6.19.21 Thirty nine days til festival (first pack in day)

Today was a wonderful day at the farm. We started out slowly due to the rain. It seemed it was going to quit but then it just kept sputtering. That’s okay, right?

Coffee was served and a quick little conversation with our friend Becky. Becky came in from Chicago. That’s a solid drive, especially leaving Chicago on a Friday night after. full work week. She is a fixer upperer. She came in for the weekend to work on the plumbing. We shared some food over the tiki torches last night. The fire wood was wet so there wasn’t a fire this morning.

Women started showing up. They just started showing up. And we got to work. There were several projects going on and it was an amazingly productive day…

especially considering the torrential (but fortunately, intermittent) storms we got today.

Projects completed:

Shower knobs replaced and all showers timed to 1.5 minutes.

Installed new float on holding tank, determined it will not work for our purposes, will continue brainstorming for plumbing solutions. Next plumbing work crew: weekend of July 17. 2021.

Completed elevated tote platforms for Bruno Shuttle path, Danu Kitchen, Mama Kuka Kitchen, and Tata Trail.

(Most of the wood is from Michfest Day Stage!)

Cleaned & organized Green Room.

Tested & moved refrigerator from She-Shed to Green Room.

Organized & inventoriesd She-Shed.

Finalized placement of Information Station, Shade Zones, Food Trucks, and Bea’s Blends, coffee & treats.

Fixed tire on Golf Cart 32.Built 2 benches for campfires (wood is from Michfest Day Stage!)Staged the wood for building 1 more bench.

Filled 4 water totes, ready for water sampling (to be completed tomorrow and submitted on Tuesday).

Hung lights around Juniper Bush on Stage right, along Amazon Rising & Marketplace. Sprayed for poison ivy.

Cut down two trees that were an obstruction in Penny Lane.

All of this was done in the rain.

Things we learned:J

une’s mascara is not waterproof.

Mice have a home in the battery drawer.

Tools do not put themselves away.

Vacuuming the patio is easier than sweeping the storm debris.

Wet wood needs a lot of convincing to ignite & burn.

Do not stand under the canopy edge while Q-tipping.

Wood chucks are also known as land beavers.

CAn’t WAIT to see you in the Pines.

39 days til MFR. What the fuck. WE FREAKING GOT THIS>


Michigan FRamily Reunion women’s music festival

6.18.2021 forty days til festival

I started the day with a big huge rain storm. I was sleeping in Polly, my pop-up (more about her loveliness later!) when the rain started beating down. Sleeping in a pop up means sleeping in a glorified tent. The roof is tin or canvas and rain drops sound like hail beating on my roof.

I decided to sleep in a bit since it was storming until I felt the rain go sideways. At that point, my feet and head were getting rained on through the window! I closed the windows quickly and got my ass up to face the day. I am thankful i took a shower the night before so a face wash and a teeth brushing was sufficient to greet my work day.

Arriving at work, greeted with staff complaining about residents and residents complaining about staff treatment. Whoosh!

Not my job folks, read the door, ladies & gentlement, that says Program Nurse, not mommy, nanny, or babysitter, referee, coach, or mediator. Sigh.

I only planned to work at my job until noon or so. One of my residents had an appointment with a pulmonologist to discuss his recent CT scan of his lungs showing several “spots”. This man has been homebound for the past 10 years. He started goign to appointments a couple months ago because of concerns of him having cancer. I think his mind gave him cancer. His family all died young (50’s) and he has believed, for as long as I have known him, that he is dying of cancer and has a 100 other maladies. He is a nonsmoker, very low risk, but has family history. Now he has spots on his lungs.

Before going to the appointment, i was able to stuff some more envelopes, mailing out more tickets. I posted several things, promoting MFR in various groups and platforms. Several calls to pharmacy and various homes ensued. A resident was scheduled to discharge from the hospital so i was working with a RN case manager to get O2 and orders.

And then the appointment. It was nice to watch the doctor treat my patient with dignity & respect. That was amazing.

After leaving the appointment, I treated myself to Indian Food. It wasn’t my favorite place but it was okay. While eating lunch I got nurse to nurse report regarding the discharge. She was getting oxygen. Just means more work coordinating and educating staff.

so much to think about.

