Fuck November. Just when I thought November had worked her worst anniversary because my brother died, for fuck's sake, on November 26th, I learned via the magic of the internet, that Abby, one of my oldest friends died today. November 30th. I went for a long walk in my hood, stopping to sob under trees and by fences and near barking dogs. If someone walked toward me, I crossed the street. I had a wad of wet toilet paper for a companion. Abby was a midwife like me and I've known her since I was 18, a fucking long time ago. And she was twisted. And the stories live in us and now I can't retell them with her.
She was supposed to tell me before she died that she was fixing to die. I wasn't supposed to hear about it on the internet.
Fuck November. Next year, I not doing November. It's cancelled.
Last night, Deb, Dexter's sister said, "stay tuned for another episode of what the fuck." I love her character. She swears more than any woman on the silver screen. And I love the F word. So does she.
Yesterday, Dr Teeth called to let us know the cancer was contained, no positive nodes. This is the best ever news.
Today I actually brought my laptop to the dining room table because I'm serious about working. I have a towering pile of poetry to re-insert into my new computer. Never ever forget to back up your work.
From here almost all the leaves are on the ground.
Today a baby girl, bigger than we expected. The mom had to push real hard to get that puppy out. But she did it.
Rant below (you don't have to read if you don't want).
This mom chose to birth in the hospital, for reasonable reasons. I could hardly stand myself, wanting to MAKE EVERYONE BACK OFF and let her be. Sheesh. The docs are residents and have to get their hands on/in/whatever. Just let her be and watch what unfolds. Listen to her cues, not the effing monitor. Women in labor have a language, a dance. Honor them and learn it, for Pete's sake.
Nothing worse than the docs fussing around the baby across the room while the mother asks over and over, "please give me my baby..." I wanted to punch things.
Came home and slept. Deb downloaded all the Harry Potter movies, all eight. I'm hopelessly in love with Harry Potter. I want to watch them all, one after the other. I really wish I had a wand. And a cloak of invisibility. Yeah. And some spells. I might blow up some shit. And disappear...
This is where Holly and I hiked today. Deb stayed home with the cats. Holly and I found a little tree decorated with Christmas ornaments. We had the wobbly legs on the way back. Sometimes we want to hike for hours but we're too weak. I'm just grateful I can still be outside crossing streams and standing among the trees.
Be still my heart. Deb's home and in the downstairs bedroom. This is what she does. She staggers out to the bathroom. She sits on the couch for five minutes and eats a bit of rice pudding with a wee bit of tea and some probiotics and arnica. Then she staggers back to bed for another four hours of sleep.
Tomorrow we're getting two Thanksgiving dinners. Yeah! Love my friends.
The new gutter has stopped leaking. I don't believe the evil gutter company came back and fixed it. ( I threatened to report them to the Better Business Bureau) but it is just sitting there, not leaking and it's been raining buckets. I think fairies fixed it. Because I lost my debit card yesterday and left the car window down last night (what? you think I was a tad distracted?) Now the car keeps locking the doors and the windows won't roll down. Maybe if it all dries, it will be ok? O, and the seat was soggy. Um, well, Deb is sleeping now and she's gonna be ok so who cares that the car keeps hiccuping and locking the doors, over and over.
May everyone everywhere have enough to eat tomorrow. May all have a warm place to sleep and be safe.
Deb's ok and the surgery went well. She's got oxygen prongs in her nose but so beautiful. Dr Teeth was chipper and toothy. He's delighted with her and himself after five surgeries today. I bring her home tomorrow and I'll tuck her in with comforters and the cats and some soup and all the people who love her.
To Bev and Patti; thanks for the support and the hundred and four hours at the hospital. Bev and I went to St James cathedral and sat before the lady holding the baby Jesus with the huge ceiling overhead. We lit candles. I didn't do the holy water thing although I've always wanted to. Hell, I'd go to confession if Deb could heal faster. I have a lot of sins so I'd keep the priest pretty busy. I'm not sure which sins are the worst. There's parking tickets and premarital sex and lying. It's so hard to sort them out.
