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
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: