Friday, December 30, 2016

I've taken my first typhoid pill and picked up all my other meds AND I got a cortisone shot in my knee and it's heavenly, so heavenly to walk around with no pain. My angelic doctor (who is 6' 5, fresh-faced, with white teeth and luscious complexion) says I can have a shot every three months. Okey dokey.

If I can be pain free for a while, I'm a happy camper. Hooray for modern medicine.

In other news, my beloved daughter left this morning to drive back to the Bay Area with the most beautiful grandson child, my Milo. He's 6 feet tall and so sweet. He hugs me and tells me he loves me. Nothing better.

This afternoon is devoted to feeding homeless kids with my peeps. There may be a lotta folks showing up to cook and serve. At this time of year, people want to help out, you know. July is a little harder...

I leave pretty soon. Yikes.

I say love everyone harder and better. And have a blessed New Year. Felix says Woof.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Heavenly noise

My Dad taught us all to sing together but we didn't sound like this.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Friday, December 09, 2016

I'm reading How to Survive a Plague


they tore down your house
the section 8
you remember
the grungy wall-to-wall
peeling blue paint
they're making way
new housing for the new rich invading our town

I'm getting confused
you lived there with Sheila
before you went to the Bay area
came back with AIDS

you shared needles
you said
you came back depressed
we took turns
taking you in
you cried all the time
you cried all week
we had no idea what to do for you
with you

but  I remember your legs, your messed up legs
sometimes you were in a chair
sometimes you walked with canes
didn't stop you from tubing with the kids
the Rainier trip when we did a 360 coming off the mountain
Eden crying in the back seat
clatter of skiis and snowshoes
me yelling, "we're fine, we're fine!!"

after you moved uptown
you got a tarantula
cats who ran after toys you tied to a fishing rod

you got sick
you got very sick
you spent more and more time in the hospital
you just missed out on the whole 'living with AIDS' thing
the drugs you took caused you to suffer
we were all helpless

your great heart wouldn't let you die
for a long time
you gave away your dog
three legged Tripod
he was getting old
you didn't have the energy anymore

I missed your funeral by a day
I went to the hall
no lights on

so I went to the lake with my photos of you
my pocket of stories
about your generosity
your way with children
your anger
your sadness
I lit the pictures with my lighter
let them settle on the water

and as you signed your letters and cards I said-

In love and rage,


Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Sunday, December 04, 2016

I've downloaded my visa and talked with the travel nurse about meds and shots. They warn you not to get into a car accident and wear a helmet if you're on a bike. I think I'll be walking up and down stairs between the kitchen and the temple, which is at the top of a hill (?) small mountain (?). I have to order white blouses, a light blanket (nights are chilly), bug repellant, a shawl impregnated with fierce bug spray. So far I've got powdered tooth stuff, a foldy toothbrush, and a bar of soap that doubles as shampoo. In lieu of cutting my hair, I'm gonna wear it up, pin it up and forget about it. Fourteen hours of practice, holy moley. It is intimidating. And no food after twelve noon. Hoo boy..

I'm avoiding the news. I know it's bad. It doesn't help to know. At least Obama's administration stopped the pipeline at Standing Rock.

And then there's this:

And this:

Today, like every other day, 
we wake up empty
and frightened. 
Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading. 
Take down a lute.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and
kiss the ground.
~ Rumi

Dearest hearts. May we all be well. May we be free from suffering.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

I washed the floors, vacuumed, washed the dog (!), made cranberry sauce, Hollyhock dressing and a three berry pie, did laundry, cleaned the bathroom and took a windy walk with my dear Holly and said dog.

I fear I've invited half the city to my house and they're all coming. I don't have enough chairs or plates or forks. The turkey and salmon are in the fridge, waiting for tomorrow. Those are easy.

I leave for Burma on the 9th of January. My visa came through. I forgot to make an appointment with the knee doc but will do it Friday if I remember.

I will give thanks tomorrow for all the beauty in my life. And I will love my friends and family always.

Annie called and told me her breasts aren't sagging, they're resting.

Amen, sister.

Monday, November 14, 2016

This morning I got up very early to swim in my local pool. I got there in the dark and the parking lot was strangely empty. Hmmm. I went in and a nice young lady was sitting at a card table by the door to the pool. As I approached her, she said the pool was closed because the underwater lights weren't working. So like any mentally healthy person six days after the worst election IN THE WORLD,  I burst into tears. She reared back in alarm and gave me a free ticket to the pool at a later date... I sobbed my way out to the car and drove back home so I could shower for work. As I sat in front of my house weeping on my steering wheel, I reached a moment of clarity. Perhaps I wasn't really upset about the pool. Maybe it was for all of it and I've been holding myself from having a monumental cry over the whole damn thing. Yeah, that's probably it.

I visited a new momma a few days ago and her dog bit me. Uh, I did take it as a sign. I got a tetanus shot and had a very sore arm for a while.

I'm wearing a friggin' safety pin on my clothes.

A newly pregnant mom told me today in clinic that after 15 years, she and her husband decided to get pregnant and they did. And all the joy she was feeling has gone, like a light being extinguished.

Meanwhile my friends of color are being openly harassed on the streets of my liberal town. God only knows what's happening elsewhere. We're all so afraid.

