Monday, February 22, 2010


This afternoon, I made my very first EVER loaf of from-scratch bread.

My Dad used to occasionally make bread when I was little, and the smell was divine.

As this was gluten and yeast-free bread, the delicious smell was not quite the same, but delightful nonetheless.

I was quite proud of myself.

I felt quite domestic as T came around the corner, commenting on the olfactory yuminess, and I met him there with a plate of warm slices adorned with this:

I must say, it did feel nice.

By the way, here's the recipe.

Happy Monday!

Today's quote:
"Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all."
~Harriet van Horne

Sunday, February 21, 2010



As of Friday night, on my to-do list is to go pick up a z-pack for my yahoo email account.

I got a virus.

I sat with T in the living room Friday evening, watching a documentary, and heard the bleep from his laptop that meant he had a new message.

"Oh, it's from you."

...I didn't remember sending anything...
But, knowing me, I wrote him a line and forgot about it earlier in the afternoon.

He opened the email, which had a blank subject line (unlike most emails I send), and-

sure enough, there was a random infected link there. All alone, in the email.

As it turned out, that email was being sent to EVERYONE on my list.


There are people on my list I haven't talked to in years. There are some that I barely even know. Lord, there are ex-boyfriends on there!


I got at least one snarky email back from a former acquaintance, and of course that cued an avalanche of guilt and embarrassment.

Those feelings continued deep into the night, after I shut down my computer to stop thinking about it (and that now, as I type, has a slightly different display...I think it's time to format this baby), until...

Wait a second.
Why in the world should I feel embarrassed about getting a virus in my email? Goodness knows I didn't do it on PURPOSE. For that matter, if someone is going to get angry at me for something like that, I daresay that this is not an individual that I'd best be friends with, right? I mean, that seems a little funny to me.

Besides, why should the behavior of random virus-spreading trickster folk in any way reflect mine?

The likelihood is that, in looking for wedding inspiration, I've clicked on an image on a corrupted site somewhere. And now, I'll re-format my computer and all that in order to get the bug.

But, as of now, I ain't worrying about it anymore.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Owl Sex

...yes, that says what you think it says...

Last night, after a long day of shopping and making decisions, I wearily reached for the dental floss, the bathroom door open behind me as Terry sat at the desk strumming his guitar.

You see, I really don't like shopping, not much at all with an exception or two, and I hadn't been doing regular shopping, I'd been doing wedding shopping, which, I'm sure you can imagine, carried more stress inducing possibility than most shopping excursions. There was a dress fitting (during which I tried on my dress, walked out into the room with the mirrors and box to stand on, and thought, oh no. I don't like it. The fact that I took a deep breath, blamed it on hormones and/or low blood sugar, remained silent and moved on is beside the point. Not liking it was a bit scary, and again, stress inducing), shoe shopping for the all-important wedding shoes (which are sitting in my closet, unconfirmed as the ones), searching for the right jewelry and a couple of gifts to mail out (you'll now who you are when something comes in your mailbox!), and halfway successfully something to eat that wouldn't make me nauseous (going uber healthy makes you basically physically unable to eat nasty food - you get sick. Good for the abs, bad for the mood) which ended up with a bottle of Kombucha sitting next to me in a car cupholder that took an HOUR to open because of unruly fizz...

Let's continue.

So I was reaching for the floss.

T was strumming his guitar, learning a new song.

-Charis! Listen!

I turned around and came a couple of steps into the room.

-Huh? (I was tired and grumpy and by God just wanted to brush my teeth, take off my makeup and crawl into bed, maybe play some Sudoku, and hit dream land)

That's when I heard it. T ran the pick across the strings then laid his fingers across, silencing the guitar hum. A moment later, I heard a hoo-hoo, hoo-hoo coming from outside.

An owl! So cool.

Then silence.

Terry plucked a string or two, then silenced the guitar. Another call.
-I think he's talking back to me!

And the owl was. This continued on for some minutes, with us getting more excited by each interchange, and wondering where the owl actually was - it had to be sitting in a tree outside one of our windows. So we shut off all the lights in the room and quietly opened the wooden blinds, trying to peer out into the sliver-mooned darkness and see our new friend.

That's when it happened.

There wasn't just one owl, now there were two! We realized this as the guitar went forgotten on the desk chair and we crowded the windows, trying to see, listening to a conversation between the owls.

-Maybe they're mating! I said. By mating I meant courting - like when you see birds chasing each other and tangling in the sky, their joy nearly tangible.

T thought I was being more literal with my words.
-Owl sex. The words came with assurance out of the darkness beside me, and after a beat or two, my knees buckled and I nearly slid to the floor consumed by silent giggles.

They were sounding more urgent, after all.

We looked at each other, eyes wide, as the calls continued, more in sequence.

About then we decided to give the frisky owls their privacy and I made my way back over to the light switch, after telling T that his last words would be the title of my blog post the next morning.

