Thursday, July 30, 2015

I am officially a badass

The annual Seafair thang in Seattle. Navy war ships make their way from the base in Bremerton and we were there to greet them with our scary kayaks and peace signs. The aircraft carrier was enormous. And I'm not kidding. 

The fearless crew in front of a war ship. (I'm taking the photo)

The tip of my wee kayak and our other leetle boats. The catamaran had a huge sign that said PEACE FLEET. As you see, the water was choppy and there were police and Coast Guard boats warning us away. As if we could do any damage. David and Goliath, y'all.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

It dumped rain and then stopped so we could see and hear the incomparable Mavis Staples outside at the zoo. She's 76, y'all, and a short dynamic bundle. She covered a Talking Heads song (!) among other splendors. The sun went down on cue and we headed for home after shaking ourselves out to some very fine music.

And Patty Griffin too.

Now that's a concert to sit in the rain for.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

I'm waiting in the Sacramento airport for my flight. Surreal to drive through the hot, flat fields of drought afflicted California at 80 MPH. My rental car had about 2000 miles on it and it was FAST.

At the lodge, there was much swimming and eating and more swimming and eating. And a game of Risk and Rummicube and Pokemon. At least one viewing of Ratatouille. The adults made mountains of food and did mountains of dishes.

Adele and I had a brainstorm and made this cheesecake with cream cheese, yogurt, eggs, pancake batter, lemon zest and sugar. And a plethora of fresh fruit.  It was gone in 3 minutes. 

So Maya asked me to bring cream cheese, eggs, fruit and yogurt. Well, in the wilds of I-5, there is NOTHING but a Costco where one can get enough cream cheese, etc for the Great Flood. I bought a 48 ounce container of cream cheese. And yogurt. And 24 eggs.  So needless to say, we had no shortage of ingredients, except for the crust and no flour. We did have pancake batter which worked just fine. And ginger snaps which we crushed up for the crust after deciding that the date, crushed nuts idea was better as candy (and the kids agreed). So voila- we made a beautiful cheesecake that we were very proud of. 

We also put together two jigsaw puzzles, the second one in record time because Brian told us we'd never finish it. Who says I'm not competitive??

It was an artistic masterpiece of, um, unicorns, dolphins, and elephant, a camel, a rooster (?), pink fish, half-naked dancing girls---well, it was breathtaking. That girl Hazel is one of 'mine' and thats her momma and her big sister. Love them.

While searching for the 'best' puzzle to bring (ie. most tacky, with the most non-sequiturs) , I was standing in the big store in front of the display of jigsaws, from 50 piece to  2000 piece thangs. It was a toss-up between the row of dogs wearing hats and ties with binoculars and cameras around their necks and the aforementioned, uh, parade of nonsense. 

A lady of a certain age sidled up to me so we could talk jigsaws. She was admiring the variety and such. Then she asked what I did with the completed puzzle. Well, I put it back in the box?? Nope, she glued the puzzle together and hung it on her wall, in fact she had so many, she had to rotate them. Oh boy. I just couldn't tell her I was looking for the worst puzzles for our annual outing. That Adele and I have bonded over a puppy puzzle that had gerbils and butterflies in it.

Oh dear. 

It has cooled down in ye olde Seattle. I'm back at work soon enough. My house, dare I say it, is  approaching fulfillment and I can almost move my bed into the light-filled bedroom. Bathroom tiling this coming weekend (ach, Seafair with attendant deafening noise). 

Those beautiful people at the top of this post are my people. beloved people. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015


It is so hot here. The grass is brown and crinkly. I water my poor plants daily, sometimes twice.


I have finished floors and a working faucet in the bathroom. I've actually brushed my teeth and washed my face at the bathroom sink. Week after next, I'll have tile and a shower.

The katz are lying about limply. The dog and I go to the lake where we take turns swimming. He swims, I tie him up to a log and I go in, repeat. The trick is to get my core temp down enough so going home to my very hot house is bearable. Because the last owners installed windows that open sideways, I can't leave them open. Anyone can walk by, step over the sill and ta-da! Some day, I'll replace them. Is this the end times?

