Posts Tagged ‘Russian River’

Hello Again

August 2, 2020

It feels like forever.

And it has been awhile.

But I am still here.

Still writing, though not so much on this platform

I have missed it, but I have also been too tired most days to log in and write.

I write in the mornings still, long hand, my three page a day habit, thank you The Artists Way, thirteen years and still going strong.

I have thought about this though, my blog, the thing that I would do religiously come rain or shine, good day, bad day, nothing really happened today day.

I sort of had a nothing happened today day, with highlights of, this is surreal, though I’m used to it.

Sort of.

We’re still deep in the pandemic and although it’s been five plus months now, there are times I’m still caught off guard with the strangeness of it.

Or that I am estranged from my friends, fellows, family, colleauges.

Oh the desire to hang out with friends at a coffee shop.

Although, truth, I did sort of last weekend.

I drove up to the Russian River area with a friend, one of the few people allowed in my bubble, and we did get coffee at a cafe in Guerneville.  There was no sitting inside, though, grab and go.

So many things are shut down, but when I get the chance to go to a cafe or a restaurant I have done so.

It happens quite infrequently.

I do better weathering things on my own.

I have been very safe and very cautious and kept pretty to myself since this has all been unfolding.

But yeah, a trip to the Russian River and being out in the sun felt extraordinary.

It’s not a big deal typically, but a bunch of months of quarantine and I felt like I was playing hooky, albeit wearing a mask, from the pandemic.


Just getting out into the sunshine was so good.

San Francisco, got to love her, has been having her typical “summer weather” which is cold, foggy, overcast and quite dreary.

Add that to the general malaise of the pandemic and it’s a bit depressing.

So when my friend suggested we head out of town and get some sun I hesitated, I have things to do (homework, prep for teaching, zoom meetings), but folded as soon as I googled the Russian River and saw the trees and sun and water.

I’m glad I did.

I am also grateful for getting out of the city.

I haven’t been outside of the Bay Area since before shelter in place.

I realized the last time I had gotten out it was Christmas when I went to Paris.

Now, that’s nothing to shake a stick at, but it also meant that I hadn’t left the city in over six months.

I don’t, fyi count Oakland, Berkeley, or Alameda, all places I have gone to, as getting outside the city…they just feel like continuations of it.

Though, San Francisco is definitely in transition, it is still the city, and once in a while to appreciate the city, I need to leave it.

I will go up one more time to the Russian River before summer ends.

Just a quick day trip to work on some teaching prep the weekend before I start teaching Psychodynamic’s.

I’m not exactly excited, truth be told, I haven’t felt like I’ve had much of a summer–my private practice therapy business has been full (and yes, I do know how lucky I am to have work to do) and I have been doing so much psychoanalytic theory reading, my brain feels about shot.


I have finished, as of today all the books that are required reading for class.

I also, I haven’t shared much about this, turned down the core faculty position I was interviewing for.

I found out how much work was expected and how little money was being paid for it and I changed my mind about wanting to work for the school–I was making more money as a private professional nanny then what they were offering for a full time core faculty professor in a master’s program.

No thank you.

I kept thinking to myself that I did not work this hard to keep working harder for less money.

I felt bad, for a moment, when I told my individual supervisor who really wanted me to take on the teaching position, but I realized if I had taken it I would have been terribly resentful with myself for taking on so much work.

Especially since I am still working on my PhD.

It’s been a minute since I’ve been here, so I cannot recall if I have written about that the last time I was blogging.  But.  I have made some progress there.  I have my external third committee chair member and she has my dissertation proposal as does my internal second.


I await their critiques and get to start working on a Power Point (ugh) to defend my proposal.

Once I defend the proposal I will move into PhD candidacy.

I am ready for that.

I am hoping that I will get to defend by the end of this month and then turn around and start doing the study part of my dissertation.

My hope is to do the study this fall and then do the writing for the dissertation in the spring.

I want to put in one more year and be done.

In fact.

That is my goal.

One more year at the school working on my PhD and teaching one master’s class, then I’m done.

I’ve been on this track for five years now.

I’m ready to finish it.

I have it in my sights and I am hopeful that I can put down my head and push through this last year.

I suspect things are going to be challenging with the pandemic continuing to rage and whatever weirdness is up and coming with the pending elections, but I shall keep busy, keep pushing and get through.


When it’s all said and done and I have my doctorate.

