Saturday, October 31, 2015

After yesterday's crazy, dangerous weather its been good to have a dry if muggy Halloween.  And after my  early sense that I hadn't put enough focus on Halloween this year, it was good to spend the morning doing yard clean up and a little decorating, then going out wiht Ruth and Liam this evening before handing out candy at tthe door. Our street has really regenerated. Ruth and Liam and I dressed up in Faire garb and walked down to a neighborhood potluck. Yum! I think the young families on our street cook better than my friends and I did when we were the young families.  A treat was meeting a neighbor I haven't met before who had her house a street away built 55 years ago when there was nothing where my house is now. We've been 38 years in this house now and the neighborhood is on a definite second crop of little ones. I love it  Bob and I. gave out a bunch of candy and watched kids and adults alike parade by. My favorite adult costume was worn by the guy who stuck a giant tomato cage over hs head and body, festooned it with bean plants, and stuck on a sign "human bean". The guy with the white T shirt inscribed with "Error message Number 476 - Can't find Costume" and the woman with "Identity Thief" written on the back of her shirt and about twenty name tags with different names on them on the front wasn't bad either. I enjoy Halloween because it gets neighbors talking and out on the street and because it encourages a sense of play in those adults who like "dress up". My dress up box was always one of my favorite playthings. Some things never change.  I still think I might try to host a witches tea next year.  We'll see.  At a  more important level, I want to see that I take more of a leadership role in my life and MAKE things happen when I really want them to instead of following along and letting others take the lead and the responsibility too much of the time.

I also am thinking about the more uncanny sense I have about this time of year.  I talk about the veil between worlds being thin and our beloved dead being somehow closer than they usually are.  jewish girl that I am, I'm going to the All Saints mass with friends in the morning.  It just feels right and is a service i have always loved.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Record Rain for one day in Austin

I think its worth recording here that we had record rainfall for one day in Austin today - fourteen inches at the airport!  I went into work truly soaking wet for the first time ever, and during my ten o'clock phone session the rain was so loud on the skylight that I had trouble hearing myself. Apparently it was better on the other end of the phone!  Fortunately the rain slowed way down before noon, but there was flooding and numerous road closings anyway.  Tracy and his trainee are still stuck in the truck on I 35 because the highway was flooded near Troy/  They were supposed to be in San Antonio by five and are just starting to move north of Austin now at eleven thirty.   Liam's school was evacuated into the sanctuary of the synagogue where they rent space (and Liam's math group was forgotten and left in the classroom for too long.  Eventually someone remembered the math group and got them into the sanctuary for the tornado warning.  Thank goodness the tornado didn't hit!)   Tonight the holding pond is full but not flooding and Shoal Creek is not as high as it was at noon.  We may have more rain in the morning.  I'm glad Sweets and I got our walk in before the rain started up again.It's ironic that we were expecting major weather last weekend because of Hurricane Patricia and just got rain.  Today it was just supposed to rain and we got major weather.  I'm one of the odd ducks who kind of likes it that weather, even these days, is not completely predictable.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Tonight I'm thinking about Halloween weeks past when costumes, mine or my kids, were a big deal and brought much joy.  I love dressing up and setting days and nights apart, but I don't seem to take a leadership role in doing it when others aren't.  At least I'm not this year.  The absence of costume plans makes me a little sad.  We'll have to see if I do anything about that during these next two days.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


I don't know what's wrong with my hand hands and brain today but I have had three false starts on the yarn bomb neck piece I'm trying to make.  It's the fourth one of the same pattern, and the first three are lovely - exciting for me because I have not knitted with patterns before.  But today's start just eludes me.  I have something on the needles now, but it seems cockeyed.   I'll figure it out or take it off and start yet again but in the mean time I'm thinking about mistakes.  Everybody who knows me knows I collect sayings that I use as charms against perfectionism

Perfection is the enemy of excellence.

Perfection equals paralysis.


I'm thinking tonight about the humility touches in some traditional art., The intentional mistakes in Native American weaving and beading are  examples of this and so is wabi-sabi, the Japanese tradition honoring the beauty of imperfection.  As I understand it, some potters but a thumb print it pottery items to show they were made by hand.  I am definitely not at a place, in any aspect of my life where I have to make mistakes on purpose.  They just happen.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

"The greater light you have, the greater shadow you cast." 
 ~ Jungian Aphorism quoted by Richard Rohr

It was a beautifully sunlit early fall day and the moon is out in full glory. Makes me think about light and darkness, physical and metaphoric.  I'm focusing on trying to spread light. Bob and I voted, which felt good.  My work day was satisfying, as most of them are.  And yet my work as a therapist feels paradoxical.  So much of the work people do with me would not have to be done if  they had not been abused, mistreated, or otherwise really hurt.  Some of the hurts are unavoidable, caused by deaths, illnesses, disappointments.  But too many were cause by clear misuse of power. I work to be very careful with mine.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Rainy October Night
Wind shakes windows, roars and
croaks against illusions of protection.
Walls resist intrusion, push banging back.
Water pounds roof, knocking insistently
reminding me death will knock too soon.

OK, this isn't my poetry blog and won't usually have poetry, but I found out today that my cousin Gail died about the time I was writing this poem.  I look over at Bob writing in his chair and use an act of will to push out of my mind the knowing that death comes knocking when and how she will.  Not here in my house tonight please.  i am not afraid of death but I'm greedy for life.

I've been thinking about Gail all day.  She was a bit younger and  we never lived in the same state as girls, so we weren't really close.  I remember how distressed my mother was when Gail was diagnosed with diabetes at four.  Her mother was a nurse and did a wonderful job of helping her learn to live with her disease. I remember feeling shy when she and her siblings came to visit at our house in Houston.  I was an only child and didn't really know how to play with slightly younger, active kids.  I think I may have hidden in my room with a book.  I've done that too much in my life.  Gail and I lived most of our adult lives in the Austin area and both of us got busy on separate tracks, especially after the death of her grandmother, my beloved Aunt Tonie. I remember holiday meals together, her wedding shower, her parents' funerals, a sweet smile and warm hugs from her.  I know she loved the Longhorns just as her parents had and that her last post on Facebook was one of delight about the team winning the OU game.  There is so much I don't know though.  And yet the two of us shared some of the same laps growing up, played on the same back porch, have the same kolache recipe.

I feel sad that I didn't know Gail better, that I didn't try harder.  I want to try harder with other friends and family members, but I probably won't manage as much closeness as I'd like.  Closeness takes time and energy and both are limited.  Its such a delicate balance between " you can only do what you can do." and "if not now, when?"   

I'm going to cut myself a break tonight and feel delight in the intense silver moon light and the fact that I came up with a dinner (tiny lamb patties and pearled couscous and carrots) that worked for the whole family and in which Liam expressed delight.  Tonight is one of those nights when I need to focus on what works and know that in the morning I can work on the things that can work better.    
My cousin Gail as I  first remember her
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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Resuming this blog

January 1, 2014 I posted here for the last time.  That is just weird.  So much has happened in almost two years that I haven't chronicled here.  I don't know why I stopped using this resource to chronicle and share.  partly I short-cutted with Facebook.  It is so easy to share a little there every day and believe I am  keeping a journal blog.  but I'm not really.  It's just notes on Facebook.  Too brief.  Too much need to edit.  So I want to start again here on this quiet rainy weekend, and in my poetry blog too.  I want more connection with myself and others, more of my life on record.  so that is the intention.

Where to start?

With  the short list I guess, of milestones past since last I touched this blog.

Both of Bob's parents died and are missed.  Family saw them through to the end as they always saw family through.  We closed their house and it has been sold.  I wear GG's jewelry almost every day and we eat from their bowls and try to continue their legacies of service, loyalty, music and laughter., 

KK was diagnosed with a stage three melanoma on her arm, underwent surgery and, after a terrible period of fainting spells and pain during her senior year pronounced cancer free and graduated.  She is working now, taking a gap year before college, gaining strength and growing up beautifully

Tracy (heart) and Joanna (sepsis from lodged kidney stone) both had almost fatal illnesses but survived and are better now.  Jo still needs a surgery to remove drainage tube and stone, but that will happen.  The crisis is past.

Bob has just finished, as of today, a fantasy novel featuring Liam and Andrea and their three cousins, Cristina, Micha, and Linda.

It was an overwhelming year, during much of which I felt very helpless, also very much loved and connected to family and community.  I learned more about asking for help (including a Go Fund Me effort when Joanna's family was so beset by health crisis and neither of them could work.)  Usually I am on the giving end. In real need, I was tremendously thankful to help my family receive.

I will stop this re-entry post short.  That way I am more likely to come back tomorrow and chronicle happenings from here.