Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I want to wake up 10 feet tall with stripes and yellow eyes. My whole family went to see Avatar with me. Thank goodness, they liked it too. I'm not in delusion by myself. I also want to ride around on a giant lizard. And have glow in the dark spots on my skin.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

In California where the women are thinner somehow. I don't know how that is. Maybe it's Marin women, all sleek and well fed and expensively clad. Maybe it's the smell of money.

I went to Spirit Rock for an all day sit today. With Sister Anandabodhi, a Theravadin nun who has recently set up residence in the Sunset district of SF. They are beginning a monastery for women in the US, the first ever for Buddhist women. Totally revolutionary. Shaved heads, brown robes and begging bowls. They do alms rounds once a week in downtown SF. Whoa. Our culture is not ready for this. I once saw a picture of Zen monks and nuns in downtown Shasta with their bowls and a woman was putting bags of potato chips in each bowl. I don't think you refuse potato chips. Or anything else you are offered. Well, if it was a poison burger, you could refuse. They eat once a day, before noon. Then they drink tea. Today they looked perfectly healthy and well fed.

Anandabodhi taught about the 'sound of silence'. She describes it as a gentle ringing or silvery sound stream that goes through her head, and is always there. Because I have tinnitus it was a tad difficult to imagine/experience what she was saying. Instead I settled into a deep comfortable place just being there again after the March month-long retreat I did this year.

I am grateful today for all the monastics of every faith who enter with open hearts and practice earnestly for the benefit of all.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy birthday to Maya, my graceful child. And to all those I love. In sunny California where we ate gluten-free popovers ( a Yorkshire pudding thang) and sauteed dandelion greens, compliments of Daniela (strangely yum) for breakfast and we each said one thing we were grateful for. Family, more family, Leggos (Milo), love and more love. All crammed into Maya and Shaun's little house. Maya is 37. How can I have a child that old? Start young, I say.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Another baby last night, I'm leaving for SF today and my suitcase is stuffed, really stuffed. I felt like a screwball 40's comedy (why are they always screwball?) jumping on top of my suitcase and praying that the zipper will hold and not explode underwear all over the airport. I'm carrying a single shoe in my computer bag because it wouldn't fit. Will I get in trouble for the shoe?? Will they frisk me at security because a single shoe is suspicious?


I am going to ride the light rail all the way to the airport. La-de-da. Just like in a real city. So cosmopolitan. So European. So sane. $25 for an airporter or $2.50 for the light rail. Uh...

You who do not live in Seattle do not know what a big deal this is. BIG DEAL. We have been in denial about our big-cityness for far too long and here we are, 2010 almost and we have a few miles of light rail. Sheesh.

May all beings be happy and able to ride the light rail. To the airport.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Go and see Avatar. It is miraculous.

I fell asleep watching a movie without subtitles. There are nazis and villagers and deep snow. I worried that the boy was running in the snow without gloves. It looked very cold. Some local soldiers come and they are given a feast. The older woman helps deliver a baby. They're all drinking a clear alcohol. They put it in their coffee. Everyone is ragged. Then there is a massacre. Even the dogs are shot. The language sounds Slavic. I'm free to make up the story.

Later the female lead comes back to the place where it all happened. The old woman is still there. They are both wearing kerchiefs and the old woman begins to laugh. She had tried to teach the younger one the names of local herbs. The younger one made up fanciful names for the plants and gave them specific healing properties, all wrong.

On Pandora, the planet in Avatar, the plants are phosphorescent. Oh yeah.

Friday, December 18, 2009

I was supposed to talk to m dharma teacher last night. At 8 PM. I was still working. At 8:20, I called the conference line number and GOT MUSIC. No talking with my dharma buddies and with Larry. Whaaaaaaaa. It's sometimes so hard to appear normal but I manage to all day. Normal hair, normal clothes, normal food. But really, I crave solitude, lots of it, and wild nature and more solitude and music and books and writing and the company of my writer friends who are decidedly not normal and dharma teachers.

So today at therapy I acted like a big baby, which is what I have been calling everyone lately. A Big Baby. Obama is a Big Baby. Tiger Woods is a Big (naughty) Baby. Our senators are a bunch of Big Babies. Only real babies get to be legitimate Big Babies. So everyone gets to get over their Big Baby-ness. Right now. I guess that includes me.

Although my therapist told me I'm fine just the way I am. I pay her to say that. But still, it could be true.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I think the writers get together tonight. I don't have the address. I don't know the time. The sky is that layered gray cover which persists.

I want to go to China. Two cds called Wild China did me in. You can see the Great Wall from space, the only man-made thing you can see. There are landscapes of tall, bumpy rocks, 100's of caves no-one has ever entered and creatures that only live in China. China has deserts and jungles and the Himalayas and zillions of ethnic groups. Rice is still cultivated in terraces, like in Nepal. Some farmers raise golden carp in their rice fields. There are 1,000 year old turtles. And pandas. And black-footed cranes. And the Yellow River all the way from the Himalayan glaciers. And acupuncture. And bamboo forests. And bamboo bats the size of a quarter.

I want to see it all.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Light little crystals. Not snow.

Red pandas are beautiful. I wonder if a few of them would live in my yard. I wouldn't exploit them or ask them to do yard work. Oh, and gibbons. Gibbons howl and sing. Plus groom.

I love books. I love the way they feel and smell. I love to turn the pages of a paperback that is broken-spined. A Kindle can never replace a book. Never.

I went to my local bookstore last week. It wasn't there. It was gone. Out of business. This is tragic. What about browsing? What about wandering? Powell's is for wandering and having a cup of tea for a break. Then going back to hanging around the poetry section. Or mysteries. Or fiction. For hours.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

How do they separate angora from the rabbits? Do I want to know the answer to that question? Probably not.

I envied the poodle skirts on the high school girls. I've seen the error of my ways.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

I've wrapped and packed all my Christmas presents. I've stopped eating the chocolate covered almonds. Before they were all gone. I've just signed up with an INVESTMENT COMPANY to actually send them $$ every month, like a grown-up, like I might retire some day. I feel weird, faint, funny. Maybe I'm coming down with something. I don't wanna act mature. I'm gonna throw things.

When I went upstairs, the calico didn't yowl at me like she usually does. Cuz she's gone to Jim's house to live with him. I miss her. Peace again reigns in the house of 3 (not 4) cats. Lupine is psycho but that's just her nature. Lola thanked me by biting me, just a little bitey bitey.

The lid is on the almonds and I'm not even tempted. The stairs crack when I go out on the deck. The chard is slumped over. When I lived in New York, this kind of weather was normal plus add 13 feet of snow. For 6 months. So weather in the 20's. Please.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

It's effing freezing outside. No one should sleep outside (well, the raccoons have a lot of fur, and each other). I gave the Real Change guy $10. He says he has a warm place to sleep. I've seen the one legged man sleeping in a doorway but he wasn't by the Safeway today.

Hooray, the calico has a new place to live. She's going to live with my old tenant. M can't take her because they are traveling for cancer treatments. Jim met her royal highness today and after hearing her sad story, he said, "sure, she can come live with me." Tomorrow.

Calico facts:

They're always female.
They have an extra x chromosome.
They're sterile.
They speak 5 languages.
They've been known to fly small aircraft.
They have a distaste for Dickens, especially Great Expectations.
They adore Vatican II. (This last I will never understand.)

