Karen Kuhl

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There's a lump in the carpet in the hallway, no bigger than a quarter, that I only find wtih my bare foot once in a strange while. It's an, "A-ha, I remember you," moment that plays in the back of my mind until I reach my destination. I wonder if there's a name for that kind of thing.

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If anyone has a twenty-syllable compound word for it, it'd be the Germans.
This is true. So says Lichtenwalner, which is only 4 syllables, but you get the idea.
 

During bad times, you think of better times.


music: Led Zeppelin - "Ten Years Gone"

mood: Chicken Lounge waitress/bartender, circa 1996

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Nice! That gave me a little happy flashback.
Remember when I served Ben because he had a full beard at 17? Oops.
LOL! Indeed! When I first went in with him, I introduced him to PH as 'my big brother' (or maybe I fully lied and called him 'my older brother' ? Been too long to recall). He never had a problem getting served there after that! :P
 

I've lost my absolute shit this week. Lost it. I don't even have the words. I was only sorta handling it anyway, until I wasn't handling it at all. I don't even know when, personally, it broke for me, but it's so broke.

Fuck everything. Burn it all down. I'm done.


music: Neil Young - "Ohio"

mood: %@$&

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Love you. Do you have enough access to meds, food, water, sunlight, oxygen, etc? Do you have a cat? I can send you a CHOMPING cat but you probably don’t want a chomper.
Maybe some Ted drawings?
Love you so much, doll. I have the basics, just can't soothe the heart right now. The cat is in fact also feeling it, he's been exceptionally loud and cranky lately.

I would absolutely love some Ted drawings. <3 Please take this giant virtual hug and share it with Ted and Vince and all the fur kids living with you. And... thank you.
BTW: I’m also losing my shit.
*puts on the tea kettle and pulls out the two most loved mugs*
If you've got a third beloved mug, I wouldn't mind sittin' for a spell.
(Gets out the good honey)
*adds another mug; places cat in your lap* <3
I would disconnect from the news cycle. It's not doing anyone any good. The media wants you upset and tuned in to see the next outrageous thing. Too bad humans aren't built that way.
Good advice. Thank you, Ray. XOXO
 

On the advice of Patch, I'm posting this here from an email I just wrote. Taken from an article: "57 Things to Do With Friends While Social Distancing Beyond 'Catching Up'" recommended by Lindsay. Sorry if some of you are seeing this twice.


Weekly? Newsletter

Things I read: Just finished Joan Didion's "Year of Magical Thinking". Not an uplifting read, but for me it fit the theme of loss I'm feeling lately. Was really comforting. Looking for recommendations for the next one though. Not just non-fiction, if you had an un-put-downable-read lately, please do share.

Watched: Signed up for the the free trial of CBS All Access and plowed through "Picard" over the weekend and plan to binge "Star Trek: Discovery" next. Big Star Trek nerds in this household. Hugely big. As much as I appreciate the continuation of the ST universe with the reboots, I badly needed me some nostalgic Next Generation feels.

Listened to: Right now I'm just randomly asking Alexa things like "play Pink Floyd". Which, btw, always seems to start with the song "Money". I'd be thrilled if anyone could experiment and get back to me if it's the same first song for you.

Ate: Food is getting very frustrating. I believe we are stuck in a cycle of: curbside pickup from local small businesses, occasional Chick-fil-A (Why is the line there always wrapped around the building twice? I always figured them on the same level as McD's or Wendy's, but those places are right nearby with much shorter lines.), SaladWorks (best Cobb salads), home-cooking (usually too depressed to cook much), sandwiches... and way too many snacks. And BOOZE. Got the Covid-15(lbs) happening over here.

Laughed about: Too many stand-up specials to count. The ones that stick out are Marc Maron: End Times Fun (and also Thinky Pain) on Netflix, Neal Brennan: 3 Mics on Netflix, anything Jim Gaffigan, and I have to say Stephen Colbert and the other late show hosts are doing so much to keep it survivable. :)

Photographed: This bird outside of my kitchen window, just today, that I have yet to identify.


Loved: Hot Breakfast 15 minute coffee breaks, Ted's YouTube videos and Instagram artwork, group Zooms (when I can get to them), other wonderful stuff I'm sure I'm forgetting, my guy, and my adorable cat. And youz guyz. <3


I do my hair toss, check my nails. Baby how you feeling?

XOXO,

Karen

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I've been meaning to create a "FELINE GOOD AS HELL" cat meme but it's getting a bit late for it.
I would love to have seen that.
Another friend watched the Picard series and was frustrated by it and didn't think it did much with the potential it had. What say you?

