Posts Tagged ‘birthday’

dog in yard, chewing on a beef bone

bones used to be free from the butcher, now I paid $2 for one

when I lived in Kent, Ohio, all those years (1981-2000), there was a free-standing butcher shop

it closed before I got a dog, so I never got bones there

it is hot outside, 95 degrees at least

this is another change since my youth

it seems my kids will never know what summers were really like

I sit inside in my air conditioning and it’s not that I didn’t do that before, it’s that the stretches of heat are longer and longer

I dreamed my ribs opened in the front, at my sternum

they became a boat in which I could lie down, the boat in the cool water and me cradled by my own bones, floating

I remember how little my children were, how fun, how fast the time goes, how it couldn’t go fast enough and how tired I was, how I barely slept

Now there are wrinkles and gullies, eyes pushed back into darker sockets, lashes shrinking. I am as vain as ever.

Hubby made this for me for my birthday. I love it. That’s John Hodgeman and Jeff Tweedy and my whole family in the crowd at Solid Sound 2013 singing Happy Birthday.

I love the one where I’m smoking because it seems like another lifetime. I almost forgot that I smoked.

I also love that I’m in a bikini piloting a boat because that only happened once.

I also love the one where I’m with my Oma. That was her little balcony off of her little apartment. I really loved my Oma but I didn’t get to see her very often, across an ocean.

I like the ones where my kids are babies and the one with my old dog Aggie.

My mother will be 80 in December. I never forget her age.

I will not be making TACO BALLS (a recipe I saw on pinterest) any time soon, not even since I’m fifty. You have to please yourself.

I had the BEST birthday ever! I got the best presents and the most Facebook wishes and nice people have come to lots of little events I’ve asked them to come to in honor of my birthday.

I’ve gotten to go singing sea shanties and Sacred Harp, to read poems, to listen to poems, to go out dancing, to hear amazing bands, to watch live theater outdoors. Going singing some more tomorrow.

More More More

sometimes I remember how blessed I am, sometimes I piss and moan

I got to go out dancing with my beautiful teenage daughters and my hubby and, you know, my girls LOVE to dance. What fun we had. How fortunate I am, what a happy night with cake.


I have never played a stringed instrument in my life. Just got my first ukelele and since I love Hawaii, maybe it will work out for me.

Here’s a new song that I love. I would never have known it if I hadn’t gone to a sweet little Open Mic at a co-housing complex in Northampton last week.

Maybe I’ll turn 50 again next July 15. It’s been so fun.

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Happy 79th Birthday to my mom!

As her memory goes, I wonder what I am responsible for. Am I the holder and keeper of her memories and secrets? When can I tell them? What does my brother know? What does she remember? Is what I know true?

I do wish my mother happiness, but it seems an elusive wish. She says she has always been lucky, lucky to have come to the United States and to have found the life she did. But her childhood tells a story, not of luck, but of trauma. I wonder how this fits into her definition of luck; but I will never ask her.

I titled this selfish because I am not using my post today only for a birthday wish for my mother. I don’t really think I’m selfish, because it’s my blog and I want to use it just for that—for myself. But I do feel guilty a tiny bit. I think being a mother, a daughter, a wife, means I always have a tiny lingering guilt. I am sure not all women are like this. I wish I could shake it, but apparently I am not yet evolved to that point. Perhaps this could be my Christmas wish for myself or my New Year’s resolution.

I have snippets of writing lately, nothing coming out whole cloth like I used to have. I know, honestly, most of that needed heavy editing anyway.

What do I wish for? Better poems, more poems, dream poems, publishable poems, poems that will make you swoon, will make you weep, make you laugh, make you buy my books (what books, twinkly? oh, right), fruit poems, frozen bud poems, bloody blue poems, pink poems, feather poems, leaf-and-snow poems, mom poems, wife poems, marriage poems, sex poems, fuck poems, love poems, fucking poems, magical poems, clear poems, anatomical parts poems, important poems, a-political poems, no-more-guns poems, deep poems, no-murky-bits poems. Enough! This kind of thinking is so anti-Alexander Technique that I can hardly continue to allow myself its luxurious indulgence.


Here are 2 recent poem snippets:


When Shall I Be Delivered

I begged for more from the world

It started inside
a pinprick
where I was once attached

You have not delivered me

With each bout
of bleeding
my density increases
alongside my insatiable hunger

My marrow
pumping erythrocytes
for every drop
that falls

Not much
they always say
a few tablespoons

If men bled
they would find
a more poetic measure
than cups and spoons
(a woman’s place is in the kitchen)

But I know the feeling
of the soldier
draining into the muddy earth
the sand with its greed
taking more than its share
pints and quarts and gallons for drenching

I am ready for the firing squad
or operating theater

I am ready for my uterus
to be yanked out by
its mooring ligaments

No scars
a virginal torso

I didn’t need you any more

But thanks
for the ride


December 17

My mother is a husk
a Christmas walnut
cracked open

The meat of her

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a beautiful sunset at Coronado Beach 11/10/12

Back from California which feels good. To run on one’s own neighborhood’s sidewalk, to hike in one’s familiar woods, to cook one’s own food, to eat one’s own mother’s famous spaghetti sauce, to sleep in one’s own bed, to see one’s own children in the flesh.

It is my father’s birthday today. He would have been a whopping 91 years old. Yeesh. What does that make me? Still a girl who lost her father too young is what.

I liked La Jolla, somewhat, especially the ocean and the pretty architecture and being able to ride bikes around and the beautiful plants, flowers, and trees and the birds one doesn’t find in the Eastern US and the art outside the museum and the food, some of the food anyway. I loved our B and B and Margaret, the innkeeper and chef. I liked some of the food in San Diego. I did not like Coronado, but I did like the pretty beach. It was so windy, the sand whipped at our feet and the stainless steel public toilet made our ass skin very cold.

Who says ass skin? Nobody, nobody but me. Try it, though. It is not as easy as it seems. It is practically a tongue twister. And I’ll stop right there lest you get ideas and think of any double-entendres.

Long ago, I thought I would chronicle my travels, no matter how humble and close-to-home, by taking photos of myself in the facilities (the “loo” in other words) of places I visited. Probably due to my restless nature, I did not stick with the plan, though on occasion, I do remember to take a picture (if I’m lucky enough to have remembered my camera).

I do not have a photo of the stainless steel toilets from the public restrooms at either La Jolla or Coronado, but when I searched google images, I found a lot of photos of fancy, $1200 stainless steel toilets, presumably for the asses of Romney-type voters (Koch, Bush, Rove, but let’s watch those double-entendres, plz).

We had the pleasure of yet more friends coming to visit us from further north in California, this time a couple who we already know. You may recall we met Ms. Coldiron for the first time earlier in the week.

We went to a little park just a block from the sea and we sat on a bench and we sang songs to a guitar and a banjo. It had been a long, long time. Seven years maybe, gasp.

When we were singing in the little park, freezing our buns off, a little wedding was going on. Sometimes I sang a little bit loud, what one might describe as enthusiastically, I think, and when we all realized a wedding going on (because we weren’t quite sure at first), we tried to be a little quieter. The amazing thing is that the wedding people never asked us to stop. It was all so groovy, but it didn’t really feel hippy groovy or California groovy like you’d think, but it was groovy nonetheless.

The song I most remember grooving to was this one. We sounded pretty good, but I think Susan and George’s fingers must have been about frozen. Amen.

Here is a photo of the handle in the bathroom on the Star of India at the Maritime Museum in San Diego

Of course it is not me peeing, but it is what I was looking at as I sat. The ship originally did not have modern toilets as it was an old ship, but even these “modern” pieces of hardware are more beautiful and solid than most of what one finds nowadays.

One thinks of other things one can describe as solid brass.

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Happy Birthday, Annie Rose!

We moved to Amherst, Massachusetts from Kent, Ohio in August 2000. Within 2 weeks of our arrival, Annie had her 2nd birthday. That seems like forever ago.

This week, she will be entering the 9th Grade.

When my kids were just little, I remember a grandfatherly man telling me don’t blink ’cause you’ll miss it.

Annie as one of Tatania’s fairies in Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Hartsbrook School, May 2012

Happy Birthday to our dear Annie Rose!

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 The Red Inn, bayside, Provincetown, Mass

Last week, Hubby and I got to Provincetown BY OURSELVES for a couple of nights. It was sort of my birthday trip (July), sort of a belated anniversary trip (June), sort of a belated Hubby birthday trip (February).

Highlights included us not using our car for 2-and-half days. After we arrived at the Inn and parked, we used our commuter bikes to do whatever we needed, not hard considering how small Ptown is and how little was required of us. We biked up and down Commercial St. every day for coffee, the library, lunch, dinner. We biked to an ocean beach and walked in the Province Lands. The ocean side is only about 2 miles from The Red Inn which is on the tippy tip of the Bay side. It’s on the harbor, where the swimming is not so great, but where I find more sea glass than anywhere else on the Bay or the ocean. Any theories on this?.

There were 3 John Waters sightings (not unusual) but the great thing was this very snazzy blue blazer he was wearing. Maybe it had some sort of shiny dark blue fibers with a black slash pattern throughout. But it’s rude to stare so I can’t be sure.

Absolute highlight? Meeting William Sanderson and his wife at breakfast on our last day at the Inn.

William Sanderson, the amazing character actor who we all remember from Blade Runner and many other roles, but we’re not exactly sure which ones.

Hubby puts it best when he says that the reason you can’t remember Bill Sanderson in some roles is that he completely embodies his characters. He disappears into the role absolutely.

When I looked for a bio on Sanderson later in the day, I was amazed to find that he has a degree in law and that he was an army medic.

He’s a sharp one, that Bill Sanderson. He quoted Robert Frost and he got goosebumps when we told him we were from Amherst and that we’d recently visited the Emily Dickinson installation. His wife was also very friendly. I sure wish we could have talked to them some more.

I had a happy and funny interaction with the owner of Joe (whose name is Scott) about an unfortunate incident involving getting my favorite coffee-blended made. He was a peach and my coffee-blended, which I ordered from the beautiful man behind the counter (SO beautiful, I know his mama loves him), was fabulous.

Another highlight was our trip to Savory and Sweet Escapes on our way out-of-town on Thursday evening.

I have decided that the SWEET ESCAPE POMEGRANATE CHIP ICE CREAM ranks in the top 5 best ice cream experiences of my life. YOU MUST GO AND EAT THIS ICE CREAM!!! In the homemade waffle cone. Who cares if it is dripping all over your hands and legs when you are only halfway through? I don’t even like fruity ice cream. I don’t get ice cream in a cone most of the time. Unfuckingbelieveably amazing flavor. I’ll buy you one just to prove it to you, just tell me where to send the 5 bucks.

Though we are in a drought, it did rain in Ptown last Wednesday. We watched the storm roll in, lightening striking off in the distance, probably on the ocean side. The air cooled and the sky was beautiful.

I leave you now with the following song which is featured in the Wes Anderson flick Moonrise Kingdom (who among you remembers Music Monday?)

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Old age comes on suddenly, and not gradually as is thought

Emily Dickinson

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Greetings, my little cutie-patooties!

I’ve got a terrible cold, one which I valiantly fought for weeks but to which I finally succumbed 4 days ago, ugh.

I’m grateful for the SNOW STORM we got last night—our first of the winter. I could gas on about the lack of snow in New England and crab about the crazy too-early storm in October, but I’m not gonna. The kids had a snow day so I was able to crawl back to bed at about 7:30 this morning after not having to do my usual SAHM stuff. I slept until 11 am. I WENT TO ELEVEN and that was nice.

This week is all about preparations for the Amherst Regional High School musical for which Violet sewed costumes, as well as for the annual Viennese Waltz at Annie’s school this Saturday. The girls have been trying on their fabulous frocks and have been helping each other with hair and make-up and hats and gloves. I tried on my own frock and you know, I didn’t feel too bad about it (especially due to the butt- and thigh-tightening hose, made by Spanx, that I purchased at Target. This was a first for me and I thought I’d hate them, but they are not tight or uncomfortable at all, so my fears were unfounded). Tomorrow night we will see Guys and Dolls (so excited) and Saturday night, we’ll be working shifts, eating Viennese-type desserts, and dancing ’til our butts fall off and in my case, due to actual heels (very rare), possible blisters or at least foot discomfort until the last 45 minutes when the music shifts from live piano and violin to a total funk meltdown in which all of the moms kick off their shoes and dance like mad, completely ignoring their embarrassed teens, who honestly are having such a good time of their own that they forget to notice after the first 5 minutes or so.

birthday hat

the amazing Stubby Kaye as Nicely Nicely, singing the mock gospel song Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat from the movie version of “Guys and Dolls”

 I miss that kind of singing–the pipes, the presence, the physical and vocal control. Glory Be!

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