I stopped mid-walk in the muddy path to look up towards the ruckus of geese that could be heard but not seen on this cloudy gray day. After an all-day rain the snow had completely melted. The creek swelled looking more like a pond. This is odd weather for February in NE America. Resting by the water the newly chewed bark on the tree by our resident beaver was clearly evident. The decoy duck bobbed as usual. I sat contentedly. Today I wake to a world of white.

Cindy continues to delight us with her joy, exuberance and energy. That ends soon because her baby brother will be born Valentine’s Day. Once my daughter-in-law recoups from the C-sect I won’t be picking Cindy up from pre-school each day for play-time at our house. But I am heartened by the joy another baby will bring, and more play dates in the future. We are so very lucky. 

My errands to the near-by Dollar Stores were to hunt down crafts items that caught my eye. We spent the afternoon making hearts with glittery stickers and various other pink and red decorations. Do you really need a bag of pink fake rose petals? Yes, at a buck a piece buy whatever you want. At day’s end she had a bag of sparkly hearts to take home. I’m told she set out each one to show her family.

After a long period of good sleep now I cannot get to sleep. Maybe it is the fact that my GYN can’t write a prescription the way she told me to take it, and the office receptionist did not call back as she had promised. The let down feels like such a loss. Med errors are serious but their blase’ attitude is disturbing. 

My exercise today is shoveling the drive….brrr…




OK, I confess, Samuel and I are barely speaking. That is the only way to find some space as cabin fever sets in grinding my teeth over his every move and word. So how do I entice him to cut out the next butterfly? Cindy. He cannot say no to her. 

The scroll saw was purchased so that I could cut out my own shapes but after a blade broke I begged Samuel to take over. The stress of wondering when the next blade will break along with no history of using power tools other than a food blender causes tenseness I can do without. 

“Poppy!” she yells, standing on a chair in my studio all set with goggles and ear protection. “Poppy, come!”

He sticks his head in the studio, “What?”

“Cut this out Poppy,” she demands. 

I didn’t say a word. He comes in and obliges. I watch them, his head bent over the saw, her as close as he would safely let her happy that he is doing as she bids. I sit by the door observing the scene feeling a bit like Tom Sawyer when he manages to get his fence painted without doing it himself. I feel grounded, full and satisfied, the love in the room like warm syrup.  

After the cut out I clean up. Cindy excitedly paws through my various bowls of beads, gems and stones. She has a natural talent for design and together we decide that this butterfly will be red and white to honor Valentine’s Day. She places each sparkly piece with delight. I like her choices because they are very good ones. We finish, both feeling it is complete and more would be too much.  

“Do you glue them on?” she asks.

“Sort of, but with this,” I answer showing her the caulk gun, but that is enough for today.”

Though disappointed she soon gets involved in cutting out hearts to glue and glitter. The ten hour day flies by. She is out of school with double ear infections and it’s her Mother’s long day at work. I enjoy her presence, energy and passion but as I lay down head tiredness hits like a train and I’m soon in deep sleep… 



My Family


Cindy on bracelet #2

It is a relief to move away from Seth’s harsh words and rebuff over Spring and Summer. The anxiety hurt my heart sending me to the hospital via ambulance for an overnight stay to rule out a heart attack. It was an attack on the heart.

I go about things as I’ve always done— on my own. I have been able to maintain a limited relationship with three siblings because they were the only ones out of seven who hadn’t touched me abusively. Each has been helpful and kind towards me yet the interactions were restricted lacking closeness and depth.  

I’ve arrived at a place where I need more and it isn’t there. Not one will go to the dark where I’ve lived. In looking for the light no one will hold my hand because to enter the light, I bring the dark. I come to the present with all of me and am not running. The failure of each to offer compassion, alliance or acknowledgment erects a barrier to my true self.

Any interaction is like pouring water over rock. Why bother? It is about their flaws and has nothing to do with me…yet everything to do with me. Their lack of profundity for the truth makes me realize my own strength for what may be the first time.

I felt I leaned on them but I have been the stalwart one all along. I wish I hadn’t been the one to carry the burden of secrets and do it all alone. There is a part of me that will always grieve ‘family,’ craving comfort and succor that never comes but from my center. 

What happens in families of origin when a sexual abuse survivor comes forward seems a common theme. Don’t talk or speak of it or you’re out. It has nothing to do with the survivor yet has everything to do with her. The ‘family’ cleaves to the natural order of clan instinctually banning together no matter what.

It is about weaknesses in their character and lack of strength. Each has their own agenda. The victim is outcast if she speaks. Yet I must speak and need to belong at the same time.

So I take steps that feel like I belong then make space and go on as I always have…on my own cherishing the family I have built. The more space I have the better I feel.

My ‘boys’


At the pumpkin patch!


Little ballerina…





Sitting under the morning full spectrum lights for twenty minutes listening to the morning headlines as usual, the local weather guy says it is 55 out even before dawn. He adds that you may want to howl at the moon. It is called a Wolf Moon. 

I cannot resist going out on the porch in my bathrobe and barefooted in a hurry not to miss it before it dips below the western horizon…I resisted howling.