My dreams are full of dread. And when I wake, they don't disappear. They trail me all day, ghostly and menacing.

Dear Leonard, We miss you awful.

Friday, November 11, 2016

In the Buddhist canon, change is the only constant. No point in getting attached to things because they will inevitably change. We didn't foresee the magnitude of this change, however. And we've been stunned, saddened, grief stricken in a way I can't remember ever feeling before in this here country. I was much younger when the 60's happened and we endured a series of it's global shocks.

We're talking and talking. We're envisioning the possibilities, the dire possibilities. Cabinet appointments, ghaaaa. The Supreme Court appointments. All the modest gains we've made for the good of all. We've talked it into the ground. Sure, we'll wait and see.

I bought a ticket to Burma yesterday. I'll be gone a month. I'll miss the inauguration. I'll be in a monastery with monks and nuns.

Life rolls along. Babies come and bring their angelic joy.

I don't have anger. I do have oceans of sadness. I cry easily and often. I live in a blue state but that will not save the planet.

There is gonna be marching in the streets, y'all.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

The worst has happened.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

This election is freaking me out. I voted. I'm going to stop watching the polls. I have an escape plan, sort of.

Monday, October 17, 2016

It's been a while. I'm ironing. My mother taught me to iron my father's shirts. With starch. Ug. I got pretty good.

I was on retreat all last week on Samish Island. Beautiful windy place with a heron roosting site, bald eagles, seals and deer, all of which I saw. I slept 12 hours a day and then sat in the meditation hall nodding out. Really pathetic. I brought 'natural' M & Ms to munch while trying to read by flashlight.

I met people who have been to the Burmese temple where I'm going in January. My right knee is giving me fits so I'm going to see a sports medicine doc on my dime to see if I can get injections to help it out while I'm gone traipsing around a foreign country with a backpack. I have fear and trembling to go by myself. I was supposed to do this sort of adventuring when I was young but I was busy with babies.

My sister is in a secure treatment center while they try to figure out the right cocktail of drugs to get her stabilized so her depression lessens. I talked with her today and she sounds ok.... The family illness scurries around our brains. Being across the country is so frustrating. Helpless. The subtext to this post. The worry that she won't be able to right herself. The guilt she feels that she can't be 'normal'. Our collective family curse. At least she told her AA sponsor to fuck off. Nope, this doesn't get fixed with prayer and giving it up to a higher power.


Michelle Obama is my personal guru. And a Saint for the people. Because she's beautiful and fierce and she tells the truth.

Monday, October 03, 2016

My MIL apartment is done. No more contractors or painters. It's weird. Now it's just cleaning the house, doing laundry and cooking (too much food) for myself and my friends.

Yes, I watched the debate. Gawd.

I've been spending time hiking in the fall mountains, very beautiful. Last week I worked out to the edge of expiring and then hiked for 8+ miles. I couldn't really walk. I got good at moaning.

Yesterday I went to a Men in Dance performance and watched two men draw hopscotch squares on the sidewalk and then dance within the squares. They were obviously having a blast, throwing chalk and chalk dust at each other.

I've hired a lawyer to help me transition my business. What will I do with my time if I retire? I think I'll stay involved in clinic but I won't do births anymore. The thought of sleeping all night sounds so delicious. Although I have such a problem with insomnia now because of disrupted sleep forever. There is my book to write.

The Burma retreat is getting closer. I still haven't paid for airfare yet. Just paid property taxes, ouch.

Doing the math endlessly. Social security, rent from the MIL, payments from the sale of the business. Then there's Medicare supplemental and what if the car breaks or the roof leaks? Gha... How do people figure this out?

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Greed, hatred, delusion: the three poisons

Part One

What kind of dog is that?
 A poodle.

He's got a fish hook in his scales.

Part Two

Why do you care?

Part Three

Well, it's nice to be home with the folks.

At least we get a free vacation.

(all overheard today in sunny Seattle)


Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Where I just was.

Say what you want but the NW is one fine and beautiful place. Yes it is. I slept for 12 hours straight in my tent under the stars. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

We had a birth recently that brought me to a new place of surrender and humility. My partner was 'catching' and I was assisting but hanging back to be the scribe while the students were taking heart tones and being ready for the baby.

With some difficulty the baby was born (big child!) and wasn't breathing; floppy and blue. After drying him, and encouraging the parents to talk to him, I stepped in with the bag and mask to inflate his lungs so his respiratory center would kick in and he'd begin to breathe. But he didn't. He started up a bit and then stopped. One student was listening and told me there was air going in. It's a mess, resuscitating a baby, equipment flying and palpable tension in the room. I could feel the sweat running down my face. At some point I asked for 911 to be called. I suctioned him a few times and bagged him some more. He was struggling to breathe, eyes open but unseeing.

And then I had an experience of timelessness or transcendence, I'm not sure. He and I had an unspoken dialog while I mentally reviewed a case of a baby who was stillborn a few years earlier. I told the baby it was ok to go or stay, with great love in my heart. I told him we would grieve for him if his time was brief but I was standing in the place to help him if he was going to come and live. I wasn't attached to the outcome, not afraid of the consequences if he died. I was merely a servant to his process, applying what I knew to do when there is respiratory distress. But there was no fight in me, only acceptance.

I have learned so many things in the years I have been a midwife; about relationships and parenting and love and struggle. I have technical skills that feel second nature to me now. And still. This baby brought me such a profound teaching. When he began to breathe and cry, we knew we weren't out of the woods, not yet. The aid car arrived and the nice men in the big black shoes took him away to the hospital where he was deemed fine to return to his home with his anxious parents.

When I visited them the next day, I held him on my lap and we had another silent talk. I welcomed him to his new life. I wished him well.

I called a close midwife friend and asked her why do we continue to do this work when it asks so much of us. This is what she said:

"Why we do this work: I recently helped a woman who started her pregnancy at 340 pounds. Her friends and family said there was no way she could have an out of hospital birth. They said she wasn't in good enough health and she didn't have the stamina to pull it off. She ate a wonderful diet, walked every day and completed her pregnancy at 304 pounds. She had a 4 hour labor, a 12 minute pushing phase and no postpartum hemorrhage. At 2 weeks postpartum she weighs 285 pounds, is nursing beautifully and couldn't be happier.

Another thought to ponder... those of us who went to the school of 'Have one, see one, do one.' We owe a debt to the goddess that walked beside us while relative ignorance, but with strong passion decided to reclaim birth as the true initiatory process that it is. Can you remember the mixture of confidence and fear that we took to those very first totally hippie births? No running water, school buses, yurts, a little magic, and worn out copy of Hearts and Hands or Special Delivery as our only source of information. We were pioneers returning birth to the Sacred Circle of women. No way can I let go of that."


Amen, sister.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

I just ordered a dehydrator. For a plum explosion I just had in my house. My fridge is bursting.

There are new windows in my living room. The basement is nearing completion. As soon as the apartment is done, I'm renting that puppy. Money needs to flow in this direction, this way toward me instead of the outgoing tide. Y'know?

I despair of ever retiring. It will happen one day.

The heat was on in my living room this morning. Wha???? Fall approaches.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Pear sauce for days

I'm mostly a farm wife.

Thursday, August 04, 2016


There are horrid Blue Angels in the sky, Felix is wearing a 'thunder shirt' for anxiety and some nice men are installing new windows in my house. One of them grew up here but his mama was from Georgia so he has a southern accent. It is music to my ears, the slower syllables and the easy rhythms-reminds me of grits and sweet tea and key lime pie. And the languid noontime activities, sitting on the screened in porch doing nothing.

My counter is covered with unripe pears from my neighbor across the street. He doesn't use them or eat them and he told me to help myself. Pear sauce for all!!

Made four packets of pesto this morning, the basil was starting to bolt so I picked it all and spent the morning picking leaves and blessing my cuisinart. I swear, after the dishwasher, the cuisinart is the best invention in the world. I do have some lust in m heart for a kitchenaid that does everything. A yellow one to match my kitchen.

I watched the conventions. Well, I couldn't stand to watch the RNC so I listened to bits on the radio. I did watch the DNC and boy, that Obama is one beautiful man. And he has a beautiful wife. As for the rest of the ongoing shit show, I have no words except disbelief. And sorrow.

I am making an extra effort to be kind and generous to all folks I encounter. My neighborhood had their annual 'Night Out' where we pull out the barbecue and bring potato salad and a store bought cheesecake and we hang out. My hood is everyone; Black, white, asian, hispanic. And we find out who lives down the street and which one of us has the black puppy and who has a fig tree in their back yard.

It's time to hit the lake for a swim. I'm lucky enough to be getting a massage and adjustment this afternoon. My body is getting old, I'll tell you what. And my work is tough on me sometimes. Keep moving is the trick, I think. As long as nothing hurts too much. The lake is vast and wonderful and I'll be able to see Mt Rainier while I swim. And maybe an eagle.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Y'all, making blackberry jam and listening to Tina Turner. BTW, don't pick blackberries in your shorts.  My legs were BLEEDING.

Monday, July 11, 2016

While women were moving all of my ex's stuff out of my house (no, we never lived together, don't ask), I went for a very long hike to Annette Lake in the Cascades. Poor trail, overused by too many hikers, deep ruts and exposed roots. But beautiful. Many dogs.

Judith and I got caught up. We've known each other for 30 years. Sheesh.

Felix alternated between barking at ***anything*** and running back and forth to greet random hikers and their hiker dogs. Much mud on the trail so he came back bi-colored-white on top, black underneath.

Then read the horrible news in the NYT which I'd somehow managed to avoid during the week. I fear for us all. How to care for my tiny bit of the planet. How to hold the sadness and the despair.

Worked a 12 hour clinic day and now two women are in labor. I'm trashed from yesterday so I'm going to sleep and wait for a call.

Between the guns and the violence and the hatred and the presidential "campaign", I have nothing coherent to say. I bring in the babies. I try to be kind to their parents. I witness so much love and adoration in my job, I am humbled.

Life, somehow, goes on.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Independence Day. Today the dawg and I went to town for breakfast and a romp on the beach where he got covered with sand. He was sand colored, no really. So back at the ranch, we had a shower together. Mournful dog, standing under the shower head, feeling so beleaguered and plagued by warm water and shampoo.


