Sunday, January 31, 2010


I am not a heifer, a dawg, a cow or a pig.

What I am is a woman with curves
and if you dont like that

well fuck you!

i didnt ask for your opinion
but that didnt stop you from rendering it

who are you to lay your judgment on me anyway
you are not the arbiter of beauty (yes i will wait
for you to look that up A...R...B...I...T...E...R).

you cannot make me believe that anyone
is more beautiful than i am

so stop trying.

because i am no longer listening.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Five Minutes From Then

My first semester at WWfaC I sat in small group with Lynn who wrote wonderful lists. Until that time, I had not considered the list as a writing form. I am not a list maker in the real world, but sometimes poems begin as lyrical lists of images and transform from there....or not.

Five minutes from then.....

You will be walking away from me, hands trailing the tall prairie grass while mine still feel the faint electric jolt of your fingers sliding out of them.

I will regret every negative thing I ever thought or said about you and want them unsaid unthought.

My knees will shake

my heart will alternately race and stop completely

my throat will close and my lungs will scream for air

finally my mind will become blissfully numb.


a work in progress

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Scientific Observation #5


Scientific Observation #5
Subcategory: Human Particle Theory

Observation: That human particles in an enclosed space of defined dimensions, such as an elevator, will distribute themselves much like particles in solution. Brownian motion accounts for random distribution such that a state of equilibrium is achieved in which each human particle obtains maximal yet equal distance to all other human particles - establishing so called personal space. Removal of any or several of the human particles, such as particles disembarking, will result in redistribution of remaining human particles until equilibrium is regained.

Experiment with the parameters by decreasing the distance between you and another particle and see what happens. I am currently working on a theory that combines the Ideal Gas Law with the Human Particle Theory. Will post the results right after I find those funky beans from SO #1

Monday, January 25, 2010

Following a Shamanic Path Pt 2


So I took that turn and wandered down that little Frostian less traveled road. Looking back rarely to what I imagined I might have left behind. For the most part racing ahead red-cheeked full of joy and abandon.

Finally a place that felt right to me. A place where I seemed to fit. Where everything I knew inwardly began to match what I could see outwardly. A place where I was constantly challenged, not to change the world, but to change me. A place where I was not expected to conform to anything. Where I was only expected to be the best me. Liberating and frightening at the same time because the best me is pretty good.

Things that had long been part of my extracurricular studies began to make sense. They were the inexorable pull that brought me down this particular trail of all the trails I might have chosen. The trail of the Shamanic practitioner.

Sounds goofy doesn't it? That a middle-class formerly Catholic white as snow girl would be tapped to do this of all things? To abandon her own cultural belief system and find peace in that of a completely other culture. Usually a completely other culture that her white as snow ancestral culture tried to obliterate from the Earth. Delicious irony that. Yeah still gives me a bit of doubt myself. I comfort myself with the thought that "What the hell I have been wrong before". And as long as I do no harm who does it hurt?

Mostly it has been a solo journey for me - like walking the Camino de Santiago. I alone am responsible for my progress, where I stop and rest, when I continue single-mindedly on. Sometimes I have had the benefit of a mentor to point things out as we go and make the trip more interesting. But always those people have moved on. And I have continued alone. They often appear as if by magic shortly before I have need of them and they bring understanding that I haven't quite recognized I need yet. That is how Toby came to me. A series of phenomenal coincidences that landed me under his drum for a soul retrieval - which is exactly as it sounds - a ritual to find and reinstate soul pieces that are lost to trauma. I often described myself as broken, fractured, piecemeal. What I referred to in those moments was not my body, but my spirit. In one afternoon Toby managed to give me more than I ever expected. He returned part of me.

I can still remember thinking over the next weeks, months, years how great it would be to be able to do that for other people. I looked into studying with Harner or Ingerman, but always I held back. Because I was supposed to learn this from Toby. Which I finally did. When it came down to it, there wasn't much in there that I could not have intuited, but it felt good to share those footsteps with other pilgrims. I do not know where that training is going to take me. I don't really care anymore.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Following a Shamanic Path



I am a science chick. Born to be a science chick. It's in my astrological chart that I am a science chick.

So what is a science chick doing walking the shaman's path? Beats me. I was quietly working and grooving to the quiet rhythm of my research there in my ivory tower of academia, when my innate curiosity lead me haring off down that overgrown and little used trail. That's what happens when you ask yourself "I wonder where that goes?"

