Saturday, November 30, 2019

I am done with Thanksgiving it is too much of too much I have pared my life too much to enjoy that kind of laden and the stress historically surrounding excess I will still bake I will still revel in my garden I will still eat creamy dangerous foods and my own ridiculous cakes but not all at one time not all on the same day I have only one person in my family now and I have long ago convinced my son that too much Christmas dinner was too much and if he wants to go to his father’s or his aunts to celebrate TG I am A Okay with that and I know his dad would love to see him I didn’t even eat dinner this year I just moved it around my plate like a recalcitrant child forced to eat peas I didn’t eat it last year either or the year before all I could think about this time was how much I wanted to take some of my own garden minestrone out of the freezer and eat it in my bee bowl

one thing I’ve done over the past year is stop using Amazon period I eventually discovered that I could find everything I couldn’t buy out here directly from the retailers I just had to time my purchases for a bit of a wait and the instant satisfaction of overnight delivery sorted itself out

the factory conditions at Amazon bothered me a great deal because I worked in those exact shitty conditions for years at The Big Airplane Factory even including the timed bathroom breaks but mostly it was random cars no longer Amazon marked vehicles driving up my road at random hours sometimes very young high school kids as one hopped out to deliver a package while the other got high in the car and after they dropped the package on my porch they took a photo of it on their phones to prove it was there and sent it to me

don’t think I’ve become all anti capitalism especially since I’m going to get my son’s iPhone today to hop on the dreaded shopping day leftover deal and also yesterday I bought my longed for cashmere sweater from Macy’s online marked down from $189.00 to $39.00 and I am way too pleased with myself about that

good morning Darklings it’s 28 degrees here and I’m heading out into the real world then I will become animal again at the beach

Thursday, November 28, 2019

I always think of this holiday as the day in which we gather with with our families of choice to eat and store fat like bears for the emotional physical mental and financial onslaught of the rest of the mayonnaise based holidays

yesterday I woke at one AM and could not get back to sleep and my stomach hurt and my head ached thanks to my useless insurance company refusing to pay for Doxepin a new medication New Nurse prescribed for insomnia to replace the last of the benzodiazepines I’ve been taking for insomnia for the past twenty years the useless insurance company has been holding this medication for a month now even though it is not a controlled substance even though it is simply an SSRI even though my useless insurance company has denied and fought with my physicians’ prescriptions for benzodiazepines for fourteen years I finally called the pharmacy and asked how much the medication costs asked if I could buy it without insurance and the pharmacist checked the price and told me it was $17.00


my useless insurance company was withholding a medication designed to make me healthy that will allow me to wean myself off a very bad drug a new medication that costs me $17.00 without insurance and probably cost them mere pennies to manufacture for no apparent reason

I know I’m not the only one here that has realized that Big Pharma is now in charge of our healthcare

I am going to check the rest of my meds against the prices of my insurance covered meds and see if it is actually worth it to spend $50.00 a month on a company that is useless

I sent my son to the pharmacy to pick it up and while he was gone I fucked up a gorgeous pie crust with a failed pumpkin pie I have only made one failed pumpkin pie ever and that was in the 70s when I forgot to add eggs this pie failed because I bought organic pumpkin instead of pumpkin for pies and the organic pumpkin was just too wet my son was in Seattle at the time and I gave up and took to my bed in the Victorian fashion of ladies who got the vapors and watched Anthony Bourdain on Netflix for the entire rest of the day until nightfall when I took the Doxepin and proceeded to sleep for ten hours in a row

my son is here now I told him about the failed pie and he wanted me to run to the store and buy more pumpkin then make a new pie crust and bake him another pie



I do have another secret pie crust in my fridge because it’s just as easy to make two as one and I have fresh strawberries and eggs and cream so I will make a vanilla pastry cream and then make a berry galette or he can make his own gd pie and we still have ice cream

I’m just here to eat potatoes and bread sloshing in butter and salad with candied pecans and cheese I am no one’s employee in my beautiful kitchen not any more


the last of the Red Delicious apple trees

photo by Page Loudon

this is what’s left of his orchard
good morning from the frozen upper left coast

read the whole story here and please don’t buy Cosmic Crisp apples they’re scary and mean

Tuesday, November 26, 2019


And because I yam who I yam here’s a picture of the baby Jesus for those of you who observe

