The Breaking Point

2017-11-25T20:15:07+00:00 November 25th, 2017|parenting|

The school secretary sounded serious. "Your daughter is ok, but I think she needs to be seen by a doctor," she told me. She'd slipped in the mud playing football and her arm hurt. In the office, the principal and I asked her to wiggle her fingers, and how much it hurt. It didn't seem [...]


2017-10-14T03:20:15+00:00 October 14th, 2017|daily life|

My mother lived only 2 days into her 54th year, and the end of her life was a case study of how we sometimes ramp up, into expensive and invasive treatment and activity, just when some softening and easing would be perfect. "We'll fight this and beat this" has its place, but the push and [...]

Cub Scouts and Knausgaard

2017-10-03T20:54:12+00:00 October 3rd, 2017|daily life, parenting|

Really all I need is a simple way back to now. And I need it again, and again, and again. When I escape the trap of my worries, the real world seems so solid and beautiful. I find myself Assistant Scout Master for my son's pack, or pride or den, whatever it's called. First grade is [...]


2017-09-27T10:52:25+00:00 September 27th, 2017|adoption|

It's so hard to keep perspective.  A cold and cough swept through the family, Jaden then me then Shayla, with 2.5 sick days and a sick weekend, which feels especially cruel. Jaden's better, but woke up grumpy. "Don't talk to me," he howled when I suggested he get dressed. Then he cried and cried when [...]

Labor, and Rest

2017-09-04T22:12:19+00:00 September 4th, 2017|parenting|

As an anxious person, I spend a lot of time trying to calm myself (and others) down. As a loving person I long to be in synch with and connected to people. I watch with envy those who seem calm and at ease with themselves, and strive to make myself that way too, but I'm [...]

Notes on (Family) Camp

2017-08-07T06:47:22+00:00 August 6th, 2017|holidays and celebrations|

We spent a week at a camp for GLBT families July 29 to August 6. Yes, 8 days of camp. Here are some notes and photos. Saturday Arrived with ash falling from the sky and the sun red from smoke. Hot as hades. They said a fire burning South of Quincy wasn’t moving this way; [...]

Remembering Finnegan, 2001 – 2017

2017-07-24T16:31:53+00:00 July 24th, 2017|daily life|

Finnegan was 16 and a half years old, which is quite up there for a Jack Russell Terror Terrier. Most of his life he was everything you’d expect: feisty and full of bravado, snuggly and in need of comfort. Jay says that as a puppy Finnegan charged out into the back yard, barking fiercely and [...]

Birth Mom

2017-07-13T10:21:06+00:00 July 12th, 2017|adoption|

This is the story of a confusing but important relationship. She created two of the best things that have happened to me, my kids. She gave them their lives, and perhaps some of their biggest life challenges. Her own life has been difficult as she tried to overcome addiction and other problems. Pregnant with our [...]

My Children Far, and Near

2017-07-01T08:35:18+00:00 July 1st, 2017|adoption, parenting|

We're just back from a week at family camp. It was our eighth year, and there's much to love. For one, the corny entertainments. There are singalongs and sketches and silliness that benefit from being performed in such an improbable spot, tucked into the trees in the Sierra Mountain wilderness. There's barely electricity, but these [...]

Summer Fever Dream

2017-06-08T15:14:21+00:00 June 8th, 2017|daily life|

We've needed rain so much, and the Spring delivered. Rain, and rain, and more rain. We're headed into the dry season but the plants are gloriously happy. The pollen shimmers in the warming air, and as the kids' summer break speeds towards me I find myself in a strangely frantic lethargy. There's so much to [...]

Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There

2017-05-29T21:29:45+00:00 May 29th, 2017|daily life|

I've been worried about Dad. He's having progressive short-term memory loss. He's feeling woozy and dizzy. Of course he says he's fine, but he's not the most communicative person on the planet, so I worried there was more. Living half a continent away it's hard to tell. I arrived on a recent visit in high [...]

Saying No to the Spring Fling

2017-04-13T15:45:35+00:00 April 13th, 2017|holidays and celebrations|

The speeding up of life has been well documented, but it continues to take me by surprise. Each annual event that comes along, Jay says "I can't believe it's time for that already, it seems like it was just a few months ago." Somewhere in a pile on my desk is the Haggadah Jay's dad created [...]


2017-04-05T21:29:40+00:00 April 5th, 2017|daily life|

Jay's aunt Leona Cohen passed this week. She was 91. The end was expected, but then it didn't come for awhile. She rallied and had a good period.  It felt like a surprise when she died on Sunday, but I guess death always feels like a surprise, unbelieveable even as it is unavoidable. The funeral [...]

Flu Dog

2017-05-18T14:43:52+00:00 March 17th, 2017|daily life|

I'm not sure about where a cold ends and the flu begins, but there's a pretty bright line when I stop making dinner and take to bed. My husband and kids were on their own for parts of this week while I've been in an altered state. It's a great time to have a dog. Even our new, bad dog [...]

Not Just a Sick Day

2017-05-18T14:43:57+00:00 March 11th, 2017|adoption|

No matter how routine life gets, adoption has some special spikes in the road that are as predictable as they are surprising. I doubt I'll ever be fully ready, but I'm getting better at it. All was calm, almost peaceful aside from the hectic pace of school, work, life. Kindergarten and 4th Grade rumbling along in [...]