Monday, April 30, 2012

My apple tree. This means a lotta apples this summer.

I go on call tomorrow. Fun and games are over. Hiking, dog walking, pulling weeds. Being on call means I have to stay close to home. In case. I can't ride my bike too far away. I can't be in the swimming pool too long. I have to go to bed early. No second glass of wine.

I did weed. And I have to take off my gloves to weed properly. I can't feel with gloves on. My hands look like gardener's hands. Gnarly and dirty.


I went to Good Will today. The woman in front of me in line was wearing a large straw hat with many crow feathers stuck into the band. Many feathers, like 50. And she had other items on her hat, buttons, flowers (plastic), a small pink comb. She was also wearing a velvet dress and a long leather coat. She was impressive. I imagined her trip to Ellis Island, in the old days. She has lost her accent by now. Perhaps she sleeps under the bridge. Perhaps she sleeps in a mansion. Perhaps she wears her hat to bed so she can fly in her dreams.

I'm going to read with Rebecca in June. Holy shite. What will I read? What will I wear? I think we each read for 15 minutes. 15 minutes is an effing eternity. Although R said she might bark in one of her poems. Maybe I'll make balloon animals to take up some time. Rebecca is a genius. I'm humbled to read with her.


Maybe I'll wear my red shoes. For courage.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

I didn't take pictures today but we went hiking again, Holly this time and Felix and me. We were trying to find the beginning of the Tiger Mountain trail and we failed miserably so we instead hiked Mount Taylor. Ha! You didn't even know about Mount Taylor. Apparently, it was stripped and now it is making it's way back with wee trees and in the swampy parts, the most lovely green nettles and moss and dark luscious mud.

And it's a horse trail. So we saw some beauties and Felix went crazy barking and growling because they were the biggest dogs he's ever seen. And they looked at him like horses do. ...dumb dog....what's his problem. Finally, some nice ladies told us to let him go and he raced past them, surely thinking they were going to eat him. I patted their necks and bowed to their magnificence.

Ah, horses.

We found a hill with two hitching posts on it and we had lunch. A raven and a snake visited. Seeing snakes is good luck. It was no bigger than a shoe lace and hoping for some sun.

Afterwards, we stopped at the XXX root beer place. They have an old bus parked beside their joint with Buddy Holly painted on the side. It looks like a '50s tour bus. And the menu says they serve nothing with any health in it. As in: bacon, cheese ham and burger sandwich, with fries and enormous floats. The meals were about 500,000 calories each. We shared a 'small' fries and Holly wanted a child-size cone that was about 3 feet tall with whipped cream and sprinkles on top. Next time, I'll take pictures.  Sheesh.

Deb brought Felix a rawhide chew thing and he is right behind me munching away. It STINKS. I better leave the room. Oh, he also had a few horse pie snacks today on the trail. Dogs are gross.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Where I was today

And a dog in the field...
Off to Tiger Mountain with the dawg. I'm gonna try to find a different trailhead. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

From my walk today, for Rebecca.

Monday, April 23, 2012

As the light fades from this beauty of a day, a robin is singing clearly in the blue spruce by the alley. At about midnight for the last three nights, I've heard a frog croaking across the street. One lone frog. He's calling for a girlfriend but he's pretty far away from other frogs. I've never heard a frog in my hood before.

Back home, there was a swamp at the bottom of the road just before we turned to our driveway. At this time of year, it was full of peepers, wee frogs that set up a chorus after dark. Hearing the frog last night made me think of them.

We're always on the edge of the wild wood. We just forget sometimes.
Phooey, on this grand sunny morning, I have to go to work to fill in for one of my fellow midwives. I wanted to lounge on the couch, read the rest of the paper and inspect the aphid-ridden plant in my garden. But instead I get to get dressed in my work clothes (ie. not my ratty bathrobe), comb my hair and put on shoes.

Lola is curled up on the rocking chair, Hugo is by my elbow and Felix is in his dog bed surrounded by 43 dog toys. THEY don't have to work, they never have to work.


And drat.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Life is fine and dandy until the plant that was thrusting out a butt load of leaves is now covered with aphids, litte fuckers. I blasted them with the hose and knocked off all the leaves. The plant may never recover. I don't even know it's name. But the leaves were purple and so pretty and now they're on the ground and I hope large aphid-eating spiders come and find them and eat them entirely. Bastards.

