Friday, February 27, 2015

So some hackers calling themselves Mango.Com have managed to extricate about a thousand bucks from my account, leaving me in the red. The bank had kindly helped me to file a fraud report. I've already changed my card number. Fuckers.

Yesterday while I was lounging in the hot tub at my pool, the topic of *sex* cam up. And who is in the hot tub, you may ask? Two older Asian ladies, a man and a woman from Ghana, Arturo, my buddy, from Mexico and an older white guy with a skinny braid. And me, of course. All was well until the man from Ghana mentioned that Michael Douglas has said that his throat cancer was caused by oral sex.


I did raise my voice while laughing at Arturo because he claims that his wife will come with him to the pool if she gets wind of what we're talking about.

Anyway, we were pretty rollicking and I asked one of the guards, in honor of my birthday, if he could bring some snacks and a glass of wine. He said he'd check with the kitchen. This is a city pool, people.

A bit later I noticed a red plastic glass of ice water by my elbow which he had apparently brought me. I shared it with Arturo and I put it down empty and it was magically filled again without me noticing.

They let us stay in the water for an extra 15 minutes.

That was the sweetest birthday party I've had in years. Ice water and arguing about oral sex causing cancer.

Today I came home after the contractors had left and there was a bunch of tulips on the table next to some fancy bakery thangs. From Rob.

Sweetness. O to feel loved.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

It's my birthday today and I'm going to the pool to sit in the hot tub and get away from the friggin' noise around here. Jim gave me a reckoning this morning. There's a lot still to do and the $$ has dribbled away. What to do now? I talked with my bookkeeper and she said to hang tight. Ok, and then hold up a bank.

However the plumber is here (in her Mercedes but who's noticing that?) and her helper who has a bit of 'chaw' in his mouth. Blech.

Remind me. Never ever do this again. Never. Again.

Meanwhile, I gotta figure out the kitchen because it is not good. As in ynet. Nada. Dreck. Ptooey. Etc. Right now I need a fairy godmother to leave a large bag of cash on my doorstep. And I'll keep the faith that when I need the dough, it will somehow magically appear.

Anxiety is so unpleasant. You'd think I'd be used to it by now. My lifelong friend, mental hand-wringing.

I would like a cocktail and a nice dinner tonight. I just might take myself out for that. And my sangha is tonight so maybe I'll take a cake and celebrate. My party is Saturday with my friends.

Ok, off to the pool for a lackadaisical swim and a hot tub with the folks.


Monday, February 23, 2015

Sometimes I get so tired keeping it all going. By myself. The business of midwifery is a chore and mostly other people do it; my bookkeeper and my biller. Last year we made less money. Worrisome when I feel like we did the same amount of work with many clients. But. The insurance companies want to pay us less (!) and nickel and dime us.

Then the house weighs on me . When will it be done? How much more will it cost and where will I get extra $$ to finish it?

Low level anxiety grinding and grinding.

I will go to the UK this summer, somehow.

I guess I wish I had someone else to share financial burdens with. My staff was understanding when I told them they might have to wait for their entire paycheck until later in the month.

I am doing my best to be debt free and able to live on a reduction in my own salary and whatever SS gives me (ha!) so that retirement is possible.

Worry, worry, like a mouse nibbling away at night. I can hear it but can't find it.

Meanwhile the sun is flashing and waking up the plants. A bit too early this year. Yesterday I saw a blooming star magnolia. Too early.

Poor Boston. Sheesh.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Went to the office for chart review today. We got done, Lynn had a few clients to see, the phone rang. I happened to pick it up and one of our clients said rather breathlessly, "Something might be happening, wee-ooo". She said "wee-ooo" every few minutes and Sara said, "um, they're every 2-3 minutes".

I had just finished admonishing us all that whenever we have clients who are having baby number 2-3-4, etc, we need to bust a move and get over there because they might go really fast. (we've missed two births recently). So to take my own advice, I yelled to Lynn that I was leaving to go to the mom and she yelled back that she was on her way. We passed several cops by the side of the road but they were all busy, hehe, and we blasted on up the freeway.

When we got into the house, the momma was doing dishes and wailing that she wasn't ready, she had too much to do. Her kids were milling around, a precocious girl and sweet boy we had also delivered. Then she went into the bedroom to make the bed ! while breathing and bending over with moans. Her husband was somewhere trying to get home. As soon as I could, I examined her and she was fully dilated with a bulging bag of water. We got equipment out, our student arrived (hurray!) and we got some pads under the mom and told her she could start pushing. About five pushes later, after the water broke all over the bed, she had her lovely wee girl. Her husband is from Burkina Faso and her kids are all gorgeous with curly dark hair and huge brown eyes. Whew.

