Sunday, December 23, 2007

Winter Solstice

A sad one, two friends passed on. Oxmyx, my brother's cat for about 14 years, and Dilwyn, my friend's Dalmation. Also about 14 years. I think on the same day.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bit Bit

Today while running errands I went to Posh Pet Glamour Boutique up the road, where I had gone once before. I had met Bit Bit, a very small male Chihuahua who runs the store with his person, and I wanted to bring him Bindi's sweater from when she was a puppy. I had been looking for the perfect size canine to give it to, and Bit Bit was the one. It fit him perfectly. The picture is from their website, and I don't know if it is Bit Bit, but it could be.

Got my beautiful knit beverage coasters from the HandCraft Store, run by my niece and her friend.

Had a nice nice birthday at M's, with Rachel and Frances, and Rob, and Tommaso, and M & S. Yummy dinner, cappucino cheesecake for dessert, and a trip to 116 Crown afterwards with Tommaso. Got some sweet gifts, including a manatee photo that Rob had taken, and a pair of candles M brought from Paris, with gold leaf on them. And my nice R. called me from Paris, where she is in school, and my friend Y. called me from Australia. I felt loved. And email birthday wishes from others.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

On the Fifth Day

of my leave, my true self gave to me,
five pounds of bird seed,
four furniture risers,
three eating dinner,
two fox salt shakers,
and a trip to a new doggie park.

And D. called. So kind of him. Went swimming at the Y pool yesterday with Rachel and Frances, then watched Firehouse Dog with Frances while Rachel took a bath and a nap. It was pretty funny, if predictable.

Found some snow boots today on sale, big clunkers from North Face, but just what I needed. The weather has been lousy, snow, sleet, rain. The lights are on my holiday hibiscus tree, and I may have a young visitor tomorrow whom I hope will help me put some ornaments on.

Watched a program on the filming of Planet Earth, the incredible BBC series. The patience and boredom and extreme weather that the photographers endure to bring us such stunning visuals is indeed a gift. They are deserving of our gratitude.

I need a standing coat tree, since I don't have a coat closet in the living room. Saw one at Pier 1, but it's still too expensive. Will see if it comes down in price after the holidays.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sing To The Tune Of

The 12 Days of Christmas.

On the first day of my leave
My true self gave to me
A trip to a new doggie park.

On the second day of my leave
My true self gave to me
Two fox salt shakers
And a trip to a new doggie park.

On the third day of my leave
My true self gave to me
Three eating dinner
Two fox salt shakers
And a trip to a new doggie park.

On the fourth day of my leave
My true self gave to me
Four furniture risers
Three eating dinner
Two fox salt shakers
And a trip to a new doggie park.

Saturday, December 08, 2007


Saw a client this morning, then took Bindi for a walk. The stream is still unfrozen, and the sun was out. We had a tiny snow fall yesterday, but the news reported lots of car accidents and delays. The northeast every year gets more and more crazy about a bit of snow, as if we have never seen it. Nuts. Stopped by the consignment shop not to far from my house to see if the vintage wool filled comforter was still there. I had seen it last week and was attacted to it, but knew from my childhood that these kind of satin rayon or polyester covered duvet slips off the bed as easily as a penquin sliding into the Arctic waters off an ice floe, but I felt a nostalgia about it. It was still there, and although marked $22, the woman gave it to me for $12. Kind of looks like the one in the picture but nicer. Then I had skim milk latte with T. at Buns & Noodles, and he paid. He left, and I went to the Clinique counter to see if they had oil free moisturizer. They did, for $35. I had a $25 B & N gift card I won in a Michigan raffle, and there was 20% off for university staff and faculty. The bottle of moisturizer ended up costing me $4.98. Then I was desperate for a haircut, and went to State St. looking for what was open, as it was nearing 5pm. Found The Tonsorial Salon still open, walked in, and Juana, one of the three Latina women working, gave me a very masculine cut, as I had pointed to the poster above her station of a man with a short haircut. It was fine. When I went to pay, she said, $18. $18!!!! It's gonna be my new salon from now on. Juana took her time and did what I wanted. A good day money-wise, all in all.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


Odd slip. Instead of "house" at the Group W Bench, I meant "hat." Hmmmm.


Went to see the movie Enchanted with Rachel and Frances. It was corny and funny. Then we had dinner at Ruby Tuesday's.

Earlier in the day I went to Edgerton and dug up my canna and dahlia tubers. Just in time, as the top two inches of soil had already frozen, but the tubers were still viable. I let Bindi run around thru the gardens which I think she liked altho she was shivering afterwards.

Had lunch with L & B, up from New York, which was so fine. I hope they will come and visit me and stay over in my guest room. We had a fun time going into the Group W Bench store, and I almost bought a house that they said made me look like Sherlock Holmes, but it was a bit pricey, so I passed. Might go back and get it. It's hard for me to find hats I like and I need one for the winter.

Spent a bit of time in Barnes & Noble (Buns and Noodles!) and found a great book, 1001 Gardens You Should Visit Before You Die, or something like that. Seemed a good compendium, but also pricey so I passed. Aren't I good?

Tomorrow is M's birthday and I am taking her and S to the diner for dinner. Haven't finished her present, but perhaps it will just have to be a holiday gift.

Wrote the draft letter for my dr's appt. tomorrow.

Spirit Talker

This is a poem I wrote this morning for a Native American client of mine. Her birthday is tomorrow. She has many health problems, has profound ptsd, and is working very hard to get well. Spirit Talker is the name given her by a tribal elder.


Is wise and knows the truth
Has self-knowledge
and knows what she needs
Is strong and can say no
Has survived and endured
when others would perish
Possesses deep compassion and says yes
when the time is right
Is loyal and kind to those
who cherish her
Is brave and protects those
who require it
Has the courage of her integrity
regardless of how others may judge
Acknowledges the suffering of the past,
determined to move beyond the pain
Embraces solitude to nurture her vision
Knows humor is her ally
and centeredness her power
Dares to heal her wounds
facing discomfort and fear
Honors her beauty and
the sacredness of her soul


Saturday, December 01, 2007


Mandala created with felt tip pens with nieces around the table during Thanksgiving visit to them and nephews and parents. Miss them.

Two crafts fairs today. Found the perfect holiday gift for M & S. And something for Bindi.

It's very hard to blog these days

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Broken Glass

Last night in a dream. My ex-husband was throwing many wine glasses on the floor, creating a huge pile of shards and jagged glass. It was so frightening. In another part of the dream, I think I was doing very badly for another reason, not because of the glass, but can't remember what. Oh, and the ex-husband in the dream brought home a woman he was consorting with, and I became furious and violent. Not hard to analyze this one.

On Sunday I planted about 80 tulip bulbs in front of my house. The local Stop & Shop was selling them for $.99 a bag. Raked some leaves. Rachel and Frances came over for a bit. The trees are nearly bare now. Bindi liked plopping in the large piles of leaves. Funny pup.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Crafts Fairs/Holiday Bazaars

My yearly ritual. Check out the church holiday fairs, to see what's to be had. Went to Branford mostly, and Madison, and saw a lot of junk, but did manage to score a few inexpensive and nice things for gifts. Got myself four new placemats from Malaysia from the Fair Trade holiday fair, at the Mercy Center, then Bindiloo and I took a walk on their small beach which was so fine.

Had a dream last night about a beautiful beach and rock area, in Florida, a place that I've never seen. A dreamscape. Smooth rock outcroppings, small eddies and pools, clear water, such loveliness. An enchantment. The beach at the Mercy Center was in the most vague ways similar, but the water was cold, the rocks were jagged, and there weren't any small pools. But possibly I was having a bit of precognition, because i did not plan to go to that beach today. Perhaps it called me. Another dream had me in a shop trying on dressy sweaters, and I finally settled on a black close-fitting one, with sequins in the front. It was not expensive. Then I was in a very large carpetted room, singing or dancing I think.

I went to hear the musicians described below last week. Mudgal in addition to vocalizing to complicated rhythms used his hands in the most evocative and stunning ways, even while sitting on the ground while performing. His chanting made me feel stoned. When I walked out of the performance space, it was as if I was entering back into a harsh reality. I had been transported.

