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.