Deb is sleeping the good drugged sleep and tomorrow she can come home. Where I can watch over her and keep her safe. Sleep well, my darling girl.
And my partners are taking care of the ladies and the babies, bless them.
Today is surgery day. Armed with ipod, living will, durable power of attorney, slippers and the NYT book review, we head off to the hospital. O, and a list of phone numbers for me to call after the Dr walks down the hall toward me removing his paper hat. He'll be wearing A) a smile B) a grim expression C)a noncommittal straight mouth. That's why Bev will be with me so we can hold hands. Like in the movies.
Except that this is actually happening.
The day is wavery and cold. Fallen leaves. Empty soccer fields. Pearl gray sky. Seattle at her most atmospheric.
So this is where we were today. We went to the pass but, silly us, there was snow. Duh. No driving in snow. No snowshoes. Not enough warm clothes. We came back down the pass and found a secret trail we named after ourselves. We allowed other hikers to use it because we're like that. Magnanimous. We don't allow poaching, however.
Holly and I are going hiking today so pray for us that we don't end up in a ditch cuz of the ice and our fingers don't freeze off. It's too beautiful a day to stay inside. I know Radish is checking on fish so we're gonna see about the mountains and the leaves at the top of a trail. Pictures to follow. That is, if I don't fall in a ditch or end up transfixed by the brilliant.
It is most cold out and there is a cat yowling out there. It makes me crazy. I call and call. It might be a tuxedo I've been seeing around the hood. The pound says they have no room because of a 'hoarding' situation, someone with 47 cats, now all at the pound. Cats need a warm couch and regular meals and some humans to pet them and tolerate their shenanegans.
Surgery on Tuesday. Then we find out if it's better or worse.
I went swimming today. If you cry into your goggles, the seal breaks and you get chlorine in your eyes. Just an FYI.
I'm not crying mostly. Because I need to be strong and shit. And anyway, we'll know more on Tuesday. After Tuesday.
Tonight we went to the movies and ran into the oncologist with his kid. Weird. He has very white teeth and a big smiley smile. See you Tuesday, Mr Teeth.
We went to the one year anniversary of our local veggie restaurant tonight where there was bubbly and chocolate for all. And we're looking at surgery for my honey, got the biopsy results today. Fie. On. It. All.
So I had two glasses of wine and a bunch of chocolate vegan cheesecake and I didn't take my phone with me. I left it at home. I just hope the babies don't want to come tonight. I'm needed here, under a fuzzy blanket, watching the Borgia series.
They were truly the first crime family; poison, garrottes, sharp pointy knives, the works. And the Borgia pope had a bunch of kids and concubines. Wow.
It's raining and blowy with a hidden moon. May all beings have whatever they need to be safe and protected and warm.
The NYT came today, faithfully on my porch. I snuggled in and came upon several pages of the Penn State scandal. Gawd in heaven, of whom I do not believe. The closed ranks of men in power make me sick. Ill. The game must go on? Really? We'll just wear a blue ribbon to remember the victims?
Don't get me started on the Catholic church. Don't.
I went swimming in a purple suit that was so sad and stretched out and chlorinated that it hung off my ass so bad and as soon as I got into the locker room, I removed it and threw it away. A lady in the shower room applauded. Really.
I am a wedding officiant and today I married a couple who wanted their wedding day to be 11-11-11. Their kids came. I delivered their kids. The mom told me she'd have another one but she probably shouldn't because of her complications with the last one. I, uh, couldn't remember any. She said I saved her. I did? Wish I could remember that! Maybe her perception is a tad different from mine. I bet that's it. I'm just an ordinary person, if midwives are ordinary, that's me. And not perfect. Not even close.
So now we wait for the test results which, they tell us, will take an effing WEEK. I know that pathology can look at something right away. I worked for Fred Hutch, I'd hang around in the path lab waiting for specimens. They look at stuff while the patient is lying on the table.
