Saturday, March 30, 2013

You DID buy this chair for me, right?

Felix and I went to Discovery park today and he ran and played in the Sound. Most glorious day. We could see Mt Baker and Rainier. And the Olympics and the Cascades. We are ringed with mountains. Rebecca, the magnolias are once again for you.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Deb said she can't sit on the couch, it's too soft and hurts her back so we went to the store where they had chairs and sofas and rockers and (yech) recliners and ottomans and she found a faux leather chair that supported her back and it's dark brown and the cat hairs won't stick to it but they might try to sharpen their claws on it and it's sitting in the living room right now. I'm trying to get used to it but it's so there or here and so dark and solid unlike the other furniture which is more floaty and has more space.

Besides that, the teeny dog across the street is 'barking' actually a kind of shrieking noise that Felix hates. He barks like a big dog. He is a big dog with big dog behavior.

I just threw a pillow on the new chair. I think I improved it.

Sometimes I have a hell of a time getting over myself.

Easter is right around the corner. I can tell because of the Cadbury eggs in the stores. Cadbury eggs are gross.

However, See's Easter egg is almost a pound of filling and chocolate. And 1200 calories. Lets hear it for tooth decay and type II diabetes! And Jesus rose from the dead. Awesome.

What do chocolate eggs and Jesus have in common? No idea.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Last night Felix wouldn't settle. He kept biting his tail, he couldn't sit down, he was panting. And I was ready for bed. I let him out. I followed him from room to room. Finally I woke Deb, called the emergency vet place and explained his behavior and off we all went. I had my pyjama tops on under my coat.

So we waited for an eternity for the nice young girl vet to come see Felix, who had by that time, calmed down considerably. The vet speculated that he had a spider bite on his tail and some benadryl would fix it. Of course, it was then after midnight and only 3 pharmacies were still open, all of them in East Jesus.  After paying the bill with a rubber check, we decided that he was fine and we needed to go to bed for a few hours before work today.

Lordy. Why do I think the animals in my care are going to die whenever they get squirrely? Lucy the chicken wouldn't come down off her perch one morning so I was sure she was a goner. That afternoon, she was fine, clucking around the coop and behaving like a normal chicken.

It's the first night of Passover. I haven't been to a seder in years. Someone needs to invite me. I can even sing the prayers. I'm a woman of many talents.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sam and I drove to Bellingham this morning to dance. Once again, a sweet community of dancers who whoop and holler and spin and whirl in hippy pants and floaty skirts and wavy hair. It was a long drive but the mountains were shining in every direction and we had plenty of time to talk since we're just getting to know each other.

Sam and his husband. Beautiful Sam, with a broad smile and loose limbs for dancing wild and crazy. What a lovely man. Men are a minority of the 5 rhythms communities, I think because to be that open and wide takes some courage, especially if you're a guy. The ladies go out and do it, all expressive and sparkly. We don't care so much about being cool, or maybe we're not so locked down in the feeling department.

I can't think of a better way to worship on Sunday than to dance with wild abandon to Prince's "When Doves Cry'.

No, really.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Yesterday in the wee hours, I woke to the sound of gunfire rat-a-tat-rat-a-tat-tat and then a large BOOM. A block away, a SWAT team had shot a guy in a car, arrested another guy and a third guy got away, some ring of thieves they'd been tracking. They used a concussion bomb that blew out all the windows in the house. The guy they shot died in the hospital. I guess he pulled a gun.

Life in the hood.

The neighbors across the street were (duh) terrified, according to the news.

What do I think of all this? Well, they came in the middle of the night, the element of surprise, right? And not too many kids on their bikes at 5AM (Although one mother, upon hearing the gunfire, ran out of her house with her children and down the block). When I first moved into this hood 18 years ago, the FBI brought a battering ram to knock down the door of the house on the corner, looking apparently for a '10 Most Wanted' kind of person. But the neighbors were warned that time.

Guns and guns. They're no good. I asked my neighbor with three kids if he'd thought about buying a gun and he said he had but he'd have to keep it locked up and  by the time he got it unlocked and useful as a weapon,  his family would all be dead. He said he has a pellet gun and he could shoot that ('man, those pellets sting!') and then he'd just throw the gun at the intruder. We laughed but I know he's worried.

When I was a child, we had guns in the house. They were unloaded and locked up. I shot one once, a 4-10 rifle and it knocked me right on my ass when I pulled the trigger. My brothers all learned to shoot and hunt with my father. i  would go with my dad to the shooting range and watch him shoot skeet, shooting clay pigeons, round yellow clay discs thrown from a tower on the shooting range. I'd sit in the club house with the old guys who smoked cigars and fed me peanuts.

Semi-automatic rifles? My father had one gun with a scope for hunting deer and he thought it was cheating a bit. This from a man who once killed a deer with a bow and arrow. I think my father, NRA member that he was, would be amazed and disgusted with the state of weaponry today. In his world, you provided for your family with a gun. I never heard him say he would be able to protect us with his gun collection.

