Dedication: Morgan Siem – I can’t wait for you to meet her. She is a devoted lover of the land and I now live on said “land”. Soon, the little farm will have a name. We’re working up ideas. I love Morgan’s positivity, playfulness, honesty, organization and assertiveness. I love her style and willingness to dream big. I love her cat Aslan. I love the way she is aware of her feelings and helpfully communicates them, leaving no room for wondering or need of assumption. I love her dedication to her own growth, so crucially important and awesome.
We have essentially decided to be life-land-mates out here in Snow Camp together. More on that later. Thank you Morgan for saying Yes.

Quote: “I have seen, over and over, the connection between tuning in to what brings aliveness into our systems and being able to access personal, relational and communal power. Conversely, I have seen how denying our full, complex selves – denying our aliveness and our needs as living, sensual beings – increases the chance that we will be at odds with ourselves, our loved ones, our coworkers and our neighbors on this planet.” – Adreinne Marie Brown

Song: Cedar Tree – Ishitani – This is new to me, it’s beautiful piano music. I will soon have a little safe haven in between two big Eastern Red cedars, two American Hollys, a few Sweet Gums and a Hickory. I was searching for a Cedar song and found this. It’s lovely. Enjoy the relaxation. Try not to drool. Youtube Video – Cedar Tree- – Ishitani

Dear Humans,
it’s been a minute!
Yesterday, my inclination to write reared her head and I am heeding the demand. At this moment, I hear drips from the downspout of my new and temporary living arrangements. There are peepers and crows, squirrels and black walnuts thudding to the ground. I can hear an airplane jettisoning overhead while the sound trails slowly behind. The road is lightly muffled by the trees and distance from where I sit to the road. All around is Life. I’m becoming accustomed to farm time, waking up around 6 or so before the sun rises, “just to watch the day begin” as Kate Wolf said in her timeless song, “Give Yourself To Love”.
Moving here in early September, I simultaneously ordered my little shed. IT IS NOW READY and teasing me every day! The Environmental Health dept has to come and inspect, then I am getting a permit from the county. I hope that doesn’t take too long. I’m itching to get started and build a fire in that wood stove. *breathe*

Pepita kitty has had a down-turn in her health since last we spoke. In April, she was diagnosed with polycythemia vera – her red blood cells are overproduced and therefore her blood is too thick, sludge-like, in fact. The options for her are limited to therapeutic phlebotomies, leech (yes real-live leeches) therapy or a chemo drug. I’ve opted for the leeches. Performing the therapy here at the house with live leeches has proven to be a nerve-wracking and seriously anxiety-laden task. Many things are hard at first, this is no different. I’m getting better and I hope that the initial therapies prove to be helpful for her and prevent her from needing chemo drugs. EVERYONE is grossed out by it and I had a helluva time getting a doctor who would order the leeches for me. Now that I have found one, we are working together to help Pepita to live the best life she can. I am adjusting to being a mom to eight leeches. It’s totally weird.

