Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hot flashes and night sweats and mood swings, oh my!

So I've suffered from night-sweats off and on for several years. I go through phases where, a couple of times a week I'll wake up sweating my proverbial balls off. And then I'll go weeks or months without it happening. I've managed to be grateful that I hadn't started having hot-flashes yet because hot-flashes, in my mind, meant you were officially an "old woman". And since night-sweats happen, well, at night, they can be my little secret.

But now? Now I ask anybody who within earshot: "Are you hot? Is it hot in here? Am I the only one who's HOT right now??" David and Anna informed me this morning that no, not only is it not hot, it was, in fact, borderline cold.

Which can mean only one thing: I am in full-on perimenopause. Woohoo!!!

Just thought I'd share that with you. If you'd like to complain about the freaky things your body is doing without your permission, feel free, in the comments. Or not. I don't give a shit. (ha! A little mood-swing humor.)

Anyway! Tomorrow we are driving down to Boise to spend the weekend with my family. Which means David will get his carnivore fix. And I get kiss my brother's butt to see if he'll UN-disown me. Fun! But I am looking forward to spending time with my mom, and my sister, and nieces and nephews, and hiking in the foothills, and I get to hold the world's cutest baby for the next 4 days.

If you're driving, travel safely. Love your family. Kiss babies. Make amends.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Grab some kleenex and a cup of tea, and listen to this edition of StoryCorps, about a young boy who seemd to know he was on his way to something better. It's almost enough to make an old, black-hearted, non-believer like me think there might be something to the idea of "premonition."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


That is one of Anna's new favorite words and really? I think it perfectly describes me and my blogging lately. There are a few reasons for this, mainly because I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. Hauling my carcass to and from work is all the energy I can muster. Then it's pajamas and a good book by the fire. It's time to hibernate, no?

I am plotting on my next sewing project....a bag made from some vintage velvet found at an estate sale last summer....mmmm...I'm quite excited to get started on it.

I promise I'll work up a good rant or something of interest in the next day or two. In the meantime, drink your Echinacea tea and stay warm and cozy.


Friday, November 13, 2009


That poor snail never had a chance.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

let's get together and feel alright

Playing For Change Song Around The World "One Love" from Playing For Change on Vimeo.

This is so beautiful. Bob Marley certainly had the right idea.

(Thanks, Cole, for sharing this with me!)

Friday, November 6, 2009

pity my husband

Poor David. You have no idea how this man suffers because of me and my daughter. The poor bastard made exactly ONE spontaneous decision in his life (seriously? This man will spend weeks or months researching gravel); that one spontaneous decision was marry me. And now he's going to spend the rest of his life paying for it. (Literally! Hi honey! I love you!)

As if that weren't bad enough, he also has to put up with my crazy (crazy!) friends coming and staying in our house. This weekend, for example, there will be 9 females in our house, and exactly one male. Guess who! And the strange thing is, he's remarkably good natured about it. For example, he lets the little girls climb all over him (I think he secretly likes it), he often gets talked into being a "horsie", and AND he mixes drinks for the mamas. I know! How did I get so lucky?

This weekend Christina and her girls are coming over, as well as Nichole and Syringa and Kathy and Delaney. We are literally going to have bodies sleeping in every room downstairs, including David's "man room".

If estrogen were flammable, our house would spontaneously combust sometime tomorrow evening, as the moon rises and we begin to howl.

Add David to your prayer list. And send vodka.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


As a comment to my last post titled "It sure would be nice to believe in God right now", my sister asked "what is the harm in believing"?

On Monday, the day a few of us were reeling from the news of C.'s latest diagnosis, my friend Laura sent, to everyone BUT me, an interview with Anne Lamott, wherein she talks about God. Laura mentioned the video clip in conversation, and I said I wanted to see it, as Anne Lamott is one of my all-time favorite authors. Laura expressed shock, because the last several books of Anne's have been about faith and said "You want to see it, even though it's all about God stuff?"

Here is my response to both of those questions. My atheism came gradually; it wasn't a lightening-bolt reaction to something I read or an experience I had. I considered myself "spiritual" up until probably 4-5 ago. If someone had asked me if I believed in God, I would have said yes. True, I didn't believe in "the God up in the sky, sitting on a cloud, watching and judging us all." Nor did I believe that s/he heard and answered every prayer. But at the time I found comfort in believing that something, someone was "in charge". It was reassuring to "know" that there was a higher-power, someone I could (and did) turn to when something scary happened and I felt out of control. I'd never felt the need for my "faith" to make sense to anyone other than myself; I certainly didn't need it to fit into the box of any organized religion.

I never, however, believed that the bible was anything other than a folk-tale of sorts, written by regular, mortal men. I was also leery of organized religion, how many of its followers used the bible as justification for hatred and intolerance. Many people who call themselves "Christians" are horribly hypocritical; watching the nightly news will confirm that. I also always wondered how and why each religion had a different god, that, for them, was "the one", and anyone putting faith in another god was wrong and would suffer whatever horrible fate their particular religion believed in.

I can't pinpoint exactly when or why I started putting less and less faith into "God". I know that I certainly questioned "Him" when those planes crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11th. How could a loving, benevolent god bring me a baby or help someone win a football game but allow thousands and thousands of innocent people to die in such a horrific way? The prayers must have been literally deafening that day.

Ironically, the other important event that played a roll in my letting go of my "faith": the same sister mentioned above was diagnosed with breast cancer. While she and my mom became more faithful, prayer, to me, felt especially empty at that time. I was not about to sit back and pray to some god who may or my not feel like answering my prayers that day. It felt way too passive. I began to read everything I could get my hands on to educate myself about breast cancer and what we, as women (and men), needed to do to cure it and, in my case, to try to avoid it in the future. I began to feel stronger, more confident in my own knowledge and ability; that we, as individuals, are in control of our bodies, our lives, our future. True, we can't control whether or not we get cancer, but we sure as hell control what we do about it. We choose to have surgery and chemotherapy or we choose to visit a shaman in Mongolia or we put our faith in a Chinese herbalist, or whatever. It is up to us, regular, mortal, terrified, powerful, strong, faithful, flawed individuals to control our own destiny. I can't tell you how incredibly empowering it is to know that.

Around this same time I did read some things that further allowed me to feel ok about being a non-believer. Julia Sweeny's "Letting Go of God" felt like an epiphany; she was questioning and feeling all the exact same things I felt. And it did feel like a "letting go", like throwing away the crutches. Or rather, the crutch. As time wore on, and I didn't need to convince myself that there is a "higher power", I allowed myself to believe what I'd always really known in my heart: I can not and do not believe in god, no more than I can or do believe in Santa Clause. So in answer to my sister's quesiton: there is no "harm" in believing; I just don't. Sure, sometimes I wish I did; occassionally, like when someone I love is facing something terrifying, I wish I could believe that some higher power will just step in and save the day. But I can't.

The thing I want to make clear, though, is that I do not judge others who do believe. I don't shun people who do, nor do I avoid reading books about faith. I actually find it all incredibly fascinating, learning what others believe. True, I probably wouldn't choose to hang out with a fundamentalist Christian, simply because we wouldn't have much to talk about after awhile. But the people I know who believe in God are reasonable enough to admit that there are inconsistencies in the bible, and that believing does require a certain amount of blind faith, so to speak. But for them, the comfort of believing in a higher power outweighs the questions, and I can certainly understand and relate to that, and them.

What matters is that we each find the story that makes the most sense to us, whether it is God, or Buddha, or The Great Flying Spaghetti Monster, or the belief that we are in control; we each need to find the thing that brings us the most comfort and hold on to it for dear life. We must honor and respect each other for our differences and to use our own belief system, whatever it is, to make the world a better place. I saw a quote the other day, in my doctor's office. It was from Bill Gates and it said "At the end of your life, it doesn't matter how you lived. What matters is how others lived because of you." That is what I believe in.

Monday, November 2, 2009

It sure would be nice to believe in god right about now

Last year my never-smoked-in-her-life, clean-living, yoga-practicing, organic-food eating friend and coworker, C., was diagnosed with stage-4 lung cancer. Cancer, however, didn't know who he was messing with, and C. kicked his butt. She is strong: a beautiful, tall, Indian warrior-woman in a Super-Girl cape with a smile that knocks you over and a fierce, loving heart. The doctors said they'd never seen such an amazing recovery from stage-4. Life slowly got back to normal, she came back to work and we could breathe again.

And then couple of weeks ago, C. was eating dinner while watching television, and suddenly the TV tilted in one direction and her right arm wasn't working as it should. For fear of being a hypochondriac, she didn't think much of it and didn't mention it to anyone other than her husband for a week or so, until she casually mentioned it to her general practitioner during a routine visit. He suggested setting up an MRI appointment, just to be safe. The appointment still several days away, C. had another "incident" yesterday; she felt, she said, like her brain wasn't communicating with her body as it should, and her right arm began to spasm. Her husband said "That's it. We are not waiting for your appointment," put her in the car and drove her to town.

At the emergency room the doctor performed some tests and based on her delayed responses and disorientation, called for a CAT scan. The results showed swelling in the brain, which, they informed her was "not good" considering her status as a lung-cancer patient. An MRI was performed and it came back showing two tumors. Her lung cancer has spread to her brain.

If you are a believer, the praying type, please send up a message for my friend. She's going to need all the love and support and prayers she can get.