When I left work, finally, I did get three more work related calls. While doing that, I set up and used my new power washer. I love, love, love it! It will be a good purchase!

My lovey love got here around 530, or something. I don’t know. Time is weird at the farm.

We enjoyed a dinner out. I drank some tequila. That is rare for me so I was a little goofy. When we got back “home” to the farm, we strung two sets of lights. Then went for an evening drive to see our handy work.

Still too much for my brain. But my brain is still stretching. I spent a lot of time today thinking about the tasks that need to be completed tomorrow, the crew that will present, and who will work with who and where.


Being 6.17.2021 Forty one days til festival


Producing a women’s music festival

Practicing as a psych nurse at a specialized AFC home for chronically and seriously mentally ill folks. 

Being a mom to 8 kids

Being a friend

Being a lover

Being a community builder

Being an influencer


My day started off as rushed and annoying.

Traffic was congested because I left laer today.  I wanted to hang out at home a little longer since tonight I plan to stay at The Farm, home of Michigan FRamily Reunion and a 100 acre pine tree farm. Hence, “the Farm”.

I spent my day stuffing envelopes with two ticket mailers, stamping them, and then addressing an address label.  I forgot to mail them.  And forgot to mail the batch from yesterday. WTF, Dawn.

I needed to verify if there were any more performers that need hotel arrangements.

I am unsure who will be doing my performer transport.  Although, I have reached out to several women.  I hope to find someone else willing to do one or two transports.

Treatment team at the job is at 9 am on Thursdays.  Injections are also due on Thursday.  And med reviews.  Today, there were 7 folks to meet with.

This particular Thursday, I also had compassion fatigue and Trauma Informed Care Training smack in the middle of my work day.

One performer informed me today, she would like a tent set up.  Cool, cool, cool.

I will verify tent needs.

Summer, e nina, Ginger will bring her own.  Anybody else?  DJ Fudgie.  Yes.  3 tents, 3 air mattresses.

The big thinker for the day today is degerming how many meals will need to be prepared for crew & performers for the long weekend: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

How many crew? Which crew? How do I determine that?  How many meals?

Argh my brain is swelling

Continue with the day.  Get an email that made me feel defensive and insecure.


Annoyed most of the day from that email and the work it had entailed prior to and post email.

I stayed at the farm tonight.

What things can I work on that don’t’ get me too sore or too tired.

I strung several strings of lights along Amazon Rising and stage area.

I started soaking the water totes.

I loaded the auger that I am going to return into my trunk.

Moved a lot of trash, putzed around, doing little organizing things, strung two tapestries to provide some shade during the hot days.

I cleaned.

I put together a salad and ate.

I heated some water to wash some dishes.

I showered outside.

I spent time on the ground, in the trees, watching bunnies, and talking to birds.

I was able to become unannoyed, peaceful, okay.  Safe.

I realized I am the most comfortable here than I have ever felt while staying alone.

I write this while sitting outside at 11pm at night with my tiki torch, my mac, my glass of wine, listening to snacks and crashes from critters.  Obviously from critters.  My heart starts racing, is it is critters, right?  I’m okay with critters.  It’s men that scare me.

But I am safe.  A moth hit me in the face.

What does that say?

Stop being ridiculous.  Of course, it’s critters that are crashing.  Life, all kinds of life is happening out here that I am witness to.

OHHHHHHH! I forgot to say.

While I was feeling super pissy and overwhelmed.  Annoyed with planning projects and not sure which volunteers will show up.  That’s hard.  Made my brain swell more.

So I decided to plan my big reward.

When I graduate from NP school and get my license, I am going to go on a BIG trip.

My first choices are India, Ireland, Africa.  From there I contacted my travel agent and dear friend, Rich, from Florida.  We chatted.  He will get me some ideas. 

I am going to do it. I am going to put the damn deposit down and I am going on a BIG get away when I get through school.  Fuck yes.  Go me.  #dawnsjuicylife

Finding balance

I have been working so hard for so long to get through school. Or at least it feels like so long. It has been since September, 2019. I have been working on my master’s program since September, 2019, a year and a half ago. I was overwhelmed from the very first assignment.

