Monthly Archives: March 2012


I got this from Twin cities on Facebook

It’s been so unseasonably wonderfully warm for the last several weeks.  I’ve had the furnace off and the windows open.  I’ve even took Orion on a walk to the park.  But today it’s cold (technically it’s still warm for the season, but the furnace is back on) and rainy and gray.

I have so much to do!  I have laundry, the refrigerator needs to be cleaned out, the dishes need to be done.  I have to work up a web site, I have to write a workshop, I have to write a blog!  All I want to do is curl up in front of a fire with a good book.

Sadly, I did neither.  I get myself into these conflicts between the shoulds and the wants and I forget to check in with what I might NEED.  I suspect that there are some things I could have done with the day that would have made me feel better.  If I had done them, I might have gotten more of the other things done as well.

pollen just waiting to spray into the air

My allergies are bad, the early blooming is throwing tons of pollen into the air and the damp has the molds sporing.  I get thick in the head and I don’t think to do simple things like take an antihistamine or a shot from the inhaler.  It’s even difficult to concentrate on ready when it gets bad.  Days like this I turn on a


computer game and hours go by without me even noticing.

I did manage to deal with the kitty litter this morning so someone in the house is happy with my accomplishments for the day.  Every time I do that it puts my back out.  I get achy and really out of alignment.  Did I stretch or take a pain med?  No.  I did a couple of loads of laundry.  In the basement.  With the mold.

Minnesota magnolia

Maybe I should start a daily practice just asking myself “What do you need right now?”  Right now it seems that what I need is to publish this blog, foggy as it is, and hope to do a little better next week.




We are fast approaching the equinox, the beginning of spring.  In Minneapolis this is generally a celebration involving getting the seeds started, indoors.  It might even still be a little early.  More often than not there is snow on the ground from the latest big blizzard.  It’s a good two months before it’s “safe” to put the tomatoes in outside.


This year we have just gotten through a week of temps in the upper 70’s F.  Things are blossoming and budding a month ahead of “normal.”  Not that we don’t occasionally see a warm day in March, or an early spring.  But in the 51 years I’ve lived here, most of which I remember, I’ve never seen a spring like this one.

It is not unusual, given our weather extremes, to have a significant frost weeks after it appears the warmth of spring is here to stay.  With the growth so fast and so far ahead I can’t help but wonder what the impact of a killing frost might be on these young buds.

Soon to be apple blossoms.

Most of our natives can handle that kind of climate abuse.  The dandelion will spring forth again, as will the chives and the bulbs.  The bulbs may not blossom, but they will be back next year.  The lilacs may only see one blooming if they are hit with frost, a short season.  The apple tree will certainly survive, but will there be fruit?

Sticking out your neck, or your buds, is a risky business. Even if the early warmth holds the season may also have flooding or drought.  There may be huge and unseasonable storms, like the tornadoes we’ve already seen this year in the heartland.  Winter may come as early as the spring, so the seeds and fruits from this early bloom may not see there way to harvest.  Anything could happen!


I’ve buried the lead here.  I’ve stuck my neck out.  I’ve written a book and sent it off to a publisher, where it has been accepted.  WOW!  YEAH!  Spring blossoms forth!

Contracts are being discussed, distribution is being debated.  There will be editing and formatting and cover art that I may have an opinion about, but no control.  Months from now,  maybe even next year, the book will hit the market and the public may choose to partake of the fruits of my labors, or not.

Lilac greening

In the meantime, I have to get used to the idea of calling myself an author.  I guess that’s a little different than a writer.  It sure feels that way.

Best wishes for a fruitful harvest from this brilliant and early spring!



Deer medicine includes a great capacity for compassion.

I like to hang out with all different kinds of people.  I have used the term queer to describe myself because I am comfortable with people who see themselves that way.  I feel like I fit in with GLBT, Pagan, Multi-ethnic, counter culture fold.  I am comfortable being myself in environments that tend to be inclusive and nonjudgmental.

I recognize what it feels like to be alone in a class and discriminated against because of it.  I was bullied mercilessly in Jr. High School.  I have experienced discrimination as a woman, because of my weight, and in relationship to my special needs child.  I have had nasty and rude comments directed at me because of all of those things.  I have also traveled enough to have experienced being the only white, only tall, only large female person in a culture where I didn’t have either the language or the cultural background to really get by.  And I have been treated in such cultures as “not quite civilized.”  I’ve been excluded from groups I could have contributed to simply because I didn’t have the appropriate credentials, regardless of my experience.

"What are YOU doing here?"

I also know privilege.  I take advantage of doors held open and offers to carry my bags.  I have been moved to the front of the line to accommodate the wheelchair.  I have been accepted into business establishments because of the color of my skin and the way I carry myself, rather than being watched like a criminal.  It is not infrequent for me to have extra space, because people are reluctant to squeeze in past me or next to me.  I know I have an easier time with social services for my son simply because of my class and education.

Motherhood is held in common even when parenting styles are not.

I have an advantage because of my broad travels, reading, education and olive toned skin.  I can pass in places many white urban Americans would be less than welcomed.  People often assume that I am “one of them” and if they are not explicit in asking I do not correct them.  This holds true not just in ethnicity, but also with “shop talk” in specialty careers.  I have been mistaken for a nurse, a teacher, a social worker, a psychologist, an artist, a musician and before I had kids a parent.  I fit in, and if I really don’t I’ll often bow out.   I’m not trying to fool anyone.  I just “get it.”

I appreciate being with people who “get it.”  I know talking parenting is different with other parents of special needs kids.  I know talking about medicine or life and death issues is different with other cancer survivors.  I know that being with other women is different than being in a mixed group.  Even being with a group of women “of a certain age” is different than being in a multigenerational group.  Talking spirituality with other Pagans is different than talking spirituality with Christians or Jews or Muslims.  Shared experience does count.

So how do we graciously allow ourselves exclusive space?  When is exclusion appropriate and when is it objectionable?  How do we determine exactly how exclusive we need to be?

Hibiscus, a gentle beauty with no strong emotional meaning attached.

I expect I’ll write more on this, but I’d really like to encourage you to leave comments, and to pass the word to anyone you might know who would like to get in on the discussion.


Sorry I’m late posting this blog.  It’s been quite the week of distractions, pleasant ones.  The problem is that I get behind.  Then I’d rather continue to be distracted than catch up.  I managed to get through most of my to do list yesterday, just missed this one.

If my daughter read my blog she'd be mortified I posted this. It was a class assignment and she wasn't happy with her work.

Snow laden branches pulled toward the ground.

The first distraction of the last week was my birthday.  (It was probably the second and third distraction as well.)  I’m a firm believer in celebrating many times in small doses and this year is no exception.  My kids took me out for dinner on Tuesday night.  Nice restaurant, great food, decent price because apparently it’s “restaurant week” so there was a tasting menu.  Didn’t get much done around the house, but didn’t plan to.  The weather was wet and ice was forming on the trees by the time we got out from dinner.

Looking across the street out the picture window.

Wednesday the distraction was definitely the weather.  The snow storm came through and my house was one of 13,000 in town without power.  Better than having no house because of the tornados that came through the lower midwest behind this thing.  Still, I spent the day off of the internet and tending the hearth.

Hearth fire

A fireplace goes a long way towards keeping the pipes from freezing because no power means no heat.  Luckily by the time the sun set I had electricity again.

Even at midday the fire added warmth and light.

Thursday evening is often catch up time for me, but my daughter had tickets to the home and garden show.  We went out again for the evening.  We saw a culinary demo by Yigit (the winner of Top Chef Desserts) and chatted with him afterwards.  You may or may not know my daughter is in culinary school studying to become a dessert chef.  She and Yigit hit it off as you can see.  I had a great time.

Karina and Yigit from Top Chef Desserts. Aren't they a cute couple?

All of this rushing about (and avoiding household chores) has made me tired.  I feel like I’m fighting off a cold with a sore throat (I have a history of strep throat every spring and fall) and all I want to do is curl up in bed.  Hulu was made for days like this and so the Marathon of mindless TV colored my weekend.

There really is no excuse for getting as far behind as I did, except that it was my birthday week and I just didn’t want to do anything more.

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