Tuesday, August 31, 2004


Spent a bit too much time here tonight....

The Mirror Project

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Back to school stuff

Wicca: pretending to be an ancient religion since 1957. Christianity: killing you in God's name for 2000 years! Oh my gods!

Death masks

An interesting post by Olivia on Chapel Perilous. Cultural practices surrounding death fascinate me. My father died in 1992, and I went through the whole experience surrounded by Catholic family and custom. Not only Catholic....Irish Catholic. He died in a hospital. He was embalmed and we greeted visitors during a 5 hour wake. We were expected to keep our emotions in check. A few months later, my friend India's father also died. The family had moved here from Lithuania about 40 years earlier. India's father chose to die at home, with his family surrounding his bed. After he passed, the family bathed him, dressed him in clean pyjamas, and filled the room with candles. They wrapped his hands around a thick pillar candle. Then, they sat and mourned. Told stories, laughed, cried, howled, even. All through the night and into the next day this went on, as friends and visitors brought food and well-wishes to the family. India's mother invited all of us to come see him. India, a professional photographer, documented the whole event. For me, it held such meaning and purpose. It made sense. It was the beginning of an adjustment to life without him. When India died suddenly last November, many of these rituals came to mind. Somehow, her sons found a way to make everyone comfortable while keeping with their mom's lifestyle. They found a funeral home that would allow a pagan farewell ceremony, and we waited until her sweet Lithuanian mother had left. (She never approved of that 'witch' stuff.) The home also allowed someone to come in and make a death mask. I still visit Momo (India's mother), and on her bedside table you can see the photo of her large, handsome husband in death, and next to it the death mask of her only daughter. Lately, I get the feeling it won't be long until she joins them.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Phantom stairs

We lived in a 1.5 story house when I was growing up. Here, on the east coast, we call that type of house a "Cape". But that house was in Wisconsin. There were 3 bedrooms on the second floor, one for me, one for my sis, and another for my parents. And a small bathroom with only a tub. After living there a number of years, my parents finished and put a shower in the basement. Here is where our olive green and black bean bag chairs were, the Atari game, a VCR, and our old living room furniture. My house was the one where many of my friends would spend time. We watched Texas Chainsaw Massacre over and over ("look what yer brother did to the door!") , spent endless hours playing Frogger and Pong, smoked a lot of know, the usual teenage activities. The point is: I spent a lot of time in the basement. The back porch door opened up into the house about 3/4 of the way up the basement stairs. There was a landing there, and then 4 stairs up into the main area of the house. Or, 8 steps down into the basement. From the bottom of the stairs, I became very adept at climbing the stairs 2 by 2, incorporating the landing as well. I climbed those stairs countless times, so much so that the pattern is embedded in my muscles. These days, if I'm at all distracted while going up a staircase, I'll get all tripped up after the 7th step, expecting a landing there, I guess. Did it today, and dropped a box of Leggo-type blocks. All 600 of them.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Desert Sin

Gothic tribal belly dancing.... Several friends are encouraging me to join them in a bellydancing class...and in checking it out online I found a whole genre of dance that I didn't know exisited. Looks like fun to me!

Monday, August 23, 2004

Remembering Bambi

Bambi Thomas was 24 years old when she died one year ago. She was waiting for a heart transplant, her heart working at less than 1/3 of what it should be. She had a mechanical heart implanted to improve her quality of life while she waited for a new heart; it was an 'experimental' procedure. She was diagnosed with peripartum cardiomyopathy just after the birth of her baby girl, Ellie. Ellie was 8 months old when Bambi died. Bambi's story could easily have been my story. I was diagnosed with the same disease one week after the birth of my daughter. In fact, our heart function was exactly the same when we were diagnosed. Hummm, this does raise some survivor's guilt....I am doing very well and have 'recovered' most heart function. I was on the same meds that caused her fatal aneurysm. So, instead of focusing on the guilt, I do what I can to raise awareness for women and heart disease. Did you know that heart disease kills more women each year than breast cancer and diabetes combined? I personally know 10 women who have had heart attacks in their 30's. Know your risk, insist on the tests, and listen to your instincts. Intuition is what saved my life. I went to the ER after my ob/gyn *refused* to see me, saying that I had "new mom anxiety". What I had in reality was 2 clots in my lung, lungs more than 1/2 filled with fluid, and a heart with an ejection fraction of 17%. The story is filled with drama...but basically I was told that no one with my level of heart function survives beyond 5 years, and mortality within 1 year of diagnosis is 50%. Here I am, 3.5 years later. So there. Not planning on checking out soon, and you all are invited to my '5-year' party. Bambi's foundation to help other women with PPCM: Bambi Thomas Healing Hearts

Happy 40th Tori!

