Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Too Much

Obie has been crying for 2 days. Following me and meowing with ravenous hunger. Today he was doing it pretty much all day long despite trying to give him a little did every hour. Tonight we finally got him back on the medicine for gastrointestinal distress and gave him a drop of human grade CBD since the animal one didn't seem to soothe his agitation at all.

He's laying calmly for the first time all day. He went back into the yoga room while I did dishes. I think he's worn out from agitation.

Today the smoke finally cleared and the rain arrived in a flurry of lighting in the early morning hours. I was awoken by the bright flashes lighting up the bedroom, worrying about the tinder dry trees.

When thunder caught up the rain fell heavily for a while. The dogs and CK all woke up too, for a while we had Bertie in the bed shivering because he's afraid of storms.

In the afternoon CK shared the news that Ruth Bader Ginsberg had died. GOP ghoul, Mitch McConnell, immediately began politicizing filling her place on the Supreme Court.

Then CK shared a significant roadblock for plans we're trying to get underway. A COVID roadblock. I know we'll figure what to do.

All of that hit me so hard this afternoon. All of today after months of COVID changes, a week of being sealed up inside our house, and the past years of the Trump adminstration. I closed myself in the bedroom and just cried until my asthma kicked up and made me cough.

We celebrated the sound of rain and the joy of fresh air flowing in through all the open windows.


Armed Checkpoints

This has had attention certainly, but I personally keep getting stuck on this.

As fires burned, as the evacuation zone crept ever closer to our home, armed people decided to make checkpoints in Molalla, Corbett, and other towns.

My Mother grew up in Corbett. Until we had to suddenly move her out of there in 2007, she was still partially living there! Our last dealings out there were with her last ex-husband's family who had taken all her money out of her accounts. It was a fiasco.

When I heard the news about armed, white men in Corbett I immediately thought of this family. I could see the son of my Mother's husband standing out there, along with his uncle.

It sounds like much of the Santiam Highway is burned to a crisp and closed indefinitely. Several years ago, when CK and I spent her birthday in Bend, I made a point to take us there via this highway, I considered it to be one of the most beautiful drives in the whole State.

Breitenbush's lodge and some vital infrastructure buildings remain, but all the guest cabins, the Sanctuary, and many other buildings are all gone.

Detroit, Oregon, is gone.

2,300 residential buildings in Medford are gone.

Still though, it's the armed checkpoints that haunt me and leave me feeling like it isn't safe to leave the Metro area ever again.

We're hoping for clearing skies Friday morning. I'm grateful for the dogs and that Obie was energetic enough to be annoying today.


Cancelled Classes

Woke up with my throat still irritated from teaching yesterday with the smoke. I talk for just a moment and it gets worse. My chest also aches a little, feels heavy and tight.

I went ahead and cancelled my online classes the rest of the week since even if we have clear skies in the morning, I might be feeling the effects of this for a few days. I was feeling so demoralized and miserable last night that I know that I'm making the right choice.

Today we started at hazardous AQI, as I write this the sensor a little south of us shows as being down to merely unhealthy!


Same Same

Smoke continues to be our new normal. We’re all waiting for rain. I saw that a few sprinkles fell recently when I took the dogs out to pee. Not the rain we need, so the smoke still hangs in the air.

I’m so tired and uninspired. It all felt like too much already and now this.

Not just the smoke “this”, but Clackamas County Sheriffs spreading lies that incite white men to create armed checkpoints in rural communities. The “this” of a new chapter in the big book of American Eugenics Programs. “This” administration that knew COVID was a deadly aerosol and downplayed it.

My whole body hurts. I’m retaining fluid and I’m dehydrated, despite sipping plain water all day. My eyes ache and burn, I can hear myself blinking!

Obie sat with me this morning and I was able to teach yoga, grateful for that!


Smoke and More Smoke and Smog

That’s pretty much Portland the past three days. Today damp fog arrived turning all the smoke that continues to pour into the area into dense smog. When I took the dogs out for a bedtime potty I thought my glasses were terribly smeared, but I wasn’t wearing them and it was my halal light hitting all the particulates in the air.

