Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Dears-I'm leaving my current relationship. I couldn't be married, even though we could be married in Washington. And I felt myself going farther and farther away, too many missed connections, too many misunderstandings, too much to write here in a public way. I'll just say that it is with sadness and relief that we must part. It was clear after my recent trip to the Bay area, time to be away with my family and just simply away that I needed to be honest about the end. We can have something else, if we want.

Of course I'm sad. Who ever wants to cause pain to someone else? But the pain of making myself small and quiet and invisible was wrong. I can see so far out now, where there is light and adventure and space.

One thing I've learned (again) is the influence my mother has had on my life, so persistent. I mean, christ, can't she leave me alone? It's pathological, this need to be good, to swallow the anger at slights and insults and dismissals. And she disowned me anyway.

I go along for a long time, biding my time. Then there comes the turning point when I'm done. And I'm done now.

I'll be ok. I will. I'm going to Tuscany next August to perform a wedding for my lovely friend and her man. I'll go on retreat. I'll dance my feet off. I'll deliver a bunch of fat babies. I'll love all my friends and I'll love myself as well as I can. And Felix will keep me entertained.

Who knows. Maybe I'll go to Lloyd, Florida just to give Mary M a big hug. And say hi to Elvis the rooster.

I've got more life in me yet to live. I do. Even if I fall right over on my face after leaving the pool today. (Well, the floor was slippery!) Tomorrow me and Holly are driving to Bellingham to dance the New Year in.

Be well, all sentient beings. Be at peace. Be free.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

My sweet daughter and I spent time at Harbin Hot Springs, surely an upscale hippie clothing-optional place in the hills of northern California. She's in a grieving and wounded place so I was happy to be with her so we could soak and eat and have massages and dance and talk.

I held her in my arms in the warm pool as she cried. It felt holy and tender. I felt blessed to have her friendship and trust. We talked about her childhood and the difficulties of being from a 'divorced' home. We talked about so much that was deep. Today she woke feeling sick so we took Milo and left for the day so she could rest and be in bed. This evening, I read her big parts of 'Polishing the Mirror', the latest Ram Das book. He writes so eloquently about loss and grief and transformation and love.

It's a special kind of pain, when you can't shelter your child from suffering. No matter how old they are. And no matter that they have their own journey, you still want to ease their way a bit, somehow even though you know you can't. At some point I realized that my very dying would cause my children to suffer. Ah well, it can't be helped.

The night at Harbin after we had done all our activities, I wandered back to our room to collapse. Maya was still dancing. I went into our room in the dark looking for a light switch when I heard strange noises. Squeaky squeaky until I realized there was, um, fucking going on in the room next to ours. Fast, slow and grunty. And again in the morning. Twice.

I was dying to lay eyes on the randy couple but short of lurking outside their room waiting for them to come out or getting my hands on the roster for the weekend, I was out of luck. Not quite a meditation retreat environment where there's no talking, no eye contact and definitely no sex!

Back to Seattle tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

My wit faints.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Another questionable nativity scene for your viewing pleasure:

 Uh, Joseph and Marty?

On my walk, three eagles and a woodpecker. And many people in the park with relatives from out of town. Going to California on Thursday to celebrate my darling Maya. We're going to the clothing-optional spa (I went years ago with nary a thought but now. Er, well, a sarong can cover additional poundage from the ensuing years, right?) We're gonna soak in the hottest water and then cold plunge. You do that enough times and you get high, legally. We'll have massages too. Maya's birthday party.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

While looking at bras online (don't chide me here, I hate going to stores, hate it), I found a bra that was $180. For one bra. What's it made of, gold, frankincense and myrrh?


Going dancing now with my Sunday darlings.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

It"s been 40 years since I caught my first baby!!!! Holy smokes. I was a hippie girl (natch) with no training or experience except the birth of my own child 6 months before. Sheesh. And Maya was there with me. She's about to turn 41. It is impossible to imagine that I have a 41 year old child. But I do. A few chin hairs, a few wrinkles and a dog that barfed all night and kept me up, like a baby does. Like the baby Jesus did (see above).

Solstice today. My neighbors are putting solar panels on their house because it's so sunny here. hahahahahahahahaha.

Time to get up and look for barf spots I missed in the middle of the night.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tonight we attended Dos Fallopia's annual Xmas performance including the Sequim Men's chorus (three 'guys') and The Spudds, Euomi and Wynotta Spudd.

Indescribable, really. And then there's Dina Martina and her show. I laughed so hard I was choking. A friend today was asking about Dina and calling her 'he'. But she's Dina, she's not a drag queen, she's her own universe of fractured mispronunciations, terrible singing and horrifying costumes. A dress made of red astroturf?

I love her.

Dina helps me through the holidays.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Today is the day to wrap and pack and shlep to the post office. So I'm in bed in my bathrobe, willing myself to get moving.

At least I wiped off jelly jars. They are so sticky, they stick to each other and the counter.

Why don't I have enough boxes? I'll have to go get some.

My left knee is hinky but I assert that each day it gets better and I won't need anything horrid like surgery. I can walk! I can dance! I can't bend it all the way.

Alright, grumpybus, get up and get dressed and get your holiday cheer on.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I just learned that the meter reader guy has BINOCULARS for looking at meters in yards where there are dogs. He says that summer is harder because of the leaves. Pure genius.

There's someone in early labor but I will commence with xmas fiddling. I have to wrap and mail and continue knitting and hope I still have addresses for people who need some grape jelly. Many jars have been on the counter since September and now they must be sent off. The jelly is amber this year. Very pretty.

Eden always gives me mending and hemming to do whenever I visit her and this year she's getting it all back in her xmas box. Sometimes she expects a miracle to occur with pants that are shredded and unmendable. This time she gave me socks I made for her with large holes in the heels. People! When homemade socks are holey, repairs are possible if the holes are no bigger than a quarter. After that it's hopeless. I just have to whip up new socks which I don't mind doing. They do take a while.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Reading Rebecca's blog reminded me of my adventure with surgery after a car crash. My left wrist was crushed so they put titanium plates along the two bones and cut the carpal tunnel so the nerves could function. The first night they hung my arm up in the air so it wouldn't swell up and loaded up the morphine. It was very, um, surreal. They operated and couldn't close the skin so they grafted a piece of butt skin from my right butt cheek over the wound. Then they put a drain in the butt cheek area and slapped a big clear bandaid over the whole mess.


They sent me HOME. Hahahahahahahahahahaha. That's always the best part. I mean. How the fuck was I supposed to take care of myself. My left hand/arm is in a big honkin' cast and my right butt cheek has a drain attached to a vacutainer tube hanging down. Yeah, I know what you're thinking. You wanna jump my bones. Oh yes. And many narcotics were involved during this time. I couldn't drive, I couldn't do laundry, I certainly couldn't cook, I could barely wipe my butt and as for bathing, well, I'd get in the tub and kneel down by the faucet and sorta get parts of my body wet while holding my arm out of the way and avoiding getting my right butt cheek from getting wet too. Uh huh.

And I'm supposed to start physical therapy. They actually wanted me to bend and wiggle my fingers. While in a cast, my left hand became a frozen claw. The first time John, the PT guy asked me to touch my thumb to my index finger, (1) I couldn't and (2) I burst into tears because it hurt like a motherfucker. And I was on drugs. And I thought I might be one handed from then on. I have a serious scar from the middle of my palm and about 6 inches down the inside of my wrist. I look badass now like I tried to kill myself (and obviously failed).

One night when I had passed out in front of the TV, I awoke to some aqua suited televangelist exhorting the one and a half persons watching to come close to the screen for healing. So I staggered over and laid my arm on the screen so Jesus could heal me and take away the pain. Didn't work but maybe my faith wasn't strong enough. That's probably it.

I'm very grateful my hand works as well as it does. My downward dog looks a little funky.

I was looking for British Isles 'packages' tonight as I've gotten serious about saving money to go there with my children. The year I turn 65. I want to wander the moors and look all pensive. And visit Scottish distilleries. Stonehenge. Ireland. Castles. Pubs. etc. My mother's people. I do not want to eat spotted dick however.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Today there were contrails and a sickle shaped moon and an eagle in the tree ( I have taken to calling her MY eagle) and a fool on a paddle board on the lake in 15 degree weather.

Tonight it was a mad party at my biller's house. She does this every year for all her customers, mostly midwives. We hang out, drink, eat and talk about stuff. I miss my sister midwives all the time so getting to see them is wonderful.

I got two emails today that I just have to share. Justine is my office manager and her sister is who she is referring to.

Subject: People!
Date: Dec 7, 2013 12:34 PM

I caught the damn baby on the bathroom floor!
She was all over the map with her contractions all day, 18 min apart, 9 min apart, etc.
Then she went and puked her brains out, sat on the toilet and that shit blew up.
Sally was telling us we should probably get in the car to go to the hospital.  It was clear that we weren't going
anywhere and then he was crowning.  
Put me in the rotation ladies!

And then there is this: 

Hello My wife Katy Johnson and I are 9 weeks pregnant and have heard many raving 
reviews about Rainy City Midwifery. We would like to schedule a consolation. 
In the consolation are topics such as insurance coverages covered in the consolation?
Thank you for your time.
Dion Johnson

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Two babies in the last 48 hours. One of them was 10# 7oz and came out facing us. For real. Big honkin' girl and came out sunny-side up. Women are amazing, always amazing.

I'm tired and I'm eating chocolate and drinking a wee bit of brandy. I deserve it.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Between yesterday and today I interviewed three midwives about their experiences of secondary trauma.  Each time I hear a new story, I learn more about my fellow midwives. They are strong, sweet and carry deep grief.

Tomorrow I plan to dance my feet off and buy new tires, yeah! My debt hole is quite expansive, wide and dark.

Although I got a $100 'rebate' on my new furnace.

By the way. The City guy came to inspect the furnace. He walked downstairs, stood and looked at the front of the furnace, noted two hoses leading to the outside and gave me a yellow page (from triplicate) to tape to the front. Then he got back in the City-owned car and drove away.He was here for all of five minutes. If that is what inspection is, I could do that. I could inspect any of your whatzits and be handsomely paid as well.

I was looking at bras on-line and my size is considered larger. As long as I live, I do not accept myself as a larger-breasted woman. it's not me.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

We backed away from the groaning board so we could lie down a bit.

Today's hike was through the fog. No people. No dogs. Just us and the leafy trail. Patches of light. Two eagles in a tree and a platoon of coots moving back and forth as one bird on the still lake.

I thought of my blood family, living and dead. Everywhere, I wish them well. May they be at peace today.

Tomorrow I ride the Bainbridge ferry to interview two midwives. A ferry adventure. I'll take knitting and music.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Unfortunately, even though I sound like a TB ward, I have to do clinic today. My student will be the clinician and I'll be in the background, sucking on cough drops and discretely blowing my nose.

And I'll bring my arsenal of tinctures, syrups, potions and pills with me. Yum. Too bad I can't just tip back the brandy with lemon.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Snape is my man. For real.

Friday, November 22, 2013

I am truly sick and have spent the day in bed as I promised I would but now I'm getting antsy to leave the house for food. I've been good and creative and have eaten from the garden and the backlog of cans and jars. I even opened a jar of sun dried tomatoes which went nicely with pasta and kalamata olives, garlic and chard. But now I'm down to bread and some elderly brussel sprouts. And I don't think I'll get better with those.

I've been taking my potions of elderberry syrup umcka echinacea etc regularly. Everyone I've spoken to says this cold lasts for weeks, a very depressing idea.

I haven't watched a lick of Harry Potter yet today.

I suppose I have to wear a coat and take off my bathrobe before I can leave the house. I know Felix wants a run in the park but he just has to wait til tomorrow. I'll give him a bone as consolation.

I've braided my hair, maybe not a look for someone my sort of age. But fuck it, who cares. I'm also thinking I might need those kleenix with the lotion in them so my nose doesn't fall off.

However. Colds are always an excuse to drink warm brandy with lemon and honey.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

In my truly horrifying bathrobe in bed with a sore throat. The pictures on the wall are askew and I don't care. I told Deb that my Christmas bathrobe cannot be white. White bathrobes are several shades of wrong. Besides, they get the strings hanging down. And splashes of mater paneer. I have all the Harry Potter movies and that is what I'm doing today.

I'm a holder of secrets. People tell me their stories, all kinds of stories. In confidence. Then I watch them have a baby and I see their families and friends and I get invited into their world a bit. And I hold all of that. Mostly it passes through. Sometimes it doesn't.

I don't fix anything. I just listen. Quan Yin, in one of her aspects, is called, "She who hears the cries of the world".  If my job is a spiritual practice, it is just that. I listen. I practice listening. Without judging or reacting.  My heart is always breaking. Or opening. Or both.

My brother dies again on the 26th. I'll be working that day in the clinic. Maybe a baby will be born that day. The Tibetans believe that the turn around time for reincarnation is pretty short. So Geoffrey has already come back and is living somewhere on the planet. Brother, have a better life this time. Be loved and find contentment. Be a source of joy.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Went to Los Angeles for a long weekend and was treated to the whirlwind that is daughter Eden. Eden is beautiful, smart, creative, and a fabulous cook. She had a party and I saw a bunch of gals I love-her friends and former girlfriends. Daniella and Van and Amy.

We visited a new momma and her babe in a blazing hot apartment. We ate food in fancy restaurants. We went to a concert of Brazilian music. We walked on the beach and watched the sun going down. We sat in the most terrible traffic, way worse than Seattle.

We went to Ojai up in the mountains and hiked on a dusty and dried out trail. Desert plants are sure resourceful. We stayed at the Krishnamurti Retreat Center in a beautiful garden with pepper trees, their fragrance blooming in the night air.

We walked around the Echo Park reservoir which had been the most disgusting stinky mud pit and is now gorgeous with clean water and ducks and paddle boats.

And we hit a few thrift stores because this is what we do. And more beautiful food in beautiful restaurants.

I came home with a pair of Ralph Lauren boots (thrift store-natch) which I wore today to work.

Back to the cold and drear. Back to walks with Felix to the store. Back to my sweet pregnant and parenting clients.

Today is Milo's birthday. When I called him, I said he was now eleven. He said, nope, not until 11:13 when he would really be eleven. How has he gotten so big so fast? He was just born.

Next month I visit Maya and Milo. Maya will be forty-one and I'm not a day over eighteen. Strange math.

Off to the co-op with Felix for provisions. I still have a bit of money in my wallet. A miracle.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Dancing this morning with my people. Beautiful music, Clark a mad dervish magic man. We're in silence but united by our movements and the music (don't be seduced by the music, so hard not to be).

While having breakfast after dance, Lynn called to say someone was in labor, did I want to come. So sure, a beloved client. I raced home, let out the dog, took a shower and headed for her house, fortunately in my hood. Sweet family welcoming their second boy. Grandma was there to watch their older boy.

And a girl born just after midnight last night. These babies have a plan, to come in together so they'll have a buddy on the earth plane.

