Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Hangin' by the fire in my jammies waiting for a call to go to a birth. The momma is WAY overdue and we have a significant pile-up right behind her. Somebody needs to get the ball rolling, as they say.

Afraid to book any more airbnb until I can get Eden to help me. We get on the phone and cruise all the listings and argue about the merits and shortcomings of each.

Edinburgh looks amazing, really amazing. We just don't have any cities in the US with an ancient castle in the middle of town. We just don't.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Oban, Scotland. Yes, I'm going there.

I'm looking obsessively at airbnb for lodging in the UK, rather nerve-wracking. The one place I really liked in Wales doesn't provide bedding or towels. Um, I'm not taking a sleeping bag with me, nope. So far, we've got lodging in Paris, London and Cardiff. Today looking at Edinburgh and I've figured out we can do a day trip to Oban, gorgeous scenery and Oban, people, home of my favorite Scotch. It's a coastal town. Scotland, is, frankly, a beautiful place. (are there too many commas in that last sentence? I fear there are.)

I'm cautiously excited. The $$ will be there somehow. Came home to a bill from the painter, not too big but there's so much more to do. I'll be working for the rest of my life, that's clear.

Watched the docu about Roger Ebert. Quite amazing that he allowed himself to be filmed with half a face.

Danced this morning and as usual had a blissful time. A new person, Greg, grinned the whole time and kissed and hugged me at the end. Dancing brings out the joy in us. I hope I can dance forever in some way. Heidi was there today after being gone for two months. She had a tumor removed from her spine and had to relearn to walk. She was rejoicing in moving her toes and her legs. And she took some rest times.

On my way there, two male mallards were leisurely crossing the street as they do at this time of year. Moseying along. Although it's usually a boy and a girl, waiting on some eggs. I thought, well, these boys have found each other. Queer ducks, you go. Although there might be a surplus of boy ducks, I'm holding out for gay duckdom.

We have a bit of a fearful baby pileup, no one in labor as yet. Please, one at a time, ladies.

I'm currently inclining my mind toward joy. It's easier than I thought. I'm often secretly grumpy so joy practice is probably more helpful in the world.

For instance:

1. I have a working toilet.
2. The katz have both been treated for fleas and are no longer scratching and driving themselves and me crazy.
3. Jim is making a ladder with pretty wood so we can dispense with the aluminum ladder to the loft.
4. There was enough money to pay all the bills and payroll. I can wait for a paycheck.
5. I have the best friends-writers, artists, dancers, singers and carpenters.
6. My children are splendid and I consider them my friends. A miracle.
7. My car works.
8. My job is usually the greatest. And the babies grow up into good adults.
9. All the trees I've planted are sprouting leaves.
10. My body is strong and not too painful.
11. I have a dharma community and I know how lucky I am.
12. Joy is everywhere if I look for it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

40 years ago tomorrow this beautiful woman was born. In our bedroom after a 2 1/2 hour labor. Eden sweetheart. I can't be with you on your birthday because of mommas waiting here to give birth. I  know you understand. I love you more than I can ever say. We'll travel together this summer to the motherland. Know that I celebrate your birth today, tomorrow and forever. XXXX Mom

In other news:

Look what I found in my soon to be completed bathroom when I came home from work, with heavenly light shining on it. I could hear the angels singing.

It even flushes. 

In other news, Rebecca is home from the hospital. Casey in the Sudan has fallen very ill. Illness, the great leveler.

May we all be free from suffering and the causes of suffering. 
May we be warm and safe and loved.
May we be held in compassion.
May we and all beings in all the directions be free.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Today while driving to dance practice, I passed a seagull sitting on the road on I-5, off to the right. My thoughts went faster and faster as I considered the possibilities-pulling over to rescue (way too dangerous), getting off the freeway and coming back around and being in the far right lane to accomplish a daring rescue, hoping someone else would be able to rescue an obviously injured bird. I allowed my heart to break for all wounded beings and I sent a strong and hopeful resolution that the seagull would be able to fly away or be carried away to safety. O the wounded animals and birds we cared for when I was a child. Some died. Some lived.

As I was waiting for the light to change, I watched an elderly woman with a cane carefully open her purse, take out her wallet, extract a dollar bill and give it to the homeless man who often stands at that corner. Right out in the open on a busy street. She put her wallet away, hoisted her purse and went on her way. I bet this is not a person who has lots of money, in fact I'm sure she's living on a fixed income. But she's doing what she can to alleviate suffering.

Wounded birds. Wounded people.

Dear Rebecca is in the hospital and quite sick. No word from her son but I visited last week. I will try to go again this week barring deliveries. There is little I can do except to sit by her bed.

I've plotted out the UK trip, sort-of. I've figured out mileage from place to place and now I need to have another conference call with my daughters in order to make airbnb reservations. I want to go to the Isle of Skye even thought it's a far away drive. So hard to know how long to spend in different places......

Instead of being a productive citizen today, I've been watching Rectify, an enormously beautiful and sad series about a man wrongly accused of a crime who has been freed because of DNA evidence. He's thoughtful and tender and angry and he's having a hell of a time adjusting to the outside after so many years inside. The story moves from the present to the past with some gorgeous dialog.

