22 July 2017

.tiny moments of pleasure.

A childhood friend is driving from our hometown in Central Washington back to her home in Chicago this week. She passed thru Idaho last night and we met up for dinner. It was so lovely to catch up in that deep unspoken way that comes from having a childhood in the same place. She brought me a huge bag of fresh picked bing cherries from her family's orchard. A true summer treat!! Today was so so so hot, I made myself a fresh cherry milkshake and had a flash memory of my sweet Nana several years ago in her later stages of dementia. She wouldn't really eat except for fresh cherry shakes and french fries, those were her favorites. One hot summer day my mom and I drove her out to her favorite fruit stand with the best fresh cherry shakes in town. We sat down in the shaded picnic area and I was talking to my mom when I heard a loud slurping noise and looked up to see that noise was coming from my sweet southern belle Nana. I thought of that today with my shake and realized how even as she was fading from us and herself she still had those sweet tiny moments of pleasure.

Life is so unexpected and impermanent - we aren't granted anything, just tiny moments connected together - some are ecstatic, some are warming, some are exciting, some are challenging, some are bittersweet, some are shattering and some make our hearts expand bigger and wide than ever imagined.

This memory reminded me to continue to seek these tiny sweet moments of pleasure in my life. I hope so dearly that you are finding tiny moments of pleasure in your life.

16 June 2017

.from WHY to THANK YOU.

I just read The Seat Of The Soul by Gary Zukav. It's an incredible read. It really challenged how I view my experiences. Gary talks about how everything that comes to us brings a lesson - good or bad it has purpose. The past few months here have been really challenging for me. I've been working on shifting a lot of my WHYs to THANK YOUs - to view experiences as potentials lessons or signs directing me to what is next. I'm headed east tomorrow for a big trip to see dear ones in Boston, visit Cape Cod, teach jewelry classes and participate in the Renegade Craft Fair. It's so exciting, so many of my 33 manifesto wants are going to happen in the next 10 days!!

Today I went on a morning hike and I felt so grateful for the land here - to be able to walk the foothills almost every single day. What a gift! My heart just felt full to feel so connected to the earth, again. Then I realized that even bigger than my appreciation for land of the west was that shift - a THANK YOU. On the eve of a dreamy trip to a place I've missed since I left - here I am - right here - grateful for the place that has been such a fierce teacher for me.

I think having access to open lands here has really helped me to s l o w down and be more present. To realize that in this moment I am so grateful for the lupine season splashing yellows and purples amongst the rich smell of sagebrush and tomorrow I will be so grateful to hug dear ones and be in the middle of the chaos of the East Coast, again.

I hope you are listening to your journey. I wonder what lessons are finding you!

08 June 2017


I live in a tiny studio above a garage, it's very typical in this small tourist town for families to make extra income and a source of "affordable" housing in a town with very limited options. It's a quaint space that seems like a luxury in some ways, having spent the past several years living in old houses full of roommates in the city. The bedroom nook has a window facing southeast, there's a tall line of evergreen between the neighboring open lot and adjacent house. Tomorrow is a full moon and I like to leave my window shade open on full moon nights so I can watch the moonrise from my bed. I noticed tonight the thickness of the tree offering only small flickers of golden light through the branches with alternating moments of pure darkness. It's strange to see the barrier of light that they offer - moments of bold light and of deep darkness as the moon slowly rises. I've fallen in love with the rhythms of land and place, I've missed that.

05 June 2017

.open lands + light.

I've been staying in a log cabin the past 10 days, it's east off the highway a good ten minutes if you drive 50 mph on the 35 mph roads. There's no cell phone service out here just an open valley of land and incredible views of the snow capped mountains in the distance. It's beautiful out here, no street lights to pollute the night sky, just the soundtrack of the flooded river rushing through the cottonwoods and the chorus of birds chirping. I've savored the early mornings watching the sun rise and stretch over the mountains in the east and slowly make its way to the west throughout the day with the sun rays and shadows dancing thru the cabin until once again the pitch black settles in for the night. Yesterday a storm was coming through and the land illuminated a bright blue-grey color and I realize how in the open land I am able to see and feel the many variations of the land.  Unlike the city where the buildings and light overpower and distract us from experiencing the subtleties of a place. The overexposed washed out morning light that makes the mountains melt into a mix of colors that slowly clarify into the mid-morning shadows of the hillside that start to illuminate the individual trees and the colors separated to various shades of greens and some burnt orange from last summers fire. The shadows drape over the hillside bringing depth to the curves and as the sun starts dropping down behind, sinking into the west a muted earth tone come over the trees, the definition of the land is gone, just a bold emerald presence until the mellow shadows of green fade to black and we wait to see what tomorrow will look like, all over again but different, always different.

10 April 2017

.t h i r t y t h r e e.

I love the number 3, it's sacred.

10 years ago when I was 23, I made one of my craziest decisions and joined the Peace Corps - leaving everything I'd known to live in South America for 27 months.

3's are a good number for me.

