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. 🙄
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. 🙀😾😽

Pictures and videos from since I’ve moved:

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!

Alone in my thoughts

without you

The river rose above its banks

as the rain in the night passed by

prints from night animals

and driftwood

still fresh where they lie

I remembered Your enchanting smile

and mountainous heart

distant

memories to me now

The black-capped chickadee and cardinal

as captivating to me

as fire to a cold wanderer

My heart warms with the thought of you

And I move on

Like you did

Like the still raging river

TuesDayNewsDay Vol 2, Issue 12 ~ September 15, 2020

Dedication: today’s Tuesday Newsday is dedicated to Jonathan Byrd. Back in 2002, I worked for a man named Gary. Gary lost someone dear to him and I accompanied him to the funeral. I didn’t know who Jonathan Byrd was at that time, however upon hearing him sing at this funeral, I knew he was very special. I don’t actually remember who it was that it passed, but I remember hearing Jonathan sing. Maybe that’s messed up of me, maybe it’s just my normal human brain… more attuned to music.

Here and now, sitting up on the banks of the Haw River, many years later, I have the privilege and opportunity to share my music with Jonathan Byrd and his amazing audience tomorrow night. Only a few people know of my goals, because I don’t share them often, but one of my goals for this year was to sing for Jonathan Byrd‘s weekly residency, The Shake Sugaree Jonathan Byrd and the Pickup Cowboys show hosted by The Kraken, our local dive bar. I actually wrote it down on a piece of paper with my other goals… A few of months ago, I ran into Jonathan while waiting to perform for the John Prine tribute. Due to Covid, it’s kind of not cool to hug people, but later I expressed to him and several others that I wish I could’ve given out hugs. That was the first time I had been around a whole bunch of people for several weeks. Jonathan said that he wished he would’ve been able to hear me sing, and without a beat, I said, “well maybe I could sing for your show one day…” thinking way into the future, maybe on the ground, in real life, post Covid. After a few agonizing minutes of waiting for his response via Facebook messenger, he responded, “Can you do July 25?”. I was flabbergasted because I half expected him to say no. No, you don’t have an album and I really don’t want to host someone who can’t have something to showcase… No you can’t perform, for some other piddly reason my mind made up for me… But he said yes and I am so excited.

In my excitement, I reached out to my friend Spencer who is also one of the videographers for Jonathan‘s weekly show. I love Spencer and he also said yes to play those videos with me. What a treat!? Spencer is an amazing songwriter. His voice is captivating and his musical talents soar out of this world.

So tomorrow night, at 7 o’clock when the show begins, join me on Facebook as I will be starting a watch party for people to watch it with me. There will be two videos of my own songs in between the many amazing sets of Jonathan Byrd and the Pickup Cowboys’ music. I’m stoked and honored. One of the songs is a product of Jonathan’s song writing workshop. I recommend it to anyone who likes to write songs!

Quote: “Jump, and the lily pad will appear.” This quote was on a friend’s mom’s fridge and it’s etched into my memory. Perhaps that is what I did when I asked Jonathan to sing for his show…

Song: The Sea and the Sky, this is one of my favorite Jonathan Byrd songs. https://jonathanbyrd.bandcamp.com/track/the-sea-and-the-sky

Dear Humans,

Thank you so much for supporting me during this musical journey. I don’t have much to say this evening, I have been teaching and organizing and protesting for the last several months. We have much work to do in this world to make it a better place, I know I am doing my small part. I hope you enjoy the show tomorrow! Thank you Jonathan for having me, I look forward to enjoying your music and reminiscing about the past in hopes of a future that includes dancing at the Kraken.

Love,

ALM

JByrd blog for this week: http://www.jonathanbyrd.com/blog/2020/9/7/dancing-ovation

Dedication: The Migrant Farmers, The Gardeners, The Land Cultivators – Those who feed us all. We must remember from where our food and sustenance come, for we are nothing without the land – we exist on stolen soil and call it private property with arbitrary borders bound to arbitrary power – we can start acknowledging from there and create a discourse together, from now on.

“Farm workers thin lettuce crops work in in San Luis, Arizona. (AP Photo/Paul Connors), (AP Photo/Paul Connors) ‘Living in crowded dorms with no space to quarantine the sick, farm laborers are “petrified.”'” –

This is also dedicated to my best friend Maggie and my dear friend Harry who feeds our community and themselves and are exemplary humans I am honored to know and call friends.

