Saturday, July 11, 2009

Jungle garden

I continue to garden, although it seems that my garden could use some TLC to remove some weeds, and it's not orderly....but it is growing strong. Sunflowers are planted amidst the tomatoes, and the peas fell off the trellis because of their weight, and the strawberries have taken over their own section.....and it's great! We have lettuce every night, we have a big crop of fava beans to pick, and we have tomatoes galore but they're still green.

More help from Mary Oliver

A friend's mom is in hospice, and the social workers have told the family that, if they're ready, it would be helpful to release "mom" and tell her that it's okay to go; her time in this world is short.

Is any family ever ready for that news?

I am holding my friends close in my heart, and hoping that they will have strength and comfort in this difficult time.

Mary Oliver always helps, don't you think?

When Death Comes

When death comeslike the hungry bear in autumnwhen death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps his purse shut;when death comeslike the measle-pox;

when death comeslike an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering;what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everythingas a brotherhood and a sisterhood,and I look upon time as no more than an idea,and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouthtending as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and somethingprecious to the earth.

When it's over, I want to say: all my lifeI was a bride married to amazement.I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it's over, I don't want to wonderif I have made of my life something particular, and real.I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

~ Mary Oliver ~

Thursday, July 09, 2009


Ahhhh to be alive is lovely.

Today Elena is over and Tessa and Elena and I caught the bus downtown and met up with Michele and her sweet boys, and all of us saw an African dance skit (with drumming) called Kaleta, and then we walked a few blocks and saw another City Hall concert. The City Hall has a stage and chairs set up, but off to the side they also have a little fountain/wading pool area that the kids splashed around in, and there was a credit union handing out free beach balls to play with. The girls danced, the children splashed, the music played, and it was....lovely.

PB&J tastes much better in the sun, accompanied by friends and laughter and music.

We're home now, and Tessa and Elena have been playing in the wading pool, being total goofballs. (The pool is six years old now and still holding strong...Tessa can't lay flat in it any more but they use it for games and goofiness and just run in and out to stay cool. If they think it's's fun!)

Sarah & Leif came over for lemonade and conversation. Shep licked Leif, and Leif laughed, so Sarah and I laughed. A lot of laughter.

Next week Tessa will stay with my parents while she attends Pony Camp, and I will work like a maniac on the Hunts Point book. I will probably go downtown to work, because I get the most done at the library. (Ironic that I'd spend so much time there, but whatever works!)

Tonight Ryan's hanging with Paul, and Tessa and I will walk into the Junction to run errands like buying Mo a new collar.

It is a simple life. It is my life. I love the simple joys, and I am grateful for today. I will not take the sunshine for granted; I will not take any of it for granted today.

This is my best attempt at living mindfully, living in the present. I am not an enlightened being - if only! - but in these small moments I am certain that I can see something of the divine.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Hair pictures

On the YSC boards, we got to talking about hair. (Find a bunch of bald women, and you will find a discussion about hair.) I don't have many pictures of myself, and I should take a pic from the back to show how long it is, but here are some pics that show just how long 4 years worth of hair is.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Poem of the Day

The Ponds
Mary Oliver

Every year
the lilies
are so perfect
I can hardly believe

their lapped light crowding
the black,
mid-summer ponds.
Nobody could count all of them -

the muskrats swimming
among the pads and the grasses
can reach out
their muscular arms and touch

only so many, they are that
rife and wild.
But what in this world
is perfect?

I bend closer and see
how this one is clearly lopsided -
and that one wears an orange blight -
and this one is a glossy cheek

half nibbled away -
and that one is a slumped purse
full of its own
unstoppable decay.

Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled -
to cast aside the weight of facts

and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking

into the white fire of great mystery.
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing -
that the light is everything - that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and fading. And I do.

More height restrictions

Tessa knew that she needed to be certain heights to go on Disney rides. Well.... looks like she can go on almost everything now.
If she gets one inch taller, she can go on rides that make me sick just thinking about them. :-)

If only we had the winning Lotto ticket! :-)

Booster seats

I was getting behind in my safety knowledge (who, ME?!) and decided to look up booster seat info. Here is what I found:
It says:

Recent research suggests that boosters with a back
are more protective than those without a back, particularly in side impacts.

...but goes on to say:
Backless boosters are lightweight and inexpensive, so they are a reasonable choice for carpooling, play dates, and public
distribution programs. A backless booster should not be used unless the child is able to sit upright throughout the trip and
the child’s head is supported by the vehicle seatback.

I remember the seatbelt rubbing my neck when I was a kid, so I would tuck the shoulder strap behind; I also remember removing the shoulder strap so that I could lay down to sleep in the back seat (with the lap belt around me). I guess Tessa's booster seat "wings" will keep her upright, because now I know better.

Tessa is 47 inches and 44 pounds, so I thought maybe it was time to let her go "backless" but reading this convinces me otherwise. I will waiver to allow for backless on playdates (especially with three in a row, it's hard to fit three booster seats in the back of a car) but we will keep the back on in our car for a long time.

Boosters are required to age 8 or 4'9" - see the Washington State law here:

I'm only posting this info because I had to seek it for myself, so thought that someone else might be looking for that info and benefit from it as well.

Edited to add:
Booster seats protect against serious injury 3 ½ times better than seat belts. Booster seats protect against head injury 4 times better than seat belts.


After my last surgery (well, before) I said, "Never again."

Never say never.

I am seriously considering yet another surgery. My PS always intended to go back, to remove the scar tissues from previous surgical "mistakes" and tighten this and remove that misshapen bit and resculpt here and there and oh, yes, maybe even give me nipples. I said, "No." I simply walked away.

Well, six months after my last surgery, I am very carefully reconsidering.

My right breast is relatively okay. It's the right shape, covered in horrid scars, but okay. It is enough.

My left breast continues to change, and it is not okay. The breast has indents that push like spokes in a wheel, so that one quadrant is deeply rippled from the center outward. It is misshapen. The thin skin is visibly wrong; I can manipulate the implant, feel edges.

I am considering major revisions. I could leave the right alone, maybe do a DIEP on the left. That would replace the radiated tissue with (healthy) belly tissue, and perhaps I could remove the implant on that side, using my own tissue instead. Such a surgery is basically a tummy tuck....but more painful, involving muscle.

How much more of this can I stand? How many more surgeries should I do? When is enough enough?

I have not made any decisions. I'm exploring options, opening doors that I thought I'd closed. This is a decision that only I can make. The YSC girls are strongly encouraging me to fix it, to make it right. Would doing so symbolically help me?

My poor, tender, bruised body. What else will I ask of it?

I don't know.