Saturday, January 28, 2012

Spring Anticipation

My Non-Gmo, non-hybrid seeds came today!! Complete with, planting tips and seed saving instructions!! Perfect as we near the time of Imbolc, or the First Spring! (more to come on this subject.)

This, accompanied by tips gathered from RootSimple, VeganSeeds, Sprout Robot, and various books from the library yet to be read, I am going to design my garden plots!

Watch out Equinox, this family is going to be armed with seedlings to plant under your moon!! Hope you're as excited as we are!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

How do you DO life?

Recently my kid sister Christmased in Africa. She returned with, among other things, a handmade dress for my daughter and an observation: we're all different, yet the same. Some things (specifically, breasts and breastfeeding) aren't as big of a deal there as here.

This kind of realization is one of the main reasons I love to travel.

What do the locals do? While the tourist stops are interesting, what's the everyday like for the majority of the people? How do they DO life? Where is it the same? Where is it different? We all have to eat, sleep, survive the barren season, we all have a family, etc. How does this place do that environmentally, physically, spiritually? How does that shape the worldview of the people who live this daily? What can I learn from them? Should some part of my life change or grow based on this new knowledge? Are my ways 'better' ? Should I share them and risk changing the balance of this place?

In most cases, my travels have changed me for the better and I haven't found anything about how I do life that they NEED to know, other than cholera prevention. There is nothing more profound about the way I show love than how other cultures I've been blessed to immerse myself in show love.

Typically these other cultures seem less wasteful, more resourceful, more family focused, more welcoming and therefore less 'needy' for stuff.

Perhaps this is why I'm not very fond of the culture I currently find myself immersed in.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Between the Lives

Sometimes I feel torn between two worlds. I wish it was this one and the fairies, but really it's the one I think I'm living and the one everyone else seems to be living.

I dream of 'our dream house' with gardens and chickens and awesome family bonds, art/craft night, music and piles of books. I start to think 'we're headed there soon. We have the bonds and crafts and books'.

But then, for some unknown reason, I think the rest of my life isn't real. My closest friends are 'my friends in the computer'. The real people i know, well, sometimes I feel they just use my need for face to face conversation time as a chance to make money. I don't really want people to tell me how to live more in my power when they don't take the time to share in my being outside of workshops.

Then I get homesick for Old Friends who have had time to get past this hurdle, but sadly live 1000s of miles away or on a different continent.

Skype only helps so much.

Then i sit on the kitchen floor, eating hummus and reading Eric Carle with my favorite almost 2-year-old, and things in my head click back into place. I remember I do know people who love me, share with me, are willing to listen and advise without a love offering. while they don't live in my house, they DO live this town (although I wouldn't mind cohabitating with some of them.)

I remember I am blessed. And that I bless. And these things should not be taken for granted.

I may not live the 'dream' but I do live the Dream v 1.0 which will soon become v 1.5. So I breathe in peace and breathe out disappointment, because there is no room that here.

Monday, January 23, 2012

My recycle pile. The #5 go with us to Whole Foods and the plastic bags to Reasors. All kitchen scraps and lawn debris are composted, thus cutting my landfill donation in half.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Working It

Since moving halfway across the country, money has been tight. Income wages are about half of those where we came from and Sallie Mae doesn't factor that into her monthly demands.

Than we had a kid, I was forcibly cut back at work, and our income dropped again.

Fortunately, we qualified for state insurance or we would have had to learn how to have an unassisted birth. (totally doable and I am in awe of women who have done this!) we probably could have qualified for WIC but they never returned my calls. And based on what I've heard since then, I wouldn't have been happy with it anyway.

While they are an awesome service for those who need assistance, they provide mostly cereal, dairy and dried rice and beans. We like to buy fresh produce first and get those other things with the money left over.

We've joined a co-op and grow some of our own food. We've learned how to be creative with our money (since we stink at 'budgeting' - but isn't that just creative money on paper?) We don't do drive thrus, are really limited on the processed snacks and freezer fillers, so we can get by without the federal aid.

