“The eye of Odin” or ” Right side ! Right side…”

The eye of Odin

Odin gave up his right eye as payment for cosmic wisdom. He did not lose it in battle as the comics would have you believe.

Odin’s never ending quest for wisdom brought him to  Mimir’s Well  ( most probably)  “The Well of Urd”  which the world-tree Yggdrasil grows out of.

Sacrificing his eye to Mimr in exchange for the drink which would bestow enlightenment.

I have to wonder if Odin ever muttered as I do;

“Right Side! Right side….” as he banged into things he passed by. You never hear about that part in song or story. Odin prying Gungnir out of the door frame for the thousandth time. Grunting

” Right side ! Right side…..”

Not the Odin

Ok…So I am NOT on the “god plan“. Beautiful teak wood cover embossed with gold filigree . All the pages cotton rag paper with amazing silver and gold calligraphy. The booklet was amazing, and ripped from my grubby hands by an enraged cleric as I waited in the outer office of the “Destiny Dept. ” I then had ,what I had thought at first, a roll of toilet paper pressed into my hands. This turned out to be my “booklet” for ” Plan of the Day” with apparently a secondary optional use.  This was to be my version of the ” loss of of vision” plan. I am not altogether sure what happens when I get to the end of the roll.

The difference in the plans , though they seem to somewhat mirror , in a carnival sort of way, show mine to be somewhat lacking. Not the least of which , the original patch blows. Ma is working on a better fit. More on that later.

This plan includes optional  though downgraded perks

The plan downgrades seem in part to follow as:

Wisdom can be yours too with a minimal down and monthly payments

Firstly , the wisdom I ordered wasn’t fully paid for with my right eye. I got to keep the orb as it was an overstocked size and color. Meaning, I only got a discount. This wisdom also seems to be on back order though it is expected some time in the next couple weeks.. .. Of course while checking on updates, I have seen the note say

” More coming in any day” and

“Our agent has confirmed there may be a slight delay in shipping due to the holiday season”

….The latest is back to

“We have more on order and we expect delivery in two to three weeks. Reserve yours now !

The optional birdseye  view

Secondly, where Odin has Huginn and Muninn , I have the CawCaw kids; Our pair of crows that hang around the homestead year round though they tend to run to town in the worst weather just as Hummie does.. Granted , the pair do watch over Zen , and they do come talk to me ..Not a bucket full of info coming out of the two of them.. They tend more towards the;

” Food? Food? “, “Squirrel!” dang deal.

The similarity ; the CawCaws following me out to the pit or telling us when they see a wood rat to shoot or even when I hunt up here ,puts them reasonably close to the battle crow feel when you need a tracker. They will fly overhead , track down the animal ,calling out as they glide low overhead  letting me find it easier thus giving them the spoils  They are crows rather than raven. The raven are here only during the cooler months , also hang close to the homestead and they tend to answer more often to my talking actually looking at me , turning their head to eye me closer. Anyway…they all live off carnage and all are very intelligent birds.

The optional flaky flankers

Thirdly Odin has  Geri and Freki where as I have the coyote kids. They do , at times, listen to me. They have ,on occasion , even done what I told them to do.

I have mentioned before about calling out to them as a feral cat got too close to the house while I was out chatting with one of the coyote kids that had been checking the pit and on her way heading to the West. The coyote saw the cat. I was off to the side but they were to either side of me and some ten yards off in each direction. The cat saw the kid and took off…That was smart. The kid saw the cat bolt and took off after it. I told her to “stop and behave.” She put on the brakes, looked at me , then the cat, pouted and waited. I called out ” Keep your pets out of my yard or my pets will eat them . ” The coyote and I grinned at each other then she wandered off muttering ” Not a pet..”

Most likely they do what I ask when I do and when they pay attention due to my effective use of ” the evil eye” more than any want to please me or my needs. In any case , ravenous or ” the greedy one” fits them just as well.

We have wolves that come through , but they don’t hang with us like the coyote kids do. They , like the ravens and eagles , come to visit but don’t stay year round. They are more of the cool weather kids as are the ravens and eagles.

