Friday, May 31, 2013

People In Your Neighborhood

take a seat and read!!!

Marisha Pessl wrote her debut novel and was completely controversial, both widely praised and mocked. I for one LOVED it: Special Topics in Calamity Physics  was one of my favorite finds of the last ten years. Her 2nd novel was a long time coming, but it's almost here. The website for Night Film is frigging awesome.

The obituary of my beloved Edna St. Vincent Millay

A long time ( 10 years! ) online friend of mine runs this amazing natural soap shop, with cleaners, deodorants etc. that smell OUT OF THIS WORLD good. Seriously.

Katie's story about getting very ill- having doctors tell her all the wrong things, and then finding a doctor who finally figured out what she needed was an armour thyroid pill instead of the synthroid she'd been taking- it's an important and timely story for so many women. Not only is her diagnosis important to note ( and symptoms ) but also the way she was treated by her doctors, which is not uncommon with autoimmune issues.

This photo documentary is the deeply moving and upsetting story of Shane and Maggie. Don't miss this.

Did you know Jane Pauley has bipolar disorder? I didn't. This essay by her about her diagnosis and recovery is so interesting.

Letters of Note is such a great website- it features ' correspondence deserving of a wider audience ' Fascinating.

Enough Abuse campaign.   :

The Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations ever conducted on the links between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being. Conducted by the federal CDC and Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest HMO, the study found that of 17,000 members surveyed, 16% of men and 25% of women indicated they had had sexual contact with an adult or older child when they were children. This supports other previous studies in which 1 in 4 females and 1 in 6 males reported having experienced some form of sexual abuse or exploitation before age 18.
Victims include infants, toddlers, young children and teens. Children ages 8 to 11 comprise the largest number of sexually abused children while teens from 14 to 17 represent a third of victims. The fastest growing age group experiencing sexual abuse is children 6 and under. Children with physical and mental disabilities are especially vulnerable. The problem is enormous and so are its consequences.

dead bugs & the dirty ground

Ever the Fierce.
dead leaves and the dirty ground
when I know you're not around
shiny tops and soda pops
when I hear your lips make a sound
when I hear your lips make a sound
-the white stripes ( one of my top fav. bands ever )
The local fish pond store

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Time and Grief and Love

To miss what once was while you are not able to be in the moment of what is is a horrible kind of self torture and pain particular to only humans. 

I worked out, and I did yoga. I told you I would, and I did. I spent the evening alone with Ever, Mr. Curry took Lola to a baseball game, and at first, it was scary. As soon as they left, I burst into tears, and although I told Ever ' It's OK sweetie. Mommy's a little sad. Mommy's crying. That's OK, everyone cries ' still, no child likes to see their parent cry, and Ever held me for a minute and kissed my face before playing toys in the next room. I let myself cry for a  minute, because I knew if I didn't, I'd be irritable and cranky all evening. Then I wiped my face and Ever and I left the house and bought cheap takeout, and walked around, came home and played ball outside, washed the dogs and played in the hose, I worked out and did yoga and she watched Mickey Mouse, we showered, we snuggled, we nursed, she fell asleep. It was beautiful. I read Pema Chodron and accepted the pain that I was in and I felt comforted by her. 

In the background of all of this, there is the quiet and constant aching of missing Dakota. Sometimes I have moments where I curl my hand to my gut and press hard, clench my jaw, because the tremendous change of my oldest child being out in the world is so monumental I can only seem to process it in these leaps and bounds. For years and years, he was mine, and I his, and we alone for each other, although there were so many friends and family, it was mostly he and I together, and the amount of time I spent with him bonded us as deeply as possible. Until he was six, he was with me almost all the time. I worked as a nanny so I could bring him with me, and then at a drop in preschool where he came with me also. We went to Borders four, five times a week and read books and curled up together in corners and those are some of the most illuminated, peaceful, joyous and perfect times of my life. I miss him. I just miss him so much.

And then I look at my children still at home. I love them so deeply and like them so much and if their childhoods were to spin by and outward away from me, where my heart and mind never caught up, I would never forgive myself. This picture of Ever feels like a million years ago and yet it was not even a full year. Time moves inside our children's very bones with a swiftness that takes your breath no matter how deeply you know its truth. I have to meditate and let that move into the sadness.

I cannot run from this pain. I know if I do, I will be doing my children a great disservice. I know that part of my depression is chemical and so I take the pill. I know that the other part is my marriage and so I do this: I care for myself. I care for my children. I care for my husband, whatever that can look like at any given moment. I can say I"M ANGRY and I am, like a great big fucking bull I"M ANGRY. I want my old marriage back, the one that is documented so beautifully here for all those years. 

This depression is so large because I cannot face one thing: I cannot control what is happening.


And then emptiness.

The gut wrenching emptiness of despair. So I must move toward this bull with my red cape thrown down. I will be gored. I will bleed. I will cry. I will tell you about it, over and over again, until suddenly I feel that I am not in the ring anymore, because I have stopped fighting.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

blue pills, blue eyes: blue

In the background there is the high constant whining of some machinery. A lawn mower? Some kind of table saw? It echoes my brain. 

The idea is that I move through this period of life as my own person, whole and awake. Instead I am half asleep and broken into dark plum colored bloody pieces. At night I lay on my bed with the reading lamp on and hold Game Of Thrones close to my face. I fill my brain with the words of winter and push against the oppressive space of everything else that moves as a tornado, around me and around me and around me with an incredible, powerful vortex of energy which holds in its center nothingness.
Winter is coming- this is a new way of saying The Nothing is coming. The Never Ending Story has an end. We might not like it.

He's not OK and we aren't OK even though, as adults go, we are. We don't scream, abuse, scare, curse, refuse to communicate, we do all the right things to Handle It The Right Way and my idea was
to get through this with my strengths and my books and my friends and remember, I'm my own person, I Can Be Happy On My Own, I can parallel play and here he is and here I am and here is life going on and yet the Big Dead Thing keeps growing in chest. There isn't a pill for it. It's 2 years now, give or take, with spots of sun. If you hibernate for too long, you die, right?

I am good and do the right things.

fish oils.
goal focusing.
helping others.
avoiding brooding but accepting emotion.
all of it.
All The Things.
wash your hair, brush the dog, beat the faucet when the leak sprays upright and wicked-
something you can attack without shame, as long as the children don't see.
of course they see.

Ally's post on depression made me feel more depressed. I'm too entrenched to find it amusing or enlightening to make little heartwarming cartoons out of this kind of trouble. 

Dick In A Box makes me laugh, though.

I am now on 50 zoloft and it's not working. 

What to do. 

I need A Plan.

Start With Yoga. It's something. I can do that. 20 minutes a day with Ever circling me and fussing, but I can do it. The time he watches her or Lola watches her is for showering or writing my assignments. 

So yoga. It's decided.

Thanks for the talk.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Potty Trained and Lined Up

Dakota came by over the weekend. PHOTO OP.
I can't get enough of this babycakes!
She's totally potty trained now minus an occasional time the mysterious #2 starts in her pants.
I forgot to mention in the Disneyland post that she had no accidents all day at Disneyland!
Now that is impressive.
Equally as impressive: Mr. Curry and I lugged around her personal potty in the stroller and I put it in the Disneyland bathroom for her to use, cleaned it out, dried it, and put it back in the stroller. That's dedication.
She picked out these superhero underwear herself and I was so happy- CUTENESS.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Review: The Book of Maybe: Finding Hope and Possibility In Your Life

I've been reading Allison Carmen's blog for a while now, and her insights into handling emotions ( and parenting ) have frequently touched me with their simple, usable truths. When Allison sent me her book, I was hopeful that it would be full of the same kind of gentle guidance, and I was happy to find that it is.

Allison works as a life coach and uses many examples from that coaching in this short, brimming book. No matter how many times I read a story of a person finding the way to a more peaceful, happy life through that alchemy of acceptance and faith in better things, it never fails to inspire me.

