Fluorite takes the floor

Fluorite isn’t forgotten.

That’s fluorite, folks, not flouride. No talk of dentists and toothpastes here today!

Fluorite, companion to malachite in the prior post on gemstones.

I’d intended to write on both of my little {ahem} rock-solid friends. But as we know, the road to that fiery underworld is paved with good intentions! The post on malachite turned lengthy enough and fine as a stand-alone. Today the spotlight turns to fluorite.

My fluorite’s not “pocket change.” I like that play with words because gemstones can and do help one change!

You can see for yourself the hunka-hunka burning cooling stone that fluorite is set beside my LED votive candle (no candles, not even tiny tealights, allowed in apartments!):


And the side view:

flourite side

Unless you’re wearing cargo pants with pockets sized for your lunchbox and thermos of hot coffee, you don’t tote this stone around every day in your pocket.

Now, to briefly recap, after deep-cleansing some 30 stones in alignment with our recent new moon / partial solar eclipse in Scorpio and setting them in their bowl, fluorite (in addition to malachite) jumped out, all lit up, wanting prominence, seeking to assist at a time of deep deep — speaking of Scorpio, the underworld and unconscious being her domain — struggle around boundaries, violations, attacks, protection and safety. {I won’t go into it beyond that.}

It’s not uncommon for stones to know more than I know! Gemstones are little – or large – spiritual beings. They have energies of their own as living creatures. They communicate, some more loudly than others, if only we pause our mind chatter to listen.

Fluorite. I’ve had this piece a long time. If faded memory serves, I got it during the deepest pitch-black darkness of my adulthood in Washington state / Tacoma circa 2008-11. Four years sounds about right for my fluorite.

Life’s Treasures Kuai has a fascinating explanation on fluorite, including fluorite by its various colors (i.e., blue, white, yellow, rainbow, green).

Interestingly, fluorite, it says, comes from the Latin word for flux — quoting now: “a substance that promotes flowing and combining of other materials, especially minerals and metals … Flourite is used as a flux in making steel and other metals that require the removal of impurities.”

Fluorite hence has the ability to raise impurities to the surface. Quoting again:  “It cleanses, purifies, dispels and reorganizes anything within the body and environment that is not in perfect order.  Fluorite is known to rid the aura of cording (unwanted attached energies from other people).”

And from sunny ray.org:

“Green fluorite is able to awaken the heart chakra. It is connected to intuition, grounding, and absorbing the excess energy, including the energy from the environment. It brings information from the subconscious to the conscious mind.

“Green fluorite helps in dissolving the emotional traumas, it cleanses the mind, the chakras and the aura. It can be used very successfully in crystal healing and self healing, where it helps all egocentric problems on psychic level and with the stomach and intestines on physical level.”

{Coincidentally, the stomach’s my storehouse of my emotions, traumas, etc.}

And from charmsoflight.com:

“Fluorite cleanses and stabilises the aura.  It absorbs and neutralises negative energy and stress.  An excellent learning aid, fluorite increases our powers of concentration, self-confidence and helps us in decision-making.  It encourages positivity, balances the energies, and improves balance and coordination, both physically and mentally.

:Fluorite boosts the immune system and stimulates the regeneration and restructuring of cells and DNA, particularly in the skin and respiratory tract, and heals ulcers and wounds. Fluorite strengthens bone tissue, and alleviates rheumatism, arthritis and spinal injuries.  It improves the discomfort of shingles and other nerve-related pain.”

{Coincidentally, dealing with bone tissues and structure big time right now.}

One thing I read long ago concerns fluorite’s ability to neutralize energies discharged by electronics so is recommended alongside computers, TVs and such; also abilities to harmonize hormones.

Fluorite has much to offer, as you can see, and volumes on this easily-found stone are online. All of these properties resonate in my current life beautifully.

I could pull excerpts from now until eternity! Instead, I’m going to let my green fluorite speak here from my hand: {going live on the air}

“I’m for grounding and clearing the space around you. You are feeling crowded by others’ energies — not only your ‘roommates’ who are in actuality tenants who because they have invaded your space feel like roommates.

“Yours is a lifetime of others in your space by intrusion, invasion and violation, beginning in infancy.  You’ve never had the experience of someone standing up for you, protecting you, calling you worthy of protection, safety and protection from harm — and worse. Not your mother. Not your father. No one.

“You still don’t have it but you’re trying to learn it within yourself. This is the hardest road taken. And not unusual for old souls traumatized in many many lifetimes. Grit and determination are your nature. And you are weary. Wearied by life, wearied moreso by old habitual patterns that not only no longer serve you, holding onto them is detrimental to your creative life force.

“So I am here, green fluorite that I am. I jumped out with malachite because while very different stones, each of us, we can assist independently and synergistically in helping you create — create from nothing — the sense of protection and boundaries and safety that your soul’s crying for and has been crying for for essentially a lifetime.

Archangel Raphael, he who heals

Archangel Raphael, he who heals

“Look at each of us, malachite and fluorite. What color are we? Green. Malachite: the deep deep healing green of a forest and I the pale green of springtime. Healing color, green. Green, the lightwave of Archangel Raphael whom you’ve summoned to help you and whose picture graces the wall by your computer.

“You chose, you listened, wisely with me, fluorite, and malachite, for a trinity of healing from invasions / intrusions / violations and to create from nothingness boundaries for the first time. It is never too late, even at your self-called ‘old lady age.’ (:) )

“You’re asked ‘only’ for one thing and no small thing it is in working with me, fluorite, and malachite and that is to cooperate. A challenge for the fierce fighter that, yes, you’ve had to be to save your life.

“Cooperation is the buzzword for the inner healing and transformation you wish to effect. Step aside, you rugged independent fighter, and allow flow. Allow malachite and I to be there, giving you the space to breathe that you have never ever had in the presence of nearly all others.

“Keep us by your bed on your “Costco nightstand” of a box! In the the room where you write in flow and listen to music.

“Last but not least, you HATE people telling you how to do your job when you have it mastered. It offends and insults you and belittles your immense capabilities and intelligence. The same can be conveyed for me and malachite and your many gemstones. Let US do our work so that we can be of divine assistance.

“Breathe well — breathe, simply — in my presence, green fluorite, soft, gentle, peaceful flowy springtime. My energies while soft and sometimes subtle will keep your neighbors away, the ones with ill intent too, so that you can begin to relax and create within yourself safety.

“I, fluorite, thank you for inviting me in and letting me speak through you and your writer’s hands! Like malachite and all gemstones and human beings and all living creatures, we like to be seen and heard!  And that begins, for you, with a feeling of safety in this world. It begins with boundaries.

“Now go out and play! That’s part of breathing too! Another post for another time.”

Love from the green moss of early springtime, soft blanket on the earth’s belly,









Malachite makin’ mojo

Some people got a pocketful of change.

Me, I got a pocketful of gemstones. And a bowlful.

I had last night the best sleep in recent history, matched only by a summer night’s getaway to Flagstaff to see my traveling stepmother. And family dog. 🙂

After a guesstimated 9-10 hours of fitful and consistent sleep, I awakened feeling rested, refreshed. No headache. No migraine. No fatigue, exhaustion or — and this is particularly notable — severe depression.

Was pretty surprised, I admit, when I opened my eyes and turned toward the clock. 11.45 a.m. Very nearly high noon! Late even for this nocturnal creature.

To what do I owe this pleasure of a good night’s sleep?

Well, I could expose a laundry list of possibilities. But I won’t. For today’s purposes, I can’t help but wonder whether that restorative sleep had sumthin’ to do with these two guys. Two little magnificent guys:


That’s malachite on the left joined by fluorite.

I’m a stones girl. That’s stones with an “s” at the end, not a “d” — to be clear. 🙂

I’ve a strong affinity and resonance with stones, herbs too. A resonance, affinity and higher level of communication similar to that which some people have with, say, plants or trees.

Some 24 gemstones of variety gathered through the years occupy their bowl. Plus, separately, I carry 3-4 daily in my pocket. The same ones, I don’t randomly pick ’em from the bowl. They’re my little friends.

I tend to them with care and cleansings in a bowl of sea salt — MUST be sea salt, not idolized — or a glass of sea salted-water sat on a sill for sunlight.

Admittedly, I don’t care for them as I should or as they need; that has everything to do with my own deep painful issues of childhood neglect and negligence. (Some women ought not have children, my mother among them.) But I do the best I can with care of my self and gemstones.

In a mass cleansing around last Thursday’s new moon / partial solar eclipse — in Scorpio at 0 degrees, a significant marker to be sure — each of my some 30 stones was refreshed by salt or water or soil according to their nature. (Not every stone is benefitted by submersion in sea salt, ditto water; some are harmed by one element or the other.)

Last night they received their closing cleansing — a spiritual spritz you could say — as I held them under running tap water. After being left to air dry, they were returned to their bowl, all shining, smiling and refreshed.

Like I wrote, stones and I have resonance. I also happen to be incredibly psychic, a topic I don’t discuss publicly for various reasons. But since we’re on the subject that I brought up (haha), I can simply touch or hold a stone and it’ll speak to me. Or not.

And the two that spoke, that lit up in my touch, were these two above, the malachite and fluorite.

I don’t maintain a mental list of what each stone does, its metaphysical and elemental / energetic healing property. I go by how feel and intuition and then have to look up the stone’s metaphysical properties!

Once again, the stones and I were in sync! — they speaking to me and I listening.

Turns out that malachite — the vibrant green one on the left in the photo — is a powerful protector.

BTW, Healing Crystals for You is a terrific site with more on malachite and many many more crystals:

It protects one from negative energies. It creates a strong barrier that protects from negative entities and attacks from others.

But a blurb from said site:

“Highly Protective Alerts You To Danger

It will protect your auric field from invasion by earthbound energies that may otherwise put you at risk from psychic attack. The energy of this stone is strengthening to the auric field… and it is known to alert you to the approach of danger. Malachite has an excellent vibration within the heart chakra and the other chakras surrounding it.”


As I’ve written, there are people in the apartment building attacking, petty and small-minded and self-serving people who have made me their target and punching bag. I feel the energies directed toward me (though some have never even met me!) and my apartment. I feel their energies around me leaking in beneath the door like so much poisonous smoke.

Also, while my apartment couldn’t be called severely haunted — and having (barely) survived an extremely haunted apartment for three years in Tacoma I REALLY know of what I speak — it’s still an an old apartment in a 56-year-old building with its share of entities and spirits.

Those past spirits as a whole are more “livable” in my space; they don’t produce the pain and hostility of present-time residents.

And by the way that malachite, with its powerful ability to protect from energetic intruders, lit up by my touch, I’m certain it was the divine speaking to me, through the stone. I have been under attack. I continue to be under attack. I am dealing with a past of constant and severe attacks originating in childhood and continuing beyond.

So, with a few other stones, including the fluorite with which its paired in the above photo that I didn’t get to in this post, malachite stayed beside me on my nightstand (aka a Costco box).

And I slept more restfully and peacefully than I have in a. very. long. time.

Coincidence? Or malachite working its mojo?

I’ll leave it for you to decide.

Masks Off for a Moment

Groups. Beware groups.

Especially online groups, forums and the like. Wherever people gather en masse “to discuss” is a surefire recipe for mayhem, toxicity and Stupidity. There are exceptions but they’re few and far between.

The WordPress groupings are little different. I’ve dipped my toes into those waters. Then, unimpressed, returned to my innate lone-wolf status.

I’m at my best as an observer of humanity, humans and their behavior. Plus I’m an extremely curious person who loves to watch and learn. Writing’s also my thing. Hence I subscribe to the daily prompt on WP’s Daily Post.

Today’s was kinda intriguing. I like it because it’s Halloween-ish and Halloween’s my favorite holiday. So thought what the heck, I’ll play this once. 😉

Question: We’re less than a week away from Halloween! If you had to design a costume that channeled your true, innermost self, what would that costume look like? Would you dare to wear it?

That’s easy.

The Scream by Edvard Munch, 1893

The Scream by Edvard Munch.

Don’t know that I’d call it my true innermost self for all eternity but it’s certainly true for now. Being unable to find a job, even the most menial lame crap minimum-wage job, does that to this girl who lives and breathes and dies by working.

Hop in if so inspired.

Masks Off

My vision board hits a blind spot

Vision boards.

Everyone knows what they are, no?

In simplest terms, it’s a poster board with images and words commonly cut out from magazines — but printed online works too — that inspire and tangibly express our desires, aspirations or goals.

Vision boards are ideally created at a new moon, a time of planting seeds. They should be displayed where you see them.