Love, your vegetarian Buddhist

PS I'm now on the second season of The Killing (the Danish version) and it's sooooo good. Why do we (ie: Americans) remake perfectly good movies/shows/books? The original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was excellent. Did it need a remake? No, but there you have it. Subtitles? Wha wha wha. The American version of The Killing is good but too much drama. They gummed it up. We like to be clobbered, right?
And why am I watching a show called The Killing if I'm a Buddhist?


Friday, April 20, 2012

Seaside Improvisation

I take off my hands and give them to you but you don't
                                                  want them so I take them back 
   and put them on the wrong way, the wrong wrists. The yard is dark.
the tomatoes are next to the whitewashed wall,
                     the book on the table is  about Spain,
                                                                         the windows are painted shut.
Tonight you're thinking of cities under crowns
             of snow and I stare at you like I'm looking through a window,
                                                                           counting birds.
                                                You wanted happiness, I can't blame you for that,
and maybe a mouth sounds idiotic when it blathers on about joy
             but tell me
you love this, tell me you're not miserable.
                                                               You do the math, you expect the trouble.
            The seaside town. The electric fence.
Draw a circle with a piece of chalk. Imagine standing in a constant cone 
                                                of light. Imagine surrender. Imagine being useless.
A stone on the path means the tea's not ready,
          a stone in the hand means somebody's angry, the stone inside you still
hasn't hit bottom.

                                                                                        from Crush by Richard Siken

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

There are men roofing on the house down the street. In the rain.


I want to take them some warm soup and a bottle of Scotch.

But then they'd fall off and hurt themselves. I hope they're done soon and they can go home to a shower and dinner.

Sheesh. Sometimes the weather is just a bitch.

And more

Monday, April 16, 2012

This is what I did today, with a pick axe, shovel, hoe and wheel barrow. The new fence the neighbors insisted on building actually gave us more lawn, about 3 feet of lawn. Because the guys that build it worked in the rain, they mashed down the dirt to the consistency of concrete. It's taken two days but I whacked away at it with a pick axe (really) and later a shovel. I think I found some tools from the Paleolithic period, and rocks and broken dishes. No golden grickles, alas. Oh, after the dirt was, uh, loosened, I ferried a few wheelbarrows full of compost while it rained lightly. My former dog liked eating compost but Felix hasn't acquired a taste, at least not yet.

My back is feeling it now but I believe I stopped before permanent injury ensued.

The 100 tulips are blooming and the daffs and the rhodies.

Weed freed.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

One more thing. Last night I went to a fundraiser for Sierra Leone's midwifery project. A Sierra Leonian midwife was there talking about the 1 in 8 women who die in childbirth in her country. The worst in the world. I can't begin to imagine. And she was so splendid. Light was coming out of her.
Uh-oh. The katz were yelling so much I fed them again, I think. I think I already fed them. But they prey on my post-menopausal brain and I must bow before them.

Sean came over today and looked at my fallen bath tub. He moved it around, a minor miracle because it weighs ten billion pounds. For the bad news. He suggested a strap kit thang he'll drill? strap? fasten? to the bottom and then he and another brawny guy will 'gently lower' the tub onto the contraption. I don't want to be here when this happens. I think there wil be a lot of cursing and grunting going on. He does think I didn't fuck up the drain.

This all sounds very expensive. Home ownership is a privilege and a headache.

In the old days all I owned fit into a backpack.

Today on the radio there was a story about Merriam Webster. He got fed up with random and creative spellings so he wrote a dictionary that was neither accepted or published in his lifetime. And he probably had OCD.

Ha! Unpublished and OCD.

I can relate.

This morning I awoke thinking about friendship and who stays and who goes. Over the years there have been flood tides and slack tides of friends. Used to be, at Thanksgiving, there were a lot of people for dinner. Some years I'm alone, deep in grief or with a consuming need for quiet.

This morning, I'm alone with the katz and the goofy dog. I might be alone all day. I might visit a few new babies. My work is so draining, colossal, intimate-I need considerable time to myself.

Midwives are my friends. We understand each other, the stories we harbor and can't really tell to our families, our partners, anyone who doesn't do what we do. And yet, we see each other infrequently, at conferences or meetings. My midwife partners are unique friends. We carry the weight of our client load together. We share the stories our clients tell us, some so heartbreaking and terrible we too feel the pain. In fact, I think we always feel the pain of those in our care. Physical pain is easy. Labor hurts but it doesn't mean we're sick or injured. I find myself getting bigger and bigger during a labor, 'holding' the mother in compassion for her suffering but knowing it will be over. I fill the room with compassion and kindness, for her, for her partner and for her baby. I shouldn't say 'I' really. The room is suffused with compassion and love. And we're all inside it together.

So on this Spring day all the daffs and tulips I planted last year are blooming or about to bloom. The lilac is budded out. All manner of plants are sending out their shoots. The lettuce and spinach are getting bigger. The lake down the hill is shining like a flat blue plate. The mountains shimmer in the distance, snow on their roofs.

The singing world.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The thing is, when you are hooked on a series called 'The Killing' and it was made in Denmark, the actors are speaking Danish.

20 subtitled episodes.

If you have to pee or let the dog out or you, uh, fall asleep on the couch, the words don't reach your conscious ear or your subconscious. Because they are Danish words.

You'd think after 20 episodes, I would have learned Danish.



Sunday, April 08, 2012

This AM I went to the Century Ballroom for my Sunday dancing and there were many people dressed in their finest, with purple wigs and hats with stuffed baby chickens and leopard print shoes and massive eye shadow and there was a CHOIR and a preacher with a sequined jacket and all those gathered were stomping and clapping and yahooing to beat the band. And there was an aqua caddie parked out front too, with white walls.

WHAT WAS THAT? Did I dream it? Whatever brought these fine folks together but for the singing and (I fear, some alcohol) and the general merriment of Easter, day of chickens and chocolate and jelly beans and children with rabbit ears on their heads.

Then we went to the Grange store and stared at the chicken coops with the buk-buks and the bunnies and the ducks inside.

A chicken coop is in our future. With chickens.

On the way home, we passed the wee park beside the ghost building of Kurt Cobain. There are two benches and today they were loaded with flowers and notes and people sitting beside them and on the grass, mourning that fine beautiful boy.

I came home and listened to Smells Like Teen Spirit real loud.

Friday, April 06, 2012


I was just trying to fix the legs. That's what I'm gonna tell my GF.

Maybe I should stick to gardening.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

The only reason I'm still awake is because I brought work home and the last two days have steamrollered over me and squashed me flat.

Besides after work was DOG SCHOOL where Julie, the dog whisperer trained the humans to understand their canine friends who a) bark b) pee and/or poop on the floor c) jump on people d) ignore your requests/commands etc.

Julie is strict but kind. Felix whips around and stares intently at her whenever she says his name. Felix! See, there he goes. She rules him. She commands him. We are sad slackers compared to Julie.

We are learning:
On the rug
Let's go (with emphasis)

After a 12 hour clinic day, I am just not really ready for class in a stinky dog pee room with other dogs who are ill-mannered. I mean, felix is perhaps not perfect but we're so proud of him. It's sick actually. He's like our child and we're the pleased parents. Gawd.

I must go to bed now. I go on call tomorrow at 7AM.

Fortunately, I found a bit of chocolate in my secret drawer and I ate it all. Staff of life=chocolate.


Your friend Beth

PS. I just finished Swamplandia! Fantastic book. And I'm on to a new series called The Killing, from Sweden, also fantastic.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Until Ms Moon reminded me, it's palm sunday. You go to church and get a palm and take it home and bend it into a cross because, uh, oh, next week is the BIG EVENT when they nail the guy up there, torture him for a few days, take him down and throw him into a tomb. Whoa.

Then build a whole religion around his life, embellish at will, take his words out of context and spawn legions of whack-a-mole preachers who delude the masses into voting for someone like Rick Santorum.


Back to your regular programming.

To celebrate, I'm going to my church. I'l dance for two hours into a state of bliss and sweat with my fellow dancers. Loud music and bare feet. Then on my dog walk, Felix will teach me how to run and bark with joy with a ball in his mouth. Woof! Dogs are joy machines.

And the sun is out.