Sunday, August 30, 2020

Happy Birthday Summer’s End

four years ago today I went to the elderly escrow lady and signed the papers to become an actual house owner the first line on the many pages of documents read 


and then fourteen thousand pages of signatures

it struck me as weird since it had been so long since I had been a married person still there I was a completely alone human woman with a chonky inheritance ready to buy a house all by myself but questionable because I didn’t have a man a husband a helpmate someone to bring home the bacon a breadwinner a spouse a partner a childhood sweetheart a sugar a honey a king a prince a lover boy a bae a main squeeze an old man a hubby a mate a paramour a better half a significant other a lord and master a helpmate a bedmate a groom or a man of the house there I was manless and therefore somehow wrong somehow lacking

the elderly escrow lady peered up at me like I was trying to pull a heist but I finished signing all the papers then asked if I could keep her pen

I have not stopped loving this house since I moved in not one single time not even when Alice cringed and said I didn’t think it would be so rustic I love my huge kitchen with its walk in closet pantry I love my master bathroom with its slate walls and cedar ceiling I love my outer outer room and my library I love every tree in my wood and I love my proximity to Desolation Sound and Port Susan and the Salish Sea

I had a terrible nightmare that left me drenched in sweat when I woke a ptsd dream Hal has a cold so two times a day I trick him into my bathroom with wet food then shut the door so we both have a sauna he isn’t happy about it but it is good in fact for both of us

I’m making pico de gallo peppers and red heart tomatoes and onion and cilantro and far too much lime juice for most people that’s it for me chopping vegetables and herbs and listening to Elementary on the telly not following along but hearing Jonny Lee Miller’s voice is a whole mood for me that and the forest the beach. 


Friday, August 28, 2020

Pig and farm report

early this morning I was awakened by howling and screeching screams that I thought at first was a pack of monkeys being murdered by coyotes in my back yard I used to live near the Woodland Park Zoo and I have personal experience with howler monkeys 

I woke up Page so he could hear it too and filmed it with my phone at the same time though it was pitch black out there Page thought it was Bigfoot but this is no surprise since this summer we both saw bear scat in the yard and immediately thought cow

the howling went on for a good 30 minutes and I eventually figured out it was two owls mating and sent the video to Mary Moon She Who Holds Knowledge of All Things and she assured me that indeed those were owls having wild owl sex practically on my deck possibly right below my bedroom window

Mary I apologize for waking you so early but damn woman, nature, right?

August 28, 2020

I’m watching the march on Washington D.C. on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s I have a dream speech delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963

George Floyd’s brother Philonise spoke surrounded by his family and I watched him rub his brow and bow his head down deeply and I knew he was having a panic attack as the crowd surged in on him I knew it as clearly as I know my own name I thought he was going to faint but they got him out of there and my son said he was being held up by the ghosts of King and Malcom X and Gandhi  Muhammad Ali and Medger Evers and Rosa Parks

I give my tears to the dead today I give my water to the dead

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Pig and farm report

I bought some authentic real grits (not that mealy west coast crap) from the company Southern Queen whose incredible logo is right up there a Black owned business with an amazing product which I will be having this weekend along with honest to bog collards curtesy of my CSA box

tonight the Mets and the Marlins met on the ball field facing each other in two lines removed their caps bowed their heads in silence for 42 seconds then waved to each other with their ball caps and walked off the field leaving nothing but a Black Lives Matter tee shirt on home plate having canceled the game and this finally is the thing that triggered my tears that now fall freely under my fingers as I type after days of stuffing those tears back into my head as I’ve watched the news in horror holding my head up in the air so the tears would not fall out but baseball is my game and this is the image that broke me

we witnessed yet another young Black man gunned down in front of his own children by police in Kenosha

a 17 year old maga proudboy shooter killed two people and wounded a third during a protest in the same city then walked away past several police officers saying what he had done admitting what he had done bragging about what he had done and the police told him to go home which he did before turning himself in later

murders ordered by king donald 

Riot Kitchen an organization that offers hot vegetarian meals to protestors across the US an organization I have been supporting had their crew members grabbed from the street and thrown in black unmarked cars in Kenosha last night and now they are disappeared

all they were doing was feeding people

Feed my sheep

those are their blond blue eyed baby boy Jesus’s supposed last words on earth

Feed my sheep

no one can find them who took them police? FBI? NSA? all the american president’s gestapo

Jacob Blake the man who was shot repeatedly in the back by police remains handcuffed to his hospital bed paralyzed from the waist down

why is he shackled?