Except once. My dad bought a farm even though we had a regular house in the city. It was 30 acres of scrub with an old farmhouse on it, pretty rundown. He's go out there and tool around, as a farm kid with no father, he'd bought a piece of his childhood, I guess. He's take us out there sometimes (Dad, there's nothing to do!) and we'd sleep in the lumpy beds in the cold musty rooms and he'd make us pancakes in the morning. One night he came to me with a luger in his hand, a handgun. He wanted to go down the road, probably to a bar and he was leaving me in charge. I was to use the gun on anyone who came by. As the oldest kid, I guess he thought I was the most responsible. Jesus, that gun was heavy. And cold. I can't imagine having to lift it with my skinny 10 year old arms. I never told my mother what he'd ask me to do. And, thank gawd, I didn't use it. I think I fell asleep.

I don't have a gun. But I bet I have neighbors within spitting distance who do. Doesn't make me feel safer.

May everyone everywhere be safe tonight.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Today, while driving home on Sand Point Way, a raccoon skedaddled across the four lane road successfully. And  a plump and a juicy critter she was. The wild is all around. Always.

Time for dancing. I found out I could WASH my cotton dance shoes. Imagine. They no longer smell like, well, like sweaty dance shoes.

I'll do a Dance of Spring. I've become a batty old woman who dances like a waving daffodil. Without embarrassment.

In Spanish, to be embarrassed (embarazada) means to be pregnant. I'm definitely not pregnant.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


When there are nicely dressed people on your porch with briefcases, hide. The dog can go crazy barking. The Buddha statue by the door should be a clue but no. And when they leave a flier with the title, "One Man Died For All", be skeptical.

Especially if he looks like this:

I just don't think Jesus looked like Matthew McConaughey. With a beard and a blow dry.

I'm probably going straight to hell.

Monday, March 18, 2013

My friend called me today to tell me she's gone home from the hospital and she's on meds and all is well.

I walked thought Colman Park on my way home from the dog place. A forest in the city and a community garden and a HOUSE in the middle of it. I want to live there, in the middle of the park by the lake next to the community garden in the city. Like a secret with trees all around no people but a few joggers and cyclists.

I'd never leave the house. I'd grow into the floor and straight down into the ground. I'd spring out with branches and leaves. I'd make some fruit-maybe a cross between a mango and a passionfruit.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

After hippie dance church this morning, one of my dance buddies was lying down in the hallway, being all unobtrusive and all. She asked if I knew a way to get her heart rate to slow down as she has atrial fibrillation and usually it goes away after a bit but not this time. All I know about are palpitations during pregnancy and a technique called valsalva which I had her try to no avail. She kept saying she would be alright and sure go ahead and have breakfast but I kept hanging around, being a bit worried. She stood up and got very dizzy. I clocked her pulse at 130 when she was sitting and around 200 and irregular after she stood up. Dizzy again, so back she went to lying down on the floor.

I had the brilliant idea to call the hospital to talk to a triage nurse who, after hearing her symptoms (whenever you say heart, they get all serious) told us to call an ambulance. So we did. The dance teacher was there too. The firefighter medics showed up with an EKG machine and IVs and drugs and a folding chair/stretcher that got her down the stairs and into the ambulance.

We followed behind and trailed her into the ER, where they hooked her up to many machines attached to computers (seen it in the labor and delivery floor) and her sister arrived and my friend was talking the whole time and of course, she's just starting a job and has major medical but nothing else and bla bla bla. The nurse was muttering about the high cost of health care, and don't get her started and I realized my friend was probably freaked that she was in the hospital and how much was it going to cost. What a time to be worrying about how you're gonna pay for the healthcare you're receiving. Christ.

So she's in the hospital now and I think they'll admit her so I'll call them tomorrow to see how she is. Lordy, I'm only a midwife and not a full service provider. At least I thought to call someone who would know what to do. I've had to call ambulances plenty of times in my midwifery life but I'm in control of the situation, or at least I know exactly what needs to happen. I can be awfully bossy so don't cross me.

it also made me think about how we can minimize symptoms when something is seriously wrong because we're too shy or embarrassed to ask for help.

Then there are my hypochondriac tendencies: I've got cancer, heart disease, pneumonia and intestinal parasites, to name  few things I have (or could have). And my veins have become more prominent in my legs-might be time for vein stripping, I was thinking this very morning.

That's all from here. Spring is getting real out there and I for one amy damn pleased.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Yesterday a juncture between wild and wilder. Down at Martha Washington park, me and the dog and the high whistle of an eagle. I scanned the tree tops, those birds like it high up and I couldn't find her. One cormorant in the gray water. Smaller birds, flickers and robins in the branches but no eagle. Was she on the beach? The dog ran back and forth. He needed coaxing to swim but he finally did.

The earth is opening and the plants are beginning again. The magnolias are cracking their buds, daffodils are beginning to bloom and the daphne, o the daphne. Their scent covers a city block. The vegetable starts are spindly things on the dining room table.

