In my extended family, there was a couple with nearly mythical compatibility. Their names were Ernie and Ruth. Many years ago, they passed away…so perhaps they wed in the 1920’s or ‘30’s. Before the Women’s Movement, the Self-Help Movement, or the New Age Movement, theRead full post »

APRIL 12, 2012 10:05AM

How to Be a Tough Chick

When I was eight, I broke my leg while riding a bike. My mom and her good friend, both nurses, decided it was a sprain and laughed that I’d be limping to school the next day. A few hours later, my dad found me on the couch in something approaching shock.… Read full post »

APRIL 9, 2012 10:08AM

Stick Around for Joy

“We may not be happy or satisfied…but we are always joyful,” said my sister Patty this weekend. She was speaking to an evening out with some old friends. Plenty of experiences accumulate in our lives, and it’s fascinating to watch those we grew up with deal, learn, and grow.… Read full post »

APRIL 8, 2012 11:36AM

GNS: The Sweet Relief of Easter


Easter mass was such a relief when I was a girl; Lent was over and I could eat candy again. Sermons would lighten in mood since poor Jesus was back home with Dad/God. Tulips and green leaves replaced the sludge of winter decay. Though rain persisted, a new season was born, and… Read full post »

I turn 37 today. I know, I know, I'm still a kid. But it's the mileage plus years, you know. Maybe this new year will bring all sorts of lovelies..and if it does, great. But savoring what I've already got is pretty sweet too.

Music has been my dearest companion… Read full post »

APRIL 3, 2012 12:01PM

Darkest Before the Dawn



When asked how I was doing the first few months after the end of my marriage, I’d say, “You know…just circling the rings of hell and hoping to get thrown from its orbit soon.” Anyone who’d been through this would nod vigorously. Been there, done it. AsRead full post »

oscar 004"Oscar, 2012"

My mother asked me to dog-sit her grumpy lhasa apso mix named Oscar. She and my stepfather are visiting the newest member of the family in Arizona for a few days, so I was happy to do it. Dropping Oscar off at my… Read full post »

MARCH 27, 2012 8:08PM

Desperately Seeking Stories

Last week, my pc started acting up. It didn’t want to stay online or open files. I asked my ex to kindly take a look at it for me…and he did look at it a few times. Asking me, “Did you download this?” he clicked on something called Internet Security, which… Read full post »

MARCH 25, 2012 3:39PM

A Sorta-Kinda Fairytale Life

This is not the fairytale I’d imagined when I wore sparkly white slippers down a church aisle twelve years ago. The way things have turned out is nothing like the vision I had when I planned a home birth for my first son: so that everything would be done purely from the… Read full post »

MARCH 22, 2012 7:10PM

Hoodies of Solidarity


When I saw Trayvon Martin's parents on the news last night, I was blow away at their dignity and strength. Their grace in this tragic time enables a movement to begin around the injustice committed to their son, and his loved ones. My deepest sympathy and respect to these parents.… Read full post »

MARCH 18, 2012 10:28PM

This is why I like cops

On Saturday at four in the morning, I was woken by a sound everyone is familiar with: a police radio. I tried to tell myself it was only the neighbors leaving for work; but there is no confusing that sound with any other. Pulling myself from bed, I peered through the… Read full post »

MARCH 11, 2012 12:28PM

It's okay to be happy now

Last night a friend and I rented videos. She recommended 50/50, a so-called comedy about a young person with cancer. We watched it, and it is really good, but the funny only offsets the awful. We finished it and ran back to Video Connections, our locally owned cool place to pick/… Read full post »

MARCH 8, 2012 10:21AM

Gay couples are saving marriage

Proudly, I am a resident of Washington State, which recently signed marriage equality into law for gay couples. We are a diverse state, truly purple when it comes to partisan affiliations; but enough of us agree on this: homosexual couples are entitled to the same legal and financial benefits as stra… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 5, 2012 7:53PM

Birth Control Is Not a Women's Issue: It's a Human Right

Our national conversation about birth control has veered into bad science fiction lately, as Rick Santorum has declared the prevention of unwanted pregnancies wrong and Rush Limbaugh accused women who utilize birth control of being sluts. Flirting with some kind of misogynistic dystopian vision of a… Read full post »

MARCH 2, 2012 10:36AM

I Have Large Hands

I have large hands, long fingers. A therapist commented on it once, while I told him a sad story. Resting a palm to my face while I explained something deep, dark and painful, I was startled when the man said, “I’m sorry, I missed that. Your hands are so big…it just… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 28, 2012 7:33PM

Pots of Gold After the Storm

A relative told me in December, “Things aren’t going to be perfect anymore, Maureen. Get used to it.” She was speaking to life after nuclear family: divorce, dating, and family relationships…all of it. Still in shock, dazed and confused, I couldn’t begin to absorb what… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 25, 2012 6:39PM

Why Creative Geniuses Self-Destruct

Whitney Houston was laid to rest this week, and the world of pop culture is left mourning the fall of another great artist. At one time, she was unbelievably beautiful and talented: a phenomenon. In the public’s unyielding eye, she slowly destroyed herself with drugs and a bad marriage. Like ot… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 20, 2012 11:12AM

Grieving for the Living

It feels like a funeral around here lately. What my children and I are grieving isn’t a person; it’s a thing, an invisible and infinitely precious thing: our nuclear family. Reborn will be a new family, of course, like a phoenix rising from its ashes. But until the rising, there's moments… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 10, 2012 10:02AM

How to Be a Diva

A friend and I went out last weekend to Alberta Street, one of the culturally richest districts in Portland, to see a show. The act was called The Liv Warfield Experience. Truthfully, I hadn’t heard of her before I bought the ticket…it was a whim. But why not, you know.… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 6, 2012 10:39AM

No Autopsy Needed

A few well-meaning friends have suggested I seek therapy as a prophylactic exercise following the end of my marriage. Introspection with a trained professional is certainly a task I’ve completed before; and truly, it was worth every dollar and hour and tissue. But I’m not feeling it with… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 2, 2012 10:29AM

California's Been Good To Me

Last weekend I spent with family in San Francisco. I try to make it down a couple times a year, but this visit was unique because of the state I’m in. I hadn’t seen this branch of my family since my husband left; and I was seeking solace in their warmth.… Read full post »

JANUARY 27, 2012 10:48AM

We Are Heroes in Our Neverending Story


Tonight I brought my boys to see The NeverEnding Story, which was playing at a local art house theater. I saw the flick at the same venue when I was eleven, and it was a second-run theater. I’ll never forget what it felt like to see the Luck Dragon for the… Read full post »

JANUARY 23, 2012 10:49PM

A Peek Into My Studio

 academy 2 My Fair Place, 2011

I've loved this building for years. It was built by the  Sisters of Mercy and local builders and masons in the nineteenth century. This is the most important historical building in the entire  area, as it was the home of the first hospital, insane… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 18, 2012 1:41PM

My Day in Court

Last Thursday, the state of Washington provided a court date for me. It was Family Court, which is a term that sends shivers down the spine of anyone who’s gone. Security checked me in an hour before my appointment. Not knowing exactly where it was or what would happen, I showed… Read full post »

JANUARY 13, 2012 12:37PM

Reading Tarot In A British Pub

17                                                 … Read full post »