Alameda County voting

I don’t think you need to vote like me, but in case you are curious…


  • 51: no
  • 52: no
  • 53: no
  • 54: yes
  • 55: yes
  • 56: no
  • 57: yes
  • 58: yes
  • 59: no
  • 60: no
  • 61: no
  • 62: yes
  • 63: yes
  • 64: yes
  • 65: no
  • 66: no
  • 67: yes

A1: yes

RR: yes

I had a hard time with the choice between Loretta Sanchez and Kamala Harris. I agree and disagree with both women on issues. I ultimately picked Sanchez because that’s a woman with a plan. I admire that.

I voted for Hillary Clinton because there isn’t another viable choice I could tolerate as president. How’s that for a ringing endorsement?

Other choices you are on your own.


Still bored

I have to sit very still because I probably popped the artery with an increase in blood pressure. The nose is sensitive and the blood vessels aren’t buried deep and increases in blood pressure puts strain on thin closures. Given that I lost a whole bunch of blood clots in the last bleed that were quite large, one the size of a golf ball… I’m not done healing from the original surgery most likely.

It was really stupid to dive into a pool. I take responsibility. I thought three weeks was long enough. He said 3-4 weeks for exercise. Then I looked online (after my first nose bleed) and saw that swimming is supposed to be held off for 6+ weeks. Whoops.

It’s my fault.

Yeah… I know.

So I have an appointment this Friday with my surgeon and I’m supposed to stay as still as I can manage until then. That’s 10 solid days of sitting.


I need to be cleared for driving a long way on Friday. The following Tuesday I have appointments in Oakland/Berkeley I want to keep. I will find out the results of the ADD testing and I’ll get a genetic test done to see part of why I am so wacky when it comes to my medication responses. I hear that these days they have better ways of trying to tell why a person is wacky. We’ll see.

I am scared that the genetic testing will be, “We don’t know why you are so reactive to medications” followed by “You must be making it up” when I have a consistent 20 year history of having abnormal physical reactions to medications. Well, not even abnormal physical reactions. All of my reactions to medications follow known potential side effects. I just get the unusual and extreme side effects. They are always listed on the package as possible but the doctor says, “My other patients don’t respond this way. It is weird that you do.” BUT THESE REACTIONS ARE LISTED ON THE PACKAGE. WHY DO YOU SAY IT IS WEIRD THAT I HAVE THESE REACTIONS WHEN THEY ARE LISTED ON THE GOD DAMN PACKAGE?!

I’m going to stop and say again: my recent ER visits went fantastically well. I am going to hold on, in my mind, to this image of doctors getting to do exactly what they are trained to do and doing it well. They weren’t threatened by my weird reactions so they didn’t shame me even a little. Shit happens and everyone did their job well.

Doctors are not always shitty.

But psych patients try the patience of doctors. Psych patients try the stamina of doctors and they don’t like it.

Whyyyyyyyyy am I so treatment resistant to many of the things doctors want to throw at me to solve my problems? I think it is because solutions are way more complicated than that. I think that if my body had settled down and tried to “behave” more when doctors gave me pills… I wouldn’t have fought so hard to change every aspect of my life. I think that on some subconscious level I knew that the solution to my problems had to come in relationships and life experiences and genuinely figuring out how to stop acquiring more ongoing trauma… Pills would have prevented me from having the fierce drive to change everything in my life. I would have been more apathetic. More accepting. That would have been bad.

Maybe I had every negative side effect because feeling more-ok with not-okness would have been devastating to the overall curve of my life.

I really don’t know. I know that I try things. I know that I follow directions for how to “get better” and deal with my issues and… only some of the things work.

Mostly what has worked has been getting away from ongoing traumatization. Mostly what has worked has been finding a partner who will help me and be with me and adapt to my needs. Mostly what has worked has been having children and proving to myself that I can be a good mother. I have some value. I have some ability to do good things.

Being a good friend has helped. Seeing that I have resources to share has helped. Not feeling like I am just a pathetic eternal sinkhole of need.

If medication had worked when I was 15 and I had learned how to conform better to what was happening…. would I have prosecuted my father? Would I have pushed so hard to get the fuck out of high school?

If medication had worked when I was 19 would I have worked so hard to find coping methods? Would I have finished college and left my Owner? Or would I have… reverted to a mean? I don’t know for sure. I know that having an intense amount of drive is a lot of what kept me pushing to find new things.

If medication worked better now would I try so hard to find more books to read, more strategies to employ, more reasons to make things work on my own?

I don’t choose to have the reactions to medication that I have. I just have them. I just document them. It would be easier if I could stop doing research and working and just… coast on some extra help from a pill. But it hasn’t worked for me.

I fucking wish it would.

I’m not saying that other people who can take medications are lazy or not trying hard to improve or aren’t doing work or…

I’m talking about my journey with my individual issues. I’m a deeply flawed person. I ain’t judging you. Glass houses and all that shit.

Noah has been extra schmoopy lately. Like, schmoop on turbo.

Noah gets up in the morning because of me. Noah works all day because of me. When Noah is resting for a few minutes, he comes to cuddle up to me before returning to working. Because I’m really the whole center of his world. Yeah yeah, kids, but no. I’m it.

My mama told me that whenever two people are in love one person is more in love than the other person and that person is at a disadvantage.

I feel like my relationship has gone back and forth and right now… Noah loves me more. And I have not been honoring the gift he is giving me. I have been hurting him with that. I have been allowing him to be at a disadvantage. God damnit if I’m not proving my mama right. Fuck and shit and craptastic.

Noah does love me like I’m his favorite Disney princess. (A reference to a thing that happened online and I’m not giving context.) Noah loves me like I’m his favorite person of all time.

I need to stop being such a fucking asshole and I need to work on appreciating what I have more. I need to figure out how to fall more in love. I need to honor the fact that I am treated way better than I deserve. I need to honor the fact that Noah has changed his whole god damn life for me.

Noah gives to me the way my female friends give to their male partners. With an open hand. Without demand that I earn his love in return.

God damn how did I get so lucky in this lifetime? Sometimes people tell me that of all people I deserve what I have now. No. That’s not how it works. It doesn’t matter how shitty my childhood was. No one could possibly deserve what I have now. I just have it. Because life isn’t remotely fair.

Given how much my head still hurts, it is easy to remember that sex is off the table for a while. I have been feeling a lot of urge to snuggle and kiss though.


I’m very excited about this breathing through my nose business.

Noah is earning a lot of adoration lately. He’s being so very nice. He’s doing so much stuff. I’m kinda compulsive about working. In order to persuade me to sit on my ass… Noah is doing most of my chores. Not all of them (and that’s ok) but enough that I really don’t have justification to get up and work. The stuff that I’m not doing right now is stuff that can wait. He’s doing everything that can’t wait.

I feel like a princess.

Why doesn’t everyone get to have a partner who will treat them the way that Noah treats me? Ok, minus the kinky sex. Not everyone is into that part. But the support, the love, the attention.

I wish everyone got to be loved the way I am loved. It feels like magic.

Do None Of The Things

I strongly dislike medically mandated rest. I get prescribed rest every few years. Usually by doctors who are greatly exasperated by my work load. To them I say: STOP JUDGING ME.

But when I get told to sit on my ass or else I try to listen. So I’m up to day four. I was told this time that I should sit for at least a week. The surgeon would prefer longer but I whined.

This means having a baby is put off by several months. It’s just not on the table yet. Feck. Like, don’t think about it till December or January. From October. That makes me very sad right now.

Other things I can’t consider doing right now: painting, gardening, cleaning out the shed for the remodel (the construction workers are going to to move it but it needs to be emptied first), cleaning my house (luckily Noah did this part yesterday so I feel less twitchy on this front), typing all that much (my arms are enflamed like a motherfucker), exercising, sex at all for a while, masturbating, driving, socializing…

I’m feeling very fussy right this minute.

But I’ve sat still through Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Where is my fucking medal.

I wasn’t still for a solid three days after the first surgery. This may be part of my problem. I’m trying to do better after this burst artery business. That was kinda scary.

I think I’m up to four near death experiences. Three medical one psychological. The first was the pit bull bite. I could have died from blood loss then if I hadn’t been near a good hospital. I’m a truly lucky bitch. The second was when my father held a gun to my head and asked me if I deserved to live. Psychologically… that fucks you up forever. That’s almost dying. Third was bleeding out during my second labor. That was really scary. And now the fourth was having an artery burst in my nose.

The doctor said: “No way can you go to Las Vegas this week. Imagine what would happen if you started bleeding in the middle of the desert.”

Oh yeah. I’d die. Because this isn’t a game. Oh.

I’m kinda like a cat, counting up my lives.

Only five to go. Time to stop fucking around with this mess. The near misses will be scarier later. And that’s not including the times I’ve done stupid things like letting someone hang me with a noose.

I haven’t traditionally had a lot of care with my life.

But I have these kids now. Things have changed. I really want to see what kind of grown ups they become. I’m endlessly fascinated with them. I get tired and need time off, sure, but I don’t get sick of knowing them. I didn’t think parenting would be this wonderful.

It’ll be more wonderful when my house isn’t being forking remodeled. But progress is being made! They are more than four weeks into the work now. In a supposedly 6-8 week project. Windows arrive in ten days. I’ve had no windows in the front of my house since February. It’s getting cold again. Which makes six weeks unlikely but eight weeks possible. I’m crossing my fingers.

Hey, that means I can’t consider getting pregnant till the remodel is over. Sigh.

One of my friends sent me this link to a private island for sale in Scotland. If I sold my house I could probably cover half of it. Holy fucking shit. That’s… kinda mind blowing.

Sex is so weird. I’m transactional with it and I’m getting to the point where that is a serious problem for me. So I’m teasing my friends about something and not writing about their situation because tact but it made me think about myself. If I wanted something and Noah told me I could have it if I blew him every day for a year… he would wake up with a mouth on his cock every morning for 365 days. If I wanted something and that was the price…

Price. Should things have sex as a price? Everything has a price. For years now I’ve paid the price of sex for Noah’s good humor. And just recently when I stopped having sex with Noah (mostly for medical reasons) he’s… had trouble in the ways we predict. So I feel like I’m being derelict in my duties to provide sex. And I’m feeling bitter that I must. So using sex to pay for things is complicated.

Will I do it? Sure. I’m a pragmatist. Will I be long term happy about it? Well that’s a different question. It kinda sounds like I’m joking about the pragmatism thing, but I’m not. I’ve had a crazy lot of sex for pragmatic reasons. A long time ago I overheard a sex worker saying, “Every woman is a sex worker, but only some of us are smart enough to get paid.” I’m not sure if she was quoting someone else. I…

I don’t understand how sex works for other people. For much of my life sex was currency. I’ve used it for lots of things. These days mostly to keep Noah happy. That’s mixed.