My blessed neighbors are allowing me to cut down the massive arbor vitae hedge that borders our property. This is so exciting. I'll have south light. The living room will lose it's gloom. As for the cave-bedroom where I've been living for the past year, I'll be moving my bed into sunlit digs soon enough. The gloom room will become a) my office where I'll never go, b) my meditation room where I will go once a day, or c) a spare bedroom which will be used occasionally and where the katz will undoubtedly sleep and get hair all over the cover.

Then there are the boxes which have been sitting around for a year, hither and thither. What's in them? Do I even care anymore?

I had a massage yesterday with a new person. She came in the room, all diminutive bits of her and she proceeded to give me the massage of my life, hoo-boy. She named off the muscles and attachments as she went, while I groaned and wept silently. My various parts were rearranged afterwards. I've been living with random aches and pains, taking the daily ibuprofen and ignoring the elbow, knee sacrum trifecta. Because I have to work. Because I can't stop just because things hurt. Because. I'll go see her again, of course. And add yoga to my routine. I have to move or else I freeze in weird shapes.

I fell into a heat swoon and took a wee nap just now. It's too frickin' hot in here so Felix and I are heading to the water.

Ah, Scotland...

Saturday, July 11, 2015

My dears:

Yes, that is stain on the floors. Next week, they'll be sealed. The last week of July, the tiling in the bathroom will be finished. Some of the lights work and some of the plumbing. I'm breathless with anticipation. 

I spread a yard of compost over the front yard and today I planted delphinium, ground cover, lilies, hebes, azalea and a few plants I thought were pretty and I don't know what they're called. I bought a new shovel. 

Dinner last night looked like this:

because of this sweet man (and giant cauliflower) and his wife, my friend Joanne:

A friend here in town has been given a grave diagnosis so I'll be helping out. My sangha has gotten good at phone trees and potlucks and rides to the doctor. 

For two days after getting home, I wept at the slightest provocation. Raw, I felt raw. Not just jet-lag but raw to the touch. And gradually, my skin has grown back and I'm beginning to feel more normal. Waiting to attend a birth, probably tomorrow. 

Brevity. That's what I'm so present to. The days fly by, plants grow and bloom and wither and die back. Those bloody block houses are springing up everywhere in our town to house the influx of techies, blots in the neighborhoods of modest two bedroom bungalows, all with low profiles and outdated kitchens. My electrician who has faithfully worked on this house for the past year told me a developer bought a lot on her street and a month later, there was a completed block house, at an inflated price. No yard, no porch, just a featureless block with windows. I've attended births in those houses and in condos where the space is all vertical, three floors with a room on each floor. Surely there is a better way to house people in dense neighborhoods. 

Then there's a house like this in Scotland. Did I mention, I left my heart in Scotland and no, not because of the whisky but because of this:

And this:

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Eden going for a Yorkshire pudding and declaring, "Mom, I've made a terrible mistake."

Saturday, July 04, 2015


I staggered up the hill from the light rail with about 435 pounds of luggage because, of course, I came back with more than I left with. My filthy white dog greeted me at the door but he is lying limply on the floor because it is feckin' hot in Seattle.

Apparently, animal control visited while I was away. And I found ANOTHER complaint from a 'neighbor' about my dog running in their yard ???????????? WTF??? He wasn't even HERE.  My dog person had him for three weeks. Naturally, I'm terrified they'll come and take him away.  This is the third complaint. The first time I had dog(s) so I called them and told them I have one fenced-in dog. The second time He was on the neighbor's property (?) so I stopped walking him down the street. Does someone not like me? He does bark at people who walk by but he's behind a fence, sheesh.


Anyway, I'm too tired to post any pictures but I will. I'm moving to Scotland  because it is gorgeous. Paris was, well, Paris and full of French people. London was the same, only full of English people. Some many beautiful places we visited. Hanging with my girls was fun too but man, I'm really tired right now and I think it's the middle of the night where I just was so I think I'll have a lie down and tell you more stories when I've sorted myself out (and sorted out the dog).

Dear neighbor who is complaining about Felix,

Come talk to me, ok? I'm sure we can work this out. He's harmless but loud. I have a sturdy fence. What the hell is your problem?


Beth the responsible dog owner