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Actually, I am responsible for world hunger. Paulette is mad at Obama. The calico may go and live with M while M is treated for cancer. I think the kitty could pat her arms with her clawless paws and make her feel better.

I finished all the pajamas, hooray. My machine makes button holes while I'm in another room. Really. Now if I could teach it to make bread I'd be all set.


Saturday, December 05, 2009

Everything is glazed, like a donut. Except for the treachery. And since I fell down in the street yesterday while in Pioneer Square, perhaps I should put crampons on my shoes. And carry ski poles. I didn't even slip. I stepped off the curb and went flailing into the street, headed by my right knee, which hurt extremely. So I lay there for a bit, holding my knee and rocking. All ignored me so I got up and hobbled to my car. I took myself to Moonlight Cafe, home of the double menu-regular and vegan for Mongolian Beef, veggies and tofu and some noodles with veggies and tofu. Take out.

It was the pain. I was shaking slightly while I ordered. I was wearing my scruffy birth clothes because I had been at a birth (well, I had just come from therapy which was particularly pithy and joyous yesterday) so I looked a mess. And I ordered enough food for 3 or 4 people. I sat on the couch in my scruffy clothes with a towering pile of Vietnamese vegetarian food before me, ice pack on my knee and Wild China on the tube.

Before I passed out from overeating/pain/therapy nastiness, I saw some Chinese fish with no eyes, giant newts, snow monkeys and a bird that has an elaborate feather thingy he puffs up and shakes at the female. I woke up later with all the cats on top of me even tho I'd forgotten to turn off the heat and it was about 1000 degrees in the house.

I would like to have a personal secretary for Christmas. Please.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The calico is back downstairs. My three are a) hiding b) sitting behind me and growling c) ignoring everything in that elaborate way cats have when you know they are really paying close attention but nonchalantly. This is interspersed with a series of cats circling each other with their fur all puffed up and their tails out straight.


The feeding ritual is quite elaborate too. Miss calico has kidney food but I guess it's kinda icky so I mix it with Fancy Feast which, according to my vet is the equivalent of kitty crack. My darlings are all on diets so they're getting special diet food which they inhale (except for Lola). Then Hugo and Lupine crowd Lola eyeing her slow progress. As if. They are starving. Good lord, as my mother would say.

November is over. On to the end of the year with tacky lights, ornaments and snowmen made of styrofoam. With scarves.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

The grapes are all gone from the vines, the raccoons have ceased eating my hot tub cover for now and the calico is again upstairs with me. Now she's in my office with cat food, litter box, etc. Makes the room smell yummy.

I have an iphone with a purple/pink cover. It's ridiculously easy to use. Plus I can have a ringtone of crickets. Or ducks. Or a motorcycle. I have a harp. Brinnng, brinng, brinng.

I'll pretend I'm a fairy princess and that's how I get waked up, with a harpist in the room doing scales.

Me-fairy princess with tiara and a cat sleeping on my head.
Our last baby weighed 10# 6 oz. Sheesh. Aren't women AMAZING?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I'm going to get a new phone. The cover keeps falling off my current phone so it is attractively held on with tape. Well, I keep dropping it. oops.

J is making me oatmeal for lunch. After an all night birth, it is the only food that will suit. Like Scrooge in Christmas Carol, sitting with his feet in the fire, eating gruel. Oatmeal, food of my people.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Geoffrey Launt


Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'm going on retreat til next Tuesday. To the silence of the dripping rain forest. I'm even bringing rain pants. I hear the retreat center has a bunch of new trails because they've added some acres to their property. We will still pee in a bucket and the shower room is aways from our little cells where we sleep.

I love it when my friends wish me well and hope I come back all restored. Yup, I'm going to contemplate my personal darkness but I'll be perky about it!! It is strangely restorative. At least I have to be honest about my various dysfunctions.

May all beings be well during the monsoon season.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tomorrow night the writers get together and I have nothing, nothing, I tell you. Instead, I am sewing pajamas for the fam. I think the last time I did piping, it looked better, neater. I have ripped out several seams. Oh, I'm using patterns I used before and there are no directions. Have you ever made the fly part on pajama bottoms without directions? See? It's tricky. Because I don't have a, um, penis, I'm having trouble imagining how big to make the slit so you can get your hand in, pull out your unit and pee without getting pee on your hand/pajamas/floor etc. I think my mother had to gird her loins (her expression) when she went into the 'boy's bathroom" to clean it. Because boys (and untrained men) pee everywhere. Yick.

I just have litter boxes. Many litter boxes.

I once tried to eliminate litter boxes because the little darlings went outside. Ha! They peed on plastic, in plants, on anything on the floor. And they will pee/poop in the garden, regardless. Next to the tomatoes. Lovely.

By the way, I'm redoubling my efforts to find a home for miss thing upstairs. She slept on my head last night. On my head.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The effing raccoons have peeled off strips from my hot tub cover. And they are chewing on the edges. Eat the effing grapes, you idiots. They have some nutrition at least.

"Get some drinks. Get cigarettes." (from an Agatha Christie mystery, The Wrong Man)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Uh-oh. The calico is roaming the house, much to the chagrin (and much growling and posturing) of the other cats. 'but she just came to me and patted me with her clawless paws. Uh-oh, just say no. No to 4 cats, no, no, no.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The calico is here. Upstairs. She's skinny but eating and she greets me when I open the door to the studio where she has a heating pad bed, water, a litter box and meals. My cats go up there and stare at her.

I went to a friend's house for her birthday and walking up the stairs I stopped to heft a heavy bag and turned to look at the railing because a turkey was sitting on it. The railing. A live turkey. I said, 'Well, hello.' The turkey said nothing. She apparently came from a neighbor's house and she's dinner in a few weeks. When I left after the party, I plotted liberating her. I figured I could put her in the front seat of the car and then put her in the basement until I figured out another strategy. Like what do turkeys eat? Do I have to protect her from raccoons? Or cats? Will she be lonely? Should I get another turkey to keep her company? What is the life expectancy of a turkey? Can she be outside in the winter/rain/cold? Should I make her a little hat because she is, uh, bald?

I'm obviously losing it. I want to save all life. Now.

The turkey wasn't around when I left. I looked. I think I need professional help. Well, I have professional help but perhaps I need an intervention. Real soon.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Don't forget to brush your tongue. Almost as bad as raggety underwear if you have to go to the hospital in an ambulance.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Acupuncture is not for sissies. Jasmine put a needle in my chest, deep throbbing pain. But I don't think I have a heart condition any more. I think she fixed it.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Happy birthday to my 2 Scorpio sibs. May you swim in good health and economic largess.
I put my sweetheart on the train to Portland so early I saw the beautiful glorious sunrise and the sparkly Cascade mountains. Sometimes I'm knocked out by Seattle. Last night we walked along the Sound via the sculpture garden and Elliot Bay Park as it got dark. More heavy purple curtain with orange light around the edges. Huge freighters waiting by the grain elevator. West Seattle off in the distance. A bicycle with neon tires that changed colors. A neon & sign revolving over Love & Loss. And we're not getting pounded by rain.

Another mess of leaves to rake.

