And the dark night will give you the day. (that Special Feeling-March 30: My most favorite bewitching hour- the storm commenced)

Tonight Suli opened up to me

(I love Airdrop; sometimes technology really gets it right. It's so fucking useful)

Anyway, Still washed aglow with that feeling one can get when they think they must have been the only earthling to witness an event. That feeling.

It was a crazy night *yawn* The day started trotting off to the bank. Yay! I finally was approved *yawn* for a bank account. I hadn't ridden in that direction since last week so knew about the civil servants strike, but hadn't seen it. There are tents set up, the road is closed so everyone has to circumvent. This region is so interesting, fragile yet with a core strength that inspires.

A few hours spent at the uni, and let the weekend commence. Oh yea, then I ended up back at said bank again- just joyriding this time though. My next super-exciting mundane stunt? I pulled off another Carrefour journey. I actually got to check one thing off my "to buy" list- a fan. I predict this next week to be the week that weather dictates I will need a fan...

There is just come comfort in knowing there is 1 grocery store with exactly 1 aisle that is dedicated to 'health food'. I know. It's not Mana Foods, or Ashland Co-op, but it's there. Another small victory is knowing that I already this was going to be the case, so faithfully every new move to new country I pack exactly 1 suitcase FULL of potions. It's like Christmas all the time for me; looking in my bathroom cabinet and see all those Dr. Bronner Organic Soap bottles awaiting...

PICK ME, PICK ME, they silently scream out at me when I peruse. Just last week I finished my Almond soap. I opened up that treasure chest of delight *squeal* and lustfully mulled over my choices: Peppermint (old #1), Almond (new #1 for 3 years running), Eucalyptus (unexpected pleasure), and Lavender (kinda going on the outs- yes, you can tell I chose this one).  And then there is the Skin Trip Mountain High Coconut body lotion, you fans know- that same one that hasn't changed in 20+ years. I love potions from home for sure.

Steering back on course now...

As you can tell, I'm still in that 'honeymoon' phase of a new area... Everyone seemed to (somewhat reluctantly) agree to hang low and we'd all resurface tomorrow evening, so I followed suit. I ate the entire box of bonbons (as I do) that my friend turned me onto that night at Carrefour when we were supplying for another's tequilla-themed birfday soiree. It has evolved into monthly tradition: Carrefour means payday means box of bonbons to devour in less than an hour. It works. Also, the chocolate soy milk, and the bubble water...

Continuing on...

The night was spent binge-listening to My Favorite Murder podcast and knitting my-totally-awesome-still-in-formation-pencil-skirt. I've come to an impass though, and need some critical consultations from friends in the know.

Eating. Yes, eating also played an important role. Spiritual binge-eating I call it. All week at work I only eat a (huge) salad, so that 1st night of weekend it's a grabbag. I dozed-off staring at the skyline as My Favorite Murder droned on in the background fuzz- something about their live show in Anaheim...

On a side note, I've LOVED watching these Murderino ladies evolve the past few years. I'm not even sure how I first found their podcast. I think it was Katie or Diana? I've turned quite a few friends onto this podcast. Istanbul, with the kitties, and the KnitWits (our group of wayward drinkers with a knitting problem during Snowpocalypse 2017. Yosemite, high in the Sierra Nevadas on the Merced River at the rock, by the Trailer Girlz pad. That was suck a fucking awesome headquarters. Twas also a great run. I did always think I was going to run into a bear- every day. Or a mountain lion. Heehee. Flying to Hawaii on 5 episodes. In Ashland at The Kitts groove pad listening to them outside on the lanai staring into raw SoOr landscape that can only be southern Oregon. Every trip I take, My Favorite Murder comes along for the ride (No Agenda, Snoop Dogg's GGN, Lore and Two Dope Queens podcasts too).

MFMs content- it's  just interesting, and funny in an organic kinda way- from the beginning. Random. Love it.

Back in bed later, I slumbered. Something woke me up. Thinking it was much earlier in the Bewitching Hour, I got up. I love roaming the halls at this hour. Always. All ways. It's that da kine abstract daze, my nocturne. Its arrangement of line, form and color leave my breathless and eager to indulge in its texture. Mood. Moulding. Nocturne. It's on.

What a fucking amazing display of nature follows. Darkness interrupted with horizontal streaks of lightning. I realized this grumble was rolling thunder. What a delightfully agitated scene I am witness to. I sensed rain to follow. This land knows. I know.  Just waiting.

