My parents were sort of hippies. They weren’t the smoking pot, protesting against the government, anti-Vietnam War type of hippie that is portrayed in the movies and documentaries about the ’60’s and ’70’s. After all my dad was a Vietnam vet and my parents didn’t even drink alcohol when we were growing up. However, looking back at pictures and analyzing childhood memories, it was clear that they were the kind of hippies that grow their own food, drive a VW van, wear second-hand clothing,  home school their kids, and use weird “natural” cleaning products.


See, my mom was kind of a hippie.

I was certain that I would not grow up to be them. As a child of the ’80’s  and a teen in the ’90’s, I rebelled against the natural beige, orange and brown of the seventies with my taste in clothing with bright jewel tones, neons, and later exclusively late ’90’s plaid. I teased up my hair into impossible heights in junior high and later I attempted to straighten it into submission in a vain attempt to get my thick mop to look like Rachel Green’s later sleek styles. As soon as I had the cash to buy my own food, I bought Pepsi, Orbitz  ( that psychedelic drink with colored balls in it),  and bubble gum by the yard instead of snacking on carob ice cream bars sweetened with honey that were in our home’s freezer.


My dad was too; look at that beard!

I enthusiastically left any remnants of my all natural childhood behind when I went to college and discovered the world of reliable  indoor plumbing and cafeteria food.  Here even the potatoes and eggs were made of highly processed powder and chemicals and within walking distance there was a Target where you could purchase impossibly cheap new clothes and dorm decorating items.

By the time I  graduated and moved back to Homer five years later, I was a fully confident modern woman. I wore make up, heels, brand new cheaply made clothing and jewelry from box or online stores and proudly served food full of chemical and high fructose corn syrup without a second thought.

I don’t recall quite when things started to really change. It was slow at first; little insidious changes that crept into my psyche. Perhaps the first step was when  a friend suggested clove oil for dry socket and it worked far better than the prescription drugs that made me sick and foggy. Perhaps it was the first time I tried organic ranch dressing and realized how much better it tasted. Anyway, ten years later I didn’t realize how far down the rabbit hole I had fallen until one day I found myself with a cart in the grocery store full of fresh fruits and veggies, Dr. Brauner’s Magic soap  with hemp and almond oil, searching desperately for oxtail for my paleo Phö recipe.

My friend commented that I had turned into such a hippie. “Not possible”, I explained, stunned that they could think such a thing. I told myself that they had to be ludicrously mistaken. After all, I dress way too cool to be a hippie. My sandals are the latest style. Sure they are bought from a fair trade company that uses leather that is a byproduct if the meat industry, but that’s just not being wasteful. And yes, all my clothing is second-hand or locally purchased in small business because I don’t want to give money to large cooperation use factories with unsafe conditions and unlivable wages, but it is all name brand clothing. Plus, I wear makeup, and a lot of it. What hippie wears tons of makeup? Just because I make sure mine is made in the USA and not tested on animals and bought in a small business, doesn’t mean I am a hippie. And it’s not all Burt’s Bees after all (although he does make pretty good stuff).


I developed an appreciation for farm to table veggies at a young age.

And, I reminded myself as I loaded my groceries into the car, a lot of my purchases are meat.  Hippies don’t eat meat, do they? Sure, I make sure to buy free range and grass-fed, but have you seen the cruelty of mass slaughterhouses or cage raised chickens? Not to mention the horrors of farmed fish. You may as well be eating gold-fish from an algae covered aquarium! And really, who doesn’t use coconut oil and raw apple cider vinegar as both a condiment and a cosmetic.
I’m just not that dedicated. I mean, I remember my mother grinding her own wheat to make home-made bread from sourdough. I would never have the energy or time for that. Plus, I don’t even eat grains. Most of them have far too many pesticides and are a GMO, and you know, if we don’t stop them, corporations are going to control the world’s food supply by trademarking GMO seeds, and then they will have all the power.
Seriously though, by the time I was putting away my groceries I had fully convinced myself that I simply could not be a hippie.
Now, if only I could figure out how to fit the farm to table salad greens on the same shelf as the tallow I rendered and the home-made kombucha.


It’s Friday! November 27, 2015

Drink of the Week:

I have been cutting out almost all sugar, however on the weekend, I do indulge in some honey or maple syrup (unless I designate a day off and then all bets are off!) This weekend, I was craving hot chocolate so decided to take a stab at making my own. It is decidedly chocolatey, but not sweet at all. It is also very filling and should be drank in small amounts, not like hot chocolate made with water.