I would go through a cycle of anxiety pre-classes starting. Anxiety ebbing after the first week. Anxiety peaking again with big assignments. Half way through, I made a decision to just accept that I was going to get it all done and it was going to be stellar work. I finally realized and accepted that I do the same cycle of anxiety and calm before the storm, before I settle down and breathe through each bigger and more intense assignment.

Throughout most of this master’s program, I have been living through a pandemic as a psych nurse at a campus of group homes for the chronically and seriously mentally ill. It has meant increased work load from testing, vaccinating, exposures, and staffing crises. In addition, my family has experienced severe mental health crises.

Oh, and I went through a break up, production on my festival was shut down due to the pandemic, my social group had zero events, and my co-producer resigned. The festival lost a bunch of money due to circumstances beyond the scope of this blog and way more than i want to detail because sometimes you just gotta let it go.

Needless to say, my life was stressful. I had zero balance. I try to listen to audible books when I drive so I have some amusement. I found “get away moments” by zoning out watching mindless shows on Netflix, Prime, Hulu, where-ever, and overeating on crappy food. I did a couple 40 day yoga challenges. When I did it, it was wonderful and I felt better. I try to walk at least 3-4 times a week. I got outside sometimes, to find some grounding out with Mother Earth.

Most of those things were my saving grace, helping me to feel that I wasn’t just all work and no play. That was far from my story. I did find some fun and juicy. But I wasn’t doing much to take care of my body.

That is where I forgot how to find balance. I was stimulating, working, and enhancing my mind. I was finding ground, meditating, and doing some yoga to feed my spirit. I worked on my inner self, learning to forgive myself and others, reveling in a new love, embracing healthy boundaries and communication, and nurtured and embraced my emotions.

But my body? I was not taking care of my body. I could not find balance because I was not truly caring for my body. All parts of me are important and necessary. I am a complete woman. If I don’t care for all parts of myself, the other parts will suffer.

This week, I have remembered to take care of my body. I started fasting again. That always helps me to have more energy and feel better. I feel energized, spirited, motivated, and focused. On the day I broke my fast, I ate healthy food. I didn’t deprive myself but I ate as much healthy food as I wanted with a couple kisses for dessert. I have walked several times this week. I have done a least 15 minutes of yoga every day.

This trusty and strong vehicle that has served me so well for so long. If I hope to continue to dance, frolic, and find juicy, without experiencing chronic pain, I need to care for my body. It’s time to get in shape for work crews. I want to feel good, healthy, and juicy this festival. It’s time to get in shape for me so I remember to love this trusty and wonderful body. It’s time to find my balance again. So today I started doing HIIT again! HELL YES!

I feel so strong. I feel so accomplished. I feel so IN MY BODY and grateful. It was hard. I sweated. I took a bit longer breaks between the last couple sets. But i freaking did it.

I’m going to do it again. #dawnsjuicylife #mindbodyspiritemotions #balance

I DID THIS TODAY! Today was day 1. Who wants to join me for this 12 week Challenge?


Covid weary

I am worried about staff in my facility and other facilities. Our mental health is NOT okay.We are not okay. We are fucking tired. Each day there is another call in or 4. Or more throughout the full 24 hour cycle of group home care. There are more people quitting and less people filling out applications. The people who are hired do not last long. If they even make it to the floor.

I am lucky. I haven’t had to work the floor yet. But I feel the strain of everyone. Shorter tempers. Less trust. More distrust and anxiety. Weariness.

The clients are starting to act out more. Is that covid related? Directly? Like they are stressed because of the stress of confinement? I don’t know. I don’t think so. They are restricted from visiting in the other homes, the other licenses, until this week. But still they can see everyone on campus. And most have their community time again. So is it directly due to Covid? I don’t know. I guess it depends on how you define directly.

Are the clients acting out more, in part, due to the stress of the staff? Most probably so. How do you measure it? How do you quantify it? You just keep seeing the staff….that aren’t there anymore. And nobody fills their spot. Yes, the clients are feeling direct Covid impact. Many very beloved, dedicated, and skilled caregivers have left because of the stress of increased covid demands.

It doesn’t seem to be getting much better. Things are opening up, yes, they are. But we are testing weekly. We have gotten the vaccine but i test our staff weekly, and visitors, and any suspicion, as needed. And that takes more times. Lots more time.