The optional valiant steed

I also do not have Odin’s eight legged horse;  Sleipnir. With him , Odin travels between planes, haunts lands and skies in the Wild Hunt during the darker months.

I do however have ” Little Red” our 53 Ford tractor . I won’t be traveling between planes or anything but I can haul wood and move snow for the most part during the darker months. You wont see me crossing the skies on “little red” but if I hit something hard enough with her I may go through the skies..for a short trip ending up on my nose in a snow pile like a lawn dart most like.

The optional fancy stick

There is finally Odin’s spear; Gungnir

Yeah , seems they are out of stock as well . I do , however, have ” Mama” guitar; my hollow-body Epiphone that Ma got for me a few years back. She doesn’t toss lightning nor am I lightning fast anymore but she is my tool of choice.

I can’t imagine keeping anyone in line with her or impressing anyone by holding her over my head with a mighty roar. Chances are good that the roar would be more of a wheeze and cough anyway.

I do , however, tend to grin at the Zen version of a poor man’s Odin human parody.

I am far from any driving force anywhere but I really enjoy chuckling at the similarities . If you stop and put it all together, it is grin worthy.

The Grey Ghost

A one-eyed grey-bearded old guy on his steed

(an old worn down tractor )

with his feral canine companions

(a couple coyotes lurking off the side,peeing on things,)

and his eyes above, wisdom on the wing

(a couple crows wheel overhead cackling at insider crow jokes at my expense no doubt).

Mighty instrument of justice in hand

( Ok “Mama” guitar is very nice but short of  an ” El Kabong” move I am not so sure about using it for justice)

I might even whip out the guitar and sing a trail song as I putt down the drive to work on the road. Yippee ki yay Mowait..wrong analogy

Right Side! Right side……

It is becoming a freakin mantra.

I am sure I say that at least a dozen times a day as I walk into a corner , smack my shoulder into a door frame , or cut myself on who knows what that is on my right side.

I have, more than once, had someone walk up to me on my right side out of the range of my left eye then use their freakin outdoor voice;


I inevitably bounce off  whatever is to my left as I leap away in


“I’m freakin blind not deaf.” as my call and response kicks in. I then release my grip from the ceiling fan to climb back down to ground level, wipe my hands off on my pant legs, shake the particles of ceiling texture out of my hair while glaring at whomever scared the crap out of me.

I have had more than one time when someone at work has walked up on me as I am walking through a doorway from behind and to the right. A building with close to two thousand people milling about like a herd of cattle this is far from rare.

I will see the person as they make that last step within the peripheral of my left eye, usually with in a foot or so of me and I hammer the door frame with my left side , bouncing off and half crumpling…The I get pissy …Shocker, I know.

You would think after all of these months I would start getting the hang of it. I can only imagine that my brain is not accepting the life change. I THINK someone has mentioned SOMEWHERE along the line SOMEPLACE that I MAY be SLIGHTLY stubborn. It may , indeed, be a possibility  after all.

Our entry doors to the house are getting a bit chippy on the right hand side as I carry in loads of wood followed by my ever present mutters of

“Right side..Right Side….”

As the day shuffles along my mutterings become more of a whine..

“right ssssiiiideee…rrrrrright freakin side…..”


So, my days have become something of a shades of grey.

In the morning my eye is uncovered. Other than the glare of the screen as I write or check on emails I don’t spend a ton of time with my eye around harsh glaring anything.

I have noticed that when I am at the computer, I sit left forward, right away. My body is taking care of things on its own conscious level. One for the team.

I head off to work , or I should say , when it is light when I am heading to work, I don sunglasses. The worse the day the darker they are.

driving me crazy

Travel is bad. Driving is worse. Movement off to my right I see as tracers .For whatever reason ; my eye sees movements slower than they occur giving them a tracer effect. It would be cool if I could choose when to see them but all the time makes me a wee bit car sick even simply standing still when there is any form of “traffic” to my right.


florescent lights

These are all bad. Some are worse. Fred Meyer’s lights are the worst I have seen so far. At work, I generally start off with sunglasses then once people start clearing out I switch to a patch.

The problem with glasses is that they are starting to bother my left eye . Glasses smear and at best are not perfect to see through at any time.

