Saturday, October 24, 2009

...And Reverie

I got into my little rented car today and drove in a circuitous route on a road tour that took me along the coast and through coastal forest. It was absolutely beautiful. Hoping to post pictures of my sites when I return. YoYo Ma and Bethoven played on the radio as as I looped up and down narrow roads. I saw birds I had never seen before, and seals lying fat and placid on rocks sunning themselves. Trees as twisted contortionists made so by ocean salt breezes. All too lovely to adequately describe. The land reached out and embraced me and kissed my cheek.


Here in lovely Monterey Bay California for a conference. I get to walk white sand beaches and enjoy wonderful vegetarian meals. What a nice reprieve after a month too busy to allow myself the kindness of a morning cup of tea. I'll soak it all in, and take my rental care on a drive along the coast, stopping to take pictures and feel the sand beneath my feet.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Our 17 year old cat, Indigo passed away quietly at home yesterday. We found her late in the afternoon on our bed where she had snuggled up to nap. She never woke up. When our son Greg was 14 (now 31), his friend found Indigo as a kitten abandoned in a box in an alley en route to our house. He heard her meowing and picked her up and brought her to us. She's been ours ever since.
She was a very wild kitten, earning herself the nickname "Crazyhead" She had 2 litters of kittens early in life, and then settled down to become the mellow stranger-shy cat we grew to love. Her secret to longevity? She was an indoor cat, who didn't like to over exert herself. Many years ago, she had to have surgery that cost us $1,000 and I told her she had to live at least until we paid off the bill. She happily complied. She was always good for a snuggle, loved a good head scratch and enjoyed a high quality of life up until the end. The day she died, I saw her last in the kitchen eating her morning meal of catfood and water, while the dog and our other cat, Carl, patiently waited their turns until she was finished. She was very arthritic and slow moving, but the other animals aways gave way for her. She was always the matriarch of our animal family and beloved by our human family. She will be missed.

Indigo "Crazyhead" Payne
date of birth: unknown
deceased: October 9, 2009

PS: People have asked where we got the name Indigo. At the time she came to us, I was reading Ntzoke Shange's novel, "Sassafras, Cypress, and Indigo" a story of 3 sisters. Indigo was a midwife. It seemed to fit. I think the name Crazyhead came from the baby of the family at that time, Evan.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Weighty Matters

I started a new workout with weights and love it. It's a workout on video called "Turbo Jam" and it's a very do-able 40 minute workout that uses hand-held weights. I use my 5 pounders, but you could also start with 3 pounds. The workout includes some mat work stretching at the end. I've also been using the Tai Chi CD I purchased with my birthday gift certificate. I've been really happy with my home workouts, so much so, I may not renew that gym membership- not just yet anyway. I do try to fit in some yoga about 3 times a week as well. I have a huge challenge for the month of October. Ordering my mornings carefully so that I have adequate times in the morning for workouts during this my heavy teaching month. It's too easy to get bogged down in class prep and grading papers and skip my exercise. My goal is to be better prepped and organized so that I have those all important mornings for me.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Books that want me to write them

When I grow up I want to be a writer. These are the books I want to write- so far:
  • a how to guide for homebirth
  • a book that encourages African-American women to breastfeed
  • a book that tells healthcare professionals how to encourage African-American women to breastfeed
  • a book that chronicles my families recipes and matriarchs over three or four generations
  • a book for healthcare providers on giving appropriate care to African-Americans
  • a book of ideas on how to teach OB nursing
  • a book of my poetry (or two or three or four...)
  • an interracial romance (or two or three or four...)
  • many more as yet unknown to me, but soon to be revealed
Like a pot simmering on a stove, these books bubble up inside of me and threaten to spill out onto the written page, so everyday, I write just a little bit.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Journal Journey

I am a serial journaler. I written journals since about the age of 18. I have boxes and boxes of old journals hidden away in the basement. I can't seem to stop detailing my life in journals. All this has spiritual and therapeutic value I suppose. Mainly it just keeps me writing, and write I must. I suspect I was born to be a writer but just keep getting distracted by other things. Yesterday, I started a new prayer journal. The previous one lasted 4 years. I took a trip down memory lane as I read old passages in it. It shows how far I've come in the last 4 years in meeting my goals and developing as a person. I love seeing that progress in print- in my own handwriting. As I begin my new journal, I'm assured of the growth in my life that it will chronicle. New challenges to overcome, new goals to set, adventures to manifest- I embrace whatever comes to me.