Happy 40th Tori! Well, actually her birthday was yesterday. Tori is certainly one of my favorite artists. I refer to her as just 'Tori', as if we've had a long-time friendship. Well, we have, but it's been rather one-sided. I have a secret fantasy that she is my sister. (I have a half-sister that was given up for adoption....and Tori's about the right age) Of course Tori was not adopted, but that doesn't stop me. I am convinced that we would be the best of friends (if not sisters) if we could only meet. I also used to think that I could persuade Robert Smith of The Cure to marry me if we could only meet. (Yes, I know about his wife. These are just my little rock star fantasies.) Could you cram any more talent into one photo? Bjork, PJ Harvey, Tori

Saturday, August 21, 2004

A day with Susun Weed

Susun Weed, Herbalist and Green Witch I spent the day in a workshop at a little pagan church. Susun Weed came from Woodstock, NY to spend the afternoon chatting about health, herbs, and magic. The hours passed quickly, she is a wonderful storyteller, and I was happy to sit in the 100-year old church during a loud thunderstorm among lots of women. And one lone man. (it takes a brave man to attend a workshop led by a Dianic Witch!) She is radical in her approach....she grows her own food, eats as she gathers, and drinks raw goat milk. She even crafts her own yogurt and cheese from raw milk. Much of what she said today was common sense, and some of it was the opposite of what I believed to be true. Some of the nutritional and healing information she gave today that has me thinking:
  • all plants should be cooked before eating
  • meat should be eaten raw
  • essential oils are poisonous and use too many resources
  • milk is one of the best choices for well-being and healing (she also equates our society's lactose intolerance with 'woman-hating')
  • the organic certification process stops at harvest, and often chemicals are added post harvest

I happen to grow an herb that she loves: comfrey. It is a controversial herb, so we had a nice little connection there. I learned several new uses for it.

Friday, August 20, 2004


In Memoriam: E M Cioran This is an example of the work of my friend Detritus. He painted it just after Cioran died in 1995. A few things about Det: he is from the Basque Country, commonly known as the oldest ethnic group in Europe (with a fascinating language unrelated to any other!), he is one of the most sincere, humble and kind human beings I've met, and I connect immediately with his work. We were lucky to receive a painting as a wedding gift. His enchanting wife knows that my favorite tarot card is the Star from Crowley's Thoth deck, and she asked him to paint it for me. It's stunning, but undoubtedly the most cheerful painting he's created. You can see it here amidst a shrine of sorts for my friend India just after she died. Vete a mirar las pinturas: DEtRITUS

Allergic to the host

My daughter and I have celiac disease. In this disease, the body is intolerant to gluten, the protien found in wheat, rye, oats, and barley. It is controlled by omitting gluten. I don't have any issue with eating this way, I feel great. My kid is doing great, too. Now in the national news: an 8 year old girl is being denied communion because the Catholic Church insists that the wafter have some wheat. Hummm, my body won't accept the 'host'. The Body of Christ. My entire body is rejecting the symbol of the Lord. Interesting, eh? MSNBC - Girl with digestive disorder denied Communion

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Muffin' Buffin'

The Random Masturbation Synonym Generator Check out the list of funniest synonyms, too.

Update on swimmer with heart defect

The swimmer I posted about last week has a gold medal. Her name is Dana Vollmer, and she's the one smiling in the photo. That makes a heart parent a bit teary eyed.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004


¿Te vas? -le preguntó. Sí -le contestó sin ganas. Cierra la puerta cuando salgas.... via Ventanas


Oh, I really want this. My husband wants to believe that I'm 'over' the snowglobe collecting. I'm not. There just isn't a place for them right now. I'm thinking that when I get the hideous floral wallpaper off of the 1/2 bath downstairs, I'll line the walls with shelves to display them all. Sometimes well-meaning family members buy me fancy glass globes on music boxes. My favorite globes come from places where it really doesn't snow at all, and they MUST be plastic. The uglier, the better...

