Days of Our Lives

I wrote this last year. Today would’ve been my sister’s 68th birthday: She was born on 4/9/49–a fact that always made her birthday seem more special. She is missed terribly by all who knew her. There’s an empty place at the table on this occasion, and all others when her friends or the family–whichever partsContinue Reading

Numb and Number: Or, Healing is Not for Sissies

It’s now been five weeks since my surgery. Although I look almost normal, with some visible swelling on the right side of my face, I still feel as though I am wearing one of these: I can tell the numbness is going away by the sometimes tingly, sometimes sharp messages I’m getting from the nervesContinue Reading

Here’s a visual

  So, yes–right down the middle. Including teeth. It may look almost normal, but it sure doesn’t feel that way! Hurts to smile, or I would’ve tried. Upper cheek and nose are the worst in terms of numbness. Kinda feels like I’m touching someone else’s face when I check for sensitivity. Weird. It’s getting better,Continue Reading

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