Also wow! That looks like a male Baltimore Oriole! They're nectar eaters (also bugs and berries) so if you have a hummingbird feeder you might entice it even closer or encourage it to come back more often... I think there are also feeders specifically made for Orioles, orange colored instead of red and bigger perches. I haven't seen a Baltimore Oriole in the flesh since I was a teen. They're supposed to live in VT (and I saw them here as a kid) but I've yet to spot one in the 10 years I've been back. You're so lucky!!

Food. Sigh. We're fine, we're eating tasty varied foods. But I miss the whole going out and having someone set a beautiful plate of food in front of me while I eavesdrop on the chatter of strangers.
Anne Mollo 5/11edited
The acting was so good that I didn't notice all the plot holes as I was going along. Were there plot holes? Heavens, yes.
I concur with the oriole identification. Maybe nature really is getting better! Perhaps the baseball-playing Orioles aren't getting any worse?
I know you posted this nearly a month ago, but I just tried with Alexa and it played "Another Brick in the Wall," not "Money."
:)
 

I woke up to catpee in my bathtub today. With the addition of Roger's cats, I'd been lazy about ordering the Feliway. I'm no longer feeling lazy about ordering the Feliway. Funny how that works!

So I looked at Amazon and there seems to be a whole variety of Feliway diffuser oils now. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=feliway+refill I plan to do some research, but if anyone has recommendations (*cough* Lindsay? *cough*) I'd appreciate it! I'm rusty. This former Cat-Foster-Lady-Extraordinaire is having to dust off her old tips and tricks, and some of them are way in the back of the closet* under piles of stuff.

I'm also looking at getting help with housekeeping. Two adults and three cats is showing its effects already. I'd already been losing the ability to keep up with my house when it was me and Alistair, now I can longer deny that it's gotten away from me, and is not coming back. Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes... turn and face the strange.

I'm tired already and it's not even lunchtime.


*My brain. I'm referring to my brain.


music: David Bowie - "Changes"

mood: mood

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I got the official Feliway brand multi-cat diffuser set, two of them. We divided the cats into two teams, Team Elder Cat and Team Younger Cat. Each team was put in a bathroom with food, water, litter, a Feliway diffuser, and their cat carriers, in case either of them were like, no.
We kept them in the bathrooms for probably 3 days. The plan was to let the older ones out to explore, put them back, let the younger ones out, put them back. In the end, we just let everyone out at the same time.
I moved the Feliway diffusers so there was one in the upstairs hallway and one downstairs in the main room where we hang out. The only noticeable difference in their behavior is that they didn’t fight and they weren’t jerks.
We kept refilling the diffusers once a month for about three months, then cut it back to one multi-cat diffuser. We haven’t refilled it in about a month, and they’re being a little jerky but not horribly jerky. No more rude and narcissistic than the usual cat.

I also got the Feliscratch Scratching Attractant, and I drip it on their tree and toys. They rub on it and try to eat it. It keeps them from being all up in my grill while I’m working.
Invaluable. Thank you so much. >'-'<
 
 

Excitement today.

The wind blew the door open after Roger left for work this morning. Frost heave pushes the frame out of alignment, and I've had it fixed several times, but really I need a new door. If you don't get it just right on a really cold day, it won't latch. And he usually checks it but he's still new at it. In fact, it still catches me off-guard sometimes. (I've already woken up to snow in my living room. You haven't lived.)

         (Said culprit.)

Well, all three cats were outside when I got up, including his two who've never been outside AND who won't let me near them to pick them up. Thankfully they ran straight back into the house instead of out and away from me.

I still ended up traipsing all over the neighborhood in my pajamas though (no picture provided), shaking a treat bag and carrying a favorite toy, looking for my cat who is too deaf to answer to his own name... only to have him happily greet me at the door when I got back, the little fucker*.

My feet are full of blisters and my nose is running.


*Who I was incredibly happy to see the instant I saw his face.


music: Michael Martin Murphey - "Wildfire"

mood: blustery cold and relieved

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AAAAARRRRGGGHHHH that’s frustrating. Glad the cats know where warmth & food are.
Holy shit, you know it, sister. I was sweating.
Keep us up to date on #DOORWATCH2020.
I'm afraid it appears to be an ongoing problem. *sigh* There already enough household repairs to be made, now #doormageddon.
Turns out Rog was turning around to jiggle the handle after shutting the door, making sure it was closed before he walked to his car. That was most likely the culprit. At his house this works. At my house it nudges the latch loose again. Problem seems to be solved.
New door. New door now.
It happened again today!

When you're right, you're right.
I can't even imagine trying to deal with the chaos of all the cats scampering about. You're such a pro!
Hahahaha! And a little crazy. You know, as required. ;)
 

There's a quiet gearing up to the holidays. And to paraphrase Anne's post, a ripple in the force with the current political climate.

The weather had a sudden shift like a window slamming shut. I ain't even bov'vered. The bright sunny days stopped having an effect on me last month. It was more of a passive noticing, "I should be making the most of this somehow."

Hmm.

I've finally agreed to myself I need a cleaning lady. I've already begrudgingly let someone else do most of the lawn cutting, but the cleaning has been mine for so long, my source of pride. But I have giant gaps where I just can't anymore. I finally broke down and asked a former cleaning client for her maid's number, only to find out she's booked solid. Aargh!! The good ones usually are.

I detest the idea of having to hunt for and vet someone. So back on the backburner it goes.


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10/9 '19 1 Comment
Even during the times when having a house cleaner was SUPER helpful to me, I never really liked it. It's not that cleaning is a source of pride, though. I just... don't like having someone in my house rummaging around, touching everything. It's too close-up for me. If a friend came over and helped me scrub dirt, I wouldn't mind at all. But someone I don't know, that I pay... ugh. It curdles my brain.

And then there's the question of what that work is "worth," you know? It's valued or devalued in funny ways, gendered ways, social ways, status ways...
Anne Mollo 10/9 '19
 

I ate too many grape leaves. I'm having an intense grape leaf craving lately. [Cover your ears, boys.] I'm ovulating and I have no idea if that's involved. [Ears uncovered.] Yeah, I know this is written word.

I'm writing this as I lie sideways on the bed in the period of time where I'm supposed to be sleeping but am nowhere near sleepy-ville yet. It's a place I visit a lot, sans all medicines and potions at the moment. Too much was too much for too long. The cat has passed out in a fuzzy black and white impossible-shaped pretzel. Good for him, my little Boo.

In a happy accident, I see all my lady friends this week. I managed to get booked pretty solid and I just noticed it's my Greatest Hits of gal pals. Pretty nice. Tonight was a little too cool for it, but I sat on the deck with my friends Kathi and Lana. Tomorrow is bracelet making and wine (mostly wine) with Natalie and Cassie, and so on and so forth. I don't get this much in a month sometimes. Whee!

I went to the Celtic Fest on Saturday and it was my first time. I don't know how I missed this all these years, but I'm thoroughly hooked. Men in kilts everywhere. Awwwww yeahhhhh. My guy wore one, too, as he is Scottish and his sister finally got him into one. He went formal-style for the parade, with dress shirt and suit jacket, and dayam does that look work for him. Too hot to maintain though, it was a blistering 80-something degrees with him in wool head to toe, so he switched to the lesser known traditional "What's Under The Kilt?" t-shirt. (Answers below).

Sunday was Arts Fest, and coincidentally a collegiate marching band competition across the way at the local high school stadium. That was incredibly awesome to stumble upon. More so even than the Arts Fest (I dare say). Unfortunately the heat was hammering me so hard I couldn't stay long. A little visiting afterwards and then to bed for the usual battle of the blankets, aka the alligator wrestling contest.

(These grape leaves have sticking power. Whew.)

Okay, rolling onto my back again. The cat grumbles every time I move. I feel like I'm married.

Where was I. Oh, would you like to know What Is Under The Kilt? At least according to USA Kilts?

  1. Bagpipes
  2. The Earth
  3. My Celtic Pride
  4. The Loch Ness Monster
  5. Socks and Boots
  6. MacNuggets
  7. Freedom!

There you go. Curiosity satisfied? No? I took a peek. I saw #4.


music: America - "Horse With No Name"

mood: tired but not sleepy

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10/1 '19 4 Comments
I've had grape leaves as a container for other things "x,y, and z - wrapped in grape leaves" - but never the leaves by themselves. Is that a thing? Clueless folks want to know!

Glad you got some hang time in with the girls! I saw you posted on IG, but I couldn't like or comment because I was using my laptop at the time. *grumblebitchmoan* at IG's complete lack of anything like a support system.

Celtic Fest sounds awesome. My favorite response to "What's under the kilt?" was always "How warm are your hands?" One of the big sellers of Amerikilts / Utilikilts had a list up on their site back when I got mine for Burning Man. Of course, that was *mumble mumble* years ago.
When I say grape leaves, I mean the ones rolled around rice (with or without meat). I was confused at this the first I heard it, but that seems to be how it's said most places I've seen them.

Really sorry you're still fighting IG, especially because that's the only social media I like anymore, and I'd hate to see you locked out for the indefinite future. Speedy unblocking.

Celtic Fest is entirely awesome and I thought of you. You need to go with us next year. I like the utilikilts and there were just as many wearing those. If you have either, rock it! Be warned I will ask you what's under it because I am 13 years old. ;p
Karen Kuhl 10/1 '19edited
>"Speedy unblocking."

The fucked up (and frustrating) thing is that I'm not actually blocked (see my recent skeleton art post) but rather - I'm blocked ONLY when I'm trying to use a laptop. Both my phones work.

This means that I need to upload art from my iPad to Google Photos. Then download from Google Photos onto one of my phones and THEN I can upload it to IG.

What a pain in the REDACTED.

On the plus side, it's now officially Inktober, so I'm going to be posting a lot of ballpoint pen sketchwork which I can just directly photo / upload.
I meant on your laptop. I did read your post. :)
Karen Kuhl 10/3 '19
 

It's so hard to live a life through the constant filter of physical pain. It's so hard to explain it as well.

It's not even a bad day today, just having some nostalgic moments on a warm summer evening, and I know there was a time I lived and moved freely and without this thing tugging at me, in my back, my legs, and tonight, my arms and neck and head.

I once sat without any awareness of my body at all. I sat in the air and just *was*. I hear music or remember a moment and it surprises me how far from that I am.

Just putting the thought down on paper, not for any particular reason.


music: The Smashing Pumpkins - "Soma"

mood: nostalgic

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7/26 '19 6 Comments
Message received.

Thank you for sharing this.

Robert Bryan 7/27 '19
Thanks, Robert.
Karen Kuhl 7/28 '19
your response to pain is badass

you're not in pain
pain is a filter between you and the world
pain is happening to you
it's not you

that's varsity-level existential practice
talkers don't know how much maintenance that boundary requires
you know
you do it

thank you
Robert Bryan 7/28 '19
You have an unusually accurate insight into this. I am humbled.
Karen Kuhl 7/30 '19edited
I've been thinking about physical pain a bunch, lately.

Recently, during a staycation with my spouse when all three of our kids were not home day and night for a couple of weeks, we chanced to have access to a pharmaceutical-grade drug that, while not categorized as any class of pain killer, nonetheless allows you experience a complete absence of physical pain for a few hours. Generally, that isn't the most remarkable aspect of this particular substance, though it makes perfect sense physiologically; it's rarely commented upon at all, except in cases where it's used therapeutically in end-of-life care.

By my reckoning, I'm about a decade older than you. I don't have high levels of chronic pain and fatigue as you do, but I do have an accumulation of aches and pains, both from general living of life and from specific traumas over the years. Although I do my best to fight entropy, I was finding myself increasingly sad and discouraged. Also—importantly—some pains were becoming more intense and more intractable, and the progression was frightening.

I wondered, after the effects of our staycation had worn off, if the pain and anxiety would be even greater after having such a complete break from it. In fact, the opposite has been true. And at the time, I also experienced a very strong connection to visceral memories of myself as a younger body.

So I'm spending a lot of time pondering that. Thinking about memory, about pain, how pain affects our brain function (which then affects our pain, which then affects our brains, which then...) and how that cycle affects our connection to memory. Thinking about how difficult-to-impossible it is to fully understand either the physical mechanisms for pain or the psychological ramifications. Or even, what is memory itself?
Anne Mollo 7/27 '19
I had once somehow managed to take a combination of cold medicines (for an actual cold) in a such a way that they hit at the right peak for each, without the negative side effects I usually get from them, and I had this perfect feeling of contentment and low-pain. It lasted about 4-6 hours, and I was mostly just amazed. I spent much of the time drinking in the shift in perspective, wondering at the beauty of the mundane things in my room, and how everything that had plagued me just fell away for a moment. I could see the answers to everything, and it was simple: the energy all around us is connected.

It doesn't feel the same anymore, but for a long time after I could touch upon that memory and still feel the revelation.

I believe it's the closest I've come to an ecstasy or acid trip (not sure?) and it has stuck with me. It helped me seperate myself out from what was happening to me, at times. Maybe someday I'll get to do it again, this time on purpose.

I appreciate you sharing your experience.
Karen Kuhl 7/28 '19edited