Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

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Home Again

I had a salad today.

There are some things that I miss when I'm on the road, and in particular, oddly enough, is the food that I can get at home. A salad with half a slice of crumbled bacon, half a perfectly hard boiled egg with a moist yolk, bits of Stilton, apple, candied pecans, creamy blue cheese dressing, and a whole bowlful of young spring greens that were on sale at the local super market for only 2.79, less than a quarter of what such a salad would cost at any of the restaurants. Or a soft boiled egg with a few droplets of soy sauce on the yolk with a slice of toast, buttered and slathered with quince jelly from the quince tree in our neighbor's backyard...

And it's nice to be able to sleep in my own bed again. The last run across Wyoming and down Colorado along I-25 was quick. John started after a quick breakfast from our box of breakfast stuff, and then Jet took a turn along the freeway for a while. I took over before Cheyenne, after we had lunch at a gas station that was all gussed up as a tiny town with a population of 1, and then down I-25, which was something of a mess with traffic as we got nearer and nearer Denver.

The gas station owner was pretty proud of his little place, and it was fun to talk with him a little. The restrooms were clean and neat and had a little sign asking people to buy stuff in his shop so that he could pay for the toilet paper. We needed drinks for our lunch anyway, so we bought those, and I saw a set of shelves with all kinds of local jam. One of the jars was labeled "Traffic Jam" with seven different kinds of berries in it, and I had to have it.

That was a fun way to end the trip. We got home around 2pm, and were able to get unpacked, settled in, and even do a little stuff on the computer before I was actually able to make teriyaki chicken thighs for the three of us, with short grain white rice, and a bowlful of broccoli cuts. Simple food, but we hadn't had it for so long it was a delight.

Jet had his wisdom teeth out on Thursday, so we had a bunch of stuff to do before then and then I took care of him after, as John had to go off to the annual meeting of the Rocky Mountain Conference of the UCC that afternoon. So I had a mildly dopey Jet to take care of for the late afternoon and evening. I also had a sweet little Pathfinder game on rolld20 for the mid-afternoon with a bunch of people in the Central time zone. It was fun, but it was really nice having John around to shepherd Jet about while I was busy.

Jet's a little more restless on the aftermath of anesthetics than I like. He ended up at his computer, upstairs, before I even knew it, and was unsteady enough that getting him back down the stairs onto the couch in my office was something of an adventure. John kept a closer eye on him after that... but when Jet got back to my couch he suddenly fell asleep propped up by the pillows and under the cashmere blanket.

He also had a special bonus running on Rainbow Six Siege for the evening, so when he woke up again, more alert and wanting a distraction from his jaw and the ice packs I was strapping to the swelling, I let him on my rig to play.

We also did all that we needed to do to order all the pieces for a new rig for him, including a nice headset. That should help out eventually. He's contemplating a job to help pay for the whole thing, but understood that the sooner we got the pieces the sooner I'd be able to play when and what I wanted to play again. That was most of Wednesday, before he went under the knife, as he wanted to think clearly through all of that and do all the research himself. That was good.

But it meant that I've been pretty busy lately. The bees are doing well, very active, and I can see a few new bees orienting already, so I think that the brood is doing well and the queen is just as productive as I'd hoped she'd be. The tomato plants that John and I put in before we left are already twice the size. That's great, and the garlic is coming along nicely. I haven't planting the zucchini or carrots, yet, and am contemplating if I even want to this late. I probably should. There's time enough, and the summer is starting to really get hot again.

One of the crazy things I've been doing has been taking the online Meyers-Briggs tests and coming up with everything from ENFP to ISFJ (which is nearly the *exact* opposite of an INTP); but then I started looking at the cognitive function aspects of the various types and realized that, no, while I might be getting better at using my Fe functions I'm still an INTP at the core functions level. I'm still utterly an introverted Thinker as first option, an extroverted iNtuitive and still love to talk through systems with any single person that wants to sit and delve with me. I still keep everything from my past that I can get my hands on, even if I don't look at it; but the fun thing has been that I've been actively working through my need to be an extroverted Feeler and talk with someone to discover what it is that I'm really feeling.

So I really do come across as an extrovert when people engage me in conversation. I am more comfortable with being at the center of a group of people, and with leading when it's clear that the group needs me as a leader. Whenever a group has a leader who's willing to take over I give it over in an instant; however, I'm far more likely to step in when it's clear that there's a need than I've ever been before in my life. But if there's conflict, or someone that wants to compete for the top spot, I'll step away so fast it's funny.

On Sunday, I'll be playing my ukulele with three other lovely singers and musicians, and all I did was say, "Hey, I want to play with you guys, let's do something and these are the dates that we can do it..." I picked a date, a time, and someone else signed us up for this coming Sunday. *laughs* I had to practice Thursday night at 7 pm, and Jet was luckily occupied with his Rainbox Six gaming, so I went and played for two and a half hours!!

I couldn't feel my left fingertips this morning! That was bemusing, but I got a lot better with everyone quickly. And I let them lead me through working through the music and it went really really well. I'm a serving leader, not a dictatorial leader, do what's needed, get people what they want, and then step back and let them all do what they do best. They've all got decades more in music, compared to me, and they're all vastly better musicians and singers; but they had fun with me, and I had fun playing and singing with them, and that was the beauty of it all.

Thich Nhat Hanh has these mantras, and a few of them struck me when I was reading them again in No Mud, No Lotus. The biggest of which was just "I am here with you." Presence, gentle, accepting, and without action. Not doing, not changing what is, just being with as a balm. The power that keeps company with pain. Sometimes there isn't anything that can be done, nothing that can be changed, like in the acceptance prayer; but one can lend witness or presence. "I am here with you" in grief or beauty is something that is truly human.

In a way, I think I'm realizing that that is what I lend to the all-day gamers that I play with, too. Just being there with them, learning from them, listening to them, laughing with them. Being good company and telling them when I have fun with them is good enough. I don't have to be great at the game, any more than the musicians expected me to be flawless.

A good lesson, all in all, I think. xD
Tags: computer, coping, music, present

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