Sunday, May 10, 2015

I Celebrate the Mother in Me and all those Other Women I have been.

 After all is said and done,  I will be watching and looking at my own life and who I have been and yet to become and it pleases me that I am a mother even though sometimes I miss the other mes I have been.  I wouldn't turn back but I like to remember who I have been.  As I hug these boy spawn tightly and give them so much of myself, I honor the mother in me that waited silently until the deeply afraid young woman was ready to morph into mother who embraced her bold and primal self.   I like to remember the young mother I have been and celebrate my growth as I now guide other young mothers as they begin their journey.  I still like to dance in the moonlight.  That will never change. 

I don’t remember when
the girl of myself turned her back
and walked away, that girl
whose thin arms
once held this body
and refused to work too hard
or listen in school, said the hell then
and turned,
that dark child,
that laugher and weeper
without shame, who turned
and skipped away.
And that other one
gone from me
and me
not even starting to knot
in vein or joint,
that curving girl
I loved to love with,
who danced away
the leather of red high heels
and thin legs, dancing like stopping
would mean the end of the world
and it does.
We go on
or we don’t,
knowing about our inner women
and when they left us
like we were bad mothers or lovers
who wronged ourselves.
Some days it seems
one of them is watching, a shadow
at the edge of woods
with loose hair
clear down the back
and arms with dark moles
crossed before the dress I made
with my two red hands.
You there, girl, take my calloused hand.
I’m going to laugh and weep tonight,
quit all my jobs and I mean it this time,
do you believe me? I’m going to
put on those dancing shoes
and move till I can’t stand
it anymore,
then touch myself clear down
to the sole of each sweet foot. That’s all
the words I need,
not poems, not that talking mother
I was with milk and stories
peeking in at night,
but that lover of the moon
dancing outside when no one looks,
all right, then, even when they do,
and kissing each leaf of trees and squash,
and loving all the girls and women
I have always been.
- Linda Hogan

Monday, March 30, 2015

Ahnu Helena Boot Review

  I came to fall in love with the Helena boot by Ahnu Footwear a little late in the year but here in the Pacific Northwest tall waterproof boots can be worn 9 out of 12 months and spring can be wet.    Oh, how I love the weather here in Washington along the Puget Sound.    Today, as I type this,  it's raining but not too hard and there are flowers blooming everywhere, perfect for leggings, boots, a sweater, and light raincoat.

  The Helena boots are quite tall at 15 1/2" shaft height and look great with a skirt, leggings, or jeans.  I have the Pewter color which goes with everything!  They are soft waterproof leather upper and a neoprene panel in the back that is stylish and functional as it adds a bit of stretch.   The zipper is waterproof as well.  

  My favorite part of the boot is the neoprene panel in the back.  I found that with a lot of position changes throughout the day the stretch makes a difference.   I even taught a 2 1/2 hour class in these with most of it sitting on the floor and I didn't even notice I had them on.   I was pleasantly surprised about that as I figured I would have to take them off when sitting cross legged. 

 I was dubious at first about the size and the height of the heel.   Being a minimalist shoe lover, I thought that the slight heel would be a problem but so far, I am not feeling any ill effects which usually manifest into backaches but none have happened.   This photo makes the heel look taller and chunkier than it actually is.   

  There isn't much ground feel in these but they are pretty close to being flat and they kept my feet warm.  The trade off with thinner soled shoes in the winter is that the cold seeps through the bottom of your feet.  I even feel that with my Vivobarefoot hiking boots.  I can feel the ground but even with wool socks I get cold feet if I am out too long. 

  The traction on these boots is great for urban terrain.   I wouldn't wear these off road or on the trails but for wet sidewalks and all that I have come across in the urban areas, they performed well and I felt sturdy and stable.   

  I have nice big dogs and am usually a size 11 but they were out of my size temporarily so I opted to try a size 10.5.  They were a smidge tight at first but after the first days wear,  they loosened up and fit perfectly now.   I don't know that they run large but I am glad I didn't go with the larger 11.   
I do have to wear thinner socks with these though as they are too tight with thick woolies but they kept my feet plenty warm even with thin socks. 

