Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Dear Ones,

I am going to start posting small pieces from by book (project? manuscript?) a few times a week.

Reactions are welcome.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

PS 87 Redux

adjective: redux

brought back; revived.


Just about one month ago the phone rang in the middle of the afternoon and Dale answered it.  After listening intently to someone he smiled and handed the phone over to me saying "It's your friend from Elementary School -- Helen Epstein."


What?  How?  


I took the phone and it was as if 57 years evaporated in the space of 57 seconds.  


Helen didn't miss a beat telling me how difficult it had been to track me down.  Well, yes.  I've traveled under the radar for most of my life.  I've changed my name not once but twice.  And, of course, they were still looking for me using my maiden name.  That's all they had.


Somehow they found me.


Helen told me about the Reunion planned for May 7th back in  Manhattan.  I gracefully declined.  She asked if I would prepare a "Timeline" -- you know, a summary of my life since 6th grade.

Actually the timing of this request was interesting.  Some of my friends might call it synchronicity.  Others might just say "Hey Laura, the universe is trying to tell you something."  

I'm just encouraged.  After all that's gone on over the past 2+ years, life here is beginning to settle.  We are no longer making frequent trips to San Francisco.  Life has changed from being about illness to being about wellness.

Last December I had dusted off that manuscript I put away in 2013 with plans to return to it once again.  Here was a chance to write a very brief summary, now called a Timeline, and use that as a segue back into the larger work.


I  wrote the Timeline and it has been sent to my former classmates, along with a few others, to give them an idea of how they might address the past 57 years.  I've heard back from a few of the people I knew back then.  Wonderful, heartwarming notes (to which I have yet to respond but am ever so grateful to have received).


And I am limping back into my own manuscript.  With its ghosts. And revelations.  


The world is looking both much wider and narrower right now.


Thank you dear PS 87 friends for doing all that you did to find me.  I know it wasn't an easy task.  But I am filled with gratitude that you kept on looking for this woman who values her seclusion and shuns most forms of social media.


Voices from the past pointing me towards the future.




Wednesday, June 10, 2015

3 months and still healing

Hi All,

This Friday, June 12th, will be 3 months since Dale's transplant. 

Healing continues, albeit too slowly to suit Dale.  Which leads me to wonder "Does anyone ever think they heal fast enough?"

There have been no major setbacks, but the road to full health is a bit rocky and it just takes time for the liver to regrow (we are told by the docs that it should be almost full size by now).  Stamina is still a major issue.  Dale was planning to teach at the International Herb Symposium which starts this weekend but had to withdraw.  He's just not at 100% yet.

Meanwhile, Dale's donor, the generous and selfless Matt T., also continues to recover.  His recovery has had its share of ups and downs.  Since Matt's a "working man" he has lost 3 months from work and is also not quite 100% so hasn't returned to the work force yet.  Major abdominal surgery is a big hit to the system, even when you're healthy.

Dale has set up a "Donor's Fund" to help Matt through this period.  If you feel moved to contribute to this fund, you can make a donation through PayPal sending money to amulet@botanikos.com.  Or you can send a check made out to Dale Pendell and marked "Donor's Fund" in the bottom left corner.  If you prefer to use the traditional method and send a check -- it can be mailed to Dale at PO Box 1423, Penn Valley CA 95946.

I hope that this finds everyone of you in good health and enjoying the turn towards summer.

Blessings and love to all,

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Elevated Liver Enzymes and a visit with Scarlett

Hi All,

A week ago Dale's blood tests came back with elevated liver enzymes which indicate some inflammation.  So after an ultrasound to determine that all was well structurally they scheduled Dale for a liver biopsy.  They did the biopsy this past Monday (4/13) which required an overnight stay at the hospital.

We were just told this afternoon that the pathology report showed "non specific inflammation" which means that there is no clear cut explanation for the elevated enzymes.  The plan is continue to get blood tests twice a week and monitor the situation which the docs think will resolve itself on its own.

The upside of yet another trip to San Francisco is that we visited with Scarlett and her parents on Sunday.  Here's a picture of Dale and Scarlett:

She is quite the sweetie and very beautiful.  (But maybe all grandparents say that....)

Blessings to all............

Friday, April 3, 2015

So far, so good (again)

Hard to believe that it's been 3 weeks since Dale's transplant.  Well, technically 3 weeks plus one day.

He was still in the ICU 3 weeks ago.  Now he is here and there is daily improvement.  There is still a lot of healing ahead but all is going well.  The numbers from the twice weekly blood tests show that his new liver is functioning normally.

I am grateful to women in my Book Group as well as folks from our sangha who are helping with food and bringing us meals to eat.  It makes a huge difference.

We are on this new path and the journey continues.  So far, so good seems to be my mantra at the moment.

Thanks to all of you out there who continue to send healing energy this way.  It definitely is making a difference.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Not much to report

Dear Ones,

Nothing earth-shaking to report especially compared to all that's gone on over the past 2 weeks.  Today is the 2 week anniversary of Dale's liver transplant. 

I must admit I look forward to the 2 month anniversary and even more to the 2 year anniversary.

Don't be alarmed if I don't post daily after today.  It only means there isn't very much to write about and make the jump that healing continues.

Also, for those who have gotten used to texting us while we were in San Francisco, may I remind you that here at Mantis Hill the smart phones are pretty dumb.  Texts seem to come in better than they go out.  So please consider the old fashioned email way of communicating.  Or the even older telephone.

Sweet dreams!


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Special Day

Healing continues.
So does unpacking.
Collected the mail.
Paid bills.
Mundane life goes on.

But today is special
and so we remembered
how after getting a license
with the intention of having Nelson
perform a ceremony during
Mountains & Rivers in April
we sat at a little cafe
sharing a grilled cheese sandwich
and smiled at each other and said
"We could save our friends a lot of trouble"
paid the bill, walked back around the corner
into City Hall in Oakland and all the clerks
gathered around and they loved it and
we loved it too.  Informal and spur of the moment
I don't even remember what I was wearing.

Still perfect all these years later.

Right now, every day feels pretty special.
Today ... a little bit more.