Just like the rest of the world, life has been absolutely insane. I know my life is riddled with privilege and I am grateful for all I have worked for and for all which has been given. To get it all out in a tangible form, I’m going to attempt to fully list the things that have been going on and activities which have been keeping me hella busy (I’m sure this list will not suffice):
1. Pepita’s health and monitoring my grandparent’s health from a safe distance (we eat out a few times a week after I finish teaching during the week).
2. Teaching 3 classes, all different formats – one totally in person, one hybrid online/one day a week of class, and a fully online course – about 56 students worth of grading.
3. Democracy Matters mentoring 15 hours a week via phone calls, emails, zoom and social media outreach/upkeep
4. Moving and prepping for the building of my tiny shed studio
5. figuring out finances for tiny house and Pepita
6. The 2022 Saxy Rooster contest and calendar creation
7. Creating botanical products for my new biz, Resilience Apothecary
8. Short to moderately long bouts of depression, daily anxiety
9. Played a live show in Star, NC (haven’t been playing out at all, that was a very nice return from a long hiatus)
10. Started a podcast about ways one can be resilient through magical and creative means (Resilience Apothecary Podcast)
11. I had to put on hold the album due to Covid. 😦 As soon as it’s possible, I am looking forward to getting back in the studio with Mark and making that record! Surrendering to the Sacred!! (all original songs and so much love and memories)
12. Cooking and keeping myself fed
13. Trying to keep my body healthy and doing better than I used to!
14. Going to Al-Anon and keeping in weekly contact with my sponsor
15. Bi-weekly meetings via Telehealth with my counselor – sometimes I went a few months without it because I would literally forget and then get behind in her scheduling…
16. Found another general practitioner doctor because my insurance no longer covered my doc in Graham, so now I have to go to Mebane. πŸ™„
17. Kept a garden of tomatoes over the Summer, forgot sometimes and they would fall off the vine! Also grew a garden of herbs and greens, I probably had about 5 salads from the lettuce. I wasn’t a very attentive gardener this summer.
18. Reading tarot cards for people and making new tarot card spreads – I love doing this.
19. Getting rid of stuff. I think my overall belongings weight was lessened by about 200lbs. HAHA.

This list could go on and on, but I tell you, there are a few people who have kept me going during all this. Joseph, my special friend, has been tremendously helpful and supportive and nurturing not only my serious need for help around the house, but also with my occasional need to get the fuck outta town. We’ve had a few adventures over the last year and soon we will get to celebrate our year-long anniversary of me asking him if he’d go camping with me.
My sponsor has been a constant contact and friend to hear all the ups and downs – I cherish her greatly.
My boss-lady at Alamance Community College. She’s amazing. I can’t list all the ways.
Bruce for loving me and checking up on me when he know’s I’m struggling.
Andrea for housing me, providing turkey manwiches and doggie walks, and encouraging neighbor get-togethers until I found my direction towards the land upon where I sit.
Lee Worthington for inspiring me with every moment she exists. We lost her dear John last year and through witnessing her grieving process, I see how I want to be in the world. Present. Assertive. Emotionally honest and vulnerable. Realistic. Able to ask for help. Able to say no when I can’t. Kind and generous and in awe of the Universe every single moment. She is a real-live she-ro for me.
Alison Weiner for giving me a few piano lessons and many moments of stopping to appreciate her in this world.
Michelle Dove – for her unending love and care – her letters, her thoughtfulness, her being.
Judith Brooks for taking the time to sit still with me and writing a wonderful book from which I will and have learned much already about how to communicate with plants.
The post office – our post office woman, Destiny. She’s made it through some of the worst situations the USPS has ever seen, and through it all, she had her ups and downs, but on the days she smiled, she brightened my day. Not to mention she ALWAYS looks beautiful no matter what day it is.
Harry Phillips – he makes everything beautiful and it’s an honor to get to live at the same time as him.
My students, for loving me and giving me a good reason to get up in the morning. I may not grade their forums in a timely fashion, but I do love them all, even the ones who think I’m the college version of Ms. Frizzle. Unfortunately, at this time, I do NOT have a magic schoolbus. But I will. Mark my words.

I see that this list could go on for weeks. I’m grateful for everyone, all the animals and plants, wind and rain and sun. I’m grateful that it has finally cooled off and Autumn is here in deed, not just in lip-service.

Singing and playing haven’t come to me lately. Yesterday, I was singing a Joni Mitchell tune in the shower. I’ve had “Tell It Like It Is” stuck in my head for a week. I think when I dig myself out of this little, sad hole I’ve dug for myself of late, I’ll have some music to play and share. Until then, it’s birds and chirpers, wind and crows who are providing the music. Also, the occassional, hilarious, totally raw cockadoodlederrrrrrrr….. (not dooo) in the mornings.