  The only downside to these is that the toe box is not as wide as I would like and I have pretty narrow feet.   I wish that the toe box was nice and rounded instead of the taper in at the point of the toe.  It's not enough to make me stop wearing the boots as they have stretched there too but I don't think these would not be a good fit for those with wide feet who want to have plenty of room for natural splay of the toes.

 It is hard to find a low heeled waterproof tall boot!  I actually waited for about 2 weeks to  test them out in the rain as it's been surprisingly a bit dry here, of course when I have waterproof shoes to test out.  Sorry I jinxed the rain everyone!    I am not being facetious  either, people up here love the rain!

They are great upside down too!
I most recently wore them on a full day trip over to Seattle.  I walked for miles in the Helena boots and not a single blister.  Not even a hot spot!   I even had bandaids as I have learned my lesson more than once that testing out shoes on a big city walking trip can be a huge mistake but not with these!!   They got even more comfortable as the leather stretched and got even softer.  I got compliments on them wherever I went and I will be wearing them often. 

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Huge Sale on XeroShoes Barefoot Sandals!

 XeroShoes are my go to shoe.  When it is warm enough I am either barefoot or in Xeroshoes.  It's such a relief to be in Washington and have rainy chilly toes instead of frozen popsicle toes in the midwest this time of year.  The Pacific NorthWest is so much better for my feet!  A pair of toe socks and sandals are perfect.   I have been a fan of XeroShoes for years now and the no tie Amuri Clouds are my favorites!  

Xero Shoes Barefoot Sandals Biggest Sale EVER

  XeoroShoes is celebrating their 5th anniversary!!!  And they are having a huge sale!  I just can't use enough exclamation marks!  Steve and Lena are amazing and they are working on moving to a bigger facility so they are lightening their load to offer new amazing sandals.  This sale is for up to 75% off.  So, give yourself an early Christmas gift and pick up some for the whole gang while you are at it!

   Happy Turkey Day, Happy Holiday Season to you all!  xoxo

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

new directions

I love how life changes and evolves.
I have been and continue to be many things.
I am now a provisional Bradley Childbirth educator.
It has been a long last 6 months of work and I still have a ways to go in order to be fully affiliated.
Homeschooling is back into full swing and I have also been making jewelry and art.
Life is good here along the Puget Sound.
I am still barefoot daily and am not looking forward to the colder weather when I have to wear shoes.
Today I wore some minimally soled high tops and I couldn't wait to kick them off.
Family, service to others, art, music, friends, food, tea, music.  This is life and it is good.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

5 things I learned from 365 days of handstands

  In the beginning of this one year handstand challenge, I was excited to be done and feel what I would feel at the end.   I would revel in the accomplishment  I would be a different person.  I would be able to do an effortless handstand.......  

  Well of course I am a different person but that would have happened whether I did handstands or not.   Honestly, this year has taught me many things but unfortunately for you,  I don't have any magic answers.
 I know I am kind of bummer out about it too.

  Maybe I am taking what I know for granted...  I can say for certain that the biggest obstacle that stands in my way is fear.  Fear of failure, fear of falling, fear of looking like a dumb ass, you know the basic fear and anxiety sort of stuff.  If you can get past that fear then you will have fun and it won't matter so much if you can hold a handstand like you belong in the circus.

   In this case the idea that the good stuff is in the journey absolutely applies.  I figured it would be the case since most of life is like that  but was hoping for some big fanfare and confetti or something at the end.
  It turned out to be just another day.  A happy day.  We did go to a beautiful park surrounded by trees and it was a lovely warm day but really that could have been interchanged with any day.  

  After having decided that I wasn't done and would go ahead and start over,   I started thinking about what you might want to know about this journey so far.   Here is a list of Five things that I can tell you about my year of handstands. 

