Books are Sexy AF

 Current read: The Fifth Mountain

Discovered while road-fishing through an ex-colleague's apartment back in July, I delve back into Paulo Coelho 30 years later...

An author that never really took hold for me back in the day of 'discovering spirituality', I guess I felt I had long past that 'point' of my spiritual discovery journey so decreed the book as necessary for 'neophytes' to need to read.

Anyhooooooo... here I am in my rawness still journeying. I've been luxuriating in books since early summer and as my intimate time book-reading nears its end (yes, the new semester is set to start soon and we all know that means you have to divorce yourself from pleasure reading), in the 11th hour I rummaged through my humble bookshelf skimming the titles. 

[Can I just interrupt here and say what a pleasurable feeling it is to SKIM THROUGH A KICKASS BOOKSHELF!!!]

...I was scanning for a 'skinny' book. And there it stood out like a gaping wound. 

This is a budding relationship. I'm only on page 38 so we are just feeling each other out as to what we are about. How serious are we? Is this going to be a solid commitment or a 1-night stand? Page 38, though, isn't like page 7 so there is a certain amount of intimacy that has already been indulged in and slipped out from underneath our stern facades...

I can already tell that 'this isn't the right one, but the one for right now', and that's okay. There is solid satisfaction in that knowledge, meaning I can delve further without any collateral damage that would otherwise be leftover after the break-up. 

So yea these are my ponderings.

Further enjoyment about the book isn't necessarily the contents, but the circumstances of acquiring it. This is perhaps the real story. The story that lasts in my memory of time and place.

As an 'expat' (hate that word but what other sums it all up in 1 word?), I flow through life remembering places more so than years. feelings more so than words, etc. And objects in their settings. This book forever will be for me: Sulaymaniyah, Pak City, and covid. As another colleague packed up an ex-colleague's life left inside their apartment, we shared this strange experience. It is an odd feeling to be rummaging through someone else's life, in such a way. Happening upon someone else's bookshelf- what an unexpected pleasure! 

I think about books like this:  I'm the hostess with the most-ess for a weary traveler that needs to be put up for some time.  Shacking up, we share a temporary journey together- which mirrors (at least my) real life. We laugh together, get sad, bored, angry, and finally terminate our existence together. But do we forget? Should we? I would like to think my essence is 'etched' into the lifespan of this physical tree of knowledge. Long after I return to the soil a part of me lives on in my books. Yes. This. 

The content of the book was unexpected. As it unfolded I came to understand the backstory of many words: Jezebel, Sidon, cedar, Ahab, Baal, Elijah (okay I had to really research this one as only had the faintest of ideas), Phonecians, etc. 

There is a certain smugness or satisfaction to find oneself so familiar already with the backstory of a book when going into unknown title territory. This is perhaps a reason I'm turning this 1-night stand into a simple fling as I'm just interested enough to delve deeper because of familiarity.  I like these familiar words. I like what they do to my mind, how they make me feel. 

Well that wraps up my ponderings this morning. Damn I've already finished my 2-cup of coffee daily limit. 




Coronavirus Communique November 8, 2020. The USA series: S1 E1 MaSheila

 The Art of the Deal

The deal went down as such; a bottle of Absolute vodka, picked up from Hilt, Ca. (All Stars Liquor Store) in exchange for my drug of choice - books. This is not to say that books are my only drug of choice. It just all depends on what I'm hungry for at any moment in time. I have many compartmentalized facets that I like to let shine with equal enthusiasm.


So much to divulge as I had not written a post during my 3-month US of A odyssey; however, I'm going to draw it all out slowly tantalizing you all with my penned soliloquies. They won't be following a chronological ordering either because I'm just complex like that, or so my brain waves are. You know, Da Kine...

MaSheila just makes me smile.  I love hanging out with her and the family. We share a bond through our love of books. A bookseller she is! When heading to her shack with JenTalks for morning coffee, which didn't occur nearly as much as it should have but alas, MaSheila is a working woman and all these daze so...  Incidentally, right before my departure back to Iraq we visited her at the antique mall that she haunts on weekdays. Also, the kitty kat that is shacked up there was spotted. Me thinks MaSheila will soon bring her to the apartment, on occasion, for some good feline company. Kitty must love living inside a HUGE antique warehouse though.

I digress... Last year I enlisted her aid in searching for an English copy of 'Les Fleurs Du Mal' (The Flowers of Evil) by Charles Baudelaire, affectionately immortalized as the 'cursed' poet. I got turned on to his writing back in Hawaii and always knew that I would at some later time delve further into his 'abnormal' way of expressing/penning himself. By 'abnormal' I don't mean to express that his deviation from what is 'normal' is worrisome to me.  Rather it is challenging, inspiring, and quite the opposite of 'undesirable'- in fact being very desirable to delve into. Yes, every exquisitely (apparently) sordid detail I mopped up with rabid fascination.


I recently read a book, I think in Budapest earlier this year, or perhaps it was in Paris in 2019. Who can remember!  It centered around the Paris art scene in/around the 1840s. Jeanne Duval, a Latin Quarter artist, met Baudelaire and their relationship continued on from there arousing much speculation into modern times as well. As any urban legend worth its weight by today's standard, their story is steeped with interesting history.  Apparently they were painted together in Gustave Courbet's The Artist's Studio yet she was 'erased' from the mysterious 'manifesto' composition years later at Baudelaire's insistence after they (Baudelaire and Duval) had an argument? 

Apparently their lust for each other was of the 'forbidden' type. Whatever the fuck that meant at the time, as I see it she was black (born in Haiti to a mother in Europe, who was the result of her grandmother being a slave from Guinea who forcibly traveled to Europe to work in a brothel) and he was an opium-loving white Parisian  dandy... Other tag words to familiarize yourself with for this setting is as follows: bohemian, syphilis, urban romanticism, stormy relationship, and Black Venus. Paris as his backdrop, his manifesto, I think, was that one "must create beauty from even the most depraved or "non-poetic" situations." Urban beauty and decay are deliciously juxtaposed in this heaving contextualized sexual scenario and I can dig it. 

Ever popular for her 'exoticism' (how 'orientalist' in nature, yes? After all, she is referred to as being 'mulatto'), Duval was also painted by Edouard Manet simply titled, 'Baudelaire's Mistress' (Reclining Lady With A Fan). I had the honor of viewing this Realism masterpiece while visiting the Budapest Museum of Fine Arts last winter. 


I've digressed yet again. 

So, MaSheila found me 2 copies of the book and insisted that I take both, one of which was, I'm sure, quite a spendy edition complete with beautiful illustrations to accompany each poems- including some of the 'fobridden' ones that had previously been censored in the 2nd edition. Also, this edition is in French. 

