Being a Redhead

Being a natural redhead complete with freckles seems to be a large part of how people perceive me. With all the stereotypes running amok, I can honestly say this is one I don’t really mind (except the dumb hick idea that I must be a witch..). I think being a redhead suits me and can make my personality easier to understand for fellow outsiders.

I put together some picture quotes (photos and art I took from the internet along with redhead quotes and sayings, I tried to give credit for the texts) for fun.

While it’s true that most of a redhead’s persona is much deeper than hair, there are some real biological differences between redhead and “normal” hair colors due to the DNA mutation of the hair color gene.

A widely known theory is becoming fact for many gingers!

A growing body of research shows that people with red hair need larger doses of anesthesia and often are resistant to local pain blockers like Novocaine. As a result, redheads tend to be particularly nervous about dental procedures and are twice as likely to avoid going to the dentist as people with other hair colors, according to new research published in The Journal of the American Dental Association.

and to top it off… We’re naturally more sensitive to pain!

Researchers believe redheads are more sensitive to pain because of a mutation in a gene that affects hair color. In people with brown, black and blond hair, the gene, for the melanocortin-1 receptor, produces melanin. But a mutation in the MC1R gene results in the production of a substance called pheomelanin that results in red hair and fair skin.

The MC1R gene belongs to a family of receptors that include pain receptors in the brain, and as a result, a mutation in the gene appears to influence the body’s sensitivity to pain. A 2004 study showed that redheads require, on average, about 20 percent more general anesthesia than people with dark hair or blond coloring. And in 2005, researchers found that redheads are more resistant to the effects of local anesthesia, such as the numbing drugs used by dentists.

Taken from http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/06/the-pain-of-being-a-redhead/

Okay! Enough with the genetics! On to more interesting things and pictures.

I cannot tell you how many times people crack jokes and pick up lines about the nature of my hair color and how they “better watch out”. It’s amusing and slightly immature but it also just gives me all the more reason to slap someone running their mouth! Can’t help myself right???

 

Redheads are supposed to be both passionate and intelligent, loving and evil tempered and  above all – untouchable. So I guess that makes me superior.

 

I’ve often been called graceful and very “faery” like. Whether it’s because I’m small and dance or because I have red hair I don’t know but it works for me!

 

 

 

 

I wish I had a dollar for every person (man and woman) that has very emphatically told me how unique and different I am, how they have never met anyone like me. So I guess this saying is true at least!

 

OOPS Totally been called a man eater…

I have to agree here (at least for me). Try to take away my freedom and put me in a box and you’ve never seen someone fight in so many ways to get away!

 

Indeed! I’ve been known to get up to no good as this faery of Amy Brown’s depicts.

P.S I love fire. Making it, cooking on it, sitting next to it with a cold beer, staring into the coals for hours is my idea of meditation.

End of September

Exactly a year ago today I got on a plane with a dog that wasn’t mine to fly to Bethel Alaska to get away from the Hell my life had furthered down. I left everything thinking I’d only be gone for a few weeks. I left River, I left Lorien and I somehow managed to forget important things like underwear and my camera… I was simply not in my right mind when I left. I was still in some sort of shell-shocked world of pain and grief and other’s selfishness that I couldn’t begin to understand. Thankfully Lorien shipped my camera to me. The rest I went without. It was only going to be a few weeks right?

Not so much. I found that life was infinitely easier four-time zones and thousands of miles away from Eastern Tennessee. In fact I might have even felt alive for the first time in two months. With the ugly truth of the trial having come to a close and leaving nothing but bitter resentment of how our world works now fresh in mind I sought to forget society for a few weeks out on the tundra. I was also running from the very people who I thought loved and cared for me. My ex bastard of a boyfriend showed me that man’s potential for selfishness knows no bounds and many other friends simply decided that they could no longer deal with me. Along with the trial, losing my place to live and no job I felt that I had found a whole new kind of low. When I decided that I was going to move to Alaska the original plan  was to go back to Tennessee and say a proper goodbye along with collecting River, more clothes and such to survive to the winter with. But the twist and turns of life happened and with how my family was reacting to my decision to move I felt that a plane ride back might be impossible to find. So I never showed up for my flight and went to Seattle for job training instead. I spent the next 3 months without much more than a duffel bag of clothes fit for Autumn and little else. It was hell not seeing River but I had little choice with how few people were supportive of the move.  As we all know things worked out (took a good seven months but I got there) for the rest of the story of how I made a life in Alaska.