My lanai is so inviting. Settling in, here comes the rain. A brief appearance and once again all is quiet (well, it is a city and all but it's still relatively 'quiet' as far as cities go). Thinking the show was over I debated going back to sleep, grabbing my computer to write...It was already 5 am. My internal rhythm's ego injured (thought it was 3 amish), I sat in disbelief. Get over it. Boom.

Light has broken through the greydation sky and suddenly a hugh 'crack' and the sky lets looks little balls of hail. The size of a Cocoa-Puff, they hardly stuck yet hail nevertheless. The moment was soon over. What a moment though. How fantastic to witness this event up in the foothills I imagine. Time to explore the hills. Perhaps that should be tonight's get together. Yes. I'll offer it up to the local local branch of the general council of weekenders' KRG shenanigans.

I realize I'm supposed to go hiking these very hills today, but that will likely be cancelled by this eternal downpour. I guess I'll just chill and watch the show from the couch unless I can wrangle anyone into some explorations. Oh, just realized this likely means no Nepalese food sellers down in the park today, or a run today.

It's nearly 8 am. Time to make coffee...


I spy

Friday morning; stillness. 

On my lanai listening to the birds. Only birds. Birds and Chinese Fan Palms. Two ghost apartment buildings standing like skeletal monoliths standing guard. Pigeons, squatters, take refuge there. Twenty four floors I count in each. I wonder what their story is. 

I spy street kitties. One is darting underneath parked cars, traversing its hunting grounds perhaps. I wonder what they hunt. Finally a meow!  A woman that lives in the building walking her dog passes by said kitty. 

I spy a car parallel parking. A five-minute endeavor. Fascinating. Going on month three here in KRD, I've made some observations. There are a lot of SUVs here. Gas must be cheap here... Certainly a hella lot cheaper than in Turkey. I didn't see a lot of SUVs there. The SUVs here aren't as massive as they are in the Gulf, but they do exist in abundance here. That is all, on pondering automobiles anyway.

I hear music off in the distance. If it's the cami, then the loudspeaker isn't working properly. This city, it's interesting. I wander the streets, almost feeling as if I'm cloaked, as I go about my business- whatever it might be. It feels normal, natural even. 

Coffee. French roast with a hint of pecan wafts through the air. That first strong sip feels warm and supple against my lips. It's comforting. I'm not that person that needs it to function though. I am my father's daughter, in that I'm compelled to activate upon waking. Coffee helps to slow this process down. It gives me the time to simply chill for a while as I connect with my other characteristics that many times take a back seat because, well that's life. You gotta go to work, and in order to do that, you gotta plan your day, etc. Coffee serves as my 'just chill the fuck out for a few minutes and let your intuition sort out some things semi-consciously, so things will be pono (in balance)".  

So, Suli here in the NW of the country lies in the foothills of the Zagros mountains. I'm currently re-reading The Epic of Gilgamish (I first read it when living in Bahrain), and Suli was the land of Zamua. The area dates back to The Flood and plays a prominent role, but in this (Sumerian) version Utnapishtim rids himself of all his possessions and builds The Preserver of Life, which lands atop Mount Nisir (thought today to be Pir Omar Gudrun here). After releasing all the animals, he and his wife are granted immortality. 

As I understand it, The Lullutu lived in Zamua, predating Assyrian and Sassanian invasions (dating from 880 BC to the end of the 3rd century). Zaman became known as Sharizor. Under Ottoman control (17th century), it became Baban, named after its 'founding fathers'. There is some connection here to a family of Georgian Mameluks- but I haven't researched this, yet. This seems to be the starting point for Slemani's 'modern era'.

*why doesn't coffee stay warm forever*

There is some sort of walking tour of the historic houses of Slemani- which is next up on my list of sites to see. 

The 'hood is starting to show signs of movement, it's now 9 am. I still hear music in the distance, along with the white noise of traffic. The birds do not accept taking back seat to the cacophony of sounds though. 

Looking up, I spy the pigeons roosting onside their austere-grey skeletal alcoves spying down across the land just doing their thing. In this moment I feel the sun warming up the land of Zamua. Taking off my hoodie, I'm ready to soak up the stories that might offer up in whispers.



...and in that instant, everything changed

stories from da `hood

...(l)and in that instant, everything changed. Something shifted alright.
transported back to El Portal and the seductive Merced (river). Further back I travel- back to any of those days, any of those lands- but the song remains the same; lying on a beach, some grass, the floor of my apartment, whatever. I am always looking up into the sun, as it warms my body.

You can take da wakine (girl) out of the beach, but never the beach outta da wahine. Hawaii, so many days staring into space and watching my thoughts, psyche, march by in steady rhythm- until something alters. Yea, these moments are exquisite. I covet them. So much thinking occurs on my lanai, while relaxing out in the sun. So.much.primal.pondering. The elixir. I found my dose, and apply it at every chance.

One of my favorite 'early-move' moves (~ 1-3 months) into a new living situation is to secure a beach chair, outside lounging furniture, and ambient lighting (still to come that one- outside of candles). Spirits help! All da kine fixings shape my reality. Every place different, yet every place connected- geographically, yet also spiritually. Spirituality, whatever it is, there is familiarity. Deep down in some powerful rhythm, worked by some powerful wizards (beings to tangible objects), whatever it is, wells up and needs to express itself. I guess this is my addiction that cultivated. It is me. 

So yes, here I am in KRD, connecting to my internally-wired hard drive looking at my photo stream from last summer: The Yosemite Chapter. The SoOr. Chapter. The Kas Chapter. The Laguna Beach Chapter. The Hawaii Chapter. The Gaziantep Chapter, etc... All are an inner-connected web. Not linear (the work of science). The work of nature (rhythm). For this knowledge I am sane.

I guess that's about all. I wasn't really thinking to post, but while sitting here on my lanai, knitting my pencil skirt (side 1), listening to Suli Sounds. Earlier I thought I heard an accordion. I haven't heard the sax in over a week. I hear children every day playing outside at the playground. Squeals of delight I tell you.

Then there are the two street kitties that faithfully come to the common area. WhitePaw, as some kid named kitty, is quite affectionate, very dirty, and reins as co-regent. The other co-regent is a tiger kitty. I can never understand what its name is. The two work you together as 1 entity, even though they aren't friendly with each other, at all really. They are felines. They are smart. We bond.

That kitty bond, though... The Kitts have my heart. Sometimes I'll be watching Brittania (new on my radar along with The Plebs and Altered Carbon coming up), or whenever and The Kitts are right there with me. We are cruising around the kitchen, I fret while they consider the balcony-which is open and so a scary option for any cat caretaker, we all hang out together doing our 'mundane' routine called life... All that, I miss.

But The Kitts are evolving splendidly. Warms my heart while making me forget how dastardly Sami Bey could be- with his ability to annihilate favorite fabrics   Every person that has catsat has a story that will unravel, such as a favorite item of clothing would when Sami Bey would masticate it into a black hole of death. Fortunately, he is LOVED so dearly and we cat-proof all fabric we covet...

Sami haze

hypnopompic Shaika

Shaika Spot; rabble-rouser extraordinaire. She knows how to satisfy her political agenda. She can shred, with her eyes all the while she is watching you stealthily. Wanting a reaction, she fidgits when I finally catch onto her vibe, that she's been vibing for likely minutes previously, slowly weaving her web until I fall victim. She is an adorable Svengali, and Sami Bey is duped into it. Always falls for it. He's onto her now, so now he indulges for a higher purpose. This is how they roll. I know...

So yea, that about wraps it up. I don't think I have any other tangents to stray off on. If I do, I'll save them up for the next communique. Haha, I just realized that I left off with my knitting mid-row (150-stitch long row) to write up this post.

I guess the thing to walk away with after reading this is that you understand how much I enjoy lounging in the sun.

                                                                       As always, no proofing


Somber Sunday

Newroz! Spring has spring here in the K.R.D

My staycation here in Sulaymaniyah continues. I woke up yesterday with an ever-so-mildly-annoying headache *hangover?*. It certainly wasn't a 'wild' evening; I had some friends over and we just chilled talking story(ies) about Hawaii, Lebanon, and Australia respectively. We covered the world- the universe actually- right here from 35.5570° N, 45.4359° E,  Iraqi Kurdistan- affectionately known as 'Slemani.'

I had been wanting to visit various museums here in the city so staycation offers a perfect opportunity to finally chill out and check out the city (most days I'm skooling myself about 3 books deep into grammar tagging- yes you know, breaking down sentences into its most basic parts... *le gran sigh*).

So, here's the breakdown of my day:

First off is the bank. It's taking a long time to get * be approved for * a bank account here. What place does one have to be approved to give an institution money? First I needed my Kurdish Residency card to apply. That done, it's been over 2 weeks, and...

