Monteverde: Lost

To read my Costa Rica journal from the beginning, click here.

I’m just not sleeping well.

My pillow feels lumpy. The wind roars and gusts loudly, incessantly. A dog barks every night. Is the dog okay? Where is he? Why is he barking?

Lack of sleep is not helping my emotional fragility at all.

And then the alarm clock goes off at 4:50 AM, just as I’m finally, blessedly, drifting off into an exhausted sleep. Too bad, time to get up.

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Monteverde: Struggling to Breathe

To read my Costa Rica journal from the beginning, click here.

We were in the Santa Elena Reserve near Monteverde, a beautiful amazing dense cloud forest of trees covered with mosses covered with epiphytes dangling with vines covered with ferns covered with mosses covered with epiphytes.

A green riot of life. Santa Elena Cloud Forest

Plants grew on top of other plants, vines wound around tree trunks, ferns choked the hillside, mosses sprouted from thin air. Don’t stop walking! A vine might grab you, a moss might take root.

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Monteverde: Feeling the Strain

To read my Costa Rica journal from the beginning, click here.

Not only was Dakota navigating, he was driving.

Martin and I were pretty much at his mercy when he announced, “I think there might be a birding preserve up here somewhere!” and swerved off the highway.

Here we go again.

We were again on dirt roads leading to who-knew-where, jouncing along while Dakota the Navigator monitored his neck hairs and the earth’s magnetic field for which way to turn. The road, wide and well-graded at first, went on and on. It didn’t lead to any birding preserves, of course, but through the Costa Rican backcountry, with funky little houses and fields full of cows or crops, past the occasional little store selling soda. Dakota turned here and there onto secondary roads as his neck hairs dictated, and the road narrowed, the grading worsened.

Truly. Here we go. Again.

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I’m Always Hot, Baby. (Or: Oh No, More Hot Flashes.)

I was trying to listen, I really was. But it’s nearly impossible when you’re on fire.

On. Fire.

I was in an important meeting to discuss my little sister Becky, who has Down Syndrome, and her future welfare. I’d been anticipating this meeting for months. The social worker was talking about finances and trusts and legalities.

But my attention was dragged away when I felt the sudden spreading heat. “Oh no,” I thought. I shifted uncomfortably in my chair. The heat started, as usual, at my neck and spread like wildfire across my back and chest, through my core, over my whole body, radiating fire from my skin.


Women: You know what I’m talking about.

Men: Hello! Keep up. We’re talking about hot flashes.

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Avoid Bad Bounces

“Maybe this isn’t a very good idea,” I thought as I lowered myself slowly into the poison oak.

I must hasten to say that I did not jump out of bed that morning, thinking, “Woo hoo! Today’s the day I get to immerse myself in poison oak! Finally!

I’m not stupid.

Although…. That first sentence worries me, as it possibly argues  otherwise.

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Ding! Floral Department… 201…

I went to a mandatory fire training class at the hospital today.

At the beginning, the helper-lady-whoever-she-was was trying to turn down the lights, to dim the conference room enough to easily see the PowerPoint presentation, but not so much that we’d all fall asleep. She was trying to get it just right, and was jabbing at a bank of light-switches. So:

Down go the lights… too far.
Up come the lights… then…
Half the lights go off.
Up come the lights again, slowly, slowly…
And all the lights go off.

And I went from  mildly amused, to decidedly annoyed, to completely enraged in about 10 seconds.

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Three For the Price of One!

I’ve never been very good at clothes shopping.

I just don’t seem to have a sense as to which clothes are cute or stylish. I invariably find myself browsing happily through racks of coordinating polyester outfits, thinking, “These are cute!” – and then look up to find that I’m surrounded by blue-haired ladies, who think those coordinating polyester outfits look very fashionable, too.

It’s a little disturbing.

Martin tells me over and over: “When you enter a particular department, look around! If it’s full of blue-haired ladies, get out!” But I never seem to learn.

This isn’t even a recent problem, induced by hormone imbalance. It’s not that I’m nearing a certain age and my wacky hormones are urging me to go check out the Old Lady section. No, even when I was 20 years old, I was rushing to snatch the last pair of checkered pants with the elastic waistband away from the old lady with a cane.

She was hobbling as fast as she could, but I was young, and beat her to it.

I mean, come on. What’s wrong with me?

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The Crazy Lady

I’m 51 years old, but I feel 15. Actually, I feel worse than 15.

This wash of emotions is bewildering. I’ve never been like this before. I’ve always been so measured, so even-keeled … always perfectly in control of my emotions. Even when I was 15 years old! No outbursts, no meltdowns.

But now… I’m unpredictable.

Irrational, bizarre.

I can only blame it on crazy mixed-up perimenopausal hormones.

Last night I charged into the kitchen and started making dinner. And I could feel a flicker of agitation growing inside me. For what? Why?

Because I’m a crazy perimenopausal woman!

And I turned on burners and chopped up chicken, and felt the agitation gathering, swelling, and I started babbling to the dogs. “Oh my god, this is crazy!” I screeched to them. “What’s wrong with me? I’m crazy! Cuckoo!  Cuckoo!”

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