Thursday, May 31, 2007


that Mihaela made me. They are so beautiful.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Went to see the osteopath. Gonna do a three session trial, but the little bit she did at the first meeting has starting something moving in my neck. I still can't quite understand how it works. I'll ask her more.

The weather has been so beautiful, a couple of days really hot, but it's beautiful out here. Very lush.

Went to a hair appt. in Guilford with Karen, and altho i had just had my hair cut a couple of weeks ago, she was able to give me a temporary coloring, red, and a big discount on top of it. Nice.

Rachel and Mihaela came over on sunday and helped me clean out my rooms. The living room is piled with stuff that was on my bedroom floor, and I have no idea where to put it all. Maybe I can throw some out, and give the rest away. M. and I will talk soon about my staying or not. It's good to have all the plants outside; that clears up an enormous amount of space in my small room.

Knee doctor tomorrow morning, then Frances overnight tomorrow, then get her to school very early on Friday. And have a dentist appt. somewhere on Friday too. Garden is doing well, am eating fresh lettuce everyday from it. Cilantro is ready, and other seeds are sprouting up.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Wild Phlox

Guess what? We ordered the Red Bunny Booster Pack! We now have bunnies like the Sinister Bunnies which have force fields and the Congenial Bunny which carries Cabbage and Water! And the Timid Bunny who can fire weapons TWICE!
The New Weapons: Quite Irascible Differentiable Cheese Balls, the Grappling Hook, and the Defuger.
The new Specials: Dude, Where’s My Carrot, Bunny-to-the-Future, and Activate the Minilith.

Got a new hose for the garden so feel i can truly garden now, without fighting with a kinky dribbly one. Lots of things coming up, but my radishes made no fruit, just leaves, which are now going to seed. Had nice party for Rob last night. I brought undercooked artichokes, strawberries with agave nectar, garlic bread, and a runny lemon tart from Take the Cake. I was very tired from having gardened all day, and visiting Rachel and Frances in the morning. We were gonna go to Chihuahua meetup group, but our signals got crossed and we ended up just hanging out in her backyard.

Got a crew coming tomorrow to help me clean my rooms here. Rachel, Mihaela, Frances. M. might be back.

Almost have all the house plants out now. Lost two of them, but need to pare my collection anyway. The woods are full of blooming wild phlox, more than last year.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Would You Like Some Lyme with Those Aches and Pains?

Gross. Lyme tick. Or deer tick. Full of somebody's sucked blood. I occassionally have to remove these suckers from the critters. Ick and yuk. Found one unattached on my shirt, but have found none on my body or in my bed. Massage therapist suggested that some of my vaious aches and pains may be residual effects from having lyme and the two other microbes last summer. But supposedly the antibiotics are supposed to prevent any of those lasting effects, when the microbes are detected early enough. Still have the clunk in my neck left side, right elbow is very bad, left thumb joint, both knees, second toe on my right foot. MassTher said that part of my neck felt "inflamed" to her. My nutritionist has been telling me for months that she thinks my body is full of inflammation.

Let Bindi out while I was inspecting the garden hoses, which have to be replaced. She ran like crazy around the house, then came in when I was ready. Good dog.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Killer Bunnies

We have a new game called Killer Bunnies. It’s really fun. In the game... Well, I can’t tell you now but does this give you a hint: Use the kitchen whisk to kill the gleeful bunny. And this example: Use the Magic Spatula to stop something.

My nephew. He's been making up some cool games. Have to hear more about this one.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Anchor Plumbing

Sarah Strong, lady plumber. A tall drink of water, that one. Fixed the spigots; water water water for the garden. That's the boy scout badge for plumbing. Looks kind of sinister, doesn't it? Clean house tomorrow. Planning a birthday party for the Robs. Locked the keys in my car yesterday. Was late to see Dr. Artemis. Think I'm gonna try 3 months of every other day acupuncture treatments to see if some of my cartilage can start to regenerate. She claims she has saved people from surgery with this protocol. She said acupuncture is the only treatment that can regenerate nerves and cartilage. The orthopod will just want to shoot up my joints with plastic, then go slice out my old joints and put in new ones. Uck. Told Dr. Artemis to send me some published studies on this claim. My insurance will pay 70% of it, and if I can avoid surgery, I surely would like too.

Trying to get thru to Geico with my cell phone locked in the car was a nighmare. It took me forever to get to a human voice. Turned out the number in the yellow pages I was looking at was old. Which meant the yellow pages were old. I was in the parks department building, and they were swamped, so no great help.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Wages for Housework

In the 1970s, when I first got involved with the women's movement and feminism, there was a project called Wages for Housework that's main focus was to have women valued for the work we do in the home. I'm glad that this story has appeared, and it's a wake up call for all those mothers who think they don't do enough. (K, you hear me? : - ))

Survey: Moms' work would bring in $138,095 a year
May 3, 2007

(Reuters) -- When Tricia Himawan was a financial analyst, she worked 50 hours a week and earned about $75,000 a year. Now, she works, by her estimation, about 119 hours a week doing 11 different jobs, and, for 10 of them, she makes ... nothing.
"I work nonstop as a mother," says Himawan, of West Orange, New Jersey, as she breast-feeds her nine-month-old son Jonas and watches over 4-year-old Juliana.
If she were paid for her work as a mother, she would be earning almost $140,000 a year.

That is the conclusion of research conducted by, a firm based in Waltham, Massachusetts, that specializes in determining compensation. Himawan was one of 40,000 mothers who responded online to explaining what their job entailed and how many hours they worked. (Book urges mothers to stay in work force)
The typical mother puts in a 92-hour work week, the company concluded, and works at least 10 jobs. In order of hours spent on them per week, these are: housekeeper, day-care center teacher, cook, computer operator, laundry machine operator, janitor, facilities manager, van driver, chief executive officer and psychologist. By figuring out the median salaries for each position, and calculating the average number of hours worked at each, the firm came up with $138,095 -- three percent higher than last year's results. (Audio Slide Show: Evolution of motherhood)
Even mothers who work full-time jobs outside the home put in $85,939 worth of work as mothers, according to

"My work is my family right now, and my backbone is about to break," says Himawan, who now also works at home as a real-estate broker."My baby is on my hip 24 hours a day."

CNN's Jonathan Mandell contributed to this report.
Reuters contributed to this report.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Shoreline Soul

Our great leader: Angela Clemmons
Note to IKA: i'm nervous, too! 4pm, gonna get ready now.

8:03pm. Concert went well. Right now I'm watching the fox right outside my bedroom glass doors. She found the chunk of suet infused with bird seed that the squirrel must have knocked down from the tree and is pigging out. She saw me, but just took a look and then went back to her feast. She's not more than twenty feet away. I can see why people sometimes say Bindi looks like a fox, at least in the face: pointy ears, long snout, about the same size. And they chew the same. Oh what grandeur doth nature impart.

One woman at the church after the concert said, "You really seemed to be having a good time singing up there. You were really feeling it and you gave that to us." How nice is that? I have always depended on the kindness of strangers. Thanks, Blanche.

Didn't want to go home right away so went to Willoughby's in downtown Madison and had an Orangina and a piece of banana bread. Then went to Ocean State Job Lot and bought a small cat condo for the felines. It's heavy and pretty well made and was only $40, which is pretty good for those things. Came home, played outside with Bindi for a while, planted some Hawaiian ginger, then came in, which is when I saw the fox.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Cat Lamp

A photo of my cat lamp, bought several months ago, living on my desk in my Yale office.

Had a good time at the work party at Edgerton Community Garden this morning. It was cool and overcast, perfect for doing garden work. Since I'm still in charge of the herb garden, I spent my time weeding and assessing what did and did not make it thru the winter. Unfortunately, the scot's or scotch broom did not make it, and that was a disappointment. It lasted for about three or four years.

"Broom is a bitter narcotic herb that depresses the respiration and regulates heart action. It acts upon the electrical conductivity of the heart, slowing and regulating the transmission of the impulses. The young herbaceous tips of flowering shoots are cardiotonic, cathartic, diuretic, emetic and vasoconstrictor. The seeds can also be used. The plant is used internally in the treatment of heart complaints, and is especially used in conjunction with Convallaria majalis. The plant is also strongly diuretic, stimulating urine production and thus countering fluid retention. Since broom causes the muscles of the uterus to contract, it has been used to prevent blood loss after childbirth."

Then I went to the organic seedling sale and got two peppers, two eggplant, and four varieties of tomatoes. Most of the varieties of tomatoes I had never heard about. There was a small tag sale there, too, and the kids tried to get me to buy a furry dog coat for Bindi for $1.50. Of course I did, even tho it was a little big, but it had a fake snow leapard design! Then I spied an unused oil painting set, Grumbacher I think, very good, but i opened up one of the tubes and the paint wouldn't come out so thought they were dried up. One of the kids opened another, gave it a squeeze, and POP, oil paint all over the place! What a mess. Had to buy it then, even tho some had also gotten on the dog coat. Oh well.

Stopped at Edge of the Woods and ran into Denise, who was collecting donations for a peace project, and I mentioned the Peace Pagoda near Northampton which she knew nothing about.

Came home and took to my bed for a nap. It's cold out.

Friday, May 18, 2007


Here is the image that was on my ceiling yesterday. I figured out how to upload (download?) the photos from my digital camera to my pc. Been raining for two days. Good for the garden. More positive news about my being able to stay here, but it is not 100%. Missed a massage appt. today because it wasn't written in my book. I had the feeling I was forgetting something, but couldn't remember what. Off to buy organic seedlings at the Ecology Project sale, part of Common Ground High School. Supposed to have a work party at Edgerton tomorrow, but the forecast is for more rain.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Angel on the Ceiling

So it's about 2pm and I'm putting myself down for a nap, and I see on the ceiling of my bedroom a very intense reflection from somewhere, casting a celestial form with a bright light center and rays extended out from both sides resembling wings. I took a photo, and if it turns out I'll post it. It was a beautiful gift and I accepted it as such, a sign of hope and inspiration.

I couldn't fall asleep, unusual for me, I'm typically a good napper. But I hunkered down with Camilla and just rested before my six pm client. Had a client at 8:30 this morning, but for some reason my clock next to my bed was wrong, and I got up at 5:30 instead of 7:30. I noticed the clocks in the other rooms, so called the time on the phone, and went back to bed for another hour. Why would my bedroom clock be wrong when the other electric clocks were fine? Strange happenings abound.

The furnace cleaning guy came around 11am and I puttered around with bulbs and tubers and corms. While doing this I started to cough uncontrollably, so walked into the kitchen, drank some water, and noticed I was wheezing and having a bit of trouble breathing. I was obviously having some kind of allergic reaction to the soil or the mold on some of the plant material. I put on a carpenter's mask, went back to my task, and was fine.

Yesterday morning I woke up so depressed. I called my neighbor across the street and asked if she would come over and sit with me while I planted some things in the garden. She graciously did, and we had a nice chat while I planted parsley, morning glories, snow peas, zinnias, swiss chard, and basil. Then I drove over to Rachel's because it was her birthday, and we hung out for a while until it was time for her to go to dinner. I was hungry and asked if she had anything to eat, and she suggested some cheese crackers, like cheese nips, but Target's brand. She threw the box to me from the porch as I was sitting on the lawn and it hit me in the face scratching the skin and making me bleed! Hey! And the crackers weren't even that good. Her garden looks very pretty, but she was complaining how much work it is. And for sure it is. Her cat Ollie was out and about, he's mostly black with some white, and he made me miss DillBoy. Whaaaa! I finally got my new mouse pad that Frances made for me. It has a kitty on it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


My word for the day. Started out ok, then got to the office and the place is deserted!! Classes are over, I've got a bunch of stuff to do, but being here alone is a giant drag. Took Bindi to the dog park and no good dogs; one that stayed for about five minutes, and one that was walking around with diarrhea so thought I should get Bindi out of there. Can't find Tommasso and I have something special to give him, and he leaves tomorrow. Uck. These timed released Effexor I think aren't as good as the old brand name ones. Gonna call the doc. Made a doc appt. for my knees. Uck. Nobody reads my blog. I don't have enough friends to play with. Don't know if I'll have to move. Have a new physical sympton, a clunking noise in my neck. No tenants in my Florida house for months now. Property agent says it's because it's in a working class neighborhood and it's hard to find people who can afford the security deposit. What? Uck. Getting worried about money. Ok, think of something good to tell the one person that usually reads my blog and comments, K.
Got two students to come over on Sunday and help me dig up the rest of my mandala garden. Now to plant more. Rachel and Frances called me from New York on Sunday and sang, "Happy Doggie Mother's Day To You, Arf Arf!" to the tune of Happy Birthday which was very sweet.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Jerry and Fox

Driving into New Haven yesterday about 4:30 I saw the fox again on Rt. 146, walking on the side off the road. I hate to see her in the road; I am afraid she will be hit. When I first saw her, I thought it was a big cat, then was able to slow down and take a closer look. She takes my breath away. What a glorious wonderful animal. I trust her cunning will protect her.

Had a quick dinner with Tommasso at Yorkside -- grilled provolone and tomato and rye, with ice cream for dessert. He's leaving on Wednesday to go back to Italy, but I'll see him in two months. Hee hee hee. I'm going to Tuscany! Can't quite believe it. Ran into Moira at Koffee on Friday and was talking about the trip. She said, "Oh, you'll go to Venice and Florence," and I stopped her and said, "No, I plan to just stay around Pisa." She was horrified! She said, "You're just going to stay in Pisa for ten days? You have to go to Venice!" Then when I told her I was going to rent a car, she said, "You're going to drive in Italy?! Oh my god." I said, "Moira, are you a good driver?" She said, "I'm terrible." I said, "Well, I'm a very good driver, so I'm not worried about it. I drove in TRINIDAD!" To which her partner replied, "I drove in URAGUAY!" We laughed, as the point is if you can drive in those places, you can drive ANYWHERE. Then I said to Moira, "Say something nice about Italy to me." And she did.

The Jerry Seinfeld show was funny. Even tho my ticket was $80, I still couldn't see his face, which was frustrating. It was a HUGE theatre. The opening act was some guy whose name I can't remember. Tell me this: Why is it that Black comics always need to bring up the topic of kids and spanking, saying it's a good thing, or making a joke of it? I find it extremely annoying. This guy did the same thing. On the flip side, Jerry made some funny jokes about bribing his three kids to get them to do what he wanted, and it was far more amusing and intelligent, than making lame jokes about hitting. And spanking IS hitting, I don't care how you package it. Have come from a childhood where I was hit and spanked often, I know whereof I speak.

Anywho, Jerry was funny. I really enjoy how he makes jokes of the mundane, and the everyday, and is often so clever and perceptive as well as laughable. He voice wasn't so good, so that was slightly off putting, but I guess I'm glad I went. It's almost not worth it tho if you can't be in the first ten rows. They should have at least had video projections of his face up on the huge stage monitors. Oh well. Now I can say I saw him live.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Glossy Ibis

We had our staff lunch and all the healthy food and fresh strawberries and chocolate covered cherries (need some decadence) were gobbled up. WN is off to South Asia for the summer, GC to Sweden and India, me to Italy, Lea to India, M to Block Island, MH back to Romania, LW to Hungary, MT back to Vermont to make cheese. One of the perks of this job is having friends all over the world. But, would that they were all ten minutes away, and we could commune at will. Think I am almost close to nailing a non-stop flight from JFK to Pisa for about $1300. Which is very very good for this time of year, and how great is a non-stop?! Paid off to ask the faculty what travel agents they use.
Where's area code 305?

Sam sent me a photo of the glossy ibis who she says are right in my neighborhood this time of year. I had seen flocks of what I thought were some kind of vulture or wild turkey or something, and now I know what they are. Will drag out the binocs which are lurking in the trunk of my car and get a closer look when the tide is going out or coming in. They feed in the wet marshy areas before they dry out between ebb and flow.

Hey, I got the non-stop Delta flight nailed! Now I can feel excited! And non-stop is such a relief. I'll use my bucky pillow in a window seat and sleep and sleep. Ordered vegetarian meals. Lots of frequent flier miles. Woo-hoo! 305 is Miami, Ciao!!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Means non-injury. Raw. Vegan. Organic. Kosher. A wonderful restaurant in New Haven, and where our staff lunch will come from tomorrow. Black bean and rice, and roasted vegetable wraps, and salad. Yum. Big ol' WGSS party yesterday celebrating everybody. New acting chair next year, TL leaving, ED leaving, MP leaving. The transience of academia.

One more choir rehearsal till the concert. Was singing one song on Monday night and started to cry. The music and the singing resonates in the body I think, and releases tension, which allows tears to surface. And Angela is just so fine and funny and talented. But the women in the choir aren't that friendly. Lots are there with friends, and when I sat in the front row last time, the woman next to me didn't even make eye contact! Need to get out of the northeast . . .

Still trying to get my flights and car for Pisa, Italy. Have calls into four travel agents. Hopefully I can nail something down tomorrow.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Cinco de Mayo

Here's a photo of Buzz whose second birthday was Tres de Mayo. Another cute munchkin. Just watched "Babel" on dvd. Not bad. Held my interest. That's all I care about. Did lots of yard work today, lots of cutting back the ivy to reveal the bluestone making up the paths. It's satisfying when it's done, but this is the way I get ticks, I'm afraid. Dug up the primroses in my Edgerton garden yesterday after work, the ones I lifted from Scott's garden a few years ago, as grass had grown among them so profusely that there was no way to weed it out. Will plant them in the field space in the lawn here. Bindi and I went searching for the fifty foot dog training lead in two other places today. No luck.
And we didn't do our homework for class tomorrow. I hate homework. Always have. Did buy a very interesting green chair at a tag sale today for $10. Everything was being sold for whatever donation you wanted to make to the American Cancer Society. Also while riding in the car that old REM song came on, "It's me in the spotlight, losing my religion . . ." and for some reason it made me cry. Not that I need a good reason these days. Made dinner for M & M & S -- pasta with pesto, salmon, steamed cauliflower, salad, fresh strawberries sweetened with agave nectar. Yum.

We're gonna have a fifteen minute May pole celebration tomorrow, and then I might have some help digging in the Edgerton plot, as I can't use a shovel any more. Went to feed Bravo yesterday at Annette's, but he was nowhere to be seen. Too bad. He's a great cat.

M & S showed me the gravestone of Simon Leetes, which is right near the house, in what used to be a continuation of the front yard before route 146 was put in. Odd to find such an old gravestone all by itself so nearby. There were two deer nearby as well.

Got six lovely handmade munchkin cards in the mail the other day. Happy moment.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


My neighbor's cat. Get to visit and feed him while she is away this weekend. He was fine with me at first, but now hides when I go to visit. Hope to be able to win him back into my favor. Will bring treats.

Went to the new pet store in Branford last night looking for a "dog training lead." A fifty foot length of cord to put on the dog when she is in the yard and won't come when I call. Can easily step on the lead to get her. She did well at the first recall workshop last Sunday. But today she is still weird. Wanting to be on my lap the whole time I'm trying to work. I think she was traumatized by my office meltdown last week. Either she's trying to comfort me, or wants me to comfort her to make sure it won't happen again.

Anyway, there were so many adorable puppies at the pet store, to die for! I held a tiny black pom; way too cute. The dog lead was $35 so thought I'd check Agway, who only had thirty foot ones, so guess I'll have to bite the bullet.

Wrote a poem about caffeine for my sister in law, but don't know how to retrieve it from her blog comment site.

The trip to see the munchkins had many joyful moments even though there was some sadness. The kids loved the Bindster. I was able to go swimming in the local community center several days in a row. T's birthday and I's concert were lovely, and we kept busy going shopping, and attending a crafts fare, and going out to lunch, and playing with the pup, and going to the dog and skate park, and opening presents, and playing with the pop gun, and I can't remember what else. Saw a very nice Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit at the local Museum of Art and Science.

My lettuce, beets, parsley, and radishes are coming up, and my tulips are blooming their heads off. Have to get help spading the garden now, since my knees are in such bad shape, but . . . oh, well.

Rache and I went to the St. Ronan Street dog park yesterday, where Bindi played with a beautiful greyhound named Oberon. What long legs, what a long nose! Nice conversation with Obie's person. The weather has been glorious.

Went to gospel choir rehearsal the other night and was glad I did. Some of the songs are really gorgeous, but don't think I'll mention the performance to anyone, since I'm still just partly invested. But Angela is so fine, so funny, so talented, such a good teacher.