Getting our worst spots sealed Thursday night has been a huge help. A friend of mine posted that she was awakened at 3am by her in home smoke detector going off! Even though it doesn’t smell like smoke, we’re having headaches and my eyes burn nearly all the time. I’m just tired all the time too.

Dora even woke up lethargic and didn’t want to eat! Given how sick Obie is, this made us both feel overwhelmed and doom-y. We put her back into the bedroom, where we’ve covered over the air vents and put a towel at the bottom of the door to make it our cleanest room. After a few hours she woofed to come out, finished her breakfast, drank water, and then went outside to pee. E we both felt much better after that!

Bertie is lethargic too. They both sneeze in the moments we go out. They’re only going out to do business then right back in. It’s bad enough they aren’t super interested in being out. Obie doesn’t seem to notice, we think that’s because he’s on steroids!

A friend in California sent me a thread of suggestions to help improve indoor air quality. The idea is to increase the humidity by making swamp coolers (a fan blowing over a pan of water), also circulating the air. This makes smoke particles heavy so they go to the floor. It also helps soothe skin, eyes, nasal passages, etc.

I did this all over the house, including the smoky downstairs, and it’s helping a lot! CK might even be able to work at her desk tomorrow, it’s been that effective on the smoke that came in Thursday. I also put on a big pot to simmer with several herbal tea bags.

Doing all that left me feeling kind of lousy the rest of the day. We spent some extra time in the clean bedroom air too, trying to keep headaches at bay.


Ten Years

It wasn't the tenth wedding anniversary we envisioned, but we got through it with laughter and love.

We awoke to news that the fires have slowed, the 2 nearest didn't merge overnight, and marine sir was beginning to flow inland from the coast. It was such a relief to find out we didn't need to pack up today.

Ash is still falling and the air quality goes back and forth between hazardous and very unhealthy. Portland had the weirdest air quality in the world today. We're wearing ventilator masks whenever we need to take the dogs out, get mail, or even go to the garage.

I also decided Ethiopian food wasn't worth the hassle to drive across town with the ventilator mask on, then need to switch out to a COVID mask to pick up the food, then mask up again to drive home. We had spaghetti, we had all the ingredients at home.

We put an air purifier in the bedroom and are keeping the door closed as it runs constantly. It has made it so we didn't wake up with raw throats. That and or efforts with the plastic yesterday have paid off.


Fire, Fire Everywhere

On the eve of our 10th wedding anniversary we sealed over there fireplaces and kitchen window box with plastic we had in the shed for making cloches. Many jokes were made.

A sign we after doing ok even as fire evacuation zones creep ever closer.

Earlier the basement smelled really smoky. We have covered over the empty fireplace, sealing it closed. We've had cardboard over it, almost forgetting it entirely. We're also limiting exiting the house to keep smoke from coming in.

Ash had been falling for a few hours now.

We'll be preparing for possible evacuation the next couple of days. We're only a few miles from an area that's at Level 1 (Get Ready) already.

The weather is shifting though. The winds have already settled down.


Another Day, Another Disaster

Parts of Oregon burned overnight. More burned, continues to burn. Places I went as a kid, places I had family or friends, places I went to with friends, a place I started my yoga therapy journey.

Places I love.

Unlike the Eagle Creek Fire 3 years ago, which devastated a beloved wilderness area, these fires are taking out small towns, hot springs, lodges and homes.

A friend shared with me today that a place she’d just sent me photos of, the home of friends’ she’s visited for over 20 years, is gone.

On a call with my yoga community and we talked about the load people are dealing with. In Portland that load is:

Ghouls in Charge of COVID Response/Country
Election/Post-election Chaos
Protests Against Police Violence (100+ days)
Fire Season Burning Away Oregon/West Coast

Then we have our cat dying.

Thankfully WE are growing closer and stronger together.



The West Coast is on fire.

On top of everything else this year, we're having another serious fire season. The sky at the State Capital today was crimson at noon. A fire followed the Interstate into Medford, then followed the greenway and is burning right through the urban area. Fires rage all over the county adjacent.

Called to get the steroids for Obie ordered in liquid form from the compounding pharmacy. Only 2 more doses of the pill getting his digestive system to settle. He's fading, we don't anticipate more than a few more weeks, at best.