The problem with the patch is that this is still a ” one size fits all”. They , of course, don’t. Light creeps in all around them. My eye sees things blurred at best white at worst. In the patch it sees grey white or something of a florescent pebble pattern. If I wear a cap it helps. Ma is working on a better fit for me, it is simply slow to get everything to fit so might as well stick with the one I have for now.



Why patch

There are a few reasons.

A) the brighter the light , the more intense the stabbing pain that radiates out.

B) Although sunglasses help , using them all of the time is affecting my left eye

C) the smear and tricks of my right eye also affect how I see out of my left eye

Patching helps though it creates another problem. Besides the patch moving around making me fidget with it, I get muscle spasms  when I wear it so a little longer each day and sunglasses the rest of the time. The present patch with its glare is also a pain.

My eye sees  pretty much as if you were to look into a frosted light bulb ..Yeah, I don’t know ..just is.

The jist

No, it will not get better than this.

No, a dead person’s eye won’t work.

No, no bionics. That would be cool though right? Maybe with telescopic and possibly laser vision.. I mean then welding would be a breeze as would splitting wood..so long as I didn’t set it on fire..better add an extinguisher mode too  ooh ooh freeze mode, that would also be handy when ya buys ya a pack of beers ” Here let me cool that puppy off yer yas“.

The headaches ? Phhtt Ask a doctor and get their version of what may or could happen with multiple reasons not to mention the ;

” This shouldn’t be happening .” “Oh I totally agree..BUT IT IS!”

” I am not sure what we can do to help..”” Thank you for your unflappable input.”

“This is normal. It should go away in a few months to a few years.” ” Well then, I have that going for me then don’t I?”

” You shouldn’t take so many over the counter..” ” Riggghhhhhttttttt”

“Maybe we can try…” “The last one made me black out in a puddle of mud with no one around..you mean like that one? ”

How about maybe I know as much or more than the people we are paying .


So, I am whiny about it.

I lived most of my life seeing out of both , very well thank you very much.

I am getting use to it most of the time here on Zen. Up at the homestead we have no florescent lights, minimal screens . Minimal traffic. The snow I deal with will at least just be on the roof and our road..Bad enough though. Ma doesn’t give me the look or look away when I am patched or glassed So generally Zen I can recoup .

Oooh Baby it’s cold outside

Ok, I’ll grant you; It is suppose to be cold this time of year but it doesn’t mean I have to enjoy it. I like brisk as much as the next person..So long as the next person is shivering next to me anywho…

The temps this week have been 26F……Yes..Just 26..What separates day from night is the relative gloom.

Our frost dragon has been working overtime as she does every year around now with a constant sighing as she lays in the woods bored to death waiting for someone to come play with her.

” I’m sooo bored …..” With the exhale that few besides pouty children…and apparently frost dragons.. can pull off.

The frigid breezes that hammer Zen from the East with nothing to slow them down but mountains hours drive to the East from us slap the snot..ok well freeze the snot..from us day and night as we go outside.

Saturday we had a few chores to take care of including those that you need bare hands for the dexterity . Our hands numbing in moments and skin splitting shortly there after we finished the tasks as quickly as we could. Everyone knows how well frozen hands work with small objects. More than once, a minute I dropped what I was trying to work with..Followed , possibly, by several minor tantrums ..possibly involving vulgarity … possibly throwing things and then yelling at tools…possibly… They , however, seem to be unmoved , continuing to slip out of my then iced over hands… MA didn’t fare much better…Her awareness of my mood , not so much a swing but more of a slam / home run , she did what she could to help then judiciously stepped back out of the way….possibly out of the range of flying tools.

Warm me up

Ma’s and my hands took forever to gain  movement let alone the time it took before we had feeling other than the sheer pain from frozen limbs and digits.

Ma went back into the house to work on indoor projects while I slunk off to the shop to complete some of my overdue works.

One of the things I had to check on was our multiple heaters. I use heaters in the rigs to

A) get them to start when it is so cold.

B) defrost the windows when we have such hard freezing fog or freezing rain.

C) simply make it so that I can get in the doors of the red truck. Not the best design in the world, the wrap around doors are perfect for freezing rain , ice from snow melting or freezing fog to weld the dang things to the frame…Awesome.. So only a problem around five months of the year.