Anyway, this is how MaSheila operates. She would take no money for the additional edition that she purchased from one of her rare books booksellers she enlists in searching down books.  She is like a book sleuth! I adore this lust for books she has.


What is fascinating about La Fleurs Du Mal, IMHO, is the section of poems titled, "Black Venus". Obviously you guys knows what follows next; Duval was his muse here. 


I fear I've regressed too much now. Let's return back to the original story line, which is this year's selection of my 2 picks from MaSheila's personal library.. 

We were having coffee in MaSheila's living room, or perhaps it was happy hour cocktails that day... I am in my requisite Queen Anne-style upright upholstered chair staring deeply into her floor-to-ceiling bookshelf, giving center stage to her rather unique and vast collection of books. I swear, so many hours I have spent thinking of those bookshelves and wondering about the possibilities.... All the feel-goods come out; owning a bookstore in Portugal where I can cherry-pick my selections of English language literature for expats and locals alike, renting a lighthouse to live in while writing a book, traveling the world for unique literature, etc...

Anyway, as an early on devoted fan of Anais Nin I had heard of Erica Jong- as the authors share the same writing genre, yet never read her. Scanning, scanning, BOOM. Fear of Flying by Erica Jong. There it was sitting there looking all coquettish. Hardcore seduction at this point, I grasped the book all the while feeling quite provocative in my efforts. Compulsion perhaps? Revulsion? No, definitely not revulsion. Attraction. Definitely attraction. 

[STOP. Let me just put this out here right now, Fear of Flying is no 20 Shades of Gray or whatever the number is... "Oh Holly you have got to read the book. The protagonist is an anthropologist", and other such phrases were relayed to me by various friends. I tried to read the book and couldn't get past page 15 probably.   More recently I tried to watch the movie. Never got into it. Finally during a recent flight perhaps I was forced to watch the entire movie out of sheer boredom. Meh...]

Contemporaneously I offered money for the book as MaSheila demanded that I just take it off her hands. A kinda one-less-book-that-hasn't-sold-in-a-long-time-so-I-don't-have-to-deal-with-it-anymore scenario was proposed to me. I graciously accepted. 

About 2 weeks ago I found myself again in MaSheila's living room- this time it was definitely for sunset happy hour cocktails, I think... Again in my seated position I start scanning while conversing. Another book stands out among the sea; Thelma A Norwegian Princess. Thus, the same scenario ensues and I bring my new book back to the homestead. 

I have no idea what it's about, but the book binding looked super old and interesting. All I know is that it is also about some sort of 'forbidden' love.  I guess this was on my mind after finishing my last quiver of books, The Ice Maiden (Juanita the Inca mummy discovery), Left for Dead (Mt. Everest climbing), and High Exposure (Mt. Everest climbing).

Here now is where Hilt, an old favorite liquor store from my days of yore- high school in Ashland, Oregon- and the ritual of driving the 25 or so miles across the border to find someone at the then Hilt Liquors to purchase alcohol for us enterprising high schoolers), comes into focus. 

vodka for books, my drug of choice. True store











Coronavirus Communique: Saturday May 20.2020

Bom dia,

Eu preciso de practicar meu Português mais tão estou escrevendo em Português só hoje. 

Eu acordei cedo para exercicio fora, antes que fique muito quente. Já está 31º C as dez horas... Minha caminhada foi pacífica. Depois eu fui direito para o ginácio. Agora me sinto relaxado tomar meu cafe no meu lanai na sombra.

Estou ouvindo reggae música a partir dos meus amigos sala de estar na Hawaii. Isto é, claro, de um computador.  Cada semana eles fazem videos para que todos possam desfrutar.  É muita masa! Eu sinto que estou de volta ho Havaí. Eu posso ouvio os sapos ('coqui' frogs- a very bad invasive species to Hawaii) no fundo.  Eles vivem na selva (jungle?) é, bem, isso me faz saudades para os trópicos.

Tem sido séculos desde que eu ouvia reggae parece...

Hoje eu vou continuar cortar tecedo para fazer um vestido de verão.  O tecedo tem bolinhas brancas em um fundo azul.  Felizmente, eu tenho dois mais semanas gratis de trabalha!  Recentemente, um ano atrás, eu comprei uma máquina de costura é tem sido último para costurar novamente.

Na verdade eu tenho minha amiga, Denise, de agradecer pela insperação. Eu a conhecí há trente anos em Santa Cruz, California.  Ela é o melhor!  Ela costumava tem um atelier chamada 'Wild Thing' e eu trabalhei lá. Foi na praia no Capitola Village. Ela me ensinou sobre a vida & estar feliz em tudo. Também, ela me ensinou a amar a música jazz.  Agora ela está vivendo no Surf Beach, Austrália e tem seu estúdio de design em casa.  Ontem, ela me disse que ela vai me fazer um vestido!  Então, eu escolhi um estilo e tecedo.  Ela só usa tecedo com Aborigional impressāo. 

Aqui está a sua informacao para a 'Etsy store', se chama 'Global Vibe' dela:


 E uma foto de nós: Ela visitou-me e meu namorado e sua familia no Hawaii para as férias.
Hippy chicks. Denise e eu na manha de Natal no Maui. Eu não me lembro o ano...

Voltar a Português...

É muito difícil para mim entender Português... Eu posso escrever e ler muito melhor do que eu posso escutar.  Eu vou tentar ouvir podcasts Portugueses mais.  Minha nova coisa é ouvir Bossa Nova podcasts porque as palavras são cantadas mais lento. 

Isso é suficiente para hoje! Como é que eu faço?



Coronavirus Communique: June 17, 2020

I've never been much of a Sting fan, but I have always admired his range of music and his dedication as a wide ranging producer.  If you wanna listen to some kickass Jazz, check out Sting here.  Super fresh funky smooth:


Days gaining momentum, tumbling down like boulders seeking out a stream bed to rest in. My doors of perception swing back and forth like a popular saloon back in the days of the Wild West after coming upon a vein of gold deep inside the eARTh after much work. You don't want to give it all away, but you definitely feel like buying everybody a round of adult libations...

I'm that miner.  I've sharpened my tools, honed my skills. I wanna dig deeper for that inner gemstone radiating out, giving me clues on this trail I plod through. I dig this challenge.  If I fail today, there is always another quest, another day. Completion is so sweet. Necter from the gods/goddesses that dwell, swell, inside me. Addiction is a motherfucker. Nothing like being addicted to honoring thyself...