Walking into the bank, after a light frisking- either physically or with just a 'you good' nod, depending on who's standing guard at the entry. Banks are serious biz here folks. I stared at the machine for a few moments- it clearly offers English directions as well, but I still stare. Every time. I sit and wait for that number to be called and pass my time people-watching.

Not much happens as I relay my story to the bank lady. I'm just wondering if my account opening has been approved. It has been 15 days after all. Phone calls made, information received (takes 18 days), feel I have made a major accomplishment in this task in that I have had confirmation on what I had previously suspected to know... A secondary tidbit was that as I was sitting there with the teller (yes, civilized- we sit here and transact), two colleagues walked in! I already know people out and about in the city! Major score for sure. I'm surely becoming localized.

I have finally succumbed to the quite normal ritual of having phone credits with internet access. Yea, I know. Why did it take so long. It certainly makes navigating around much easier... This means that I have to carry around my phone in my hand. Feels weird, but I finally get to where I'm headed anyway- after a slight detour (I didn't believe the GPS). Or, it was just a difficult building to locate. After all, I had just arrived at the Amna Sukara...

The Amna Sukara is the old HQ building of the Iraqi intelligence agency, the Mukhabarat. Under Saddam's (Hussein) rule, it was a most dark chapter.

Here's an article with a decent explanation of what happened inside its walls. I don't really want to even talk about my feelings experienced there. It's darkness and this vibe washes over you as you walk about, your mind simply blown while reading the words- words from the brochure, words written on the cell walls from detainees there... Fuck, it's fucking heavy. Then, you see some sort of beauty in some pictures, in the refugee camps or something. Something catches your eyes, the surrounding hills, the camps, the close-up shots of the people, and you sense a beauty within, and there's just this feeling of... I don't know. You have a sense of guilt for finding something beautiful from this capture of dark history. Art. Art is healing, bittersweet, ugly, beautiful- all at the same time and so there is this arrangement of fucked up emotions that consume... That's the best articulation of words that I can muster up in this moment. Yea, read the article.


Okay, now with some background, here is my eyefull:

the Hall of mirrors


something about irony and shit, coming out of the ammunition hall and all...
nothing like some fabric to put a smile back on my face though

I want...

So I'm deep in the beginning phase of my pencil skirt I'm knitting now so...

'Chemical Ali'; his desk...

After the darkness, heading out into the light

 Well, that certainly made for Somber Sunday. Wanting to readjust my kaleidoscope, I headed out on foot down to the Slemani Archaeology Museum.



Babylonian, Assyrian, Hurrian, Sassanian, Sumerian, Akkadian... Essentially it's a timeline extending back from pre-history up to the Abbasid Islamic Period. It's a sweet little museum packed full of history, and herstory. A volunteer came up to me, a local woman, and went around with me. She was clearly excited to talk about each piece. We had a great time, trying to negotiate words in both English and Kurdish. Heart swelling!

This was the perfect closure for my day of explorations! Yes, a successful Explorer's Club kinda day hitting up 2 museums. Satiated, I trotted off towards my favorite park, Bakhi Gshty. No sign of the South Indian and Nepali families that are there every Friday selling their homemade food, I trotted off towards the bazaar. I had one last item on my agenda- fabric cushions for my lanai (deck). I already knew where to go. BOOM. Fifteen minutes later, I'm cruising out with 2 sets of cushions in hand. I flop into a taxi and away we go.

Here's a little snippet of information on Sulaymaniyah, in case you're curious.


In other relevant news, spring is here. My 2 indicators went into high alert this past week: First, my coconut oil is at its most PERFECT consistency right now. Not solid yet not oil, it's just right... Last, no more comforter for sleeping. Yep, just a sheet and a smallish blanket- my new favorite from Yosemite!

Last, sound vibes this morning provided by Gabrielle. Ah memories flood from back on Maui in the day when the group pumping out beats and dancing in the jungle until sunrise. Good shit.


Peace from Iraqi Kurdistan,



giving thanks to the birth of Spring: Newroz

Newroz spiritual cleanse

Newroz: 2018 Spring Fling

statement of disinterest: I am totally disinterested in proof-reading this... Beware if you are a non-believer... (what does that even mean? lol) 

Listening to that sound; a few actually. Hyperaware, my ears tune into the drowning background rhythmic real noise we call rain. Rain is most fascinating. Living on the north shore of Maui, I was lulled to sleep with rain. No need this white noise shit to tune out of this mass vibration of a world where nothing quite shuts down- ever... Yea, that's the kinda moody mood I'm in this morning here in (Iraqi) Kurdistan.

