About Me

My photo
Portland, OR, United States
I am finishing up my midwifery apprenticeship and plan to be a real midwife early in 2014!

Monday, August 18, 2008

change

One blog I read has the inscription on it: In the process of re-inventing myself. (Or maybe I'm paraphrasing.) And, you know, so am I.

For the past year or so I've been feeling....restless. Not really knowing what was going on with me, whether this was just something I ate or what. My kids are getting older--at ages 11 and 14, they certainly don't need me constantly like they did when they were 1 and 4. And then there's my age too--I am 39 1/2, and it was pointed out to me by a nun whose spiritual counsel I value highly that many women have an awakening at around 40 years old. That is exactly what I feel I am having. I am wanting to re-find myself, re-make myself maybe.

Part of this has been reading the book Dance of the Dissident Daughter, by Sue Monk Kidd (author of the book The Secret Life of Bees). I began reading this book about five years ago, and it was very poignant to me then, but seemed so very dense which is why I put it down halfway through. It was suggested to me by a friend that I take it up again....and so I took it along on vacation. I did not put it down this time, rather I finished it and then passed it on to Paul who also read it cover to cover. If found it very meaningful to my life just now, in a very woman-empowering way. The book examines the spiritual lives of women (from a Christian perspective....I am not sure that women of other faiths would not take anything from the book, but I think it is particularly meaningful for those of us who have questions about our own Christian tradition and are trying to "make it fit" in our lives.

So, all this has made me think about what is coming down the pike for me in the future, what will be the next phase in my life....and thinking over all my options. I'm thinking about going back to school, specifically, and doing either something that I've talked about doing for many years or something new and different that I haven't always dreamed of. I still need to do some more thinking and reflection and figure out what's going on in me.

Another book I've read and enjoyed and laughed and cried with was Eat, Pray, Love. Some of the ways in which the author experienced self-discovery I am also experiencing.

It's been somewhat of a difficult birthing process, but I think what comes of it will be worth it. I'll be writing more about this in the future--and include more specifics as they become plain to me.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Knish

And, of course, we wanted to sample the local food in NYC. Paul and I had both thought to want New York City real Jewish bagels. But when I got online to find a place....I found Yonah Schimmel's Knish Bakery.

It just sounded too good to pass up. I don't think I'd ever had knish before...and I wasn't even quite sure what they were. And we were not disappointed! Our silly children, of course, balked at trying something new so they went to the Whole Foods previously referenced--Yonah's was only half a block from there--and got themselves pastry. Well, I doubt that Hibi could have gotten anything vegan at Yonah's anyway. But Zac tried a bite of my knish and was in heaven. Paul and I usually get different things so we can try each other's....but the cherry cheese knish sounded divine to both of us...and it was! Oh, yum. Someday I'm going to go back there and have another. Even if it is hot as hell. :-)

Plus. When we got inside I saw on the menu: egg creams! Yes, for breakfast, Paul and I got one to split. It did not disappoint either. The only thing that disappointed was the coffee. I'm told now that you just can't get good coffee in New York City. I'm glad I didn't waste my time looking, then!

Yonah Schimmel's is a hole in the wall, so if you're looking for something really fancy, don't. :-) It's definitely a neighborhood place, no frills, just awesome knish.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Maryhouse happenings

Wow, we've been back from vacation for a week and a half now, and I still haven't updated my blog! I wanted to share a couple of funny things that happened to us at Maryhouse, the Catholic Worker house in Lower Manhattan.

It was *so hot* there when we got there. And unlike when it gets hot here, where we can open windows or go to the basement, the windows in our room (on the....what, 2 1/2 story? maybe third, I'm not really sure) were way up high, as it was one of those old buildings where they put the windows way up high. Why? I have no idea. I guess they hadn't figured out that ventilation would be really needed in these old buildings? Anyway. It was so hot that I took a cold shower before bed, and then when I woke I immediately rinsed off in another cold shower. That was one hot, miserable night. That day we bought another fan, as they'd provided us with one, but can one fan hit us all? Not unless we were all huddled on the same side of the room...and it was way too hot to do that!

That morning I was sitting outside, trying to find a place that was two degrees cooler than inside, drinking my coffee. Dee, one of the residents at Maryhouse, comes out and says, you know what you need to do? You need to go down to Whole Foods. It's only four blocks away and it's cool in there and there's coffee and you can get any kind of food you want and you can sit in their second story cafe and have a great view. Well, she seemed a bit pushy, but we needed to get breakfast anyway, and going somewhere *cool* sure fit the bill. So, we set out. She had already told us how to get there, and it *was* only four blocks. We were standing across the street waiting for the walk sign to come on (a sure sign that we were tourists) when Dee popped up, seemingly out of nowhere! She had written down the name of the store (yeah, I already know the Whole Foods chain!) and what street it was on, and was there to give us better directions for how to get there. Um. It's....right across the street. It was not the only time Dee would act as our tour guide, and we were expected to do what she suggested! Though at the end of that first day, when she heard all we'd done, she was impressed by how much we got in and said she didn't have anything more to suggest. :-)

On our second to last day, we were planning to head to Greenwich Village. Paul was sitting in the dining room looking at our New York City book, and found the Greenwich Village pages, and saw there was a nice walking tour. Then he was asked to help wipe down some tables and he put the book face down, with it opened to the pages about Greenwich Village.

When we were ready to leave, Paul went back to get the book. It wasn't where he left it, but a bit of hunting around and it turned up. We left Maryhouse and got on the subway. Once we were on, I asked, so which stop do we get off? He went to look at the book to see what stop we wanted. He's looking and looking....and then says, what happened?!? There are, like, 10 pages missing!!!

Zac and I both instantly remembered seeing that there had been a man sitting in the dining room cutting what looked like magazine pages up into little bits. He had a whole big old pile of them. I figured some kind of art project or something like that.....and if it is, apparently our Greenwich Village pages will be a part of it. ;-) Fortunately we were able to remember, mostly, where we needed to go, but I have a sneaking suspicion we may have missed something.

Staying at Maryhouse was a great thing, though, heat and interesting people just being a part of that. It's in a great location and it was nice to see one of the places where Dorothy Day did her work. I have no idea if the movie was shot at all on this location, and it probably wasn't, but if you've seen the movie Entertaining Angels (about Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin) there is a scene on a staircase that looks exactly (from my memory) like a staircase we had to climb to get to our room.
SC