day 27 – goals matter

I was starting to wobble on the whole practice thing around day 24. The thought process went something like this – Why does it matter? No one but me is keeping track. I don’t even have any performances coming up for another two months. . .

Being the instigator of the practice challenge helped in keeping me going other than missing one 15-minute stick control session – it matters because I say it does and because consistency does matter. The wobble also pointed out to me that it was time to re-visit my practice goals. It just took a few minutes to look at my goals and to chart out the next several months and what I might like to work on and focus on for that time. Since then, my practices have been easier to motivate for and have been much more fun. It’s amazing what a difference that little goal-setting time made for me.

There is a lot of thinking about practicing and goal-setting out there. Since I’ve already spent some time with goal setting and practice, it just took a moment to re-focus my energy. If you haven’t – here‘s a link to a page to help get started. It can also be helpful to talk with a teacher or mentor to help get you pointed in the right direction.

Happy Practicing!



and a spoken word poem that feels relevant at this time on the planet . . .


There are kale chips in the oven: kale, olive oil, coconut oil, ground sesame seeds, salt and a bit of nutritional yeast. We like to bake them at low temperatures (200 degrees) even though they take longer – they are much less likely to burn.

There is laundry in the machine ready to be hung: diapers, and diaper covers.

There are slab ends in the driveway ready to be cut. Soon.

The list of things to do is long. On it is also walking, doing yoga and playing marimba.

I am liking “Farmacology: What Innovative Family Farming Can Teach Us About Health and Healing” by Daphne Miller, MD that I get to read while nursing and while the little one is napping. I just finished, “The No Impact Man” by Colin Beavan. And both lead me to feel that we are on the right track with our lifestyle and could be doing more.

So I called the local farmer for goat milk today which is good on both accounts of being a more sustainable choice and being good for the bacteria in my intestines.

Speaking of which, I need to also put on more water kefir.

And now I shall go tend to this life instead of just writing about it. And you?

moon in the desert

Last weekend we traveled to Peach Valley to experience the moon in the desert. It was gorgeous. It serves something in me deep and wordless in a different way than other experiences. Maybe it’s the quiet or the vast openness that you can see. When I arrive in the desert I can imagine vision quests that take me to the essence of myself.

Pictures do not capture the experience. . .  moon rising. sun setting.

moon in the desert


My prayer is that you too would know and be able to access the landscapes and the experiences that feed deep aspects of your soul.

Our hike the next day was lovely, and beautiful and I’m very glad that we went early in the morning before the desert was blazing hot.

black canyon




And back at home, the milky oat tops are ready and the echinasea is blooming. I’m thankful and loving the summer abundance.


why is it?

Why is it so hard to do the things that serve and nourish us?

Why is it so hard to step out of the habits that leave us stressed out?

I’m sure there are plenty of people with theories about this, but when I sit with it more, actually the question I am more interested in answering is this –

How do I choose the habits and uses of my time that do nourish me?

How do I set down the “list of things to do” and draw or practice my drum or take a long bath soaking with some calendula and lavender?

One thing I know to be true is that I am much better at keeping promises to other people than I am at keeping promises to myself. Being accountable to someone else works for me. But there are things such as taking flower essences or making herbal infusions that seem silly to promise someone else I’m going to take. But then I find that I’m not taking my herbs and wonder why I feel a little bit frazzled and under-nourished.

I’m certain that attention and intention are key to this dilemma, and I’ll let you know if I figure it out, but maybe it’s just the continual recommitment.  So here I am, recommitting to a daily herbal infusion. Here I am recommitting to taking my flower essences. Here I am recommitting to carve out more space for my creativity.

And you? What are the things that you know are good for you (going to bed at a certain hour, eating or not eating certain foods, etc.) that just seem to elude you?

And what would you like to recommit to today?

Last year's garden bathing.



I woke up with this poem floating in my mind:
By Jacob Nibengenesabe translated by Howard Norman (complete poem here)


There was a storm once
& that’s when
I wished myself into a turtle.
But I meant on land!
the one that carries a hard tent
on his back.
I didn’t want to be floating!
I wanted to pull everything inside
& dry.
Here comes the waves
shaking me
& I’m getting sick in the insides.
I wanted to be the turtle
eating buds & flowers & berries.
I’ve got to wish things exactly!
That’s the way it is
from now on.