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Plush Microbes

Flesh Eating Doll You can purchase a cuddly version of your favorite microbes at Giant Microbes. Found in a blog from Spain: pjorge


typoGenerator I could spend a lot of time creating these posters. Hard to decide which is my favorite. I like this one, but this one suits me best at this moment. Found this over at PostHuman Blues.

The little voice

I keep learning the lesson the hard way. I certainly know to listen to my intuition. So why didn't I stop myself last night? It was 12:00, I was leaving a nice little bar with an acoustic open mic night, and there was the hot dog vendor on the corner. Now, normally I don't even eat hot dogs. I'm allergic to wheat, so I can't have the bun. I had many reasons NOT to eat the hot dog. It was the smell, and the fact that I had a drink. I had a giant sausage on a plate complete with peppers and onions. And a Coke. I went home feeling satisfied. I woke up at 7:00 with a bit of nausea. Didn't drink enough to have a hangover. Daughter woke me again at 8:00 with her happy little face wanting to go out to the garden. Then the first round of vomiting. There would be 3 more rounds to follow, not to mention the gut-wrenching diarrhea and sick headache. I can't even hold ginger tea down. My little girlie has been great about keeping herself busy as I alternate laying on the couch with crouching in the bathroom. There was a time this morning when I considered bringing a blanket into the bathroom and just laying on the floor to have quick access. When I was in grade school, I got sick after eating cake and drinking fruit punch. I've not cared for either since then. I wonder if I'll ever eat another hot dog?

Monday, August 16, 2004

Have you heard?

New movies.... Johnny Depp will play Willy Wonka in the upcoming Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, directed by Tim Burton. This probably means more music by Danny Elfman. Sooo many reasons to be happy here.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

I like having a body....

My kid said to me yesterday, "I don't want to die, I like having a body." This, I realize, has been a recurring theme in my conversations and dreams over the past year. Just after India died, I had a dream: We were putting together a show of her work. We choose the black and white nudes and displayed them in a small room. Beautiful photographs of nude female bodies. (many of them me) Then we set up a bed to put India on. Yes, we knew she was dead, but we wanted her body there. People arrived to look at India's body, and the photos of live bodies on the walls. I am focusing on our spiritual connection to our bodies now in meditation, and the subject is popping up in all areas. Seems I have been learning that lesson in full force since my heart almost gave out. Interesting that my daughter is able to bring it all down to a basic feeling: I like having a body. Oh, I do so enjoy having a body. Even this one with the flawed heart. A few in-body experiences that I've thoroughly reveled in recently: a hot bath, the smell of chamomile and rosemary, the feel of my daughter's hair, the color of the red maple leaves, walking in the rain, creme brulee, listening to Lila Downs, using my hands to create stuff, reading Sandra Cisneros, seeing a moonflower open, amazing sex, hearing my husband and kid singing a made-up song, the feel of clean sheets, grilled salmon, soft puppy ears...... I am getting better at staying in the present moment.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

The Faire

Faery at the Faire King Richard's Faire opens in 3 weeks. We are going to stay on the Cape for Labor day weekend, and attend opening ceremonies. This faire is different than other Ren Faires in that the buildings and site are permanent. It's set among old, very tall pine trees. I adore the smell of the pine needles crunching under all those feet. It's fabulous people watching. Some people go all out with their costumes, and others look like tourists on another planet, they are so uncomfortable with the atmosphere. It's one of those things that you love....or don't get at all. John turned me on to the Faire when we first started seeing each other. He knew all the performers and the layout of the whole place. After we married, we moved from Hartford to the Boston area (where the Faire is). When I gave birth to my daughter, I had a doula assist. When I became critically ill just after giving birth, I had a post-partum doula who came to the house everyday to help. We became close, and she and her husband became some of our only friends in the area. Finally....the point of doula's husband is the general manager for the Faire. Looking forward to seeing them, as well! And hopefully the gargoyle will be there. Lily kissed him! What to wear? Three years ago, Lily was almost one, and I simply put little horns on her head. They came right out of her forehead, she looked like a goatbaby. The next year she wore a little faery costume, with a wand. Last year, in typical 3-year old fashion, she refused to wear her peacock costume. (which she simply HAD to have the day before) We did buy mother / daughter bat wings last year. That'll work.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Praise the blogging gods!