What did I find out during my slutting around this year? I discovered that I still have oceans-deep wells of desire inside of myself but they are not accessed when I am having sex for someone else.

That’s useful to know.

It isn’t that I don’t desire Noah. I want to spend my time with Noah. I like Noah very much. But we have a lot of sex for him when it doesn’t work for me. That’s… psychologically damaging. It means I partition off that the sex I have with him isn’t for me. I’m not saying it is his fault; I’m saying it happens.

Do you know what else I learned about slutting around this year? I can’t keep doing it. It’ll fuck Noah up in a way I’m not ok with being responsible for. It won’t kill him. It may not even cause a divorce. But it would kill his spirit and I’m not going to do that. I owe Noah better than that this lifetime. He’s been very good to me.

I don’t think I can be monogamous. But I can’t do what I was doing. This is going to be tricky to work out and take years.

I hurt him. I hurt him in a way that is going to take serious repair work. I did that. I fucked that up. I am as big of an asshole as I sound when I say: “I didn’t think it would hurt him that much.”

Well, it did.

I did. I hurt him that much.

And he’s still all in. Because we don’t really get a second chance with someone else. We’re done for. This is our shot in life. This is the one chance we get to do this right. So either we ride the waves and figure out how to improve shit… or we give up on this fairy tale. This belief that we, fucked up people that we are, can be loved and completely accepted in this lifetime.

We are both hard. We are not people who would find a second replacement life and just make it work. I know people who have great second marriages. I know people who rebuild life into third and fourth marriages.

I can’t do that. I could be something different, but I don’t think I could ever try again. And with the whole kids thing… this is our one chance to have an intact family. We have high stakes. We don’t have families that love us to fall back on. Noah is closer than I am, but not that much.

I know. I’ve seen the last twelve years of his life. I know he doesn’t really have anyone to fall back on other than me.

I know.

I have good friends, the most amazing friends… but I’d have to figure out how to stand alone too. I don’t have a family to fall back on. My friends give me what they have to give. They are my friends.

I’ve seen the difference in the lives of my friends. They have families. My chance at that is with Noah and my kids.

And I did a lot to fuck it up this year.

I also learned that Noah is right. I will never run out of sex or dating opportunities. I just won’t. Whether I look for them or at them is a different matter. It’s kind of an interesting thing to try and internalize. I am attractive enough. I am interesting enough. I am educated enough. I am snotty and entitled about how I am treated enough…

I will always have a high market value. That’s… not something I expected this lifetime.

I will never seriously deal with an ain’t-shit-man again.

It isn’t like they will never hit on me. But I won’t put up with that kind of crap. I have too high of standards and that is Noah’s fault. I think I won the husband lottery. He’s an absolute pain in the ass who wouldn’t work for most people very well… but he’s god damn perfect for me. He is willing to adapt and help and give in a way that… most men really won’t.

But I get how he would be hard for someone else. Totally true. I’m no picnic so I don’t complain about him being work.

Even when I’m just looking around the house at the murals… most people wouldn’t have let me do this. Steve would have said no. My Owner would have said no. Puppy would have said no. They would have said I was “destroying the value of the house.”

Noah tells me to have fun.

I also learned this year that Noah isn’t much better at telling me no than I am at telling him no. That’s good to understand. He will let me hurt him. If I’m going to avoid hurting him I need to just know where the boundaries are. He isn’t going to enforce them.

I also pushed my luck enough to find out that a few things are ok that I would have assumed weren’t. It wasn’t entirely bad. There were things that worked out ok.

There were things that weren’t ok. Absolutely every step of dealing with the Quiet One was mishandled and fucked up.

I’m feeling kinda glad in retrospect that since I fucked up so badly with someone I made sure it wasn’t someone who was deeply entrenched in my life. I kept good boundaries with my friends. Noah isn’t upset with any of our long term friends over this experiment. I get why he had the feelings he had about the Quiet One.

He doesn’t have to veto.

In this process we also got to the point of understanding what “veto” actually meant. And why it exists. Because this year we had to revisit what it means and why I’ve done it in the past and god damn if I wasn’t right.

I’m a fuck up. But that doesn’t make me wrong every time.

Life is really complicated like that.

Today I am still stuck in a chair. Eldest Child is off with the Bonus Family. The kids asked if they could visit separately this time. It sounded fine to the adults. I’ll play more games with Youngest Child. Noah will probably read to us.

Luckily this isn’t a day where I can fuck much up. I’ll just… sit in a chair. Or on the couch. Maybe both at different times. Woo.

Oh hey

I last wrote early in the morning on Tuesday. Later that day, around 10:30am I started bleeding from my nose. Gushing blood. I lost probably a cup or more of blood in a couple of hours. This estimate is approximate because for a while I was going through wads of paper towels before I ended up leaning over a large measuring cup and letting it drip because…. it wasn’t stopping with the pinching. I couldn’t lean my head back at all because I was drowning in the blood.

Luckily our wonderful babysitter was here. She went and got her mom, who is a practical, lovely woman. The mama took me to the hospital. I stayed there by myself. Want to know how you get priority treatment in an ER? Walk in with a large measuring cup full of blood with more blood rapidly falling into it. My ass didn’t hit a waiting room chair. I walked into triage and then into an exam room. No waiting. The lovely doctor tried a few things and ended up shoving something called “rhino rockets” up my nose. Basically balloons that put pressure on the inside of the nostril to stop bleeding. I was there until 3:30ish. I was barely not bleeding at that point, but I had an appointment with my surgeon at 4:15.

I went to the appointment with my surgeon. He took the rhino rockets out, looked around with a scope and declared he couldn’t see why it happened. He put a different kind of packing into one nostril (not both nostrils like at the hospital) and sent me home.

Around 8pm I started bleeding again. I lost 1/2 a cup of blood in the 15 minutes that Noah tried to call an advice nurse and I said, “Fuck it. We are going back to the hospital Right Now.”

Once again I got VIP treatment in the ER. They are sure nice about blood loss.

The new ER doctor said, “I’m calling a surgeon. Now.”

I think I went into surgery around 10:30? I was completely done and dusted and in a room by 12:30.

The surgeon cauterized an artery in my nose. He put a bunch of dissolvable packing in there too to help seal things up.

I was discharged the next morning. I was told I could go around 7:30. Of course that means it took till 10:30.

I’m home. I feel like warmed over shit. This surgery feels more awful than the original septoplasty in many ways. I’m exhausted. I hurt. I think the flu vaccine as I was leaving didn’t help.

I feel completely horrible.

But I now have a roof on the addition to the house. I’m not dead. I still have a future.

And things plug on.

Moms and art and adoption

I’m saving my hand spoons for other work; that’s why I’m not writing much lately. I’ve made progress on the kitchen painting. Last time I guesstimated I thought I had 20 hours of painting left. Then I did 6 hours. I think I have 14 hours to go. There have been a bunch of times over the years when I’ve sized up a project and thought “24 work hours” or whatever and I’ve been right to within an hour. I’m really good at guessing how much work something will take. *pat self on back*

I have finished the monkey. I think. Maybe. I’m not in love with the face. I still need to fix the banana tree as per the criticism from my submissive. He’s all, “Let me tell you about banana trees.” He used to work on a banana farm. Mine isn’t done yet apparently. Ok. I’ll fix it.

My pot consumption is way the hell down. I’m thrilled. My taper plus abstinent periods have had a major impact on my tolerance. Yay! At this point I’m using 1/4 as much in a whole day as I used to use in my first smoke of the day. That’s a massive decrease. I’m using at the rate of less than an 1/8/week. That’s a huge drop for me. That’s… that’s pregnancy sustainable.

Do I like the fact that I use drugs during my pregnancies? Well… I use less harsh drugs than other doctors would really prefer I be on. I get through my life with a lot of sheer force of will. Doctors would like me chemically regulated so that my emotions are not so extreme and every single medication these fucking doctors suggest is significantly worse than pot for a pregnancy. I don’t have a great option here. But I’m using at a rate that isn’t particularly problematic again. In my judgmental as fuck stoner opinion. Uhm, I’m not judging someone else’s tolerance. I’m saying for me.

I’m using at a rate I will feel comfortable with for myself. Other people are totally allowed to have their own acceptable rates based on their needs and preferences.

I keep coming back to “Well at least I’m not increasing my drug usage during each pregnancy like my mom did…”

My mom used to joke that with her first pregnancy, she didn’t even smoke cigarettes let alone another drug and no alcohol. During her second pregnancy she smoked cigarettes and had alcohol. During her third pregnancy she smoked cigarettes, drank alcohol, and smoked pot. By her fourth pregnancy (me) she did all that plus speed. She would follow this up with, “And you are the smartest kid I had! So see, drug usage isn’t all that bad.”

I’m not being like my mom…

I will admit I don’t 100% abstain from alcohol with my pregnancies. But I have like 5 glasses of wine per pregnancy (not within a week or anything). That’s well within acceptable tolerances based on research.

Fuck. I’m not good at this whole abstinent life thing.

Guess what else I forking do? I eat soft cheeses. Nyah nyah.

I’m seeing my nasal surgeon today. I got a massive nosebleed this weekend and I called his office to see if they thought I should come in. The nurse started off with “His notes say you probably don’t need to be checked.” “Let me describe how much blood came out of my nose on Saturday.” “You should come in tomorrow.”

Oh, thank you.

I suspect we shouldn’t try for pregnancy until I get my nose under control. There is a substantial change in blood volume in the body during pregnancy and right now… my nose isn’t doing so hot. I don’t think a surge in blood volume would be awesome.

Damnit. And Noah is no longer shooting blanks so we have to…. use condoms for a while. Wheeeee.

It’s like the good old days.

I’m hopeful we can get started trying in November. *cross fingers* Don’t worry. I’ll tell y’all more details than you want to hear. Maybe.

I will definitely keep updating the tally: 7 months of trying, 4 pregnancies so far.

I may have a lot of problems, fertility isn’t on the list.

I’d kinda like to be done with remodel stuff when I get pregnant. This work is hard on my back and body. I don’t want to do it while pregnant very much. Oh god. Especially because all of my body work will pretty much go away in the first trimester. It’s too risky. Massage can absolutely trigger miscarriage. Both of my miscarriages were right after massages (I doubt they were related) but that history means my massage therapists say they won’t work on me till I’m about 16 weeks. Sob.

I watched Poverty, Inc on Netflix. It’s a documentary about how foreign aid is keeping people in poverty internationally. It covers things like up to 80% of all children who are internationally adopted have living parents and they are in orphanages due to poverty.

Adoption is fucking complicated. I’m not saying it shouldn’t exist at all. I’m saying… it’s really complicated and fraught. I’m saying it’s not like buying a car where it is “yours” now. There are people who make wonderful families through adoption. There are people who are adopted who love their adopted parents and never feel any lack in life. There are lots of other less pleasant endings.

I get through life through sheer force of will. I don’t know that I could manage to extend that halo to a child who had serious problems. Serious attachment disorder problems in particular and when you adopt… it’s a roll of the dice. I am great at teaching children who have a wide variety of mental or physical health problems… as long as they attach. It’s something I’ve noticed about myself. The kids who don’t attach… I keep my distance and I’m not that much help for them. I saw it in school. I saw it with my students. The children who attach… I can help. The ones who don’t… I completely fail them.

There are people who work well with kids/adults who have attachment problems. I’ve been blessed to witness some of these exchanges. I fail.

Why do I feel so drawn to fostering then? Because it feels different. If I fail them… it’s… kinda more expected that some foster parents fail. You can try a different foster family if one isn’t a fit. If you adopt someone and they no longer have a fall back position… that’s fucking traumatizing. A failed foster family placement isn’t awesome but it isn’t quite as damaging as a failed adoption. I say as someone with many failed foster family placements.

I feel I could foster a kid and be present with them for how much they miss their mother and how unfair life is. It would break my heart to adopt a kid and never be enough to fill that hole.

I am selfish.

I miss my mother so much. No surrogate mother has ever done much to fill this terrible hole in my heart. I’ve god damn tried. But everyone… fades away. I’m too much. Too demanding. Too needy. I was too hard as a kid and I’m an adult now and I need to take care of myself.

I’m 35 years old and I’m still waking up at 4am to cry about missing my mother.

I want to be seen in a way that only my mother would have been able to see me if she had actually known me throughout my life. The way that the parents of my students see them. (We went to a party with former students and their entire extended families. Their families are so thrilled I’m still around. I’m even in tight with the grandparents.)

I want my mama to see my art and feel proud that I came out of her.

I want my mama to see my children and feel proud that we came from her.

I can’t give her that.

Yesterday Eldest Child asked about writing a letter to my mom. I would send it. I don’t think I am in a place where I can write to her yet… but I won’t prevent a letter from my kid.

I will actively prevent contact with my sister. She participated in the rapes of her children. She is not allowed near my children. Period. But my mother… sending her a letter isn’t a problem. Especially if I don’t write it.

There is a part of me that is sad that I passed up the opportunity to ask my sister if she’d like to step outside for that fist fight she wanted to start when I was pregnant. I am not a mature or adult person.

Instead when I saw her I looked at the floor and treated her like she wasn’t present. Like she was a non person.

Maybe I’m a little mature.

Brute force

Recently I’ve been thinking about the fact that I have come a long way in terms of my behavior with my kids. I am far better at reacting. I’ve had practice. I’ve developed much greater patience. I think I have managed to do it through simple brute force. I’m feeling kinda proud of myself because I think the person I was who taught in a high school ten years ago is not the person I am now. I had distinctly more limited patience at the time. I’m doing what I want to do.

I don’t know another way of learning. I’m not good at the subtle. I’m good at broad strokes and insistent demands: “No, not like that. Like this.”

I am shocked at the ways in which I have changed my behavior. Pleased, yes, but shocked. It’s only when I stop and think about how far I’ve come that it really hits home. When I think about myself in the present I feel impatient with all the ways I am still failing to meet the metrics I set for myself.

I honestly believe that having my children mirror back my behavior is the single most… motivating experience of my life. I want to do better because I want to give them better because I want them to be able to do/have/be better.

At Stanford they started asking Eldest Child about adult goals. What’s your plan A? Be president. What’s your plan B? …. crickets.

I talked to her yesterday about this. I said, “You know… being president is a lot of pressure and work. You could instead help elect presidents” and her eyes grew wide. Yessssssss. She’s very excited about this prospect.

I think maybe she absorbed a bit too much The West Wing as an early child. She’s kind of ridiculously interested in politics. She is very clear that she wants to be in government because she wants to help people and government is a way to help huge swathes of people at once. She’s given up on being a doctor. “You can only help one person at a time that way.”

I understand, kiddo.

She is both a lot like me and a lot more subtle than me. I hope that having a mother like me isn’t a deal breaker for a future political life. I won’t apologize for existing nor for writing about sex for decades.

Oh, in other news, speaking of family embarrassments: my in-laws are coming to town. Thankfully not to our house. They are coming to San Francisco. For one night on their way to a four month cruise. Because they enjoyed the last cruise they were on so much. The one that was like 2-3 weeks after ours. Ours that they said they couldn’t go on because they couldn’t be away from home.


Bon voyage motherfuckers. It’s ok with me if you don’t come back.

Would I have been happier with them on the cruise with us? Probably not. But I feel like I truly don’t ever need to put effort in again. I’ve done so in a variety of ways. I’m… getting what they feel like back which is mostly a middle finger. I’m done trying. It’s throwing good energy after bad.

I don’t think I’m going to get anything positive back from them this lifetime. They’ll send the shit they feel like sending whether it works for me or not. They will request attention when they want it and I don’t need to care. Hey, they will be on their cruise ship through their Christmas/anniversary/birthday rush this year. Maybe we don’t have to send presents.


In a side note, this lady makes kids music that works in the same way as a lot of my little songs I sing with the kids. Yay for not having to invent everything for yourself.

I’m feeling weary. This remodel won’t be done till Thanksgiving. I’m so tired. I want to be able to clean my house in a way that is low stress and easy. That requires getting more space. Somewhere to put all this bathroom and closet stuff. Erf and uggg. (The towels will be living in the bathroom.) The linens will probably have to be stored in the garage, which won’t suck for laundry simplicity. I love my garage. I feel like the garage amount of space is what makes this house usable. I think I would go bananas if I were actually limited to 960′ sq (approximately). Our house is just a bit under 1,000′ sq. I measured but I no longer remember the exact number. It’s very early in the morning. I am back to not sleeping that well. But with the garage, and the new bathroom addition we will be up to 1, 520′ sq. Practically a palace.

Hey I lived in a one car converted garage with my mom. My house feels… full of potential and space to me. It’s all about what you’re used to. Auntie’s houses were bigger… but there were so many more people. Sure they had a 3,000′ sq house… but twelve people lived there. It didn’t feel spacious. It felt dirty all the damn time.

Auntie isn’t the sort to make other people do things.

One of my friends has a saying: “Do you want a lazy mama or a crazy mama?” Whereas I don’t say it to my kids… I do think it on a regular basis. My kids work. I can’t be Auntie. I’m raising workers, not shirkers.

We have a fun Busytown: What Do People Do All Day book. It is… hilariously Marxist. “Everyone is a worker!” It includes how Mommy works and how a kid is supposed to work. There is so much indoctrination material available if you just cull stimuli properly. I feel downright Machiavellian sometimes when I think of how I’m constructing my library.

Kiddos “found” a “new” book yesterday in the house cause I’m getting some shelves freed up so I am spreading the books out so they are more useable again….. It’s a process.

But library tending: I’m serious about my library. I have all kinds of books designed to be valuable in a wide variety of settings for people of diverse personalities and ages. I pretty much have something for everyone. I back a lot of Kickstarters for interesting books. Things you can’t buy in stores (yet… hopefully someday they make it).

And I got to absorb Sarah’s library. That was a diverse thing of beauty. She’s been collecting fabulous books for longer than me. I understand why carrying it around is hard at this point. She can visit it anytime she wants. She can have anything she wants back, forever. But I get to read them in the meantime. I’m pretty thrilled.

I have the next few years cut out for me. That feels so lovely.

Guess what Eldest Child doing academics means? It means… I sit next to her, prodding… for the whole time… or…. there are some fantastic doodles and no work done when I get back.

It’s a good thing I have worked with a lot of kids who need similar support. It’s not that unusual. There was a boy I hometaught when he was suspended from school for behavior violations who needed to be forking spoon fed everything but then he could perform just fine. He was in a bunch of low level classes because he couldn’t pay attention to save his life… but he was bored. He could have been in harder math, English, science… but he had to have someone spoon feed him. It’s an attention problem.

When these kids are learning something because they want to learn it… they are flippin incredible. When an adult tries to say, “This is what you must learn now” then… it comes in painstaking inches.

I had the worst time trying to learn multiplication tables. I think that they started trying to teach them in grade four but I didn’t pick them up until… grade eight I think? Not until I started doing more interesting math and I started multiplying more often and I just picked them up.

I need exposure through use instead of sheer memorization. I need to develop the ability to picture a larger story in my head so I can replay it and watch my hand form the answer on the paper. I visualize my memories like that. I don’t remember hearing things all that well. If I just read something it is better than hearing it…. but I learn best when I remember doing something myself.

And sometimes… I need to be spoon fed or I just can’t learn something. Because I just can’t keep my attention on it.

I took an ADD test yesterday. I stared at a computer for twenty minutes pressing a space bar. I made a lot of mistakes. If the dude sitting behind me was taking notes he heard the progression through shoot to fudge to crap to shit to fuck. I started out trying to be good. And I was pretty much dancing in my chair. Because I do that when I’m just sitting and trying to focus like that. My body twitches and jerks and I hear music in my head and I wiggle accordingly. (In my head I was hearing: Try Everything from the Zootopia soundtrack. Shakira gives me life.)

Given that a lot of the test is about measuring movement…

I don’t get my results for weeks. Because an expert has to read the printouts and I don’t have an appointment for a while. Wheeeee.

I should schedule a follow up for the nose surgery. There’s something a little weird on one side… and I’m still producing blood every day. I’m so sick of medical appointments. And then I want to get pregnant?!?!?!

I’m… not thinking. Baby fever makes you stupid. Biology is a bitch. I’ll do it. I’ll go. I’ll do what I’m supposed to do.

Baby. Baby. Baby.

It’s truly not a sane urge.

Having kids with Noah is wonderful.

There’s so much I want to do and try. Time to get busy.

Can’t sleep; can I write?

I want to write about yesterday and I don’t. I’ve started and stopped a bunch of sentences. It was a pleasant, mellow day. But for some reason I’m having trouble writing more than that.

I tried so hard to not make the Stanford appointment about me. But they ask so many questions about family history it wouldn’t have been possible to avoid talking about my background entirely. Basically, “When I was 17 I decided I was going to have kids and I was going to homeschool them. I had horrible experiences in almost all of the 25 schools I attended before I dropped out at 16 and I was going to make sure my kids have different lives. So I spent ten years preparing and I worked at all levels of education so I could learn from the inside how I should act over the years with my children.”

