Just Write. Whatever You Do…Just Write. The Liebster Award.

Over the past few months, I’ve been told, time and time again, that I really need to get serious about my writing. No matter what I talk about, I apparently have a way with words, and have a lot of thoughts, so I gotta start sharing them with the world. Funny how things like this happen, and when you start to really make something a priority, the goodness just starts to rush into your life.

I want to thank one of my follower’s for awarding me with the Liebster Award – I guess it is an award for an up and coming blogger. I really appreciate it! Here’s a link to her blog: http://atspoonoflove.wordpress.com

So, part of this award is to answer 11 questions…here goes!

1 ) Favorite vacation spot of all time: Thus far, in my life, Sun Valley ID is my favorite vacation spot. Perhaps it is because I’ve been going there since I was 6 months old…but between the mountains, rivers, family, and food…I love it! 

2 )  Favorite book and why: That is a hard one…but I’m going to have to go with The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita because well, it changed my life just over 5 years ago. If it wasn’t for that book, I probably wouldn’t still be here today…and when I mean here, I mean alive…because well, it opened my eyes and my heart to feel things that I pushed back, so deep, and never thought I would feel again.
3 )Food tradition you love ? I love toasting to the first sip of your drink at dinner. Over the years, I’ve developed a few MUSTs when it comes to toasting, inspired by friends and travels. You must not toast with water. You must toast on your first sip. You must look each other in the eye when you sip. You both (or more) must sip…not toast and put the glass down. If you break these rules, it is bad luck. Haha. That’s my tradition.
4 ) If you could go to dinner with any 5 famous people (dead or alive) – who? I have to choose 5?? Holy moly…okay, Albert Einstein, Ivan Pavlov, Michael Pollen, Mahatma Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela. We could probably make sustainable living happen and bring peace to the world.
5 ) Favorite cuisine ? Asian fusion. I can’t wait to travel to Southeast Asia! One day!
6 ) House is on fire – family made it out – what is the one thing you grab? My computer. It has loads of documents, from photos over the past 5 years, to 30 page papers, to poetry…I couldn’t let that go. Especially if my family is already safe. 
7 ) Favorite type of chocolate ? Fair-trade, organic, dark chocolate with sea salt and almonds. Or ANY from Confections with Convictions. 
8 ) Favorite beverage ? Water. Iced Masala Chai. Whiskey w/ water and a slice of lemon. 
9 ) Movie you most relate to? Really? I’m supposed to choose one…wow…okay. An indie flick I just watched, TiMER. Because I want to meet my soul mate but it just isn’t my time. 
10 )If you can trade places with a famous person for 24 hours , whom would you pick? Barack Obama. I’d just some shit done in that office. And then I could try to understand why each president fails to live up to their campaign promises. 
11 ) A TV show you love to watch: The Newsroom. images
Thank you, again, for the award. I really appreciate it! Happy blogging, living, eating, and breathing.

Inspiration. Invitation. Dig it.

The Invitation by Oriah:
It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you 
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone 
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

 

By Oriah © Mountain Dreaming,
from the book The Invitation
published by HarperONE, San Francisco,
1999 All rights reserved

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Freedom, Farming, & Food.

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Between the ages of 5 and 10, I lived in Virginia. I learned a lot about the Revolutionary War time period and it has always fascinated me. Our founding father’s gave up a lot to give us the freedom that we, so dearly, love today. I remember sitting in history class, in 3rd grade, and hearing the quote, “give me liberty or give me death”, followed by a story about Patrick Henry and how, following this statement given at the Virginia Convention in 1775, was stoned to death. Since that day this quote has been my favorite…and when I was 17, I got it tattooed on me. See above photo for a slightly blurry look – across my shoulder blades. I get a lot of compliments on this tattoo, mostly from people who don’t seem like the “tattooed” type…which leads me into a discussion of freedoms.