Maybe the service is out there and I'm uneducated about it, but wouldn't it be great it you could use your WIC voucher at the farmers market? Or have a larger produce allotment (i hear its something like $6)? Maybe an honest food awareness class, not funded by Big Ag, encouraging the population to really eat our broccoli?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Living in Tulsa

For those who may not know, I current reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Not my first choice of cities/big towns, but it is getting better everyday. We moved here 3+ years ago there was absolutely nothing downtown except Scary. Now there is plenty to do! Baseball stadium, arena, 3 districts full of locally owned shops and nightclubs, restaurants, you get the picture. Dead, scary, boring downtown has come back to life. The rest of the city... That's a different story.

Coming from PDX it couldn't be more opposite. Trash is picked up twice a week and we have to pay extra if we want some recycling picked up every other week. Our garbage bill is based off our water usage, never mind if you have a vegetable garden, or a toddler wadding pool, or are washing your cloth diapers every other day and only put the trash out every 10-14 days. Oh, and compost all your yard debris. Nope. They don't care. We have to pay the same as the lady across the street who puts out a 20 gallon bin lined with cardboard and the limit of 6 bags of yard trimmings almost every pick up day.

But hey, at least we can dance our worries away after a day of local retail therapy and hit up a farmers market for breakfast.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I grew up in household that believed anything 'magical' was bad. No fairies except Timkerbell, no gnomes, no tree nymphs, no Carebears (although i have one). Witches were feared or not real, so Harry Potter had the potential to dement the mind...

.None of that stuck with me.

I totally believe that all the myths are true. All gods/goddesses are valid. Fairies inhabit my backyard, nymphs protect my trees. There is power in the moonlight. And I completely believe in magick. Not Harry Potter magic, but magick. The ability to make things happen out of pure will. This can be focused in a pagan ritual or encouraged with prayer, or through meditation. However you define it, whatever you call the power behind it, magick is real.

I don't want to get into doctrine or specific practices. I just want to say, I agree with Ronald McDonald and the Fraggles: I believe in magick and that the magick is in and around all of us.

This is something I want to instill in my daughter because with this belief comes the basis for respect of all living things. We are all connected, made of the some light and matter as the stars, and should be treated with equal respect.

In most family traditions these kinds of beliefs are passed on thru stories. I'm looking for the right one(s) to convey the magic. She currently believes monsters are good babysitters (thanks, monsters inc) and that fairies ride on bees (thumbalina). I'm looking for more ideas. Like I said, I didn't grow up hearing stories full of magical happenings.

What kind of stories do you tell your children? What beliefs are they gleaning from them?

Thursday, January 12, 2012


When I was younger, life was a little more black and white. There were things you did because they were expected of you or because that was just how it was done. And things you didn't do, for the same reasons. As I got older, I tested some of these Do's and Don'ts and, in some cases, found easier, better for me ways to do some of them. Some Don'ts became Always and some Do's became Nevers. During this learning process I also rediscovered that if I put any energy toward something, I could usually accomplish it. I wanted on the dance team, so i did the work, and made it. I wanted decent marks on the SAT, it happened. I wanted my own car, it manifested. I found 100 pennies when I needed gas money, i wanted an A on a test, or time for a coffee date. And so on. However, I have also since rediscovered that energy put toward something - and not all 'somethings' for that matter- necessarily encourages a positive outcome. One can still actualize the 'goal,' or rather the 'anti-goal.' I define 'anti-goal' as a goal with a negative twist. Self-assured statements that usually start with 'I will never...' or 'I am completely avoiding...' this kinda thing goes along with Murphy's Law; 'Anything that can go wrong will.' or 'careful what you wish for.' The easiest way to explain this idea: you have a thought. In this analogy let's say your thought is to never eat 'fast food.' then you get called out on an emergency road trip, late at night, without having a chance to eat and all that's open are drive-thrus. It's either 'fast food' or starve. In some cases, one's will is strong enough to pull through and 'stick to our guns' (note to self: research origination of that catch phrase). But most athletic gyms with a membership will agree that the majority of us suck at follow through when things get a little tough. Some examples of anti-goal realization from my life:I will never smoke! Anything. Ever! Failed miserably in college. Smoked a lot of things in the last ten years. I won't drink til I'm 21! Managed to make it to 20.75... And still love a good beverage at the end of a hard day.I don't want to ever get married! It's just the governments way of getting involved in every aspect of our lives! Met a guy. Lived together for a while. Got married. Still married. Still living together. Still happy. (I don't call him my husband very often though. That word is associated with breeding sheep!)I will never have kids. But I'll be the coolest aunt ever!None of my sisters have kids. I'm the only one. So far. I can still be the coolest aunt someday!I will NEVER live in Oklahoma! *cough* see where I'm going here?Most things I said Never to have actualized. Once I realized this trend, I decided it was time to change the way I spoke. I now do my best to say, I would prefer to live in Oregon, or England. Maybe we'll have one more kid. I would like to raise chickens, eat a more vegetarian diet, let my daughter decide if she wants to smoke instead of forcing her to do it second hand. Things like that.What are some ways you have be motivationally creative with yourself?

