Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Best Western Branford

Frances and I went swimming at the Branford Best Western Stony Creek Inn this morning. For five bucks each, anyone can go in and use the small heated pool with whirlpool jets, in a nice glass enclosed setting. And there's a sauna in the women's restroom. It was the perfect gentle excercise for me, and Frances had a ball practicing her swimming strokes and walking on her hands and playing Princess Aqua. And it's only ten minutes from my house! Then we went to the diner and had lunch, then we went to the Guilford Arts Center and saw their holiday crafts show and sale. So many beautiful things. I just bought a manatee ornament for the tree. Then we went to Tommy K's and got two videos, Garfield A Tale of Two Kitties, and Cars. I didn't like Cars very much, but the Garfield one was pretty funny. Then I made dinner, then Frances and I made dog cookies from a book I was given by Erin and Jason, well, actually Trinka and Ashley, and Bindi loved the cookies! Can't wait to try the other recipes. I leave for Michigan on Friday. Am I ready? Of course not! I never am!

Christmas day was nice, as I slept late, then went over to Rachel's and Frances's, and we had a great feast with Rachel's friend Justine who was visiting. It was very low key and the food was great. I was home and in my jammies by 9pm. No snow yet.

Saturday, December 23, 2006


Annette's party. She had on sparkly shoes. Met more of the neighbors, who are seemed quite pleasant. Met the kids, Charlie and Jacob and Elise. All three and under. Wonderful baked goods that Annette made. The house looked spectacular. Bindi was well behaved and this was remarked upon, as usual. She got a really big Kong toy from Annette.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Winter Solstice

Interesting encounters with people today.

Walked into 309 WLH and saw a tall man there, I asked "what's going on," cheerfully. Turned out he was a psychologist from Florida writing a novel and this room was in his story. We had a very cordial conversation about Yale and dogs, as his wife took pictures with her new digital camera. We exchanged contact info. He may pick my brain for background.

Took Bindi to the St. Ronan Street dog park, and met an adjunct professor at the div school who teaches on non-violence. Says she is a cousin of M's childhood friend. Six, or five, or even four degrees of separation. Her dog is an English shepherd, very handsome. Named Dani. Bindi ran out the gate to the dog park, my fault, and I slammed the heavy metal door on my fingernail now there's a big bruise. Bindi was running down the street and I asked another woman with a dog on the sidewalk to help me catch my dog. The woman hesitated a bit but said okay, and Bindi just stopped near them and I was able to catch her. Good thing it is a low traffic street. More training needed in, "Stop!", and "Bindi, COME!"

Watched an interview with Malcolm Gladwell on C-Span. Did not know he was half West Indian. He calls himself a dweeb. Want to get his books "Blink" and "The Tipping Point" out of the library.

Saw the most gorgeous sunset on Shell Beach. Huge orange ball on the horizon, another warm day. No snow in sight. Bindi got a new stuffed squirrel in the mail from Carolyn, and B loves it a lot. Loves to make it squeak.

Had enjoyable birthday dinner at Kudeta with Laura, Tirza, David, Rob, Rachel, Frances, Jim, and Mary. Lisa couldn't make it so we will go to Chester to have dinner with her on the 26th, me and Mary that is. It'll be just in time for the after holiday sales and Chester has cool shops. Rob gave me a copy of Carry-Ons: Travelling Chihuahuas (cover seen in previous post), very amusing book about the dogs and where they've been and their favorite places to travel. Silly photos. There is a book for everything it seems. Bindi had a new carrier for planes and airports and am eager to try it out. Mab and Syl gave me pottery they had painted themselves at the paint your own pottery in Boston. Syl's was a Bindi plate which touched me very deeply. Mab with her usual beautiful artistic way made me a tree ornament, a globe with pine boughs and dog prints. Charming. Jim gave me a rose and ivory poinsettia, Tirza gave me a Tin Lizzie dog ornament, and David gave me money for a microloan to funnel through Kiva.

Kudeta had a very elegant and trendy interior, but the food was only so so. Good but not up to the decor and the prices. Small gathering at Annette's tomorrow evening.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Travelling Chihuahuas

Gosh, I've been so busy and tired. But stay tuned! Vacation coming up so much to blog!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Fisher Cats

Look at the claws on this cutie! Read in the local paper that fisher cats or fishers are making a comeback in eastern CT, although I have yet to see one. They are similar to weasels, and eat fish, hence the name. Don't know why they are called cats.

Sleepy day today, didn't do much of anything, just a couple of loads of laundry, and ran the dishwasher, took a nap with Camilla after getting up late. Called Jim and we chatted for a while, but he didn't feel like going out of the house so we didn't do anything. We're thinking of doing some volunteer work at the downtown soup kitchen on Christmas day.

Rob and Robert came over for dinner last night. I made vegetable soup, they brought artichokes and good bread, and we had mint chip ice cream for dessert. I built a huge fire and we read the New York Times. One of Robert's kids has a birthday the same as mine, so they won't be able to join me for my birthday dinner, but I have other friends to be with. Jim was so funny, he said, "I hate parking in downtown New Haven, so please choose a restaurant with a parking lot!"

Picked up some photos from the photo shop yesterday, from Thanksgiving. Some good ones of everyone dancing to 80s tunes. But I do need to get a digital camera. And then a good printer. Rob says that sending digital photos out to be printed is sometimes cheaper than doing it at home, since you have to spend so much money on good photo paper and ink, as well as a good printer. I'm overwhelmed with the choices of cameras. Any suggestions?

Went to Moderately Cheerful Hour on Friday for a bit. Bindi gets to munch on sliced ham and turkey and rye bread, all so yum. We had a training breakthrough yesterday: I took her out for a walk in the yard at home, and the leash wasn't hooked on properly. It came off, and I was afraid she would run off. I said, "Bindi, Stay!" And she did! Long enough for me to get the leash back on. Good dog!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Steaming Poo

I know, I'm a little warped. Oh well, it makes me interesting. When I googled "steaming dog poo" and clicked on images, this came up. How could you not love it? The dog even looks a little like Bindi. Oh, backstory: it's so cold here right now that when I took Bindi out for her bathroom break and she did her business, steam rose from the, uh, pile. We even had a dusting of snow.

For lunch some of the Women's Studies majors presented their senior essay projects in progress. Judy, who is 69, is getting her B.A. in Women's Studies, and her project is on Alzheimer's. She has a lot of it in her family. I asked her if one of the reasons she decided to go back to school was to help prevent getting the disease herself, she said absolutely. She talked about how close the medical community is to finding a vaccine to prevent Alzheimer's, but it's still about 10 years out. She also talked about the gendered aspects of the disease. I look forward to reading her final essay.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Beautiful Em

Isn't she gorgeous! She's my niece in Michigan, with the five brothers and sisters. They apparently had snow and were all out playing in it, and their mom put the photos on her blog. Rosey apple cheeks, sweet smiling eyes and mouth, long curly hair, what a pretty girl.

Had dinner last night with colleagues at Geeta's house. Catered. And Geeta talked about her new book on Indian women and home, and her recent trip to Hong Kong where she did a power point presentation on what constitutes a family. She had people around here define their families and submit photos. I included Bindi in my family cause, well, she is part of it. After all, she was at the dinner!! And she was pretty good, until she got restless and started scratching at Geeta's rug.

Work at the university is slowing WAY down with the winter recess upon us. Classes end tomorrow, then reading week, then exams, then away we go. Classes don't start again till January 16, so students with no exams have five weeks off. Boola boola.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Full Moon Again

The Full Cold Moon; or the Full Long Nights Moon - December During this month the winter cold fastens its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest. It is also sometimes called the Moon before Yule. The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long, and because the Moon is above the horizon for a long time. The midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite a low Sun.

