(D)Rats

It pains me to record this story, but…

We had a rat at 3675.

Being the clean freak that I am, “rats” aren’t something I ever imagined I’d personally ever encounter, in MY home. Even as it sits on the precipice of its centennial birthday, with its dirt-floor crawlspace and steamy attic, right in the middle of the crowded Bay Area, overrun with urban wildlife feasting on the local and sustainable bounty of year-round backyard gardens…

My home is (or was, in my mind) an air-tight rodent fortress.

I’m only mildly comforted, still, by the fact that rats can be found in one-third of all homes in America. Like, barely comforted. 3675 had to be a 2 or a 3 – so clean you can eat off the floor in every room, inspected top to bottom inside and out on the first each month for signs of so much as a hairline crack

But alas, I saw the rat. It ran RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY FACE – I kid you not, I felt a breeze – while I examined what I thought had to be a harmless little mouse dropping in the basement behind the washing machine.

I’ll never feel the same about what lies beyond this door…

Mice, by the way, are NOT THE SAME AS RATS. Mice are tiny – cute, even. I’ve encountered plenty of mice before: in my office while working late, in our woodpile at our mountain home…

Rats: they are not cute. Continue reading

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Dreaming: Quaranta

Where my ghosts are.

In less than three months from now, I’m going to Sicily to celebrate my 40th birthday.

It’s a little wild – not just that I’m actually turning 40 – but how the idea for this trip finally came together. I’d gone back and forth and back and forth about what I wanted to do to celebrate my big OVER THE HILL: throw a huge party for everyone I’ve ever met, be alone with my husband, take a road trip with just a couple friends, do nothing…

And finally I settled on Sicily.  Continue reading

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That’s Life

As I’ve arrived in middle age, I’ve come to the realization that I’m no longer much of a public speaker.

Maybe it’s because I’m in the spotlight so much in my professional life, I just don’t want to feel that way in my personal life. I just want to relax, be myself, “turn off” – and not have to perform.

Unfortunately, middle age also seems to be the time of a familial changing of the guard; a time when life seems to be thrusting me into a “performance role” more than ever. As “big life things” happen, I feel expectant eyes on me, but that old performer within – a younger, much different woman – just doesn’t want to step into the spotlight.   Continue reading

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The Land of Smiles

Feel like smiling yet?

I was really excited to come back from Thailand and post about “the land of smiles” and how relaxing and awesome my trip there was, but then my grandpa died and it just felt, well…

Wrong. To revel in my two-week luxury tropical Christmas vacation. When my family was reeling from the death of our father figure?

Kinda.

Womp womp. 😦

But, what’s more useful for getting through sad times than memories of good ones? For that reason, I think it’s time to get back to the land of smiles…

Because I need some, dammit. Continue reading

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End of an Era

My grandfather has passed away.

RIP Sam, 1929 – 2018.

It doesn’t even seem real. I don’t think I ever stopped and thought about the day when Sam Spade wouldn’t be on this earth: what the weather would be like, where I would be living, how I would be wearing my hair, what I would have eaten for breakfast (answer: nothing – I got the news at 6:00 AM and didn’t eat for the rest of the day)…

And yet, it happened. The day is here: there is no more Sam Spade on Planet Earth. He has gone to be with his “beautiful bride”, his “Lucy in the Sky”, as we’ve affectionately referred to her since her passing, two years ago now.  Continue reading

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