When I was a kid, I thought it would be pretty cool to be a nun and live on some moss-drenched green hill in the middle of nowhere, free to really delve into all aspects of holiness, the universe and God.

Careful what you wish for, kids.

This is the yurt at night. Uh huh. Up on that hill of green, all alone.

Isolated, with neighbors a few miles away.

It’s absurdly gorgeous, other-worldly even. The perfect setting for midnight meditations, morning yoga and other spiritual delights.

It’s the absolute-perfect place to shave your head and go monastic.

Totally, utterly THE BEST PLACE.

With 3 kids though, it’s full of choices like, “hey guys! want to hike?” or, “how about a hike?” “Feel like a hike this morning?” “A little hiking for ya?”

he is not amused


That hill is not an easy place to hang out with these guys.

It’s challenging on a “real-life” spiritual way that I’m sure that God loves and gets a kick out of, and even while I can feel the universe laughing around me, I hightail it out with the kids as often as possible during the summer.

So we went on over to Eureka to house-sit for a friend of a friend.

So, there we were, staying in Eureka
So, there we were, staying in Eureka
and Micah turns to me and asks if we can make some pie the next day
and Micah turns to me and asks if we can make some pie the next day
It was around 11am, so I asked, ``why tomorrow? why not today?``

``Well,`` he said, ``we don't have enough time to drive to town and get the ingredients, drive back and still make it``

It was around 11am, so I asked, ``why tomorrow? why not today?``

``Well,`` he said, ``we don't have enough time to drive to town and get the ingredients, drive back and still make it``

There you go, friends.

I have given you CULTURE SHOCK from within California!

I laughed as I explained to Micah that we were about 10 minutes away from a store. Going and picking up whatever we needed, coming back and whipping up a pie would be a piece of, um, cake.

We went to Agate Beach

One of my favorite places. I have memories of tearing that place apart with Dana, looking for those elusive agates.

My kids tore the place apart looking for clay instead.

I have no idea how or why that happened (where’d they get the idea for clay at a beach?)

They went all ‘Lord of the Flies’ and marked up their bodies in tribal “tattoos”.

Mine too

I missed Dana viscerally that day

I miss him every day, but on that particular day at Agate Beach, it struck me hard that this time next year, I won’t be able to say that that this time last year, Dana was with me.

Because this time last year, we were hanging out on weekends when I went to Blue Lake to spend the night. This time last year, he was making stupid, funny bets on snickers candy bars with me, we were sitting on the swinging bench together talking about things we wouldn’t tell anyone else. He was being my best friend.

As always.

I took an accidental selfie while I was lying on the sand, trying to get the perfect angle on one of these photos of the kids.

I like this picture because it’s a real visual of me in this moment of time.

I am 44.

I am holding on.

My body is a mother’s.

I am trying to grasp, frame and treasure what is beautiful to me in this here and now, and I am praying that God will keep me while Dana sets up the net for me to jump.

Mack and Moxie, Humboldt County, California, 2017
Mack and Moxie, Humboldt County, California, 2017
Dana and Meriah, Humboldt County, California, 1980

A Message for My Patrons:

First of all, THANK YOU.

You are inspiring me and helping me right now when I really need it.

Thank you for that.

On a super-awesome-happy note, the swag bag that one of you awesome Patrons will win is plumping up. I’ll select one Patron at random on August 1st to win, and I’ll send it off.

The photo of the month:

Mack and Moxie, Humboldt County, California, 2017

That means that everyone who is PADD level ($5/month) or more will be receiving this in the mail.

If you want to be a Patron, the link is here.

It does not have to be big bucks, you guys. Those dollars add up and I appreciate everything.

There have been a few time recently where I’ve been almost desperate to laugh. On my hill up there on the Lost Coast, with my kids and husband visiting my mother in law, I did what most anyone (without streaming ability) would do – I reached for my satellite TV remote control and started cruising channels, trying to find something funny.

It was ridiculously easy to find something violent. Almost everything on is violent, and not just violent, but violent. Like, in every sense of the word – psychologically violent, physically violent, spiritually violent. Our culture is draped in violence (and some wonder why we’ve got the shooting problem?!), and any quick stroll through the TV guide makes that crystal clear.

But this post isn’t about that. I don’t want to talk about that because it reminds me of how Dana died.

I want to talk about laughing.

I want to laugh. I want to have those huge laughs that make me cry and my stomach ache.

So I went to Comedy Central (satellite TV comes with cable) and it was boring and stupid. Same with the shows that were on MTV and other channels that were supposed to be funny. They weren’t. Watching something that’s supposed to be funny and isn’t makes me all kinds of annoyed.

I ended up wandering over to Roseanne – the early shows – because those are guaranteed to make me laugh at some point, even if I’ve already seen them all before. Then I found Tracy Ullman and that got a few laughs, same with the Graham Norton Show. That was it, though – I don’t remember if I ran out of time because the kids and Mikey came home (that’s probably what happened) or I just got tired of trying to find something funny so I settled for a movie from the 80’s (no wait, that’s what happened!).

Seriously real though: what the heck?! Why are we choosing all this gun shit over a good laugh? How did that even happen? Where did all the funny people go? I miss them.

In the meantime, the election is happening tomorrow – no joke – and so long as Hillary wins, maybe I’ll be able to relax with my remote control and review stuff from this past few months that will be funny with perspective? The Martha Stewart & Snoop Dogg Show also looks promising.

Tell me what makes you laugh on TV right now.


I used to think that when you were 40, you were an adult. You were old, you knew what to do. And now that I’m over 40, I realize that there are no adults. The kids who played with their cabbage patch kids are now in charge of other human beings, that’s the way it is and that’s the way it has always been. A cycle of kids getting old enough to have kids of their own, but noone is really an adult in the sense that a door is opened in the recesses of yourself and you have the answers all of the sudden.

I used to think that when you were married to your One True Love – the person that you have never doubted that you should be with – it would all be okay, you’d be happy together. I mean, this is the person for whom “how will I know?” never applied because unlike other dates or people, it was always clear with this One. I never imagined how hurtful marriage can be, how complicated it can be, how you can love someone and still want to leave them.

I used to think that if you had the number of children that you desired, if you had the wherewithal to raise them yourself and not put them in daycare or be separated with them, it would be hunky dory. I thought I’d be the Mary Poppins-esque Mama, all singing and dancing through cleanup time, never dreaming that I’d turn into a screaming banshee. Even though there is noone in the world that I want to love and understand more than I do with my children, even though there is noone in the world that I would rather be good to, a single moment has the power to strip me of everything but the need for the floor to be clean NOW, for them to listen and do as I say THIS MINUTE.

I used to think that when I had accepted myself and my disabilities, life would start shining. I thought that once I was okay – truly on good terms with – being deaf and all other quirks, things would even out. But what I’ve learned is that disability can be like pentimento: you have one layer that fades and reveals another layer that was created earlier. There can be more than one picture, it’s not always simple , nor is it cut-and-dried.

I used to think if I had the education, the power of imagination and the tools to actually produce what I want to make, I could. It never occurred to me that I could be well educated with an arsenal of dreams and projects that I would want to fly with and have the tools to make them all, and yet not be able to because of the demands of my children and the parameters of rural country living. Feeling stifled as the bi-product of a life that I chose was not something I even remotely imagined could happen.

So I’m over 40 years old. I feel like I’m floundering. Nothing is the way that I thought it would be, it’s all one unexpected maze with sharper twists and turns. I want this to end on a positive note, something about looking up, about rainbows in the rain. I know all of that is true, that rainbows come with rain, that colours come out sharper and clearer with the wet, that we can jump through and over puddles… I know that this is what I make of it, all my life is what I make of it, if this is going to swoop into something delicious from this flounderment… or what.

Is that what a mid-life crisis is all about?

If I was a guy, would this be when I grow a pony tail and buy a tiny little red car?



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