Checking the five ceramic heaters, one a heavy duty forced air for the tractor as she is exceptionally cold blooded… I ended up with one that worked. Last winter killed three of them , including the tractor’s.  The fourth seem to have died in the last couple weeks AFTER I used it to warm the tractor * shrug* no idea what happened there.

Soooo……Looks like we are shopping for heaters.


I had to play “MacGuyver ” …again….

We had picked up arm loads of what would look like random articles to a passerby . What was really going on was Ma’s and my brains digging through what would work for a heavy duty snow removal setup for the roof. Last year was the first time we had enough last long enough on the roof to matter.

Yes, I have started looking into the whole gutter heater setup. It wont be cheap with I am sure well over 200 feet of run.

For the now, we found a couple heavy extension poles, a floor squeegee , and some window washing gear along with bolts and flats of aluminum…etc… I have no idea if it will all work ,we already had some breakage thanks to a tool that didn’t comply..even after I allegedly  yelled at it for its first fault…. What we have left looks like it will possibly do what we need though the amounts of snow and any ice with it will be the actual test of course.

Ma came out at one point to find out what happened to me as I had not said anything , simply wandered off into the shop.. After a few collapses over the last while , she has a tendency to be concerned when I don’t show up for awhile…go figure..

Heaters checked and my toys pretty much worked out if not completely finished, I went back inside shortly after she did. My hands had started spasming  and cramping on the edge of pulling muscles which I simply can’t afford to let happen.

Do you want to build a snowman?

We were both so cold that the wood stove couldn’t break the chill. Ma’s hands wouldn’t give her a break. I was so cold to my core that it about made me sick.

One would think that the fact that most of the year is chilly and windy that it would keep silly stuff like that from happening… Just the bitter cold winds and having to dress down to do the jobs at hand made the difference.

Finally by the time we went to bed we had warmed up…dang Buddy.. When is it going to warm up ?

Temps and climates

I watch several site plus, of course, our station to try to see where we are in upcoming weather. What to expect as I have to travel to work and our trips to town.

All sites had said that warmer weather was coming…. a few days ago…

The thing is , predicting weather in the gorge is now as easy as they make it sound let alone Zen.

First of all , they predict at the river level not for the hills.

Zen does it’s part to make things ” stick” as well as Mount Hood And Mt Adams.

Weather, whether from the East or the West , has to slide down the gorge to continue along its merry way. When it hits Zen , it curls. Very much the same with the higher mountain tops.

Zen makes its own patterns from this as she halts what’s coming changing rain to snow or snow to ice or simply grasping our cloud and hanging on tight to let freezing fog build hoarfrost until you can not see through fences or windows etc.

Weather sites will tell us , several days out that it will warm….Right…. The proverbial “Tomorrow” simply aint a comin’.

“There will be a warming trend in five days “…..and yes in five days it will still be out…Five days… Such is winter in the hills all through the gorge and elsewhere.

Soo… We are looking at warmer temps in , well…five days. We are also looking at rain coming in then… Once again , the problem with their predictions are that they forecast for the valley floor even when we specifically look for the hills . Temps vary from 5-12 and more degrees lower than the floor depending on what is coming and time of year.

42F there for could easily be 32F . Rain therefore can come as snow or freezing rain.

Then people at work look at forecasts saying

” Ohh it looks like a clear nice winter..” Which has been 100% wrong since I have known them …and yet, when I tell them what I see, which is normally a lot closer, they scoff.

IE: They told me last November that there was no snow in sight for all of November and December , possibly some in January… I had told them ;

” That is NOT what I see. There is snow coming from the patterns on Zen.”

Hmm wonder who was right… The city people or me? That is the difference from idle glances at sites that base out of the Metro areas with a nod to the gorge compared to someone that all but obsesses over every look at forecasts every day for the week, 10 days and records high and low as well as simply watching the Zen climate changes.

They drive maybe up to a mile on city streets. I have to deal with counties , back mountain roads , Zen’s homestead road and citiots on freeways. I tend to concern myself a wee bit more.

