Monday, August 31, 2009

the package has been delivered

i woke up this morning on the dot of 4:30 am, almost the exact time, according to the airline's web site, meg's plane landed in dublin. i wont hear from her for a bit ... she has all sorts of logistical things to figure out.

today is libby's last day of summer. today is jake's first day of school. today i'm putting the Angel Way proposal in the mail.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

a thought for my moo

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." -- Anaïs Nin

all her bags are packed...

im not sure if meg's ready to go but a plane just flew overhead. im thinking that's a Sign.

will you miss me, mommy, asked meggie wistfully, my baby who i recognised from birth as being so much like me.

honey, i said gently, you're 22.

it's not that i won't miss her... it's that i know it's time for her to go. every fledgling has to fly. i'm lucky, in that my love for solitude and space means that i anticipate my empty nest more than a lot of other women i know. and now that i've been a mother for nearly 30 years, i've come to understand that this is a job that never really ends - the breaks just get longer.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

saturated saturday

it's a perfect day to sleep in... with the temperatures fallen below 60 and a gray, drizzly rain i think should be called grizly. Beloved and i did just that - lying in til after TEN! i can't remember the last time i did that.

today's meg's last day home - we've already gone shopping to pick out colors and ideas for the redecorated room she's going to come home to. next on our agenda is a movie - District 9 - and then dinner at our new favorite italian place, amici's in avon.

i finished the chapter part of our Eating.. the Angel Way proposal. If the finished manuscript is approximately 35,000 words, we have a good 25% to submit along with our proposal. my goal is to pick the finalized copy up from karen's house on monday afternoon and take it directly to the post office. it will feel good to have something new in front of my agent.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Friday, August 28, 2009

finally friday...

and it feels like fall. i woke up to a hollow roaring in the trees. it was faint, and quickly followed by the swish of heavy leaves, but i heard it nonetheless. the air, when i walked the puppies, had just the edge of a bite.

don't let it be september, moaned a friend the other day til i wanted to throttle her.

this morning, the last morning of baby jake and total chaos, i watched the mist rise off the pond, and listened to the crows calling in the trees. it can't be september fast enough for me.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

sic transit gloria mundi

in a bizarre way i wasn't surprised to wake up to find that ted kennedy died. today's The Day my grandmother's house sells at last, according to the settlement documents - today's the day the buyers sign the papers and turn over the check.

today, at least for me, an era truly does come to an end.

are you ready, asked Beloved anxiously this morning, not even trying to conceal his anticipation. can you give it up and let it go... that empty old husk of a house?

it hurts, but i can do it. this morning, i printed out my Wish List and started deciding on priorities, making lists, and other plans. it's time to take the energy that's been held in that old house and turn it into Something Else.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

tuesday tootsie-day

one consequence of my morton's neuroma diagnosis is that i've been spending a lot of time with my feet. a few weeks ago, i ran across an article online that suggested for a culture that thinks nothing of spending fifty dollars on face cream, we woefully neglect our feet.

thursday, i go for another acupuncture appointment, and it occured to me that it's time to pay some attention to not just how my feet feel, but how they look too.

i gathered my equipment - always important - and began with a quick buff of the ped-egg. i removed the remnants of old polish, then soaked both feet in a warm bath while i made up a scrub of epsom salt and hydrogen peroxide to remove the stubborn spots a summer spent in sandals, flipflops and barefeet has conjured. i rubbed this on with half a lemon and let the mixture soak in a for a few minutes, before scrubbing it off with my trusty nail brush. by that time my feet were as pink as the day i was born (well, maybe not quite that pink, but nearly) but i decided to treat them to some of rose's face wash - it can also double as a mask. after the clay worked its wonders, i clipped and filed and slathered on a coating of nivea so thick it took an hour to soak in. right now im still deciding if i want to polish my toes.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Monday, August 24, 2009

just another manic monday

the end appears to be in sight. meg's managed to pack four months of clothes into one very large and one medium suitcase, a feat of which im extremely proud - considering she needed the same amount of space to squeeze a week's worth of clothes to go to the beach.