Pandit Madhup Mudgal is one of India’s best-known Indian classical vocalists. Born into a family of musicians and singers, he has trained with maestros Pandit Jasraj and Pandit Kumar Gandharva, and has developed his own unique style, maintaining a fine balance between classicism and innovation. He has experimented with various musical forms and has performed in fusion concerts with eminent Jazz musicians from Brazil, as well as composing original music for dance.

From the Vedic chants of the 1st millennia through the Persian and Sufi music of the medieval period and the folk and Bhakti traditions of the 14th to 17th centuries, Indian classical and folk music has a very strong tradition of honoring the sacred. The monophonic, melodic mode of the raga seems almost designed to explore the inner depths of the mind and emotions. In Madhup’s rendering they embody the fusion of Hindu, Muslim and Sikh music in a tradition of mututal respect. Madhup follows these syncretic traditions, singing Hindu Bhajans, Sufi Kalaams and Sikh Shabad Kirtan with equal fervor.

Madhup conducts the Gandharva Choir, a renowned music group that has given performances all over the world. He also heads the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya in Delhi, a leading institution for training in music, dance and the arts of India. In 2006, he was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri by the Indian Government for his contributions to the field of Hindustani music.

Accompanied by Ray Spiegel (Tabla) and Stan Scott (harmonium)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Camilla is Back

After two days and three nights away. Blessed be.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Camilla is missing. She ran out of the house last night, stayed away all night, and still isn't back. I'm trying not to panic, but she is not a cat big on being outdoors. Some good things have happened but right now her disappearance is overshadowing all.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Crescent Queen

Told my story to the intake officer on Thursday. Puerto Rican gay man. Attentive, helpful, open, encouraging, a great sense of humor. He GOT what I was telling him, and told me to go for even more. Big dog lover, although he didn't start that way. Same as me. He told me he used to feel whenever someone would bring their dog somewhere that the person should be "taken outside and shot." Then his father died, and his mother was inconsolable. Nothing worked, not drugs, not therapy. Then he got her a small six pound long hair Chihuaha named Diva, but he called her "baby girl." She fell in love with the dog and began to heal. In September, Diva had to be put down and his mother is again deteriorating. And although he said he could not afford it, he was going out this weekend and get her another toy size dog. He said Diva used to sleep by his side even when he weighed 550 lbs, and he never rolled over on her. He had major surgery and is now a healthy weight, and looks fit and trim. He spent 3 1/2 hours with me. Our connection was healing for me, even though he won't be the one making the decision. Because of my empathy with his story and his with mine, he said I should consider a career in counseling. I didn't say so, but been there, done that, still do that. People are always telling me things they have never told anyone else. It is a privilege, and gives my life great meaning.

Fenway, the underweight dachshund at the pit bull awareness day festival in the park, was adopted by one of the women who work in the greenhouse. She knows Reiki and did some on Fenway when he first came to her house, and he settled right in. A perfect match. And I made a connection with the woman who was carrying Fenway around all day till he was adopted.

Rachel and I went to see "The Veiled Monologues" at the New Theatre on Thursday. The play is on tour, and although much of the content was familiar to me, I loved watching the women perform.

I hate the NPR fundraising drives.

Monday, October 22, 2007


Had lunch with M. and her friend and three kids yesterday. Played hit the windfall apples with the picket fence slat. When an apple is hit, yell "Applesauce!"

Lost Bindi's foldupable dog crate. How could I lose that? All I can think is that after the garden work party I put it on top of the car, put the stuff in the car, and drove out forgetting it was on top. My mind is so distracted.

Office stuff still bad. If anyone wants details, you'll have to write me. Can't blog it. Too much legal, ethical, emotional content.

Stopped at Rob and Rob's yesterday and it took five of us to figure out why the rubber tree plant wouldn't come out of the pot. Ended up having to use a circular saw to get the pot off, then I repotted it for them. Took some cuttings but don't know if they will root.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


A word the kids use often to describe something mean or moderately painful, but not devastating.

Had a work day at the community garden. Worked on the herb plot with Sue and Tony, and we had a great conversation about community, politics, Yale, multi-tasking, health insurance, getting help, karma. I said I went to a happy hour (actually Moderately Cheerful Hour since the German professor who hosts it says Germans don't have happy hour), and wrote out checks for my bills while sitting around the table with everyone. Tony thought that was so great. And I told him that sometimes I invite my friends over to just sit and talk with me while I clean or do some project, that having people around makes doing these things easier.

There was a pit bull awareness day festival in the park today as well. Bindi and I walked around and visited the tables and some of the doggies. We made a connection with someone who was working for the North Shore Animal Shelter that may come in handy in future if need be. Found a vendor who sells disposable vinyl or plastic or latex, don't know what, dog boots. Whaaaaaa??!?!?! I said, how do they stay on? She said, they have small ribs inside that keep them on. Might be the thing for Bindi during the winter.

Rachel and I went to see the film "Elizabeth I," on Thursday after work. A five o'clock showing, and there were only two other people in the theatre. Cate Blanchett and Clive Owens and Georffrey Rush. Lush, beautiful to look at. Neither of us know our British history, so we didn't know how historically accurate it was, but the photography was astonishing and every frame was purposefully framed to stand on its own, it seemed. The costumes, the sets, total eye candy.

"A cat on prozac sits in the corner and goes 'me . .'"

Robin Williams

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Bluebird has a new blog, which I am very glad about. This is her collage photo. I like it totally, as she created it.
Today after having a hard time getting started, I went to pick up Camilla's drugs, then stopped by my neighbors' house for a short visit. They were having a party for their son who is going off to the Coast Guard tomorrow. He wants to be a rescue diver. Seems like a very worthy ambition. Met the great grandmother who gave me three hugs. I was alerted that she might do this, but I certainly didn't mind at all. Sweet woman.
Also stopped by Duck Soup, a local alternative cafe near my house. It was near closing, but I got a piece of cherry pie and a coffee. Pie was not that good, but was glad to have gone inside the cafe for the first time. Someone there is very into horses, and had many photos of same, and a prominent sign about the abuse of mares and their fouls to make Premarin, the HRT drug. They are open for breakfast and have a cappacino machine, so that is truly an enticement.
Stayed up too late last night watching The English Patient. I like the movie, but couldn't even get to the end.
Had dinner on Friday night at a local Mexican restaurant with Frances and Rachel. I didn't think it was very good, but then I have high standards. It was as always nice to hang out with them.
Need to find the dog park in Southington, which I have been told about a couple of times.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Just Because You're Paranoid . . .

doesn't mean they're not after you. I'm trying not to be, but things at the office are very bad again. I'm very anxious. I don't know what's going on. Will consult more of my allies, hopefully my allies, next week.
The Bindi dog pic is for Bluebird, as she has a similar one of herself on her new blog.
But not to dwell. Two clients this morning. Did some relaxation meditation with one of them, as she has a hard time calming down and letting go of stress. Let Bindi off the leash in the yard and she ran around and about and all over, would not come when I called, but later the neighbor was able to get ahold of her and brought her back to the house. My neighbors are very attentive when she is off leash, and I appreciate that very much. They thought I didn't know she was scampering, but I did, just could not get her. Little minx.
Went to R.W. Hine hardware and bought some Safer bug spray to treat my plants before I bring them in. Then to Marshall's to get some pants that fit. Everything is too big from my too-much-stress weight loss. How many out there hate to hem jeans???? Me!!!!! Stopped at Wentworth's and ate a huge amount of maple walnut ice cream. Now am making Moroccan style chicken, with chick peas and tomatoes. Don't have a bit of fresh lemon juice or cilantro that it calls for, but at least I got myself to cook. Broke down and bought some frozen dinners last week cause I just couldn't get it together.
Was in Madison yesterday and bought some shirts that fit at Christy's. 40% off of Flax linen if you paid by cash or check. I like their stuff.
Am back to reading "On Borrowed Wings" by Chandra Prasad. Hope to finally finish it. And am reading a short story in the recent New Yorker about a boy who feels no physical pain. M. said it was a great metaphor for everyone's pain with how hard our lives can be.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Don't eat the CAR!!

