Ghee Club




There’s something magical about ghee— especially when you make it yourself.

I made some last night.

Hypnotized by the bubbling butter–I glimpsed a moment from my past.




I do not want to be in MacBeth, I said.

It will be good for you.  You’d never do it if I did not make you, she said.

At first– I thought she–Mrs. Gonzales–my 6th grade teacher –was punishing me.  I was obsessed with glitter markers and puffy stickers.  I mistakenly thought Mrs. Gonzales might appreciate the razzle-dazzle on my homework and quizzes.  I now know she was only trying to cultivate confidence–and pull me out of my shell.

My role in MacBeth was tiny.  I was really just a prop on the stage–in the background, in every scene.

Like a piece of furniture or a rock, she said.

I was way too nervous at the audition–barely there– teeter-tottering on the edge of fainting–sweating, turning red, mumbling.  That’s why Mrs. Gonzales came up with the furniture/rock idea.  My twin sister was a servant.  She even had a line to read.

If I could go back in time–I’d help my younger self.

Stop–take a breath–have faith.

I’d give myself a pat on the back or a nudge or a tickle– then I’d remember–  it’s  all  a game– things will work out– they always do.



The New Boy



Little Laddi (Aladdin) did it deliberately–passionately licking my face–way too close to my mouth–while staring at the big girl Kookaburra.  He wanted a reaction.




But just like the night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind or another…

All that prancing and dancing, chewing and scratching–they were pesky annoyances–a mosquito buzzing in Kookaburra’s ears.



Kookaburra’s deep, low growl, exposed teeth and turned  back was enough said.  Laddi was kept at a distance.

By this point– it was obvious–Kookaburra had already stepped into a private boat and waved good-bye and sailed back over a year and in and out of weeks and through a day…

She was having a moment.



Kookaburra was very  sad after she met Laddi.  Too wrapped up in our own grief–we did not even think to tell Kookaburra about Brooke–my older sister’s other dog.

And now suddenly–there’s this playboy who just wants to  love  her!


Down the Street


Nearly halfway between my house and The White House–there’s a Buddhist Monastery. From either direction –it’s really just down the street.  The monks walk every morning.

Their walk has a quiet feel to it.  Like a whisper.

I had this dream (twice) that I was a monk–living in a monastery.  There was this island place we’d go to–but only in our minds.  We used sound to get there.  I can still see the flickering candles on the island from up above.  I will never forget that night sky–so lovely–a squid inky black.

The monks at the monastery–the one just down the street– are usually silent while walking. Occasionally one or two of them will beat a drum.

This morning–one of the monks was sitting on the monastery steps–with a Tibetan Singing Bowl.

The  sound was transporting.



More Than Just Dirt



There’s no time like the present.  I had that scribbled on a piece of paper– taped to a window that only gets opened on nice days.  I often do that–put little reminder notes here and there–and everywhere.  And today was very warm for January.  There’s no time like the present–a personal meta message to do something unusual.

But–with yesterday’s rain– everything’s all squishy.

So squishy that a bad boy red fox with black eye liner eyes– which made him look more bookish than bandit–was able to squish under a gap in the fence and strut around the back yard like he owned it.

I put my little reminder note in my pocket.  I figured I had all day to get to it–and I would– eventually.  I even knew what I was going to do.  Kookaburra does it all the time.


You should have seen Kookaburra– frantically running around, searching for every  trace of that Don Juan fox with his oh-so-obvious-nightly-howling serenades.  I envy her, though. She has an electricity about her–a particular way of expressing herself with total abandon–no matter who’s watching.

I waited until the  housekeeper across the street went home. She’s always watching.  I even know where her perch is.  Sometimes I’ll wave just to get a reaction.  Then the curtains will move.


With shoes and socks off–and a towel nearby– and the hose at the ready–I finally found just the right spot– and I plunged my bare feet into that super squishy, cold dirt.

And it was spectacularly exhilarating.



A Tea Party



“What about the girls–we have 4 girls!”  That’s what my mom said to my dad when he gave up his great paying job so a coworker could work. The company could no longer afford both of them.  I think my dad just wanted something different.  He was too happy–too excited about leaving his job.




We had a great time with our dad–going to museums, the zoo, the park–playing–having fun. At the end of the day– he always read to us.  My mother once said, “You’re lucky! Not every father likes being one.”  Our mom was understandably bitter– but I think she was also envious. She was right, though–we were very lucky–but lucky to have them both.




