All quiet

For the first time in my fifteen year shift as mother, all three children were throwing up at the same time. (first, and only. RIGHT?)

Its quarter to ten in the morning, and everyone is lying down somewhere, even the dog.

I haven’t been out to let the chickens out as I’m finding it hard to take more than ten steps at a time. 🙂 I’ve been through tougher spots than this. There was a two week period a few years ago, where the kids all went down consecutively, so there was never any break. This was just one night and at some point, they all stopped throwing up long enough to catch a few hours of sleep.

and now its quiet.

I have a book at my side that is creeping me out, called THE HUNGER, by ALma Katsu. For those of you who regularly read scary things, this is probably not scary. But I’m a novice, and I’m getting spooked by the ominous and the foreshadowing. My brain already knows whats what, but I am waiting, waiting, waiting to find out who and how. Its set in westward expansion times (Donner party) and there is a wagon train and bloody mystery. (even mormons, for godssake.)

So this is what I’m doing, after stumbling to the study to pick up this piece of computer, I am going back to it. Reading. Listening hard for coughing that will lead to more throw-up or throw-up laundry. We shall see. This is the gig.

When my kids were sick last night, they were so grateful. It was insane, but I recognize it. When someone takes care of me when I am ill, I am also so grateful. I love it, in fact, because I get to say to my children out loud…. I love being your mother, all the time, even when you are sick. You are my babies, forever and ever, and I will always take care of you.

Getting to say that, in the middle of the night, to a weak child, while feeling weak yourself? Stunning. Adding to that the sincerity involved? Massive.

So, its all quiet here. And I’m okay so far. Fingers crossed on this. all the fingers, please.

Its not all bad. Not even nearly.


Books, January.

There are more books waiting to be read than I am happy with, January.

When I’ve got writing projects, I have a hard time focusing, even though I can only write a couple hours each day, if that. I struggled at the beginning of this quarantine time to have brainspace for reading, then that went away, but it is back now. I wonder sometimes if I have ADD. I do.

I’m in the middle of 45 different conversations with people, that are all in my head. The real number there is maybe 5. But still, that is plenty.

And there is a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos over there that is calling for me, even though my teenager and I just feasted on some lovely scrambled eggs.

The coffee is weak today and I have no one to blame.

I spent a lot of time in class last week thinking about personal integrity. How to live within one’s own sense of that. Having standards, and the like. I think sometimes I confuse being non-judgemental with giving wide and fast permissions to any kind of treatment of myself.

For instance, I have dated all kinds of people. Tall, skinny, tubby, handsome, not especially handsome. I don’t judge a man by the size of his penis, or his belly. it is character, compatibility, fun.

And in that ‘remaining nonjudgmental’, I can do too much compromising, and I get out of line with my integrity. I want to be treated a certain way, and how far will I let that go before my whole body reacts like a coo-coo bird, shutting the door with a clap?

Integrity. How do I line up with my own standards? What the hell are my own standards? I know I have a lot of fear about a lot of things. (i understand vaguery very well, see?) I cannot let that run the race.

But lets get back to books, see? Because it is another place I am out of alignment. The books are piling and I am not reading. Let me show you what I’m trying to read, and what is waiting for me, and what i am excited to investigate, while I percolate on my ideas about my own integrity.

OK! GO! always and forevermore, be in love with OK! GO!. (together in the chrysalis.)

but okay, here we go.

  1. The Invisible Life of Addie Larue. VE Schwab. This one I have started and its rich with possibility. Addie made a deal with a devil to escape a trap of a marriage, and now she’s just about immortal, but no one can remember her beyond a few minutes. Imagine that.
  2. Boule de Suif, Guy de Maupassant. My father-in-law brought this over to me when I wasn’t terrified of killing him and wanted me to read a particular story. I can’t remember which one now so I’ve got to read the whole thing. Its a series of short stories, and the copy i have is an old red-covered thing with beautiful endpapers and I’m vaguely in love with just holding it, and telling people i’m reading Maupassant.
  3. To Night Owl from Dogfish. Goldberg-Sloan and Wolitzer. A series of letters back and forth from two girls whose dad’s are getting married. YA, I think. Haven’t started it because brain fog, nut house. But! My friend Laura who is a reading maniac, and also writes a mean and fantastic review has recommended it and so I’m awaiting its pickup with baited breath.
  4. Waiting for a Star to Fall. Kerry Clare. My god, i shame myself. I still haven’t read it. I shame myself. But I know how much I like her writing, so I know some of what awaits me. For good goddamn, kate, get on it.
  5. And last but not least, The Adult Years, by Frederic Hudson. Sigh. This is for my coaching class, and my choice to read, and I’ve started it, and I will appreciate it once I get into it, but for now, it just sits there. waiting for me to adult, i think.

Guys, thats just the pile i want to get to first. How can I call myself a reader if I am not, in fact, reading?