So it’s affecting me. I matter too. I personally am working longer hours, increased duties. And it’s affecting my trust in people. I don’t feel appreciated. I don’t feel necessary or seen.

All this is true and it is my truth.

But it is not the complete truth and that is the truth.

It’s all a personal problem. At least for me. This is my story. This is more of my truth.

It’s my personal problem. Maybe they don’t apprecaite me. Maybe hey do. It doesn’t really matter. Because when I remember I am enough. I am enough. I am a freaking enough. That I am enough in the work that I do. I am enough in the effort I give. I am enough when I make mistakes and I am enough when I do a perfect job, if ever there is or was one. I am enough.

I forgot. I forgot. I freaking forgot. I got wrapped up in what people thought and how i was perceived and what i should be doing and what i thought others thought i should be doing. I forgot. I forgot that I am enough when I remember I am enough, I act like I am enough. It perpetuates itself in my enoughness and my belief in my enoughness. I said what I said. Enoughness.

I want support. I want love. I want affirmation. I want external feedback. But here is some more of my truth. External feedback will never be enough to fill a hole in me if there is a hole in me needing to be filled. It’s an inside job. I need to remember and believe and know.

I am enough.

I am enough.

YOU are enough.

YOU are freaking enough.

#dawnsjuicylife #covidweary #psychrnsaga

got my ass kicked. still in the arena. just for today.

98% defeated. Or 98% redirected. 98% ready to just chuck it all in the fuck it bucket. 98% believing that it’s just not worth it anymore.2% opportunistic and believing.2%No comment or rah rah’s necessary.I have tried, and tried, and tried.Intentions are misconstrued. The same forgiveness and compassion is not equally extended.Double, triple, or quadruple standards levied depending on your original point of reference means either way you are fucked coming or going because you are never truly seen.Facebook, social media, and fucked up communications without any radical listening or understanding have shown me that what I believed was hapening and imporTANT are not important to anyone but me.Or at least the same compassion is only extended to people deemed worthy of the compassion.I’m not one of them.Whatever, whatever, i own my shit, how about you?#vaguebooking#dontcareanymoreI can with 100% truth report I have tried my best and have examined myself and will continue to do so.I have listened to critiques without the same courtesy being extended to me.I have rejected the summation while listening to the presentation and still have arrived at the same conclusion:you support it in theory and in big loud words but not in actual action.Every person has the best way to be and is willing to share that freely while not applying most of it to their own presentation.That’s okay.That’s really freaking okay.At night, i go to sleep still questioning myself becasue my trauma runs deep and i am more than willing to believe that I am the problem. Yet….if you are not in the mother fucking arena, why do i care what the fuck you say?Yeah, i pulled out a dirty brene brown quote.Get in he arena. Or get the fuck out of telling me how i’m doing it wrong.#ISaidWhatISaid

welcome 2021! I love you already :)

I woke up this morning, 3am, in a hotel in Grand Rapids. It was a planned New Year’s Eve romantic get away with my love. I booked the hotel, got a great rate, 4 ****, I was so looking forward to this time away, relaxed, yet focused with my favorite.

Get aways haven’t always been a relaxing and soothing experience. My dad told me yesterday, I find drama whereever I go. He told me this after I shared the experience I just experienced while checking in to the romantic get away hotel.

this is how it all began. January 31, 2020. The last day of the longest year of this life.

I met my love in the parking lot. Set the stage: long, sexy kiss in the parking lot, hey baby, want to get a room with me? I wanna spend some time with you, alone and naked. Oh yes! That’s exactly what I wanted when I booked the hotel. Sexy solitude.

We went inside to the desk to check in. There was a young, beautiful, black woman with her right arm in a sling. She was talking to the clerk, relating the details of her accident that morning. She walked out of the back door of the hotel. Fell on the ice. “I don’t know how to handle this ice and snow. it’s so cold here and it’s slippery. I fell and I broke my shoulder. I missed my flight back home. I have to keep the rental car another night, my account is goign to be overdrawn due to new unexpected charges. I don’t know what to do.”