Friday, December 01, 2006


from Bad Texas

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Dog Advent

Twenty-five bones for the 25 days in December before Christmas. Or if started on the secular/Pagan Nov. 28, the 25 days before the Winter Solstice. Got this at a church crafts fair, and was gonna send it off to friends, but everyone at work said, "That isn't for Bindi?!?!?!" in horror, as if she should get every interesting thing. So now it's on my office wall.

Had pizza and salad for lunch at the office to celebrate three December birthdays, and two October birthdays. Nice. Bindi chewed another hole in the sofa in our office library. Exact same cushion, different spot. Oy.

The Christian word "advent" is of pagan origin. Pagans observed a manifestation of a god who came to dwell in his temple at a certain time each year. The feast honoring this god was called "adventus." On this day the temple, normally closed, would be opened. At times a statue of a god would be moved to a place much larger than the small sanctuary where it usually resided. The adventus then was the god's return, an anniversary. In another context, the adventus referred to the celebration of the anniversary of the coming of the emperor. So this word was very convenient to use in another context—the coming of the Son of God in the temple of a human nature for His visit. The word gradually became limited to describe what was considered the only real coming—the coming of the Lord. -- Brother John Raymond

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Hardware Cookies

I mean, how cute is this? I walk into Page hardware store with Bindi and there is the overwhelming fragrance of baking chocolate chip cookies, which they were doing upstairs and then bringing them down to feed the customers. What a nice small town touch. Bindi and I walked on the Guilford Green for a few minutes but no doggies were out playing. Came back home and dug up most of the canna, calla, and gladiola corms/tubers/bulbs. What a chore. But better than spending money every year on them. Had nice nap, and calls from Jim and Scott and Yasmin. Cold out, clear night, bright crescent moon, shining stars.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Altered States

Been on "vacation" for the past week and haven't done the computer thing much. Very nice dinner yesterday with Rachel, Frances, Mihaela, Emma, and Kevin. The dinner was perfect and we played old 70s and 80s tunes from my new Time Life series (is $150 too much for all that music?). Critters are well, and it's been very nice to have the week off.

Native American Thanksgiving Prayer, by Rebecca Fortier

Now that I am about to eat, O Great Spirit, Give my thanks to the beasts and birds whom You have provided for my hunger; and pray deliver my sorrow that living things must make a sacrifice for my comfort and well-being. Let the feather of corn spring up in its time and let it not wither but make full grains for the fires of our cooking pots, now that I am about to eat.

“But what is denied actually does exist and eventually comes to the surface, just as any truth will eventually surface despite acts to hide it.” --Joy Harjo

Friday, November 17, 2006

Guilford WITH Manatees

Went to Robert Rattner's presentation on his underwater photography last night at the Guilford Library. It was so beautiful and informative, and the room was packed. I learned a lot and Rob's photos are stunning and unusual. One of his manatees is above. (Don't know how to make links yet.) Patricia Moehlman, "the jackal lady," was there with her husband and it's always nice to see her. She and Rob go way back.

Although I'm fighting a cold, I really wanted to go. Felt crummy all yesterday but had so much to do. Have been using Zicam which I think helps a lot. And drinking lots of water.

Had a working dinner with my boss Laura on Wednesday night at Scoozi. I had a wild boar sausage risotto which was very good. She has so many meetings during the day that it's hard to get work done with her in the office, so these dinner meetings are a nice alternative.

Have another crafting date with Annette tomorrow, after I go to a few more church crafts fairs. The weather has been ridiculously warm -- mid 60s yesterday. I think I saw a witch hazel bush in bloom, which is totally the wrong time of year for it to be doing this. I hope the daffodils don't start pushing up through the ground! Go back to sleep go back to sleep! It's not time to get up!! Oh, by the way, it's 5:37 am, so I think I'll take my own advice. Bye.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Lavern and War

Busy weekend. Fired Up with Frances on Friday. We both really enjoy it. Then took Frances into the office where we met Rachel, and went to Moderately Cheerful Hour for a while. Rachel finally met Dawn who had stopped by to pick up Nathan's backpack, and since Frances was there, the kids greeted one another and we all discovered that Nate and Francie go to the same after care program. Small world. After MCH, I went to an Edgerton Community Garden dinner for two people who were leaving the committee. Sat next to Jeff and two new young gardeners and had fun conversations.

Saturday, I went off to my church crafts fairs, and found two very interesting items. One is a gift for someone so can't mention it, but the other is a Christmas tree shaped light fashioned of golden safety pins and clear plastic beads with a small string of tiny lights inside. We've already set it up here as a 24/7 night light. Very pretty. Bindi was of course the hit everywhere we went, altho none of the knitters or sewers had any dog coats or garments. I told them all they needed to get on the ball! Sylvia was here when I got back and I hung out with her some.

Today Sam came over again and toted that barge and lifted that bale again, taking boxes of my stuff from the back porch up to the attic. Refound my baby fork and spoon, and noticed for the first time that each has a script "L" engraved on the end of the utensil. I finally made the connection that one of the reasons I must like script capital "L's" is that I probably remember them from being on those two implements from childhood. Those big "Ls" that Laverne always had on her clothes in the show "Lavern & Shirley?" Love 'em.

Am watching "Combat Hospital" on CNN while I am typing this. Real life MASH, about the Iraq and Afghanistan casualties. I'm proud of CNN for finally showing what war is about for the people who get wounded. It's brutal, terrifying, gory, and deeply disturbing. If this was shown on all the channels instead of the junk that's on TV, we'd be out of that war tomorrow. We've got to get our women and men out of there.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Dog Park

Frances and I took Bindi to the Hamden Dog Park today. It was the first time we had been there. Bindi was a bit intimidated I think, cause there were probably 20 dogs about. She took to a beautiful Basenji that looked a little like her. It's always nice to see all the other dogs.

I was thinking about one of my counseling clients this morning and found myself thinking, "I forgive my mother." I forgive her for how badly she treated me and all the damage it did. I could not forgive her when she was alive, but I seem to be able to forgive her, and me, now. I wonder why now, why today?

I went to get blood drawn this morning, too, and the tech hurt me. They almost always do cause they can't find my veins. I've got a painful bruise there.

Made fish dinner for Frances and me and Margaret and Mab. Good. And we ate a huge beautiful pomegranite with our dessert. Yum. The fruit is a stunning color, and rich with symbolism from many cultures.

Tomorrow Frances and I will go to "Fired Up," the paint your own pottery store.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Voting day. So many of us want this war in Iraq to end. Will see tomorrow morning what the shake up is. Have I written about my Wall of Perspective? Will have to read over old blogs to see.

The Women Faculty Forum Poster Exhibit was out on the Beinecke Plaza today, really empressive, all sorts of interesting posters folks had made about their work on gender. When they put the posters up on their website, I'll post a link so mine can be seen. I was proud to be part of it. Took photos.

Dog was popular today. She visited with Tommaso, Mihaela, Pamela, Aitch, Rachel, Megan, Emma, Tirza, and some student who reached down to pet her as we were walking thru the doorway. Took her to crafts fairs this weekend. Wasn't going to go to the Hadassah one on Sunday, but am glad I did. Met a woman who grabbed Bindi up and wouldn't let go of her, and we proceded to have a long talk about dogs and wolves and vets and pet health. I think she was a jeweler, but quite frankly I never looked at her work very closely. She will be a good animal contact for me. She had a great story about rescuing a dog from death row in the shelter cause the shelter people said the dog hated men and could not be socialized. She insisted on taking the dog and had to sign all sorts of waivers drawn up by the city. She had some experience working with wolves, so was not afraid of an aggressive dog. After working with the dog for a while, there occured a situation where the dog ran outside, saw a man across the street, pinned him against a tree, and began licking the man heartily. She said this man just gave off a golden glow of love which obviously the dog responded to and even tho the man was quite a bit older than she, they ended up married. I got a free hotdog at the fair since the fire had gone out under the serving dish, and ran into Rafael, with his own story of losing a dog of his when it ran out into the street and was hit. He said his wife wouldn't speak to him for six months. He said the dog looked like Bindi.

Early Sunday afternoon a new handyperson named Sam came over to help me lift that barge and tote that bale. Got things cleaned up in the garage, got stuff taken to the attic and the cellar, got help cleaning out heavy flower pots, moving fire wood, all sorts of things. She is young and strong and didn't charge very much, and was an enormous help. She'll be back next Sunday for more of the same.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Frosty Moon

Full Beaver Moon - November 5. This was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation suggests that the name Full Beaver Moon comes from the fact that the beavers are now actively preparing for winter. It is sometimes also referred to as the Frosty Moon. --Farmer's Almanac

This lovely watercolor is courtesy of I like it very much. It's cold here. Splurged and bought Bindi a $28 fleece coat at the new upscale Guilford pet store, but it fits her perfectly and it's attractive and it didn't cost THAT much. We had gone to two church craft fairs, where I didn't spend very much money, so I felt I could get her what she needed. I got a free lunch at one of the fairs, since everyone was given a ticket when they came in, but when time came to pull the three tickets for the free lunches, none of the people connected to the tickets were there. So I was standing next to one of the organizers, and she said, "Here, give me your ticket." She read off the numbers, I said, "That's mine!" and I got a grilled cheese, fruit cup, and pecan pie. Funny, and sweet. I got for three dollars a garden edger, something I had wanted for a long time. Now I need a pitch fork, and log splitter wedge.

Came home and watched Tarnation, an indie film by Jonathan Caouette, which Rachel and Mihaela said I should see. It was a well-done documentary about his dysfunctional, abusive family, and his attempt to rise above it. I found it devastating and beautiful, and would have been very happy not to have seen it. I hear so many of these stories in my counseling practice, that watching a film about such things is not my idea of entertainment.

Risa called and left a message, but when I called back she was off to a thrift shop sale and couldn't talk very long, but we'll talk another time. She did say how happy she is to be back at her teaching job with the 3-5 year olds, and the temperature in Berkeley was about 75 degrees. That sounds sooooo nice.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Culture Day

November 3 is Culture Day (bunkano-hi) and is one of the national holidays in Japan. It was the birthday of the Emperor Meiji. The celebration of his birthday was sustained as Culture Day when he passed away. It is also the day the present Japanese Constitution was officially announced in 1946. The Order of Culture Awards ceremony for people who are outstanding contributors to Japanese culture and society is held in the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on this day. The emperor himself presents the awards to the winners.

Ah, there's something important happening all the time in some part of the world. Today in my world -- not so much.
Was missing Dill this morning, and learned last night that my estranged friend R. in St. Augustine is moving away from there because, according to our mutual friend Jim, she has managed to alienate everyone where she currently lives. How sad. I fear she will repeat the same mistakes even with the geographical solution. It was nice to talk with Jim all the same, and catch up. He and T om seem to be doing pretty well, which I like to hear. And their children: Towanda, Boy, Oscar, and Sophie. Three cats and a dog.

Went swimming in the exhibition pool at the Yale gym with Rachel. The practice pool, the natatorium, is closed due to filth! An 18 billion dollar endowment and Yale can't even keep its own swimming pool clean! Shameful. The exhibition pool was warmer, and we sat in the sauna for a bit after. It helped my sad mood.

Halloween was uneventful. The house here is so far off the road that no kids come around to trick or treat. But that' s fine with me. Was going to go to the ABC Dog Training School costume party last night, but was too tired. The weather is getting colder, and everyone is more tired and not ready for the cold and the time change. I'm putting my garden to bed, and picking the last of the flowers, and fussy with the now indoor plants to make them all fit and debug them. Must remember to go to the community garden and dig up the lemon grass plant to winter it over as I have been doing for the past several years. Dill used to like to munch on the leaves. I miss that guy. Ouch.

Comcast came yesterday and replaced the wire from the street to the house, which it had been said was the cause of our infuriatingly intermittent service. I managed to blow the fuses on four kitchen plugs a couple of days ago so must experiment with changing fuses tomorrow. Never did fill the bird feeders. Sometimes when I get home it's all I can do to just throw one piece of paper away, if you know what I mean. I managed to bring in, wash out, and place under the plant a saucer that was grimy from being outside, and that seemed like a lot. All these details of life, take time time time time and effort effort effort. The trick is to do them consciously, while being wholly present, so that even those small seemingly trivial tasks have meaning and bring satisfaction. Almost bought a book on sale today called Awake at Work, something about Zen teachings applied to the work place. Don't know why I passed it up.

Looking forward to a massage with Dana tomorrow, then some crafts fairs over the weekend, and may have found someone to help me move and organize more of my stuff on Sunday. I still have a couple of things at Norton Street I have to get.

Monday, October 30, 2006

South Park - NOT!

That awful cartoon show called South Park is making fun of Steve Irwin, and the way he died, on its show. Uck. His daughter Bindi's kids' show has been put off for a year to give her time to mourn, and that seems a wise decision to me. A DVD will be released on kids and fitness that apparently had already been completed, done with her dad. Sigh.

Been listening to NPR's new talk radio show, On Point. Very informative, very balanced, trying to present both sides of an issue. This morning they were talking about how reliable the electronic voting machines are, and what the best kind of electronic machine is the best.

Finished my poster for the Women's Faculty Forum poster exhibit, and am pretty satisfied with the way it turned out. Had some color copies of it made for posterity.

Been getting emails from my newly discovered 2nd and 5th cousins. Cool.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Blue Agave

Blue agave nectar, low glycemic index. Mix two tablespoons in a glass of seltzer, add the juice of one fresh lime, some ice and enjoy a delicious, refreshing drink that's a healthy alternative to soda, either sugared or sugar-free. I'm really picky, and I found it to be yum yum.

Slept till noon today, which with the time change was one o'clock I guess. Been doing too much refined sugar, hence the rave about agave nectar. Did some cleaning up, then Bindi and I went out to run some errands. Found another huge branch down from the big wind last night, but no damage done. Went to Page Hardware and got vacuum bags and an electric mug warmer for my desk. It always takes me so long to drink a hot drink and by the time I get to the bottom it's completely cold. We'll see how this thing works. Also picked up a manual hand crank drill, cause I can't find the one I have. It's very convenient for making small holes without dragging out the electric drill, finding an outlet, etc. Environmentally conscious, too. Only $13 and the thing is so well made! Page's has everything. One of my fave Guilford shops, and the staff is always so friendly and helpful.

Went to the Guilford Green to find some canines for Bindi to play with, but nobody was out. Found a black lab on the sidewalk with its humans, but they were busy and on their way. Will have to call Maddie's human and set up a play date. Dropped by FoodWorks, the local natural food market, and bought some things I needed with a 10% off coupon I had.

Spoke with Jim for a while who is off to Dallas next Sunday for a few days with his friend Margie. Don't know anything about the city, but guess he'll check it out for me, since he's never been there either. Margie has a conference there, so Jim is going along for the ride. I think that's nice.

Had tentative date to do more arts & crafts with Annette today, but just didn't feel up to it. Called her late in the day and got a name of another electrician, whom I will need since I blew out the electrical strip under the kitchen window by running the microwave and the toaste oven at the same time. Maybe it's just a blown fuse. That'd be nice.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Arts & Crafts

At left, one of Rob's stunning water reflection photos, no digital manipulation whatsoever. Went to the Artspace exhibit today with the Bindster, met Rachel and Frances there, ran into Howard E. saw Rob Rocke, who introduced me to yet ANOTHER Rob, saw Tony's work. Whew. My knees were killing me and, as usual, Bindi was adored by many an art-looker. Saw only one other dog there, a little papillon named Rocky.