I sit here and ponder those couple of days last September. The unreal blur of everything. The way people treated each other in a chaos of pain – both good and bad. I have never in my life drank and smoked and gods know what, like I did that week before the trial. I didn’t eat.  I also didn’t sleep at all. I’m pretty sure I came close to liver damage…  I had Lorien and Hillary Hogg to keep me company and to not fall too deep into despair. We sat around the campfire blaring music to try to keep the demons at bay. My brothers were much like I was, ghosts around the farm never stopping and never sleeping. I spent time with my Roissier family and had fun with them in spite of the pain everyone was going through. Even with all the time that has passed it almost doesn’t seem real. I guess that is part of the dissociation that happens with the PTSD. My life doesn’t seem much like mine, just a fictional story made up by someone with a darker mind than Stephen King. I often don’t know how this makes me feel.

Today many things are better. I have a job, a life, a car, a place to live and my dog by my side (literally as I write this).  But many things haven’t changed at all or are simply just different.

~J

I am what I am

Lately I have gotten the vibe that the way I am is not really liked by people (I’m sure part of it is just me..). Whether its work, friends, family, random people at the store or at the bar; I get asked ALL the time, ‘whats your problem’, ‘why the long face?’ (I don’t have a smile plastered to my face 24/7), ‘why here alone’ and all sorts of wonderful silly things. People at work think it’s odd that I don’t talk about myself. I sometimes will make myself say a random fact about my life just to ease the thought that I hate them and don’t want to talk to anyone. My clients think I’m great so my people skills aren’t that terrible (I hope). People at work say that I’m weird and different because I never talk about myself, I don’t gossip, I don’t give a shit about the latest drama or new finding about something that has nothing to do with me. I just listen. I don’t have an opinion on things outside of my job at work. Frankly it is none of my coworkers business what I think about things in my personal life. I just want to do my job to the best of my abilities. People at work confide in me all the time because they know I won’t repeat what they need to get off their chest nor pass judgement even if I completely disagree with everything they’ve said. I just don’t talk about myself. Why is that so freaking weird or bad?

With friends and family I can’t always roll it off. It hurts that people just want to tell me how I should do things differently. Whether it’s how I dress, how I interact with their friends who I probably wouldn’t spend time with unless it was for them, or how I need to change my thoughts on things.  I’ve worked hard to not pass judgement on anyone else. I’m not there by any means but I’ve gotten much better at not saying anything unless someone wants my opinion and even then I rarely give it.  Lately it seems like the entire world has something negative to say about me. I dress like a dyke. I have a social disorder. I’m too blunt. I don’t show any emotion on my face and therefore must be crazy…  I don’t try hard enough, I don’t want things bad enough… I get the weirdest shit. And frankly I think it’s shallow. I don’t pass judgement on the people I’ve decided I want to be around when they don’t want to hang out and pass me up over and over again for more outgoing and popular people. I don’t get pissed aloud and say how it really makes me feel when my family members only want to talk about ‘positive’ things in life, i.e don’t want to hear about the things really going on. I just try to make the best of it and find a an outlet for when it gets to me (that isn’t the person).

I’m alone except for my dog with where I’ve chosen to live. The few friends and family members who know me best are very far away. So when my mood is not acceptable for the friends I do have here and the ‘general public’ of clubs and bars I get even more introverted and find something else to do with myself. I read and watch TV that actually interests me. For example in the last 4 days I’ve read all 3 of Stieg Larsson’s novels and watched the movies (in the original Swedish language) on top of all the other books and movies I find (just bought 3 more books from the used bookstore today). I read online articles like cracked.com and random information. I write and draw. I by no means sit around and feel sorry for myself that I am an alien in my own world. I’ve decided to not worry about the fact that I don’t see anyone outside of work anymore. I’m sick, friends are sick, or their busy or I am not in a sociable mood. One of my goals for this year was to figure out how to be around people. I did great as long as I didn’t let too much of myself show through the mask I had painted on my face. I know how I need to behave to be accepted in most social contexts. Funny thing is now that I know, I’ve no desire to be fake. Even if that means being alone. I now know things that I didn’t, like I truly need to keep my mouth shut. But to pretend I’m someone who I am not isn’t worth being in a circle of people to me. My family who wants to will deal or understand. My friends who are worth going the distance for will also accept it or understand. And with the ones who don’t there is little I can do besides be polite and try to treat them the way I hope they want/need.

