Healing Update: In Which we observe Changes That Have Occurred in the two-plus weeks after surgery

Some things are the same, and a few have changed, slightly. Same: numbness, sensitivity, eating/swallowing related challenges, and getting used to the obturator. I have been getting better at taking it out for cleaning and putting it back in, and was reminded of the story about Eeyore’s unhappy birthday. No one can throw a pityContinue Reading

An Update on the Fiendish Thingy

As  friends and family are aware, I had surgery one week ago today to remove a benign tumor from my upper jaw. I’ve written about this tumor before, a couple of times. It may be too much information, but here is a health update on the ameloblastoma that I refer to as “the fiendish thingy.”(AndContinue Reading

Art in Antarctica: Frozen in the Moment

Nothing prepared me for the breathtaking sculptures floating freely in the waters of Antarctica. Each piece was textured, layered, exquisitely formed; angular or rounded, craggy or smooth; full of random scoops and scallops, or bearing the carefully placed marks of a chisel. Although I photographed several of them as we floated through the ice galleryContinue Reading

The Shirt off His Back

 When my daughter was almost a year old and we lived in San Jose, I had the crazy idea to sew wool shirts for the men in my family: My dad, my father-in-law, my husband, and two brothers-in-law. Five wool shirts, with flat-fell seams, buttonholes, plaids to match, etc. Not sure what I was thinking,Continue Reading

The Case of the Reclaimed Redhead

If you were a fan of the old Perry Mason show, you might remember that the episodes usually had titles like this, with a clever (or not so clever) alliteration that let you know what was about to happen. This story doesn’t have anything to do with Perry Mason, and it’s not really a “case”Continue Reading

A Book Review

With thanks to Wendy Martin, editor of Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, and Elizabeth Fishel, writer and mentor, for honoring my book with these very kind words. There Was a Fire Here: A Memoir “Have you ever asked yourself: if my house were on fire, what would I grab?” So begins Risa Nye’s elegant, hauntingContinue Reading

In Memoriam

When I entered the MFA program at Saint Mary’s College in 2009, I had some serious doubts and fears: would I be able to produce any work worth reading? Would I fit in with the other students who were decades younger? Would I  be able to form relationships with faculty, something that eluded me inContinue Reading

The Fire Next Time?

On this rainy weekend, we accompanied our youngest grandson to the Oakland Museum of California. It’s a great place to take a two year-old–lots of room to run around and look at stuff. I lost track of how many times I’d visited the museum with my own kids: years of school field trips, rainy dayContinue Reading

Hallelujah?

What with the election and the death of Leonard Cohen, I can’t get this tune out of my head. Other people will respond to it differently, but to me this hallelujah is a plaintive wail, a cry for guidance. That’s how I hear it, anyway–especially the way kd lang performs it, as she did inContinue Reading

The annual semi-scientific trending Halloween costume report

One of the things I miss the most about the days when my kids were little is the planning and execution of Halloween costumes. We had a lot of fun, for the most part, coming up with unique costumes that we could make. I would frequently sew or construct the key elements, but as theContinue Reading