Monday, December 26, 2005

gnome home

it is the day after x-mas and my paperwhites are blooming.

today we drove up to the blue ridge parkway where we were hoping to show my mom the breathtaking views. we were disappointed to find the road closed because of a few patches of ice. darn southerners. but we took a nice walk to the first overlook and enjoyed the scenery.

then we went to staunton, a village built on a hillside full beautiful historic buildings. we had a picnic in the car by a duckpond, played chase with tashi in a playground, then visited some really boring gift shops. the jolly roger haggle shop was a good one though, an antique shop that claims to have over a million items. three floors of kitschy glory! i purchased a reclining garden gnome. i couldn't resist him at a mere $4. he is dressed in green and napping.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

bright lights big wishes

the sacrificial leg-of-lamb is in the oven (what can i say, my greek mom is here), tashi is playing with her playmobil faerie set while listening to a new smithsonian kids cd, dan is fitting his new guitar strings onto his guitar, the cats are crashed after madly playing with their new catnip toys, and i'm typing in my cozy new slippers.

probably the best gift of all was this, designed by dan and tashi. i'm not quite set up for mail-order yet, and right now i'm just making teas and dream pillows, but this is certainly an inspiration.

merry christmas, happy chanuka, and what speaks most to me personally, a bright and hopeful winter soltice to all.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

solstice mouse

the attic rag dolls came out yesterday morning and had a really fantastic exchange, but i somehow deleted it and was then depressed for the rest of the day.

tonight i am up way too late because i've been lighting solstice candles and baking cookies and clearing the coffee table which had about five layers of junk piled on it. but it's solstice and you're supposed to stay up until sunrise anyway. not that i'm going to make it that far.

the highlight of the night was the mouse incident. luna, the champion cat, caught the mouse that has been haunting our kitchen. she carried the poor sentient being around for a while, throwing it down in various corners of the house and growling at it.

at one point she was hanging out with her prize behind the christmas tree. the next thing i knew she was gazing down into the christmas tree stand, a deep narrow vessel almost full of tree trunk and water. she had somehow tossed the mouse in.

so dan and i took turns crawling under the tree branches, our heads crowned with pine needles and precarious ornaments, shining a small flashlight toward the innards of the tree stand where we could see a tiny mouse leg floating up from under a knob of the tree trunk. an extraction with chop sticks was attempted, which only succeeded in pushing the mouse down further. more water was added, with the hope that the mouse would float upwards. eventually it did seem to rise a bit and i managed to pull it out by grasping its poor dead paw with some tweezers. the mouse was tossed outside, much to the dismay of luna, the champion cat, who blew it by trying to bury her catch in a christmas tree stand.

that folks, defines my winter solstice 2005. fa la la la * la la la.

Friday, December 16, 2005

the neon skies of charlottesville hollywood

last night we were sitting at the dinner table and talking about earthquakes when our windows rattled and there was a strange unearthly scratching sound. we thought the wind had suddenly whipped up and was shaking the icy trees, but later when we stepped outside we realized that the top of a tall pine had broken off and fallen right next to our house, crushing part of our cute boxwood, and pulling down the power lines which actually continued to work. we are lucky that it didn't crush our roof, or knock over the chimney, or crash into tashi's bedroom, as it very well could have.

not long after the tree fell the sky flashed a crazy neon green a couple of times and then the power went out. some nearby transformers had blown. our electricty came back about three hours later, but this afternoon there were still large areas without power. tashi announced that she was beginning to like virginia, as the winter storms here seem to bring a lot more excitement. school was cancelled yet again today and so begins christmas vacation.

this afternoon tashi and i emerged from a downtown gallery after checking out some amazing murals by lincoln perry. i met eyes with a woman on the sidewalk and found myself searching for a reason why she looked so familiar. she smiled at me, nodded, and just as she brushed past i realized i had just met eyes with sissy
. images of a young prom queen drenched in blood flashed through my head. i felt a giddy little thrill. she lives just outside of charlottesville and apparently feels no need to hide herself away from starstruck admirers.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

chopped locks

last night i went to the starr hill music hall to participate in hops & chops, a benefit for the uva children's hospital and locks of love. with a donation of at least six inches of hair, i was promised a free haircut and free admission to see three local bands. and so, i donated my hair. the hairdresser, located in a dimly lit space on one side of the music hall, tied my hair into a pony tail and chopped off ten inches, rather than six, and she didn't really finish the job. this left me feeling a bit grumpy. but it's just hair, and at least it was all for a good cause.

i quite liked the first musical act, morwenna lasko and jay pun, jammy violin gone wild with acoustic guitar. the other two bands, shapiro and fountainhead, seemed like good bands to listen to while getting really, really drunk. i didn't want to do that so i left a few songs into the last act's set. it's not that i don't love angst rock, but i didn't feel the need to further aggravate my bad haircut mood.

i'm hanging at home with tashi today, as school was cancelled for the third time in nine days due to another ice storm. she begged to watch "the sound of music." 'tis the season for epic family classics. the second half has just begun.

the ice has coated all that exists out of doors with a dangerous glimmering layer. i need a haircut for my haircut.

Monday, December 12, 2005


i'm having a bad day. this morning i arrived at work and realized that i'd missed a doctor appointment scheduled for earlier in the morning. actually i missed two, as one was for me and the other was for tashi.

i promptly called the doctor's office and they said there was going to be at least $70 charge for missing the appointments. i almost fainted. the woman on the phone said she'd talk to the doc and see if he might waive it.

well, they called me back this afternoon and said that actually they are going to charge me $75 for tashi's missed appointment, and $85 for mine. now, i know doctors' offices usually charge money for missed appointments, but i didn't think they charged that much. also, i made this appointment a month and a half ago. you'd think they would have called me with a reminder. i mentioned that to the bulldog on the phone and she said that they have it marked on their list that they left me a message. i don't * ever * remember receiving a message. but of course that doesn't matter to them.

i feel really crummy.

the thing is, about a dozen people recommended this doctor as being an amazing guy who also practices naturopathy. since i'm not much into the alopathic way, it is important for me to have a doc such as this. but now i feel kind of resentful. i guess i shouldn't feel that way, as i'm the one who screwed up. but i feel like they are way over-charging me. kind of digging the knife in and twisting it. had tashi and i actually showed up for the appointments it would have cost only $30 for the both of us.

at least i got some free fudge brownie mix from work today.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

little tree / little silent christmas tree

today our goal was to cut down our own yule tree. first we went to ashlawn highland, home of fifth president, james monroe. at ashlawn highland you are permitted to cut a tree down from the edge of the forest and leave a monetary donation if you wish.

we had a nice walk along the edge of the forest, but the trees were either massive, or tiny and spindly, like charlie brown's tree in the famed christmas special. so we left ashlawn highland without a tree.

we took a drive southward, and then westward, and then northward, looking for a tree farm. i was doing an invocation by singing "oh christmas tree" with new lyrics. and then the sign appeared, in red and green, "christmas trees!"

we turned left, pulled into a residential driveway, and for $20 we were able to cut down a tree from a small family owned tree farm. a friendly dog watched from the porch as the sun set behind the blue ridge. we chose a white pine, nicely shaped and full, with long soft needles. dan and tashi sawed her down in a few fell swoops. while dan hoisted her into our vehicle, tashi and i sat by the stump and offered up our gratitude. i thought i might cry.

we brought it home and trimmed it and plopped it into the big ugly plastic stand and covered it with lights and ornaments. this year i've finally given up on trying to have the perfect looking martha stewart tree. damn those six planets in virgo. i did insist on stringing the lights myself though.

so now we've got a tree in our living room. the cats stare mischievously at it. tashi does a jig next to it. dan and i gaze at it while drinking honey mead, trying to figure out what to do with the displaced items that once stood where the christmas tree now stands.

it is indeed so very pretty. . .


little tree - a poem by e.e. cummings

little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower

who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly

i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don't be afraid

look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,

put up your little arms
and i'll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won't be a single place dark or unhappy

then when you're quite dressed
you'll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they'll stare!
oh but you'll be very proud

and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we'll dance and sing
"Noel Noel"


i was in a crowded east bay bart station with tashi. we were waiting for our train and i badly had to urinate. i told tashi to wait right where she was sitting and ran off to use the facilities (take note: i would never, ever leave a seven year old tashi sitting alone on a train platform). naturally, when i returned, she was gone. there were people swarming around everywhere. i started calling her name and freaking. there were some red cross personnel standing at a table and i told them i couldn't find my daughter. they were unsympathetic and said that there was not much they could do. a security guard overheard me and said, "don't talk to them, they're mean." he made some phone calls to various stations, and then proceeded to gaze down into the tracks. that made me feel really uneasy. i wanted to call dan. i wanted to call 911. i knew the security guy could communicate with the train drivers. with each idea that came into my head, i felt great hope that tashi would be found. and then i awoke.

i hate these kind of dreams.

i had another the night before. dan, tashi and i were at a big house party. i was letting tashi do her own thing, as there were plenty of friends around and i knew she would be safe. but she disappeared. i spent hours searching for her and freaking. the friends were unsympathetic. i was beginning to give up hope and then tashi appeared out of the blue. she told me she was afraid to tell me she was going anywhere, because she was with her new boyfriend and she feared i wouldn't approve. i told her i didn't care who her boyfriend was, to just let me know if she was planning to go somewhere.

hopefully it will be seven more years before i really have to worry about any of this.

but in real life, tashi told me yesterday that a friend of hers informed her that seven year old girls could have babies. of course seven year old girls can't have babies. why mom? this opened up a can of worms.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

house not heat

everyone is in a frenzy because a "winter storm" is expected. that means it might snow a couple of inches. schools will close and people will drive as if satan was throwing boulders at their windshields. they'll pray to their almighty lord and vote for george bush.

in the meantime, our house doesn't hold heat. we discovered there is no way to close the chimney flue. it just hangs open belching out every last bit of precious warmth. the heating unit in what is supposed to be our guest room is completely useless. and there is nothing like insulation in the walls.

we might as well just huddle around a space heater like we did in india.

but you know, i'm just whining for the sake of it. at least i have a roof over my head and it's a fine one at that. brand new in fact, because this house almost burned to the ground a year ago. and we have organic kale to eat and two fat cats to laugh at and lots of clothes, blankets, toys, books, cd's and a couple of jobs. so i can't complain about a house that doesn't hold heat when i could be sleeping in a doorway with a greasy paper bag for a blanket.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

snow day in the south

we got a call yesterday morning from one of the second grade parents announcing that school was closed for the day. i was completely bewildered. she said, "welcome to virginia, snow is expected." it was raining a little outside and felt tepid. we just couldn't believe it. dan was enraged, saying he was going to complain to the administrators. he never wants to complain to administrators!

so dan went to work early, and then when it was time for me to go to work i dropped tashi off at dan's office where she watched "the wizard of oz" on one of the computers (she saw it for the first time on the big screen this past summer), ate pizza, and watched dan do an internet satellite search for our old house in oakland. i worked for four hours and then picked tashi up. they were both smiling.

in the mean time the rain turned into a spattering of little flurries, which later turned into fat flurries, which finally began to stick around the time i got out of work. one of dan's co-workers said there isn't a snowplow in all of charlottesville. when it snows it just sits in the road until spring.

tashi and i came home and built two snow men and had a snowball fight. i started to feel wet and yucky and my socks wouldn't stay up in my boots so i came inside. she stayed out there for almost two hours, laying on the ground looking at the sky, cleaning off the car, doing acrobatics in the fluff and finally, rolling a giant snowball and draping her body on top of it as if it were a yoga ball. i could hardly get her to stay outside for ten minutes when it was warm and the last lingering bugs of summer were present. now i can't get her to come inside when it's mushy, dark, wet and snowing. i think she's got the midwest in her veins.

this morning all the trees are under a blanket of snow, crystalline under the sun. it's gorgeous. tashi's school is two hours delayed, but she does have school while all the rest of the schools are closed. and i just realized i'm supposed to be at work in 20 minutes. see ya!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

welcome to december

it's been a busy week of building the cottage industry. i bottled up two dozen mason jars of my herbal tea blend, "pixies by the mouthful," labeled them, and decorated the lids with holiday fabrics and ribbons. there are a dozen scattered about the barnswallow, and i have several more at the waldorf school store. i also intend on sewing up many dream pillows, and then preparing my next herbal tea line, "mother's little helpers".

aside from that, dan is doing some contract work and so i can't get online as much to write to all of you dear blog readers (one of you? none of you?). it's fun to pretend one has an audience.

today is the waldorf school christmas bazaar, a time when tashi's school truly feels like hogwarts. at least it did in ann arbor. i think the bazaar here will be a little more low key, but still crackling with magic. i'm being a good mom and volunteering with set up, baking, the candle dipping room and the school store.

the really rotten news this week is that a former co-worker of mine from people's food coop in ann arbor committed suicide on wednesday night. i've been turning this over in my mind and it's just really devastating. julie "sparrow" harrison was a beautiful spirit, so loving, giving and positive. that was the external julie anyway. she was certified in massage and, though in a wheelchair, was beginning to take on clients in reflexology and the like. and then something happened to her at a rainbow festival. too many mushrooms i heard, and a desire to drop her anti-depressant medications. things haven't been the same since. i can't believe she put out her own light. i thought she was a survivor. one thing is for sure, she was a great force of good will in the world. she had a huge community. her beautiful warm light will shine on in the hearts of those who loved her.

soon to come, pictures of the pixies.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


not much going on here except for the bourgeois notion that i must go find some curtains for my office that doubles as a guest room because my mom will be staying here over the holidays and she will most certainly want coverings on the windows. there are a couple of decent sales at some unnamed evil department stores (not wal-mart though) so i guess i'll slip off and take a looksee before work. the only curtains i have ever purchased in my liftime were a wild pair of 60's vintage black and white boldly designed curtains lined in vinyl from a rummage sale long ago in buffalo. i gave those away to my pal laura meisler before i left ann arbor because i hadn't used them in over a decade.

other than that, it is feeling creepily tropical outside.

check out miss ladies photos! she's got a great shot of santa in the abu dhabe airport. i think he's following her to nepal.

Monday, November 28, 2005


mist field
glaze across gaze
to insist on a yield
yawn of autumn knell
in blank shift of begotten shawl
a misfiring of desire
her opulent pearl of somnolent days
groping for a moment
to misfeel a razor for a reel
chimney smoke, chipped paint, topiary
tending the needs of a heedless class
latitude of luminosity
calf, lass, colt
wanting to secure the latch and bolt
toward an arrangment of range
homeric isle
a melding of mud and tile
song of sage and thistle
missive missle toe
of one conniving giant
in a tale of conquest
(that would be best)
draperies now drawn
but for milk pink dawn
seeping through lace

Friday, November 25, 2005

birds, cats, hoopla and hash

i admittedly bought in to the traditional american turkey slaughter, and served one up yesterday, stuffed with an amazing cornbread/sausage/pecan/apple stuffing, and accompanied by the requisite mashed potatoes and giblet gravy. i also prepared breaded sweet potato slices, salad and broccoli. we stuffed ourselves silly and then watched an odd old disney movie called "the three lives of thomasina." it has a great bardo scene of an orange tabby cat, like our own loki, walking down an aisle of languid siamese cats and paying homage to bast, ancient egyptian cat goddess.

this morning tashi and i wandered out into the bitter virginia cold and watched a very lame holiday parade. there were probably a dozen "miss albemarle county," but the bagpipers were fun.

afterwards i checked out the holiday market on the downtown mall. my favorite things were the candle holders made out of old tin cans and the birdhouses and dustpans made out of old license plates. i made it back to my car just in time to miss the gaggles of holiday shoppers beginning to pour in.

for lunch today i am about to make the best part thanksgiving which is turkey hash. you can make it too! just follow these directions.

you will need some butter, an 8 or 9 inch skillet, a cubed potato or two, a chopped green bell pepper, about two cups of chopped turkey leftovers (or tofurkey if you prefer), 2 cups of stuffing and about half a cup of gravy. melt butter in skillet. arrange in layers: potato, pepper, turkey. make sure to dot each layer w/ gravy. top with stuffing. cover the pan tightly with foil. cook on low for 35 to 40 minutes, until hash is bubbling and potatoes are cooked through. garnish w/ parsley if you wish, and serve. yum.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

attic rag doll

iris with the red hair: it is lonely in the hills

lavender cat: but there's good rabbit

iris with the red hair: the air is so crisp my lungs ache

lavender cat: i like to tunnel under piles of fallen leaves

iris with the red hair: combat cat

lavender cat: all frailty

iris with the red hair: it is noteworthy, this damp hollow. muddied garment. birds that have gone now. proud evergreen.

lavender cat: i miss the birds

iris with the red hair: and the cicadas

lavender cat: i want to shred the tree

iris with the red hair: as long as it's not the chair

lavender cat: i will curl up there

iris with the red hair: while i tend the hearth

lavender cat: you are the flame in my heart

iris with the red hair: you are the fur on my toast

lavender cat: i do try

iris with the red hair: let's climb the belfry

lavender cat: such chiming never changed a day

iris with the red hair: i like the power of its call

lavender cat: the perspective of a possible fall

iris with the red hair: how very small we are compared to its enormity

lavender cat: how disposable we are against the validity of hours

iris with the red hair: we must make it ours

Saturday, November 19, 2005

two virginias

friday evening i decided at the last minute that tashi and i would join dan in his visit to a friend's cabin in the mountains of west virginia. the three of us had gone to the greek festival to have some good old dinner from the homeland, and dan was going to embark on the two hour drive afterwards. i wasn't sure if it would be worth it for us to join him, since we needed to return by 4 the next day so tash could attend a birthday party. i asked tashi what she wanted to do and she thought quite seriously about it over dinner, and then decided that we should join dan in his adventure. so we gathered up some things from home, piled into the trooper, and drove off with dan in the dark toward mathias, west virginia, where peter, sprout and lily would be waiting for us in their mountainside cabin near the lost river state park.

and what a cabin it was. a beautiful wooden two story high up in the trees. the windows looked out upon a deep and twinkling valley, and a long chain of the appalachians. a stood there mesmerized by stars and mist at 3am, after strong beer and heh heh heh, a wee bit of scotch and warmth from a wood burning stove. the trees were leafless still gestures in charcoal bathed in the bright light of a chipped moon.

we arose this morning to sunlight and sky, pancakes and eggs and bacon and bagles, and took a steep hike upward, upon the greenest, mossiest, spongiest forest floor i've ever tread upon. tashi was a great hiker, but pooped out when we neared the top, so her and i and sprout hung out by an outcropping of rocks. i built tashi a little lean-to out of long branches, and she crouched there pretending to cook acorn soup, while sprout and i discussed childbirth. lily and dan and peter danced about on "cranny crow", and afterwards shared with us their pictures of the vista.

we left after lunch, a visit too short, but just perfect. tashi made it to her birthday party, and now we are all sleepy and pleased because the country roads took us home to a place where we belong.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


i was hoping that i would wake up feeling more cheerful, but alas, not. especially after i poured boiling chai over my hand while trying to fill a thermos. dan watched the whole performance and said, "you should use a funnel." my response is not worth noting, but it wasn't quiet.

i slunk out of the house and, on the way to work, stopped at foods of all nations hoping to find some lunch. in their deli case was one bowl of dolmas and nothing else. so i perused the sandwiches and they were at least $2 more than they were the other day. i'm not sure how that happened.

so i moved on to the belair market, a "gourmet gas station" as it's called in these parts. you can fill up your gas tank, buy an espresso, order a horomone free meat sandwich on fresh baked bread, pick up some ghirardelli chocolates or a toblerone, fill up a bag with jelly bellies, and buy a christmas present. i just got a peppered turkey sandwich on wheat bread (for about $2 less than the afore mentioned sandwiches). and a toblerone.

i thought the barnswallow would make the blahs go away but i walked into a ship wreck. everything was in chaos because tomorrow night there is an open house and the owners are madly rearranging and pricing and dusting and polishing. so i tied little ribbons on bells and polished glass and cleared away clutter and walked around with a feather duster. izzy the cat showed up and kept me company and curled up cutely in picturesque corners.

the blahs had pretty much passed by the time i picked up tashi from school. we took the scenic ride down to highway 29 (can i say fucking highway 29?) where just about every good and nasty grocery store strip mall shop plaza and chain store is in charlottesville. we did discover a small indian market on the way, tucked off on rio road. so we picked up some haldiram's moong-dal-snack and a package of naan.

why am i talking about grocery stores again?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

b is for blah

everything is just a little blah right now.

blah blah blah

i've had a heachache for two days. the first two human cases of the bird flu have popped up in china. the holidays are upon us. my cat has diarrhea. and the customer of the day is a woman who has had like two bowel movements in a month. not even senna leaf worked for her.

sorry to be so scatological.

on other fronts, i watched the wal-mart movie in a full theater on monday. i even got a free wal-mart watch t-shirt. the wal-mart movie is loaded with appalling information. like: the walton family gives less than 1% of their riches to charity compared to bill gates who apparently offers up more than 50% of his. we all know wal-mart sucks, but go and see the movie and you'll discover that they suck even more than you could have ever imagined. it may not be too late: clickity click to find a screening near you!.

bed, bbc news and book are what i am going to curl up with now. they all begin with b, just like blah.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

in the wake of the quake

this just in from a friend of a friend of a friend. she is a nursing/midwifery student at yale and spent two weeks doing relief work in pakistan. there are some good website links at the bottom:

I'm home safe and sound, but it's difficult to process all that we saw in
northeastern Pakistan. The official numbers--80,000 dead, at least that
many wounded, three million homeless--are overwhelming, but it's my patients'
faces, their smiles and kisses and tears that tether my heart to Kashmir.

The first place we visited was the city of Balakot, once one of the
loveliest spots in the country, now completely reduced to rubble and permeated with
the stench of dead bodies. From there we went to Kashmir, where I worked with
a team of doctors and surgeons in a field hospital in the capital city of
Muzzafarabad. Our camp treated 1200-1500 outpatients a day, and had male
and female inpatient tents as well as basic surgery and radiology facilities.
From 9am til 9 or 10pm I gave injections, cleaned and bandaged wounds, and took
care of inpatient nursing needs. As camp midwife, I saw all the pregnant women
and was on call for deliveries. When not doing clinical work I sat with
patients and chatted in my limited and apparently rather amusing Urdu.

I caught three babies in a delivery room we set up in the dirt-floored
supply tent. One of the moms I cared for had lost 45 members of her family,
another had lost her husband and other child, another didn't want to leave our
camp because her tent wasn't warm enough for her new baby. One pregnant mom I
was examining told me, "I was taking prenatal vitamins, but then my house fell
down." One of our patients had had two miscarriages and a stillbirth and
her husband had threatened to divorce her and take another wife if she didn't
have a child, so we decided to do a c-section. The generator died after we got her
anesthetized, but we went ahead and did the surgery without power.
Thankfully, mama and baby did just fine.

Among our patients on the inpatient ward was a family with six injured
children, including one boy who probably suffered a concussion and went into a coma
after not eating or drinking for ten days. His mom was convinced he was
possessed by a jinn and at first told us not to touch him. On one of our worst nights, an old man died in the camp and then a few hours later, a little boy died, the only one of his mother's four children to have survived the earthquake. Holding
her as she sobbed, it seemed we were inundated by far too much grief for one
mother, one nation to endure.

I am deeply grateful for your love and prayers that sustained me through
times when I felt overwhelmed and exhausted. Please continue to pray for the
affected people of Pakistan, and consider donating to relief efforts. The
situation is critical, especially in the mountains as winter approaches.
$80 will buy a tent through the UNHCR; Save the Children and World Vision, two
agencies I know do good work, are also on the ground. I've listed their
websites below, plus the BBC site which has the best coverage of the
situation. The human spirit is resilient and there's good work happening, but they
desperately need our help.

bbc coverage

un refugee agency coverage

save the children


Monday, November 14, 2005

foods and fuss

i didn't really like the gourmet grocery store foods of all nations when i first came to town. i just thought it was a lot of hype. but now that i've started to visit the mermaid express, a woman owned cafe inside foods of all nations, i'm gaining a new respect.

first of all, mermaid express feels like a cafe-car on a train, or a lesbian truck stop, or a teahouse in a roadside trailer. not that it's even close to any of those things, but that's the way it feels to me. and they make the best chai latte in town. the twisted branch tea bazaar makes the best indian style chai, but mermaid express makes the best all-western chai latte.

today i went to mermaid express with dan. after he left i looked at the abysmal employment ads in the sunday paper and then after that i decided to pick up some onions in the grocery store so i could make tashi's favorite [boring] kasha dish for dinner. in doing so i discovered that foods of all nations has pretty reasonably priced produce. at least today they did. and they carry a complete line of ecologically grown greens and herbs from planet earth diversified. ok, so what? well then i discovered a small reasonably priced bottle of taramosalata which is a greek dip that only my mom and i like. it is made of carp roe caviar, lemon, olive oil and potato pulp. i don't expect you to understand. and then i felt happy about the huge vats of sheep feta followed by a longish row of indian foods. also, the deli is interesting and the sandwiches priced fairly. lastly, they have a whole lot of wine and chocolate, but i'll stick to rebecca's for that.

maybe i shouldn't be promoting one grocery store when i work at another? maybe i shouldn't be promoting a grocery store at all? maybe i shouldn't be working in a grocery store?

anyhow, i think i should go and plant the bulbs our friend suzanne gave us. she will be in nepal writing her dissertation when they bloom. i'll plant the bulbs while wishing her a fruitful journey.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

attic rag doll

iris with the red hair: the fox with too many ideas was paralyzed by indecision when the hunters came around.

lavender cat: but the cat had just one idea and he acted on it. he climbed a tree.

iris with the red hair: you cats believe you're so superior.

lavender cat: just don't think about it too much.

iris with the red hair: i will close my eyes and a pick a book: it is the collected works of lorine niedecker. i will do it again: it is dharma family treasures: sharing buddhism with children. ok, one more time now: it is light in august by william faulkner.

lavender cat: i'm just going to pick one: it is the celtic consciousness, edited by robert o'driscoll.

iris with the red hair: i thought the walls were closing in on me.

lavender cat: but at least the framed painting offered an opportunity to step out.

iris with the red hair: quit name dropping.

lavender cat: quit folding up.

iris with the red hair: but i love origami. and those notes we passed long ago in grade school. and the laundry. it is so warm and crisp when i pull it from the drier.

lavender cat: what about dahlias. and peonies. and calendulas. and cosmos.

iris with the red hair: you're brilliant, so smug in that tree.

lavender cat: and i love you most when panic casts the shadow of a dozen twiggy branches across your face.

war is not good for children and other living things

customer of the day award goes to a man who came in and told me he's used every homeopathic/herbal sedative and form of melatonin on the shelf, and he still has trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. i suggested some simple infusions but he seemed dubious. "i just haven't been able to sleep well since i returned from military duty," he informed me.

Friday, November 11, 2005

a true reggae uprising

a great song called "slogans" has risen from bob marley's grave. apparently it was discovered by son, ziggy, on a tape of family archives, and is believed to have been recorded in miami in 1979. it has some overdubbings of eric clapton on guitar. and this freaking awesome video which apparently will be viewable online for a limited time. it has some amazing marley concert footage, and some incredible historical footage of events from the 60's to the present. do check it out brothers and sisters!

great blue propane clustered lanterns

it was 36 degrees this morning when i went to work and the barnswallow was cold. it is a barn after all. soon the owners will hook up the wood stove and i'll have to build a fire in it each morning. i think that's really quaint. but today we had the proprane heater going. this is kind of like sharing the room with a rocket. really loud and spitting flame.

at one point i stepped outside to turn off the propane tank which was emitting a horrible stink. as i opened the door a great blue heron flew from its spot just a couple of yards away. it had been hanging out by the brook that winds by the barn. it flew away from me and then gave me another thrill by turning around and flying overhead before disappearing into the distance. i was so in love.

and there were customers! one woman bought a necklace for $275. and another woman bought a wall lamp for $185. i can't even imagine spending that much money on pretty things.

after picking up tashi from school we had to kill time for a bit because we soon had to return to school for an autumnal potluck and lantern walk. we went to the greenwood greengrocer, a gourmet grocery store/deli/espresso bar in the middle of nowhere. we opted for dark chocolate coated raspberry ice cream bars, organic mind you. then we took a bit of a drive up toward the shenandoah national forest and then down a windy mountain road through a quaint village called afton. we reached a sort of valley and i was just blown away by mountains mountains mountains mountains everywhere! don't get me wrong, they're not granite sprouting snow pointed mountains. but soft rolling thick lovable mountains covered in gold and orange and umber. they feel like friends.

we drove a sort of loop and ended up back in greenwood where we stopped at the country store, an antique shop where anyone can rent a shelf and have like a permanent yard sale.

and then we drove back to the school in crozet where there was a kick ass potluck and lantern walk. i ate lasagne and quiche and ravioli and kale and salad and sesame noodles and apple sauce and pumpkin cupcakes. the kids walked and sang songs and carried beautiful carved out tin can lanterns with candles inside.

and then tashi yelled with great venom at me the whole way home because she felt her class had plotted against her and left her out of the circle of children singing songs at the end of the walk. i told her that i felt her sadness, but tried to explain to her that there was no circle, just a jumbled group of bobbing kids with no organization what-so-ever. she simply hadn't pushed her way into the jumble. but she was convinced the class had a secret plan to exclude her and that they were all to blame for the fact that she was on the outskirts and that i didn't care. it was depressing and infuriating and frustrating and i had to struggle to remain sympathetic yet rational. one of those moments when you wish the perfect parental words of wisdom will just flow forth and sedate your kid-gone-bonkers.

when we got home i drew her a diagram of what the circle really looked like (many dots randomly placed in a cluster) versus the perfect circle she thought she'd been shut out of (many dots forming, yes, a perfect circle). suddenly, it all seemed to click. she realized that all the kids had someone in front of them or behind them and that she wasn't the only one on the outskirts. and she realized that no one was to blame, but that it simply just hadn't gone the way she wished it had.

and so we had a breakthrough lovefest followed by a snack of frozen corn kernels (what can i say, my kid likes to eat frozen corn kernels), bedtime stories, lullabies, hugs, kisses and easy sleep (after getting up once or twice for this or that). phew.

who says parental wisdom can't come in diagrams.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

down with the evil regime

the good news is in:

the house rules committee has removed the nasty arctic refuge and offshore drilling provisions from the budget-reconciliation package

and (this is old news now)

tim kaine won the vote for virginia governor (and even better, jerry kilgore did
* not * win the vote for virginia governor)


next week the exciting documentary about wal-mart's poor labor practices will be screened in over 7,000 neighborhood sites nationally. find the screening near you! dan and i will have to take turns attending, as we have a kid who is a little young for this sort of thing. dan is going to view it on wednesday at an anarcho activist community space/art collective called "better than television." and i'm going to view it on monday upstairs from the collective at the jefferson theater. let's hear it for grass roots community action!


the other night i had a dream that i worked in some sort of department store. an undisclosed california friend came in with a bag full of random items and said he wanted to return the stuff. the problem was, the store carried none of what he brought in. i was searching all over for similar items, but was not having any luck. so, friend or not, i couldn't give him credit for any of it. he was infuriated.


* a new iron
* flannal pajamas
* yes! glue
* "the grand permission: new writings on poetics and motherhood" ed. brenda hillman and patricia dientsfrey
* a printer
* mason jars
* hip winter boots

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

fight the power

tell the government you don't want them to drill for oil in alaska or on other precious coastlines. sign this petition.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

customer of the day award

goes to a woman who was searching for supplements that might enhance brain function. she said her husband and son had been in an car accident, and both had head injuries. after we looked over various bottles of this and that, she disclosed that it hadn't actually been a car accident. in truth, someone had broken into their house, beat both son and husband several times over the head with a crowbar, knocking them out. now they are having trouble with focus and short term memory. none of the docs at uva have been helpful she said, but every time she introduces them to an alternative therapy it seems to work. well i sure hope the bottle of dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) tablets help, because people shouldn't go around hitting innocent people with crowbars.

grey day, grey curtains

it's a moody, overcast day in the charlottesville area.

i am working a closing shift at rebecca's this evening, so spent the morning running errands and hanging out at the twisted branch tea bazaar. i love this place. it is very much like a cafe in dharamsala called khana nirvana. it's a total hippy haven, with the smells and sounds of india. there is funky artwork all around, shelves displaying teapots of various influence, lots of dark wood and pillows and fabric and hookahs and altars. and they make a mean chai. at the bottom of my teapot was a huge slab of ginger.

a cause for celebration: last night i sewed up a pair curtains for the first time ever! i cut a sari scarf of dark greyish khadi fabric in two, and finished it off so each panel could slide and bunch up on a curtain rod. the color works well in our bright yellow living room. with each churn of my sewing machine i am filled with domestic euphoria. and we can finally take down the make-shift tibetan cloth door that doesn't belong in a window anyway.

ok, so maybe i don't have a whole lot to talk about.

tim kaine for virginia governor!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

in detail

i spent my entire sunny saturday working at rebecca's. the day went quickly but i kept dropping bottles of vitamins. perhaps it was because i drank strong fair trade coffee. then dan came in to pour himself some strong fair trade coffee and promptly dropped it.

i left work in the 6:30 darkness and drove home in football traffic. it took me 20 minutes to drive a distance that usually takes me two minutes.

i brought home a bunch of free stuff which included a pomegranate, a neti pot, a box of gluton free apricot biscuits, a beeswax candle shaped like an angel, a tin of whole wheat/soy flour pancake mix, some aromatic fizzy bath eggs, several packets of tomato and bell pepper organic seeds, and a cookbook. i held off on the ground flax meal but i'm not sure why because the stuff is good for you.

customer of the day award goes to a hippy woman who came in with her two kids. she'd weighed each of their bags of halloween candy at home, and had them pick out health food variety sweets and snacks from rebecca's, amounting to the same weight. she was going to throw the prior bags of mainstream candy in the trash, where they belong, she said, and replace the old stuff with the new health food variety stash. she spent $60 on healthier sugar! now that's commitment.

i came home to spicy lentil soup cooked by dan. he even made homemade croutons. it was delicious. he also cleaned and sorted the pumpkin seeds and started baking them. they had been sitting in the refrigerator amongst pumpkin guts all week long. after dinner dan, tashi and i played a lord of the rings board game that dan has had since childhood. it's super cut-throat. dan was gandalf and tashi and i teamed up as legolas. dan won.

now i'm drinking a troegenator doublebock. i get a 30% discount on wine and beer! soon dan and i are going to watch dr. strangelove because i've never seen it and he thinks i should.

bombard bombardier

do it folks, do it! my man dan says:

bombardier is the company that is supplying rail cars for the railway China built up to Tibet. if those trains start running, Tibet will be very quickly
overwhelmed with an influx of Chinese settlers that will dwarf the
numbers that have managed to get up on the plateau since 1950. the Chinese
government itself has publicly acknowledged the rail project is
politically motivated.

Please visit this website to send a fax to the CEO of

...and please spread this one far and wide. This is a critical moment for

attic rag doll

iris with the red hair: i hope virginia gubernatorial candidate jerry kilgore doesn't win

lavender cat: it's too bad so many fish are contaminated with mercury

iris with the red hair: that guy alito seems like a real thug

lavender cat: is it safe to collect feathers anymore?

iris with the red hair: in its third quarter, exxon mobil's net income was up 75% to $9.92 billion. that is the most a U.S. company has earned from operations in a three-month period and greater than the annual gross domestic product of entire nations including cameroon and zimbabwe!

lavender cat: Bisphenol-A (BPA), a man-made chemical used to manufacture polycarbonate products such as hard plastic baby bottles and food storage containers, is extremely dangerous. the chemical acts like the female hormone estrogen and interferes with the body's natural processes. BPA has been linked to adverse effects on male reproduction, altered immune system function, behavioral changes, learning disabilities, brain damage and an increased chance for certain cancers. it's also been linked to miscarriage.

iris with the red hair: the us body count in iraq is up to 2040. there have been more than 15,000 us soldiers injured in battle. and it's been estimated that there may be more than 30,000 innocent iraqi civilians killed.

lavender cat: oh no, the basement is flooding. i better get on top of the bookshelf.

iris with the red hair: oh dear, some one is robbing the house next door. i better close the blinds.

