Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Preschool Halloween Short Story

I came into the living room to find all the Halloween decorations gone- the pumpkin faces, the standing ghost.
' Ever, ' I asked, ' where are all the decorations? '
Ever answered casually ' I put them in the garage. '
I said ' The garage? Why?! '
She answered slowly, as if speaking to a very stupid person, ' Because Momma, they were all LOOKING at me when I was playing. '

Saturday, October 18, 2014

People In Your Neighborhood

take a seat and read!

Me, trying to fit into my skinny jeans

"Be like water " the revelations of Bruce Lee

This small article contains such a profound, unique thought. The Healing Machine 

If your child plays on artificial turf, you should be aware of this.

When old, often famous photos get colorized, it's pretty startling and wonderful.

The discovery a super cancer fighting berry prompts testing

I am a big Agatha Christie fan and grew up reading her murder mysteries. I had no idea that she had disappeared at one point and the amazing, Gone Girl plot that went along with the disappearance.

From NPR: A Montana Doctor's experience of one month of treating Ebola patients. As awful and heart-breaking as you would expect. Thank god for the brave and compassionate.

 This article, Letting Go by Atul Gawande in The New Yorker, should be read with care. It made me weep, and I finished it with a stomachache, AND it is important to read and take in and consider. In addition, it is beautiful storytelling combined with thought. Everyone who is going to die should read this.

Dirge, by the incomparable Edna St Vincent Millay

Your gut contains your 'second brain', that is all powerful over your emotions. ( Treating anxiety by treating your gut is important, for instance ) It is the center of your immunity as well. 7 Foods That Will Work Wonder On Your Digestion

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

the affair

i want a truth that feels like you. i want this roadway to rut, birth trees. i want pikes of green and the long haul. i want water on my feet. i want the jut of my breasts stung by cold. i want the hoary back of old hills on one side, the slit of running water on the other. i want a solitary cry. myself. owl. wolf. i want holes in the sides of mountains to tremble like the inside of a mouth. i want the sky to thrust and parry, kill with cold. i want the pinpricks of rain so cold it feels like ice. i want my lips to swell. i want endless lazy grass. i want dirt that smells like health. i want bone marrow strong as an oxe. i want worms through my toes, red ants the size of jelly beans, fish that throw themselves toward the sky as if they think they can fly. i want the heat of fire. i want the sun to peel me like paint off a barn. i want my freckles as bold as soot. i want the blue in my eyes to be confused with cold, when it is heat. i want the hair on my legs to tangle. i want the swell between my legs as strong as the tang of a peeled orange. i want my feet to find the ground again, this pebble, this stone, this soil, this water, this grave, this bed of seeds. everything is here. i want a truth that opens like the land and births mountains and oceans. i want a truth that sets me free. i will find it like coal. i will be covered in soot. i will find it like a gold. i will be afraid of the dark. i will find it like a pearl. i will nearly drown. i will find it like Dorothy. i was already home.

image from julia blog ( cannot find link…did she delete her blog?)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

People In Your Neighborhood

take a seat and read

Blog ' A Cup of Jo ' interviews Lena Dunham.

One of my closest friends, Taymar, had a baby boy recently, Benny. He's THE CUTEST. She wrote this incredibly honest, deeply moving blog post on her pregnancy with Benny, who has Down Syndrome.

Another friend of mine, the talented and irrepressible Jen Pastiloff, had her essay We Are Not Dead up at The Rumpus.  I love this writing. I love the story, the voice, the details. She is SO talented, and you can look out to hear her name more in the future, because she is definitely going to keep blowing our socks off.

Sign this petition to support help for children in Syria.

Benny Cucumber as King Richard

Roche breast cancer drug 'unprecedented' in extending lives. However, we also really need to be talking about and educating ourselves and our children about prevention

This was a gut wrenching, upsetting week for the writing community that I am part of. ( i don't know what that means, other than overlapping friends of friends of friends all who are writers and run the gamut from FB friends to best friends 'IRL') Here's one reason why.

I became obsessed with the Mitford family ( like so many before me ) and entrenched in their drama a few years ago when I read my first Mitford biography. I was off, and have read many more books by and about those amazing, sometimes horrible, always incredibly sharp and interesting sisters. The last of the famous original group has died, Deborah Mitford, and The End of the Mitford does a nice write up summary if you are interested in what they are about.

So this is the kind of thing I"ve been reading about lately regarding my health, and it sucks.  I'm in pain, and scared. But I'm also OK, and able to sleep, and mostly not scared. In other words, I don't spend my days in a panic.  I have come along way with anxiety over the years, so for that, a motherfucking SALUTE. Also a grateful shout out to my mother, who is a fount of knowledge regarding nutritional and supplemental therapies for disease, and who makes the most amazing veggie quinoa chicken soup ever. xo

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

popsicles and showers

summertime at auntie kristi's, now gone.

fall is here.

time for showers with goggles.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Meet Maybelle

Lola got a kitten.
After asking for a year, and agreeing to all kinds of responsibilities which I repeated ad nauseam, she still wanted a kitten.
We found her online and went with Ed to a shady part of town where some really sweet college age guys who sounded Romanian had let their Siamese cat get pregnant, and Maybelle was one of two kittens left from that litter. Covered in fleas and shy, we brought her home. Lola bathed her, cuddled her, fed her, and took her to bed, and Maybelle never looked back. I have had animals my whole life, including kittens, and I've never seen a kitten adapt and bond so immediately. Maybelle is actually sleeping on the top of my back as I write this, wedged in between my back and the chair. She loves all of us, and we love her. Even if I did have to put Ever in time out today for twirling her maypole wand around Maybelle's neck for the tenth time. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

People In Your Neighborhood

take a seat and read!

This is really important, thought provoking information about what concerns studies are raising over pregnant women getting the flu shot.

After My Sister Died I Became Holey by Jessica Yaeger in Manifest-Station…I really loved this piece, and came back to read it again. The illustrations are very effective with the simple, direct tone of this essay.

Some of Flux's long readers may remember when Chelsea King, my oldest son's classmate, was murdered while jogging near our home. I wrote this about her memorial, which I attended with Dakota and Evan. She was raped and killed by a convicted sex offender, and now years later, her little brother has made a documentary about this loss. 

Carley Moore in Mutha magazine: UNHAPPINESS

Artificial Sweeteners May Disrupt Body's Blood Sugar Controls

One of my best friends and favorite people ever, Taymar, had her second child, a baby boy named Benny. Benny has Down Syndrome, and his older brother Caspian is a little confused about what is going on, because Benny has to have oxygen. Benny has a heart defect that, very soon, will need surgery. So the boys grandmother wrote a letter, ' Why Your Brother Needs Oxygen '. It's pretty freaking awesome.

Mortician, writer, comedian, death activist. Meet Caitlin Doughty  ( anyone else suddenly really want to re-watch Six Feet Under? )

Why We Sleep Together Jon Methven in The Atlantic 

This is gut wrenchingly painful to read ( warning, you may cry ), and beautiful, and stirring. Most importantly, it is a call to live. Live your life, now, right now.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Four In the Bed

Our new home. There are two backyards, one the perfect size for a nice large wooden table and chairs- here where the kids stand- and separated by a rickety, white wooden fence at the strange point where the house almost meets the fence, but not quite!, there is on the other side, grass and a sandbox, and a small patio area where I've put our old white, shabby chic coffee table for Ever's drawings and Play-Doh. Both areas are covered from the San Diego sun. I love this.

Dakota came from Long Beach right after we moved in and I snapped this photo. I was so satisfied that Dakota was here for this shot. Taking a 'here are the kids in our new house' photo without him would have been right- he is 20, and lives in Long Beach!- but for me, painful and not right all the same. Taking pictures that mark memories and times in our family life and include the kids but not all the kids is sad for me, every time. No matter how happy, there is a patina to the photo, a bright spot where the flash went off and I think 'that should have been him.' It's always one of the boys, of course, with Dakota being 20 and Ian 17- but already graduated high school- they are the ones missing. And I am the one doing the missing. I miss, all the time, like a low rumbling far inside, the hustle and bustle and noise and life and chaos of having many young kids. I was pretty good at it, I think. I felt alive and inspired and real. I've always had a problem feeling real in the world. I miss Dakota every day. Ian still comes every Friday and we see him at least two days a week, with Friday night still being Family night, so I enjoy the hell out of that, I am there for that all in, because soon…

Ian and I went on a run a few Friday nights ago, and we were talking about what he might do after he gets his associates in college. He mentioned moving to Arizona, at least 'for a while', which wasn't surprising, because he has extended family there and has always visited and loved it. He hunts and the laws there are much easier for hunters. I was telling him that Arizona is a good choice, because inside I was leaping with happiness to think that maybe Arizona would be as far as he'd go, and no more. Dakota always says he thinks he'll move back here to a specific beach community one day, and I like to daydream that all my children will be within reasonable reach when they are grown. Of course, we all know how those plans go, which is why they are daydreams, not plans. Lola has always mused about going to college in New York, and I told this to Ian, who responded ( so sweetly, oh my heart! ) that maybe that wasn't such a good idea, after all, Lola is special, Lola is very sweet and innocent and New York might not be a good idea for her. Just last week, Lola told me that really, Ian was her best friend. Those two are so close these last two years, sealed for life. 

The show Parenthood is the dream of my life, along with traveling, changing the world and helping abused or at risk children, publishing a novel and staying healthy. In this show, which many of you probably know, the four adult children of a family are all moved back and living near their parents, most of them- eventually all of them- with kids of their own. Bliss.

Those four faces above, bliss. For as long as I nurse them, sleep with them and keep them home with me, one by one, they keep rolling out of the bed all the same. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Vlog: Everkins Asks To Nurse

Ever nurses once in the morning and once to go to sleep.
That's it, for a long time, it's been like that.
And yet, every day, all day, in a galaxy not far far away but right in my house,
this happens: in a room, with a broom, in the shower, under flowers, in a robe, infected with microbes, by the cat, on the bathmat:
Ever asks to nurse.

NO YOU CAN'T NURSE from Maggie May Ethridge on Vimeo.
Everkins asks to nurse.