You needn’t sit in zazen staring at it daily! You want simply to keep the words and images in your consciousness and awareness so a spot you pass often in your abode suffices. Mine’s on a wall across from my laptop lounge chair.

I make it sound far fancier than it really is! It’s a blue vinyl patio chair bought for a buck at a yard sale. Apart from my bed, it’s my only piece of furniture and hence I feel quite “elegant” in it. You’d understand if you could see the rest of my furniture: boxes from Costco!

But I digress.

New moons are the ideal time to create a vision board. Posting it where you can see it daily is important. And taking it down to make room for a new board — too important.

Vision boards, like our dreams and goals, need to be refreshed. Stagnation, getting stuck in a rut and comforts of familiar patterns and outdated patterns of behaviors and thinking do not serve you.

Likewise, a vision board that no longer resonates has a similar effect. Could be a matter of having achieved your desires or intentions. Or a matter of no longer truly desiring or needing the contents or themes of a hanging vision board.

New moons are perfect opportunities to examine where you’re at and plant those seeds. New moons are, likewise, ideal for articulating those true desires, intents and needs with resonating words and images.


We just had a new moon in 0 degrees Scorpio on Thursday, Oct. 23. Also a partial solar eclipse. Because of the Scorpio element, it’s a perfect eclipse-empowered moon to plumb our inner selves and from those Scorpionic depths give voice, visual form or both to our needs and desires at this time.

I was all rarin’ to go. I had my vision. The images. The words.

Then plop.

My printer died.

Downloaded images for which I’d spent oodles of time scouring the Net, “hangin’ around” on my desktop awaiting their print jobs.

I’m in this uncomfortable position of needing to choose whether to pay way too much for a new printhead via Amazon that’s likely but not certain to fix the problem or simply buy a new printer and incur all the additional costs of new cartridges, etc.

I don’t need help weighing the pros and cons of each option.

I do need a working printer again.

I was really bummed when my various lifesaving attempts for my Canon Pixma 4200 turned to dust. It’s a terrific printer and has been for these some nine years.

So I’ve got that on my plate.

And no vision board.

Vision boards, like I mentioned, are best done in a new moon (two days ago in this case). There’s a narrow window of time — 2-3 days after the new moon — where you can still hook onto and ride her coattails. Much past that and you may as well wait out the lunar cycle until the next new moon to plant those seeds and create that board.

I need to create a board. I know I need to create a board. And I know that I know.

I know that I need to create a board on this particular new moon. In Scorpio. At 0 degrees. In my 5th house of — da-da-dum — creativity!

I also know what the theme is, what needs to go on the board in terms of words and images. I also know that the clock’s a-tickin’.

And I know that the vision board that’s on my wall needs to be moved from its central location or or come down altogether. The themes aren’t irrelevant. Matter of fact, they’re still as pertinent now as they were when I created the board, what, two months ago.

Yet things have shifted and are shifted and I do myself no favors by “looking at an old board” or refusing to let new energies and themes present themselves and unfold before my very eyes. So to speak.

Damn! That printhead picked a bad time to die! Speaking of Scorpio new moons. 🙂 Scorpio = the sign of death and rebirth. How that applies to a printer — IF it applies — I’ve not entirely figured out. 😉

Regardless, one thing’s for certain. My vision board’s been blindsided by the printer’s breakdown.

All things must pass, said George Harrison. Coincidentally, like me, also a Pisces. Even more coincidentally, with a Scorpio moon! At 0 degrees! Spot on this Scorpio new moon! Freeeeeaaaaaky!

My oh my, I love me Y!

I love me some Y!


My local Y is a nice facility with … {drumroll} a lap pool and an activity pool! The latter’s warmer waters are suited for aquatic parent/child sessions and more.

As a waterbaby and lifelong swimmer, I’ve sorely missed pools and lap swimming. As a new Y member, I’m thrilled to discover that it’s a nice pool, clean, the standard 25 yards in length and with pool tools like kick boards and pull buoys on tap.

My local Y is more than a nice facility. It’s very active and offers a cool array of classes, most of which are included in the monthly fee; the handful that aren’t, pilates for example, incur a minimal additional cost.

Feast your eyes on what’s up at my Y:

* Bosu Boot Camp — featuring 1/2 dome ball
* Cardio Kickboxing
* CHISEL! — hard core aerobics & weights
* Cycling
* Hip Hop
* Jujitsu
* Latin Rhythm Aerobics
* Roll & Restore — employing foam roller to relieve tension in muscles & connective tissues plus improve balance & strength
* Silver Sneakers Cardio Circuit
* Step — high-intensity & low-impact aerobics
* Stretch & Flex
* Tai Chi
* Tae Kwon Do
* WOW! — women on weights
* Yoga
* Zumba

And those are just in the studios!

If splashy sports are your thing, get your feet wet in these classes:

* Arthritis
* Water Fitness
* Water Yoga

What inspires this post isn’t solely my excitement at being with this Y and back on the sporty horse after a much-too-long hiatus. See, I’ve always been a sporty tomboy plus I go absolutely nuts without exercise. I need it far more than the average person and therefore too suffer greatly without it in mind, mood, overall health, fitness and well-being.

So I’m truly thrilled to be back in the game (AND at an affordable rate!).

What inspires this post are all these fun classes I get to try! True, I’m not a groups person or a people person. I lean toward loner sports: long-distance running, weights, yoga, swimming — and it gets no more loner than staring at the bottom of a pool for hours!

But I like this town and this town likes me so there’s pleasure in engaging — and sampling the goodies at the Y.

Like yesterday. I checked out the spinning class. I admit, bicycling’s never been my thing. I enjoy it recreationally, tootin’ around town or on easy trails in the hills. But as a sport, not my thing, though I do “endure” for the workout.

In a class, however, it’s fun and motivating!

Music’s blasting, the ladies are pumpin’ their legs and butts and sweatin’ it up, the teacher’s shouting timed speed intervals and leading with combined cycling and arm exercises with weights.

Cycling’ll never be my sport but it’s an hour of sweaty spinning fun!

From spinning in studio B to yoga in studio A. Now, yoga I do enjoy and have done off and on solo for years.

This, however, is my first foray into bikram yoga, aka hot yoga. Bikram yoga’s typically practiced in a room heated to 104 F. (40 °C) with 40% humidity.

Well, I’ll be blunt. That’s never appealed to me.

Luckily, the Y’s class isn’t exactly hot yoga. It’s lukewarm yoga. Temp around 75 F (24 °C) and maybe 10% humidity, which I found just the right level of comfort for loosening and relaxing the muscles without swimming in sweat.

Some of the poses I knew, some I didn’t. Either way, watching and listening to a teacher instruct is beaucoup different from using a book with illustrations and written instructions on the floor as a guide. {Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I LOOOOOOOVE words and books and always will!!} Simply noting the difference in instructions from a human rather than a book!

I especially like yoga because it allows each person to comfortably go at his/her own pace and according to his/her own levels of flexibility, strength and stretchability.

I can tell you right now that I’ll never be able to contort into positions of which the teacher’s capable, like this:

scorpion pose

Neither do I aspire to it!

At this old-lady age, I’m joyful to maintain a moderate to high level of fitness, strength, flexibility and agility. And I’m joyful that my Y, rich with offerings on both dry land and water, allows me to in ways fun, invigorating and uplifting.

Which brings me to the apex of today’s post. Tonight I’m sampling a class that I’m suuuper-excited about! One far outside my rough-n-tumble tomboy ways! One that I may have done maybe once in my youth for an hour!


Rest assured, my level will be obvious!



Not this:


Cauliflower: from “bland” to bursting with spices

Call it aloo gobi with a twist. Call it aloo gobi minus the aloo.

Call it a wonderful and easy Indian dish perfect for the cold season.

Just don’t call it bland!

I love Indian flavors, the complexity of spices and their healthful values. And I love my crockpot.

Now that the landlord has signed off on recipes I submitted to (hopefully) head off resident complaints about cooking odors, I couldn’t wait to get cooking! And satisfying that craving for Indian cauliflower — aka aloo gobi — I’d had for weeks!

My aloo (potato) gobi (cauliflower) is made with a twist or three.

One, I used a sweet potato instead of a white potato.
Two, aloo gobi’s traditionally dry but I craved it as a soup so added about two cans of water.
Three, I didn’t have the all-important garam masala so employed a substitute found online.

My starting point is this recipe from here … with my tweaks noted along the way:

1. 1 large cauliflower and 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped (sweet potato in place of white):

cauliflower & sweet potato. colorful crunch!

cauliflower & sweet potato. colorful crunch!

