It was cold last night, only a few degrees colder than it was the night before.  At least, I think so.  And the thermostat was not set particularly low.  But we shivered through supper and homework.  Julia had had a moderately challenging day—she was late for study hall, her stomach hurt during reading and she still couldn’t present her earth science project due to some IT problem with her powerpoint.  She had math and earth science homework and a Death of a Salesman test to study for, and it was admittedly harder than usual to catch her attention. Once she was working, she was fine, though her processing speed slowed to a half crawl at times.  But we got through it all. She was incredibly tired which has become the new normal more than half her days.  I’m not sure if it is that without the ADHD meds, her body runs down sooner, or that she is exhausted from working harder to concentrate on any form of work throughout the day, or something else.   Continue reading

a purple cast & deep learning

If It Grows Together ~Duy Huynh

I don’t believe that everything happens for reason. Or that there is some sort of divinity arranging events. However, I do believe that the examined life demands that I take advantage of my experiences as teaching and learning moments.

And that’s where I am today.

Last week I canceled almost everything we do.  No cello lesson, therapy with Marilyn, speech therapy, reading group, Chinese brushstroke painting, ice skating for Julia or songha for me.  We stayed home.  I went to a show on Friday night with a friend driving and we went to church on Saturday Night which had the bonus of a potluck meal afterwards.  I did homework with Julia every day and we found time to write to thank you notes that she owed but without other obligations she also had free time to play video games, listen to music, and draw Sonic. This morning I had a chilling awareness that what we did last week, no therapy and just a little bit of learning, could be what Julia’s life post high school could be like. It could become a lonely life of unrewarding work and coming home to an evening of mindless TV.  I know it’s four years away and she will change between now and then but my mother fears bubble up. What if she doesn’t change or grow during these years? What if at 21 or 25, Julia is not curious and needs me to fill her days for her in some productive way? What if only me wanting this fuller life for her? Immediately, I went down the rabbit hole of worry and fears.  What if… What if… What if. Continue reading


Star fish fossil at the Museo di Storia Naturale in Milan

It rained in the very early morning and now again at dusk.  The day was by turn, cool, sunny, cloudy, hot and muggy.  What of my mood can I blame on the weather?

Julia and I continue to work on our gardens.  We are weeding and cleaning the back beds.  I am making space for some of what must be moved.  I’ve not heard back from the inspector who told me he would call back in regards to an extension of time before imposing a fine to give me time to transplant.  I hesitate calling in case the answer is not what I want to hear.  In the meantime, my across the street neighbor received a complaint similar to mine.  Their terrace garden is considerably smaller and their plants, although over 24” are all perennials whose final height is only in place for a few weeks.  Someone on the neighborhood yahoo group has taken to calling he who is complaining the garden gestapo.  I am almost more angry about this second complaint.  No, not quite true.  I am angry over my complaint as well.  I am still muttering as I garden and doing a fair bit of blaming. Continue reading


An old picture from November 2010
An old picture from November 2010

I have been writing.  Lots of crappy, more than the usual self indulgent missives.  Complaints of pain and great bouquets of self pity.  You get the picture.


Today, I woke up to great gratitude, however, and wondered if I had something else, better, wiser to say about this latest incursion into this wilderness of pain.


And I feel wildly, deliciously self indulgent.  Enough so that I can imagine it useful to more than my very singular self.

Pain.  And gratitude.

Continue reading


thinking-outside-the-box Excuse the disarray, gentle readers.  A new year brings reorganization of the old and cluttered, rededication to particular journeys and diving into new long term projects.  This year, these ideas are very exciting and before I leave my bed on New Year’s Day, I am appreciating the energy that seems to be at my disposal.  I look forward to 2015 with a gentle enthusiasm which is almost a surprised but which has become familiar and comfortable.  When I make my bed in the morning, I remember when all that I wanted was for the day to end and to return to my bed.  I am still close enough to the years of grieving to viscerally remember being without the energy to begin a single idea.  I am no longer there.  Alleluia! Continue reading

bison and twinkle lights

Much too early on Thanksgiving day.  The turkey should go into the oven in a three hours and I should be waking up in two to get it in there.  A co-cook to be sure but turkey responsibility translates into responding to the alarm and pulling on jeans and sweatshirt to begin the big feast.

I kinda’ wish I could go back to sleep but I am not putting in (or out) the effort to do so.  Instead, I browse a bit, watch the end of a very sweet movie (Quartet: Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Tom Courtenay and Maggie Smith) that I’ve fallen asleep on for the past two nights, and pull this up to scribble.  And scribbled on until the day began and never got back to this.

Continue reading