Que será será

It’s been over 2 days since my initial reaction and, while I’m definitely on the mend, I’m still not well. Upon publishing my last post, I woke Michael up, dosed myself with the 2nd epipen and was chauffeured to Twin Cities ER at breakneck speeds in the PBT (Pretty Big Truck, Michael’s new F150). There they gave me even MORE epinephrine, this time in a vapor form, since it was my airway tightening that had so frightened me. They pushed more Benadryl and more steroids into my veins, and I felt only marginally better.

I received a text from Dr C’s wife from Exam Room 2 “hey Mum, it’s Melanie. Where’s the hide-a-key? I got locked out.” My poor 13 year-old, already nervous about my health and in charge of her two younger siblings at 3am, had taken the cat out and didn’t check the doorknob. Not wanting to wake the little kids, my plucky Mel walked the quarter mile or so to Dr C’s house to use their phone. It was a cold, moonless night in our street-lamp-free neighborhood, and Mel was barefoot & wearing a sheer, loosely knit sweater that barely covered her undies. “Were you cold?!” I asked her in the morning. Nope. “We’re you scared?!” Her answer, so typically Melanie, “Mailboxes are spooky at night!” I am endlessly impressed by her.
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Epipen Good Times

It’s late, I’m up & I’m none too happy about it. I have a good full dose of both epinephrine and another of Decadron coursing through my veins…such a thing is no mere match for the 2 doses of Benadryl I took just before. Oy. I can tell you, though, that I am BEYOND thrilled for modern medicine and all my good friends who love me.

Our Optimist Club of Atascadero switched our meeting place up a little for variety: from the local Central Coast Pizza (salad bar!) to the histamine-inducing Golden China. I ordered a soup and asked the server per usual, “Is there shrimp in that?” Of course there is! Shrimp is delicious! I can just scoop it out! “No, ma’am. If I have any shrimp I will GO TO THE HOSPITAL. An ambulance will come and take. me. to. the. hospital.” Oh, okay. I am assured with vigorous head nods that there will be no shrimp in my wonton soup. Truly, I should have known better; don’t ask what I was thinking because I wasn’t.

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Summer Day

There’s something especially lovely about having a lot of artist friends – you get to hang out and work in studios here & there. Artist, I find, have a tendency to feed you, which is great on a day like today when I’m burning a little time before my lunch date with LXV visionary, Neeta. So, I’m writing this from Dale Evers’ studio in downtown Paso, and I’m fortified in body (via Dale’s chickpea-salad-on-the-fly) and soul (seeing my friend and his newest work).

underbelly detail of Dale's Raven Chandelier

underbelly detail of Dale’s Raven Chandelier

Untitled pufferfish-in-progress

Untitled pufferfish-in-progress

Poet-philosopher-gurus similarly tend to toss in amazing snippets, mid-convo. (I recommend falling in love with these types, too, if you can manage it on any plane possible.) From a recent text exchange:

It’s not about completion or perfection, but about the reality that exists

and we MUST strive to manufacture it to survive, but that becomes a form of

binging and purging, and not unlike any other force in nature:

destructive, intelligent and not benign

not nice

not flowery

I’m 90% certain that conversation started by me asking if he wanted to meet for lunch. Or I expressed gratitude. Or love. Those are my favorite topics. With that, I’m off to lunch! XO


The conversations I had been dreading for 14 years finally happened last night. And, seriously -surprisingly!-, I could not shut up. The words poured out of my mouth as I remembered another example, one more instance, and that weird story. On and on. Melanie, my 13 year old daughter, listened attentively, quite possibly the mostclosely (one word) she’s listened to me in months, at least for that stretch of time. Over the kitchen table, as Ruthie scampered in and out of the house, I began (continued?) my teenage daughter’s education about misogyny.


As you may know, Mel’s conception was a surprise to me during my 1st senior year at Cal Poly. My initial thoughts after learning she was a girl was “Come hell or high water, she’s going to have a healthy self-esteem” and “How the heck am I going to explain to her how crazy it is to be a women in our culture?” I had grown up hearing my Dad say things to me like “No, you can’t play trumpet, pick a girl instrument like flute or clarinet” and “No, snowboarding is for boys, you keep on skiing.” It was no small wonder that my chosen major was Forestry and I joined the intercollegiate Logging Team. I was often the only woman in a room, or one of only a couple. When I taught at Cal Poly, women were a vast minority in some classes. Professionally, I wish I had a dime for every time I heard “What’s a pretty little girl like you doing on a big ole fire like this?” Well, Captain, I’m mapping the fire and I will be briefing the Chiefs about it’s growth and location soon, so that they can tell you what to do. Despite all of this, it greatly surprised (and greatly saddened) me to hear the stories keep popping out of my mouth as I talked to Melanie. How about the men that don’t stop asking me out until I tell them that I have a boyfriend? How about the catcalls while I’m out with my children? I was actually roofied a few months ago. There was a security guard at a local concert that grabbed my ass last summer. I’ve been stalked. It’s insane. And I cannot  believe that it took a nightmare mass killing in Santa Barbara to bring about this conversation with my child.

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The Two Me

“What’s up there, Maurica?” my therapist noticed I was looking up and to my right. Um. Your curtain rod is drawing my eye and I want to redistribute those curtain rungs more equally.

She smiled. Nice try, kiddo. “Look again.” And then I could see a figure! It was me, laughing and twirling and skipping through golden fields of flowers, not a care in the world, perfectly in tune with the entirety of life. “What’s on the other side?” my therapist points to my upper left field of vision. Oh, drat. There she is, the STRIVING me. The me who is attempting to use her formidable power to DO. And she’s pissed! She’s frustrated that things aren’t going the way she thinks they should be going, on the timeline she thinks they should be moving. “What’s between them?” Well, shit. That there’s a mighty river, wide and rough and aiming right into my chest.  Continue reading

Symbolic Fencing

Symbolic Fencing at Guadalupe Beach

Symbolic Fencing at Guadalupe Beach

In retrospect, I can’t remember exactly where it was…Oso Flaco or Montaña de Oro? But hiking somewhere this summer I encountered a thin rope that was strung between a series of light-weight poles. Nothing that I couldn’t easily step over or that a mountain biker or horse couldn’t barrel through, and yet: there it was. Existing. Most interestingly, there was a sign attached to it that read “Symbolic Fencing” and an explanation of the delicate ecological system that was roped off behind it.

Hm. A symbolic fence. My companion and I had a good laugh at those two words together -we had never considered such a thing! I think the reason I can’t remember which  hiking trail features that sign is that every time I’ve hiked since then, I’ve laughed AGAIN at the hilarity and yet humanity of that sign. A symbolic fence! What a fascinating idea!

While the word play is interesting, I love the idea behind it. It’s a gentle reminder “Hey, girl. I know you could hop over me, but please don’t, I’m protecting something worth protecting.” Where else in our lives do we need symbolic boundaries?
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Triggered Anger

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” ~Winston Churchill

Oh boy, have I been getting triggered lately! If you know me, to say that I’m going through a lot of changes in my life is an understatement. In all truth: we’re all going through a lot of changes right now. That’s just the reality of reality. But that doesn’t really help, now does it, when we’re slogging about in the mucky stuff? About a year ago one of my friends told me that Churchill quote above and it still strikes a chord. Although I wouldn’t call my current life situation hell exactly!

But I do get triggered sometimes, and that shows up for me as either anger or anxiety. I’ve become adept at expressing my anger on paper, and then burning it, and it’s a fascinating process to behold. There I am, furious, scribbling away almost unintelligably, flinging f-bombs left and right. The letters aren’t even addressed to a person, but a situation. But wait. What’s this? There is another “me” observing this all, my higher self. I feel her. She is unshakeable, serene, knowing, forgiving. And I know -I know!- that all of that anger I’m expressing on paper is really my doing. I have my part in everything. I have created my life. And everything that occurs in our lives exists to propel us to our next highest level of consciousness. 
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Desire as Gratitude

Manifesting is an interesting thing, isn’t it? Sometimes things seem to roll out so effortlessly, other times it’s wait, wait, wait. I observe my children manifest with great interest and I have been nothing short of amazed at the miracles of right timing that these kids have generated. Just recently, 5 year-old Ruthie wanted to sign up for ballet classes.  I heard her desire, and we talked about it, but I wasn’t seriously considering squeezing yet another commitment into our summer schedule. A week later I was signing my two middle kids up for art classes. Ruthie was still a year too young. To my surprise, I saw a ballet/jazz class for 5-7 year olds that was offered at the same exact time and day as one of my older children’s classes. Voilà! Dance for Ruthie. Neither of us saw that coming! There has been plenty of pirouetting around the house recently.
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