So many people want me to change this, or do that. The bottom line is at the end of the day the only person who has to deal with me is myself. And whatever makes me feel the most okay and doesn’t hurt anything in the process is what I need to do. Something else I’ve come to terms with in the last couple of months is I am not like MOST people. I’ve had a lot of things in my life that the average person DOESN’T. Which means I won’t ever be like most people (even the odd ones out I’m different from). I don’t have the same ideals that most people have. Having a ‘career’ is not that important to me (shocker I know..) but since I don’t want a house, kids or the ‘American dream’ it’s truly okay. Same goes for boyfriends and my love life. For some reason many ‘do gooders’ like to focus on how I shouldn’t let my past keep me from being alone. I tend to laugh till I cry that this what they’ve decided is the most important thing for me to focus on..realtionship therapy so that I can date… I’m more interested in helping my family, bettering myself (with skills not people), working and earning traveling money and things that I DO have control over. If I find someone I like, great (if their in the same state that is), if not, I’ve got tons of things on my plate. Nit picking at silly things like this tends to drive me nuts (and makes me stop talking to them).

I’ve been listening to this song lately (a favorite from a while ago), even put the lyrics on my Facebook status. It’s actually called ‘I am what I am’.  Anyway to steal a few lines from it;

“Stop trying to change me
I am what I am
No I don’t need you to save me
I am what I am
I don’t want you to show me (I don’t need you to show me…)
Because I stand where I stand
I just need you to know me
Just know who I am”

And what it means to me is;

I’ll change myself. No one else.

No one can save me, I’ve saved myself already and will continue to do so.

I am what I am, life has made me this way. I’ve become what I am by how I dealt with things that I had no control over. I’ve made peace with that. Why can’t you?

The best thing you could do is to know me and understand. I judge myself in a way that you never could. What I really need is your love and support, not what I am doing wrong and where I have failed.

Because I am what I am.

 

I didn’t ask for things to be the way they are. I didn’t ask to be put through the things I have. I didn’t ask to become the person I am. But here I am and doing the best I can. Which for most isn’t good enough and certainly not what they want for me. But I am what I am.

~J

September Hike

I decided it was time to get some outdoor dirt exposure. Between being sick and working I haven’t done much of anything as of late. I haven’t even seen any of my friends recently! Either I cancel on them due to being sick or they are busy. The last few weeks my life has taken a turn for the mundane and my first day off that I wasn’t running a fever or coughing sounded like a fine time to break things up. I spent the first half of my day at the doctors getting all kinds of fun tests done to see what is wrong with my immune system (I’ll update that when the results come in) and promptly ran (okay drove) out of the city as fast as I could. River of course came. I decided to drive through Eagle River and check out the fall colors in the valley. I ended up on Hiland road and decided I would do a small hike (I just got over being sick, doubtful I would have lived through a real hike).  Since I’d decided to limit the distance I ended up going straight UP the mountain… I want to see… In hindsight was probably not the best idea since I really don’t  do uphill hikes well in good shape not worn out from no sleep and sickness.. But oh well. I took some pictures and enjoyed myself and the quiet of the wild. Though I did curse a lot going up. River had a blast and stayed close so I didn’t have to worry about something eating her. We only say two other people out the entire time (no one else in sight).

I moved very, VERY slow. Pretty much pushed myself to exhaustion with this short but steep hike. Besides my pace and picture complex I was actually quite glad to be alone with just her furriness. The thought of moose or bears didn’t really bother me (I was aware but not worried) and the silence of the wild was comforting to my city numbed nerves.

The hillside as I drove up to the parking area.

First of the snow way up in the mountains here to stay! These mountains actually melt for a little while during the summer.

Foothills across the Eagle River valley.

Fall colored foothills look a bit like the tundra does towards the end of summer.

My wild little furry other half! As the camera captures – River’s eyes just sparkle with life during an adventure outside (everything is an adventure to her you know..)

Pretty yellow patch of color among the browns and greys.

Sweet rock I noticed along the trail

More than half way up & between the ride line

The trail behind ~ gives new meaning to one should not look back!

Pretty little red plants among the loose shale.

My fearless trail blazer

Lichen & Plants. The white lichen/moss looked almost like snow littering the hillside.

Odd plant on the hillside I spotted in an odd knocked over position. There a few like this scattered about. I’m guessing the wind blew them over once they died.

River playing “wild thing” prowling through the lichen. She pretty much had to bound and pounce her way up the trail. Of course she made out much better than I did even with this disadvantage…

I come out on the other side of the mountains (okay hills) and can see all of Anchorage. Everyone should be able to get a bird’s-eye view of their city (preferably without a plane).

White lichen, red & green plants.

True fall colors, not much but their there!

Closeup of the white lichen/moss. Next to mushrooms and ferns, moss is one of my favorite plants.

