T is for tree

I am blogging from A to Z about Helen Burling Ottaway, my artist mother, and other women artists.

My mother loved painting trees and doing etchings of trees, but this is a tree peony. Another etching, and this printed with two colors at the same time. Delicate work, to ink the plate with two colors and gently wipe off the excess without mixing them.

ATOZBLOGGINGCHALLENGE2022 #art #Women artists #Helen Burling Ottaway #ATOZCHALLENGE #APRILATOZ

For more information about the #AtoZChallenge, check out this link.

The AntiDating Patch II

Gosh, again? Once again I am giving up on dating, because, well…. I just cannot even IMAGINE beginning to share my past life. Heh. I suppose I could do one of those “We never talk about the past” relationships, but BLEAGH. Sorry, boring.

So, I quit. As I wrote in The AntiDating Patch, people are contrary beasts and nothing makes them more interested then being engaged/and/or/quitting dating. How do I get around this? Wearing the PATCH(Tm) is not enough. (I chose itsy bitsy country of origin of my choice, just FYI, not the boxers and ick, not the speedo).

Quitting won’t work. I will be hounded. My microbiome will start howling and send out pheromones to the other microbiomes and people will gather round. No! I say, No!

Better to date. Hmmm. I think I will date the birds in my yard. The male deer are a bit spiky for my taste, a little scary to get close to. I like the raccoons, they are VERY good at growling and protect their young. The coyotes are shy but I’ve seen them within a block and by my former clinic. Also one on three legs by the hospital. I wonder if he was considering the ER? I find great blue herons fascinating and wish that I could fly and land in trees. I could date a tree, right? Be anything you want to be? At one point I was so fed up with people that I decided to be a tree.

There. I will peel the AntiDating Patch off in a week and date the local flora and fauna. A week of the patch will reinforce my resolve and then I can go moon at trees, or a blue heron, or a coyote.

Phew, problem solved and plan laid. I won’t have to explain my life at all, at least not in English. I have had a blue heron circle back to land in a tree when I was trying to talk blue heron. The heron looked pretty fierce, I am afraid that what I am saying is probably an insult. It’s easy to pick up the nasty slang in another language. Maybe they will teach me if they sense my deep and positive intentions. I hope so, don’t you?

Take down

This is a beautiful living cedar.

Unfortunately, the trunk, twenty feet high, had split in half in high winds. So now it was a very dangerous very tall living cedar that is going to come down and is right next to a house.

An expert was consulted. He said the tree could not be taken down intact. Each of the four tall trunks would have to come down individually. This is terribly dangerous, because felling trees is dangerous enough, but when you are up IN the tree, it is worse.

Gear for the take down.

There are four men and me. I am there with a camera. I do not help at all, I just try to stay well out of the way.

I am filming with a zoom lens from a nearby hill. They are trying to control the direction of the fall. Not on me or the house or any of them.
One down, three to go. When the top starts falling, it accelerates very quickly and crashes. He is trying to stay out of the way.
Going up to attach the cable high up to guide the fall direction.
Way up.
The falls take out smaller trees, but are controlled. It is raining.
Two trunks left.
Studying trunk three.
One left.
The last one is down. The trunk is still alive, with the split.
A closer view of the split trunk.

When the last trunk fell, it swung towards me and they shouted “Run!” It had slipped of the trunk and can’t be controlled as well even though there was a cable and a machine pulling in the desired direction. I ran and I am still here, thankfully.

Clean up on another day and the cedar goes to the sawmill.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: WAR. I wish we were all just working and there was no war.

No names or faces, because you know, those loggers are shy and wild, right?

Damaged or blessed?

Am I damaged or blessed to have PANS?

Damaged because it has put me out six times? Four times with pneumonia, once with preterm labor, and once with mononucleosis. Plus getting really sick with strep A as a kid, an earache that had me crying with pain at age 8, coughs in medical school that would hang on for six weeks and not respond to albuterol. Only rest would help. A year this time and not better yet, 6 months out last time and then seven years working half time. In 2012 out two months. 2005 out two months. Preterm labor out 6 months. Mononucleosis: dropped ten pounds and did not feel better or gain it back for two months. How much income have I lost? A lot. Am I damaged?

