what i learned in vegas.

Spent five days in Vegas, no kids and a lovely bf.

  1. what happens in vegas stays in vegas.
    yep, because there should be a wall put around the area and all the money and greed and waste and environmental ignorance should be encapsulated, so that the rest of the world can go on and on without any of that. Lets move trump’s mexico wall to nevada?
  2. the world of human creativity is alive and well, my faith in human goodness and magic is restored. the engineering feats? the lighting technicians who found their niche? the armies of cleaning people in the mornings? the ways in which an entire civilization has been built where no people can survive? Astonishing. I was constantly astonished. Look up, look down, its everywhere.
  3. Addendum to 2: I saw two Cirque de Soleil shows, Love and Ka. And I cried because my heart was so full of the majesty of humanity.
  4. the scenery of the cowboy movies is real, and that blew out the walls of my small world, and i’m better for it. buttes, bluffs, red rocks at sunset, all just outside the city limits, visible from my hotel room in the Fremont area.
  5. i love moscow mules. probably way too much. way.
  6. drag show humor is one of those things that restores my faith in humanity. i laughed so much, and loved those beautiful performers and their catty ways. It should be required for everyone to watch one, every year, like a thanksgiving dinner, good for the soul.

AND. I haven’t even told you about my sister’s wedding yet, at which there was a QUEEN, but not in drag. That body was 100% booming, and 100% hers. I’ll fill you in next time. I haven’t even had a chance to talk to my sister about it yet. But holy love fest, guys. HOLY LOVEFEST.

Chihuly ceiling at the Bellagio. A flipping ceiling.

Joy bubbles, January

Its time for a joy list… joys and some dips, because that’s how it is.

  1. When I put down the dish soap and a little bubble escapes to float around the sink. I love that.
  2. Sparkling eyes. I love that. (In these days of masks? Sometimes its all I get. But you really can see the sparkle, even if that’s all you see.)
  3. I love the possibilities that I am coming up with when I think about overhauling this house. Two bureaus on the curb. At least. Purge. Purge. Purge. (and I am daunted, amongst the joys, too. There is so much overwhelm here. And in life. So much.)
  4. I’m writing a story called fight crab. I kind of adore the ridiculousness. (I started well but finishing? Ah. The rub, the dip.)
  5. As much as I love color, I am sitting in greys, grey pajama pants with stars, grey sweater and I feel like a Swedish hug. Like, come see me in my Nordic tiny house glowing under the aurora, I am here. I will make you a fire and a magical drink.
  6. Geraniums, by god. The smell of them clarifies the whole damn thing. Last summer I bought five babies after the season was done, a dollar each! And I have so much. Take a walk in my nook. (3 steps.)
  7. Non-sequiturs. I love the way my mind can jump ship and swim for a minute and still catch the boat before its gone, or not. It might be hard to follow, but not for me.
  8. The piles of books around me are maddening, but I’m filled up by looking at them. The chaos brings the possibility that one of them will be a great love. Or take me off to dreamscape #4258. And I haven’t been there yet.
  9. My kids when they sneeze. It makes me see their youth and remember their sneezes as babies. Is there anything cuter than a sneezing baby? (I am such a mom. And so proud of it. And its not going anywhere. And oh my god, babies.)
  10. I appreciate already, how much laughter I bring into the world. My kids are better for it, and I am better for it, and I’ve gifted it to them, and they to me.

*by the way, on my night of restorative sleep, the dog decided to wake me THREE times. THRICE. motherfucker. So, i was up early. I make a joy list in retaliation. Is that questionable? I do not know. but it is Saturday, and as you know, we have no plans. so i will nap. i will.

brown cottage under aurora borealis
EXACTLY. Photo by Stefan Stefancik on


December 28 : dishes on my mind

Cynthia Lee again. Notice. Take a breath… Look again.