This includes you, Purple Goddess; and you, too Eris. Blogrolling, and finally convinced Hello to publish as well. My lucky day...this Friday the 13th.

Finally, moonflowers

Moonflower at 9:30 pm I've always wanted a moongarden. Only white flowers that open at night, maybe in a crescent shaped spot in the yard. This year we got a bit closer by planting 5 moonflower seeds. We kept them inside until May, and then put them into a container with a 6-foot trellis that John built, complete with a copper crescent moon at the top. It became part of our daily routine to check their progress, and over the past three months they have climbed to the top and swirled around a few times. Tonight, in the rain, we have our first bloom..

A Blogroll, even!

Thanks to the Purple Goddess, I have my very own blogroll. I have limited time on the computer (as well as limited patience and capacity to figure things out), so this is such an accomplishment for a Friday afternoon. Hooray!
Why does the ice cream truck circle our neighborhood only just before dinner and at 8:30pm?

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Let Me Count the Ways I Despise Disney

I am the mother of a three year old girl. Despite the fact that I hang with a rather unconventional crowd, the world of Walt Disney has managed to reach her. She's not into the princess scene, thank goddess. For some reason, she holds a fascination with Disney World, and wants to visit. This is the very LAST thing on my list of what to do with Lily. Right after visiting a morgue. Crowds, sun, a mini-fascist regime, and $18 cheeseburgers. How do people buy into it? Especially parents of girls? The messages sent are the opposite of what I hope to instill in her. Sure, it opens up a nice forum for communication: "Do you think that mermaid should give up her whole family and life for a man she saw once and never spoke to?", or "Why is that beast so grumpy? Do you think that Beauty's patience and kindness will change his violent ways?", or "Hummm, where are the biological mothers of Cinderella, Snow White, Ariel, Mulan, Pocahontas, Beauty, even Nemo? Would these kids make different choices if all of the adult women around them weren't EVIL?" And those are just a few of the issues I see surrounding the heroines. Not to mention the bizarre racial undertones in many of the films. Oh, I know kids process things through different filters than my cynical mind. But are these conversations we should be having with small children? So I grit my teeth and accept the gifts of movies from well-intentioned relatives, and try to steer my kid in other directions. She still squeals when she sees something at Target with a Disney character on it. She also gets excited when she sees McDonald's. Ah, that's another post, eh?

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

The Pagan Name Generator

The Pagan Name Generator So, you've decided to become a pagan. Great! But you can't show up at the next full moon ritual, all set to shuck off your clothes and leap over a flaming cauldron with a staid, boring regular name. No, you need a special name. A pagan name.
Isis Epona Moonstone
who are you?

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Olympic Swimmer with heart defect