My sweet woods, Tiger Mountain with Felix. The older Asian man with his two fat dogs, a shar pei and a cocker spaniel. I've seen him several times. Sometimes he's doing trail maintenance with a folding saw and heavy gloves. I talked to him this time and his disclaimer about the dogs, "they belong to my son".  I told him I noticed his trail work and he said he'd been coming for 16 years. The State wanted him to sign a paper for his work but he's blind so he said no. I have this idea that he goes every day and his feet know the way so he doesn't need to see but o, the green of spring this beautiful earth.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Saturday, March 09, 2013

My sister sent my old copy of Wind in the Willows, illustrated by Arthur Rackham for my birthday. And Mrs Moon send a jar of pickled okra. I needed a bit of Lewis Carroll so here it is.

The Walrus and The Carpenter

Lewis Carroll

(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)
The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright--
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.
The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done--
"It's very rude of him," she said,
"To come and spoil the fun!"

The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead--
There were no birds to fly.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
"If this were only cleared away,"
They said, "it would be grand!"
"If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year.
Do you suppose," the Walrus said,
"That they could get it clear?"
"I doubt it," said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.
"O Oysters, come and walk with us!"
The Walrus did beseech.
"A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each."
The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head--
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.
But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat--
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn't any feet.
Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more--
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.
"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."
"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,
"Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!"
"No hurry!" said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.
"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,
"Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed--
Now if you're ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed."
"But not on us!" the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
"After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!"
"The night is fine," the Walrus said.
"Do you admire the view?

"It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf--
I've had to ask you twice!"
"It seems a shame," the Walrus said,
"To play them such a trick,
After we've brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"The butter's spread too thick!"
"I weep for you," the Walrus said:
"I deeply sympathize."
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.
"O Oysters," said the Carpenter,
"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?'
But answer came there none--
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Horrid and boring

I'm doing my effing taxes. Ug. I remember the days when my taxes required a single page, imagine. When you run a business, it becomes tragically complicated. My tax guy sends me a frightening large packet that I'm supposed to review and fill out. I usually do about half of it and then I give up. Then there is the towering pile of receipts and interest payments and bla bla bla.

My tax guy usually files an extension so the agony is prolonged.

In other news, I have the next four days off to dance. All day. With my friends. I can hope that I don't sprain anything important.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Insurance companies, pigeons and sink holes, oh my

Can I just say. Insurance companies are scum. I know this isn't news but for gawd's sake. They screw the patients and they make it effing hard for providers too. Nobody wins except their CEOs. I hate them. We have yet another company providing coverage for our low-income patients. Washington State pays for women who choose to deliver with midwives in birth centers and at home, imagine, but their applications are draconian and horrible. All in the name of public safety. Yeah, right. All in the name of their bottom line.

It makes me want to chew nails and spit them out again.

Today after hiking with the Felix, I was poking along Rainier South, a 4 lane, when I saw a pigeon wandering among the cars, which were moving. We stopped and waited while he/she made her way, obviously unable to fly with a droopy wing.

So I pulled over, grabbed a towel and went after her. She crossed the side road, went under a few cars, past the 7-11, into the bushes behind the store where there were a bunch of homeless guys with dogs and backpacks. One guy told me that was 'his' buddy, that pigeon, he has been taking care of her because she can't fly. I thanked him and went back to my car.

I'd already made a home for her, splinted her wing, kept her away from the katz and the dog and nursed her back to health. I think she's in good hands with the guys under the bush. So many lives we don't know about, men and birds.

Then there's the guy who got swallowed up by a sinkhole. In his bedroom. All his bedroom furniture went with him. Where the hell is he now? Geez, Florida. You have some interesting ways to take people into another dimension. Out here, we have earthquakes and a lot of rain. Damn, a sink hole. Wasn't on my radar. Ever.

Monday, March 04, 2013

It was a beautiful brilliant lovely sunny day with Mt Rainier shining like a star in heaven o my sweet mountain. The Natives called it Tahoma, which means white top. I like Tahoma better. It is sacred, a sacred place. I've hiked around most of it and hiked up it. Not climbed to the summit, no interest. But many many hikes, close encounters with critters, once a mountain goat and a gray mountain fox in the snow. And the snow and the rain. 1000 year old trees.

I would marry Tahoma like the girl who married the bear. Then I would never be cold and I'd reflect the sunrise and the sunset a big bowl of strawberry ice cream.

An early azalea is blooming. Spring o spring and sunlight. Sun makes everything better here in the gloomy northwest land.

Friday, March 01, 2013

I'm stalling. I've read my blog roll. I've deleted about eleventy hundred emails. I've made tea twice. 

I am transcribing an interview for my book and (sigh) I don't wanna.

But I've fed the animals, the chickens are put to bed, I swam today and went to the dentist, I've had dinner, I'm bone tired from the last birth but I've run out of excuses.

So I'll put on some Patti Smith (just saw her perform-ohohoh my lawd in heaven), plug in my earphones and type.

Then I'll be pulled into a sweet alternate world with my dear friend and fellow midwife Audrey. 

It's not all bad.