This is what I wanted to do with my life. So at 35 I’m stable and have been for ten years. My life varies a lot, but it varies in developmentally appropriate ways for my kids. It’s not that I am a perfect parent (there is no such thing) but I adapt to the needs of my children as my job. So I’m doing really well for someone like me. I attribute a huge chunk of this to Noah’s money making abilities. It’s real easy to feel safe and to make a safe home when you have buckets of cash coming in.

Only it isn’t easy for everyone even under those circumstances. I’ve worked really hard for this. I’m a hard core behaviorist and I believe the most important person I have to work to change is myself. As a parent and a teacher you have power to shape the children/students under you influence but you don’t have ultimate control over them. The only person you have control over is yourself.

They believe that if my Eldest Child had different parents or if she were forced to go to school… she would have behavior and emotional problems. I agree. There’s nothing like explaining for an hour just how fucking hard your kid is to show you that… someone else would have had a harder time.

I came into this expecting difficult, emotionally disturbed children because I understand that trauma is passed down in DNA. I understand that my children are going to be sensory seeking, high energy, highly emotional little beings who need to be taught how to manage themselves.

I have cleaned up so many huge messes. I have been so damn patient with establishing routines within the chaos. We have highly changeable lives so there is a lot of chaos… but there’s a surprising amount of order too. We don’t have a life that would work for other people, but we are very happy. Someday, as my children’s needs change… our life will change. But for now we are doing very well.

Yes, I understand that I need to be more consistent this year that Eldest Child is doing serious academic time every week day. Do you realize I’m only going to insist on an hour a day with half an hour for each subject? That’s all I think she needs right now and how much you wanna bet she will be caught up by the end of the school year?

So far this year I’ve been kinda wishy washy. It’s October. It’s time to get serious about that hour. I’ve been enforcing it 3-4 days a week for a few months. It’s time to settle into an hour a day as just a matter of course. That’s totally easy to do. My kid rolls out of bed and into her chores because she understands that means she has more influence on what she does for the rest of the day and she likes that control.

I enforce it with a smile (most of the time), but we start the day with chores. We are workers, not shirkers. That was one of the phrases the doctors were struck by. They wrote it down to use as a reference later. I’m feeling kinda cocky about that.

Life is full of work. If you want a happy, productive life you must be a worker. Shirkers are people who refuse to do their fair share and they make life harder for everyone around them. Being a worker/shirker isn’t about money at all because I don’t earn money. Clearly I do work. 

I’ve just gotta say, I feel grateful that I know so many hard-working-women so that my kids don’t expect that all mothers have to be stay-at-home. Every family has to do what is right for them and that is decided among a lot of different factors. There are benefits and drawbacks to every option in life and what you pick needs to be based on what you as an individual need and want and have to offer.

There is no “right way” to be.

Some people need to send their kids to school so that the kids can be around trained professionals all day who can provide more consistency and stimulation than they can provide. Some people need to keep their kids home so that the kids can have more stimulation. Every family is coming from a different place.

I wish that these choices didn’t so often rest on privilege, but they do. Homeschooling isn’t cheap. There are people who do excellent jobs with far less money than I have at my disposal. I have watched some of it. I’ve been very impressed. There are ways to solve most problems if you have either time or money to throw at the problem. I have both.

Life isn’t fair. I mean, I could try and say that I have such an awesome life because it is payback for my childhood. But what does that mean for the vast majority of kids like me who don’t end up here? It’s not that I worked harder. I had different opportunities and help.

Life isn’t fair.

Sometimes folks express that they find it annoying that my children “remind” adults about what the rules are. This bothers people. I love it. I will be more consistent as the years go by because I am listened to all the time and people around me feel free to remind me of what I said I’d be living up to. I have created a system where growth is mandatory. There are too many external motivations. I believe seriously in working to extinguish behaviors. I have done so with many of my behaviors.

Goodness gracious I don’t even swear like I used to.

I still do in writing. Cause I can.

I’ve worked on lots of things. I had to. I could see the reflection of my behavior in my children and I knew that trying to alter their behavior had to start in modeling. Do you know how much pressure that is? Everything I want to teach… I have to model.

I’ve had people seriously ask me why I think my kids will be readers if I don’t enforce reading. I laughed and said my children will read out of self defense. And it turns out it is working. What I mean by self defense is: my children have a lot of time to fill. They live with someone who says consistently “Only boring people get bored. I can find work for you.” They don’t get bored. They are masters of directing their own time and attention. It’s what they do. They can’t watch a screen unless everything is cleaned up (which has a twofold benefit: they clean up after themselves and they are eager to go through their stuff and do frequent purges to keep the time they spend cleaning small) and they aren’t up for doing that every day.

I am not an entertainment device. If you need to direct your attention, look around you. I have seeded this house with things to do. Get busy.

A lot of what I have seeded this house with are books. Books on topic after topic after topic. Books both well chosen and random because who the hell knows what you will want to look at next.

My children will read. Even pre-reading they spend hours a day with books. I’m not too concerned. If there is a difficulty, we’ll figure out how to fix it. Because that’s just what we do.

Do you realize we pre-seed our kids with the idea that they will need to find and use a therapist at some point in their lives for some reason? We talk about occupational, physical and emotional therapies. “Something will come up. It does for basically everyone at some point. When you run into something you can’t fix for yourself… there are people who work in trying to help fix that. We’ll find the help you need.”

A successful/interesting life is usually the work of building habits. Your habits are what carry you through when you aren’t really thinking about other things. Many people who know me for extensive periods of time have no idea about my mood fluctuations. They think that they know that I’m a little moody. Then at some point they will read something I’ve written and kind of freak out. That’s happened a bunch. My mood fluctuations are extreme.

I have made a very conscious habit of being cheerful. I default to smiling (and I practiced in front of a mirror till my auto-smile affected my eye muscles so that it “appears real”) and being chatty and talkative even when I feel like shit and I’d like to be hiding behind my bed crying. There are times when my facade is thinner than usual… I know I can be brittle and sharp sometimes. But I have the habit of cheerfulness.

It is something I require of myself because there is no other facade I can maintain so blindly, without consideration of who I’m interacting with. Everything else I manifest is more complicated and requires more calibration for audience…

But I’m cheerful backed up with the strength of personality of a speeding train. Partially because I’m forcing that fucking cheerfulness over a mountain of fuss. It takes a lot of force.

So sometimes I jump the track and get kinda sideways. It happens.

Do you know why living in a torn apart house is a forking nightmare? Because I can’t have a “yes” house this way. My children have to ask before touching all kinds of things and they have to ask for help finding things and… I’m going insane.

Usually I have my house set up such that I can take them on a tour and then… they don’t need my assistance much at all any more. They know the conditions of using different items: must be on the table, must have all other games put away before you take it out, only an outside toy, etc

We periodically go to a craft store and the kids walk through the store with a budget and spend every penny on art supplies. We always have stuff to do. An endless variety of stuff. And when my house isn’t torn apart… it’s all neatly organized in a way that is easily accessible to them.

I’ve gone through a number of attempts at organizing before I’ve gotten to the point where I can manage my kids specific attention needs. It’s been a lot of work. I’ve figured out what they use with what. I’ve put things in places where they are easy to clean up. This has been my job. I worked retail and I grew up with a mother who worked retail. I’ve been having conversations about why things are organized the way they are since I was a little kid. Anything can be systematized. And no one can pack a moving truck more tightly than my mother. But I’m good.

It’s a spatial/visual awareness thing.

Noah and the kids are not… as able to organize for themselves. I have high hopes for Youngest Child. They have some natural talent in this direction and I think it is fabulous. But the kid is still in the stage where these kinds of potential talents must be nurtured with the softest of blowing and modeling and talking through why you do things… and no pressure for the kid to just get it right.

My kids won’t have god complexes.

They are going to be fucked up somehow. That’s inevitable. Just… not like me. Cause that’s kinda the best any of us can do.

I hate that I am happy about the validation from Stanford. I feel like an asshole for caring. I should be validated by the happiness of my children. They aren’t anxious. They are weird as fuck because they haven’t been shamed out of a variety of odd behaviors. I’m not going to say what any of them are because… that feels like crossing a line. But they do some odd shit and they’d take flack for it at school.

They fill their time in ways that don’t hurt nobody. I’m fine with them being weird about it.

I’m not sitting in a position where I ought to be judging someone else for being odd. Know what I mean?

I spend a lot of time sitting in my back yard on the swing. I have surrounded myself with green. It has taken years to build this in my little suburban box backyard. This little pretense of nature in a well manicured suburb. It’s time to trim the trees. Sigh. One. More. Thing. But it is so much fun. I’ve been sneaking back yard work in lately. It makes me happy. I have so many plans for this place. And most of them can happen slowly over many years. I don’t seem to be going anywhere.

Sure, you can validate me.

Well that was fucking awesome. Eldest Child had her evaluation at Stanford today. They told me everything I wanted to hear, everything I expected to hear, and then lots of nice things thrown in for a cherry on top.

Specifically: yes this child has ADHD. Both inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive so she’s not one of those one sided ADD children.

Also: verbally she is incredibly high, right at the gifted level and academically she is all over the map. Her reading is at grade level (HA! That happened JUST RECENTLY) and her writing and math are both at first grade level. I said, “That makes sense because she’s working on the 1st grade workbooks in both of those areas.” They suggested that if she doesn’t catch up by the end of the school year I might want to investigate resources in the school district for helping in those areas. They think she might have a learning disability but they suspect that whatever I’m doing is helping her deal with it to the point where it isn’t particularly diagnosable at this point.

That was what I wanted to hear and what I expected to hear. That was very validating.

Then they threw in a bunch of nice stuff like, “We rarely get to see children as happy as her; it’s a real treat.” “I kinda wish you could teach classes to our other families, you really have a lot of this figured out.” “Most of the recommendations we are going to send you are things you are already doing–good job.”

All of the doctors we spoke to expressed that in their opinion with different parents or if she was in school… she would be struggling emotionally and academically. They said, “She is very lucky that you have been willing to build a whole world around her needs. It’s a wonderful thing to see.”

I honestly didn’t expect to get this much of a pat on the back. They literally had nothing to say that I was doing blatantly wrong.

I’m so forking glad that we did this.

I’m just so small.

I need to find some words for what is going on in my head. I’ll start with saying that fake nails are evil. When they come off, my fingertips are sore for weeks and it makes typing very uncomfortable.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this whole “trying to love myself” thing I’ve been supposedly working on this year. How am I doing on it? I don’t know. Noah asked me what I got out of the experiment earlier this year with stepping out. That’s complicated.