And so they were.

The end.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


My Dad emailed me a link to this video this morning and it made me happy.

Maybe you'll like it too.

(you'll probably recognize the song, but watch the video anyway. It's good)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Dirty Hands

This picture was taken on the last day of my Ph.D. seminar up in northern Cali.

There's a bit of a story behind it, if you can't already tell.

So, here's what happened.
I was a bit drained after non-stop classes and interactions and demands on my attention. I'm discovering that I'm quite accustomed to the comparatively large quantities of quiet time and alone time that I enjoy on a daily basis. When I'm surrounded by people and teachers and things I must be doing and places I must be going, I don't mind it in the moment, but eventually I get overloaded.

Such was this particular day.

The time was about 1:00pm, and I arrived in the large assembly room early. Our presenter was already there, and I helped her to arrange chairs and set out art supplies - this particular class was going to be on creativity and expression through body movement and art work. On a good day, this means amazing things that I can take into my coaching practice. On a bad day, it means we have to dance around the room like goons and draw pictures.

(this was a bad day, needless to say)

So I eventually sat down, close to the door, as people started filing in. A couple of my friends had skipped this talk, telling me about how, last seminar, this woman yelled at people who stood on the edges, refusing to dance. Usually things like this are only participatory. Yikes. I'd missed it last time because of a nasty flu (yuck), but I wanted, at least, to see what all the fuss was about.

So I opened my journal to kill time and waited for things to begin.

More people came in and found chairs and the instructor passed me for a final run to the ladies room before the hours-long presentation.

Go, I heard.

Now, it's not like I heard a voice speaking in my head, schizophrenic-style (although that does occasionally occur in a really good meditation or something like that).

In this case, I just had this overpowering feeling flit through me to get the heck away.

Ummm, WHAT?

So, I figured that this was my lazy or naysayer pieces, and I decided to treat them as a threshold guardian (a piece of the hero's journey that tests your commitment to your path of growth/learning/experience/whatever your path is), trusting that if I waited for awhile I'd have a great time.


And before I knew what was happening, I was out the door and halfway across the Presentation Center grounds, towards my cabin.

(so much for beating the threshold guardian...)

So, I entered my cabin and flopped my books down, unsure of what to do now, but sure that I was in a funk!

I decided to go on a walk down the nature trail that hugged the side of the mountain. Enormous, serene trees, soft bird calls, new bright green spring growth, perfect.

So I passed the sign, warning travelers of snakes and coyotes and bears and wild pigs and poison ivy and such, glancing at it but not really concerned because I've hiked this trail loads of times, when I heard it.

A very strange sounding animal call.

Heavy, growly breathing.

I couldn't see ahead - the lovely new spring growth was impossible to look through...

All I could think was wild pigs.

So I turned around and trotted back up the hill, away from the nature path.

(was a wild pig there? We'll never know. But that sure wasn't a squirrel, that I'm positive of...)

And now in an even greater funk, feeling thwarted at every angle, I said a little prayer asking for guidance and direction as to what I ought to spend the next couple of hours doing.

Just at that moment, I was passing the Presentation Center's greenhouse. In it, I could see a tall woman with white hair working. It was probably one of the nuns who keep the grounds (a small convent keeps the Presentation Center up and running).

Before I had time to second-guess myself (much), I was at the door of the greenhouse, saying hello and asking if she needed any help with anything.

Sister Paula and I spent the next hour and a half digging up a venerable decade old spider plant that had completely taken up one of the greenhouse table beds. The real tools were in a basement across the grounds, so we used two old spoons, a repurposed meat cleaver (AWESOME), and every now and then, a huge shovel, holding it close to the bottom, careful to not break the ceiling with the long handle.

The spider plant would not come out without a fight, and I swung that meat cleaver with the force of all my overstimulated aggression behind it. We rolled up the root mass, bit by bit, which covered the entire bottom layer of the bed, and chopped and shook and squeezed until the soil was all free, and tangles upon tangles of spider plant lay in a heap outside the door.

I haven't had that much dirt under my fingernails in at LEAST a decade, maybe two.

It was amaaaaaaaaaazing.

So, in closing, keep you mind open and follow your gut. You may just be like me and decide to take up gardening out of it! We'll have some home grown basil this year, that's for sure!
(I like to start small.)

Today's quote:
We lay there and looked up at the night sky and she told me about stars called blue squares and red swirls and I told her I'd never heard of them. Of course not, she said, the really important stuff they never tell you. You have to imagine it on your own.
Brian Andreas

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Bird's Eye Sky

Here's a sight or two from a flight or two of mine yesterday.

Yeah, I MAY have done all the Sudokus in the back of the magazine except for the hardest one. My bad, anyone who wants to do a Sudoku that doesn't make your eyes cross....

I'm currently sitting in a meeting about the dissertation process, and my mind is wandering. Can you tell?

Happy Tuesday!