Yukon

In March I flew to Whitehorse to mush at Sky High Wilderness Ranch. The trip requires a timely Covid clearance coming into Whitehorse then onto the event. The owner took us to liquor store to pick up libations before heading to camp. A Propane running cabin and self starting sauna, I could hear the dogs howling and yelping from afar. After a short introduction a group was leaving and brief hello was “Goodbye’. Chewy, Zia, Dudley and Koala managed to pull me around river’s edge and windy mountains. Every day was a series of getting to know your fellow mates and guide. Having mushed before I was just as scared (the picture above is from the first time) given the experience of dogs in heat and fighting. “more like wolves” as Visa the guide explained. Harnesses lessons and a quick point to a board which listed who was skinny and who had frostbite on their you know what. Lead dog gets two bowls of meat soup that when it’s was served looks like a crime scene, as you placed it directly on the ice. What remains remarkable in my thoughts is the men and women who do the Iditarod. 938 miles and the record 8 days 3 hours 40 minutes and thirteen seconds. I saw through the window a women who came looking for her dogs. Big Denali truck with all her dogs in tow minus the ones she was looking for. Michelle Phillips is her name and she is an Iditarod participant who was introduced by a boyfriend to the sport. She is also a former figure skater. I took notice of her shape. Strong and compact she is probably one of the most bravest people I’ve never met. Our Guide Christina was similar to most people who make the Yukon their home. She did the most work, having to be our motley crew guide then at the end of the day cook for all of us. I gave her a good tip and a hug. There was a music professor, a computer geek and a newly wed couple who were teachers in B.C. And none of them drank or went to sauna after the end of each day. The last night was games and drinks and the owner had so much fun but I think he came to eat. Gary is good sport and I’d love to go back and talk to Michelle. It’s a beautiful sport and thank you Cynthia for all that you do for us.

The Scrub

Bliss

I RETURN TO THE SPA I LOVE. THE NAKEDNESS OF IT ALL HEIGHTENS THE EXPERIENCE. YOU ARE VULNERABLE AS YOU WALK TOWARDS THE TABLE AND LIE FACE DOWN. I CLOSE MY EYES TO ENHANCE TACTILE AND AUDITORY CUES AS I MOVE TURN BEND AND STRETCH. I AM AN ENGLISH MUFFIN WITH NOOKS AND CRANNIES. MY BODY RECEIVES A VIGOROUS SCRUBBING AS I LISTEN WITH INTENT TO HEAR THE VESSEL FILL WITH WATER AND I SUDDENLY BRACE FOR THE SPLASH AND STING WHICH QUICKLY FOLLOWS. AS ANGIE GROOMS ME I DETACH FROM THE SHELL AND BEGIN TO FIND HUMOR IN THE NAMES THE BODY HAS GIVEN ME. THE OLECRANON PROCESS, THE SOLAR PLEXUS, AND MY VERMILLION BORDER. ALL MY BODY PARTS HAVE SERVED ME WELL AND I BECOME FLUSHED WITH APPRECIATION TO BOTH ANGIE AND ALL THE OTHER WOMEN DONNING BLACK PANTIES AND BRA. THE UNIFORM NECESSARY TO WORK FREELY. I STEP OFF TO SHOWER AND RETURN TO THE SECOND HALF OF THE EVENT. THE WHOOSH OF CUCUMBERS MEETING THE MANDOLIN. AN AROMA OF COCONUT LEADS TO OILED SUPPLE PERSUASION OF MUSCLES ONCE INJURED AND SORE. THE MASK IS APPLIED AND I LOSE TRACK OF TIME. THE FINAL HARMONIOUS RELATIONSHIP WITH MY BODY ANGIE AND I IS A SPLASH OF MILK WITH HONEY. MAY I NEVER RETURN TO ORDINARY LIFE.

TE ME CU LA.  

600 BALLOONS IN NEW MEXICO. JUST 3 OR 4 HERE TODAY.  ROWS OF GREEN STUFF THAT EVENTUALLY TURNS INTO RED WHITE AND CHARDONNAY. SENSE OF  EXCITEMENT IN THE AIR UNTIL I READ “INCLUDING DEATH” ON THE WAIVER FORM.  ONCE ELEVATED SO PEACEFUL. MY BALLOONIST BUDDY HAS BEEN OUT UP UP AND AWAY A FEW TIMES  SO SHE APPRECIATES THE SMOOTH LANDING. I APPRECIATE THE TECATE BCUZ I WAS A LITTLE SCARED. XIE XIE MARILYNN. ZIAJIAN

You Can’t Go Home

20160109_163610.jpgA few months ago I heard from a friend ” Hey its me …My brother has been divorced about a year and a half you should give him a call”.  As I write this I realized you can’t go back and He was just being nice.  Asking to be put in the friendship category and hang out is bullshit and unreasonable.  Better to write it out as a cautionary tale and accept you can’t go home.   Real estate of the heart can be a millimeter or acre but its there.  I was doing so good on my own playing poker, working and traveling.  Situations like these caused a skid mark in my life…then a flood (emotions) then back out to the desert where I  belong.  It doesn’t matter that Ive been with someone the past 12 years, there was life I lived that proceeded my my life now and it was filled with freedoms, adventures and significantly less obligations.  I tied this into thinking what was and what could have been.  I choose not to see this as a danger zone but a beautiful walk down memory lane.  For This I am grateful. Ziajian

GOT YOUR GOAT

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I’m halfway thru my nursing assignment and I am grateful for this never ending learning curve, lots to take in (mentally) and I mean not just working in a busy hospital on a busy surgery floor.  I have been given a subtle lesson in both livestock, agriculture and people  (my most favorite subject)  Saanen and Alpine are breeds of goat and a hectare is 4.27 acres.  I learned if your kid (lol) has milk allergies goat milk products may be an alternative. There are seasons for pistachios and oranges and everyone here knows the calendar of fruits nuts berries and cherries just  like I know the alphabet. People here in Porterville live two lives.  They drive home to their hectares to farm, feed and tend to the flocks, herds and stables. At the end of my shift I am completely exhausted but these hearty souls have spouses they speak fondly of and together they are farmers of all types of industries.  A wonderful nurse shared a story that translates nicely. One of her goats who had  essentially been isolated by the others because of her beauty,  is now keeping company of one of the new billy goats brought to procreate. She was often seen alone and isolated and now she is on a pedestal. Not sure of the metaphor or lesson behind this but it just sounds nice doesn’t it?

Ramp It Up

Back in the truck and it got a little crowded.  Why? Because we got what every girl dreams of,  a mini fridge.  The driver and  I couldn’t wait the 24 hours  per owner manual suggestions.  We loaded it primarily with fluids and in the nick of time Arizona is hot Flagstaff Phoenix and Tucson . Now I can offer my parched guests tea or water.  In few days we are going to Baltimore Maryland and I recalled a move we did last year, from there to California.  A row of narrow and deep houses all attached to each other.  The neighborhood I was in was conducive to being at least cordial if not neighborly.  We had 3 young guys working to help us pack and load. We chatted during lunch and all three said “There is no work”  now I look back and feel for those guys especially now.   I will never understand what it is to be their shoes.  2 young fellows ” Weezy and Keys” both
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with kids and an older gentleman.   The driver paid them well and everyone was happy. The shipper asked if she could give us her food in fridge and it pleased  me to observe the 2 younger guys in agreement, to give most of it to the older helper, as if they knew who needed it more. Zia jian

Falling in Love with the South

 I asked the shipper “May I take pictures of your backyard.” This part of the country is growing on me.  In the best way you are forced to recognize Mother Earth and all her glory.  The gal whom we met today shared about the does and fawns that pepper her backyard,  very early in the am, to dine on the grass and the bucks who are solitary creatures that do not accompany the deer.  Then you have hop back in the truck and the repose I feel can not be replicated with a beer or winning a big hand at Poker. It’s simply confirms that I am visitor and this world is not mine but mine to enjoy if I choose. And I feel lucky and blessed.   Kennesaw Georgia. 