In town I went to find a calendar and a Quan Yin for Jude's sweet home. There was a crystal/incense/chime-y store (you know the type) with the most enormous brown poodle lying around in the Edgar Cayce section. I thought he was a dog Buddha. The store owner encouraged me to bring Felix in to meet him. So, foolishly, I did. They barked, growled and sniffed each other. Felix spent some time baring his teeth at monster poodle who was being, well, saintly. So Felix pooped ON THE FLOOR of the store. Gawd. I took my calendar and Quan Yin and got outa there.

It was recommended that I go to a certain cafe for breakfast at the end of town on the pier. When I got there, there was a line and being a single gal, I thought, I'll be ignored so I turned to leave. Sitting by the counter was Peggy, my midwife buddy from forever ago. So I sat down in front of her and when she stopped yipping, she invited me to order and to meet to her new guy (who put away a  prodigious amount of food, whoa) and we proceeded to tell birth stories and such. At the end, I scored a bite of steak for the dawg and two pieces of carrot cake from the back of Peggy's car. And here I was, thinking that this town is sure cute and quaint and a retirement possibility. However, it's mighty white, as in no POC, not any that I saw today.

It's early, overcast and I'm in Jude's pink bathrobe with clean hair, listening to music and looking out at the forest. On the way back to here, there was a deer by the road munching away. Common enough occurrence around here, I'm sure, but a sign that Rebecca's animal gods are watching over us fractured humans.

Sunday, July 03, 2016


Thanks to my sweet Jude, I'm in a snug apartment in the woods by Port Townsend far away from the inevitable fireworks. The dog is panting and watching me, after we romped on a horse trail behind the cabin. There's no TV and the noise is mostly birds and wind in the trees. The owners live in the house across the way. They've got two big gentle dogs that Felix ran with.

We did have to wait for the ferry, a fact of life here in the NW. It was pretty pleasant with the NYT to read and treats to snack on.

Tomorrow I think we'll venture into town for breakfast and a long walk on North Beach, on the Strait of Juan De Fuca where there is an off-leash dog part. Felix will run his heart out and get full of sand. And tomorrow night, we'll see how noisy it actually is out here.

I'm full of gratitude to be here, away from the mad city. And work. And constant demands because of work. Time to continue to mend my heart. And meditate. Read and write.

Thinking about the kitty R adopted. Lucky critter because R has great compassion for the wounded and lost. This temporary life! As inexplicable as my actions regarding Houston are to her, I'm sure, it was an act of mercy for both of us. No harm if we are not together. I'm not interested in airing the particulars here. It's not an 'I'm right, she's wrong' situation. It's my pursuit of a peaceful and harmonious life that is most important now. At this age. I think I can have that. For the time remaining to me. Twenty years? Twenty months? Twenty minutes?

Now the trees are swaying and whispering outside the windows. Blessed forests, living and dying all together. O to be alive right now. Lucky, I'm very lucky.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Yesterday I made an entire blueberry pie for a friend and she took one piece home because we planned to eat pie after dinner but the restaurant where we ate gave us free dessert. All because one of the waitstaff was a mom we delivered. And she had to give us free dessert. Anyhoo.

So I'm stuck with an enormous almost whole pie. So just now because Kenny mowed my parking strip, he got a piece. And my next door neighbors Carol and Richard got two pieces. Carol asked me why and I told her because I love her. She admitted that as soon as I was gone from her yard, she would be eating both pieces because, after all, what Richard doesn't know won't hurt him.

I've had a piece for lunch and so there is much less pie. Holly and I are hiking tomorrow and I'm sure she'd like a piece.

So there you have it. Pie all around. If Cliff were home across the street, he'd get some. Well, too bad for him.

I visited the latest baby this morning-Marcus Langston Rivers. Now that's a name to be borne high and well. Right now he's a wee boy so he'll have to grow into his honorable name. His mother is, frankly, a queen. And I told her so.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Dear ones-It's Pride Sunday in Seattle and the sky is a clear blue.

I'm not going to the parade. I'm going dancing with a few friends and then I think I'll take the dog somewhere for a walk.

I'm not getting married. I am, once again, a single person. I'm very sad about this but it was my decision to end it. As the months have gone by, it was clear that we couldn't communicate easily. There was too much drama. I began to be anxious and fearful and those feelings grew and grew. Yuck. I really tried. I feel so much relief and so much sorrow.

I would like to be partnered. I have learned that after this experience. I was fine before I met H and I will be again. I'm very grateful that she didn't move in, that we didn't marry. I'm free to think my own thoughts and have my own opinions without someone else criticizing or judging. Her need to control was greater than her fervent desire to be open hearted and vulnerable. Being with her brought up  old family patterns that are no longer useful. Like stepping out of a dark prison into the light.

Yesterday a friend and I went for a gorgeous hike that took us far away from Seattle. The mountains is where I pray. And heal.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Angelic Mount Rainier

On Sunday, Holly and I hiked Rampart Ridge in the park and O it was glorious.

This sky is for all our darlings who died in Orlando. This is what we believe.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

I would like to go here tomorrow. Any objections?

You can stay overnight here too. 


Monday, June 13, 2016

Home from a candlelight vigil for those who have died and those injured in Orlando.

When I came out, the gay bar was the one place where we could go and feel safe, free, loved, ourselves, our true selves.

This morning I heard the news on the radio and what I saw was a Florida bar filled with beautiful men and women, dancing and flirting. Beautiful men with their shirts off. Women with tattoos and cowboy boots. Dancing with their sweethearts. Dancing because it's what you do on Saturday night/Sunday morning during Pride month. The sheer animal joy of moving to the music.