Maggie (right) with Helen (left) – those are some sweet potatoes

Quote: “Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.” Mary Oliver and subsequently, “When large slices of the demos feel as if their voice is not being heard, they feel helpless, impotent and turn on themselves and turn on each other… Every generation is wrestling what it means to be human and how one takes democracy seriously, and has to accent the underside of their present moment, in light of the past, to ensure that the future can be a little bit better, maybe even qualitatively better than the present.” Dr. Cornel West

Song: For the dreamers: Somewhere Over The Rainbow ~ the divine, Ms. Sarah Vaughan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=389fPqjTi9M

Dear Humans: Today is Tuesday and I have felt like a flapping fish out of water (forgot to take my medicine… Captain Distracto… Passionate Multi-Tasker… Obsessive Student… Crazed Teacher… Mad Artist! I am teaching, was accepted into a graduate level 5-week intensive class “Teaching for Black Lives”, standing daily on the street corner with my sign, highlighting police brutality with my neighbors, falling in love with myself and my Spiritual path, doing some yoga, making friends with dedication, making art, reading tarot cards, making matchbooks and frequenting the post office. I have amazing news. On Wednesday, the 29th, I’ll be performing 2 of my songs as the virtual half-time guest of Jonathan Byrd and the Shake Sugaree Global Pandemic Live Stream. I cannot even begin to describe what an honor this is. I’ve been listening to Jonathan Byrd since I was 23… I’m 37… that’s a long time!

Love to everyone, I’d wax poetic here about everything into which I’ve been diving, but I’ll spare you and share another quote of Dr. Cornel West, “Democracy is like the art form of jazz: You better find your voice, accent your individuality in community so you can contribute to the high quality of the collective performance.
Find your voice!
Each citizen: dig deep into the precincts of your soul and examine the suburbs of your voice and find your voice and get it out, not just your self-interest but your voice that balances enlightened self-interest and public interest and the public good. (We aren’t just talking about votes in Florida..).” 2014, Dr. Cornel West speaks at University of Washington

This week in pictures:

My reading from this morning.
Yesterday at the magic rock, a skipper says “Good morning!”
Me on the magic rock yesterday and I say, “Dang, this pen is dead. I must go to the car and retrieve another one.”

Upcoming shows: Every Tuesday at 8:30 – live on Instagram and Facebook! ❤

This Thursday on Facebook, live John Prine Tribute called “Souvenirs” , recorded live at the Cat’s Cradle: https://www.facebook.com/events/3112393915542674?__mref=mb

July 29th – Shake Sugaree Residency with Jonathan Byrd (OMGGGODDESS!) https://www.facebook.com/events/671491593707052

Just sayin’

…the day I decided to marry my Spirituality. What a charm!

Original artwork, Owl and Monarch, Moon and Sun

Dedication: I dedicate this TuesDay NewsDay to Athene, Goddess of Justice. I intend to honor her in shining my light. There is no reason for me to hide it. I have been too concerned with worrying about others’ thoughts and less about how I show up in this world. No longer!! Athene carries upon her shoulder a white owl reflecting her clarity of vision – it can see and hunt in the dark. She was born from Zeus’ head after he tried to prevent her birth by eating her mother, Metis, Goddess of Wisdom. Can’t keep THIS one from shining her light. Nope. Her convictions are birthed from pursuit of truth and the recognition that there must be a battle to uphold truth with logic, diplomacy and creativity. Her weapons as gifts to the likes of Odysseus and Perseus always had to be used with intelligence, foresight and planning. She was chaste. She valued service over personal desire and put principles over passions – the mind has the ability to make choices upon reflection, mastering instincts. Athene blessed and “rendered valuable service to mankind. She taught the art of taming horses, and fostered skills and crafts such as weaving and embroidery. Her activities were concerned not only with useful work, but with artistic creation as well.” She nurtured warriors who protected peace. (Quoted and paraphrased from the Tarot card Justice of the Mythic Tarot, by Juliet Sharman-Burke and Liz Green) I pulled this card today in a “present-time” spread which threw my jaw to the ground and kept it there the whole time.

Quote:

Song: Cakewalk – by Taj Mahal – (One of my favorite songs of all time and reflects how good I feel today. ❤ “Throw your big leg over me mama, I might not feel this good again…” (But I will. Promise)

Dear Humans: Wow. What an insane time to be alive! What a blessing to see all the ruckus going on in this world – the bravery and passion of people standing up in the streets against police brutality and racism. Bigotry of all kinds! Your time is up! Your number has been disconnected! Your mother has just arrived at the party and you’re being pulled out by your ears while drunk on the power you thought you had, but you don’t. Not anymore! It was an illusion! Of course, I know it won’t go down without a fight. The fight is coming. I feel privileged to be part of it.