A full day. A full day of love.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Last night was wondrous and strange with large areas of  the city all BLACKED OUT while Rebecca and I made our way to the restaurant for dinner. It was a lovely time. To be repeated except for the black out. And the hideous traffic.

Today as the sun came in the skylight, I thought, must hike. I called Holly, my hiking pal and roused her from bed. Convinced her to go east of the mountains, 80 miles away. Cle Elum, to be precise. We stopped at the Turtle Cafe for a patty melt and French fries. Our waitress had a black eye. And there was a very large turtle made of large rocks as a mantlepiece. A turtle with a hat. And a wood stove underneath the turtle's belly.

We were looking for unfortunately named Squaw Lake. Which we never found. We did walk around by some river where there was snow (!) on the ground. Felix was barking and sliding on the snow. Then he ate it.

We saw a hawk very close and it was screeching at us. Probably the fierce poodle. We decided to head back but we first stopped in Roslyn so we could eat pie at Roslyn Cafe. With whipped cream.

So I ate about 5000 calories with no hiking to speak of. Sheesh.

And we were in the car for five hours. Back at home, Felix and I went for one of our usual four mile walks around the hood. We could have dispensed with the whole day of driving.

Wenatchee National Forest is beautiful. Even in the rain, which started to fall as soon as we left Seattle. We are tough NW women. Hundreds of miles for a patty melt, pie and a hawk in the tree. And snow.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

I'm wondering when I die if anyone will have a wake or sit shiva or throw a mad party. I would hope a lot of people would come and tell stories about my exploits, mostly embellished.

I've told the children they are to take my ashes to Mt Rainier and scatter them after they've been on a long hike. My parents'a ashes are up there. When I scattered my mother's ashes, there was such a wind blowing, I got ashes in my mouth and eyes. Ashes are weird anyway. Dust and little chunks of bone, shards of bone. My brother was keeping my mother's ashes in the garage, on a shelf. I brought them back with me on the plane.

I once carried a stuffed great horned owl on the plane with me. I stashed it under the seat. It was my father's and my older brother wanted it to put over his bar back home. I couldn't have that. I took it apart and gave away the pieces; talons and head and wings and tail feathers. All over the place now, owl feathers.

Yesterday I saw two grouse? in the park. Quail? Well, they didn't have the feather topknot thing. Felix spotted them and alerted me. I was listening to the Wailin Jennies at the time. I told my office manager they were my new favorite band and she went into a long story about Waylon Jennings. Close, so very close. See for yourself:

Ok, not the same at all. I don't have a single cowboy hat. Not one.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

My dear darlings. I danced all weekend and then fell into a swoon. 12 hour work days ensued. Tonight we had a lovely baby named Penelope.

Ah, life rolls on.

Lucy the chicken is apparently happy in her new home. She is the queen chicken. The others are pullets and not even laying any eggs yet. So she rules.

We had one hundred and thirty seven mile an hour winds. The garbage cans ended up in Snohomish county. And all the leaves went WHUMP and landed on the ground en masse. Massive piles of leaves.

We head into the dark.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A new furnace is a beautiful thing.

Today I saw an octopus on a bicycle, her purple arms flapping away. This evening I hosted several super heroes; Spiderman, Batman, Superman and the Hulk. There were many ballerinas, princesses, one queen and a mixture of gypsy/flash dancer/glitter girls with spider webs drawn on their faces. There were a few ghosts and a burlap bag head/face. They cleaned me out. When you're cleaned out of candy, you blow out the candle in the pumpkin, turn off the lights and hide.

The wee babies are the best. One dad was wearing an elephant on his shoulders, a little guy.

Now their parents will be dealing with sugar highs and terrible attention at school.

These days are so heartbreaking in their beauty. Leaves everywhere. Japanese maples and sugar maples and big leaf maples.

Dancing the next three days.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

We get a new furnace on Thursday. In the meantime, I'm freezing.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Great, just great.

I got back from Portland last night, turned on the heat and -- uh oh, that smell again. So today I called the power company and they came right out and gave  me this:

The nice utilities man said the Co2 levels were very high as he reached up and flipped a switch in the ceiling so the furnace can no longer be turned on. I am huddled around a wee space heater that is heating the air about 4 inches in front of it so if I put my feet right on the grate they might warm up. Time for long johns and big socks. I intend to go to the pool for a swim and a hot tub. Gawd.

Portland was, well, Portland. Everyone rides bikes there. There are many bridges so it's easy to get confused. Powell's is still as wonderful as ever. I bought 15 books: poetry and fiction and non-fiction and three books for Deb for Christmas. They have a whole section of small press books; anthologies and poetry and prose and graphic novels and 'other', books with no category at all. I walked back to the hotel with those books slung from my shoulders. They were very heavy. Even though I have a copy of 'Far From the Tree', I bought a paper copy because, well it was on sale and I wanted to feel it and see it (very large and big and heavy) and I wanted to heft it and know it as a book, not just as some words on an electronic device.

Leaves have fallen in my absence so time to find some neighborhood boys and girls to rake and bag. I have a ridiculous amount of trees. You can't have too many trees.

The house really is freezing. I wonder what a new furnace is going to cost. Sigh.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Im going to take myself to dinner so I can have a cocktail, my new favorite thing. Then the movies. Then tomorrow I go to Portland where I will spend the entire day in Powell's bookstore, surely the most wonderful bookstore in the world. I will look to see if any of Rebecca's books are in the poetry section and complain if they aren't.

Lola licks herself obsessively and then throws up long hairballs that look like dead mice. TMI no doubt.

I miss Lucy the chicken. I hope she's adjusting.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

I slipped and fell down my stairs this morning before I went on a hike in the Cascades. My socks were really slippery. I landed on my butt so now my butt is killing me. No, I'm not kidding. My butt is killing me. And I went hiking with Holly anyway. We crested a hill and burst through the cold fog into a beautiful crisp day. Sparkling Green Lakes, one after the other, connected by creeks. Wee waterfalls, log bridges, Boy Scouts with backpacks coming back from sleepovers in the cold night.

I went down the stairs, bump, bump, bump. Ow, ow, ow.

We got lost. Well, we found the trail and the road was closed. Hahahahahahahaha! This happens with us. So as an alternative, we chose a random trailhead. And it was glorious. Every time the dog crossed a log bridge, he leapt around like he'd just scaled Everest. And he barked at the usual tree stumps, patches of light and other dogs. What a guard dog.

Tomorrow, our remaining chicken, Lucy, goes to live with other chickens. It was that or us getting a new flock, introducing them, keeping them from killing each other and burying the dead. I'm too much of a soft touch. I will miss Lucy running to the gate in the morning, looking for lettuce and mealybugs. And her daily egg.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fiscal cliff  averted. Republicans still idiots. I'm reading Hafiz:

Find a Better Job



all your worry

has proved such an





find a better


It's a glorious day. The leaves are scarlet and yellow. The dog is farting under the table. Time for a walk.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Animals and babies but no baby animals

Remember the baby pile-up I mentioned in my last post. Hahahahahahahahaha. Sunday the very next day, we had a baby, then seven more over the week while clinic went on and Fiona the chicken died and it rained and the sun cam out and I grabbed the lady in the whirlpool at the new swimming pool by the boob (oops) so she wouldn't go under (she had had a stroke six years ago so her coordination wasn't too good). I excused myself for the boob grab and she was gracious about it. I managed to get to her arm after the breast situation so I partially saved myself embarrassment. Then we talked about children and grandchildren and her stroke and the healing waters of a 96 degree pool and a 104 degree whirlpool.

I am SO GRATEFUL that the most beautiful pool in Seattle is in a poor people's neighborhood. So people who don't have access to fancy spas and saunas can come and pay six bucks to sit in whirly water and get some aches and pains soothed, at least for a while.

The new pool even has a jetted waterway you can float around in by the big yellow slide.

I would like to live there. I could put a little cot behind reception.

Fiona the chicken was stiff and dead when I went out to let them out one morning. Now we're having a conversation about getting more chickens and I don't wanna. You have to separate new chickens from the old one(s) because they peck and harass each other. Sheesh. Then you introduce all and hope for the best. No more naming and being fond of individuals. They die. And when you bring them into the house, phew.

But Lucy is probably lonely.

There was a dead rat at the bottom of the basement stairs in the midst of last week. I picked it up by the tail and put it in the garbage. Thanks Hugo, beast of the house.

I'm going home now. I think I'm safe to leave the clinic. The current new babies are all ok and so are their parents. I have done my job.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

For the latest in chicken news-Fiona is eating and drinking but walking like a drunken sailor. I tried putting her in the coop with Lucy as it is a gorgeous day but Lucy came over and pecked at her-AND WE CAN'T HAVE THAT so back she came, into the dog crate in the house. I must say, chickens stink.

I checked her for mites (nope) probably not broody so now to try antibiotics. Sigh.

I'm on call, the new swimming pool is open

and I'm afraid I have to go to the 'grange' for chicken medicine. I'm feeling resentful. Is that wrong? Isn't the new swimming pool beautiful? OMG. I want to go there right now. They even have a women only swim on Sundays. No guys splashing and showing off (sorry, guys, but you know it's true). The pool looks like the fantastical pool in Nanaimo, BC that was so grand and fancy I almost fainted from pleasure. A public pool. I guess when you give health insurance to everyone, it's cheaper and the provinces can spend money on other things like recreation centers for all. Gawd, those Canadians.

I'd really like just one woman to have a baby and get the ball rolling. I fear a pile-up. At least one baby could come today while the weather is so delicious.

My dog is weary of waiting for me to take him out. I'm getting there. I am.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Thanks, John Boehner

PubMed is open, however it is being maintained with minimal staffing due to the lapse in government funding. Information will be updated to the extent possible, and the agency will attempt to respond to urgent operational inquiries. For updates regarding government operating status see USA.gov.

I had a dream about George Harrison this morning. He was an area therapist and I had an appointment with him right after my appointment with my other (as in, real) therapist. She was hurt that I was going to see him and neither of us realized that he's, um, dead. So I slunk off to see him, feeling cheap and foolish and shallow.

In other news, I saw this bag on Capitol Hill, Ha!!!

George, you're cooler than Reverend Phelps, even if you're dead. I still love you. 

Kisses and hugs,


Thursday, October 03, 2013

The sick chicken is 'broody', ie, she's sitting on an imaginary nest with imaginary eggs under her. Apparently chickens don't eat or drink while they're broody so she's been drinking and eating like mad. Today I gave her cottage cheese which she lapped (beaked?) up with alacrity.

We're to keep her warm and sequestered so she's in a dog crate in the office with a space heater aimed at her. Gawd, it stinks in there. I need to keep her isolated for a week then put her back. To break the broody cycle. Lucy is all alone but seems fine with it. She's a lusty chicken, even if she's a bully.

Chickens are dumb but the Republicans are dumber. Regardless that I cannot figure out the new insurance choices (and the State WEB site is no help), holding us all hostage because the flat earthers own the senate is evil and horrid. And stupid.

In other news: I thought we'd have a baby this morning but nope, false alarm. We are in a bit of a pile-up and there may be an avalanche. Of babies.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

I have a sick chicken who is in the dog crate with food, water and a heating pad. Sheesh.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

we knew it was true


And Mavis Staples hobbled on stage five weeks away from knee surgery. She's wide as she is tall, she spent some time sitting on a stool and she laughed. A lot. The woman is 74 and she growled and barked and hollered and rocked. She had us on our feet clapping and shouting.

Friday, September 27, 2013

How I'm spending the day:

after the guys came to wash the windows (I was still in my pajamas, of course) at 8 AM and the phone rang with someone in labor and the dog was barking his fool head off. Deb was remarkably composed. She just thought I was overreacting a bit. After all haven't I been called to births for years anyway? 

I'm better now. I've arranged myself, as you can see, in my 'do and silky peach gown. Although my bodice still heaves a bit. 

And we're gonna go see Mavis Staples tonight. Should be splendid.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Last weekend's activity:

Hugo the cat has decided to return to the fold because the weather is turning and the cat food down the street is inferior. He's full of mats, he's filthy dirty and he's appropriated Deb's brand new chair. He is, of course, the king of the house. Just now, he's gone upstairs to lie on the comforter so he can shed and get grit and bits of flora everywhere.

The beautiful rain has restored green to the land. I walk all over with the dog. Geese are calling to one another as they fly overhead. Time to visit the children in California.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Went dancing this morning and heard this: 

I don't know who the dude is, ignore him. Just close your eyes and listen.

Lawd, His Purple One can sing.

Friday, September 20, 2013

I went out to gather grapes for the annual jelly making extravaganza and ended up out there for three hours chopping and pulling weeds, making a huge mess. I was in my pajamas, no underwear. Really. And many neighbors cam by to chat while I was bent over, still feeling nauseous and feverish. Now I'm lying on my bed to quell the skittery stomach. No desire to eat. At all. Hell of a diet. And I do love food.

I still have to take the dog to the park and head over to the big box store for sugar, pectin and jars. And clean out the chicken coop. Or maybe I'll be indolent and watch old movies all day. Many times in my life, getting sick was the only vacation I ever got. That is pathetic.

I've been painting. The big canvas is gesso'd and ready for something. Not sure what. Yellow maybe.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I'm still in bed after I got clobbered yesterday with a 24 hour bug-the works, shitting, barfy, nausea and a wicked headache. After 10 days of retreat and dancing, flung right back into work until collapse. The blue Honda is back from the hospital. The dog is flopped over on his bed and the cat is right here beside me.

The day is gorgeous so I'm getting up and behaving like a normal person.

Half the house is now painted and looks lovely. The other half next year after I've paid for this half.

My brain feels like an overripe melon. The kind you give to the chickens.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Just back from Vader, WA and the woods, forest retreat place and it's FUCKING HOT here? What have we done, people, to be living in this humid hell? We live here because we like rain and salmon and herons and (join hands here and begin a wee chorus of Kumbaya, swaying slightly) not this blistering heat.

I'm going down to the lake and get in. My neck and back are marginally better and tomorrow begins the dance workshop til Sunday. How, you ask, can I dance with an effed up spine? I have no idea. I may lie on the floor the whole time. The very idea makes me tired.

No one is cooking any dinner. Whaaaaa. (spoiled baby noises, etc.) Retreat is not exactly heavenly but you can disconnect from electronics, be fed and consider your deepest fears and anxieties. Hard to explain but I am compelled. Besides, the teacher tells a story every night about the Buddha and the search for the end of suffering. And as I demonstrated so ably at the beginning of this post, it's working out just fine.

Love and kisses,

Beth, the post-dharma retreat harpy

Thursday, September 05, 2013

My dears, I leave for silence tomorrow and will be back in a week. But today I took in my car for repairs (3 thousand, ouch) and got the rental. I have to tell you, I once had a ginormous rental Buick that I was trying vainly to park while the lady in the house I was in front of was HAVING HER BABY. My student was standing in the road yelling for me to hurry up. That was a few years ago.

Yesterday I begged them to give me a small car, a cute car, not a mini-van or a monstro car so what do I get today? A Chrysler for pete's sake. A black one. It looks like a gangster car. It just needs a few bullet holes in the door. I didn't even think Chrysler was still in business. And the steering wheel is a bit sticky and smells like aftershave. Ew. It barely fit in the garage. And this to them is a small car.

