Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Where In The Heck Is The Hussy. Season 2. Starts Saturday.

It's summer. This cats been out of school for two weeks. But it feels like summer to me tonight. I mean, not really, because it's supposed to go down into the 50's. And I'm going to have to dig out my flannel pajamas. But it feels like summer because I just finished with my latest doula family tonight.

I spent the majority of the day alone with the babies. Twins. They were tag teaming me all day. One up. One down. One up. One down. I was reminded of the early days with this cat.

And this cat.

And as I rolled down the driveway smelling like urine soaked cloth diapers and baby puke for the last time to drive home to my babies, I was not struck with that impulse to throw my hands in the air and yell, "yahoo". I don't know what was wrong. I mean, I like not having to absolutely be somewhere, at absolutely this time, with the mind set that I actually have to do something. I like that. My laziness in its pure form.

But I came home to the kitchen floor painted in garbage juice and plastic bags and ice cream containers littering the corners of my home. And because I have dogs that love to eat everything, including the garbage, I had to mop.

And I came home to a porch littered with toys that have migrated outside. Dress up shoes. Matchbox cars. Polly Pockets. And I had to pick up.

And I came home to wet towels and wet bathing suits and carping (again) about hanging all that crap up.

And I've had to dodge the "I'm bored" bullets. Without a bullet proof vest.

And then I had to catch myself. Hello? It's summer.

And my friend Katy's recommendation to say "Only boring people are bored" seems to be working as a retaliating shot from my own arsenal. It got our cars washed.

And it's seemed to make sitting by oneself on the end of the dock...okay.

And I've found that there are no boring people swinging in the hammock by themselves.

And absolutely no boring people swimming in the pond.

I'm working on the feet up, hair down, music blaring part of the summer vacation equation. I suppose I'm moving slowing into it. Similarly to how I enter the water- backwards, with a gradual fall.

Just be prepared, if you ever visit us on the Homestead, you might have to maneuver yourself around wet suits, Polly Pocket outfits, and possible garbage. Because, hell, I'm on vacation!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Back in the Dyeing Saddle

Can you guess what this color comes from?

Do you know what these are?

Do you know how good it felt to stir the kettle again?

To smell the stinky vomitous dye bath?

And infuse my hair with the scent of smoky ash?

Life is good.
I'm back in the dyeing saddle.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Sports Report

I have a guest commenter today. Her name is Char and she made me have chills today. And then she made me cry. I hope there are more happy tears this afternoon. I'll be watching. 2:30. Go USA!

Here is Char's sports report:

Three Minutes.
I was 3 minutes away from never watching soccer ever, ever, never again.

Setting the scene.....USA's last World-Cup group-round game aired live in the morning of a work day - so I DVR'd it. The first 2 USA games also were not at convenient times in our life schedule, so they were recorded. I eventually watched both of them in their entirety, but each several days after the fact with the knowledge of the outcomes. I enjoyed them both, and enjoyed not stressing over the result......however for game 3 I wanted to experience that stress. Believe it or not in this day and age, I successfully managed to avoid the internet, avoid work colleagues who know what real football is, and avoid the radio on the ride home. The mumblings about a possible earthquake that afternoon nearly caused me to buckle on the internet thing - but, I held out..........

So here we go, wilson (the cat) and I sitting down 11 hours after gametime to watch Game 3. USA had draws in our first 2 matches, so we pretty much needed a win to advance out of the round. Algeria had good defensive possession skills - and a few really good chances to score.......but in general, USA looked stronger and had more good chances. But none were going in. Scratch that - one DID go in, but the ref ruled it off-sides. A replay showed conclusively that Dempsey was NOT off-sides, so for the second game in a row - USA had a legitimate goal recalled. And in both cases it would have been the go-ahead goal.

At the end of 90 minutes, the score was nil-nil. 4 minutes would be added of stoppage time. The other simultaneous group game also nearly over, and if both results held, USA would be knocked out. Going home. Without a loss. With consecutive games of bad calls that would have resulted in 2 wins, and winning the group overall. How could I ever invest any more time watching a sport that allows such injustices to occur? Now in 3 more minutes I'd delete the recording, and permanently block the DVR from ever recording soccer ever, ever, never again.

And then this happened:

when's the next game? :)

ps - perhaps I should block the DVR from recording tennis. This week one dude beat another dude 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 70-68. (5th set is not a typo).

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

And for my 37th Birthday...

I got a new pair of Lucky Jeans for my birthday. They fit like a glove, which is hard for me to say about jeans. I also got 4 new apple trees, installed. Oh, and I also got lyme disease.

I knew the very moment Claire discovered the tick on my back that it would be a ten second period of my life that I would never forget- how she said in surprise, "Mommy, you have a bug on your back and there is a red ring around it," how the late morning light was shining through the windows in my bathroom, and how the boys were watching me get dressed after my shower, and how we were all going to leave on an airplane to Arizona when I was ready.

I knew in my heart of hearts that it wasn't good. I procured two 100 mg of doxycyclin that day. And five days later my joint pain surfaced. It arrived slowly like a bad cold comes first to your throat. But then it started to get worse, and it didn't take long for me to put two and two together. I didn't wait long and went right to the Health Center on the Saturday after my symptoms showed up. I was given a three week course of antibiotics, which made my symptoms get worse at first, but then completely disappear.

Five days after I was done with my three weeks of "Doxy" my migratory joint and muscle pain resurfaced. I knew what this meant- I hadn't killed the bacteria "Borrelia burgdorferi" off completely. But I needed to get a positive test for Lyme before anyone gave me more antibiotics. This would prove to be my biggest challenge.

I had heard of a doctor who knew of a more "accurate" test. My first and second Western Blot titers came back negative. I went to see said doctor who drew blood that day for a private lab in California. She said it would take three weeks for the test results to come in. It turned out to only be two weeks, but overall I've had to wait four weeks since going off my first round of Doxy. In those four weeks I started to experience major dizziness and an acute feeling that I was going to fall backwards. I started to feel extreme pain in my spine and thoracic area in my back. I was mixing up words and not being able to find the right word in a sentence. I had a few bouts of insomnia, early awakening and definitely felt heightened anxiety and/or depression. None of the symptoms stuck around, everything came and went, including my migratory joint and ligament pain. But overall I felt like I wanted to crawl into a hole and die. After one particularly hard night, I decided to see if they could discover anything at the E.R.

It was definitely not a good decision. Despite having an empathetic nurse (not my husband) who experienced her own hellish symptoms of lyme ten years before, I had four doctors look me over (and even had an MRI on my spine) and all decided that they were 100% sure I didn't have lyme, mostly because my Western Blot tests were negative. I was 100% sure I did have lyme and felt that I was text book with my symptoms and progression. The infectious disease doctor on call knew that I was frightened and scared, but couldn't find any reason to think that my symptoms were directly related to my tick bite (and felt that 3 weeks of Doxy should have been enough to kill any bacteria). I left feeling crazy and was prescribed Valium.

And the waiting and the dizziness and the dizziness and the waiting and the fear of waiting. Everything I read said that the longer you wait for treatment the greater the chance you have of chronic or persistent lyme. I'm still struggling to get rid of those images of me having to be this dizzy for the rest of my waking hours. But Paul Bunyan is trying to keep me hopeful.

And then today....a positive test from IGeneX, a lab not "recognized" by the CDC. But I'm going with it anyway, because I want to fight this fucker as soon as I can and as strong as I can. So here goes another round of the fight. I'm hearing all sorts of stories about how antibiotics don't always work, how I'll need to drink Kale juice for the rest of my days, how I'll have to stop eating meat, stop drinking beer, stop drinking tea, stop. stop. stop. I'm frightened my life has just stopped.

And then wombats arrive with a bag of sunshine and cookies and cards and magazines and strawberries and candles and anti-stress shower gel and lots of love. And then kids arrive home from miniature golf where Claire got a hole in one. And then today...even though parts of me feel like my life is over, it's the friends and family who remind me that this little bug, this dangerous little bug, isn't worth the hopelessness. In fact, it's taught me that there many tiny big people worth fighting for, including myself.

I just have to learn to not search for hope in a four leaf clover lost in a clover patch.

***my brain synapses have not been firing correctly, which is why it's been hard for me to write. I have so needed to portray my desperation and haven't been able to find the words. Things are not working properly yet, but at some point I have to believe they will. If things don't make sense or are spelled incorrectly know that my fight against the spirochete will be over soon. I have to believe it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dad's Dayz

You're on your way Dad. Really. And I love that about you.

And to the man I call Daddy, who isn't really my Daddy, but more like my rock, I celebrate you today.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dog Dayz

Sydney was looking a bit glum today after having been stuck inside for 10 straight hours yesterday. I, too, was stuck in a small room with fluorescent lights, but I'll have to tell you about that another day. When there is a conclusion to my saga. I hope there will be a conclusion to my saga. But, yes, Sydney had a big day out. Liebe too, but she's my copilot on many family outings. It was Sydney today who flew to the moon. She was in doggy scent heaven. She was a country girl in the city...poopin on the sidewalk.

Buddy Dubay and the Minor Key were the main event at the Humane Society's big 16th annual Walk For the Animals and this meant that I had to be there.

She and I and the other one too, we did a lot of dog watching.

We watched them prance by.

Sometimes in droves, often times in pairs, mostly as singletons.

Some stopped for photos. You can tell she just got her hair hot ironed.

And some were foaming at the mouth to just keep on keepin' on .

We saw short dogs.

And tall dogs.

And big dogs.

And small dogs.

Majestic dogs.

Pointy dogs.

And slobbery ones too.

We saw beauty school dropouts.

And behavioral school dropouts.

Lucy was excited to show me her new perm.

She implored me to take a picture of her good side. I could do nothing but oblige.

Sydney got hypnotized by this dog.

"Now look into my eyes..."

I was very excited to see her making new friends.

Although Sydney totally dissed this guy when she saw his funky teeth. She likes em' straight. I tried to explain to her that it's what is inside that counts. She was all like, "whateva mom, I didn't like how he smelled anyway."

But you really could smell the love in the air. Especially near the garbage cans.

I totally forgot everything I've been worrying about. I even totally forgot to watch Claire sing- but don't tell her that. She's been extremely sensitive lately. Sydney and me and Liebe, we smelled the shade and a few butts, ate dropped hot dogs (well, not me), a few doggy treats (yea, not me), got to know each other again. We checked teeth, toe nails, size of fatty lumps; we pulled out clumps of hair, rubbed backs and bellies; we sat sweetly.

We relished in free Ben and Jerry's (yea, okay, me). There is nothing better.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Shoes are Famous.

I bought my wedding dress at a small little boutique in Portsmouth, N.H. with my mother and my best friend Bridget. It was the only store I went to and I think the dress I bought (for $250) was one of four or five I tried on. We added a little sweater to it because it can get cold up in Northern Minnesota, even in August.

I can't remember where I bought the shoes. However, I know it was difficult to find the right pair because a) I don't wear heels, b) the dress needed to have shoes with heels on them, c) I have bunions the size of onions, d) I knew I'd be walking on the trails of Camp Kooch-I-Ching as I made my way back to our woody cabin in the woods with my drunk new husband later that night, over roots and rocks, and through possible mud puddles. A girl has to plan ahead.

I'll get back to my wedding shoes in a moment. But for now I wanted to show you the highlight of my day. Claire was "featured" in a commercial in her school play. She is Jill. I can't explain the Ugg Boots and I'm not going to try.

But almost more importantly, my wedding shoe is featured as Cinderella's slipper.

I'm glad no one can see the mud still caked on them...12 years after the monsoon that supposedly showered our nuptials in luck.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

My Weekend in Three Parts


Mud was a weatherwoman in her previous life. And maybe a miniature horse whisperer too, but we're not certain of that one yet. She could have possibly been a large bird instead of a weatherwoman, but whatever the species her whole livelihood and/or survival depended on her ability to predict the weather. In this life, her husband wants to put in a large solar panel down the hill from her front porch, you know to save the planet, and she's fighting him tooth and nail to get a Doppler radar system instead. Tom Messner, our local weather geek, will be calling her for updates.