I’m glad to write again today. I hope to get back to my podcast soon. I hope to bottle the next few tinctures and flower essences as well. I hope I can breathe again. When I’m worried, I don’t breathe deeply. Yesterday, I tested negative for covid and that was a relief which gave me some oxygen molecules as well. Let’s hope it stays that way!! Everyone, put your masks on, we are not free and clear just yet. No matter who or what is to blame for that, it doesn’t change a damn thing. Be safe out there. I love you all. Wish you could see my view: cardinals and chirping birds eating out of the birdfeeder I hung and filled the other day. Ta Ta for now, maybe I’ll keep this up for a while again. We’ll see! Off to leech the kitty. πŸ™€πŸ˜ΎπŸ˜½

Pictures and videos from since I’ve moved:

Tonight (July 23, 2021 10:37pmEST), la Luna gives explicit permission to begin manifesting your authentic life. Examine your values & any obstacles coming up for you. Ask this lunar energy to guide you to see & face those obstacles. You WILL be given insight. Make room for silence & listen. You will feel an encouraging hand at your back during this cycle as you deep dive into your value-driven desires & begin the work.


Tonight is the full “thunder” or “buck” moon in Aquarius, heightened tremendously by Leo season having begun yesterday! Beginnings are BLOSSOMING from the sky! Bucks’ antlers grow & they mature into adults! Storm season begins! The opposite tension b/t the sun & moon is exemplified even more w/these two energies. Examine your own living contradictions. Where can you begin to close those gaps. Where can you begin to live justly AND w/courage. Those are not easy feats my friends.

Ritual:
Tonight, light a candle.
Greet Spirit, your guides & ancestors.
Write down your desires of transformation onto a sheet of paper as a petition to the moon.
Speak your prayers passionately into a full glass of water while holding it w/both hands.
Allow the water to sit in the moonlight overnight, outside, preferably where there will be no shadow cast into your glass.
In the morning, write down the steps you foresee it will take to begin to see your desires made manifest by your actions.
Speak aloud your prayers & the action steps necessary for fruition into your moon-charged glass & toward the rising, Eastern Leo sun.
Ask for the courage & strength necessary to take the steps you’ve visioned & ask for guidance for those you cannot yet see.
Bury your petition paper in a place that gets no shade.

This full moon is special! It is the 1st of 2 full moons in Aquarius this year. This one is at 1Β° (hence badass beginning energy) & the next will be at 29Β° (for FOLLOW-THROUGH & keeping your word to yourself).
Bring the THUNDER OF YOUR HEART into reality tonight. I will post a tarot spread shortly to explore your values & visions.
#fullmooninaquarius
#fullmoontarotspread

A tarot spread for #FullMoonInAquarius & #leoseason🦁
πŸ–€πŸ€πŸ€Ž Look at the card combinations and see what they have to say to each other as a pair. What is each grouping saying to the other groupings? Listen to what the cards are telling each other and through those messages, communicating with your elemental, authentic self. πŸ€ŽπŸ€πŸ–€


I. Who is my authentic self?
II. How best can I follow through with the work required to live my authentic life?

iii. What do I desire?
IV. Where do I need to develop maturity?

V. What do I value? What are my values? (Feel free to pull a few cards here if you like)
VI. Where am I not living up to my values?

VII. What am I living contradictions? In what ways do I believe one thing and do another?
VIII. How can I live justly and courageously, limiting my contradictions?

tonight, 10:37 PM EST – We will enter the full moon in Aquarius accentuated by the new Leo’s sun. I hope the spread sheds light for you to live your most authentic life and helps your work of emancipation for all oppressed beings. In order to do the work of ending bigotry and exploration, we must ourselves uncover our own living contradictions. do you care about the environment and use fuel? How can you limit your fuel consumption? Do you benefit from racism even though you want to abolish it? How can you implement anti-racist practices in your life? Do you believe that people who are immigrants deserve safety and liberty? How can you implement into your budget donations for families broken apart at the border living in squalor or how can you support migrant farm workers?

