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.