Pig and farm report

join me this morning for kaffe and apple cranberry kuchen especially if you have to go into The Outside today or for instance The Grocery Store

I sent my son for berries and cheese and greens I have everything else I need jengaed into the pantry and refrigerator by him because he gets panicky when there is not enough room and after living in that dank tiny house can you blame him and I get panicky when there is too much abundance too much food too much of anything but that is who I am we carry ourselves in our ways

I’ve taken to sending emails to myself as reminders as a way to stave off dementia or perhaps as I prefer to think because my big brain is just so busy up in there last night I found this creepy and baffling message I sent to myself a week ago

Re: Add raspberries and rubber gloves 

I don’t even want to consider what that recipe might have been

once again I am up against the onslaught of holiday memories in that woman’s house and memories of the winters I was homeless and the stark pain those memories bring but I no longer want to drug or drink or fuck or eat myself into unconsciousness in order to deal with them and I no longer dwell inside them I just stand in the wintery Skagit River in my tall boots and watch them rush by

these holidays are now for my son and me proudly and profoundly and for whomever else might be in need I bought a carful of groceries for the town’s food bank and diapers and toiletries for the homeless shelter there we have no such programs out here on the island though I know the hungry people are out here I recognize at least one red truck that has been camping (living) at the state park for months now a man and a woman I wish I could do something for them but they have built a little fortress for themselves and I understand that too the best I can do for now is look out for them keep my blue eyes on them make sure their truck and camping gear are safe when I walk into the trails I will never take anything for granted and I will never forget

I woke before dawn and threw six apples into the woods for the deer and the foxes and the rabbits then I came in and had kuchen and coffee and thawed out in front of the little propane fire later I will candy some pecans and later I just might decide to stay here in my house in my woods until January

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Pig and farm report

I woke up at 4:30 this morning and was immediately hungry so I brewed some coffee then ate a crapload of guacamole and chips but the chips were blue organic corn so it was totally healthy right? RIGHT? I know ugh then I had a panicattackoutofnowhere about ten minutes later my shoulders and neck tense my muscles threatening to roll and drop me so I took some Ativan

I thought I had escaped the long heavy awful scaled barbed tail of my family of birth nightmare holiday scenarios that had dragged behind me my entire life but now I have to wonder now I have to look honestly at myself instead of trying to force cheer from the outside in which it turns out can only flow along the surface for a short time this also explains the panic attacks I had for three days in a row when I baked the doomed challah so now that I’ve acknowledged it’s still there (I always knew) now that I’ve caught a glimpse of its root in the mirror I can carry on

yes and no but mostly yes

my son lithely dropped to the forest floor to shoot that mothership mushroom that is so huge it seems to be trying to lift my house from its foundation it is hubcap sized and strange and fantastic Thanksgiving will only be the two of us but I’m cooking for all his friends too who don’t have families as I always do for us it is a day to indulge in food I only eat once a year buttery rich dressing hollandaise sauce that took me years to perfect salad with candied pecans and Boursin cheese and raspberries mashed potatoes with real cream and of course pumpkin pie it is a day to relax and for my son who is remarkably normal it is a day in which he visits his friends and their families I used to cook for huge gatherings even in my tiny house friends who had no place to go and for a very long time for my ex husband which my son requested then I eventually lost touch with my friends or felt too uncomfortable around people to function and I realized that having my ex there was terrible because I had cooked for him for ten years without ever receiving a thank you when we were married and I knew when I stood in my kitchen one year making vegetarian mushroom gravy and was considering poisoning him that it would be his last meal at my house ever did I resent him for leaving my year old son and me to fend for ourselves with no child support forever you’re goddamned right I did and I still do

I am glad now that I was pushed out of the messy matrimonial bed where I was never happy to go to work in the factories to be self sufficient enough to put my son in private schools to care for him and build a home for us to watch him become such an outstanding human to teach and play music professionally to write and be published to eventually earn a union won pension to survive and thrive against all odds I am proud of what I have done

sorry to unload so so much on a late November morning ice crusted and rich with enough green for the whole wide world I was going to write about how funny it was that I made two pumpkin pies every Thanksgiving forever because the only pumpkin I saw in stores was Libby’s and it only came in the big can and I always had one pie too many but clearly my little train fell off its track and here we are with Prince Hal stealing this incredibly thick and soft plush throw that I bought here on the island he now patrols the blanket by marching up and down the back of the sofa like a crazed soldier fending off any would be pretenders to the throne for instance the other cats or my feet

good morning Darklings especially those of you who swim under water toward light this time of year good morning and godspeed 