Finished another Sue Grafton book with homeless folks in it. She says this in the epilog about two homeless people who were characters in her story:

Their ways were not those we most desire fro ourselves, but that didn't make them wrong. We seem determined to save the homeless: to fix them, to change them into something other than what they are. We want them to be like us but they are not. 

The homeless do not want our pity, nor do they deserve our scorn. Our judgements about them, for good or for ill, negate their right to live as they please. Both the urge to rescue and the need to condemn fail to take into account the concept of their personal liberty, which they may exercise as they see fit as long as their actions fall within the law. For Terrance and Felix, their battles were within and their victories hard-won. I think of these two men as soldiers of the poor, part of an army of the disaffected. The homeless have established a nation within a nation, but we are not at war. Why should we not coexist in peace when we may be in greater need of salvation than they?

This is what the homeless long for: respect, freedom from hunger, shelter from the elements, safety, the companionship of the like-minded. They want to live without fear. They want to enjoy the probity of the open air without the risk of bodily harm. They want to be warm. They want the comfort of a clean bed when they are ill, relief from pain, a hand offered in friendship. Ordinary conversation. Simple needs. Why are their choices so hard for us to accept? 

What you see before you is their home. This is their dwelling place. This grass, this sunlight, these palms, this mighty ocean, the moon, the stars, the clouds overhead though they sometimes harbor rain. Under this canopy they have staked out a life for themselves. For Terrance and for Felix, this is also the wide bridge over which they passed  from life into death. Their graves will be unmarked but that does not mean they are forgotten. The earth remembers them, even as it gathers them tenderly into it's embrace. The sky still claims them and we who honor them will hold them dear from this day forward. 


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

My brand new tree

Lynn leaves on Friday and I am truly married to my phone now for the next seven weeks. My solitary life of swimming and dog walking and dancing and writing and reading and waiting for the contractors to begin their noise and the late nights when I come home, get a flashlight and go look to see what has happened to the remodel (if anything)---is about to end. I'll be hassling with Felix if I can't get home to let him out, to feed him and the katz, you know the drill.

It's ok.

Tonight I met with strangers in a room to read applications for school scholarships, a local college. We were to decide, after reading 150 applications, which person came in first. And second, sorta like the Miss America contest with the first runner-up.

How the hell to decide. The scholarship was for leadership. And one of our number was quite brittle and didn't like how the rest of us were behaving/deciding. She thought we could be objective (really?) and I was impressed by our biases, our backgrounds and our own struggles to go to school, our families and communities and our life experiences informing us while we read.

There was a young man whose parents were farm workers with a 5th grade education. There was the single mother whose husband had just died. There were the First Americans who planned to return to their tribes with a social work degree. There were jocks whose recommendations came from their teammates.

We narrowed it down to the top five and then gave all the piles of papers back to the facilitators to sort out.


There is a new bathtub in the remodel. It's sitting on a handcart and it's DEEP, really deep. Some day I will take a bath in it. It will be installed. In the meantime, Jim got a bid for insulation and drywall. People, it's really going to happen. I will stop looking at stud cavities and wires and I'll have WALLS and FLOORS and LIGHT SWITCHES.

This is a miracle.

Meanwhile, I'm almost done with 'Going Clear,' the Scientology expose. After this I'm gonna listen to essays by David Sedaris. I need some humor in my life.

Saturday, March 14, 2015


               - Claire Bateman

Blessed are the flabby people at Walgreen's
buying Trojan transparent ribbed golden condoms.

Unlike the couple on the package,
they have never had
a beach encounter at sunset.

They are landlocked.
They have shoveled their weight in worries
and are well acquainted with mulch.

They have problems with flatulence
because they fry with lard.

Yet darkness
rocks their unfashionable limbs
into phosphorescence.

In that tide they overcome gravity.
Holy, they vocalize with the whales.

Holly met me for dinner so I could have a cocktail. I can depend on her for a good conversation about books and movies and the dharma.

A new person might be taking the place of the resident dharma teacher in the biggest sangha in the city where I never go because I don't feel welcome.

My little group is for people of color and queers and allies so I'm right at home. However, the new teacher is a woman of color AND queer. Amazing.

This morning I'm ready to hike in the rain but instead I'll go to the gym and meet Holly at the Hothouse for a soak. We have a women's spa that is in the basement of a building on Capitol Hill. There's a hot tub, a sauna and a steam. It's very quiet.

There are four trees planted in my yard now. The rain is good for them. The styrax has tiny leaves.

I had a Tarot reading yesterday after telling a friend about my recent adventures. She whipped out her deck and I picked three cards. The first one was eyeballs, teeth and worms-and my friend said, "Oh, that's the darkest card in the deck".  Awesome. The second card was the seven of swords, all bound up with red ribbons and dripping blood-super! The last card was prosperity and goodness.

So perhaps I shouldn't leave the house for a while, I'm thinking.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Feeling pretty sorry for myself tonight so I had a cry. ( see last post) Then I made the best hot chocolate I've ever tasted. I'm digging out the popcorn maker and getting some butter and brewers yeast and I'm gonna have me a party.

