February 17, 2015

i've had these wings all along

and then suddenly I realize I've had these wings all along

February 15, 2015

We Loved

my heart • my soul • my breath • my blood 
my sun • my stars • my moon • my tide
my light • my path • my road • my beacon
my strength • my calm • my power • my love

I woke to a canvas that these three sweet boys used to create a patchwork mountain painting from all of them. And my heart exploded. So tender; these boys. Filled with such an inspiring amount of empathy and compassion and love. We held space for our grief on this Valentine's Day, a day made hard not because of the commercial implications, but because 17 yrs ago today our family's heart came alive, by a conception surprise, when Larson decided he was ready and we were the lucky ones to carry his soul, and the memories of where we were, colliding with the reality of where we are, is heavy. And sad. We honored that. But mostly, oooh mostly we loved. We laughed. We loved. We let go. We loved. With everything we have. At the beach. Together.

February 12, 2015

i run to you

I run to you. 
Like a child runs to their mother. 
Scrapped knees and a broken heart. 
And I sit in your embrace. 
I need to hear you tell me it's going to be okay. 
Tell me I'm going to be okay.

February 10, 2015

it's just ... food

I received a handful of messages after my last blog entry on animal welfare/rights & veganism. The question asked in each message? ... "What do you EAT"???

This happens every.single.time, yet this question always stumps me. And the longer I've been vegan (nearing 15 years) the more perplexing this question is to me. 

Food. I eat food. 

I mean, I get it, for a person not familiar with a plant based diet, I'm sure there's curiosity, intrigue, confusion. And really, this is true for any dietary choices outside of what we're used to. When someone tells me they don't eat any fruit and very limited veggies especially the "green kind", my mind swirls for a moment in the "what the hell do you eat then" clouds before coming in for a landing. So really, I get it; it doesn't make it easier to answer ;-). But I want to help those who want to understand, and I do better with photo support, so here you go, the boys' lunch today ...

There's a corn tortilla on the bottom. 
Homemade hemp seed pesto smeared on it. 
Cabbage & lettuce massaged with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and salt. 
Bell pepper, tomato, avocado slices. 
Ground pepper. 
And a homemade veggie&quinoa patty on the side to finish it off. 
All organic. 

*My lunch was slightly altered 
(no corn, bell pepper, or tomato. i'm on an elimination cleanse to find this rash culprit ... again). 

And see, without that photo support, I would have said something like "Umm, we had... salad ... ?" 
And yes, it's true, salad. But it's so much more then the typical image that pops up in ones head when "salad" is the dinner description. And it's that finesse for describing our food that has up and left me; unless I have photo evidence to point to. 

When something is second hand for so long; it's hard to see it as unique anymore. It's just ... Food. And I don't see our food as different, or unusual, or special. There was a time when ALL I wanted to talk about was vegan foods. And then I went completely Raw Vegan, and oooh lordy ... I thought about it constantly. Researched endlessly. Played in the kitchen until the sun came up. I could rattle off recipe after delicious recipe after delicious recipe; most of them my own. And then one day I realized it mostly just ... stopped. I was no longer learning *how to be vegan/raw vegan; I just was. I still crafted recipes, new and old, but they all came *through me now; leaving me a delicious meal at the end that I stopped questioning. Learning about and sharing recipes was no longer my gig. My interests shifted. 

I do love having conversations about Veganism. More so as a lifestyle rather then a dietary choice, but I do realize that most people start with the diet. I did. So bring it. And I'll work to bring the food descriptions up from "salad" to something that actually sounds exciting to the general masses :-)  Maybe I'll start carrying around a portfolio of just our food photos; so I'm always prepared to ... point! lol!

February 9, 2015

The Ghosts in Our Machine

I cut meat out of my life early on in my adulthood, when I was free to make those decisions, simply because I felt, for as long as I could remember, deep down in my childhood belly, that I had no right to take the life of another living being. And I was so damn proud and humbled by my life declaration… “i am a vegetarian”! Hell yea. 
What I learned a week or so after that, by way of a documentary, was the biggest eye opener and gut check that I had yet experienced; the dairy and egg industry was… heinous. Heinous; that word will have to do, because still, to this day, I cannot come up with a word that encompasses just how evil it actually is. Up until that point, I had harbored ill planted ideas of happy little dairy cows, and a complete and utter ignorance of egg laying hens. I ate eggs, devoured cheese, and drank milk with the best of ‘em, my whole life (I’m from Wisconsin after all), never giving it a second thought. It wasn’t because I didn’t care enough. Or that I didn’t want to be inconvenienced. Or that I was just too lazy. Nope … it was simply because I.Had.NO.Idea! Not a single inkling. 
That day was a turning point for me. I learned to question and rethink everything. I still do. And maybe it’s the part of me that works hard to protect my heart. Or maybe it’s my bleeding hopefulness. Or my instinct to see the best in everyone, always. I don’t know … but I have to believe that if most of you knew just how horrendous these industries are; you’d rethink everything, too. 
In that spirit, and in honor of the start of my own awakening, I’m sharing a documentary … The Ghosts in Our Machine. Now streaming on Netflix. It is hauntingly beautiful in it’s capture of the individuality of animals. Spanning many different industries (fur, testing, sport, food (yes, even of the “free range” organic variety)…) this film depicts the roles we have placed on animals in our society; and begs you to look deeper.
Ignorance can indeed feel like bliss, sometimes.
Awakening can indeed feel burdensome, sometimes.
Fuck sometimes.
Knowledge is power.
Wake up today.

