Friday, March 30, 2012

Trayvon Martin

I woke this morning before the sun rose with a horror in my mind and a darkness in my heart.  

What if someone shot my son through his chest and the police just let him walk away?

I woke from a nightmare about that itself. Trayvon's parents cannot wake up from their nightmare.  Every time I imagine Dakota as Trayvon, lying with his hands and arms underneath him, face down on the concrete, his snacks scattered around him, the horror and a terrible fury grow.  I imagine the police telling Trayvon's parents that he was shot to death and then trying to explain to them why they are DOING NOTHING, and I feel a disbelief and rage. I imagine the man who shot my son watching TV. Drinking a beer. Masturbating. Waking in the morning in his sheets and comforter. Just days after he shot my teenage son in the chest for walking down the street.

This cannot stand.

I don't know how his parents are coping but the most deeply ingrained part of parenting says above all else protect your child. We cannot accept living in an America where a man can shoot a child and walk away. That is not allowed in Afghanistan; it is a war crime. It's intolerable that it is being allowed here, as Florida law.  I'm ashamed of the police force, ashamed of our system for his family, for the incredible alter-reality they are living in.  If there are two options for reality- one being that a person can kill your child and walk free, and one being a person kills your child and is immediately arrested- what kind of absolute nightmare is that? That is not the country we live in. But this very moment, it is. That cannot stand. It violates our most fundamental rights and protections.

We have to do something. I signed this petition. Every person who cares about living in a decent society where the most uncomplicated and basic morals are upheld needs to do something to speak out and say this is completely unacceptable and cannot stand.

The reporters and bloggers writing 'articles' on Trayvon Martin's 'records' should be ashamed of themselves. Those things are not news, they are inflammatory to the highest degree and completely irrelevant to the fact that he was shot to death walking down the street. It has no bearing what so ever on our laws, Trayvon's right as a human being in America to walk down the street without bodily harm, the proceedings after his death- none of it changes in any way because of anything Trayvon did in his seventeen years of life. Damnit, people, stop writing this drivel. It's embarrassing, like we are children passing rumors in the hallway about how slutty X looked the night she was raped. TALK ABOUT THE MURDER OF A CHILD. Stop talking about if he smoked pot, sold pot, was late too school too much- HE WAS MURDERED.  Talk about that. Put your big girl/boy panties on and talk around the grown up table. Leave the ( completely normal/common/unremarkable ) things Trayvon did behind. It's not about what he did.  He can't do anything now. He's dead because a grown man shot him and walked away and went home and sat his ass down and we are letting him.

If we fail to protect our children from violation or murder and then fail to enact swift and righteous justice when they have been harmed we are failing as a civilized society.

Required reading on Trayvon Martin

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Alicia Silverstone Feeds Son Chewed Food!!! Maggie May Licks Baby Daughter's Face!!!

The latest pretend controversy is that Alicia Silverstone feeds her baby Bear pre-chewed food. Could that sentence even LOOK any more anti-climactic? I shudder to think what the headlines would and could say about me were I semi-famous and Ever and I were scanned for weirdness by the paparazzi.
Here are totally true headlines from this family:

Maggie May Blows On Daughter's Vagina When She Has Rash! The Daughter, That Is! Having The Rash, We Mean! ( Not Maggie Having A Rash, To  Be Clear!!)  

I think if there are enough capitals and exclamation points the magazines and headlines believe we will just naturally fall into a a panicked state of disbelief regardless of the subject matter.

Maggie May Sucks On Son's Eyelid While Being Goofy! Funny, or Disgusting Beyond COMPARE!!!

Maggie May Wipes Baby Ever's Snot With Her Tee Shirt- While She's Wearing It! And She Goes On Shopping!!! Wearing It!!! 

Maggie May Breastfeeds Baby Ever In Front of Older Sons!!! Normal Or Totally PSYCHO!!?? Are The Boys DOOMED?!! ( Our Experts Weigh IN!!!! )

I have chewed up Ever's food more times than I can recall. It's a totally AOCD (American Obsessive Compulsive Dickorder) thing to go off the charts about.  One 'expert' here on MSN was aghast that the baby boy might GET HERPES FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, from his happily married plant eating mother. As desperate and concerning as that possibility is, I think doing what hippies and farmers wives have been doing since the dawn of time will probably leave the chubby guy unscathed. I lick Ever's face, feed her chewed food, nurse her past one year old, sleep with her and generally love her and on her as much as possible. And for the women on Facebook's Jezebel page, worried about 'spit! eww! ' I'd like to give them a small primer including visual aides, on the enormous amounts of bodily fluids of all kinds involved in not only creating the baby, but birthing it into this world and then nursing the little person. If you are that worried about spit you might want to reconsider French kissing your husband who just spent the last hour eating a week old burrito and sniffing his pointer finger.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

marriage on the half-hour

it is six thirty and her nursing is calf and 
older daughter is weeping about girls with 
hard red mouths. you are shoulders and
ass, you are knotted arm muscles making dinner
giving baths. i can smell your neck when i 
hold you briefly, before dinner, your hands
are damp and leave a cool imprint on the back
of my cotton shirt. i eat with nipples hard.
it is seven thirty and you are strained entreats
drawn eyes you are thick thighs kneeling to
dry the baby. older son is asking you about punk
bands. you answer in the low engine of that voice.
it is eight thirty and  you are taking vitamins
you are off the clock you are heading to bed now
you are too tired to hold me like you mean it.
it is nine thirty and i am showering in a silent
dark house. i think about you and your eyes
your voice your body in the darkness of
Friday night. i lean into the water and think
about crawling in bed with you, naked and wet
and waking you up without words.
it is ten thirty and i am falling asleep and 
like a child i sleep in your shirt.
at five thirty you will be in the shower again.
by six thirty you will be gone and when i wake
i will find the money you tucked into my wallet
for the coffee i will buy at seven thirty.

Dakota Plays Bass

A few weeks ago on a rainy Saturday, the family all got together at a local venue to watch Dakota play the bass with his teacher and various students and musicians. See my mom there, red hair, lower right? Lola is next to her, Ian and Ever and Dakota's best friend Jake and I are all back behind the people. There was maybe fifty people there? And the show was AWESOME. It was almost three hours and I danced/jiggled Ever the entire time with Mr. Curry next to on his feet, too. Ever didn't cry once, and Mr. Curry and I were stoked. LIVE MUSIC, people! When you haven't heard live music in a while, you forget the total world it is, what an immersion in every twang and note and chord and vocal it is, how pure JOY it is. Professional musicians or beginners, it is a high.The show opened with 'new students' of a mother probably my age, maybe a bit older, and her teenage son. Both on guitar, the mom singing Green Day's ' Time of Your Life ' ( thought of you, Annie! )in her high, nervous wavering voice, and it was so incredibly pretty and poignant. After that it was one great song after the other, even some Hendrix and Stones.

Dakota was cool. Just like a bass player. Long, lanky and unruffled. Not nervous, just excited. He played Marley's Three Little Birds and then jammed the Blues. The guy next to him was born in Ireland on Saint Patrick's Day and played a mean harmonica.( Guess what his nickname was? )

That is Dakota's teacher, behind him, John, who plays everything pretty well, it seems, and is a really great teacher. Thank you so much MOM! for paying for these lessons over the last year. Dakota is officially in love with bass and growing more skilled every week.

Afterward we all went to In and Out for lunch, where Mr. Curry sat with Ever so I could stuff my face in peace. Left To Right: Lola(10) - Mr. Curry - Me - Mom - Everkins(15months) - Ian(15)- Dakota(17)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Baby Poop: Constipation, Diarrhea and Allergies

When you have a baby, you begin- slowly, hesitantly at first- and then assuredly, soon boldly and often self-absorbedly and disgustingly! to talk about POOP.  Babies poop is a world of information about their tiny inner workings and how the mini-factory is cranking along, and soon every Mom and Dad has talked to the doctor or found baby poo color visual aides to better ascertain the health of baby. The color of poo is learned in it's successive order from the first week of birth onward: green-black, green-brown, brown and yellowish. Breastfed babies tend to have looser, more mustard colored poops, while formula fed babies tend to have bulkier, tan colored bowel movements.

As babies move through the first year and then the months between one and two, their bowel movements begin to reflect not only breastmilk or formula, but the foods they are eating. The foods that a breastfeeding mother eat directly impact her breastmilk and her babies stomach, as do the ingredients in formula.