We ate at Plum last night, my new favorite vegan restaurant. We tried the mac 'n yease that was so good I wanted to lick the plate. Creamy and slightly spicy, oh yum. I asked what was in it. The waitperson said, "Oh, yeast and vegan cheese (yetch) and secret ingredients." How could vegan cheese taste good? It's nasty. Anyway, the chef is not revealing her secrets. I'm gonna experiment at home. I'll let you know how it goes.

Starting to write again. My new plan: 1. semi-retire. 2. move to Olympia, buy a house in the woods. 3. Open a spa for women. 4. Practice midwifery a little. 5. Write and meditate in my studio surrounded by trees as a fire crackles in the grate ( Ala Charles Dickens).

Friday, November 06, 2009

I woke up last night because hail was blamming the skylight over my bed and it was effing loud. Then lightening and thunder. I wondered if the skylight would 'fail' and I'd drown in falling glass, plaster and rain.

Today, Hugo and Lola went to the vet. They were not pleased. They both peed themselves. So my car smelled lovely. Then they moped around in the clinic room with wet tails and feet. They made sad kitty meowing sounds, sorta like, "help, I'm being tortured over here, please rescue me from the evil person I live with. She didn't even let me eat this morning, hhhheeeeeellllpppp, meeeeoowwwww." I visited the calico who is eating and drinking and recovering.

Hugo, who has been on a diet, has gained 2 pounds. He now weighs 17+ pounds. Great. Now he's on another diet. They all are. No wonder I can't move my feet when he lies on them when I'm in bed.

I could have exercise-induced asthma (or a heart condition). I choose exercise-induced asthma. My naturopath bounced around the room, as she usually does but after hearing about my family history, she got all serious. We skated over the mental illness parts of my family. It is November and the 2nd anniversary of Geoff's suicide coincides with Thanksgiving. Pisses me off. Thanks a lot, Geoff.

If you live in the Northwest, take a lot of vitamin D. It cures everything.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Today in better news on the kitty front. She's got a bit of a kidney problem but probably because she's dehydrated...and so far, that's all. The vets are keeping her for 10 days cuz of the bite issue (see below) and they said for free they'll keep her (thanks be to gawd) so they'll give her more fluids and get her to eat and she's being polite and curling up on her blanket in her kennel. Her eyes are green, very green, and you can see her beauty even tho she is starving at the moment. The vet said she could even hold her own with my devil cat Lupine even tho she doesn't have claws in the front.

They'll all be so cranky if she ends up here. Lola, Hugo and Lupine. I dare not. They outnumber me. They're here all day while I'm at work. They'll take revenge. Anyway, three cats is too many and four cats puts you into another kind of category (har, har, stupid pun). I don't want to be the four cat person who smells like, oh, litter and 'cat' and is covered with hairs all the time. No, no, no. It's bad enough now.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Continuing kitty saga: it cost a lotta money at the vet today with calico kitty. And she bit the vet tech when they were drawing blood so she stays for observation for 10 days. She only weighed 5#. Hugo has her beat by about 10#. If she doesn't have bad kidneys or a thyroid condition or kitty HIV, well then. We'll start looking for a home for her.

I can't have 4 cats. I can't. I can't be that kind of person.

This morning when I took her to the vet, I sat on the floor beside her and cried when they left the room to get their IV stuff and shots. Blubbering.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Alright, so I was leaving school and a scrawny calico was staggering by, doing the sad kitty meow. I mean scrawny, all bones. Green eyes. No collar. Some folks across the hall were trying to figure out what to do so I joined in.

She's upstairs in my studio, the only room with a door. She has water, fancy wet food, dry food and a fluffy bed with a heating pad under it on low. And a brand new litter box. I sat with her mournful self and she has been declawed. ARRRRRRGGGGG. I shouldn't jump to conclusions. Maybe she got away from her person who is frantically looking for her. And her person keeps her indoors. And her person adopted her after some ninny declawed her.

Anyway, she's terribly skinny and I'm at a loss now. I can't have another cat. I can't. I'll let her wait a bit and recover on her heated bed. Then I'll find a no-kill shelter to take her to.

The other cats are all looking at me. As if they didn't end up with me for the same reason. They're all fat and glossy. And frisky. And they get catnip. And they sleep on my bed. What's their problem???

Sunday, November 01, 2009

One trick or treater last night was a 4 foot cop, complete with hat, badge and TICKET. He gave me a ticket and I gave him a Tootsie Roll. Dang, If it was only that easy. Next time I'm pulled over, I'm gonna give the cop a lolly pop.

I had 4 lighted pumpkins on my porch last night. And the moon coming through the pin oak branches. I stood on the sidewalk for a while just to admire.

Then me and Patti watched Nightmare Before Christmas. Perfect. Just perfect.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Time Sensitive Material:

You will be revoked as soon as you complete a full-sized copy.
Pleas list languages spoken (ignore unspoken languages).
Have you had a mental health condition in the last 5 years?
If yes, describe rehabilitation.
Do you agree to exhaust all available remedies?
You may be interviewed and verified at any time.
Photocopies constitutes competence.
We've lined your house with listening devices.
It's for your own good.
Thank you for agreeing to investigate entities here or not.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The raccoons are back, harassing Lola the dog. She's on anti-anxiety meds. Raccoons are the Dick Cheneys of the animal kingdom. They talk out the side of their mouths, they're forever washing their hands and they slink around in the background. Rustling in the bushes. Coming through the cat door. Stealing cat and/or dog food. Starting wars in the Middle East.

Small comfort: raccoons get gout eating cat food. Have some more, boys.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Oh. Oh. Oh.

I forgot. J and I went for a hike along the Columbia, well, outside Portland someplace over the heavenly bridge, the Bridge of the Gods, over a very deep ravine all the leaves were at their beautiful best and we walked along this trail the same trail with all the waterfalls rocks that humped up a zillion years ago and the tourists drove there to see the pretty waterfalls they only have to walk from their cars and go up a few steps please hang on to the handrails but we went farther because we were going to the hot springs place tucked up in the mountains a hot springs place from the 1920's with a white building where they wrap you in white towels after soaking you in 6 foot bathtubs until you expire but before that we were hiking as I said and there was a stream with a lot of little rapids in it and I kept thinking, wow, frisky water so I looked closer and there were SALMON, Coho salmon, red and tattered and the air smelled of their rot and they were splashing and swimming against the current with their flesh torn away and their fins and tails were in the air and they were so beautiful their death/life beautiful I was crying from all the beauty in the world leaves and fish and luck to be there to see the salmon run.
My house is swarming with men. The one in the garage is finishing my kitchen cabinets ( hurrah, finally) and the other is in the basement painting said doors of cabinets. I'm still in my bathrobe. There are acres of leaves to rake on the estate but I'll get to them later.

I never know what to do with leaves. Mulch is good, very good for the gardens but cripes, there are oceans of leaves. Oceans.

Tonight is my writing group and I'm going, no babies or anything. We will eat and drink and laugh. And read poems. And behave ourselves. Well, sort-of.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I went from light rail to the train station, spent a luscious weekend with J in Portland, came back by train and back home by light rail. So cosmopolitan. On the train, you can read, knit, write, eat lunch etc. Oh, and it runs by the water a lot of the way. I reflexively look for the seatbelt... By the way, I whupped J's butt playing Scrabble. She always acts so innocent but I bet she is studying tutorials when we are apart. I won because she was tired. She is Scrabble Queen.