I learned that my orgasm response isn’t as changed as I thought it was. I just don’t react to my long-term relationship the way I respond to sex with new people. Not even just new people, my submissive isn’t a new partner–but he is someone I am not enmeshed with. There’s a lot of individuality there.

I learned that Noah is a lot more attached to me than I really understood. Maybe I should have understood that to start with, but I didn’t. I genuinely didn’t know I would hurt him to the degree that I did. Now I know.

I have managed to get to the point where I don’t have a constant drumbeat of “worthless whore” in the back of my brain. That’s good. That’s progress. That’s a huge fucking deal after decades of trying to drown out that voice any way I could. I wouldn’t say I have high self esteem, but I have a kind of void in my head where I am waiting to see who and what I will be.

I learned that when I get past the breeding period, my identity as a public pervert is really really really important to me. I’m not ok with just being a private player. I am an exhibitionist and being part of the pervert community matters to me. That is not something Noah has ever cared about in the same way. Noah doesn’t need community affirmation of his identity in the way I do. That’s probably healthier but… I am what I am. Given that we are restarting this whole breeding thing I have more time to kind of step back. I don’t feel the same urge when I’m pregnant or when I’m caring for a tiny baby.

I’ve been thinking constantly about why I need to have more children, why can’t I be satisfied with helping some of the many children who need help in the world? It’s complicated. I still would like to foster someday. But fostering will not be about taking someone else’s child and making them mine. It will be about helping someone else’s child. I love my Bonus Kids. They are fantastic. I’m grateful I get to love on them and teach them and spend time with them. They aren’t mine. They aren’t part of me.

I feel so very damaged by not having a biological family who would love and embrace me. The children of my blood and my body give me a mirror in which to look at myself with love. I haven’t had a lot of that in my life. My children are mini-me-not-me’s. They take my characteristics and Noah’s and they mix them up in complicated ways and they become these separate individual people who are worthy of love. They give me a way to see myself as possibly worthy of love. If pieces of me are deserving of love in these other shapes, maybe I am too.

I know people who have been adopted and I know people who have adopted children. I am not trying to cast aspersions on their lives or choices. I am saying that I am broken. I am saying that I have limits. I am saying that I would be one of those assholes who would adopt and always see their adopted children as different from their “real” children. I don’t want to do that to a kid. That would be so fucking mean. Fostering isn’t the same as adopting. I think I could be a very good foster parent. I think I would be a horribly bad adoptive parent and I don’t want to inflict that on a child who already has to deal with the pain of separation from their birth mother.

I don’t want to be responsible for hurting another being like that and I’m fairly certain I would.

I know people who have adopted and had biological children. They are wonderful parents. I admire them and seek to learn from their kind hearts. My heart is small and broken and pathetic. I am not the wonderful person they are. I am a selfish asshole.

I feel deeply ashamed of being so limited. I feel ashamed of my inability to love and care for people not born of my body in the same way I love my biological children. I feel ashamed of how small and selfish I am. I need to see myself in my children in order to give and give and give the way I have. I feel ashamed of the fact that I am as good of a mother as I am because I am trying to reparent myself. I give to my children because I wish someone had given to me and that feels terrible. I would not be able to do the same thing for another child. That’s a failure in me.

I feel ashamed of this limitation in the same way I am ashamed of how small my life is. I have so much privilege. So much security. So much safety and… I don’t help very many people with it. I don’t do that much with my life.

I am a mother and a wife. I stay home and I hide in this little cave.

My friends are not so pathetic. They are part of the world. They have jobs. They have connections to community organizations and they interact with something bigger than their own life.

I feel ashamed of how small and self-involved my life is.

But I’m really and truly not able to take anything else on at this point and be good at mothering. I feel so ashamed of this fact. I read. I study. I try to prepare for a future in which I will be able to actually help people. I pray that I get to that future and I pray that all this god damn study will be of real value in the world. I don’t feel like I am of value now. I have managed to silence the drumbeat of “worthless whore” but I still fear that I am a waste of resources.

Noah’s surgery went well. After a tense conversation with the anesthesiologist who said “Oh I think we’ll do the same thing that failed last time only we’ll use more of the same drug!” we said… errrr… are there other options? Noah got a spinal and stayed awake through the surgery to eliminate the risks involved in general anesthesia. As a result today he is feeling way better than he did the day after the attempted surgery. Which, to me, means that Noah made the right choice in skipping the general. But I can’t believe he stayed completely still through three hours of someone sewing up his vas deferens. That’s a man who is serious about wanting more kids. Holy shit.

After the surgery I commented that it went fast–only three hours of sewing. He joked, “My crotch is more complicated than a maramé plant holder and less complicated than a cable knit sweater.” The surgeon heard this joke, nodded sagely, and said, “That’s true.” I found this exchange hilarious.

I feel guilty as fuck about this whole process. There are good reasons to not have more children. The only reason to have them is because I want them so bad I physically ache most of the time with longing. I want to meet these people. The people who could be part of me and possibly love me even though I am such a deeply flawed human being. My children love me. I know we haven’t hit the rocky teen years yet… but I know children who hate their parents long before the age of eight. It’s not even rare.

My kids and I get along. It’s not that we never have conflict… but we figure it out. It is shocking to me that parenting is going so well.

I don’t feel deserving. I don’t feel worthy of what I have. But life doesn’t look at deserving as it figures out who gets what. You get what you get.

This morning I went to the grocery store and watched the checkers publicly humiliate a woman who is a chronic shoplifter. As I watched this process I thought to myself, “That could be me.” I am not better than her. I am not more deserving of humane treatment just because I have a credit card. I despise the fact that I live in a world that only affords people humanity if they have money. I feel disgusted for the part I play living in this world. I’m going to call the store manager today and have a chat about the store’s policies. I know they have to deal with shop lifters. They don’t have to publicly degrade them. That fucking sucks. That isn’t necessary.

Why do we treat people so badly just as a matter of course?

Why can’t I adopt children and love them and take care of them and share the unfair quantity of privilege I landed in? Because I fucking suck.

I am tired. I’m sore. My nose fucking hurts still. But I’m gleefully breathing with my mouth closed. Like magic.

I just… I’m just tired.

Waiting on a surgery

Twelve days ago I waited for this surgery with barely a nudge of anxiety. Today I’m anxious as fuck. Noah isn’t going under general anesthesia this time. They are giving him a spinal instead. It means we will have to sit in recovery longer. I’m sorry to the lovely friend who will end up hanging out with our kids longer.

I’ve been feeling really… blocked when it comes to writing/talking lately. I’m not blaming anyone else. I go through periods where I feel like I just can’t write about what I’m feeling. I don’t know how to ensure I’m properly understood. I don’t want to give more cannon fodder to the opposite of what I’m thinking/feeling.

I feel like I don’t know what I feel enough to say what I feel. And I’m kinda frustrated with things going poorly because I can’t express myself right.

Better to deal with the problems that come with saying nothing at all.

A failed metaphor

I tried to explain this in therapy and I failed.

When I was on the road trip we went out on Lake Superior in a boat. It was a guided tour. The tour guide said that if Lake Superior were to flood its banks it could cover all of North and South America in an inch of water. This has stuck with me.

If the water escaped the boundaries of “lakehood” in a way that didn’t cause devastating flooding… it would become… just an inch of water. The power would be gone. What makes it a lake would be gone.

Ignore the possible damage from flooding. That’s not the point.

If Southern California were covered in an inch of water, if all of Peru and Brazil and Missouri were covered in an inch of water…

It honestly wouldn’t be devastating. It would evaporate. It would lose power. It would lose the ability to be vast and deep and effective. An inch of water in the Mojave Desert doesn’t do much. It goes away and has very little ability to impact life.

But Lake fucking Superior is immense. It has incredible ability to impact life. Lives have been centered around the lake for centuries, millennia.

Sometimes I feel like whatever it is that I am… I escaped the boundaries. I have become ineffectual. I have become… basically useless. I want to know what I was.

My shrink went off on this long tangent about how even if the waters escaped the lake it wouldn’t take away from what the lake has been, the value it has had.

So what you are saying is that the importance is a has been. It was important. It isn’t once it stops being the lake.

I feel like a has been. I feel like I could have had importance. I feel like I could have been effective and something of value and force… and now I am not. Now I am spread thin and I’m trying to be so vast I can do absolutely nothing.


Too much is in limbo. My nose is still healing and I’m still restricted because of that surgery. The house remodel is still ongoing and has been for years. The stress is really getting to me. I emailed the med doctor I’m mad at because I want testing done and starting from scratch with a new person will suck; I don’t particularly want to work with her anymore but I also don’t want the hunt for a new person.

I’m freaking out because the first attempt at a vasectomy reversal failed. I’m scared the second try will fail and I won’t want Noah to try a third time because… it’s not meant to be.

Noah remembers him getting a vasectomy as a mutual decision. I remember bitterly saying that if something happens to Noah I am going to try again for another kid and that’s why I didn’t get fixed. Even though it would be risking my life.

I’m feeling overwhelmed with bitterness that my parenthood decisions are often out of my hands and yet Noah is telling people that these are mutual decisions.

I’m freaking out because the kids keep telling people we are going to have a baby as if I’m already pregnant and I don’t know if I’m going to be able to get pregnant and…

I’m getting really really upset about all of this. It feels really bad.

I am tired of living in a house that is staged and squashed and having to fit around work. I want to just go back to living and it is months until that will be true. I don’t know if I’m setting this house up to handle more babies or if I’m done having babies.

This is hurting me so much. I would like to spend the day sobbing. Because I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to prepare for. I feel stuck and frustrated and helpless. My body is not under my control. My life isn’t under my control.

I am so frustrated I could scream and scream and not stop screaming for days.

Post-surgery update

I had surgery on Monday and it is now Sunday. I just took my first narcotic pain pill of the day because I had to drive this morning and I didn’t think it was wise to go on the freeway on narcotics.

I took the pill because my head felt like it was in a vise. It alternates hurting at the top of the bridge of my nose and at my temples.

Sleeping on the couch is jacking up my back. I’m at the point where I sorta wonder if half the usefulness of the pain pill is helping me ignore how much my back hurts.

I can breathe more easily through my nose but I’m still dripping goo and need gauze taped to my face for absorbing the yuck. The gauze means that my hot breathe is reflected up onto my glasses and that bit is getting highly annoying.

When I clean my nose out I get barely any blood clots. Teeny tiny ones and I have to flush a lot before I get any blood at all. I’m clearly healing… but not done.

