Tuesday, November 3, 2015


I write this from the office of the house we just bought. (That makes it sound bigger than it is...its tiny.) But its mine...ours. With a yard for Rumi and the bees and cultivating soil and food and love.

I didn't see this happening so soon. By that I mean 'so easily.' This is a city ruled by tech industry and money, neither of which we are a part of. But we looked far enough out and with such requirements that I don't think we were part of a multitude. Seattle is low-property, high-accessibility focused. Where we we had been living/renting since our move was an up-and-coming area (close access to Amazon headquarters, lots of new developments, restaurants and bars within walking distance, etc). I enjoyed it - the parks nearby, the neighborhood, the quick commute to work. But I was ready for a change. I knew life would be different and every day I biked to work along the canal trail I soaked up every ease and beauty. My routine, walk to the bank with Rumi, take her to play ball at the Locks, walk to the brewery for beer. Then we moved.

The Locks
Ballard-UD bike commute

We moved 15 miles South of our apartment. Not much, in the Midwestern terms I'm still used to. But in Seattle, North to South can feel like an astronomical distance because of the water and traffic congestion. I was ready to feel alone, for the sake of a yard and investment, instead of steadily increasing rent prices. I cycled my way to work that first day, 14 miles. Lots of hills. I biked the high ridge of Seattle and made it on time, sweating like a 14 yr old boy at summer football practice. (Just allow me the drama....)

And that was it. I was at work, like usual. I biked past some of the same places, but then I biked through all these neighborhoods and districts I had never spent time in. Places I was afraid I might never see again. I have a couple of different routes I can take to work, and all take me right through the heart of the city. I am feeling more connected with this city than I was when I lived in it. I posted an instagram photo stating such of a shot from my bus stop downtown.

Bike commute to work

So, here I am. A house, a job I'm comfortably working, pets and a lover/best friend. Now that I know my location, schedule, and commute I can start planning the next page. It probably involves school. I'm not excited about reopening my financial aid for more funds but I'll do it. I'm ready for more. I'm a Helper, and idealist, a huge gushing heart that won't be happy with just my own comfort. There are so many things that need to change. I know my avenue is people. And I know my passions are where they are for a reason. Cheers to the mystical mixture of love, life & work!

Rumi's dewey nose after morning fetch
Happy kittens Keiro and Augustus

View of the backyard morning after move.

And at mid-day

Friday, September 18, 2015

Expectations, and Dropping Them

"I can't believe this is my life. This is not what I expected" I said to Rae. We were carrying the box of beekeeping equipment through someone's yard toward our car.
He looked worried, but I assured him I LOVE this life. It's just a lot different than what I had imagined as a teenager. (But who knows where the hell they're going at that age, right?!)

I'm 33. I don't have kids. I don't live near my family. I have a life apart from everything I knew just a few years ago. As negative as I made that sound, I love it and all its bittersweet notes. 

The bitter parts: 
As a kid/teen I always imagined I'd become a parent and it sometimes feels bizarre that I got this far without ever joining the club. When I got married at 22 I pushed the possibility further out, year after year. Self preservation took place of social expectation. My maternal/parental/nurturing instinct is alive and well, though. This isn't something I admit often, but there are times I mourn the untapped potential of that little uterus I carry around. I mourn what I thought could be, regardless of my ambivalence about it. Maybe I want kids? No. I don't know. Maybe later. Fostering might be it, after all there are so many people on this earth. I have so many things I want to do, so I keep doing me first. And I look forward with intention to nurture souls that I have not and will not birth. No love goes to waste.

I miss my family and Oklahoma friends. I miss holidays and birthdays and funerals. I see my nieces and nephews grow through facebook and instagram, all choices I knew I was making when I drove away. I love living here. I love my people there. It's an odd place to be, to feel so split.

The sweet parts:
I'm working a job I enjoy  and am trying to figure out my next move. I love my coworkers, my clients, my commute and the flexibility. It's good for now but soon it will change and I will be ready.

The Pacific Northwest. {Period.} The smell of saltwater in the morning. My bike commute along the canal. The sun in the summer, rain winter. The autumn that lasts for months at a time.
I have my bestloverfriend and our life together. Rumi kisses and Augustus purrs. I have free time to do what I will. I have a home. I have solitude when I want it and friends to lean on.

