Tuesday, November 9, 2010




I'm still here...coming up for air, from the depths of beautiful chaos...chaos made up of school, painting, renovation, spray paint, cooking on an element that I've unearthed from the piles of kitchen boxes, mauve and country blue wallpapers, flooded hallways, empty boxes, school books, exams, errands, umpteen trips to the Home Depot, drills, furniture, a new family dining table that I'm certain we will still be sitting down to when I'm 80 years old...and did I mention the country wall paper borders?...mothering, wife-ing, sleeping, finding my old stuff, remembering why I picked all that old stuff, wondering how some things escaped the great Journey to Real purge of Spring 2010, planning to purge them in the fall cycle, and being really, really...REALLY... grateful.

This house was a God thing. He knew just what we needed...and gave it to us, despite my insatiable need to belly ache all along the way.

There will be a post on the house very soon. For now, I just need to let you all know that I'm still here, and that I can't wait to be back every day as soon as possible!

Until then...I'll be nesting my happy socks off!

Happy Fall, Ya'll!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Re-Post :: Coasting

*originally posted on May 22, 2010

Well...it happened.

I cracked up.

It turns out that half way through this trip, we can put one question to rest, already. Ready?

*Aleisha needs to live in or near a town.*

I love mountains...

I love trees...

...and I REALLY love the beach...

...a beach, by the way, that I jogged on, & had some praise and worship time with the Designer and Manufacturer of that magnificent beach & the ocean that crashed over those sands. But yesterday, when we were driving to a campsite...in some mountains and trees...let's just say they had, at that moment, lost their charm. The car started to crumple in on me, I got nauseous, and I burst into tears...demanding to be out of the woods and the car, immediately!
I'm talking full-on Veruca Salt.

I've been seeing amazing things...but, I have been showering with my sandals on, and brushing my teeth in gas stations, and my ability to be fine with not having a place to hang my hat is diminishing at a rapid pace. Not to mention, the stuffing of everything we own into the back of the XTerra, the not having a readily available washing machine, and the fact that I really need one of my own cups of coffee, sent me to the point of disintegration. I'm just tired. I'm a settler...I like to nest. This whole thing has been an enormous stretch for me. Although I'm ashamed that I yelled at my sweet husband, who incidentally settled us into a motel for the week, near Portland...I'm not mad at myself for cracking. I knew it would happen...and truth be told...I'm not sure you'd find a large percentage of women who would be willing to do this in the first place.

I want to grow food, and I want to have access to nature...but, I love culture & art & architecture...I need to know that I can go to the symphony or wander around a Barnes & Noble if I need to, and I REALLY love skylines...I love cities. It's becoming clear that this farming endeavor is going to need to be more of an urban project;)

So, in the light of yesterday, I was bound to have a day of illumination. If there is one thing I know...transformation is never easy, and just because you're near the ocean, doesn't mean you all of a sudden lose all your vapid character flaws...just ask the residents of Los Angeles:) What I do know is this...Wherever you go, there you ARE. The issues that created the life I didn't want back home are the same ones that live inside me, out here on the road. The key is...the issues are IN me...not around me. All that changes, if I don't work to change myself, is I pitch fits in more beautiful surroundings. But...my wise, God-given sister-friend, Heather reminded me today...that yes, wherever I go, there I am. But, wherever I go, there my Lord IS, also.

I don't know how people live without Him...because, there's no such thing as just coasting...

...even on the coast.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Re-Post :: Paging Jimmy Stewart....and could someone find Clarence?

*originally posted on April 1, 2010

Well, I was re-reading my post from yesterday, and I saw the line when I referred to this world as a cesspool...well, I'm sorry about that. If I really thought this world was a cesspool, I wouldn't care less about what we do to it, and I wouldn't think it was possible that we could change things. I do, however, believe that our country's hub is a cesspool, but D.C. ...well, that is home to one of my very most favorite people in the world, so it can't all be a toxic waste dump. I believe that distinction is localized to a small area of the city...like maybe the size of a mall. *cough*

See now, this is all just more evidence that I need to go cry on the shoulder of a giant redwood, take a nap with a mountain, and have coffee with the ocean. But, trust me...I love the world. It is our greatest and steadiest gift, from the most awesome Creator. I mean it...I love this place. It's easy to get all geared up and pressed down by the weight of the war going on inside. But, beauty still kicks ugly's butt in the point spread, and good just doesn't get the same press as evil. Moral of that story?...say goodbye to the press. One of my soul parachutes...Amos Lee...says it best..."Nothing is more powerful than beauty in a wicked world." Delicious, right?

Some things, right now, are really grotesque. Totally. But...they were when the ceiling was painted in the Sistine Chapel, they were when Ansel Adams was taking his first photos of Yosemite...they were when a Man sacrificed His Life for me, and then beat death by rising again.
You know what?
Wars in Rome started and stopped...the Sistine Chapel remains.
The Dust Bowl and the Great Depression hit, and the Adams' photos still remain...not to mention that Yosemite is the crown jewel of America's National Parks system, which Adams fought to begin.
A couple thousand years later, Jesus sits at the throne of Heaven...the cross and the tomb have long since been reclaimed by the earth...but, I live sanctified and free...right now.

So, you see...beauty wins. It always has.
It really IS a wonderful life.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Re-Post :: Authenticity

*this was originally posted on February 18, 2010

As of late, I have been feeling VERY stagnant. I feel blah all the time...and not just physically. I have this unprecedented (for me) feeling of apathy, but my heart wants passion and joy, and I want desperately to be one of those women that rolls with the punches, that keeps her chin up, and maintains her ability to keep going at all costs. I'm not one of those women...at least not yet. I am more the throw-me-a-curveball-I'm-gonna-shut-down-an-not-do-anything, types of women.

So, in my effort to shirk this flat-lining person that I currently am, I have been feeling the need to purge...and I mean EVERYTHING! (This is a terrifying notion to my husband, because I REALLY like to get rid of stuff. I come from a family of "stuff" hoarders, so I start to suffocate if there is something in my house that I don't need...and boy do I like to give stuff to Goodwill! It makes me giddy.) I felt it coming on a few weeks ago, so when I opened the latest issue of Natural Health magazine and saw a 20 page spread on detoxing your entire life...from your body to your pantry to whole house...well, it opened the floodgates. Visions of a garage sale & a pile of giant black trash bags on the steps of the Salvation Army, danced in my head. Oh boy...it's ON!
(*I love Natural Health magazine. I'm coo-coo about recycling, so I don't really feel bad about my magazine problem, but let's be real...I DO have one. I love them and they love me.)

So, today, I started my walk-through process, finding things that I want to sell, things I want to give away, etc. I am beginning to realize how much stuff I have that I don't actually LIKE. I began to wonder about that, and it dawned on me that I have a serious "what will they think?" issue. I've never really noticed this about myself, before, but I am highly motivated about what other people are going to think. I began to examine this yesterday, when I was in a store that I love. I picked up this throw pillow that was REALLY quirky, and I loved it...but, I immediately thought, "oh, so'n so would think that was silly." Ok, just to clarify...this "so'n so" hasn't been to my house in years. Neither have any of the other people for whom I regularly sensor myself to please. Weird, right? I have been living in such a way, that I answer to imaginary people in my head all the time, when trying to make decisions for myself. I mean...THEY don't need to be comfortable in my skin or my home...I DO.

So, here's the thing. My mission for this year, is to live authentically. I am going to do my best to make decisions, decorate my house, and anything else I can think of, to please my Heavenly Father, my boys, and myself. It's not that I'm going to completely disregard others...it's just that if I want to by a flour sac pillow for my living room, with a giant, aqua marlin on it, or get another tattoo...or (this is a big one) get my 32 year old nose pierced...I'm gonna.

Other people's expectations are baggage. I'm not talking about people expecting you to be nice, or the government expecting you to follow the laws, or God expecting you be a good steward of the things that He gives you...I'm talking about what other people want you to BE, in order to satiate their own need for self-justification. If you are an earthy girl at heart (which I am, and always have been), then by all means, live that way. If you are buttoned up Alex Keaton, who was spawned of two hippies...then live like that. I don't think that one needs to be an afront to society or a complete kook to live authentically, either, though.

My goal is this...not to indulge my every whim in life, but to live in a way that is pleasing to the Lord, temper certain things for my husband and my son (i.e. not dreading my hair, though I have always wanted to try it, because my husband loves it as it is), do the things that give me joy (regardless of the eyebrow raises I'll get from certain people), and to live as ME. I am going to set aside anything that doesn't help me achieve that goal...person, thing, habit, or mentality.

