Monday, December 23, 2019


I walked around a cove today. Up on a ridge on a peninsula. A milky quartz cliff, covered with moss and pine needles. Forest and fallen trees. I walked in patches of sun and piney shade on a steep narrow path, some places icy, some places muddy. I looked down and noticed that if I slipped I would fall onto blades of rock and then into the water. I hoped that I wouldn't lose my car key if that happened. It didn't. I kept my footing. I marveled at the chunks of milky white quartz, veins through the rather regular grey rock. I felt the sun on my face, a warm 45 degrees, warm for December in Maine. I smelled salt and seaweed.

I saw small beaches, but it was mostly a cliff of rock down to jagged rocks and rafts of orange seaweed. There was a dark rock in the distance, too small to be an island. Just a long sliver of black rock above the sea. There was something on the rock, somethings, bigger than cormorants and seagulls. Seals? I climbed down closer to the water.

Seals. The rock was covered with seals. Too far for a good look, but I could see them curling up and back down. Lolling on the rock, sunbathing. I saw some plop into the water, and there they arced into the air and splashed back down into the cold water. Like dolphins. The water was a beautiful blue here, green there, almost tropical looking. But not tropical, as there was ice on the rocky cliffs and snow on the moss in the forest. All over the cove were flashes of light, where the sun caught the seals' noses when they bobbed up for air. A flash of light, then gone. Sometimes they jumped into the air first. Sometimes their dark wet backs arched into the water. I watched them for a long time, then climbed back up the steep cliff. Back over the milky quartz path and through the mossy forest. Back to the road and more adventures.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Reiki Light

May your days be merry and bright.
May your days be full of Reiki light.
Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 18, 2019


Thanksgiving is next week and I'm thankful for many things. One. I have a place to go on this, my favorite holiday. Thank you, dear friends, who take me in year after year. Except that one year; I thought I should perhaps be independent and prove to myself and them or someone that I had other places to be, in case anyone got tired of seeing my face on Turkey Day. So I took myself off to Florida and spent the holiday alone, shivering on cold beaches, fearing alligators and robbers. I went to a sad aquarium and a pretty historical village. Once was enough and I'm back with my friends. Their home is big and warm, with baskets hanging from the ceiling and the sun shining in through a window wall of glossy green plants. There are dogs, cats, babies, and adults of all ages. There is live music: harp, bagpipes, and flute. Football is on the big screen, hard bulbous heads and a silent dance of tight colorful uniforms against an impossible green. All the food is homemade and it is a traditional Thanksgiving menu. There are more pies than people. And the people are dear friends with interesting things to say and smiles for me.

Two. Grandsons.

Three. Nature. I like quick easy hikes with great views. I like to walk on a Maine beach even when it's cold and verdigris waves spit ice crystals. I like my own backyard, full of mysterious creatures and tiny ecosystems.

Three seems like a lot for which to be thankful.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Love will win

The Arctic is burning. We are frying our beautiful planet. Corporate greed + ineffectual leadership = suffering and destruction. We live in dark times, transitional times, but I have hope that love and connection will win.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Reiki class

Today was Reiki class all day. I got to spend the day with some beautiful souls. We spent the whole morning at the pond because it was such a glorious day. Sunny, breezy, lovely. When we did attunements pond-side, the turtles and frogs came to say hello.
It got hotter in the afternoon and we went inside for a potluck and discussions of history, reputable resources, and fun with group Reiki and hospital beds.

Sunday, July 7, 2019


2019 is testing democracy, climate change is more intense, and there is much hate and fear. These are dark times. I try to stay in the light and I have hope for our future. Be Reiki ~

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Reiki class

My Reiki class at the university starts next week. The students read current research, learn the principles and basic hand positions, and we do service learning at an oncology infusion center. We do attunements beside a pond, with turtles, frogs, water lilies, and singing birds.

Friday, July 5, 2019

FOLLOW, by Roland Flint

I spent the 4th of July with my cousin Pam and her daughter Amelia on an island in Maine. We honored her dad, his poem, and lobster-catchers of Cliff Island.
by Roland Flint
Now here is this man mending his nets
after a long day, his fingers
nicked, here and there, by ropes and hooks,
pain like tomorrow in the small of his back,
his feet blue with his name, stinking of baits,
his mind on a pint and supper — nothing else —
a man who describes the settled shape
of his life every time his hands
make and snug a perfect knot.
I want to understand, if only for the story,
how a man like this,
a man like my father in harvest,
like Bunk MacVane in the stench of lobstering,
or a teamster, a steelworker,
how an ordinary working stiff,
even a high tempered one,
could just be called away.
It’s only in one account
he first brings in a netful —
in all the others, he just calls,
they return the look or stare and then
they “straightaway” leave their nets to follow.
That’s all there is. You have to figure
what was in that call, that look.
(And I wouldn’t try it on a tired working man
unless I was God’s son —
he’d kick your ass right off the pier.)
If they had been vagrants,
poets or minstrels, I’d understand that,
men who would follow a different dog.
But how does a man whose movement,
day after day after day,
absolutely trusts the shape it fills
put everything down and walk away?
I’d pass up all the fancy stunting
with Lazarus and the lepers
to see that one.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Maine summer

Is it hot where you are? Climate change, global warming, ice caps melting, 110 degrees in Europe.

Here in Maine we had summer. Two days in a row. I took the flannel sheets off my bed and stuck the air conditioner in the window. Didn't use it though, wanted to save on electricity; used a fan instead.

Today it was cold and rainy again. I put all the winter blankets back on my bed and still felt chilled. Missed those flannel sheets.

Out in the garden the tomatoes aren't too happy, but the greens are fine. The raspberries are flowering and making hard little green berries. Something ate half the green bean plants, but the survivors are doing fine. The basil was too delicate, nothing there. Peonies are bursting with fragrant petals and buttercups abound. Peace in the garden.

We are supposed to have more summer days this week. Sunny and 70. Maybe 80.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

War v Winter

An immigrant from Burundi, when asked how he tolerated a Maine winter, shrugged his shoulders and said, "War."

As in, anything, even a Maine winter, is better than.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

100 presents

I collect little gifts for him. Lego sets, stuffed animals, stickers. I wrap them up and leave them in the closet or in his toy bag in my car. They must be wrapped, he told me once, otherwise they don't count as presents. Sometimes if I know I'm going to see him, I grab a present from the closet.

Sometimes there is one present, often none. For some silly unknown reason, when I saw him this week there were three. He happily opened them all: some stickers, a stuffed dinosaur, and a Lego set.

Only 3? he asked.
How many should there be? I inquired.

100! he said. 100 presents!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019


The time between snow shovels and air conditioners. When the grass grows tall every week, birds are busy, and the lilacs bloom. Also tulips, daffodils, and peonies. Exchange winter jackets for shorts, check the elastic on your swimsuit. Dream of lazy beach days with a good book, sun, sand, and shells.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

chocolate cake, chocolate ice cream

A cake and ice cream party for a departing co-worker.
Treats to fill a hole, a need, fear, a sense of deprivation.
All the extroverts and kind people were there.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Sudden death

of a young former colleague. She left a happy life: family and friends, a good education and a good job. Smiling and active just days ago, now gone.

This was a life then. This, the whole thing. Was here, now gone. Does the hole she left harden like cement, or fill in slowly like nearly frozen mud? Does the hole stay empty, a vacuum, or does someday a seed drop in and grow? See the emptiness, be the emptiness, be vast, be the wind and the seed and the sun and the flower.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Rough day

Rough day, tough life? Rest, heal. Sip some herbal tea and listen to the wind and rain.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Be Reiki

Wishing you a very Reiki moment- stop and check in with yourself. Let your thoughts bubble up and take a look at yourself. Be yourself, be Reiki ~

Wednesday, May 1, 2019


I'm writing Excel formulas into a codebook for statistics class. There are lots of formulas. I think I have them all correct and then I look and a number has spontaneously mutated. I look and another one has. All perfect, all set, and then another formula has transformed itself. It's like whack-a-mole trying to get all those formulas perfect and set.

With words there is room for creativity and imperfection. With science there must be a perfect structure, or as nearly perfect as can be. The better the structure, the better our conclusions and predictions.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

test questions, again

I've been creating courses. Most of them are online. What is your favorite way to learn. Do you like to take a lot of quizzes, write discussion posts, or write papers? Lately I've been writing and rewriting test questions, quiz questions, really. They are more like review questions. They cover the content of the chapter, but aren't worth much as total points in the course. Plus the students can retake the quiz as often as they like, and the system records the highest score. There may be too many questions, but I have hard time paring them down to the most important ones. They are mostly knowledge, not application, but the knowledge is focused on specific details of pathophysiology: cells and processes.

I heard a fascinating concept of pathophysiology recently: life is all about the movement of protons. Proton migration across cell membranes fuels life.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Safe Injection Centers

Safe injection centers provide an opportunity to counsel people and reduce the risk of infection, hypothermia, and assault. Prevention is cheaper than crisis care. And it's kinder. Yes, it can be incredibly frustrating to try and help people with substance abuse issues. We can still try to help.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Universal healthcare, universal basic income

Where is the money for healthcare for all? Insurance companies, legal fees, and outrageous profits. Remove health insurance plans from insurance companies. Enormous pool of money there. Then proceed to the legal system. No need for expensive healthcare lawsuits if everyone is covered. No need to sue. Then regulate pharmaceutical and durable medical equipment profits, et voila. Enough money for universal healthcare. 

Probably enough for universal basic income too. 

clean laundry

What is it about laundry? I love to wash it. I even like to wipe down the washing machine and dryer so they look brand new. I like to run bleach or vinegar or essential oils through the machine so it smells fresh. I feel so lucky to have washer & dryer in my house, so I don't have to go to a laundromat or beat my clothes against rocks in a cold stream. I love the settings on the machine, hot or cold? fast or slow? rugged or gentle?

Drying too is fine. I shake out the wet work clothes and hang them on a line. They dry smooth, no ironing. I toss play clothes in the dryer, in there with the wool dryer balls that I made. Sometimes I put essential oils on the dryer balls. I don't use those chemical dryer sheets, yuck. I like to pull the clean and dry clothes out and fold them.

Then the fun stops. The clean, dry, folded clothes sit in a laundry basket for days. There is a special spot in the kitchen where they sit for several days before making it to the bedroom. Once in the bedroom they sit again, waiting to go into dresser and closet. Sometimes I just get dressed from the laundry basket. Usually I dump the clothes on to my bed, so I have to put them away before I can go to bed.

It's spring, and soon I'll be able to dry my clothes and sheets outside. I love that outside smell. It has been all white and bare branches for five months. Soon it will be green again. Well, we usually get a blizzard or two in April, but soon. Soon there will be crocuses, daffodils, and warm breezes to dry clothes.

Monday, February 25, 2019


I've been a vegetarian for a long time, nearly my whole life. I always say it doesn't bother me when I'm with friends and they eat meat, but really... I just shut down, block it out.

Really it always seemed like cannibalism to me. Eating bodies of other living beings of this planet.

Plants seem different, I don't know why. They have spirits too. But it feels ok to eat plants. It just never felt ok to me to eat meat. Just saying. Carry on.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

sharing Reiki

With one hand over my heart, and one hand over my solar plexus, I drop into a meditative state. I think about the person who requested that I send Reiki.

I send Reiki to strangers. They write to me through my fiverr site. They describe physical and emotional maladies. I meditate for them, I focus on Reiki, I am Reiki for them.

Sometimes I get intuitive messages. Sometimes I pass those on. Sometimes I offer nursing instructions. I find myself telling people to rest, drink herbal tea, apply ice or heat, or seek evaluation from a nurse practitioner. Mostly I tell people to drink herbal tea. Sometimes I suggest that they find a Reiki teacher in their area and take a class. I share Reiki. Every person feels different to me. I send several times a day for several days. I'm grateful for the opportunity to share Reiki.

mefk12 Reiki healing

Sunday, February 17, 2019


Saw two turkey vultures today. This was right after I picked up my tax return paperwork and shortly after I spent a vigorous 30 minutes shoveling out my car with an ice scraper. I'd parked on an icy curb. The sun warmed the ice and the car sunk and then I couldn't get out. Stuck. Dug out around the tires with the trusty ice scraper.