2. 1 medium onion, diced:

chopped onions. it's not my party but I can still cry if I want to

chopped onions. it’s not my party but I can still cry if I want to

3. 1 can diced tomato (in place of 1 diced tomato):

tomatoes in a can

tomatoes in a can

4. 1 2-inch piece of ginger root, peeled & diced, and 2 cloves garlic (mine’s easy-breezy from a jar):

ginger & garlic. a match made in heaven.

ginger & garlic. a match made in heaven.

5. Two heaping tablespoons of green chile from Hatch, New Mexico — YUM! (in place of 2 diced jalapeño peppers; green tabasco could also substitute):

green chile from Hatch, New Mexico. the BEST!

green chile from Hatch, New Mexico. the BEST!

6. Spices:
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt (recipe calls for 1 tablespoon; too much)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon garam masala — or substitute from mixture of {2 teaspoons ginger + 1 teaspoon cinnamon + 1 teaspoon cardamom + 2 teaspoons pepper + 3 teaspoon ground cumin + 3 teaspoons coriander + 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg + 1 teaspoon cloves}:

indian spices. a thing of beauty.

indian spices. a thing of beauty.

7. 2 cans water (approx. 3 cups) because I wanted a soupy rather than dry aloo gobi:

All ingredients combined in my 3-quart slow cooker:

indian cauliflower in the crockpot ready to roll

indian cauliflower in the crockpot ready to roll

Cook on HIGH for 2 hours or LOW for 4 hours, stirring occasionally.

While that’s simmering away, I do the dishes. Surprisingly few tools for a meal of many ingredients! (And yes, I’m that organized in my dishwashing!)

while the curry cooks, easy clean up!

while the curry cooks, easy clean up!

Though the recipe calls for topping off with chopped cilantro and serving with rice or naan, I did neither. It’s just that good all by itself!

Truth told, I’d planned to take a batch to an evening potluck. Until I tasted it! It’s selfish I know but I decided to keep it all for myself. {Hey, cut me some slack. I hadn’t been eating well or done any cooking in 1-1/2 months in my new place due to domestic issues. Nutritional needs trumped my spirit of sharing. 🙂 }

In Hindi, कृपया भोजन शुरू कीजियै ! (kripyā bhojan shuru kijīyai) – please start eating!

Crockpot Indian Cauliflower cooked to perfection!

Crockpot Indian Cauliflower cooked to perfection!

Venting {ahem} on what’s bugging the bathroom

What’s in this picture? A new Nissan Sentra* goes to the lucky one who first identifies it!

*cyberspace auto

termite poop

Don’t feel badly if you don’t know. I didn’t either until this:


That’s the bathroom floor alongside the tub.

I don’t wear shoes in the house, see, and every day this week I’ve been stepping into a grainy spread smack at that spot at the door.

Since I’m a neat freak who keeps my space spotless, especially the floors, I could only ask:

What the HECK is this?!?

Natural detective that I am, I look up. Has to be coming from the vent above the tub.


Zoomed in, you can make out the old metal grate and wood:


Mystified, I sweep up the stuff several times a day. Closely examine the pile in the dustpan. Delicately palpate between my fingertips, these tiny rounded bits of tan and dark brown several times the size of salt grains. They look and feel like seeds. Here’s an illustrative pic off the Internet:

termite feces

My investigative researcher skills lead me to the Internet. That’s when I learn what those are.

Termite feces.


That’s (A) when I immediately quit running them through my fingertips!
And (B) have the problem identified.

The vent space above the shower is infested with drywood termites.

To share what I’ve learned: When termites establish a nest in wood, they seal the hole they used to enter the wood and do not leave the nest. Their droppings are called frass. As they eat wood, they create kick-out holes to push frass out of their nest. So wherever you’ve got a pile of droppings, you’ve got termites nearby.

Unfortunately, my problem doesn’t end there.

The landlord’s on vacation until the end of the month and, understandably, doesn’t want to be bothered unless it’s an emergency. A termite infestation, though super gross and bad for the building, doesn’t qualify.

Moreover, fiercely independent soul and problem-solver that I am, my first instinct is to fix the problem. More research on do-it-yourself termite treatments. There’s well-rated sprays at the hardware store along with online suggestions of non-toxic remedies. Like apparently termites don’t like orange oil, clove bud oil or neem oil.