It is long standing knowledge that poop directly indicates the health of a person, or any problems the person is having, from violet colored poo that indicates an allergic reaction to an antibiotic, to a pale colored poop that could indicate bile buildup and a liver problem or stomach virus. This is why it is  disturbing to me that so many parents today are being told, when bringing their gassy, constipated pooper to the doctor for evaluation, to begin giving their baby a regular stool softener, instead of looking at the cause- and the most likely cause is food allergy or intolerance. Parents who are bringing in a child with chronic, rash causing diarrhea are so often told it is simply 'toddler diarrhea', instead, again, of looking at the most obvious issue: food.

When babies are routinely constipated, have diarrhea, excema or colic, the first place to look is food.
Both poop and the skin express reactions to food, and if you have a colicky, constipated child with dermatitis, it is highly likely the culprit for all symptoms lie in a food allergy or intolerance. Dairy intolerance is the most common issue, not only for formula fed babies but also breastfed.  Formulas are now made with soy based, dairy free based ingredients and doctors often recommend these to a formula fed baby who is having issues with colic or constipation, but a breastfeeding mother whose baby is constipated or having 'acid reflux' ( another increasingly common 'diagnosis' for babies which the cause for is not sought, but simply the symptoms treated ) she is rarely ( ever? ) told to try cutting out dairy or chocolate or other common troublesome foods from her diet.  Instead the symptoms are treated: baby is given a medication for acid reflux and the mother is even occasionally told that perhaps formula would be a good idea.

Here is a first person account of one mother's experience with food allergies in her babies from the La Leche page:

Robin Slaw's daughter, Alanna, has a dairy sensitivity which appeared immediately after birth. But it took Robin almost three months to realize that the nightmarish colic Alanna was experiencing was controllable, simply by removing dairy products from her diet. Alanna would scream at the top of her lungs every evening, from 10 PM until 2 AM, and nothing that Robin or her husband did would help. They spent many hours walking her, literally bouncing off the hallway walls from exhaustion.
After Alanna got over her colicky stage, Robin thought she was over her sensitivity to dairy products, and when she was a year old, allowed her to start having dairy products in her diet. It wasn't until she was three years old that Robin finally associated Alanna's out-of-control temper tantrums with her consumption of dairy products. Robin removed dairy products from Alanna's diet, and now she's fine. Robin adds, "I can always tell when she tries to slip a little milk on her cereal in the morning. She turns into a rude and inconsiderate child, instead of the normally boisterous but caring six-year- old that she is."

Robin's second daughter, Sarah, has multiple food sensitivities that all appeared by the time she was three months old. "It was a long slow struggle to find all her sensitivities. We started with our family doctor, who couldn't diagnose her rashes, but sent us to a dermatologist. The dermatologist then sent us to a pediatric dermatologist, who diagnosed atopic dermatitis, and suggested that certain foods could be the source of her reactions. I had already suspected this, and was trying to eliminate what I knew were common allergens, but in the US, it's very hard to get away from wheat and corn if you eat any processed foods. Through lots of hard work, and the help of a wonderful book called Is This Your Child? by Doris Rapp, I managed to identify almost all of her allergies by the time she turned one. The only two I hadn't discovered yet were chocolate (which I suspected but hadn't confirmed, since I didn't eat it often anyway) and oats, which I hadn't even begun to suspect."

I have spoken with so many new mothers over the last few years whose babies are having serious problems with pooping due to constipation, whose children have large patches of itchy, miserable excema, and whose babies are diagnosed with 'acid reflux'.  Chronic diarrhea seems to be less common but still occurs. All of these women were taking their babies to the pediatrician, urgently hoping to find an answer for their babies, and none that I know of were directed to the most likely cause of their child's suffering- food.

My own experience with this has been with two of my children. Dakota was colicky and cried so much his first four or five months of life, it breaks my heart to remember. I had no idea about food intolerance or allergies, and none of my doctors mentioned anything about it to me, so I continued eating the same food I always had. He grew into a beautiful little boy with excema and eventually, with serious intestinal pain and problems. He was also diagnosed with 'sports asthma' which essentially means that whenever his body got to moving around really fast, he would have a rough time breathing. It was around this time that I began eliminating things from his diet. Eventually we eliminated diary for a short time, and then gluten entirely for about a year, introducing it back in slowly and never again in the same amounts ( until he was an older teenager, and could eat whatever he wanted ) All of his problems resolved within months.  The asthma they wanted him to take steroids for, the itchy miserable skin we used special lotion for, the stomach pain and digestive issues. Of course, we did more than eliminate these foods from his diet, we also purposefully introduced certain healing foods and began giving him fish oil daily, but without removing the foods in the first place, his body would not have been able to heal.