They agreed to give her another room for the rate of $60/night. It was a heartbreaking story and i was a little choked up. She walked away, softly crying, and obviously in pain, wanting to lay down, and let the pain pill kick in. I walked away from the clerk at the desk who taking my ID and checking us in. “Maam! Is there anything you need, right now? is there anything i can do for you?” She replied with tears in her voice, “Would you pull my hair back into a pony”? She had long, long, long braids, thick and gorgeous. Are you kidding me? “Sister, yes. Yes, I can do that. I have 5 (brown) daughters and I have done hair more times than I can count!” I scooped up her beautiful, wild hair and gently pulled it together, taming it temporarily so she had one less thing to think about and one less thing she had to figure out how to do without any use of her right arm.

We got checked in. We went to the car to get our bags and move in to our room. It was on the first floor, 150. We moved in. the refrigerator didn’t work. It was dirty. It was an accessible room, yet there was no phone. It was such a disgusting, disappointment. And not workable. I wanted a refrigerator that worked. the phone was inconsequential but when the door fell off the cupboard. I couldn’t take it anymore. We went to the desk. My love got us another room. One floor up. We started moving. I took the first load while she packed up the rest of the stuff.

When I went up to the new room with the load, the door was wide open. I walked in, freely, unencumbered. there was no TV. What the hell is going on? What the fuck is going on? My romantic vision was melting and not into a puddle of PJ in my bed.

We both went to the front desk this time. As soon as I got into line of vision of the desk, I think they knew I was quite upset. This was room 2 and it was shit too. There were two people already at the desk, one of which was the young woman, Elizabeth, that had broken her should during a slip and fall in the parking lot of the lovely romantic get away hotel.

I pulled out my phone. I started recording and this is what I said, “I can’t believe this. This is the second room, there is no TV and the door was wide the eff open! In addition, how the hell are you going to have a slip and fall in the parking lot, resulting in a broken shoulder on this young woman! Even though she is incurring additional costs as a result of this slip and fall, you are still charging her for the room!!!”

Then i continued talking while recording a video. I talked about the hotel. And the lack of customer service and caring for this injured woman and the lack of cleanliness and attention to rooms at this particular hotel.

I walked back inside. I looked at Elizabeth, still standing at the desk. And she looked like poo, still beautiful and brave through the pain, but obviously faint and weak looking, like she might fall out. And that’s what I said. I walked up to her, while recording, asked her if she felt all right. She said but i said you look very weak, would you like to sit down. She demurred and denied. I walked away, back to my 6′ distancing (we ALL were masked!). The desk attendant, Emma, called me to the desk. She had a room for us. She asked her coworker, Nate, to go check out the room for us, to make sure it was okay, before we moved AGAIN!

He came back. All is well. the room is ready. Follow me, maam!

I follow him. We walk to the room. He opens the door. Holy freaking shit.

We were upgraded to a king suite with a whirlpool tub. It was absolutely GORGEOUS!!

Holy shit. All of the calamities had lead up to the amazing upgrade. Yes, it was a pain in the ass. Yes, I was in some chaos. Yes, I had a wee bit of crying and upsetedness. Yup. Shit. More chaos? And yet, here we are, in an upgraded suite with a king size bed, bigger refrigerator, kitchenette, and a whirlpool tub. Ahhhhh, this is beautiful.

Fortunately, during the long walk to the room with Nate, almost a city block, and up two flights in the slow elevator, I was able to joke with Nate and the tension was slightly relieved. We got to the room. It was acceptable and good and romantic and YAY! I chatted with Nate. I shared with him that I hoped his New Year’s Eve was calmer and easier. He replied that this was a perfect evening. He shared that it was the first new year’s in a year or so that he was clean. He shared that a year ago, he almost died in front of his son during an overdose and that he was clean now. he was clean. He was alive. And that this was easy living compared to what he had lived. He got choked up. I got chills and choked up. He tried to run away with his feelings. As the tears started to fill his eyes, he tried to leave, “I gotta go! Happy New Year, maam!”


Get your ass back here, man, you don’t get out of this without a hug.

And we hugged and I told him, “I’m so glad you are here! I am so glad you are alive. You don’t have ever to use again. I’m so thankful for you, man. My partner is in recovery and keep coming back. Love you, man”. And he hugged me so hard like he was never going to let go. he gave me this hardcore NA hug. He went back to the desk. He left and we forever were bonded in a way that holy crap, I didn’t know it was coming but each part of this debacle of the romantic getaway hotel lead to this moment of connection, support, yes, love. Because we need each other and we gotta give each other love when we can. I’m thankful for this freaking moment right here. Thank you.

