Arriving in New Hampshire

I had to take a moment to breathe after the awful news that my appeal was denied in California.

After that, I received the news that the Supreme Court of California would not even REVIEW my case.

So… I can now say I’m out of the clouds and happy that I am no longer living in that police state.

I’m here in New Hampshire. We are settled in and finding peace… finally… after 7 years.

I’ve made a completely clean break and have started a completely different blog. Something more hopeful. It can be found here.

The end.

 

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Appeal Denied

We got a full day to ourselves here in Maryland. It was a relief to have some time with just “us” doing homey, family things. Cooking, cleaning, laundry. You know, the things you don’t usually get to do on a roadtrip.

But, almost as though the state of California could see me smiling, I got an email notification that my appeal had been decided on and the opinion published.

They affirmed the judgment in full.

I’ve become a realist during the course of my experience with the state, but I did have a small glimmer of optimism with this one. I shouldn’t have. But it felt so unlikely to fail. The arguments were so good and so beautifully articulated.

Ah, well. It is what it is. And I’m really not that surprised. The state of California is so utterly corrupt.

I posted on my facebook page the following determination: “Appeal was denied. Have fun with your state government, Californians. It is utterly corrupt, without common sense and devoid of humanity. I will NEVER, EVER return to visit it. I will NEVER speak of it with any kind of sweetness or feelings of fondness that one might have for their homeland. I am fully and completely its’ exile and I am horrified to even say I was born there.”

Not only did they deny the appeal, they opined in a deeply evil way: that licensed midwives are not legally allowed to carry medication, give shots or suture. LICENSED MIDWIVES. And therefor, I shouldn’t have been able to do them as a student.

Se la vie. Justice is a shadow here on earth. True justice can only be found in heaven. I’m trying to keep my head up… The idea that what was happening to me ultimately had a higher good or purpose was what kept me going. Now the entire thing appears to be purposeless.

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The Shenandoah Valley

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The view of the hen house from the farm window this morning.

My children woke up before the sun to see a couple inches of snow on the ground and more falling. I rolled over in bed and drifted off to sleep to the sound of their giggles, tramplings and insistence at making a snowman out of the snow they swept together with their arms off any flat surface.

It wasn’t until after sunrise that I discovered my daughter was doing all of this in… shorts.

After a romp in the snow and warming two wet and shivering babies, we had warm oatmeal and tea and I relaxed in a hot bath.

And then we set out for adventure! My cousin drove us over the Blue Ridge Mountains as icy rain pelted the windshield. At the top of the pass we disappeared in the clouds for a while and I breathed a sigh of relief that my cousin was driving and not me. I then also breathed a prayer that driving tomorrow would be easier.

We arrived at our destination: The Pioneer Museum. We tumbled out of the vehicle and began to walk up to the ticket counter. Before we even got there my kids were crying from the cold.

We did a little bit of calculation. The museum is all outdoors. The walk through it is two miles and takes approximately 1.5 hours.

The sum of that equation was two children who would die before they made it back to the car… or at least the adults would have died by nagging.

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The old abandoned insane asylum near the Pioneer Museum in the Shenandoah Valley. Creepy. And yes, that’s a large chimney in the back.

So we spent our time at the museum shop, warming ourselves and sampling fudge instead.

My cousin bought us each gifts. My son got a necklace with some celtic knotwork in metal. It symbolized strong spirituality. She bought me a necklace with a porcelain piece with a celtic design drawn on it that symbolized transformation. And my daughter picked out a couple small cat figurines.

We drove home to see the snow melting. By morning the sun was out and it was hard to tell that we had ever seen snow falling. Perfect weather for our drive into Maryland.

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The Warrior Complex

I have a couple days to catch up on and will write those in the morning. But in the meantime, this is on my brain.

We’ve landed in Maryland. At my aunt and uncle’s home.

It’s a gorgeous home. Three floors. Beautiful and comfortable. Each of us has a room to ourselves. We have the entire house to ourselves for the next three days.

I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for the alone time. But tonight, for some reason, I cannot stop crying.

It’s the comparison: My family’s home is parked on the street. Everything we own is in it.

But, to look at my extended family, one would presume that this is not what I am capable of. Most of my family is incredibly achieving. They work hard. They have degrees.

I feel and overwhelming incredible shame. I know I’ve worked incredibly hard. I went to school for nine years. But I have no degree. I have no job. I have no home. I am unable to provide for my children with any kind of security.

Instead I have this label: Felon.

I feel like that uncle who gets the cake with the bird illustrated on it, flying the coop.

I know that’s not who I am and that I’ve worked very hard, just for things that can’t be seen. But today, as my aunt said, “I think God just wanted you to leave Los Angeles…” I find myself agreeing with her and relieved I have.

But I also am choking on the sadness that I couldn’t make it work. That so many years were wasted with nothing to show for it. That I have to be a burden on others as I try desperately to climb up what seems to be a ladder that is impossible to scale.

That my options are midwifery or starvation. That I have to move across a continent to attempt to not starve and am not even guaranteed it’ll work.

And I just want someone to rescue me from it all and lay my head on their shoulder and tell me they will help me pay the rent and buy the food and pay for the lights to turn on until I know I have work coming in.

And it’s obvious that while I have been fighting this battle there were other people living life and building life. And I feel like I did nothing but try to gasp for breath over and over and over.

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The PTSD of it all hits at the worst moments.

Like the warrior returning from a lost battle. He knows he is loved and is grateful for the care and comfort. But there is a sorrow that knows no words and a horror that cannot be shared. There is a wisdom that comes from an incredible loss.

Midwives should not have to go through this to simply help families.

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Life on the Farm

64113_4581669545869_2113648860_nThe warmth of spicy watercress pricked at my tongue as we plodded through mud and hay between rows and rows of culinary herbs, tomatoes, peppers, lettuces, micro-greens, edible flowers and citrus. The greenhouses fogged up my glasses.

My son jumped excitedly as he explained to my cousin from the city’s children and his sister about how the generators worked and how the plants were watered in their little beds made of rain gutter and piping. The greenhouse cat kneaded into my daughter’s shoulder as she proudly displayed her own gardening knowledge.

The four children ran and skipped as my cousin, the one who runs this place, nervously but assertively reminds them to be kind to her green sprouting things. Everything is lush and fragrant and tastes ten times stronger than anything I’ve bought in a store in California.

I had no idea arugula could taste like this.

Eventually my visiting cousin and her children left and we set to cleaning up the delicious brunch dishes (“you only need wonder about the bacon… it’s the only thing not from the farm… I can’t vouch for the pig,” my cousin had explained).

In another life I’d join her here. It’s peaceful and there is work to be done and it’s work you can feel good about.

My children beckon us both outside to explore and my cousin shows them that her property stretches much farther than even they had thought. They wade in the stream that runs along the length of the fields awaiting planting season. Even though it is nearly freezing they brave the cold and splash and stomp in muddy water.

She tells them stories about the history of these parts and about what the different plants are good for medicinally and about how they grow and about the birds and beasts that live wild. She has seen bald eagles, but only in pairs, she tells me.

576067_4582611489417_511089859_nAnd then we return, hose off, clean up and have a delicious St. Patrick’s day dinner made of steak and a mound of greens and edible flowers the children picked in the greenhouses for us. My cousin whips up a dressing of the farm’s own pesto mixed in yoghurt. And then the children beg for more rose/geranium ice cream.

As the sun sets it begins to snow. They scream and run and jump at the sight again and I wonder how long this wide-eyed amazement will last once we get to New England where the snow is so much more commonplace.

And I sneak away to take a call from a dear friend who is becoming part of the fabric of this journey for me, checking in and becoming a historian, holding space for my transformation from anxious police state escapee to a wild, free and relaxed woman with much wisdom and much desire to embrace what is ahead.

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The Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia

This morning we took our time getting up and packing, reluctant to leave our hostess in Richmond. At least we only had to brave the car for an hour and a half.

We were in for a treat. My cousin and her partner run a natural (they haven’t paid the money and can’t say “organic” though they know how they grow their foods and are inspected as such) farm.

We were greeted by a henhouse full of chickens squawking and some ducks quacking and two very excited dogs. The farm cats watched from their safe perches as my kids ran amok, taking in the wild woods and streams and empty farm fields looking for quartz rocks.

But the sun set before they could take too much of it all in and they were lulled into the house by talk of bears and coyotes and the darkness of the woods at the edge of the blue ridge mountains.

We cuddled together after our time spent getting up to speed (I haven’t seen my cousin since I was ten) and watched a movie together and fell into a deep sleep, warmed by the wood stove fire.

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The Capitol of the Confederacy

We awoke late and had a lazy morning of eggs our hostess in East Bend sent us from her own chickens. I did a little work and then our hostess here in Richmond took us to her brother’s pizzeria.

Delightful company and scrumptious food. My kids eyed a note on the wall suspiciously that stated that a flood in 2004 had reached the six foot two inch level.

On the way home we stopped to see the sights in the city. The capitol, Monument Avenue, the James River and the museums. I’m dropping the photos in here to share with you.

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The James River.

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The James river… yes, my daughter is in a tank top and shorts just 10 days after it snowed. She says it isn’t cold.

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Wild daffodils.

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