Friday, November 04, 2005

good art on first friday

what a flurry of activity week we've had.

tashi was home for most of it with the afore mentioned chicken pox. lucky for all of us it was a relatively mild case. i gave her rhus tox throughout, which seemed to control the itching and proliferation of pox. she was very energetic each day and today was well enough to return to school. she didn't like the oatmeal bath or the calendula ointment (though both helped), but she loves the cat sewn from left over halloween fabric and stuffed with wool and lavender.

one night we were visited by tad mondale and adele borie (and their sweet pooch lily munster) en route to their home in new orleans. even though they lost their boat and their basement, tad and adele seem to have fared pretty well in the aftermath of katrina. the basement, which contained a great deal of their belongings, suffered under six feet of water. but as adele explained, upstairs from the devasatation was their bright and beautifully unscathed living quarters. tad and adele are planning to pick up a new washer and dryer in alabama, and return to new orleans to mend the damage and resume their life. adele runs a very cool performance space/gallery on clio street called the big top. the big top was also unscathed, and no one even looted the fully stocked bar. dan and i saw an awesome band called the tin men while at the big top in february, and viewed a whole lot of demented baby doll art.

the next two nights we were visited by san francisco laugh riot, sonic. she is on a two month road trip all across the country with her dog, cha cha. cha cha suffered a spinal injury over the summer, but was rigged up with a doggie a wheel chair and some diapers. cha cha still likes to chase squirrels and enjoys a rigorous walk around any neighborhood.

my cat loki (the alpha male) was none too pleased by the doggie visitations and spent most of his time upstairs or outside. alternately, his sister luna (the shy one) did quite a bit of flirting and hanging close with cha cha.

sometime amongst all that was an armed robbery around the corner on shamrock avenue. it's refreshing to live in a neighborhood rife with crime and intrigue.

tonight we ate some dinner at neighborhood mexican restaurant, guadalajara. hefty servings for a fair price. it was delicious. and we made it to our car safely.

afterwards we headed downtown to check out the art walk which takes place every month on the first friday. i got kind of agoraphobic in the first gallery we were in, but dug christoph vorlet's haunting topical illustrations. we moved on to the more spacious quarters of the mcguffey art center where we talked to painter, cynthia burke. she has traveled all over the globe observing animals, and creates these incredibly ornate and odd animal paintings. most notable were the goats and owls in elizabethan costume. do check out her most enjoyable website, studio burke.

we (and particularly tashi) were exhausted after hitting just two galleries, but i'm so pleased with what i saw tonight that i think i'll smile until the next first friday.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

attic rag doll

lavender cat: don't you get tired of hearing the same songs

iris with the red hair: yes -- but you love those old poems don't you

lavender cat: i can't hear them sometimes

iris with the red hair: just go out and dance

lavender cat: i'm saving my money for some glue

iris with the red hair: i saw a star tonight, it was so bright and big. then a raccoon carried off the lid of my pumpkin. can you believe it? such craft

lavender cat: let me nestle up now

iris with the red hair: under the star shot ebony

lavender cat: volcano rock, brick red wall

iris with the red hair: this yellow tension

lavender cat: that tabby is climbing the rolled up futon

iris with the red hair: those humans are too loud

Sunday, October 30, 2005

chicken pox pie

so yesterday i spent a huge chunk of time sewing tashi a halloween costume. i'm not one of these people who grew up with a sewing machine in the house. i did horribly sewing an apron in my high school sewing class. i've never used my sewing machine for anything but mending tears and stitching square dream pillows. but let me tell you, i did a great job on tashi's cat costume. it's made of shimmery black velvet, edged with white fuzzy trim and has a wirey stuffed tail tipped with more white fuzzy trim. tashi was very pleased with it, but unfortunately she won't get to sport it this year. just before bed last night she announced to us that she has the chicken pox. i lifted up her shirt and sure enough the tell tale spots covered her chest. poor kid. all month she's been counting down the days to candy madness.

how to relieve the suffering caused by chicken pox on halloween weekend (things i have tried or will try before the week is up):

fill a large cotton sock half way with dried rolled oats. tie it off. place kid and sock in warm bath and let them smear, squeeze and drip the sock seeping with oat milk all over themselves. let them hang out in the tub with the sock for as long as they wish.

play lots of board games.

give them rhus toxidodendron, a homeopathic also used to relieve the symptoms of poison ivy.

read lots of books.

apply calendula lotion, salve or oil.

tell appalachian ghost stories.

have child bathe in an infusion of burdock and comfrey.

carve pumpkin, place candle in it and watch shadows dance on walls of dark room.

let the child fan themselves. the breeze is a way of itching without irritating the skin.

pick plantain from your yard. cut up the leaves and make a strong infusion. freeze the infusion in an ice tray. apply plantain ice cubes to itchy areas (copyright me).

feed your child chicken pot pie.

watch carefully selected videos with nice nature scenes.

wear a mask and go trick or treating for your child so that s/he still gets a fat bag of candy.

don't feed your ill child candy.

talk about the true meaning of halloween. that it's the ancient celtic new year, the night when the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest. that people used to burn candles and leave out food so the dead would pay them a visit. call it samhain (sow-when) and make sure they know that it's the christians who demonized halloween.

allow your child to dance around the room, huffing and puffing, in an itchy frenzy, as if possessed by said demons.

sew and stuff a black cat pillow out of left over costume fabric. add some lavender to the stuffing to encourage relaxation.

give your child chamomile tea before bed time, sing lots of lullabyes and then write in your blog while hoping s/he is drifting off into a blissful slumber.

any other suggestions?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

poetic forms


train breaks
leaf light in hedge
with sudden announcements
for cat calls and sleeping dreamers
will drown

___ * ___ * ___ * ___

leaf light
jewel like fills
eyes upon window wants
sea foam, question of tides and choice
wide shells

(there is an e-magazine wholly dedicated to the cinquain! it's called Amaze).


printer (ours bit the dust)
digital camera (the one we used in india sucked, and doesn't interface w/ mac)
a rake
warm fuzzy slippers

set to go in the south

yesterday dan and i scored two free desks from the freecycle list. dan's is a big solid wooden computer desk and mine is a small wide desk that i will use for my sewing machine. my smaller desk has a very convenient shelf underneath where i can stack collage materials.

lately i've been amazed by some of the things posted on the freecycle list: a hot tub, a blind 19 year old horse, a car and a pint of half eaten ice cream.

one of the good perks at rebecca's natural foods is that employees get 30% off of everything, even sale items. also, we can place a wholesale order with the distributor once a month. this gives us 50%, sometimes even more, off of bulk quantities of food, herbs, bodycare products, supplements, pet food, and, amongst other items, fun things like candles and incense. i am very excited because i can order organic herbs in bulk and finally start my cottage industry. i've been wanting to market my tea blends and dream pillows and i believe the time has come.

tashi, who goes to school up in the mountains, said that she found snowflakes on her hat yesterday.

i think the dream i had the other night about the nasty water in the bus had to do with our bathroom sink, which is plugged.

now that i'm working in a very busy little shop where customers are full of questions, i'm continually astounded by the fact that the majority of people talking to me have southern accents. i might even get used to it someday.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

dreamslinging: more than you ever wanted to know

i remember two dreams from last night.

in the most recent dream, dan and i chose one of many buses that were to be transporting a huge crowd to a rally. democratic virginia gubernatorial candidate tim kaine was on our bus. so were a bunch of raggedy looking hippies. the bus was actually going to the taj mahal. there was only one other woman on the bus. someone was passing around a fat joint. the tibetan sitting next to me smoked most of it. dan decided to swallow the remainder. suddenly the bus was full of nasty water. i jumped off and wandered to a nearby stream where there were a bunch of clay vessels. i used one to scoop out the nasty water on the bus. then i saw ann arbor friend katy shay and told her i was taking a bus to the taj mahal. she was happy for me.

in my other dream it was christmas morning. there were no gifts under the tree because we were too broke. i was in a panic to change that before tashi awoke. i remembered that i had some gifts i chose earlier in the year hidden away in the closet. i was madly wrapping them. and then i was searching for the sari wearing indian barbie i picked up in dharamsala and have had hidden away since. it was time to give tashi the barbie. i wondered if she would remember some old puzzels she had played with as a toddler. i dug them out of the basement and figured i'd wrap them up as if new. my brother arrived and i asked him to go in tashi's room and stall her so i could finish getting the gifts ready. there was a small pile of gifts from him now under the tree so things were looking up.

wishbox: a bin for all my practical and materialist longings

Handbook of Poetic Forms (Ed. Ron Padgett)
towel rod
two (at least) wood bookshelves
a new bra
dresser for tashi's room

poetic forms

Autumnal Acrostic

Cabin fever sets in
Oily streets when the rain
Lull in activity
Dark the days ahead

Monday, October 24, 2005

my man and a cup of joe

it's a brisk morning in charlottesville, va.

dan returned from london in the wee hours of the morning, but not without being pulled over by a cop between dc and home. he'd been asleep at the wheel and swerving.

we're about to go out for coffee at our favorite fair trade joint, java java. i kicked the coffee habit in 1994, and suddenly seem to be picking it up again. i can't seem to resist a spiced chocolate espresso on occasion, while gazing over the steaming cup into the elfin eyes of my favorite person.

Friday, October 21, 2005

rear rage

this evening i was stuck in a backed up line of sedentary rush hour traffic when, pow! i was rear ended. tashi was safe and sound in her booster seat, but i could feel the kink in my neck immediately. i jumped out of the car to deal with the guilty driver behind me when s/he took a sudden turn up a side street to the left and peeled out into oblivion. i did manage to jot down the license plate number. upon examining our car i was happy to find no damage. we have one tough subaru bumper. it made up some for the seething annoyance i was feeling toward the rude rear ender. now all i can do is hope that i don't wake up in need of a neck brace.

i have been rear ended on too many occasions, and always at times of major transition in my life. dan and i were severely rear ended by a drunk under-age driver in a california parking lot the first weekend that dan moved to the bay area. and then we were rear ended again by a silicon valley yuppie not long before we left for india. sure enough, upon our return from india, my brother in law tom was rear ended by a carload of born again christians while transporting us from the portland airport to his sister sue's house. and now this, in our friendly new hometown of charlottesville, virginia. except this time i wasn't provided the honor of meeting the driver.

we avoided it as a couple in ann arbor, though dan was rear ended alone in his cab. so i guess tonight was my turn.

dan is in london for a conference. he got to hang out with my cousin david all day today and visit the cool gallery that david works at.

it's girls weekend for tashi and i. we started it out by getting rear ended. surely tomorrow will be a better day.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

tents to pakistan

if you have an extra tent lying around, get it to pakistan now.

i am still trying to find out how.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

virginia plant sightings: the southern magnolia

magnolia grandiflora

the magnolia family is extremeley ancient. fossil remains of the magnolia have been discovered dating from between 36 and 58 million years ago.

magnolia flowers do not have true petals and sepals but are made up of petal-like tepals. flowers do not produce genuine nectar, but attract pollinating beetles with aromatic, sugary secretions. magnolia flowers are primarily pollinated by beetles of the nitidulidae family because magnolias evolved long before bees and other flying pollinators.

magnolia grandiflora, or southern magnolia, grows up to 90 feet tall and 30 to 40 feet wide. she's a beauty! i've been observing a huge one growing outside the barn swallow. there is something so vintage and classy about her.

southern magnolia was introduced to europe in 1731. this tree was quickly popularized for its shiny evergreen foliage, showy flowers and elegant form. magnolia grandiflora also was found to be widely adaptable to different climates, soils, and exposures. it was the first magnolia to be widely planted and is now considered the most widely grown ornamental evergreen tree in the world.

as stated here, the bark of magnolia is being researched as an agent against amoebic dysentery. the beautiful flowers have been considered a symbol of purity for thousands of years. in ancient times, this herb was favored for increasing longevity, brightening the eyes and making the body feel light. the parts of this herb used medicinally include the bark and the unopened flower buds.

the unopened flowers are a decongestant and can be used for nasal congestion, sinus headaches, and sinusitis. the flower buds open nasal obstructions by helping the body expel mucus.

the bark has been used to break addiction to cigarettes. the primary properties of magnolia Bark are analgesic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, hypotensive, and stimulant.

the japanese use magnolia to help control stress and anxiety. japanese researchers have determined that "honokiol" and "magnolol", two chemicals found in magnolia bark, are up to 1000 times more potent than Vitamin E in antioxidant activity. the bark also contains isomagnolol, essential oils (eudesmol, maschilol, pinene), alkaloids (magnoflorine, salicifoline, magnocurarine), and tannin. the unopened flower buds contain essential oils (anethole, camphene, cineol, estragole, eugenol, limonene, pinene, safrole), alkaloids, and beta carotene.

magnolia has several known topical usages including its use as a douche (made from the bark) for leukorrhea. in central america, magnolia schiedeana is used topically as a poultice for scorpion stings. in general, bark is harvested from magnolia officinalis, while the unopened flower buds are from magnolia liliflora. the common name magnolia also includes the species magnolia glauca and magnolia grandiflora.

ghost brain

tashi announced that there are three ghosts living in the small storage space attached to her room. one ghost is a good ghost. but the other two ghosts come out at night and try to steal her brain.

today i start my new part time gig at Rebecca's Natural Foods. i'll be working in the supplement and body care department, which is the department i worked in at the co-op in ann arbor. part time at a health food store and part time at an artisan shop will do for now. the flexibility of retail fits well with tashi's school schedule, and i feel like i am at least working for industries i respect: health food/alternative medicine/the arts.

tashi took the bus home from school yesterday for the first time. the bus stops at the plaza where i'll be working, which is quite handy. and it adds an hour and a half to my day. when i went to pick her up, i saw her through the bus window looking quite pleased with herself. as i approached the bus she waved me away, just too cool.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

mountain livin'

this afternoon we drove up to the blue ridge parkway and stopped at humpback rocks where an old mountain farmstead is located. we listened to a very animated appalachian storyteller share a tale about a panther stealing a newborn baby, then we had a picnic while watching a christian bluegrass band. dan and i exchanged many uneasy glances.

after deserting the band and checking out the old rustic buildings, we resumed our drive down the winding parkway, occasionally stopping to take in amazing views of the shenandoah valley. on our way home we found ourselves stopping at the "walton's mountain country store," a place near the home of, yes, you guessed it, john boy.

man, do i need a digital camera or what! there is so much crazy country kitsch around here.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

crepes, kale and quality coffee

it's an extraordinary saturday in the blue ridge. the sky is blue and the air is fresh. the leaves are changing and the cats are purring.

let's hear it for pay day! yay pay day! let's hear it for moving expenses reimbursed! yay uva!

dan, tashi and i have started our day with a visit to the charlottesville farmer's market. first we ordered breakfast from the old fashioned crepe stand. dan and tashi had a banana/nutella crepe. i had a spicy capicolla, tomato and fresh mozzarella crepe. dan drank fair trade coffee and i drank a locally made chai. tashi had a sip of my chai. we ate while watching a fine three piece bluegrass band. occasionally the farmer in the stand next to the band would jump up and join them on harmonica.

afterwards i wandered around and purchased a boat load of locally grown organic veggies at reasonable prices. i also picked up some tofu, made by local intentional community, twin oaks. dan and tashi sat in the shade and played rock, scissors, paper. dan also improvised one of his squirrel stories. this latest one seemed to be about squirrels escaping the new orleans flood. when all was said and done at the farmer's market we went to the salvation army where everything was ratty and overpriced.

this afternoon we'll attend a play at the old michie theater. every saturday they put on a marionette play and today's is rumpelstiltskin. tashi is pleased.

but right now i'm going to make lunch. i think i'll saute fresh kale and tofu.

coming soon, more virginia plant sightings.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


this morning i had a dream that i took mescaline and went to a burrito shop on 16th steet in the san francisco mission. the burritos in this particular eatery were incredibly leaky & runny. what i really wanted was an amazing burrito from taqueria cancun on 19th and mission. i was feeling too insecure to make my way there though. eventually i drove off in my car, blinded by the intensity of the traffic lights.

now what is this all about? the longing for the best burrito in north america? a desire to take psychedelics? or the fact that i'll just settle for what's in front of me rather than go for what i know is far superior? a footnote on the dangers of driving while tripping? or was it somehow provoked by the pbs special on parliament/funkadelic that i watched last night?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

the welcoming committee

this morning dan found the contents of our glove compartment (or what was left of it) all over our car seat. obviously someone had been in there. they took the radio face plate, the headlamp and i'm not yet sure what else. i guess it was pretty stupid of us to leave our car unlocked in our driveway. our car radio hasn't worked for years anyway, so i hope they enjoy it.

yesterday two female mormons stopped by. i opened the door, saw their badges, said i'd made my spiritual choices, thank you, and closed the door in their faces. as the door was closing one of the women tried to get in a few words which included, "you can see our commercial on tv."

Monday, October 10, 2005


today i am celebrating columbus day with this letter:

Dear Ms. Walter:

You applied for the position of Library Circulation Desk Assistant (part-time) at blah blah Community College. While the college received a number of applications, the search process has been completed and a candidate was selected for the position.

We will keep your application on file for one (1) year. You may review our open positions by visiting our website at blah, and contact us if you wish to have your application activated for any advertised searches.

If you have any questions or wish to apply for another position, please do not hesitate to contact me at blah


blah blah


i am still 99% sure i landed another job. though most people would say that it isn't the kind of job a woman in her late 30's with a college degree should have. but you know what, fuck 'em.

dan is at work like a good non-supporter of this holiday. tashi is coloring and talking to herself. i am wrapped in a towel, having recently stepped out of the shower. luna is clinking about in her big shiny red heart shaped name tag. loki is asleep on the nearby futon. he snores.

here is a petition you can sign if you think there should be federally paid "native american day" holiday, rather than columbus day. and check out the good voices of some native americans here.

our goal today is to figure out if tashi should be aphrodite, athena or artemis for halloween.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

busking in the south

the rain has stopped and our phone line is up and running. parts of charlottesville lost power for a couple of hours today and our basement flooded. most of our stuff is set up high in the basement, and what is on the floor is in plastic tubs. so everything should be alright.

tonight dan did some busking on the downtown mall. it is a very popular thing to do in charlottesville and one doesn't need a permit. so, wearing a students for a free tibet t-shirt, he took his didgeridoo on down and set up in front of a chinese import shop. he honked and droned the didg for three-and-a-half-hours and made a little gas money.

why did dan need to busk, you may wonder. several reasons. one is that we weren't exactly planning on moving. it happened very suddenly and we didn't really have the resources set aside. dan has been promised reimbursement for the moving expenses, but that has not come through yet. and until i am more gainfully employed, things are a bit tight.

speaking of, i'm 99% sure i've landed a job to supplement the barn swallow. more on that when i know for certain.

it has been mentioned in a couple of papers recently that the median income for charlottesville is close to or lower than the national average, yet the cost of living here is around 9% higher than the national average. apparently it is more expensive to live here than in nearby cities, dc, roanoke, and richmond.

and so, busking is a creative way to earn some spare change. personally, i thought dan looked handsome sitting there with his exotic musical instrument. but i think he felt a little sheepish about it. i've always thought it would be fun to have a family road show. if he ever does it again, i might join him by adding some flourishes with the tibetan singing bowl and the native american rain maker. and tashi can twirl around in her rainbow pixie outfit.

tonight the rain is my lullabye

the queen of the sky spigot has turned it on, has let down her liquid mane

we are dampening down on virginia's red earth

streams are spilling over. basements face flooding.

our telephone is out, or at least, is in and out. each time i pick up the receiver there is a new sound. pretty soon something is going to crawl out of the mouthpiece, perhaps a chinese authority or a giant grey cricket

the dsl is in and out too

hints of a himalayan year:

mouse, wires, giant bugs,

small boxy kitchen

rain outside open window
the humid shawl

tibetans at market
twisted branch tea house

the cobbled possibility
with few cows

rolling ramble

Here follows the set list from thursday night's Rolling Stones concert:

* * *

Start Me Up
It's Only Rock 'n' Roll
Tumblin' Dice
Rough Justice
Ruby Tuesday
Sweet Virginia
All Down The Line
Night Time Is The Right Time
Miss You
Oh No Not You Again
Get Off My Cloud
Honky Tonk Woman
Sympathy For The Devil
Midnight Rambler
Paint It Black
Brown Sugar
Jumping Jack Flash
You Can't Always Get What You Want

* * *

there is the story about what it was like to be an usher

there is the story about how being an usher is not really the job for me

there is the story about how the wheelchair section i was stationed at had spaces numbered 1-13 but the tickets issued were numbered 1-18

there was the bomb threat which at first i thought was a good old fashioned drug
bust (it happened just after band introductions; ron wood was sitting down to do something special for us)

there was mick jagger, who looks swell at 62

and how about his his t-shirts for trivia: a black one with sparkles, and a reddish one with some funky full frontal skeletal batik

there was the stage and the big blasts of flame they shot out from its two pillars accompanied by fireworks

Here is 70 Volt Parade's set list (Trey Anastasio & friends)

* * *

Air Said To Me
46 Days
Come As Melody
I Am The Walrus (The Beatles)
Night Speaks To A Woman

* * *

trey anastasio hit the stage full on just rang it out serious guitar trance

but i didn't watch and couldn't really hear the details because all the people were pouring into the stadium just then and i had to help them find their seats and ponder the questions i hadn't answers for

(is it any mistake that we had not a single briefing about what
wearing the bright yellow t-shirt that said "STAFF" really meant

yet we were stationed on one of four aisles closest to
the stage where all the "wanne be closers" were flooding

and no smoking in the stadium meant we were
expected to tell people to put it out)

my final thought for this particular misguided entry is that
being an usher takes the magic out of being present to the performance,
the magic is with me now,
and that is real cool

Thursday, October 06, 2005

my new life as a roadie

as previously noted, i signed up for a temp job, setting up chairs at scott stadium for the rolling stones concert. it was quick and easy and we were out of there by 10:00pm last night.

the stage is a monster. there was no sound check, but they did turn on all the speakers one by one. i heard some of the most unearthly horrible sounds emerge from those speakers.

i got to watch a bunch of wildly tattoed roadies in action, and then a few of us were selected to come back this morning because we were "the best of the best." kind of like reality tv when some are voted off the island. i was one of the lucky few who got to return this morning to continue set up. more roadie action and unearlthy noises, fireworks, and fog machines. the bonus point is that those of us who returned this morning and worked our booties off get to go and see the concert tonight! we have to wear god awful yellow t-shirts and act as ushers, but who cares, i get to see trey anastasio and mick jagger for free. this concert costs like a billion dollars a ticket.

so now i'm listening to exile on main street, kindly gifted to me long ago by steve dickison. thanks steve. thanks universe.

mouse toast

this morning i put two slices of bread in the toaster and pushed the control. suddenly the toaster jiggled and a mouse wriggled its way out of the top.

imagine my surprise.

i'm generally not one to scream at a mouse, but in this case, i did, really loud, and with a great deal of horror.

it was a cute little guy, i must admit. it ran really fast and disappeared in a gap between the wall and the countertop. that would explain why our two cats are often found sitting in the middle of the kitchen, staring at the cabinet as if they can see through its door.

the worst part of it was the smell of burnt hair afterwards.

and the fear that our toaster may have been infected with the plague.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

virginia plant sightings: purple hyacinth bean

dolichos lablab (lablab purpureus)

i see this lovely flowering bean vine everyday in tashi's school garden. apparently it is easy to grow and attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

the hyacinth bean is also called lablab, bonavist, chinese flowering, egyptian, pharao, shink, val, wild field, and indian bean

apparently the beans can be toxic if eaten raw and in vast quantities. but if cooked, or if eaten raw when young and green, all should be well. the bean is a common food in india and africa. it is apparently mild to the taste and rich in protein. it can even be prepared as tofu or fermented into tempeh in the same way as soya beans. the immature seedpod contains 3.2% protein, 0.8% fat, 5.4% carbohydrate, 0.81% ash. it is rich in vitamin B1.

the leaves can be cooked, like spinach, or dried for later use. they contain up to 28% protein. flowers can be eaten raw or cooked in stews.

medicinal actions: anthelmintic; anticholesterolemic; antidote; antispasmodic; antivinous; aphrodisiac; astringent; carminative; digestive; febrifuge; hypoglycaemic; stomachic.

the plant prolongs co-agulation time. it is used in the treatment of cholera, vomiting, diarrhoea, leucorrhoea, gonorrhoea, alcoholic intoxication and globefish poisoning.

the flowers are antivinous, alexiteric and carminative.

the stem is used in the treatment of cholera.

the juice from the pods is used to treat inflamed ears and throat.

the seeds are anthelmintic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, astringent, digestive, febrifuge and stomachic.

in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), the seed is used to strengthen spleen, tonify qi and alter dampness as well as relieve and remove summer heat. it is commonly found in several Chinese patent medicines. it also has a history of food and forage use for both humans and animals.

it's great for your garden as it will enrich your soil w/ nitrogen.

find most of this information and more on this website.

of chairs and stones

we were supposed to start setting up chairs at the rolling stones venue at 1pm today, but apparently mick doesn't want things sitting out for so long. so we're starting at 5pm. whatever! i hope sound check happens to make it all worthwhile. trey anastasio is opening for the stones, so maybe we'll get a peek at him. i have never been a huge fan of any of these guys, though i don't dislike them either. what it comes down to is that i'm a sucker for the euphoria of a big music event. this morning i drove by the stadium and saw all the white tents and tour trucks and suddenly felt a wee bit of excitement enter my day.

leaf brown
languid waver of solemnity
warbler insists
to sit
giddy language
lift and borrow
damn knit of brow
broken, besieged
phat again
crux of corruption
all told
must and mold
petunia and pigment
the fallow lesion

Monday, October 03, 2005

odd jobs

this morning i was scanning the employment listings when i came upon an ad from kelly temp services calling for people to help set up for the rolling stones concert. $10 an hour to set up chairs in scott stadium during sound check. i figured, why not, and went to kelly to sign up. of course, signing up involved two hours of filling out paperwork and watching videos about safety on the job. i walked out of there feeling like an ex-con, but at least i'll have some instant cash and a story to tell.

charlottesville is really proud of their rolling stones concert. we'll probably be able to hear it from our deck, and that is good enough.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

virginia plant sightings: asiatic dayflower

commelina communis

i have seen this precious little friend on walks in our neighborhood, and today, at the barn swallow. the genus comes from the dutch commelin, the name of two renowned botanists and their dead brother. the flower's petals, two blue and one white, represent the three brothers.

the blossoms live but one day.

my new library book, "wildflowers of the blue ridge parkway," by j. anthony alderman, says, "dayflower roots, boiled and served with white sauce, make a tasty substitute for creamed potatoes. also, the young leaves can be eaten in salads."

one angry source said, "as 'communis' suggests, it forms huge spindly 'communities,' which choke other plants, and return in full force year after year." indeed, our little pal seems to be quite invasive.

it has been recognized medicinally in china, where it is used as a gargle for sore throats. it is also known to alleviate symptoms of various infections, including flu, tonsillitis, and urinary tract infections.

gavity overpass barn

last night i took tashi to the gravity lounge where some old friends from buffalo, john and mary,had a gig. i first met john and mary when i was fresh out of college and wanting to be a journalist. i went looking for assignments at this little entertainment rag in buffalo and one day the editor said, interview this guy, john lombardo, he was a founding member of the 10,000 maniacs. and so i did and so it was.

i didn't really expect to speak to them last night, or for them to even recognize me, but when i walked in the guy collecting the money said to me, "this is mary ramsey." i looked up and there she was sitting right in front of me with her little dog. i said, "i know mary but i don't know if she remembers me." she jumped up and exclaimed, "zoe!" and we hugged and chatted and she brought out john and they met tashi and all was cheerful and i got to reconnect with folks i haven't seen for over a decade. welcome back to the east coast.

the gravity lounge is a cool bookstore, art gallery, cafe, bar, performance space. very kid friendly and laid back. john and mary played some old songs and some new songs and some covers. it was a nice visitation with days of old.

in the mean time dan was standing on an overpass looking down at the allman brothers who were playing at the charlottesville pavilion. the pavilion is this new somewhat controversial stage that has been built at the east end of the downtown mall. sometimes they have free music and sometimes they have music that costs over $40 a ticket. the allman brothers fall into the latter category. the ironic thing is that you can hear the music loud and clear from many points just outside the pavilion (and miles beyond, to the chagrin of many locals), and if you stand on a nearby overpass as dan did, you can see the stage better than people in the audience can.

before our little folk show tashi and i were madly seeking parking in a parking garage full of allman brothers fans. the place was thick was pot smoke and tashi said, "mmmmm, sage."

today i worked at the barn swallow. there was one sale, a cutting board for $310. a cat named izzie and a blind dog named rory came in and hung out with me. even though the things in the barn swallow are way too expensive for me and just about all of my friends, i don't mind being surrounded by the beauty of hand made things. i feel peaceful in there once i get over the price tags, and i love gazing out the french doors at the cottage garden beyond. being there inspires me to make things and grow things and that is the best part of all.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

one voice

i overheard someone talking on their cell phone this morning.

a woman who was probably in her late 30's said,

"while most people my age are firmly established in their career or at least well on their way to it, i'm like a girl in college trying to figure out her major."

she continued, "while most people my age look for work based on salary, benefits and status, while most people my age look for work based on their long history of like experience, i just want to work at a plant nursery so that i can learn something new about something i love."

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

virginia plant sightings: the cigar tree

catalpa speciosa

i saw one of these in a neighbor's yard. i believe they also grow along broadway in ann arbor. the flowers are beautiful and showy in spring. there are long thin bean pods hanging high up amongst the broad heart shaped leaves. it is also called indian cigar tree and apparently the pods can be smoked for hallucinogenic affect.

here is a story i found about smoking the pods and not hallucinating.

as for medicinal qualities, apparently the seeds , bark and pods can be used in a decoction for bronchial conditions and asthma. the leaves can be applied to wounds or brewed for their sedative and narcotic qualities. the bark was used as a treatment for malaria. and if that's not enough, the tree hosts the catalpa sphinx caterpillar, highly regarded by fishermen as bait.

here is a pretty good article about the catalpa.

windows explode

apparently there was a big fire in this house a year ago. i nice neighbor named jennifer told me. she said there were 12 libyan refugees living here and the fire was linked to the use of a sterno stove in the upstairs bedroom.

that would explain why there is broken glass all over the ground on one side of the house. other than that, i would have never guessed. apparently the house was empty and under renovation for a year prior to our move in. nice job guys.

Monday, September 26, 2005

bloody cravings

it is a lovely, breezy, cool & overcast day at the edge of the blue ridge mountains.

this morning i'm finding some great botanical resources in and around charlottesville. first of all there is sacred plant traditions, an herbal medicine school. then there is virginia plant savers, an organization committed to protecting native medicinal plants and their habitats. there is also the virginia native plant society. their website has some great pdfs on growing butterfly gardens, native hedgerows, woodland wildflowers, and the like. and then there is garden medicinals and culinaries, a fantastic online resource for seeds, plants, supplies and books. let's hear it for medicinal plants and native preservation!

on other fronts, yesterday was our 6th wedding anniversary. because we're broke and babysitter-less, we didn't do anything out of the ordinary. we did have lunch at and indian buffet and, in the evening, we went for a long walk while tashi rode her bike alongside us. the lunch was mediocre; it made me miss the delightful indian restaurants in ann arbor. it just didn't compare to raja rani, or madras masala, or shalimar, or my very favorite, the take out counter at foods of india, a grocery store at the bottom of the broadway hill. it appears that there are only two indian restaurants in all of charlottesville, and zero grocers. there are virtually no middle eastern eateries or grocers. oh the difficulties.

dan and i also managed to make some progress in setting up our bedroom. it and our offices have been the last hold-outs of chaos. the dresser is now in the right place and we can begin to sort out the placement of our clothes. even though we have two walk in closets, they both have very short bars for hanging clothes, and one of them is a storage place for our landlord's random shit. it is too bad because it is a closet as big as a room and would make a great chill zone or meditation chamber.

tonight i'm going to make stuffed zucchini for dinner, cypriot style.

just for the record, my craving for the perfect southern bloody mary has not yet been satiated. life has never been the same since that fateful day i had a bloody mary from lafitte's blacksmith shop in new orleans. if anyone knows where to find the tastiest bloody mary in charlottesville, do please let me know.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

vegetables on a cool day

today there was a home football game. about eight white dudes in a monster truck parked in front of our house. they spit chewing tobacco all over the street and urinated in the grove of trees between our house and the neighbor's.

i did not go to the demonstration in dc today, but i did go to the vegetarian festival in charlottesville. instead of telling bush how i really feel, i sampled wheat gluton meatballs and talked to alternative health practicioners. i learned that there is a vegan bed & breakfast in the blue ridge mountains called the white pig and a vegetarian tibetan buddhist sangha called semchen. alas, i am still not a vegetarian and bush is still president.

i also went to the farmer's market this morning where i purchased a lavender plant and an abundance of organic veggies. i brought cinnamon rolls home to dan and tashi and then we went to the salvation army store in search of a desk for dan. we had no luck. afterwards we took all our flattened boxes and bags of packing paper to the recycle center where tashi had a blast pouring things into big dumpsters.

i was pretty thrilled to find that, while channel surfing late last night, viggo mortensen was on both david letterman and charlie rose. viggo is not just an actor. he is an outspoken leftist, a painter, musician, poet and publisher. check out his thoughtful press, perceval.

Friday, September 23, 2005

virginia plant sightings: the boxwood

boxwood trees are very popular around here. every day i pass boxwood lane and boxwood farm. the barn swallow sells small boxwood trees. and we have a boxwood in front of our house. i like to brush my hand along the leaves; they are very soft and papery. i just learned that boxwood has medicinal qualities: "Some view boxwood as a medicinal plant, and others as a dangerous poison. Popular medicine recommended its use as a laxative, a diaphoretic and a cholalogue. One of its suspected benefits is its high anti-flu efficiency. Studies are also underway to use a boxwood extract, the SPV 30, in complementary treatment against HIV." to learn more about the boxwood visit the website of a gentleman who makes recorders from boxwood. for information more specific to virginia, check this one out.

oscillating okra

another hot day approacheth in charlottesville. today's high is expected to be 88 degrees. i'll be at the barn swallow all day, sitting in front of the huge oscillating fan, gazing out the french doors at the butterflies frolicking amongst tall cosmos.

last night i made deep fried okra. how southern is that? i soaked sliced okra in a mixture of egg and buttermilk and then dredged the slices in a mixture of cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. i then dropped the breaded okra into bubbling canola oil and let the heap sizzle until brown, giving the pan an occasional shake. mmmm mmm. i think next time i'll add cayenne pepper to the breading.

aside from out of control hurricanes, here is more exciting evidence of global warming.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

stripmall fatigue

i changed my template. it's an obnoxious green isn't it?

our printer is broken, a rather discouraging dilemma. i wasn't able to print out the necessary forms this morning to apply for uva jobs. i ended up having a long chat on aim with a dear old friend and roommate. we used to live together in a groovy area of buffalo called allentown. that was when i worked at a great independent bookstore and regularly hung out at bars until 4am.

after chatting i ran some errands at the barracks mall, a strip mall i will be frequenting for the duration of my charlottesville life. it houses a decent natural foods store as well as the post office, an art supply store, a couple of chain grocery stores, a copy shop and ben & jerry's.

another thing i discovered today is that our landlord is a psychic and a massage therapist. he owns an intersting healing center in fairfax, ca.

tashi has a playdate which means i should be taking advantage of this time. i think i'll go do that.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

sad applicant

i just spent over two hours filling out a detailed application for a job as "library circulation assistant" at piedmont virginia community college. i have to fill out the same awful virginia commonwealth applications for any uva job i might want to apply for. my hands are shaking and my tummy is rumbling.

it's a day of patchy clouds and sunshine. loki is sleeping in the linen closet and luna is outside exploring. soon i will go buy a stamp so i can mail my application and then i will drive up to tashi's school where i am volunteering at the cute little waldorf store.

we've received two letters from ann arbor this week. yesterday it was from our former landlords who told us of all the renovations they're making in our former house. they're totally fixing up the cramped little kitchen, putting in new maple cabinets, a dishwasher and a microwave. they've already installed central air. i miss our old house with the bright and airy living room, its tall windows looking out at a thick forest. i miss the two acres full of wild herbs and tall trees. i miss the pond, alive with singing frogs, mating ducks and frolicking fawns. i miss the friends that appreciated it all. i miss the oregon chai and fair trade coffee from cafe verde. and of course i miss the co-op and the good people i worked with there.

and today we received a card from our former neighbors, glen and ruri, an older japanese couple who lived through the days of internment camps. they sent us a bunch of photos they took while we were packing the uhaul and then driving off early the next day. ruri told me my plants would be transplanted in her garden. at least i can be reassured that the hands of a master gardener will care for them, even if she does use round-up sometimes.

if i sound a little sad, i am. no regrets. but some sadness anyway. i numbed myself throughout the entire move. but now i'm able to feel again.