Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy New Year

may the tides of change bring you warm currents of love, joy, and good fortune.

we love you!!

holiday blessings

we have had a holiday season blessed with loved ones. it started in November when Sealion and i visited my dad and his family in Williamsburg, VA, after attending the Weston A. Price Conference a few hours away. then in mid-December we traveled to North Carolina to visit with his folks, where my mom met us for the weekend. then the most fabulous Woo-lie came up from San Diego for a lovely relaxing food-filled few days. here are some photos.

match the photo with the caption ~

Thanksmas dinner in NC
beautiful Shenandoah Valley color
with Dad in his backyard
Woo with Mr. Gandhi at the Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market
goin' fishin', with the cabin in the background
cabin Christmas tree with Mom
at home with Woo
at Bette's Oceanview Diner for breakfast

Monday, December 10, 2007

declare your love for raw milk! now!

i didn't go to the store to buy milk. but when i saw the gorgeous Claravale lined up in its glass bottle rows, so fresh the cream hadn't risen to the top, i had to open the case. there on the neck of the bottle was a little white and red square tag. not a happy holiday tag; it read ~

Dear Customers:
Imagine your life without this milk. That's
the way it will be after January 1st, 2008.
Please go to:
and see what's up. We need your support.
Time is of the essence. Do it now.

and smaller ~
The State of California has
passed new legislation which
will severely limit the
availability of raw milk.

i bought a bottle. just out of solidarity.
i have tried to clarify why this is such an emotional issue for me ~ California's new law that will effectively outlaw raw milk. the essential unadulterated liquid of nurturance.
a year ago, i barely drank raw milk. it was a challenge to put it in my tea. but i think i have settled on an answer: my choice to drink raw milk has been the final step for me to embrace 100% earnestly seeking to nourish myself through the food i eat. until then, i believe i was still holding on to one last scrap of that insidious brainwashing that told me that bony hips were mandatory to be desirable. in the back of my mind, i believed that if i drank raw milk i would puff up into a marshmallow-house woman. somehow accepting that quintessential embodiment of the feminine ~ milk! ~ was my ultimate submission (Jessica Prentice draws many insightful conclusions on our modern attitudes about milk in Full Moon Feast = in the top tier of my highly-recommended book list!!). for the past year, actually, i have been meditating on the Feminine ~ the abundant, Womanly Feminine, attempting to embody her essence as i try to rebuild and replenish my body for all the years i deprived it through uneducated good intentions. perhaps i'm ready. or at least able to wholly approach Her altar.

and just as i am open to accepting this gift, someone who doesn't know me or this story is implementing a law that will make it much more difficult for me to obtain it.

[so i guess they are providing me an opportunity for learning and growing, huh, Woo? ;-) ]

here's the latest on Raw Milk in California. some special Sealion says it's quite a rush to call your legislator to let your voice be heard! and only takes a few minutes.



Calling all Raw Milk Consumers!

We have been given very specific "political marching orders" to win reversal of AB 1735 without a lawsuit and hearings!

Our political associates in Sacramento have strongly advised us to send letters and make calls immediately to the six people listed below. This group of leaders holdS the future of your raw milk in their hands. Please contact them right now!

AB 1735 will be in political play during the next few days. With your passionate and immediate support via phone calls and mailed letters, we can overturn AB 1735 without a lawsuit.

When calling, simply say you oppose the bill because it threatens your supply of raw milk, and you support a reversal. The friendly phone personnel will take your name and city, register your comment and that's it!

The message points for your letter are:

o California Raw milk is safe with a PERFECT RECORD of zero pathogens detected at Claravale Dairy and Organic Pastures Dairy since 1927. That's 80 years of raw milk testing history.

o AB 1735 creates a new raw milk standard that does not improve safety and will eliminate raw milk sales in California. Coliform bacteria (if high or low) do not equal pathogenic bacteria. COLIFORMS ARE NOT PATHOGENS, THEY ARE HARMLESS AND BENEFICIAL. Current laws provide for testing of pathogens and NONE HAVE EVER BEEN FOUND IN RAW MILK produced at OPDC or Claravale.

o Demand AB 1735 BE REVERSED immediately.

o Make it clear why raw milk is important to you and your family, how it has changed your life and improved YOUR HEALTH.


Nicole Para Assemblyperson
Capitol Office
State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento CA 94249-0030
916-319-2130 FAX

Doug LaMalfa
State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Room 4164
Sacramento, CA 94249-0002
Phone: (916) 319-2002

Mike Villines
Capitol Office
State Capitol Room 3104
Sacramento, CA 94249-0029
Ph: (916) 319-2029
Fax: (916) 319-2129
Fresno District Office
6245 N. Fresno Street, #106
Fresno, CA 93710
Ph: (559) 446-2029
Fax: (559) 446-2028

Bill Maze
Capitol Office
State Capitol Room 5160
Sacramento, CA 94249-0034
Ph: 916-319-2034
Fax: 916-319-2134
Visalia District Office
5959 S. Mooney Blvd
Visalia, CA 93277
Ph: 559-636-3440
Fax: 559-636-4484

Fabian Nunez
Capitol Office
State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0046
District Office
320 West 4th Street
Room 1050
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 620-4646

Chris Kahn
Office of the Governor
State Capitol, First Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-4341
Fax: 324-6358


Saturday, December 08, 2007

adios, amigo; hello revolution

"Whatever you do may seem insignificant to you, but it is most important that you do it."
~ Mohandas Gandhi

sadly but firmly, we have let El Caballero Negro go. he was a steadfast, loyal, and dependable giant. his high-riding heated posh leather seats cradled us gently cross-country, on countless roadtrips and camping outings, and to three Burning Mans. but the clincher was his commute. fifteen days a month, around 80 miles roundtrip. with all the ways we have been determined to Green our lives and lifestyle ~ buying things secondhand, eliminating plastic, composting foodscraps, and shopping locally, Cab stood out like. . a big gas-guzzling SUV.
it was painful to say goodbye. :-(
we traded him in for a peppy silver Jetta wagon .. . that we're running on biodiesel!! in case you're curious ~ Biofuel Oasis explains, "Biodiesel is oil that has been modified in a chemical process called transesterification in which the glycerine is removed from the oil. The resulting product is thinner than vegetable oil and can power a diesel engine as a fuel with NO modifications or conversion needed. It can also be blended with petroleum diesel in any proportions, right in your tank. If you can't find biodiesel you can still use petroleum diesel."
i can't tell you what a load off my conscience it is to lighten that gargantuan carbon-footprinted burden. there is a biodiesel fueling station (an all-women co-op! ) not more than a mile from our house. when i pulled the Jetta out of the Oasis garage for the first time the other night, it felt almost as thrilling as stepping out of the voting booth (yes, i'm that cheesy) ~ but i might believe in voting with your dollar even more than in the booth! there are a bunch of oil refineries right around where we live in the Bay Area. it makes me sad to see their impact on the landscape, let alone what they do to the Bay. there was a "small" oil tanker spill a few weeks ago when one of their huge ships bumped into the Bay Bridge. thinking about the damage to oceanlife with even a "minor" spill like that (i read recently that a fish's sense of smell ~ and b/c of its sense of smell, its basic ability to school properly ~ is damaged by even the most minute levels of toxins in the water) made me want to clean up my own environmental act all the more.
it's true, as even the Biofuel Oasis ladies say ~ cars still suck. here: [ ] there is an eloquent essay about how the "biodiesel revolution" is just a Green-washed distraction from the real problems at hand ~ that we're addicted to vehicles, we're still damaging habitat and culture worldwide, and funding huge corporations. i think the author makes valid points. we already have too many of our field acres devoted to corn, soybeans, and canola (although it would be much better for us to run cars on them than people!). and Big Agribusiness is no "innocent" compared to Big Oil. but our planet needs all the help she (we) can get ~ now. biodiesel (and veggie-oil-fueled cars in general) might not be the final answer, but it may buy us a little time while we're figuring out the next step.

a fond farewell to trusty El Caballero Negro. may you be driven by someone who loves your luxurious heated seats, and only drives you up and down the driveway to get the mail.
viva la revolution!

and things we can do:

Cab shares some advice with the new guy.
saying goodbye.
our last view of Cab (in a freak snowstorm in Seattle!)
at the biodiesel pump (Biofuel Oasis) ~ i like it that they tell you where the veggie oil came from; the last batch was from a potato chip factory close by!

Friday, December 07, 2007

my food journey thus far, condensed

in filling out an application for an apprenticeship at Three Stone Hearth, i had the opportunity to tell a little of my personal story surrounding food. i've never been able to express it as concisely, so i thought i would share it with you.

Tell us a little bit about your own journey with food and healing. I grew up by my mother’s side in the kitchen, making food from scratch. I bought my first copy of Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook in high school, after becoming a vegetarian when I was sixteen. I confidently and religiously followed low-fat vegetarian principles throughout my young adulthood, usually working in some sort of food establishment. I enjoyed cooking at home, and did it as healthfully as I knew how. Throughout my twenties, I experienced relentless hypoglycemia, and sometimes-severe depression. I decided to start eating fish when I was 28. This was emotionally and spiritually excruciating for me, but eating enough soy to supposedly meet my need for protein ~ bicycling, dancing, and jogging intensively as I did ~ was wearing me down. I remember having the feeling that i was a ghost in my own life, and that rejoining the food chain might help heal that feeling. When I moved to California two and a half years ago, I cut dairy from my diet and dabbled in veganism. I lost a lot of weight and was really happy about that. But my obsession with foods that were on the “no” list was constant, my concentration was poor, and I still struggled with emotional issues. I enrolled in Bauman College's Natural Chef Program in the Spring of 2006. There I was exposed to the concepts of Weston A. Price for the first time, while at the same time reading Jessica Prentice’s book, Full Moon Feast, extra-curricularly. When I read that no culture has ever sustained itself without animal products, it was shocking and traumatic, but my body told me I needed to pay attention. The most dramatic change I experienced was upon taking cod liver oil. I felt as if my brain were working for the first time in years! As I began, slowly, to trust what I knew my body wanted, I ate red meat ~grass-fed bison**~ for the first time since I was a teen, and started eating fats like butter and coconut oil. These were changes that rocked the core of my identity. I found for the first time in my memory that I could go hours without even thinking about food ~ unheard of! Adding protein and good fats, and limiting sugar helped keep my emotions more stable. It has been a battle inside myself not to make my own body a martyr for my beliefs about animal rights, and for thinness. Just in the past few months have I found the courage and confidence to add raw milk to my diet, casting aside day by day the ingrained propaganda of what beauty is and isn’t, and embracing true health. This is my journey thus far.
I feel called to help other women understand what true health and beauty are, and to share with them ways to deeply nourish themselves and to pass it on to their daughters!

**i must add something that would be a given to the folks who were reading this application: i only eat meat that comes from animals who are raised by people who care. the beef i eat comes from steers who got to roam in the sunshine and eat grass ~ what cows were designed to eat. the chickens i eat got to peck and scratch in the sunshine and eat bugs. the eggs i eat are laid by hens who experience the same. and the milk i drink comes from cows who get to roam around and eat fresh green grass, mindfully cared for and milked. in my fantasy world, i must admit, i would not eat flesh or bones. but i accept that i am, indeed, an omnivore on this beautifully-designed planet, and that no matter what you eat or don't eat, "life takes life" (quoted from Barbara Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer) so i vow to do it as mindfully and gratefully as possible. and i have the luxury to make this choice.

to read what i have learned about health-promoting animal products and good fats (not the ones they advertise! ~ the old-fashioned kind!) and how they affect women's bodies, please go to:
to learn how our ancestors ate to be beautiful, strong, healthy and happy, please go to:

loving food at Thanksgivingtime,
confident in my me-ness, taken the day after Burning Man 07.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Safer Body Care Products

i just found the Environmental Working Group's Cosmetic Safety Database, called Skin Deep. it's amazing! it tests most all of our cosmetics, skin and hair care products (including soap, toothpaste, and eyedrops) to tell us what all those chemical names on the back actually mean, which ones are safer, which ones are more and most dangerous, and why. it's fun ~ type in your favorite eye shadow or lotion, and see where it ranks and why. eye-opening for sure b/c, as most of us know by now, what a company touts on its label doesn't necessarily hold true.
environmental toxins and body care products have been my recent light-bulb awakening in self-care. our skin is our largest organ. i have been so mindful of what i put in my mouth, where it comes from, and what it does for/against me. i was so far behind in being aware of what i wear on my skin, expose it to, or hold my drinks in (like plastics). toxic chemicals manage to incorporate themselves into cells all over our bodies, and wreak curious and unsuspected damage. nerves, hormones, organs, and systems can all be affected. and because babies and children are still developing, the same toxins can have exponentially detrimental results on their tiny systems.

there are so many toxins in our environment that we simply can't do anything about, if we even know about them.
here's a way we can be informed, and lighten our load (mentally and physically).

check it out and see for yourself ~

here's their "Safer Shopping Tips":

~Use our What Not To Buy list to avoid especially problematic ingredients — like mercury, lead, and placenta — and the products that contain them.
~Use fewer products. Is there something you can cut from your daily routine, or a product you can use less often? By cutting down on the number of chemicals contacting your skin every day, you will reduce any potential health risks associated with your products.
~Use the "Advanced Search" feature of Skin Deep to find products that have fewer potential health issues. Choose a product category and exclude the hazardous ingredients — carcinogens and neurotoxins, for instance — and Skin Deep will generate a custom shopping list for you.
~Read labels. Marketing claims on personal care products are not defined under the law, and can mean anything or nothing at all, including claims like organic, natural, hypoallergenic, animal cruelty free, and fragrance free. Read the ingredient label carefully to find evidence that the claims are true.
~Use milder soaps. Soap removes dirt and grease from the surface of your skin, but also strips away your body's own natural skin oils. Choosing a milder soap may reduce skin dryness and your need for moisturizers to replace oils your skin can provide naturally.
~Minimize your use of dark hair dyes. Many contain coal tar ingredients that have been linked to cancer in some studies.
~Cut down on your use of powders; avoid the use of baby powder on newborns and infants. A number of ingredients common in powder have been linked to cancer and other lung problems when they are inhaled. FDA warns that powders may cause lung damage if inhaled regularly.
~Choose products that are "fragrance"-free. Fragrances can cause allergic reactions. Products that claim to be "fragrance free" on the packaging may not be. They could contain masking fragrances that give off a neutral odor. Read the ingredient label — in products truly free of fragrance, the word "fragrance" will not appear there. Find "fragrance"-free products with our advanced search.
~Reduce your use of nail polish. It's one of the few types of products that routinely contains ingredients linked to birth defects. Paint your toenails and skip the fingernails. Paint nails in a well-ventilated room, or outside, or avoid using nail polish altogether, particularly when you are pregnant. Browse our custom shopping guide for advice on nail polishes that contain fewer ingredients of concern.

i also found this list, on Motherlove's website ~ Body Care Ingredients to Avoid During Pregnancy, that has some nice specific words you can look for in those ingredients lists. i don't think this needs to be exclusive to mommies-to-be.

gratitude in Wintertime, # 2

today, as the weather is chilly and the rain keeps falling, i am thankful.
i'm thankful for a plentiful supply of warm beverages. today it is any kind of tea, drizzled with luxurious raw cream.
i'm thankful for technology that brings loved ones close by without my even having to step outside, let alone board a plane.
and inspiration from dear friends.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Global Climate Treaty in Bali

here's what Al Gore has to say.
i signed his petition. it's easy and painless. the only thing is you'll have to copy and paste the links, b/c i still don't know how to create links on Blogger.

Dear Friend,
In Bali, Indonesia thousands of delegates from nearly 190 countries have gathered at the UN Conference on Climate Change. In ten days, I will address the conference to urge the adoption of a visionary new treaty to address global warming and I want to bring your voices with me.

Click here to sign my petition today and I will bring your signatures on stage with me as a clear demonstration of our resolve:

Together, we will call on the US government to assume a new leadership role in solving the climate crisis.

World leaders including British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and newly elected Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd have all agreed to aggressively battle the climate crisis - yet our country still lags behind.

Over the next ten days, I would like you to help me get people from across the country to sign our message to the global community. We can demonstrate that the American people understand the immediacy of the climate crisis and want to work with the nations of the world to solve it. Time is short - we need to mobilize everyone to bring this message to Bali:

The American people want a visionary treaty to address climate change and for the US government to play a positive leadership role in its development.

Thank you,

Al Gore

P.S.After signing the petition, please urge your friends and family to sign the petition and join the movement.


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

gratitude in Wintertime

well. it feels like Winter's here.
it got dark today at, what ~ 10 am? it rained all day, so it felt as if the sun didn't ever really wake up. and neither did i.

the other day i was doing a little bit of time-wasting/internet-surfing and came upon one of Blogger's "blogs of note" ~ Attitude of Gratitude:
it's the daily journal of a recovering alcoholic. everyday, among other writings, he lists several things he's grateful for. i found it poignant, and i found myself humbled.

so today as the inner clouds of my Self held their ground to blanket the day in nostalgia, self-deprication, and meloncholy songs, i would like to take this moment to be grateful.

today i am grateful for the beautiful orchid in our kitchen that radiates sunshine even on cloudy days.
and i am grateful for my kitties, who hang with whatever the weather throws at them with style, grace, and nonchalance.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

the happy yellow house

ok. my camera and computer are friends again, so i can show you some photos of our little home.

there's Mr. Sealion in front of our house the first day we moved in, straight from Black Rock City.
the hallway.
the living room, with Sealion's amazingly gorgeous handmade table to the left.
the kitchen.
the backyard, with sweet clover carpet. there are a cherry, a pear, and a fig tree in our yard. :)
the upstairs, and our bedroom (sweet snoozing kitties included).

Friday, November 23, 2007

California's new law: AB 1735

i've posted so much about this on my food-a-file blog, and all over, so for good measure, i'm putting it here, too.

AB 1735 ~ which goes into effect this January 2008 ~ will make it virtually impossible to legally purchase raw milk in California.

even if you don't live in California ~ even if you don't drink raw milk ~ even if you don't consume dairy products at all~
this bill affects you and your ability to obtain whole, life-giving foods.

instead of trying to ensure that foods are raised and processed in wholesome circumstances, the industrialized agriculture lobby, which is very very powerful, would rather pasteurize, fumigate, or irradiate all of our foods to make them "safe".
they are passing laws to this extent right now ~*without our consent* ~ such as the recent law that makes it *impossible* to purchase truly raw almonds except directly from a farmer. now California legislators (with the backing of the HUGE California Dairy lobby) have done it with raw milk. other states will use this as a precedent to pass similar laws. these foods ~ pasteurized, irradiated, and fumigated with harsh chemicals ~ are not life-giving foods. they are dead. instead of supporting and encouraging life, they cause it stress or damage. commercials will tell you otherwise, but they're wrong.
if you value raw foods of any sort, if you value your right to choose to purchase foods that support your health and the health of your children, this bill affects you.

for a run-down of the bill, please visit:

to contact your legislators, please visit:

to learn more about Real (raw) Milk from healthy, pasture-grazing cows, and to find out how to get it where you live, please visit:

to read a rant from my blog,, read further:

even if you don't live in California, what happens with California's laws on raw milk *will* set a precedent in other states. this bill has been snuck under the table by Big Dairy ~ who doesn't want you to know that your milk comes from cows who are sick, covered in their own poo, and never allowed to see the sunlight, or taste a bite of fresh clover. this is the large majority of our milk supply in America. it's wrong on so many levels and it's not health-supportive. they don't want you to know that. and "USDA Organic" isn't necessarily better. please! find out where your milk comes from. seek out local, caring producers of wholesome milk. and find it raw, if you can.
Big Ag is not interested in wholesome food that supports healthy, happy children and our fellow inhabitants of the planet. they would rather leave us consumers in the dark, keep growing and manufacturing "food" in filth and toxic chemicals, and either pasteurize, irradiate, or fumigate all foods to make them "safe" for consumption. this food is not life-giving food. it has *serious* ramifications on our already-compromised health and well-being. this is being done without our consent, and under the radar ~ such as the fact that *no* raw almonds can be legally sold now, except directly from the farmer.
food isn't simply something to toss in our mouths to keep us going, to satisfy a craving, or stuff an emotion. food is what our bodies *are made of*. it's what our brains, our minds, our emotions, our hormones, our hearts, our lungs, our digestive organs, our bones, our skin are all created from and function on. we evolved as animals to eat life-giving foods. we cannot replace these with synthesized, irradiated, genetically-modified, factory-extruded, petrol-fertilized, pseudo-foods for much longer. each generation of children suffers more. they deserve better. and so does the rest of the planet.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007

sacred movement and real women: revisited

you know ~ that last blog post has never totally resonated with me. i edited it quite a bit after i published it, and it still doesn't quite feel 100% true. i think i try to make things black -and- white, especially in my blogs. stories that tie together with a nice bow, and if i'm really hot: a moral. or at least a clever theme.
when bellydance found me, it touched my soul so deeply, i don't think i can make decisive clear-cut judgments about my involvement in it, and i surely shouldn't be judging myself about whether i dance or don't dance. i don't believe i'm really my Self without dancing, and it seems that when i'm not dancing, it says something about my life. it has been a part of my healing process for the last few years not to dance. and i'm not sure why; i have just followed my gut. when i was in a situation where i could boogie-down, like Burning Man or a good party, i loved it! and when i attempted to devote myself to dance again my creative energy withdrew. i experienced a huge powerful dose of this when i auditioned for and was invited to dance with UG.

SO i'm getting back around to it, i hope. i am creating intention around it, and making a valiant attempt to leave my cozy hobbit hole for more than food.

always willing to disagree with me for my own good, Gemini Cricket sent me a Long Lost photo of me enjoying the hell out of some dancing (unfortunately it is not compatible with this website, and i'm not savvy enough to correct that. .). i am grateful.

Alyssum!, who *is* techno-savvy enough to correct it, changed the photo file for me, and sent me another photo (just the photo of the photo was salvaged in her housefire) of the two of us. feels like a long long time ago.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

sacred movement and real women

i went to a bellydance class last night for the first time in a couple years. it was a momentous homecoming to my self and to my body to step back into the embrace of that ancient expression that feels so good to me. i want to dance again. and i don't want to attempt to be "the best" (what's that?), or be competitive at all, i don't care about being "known" amongst the circles, and i don't care about wearing the latest coolest dancewear by whoever's label is "it." and i definitely do not want to drill myself silly so that my abs are tight, or so that my arms don't have any softness. these are ways that, whether i realized it (or admitted it) or not, i was distracted, and the soul was robbed of my dance in the past. i just want to do it because i love it, and because my heart calls for it in its absence. my life doesn't feel quite whole without it. and perhaps just as equally, i feel deeply called to share it with other women.

the class was at fatchancebellydance. it felt so good to step out onto the floor in my barefeet and panteloons, with many women who were new to the dance and so giddy and excited to learn. i appreciate the feminine and sacred aspects of the space, with Kwan Yin in the corner, and beautiful saris draped down the walls. i like the fcbd style for its proud open strong woman posture. it opens and warms the heart. i got home from class and was so jazzed. doing taxeems and shimmies around the house just like i used to do after TT's and Woo's classes years ago. i felt pretty and feminine.

and continuing my focus on the Earth Goddess ~
somehow or other by a random connection of internet surfing, i came upon Margaret Cho's new dance variety show ~ Sensuous Woman ~ which celebrates real women and their real women bodies. i love Margaret Cho!! she is powerful, in-your-face, genuine, and soft all at the same time. i wanna see her show!
i love Margaret Cho!

Saturday, November 03, 2007


i still am awe-struck that i live in a "destination." this destination. people come to the Bay Area for vacations (i have!), and many live here by choice (too expensive to live here by accident!). one day recently at the Farmers' Market as i walked down the sidewalk, i saw more than one person snapping photos, souvenir bags in-hand, and i realized that i was part of the larger "scenery" of their San Francisco Experience. i have kind of gotten into somewhat of a routine; i at least know where the bike streets are, and where to find most of our groceries. it's not all-new. i still reside in my own head way too much of the time. i've been here long enough to have more than one low day. but this evening as i coasted down the street on my bike, groceries on my back, toward home, i looked downhill to the West where the sun was setting pink, and realized i was seeing the sunset on the Bay. my heart went a little a-flutter. i still don't think it'll be a long-term relationship, but i'm enjoying this part. i'm in that infatuation phase.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Raw Milk Emergency in California

if a new bill stands as it has been written, raw milk will be illegal in California in January ~ just a few months from now.
i'm simply going to paste the press release from Organic Pastures in here so that i get it all straight for you. if this, or having legal access to nutritious foods in general, is at all important to you, please take the five minutes it might take to follow the link, use their form letter, and email it to the legislators, whose links have also been provided. if you care to read my personal experience of raw milk, you can find it after Mark McAfee's letter.

~ Press Release ~
October 26, 2007
Contact: Mark McAfee,

New Law Will End Raw Milk Sales in California

On January 1, 2008, California raw milk producers will face new requirements for
bacteria counts in the milk they sell to consumers. All raw milk must have 10 coliform
bacteria or fewer per milliliter under the new law signed October 8th by California
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“This new law limits the sale of perfectly healthy, pathogen-free milk,” says Mark
McAfee, owner of Organic Pastures Dairy, the largest raw milk dairy in the United
States. “Most batches of our milk will not comply with the new legislation. By about
January 20th under the new law, our milk will be available to consumers intermittently at
best. Thousands of our customers who visit 300 stores in California each week will be
without a source of raw milk.”

Coliform bacteria are a diverse family of bacteria, the vast majority of which are non-
pathogenic and do not cause illness. They are killed by pasteurization.

The pathogenic forms of coliform bacteria can be tested for independently. The new law
requires no tests for pathogens.

“My customers’ choices are now being limited by a law that makes no sense. Why test
for coliform bacteria when you can test for pathogenic bacteria directly?” McAfee asks.
McAfee’s dairy already tests for E. coli 0157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes, the
primary human pathogens in the food supply.

According to raw milk activist Sally Fallon, “Officials cite health risks to raw milk but
once milk has been pasteurized, all the anti-microbial and immune-supporting
components are reduced or destroyed.” Fallon is the founder of A Campaign for Real
Milk, which promotes raw milk on its website .

Fallon adds that until the recent legislation, California has been a leader in providing
consumers with choice at the supermarket. “The legislation is obviously aimed at getting
rid of raw milk in California using standards that are unnecessary and impossible to

AB 1735, introduced to the State Assembly on March 15, 2007 and passed nearly seven
months later, targets the raw milk industry specifically. During deliberations over AB
1735, legislative records show that legislators discussed raw milk dairies. However, raw
milk producers were not consulted on the new legislation.

“Had they asked, I would have cited a 2004 study in the Journal of Dairy Science that
shows 80% of raw milk would not meet this new law,” added McAfee. “That is a whole
lot of perfectly good milk wasted that my consumers would want to buy. No one asked
them about this legislation either.”

Section 35928f of the California Food and Agriculture Code protects raw milk with the
statement “the state does not intend to limit or restrict the availability of certified raw
milk.” AB 1735 appears to redefine the standards of milk sanitation so that most raw milk
will not be considered “certified raw milk.” It will be illegal to sell healthful milk to
consumers on January 1, 2008.

McAfee has begun a voice mail, email, and letter-writing campaign to state officials and
has called for raw milk consumers and supporters to attend a press conference at the
Fresno Farmer’s Market on Saturday October 27 at 11:00 a.m. (on the corner of Shaw
and Blackstone).

Contact: Mark McAfee, Organic Pastures Dairy Company, 877-RAW-MILK

~ Tiffanie's Raw Milk Story ~

growing up as a kid, i wasn't ever a milk fan; i didn't guzzle it down with relish like lots of kids did. once i was old enough to to get away with it, i stopped drinking milk, maybe having some skim milk on cereal every now and then. as an adult, if i ever ate anything that had a lot of dairy in it, such as ice cream or a latte or real hot chocolate, i would experience obvious unpleasant belly effects pretty soon afterward. my skin responded to it by breaking out. though i ate (lowfat) yogurt regularly and happily, i accepted the concept that my body didn't like milk, and i avoided it. i went for more than a year without eating any dairy at all before i heard about the possible benefits of raw milk. while attending Bauman College's Natural Chef course, my instructor suggested that if i had trouble with pasteurized dairy ~ which is all i had consumed in the past ~ i might be able to digest raw milk; it still has all the enzymes in there that help to digest it. in particular, it still has lactase, which helps digest lactose ~ the one so many people have trouble with. lactase is cooked away when milk is pasteurized, along with all the millions of other beneficial "probiotic" beasties in there that help our bellies assimilate the nutrients from foods we eat.
i was skeptical at first ~ wouldn't raw milk *kill* you?? but i trusted that particular instructor immensely; she had a quietly confident wisdom about her that i admired. i remember buying my first bottle of unpasteurized, unhomogenized milk ~ with a thick yellowish layer of cream at the top. considering that i was still getting over the decades-ingrained fallacy that fat was bad for me (and would make me fat), actually drinking this stuff ~ potentially deadly pathogens, saturated fat and all ~ this was a watershed moment. i poured some into a small cup and sipped. this was nothing like the gray and watery skim milk i remembered from college, or the thick stuff i drank as a kid that left a slimy film in my mouth. it was smooth, sinfully creamy, and perhaps even a little bit sweet. that was a year and a half ago. i can't say i immediately jumped head first into drinking a gallon of raw milk a week (although my milk-drinkin' man has transitioned quite nicely to drinking close to that much in a week). i fermented it with kefir, and drank it in smoothies. i began using raw butter, and eating raw cheeses. these days i have gotten to where i might sneak a swig or two of milk straight out of the bottle from the fridge (and the cream from the top is the specialest of treats!!), but mainly i still ferment it as kefir for smoothies, or warm it up gently with vanilla and cinnamon and have it at bedtime. it's soothing and delicious and tastes altogether wholesome and nourishing.
as for my body tolerating it ~ i still have unseemly and uncomfortable effects if i forget and have a large portion of pasteurized milk (like if i drank a latte), i am able to digest raw milk without problems. my skin is clear, and my general health and strength, i believe, are improving. i have heard of other people's dynamic stories of drinking raw milk and recovering from lifelong allergies, healing from disease, and so on, and mine is not one of those stories, but it is a story of increasing health and strength (i did run a marathon this past summer .. ), and of discovering that my body is able to tell me what foods are healthy for me as opposed to leaving those decisions to an over-reaching government.

it's true that pasteurization protects us from pathogens, but if we saw the conditions in which a very large majority of America's dairy cows exist (even some labelled "organic"), we wouldn't want to drink that milk anyway. no wonder they have to pasteurize it. even if it does not contain potentially deadly pathogens any longer, neither does it contain any nourishing, life-giving properties. [ i don't see this as a reason to go vegan . . though i did in the past. . ; cultures around the world have thrived for many generations by getting their sustenance from raw dairy.] the raw milk that we buy ~ from Claravale Dairy, and Organic Pastures ~ comes from cows who live comfortably and exceptionally healthily in the kind of pastoral environment that comes to the imagination when you fantasize about the old fashioned family farm. their farmers go far above and beyond what is demanded of them to sell raw milk. they care about their cows, their employees, their families, and their customers. they drink the milk themselves, and they're passionate about it.

i don't have all the facts and figures memorized, but i can point you to the sites that do. all i'm saying is: even if you don't want to drink raw milk yourself, please give me, my family, and our friends and their families, and the thousands of other families in California, the right to choose to buy raw milk. we're allowed to ~ even encouraged to ~ ingest so many things that aren't at all nutritious, and that our bodies don't know *what* to do with. we're allowed to buy things that will flat out damage us and/or our unborn children. . how about giving us the choice to buy something that will nourish us for a change?

for more information on the benefits, fact-vs.-myths, wheres and whys of raw milk, please visit:

to read a bunch of other testimonials about raw milk (and read a cool blog), go to:

to read about the California raw milk emergency, please visit

Thursday, October 25, 2007

it's all about the food

i would show you photos of our sweet little home, but my camera is being a brat.
so i can tell you that, now that the house is getting squared (or circled!) away ~ not to its final perfection of course, but mighty liveable ~ my Berkeley (and Bay Area, i guess) Experience is, as i'd hoped, all about the food. this area is the mecca for my local-sustainable food fervor. as i was contemplating my next food blog entry, i realized i was adding to the probably hundreds of blogs in the Bay Area that are dedicated and devoted to and infatuated with food. i join my race. (and make melodramatic porn-orgasm faces as i lick my spoon, or suck the dripping pulp out of a perrrrfectly ripe persimmon. . ohhh!!!).

for now, and yet again ~ might i direct you to:

Saturday, October 13, 2007

ahh! the always passion!
the ever process!

since we are settled into a place that is our own, my Mom sent me a couple of boxes brimming with the past. cookware (the main goal of the shipment), costuming, art, photos.. . journals. many journals. my heart was flooded. touching every item recollected scenes and feelings possibly forgotten, or at least put away. but especially the writing ~ thumbing through just a few of those private pages painfully took me back. and i see once again that i am, indeed, on a journey. it spirals up the mountain, and the view is sometimes the same, with a slightly different angle, or some different beam of light, perhaps colored or adjusted with the lens of newer experience.

a dear kindred spirit sent me an email, and connected me with this poem that felt quite appropriate. but doesn't Rumi *always* feel appropriate?

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


thank you, Soulfriend, and soulfriends!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

finding good foods where you live

here are a few sites which are really helpful in finding good local, sustainable, and mindful foods where you are. ~ you can type in your zip code, and the mile radius you want to search, up to hundreds of miles. it gives you links to farms, stores, bakeries, restaurants in your area that are growing, preparing, and selling good food. ~ this site explains in great detail what real milk is and why it is better for you and your family than the stuff most grocery stores, and even most "health food" stores are selling. then it gives you state-by-state, and country-by-country information about the laws regarding, and the farms and retail establishments that provide real milk. ~ this site is a wealth of information on why grassfed meats are the only way to go. you can click on your area of the map and it gives you links of farms that are raising their animals in a way that is healthy and natural for the animals, and nourishing and safer for you to eat them. i like that she recommends that, once you find a farm in your area, you actually *visit* the farm to see for yourself whether you feel confident eating their products. a nice outing in the country, and a closer connection with your food supply. ~ pertinent in location only to the bay area, this is the first site that spoke to my heart about eating wise. it's kind of out of date at this time b/c the author is up to her elbows creating nourishing foods at the kitchen i work at in Berkeley (which, i haven't even said, i don't think, is Three Stone Hearth[!!] at but it's still full of
fun stuff to look at and read.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

flashbacks from a dusty city

there is no way i'm going to sit here and write everything i'm wanting to share: too many boxes yet to unpack!!

i will say ~ i was nudged into realizing just how quickly the dust (sadly) washes off.
these photos, only a few weeks out, are such a blast of fresh air, so refreshing and cleansing to my soul.
this morning, to reconnect, i put on that one copper skirt i wore all week (you know, that one), and took my top off, glided around serenely, and wondered how much the neighbors could see ((*damn burner!*)). then a hard knock on the front door kicked me out of my reverie, and sent scurrying around the kitchen for a jacket to sign for UPS ((damn weirdo burner!)).

i advertised for this guy after my first year, and i think he does a great job of capturing so much. the "couples" one especially touched me. so much freedom, and so much feeling!

feel the love:

Friday, September 21, 2007

lucent dossier video

dem's my peeps!
this is a great video, with lovely Dream telling her Lucent Dossier story.
this woman, these people, changed my life forever.
they're still going.

Monday, September 10, 2007


this month is the Locavores Challenge. this, for those of you unfamiliar, is a voluntary (self-inflicted ~ ha! sorry!) commitment for a month to attempt to eat within a 100-mile radius of where you live. it's a great exercise, and quite an eye-opener! eating locally is the best way to get the most delicious, nutritious, freshest food. and is the best for good farmers, and especially our Mama Earth.
it's already part-way through the month, i know, but this is a great thing to be mindful of at any moment. an interactive Locavores network has been set up that is similar to Tribe, with people joining from all over to share and discuss their own schemes and trials in local eating.
here's Jessica Prentice's official schpiel, which i received via email:


Eat Local Challenge 2007: September

September is already upon us!

The last of the bounty of summer is still gracing our tables: luscious tomatoes, sweet corn, delectable green beans, and crisp, crisp apples. What to do with all the excess?

When we look at history, we quickly realize that having 30,000 items to choose from in the average American supermarket is only a relatively recent option. For the rest of human history, eating locally was a matter of practicality -- only the rich could afford imported food. The idea of eating within your foodshed isn't really all that revolutionary. Ask one of your older relatives about canning and pickling produce, about making their own jam and their own butter. These were common everyday practices well into the mid-20th Century.

And now is the season for all that canning and pickling and jamming and jarring. Now is the season to learn how to preserve the summer's bounty for the winter months.

So that's what this year's eat local challenge is all about: PRESERVING.

Check out the Eat Local Challenge blog for some recipes and advice.
Ask your older friends and relatives. Do some experiments in your kitchen... and then SHARE them with us!

That's right, the Locavores website is becoming interactive. There are tons of social networking websites out there... and there are plenty of blogs where people talk about food... but there hasn't really been a way to combine the two... and none of them have been geographically focused. So we came up with the LocavoresBlog.

Here, once you sign up, you can join a group for your geographic area. There you can share information about good local food providers, restaurants, CSA's, and food coops. You can ask other people in your area where the farmers markets are. You can share your favorite pickle recipe. You can organize local foods dinners. You can even upload your photos. You can form a community of people within a foodshed who care about supporting local, sustainable food production.

We're launching this site *today* -- so right now it's pretty bare. It's waiting for YOU to add the content. So let's get started!

You should receive an invitation to join shortly after this email. Simply respond and sign up. You can make your own page and then join up with a group. You can invite other members if you have friends or family who you think ought to know about Locavores. Enjoy each others' company. Tell us where the good food's at. Feel free to start a new group if you don't feel your area is represented. Surely there will be unforeseen glitches. We'll try to fix them as soon as possible.

Finally, you may have noticed that the local food movement (that's you!) has been getting a lot of press recently. Barbara Kingsolver's newest book, *Animal, Vegetable, Mineral* describes her year of eating locally.
She mentions the Locavores several times in the book.

More recently, in a New York Times op-ed piece, the historian James E. McWilliams sought to debunk the idea that choosing locally produced food automatically decreases one's carbon footprint. He warns that efforts to reduce food miles might actually support higher carbon emissions at the source. McWilliam's editorial has been much discussed and debunked in the blogosphere -- most notably by Michael Shuman here:
-- and we couldn't possibly do a better job.

We would just like to point out that focusing on food miles as the most important criteria in judging a food system IS dangerous. One of the lessons of the local food revolution that we are in is that ecological, systems-oriented solutions are often better in the long term than linear solutions. Fewer miles does not necessarily equal better and more socially and environmentally responsible food.

Like every problem worth thinking about, food justice is many-layered and complicated. There is no black and white solution. But there are many incredible thinkers and activists and chefs and gardeners and people like yourselves working on all the grey areas in between. Lots of people are working hard to overcome the brutal paradoxes of local food and class. Lots of people are trying to figure out how we can knit revitalized local and regional food economies into the current global one. And we are all trying to answer Wendell Berry's hard questions: "What will nature permit me to do here without damage to herself or to me? What will nature *help* me to do here?"

Locavores: Eat Here!

Don't forget to sign up for the LocavoresBlog once you receive the invite.

Sage Van Wing, Jessica Prentice, Jen Maiser, DeDe Sampson

* * * * *

For more about the Locavores, please visit our websites:

Sunday, September 09, 2007


ah, that Rob! i'm feeling this one, for sure:

Capricorn Horoscope for week of September 6, 2007

I predict that you will soon be drinking your morning wake-up beverage out of a goblet made of gold mined in ancient times. Songbirds will appear near your window to sing you tunes that magically unleash your dormant genetic potentials. Out of nowhere, servants will arrive and offer to wash your feet in jeweled basins once used to baptize the children of queens. Maybe most exciting of all, you will command the power of the wind and lightning. OK, so maybe everything I just predicted will only occur in your dreams. But even if that's the case, it's a sign that you're in a heightened state of receptivity to miracles and wonders -- which suggests that they will soon be swirling around you.


SACRED ADVERTISEMENT (from the book, PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.)
Push hard to get better, become smarter, grow your devotion to the truth, fuel your commitment to beauty, refine your emotional intelligence, hone your dreams, negotiate with your shadow, cure your ignorance, shed your pettiness, heighten your drive to look for the best in people, and soften your heart—even as you always accept yourself for exactly who you are with all of your so-called imperfections.

wow! that "sacred advertisement" could be an everyday prayer!
thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you.

Friday, September 07, 2007

! we're moving !

it might have sounded as if i'm experiencing growing pains in that previous post, but perhaps that's my overly romantic way of expressing that things are happening very quickly in my life right now! if this past year has plodded by . .. requiring much patience . .. like that long marathon. .. . feeling . . every . .step . . viscerally, this is a sprint (my tortoise self wouldn't really know what that feels like, but i can imagine ;-D ). events and happenings and landmarks are zoooooming by. and i'm up for the task (that's one of the many downloads i received at BM).

and we're moving.
Sealion and i are leaving our incredibly happy situation here in Sac with Mackindaddy and Gyrlene to create our own Big Kid Nest.
in Berkeley!
it's official; after so many false starts and searches and their emotional ups and let-downs, all up and down the west coast, and even some areas "back east", Baja, and who knows where else, we have finally signed a lease and are packing boxes. we're not expecting this to be a forever home, but we sure are darn excited about it for now! we have a sweet sunny space on a pretty street, still walking and biking (and BART!) distance from places that are important ~ and fun and delicious! and Sealion's commute will be just a tad longer (that's what cinched the deal ~ that he could keep his same work situation).

i like Berkeley. and i feel like it likes me back. although "the" 510 here in Sac has been a nurturing, soft and gentle place for a powerfully healing, inward-looking time in my life, i haven't ever felt connected to Sac. and it doesn't seem to sweat the fact that i'm leaving. Sealion doesn't feel like his life will change that much except, perhaps, that he won't want to go somewhere else everytime he has time off.

i love: tooling around Sac on my bike on a lazy Sunday afternoon. i love how laid back it is here. i love the tree-lined streets, and how extremely bike-able it is. i love the rose gardens. just thinking about leaving our well-loved backyard garden makes me melty inside. but the absolute main thing i will miss is our happy home life with our out-of-this-world housemates. i have marveled so many times at how blessed i am to have happened into this living situation with these people. such good people. the best. and the time i will miss most: our family dinners. everyone meeting around a table of delicious, nutritious, locally grown food and the finest conversation sharing learning and laughter. i respect and admire them so much, have learned so much from each of them ~ their unique, different (from mine), and heartfelt perspectives.

so here we go! next week at this time Sealion and i will be Berkeley-ites (for better and worse). on our way back from Black Rock City, we dropped our gear off at the new place instead of bringing it here only to take it there later. this morning we pulled the boxes down out of the attic to begin fuh REAL. worlds different than my seven-box leap into the wild westward unknown a little more than two years ago, i have found a Place, a Home, and Love.

life sure is a Grand and unpredictable adventure.

Sealion rejoices in front of our new place.
a toast ~ Berkeley-brewed Bison IPA ~ on our back deck, with trees in the background.
Sealion fills the aerobed in the living room.
El Caballero Negro and his dusty load out front.

**i remembered something else i love so much about Sac:
the unadulterated, penetrating Summer Sun ~ that lasts, uninterrupted, pretty much from April to December.
oh, how i worship you!

Thursday, September 06, 2007


well i'm nowhere near processed through Burning Man 2007, but i thought i'd better at least check in, as i have promised myself.
this year was deep and . . harsh. the themes that come to mind right now are relationships, nighttime, fire. and mirrors.


Sunday, August 19, 2007


lying on my back,
belly worshipping that great fireball in the sky,
i gaze up into the cloudless blue.
idle (?)

my eyes come into focus as i realize
~ dragonflies ~
wings white with irradiant rays
silently high floating like insect ghost fairies on the sky
one floats across this way,
and another the other..
a whizzing population i had never noticed.

time to get back to work,
turn from this luxuriant
waste of time (?) ~
i hardly think so:
how else would i have discovered
the dragonflies?