It all comes back to integrity. Who the hell do I think I am, man?

low light photography of books
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

NOVEMBER NONO: TwentyNINE.. Startups

  1. Started out thinking I’d write to the men of the world who want to date women in their 40s. Then I realized I don’t give a shit. If you don’t already know? Why would I want to be your teacher? I’m tired, man.
  2. Started a craft project with my eight year old and then got distracted by eating my lunch. I am in deep shit. glue and foam of some kind.
  3. Started with one bowl of mashed potatoes and the last bits of the mushrooms. Got carried away. Two bowls, one with stuffing. Thanksgiving just keeps on giving.
  4. Started and finished putting up the lights in the yard. Way more didn’t light than I expected but that pile will stay on the porch through the winter, irritating me until one by one i fix them. I most likely will fix them. I might fix them.
  5. Started reading my book again, The Lost Queen, and realized I’m approaching the end. Glad I overreacted to book boredom and bought the second one when I bought the first. I’m okay with finishing when the next is close at hand.
  6. Started saying ‘what the heck’ instead of what the fuck with my kids. Its only at a 50% success rate. I think maybe I’ve gone too far to the dark side.
  7. Started (again) trying to recognize that being nice does not always serve me. People who are trying to manipulate my emotions for no flipping purpose sometimes have me twisted in knots trying to figure out how to still be nice, when, in fact, I should kick them in the face and be done with it.
  8. Starting to acknowledge the depth to which my resistance goes. Did you ever see the movie ‘Secretary’? It is a tour de force of submissive-dominant relationships (not necessarily a healthy one of those). I see all the power lying in her, in her refusal. And I think there is some of that in me. But the things I am refusing are not meant to be refused. Forward motion, release, striving, competition. exercise. These. Sigh. What the fuck.
  9. I’m starting to clean random areas, like we all did at the beginning of this. Oh? You think I should sort the napkin drawer? Oh? Lets just clean out the ornaments now? This one? So long. Sentiment be damned. If I am the only carrier of the sentiment, can’t I get a reprieve? Lighten up the damn season. Lighten up the house. Remove some of the weight on the foundation.
  10. Starting to wonder what I’ll do in December. Will I keep writing? Should I ? I have really liked the feeling of connection I’ve gotten from it. I’m proud I’ve finally done a month. (if i miss tomorrow you can just call me a turkey and move past it.)
  11. have loved doing it this month. really.
  12. what are you starting up?
Starting to wrinkle up in a formidable fashion. sigh. That blue!!


GREENWOMAN, undercover.

I am in a spot of bother, as Toad says in Wind in the Willows, at some point. I am. I’m having to learn this whole quarantine thing all over again, as a single woman/mom, starting at week 78. all this food that I keep having to make, the weekends that I sit alone in my living room, the lonely lonely lonely. I fucking lost my shit because my kid threw a green bean at me. I almost cried. Laughing would have been way better. But I’m frazzled.

guys, I can’t handle tv anymore. its the most depressing and deeply sad thing ever. and yet, at 8 pm at night, there is nowhere else I can be, nothing I can concentrate on.

and I hate my phone. madly. and it never leaves my side. and I think I have carpal tunnel from it.

I went for a walk this morning, a short one, because I was going to do an online yoga class. its happening right now, i’m not doing it. its too much social pressure because they might see me, and i’m not fit, and they might see me.

yoga teachers are SOOO judgey.

i’m having microwave popcorn for breakfast.

I planted cucumbers this morning, and watered everything, and put the eggs out by the road for unsuspecting shoppers. Its 4 minutes before 9. did I mention that I took a walk? before 6 am? because I need to make this day longer?

I read an excellent book. And herein lies the GreenMan reference. And I’m not sure I have the werewithal to write it up with the sincerity it deserves.

Lanny, by Max Porter. Lanny is the little boy of an artist’s green dream. (I say). Weirdly charming, full of the world of mystery, magic and growth. witness to the beauty of the world. curious. birds eggs, northern lights, bowers, toad stools, charcoal smudges. illuminated.

and its about him. and you have to read to the end, because of what you hold dear, you have to.

as a friend said, notice what you value, and love that you love that. be consoled.

I love it too.

sigh. more hours to fill now.

-hang tight.


Love on a Walk Unwifedmotherexpletive


let me reassure you.

let’s be frank, shall we?

i am not going to learn a new language during my stayathome pandemica.

i am going to read more books. many of them will contain dwarves or thwarted knights, or possibly detectives. None of them will address racial inequity or the doomed American government.

it has been noticed, that LM, in anxiety/frustration/pandemica exhaustion, will stab frozen ricotta. he does not stab people, which is what i want you to know. but ricotta? that sucka died.

i have purchased a new lawnmower, because i have saved so much money in having all my vacations cancelled. and while i hate that one night at a waterpark hotel is the equivalent of a garden tool that i will use for at least 5 years, and that one night is what ‘all my vacations’ consist of.

i’m probably not going to figure out how to cook Indian food.

my kids are going to watch too many screens, way way too many.

i’m not going to think good thoughts about men. they suck. too many of them have jobs that directly affect my life. i’m talking politicians here. they suck. across the board. it is not time to pretend that the women are just the same. what women?

there are these perfect, golden shard of light moments that keep happening. almost every day. i’m just trying to stay alive to catch them. i can’t collect them, or share them, they just melt away, but they are sustaining me.

one of my 7-year-old’s teachers is reading ‘The Magician’s Nephew’ by C.S.Lewis for the class on youtube.  I can’t get over how much I love listening to it with her. Its fulfilling my life’s purpose that at least one of my children will get my love for C.S.Lewis before adulthood.

so, golden shards, stabbing ricotta, lawnmowing in circles.

got it?

love you. hang in there.


Old Mower Unwifedmotherexpletive