  Number ONE~  Handstands take work every day.   Yes I technically did a handstand daily but I didn't work on it all that hard.   Not every day was there "work".   In order to get BETTER, I have to work at it.     I read this article  and realized that it takes 5 minutes a day.   I get tired.  I am not recovered yet.  I am a million times better but I still suffer from exhaustion and 5 minutes of handstand practice is kind of a lot.  So many days are just little pop ups to be able to say I stuck with it.  I also had to learn to be ok with that.   I have to be ok with a lot of things in the name of getting better.

Number TWO~  Gaining weight made it harder.  There isn't a while lot of explanation to go along with that.  BUT, its ok.  I'm loosing the weight and regardless, my body is pretty awesome in general added pounds or not.   I started doing handstands about 15 pounds lighter.    As the weight was put on, it seemed to get harder.  meh.   Regardless of weight,  I think everyone can handstand and can love it!

Number THREE~  A year is a really long time!  Not to say that its not perfectly do able to do a handstand every day.  But when you get to day 250 and kind of wish you were done because you feel no better at hand standing, even though you are,  you realize how long a year is AND how much time there is to life.   Choose wisely and make each day count! 

Number FOUR~  Do not compare yourself to others and pictures are static.  This is a tough one.  There is a fine line between being inspired and jealous.  Some people will make it look really easy.  If I am that for you, I apologize.   It is not easy and most of my pictures are really well timed pop ups and NOT handstands held forever.  I'm not there yet. 

Number FIVE~  Mundane can be magnificent and magnificent can be mundane.  This sums it up nicely.   I thought it would be HUGE at the end but it turned into something I just do.  It's no less magnificent but I'm not done.  I started over and am day 7 of year two now.    I still can only hold a handstand for a couple few seconds.  Thats not enough.  I am working on practicing longer each day and still focusing on being joyful and letting my shift in physical perspective help me in changing  my mental perspectives too.   

    Want to try a handstand challenge?  Just get upside-down.  There is nothing fancy about the challenge and anyone and everyone is encouraged to play along. The link I posted above is fabulous and will get you started.  Post your pictures anywhere on social media and use hashtag #handstand365 and if you are on year 2 then I put #handstand365x2 .  Have fun above all!! xoxo

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Lems Boulder Boot review

Every single Lems (formerly Stems, Lemmings) pair I have, I adore.  
Its actually hard to write a review of shoes that I can't find anything about that I, 
or in this case the husband and oldest spawn,  don't love.   
For this review I could literally say, "I heart these shoes really hard and I think you would lurv them too and so you should get a pair."  the end.   That would be an accurate review!
There is no break in period and they feel great right out of the box. 

The Boulder boots are worn daily by my fellas and are worn for everything.   The Superhero and the teen spawn have the pleasure of testing out the Boulder Boots and they have tested them in all environments.  The teen especially!  From long boarding to hiking to urban adventures and scrambling along the coast, the Boulder Boots were perfect. 
The Superhero has the brown and the teen has the black.

They have been wearing them for months now and I can't see any wear.   They have been muddy but I have let it dry and then just brushed the mud off.   They dry quickly as well if you do submerge your foot into a creek or puddles.    The upper is made of  water resistant nylon with a cotton lining.   They are treated with a water resistant coating and will need to be retreated over time with Scotchgaurd. 

The Boulder Boots are warm enough for winter here although here in Washington, at least western Washington, it is pretty mild.  It is however wet often so its awesome that they are water resistant. 

The roll-it-up-in-a-ball test is a reliable way to tell how flexible a shoe is.  It's a good way to see that the shoe will move with your foot and not dictate how your foot will move.   I don't like shoes that cram my feet into a particular shape.   These boots are nice and wide for your foot to naturally splay.  

You can take out the insert but with all of our Lems we have left the insert in.  It doesn't detract from the ground feel of the shoe and makes for longer times being on your feet a tad bit more comfortable. Lems are a bit wide for me and the insert makes them fit my foot better.   

The good news for the wide footed folks is that all Lems are nice and wide and you can make them even wider by taking the inserts out.   The width accommodates feet from average width to extra wide. 