Happy Mooning! πŸ˜‰

Me in the twilight cradling the moon in my hands with an Aquarius graphic above the moon – caption says “Thunder Moon in Aquarius”

Hello beautiful people out there. If you’re looking for a fun and fruitful conversation about self-care and how to embody self-care through the tarot, you must listen to this 2nd episode of The Resilience Apothecary Podcast! In this episode, I interview the luminous and lovely Maria Minnis and we discuss how tarot is a mirror, a way for us to look deeply into ourselves to work toward improvement while also having faith and knowing that we are worth it. I hope you enjoy!

Maria Minnis, the Star card and the Lovers card, red background with moon cycle graphic on the bottom. Maria has purple hair and a bright red, furry coat with tall black boots!

EPISODE 2 with Maria Minnis !

Next episode, I will share a poem that “held her hand” which was submitted by a listener to follow up from the 1st episode about Poetry for Self-Care! Stay tuned!

Resilience Apothecary Podcast
Pilot Episode!

I recorded the first episode of the podcast today. So excited!
Sharing the medicine cabinet for spirit; sharing tools for self-care, justice, rebellion and recovery through mediums like tarot, art and mental health practices.

hosted by anchor.fm

Honoring Pause from Urgency

Tick…. tock….. tock of the clock, the bells,
chiming along inside my urgency, latency,
where I dwell,
there are old wounds now to dispel.

The bells sing a discernible, yet obscure, song.
Normalcy impossible, so much lost, species extinct and the virus… prolonged.

Breath in the air, humid Summer approaching.
She comes as she’s called, without summons, without speaking.
A tiny creature inside beats a drum without patience,
signaling change, a drip, a salience.

So many irons in so many fires, my hearth is full
The breeze ushers me Westward, a few miles and storms
Lie between this meadow and that one, I feel the pull
Yes, grass is greener where the grey fox runs and wild bees swarm

I carry with me a satchel of mystic notions
The holster of privileged motion
The stowaway, grieving, choosing new potions
What was real is gone with yesterday,
a new truth, hinging on veracious devotion.

Allegiance to soil, the trees, the water
playful smiles, inherited wisdom and daughters
Gathering the flowers like the maker gathers supplies
Honoring the magic of justice, acceptance and thick thighs.

We tread a new path, regeneration, wholesome good
drink in rainwater, carry it, build fires, chop wood.
Uphold your neighbor, sanctity for the distressed.
In this tide, this time, ingress of a woman, to profess

The mighty stars will hold you as the robin sings
the solid ground will lift you as the roots of trees spring
out of the ground, created by time
and bless your soul, as the gathering bells chime.

original photo drawing of a fire goddess with a full belly, a fire head and rounded thighs sitting in a field of grass in the sunshine.

We are more than just mountains and clouds
we are destined for loftier things
we are the star children of our ancestors’ dreams
My ancestors’ progeny led to me and I release the cords of oppression
and embrace the web of collective liberation
A rocking boat in a tidal wave of ideas
realizations and undeniable truths
We find ourselves knocking on Poseiden’s door and find him,
but he is not him
he is they
they are water
and like water, they flow through our fingers
cleanse our binary mold
etching away at its bindings
generation after generation
We give thanks for that powerful, gentle, water of life
Although I understand that it took a long time to arrive at now
every ghost and shadow who stands between us
I now release and call in
the clarity of justice
the freedom of music
I rest upon the souls who came before
and I activate those who come after.

This poem was inspired by a photo by @nature.esthete on Insta

Find Joshua Adam Photography, he’s rad.

And now for a life update! Who would have thought we would experience a pandemic? I know I didn’t see it coming, but it was one of my many epic fears since seeing the horror drama “28 Days Later” – in fact, I think that was the cutoff for me watching scary movies.

So many people have lost many precious loved ones and things during this time. My heart aches for all of it. Like many, this time has been rife with depression, increased anxiety and even hopelessness on days where the news was too much. Lighting candles almost daily for the dead and the sick, saying prayers of protection for the rest of us (I remained symptom and virus free thankfully.) and had to go about my business. Luckily, as a teacher, I could easily transfer my classes online. It took about 3x the effort and 3x the necessary understanding because I teach high-school students who are transferring to the college early, all the way to retirees who are looking for new jobs. Community colleges are awesome for diversity of experience and identity. Parents, helping their children learn from home and THEN having to sit and do their own online classes… I just can’t even imagine. How lucky and privileged I am – I couldn’t feel more compelled to give and to be of service.