I am knitting socks with eeny wool and I keep dropping stitches. As long as they hold together so I can wear them. I can see it now. I'm walking along while my socks are unraveling and dragging behind me. Oh yeah.

The Friday reading was fun. The other readers were funny and Andrea memorized hers. *sigh* One day I will memorize mine. Some of my friends came too. And they behaved themselves. Mostly. Except for the giggling in the hall afterwards. You know who you are. Ahem.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My writer's group was cancelled, whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. And my little buddy across the street broke his arm at school yesterday. And some people I care about are sick-o with the evil flu. So drat, I guess I'll go home and sulk.

I even wrote a poem.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I've always been a country of one. There's a certain distance in my makeup, a measured separation like my old man's, I guess, that I've worked at times to reduce, or thought of working, or said the hell with it.
I like to tell my wife. I say to my wife. I tell her not to give up on me. I tell her there's an Italian word, or a Latin word, that explains everything. Then I tell her the word.
She says, What does this explain? And she answers, Nothing.
The word that explains nothing in this case is lontananza. Distance or remoteness, sure. But as I use the word, as I interpret it, hard-edged and fine-grained, it's the perfect distance of the gangster, the syndicate mobster--the made man. Once you're a made man, you don't need the constant living influence of sources outside yourself. You're all there. You're made. You're handmade. You're a sturdy Roman wall.
Don DeLillo, Underworld

Monday, October 19, 2009

My friend make some grape juice from her concords and OMG, I swooned in her kitchen. The juice is thick, almost chewy with a deep, dark grape taste. We have no idea how real food tastes anymore. So watered down and corn-syrupy.

Going swimming now. Then I might go to Patti's house and steal some of her grapes. I don't think she'd mind. I'm dying to know what that grape jelly would taste like. No wonder the ancients figured out wine from grapes. They couldn't help themselves.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dug up huge gladioli clumps so my back isn't very happy. Planted 100 tulip bulbs too, esp some purple ones. I can't bring myself to pull up the tomato plants yet. Lots of green ones. They will ripen on the window sill.

One of my clients gave me a song bird book with a little player attached. You pick a bird and you can play their song. Ha! I can now drive my cats NUTS. I was listening to a house wren and a vireo and Hugo was sniffing around the table, trying to figure out where the birdies were.

Then I played a great horned owl. Ha!!!

Fire the meteor gun. ( I love bad Sci Fi movies).


Zog the warty

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rain mixed with blown leaves, northwest fall is about done. I might get another juicing from the grapes if the raccoons don't get there first.

Delicata squash, rosemary, garlic, parsnips, carrots, yellow Finns, onion, apples, olive oil. Cut into bite size chunks, mix with oil and a bit of salt. Bake in a covered dish until tender. Yum.

Monday, October 12, 2009

When it gets cold, I am loathe to turn on the heat. I pile on the blankets, wear a coat in the house and bake. As a kid, my brother and I had bedrooms on the third floor, really a converted attic with little insulation. We froze up there. Back before the days of flannel sheets, the sheets felt like ice. And my mother would make the beds so tight, you couldn't move your legs. She would turn down the thermostat to 55 at night too. In the summer, the opposite problem, we roasted. Ah, the East Coast weather. Mom the inquisitor.

Ok, 6 babies since last Wednesday. Hurrah. All safe and sound. I'm going swimming now even though I've had about 8 hours of sleep in the last 4 days. It's Ok. The pool is warm. Next week the writers meet. And I have nothing to bring. Nothing whatsoever. Maybe I'll bring a James Wright poem and pass it off as my own. Maybe no one will notice.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Four babies in the last 3 days and one more cooking. Day and night all mixed up.

No cupboard doors in my kitchen. They have been sanded and are all in the garage waiting for beautification.

Brilliant fall leaves on every street. I miss my father the most during this time of year. He, my brothers and the dogs would go hunting. They'd leave before light and come back at dusk. The dogs acting crazy excited in the morning and falling exhausted from the back of the station wagon at the end of the day. While I never hunted with them, no stomach for it, they brought back the smell of the cold fall days and the wilderness places only they knew about. My father loved the Adirondack Mountains and retreated there yearly to trout fish, back in the woods with no phone and no electricity. My brothers scattered his ashes in his favorite trout stream.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Everyone is sick, well, everyone around me is sick. My old new tenant is coughing. My neighbor is blowing her nose, her kids brought it home from school. And I start to feel that *overwhelm* feeling, about to collapse, have a fever, get a cough, etc. and I dose myself with Vit C and this throat stuff I squirt on my tonsils and voila! all better.

Meanwhile the glorious days continue, red leaves, unfailingly bright sun, not a mean spirited day in the whole bunch. Totally weird for Seattle in October, should be raining, at least.

I'n pretty sure the babies don't want to arrive because they signed on for nasty drizzle and it's like a Disney movie here. All that's missing are some cartoon animals frisking about on the (green) grass. Cripes.

Monday, October 05, 2009

My dear Kat had her baby this morning. So I made black bean soup, chocolate chip cookies and corn muffins. Oh, and I threw in a quart of grape jelly and a dozen roses for her girl. Now she's a midwife who has given birth.

Still no other babies being born, and a radiant harvest moon over the lake. I'd think they'd want to come see it.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

One effing glorious day. I walked about 8 miles, Mount Baker to the north, Rainier to the south, white caps on the lake, geese flying into the mighty wind, leaves penny colored, all around Seward Park, baby strollers and itty dogs (I guess big dogs are passe), yarmulkes on the young men from my 'hood, kids wobbling on training wheeled bikes. I was so tempted to dive into the gorgeous blue lake just for a slap from the waves. Of course I would have frozen all body parts off.

Yesterday I went to our art gallery (yes, we are so sophisticated) to get a picture framed and the lady behind the counter remembered me from 20 years before as the midwife who delivered her grandson who died of SIDS 16 days after his birth. We looked at one another and then we looked away, oh dear. Later she called me to tell me she probably rang up my purchase incorrectly and could I come back to the store and fix it, no hurry. How our grief slams us down, sometimes in the most unexpected ways. She is a potter and I bought a creamer and sugar bowl from her all those years ago. My kid broke the creamer but I still have the sugar bowl. She said she could make me another creamer.

What a job I have. Ushering in the babies. Sometimes they don't live very long. We never know about that. How long will they live. Like us. My friend Annie works as a Buddhist chaplain in a hospital in Olympia. Goodbye. Hello. The interlude in between.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

My new tenant moved in with her pup, Lola. So there's kitty Lola and doggy Lola. The old tenant moved into my spare bedroom because his house hasn't closed. I'm full up and the counter is covered with his stuff and 54 jars of grape jelly. I leave them out so I can admire them. They are beautiful in their grapey-ness.

Still no babies. I'm reading the current edition of the Sun. I read every word. It's the only thing I subscribe to, besides my snotty self which needs the Sunday New York Times. I'm also reading Stieg Larsson's 2nd book in the series, "The Girl Who Played With Fire". Highly addictive. And if the babies refuse to be born, I can stay up way past my bedtime and read.

Oh, in honor of the new tenant, one of the sweet kitties left a dead bird in the cellar. Just for her. Aw.
We read. There was enough wine for each person in the audience to have their own bottle. Kiara brought astonishing new poems. Josh brought most of the audience. Kelly encouraged us to laugh at her poems, well, some of her poems. I found myself nodding and chuckling. For us. Because we write. And we occasionally show off. And we rock. 

There was music too. And a lot of Trader Joe's snacky things. 

I've got another reading. October 23rd at Phinney Ridge Community Center. 21 Stars reading. I don't know the other poets. I am going to make an effort to invite people. Really. 

Thursday, October 01, 2009

I have eaten a lot of chocolate tonight. With hazelnuts. I'm still at work.

Today I got a check from an insurance company for 6 CENTS. That's right, 6 cents. $0.06. It costs more to mail it, process it, etc than the amount. Is our health care system broken? Nooooo, hell no.

The weather has changed and that usually brings out the babies. So far, nada.

I'm going home now to collapse on the couch. First, I'll choose what I'll read tomorrow, print out a few poems and then forget about it. I'll sit there shuffling through them and decide last minute. We have to introduce each other.

Being on call all the time creates an alternate reality. One where sleep is impoverished.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Miraculous. I haven't been to a birth in over a week. I sleep all night. Well, I sleep until about 2 0r 3, then wake for a while and stare as the ceiling. At some point, I notice that 3 cats have pinned me to the bed by lying on various parts of my body so movement is difficult. 

Fall is swift. Gather all the grapes/tomatoes/squash before the frost. I have one sugar pumpkin and one acorn squash. The delicatas didn't make it. They are the sweetest squash, even better than buttercup. 

My writing group is gearing up for the reading this Friday. Emails are flying. Bring 2 bottles of wine and some snacks. Bring friends. Bring yourself. Remember to get dressed. Read for 5 minutes (once, twice?) Prevail upon your friends to attend. Implore them to behave, no snickering or belching. 

I'm planning to wear my red shoes. They're dazzling.  

Monday, September 28, 2009

I am lying exhausted on the couch after 5 hours of grape jelly madness. I went through 20 pounds of sugar *ping*, all my jars, even the quart jars and I still have some juice left which I am going to drink. Freshly made grape juice is delicious. I feel health coursing through my circulatory system as I lie here. This grape juice is pinkish yellow and tart. And sparkling with grape properties like smartness and ancient healing chants (ahooya, ahooya) and the like. It's the blue-green algae of fruit. No wonder they make wine out of it. I am now a magical pixie fairy dust-y person with phosphorescent skin flakes. All because of grape juice. 

My counters are covered with 53 jars, all sizes. I had to hose down the floor afterwards. 

My group, "A Murder of Prose", is reading this Friday. I'm going to dress like a grape and pass around the new jelly. Maybe no one with notice that I'm not reading anything. 

I bought Charles Simic's last book of poetry. It sucks. (I blaspheme and I'll probably go straight to hell where someone reads "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" over and over). 

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Today J and I picked several gallons of grapes, plucked 'em off their stems, mooshed 'em with a potato masher, boiled 'em for 10 minutes with much boiling over on the stove and then burning permanently on the enamel, strained 'em through cheesecloth (ok, it was tulle) and then pour the juice into a ginormous pot especially used for this purpose. Over and over. Then the light pink juice sits all night on the counter 'crystalizing', something I have never actually witnessed but the USDA canning and preserving book says to do so I do. Then skim. The nonexistant 'crystals'.Then the pectin, sugar, a gawdawful amount of sugar and more boiling of juice and jars and lids with much burning of fingers and mess on counter and floor. Finally the hopeful *ping* of jar lids sealing. Sometimes not. Or the dreaded, 'it didn't jell' phase where you have to uncork the whole thing and start over --sob--.

And my USDA canning and perserving book has everything. I mean everything. If I wanted, I could can a side of beef. Or I could use tin cans for my meat. There is a scary picture of a lady in a apron standing next to a tin can machine. I think I'll stick with jelly. Being vegan and all.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thursday night and fall has set in. The sun a giant red ball last night going home. People standing on the street gaping. Cars stopped. Brief.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Yup, two babies in one day, both girls, one big and one little.

In honor of being off call, I went to the dentist. I like my dentist. She's a nice lady who owns a farm where she raises sheep and sheep dogs. She brings eggs to her clinic and sells them. We gossip like crazy and go over time. However. She has instruments of torture that defy description, including the DENTAL DAM. What is the use of this, I ask you? Why do you need a tiny trampoline clamped to your teeth? Or tooth to be exact. Imagine how the tooth feels, being singled out like that. I can hear the other teeth heaving sighs of relief that they aren't under such scrutiny and worse. 

Then there is the grinding drill, not the eeny drill but the honkin' big grinder that makes your head feel like it is on sideways permanently. I also think the hinge in my jaw on the right side is broken. No, really. And she said to her assistant that she would have to stand on her head to get to my tooth on the top. I couldn't imagine this so I closed my eyes and tried to sleep or pass out. Neither worked.

I also know I could never be a dental assistant because there are too many tools with too many names. 

"Give me the pulverized forklift with the green handle. No, the big one"
"Oh, you've bitten your tongue. That's going to hurt"
" I need the cuticle treadmill."
"Now the left sided metronome scraper."
(me) "Argggah  gurgle gggaaaaah."
And so on.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tonight the labor juices are swirling. I'm going to bed now because someone will call during the night.  My car is packed and ready to go. 

I adore this weather. Wet and fall-ish, the squash plant leaves have turned powdery. There are still blossoms but they won't become fruit, it's too late for that. I went out tonight to find dinner but no luck. I have one sugar pumpkin and one acorn squash. 

Then I remembered the chard, rainbow chard that struggled during our blast furnace heat wave. It too loves this weather so I helped myself to a few leaves. Plus a few more cherry tomatoes. 

I brought in the hammock, a true sign that summer is really over. Not that I lay in it even once. Oh, but the sound of rain on the skylight. Bliss. 

Friday, September 18, 2009

Scrolling back into the dark days of winter. I noticed the grape leaves are starting to turn. Oh gawd, time for grape picking and grape jelly making, a major ordeal. I love the taste, especially the juice. But the mountains of sugar, the spillage on floor, stove and counters and the burned fingers when dealing with boiling liquids. 

Maybe I'll get an unsuspecting friend to help me. In exchange for jelly, lots 'o jelly.

It is beautiful to behold all those jars with amber and pink light coming through them. 

In the next few weeks, I am expecting many men to swarm over my house fixing leaky gutters, peeling paint, sagging decks and so forth. There will also be an upheaval in the kitchen with massive sanding of cabinets. I have to remove all items from the kitchen, all items. Into the dining room. The kitchen will be plasticked off and the noise of sanders will begin. Oh yeah. It aughta be fun. 

Then let winter come. I'll be ready. Snug, with grape jelly for company.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Spiritual Life

This morning, I sat down in front of my altar to meditate. About 10 minutes in, my pager went off and a new dad told me his wife was, ah, pooping. Important info with a 12 hour old baby, in his mind anyway. I reassured him that bowel function after delivery was normal, honest.  I went back to my cushion and another 10 minutes later, Lola, the black long hair started the unmistakeable sound of barfing, gakking up a hair ball. All over a women's anthology of poetry I carelessly left on the floor. A direct hit on the cover. I don't like the book much but impeccable timing. I cleaned that up and then the guy across the street fired up his generator to power wash his house, as he has been doing for a WEEK. 