I have always been interested in other cultures. I chafed against the wonderbread environment of my childhood and young adulthood. I made up for that hell of sameness by loving the gloss off the pages of National Geographic and raptly immersing myself in the worlds of Jacques Cousteau, Dian Fossey, the Leakeys and Marlin Perkins as they traveled worlds of such vibrancy, places that bore no resemblance to my overly bleached middle class white America. Like George Bailey, I couldn't wait to shake the dirt of Wonderbread town off my shoes and discover the world. And like George, those dreams were put aside for very practical reasons. I settled for college at an integrated University where my friends were a United Nations of colors, religious beliefs and cultures. Few if any of my boyfriends were white, or middle class, or Christian much less Catholic. My beloved tower at least has that going for it, that it is populated by many different kinds of people which makes it seem an oasis. All that to say I dig different.

My senior year I took Archeology on a whim and loved it. This is not the Archeology of Indiana Jones, but the quiet often dusty pursuit of cultures long gone from the Earth. I did a few weeks on a dig to Angel Mounds and really dug it. Pun intended. That interest expanded into Anthropology - in particular the study of indigenous cultures. But again I settled and put those interests aside to spend my days playing with bacteria and DNA.

My interest in feminism, indigenous cultures and spirituality began to converge and those interests were what made me ask about where that path might take me. I kept telling myself I would only go a little ways and that if it didnt lead anywhere I could still back track and pick up where I turned off. But eight years later, I am so far away from that place that I couldn't find it even if I wanted to - which I don't.

I would never have chosen this path for myself if I had known where it went, but having been chosen I will hold my head up and see where it leads.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A New Beginning


About a week ago I got my third tattoo. For those of you who don't know me very well, I dream about a full sleeve which may or may not happen. Doesn't matter really. But, to that end I have been saving scraps of drawings, tattoos and designs that I find powerful and that have meaning to me. So when I decided to get a new tat, I simply opened the file folder to see which one it was time for. I was certain it would be my beloved kitsune, but no. File after file were opened and I heard 'NO'. One of the last files I opened contained a really beautiful watercolor drawing that I had saved but told myself even as I tucked it into the folder 'Oh that's not for me'. When I opened that one I heard a resounding 'YES'. Really? I think to myself. I didn't save that one for me.

But I like it so off I go and get it tattooed onto my right shoulder. (yesyes - this is exactly backwards of how most people decide things like this. All I can say is COYOTE - remember). Even as it begins to peel, I notice that things have shifted significantly and that I am more balanced than I have been in quite a while. WTF? So I do what perhaps I should have done before the tattoo, I open a dialogue with the helper it represents. Turns out that it is my keeper of the Dreamtime - or the Shamanic Realm if you will. I remember how many times this exact helper has been brought in or recognized near me and how many times I have said 'Oh, that's not for me'.

I think the things that hung me up are that I know someone whose major helper is the same. Wanting to be different perhaps I discounted it as MY helper. What was I waiting for I wonder now? Mostly the thing that I struggled with is that when people would tell me they saw this helper, I immediately got a picture of it here in this reality. And that never felt 'right' for me. But they were right. It's just that this helper exists only in the Shamanic realm and as such has no form like what we would recognize here. The painting that I liked enough to save even though it 'wasn't me' was an abstraction of this power helper.

Last winter I got a tattoo to remind me to live in the present moment, to laugh, to take things less seriously and to say fuck it if people don't like it. The year that followed was an exercise in doing that. The last bit of the year felt logy and my connection to my peeps a bit tattered. This tattoo it seems is about my connection to my peeps, the other side and to walk in the Shaman's footprints. Seemingly opposite things. Here and now. And all heres and all nows. But if you think about it this is really just another of those dichotomous things that I seem to accept. Science v. Spirituality. Reason v. Feeling. Real world v. Other world.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Mama's Guilt


NB: This is NOT a blog about THAT Mama

My mom is the reigning queen of guilt. She has held that throne for as long as I can remember. All mama's beg at her feet to learn what she knows about this subject. As one of her children, I am especially conditioned to respond to her guiltimatums. So today she called me at work and the following conversation ensued:

M - Are you sitting down?
Me - Yes
M - I am afraid I have some bad news (this even tho' I have asked her NEVER to start a conversation this way unless she has REALLY bad news about herself).
Me - sighs
M - I was reading the obituaries this morning (FYI - This is part of her morning routine. She likes to be the one to alert the world to someone who is dead. My brother in MT gets mail clippings about this shit all the time).
Me - sighs again...slightly louder