'Member that line from Tuner and Hootch? Bindi ate a hole in my love seat. Small, near the bottom, but still. I can't leave her unattended at all, unless she is in her crate.

Went to a free lunchtime concert with Rachel today. Lovely. Students from the Music School playing Beethoven, Dahl, Strauss.

Niece E. was here over the weekend and HELPED ME SOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!! Thanks, E!
Anybody else wanna come out and help?

Saw G. at home yesterday. She had been in the hospital for a week, with flaring gall bladder, and pancreatitis. Had surgery. Had some bad hospital stories. Anybody know if the gall bladder is a necessary organ?

Misty had a little eye problem over the weekend, but seems to be better now. The weather is cooler now, and Bindi has taken to shivering. Time for the doggie sweater. JP told me to watch The Year of the Dog, with Molly Shannon. Ok, JP.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Monday, Monday

Was very depressed at the office all day. Took a walk with Rachel and got Thai food at the sidewalk cart.

Bindi has been very aggressive with other dogs she sees across the street or even from the car. She must be picking up my stress, as this is new behavior. I took her to the dog park today and she was fine with Ruthie, a springer spaniel, and Daisy, a pit/boxer mix. Still, she didn't want to run around as much as I thought she might. She seemed tired.

Have a meeting with union reps tomorrow about my case, and I have a letter that I'm hoping will pull some weight.

Read that comfrey root ointment in a recent study significantly reduced pain from osteoarthritis in knees. Will have Dr. Artemis order me some.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Past, The Present

"Haunted by the past" is a commonplace phrase because it's a commonplace experience. Even if one is not, strictly speaking, "haunted," the past is perpetually with one in the present, and the longer it grows and the further it recedes the stronger its presence seems to become. I agree with the Chekhov character who, when, in a crisis, he is reminded that "this, too, shall pass," responds, "Nothing passes."

--Philip Roth, in the recent New Yorker interview

Lots of depression this weekend. Fortunately, Rachel called this morning and invited me to go apple and raspberry picking with her and Frances. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed in the picking fields, so I didn't actually pick anything, but it was good to get out. Then they came over and helped me clear away some more boxes, and put the table and chairs up in the dining room. That was a huge accomplishment.

Ordered digital tv today. Tired of just watching Channel 8. $33 for the first three months, then $45 or something. I think it comes with some music channels which I need cause I can't get NPR stations clearly on any of my radios out here. A big disappointment.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


Flower, the matriarch of the Whisker clan on Meerkat Manor, the Animal Planet soap opera of meerkat society on the Kalahari, died in last night's episode of a cobra bite. I was with Rachel and Frances, and none of us expected it, and Frances burst into tears and cried for a long time. Meerkat Manor is an amazing program which reveals through remote filming the entirely complex, cooperative, courageous, hierarchical, and joyful lives of meerkats. It is a wildly popular show, and since I've been without cable or dish tv for a month, last night was the first time I'd seen it in a while, altho I have been watching it for a long time. Who would have thought that the meerkats had babysitting dens, or would banish individuals from the group for a forbidden action? These small, intense-eyed mammals remind us once again that we know so little about the animal king/queendom, and that we have so much to learn from them.

Found a dining table at a tag sale today which matches my chairs, and two umbrella stands, one of which I will give to M. since she has been looking for one and told me to keep my eyes open when I go to these sales.

On the Yale front and my job: Abuse of Power Comes as No Surprise. It is bad, but I am taking action. Don't know yet how it will pan out. Wish me luck.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Kittens on a Cloud

Frances was singing this song today, something about nothing cuter than Kittens on a Cloud. Indeed. Scored this tea kettle for $3 at a tag sale today; I think it might have been a fundraiser for orphan cats. I went to four or five sales today. Got a bedside table, two garden rakes, a couple of VHS videos (for a buck they were cheaper than renting). The tea kettle normally sells for about $50. And it was in good shape, no dings or anything.

Was gonna go to the beach today with Frances and Rachel but alas the clouds were about, and no kittens in sight. They helped me a little bit around the house, and we went to lunch at Peters II, a very small restaurant near my house that is really nice. Good food, very friendly service. Only open for breakfast and lunch right now, but planning to be open for dinner.

Got my free Shutterfly calendar of photos from Elba. It turned out beautifully. Part of the deal when I got my digital camera.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Up Against the Wall . . .

Had another meltdown yesterday, with nose bleed. This time I'm getting the union involved.

Good news: a niece is coming to help me with my new place!!! acksalutapop!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

You Know You're Burned Out

when you are asked to plan a reception for Gloria Steinem and you have absolutely no interest in doing so, and find it just an enormous pain. At 73 she's going strong, and has just published a new book, "Doing Sixty & Seventy," on aging.

Cried almost all day long. Went out to Guilford to meet the Man With A Van to move the rest of my stuff out of M's, got there early, and walked into my mandala garden and lost it. Kip came over mewing and I picked him up and held him, and felt sorry for myself. Went in the house, found M, and cried some more. Got the stuff moved to the new house, listened to two voice mails which upset me, and cried some more. Went to Best Video and had a mocha latte and tried not to cry. Went to the acupuncturist and was able to relax some. Came home and M & S came over with dinner for me, and we looked at the Bindi book from Shutterfly which arrived today, and turned out beautifully.

There is no unalloyed joy.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Oh, MAN . . .

The GAs were on duty again today. After waking up late cause I was up too late last night, I drove into work, and parked my car on the street as usual. I opened my car door and BAM!!! A kid on a bike plowed right into the door and went splat on the ground. I was horrified, got out of the car, he said he was ok, but clearly he wasn't, and I made him go over to the curb and sit down. I picked up his bike from the street and a crowd had gathered around us and someone took his bike from me, and after ascertaining that he was a university student, I insisted that he let me take him to the health center. He said he didn't think he needed to go, but his shirt was torn, and he had a bad scratch all across the front of his torso. He wasn't bleeding or in any great pain, but there was no way I was gonna let him walk away after that. A young woman offered to take him on the shuttle bus herself but I said no, I will take him. Fortunately, he was wearing a helmet, and finally agreed that it was a good idea to go get checked out. Of course there was construction going on down the street where the health center is, so I parked illegally and took him inside and made sure he was seen immediately. The intake nurse praised me for bringing him in. She said they get bike crashes all the time, and usually the drivers of the cars just curse the kid and drive off. She said I was the first one to bring a kid in. What kind of a world do we live in?!?!?!? Why was I being praised for doing the right thing?!?!?! Someone later even called me "noble." NOBLE?? That's ridiculous. It wasn't noble, it was the only way to react in such a situation. They took his blood pressure, and he didn't complain of any shortness of breath, and they took him in the back for further examination. I gave him my card and said, "Call me!!!" after he was finished there. In the car over he had said he was pre-med, and in the college where a friend of mine is Dean, so after he called and said they didn't find anything terrible, I called my Dean friend to ask her to keep an eye on him. He slammed into my open car door so hard that the door pushed against the front left fender, denting it towards the wheel, and now the door is very hard to open and close, but it does shut. What a way to start a Monday morning.

I watched "A Hawk is Dying," with Paul Giamatti on dvd this evening. Excellent excellent. The best thing I've seen Giamatti do. Very powerful performance. Also watched "Breaking and Entering," with Jude Law and Juliet Binoche last night. Unusual, interesting. Very good acting.

I've been eating nothing but carbohydrates for weeks now. I have no taste for meat or even vegetables. I miss my Guilford garden, and I miss the Branford Stop & Shop. I went to the S & S near Rachel's after work and my classism kicked in. The carts were broken and beat up, the shelves weren't well stocked, there were flies buzzing around, the whole place was kind of dirty. Uck. I'd gotten used to the very well kempt shoreline shops geared toward the more middle and upper classes, and I have to say I'm not happy with my choices around here. I stopped at Best Video to return dvd's and had a decaf latte from beans that they charge 12 bucks a pound for cause they are fair trade and organic. Wasn't that good, but felt calming somehow. Then, I came home and there was absolutely not one piece of mail. Where's all the junk mail I used to get at M's? Thanks to all who have sent me cards and such. Really helps.

Came inside and was tidying up and noticed something sticking out from one of the cabinets near the floor. I bent down, picked it up, and guess what it was? A small picture of an angel that I had at one time cut out of a magazine. Have no idea how it got there.

Note to IKA: your drawings are awesome

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Them Ol' Knees

Got the carpenter here today adding another step to the one step that goes up to the kitchen and the utility room. It's got a nine inch rise which is 4 1/2 inches too high.

Watched "The Night Listener" on dvd last night with Robin Williams and Toni Collette, from a novel by Armisted Maupin. Odd, but they are good actors, and it might have even been based on a true story. Nice to have a mystery movie where the sexual identity of the characters are incidental, and not the main theme. Normalized, not pathologized. Also watched "The Holiday" with Jude Law, Cameron Diaz, Jack Black, and Kate Winslet. Totally lame, but Jude Law is so fine to look at, and Jack Black was brilliant as usual. Anybody got any good movie recommendations? I'm near Best Video which is considered the very best video store in the area because of all the indie and foreign films it carries.

Tommaso came over for a couple of hours yesterday and offered his decorating expertise and skill at unpacking. I've almost got every cardboard box out of here, including the mouse poop that was in so much of it. Yikes. I'm finding more "presents," stuff that's been in boxes for years, things I've picked up from my travels here and abroad.

How do I get Bindi to stop barking when she is out in the yard? It's getting worse and worse. I DO NOT want to use one of those horrible electric barking collars.

The nights have gotten very cold, and I'm sleeping with my down comforter. Time to install the electric mattress pad! Ummmmmmmmmmm.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Florida With Manatees

Good news for manatees! Yesterday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted to delay downgrading the manatee's status from endangered to threatened.

Calling the manatee "one of our state's beloved natural resources," in a letter issued to the commissioners on Monday, September 10th, Florida Governor Charlie Crist urged them to postpone their decision given the need for a better method to estimate the manatee population and the record 417 manatee deaths in 2006.

The FWC decided to defer the decision on downlisting manatees until at least the Dec. 5-6 meeting in Key Largo, FL. -- from the Save the Manatees website

Laura came over and hooked up the vcr and dvd player to the tv, and set up my desktop computer with all its parts. And put most of my books away. We found so much mouse poo in the cardboard boxes that were stored in the cellar at M's. Even tho everything was in plastic bags inside the boxes, the mousies still got in and did damage. Really disgusting.

But! I got three more pieces of snail mail today!! And that is just so wonderful.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Two Weeks

The standard contractor answer when asked when something will be done. Remember "The Money Pit?" Well, we should get our three computers in "two weeks." HA! How come when I sign onto Blogger with my Google account and I always check "remember me," it never remembers me? How can I do an interesting window treatment without blogging (I mean blocking) out the light for the plants?

Went for a massage yesterday, but it didn't help much. I need one every day for, uh, TWO WEEKS! The clunking is back in my neck. I think I have to keep seeing the osteopath. I think whatever she did helped.

Tommaso is back. I took him to Home Depot to get another bookcase, one of those extremely heavy particle board monsters. And he lives in a fourth floor walk up! Couldn't help him get it up there, tho. I'm sure he managed somehow. It was so great to see him. We laughed and laughed.

Got a set of white dishes on Now to recycle the black ones. I'm done with my black phase. Still don't have the tv hooked up. Miss watching movies.
Babysat for S. last evening for a couple of hours while her mom went to a parents' thingie at school. S. and I went to All Pets Club and looked at the puppies. There must have been 30 or so, all different kinds of breeds. Way too cute.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Dr. Noys' Pet Toys

Hey, I hit the snail mail jackpot today!! Three personal pieces of snail mail in my new mailbox! One from O. in Wisconsin, one from my naturopath and her assistant, and Bindi got the best new toy from her cousin Trinka Deu. It's a squirrel stuffie with a REPLACEABLE squeaker inside a small pouch which closes with velcro. She had seen/played with/chewed Trinka's when we went out to Illinois in August, and now Bindi has her very own. Bindi likes the small toys with squeakers but always rips the guts out and chews on the plastic squeaker within minutes, and sometimes I sew them back up with the squeaker if it's not destroyed, and sometimes I just throw them away. Anywho, it was great getting the snail mail.

Killer day at the Yale office. Non stop. Everyone had a crisis. Tell me this: why does a private university with many BILLIONS in its endowment give me a hard time when I need three new computers? And we need them now. I try to not get too furious about this, except it makes my job harder cause the people who need the computers come to me to do what they cannot. I asked over five weeks ago, and they are gaslighting me by saying someone will come around to do an INVENTORY! An inventory!?!?!?! I already DID an inventory!! I need three computers!!!

On the good side, I called the Cheshire community pool and found out that it's only $250 for the full year to use the pool which is a very good deal, so I'll sign up. The bubble will be in place in a week, and the pool will have been cleaned, so I can get started. An unexpected bonus of moving here.

And finally, rocks! I got a very nice small computer table this afternoon which is exactly what I need. I didn't want something big and honking, and this is perfect.

We need rain. Badly.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Nap Day

Being at the beach yesterday was nice. We were there from about 3.30-5.30, took a dip, and munched on snacks. We noticed on the drive that THE LEAVES ON THE TREES ARE ALREADY TURNING! Aaaaarrrrgggghhhh! Where did the summer go? Oh yeah, looking for a place, going to Italy, my father dying, moving. I remember now. R & F came over later and helped me move boxes and think about the placement of furniture.

I spent a few hours this morning planting the hostas. Each clump could be separated into several individual plants by soaking them in a bucket of water and twisted apart the roots. That was I was able to plant about twenty in a row with a plain one, then a variegated one, then a plain one . . . I still have more out at M's to dig up.

You know how I'm always looking for an outdoor pool wherever I am? Found one in Cheshire and went there today for a long slow lap swim. It wasn't great but it was outdoors, and they will put a dome over it for the winter. Cost me $11 just for the one swim, which seems quite a bit, but oh well. It's only five miles up the road. Have to find out if they are open for just lap swims during the winter. Seems to be part of the Cheshire High School, cause it has lots of lap lanes and bleachers and such. Is very convenient for me, however. After the swim I went to DQ and had a chocolate oreo blizzard, then came home and took a nap, the first one in a very long time. I was sooooooooooooooooo tired. Camilla was all cuddly and that was nice. Made some dinner but all I want is ice cream. Can't get on that bandwagon again. No, m'am. No sirree. Nada.

Figured out how to set up my high speed internet, so am not mooching off the neighbor's network any longer. AT&T gave me a free 30 day trial with Vonage download movies, and their selections are the worst! No bargain there.

Monday morning looms. I just don't have enough time to do everything I need to do. Well, I would if I was one of those high energy people, but I'm not. The planting of the hostas was quite a production and lapswimming was necessary. I need to be compassionate with myself and know that moving in will be a slow process, and I need to respect my limits and my own pace.

Saturday, September 08, 2007


Here's Laura in my kitchen. We were cleaning before I moved stuff in and she helped me immeasurably. I need her again to help me unpack. I spoke too soon about Camilla. She's still having "issues" so I'll put her back on and keep her on the xanax for a while. Perhaps she is reacting to all the mess and boxes, and thinks we're back in Guilford getting ready to leave. I've had a couple of hard days, trying to unpack, going to my Yale job, seeing clients, getting the little things I need here and there. Been crabby at work. Ate donuts and ice cream yesterday, something I haven't done in weeks and weeks. Went to collect some perennials from a woman who had listed them on and spent a long time trying to find out where she lived. Now to plant them. Got a beautiful housewarming gift from C & D in the mail yesterday, a stunning dark blue bowl with red accents, like my front door. My knees are hurting. It's 5:45am and I'm up cause Camilla had one of her "issues" out of the box and had to clean it up. It's so worrysome with all this carpetting. Rachel suggested we go to the beach this afternoon and I think that's just the ticket. We'll take a picnic, and chill by the water. I still need a dining room table. I'm resisting going to Ikea and just buying one, don't know why. Well, I do know. A lot of their stuff is crap, but for expediency's sake I just might. Have been receiving the local paper which is just really bad. Trying to find tag sales nearby and so far nothing. I'm still not getting any forwarded mail from the last place, even though I submitted the change a week ago. Could it really take this long? I think most people underestimate the toll that stress and tiredness take on a person.

But I have a nice new student assistant who is working for me at Yale. Unfortunately, the provost is giving us a hard time about the three new computers we need for our faculty and staff. How can that be? Yale has billions and a small program like ours gets treated like dirt. I try to not let it infuriate me, but sometimes I can't help it. They're going to send someone to do an "inventory" of what we need computer wise but, duh, I already told them!! Two years, four months and then I'm out of there.

Friday, September 07, 2007

New Home

That's my front yard. That's the front of the house. I'm extremely tired and overwhelmed by boxes of stuff, but glad to be there. It's quiet, and feels so luxurious to have a whole house to myself. My first piece of personal snail mail came from my niece and that made me very happy. Lurkers, send me more! It's quiet at night, and I just put food in the existing bird feeder in the front yard, and the birds are arriving. My animals seem quite content, although Camilla is iffy. She's been hiding in the closet. She is so attuned to my states of stress. Still have a bit more stuff out at M's which I must get, and am hoping to get some free hostas from someone who listed them on Lots of shade, so lots of shade loving plants will be introduced. Dish tv guy came this morning and announced that I can't use dish 'cause there are too many trees, so I guess it's back to Comcast and the cable hookup. Yuk. Been exploring the neighborhood some and it is very nice. Nice nice nice.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Out of clever titles. Dreamed of DillBoy last night, that he was alive and well. I still miss him every day. I'll probably dream of Dad soon.

Worked at the Johnson Road house today with Laura, washing out cabinets, cleaning the bathroom, being there for the carpet cleaning guy. The carpets had already been cleaned, but I wanted them cleaned again, just 'cause, and he put some anti-bacterial and some scotchguard stuff on it too. Left all the windows open to dry the carpet when we left ; hope it doesn't rain. Found a few minor repairs that need to be made, like, the landowners left me a garbage can that was supposed to have wheels, but had none. For instance. Rob was there for a bit, brought some stuff over in his car, and went up to the attic and found some minor treasures, along with some junk left by the previous tenants. There's a black and white cat that lives in the house in back, with the angry dog named Pudge. Hopefully Pudge and Bindi will learn to get along.

Took a drive out to Ocean State Job Lot this evening and got a new piece of astroturf for the garden shed, for ten bucks. And bought a light beige rug to cover the ugly mauve rug in the smaller bedroom. Bought Bindi a new dog bed for the new house. The kitchen has tons of storage cabinets.

Tried to go to sleep earlier but couldn't. Will try now.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

T Minus Two Days

I don't even know what that means. Or if it's the right wording for two days left till I move. I'm pretty much packed, and I met the landowners and picked up the keys today. Bindi and I went over for a look, and I think the place will work out fine. There are a few minor things that need tending to, but nothing major so far. I hate the carpeting but guess I will cover it with rugs of some sort. Met the woman who lives next door; she is the mother of one of the landowners. Her other son lives in the house behind me. The house was built in the 1940s, and oddly, but to my pleasure, has a bright red door. The landowners have given me permission to plant perennials around the house, so I am looking foward to that as the landscaping is sparse.
Photo is a wavy day at American Beach near Maria di Pisa in Italy. No one was supposed to go into the water as the riptide was very strong, but you can see how well that worked. There is a U.S. military base nearby, hence the name of the beach.

Taking some plants to the new house tomorrow, to make it feel more like mine.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Dogy: A variant of dogie

n. pl. do·gies Western U.S.
A stray or motherless calf.
dogie etymology
[Origin unknown.]
Regional Note: In the language of the American West, a motherless calf is known as a dogie. In Western Words Ramon F. Adams gives one possible etymology for dogie, whose origin is unknown. During the 1880s, when a series of harsh winters left large numbers of orphaned calves, the little calves, weaned too early, were unable to digest coarse range grass, and their swollen bellies "very much resembled a batch of sourdough carried in a sack." Such a calf was referred to as dough-guts. The term, altered to dogie according to Adams, "has been used ever since throughout cattleland to refer to a pot-gutted orphan calf." Another possibility is that dogie is an alteration of Spanish dogal, "lariat." Still another is that it is simply a variant pronunciation of doggie.

Well, the Italians didn't know this when they put this sign on the dog poo box near the beach in Marina di Campo. Don't you just love how the doggie's butt just sparkles! Maybe the can is filled with motherless calves. Okay, enough.

Went thru boxes of saved useless papers today, getting ready for the move. Found some little gems that I didn't remember were there. The move is set for next Friday in the morning. I sign the lease and get the keys on Wednesday. Laura C. has been coming over to help me back; without her I wouldn't be doing a thing.

Had dinner with Jim and Rob last night, as Jim left CT to move to California this morning. Boo hoo. Another friend transplanted. I am happy for him making this brave move, but will miss him too.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Rainy, rainy day. Started the day with Dr. Artemis, my naturopath/acupuncturist. I was lying on the treatment table with a bunch of needles sticking out of me, and a song came over the sound system that struck a deep cord in me. A woman was chanting or speaking/singing something in English, and while I couldn't catch all the words, something about her voice and the melody and rhythm of the music made me start to cry. Dr. Artemis came in a few minutes later to take out the needles and I was still crying. I sat up to get ready to leave and began sobbing and sobbing. My nose began to bleed. And bleed and bleed. Dr. A came back in and said I had broken a blood vessel in my nose by crying so hard, and gently attended me. There was blood all over my mouth, on my t-shirt, on the treatment table.

I was releasing grief, and I had the thought that I didn't have enough time with my dad. I didn't have enough time with him in a good way. Not enough time with him as a child, not enough time with him as an adult before his car crash, and too much time knowing he was unhappy. When Dr. A was dealing with my bloody nose, I remembered that I used to get bad nosebleeds as a kid. One memory was of sitting in the bathroom with a nosebleed and my dad was there, telling me to put my head back, and I could taste all the blood running down my throat. I said to him, "I can't stand that taste." He said, "You can't stand anything." Ah, the oversensitive child.
And the insensitive parent. He was not a giving man. I don't remember him ever telling me he loved me.

I left the doctor's office and decided to go buy a candle to light for him, and for me, at a shop where I knew they would have the one I wanted. An unusual candle with the scent of Fresh Tomato Leaf. It was given to me by a friend a couple of years ago, and everyone liked the scent. I went into the shop and saw a beautiful black shop cat milling about. I said hello to him and tried to pick him up, and he bit me on the hand, and I bled again. I bought the candle, two actually, and realized when I was about to leave that I had left my keys locked in my car, with Bindi in the front seat. Fortunately, the day was cool and she was in no danger of overheating. I called the Geico people, and went next door to my optician's office. We had a nice chat and he proudly showed me his beautiful collection of antique optician's instruments. He wondered what their value was, and I said I'd do an internet search for him. He was so appreciative.

The Geico guy finally came, and when he got the door open, he immediately took Bindi by the leash and brought her to me. And as I was leaving, the woman from the candle shop came out and gave me a beautifully wrapped bag of candy, just 'cause. It was a very sweet gesture.

Tomorrow I will commit to renting a 5 room house in Hamden. It's in a very quiet neighborhood, set back from the road which is not heavily travelled, so the cats will be safe to go outside. It's a plain house, but has what I need: everything on one level, no steps at all, and big enough for all my stuff. It's more than I can really afford on my salary, but I will tighten my belt. I am so tired of looking, and this house will be near some of my friends which is what I need right now.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Resurrection Lily

Lycoris squamigera.

Today I was in Edgerton Garden for a work party, talking to Matthew and April as we weeded and pruned the herb garden. When I walked back to my own plot, I was astonished to see that my Resurrection Lily had bloomed. This plant is also known as Surprise Lily, Magic Lily, and Naked Lady. It grows from bulbs, and the foliage appears in spring and after a few weeks dies back to nothing. Then, miraculously, a flower stalk emerges from the ground in late summer and blooms with light pink flowers.

I had transplanted these bulbs from my mother's garden back in East Peoria, probably 5-6 years ago. They have never bloomed before. And now, twelve days after my father's passing, they bloom for the first time. It was so sweetly moving that it occurred to me that a fitting memorial to my parents might be a dedicated bench in the community garden. They had been to Edgerton Park only once, but the community garden is such a beautiful lush place that a bench in their memory would last a very long time, and have great meaning to me. I have written my siblings about this.

