Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Fingers to the Bone

Ki'il and I worked hard getting the old place cleaned up today. All that's left is the refrigerator and the steam cleaning. I am certain that it's cleaner than when we moved in. It was as pleasant as cleaning day could be, with such good company.

My mind was wandering idly on the subject of houses and spouses. We loved our first house, we quicly grew weary of the second one, what will be the future of the third? It seems some people go through spouses this way. I hope we don't get sick of each other for a good long time (never).


Roughing It- dream journal

I was staying at some sort of camp or school. I went for a walk in the woods. I lost my shoes, then I caught a ride on a passing elk. The elk seemed to know where I wanted to go. When we passed my shoes lying on trail, he stopped to let me off, and I walked the rest of the way.

Sronnoc Esor

Monday, October 30, 2006

Saturday dream journal

I was studying with a guy named Adam who I’ve never seen before. He lived on about the fifth story of a big apartment house with no elevator. He started coming on to me and I told him, “Gee, this feels really nice, but I’m not sure I want to cheat on my husband.” Then I decided to do it after all. Afterwards I was looking for workout clothes to go to the gym, but then I realized that I had to go see Dahlia Man. When I got down the steps, I realized that I had forgotten my keys and had to go back up for them. By the time I got to the parking lot, I was already ten minutes late and I couldn’t find my car. I finally found it, but something was wrong and I caught a ride with some people. When we were almost there, they decided to stop in the park to look for a friend. I got out to walk. There was a simulated ocean there and some kind of meet and greet going on. I dodged the people and made my way down the street. Instead of going to Dahlia Man’s house, I found myself at a bar where I was supposed to meet Adam. Some girl was outside. She said she couldn’t let me in and that the meeting had been rescheduled. Then I had to try to run home so I wouldn’t be late for work.

Sronnoc Esor

the Grebes are here and so am I

We slept in the new house for the first time last night. The mattress didn't make it until today, so we camped out on the quilt on the floor. The kitties went ballistic and hid, then started expoloring and calmed down. Today when the movers brought the piano and the mattress, they went ballistic and hid again. Shadow is in the box springs and Ailleanach is behind the washing machine. j. is in bed with a cold and I'm keeping him doped up. We still have a few things to move from the old place, but we're out of there. For the moment, I am pirating a wi-fi connection from god knows where. In order to do that, I am forced to walk a block and sit by the water with the wooden docks creaking, the gulls mewing, and the pink sunset fading in the west.

Life could be worse. Much, much worse.


Western Grebes, returned from their summer breeding grounds, are fishing for their dinners.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Acts of Rebellion- dream journal

I was in some kind of school. The assignments were time-consuming and ridiculous so I didn't do them. I was confronted about it by my teacher, Miss Yost, who I never got along with IRL. I told her that her assignments were ridiculous and I wasn't doing them. As I was leaving I stumbled and fell in a mud puddle. After that, the teachers ignored me as if I had never been there. My brother Mr. Clean came looking for me and asked me to come back, but I said no. I went and sat on the train tracks. Once two trains were passing in opposite directions on different tracks and I had to crouch down to avoid being hit. Then I walked up the track a little ways and came to a convent where they had all kinds of religious sculpture. Mother was there trying to find something for Robin.

Sronnoc Esor

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

the Coming of the Pain

Finally that cycle is over. Hopefully my "cycle buddy" gets hers too. We were planning big moving today. Maybe if I can get on top of this pain, I will still be able to participate. My inclination at the moment is to do some self education about fertility testing and treatment and begin some testing in six months to a year. After all, I have just gotten the thyroid corrected. That sort of started us back at square one in the ttc game. I definitely want to go into this knowing what my options are and which ones I will consider. Doctors are always wanting to cut, and I'm ready to say no to that one. Well, food for thought. My heating pad is starting to work; I think a snooze is coming on.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Tragedy- Nightmare Journal

Robin and I were both in college. We went to a class together where the professor had the TA give the first lecture. He fumbled things terribly because he was so nervous, but was okay in between. Then we decided to go to lunch. When we got to the cafeteria, we didn't have our student IDs to get in, so we went back to our dorms to get them. There was a big line in front of the dorms and suddenly Mother and Father were with us, holding us up. I went around the back way to my room, cutting through a vacant building. When I got back, Mother told me that Robin had died. She said she had an abortion (a thing Robin would never do) and that she had gotten sick afterwards, lost a lot of weight, and been unable to recover. Mother said it was God's punishment. I yelled back at Mother that that wasn't true. Was she going to carry on like this every time she remembered Robin? Was she going to taint her memory this way. My grief was uncontrollable and I broke out in sobs for my little sister. We had to hire a lawyer for some reason. He was helping us pack up Robin's things in her dorm room. I told him most of her clothes would fit me if I lost a little weight. He tried to tell us that Robin had been standing in line to get some kind of activist petition signed when she collapsed in the line. None of it made sense. This couldn't have happened when I had just seen her, perfectly healthy, and we were going to eat lunch together.