I feel grateful to be a teacher in these times. I feel honored and blessed to have a voice, a platform, and musical and artful proclivities. Thank you to all of you out there who have gifted me with your love and support (financial and the gifts of your time) through all this. Musicians the world over are having to get creative, even more-so than before, to make ends meet. I’m so glad to have my teaching job (though teachers make pennies compared to the work they do).

This week, as mentioned before, is the beginning of my 30-day yoga challenge. Today is day 5. After I finish writing this, I will be doing my next video. (Yoga By Adriene – look her up on youtube. You’re welcome) I’m so proud of myself. That is not something I have said very much… reflecting on my life. I am exercising healthy boundaries, discerning what feels good and doesn’t, and exploring how to ease into things that feel difficult at first.

Have you ever challenged yourself to do something you’ve felt guilty for NOT doing for years? This time, I wrote down my dedication (see two blog posts back if you want to read it). I deduced WHY this objective and goal is important. In order to show up as the passionate and compassionate singing teacher warrior I know I can be, I have to make sure the vessel in which I occupy is healthy. I have to make sure my Spirit is healthy. I have to re-parent the little kid inside me who is afraid of failing, who is angry at injustice cause she knows how that feels, and who wants to play and make art all the time (she never got to really play and was always older than she should’ve been growing up). Right now, for the first time, there is beginning to be integration between my body, mind, and Spirit. Holy cow. The Tarot spread I had today basically described my current situation to a T. Here’s the story I read from those cards:

I am the young adventurer on a mission with a vision (2 of Wands). The vision is the King of Wands who has mastered the power to manifest vision with creative imagination. I am supported by Athene (Justice card) and need to devote to her my honor – she is the Spirit embodying my self-knowledge. Her chastity gives birth to artistic creativity in service to the greater good and fostering peace with ethical implementation. I know who I am and have the potential to be through her wisdom and devotion to truth and justice. This vision is possibly blocked by choices of the flesh and perceived worldly power over my Spirit. (Lovers card – reversed). I am making choices in real life – at this moment I am choosing Lady Justice – my values are being tested. I have a choice between love or a sacred, creative activity at this time. I believe Love IS my sacred, creative activity now. Every time I make art, seek out truth and teach my students how, and when I work for justice, I am praying a literal prayer of activism and devotion. At this time, I must look carefully at the implications of my choices in the past. Heartache, physical pain and ill heath are old love. Creative Spirit is new love.

I must wait in my romantic relationship realm (The Hanged Man) and make the voluntary sacrifice for my own best interest (to see through to the achievement of this vision). After the Wheel of Fortune’s challenge of fate, I must use the lesson of the Hanged Man, understanding and willingness to put trust in the Unseen – knowing there will be anxieties yet, also knowing it will all be okay. I must marry my Spirit (10 of Cups). This decision augers ongoing emotional contentment and permanence in the realm of the heart. Psyche marries Eros; gives this creature wings to fly. I will withstand any challenge offered by Life. I no longer need to hide my Love. I can let my love light shine. Take heed, (7 of Pentacles reversed) I am making a choice. I can either reject something Divinely inspired or choose security and safety and risk mundane perpetuity. This decision comes to every person who attempts to manifest creative energy. Also take heed, (9 of Cups – reversed) REMEMBER that everything has been done up to now in loyalty to your inner feeling values. This moment is fulfillment of your wish – self-validation, from your commitment to your inner-development. Do not forget how far you have come. This is a reward for your efforts. You may find yourself underwater, but remember and be grateful, you can still breathe, magically, and despite the odds.

At the heart of my journey lies my biggest inner strengths, resilience and positivity through chosen, constructive nostalgia. (6 of Cups) Through turmoil, I have the capability to be at peace with myself. I am cultivating that power at this very moment. From hardship, there are positive, good memories for which to be grateful and from them I gain knowledge of myself. There is stillness and serenity in the lessons of the past and I choose that serenity and stillness, that solemn honoring which sprouts from life’s disappointments and pain. From those experiences, I have the capabilities to move on with resolve and reflection.

Believe in your vision enough to try, these messages say clearly. Firmly grip the fire of imagination and go forth with the hands of Spirit and Love at your back and the temple of Justice upholding you from below.

Present time spread, The Mythic Tarot

This week in pictures:

Focus…. 11:11

Message found on another protest poster. On point.

Protesting safely…

Are you the only one who can resist fascist liars? NOPE! Be a leader!

Pepita’s preferred yoga position… cat

After dancing in circles outside in a downpour and eating blueberries…

Morning joyful walk

Mmmmmm crunchy sunflower butter and bloobz on toast…

Shift in perspective…

Upcoming gigs: Next Tuesday! 8:30 Livestream on Insta and Facebook (my FB anitalorrainemusic page)