29 August 2007

Rain, Rain, Don't Go Away

It's raining. Actually raining. As in, wet stuff falling from the sky. It's the craziest thing.

I mean, not counting a couple of 5-minute cloudbursts, it hasn't rained here in Hell in months (er, not that you'd expect it to, I suppose). It's been so hot and so dry for so long, it was starting to feel like it was never going to rain again.

Now that it has, everyone is quite confused and nobody really knows what to do with it.

It started this morning. It was only sprinkling when I left for work at 6AM, but I stood there, looking up at the sky, amazed and reveling in the feel of it on my face. All of a sudden, from directly behind me, came this massive rustling sound and this huge flock of birds - silent, except for their frantic wingbeats - went rushing past me about 30 feet overhead. I couldn't help thinking they were young birds fleeing from something totally unknown to them.

I opened the door just now so I could listen to it falling and it sounds weird. It took me a minute, but I figured out why: it's the rain hissing on the dead grass and all the dead leaves that have dried up and fallen off the trees. I wonder if this rain is too little, too late for the trees. Have to wait and see, I guess.

16 August 2007

A Tree in Hand is Worth...

Holly Lisle has a really interesting post about trees (well, the 'really interesting' part is in the comments, actually) that got me thinking about trees and forests and how important they've always been to me.

First, there was the Norway maple in the yard of the house I grew up in. Huge thing, taller than the house by 20 feet or more. I loved the thing. The whole neighborhood climbed it. It was home base for countless games of hide-and-seek. My best friend and I once vowed to spend a whole day in it (and we would have, had we not been stimied by the logistics of emptying our bladders - sucks, being a girl sometimes).

Then there were the colossal oak trees in the park down the street. I think there were probably 20 or 30 of them. You could feel something in them just walking by. When I left New England to move Way Out West, I made a special trip to say good bye to those trees. I picked up an acorn from one of them, hoping to take some of their strength with me. I still have it somewhere.

Finally, the exact opposite of the massive oaks, were the krummholz forests in the mountains. I'm not even sure you could call them forests. They look more like a twisted, tortured mat of tiny, pine trees. They're ancient, 100 years old or more, though they're no taller than me (and I ain't tall). They survive somehow at 5,000 feet above sea level on the piles of granite they call mountains, because they're tough enough to deal with snow and ice every month of the year. I always wanted to be that tough.

Wonder if ever I will be.

07 August 2007

Deja Eew and Alternative Medicine

So it turns out Sickness #2 was ANOTHER strep infection. Couldn't fucking believe it. But I've just finished my SECOND round of antibiotics in less than a month (slightly different drug, fewer side effects, hallelujah).

Here's hoping it doesn't come back.

Now that antibiotics are over and done with, Boss Lady is pushing the ginseng ("White ginseng, not red. Red too strong for you."). It's supposed to boost your immune system and thus keep the nasty-wasty strep bugs at bay. I'm supposed to take it only for a few weeks, just until my energy levels get back to normal. She even gave me a couple of tea bags to get started and promised me a website where I can buy it online ("Little more expensive, but high quality.").

So I'm all excited - real Chinese medicine! From a real Chinese doctor!

I tried a cup today. It tastes like crap.

Well, not crap, exactly. I'm exaggerating. But it's really... woody. Yanno, like you just went out in your yard, grabbed a random stick and poured hot water over it. Not terribly appetizing.

And, I discovered, if it sits too long, it gets really bitter. Mmmm, bitter sticks....

Oddly though, it also has this weird sweetness that sticks to your lips when you sip it. You don't notice it until the bitter stick flavor starts to fade, then you start thinking about how you're going to have to choke down another swig. You lick your lips in preparation - and there it is! This weird and unexpected reward for sipping sticks in the form of an elusive and quite uncanny sugariness that you can't quite put your finger on.

And then it's gone and it's back to the sticks.

I have to admit, however, that it might actually be doing something. I mean, I'm HERE. And I haven't been here in ages, really.

Wish us luck, y'all. Something's got to work, right?