I blew out my candle, rang the bell, and wished all beings health and happiness. 

Another perfect morning of silence and peace.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Another baby in the world, Moses. Only the third one this month so far. The season changes. I know because when I left their house tonight, my car windows were wet, as they are in the fall before the wet turns to frost. A soft cool night. 

Tomato, mayo, lettuce sandwich, with salt and pepper. I'm not sure about the nutritional value, but who cares? With these tomatoes, I could have them for breakfast. I probably will.  

Saturday, September 12, 2009

In a fit of peek (sp), I picked hundreds of tomatoes and now what??? The pear tomatoes are mealy and tasteless but so pretty. The little yellow ones are perfect, sweet and lovely. They are beautiful, a bowl of jewels.

I slept all afternoon in perfect indolence. I thought about painting. I cleaned out my studio. Instead I slept, something I rarely let myself do. Red, I think, and a high glaze. Small canvases. Like tomatoes, red, orange, yellow.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I'm so tired my eyes/eyelids hurt. 

My therapist ran out of kleenex tonight. 

6 Feet Under is currently my drug. Even though Nate died. 

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Birth this morning, came home and slept on the couch where I pretend I'm not really sleeping, just napping. Then I think I can fool myself tonight when I get into bed. Crank the circadian rhythms. Mixed with the old summer leaves are yellow and brown. The trees had a hell of a time with the heat wave this year. 

Feeling unhinged. Tried to get out of therapy but my perky therapist suggested another time tomorrow. If I were to go for a walk in the falling light I bet I would feel better. Visit the geese upending themselves in the lake. 

My neighbor is painting his house in sections. I look out my kitchen window at his efforts. He scrapes a 4' x 8' bit, primes and paints it. Then it sits for days, months, years, etc. until he is inspired to paint another area. Like de Kooning. Here and there. Blue. The other side of his house is all done. My side is peeling paint, blue  areas, some hanging tar paper stuff. Every time I hear the sound of the ladder I  inwardly applaud. 

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

folding star



swill through murrhine landscapes

activate a relentless mourn

we asked at the counter for the firefight edition

they were secretive about their plateau


levees released their little tongues


it was lambing season

we gathered all remaining wit

shears rock salt nitrazine thimbles

let rise three times before embarking


hemlock freed us


it says here in the directions

part the sky (part the sea)

one for you and the rest for me

we canvassed hollow wards for heretics


walk in the road at night


slide along the boardwalk

fish wither in the sod

nature gutters a split gauntlet

warble against a feverish brine


just under the skin is the loose wire


adjust your capsule before the prayer dinner

a drowned generation will pierce

all bodies flourish in the lake

we rescued the dogs

Monday, September 07, 2009

I virtuously ate many vegetables for dinner, broiled green beans with olive oil, chunky grey salt and balsamic vinegar and perfect protein salad I made myself from garbanzos, cukes, celery, red pepper, green onion, fresh garlic, dill, vegan mayo, lemon juice, and quinoa. All mixed together. Tomorrow it will be better. My mother used to say the ingredients need to 'marry' each other and that takes a while. Especially if you are a vegetables. 

I tried to go to the parcel and post place to mail a manuscript (!) but it was closed. Duh, it's Labor Day. When I had a normal job, I knew when holidays were. And when my kids were in school. Now my job is weird and I usually have no idea if it is a holiday or not. Babies come whenever. 

I'm getting a new fan thing for over the stove. The smoke detecter goes off regularly and scares the BEJEEUS out of me and the cats, mostly Lola. My friend gave me one from her house. I would install it but I might electrocute myself. And if you watch 6 Feet Under, you know how many ways people die. A lotta ways, most of them pretty stupid. 

I made a baby quilt for a friend who is 6'4" and her husband is 6'7". I made it too small. I'm afraid it is the size of a place mat. Maybe they can use it as a wall hanging. What was I thinking?I might still have time to make them something that might actually fit, like a giant hat. 

She told me when they were in Vietnam, people fell down in the road laughing when they saw her and her husband. And they called her 'cow', in their language it means 'tall' but her feelings were hurt anyway. She's quite spectacular, especially pregnant. I call them the Old Growth family.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Up all night and home by 4 this afternoon with a mom in labor. It began to rain and I could hear the city swallowing in big gulps. Sometimes it was a downpour and sometimes it was light and sometimes it stopped. I went out without a raincoat just to feel it, blessed rain. The baby brought the rain and they named her Esme. 

When I got home, I visited my garden. The chard and tomatoes had a bright look, saturated color rain look. As much as I complain when it rains for months, I know without it we all perish. Thank you Esme, for being born today.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

I'm still in my bathrobe but I'm going out into the what's left of the day. Patti came over and put together 2 Adirondack chairs I got on sale. The whole living room smells like cedar. The chairs even have footrests that slide underneath and there is an end table. So what if summer is almost over? I don't care. My chairs will be great next year. And they were on sale. 

Friday, September 04, 2009

I got a massage this morning and my therapist took off both of my arms. I have tennis elbow which is weird because I have never played tennis. She thought my arms needed to be replaced so she is scanning the neighborhood for newer, better arms and I am typing with my toes. It's slow going.

It is a bright sunny September Seattle day but I feel suspicious because we had a horrible heat wave back there a bit and now I flinch whenever I see sun. Will it kill me? Will the house/car heat up so much I will feel like I am gasping for air with an uncontrollable need to fling myself into the lake immediately? Cool rainy overcast good, sun bad.

Next on the agenda, my therapist therapist, whom I haven't seen for three weeks. We need to catch up. I usually go thinking I have nothing to talk about and leave her office snuffling and whimpering. I once thought I would be 'all better' but apparently there are just more layers. My friend just bought a house on the edge of a greenbelt which was used as an unofficial dump. Tires, empty bleach bottles by the score, more tires, antique farm implements, an anchor (?), kitchy porcelain cows/pigs/ducks etc., even a wood burning stove sunken into the garden. And an overlay of black berries and morning glory. It's like a midden. Or my interior life.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

I'm going to digress for a moment and talk about one of my dharma teachers, Larry Yang. I am fortunate enough to be a part of a study group training together. We meet once a month and we talk with Larry once a month. He sends us study materials and we hash them out with each other and then we report in. I/we get a dharma talk once a month and we are so lucky. I mean so lucky to have a teacher. This past two months we have been studying diversity 'precepts'. I have never encountered dharma diversity teachings before, not like these. Dharma in the West! Dharma in the West! Diversity! Women teachers! Gay teachers!

