Naturally Dreamy

A blog about my life as an INFP living with an ESFJ, INTJ, and my pup. I blog about earth-friendly living and life through my eyes – not necessarily in that order. Come put your feet up where life is Naturally Dreamy!


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Baby Steps

BT said something the other day. I actually don’t remember what it was, but it got me thinking a few days after it.

He said something like we were growing up, or out of a situation. It struck me how true that phrasing was. He didn’t say we were growing – he said “Growing ___” making an association in my mind that wasn’t there before.

I took the concept of growing up from baby to adult, and I applied it to the periods of life after major life changes. Maybe every time we make make a significant life transition we also begin the process of ‘growing up’ in it. Things that puzzled me about my past and experiences suddenly fit.

The time that was really difficult, and it seemed like nothing worked the way it should and it was just constant hard work? The toddler stage with “Terrible Twos”.

(An aside: I don’t advocate any life stage being derisively referred to like this. I think it makes kids feel simultaneously put-upon and discounted and un-unique humans with their own lives. But the moniker was probably borne out of many people’s brushes with difficulty in this period and this period was indeed difficult when looking at it in life-stage growing…. Erm hopefully that makes some sense. :))

That period where it seemed like things should be better, because I wasn’t making the mistakes I made when I first started out, but we fought constantly. I’d say something and offend someone. They’d say something and I’d be offended. I couldn’t do anything right. But we still loved each other and there were good times between. Well, that sounds a lot like young siblings. (Only, we weren’t young anymore. We were fully grown, but had entered into a new stage of life.)

And now. Now, we’re growing up. We got past the awkward stage. We learned who we were in the context of new truths. We learned to pick our battles and let things go. We learned how to start expressing more of who we are. And now we are branching out. Just like teenagers.

I’m lucky. I got to live through the baby stage while I was still a young teenager. My family who I’ve been referencing in these same stages were already adults when they started this particular journey. But we’re all here now, and I can’t wait to see what we do with the growth we’ve gained.

Coming out of that situation was tortuous. But staying would have been a slow descent to an early death.

Leaving ripped away everything that was familiar. It took away all ground that we stood on. So then, we had to find new ground.

What do we do when the holidays come around? Do we celebrate them? Do we make new traditions, or go with what’s typical? We don’t have any furniture. What furniture do we actually want? It’s a fresh start. … What do you do with possessions you no longer use but have sentimental value? How do you deal with people’s moods? How do you deal with your own? What do you believe?

I’ve not only grown from this experience, I am grown from being born a fair amount of years ago. I’m looking to start a business. A brand new experience I’ve never done before. A life-change that will hopefully end up incredible.

But I wonder… and am fairly sure… will I grow through all these stages again? The first few years of figuring and bumbling how to do this. The awkward stage where I try and learn how much to take the reins and how much to delegate. The next stage, I don’t even know what to anticipate, but a simplifying and good one, if past experiences are any indicator. πŸ™‚

If humans didn’t go through the heart-wrenching experience of being born, growing up, growing old, and dying, would we even be able to change in our daily lives? It’s a kind of out-there concept that flashed through my brain while at work today, but it caused me to ponder. If we started perfect, if we didn’t adapt, would we even understand how to do all that marvelous shifting that makes us the who we are as humanity?

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My friend, the Carpenter Bee

The pear tree in the front yard is beginning to sprout white blooms on the top branches, and a stock of clover has taken root in my bee garden, beside my withered and dried echinacea. It’s about to get bee-sy (I’m sorry, haha) around here!

What encourages me is knowing Mr. Carpenter bee will likely be back as well.

As you may recall, bees and I don’t get on well. They chase me, and I run from them. Whatever it is about me, I seem to attract bug action. They zoom by my face, investigate my shirt, and zip past my ear. Since I’m trying to avoid them and let them live in peace, we begin to be at cross purposes.

Also, generally if a bug does bite – they bite me. Except for yellow-flies. Them and horse-flies are the only bugs that prefer BT over me. I’ve never gotten bit by either (yet). But if a normal black ant happens to find his way onto me, I find out by him biting me in the course of walking before I’ve even done anything!!

I’ve been stung by a bee once – I was giving my dog a drink of water at a rest stop, and the perpetrator flew into the back of my neck, stung me and left. WHY?

“If you leave them alone, they won’t hurt you” is a tough adage for me to get around when they seek me out, you see. πŸ˜‰

So, for the first few years I lived here, spring was a time of great fear. The land around here EXPLODES with damsel flies, dragon flies, gnats, ants, mosquitos, flies, no-see-ums, wasps of several species, and bees of several more species, and something that looks like a wasp but ?isn’t?, maybe, we’re hoping? because it often finds it’s way inside, and we trap it and set it free outside.

