Showing posts with label SABOTAGE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SABOTAGE. Show all posts

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Do The Task In Front of You

This is my mantra, Do the task in front of you, do it well, do it all the way.
I have a Spring full of busy, so much that chaos is building up around me. 5 online classes, a conference presentation on Monday, a week long training session in May. Lambing. Planting. Children ready for outside play, cleaning the mud from them when they come back inside after a good day in the dirt and sunshine.

This is my life. There are ebbs and flows, there are moments when the intersection of poetry and art cross with the tall grass and muddy boots. I was telling a friend last night how last Spring, I climbed into the farm truck after a truly brutal day of lambing, the worst one yet, and a poem appeared. I wrote it on the back of a co-op grain order receipt with a pen that died half way through the scribbles and a broken crayon for the rest. I was determined not to lose those words.

But sometimes the words are lost to me anyways.

Right now, writing is last on the list of priorities even though it is the salve that gets me through these times. I am not sure how to shift things around so it fits back in without toppling everything.

Lambs in my kitchen still. The seasons switching back an forth, not making up her mind, clothes from two needs are piling up. I must find time to attend to it or I'll end up buried in sweaters, muddy play clothes, and jeans. Goodness, and dress up many princess and pirate dresses.

This much on the to do list means I have to organise the chaos inside my own head too. This means inevitably that I pull away from friends and family emotionally, because I have no time for the effort that goes into nurturing those relationships. I get snappy and curt. I hate myself when I hear the words spilling out and the fallen faces of the victims. My children, my dearest friends. Destruction and devastation. Then I have to clean up the mess. More time. Time I don't have.

This year, I am trying to divide my time and corral my words so that I can nurture and grow my life instead. I am making time. Making time for friends, for my kids, for art. My art. These things come first, get my attention fully. Then second comes the job that feeds us. If laundry piles up? Well, too bad. (Though it is making me twitch just thinking about it.....) The term will be over soon enough and summer load is much lighter.

I can do this. I can write, sing, dance. I will cook in the kitchen with Bessie Smith on the radio, dancing as I stir Rooster Gumbo, taking up hands of children who join me and spin them around in a waltz. I will feed my family and friends with joy and my attention. I will learn to play Ukulele and sing with all my off tune heart. And summer will come, warm the air, and I'll make sweet tea and laugh at silly jokes, draw chalk dragons and pirates and poems on my sidewalk with the children. I will swim with them, like a mermaid, the algae will catch in my hair too. This. This is the dream.

And yes, I will, soon finish my PV2 review and tell you all about California adventures. I will. Soon.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

A break to show some beautiful things....

 I am still working through notes and it is keeping me from actually writing. Bah.

Here are some beautiful things I can write about.

After the conference I took a train from San Diego to Los Angeles.

About an hour of the train ride was this view. The ocean. I stared in wonder and terror until....I fell asleep. Or passed out. Let's just say it was sleep, ok?  Ha.

I am still unsure how to work through this terror of mine. I guess I am lucky I live land locked in Iowa. Maybe. We'll get to that.

So beautiful view. Train ride. I highly recommend it. There was a cafe on the train. It was comfortable. Everyone was really nice.

Then? Hello LA. Nice to meet you.

I was so excited to see my friend Bridie. She's a pastor now and a community organiser for human rights. In many ways, nothing has changed and everything has. It is amazing how much we are the same and grown at the same time.

I have so many Bridie stories and they all end with her rescuing my stupid teenage angsty self from real trouble. She extended me so much grace, much more than I deserved for sure. She stood for me at my wedding too. Lifted me with her friendship from the dark ages of self destruction and saw me into this life, which sometimes feels like a parallel universe. And now she does the same for others as her life work. Seriously. Amazing. Lady.

And this is who showed me her LA. Her California. This is how I like to travel to cities. Have people dear to me show me what they love about where they live, you know?