*there are a few harder to watch scenes nearing the end, but this film is free of gore. It's not aiming for shock value. This film depicts the journey of one photographer's struggle to capture hauntingly beautiful photos, photos that so brilliantly capture the individuality and emotion of each animal, in some of the most cruel industries and settings you can imagine, and then walking away. We're all born with compassion and empathy... these photographs tap into that compassion... this is where and how we can create real change! Shock and Awe won't do it ... love will. 

I share that passion with this photographer. Wanting to use my photography skills to illicit feeling and create change; animal welfare and rights being my biggest platform. I've tossed around the idea many a nights, but in the end, I just don't know if I have what it takes to walk away. To leave them. This film both re-inspired that dream; as well as validated my feelings for not pursuing it. I don't yet know which way I'll lean; I am so humbled and appreciative that there are people who know and are doing it! Thank you, Jo-Anne.

February 8, 2015

Sunday Songbird ... Overboard

Music has always been such a powerful force in my life. And, much like my artistic self comes alive during times of trauma; music swirls in and delivers more energy during these times, too. Sooo, Sunday Songbird is back (though I don't do constraints very well; so "back" is used loosely here, haa) with a delicious bit of angry awesome this week. I picked this particular video to embed because ...

Melissa uses the word "fancy"; always a seller for me. 
She tells me a story; and I love stories.
And I mean, c'mon,  the dude that screamed BOYGINA! Win!

Melissa Ferrick
everybody got one
a definite tipping point
one particular push on a nerve
that'll send ya overboard

everybody been hurt
everybody been in love
so why do i feel so alone
sitting here with this heart you burned
yea with the heart you burned

you're nothing but a liar
we were nothing but a joke
you may have a heart in there somewhere, baby
but it's covered in smoke
you're nothing but a mirror
and you can't even look at yourself
i'm glad you cheated on me, honey
i'm better off by myself
by myself

and i got myself all mixed up here
because i believed your lies
when I heard you screaming for help
split in half is how it felt
when I came running up that hill
to find you laughing, laying there, sunning yourself

I said you're nothing but a liar
you're nothing but a joke
you may have a heart in there somewhere, baby
but it's covered in smoke
you're nothing but a mirror
and you can't even look at yourself
i'm glad you cheated on me, baby
i'm better off by myself
by myself
I'm better off by myself

I want some answers, answers, I want answers

I'm gonna rise up
I'm gonna rejoice
I'm gonna hold the hand of everything that's real
I'm gonna lay down on the dirt of this earth
fix my eyes on the moon repeating to me
I am constantly in motion; I'm a vessel for the truth
I am constantly in motion; I'm a vessel for the truth
I am constantly in motion; I'm a vessel for the truth
I am constantly in motion; I'm a vessel for the truth

I said you're nothing but a liar
were we nothing but a joke
you may have a heart in there somewhere, baby
but it's fucking covered in smoke
you're nothing but a mirror
you can't even look at yourself
i'm glad you cheated on me now
I like it here by myself
by myself

February 4, 2015


oh, mirror in the sky, what is love
can the child within my heart rise above
and can i sail through the changing ocean tides
can i handle the seasons of my life
ooh, oh oh, i don't know
+stevie nicks+

And yes, yes I do know. Sometimes. I know that I can sail. And that I can handle. And that I can breathe through. All of it. It may not look pretty. There are tears. And screams. And snot. But there is also courage. And strength. And joy. There is the drowning and the flying. The certain and the wavering. The fear and the love. I'm leaning into all of it. Feeling all of it. Loving myself through all of it. 

And also dehydrating all.the.things. Because it keeps my mind busy. And my boys fed. Shock can only be felt in small increments. And I thank my higher frequency for knowing just how much to release. And when. Because sometimes I don't know, too. 

February 2, 2015

all about legs

I didn't have any big, politically charged, feminist reasons to stop shaving my legs.
I just wanted to get to know them better. 

Let me back up a little.

I spent a great deal of my life not liking my legs. I cursed them. Cried about them. Hid them. Abused them. To be fair, this disgust and abuse was targeted to most of my body, not just my legs, but we're just focusing on legs here. And these legs of mine have taken a lashing from me. 

So much energy... wasted on picking them apart. 
So much time... wasted on hiding and holding back.