She continues on without taking note of the sighing and proceeds to read me an obituary about a Mr. Simon Klump - the dad of a friend of mine from 15 years ago. I was friends with his daughter Nellie for 15 years and hung out regularly with all his kids. But when I got sick, I decided to make some changes in my life. I recognized the early stages of alcoholism and gave up drinking (or at least cut way back). I continued to call Nellie, but it was obvious that my sobriety was a kind of social leprosy to her. I finally gave up on her and started building my life over from scratch. My mom is well aware of this story.

M - So it says here the visitation is from 5-7 and the funeral is to follow at St. Bartholomews.
Me - Well.....I am working until 6 and have class at 7.
M - What?
Me - I can't go. I am working and have class?
M - But she was your friend
Me - Yunno we have talked about this before. I haven't talked to any of those people since I got sober.
M - (insistently) She was your friend
Me - WAS my friend (getting a little pissy with her)
M - (sniffs) Well I thought you would want to know (said with that faint air of superiority which makes her the Guilt Master)
Me - Thanks for telling me.
M - I am sure it would mean alot to Nellie if you went.
Me - Mom we have been over this before. I haven't heard from any of the Klumps since I got sober.
M - Well honey I think you should go.
Me- (losing all semblance of patience). Why? It's not like I have heard squat from any of them in 15 years. Haven't talked to any of them since I quit drinking.
M -The phone works both ways you know (sanctimoniously)
Me- Mom, I DID call her for months and tried to arrange stuff. She and all her family gave up on me because I got sober.
M- I'm sure you're exaggerating.

She has now punched the last digit in the launch sequence and what follows is the same predictable scenario that has played out a million times between the two of us on a wide variety of subject. It is boring and repetitious.

Me - Are you listening to me? I can't go. Wouldn't go even if I were available - which I am not.
M - Well sweetie, you will have lots of nights of class. This is your only chance to go to the funeral.
Me - I am not going. If you wanna go, then go. But I don't want to go and am not going.
M - Well I don't wanna go by myself. She isn't MY friend.
Me - And she isn't MY friend either. Never was.
M- I just thought it might be nice for you to see Nellie again.
Me - (now pissed off beyond belief and wanting the entire conversation to just end). I am a grown up able to make my own decisions. Thanks for telling me about Nellie's dad.
M - So are you going or not? (with a bit of a tone)
Me - NO!
M - now she sighs that what-did-I-do-to-deserve-such-an-ungrateful-child sighs
Me - Did you want anything els because I am at work yunno.
M - No (sharply and with the full weight of her not inconsiderable Mama guilt behind it)
Me - Fine. I gotta go. Bye

By the time we hang up I am fuming. Why is she able to get to me every damn time?


Insight added a couple weeks later: My mom is very good at locating the pockets of crap that I am holding onto. She pokes at them with her big stick and they drain out their negative pus and goo. She gets the sharp edge of my tongue for doing this more often than not. Sigh....but I am learning. The conversation above helped me realize that even though I had moved on, I had held onto the hurt and anger toward my former friends. Today I realize that I have a whole new wonderful life full of new friends that I love because they did this. Friends that I would never have gotten to know if I had stayed nested with them. Able to let that go finally felt good. Now trying to see that every time that feels hard and painful like that is, in fact, a doorway to something new and wonderful that I have manifested

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Untitled 1/13/10

Sometimes I get mad at you
Even when you haven't done anything.

I don't know why.

Maybe it's like
my friend who gets mad at her
husband when she dreams him unfaithful
then smacks him awake.

Maybe it's like my mother
blindly taking all her self-loathing
out on the world.

But it just feels like old dusty
sentiment that got stuck
in the back eddy.

Wanted out
Needed a target

and you were simply the closest donut



version 1.0

I Open My Mouth

Sometimes I open my mouth
out comes my mother
or my grandmother.

Sometimes I open my mouth
spilling out trout and
clear mountain rivers.

Sometimes I open my mouth
and inhale the world
beautiful or ugly
without discrimination.

Sometimes I open my mouth
nervelessly novacained
dribbling and drooling.

Sometimes I open my mouth
hot lava spewing
carelessly scorching.

Sometimes I open my mouth
and suck on the nostalgia
of mountain huckleberries.

Sometimes I open my mouth
black moths of no hope,
of lies, flutter out.

Sometimes I open my mouth
arctic blasts escape the hinges
till all is glittering diamond distant.

Sometimes I open my mouth
words billowing over teeth
breath creating as released.

Sometimes I open my mouth
and share one taste, one breath,
one now with another.


version 1.0

Tattoo

Not sure what prompted it. But tonight I am letting Boddhi, the big teddy bear with the Maori tattooed face, ink me again. I have been thinking about it since November. The design has changed many times (of course I did NOT discard any of those - they are for later).

Tonight i am claiming my bear birthright. I do not know if it will bring new things or just strengthen what is here. But this is the right design, the right time and the right place. I can just feel it in my bones. Bear will sit on my right shoulder. Balancing those who sit on my left.
"The Bear is the keeper of the dreamtime, and stores the teachings of dreams until the dreamer wakes up to them. Many tribes have called this space of inner-knowing the Dream Lodge, where the death of the illusion of physical reality overlays the expansiveness of eternity. It is in the Dream Lodge that our ancestors sit in Council and advise us regarding alternative pathways that lead to our goals. This female receptive energy, for centuries has allowed visionaries, mystics, and shamans to prophesy.

The strength of Bear medicine is the power of introspection. Bear is not one to make snap decisions, nor one to ramrod or force into any position. Bear takes in all available information, takes it into his quiet place, studies that information carefully, gives it careful thought for a while, and then reaches his own informed decisions based on the facts at hand. Bear is the one who says, "I have to think about this. I'll be in touch later." You can rely on opinions coming from a Bear person as being well thought out and thorough, and based on the facts given. To accomplish the goals and dreams that we carry, the art of introspection is necessary.

Bear is a fierce warrior, especially when protecting their young. They appear to be lumbering and slow, but can have lightning speed when threatened. They love fish when they can get it, but they also eat berries, honey, etc. Bear people like home and shelter, and like to be warm and cozy.

With Bear Medicine, the power of knowing has invited you to enter the silence and become acquainted with the Dream Lodge, so that your goals may become concrete realities. This is the strength of Bear."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Clearing

The past couple weeks have been rough. Bawling for no apparent reason last week. This week spikes of anger from equally unknown origin. WTF!?! At least this time I recognized that the mood swings did not originate inside me - altho they did find companionable emotions to work into a frenzy in there. In the past, it has sometimes taken me months to recognize that what I am feeling is not even mine! Last night as I moved thru a few Tai Chi forms, I noticed that my energy field had several gaping holes. How long had those been there I wondered? Why hadn't I noticed them. And dang had the field gotten small!

Giggling because sometimes the smart girl can be sooooo silly. I HAD noticed them. My emotional state had been at DEFCON 5 for weeks and I failed to associate that with anything. In fact, my logical brain was pretty sure that I was losing it as a result of all this woo-woo shit. Funny how persistent it is in trying to discredit it.

In an effort to keep the field intact, my energy field had grown smaller and smaller, tighter and tighter, and oh so restrictive. I was supposed to notice that, but obviously didn't with all the holiday stuff going on. When it could no longer shrink and maintain integrity, it began to crack. That's when the shit started to get in. I repaired the gaps easily enough, pushed all the negative goo that had accumulated out of my field and felt happy and light once more. The problem with leaving your energy field wide open or in allowing the cracks in your protection to develop unhindered is that there are a lot of energies looking for exactly that little crack to glom on to someone. The last few weeks they have been glomming onto me.

Note to self - Check the perimeter more often. And don't forget the nightshade or the Gordian energy knots!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Plate of Ham

I made a plate from the excess of a family's bounteous Christmas feast
A crimson plate of Holiday ham and make ahead potatoes
No vegetables for you. No jello. As per your request.

I opened the fridge today and there is sat.
3 weeks later. Ignored. Unwanted.
The red plate feeling tired and less festive.

I threw it away.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Life by the Numbers

8 Years
1 surgery
13 Staples
5 Doctors
16 appointments kept
292 sleepless nights
1 scar
12 blood tests
7 Chest X-rays

A life divided into
before
and after.

A life lived by the numbers - No more

Clark Little



I have loved photography as long as I can remember. Would finger the shine off the glossy pages of National Geographic as a kid. Dreaming of traveling the world and taking photos for them. Sigh....those dreams have long since been reduced to ash. Altho' I did have a photo in the running for NG's Your Shot Photo of the Week. So, I consider that a success. Now I just take the pictures for me. That works.