This is one of the conditions my daughter is monitored for: Long QT Syndrome. This article plays it off a bit lightly....often the first symptom of Long QT is sudden cardiac death. I'm not a sports fan, but I'll be cheering her on! Vollmer Stays in the Pool No Matter What the Cost By Barry Svrluga Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, August 9, 2004; Page D01 For Dana Vollmer, the rationale is quite plain. Never mind that she is 16, already a veteran of two heart problems, one of which required surgery, or, as she prefers to say, "a procedure." Never mind that when she swims next week in the Olympics, there will be a defibrillator poolside, specifically for her, lest her heart begin to race, or stop, or do something else abnormal. Most would say, "Why swim?" Vollmer's answer, "Because I must." "I basically said I would rather die swimming," she said, "than not do it at all." Well, then, there you have it. If she stopped swimming, part of her -- a significant part of her -- would die, so she might as well press forward, because why limit yourself at such a young age? Plus . . . "I don't think about it," she said. "I really don't." Vollmer, a blond-haired, broad-shouldered Texas teen, won't be the star of the Olympics. She likely won't win a medal in her lone individual event, the 200-meter freestyle, though she could help the U.S. team to a medal in the 800 freestyle relay. But undoubtedly and unwittingly, she will be one of those Olympic tales of courage that come up during these times, because in the spring of 2003, she felt her heartbeat speed up, and then speed up some more. This was not good. She couldn't let it be a threat to her swimming. She just couldn't. Her parents figure she must have first mentioned swimming in the Olympics when she was 5 or 6. By 2000, when she was 12, she was the youngest swimmer at the U.S. trials, a girl with no muscle development to speak of, no chance to qualify for the Games, but with talent to be tapped and a world of experience to be gained. "I might be unqualified [to comment]," said her father, Les. "But I figured if she was in the Olympic trials at 12, she's going to be in the Olympics at 16. I knew her. She had that determination." Yet who knew she would have to be determined enough to overcome all she has been through since those trials? First came a basketball game, a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her knee, and surgery, the perfect way to ruin an Olympic quest. "That was the worst thing that could happen," said her coach, Ron Forrest of the Fort Worth Area Swim Team. "The knee was a real kick in the stomach." Yet that little mishap revealed something of Vollmer's character. The ligament was completely ripped off the bone, but she delayed surgery until after swimming in summer nationals, the meet that would allow her to qualify for the Pan American Games in 2003. Occasionally, during workouts, she would have to pull herself from the pool, prop herself up on the deck, and massage the knee. She swam on. Within days of nationals, she had surgery. The doctors told her it would take six, maybe seven months to fully recover. She and Forrest sat down and planned out a day-by-day strategy, when to get back in the pool, what workouts to do when, how to prepare for the following year -- and her second shot at the trials. Vollmer took the schedule home, considered it again, and scrapped it completely. Three months after surgery, she was not only swimming, but swimming fast. She was back. "She had already figured out where she wanted to be and how healthy she wanted to be at certain points, all by herself," Forrest said. "To get ahead of [the doctors'] schedule, and to do everything really on her own timetable, it was pretty amazing for her to be able to get herself back." Not only that, but because she couldn't kick properly to swim the butterfly -- which involves a motion that puts more pressure on the knee -- she vastly improved her freestyle, building upper body strength like she had never had before. "I just figured something good could come out of something bad," Vollmer said. "Everything happens for a reason." Obstacle overcome. Done. Move on. But then, the heart. At first, it didn't seem like that big of a deal. Her heart would occasionally race. Give it 10 or 15 minutes, and it would calm down. Yet during dry land training, she became dizzy once, then twice. "You just think, 'Well, she didn't have enough to eat,' the usual things," said her mother, Cathy. "But we thought, for her peace of mind, we'd go have it checked out. And it led to a major thing." Swimming, naturally, got her heart rate up to about 180 beats a minute. That's when the problem, an arrhythmia, kicked in. In layman's terms, Les Vollmer said, a human heart is supposed to have one sparkplug, telling it when to beat. Yet when Dana Vollmer's heart reached 180 beats per minute, it reacted as if there were five sparkplugs. Boom, her heart would race. Two hundred, 220 beats a minute. The solution: Go up through an artery in her leg, reach her heart, and cauterize the four extra sparkplugs. Vollmer's reaction: "I wanted to do it," she said. "I wanted to swim." Her parents? Well, not so much. "Here I have a daughter that's experiencing this problem only if she were to achieve a heart rate of 180-plus," Les Vollmer said. "So did she need the procedure at all? No, not for a kid that wasn't at that caliber of sports. "But that was her life. So we went ahead and did it." All that would be plenty for one athlete over the span of an entire career, let alone before the career really gets started. Yet at the same time, another problem was identified. Doctors told Vollmer she might suffer from something called Long QT syndrome, an electrical problem in her heart. They ran another set of tests, after her heart surgery, and suspected the same thing, but couldn't be sure. "I've never absolutely shown the symptoms," Dana Vollmer said. "But they just wanted us to be safe." Thus, the defibrillator. It has become something of a sideshow, a small red box her parents carry to each meet. When they sit in the stands, Les Vollmer scouts out his quickest route to the water, just in case -- and he is convinced the time will never come -- he needs to scamper from the bleachers and, as he said, "jump in the pool and save her." For the first meets after heart surgery, after the diagnosis of Long QT, the family was nervous. "The first few months," Cathy said, "I sat real close. I didn't leave the pool. I didn't leave practice. I never walked away. "But I think we're feeling more comfortable that it's all going to be okay." By now, Dana is so dismissive of the problem that she refuses to touch the defibrillator. "It's a jinx," Les said. "It's kind of a thing the doctors have labeled her with," he said. "She doesn't feel there's a problem. She never really did. The one thing she had wrong with her heart was cured, and then this is just a secondary thing that they're saying she needs this [defibrillator]. We kind of just haul it around to satisfy the doctors." So as she swam faster this spring, as she approached the trials, she challenged her parents. "I told my dad," she said, "that if I made Olympics, I wanted to get a tattoo." The family had never allowed such things before. But Les Vollmer got to thinking about it. "All right," he said. "And not only that, I'll get one, too, if you make it." Last week, Les Vollmer got a tattoo on his arm, the five Olympic rings, with a little '04 in the top left ring, small waves on the sides, and "Dana," written in script underneath. Dana Vollmer's tattoo, likely in the small of her back, may have to come later. She is, after all, just 16. But because she's so young, those Olympic rings could be filled with an '04, an '08, maybe even a '12. "I don't want people to talk too much about my heart, because I don't think about it," she said. "It's not an issue. I want to just be treated like a normal swimmer, because I am."