I even ate raw oyster. And then later? Squid. I ate squid. And soft shell crab. And Korean candy. Because travel is the chance to experience a place through someone else's life and I did not want to miss even a taste of it. Plus, seafood is so much better closer to the source.

Soon, I will post photos from all the adventures and places we went. Just a Monday through Thursday morning, then back home to Iowa. I'd post them now but I can't find the sd card. Ah. Photographer problems.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Parallel Universes: Leaving Ossabaw

I'll certainly write more when I get home, sort pictures, and come to my senses. Still, I need to get this down so I remember exactly what this feels like.

I have spent the past year researching and studying mythologies and folklore. Many of those stories have an element of faerie magic. I am holding those tales at the back of my mind as I process this.

The last hours on the island, I spent cleaning and polishing and helping people gather their thoughts and belongings to depart on the boat that returns to the mainland. Ossabaw is a coastal barrier island, one of the few that is nearly pristine wilderness and not housing or commercial tourism development. There are no grocery stores, no malls, no gas stations. It is perfect and as silent as a wild forest can be. Every morning I would wake and quietly slip out of the bunk room around 5am. I'd start the coffee pot in the kitchen and then slide on boots and coat, walk in the darkness the long narrow path to the dock.

I was never frightened of the open water at this place, at the dock. The marsh was in reaching distance and the view was more river than ocean and it felt like home, something manageable and beautiful. Every morning brought something new: the first was total darkness, walking alone I met a small group of Ossabaw pigs on the path. I couldn't see them, but hearing them close in the dark? It was frightening. I raise these pigs, I know not to meet them alone in the dark, even the gentle ones. The next few mornings,  fellow writers joined me in my early morning meditation. Watching the sun rise, quietly and subtly over the water, no blazing dramatic production, just a slip of blue, silky white, and the darkness falling away. The next to last morning it was pouring rain and I went anyway. Standing the the cold rain, I saw piglets playing the marsh and I felt so much wash away, I had been burning with ideas all day, writing furiously and spilling it all on  to paper, too fast and I was beginning to burn at both ends. The cool rain brought me back to grounding.

This world feels like a fold in time. I almost went to the college here, choosing the easy path instead (keep my museum job, have babies, and attend the local state university). Moving is hard. But these streets, these rivers, these people? They may have been my neighbors, my friends.....this place would have been my home. Or not. I mean, I could have been as easily killed by a rolling out of parking gear on a hill car, or gobbled by alligators, or married and have babies and moved away. I can't dwell on the what could have beens. Except for the feeling of having lived here already forever, knowing the landscape as if it were my birthplace. It is a strange feeling.

I thought that was that. The week was over and I scrubbed counters, stripped beds, put the clutter of books and pens away. I began to feel panic, I thought of the boat ride and dismissed my panic as the unreasonable phobia that I've been fighting for years. When it came time for me to get on the boat and go, I couldn't let go. I asked to walk the path instead of be driven. That long path I walked every morning, hoping the familiarity would ease the transition.

I began to cry. Or weep. Or completely fall apart. This place has hold over me that I can't explain. I feel at home here and enchanted by the music of the wilderness. Alligators and blue herons, marshes and bones. It feels like all the landscapes I have loved all rolled up into one.

No light mention that my love of poetry re-ignited here, just one year ago. A slow awakening, but I am working daily to bring it back to life. It feels like falling in love again, just as I remembered and maybe why I put it away nearly twenty years ago. Falling in love, the intimacy of words, especially poetry, is dangerous, always. I am careful and cautious, to a fault. But this? This is me falling apart and rising up from the destruction. Taking apart why I couldn't write, and re-mapping ways to travel around that.

The boat ride was as scary as I predicted, but it didn't rain so my fear that a monsoon would sweep me over into choppy waves was not realized ....this time. Friends held my hand, and eventually I stopped cowering on the floor of the boat and held my face in the wind.