I am going on a big fucking trip.

I’m thinking fly from San Francisco to London, train to Paris, then train to the South of France, rent a car there and tool around and then reverse the trip back.

Two, maybe three weeks.

That’s a carrot to work towards.


Holding Space

July 16, 2012

I have to give myself props.

I held my own this weekend.

It was hard.

Harder than I thought it would be and, easy, so easy, why have I not done this before?

I went to the Russian River for a three-day weekend.  The traffic coming and going was pretty fierce, it ended up feeling more like a two-day weekend with the travel time that was eaten up there and back, though.

I did not succeed at everything I set out to do.  My food was a little sloppy, I grazed a little more than I ever do.  But I did not have sugar or anything else that triggers my own special brand of crazy.  It was just freaking challenging to have a bowl of cherries or strawberries or slices of pineapple every where I went.

Or the ribs.

Good grief there was some meat at this house party.  In fact, when my people get together, they bring the food with.  There was funnel cake, there was German chocolate cake, carrot cake with cream cheese, ribs, peach stuffed sausages, fried egg sandwiches on toasted sourdough with sliced sweet one hundred cherry tomatoes and spicy arugula.

We had so many beverages I was in the bathroom every other minute it felt like.  I certainly got my sparkling water intake on, that’s for sure.

I also got my love on.

Self-love, self-care, and self-nurturing came for me first.  I got up at a pretty normal hour every day that I was there.  I ate a good breakfast each day–day one, kamut with cinnamon and nutmeg, sliced apple, and chopped walnuts accompanied by many cups of coffee.  Day two I had brown rice with warm banana and strawberries, almond milk and cinnamon.  Delicious.

I wrote each day I was there.

I blogged each day I was there.

Despite not having any internet connection, I still wrote my blog.  And I took loads of pictures, loads.

I also did my morning pages.

And I meditated.  I sat on the grassy hill above the house each morning and I gave myself twenty minutes to sit and be still in my body.

I went for walks.  I discovered an old tire swing in the woods.  I smelled the trees over head.  I listened to the birds chatter.  I saw deer, raccoon, vultures, hawks, wild turkeys, and Piglets.

Well, Ms. Piglet is not much of a wild animal, the sweetest pit bull ever, I got some nice snuggles with her, although she does snore a little.

I let myself go swimming.

I sat in the hot tub, not once, but twice.

I showered and did my make up.  Because even out in the country under the looming redwoods, I like my glitter.

There were times I could have gotten caught up in the deliberate manufacture of misery and instead, I breathed and kept to myself.

I shared about moving to Paris.

Sometimes I just sat quietly and watched.  It was fascinating to see how we all got along with one another.

I even got in the hammock.

Hammock Time

Hammock Time


Yes, I lay in that hammock and listened to the babble of the stream, not once, but twice.

I also danced and sang and hot tubbed and laughed my self silly.

My favorite moments were the quiet ones though.  Mary and I talking about Paris today sitting on the back patio enjoying the last moments of sunshine before packing it in.

Bonne and I standing together in the river holding hands.

Joan and I sitting in the hot tub the first night before any one else got to the house, out under the stars.

Getting to know Deke better.

Hugging Rick.

Talking to Byron about traveling.

Some times I got over whelmed and when that happened I walked off.  Not too far, just down the road a few minutes, up the path outside and above the house, or I sat with a glass of sparkling water and just observed.

I am so glad I went.

I am so glad I have such good friends.

I am also glad that I am at ease in my own skin, that I have follow through, the I showed up for myself and held to what is important to me.

Some one once questioned why I wasn’t making more money and when they asked if they could give me an honest assessment of my financial situation they said, “you know, from what I see, you just don’t have much follow through.”

That stung.

But after taking a moment to actually access what I did this weekend, I saw, and quite clearly at that, I do have follow through.

I held my space.

I took my time.

I gave what I could give.

I did damn good.

I am not always great at autonomy or saying what I need for myself, but my God, I have done a lot of work.  Getting to see how much I have matured and seeing how far I have come gave me a glow that I can attribute to more than just laying about in the sun.

Although, that certainly did not hurt, laying out by the beach.


Breaking out the swim suit


I took the time off from work and now I have a busy week, six days ahead of me.

But I can do it.

I have follow through.

And the honest assessment of having grown the fuck up, despite not having the bank account of an adult.

I have the habits of a mature woman.