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Radical self care

yesterday I took a luxury bath early then dried my hair with a hair dryer and did not watch or listen to the news nor did I check my twitter feed which is basically the news then I drove to the beach and ate vegetarian hash at the Cama Beach Cafe a tiny cafe in the far end of this lodge that I always call The Overlook Hotel the cafe itself is only five tables crammed into one end of this giant room and it’s always packed during the summer the food is delicious and the view of the forest and The Saratoga Passage is superb and I did not read a newspaper nor did I check my twitter feed I love how those two windows above that stone fireplace look like stained glass but that was just early morning light and the old growth forest that cradles us here after I took most of my breakfast to my car in a cardboard box I walked to the beach and stood there admiring the fog and breathing the salt water fragrance then I drove to the library and I did not listen to the news or check my twitter feed then I went to town and bought Yukon gold potatoes for my dinner next Thursday listening all the while to Neil Young’s new album Colorado in my car and I promise you it is superb and moving with his old band Crazy Horse and I was just bowled over by how much like Neil Young he sounded how clean and powerful his lyrics I came home and did not read my twitter feed nor did I listen to the news or turn on the television I ate one dark chocolate truffle and lounged about and then I swept the deck free of pine needles and walked the perimeter of my woods my haven it has been a year and a week since I tumbled and fell in the woods in the black night in my nightgown and my knee has finally completely healed in one week it will have been three years since I got the keys for this house my house and we started frantically moving out of that awful rotten place in the city later on I read by the fire and heated up my giant pot of soup and I did not check the news nor did I look at my twitter feed I ate soup and bread and went to bed and watched my favorite Christmas movie It’s A Wonderful Life and fell asleep with the movie on and slept all night through for the first time in weeks hello hello out there please be surviving the horrible crushing in of the mayonnaise based holidays be safe and give yourself a day of delicious pampering 

Thursday, November 21, 2019

The flea’s smörgåsbord

It has been too long of a day for me to string together enough cohesive words to make a sentence but the power of christ compels me haha not really I watched the impeachment hearing this morning and at the break I went to the Skagit River to watch the snow geese arrive along with several hawks including a red tailed hawk and seven bald eagles and a great blue heron feasting on fresh water eelgrass that springs up in the tide waters on the fields I just ate the wide river the rocks the trees lining its bank with my whole stupid heart then I went to the Skagit Valley Co-op for organic veggies for soup which looked like this on my table

no filters on that photo no lights on in the kitchen just clean freezing cold sunlight I woke to 33 degrees and it never got warmer the soup has veggie stock and celery and onion and fennel and turnips and leek and red cabbage and zucchini and a random can of tomatoes I cooked it for the rest of the day except for my tearing chunks off the toddler sized six braid challah that I made a couple days ago then dropped that I kept dipping in the soup for dinner

this had to be the worst sentence ever

I dosed all three cats with super duper flea medicine last Wednesday and those little fuckers jumped ship (mostly Hal who never leaves my side) and bit me in the tender insides of my elbow and my ankle and my elsewheres and now I’m exhausted and my blog is being blog fuckery again and I haven’t been able to post any more pix except I’ll try this last one

Okay that actually worked none of this is what I wanted to write either but look at Friday yep ❄️ I got out my long johns literally I’m ready maybe tomorrow I can write about how the cornfields were were warm enough and the ground frost bit enough this morning to make low fog dance through them like wraiths

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

And the hits just keep on coming!

Even though I typed the previous post on my laptop my beautiful shiny well loved laptop for some reason blogger wouldn't let me post it wouldn't even let me save it so I copied it and sent it to myself in an email and then I restarted my laptop at which point everything seemed to work and I pasted my email onto the blog page and it published and now it looks wonky and out of whack which really makes a lot of sense is Mercury in retrograde I don't even believe that Mercury in retrograde makes any difference in the day to day sense of anything but it's as good as believing in an angry god at this point

onward and upward!