The Prospect house is out. The landowner has shown himself to be unreliable, and while I am disappointed in many ways, I shall move on. I have three places to look at tomorrow and one on Monday. I feel somewhat less stressed about the move; not sure why.

Visited a new faculty member today in Hamden, to pick up some moving boxes she had. Their house is on a stunning piece of land. Took Bindi to the dog park after for a while, but she was not too keen on running with the other canines. She did a bit, then we went home, but only after a stop at the Stony Creek beach where Bindi walked into the water and lay down first on one side, then on another, to cool off. It was not a hot day but she is getting more and more comfortable with being in the water. I hope to see her swim sometime soon.

Frances stayed over on Thursday night. As soon as she went to bed, I let Misty in the door and she brought in the tiniest baby bunny. She dropped it from her mouth, I picked it up, Frances wanted to see it, then I let it go. That same night around 1am, Camilla decided she did not like the fan I had blowing on the bed, not my usual setup, and she proceeded to pee about a quart right next to me! The wetness woke me up, and I spent the next half hour stripping sheets and mattress pad and nightgown from the bed, and replacing with clean. She has never done that before. Her stress level is sky high, and even with the xanax she is on she cannot be trusted. Misty is catching mice, voles, bunnies, and I don't know what else. This evening both she and Camilla were chasing a tiny mouse around the bedroom. I rescued that little creature and put it back outside. Life in the country.

The pain in my foot is less, after treatments from the acupuncturist and the osteopath. I don't know what they do that works, but it certainly seems to.

Received sympathy cards from two of my favorite men friends. Lovely.

I also noticed today that the butterfly pea I planted this year for the first time from seed had bloomed.

Monday, August 06, 2007


My father died today. Around three thirty. My older sister Carolyn was with him. It is what he wanted. He was not happy with his life.

I was in Edgerton garden around that time, a fitting place. I was weeding, and planting. Things my father did, which instilled the love of gardening in me.

I had a dream last night about a cobalt blue glass goblet. It was etched with names, or dates, or something else, I cannot remember. It broke in the dream, and I knew it could not be repaired, it was so precious. I may have been passing it to someone else, perhaps one of my sisters, when it broke.

I will go to Illinois tomorrow for a few days.
Rest in peace, Daddy.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Pisa at Night

This is a photo of Tommaso and his friend Francesca in front of the Keith Haring mural in Pisa. I was surprised to come across it there, and T said he painted it just before he died. The shadow in back of T and Francesca is a glass wall to prevent people from touching it or defacing it.
That night in Pisa was really hard. It was very hot, we had to walk a long way to see the leaning tower, it was crowded and dirty, and many of the small alleyways we walked thru smelled of piss. Yuk. We stopped for gelato, and I didn't even want to finish mine, which is unheard of. We met up with another friend of theirs, Riki, who was very pleasant, but I was complaining so much that I can't image I made a very good impression. I'm twice the age of these kids, and they were not bothered by the walking or the throngs of people or even the grimy streets, and they were very tolerant of my whining.
The leaning tower was underwhelming. I've seen better photos of it. It's on a small plot of ground with a cathedral, and perhaps because it was night I did not see all the "glorious" details, but it didn't seem like a big deal to me. None of the Italians sweat there, but I was just dripping with it, but I long ago decided I would not be embarrassed by having inherited my father's sweat glands! Tommaso kept commenting on it, tho. Bad boy.
I'm going to go look at three more apartments today. Then have to be home for the first load of M's stuff to arrive. And Kip has gone missing all night! I just want to sleep, but the anxiety is too great.

Monday, July 30, 2007


One photo of the beautiful dry hot landscape in the Tuscan hills, where I spent two days with Tommaso's parents. I have many stories from the trip and will share them gradually.

Right now I'm in the middle of trying to pack and move, still with no clear idea of where I'm going, and my brain is scattered. And I'm a bit jet lagged.

There are four cats in the house now: Camilla and Misty, and Kip and Pippa, M's kitties.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Tommaso and Roberto, his father, have just gone off to the dentist. I am in their lovely apartment by myself, as his mother is at work. She is a nuclear physicist, and has a very important job of dealing with the safe disposal, as it were, of nuclear waste. They are lovely people, and Miranda, T's mama, is so warm and welcoming. She tries very hard to use the English she knows, and does very well, although last night she was so tired she could not keep trying. I showed them the wedding photo of Ginny Anselmo and Augusto Campanella. Miranda said by the way they were dressed in the photo it looked as if they had money. Roberto said I have my grandfather's mouth. I also showed them a 1942 photo of Walt and Fifi, and Roberto remarked that my mother was "il bambino," looked like a baby in the photo. I said she was 18 when she got married.

Last night for dinner we had stuffed zucchini, salad, fruit. So delicious and healthy. For lunch Roberto made pasta with small shrimps and fresh mussels, and the most ripe flavorful sliced tomatoes from their garden. I cannot remember when I have had tomatoes so good. I mixed some of the tomatoes with the pasta, and Roberto in Italian told T. something about "these Americans, mixing everything together," good naturedly. He said, "You will ruin the taste of the pasta!" Yesterday T. and I went for a swim at a beach in Terrino, then to a private pool club that one of his friends belongs too. It is so hot here, and so nice to be able to dip in water at will.

Miranda told me about her cat Rufus who died ten years ago, and how much she loved him. She cried telling the story. She said, "I always told people I have two sons: Tommaso and Rufus." She is deeply sensitive, and I like her very much. She told me about all the plants on her window sill, and was perplexed about why her very old rosemary plant is not doing well. A bonsai was a gift from a colleague, and she admitted she does not like it, as she sees the constriction of the plant in its pot as being cruel. She is hoping to retire in April, if the Italian government does not change the minimum age of retirement from 57 to 58. Roberto is retired from the postal service, I believe. They were very interested in my retirement options at Yale. Miranda is also suing the government for wages due her, as her salary is way below what other workers in her position make. Tommaso did not say it was gender discrimination, but I think it is, as there are very few women in her position. The married women here do take their husbands' names at marriage, but then continue to use their own surnames in daily and work situations. So all the married names on the buzzers' labels to the apartments here have two last names. And guess what the first one was that I noticed on the list? BINDI! Turns out Bindi is a very common surname in Italy. Who knew? Certainly not I.

We visited a man down the street who has two dogs and two cats, including a black miniature pinscher, very very very cute named Jotti. The dog and one of the cats were puppy/kitten together, and get along so well.

I am off to the American beach near here, as there is a huge US military base nearby, and I know almost no Italian.
Ciao, ciao!!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Italy Bound

Ok, all you lurkers, I've got my sitemeter installed and can tell people have been reading or looking at my blog, but not leaving a comment. How 'bout just leaving your initials so I know you've been here? Want to make it as easy as possible.

Got before-the-trip stress. I always wait till the last minute to pack. Went and bought a new pair of sneakers and a rain jacket for the trip. Expennnnnnnnsive! Oh, well, it's only money.

If I have a chance while I'm away, I'll blog a bit from my trip, but otherwise, see you on July 27!

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Isn't this photo that Rob took of one of the local foxes stunning? He's such a good photographer, and he caught this gal in such a great pose. He told me he was just driving on Route 146 one day, saw her, and took the photo from inside his car.

Went out to the Prospect house last night with DF, and she made some good suggestions. Bad news: my cell phone doesn't get reception at that house either!!! I can't stand it! DF said it was because there was a mountain right in front of the house, not a big mountain, but a hill that was probably blocking reception. The price of living rurally I guess. Met the next door neighbor, who was very chatty but seems very nice. Has lived there for 30 years, and knew the woman well who lived in the house I am considering. Into gardening, has a golden lab not seen during our visit, and has a big pond on her property. I'm still hoping for something along the shoreline, but it will take a miracle.

More bad news: I might have lyme disease again. Thought all these symptoms were just stress, but am going to see my doc this afternoon, get her to order some blood work, and get her to give me some antibiotics to take on my trip. I think I should start taking them prophilactically as the lab tests won't come back till early next week. Here's a list of my symptoms that can all be associated with lyme, for your information:

muscle/joint aches and cramps
clunk in neck/maybe jaw
vomiting, diarrhea
decreased appetite
sensitivity to cold
eye redness

I've no rash or hives or anything -- wait. That's not true. I have a rash on my very low back, right above the butt cleavage. Didn't connect it till just now. Oh, drat.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Swim Little Fishy, Swim

Ok, so I got myself to go to the pool and swam and swam. It was SO hot here today, and humid. How can I possibly move to Florida? The transplants down there say you get used to it. But I dunno. I feel so down and depressed. Nothing is getting through this cloud. Exercise is supposed to make one feel more alive, but not me, which is why I try to avoid it at all cost.

Tommaso called today to say he and his dad will pick me up at the airport in Pisa. His mom he said was all apologetic that she couldn't come to the airport, too, but I said that was not a problem. He said I could have his room and he would sleep in the study, and that it was cool there. I have no idea what to expect. I've got my Italian phrase book, and that's about it. I've been told that if you make an effort to say a few Italian phrases, the people are very pleased, even if you don't speak fluent Italian. Have to remember to bring some photos of my Sicilian ancestors to show Tommaso and his family.

Tried to do the directory update for Yale today, and ran into so many problems. Rachel and I will tackle it tomorrow.

My garden is doing well. The tomatoes love this hot weather.

Monday, July 09, 2007


This blog on blogger made me change to an upgraded template in order to install a site meter, but I can't figure the darn thing out. And it screwed up my last post, and the edit thingie won't work. Bleecchh. On the topic of bleecchh, I threw up last night. Rather early this morning. Woke up at 3am filled with worry, about the trip, about moving, about work, about money, had a headache, took some ibuprofin, and . . . hurled chunks. Rachel thought it was cause we were at the beach yesterday, and I got too much sun, but I was under the umbrella most of the time. I didn't even want to go in the water; stress makes me colder I think, and the water was just too cold. I usually love jumping in salt water, but I'm just a wreck these days. Did a bad junk food binge last night, too, which I'm sure contributed to me being sick. Ate better today. Overeating never solved anything.

Have to take Bindiloo to the vet AGAIN tomorrow to get her kennel cough shot. Her eye still does not look right to me, but two vets have said it is fine. The darn surgeon still hasn't called me back, after two calls. Television sucks. I want a crewcut, but better keep it a bit long since I'll be meeting people I've never met before, and don't want to freak them out. Have to go buy a pair of good sneakers before I leave. The teardown before the rebuild has taken place at the house I'll probably be moving into, and JA said he would really like me to live there. Nothing else has panned out near the shore, and I really don't want to move back into New Haven. Need a yard for these guys, these critter guys of mine. Gals.

I have to remind myself that nothing I'm facing is as bad as what many other people endure. Like the Iraq war. The major media doesn't even focus much on it anymore, which is abhorrent to me. Have to go to online sources to find out what is really happening. One thing's for sure: things are not getting better.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


Photo of the Grand Lunar and Gark at a Loons baseball game. They look happy.

Tried to go to my pool today but someone had hurled chunks and the pool was closed. Reached Rachel and went with her and Frances to their pool, which is not heated, and was very refreshing. Had dinner at a Japanese restaurant after, then talked to Rachel's neighbor who does the most gorgeous garden in his small yard. Flowers, plants, perennials, herbs. Had a blooming yellow clivia. And black bamboo. Very beautiful.

Went to Edgerton garden after and did some weeding and watered my garden there. Dahlia's are coming up, and cannas, and four o'clocks, and the patty pan squash that reseeded itself from last year is covered with flowers so the fruit should be coming in soon. Probably while I'm away.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Greece (and Italy)

Photo from Tommaso from his trip to Greece. I mean, the place REALLY looks like this. It's just astonishing how beautiful these whitewashed stucco buildings and narrow street town pathways are.

My friend RM from The Hague has been visiting all week, and we've had much fun. Had a small gathering of folks over for a cookout yesterday, then RM and I went to the video store and he was telling me a story about his dad, a funny story, and when we walked into the store we were both laughing hysterically. I can't remember the last time I laughed that hard. What a relief. He played the accordion for my guests and has been my helper with many small tasks around the house. He's such a great guy. Wish he lived closer so he could give me piano lessons.

Went to look at a condo on the beach in Milford with RM on Tuesday. Yuk. Two flights of cement stairs down to the water which was gross, and the condo only had windows on one side. Can't do that. Prospect is still looking like the best bet. Would like to get out there and clean up some of the gardens, but the temps are supposed to be above 85 degrees for the next week, when it isn't raining. Still trying to track down people who live in that area. So far, two. Rachel says she already sees herself out there, sitting on the deck, overlooking the overgrown pond.

Finally went to my accountant and had my 2006 taxes done. Getting a refund which will go to paying off my Master Card bill. She said if I reduce my 401K contribution by 15% I should be able to afford a $900 rent. I'm lucky I get a pension, I guess, cause I would never be able to live on the amount I have managed to save. I'm starting to understand what the economists mean when they talk about the "disappearing middle class." Either you are so poor that you get government assistance, or you are so wealthy you don't have to worry that much about money. The rest of us sort of live paycheck to paycheck. Something is wrong with this picture. I shouldn't have to have another person's income combined with mine in order to find a decent place to live, but that's the state I find myself in. A single income isn't enough.

Been swimming at the pool a couple of times. They have that awful thunder policy: after the last sound of thunder is heard, everyone has to wait one half hour before getting back into the pool. They've been keeping the water temp at 90 degrees, a little too hot for me, but good for the little ones who take lessons there. It's on the Branford harbor so sometimes the breezes make it kind of cool. Where will I swim in Prospect?

Off to Italy a week from Sunday. Have I started packing? Of course not! Gonna try to take carry on bags only. I remember I did that when I went to Greece. Found a couple of things I'd bought in Greece which no longer fit me. May send them to IKA.

The Indiana Jones madness is supposed to be over tomorrow. Good.

Saturday, June 30, 2007


Cut a large bunch of lavender blossoms from the Edgerton garden herb plot, and they are drying on the fireplace mantel. Reminded me of the impressive lavender farms on Vashon Island in Puget Sound. Last night was so cool, weeding the garden was a pleasure. PA was in the garden and offered me her tons of lettuce as she is off to Equador for a month. (I was just flipped off by a silver haired old lady with a 'Honk If You Love Jesus' on the bumper of her car. That's the tune they were just playing on Car Talk which I am streaming as I write.) BG was at the garden with her min pin Chiquita, and while initially Bindi growled at her, she settled down and now we have a play date planned for next week. I had just come from a short visit with Loren who was in New Haven helping a friend move. We were eating pizza at Amato's and quickly sharing updates. I like her so much. She graduated in Women's Studies a couple of years ago, and is one of the students whom I have stayed in touch with, one of the perks of the job. She is doing Teach for America in NYC, and has an article coming out in Radical Teacher, a very old periodical from the 1960's, which I think is very cool.

Before that Bindi and I were at a playdate with Jen and her black lab Gaia, as they will be hosting Bindi while I am in Italy (two weeks to go!). The last two days while I am away they will be kenneled, an experience Bindi has never had, but as long as she can be with Gaia I think she will be ok. Jen has a commitment in Cape Cod those days, has used this kennel, so I trust her judgement.

Got a haircut earlier in the day, and although I like the woman who cuts my hair, she is expensive and I think I have to change to someone less pricey. Boo hoo. Also visited the orthotic guy who says I need to get different shoes for my custom inserts, that the ones I'm using don't offer enough support. Uck. More money. But I liked him better than the other guy who originally made the inserts. Bad bedside manner. Had breakfast at Hidden Kitchen, who have the best blueberry pancakes. Hadn't been there in ages. Began the day by seeing a counseling client.

Today I'm going to a potluck party in Guilford hosted by a woman whom I first met when I put my housing ad on Craig's list. She has a basement two rooms available for rent, RIGHT ON THE EDGE OF A LAKE. But I can't do the stairs to the kitchen/bathroom, and the basement rooms, while very nice, have only one small window. The price is perfect for me, but I can't do it. Ho hum.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Otto and Ferdinand

I think I want an iPhone.

Went to the community garden yesterday afternoon to work on my plot, which has been out of control from lack of tending. I weeded and weeded and planted for four hours and was spent afterwards. But I had some wonderful connections and conversations with several gardeners who were also about. LS was telling me about all her health problems, and she said she had two knee replacements two years ago. I asked who her surgeon was and she said McCallum, the doc who does the knee surgeries with the guy I'm currently seeing for my knees. LS said she hated him, that he appeared unconcerned, didn't visit her in the hospital, and did the operation with a physician's associate, rather than another surgeon, and that one of her knees is still in pain. That cemented my feeling that I need to find someone else and get a second opinion. She also said the artificial knees put into her were too big for her body, as the joints "made for women," whatever that means (all women are the same size? all men are the same size? NOT!) were not available when she had the operation. Met up with TD, whose wife had passed away in January, which I had not known. He's a very kind man, and we talked about our shared belief that living, among other things, is about service and creating beauty. He was surprised that I have been single for so long, because, he said, I'm such a nice person. I said I have high expectations. We both laughed. PA was there with her two dogs, Otto and Ferdinand, and Bindi got to romp with them for a while. Very fun to watch them. Have to take Bindi back to the vet on Thursday as her eye is still not looking good. Vet left me a voice message in response to my message to her saying that the cloudiness in Bind's eye might have an ulcerated cornea. I can't afford that! Does anyone have any experience with pet insurance? Do purebreds have fewer medical problems than mutts? I hope it's just a persistent eye irritation that needs more aggressive treatment, not anything worse. Sweet little girl.

My office building is overrun by movie production crews and equipment. Thursday is the big day. Someone said Harrison Ford was in the building today. I feel like I'm supposed to be all excited and impressed, and yes some of it is interesting, but I can't get all worked up. Have bigger fish to fry.

The Prospect house is still in top running place, although I will be looking at an apartment near Westville this week. Rachel said, "But you don't want to live in New Haven, do you?" It's a first floor, and I would have people over my head, which would be horrible because I'm so noise sensitive, but she said it doesn't hurt to see what's out there. Living in New Haven would save me lots on gas, and I could take the city bus to work sometimes, and save parking charges, but the city bus is gross, and many of the people who ride it depress me.

Got a very sweet card from Scott yesterday. Thanks, Scott.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Perfect Guilford Day

Yesterday morning Frances and I went to Dudley Farm for the farmer's market, to see the sheep, goats, chickens, and oxen. Got handmade soap, candle, and jam for Tommaso's parents. Frances and I then went to the pool and swam for a while, after a quick stop at Subway for lunch. Then we stopped by All Pet's Club to visit the critters. I held a hairless rat, saw a perfectly round hamster, black and white, named Oreo, held a stinky ferret, then we played with Keeshound and Pug puppies. The Keeshound was a little shy, but that Pug was totally full of personality. Back home to meet Frances, made dinner, then off to the pool again for an astounding show of fireworks. Really quite impressive because we were so close to where they were being launched. Some of them felt like they were coming right at us. Frances fell asleep before they were over.

Friday afternoon I picked her up from school and she wanted to go to Fired Up! to paint some pottery. She chose two small rice bowls and made one for herself and one for her mom. I just watched and helped another little girl with her project, as I am now watching every penny. There was a man there with a ten week old Vizsla puppy that was gorgeous. Then we went to Shell Beach Road beach and Frances climbed on the rocks and looked for shells, and Bindi went into the water by herself for the first time. She was hopping like a bunny thru the shore grass, and came home smelling of low tide, rotten seaweed, and crab carcasses.

Went and visited Annette across the street this morning. We hadn't visited in quite a while. Then Rob came over and helped me install air conditioners. Then Bindi and I went for a playdate with Maddie, but Bindi was not into playing with her. I wonder if she has forgotten that Maddie was her buddy because it's been so long since we have visited. That was disappointing. Had dinner with Maddie's mom and her son, then came home.

Got an email this weekend from an old friend I hadn't heard from in maybe a decade. That was very nice.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Instant Getification

From some tv ad. Liked it. Feeling somewhat better today as I took my therapist out to Prospect to see the house I might rent. She gave me a lead on someone who lives out there who I have emailed to get a read on the area. Did I already say there is a small pond on the property that runs into a bubbling stream? Does that make up for not living near Long Island Sound? I will keep looking in the Guilford area, but if nothing comes thru perhaps I could view moving to the Prospect house as a rehearsal for Florida. Although I already know St. Augustine very well, and Prospect not at all.

Wireless is finally coming to my Yale office building. Can you believe that it wasn't already? Yale is so very weird. Next week on the first floor of my building the makers of the next Indiana Jones movie will be filming. Remember Dr. Jones was a college professor? Well, they are turning one of the classrooms into a movie set, and lots of New Haveners will be extras. Not me. Got enough on my plate, altho I do like the movies and Harrison Ford. I think he's a bit old tho to be doing an action flick. Maybe it will be more introspective and intellectual than the others. NOT!

Took Bindi to the vet today cause the conjunctivitis in her eye was back, and it looked bad even tho I had been using the ointment from last time. Vet said everything was ok, just keep using the ointment. I asked him to EAG, which he did, and didn't even charge me. Beautiful champagne colored standard poodle was there when we were. So gorgeous. One of the receptionists was interested in my housing notice that I asked her to pass around to the staff. She said she is in a bad marriage and she and her son need to leave. She asked me how I felt about kids, and that there was no way she could afford even $900. Don't know if I wanna share stuff anymore, tho. Am enticed by having a whole house to spread out in, just my junk. Could share if it was the right situation. I wonder if there is a Goddess of Housing and Shelter. Gonna go Google it.

Put the Dangler vintage stove on Craig's List to sell. Ok, to bed, and to read IKA's story.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Rome Pride

Photo of Tommaso in Rome at a Pride march. Someone caught him with a somber expression.

Hung out with T. where she is house sitting at her brother's house in Bethany. It was lovely. They have a pool, the day was warm, T. and I chatted about everything, ate guacomole with carrots and tomatoes, and fresh strawberries from Bishop's. And a big golden retriever for Bindi to play with. Then I drove out to the house in Prospect to check it out again. Such a nice house and land, but -- Prospect? I will keep it as a backup rental if nothing comes thru on the shore.

The Jackal Woman, Patricia Moehlman, stopped by to drop off some papers for her reappointment as a research affiliate with the WGSS program. She is so awesome. Just had back surgery last week and is going back to Tanzania in another week to continue her field work. Would that I had a fraction of her energy.

Went to see a cottage for rent on Long Hill Road this morning. Great location, tiny tiny place, stark, and king of ugly. Price was right, but no go.

Jim and I went to see "Waitress" last night. Uck. Not that good. Liked the relationship between the three waitresses and the names of the pies the main character made, but otherwise, uck. Then we went to Starbucks and I had decaf cappacino, which of all things wasn't hot enough. I took it back and the server gave me attitude, but made me a fresh cup "extra hot" as she called it. Jim is moving to Sacramento, CA, in September. Boo hoo.

Work party at Edgerton yesterday. As I am in charge of the herb garden, our group focused on that. Then J. took me out to the house he owns in Prospect.

Friday night Rob and I went to the diner, then to Ashley's for ice cream. Well, I didn't have ice cream as I had that for dinner at the diner, as I had already eaten.

I still feel awful.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Hanging In

I'm trying to get it together. It is hard. Going to see my old therapist tomorrow to see what has been stirred up to produce such deep feelings of devastation that I have. I know this will pass, but it's never soon enough. My friends have been great and encouraging, but I still feel absolutely overwhelmed and, i guess, homeless. I am thankful for my animals who bring me such comfort. For you astrology fans, I also realize I am going through my second Saturn return cycle, which can be very intense. Google Second Saturn Return if you are not familiar. Had lunch with Laura today and through my tears we were able to get some work done. Rachel will come tomorrow morning to help me clean. I forced myself to plant some mesclun and green beans in the mandala garden, but thinking of leaving it makes me want to cry all over again.

My barn having burned, I can now see the moon.