So I have wheels to get me to the retreat center and back when my wee Honda Fit will be all better and drivable. And park-able.

Later in the day I got pulverized by Merlin, the nice massage therapist. I think he actually rearranged my back and neck muscles by removing them, throwing them on the floor, stomping on them and then putting them back in. Then my chiropractor did the crack/crick neck vertebra dance and she kindly helped me off the table so I could wobble to my, er, the rental behemoth.

O and no smoking or pets in the car. Sorry, Felix.
I woke to THUNDER and more THUNDER and rain on the skylights. Fan blades spinning from the wind. Chickens making quite a racket because they wanted to be let out of their coop to be in the rain, the cooling, delicious, wet o wet rain all around. There's another big clap-the cool front smacking into the warm front. Where I'm from, we had thunder storms so violent and wild, they would ignite the bedrooms at night with their hot white light and great crashes. Close. Streaks of lightening forking across the sky. Smell of ozone.

A midwife I hired from the East Coast recently gave notice. It was a relief. She needed to be working by herself. But. She has poached clients from the practice. Four so far. I've written a letter of outrage which sits on my counter, unsent. I'm doing my best to be a big girl about this but I woke this morning with an idea that I could write a card encouraging her to behave in a professional and kind way. An ethical way.

 I expect the best from people. I do my best to practice kindness and generosity. And forgiveness. Well, I'm going into silence on Friday for a week. Let's see what that practice reveals.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Yesterday, I read-ended someone while driving to work. Argg. Sudden stop, wet pavement, I couldn't stop in time. The cop just told us to move along. His car was fine, mine, uh, crunched but drivable. This is the 4th time this car has been in an accident. Usually not my fault. All but the right side has been hit. Sheesh. Is my car too small, too blue, too optimistic? Little Honda Fit, I always think my car is chuckling as she drives along, perky and peppy. So now it's back to the collision place again and o joy, a rental Buick or some such horror car. All I'm gonna do is drive to the retreat center on Friday, park it and come home again the following Thursday. When hopefully, my car will be ready.

I now appeal to the car/driving gods for surcease. I think that's the right word. In other words, quit it.

My old girlfriend called her beat-up Datsun Dottie. Dottie the Datsun. Maybe I need to give my car a name for protection. Atilla? Gandolf? Warrior Princess?

Now I feel all weird too, body-wise. Neck and lower back. Plus the creeping fall gloom is coming. Depression land, Fall is hard, folded back in on myself.

Monday, September 02, 2013

I'm taking everyone to the spa today to celebrate the end of our record-breaking August. All the babies are born (one from September-thank you) so we're off the hook and can go soak, steam and massage. I even made a vegan cashew cheesecake that is yum with fresh blue berries on top. For after.

Did I ever say how happy it makes me to be generous, because I can be generous? Not for a tax write-off or because I'm a gazillionaire but because I have a little extra and I can give it away. And because I lived for years on welfare like food stamps and medicaid and was terrified my children and I would end up on the streets. So now I can give back in gratitude. But I never forget. Never.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

I dreamed that I couldn't find my phone. I hunted for it everywhere.

I dreamed that I was looking for my college boyfriend, Lou, who was sexy and older (20!) and had a beard and came from NYC. I was 17 and a waif from cold and frozen upstate New York. We were in Florida, surely the most exotic location for college we could imagine: Spanish moss, silver fish the size of saucers, the blanket of humidity, the warm delicious ocean. And orange groves, lots of orange groves, sugar cane, and cabins on cinder blocks where Black folk lived. Whites only drinking fountains. At school the Black kids sat over there, the white kids sat over here. Cafeteria food with grits and fatback in the greens. Cornbread.

And drugs, lots of drugs. Music too; The Rolling Stones, Cream, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendryx, 13th Floor Elevator.

Lord, I was such a child. I didn't know it but Lou and his buddies were messing with heroin. He kept me ignorant of it. And he used condoms.

Years later I saw him in NYC and he was on methadone. He had a gold front tooth. In my dream I'm looking for him. Wondering if he's dead. Wondering if he got out alive.

When I went home for the summer, he sent me roses and a card that said, 'Don't let time kidnap you'. I still don't know what he meant. He's still showing up in my dreams.

Friday, August 30, 2013

R.I.P. Seamus Heaney


Between my finger and my thumb   
The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.

Under my window, a clean rasping sound   
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:   
My father, digging. I look down

Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds   
Bends low, comes up twenty years away   
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills   
Where he was digging.

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft   
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked,
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

By God, the old man could handle a spade.   
Just like his old man.

My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner’s bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I’ll dig with it.
I have cleaned out the chicken coop, vacuumed, washed all the dishes, hung out clothes on the line and paid bills. I am GOING HIKING NOW with Felix, the first time I've been able to since the baby avalanche of August. Our last baby is born and phew!!! And I'm taking the ladies, my staff and students to the Korean naked lady spa on Monday to celebrate our survival. Hot tubs, massages, scrubs, saunas and kim chee all round!

For my 65th birthday, I want to visit the British Isles with my daughters. I have made the intention here and so be it, ok? I want to walk the moors, visit Scotch distilleries, stare moodily into the sea, touch the white cliffs of Dover, etc. And cross the English channel into France and spend a few days in Paris. So daughters, if you're reading this, begin to save your $$$.  It'll be fun. An adventure. Before I shuffle off this mortal coil.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Summer is well and truly over at least the summer we have had here with blazing Arizona desert lizards poisonous snakes cactus etc. instead of the Northwest rainy cold mossy dripping no end of green flowing in waves of waves Puget Sound canoes orcas migrating cedar boughs for rain hats coats salmon thick bears throwing fish onto the shore not this brown grass crackling hot cars hot sidewalks weeds high up in the lake ready to grab your arms and legs just swim out far enough so the water is deep enough still there could be bodies down there or prehistoric fish or traps for the unwary I could float over the whole mess at least a mile out and not be seduced by the Lake Washington sirens.

Friday, August 23, 2013

We are nearing the end of our babystorm. We had one yesterday and another is percolating today. Plus, it is overcast and cooler today. Might rain, o joy. Please.

And for the record, spotted dick is a steamed pudding with suet (blech), zest and currants and no, my mother never made it even though she was a Brit. We did eat steak and kidney pie, Yorkshire pudding and the famous boiled dinner. Bangers and mash, bubble and squeak, nope, not those.

I remember standing in the kitchen while she peeled apples for pie, making long spirals of the skin. Her pie was delicious. As a frustrated writer with five kids, she did not have a happy life. And she was deaf to boot. And no deaf community and no sign language, just lip reading.

Off to see a baby way down south so I better get going. Perhaps the day will be quiet with no babies to attend to other than the ones already out.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

By the way, Dexter has degenerated badly. It's turned into a soap opera, bad writing and dumb plot. we'll soldier on because it's the last episode but shite. It's tragic what's happened to our favorite psychopath. Damn.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Nine babies in eleven days. Yesterday two babies about ten hours apart. Lynn at one birth, me at the other. We had a fatty: 9# 8oz guy. Everything about him was big. From his birth, I came home, showered, changed clothes and went to clinic until nine PM. Came home, lay down and didn't remember anything until I woke at three AM. Couldn't go back to sleep so I read and listened to music until it got light. Mostly I wondered who was in labor then, somewhere in the city women were laboring and giving birth.