Friday, November 15, 2019

The blue hour

I have been awake since 4:30 this morning listening to the rain caught in a bit of fairy magik during the quiet that happens when waking after my guts feel sorry and strained then calm it’s still dark one or two cats purring at my feet or near my side the day has not yet intruded my email goes untended the house is settled the day still out of reach shiny as a wrapped present and I read a little bit usually the online version of The Paris Review or some other journal to the blue glow of my iPad this is when my brain works at maximum flow this is the time in which I should write but more often than not I just lie in bed under my snow white comforter and bask until the owls hoo their wake up question I don’t know when exactly I became a morning person I think it must have been when the composer disbanded the orchestra and I stopped going to rehearsals every Tuesday at 7 pm then went out after to The Berkshire Grill with everyone until very late then woke too early to get to work on time I used to practice at night and write at night inside my most creative self but now that I have the forest and the sea to care for mornings have become touchstones they have become magik the fairy time in between sleep and solid wakefulness

I will watch the impeachment hearings this morning as much of them as I can stand yesterday when Nancy Pelosi was speaking and msnbc broke in on her to report yet another school shooting I sat on my soft raincloud of a sofa and sobbed after that I fried a huge pan of onions and potatoes and ate them at the kitchen table with my son while we talked about how these children their parents and the first responders the survivors will probably suffer the rest of their entire lives with trauma and addiction and PTSD related illnesses my son told me about a high school student he worked with at the nursery who said he was looking forward to graduation if I can get there without being shot we all grew up with danger there were no good old days but nothing like this fear this constant worry about being gunned down in the cafeteria or library at school and yet the tiny vile man in charge of the country could not be bothered to tweet concern until five hours later and even then it was clear that he didn’t write it himself as it was spelled correctly without random caps as his gestapo captain Mitch stops gun control bills at their birth

my son is going to take over the kitchen today and bake cookies and I will be happy to wander in and eat cookie dough with a spoon and listen to the television as long as I can stand it

Good morning Darklings may you find a spark of magik for yourself today may it hold back the shadows

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Christmas Cow

I have become that person and I don't care the Christmas cow fills me with light and joy and good humor and hot chocolate and melted cheese and tinsel and candy and figs because you have to admit she's funny the bell around her neck actually rings dear bog

I have felt this specific joy for six years now especially around the mayonnaise based holidays that used to pinch and anger and hurt I wondered once if I would ever get through a Christmas morning without sobbing I wrote last year about holding Christmas in my heart like Jesus and that is precisely how I feel again only obscenely early (according to my darling son) my darling son is one of the main reasons I feel so goddamn jolly that and the fact that I've been able to save $5000.00 this year by socking away money a set amount every payday and each time I wanted a book and got a library book instead I put the money the book would have cost me into my savings account and that gray cashmere sweater at Macy's I've been looking at and pining for each time I finally decide to buy it I instead put that sweater money in my savings account and each time I wanted to buy anything impulsive I resisted and saved the money and here I am flush at almost Christmas

I spent four hours today building a lasagna for my son a lasagna with bechamel and marinara and ricotta and mascarpone and mushrooms and fresh chopped spinach and zucchini and onion a couple months ago I had to replace my six year old iPhone because the phone could no longer support the OS other than that the phone looked brand new because I really barely use it the new phone was fucking expensive and now my son's phone no longer holds a charge so I told him I would buy him one in December because I depend on him to have one so I can call him if for instance I fall on my head and break my neck and need to call for help and because he does so much for me I don't write about it here but I am not able to function well on my own for more than a month at a time I haven't been able to work since before I lost my job at the big airplane company the truth is my son is my caregiver the truth is I am crazier than you might think and I need help a lot of help sometimes oftentimes I cannot even drive myself to the store much less clean pine needles off the roof and that boy man saves my life all the time so I told him yep on payday December 1 I will buy him a new phone but I told him they are exorbitant so that's probably all he's going to get for Christmas


I lied!

yep and I have already bought all his Christmas gifts including a gorgeous cozy lumberjack plaid giant blanket for his bed a grown up stick blender and a brand new iPad because he has never had a computer of his own and he keeps asking me to watch videos on his phone which makes me bonkers but mostly because he is an amazing human being who never complains about anything he is so exceptional I can't even believe it

the lasagna is in the oven my son is on his way home so I have to hide the Christmas cow for one more month and I am happy in my deep stupid heart

love to you Darklings in this green season

Friday, November 8, 2019

post script

This is for Mary it’s the first time I’ve made this bread with pesto and good heavens it is glorious and every time I bake bread I gain a deeper understanding of gluten and yeast once you understand that science baking can be art here is the process in four steps