PS. I got a new haircut today and only two people noticed. Most were blinded by my new shoes, courtesy of Good Will. Not that I'm materialistic. Really. I'm practically holy. *ahem*

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I did it. I sent my beautiful maroon Honda Shadow motorcycle to California. To San Rafael to be exact, to my son-in-law who will ride it and love it and take it on rides on Mount Tam, twisty and curvy and fast. In a helmet. And boots. Oh, and the gear, the leather chaps and jackets with fringe and gloves and boots. Lovely boots. Sigh.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Yesterday J and I rode our bikes from the beginning of Alki beach all the way to Lincoln  Park and back. So we passed by condos and the two little houses side by side covered with flowers and beach volleyball and two older folks on the rise in their lawn chairs with the paper and lemonade and kids running with their dogs into the water (surely too cold for everyone else) and Alki Bakery and the fish and chips place and the shop that rents three wheeled bikes and kayaks and there were kayaks in the water and scuba divers suiting up and dogs with new haircuts and people on their decks with tongs in hand to turn some kind of meat item over the charcoal even the scent of baby oil mixed with salt water smell girls in bikinis and boys in board shorts babies in strollers a para-sailer in the sky all stripey and convertibles with their tops down cops leaning on the handlebars of their Harleys while we wove our way along on the sidewalk in the street all the way to Lincoln Park where we stopped to go swimming in the Lincoln Park pool surely the best most wonderful pool in Seattle because it is next to the Sound right on the beach and it is SALT WATER and heated but outdoors so you can swim outside in a pool and be in salt water too with the sun shining through the water like in the tropics where I have hardly been but I have a little to swim with flower colored fish so it was most delicious and J even dived off the diving board a few times o we were on a vacation all we needed was a drink in a coconut with a paper umbrella sometimes there is nowhere else I want to be but right where I am. 

Friday, August 28, 2009

My manuscript is done. I can't justify the table of contents because I am a word idiot. But here are two copies sitting on my desk ready for final approval.

Now off to get that Pulitzer!

In other news, I have two bags of poetry books in the back of my car. I tried to give them away recently and no one wanted most of them. They are the kind of books friends give you because they know you write poetry and so therefore you would like a book titled 'One Hundred Greatest Love Poems" or some such.

Maybe the used bookstore down the street wants them. Or maybe I'll leave them at bus stop benches. I'm sure there are folks who need a poetry boost when waiting for the bus with their latte.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

When kids hit one year old, it's like hanging out with a miniature drunk. You have to hold onto them. They bump into things. They laugh and cry. They urinate. They vomit.

-Johnny Depp

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My child left yesterday and I am bereft. And there is a light rain, a pearly grey light. No one has yet rented the apartment and ownership of the house reverts to me on Wednesday (well, the bank owns the house and I make eeny payments every month until I expire), a subject my daughter was loathe to talk about.

Melancholy, in spite of the tomatoes which have exploded all over the garden. Little yellow ones that taste like candy and were seeded from last year's garden. Lots 'o green and little tomatoes but candified.

A crow and drops of rain hanging from the telephone wires outside my window. After I moved upstairs, I face the street now and can behave like a properly nutty cat-woman watching garbage cans rolling in the wind and neighbors moving about, yelling into cell phones and going off to work.

Off to the dentist this AM. My dentist owns a hobby farm on an island, raises sheep and sheep dogs and chickens. I buy eggs from my dentist, cruelty free eggs. Twice a year. And I get a new toothbrush. We always gossip and make my appointment run over. She knows more about me than my therapist. Perhaps if my therapist were a dentist...

I think I will take out the ancient lilac. It keeps shedding parts of itself. I'll plant a new young tree in it's place. We chopped the rose bush right down yesterday. Eden says it will recover. I hope so. It's ancient. And makes bright yellow roses. And it has wicked thorns, wicked and huge.

I forgot to scatter Yogi's ashes when Eden was here. He's still on the piano.

I just found out that my tax guy is actually a professional trumpeter. Now I trust him. He's an artist. I have no logical reason to trust him but I do. Because he played with Ray Charles.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My daughter and I CLEANED OUT THE BASEMENT AND THE GARAGE. HAAAAA. This will not happen again for another 100 years. It is so much more fun with another person. And she was so sweet, ie. "that's what kids are for, mom, to help you." As I live and breathe. 

Anything a) we could not identify b) had cat pee on it or c) was obviously busted but had, for some reason, sentimental value went out out out. Hazmats in a pile, grotty stuff in the garbage or to the curb for neighborhood delectation. I expect it all to be gone by tomorrow. 

My other daughter bought a fabulous kimono jacket when she and her sister were thrifting at Good Will. I immediately put it on and appropriated it as my own. She was a sport about it but I may not get a Christmas present from her. It really does flatter me and hides, as my mother would say, a multitude of sins. 

As a reward, we have blackberry/nectarine crumble from local berries we picked on the way home yesterday and vanilla coconut bliss. Ah.

One day the garage and the basement, on to the medicine/linen closet! Gawd, I might even vacuum the car. Nah.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I went to a financial planner last week. He told me I need $750,000 to retire. hahahahahahahaha.

Today I am showing my mother-in-law apartment. How do you let a stranger into your house and live there? So far I've only had friends or acquaintances (except for one lady who decorated like it was a hotel room and she never lived there). Oh, and the house sitter locked herself out so she broke a window into the MIL (cuz she was naked and freezing) and before she could get the window repaired, one of the cats got in and peed on the bed. That renter was a wee bit angry. Oops.

I downloaded a rental application to give to the two women who are coming over. It's a basement. It's small. It's next to the hot tub. It's got everything but it's kinda dark. Right now there is a MAN living there but he's been ok, and I know him. 

I wonder if they will think it weird if they hand in their astrological charts so I can compare them to mine? I keep strange hours. I don't vacuum in the middle of the night but I have some cats who try to sneak in. They think they might get a better deal downstairs, more catnip or better food. Fickle. Opportunistic. 

I just saw a humming bird. She came to the lilac bush which hasn't had any flowers for months. Humming birds visit the same flower over and over. They eat huge amounts. They're hard for cats to catch.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Phinney, the big black and white long hair, came across the lawn, talking the whole time. He understands me. He understands that I speak cat language. Well, and I fed him when his family was away so he thinks fondly of me now. I appreciate it when an animal allows me to approach. It's a cross-species thing.  

When I was on retreat in March, I walked down to the horses by the road in the morning after breakfast. I took an apple, cut in half, one half for each horse. Henry was greedy and he got both halves but he let me pet him and scratch behind his ears. He also rolled in the dirt a lot and had a grubby coat. The horses on the other side of the road were sleek and groomed. They were the upscale horses owned by wealthy Marin-ites. However, they were stabled in close quarters and Henry and his buddy had a few acres to roam (and to roll in the mud). 

Tonight, when I went for a swim with a friend, the lake was very choppy. Every stroke slapped and slid. Tonight I felt mortal. I could feel the water's impersonal body, the depth and the crossover. I never open my eyes when I swim in the lake, except to see where I'm going. I know there are shapes below me, uncoiling and wavering, peripheral.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ravi Shankar's daughter-sitar music-sky wring-juice-tomatoes with basil, pepper,salt,olive oil, balsamic vinegar, all from the garden, Ravi Shankar's daughter drift.