This year with my 33rd birthday on the FULL MOON. The full moon is a time to release intentions - begin again. It feels like a great time RELEASE and FOCUS. I am a triple fire sign (sun - aries, rising - aries and moon - leo) and I love newness, adventure, impulse and that will always be me but I want to follow thru more. I want to make a focal point to make decisions from. I felt lost and confused a few months ago and decided that the answer was in choosing a health education job in a new place, but coming here it wasn't what I thought. This is a part of expectations versus reality of change, but it's deeper than that. It's as if I made a decision based on old wants - I forgot to calibrate my internal focal point before making the decision and post-decision I now realize the discord. It's time to calibrate. It's time to dream B I G and know that I deserve it all that goodness that comes with that. It's time to embrace the truth the when I live B I G people around me/people I love/people in my community live B I G too.

Last year, a dear friend gave me a blank manifesto booklet for my birthday. I've kept it blank for an entire year not knowing what to write. This seems like the perfect time to write a manifesto, my first manifesto.

33 things to do in my 33rd year, a manifesto

1. Sew a quilt.
2. Teach a jewelry class.
3. Bake more bread.
4. Share bread.
5. Go to Scotland
6. Write poems.
7. Cook food for people.
8. Visit Boston and the Cape.
9. Swim in the ocean.
10. Meditate daily.
11. Sleep 8 hours a night.
12. Go to art galleries.
13. Create wellness resource for self + others.
14. Make time to cook.
15. Eat fresh food.
16. Explore Sawtooth Mountains.
17. Soak in many hot springs.
18. Take responsibility.
19. Write more  postcards.
20. Take long walks.
21. Spend time near water.
22. Dance everyday.
23. Practice vulnerability. 
24. Do yoga.
25. Pay attention to the moon.
26. Make jewelry. 
27. Experiment more with metal.
28. Trust my intuition.
29. Build community.
30. Sunbathe.
31. Ride my bike
32. Take a class.
33. Be kind to myself. 

03 April 2017


I went to a book reading last night with Emily Ruschvich, a Idaho native and rural life enthusiast. She said she's always lived in small places and with that also loves rural literature. The moderator asked why she loved rural literature so much? She said "it shows the essence of us - rural life shows our humanness in our most quiet moments." I loved that. I fell in love with her passion and connection to the land here. I envy that connect to a place. She reminded me of the richness and depth of exploration that comes from the slow quiet of rural life.

I remember that silence.

It reminded me of those long hot afternoons living in that big house on the hill in Southern Malawi. The view from the front porch looking over the red valley below and the electric red/fuschia sunsets during burn season. The days with no work and no power. How they felt so long at first and then slowly over time turned into sweet delights. It was time and space to explore and create, a new fruit to experiment baking with or new supplies found on a trip into the city to make into jewelry.

One time, on a trip to the "big" city I found rope at the paper store and learned how to dye the cotton with found spices at indian stores and then wove it into a big necklace on one of those afternoons, just sitting on the front steps looking out at the guava trees and the clay lands while the boys (I lived with a family with two boys - Promise, 7 years old and Osborne, 5 years old they became my local guides, shadows, friends and food tasters.) played soccer with a ball made out of burnt plastic bags. Another afternoon I noticed the guava trees, so heavy and ripe with fruits and with a whole afternoon infront of us I decided we were going to make a guava crisp. I explained the mission to the boys, they had NO clue what a crisp was but with the brief mention of sugar (a rare treat) they were off leaping at the trees to help collect guavas. Within minutes Promise and Osborne were back with enough guavas for 10 crisps! As I gathered the ingredients and they worked on eating the leftover guavas. I went to the cookhouse to start the fire but  realized I forgot a towel to grab the pan and headed back to the house. As I rounded to the front of the house I had a strange feeling - something was different. I slowed down and looked around and before I knew it Promised and Osborne were sneaking up behind me whispering "Arish, baboooooon baboooooon" and there in the small grove of guave trees was at least 15 baboons in the trees scooping the fruit off the branches and into their mouths.  The world felt silent and full and magical for a moment - then Promise being 7 couldn't help himself and was worried they wouldn't leave any fruit so started running towards the trees and in a flash they were all gone - like it never happened.

It's been hard to sink into the silence of HERE. I ached for silence in Somerville but now that I am in a place of wide spaces and deep silence I am realizing how much in 3 years I acclimated to my home there.

08 March 2017

.happy international women's day.

I learned to make jewelry as a young teen at a bead shop in my hometown. The shop was owned by this vibrant woman who made gorgeous jewelry and traveled the world buying jewelry supplies and handmade goods! I always felt so much magic and freedom when I was in her shop which later absorbed into how I felt making jewelry! I went on to start my own jewelry business at 19, selling at the local farmer's market. I know without that experience as a young teen to have seen my own reflection in a vibrant, independent woman entrepreneur I couldn't of imagined starting my own business, that experience allowed me the freedom to believe it was possible for me. I'm celebrating all the amazing women in my life who have been role models and teachers for me to dream MORE and BIGGER! May we all have role models in which we can see our own reflection of possibilities and dreams!

HappyWomen's Day!