So needless to say, Katy's ability to check the weather via I phone on our way to mountain bike at Burke Mountain yesterday was a dream come true. Until Katy's report included tornado warnings, 60 m.p.h. wind gusts, strong thunder storms...and hail.

We were pulling a pop up camper.

We snuck lunch in at Willy's with thunder rumbling from the tree tops, shooing us up the hill to set up "camp" before the storm struck.

With four hearty girls, especially the she woman I am, we backed up, unloaded, secured tires, cranked up, unzipped, unpacked in a matter of minutes. Then we unfurled old smutty magazines and our bodies and listened as the storm marched up the mountain.

And then the music began.

It didn't come slowly. The sky unloaded its contents as if it were a dump truck unleashing its load of gravel onto to the top of Mud's camper.

She thought we were all going to die. Trees falling on us. Tornado whisking us down the cliff. It was a good thing she had her gin with her. Self medication is never a bad thing.

Jen was a bit baffled by the size of the hail.

Katy, too.

It was denting our brains.

We were trying to figure out what we would have done if we were out on the trails and one of these suckers hit one of us in the face.


We survived the storm. It will be something we talk about around the campfire for years to come. It will start out just as it happened: "Do you remember that time that we were stranded in the camper in the middle of that hailstorm?" Which will turn into, "do you remember that time we were stuck in that hailstorm when we were setting up the camper?" Which will turn into, "do you remember that time we got stuck in the hailstorm when we were mountain biking at Burke? And we all had to duck down under the trees with our arms tucked in and don't you have dents still on your helmet Katy?" This night will get embellished. As time goes on. No doubt.

The crevice of blue sky, separating storm from storm, tempted us out. We came here to ride. Let's ride. Passing boulders of ice, and rock slides across the road, we climbed higher up the toll road with thunder rumbling up our asses. At or near the top we hung a left onto Dead Moose Alley. And the skies opened up again. And then lightning. And then thunder. And we moved onward and upward. And then down.

I felt like we were tiny Christmas tree ornaments riding down the tree spine, back and forth over branches. The air smelled like evergreen. My nostrils were getting a wash down. In fact, so were my eyelids and lashes. And let's go a step further and say I had a facial, and a manicure and a pedicure. And why not announce that I had a nice anal flush in the bidet of the woods. All free. All beautiful.

I was third in line. It was a good thing because Katy and Jen were sweet enough to give me the heads up when we started to hit the bottomless puddles. I saw them up ahead and heard Katy shout out, "They're deep!! Keep peddalin'!! Don't stop!!" And I plowed through and we laughed. And kept bike kayaking and winding down the alley. It was beautiful fun and dangerous (wet roots are my nemesis). And the girls waited for me at the bottom of this one pitch, which they're sweet to do. They watched me dive into the puddles at the bottom, they watched me almost go head over as I realized that the lake was up to my knees, or over my knees even, and then they laughed their asses off as I yelled at them, "You bitches!" They set me up the second time.

We wound down and around and up and over.

And we returned alive.


Jen was looking over my shoulder at it as I was talking to her. She was watching it creep up the hill. She finally moved her chair into the middle of the road and turned up her face toward it. And then she recommended we chase after it in the truck. We threw rocks in the river as it gushed past us. And we got to know each other even more.

We roasted quesadillas over an open flame and slept that night in the trees. We woke with the rain on the metal roof, some of us tired from the crappy music which played down in the valley, way too late into the night.

We threw it all, soaked through, into the back of the truck and looking like witches, and smelling like campfire, we high tailed it out of there, with the camper half hitched. Eggs, bacon, toast, hash browns, decaf coffee, tea, you, and you, and you and me. It was easy. Speasy.

I love that me being me is not work around you gals. And my protest to fashion doesn't embarrass you. Nor do my loud belches. And I love that you have a purse, Mud, that you bought at a yard sale. And I love when you lay left lateral Katy. And Jen, I love that you still wear a Goretex jacket that you bought when you were a sophomore in high school. And I love that our hardiness makes it possible for us to enjoy a wet weekend, even if it was fraught with golf ball sized hail and puddles up to our thighs- cuz we all have the strength to just plow right through' em.