Her husband arrived after the baby and eventually he held his new daughter. Their son went into the living room and fell asleep on the couch. We cleaned up the room, the bed and mom. We heated some food for her and fed her while she nursed her babe. We gave them our usual instructions and made our leave.

I got home in time to walk through the park. By myself. In the growing dark listening to the geese talking to each other out on the water. I couldn't see them but I could hear them.

Tonight I give thanks for another safe delivery and for a loving family who welcomed another beloved child into their hearts. May it be so for all babies everywhere.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

In honor of Mz Moon

I found this on Betsy's blog and it was so fantastic, I brought it over here. Please read this. You know what this is. You've done this. It has a name!

The Southern Goodbye. We have to go out to the car and stand there and talk awhile and then eventually the leave-taker gets in the car but immediately rolls down the window so we can keep talking a little bit and also, so that the person not leaving can lean in and kiss the person who is and so forth and this takes quite awhile sometimes. I think there may actually be a required number of times to say, "I love you," before the person can actually drive off but we do not KNOW that number, we just feel it in our bones and must carry on until it's been fulfilled.

Thank you, Mary. 

Love from your friend Beth

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Still have a cold and now tomorrow is a clinic day. Always tricky to navigate coughing and blowing my nose while measuring bellies and chatting with the ladies.

I danced this morning anyway, can't miss my dance Sundays.

Rob and Jim are going to be gone all week so no loud noises from them. However the siding guys will be here and so will the plumber so if I hope to nap in the daytime, forget it. I'm very glad they are here, that we are this far along. I see a toilet and a bathtub in my future.

You know, silence is a beautiful thing. Whenever I think I would like to clarify my position, especially in relationships, its always better to keep my peace and shut up. No notes, no emails, no phone calls, no nothing. Of course there are times when I have to confront the issue if it is with a work-mate or some such. The wisdom of writing the rant, storing it somewhere for a long time, getting it out a year later to see what I wrote, that's the wise path. The feelings aren't so strong, the stories can fade (what were we arguing about?) and then bare attention can come forward.

Such stories I make up! And then I become indignant and self-righteous. Because I'm right, ok?Positively boring.

The Anthropology of Childhood: Cherubs, Chattel, Changelings is my next book. Just finished On Immunity by Eula Biss. What with the current raging about immunizations, I though I ought to have a nuanced perspective. 

I'm going to take my snotty self to bed. Or as Scrooge said in A Christmas Carol, "I think I'll retire to bedlam."

Thursday, February 12, 2015


I stayed home today because I'm sick and tired after the last birth.

The contractors are here AND the siding guys AND the lady plumber. When I heard a woman's voice over the cacophony, I staggered out of bed to see who it was. And stood there swaying on the subfloors while they talked plumbing/joists/copper versus ?/didn't I have a sink picked out yet/etc.

My throat hurts. I'm tired but sleep is impossible. I'm getting a crown put on tomorrow at the dentist and I'm supposed to go see the Urban Bush Women with Holly.

The noise is amazing. This is the last time I ever remodel anything.  Ever.

The siding guy said in the voice of DOOM, "Well you have asbestos under the plastic and the right way to get rid of it is to do an abatement with tenting the house and everyone in hazmat suits and so forth". And it's costly. I mentioned this to Jim and he said, 'what they do is mash it all up at the dump anyway after you're so careful to do all that at the house and it's stupid".  I think what he really said is 'fucking stupid'.

Yesterday while feeling incipient illness, I went to the lady hot tub place and soaked and got a massage. It was heavenly even though I got sick anyway. There's no bathtub here so I felt like I deserved it.

This is pretty whiny. Lynn just called to say she missed a birth. Happens. Life rolls on. It's springtime warm here and my kaffir lily is going to bloom. She hasn't bloomed in many years so I think it's a sign. She's happy in her new home.

However, the word 'kaffir' is a derisive term for Black person,  a South African racial slur.  I've had this plant longer than any other as it was a wedding present in 1975. So that's 40 years.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

You know, symptom suppression drugs REALLY WORK. I've been a hard liner for years, heat and cold, echinacea, elderberry syrup, immune tinctures and tonics, etc etc. And my colds have lasted forever, with a foghorn cough and general misery. If I'm getting sick this time, I'm using the evil day and night stuff. It's miraculous.