We're making it through the month of seventeen due dates, five to go. We're ok. One of our students is leaving mid-September so we're gonna have a spa day and dinner at our local vegan restaurant to celebrate her. She's joining our practice next year, goddess willing.

Tomorrow I'm hoping no one is gonna have a baby so I can take a walk/swim with the dawg, I can feel the change in the air, a few leaves on the ground.

All those babies. May they grow healthy and plump and may their parents love them real good and strong.


Your steady midwife

Saturday, August 17, 2013

In a fog. I slept for about 73 hours. I had to get up because my back was hurting lying in bed for so long. Time to walk the dog, do errands and come back to the house to lie on the couch. Another 24 hours of call.

When I stand and look at myself in the mirror, I am perfectly round-belly and hips all round. Not 18 years old anymore, that's for sure. Even though I swam a mile yesterday, in the lake and then walked 3 miles. A 6 mile walk today. Makes no matter. I'm trying hypnosis.

I so wanted to be a silver fox sort of old woman in drapey sleeves and silver bracelets still able to get into the jeans I wore when I was 23. Not so much. Humility isn't easy.

All the babies are hale and hearty. And the mothers are too.

Today I feel more exhausted than I have in a long time. This too will pass.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Two babies this morning. I had time to come home, shower, get clean clothes and go back to clinic for the day. I'm so tired I'm not tired. I was actually thinking I don't need to sleep any more. That's not really true, is it?

I'm drinking vodka in mate tea. I have no idea how to make cocktails and right now, I could give a fuck.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

For some reason, "She'll be Comin' Round the Mountain When She Comes" is going through my head this morning. Could be all the babies getting born right now. We've whittled away at our 15 birth pile-up. 5 born, 10 to go! I can do 6 hours and feel semi-human. A shower works wonders. And lotion. Lotion on my legs makes me think I'm rested and alert. Maybe there is caffeine in cocoa butter.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

When is it we stop being middle-aged and begin being OLD? Certain criteria don't count. For example, unbidden peeing. That can happen any time, especially if you've had children. Memory loss doesn't count either. Besides, who can remember what they got for Christmas when they were twelve? Or what they had for dinner three nights ago.? Or who is the president? Everyone knows it's Harry Truman. And infirmity can happen to anyone. I continue to trip while going up the back stairs when I'm wearing my Tevas. It's because the toes are too long, not because I have poor proprioception. So my arms that are covered with bruises  are a natural side effect.

Seeing a wild animal in the yard would count. So far, I've seen Felix, the katz and occasionally a raccoon. An urban raccoon. I mean by wild a giraffe or a rhino or a sloth. Well? And while I do wear my pajamas far into the day, I haven't yet worn them to the store or on my head.

I still dye my (white) eyebrows. I take showers frequently. I have most of my own teeth. My bifocals are 'invisible'. And they're not trifocals.

So when do we/I reach the magic oldness?


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Today. A whopper boy, 10# 14oz and a mother who just wouldn't quit. During the night, lightening and thunder and rain on the skylights. We opened the windows and doors for the mom while she worked so hard. In the woods. Bear sightings,  a mom and a cub in the yard.

Sometimes women in labor break my heart in the most beautiful way. When this boy came out, we all burst into tears. He was so fat and so lusty.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Deb brought in a zucchini the size of a baby from the garden. They get away from you, those squash. The delicata plant has now covered half the yard and I see a dozen squash in various stages of growth-age.

For dinner I had sauteed zucchini, garlic, cherry tomatoes and red and yellow peppers. With deviled eggs.

AND I swam a mile today and I shaved Felix's paws. I ventured up onto his backside with the clippers so now he looks rather ragged (oops). That's why the professionals get the big money.

And my toes look like this:

because if it's gonna be summer every effing day here in the NW, we women have to have pretty toes. 

A young clerk in the deli of my local coop called me ma'am today. I asked him if I looked like a ma'am and he said he was from KENTUCKY so I forgave him. They have manners in the South, am I right, Ms Moon? I actually think he was a transman so bless his heart for finding this city of trans-acceptance. 

Waitin' on about 14 babies so I think I'll go to the movies. I'll tempt fate, ha!

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

I managed to trip over a large rock while still in the water AND I skinned my palms and knees. In the water. It was brilliant. I had an audience too. Even better. Middle-aged woman in baggy bathing suit falls on her face while attempting to walk to the shore after long swim.

Humility does not come easily to me.

Painters will be swarming all over my house in September. O joy. I got a 12 month same-as-cash loan which, if I don't pay off in 12 months revert to a 48 month loan with 16% interest (ouch) so you bet I'm getting that puppy paid off in record time. Then next year, they'll be back. They paint 1/2 this year and the other 1/2 next year.

See, I 'own' this house. Well the bank owns it, I pay a huge mortgage to live here and I gotta sell it. It's too big, too expensive and cripes, the maintenance. I'm trying to save for retirement (hahahahahahaha) and I surely can't with the expense of living here. And if I hope to sell it for big bucks, it has to look spiffy. I'm afraid I'll have to put in stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops, gawd. And stain the deck and so forth.

What I want: a small midwifery practice with friends who aren't dickheads. A funky house in the woods near a body of water I can paddle a kayak in and/or swim in. A large garage for a studio for Deb and a cabin for my friend Lynn to live in and a space for a midwifery clinic. Deer. Deer-proof fencing around the garden. Chickens. Before I'm too infirm and need to be tied to a bed so I don't wander around in the street with my underwear on my head.

In the meantime, it's about 956 degrees out there and again, I must get to the water. We have a backlog of babies and they are all waiting for rain, so cooler air, something, so they can venture out.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

I think my therapist is bored with me.
My hood is having block party and I'm not going because I'm grumpy and sad and whiney. It's too effing hot, as in, I'm a hot mess. I hate therapy sometimes. I don't want to go. I start revving up the anxiety about 3 hours before and I blame it on caffeine, lack of sleep, low blood sugar but then I get there and I know what the matter it. Someone is scratching around into my head, inside my skull and it itches and buzzes but I can't fix it not with my usual tricks so instead I ignore it as long as I can I can wait for 50 minutes to run out to my car which is about 943 degrees the shift stick is melted the water in the water bottle is hot and I'm not on that damn couch anymore talking about why I'm so fucked up it's boring for gawd's sake. This is the best I got.

O for some cooling NW rain and clouds and a wind to knock the apples off the tree.

What can you do when someone you know disappoints, really disappoints you? I'm not even mad as I am distressed and nervous and waiting for the other shoe to drop. Someone you expected to behave better, more compassionately, with integrity and gratitude but instead they've gone all grevious and Calamity Jane on you. Maybe I'll never learn. A naive dumbshit to the end.

I'm sure my mother has something to do with this. I'm positive.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

There are billboards all over my neighborhood that say:

My neighborhood. Where most of the people of color live, if they live in the city; Somalis, Ethiopians, Mexicans, African Americans, First Nations, Asians.

I was heartened by one billboard that was covered with graffiti.

A nation where we fear one another.

Tonight I stood behind a mom in African dress with a babe tied on behind her. Her kiddo was leaning this way and that. Finally she looked up at me and smiled. Her mom kept patting her on her butt while they waited. I saw a man waiting for a bus today. He held a notebook on his lap and he fidgeted a bit. He was bearded and dark skinned. Something in me broke open watching him. I saw him as a baby, a child, a teenager, a man, a father, a son, a brother, a member of a family somewhere. Sitting and waiting for a bus while the streets are lined with terrorist billboards.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

I used to pretend I had a tail, a long bushy tail that would wave about. Sometimes I would sit on my tail and sometimes I would play with it, twirl it in my fingers.

I still think it's there, my tail. It's just invisible.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The  Deschutes River runs into the Columbia. The mighty Columbia river. The Columbia river gorge is impressive; enormous desert hills covered with sage. Land of coyote and rattlesnake. Salmon runs that have been disrupted by dams. Irrigation makes fruit orchards and grape growing possible. Blasting sun, intense heat. A desert, a high desert stripped down, few trees and turkey vultures in the sky.


We camped on the Deschutes, along the bank. There is grass because they water it. It's a favorite angling spot so there are fisher(men, women) standing in their waders near the shore. The river is icy cold but when you are in 100 degree heat, it feels great.

We didn't count on the wind. It's a gorge, right? Well, the wind was 40 miles an hour. I'm not kidding. Trying to put up tents was remarkably hard. We borrowed a hammer so we could drive stakes all the way down into the sandy soil. During the night the tents ballooned and thwaped like hot air balloons, straining at their ropes. Very restful. Everything was covered with a fine coating of dust and sand. Because of the wind there were no bugs, well no bugs that bit us. There were thousands of flies that attracted the bats in the evening over the water. Our evening ritual was to pull up chairs and watch the bats feed in the twilight.

The river had a current so we had to be mindful that we not be swept out to the Columbia where, I'm pretty sure, we'd never be seen again. It was very shallow so swimming, floating along, we'd bump our butts or bellies on the slippery rocks. Lake Washington temperature feels like a warm bath now. The kids lived all day in the water.

Oh, and there were trains. Roaring across the bridge downwind from us and blasting their horn. Huxley reminded us every time that there was a train coming. He's three. Trains came day and night. All night.

We had fun anyway. Every year we think about where we'll go next in our quest for the perfect campground. Some years it's too rainy or cold. Some years it's too, well everything, like this year. It was us in the campground with a lot of retirees and their many dogs, large and small and their massive RVs with AC and antennas for their flat screens.

S'mores are still disgusting. And to think I used to think they were delicious.

On the last night, I woke to the sounds of coyotes singing. That was worth it.

PS. I broke open Ms Moon's pickled okra and we all devoured it. Heaven.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

I awoke in the gray with light spits of rain and my neighbors are using my driveway for a garage sale so the dog is wuffing and herfing because DANGER DANGER. He barks and I think I'm having a heart attack.

Today I'm making perfect protein salad and chocolate chip cookies and African peanut soup. I already made my secret tomato sauce and it's in the freezer. Last night I made a huge long loaf of bread for French toast and hazelnut chocolate spread which I've been saving for special.

And Ms Moon, I'm taking some pickled okra to share with the people I love most in this world. Your okra.

I love to cook for my family. I hardly get to anymore. And I make huge amounts even though I only have two kids. But they have spawned and there are friends coming too and I get to see a few babies I delivered.

I'll come back next Wednesday ready for August and 17 due dates. That's a lotta babies. August and September are the busiest months. Count backward, people and you'll see why.

Friday, July 19, 2013


I am a lame-ass blogger. I've been spending my time outside, walking and swimming, often with Felix along. The lake is warm and lovely for swimming so that's what I'm doing, when I'm not working. I swim and wear my suit for the rest of the day so I stay cool. Of course, I put my shorts back on over my suit so I look like I've wet myself.

A friend asked if a young pal of his could contact me about Buddhism and I said of course. So I email launched into a description of the basics, with a bit of my own experience thrown in-and I began to feel, as I usually do, that I could be teaching Buddhism, at least the basics. Which then leads to feelings of dissatisfaction and general grumpiness. What is my problem? As a midwife, I get lots of credibility for knowing what I know. And my Buddhist practice is 16 years old now. It's deeply and permanently embedded in my DNA, so much so that I move from that place almost reflectively. I don't mean this to sound fancy and ego-driven (but maybe it is???) but I periodically I find myself wanting to be a teacher, hanging out with other teachers and being all wise and shit.

Or maybe it's a more amorphous feeling that as I (as we, all of us) age, I have some real, honest wisdom to impart, just by living this long and experiencing what I have. So it's the tragedy of the old, that we ignore them because they're old and no longer relevant. In the meantime, they/we have great value and insight potentially. Bla, bla.

This weekend I see Maya and Milo and Tracy and Brian and their kids in Oregon where the Columbia and the Dechutes rivers combine/collide. Someone suggested that I do a rafting trip on the Dechutes. I once rafted on the Methow River and can I say. they give you these wetsuits that do not, I repeat, do not keep you warm or dry. They only make you look like a rubber seal. And you ride along with a bunch of strangers who are all looking for thrills and trying not to fall out of the raft. They feed you lunch half-way there and then you get back in the flippin' raft and continue on, thoroughly cold and wet by then, with a peanut butter sandwich sloshing around in your stomach.

So nope, I don't think I'll be seeking a rafting experience this time out. I'm bringing my bike and books and music and home made spaghetti sauce.  I intend to be lazy and relaxed.

Monday, July 15, 2013


We had a jolly clinic picnic yesterday with many little ones and a terrible cake from Costco which I pawned off on a lovely family at the end of the night, what was left of it.

It's all about watering. I dread my water bill that's surely coming.

I'm gonna walk to the co-op and buy groceries. I'll bring Felix so he can sit outside and guard against squirrels.

I almost went to my Black neighbors to apologize for the atrocious ruling in Florida. I'm sorry probably wouldn't cut it. I'm in despair about it as I often think the right decision will prevail. In spite of Reagan and 2 Bushes and the Iraq war and a lot of other bonehead situations over the years. But Treyvon Martin was a child and you don't kill children, stalk them and shoot them in the heart. Gawd. All those mothers with their Black and Brown sons, every day worrying that they won't come home.

I wish for peace for his family and community.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday festivities

Today therapy and then o anxiety a mammogram. My dear A has decided on chemo AND radiation. She asked if I could watch her midwifery practice when she's unable. Of course I will. And I can stay with her on the weekends.

Mammos always a worry. What if they find something. What will I do. These mortal bodies.

Off I go. Get the car washed. Camp with my beloved family and friends next week in the Dalles in Oregon. Without the dog. Without being on call. Just swimming and sitting around the campfire with people I love eating some-mores (so gross) and watching the children play. Time to read and lie about and be the grandma. And no worries.


Sunday, July 07, 2013


Today I washed the kitchen floor and brought up about 6 cans of paint from the cellar. My counter tops have chipped edging and today I put myself to task to sand and repaint, which I did. As I was in a frenzy, I also cleaned the grout with grout cleaner and a brush. Sadly, I don's see much of a difference. I also covered a few places on the cabinets which have gotten chipped.  Unfortunately I didn't realize that paint was OIL until I was well into it. Oil does not wash off, dummy. But saints be praised, I found some mineral spirits so I could clean off the brush, my hands, my rings, etc.

In the morning, I went dancing, not with my usual people but it was a revelry, none the less. Good music, a fine sweat and I danced out the ghosts.

If I don't exercise, I become more morose than usual. I can't even stand myself.

Now the dog needs his romp. A swim in the lake and ball throwing is in order. I'll have to go in too, oh darn.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

memory farm

Ms Moon reminded me of my father this morning while the katz are both sacked out on the bed and the dog is upside down on the floor.

I collected a still warm egg from the chicken coop after lugging a 50 pound bag of feed into their enclosure. I'm sure the eggs we get are the most expensive eggs ever but that's ok. Lucy and Fiona enjoy themselves well enough. 

