Saturday, August 5, 2017

Rambling about connections

This morning I happened upon an Instagram account that I felt an instant connection with. As I was looking at her pictures, I thought of my mother and my childhood. The colors and style of the people in the pictures, the stories that go along with it, and the subject matter remind me of my childhood- before I was even 10 probably. There is a picture of my mother, squatted down in front of a bush with me in her arms. She has long lovely hair and I am probably between 2-3. The picture is faded which tells the time period it was taken in- the 1970's. The Instagram pictures I saw makes me think of my parents- of how when I was little I was more or less free. My parents showed me the world through their eyes. I remember Dad chopping wood for the fireplace and Mom rescuing baby birds and bugs with me. They made yogurt and cheese and wine. I remember the flavors and smells. It was a simple time. We always had animals- dogs, rabbits, a cat, some chickens, all at different times but it has defined my life. It also makes me wonder, how much of me is actually me? Where did my sense of style come from? My sense of things that are repulsive or that I find it taught or caught from my parents? How much of what I do hearkens back to my ancestors? How much of it belonged to my grandparents, or even great-grandparents- whom I have met and knew some of? How ,any ideas are from aunts and uncles? The way I feel about things today- did I learn them from my parents? The things I like- are they mine? My obsessive learning about certain things while completely ignoring others- is that from my own way of thinking or is it because I have charismatic and dynamic parents? I come from a long line of people who are absolutely fantastic and are either loved or hated, but there is no in between. My family, on both sides, is pretty great and ingenious. I know I sound biased but truly, people who know my family members have strong opinions about them. Even within the family- cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, parents, siblings- everyone has opinions about each other and I'm sure have played a part in the development of one another. Is it the close proximity of the people? Is it in our DNA? Can these things be taught? My husband and I are thinking of doing 23 and me to see where our people come from. Well, I come from my parents and so does he but beyond that. It's just when you meet a person, IRL or online, and you click with them- like you have grown up with them and they are your cousin from next door, or are the sister you never had, or remind you so strongly of something you didn't know you remembered until you saw it....what is that? Is it blood relation? Is it a regional consciousness? What part of our parents are the things we like and dislike today? What part of our ancestors is worth bringing into the present and passing on into the future? This is probably something I haven't thought of before I hit my 40's. I raised my kids with a strong sense of themselves- we homeschooled them and let them be themselves- we unschooled them so they could pursue their passions instead of jumping through hoops for someone else. I wonder if they know who they are- if they are themselves or a culmination of the people who they have come from? Can anyone answer that truly? Even considering such a thing might be part of some thought process I was gifted from my people. I guess I shall ponder this more and one day if I do the DNA test, I might find out more of who "my people" actually are. People are becoming clan-ish these days. This summer we went to the Highland Games on Grandfather mountain and discovered there are clans who are from the same area of Scotland and are considered family with us. My maiden name is Scottish and they usually have a clan tent but not this year. In fact, it was a small clan that joined forces with other small clans in the area for protection and became the Donald clan or MacDonald clan. That's interesting. The people there were so nice and called us cousins! It's funny but that is a place I have wanted to go for years and have learned lots about the area even before I thought my people might be from there. It's hard to tell things about your past when you're black in America. Some of my people were slaves so I have no idea where they come from. I wonder if some of my thoughts about race have to do with the long years of ancestry or if it's directly from my black and white parents. Do you wonder about your own thoughts? About where your likes and dislikes come from? I live in an area that is heavily pagan- and earth worship is pretty huge around here. The Christians are largely Baptists and are very opinionated about food and drink. Throwing in the college age people I grew up surrounded by, I'm sure some ideas came from the two extremes- hyper liberal and hyper conservative....if that's where my ideas came from. It's much to think on. So, self discovery is really about history then.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wanted: brush strokes

I am painting the trim, doors, and windows at my house. I love painting houses. It doesn't take long, isn't expensive, and the change is very dramatic for very low cost. I painted houses for a living for a short while before I was married and have done a little painting on the side since. My parents worked a while as house painters too.

Trim takes time. There's so much little work to be done. I use a long handled small paint brush- the kind artists use. Although I roll out walls and use a large brush designed for house painting for the doors and windows I really enjoy the tiny detail work around he glass and top and bottom of the trim. I like the look of the brush strokes so I intentionally leave them in when working with anything with gloss. They look so real and unashamed of being there although most people would not notice they are there. It's part of that window sash- part of that frame. I don't even tape off the glass! I let the drips run a little. I like that about painting windows- mistakes onto the glass are very forgiving. I know I can take a razor blade and get rid of any places the brush touched it. The glass is completely transparent and doesn't hide the accidental paint smudges nor the dirt and cobwebs even after having been painted. I don't think people are like that.