I follow the trail; this vein looks interesting? Yes. Go forth. Discover what gemstone awaits my awakening. Finding my spirituality here in Mesopotamia is the quest.  Forces of nature seem to always have been chaotic here in the Cradle of Civilization. The Shamash (sun god) and Sin (moon god) are always in conflict within myself. I seek, in the dark of the night, solace- the domain of Sin.  I know. I know I need this Yin to balance out my Yang nature (Shamash).  The dichotomy motivates me. *digging deeper within to locate that evasive turquoise mine. THIS.  This is it!

AHA! The turquoise!  I follow this blue-green vein, blood pumping.  The fluid network running through my being, it needs to remain liquid.  Alchemy.  This region might persist, outwardly, in petroleum, but I need an element that reaches further back in time- that is more useful for me. Of course bitumin has always existed among the ancients here. In solid form, it was used in the construction of buildings and in waterproofing reed boats, etc.

But I digress. The blue rays of MY gemstone, my turquoise shine through my continually fossilizing framework, detoxifying me.  Transmutation. Feeling complete for yet another day here in the time of covid-19...

Back in the external realm, my secret gardenia bushes are in an advanced state of decay. Shamash wins this cycle of nature right now.  Two blossoms remain for me to steal its essence from.  I inhale their essence so greedily. I wanna be drunk on gardenia. Thus, I am.  It lingers all day. When challenged, I retreat back to this olfactory presence. I covet these daily outings. Outside walking Pak City Parkway in the early mornings, I steal away these moments. I cannot help but smile wide. Who can benefit from this energy stirring inside me, rising, bubbling over?  Hopefully anyone that comes into my presence can tune into the VIBE.  There are now a few others out walking so early. There is this unexplored acknowledgment when we pass each other. It is like this clandestine society. We nod to each other in silent respect.

Yesterday morning one of the groundskeepers saw me making a beeline to my secret gardenia bushes.  He was spraying something (who knows what in these times, pesticides, sanitizers?). As I looked up from underneath my protection shield (my trusty Yosemite trucker cap and Maui Jim sunnies), I could tell he was waiting until I completed my task; he knew that I was going right up to those gardenias to take my elixir!  Afterwards, I continued on my journey.  Not wanting to end the connection there, I locked eyes with him, turned back and pointed to the gardenias and gave him a big smile that resonated from deep within.  It just gaped out of me.  We both laughed. That was it.  I felt a part of the community and we experienced this thing together.

So yea, constant upkeep in these times of covid-19. 


Coronavirus Communique; remember remember...the 8th of June...

For you Pete-Y boy:


 Mary Jane:

JaQUElin lives

I got a late start today getting outside. It was 8 am. I knew it was going to be a scorcher, but I needed to do it- if only to take a small side journey to another time- one year ago to the day.

I left the apartment building, as I've been doing for the past few weeks in the early mornings- through the back entrance.  There has been some element of comfort in this, as I walk by that small shady grassy patch of space just outside by the sidewalk. 

At first I did so with trepidation.  I would stay on the sidewalk, and reflect.  The past few days has been more aggressive, forcing myself to stand on that small patch of grass...

This morning I was on a mission though.  As I stood there, cloaked behind my requisite dark sunglasses and baseball cap, I knew they served a higher purpose than solely shielding the sun.

You were something Pete-Y boy. Larger than life I suppose. I learned a lot from you about life. Although, I have only recently starting taking notice of these unintended lessons that poured out of you in such an under-the-radar kinda way. 

See you around sometime Pete-Y boy


Coronavirus Communique: drying cucumbers & mango margaritas sunset cocktail hour on the lanai-I-spy

 June 6, 2020 post workout bliss ponderings...

Surf Jazz + bossa is how I'd even attempt to start off describing Canadian electro-jazz group 480East sound system. Today's music genre's are so convoluted and can be quite annoyingly broad, or narrow- depending on how difficult it is to search for a sound.

I find jazz to be most confusing- in trying to really pin down what grooves I dig.  Electronic music perhaps even more so, but my focus these past few years has been seeking out jazz sounds. 

Deep Jazzy House
this genre is one of my fav for just lounging around early mornings. Slow, sensual wake-ups, lingering in that hypnopompic dream-state just a little longer before starting the day.  What the hell, drink that exquisite first cuppa coffee in bed. These are the mornings where I ignore my bodies cries for a HIIT work-out, or an early morning run.  Yea, these deep jazzy house mornings are for inner visions.  Thoughts running amuck with wild abandon. Worship thyself. Perhaps a yoga sess. Get grounded on a funkadelic undertone (just enough that you don't even consciously know it's there, really) that just glides through your system, taking you on these journeys into the realm of music + chemistry effects from the experience.  You are within the dialogue but not necessarily recognize that you are indeed one of the centrally themed characters. 

Okay I'm not sure if those last few sentences even made sense, but... whatever.

Here's some deep jazzy house:


How do you seek out sounds of:  The Brand New Heavies + jazz funk + Sol Lounge?  It's a genre-bending trip down the rabbit hole. The rabbit hole is as fun as it is interesting as it is frustrating.  It takes some dedication, and time.  Lots of both these days! Surface for air as needed...

Also, "Sol House" is a thing y'all. Think 007

So MzH and I were soaking in last night's sunset and ensuing full moon rise from my lanai for our  perhaps weekly happy hour festivities. Whenever the mood strikes actually.  Days end every day makes me smile, as well as finally get a chance to step out on my lanai and relax into cooler air. Recently, the thermometer has been increasing steadily starting early in the mornings. I find it most important to get my workout in before 9 am. Because my head is like a big radar attract-or, I work out so many mysterious concepts I've kept in my mind during the days while exercising.  I never bring my phone with me so as soon as I get back, I sit on the lanai and type out my thoughts (these blog posts as one example).

But I digress...

So we're drinking strawberry-mango margaritas (blended even) and shooting the shit and down below we spy on maybe 5 of the Chinese girls from the other building. They have walked up to the courtyard/recreation area, which was strangely devoid of kids last night (suppertime perhaps?). They were all wearing pastel color-bloc sleeveless flowing dresses. Now, at that moment I was thinking, "wow, maybe this is a performance art piece, or the beginning of a #BLM protest march, or a full-moon goddess ritual (yes, my mind naturally wanders to far out reaches). I'm stoked. I'm ready for the show.