Monday, August 09, 2004

VH1: 1975

It's hard to get me to sit still for TV, but in flipping channels I came across this show. I was laughin' and yellin' at the television all by myself the other night. Land of the Lost was my favorite show! : Shows : I Love The 70s : 1975 : About the Episode: "Live from New York it's I Love 1975! Smack in the middle of the decade, 1975 is hard to forget. It was the year you were begging Mom to stay up and watch that new show Saturday Night Live. The year you requested your first pet, the no-maintenance Pet Rock. And the year Jaws scared you enough to make a vow of no ocean swimming...ever! Your favorite TV show featured a group of remedial students called the sweathogs. And you drove your teachers crazy with imitations. Up your nose with a rubber hose. Oh-oh-oh Mr. Kotter! While everyone in America had their own difficulties with the new metric system. There's a little sweathog in all of us! You're a shining star, no matter who you are Shining bright to see what you can truly be. Your Panasonic 'Dy-no-mite' Plunger 8-track player was blasting Earth, Wind and Fire. Playing the first home video game Pong was a lesson in reverse ADD-patience! You dug Baretta, the crazy detective with the cockatiel named Frank. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was about birds of a different kind. Everyone could relate to the crazy McMurphy, Jack Nicolson taking on the institution of Nurse Ratched. Feelings, oh, oh oh, Feelings-nothing more than Feelings! Albert Morris taught us that a song, and a feeling, could lead to some violent thoughts. The Secret Lives of Plants showed that plants had feelings and talking to plants became the fad-du-jour, right along with mood rings - put one on and learn how you're feeling. If the ring turns blue, you're happy! Black and you're stressed, or you get stressed knowing you should be stressed. How stressful! "

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Vintage Stockings

Poking around the web today looking for free knitting patterns, I came across this....excellent find! I'm not sure what type of yarn I'll use, or how well they will stay up. But I'm sure the folks over at Sock Dreams have something to remedy that. Fun fall project. Lil has announced that she wants a poncho, so I'll be dusting off those needles. I may challenge my friend to work with me, we learned to knit together many years ago. Our houses are a bit different now with many pets and a couple of kids, so finding time may present a problem, not to mention trying to keep the yarn on the needles and out of the reach of kitties and toddlers.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Voice of Hibakusha

Voice of Hibakusha: "The first atomic bomb actually used in war time was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945 killing between 130,000 and 150,000 people by the end of that year. Those who survived the bombing are rapidly aging now after struggling for many years. The Hiroshima Peace and Culture Foundation has decided to newly videotape the testimonies of 100 A-bomb victims to commemorate the International Year of Peace 1986 to record the precious experiences of these survivors to be handed down to the future generations. " Check out some of the eye-witness accounts.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Post cardiologist post