First look:

  1. Cat hair-dog hair- my hair, in tufts and corners and everywhere, despite all the sweeping, all the vacuums, all the breezes.
  2. The kitchen floor is wide planks, but fake, so tricky… some sort of foolery of tech and plastic. And everyone is fooled.
  3. My favorite rug is in the kitchen. It is still shocking to me that not everyone has a rug in their kitchen. warmth? It is so many reds, and blacks and diamonds and strange shapes, and, I think, pink geometry.
  4. The mismatch of chairs at the table, two from childhood, one from the beach house, hearts still intact, and one purchased during marriage. One of the marriage chairs was disassembled on Christmas day by a large and growing teen boy. It was not intentional and now I have to consider if I want to reassemble it, or if the initial break renders it unreliable forever. Isn’t there a lot in there?
  5. Two nativity scenes on the kitchen table. And santa. I’m not really sure my kids know the Christmas story. There is also a saint fauci candle. No connection.
  6. The kitchen sink is full of last night’s pans, roast chicken and mashed potatoes and stuffing. It was delicious. So very much. And still. Pans. Sigh. I’ll get to them soon. Before lunch, at the very least.
  7. One of the lights is out above me. Also will get to that.
  8. The chair I’m in has good bones, but part of the seat has fallen through. And I’m looking for a replacement but I’m not even on the list at this point and I recognize a problem. But still.
  9. The wood bin is full, a sign of plenty and fullness. And it leans against my last vision board (man I hate that term, but it is what it is. ‘manifest’. Ugh.) and on the board is this “process is the point” . and man, it is, for me, all the points.
  10. Colors are everything for me. The colors here are just nonstop and so damn pleasing.
  11. There is a puzzle half done nearby of toy animals, in the center of the plant area, near the tiny ‘village’ that we put up every year. I think it will be the first to go, that village, because more plants. More plants are needed. more green, more life.

Round two :

  1. There is still much detritus of Christmas around. A shiny red ribbon under the table, a roll of washi tape, the corner of wrapping paper gone white on its underside.
  2. The chairs pushed back and out from after the meal. The kitchen entirely abandoned after the eating, which explains the still-full sink.
  3. I reach out to the radiator constantly, the mild burn of the cast iron painted silver is so pleasing on some level, so entirely fulfilling. Proof that some things work.
  4. My side table overflowing with books, and I’m back lately to having a hard time focusing on reading. The empty water bottle, the almost-empty coffee mug. A pen, a stack of tarot cards and a phone.
  5. The black dog who trundles in to sleep on the beautiful rug, spending his days moving from sleep spot to sleep spot. Who is to say he is not right? I took him to the beach yesterday for the first time. He was not sure what to make of it. He is not well trained off leash, let it suffice to say. Or on leash, for that matter.
  6. Santa is tucked in behind saint fauci and the nativity. It is sort of confusing, this world, but then, not at all.
  7. On the toaster sits a coffee cake. Bet it is all stiff with the air. Again, I will get to it.
  8. I have a reading lamp next to my chair, that is wound by a light up garland of false wisteria. And one of paper stars. So much. I have so much.
  9. The cat is staring into the bush again, watching the birds and occasionally cackling. She so wants to snuggle with the dog but her distrust makes for many many entertaining events. Her distrust is misplaced. I think he would love it. The animate is filling me up this time around.
  10. I see the butter dish over there. I know it is empty because mashed potatoes were made. Greasy washing coming up.
  11. The underside of kitchen chairs is visible to me from here. I can see the next one to go. I need a fix-it man.

–my mind is too much with me, my friends. it is time for a cleaning, then we will see what appears. yes?

fingers crossed.




11/14/2020 colors.