Lola, born eight years later, had a colicky time of the evening. This time around I was informed and immediately removed dairy from my diet, and wa-la, her colicky time disappeared. I didn't think any more about it until she was about 7 and began having stomach aches. Eventually I realized that she was probably having issues with dairy, removed it, and wa-la, no more stomach aches. 

If your baby is colicky, has skin problems, is constipated or has diarrhea regularly, or is having breathing issues like RAD ( reactive airway disease ) I hope this has inspired you to look into food allergies and intolerance. Your doctor probably won't tell you, but another Mom would- and just did :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

People In Your Neighborhood

take a bath and read these

Asha at Boston Mommas wrote this piece on minimalist childrens birthday parties. Maybe this isn't an issue for you- maybe you just naturally know how to throw get togethers that are fun but not too stressful- but I suck at it. I always worry I'm not doing/cooking/creating enough for a get together or party, and stress myself out, so words on moving in a more relaxed direction are good for me!

Sarah on Whoorl put together this little piece on three ways to wear a deep side part. I wear my hair like this all the time so love the pictures!

I love love the mohawk on Scarlett

A reminder on Sassafrass how good cleaning the house out feels. Spring!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Secret To Eternal Youth In New York

 "Shot in Fire Island, New York, this film captures the secrets of eternal youth as Maia Helles, a Russian ballet dancer turns 95 but still remains resolutely independent, healthy and as fit as a forty year old. Made by Julia Warr, artist and film maker met Maia on a plane 4 years ago and became utterly convinced by the benefits of her daily exercise routine, which Maia perfected, together with her Mother, over 60 years ago, long before exercise classes were ever invented."

found via Grow Cook Sew

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sister For Sale!

For Sale 
One sister for sale!
One sister for sale! 
One crying and spying young sister for sale! 
I’m really not kidding,
So who’ll start the bidding? 
Do I hear the dollar?
A nickel? A penny? 
Oh, isn’t there,
isn’t there, isn’t there any
One kid that will buy this old sister for sale,
This crying and spying young sister for sale?
Shel Silverstein

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Welcome SPONSOR: Mb art studios

Please welcome a beautiful new sponsor to Flux, Mb art studios
 Her earthenware hand made plates, plaques, clocks and objects of affection are simply gorgeous to look at. Hand stamped with really awesome quotes, many of these objects are inspirational in form and word. I absolutely LOVE the clock below. These would make amazing gifts for birthdays, holidays and just to say I love you and am thinking of you.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Ridiculous and Totally Inappropriate Sense of Hope

I am home after Daylight Savings so there is still tons of golden Southern California sunlight flooding the yards, asphalt, sidewalks, my girls hair, skin, eyes. Mr. Curry has taken Ever Elizabeth on a stroller ride. Lola is on her scooter down the pretty little condo paths with her friends, Dakota is with hordes of giggling girls and Ian is at his other home. Everything brighter is easier. Since we moved into this place a feeling of unreality has settled inside of me and will not be shaken. Dissociation is the word associated with multiple personality disorders. Or sleep deprivation. Guess which one I have? I float inside of myself as things happen. Even flavors are muted- things I normally crave fall flat when I stuff them in my mouth. The long winter is ending and inside of that ending is a small capsule of time I have swallowed and inside of that is me, screaming, like Dorothy in the Wicked Witches' magic bubble. Mr. Curry is unfolding from his long illness and to see the hazel in his eyes fill with the light of his mind again makes me feel more alive than I have in months. I cope without him but it is a hard coping. It is a rigid and robotic thing but it is safe and good for my children, the routines, the outings, the nights with movies and snacks. The explanations again of why Daddy is so sad. We are poor so this means Mr. Curry sees a state sponsored person for his magic blue pills, and Mr. Curry has Bipolar which is terrifically hard to treat correctly so this means that he is often prescribed things that are so completely and totally wrong and ridiculously dangerous for him to take that I want to bang my head into a smoothly cocked wall of the low income housing next to where we live.  I do research all the time and read about the blue pills and which go together and which do not and just last week the nurse practitioner looked on her I-Phone and told my dear husband that he should stop taking magic blue pill X which kept him better for longer than any other thing ever has and instead he should take magic blue pill XX which has no indication at ALL based on research that it will do anything for him but make him much worse and go right back to being very sick. I have to go tell her this in a way that will not insult her I-Phone powers so that she will do as I ask and give him his old pill back. Our entire life could be in her hands and she might not care very much. Sometimes I feel we are RIGHT NEXT TO everything that could help but like a magic glass castle we cannot touch the food and the medicine and the therapist and the things that would make us better.