The concept of the book is to diffuse the power of anxiety and fear through the power of maybe. Being that I struggle with ongoing anxiety that has at times veered into full blown panic attacks, I am always hungry for more guidance away from struggling in fear, closer toward accepting the fear and moving through it and away from it organically. This means not to pretend you don't feel afraid, or to ignore it, but to pursue other ways your brain can view the world and change the roller coaster of emotions and chemicals that create anxiety.

Mrs. Carmen herself used to struggle with debilitating anxiety, and her own personal transformation reminded me of the one that begins the famous book The Power of Now. Eckhart Tolle's beloved book of spiritual freedom echoes Allison's own realization and following freedom from fear. Mrs. Carmen's realization hinged on one concept- maybe. Maybe things will be as bad as you imagine, and maybe they will not. We can't know. Accepting that we cannot know, and that it is possible that there will be light where we imagine only darkness, it is possible that there will be solutions we think don't exist, it is possible that maybe, even if something bad happens, we will find beautiful connections and life afterward, or maybe, the bad thing won't happen at all. Maybe.

Reading through this book, I was struck with the way each chapter lulled me into a deep relaxation. Mrs. Carmen's writing voice is comforting in the way of all great teachers, even as she confronts painful truths, you feel the strength and clarity behind the words.

My own anxiety, PTSD, panic attacks- it is all deeply entrenched and a part of me I"ve worked my entire adult life to heal. I know that this book was another step in that healing journey. I highly recommend The Book of Maybe.


The Book of Maybe: Finding Hope and Possibility in Your Life

Sunday, May 26, 2013

People In Your Neighborhood

lay down and read

This fascinating interview with Jaron Lanier absorbed me completely. ' The Internet Destroyed The Middle Class' The concept that online, people are doing the same work they used to do for pay for free is what has been bothering me, and something I've discussed with friends, for the last year or so. It feels like a lot of wheels that were spinning have begun to just fly off and bang into the ether online. What will happen next?

Conversations With A Two Year Old- I wish I had though of this. It's fucking awesome! And hilarious. This is exactly Ever. She tells Mr. Curry he can't talk to me evearay day. 

Gina Frangello wrote one of the best essays I've read on The Nervous Breakdown. ' This Is Happiness ' This is the kind of 'confessional' writing I cannot get enough of.

Cul-De-Sac poverty. Oh lord, the truth hurts. Remember when I wrote The Hotel New California? OK well read it anyway.

Fellow blogger, writer and mother JJ Keith writes this bold, honest piece on Salon ' Miscarriages Made Me Question Being Pro-Choice'

Embracing Your Hatred And Saving The World  This involved, emotionally challenging essay is worth the time. 

I really enjoyed this essay by Mira Ptacin ' Is Baby A Luxury? ' Well written and subjects near to my heart- I do wish that she would have circled back more to the question of her title.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


I am driving back from the grocery store when I see him in a beaten up Chevy with a dreamcatcher hanging from the rearview mirror. His paunchy face is looking downward, dangerously- the car swerves on the road. It is autumn. I am cold from my malfunctioning thyroid and the California lizard winds- scaly, thin, freezing. I am listening to Prince and singing under my breath, purposefully using the wrong lyrics to amuse myself, wondering what Prince is really like in bed, that tiny man body, that pompadour, the perfume, sweet velvet eyeliner, high voice. Does he hum to himself when he's licking a woman clean? I am picturing the bed of Prince- a thickly layered circular majesty suffocating with oversized pillows. 

I look up and he is looking down and my hands on the driving wheel instantly shrink two sizes and my feet shrivel and slip of the gas pedal and my body becomes the body of an eight year old and I can no longer drive or control my car and a great, shuddering fear and grief clicks the camera closed, and opened, and I am in a different world and time, and I am not safe. It is silent and the silence is threatening. It is cold and the cold is winter. It is fear and the fear is a warning. Only then do I see that it is not him. The man looks up just as we pass each other and he has a large, ungainly nose, puffy lips and a square head. Not my father.

The song rises again into my consciousness, my hands and body and feet grow and like Alice I am returned to my rightful size, and like Alice I awake from a dream that was not a dream. I pull the car into the Home Goods parking lot and press my forehead against the wheel of the car but it is not hard enough; I grip the steering wheel with wet hands and yank the thing into my forehead until finally it begins to hurt, and hurt, and hurt, and after a minute or so, I begin to cry, and the crying becomes something humiliating, something other, something high and shrill and wailing and completely unwelcome in this suburban palace of manicured grasses, elementary schools, street corners of pharmacies and Mexican food, the psychiatrists tucked cleanly and neatly far back into boxed corners on the edge of town. I listen to myself cry and think about how Indian people have that beautiful, out of control sounding musical wailing that reminds me of opera, and how I have no place to hide, and how I want more than anything in the world to be in that moment in the wide wide world and thrust my face into some rich uncontaminated soil and wrap my hands around grasses and feel the complacent face of sky watching my ritual. I think about why I am crying. I listen to what my brain tells me, and it has an order:

First: I want my daddy! I never had my daddy! I want a daddy!

Then: I hate him! I hate him! I hate him!

And: I don't hate him, Lura forgive me, I don't and I can't, I tried....

Then: I want my sister I want my sisterIwantmysisterIwantmysister and this trails and repeats and loops and so this way I know it is the true place of my grief. Oh Lura. My sweet baby sister. I am so, so sorry beyond even knowing what I am sorry for, knowing what I am sorry for, I am sorry for more and for everything and for not taking care of you. For not knowing how. I am sorry. I love you. I miss you. 

The emptiness of her loss spins from my crying mouth like a fragile ghost, misting around my chest and face, and I view it with ragged breath. I look into the loss. I bow my head because this is a place of suffering and grief, like an unmarked burial site in the middle of the Iraqi desert. No one names this place, and I cannot explain what it is that happened. I had a sister. I still have a sister. I lost my sister. She left us. She left me. I don't have my sister, anymore. It has been ten years.

Wherever you are, you are loved. You are so loved.

the mystery of nine mile marsh

sting hiss: steam blows
white lipped, slack cheeked
and foul, into the forced and
petal O of my mouth.
the compass pointed south:

air bubble to the heart.
the letting of my own changling
meat, the slow wet suck
of failure to thrive. lips flinch
with static.

i strike autistic at the fabric of
my nervous system, stemming
for my life: i will stop the jerking
of my muscles,

and the puppetry of my heart.
i am as ugly as the pustules
round my mouth. our lips
made a swamp where swampy
things burst to

breathe for me. i insist, i decline.
i will not be gassed like a sex doll!
blown up for your fine release.
ironed and stapled and taped into
an iron lung

this silence passing as peace.
the spasm passes through
my eye, a flicker, a flinching,

a brackish toss over your shoulder

into the structures of my mind.
the tossing ocean sizzles like a
snail salted for dinner. i am
paying penitence with slow goings,

i am the salt lake, the great
continental divide- the result
of force and demand and machine

i am the water that set herself on fire.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Equals Project essay

The Equals Project is a newish magazine- both online and soon to release the first print edition, which I am thrilled to be a part of - with essays written by women about All The Things. I have an essay up today about Ever Elizabeth's place in our family called The Baby Of the Family.

I'd love if you'd take a minute to read it, comment. Thank you! I have no daycare kiddos today so am now off the puter to take Ever outside for a while until we have to pick up Ms. Lola. Hope your afternoon is calm, and if not calm, then not crazy, and if it's crazy, there's always tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Winter Is Coming