I took the space I needed.

I gave myself the gift of being in my own skin, gave it time and silence, and then more, ultimately, wonderfully, was revealed.

Just The Way You Look Tonight

July 16, 2012

Every thing is meant to be—exactly how it is.


Sometimes that means sitting quietly in the hammock waiting for Mark to herd the cats out to the Russian River.


Sometimes it means getting into the water, despite, or perhaps because of the fact that one does not go to the river and not go for a swim.


Sometimes it means hanging back so that you can get the shot, or the shots.


I took over 350 frames today.



Leopard print

Record amount of frames for me.


I am beyond the moon for having taken the time to actually continue to hold the camera, to continue to point, shoot, shift, sit, watch.


I can get shy sometimes.


I don’t want to draw attention to myself, as though if you actually notice me you might scurry away.


Things that stuck with me today:


The 10 month old baby blue pit bull that was at the beach getting coached by his very proud papa into the water.  As the dog paddled out to his owner, from the profile of his head he looked like a grey hippopotamus.


Megan and Deke lying next to each other on the beach.


The lovely ladies


Jayne smiling with the wind pulling her hair away from  her face twisted in the passenger side seat of the Cabriolet Volkswagen.


The feel of wind floating on my eyelids and the white, red, white, yellow flash point of the sun against the skin of my closed eyes as I leaned my head against the warm leather in the back seat of the Volks.


Joan standing in the bamboo with a red balloon.


Bonnie and Rick standing together in the dark kitchen picking at fruit in a bowl.


Mary sweet, reluctant, then suddenly bold in a cowboy hat with a white sheepskin on the leather couch in the rental house.


Guns a Blazing

Shoot ’em up cowgirl

Jayne’s soft neck as she leaned over the cutting board slicing pineapple.  The secret smile on her face.


Piglet curled up on the edge of a chaise lounge.


The smell of Esteban, Cree’s two month old baby boy.  And how he followed the swing of my earrings and thrust his tongue out the side of his mouth with that new baby smile that you tell yourself is actually the baby connecting with you and not gas.


Or so you do hope.


His eyes, deep blue, with dark black pupils, the iris so blue to be almost violet.


The way the warmth of the house captures you on the threshold between the porch and the kitchen.


Joan eating cherries in the kitchen window.


Marc walking back out amongst the party of ribs, heaped with ribs, sashaying about the patio.


Ribs, it’s what’s for dinner.


The sound this morning as I sat in mediation on the hill above the house of a buck in the yard just down from me.  Being able to sit so still that a deer walked within five feet of me and I could hear the grass, dry, sweet, almost hay like in ripeness, crackle under his hooves.


The Mermaid at the River Festival.



The swan boat on the water.


Cold pink grapefruit Perrier in a  red wine goblet laced with sliced strawberries.


The whisper and giggle of girls down the hall.


A circle of light that spilled on Byon’s face as he smiled at Megan.


Clover walking, like the human incarnation of the deer, picking her way  through the gravel to the chaise lounge.


Molly, the little girl dancing on the deck.


The porno shoot.




The porno shoot.


Last night, Mark, in his divine clown silliness, dropped a fur throw over his bits, picked up a cowboy hat and from  out of nowhere he pulls a glass gun shaped a touch more phallic than should by any rights look.


Then Jayne.

Then Bonnie.

Then me.


Joan directing, fluffing, “drop you chin, tilt your head, elongate your leg, shift, pull down the skein of your imagination and get into it.


We set the stage and the next thing you know, I have many photographs of my sexy ass friends doing sexy, funny, and stupendously, joyously funny and intimate moments.


All we needed was some low light, an extra cup of coffee, Rick’s resoundingly ridiculous, crispyity fantasy funnel cakes.


Caffeine, sugar, Joan directing, Bonnie fluffing.  Porno shoot at Ok Corral.


Maybe that’s what I will do, put together a little calendar and raise the ruckus with these photos.


I will say this much, I want to blow them up, I want to frame them, I want to kiss the foreheads of these luscious people.


I will long remember tonight, even without the photographic evidence.


Moments sublime.


I am graced with love.


Graced I say.

Furry throw anyone?

Leather couch, throw pillow




Keep Saying Yes

July 11, 2012

I saw the lovely, and talented, Jayne Matthews this evening.

God she is a doll, gorgeous, and just back from being away for weeks upon weeks.  She asked if I was going to be able to make her birthday party.