 Mr. Curry and I found an amazing therapist who would see us for $75 which is a very good deal, and we went to see him and Dakota stood tall and lanky and charmingly awkward with Ever in the waiting room and watched her so Mr. Curry and I could go into this man's office and tell him where we are broken, and could he help? And I think he could, only we just yesterday received notice that I have to pay childcare for Ever at my work which I had not been asked to pay before and now we are royally and truly fucked and the first thing I thought when I heard this news was Would it really be so bad to live in Kentucky?  because I have this idea that if we lived somewhere that we could actually afford to live, we might not be miserably crawling out of each day wondering how we are going to feed and care for our children properly that day, and the next, and so forth. Mr. Curry is looking for a weekend job and I think I will have to drop Ever's insurance at my work because otherwise we cannot pay our bills and rent because we simply do not have enough money coming in to pay that and childcare. 

This is why I think "dissociation" might be a proper coping tool for poor people like us. I don't feel very much lately but I have to keep on. That's what they always tell poor people. Don't give up! they say very cheerfully. What else can you really tell someone, what other option do we have, but it rankles to hear it when they are shouting it from podiums with their sweaty intellectual arguments and hidden tax deductions. Fuck them anyway.

I hear music in the car and I think of Mr. Curry's eyes and his hands on me and how he tells me he loves me like he is thirsty and I am water and I think of our four children and their beautiful bodies moving in this world and their spirits so well loved and I know that I have everything.  I also know that medications and insurance and these kinds of things that us poor people are so obsessed with talking about have the power to ruin our lives. If my husband takes the wrong magic pill because a psychiatrist should be evaluating him but instead an I-Phone is, that could ruin our lives. If he got sick enough badly enough he could end up hospitalized or leaving me or forcing me to leave him. All I can do is work full time and that is not full time enough.

still i hear the music and i think of mr. curry's eyes and how i remember him at seventeen watching me behind his long bangs and our children and i feel a ridiculous and totally inappropriate sense of hope. and that will do for now.

the aftermath of insomnia

not easily absorbed into darkness
i turn my legs into ladders across blankets
where the long muscle of my flank
quivers like a horse's wet eye.
darling you have no idea.
whatever comes of this, cannot
be told to generations, it tumbles
skeletal and light from the box
like thousands of dried bumblebees,

stingers pulled smartly each and every one.
all day i tell myself what to say, how to move my arm
and fingers, how to curve my lips to smile avoid snarl
lock eyes if necessary but do not flinch or sweat.
these instructions call for attention, care-
i am vastly less than what i hoped to be
i had hoped, for instance, to be A World Famous.
it was not grace i longed for, but the expansive.
the ability to fill a room with soul, or my beauty.
the sleep-long sing-song crawl of the insomniac
took my tiger eye and made kitten, took my lion eyes
and made puppy, took my poison and made ether
where did i go when i went there, and did i ever

come back? Dad said ' be all that you can be '
and he took this seriously. his craziness was expansive.
his roar lion. his tiger eye straight. his poison lethal.
i took it and took it and took it, and what a sleep.
afterward the years came on arthritic and cold
and i lay wide awake for ten years, thinking about that sleep.
how wide. how cold. how deep.
i woke for dreams and dreamed to wake, breath
warm and sweet like honeysuckle. toss, turn.
in the hours of darkness and dawn the earth spun
beneath my hands like glass, smooth and crystalline.
i was awake, inside a dream.

moss underfoot. the bed tosses on oceans of hours,
messed up like waves in my hair. i stared at the hands
my hands, the ones that did, or did not. and minutes
were lives of thought. he was the ocean, i slip fish never caught.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

People In Your Neighborhood

lay down and read

PunditMomLeadership Through A Woman's Compassion -I love this essay about how Hilary Clinton's approach to political action is uniquely a woman's.  It's something we could use more of.