A long breath of desire. A suspension of belief. A catastrophic orgasm, chaining you to the mortal body forever. The wind across my chest is your hair, everywhere I am alive I think of you, feel you, feel love for you blooming in my breast and belly and heart like a great, pulsating drum, filled with the warmth of sun and the distant freeze of salt water. Winter is coming. Every day we are filled with each other's arms and cut on the teeth of our lover, we are one leaping shrieking joyful laugh from the abyss. Tip. Restrain from desire, yet restraint is desire. I create structure and collapse into the footfalls of nighttime on a simple trip alone, for milk. There is no baby, no breastfeeding, no constant mantra of internet ego and titillation, no mundane brushing or laundering, washing or collecting. Lovers do not collect, lovers do not sort, categorize-- lovers do, lovers are, lovers feel. This is dangerous. Parenthood calls for order, sorted drawers, dental appointments, dinnertime. Abandon yourself to sex and time softens underneath the kneading of hands on belly- there are no lunches made, appointments noted, vitamins taken. There is the man and the woman and the naked body, as has been since time has known humans, as perfect and alive as a leaf slapping another on the branch or the fox dancing through the grasses. Give yourself to me. This is greedy, urgent even in slow motion, and I organize myself around the ritual of your body. The children glare balefully because they do not want their parents owned by any other, even each other. A phone rings from the other place, our dog barks, the baby cries. I am pulled angrily and flushed from the bottom of the river to the pounding of hands on the shore. Why revive? Winter is Coming.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Disneyland, California

Ever's first trip to Disneyland was sponsored by: Grandma
Grandma supports the arts and education of small grandchildren
through play and experience since 1994

The whole pack showed up, later than we planned because of me, Mom.
Hi, I'm Mom.
I slept in until 8, and then made everyone go to Starbucks AND Target, to get Ever an Etch A Sketch
for the car trip. We didn't arrive until almost noon. No one complained. This was accomplished through years of Mom being relentlessly late for pretty much every occasion and event known to Man, including the births of her own children, because who can leave for the hospital without the right pillow? Also accomplished through: profound resignation, illness bringing everyone down a notch, too happy to care, and lastly, love.
Mom also made the mistake of not listening to her firstborn daughter, Lola Moon, who gently and cheerfully suggested that we ' make a list of what to do! '
Which was shot down by everyone, including Mom, who later, after hours and hours of wandering around the park in a undignified, overheated, exhausted and futile effort to please all the people, all the time,
thought to herself that next time, she'd listen to her daughter.
First Ride: It's A Small World
Ever LOVED it. She was exactly as enthralled, mesmerized and overjoyed by the entire Disneyland experience as we all had hoped she was. It must have looked odd-- an entire family of five people with goofy grins staring at one small person for an entire ride. LOOK! SHE LIKES IT!
The day was gorgeous, sunny, and we all ate our home brought snacks and walked around before sitting for a little lunch. 
Let's stand in line for twenty minutes to meet Goofy!
Let's eat Mickey Mouse ice cream instead.

It was one of those trips where things were slightly off for all of us- with the enormous exception of Ever, who could live at Disneyland. Ian, Lola, Ed and Dakota all felt ill, having been fighting the barrage of various diseases going around the last month. Dakota was also bumming for personal reasons although he put a good face on and was polite, generous and kind the entire day. It's hard for me to feel how proud I am of him, how much I love him, out there in the world on his own-- it is where the expression ' fit to burst ' came from. I myself have been battling The Autoimmune Stuff for a while now, so eight straight hours of standing and walking in the direct sun made me feel very unwell, surreal and frustrated that I couldn't enjoy it more. That passed quickly, and the realization that It Is What It Is helped me settle in and accept what I felt, and enjoy the parts that I could. Lola was having a pretty good case of The Anxieties, and also handled it well. Mr. Curry got progressively sicker until he lost his voice entirely, and yet never used it to complain. We all shouldered our various complaints good naturedly for the most part, and were able to really enjoy the parts that were there to enjoy.
The kids took turns remarking ' Even so, we are so lucky to be here! ' or after a brief complaint of head hurting or stomach hurting ' But we are all together, and so lucky to be here! ' I was proud of my kids, and proud of Mr. Curry and I for working hard over the years to model gratitude and perspective and manners. Over the years there have been fit throwing, bad manners and ingratitude for sure, ( and will be more, with Lola and Ever so young still ) but sometimes it all comes together and you see that what you are teaching is sinking in.
I was definitely the worst behaved of the lot-- by the end of the day I felt awful, sun sick despite sunblock, aching all over and frustrated by a serious of problems with accessing our  money, Ever refusing to sit in her stroller ( only tantrum of the day ), a recurrence of guilt that I couldn't just BE HAPPY in the happiest place on the earth that someone else payed for, holy hell, huge blisters on my feet and realizing that I had put myself in the position of going on no rides all day ( Mr. Curry tried, but I was flustered and wouldn't decide on anything ) I think I actually stomped my feet taking Ever and her potty into the bathroom while everyone tried to figure out how to get ahold of our money.
I'm so ashamed.
But the moment passed and I rallied and Dakota slung his arm around me and said Mom, it's cool, you're doing great, and I was then overwhelmed with the blissful and surreal reality that I had raised a son who understood, in some part, what it is to be The Mom in these situations,
and I laughed and the moment passed.

