Gratitude 1/11 and 1/12/21

I need to stop deciding what this blog is – as soon as I do, I feel obligated which then creates resistance – so I don’t add to it.

Ergo – I’m just randomly adding things as I feel pulled to do so.

I’ve connected with a group called My Sober Girlfriends – through them I am doing a 21 day gratitude challenge where we write for 10 minutes a day about one thing, place, time, person that we are grateful for. This week we are to focus on the past.

1/11/21 Thomas ❤️ 🧡 💛

Even before Thomas and I reconnected I had huge gratitude for our time together. While it was often hard and frustrating, we really connected well, he was insanely attractive, we had a ton of fun and had really fun sex!!! I feel so fortunate to have gotten time with someone who I shared such a delicious physical connection with. I think some people live their lives never really having that. His hands were full of a special magic that sparkled down to my bones. He loved to kiss and he loved to cuddle.

After we reconnected we initially shared some of that magic sexuality and even after sex became too problematic because of his health we loved to touch and snuggle. We connected even deeper than before intellectually, politically and emotionally and in the quotidian pleasures of life together. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have gone to Standing Rock which though brief, was a life changing experience for me. It showed me the beauty of being in Indigenous centered space and the importance and joy of feeding people and truly being of service with no expectation of recognition or aggrandizement.

Thomas brought me so much joy in problem solving silly problems together around my silly pool, or house/yard projects. One day while camping we watched yellow jackets eat the meat off a chicken bone for an hour. He would text me updates on the squirrels’ attempts to get at the bird feeder and I’d text him updates on my poops.

And of course I am so grateful for the tiny house. (As well as the apartment we built in Marla’s basement back in the day!). I believe it was probably the only way he would have agreed to come live live with me – knowing he would leave me in a better place than he found me.

I so wish he was physically here with me now watching the starlings invade the new bird feeders and problem solving on how to have suet out for the sweet little native birds and keeping the asshole invasive starlings away.

I mostly feel gratitude for loving and being loved so deeply.

1/12 varied experiences in childhood

I’m grateful that my parents moved around and that we got to experience so much when we were little.

I’m glad we lived on the reservation and that I got feel like a minority or an outsider at such a young age. I’m glad that we lived in the country both on the rez and on Dad’s farm and that I got to climb trees, milk goats, play in the creek, walk down the center line of country roads, clean salmon, pick moose moss, wipe my butt with thimble berry leaves, jump into hay piles, watch back yard firework displays.

I’m glad I got to live in the city, run wild on city streets, ride busses, shoplift at the corner store, work at Clinton Street Theatre, have easy access to movies at Cinema 21 and the Esquire, have water fights with the Benson Bubblers, eat lunch at Big Terry’s and play Soak Em in the back parking lot.

I’m glad I went to MLC and ran around school with our bridles on, smoked pot in the playground structure, had field trips to Canon Beach, Ashland, Malhuer.

I’m glad I had Grandma’s house to go to both in Astoria and Vancouver and that Grandma was such a sweet and loving woman and a master cook and picnic maker. I’m glad I got to travel with Grandma and Scotty to the Worlds Fair with I LOVE HOSES written in bubble letters up my arm.

I’m glad I got to own ponies: Daisy and Eppy on the farm and leased Sher’a at Skyline stables.

I’m glad I got to go to Mexico with Jenny’s family when I was 13, traveling in a 39 Buick and camping magical places, swimming in green jungles, eating amazing date and banana cakes and eating sugar cane that fell from the trucks.

I’m glad that we lived in Iran for that year where I learned to love a place so different from home, meeting lovely people and eating gorgeous food.


I head home tomorrow! Leaving a week or so early. As I watched the Covid map of the US and became more anxious about snow, I decided to accept that I’ll have Thanksgiving alone and take I-80 to get home as quickly as possible.

I’m going to miss this lady!!

Ellen and I decided to get up and watch the sunrise- being from the west coast, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sunrise over water before. (At least not in the US.).

I’ve been having a hard time getting it together to post my thoughts on Kenosha or all the kajallions of pictures I have. I’m hoping that once I get some distance I will.