I’m brought to a halt in my problem-solving. A history of attacks from residents complaining about even the most minor of normal odors in an apartment building renders me fearful using ANY product, be it from a spray can or a natural oil, particularly since the vent is shared with the neighbor’s above.

Forced to ditch those solutions, I don my Ms. McGyver cap. I do have this:


Awesome Orange degreaser. Bought for a buck at the Dollar Store to deep-clean the apartment when I moved in 1-1/2 months ago.

Hey, it’s worth a shot!

So in the past few days, several times a day I strike a balancing pose on the tub’s edge, streeeeetttttch my short stature and arm upward and fire that Awesome Orange into that dark termite-infested vent. I drench that sucker! Saturate it ’til Awesome Orange’s raining onto the floor!

Because as pesty and destructive as termites are, I hate their carpet of poop across my bathroom floor even more! And stepping into it every day, gaaaaarrrrooooooosssssss!

Apparently there’s hope on the horizon! Today I awoke for the first time in a week to almost no termite poop! Yey! Meanwhile, I’ll continue with the paper towels to catch and monitor:


It’ll be totally awesome if this degreaser kills off the termites. A case of Awesome Orange totally living up to its name!

Depression: The Autocratic Silencer


It’s not a case of the passing blues. It is indescribable. There are no words for it.

And the words that are used to describe it are inadequate. Words:

total blackness
pitch black

Independently or collectively, these words cannot express. It’s common knowledge that William Styron suffered horribly from depression. His 84-page memoir “Darkness Visible” both brought to light his intimate experience with it and gave word to an excruciating dis-ease that defies description, nee language. That work in its totality is available online at no cost at many sites, including this one: https://archive.org/stream/DarknessVisiblewilliamStyron/123144___william_styron_-_darkness_visible_–_a_memoir_of_madness#page/n1/mode/2up

I haven’t much to add other than I struggle deeply very deeply with it and appreciate Styron’s remarkable efforts to describe his experience and share it with the world. It is more than I can do in the throes and depths of depression.

Depression, for me, silences everything save its own voice that feeds on self-destruction and an underlying urge for oblivion that’s rooted in my relationship with my mother who wanted more than anything to cast me into oblivion. She would have if she could have.

I’ve nothing more to say.

No whistling Dixie here. Whistling comfort.

That’s the pot calling the kettle black!

Or in this case the saucepan calling the kettle yellow.

Until a trip to the Goodwill a couple of days back, I owned exactly two pans: one small saucepan and one skillet.

And a greeaaaat saucepan it is too.

I’m furnishing my studio from scratch and I’m finding as I build my space that I want items solely of quality.

No particle board furniture.

No items that make me cringe or go “yech” or “I can’t stand looking at this or using that.”

If I don’t love any item — if it doesn’t make my heart thump in joy — it doesn’t enter the apartment. It’s that simple.

I loooove to cook. So no plastic cooking utensils. I’ll hold out for the real deal — for example, the slotted spoon or spatula from grandma’s drawers that were built to outlast us all — and in their absence trust my gifted inner Ms. McGyver who will ALWAYS concoct a workaround.

Now, I’m a girl with p-a-t-i-e-n-c-e.

Plus I’m a girl on a b-u-d-g-e-t.

Hence I frequent the Goodwill in this slow process of creating a studio kitchen from scratch.

When I moved in about 1-1/2 months ago, I owned not even a bed — so that was top priority — or a means to boil water for the morning coffee.

So I did without — admittedly as briefly as possible — until I came upon this grand saucepan at the Goodwill:

It’s 1-1/2 quarts of solid sturdiness. Stamped Revere Ware in Clinton, Illinois, USA. It’s like the pans my mother used. And undoubtedly her mother used:

1.5-qt. saucepan

That’s how I like it. That quality of endurance satisfies both my love of craftsmanship and Germanic nature.

I love my ancient saucepan from the thrift store!

And I love my morning coffee brewed with a single red plastic filter.

There’s something intrinsically gratifying and satisfying about the sound of a whistle — and I do mean from a train! Another post entirely.

I’m referring in this instance to the whistle of a tea kettle.

Can’t explain it. I’m not British so there’s no deep cultural tie or biological mother association with a whistling tea kettle. It just is.