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What would you say if I told you that this dessert was partially illegal? And when I mean illegal, I mean…regulatory officers breaking into your home/farm and taking away your supply of milk, your animals, and your livelihood. Lately, there has been a LOT of buzz about our freedoms being taken away, about the government becoming more and more authoritarian…etc. But, I want to ask a question to the audience…how many of you think you should have the right to collect your own rain water? How about drink raw milk? How about fishing for food? Shouldn’t these natural foraging techniques be a freedom, ingrained in our nature? But no…these things are ILLEGAL in most states (unless you have purchased a license, or a cow/goat)…and even then, especially with raw milk, you risk your livelihood to eat the way humans were intended to eat.480196_10200303763977700_1202123370_nThis past Sunday, my mother, sister, her boyfriend, and I went to a farm called the Eater’s Guild (where my mom and sister work, and my family has a CSA share). A beautiful spot to enjoy a Summer Solistice – Pieluck – Square dance. Surrounding yourself with likeminded people kind of lightens the burden of living a lifestyle that is “alternative” in our American society. Our SAD lifestyles has pushed farmers, artisans, pioneers, hunters/gatherers, and the like, to the sidelines…as we continue to build a monoculture of sugar, processed foods, and genetically modified foods.

I ask that we be patriots in our country and promote eating like our ancestors. Appreciate the beauty of the food you eat. Understand where you came from (10,000 years ago, life was worshipped and sacred, in all creatures across the world) and where your food comes from. Be an aware consumer. Support what you believe in. If you are what you eat, do you really want to be cheap, fast, and greasy? I don’t…neither should you.

On another note, I’m in the process of reading a great book: “Eating on the Wild Side” by Jo Robinson (just released in early June!) highlighting a diet that is full of phytonutrients, based upon what our ancestors ate, and avoiding our genetic modifications to make fruits and vegetables less nutritious and more “tasty”. I highly recommend! I will be doing a book report on this, once I finish…with some key points and a cooking/shopping guide to go along – so be on the look out for that.

 

March Against Monsanto – The Freedom of Assembly

Yesterday marked the first global March Against Monsanto. I stand by our right, in the USA, for the 1st amendment; the freedom of assembly. It is so important that we exercise our rights as citizens in order to take part in our government, our society, our State.969475_10200160052224996_695034048_n

The freedoms which we sometimes take for granted, like the freedom of assembly, the freedom of press. We have the right to stand for what we believe in and to gather with the likeminded. We have the right to share our stories with the world and have mainstream media to portray our grassroots effort as more than just a bunch of tree-hugging health nuts. WE are the voice of the future.

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This group of little guys were just darling. They helped their parents design the signs but really stood by their words. They chanted, marched, and smiled as they carried on with their signs. Sometimes they got so excited and rushed ahead of their parents…but always found their way back.

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Although the above signs are a little radical, they are appropriate. We haven’t seen such extreme birth defects or developments, yet. However, sometimes radical images are a great way to grab people’s attention. I dug it. 946900_10200158495986091_1077501236_n

This is me ^^ hangin out, marching, and taking a turn in front of the camera. I wish I would have had time to make some bigger signs…but well, what can ya do! I’m just happy I was able to make it and experience my first protest. However, I feel that protests should be PRO something instead of ANTI. So I’m PRO-educated consumers…although I am still against Monsanto.983999_10200158492185996_1487102294_n

This is my little sister. I granted her the right to wear my spring into the freedom to farm headband. Yes, I named it…as I needed an excuse to buy it. She made this awesome, heartfelt signs for our march! Isn’t she fierce?970458_10200160049344924_281762322_nI was really excited when I saw the route we were taking – we walked a one-way street heading out towards 131 from 94-business. There were a lot of honks and hollers – but most important was the calming and community feel that this march had. This volunteer was happy to pose for a picture in front of a big GMO commercial “restaurant” – McDonald’s. Gross.

Please remember that your money talks. Spend your money at places and with people you support. Support your local farmers and artisans. Support global companies that are humanitarian, eco-friendly, and are transparent with the consumers. Let our freedom of assembly, our freedom of choice, and our free market determine the fate of Monsanto (and Big Food).