i like to travel light - if i can't carry it comfortably, i don't need to bring it with me. an unexpected benefit from meg's shoulder surgery is that she's been forced to listen to me to some extent and limit the amount of clothing she packs. for example: "no more than six long-sleeve shirts," i said. "SIX?" she whimpered. "i have 14 i want to take."

libby's turned the corner -she woke up feeling nauseous but the fever and the headache were gone. the nausea was gone by supper time - she managed to help Beloved eat the chicken parmigiana he brought back from brooklyn.

baby jake was here today, and he's really learning to talk. when he saw buddy he said "puppa." when he saw sam, he said, clear as day, "TWO!" when we walked the puppies, and a plane went overhead, he pointed up and said, "PLANE!" as the plane disappeared into the sky over the trees, he waved and said, "bye-bye plane." on the way in, he paused at the door, and said, "need help nana." when i got my vacuum he went and got his, and actually waited, poised, for me to begin. the minute i started, he did too. it kept him occupied for a good 20 minutes. it's too bad, as i said to his mommy later, that by the time he's old enough to run the big vacuum, he probably won't be quite as enthusiastic.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

slacking off

i spent yesterday doing some serious slacking. libby was sick - bit by the same bug that got a bite of baby jake - and meg was busy packing. katie wasn't feeling well herself, so we never made it to the movies.

meg and i watched a Haunting in Connecticut on television though, and i have to say it wasn't QUITE as awful as i'd been led to believe. at the moment of the Big Reveal, though, when all the bodies came tumbling out of the walls, i had to laugh when meg turned to me and asked: "but wouldn't that have been making a horrible smell all along?"

that's my baby girl.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

on the road again

at least, Beloved is. the situation with his mother has demanded that he return to the Land of His People, as he likes to call brooklyn. it's a very long day trip - three hours in the car one way, and then a lot of zipping up and down the avenues of sheepshead bay. he always brings me lobster from fiorentino's, a classic old italian place where the waiters still drape white napkins across their black-clad arms and never write anything down.

libby and meg and i had plans to see the movie District 9 - it looks like one of those sf films that offer social commentary in the way only speculative fiction can. but libby, alas, seems to have been bitten by the same bug that took a bite out of baby jake last week - she spent yesterday alternately shivering and sweating with buddy curled up beside her.

at any rate, i have a few hours calm before another storm - there's an argument brewing between meg and katie im going to have to mediate.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

amazing grace

sometimes, you just have to trust the Angels.

it was odd how i was expecting to see both my former business associate and the friend who showed up to have tea with her at the same time the Writers' Circle got underway. the benefit of Listening isn't necessarily avoiding unpleasant encounters - but it sure helps to be prepared.

i was also correct that a dear friend was suffering from a deep emotional release, a release i precipitated by the most hesitant of questions: "have you thought about getting a dog?"

for this lady, the loss of her two beloved pets was as wrenching as the loss of two children. i knew the answer she was going to give me before i asked her the question, which is why i was so hesitant about bringing up the topic. she had already told me she couldn't stand the idea of being a pet-parent again. her days as a dog owner were over.

no they aren't, said the Voice, at the time.

but the lady didn't ask me what i thought one way or the other, and the Voice didn't suggest i convey this information so i simply acknowledged what i heard and let it pass.

until the idea occured to me out of the blue one day to look at is a great website where you can adopt a pet from a shelter or a rescue. we found buddy at bandit's place (please scroll down) via petfinder. ostensibly, i was browsing to see if there were any beagle puppies i could possibly talk Beloved into. (i want to replace my rugs in a couple years and i figured it'd be better to get a puppy before we did that, than after. Beloved's response to this idea was: annie, are you crazy?)

that's how i came to read about romeo.

romeo is a beautiful chocolate lab who was kept chained on a 12-foot fence by a family who ignored him. for nine years. while he went blind. rescued by the word of a Good Samaritan, romeo's waiting for a place to foster him. i thought maybe we could do that. (are you crazy, annie? asked Beloved.)

the more i thought about it, the more i realized it wouldn't work - the stairs which lead to the front door are steep and without a railing and so dangerous i don't let baby jake climb up or down them unescorted. a blind dog wouldn't have a chance, unless he'd grown up and been acclimated in such an environment. i reluctantly acknowledged romeo wasn't for me.

but there's your friend, suggested the Voice, helpfully.

she doesn't want a dog, i said.

why not ask her? the Voice suggested. just ask her, then see. how she answers the question will tell you what to do next.

and if i'm not clear on that, can i count on YOU? i asked, dubiously, as i typed the most innocent-sounding question i could frame at the end of a very long email about lots of other things: PS. have you ever thought about getting a dog?

i really wasn't surprised when the answer i got back was a long and impassioned defense of all the reaons no. (for someone who said she hadn't thought about getting a dog, i noticed she sure had thought up a lot of reasons why not.)

there, i told the Voice. i told you. she doesn't want a dog.

you didn't ask her if she wanted a dog, the Voice said. you asked her if she'd thought about wanting one. clearly she has.

so now what, i said.

just wait, said the Voice.

why'd you ask me about the dog, asked my friend when i saw her a few days later.

i don't remember exactly what i said, but the upshot is that the lady in charge of romeo is emailing my friend back tonight and while i don't know for sure that the outcome will be exactly what i would like it to be (i may indeed be crazy), my deepest sense is that of it, Something Good will come.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Friday, August 21, 2009

into the home stretch

a recent article i read posed this question: are you a summer mom or a back-to-school mom? believe me, hands down, i'm a back-to-school mom.

with all due apologies to all my teacher friends (goddess bless you and keep you germ-free) one of the happiest days of my year isn't the first day of school... it's the SECOND day of school when it starts to sink in that the kids will keep going back.

don't get me wrong - i love summer. at least, i love MY idea of summer: long lazy days, weeding lovely herb gardens, dabbling in artistic endeavors, splashing in warm, gentle, clean waves, reading wonderful books and sipping delicious cold concoctions and infusions with my feet up.

when i was a kid, summer was the season i associated with words like staying in bed, books, and beach. since i've had kids of my own, summer has become the season i associate with words like "mom, s/he called me a (insert insult of your choice)," "mom, i'm bored/hungry/bored" and "mom, are we there yet?"

the article suggested that the difference was because some moms prefer structure and some moms don't. i guess it's not PC to say you like the peace and quiet.

so in the spirit of Aloha Friday (that's where you ask a question to your readers rather than write a whole blog) what about you, Gentle Reader, parent or not? are you a summer person or a back-to-school person? and why?

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

it's an Ask Annie Wednesday...

over at Sited & Blogged... go check out some thoughts on understanding dreams...

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

there's rosemary... that's for remembrance

it all went as well as it possibly could go, in a weirdly wonderful way. the Signs were plentiful...from the three perfect black shells and one black feather Beloved and i found on the beach before we tackled the attic, to the two white feathers i found on the way to the signing - it wasn't a closing because the paperwork glitch delays things til thursday - to the enormous clam shell Beloved found in the surf afterwards.

the treasures remaining in the attic were worth going back forth - a journal i wrote at 15, my grandmother's high school yearbook, the stool from the back kitchen. it was the most useful piece of furniture in the entire 25 rooms, i explained to Beloved, as i carried my trophy, triumphant, to the car. my brother and i used to fight over this stool. (it pleases me no end i won.)

i treated myself to some serious retail therapy - a dress and scarf from my favorite dress shop, an embroidered jacket-sweater from my favorite head shop. i indulged in all my favorite foods - black and white milkshakes, taylor pork roll, shrimp, and flounder caught off the pier and fried golden-crisp.

after i signed all the papers, Beloved and i drove out to the cemetery to see "the folks" as i liked to say when i'd drive my grandmother out there.

i did it, roey, i said, as i dug the hole. just as you wanted.

in the jewish religion, said Beloved, with just a hint of hesitation, as i patted the dirt around the rosemary, when you visit a grave you leave a rock. if you don't mind, i brought two from pond house - from our house.

this is one of the reasons i love him. go get them, i said.

and furthermore, the war will end... blessed be.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

down the shore, everything's all right

as i suspected, it was only a minor paper-processing glitch that's holding up settlement. according to our agent, mister bready, the lawyer on the buyer's side made some sort of mistake: of the ten people in the world i don't like, she's three of them, mister bready told Beloved.

so we're headed down to the shore today, to check the attic one more time, to attempt to take some cuttings from my holly trees. it's the holly trees that bother me most, and as i was writing this, sad to say good-bye to the trees, i very clearly heard a Voice say, "what makes you think the trees wish to say good-bye to you?"

i realized then that my relationship with those trees exists irrespective of any boundary or deed or title drawn by humans with our silly ideas about ownership, that the trees are as much a part of the relationship as i am, and that they have an energetic Voice that's as viable - if not as audible - as mine.

i've been mourning the loss of something i don't have to lose.

i listened very carefully to what They said to do in order to make the cuttings survive. and an addendum to the bill of sale is that in the event the new owners cut down the trees, the wood belongs to me.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

off to the races

despite my most fervent hope, i didn't wake up this morning and find that the cancelled settlement was all a bad dream. on the other hand, i did wake up to find Beloved in a much more sanguine state of mind. i need the beach, he said, at some point.

and believe me, so do i.

but first, we race. or, rather, we cheer, for Mother Superior and her dragon-boat team of breast-cancer survivors, the Machestic (get it?) Dragons. in just an hour or so, Beloved and i are wending our way to the hartford riverfront where we'll meet up with my sister.

before we leave, i have cakes to make... two of them.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Friday, August 14, 2009

kicked in the teeth

at least, that's how it felt when the attorney who's handling the settlement at the shore called to say it was off. Beloved did the armageddon thing - automatically assuming the deal was off. he says he's being realistic. i say he's jumping to conclusions.

now we may not go to the beach... there's no point going down there to celebrate something that may not happen.

as Mother Superior was quick to remind me, my grandmother never made anything in life easy. why should we expect her to be any different in death?

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

all i did today

i took care of paperwork.

i finished cleaning meg's room, the laundry room, meg's bathroom, and the entry. the rest of the house, other than my writing room - just needs tidying.

the menu is planned for saturday - im expecting a small group ... just ten.

i packed up spring and late winter decorations.

i planned my Eating... the Angel Way talk im giving this evening at passiflora in new hartford (it's last minute, but come if you can). i even packed up our new brochures for our new reiki practice to bring to ruth.

i met Beloved for a drink and enjoyed his company after work this evening.

i treated my feet to copious of amounts of reiki and they continue to improve - i rate the pain in each foot at no more than a .3 despite two long days of heavy cleaning. i'll share more about the reiki tomorrow.

and, i had an Idea... one of the best kinds of Ideas... the kind that are meant to be Shared. blessed, blessed be. :)

pitter-patter, pitter-patter

when i was little, one of my favorite poems was about the rain, that "falls on umbrellas here, and on the ships at sea." i have to confess that i really don't mind rainy days.

i like the sound of falling rain. there's lot of things you can't do in the rain, and so - whether or not this is actually true - to me a rainy day always feels like there's less i HAVE to do.

if only that were true today.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

red sky at morning

the eastern sky had a rosy pink flush this morning that reminded me of the old weather predictor - red sky at night - sailor's delight... red sky at morning - sailors, take warning.

today i stay home and catch up... the delivery of the refrigerator disrupted my flow. today i clean meg's bedroom because that's where Mother Superior will be staying. i don't mind doing it, because meg's room is on my list to spruce up while she's away in ireland. but meg, goddess bless her, despite an inborn fastidiousness of person which led her to use a fork at nine months because she hated getting her fingers dirty, is oblivious to things like dust.

so this morning its batten down the hatches and full speed ahead.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


it's 2:22 and so far not a glimpse of my new refrigerator. the old one's emptied, the food packed in insulated bags with ice packs, wrapped in blankets. and i have the air conditioning cranked unusually high.

according to doreen virtue, angel lady extrordinaire, 222 is a number used by the angels to convey messages. 222 happens to mean "don't quit before the miracle happens."

i'm trying... heaven knows im trying.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Monday, August 10, 2009

muggy monday

although it doesn't feel like i've gotten much done, i have already crossed half the items off my to-do list for the week. it's hot today...for the first time in a long time, it feels like summer. the puppies have been camped out in front of the air conditioner vents all day.

but at least i feel i've made progress.

i've cleaned zones 2, 3 and 4. there's nothing like starting the week off with a clean bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. i also got a third of the final edits done on my Eating the Angel Way book.

in terms of how my feets are - thank you to all the Gentle Readers who inquired after them - my left foot is pain free and my right foot feels ... well... weird. the chiropractor agreed that there could well be a tiny piece of glass embedded in it, and encouraged me to try old fashioned epsom salt soaks and black drawing salve. so i'm getting around - slowly. oddly, the shoes that feel the best are my supportive flip flops.

tonight's my first reading in my new space. tomorrow im having my hair cut, and then camping out waiting for the new fridge to come.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

and furthermore, the war will end.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

tomorrow is another day

there's nothing like a good wallow. and if, at the end of it, you can console yourself with a call to your daddy, and go to sleep wrapped in a shawl your mother knit you, i don't think things can ever be that all bad in your universe.

so i woke up this morning feeling much more optimistic, and in fact, have spent the last half hour creating a "wish list" of all the wonderful things i intend to do with the proceeds of the house. of course there's way more on the wish list than there is money in the house, but i see this as a long-term plan.

today i hope to make some progress on some of my shorter term plans for the next few days. my mother's arriving on friday evening, and we're hosting a birthday party for her and my stepdad on saturday. this all coincides with the return of the children and our leaving for the settlement. so my sense is that i better make the most of the next five days.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

hello, darkness, my old friend

i woke up in tears this morning. the air was as sharp as hecate's breath - autumn's in the wind. this year, summer's been more elusive than sweet, and feels more fleeting than ever.

why are you crying, asked Beloved.

i don't know, i answered, as i fled. men can be wonderful for a lot of things but when i want unconditional comforting, there's nothing like a dog.

for more than an hour i cried, while sam and buddy licked my face and snuggled close and howled softly right along with me. at some point it occured to me i was crying exactly the way a child cries, and that what i was crying about were all the things over which i'd had no control.

i wasn't there when my great-grandfather decided to put the house smack on the corner of one of the busiest intersections in ocean city. i wasn't alive when all the emotional sturm und drang that created the situation that led to my parents' divorce went on. i wasn't responsible when my grandmother was allowing the place to fall into ruin.

at some point i recognized that all the things i'm upset about ... aren't things anyone can do anything about. to paraphrase gerard manley hopkins, it's annie i mourn for.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Friday, August 7, 2009

R.I.P. roey

a year ago this morning, the world woke up, and my grandmother didn't. i would be lying if i didn't admit it was with a great sense of relief.

i don't know too many people who get to be both grandparent and grandchild at the same family party. it was not a line i walked with any relish. yet in retrospect, i see that this dance across five generations, difficult as it may have been, offered me a view of the Big Picture most people never have a chance to see.

but my grandmother wasn't a typical grandmother - she didn't bake cookies (though she'd buy them for me), she didn't cuddle or kiss or sing. she was the embodiment of tough love and living proof that that which does not kill us makes us strong. that i was her "chosen one" was like being adopted by a cobra - you just never knew where or when it might turn on you.

my pet name for her was commander.

