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a3288989-70cb-4510-a4d7-ae7eed0af2a6.jpegAnother liminal stage of this unexpected life.  Ah, nothing like a perfect word.  (Thank you, Anne, for giving it to me.)

First note, when we moved to Madison twelve years ago, it was to be our permanent home.  David and I had given up an east coast replant and saw Madison as the just about perfect midwest place to be for-almost-ever.  Okay, there were the winters (100 inches of snow our first winter here) but other than that, it has been pretty perfect place for the three of us.  Continue reading

just today’s scribbles


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So much change, so fast, none of it bad but all of it pushing over the edges of comfort.  I start and scribble and then leave it.  And then, change again, making what I scribbled about before irrelevant.  Compassion, especially for myself, is my current practice.  I need to go to the gym, pamper myself some, we need to go to the movies and indulge in ice cream.  I can understand Julia’s ups and downs; I need to understand my own.  

Julia, by the way, has good and bad days, needs to check every day that we are taking all of her books and stuffed toys, and that she will finish the school year at West High, but she is doing pretty splendidly.  

Right now, I am always tired.  Transition is exhausting. Continue reading

a few days in and around boston



Spring break.  Tuesday through Saturday.  Boston environs.  Pictures now, reflections later.


First morning in Boston and first Dunkin’ Donut.

The cutest apartment in all of Boston!  A carriage house to a very beautiful old Victorian.  No, I didn’t get it.  I didn’t even get inside to look at it.  The rude RE agent cancelled our appointment after I arrived.  We did, however, climb stairs and peek in windows.  Universe, I’m putting you on notice that this apartment’s twin is my wish list.  Please. Continue reading

rubricon crossings



Done and done!*

House sold.

Nineteen viewings and an open house beginning Friday evening and ending Monday around 5:15.  Rather unintentionally, I met the buyers just before I left the open house on Sunday. I showed them the garage and we talked a bit about the gardens. I hear they stayed for the entire 2-hour open house.  Monday morning, they came for a second viewing at 8 am and just before midnight the house was theirs. Continue reading

show home




Art by Duy Huyn

Strangers are walking through my house.  My very clean and pristine house.  My almost not-my house. They did it yesterday for hours and hours and we stayed away.  They did it yesterday with their Real Estate agents and no one with any connection to the house was there.  

I know it’s done that way.  I’ve done it.  Still, it’s creepy.

Today, open house.  My agent is there.  Much more comfort knowing that she can . . . . I’m not sure what?  Protect?  Defend?  Make sure it is safe?  Direct traffic. Continue reading

the pace of change


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Not at all what the house looks like today, but my favorite picture of my home.

House on sale today.  The listing.

The House: Staged.  Stripped of it finery.  My finery.  Even the periwinkle walls of my bedroom are bleached white.  Adorned with ersatz tchotchkes and fake ferns.  Upstairs hall echos when I call up to Julia in the morning.  The ethos of the house is a disturbing dream of a home I have abandoned but not left.  Dali or Esher-like?

Me: tired, grumpy, stressed. Discovering how home is rooted in the art on my walls and the books on their shelves. Terrified that the pace of change is picking up. Yes, I know, I pushed that stone down the hill. Continue reading





Another penguin rehearsal.

I haven’t found time to write all week.  I’m a little off my game and way too intense.  It’s all about the work of getting ready for sale.  My house, quickly becoming “the” house, will go on the market March 15.  Ok, there may be some wiggle room but around then.  I’ve been in the basement all week sorting, tidying and chasing cobwebs.  Stuff.  All that stuff that I put to one side after finishing my big basement cleanup 7 years ago.  I didn’t know what to do with that stuff then and unfortunately, gremlins didn’t steal into the basement and take disposition into their own hands. In truth most of that ‘stuff’ should go into the trash with just a bit that might be useful going to St. Vinnie’s. But how to trash a statue of the BVM, won in a third grade catechism bee, whose base is so chipped she doesn’t stand anymore? If she was small I’d put her on my meditation altar but she is tall, would dominate the eye candy and would fall over.  I make piles, then divide the piles, clear out the trash piles, stuff the St. Vinnie piles into bags and put those in my car trunk, and then repeat.  Piles of stuff are slowly diminishing, moving boxes are mating and begetting.  Continue reading

learning curiosity


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74CDDAE7-CE49-4E60-98E2-38B095EAE245Curiosity.  Perhaps that is the theme for the month, maybe the year.

In Mare Chapman‘s class last fall, (wonderful teacher, by the way) a discussion about feeling ‘less than’ led me to tell the story of my brother challenging my ability to do a task because I was a woman.  One of my classmates asked what I would say to my brother today if he said the same thing to me today and I was silent.  When I admitted that I had no idea what to say, she offered, “I’d ask, ‘Why would you think that?’”  Her answer/question stunned me because it was so simple and yet, so far from my grasp.

Simple curiosity! Continue reading



img_4026We have been!  If there is one person in my circle who has not heard of Marie Kondo, Japanese tidying diva, you need to check out her Netflix show and her website. Wait, let me walk that back.  If you house (and your life) is orderly and tidy, if you have only what you need and are not burdened by the excesses you carry, ignore this goddess.

But for us . . .

Today is the first day back to school in a week.  The cold has kept us inside apart from necessary grocery runs and the kick off Penguin Project meeting last Sunday.  We did manage to host a spur of the moment dinner party at the beginning of the week, cabin fever averted for the moment.  Julia and I studied for the same two exams, a week delayed, for a few days and then gave up.  Over prepared could equal not prepared at all. Continue reading

of big snow flakes and natal days




More Aboriginal Art that I did not buy.  Next time!!

When I go to open the journal/blog file and it is not in the “most recent” list, I know for sure it has been too long.  My fingers ache with my scribbling deficiency but my head is stuffed with Earth Science facts, easy algebra and a lesson on loving myself from James Baraz.  

Lately, I have not been happy.  A bit overwhelmed and second guessing myself about my big decisions.  Dissatisfied and pining for a different life. This morning, life is good! Continue reading