Tomorrow the glass guys come over and replace my car window. And I'm getting a massage. I'll probably cry the whole time. My therapist won't mind. He's used to it.
To the people who smashed my car window and stole my wallet-YOU SUCK.

However the nice transit cop who found my emptied wallet is an angel. Of course the cards were all gone and the thieves managed to charge about $1600 in stuff from Macy's downtown before they were thwarted. The cop called (!) and told me he had my wallet and he could drop it off after work. He found it in a MacDonald's parking lot. I immediately went into a story about his nefarious intentions ie. he planned to kill and maim me and leave the pieces around for the contractors to find in the morning. It didn't help that I hadn't eaten since the night before. Gawd.

He was a perfectly nice man who didn't even come in the house.

Rob the contractor drove me to the bank so I could get another debit card and fill out the fraud paperwork. I just did this with some company in Hong Kong that hacked into my bank account. Am I being targeted because of my interminable anxiety about money?

Or maybe because I'm listening to Going Clear, the book about Scientology and L. Ron. Boy howdy, he was a true nut. And he had followers, lots of them. And the 'church' has gobs of money. We're willing to believe anything, aren't we?

And all this because I was walking my dog in the park. You can find where I parked because there is a large pile of broken glass.

Ok, I'm done now with falling down on the sidewalk, smash and grab theft and the nonsense of replacing everything.

I'm ready for a care team to come in and bathe me and put me to bed. As I drift off, someone holds my hand and reassures me that all is well.

All is well. And soon I'll have a bathroom with floors, windows, a sink, a tub and a shower. I bought flooring yesterday. It's yellow. No more yogurt container for me.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Finger not broken but still effed up. Have one of those finger holder thingys that you tape on. Makes washing dishes/walking the dawg, driving, swimming, etc. difficult. It really is swollen.


They x-rayed it. So beautiful to see the bones in my hand. With minor degenerative changes. Yup. Sprained it.

Feeling old and achey and tired. Banged up. Time for a massage.

There is a wee magnolia tree planted in my front yard.

The dogwood, coral bark maple and styrax await planting, along with hostas and hydrangeas and ferns and a crab apple.

I love the plant world. The world of plants. Even the weeds. So dependable.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Did a face plant yesterday while on a break from my dance retreat. Bonked my knee and whacked my right hand, the middle finger swelling up just lovely. It's now taped to my index finger for stability, don't think I broke it but it's a pretty shade of purple and yellow.  Clinic on Monday will be interesting, right?

Sheesh. Not to mention various aches and pains from hitting the deck, or in this case, the sidewalk. This is when my children start talking about the retirement home.  Nu-uh, not going there, not yet.

Managed to make peanut butter cookies for a fellow dancer who has a recurrence of breast cancer, now metastasized. Shit. I talked with her today and offered my support. She has choices to make about treatments and meds and so forth. Saw another friend who was heading off to the annual Pisces party (too tired to go and dancing again tomorrow) and she's about to be 79. I noticed a hearing aid in her ear and wondered about her white even teeth.


My finger hurts if I move it the wrong way.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Dears-back from the ocean and the most amazing weather:

 It was sunny and clear with beautiful night skies and a full moon.

Understand. Here in the North country, we suit up for inclement weather; big boots, long underwear, full length raincoats. So a few days like these were a miracle.

I even got a speeding ticket and didn't flinch (well, a bit) but everyone needs to make a living.

I cried a bunch, because the earth was so perfect and the water so blue. I cried about dogs who don't have kind owners and for homeless people. Holly was with me and she didn't look at me funny. She left me alone and didn't ask dumb questions.

Felix ran his feet off and woke us at first light.

The place where we stayed had a pool and a hot tub which we got to use all by ourselves. We stayed in the funky cabins built in the '50's. There was a wee kitchen, a bed room for each of us and a fireplace.

The house is a bit more done. The plumber was here today and there is a new hot water heater in the basement waiting to be installed. Hoo-boy.

Holly scattered ashes of her old dog and her last kitty in the Pacific. She found a blue shovel that she brought home. Tomorrow is dancing retreat. Lynn leaves in two weeks for five weeks and my days of play will be over until she gets back.

Bring on the babies.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Off to the ocean for a few days. I found a cheap cabin with a kitchen (!) so we can cook and make hot chocolate. The resort has a pool and a hot tub too, yeah!!! We're not staying in the fancy condos but in the funky 'original' cabin and we can bring the dawg.

It's gonna be freezing but who cares.

I look like I'm prepared for the Great Flood. I bought my book reference material, all the dharma study group readings, a few random books, a little docking thingy for my ipod (gotta have music) and my computer. Oh and food, a toothbrush and warm clothes. My favorite tea. Socks.  Vodka, lemonade and spritzer.

For two days. I don't care. I haven't been able to have silence for months so I'm going to make the most of it. Dammit.

Had a party for the pisces. There were at least five of us in my hippy dance church group. So we had music and dancing, natch, and a vegan, gluten free birthday cake, surprisingly good. Lovely time. Even drank champagne.

The ocean, the ocean. And the lighthouses at the mouth of the Columbia. The ocean puts everything in perspective.