Something shifted in me several years ago. Hitting my 30's, perhaps. I looked down for the first time and thought "Oh hell yea, this body ... these legs ... this is me. All me. Strong. Beautiful. These legs have held me up through it all. They never gave up on me, even when I gave up on them. They supported my body growing 3 amazing children. They gave me the ability to walk those babies to sleep on restless nights. The ability to run around with them when they became mobile. The ability to play soccer and ball and tag. The ability to hike and climb and explore. They're amazing. And dammit, they're pretty sexy, too. Not as sleek and tight as they were when I was younger. When I hated them and wished them different. They have some wiggle and dimple to them now. And stretch marks. Oooh they have stretch marks. And I love every last one of them. Telling my story. A story of strength and courage and life and love. 

My new found love for my legs led me to want to get to know them a bit better. 

I've been shaving since... I can't remember. A long time. 12, maybe. 13. My first shave was quite the experience. I gathered my supplies: razor, cream, water, towel, boombox. You need tunes when you're shaving, ya know. My tune of choice ... Skid Row. Yea, me and my legs were going to do it right! I was all set. I laid out the towel on my bedroom floor; the cup of water sitting next to me. I dipped my fingers in the water, and flicked droplets at my left leg. Uncapping the shaving cream, I lathered up. A lot. I used almost a full can when all was said and done. (insert big bulging eyed emoji here). Dipped the razor (the pink disposable kind) in the cup of water, angled the blade near my ankle, placed the slightest amount pressure onto my leg, and slowly pulled the razor upward against my skin. That was so ... easy. And smooth. And pain-free. What the hell was all the fuss about? Cautions of cuts, rashes, burns all seemed like complete bullshit to me. Like a lie perpetuated to keep young girls from shaving. But why? Why lie about something so silly? The cost of razors I concluded. It's always all about the money, after all. I dipped and wriggled the razor around in the cup of water to clean off the mountain of shaving cream atop it, and I proceeded to shave the hell out of my left leg. And you know what ... every last swipe of the razor was just as smooth as the first. I felt triumphant. I was a woman now. No denying it. And I uncovered a massive widespread lie to all girls everywhere while I was at it. Haa. I was singlehandedly going to change the world with this information! But first, I had to finish the task at hand.

I set my sights on my right leg. I dipped my fingers in the now drenched-with-shaving-cream cup of water, and flicked the droplets at my unshaven leg. I had a thought as I cleaned off the razor again... how often are you supposed to change razors? After each leg? I wasn't sure, so I decided to inspect the blade to see if it was ready to be tossed. Wait. Where was the blade? What the hell was this pink plastic thing? I pulled at it, and POP, off it flew, revealing the shiny metal of razor blade underneath. 

Are you fucking kidding me? Seriously? I shaved an entire leg with the razor cap on? And I didn't notice? 

So much for smooth.
So much for triumphant.
So much for uncovering *Code 76* lies.

oooor maybe not ... 

And then my first REAL swipe of a razor against my skin left me with a cut. 


And so began the long affair with shaving my legs. 
  • I've learned over the years that shaving cream is, in fact, not needed (much less a whole damn bottle). Water alone does just fine. 
  • I've learned that those pink disposable razors suck. They hurt. They don't last long. And they are bad for the environment.
  • I've learned that there is no lie when it comes to cuts, rashes, burns ... even if you haven't nicked yourself in a long long time, you're not invincible to it.  
  • I've learned that sometimes it's nice, the rhythm and ritual of shaving. Meditative, even. But most times it's really just a time consuming pain in the ass that is on constant repeat. 

It was nearing the end of summer this past year. We were in Seattle. The weather was ... ehhh. The beach was too far away. I hadn't shaved in a couple of weeks. Standing in the shower day after day deciding, nah, maybe tomorrow. Days, turned into weeks. And weeks into months. Pretty soon I was so far into this no shaving thing, without even "trying", that I decided I would continue. Purposely. To see what would happen. You know, get to know my legs a little better. How long would the hair get? What color? How thick? Would it have any curl or texture to it? What would it feel like? 

It's been about 6 months now. 
There are many different colors swirling around down there. 
Pretty fine, as far as thickness goes. 
Not too long. Or curly. Or textured. 
Feels soft. 

And... mostly I don't even notice. 

Except when I'm getting out of the shower. 
Standing there after turning the water off,  my legs feel like a Plinko Board as the droplets of water maneuver themselves down my legs. No longer in just a straight line; the drops zig and zag through my hair. It's quite funny, and funny feeling, cracks me up every time. And then the fact that I am cracking up in the shower, alone, cracks me up even more. My showers have now also turned into a great ab workout! 


Feminism and politics weren't my reason for this experiment, but now that I'm all in, bigger energy does play a role in what I do going forward. It always does ;-) There were a few times that I felt the urge to shave, but I held off because I couldn't be sure of my motives. It's not that I'm now against shaving my legs. Totally not. But I do want to make sure that when/if I do decide to shave again it will be because *I* want to shave, for whatever reason; not because I'm feeling self conscious in a culture that puts way too much pressure on women to change themselves in order to "appear more appealing". Nope... won't be a part of that. Not this girl. Not anymore.