As I have been painting - maybe it's the fumes- maybe it was the heat- maybe it's the time alone- I have been thinking and almost at the point of tears lost in thought about these windows and how people are. I don't think anyone would ever accuse me of being "fun" and my children definitely don't know me as "the fun parent." I have never been that although I wanted to be. When they were little we spent time together by working together. There was always things that needed doing and they needed to know the value of hard work and they also needed to know working wouldn't kill them and they could stand back afterwards and feel that they accomplished something great, even if it was only dishes. I wanted them to know that houses do not run themselves and that human beings need comfort and there's always someone who has lugged the vacuum and mop and bucket around making sure their people have that comfort. When there is no one to do the background work, the up front things are not accomplished or if they are they might feel overwhelming when the up front people have to also do the background things. Trim is a background thing. Most people don't even think about it but it frames your view out of your windows and doors. So that is one way I have tried to show love over the years to my family- by making our home a place they could be themselves. Now, I see all of these memes that say happy children live in messy houses. Maybe. Perhaps they just are allowed to make a mess because someone will clean up after them. Someone has to wipe the fingerprints off the walls. Chaos is not a happy home in my opinion. I'm not talking about after the birthday party or when there's been an illness or a move or....I'm talking about every single day stuff- you can't cook if there are no clean dishes to cook with or eat off of. So, here I am, business as usual, and it hits me: I was not the fun parent. I am still not seen as "fun." Probably I was not the fun sister, not the fun child, not the fun friend, etc... All of my hobbies have been production hobbies of some sort. I make things.

Right now it's popular to be a DIYer but when that is over I will still be making things. I have done things that would benefit the most people- knitting socks, gloves, hats, baby blankets, etc.. Making quilts that warm people.... baking and cooking because my people have to eat so I learned to do things. I even learned new ways to get laundry clean! I turned those jobs into a game for my children and talked about these things like they were on par with reading a book of fluff, watching a movie for fun only, eating cake, and general goofing off. I played video games to spend time with my family but that was always really why. I have always been willing to do whatever people need to have done. Here are some of my brush strokes and there is some smudges of paint. I think deep down, I have done all of this for the good of other people but also because I have wanted to be needed. I know, most people want to feel necessary, but I think more than that I wanted to be wanted. Not just feel loved, but actually wanted. At the end of the day, when I am needed, I am tired. I wasn't also wanted. Just needed. Most of my relationships are all business. Family members know they can count on me to get things done so I don't get calls asking how I am doing without there being someone needing something. If asked what do I like to do I could honestly not answer that question right now because I do all the things but for all my people. What do I like? I have no idea. I think that's why I appreciate house painting. I don't have to be creative. I don't have to think. It is a pleasure only to my eyes to see the changes and the brushstrokes make it personal. Maybe I paint myself into the house. Who knows? I don't know, that's for sure. I do know that sometimes I just want to be wanted for me. Not for what I do or provide, but for me. Isn't that what everyone wants?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Golden paste

So I decided to try golden paste several times a day. I started it last week. I had relief from inflammation I didn't even really know I had on the very first day! The recipes sometimes are just for golden milk but I wanted to be able to make it once in a while but benefit from it daily. So, here's what has happened:

I wake up and can immediately walk without limping and pain in my knees, hips, and feet. 

While it's not about weight I have slimmed down a bit. My clothes for a bit differently than before. I can wear my rings again without them feeling too tight. 

I generally feel pretty good. The tiredness by midday that just plagued me seems to be about gone. 

I sleep well.

These are things I didn't notice because they have been constant and came on gradually. And it's been going for many years like this! Some days I would wear rings only to have to remove them by afternoon! I would wake up sore and swollen and be that way all day long. I had a few good days where I didn't feel like that. Almost all my joints had inflammation. So here it is, the recipe:

1/2 cup turmeric powder 
2 tsp black pepper
1Tbsp coconut oil 
1/4 c water

I put it all in a pot and heated it and stirred then put it in a jar and keep

It in the fridge. I use about one teaspoon in my coffee in the morning and the same amount in some rooibos chai I make in the evening. That's it. I don't put sweetener in my coffee but I use honey in my tea. These are drinks I have had regularly anyway. So try it! See how it makes you feel.