Friday, August 30, 2013

the foam finger

is an honorable icon?

So glad I'm out of the loop. No TV, not a sports fan, no magazine subscriptions. A little bit of popular culture is like sweet and sour deep fried tofu: just a little is way more than enough.


Pronounced: "pow." Not sure of spelling. It meant, "all gone."

Common word when I was a waitress in Hawaii, many years ago. As in, "Teriyaki chicken is pau." All gone. No more.

There. I spent so much time researching the word and the spelling, and Hawaiian language, and couldn't find it, that I forgot where I was going with this word.

Something is pau. 

summer 2013

Is not over. I drove to the pond after work. Sat in the sun and went swimming.

There were seagulls; didn't see loons.

The water was cold. The sun lit the sand below the water. There were sand snails and floating pond plants.

Just a handful of people. Kayakers, swimmers, and fisherpeople. 

crucial conversations

Yeah, I hate those. I hate confrontation. Would way rather run, avoid, and deny.

So what would you do, in this hypothetical situation?

Let's just suppose that you live alone in a lovely neighborhood. Surrounded by Franco-American Catholic blue-collar retirees. Lawns and gardens, quiet.

Imagine a sweet elderly couple across the street. She's short and forgetful, kind, hair always colored and permed. He's got a pacemaker and a hearing aid. They are in their late 70s, perhaps early 80s. They bring you homemade strawberry fritters. He advises you on home and garden. You give them the key to your house. They remind you of sweet grandparents or parents. Some days he runs over with your mail. Sometimes he snowblows or whacks the weeds on the edges of your lawn.

Slowly you notice that he makes suggestive remarks. Huh?

The remarks become more and more vulgar. Explicit. Today he stroked your back. All of this makes you cringe, no, inwardly shriek with revulsion. Gag.

What do you do?

Monday, August 26, 2013


Overwhelming skunkaroma coming in from outside. I peer outside, turn on outdoor lights, peer again. See no skunk.

Neighbor and I discussed this issue earlier today. What to do? Where does it live? Why does it spray when it could wander unmolested?

When will the malaroma dissipate? That's the big question.

Of course, the really big question is: Is it rabid, hiding under my car, and just waiting to lunge out at my ankle when I leave for work in the morning? That's the really big question.

Another question, one I've had for years... Why is this animal necessary to our life here on Earth?

What vital niche in our ecosystem does this creature inhabit? Because really; like slugs, haters, and mosquitoes: couldn't we do without? 


Thank you, UK, for continuing to buy my books. I feel a strong connection to the UK, would love to come back and visit; thank you.

Glastonbury, Stonehenge, Avalon, London, castles, Big Ben, cathedrals, authors, museums, tea & scones, green fields and stone walls, mist .... visited as a child, would love to come back. 

I am here, where are you?

One more day of summer vacation. A day to grieve the freedom of summer: flip flops, seagulls, sun, swimsuits, and sand. A day to take care of business, clean house, and prepare lunches. One more day.

I was exhausted last night and went to bed early. 12 hours of reading and sleep. Woke up to songbirds, jumped out of bed, and headed out to climb a little local hill.

Texted a friend. "We start tomorrow, right?"

"No. Today. Everyone is here. Where are you?"

ooops. Home, shower, work clothes, something to eat, jump in the car, head to work.

So summer vacation is over and its back to regular job.

Love all my jobs. Hello, coworkers, old & new. Students next week. yay!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

just a little prick

Got a DTAP the other day. TDAP. You know: diptheria, tetanus, something, and pertussis. What's the A again? Anthrax? Angst? Arrogance? Anyway.

It hurts. I woke whimpering in the night, desperately Reiki-ing my sore arm.

Barely felt the needle, and the serum going in. I feel it now.

Vaccinations, immunizations: they're all poison, right? And we do it for the sake of community health, or some such idea. We offer our arms willingly. I had to get this for my job. Condition of employment.

It was 30 hours later that it started to ache. I searched all over the house for an NSAID. You know, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Ibuprofen, naprosyn, etc. I prefer ibuprofen. Couldn't find any. Found some mixed with 25 mg of diphenhydramine (Tylenol PM), but I had to stop taking diphenhydramine because it was giving me BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo) so I kept looking. Finally found some in my work bag, the one I take to clinicals. Poured some water by the light of the refrigerator and swallowed 3 ibuprofen. Loading dose.

Took 2 more this morning.

In the light of day I checked the expiration date. Oh, expired 2 years ago. Would I really have to haul myself out of the house to purchase fresh medication? I'd planned on a day of grading and housework.

Did the grading, did the housework, had to go shopping anyway for a friend, so picked up some fresh ibuprofen. Wow, does that stuff work great. Either that or the pain was starting to fade anyway.

Just a little prick on Thursday, pain on Friday night. Felt heavy, like I couldn't move my arm. When I did it was painful. I'd rate it 2 on a scale of 0-10, but it was enough to wake me. Reiki helps.

Friday, August 23, 2013

eggplant recipe

Two small fresh local organic eggplant. Chop into chunks and saute in oil and fresh spring water. Add 3 cloves diced garlic and  small onion, fresh local organic: of course. Saute until tender.

Meanwhile, heat chopped tomatoes or tomato sauce in a saucepan. Add non-GMO TVP, big pinch Italian seasoning, and minced hot pepper.

Drink a glass on wine on the deck while this cooks at low temp. This might take awhile, 30-45 minutes.

Mix two together and simmer for 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls, layering with local organic vegetable-enzyme cheese.


be calm, be well

If you are an oasis of calm, then you will soothe the people around you.

Observe what annoys you, look at what you are supposed to learn, and let it go. Walk away from drama. While exciting, it stimulates toxic cortisol. Let it go. Lighten up!

Return to your oasis of calm. A little self-Reiki would be good here. Heal yourself and the people around you. 

breathe in

Breathe in the light. Imagine the light as particles. I know, they become waves as we look at them, but imagine them as particles.

Imagine that you breathe in particles of light. Imagine that they swirl around your heart, and that your love and joy make the particles even brighter.

Release some of this light into the space around you.

Breathe in the light. 

peace, quiet

Decided that what I need before "returning" to work is a whole lot of solitude and quiet.

"Returning," because I didn't really leave. Didn't really take the summer off. I worked all summer, but less. Worked maybe 30 hours a week, rather than my usual 60. It was nice.

But before going back to the 60 it's solitude, peace, quiet.

I weed the garden, pick green beans, note the size of the beets and carrots. I admire the bees in the sunflowers and marvel at the number of calendula: soft soothing orange blooms. Betsy & Dave gave me one plant, now there's a plethora.

I went to the pond for a swim and sat at the South End, alone. Alone so I could listen to the waves and the seagulls. Alone to look at the dance of light on water. Alone to feel the sun and breeze. I waded into the water, warm after two hot days, warmer than the breeze; but still cool and refreshing. It's Maine, after all.

Home to prepare vegetables from the garden and the Farmer's Market. Eggplant, onions, and garlic in tomato sauce tonight. Cuke and tomato salad last night.

Just me is just fine. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

the doctor

survived routine annual medical exam with new doctor despite awkward questions (hers), unexpected tears (mine), and gushing (her). She admired my skin tone, the fact that (at my age!) I'm not on any prescribed meds, and I manage to haul my body around every day.

She earnestly encouraged a colonoscopy, and even brought her boss in to speak to me re same. He said the top 3 medical interventions are: penicillin, darn what was #2, and the colonoscopy.  I nodded seriously. Checked my intuition, "Not needed at this time," and nodded seriously, making eye contact.

She admired my blood pressure, asked me about Reiki, Ok had many questions about Reiki, said "You glow!" commended me for my activity level and never scolded me for a single thing.

Then the nurse gave me an intramuscular injection, which I didn't even feel, "What size needle was that? I didn't even feel it!" so it was a good interaction (1 inch 25 gauge).

I did have White Coat syndrome. My BP is usually 100/70; today was 132/88 ("good!" the doctor said). Pulse usually 70s, today 88.

Dreaded the whole thing. But it wasn't that bad.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

healthcare high 5

Pathogens, sweat, and lesions.

Can't we do away with the handshake?

Have you heard of the healthcare high 5? It starts like a regular high five- that palm slapping movement; but at the last moment the hands go to the side. No contact. Perfect for casual greetings.

Professional meetings & acquaintances, how about a smile and slight nod of the head.
Dear friends and family: big hugs.

Everyone else? Let's all do the healthcare high 5.

scents and sensibility

Many people are sensitive to scents these days. Perfumes, colognes, scented lotions, and body washes can irritate sensitive respiratory tissues, trigger asthma attacks, and cause headaches, malaise, and nausea. 
When coming to class, please do not apply cologne, perfume, body wash, scented lotion, or after shave. A little soap, shampoo, and deodorant: fine. 
Let's support a healthy community. Thank you.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


As a teacher, I want to hear my students' voices.

I see my role as this. Establish expectations and provide resources. Evaluate progress and offer suggestions. I don't have all the answers, and I can't tell you everything you need to know. Your journey to knowledge & wisdom: that's up to you.

I see the your role as this: put in the expected hours. Read, reflect, write. Engage. Experience. Try the offered opportunities.

When you write a paper, write your thoughts in your own voice.

When you write a paper, read the materials, then explain it to your dog. Or cat. Or plant, a baby. Then explain it to a spouse or friend, someone who will ask questions. Answer the questions. Write your paper. Read it out loud to see if it makes sense.

Submit your posts and papers. I love to read your thoughts. Love to see how creative you can be, expressing your thoughts.

If it's all recycled, copied & pasted, slapped together....well that's just sad. It's a cardboard shack instead of a finely crafted gem.

If you don't put in the time, and you're disappointed with the grades you earn, well... is that my responsibility or yours?

So.... commit, work; express yourself. I want to know what you think. Your thoughts are brilliant, unique, golden.

What scares you the most? What are the barriers to expressing yourself? Grammar? Vocabulary? Concepts? Format? There is help for all of those things. Seek help. If you want to be a student, and if you want to excel, then you have to put in the effort. Do the work. It's up to you.

I'm here for you. I can guide you to the resources you need. Just ask. I'll listen and help. And when you express your own brilliant thoughts, I will be your most enthusiastic supporter. "A" for the day.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Maine lobster

When I had enough sun, sand, and waves; I moved on.

Packed up my chair and bag and trudged up the deep hot sand. Back to my car which was parked in the shade. Got a bottle of water from my cooler and drank the whole cold thing.

Drove up the coast a little to a fishing harbor, a touristy lobster place. Picnic tables on a wharf over the water. I got a soft-shelled lobster and 3 small red boiled potatoes. 

ocean v pond

I usually go to the pond. It's 20 minutes away. I like the cold clear water, the pine trees, and the loons. I like to watch the kayakers put in and take out.

But it's crowded. People get in my bubble.

Yesterday I could smell the rancid sicky sweet oil on the elderly woman to my right. She was bald and wore a turban. Round in the middle, her limbs were thin, baggy, brown, and wrinkled.

There were two women beyond her. They had five boys. The oiled woman left and suddenly I could hear one woman. She talked continually. "He said, so she said, and I said, so he said..." The space to my left opened up when the woman with her three pre-teens left. A boy and twin blond girls, "MOM! He spit in my mouth!" I moved into their space as soon as they packed up their 4 chairs, 3 inflatable rings, noodles, cooler, bags, and books. It started to clear out. So then two men and two boys came. They started a game of toss the tennis ball in the water in front of me, shouting loudly and splashing. The ball landed beside me and splattered me with water and sand. I moved again. A couple arrived. Long, thin, and pale. They had a sailboard. The husband was a retired professor from Northwestern, his wife a former student. He'd been sailing for 40 years. I know this because they were shouters. I moved again.

That's the pond. The water is nice. Sometimes there are too many people.

The ocean. Who can hear anyone? The waves are so loud. Plus the lobster fishing boats.

And there was plenty of space. Lots of sand. So why did the 3 slim gorgeous yackety teens settle 3 feet away from me? I moved. Plenty of room.

I like it when the nearest people are about the size of a penny. And I can't hear them. I like lots of space. And quiet.

So the ocean beach was good. Leaping fish, a porpoise, and lots of sand. Hot sun. Shockingly cold waves. 


At the ocean today there were a few insects.

Mosquitoes in the shady spot I found in the parking lot.

Those biting green-headed flies on the beach. Just a few. Easy to shoo them. But don't take a nap.


Wasn't sure how long it would take to get there. Sometimes there's traffic.

I woke early, with the sun. Should I go to the balloon festival? Watch them rise? Or to the beach

I went to the beach. Got there 45 minutes before the gate opened. Relaxed.

Arrived. Walked for an hour: north, then south. Saw 3 thin long silvery pink fish leap from the water. Saw a glistening black fin bob above the water. It swam along the beach for nearly I mile. I watched and walked along. I asked the lifeguards, "What's that?"

Two young guys, chilling. OH! They stopped chatting, feet down, and looked. "Probably a seal."


"Or a porpoise."

"Yeah. Did you bring your binocs?"


"Yeah. Probably a porpoise."

Ok. But I see a black fin. Do porpoises have black fins? I came home and looked online. Yes, they do.

So I waded in as far as I could. I waded with a porpoise! Or a shark.

The water was numbingly cold. That's good. Not just cold, but numbingly. So once I went in, I couldn't feel my body, so was able to keep going.

The waves slapped. Sprung up in surprise. Smacked and shocked. Felt arctic. I gasped and sucked in air when the water touched a new place on my body.

I could see the churned up sand at the base of the wave. The water was so clear.

If you just stand, then your feet get sucked down and buried in the waves.

back to school

Summer vacation is ending soon. Trying to enjoy every moment, even though I'm still working. I worked all summer. OK, vacation is in moments and hours: not weeks or months.

So enjoy the moment. Tune in to your senses. Today I sat in my backyard and looked at the flowers: yellow, orange, red, and white. I smelled their sweetness. I listened to the wind. I felt the grass beneath my feet and the tingle of the sun on my skin.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

2013 Summer

I stained the deck, bought a car, and sealed the driveway.

Went to a nursing conference in Virginia where I presented my research, visited my sister and niece in Minnesota, and stayed at the beach with my cousin and her daughter from NYC. Hugged my sons and gave them rides to where they wanted to be.

The garden grew. Sunflowers are at least 12 feet tall and loaded with bumblebees. Lush and fragrant flowers. Abundance of beets, carrots, green beans, potatoes, cilantro, and kale. Spread 10 bales of hay between the garden rows. Mowed the lawn weekly. Weeded, watered, and wandered. Welcomed bumblebees, hummingbirds, cardinals, and sparrows. Discouraged copper beetles, slugs, cucumber beetles, and blight.

Taught 3 courses. Shared Reiki. All CNA students passed state exam.

Went to the Atlantic Ocean and Range Pond. Trying to get to the Sandy River.

Played with seven Bernese Mountain puppies and children. Saw friends. Hosted visitor from China.

Ate lobster and ice cream. Went to Farmer's Markets. Climbed hills, hiked along rivers, walked on the beach.

Summer in Maine is great. Summer 2013 is almost over, but summers go on and on. So long, 2013, see you soon, Summer 2014.

12 windows

12. In my open space: kitchen, office, living/dining room. Six of those windows are obscured by a giant hyacinth. Or hydrangea. I get them confused. It's a big bush with glossy dark green leaves and lush gobs of white flowers. Blue, sometimes, depending on soil conditions. Mine are white. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


I can't remember when I last... ok, I've never done this.

Taking a vacation. Later this year. Just me. On vacation.

No family obligations, not a conference, no work.

Sun, sand, ocean.

All I do is work. I work 60+ hours a week and have for years (decades). I work full time and extra jobs too. I send money to my sons and I save. I travel for work and for family events like weddings, funerals, and major birthdays. But I never take time off. Even when I travel, I bring my laptop to check work emails and teach online courses. My best friends keep telling me to take a vacation. They say I could get burnt out on work. How can I? I love my jobs! But they are compelling, and I sometimes feel irritable, so.... here goes. I'll give it a try. Vacation: I'm smiling.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Perseid meteors

Those meteors. I diligently hauled myself out to the deck and spread out. A pillow would have been good. Kind of cloudy up there. Stretched out my back, shoulders, and arms. Felt good. Puffy clouds. Thick, but chunky, like dried mud, like old skin. Cool night, slight breeze.

So brave. Probably rabid skunks are sensing me right now. Coming closer, drooling, insensate.

I could see 2 stars. Watching for meteors.... waiting. Could see 2 stars, no 3, no none. No stars. Cloudy. Hmmm, thinking it's not the best time for seeing meteors. Still, the stretching was good. Are rabid skunks approaching, preparing to lunge at my toes? A good nibble for a rabid skunk, toes and fingertips.

Ok, no stars, no meteors, potentially rabid skunks: time to go in. Maybe next year.

sunset cruise

Pink and gold is cruising into gray and muted blues.

Sunset in Maine in August. Quite pleasant on the deck with temp of 73F. Humid, but tolerable. Slight breeze. Clouds slide by imperceptibly. Garden colors dull in the twilight.

Gak! I said twilight. And gray (shades of)! gag.

So what am I reading? Elly Griffiths' Ruth Galloway series. Shambhala Sun. Sedona Journal of Emergence.
Dark is deepening, but I'm still sitting in the light.

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Stay up late. It's chilly, put on a wool sweater. Check.

Check the deck for rabid skunks. None. Check.

Lie (lay?) on the deck and do asanas. Release muscles and intestinal vapors. Check.

Watch for meteors. I saw one! A white streak across the eastern apex. Saw an airplane too, 3 yellow and 1 blinking red light. That was an airplane, right?

More asanas. Then fear of rabid skunks drove me back inside. Also the scrim of clouds which obscured the night sky.

I saw one. A Perseid meteor.


It was almost too cold to swim. But it wasn't.

Once I got in it was refreshing. Had to wait for a hot flash. You know, hot all over and craving a glass of ice water. Perfect for wading into a cold Maine pond.

Waded through the golden water out into the dark deep. Breaststroke, sidestroke, dove under and chilled my scalp. Cut off sound. Totally immersed in the heavy cold. Dive to the bottom and surge back up. Just enough breath to surface into the light. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

face time

breathe in

Pull in love and light through the top of your head. Imagine it passes through your pineal gland, down to your heart, and out through your hands into your energy field.

Keep your energy field about 18 inches from your physical body.

Breathe. Rest. Relax. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

clary sage and lavender

Had a psychic reading yesterday. Didn't plan on it, just happened.

Rose, the psychic, told me to spritz my office with clary sage and lavender essential oils. Clear and refresh the energies.

Went to work today. I knew I had an herbal spritzer in my desk drawer. Pulled it out and looked at the label. Lavender and clary sage. 


Had a houseguest this week.

An acquaintance of my sister, a Chinese student, currently studying in NYC. She came to see Maine.

I told her the name of every plant in my garden and took her swimming in a pond. We went to an assisted living facility and spoke with residents. She had a psychic reading. We shopped for locally made lotions and lip balms, gourmet food, and honey. We had soup and bread for lunch. We visited my friends and played with 7 Bernese Mountain puppies, a baby, and a toddler. She toured another garden. We picked blackberries and watched out for berry-loving bears. We watched my friend sew one of her famous hand-crafted purses. We went to Portland and ate lobster Eggs Benedict, loaded with fresh lobster, "pulled out of the bay yesterday." She met my younger son. We walked around the Old Port and Portland wharves. We saw yachts and fishing boats. We shopped. We walked around Fort William Park and Portland Head Light. That's a lighthouse. We saw the Atlantic Ocean: waves, rocks, and ocean birds.   We walked and shopped in Freeport. We ate in good restaurants in Lewiston. She played the piano and toured my workplaces. We went to an art gallery opening.

She leaves tomorrow, back to NYC.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


Since I was up and restless I climbed a little mountain. Love the peace & quiet, the 360 degree views. Walked around a pond with ducks. Hot sun, fresh cool air.

Came home and picked a beet. Had fresh local organic free range fry up for breakfast. Sauteed onions and beet greens with boiled potato and beet, topped with a fried egg.

Balloons, a mountain, a beet. What else will the day bring?


Woke to a roaring whoosh. A blast of air.

I knew what it was, so jumped out of bed and ran outside. Balloons. Hot air balloons. They floated over my house. The roaring whoosh was the air and flame: height adjustments.

The city's balloon festival is approaching, and people are are rising.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

get that degree

A good education provides a valuable and credible foundation for integrative practice.

footprint in time

Hi! How's your footprint in time?

I went to the beach today, the pond beach - not the ocean beach. Started clinicals early morning, worked til 3. Home, puttered in the garden, but was at the beach at 4:30.

Bliss. Sun, water, and pine trees. There were maybe 10,000 people at the ocean beach on Monday- a mostly cloudy day! And about 50 at my pond today. Quiet and sparse, just the way I like it.

And those 50 were mostly packing up and leaving when I got there, leaving empty expanses of sand and water. Singles and small quiet clusters of people. Wind, water, and sun.

I don't know how many people were at the ocean beach on Monday, but it was a lot. We sat in lines: shoulder to shoulder, hip to hip. There were strangers in my bubble. The motel manager told me that the population in the summer is 150,000.

So it was bliss at the pond. Big bubble, sun, and loons too. I got in the water and felt the hot sun on my back, the cold water swirling around my knees.

Then a family arrived. Three teen or pre-teen boys with floaty toys. Oh no, was my peace shattered?

Au contraire. I took great pleasure in their company. They were kind, playful, witty, and happy. They interacted joyfully. One brother appeared to have Down syndrome. So what? So maybe he taught his brothers compassion. I don't know. How would I know?

Anyway. I never talk to strangers. Wait, I talk to strangers all the time. Yes, for my job. When I'm off and off exploring or at the beach, in public, I never talk to strangers. Felt oddly compelled to speak to these people. Groan. How embarrassing.

I was cold and hungry. It was getting towards evening. I gathered up my things. The father glanced at me as I walked by. That was my cue. I was off on a rant...

"Hi, I'm a mother of sons and a teacher and I've worked at a teen camp and I just want to say that your boys are sweet and wonderful and so amazing and it's obviously great parenting."

He looked surprised and said, "Really? We were so sure we were bothering you. It was all quiet and then we came and they are so noisy and they splash around."

I probably repeated my first statement. Then I walked up towards my car and said the same thing to the mom. She said the same thing as her husband.

That's my footprint in the sand for today.