Went to a mediocre crafts fair today at the Guilford Community Center, a seniors crafts fair. Did pick up a couple of things that were quite nice, but won't mention them as they might end up as gifts for one of you.

Had lunch with Rachel and Loren at a new noodle shop we'd never been to. So good to see Loren and hear her stories of teaching 7th grade in Brooklyn. She's in a kind of boot camp as far as teaching goes, but seems to be learning a great deal, and the kids are lucky to have her.

Learned that my second counsin Kay Wood whom I've just been introduced to via the internet lived in Pontiac, Michigan, not all that far from the AndFam in Midland, a couple of hours maybe.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Bring the Houseplants In

Saw the fox again today, running across the road in the dark, while I was driving to get cat litter this evening.

Got into the office this morning and called Comcast cause our internet was down again, so ran back out to Guilford to meet the cable guys. Seems the cable from the street to the house is not big enough, so it will be replaced. I was glad to have the afternoon off to bring in more of the houseplants -- at left, Aristolochia Gigantea, an odd bird that was given to me struggling but now blooms its head off. It's a form of Dutchman's Pipe.

Have eight people who have said they will join me in Guilford for Thanksgiving/Indigenous Peoples' Day. I'll cook a bird and something for the vegetarians, and everyone else will bring the trimmings.

Went to Jennie Livingston's presentation of her two new films yesterday afternoon, organized by Rachel. One film, called "Under the Ice," was a short documentary about dog walkers in New York City who one winter watched a man walk out across the ice of a local lake, fall in the ice, and drown. They were not able to save him without endangering their own lives. It was very powerful. Jennie is the late director Alan Pakula's niece, and he told her to absolutely not go into filmmaking since it is such a difficult career. So much for that advice. She is Rachel's friend and might join us for Thanksgiving Day.

Think I've picked my last cucumber. It's getting really cold at night. Dug up my ginger which has multiplied itself by four. It's so fun to do that. Bought a finch feeder, and will get seriously into filling all the feeders this weekend. Meeting Rachel and Frances and Loren for lunch tomorrow, then to the art exhibit where our friends Rob and Tony and Rob Rocke will have their work displayed. Looking forward to that.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Anderson Ancestors

Was surfing the net a couple of nights ago, Googling Gladsia Bland and Gladsia Anderson (photo at left), and I came across, which turned out to be a geneology site for my father's side of the family! This is very exciting for me, as I had wondered about this for some time. It's a complex and complicated site, but I was able to find out that my great great grandmother Malinda was married on the day I found the site, 23 October, 144 years ago, and she had twelve children with three husbands! I'll share more tidbits as I come across them, and will be adding all sorts of people to the site that are not there.

Monday was also lunch with Geeta, her friend Jean from Australia, and Oyuna, one of Yale's World Fellows. Rachel came too. It was quite lively listening to Oyuna talk about her home country of Mongolia and her work with the political, religious, and social systems there, and her two children, whom she admits are her best fashion advisors. Jean, it turns out, shares a financial accountant with the Steve Irwin family, and one of her children goes to the same school as Bindi Irwin. Six degrees of separation indeed.

On Sunday Annette and I got together to do crafts, she a glittery holiday wreath, and I one of my oatmeal box collages. It was great fun, and Bindi was well diverted by some of the goodies we won at the dog costume contest. We didn't finish so will get together some time this week to complete our projects.

And today my sister Judy emailed me to say she had met someone through her husband Dale's work in the physics department at the Univ. of Illinois, and it turned out to be my childhood friend Celia! So in three days I have made connections with fifth and second cousins, and an old friend from elementary school. I look forward to finding out more about these folks.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Most Creative Costume

Hey, we won a prize for the most creative costume today! You can't really tell from the photo, but Bindi was a peacock with tailfeathers and all. There were ten dogs, two cats, and a bunny rabbit who won most cute for being ensconced in a costume that looked like a big carrot. It was way fun, and I never would have done something like this without my doggie. Bindi was very tolerant of the costume, altho she didn't like wearing the hat very much. We won a big plastic pumpkin full of dog treats and useful dog care items, plus a coupon for a big bag of new very high end dog food. There were cookies and cider and fun was had by all. Annette let me borrow her digital camera to take the photos, since I still don't have one.

Later, Jim came over and we went on the trolley trail walk in Stony Creek, then out to dinner to Friends & Company. I had a very nice grilled salmon over an asparagus risotto, with apple crisp and vanilla ice cream for dessert. Jim wanted to stay longer and hang out I think, but I told him I needed to get into my pj's and get into bed. I'd had a big day for me.

Day Off

Took Camilla to the vet this morning for a check up, to get a script for xanax, and to get an ultrasound on her heart. Her heart is fine, which is a real relief, but the bill was $460 or something like that, which included the fee for Dill's necropsy. I spend so much money on vet bills. Oh well. Don't have any human children to spend it on, 'cept the AndFam Munchkins. Then went home and waited for the Comcast guy to come and fix the internet connection. It shuts down about once a month, which is way frustrating. But I made a little headway on getting more crap in my rooms put away. It's so hard.

Doing very bad with the sugar thing. Bought two pints of Haagen Dazs mint chip light and ate them both for dinner. That's so so bad for me. I'm so fussy about what kinds of treats my friends give Bindi, but I'll fill my body with the most poisonous crap. Want to be more open about these binges, in hopes that I might get some insight or someone will contribute something helpful.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Oooh, I have such a great neighbor. Annette called this evening to invite me to play with glitter and paste this weekend. She had gone to the craft store and bought all sorts of goodies. I have to think about what I want to create, but just the fact that she initiated this project makes me very happy. And just look at that cool upload paw print! She said her houseguest saw the fox this past week, too, so foxy is definitely hanging about.

Geeta just got her first cell phone. She's my age. I helped Rachel head off a migraine today. Rubbed her shoulders, and we did a little standup yoga. Tommaso is bummed that his landlord won't let him get a chihuahua. I made a call to Marlene DeSanto, the Guilford yoga teacher that Sharon recommended. It's the next step in my health regime. Scott called to say he's selling cars, but that somehow he has managed to scratch two that he sold, and the other salespeople have nicknamed him "Crash." Jim in New Orleans has produced yet another successful jazz video. Had a little setback in my clutter project, as M. objected to a change I had made in the living room.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Know what that is? An indoor swimming pool. Yale has the largest suspended natatorium in the world. Went with Rachel today, cold drizzly outside, cold wet inside. I just jumped in.

Jim came over on Sunday and kept me company while I cleaned some of my messy room. He read the paper and surfed online, while I futzed around trying to make some order. Why is it easier to clean and organize with someone else there? I need a witness? Moral support? Someone to chat with in between the sorting and dusting? He was reacting to the cats and the dust and the mold and who knows what else, but he hung in there long enough to have dinner with me and Rob, who is sick with a sinus problem and a tooth ache. I made minestrone soup, served with cucumbers from the garden, and a Meyer lemon cake from a Trader Joe's mix. Nice.

Thinking about taking Bindi to a dog costume contest on Saturday; we'll see if I can get it together to create a costume. I have something in mind. Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


This afternoon I saw my first live wild fox. I was headed down the driveway in my car and saw this creature cross in front. It was sunset and she was alone, and headed into the woods. I drove out of the driveway, turned right, pulled over to the side of the road and saw her briefly sitting just inside the edge of the woods, then moving off as the car startled her. I uploaded this picture as it represented most closely what she looked like, although I saw her from the side. I thought perhaps an oppossum, then no, the legs are too long. It was a fox. I have waited a long time to see a fox in the wild, so for me today is very special, and I know that I live among her.


I needed a fox Badly I needed
a vixen for the long time none had come near me
I needed recognition from a
triangulated face burnt-yellow eyes
fronting the long body the fierce and sacrificial tail
I needed a history of fox briars of legend it was said she
had run through
I was in want of fox

And the truth of the briars she had to have run through
I craved to feel on her pelt if my hands could even slide
past or her body slide between them sharp truth distressing
surfaces of fur
lacerated skin calling legend to account
a vixen's courage in vixen terms

For a human animal to call for help
on another animal
is the most riven the most revolted cry on earth
come a long way down
Go back far enough it means tearing and torn endless
and sudden
back far enough it blurts
into the birth-yell of the yet-to-be human child
pushed out of a female the yet-to-be woman

(c) 2001 by Adrienne Rich

I love this poem. I find it woundingly beautiful.

* * * * *
I was very tired today, and with Bindi's help, managed to drag myself out of bed. I took us to a Harvest Festival on the Guilford green, and saw lovely things made by human hands, some exquisite, some quite ordinary. Didn't buy anything, as what I wanted had no use but to collect dust, no matter how artful, and I am trying to avoid those kinds of purchases. I am so overwhelmed by the state of my two rooms, so messy and cluttered, so now have to hire someone to help me make sense of it. When it gets this bad I can only add more to it, not find a way thru to the order I know is hidden somewhere under the chaos. Brought in all the house plants from outside and they have taken over, so verdant is my green thumb. I will try to give some away.

Last night I went to the Artspace opening, where Rob had a photo displayed, along with almost 500 other artists! The reception was mobbed, and with Bindi in my arms, Carolyn's pretty scarf around her neck, we weaved and pushed our way thru the clot of humans till we found R & R, said hello, and promply skedaddled. Will go back to see the art when we can really see it.

Before the opening, we went to Moderately Cheerful Hour. Jordan was there and held Bindi till his leg fell asleep; Chris was there looking tanned from his helicopter work in Louisiana. Geeta and David came for a bit; it was definitely cheerful.

Early yesterday afternoon I went over to the sleep study center to get fitted for the CPAP machine mask. The technician was very nice, and helped me feel better about having to use this awful machine. If it will indeed make me less tired, and give me more energy to live, and hopefully lose weight, many things could change. But I will keep my expectations low until I see the outcome of the treatment.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Last night Margaret and I went to see "Eurydice" at the Yale Reperatory Theatre. It's a retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice: Eurydice and Orpheus have just married and are deeply in love; Orpheus is a gifted musician, his instrument the lyre. Eurydice was pursued against her will by Aristaeus, and as she ran from him, she stepped on a viper and was killed. Orpheus, in his grief, decided to descend to the Underworld and try to get her back. He played his sorrowful music and even Hades, the ruler of the underworld, was swayed. Hades agreed to release Eurydice, with one caveat: on their journey out of the Underworld, Eurydice must follow behind Orpheus, and he must not look back until they are both in the light. When they are almost out of the world of the dead, Orpheus, in his anxiety to make sure Eurydice is still with him, looks back and she is whisked downward to the Underworld, leaving Orpheus alone once again.

In this production, the focus is on Eurydice's relationship with her dead father, with whom she is reunited in the Underworld. With themes of amnesia, memory, and the retelling of their lives, they gradually come to know one another again, altho Eurydice is torn between her love for her father in the Underworld and her love for Orpheus above. It was to me a very interesting and engaging production; unfortunately, it made Margaret very very sad, and she wished she had not seen it. I believe she is still grieving the loss of her own parents and this script hit too close to home, to heart.

The photo is from the publicity.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


The Guilford vet called today to say that DillBoy had heart disease, which caused the enlarged heart, and when I said Camilla was his littermate, the vet said she should get an ultrasound to see what shape her heart is in. If she has the same thing, there is medication to control the progress of the disease, altho not cure it. So we've an appointment for next week. That's beautiful CamillaCat in the photo, again taken by my friend Rob.

Rachel got me to go swimming at the Yale pool today as her guest. It really is a very nice clean pool, albeit cold. I just dove in and started swimming. Dived in? You gotta keep moving in order to keep warm. Don't like that part, but the largeness of the room and the temp of the water keeps the chlorine fumes down, so that's a plus. Got a little dizzy after a while, but will try to go once a week. The plan is to set up a yoga class out in Guilford once a week, join Planet Fitness nearby for the weight machines, and try to stick with all of them. Have an appointment Friday for the CPAP machine again, just a 40 minute thing to fit the mask or something. Then the machine will be ordered and someone will come to my house to show me how to use it.

Turns out Gus had a dislocated hip. How painful. But I think he's better now, and his owner called me an "angel." Can't get a higher compliment than that. Get it?

One-eyed red fleeced ghost. Bindi in her crate, covered with a red fleece blanket while sleeping. A blanket she had chewed holes in as a youngster. She awakes, stands up, and is peering at me from under the blanket, only her left eye showing through a hole she had created. Wildly funny! I laughed and laughed. Joy of dog.

Monday, October 09, 2006


I'm taking Bindi downstairs for a walk and as I get outside the door of my building, a dog goes speeding past without a leash. I expect the owner to be close by, but no. Sam is outside too, and she says the dog has been running in and out of the street for a while. I said, we should try to capture it if it comes back, and shortly after, the dog comes back up the sidewalk, limping, holding a back foot in the air. He easily came to me when I spoke gently to him, and I grabbed his collar, gave Bindi to Sam and took Gus up to my office to call the owner. Gus had tags and a collar with a cell phone number written on it. He was panting heavily, and I passed a young man on my way up to my office who said the dog had been hit by a car. Why was I the first one to pay any attention to this obviously well-cared-for animal who was lost and hurt? I made the calls to the numbers, with no luck in talking to a real person, just leaving messages. I kept my eye on Gus, tried to calm him, but became increasingly concerned as his panting did not abate, and I noticed abrasions on the insides of both his left front and rear legs. He could have a broken leg, or worse, internal bleeding, altho he seemed to be ok, if a little shocky. After an hour, I decided to take Gus to the Central Hospital for Veterinary Medicine in New Haven. Gus willingly got into my car with some wimpering that indicated he was in pain. It was a short drive to the hospital and Claudia was there and gave him immediate attention. After taking Gus to the nurses, Claudia was able to tell me that Gus had been a patient there before and they had other contact numbers for the owner. What a relief. I later got a call from the owner thanking me profusely, wanting to send me flowers. Apparently, while the owner was away from the house working, someone was cleaning the carpets and Gus must have escaped. I declined the flowers, saying, just pay it forward when your chance comes.

While at the hospital, a man brought in a very tiny white kitten whom he said he had found, and it was almost lifeless. When the tech told him it would cost $300-500 just to stabilize the animal, the man said he could not afford it, and agreed to let the little creature be euthanized. So sad. But at least Gus's story had a happy ending. I will call tomorrow to see how Gus is doing.

All this after Annette calls me last night to say that there was a coyote in her driveway, just sitting there!! I have yet to see one out here, but hear of sightings all the time. All my animals were in, and I've decided to keep the cats in for a while. However, on my way to work this morning, I cut some flowers and basil from the garden, and when bringing them into the house to get water, Misty sneaked out. She had been mewing loudly all morning to go out, but I wasn't going to let her. After she darted out, there was nothing I could do since she will not come in when called if I want her to and she does not, but as I drove down the driveway I noticed her sitting in the woods on a log. I got out of the car, walked gently up to her, and she allowed me to pick her up and put her back in the house. More relief, as she would be safe all day.

Yesterday Frances and Rachel came out and we went for a walk thru the Stony Creek marshes. It was a glorious sunny fall day, and we easily saw ducks, egrits, blue heron, and many dogs with their hiker owners on the same path. There was a tag sale at the Stony Creek Puppet House, and I've got a line on an antique fox pin that I will check out again this weekend when they will have the tag sale again. Saturday I went to a church crafts fair, I love those things, after hanging out with Rob for a bit. He brought over postcards for the show some of his photography will be in.