And yet…. I get the same extensive forecast from the same people this year…..Alrighty then. Heck even I am not sure what is close , but I know it isn’t going to be sunny and friggin warm in the gorge as promised . drrrrrrrrr.

Sunday Sunday Sunday

Well, obviously, it is another Sunday as I am here rambling along…

I haven’t even cracked open the freezer yet..Yikes!

We will be making up some of our pork cushion into cubes for noodles/rice and gravy for the week. That always grabs onto your ribs and wont let go..mmmm. in a good way, not as in a screaming child wrapped around your ankle in the dept. store way….

The last couple weeks I have felt really out of things as my stupid eye pain and felt swelling has gotten worse putting me way behind on trying to figure things out for the week. The almost constant jumping around in my work shifts hasn’t helped much either.

I THINK this is suppose to be a normal week though it is still early on.

The cold is suppose to hold on until Friday when the currents change bringing warmer temps and wet.

That all boils down to wanting to have something quick and rib sticking for our earlier meals yet something light at night as we are both light sleepers making heavy foods a bane on any attempts for either of us sleeping at all if it affects one or the other of us…

I think we will do another bean soup of some sort. It seems to be the best bet with any of the outer ranges of temps whether too hot or too cold.

I’ll dig later to get our other meals out , other than , of course, steel head and steaks which are two of every week’s meal line up.

Outside tasks done for the week. I have to make a few trips outside but nothing prolonged thank goodness. Indoor chores let alone the nice toasty kitchen will fill the day.

Final thoughts

Cold weather sucks…

We get closer to Yule and Christmas , New Years …Spring!

Trying to simply get Ma’s Christmas present here has become a chore from HELL.

The shipper will not send to a PO box as it is Fed Ex, however it is Fed Ex sure post..which goes to the PO….

Putting both physical for Fed Ex , though they wont use it, and PO box for the PO also didn’t work as we have a sub at the PO and for some reason can’t quite figure out that our shipping addy  has my name, our home address and our PO address on it..Freakin everything they need to know Per their request a few years ago..So they sent it back..Yeah , no problems.. Merry Humbug to you too…… Ya don’t want em going postal on the postal….

Trying to figure that out with the shipper….

Finding humor in tragedy for oneself is what keeps you from falling too deep into a hole you’ll never get out of. If you can’t laugh at yourself , you are a little too far up the “stick” road.

I am not happy with what happened and spend a great deal of time dealing with the aftermath and you can BET Ma does.

There are a lot of people that look at me either with that ” what is his problem?” look whether I wear glasses or patch. There are people who avoid looking now… Meh whatever to both sets. I am just trying to make it. Trying to be able to handle doing my job though just getting there makes me want to upchuck even in good weather..Then I get there and perfumes and other chemicals along with the lights push that unease to a whole new level…Which I have to push through… As we all do.. I am just a wee bit more whiny.

Taking time to imagine myself and the kids loping about Zen in our own little Parody makes me smile. Why not? What the hell else am I going to do about it?

Our companions

Our three coyote kids came in the other day. One came in a few times to see what was up. Ma was out on the porch and I was in my office so all was right with the world of Zen. She ran back down to grab the small pack , bringing them up to check on the pit and visit before they hit the north forty.

I had to grin as I watched one pair. The third traveld around , back and forth as the other two stayed a little closer to each other, my Geri and Freki .

I walked out and about doing the outdoor chores as the CawCaw kids flew overhead cawing to me as I chatted at them. Huginn and Muninn .

Then I crawled under the mighty beast that is “Little Red” Sleipnir. To put the magnetic heater on her belly. CawCaws flying overhead.

Finishing up, I went inside to warm up. Walking into my office , I sat at my desk looking over at ” Mama” guitar Gungnir. Idly as my hands thaw , I lift her up to work on another piece of the same song I am banging together….

I grin to myself thinking of pulling off some cattle tramp cowboy trail song as I yodel while on Little Red, Cawcaws singing backup Whahoos and the coyotes yipping in just all the right places…before we all roll onto our backs on the ground laughing our asses off…..

This is the kind of stuff that you can see just close enough here on Zen that , it might, if you squint Just right Might just be possible , making it

Just another day on Zen Mountain






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