* So...if you don't feel like you can hang out with me, if I am a healthy, fit, exuberant, nose-stud wearing, traditional food-eating, family loving woman of God, whose house might just have a big green dresser or lots and lots of star paper lanterns in it...then we should probably wrap up our relationship sometime in the next year or so...'cause I'm leaving this slobby lump of self-imposed limitations on the side of this trail of tears, and I'm going to write, sing, cook, travel, run, and yoga my way to Happytown.

You comin'?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Re-Post :: You say "hippie" like it's a bad thing...

*originally posted on February 5, 2010

Here's the thing. I keep asking myself what I want out of this "whole" project. The issue with going whole in this society, is that you are at constant odds with the world around you. Those of us who believe in natural healing, whole food, getting back to basics...we live as antitheses to the relentless pressing to live conveniently, to keep up...to keep consuming all they have to give.

My husband and I had a conversation a couple of months ago about the world our son will be a part of. I was lamenting that he will most likely never be required to look something up in a page and binding dictionary or encyclopedia, or for that matter, ever read a book that has a smell...or that he would even have to turn pages on. He will never NEED to look something up in a phone book. We began to talk about all the tasks that will be obsolete to him, as everything is becoming (or has already become) a push-button situation. We began to wonder if the idea of "effortless living" was something that we wanted to pass on to him. Really? What's good about not putting any effort into anything? I was more than a little moved to see the movie Wall-E...the people in the future never moving from their seats that do everything for them, that have no more bone mass left, never eat anything not processed, and can't even walk? WHY in the name of all that's holy would we want to live without effort? And what genius called that living? Let's explore just SOME of how this is working for us, so far:

Not 2 months ago, I read an article in the news about how the U.S. military officials were going to Congress to address an unprecedented issue. They needed help finding a solution to the fact that the young adults, usually fresh out of high school, that were coming into the recruiting offices were failing their entrance requirements at a startling rate. Why? Because they are testing too low on "basic intellect" and "physical ability". Basically...they're too dumb and too fat! We've all had dorky, less-than-athletic friends from high school sign up to be in the military, and then return after six weeks as Oh-my-word-they-made-him-hot? desirables, right? Break this down with me...the kids that are graduating high school RIGHT NOW, and are going into recruiting offices are so under-educated and so physically handicapped by weight, that they are NOT ABLE TO BE RECRUITED FOR BOOTCAMP! According to the "Ready, Willing, and Unable to Serve" report, put out by the Mission: Readiness group, "About 75 percent of the country's 17- to 24-year-olds are ineligible for military service, largely because they are poorly educated, overweight and have physical ailments that make them unfit for the armed forces, according to a report issued Thursday.

Other factors, such as drug use, criminal records and mental problems, contribute to what military leaders say is a major problem that threatens the country's ability to defend itself " Yeah...remember when flat feet was the issue? Uh, OK....I'm moving to my own island.

Seriously, though. Our country has made so many "medical advancements", and we have expert committees on everything from toothpaste to psychiatric drugs, and yet, we are placed 37th in the world (behind the Dominican Republic!) for the prevention and treatment of disease, according to the very latest stats from the World Health Organization. We have the FDA, the AMA, the OMGNHPAQ (Oh My Gosh Natural Health Practitioners Are Quacks) committee, the OMGMAM (Oh My Gosh Midwives Are Murderers) committee, the SYKFOEDWDLW (Stuff Your Kid Full Of Every Drug We Designed Last Week) committee...but, I ask you...how are we doing? Are we healthier? Are we happier? Has all of our information made life better for anyone? Seriously...I'm in tears right now. I don't even have the energy to give you all the sourced stats...just watch your news, just read any newspaper, just go to any school and watch the children who are outside of it...just hear yourself screaming inside for reasons you can't even pinpoint.

I'm not happy. I'm not healthy. I feel like crap ALL the time. I have NO energy...EVER. I don't remember the last time I woke up feeling rested. I'm scared ALL the time...and I don't know why. I have so many wonderful things, and the truth is...half of them are constant sources of frustration for me. What's the deal? The deal is, I have a self-discipline problem that is exacerbated by the constant pull of the strings on my back...the puppeteers being those who decide who lives and who dies...those who decide what will be readily available in my robotic waiter that comes up out of the side of my fancy hover-seat, once they've finally killed all life on earth, and therefore have us right where they want us...sick, disjointed, and floating like space junk in a craft that is ultimately run by a computer! Every fiber in me rails against this...because I have a little boy, who grows like bamboo, and I want him to know a mama who has joy, and I want him to know how to chop wood, and how to cook a meal from scratch, and heck...cook a meal from scratch that he grew from scratch. And, (little peek into my conspiracy theorist mind, here) if and when the crap hits the fan...I want him to know how to survive. I want him to have resources beyond button pushing, and I want him to be thankful that his parents taught him how to live off of GOD's land...from HIS bounty. Heck, he could be the first president of the United Nuked States of America.