Saw Dr. C on Friday who stressed once again that building muscle in my legs is the only way to keep the pain at bay in my knees, altho she did give me prescription pain killers for the worst of it. My health my health.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

St. Augustine

No, not the one in Florida, but the church by the same name on Caputo Road in North Branford. Annette and I took Bindi to the "Blessing of the Animals" on Saturday, and what a sweet time it was. Lots of dogs, including Maddie, Bindi's playmate from puppy school (the Great Dane), one cat, a rabbit, some guinea pigs, and a couple of hermit crabs. This ritual is in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals.

"The very animals found in Francis a tender friend and protector; thus we find him pleading with the people of Gubbio to feed the fierce wolf that had ravished their flocks, because through hunger "Brother Wolf" had done this wrong. And the early legends have left us many an idyllic picture of how beasts and birds alike susceptible to the charm of Francis's gentle ways, entered into loving companionship with him; how the hunted leveret sought to attract his notice; how the half-frozen bees crawled towards him in the winter to be fed; how the wild falcon fluttered around him; how the nightingale sang with him in sweetest content in the ilex grove at the Carceri, and how his "little brethren the birds" listened so devoutly to his sermon by the roadside near Bevagna that Francis chided himself for not having thought of preaching to them before. Francis's love of nature also stands out in bold relief in the world he moved in. He delighted to commune with the wild flowers, the crystal spring, and the friendly fire, and to greet the sun as it rose upon the fair Umbrian vale. "

Odd, today was the day of his death in 1226.

That morning I went to R & R's tag sale, and got a few very neat things. Sunday i was very sad about Dill so invited myself over to R & R's and felt very taken care of. I told them they didn't have to entertain me, so they unloaded stuff from the cars from the tag sale and made jokes. Perfect. Monday came around way too soon. My Yale corridor was almost empty because of Yom Kippur, but I was there. Today Bindi got her bandages off, and her stitches removed. We both came home from the vet and crashed. I woke up from a nightmare and felt kind of scared, and couldn't remember where I was. I thought I was in a much bigger, more isolated house, but I finally realized I was safe and things were manageable. Wish I had more energy when I come home from the Yale job. Perhaps things will change when I get the CPAP machine and learn how to tolerate it. I've started taking the supplements the nutritionist gave me. I have an 8:30am client in the morning, so it is to bed.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Frances stayed over last night. I picked her up from aftercare, then took her to soccer practice, then we went to the diner for dinner, then home. She did her homework, read some, and we watched about 1/2 hour of "Thomasina," then she fell asleep. I took her to school this morning, after getting a bit lost from the MapQuest directions. She awakened during the night saying she had a bad dream, and I remember saying something about, "Just think of pretty things, the beach, and Bindi," or some such and that must have worked cause I didn't hear another peep out of her till 7:30 this morning.

Busy at the Yale office. Will be working on a submission for the, "Not Your Ordinary Poster Session," sponsored by the Women Faculty Forum. My theme will be my 2001 action against Urban Outfitters for selling their sexist t-shirt. Several of us have mice in our offices so I got "Mice Cubes," humane small plastic mouse traps I found online. No trappees yet.

Yesterday I saw the dietition. I said I had been doing way too much sugar since the past two weeks have been so stressful; she has convinced me to try a bunch of different supplements as she feels my body is "inflamed," in several different ways. I will try these supplements but I told her she has to not give me too many, as I am already taking several prescription drugs, and I don't want to do that much more pill popping.

On Wednesday, I got DillBoy's ashes back. They were beautifully packaged by the pet crematory in a small green tin with pink roses on. Enclosed was a lovely card signed by the owner of the facility, who said that Dill was "handled with care." Separately, my check was sent back with a note saying I had forgotten to sign it! Grief was my excuse. I also watched the interview Barbara Walters did with Terri Irwin, on Wednesday night. Very moving, especially when Terri thru her tears said, "I lost my prince . . . I lost my prince." She also said she had been blessed to have 14 years with Steve Irwin, and two beautiful children. She felt he was not gone, that his spirit will live on even stronger. She impressed me as much with her emotional strength as she has with her physical strength, when she had accompanied Steve on many challenging nature expeditions.

Monday I took Bindi to have her bandages changed. The vet said she was healing nicely, and hopefully the stitches and bandages can come off next week. The vet had glowing things to say about Dr. Pond, Bindi's knee surgeon.

On Sunday, J. and I went to see "Little Miss Sunshine," a film I quite enjoyed on many levels. Great acting, very funny, and some very interesting moments that were well done. We then walked thru a craft fair on the Milford green, where Bindi was a hit, everyone wanting to know what kind of dog she was and what happened to her legs. J. said, the only four words you need to remember are," Chihuahua mix, knee surgery." We then had a drink at a local cafe where we received terrible service, and the iced tea was gross. I then was off to Thai Taste for dinner with Yale colleagues/friends, and Frances, who had brought me a hand-made sympathy card about DillBoy. It was precious. She and R. had a cat, Skinny, die of the same thing.

Saturday, I saw a counseling client in the morning, then ran errands in the pm. Took Bindi to Agway to get bird food and dog food, and can't remember what else. Friday we went to Moderately Cheerful Hour, and Bindi and I got to see Jen, our favorite dog sitter.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Wraps Aren't Just Sandwiches

Here's little Bindaloo with her wrapped up legs and shaved tushie. Tommaso is holding her. He is our new friend and likes Bindi very much. She seems to be doing well, and rolled on her back in the grass this morning, but is still confused by the restrictions on her legs. But she's a good dog, and we'll get through this.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

It's Been A Hard Week

Sleep study last Saturday night, with CPAP machine. Interesting doctor there in addition to the technician, doing a research study. He had a South Asian name, but said he was born and raised in Spain. Chatted about Bindi's upcoming surgery. He was extremely surprised to hear that American's could get "pet health insurance." I said, yes, we americans are nuts about our pets.
I didn't feel like I slept at all, the CPAP mask hurt, and I woke up with a sore throat, which has now turned into a cold. The technician said I didn't do too badly. We'll see what the report has to say.

Sunday I was dragging after having left the sleep lab about 3:30 am cause I couldn't take anymore and the tech said he thought he had enough data. Did force myself to go to a concert at the Stony Creek church in the afternoon, a gospel group called Salt & Pepper which has been around for over 20 years in the area. Although I'm not a Christian, I find the music and the singing and the arrangements and lyrics of gospel very moving. I was rocking and rolling in my seat while around me almost everyone else was sitting as still and unphased as white fence posts! How could that be? I know how that be . . . New England uptightness, to cast a stereotype.

Monday, Bindi's surgery, and poor DillBoy. Tuesday morning I drove up to the UConn pathology lab to find out what killed Dill and the people there were completely nice. A British doctor, Dr. Goldie, came out to interview me, and he was gracious and gentle. The drive up there on Route 32 was lovely, although I did have a very hard time finding the lab once on the UConn campus. I arranged to have Dill's body cremated after he was done with the exam, and the little guy will be UPS'd back to me. Bindi had done well with her surgery, but I could not go visit her and they did not know when she could come home. Dr. Goldie had called me Tuesday morning, and kept referring to Dill as "Bill," which I thought was kind of endearing so I didn't correct him. Enlarged heart, cardiac arrest. No symptoms. I didn't think it was then necessary to do a tox screen, as the doc was fairly certain of his findings.

