End of July
 
Another waft of soft rain pelts my window. It has been a constant drone today – the drumming of the drops on the canopy screens that sit outside the room on the back deck. Though Sir and King and I did manage to take advantage of a mid-afternoon halt. King mowed the lawn and then we three dipped into the community pool – ready to take flight at the first hint of thunder. We splashed in the water for a good 30 mintues before the Asian Tigers descended. Bastards.
 
On a small but valuable tangent…the
OFF powerpad lamps have been purchased and put to the test and so far…they have worked! SC Johnson #14157 Off Powerpad Lamp
I have in cowardly manner put my parents and King out as guinea pigs before putting Sir and me out there. That will be the real test….report pending.
 
The pictures above were taken when the leaves had not yet popped on the trees but the mood and light is much the same today as it was on that day. The same cedar tree sits outside gathering jewels of drops. The same small white cat sits gazing out at the rain. I wonder if she holds any recollection of her first weeks of life in St. Petersburg – the summered city basking in its midnight sun. That seems so very long ago…
 
But now it is night. And we are in the western hemisphere where it is dark. And the tornado warnings are beeping in the other room. And the rain sound makes me want to drink hot tea and curl up with a book or a movie or Rushka or Sir or King  or all of the above.
 
And on that note…..off I go….Twinings Herbal Unwind, some honey, and hopefully some zzzzzzz will follow.
 
FIN

“Not a Day Without a Line”

An old friend once quoted this to me when I was festering in a funk and convinced there was no point in putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.

I’ve tried to put it into effect many times with seemingly consistent failed results. Half filled journals both paper and electronic stare dolefully out of boxes or shiver in a hard drive .

In any case-today I attempt to follow my friend’s advice once more in hopes to keep the thoughts flowing and the fingers working.

I find myself in a comtemplative mood today. Friday swooped down on my head and another week has passed as have many weeks passed in the last few years since I left New York. I still feel untethered and adrift despite the addition of many things and persons that would seem to anchor me to ground.

No place has yet really seemed or smelled of home and the wander lust inevitably sets in.

I wonder about my parents who are gearing up to leave after spending just shy of a year here in Tennessee. They pack up their belongings and head south and away to another life much like those fabled geese.

I think about the small routines we created here in Nashville. The stores whose names became familiar to our tongues. The streets we chose to walk. The churches visited. The bread we broke. The blood we spilled.

We are like plants or weeds or vines.

How strange and sad and sweet these tendrils we throw up seeking surface to cling to – these connections and memories and loves we cultivate in certain ground only to displace or be displaced…torn up – our hearts wander in a thousands little pathways – our minds destined to visit and revisit these small moments sometime in the future.

Will my mother stop and remember sweeping this Tennessee porch as she crosses her own courtyard in Colombia?
Will my blind father remember his walks to the lake, remember the geese gaggling about his feet while he sits in a doctor’s waiting room in Barranquilla?
Will I remember the cardinals sitting on the cedar tree some morning in the future far away from here?
Undoubtedly. Undoubtedly we will.

Until then I try to savor the moments as they occur and push the gaping maw of “things to do” at arm’s length.

FIN

Yesterday:

A most beautiful thunderstorm lit up the Nashville sky. Electricity rained down on the Walmart parking lot. A group of women wrapped in headscarves picked through puddles and giggled in another tongue.

This morning:

Woke up at 5am dreaming of lakes

Today:

Sir’s 1st trip to NOLA

My status:

Tired, still having milk issues but happy.

What we hope to find and in the case of Mr. Waterbug – not find:

Sun, heat, flora, good food and some sort of auspicious sign….

I’ve been MIA for the past days and milk is the reason why. Never before have I so much considered my bovine mammilian sisters. I personally don’t have a taste for milk though I can’t say the same of cheese. (goat, sheep, yum)
Nonetheless, these days as I nurse my 8 month old son and step through the many hurdles that breastfeeding can present, my mind often thinks about cows. Dairy cows and their much used udders. Udders and the gallons of milk they bestow. Udders and the many physical problems that these poor udders can encounter. Such as my own.
WARNING
Single male readers with squeamish genes who want to maintain the fantasy land of sexy creamy boobs encased in Victoria’s Secret bras may want to stop reading for today.
I continue.
The name is MASTITIS and it is awful. Medically, it is caused by a clogged milk duct, stress, and improper drainage of the breast in question. In my imagination it was an inauspicious sign of my health, a punishment for trying to stay up into the wee hours of the morning and savor my son’s nightly adieu to the world, perhaps a warning that it’s time to begin to wean him off of me. Images of Willy Wonka’s blueberry girl kept popping (no pun intended) up in my blind spot. See the body is its own entity very many times. And breastfeeding works basically thus: You feed, you make. You feed more. You make more. You feed less. You make less….in theory. The body needs a slight bit of time to process changes in supply and demand. This is how and why you are left with a screaming bundle of baby when said baby is going through a growth spurt. Your body still hasn’t gotten the memo demand is up. And in the case of an 8 month old….the body – my body – perhaps hasn’t gotten the memo that demand is down.
Suddenly my boobs become the 99 cent store. Encasing product that at one time was in hot demand and brought a high asking price but now fill one or two bins in the back – obviously surplus.
So the milk comes in or “lets down”, as those in know say, but there is no baby to take it out. And then hours later the milk lets down again and suddenly my B cup is crowded, swollen, and hard – feeling very much like what I envisioned implants to have felt like in the mid-eighties.
I suppose this could only go on for so long before that coupled with my stress and a clogged milk duct blossomed into MASTITIS.
I write it in capitals because that’s how I see it in my mind.
To make a long story short, after a thousand warm compresses, arnica rubs, warm baths, massages, pumping, and making poor Lazaro nurse off of one breast more than the other -relief was nowhere in sight. In fact the situation was worsening. I felt off, tired, and while not totally feverish, I certainly felt sick. The implant feeling had given way to a nasty, hardened mass underneath my boob. It felt awful to touch. It felt awful to massage. The hardness of the matter seemed abnormal and unhealthy in a persistent sort of way. Though it may sound strange the mass had a personality and it was malicious. Oh yes and did I mention it was painful?
Enter…the doctor.
Of course, I have no insurance so this trip to the doctor involved much calling and hunting and finger wringing and calculators. But I found one. And his 15 mintue diagnosis involved much face wrinkling and mouth screwing and bitten lip but in the end he wrote a script for antibiotics. One that is “safe” for taking while breastfeeding. Not that having a doctor who is probably your age or younger wrinkling his face or screwing up his mouth or biting his lip and then telling you he usually does not deal with PostNatal or OB/GYN made me feel any better….but at least he wrote me a script.
And there you have it. Though I wanted desperately to avoid taking anything -in the end I did and am now much better for it. The nasty lump is gone. We went to New Orleans. And Sir and I have fallen happily back to our routine.
FIN

Summer is undoubtedly my favorite time of year. It is quite common to hear me wax on and on about the songs of the cicadas, the glow of the fireflies, the long and languorous days that melt into long and languorous starry nights.

That is until I’m interrupted by a high pitched enervating whine. It comes suddenly out of the thick summer air and instantly the pleasant fog of the day is gone and I revert to the fire escape lounging, concrete pounding, tenement building born and raised city girl I am. And she runs for cover.
M O S Q U I T O E S
This elegant specimen is the Asian Tiger Mosquito captured and posted online by National Geographic. It also happens to be the suspect in question. Apparently I was not hallucinating when I thought I saw stripes on my tiny nemeses. I did.
I also wasn’t deluded when I imagined they were attacking me at rather odd mosquito hours. They were. They have the wonderful particularity of being active when other mosquitoes are not. Thus you are not safe in the blazing daytime sun.
And finally I wasn’t just being particularly whiny when I wailed that they seemed especially aggressive in their attacks. They are. They will follow you not in a lazy hazy summer manner but in a focused and unrelenting assault.
I must say they even top the infamous Colombian mosquitoes who used to make a feast of me whenever I was in town. The Colombian mosquitoes were bad if they got to you but they were also huge and slow. Easy to slap into a wall. These are are not slow at all. They are fast and calculated little demons and they have no sympathy from me though I did try to remind myself they were only trying to feed their young. That thought lasted about 30 seconds until one of them landed on my little man’s forehead and proceeded to lunch on him.
From what I gather they originated in Asia. They landed here 20 years ago and have quickly gone on to buzz and bite their way through much of America. Lucky world.
Of course, wikipedia has a wealth of information on them:
As for me I’m about to test OFF for its “clip on” product and hope to report back. Though given the personality of these bloodsucking bastards I’m quite skeptical.

4th of July.

Last year I had been in Nashville just shy of a month. I was pregnant and basking in the fierce summer sun I hadn’t seen for over a year. (San Francisco-as beautifully foggy and dreamy as it is-has no summer-or at least it has no summer from an east coast perspective and we left Portland on June 1st) I was reacquainting myself with vine beetles, fireflies, crickets, suntea, and cicadas and I was loving it.
One year later, I’m still brewing the tea. I’m still awed by the cicada songs that swell out every day. Instead of a belly I have a little smiling strawberry topped boy strapped to my back or front depending on the day.
Speaking of which here’s what I heard on American Roots show on the radio today and I think it will be Sir’s theme song – only substitute the ‘she’ for ‘he’. There are many variations of this song but these are part of the lyrics I found under Doc Watson.

Curly Headed Baby
She’s my curly headed baby
She’s from sunny Tennessee
She’s my curly headed baby
She’s more than all the world to me
Yodeleyie-ie-ie-ie

When I look into her blue eyes
There’s more than words can ever say
I could never love some other
No one else can make me feel this way

She’s my curly headed baby
She’s from sunny Tennessee
She’s my curly headed baby
She’s more than all the world to me
Yodeleyie-ie-ie-ie

Happy 4th Everyone!

 

 

 

I’ve entitled this entry ‘raised from the dead’ in honor of the new man in my life: who in this virtual world goes by Sir.
I’ve also chosen this title as it’s been a very very long time since I’ve posted anything on this blog.

 

What has happened between that last rainy post and now?

A whole new life.

In short fragmented bursts the following happened:

  • Got pregnant
  • Decided to leave the PNW
  • Packed up our car with everything we owned including the cat and two palm tree shoots and drove from Beaverton, OR to Nashville, TN.
  • Got my parents to move from Colombia to Nashville.
  • Had baby on Halloween.
  • Have lived my first time mother life in the rolling hills of Tennessee for a little over a year.
There are so many details in between. Details I’ll expound on. Details I’ll omit.
But nonetheless here will be :
My Life in Tennessee

And in between the real time posts there will be snippets of that other life I left far away on the West Coast for those of you who wonder ‘What exactly happened?’

Until then here are some of the things that surround me daily.
Cheers!