(She's on the phone now, perfectly fine of course.)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Peace and Hope rose

Seemed appropriate.


Laughs with Friends (and Angst)

I'm too old to be doing this just now for the first time, but I am still in the middle of a major parents, religion, status quo rebellion meltdown. The recent visit from Mother and Father has left me ranging from contemplative to resentful to soul-searching to downright angry. Dahlia Man and Tazmom both listened understandingly to my confused ramblings about why this is such an emotionally powerful crisis situation for me. j. is the picture of kindness and sympathy. The hormonal fever that my body is going through can't help at all.

Yet I am happy and contented and fulfilled.

Ki'il and the Scholar stopped by for a pleasant if short visit. They joined us in poking fun at the crooked shack that we are soon leaving. Ki'il has agreed to help me with the terminal cleaning here. We look forward to spending a lot more time with them. We always have such pleasant and interesting conversations and they are able to laugh at the world in much the same way that j. and I do.

A midnight trip to Wal-Mart yielded needed things for the house and a new sports bra which is helping to soothe my aching chest. Upon our arrival home, we packed up a large contribution for the garbage man.

Now I'm going to relax and enjoy some one-on-one with my Best Man. I missed him over the weekend.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

cycle stats

cycle day 44
ovulation was cycle day 27-29
usual LP 12-15 days
recorded LP range 5-20 days
longest recorded cycle 41 days
new onset breast pain day 43
ultra high stress this cycle with parents visiting and impending move


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Dead at the Scene- dream journal

Another night of driving around, seemingly pointlessly. We stopped for a car accident. A female doctor and I were first on the scene. Although the injured elderly man was still breathing and pulsatile, lady doctor jumped on him and started CPR immediately in the passionate making out kind of way they do on television. I stood by feebly protesting. The man died anyway and lady doctor was out of there.

I passed a street fair selling beautiful raisin breads and old gadgets like stovetop espresso makers.

j. and I went to a community dinner where we had trouble finding our assigned table. On the way there, we passed the home of a patient of mine and poked around the back yard.

Sronnoc Esor

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Beautiful Girls- movie review


The title might help prepare you for some of the callow objectification of women used by the mostly male main characters in this film. Does a one to ten rating system for face, body, and personality sum up a woman? Are supermodels really the "promise of a new tomorrow"?On the other hand, Gina has a brilliant soliloquy (delivered as advice to the Tommy), in which she reminds him in a wondrously colorful and expressive way that beauty is only skin deep. So maybe what we really have here is a commentary on lots of different ways to think about beautiful girls.

Most of the female characters in the film showed an acceptable amount of backbone. In spite of the rating system, I give the film good marks for representing a cross section of thought and behavior in its characters.

It was also very funny. Overall, an enjoyable flick.


Safari- dream journal

We were all packed up to go on a long trip. We even had portable toilets. We were leaving from Father's, where he had an outhouse with a 'possum in it- vile creature. Everyone was sleeping on the ground in sleeping bags. I was afraid to get up in the night to go to the outhouse.

Sronnoc Esor

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Afternoon Snooze

Taking a nap with their Daddy.

The lovely Ailleanach squinting at the imposition of the camera flash.

Nothing bothers my little Shadowy-head.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Angels in the Gloom- book review

Angels in the Gloom by Anne Perry

This was one of the authors for book club for October.

It is a historical novel that takes place mostly in England during World War I. There are a few underdeveloped characters in the novel. It seems to me that the pages devoted to Richard Mason and Judith Reavley are of little consequence to the story as a whole. I most note, though, that the book is part of a series, so it seems likely that the characters are dealt with more completely in other books.

The Joseph Reavley character, however, is well developed and his quest is pretty well developed. Again, the search for the Peacemaker is reasonably expected to be an ongoing one. Stories of intrigue and suspense are not my favorites, so the best part of this book in my opinion was the psychological struggle. After all, isn't that the most applicable part of any story. Joseph struggles to follow morality and truth, as best he knows them. Some of the time he is misguided by preconceptions, but in the end he comes to the truth.