Tuesday evening I watched on television the memorial service for Steve Irwin. I had heard his daughter Bindi would be speaking if she felt up to it, and indeed she did. She had written her own eulogy, and wearing a headset and following each line of her writing with her finger read her loving words to her father: “I have the best Daddy in the whole world and I will miss him every day. I don't want Daddy's passion to ever end. I want to help endangered wildlife just like he did. My Daddy was my hero - he was always there for me when I needed him. He listened to me and taught me so many things but most of all he was fun. When I see a crocodile I will always think of him and I know that Daddy made this zoo so everyone could come and learn to love all the animals. Daddy made this place his whole life and now it's our turn to help Daddy."

Of course I cried and cried, for BindiDog, and Bindi Irwin, for DillBoy, for all the losses great and small. They all count.

Yesterday I was able to pick up Bindi from the vet hospital with three different medications and instructions for her recovery. She was tired and didn't even kiss me when I picked her up, but I was so glad to have her back. I brought her back to the office for a couple of hours so all her friends could see her and she could get showered with attention, then it was off to home. I stopped in to visit R. and R., always uplifting, and Bindi got to sniff their dogs Dilwyn and Arnold. How odd that I was without my BindiDog the day that Bindi Irwin honored her dad, and how odd that R. has a dog named Dil. Six degrees of separation? I think less . . .

A Poem for Dill

Flowers from my garden
A lighted candle a photo of
Always the same
No one mentions this office altar
Here where patriarchy tries
At every turn
To kill the soul.

Black and white
Always my favorite
Glorious contrast outside against
Color and greenery
Sensual sleeping partner
Chiquita's successor
Beautiful beautiful boy

Shock me
Eyes open mouth open
Soul gone yet
Living now inside me
Body still warm pliant
Stretched over the bedroom floor

Enlarged heart
No surprise my gentle one
Who gave joy purring silent
Big hearted

Monday, September 18, 2006


I am very sad to report that I came home this afternoon around 4:45 and found DillBoy dead on my bedroom floor. A counseling client arrived around the same time and she helped me enormously. She carried him out to the car and we drove to the vet, and they will keep him overnight. Tomorrow morning I will take him to the veterinary pathology center at UConn and have a necropsy done to find out what killed him. He had not been dead very long. I am very very sad. (His sister Camilla is behind him in this photo, taken by my friend Rob.)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Wild Turkeys

Very low energy day for me. Several things I wanted to do, could have done, but was not able to get myself out the door.

Around two pm I looked outside and saw two adult wild turkeys and two little ones scavenging to bugs and grubs and such in our yard. Fortunately, none of the cats were outside to scare them off. I looked out another window and saw another adult with two teenager birds trundling across the west lawn, meeting up with the first four. They all pecked at the ground for about 20 minutes then moved on. I was hoping one would leave me a feather, but no. Still, the visual encounter was special.

My cucumbers are producing much fruit, now that the season is ending. I planted them late, so this will give me a good excuse to eat them when they are very small and tender, which I prefer anyway.

S. called from Florida. We had a nice chat. I miss him.
J. called on his way back to Milford. Bit of a hard day for him. Maybe we'll get together tomorrow. I want to go see Salt & Pepper, the gospel group, which will be in Stony Creek tomorrow afternoon. Hope I don't forget.

Off to the dreaded sleep study in about an hour.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Snowy Owl

Yesterday morning when driving into work on Route 146, I noticed a bright white something sitting in a tree. I stopped the car and to my amazement was able to spot a glorious snowy owl on a treebranch sitting at the edge of the marsh. I had never seen a snowy owl, and this picture from the web is a very close approximation of what it looked like. What a blessing to live in the country and experience the joy of seeing such a gift of nature. I called Rob right away and told him about it and, natureboy that he is, he had never seen one.

Saw my dietition yesterday morning. She always makes me feel more hopeful about getting healthier, and helped me think more clearly about how to get more exercise. I also realize I am missing a certain kind of close connection with people, and need to figure out how to get more of that. After having been with loving family over the weekend, I was once again aware that I take better care of myself when other people who I care about are around. She gave me a recipe for a salad she would like me to eat for breakfast. It's hard enough for me to make oatmeal, let alone put together a whole salad, but perhaps on the weekend I can try.

I called the animal hospital today to talk to Debra who works there, to see if she would look in on Bindi on Monday after her knee surgery. She said of course she would. Then I asked her about Emma, her cat from the same litter as Camilla and DillBoy. She said she had to put her down. Emma had developed the same problem that Camilla has again: defecating outside the litterbox. Both these females seem to have some genetic sensitivity problem where they don't like other animals in the house with them. In fact, Camilla was ok for a while after we moved out to Guilford, but now that Bindi has matured, she has develped the problem again. I have started her once more on Xanax, to quell her stress or anxiety or whatever it is. She was fine when Bindi was a puppy and youngster, but now that Bindi is fully grown, Camilla is reacting the same way she did to Misty. Anyway, Debra got married, moved in with her husband and his two cats, and Emma went wild with the "outside of the box" activity. And her husband's two boy cats started peeing everywhere. Debra tried upping the medication dose for Emma, consulted with other vets, and debated for six months before putting her to sleep. She said she dreaded telling me, and feared I would judge her. I told her I did not, and understood that with such problems she would not even have been able to give her to a shelter or find someone to take her where she could be the only animal. Still, it is very very sad, and Debra was almost in tears telling me about it, and she appreciated me telling her that she needn't feel guilty about it.

We got a coffee maker at the office that makes one cup at a time, but only uses Green Mountain coffee which is not very good. Will have to try something else. Also, three of us have mouse "evidence" in our offices so I ordered online some very small mouse traps to catch them live, instead of having poison around that Bindi could get in to.

More rain. Uck.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I Want To Dance!

I want to dance I want to dance I want to dance!! I had such fun at Carolyn's party dancing and being silly and singing along with the songs. I miss that kind of fun, and the feeling of twirling and moving my body to the music. I think it's good for us, like the feeling I got when I was singing in the gospel choir. I think music and movement creates healthy vibrations in the body which is why all cultures have their own particular ways of singing and dancing. Wish I had my new knees and was 50 lbs lighter so that it wouldn't take such a toll on me.

It was joyous to have the little kids on the dance floor; watching Emony dance with Aiden(sp)after they had been chatting up at the table previously was too precious. Em is a natural, just bouncing and jumping to the tunes as if she were born to it. She and Aiden made a strong connection, and I think Aiden wanted to take her home with him. Oh, by the way, they're 5 and 7 years old. Ilia, in her serious way, was trying to learn the steps, and I hope that she enjoyed herself. Carolyn got some smiles out of her by twirling her about. Even Garrick got himself out on the dance floor, tho he was adamant earlier about not doing it. Way to go, dude. Shake that booty!

The trip home was chaotic since the weather was bad and all flights were delayed. I managed to get on an earlier flight to Hartford so I wouldn't have to wait in the airport for four hours, but my luggage did not make it home with me, and since I had "voluntarily separated myself from my luggage," they would not deliver it to me in Guilford without an enormous fee, so I drove up there again last night to pick it up. Ho hum. It was good to be home with the animals; all three cats have been sleeping on the bed, and Bindi has been sleeping a lot since she had a very active weekend with Gaia and Jen. I go for my sleep study with CPAP machine on Saturday night, and Bindi goes into the hospital on Sunday night for her surgery on Monday, so this weekend will be stressful.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Indian Creek, Pop. 250

Actually, the population is about double that now, since it's a small but growing managed suburb in Northwest Illinois. Tear down all the farmland and put up "Corporate Woods," an oxymoron if I ever heard one. Party for Curtis and Bonnie tomorrow at the fancy mansion museum, 50 percent chance of rain, and cool. 85 people will be showing up. The AndFam is here and they are always a delight, and the kids had fun opening all the individually wrapped freebies I got at the graduate student business fair at Yale a couple of weeks ago. Esp. the rubber brains and the blow up punching ball. My sister Carolyn is always wonderful to me and I always feel very taken care of by her, which is a blessing. Emony and Ilia and I took a walk around the man-made pond and saw two ducks and a large heron, which the girls were very impressed by. We played a game where I asked them to name two things that they could see that began with a letter from the alphabet. Ilia got a little upset when she spilled some juice all over the floor and felt embarrassed by it, but I told her it was ok and no one was mad at her. She takes things very much to heart. My other sister Judy and her daughter Erin showed up for dinner, then went back to their hotel. I went with the AndFam back to their hotel and five of the kids and Kim and I swam in the hotel pool for a while. The kids are so much better at swimming than last time, a pleasure to see. The chlorine was pretty intense, and made me feel slightly ill, so even tho they want to go swimming again tomorrow, I think I'll pass. My brother Dale brought me back to Carolyn's and we got lost, going many miles out of our way before we figured out what to do. Oh well. Began creating a photo album, and gave away a bunch of photos to the kids which they liked.

Rob and Robert helped me move more furniture and stuff out of Norton Street yesterday. Am glad to have my mother's desk in Guilford now, and it's always a joy to hang out with those two.

Starting reading Eoin Colfer's The Wish List. Strange, very strange.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Academia Blah

Classes began yesterday, and I started to get another crick in my neck. I am SO done with this job. Thankfully, I have some wonderful colleagues who keep me going, and we complain and moan to one another so we don't feel so bad. And having Bindi in the office gets me outside a couple of times a day, and gets others to come into my office, even if it's not me they want to see!

I'm still sad about Steve Irwin's death, even though countless good people die every day. It's just that his program had a very real positive impact on me, and from the media reports, he was very much loved and admired. He was working on what is called "soft footage" or something like that for his daughter Bindi's kid's program they have been working on, when he was struck by the stingray. I have heard some criticism about him and how he exploited animals, but the vast majority of the reports from people who knew him emphasized his passionate conservation efforts, how he has managed to get into protection thousands of acres of Australian land as wildlife habitat, and how he was quite humble and treated everyone equally. So what that he was a showman whose enthusiasm sometimes went too far?! Would that we were all that passionate about saving endangered animals, people, and planets.

Getting ready for my trip to my sister's near Chicago for the second wedding reception for her son and his new bride. It will be a bit of a family reunion for me with both sisters and brother there, and families, which will be very nice. A quick trip, I'll be back on Monday night. BindiDog isn't coming with me since she is not welcome in Carolyn's house where I will be staying, because she will traumatize Carolyn's cat Daisy, but Bindi will go stay with Jen and Gaia again, and have much fun again I'm sure.

Watched the first show of the new season of one of my favorite TV programs last night: "House." It was kind of lame.

Went swimming at the Shoreline Y outdoor pool on the way home from work. It's cool enough to keep BindiDog in the car while I swim. I never want to go, but when it is so convenient, I have no excuse. The Y is building a new facility with two pools and I'm trying to lobby them to have one of them be outdoor, or at least have a roof that can roll back in the summer. They say it is very expensive to do that, and will depend on how much money is raised. There are no public outdoor pools around here! It's so frustrating. Who wants to swim inside in 80 degree weather in chlorine? Not me.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Worried and Sad

Dill did not come home last night, nor this morning. I decided to go out and look for him on the street behind my house, and found a family in their front yard playing. I stopped and introduced myself, and they were extremely nice, Laurie and Gary, and four beautiful children. They had seen a black and white cat about a week ago, and I gave them my name and number and they said they would call if they saw Dill. As I was driving around more, I began to cry, worried about my big boy, praying for his return. After calming myself, the phone rang, and it was Laurie saying she had seen Dill in their backyard and he was fine, but he ran away when she called him. I felt my guardian angels on duty again, and was able to accept the invitation my neighbord A. across the street had offered earlier about coming for tea, since I felt Dill would be on his way home.

A. told me that Steve Irwin had been killed. This was an enormous shock to me, since I had not heard the news, and because he has been a significant inspiration to me. I credit watching his show with helping me rid myself of my fear of snakes, and I named my dog after his darling daughter Bindi, who herself was named after Steve's favorite crocodile. Bindi Irwin, now 8, is a remarkable little girl, afraid of no animal, self confident, gentle, and will surely follow in her father's footsteps. What a tragedy that she will have to take those steps so soon. Around 10 pm, while watching television reports on Steve's death, I heard Dill's soprano meow at the door and with relief let him in. He seems none the worse for having been gone 24 hours, and love of animals seemed to be the theme of the day.

M. and M. were here for dinner and I was very glad to see them. Classes start tomorrow, and the grind.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Here Comes the Sun

What a beautiful day it turned out to be. The sun appeared after days of rain, and today was supposed to be dreary as well, but I think my chakra wand was doing it's job.

I made two pans of lasagna for the party, bought a big basket of peaches from Bishop's, and waited for my guests to arrive. It was a laid-back, cheery gathering, with lots of good eats, and fun for dogs and kids and adults. Three of us stayed past the ending time to play Scrabble. Did you known ern is a kind of eagle, and tipi is an alternate spelling for tepee? D. got a job at the Yale library which means another friend will be very close to my office, and several people told me what nice friends I have. I feel blessed to have them, to be sure

My knees are aching. Too tired to write more.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Windy Day

My friend in Texas said I should start a blog, and since I had an interesting day, this will be the day I start it.

I was up till three am; been having trouble getting to sleep. Bindi became restless around 11 am, and I forced myself out of bed to take her out for a walk. Otherwise I would have slept all day, even though I had planned to visit a craft fair today. She's a blessing in that way, forcing me to get my butt out of the sack when I don't really want to.

We drove to Madison and found a few tents on the green, the others scared off by the possible bad weather promised by the margins of a southern hurricane. We strolled around anyway since it was only barely sprinkling, and Bindi yearned after all the other dogs in the area, seeking the companionship of her own species. Who can blame her?

I was pleased to find my friend Trudi set up with her whimsical collection of handmade and painted "Critters," small stuffed animals with delightful graphics drawn in with precision and great artistry. We chatted about the garden and how we miss Olafs, and I bought a small mousie. Bindi had her eye on a black and tan long haired Corgi, so we walked over and met Jake Daniels and his human Kim. Jake's father was Jack, ha ha. These two canines seemed to be experiencing love at first sight, playing enthusiastically with no growling or barking, and it was clear we had to set up a play date. Kim lives nearby, we exchanged phone numbers, and best of all, Kim turned me on to the possibility of taking Bindi to a local nursing home to visit the residents there. This has been in my mind for a while, but I was sure a dog had to be "certified" in order to do these visits, but apparently not for this particular facility. She introduced me to the woman in charge of doggie visits, who also happened to be there, and hopefully something will be set up in the near future. Bindi would be perfect for this -- she is friendly, affectionate, and loves to sit on peoples' laps.

Another crafter there named Adam was selling very unusual handmade jewelry, made from epoxy clay, stones, and leather. He was a gentle soul, said he was apprenticing with a Brazilian man, and his work was quite unique. I was taken by a "chakra wand," a small piece of branch with two quartz crystals attached to either end, and a line of stones down the center which relate to the chakras of the body. It's a healing instrument, and he sold it to me for nine dollars, all I had, even though it was supposed to be ten. A deal in anyone's book.

At another booth, I was admiring someone's funky crocheted bags when I looked up and saw Maureen, a buddy from the union. We yelled and hugged, and the crafter turned out to be her daughter's friend. Maureen looked wonderful, healthy and vital. She had lost a lot of weight and retired from her union job, and seemed happier than I'd ever known her to be. I must go talk with her about how she lost the weight. She said it was through Weight Watchers, because her health was so bad, and she just had to.

More errands, then homeward bound to do some yard work, play with the pup, and then get in out of the damp. Friends coming over tomorrow afternoon for a potluck supper and hanging about.