 

Tail in the Soup

The title sounds so much better than what really happened. One can wear scrubs pants backwards so you have two pockets in the front. I went to the bathroom and the drawstring went right into the toilet and got wet. I said to myself out loud “My tail in the soup” and stuck with me. It’s good to have soup and and its not so good when something you wear or need ends up in it. This is exactly how I feel. Things are great but something will pop up to detract from the goodness. I went to celebrate Chinese New Year on the actual day and nothing was happening until the weekend and I didn’t go because I was exhausted. I have to go to trucking school this year and I know I should. I just been dragging my feet. And all I am thinking about is wanting my life to be like the movies. EAT PRAY LOVE to be exact. And this darn blog I feel as though I keep writing the same stuff and I am. I’m slowly building resentment at this hovering period I’m in. So I’m stuck in traffic this afternoon and I call the driver to tell him “March 7th” when I can hop back into the truck. And I hear it in his voice that I sound like I want to work as a nurse and maybe return in the Summer. He says “It doesn’t really matter” OMG what does that mean? . Then still while driving on the freeway I notice a couple on a bridge holding hands walking a dog and it brings a smile to my face. I get closer and notice it is a homeless couple and they are both thin and tired and the dog is skinny. See tail in the soup.

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A Wish for My Friends.

20150207_173428My birthday passed recently and for the record it was one of the most enjoyable special birthdays I’ve had in quite some time. To Fortino who I love because he is special and generous And Lillian who made me feel loved and cared for in a way that was reassuring. I didn’t realize I needed to be with these two but at the end of the night it was meant to be. In my opinion we three came from modest humble beginnings and by some measure we are successful. We all have loving family relationships and the laughter we share. Although it took a story of my other friend who farted at a party I took him too so he could flirt, did Fortino start to let the laughter take over. I shared about the pansy ass hand shake the car service guy gave me and the walk through sex shop in West Hollywood to notice “Organic Lube” and giant chocolate dildos and how I accidentally walked through photo shoot. It was in alley give me a break. I am in the words of some, a junkie of certain TV shows. Yes we went to Pump, the restaurant seen on the Bravo channel. It was beautifully lit and the music was just right, subtle French hipster music that if you listen to words closely you would start to cry. I was buzzed which helps the deep feelings coming bubbling up to the top and all I could feel was love for my two way way back friends. Fortino you are such a success and a picture of health. And to Lillian you made me feel like a birthday girl for the first time in a long time. I love you both and thank you for making this a remarkable Happy New Birthday.

Gypsies

1421779208531-542592867Played poker yesterday and looked up to see a couple of guys who I knew were gypsies.  Stereotypes aside I am fascinated because we all have evolved.  My folks do business with a guy and my mom said one day they chatted a little and Angelo said he  wanted more for his kids and family.  To read,  write and go to school was important to him and he actively  changed the course. Then there was gypsy Mike who was a beautiful sexy guy who love women. The story goes that he had a bunch of girlfriends and each of these lucky gals got gifts. He’d take something that belong to girlfriend number one and passed on to the next gal. One day gal one got her fur coat back. Few years back fishing out Long Beach my friends winnning jackpot fish went missing and yes  the  gypsies’ burlap bag was  right next to mine. So what’s a few missing fish.  Culturally in the past, the gift of the grift is in  their makeup just like other cultures that honor their elders or arrange marriages. I get it and I ain’t mad, in fact the two guys ended up  at the omaha table and we broke bread. A delicious club sandwich and fried rice. I enjoyed their company and they teased me for not being shy. It was a good time.

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