The vulture was in the road, and I thought it was a turkey. I've never seen a turkey in the city before. I saw it on my way to my accountant, and it was still there when I came back. That's when I saw it was a vulture, not a turkey. I've never seen a vulture in the city either.

So I turned around to take a good look. It was eating a dead squirrel, fresh roadkill. A car came and the vulture hopped up onto the snowbank. Then it flapped it's black wings and swooped up to a rooftop. What big wings. That's when I saw the second vulture. It was up on the roof.

The last time I saw vultures was out west last May. I remember one morning at Mesa Verde. I drove up there in the dark and was there at the rim when the sun came up. As it got light, I saw black blobs in the Douglas firs. I thought they were plastic bags. It got lighter and I saw they were sleeping turkey vultures. About 20 of them, maybe more. One by one they rustled, flapped, resettled, hopped around, and swooped to a new branch. Douglas firs can grow to be 200-300 feet tall. The firs and vultures were just below me, between the ruins and me. I was the only person there. I just sat on the rock rim and watched the light, the vultures, and the ruins.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

eye strain

Eye strain?

Close your eyes and rest. Several times a day, stop and cup your hands. Place them over your closed eyes. Breathe in health. 

Blink often. Try an herbal tincture from your local herbalist or health food store. Eyebright orally or in a compress. Cut back on screen time. Get enough sleep.

Self-Reiki. be well ~

4 corners

Acceded to peer requests and gave a talk at work yesterday. I talked about my travels around the 4 corners. I had PowerPoint slides of photos, stones, and a stack of books.

This is what I told them.

First I plan. That is some of the fun. I choose my flights, rent a car, and find little motels. TripAdvisor is great for finding motels. I make lists of museums, bookstores, restaurants, rock shops, and hikes. I research petroglyph and pictographs. I plan to drive about 4 hours/day. It takes me about 8 hours to do a 4-hour drive because I love to stop and explore. I plan days with my son and DIL.

I pack light. One carry-on whether it's one week or three.

I take the bus to Logan airport in Boston and fly to Salt Lake City, Denver, Albuquerque, or Phoenix. I rent a car and head to the first motel. I stop at a grocery store for jugs of water and bags of snacks.

Every morning I get up before dawn and head to a spectacular spot for sunrise. I hike til noon. I take lots of pictures. When it gets hot, early afternoon, I go to a museum, bookstore, thrift store, or a rock shop. Then I head back to the motel for a shower and a meal. I rinse my clothes in the shower. Some days I drive, stop to explore, and sleep in a new motel. Sometimes I stay at one motel for several days, as I explore the area. I get coffee from the motel lobby in the afternoon or evening, and stick it in the car for the morning. Sometimes the lobby has books to trade.

I like independent bookstores, and look for local biographies. I like farmer's markets, grocery stores, and botanical gardens. I don't like crowds; I despise tourists. I recognize the irony. I like wild animals: antelope, elk, horses, turkeys, vultures, hawks, coyotes, and rabbits. I like flowers, lakes, sunrises and sunsets, cacti, ruins, arches, and easy hikes. I like to look up the altitude and the humidity wherever I am. I like to be alone in nature. I like to chat with people I encounter. Narrow ledges, steep drop-offs, and narrow steep windy roads are scary.

So that's what I told them, as I showed them gorgeous photos of some of my favorite places: national parks, ruins, and petroglyphs of our 4 corners. Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.

Already planning my trip for this summer.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Educational models

I've been reading about the difference between teaching at a university, a community college, and a for-profit school. Also related topics: tenure, academic freedom, use of adjuncts, endowments, government subsidies, tuition, retention, student loans, and employment after graduation. And important topic for nursing education: NCLEX pass rates.

The model for higher education in the United States is shifting from the university, research-based, government-subsidized, tenured faculty, lecture format to a revenue-focused business with packaged online courses taught by interchangeable adjuncts. The US Department of Education supports for-profits, and has rolled back student protections implemented by the Obama administration. Interesting times in higher education.