  1. The color of defeat. Every morning I say I’m going to make fresh coffee. Instead, I heat up yesterday’s.  I went to a retreat a few years back and started to do the same. The leader took the cup out of my hand and said, ‘you deserve fresh coffee, kate’. The blue and white of my mug are chipped.  This is the last of the dishware that my parents brought back from Thailand. Eerily new England. The balance between practicality and self-worth is one to be aware of. Keep it, keep it, keep it, reuse it, reuse it. It becomes a mantra that can overload a home, and keep me bogged down in broken down things. I have enough coffee to make myself a fresh pot. And warmed up coffee just isn’t that good. Now why is that? But. It is not today’s prompt.
  2. Black. I made a fresh pot. Black though, can’t be written currently without bowing to the systems of oppression that I am a part of. It’s a bow. That’s what I can do, here, when not kneeling.
  3. Green. Today’s my first Saturday since June without my summer job, at the farm. Sitting outside, moving greens around, washing squash or lettuce? Such a joy. Customers are lovely, even masked. And freshness. And I love my farmer. I’m home today, and have a long list of what I will do with all this time and I keep having to remind myself that I have the ENTIRE day, so I can go to my garden shop any time, all afternoon, and I can maybe stop procrastinating and just get the writing done.
  4. Yellow. I’m still chicken about getting the writing done. Failure is most assuredly an option.
  5. I’m still wildly in love with my chimney. So lets appreciate the fact that it is IN the house, in my kitchen, ruddy red exposed brick of glory. My last house had exposed brick as well. I nod to the handmade nature of my life, even still. What I like always bears the sign of a handprint. Always.
  6. Purple. The underside of the houseplants I am staring at are purple. Fuzzy too. And then there is a row of fuschia near the ‘christmas cactuses’.  When they bloom in the fall every year, why am I still calling them Christmas cacti? Purple and fuschia are not generally my friends but my god, sometimes? It’s the savior of the day, that kind of bright.
  7. Kaleidoscope. I’ve started to wonder lately if I have some sort of ADD. Personality wise, I’d say absolutely no. But when I look around at how distractable I am? When I see myself doing 14 things on the way to doing the thing I got up for? I know there is an element of plain old mothering in it, I mean there is a hell of a lot of little stuff to be done, and picking up one thing on the way to the other thing is how shit gets done. But I wonder if the impact of technology has affected me a little? The constancy of the phone distraction? This is not a sudden thought, but a serious wonder. Its not like I want to take meds, and I’ve a friend who is seriously ADD and I’m pretty sure I don’t have that, but how do I shut it down? This flutter of flit.
  8. Grey smoke. When someone doesn’t communicate well, and you try to fill up space with your own thoughts and they swirl around each other, and its beautiful, but the two are still separate, like a lava lamp.
  9. I’m wearing my favorite sweater. It’s a wool tunic of sorts and its raspberry. Its not a beret, but every time I look at it, I hear Prince. Though I’m pretty sure he’s never seen a middle-aged woman in a raspberry tunic and thought of me. Although, maybe in heaven he’s finally seen the light? I think he’s possibly the one man I’d be intimidated by, sexually speaking.
  10. Sun. While not a color, per se, it sure does bring out the layers of color in everything. For that matter, so does shade, but you have to be really looking. The sun just smacks you in the face with it. It says: LOOK! LOOK AT THIS!! OVER HERE!! It’s THE natural highlighter. Even cardboard can be luminous.


Today my daughter turns 8. A great number.

So, a list of ten, birthday bits.

  1. For my 40th birthday I was given a weekend at a quilting camp. It was a great gift.  Over the weekend we were to assemble a whole quilt. I sewed for four hours the first night and had a migraine for most of the next day, so bad that I did not sew and the ladies were very kind to me. It was all the way in FARAWAY Maine, it was really nice to be alone, I do remember that. Talking to home was hard and sad.
  2. My mom always made me a spiderweb of ropes in the living room, with a prize for each kid attending the party, at the end of a particular strand. I do the same thing for my daughter. It defies easy explanation, but I will be setting it up on Sunday morning. Perhaps I will photograph.
  3. Birthday cake, birthday cake, birthday cake!!
  4. The arrangement of adults on the kid’s birthdays has become freaking traumatic since the divorce. FREAKING TRAUMATIC. I’ve got one in November and one in December. It is a large part of why I hate November and December now. Thanks Obama.
  5. Sprinkles! Cake! Color! Even for the boys, it’s a splash of wild color, I can be free to explore all my primary color needs!! Playdough, superheroes, polka dots. Its all supremely happy-making. (and exclamation points are part of that, clearly)
  6. The teenager hasn’t chosen to have a party for a while. Friends over, chill, no decorations, pizza, etc. It is a supreme let-down for my color-obsession, primary color fantasizing. His happy-making still puts me over the top though. The other one, the about-to-be a teenager has a riot of friends, and they always go to his dad’s for lawlessness and anarchy. I am so happy-made to not be involved in that, so we win! We all win!
  7. I love birthdays. I love everyone’s birthday. It’s a day we single ourselves out to celebrate. Just us! ME! YOU! Stars in the Sky! Shimmer! Spark!
  8. I’ll be making a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting this afternoon. I’m pretty happy about having that in the house. Its not the first cake we’ve had in the house this month. This little one requests cake on the regular. I’m not thin. (this is two about cake, yes.)
  9. Her selection for birthday dinner is steak. Steak and noodles.  Again, happy-making for everyone. The meat has been marinating since Monday. Its almost like its my birthday. Hey, wait now…
  10. I survived all of these births. This is something I was given and something I handled. I am inordinately proud of my survival and of the creatures they (and I) are still becoming.