The Farm

On Friday, November 6th we decided to step away from the TV, toggling back and forth between MSNBC and FOX News and send ourselves up to “the farm”. Ellen told me that when their pets get old they get sent to the farm – but this is a real place. It’s her father’s family home where his brother, David still lives.

David was a big game hunter:

Ellen tells me that when her grandmother was alive, she would decorate all the animals in the trophy room at Christmas. I so would have loved to see that!!

David traveled the world and shot every one of these animals. He told me that he isn’t able to hunt any more, because there was a fawn who never learned to jump fences, so was stuck on his property and he fell in love with it and never wanted to shoot an animal again.

That’s David on the right in the big picture and Ellen’s father, James next to him by the window.

I found the whole place very photogenic. Too my camera isn’t a little better.

Happily both of these old, white Wisconsin men were also praying for a Biden win. So we had lovely meal, commiserating about the state of the country and hoping for a turn-around.

And happily we found out the next day that Biden did indeed win!!! Hallehfuckinglulah!!

In a better place on November 4th

I woke up this morning with the knowledge that in order to move forward and stay sane, I need to prioritize my own physical and spiritual well-being. From there I will find the next thing I can do to be of service and give my life some purpose.

I waited a whole 10 minutes or so before I checked my phone, and found that we were still far from an answer but it was looking vaguely hopeful for Biden.

We had to return the rental truck we used as the get-out-the-vote mobile and decided to take a hike. The weather has become balmy and gone from the 30s/40s not long ago to 70 degrees today. I believe that sense of a sigh of relief I felt yesterday was real. Even the weather is feeling it.

Stupidly, I have MSNBC on and the roller coaster of predictions of hope and doom is making me the tiniest bit crazy. I must say, while it is clearly biased reporting, I enjoy their little offhanded snide comments about the idiocy of the current administration. Such as Rachel Maddow pointing out that 45 is pushing to stop counting in Michigan while Biden is ahead and “that’s – using the technical term – dumb.”

But! Wisconsin seems to have gone for Biden! I’ve been getting sweet messages from friends and family congratulating me on my work over here. It makes me feel silly because I have really done so little, but it feels good too. Ellen’s friend Bill, on the other hand, been out every day driving his huge hand made sign in Ellen’s truck for hours and hours every day. He waves and smiles at everyone whether they are giving him a thumbs up or flipping him off.

Here is our exchange tonight – He is such a sweet man who I’m so glad is in the fight!!

Election day stream of conscious

It’s 7:20 and I’ve got PBS on TV – McConnell was just called for Kentucky. I feel that we are doomed.

I’m so tired and I don’t feel like I have done much. At the moment Biden is in the lead but the night is young.

I fluctuate from feeling some hope and being ready to grieve hard for our country and our planet. These last weeks I have been hit with the desire to curl up into the fetal position and just sleep until …

I hate that we are so isolated by COVID. I hate that people can’t talk to eachother civilly any more. I hate that there is so much fear and hate in the world.

I’ve been missing teaching a lot but am relieved not to have to face children in these times.

I actually had a good time today. I drove around in the Get Out the Vote mobile, while Ellen worked as a poll worker. I drove around town, checking in at polling stations to see if there were lines. I got lot’s of waves, honks, thumbs-ups. The weird thing is that we have been doing that for the last few days but with a speaker, playing music and a get out the vote message and we were basically ignored by all of Kenosha and Racine. I guess Wisconsinites are intimidated by music? Today felt so good, like there was a collective sigh of relief that election day is finally here. Wondering though if it is actually a last gasp before sinking to our doom.

This was pretty typical – I began to wonder if there had been some sort of rapture in Wisconsin since we saw so few people out – residential streets and commercial areas alike.

In August I quit drinking for a few months, but decided to take a break from not drinking during this oh so confusing time. I know booze doesn’t help in the big picture, but I find it comforting in times like these. Don’t worry loved ones, I plan to quit for realsies eventually – but am using this crutch for the time being. I haven’t started drinking yet tonight, but – I’m gonna.

Oh my fucking god!! the Q-Anon candidate is winning handily!! What the fuck! Where’s the wine? JK (kind of)

There is a progressive church here “where Jesus lives” according to Ellen. Thinking that we may need to go to church this Sunday – just to feel some sort of community and maybe learn a bit about grace and healing.

I think I’ll change the channel and watch something mindless – there is no point to watch this early on conjecturing…

It’s 10:31. Ellen and her friend have come home from the polls and after I watched a few episodes of Big Bang Theory because… it was on, we are watching CBS.

I don’t understand our country. I’m so confused by the people in this country. Regardless of who wins, it’s clear that many many people don’t care that the creature in the whitehouse is a pathological liar, cares about no one but himself, locks kids in cages, is fine with a virus sweeping the nation, condones the actions of white supremacists….

It seems clear that the people in the spotlight – Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah etc. and all those that love them are the outliers. And so am I and almost everyone I love. and we are all doomed. Not just those of us that see him for what he is, but the whole fucking world. Please pass the heroin gummies, or the coma machine. (we watched a bit of Trevor Noah too.)

It’s 11:25 and I think I will go to sleep and hopefully wake up to find that enough people in our country are compassionate enough to vote for a basically decent human being.

THE WALK October 20

Soon after I arrived in Kenosha, we saw this event posted on FB.

“March from Kenosha to Milwaukee to demand social justice in our communities, unify southeastern Wisconsin in our fight for equality, and call upon our community members to use their voices in the streets and at the ballot box.March, drive, or bike with us from Kenosha to Milwaukee and join us as we rally in Red Arrow Park at 6pm. We rally to demand our elected officials end police violence and racial oppression in our communities. Hear from local activists, elected officials, faith leaders, and the families of those affected by police violence, including Maria Hamilton and Justin Blake.Purpose of Event:
We Kenoshans have shown incredible strength and dedication to our community in the last several weeks. On October 20, 2020 we will bring together people from all around Southeastern Wisconsin in a march from Kenosha to Milwaukee to assert our unity, demand justice for our communities and call upon everyone to vote and vote early.Event Hosts:
Peace in the Streets Kenosha, Inc
African Emergency Relief Foundation (AERF)
Leaders of Kenosha (LOK)We are Kenosha-based and Kenosha-led organizations dedicated to community support, civic engagement, justice, and access to resources. We work to empower and engage African descendants and their communities in the way they live, work, and learn so they are able to achieve total excellence. We have hosted all the events posted by this page, and we will continue to work for our community!Event Co-Hosts:
Justin Blake
Fight for $15
All of Us or None of Us WIWays to “March”:
All participants are welcome to join for all or part of the march. Marchers, drivers, bikers, cyclists, skaters, and more are welcome. We will have cars and an RV available for people to take breaks from walking if they are able to join for the entire march but not walk the entire way.”

I was excited to have something concrete to do – for a few minutes we considered marching and then I got in touch with one of the organizers to see how we could be most helpful and he steered me toward the person organizing the food stations. I think we were both a little relieved to take the 38 mile walk off the table.

The march was taking off at 1 am and the first stop that we were responsible for was at 4am. We spent the day shopping for food and a big thermos for hot cider – thanks to Ellen’s brilliance. What looked like a simple thing ended up taking hours of preparation. We went to bed at about midnight, after mostly packing the car, and slept for a few hours before heading to the first stop about a half hour away.

We had no idea what to expect, would it be a couple dozen or a hundered? (we were told to plan for a hundred but were a little skeptical based on the FB RSVPs.).

As we drove up Green Bay road, which we knew they would be walking on, we were surprised to see police lights, a huge school bus, a bunch of cars, about 50 people marching and a big conversion van with a sound system blasting tunes.

Here’s a snip of what we saw (and then my lap)

We got to our assigned parking lot and got the bagels, cream cheese, OJ, fruit and a hot cider set up and waited in the cold and semi-dark.

After a bit – we heard the music, lights and soon were swarmed with hungry and thirsty marchers, serenaded by the Doobie Brothers.

It was so stinken’ cool. The music filled the Pick-n-Save parking lot as the youngsters played basketball, thanks to The Hoop Bus. As people mingled and took turns using the bathroom in the RV that was traveling with them.

Some lovely young people who were traveling in the conversion bus offered us some hot soup and I found out that they have been traveling with the hoop bus and finding actions all over the country, providing music and creating art. They had just heard about The Walk that morning and decided to join them. (I was hoping that they’d be heading home around the time I was and I could caravan with them , but alas, they are heading back to L.A. soon.). It’s worth getting an instagram account just to follow them. They go by

After they all headed north, we packed up the leftovers and headed home. It was about 5:30 AM and driving past the municipal building, we saw a bunch of people and a camera crew. We pulled up to ask what they were doing and fellow came up to the car eagerly asking, “We’re from Good Morning America – are you here to vote?” Early voting was starting at 8 AM and they were there to see the lines. The poor fellow was disappointed that we were the only people they had seen and we were just driving by.

We went home and slept for a few hours and then reheated the cider and headed up to Milwaukee, where we were to feed the marchers again on their 4th stop at 4 PM about 30 miles from their starting place and 5 miles from the end at Red Arrow Park downtown.

It was another little party, I expected them to be dragging but the energy was high, and they must have been fed well at the previous stops because people didn’t eat a lot. The hot cider was popular though.

It was wonderful to see connections being made. The young man on the left, Sedan, is part of The People’s Revolution in Milwaukee. They had been protesting every day for 145(?) (Halloween night it was 156) consecutive days at that point. He was coming to connect with Kanoshans and march the last leg with them. The woman on the right is from Voces de la Frontera and she just happened by and stopped to see what was going on. She and Sedan were super excited to meet eachother.

The guy I’m talking to here is one of the fellows who got the Hoop Bus going. They have been traveling the country, building basketball courts, giving away shoes and basketballs, supporting communities and joining protests. They have a covid testing van that travels with them, so people can get free covid tests as well. They and the people just happened upon eachother in their travels and started caravanning on different legs of their journeys. I ask him how they have been received with their Big Black Lives Matter signage and he said that they have not had any negative experiences which I was happily surprised to hear.

It was a quick stop for the marchers because they had the park reserved and a rally starting at the end at 6 PM.

Ellen and I wandered a bit in Milwaukee and stopped at the Public Market to eat. I heard a bunch of ruckus outside and looked to find the march walking moving by. I must admit, I felt a little chagrinned to be sitting down to eat in a warm spot knowing these wonderful people had been walking for over 12 hours.

We then headed to the final rally where we wandered and mingled a bit. People were handing out free blankets, there was hot food being served, speakers and music. I chatted with the fellow with big gun, who I had seen from the market, riding in the back of a pickup, watching the building tops on high alert. He said on the whole march there was only one time where things felt a little sketchy with some people in cars who seemed threatening. Otherwise the march was very well received.

I would be remiss if I did not say that the main organizer of this event was a young man named Gregory Bennett Jr. Who is CEO of Peace in the Streets. From what I could see he coordinated, managed and ran the march and rally like a well greased machine. Ellen says his plan is to run for mayor in 4 years.

It was a very uplifting, inspiring and fun day!! I was super pumped afterwards and super tired.

Milwaukee City Bus! Did you vote?

October 5

After our epic drive through the Teton and Yellowstone National Parks we pulled into the yard of a retired couple outside of Cody Wyoming after dark. They shared their wireless password and I was able to catch up on the news before I fell asleep without eating dinner. This is where we woke up.

We had to leave right away because there was no bathroom and I didn’t feel comfortable squatting in their yard once the sun was up. I had reassured them that I had a bucket to pee in, but just had a jar. Another lesson learned: practice peeing in a jar before you have to. I hadn’t, so just decided to take off early.

Found a bathroom at a gas station where they had the Halloween shenanigans going strong.

Chuckles and I took a lovely early morning walk along the Shoshone River right there in Cody.

Then we drove and drove until we got Rapid City, where we stayed in a Comfort Inn and I did some laundry and tried to figure out this damned blog.

Driving into Rapid City I happened upon the Lakota radio station

It helped me feel a little more grounded – despite all the pavement and strip malls.