Monday, August 17, 2009

the unfortunate bedtime story  


proprioception     all topsy-turvy                 

she licked blood from my ankle  

how can you ask me to tell the truth    

little blue lumps     like monuments  

everyday strangle    

I only wanted peace 

someone to mist the hedges

when they threw the horse hair sofas on the garage    

I was sure I had seen a calamity  


her hands shaped like missiles  

after the Air Force jimmied the lock  

I took cover in the afterthought     

my hair captivates this month  

my shoes sparkle in glory  

rest a while against the yellow carcass    

peel me another Slim Jim    

grease coats my palm wine    

a rainbow was found the bassinet

it must be a fucking miracle  

strangers think they know me  

all because of the  ball peen hammer      

it grew in the garden next to the cabbage  

I over watered    

I make the same mistakes every year      

forgive everything I ever fed you    

I was only pretending to like you    

even the part about tucking you in         

no wonder you have bad dreams                 

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My daughter provides me with new music. I'm listening to The Girl From Ipanema, all spacey and dreamy, a girl band. 'Member that song, anyone could sing it, all breathy and slinky? Yeah.
I'm back after a few weeks of various types of recreation. Mostly recently Portland where I firmed up my upper arms and neck muscles by painting an effing ceiling with a roller. Gawd. There's torture and there's torture. We even went bike riding after and rode to dinner and rode home in the freezing dark in our wet bike clothes. What do I think? I'm young and resilient? Ha! Much groaning and taking of medication ensued. 

What I really want to say is that during the camping part of my adventure, Hazel and Milo put on a play, well, several plays. Daniela helped (goaded them on really). She was the stage hand/costumer/announcer/scary goblin-witch. Oh, and curtain opener/fixer because the curtain kept falling down, rigged between two trees and made of beach towels, tarps and table cloths. 


Scene I

Curtains open on the Seattle Lakes Players (sic)

Hazel is sitting on her pink beach chair wearing a crown held on with twine. She is enigmatic and says nothing. Milo is off to the side, also wearing a crown and holding a magic wand. I think Hazel had one too. Then the goblin showed up (dress rehearsal the goblin was a witch but I guess she was too scary) and she was dispatched with a few magic wand taps. Whew. 

Scene II

Milo, dressed as a Jedi Knight, is brandishing a light saber and Hazel is wandering around the stage. Rachel, another kid has shown up and apparently, she is perfect for a new part (?) so she joins the play, mostly by jumping up and down  and saying "I'm in the play, I'm in the play!" We are to get up and move to the bushes where we stand and look at bushes...it was deep.

Scene III

The plot is a bit confusing but that is the way it is with magic. Milo and Hazel were now part of a complicated Harry Potter script which involved charms and spells like "hubba-wubba' and "shazam-o". Rachel's mom came to get her for dinner so the play devolved after that. Fortunately, our dinner was almost ready and there were some-mores and a blazing charcoal briquet fire (burn ban, shucks) later. 

Hazel got stung by a bee the next day. It was the end of innocence.  

The last day it rained and Maya insisted that we camp in the desert next year. *sigh* It's lovely to lie in a tent and listen to the rain. It's gross to pack up in many garbage bags filled with wet, muddy gear and head for home, windows completely steamed up.

Still, each year there are more people on our camping trip than there were the previous year. And I am bringing my bed from home next time. That, or I'm getting me an RV. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Home for an overnight before the continuation of vacation=Part II. We are putting together an Obama jigsaw puzzle. I am working on Barack's teeth. Barack Obama has very even and white teeth.

 Orcas Island had much weather, all kinds, and marathon swimming in the lake. We were chased away by the rain on the last day but we did go to Doe Bay to soak in the hot tubs. And watch the sun go down. 

Sometimes, naked men should just cover up. I mean. Not pretty. Sorry about that but just not pretty. I won't elaborate. Hot tubs-Doe Bay clothing optional-naked men. Women are just nicer to look at. 

Monday, August 03, 2009

Tonight some of my family arrives, with grandson Milo. Then my house will stop being hot and quiet. It will be hot and noisy. Then more family on Wednesday. And J. Thursday we go to Orcas where we will be able to climb Mount Constitution and look down on the world. The whole world. Mountains and oceans. We will kayak and bike and hike. We will play scrabble and make some-mores (which are actually yucky but an essential part of the camping experience) and we'll have fires so our clothes will smell like smoke. Everything will smell like smoke.

Then there is Doe Bay, a hippie resort with outside hot tubs and a huge sauna. We can sneak in at night and sit in the steamy water and look over the water and the trees and all those Northwesty things. Maybe we'll look for some herons, in honor of R.

I have several Leo's in my life and they are all excellent. Extremely important. If I could role them all into one person, they could rule the world. or at least Seattle and Portland. Or maybe they could just rule Powell's, the best bookstore anywhere on earth. Their poetry section is respectably huge. And it's not in the darkest dustiest (sp?) most far away back corner with only 2 books, one of them the "world's greatest poetry from the 14th century to the present day" with the 3 requisite women: Elizabeth Bishop, Emily Dickinson, and Muriel Rukeyser and 85 men. The other book is a Robert Frost collection.

Not that I'm bitter.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

The rain forest was cool and sunny. We swam in Lake Quinault, mountains all around. Gawd, this state is effing beautiful. Even the Germans at the lodge thought so. I swam out as far as I dared. The waves were very wavy, with little white caps whapping me. I love to swim, sometimes it is the best, even better than sex, maybe it is sex, fluid and floaty, breathless, washed and washed. 

And lakes hardly ever have sharks. A comfort.  

Friday, July 31, 2009

My neighbor told me that some girl stopped on my lawn to pee. Yesterday evening. Standing up. So peeing-in-public girl: thanks for watering. Sorry I missed it. 

What should my response have been if I had witnessed said activity?

1) Excuse me, what are you doing?


3) Would you like some toilet paper?

4) Does my lawn look like a bathroom?

Obviously, I need some help here. Any suggestions? 
It is J's b'day tomorrow and in honor of SeaFair, we are going far, far away. To Lake Quinault, in the rain forest. My lawyer thing went surprisingly well and I am celebrating. Into the wild, sort-of. We will hike and swim and eat as vegan as we can, given the circumstances. I might even eat an egg. Being vegan is annoying annoying annoying. I'm not being self-righteous, honest. Just ethical. India cured me of animal consumption. Everything so close there, so immediate, on the street.

It is COOL outside today. The baby jesus heard our prayers and lowered the thermostat to 75-ish. Thank you baby jesus. After sleeping (or trying to sleep) on the deck, I have about 45 mosquito bites. I even have one in my armpit.

Tomatoes are exceedingly happy today. Many ripe or almost ripe ones. The squashes are getting bigger. The chard struggled but stuck it out. Hooray for vegetables. All hail to the plant kingdom.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I'm going to pretend it's cooler today. A light rain is falling. The (blank) Blue Angels are not doing trials over my house/neighborhood.

Yes, it's that weekend. The weekend we of Columbia City love or hate. No middle ground. An unholy stillness falls. The animals and birds hide. For days. I have been known to cry. It's the noise. And these are fighter planes. Somewhere they are dropping bombs on people, on the earth, etc.

Hydroplanes are just stupid. They go real fast. Duh.

Ah, the planes have begun. It must be a bit after 10 AM.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It is hotter than g-d intended it to be in Seattle. This is not the desert, g-d. This is a rain forest-y kind of place. We drink microbrews here and we wear flannel. We usually have a vitamin D deficiency, for cripes sakes. 

The cats are limp. I can't convince them to take a shower with me. I thought I would go swimming again today but too hot to drive there. Pathetic. 

I think my brain has melted.