I have a feeling of dread about the republican convention tonight in what used to be the rose garden a garden I stood in as a girl with my uncle 

something wicked this way comes

this week I successfully took myself to the clinic for necessary blood tests to keep my psych meds alive in my brain then fell up my porch step onto my stomach bruising my entire left side after I had successfully driven myself home the top of my left foot absorbed most of the damage and is now black and blue and swollen like a weird squash and it hurts like a motherfucker but I’ve mostly been keeping it up and iced

my left foot has absorbed most of the damage of my entire life now that I think on it and when you damage your foot you pretty much think on it  

a lot 

my favorite word for 2020 so far is problematic 

my left foot has been problematic since I was a girl 

I’m still going to the beach every day I saw a hawk knock a raven out of the air I saw a great blue heron standing in a culvert just inches from where I stood I watched a two year old girl walk with her mother on the lee side of the island this morning the child was wearing a bright pink gauzy shawl that was at least five feet long and it furled out behind her in an amazing wave I finally moved my tiny belongings out of my gray winter purse into my spring purse which is pink and has a sixties boxy look I was saving it until after covid but here we are I began a skin care routine with a fancy cleanser then masque then cream then lip exfoliant but I gave it up in one day the gladiolus are finished drooping their long stalks with one determined flower hanging onto the ends of each one with ridiculous hope the dahlias are up the bullfrogs sing in the marshlands behind my house my son is still here but he is leaving Saturday going to the city then to his orchard we talk about politics and art and memory and music my son is brilliant and his thoughts constantly keep me thinking we talked this morning about how our brains grow rigid if they are not used we think this is what happened to Terrible America its denizens grown rigid and stupid

I can’t practice Bach because when I play my violin I keep my right foot in front of me and my left foot behind me then I move my body using my left rear foot as a propeller launching me almost out of my chair at times something that used to disturb The Jackal my prize student’s mother all that moving around she’d say the queen of judgment and I’d beg her to go see the symphony for herself so she could see that I was not broken

ps. I teach my students to sit with both feet in front of them planted firmly on the floor

I wanted to write about woodpeckers how their tongues practically curl around their brains and about penguins’s terrifying sort of teeth these creatures are not at all disneyfied but instead I’ll confess that my terraria my science projects are all over the place now at different stages of growth and decay fecundity and death and according to my son are problematic but I think I’m done with nature at least for tonight

Saturday, August 22, 2020



this morning I baked that completely fucked up pan of brownies and that’s my day so far though all this is saved by the fact that I saw two blonde llamas just chilling in the back of a truck at the beach the other day

last night I dreamed of a plane crash in the sky above my yard at first one white sneaker fell then another then more white sneakers fell faster then part of the wing came crashing down and the survivors were on my porch asking to come in asking for water asking to use the bathroom asking for help I used to work on the wiring inside those airplane wings with Alice I know exactly what they look like Alice are you here are you the wing burned and burned near my fig tree among all those white sneakers my name is on every single wing I ever tied and crimped the wire bundles for my name goes into the sky every time one of those planes flies and when they crash the people who inspect the crash sites know who wired the plane but they never tell because the knowing would be too much to bear 

Friday, August 21, 2020

Pig and farm report


my right hand hurts because tendinitis has gripped my first two fingers the fingers in my bow hand my right hand hurts because I have been practicing Bach my right hand hurts because I am anxious my right hand hurts from pulling weeds and kneading bread my right hand hurts because I have been driving so much and I'm gripping the goddamn steering wheel like I'm about to be raptured and I'm not right with jesus I have not treated my hands as precious babies throughout my life they are pretty beat up