When asked if God has abandoned the world, Joseph has the following notable answer:

"I don't know. There are times when I look at what's happening, young men crushed and dying, the land poisoned and turned to filth, corruption of what I used to trust utterly, and I'm not sure. But the things that Christ taught are still true, of that I'm absolutely certain. Meet me at the end of the world when we stand at the abyss, I'll tell Satan to his face just as certainly: Honor is still worth living or dying for; no matter how tired or hurt or frightened you are, face forward and seek the light, even if it's gone out and you can't remember where it was, keep going. It's always right to care. It's going to hurt like hell at times, you'll think it's beyond bearing, but if you let go of that then you have lost the purpose of existing at all."

There is much idealism in that answer, but also much truth.


Can't Fix the Roof when it's Raining

On Christmas Day a huge hunk of plaster fell out of the garage roof. The landlord told us he'd fix it when it quit raining. When it rains, a puddle forms on the floor and more little bits of plaster fall down. Yesterday, the landlord showed the house to potential tenants. This morning at 0900 a contractor showed up to take a look at the roof.

This is one of those cases where if you don't laugh, you'll cry.

Monday, October 16, 2006

tchotchke- word of the day

tchotchke \CHOCH-kuh\, noun:A trinket; a knickknack.

The rare tchotchke aside, our antiquing journeys mainly
amounted to wishful foraging, in the spirit of a more roomy and prosperous
someday we somehow never really articulated.-- Jacquelyn Mitchard, The
Most Wanted

Of course, you also have arcades, like Funland, and your
typical tchotchke vendors, like Ryan's Gems and Junk.-- Jamie
Peck, "Rehoboth Beach", Newsday, May 18,

I'm going nuts with my mother's accumulation of tchotchkes -- it's bad enough she never parted with one she got
as a gift -- but why did she have to buy more?-- "Artifacts of Life", Newsday, December 9, 1996

Tchotchke is from Yiddish tshatshke, "trinket," ultimately of Slavic origin. It is also spelled tsatske.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Inspiration from Dr. Chickenfarmer

The visiting ER doc I worked with last night set the wheels in the void above my neck spinning. He told me that he just diagnosed one of his patients with a newly discovered enzyme that prevents implantation, thus causing repeat early miscarriages, often before a pregnancy can be confirmed. The treatment is anticoagulation: aspirin or heparin. I've said forever that I don't want fertility testing and treatments. I was thinking of IUI, IVF, hormone shots, and all that goes with it. What if a simple baby aspirin a day would give us a baby? I need to learn more about this. It could be new hope for us when mine has been severely wilted. The name of the problem is lupus anticoagulant. Should I be looking for an RE?


Saturday, October 14, 2006


One of our dear old gentleman left this world last night. We all thought he would go home soon. He was so cold all evening and kept asking for blankets. Then he just stopped breathing and I closed his eyes. He was in his nineties. We should all go so peacefully.


Friday, October 13, 2006

Now I know I'm crazy

I had a meeting at the hospital at eight this morning, so I was up early. I spent the day updateing addresses. Then I went to get supper for Dahlia Man. The only trouble is- I wasn't supposed to go until tomorrow. Anyhow here I am, finishing the movie and waiting to go to my real job. Today started out cold, cloudy and windy. I wore a sweater and my jacket to walk to the hospital. Of course, I'm sure the real craziness comes from the mild PMS from which I've been suffering. The progesterone cream helps some, though. Wait and see what tomorrow brings.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Memoirs of a Geisha- movie review


I thought I heard poor reviews of this movie, but we liked it. It's a little over two hours, I know that's long for some people, but it kept my attention. I don't really know anything about geishas, but the portrayal is stark and far different in many ways from the image we have of beautiful, talented, alluring women. Here are some major images that were altered in my mind.

Misconception #1- a career choice

Geishas were sold into slavery by their own families. If the geisha house didn't want them, they became prostitutes. If the geisha house decided they weren't good enough, they became servants.

Misconception #2- virgins

A maiko could not become a full geisha until she sold her virginity to the highest bidder. After that, she wasn't supposed to have sex again.

If the story is true, then it is full of all the ugliness that women can be to each other. Lies and backstabbing and setting each other up in a cruel competitive dance that could sometimes mean surviving or not for the geisha house. Sadly, is a dance that is put on for men. Yet this dynamic goes on every day in the school, the workplace, the home, and the public for many American women.

Although we have the freedom in this country to choose a life and a career, what are the factors that enslave American women? We are constantly reminded by ScienceWoman how hard it is for a woman to pursue a professional career in science, and of the fierce competition and bias toward men in the field. Although, I was lucky not to experience this, many women in the Christian circles that I grew up in are taught that their only acceptable role is wife and mother. That said, I believe Father censures Robin for her choice to go back to nursing school with a husband and child to care for. If you look at the media at all, you'll receive only a few images of powerful women. Most of the images there are the American version of geisha: how to make yourself up and play the patriarchal game in which women are pawns.