A few of them break out 2 sheets and drape them over the concrete.  What followed was the spreading of some type of leaf or something.  We were aflutter with ideas, of course, and captivated by the happenstance of the powerfully interesting scene unfolding. In that moment I wanted to go down and ask them because, curiosity... I imagined it was a cultural thing. We decided they were drying out some leaves (for cooking) in our buildings courtyard because of the direct, relentlessness of the morning sunshine. Yes this morning marks a change in the weather that I 'felt' loud and clear: It was already bloody hot at 8 am... So hot in fact that yesterday I was starting to sit in my made-in-China folding camp chair that I proudly purchased at Carrefour last month, when it suddenly started slowly collapsing... It had melted... The amusing part is now that the plastic chair arms have melted, it has brought the chair closer to the ground so now it has transformed from a 'camp chair' to a low beach chair- WHICH IS WHAT I WANTED IN THE FIRST PLACE!!! Haha.   Okay, back to the story!

And then 'POOF' they were gone. 

Fast forward to this morning. I'm trotting off about 6:30 am, sun blazing high in the sky already, and so I divert and check to see what remained (nothing like a good reconnaissance survey of the immediate area thought to host something incredible to dwell on and divert mis-directed attention from the all-too excessive thoughts of shitty news being shoved down our throats on a global scale). Anyhow... The sheets were still there! On closer inspection I can confirm that the 'leaves' are in fact cucumbers!

Still curious. What is this story? Ah yes, right.  Molly-wog, from her Joshua Tree NPS lilypad, called during this unfolding scene. I should update her most definitely to let her know of its outcome. As like any anthropologist/ archaeologist, she got sucked into the story like flies on shit.  SCIENCE!  So cool.

Oh yea, here's my secret gardenia bush(es) update: Fortunately the coveted gardenia cluster is well-shaded so are still producing an abundance of flowers. 

Music to accompany this blog post:

Four80East- "Cinco Cinco Seis"


Four80East: En Route - Live at SiriusXM


Marga Sol


Incense to accompany this blog post;

 Satya Sai Baba Nag Champa Agarbatti

corny movie to check out after reading this blog post:

Out Cold (2001- yes, 2001...)
Just enjoy it for what it is, is my best advice for the cornball cinema...


You Tube series to check out: 

 History of Africa with Zeinab Badawi (BBC)


Podcast to check out:

 Imma say 'summer beach world' to describe this Aussie-boy's showcase of sounds. Think sway, happy hour, sun worship,

I listened to epi. 134 this morning. Still in groove-sway mode...


Okay, that's all folks

Margaritaville de Sulaimani

cucumbers (I think) drying out in the courtyard

made in PRC... RIP camp chair. ALOHA beach chair...

Molly-wog, back in the YOSE daze... fun times working in the Sierra Nevada


Coronavirus Communique: June 4, 2020 Outward Bound Through Inner Journeys

Jazz jam session:
You guys if you wanna hear a cool jazz rendition of Peter and the Wolf, check it.  Oh, and the narration...


This podcast episode features the New England Jazz Ensemble performing a jazzed up arrangement of Sergei Prokofiev's, Peter and the Wolf. Arranged by Walt Gwardyak with a hip "jazzbretto" (narration) by Giacomo Gates.

 The Odyssey continues.

 Funking on down Pak Ciry Parkway this morning:
the local wildlife; meow

BEE present
break on through to the other side
give me life

beautiful decay

support local businesses

(some of my) medicine








I am healed. Again.

to-do list:
master:      Google Classroom
continue:   The High Mountains of Portugal
organize:   Tarot project
binge:        Orange is the New Black {yes yes, I'm late to the game}
foster:        Continental Portuguese
cultivate:   Health
liberate:     da kine


Coronavirus Communique: My Secret Gardenia Bushes vs. There's Something about Weather Report mash-up

wake up
da kine
     nature's aromatherapy
          Mock Orange
          un-identified incredibly smelling/flowering/pollinating tree going off now
          eating fruit from these unidentified trees
incense therapy

Stadthalle Offenbach Concert 1978


Live at Montreux 1976

So... today's most essential 'to-do' list... It's 8:52 a.m. and I have finished nearly everything. Nearly...Everything else after these tasks is just icing on the cake. 'Most essential' here translates as 'shit that keeps me from freaking the fuck out over what the fuck is taking place on a global scale (overpopulation, pollution, desertification, covid-19, etc.), as well as the shit in AmeriK3a right now.

The Iraqi/KRG governments put us all into a 6-day lockdown from 6 p.m. last night.  By now I'm pretty good at my prepper routine: food, water. Covid-19 cases have been increasing at a steady pace (not that it's a large number by any means, but the government here does recognize its own capacity limitations in terms of facilities/workers to react properly.

 Next to My Secret Gardenia Bush(es) are rows of some majestic flowering trees full of whitish-yellow blossoms with the most exquisite odoriferous particles emitting now.  My most favorite scents come from night-blooming white flowers.  It's something about the nocturnal energy; the right chemistry of white blossom and darkness, this being hidden to all except the initiated into these mysteries. There is nothing more intoxicating than a night-blooming jasmine colony next to one's bedroom with the right prevailing winds... 

The honey bees sure are picking up on this olfactory radar. They are becoming swollen and drunk on this nectar. Being fully aware of this elixir, I partake in my daily ritual of breezing past this row of trees fully open to the medicine. I am a willing patient. I'm totally into preventative medicine... 

Behind these gentle giants (just kidding, they are not 'giants' but I'm in my own world, my own bubble, right now so fuck it. My rules) are the secret gardenia bushes that they are protecting (I just made that up, I think). I live for THIS right now.  This delicate aroma is so arousing that I dare not pluck even one.  I savor this flower-drug essence every day. I don't know how much longer this experience can last as I can see the blossoms waning, turning that dark yellow with increasingly browning edges,  but I'll be there until the end.

Now I'm curious about the honey these gardenia-guarding trees produce... I will have to consult my local bee keeper about this. Okay, tomorrow I bring a camera on my walk to I.D. this tree. 

* YAY I have a reconnaissance mission for tomorrow! *  I will add that to tomorrow's 'to-do' list...

Weather Report

 An interesting jazz-rock collective it was.  They popped up on my jazz podcast this morning. I recall recently talking to Solo_ojo about Weather Report in the recent past. There's something about 70s jazz..

That's all folks-



gardenia lust: Coronavirus Communique May 30, 2020

Buddhist Thai monks chanting: my go to


Post early morning exercise sess, freshly bathed, meditation time on my yoga mat, 2nd cup of coffee, lanai, truth.

Truth streaming down my face; a sweet fervent deluge cascading down, cleansing my outcropped facade of 'strength'. Salty water purging through petrifying boulders that threaten to stagnate. Fiercely gentle they are. But I am malleable.  Welcome relief to saturate and satiate my essence. Putrefaction to purification. To be cognizant of the process of transformation... ah yes. Becoming whole again I am.

