Long Time, No Talk

Girl and boy playing with tin cans and string telephone

Hi all!

I didn’t post the entire month of June, which is a shocking record for me. It was mostly intentional, however — I took some time off, following the advice of an AMAZING tarot reading by Anatasha at CAJ Spirituality. (That girl’s got it goin’ on, y’all!)

The first part of June, I went on a sabbatical with a friend in the mountains nearby. She went to a weight-loss boot camp during the days, while I walked around the grounds, eating as much as possible, and trying to get back into book-writing mode.

I made amazing progress spiritually after being confronted with my own constant need for comfort. (There was no air-conditioning! It was hot! There was construction outside my window!) Once I’d decided to accept and appreciate what is, I got along just fine. (This was harder than it sounds, and took several days of whining to get through it.)

Straight from this very zen experience, I went home just in time for a deluge of family arriving for the reunion I was hosting. As always, I’d made these grand plans months ago, but was inconvenienced and surprised when the event actually arrived. What was I thinking?

And let me tell you something … there is no greater challenge than to apply the happy and forgiving thoughts you had on a mountaintop to a pack of relatives there to test you in everyday possible. Add in bottles of wine and icy beer (for them), and you will find yourself hyperventilating in the tiny downstairs bathroom. (Your parents have your bedroom and the roomy master bath upstairs. For two weeks.)

ANYHOW, I’m back to my lovely world of cyber friends, and look forward to catching up on everyone’s blogs.


If yours sucked, just listen to what my sister was doing:

She’s a government vet, and there’s an outbreak of avian flu in California. She and ninety other government vets have been flown in for a very special assignment.

For three weeks, including the 4th of July, she first goes to a government building at 6 am to shower and put on a special white hazmat suit. She then travels around the city and countryside with a partner all day long in the heat, going door-to-door, and asking “Do you have any show chickens?”

article-2066624-01728A7E0000044D-890_468x286(Can you imagine looking out your peephole and seeing people in hazmat suits who won’t go away? They’re told to be persistent.)

Because she has a hispanic last name, they often launch into a long explanation in Spanish, but she has to stop them and explain she speaks no Spanish. Never has.

Show chickens, for those who have never heard of them, like me, are special chickens that people keep as pets and actually “show” at chicken shows.  Apparently, these chickens are everywhere in this part of California. To complicate things, people often don’t want to show government workers their show chickens, because if they have this flu, they must be confiscated. I suspect my sister spends a lot of time peeking into people’s backyards.


When they do locate some chickens, she and the partner must catch each one and swab its throat to see if it has bird flu. Every. Single. Chicken.

After doing this all day long until late in the evening (because avian flu among show chickens is NO LAUGHING MATTER), they return to the government building, peel off their sweaty hazmat suits, shower, and put on their regular clothes. They then drive back to the hotel, fall into bed, and start all over again the next day.

So even if you did absolutely nothing on the Fourth, at least you didn’t do this.


21 thoughts on “Long Time, No Talk

  1. Whoah, sounds like a nasty but neccessary job your sister is doing 😦 .
    To the airco: isn’t it amazing to find out how we really are when cutting out all the ‘go to’s’ and comforts? I have it as goal to cut all of my addictive go to’s out but I find the less there are left, the harder it gets. 🙂
    There is this saying in the spiritual world: “Feeling enlightened? Spend a weekend with your family and see how that works out for you…” 🙂 For me; all my Zen goes cartwheeling right out of the window ;-).
    xx, Feeling

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that makes me feel so much better! So it’s not just me? I’m such a better person when I’m meditating on a mountaintop.
      I’ve noticed that one part of my mind is now calling out the ego-driven part much sooner than it used to. That’s good, I know, but it’s also exhausting. I remember once that Marianne Williamson said she no longer had the luxury of snarky thoughts. So funny!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is not just you, a Dutch saying: “Bezoek en vis blijven 3 dagen fris.’ Meaning as much as “both visitors and fish stay fresh for only 3 days’…. 😉
        It is NO SURPRISE at all that most people drink gallons while with other people for a long time. My personal theory is because they can not stand it otherwise. How is that for a snarky thought? 😦 / 🙂 / 😉
        I am happy you are finding easy access to peace of mind. 🙂 That is wonderful. 🙂
        xx, Feeling

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Not a snarky thought at all! I began drinking a lot more when a marriage became intolerable. How else do you survive it? I know now that drinking didn’t help in the long run, of course. But in the short run, it provided a kind of amnesia. ; )

        All I can say is, “Bezoek en vis blijven 3 dagen fris.”

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy to hear you had a nourishing break in the mountains! Well done on hosting family for 2 weeks – giving up your space for that long can’t be easy. I’ve missed your posts! Wearing a hazmat suit in California’s June couldn’t have been fun for your sister but bet she has some great stories to tell!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so happy to see you…but it seems that everyone on my list has written today and I ONLY JUST found this. Please forgive me for not writing more right now. I’m yawning big time.

    Wanted you to know I saw. I’ll come back when my eyes are fully open and give you my full attention, honey.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Glad to see you are back! I enjoy your writing.
    I haven’t written much at all myself. Just busy with work and have been binging on financial podcasts. Can’t believe how much I use to drink and how often I drank. Thank God I finally stopped.
    Continued strength and peace to you.


  5. The litmus test is a family gathering. One of my favorite Ram Dass quotes “If you think you’re enlightened go spend a week with your family.” Happy to hear from you and boy your sister deserves a medal for doing that job!

    Liked by 1 person

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