THAT was the end of the Spring semester last year. The sudden transition was enormous, but we made it work somehow. For some, it didn’t work at all. Some gave up on school. Some thrived without having to be constrained by a classroom schedule. Some ached for the classroom and suffered without person to person instruction. I thrived only because I’d been doing remote teaching and training for 10 years prior. Some teachers did not have it so easy – the learning curve was short. I found my groove and life went on. I lost two of my dearest mother figures last year. Tuesday was Amy’s birthday. Mary Jane passed before the pandemic hit the United States. I hold them in my heart and try to ask them for Spirit advice in moments when I feel weak and confused. Reflecting on all of this is overwhelming, but, I turned in my grades Wednesday for the Spring semester of this year. While the next summer semesters will continue to be online (enrollment was down so I don’t actually teach a class the first 1/2 of the Summer – that is not so good for my pocketbook, but good for my time to create and make art and goodies.), I will begin teaching in the classroom again in the Fall. Autumn will be ripe with new beginnings, we hope, and I will get to see my students’ faces again. That will be awesome af.

So, speaking of making things, the pandemic gave me some inspiration to begin a new side hustle. Resilience Apothecary and Justice Lovers’ Tarot. I’ve been doing tarot card readings since I was 16 (professionally since 2019) and decided to make my personal growth and trauma work into a whole medicine cabinet of goodies. The Resilience Apothecary started because my friend Alfie said she’d buy my Florida Water if I sold it at the Freehand Market in Saxapahaw. I started to make some and bottle it and that led to many other botanical magicks. I made some divine smelling hand sanitizer and little travel sized Florida waters! Soon, I will begin making medicine bottles of hand-made local wild flower essences. I’m making sets of them to attune to each chakra into balance. The subtle vibrational energies of emotional dis-ease we experience can be assisted by working with the flower’s energetic imprint on Spring water. It is then preserved with white brandy. I’m super stoked and designing the labels now.

In the next week, I’ll be offering 15-20$ readings for friends and family to build up the tarot business aspect of Resilience Apothecary. Truly, this stuff feeds my soul and while I used to feel much shame around my spiritualism (I never talked about it with anyone because of past experiences of ridicule, judgement, and teasing.), I do not feel shame any longer. I give myself permission to follow a path that makes me happy. This work is not work; it makes me jovial, creatively inspired and satisfied. I love the feeling of making something that tickles and embraces the senses.

If you’re interested, I’ll be having the grand opening of my Etsy store soon where you can purchase the goods and even schedule tarot readings all in once place. ❀

I’m heading off for now! I have two deadlines passed which need attending to. I’m writing content for W.I.L.D. Magazine – you can subscribe here!

I’m also writing my last report of the year for Democracy Matters. The students made it through the pandemic, keeping their. chapters intact and some even built new chapters. Online organizing became easier in some ways and more difficult in others. Social media took off, but attendance and participation in meetings dwindled. We are ALL looking forward to getting back on campus in the Fall. Follow DM on instagram!

TATA ForNow! TTFN in text speak. or TTYL. WTF is TXT SPK? It’s the shortening of the English language, disturbing in ways I can’t decribe. (As a teacher who has to read papers written by Siri dictation, spell check is a long-forgotten memory and punctuation is now in the form of hashtags and … goddess I could go on, but will refrain.). Until we meet again, “I’ll talk to ya when I’m supposed to!”

Love and yours,
ALM

Hand-painted loose burning herbs label and jar. ❀

I awoke

always first, sustenance to the little loved one

next a quiet moment

stillness

She purrs in contentment

coffee glides down like liquid love

Thanks be to time

which gifted these moments

Findings and workings of history

gave us right now

Grateful

Breathing

Morning sentiments

original artwork – watercolor – hands of time cradling a burning love