Back on mainland, Jj, Holly (friend not child), and I walked the streets of Savannah in the delicate, cold rain. I started shivering, the deep down shivering that has only ever followed childbirth, by traumatic surgery. I knew it would cede if I slowed my breathing and calmed down and it did, but left me feeling dizzy. I bought what we now call a "Calm the Fuck Down" essential oil patch (Bergamot from Nourish) to help with the transition. This is when I remembered the tales of people stolen by faeries and then returned after living in the other world, the world of magic.

Ossabaw is a place that people see the poet and artist. Not the me that is a terrible housekeeper, a frazzled mother, an novice farmer, or a failure in all the ways that I struggle to keep all my busy in the air. No one cried because the bananas were broken, or fought over ponies, or made demands on my time ungratefully. There were chores to do, but always someone there to help. It was different than at home. I feel terrible admitting that, and I will go home and be more fully present.

I share with these writers this fragile and vulnerable side, my words, my histories, my heart. And they embrace it, know the struggle, and I feel so much less alone than I do on the range lands and rolling hills of my home. This magic is powerful, and the time precious. Just enough, even if I felt torn leaving it.

It was stepping on the shore of the return dock, the boat captain said, "This is the most dangerous part, when you get out of the boat, Watch your step."

Yes. This return is the hard, sad, necessary part. This is when the magic broke and reality settled back around my shoulders. This is when I started shaking. I can't pretend it was just the trauma of the boat trip. No, I really can't. I feel like the faeries have returned me and the enchantment has left me changed, in this dreamworld, like a cloak or a charm, an affliction that is hard to wake from.

Probably sleep deprivation and homesickness, but I had to write this all down before the feeling leaves.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Focus: Word for 2015

I really struggled with choosing this word. FOCUS kept coming back to me though, and I would reject it as not being poetic enough, pretty enough, anthem-y enough. I wanted something as powerful as SABOTAGE and something that had a Beastie Boys type song to blast with it.

But that is not what I need this year. This year my artistic heart needs discipline. I need the reminder to get up early and get to work. I need the quiet reminder when facebook lures me into the trans-dimensional time suck. I took on more teaching this semester so I will need to also keep on a schedule for completing student grading and lesson planning, scheduling time for that works for me better than any other strategy I have tried to keep up with the work load.

I need to get more work out to be considered. I need to write, edit, and revise more work to be able to send it out. This goal also needs focus and time set aside. If I sit at the table and taunt the muse, maybe she'll join me sometimes, yeah? But if i keep standing her up for our coffee dates in favour of arguing with strangers online about pig genetics, even if it is amusing as hell when the fanatics get all Harry Potter Slytherin about PURE BLOOD lines, the muse will eventually get fed up and go hang out with more dedicated artists.

And what comes of courting the muse?

 Being published.

Experiencing amazing things and making art from the experiences. Having my camera with me as much as possible so that even a moment of inspiration in a bathroom at a concert can be met and played with.

Being published some more.

Going to Prague. Going to Prague to eat the food, experience the social and religious art, and then make some art of my own. I did that.

Essay, photography, poetry......4% of my submissions being accepted which is a pretty good rate of acceptance according to the tracking application that I use.

So. Focus is what I need. Discipline. Tracking. Time.

My goals this year are to see more, take photos of it, and write. I'm going to have a go at a fiction project too. 1000 words a day is a lot, so my goal will be simply 100 words every day. Just that much.  I can do that. If I fail? I will start the next day to meet the goal and not beat myself up for missing a beat, a word count, or a day. Life happens, yeah? Sometimes we take a breather, but the journey is long and even small steps get us there eventually.

On the docket for the year so far:
Ossabaw Island Writer's Retreat. Again. I have to. It's paid for. Ha.
Take a photography class. I'm on the waiting list at our local community college (I work there so I have to wait for students to fill it and then see if I get in.....).
Write more thank you cards and mail them.
Say I love you more.
Send out 25 poems. Twice.
Take 3000 more pictures of interesting things.
Take my camera off auto and learn how to use it.
Be there.
Have a professional photo shoot of myself done. Or try my hand at some self photography that is more creative and less hand held phone head shots.
Attend a permaculture convergence.
Speak/present at a permaculture convergence on the storytelling and social media aspect of farming.
Learn to draw fairies and monsters.
Dance more.
Walk places.