Our parents had separate his and hers bathrooms.  His bathroom was up on the third floor. It was like the Star-Spangled Banner–all red, white and blue striped.  We would watch him shave in the morning.  Our dad relished his morning routine with that soapy sink and foggy mirror–jazz music  playing.  One by one he’d put swirls of shaving cream on our noses, while he splashed on aftershave.  Ever since–I’ve been completely captivated by men’s grooming and style.




We used to have the best tea parties. We had these tiny little cups and saucers. The house specialty was our dad’s homemade ginger tea.  It was an elixir–made by simmering fresh ginger root in water with brown sugar. He always had a bowl of lemon slices to go with it.

Our dad often talked about how his father’s family (from Bermuda) loved ginger tea too.  “It was de-licious!” our dad would say, “much better than mine.”



These days– we still have ginger tea. Sometimes we’ll have it like our dad used to make it with fresh ginger and sometimes we’ll have it the super-fast-quick way– with dried ginger.  And of course,  we always have lemon slices on the side.





Not exactly night and day–but we are different.  I’m usually, but not always– the guinea pig–the one who tries new things first.  If all goes well– then my identical twin sister, Akwelle, might give it a shot.  We have completely different interpretations of everything.  We are more like complementary opposites–competitors, even.  We absolutely do not complete each other–as some might think.  We are individuals who just happen to look alike– twins.



Our mother, Alberta,  has come a long way since her stroke– last January. She is recovering well–but she still compares herself to the self she was before.  She has always had trouble sleeping.  But since the stroke–it’s gotten worse.  Tossing and turning at night-staying up–anxiously  wondering when she will see improvement.   My mom’s doctor suggested she take a magnesium supplement–an hour or two before bedtime.  He said it would ease her into a more relaxed state–for a more restful night’s sleep.




The magnesium supplement is working out well for our mom.  She still has to go to the bathroom a few times a night–but she is less restless, more at ease.




The other night– I was curious. I wanted to try the  magnesium supplement.  I told my twin sister, Akwelle, my plan.  “I don’t think that’s a good idea–given your sleep history,” Akwelle said.  My sleep history– what sleep history?  I had no idea what she was talking about.  “Your sleepwalking!” she said.

I had forgotten all about my sleepwalking episodes–once or twice in childhood– a few times in college and then once or twice after that.  Maybe 5-6-7 times total.  I have that under control– I don’t even think about it anymore.

Actually, by the time I told Akwelle my plan, I had already taken the magnesium.  And– I was already sensing a change.  Yawn, yawn. I was feeling  very relaxed. Akwelle’s concerns did not even rattle me  as  I settled into a cozy, sleepy zone-dropping into a calm ocean of marshmallowy fluffiness–down, down, down–all thoughts exiting my mind–  gone–blissfully asleep.



The next night– Akwelle tried the magnesium supplement. She too reported a very good night’s sleep.  Only she dreamt she was the neighbor boy.



Eye Get It


I know, I know–I already know–I should’ve listened to my mother. I did not even need those reading glasses. But the way they were displayed at the grocery store–on that giant, plush, stuffed giraffe–it was like kryptonite.  I could not resist them.  Plus, giraffe is my  power animal!

I was slow about it though. It’s not like I started wearing the glasses at the checkout stand. I started wearing them casually– at home.  I was reading one of my favorite books, Fragrant–The Secret Life of Scentby Mandy Aftel.  Does that say  4 or 5 drops of ylang ylang?   I had absolutely no choice–I was forced to put the glasses on.  Yes, 4 drops– phew!  Thanks new glasses!

But–just like my mother predicted– I started to rely on the glasses.  It happened super fast too. Oh, I’m fine.  My eyes are fine.  I’m just using the glasses temporarily–for accuracy,  just to double check–only when needed.

Now–my glasses dependency is making me buy crazy things.  Last week, I  bought one of those eyeglass chains–like the kind librarians wear– to keep their glasses ready for action. Woohoo, this librarian look  is the best–it’s totally me I also bought some Hush Puppies.  




Oh, if only I’d bought that  giant-plush-stuffed giraffe instead of those adorable glasses.  Maybe now  I’d be a cacao farmer or even a ceramicist.  Didn’t you know–giraffes are wish fulfilling, prophetic, supernatural, non-mythical creatures!  It’s because they stay away from fluoride and are very mindful of their thoughts.  They are totally in tune with their third eye.




But–I am not worried–because if there are cats who can do Nia— there’s hope.



And–I can always do  eye exercises.