1. Rolled out risen dough  with pesto shredded cheese and sun dried tomatoes this dough is enriched with one egg and 3 tablespoons of olive oil to make it pliable

2. Once it’s rolled like cinnamon rolls and cut down the middle arrange it in an S shape on silpat lined baking sheet let it rise again

3. Bake it for 40 minutes at 350 degrees because of the pesto this loaf took 47 minutes

4. Show off closeup of melted cheese and me drooling

Pig and farm report

I have been just okay for the past three days and yesterday I was okay and today I woke up hungry and as I was sitting in my bed drinking Actual Real Coffee I decided to bake bread because I am still too weak to drive when Hal and Jupiter came tearing across my bed knocking the coffee cup out of my hand onto my snowy snowy white expensive beloved duvet cover so I got up unzipped the cover pulled it off my down comforter in a flurry of feathers

it was a serious flurry

I don’t know why it was so leaky inside there but I headed out into the 38 degree 5AM morning shook the feathers out on my porch tossed the duvet in the washing machine then took the comforter out and shook it too sending enough feathers into my forest to terrify any bird of any size ever

then I just stood there and breathed I have probably written too much here about how good it smells here in the forest always this deep fragrance of wood smoke and sea salt and  rain and pine trees and tall willowy madronas with their show offy red bark and underneath the bright green damp forest floor my darling trees I poured a fresh cup of coffee lit the propane fire and watched the sun rise through the thick woods across the road I turned on my little corner lamp in the outer outer room and the lamp to to my left that looks like a tree with a small lantern hanging from its branch and watched the two cars that go to work from the house that is a mile away down the hill behind me and I wondered if they missed my brave morning little lamps in my still curtainless house the only lights on this long stretch of road these small joys that sustain me

once the duvet cover was washed and dried it took me three hours to wrestle it back onto my comforter and my shoulders and back ached from it because I am more than a little bit weak and it is a horrible thing to do and there is no goddamn easy way around it like folding fitted sheets but wouldn’t they be easier if the buttons or zippers on a duvet cover were on the side instead of at the bottom?

I defrosted a pint jar of marinara I made last January and a small jar of  pesto I made from my garden this summer then I opened and drained some sun dried tomatoes from their oil and found a chunk of Gouda in the back of my fridge this is the stuffing for my bread I will eat it dipped the marinara for lunch and dinner and probably breakfast and lunch tomorrow my son is helping his father clear the orchard of the last of the apple and cherry trees no more apples for us the whole situation makes me deeply sad as that orchard was Page’s inheritance and yes my ex will get a shit ton of money for selling the property and yes he still has his gorgeous house with its steps leading down to Lake Osoyoos but still the trees the hundred year old fruit trees

I had some other things I wanted to tell you revelations large and small for instance how eye opening and liberating it was to realize that I can just say no when asked to step on the scale at a doctor’s office a horrific trigger point for me that wakes up my early abuse memories it isn’t against the law to do so just.         No.     but I’m tired again and I have bread dough to stuff

my timer rang time to go check on the first rise meanwhile here’s a photo of the majestic graceful feral feline Prince Hal

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Pig and farm report

Attempting to gather enough energy into my body to climb into the bathtub as we apparently barrel into xmess without once pausing to consider any other part of the season I am grateful for the sentry trees that guard me the huge six point dark furred buck that astonished me by looking into my bedroom window the striking beauty of the ever changing November sky the roses still hanging onto their brave stems in spite of politics for my brilliant son who cares for me and is pretty much the only white man in Terrible America who does not fill me with disgust and dread for my down comforter for warm blankets for a winter coat that fits and shoes without holes in them and for a house generous and warm and welcoming for a full pantry for a car that runs without hiccups thank you thank you gods of the unknowable world

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Christmas cactus blooming in the redrum kitchen at Summer’s End I bought that little cactus the day I moved into this house almost three years on December 23rd

Dear Darklings I have been absent due to a long horrifying bout of the flu today day 15 I regained my appetite after living on broth and saltines for two weeks I realized I have never had the flu before and that’s because flu shots were free and handed out to everyone in the big airplane factory this year I dawdled dear friends take my word for it do not dawdle 

that’s it 💯 of  nothing else has happened to me