What about sex? We've got a corner on the virgin/whore dichotomy. It's popular wisdom that if a girl doesn't "put out" by the third date, a man will move on to someone else. So does that mean a girl has to have sex on the third date if she doesn't want to lose the guy? And of course she's supposed to sleep with her date to the high school prom. All the while, she should maintain the snowy white purity that will allow her to wear white on her wedding day.

On the other hand, consider the chastity movement. Girls (and presumably boys) are wearing bracelets inscribed with TLW (True Love Waits) to remind them to save it for the wedding night. This is considered "safe sex". Can't get any diseases if you don't "do it", right? No further sex ed necessary. Sorry, abstinence crowd, it doesn't work. What it does accomplish is, when she finally decides to do it in a moment of passion, she doesn't know what a condom is, much less to ask for one. Or maybe she'll just fool around. Oral sex isn't sex, right? Wrong.

Well, everyone knew we have this problem in America and it didn't have much to do with the movie. But that's what I'm alll about, saying what I think while I'm thinking it.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Yesterday I made applesauce with apples picked from Dahlia Man's trees and drops off the ground. The green apples are called Kings; I don't know the names of the others. I used a large bucket of Kings and a medium bucket of the red ones, which are sweeter. Below are various stages of preparation. The drops are wormy and bruised.

Here is the applesauce in progress. When it is liquedfied, I add brown sugar and cinnamon. I ended up with about eight quarts. j. ate some and I froze the remainder using our Foodsaver bag and seal system.

I wish you could smell it.


Air Soccer- dream journal

I went for a walk at night. A fancy helicopter was landing in the park with refugees. I went home and told j. about it. Just then we saw it circling overhead. It came in to hover over the athletic field. It lowered nets that men were hanging from. They were playing some version of soccer while suspended in midair. It changed into a motivational conference with standing room only. While j. was talking to someone, some girls came and took his seat. I got upset and left. I wasn't dressed. I had only a blanket wrapped around me. I must have come back because I whispered something to j. and the speaker got really upset with me. Then I left for good.

After that I was with Mother and Father visiting a summer camp where I used to work. Everyone was talking about a man who was pregnant. Then his wife suddenly dropped over dead. We went for a walk and came to a deserted housing community with a broken down aviary full of really scraggly looking birds.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Fun and Friends

Dinner with Ki'il and her husband The Scholar last night was fantastic. Ki'il poured margaritas when we got there. Then she served up a delicious Korean feast of lettuce wraps with marinated beef sauteed with mushrooms, garlic and onions and a whole grain and rice mixture. You get a piece of lettuce, pile it with the other components and roll it up. It's supposed to be a mouthful. There was a fermented soy sauce and fermented soybeans, which are rich in probiotics. Then she brought out the dark green seaweed. You make wraps with that too. My mouth was still bursting with the memory of flavor hours later when we got home.

I guess I was the big drinker in the bunch. I drank both my margarita and jc's. Then when the Scholar's parents got home, I had a glass of Merlot. Some of you will appreciate the humor in little old me who used to be a teetotaler drinking more than anyone else.

The Scholar is in nursing school, so we had some conversations about that. He is in the phase where they throw theory at you without explaining the practical purpose of it. Hopefully, I helped rather than muddying the waters more with my rambling. We could've stayed all night chit-chatting, but people have school and work, and so we scurried home about midnight. We hope to do it again soon. Only I'll be embarrassed by my simple food after the feast we got served up.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

busy weekend

I started a new sideline this weekend helping Dahlia Man while his caretaker is away. This kept me busy as I helped him with his dinner before going to work on Saturday, and then helped him with his breakfast after work. I had to wake up even ealier on Saturday to go sign the lease for our new place. That means this week we can start moving stuff in. I also got apples from Dahlia Man's trees for apple sauce. That will keep me busy tomorrow. Tonight we are invited to a friend's for dinner. I will take her some dahlias. I am looking forward to meeting her husband, who is a yogi. Exciting updates should be coming along soon.


Friday, October 06, 2006

commune- dream journal

I was living at a commune. Brownie was there. Mother and Father came to visit. They wanted to buy food from the commune for lunch, but were very awkward in going about it. Everyone there was cooking different meals and the kitchen was a mess.

Then there were some kind of war games with toy soldiers. I was taking it pretty seriously and my best friend from high school got pretty upset with me. Something underlying made the situation very tense.

Sronnoc Esor

Thursday, October 05, 2006

on the creek- dream journal

I was awakened by repeated kicks in the shins. j. told me he had been dreaming that a general made him go into the army and practice saluting and things for two weeks. He was trying to escape.