I've never had a direct route planned, unlike my perfectly Virgo lover. I enjoy that about my existence, my ability to roll with it. When I feel the right wave coming I jump on the board and ride away. For me, not having a concrete plan is how I find myself in the most delightful places. Like walking through a green yard under a grey sky after a full day of beekeeping. 

This year has been one of making peace with myself. Forgiving and giving room. I've always been good at ignoring the expectations of others, but I keep myself bound in my own. Aren't we always our toughest critic, the biggest reminder of fouls past? I have been re-learning to let myself feel, fully and without judgement or fear. Realization touches ground - you play by a different set of rules. Only you can know them. Only you can make and break them.

<3 br="">

Monday, August 31, 2015


August has been brutal on the heart. For me, and for many I have known.
My step-grandmother passed away. I was able to fly back to Oklahoma just days before to say goodbye. I spent two and a half days driving around the city, holding new babies, visiting my grandfather at his assisted living center, doing what I could to help my step-mom prepare, hugging family, and kissing sweet Kay goodbye. When my dad dropped me at the airport I settled at my terminal and sat still longer than I had in days, and I realized how full my heart felt.
Not long after I arrived home from Oklahoma I had to make the decision to let my sweet kitty Frankie go. I've been jumping down rabbit holes to keep him healthy and comfortable for a while now and suddenly everything had come to a head. It was a quick decline and I couldn't watch him hurt any more. He was my baby and it feels so odd to be without him now. I was in such a state of reflection and readiness and then I found the next day my sweet niece Hadley took her first soul step from her body. Before she was two she was diagnosed with Krabbe's disease. She defied the odds and lived until she was 11 years old, touching hearts and inspiring everyone around her. A death as such, being mourned for years, is no less difficult. But there is a rejoicing in her being free.

After all of this I went to work with Rae at his garden. I needed to be with the earth. As I spent the morning harvesting tomatoes, searching through the tangled stems and leaves in search of fruit, I felt the joy and release of nature. Life, death, the process in between. Everything we need begins with the soil. It was an affirmation of the road sign I keep seeing. Therapy based on earth, soil and plants. I'm still feeling my way around the timing but there is no denying that my purpose is to connect people and earth, and connect people to themselves through the earth. Through loss we find our selves, our love, and what matters.

With all the life that is changing it felt so fitting that our weather had cooled. With every breath of sweet, rainy Pacific air I sensed a cleansing. These days are new. They are empty of souls I have loved but rich with their memory. With every loss I feel the wisdom of age adding layers to the soles of my feet. Something has changed here for me. I see this city with new eyes and feel more home here than I have in the past two years. As if the experience of loss in a place somehow intertwines your heart with the landscape. Whatever it is, my sorrow and gratefulness have carried me home to myself.


Sweet Hadley

Frankie sunbathing on vacation

Rest in peace and power, sweet souls. You are with me.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Last month we went to Orcas Island. We went on a whale watching tour in hopes of seeing our local J pod up close. And so we did. For most of the boating time they were pretty far ahead of us, thrilling the other boats and popping up to give amazing shots in front of Mt. Baker.

L-87 Onyx in front of Mt. Baker
Fun story about Onyx - he is an L pod orca but when his mother died he went missing. Typically, orcas stay with their families for life. When Onyx disappeared everyone assumed he was dead. He resurfaced again with the K pod until its matriarch died and now he travels with J pod, who is led by J-2 Granny. Granny was born in 1911 and is the oldest known living orca in the world!! Right in the waters outside my house! So exciting.

Anyway, we had gotten pretty far North when our captain turned off all but one motor. We were watching them surface from afar when suddenly these two popped up about 20 feet from our boat! I haven't been able to go through photos to try and identify them yet.

J-26 Mike
The captain turned off the motor immediately and then Mike popped up at the back of the boat, nearly touching it. We could hear them breathing, the most glorious of sounds. Deep, hollow, strong breaths. We didn't even see them coming and I keep imagining what they must have been thinking. Staying underwater until they got right up to us and then giving us a show. I know they are not here for our entertainment but they seemed to be saying hello as they surfaced and looked at us. Boats stay at least 200 yards away for the safety and respect of the whales, but they approached us and made our day. It was one of the most significant experiences I've had since moving NW.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Morning thoughts

I have a day off today and I'm looking forward to doing whatever I want, all day.
Rumi woke me up to go outside. Frankie wanted me to watch him eat. I'm trying to decide whether to make coffee or walk to a coffee shop and keep my kitchen free of heat. I'll probably bike to Goodwill. And spent some time in my garden.

Rae was just offered a permanent position at work, which means we'll be staying in Seattle for a while longer. Our escape route has not quite shown itself yet. Portland felt like such a perfect move but Rae needs more experience under the belt before moving and starting a career over. So here we are. Starting to look at houses again. It's a scary thought in this expensive, hard to get around city.

I had a work meeting last night that gave me a tiny sparkle of motivation. Of course, motivation is not what I seek. I enjoy cutting hair because I get to engage with people all day. I go home with notes of books to read, documentaries to see, people to connect with over this or that. And hair-cutting is a very tangible organizational movement. I like the completeness of finishing a haircut. I can do this for a while. I have plenty of other interests and I'm still looking into horticultural therapy. But for now this will sustain me and allow me the opportunity to expand my interest and social base.

I am ready for a change. Firstly, changing my activities. I started going to yoga at the park on Wednesdays. And biking always makes me happy. I have my volunteer commitment, cutting hair for homeless youth, but that's only once a month. And I'm feeling the need to branch that out in another direction. I want to be more involved in ecological systems here. My vermicompost bin is one of my newest favorite hobbies this year. Worms are so amazing! Making our scraps into black gold for the garden. Getting off topic now....
A more drastic change than just activities will be a house move. Buying a house means moving from NW Seattle to South. My commute will drastically change but I'm planning on biking it still. That might be just what I need to feel a bit more...engaged. I have daily life space-out issues.
A yard will be a dream. Or at least a garden next to my living quarters, and enough room for a few beehives. A place for Rumi to run and maybe even another dog! I'm excited for what's next. I'm ready.

I still haven't moved all my photos over to our new computer, or figured out how to link my phone. But here's a few I actually have saved here.

Carniolans & Italians, a comparison

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

In the passing time

It's been nearly a year and a half since I've posted here. In the passing time I've picked up on tumblr, which I thought would be a more creative outlet but I tend to just post photographs. I haven't exercised my "voice" in a while, other than personal journaling. But this morning as I cleaned the house my soul danced between these walls and I felt like submitting here again.

So, here "we" are. Two years into Seattle life, and oddly enough, still where I was in my last post: "I am an air plant, suspended in a glass globe amongst the Seattle morning fog. It is good, for now." We are still looking for our piece of earth. A lot has happened in the mean time but that is still our goal. Portland may be our home, we both feel it. 

For now, I am still working at the barbershop. Rae is teaching gardening at an alternative school on the South end. We live in North Seattle, where we feel grossly out of place, other than our close reach to the Puget Sound. This city is polished, new. Tech industry is blowing everything out of the water and if I weren't biking to work every day I would probably have gone out of my mind by now. My bike has become my main mode of transport as well as enjoyment. 

I like lists, so here's the compilation of my riches right now:

  • P-patch: my personal garden space at our apartment complex where I find my most cherished alone time. This year I am growing strawberries, carrots, beets, turnips, chocolate cherry tomatoes, basil, overwintered garlic, flowers, and first attempts at Star of David okra and national pickling cucumbers. Hoping to pickle everything this year!
  • Beekeeping: I got in here after Rae started in April 2014, beginning Cooperative Bee Company. I tagged along until he invited me to maintain my own hive this year. Our new hives this year are named after my grandmothers, Bette and Emma. Mine is Emma. We are up to five hives now after a hive split and Rae catching a swarm, both within this past week. I am so proud of Rae in this venture. He has always wanted bees and now he is catching swarms and caring for the ladies that give us food. It's so blissful and humbling. He has already made his first round of salves from the wax we harvested from last season. 
  • Home: we moved to a one bedroom apartment. Rae works a lot and I quit my bartending job back in March so I could have more self care time. This apartment has become my space. Bright, quiet, filled with plants and books and food. I invest everything I want out of my own walls into these and I'll carry it when we move on. 
  • Pets: Rumi and Frankie. Enough said. ;-)
  • Relationships: I recently began writing to loves. The winter was hard, and I wrote letters for Christmas gifts because that was all I could manage at the time. It was a release, a comfort, to communicate with family in ways that I don't feel free to do on Facebook. I continued my writing to friends and am working on being more intentional with the relationships that feed me. 
Of course I have a million more interests and loves but those are the biggest recipients of my energy recently. I am now writing from a different computer so not many of my photographs have been transferred, but I can't leave a blog without one! So, here's what lately has been looking like...

Cheers, friends!