I’d say my headache is at a five. Enough that I notice it and it is bothering me but I could work at this point if I really had to. I have actually been doing a little bit of work every day. The demolition of the bathroom starts tomorrow.

Oh this’ll be fun.

Progress is happening

I need to take a moment to be grateful for the delightful progress happening in my nose. Even with the gauze pads I’m still able to breathe through my nose with a speed and force never-before-felt. This is good. When I irrigate the area I get hardly any blood clots now. This is excellent.

I uhhh kinda lost my patience with the toys getting spread out everywhere because of our lack of a toy room and I rearranged the kid sleeping room. This was probably not a wise thing to do in the week post surgery but since when am I wise? I put Youngest Child’s bed side by side with Eldest Child’s bed so there is no walking space at all and I put ALL THE DOLLS under the top bunk. This means that none of the stuff can be accessed easily and no one will be able to play with the doll stuff much till the remodel is over because there is so much of it shoved under there. I don’t care I don’t care I don’t care. I’m tired of not being able to walk in the garage.

Doing this freed up space in the garage so I could work on moving more stuff out of the bathroom and play room because construction should start in there very soon. AKA… I did need the storage space so moving the toys wasn’t mean it was kinda necessary because otherwise I would have had to put the bathroom stuff… I don’t know where. It’s getting kinda hard to have about 1/3 of my house unusable when normally I use every inch. It’s going on a year of this. I’m getting kinda frustrated.

But the new construction company is moving on lickety split and the roofing company has a meeting today. Yay!

I should call the engineering company. Of course. Sigh.

My throat still hurts. I have a headache like whoa (I haven’t taken a pain pill yet and I still have a huge stash of pain pills) and I’m dizzy and my stomach hurts. My body keeps saying, “Hey wench, know that resting you are supposed to do? WHY DO YOU PERSIST IN MOVING LOTS OF SHIT AROUND YOUR HOUSE?!”

Because I’m going more than a bit nutty. And this does have to get done. Doing it all frantically next week won’t go better.

But… I feel like crap.

My back says “Hey wench. You haven’t been exercising and guess what is bad for you?”

Yeah yeah… not exercising. I know. Ouch.

To switch topics to other heavy body load topics: I think our first fertile period of trying for pregnancy will be in November. Maybe. If we can get a few other things lined up. Otherwise December. That will give us a three month window after the trip and a lot of the Zika concern says wait a month. So I think I can stop feeling nervous about that any minute here. Neither of us showed signs of illness and we are waiting through a reasonable incubation period.

Hopefully… that’s just not a problem we need to fret about.

I got almost eleven hours of sleep last night. I still feel exhausted. Healing is obnoxious.

I’m not taking good care of my garden right now. I’m so tired. But life goes on.

Big feelings

This morning I feel like my skin is paper thin. I’m tired of hashtags. I’m tired of seeing the police murder citizens. I’m tired of unashamed bigotry. This election cycle has been one long series of seeing that many people in my country are foul and mean spirited.

How can you hate an entire group just for not being like you? I don’t understand that.

“Weird” is someone else’s normal. Weird just means you haven’t done it/eaten it/seen it enough times yet. Keep at it. Soon it will be normal.

Does that mean violence is normalized? Too much so.

I feel so tired.

I didn’t rest yesterday after the surgery and I didn’t sleep almost at all the first night. Luckily last night I got more sleep.

I was also able to schedule lunch with a friend (thank you for inviting yourself over!), dinner with my submissive, and I need to respond to an email from a dear old friend.

How can life be so wonderful and so terrible all at the same time?

Today… I need to be more relaxed. I’m probably going to shut my computer. I know that there is a whole world of pain out there. I can only deal with the pain in my nose today. I know I’m shallow. I’m out of bandwidth. My head hurts so much. Oh, I should go take a pain pill. Wheeee. I also need to acquire toilet paper and pancake mix. That’s probably enough to aspire to for today.

I have a Bonus Kid. I may have to take Eldest Child in for a haircut if Noah gets selected for jury duty.

Yeah. That’s enough for today. My heart hurts and I can’t absorb more without ending up hiding behind my bed and crying.

I don’t know how everyone gets up and faces this world every day. It is so fucking sad.

Oh for fuck’s sake.

It just bleedin (hahaha) occurred to me… I shouldn’t smoke for a while. Like… quite a while. It could fuck up my healing from surgery.


But I really want to heal properly from surgery. I’d like to have a nose that works as well as it can given all the other factors of my biology and life and whatever. That means… I should seriously take a month off of smoking to heal. The information I’m seeing online stresses anywhere from 3-6 weeks off.

I want to be able to breathe well so so so so so much. So much that I was willing to let this dude carve my nose like a pumpkin.

Given what I went through with the forking elimination diet…. I should take this massively seriously. Like, whoa shit massively seriously.

Sob. Rend garments.


That said: doing the nasal rinse thing tonight was epically gross. Blood clots and mucus and whoa. So gross I sorta wish I had taken a video of it because I’m that awesome. The funny part is that afterwards my throat hurts much more and I’m spitting out big wads of blood. Having a body is awesome.

But! I have a septum that is basically straight (I hope) and smaller turbinates and less other-sorts-of-mass in my nose! And I didn’t have a problem with anesthesia!

Stop bitching, Krissy.

But but… I like pot.



(There is some mixed data on switching to edibles for the time period but given that our country has RIDICULOUSLY CLASSIFIED MARIJUANA SUCH THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO STUDY there isn’t solid reason to think it is safe and a good idea. Which makes me sad.)

This here feels like a solid case of #firstworldproblems.

When I get rich

I was talking to a friend online. She expressed horror that someone could buy food and throw it away without eating it. She is currently at a point in life where… one does not throw away perfectly good food you just spent money on.

I get it. I’ve been there. In some weird ways… I’m kinda still there. If I order a salad and they put fish on it instead of the chicken I’m willing to eat… I eat every bit other than the fish and feel extreme guilt about not eating the fish. It’s not cool to throw away perfectly good protein! But I wasn’t in a space where I could put it in a box and wander around until I found someone who would be willing to eat it. So I threw it away.

I get the existential horror of throwing away food and I get being rich enough that I don’t have to eat all the food I buy.

This is a complicated matter. It plays into health, weight, the right to enjoy eating, as well as financial issues.

She started “When I am rich I will never forget being poor”. It’s true. You don’t forget. Well, I don’t forget. I’m sure there are people who do.

But it is complicated. I tell my children that it is better to throw food away than eat when you do not feel hungry. That’s a militant position I hold. Because my children are unlikely to ever genuinely go hungry. That is a position of staunch privilege.

For me, such issues go along with thoughts about racial issues as well. I tell my children that if they are in trouble, a police officer will probably be fairly reasonable with them. I also tell them that unless they genuinely want a person of color to die, never call the police over an issue with a person of color. It is simply not safe. I tell my children flat out that police officers do bad things and they have legal cover for doing so. Do not invite them into doing more bad things or you share the blame.

To me recognizing where you sit, the world you live in, the choices you have to make… are all tied up. They are tied up in race, privilege, access to help… these things are so big. I’m sure I make mistakes but I’m doing what I can to be a better person.

Not a good person. That’s not a race you ever win. Sometimes I have conversations with people and they tell me defensively, “But I’m a good person.” Bah. Your faves are problematic. I’m problematic. You are problematic too and you don’t want to look at how.

I love you anyway, just so it has been said. It’s ok with me that you fuck up. I’ll probably call you on it if I’m in the room when you do something fucked up… but that won’t change the fact that I love you and think you are important.

I’m trying to learn how to love me. I’m trying to learn how to think I’m important. But I cannot be and never will be more important than anyone else. I will have access to more privilege than most people… that’s not the same thing. Going forward I am going to have an easier life than the vast majority of people who have ever been born.

That doesn’t change that I can be a real piece of shit.

Is someone bad for throwing away food in an area of Oakland nearly blanketed by homeless people? No. But I wouldn’t do it. I would take time out of my schedule and hunt up someone who needs the food more than me. Not because I’m better. Because that is something that is important to me because of my existential issues.

This isn’t a contest. There are people who do far more good in the world than me. I shouldn’t stop doing good things because other people are better. I shouldn’t stop doing good things because other people have more access to privilege and the ability to help than I have. I have to be who I am and where I am.

I’m rich by the measures I would have used as a child. There are still people in this world who would scoff at my “richness” and point out all the things I can’t do at my income bracket. That’s a choice. I choose to stay childlike in this regard. I’m rich. I don’t have “when I get rich” hanging over my head. Sure, I have lottery fantasies… but most of my lottery fantasies revolve around things like college scholarship funds and halfway houses.

I…. don’t actually need more than I have. I have everything I need and more. I have extra. Sure, this year as I hemorrhage money on a house remodel and a trip to the Caribbean and I have surgery and Noah has surgery and…. I could cheerfully find more ways to spend money. I… don’t care. I don’t need more. I’ve paid for this year. Ok, I’ll be paying it off for another few years if you include the house remodel. That is turning out to be kinda brutal. But I’ll pay it off at this income bracket and be jim dandy fine. I’ll wince. I’ll angst. I’ll have feelings… but I’ll be ok. Noah will be ok. My kids college funds will still grow. Shit dude, we are looking at having to come up with new college funds.

And I don’t god damn need more money for it. I’m fucking rich.

So what will I do when I’m rich? I’ll hand off money. Lots of it. Will it make my budgeting more fussy? Yes. But I’m going to do more as the years go by, not less. I’ll find a way to trim my expenses and I don’t need a fancy new car and I will save for years and years before I travel… like I always do.

Because I could be a selfish piece of shit or I can try to make the world a teeny tiny bit better. I’m not rescuing anyone. I’m not solving their problems. I’m saying, “Hey. I see you. I know this is inadequate but it is what I can give right now. Keep trying. You matter.”

It sucks. It isn’t good enough.

I know.

I can do what I can to hand off tools in life. Tools that help people find the resources they need that can actually solve their problems. I can’t solve anyone’s problems but mine.

Goodness that sucks. But it is true.

I can’t save Black people from violent police. I can’t be that savior. But I can tell my children not to call the police on people of color. I can choose to not report Black men who do stupid illegal shit in front of me because they aren’t actually hurting me and I don’t need to wreck their lives. I can teach my children that Black Lives Matter and we need to write our congress critters about police reform. I can talk about how we live in a horribly unjust society. I can talk about how much I believe in reparations. The current citizens of this country owe a debt to the people we murdered, enslaved, and removed from their ancestral lands. We can’t pay it back to the folks who are gone. We can just pay their children.

And we need to fucking do it if we want to think of ourselves as a great nation. The longer we build our “greatness” on exploitation, slavery, and murder… we are nasty, disgusting vile creatures. If you think slavery is over: google “Prison inmates on strike” and tell me again that slavery is over.