My father brought home all manner of animals for us, for me. We had a pigeon with a broken wing. She lived in the basement with a popsicle stick splint and when she was better we let her go. We fed her un-popped popcorn. He brought home a tiny snapping turtle I fed hamburger to. He brought home a baby field mouse I fed with a doll bottle. He rescued a young ground hog that sat in the lawn snapping her teeth at us. One morning he told us to look in the garage and there were two young raccoons in the rafters. We had a beautiful black snake that was about 6 feet long. We had bullfrogs. I hatched a monarch butterfly in a jar. 

There were the dead too, the animals we ate. Deer, ducks, sunfish and bass. He hunted and fished and tied his own flies. Trout fishing was his favorite. My favorite photo is of him standing in a trout stream, rod in hand, ready to swing and arc the fly into the water. 

From my dad I learned to love the creatures and the wilderness. He would have liked my vegetable garden and the chickens. He would have liked Felix even though he isn't a hunting dog like his were (hello Kim and Shiner and Gus in dog heaven). He loved his dogs, more than us. 

Yes, he drank too much. He was a womanizer. He was a child who lost his father to suicide. Perfect he wasn't. And my siblings had a different father than I had. He was different with all of us, too hard on the boys. Geoffrey's suicide would have devastated him. 

And when my mother threw me out of the house, he was in the background. I'll never know how he felt about that awful time. Were they in it together? Did he think disowning a child was appropriate and right? 

So I have his gifts and the hard knot of his sadness.  Today I remember him as I care for this scrap of the earth, the plants and animals.  Healed and wounded, living and dying. 

Friday, July 05, 2013

Toast with butter

Yesterday we drove about a 107 hours to the beach. To get there you have to drive to Olympia and turn left and not get all tangled up in Aberdeen and Hoquiam and their one way streets that send you north instead of south. Aberdeen, strange quiet empty town of lumberjacks and former lumberjacks and goth girls with pink hair and black fingernails waiting to get out. Aberdeen, where Kurt Cobain was born and escaped, escaped to the BIG TIME, his beautiful body and despair trailing him.

( a spider has built a tightrope from the coleus plant to the cat scratching post)

Ocean Shores was a madness, sulfur in the air from firecrackers, jeeps and SUVs and motocycles parked on the beach, beach chairs pulled into circles, dogs tied to the barbeque grills, kites shaped like dolphins and sharks and flamingoes and fighter jets. There was the CAR part of the beach and the NO CAR part of the beach. The sand was warm and fine. The water was tinged with green, breaking into green bubbles. Wide and long.

Felix ran into the ocean over and over. Then he ran around on the sand until he was unrecognizably dirty. He slept all the way home, except to wake up and bark at firecracker noise. He even slept through the war streets back home, smoke and booms and hissing crackling til one AM. I know it is the day we celebrate our independence from the Brits. 'We' were a bunch of farmers with a few guns and shovels. The Brits were an effing army with generals and strategy. And we kicked the fuckers out. Back they went. So now we pull up lawn chairs and watch the show. Or we hide in our houses consoling the animals who have no idea what the fuss is all about. Sometimes I don't understand my fellow humans. At all.

When I return for therapy, I want to lie on the couch with a cool rag on my eyes and drink tea from an eggshell china pot. Today, my therapist said I'm not depressed more melancholy. I embrace melancholy. I think Chopin was a melancholic. He had TB too so that probably contributed. Melancholy: A deep, pensive, and long-lasting sadness.

I go camping with Maya and Milo and Tracy and Brian and their offspring very soon. In Orgeon on a lake/river/I don't know this year.

I think Blogger sucks to make us all title our posts. WTF? I don't like being told what to do.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013


So now you have to name every post. Whatever for, Blogger? Effing firecrackers. I hate them, I really hate them. Our friend who owns a restaurant in our hood told us she's spending tomorrow night in the basement with her dog.

We're headed for the ocean tomorrow, Ocean Shores to be exact. We'll take Felix and lunch and hang out at the beach. Too cold to swim but we can watch the waves and walk for miles along the water. I haven't been to the ocean in a while. Esalen was the California ocean, way too dramatic. I mean, precipitous cliffs, dolphins, whales and monarch butterflies??? From the hot tub. Some landscapes are just full of themselves.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

today in wonderland

It's blessedly cooler today. Still Felix and I walked to the lake and jumped in. He'll swim farther and farther for the red ball.

Tonight my friends and I are going to watch the new Dexter (!!!!!!!!!!!!) I made a nectarine blueberry crumble for the occasion. I had to lick all the batter off my fingers, oh dang. Now I'm waiting for Deb to come home so we can go over there.

As much as I celebrate the demise of DOMA and the fall of Prop 8 in California, truly historic and all, I'm having problems with the marriage bit. Deb wants to be married. I experience my throat closing up at the mention of the wedded bliss. I've, ah, been married a few times and it didn't go so well. So this time I want to be sure I know what I'm doing. Sure, sure, it's comes from my family shite. I know that. But. It's a legal thang and Washington is a community property state and I have deep issues with survival, the specter of homelessness, etc. I don't have glowy romantic feelings about matrimony. Nope, not any more.

It's hard enough to get along with another person without bringing the law into it. I've gotten married to men because I was pressured into it. I married a woman because I wanted legitimacy. And now, hell, I don't wanna do something to please somebody else. Legal marriage is serious. There's money and property and children and dogs involved. Yuck. And taxes, don't forget about taxes.

Ok, this is boring. I applaud the gay. And I see divorce for the gay in the future. And all that business for the lawyers. Oh gawd, here I go again. I'll stop now.

In lighter news, we had a mess o babies recently and everyone is doing well. I saw two fat babies today in clinic but the best I've had recently was Eliza, the big sister, who is three. As I was leaving the house, she came over for a kiss so I picked her and and she said, "I love you" and she kissed me on the mouth. {{{{{}}}}}} with her little arms around my neck. Oh, it took me back to my own  babes.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

It's hotter than holy Hades right now and I don't have to like it. I danced with my lovely people this morning and a bunch of us went to brunch after and acted all gay because it's pride weekend here and there were homosexuals everywhere. I met Sam's husband and I approve.

It's so hot I even drank a beer, something I usually never do.

I fear the second floor of the house. It's probably twenty thousand seventy degrees up there.

I do not like this sort of heat. I figured out that I enjoy the winter cold/damp/gloom because it fits my personality. Not this blast furnace sort of thing. There are fans in every window and tonight we went to Ross Dress For Less just to be in an airconditioned building.

But it  ain't Arizona. Those poor things.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tonight I got a call from a mom whose water broke. She sounded a bit breathless on the phone. An hour later her husband called and said she was saying, "something's coming out". I told them to hustle to the birth center and I'd meet them there. They arrived, she plopped down on the bed, made pushing noises and I saw about a 4 inch circle of head. I asked for a glove and she had a baby about 4 minutes later.


She said the car ride was a bit uncomfortable. No kidding.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

I once said to Hazel who was about three, "Hazel, I love you." And she said in a weary tone, "I know, I'm adorable."

Eden came home from her co-op preschool to tell me there was a new kid in her class. She said, "She's six but she's a young six."
Today I leave Aldermarsh, a retreat center on Whidbey Island. I've been dancing for 4 days under the sun and moon and rain. I've done the anger dance and the grief dance and the fear dance. I've also danced with great joy. I amy be old and creaky with sore knees and stiff hips but I can still get up, throw my arms around and shout.

Meanwhile there has been delicious food and a hot tub and the best company of others: massage therapists and psychologists and gardeners and painters and poets.

This morning the swallows are swinging over the near fields by the vegetable gardens and the flickers and robins are singing. The moon was huge and bright last night so that I had to get up and go out under it.

Sam and I head back this afternoon and then it's back to work and call and the chickens and the silly dog and domestic life.

May I take this beautiful place with me. Until next time.