Standing up for Water.

The mighty Columbia flows past my front door. Meanwhile on the other side of the continental divide, her sister river, the great Missouri, with her winding ways and beautiful chalk bluffs, flows towards the east. The song birds are somewhat different there, singing in the cottonwood trees that line the water. Though this time of year they are few…

Broody Hens

We have been keeping chickens for nearly ten years. These days we have three large hens, and a whole mess of bantams. This fall three of the bantams were broody – one successfully hatched 4 chicks, and the other two spent their time arguing over who got to sit on a golf ball. Which made me wonder, am I…

Home Again Home Again Jiggity Jig

I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. This is true. I also live in the rainiest city in the US – we receive close to twice as much as the famously rainy Seattle and Portland. I live in the midst of a bonafide temperate rain forest. Which is particularly noticeable…

Halloween, Samhain, Dia de los Muertos 

To my ancestors we are in an important moment in the year. As we descend into the darkness of winter, the ancient Celts had a three day period of time-out-of-time, days not considered part of the normal calendar. This is the space to get your affairs in order, pay debts and follow through. On Samhain –…

Beyond Awareness Month: Lessons from the Shirtwaist Strike of 1909

What follows is an account of the Shirtwaist Strike of 1909 as it might relate to Breast Cancer Awareness month. In late September 1909 some brave women, seamstresses actually, organized a general strike that pulled in over 20,000 garment workers.  They were fighting for safer working conditions, a fair wage, regular working hours, and the…

World Peace Day – Pray for Sacred Lands.

“To us, as caretakers of the heart of Mother Earth, falls the responsibility of turning back the powers of destruction. You yourself are the one who must decide. You alone – and only you – can make this crucial choice, to walk in honor or to dishonor your relatives. On your decision depends the fate…

The Pink & The Pissed

My friend David recently sent me an excellent article* written by Barbara Ehrenreich in 2001. In it she bemoans the tyranny of all things Pink.  Barbara Ehrenreich is the brilliant mind behind the book Nickel and Dimed, and has spent decades questioning and critiquing and debunking the norms of our society. She helps us to see from new…

Grati-Tuesday ~ Ursula K. LeGuin

This letter is the first of what I hope to become a regular practice of writing letters to those who have influenced and enriched my life. Some on my list are living, some dead. Some are people I have known personally, others are public figures. This week I thank one of my favorite authors, Ursula K. LeGuin. Welcome…

Feeling sexy is an inside job.

Today, I was a Beauty Queen.  I walked in the Astoria Regatta Parade at the front of the Blue Scorcher  “Float”  which we put together out of banners we made yesterday, combined with the signs from our farmers market booth, and flags made for the Lughnasa festivals of the past.  It was held together with bamboo and zip…

Any way you slice it, the fiscal realities of cancering

Let me start by saying I am immensely blessed. That even though the financial consequences of my cancering extend into the foreseeable future, I get just how lucky I am. I get that the good fortune is inclusive of my financial picture. Despite the fact that my healing sabbatical led to taking on debt to cover my lost wages,…

Joseph Campbell and Me

The Journey.  Okay. This summer I’ve had the chance to read a whole lot written by other breast cancering babes.  I have also ended up clicking through to many editorial articles.  After about the third time I saw a snarky remark about the “ubiquitous journey” of breast cancer I changed the byline on my blog…