Three

This morning as I was warmly ensconced in my down quilt, drinking a latte and listening to the news (http://www.npr.org/2014/11/12/363058646/coal-mines-keep-operating-despite-injuries-violations-and-millions-in-fines – does that only anger liberals?), my cat sat up, at attention. I noticed something just beyond my back yard fence, so I went into the bathroom (with an unobstructed view of the area under the large mesquite tree).  Three healthy coyotes were checking out the area, urinating as necessary over rival scents. Appeared to be a mom and dad and teen. I’ve never seen more than two coyotes together in my yard before (they were the two very young siblings1). No wonder the cat has been staying indoors so much lately.

Seen Today
At the college the cleaning woman had the door open to the cleaning supply closet near our classroom. On the top shelf were four healthy philodendrons (the only indoor plant my mother could grow), for decoration.

Cleaning
Speaking of cleaning, I’ve done a lot recently since my house has gone onto the market. Paid to have the windows professionally cleaned, and paid my friend’s housekeeper to help me one day with yearly maintenance on the deck, but didn’t want to get the carpet cleaned, as only the stairs and the hallway needed it.  I had finished a carpet cleaning spray for spots that hardly worked and took a lot of elbow grease. Online found a formula of peroxide and baking soda. Worked great, although with a modicum of scrubbing with a towel. Only problem was the baking soda doesn’t seem to dissolve well enough, and the sprayer kept clogging.

Saturday decided to empty my bedroom closet to oil the wood shelves which were incredibly dusty.  Was wearing my dreadful work shorts and tattered T-shirt and had just started unloading the  bottom shelf when the front door opened to a real estate agent and her client! She had called but I guess I had been upstairs eating breakfast and missed it. Oh well – luckily the rest of the house was clean except for dirty breakfast dishes.  I went back to work and could hear her extolling the virtues of the house (she must have been a cheerleader in high school), but her client seemed non-committal.  Darn.

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Had to copy this from a friend’s Facebook page:

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Walkabout

An interesting article in the NY Times a couple of weeks ago2 about a 40-year-old Swiss woman, Sarah Marquis, who hiked 10,000 miles (!).

…For that trip, Marquis lined up her first sponsor, the North Face. She doesn’t think she impressed the company by her pitch. She believes it gave her a few backpacks, a couple of tents and some clothes because, she said, “when I told them what I was going to do, they thought, We can’t let that little thing go out without gear.” To supplement the inadequate supply of noodles she could carry, Marquis brought a slingshot, a blow gun, some wire to make snares and a net for catching insects. In the warm months, Marquis ate goannas, geckos and bearded dragons. In the cold months, when the reptiles hid, she subsisted on an Aboriginal standby, witchetty grubs — white, caterpillar-size moth larvae that live in the roots of Mulga trees. (Raw, Marquis said, they taste like unsweetened condensed milk; seared in hot sand, they crisp up nicely.) Throughout, Marquis tried to minimize human contact. She hid her femininity with loose clothes, big sunglasses, hair piled up in a hat. When water was scarce, she collected condensation, either by digging a deep hole and lining the cool bottom with plastic or by tying a tarp around a bush. If those techniques didn’t yield enough liquid — and they rarely did — she drank snake blood. At night Marquis slept close to the trunks of trees, touching the bark in a way that she describes as “almost carnal.” She fell in love with a particular twisted and wind-bent Western myall tree on Australia’s Nullarbor Plain…

The rest of Marquis’s trip was not all Zen bliss. Seven months into the walk, she lost a molar. Her gum abscessed, and the attendant infection, which couldn’t be controlled with the antibiotics, started moving down her neck, and she had to be evacuated from Mongolia. Marquis returned to the precise G.P.S. coordinates she left and made it to China, where, one day, some children followed her. She sang with them and taught them how to set up her tent — and then they stole her BlackBerry. In Laos, drug dealers descended on Marquis’s camp one night, firing their automatic weapons into the air. Soon after that, Marquis contracted dengue fever. She tied her left leg to a tree so she wouldn’t wander off in her delirium and drown herself in a river…

Of course, if you don’t die — well, then the experience of extreme travel is fantastic. After swimming across a river infested with crocodiles, Marquis wrote that every time she finds herself in the bush, “my happiness increases tenfold.”

1https://notesfromthewest.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/mesquite-seeds/
2http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/09/28/magazine/the-woman-who-walked-10000-miles-no-exaggeration-in-three-years.html

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One Response to “Three”

  1. Jim Says:

    I would be tempted to befriend god’s dogs, to learn more about them.

    Americans now live under a plutocracy, republicans and democrats elected to serve the citizens, instead serve the bankers and corporations who so richly bribe them. They forget that the Constitution gave their citizens the “Right to Bear Arms” against them in bloody revolt.

    Without independent documentation, little Sarah seems little more than an incredible little liar. As for the New York Times, perceptive readers recognized how it frequently deliberates misreports. Recently, Howard Friel, in his book, “Record of the Paper: How the New York Times Misreports US Foreign Policy” documents this in the area of foreign policy.

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