The Boulder boots have great traction.  As you can see from the pictures, they do fine on the trails.   Also they are great shoes for long boarding.   The sole is 9mm and of course they are zero drop.  The boot is fully collapsable so great for travel. 

The sizes come in only full sizes so be sure to look at the sizing chart closely before ordering.   The Superhero has big feet and he was able wear the Boulder boots as they accommodate his size 14 dogs. 

The padding along the ankle is fabulous.   I am always surprised to pick up these boots as they are mush more substantial in photos than they are in person.   Theses are the lightest boots I have come across to date. 

The only real difference between the black and brown is that the black is all canvas and cotton where as the brown pair has leather accents.  The Black pair is vegan where as the brown has leather accents. 

 You can purchase them for $115 which is quite reasonable for a boot at

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Beauty and brutality, the female condition, oh, and my uterus sucks.

  My uterus sucks!  

  I am hormonal and emotional.   I went to the doctor today and although I am not one to feel uncomfortable with a doctor seeing my lady bits, I am more comfortable seeing women, I still feel violated. 

Those tests today hurt.  I feel resentful towards my body and I don't like that.  I don't want to hate my body but I am absolutely frustrated beyond words with my stupid uterus.  I don't feel violated by the doctor per say but I feel angry that I have to go through all this pain and suffering because my stupid girl parts are whacked out.   Did I mention that the tests hurt....

  I want to contribute to the world and its difficult to do so when physically, emotionally, hormonally, mentally, compromised.  My capacity for complexity is so much lower and it needs to change....take a breath. 

  Biologically speaking, I have played the game and passed on my genetics.  Four times.  There should be a fucking switch I get to shut off when I have paid my dues, when I have done my biological duty for the species.  Blurg.   

  I am considering ablation to stop my periods.  I don't want to do hormonal birth control and the IUD is no longer working.   So, it's try the ablation and then if that doesn't work or if there is an issue with doing it, then the next option is a hysterectomy.   

  Tests need to be done in order to see if I am a good candidate for ablation, which in and of itself sounds brutal.  Beauty and brutality, the female condition.

Today, I had a biopsy of my uterine lining done, which HURT!  Enough to where even I, with a high pain threshold, felt woosy and needed juice and crackers. 

  Now, I don't take surgery lightly AT ALL.  It scares the hell out of me but having this stupid fucking period for 2+ weeks at a time and then getting maybe a weeks reprieve and then to do it all again.   No thanks.   I have had my four children and I don't want any more.  I don't want to be constantly battling anemia and having no sex life.  I deserve better. 

  The midlife crisis part......It's one thing to make a decision that can be reversed and another thing to make a decision that has finality.    It signifies a milestone of sorts.  It makes me wonder and question my purpose in life.  Who am I?   I am I really done having children?  How will this change how I see myself, how others see me?  Do I really have to accept that I am getting older?  It all seems silly but I suppose I have to do this crap and ponder these ideas.  Oh, and the hormonal and emotional part, yeah, that doesn't help.   It just makes me want to cuss. 

  Why am I writing about it?  Because I think that we as women should feel comfortable being open about our bodies.  So, I am being open about mine.  Being a woman can be fabulous.  We make life.  It was awesome and fascinating and I appreciated every bit of it and plan to help others with their child birthing milestones.  But, now I am done having my own babies.  I want to move on.   My body served me well and was strong and capable in the baby making, birthing and baby sustaining department but now I want my brain back.   I want to make fitness gains and progress.  I want to be better and I don't think accepting where I am right now is enough. 

Come on nature, work with me here and if you won't.... science, please don't fail me. 

Have you had ablation or a hysterectomy?  What are your thoughts and advice?

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I provide Bradley Method childbirth education, doula, belly casting, placenta encapsulation, and post partum doula services.
I serve families in Kitsap County, Bainbridge Island, Poulsbo, Bremerton, Silverdale, Kingston, Port Townsend, Bremerton, Port Orchard, and the greater Seattle area. email me with any questions you might have
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