As I have gotten little sleep after the last baby blast (don't know why they insist on coming two or three at a time), my throat is scratchy and my nose drippy AND I have a bunch of things to do in the next few days. Dentist, visit the legislature, no Valentines' Day date-yes, you heard me, that's off. Back to the drawing board. I think as we age we get wiser but apparently not. And I don't have to worry about getting gussied up.

I'm fine, I really am fine. I notice when I'm not thinking about romance or getting close to someone in that kind of way, I'm perfectly happy. Then I notice the anxiety and self-judgment and other BS that creeps in when I'm contemplating being with someone.  Yuck. It's a lot of stress. And if I'm destined for one more go at the relationship thang, I'd like it to be, well not perfect, but pretty close. I mean, laughing would be excellent, as would ease and joy.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Which of these persons should NOT be nursing off the BVM (blessed virgin Mary)?

This is my current kitchen:

And this is my current bathroom:

How does she do it, you ask?

Easy. You make sure the lights are off. You hold the yogurt container underneath your pee area. Then wipe. Drop the toilet paper in the garbage can (see by the counter) and you dump the pee in the empty sink, then rinse with hot water until the next time.  For uh, solids, you climb down the ladder into the basement where the SCARY toilet is with the freezing cold toilet seat. Or you hold it until you get to the gym. 

My actual living space has gotten smaller and smaller. And Hugo was gone for two nights. He's back and hungry. 

My living room smells strongly of wood smoke. As the fireplace is the main source of heat, no wonder. 

My birthday will be celebrated at Peggy's house because my house is, well, see above. There are several Pisces so we'll have a joint party for all of us. I hope there will be dancing and general merriment. Oh, and a cocktail or two. 

I have made two chocolate pound cakes and they are both miserable failures. If anyone reading this has a good recipe, please send it my way. The first one was way too dry and boring. The second one, sitting in my kitchen right now, is so heavy with butter and shortening, it's fairly dripping. ((sigh))

Justine didn't get a proper cake for her birthday and I'm gonna keep at it until I make her a good cake. Dammit. 

I have a date for Valentine's Day and I intend to be properly kissed that night. And that is all. No more than that. I have made strong affirmations that I will not cause myself or anyone else undue suffering in the relationship department, ever again. No impulsiveness or bad choices. As I'm post menopausal, I'm much less inclined to jump on people for sex, caution be damned. I can actually be somewhat rational. I know, I know, the mysteries of love. Well, I'm gonna give this idea a try. Can't hurt and it helps me to be friends first and maybe something more than that later. 

The real dilemma is: what shall I wear to dinner???

It's been so long since I've dressed up except to go to work. I'm out of practice. It won't do to show up in pajamas. And with my elegant living situation, it's so easy to find things and take baths (not!) and see myself in a mirror. 

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Today two babies about an hour apart and in two adjoining rooms at the birth center. We listened as the momma in the other room hollered and yelled-------and in that timeless space, we heard the baby crying. Our momma kept on, determined and sweating, and she did it with her sister and her husband around her. And her mother rushing into the room about 1/2 an hour after the birth.

Such a lovely pink boy she had. Lots of tears. And joy.

Lynn woke me at 6 AM and I was so confused, I couldn't understand what she was saying. An 8 AM appointment in the clinic and two moms in labor so I better get up and come on down. I asked "What time is it?" and "What day is it" trying desperately to remember what I had planned for the day (Is it Tuesday? Wednesday? ) in my very dark bedroom. I got up, put on my scrubs as I figured I might need to be suited up, as it were and headed out to the packed freeway. My one transgression was to take the HOV lane so I'd get there a bit faster.

After both babies were in their mother's arms, I passed Lynn in the hallway and she said, "Isn't this fun?" There are times when I love her so much; for her steadfast attention to our clients, her obvious love for the work and her cheerfulness. She is leaving for 5 weeks for a European adventure and I will surely miss her unflagging energy.

As a partner in this crazy business, I've finally found a gem.

Back at home with the creatures perched all around me.

A home visit tomorrow to see a 5 day old baby and then I must tend to my rambunctious dog. And study the suttas I signed up to study. This one is a long story which I'll save for later.

May all the babies let their parents sleep tonight on this full Leo moon.