let that be a lesson to me

…not to schedule my treats too close together. They were all pretty splendid, but now I need to sleep for a week. Also AMERICAN HEALTH CARE good Christ you are Kafkaesque. The babies broke my thyroid (which is okay, they’re totally worth it) and I’ma be on synthetic thyroid hormones for, well, ever. So! You’d think this would be all right, right? You’d think I could just autorefill and cruise into my chemist, sorry, pharmacy, once a month or so to pick up the levothyroxine?

Yeah. YOU WOULD THINK. But no, every three months, my handsome endocrinologist has to SIGN OFF on the fact that yes, Rach’s thyroid: still broken, please give her the meds, which have no amusing side-effects other than preventing her from devolving into a sloth. And since my endocrinologist is, in addition to being handsome, very dashing and flirty, he is always in with a patient. And so he does not sign off. And so I run out of meds, which turns me into a bitchy sloth –

You may not have ever had thyroid fog, huh? Perhaps these sloth references are being lost on you. Sans levothyroxine, I get very very sensitive to cold, and I slow down physically and, much weirder, mentally. The characteristic sign of thyroid fog is when Jeremy finds me on the couch with a blanket over me, shivering even though it’s warm, and nothing about this strikes me as strange. The first rule of thyroid fog is that it never occurs to me that it’s thyroid fog.

The oddest part is that when I’m not fogged in I don’t notice this, but when I am fogged, all the fizzy popping association-of-ideas that’s constantly going on inside my brain, the pattern matching, the shreds of cello music and lines from Yeats read long ago, Jeremy’s explanations of impedance matching, that short story of Delany’s, the air on my skin, how much I love my Frye’s harness boots, oh that’s how I can spin that new company, I should have been mellower with Claire this morning, what shall I get my mother for her birthday – all of that goes away. So, unfortunately, does my resolution not to get snippy with underpaid service employees no matter how much they stonewall me. So there were some sharp exchanges on the phone, which resulted in me not getting my prescription filled before we drove up to Oz. As a matter of fact, thyroid fog isn’t so bad when I can zone out looking at the Garcia River or huddled in front of the pot-bellied stove; it’s almost pleasant, like the pure physicality of sleep-dep and new-baby-love. But I suspect it makes me very boring to talk to.

Plus I tried to overcompensate by getting my Martha Stewart on. Note to future self: writing lists of clothes and food to take to Oz, plus a checklist of what’s in which bag, worked brilliantly, especially because it lets the girls pack for themselves. Having a plan for what to cook when is also probably a good idea, but you didn’t need to massively over-cater every meal and generate a metric fuckton of washing up. Take a chill pill! …oh, right.

God, though. Oz Farm. So achingly familiar now, the whole hellish drive up (the kids throwing up their milkshakes on the switchbacks over the coast range), the dirt road across the meadow and into the trees, the valley and the farm itself: a world transformed. A busy and happy 21st century CSA built inside the bones of a hippie commune. Then past the farm and through the woods to the river, and then across the log bridge and through a little bit of Middle Earth to the Domes. At which point I sit down in the sunshine and stare across the meadow at the redwoods, and will spend most of the next few days doing pretty much just that.

At harvest time the meadow grass is bone-dry and armed with burrs. It’s yellow and cream and ivory and grey, with much darker grey sticks sticking out of it. And it describes the wind like iron filings describe a magnetic field, in the approved Miyazaki fashion. And the meadow is fringed with bay laurel and live oak and, of course, the redwoods, the most charismatic and enigmatic of all trees.

I didn’t see the deer Ada startled when she was out exploring at dawn, or the bat that whirred over Danny and Liz in their bed, but I saw more raptors than I could count, and great ominous ravens. I saw large speckled lizards and snakes as small and beautiful as bracelets, swimming in the river with their heads above water and their bodies describing mathematical functions of awesome grace. And I spent too much time staring at the sky, which was over-photoshopped blue at noon, sponge-streaked grey-and-apricot trompe l’oeil at dawn and dusk and then at night, the endless dark well behind the Milky Way, with satellites swimming across it.

Nature’s cool.

Um. There is way more I wanted to say, like how great Liz’s dragon roleplay was, and how big Milo now calls me “Shadowstarkness’s human in reality – what is her name?” and how Ada curled up on my lap by the fire. And how I got a couple of Alice Adams novels at the fantastic bookstore in Guernville, and the one I’m reading is just wonderful, and why isn’t she as famous as Philip Roth and John Updike? Oh wait, I think I know. And how we bounced off to see Zoe Keating at Yoshi’s the night after we got back, and also I bought a chair. But almost-1000 words is really too long for a blog post, and so.

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