So, if you want to know why....that's why.

Note: sorry, my Georgia ran out of ink, so I had to switch to Verdana?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Re-Post :: Self Doubt

*originally posted on January 31, 2010

I had great things planned for this, the day that was to mark the beginning of my illustrious career as a semi-pro blogger. Everything was laid out in type A, list maker fashion. I had topics for each and every day of the week, and was even going to write this morning's article last night, so that all I had to do this morning was wake up, brush my teeth, push the button on my coffee maker, and VOILA!...an article about the importance of sleep that was to change the life of some reader, like I was some messiah of the web. Enter a NASTY wave of self doubt, and an hours long case of writer's block. You know the drill..."this is dumb", "look at you...you have no business writing a blog about making your family whole...you're in mix-matched pajamas with hairy legs, dry feet, and you don't follow through on anything.", "you're definitely going to fail at this", "this is completely irrelevant...you have no idea what you're doing." Yada, yada, yada. I had a good cry, I called all the usual suspects for reassurance...husband, sister, mom. I even dragged myself to the gym, to see if a good cardio session would help to blow the cobwebs out. It helped for a little bit, but the waves of doubt kept sweeping over me. I was either having a serious case of spiritual attack, because what I want to do really is going to be worth something to people, or I was just realizing I'm not cut out to do this.
Oprah often says "doubt means don't." I think I may have to call BS on that one. (Sorry, Oprah) Truth is, that I've been told countless times that I need to write for people, that I have a gift, and that I'm robbing God by not using it. As I pondered this, it hit me that this is a chronic issue with me. I have all these things to offer, but for some reason, something keeps me from putting myself out there. So, it occurred to me that this doubt may not mean "don't" at all, but rather push through and DO IT!! Not to sound vain, but I've been given lots of gifts. What makes it sad, is that they are wasted. I believe that someone down there is pretty certain that if I were to move forward with confidence, and be free of the distraction and paralysis of self-doubt, then I might just be a force to be reckoned with for my family, my community, and my world. I don't think that we can be MADE to do things. I do, however, believe that we can be KEPT FROM doing things. Like an emotional and mental veil that's thrown up in front of us to keep us from realizing our true power. So, this is me...pressing onward...in spite of my doubts. So again, sorry, Oprah.
As a woman, a wife, a mom, and a writer, there is so much opportunity for self-doubt to rear it's ugly head...weight (I'll never actually get it done, why try?), financial freedom (there's always going to be something come up, why try?), marital strife (It's never going to change, why try?), blogging (It's completely irrelevant, why try?). Self doubt has the potential to single-handedly derail us from the path to wholeness...in all areas. So, my commitment to you is this: this week, I will write every day, no matter what I feel. My articles may not be life-changing or even poignant or funny...they may be irrelevant. But, and excuse my french...I'll be damned if I will allow self-doubt to make ME irrelevant ANY LONGER! Pick something that is holding you back, and do this WITH ME. I believe we need partners in this project! I believe we need people who know how we feel, who relate to us, who agree with us.
My life lesson today? God allowed me to experience what I did today, because He needed me to write THIS article...not the one I was planning. I'll get to the posts about sleep, exercise, eating well, etc. I just think that He needed me to go deeper...think bigger than my limited plans on the topics I wanted to address...to let this be His blog, and not mine. He's good at that...not letting me fall flat on my face BECAUSE of me, but taking me to higher ground IN SPITE of me.

Monday, November 1, 2010


...but, good ones!!! You wanna know the biggest one? Really?;)


I have been absolutely slammed with stuff going on in the past week or so, and it's clearly not going to be slowing down this week, either! No worries...you won't hear me complaining about this one!

I have decided to repost some of my favorite blogs from the past 100+ that I have posted. Albeit, I don't think that a greatest hits series does a measly 100 posts warrant...but, I need to post this week, and I have a whole bunch of people who haven't been reading since the beginning. So...I'm scheduling some old turned new posts. Hope you enjoy!

Next week...I'll be blogging from my new house:) Pictures to follow!


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