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.