let me tell you. I love my job. It’s beyond fantastic and nestled next to blessed. Work, again, went by in the blink of an eye. And like that I was heading home. Spent the rest of the night video chatting with a friend from Colorado, eating dinner, doing dishes, and finally writing this blog. Now my eyes feel droopy and the yawns are catching up with me. It’s been a fun and joyous day, but sleep calls to me like the moon tugs at the ocean. 

“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but  because of the people who don’t do anything about it” Albert Einstein

21, August 2021

I slept in today, it’s 08:00. Woo hoo. I nailed a hefty ten hours for the night. This rare treat was a welcome too. Over the course of the previous two weeks my work load and todo list have been rather large. That’s going to change though. I have no more friends coming up, nor does my brother, I will have all my training for work in, and I’ll soon have everything I need completed for the onboarding. I still need to switch my drivers liscense and insurance to Alaska. For some reason this is a mandatory requirement of employment. I’ll need to drive the company vehichle at times and I guess my Ohio liscence and insurance card are inadequate. Should be scheduling all this tomorrow.  If I’m lucky, insurance will be cheaper here in Alaska. I’m not holding my breath though. I’ve seen the price of food, gas, and household items. 

I got to work today at 10:00 and was there until 19:00, allowing me to find an introduction with the evening staff. These are the coworkers I will mainly work with. My scheduled position is slated for the evenings. I chose this shift particularrly so I could stil accomplish tasks on the preserve while hopefully being able to get daylight hours outside of work. Snow has already fallen farther north in Anchorage and the frost is nipping on the green every morning. Soon it will be white, but for now fall color change is peak. As I look out a large window a cliend sits next to me. Beautiful golden waves spread across evergreen slopes while the white begins to spread from the uppermost peaks, invading burgundy gass as it makes its way toward the tree line. It really is a grand sight. I get to enjoy all this. It’s rewarding to talk with someone who has an appreciation of natural change and can just enjoy the sight. Our talk isn’t heavy and most of the time ws spent just stareing out the window. It was a highlight. We also had a team meeting at work. I work with beautiful people and a beautiful company. I’ve never been a part of something so progressivef and uplifting. The transparency definitely helps facilitate behaviours of trust and friendship. At the end of my shift I left smiling and laughing. Is there a better reward for work?

Returning home I made a quick dinner and called it a night. I give a lot of myself at work and it does take it out of me. Sometimes the drain is physical and sometimes it is mental. Today the drain was mental, but not in a difficult or negative way. It can be handled with a decent night’s rest. Not a bad trade off in my opinion. I didn’t get any work in at the preserve today and it looks like Friday will be the next available opportunity for that. I miss walking the trails everyday. Soon it will all return when my schedule is fixed and all work training has been accomplished. Until then I’ll smile with the thought of such an upcoming reward.

Be who you love and love who you are 😀

Reunited Hearts 

Teresa gave me a surprise while we were grabbing some smoothies in Anchorage. I hear her behind me saying I have someone who would like to say “hi” to you. Instinctually I know she’s talking about me and as my mind processes what’s happening she’s already pulled me in close enough to fit on her phone screen. On the other end is Leandro. The emotions that immediately took hold were overpowering, filling me with love and warmth. The three of us previously lived the magic of life together and built something I have yet to rediscover. It’s genuine sincerity still reflecting in all of our eyes. I want nothing more than to have him with us. My insides feel warm and my eyes threaten to leak. I’ve known from the first time I saw both of them that they’ve been in my life before. Not this lifetime, but previous ones. Hopefully future ones as well 😀 The knowing connection instant. I don’t think this happens often, but it is what I’ve always looked for. It transcends time. I see leandros eyes and can feel his energy. I can feel the excitement and disbelief that dances on his earth tome almond eyes. Gifts like this are beyond measure and fail to be transcribed. Our conversation was short; nonetheless, it was a beautiful moment. Tears aren’t always a bad thing. 

“It’s not the good-bye that causes my tears. It’s the flashbacks and the memories”

19/20, August 2021

19th. My alarm is going off and I can feel Jack’s breath punching through  the living room glass. There’s a slight chill in the cabin reminding me it’s time to start turning on the heat, but for now I leave the thermostat alone. My clothes are beside me for easy access and everything I need is laid out or packed in the car already. Within five minutes I’m dressed and have the car warming up. This should knock down the frosty glaze. I return inside and wake my brother. The clock reads 04:30 yet I feel like I’ve been awake for hours. The eager excitement is bubbling up and it’s terribly difficult not to rush my brother. He’s already moving exceptionally fast for someone woken so early and with little sleep. It seems like a lifetime, but we are in the car and down the road by 04:45. I spend the next 5 hours speeding, speeding some more, and driving faster than I should. Is that incriminating? I’m excited to see my cosmic sister. 

At around nine thirty I arrive to pick up T. I step out of the car and see her through the glass window. She’s waving with a smile that lights the darkest night. Within a heartbeat we’re embracing each other. Her energy is as warm and as large as the sun. It helps me to understand why flowers are always in bloom around her. The rest of the day will be spent in a smile. I introduce her to my brother and we go to grab some coffee. We catch up for a minute, check out a book store, then decide we’re all hungry. I’m left with the choice of where to eat lunch so I pick an authentic Thai restaurant. T is a foodie down to her core and loves thai. It was a no-brainer to go. After lunch, which we ate with a partial view of the  bay, we walked through a wooded park throwing disc golf and enjoying the sparkling conversation. It was really nice to have someone with me who walks and moves at my life pace. T, never one to miss an opportunity, snaps a picture of the three of us. This is a rarity and I know of only one other who has a picture of my brother and I together since 2013. Good job T!!!! (Jordan from the PCT is the other)

The rest of the day is spent without regret. I dropped T off at the airport at around 19:30 with one last smile and headed back to Homer. I made it about a block before I started crying. My brother offered to drive, but I assured him I was fine as I cried for the next few miles. I finally settled down by the time we reached hwy 1. My brother and I spend the rest of the night talking about the day and thankful for how we’ve grown, how we are reconnecting, and how awesomely fun and amazing T is. I pulled into our driveway at 00:30 Monday Morning. 

20th. My alarm is going off and I want nothing to do with it. Unfortunately I can’t ignore it as I have responsibilities, i.e., work. It’s 05:30 and feels like I only went to bed a moment ago. Reluctantly I get up and head to work grabbing a dirty chai with a double shot on my way. Thank you Jess T for introducing me to the single hardest addiction I’ve ever come to know. You’re a beautiful human with a heart of gold, truly a gift. I get to work and am suddenly awake. I’m also excited. My job is rewarding, entertaining, and a blessing. I’m really a fortunate human being. It took only a moment and my work day was over. I left the building with a smile of authentic joy co-created  by everyone occupying the interior. Nothing can break this smile. Not even the check engine light that just lit up the dash 100 feet from my driveway. I’ll find out tomorrow if it’s going to be expensive or not. The car is running fine so I’m hopeful it’ll be minor, e.g., telling me its oil change time or perhaps an O2 sensor. Either way, I’m going to cook a quick dinner, write a blog post, and call it a night. 

So, here we are. It’s 19:00 and I’m ready for bed. I’ve got my headphones for affirmations at the ready and my eyes are heavy with fatigue. Tomorrow is going to be another beautiful day. I already know. Salome, friends. 

A garden of love grows within us all