Paleo hot chocolate:

(serves about 3)

1 can of coconut milk

1 tbs. honey

1 tbs cocoa

1 pinch sea salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk together and heat in sauce pan and serve hot.

Blog of the Week:

There is Still Time to Be a Defiant Woman by Sarah Christine Schwartz

This is the type of blog that makes me want to jump up, and yell “Amen!” with my fist in the air.

Here’s an excerpt:

“But don’t for one moment believe that because you’re a woman, you must sacrifice passion or conviction in order to be heard, or that you must be quiet and small and relentlessly pleasant in order to fit someone else’s definition of ladylike.

You get to cause a fuss.

You get to make a scene.

You get to cry and sing and shout until your throat catches fire.”

Song of the Week:

The Wartberg Watch featured this music video about a week ago, and when I watched it,  I  listened to the lyrics of Coldplay’s “Fix You” for the first time. It is always amazing to me how often I can hear an overplayed radio song and never listen to the lyrics. What a sad song! It is beautifully sang by the group young@heart.






Politics, Christianity, and the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Today I was planning on writing about foster care. I was going to extol the importance of families opening up homes to the “least of these”, welcoming the little children into their homes and hearts for as long as as they are with them, then either supporting them as they return to their home of origin, go to another forever family, or adopting the children themselves. This is an extremely important subject, I spend my working hours every day dedicated to creating permanency for children and as another person in my job said, “I wake up and the first thing I think about is permanency for children.” Most days that is true, and I will write about foster care this month, but today, my heart is somewhere else.

This morning, I woke up and the first thought on my mind was the Syrian Refugee Crisis.

I began mentally plan on how to get to Europe to start helping people, what agency to contact, how to get leave from work, obtaining a passport… and realized that perhaps I was not the best equipped person to go (or at least go quickly). Plus, if I go, who would do my job of finding permanency for children in foster care, people also in need of safe homes? While I am not discounting going myself, at least for a short trip, I realized a more immediate way of helping was to use my voice to speak out and my wallet to help fund those who can go now and are equipped to serve well (you know, young or retired people with time and energy, who travel well and have passports).

I hadn’t planned to write about the Syrian Refugee Crisis. I had liked other people’s posts supporting the refugees, but I was afraid to write or even share a post myself. As I have shared before, my biggest roadblock to writing is fear: fear of exposing too much, fear of offending someone, fear of multiple grammatical and spelling errors. This time the fear was different. I started to think about why I was afraid of writing about the refugee crisis. I generally am not afraid of people disagreeing with me. I am a pro-life feminist, LGBTQ ally, Evangelical, creationist. Seriously, no one agrees with me about everything and a lot of people are pretty vocal about it.  But when I started to explore that fear this morning, I realized that I felt so strongly about this issue, I was actually afraid that someone close to me, someone that I loved and respected, would speak hatefully about the refugees and I would lose respect for that person. I decided to face that fear and write anyway. If someone seriously responds with hatred, perhaps a natural consequence is a loss of respect.

I scrolled through my Facebook this morning and saw that what feels like the majority of this country is slamming the door shut on people in danger, in need, who are fleeing for their lives. I am angry about the reaction of this country, but I don’t have much sway over what the government of this country does. What truly made my heart sink, what made me feel sick to my stomach, and what made me burst into tears of frustration was my fellow sisters and brothers in Christ using their Christian platforms to say we shouldn’t welcome or care for refugees.

It is one thing to say that politically, it might be unsafe (although statistics highly dispute that).

It is another to use a Christian platform to state that we should not care for refugees.

The more experience I have with politics, the more I am absolutely convinced that the goals  of the political are diametrically opposed to the teachings of Christianity.

Politics are about power about protecting the interest of the country.

Christianity is about becoming a servant and taking up a cross and following Christ.

Politics are about gaining and keeping wealth.

Christianity is about sharing what you have and giving up to everything you have to the poor.

Politics are about gaining popularity.

Jesus said the last shall be first and the first shall be last.

Politics are about having bigger guns and a bigger army than the other guy.

Jesus said to love your enemy, pray for those who persecute you, and turn the other cheek.

Politics are about protecting the status quo.

Christianity is about an upside-down kingdom of heaven where the meek shall inherit the earth, the peacemakers are called the children of God, and those who mourn are comforted.

What really fucks up Christianity is when we mix it with politics.It is then that we see Christianity used to support hatred, fear, bigotry, violence, power, wealth, and privilege.

I don’t care about individual politics and what may or may not be right politically.

What I know is that if you are a Christian, you already have your marching orders, straight from the mouth of Jesus, who was once a refugee, when his life was threatened by a King, his family fled to Egypt.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:35-40 NIV)


For ways you can provide practical help to the refugees:

Five Ways to Stand up & Be the Church in the World’s Worst Refugee Crisis Since World War II


It’s Fiday! November 13, 2015

Drink of the Week:

Old Fashioned- a mixture of whiskey, bitters, sugar, cherry, and orange wheel and a splash of  club soda. I generally do not like whiskey, but I love slowly sipping an old fashioned and am slowly beginning to appreciate the taste of a good bourbon.

Blog of the Week:

Akwarding is What Brings Us All Together by the Bloggess. She shared an embarrassing moment and twitter exploded with other people sharing their humiliating (and hysterical) stories. There are so many of them that took me days to get through them. If you need a good laugh, here is a great place to start!

Song of the Week:

“Ex’s and Oh’s” by Ellie King. I was listening to Pandora the other day during a get together and this soulful song started playing and everyone began to tap their feet. The video is a bit racy, but also funny and as well as breaking some gender stereotypes. This song makes me want to look up more from Ellie King.

It’s Friday! October 30, 2015

At my house we are getting all the costumes ready for Halloween tomorrow. I absolutely love the makeup, hair and costumes that I get to experiment with on Halloween and dressing up every year appeals to my usually well concealed dramatic side.

Drink of the Week:

Not Your Father’s Root Beer. This tastes like a well done small batch root beer, but includes an unexpected (and almost undetectable) 6% alcohol. This would be amazing in a grown up root-beer float.

Blog of the Week:

In Praise of Roots by Addie Zierman at How to Talk Evangelical. Addie speaks of her time in the mission Teen Mania and how the charity’s headquarters is now in foreclosure and its leader, Ron Luce is evading a warrant. She compares teens involved in that program to apple trees that haven’t developed roots and couldn’t support the fruit they were expected to bear.

Song of the Week:

“Time Warp” from the Rocky Horror Picture Show performed by the cast of Glee.

When I was a senior I took an American Prizewinners literature class at the local community college. Coming from a tiny private school, what an eye opening class that was! After reading Angel’s in America:A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, our professor led a discussion about what “campy” meant and to illustrate, she showed us clips of Rocky Horror Picture Show. I had never seen anything like it, but I developed a secret love of camp. So in honor of Halloween, here is the cast of Glee performing “Time Warp”. You can’t really get more campy than that! (Also, what high school allows Rocky Horror Picture Show as their school play?!?)

Friday’s Back, Baby! March 13, 2015

Drink of the Week:

The incredibly helpful folks at Country Food’s Liquor recommended Dona Paula Malbec that the Flats has started carrying. It’s definitely a winner (but just about any Malbec is, IMHO).


Blog of the Week:

Apocalypse When? How I Grew U Afraid of the End of the World by Dianna E. Anderson.

This blog articulates exactly what the fear I felt about the “end of the world” growing up and how, instead of being motivated by fear, as a Christian I should be motivated by love.

Song of the Week:

Hozier “Take Me to Church”

I kept hearing this song on the radio and I couldn’t quite pinpoint what it was about, but I loved the sound. I sat down the other day and googled the lyrics and the music video and now I love this song even more!

It’s Friday! August 29, 2014

I got to spend a lovely relaxing week with my parents who are on furlough from their work in Papua New Guinea. It was so much fun to shop, cook and watch TV with them and hear stories about their work, both the encouraging and the frustrating parts.

Drink of the Week:

 The Original House Wine – Cabernet Sauvignon 

It comes in a box, which makes me feel weird but I have to admit, it is not as pretty to put on your table as a bottle, but tastes just as good. 

Blog of the Week:

Seriously Serious. (My Night Undercover in the SE Asian Sex Trade) by Jamie the Very Worst Missionary. Her eye witness account of what the amazing and brave rescuers have to do to continue to rescue children who are trafficked for the sex trade. She also gives an opportunity to give to one organization who helps stop this modern day slavery. 

Song of the Week:

As a tribute to my dear friends and roommates  who left me here in rainy Alaska to go attend a several day Dave Matthews Band concert in the Gorge in Washington (I’m not jealous at all… um ok that’s a lie…a big one), here is one of my favorite Dave Matthew Band songs. 

Mercy by the Dave Matthew’s Band