I go to the beach every day I watch the beach for hours I am not in a hurry with it I have distributed the silk sheet I have rinsed my hair in a tide pool I know which seabirds will be standing in the mudflats I know how barnacles stink in the sun I know what the tides are I have read and memorized the tide tables I have culled and given away the sea in my head I have considered how long it takes wounds to heal 

sometimes my son feels like my jailer everything wobbles and is in flux especially time during covid I am at 37% or 10% or perhaps 22% I cannot function after a few days of rain last week or two weeks ago or last week or yesterday I realized it was autumn as firmly as a handshake as riotous and alarming as a sneeze or a white boy high five never high five me my right hand hurts from high fives my brain hurts from high fives there will be no more high fives I love my son who takes care of me and he never tries to high five me and I am so glad and so lucky that he's here

autumn moved in and the entire planet shifted and I felt the shift this is not crazy old lady talk I felt the shift in my bones it was a few days before I woke and smelled campfire smoke from the state park come in through my bedroom window early in the morning the campfire smoke took root in my hair and stayed and it rained another day and six trees at the beach gave up their root balls and crashed blocking the road today it is windy a wind storm and I have a plan to make enchiladas and I should get to it but I have misgivings about starting a cooking project when the wind is high and trees are going to tree heaven just eight miles away and I lose power out here so frequently

my son's truck is fixed for now and it cost me a pretty hunk of change and it cost him a pretty hunk of change it cost all of us but I feel it the most because I have so very recently been dirt poor and I still think in my wobbly brain like a dirt poor person it is not that far behind me just four years behind me I worried about all the money it would take to fix my son's truck I worried that I would become poor again even though I own this house and have a pantry full of food and a bed that won't fall through the floor and working electronic toys and a car I rarely drive any more except to the beach and the state park gripping the steering wheel like I'm about to be raptured

that picture up there is from the only sleepover I ever had or attended as a girl as a leggy wild eyed girl with my friend Elena Benoit who I remember because not only did she attend my only sleepover but she and I read the entire school library in the third grade including dictionaries and encyclopedias this was a pact we agreed on and kept already that sleepover at my mother's terrible house looks dangerous and unsupervised what was happening what I tried to crop the photo and because I am typing on my pc because my right hand hurts too much to hold my ipad and type with one finger as I usually do the crappy cropping mechanics combined with my lack of skill made the photo too dark but I have the original and maybe darkness is required to see myself here my leggy wild eyed girl self with one friend and a lot of books my right hand hurts and my hair smells like campfire smoke and I am not okay this morning I am still a wild eyed girl twirling in a bright blue dress with a belled skirt

all I have done so far today is wonder why my heart keeps pounding like a horse inside me and make a roux and smell my wood smoke campfire hair swirl around my head and even though I know what a roux is what a roux is meant to do* I am still impressed when I make a roux and its thick magic happens every single time and now all the things are happening at once the enchilada sauce is cooking the lights are flickering I am writing to beat the wind and to apologize to myself for not writing here every day so it isn't such a shock to find out I can still do it

my right hand hurts because I went too long without practicing Bach and thought I could dive right in even though I know better and my writing practice here suffers and I suffer because writing feels lost but Bach felt lost until I rosined up my bow and got to it

mastery of practice is mastery of art I know this deep down in my leggy wild eyed self I taught this to all my students both writing and violin for years and here I am twirling in my blue summer dress and pulling weeds and listening to the news though this dress is a bell and when I twirl the skirt balloons out like a Sufi dancer and my whole head is holy and fills with smoke and air

I am at 37% or 10% perhaps 22% not in my right mind though I am neither depressed nor manic I watch too much television news I worry about the post office I am distraught over what is happening the past three years to our very basic freedoms I worry about women of child bearing age who might need an abortion or a divorce or a vote if the republican party gets another four years I am fucking worried and we should all be

I feel a little bit crazy but not actually crazy you don't have to be the Kleenix Lady who rushes over when I start to cry at an AA meeting or a doctor's office or any public space because you want me to stop you want to stopper me to throw a blanket over my whole messed up life to stop me from howling to stop my animal grief to stop me from becoming fully my animal self as my terrible family destined me to be I might go into survival mode in a ball on the floor today but it's okay you don't have to be the Kleenix Lady instead join me in keening and howling join me in the best ever cure

I am so glad the days are getting shorter


*I know what a roux is meant to do might be a Johnny Mercer song but it is not and he's dead so he can't have it though honestly he should have thought of it living in the south as he did

Saturday, August 15, 2020


my six strand braided challah is the same burnished color as my old mahogany Franklin upright piano

Pig and farm report

Caveat : both of the links I tried to make for this post are broken but I’m to blarghhh to fix them