And then a man with an assault rifle took it all away. Killed and maimed over a 100 people. All that beauty gone.  My gay brothers and sisters. Men and women who came out to their families ( or haven't come out to their families) with fear and worry. And some families embrace their gay children. Some don't. Maybe they were out at their jobs, maybe they hid who they were.

But the bar, the dance floor where they could move and express and feel such joy to be alive as they really are. To have that violated.

I spent the day with my loved ones, my queer friends, my girlfriend. I needed to be with my people. We are hated. We are feared. And sometimes we are killed in horrific ways. Like today.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Apple pie in the oven, salad from the garden (!) and halibut wrapped in foil for the barbecue. Waiting for the company to get here. I am on a mission to make good crust. There are recipes for crust with egg in them, WTF. I didn't do that. Flour, butter, ice cold water and my granite countertop, yeah. Butter crust smells mighty good.

The back porch is hot, very hot.

Gotta get the MIL finished. My contractor is off on another job so naturally I'm anxious about him returning and finishing before August 1st. Plus I can't go down there without hazmat and a mask. Sheesh.

Sarah Vaughan has an astounding voice, yes she does. Jesus, her phrasing. I put the ole I-tunes on genius so I'm listening to stuff I don't usually cue up. DAMN. She can hold a note and then drop you off a cliff.

The 'o' on my keyboard is stiff. There's probably crumbs, dust, a very small mouse underneath it.

Lettuce is starting to bolt, as are the collards. We had a good run, the collards and I. Time to plant more.

Anxiety my old friend. Working with 'difficulty as teacher'. Bla.

Hi sister in Florida. See you in September!!! Looking forward to it.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Still in bed, feeling slightly guilty about it. Finally out of the woods financially, I think. I wrote a whole bit about the problem and just deleted it all. Can't talk about the details. It's been nip and tuck, I can tell you that. (my mother's expression)

Today I head to the basement to clear out the mess and do a dump run (fun!) Rick is doing a great job down there but damn, what a messy guy. My other contractors have been quite tidy, cleaning as they go but Rick, sheesh. Anyway, he's at another job so I can get down there and do some work.

We've had a major bunch of babies recently, running from one birth to another. I had the pleasure of seeing two babies for their final six week visits. I caught them and their older siblings. Very special.

It's gray and overcast here, a typical NW day.

After 47 years, my sister and I are good friends. That is, I believe, a miracle.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A day in the life:

Got to clinic to start the day. One midwife was already at a home birth with the student so I'm alone. Charts haven't been pulled. That's ok, I can figure that out. The laundry is upstairs unfolded but I'll get to that when I have a moment. I check messages to see if anyone has cancelled or needs to reschedule or wants to make a new appointment. Nope, all quiet.

My schedule opens up because the gal in labor had an appointment. My receptionist arrives and and listens to messages that came in while I was with clients. A dad has called to report that his wife is in labor and left the message on VM. Gawd. That was an hour before. I call him and he tells me she's very uncomfortable and is trying to poop but she can't (!!!!!!!!!!). I tell them to get to the clinic ASAP and I run around preparing a room, calling the third midwife to come in and seeing if the student can come from the other birth. I drag my equipment and scrubs into the clinic. And wait. And wait. We're standing by the window waiting for the family to arrive. Finally they do. She's not pushing, has plenty of time to go before the baby arrives. I go back to my clinic visits after the other midwife arrives.

I hear Lynn calling our receptionist from upstairs. Sounds urgent. Soon I hear an ambulance coming for the mom. The baby's heart tones are very low and they need to get her to the hospital NOW. Off they go, sirens wailing. Crash c/sec with a crying baby. Whew. The dad never even got into the building because he was parking the car while she was rushed into surgery.

Sheesh. After all that, we reassure ourselves that all is well. The dad should have called the answering service, thank god Justine listened to messages as soon as she got to clinic and I insisted that she come to the clinic immediately because she sounded like she was in active labor (or getting ready to push)....Gawd.

What a crazy job. What a crazy life.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Here in cloudy San Francisco with Maya and Milo  for Mother's Day. We're getting the greatest   response on our Facebook page from old clients with pictures of their little ones here .

Today we're gonna head for the beach even though Milo has a mountain of homework. Negotiations are currently underway.

I've received my current dosage of Dansko shoes from Maya. I deliberately left space in my luggage to bring them all back to Seattle. I wonder if there are Dansko sniffing dogs at the airport.

Breakfast is ready and I didn't cook it!!!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Dear ones,
We're in glorious Vancouver BC for the marathon. I'm only running/walking the 8 K because the 1/2 marathon is, frankly, a bit too much. So I downgraded today. As long as I don't come in last, I'll be happy.

I have arthritis in my right knee, y'all. I saw the sports medicine guy at my clinic and that's the news.  So I don't need dire surgery and recovery etc. The pain will come and, heat, aspirin. Somehow, I'm comforted knowing what it is. No more squats. Running not the wisest exercise. But I can do lots of other stuff.