The appointment was fine. We go to two different hospitals: Boston Children's Hospital and Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford. Really, the only doctor I trust completely is Kathy Jenkins at Boston, but I wanted to develop a relationship with the docs here in town in case we should need them on an emergent basis. We were in Hartford yesterday. No change. Good news. I am proud of her. She thinks it is normal to go to the cardiologist, and that many people she knows have 'special hearts'. I did not puke this time, thank you very much. I did tear up a bit when she had the 20+ leads on for the EKG. Sucks to see such a small person with many wires and such. But then I held it together for the rest of the tests, and got to leave within an hour with good news. I've had and seen enough echocardiograms at this point that I can almost read them to some degree. Lily's pediatrician has asked me several times what specialty of medicine I practice. Ha! Maybe that is his thinly veiled way of calling me an over-involved, micro-managing mom. I prefer to think of myself as well informed, if not a bit neurotic.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Warning: Whining Ahead

John is working nights this week. He's never done this before, and it's only been one night so far. I'm not enjoying it....I have NO down time. He was home at 7:30am, and just got up now at 3:00. He's leaving in an hour. I'm worried about Lil's cardiology appointment tomorrow, and will just have to worry alone tonight. Ugh. People with 'normal' kids aren't great choices to voice stress to over these things. They've not had the test where the doc makes you sit down before he discusses the results. They've not waited in a tiny room while a team of 20 brings their child's body temp to freezing and stops the heart and pokes and sews it. They've not had the experience of seeing other families torn up by the death of a child with a heart defect....sometimes something far less 'serious' than Lily's defect. Really, you'd never know anything was wrong with the little beauty. And her heart is functioning well at the moment. But, still, before these appointments I am anxious. Anxious? Well, extremely anxious. I have been known to excuse myself from the examining room to go puke. During one of my own echos I had to get off the table twice. Finally, I got the hang of scheduling these tests first thing in the morning, and I don't eat before. So, we're off the Hartford Children's at 8am. Could be a long night.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Sarah McLaughlan

Went for a date with the husband last night to the Hartford Civic Center to see Sarah. Haven't been to many concerts in the past 4 years, between my illness and the general madness of childrearing, it hasn't been a priority. In fact, the last live national tour I saw was Peter Murphy a few years back. I was the only visibly pregnant person there amidst some gorgeous was a great show. Maybe being exposed to my favorite stuff in utero is starting to manifest in her personality now....big focus on post-death rituals like burying and cremation. She's 3. Oh, this is a post about Sarah, right. The woman can sing her ass off. Amazing. I don't see many huge production shows like this, I thought it was well done and enjoyed it imensely. Many of the songs brought me right to a specific time in my past. Didn't realize how well I know her is often background around her. Could she be any more beautiful? Butterfly Boucher (pronounced not in the French way, but with the 'ch' of 'cucaracha') opened the show. As she played, many 80's bands came to mind: Cure, Siouxie, Coucteau Twins, etc. Poppy with an 80s flavor. She is adorable.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Setting the tone

We did some full moon magic yesterday at the biggest tree in CT. It's 24 feet around. Really. Since blue moons come about every 2.5 years or so, we all voiced some intentions, faced and released some fears, and set the tone until the next blue moon. Funny how ideas manifest in circle that I hadn't thought about before (consciously, anyway). Sometimes I'm amazed at what comes out of my mouth. And how I claim part of all that happens. I love these women. I am tempted to blog my spiritual wanderings, but for now it all needs to be written. For me, the process of pen on paper is satisfying in a different way than this journal. I still need it. We were in a public park, and certainly drew attention. We probably don't look like what most people think of as 'pagan'. We all wore something blue, partly for the moon, and partly because we were honoring our friend India Blue. The tree was not the only oversized part of ritual. Our altar was beautiful in blue, as well. My neighbor has now figured out that on full moons a bunch of beautiful women show up at our house, and often stay very late. The houses are close together, so he can hear anything that happens on our deck. Yesterday he offered his driveway for extra parking. Part of the reason we moved to this town was for its diversity....we are flanked by two gay men, behind us lives a Cuban family, and across the street Russian Jews. A few merry pagans makes it even more fun, no?