The view south of Anchorage (and yes that is River’s tail there)

Self portrait (hence why it’s so bad).. it’s rather hard to take pictures of oneself…

A much better self-portrait! Probably one of my favorite photos of River & I (that I’ve taken).

Random hilltop and a very steep one at that.

River taking a break with me checking the view. Between my body’s very object opinion of going UP and being sick… I stopped a lot. Next to my picture obsession another reason why people don’t like to hike with me. I’m SLOW!

Great view of the first & second lakes in the Eagle River Valley as I climb the heights. One these days I’m going to go checkout the lakes & rivers way out there.

Cute little seed heads among the different plants. I love the different brilliant colors!

Gorgeous plants 🙂

River on top! She pretty much hiked the entire freaking trail twice going back and forth (waiting for me).

The hill tops rocky ridge line

Another self portrait at the top! I’m all bundled up against the wind and chill. It was FREEZING in the full force of the wind. Some rain/snow clouds were rolling in and I decided I would have to walk the ridge line another day since my hat wasn’t thick enough and my poor ears (I just had a damn ear infection) were hurting.

River getting some air under her ‘wings’. The wind was really blowing and River looked like she was about to become airborne and take off!

Heading back ~ Pines at the base of the hills

Whether this dead pine is old it has a rather ‘ancient’ look to it.

The dead pine gods silhouette. I think the tital says my thoughts on this neat picture.

Red weed at the trail head

The prettiest weed & grass combo I’ve seen up here!

A nice closeup of the red weeds.

Back in the valley the trees are a bright yellow – mostly made of aspens.

Yellow leave, Grey clouds as the light wanes.

 

Overall was a great but tiring adventure! River of course made out just fine and could go another 10 miles. I on the other hand took a salt bath and hot tea to recover…

A Trip to the dogpark & Fungi fun

I took River and my good friend’s Springer Spaniels to Conner’s Bog dog park today. I mostly focused on walking the dogs… BUT I did get a few pictures! Today was a pretty crisp Fall feeling kinda day. The wind was blowing pretty good and the clouds doing rain dances across the sky. Alaska seems to have an abundance of mushrooms and moss. Next to ferns, I love fungi for random wild plants so I had a field day.

I’m sadly getting sick again but I managed to find some joy in the fungus today!

The first two pictures are from the trip to the dog park a few weeks ago. Sadly the awesome red mushrooms were already gone by today.

Needless to say next year I’m going to go Rambo and get more shots of these shrooms!

The sunlight lit up the ferns like an movie 🙂

And now for today’s pictures!

Pretty Fall (yes it’s FALL here!) day.

The “silly” Spaniel pups Max & Bella.

I’ve a thing for Ferns…

I took a lot of pictures..Click on them to make them full size!

Trees with moss lit up by the Sun coming through the woods.

Red Berries that cover the forest floor

Amazing Log Fungi

A rather ‘rugged’ looking mushroom.

Sadly my focus on my wonderful camera is dying and sometimes craps out. This one was just too good to delete even though it’s not in focus! (anyone want to add to the ‘get a new camera fund???’ for Joannie)

These little guys were also too freaking cute to delete just because the camera wouldn’t focus! I really wish I could have gotten a clear shot but the puppies were threatening to stomp them..

Whether this guy is naturally twisted or was trampled over by dogs I’m not sure but he looked cool either way!

This dusty red guy came out great! Only took 8 shots to get one in focus!

One of my favorites in the woods! Flower patterned fungus

There is plenty of non-mushroom fungi scattered about the woods here.

Sun lit pines, everywhere I looked it was pretty!

Little out of focus Buttons

Another set of the flower patterned fungi!

River Rat among the Fungi (she was not thrilled at posing for this picture!)

Another Flower shroom

Closeup of the above mushroom

Love the leaf fungi 🙂

Little brown fungi growing on the side of dead moss covered log.

LOVE these two! Especially the black marked guy. Looks like a umbrella.

Fungi among the Fall leaves. Can anyone tell that I like Fungi & Ferns more than Flowers? I’m THAT weird girl…

These tiny guys were quite cute 🙂

River found a Squirrel.. River treed the the squirrel…

River somehow climbed the tree…after the squirrel (swear to god I just stood by and watched the show (along with a few other people)).

River in tree with Bella confused as to how she could get up there!

River did not get her squirrel..but not lack of trying and climbing! Who knew Dachshunds could climb trees??? I guess all the bouldering and rock climbing paid off… I guess I should invest in some spikes for her next!

The afternoon was nice and ended with a rain shower and very vivid rainbow (which I sadly did not get a picture of). I might be sick but I did find some cool things while walking dogs!

~J