Vancouver is a gorgeous city, ringed by mountains and water. There is a lot of $$ here, lots of wealthy young people in fancy cars and expensive clothes. Probably $$ from mom and dad. It's an interesting phenomenon, a second gilded age. There is always going to be greed, hatred and delusion in the human community. There is also going to be generosity, kindness and compassion. We make choices every day to be kind;  to notice our world in all it's diversity and sorrow and splendor.

My home sits on the Duwomish greenbelt and during sangha we acknowledge the debt we owe to a people who no longer have a land base. The trees I see from my back yard are newer trees. Of course the old growth trees are all gone. These trees are descended from the old giants. There are several streams that run through my little area too. My neighbor saw a coyote, a pair of hawks are nesting right below me and there are chickens that are backyard fugitives, wild chickens. Ivy has wrapped itself around many trees but the city and neighborhood school kids are helping to reclaim the woods, planting native plants and removing blackberry and ivy.

Eating from the garden now and it is such pleasure. To plant seeds in the earth that come up and become leaves and flowers and fruit. Next time I'd like to be a gardener. Gardeners just facilitate what is in constant motion, the life and death cycles of what lives all around us. Like midwives for plants. That's what I'd like to do next. Just remind me to wear gloves. I'm always forgetting.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Up after an all-nighter. I want to eat a hotdog. I won't because I don't eat hotdogs but I smell mustard and when I've been at a birth all night I have weird food cravings.

Baby Evie was a whopper at 9# 5oz. A lovely pink and chubby baby.

I've slept for about 4 hours so I'm up and pondering the day.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I told betsy about this but I felt I should share it here.

There are bunnies in my neighborhood. After Easter, when everyone is tired of the bunny they got from Grandma, the bunnies are released to the GREAT OUTDOORS where they will presumably thrive and eat grass and newly planted vegetable starts.

I came home one night and a bunny was hopping about in my front yard. Then I saw a black and white bunny across the street. And finally, Felix and I often go into the alley to run and chase balls (well felix does anyway) and we found a smashed bunny.

We have been visiting the flattened bunny frequently and I can report that over time, decomposition happens. At first the flat bunny was recognizable as a rabbit but after a few days there was more fur and less, um, insides. Felix is mildly  interested in all the unraveling activity but because the bunny is essentially inert, he moves on to balls and other dogs who are barking at him from their yards.

And that, dear friends, is how it goes. We get run over and over time, we turn back into dirt. I expect we will continue to visit the flat bunny until there is nothing left except a bit of fur. O, the wonders of the microbiome!

Another unseasonably warm day in the NW. Creepy to have 80+ degrees in April. The apple trees are confused.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Just registered for a three week retreat in Burma next January. Hour long sits, beginning at 3:30 in the morning, two meals a day, no food after 12 noon, sitting and walking 10 hours a day.

What have I done???

First class airfare to Myanmar is $11,000+ round trip. Steerage is about $1,400. Uh, no contest. I'll just endure the billions of hours in the air, doubled over my tray table, pretending to sleep.

I owe two friends money. I borrowed from them last month in order to make payroll. Very scary. I've never had to borrow money before, not for my business. And I was ashamed that I had to ask for help. But they both offered, so willingly.

Now I feel like I have no business going half way around the world to sit in a monastery for three weeks. But I've gone and done it. As long as I keep up my end and pay my friends off in 2 years..hoping to be done in a year.

In other news, I'm cooking in my kitchen and I want to think I'll never take kitchens for granted again. Acres of countertops. Little drawers of silverware and knives. ****a dishwasher****

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


We had three baby girls in the last three days. Lovely sweet births with lovely sweet families. And spring is on here in the NW. I picked lilacs and hyacinths in my alley across from my house and they are fragrance from my childhood-------------- Grandma Leiber used to baby sit us kids and she'd bring a huge bunch of lilacs to my mother, wrapped in tin foil.

She called our hands 'patties'. We were to wash our patties before dinner.

I'm so tired but it's good, a good tired.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Tonight we went to the cinema and watched 'Live From the Met'-Madame Butterfly and it was gorgeous and heartbreaking and during the intermissions some opera lady interviewed the principal singers and the noh dancers who moved puppets around magically. There was one singer who is singing all the Queen roles-Ann Boleyn, Elizabeth and Mary, Queen of Scots and she was interviewed too. She had, um, really bad hair and Houston and I laughed so hard we were snorting and crying and misbehaving so that Kristi kept scolding us.

Her hair was trying to leave her head.

I'm waiting on a baby. Story of my life.

I planted beets and fennel today. I can't tell you how much I love growing veggies right next to my house. When they get big enough, I can go out and pick dinner.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

I ran/walked across the 520 bridge, the longest floating bridge in the world. Honest. The Guinness Book of  World Records was in town.

There must have been 30,000 people attending, including babies in strollers.

I got a tee-shirt. I came in before my friends who are 20+ years younger than I am.

I am still a badass even though I 'm pretty sure I have arthritis in my knee and in my right toe joint.

My kitchen is done and I have actually cleaned my house, except for my office. Save the best for last, as they say. I made banana bread last night. In my new kitchen . It was miraculous.