This is all connected. Having options. Having the ability to “choose” what you “want” to do is… not really a luxury everyone is afforded and it god damn should be.

You shouldn’t have to “when I get rich” fantasize about helping people. It should be something that folks can do. But many really can’t do much because of the circumstances of their lives. They don’t have the time to walk all over and look for someone to take extra food because they are working multiple jobs. They don’t have the money to give it away. They don’t have they don’t have they don’t have…

I am not shaming anyone. I’m really not. I didn’t hand out money like this in the past. I wasn’t so fierce about giving away food. I wasn’t so ready to help when I was poor. I don’t think I am a better person now. I think I am in a different situation with access to different abilities. That doesn’t change how I should be judged.

Maybe the fact that I work harder on my language now is a mark in my favor, but probably not. Maybe that’s a self indulgent thing I do to try and be accepted and loved. Am I really more careful about my language because I’m better or because I am… more hurt by people hating me for existing. I’ve lost my ability to shrug it off.

I know that rich white people are shit. I’m one of them and I know lots more of them and…. yeah. It’s complicated. Are they all shit? Define shit.

Are they all problematic as fuck? Yes. Unequivocally.

Do I hate them? No. I love many of them, tolerate others, and can’t be bothered to think about others.

I have to be willing to think about someone a lot in order to hate them. A lot of the uberprivileged people I know get thought about way the fuck too much and they expect to be centered in the thoughts of people around them because their lives have always worked that way and…. yeah. I’m not going to do that for you. I’m not going to care enough about you to think about you much.

I’m rich enough that I don’t have to.

That’s the piece of being rich that is most important, in my opinion. You no longer have to care that much about the opinions of most people. Unless you are working hard to get richer and you need to suck up to those people. I’m really not about that life. I… understand that other people need to be. I’m sorry.

If I needed to work I’d have different opinions. I’m very sure. I know that my incalcitrant behavior is a function of privilege. God awful, horrible privilege.

I’m sorry for that too. I think such pissiness should be available to everyone. I’m not rich enough to make that possible though. Life fucking sucks.

I’m trying to help where I can. I know it isn’t enough. I know it is fucking pathetic compared to what needs to be done. It is all I can do. I’m sorry.

Oh it has been a few days

Noah’s surgery on Friday didn’t happen. He had a negative reaction to the first drug they gave him as an anesthetic. He started coughing violently when he should have been falling asleep and aspirated stomach fluids.The anesthesiologist shoved a tube down his throat and suctioned him because pneumonia sucks.

They did not proceed with the surgery. Because he persisted in coughing blood up all day by the evening the anesthesiologist called to check in and just about begged us to go get a chest x-ray because his reaction was extreme and unusual. We did. We left the house around 8pm and got home around 3ish. That was after waking up at 4 in the morning to get ready to leave at 5am for the surgery.

That was a long day. The kids slept through most of the ER wait time. They are little troopers.

Noah is fine. The blood was probably from throat irritation from the quick intubation.

The crazy part is Noah is going to try again. Because yeah, he wants to have more kids. This journey we are on blows my mind.

I slept late today, Saturday and napped through a lot of the day. I have surgery on Monday to fix my nose. Oh yay. And on Tuesday I have an appointment for genetic testing so that my med doctor can get a better idea of why I metabolize drugs so weird.

Oh it’s an exciting week. I’ve made painting progress! The bathroom remodel is going!

Just keep moving. I’ll drop some balls, sure, but I’ll keep enough in the air.

Also: Eldest Child has reached the age of academics and is… cooperating. Just cheerfully adapting to math and reading and writing and specific science study being part of the routine. It’s just another chore. Sure, no trouble.

Youngest Child keeps asserting “I’m not old enough for academics yet. don’t have to yet.”

Yes, yes I know. I didn’t make your sibling at six. At seven I start suggesting occasional academic work. At eight I start insisting. You are on track kiddo, don’t fret.

Eldest Child has gone through and demonstrated proficiency on almost all the first grade skills I was certain I needed to see mastery of in the last month or so. There is a little bit left to cover, but not much. She’ll be done in September. I think the second grade skills I’m worried about will take us 2-3 months. If she keeps up this trend she’ll be working on fourth grade skills by the end of third grade. Having entirely skipped academics for years when her peers were being forced.

God damn I’m feeling validated.

Are my children perfect? First: define “perfect” but…. probably not. They are little shitheads. Like they should be. But I like them. I like them so very much. They are learning things in the ways I hoped they would be able to learn. I started planning for this for years before I had read research to back up my perspective. I totally went and looked for confirmation about my methods. I have found it in research and in my personal experiences. Sure I’ve read research saying it is impossible too.

I just… pay less attention to that research. Like most people.

There are a lot of people who were happy to tell me that “coddling” my oldest child by providing as much cuddling and nursing as she wanted will prevent her from ever being independent. I’ll stop laughing in a few years.

Does she want to go to school yet? No. But she knows that she will want to in a few years. She already can see the ways she will want to pull away and be independent. We talk about it. I feel so lucky that my kids get to pull away as they feel the desire instead of having to adapt to the expectations of others.

I need to order a few more books. Apparently there is a new trend in gifted education focusing on children as asynchronous learners. Hey, gimme that confirmation. I was way ahead in some areas and dramatically behind in others; the same is true of my children. Strangely I would say that Youngest Child is less asynchronous. Kiddo is not as startlingly advanced but also has fewer areas of noticeable trouble.

Eldest Child… she’s all over the map developmentally. They say of early potty learners that the children aren’t trained the parents are. I would say that Eldest Child hasn’t yet been trained in how to accommodate all of her asynchronous learning needs… but I’ve been trained. She and I talk about how my expectations of her are sometimes very advanced and strict… because she is capable in that area. When I talk to her about my expectations on different stuff she rarely indicates she thinks I’m pushing hard. When she does I’m happy to chill out.

Things like not expecting her to sit still very often. That’s been a serious thing. It’s why she didn’t move into a seat belt booster seat till eight. She wasn’t able to sit still earlier than this in a way that made me feel comfortable in a car. Which isn’t to say that I feel all children must be in a five point harness till eight.

But my kid’s developmental maturity is asynchronous. There are areas where she is impulsive in ways that can be a serious problem and I come down like a box of hammers because I had the same impulsive tendencies and I can point at the specific problems I’ve had for the rest of my life because of that impulsiveness.

Sometimes I seriously wonder if I’m hurting her because I’m not letting her fuck up in all the ways I fucked up so she won’t be learning the lessons I learned.

We all fuck up our children.

I’m not a perfect mother. Not by any measure. But I am getting to parent in the most ideal circumstances I can imagine. That’s just fucking luck. Yeah I prepared for it… but I’ve known other people who prepared and didn’t end up where they wanted to go.

Noah’s willingness to adapt to me and to provide the life I want to have is not something one can plan around. Holy shit I’m lucky.

Noah continues to be the only person I really ought to look to for determining my wacky ass course in life. He will be the only one walking the path with me.

Thank you, honey.

A sandcastle for Noah


I woke up early, as usual. The first thing I did was extend my hand towards the bedside table where I keep my glasses—this getting old stuff is rough. I can no longer even see the text on the white board without them. But I keep hearing that getting old is better than the alternative.

Once I finished squinting my eyes up sufficiently to see the wall at the foot of the bed I tried to narrow in on which little square represents today. It’s a good thing we erase the current day at the end of every day or this would be a challenging task to find the right square first thing in the morning. Ahh, Thursday. A work at home day. How perfectly lovely.

These work at home days sure don’t mean what they used to. I sit in bed for a few minutes thinking about what work needs to be accomplished. Today I’m going to be trying to find patterns in the data I’ve accumulated during our last trip. When I’m out in the field hearing story after story after story they feel like waves upon the sand. I can’t figure out what makes one wave similar or different from another… I just try to stand up to them and not get washed out to sea.

Luckily I get to come home to Wonderland and rest in between trips.

As I start to sit up I look over and see if Noah is awake yet, not yet. He always sleeps harder than normal for a few days when we get home. That’s good. He worries about me during travel and that makes it harder for his body to deal with the strain. He’s not getting any younger either.

Because I’m the first one up this morning I stumble into the kitchen and put the kettle on before going to the bathroom. In what has become my tradition I stop and say a prayer of thanksgiving when using the toilet is easy. Thank you Noah for all the lovely cooking. I haven’t had a nasty IBS flare in years, but I don’t forget. Thank you for loving me enough to take care of me.

When I get back to the kitchen (after carefully washing my hands, of course) I reach into the fridge and pull out a bagel and cream cheese. I cut the bagel in half and put everything in place to toast the bagel once Noah starts to stir. I get the tea pot ready. I set everything for tea out on the table. Just one cup with first breakfast.

I putter around tidying things as I wait for Noah. It won’t be long. He still never sleeps well when I’m not in bed.

A few minutes into puttering I hear the toilet flush and Noah appears. As usual the first thing he does when he sees me is smile. I’m so grateful for this man.

We kiss good morning and I pop the bagel into the toaster. When it is done and cream cheesed the tea is also ready and we both sit down to our half a bagel. I just can’t function in the morning without calories and he has adapted to me after so long.

First breakfast rarely involves much talking. We aren’t awake yet, not really. We sip our cups of tea and reach out to hold hands while we munch on our bagel. Sleepy smiles are most of what we have to offer one another.

After breakfast today it is Noah who nudges his head towards the living room and says, “Shall we get to it?”

“Yes, darling. We really should.” Long experience together has taught them that they will have a better day if they start off with meditating and stretching. They can no longer cruise on the resiliency of youth and they must do actual physical maintenance every day. How boring. Noah sets the timer for thirty minutes of meditating and assumes his posture. I grimace just a bit and settle after him.

No matter how long we do this, I always feel that little pull of resistance. I don’t wanna do what I’m supposed to do. But with a Noah here to suffer when I don’t take care of myself… I’m much better at doing what I’m supposed to do now.

We meditate and then when the timer goes off move into stretching. We try for an hour but one or the other of us usually gets bored about 45 minutes in and for some reason… the other stops within two or three minutes. It’s just not as fun alone.

By this point it is coming on eight o’clock. Time to get dressed for a run and go out. It’s a Thursday: a five mile day. Noah grouses just a bit, as usual, because he really prefers three mile days. I grin as he says for the eleven millionth time, ”You are built for distance… I prefer speed.” Some things are as predictable as the sun rising.

No matter who is in second place as they finish up the last half mile there are always comments about how worthwhile the run is because, “Look at the ass I get to look at.”

Runs around the neighborhood always feel like a special treat after they’ve been gone for a while. Getting back to a feeling of normal allows them to adapt with ease to any uncomfortable traveling situation. The discomfort is only for a little while. Soon they will go home.

The post-running shower involves some groping and promises for what will come later. When you are old it takes a little longer to get the motor running for sex, so we try to maintain flirtation throughout the day. That way we don’t forget.

After getting dressed Noah walks in to the kitchen to make second breakfast, the one with all the protein and vegetables. Someone has to be responsible around here.

I walk into the garage while he does this to start setting up my work station for the day. I’m particular and fussy so I always need to spend some time at this. I adjust my standing desk (the erectness of my posture on any given day impacts how high I want it) and play with the monitors and plug everything in. You’d think I’d have this down pat at this point… but I think the adjustments are part of feeling like I’m home. I pull up all the programs I’m going to need today.

I don’t start reading notes yet. It isn’t time. Instead when I’m done adjusting stuff I go into the kitchen and make our second pot of tea. This time we’ll each have three or so cups out of the pot. Ahhh, tea makes life better.

While he’s cooking Noah tells me stories that he has heard from the kids lately. They each tend to tell one parent about an event knowing that it will be passed along. They treat us like one person and sometimes it is funny. A kid will tell one of us the first part of a story and the other of us the second part of a story and it isn’t until we remember to tell one another that we figure out the whole story. It’s like a puzzle. I think they do it on purpose because they know we like to talk about them.

I’m just glad that they still call so often. None of them kept their promise of wanting to live with us forever, but they do come visit often. To be honest… I appreciate not having to carefully lock the bedroom door every time we have sex.

After breakfast we both walk out to our computer desks. We don’t talk a lot for a few hours. Noah continues to work on his railroad (his inner metaphor for building coherency in computer programming) and I work on trying to find commonalities in experience between incest participants.

I’m long past being able to think of folks as victims. Even in the cases where they clearly are and are severely traumatized by the experiences. We are all participants—willing or otherwise.

Maybe I work on bridge building; if you want to extend the engineering metaphors.

After a couple of hours of work Noah nudges me (I tend to get tunnel vision) and says, “Let’s go outside for a while.”

I continue to find it funny that he went from being someone who couldn’t follow a schedule to being the schedule keeper. But he likes pushing me through my day. I’m glad he finds it satisfying. We both put hats on. I walk into the yard first and look around for which area needs attention first. I’m long past having to water (thank goodness) but some area always needs weeding or tending.

Noah waits to see where I end up before dragging a chair over to sit near me. He waits while I gather whatever tools I want for right now and when I seem to be settled into work he asks, “Are you ready?” I smile in assent and he opens the book we are reading and launches into it.

Almost forty years of him reading to me and I still can’t take it for granted. I love hearing how he voices characters. I love that I get to interrupt him and ask questions—he is still my walking encyclopedia. “Why did they do that?” “Ahh! That’s an interesting question. They are reacting to this because…” I get the impression that some of his morning work is reading up on the history of whatever story we are currently reading. No one can just know everything as easily as he does. He must be cheating.

But I don’t mind.

Some days I only work for half an hour. Some days we stay out until he is unwilling to wait longer for lunch. It all depends on how much I feel I need to work out from my morning. Some days I cry through this whole period because my work is so sad. Sometimes I focus on the story and can be present. Noah is there no matter where I am emotionally.

When we come inside I usually head for the pornography. It’s a weird switch after reading about sexual trauma for hours in the morning but if I’m going to be emotionally present and able to have sex with Noah… I need the dichotomy. I have a few pornographers in particular I favor because I know that the participants are joyously having the sex I see on screen. I’m very happy to support people getting to make a living however they want to make a living. And it means that by the time Noah has lunch ready I’m usually ready to grope him and talk about what I want him to do with me after lunch.

Long years of marriage have taught us that waiting until the end of the day for sex means… we probably won’t have sex. When we are home we try hard to hit the early afternoon widow when we are both awake and lively enough to enjoy it.

One of the best parts of being married so long is that I no longer feel embarrassed about being where I am on a given day. Some days I want elaborate foreplay and roleplay. Some days I just want to be fucked without preliminaries (although lube—lube is just important). Some days I want to be tied up and spanked first because I need the catharsis. I continue to feel grateful that I have a partner who is so joyously versatile.

When we finish having sex we tend to grab our laptops and move to the couch so we can sit side by side. This is the time of day when we get to do our personal correspondence and catch up on social media. If we get started earlier in the day… we won’t make real work happen at all.

Of course Noah regularly interrupts my reading to say, “Oh look at this one.” His love of comics continues unabated. I don’t mind. At this point he knows which ones will make me grimace and he doesn’t share those.

After a while of sitting on the couch the phone rings. It is our fourth child calling to ask, “I know I should just check the calendar but I’d rather ask you: is it my turn to cook this week?” Our kids may have moved out but we are very lucky they chose to stay close by. Every Sunday everyone comes over. We take turns making dinner, that way everyone gets a chance of making sure they get what they really want at least some of the time. Of course our first child makes a point of inundating me with mushrooms. That’s ok. I get even by putting olives in everything. Fourth child is the family outlier. That kid likes onions. How oh how did you spring from my loins?

I don’t know. But the little turkey has made me get used to French Onion Soup. Ugh. Fine. Be that way.

“You get what you get and you don’t get upset.” My children mock me with this phrase often. I even eat fish now, sometimes. It took a long time for them to get me to adapt my palate… but I try to be a good sport.

They are worth it. I chat with fourth child for a while about work and friends until I hear another call coming in. “Oh! It’s Aunt Pam. Can I talk to you later?”

“Oh! Tell her to call me when you get off the phone. I want to talk to her about an event I’m working on.” This makes a lot of sense to me. Fourth child is the one who was inspired by Aunt Pam to go work on climate change policy. I promise to pass the message along.

When I get off the phone Noah is already in the kitchen working on dinner. I get up and ask if I can help. Sometimes he lets me, today he says, “Nah. Just keep me company.” So I stand behind him and lean my head on his back while he works. He asks questions about Pam and the kiddo and I relay what I learned.

After a while I move away to set the table and get water for us both.

After we eat Noah goes back to do a bit more work at his computer while I clean up the kitchen. When I finish tidying I go back to my work station and work for a while longer.

When we both feel done with work (sometimes earlier, sometimes later) we wander through the kitchen and have a few bits of chocolate. It’s nice to feel rewarded at the end of the day.

Then we brush our teeth and head to bed. We don’t fall asleep as soon as we should because we stay up talking. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever run out of things I want to say to Noah.

I hope not.

P.S. Hopefully I will write about other kinds of days too, because he is curious what I expect from the future. But these are the days I’m looking forward to the most.

What does it mean?

I had a very positive session with my therapist yesterday. She commented that she thinks that my behavior and attitude are night and day different since the journey. I’m more willing to look at positives and less phased by negatives. She says she rarely sees people have such extreme impact from one journey.

I worry about clinical statements like that. Why are some medications so intensely full of impact and why do some make me want to die? Most of the ones prescribed by a medical doctor make me want to die. It feels like the medications are all designed to decrease my feelings of possibilities. Conform. Be smaller. Don’t want so much. Shut up.

The medications I can get through more alternative settings all seem to be designed to cause me to think about new possibilities.fucking live for new possibilities.

I have incredibly different entire body responses to the narrowing or the widening of possibilities.

I need to believe I can change and that I can change people. Or I can’t see a point in living. Even though stasis at this point would be stasis at by far the happiest point in my life so far. I don’t anticipate later periods in my life being happier than this time. I really don’t. But I’ll figure out how to change more people.

That’s something to live for.

I don’t see a lot of room for “worthless” in the future I’d like to have. I’m not saying I’ll ever stop being an asshole. I’m not saying I’ll stop hurting people as I learn. But I’m not going to run out of “stuff to give”. I’ll take breaks and be selfish sometimes. That’s part of the balance.

As always when I’m on the East Coast I talk to a Disney employee (or a few) about how much better Disneyland is. They can rattle of the reasons. They know they are not the real magic. “I travel out there at least once a year to remind myself of what the real magic is.”

It is about how immersive the experience is. It’s about how much there is to see and think about while you do things.

My house is getting towards being an immersive experience. I’m not done yet. I don’t have the spoons to finish the whole house this calendar year. Sooooo tired. I actually did a few hours of painting yesterday. Woo. I have a bunch of shelves back and today I can put the cabinet doors on to block off the chemicals. Woo. Now we can allow people (with small children) back in our house.

I really hope I finish the kitchen before I need to finish the mosaic. I’m trying to push myself. I’m so glad I did all that lay out work already. So glad. Soooooooo glad. I’ll have to fill in gaps and I’ll do it while talking to the tile installers. It will go faster and be more fun. After they are done with the bathroom I need to hurry up and paint in there and in the playroom. Because I want to not have a ton of paint to store. Right now… my paint collection is a little out of control and getting old. Time to use it up and start fresh in a few years. And I’d really like to be done by Thanksgiving. I STARTED THIS DAMN PROJECT IN JANUARY.

Because of the color palette I work with I don’t work with low VOC paint. I need to air out the house before I get pregnant. As another consideration.

Oh good grief.

So what does it mean to want to change the world? I’m not going to invite millions of people to my home, but there will be a lot of people. And most of them tell me that seeing what I do inspires them.

Why do I do the things I do? Because I see the possibility of them in my mind and it makes me crazy to not change what is to look more like what it could be.

That’s why I plant plants. It is why I paint. It is why I homeschool my kids. It is why I want to be who I want to be sexually. Because I can. Because it is something I need to be.

I’m sorta frustrated with my massage therapist telling me that instead of having more children we should fly to a foreign country and “pick out a baby”. Adoption is complicated and transracial adoption even more-so. I understand that multiple people in your family did exactly that so you know it is possible.

I’m not judging other people doing it. I’m saying I wish you wouldn’t tell me to do it. I think it is complicated. It is a set of complications I think I would fail at living up to. I deal really well with the set of issues that comes up dealing with my dna’s set of trouble. I’ve researched the shit out of that. But I am afraid that I would not put as much energy into tracking down everything I really would owe a child. I’m going to skate with my younger kids. It is going to be a very different parenting experience. I don’t know exactly what it will be like, but I know it won’t be hard the way the first set was.

It isn’t because of the help Eldest Child thinks she is going to offer. Ha. It will be because of the presence of the older kids and Noah working from home. It’s just different.

I should start chores. I have my monthly visit with Taylor today. That should be fun. It usually is.

I don’t need to change the big wide world. I don’t need to be a big fish. I’m happy in small ponds.