I am happy today. I haven’t been very happy lately. I did a couple things differently.

I fasted today. Not only does the slight twinge of hunger and emptiness in my gut feel good, my mind is focused and sharp. I like it. I am going to remember this feeling so when I do my next 24 hour fast next Monday, I will not struggle. I will know my body will thank me for giving my gut a rest.

I also got to work early. I listened to a new book on the way to work. That wasn’t new but it was enjoyable. I didn’t lay around in bed a long time wishing to stay in bed. I had a plan for today and I wanted to make it successful.

Oh that’s right! I had a plan for today. Start meditating (will do when I finish this blog). I am subscribed to Audible and one of the free perks is free yoga flows, meditations, and other mind-body talks. It’s great. I am doing a 21 day meditation. I am on day 3!

I also planned to do yoga. I did a 25 minute yoga flow this afternoon. It was a nice flow of stretching and static strength poses. It was yummy. #findingthejuicy #yogaflow

I had planned to stay in Grand Rapids but changed my mind and drove home. I finished unpacking Dusty. I grabbed a better suitcase to pack for my stays in Grand Rapids.

I changed my clothes. That’s half the battle for me when I am trying to get back into a workout routine. Get in the gear. Leggings. Check. Tank. Check. Industrial strength sports bra. Check.

I DID IT! It’s been a struggle to get my butt in gear and work out. But I did it today.


I don’t want to slide back into a rah rah me blog. But Today was big for me. I stuck with my plan and for that I need to give myself some love.


I will be back to exploring my exploring in Grand Rapids but for today, I am proud of me.

Thanks for reading.

Thankful today

  1. For my life
  2. My health
  3. My belly
  4. my brain
  5. my legs
  6. my eyes
  7. my eyelashes
  8. my kitchen and stove and sink
  9. my new mattress & the warmth of sinking into it
  10. my children that are close and came to hang out: Aurora, Callie, and Isaiah
  11. For the food Callie brought home
  12. Isaiah hung out and acknowledged he wasn’t paying attention
  13. I have a new porch rail. Thank you Monica Murray
  14. I got some of my cooking done today
  15. I finished an assignment that I was really struggling with. I finished it a week early.
  16. Facebook groups, friends
  17. producing a festival
  18. winter–i am excited to hibernate!!
  19. My home
  20. My dogs
  21. my new slippers
  22. frozen foods that came out so tasty
  23. coffee with my bestie!!!
  24. Whipped cream
  25. coffee
  26. pumpkin pie
  27. yoga
  28. meditation
  29. breathing
  30. YOUTUBE—sheesh i have learned so much on youtube
  31. discovering how to do an infographic
  32. my job lets me flex my time
  33. I have a big window looking out from my desk
  34. My co-worker is cool af
  35. She helps me so much
  36. my supervisor appreciates me
  37. I love the campus i work on
  38. i love Grand Rapids night life
  39. I love the cozy little nook I have to stay in
  40. I have the best best friend ever
  41. I have the best co=producer ever
  42. i have an amazing team
  43. i have a loving and supportive tribe
  44. i have people that will help guide our work
  45. I have people
  46. i have a bus
  47. i have a super cool bus
  48. i have money in the bank
  49. i ahve a reliable care
  50. i have great kids
  51. i have a really great life.


#findingthejuicy #attitudeofgratitude #thankfulday #thankful #thankyou

Out on the town at Creston Vibes

I was too tired to write my blog last night after the open mic. I opened my facebook to several comments that were festering to be a big brouha in the women’s music festival community.

It takes just one comment, one more comment, and then a post to set off a rumor mill that my womyn’s music festival is not supportive of accessibility. Not only was it intimated that we were doing something illegal but we were also reportedly ignoring or deleting questions about it.


Now that felt like a sucker punch. I was thoroughly enjoying myself at the amazingly cool and fun Creston Brewery, eating good food, and enjoying a lovely Blueberry Dutch wheat beer that was brewed by a talented (and cute!!) brew mistress. When I checked my Facebook after the event, I felt quite badly that it had blown up like this. I removed the one post that I saw. I updated the website and once I had confirmed that it was correct, I sent a private message to the person that posted. I told her that I had just seen the message…wait. I will just cut and paste what I sent to her…

“Hi XX–we are not charging more for ARC admission. Unfortunately, we had a LARGE amount of people that camped in ARC just to use the electricity. To thwart misuse of ARC space and resources, we discussed charging for ARC but just like you thought, we decided it was punitive, so we decided against it. I just didn’t convey that message to the web design. I removed your post and am updating the website. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.”