in her last years, my grandmother seemed to enjoy most of all sending me to fetch things for her from all corners of a house the size of a battleship. the first time i brought my little beagle, she trotted after me quite eagerly everywhere i went ... for the first half hour of our three day visit. then sam parked herself in the hallway in the middle of the house, content to watch me rush back and forth. i remember how she wagged her tail every time i passed as if to cheer me on. i could always count on leaving the shore at least five pounds lighter than when i arrived, because going to see my grandmother was more like boot camp than vacation.

but that which does not kill us does indeed make us strong. my experience this past spring with my former business associate showed me that from my grandmother, i've inherited the ability to cut a cord when it needs to be cut. if i'm a bit more judicious in applying that ability, i know i've had a lot of blessings my grandmother didn't.

so rest well, commander... we've both earned it.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

a year, less a day

last night i dreamed about my grandmother. she arrived for a visit looking ebullient, wearing a white fur coat with black spots that in retrospect i recognize as ermine. her hair was arranged in a fifties beehive, and i noticed something very strange about it when i got up to take her coat.

it was dark in the back, dark as mine used to be, dark as hers used to be in the fading photographs we have of her long-ago youth. while her face remained framed in the snow-white powder puff i'll always associate with her, even around her ears, the color was obviously coming back.

wow, roey, i said. you're getting younger...look at your hair.

oh, nanny dear, she said, where i am we get younger every day.

i woke up feeling visited, and wondering if perhaps this is one of those metaphorical nails ive been feeling in my foot. just yesterday, Beloved came home and told me that settlement on my grandmother's house has been scheduled for august 17th. the curtain falls on this backdrop of so many memories, the impetus even, for this blog, at last.

this is what my grandmother wanted. she wanted the house sold, even as she could not bring herself to leave it. she didn't want it to pass down the line, she didn't want it to be the ancestral home. she couldn't do it, and so i - ironically the least capable of all the possiblities - must.

just this morning, in my meditation, i asked the Angels why it's come to me, when it's so difficult for me, and if it's because im the one who - because of Beloved's prodigious attention to detail and financial acumen - can.

no, annie, They answered gently. it's because you're the one who cares.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

morton's neuroma.. pt 2.. or,

more about my feet than you ever wanted to know.

according to everything i've read this is a fairly common condition. (if it's so common, i asked myself, how come i haven't heard of it? and then i thought about all the people i know who complain about their feet.)

at any rate, after a quick browse through some of my own books, and another glance through the internet, i've decided on a five-prong approach - one for each toe. :)

first of all, it seems obvious that if you want to decrease the stress on the nerves of your feet, the first thing to do is to reduce the load they have to carry. like most of us, i could lose ten pounds and not miss it. so for the sake of my poor aching feet, i will summon up the willpower to say no to some of the more indulgent things i eat - like sweet potato fries and cream in my coffee (i'll lighten up to whole milk). in terms of activity, that will more of a challenge. however, my yoga routine is approximately 22 minutes on the floor - no weight bearing required. and once my daily level of activity is tolerable - i intend to add walking... slowly. but while these are longterm intentions, i have found i do better with small and concrete goals. my goal for the next three days, therefore, is to make the more weight-loss likely food choice, to follow the Angel Way Guidelines religiously - pardon the pun - and to do my yoga routine twice a day.

the second prong of my approach includes reiki and accupuncture. im calling my chiropractor today for an accupuncture appointment. i spent last night giving myself copious amounts of reiki.

the third prong involves gel pads, orthotics, and ice packs under my feet when i write. im also going to find a foot exerciser thingy so i can massage my feet while writing. (i think that qualifies for multi-tasking.)

the fourth involves aspirin and ibuprofen, judiciously and preventatively, as well as consultations with some of my herbalist and homeopathically minded friends.

but the fifth is the most important, and the one that might take the most time, because it involves understanding what the pain means, and the lesson it's bringing me. this is the piece most often neglected and overlooked, especially in western medicine as it's practised today. like the subconscious, the body has no words. it speaks in aches and twinges, rumbles and sighs, and i believe that all our woundings are felt and manifested on every level of our beings.

so what does it mean that the pain feels like a nail in each foot? to what have i been nailed - willingly or otherwise?

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

morton's neuroma

according to the foot doctor i went to see today, that's what's causing the pain in the balls of both of my feet. he offered to inject cortisone... i said... um, thanks but no thanks, and went off with a pair of gel pads and the admonition... i never heard of treating morton's neuroma with gel pads.

of course not, i thought, as i bid the nice doctor goodbye. you've never met me.

of course i have no intention of treating the problem with just gel pads. however, now that i know i don't have arthritis, i don't have a piece of glass embedded in my foot and i know what it IS... i can begin to treat it myself.

morton's neuroma involves the main nerves in the ball of the foot. nerves respond well to all manner of alternative treatments, including accupuncture, accupressure and reiki. it also feels a lot better after a couple of aspirin and an ice pack. additionally, i will become a lot more serious about dropping a few pounds than i was before... i can say no a lot better for the sake of my aching feet than i can for the sake of a smaller pair of jeans. and now that i know what the problem is, i can tailor my activities around it.

so stay tuned... according to some sources i read on the internet, morton's neuroma is one of those things that "won't respond to conservative treatments."

we'll just see about that.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Monday, August 3, 2009

pride and prejudice...

...and zombies (by jane austen and seth grahame-smith, Quirk Books, 2009).

they'll publish anything these days, sniffed the bookstore clerk.

from your mouth to god's ear, i thought, as i shrugged in answer. since according to the facebook quiz i took a few months ago, i have a 98% chance of surviving a zombie apocalypse, i was hoping to get an idea of what i could be in for.

leaving aside the question of the desecration of a classic - that clerk apparently never read the miserable excuse for a story the publisher had the audacity to call the sequel to Gone With the Wind - Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a wildly funny romp through two wildly divergent types of literature. from the moment the Bennet sisters band together in their well-choreographed Pentagram of Death and slice through a horde of zombies which have invaded a ball, i was hooked.

elizabeth doesn't just prove she has wit, she proves she can keep her wits when confronted by shambling "unmentionables" and the act which seals our hero and heroine's love isn't a kiss, but a fight against a group of zombies who've stumbled into a cauliflower field and have mistaken the cauliflower for brains.

this was one of those books that i couldn't read in public because it made me laugh out loud too much.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

what i call foresight

one day while shopping at marshall's when meg was 13 years old and still called me mommy, she brought me a dress off the clearance rack, marked down to $20. in those days, a shopping trip to marshall's equalled only a rare and sporadic indulgence, and 20$ frequently meant the difference between gas and lunch money.

"can i have it, mommy," she asked, modelling it for me outside the ladies' dressing room.

it was a dress that she wasn't quite ready to wear, anywhere, any time. and yet, i could see as she strutted unevenly before me, that some day, she not only would be ready to wear it places, she would wear it well.

"you can have it," i said, "on one condition."

"what's that," she asked.

"this isn't a dress-up dress,"" i answered. "you're only to wear this when you have a real place to wear it to. and if you're not sure, you ask me. okay?"

"okay," said meg, who's always had an eye for a bargain and a keen sense of style.

and so we bought the dress.

last night, she hauled it out from the back of her closet and sashayed up to show me. "what'd you think, mom?," she said, turning this way and that. "can you believe it finally fits me? i was never able to wear it before, because it just didn't fit. it was always too big for me. but it's not bad for $20 bucks, 9 years ago."

"honey," i said, "i think that's what you call investment dressing." my little girl is sure growing up.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

dancing on lughnasa

the sun shines, fittingly, on lammas, or, the feast of the great god llew, or lugh, on what was once one of the great fire festivals of celtic europe. lammas, or lughnasa, is the feast of the first harvest. it falls midway between the summer solstice and the autumn equinox.

today, a year ago, my grandmother began her dying. today, Beloved heard that an old college friend has commenced hers. today we took furniture from the storage unit to my new office space. tomorrow Beloved goes to brooklyn again, to clean out more of his mother's closets.

today i went back-to-school shopping with meg and libby. despite the bright sunshine, despite the heat, the air felt distinctly like fall.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.