Dozer, the bulldog

Dozer, the bulldog
Dozer: Spring training is upon us!

Rockin' and rollin'

Rockin' and rollin'
The author of Mark's Work

Coleus flowers

Coleus flowers
Why I grow flowers

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.
Air-borne bees

HeadSodBuster and BossLady at the coast

HeadSodBuster and BossLady at the coast
Love is the greatest power.

Beauty abounds!

Beauty abounds!
Heinz tomatoes, used for catsup

If you've seen one butterfly, you've seen 'em all, said no one ever.

If you've seen one butterfly,  you've seen 'em all, said no one ever.
Painted Lady

Fall Jewels

Fall Jewels
Praying mantis, attending services on a zinnia...

My souvenir from Reggae on the River, 2017

My souvenir from Reggae on the River, 2017
Something I have always wanted...

Mahlon Masling Blue

Mahlon Masling Blue
My friend and brother.

Mark's E-mail address

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Look at Me! Look at Me!

Look at Me! Look at Me!

If I could alter one component of my personality, it might be to tone down my tendency to function at extreme levels, and stay more to the center of life’s complex arena. I’d like my life to more resemble a baseball game, with its serene pace interspersed with frenetic action, than to look like “extreme sports,” which tend to be, well, more dramatic. 

I glom onto patterns of behavior that defy explanation, even to myself, who curiously enough, seems uninterested in getting to the bottom of any of this idiosyncratic conduct. Whether it’s music, footwear, writing, big pharma, sleep, tee-shirts, water or facial hair, I am going to be at the extreme end of the “normal” spectrum.
Earlier this summer. Interesting color of shirt...

What I haven’t figured out for certain, is either why-or how-I slipped into this mode in the first place. 

Out of the blue the other day when I opened Pandora, my sole method of accessing music, a message appeared relaying the information that in the last three months, I had accessed 9,747 songs. The communique went on to say that Pandora was quite pleased, and hoped that I would access another 9,747 songs in the next three months.

Not having any data off the top of my head, to compare how my listening rate compared to others, I took the numbers at face value, and kicked them around for a moment. Per month I would be listening to approximately 3,250 songs, or a little better than 100 songs per day.

You may see where I’m going with this. Take my sandals, for instance. After encasing my feet in conventional footwear the first sixty years of my life, I have since abandoned-ship on shoes and boots. My feet no longer wish to be so confined, I guess, though they have not personally conveyed that message to me.

I have drawn my own conclusions, based on the fact that in the past year, I put on boots only one time, refusing even to wear socks with them. My task at that moment was to haul rocks out of the creek-bed, and up to a worksite behind the house. There was no way I could go up and down the steep side of the hill to access the creek-bed, wearing sandals.

Even last spring, when I spent twelve weeks using a pitchfork to work the soil at three different sites on-farm, I wore only my sandals, though I wore through two pairs in the process and created some technical difficulties in my digging (right) foot.

My sister JT informed me that my metatarsal bones have an issue and that it would go away over time if I start wearing footwear with better support. Well, I have news for you: As soon as she told me that, the pain magically disappeared, relegated to that same part of my brain that the discomfort in my back from processing tomatoes or handling the weed-eater goes.

If I refuse to acknowledge that discomfort exists, then it doesn’t exist. 
Ties? Uncomfortable?

[Editor’s note: Cannabis may or may not have an influence here-the jury is still out back with the bong and some high-grade OG/SK, trying to ascertain whether there is any connection. They’ve been gone a week now.]

Sleep? Yes, there is that pesky issue of only getting four hours per night, and then getting up and letting my mind roam around for a few hours, though I keep a tight leash on that sucker, most of the time. You see, I get into trouble online because of my politically correct perspectives, which often clash with the more down-home approach of the locals.

Unfortunately, to solve that sleep issue, I would have to capitulate, and go with my VA doctor’s prescription for the meds big pharma is so happy to provide. I drove down that road earlier, until the meds caused me to crash and burn in the most hideous of styles.

Never again.

What the VA doctor does not have to prescribe is water, which I have found to my utter astonishment, to be a panacea for a bevy of physical issues. Per my custom I drink from six to eight liters of spring water every day.

For me water keeps my life afloat in so many ways, I am still figuring them all out. Water keeps headaches away; if I feel a headache coming on, I know I am not properly hydrated. Water reduces my incessant craving for sweets; even at that, I fall back on fruit rather than chocolate, the food of the gods.

If I am outside in March with a temperature of 34 degrees and the wind is howling, and my bare toes inside my sandals are cold, I know I am not properly hydrated. It’s immediate-I hit that water thermos, and my toes stop tingling.

Four inches of snow on the ground? No problem. It’s way more hassle to put on boots to go out and get an armful of wood, or feed the chickens, than it is to simply take care of business in my sandals. Were someone to ask me if my feet were cold, I would inform them that they were not.
Who needs to travel to experience the Grand Canyon?

If I were to guess, I would say it is because there are so many moving parts in the feet, and that blood keeps circulating at 98.6 degrees, keeping those feet warmed accordingly, but what do I know?

What I do know is that I am not a guy who likes to be uncomfortable, so if my feet were giving me grief, I would address the issue.

I hate tee-shirts with sleeves, so I either wear tank tops, or cut off the sleeves. I wore a buttoned-up shirt and tie for sixteen years, four days a week, and I guess this is my way of evening up the scales. 

And, of course, I have those goofy braids/dreds, more than a foot long by now.. As Annie is want to say, “Look at me! Look at me!” Considering I hate the spotlight, I have a funny way of showing it.

If you twisted my rubber arm, I might confess that I thought it was all related to my mood-spectrum disorder. Think of it as a passive/aggressive approach to being bipolar. I don’t take meds, relying on my Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and cannabis to keep matters under some semblance of control.

I don’t think of cannabis as medication, just as I don’t think of oxygen as medicine. Both are essential to my forward progress in life, just as are those extreme personality traits. By being able to manifest my bipolarism in enough socially acceptable situations, I seem to be able to manage the disorder more effectively.

I guess. Maybe. Who knows? My behavior is generally referred to as eccentric, which is how you like to think of retired folks, now getting on in age.

Hey, eccentric is better than bat-shit crazy…


  1. That goofy sister of yours! What the hell does she really know anyway? And that photo of the foot? It took me a minute or so to figure out what it was but then I got it. Yuck. I would not be a happy camper with a heel like that. I put my coconut lotion on my feet every day just to prevent that from happening. But I also wear real shoes some of the time. And, one of the few good things about the October through March time of the year is BOOTS! Boots are SO cool. They feel good and my feet stay warm and canyons don't appear in my heels.
    I don't really know about what you call your extreme stuff. I'd say it's just quirky behavior that is part of the package. xoxoxoxoxo

    1. Yeah, I could not get cannabis salve the whole time Amber was in Ohio, so my heels got messed up early on and never recovered. And hey, "quirky" is yet one more step removed from "bat-shit" crazy, so I'm good with that!