Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Rebecca, I wish you were here at the moment. There are two nice men with tight tee-shirts snaking the  drain in my yard. They're buff and hearty and cheerful. And they stride with purpose. We like that. I dare not think about their bill. As an old girlfriend used to say, 'it's only numbers'. Well, but heck. My tenant was complaining of a backed-up toilet and a 'bubbling' kitchen sink, neither of which sounds right to me.

I'm digging up a hollyhock in my garden that has gone nuclear. It's halfway across the walkway with no signs of abatement. With the garbage/recycling/green waste strike, our parking strip resembles a post-moving situation. And my neighbors saw the kids from the corner house eating from the garbage.

They're Somali refugees and there are many children, small children who run back and forth all day, unsupervised. Some of them look to be about 3 or 4. I've never seen the parents. They have a few bikes which they leave strewn about, once behind my car. If I hadn't seen it, I would have run over it. My bigger fear is that I'll run over one of them or a passing car will. When I heard about the garbage eating incident, I looked up food of Somalia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somalian_cuisine and I found that I can't go to a regular store and buy any of their foods. I thought I could leave them some food.

I don't know what to do. I think the mother has a baby so she never appears.

I don't know what to do.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Yesterday Clark and I drove to Olympia to dance (again). There were about 40 people,  some from Friday night and some new ones. There were more old people like me and more men. One man, from now on called, 'orange man' was in the middle of the room and he was, uh, very big and LOUD. He shrieked and yelled and pounded the floor. I stayed away from him because I envisioned him jumping on my ankle and crushing it. He was very vigorous. One of the young nubile ladies came out of her top while jumping and twirling. Nobody seemed to mind. All in all, a wild time.

We decided we like our Seattle group just fine. And our Seattle teacher.

I have some judgments about folks younger than me 'teaching' in their self-conscious way, encouraging me (us) to 'go deeper' and 'connect with the earth' and assorted claptrap. I don't need anyone to explain or encourage me to alter my experience and I'm not sure anyone else does either. It's an attempt to 'make' people have the same experience, which is, of course, impossible. Sorta like mega churches with their group-think. As I instruct meditation on Wednesday night ( I even hesitate to use the word instruct), it challenges me to teach the basics without shoving anyone in any particular direction. Breathe this way, don't slouch, release thoughts, etc. I'm the 'breathe any old way, lie down if you want, revel in your daydreams' kind of teacher.

After all, what is meditation anyway? I'm still working on this one. Dance is my newest meditation and it's effing fabulous.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Chickens can be, well, animals. Apparently, Ethel had a weird chicken problem yesterday so the other chickens attacked her and she died. Deb buried her in the garden.

Now we're down to two chickens. Lucy and Fiona. And Lucy has Ethel blood on her head.

They're dumb but vicious.

We're gonna get more and there's a whole ritual with introducing   new chickens to the established flock. Sheesh.

I'm going to join the gym. Blech. My doctor says I need to lift weights. Pretty soon I'll look like this:

Friday, July 27, 2012

This afternoon, some of my dance buddies and I are driving to Olympia to dance for three hours. I've only ever danced for ninety minutes so I might collapse. Right in front of everyone.

I love to dance. I could feel tired or angry or sad or bored and the music and the movement and the other dancers pull me up and out. Or down and in. I don't know.

It heals what ails me. And I'm grateful that Maya drug me to the first dance in December cuz now I'm committed. As long as I can move, even if I just lie there and wiggle my toes.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My dears-Milo no longer has braces but his orthodontist gave him a giant bag of candy. What! Job security, right?

I think I might spend the weekend in Olympia dancing. I might or I might not. Or maybe I'll drive back and forth on Friday and Sunday.

Tomorrow I have a doctor's appointment and my profligate ways will be at an end. She'll draw my blood, check my cholesterol levels and that will be that. No more messing around.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

This is my younger daughter. Isn't she gorgeous?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

We saw the Batman movie because Milo is here and he's almost 10. It was very loud and there were lots of flying machines and bad guys and killing but no gory killing like in Game of Thrones, which I can't recommend, frankly. Too much intestines and beheading for me.

We're back from our adventures and the house, katz and chickens are all here and in one piece. We've been waiting in vain for Lucy to lay an egg but we've decided she is laying but not white eggs. She's laying brown ones. And they sit on each other while in the nest box. Why is that? I can't begin to understand the behavior of chickens.

I baked chocolate chip cookies for Milo to take with him when they leave tomorrow. He's become such a nice boy. Maybe next year his folks will leave him here for a while and we can go backpacking. I'd love to go camping with him. And Felix, of course.

I had my mammogram and ultrasound today. Dr O (really) came in and said, 'It's nothing.' Maya was with me and we laughed and cried and made jokes. I was in a daze for several hours after. I'd already planned my funeral, for crissakes.

I guess I get a few more years.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Back from the most gorgeous Lake Chelan, a lake known for it's clarity and it's temperature (freezing or refreshing, depends on your perspective). When it's blazing hot out, a hop in the lake is in order. However, because we went to the Eastern part of the State so there would be no rain, there was a terrific thunder and lightening storm. Epic storm. The first night. Better than the movies. But it got hot and we melted, as I thought we would. And we ate of the carbohydrates, holy cow. And beans every night. It just worked out that way.

I got a haircut from Maya and now I feel sexy. And Milo is beside me on the couch so all is well in the world.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tomorrow we head for Lake Chelan, where it may rain, ha. But it will be warmer than Seattle, not hard to do. Not my idea to go east of the mountains but there it is. We have a stand-up-in tent, a cot for Deb. two coolers for massive food, a blow-up boat with wee oars.

I baked two loaves of bread, made veggie chili, beet/carrot/dill salad, gaspacho, and black bean hummus. We'll bring all the eggs the girls laid. I bought a bottle of tequila.

We're joined by friends with four kids so the math is six adults and five kids. Felix goes to doggie daycare.

I'm bringing Super Scrabble and I intend to kick butt.

Friday, July 13, 2012

But wait.

At the dentist, I got to read all about this. Because their divorce is what's IMPORTANT, PEOPLE.
Today we had actual weather, complete with thunder {{{{}}}}} and lightening. Where I'm from, these are usual occurrences. And pounding sheets of rain. I LOVE weather like this. I love to be caught in it and come in dripping and happy.

First a massage to get the awful knot out of my shoulder-dog pulling on leash and yanking shoulder so I now have numbness and tingling in my arm (left arm-heart attack, right?) Then the dentist to give me a temporary where my broken crown is/was. Finally, my impossibly young doc felt my breasts and added an ultrasound to my mammogram next week. And she moved my appointment up a week. Probably nothing but I was terribly flippant with her. A regular comedian I was. Comes from being nervous. I'm the scarecrow in Wizard of Oz-a piece of me over here and another piece of me over there, that's just me all over the place.

I do believe in spooks, I do believe in spooks, I do, I do, I do.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Beautiful morning. I did yoga last night and now I can hardly move, wry neck and back. Who says yoga is good for you?

I have two wee lumps in my breast, probably cystic. My mother had breast cancer so I have annual mammograms, going for my next one after my vacation. I try not to be worried. I've had lumps before, aspirated, removed, etc and they were all benign. But in my active imagination, well there I go. With my recent shoulder pain, I was having a heart attack but what I needed was a massage. Sheesh.

The chickens are making their usual noises. We are now getting an egg every other day. Small brown ones. Lucy, our big white hen, sits on the nest and pretends but she has yet to produce. Our smallest hen, Ethel, is the egg layer.

And no one has escaped since the wing clip. I'm not in the mood to go chasing chickens around the yard. In fact, I don't want to do a thing today but the family is descending soon so I better be ready to head for Eastern WA with food and camping gear. I might just melt over there, it's so hot.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The heat has eased off, Ethel has produced another egg and I'm apparently not going to any births before I leave for vacation.

With their wings clipped, the chickens are content to scratch around in the dirt and throw it all over themselves. The sparrows are feeding another family of chicks in the eaves of my neighbor's house. In a few days, my family descends upon us and there will be noise and a mess and more noise and hugging and talking. And a boy who is getting bigger and bigger each time I see him.

We're going to eastern Washington, which, for those of you who don't know, is high desert. This means that it's hotter than hell over there with dry sweet air. The Columbia River gorge is a most splendid sight and the river is huge and wide. Eastern Washington has rattlesnakes and sage brush and orchards and vineyards. So we're going to Lake Chelan, a clear cold lake with many campsites. We'll put up some shade and a camp kitchen and hang out with the many kids. I intend to spend a lot of time immersed in the lake water if it's 100 degrees, which it probably will be.