Petit Elfant <  Greek Yogurt Mask -Petit Elefant is a family website with a beautiful layout and easy to navigate. I love this make at home yogurt mask for it's ease and soothing properties. My skin has been so weird lately from the mix of hot/dry and then cold weather, so Imma gonna try it this weekend.

Boston Mommas < Birthdays Without Birth Parents -This quietly loving write up addresses the needs of adopted children on their birthdays, with a bulletin point style list of suggestions.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Lola and I Are Amateur Birders

A few weeks ago Lola and I watched the movie The Big Year on a Saturday night. The movie stars Owen Wilson, Steve Martin and Jack Black as 'birders', or people who bird watch and record what they see. All three men are attempting a Big Year, where professional birders see how many birds they can spot in the course of one year. It's cute. So after the movie, Lola and I decided we were going to have a San Diego Big Year. Knowing nothing about birds, bird watching or birders, we purchased some blank notebooks on and set out a little late in the year. Today was our first official day of birdwatching. We saw and recorded three birds. Each bird we watch with the binoculars, we draw in our bird books, write down the type of call it makes, where we spotted it, including what kind of tree it was on if it was a tree, if it was a fatty or skinny, the date and the time and the weather. The main thing about this is that it is something free I can do alone with my daughter. Mr. Curry took Ever on a stroller ride while Lola and I bird watched around our condo area, which is beautifully landscaped with plenty of trees. There are a lot of resources online for birders, including the American Bird Watchers Association Young Birders club and a few young birders blogs, like The Eyrie  which is kind of adorably interesting, run by primarily teenagers passionate about birding. Who knew? I'm going to order a book on identifying San Diego birds on Amazon so that we can try to label each one. Wish us luck :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Percy, The Shetland Sheepdog

Percy. He was a black, white and brown dabbed puppy the first time I saw him, hovering around my mother's feet.  Happy Birthday, my mom said with a giant smile inside her long red hair. I was eight.

Bought from a local mall pet store, Percy was trained so well to stay within the parameters of the shop that my mom had to pick him up and carry him out; he would not cross the line in blue tape. He was very sensitive, sweet, shy and incredibly smart. Here is a very fitting description of Percy from the American Kennel Club:

The Shetland Sheepdog, or "Sheltie" as it is commonly called, is essentially a working Collie in miniature. A rough-coated, longhaired working dog, he is alert, intensely loyal and highly trainable and is known as a devoted, docile dog with a keen sense of intelligence and understanding. Agile and sturdy, the Sheltie is one of the most successful obedience breeds, but also excels in agility, herding and conformation. The coat can be black, blue merle or sable, marked with varying amounts of white and/or tan.

My mother's training and his natural intelligence made for an entirely satisfying dog. Go get the paper, Percy, get the paper! I'd say, and he's trot over, pick the paper up with his gentle mouth, and bring it to me. He stayed next to me without a leash wherever I took him around our neighborhood, streets and canyon. He always came when called, heeled, jumped, stayed, gave 'hugs'. I fashioned an endurance test where I would have Percy sit on the concrete, and tell him to stay. I'd walk away, further and further and further, sometimes peeking back. He was always sitting perfectly still, but vibrating with anticipation. No matter how far I got, he stayed. The one time I went so far I couldn't see him, I was immediately overwhelmed with guilt for teasing such a loyal soul, and popped back into view, screaming Here Percy Here!!! until he was jumping on my lap, licking my face.

Percy had a natural intuitiveness about human beings that I have never encountered again in a dog. He could tell if I was sad from across the house, and found his way to me to lay a paw on my arm, lick my face, lay in my lap. If I cried, he would not leave my side.  Orders could be given or requests made in a normal voice, as if you were talking to a person Hey can you get that ball over there? And he would understand just the same.

Eight was right around the time I began reading books like Lassie and my favorite dog series, Lad, A Dog. I was completely heart happy that my own dog was just as wonderful, empathetic, intelligent and beautiful as any dog from a book.  I knew my own Percy would rescue me from a snowy cliff...if we ever lived by any snowy cliffs. Percy was very protective of our family; the only time he ever growled at me was when I play-slapped my mom on the leg and he leapt up, ears back, an angry burr in his throat.

Percy's only fault in my view was that his first love and loyalty lay with my mother. He watched her with bright, shining dark eyes, full of adoration. He lay outside her bedroom door with his head down, paws over his nose, or next to her feet at the table while she ate. It wasn't until my mother explained to me that since she did most of the care-taking- his morning runs, feeding, coat brushing- that she also had earned most of the devotion. Well played, Mom, well played. After that, I was sure to feed Percy often, brush his coat, take him on walks and give him treats, and slowly he turned his love toward me.

I struggled to be half as good to Percy as he was to me. Often full of what was at the time, to me, an incomprehensible fury and sadness,  I took it out on my best friend and most loyal companion. In the evenings, when the numb, dull pain in my chest was often worst, I would sometimes lock Percy in the hall closet and listen to him whine until I too, could cry, and full of remorse and self-hatred, I'd let him out and hold him while I sobbed into his long fur. He'd lick my face and sit with me until the tears were gone. Other times I would tease him with our walks, pretending I was going to take him out when I knew I wasn't, or I'd shout loudly near his sensitive ears to startle him. Those kind of small but significant cruelties went on until I was eleven or twelve, when I had the sudden and overwhelming epiphany that I absolutely could not let myself do this to my dog anymore, no matter the pain I was in, no matter how frustrated, alone and locked in I was with my feelings. I dedicated myself to my Percy, to making amends. After this, I was his most constant companion outside of my mother. I can still remember so clearly calling him from my bed when I was ready to fall asleep upstairs, and hearing the sound of his light feet clamoring up the stairs, and then his nails clicking on the tile before my bedroom, until finally I'd see his bushy self running toward me, launching up on the bed and then lying at my feet or by my side. I gave myself small penances for my sins: I had to brush his fur five minutes longer than when I stopped wanting to do it, I had to walk him around the block once more even though I shivered with cold, I had to play games with him ten minutes longer even though I was going to miss the beginning of my favorite T.V. show.

When I was seventeen, I woke one morning to my mother crying downstairs. Percy was very ill. I made her show me. He was out back, laying on his side, eyes glossy, obviously extremely sick. I knelt down and petted him, kissed his face over and over. My mom assured me that she and my father were going to take Percy to the vet as soon as my sister and I were off to school. I left. He died soon after.

Percy's death was my first real loss, and it hurt worse than I would have imagined, even knowing what an important part of our family life he was. We never found out what poisoned him. I sobbed in my bed after school until I felt like throwing up. I could not stop crying, and cried off and on for weeks. I missed him in my stomach and my heart and my mind.  I dreamt of him, and did for years and years afterward, where he would show up, always wagging his tail, always kind and good and smart, my sweet dog.

I've never met his equal.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My First Essay At Huffington Post Is Up

 Please come read From Inside The Fishbowl and let me know what you think :)
I'd so appreciate any comments you leave on the actual post, or FB or Twitter shares.
It helps me move upward ! I'm thrilled to have this writing opportunity and work
with HuffPo. I hope you like it!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Connections & Magic

When I was seven, eight, nine, I used to sneak outside of my bedroom window in what I thought was the middle of the night but probably was more like the daring hour of 9 o'clock. The window was close to the grass of our backyard, and I'd slide easily out and make my way to a bush or a tree and sit down, pretending. I was an Indian girl, I was a fairy, I was a wolf. And I had an innate belief in the power and connections of Nature. To me, magic was: wind, snow, rain, mountaintops, waterfalls, rivers, fields, forests, deserts, outer space. Magic was connection.

As I grew I carried with me a strong sense that there was some kind of connectivity to the world- even during the time of my life when I felt most alone, lonely and disconnected. I could still feel the pulse of life around me, and I knew I walked through the same river of time as everyone around me, if they knew my name or not.  Small things emboldened my sense of magic: I could 'cure' my headaches by placing my fingertips on my head and letting the pain find it's way out there, when the phone rang I knew who was calling, when driving up to a home I could feel the mood of the person inside. Once I drove up to an AA meeting- I went for a few years as a teenager- and I knew without a doubt that a boy I had not seen in months was sitting inside of the room that I could not see. His car wasn't out front, I hadn't seen his friends- there was no reason for me to feel this. But I did, and he was even sitting exactly where I felt he would be. As an adult I've known every time I was going to live somewhere. I've walked up to the doorstep, and immediately known. Yes, including this place we live in now- even though when I first saw it, I believed we had no chance of renting it, we had no deposit to afford it, and it was much to perfect in many ways to be in our range, and even though when we did apply, the realty broker dragged her feet so intermedibly that we had all but given up and were looking elsewhere when we got the call. With every place I've known I would live there. Our last house, as soon as we entered the back door and I saw the kitchen I knew. This place, I didn't even go inside and I knew. I get a flash, an image or our family living in the home- in the last house, it was an image of bathing Lola in the tub- and the rest is paperwork.