I did make a public post. I responded to several questions. It began. What started as a mess up on my part, turned into a great discussion on accessibility and respect for the seen and unseen and urgent needs of women with disabilities requiring varying levels of assistance to manage their ADL’s. It brought to the front of our thoughts that we all have different needs and that we cannot always see what the obstacles or barriers are because it is not our lived experience. It is good to hear and learn what obstacles are so we can improve them. I am still undecided whether I wish I had remembered to update the website or whether it was a blessing. Lol. The lesson is good but I hate messing up! #findingthejuicy #pridegoesbeforeafall

All’s well that opens a healthy and respectful productive discussion.

Back to my night in Grand Rapids! Thanks for humoring my sidebar!

Creston Brewery has a wonderful list of beers. The wait staff is deliciously sweet and attentive. They offered me an umbrella when I went outside to smoke since it was raining.

The theme of Creston Vibes was “Brevity, brief, concise, to the point”.

Well, I do not know what the hell I was thinking. I couldn’t think of a thing to say.

I sat there and pondered. I was hoping for some inspiration from the people at the brewery but I didn’t feel any tinglings of ideas. I was hoping I would find something when I heard the hosts, Kyd and Bri, but I didn’t get a vibe. Or maybe I did.

I thought of a story about my residents during my last Smoking Cessation group at the group home. I think I have shared the story before here so I won’t share it again but I think I did a fair job of telling the story. It didn’t feel as good as when I told stories about my lesbian life or about my kids. But it was good. I was glad to do it. I was happy to speak to people and tell stories. It also felt really good to be remembered by the hosts. Kyd said that she was happy to be called a dyke by me in my blog.


Another successful Grand Rapids adventure is in the book! Thanks GR.

#coolkidsclub #feelingmyself #thankscrestonvibes #findingthejuicy #queendexploresGR

I have missed writing my blog. But it seems, I didn’t know what my content should be now that I have finished several personal challenges. Each one was super focused and task driven on personal achievement and self-improvement. It was great. It was fulfilling. It was purposeful and effective. I grew a lot during those challenges and I am grateful that I pushed myself through some painful moments triumphantly with grace, elegance, and pizzazz. #gome #findingthejuicy #lovingmesomedawn

I thought I would be too busy with family, school, work, and social activities to have time or energy to write anything besides papers. But I miss writing these things down. I just didn’t know what to write about in this blog.

I guess I am a “real” writer now. Here I am trying to figure out what the hell to write.

Then I realized, I have all kinds of things to write about but I have to change the focus of the message from total self-improvement immersion and challenges to sharing my experiences and my life, especially from the perspective of my travels, travails, tribulations, and triumphs of commuting 2+ hours a day, or staying at a festie sister’s home in Grand Rapids, living the life of a glorified vagabond, managing work, life, school, kids, relationships, and learning this city through music and poetry events. Yeah, I think I have stories to tell.

A friend of mine recommended that I try accupressure massage. She had went to one at the local shopping mall and her experience was exquisite. She felt it was thorough and made a lot of changes in her body. She knows that I have been experiencing quite a bit of neck pain and thought I would benefit from the pressure and this particular form of massage.

I will not be available to go to the mall since it is quite the drive for me and now I am super busy. I tried to find a provider in the Grand Rapids area. I started by searching for the particular name of the business. No luck. there was a massage place in the Woodland Mall but it did not claim to be an accupressure massage. I kept looking.

I finally found a listing online for an accupressure massage. In fact, the business name was Accupressure Massage. Okay. Not really creative but it conveys the service provided. Great.

When i called for an appointment, I was told no appointment necessary. Okay….that’s nice for me since I can’t plan much in advance not always knowing if I will go home or stay in Grand Rapids. The accent was Asian. Yay! I figured I would be getting the real deal, the original home of accupuncture.

It was located in a fairly good neighborhood on the eastside of Grand Rapids. It was a house on the side of the road, surrounded by other businesses and strip malls. I started getting a little nervous. The sign was neon and flashed. Just like the Asian Massage place in Portland that has gotten raided at least 3 times for providing massages with “happy endings”. Big breath in and out.

I am getting a little bit nervous at this point. What am I getting myself into? I do not know. But it seems I might get a good massage…and an adventure. lol I was willing to take the chance and try something new and out of my comfort zone.

When I went in there was a young Asian woman there facetiming with her friend. She quickly ended the call to ask me how she could help. Her English was limited and I had a difficult time understanding her heavy accent. I was able to clarify that I would like an hour massage.

when she took me to the room, she did not specify face down or face up, there wasn’t a face guard so I wasn’t sure. And there weren’t very many blankets or sheets. I was perplexed. My friend didn’t undress for her massage. Then again, her massage was at the mall.