Boom: Tosca Suzuki in Dub is my go-to foreground thunder.  The joint-harmony of today's moving picture show greatly amuses my soul.  Soul food literally.


Speaking of soul food... I've been indulging it since about 3 pm yesterday.  Yes, the return of the one-woman show ensued; a development in accompaniment to the official onset of Spring Equinox holidaze.

This annual renewal of spring, this Newroz, is my initiation into KRD life, I think...

Yesterday afternoon I blurted out that it was like a big, spiritual dump. She laughed a laugh that came from deep within. A welling up on feeling that upon release was satisfying- unexpectedly. Perhaps it was my out-of-nowhere exhalation of words that caught them off-guard. Whatever, it was a grand moment of cultural exchange.

Spring renewal: Newroz. With my spring renewal comes the first sips this morning of a new coffee cup! As today was initiation/activation, a wide smile creeps across my face, enjoying the slow traverse across the roadmap of my lips as if the setting sun was thoroughly enjoying the journey across the western sky so much that it was trying to hold off time, just a little bit longer...

Now, I'm a fan of ritual, and making room in life for ritual. It's the little things- truly. Take face-timing family & friends. This world is crazy tech, but often times I'm in awe of it. To express the heart-felt warmth of seeing people that are in your life so very far away and being able to share minutes exchanging with them from all corners of the world- precious indeed.

Newroz. New country. New coffee cup. New (old) tunes playing, messing with my mind- the good way. The way you thirst for in times of drought where you're so caught up with that 'other' (work) life, that you push aside what is innate inside yourself. Yes, body rebels after such a while. Always a good shake-up and recombining of the cells. Yea, I dig it.

I dig it so much that the one-woman party made an appearance last night. Now I know I'm 'home'.


No. No no.  This. THIS is the one...


This is how you purge. This is my initiation into spring rite of passage. Science! How to alter the chemical combination into a frequency that grooves through life. Yea. Spring Equinox Skooling I call it: music, food, yoga, running, mind enhancing- you know, da kine. all.of.it.

Some interesting stuff I'm finding along the way:


So, waking up to rain this morning; my heart sings. What a perfect omen, IMHO, that the goddesses/gods treat us with rain. Renewal and massive vibrational energy to clear away the vibrations of winter and make way for new experiences. The ultimate spiritual dump!!!

Yea, water is the gift of life.

In other purging news, I want to thank Miss MeGra for turning me onto yet another use for Oil of Oregano. Yes, mixed with white vinegar and water it makes a fantastic counter-top cleaner. Magic. I'm adding that to today's spring cleaning purge.

Here's an interesting interpretation of (Kawa and the story of)vNewroz from the Nederlands:


 So yea, this morning can be described as a Nowruz//trip-hop//Chinese medicine//yoga//spiritual dump-kinda round.

Unfortunately, I fear it's too late to get fabric and get to a tailor for a jili kurdi... alas.  Shame on me! How could I let this slip? Well, I have been crazy-busy for the past 2 months (lame excuse). Next time! Perhaps I'll check out the fabric section of the bazaar though and find some hidden gems.

I must say, there is NOTHING quite like walking by a fabric store around these parts! Bahrain was exceptionally amazing for textile discoveries. Oh I've got so many ideas for designs. This is the week to get cracking on my projects (spring renewal). Projects up on deck:

knitting pencil skirt
     window shading needed soon- and fan, and lamp (2), and beach chair (comfy)          (preferably 2), and the low shisha mats for seating on lanais (decks)
 Kurdish lessons
hikes into the mountains

Here's an interesting website for a viewpoint on Kurdish (language) origins.


NOTE: I would whole-heartedly welcome any other interesting links that y'all have about the region here. I am a sponge ready to soak it all up and try to comprehend the nuances. 

I've fallen down a few rabbit holes this morning! Here are some results:


Newroz: special flowers to focus on, special foods, special clothes, pottery to smash, mountains to climb, fires to alight, nature to 'worship', phamily to visit- I'm in!

 ...and a little something-something on the 13-days of Newroz:

pussy willows, pussy hat b/c rain!



This morning's blogposting vibes brought to you by:

 tosca (my musical accompanyment)
the spirit of da kine

Today: A perfect day to hit up the bazaar; moody and fiercely gentle the rain falls. Gotta find some pottery to smash next week!

In conclusion: