Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Big Thing

I am getting divorced. How strange it feels to type those words. This was not my intention. No one gets married thinking they will do this. But I need to. Things got fucked up. So much messier than ever possibly imagined. I do not understand how this came to be my life. How is it possible I put forth a polished exterior but continue to fuck up at every turn. Disaster. Walking. Breathing. Incredulous. Help. Me. Oh how this hurts. Impossible beautiful pain.


I'm going to make this blog private. For a time. I need to be able to put words out into the cosmos about the BIG THING that is happening in my life. If you want to still read my blathering, facebook me an email, or ask to be invited. Otherwise I will still type, and cry, and pray. Into silence.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Almost Three

Yesterday Bridger got to hang out with his Uncle Mike for a little bit in the morning. They watched 'The Best of Michael Jordan'. Bridger was a pretty quick study, particularly in the fancy footwork before the throw.

There is no baby left in my baby. He's lanky, a little boy. Sweet and smiley and mischievous. I look at him and hear Puck, from Midsummer Night's Dream. But still snugly, and cuddly, sometimes. He starts preschool on his birthday, next week. Little by little we let them go. Knowing it's what must be done, it still makes for a wistful mother waving as they walk away.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A letter to the Peanut Gallery

This blog offers snapshots, vignettes into my life, mind and soul. Part of any journal is the ability to be honest, with yourself, and even though a blog is a public journal, I will not censor myself. The last post was an honest snapshot of that moment in my head. Getting those emotions out of my head and into this journal, raw and ugly and uncomfortable as they may be, is in fact one of the healthiest response mechanisms that I could have chosen. My therapist is in agreement that my fear of returning to the darkness that I have lived in (many many years ago) is very healthy, and gives her no reason to fear for my safety, or general mental health. In circumstances such as mine, to be handling this stress, without medication, this well, is admirable, especially given my history.

There are however, those who would read that post, and use it for fodder, as weaponry, to claim moral and mental superiority. Which is only showing just how small they really feel. 

So how am I feeling today? Strong. Scared. Brave. Too nervous to eat much, but loving all the full fat cheese I am eating right now. With jam. A little angry. Thankful for the support and love of my friends and family. Grateful for the kind comment that was left on that post. Very sorry for the small small people who think that a history of depression, and honest assessment of the pull of negative coping mechanisms, and the will to function differently, even if it's hard sometimes, makes me a terrible fucked up person. Pretty pitiful.

Bringing light to the darkness. I will not be shamed.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Old familiar friends

I have a really colorful mental health history. I have spent this half of my life constructing different paradigms, learning appropriate coping mechanisms, being on various medications, learning to live without those medications, because detoxing too fast while your insurance runs out really fucking sucks.

But, at the end of it all, and first in my mind, is that these shadowy ways are my first line of defense. Life gets difficult, the pressure mounts, and I. Cease. To. Function. Too much intensity. So much FEELING. Too much. Can't. Feel. All. Of. This. Can't. Can't. Fuck. This. Need. To. Feel. Something Different. Need to put the feeling somewhere else. Compartmentalize. Give the amorphous nebulous web of flying thoughts a definitive place, a home, something physical to label it, make it real and definable. Beg to have some control of my mind, my life, the shit storm that has exploded.

I, without trying, have lost a noticeable amount of weight. But it feels really good. To have spaces that are absent of flesh. To be negative space. To see the cage below my collarbones. It feels familiar, comfortable. I find myself enjoying the gnaw of hunger at 3 in the afternoon, the buzzy feel of faintness. That scares me.

It scares me that I have put an elastic on my wrist to snap it, to make it hurt. Because all I want to do, all the god damn time, is to cut something. Somewhere. That my kids can't see. To give all the hurt a certain undeniable location, form, cause.

Now, before the choir begins to sing concern, or blame, be quiet. 

And that is very good and very healthy.
So shut the fuck up. 

Let me flounder. I will figure my shit out. I take responsibility for my part in allowing my life to become this cesspool of blame, cause and dysfunction. I pray that those close to me try to understand what part I didn't have in it. That there is a greater evil; Addiction ruins wonderful people - doesn't matter what the substance is, it's the behavior that breaks down the living. That there are multiple victims. That I am not completely to blame. That I am broken down (4, 11, 12, 19), and need to find a way to grow out of the muck. I do not need concern, or pity. I need compassion. And understanding.

That is all.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

behind my eyelids

Lie images, sounds, the should-haves, ever present. Steam appearing from a vent. Bubbling concealed blood in a cold throat. My daughter's lower lashes as they moistened with tears, her dignity as she stood and declared, 'i need a moment to collect my thoughts'. 7 year old thoughts. How many times every day do I make choices, so seemingly innocuous, only to find each weighs heavy with implication. I never want to choose again. I wish to be motionless, impactless, unknown and unseen. I want to scrub the back of my eyelids clean.
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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Farm Share Weeks 9 & 10

Well, I'm only catching up on one week. A vast improvement on last month, no? We take what we can get around here.

So, Week 9 - August 2nd. Table looks naked, right? No bulk for the first week in quite a while! I did have a back-up of corn however, so Rebecca and I made some FREAKIN' FABULOUS Sweet Summer Corn Relish which is only slightly better topping a veggie burger with country catsup than it is straight out of the jar on a spoon.

Baguette, Lettuce, Zucchini, Cukes, Corn, Green Beans (which became Dilly Beans), Tomatoes, Kale,  Melon, Blueberries

Ingredients for the Corn Relish - it was really lovely to look at.

After cooking in the brine, ready for the jars.

Theo and Bridger making mischief while the Corn Fest goes on.

Finished product. Sweet nommyness!

I also took some pictures at the depot last week. I LOVE walking into the depot, the sights, smells, the wonderment of what we may be getting, it renders me squeaky and bouncy. Literally a kid in a candy shop.

Bread and Chef Share - the herbs were three varieties of basil bundled together. The smell. Oh Lord, the smell.

Walking up to the pick-up.

Beets, the color was really lovely.

Fruit Share Table

Some of the veggie choices


Take Table

Our inappropriate Eggplant. Yes, some people might see that and think, oh, a nose, a mitten. Me? I think something else...

Week #10 - August 9th. Back to bulk. The end of pickling cukes, and peaches. There will be Quicker Kosher Dills, Cucumber Relish, Bread and Butters, and as many quarts of peaches in syrup as I can manage by the end of this week. In other news, I am officially joining the Farm Direct Coop's team at the Salem Depot. I am beyond thrilled. Woot!

Mammoth Take today - Corn, Carrots, Kale, Celery, Lettuce, Eggplant, Peppers, Summer Squash, Tomatoes , Green Peppers, Hot Peppers (squee!), Baguette, Cheddar, Gouda, Watermelon, Peaches.

40 pounds of peaches, 10 pounds of cucumbers. Goodness to come...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Seismic Activity

The earth is moving beneath my feet. Sand flows through an hourglass. Shifting, tremors. I do not know where or how I may land. I carry with me my light within, my breath, my hope. I pray. Love is greater than fear. Act out of love.
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Sunday, July 31, 2011

In Which Mira Catches Up On Farm Share and Canning Activities...

So, I've been back from our week on the Cape for oh, like 5 weeks now. So the "I'm still catching up from vacation" excuse is no longer valid. So here it is - the epic, ridunkulous, bad-blogger catch-up post.

Vacation week (June 28), my wise, wonderful, ever-giving friend C picked up my share, froze berries for me, and packed up the hardy veg, which was wonderful when we returned.

Quart Strawberries, Pint Raspberries, Garlic Scapes, Shelling Peas, Cucumbers, Lacticino Kale, Chard, Salad Turnips
July 5 - I ordered the last flat of strawberries, and also upgraded to a Large Vegetable share. With the strawberries I made more of the Strawberry-Mango-Chamomile syrup, Strawberry Butter, Strawberry-Lemon Preserves, and Classic Preserves.

Strawberries, raspberries, summer squash, fennel, red-leaf lettuce, kale, cucumber, focaccia, goat cheese
First attempt at pickles - pretty yummy!
July 12... More bulk berries, raspberries. Made raspberry jam, using apples for pectin, and raspberry preserves. Nom. A friend also organized getting peaches from the south - made some pretty amazing peach butter, and peach-mango-raspberry butter. Canning with friends is pretty fun. I do love my late night jam sessions - meditative.

Baguette, Focaccia, Raw Cheddar, Summer Squash, Cukes, a GORGEOUS tomato, Corn, shelling peas, carrots, kale, lettuce, raspberries, and the bulk flat of raspberries
Raspberry preserves

Peach butters before they became themselves

the color... blood and life and lovely

My sister's childhood best friend, and alternate-universe version of who I might have become had I taken different paths, came over to make cheese, and brought black trumpets she foraged herself. She gave me a great recipe for ravioli. Nom.
With sage butter
July 19... More bulk berries - a flat of raspberries, a flat of gooseberries, and a half flat of currants. I wasn't really sure about the currants, but was feeling adventureous. SO GLAD I did - raspberry-currant jam is a total MOUTHGASM. I can not stress this enough. Party in the mouth, a necessary item for all. I canned with Rebecca, and we discovered that 1) five flats of berries is an ALL DAY job 2) gooseberries in syrup is teh awezome.

Roasted Garlic Sourdough (makes awesome veggie bread pudding),  green beans,  summer squash, cukes,  onions, garlic, corn, gooseberries, raspberries, blueberries. Bulk raspberries, gooseberries & currants.

Raspberry-currant Epiphany

Part of the epic Rebecca & Mira cannapalooza day
 July 26... Bulk blueberries - blueberry lavender rhubarb jam is boss. It also makes not very much jam. And I have no more rhubarb frozen. Wah. 

Baguette, Burratta (YUM), blueberries, tomato, cucumbers, peppers, squash, eggplant, corn, kale, bulk blueberries


A midnight foray of  blueberry-lime jam, blueberry-lavender-rhubarb jam, and  kosher dill pickles
So there it is! Caught up. I've been busy :-) And full. And loving food. And loving the friends who I create a community with, who feed me with their love, so I can do the same.

Forgiveness, Love, Truth

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.

~ Mary Oliver

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Running Lessons, or How Everything is Really Yoga

My legs are mismatched. They look like each should belong on different bodies, not emanate from my pelvis together. The left is the stronger, more structurally sound of the two. Longer by three quarters of an inch, my left leg hangs down a plumb line, ankle stacked below knee, arch of my foot strong and curved. My right leg is in a state of perpetual external rotation, so when my two feet point forward in neutral, my right knee cap points in at at an odd angle. The tibia and fibula curve out in a more pronounced fashion. The arch of my right foot is flatter than it's partner, and collapses as I walk. I can hold standing balancing postures as long as I like on my left foot, but the right, oh my. Not so much.

In the summer of 2006 I set out to become a person who liked running. Growing up I was the kid who walked the mile run in gym class. My bother ran track, and was very good, so naturally I could not be bothered to try knowing I wouldn't be as good as him. I had other talents, and sports, and as I chose a career training horses, I was not in need of a physical outlet. But by that summer, that had changed, I had a toddler, and a job pushing paper, and I needed to move, to have a space and time that allowed me to focus on the rhythm of my breath, to move in meditation, to quiet the screaming in my head. So one day I ran a mile. The next day I ran a little farther, and before long, I ran my first 5k with Kathryn, and was hooked. I ended up running a half-marathon in the fall of 2007, but during my pregnancy with Bridger had to stop running due to placenta previa, and just never got back to it. Until this June.

I'm the kind of person who needs a goal, so I signed up for 10k in September, a race I ran 5 years ago and loved, and have slowly been working my mileage up. Today I got new shoes, to accommodate that funky right leg, and therefore had to run the scheduled 6 miles in mid-day heat. It's hot today. mid-nineties, humid. It was a little not that smart. But I started, felt great for 3 and half miles, and then came to a BIG FUCKING HILL. By the top of that hill, I was blacking out, hearing the blood pounding in my ears, and eerily enough, felt cold and shivered. So I'd walk until I could see again, breathe and be with the panicky sick feeling of, But I still have 2 more miles until I'm home, then run until the world went dark. And repeat. This a skill my yoga practice has taught me, how to be with the uncomfortable, impossible feelings and spaces, and keep moving forward throughout, until the inevitable change comes. I've learned I am so much more than those feelings, that the truth within me is deeper, that I am strong, that I can will deadened limbs to move farther, to ride the waves of dizziness, and arrive where I intend, or be at peace with arriving where I am. That knowledge is power. 

Coincidentally, I still ended up with an average pace of 11:30, even though the last 2 miles were run/walk. Which is the other lesson learned - slow the fuck down in the beginning of a long run, Blondie!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Visiting a Friend

Strange walking through a cemetery I had not returned to in 13 years. It was so much larger than I remembered, and for a minute I was terrified I wouldn't find you. But I kept walking, and like some magnetic force was pulling me, I found your spot once again. I brushed the bits of lichen off your name, stunned you have been there long enough for that to grow. Watered the flowers with my tears, kissed the stone. I miss you, every day. And love you always.
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

10 Things - Wanderlust Edition

This past Saturday I had the immense joy of attending the Wanderlust Festival held in Stratton, VT. Wanderlust is a yoga and music festival, that until this year had only been held in Tahoe. When I heard they were coming east I knew I had to go, at least for one day, and I am so, so, so glad I did. The energy was sky high, even in the misty mountain rain, it was life and love affirming.

 Please check out my ski (and now yoga) sister - Female Ski Bum's account of our spectacular day.

Life Sisters

Handstand at the peak, with the bear. And my  belly.

Acro yoga - gotta work up the balls to try this.

Waiting for the concert to start in the rain - it cleared just in time for the show to start. I saw the space station and a shooting star during the show!

Michael Franti

Here are 10 thoughts, quotes, musings I took away with me:

  1.  Be playfully serious, and seriously playful. ~ Desiree Rumbaugh
  2.  Speak, act, think as you want your life and your world to be, not as it is. ~ Desiree Rumbaugh
  3.  Dare to live in the light of your heart. ~ Elena Brower
  4. The people who need our light the most are those who challenge us. Soften to them. Offer your best intention. Think, maybe it's me.
  5. Alignment is the key to freedom. ~ John Friend
  6. A yoga 'class' with Michael Franti and Seane Corne was possibly the most Connected I've ever felt - to my community, to the spirit of giving and healing, to love, to the one, ever, in my life. Live acoustic set, while doing asana? Amazing. I cried.
  7. I love to dance. I don't do it nearly often enough.
  8. Michael Franti puts on a great show. He touched my hand!
  9. Yoga can produce great change, both in the hearts of those who practice, and in the world.
  10. Love is stronger than fear. ~ Desiree Rumbaugh

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Farm Share Week #3 - in which Mira makes (guess what?) more jam!

Good take this week - still the greenery of our cold wet spring, but that will soon change. And there were scapes! There will be pesto. Here's the mug shot of the goods:

4 scapes (i found more at market yesterday), head of lettuce, bunch of laticino kale, radishes, bok choi, 2 quarts ipm strawberries, and a pint of organic strawberries. The bread was lovely rye rolls.

What to do with the loot? The kids and I did eat that pint straight up, but I'm sitting here waiting for another batch of rhuberry jam to process, having licked a few spoons and spun around in the kitchen in full-on happy tummy dance. 4 half pints made, and just shy of a quart of strawberries frozen. I sliced a few strawberries to see how they do in the dehydrator. There's also 3 trays of last fall's cranapple sauce becoming fruit leather.

I have used my new Tattler Canning Lids for a few jars, with success. The lids are reusable, no-BPA plastic. Knowing that the traditional lids are single use, and are lined with BPA made me look for an alternative, and this is the best I could find. I don't love that they're plastic, but it seems a lesser evil. The only thing I really need to do is find rubber or silicon heat proof gloves - to ensure a good seal you have to tighten the metal band as soon as the jar comes out of the canner - we have pit mits, but they are cloth, and although I have a high tolerance for heat, the boiling water in the cloth mitt is burning my little fingers. So, friends, if I give you a jar of yummy goodness and it has a white plastic lid on it, it means 2 things. First, I hold you dear enough to share said yummy goodness. Secondly, I will hunt you down for that lid :)

Scape Pesto:
A large amount of scapes (10? 15? Eyeball it, find your inner Italian)
A large chunk of good grating cheese, like romano or parmesan - maybe a third of a wedge
A handful of pine nuts, or walnut
Salt & pepper, splash of good olive oil
Whirl in a food processor to make a paste. At this point you could freeze it, and add more olive oil upon thawing it, or add more oil until pesto is a smooth thick sauce. I love this with fresh pasta, or on crostini. You can also add basil for a more 'traditional' pesto. Just remember your garlic math if you plan to snuzzle a loved one - 2 people eating garlic equals no one bothered by garlic odor.

Nom nom. Next week is vacation on the Cape, so we'll miss a week. But upon our return, the berries will likely be a different variety, and the veggies a different hue.

Happy eating!
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Making the Impossible, Possible

Open your heart, share your love generously. 

I had the pleasure of subbing a Chakra Flow class just over a week ago. The Chakra for that week was the heart Chakra - meaning yes, a backbend heavy practice. I have for many years had a hate-hate relationship with backbends, but recently have been attempting at least to make friends with them, to observe the discomforts rather than fleeing from them. A woman came up to me after the class, and told me that although she had a rod in her back, and she had nearly walked out of the studio when I introduced the theme, she said that the way the class was sequenced and presented made it accessible to her - that even if she could not wear the full expression of each posture, she left that day feeling her heart open, and her body lightened of previous perceived limitations. Another student yesterday, with herniated disks, told me he had never been able to 'do' yoga since his injury, but felt the practice that day was presented in a 'kind, gentle manner', that allowed him to find new possibilities in his body and mind in that moment.

This is yoga to me - through the practice we make what seems impossible at the moment, possible over time. It's magical to me. Physically I've found new corners of Neverland (the name I have for postures that are at the moment un-accessible) over the past 2 and half years of practice, but slowly the landscape changes. What seemed impossible in 2009 is now part of my regular practice, and poses I didn't even know existed are in the Neverland category, as something I am working towards. But more importantly than physical progress is the quiet in my mind, and finally, finally a willingness, a courage to explore the shadowland in my soul, to bring to light buried traumas, to remove the armor I have worn for so much of life so I too, can blow my heart wide open and live a life free of fear. This will be the second time in my life I call on this practice to be a ship to carry me over a sea of dark thoughts, to be refuge from the darkness of my mind.

I believe the physical traumas we experience in life write themselves into our bodies, like psychic tattoos. The deep work of yoga can release those deeply held memories and beliefs. I have a heavy mantle of somatic emotional pain, of transgressions, of violence. Once the autonomy of one's body is breached, it is no longer safe or sacred. I am damaged. I have no safe space in my own being. Backbends have always scared me, as they require me to open my most vulnerable areas to attack, belly and throat up and exposed, heart open, easy target. Each and every time I drop my head back into Ustrasana, I feel that hand grab my hair and wrench my head back, rendering me powerless. But I am tired of living with this darkness. I want to be touched in love without seeing the flashes of hands holding me down, and so, I will do this work. I will reclaim this place of openness. 

So here is the state of the backbend at the start:

In honesty they don't look nearly as bad as they feel - right hip (as per the usual) likes to be in external rotation always, shoulders are tight, but not a bad place to start from. This was taken last week. Tonight I did my practice, tears streaming down my face, lots of inversions, and of course more backbends. They do feel better, but each time I prepare to enter the postures, I have to gather my courage, beat back the fear and un-grit my teeth. Time, diligent practice, tears. Hard work. I will reclaim my body.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Here's the equation:

24 quarts of strawberries + 4 friends + 4 two year olds = day full of fun, chaos, and yumminess!

And here's a law of physics that I've noticed... the day you plan to can each week will be the hottest of the week. Without fail. I do not have AC installed as it was barely 60 degrees all last week, and am in a second floor apartment. 'Nuff said.

In the end, we put up the following: (all  are half-pint jars unless noted)

3 Strawberry Preserves
5 Strawberry Vanilla Jams
8 Strawberry Lavender Jams
12 Strawberry Jams
6 Strawberry Mint Syrups
4 Spiced Strawberry Butters, 1 4oz jar as well
6 trays Strawberry Leather

I prepped about a quart and a half for the Preserves last night.

Hulling over 20 quarts of strawberries.

The strawberry-vanilla prep that Rebecca brought.

We took slightly overripe berries and pureed them for the fruit leather.

 Finished products

Already plotting more of those Preserves. Sweet mother of all that is holy, they sure don't suck.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Farm Share Week #2

Week 2, and we're still in the very green of early season. Today's take included a napa cabbage, head of (beautiful) lettuce, bunch of scallions, and fennel (squee!). The fruit share was 3 fragrant lovely quarts of strawberries. Bread and cheese this week too! And, I ordered a flat of strawberries - so 11 quarts in total.

3 of the quarts are in the freezer as we speak. I washed and hulled the berries, then put them in the freezer on baking sheets to firm up before transferring them to Ziploc bags. This way they freeze separately instead of in a big red mass.

 I'm canning on Thursday, so I'm still musing about what jams to make. Certainly a strawberry jam, possible one with lavender, and preserves. I'm also planning on breaking out the dehydrator for some fruit leather, and dried strawberries. 

Bella mugs with our goods: