Are We a Tribe?

Why Women need a Tribe                  

Tanja Taljaard and Azriel Re'Shel, writing in 2016, think so.  So do I.
In truth, I think we are one...with some familial tension among us on most days...

I've posted this link, with only a quick scan, to save it for us, and to follow some interesting links...
My tribe, however, does not require chanting, incense, beads, shawls, or paint. 
Though it is quite possible that any or all of these things might come in handy at one point or another.


What's it like to have the M.A.I.D. drugs sitting on your kitchen counter?

Ronni Bennett knows now. Read her impressions and thoughts here.

As is usual with her, she writes with humor and honesty in this quote:
"But I suspect that more often now I will take up the questions that have both buoyed and bedeviled me from time to time
and even, in a couple of cases, made me laugh:
Will I have breakfast on the last morning? If so, how will I choose? Cheerios? Scrambled eggs? Maybe just a muffin with jam?
Should I wash the dishes or leave them for someone else?
And what does one wear to one's own death, especially when you know you are dressing for the final time?
To whom should I look for inspiration? Anne Boleyn? Marie Antoinette? Lady Jane Grey?"

Her post is well worth the read, IMO.


"Old age should burn and rave..." or maybe not...

Riffin' on Ronni Bennett again.  She is now under hospice care at home.

She says no.
"Going gentle into my personal good night is one reason I have embraced medical aid in dying.
Those drugs will send me on my way quietly without a prolonged period of decline or pain."

I confess that I tend to lean into the idea (of suicide), if not the reality.

But/and I know that a bit of depression is so common now that it is effecting almost everyone.  (and I have my therapist on Speed Dial!)
I've wondered about suicide rates in these months. There has been a lot written about the subject, mostly from a therapeutic POV.
You'll find no end of articles on Google if you're so inclined.

I'm completely with Ronni regarding attitude, though. I want to go gently. I believe it's a 'good night'.
The hard part now, when I contemplate my death, is the solitude the pandemic has/is enforcing.
I really don't want to die now...
...when it might be days before anyone knows it.
...or when someone might stop by and find Mango picking katecrone out of his teeth.    That's funny, you know.

And I kind of hope someone will be standing by, even though I know I'll make that trip alone.

 

 


"What it's like to be dying"

I'm not going to comment on this post today. Just want to post it here.  (How I long for our group meetings...)

This is from Ronni Bennett, one of the Internet's recognized experts on aging, who has been told now, that she qualifies for Hospice
...meaning her doctor expects her to have less than 6 months to live. 

Her words in this post from June 15th, are worthy of our time, and may even inform some of our own choices in our futures.

I've found that Ronni has quite a presence on the wider web, as well.    
If you're curious, an online search will turn up several interviews and a Wikipedia entry.           

 

  


"Question to self: When is it too late to change one’s default state?"

The title of this post comes from an essay I'm eager to share with you. Click here to read the full article.
It was written by Charlotte Wood, originally for The Griffith Review, a literary magazine from Australia; and now published by The Guardian. 

This essay's title is "What Are We Really Afraid of When We Think of Old Age? Ms. Wood writes from the POV of a woman in her mid 50's, and begins her essay with this question:

"In a black-and-white thinking culture, how should we consider the richness of who we are in old age?"

I really like thinking about "the richness" of old age. Mine is proving to be so.
Not far into the article, she mentions an elderly gerontologist she met at a dinner. He recounted tales of some of his patients and at one point..   I quote her here:

"Later, he asked me: “How many years of your life would you trade for a Booker Prize?”

“What?!  None!” I replied. I was surprised at the vehemence and speed of my answer, and that I knew it to be absolutely true.

Then he asked, “What if they were the years between 85 and 95?”

Hmmm."


Would you trade some of your years for anything?  Would you if you could pick the years?

She writes:
"
Our predictions for old age foresee an epoch of physical incapacity and psychic misery, in contrast with our vital, flourishing youth. But last night on my couch I spent five minutes scribbling down a list of the troubles that plagued me and those in my social circle – middle class, well educated, well resourced – before we turned 50."

She follows this with a list of illnesses, conditions, and other frailties that she knows of among her younger friends. The list she came up with is about 3-4 times as long as the quoted paragraph above. 

Attitudes about aging vary widely. This is clear in her article. What is also clear is that most of the harsher attitudes come from the Youngers among us. We old folks tend to take it much better, "finding greater contentment, more peace, more comfort with ambiguity, deeper gratitude, and a focus on more meaningful engagement in the present."

I'm tempted to quote more, but then you'd have nothing to read! 


May 22, 2020 no meeting; no minutes; plenty of Missing.

I last posted minutes on March 13, 2020, after our last IRL (in real life) meeting. We were already talking about Covid-19.

You'll no doubt remember our two Skype meeting. We were never successful at getting everyone on the calls.
We gave up after those calls on March 27th and April 10th. Zoom seemed too risky, so we agreed not to meet in person for the time being.
Who the Hell knew it would be so long, and still...there is no real end in sight?

I'm likely to wander around and find a safe way for us to try again.  I miss you like crazy. 

Here is a very cool song by an artist I was recently introduced to: Carrie Newcomer.


A Woman Living Alone

Subtitled "Seven Stories of Solitude During the Coronavirus, from ages 24 to 86",  this story comes from the Washington Post
and is written by Caroline Kitchener.       

I'm not going to reprint it here, though I recommend it to you as an interesting read.
Our group includes four women who live alone:  Jessica, Angie, Irma, and me. 
Irma is without pets, too; Angie, do you have animals?

I'm not sure if or how that might make our experience during this social isolation different from
the experience the rest of you are having. But I think it might be interesting to explore.
(and sometimes I'm just fishing for stuff to do...)
  


 

 

 


MAID: Medical Aid in Dying and/or Death w/Dignity (and a mention of Death Doulas)

Ronni's blog post today... titled as above without the parenthetical phrase.

I'm not going to reprint it here; it's an easy jump to her page. As you may remember, she has pancreatic cancer and COPD. She is THREE years past the cancer diagnosis and surprised to be here still. She expected death much sooner.

She has had the 1st conversation with her doctor about the options and requirements of using that law, and discusses that conversation openly, clearly and, in her style, without emotion. She has broken much ground in sharing information about aging and now about dying. I hope you'll choose to read this and other posts from her.

I want to comment on the terms being used by the lawmakers. I'm with Ronni on this point: 
With the possible exception of sudden violent trauma (accidents, wars, etc.), ALL deaths are accomplished with dignity.
To name such a compassionate law Death with Dignity implies that other deaths are somehow less dignified, less noble, less than. 
That irritates some bone in the back of my brain!!
Might just be me and semantics, again, but I believe the words we choose carry a certain energy.

Some states use the other phrase: Medical Aid in Dying - MAID. The acronym is not thrilling to me, but the whole phrase seems more appropriate. That is also the terminology used in Canada, though one comment on the blog post did say that finding doctors willing to follow the law upon request is difficult, because many Canadian docs refuse to prescribe the legal drugs citing religious conflict.
It's heartless and ridiculous that we in the US treat our pets better than our families. 
(I make an intentional distinction between pets and livestock.)

She also mentions Death Doulas for the first time... or perhaps that was a commenter. I'm curious about your knowledge of that field. Have you heard of Death Doulas? I'll include a link or two I've been following recently if you're interested in learning a little about it. Do you think that a doula would be a welcome part of your dying process?
Going With Grace   a website by Alua Arthur   Read about her on the 'About' page at the link. 
YouTube home of Going with Grace. She has many 1 minute videos you might enjoy.

A Minute on the Life Lottery  a video by Alua Arthur. This is literally 58 seconds long. and joyous! and a wonderful POV on life.
Watch it now:


Deathbed Planning is a 9.33 minute video done by Mortician, Caitlin Doughty of YouTube's Ask a Mortician. She's spotlighting Alua Arthur's work showing what Caitlin's deathbed might look like and what might be done. Caitlin's website.  

NONE of these links or videos are remotely depressing. Caitlin is a practicing mortician and is on the front lines of what is known as the Death Positive Movement.
I'm definitely interested in the possibility of a doula for my own death.

I hope you'll read and comment on the post.  (I might have a tiny crush on this woman!)
Thanks. 
  

 

 


Distance and Solidarity a poem by Chase Beach

Kate H. shared this poem with us by email today. It seems like a good fit here. 

 


Distance and Solidarity

This puzzling reality we are all facing, 
that in order to stay safe 
we must stay away. 

We stay away 
in order to remain, in a way, together.
 
If we are afraid enough
of one another, 
or FOR one another, 
we may be able 
to save each other. 
 
Love and fear, 
distance and solidarity 
have never been 
so obviously conjoined. 
 
Thanks, Kate.

Our Random Thoughts about and/or during the Covid-19 Pandemic

This post will contain the random comments we send to each other thru the Salon email group.
We might want to look back one day...

3/30/20 from Kate: (copied from elsewhere on this site)
"Kate shared this by email the other day and gave me permission to post it here with her comment.  

To Live 

To live content with small means;
To seek elegance rather than luxury, and style rather than fashion;
To be worthy, not respectable and wealthy, not rich;
To apply talent, think quietly, talk kindly, act frankly;
To listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages with open heart;
To bear all patiently, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never;
In short, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common.
This is my symphony.
    -
H. Channing 

"Thank you all for being women who spur me to all these aspirations, and accept me when I miss them by a mile."   - Kate H.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

4-15-20 from Kate H.
"You’ve probably all thought of this but I will voice it for us all.  This all makes more [me] grateful for every breath I take
while so many struggle; makes me face again the fragility of my life, the wonder of the body’s delicate balance and the beautiful horror of how a viral molecule can send the world to its knees. Carpe down" (I'm guessing that auto-correct ate the word Diem)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

4/15/20 from Jess:
"I love you all! 

I love that we can embrace and share, even from a distance (for now).
Thank you, Nona, for the gift of the poem.
Thank you, Kate for your words of wisdom on gratitude.
And for all the ways you ALL inspire simply by your presence and through your comments in this thread.
Happiness, hugs, & blessings to you all as we continue to navigate our new world...
All my love~"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One Hundred Thousand

 

100,000 now, but I am unable to see or hear or feel

what it means, really means —-
to the bride whose dad won’t walk her down the aisle,
to the mom who dreamed her graduate”s dreams,
or the man who lost the one, gone at 45, who showed him how to be a man. 

 

I can’t see the tears

or hear the weeping

or feel the depth of anguish

at not being there

to hold their hand

look in those eyes

or say I’ll miss you so much. 

I can’t imagine. 

 

100,000 

times 

20 hearts full of memories

times 

scores of nights filled with tears

times 

a myriad long days with no voice in the house

no calls from him

no stories to hear or tell. 

 

But I can look at those 1,000 names on a New York Times front page and try to imagine the
99 pages more it would take to know all your names. 

 

It’s not fair 

you got the short straw,

not fair the one who wore no mask that day,

not fair that the share of love you earned 

is costing your loved ones an equal share of pain. 

 

100,000 now. 

 

-Kate H.  May 27, 2020


Covid & Climate & Summer...

Climate Change Won't Stop for the Corona Pandemic.

it's a long read and not fun.

 
I do know that most, if not all, of my friends are smart and savvy on many levels.
I share this from an excess of caution and love, and because we all know people who are not smart.

So while you're keeping yourself safe from the virus, remember to prepare early for possible other SH*t that may go on later.
Love you. Miss you.




Kate


To Live...

Kate shared this by email the other day and gave me permission to post it here with her comment.  

To Live 

To live content with small means;
To seek elegance rather than luxury, and style rather than fashion;
To be worthy, not respectable and wealthy, not rich;
To apply talent, think quietly, talk kindly, act frankly;
To listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages with open heart;
To bear all patiently, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never;
In short, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common.
This is my symphony.
    -
H. Channing 

 

"Thank you all for being women who spur me to all these aspirations, and accept me when I miss them by a mile."   - Kate H.                                                                                         


"The Dakini Speaks" and "On Meeting Death" by Jennifer Welwood

The Dakini Speaks

 

My friends, let’s grow up.
Let’s stop pretending we don’t know the deal here.
Or if we truly haven’t noticed, let’s wake up and notice.
Look: Everything that can be lost, will be lost.
It’s simple — how could we have missed it for so long?
Let’s grieve our losses fully, like ripe human beings,
But please, let’s not be so shocked by them.
Let’s not act so betrayed,
As though life had broken her secret promise to us.
Impermanence is life’s only promise to us,
And she keeps it with ruthless impeccability.
To a child she seems cruel, but she is only wild,
And her compassion exquisitely precise:
Brilliantly penetrating, luminous with truth,
She strips away the unreal to show us the real.
This is the true ride — let’s give ourselves to it!
Let’s stop making deals for a safe passage:
There isn’t one anyway, and the cost is too high.
We are not children anymore.
The true human adult gives everything for what cannot be lost.
Let’s dance the wild dance of no hope!

written by Jennifer Welwood of No Mind's Land        

And while creating the links here, I found This One!!   

 

On Meeting Death

Tonight, Pluto, with the crescent moon as my witness,
I welcome you as my lover.
If you have come to break down my door,
See, I have opened it,
And wait here for you at its threshold.
If you have come to tear off my clothes,
I have flung them aside already,
And stand naked, shivering gladly.
If you have come to hurl me into the abyss,
Watch now, as I release all false supports, one by one,
And fall toward you in ecstasy.
Hear this, Pluto, lord of transformative fire:
What you have come to take from me, I offer you.


Pandemic by Lynn Unger

Pandemic by Lynn Unger            

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.

And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love-
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live. 

 

I did not write this. I mean no copyright infringement. I post here because this is beautiful and important.                                          


An Imagined Letter from COVID-19 to Humans by Kristin Flyntz

An Imagined Letter from COVID-19 to Humans by Kristin Flyntz

Stop. Just stop.
It is no longer a request. It is a mandate.
We will help you.

We will bring the supersonic, high speed merry-go-round to a halt
We will stop
the planes
the trains
the schools
the malls
the meetings
the frenetic, furied rush of illusions and “obligations” that keep you from hearing our
single and shared beating heart,
the way we breathe together, in unison.
Our obligation is to each other,
As it has always been, even if, even though, you have forgotten.

We will interrupt this broadcast, the endless cacophonous broadcast of divisions and distractions,
to bring you this long-breaking news:
We are not well.
None of us; all of us are suffering.
Last year, the firestorms that scorched the lungs of the earth
did not give you pause.
Nor the typhoons in Africa, China, Japan.
Nor the fevered climates in Japan and India.
You have not been listening.
It is hard to listen when you are so busy all the time, hustling to uphold the comforts and conveniences that scaffold your lives.
But the foundation is giving way,
buckling under the weight of your needs and desires.
We will help you.
We will bring the firestorms to your body
We will bring the fever to your body
We will bring the burning, searing, and flooding to your lungs
that you might hear:
We are not well.

Despite what you might think or feel, we are not the enemy.
We are Messenger. We are Ally. We are a balancing force.
We are asking you:
To stop, to be still, to listen;
To move beyond your individual concerns and consider the concerns of all;
To be with your ignorance, to find your humility, to relinquish your thinking minds and travel deep into the mind of the heart;
To look up into the sky, streaked with fewer planes, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, smoky, smoggy, rainy? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy?
To look at a tree, and see it, to notice its condition: how does its health contribute to the health of the sky, to the air you need to be healthy?
To visit a river, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, clean, murky, polluted? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy? How does its health contribute to the health of the tree, who contributes to the health of the sky, so that you may also be healthy?

Many are afraid now.
Do not demonize your fear, and also, do not let it rule you. Instead, let it speak to you—in your stillness,
listen for its wisdom.
What might it be telling you about what is at work, at issue, at risk, beyond the threats of personal inconvenience and illness?
As the health of a tree, a river, the sky tells you about the quality of your own health, what might the quality of your health tell you about the health of the rivers, the trees, the sky, and all of us who share this planet with you?

Stop.
Notice if you are resisting.
Notice what you are resisting.
Ask why.

Stop. Just stop.
Be still.
Listen.
Ask us what we might teach you about illness and healing, about what might be required so that all may be well.
We will help you, if you listen.

~ Kristin Flyntz 3.12.2020

I did not write this. I mean no copyright infringement. I share because it is powerful, beautiful, and important.

                     


March 13, 2020 - Coronavirus and Covid-19 With Links

Like, what else would we talk about today!?!?

There were 8 of us present today! Yea! Angela, Revin, Irma, Mel, Kate H., LB, NE, and I.
That's something that may not be happening for awhile as we sequester ourselves in these coming weeks/months.   

I'm going to post the 2 things I read in our "Essays" section, as well as links on that page.

Here is a link to the Dutch designer NE told us about. NE's favorite quote from this short article is,
     "It's almost as if the virus is an amazing grace for the planet."
Her reasons for saying that make sense to me.

We talked about the things that scare us about this virus and its repercussions.  We are not panicked at all.
We are mostly old, so we all fall into that risk category, and a few of us (or someone very close to us) have other contributing risk factors. 
These are things that concern us today:
  Staying 'balanced' in ourselves.
  Other folks panicking.
  Traveling.
  Economic impact. (more for our community than for ourselves individually)
  Helplessness - Kate quoted, "It's like a tornado is coming; dad's drunk on the couch; and I'm 7 years old."

It seems like that a bit to me, too, and partly because there is so much conflicting information out there.

On another subject, we talked about KIVA and the ability to help internationally, and as a group, thru this organization.
If you are not familiar with them, follow the link and see what you can do there. And feel free to lend Anytime!  :)
I will get our group set up in the next day or two and will let you know when that is ready.

We talked about Days for Girls. I don't want to lose track of this opportunity. I encourage you to donate to this group. I hope that we'll get a sewing circle going at some point. I might even learn!

The only other charity that I support at this moment is RIP Medical Debt. This organization buys up medical debt that has gone to collection agencies and abolishes it! Check out this video:

                                

There is a 'group' component to this organization, too, but I think it is scaled for large companies.
Go to YouTube and search RIP Medical Debt to see tons of videos about this group.

So... now you have things to read...places to donate... 
And Skype to learn between now and next week.  Have fun, Sisters!! 


“Do not lose heart. We were made for these times.” Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D. is "an American poet, psychoanalyst, and post-trauma specialist who was raised in now nearly vanished oral and ethnic traditions. She is a first-generation American who grew up in a rural village, population 600, near the Great Lakes."You may remember her "Women Who Run With the Wolves". In this insightful article Estes reassures us that we are, indeed, made for these times.

Consider this excerpt:


          "Yet … I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. 
         
Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is – we were made for these times.

Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement. I cannot tell you often enough that we are definitely the leaders we have been waiting for, and that we have been raised, since childhood, for this time precisely.

…I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able crafts in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind.

I would like to take your hands for a moment and assure you that you are built well for these times. Despite your stints of doubt, your frustrations in arighting all that needs change right now, or even feeling you have lost the map entirely, you are not without resource, you are not alone."

And then continue to enjoy her encouraging words. 


Ursula K. Le Guin on Being a Man

This article was found on Brain Pickings, written by Maria Popova.  I keep going to unsubscribe from her newsletters only to find so many more interesting things, that I just never unsub... 

Ursula K. Le Guin was a very influential American writer (October 21, 1929 – January 22, 2018). "Frequently described as an author of science fiction, Le Guin has also been called a "major voice in American Letters", and herself said she would prefer to be known as an "American novelist"."

"She blends anthropology, social psychology, and sheer literary artistry to explore complex, often difficult subjects with remarkable grace. Subjects, for instance, like who we are and what gender really means as we — men, women, ungendered souls — try to inhabit our constant tussle between inner and outer, individual and social, private and performative.

"This is what Le Guin examines in an extraordinary essay titled “Introducing Myself,” which Le Guin first wrote as a performance piece in the 1980s and later updated for the beautifully titled, beautifully written, beautifully wide-ranging 2004 collection The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader, and the Imagination. To speak of a subject so common by birth and so minced by public discourse in a way that is completely original and completely compelling is no small feat — in fact, it is the kind of feat of writing Jack Kerouac must have had in mind when he contemplated the crucial difference between genius and talent."

Consider this excerpt:                    
 
"I am a man. Now you may think I’ve made some kind of silly mistake about gender, or maybe that I’m trying to fool you, because my first name ends in a, and I own three bras, and I’ve been pregnant five times, and other things like that that you might have noticed, little details. But details don’t matter… I predate the invention of women by decades. Well, if you insist on pedantic accuracy, women have been invented several times in widely varying localities, but the inventors just didn’t know how to sell the product. Their distribution techniques were rudimentary and their market research was nil, and so of course the concept just didn’t get off the ground. Even with a genius behind it an invention has to find its market, and it seemed like for a long time the idea of women just didn’t make it to the bottom line. Models like the Austen and the Brontë were too complicated, and people just laughed at the Suffragette, and the Woolf was way too far ahead of its time."      

With wit and charm, Le Guin continues her essay On Being a Man. 

I do hope you'll read it, and perhaps, enjoy it as much as I did. 
                          

 


February 28, 2020 - A short one...

I was in Texas on the 28th, happily closing on the sale of our family cotton farm.
Nona and Kim were on the road, on a trip to pick up Nona's aunt Verna and bring her back to her homestead near Capitan.
I think Irma had the 'crud' at that time, and others were engaged elsewhere. 
Revin and Angela volunteered to host that day. Angela provided the minutes below:

"Revin and I enjoyed it. Vanessa was our sole attendee. So we just talked about what’s going on for us. She’s dealing with the difficulties of aging parents, etc. Revin and I talked about our experiences with that. Revin mentioned a new book she purchased, “The Art of Dying Well”. It sounds perfect for Salon.
We then adjourned to Ranchers where Mel and Kate joined us.
I missed you!     - Angela"

I missed you, too. This group is just so important to me, as it seems to be to us all.  Color me smiling!
And I also agree that it would be good to hear more about the book Revin mentioned.  Perhaps a report when you've read it, Revin?
I'm happy that the group expanded a bit to include Kate & Mel at Rancher's; that's a very cool way to end our time together!    :)


An Acronym to Help Notice Stroke Symptoms

When I read the easy way to remember stroke symptoms below, I thought about all of us.
These may be familiar to you already, but I readily knew only 3 of the 6.
So I include them bc I want us all to be ready, since time is critical when symptoms occur.

The acronym = BE FAST

Balance – Is there a sudden loss of balance or coordination?

Eyes – Is there sudden blurred or double vision or sudden, persistent vision trouble?

Face – Ask the person to smile. Is one or both sides of the face drooping?

Arms – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one side drift downward? Is there weakness or numbness on one side?

Speech – Does the person have slurred or garbled speech? Can he/she repeat simple phrases?

Time – Call 911 for immediate medical attention if you notice one or more of these signs. Also, take note of when symptoms began.

“May you be well in body and mind.“ ❤️                -Kate H.


February 14, 2020 - Questions inspired by a National Geographic issue on Women

Five were present for our Valentine's Day meeting: Kate H., Angela, Revin, Nona, and I.

We had brief updates from Nona regarding her decisions about her aunt. Verna will be coming to live with Nona and Kim in the next few weeks. We'll get to exercise our Holding Space talents for them over time, whether they need our physical presence or not.  And we acknowledged that we are building this group with these issues of aging and support as paramount.

We continue to acknowledge the losses currently impacting us. Our former member, NH, has lost 2 dogs in the last 3 weeks,
and Angela and Revin are still feeling Rose's absence, naturally.
We are all animal lovers of one stripe or another; we know that the deaths of our fur-friends are not just simple events, but ongoing holes in our hearts.

In the last 'business' point, I asked for volunteers to host the next meeting since I will be in Texas for the closing of the sale of my family farm. It will be good to be done with that aspect of my life; I'm very grateful that we have not been raising animals! Angela and Revin stepped up to volunteer, so
The February 28th meeting of our Salon will be at their home in Upper Canyon. Details will follow.


Kate facilitated a rich discussion today inviting us to consider how we have claimed, or are claiming, our identities and empowerment as women, and using the questions below:

What is your greatest strength?

What is the greatest hurdle you’ve overcome in claiming your power/equality/
independence as a female?

What was your breakthrough moment?

What is the greatest challenge women face today?

What needs to change in the next ten years?

What advice would you give a young woman today?

The discussion was fun and interesting. Many good points were mentioned.
It was nice to acknowledge our strength, wisdom, and power as Women and as Elders.