Blessed because I am not dead? My sister dies of cancer at 49, my mother at 61, my mother’s father at 79. All three married people who had “anger issues”. And all three got cancer.

I think that they had anger that they could not reach.

I do not think that ALL cancer is buried, unexamined, unresolved anger. But I am starting to see a medical pathway that could lead from buried anger or other buried emotions to illness and death. The buried emotions are stressful. The body tries to hold the stress. The body works very hard at it. The conscious mind is not aware. This is the realm of the unconscious. The stress, the unresolved trauma, anger, grief, whatever, triggers antibodies. Heightened sympathetic nervous system, higher adrenaline and higher cortisol. Cortisol is the steroid system. Steroids help to lower inflammation but they also impair the immune system. The immune system is chronically suppressed, trashed, and then it can’t do its job. Anti lysoganglioside antibodies form and block the lysogangliosides. The lysogangliosides are supposed to clean house in the brain. They can’t clean house, they are paralyzed. And the brain forms plaques: dementia. Or some other antibody forms that blocks cancer removing cells in the immune system: and there it is. Cancer.

We all have cancer all the time, that our immune system is removing. That’s a little weird to think about, isn’t it? So we need healthy immune systems, we need the parasympathetic nervous system, we need to relax, we need to play, we need to laugh ourselves silly at stupid cat videos, we need to make ridiculous memes go viral on TikTok, we need to use the power of the internet to drive the cost of a share up just to fuck with the rich Bosses, because we are tired of them fucking us over.

So, says my sig other, or he who used to be. You need to avoid stress, in order to not get sick again.

Well. I stopped eating on Saturday a week ago and ate minimal calories and mostly high protein and fat. Because I was pretty sure he was breaking up with me. He felt the same about me. I was terrified when we walked two days ago, so I wore the dragon shirt. Most of all I wanted not to yell.

Neither of us yelled. We both listened. He doesn’t know why he has shut me out of three areas of his life, and the three most important ones. It isn’t me. He is aware that it is him. He was not really aware that he was doing it. I am trained to hide emotions, from childhood in my crazy family and then physicians are trained as well. I cry with patients sometimes, when we find that their cancer is back, or other things like that. The child dying. But I can hold a calm expression even when a person tells me that they are hearing voices telling them to kill themselves and would I please take out the antenna in their tooth. So I sat hard on my emotions for ten months. Until I thought the right time had come.

Even then, I did my best and screwed up. We’d opened up one thing and I thought the rest would be ok. I sent an email. Whoa, boy, it was NOT ok, and I got yelled at. I burst into tears. I didn’t feel like yelling at all, I was crushed. But it is ok, it had to come out. The Year of the Ox is almost over. I hope the Year of the Tiger is less horrible. But at the same time, I would not trade the time with him for anything.

Damaged or blessed? Cursed or blessed?

Both, I think. All of us.

I am submitting this to today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt, though it is not a hawk.

Up a tree

I love Great Blue Herons. We have a lot. I love them best in trees, because they still look strange to me in trees. They will perch right on the top of our tall Pacific Northwest trees and look like peculiar Christmas tree toppers. Alien angels. Their bones are lighter than ours, so they can stand on a limb that would not hold me or you.

hat trick cat tree

I am not sure that the photograph really fits the prompt, the Ragtag Daily Prompt: sleekit. But maybe a yelling rubber chicken is appropriate. I start my tree this year with a bare stick with a fork in it.

I add lights to my stick.

I add ornaments to my stick.

The cats promptly knock it over and break some.

I remove delicate ornaments and get out the plastic and soft ones.

I finally add four branches from my cedar.

This is my adult children’s fault. They told me not to get a live tree. I figured that a dead one is legit, right?

Pretty sleekit, right?

But mom, what is for?