I'm bringing books and music. And one of those folding camp chairs with a cup holder. I don't even know if there is a shower so we may come back very dirty.

When I was a child, I went to Camp Talooli on Lake Temalo, really a large pond. There was no hot water so when we bathed, we soaped up and jumped in the lake to wash off.

The first time I saw the northern lights was there early in the morning.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

And another thing. The chickens set up an almighty racket so I went to check and they were all in the yard, snacking on greens and plants and shrubs. Arggggaaa! So I got Heidi again and we herded them all back into the coop. And Fiona laid another egg, this one misshapen and cracked. So for ALL THE TROUBLE today, all I get is a wasp sting on my ankle that still hurts and a weird egg.

Then my hero Deb came home from work and clipped their wings. She wanted me to help but I told her the chickens and I aren't speaking right now.

And she brought me a half a watermelon and I ate the whole thing. I <3 her.

Tomorrow I have big plans that don't involve chasing chickens around and around. I will not be thwarted, I will not.
I'm a mite peckish because I dressed for my dance class this morning and woke early to go to the island to visit the baby before my class and the effing West Seattle Bridge was closed. Grrrrrrrrr. And the detour signs sent me to east Jesus and I finally got on the ferry much later and got lost on Vashon---finally found the house and the wee babe and sweet family but, ah, my morning was blown.

I cam back to the house to find that Fiona had escaped the chicken yard and Heidi, my tenant, had rounded her up and put her back. But I looked into their yard and Ethel was missing. I scouted my neighbor's yard, no Ethel. I went into my front yard and underneath the dogwood was Ethel, bucking away. I chased her around for a while, got Heidi and some towels and crouched in the underbrush to ambush her--and a wasp stung me on the ankle. I ignored it until Ethel was cornered. I grabbed one of her legs and hung her upsidedown while she frantically flapped and squawked. I managed to get her back to her yard, limping now from the searing pain in my ankle.

So I decided I'm not having an allergic reaction and as long as my ankle doesn't blow up the size of a football, I'll be fine. Ice and some baking soda paste but ow, it hurts like a fucker.

And everyone and their mother is at the lake, all the places I usually have to myself. I always think they shouldn't get to be in MY park because I'm devoted and they're fair weather visitors. I mean, what's so terrible about Seward Park in the rain and wind?

And the boats! Sheesh, there must be a hundred boats down in the cove and not just little rowboats but ginormous yachts, zillion dollar boats on a lake. Really, people?

Meanwhile my ankle throbs and stings and gives me the chills.

So I'm grumpy, even though I have the NYT to read and house is peaceful and quiet. At least July 4th is over and my neighborhood doesn't sound like Beirut.

I can complain if I want, dammit.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

My honey just came home with a vegetarian frittata and a LONDON FOG. She must have heard me thinking.
It is beautiful Saturday. I slept in, just an amazing experience with a small farm. Deb is out somewhere with Felix, the katz are lounging in the sun on the deck and the chickens are giving themselves dirt baths. Bright blue sky, grapes growing alarmingly and minimal weeds. A quiet house.

Last night, our student who is leaving us (sob!), took us all to dinner at Poppy, where they cook with herbs they grew out back. They bring us wee revolving plates set with bites of perfection; minted snow peas, gingered carrots, garlic peppered brocoli, curried golden beets. O heaven. We spent four hours eating and laughing and reminiscing. Leah, the student, came to us very green and leaves us with some chops. On to her next site where they will polish her up and launch her into midwife land.

We get attached, we do. Birthin' is so intense and sometimes things are hairy and our students observe and participate in big life dramas. Not to mention clinic visits where we hear all kinds of secrets (and hold them close to our hearts). So we wished our dear Leah fair well and we'll visit her in New Zealand, if that's where she will end up with her gorgeous husband, Ricardo.

I don't have to get dressed today. I could read until it gets dark. And sip a London Fog, which is an Earl Gray tea latte with a touch of vanilla. I may have the best London Fog ever if I go to Vashon Island to visit a new baby. Vashon Island is a sweet island about 20 minutes by ferry from Seattle. Their only bookstore makes a LF from heaven. I have been know to go there simply for a cup of tea.  Today, tomorrow. La la.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

We waited in the zoo line in the rain and we chatted up our neighbors, as only rained-on people do. We made jokes, we offered each other corners of umbrellas and tarps. It was altogether very chummy. KD Lang still has her chops. I swear the woman has a four octave range. At least. And she busted out Leonard Cohen's Halleluja. Gawd, it was gorgeous. I once heard her sing Orbison's Cryin' and I fell to my knees right in the doorway of the theatre. Kathleen Battle makes me keel over too. And if I could bring Maria Callas back from the grave, I'd be having a case of the vapors for her too.