Seeing work like that of Clark Little always gives me a gut check. Reconnects me to my love of great photos. His portfolio is truly stellar....or wave-ular if you will. Check it out.

http://www.clarklittlephotography.com/

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sno Angel

I woke up at 4:30AM this morning. I know. What was I thinking? Couldn't go back to sleep and decided to slip outside and just breathe in the cold. I was awake, what more could the cold do? Standing there on the little covered landing, I had the weirdest urge to slip off the robe and fling myself into the snow.

So I did. I spied the neighbors to make sure the lights were out. Check.

Not really the snow angel that I claimed on FB. Was I trying to get so cold I was numb? Or was it more just a desire to feel more? To let my body become part of winter? Was it an extravagant gesture to recapture the wild girl of my 20's?

I may never know the exact motivation. The snow has blown and filled in the depression.

But I will remember that sense of liberation for a long time.


I found this art online and just wanted to tuck it away for some as yet unknown future purpose. It would make a great tattoo if I held any bear energy at all.

Today just has a weird vibe to it. Can feel the cosmic hammer at the arc of its backswing. Refuse to cringe away from the impact. Let it come.

And bc the word will have meaning Ondinnonk - Iroquois dream ritual. MF

LMAO - not even 2 weeks later this is becoming the next tattoo. I am bear energy of all kinds. just as i am canids of all kinds.

Sunday, January 3, 2010




Today is Tolkien's Birthday. Yes, I am one of THOSE people. And now thanks to Peter Jackson's magic, so are many of you. Welcome. 2009 contained a mini-Tolkien pilgrimage with a fellow LOTR-head. Oxford, Tolkien's house, the Cotswolds, the Eagle and the Child and Wolvercote cemetery all done in a single day and much too quickly with no discovery time. Photos of this are in my FB photos.

I discovered Tolkien when I was 11. On vacation in MN with no libraries and no TV, we had only the limited books we carried with us or those in my grandparents small collection of mostly uber Catholic reading. Sharing books was mandatory for a family of book-eaters such as mine. Scrounging for something to read one day, my brother Jim flipped me a very beat up copy of The Fellowship that he had with him. Neither of us understanding the bond that book would create as it arced between us. I was 11 and he was 20 and our lives reflected that age gulf. Tolkien's magic for me is not just in his words, but in the way that beat up paperback flying thru the air that afternoon and landing in my lap gave Jim and I a place to share. A place that we STILL share.

If I close my eyes, I can still feel the heat on my back and the weathered dock slats under my 11 year old stomach as I dove into this beat up paperback. Can still smell the unmatchable smell of Pelican Lake. Still hear the lapping of the wavelets on the rocky shore. Can still feel the drowsiness of a 11 year old body lying in the MN July sun.

From that peaceful place, I launched out into an unknown world of Orcs and Hobbits, of dragons, dwarves and magic rings. Delightful in its languages and landscape. An adult fairy tale and my introduction to fantasy fiction - a genre I still devour. I can still remember pitching the book across the room (book whores NEVER treat the written word that way - EVER) when Gandalf fell with the Balrog in Moria. I'm sure that explains why the book was so trashed. Imagined many other hands had done the same in frustration. I also remember sheepishly retrieving the book because I HAD to know how the story ended. It ended about a week before we returned to a place of libraries and books is how it ended. That is probably the only time I have ever chafed and wanted to go home from there. Because I couldn't stand not knowing what happened to Frodo and Sam, to Merry and Pippin and to Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas. They don't know me, but they are the unforgettable friends of my eleventh summer.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Patricia's New Year's Day Women's Circle


So, I wrote that blog yesterday and got to thinking about Carolyn - what a warm and amazing spirit she has and how I rarely see her. But then I remembered that New Year's Day is the day that Patricia has her women's circle. It is an ever-changing event and you never know who's gonna show up. But somehow I knew that Carolyn would be there. And just like that I knew that I was going to go. Late. Empty-handed. Neither of those things would I consciously do, but Spirit obviously wanted me to go.

So go I did. Glad I listened. I walked in right as the small group for this year was beginning my favorite part - the story sharing. I listened as each woman told of her experience in 2009 and claimed her vision for 2010. Powerful. Each story held pieces of another woman's story. Job loss. Love lost and found. Issues around family. Those common threads weaving us together. Normally I would practice what I was going to say (yeah yeah.....I am anal like that too), but this year even when it came my turn, I had no idea what I was going to share. Perhaps it is better like that.

The best part for me was that I am in a place the past few days where I have been encouraged to see the arc of my journey over the last 9 years (or over my lifetime....or several lifetimes) and see the progress that I have made in such a short time. As I listened I got a clear picture of just how far I had come since I got my first invite to this event. No longer the frightened little bunny hiding behind the big comfy couch. No longer caring what they thought as I sat there in my baggy ass ripped jeans and too big T-shirt. NO makeup. No shower. Hair a van de Graff static fun do. No longer anxious. No longer meekly sitting quietly hoping to evade notice. I took my rightful place in the circle yesterday with those amazing, powerful and beautiful women of all kinds. I belong there because I am one.

It was a wonderful afternoon. I left well-fed in body, mind and spirit ready to embrace 2010 and all those surprises it has in store for me.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Biggest Toad


At a party at my friend Patricia's one afternoon, I heard her friend Carolyn mention eating the biggest toad. She is a marvelous and creative chef and I became a little concerned about the tasty dishes of unknown substances I had been inhaling. I thought surely she wasn't talking about serving toad as I eyed the things on my plate? Nothing on there jumped out at me as amphibious (haha jumped bad pun). I sidled over in her direction cuz any scientist worth her weight likes to know stuff.

Her explanation gave me relief and I was able to shovel the rest of the delicacies without thought of gastric retribution. It turns out eating the biggest toad is more a philosophy than a recipe. She explained it like this - When faced with a multitude of tasks to do, always choose to do the most repugnant one first - that is to eat the biggest toad. Generally the rest are easily accomplished once that one is done. That made sense to me.

I have never been an actual list maker. Something about that looooong list of things seems insurmountable and I just shut down in the face of it. Course that doesn't prevent me making the list in my head. But that list is less bothersome than seeing everything that needs done put down in writing (words are THAT powerful to me). The year has been winding to a close and I have been trying to keep my head straight in the cold dark of winter and that means allowing it to create a few short head lists including one of things I did not want to carry into 2010.

The biggest toad on that list was a book that I have been working on for my friend Toby since April 2008. Originally he wanted it done by October of that year. And as a naive first time author of that kind of work, I said I could do that. In retrospect, perhaps I might have met that deadline if I worked on it full time (hard to do when one HAS a full time job, takes classes and has a life already) or if there had been a lot of dynamic conversation between us that kept the project fresh for me (I did ask for that, but it did not happen). I managed a rough draft to him in late October. Not too bad by my way of thinking. Rumors of non-payment. Edits took a long time to come back. Re-writes took almost a year because it just never made my priority list top 5. Clearly the energy for this project had fizzled on both sides and any work on it became a heinous labor. How painful for a scribbler to hate the idea of words!

So a couple weeks ago the book made my head list for things to leave behind in 2009. I would not enter another year with this project unfinished. That gave me 2 weeks to push thru to the final edits. Large chunks were still missing. The info I needed to write these not quite what I needed. I forced myself to write the last bits, invent what I needed, complete footnotes and Appendices etc. DONE with not a day to spare.

This project was challenging beyond what I had imagined, but I learned so much. How to carve out more time for writing. How to be disciplined about it and procrastinate less. How to still my own writer's voice and write from someone else's - which is quite psychotic feeling and I hated every BLASTED MINUTE OF IT. How to be patient when the words are stuck. How to work with someone whose way of doing things is my polar opposite - my kryptonite if you will. How to release the anger when it came and focus my energy on completing what I needed to.

The biggest toad is eaten. The book is done. The thing that helped me get there was understanding that I didn't do this for Toby. I didn't do it to get paid (I still intend for that to happen, but have no expectation that it will). I did it for me. It isn't my best work - not even close - but there are bits of it that to me are good writing. If we had approached it a little less frenetically perhaps it all might have been good writing. I did it because in the end it is still a book with my name on it as author. That's a good thing. It's not like the bar has been set really high either. I'm quite sure any book that is the next one will be better. It will be all mine. It will have no agenda that I have to espouse that I am not quite sure that I believe in. It will come as it comes. It will be great.

Mean Girls Are Never Pretty

Mom's sojourn in Memory Care ended when she could no longer stand and became what they term a 2-assist.  She transitioned to Skilled C...