BTW, path labs are in the underground part of hospitals. They are creepy; no windows, no art but some photo books with extremely icky photos of 'conditions'. And the lab rats sit in front of microscopes looking at specimens in thin slices and they diagnose infections, benign tumors and the big C, which we're all afraid of. And pathologists are, um, a unique breed.
A most brilliant fall day full of sun and gorgeous leaves. Reminded me of the East Coast falls. Long ago and far away.
When it 's cold and nasty outside, I go to the pool to swim and sit in the sauna. Today, the sauna was full of the old ladies who are in the aerobics class. They were all talking at once and enjoying the heat, heating up enough to sweat to face the cold rain. My goggles kept leaking so it must be time to buy another pair. And my swimsuit is hopeless, so I better get another one of those too. I order suits on-line from the discount swim store. Women's suits are awful expensive and they last for three months until they fade and bag and rip their seams. Men can just swim in their leetle butt suits but we have to cover up. Not fair.
And yet, the sky is pewter grey with light behind it. It's making the leaves shimmer with gold.
When can I run away from my life? I think a sandy beach would be grand about now. My sister's birthday is soon or now. Happy birthday to you, Annie dearest, in your northern clime. Where the weather is truly big and pushy and tests your mettle. I hardly remember what it's like to drive in snow and ice.
This weather calls forth baking, an apple crisp I think. I bought two kinds of apples yesterday; ambrosias and sweet Louises. The sweet Louises were crunchy and thrilling, blushy and fine. As an apple named sweet Louise should be. Apples are the queens of fruit.
I'm back from a wee retreat in Oregon, the house is effing freezing and my honey is sick. Suffice it to say that she probably needs an operation and we're worried. But brave in that effed up TV way, hearty and suave.
Actually, we're just scared so we hold hands on the couch and watch Nurse Jackie.
I can't really say more. It's too close to G-day and it's seriously freezing in the house. The cats are trying to sit on my head.
I'm going for a long walk with all my clothes on, even my pajamas.
Today was a most beautiful day. I walked and walked along the lake in the clear air and sun and leaves all colors I felt like walking far away to Tacoma or Oregon or Marin County to see my daughter or farther to LA to see my other daughter. I could walk forever. Until my feet fell off. Or the blisters came. And the streets would be lined with people cheering me on and feeding me cheesecake and root beer. Like Peace Pilgrim or the guy who runs all night with a cell phone and money. He calls ahead and orders pizza and eats it while he's running. When the sun comes up, he calls his wife to come get him (wherever he is). He runs a hundred miles.
Then I made brussel sprouts with garlic, coarse salt and olive oil. I fed them to my honey who hates brussel sprouts except for mine. Mine she'll eat. Leetle mouthfuls of health. Wee cabbages.
I swam yesterday. I swim a lot. I know this because after a while, my bathing suits fade and stretch and bag down my ass. Then I get new ones from the cheap on-line swim store. The suit I have now has a tiny problem. My breasts aren't exactly contained. They sneak out the sides while I swim and I think the vision is that they float alongside me as I freestyle along. Anyway, I have to haul them back into my suit when I climb up the ladder and the suit is mysteriously shrunken. Maybe my breasts absorb water while I swim and they expand. That could be it.
A woman comes to the pool with her disabled son. They get into the deep end and she pushes him to do laps. He does an interesting version of the breast stroke, bobbing up and down. And he says, 'uh-oh' about every 2 minutes, non-stop. He sounds like a bird call. And then his father gets into the water too. His father is a handsome East Indian man with muscles and a grey beard and a long grey braid. He stands in the shallow end and watches. The mother smiles and kisses her son. And he sings, 'uh-oh, uh-oh' over and over.
Another swimmer wheels over to the lift in his wheelchair. The lift lowers him into the water where he puts on flippers. He stays by the wall and unbends his body. He wears a careful expression and stays in the water for a long time. He's always in the water after I get out.
The baby I'm waiting for is sure taking his time. Much to the dismay of his parents. It's something that can't be helped.