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Friday, June 19, 2009

clocks are ticking

We become aware of the void as we fill it.
~ Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943


tick tock tick tock
45 days away

good news:
In 45 days or less, K and the kids will be in a new apartment.
That is going to happen.
In the meantime, I've been concerned that we might run out of money before then, but now it looks like something even better might happen, and soon, to help...
K might be getting a little part-time job!
This will be an extraordinary help until the right place to live comes her way, and then maybe we won't need to worry so much about running out of money.
She will find out about the job
next week.
The news made us hug each other with excitement.

tick tock tick tock
6 months away

bad news:
Little Helen's doctors have spoken.
She will go home to hospice care.
They will make her as comfortable as possible.
Her birthday is next week.


All of this time
of what will happen in this many days,
this many months
is making me a little crazy


I went grocery shopping.
I loaded up my tote bags with fresh herbs, not having any idea what I will do with them.

I just wanted to smell them.

I bought huge baskets of the most gorgeous ripe strawberries you've ever seen.
I bought a Chinese tea-smoked duck just so I could have the pleasure of watching the old man chop it up with his cleaver, his hands covered in shiny grease.

The smell was intoxicating.

Then I bought some roast pork just so I could see him chop it up, too.

I know this sounds silly.

I inhaled the crisp smell of the fresh mint getting crushed against my arm all the way home.
I still don't know what else I'm going to do with it.
Maybe I'll make some Moroccan mint tea.
But smelling it made me feel better.


The rose is for Little Helen.
I took this a few weeks ago, when I was sad and made myself go outside and take pictures, just because I had to go outside.

I didn't realize at the time I had taken this photo for her.

The rose is not perfect
but it is beautiful


Just Jules June 19, 2009 at 7:15 PM  

ahhh throw the mint and if you have one cut up lemon into the bath and soak......

Adam June 19, 2009 at 7:54 PM  

i am totally excited about K and the kids. totally totally totally excited!!!

as for all the good meat, I would love to come over for dinner, but then again, that would be an expensive dinner. Cleveland to San Fran is $472.00 round trip, for 1 person.


Christina June 19, 2009 at 8:21 PM  

i send Helen love...

yes, tea would be a nice marriage, for the mint.

; )

Brook June 19, 2009 at 8:51 PM  

mint in a salad beside that delicious rich smoked meat would be fabulous. It is important to treat our senses-find the things that please us viscerally as we go through the ups and downs of life. I love the blowsy beauty of the rose-a little crinkled, worn but full on full out in bloom. A lovlier tribute would be hard to find.

Kelly Kilmer June 19, 2009 at 9:36 PM  

Fingers crossed for K and the kids...

Sending lots of love for Little Helen...

Marilyn Miller June 20, 2009 at 12:08 AM  

The rose is perfect for Little Helen. It is beautiful, but well spent.

So many emotions, my heart is sent in love to hold you.

Susan L June 20, 2009 at 1:04 AM  

Good luck for K and her kids. If she gets the job tell her to call her welfare worker for childcare. If hotel money is waining tell her that she qualifies for money for her housing for 16 days for homeless expenses. Also once she moves in they can give her deposit assistance and money for household items. Once again good luck and Tango Baby I love your post.

Anonymous June 20, 2009 at 2:01 AM  

Great news about K! What about childcare? Will she be able to bring the baby? Had a really crazy week and was not able to bring K some things we had talked about. Plus waiting on something in the mail for big brother. Also, another photo opportunity for your project, this time across the bay. Let us know if you are interested...LT

Cynthia June 20, 2009 at 4:55 AM  

Tangobaby, I hope the family feels secure and loved by everyone's help and support. I went back to an earlier post...that little girl is adorable! I gave what I could...I was a little nervous about the PayPay system because of some weird email I got...but I realized that the system and the email spam were not connected. I will place a link to your post on my blog..on the sidebar. Love to you <3

smith kaich jones June 20, 2009 at 6:44 AM  

You do what you must in celebration of the good, in acceptance of the inevitable, and of course, your soul knows. The fragrances of life, the pleasures - your soul knows to pull these close, and it is enough to do so, it is enough to just inhale & see & breathe, with no other agenda; np plans are necessary. A kiss fo K & the kids, and a kiss for Little Helen, and one for you.


spudballoo June 20, 2009 at 6:57 AM  

This is lovely, so sensual. You write so beautifully.

Starlene June 20, 2009 at 8:25 AM  

Your honesty is so graceful, my heart expands and contracts with an almost pleasant ache. Scheduling the end of life or a new beginning seems ludicrous...but what other options are there? It sounds to me like your mindfulness of the moment (smells, sights, tastes) can at least provide a comforting balance to the passing of time.

And I discovered something recently that you may want to do with your strawberries.

3 cups sliced strawberries
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Blend strawberries until smooth (in a blender); combine water, sugar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and heat up to dissolve the sugar. Pour the saucepan mixture into the blender with the blended strawberries and blend thoroughly. Pour that into a casserole dish and put it in the freezer. Every 20 minutes or so, take it out and scrape the frozen sides into the middle and mix it up. Repeat that until it's frozen and then enjoy some homemade Italian Ice. : D

Cartooncharacter June 20, 2009 at 11:56 AM  

Yay for K!

A few years ago, my grandma and my favorite aunt passed away, within a year of each other. They had both been in hospice care. My mother still reminds me about how they would good naturedly joke about things I would say in German, directly translated from what I was thinking in English (for example, using the German word for "heavy" when I meant "difficult"). So they would laugh and ask me, "Which is it, Patti? Is it 'Life is hard, and love is heavy?' Or 'Life is heavy, and love is hard?'" I guess life is hard and heavy, and loving people is heavy and hard.

Char June 20, 2009 at 1:49 PM  

lovely Helen...I hope she enjoys her rose and can be surrounded with all that she loves and loves her. that is the largest blessing i can think of.

and fresh herbs - so wonderful. makes me want some fresh sweet tea with mint.

robinbird June 21, 2009 at 7:20 AM  

i have been thinking about you quite a lot of late. knowing your life is in transition, knowing you will lose little helen, knowing you have a huge and generous heart. i love everything that you post, everything that you share, everything that you feel. you are one of the most amazing women i have ever 'met' (will meet).

xox to you dear heart. I know your mom is suffering/grieving and when she does you feel on her behalf as well as on your own.

Anonymous June 22, 2009 at 3:51 AM  

I'm so sorry to hear about Little Helen... it's so difficult to lose our loved ones.

Really good news about K though, fingers crossed that the job comes through for her and even better news that she's going to be housed soon!


paris parfait June 23, 2009 at 2:23 AM  

Great news about K! Thinking of you and Little Helen during this difficult time.

SE'LAH... June 28, 2009 at 2:18 PM  

Praying for little Helen and for K.

Sending positive vibes your way.