She and a gang of friends are heading up to the Russian River this weekend.  I said, “no, I’m working.”

Then, she looked at me.  You know the look, yeah, that one.

What the fuck is my problem?

Wait a minute, what is more important?

Spending time with my friends before I move to Paris or trying to make another few dollars to give myself the illusion that I am going to be secure when I move?


Get your fucking priorities straight, Martines.

I told my friend, let me see what I can do.

I will try.

Fuck that noise, I am going to do more than try.  I am going to get it off.  I deserve a three day weekend in a big house with a bunch of people I love and adore.  BBQ, tubing down the river, sleep over, dancing, picnic baskets (say that with Yogi Bear inflection please, when reading), swimming, sunbathing.



What was that?




I say yes.

I say hells yes.  I say, if realizing that the whole point of moving to Paris is to move to Paris because life is short, then I have to apply the same logic, if you can call that logic, to spending time with my friends.

There is a point to being responsible.  There is a point to self-care.  This is taking care of myself.  This is nourishing my heart, my friendships, my time is important.  Too important and too short to waste it all on the shop.

I have to do this.

Or things of the same nature.

Paris is not a death sentence.  It is a dream to which I get to apply every suggestion I have ever been given and then some, but it does feel like the death of my time in San Francisco.  And when things end.  I want them to end with a bang.


I want fireworks of love and music and poetry and lazy lazy lazy summer days drifting in an inner tube in my poor bathing suit that has not been worn in an actually, yes, that is right, two years.

I bought it in hopes of a weekend conference I went to two years ago down the Peninsula and it rained.  I brought it with me to Wisconsin last summer, but I did not go swimming.


Oh, how I miss you.  I miss being in warm water.  I miss diving below the surface and through that shivery spot where the water runs cool and your skin brushes the pocket of water that has not been warmed by the sun.  I miss the smell of river.  I miss diving in and out and floating and drifting.

Weightless.  Buoyed.  Held.

And I want to pass this up to hold some one’s hand while they decide on the two shades of blue, either it’s 5010 or 5002, gah, Cobalt or Ultra-Marine, what do you think looks better?

I don’t know.

Just fucking pick one.

It’s just a bike.

Yeah, I know, you spend a lot on something, let’s make it perfect, but sometimes you just have to pull the god damn trigger.

Here’s to me pulling the trigger on a weekend out of the city.  A weekend.  Not a day where I drive to Sonoma and get lost and blow a wad of money on a City Car Share.  A real weekend.  One of those weekends that you write about later.

There, that is perfect.  I need some fodder for the blog machine.  Aside from the needed rest and relaxation, I will have new material to write about.  I will get new experiences.  I will cultivate my relationships with those people I find so dear.

I find these people dear.  I love them.  They have carried me.  They hold my hands every day.  They help me do new things.  They support me when I don’t know what I am doing.  They loved me before I was capable of doing it for myself.

I am honored to be included and I owe them my company.  I do.

I called Joan and asked if it was not too late to hitch a ride.  I told her that I was actually mortified at my own behavior.  That I have lived for so long in this self-imposed financial fear that I say no to things that I want to do because I cannot ask for myself what I need.

Well, screw that.

Hey, Universe, I am saying yes to my friends.  I am saying yes to the Russian River.  I am saying I believe that I will be taken care of.  I am saying I have the faith to walk through this idiotic fear of not having enough.

You know what I won’t have enough of?



Time to say to those that I hold near and dear, I love you.  I love you.  I choose you over my fear.  I choose this experience over financial security.

I say yes to the Universe.

I walk toward the open door.

Or the inner tube as the case may be.  The bonfire at night with the warm air brushing my skin. I say yes to a sun dress.  I say yes to flip-flops.  I say yes to a road trip with my Joan Pie, windows rolled down, radio on loud, singing my heart out.  I say yes to laughing with my friends and dancing and sharing my secrets and eating fruit from road side farmer’s stands.

I say yes.

Now, fingers crossed my boss will ok the time off.

If I can’t get off, then, no harm no foul, I was going to work anyhow.

But, maybe, maybe, he’ll say yes.

Say it with me:




Ok, I think the Universe gets it.

I did the foot work.  I already e-mailed my boss.  Now the rest is out of my hands.

Please, Sky Daddy, can I go?

Pretty, pretty please, with an anodized red crank on top.

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