I didn’t undress. I just sat and waited. When she came back, she was confused too, “you no undress”. No, I will undress. When she came back this time, I had undressed and tried to tuck the too small sheet around me. She walked in, giggled, and whipped the sheet off and covered me with a towel that barely covered my BUTT! lol all righty then.

The massage was intense. It was pleasurable. It was hard and deep and different than I have ever experienced. She was not meticulously about keeping me covered. She climbed on the table and applied deep pressure. She dug her elbows in. She stood over my head and percussed me.

It was completely different from what I have experienced in the past. I am so grateful that I got to have this great massage. I could have been freaked out instead I am relaxed and chill writing now telling you about my new life in GR. #queendexploresgr

Thanks for listening peeps. Love you. I’m thankful you read my blog. #gratitudeattitude

It’s going to be great and juicy

I set some boundaries today. I didn’t do it happily or gracefully. I did it with screaming and tears. I stated it with snot running down my face but I did it. It hurt a lot. My heart was crying. My heart was mad. My heart was feeling crazy but my head remembered doing this before.

I set some boundaries. I cried while I did it. I talked about it for a while.

I felt a little crazy. I felt a lot crazy.

I finally calmed down. I guess I calmed down. I want to do something different for myself. I want to be strong and independent and believe in my strength. I want to be the person that I encourage others to be. I want to be free from my hurts and my past. I want to be free from hurting from crushed expectations. I want to be free from yearning and hoping to be enough. I want to be free to be juicy.

I am free. I am free to cry. I am free to smile. I am free. I am free. I am free.

I am in a new place and I am not sure what to do with myself.

When I talk to people when they are struggling to work through an issue, I ask them what has worked in the past. So I ask myself what has worked in the past. I answered myself,

“Self, do you boo. Remember what made you feel good about you. Remember what you love. Remember your juicy. Remember to work on your mind, body, and spirit. Remember you are enough. Remember you are a Queen and you have been through this before and you will be wonderful”.

What am I doing?

Life is weird.

Once again, I am in a space of weirdness and not fitting completely together properly.

What does that even mean? For me to fit together properly?

It means that I am not living my most authentic life. I am feeling disjointed but I am unsure what parts are not fitting.

I know parts of my personal life are incongruent. I want some more meaning and depth to particular relationships but it does not seem to be coming together. I want to set boundaries but my hopes and dreams get in the way. Sometimes I feel it is unwarranted and everlasting hope that keeps me going but it is not satisfying. And yet….

My jobs is going very well. I struggle with crazy feelings of fear and anxiety frequently still.

I worry that I am going to lose my job. I worry that I am going to fuck up. I worry that I am not as good as people think I am. I worry that they are going to discover my incompetence and I am going to be discovered for being a fraud.

It all seems so very extreme and dramatic, right? Yet, that is how anxiety is for me. That is where I feel unworthy. That’s how my mind talks to me. Those thoughts make my body cringe, quiver, squeeze through my chest, up my throat, and fills my face up until it feels it will explode!

All this came to mind today when I was leaving work. I texted my boss. In that text I broke a rule. It is an important rule but it was slight. It still filled me with extreme anxiety. When I acknowledged to her, she reassured me, “no worries”.

I continue to struggle with deep feelings of sadness. It’s not a constant feeling. But when I think about my youngest son, and I think of him often since I watch him play football, I get so overwhelmed with sadness at the level of disconnect between us. I am sad to the bone for our lost (for now) and permanently changed relationship. I miss him. I love him.

At least in my mind, that’s how I cry, sweet and quiet drops stream down my face. In actuality, I think I might look like this

Like I said, I am not overwhelmed all of the time or even most of the time with sadness but when it hits, it’s a hurtin doozy!

9 day! 9 days until I start classes again. I look forward to getting into that groove. I hope that I have gotten enough “done” for MFR prep to go into a season of classes. It will be what it will be.

Life has also been pretty dramatic in my social group. There are some serious rifts in friendships and it is sending ripples of discontent, disconnect, and devastating hurt through parts of the community. That hurts my heart. My mom heart wants to fix the situation with my “kids”. But I also know that each family and community will go through growing pains. Just like in my bio family, my Framily will have its own unique growing pains.

I do believe it is growing pains. There are beautiful signs of growth too, love and friendships and new bonds blooming. Life is to be lived. It’s messy. It’s raw. It can be sweet, spicy, and sour. I want it all. I hope that people can remember to live in some love and be more gentle and forgiving with each other. I will continue to believe we can do better.

Thanks for reading my #findingmyjuicy

It’s been too long since my last blog. Thanks for your patience. I will try to stay more active in this loveline. I think I need it. xxoo