He left. My Minnie finished moving us into the room. We settled in. Putting items in the refrigerator, cooler, starting to run a tub, because guess what? We were blessed with a whirlpool in the room and i was going to absolutely take advantage of that blessing.

i went to the window to see if it cracked or opened at all. Ya know? Can I kind of get away with some recreational activities without freezing my ass off or would I be banished to the arctic area out side the exit.

The window was fucking broken. Wait. What? The window had a big hole in it. A punch? A head? What the freaking hell.

Is this for real? Wheere is the camera? Who the frick is punking me?

I look at Minnie and say, what the hell do we do? Tell them? they might move us AGAIN! and the room might not be as nice, it might not have a tub, and are you fucking kidding me? I want to settle into the romantic weekend and get my sexy juicy on!!! When does the romantic getaway even happen? When? Sheesh.

We take pictures because we don’t want to be held liable. We walk down to the front desk. Emma and Nate look at us and duck and hide. Yup. We have become those people. Bitching and complaining people. Sigh. But it really is not my fault!!! lol

I show Emma the pictures. She tells us that we have to move because it is a safety risk.


I cannot move again. I don’t care about the risks. I am a mom of 8. I have dealt with so much glass. I don’t care about the cold. We didn’t feel it. We are menopausal. What the helllllllllllll NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I am crying and pleading at this point. Please don’t move us again. Plastic it. Just let us stayyyyyyy.

These were my pleas to Emma & Nate. Please. Don’t. Move. US. AGAIN. Please let the romantic get away begin.

I walked away. I don’t know what was said after I left but I wanted to get a tub in before we were moving again. My Minnie returned and told me it was taken care of. She told me that it was okay and they are going to fix it. So yeah, we weren’t going to get much privacy. And yeah, we didn’t know what time they would be back to fix it. And yeah, it was disruptive. And yeah, it was a little chaotic. But it’s okay. I’m getting in the tub while we wait.

They called within 20 minutes saying they were on their way. YAY! They were being timely and attentive. I like that!

Emma and Fernando (maintenance guy) showed up, masked and sort of ready to go to work. They stared removing the glass. Neither one of them had work gloves. WHAT??!

They were not very prepared. But BOOM! Here ya go! I provided them with MFR Warrior Work Gloves. Yup, shore the eff did. I got you BOO. No cuts or injuries on this nurse’s watch.

He put the gloves on and they got to work. It took him awhile to get the window pane/frame out of the track. He had to break some of the glass. Emma was very supportive with her designer back pack and phone flashlight. She was funny. She shared how all of her hotels were having issues. LOL ALL of her hotels? oh, yeah, they have 18 and each one was having issues: key card machines out on the blink and offline for a huge Holiday Inn Express and flooding in another location.

Seriously, 2020? Staying strong and spiteful til the end, aren’t ya?

He finally got the window out. They cleaned up the glass. But they didn’t really have a plan. But wait. Can we take this window to another room and take he window out of that room and bring it back. Heck yes, we can!!! Solution found and carried out. We were in business with an enclosed, unbroken window. They left. We laughed. We bonded. All is well in Wyndham.

But wait! There’s more. the window STILL OPENS! how rare is it to find an opening window in a hotel on the 3rd floor? lol Thanks Goddess for arranging for cross draft to air my room out so I didn’t have to brave the cold for my recreationals. #thankful #findingmyjuicy

We settled into our room. We had a romantic picnic. We watched Grease. We got some sexy juicy and then some more.

It wasn’t all perfect. The people below us partied all night and got into a fight at 3am and destroyed the rooms ($700 worth of damage!!!) So I was awake a lot. But overall…

When I think of how I left 2020…I was snuggled up in a big cozy bed with my favorite, safe, grounded, satiated, and juicy af. That is a good way to welcome 2021.

Welcome 2021! I look forward to all of your juicy adventures! Bring on the magic and the miracles. I love it all. It is all juicy!

welcome 2021! I love you already 🙂