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.