Lola, Ever and Mr. Curry on Dumbo. They had so much fun! And I got to stand with my boys and talk and watch. 

This was an awesome moment- we watched the end part of a Star Wars show, and I had a mocha frap while Ever had Mickey Mouse ice cream. 

The big three kids were off on their own for a few hours, and us three ran into the  parade- which, again, Ever loved. Magic. 

Ever has a love for fountains, and the one at Toon Town kept her occupied while Mr Curry waited in line to meet Minnie Mouse.

She was enthralled with the dishwasher in Minnie's house.

Meeting Minnie was so, so sweet. Minnie is Ever's favorite, next to Mickey. She asks to watch Minnie's Bowtique every day, dresses like Minnie, has Minnie books, etc. So this was a big moment in her two years of life. Which she wanted Daddy to do with her, not Mommy. Not that I minded. Or anything. Sniff. She wanted Daddy all day! It was sweet to watch-- all day, every time she went on a ride or saw a character, she reached for Daddy.  Lola complained too, about the lack of Ever holding on rides.
The last ride was the Nemo submarine ride-- we all went on this one. It's such a good ride to end the trip with. Soothing and cheerful, the girls both glued the whole time.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

People In Your Neighborhood

take a seat and read!!

My piece on MindBodyGreen gives 10 tips to help a child with anxiety. Happy to be part of this awesome online magazine!

Programs to help kids in poverty are imperative to break the cycle, and Patricia Mainer is the living embodiment of that. Her story is so inspiring, and I'm glad she chooses to speak up and advocate.

Patrick Stewart tells his personal story of how the physical abuse of his mother affected him as a boy. He wants change. Make it so.

I have linked a few articles on breast cancer and the changing ideas about it's detection and treatment. This woman's blog chronicles her story and what is a perfect example of the ideas being discussed. She was diagnosed with DCIS and ended up going a different way for treatments.

A woman with bipolar discusses the movie Silver Lining Playbook and her decision to go public with her diagnosis. We watched the movie SLP a few weeks ago and I liked it- a realistic recounting of one story of bipolar.

I love this interview with Ian McEwan by Zadie Smith in The Believer. Ian McEwan's Saturday is one of the most engrossing books I've read in a while, and Zadie Smith's On Beauty is one of my favorite novels in general. Their discussion about writing is geek heaven for me.

Ice Cream Man To Rival: ' I Own This Town'   oh I love this.

Fellow blogger, writer and mother Jane Roper wrote this great piece for The Millions on publishing her book and the diagnosis of her daughter with leukemia.  

My piece on Budget Fashionista lists the 20 best pieces of fashion advice ever!

Friday, May 17, 2013

geez, you really like your kids

$3 flowers from the Saturday morning Farmers Market
one block from my house
a stroller walk away

Ever Elizabeth took this of her Daddy

Ever and Daddy looking at the puter together
and Ever with my daycare kiddos playing on our very very very very
used front porch
Ever is obsessed with making 'chocolate soup'
ie mud, leaves, twigs, berries, chalk, etc.
' BELISH! ' she says
Ever and Daddy looking at the kitty who lives next door
probably because we don't have one, Kinny is obsessed with cats
and that thing?
oh that's just the pee inducing lizard that keeps surprising me on our porch.
he's huge and mean.
and that last picture,
that's what i do a million bajillion times a day
so that Lola's best friend said
geez, you really like your kids

Monday, May 13, 2013

Just So-So Stories

-I drove by a big white truck painted across the side with red letters SIEMENS What an unfortunate name for a company.

-Ever is fully potty trained minus pooping in her underwear the last two days. Cleaning poop out of underwear is five million times more gross and difficult than cleaning poop out of diapered butts. There is the underwear creamed with poop, first of all. Yesterday after dumping out Ever's poopy underwear into the toilet, the toilet clogged. I got the plunger and began working away at the clog. The plunger curled up on itself and I had to use my bare hand to uncurl it, and as I pushed at it, it uncurled in one big Snap! and flung poop water all over my face.

-Ian gave me an awesome mother's day card, with a sweet sentiment in it that ended:
 Keep it up! 

-I am watching Mad Men from the very beginning on Netflix. I'm now on Season 3 in the first few episodes. When we head toward bed at nite, Ever says ' Momma you watch Mad Men? He falling! '

And as he falls and falls and the camera pulls away to reveal Don Draper sitting with his arms out, drink in hand, and the music skitters and lands delightfully, she says ' He's OK! ' I'm loving this show.

-It was- is?- almost 90- degrees here today. The kids have been in the house most of the day, minus an hour in the morning and now an hour in the later afternoon. I'm running out of ways to keep them occupied. Ice cubes only go so far. Oh, I need to buy shaving cream! Thank you. Your welcome.

-Mr. Curry made a wonderful mother's day for me. I felt happy, loved, and lucky. Which was good because I've been in a state of constant anxiety the last few days. I needed a break. Today, back to the fear. Someone must sing me Soft Kitty.

-Ever has pneumonia. Thursday we went to the pediatrician- a new one- and left with antibiotics, albuterol for breathing treatments and a liquid steroid. She's much better now. The first few days were upsetting. Watching her breathe like that brings up the emotions of her first month of life when she was hospitalized with RSV.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

People In Your Neighborhood: Mental Health Edition

take heart, and read

My post originally up here at Flux is now up at Huffington Post: Wabi Sabi { Scenes From A Marriage} on bipolar, marriage and the story we make of our lives.

A brave, beautiful essay from Edenland on her recent hospitalization and diagnosis of Bipolar 11

What would have happened to Sylvia Plath with proper treatment and medication? Seeing Sylvia Plath With New Eyes

This article on helping the siblings of mentally ill or atypical kids is informative and compassionate.

Fish oil supplements 'beat psychotic illness' : I give my children fish oil supplements from the time they are toddlers, for a variety of reasons, but the preventative and stabilizing effect on mood is definitely one of them. I think anyone with a background of mental illness in their family is doing their children a huge favor by providing this. The study I link is not the only study to link fish oil to mood stabilization. There was a major study done in a prison, for instance, over a span of a year or two, that showed a great reduction in violent acts and behavior in the population after daily fish oil supplementation was introduced.

Natasha Tracy's informative, updated and honest blog, Bipolar Blurble

The blogpost everyone is talking about: ( at least, all the COOL mentally ill people, like me! ) Depression, Part Two from Hyperbole and a Half

Thursday, May 9, 2013


blue mask grab her face 
a small grunt in sleep
mole baby, tuck to my nipple.

seal the steroid air,
tongue of clean oxygen
- a bronchial rape.

' rape me, rape me my friend
rape me, rape me again
am i the only one? '

wake! wake! 
she's not breathing cold am 
there is is a train tunnel 

coming like freight off the moon-
in the desert you hear this
warning all night:

i am the one thing
i am the one thing
i am the one thing

tiny exclamations of surprise
bubble from her heated mouth:
where is the air?

all the midnight trucks pulled over.
the sirens mute, every dog muzzled-
they wait for this child to breathe.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Be Here Now

An overcast moody day after two days of rain; no matter how many times I press my forefinger into the divet on my forehead it remains with the slightest emotion or slant of sun. I have my father's squint without the masculine, bristling eyebrows. I smoked for a long time. I want a cigarette. Every day I wake and touch the blanket, press my feet against the pillowy mattress, address myself to the physical world. I am not here, though. That last picture of me looks like someone already dead. A photo of someone you remember. Time slips by and I spin untouched in its endless encompassing everything always forever. Where am I?
Today, I was at the park.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Lola Rules and Chores at Eleven Years Old

I usually make dinner. Sometimes Mr. Curry does, but usually it's me. We've role reversed- for a few years there, he was the cook. Lola's in charge of cleaning up afterward. This includes sweeping the kitchen, wiping down the dinner table, the counters and the stove top, rinsing off the dishes and putting them in the right side of the sink and putting away any leftovers. Please Lola, don't wipe the crumbs on the floor!

We don't have desserts until Friday, with occasional exceptions. Friday night we get cheap takeout and usually have dessert, too. I always have my kids look and see how much sugar is in products. If we buy yogurt, Lola sees it has 11 grams of sugar in it. That's half of what you need in one day, in one yogurt, I point out. I explain to my kids that bodies are just fancy engines, and if you put a bunch of mud in your engine every day, eventually it's going to break.

Lola's teacher isn't big on homework, but she does have a little every day, plus I have her study basic math facts for 20 minutes daily. After forgetting this often, I had her make a sign to reminder herself. Same for cleaning up after dinner. I'm big on signs as reminders, we ( including the adults ) are big forgetters, so writing things down is imperative.

She also has to do self care. Since Lola has generalized anxiety, when it rears its head we make sure she stays on top of it so it doesn't get too bad. So far this works. Her self care includes exercise ( Wii Dance or a run ), quiet, uninterrupted time to do whatever she wants, low sugar and dairy, comfort reads and shows, meditation and breathing exercises and getting outside. At bedtime, she has cuddles and then thinks of three happy things to look forward to as she falls asleep. These are all done daily until the anxiety is quelled.

Once every weekend, usually Sunday, she participates in cleaning the general house. Usually she does something like wash windows, pick up her room, empty bathroom trashes and brush the dogs.

Lola regularly helps with Ever but I've been careful not too ask too much. A good half of what she does for Ever is self initiated. They are as close as I ever dreamed. Maybe three days out of the week I ask Lola to watch Ever for a half hour or hour after the daycare kiddos are gone, always so I can write. They usually go on the porch and play, or upstairs and play dolls. Lola bathes with Ever a few times a week too. 

Lola has Girl Scouts once every other week. Her guitar ended when she broke her arm, she just didn't want to go back, and since I had made her finish out the lessons with protest for months, I let it go. She's doing dance soon.

She has an Ipad from school ( they all have to use one for school ) and the iPod she bought; after fiddling with the rules for the first month, I landed on keeping her at one half hour of use a day, with Friday being the day she can use electronics as much as she wants. She has to be in bed reading at 8:30 every night, and goes to bed at 9pm. In my dream world she goes to bed at 9 every night. In reality, it's more like 9:30.

I start my kids out playing outside from littles, and so at Lola's age I don't have to kick her outside to play- it's just part of our life: of course you play outside every day! If she started hermiting, I would kick her out though. Fresh air, grass, seeing the leaves blowing in the wind, the sun, the cold air, goosebumps, aloneness while throwing rocks, playing with friends in the bushes, watching ropy  polys...all of this is important to being alive.

Her newest project/idea is awesome. She wants to do a dance a thon for Rady Children's Hospital. Her Girl Scout troop recently went and donated used books that all the girls pitched in, and Lola was really moved by the parents living there because their kids are so sick. She is thinking people could pledge $10 an hour for every hour their person keeps dancing.

Basically, she's totally major.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Park Reverie

Spring passes and one remembers one's innocence. Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance. Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence. Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance. -Yoko Ono
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