I rescued this coleus last year I put one of them outside when I gave up on it because its leaves were falling off and I stuck the other in the window with my Christmas cactus and weird mushroomy orchid where it not only thrives but is now flowering all they needed was for me to stop loving so hard on them clearly this beauty prefers being ignored I didn’t take a pic of the flowering one it’s much more private but this one on the deck greets my coffee and me every morning and we have a little chat and I promise not to touch it not to maul it with my sad human love

here is the peperomia watermelon that I planted to root on June six in the plant hospital of my kitchen the upright leaf hasn’t done much yet but the bigger leaf that slipped down flat sent strong roots out from its bottom and now you can see a baby leaf finally poking up behind it and if I gently lift the adult leaf I can see that baby leaf is coming up with his whole family mom dad the twins the four cats and two dogs grandpa and grandma and the three aunties

not only are these gorgeous plants when they grow up they’re fascinating to watch as long as you don’t mind slowing down and who among us has not slowed down 

here are more pictures but they’re none of them very interesting because I made my brain shut off after a big week of finding out my kid needs two new catalytic converters and two new headers on his truck very pricey stuff over two thousand so his dad and I pitched in to help with half the bill on account of the kid hauls our sorry asses all over the place I took a drive out the old highway to Mount Vernon past the tasseled corn fields in a crazy black storm sky and bought figs at the Co-op and bought a burrito and stood in the Skagit River with my skirts tucked up as we who stand in rivers know how to do 

here are some pink plants I love I am sorry poetry has fled my brain my kid with a broken truck is here so very much so very very much and he wanders in from his half of the house to put the news in my ear in both my ears every few minutes even though I look at him and feel my eyebulbs glaze over plus he wants to drive my car and I let him but I am not comfortable with it 

the last picture is that ginger I planted going berserker behind it my grand attar of rose geranium behind that my pyramid lamp that I bought years ago in Port Townsend my metal Yellow Submarine that the Beatles still pop out of and my Read Hard cup on my desk

I took my library books back I called and canceled LegalZoom’s free legal aid for only 14.99 per month taken directly from your checking account call and cancel any time within the next 14 days! I have my will in hand ready to be notarized I scrubbed my toilets I wandered around in my yard eating blueberries I saw that Figgy Pudding has finally branched up and out so now she is three trunks strong I put away my laundry and I bought some cheechee face stuff something called a moon mask for hydration and some lipstick I love buying makeup and girlie crap almost as much as I love buying books I always have the cheechee-er the better even though I rarely wear it but my face has become very tender where the masks cover it I swap out different masks for different days and use the paper blue masks when I’m caught by surprise (they really hurt) 

I just braided a six strand challah that’s in the oven rising my brain is stupid but my heart is AOkay I took that eagle picture from inside my car this morning it was cool but sunny we had a few days of rain then it was autumn I felt it so strong a shift in the earth’s crust the fragrance of the forest swinging wide and I feel it every morning when I wake up and the owls feel it too their morning and evening calls deeper and closer now as if they’re packing up their camping gear and heading back to their wild nest in my giant hemlock tree we will have a couple warm days but summer is over

Save The USPS (postcard)

 I am not a believer but I suspect he pretends to be like the rest of them so I wrote upward 

Fight the power

There is a letter writing campaign happening now in America I sent him a postcard this morning I suggest you to do the same

Louis Dejoy

806 Country Club Road

Greensboro N.C.


Thursday, August 13, 2020

 Dear Henry,

how does it feel how does it feel to get old like summer in Chewelah like sugar pie an unmanageable stain a kind of hoarding I abandoned my clothes Hugh Hefner wore a suit in public enough already with the stained smoking jacket and coiffed hair tug your sweater across your stomach dear or sit with a pillow on your lap watch the bone gaunted mules pull cart across Wyoming I gave you my hung my pedicure my airplane hangar everything in aspic how many evenings you wasted soaking your foot in a bowl of hot water and Epsom salts it’s time to stage a fake suicide scatter your final notes everywhere including the Aurora Bridge and the mighty Mississip swallow whatever Jesus puts in your mouth choose another child an empty prize bent toward the shack where they gut fish where we gutted ourselves the artist who created Superman had a gig on the side drawing for an S and M fetish mag knew it wasn’t ripe but he kept eating guttural momentum would it make a difference to the sperm splurging split that morning I bought steaks and a GI Joe doll roasted the hairpin that hid your surgical coin folded it into the secret girl book this morning I’m looking for you not one bit shy buster not one bit plague or earwig in your egg drop soup I am hammer toed I am a hammerhead shark waking up God

