Month: November 2022

A milestone birthday


It’s been another week since I’ve written, so I thought I’d check in. Ever since I learned that I had fractured my foot, my days have been very quiet, so there hasn’t been much to report. Under the surface, though, I’m feeling powerful, positive changes in my life.

For one, I’ve decided to quit resisting the fact that I seem to be “stuck” in Portland for a while. Do I like the weather here this time of year? As I’m sure you all know by now, the answer is no. In the past week, we have had heavy rains, as well as sunny days with highs in the 40s and overnight lows near freezing.

But this is how my life is unfolding right now, and I’m now choosing to sink into it, rather than fighting it.

I’m staying in the home of my friend Jill, on the eastern edge of Portland (not far from Debbie’s place, actually) while Jill is dog sitting for her cousin in the Seattle area. For this week—at least, and possibly longer—I have no real household responsibilities such as pet or plant care, so I am treating this place as a healing oasis, and very much appreciating it.

I have been sitting on the couch, grateful for the warmth and dryness as I watch the weather out the windows. I have been working on my book. I have been making phone calls about health insurance and various medical and dental issues. (Good news on that front—I got my permanent denture on Monday the 7th, and it fits great!) I am working on getting a primary care physician set up, although the first available appointment is February 13th. Eek! Will I still be in Portland then? Will I return here for it? Will I end up rescheduling it so that I can avoid being here then? Time will tell.

I’ve been doing Zooms with friends old and new, including talking to someone who I might end up cat sitting for in an incredible forest oasis of a home in southern Oregon, just after Thanksgiving. I’ll have to see how my foot is doing at that point, but Jane and I are both setting the intention that it will work out.

Meanwhile, on November 8th (yes, Election Day) I turned 50!

I managed to hobble out of the house and onto my bike (pedaling with my right heel, just for the five minutes of the ride) to a nearby spa for a birthday massage. I used a Groupon credit I had “earned” in Tempe, Arizona, back in February, when I tried and failed to get a massage at that time. (I then tried and failed to use the credit twice more, first in Austin and later in Ann Arbor, so it felt especially poignant to finally gift it to myself on my special day.)

As I alluded a few posts ago, my main gift to myself for this milestone birthday was a forest-goddess-themed photo shoot, outside of Eugene, with my photographer friend Marcella Dean. I was wanting to visually capture the inner transformation I’ve been feeling for the past few months (years? It’s hard for me to remember how long this has been growing.)

We did the shoot a few weeks ago—and I’m so grateful for that timing, before the rain, before the daylight-time change, and before the fractured metatarsal—and she finished the edits on the 7th, the day before my birthday, so it worked out perfectly.

I love spending time in the forest, and I’m so glad I’ve been able to do so as much as I have this past year, all around the continent in a variety of climates. And, as I turn 50, I begin to enter the “crone” phase of my life. Rather than mourning the loss of my youth, I’m enjoying choosing to embrace the beauty and strength of the wisdom that only time can grant.

I wanted to share some of the photos here. Looking at them helps me to continue feeling inspired, despite my temporary setbacks on this journey.

Thank you, as always, for following along.

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Plot twist


Boy, is it rainy here in Portland. It is November as all get out around here. I have been pining every day for sunshine and warmth.

My dental work has been coming along steadily, with appointments every one to two weeks. I finally got the new denture today. It fits OK, but unfortunately I can tell I will need an adjustment in the next couple of days. I was hoping to have that all wrapped up, so that I could finally get out of this rain and gloom, by the 16th. It seemed that I was on track to do so.

But now I’ve broken my foot.

It’s not a major break; just a stress fracture, as best today’s nurse practitioner could glean from the X-ray.

I’ll back up a bit.

I had been having a cozy, very relaxing time for the past week here with my Servas friend Debbie, in outer NE Portland on the edge of Gresham. I really hadn’t been out much, because the weather has been so dismal. But last weekend, during a brief sun break, I took the bus to the grocery store to stock up on some provisions. The bus stop is about ten blocks from the house, and then I visited two grocery stores, about ten blocks apart from each other. So by the time I got home, I had walked a total of about thirty minutes. I began noticing that my right foot was hurting with each step. I thought it was odd, and couldn’t understand why that might be the case. I briefly considered that it might be broken, but concluded that must be absurd, because nothing had happened to the foot. Maybe it was gout? Or some sort of weird arthritis?

I didn’t know, so I just took it extra easy for about four or five days, barely even rising from the couch.

But today I decided to get it looked at. I went to the immediate-care place near my condo—I had been visiting my friend Greg in that neighborhood for a couple of days, so it was convenient—and after examining the foot, asking questions, and reviewing the X-rays she ordered, the nurse practitioner told me she was pretty sure it was a stress fracture. Apparently it is relatively common for such a thing to happen in circumstances like mine, without an obvious “breaking point.”

Needless to say, this is a setback. I am not happy about it.

I will need to stay in town at least another four weeks (possibly up to eight—oof!) to let it heal and get another X-ray to confirm that I’m good to go.

So, it looks like I’ll be here through the end of the month, anyway.


I guess I’ll have plenty of time to get comfy with the new teeth…

But I’ll leave you with some beauty here. The other day—before I realized the foot pain was serious—I carried my bike on the bus into Portland, and visited Laurelhurst Park. I had intended to visit this beautiful pocket of the city last month, when the weather and trees were still summery, but I ran out of time. It’s just as well, because in the aftermath of the early fall rains, the place is now spectacular.

Please enjoy.

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Want to support my vision financially? You can make a one-time or monthly contribution, or even become a Fairy Godfunder! (Heartfelt thanks to all my patrons, contributors, and godfunders!)