Yesterday was a tough lesson. I pushed through though- but not without shedding a lot of angst. ANGST- this shit is dis-ease. Peeling back the layers, going deeper internally to my core- where the good shit happens when tended to properly. 

The secret gardenia bushes taught me my lesson this morning. Yes, early morning jamming down PC Parkway listening to my fav jazz podcast, these lovelies woke me the fuck up. So intoxication their essence I dare not to pluck even one.  Staying power. So with every completed lap comes another nugget to tickle my thirst for my quest for The Divine. A few unsuspecting people have walked or drove by when I am amidst this rite for my passage. Mermaid hair, don't care...

But I digress. Yesterday... In reflection, my routine was disrupted yesterday. Not that I like to adhere to 'routine' in daily life, but these times of covid-19 necessitate something. Sort sort of structure to look forward to.  Being so isolated over here to start off and living alone during covid19, well you gotta get creative.  That being said, I miss The Kitts so much- yet my heart swells to think of them in their Oregon chapter of life. So free they are to dwell among the beasts and listen to the rhythms of eARTh.

Take 2... Yesterday...
I woke today with some trepidation; would I snap outta my funk?  Sure as the sun rises/sets I did just that!  So what was it, this temporary dis-ease yesterday? First off, I did absolutely nothing physical.  I perhaps didn't even step out of my apartment. I do recall heading out to my lanai on a mission to procure my cocoa butter that I had sitting out in the sun warming up in anticipation of slathering it on myself. Yea, that's about it.

By 10:30 am I was crawling the walls it seemed. Of course I had moved on to delving into the U.S. news dramedy show. Thirty or so tweets into updates on $45, Minneapolis, posts with haoles directing other haoles on how to act responsibly in our fucked up society, I had had enough.  It drove me back to my knitting and trying to remember how to add on stitches for a sleeve project I am working on. 

On an upswing, I have been studying my Portuguese lessons feverishly lately.  I'm starting to feel fairly confident in my reading and speaking.  Listening, of course, is tricky.

I've been working on a tarot card project as of late. For the past 2 weeks I've been working with the court cards. As it happened, yesterday I was focused on the Hanged Man and Death cards.  Serendipitous, really. I finished off my research with 'Art'.

Yet still, it was a tough fucking day... Some other helpful moments consisted of watching the new Netflix series, "Space Force" with Steve Carrell & just a solid group of characters- most notable for me is the return of John Malkovich to the tele.

In other news, today [tonight here @ 10:22 pm] will be the second attempt at launch of the SpaceX crew launch to the International Space Station. You know what, amidst all this shit streaming at homo sapiens right now (a majority of which we have devised, fostered, and destroyed with), this seems so joyful for some reason.  It's really quite bittersweet; why the fuck do we get to bring our planet to (perhaps) a brink of no return (thinking 'overpopulation' being #1 here),  and explore other realms to continue to fuck up? So yea, I have problems with this, but the science of it fascinates.  Our species, as far as I'm concerned, is fucked. We've hit our 'zenith' and are on a slow descent, back-sliding into  another chapter in HERstory.

things I'm grateful for:
  • all the varieties of frankincense that I have purchased on my trips to Oman.  Pounds of frankincense have filled my suitcases!  Oh, and the sandalwood, and the amber, and and and da kine...
  • music- all of it.  At this moment it's monks chanting.  Earlier this morning was jazz funk. Last night it was Led Zeppelin... See where I'm going with this? 
  • all my medicinals that travel with me to each new environment.  Where would I be without my: Omega 3s, Turmeric, Tang-kuei & Blupieurum Formula, Glucosamine, D3, grapefruit seed extract, plant enzymes, Ashwagandha, Maça, spirulina, lung tonic, ginko, gotu kola, lysine, etc...
Okay it's likely that my neighbors don't know what to think of me. The stairwell was quite active today while I was burning my incense concoction with my door open, monks chanting... No matter. Just letting my freak flag fry fly.

-peace on eARTh


Cultivate: Coronavirus Communique May 26, 2020

Reflecting on:

'Parkie' life- it's a good life
If you are traveling around America and get the chance, check out Yosemite National Park- preferably during off-season...

Pak City Parkway Strut
How does one power-walk while listening to Kool and the Gang's "Jungle Boogie" without strutting? It ain't easy y'all.


As my story goes... early mornings are my most coveted moments these daze. I have cultivated a routine that I look forward to, thrive from and desire to keep me blossoming during these times.  So imagine this morning my bubble shattering- enough that it pissed me off.  There was so much fucking trash all about the PCP this morning.  I just lost my shit silently screaming in my mind. Between the cacophony of litter carelessly strewn about on and off the path and discordant sounds coming from deep within my Solar Plexus, I felt like I was swimming in a pile of ignorance.

This reminds me of living on the Big Island (of Hawaii) when I was studying at University of Hawaii, Hilo. I lived in this fucking amazing area along the eastern coast; Richardson Beach.  I lived in this household of funky people, none of which were also going to university.  They were actors/actresses at the community playhouse as well as holding down their day jobs responsibly.  I used to bike and run along this long, fairly remote stretch (especially if heading further east from Richardson, towards Leleiwi Point. After that it turned to a path (circumnavigating a majority of the island actually- the King's Highway (Pi`ilani Trail). 

This area was so strikingly beautiful it could make you weep. Quiet solitude, local living, nature so wild and unkempt that it was thrilling to be in its presence. But... it was full of trash on deeper inspection.  I mean the little sugar-cane saturated clusters hiding various pullouts so intricate it's like a tunnels leading to treasure chests- of rubbish.  Trash everywhere; furniture, toilet paper, just fucking garbage thrown out of car windows or deposited late in the night by people perhaps not wanting to drive to the dump and dump their shit because they were too fucking lazy.

Beautiful Hilo, Hawaii- but you best remember to walk lightly upon this eARTh... This place is full of mana. No disrespect, eh...


That's what it is... laziness. So seeing trash in my current hood just really made me sad this morning.  It's laziness from all corners of the globe. Why would you not want to responsibly throw your trash away?  I fucking hate this... Pick up your fucking trash.

As I look deeper into the situation I think about what's behind it. Right now we are back in a 4-day lockdown over the course of the Eid Al Fitr national holidays. Covid cases have increased a bit recently and mitigation measures were needed on the fly so this is what the government came up with.  It seems a responsible measure, honestly.

So how this perhaps trickles down to this travesty is that the Bengalese and/or local workers that take care of the grounds (beautiful rose gardens!) aren't working? So normally they are picking up everybody's fucking trash... What the fuck? That shit ain't right.

Rant over.

Each lap, though, I can purge that shit feeling and surround myself with cultivating beauty. Looking forward to seeing my favorite rose bushes each day brings great pleasure, as well as bittersweet sorrow to observe them wilting as they complete their life cycle.  Yes, bittersweet.

While listening to jazz (jazz funk being my 'go-to', I spend a lot of time working on memory exercises in my mind while working out. Each lap I pick one of these mulberry things and eat it and rate them. I think about what I want to blog about as I wander in and out of my own moving picture show that sets the stage for pondering deeper. So many topics come up that it is a challenge to remember each. Just remembering how many laps can be a challenge some days... I concentrate on words/grammar I'm learning in my Portuguese language studies and what I got wrong, etc.

Figueira da Foz
Getting more and more psyched about cultivating my near future... As a back-up, I continue exploring other parts of Portugal to perhaps settle, but I'm not having any of it. Figueira da Foz is it.  There is this sweet village just outside of the (small) city, Maiorca.

So yea I work hard to cultivate my present. I indulge myself into my 'fantasy-of-owning-property-that-is-evolving-into-reality moods. It feels good. Real good. The present is dealing some shitty cards on large scale to Mother Earth these days, down to the scale of global pandemic, and can be reduced further down to each individual's response to all this over-stimuli coming at us. Whatever. I'm trying to turn that shit into lemonade.

Reach the Beach.

Cultivate the Beach... Be the Beach



What Have You Done Today to Make You Feel Proud: Coronavirus Communique May 25, 2020


early mornings funking down Pak City Parkway
I'm my own private dancer in these moments. Quiet stillness, or so it seems in my mind, adds to these moments in the time of coronavirus. Iraq is on total lockdown for Eid al Fitr for obvious reasons.  The city eased up 'lockdown' a while ago, yet I still tread with trepidation. Not yet ready for the transformation to society from a period of hibernation really. All in my own time.  

good shit's brewing in my head. 
Days fly. I can't catch up. Dawn slips to twilight to sunrise to morning to afternoon to sunset to dusk to dark. Lately. Full of projects, my mind is nourished with fuel. Creative energy purges through my network drowning any stagnation lurking, not yet 'wanting' a fix.  Gotta 'fix' that shit.

Pull a few court cards from my tarot: the Sun, the Moon, the Hierophant. Look at me. Energies mirrored, conflicting, swirling creating energy. Moody energy. Fine-tuning raw energy into something malleable, USEful. UseFUEL. Anthem.

Time to create. Time to funk. What the fuck is 'time'?

word salad
 Google Classroom
Bewitching hour
French Roast
South Pacific
da kine 

Magic happens. Left my building this morning full of musical energy to strut down **da kine**  Pak City Parkway, this nugget fell right into my lap. Instinct. Grab it.  I love how the universe provides. Next on deck is "The Mountains of Portugal" by ??? author escapes me... Yann Martel maybe? Me thinks. But, possibilities have just widened.  After all, I'm a newbie in the genre of Russian literature only having read Master and Margarita previously. That book was such a struggle to 'get' (nuances galore with Russian society) that I thirst for more. Who knows. 

So I've been growing sprouts for a few years over here with varied results.  Fall and spring seem to work best. Recently I transitioned them from mason jars to (newly discovered) seed bags. Alas they are still struggling... Perhaps too much dryness? My last batch in the mason jar last week was too moist, turning to mush kinda. I think some of that problem was the aluminum lid (with plastic mesh atop) mixed with an abundance of moisture thus creating a greenhouse effect.  

I had such hope in the seed bags. After 24 hours of soaking in they went.  It's day 3 maybe and they don't seem to be sprouting easily.  I keep them fastened so I can easily rinse them more than a few times a day (to account for the heat now?), but they resist.  I'm thinking they dry out too fast? More research. More data needs to be collected before I can make more hypotheses to determine a viable solution. 

So that's where I'm at with sprouts currently.

Yea, I'm just trying to keep my freak flag flying in the time of coronavirus. Proud. I'm feeling it.



Groove Tribe: coronavirus communique May 23, 2020

Music saves sanity. Truth.

Daze and daze go by. I look at the numbers, unfocused in a haze of waiting- for what? I'm not that interested in keeping up with the general details. I'm nesting safely inside my psyche these daze hand-feeding it all my desires and fantasies to tide me over and seeing what develops.

I sense that it's not just me. Globally we are learning how to become 'unstuck' perhaps.  The phoenix rising from the ashes- that kinda stuff. Slow and steady wins the 'race'... Emergence. Transformation. This I work at with grace and positivity, until I slip backwards into stagnation. The wheel of life. It's spinning, which is dynamic.

That's all, really. Love and light we seek.


Mistress of Plan B series: Coronavirus Communique May 21, 2020

Mistress of Plan B series

Things I’m digging right now in the time of corona-virus:

Thinking about Ernest Hemingway sitting on his lanai in Paris with his typewriter.

it'll do, for now...

Ginger. Lots of it.

Smoothies every day. Serious mana from the gods/goddesses, this is my kool-aid.


Not checking the news incessantly.

“Mermaid Hair Don’t Care” [thanks Hayley]

Early rising w/da kine and working out outside before the sun gods/goddesses reigns supreme.  With every lap comes a sense of calm vigor.  Blood pumping, it nourishes my cells, my spirit, me. 

Then there are the mulberry trees (yes?) with its mana hanging low, yet not so low anymore to easily reach.  I gotta work to get to those luscious black berries now.  Perhaps another few weeks at most to engage in this endeavor and I’ll move on to another sideshow activity.

The floral bouquet rising from my beloved Yosemite trucker hat continues on.  The abundance of roses in bloom in the region now does not escape me. The audacity to pluck one! The desire to pluck many adornments can’t be abated. After giving me essence to accompany my workout, they continue to delight me decaying on my bathroom sink counter. I honor their metamorphosis into sweet decay. 

Sprouting sprouts. This joy has recently been heightened. As the temperatures have been increasing here, my mason jar sprouts have become compromised. I’d noticed that the glass jars were more a greenhouse recently, collecting more moisture. Of course I knew what the solution was (seed bags I learned), but didn’t have any, or so I thought.  Then I remembered Julie from the Istanbul tribe. She had given us these reusable vegetable bags (seed bags!) that a friend of hers had made.  I constantly use them still on my green grocer visits in the hood. I already possessed the remedy!  I put that shit to work immediately and on day 2 I already see a major difference.  Sprouts happy. Holly happy. 

Tribe. The Human tribe. The Blood tribe. All the tribes. I am tribe.

“Valeria” on Netflix.  Only one season right now so get on it.

“The Eddy” on Netflix.  Jazzy beats. I need speak no more about it.  Sure the story is a sideline. It works.

Tarot cards.  Yes, introspective times necessitate self-reflection- however you go about it.

Something that felt really good recently: Carrying a big stack of books downstairs in the foyer for anyone to read.  What a sense of accomplishment!  First, just to part with books is so difficult so the act in itself is a small victory.  It’s like spreading your seed far and wide to all corners of the eARTh.  What faraway lands will all these books end up at the end of their lifespan? What stories divulge.  They have their own trajectories independent of us spending some time admiring them on our book shelves, finally reading them, seeing them lying around on the coffee table for months afterward, etc. So to release them into the wilds, anything is possible!  You know that feeling when you score a free book and you also get another hidden nugget in a bus ticket, museum stub, a note scratched on a post-it on some random page- yes THAT. It delights.

Plan B; one hit wonders sometimes, which is fine.  Plan B always deserves cultivation and storage somewhere in the hard drive.  I don’t always pay attention to Plan B, but when I do I’m sincere. Then I set it aside until its time. Plan B rarely works ‘on the fly’- not for me anyway.  But the possibilities… That is the beauty of Plan B.

And then there’s the distant Plan C. I put this to use when I headed to Yosemite to work for the season a few summers back.  Hastily arranged, it all fucking worked out fairly effortlessly (with a lot of paperwork!) and it was a fucking amazing experience (the gig, not the paperwork- but there’s something to say about keeping organized and on top of that paperwork trail shit). I put Plan A on hold for Plan C and absolutely it was the right path.  There’s a lot of magic in the universe, but you gotta feel it and catch it when it tempts you. The attractions, the dance, the emotions, the rationale (‘should I stay or should I go”) all are valuable tools when considering magic.

So I’m refining Plan B. Science! Big plans, yet not grandiose. Plan B, something to work actively towards achieving by creating while in Plan A.


Coronavirus Communique #3: " I was dreamin' when I wrote this. Forgive me if it goes astray" May 1, 2020

 "I was dreamin' when I wrote this. Forgive me if it [I] go astray"

me.today.vibe:EternalSunshineoftheSpotlessMind.for real. And da kine.  Always da kine.

I've been meaning to comment of the floral bouquets wafting through the air in the early mornings here when I'm power-walking or running around the building complex here.  Lockdown restrictions have been lifted somewhat recently (since Ramadan started) yet I've been lingering around my health den, my cocoon of cleanliness so to speak. If I'm being honest, as a host of you know, I'm not the most organized of housekeepers... And it's perfectly fucking fine...

So you know... yes, the flowers... Each day I've gotten into the routine of starting out on my 1st lap just getting into my breath, trying to establish consistency: deep inhalation.hold.controlled, constant exhalation. Over and over.  Let's get all that shit outta our lungs, right? Am I right??? [I call this covid-19 protection. That's right, I drank THAT koolaid and I wanna believe.  An, unrelated, unconfirmed coronavirus claim I recently said that smoking MAY protect you from the virus... Weird. Wouldn't that be a strange conundrum...]

Flowers. Yes. So I sense this aromatic sensory sweetness. Yes, it's sweet. Because it's fleeting. And you have to work for it. That is the challenge here: finding the beauty where you can- either externally or internally.  Da kine. Right?

By the 2nd lap there is a flower in my pony tail (I'm thinking to bring back the term 'pig tails' this season...) or my right ear. Because, Hawai`i & shit.  I do miss the shit outta Hawai`i.  I try to live Hawai`i as much as possible here.  Everywhere.

How can someone greet a flower with a grimace? Someone can't.

[side note here, I just finished reading Tom Robbins' Villa Incognito & there is a knock-knock joke that frequents some chapters:

           who's there?
      It's me. Himself

...I'm not entirely sure why I brought that to attention. I believe it was the 'someone' & the 'himself' association.  I could be wrong though].

So, books.  I've got a lot of 'em.  I've plowed through many of 'em.  I'm quite impressed with myself. Kinda like braggadocio rights I give to myself. This reflexive instinct, however misguided, puts me into another category as a compulsive book collector.

You see, I can't turn away a free book.  I carry them all around the world with me. Different bookshelves in different countries they sit. Awaiting that one day, what might never arrive, for me to pick it up, look at the flyer or postcard or museum ticket, or receipt of something incurred while traveling... Next in the process is to read the back cover. Last, delve into it.

I picked up a VERY eclectic selection when I lived in Yosemite.  Nothing but sweet fucking memories of pure goodness working that gig.  What a trip it was.  The fucking Sierra Nevada!!! Anyway, Parkies read it all. I mean, Tom Robbins? I poured through his quiver 30 years ago while living in the jungle on Maui doing that thing that one does living in the jungle... Yes, it's true. All of it. 

While I'm pondering books, I recently read some unpublished work by a colleague. Short stories is a 'newish' genre I've delved into. The result? I enjoy them.  There is something to the structure, or how you need to structure your mind, energy, psyche for short-story enjoyment.  I enjoy the challenge, the science of it.  My brain digs the chemicals it produces. So does my body. I mean, I work hard to produce the right chemicals. Tirelessly.

So the stories got me to thinking about connections. While I couldn't find a connection between all the stories, I sensed that there was. I just didn't know what it was yet.  I was rewarded in the end to find that indeed a ribbon was weaved through the stories, traveling to-fro contemporaneously or sequentially.  Yea, my brain digs these treasure hunts; sifting through the sands to get the satisfaction of discovering the jeweled nuggets.

OH OH OH you guys.  You NEED to listen to this podcast: Prince: The Story of 1999.  


Sheer fucking genius.  The Prince Foundation does an excellent job of presenting these intimate grains of sand of Prince's vast desert he surrounded himself with: Deserts of art, music, friendship, experiences. Each grain goes through this hourglass of information learned about his sheer fucking genius.

The part about working with his favorite studio sound engineer, Peggy, to working with Lisa (and her interviews are so raw and descriptive) to Desmond describing when their band opened up for the Rolling Stones, which ended up a total disaster. It's said that the Stones' fans were not ready for Prince's 'show', and things got ugly. 

Even if you're not into Prince, the podcast is well produced. 

Peace. A purple protective perspective piece of peace to you all

Some projects as of late...


Coronavirus Communique #2

Where to start? Thursday night. The start of the weekend over here.  Cruising solo here on my lanai watching the world go by. Listening to some grooves, drinking a gin and tonic, pondering.

Elderflower berries floating atop my adult beverage (thank you Megane for introducing me to the elderberry in the gin/tonic thingy).

Marseilles floats by. That's where I bought the dried elderberries. At some old apothecary establishment near the train station. Interesting city.  I totally dug it. I love when I'm surprised like that.  Memories of Tunisia dominated that trip. A good vibe indeed.

I can't remember when we first went into lock-down here.  Perhaps it's been a month? Yes I think so.  So much time at home. I miss The Kitts dearly. They've got this whole other life in America currently. Shaika Spot so curious. Sami Bey entertaining with his athletics; jumping in the air to catch the fish and ending up doing round-offs... Shaika chatting away while Sami plots.

I'm watching this livestream right now from last summer somewhere near La Spezia, Italy. Some DJ collective spinning in a restaurant on the sea. Everybody walking around tanned, happy, content deep in the spell of a Mediterranean summer.

Another power outage. Sulaymaniyah goes dark. And then the gradual 'turning on' of the lights in the near vicinity; the wizard behind the curtain controlling whose apartment building's lights go back on first...

The corner dukan (store) is back open for business. They got shut down by the municipality for price-gouging, I guess.  That is what I heard. They got a spanking and had to shut down for 2 days.

So the big news today is that the Carrefour Supermarket here in the city opened up again today for customers (previously only for delivery). But alas, there is no way to get there but to walk due to the roadblocks.  I'm plotting how I can re-supply my chocolate soy milk stock... Imma guess it's about a 10 mile roundtrip. Certainly doable but it would be a heavy load to haul back. Pondering.

So that's it.


Cooped-up in Kurdistan in the Time of Coronavirus… March 25, 2020

Day 14 of lock-down here in Iraqi Kurdistan. I'm dealing with it well enough

Cooped-up in Kurdistan in the Time of Coronavirus…
March 25, 2020

Jazz music. Smoke. the Lanai. Work-outs, power-walking, knitting, sewing, laughing w/quarantine buddies- either remotely or together- at a respectable social-distancing spacing, of course, reading (Circe, The Prague Cemetery, Love in the Time of Cholera, and Port of Saints are all lying on the coffee table. Vying for my attention each of them. Shamelessly. Netflix: Cable Girls, Tidelands, South Park, Freud, Troy to name a few. And on and on and on.

I’ve learned a few things about isolating. It’s good to sort of have a routine- that you know you can mainly stick to.  I struggle with this still, but I’m working on it actively. Here’s what I came up with:

First thing waking up, coffee. Cruise around- maybe burn some incense. My current mixture is frankincense from Oman, myrrh from Oman, amber from Jordan, Cyprus from North America, some blend called Gloria Resin something that I remember from childhood because Catholic. I recall my sister being on a quest to locate some one summer she was back visiting us in SoCal. We traversed all through the funky shops in Laguna Beach searching for this. I think she found a big dark blue (?) cardboard cylinder with the loose resins, etc. It looked like you would never run out of it. That perceived by a 11 year old kid who didn’t begin to understand the art of incense burning… Recently I found either the same or similar blend at this Catholic religious shop in Porto, Portugal just down from the Clerigos Tower. I go there every time I am in town and stock up. It makes me happy beyond description.

Gloria Resin #44, as I recall.

But I digress… So, sometimes it’s straight to the incense.  Others I start right on in with a few hours on my work computer.  I’ve been busying myself creating a midterm for my class. I gave it a big push this morning, magically, and completed it early this evening.  Great feeling.  Also, I was missing my students and so started a new on thread Moodle Discussion Forum. Everybody who wished to participate was to post a meme representing their feelings cooped-up in Kurdistan, or Iraq more appropriately as many students come from Baghdad and further south.  They are from everywhere. It is fascinating.  I posted my response first, so they could get the idea and have some fun in expressing themselves. I’m looking forward to checking responses in 2 days!

Or… I take my computer, and phone, and coffee onto my lanai and sit in the sun, or rain, on my Iraqi cushions and watch my world wake up. Obsession of checking daily covid-19 statistics globally…


Not true. I have consciously weaned (like a conscious uncoupling!) myself of that tedium. Not completely, of course. I’m limiting my reading and doing well with it. 

I try to get to the gym (downstairs in the basement of the apartment building) by 9:30 every day.  I’ve been doing great with this routine. Yes, I’m discussing routines… I bring my jump rope and after every 3 sets of something I jump-rope 100 times and then go in the bathroom and wash my hands. And jazz. Always jazz now while working out.  Sweet.

Often I power walk around the entire apartment complex- either alone with my jazz, or with my power-walking buddy. It’s great stress relief and also just nice to come into contact with other people. Work, travel, politics, fashion, fitness; all the subjects.
I’d say quite often it’s about noon when I return to my apartment. Sometimes I cool down by going to our corner dukkan (store) and picking up some necessities including water, bubble water usually. Next-door is the green grocer so stock up there.  Currently I’m enjoying their bananas, ginger, and colored peppers.

Every other day is either a smoothie or other health concoctions I’m known to make.  Admittedly, I have a VERY nice-looking storage/surplus from all my favorite haunts in America: Mana Foods and Dragon’s Den on Maui, Ashland Food Co-op and Medford Food Co-op in southern Oregon, Celario health food stores in Portugal, Macro Center in Istanbul, and some random health food stores around Budapest.

On a side note, I love to search out health food stores when I travel.  Yes. And beaches.

Afterwards it’s back to the lanai if I’m not already on the lanai with my book. Occasionally I play my favorite app- Wordscapes.

About 2 pm is when I’m starting to feel peckish. Back to the refrigerator, staring. Lately grilled cheese comes to mind or peanut butter and jelly.  My new fav though is a rice cake with Thai sweet chili sauce on it (not too much). Next come my sprouts that I grow weekly. So delicious and gratifying a routine this is. Okay after sprouts is a veggie burger (from Carrefour) that I toast in my funky white toaster. Top it off with some melted Emmental cheese (like a harder Swiss cheese) and there you have it.

Cooking seems especially pleasing while cooped-up in Kurdistan during the time of coronavirus. A smug satisfaction really.  I really want to make the experience last because it is so deliciously satisfying.

The weather has been hit or miss. On those hits I simply soak it up.  My lanai is a lifesaver. That is all.

Afterwards, I end my routine.  I like this set-up; I keep to a routine in the morning to early afternoon. Afterwards I just let it be, however it’s supposed to be.  Keeps things interesting.