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Madam Vice President

I had a real crappy day and my kid had a crappy day too but then I heard the news that Kamala Harris a Black woman is running for Vice President of the United States and this news filled me with so much joy honest down deep joy and so many happy tears I finally turned it around by baking a cake pink icing with pink glitter stars for Girls my Kamala cake and I will build another when she is voted in

And all the little girls around the country looked up and waved because they now too have a chance

Amin Amin Amin

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Pig and farm report

Rosemarie sent me this spectacular carrot cake for my birthday which I had almost as much fun unboxing as I did eating and I mean almost as it was indecently delicious 

I took a little break from writing here and now I see blogger has completely changed its mind about what it wants to be when it grows up it took me a couple seconds to figure out how to post those photos and I have no idea how they will fit on the page will I have to eventually write in something other than my elderly iPad damn

I can’t see when I type but that might be because I’m typing in bed and jesus is punishing me for sloth the reason I haven’t been writing is because I’m being summerly which I tend to do and as long as I can avoid the news I’m happy sleeping with no mania for months or possibly I’m manic all the time and the rest of the world finally caught up

I have not eaten a single fig but I plan to correct that tomorrow today I did the big shopping three weeks worth of shopping and I asked four people to please not wear their masks around their chins this in Snohomish County the actual epicenter of the disease in this country I felt combative and pissed since two of the people I spoke to were working in the store one was putting away produce the other working in the bakery I came home and sent the store a scathing letter I get so angry at stupid the store is the Kroger QFC in Stanwood in case you want to stay away I’m done shopping there and will take my business to Haggen’s down by the freeway from now on

my tomato plants are full of fruit every morning I bend down and pull weeds and just inhale and wait in that fragrance my blueberries are finally blue but not quite sweet the little madrona outside my bedroom window my arbutus menziesii is shedding its brownredbrown bark for the first time since I bought this house four years ago and it is dramatic and stunning my yard is full of these amazing trees

I woke to hard rain this morning I asked Page two days ago to climb up on the roof and dig the pine needles out of the gutters which he did just in time as we used to say at the Big Airplane Factory jit factory work the kanban method of always being busy managing your flow which always makes me think of Ken Kesey who wrote go with the flow who lived that flow and I think about the shop every day what it looks like now who is left the people who had seniority or the fastest workers I was a fast worker my fingers flying across the form boards as I bent and strung and crimped and tied the wire bundles that control everything inside the airplanes until the tendons in my thumbs shredded and I had surgery to rebuild them running for miles a day on that concrete floor but now I’m reminiscing like a grandpa here is kanban in Japanese 看板

for some mysterious reason my son finally got interested in my science experiments the terrariums and he wants to make one in an olive oil bottle he has saved since his olden days I can’t wait to see what he comes up with it has a narrow mouth so he will be planting with my long long tweezers

today I made a will through LegalZoom all I have to do now is wait for the actual papers to get here then get it notarized then bob’s yer uncle it isn’t the first time I have admitted to myself that I may die from the virus I also showed my son where I keep the deed to the house and the title to my car here in a couple weeks I’m going to talk to the bank just to make sure everything is squared away financially for him and I reminded him that I want to be cremated and told him if I get sick in a coma to just pull the damn plug then he got a little freaked out and wouldn’t let me talk about it any more one of the greatest parts of keeping a garden is watching how everything goes back to dirt

has anybody been watching Perry Mason on HBO I think it is fantastic and so much closer to Erle  Stanley Gardner’s books than the constipated black and white version of my youth

my television died for two days and I had to let a stranger into my house to fix it and I wasn’t happy about it for many reasons but at least he kept his mask on inside ugh after he left I boiled the entire house in bleach and lye

I stood in the Skagit River hello

ps. I figured out how to edit images but now it won’t let me update my post

Monday, August 3, 2020

100% full

This is the Mississippi Goddamn Nina Simone moon

pink slip goddamn eviction goddamn soft potato goddamn sick in the head goddamn doubledown Monday goddamn fed up motherboard goddamn blood down my leg goddamn vampire government goddamn two headed dog goddamn rancid labyrinth goddamn live wire black anemone goddamn slumlord goddamn car crash goddamn collapsed lung goddamn autopsy goddamn

Nina Simone O Nina Simone I need your fire to rise up in me