I went back to sleep.

I was trying to float down the creek at The Farm at flood stage. When I got about where the cable car used to be, there were fisherman in motorized craft. I returned to dry land to avoid them.

After that I was at BJU. I was wearing pants with a skirt over them. On my way to breakfast, I ran into Mary. She had her two year old little girl with her. There was a long wait at the cafeteria. Then I sat with Leigh and her friends. They ignored me completely. I wanted a salad, but the salad bar lady told me she had just put it out and it wasn't ready to eat yet.

Sronnoc Esor

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Running ragged?

After four hours of sleep last night, I got up to meet someone about a little homecare gig which I will be doing. It took two tries to get in a nice talk with Robin, who seems to be doing well, although busy. I took a little nap, then went to hike around in the wilderness behind Wheat Grass Lady's new house. I'll go back and take some pics for you later.

After yoga class we had grilled cheese sandwiches on the new cast iron grill pan and watched "Like Water for Chocolate". Out of laziness, I will comment on it here. The English voiceovers were terrible, so we watched it in Spanish with English subtitles. It was much better that way. I disagree with the basic premise of the movie, which to me seemed to be that sexual passion is the ruling force in the world. I believe that love can conquer all, but that's different. Of course the movie is fanciful, so we must allow leeway. Literal fires start from sexual longing and fulfillment and in the end, a woman eats matches and burns down a whole rancho. I don't doubt that I may have missed the point. If someone else got it and wants to correct me, I'm all ears.

R. C.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Plastic surgery risk or Intrinsic tendency?

This study of Canadian women who had breast implants and other cosmetic surgery found a significantly greater suicide rate in the study group than in the general population (about 73% higher). This begs the question: Would these women have taken their own lives if they hadn't had the surgery? Is there a connection between plastic surgery and depression? Is there a higher suicide risk among people who have other kinds of surgery?

First of all, I have to ask myself why people want to have body-changing surgery. I have never harbored even the remotest desire to do such a thing. Of course, as a nurse, I know that the last thing you should ever do is let a surgeon cut you. But that's beside the point. Aside from body changes that I can affect myself through exercise and proper diet, I'm happy with the way I look. I'm not perfect, but I'm me.

What gives someone such poor self esteem that they risk their lives to change their bodies? Is it the way they've been treated by others? Unimaginable things happen in families. I know a woman whose father called her "flats" because she had very small breasts. Parents tell their children they are ugly and fat and stupid and bad. Based on this sort of treatment in the develomental years, how could a person come out with positive self-image?

Then we have popular culture. Big breasts are beautiful. Men will desire you. Wide noses are ugly. You might be mistaken for someone of another race, other than white that is. Aging is terrible. Wrinkles and crow's feet and gray hair are all signs of inferiority. Forget the wisdom that comes with years of experience. Do we have plastic surgery only because our society is so ageist, sexist, and racist? Who decides what beauty is? Advertisers? Hollywood?

I submit that beauty comes from within.

Love yourself.


We're moving

This will be our new home. No, not a boat, a house about two blocks from the harbor. The rent is similar and the house is much nicer than where we are. We've sort of wanted to try out living here for a while. We even entertained the idea of a houseboat for a while, but it didn't seem like a good idea with a piano, let alone children. So now we have our big chance. For the moment, that's a big chance to pack up all our earthly belongings again. I'm making the most of the excited energy I have now to get some of that done right away.

I'll keep you posted.


Monday, October 02, 2006

snake in the bed- dream journal

I was taking care of a patient who complained that there was a snake in the bed. I didn't believe her and took the covers of to show her that it wasn't there. She said it was under the pillows, but she didn't want me to move the pillows. "If it's under there, it can stay. I don't want to move." I picked up the pillows anyway and sure enough, there was a snake there. I "eeked" out loud. (j. asked me what was wrong.)

I went out to eat with Mother and Father. The menu looked much like a hospital menu: a piece of paper with four or five sections, each had one menu choice. I ordered in German and the waitress told me, also in German, that my choice wasn't available. She said they were out of the brown bread it came with. I asked if I could just have it with different bread. She said all they had was white sandwich bread and I told her that would be fine. The drinks came in glass bowls. Father had lager. Mother's meal came with a cheese selection, which she said she didn't want. I said I would look at it. About twenty different kinds of cheeses came out on a tray for our perusal.

Next thing I remember, we were in a hired car being driven to the waterfall. The driver said we would be able to drink from the waterfall for a dollar. I was thinking how nice it was to have a driver and be able to sit back and enjoy the trip.

Sronnoc Esor