We sat on the grassy grass with our snacks and made friends with our neighbors once again. The group in front of us had margaritas and they gave us one. I think alcohol is not allowed but we didn't care. A grand evening.

Today, I let Holly choose the hike we were going to do. So she directed us to Heather Lake (we looked it up) and it said no snow, a lovely alpine lake, secluded, etc. I neglected to check the distance. Oops. So we ended up going over the pass on Highway 2, almost to Leavenworth, which, if you're not from here, is to hell and gone. Really. By the time I figured out how far it was, we were halfway there so well, we did it. And finding the trailhead was a challenge but we persevered, north end of Lake Wenatchee, hahahahahahahahaha forest service road washboard dirt road for about fifty miles and so on. You ge the picture. It was fucking beautiful, driving along the wild river, huge rapids, waterfalls, peaks still covered with snow. Washington IS beautiful. At the trail head was a nice sign with pictures of grizzly and black bears. (Gulp) Not a single car except us.

And we headed out. Crossed many swollen streams, hit the middle of the trail where we lost our way several times and it was straight up, not kidding, and then, aha it leveled out---we must be almost to the pretty lake, just a few snowfields in the way, a few large snowfields in the way where the hell is the trail, all this fucking snow. And there the story ends. Felix thought the snow was fantastic as he lept around eating snow and sliding. But. We couldn't go any farther because we couldn't figure out where the trail was and rotten snow collapses into huge holes.


We sat on a log, ate our lunch and watched for bears. We saw not a bear but we did see deer, including a sweet buck with a small rack and a coyote. Plenty of trillium still in bloom.

It was splendid even without the lake. We pinky swore we'd go back and find the lake one day. And then the ride home down that incredible elevation through the glorious Cascade mountain range.

A nearly perfect day. And some chocolate for dinner.

Damn, my feet are sore right now. And all the animals are around me because of the fireworks.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Yesterday at the monstrous home improvement store we were buying a hose and nozzle because ours had given up. Felix was being a well behaved poodle on his leash. he barked a bit at a leashed pitbull, normal dog behavior. A lady in drapey black pants hustled over to us to tell us that barking dogs bother her and by the way, her 93 year old mother was waiting for her at the check stand. ???? It was so bizarre, I was rendered speechless. Too bad too. But I still couldn't think of a clever retort because it was so random. 93 years old=barking=bother??? I don't understand why I think the way I do much less other humans.

Dogs are more predictable.

Felix and I went up Tiger Mountain and we got some rain and some sun and a lotta mud. He promptly fell asleep in the car on the way back. The wet forest looks like this.

One of the girls laid an egg, the first!!! Our first egg only cost about $2000, what with building the coop and food and the chickens. Who did it? Fiona? Ethel? Lucy? Lucy only lays white eggs, I think, so it couldn't be her.

Isn't it pretty?

Today, we're going to the zoo to hear KD Laing sing outside. We sit on the grass with our picnic dinner and hope to hell it doesn't rain on us. We're packing those low chairs, raincoats, a blanket and a thermos of hot tea. And it's July 3rd, sheesh.

Monday, July 02, 2012

There's a park here and apparently it's 2 miles from my house because I clocked it today (and walked back). It's called Martha Washington and it was the site of a home for unwed mothers. There are huge trees, a circular drive and a small orchard. Beyond the fringe at the bottom, are stairs to the lake. Hidden from the street we renegade dog owners take our off-leash dogs to the water so they can swim and romp with each other.

When I'm there, I think about the ghosts of the girls who walked those same stairs to the water, heavy with a baby they couldn't or didn't keep, going away for the summer and returning to school as if nothing had happened. And the shame. And the guilt. And how different it is now. At least half the women I see in my clinic are unmarried, as was I when my babies were born.

Girls, floating and their babies floating over the green lawn and the ball-chasing dogs. And the swallows dipping and swooping.

Who delivered them? Who adopted the babies? All because of sex. And no access to birth control. And shame. Lots and lots of shame.

It's a shame.