The first few years I was terrified to go outside – partly because all of these bugs, but to top it off, the carpenter bees. These giant, fearless flying hymenoptera worried me greatly.

It wasn’t until I started looking into a bee-garden that I identified the species and realized I had nothing to fear.

 

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You can just spot one at the top. This is hyssop, which was greatly loved by the bigger bees in our area, although it died prematurely – like all the plants we planted. XD Alas, it seems we do not have green thumbs.

Carpenter bees generally live in pairs, one male and one female. The female is the only one with a stinger, and you rarely see her because she stays within feet of their home. The male goes out to forage and all that. So, if I’m seeing it, it’s likely stinger-less. *whew* A bunch of my concerns flew away with that.

Secondly, our porch is a gauntlet to run in the spring and summer, with questing wasps frequently coming near the door to investigate the eaves. It was in watching and waiting for a break in the wasp activity, one day, I realized something.

Wherever Mr. Bee lived, he apparently felt like claiming the porch as his own. He often hovers over or near the porch. When another bee or wasp comes by and starts getting too interested, he flies at them, and runs them off. (In researching more about them to double-check facts on this post, I learned this behavior is actually very typical of Carpenter bees! They tend to hang around, come up to people and run off any insects encroaching their territory! It’s not just all in my head, whew! :))

So, a non-scary bee was actually preventing me from having more run-in with other bees!!

I suddenly loved that Carpenter bees were around after learning all this. πŸ˜€ And now I’m looking forward to his return and not completely worried about the start of spring knowing he may be there again unwittingly in my corner. πŸ™‚


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The Brusque Maid and the Cough at the Concert

The following story – or series of mini-stories – is one of my most vivid memories. You know those kind? The kind that when your thoughts drift and land on a memory, it’s often one of these. One of those that had a funny point, or a summational pinnacle, or has so much crammed in it just makes it special to you? When it gets cold, or I have a cough, my thoughts sometimes harken back to this memory. I hope you enjoy. πŸ™‚

It was winter. I’d done a reverse of what I did a few years ago – I’d gone from a snowy-icy New York airport and landed smack-dab in the middle of a sunny summer’s day one flight and half a world away.

Now, I’d plunged into midwinter from the “every day is 85ΒΊ, with a chance of tropical rain” equatorial line. We’d brought all the clothes we could from this sunny realm, but it seems they may not have been enough to fight an eastern coldfront.

Because a few days after we arrived, it started to snow, and my little heart could not resist going out and playing in it. Neither could my Mom and we went out in our barely-suitable clothes, but warm on the inside from our pure glee at seeing the snow again.

We gazed upon the sky as the flakes floated down, and I trudged a giant heart in the hillside.

As it grew dark, we headed back into our long-term hotel room.

I came down with the flu the next day.

Two more factoids – 1. we had a housekeeper at this hotel. Instead of a rotational shift, the same brash lady kept our rooms for almost every day of the weeks we stayed there. 2. My dad was not with us originally, but came a few days later, cranking the tension to eleven. 3. All my friends lived nearby the hotel, so we were making plans to be with them after being so long apart.

And I came down with the flu. I knew the housekeeping came, and went. I knew Mom didn’t like her. I knew my dad came. I knew my parents argued.

I knew Mom boiled chicken into health-giving soup. I knew we’d made arrangements to see my friend perform in concert.

Besides this I was O.U.T.

There have been 5 times I’ve been memorably sick in my life – once with salmonella, once with pseudo-fly disease (it had a complicated name), a few times with colds as a child, and a weird 1 day flu. This was a flu I was unused to, and I was sleeping or eating, pretty much, and that was it.

While part of me wanted to be up to protect my Mom, part of me was glad for the blissful ignorance.

But when I did wake up, I sometimes couldn’t care about all the politics going on. So when the brash housekeeper bustled in with her big voice and her loud statements of fact, I couldn’t help but be relieved at the clarity.

I felt like I had 3 people looking after me – her, my mom, and dad. And she felt bigger than their arguments.

One time, when I was close to healing, I was hungry. I’d sat up in bed, Mom had asked me what I felt like eating, and I went for the leftover salad from a previous day. She brought it out to me, and I started chowing down when the housekeeper came in.

I saw Mom’s sideways glare, and felt my cheeks light up. I usually feel exactly the same way my Mom does about things, so the dichotomy worried me, but I was a bit too exhausted to care.

Especially when the lady looked over at me and said, “Mmm-hmm! You eating salad? That’s good. You keep eating healthy stuff like that and you’ll get better real quick!”

Mom also seemed to relax when she heard her topic. Being bolstered like this and the idea of feeling better soon endeared me to the lady. She also didn’t seem to be afraid of my sickness, which I would be if I were her.

I soon wasn’t sleeping all day. We also soon kicked Dad out. So it was blissfully just waiting for the next shoe to drop when it was nearly time for my friend’s concert.

The only issue was, I didn’t have the flu anymore, but I did have a terrible, hanging-on, intense cough.

It was basically every moment I had the urge to cough, and I couldn’t stop it.

I willed myself to get better as soon as possible. Everyone knows you can’t cough at a concert!

Especially one where your friend has a special dress and is playing a stringed instrument with a lot of other stringed instruments. These are especially the types of concerts at which one simply just does not cough.

I confided the problem to Mom, who seemed way less worried than I was. The cough continued to the concert day. It had abated to be only every few minutes, but it was still right there.

We loaded up on cough drops of different types, dressed up and drove out. My cardigan’s pockets were full of lozenges and tissues, and my head was full of pleadings of “Please don’t cough please don’t ruin this concert for her please be able to be there for your friend.”

We sat down, and a sucked earnestly on a lozenge. I felt fine, surprisingly.

The program advanced. As it did so did the urgency of the cough. About a 1/3 of the way through, I gave in and coughed. I looked worriedly at my mom, she looked at me with a chuckle in her eyes, showing me, “It’s fine, really.”

Lozenge, dissolve, repeat.

Cough drop after cough drop – I probably had at least 8 cough drops in those couple of hours. The recommended dosage was way secondary to the etiquette of the situation.

Somehow I manage the entire concert with just a couple of discreet coughs. My friend did amazing, we clapped and I desperately tried not to talk before we exited the building. Talking irritated it like nothing else and I was out of drops.

Finally, I was all better, the days were no longer a blur, but they were hastily lived and I don’t remember much about what happened next, either.

Well, I remember disgracing myself in front of people who no longer cared about me as much as I cared about them. I remember borrowing everything – cars, lodging, and more. I remember living half lives as I pet sat and house sat for 2 people I’d never really known before and entered their lives wholesale, and as we borrowed my friend’s car and were welcomed to her car snacks and listened to their audiobooks where they’d left off. I caught glimpses of their lives so genuinely it caught in my throat and engraved itself on my mind.

The winter of coming back began with a high. I can still feel the crispness of that snow, and remember the awe of hearing the bugle raise the flag every sunlit morning. It continued to a blur of sickness and appreciation, and the best chicken soup I’d ever consumed. And it finished with an angsty concert. Soon it was the spring of setting out and the years of confused disarray.

But for that moment – it was a salad and a brusque maid, a cough drop and a celloist’s concert. It was indistinguishable days, but notable moments. It was the cold of melting snow on yoga pants and dusk air and snowflakes, and the warm of my Mom’s smile when she saw the giant snow heart, and soup and temporary security. It was my moment of transition at a crossroads hotel.


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Shall I Compare My Dream To Helium?

Somebody help me stop dreaming.
Not that dream I woke up from, where everything was happening beyond my control, but the dream I started when I woke up and haven’t stopped thinking of since.

Someone distract me with something shiny.
Because my thoughts are full of hope and promise and my face can hardly control my eyes and smile.

Somebody help me down.
If I stay in this state I don’t know what I’ll trod on; I sometimes can’t see what’s underneath my feet when I walk on Cloud 9.

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Dance Class Tale: When Falling is Good, and the Floor is your Creative Space

I have loved dancing all my life. I feel like it’s always just been a part of my psyche, despite that being rather unsubstantiated by evidence.

But, I quit doing it a few years ago when it began to feel routine and like I was never achieving my goals. I wanted to show the music and I was just doing the same twirl, with no ideas of what else to do.

Watching Autumn Miller dance Survive by Madilyn Bailey kickstarted my idea to try again.

Oh, and when I mean I like to dance, I mean I put on some pop song or Lindsey Stirling, turned it up, and gyrated like a mad woman.

Yup. That’s my style of dance.

via GIPHY

The other side that I guess I should explain is that I actually did get a lot of dance classes when I was young, and in a variety of styles, and even though they’re from when I was toddling about seem to have effected me long since.

Anyways. Yesterday, I took my 4th adult dance class. Yahhh!! πŸ˜€ It’s in contemperary dance, and I’m so glad I gave it a shot. I’m loving it.

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The end of a saga and !! Autumn Chocolate Chip Cookies !!

I felt like sharing how I finally came to terms with that thing that’s been bugging me since January. It was the. easiest. thing., but it took me this long to realize it, and since I’ve written this much about already (An Inside Look at My Brain During Conversation, The Hidden Diamond of Acceptance, Real Talk With Me)… why not finish the saga?

But it wasn’t enough to make a whole new post for, so I thought I’d combine it with this recipe I really wanted to share. πŸ™‚

So, you know – newbie-friend I met and who left? Yeah. Well I finally am not missing them anymore, because of one key thing I realized.

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