The most beautiful example of this kind of connectivity is a story I've told my daughter a few times: I was in my early twenties, it was midnight or later, and I had driven by myself to the edge of a canyon where I had spent some childhood years playing. Sobbing in my cold car, smoking a cigarette but stone cold sober,  miserable and lost and afraid, I begged someone, truly with my whole heart- putting my energy into it, consciously- to send me a sign. A shooting star, I said out loud. Please send a shooting star. And the blank and silent night sky at that exact moment sent one enormous, singularly beautiful shooting star straight down the left side of my vision. I stopped crying immediately, straightened up, said thank you, and drove home to my baby son and my mother.

And then tonight. 

Putting Flux Capacitor in order, I am going through every single post I've ever written, deleting ones that are blank drafts, correctly labeling others. I came across the series of posts I wrote when I became pregnant with the baby that Mr. Curry and I lost. As I looked, I noticed one about an ultrasound at around 11 weeks. And I clicked here. And I saw the most amazing thing. The baby we lost was due to be born on the exact due date and birthday of our Ever Elizabeth Ethridge Curry. Ever wasn't even DUE to be born on this date. She was actually due in November. But she came the due date of her brother or sister who couldn't make it here to be with us. And I cried, reading that due date in it's big bold letters. I cried because I felt the same sense of comfort and wonder I did when that shooting star lit itself across the canyon night sky. 

And then while randomly clicking around, I read Rebecca's post about magic.  And I thought Could anything be a more perfect ending to this chain?

Only, connect.


Saturday, March 10, 2012


A horrible event has occurred.
I cannot explain it or deny it,
it festered in the oak floor boards
where termites bit one another in hunger.

My feet gave them release
in the orgasm of twenty steps
it took to reach the stove top
where I carefully burnt myself on the kettle.

They groaned like tiny cartoon pathos
in tiny cartoon voices
with tiny cartoon cares
that never touched my heart.

Not human, not real.
This seemed to be the conclusion.
We are the careful Gods
arbitrating who is acknowledged

Scientific deductions, researched carefully
reveal the cannon of humankind
Sweeps over the living
our proclamation of unworthiness.

Our reductions of spirit to flesh.
My burn rose and breathed it's hot breath
twisting the surrounding skin painfully
I cried out in fury and stomped my feet

Killing a hundred bacteria and mites
with a petulant thrust of my heel.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Something Is Different At Flux Capacitor

Flux got a makeover! I'm thrilled with the ( affordable )
results. Please poke around and let me know what you 
think. I'm still labeling old posts so all the headers in
the navigation bar aren't totally up to speed, but I'll
be working on it all week until it is.

People are still having trouble commenting and I'm 
trying to decide what to do about that. Also working on the small type, which strangely has turned into the options of teeny or huge.  I'll get back to you:)

If you notice a ghost on the right or a tentacle on the left
it's because there are still a few tweaks the designer at 
Yellow & Savvy is finishing up. 

Lola is waiting for me to read to her and listen to her tell
me about her day with her friend over the weekend.
Ever is obsessing on Lola's Littlest Pet Shops and Lola
is obsessing on Ever obsessing on them. Ever keeps crawling underneath my desk and standing up and bumping her head. Breathe. Breathe.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

life IS like a box of chocolates, mr. gump

Mr. Curry is feeling better

and better

I really like you I told him 15 years ago

I want to sleep with you, I said one night

I love you, I told him because I could not stop the words

Yes I'll marry you, I cried 9 years ago

Me: Honey?

Mr. Curry: Yeah?

Me: Ummm......................

Mr. Curry:  ?

Me: Nothing.

Nothing, honey.  Just wanted to hear your voice.
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