Plus most of my flowering trees and plants are, um, flowering. Also miraculous.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Once in a great while, I read a poem I wish I had written.
Like this:
He stood alone in my backyard, so dark
the night purpled around him.
I had no choice. I opened the door
& stepped out. Wind
in the branches. He watched me —
his eyes kerosene blue.
What do you want, I asked, forgetting I had
no language. He kept breathing,
to stay alive. But I was a boy
then. Which meant I was a murderer
of my childhood. & like all murderers, my god
was stillness. My god, he was still
there. He looked like something prayed for
by a priest with no mouth. The green-blue lamp
swirled in its socket. I didn’t
want him. I didn’t want him
to be beautiful — but needed beauty
to be more than hurt gentle
enough to hold. So I
reached for him. I reached — not the bull
but the depth. Not an answer but
an entrance the shape of
an animal. Like me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

My current kitchen

 I have no idea where the cat is. Felix is in the bedroom because he would be bouncing around and barking with joy that there were several MEN in the house who could a) throw a ball or some skeechy dog toy b) give him a part of a sandwich or c) pet him and scratch behind his ears.

The main guy told me they might not be done by today. The countertops are supposed to go in tomorrow. I don't at this time care. Because there is PROGRESS, I am delighted, overjoyed, ridiculously happy as I sit in my horrible dusty living room with all my kitchen detritus around me.

As in:

There is a kitchen sink in my future. And countertops. And drawers to put things. 

I still haven't opened the GS mint cookie box. I have self control. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

As a testament to my mental health, I have an UNOPENED box of thin mint Girl Scout cookies on the (incredibly dusty) piano. I bought them yesterday from the pet store lady who is shilling for her GS daughter.

I have, in my day, inhaled the entire box. In one go.

In case you can't read that, a 'serving size' is 4 cookies and 4 cookies = 160 calories. There are 8 'servings' per box so therefore, an entire box of cookies =1280 calories. Basically the majority of my caloric needs for the day. 


I can just go ahead and eat the whole box, take a few vitamins, drink some water and call it good.

I'm becoming a bit unhinged. If I don't get a kitchen this weekend, I might have a breakdown that won't be pretty. 

So y'all have been warned.

'Woman found passed out amidst a large pile of thin mint GS cookies. She was taken to Harborview where she remains under observation. Apparent GS cookie poisoning victim.'

Monday, March 14, 2016

March 20th is the day the people come with a truck and cabinets and countertops which they install with crown moulding and floor vents and drawer pulls. I will have a kitchen. Then the horrible mess that is my house can go back to semi-normal.

The basement/MIL is another issue but is being worked on as we speak. The bathroom is done and the wee kitchen has plumbing.

Now all I need is enough $$ to make payroll this month and life will be sweet. Every year, this month is a crunch with $$ and I freak out. Rolling anxiety, gnawing worry, etc etc. Then the checks start coming in again regularly and I relax.

In the meantime, I'm a hot mess. My sister told me a story about a person in her Overeater's Anonymous group who buttered her Oreos.

Right now I'm having a buttered Oreo kind of day.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Today was opera/spa day. A friend and I went to the movies for a "Live From the Met" of Puccini's Manon Lescaut. Ok, I blubbered my way through the third and fourth acts. She does die, after all. Gorgeous singing. And the production takes you back stage to watch scene changes and talk with the singers and the conductor. It was us and a lotta old people. I know, I am approaching the old people situation myself. All this for 20 bucks. Much cheaper than the real opera.

Then spa time. I"m squeezed, pressed, humidified and pulverized. With olive oil, cream, cucumbers and honey. Really. I taste sweet tonight.

When I got home, there was a bunny in my yard. Is he/she eating my plants? What to do? Last year it was moles. But bunnies? Dang.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

I've been looking at wedding dresses on-line. You can look like a cupcake, an hourglass or a slut in white. And so expensive!!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Since I am in the house with your basic rotten cold, I'm today making my way through all the Harry Potter films. It's several hours worth of entertainment. It's either that or Angels in America, a 6 hour extravaganza.

My fridge is stuffed with food, I have tinctures, tea, clean hankies and Felix at my knee. My sweetheart has been quite solicitous as well and my clinic schedule has been rearranged so I don't have to work for the next few days.

Tomorrow the workmen come back and the banging and hammering and sanding will begin again. Such is my little life.

Crocus are coming up as are the tulips. There are no daffodils but I'll remedy that in the fall. Buds are swelling on other plants and weeds are appearing as well. I have to admire weeds for getting an early start.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Uh-oh, maybe a cold is creeping up on me. I've been so healthy as my two partners have sickened and collapsed. We had seven babies in seven days plus clinics and home visits. And now we have a break with no one in dates, as they say. No one who is 37 weeks yet. Ah, a break. Time to get sick for a bit?

Downing elderberry tincture, astragalus and cough drops. And kombucha. I even bought a 'growler' of kombucha. I have no idea if it is really good for me but it is tasty.

Houston and I went to the ocean for my early birthday/Valentine's Day. Because we are idiots, we turned our backs on the ocean and the ocean obligingly sent in a large wave that knocked the dogs down and filled up our boots. This while the weather was blustery and rainy and cold. RaaJaa, the dachshund rallied valiantly but sheesh.  He's a shorty. We walked on the beach anyway while RaaJaa gave us the stink-eye. Honestly, we were soaked. We stopped to empty out our boots and squeeze out our socks. Of course the boots stayed wet the entire weekend.

The last Republican debate was the most amazing shit show. And that's all I'll say.

Watched a docu last night about the Freedom Riders in the the South in 1961. Incredible. I was eleven. Courage and bravery; multiple arrests and awful beatings. Young men and young women. Finally the Kennedys got involved and the National Guard.

The next push in the remodel saga. The basement has a new beautiful bathroom and doors and lighting. Hoorah. Next down there will be a kitchen and painting walls and ceilings. Then there's the upstairs kitchen. All kitchen stuff is spread around the house, ah yes. Covered with sheetrock dust. There is a new ceiling and a doorway has been eliminated. Most exciting are cabinets, countertops and a new sink, already paid for that will be installed in a day, very cheaply. Windows and the exterior will have to wait.

Ok, are these hot flashes or do I have a fever?


Wednesday, February 03, 2016

At a labor. Sitting in a bedroom in the dark listening to the mother breathing and moaning.

This job is crazy.

I live in the south end. The family lives way the hell and gone on the other side of the most rapidly growing city in the universe. AND there were school busses. AND accidents. AND it's raining (natch). I used up my curse words getting here. And I was saying not nice things about school children who were getting on/off the yellow busses.

Ok, be here now. Not in traffic anymore. Just here with this family and a new human.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I got myself to the gym this morning only to re-injure my neck. I had a pulled muscle that was all better, all gone and now it's back. Shit. I watched a film about Iris Apfel, the oldster with the giant round glasses and the outsized fashion sense. She said, "Well, you just live with pain, physical pain when you get to be 90".

Hard to accept. And I'm far from 90. I'm going to try running now. In the rain. I've signed up for a half-marathon in May and previously I would be training hard by now but I don't even know if I can run a block.

Time to call the chiropractor and the massage therapist.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Oh no.

Sitting in the birth center listening to a mother in labor. Poor dear. She came in at only 1 cm dilated and whopping contractions every three minutes. We stuck her in the tub and it helped a little. She got out and is lying on the bed but she's making a bunch of noise. Hopefully her youth and strength will get her through without needing any intervention.

So here's the blanket story:

When I was in Edinburgh last summer, I bought a beautiful shawl made of Scottish wool. There are sheep everywhere and I mean everywhere. I've worn it a few times for special occasions. Last week, I wore it over my coat and I thought I looked pretty damn chic.

In the coop, the deli woman said, "Oh, isn't it nice that we can wear blankets when it's cold out?" Blankets? This is not a blanket!!!!! Gawd, what a dork. I felt myself getting so offended, I couldn't even respond. A blanket, really???

Later I took it off at Houston's house and with my bag and computer I had it folded up and ready to put in the car. Off I went home at night. When I got there, I realized the shawl hadn't made it into the house. I looked everywhere. I looked in the car. I looked in all the closets, I looked in the car again. No shawl. I went to bed. (and btw, it's raining hard in the city). I text Houston to see if I left in in her house. Nope. In the morning I am on my way to work and I think, I'm going to see the spot where I parked last night and see if my shawl is there. Long shot, right? It's been pouring all night and we're talking the city. So I drive back to Houston's neighborhood, find my parking space and lo and behold (as my mother would say), there is my beloved shawl, on the curb, soaking wet. I snatch it up (it weighs 80 pounds), drape it over the back seat and go to work. When I get home that day, I hang it in the bathroom to dry. It's wool, right? Sheep get wet all the time and they dry out too.

I know, it's only an object, a thing. But I remember the shop where I bought it. Eden and I had walked through the entire town. We'd had a whiskey sample. We'd had lunch in a funny little veggie place. We'd seen bagpipers. We were a long way from home. So the Scottish shawl is back, washed thoroughly by the Seattle rain.

It is NOT a blanket.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Um, ages since I posted here. Christmas in the Bay area, lots of food was consumed including pogatcha (sp?), Hungarian cheesy biscuit things that were swimming in butter and a food event brought to you by Eden for Maya's birthday. It was a layered pasta, cheese, meatball, salami and red sauce situation wrapped in a pastry shell. Quite towering and indescribable. Since I'm not much of a meat person, I ate a bit of the cheese and sauce and let others have at the whole thing.

There was a bit of hiking in the gorgeous redwoods and dancing (natch) and Maya's surprise b'day party that was quite fun. I even spent time with my ex-husband without incident. And saw my brother and his wife. Harmony reigned.

Houston drove from Sacramento to meet my kids and walk over the Golden Gate bridge, something I've never done even though I once lived there. We walked together on a beautiful crisp sunny day. And Houston asked me to marry her. She had rings and everything. She said she was going to ask in front of my kids but lost her nerve.

Holy shit.

I cried and said yes and spent the rest of the day in a daze. Social media being what it is, random strangers now know. People want the date and time and location. Sheesh. We need some time to get adjusted to the idea. I have a remodel to finish. So we might be able to live together.

I'm very happy. This person I've known for five months makes me laugh. We finish each other's sentences. We are mad fiends for movies. We swim together. We're going skiing on Thursday. We're run/walking the Vancouver marathon in May. We have silly dogs. I miss her so much when we are apart. And we are apart frequently because we don't live together and we have busy lives and there is plenty we do separately.

She likes opera (!) Tomorrow night we're watching the latest Sherlock on the big screen (yeehaw!!!)

So I have a playmate and a buddy and a lover and a friend. Who I love and who loves me back. Amazing. At my sort of age.