Several nights ago I was noticing that I didn’t have any bird feathers for my new moon altar. And I thought, “I should get some bird feathers.” Yesterday, my sweet carnivorous black cat, Panther, brought a blue bird and left it on the carpet. It’s outside now, but he still hasn’t eaten it. This poem came to mind, “but I meant on land.” I meant that I wanted bird feathers that were dropped by a bird gently and willingly and I wanted them to be clean and tidy and available. I did not mean that I wanted to take the bird’s life for its feathers. I tried to tell Panther that we don’t do this, “we don’t take food that we aren’t going to use.” But he wouldn’t listen. He sees me throw things away that I’m not going to eat daily: plastic bags, the big twist-ties that come on vegetables. I hear him asking, “how is this different? It was fun. You do things for fun.” “I’ve got to wish things exactly! That’s the way it is/ from now on.”



blue bird

yay for spring!


’tis the season for dandelion eating!  I saw my first blossom yesterday in the garden. The roots are great and so are the leaves and so are the blossoms. What an amazing plant, no wonder folks brought it with them when they settled from Europe.  I’m enjoying my roasted dandelion root tea (with chicory and a touch of burdock) with a touch honey and coconut milk.

In other garden news, yesterday in herb class we steeped fresh horehound leaves in honey and in six weeks we’ll have a great remedy for the lungs; it’s also just a good blood cleanser for this modern lifestyle.

I’ve been watering my carrot seeds twice a day so they don’t dry out, but no germination yet. I think there must be something to the “watched pot never boils.” Right after I planted our cold-frame (basically a little glass box mini-greenhouse) we went out of town and when I came back, the plants were up. Now is the time for thinning in the cold-frame and I can’t say I’m the best at it. I want to leave all the plants to get big, but it just doesn’t work like that. I go back and forth between carefully selecting which plant to pull and indiscriminately taking my scissors out to harvest a little salad.

I’m ready for the deer to stop tromping through the garden, but they haven’t fully moved up into the hills yet. So, no tulips for me, yet again. It’s actually become humorous to watch them grow and be mown down in the night. I’m glad the deer left me some crocus blossoms to enjoy; I’ve been eating out in the garden and marveling at their perfect purple and white forms.


well, I’m back from the tour and all I can think about is the garden.

we’ve been out daily picking up the winter trash that is now revealed (where does it all come from?) moving rocks, adding compost and putting in seeds. Today I put in some carrot rows with lettuce in between and am debating using row cover or just diligently keep them watered.

mmmmmmm. . . . .

I’ve been taking herbalism classes this year and am in LOVE with the medicinal herbs. What bounty. What resources. What healing! Yay Alicia for sharing her knowledge with this community.

Right now it is the season for dandelion root and greens as well as chicory root and greens. Dig the roots, wash them, roast them gently in the oven and make a tea that you can use as coffee replacement (yes, it’s a little bit bitter). Use the little green leaves in salads. Yes, they’re a little bitter too but that is where some of the medicine comes from – this helps clear out any winter stagnation and prepare the body for spring and summer!

I’m also in love with St. John’s Wort oil right now. It’s great to rub into your skin for muscle aches and it helps restore damaged nerves. You can find out more here. Last year Garden Planet, in Paonia, CO sold some great starts and I’m hoping to find it (and other great herbs) there again this year.

Equinox is nearly here and I’m excited to see how it will change things as we tip towards the sun.

ready. . . set. . .

right now I’m laying in the top bunk of a tour bus


ours is red. I’ll get you a picture soon. Right now it’s dark out and we’re in Yankton, SD getting ready for a FEAST show tomorrow.

We are watching “the Princess Bride” on TV. And I’m typing with terrible posture. So much for mindfulness. I haven’t watched much TV or lived on a bus with 13 people so I’m feeling very distractable right now.

Juliette de Bairacli Levy says about cayenne, “A tonic for all organs of the body, including the heart. Said to increase fertility and defer senility.”


Today, on the drive we saw lots of geese flying together.