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.