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Love Affair

I've been known to drive old, dumpy vehicles until they explode. (Not into balls of flames, mind you, but usually something awesome like the head gasket goes.)

My favorite was a 1977 Nissan King Cab 4x4, 5 speed, burnt orange with actual rust highlights and white canopy. It had tiny little speakers, doors that rattled and a really loud engine, Tweed seat covers and a carpeted dash. (yes, I hung a handmade yarn tassel with a bell from the rear view mirror.)

We did everything together: Country Fair, Smith Rock, sliding on icy streets, driving up the east side of Sandy river, revving the engine every time the clutch went in so it wouldn't die. (I know, total gas guzzler!)

I called it my Classic Rock Truck. So, naturally that was the music we listened to in the Tank.

In the summertime, my inflatable raft lived in back. After a day of painting houses, I'd meet Pete and whoever else came along at Dabney with a case of cans for a float down the river. That truck belongs in a carefree chapter of life, full of young love, lots of sunshine and herbs, and little sleep.

But what I remember most is listening to The Eagles, Stevie Nicks, James Taylor, Black Sabbath etc... as I drove through the summery green forest of Oregon - with the perfect sunny skies, 82 degrees and a feeling of complete freedom.

It's that sense of freedom, so similar to inner peace, that makes my love affair with a truck so alluring, like a magnet in my memories.

The Classic Rock Truck is a symbol. A character in a story. She represents the first time in my life when I WAS free. I could go wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I didn't need permission or to worry about someone else's time commitments. No one cared what time I came home or who'd I'd been with or what I was doing. I had space, time and freedom to form my opinions, to dream things possible, and make plans all for myself.

This is when I truly fell in love with myself.

It is this sense of freedom that I still tap into when I'm feeling stifled and squashed in my tiny house in the flatlands of Middle America; where no one plays music on the street corner and the mountains aren't hiding behind the clouds and trees.

'They' say that hearing or smelling can transport you instantly to the past. I believe it! I can't listen to Cat Stevens without thinking of an old roommate and her record player, the cranberries and my sister, or led zeppelin and that truck.

I only had her for a year. But it was a sweet love affair.

What love affair do you still remember fondly?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I don't really do New Year's resolutions, but this seems like a good time to start a blog.
I have decided that I want to be more authentic, with myself and with others. I would like to connect and share honestly about everything.
In the past, I have lived and worked with individuals who helped stretch my soul into spaces of re-awareness. They did this simply by sharing their lives wirh me. I miss those moments and the relationships they cultivated. While I appreciate the 'quick fix' updates social networking provides, I want to create a space where real conversation can happen. I prefer real life FaceTime with a beverage of choice; however, since my 'down time' is usually spent nursing a sleeping munchkin, an online blog is my best option at the moment. That being said, accountability and authenticity can happen any and everywhere.
Here's to a renewing and rekindling of our authentic BEings.