So while my ancient saucepan was doing a superb job of boiling water every morning, it lacked that je ne sais quoi of a kettle.

I’m not referring strictly to occasions where I’d pour the needed amount of water into the saucepan, place the lid and go about my day in the next room and “forget” and return 5 or 10 minutes later to find it way bubbling away.

Again, there’s just something about a tea kettle and the valuable alert of a shrill whistle that a saucepan can’t replicate.

So for about five weeks, I kept eyes peeled for a kettle. After reading this far, shouldn’t surprise you that I wasn’t gonna pick up just any ol’ crappy burnt and half-broken one from the Goodwill.

Ditto a new one (girl on a budget).

So my eyes about popped out when after weeks of scouringboth thrift stores and retail shops for sales, this suddenly appeared on the Goodwill shelf!



First, I’m a colors person. And I just looooooooove this color, particularly in a kitchen! Who can remain depressed in the presence of bright lemon!?!

Secondly, the price. I’d-a been able to take advantage of the 25% senior discount had I left it and returned the next day but I didn’t wanna take the ris of it being gone and it woulda been. So I paid the full Goodwill price: $4.99.

Thirdly, once I got home that night and applied elbow grease, it cleaned it quite nicely I daresay. I celebrated with what else but a cuppa tea. Orange spice to be exact.

A remarkable experience to tend to matters in another room and hear the the beckoning whistle announcing the roiling of water.

Probably sounds very strange to anyone who’s not been deep in lack in life but to me, that whistle’s music to my ears.

It means: I had the money to buy a tea kettle from the Goodwill that I REALLY like. Was worth the 5 weeks of waiting.

It means: I’ve a living space that isn’t on the dirt or in my car.

It means: I’ve a means to boil water on a stove that’s an upgrade from when I had either no means in primitive campsites when homeless or a simple propane can with attachable single burner.

A whistling tea kettle is more than a thing of beauty. It speaks volumes. It speaks of these things and more.

It sings of a place that is mine.

It sings of a place where I need not borrow or rely on a roommate’s kettle for the first time in many years and after (too) many roommates.

It sings not of comfort in any cultural or childhood-environment way, rather of comfort unique to me.

Having a kettle and the means to boil water *and* have it announce itself when done is a gift. It truly speaks to how far I’ve come from sleeping on dirt and in my car (looove my Subaru!).

In a strange way, that kettle’s like a Whistler’s / Whistling Mother, announcing her readiness to dispense maternal comfort in tea or in coffee.

Ah, the humble kettle. And it gets no more cheery than bright yellow.

A baaaaaaaaaad day for Belkin

We all have ’em, a bad day. Belkin’s having an exceptionally bad one.

Untold numbers of people, yours truly included, woke up today to their Internet service not working.

The culprit: a Belkin router update that wasn’t. Or in techie terms, a default self-healing healing option that automatically downloaded an update in Tuesday’s wee hours.

The “update” has rendered Belkin routers has rendered Internet access DOA in a global outage. Internet services providers including big players Charter, Comcast, Cox and Time Warner Cable are fielding calls on the outage.

My Cable One is no exception. It was the techie who informed me of Belkin’s crash affecting routers across the board. He told me that of the 12 calls thus far, 10 were on this matter.

Not surprisingly, Belkin’s support lines are inundated with unhappy users. Expect exceptionally long wait times. Too, Twitter too is ablaze with angry people seeking advice on how to get online and pledges of buh-bye Belkin.

A global router outage is a big deal.

Belkin finally issued a statement:

“We are aware of reports of an interruption to internet service when using some Belkin and Linksys routers with several internet service providers. Our team is diligently working to root cause the issue. Our call centers are also experiencing a higher than normal call rate so hold times are longer than normal. Our call centers have no solution to this problem at this time. Please check this status page for further updates.”

Then this update:

“Update – We have identified a workaround that will enable some users to get back online. The workaround requires that you set a static DNS address on the device trying to access the internet. Below are some steps to do this on the most popular devices:”

Be they individuals at home or businesses, it’s a global Wi-Fi disaster — and there ain’t enough spin for Belkin to come out smelling like a rose.

No word on when — or if — Belkin routers will be up and running again. Only reason I can pen this is ’cause I’m using accessing the building’s painfully slow Wi-fi. 🙂