Learn about:
HDR photography
mass tree planting
medicinal herbs
vintage make up and hair
jewelry making
mushroom growing
green houses
learn Yoga and make it a daily routine

What is your word for 2015? Your goal? Your dream? Have you drawn up your travel plan to get there yet?

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

A Look Back, Travel 2014

 Ossabaw Island was my first adventure in 2014. This was way, way out of my comfort zone. I made every excuse I could to talk myself out of it. A wonderful group of friends and a select few family members kept me on the path to go to this.

What was this? This was a writer's retreat, sure, but it was also a returning to poetry, to writing, to taking myself seriously, to finding out who I am now that I have children and years of experience under my belt.

I took a bus. I saw the country through the highways. I also experienced helplessness and poverty in ways that shook me to my core. I arrived on the island and the quiet and the spiritual quality of the wilderness brought me home. It was from this place that took heed. 

I have more to write about this experience, but I blogged it live here: Ossawbaw.

Next up: Rio, Wisconsin. Madison Area Permaculture Convergence. This year Chad took a certification course for Permaculture design and we shifted our farm goals to meet this design theory. I had been pushing towards Permaculture since we bought the farm and my friend Sabbath first used the word in conversation with me, my curiosity and discovery led me to embrace it. Convincing Chad was another challenge all together.  He finished his design certification work, attended a week long work shop at Versaland, and then he really wanted me to attend this weekend in Wisconsin. Only he wanted me to go alone or with friends. Nope. I wanted to go together, as a couple.

He said yes.

This may not seem like a big deal, but the truth is that we do not travel together. We just don't. He's a food miser and hates touristy blah blah. I love it. So honestly, I was not expecting him to say yes and I was not expecting it to go well. How sad is that? Very. Like I said, we didn't travel together before kids, and children and farm livestock certainly make travel complicated even when we leave them home. Chad's parents volunteered for both duties and we were off!

Camping. Vegan food (which was admittedly a huge challenge for me), and lots of hiking. I even had Lego foot (that condition of tissue swelling that happens post stepping on a Lego in the middle of the night). I brought my camera and adventurous spirit.

One of the things I began to see is missing from our farm operation is the second tenant of Permaculture- Care of the people. Oh sure, we care for ourselves and the people on our farm, and others in our community but we are hermits at heart. So this coming year we have ideas that have rooted that will involve helping others begin farming too, teach skills, and build more community.

 Late August our friend Jessica called and said, "Hey lady, wanna go cave exploring? Today. Leave now?"

Normally, this is where I hesitate and make excuses. Nope. Loaded the car in under an hour, the kids in less than 5, and headed north. It was challenging physically, but amazing and totally worth it. This really drove home the idea that we can adventure closer to home too and easily. I have some pretty big travel ideas for the next year, actually, and I know my kids are up to it.

And last but certainly not the least.......I flew to Europe. This is a trip I have dreamt of since I was little, but more recently the last two years.

I have always said we should create our lives to be so good we don't need to take a vacation from it. I stand by that. However, I thrive on the beauty of landscape and art and history. I wanted to visit my friend who has lived abroad for the last decade.

This trip was not easy. Just getting a passport took me 2 years and a government shut down, a new drivers license, and so much paperwork that I thought for sure it was just not meant to be. Passport in hand though, I booked the tickets. Could I afford this? Nope. Responsibly I should have remodelled the downstairs bathroom that I ripped out last summer. But I didn't. I bought tickets on Air France and told Chad to figure out child care (he quit his job instead! Ha!). And then I did it.

I went to Prague. I visited Wencelas Square, The Bone Chapel, the castle, and so many churches. I did karaoke, walked the streets of Prague in the rain, took a paddle boat on the river, and rode a train through the country side.

Did it change my life? No. I am the same me. Unplugged and open to adventure, camera in hand, I saw the sites, hugged my friend when she needed it, and now I have a passport and 3000 amazing pictures.

How will 2015 ever live up? Oh, it will.

Where will the year take you?

Monday, 3 November 2014


November for me is about cleaning: instead of Spring cleaning, I do a fall purging.

An accounting for.

A turnover.

A clean slate.

Three days in and I have sorted and purged 1/2 the outgrown and damaged shoes. Filled two trash cans full of junk mail piled on my desk. Done eight loads of laundry.

I have sat down and organised what work is about to be submitted. Lined up Spring and possibly fall teaching assignments. Paid tuition for a retreat that I am very excited to attend again.

Meal planned. Chore charted. Scrubbed dishes and wiped down shelves.

Three days in and November is already looking fantastic and hopeful. 2015 is going to be an outrageously fantastic year, full of promise and new growth.

With that, I present to first published essay: In the Bareness of Winter, page 136 in the fall issue of Fifth Wednesday Journal. Not available online, to read it you will have to get the print edition. Cool, eh? This essay was really hard for me to write, to share this event on our farm. I also had a fantastic group of friends proofread and cheer me on during the process. If November is for gratitude, let me tell you all, having friends like these? Friends that fill me up instead of tearing me down, friends that cheer me on when I am scared to do the next big thing, friends that stop me from quitting by driving me to the airport, bus station, poetry reading, picking me up from said places too..... friends that love me through the darkness of my insecurity and self doubt? I am extremely grateful. More than mere words can express.

Look! They even printed the accent mark!

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Day Three in Prague: In which I demonstrate that I can actually take decent architectural photos.......

Day three was so overwhelming and amazing that I can't even remember what I ate. Seriously. Ok, Actually I think I had eggs for breakfast with an amazing Czech bread for toast and then frozen cheese on a stick later.....but I know there was other food somewhere in the day and I cannot remember it at all. Why? Architecture. All of it. And the history. This first picture is the place where thousands of people gathered for the Velvet revolution, Wenceslas_Square, but it was also the site of a great many historical gatherings and protests. The sense of greatness and historical importance was dense in the air.

Day Two in Prague

Day two. I slept most of it. Yes I did. I could not sleep the night before. I got up at lunch time and washed my hair, then spent about 45 minutes trying to clean the purple out of my friend's bathroom. Freaking poor planning on my part- freshly dyed hair + staying at someone else's place= frantic cleaning. I did remember to bring my own pillow case and towel though (always travel with a towel because...).  

Day two was spent studying maps, making lists of places I wanted to visit, writing, and getting grounded. Plus, Adrienne had to work and I did not yet have a key to the flat. When she returned we headed out.

Dinner was an amazing beef and gravy dumpling plate and aloe vera tea and then we headed out to a Pub Quiz! Ha. It was fun and I got to use my mad trivia skills....also humbled by my lack of pop culture knowledge in general.....though I did correctly identify Kurt Cobain as a kid.

This was the first time I started noticing the beautiful tattooed doors, but did not yet think to photograph them. Actually, this day I was still getting my artistic mind around how to photograph buildings again. My first job out of college was survey work for the State Historical Preservation Office, taking digital photos of buildings. I even had a portfolio of churches and commercial buildings, but it has been over a decade that I have mostly taken action and macro shots of flora and fauna on the farm and my children. It is a very different kind of photography and requires a different eye. I am posting these terrible shots from my second day as record of the progress I made artistically.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Day One: Prague

Waiting for take off.
In the air!
Flying was interesting. At our local airport,  there was much fuss about Swamp Fire, our signature farm seasoning, that I was bringing to my friend as a thank you gift. My joke that it is "the bomb" but not "a bomb" was not appreciated. Neither was my observation that my boarding gate was C4. Also, at each check point I was taken aside for "special" treatment and reassured that I do not fit the profile of the Panty Bomber.  Not something I was able to find online with a quick search, as the underwear bomber is not someone who looks anything like me.  Still, I made every connection, sometimes breathless and last to board.

I was relieved and travel weary when the plane landed in Prague.  Thank goodness for good friends, seriously. I was so happy to see Adrienne! All the way around the world for a hug. It took me two years to follow through on a promise, but I did it. Well worth the effort.

 And this is the neighbourhood that I spent most of my time in. This particular pub had fantastic gnocchi in spinach cream sauce, so good I hope to make it soon for the family. Mmmm, mmmmm.

Mostly, day one was just getting settled, and day two the same. 

People keep asking me why I went. I answer a couple ways:
One: it was my pig escape money goal. Every time Chad needs help with escaped livestock and swears at me, I get 50$. Ha ha. This is no longer an issue and it actually did not generate enough money for such a trip.
Two: Bucket list, true. Going to Europe was a long term goal. Living there was actually a childhood dream.
Three: In grad school, I had a nursling when I should have been taking the semester abroad in Italy that other Architecture students were required to do. I have always felt this was a gap in my education. This short trip is far from filling that gap, but I have a lifetime to do so.
Four: A vacation? I feel so guilty even allowing myself to admit this outloud. I grew up poor. Free lunch poor. Taking a trip like this is a luxury I don't deserve. It makes me one of them, the not poor. That is a hard thing to swallow, especially after our new transition to grow our farm in which we will have to use government programs for health care and the like. Confused? I don't want to admit we'll be poor or admit we were well off enough to send me on a European vacation. 
Five: Opportunity knocked. The set of circumstances that made the trip affordable all lined up.
Six: It was a personal reward, if I followed through with sending my work out into the world and it was accepted for publication, I would do this. I would have earned this.
Seven: Travel unravels us in ways that are intangible. I needed that unravelling at my seams so I could take up the pieces and reassemble with stranger threads.

Details of the trip budget, since this is the next question I get:
Ticket: I watched flight prices for more than a year, fluctuate. I could have gone to Priceline and a round trip ticket I scoped out was $600 but not refundable and lots of layovers. I opted instead to fly AirFrance/Delta and even pay an extra $75 each way to fly out of the Atlanta hub. Ticket total was around $1300 with all the fees ect.
Passport: $200 with the fees and photo and new driver's license required. That's its own story.
Food and Museum fees while there: $200 for ten days.
Train: less than $20. It was 220 crowns I think and I am too tired to do the math. 1000 crowns=48$.

Lodging was free- stayed with Adrienne the whole time. Huge savings and pretty much what made the trip doable and worth it. She was a guide and translator, and really made the trip fun and local.

The weather was perfect, warm and sunny or overcast and cool (perfect for photos). Fall was full of colour too.

Saturday, 20 September 2014


There is a children's book, Travel Light, by Naomi Mitchison, that says, "Will she stay dragonish and hoard wealth and possessions, or will she travel light?"

I am about to set sail again, this time to go halfway round this big world to give a friend a hug: Ten days in Eastern Europe.

I travel light. Early on, when day tripping and camping with Lily when she was a toddler, I over packed. In the Rockie Mountains I realised that I seriously only needed one small bag and diapers for the both of us for the week. I had packed a stroller we never once used, extra clothes we never wore, we washed the ones we did half way through the trip, and never touched the toys or books we brought. What a waste of space and extra gas to haul stuff all over. Now we pack a small cooler, diapers, and a backpack for each kid and mom. That's all we need and it is enough.

I thought maybe I was being silly, under-prepared even. Still, this was put to the test when I travelled by bus to Georgia in the winter. It worked out just fine.

I don't need much, I wear my bulkiest clothes to travel and pack light. Usually just one backpack though I am being encouraged to take a carry on too, empty, so I can bring things back with me. Maybe. I have not decided yet. It sounds like a good idea, but I am most comfortable with just my backpack.

I wear jeans and a sweater to travel, and my red coat (which is currently missing and I am freaked out about). Boots. Hat. Earrings and necklace.

I pack, 2 skirts, 4 shirts, one nicer dress, underwear, a bar of shampoo soap, and a pair of ballet flats. Then a book to read, phone charger, notebook. Maybe a lip gloss (though that got me in trouble at TSA last time....), maybe an eyeliner and mascara.

All of that fits, usually with my computer, in just my backpack. I travelled to Georgia just like this.

This time, here's where I am struggling......this time I am considering taking my camera (not just my phone camera) and (cue drums of doom) leaving my laptop home.



Even now, as I am sitting here, I have 4 hours to write and what did I do? I complained about the wi-fi connection, messed around on facebook, opened files, made a new station on Pandora, and now I only have 2 hours left.

This is a trip of a lifetime. I mean for it to be the first of many, but it may be the only trip I take. I am going to an ancient city with architecture and history that I have only read about in other languages, studied in graduate school. Perhaps I should be more in the moment than worrying about my laptop. Just a pen and paper and my camera.

Pen ink to paper. How this slows me down! It frustrates me to no end to think slowly, to make mistakes, to scribble. Yet, most of my good work begins as notes in ink scribbled in margins of things. Why not give homage to the ancient places I will breathe and drink by slowing down and stepping back in time, just for a moment.

Ten days. Not a lot of time. Not a lot of hours. Perhaps the break in technology could give me the recharge I yearn for. Even just thinking about leaving my computer behind gives me anxiety. I called my insurance agent to make sure it is covered if it is stolen while travelling (it is), but seriously? I am more concerned about this object than the violence happening nearby where I am going?

Yes. I need to take a break. More of a break than just logging of for a day or a weekend and perhaps putting a couple thousand miles or more between me and the machine will help break the dependency.

This is complicated by the fact that I work from the virtual world, but I am hopeful that my phone will stand in as enough and I can grade from an Internet cafe once or twice.

Thoughts? What would you do? Any tips for international travel?

If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness, and fears. -Cesare Pavese

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Selfies and Gypsy Farm Girl Punk

A couple years back my friend and inspiration Tiffany posted a selfie challenge. I started it. The one post I wrote sat gathering dust in my draft folder taunting me for near two years.

I could not even bear to look at myself in a mirror, let alone publish a picture of myself. Good grief. I gave a family member a whole lotta grief over flooding her wall with glamour shot and drunk selfies near daily. That's one extreme and my zero selfie policy was the other.

I wanted to find a healthy balance. First, I published that draft. Goodness it was well received, shared on social media about 200 times. Not the picture, the message. We are all superheros.

Still, I was in full on mama frumpy fashion and felt like a blurred out version of what might have been instead of a full person who is. How to even begin to address that?

Step one: decide what your style is. I used to help me figure this out. For casual work days my style is Gypsy Bohemian- long skirts, chunky vintage jewelry, tall boots, and blouses. For farm days- jeans and punk rock t's or a cross over with the gypsy blouses. For dress up? Rockabilly vintage.

gypsy farm girl

Purple or red for hair no matter what. And earrings. I realised I love earrings. Just putting a pair on makes me feel prettier.

Once I figured that out, then I had to force myself to shop for myself. I started online, easier to do with kids constantly pulling at me. Then thrift shops. Most of my jewellery is vintage or handmade from friends.

Another bigger hurdle? I mean, other than budget? Ha. Buying clothes that fit me, buying clothes for my right now body not the maybe someday body. That means admitting I need size 10 bottoms and large tops. I will never again be a zero or a two or shop the small rack. I am ok with that.

Then, learning how to put things together with things I already have or to remember what things work with what. Polyvore helped with that too.

Here is what the result was Saturday night at the show (I was trapped in the bathroom with Isaac who was melting down from the over stimulation):

My goal now is to take a selfie a day. Sometimes that means I wll take one out in the pasture or with an arm full of kids or while cooking something fun. I am part of the story too. Not just the faceless narrator, leading others to beauty and self acceptance and adventure.

I am part of the story too.

More to come on this topic I am sure. Just you wait and see.