Saturday, July 27, 2013

Play, Play, Play

{with the brothers in 2009}

I'm thinking of my love & his brother, grooving at the Gorge to #Phish2013.  If you didn't know, the Gorge is an awesome amphitheater on the Columbia River, and Phish is James & his brother Andrew' favorite jam band.  Also, many of my beloved friends are dancing in White Sulfur Springs at the third annual #RedAntsPants Festival.  They want me to join... but I know I can't.

I'm writing at the River, with my family, and I need to be.  Processing some recent life events including the second fatal fall at Many Glacier this summer, gearing up for August, showing off our walkin' babe & celebrating my parents' 25 years of marriage.

I can imagine myself dancing with loved ones in both audiences, marveling at the amazing musicians playing on stage, but I'm ok practicing my Martin by the campfire.  Gonna get the guitar!  Love those blues chords!  There have been some amazing jams so far this summer, and I'm so glad to have a month of Hootenanny magic left.  (Many Glacier Lobby, Sundays at 6:30!  Live music!  Y'all Come!)

This summer has been unexpected and beautiful.  Disconnecting from the internet, connecting more with our Boat Co Family, my role as a writer and leader and musician, and getting more in tune with our family values.  I'm thankful and hopeful for the future, bursting with ideas for this blog and for life.  One such is the new Gluten-Aware tab.  The pursuit of these ideas is satisfying when I give myself space & time to grow.

Mamalode themes,  like Grow, help me better access my own ideas as a budding writer-mama.  Plus, through social media,  Mamalode plants many fun & challenging snippets of wisdom.

August's theme is "Play".

I've been taking more time to play with Josephine, stop and do exactly what she wants to do, because I can in the summer!  I'm grateful for my position as a teacher and the summertime with my loves.  It's beautiful to connect in nature, advance in communication together, whether talking about flowers, rocks, boats, body parts, singing together.  Babies are so innocent and full of love, and that love just grows!

As a working musician, "Play" also holds a different, more complicated meaning for me.  The feeling of "should play" ("should practice") sits with me often and has from a young age.  I often hear stories of friends who regret giving up an instrument or activity, especially the piano.  With that idea, I was inspired to write & submit this poem.

My piano teacher, Cinda passed away 2 years ago this November.  I think of her all the time, as her influence still shapes the musician and human I am today.  It feels quite right to share her poem now, while James jams at the Gorge, our friends dance at #redantspants, and I listen to wind chimes and birds and chatter at the River, playing guitar for my fam.

{Phish @ the Gorge, 2009}
Play, play, play.

30 minutes a day.
Set the timer, count aloud,
make it sparkle,
even out.


Caress your favorite passage… (Repeat!)

Is it practice or is it play?!
…30 minutes a day...

When it’s time to share a song,
When they ask, will it be gone?

Where is music’s freeing flow?

Those depths and heights, emotions and dreams,

are sweet

Play on, my dear.
Play, play.


{I love you, Cinda}

Gluten Update + Quick Figgy Bars

Thanks to some friendly encouragement, I'm adding a new tab on the site for my Gluten-Aware pursuit.  Last Fall, I started cutting gluten out of my diet, and found that things changed considerably with my body, attitude, and energy.  For me, the keys to sticking with it are eating oats, quinoi, potatoes, raw snacks, drinking tea, and kitchen creativity.

When reading through old journals, I find that the issue of gluten + sugar is a consistent struggle for me.  My #1 FWP (First-world problem).  When I eat a bagel, I usually eat another, and then feel sad.  I'm not sure why, but it seems that gluten...and sugar, to a lesser degree, have been big triggers in my journey with an eating disorder and depression.  Thanks to therapy, I was able to find myself on a healthier path with food, and now I want to share and help others in my small way.

For me, keeping my blood sugar balanced is important to not breaking down.  This means lots of fruits and veggies throughout the day (5-7 is my target), and having a snack on hand that will give me energy.  I love bars: Triobars, Kindbars, Larabars... are all gluten-free and tasty, but they're also expensive.

Here's an easy recipe for use with a food processor.  Feel free to add interest with chocolate chips, cranberries, or anything else that fits your fancy.  I added peanut butter the second time, and the boat cap'ns devoured them even faster!  Let me know what you think!

Sunday, July 21, 2013


I started feeling fat when I was in elementary school, distinctly, I remember a conversation about my "fat calves" with a friend in 2nd grade.  My life has held patterns of disordered eating for some time. Thankfully, my parents are amazing and they communicated well with me, and encouraged me to go to counseling for most of my teenage life.

Disordered eating is rarely ever talked about, save for the rare story which is big and large and dramatic and all-too-detailed.  My own eating disorder was encouraged by such stories, intrigued by the attention achieved by such drama.  The last thing I want in the whole world is to encourage anything like that.  Still, I hope that by carefully sharing the lessons of my journey, I can help others.

I've found, through therapy, journals, and experience, that the two worst triggers through my struggle with food are processed sugar & wheat.

This is why I chose to become Gluten-Aware last year.  I noticed a big shift in my body mass, attitude (much less cranky), my appetite (much less ravenous), and my mental clarity.  You are what you eat applies to me, big time.  Making protein and greens a priority greatly shifts my mental state.

Still, like coffee or the internet, or even drugs & alcohol, food is an addiction.  However, it's necessary fuel.  It's just not possible to get rid of all the bread, cookies, and candy bars in the world.  Especially when you spend half the year living in a house full of people, or when you go home for the holidays.

I know that some people who read this site specifically because they appreciate my sharing of my various struggles.  So, welcome!  If you are struggling, please seek help.  Reach out.  Go to a counselor if you can and have a notebook ready.  Ask lots of questions and get some steps for help.  Then, ask a friend or a teacher or parent to help you check in with your eating.  Accountability is gold in recovery.

The other biggest aid in recovery & in life, is listening to yourself.  Our minds & bodies are so closely linked, and the more we appreciate those signals, acting on intuition, the more peace we'll find.

{Artwork via Courtney Blazon}

{nourishment & triggers}
{Sweets & Holidays}

Our cooking style is pretty basic, we rarely work off of recipes, often just experiment with ingredients and try to eat a balance of different foods.

Favorite Recipes:
{Green Curry}

Favorite food blogs:
Autumn Stirs the Pot
Against All Grain

Favorite Cookbook:
How to Boil Water

Saturday, July 20, 2013


"You are what you eat."  I believe it.  

When I eat healthy, I feel better, I act better.  This is why I LOVE SALAD!

I started Gluten doesn't sit well with me.  Especially in bread or cookie form.  I get mood swings, depression, and laziness when I eat gluten.  Yeast infections, weight retention, too.  When I don't, I have more energy, I don't get crabby as much, and I'm at a healthier weight.  Many of my family members and friends have different issues with gluten from celiac's to acne to digestion.

While I don't encourage "dieting" or looking at the scale, 
I encourage listening to your body, listening to your true self.  

Posts (for more on wellness, click the R + R  tab)

Nourishment & Triggers
Gluten Update + Quick Figgy Bars
Eat Your Greens
Going Bananas!
Cran-Coco Energy Bars
My first reaction to Gluten-Aware

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sun-Kissed with BijaBody

“How’s your tan coming along?” 

Thanks to my Grandpa Tony, I’ve been blessed with olive skin, and getting golden is one of my favorite summer traditions.  For me, tan means more confidence, more fun!

As you can see, I have one ad on this site.  Melissa, founder of BijaBody (based in Missoula, MT) was kind enough to share a code offering my readers a 10% discount.  For sharing, I earn a small profit, too!  I’m approaching this idea slowly, but hope to feature choice products & women who I think my readers will find inspiring, like BijaBody

{BijaBody is expertly formulated, gracefully designed.  Proven anti-aging ingredient technologies, clinically correct concentrations of actives in a holistically intelligent base, manufactured in a state-of-the-art facility, packaged in USA made bottles and strive for fair-trade, women-owned sources of ingredients to ensure effectiveness, luxury, and a worthy addition to your beauty rituals and to the world.  Certified Organic.}

I gave myself the Anti-aging set for my birthday, ‘cause I needed it!  I’m noticing my skin looks much healthier these past two months, and wanted to highlight my two Sun-Kissed favorites. 

I use the Daily Body Scrub whenever I shower (which is not daily…).  It buffs my dry, flaky skin and the red bumps on the backs of my arms.  The scrubbers are ground-up grapeseeds + corn cob husk!  How cool is that?  Before I made a new batch of my favorite facewash, this was perfect for mon visage.  The scrub is gentle enough that it won’t damage capillaries or lipid barrier, maintaining the glow you already have!   Our bathroom always smells glorious after I shower! 

The Daily Body Serum is certainly tan savvy.  Powerful antioxidants like White + Green Tea Extract, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Organic Honey & Botanical Oils provide a supple barrier between sun, pollutants, and anything else your skin encounters.  Unlike other oils you might use on your skin, this doesn’t leave a stain on clothes, etc.- just use in moderation, and massage in well.  I use it all the time—even on hikes!  I’ll reapply at our destination and relax in the sun!  Works great as a layer with sunscreen, too.  Reveal your best summer glow!  Mmm, like all the Bija products, it smells lovely.  

I’m often a bargainer, but corporations will put about anything into a product to get people hooked and to get rich.  BijaBody is free of Phthalates, Parabens, Sulfates, Gluten Mineral Oils, Citrus Oils, Retinyl Palmitate, Pal Oils or GMO.  Meaning: ethical and healthy for us and our world.  {Melissa has done amazing work}, her products reflect esthetic brilliance.  Plus, 1% of sales go to {RootedinBeauty}: working to create women-owned sources of beauty ingredients.  A worthy, worthwhile purchase.  With daily use, I’ve barely made a dent in my pretty bottles. 

This discount through my blog will give you a boost toward any BijaBody purchase.  If you decide to get the anti-aging set, this code will save you $9.50.  Nice, huh?  Or, if you'd rather try things out, order a sample pack for $9.00 with the code.  Perfect for travel, and they last!  So, you can help grow my blog while amping your lovely skin and self-loving.

Follow the above link, enter code PEACEROCKS at checkout, post a comment here (love to know what you {order}), feel luxurious when your package arrives!

I shared a few of my goals with Melissa, whose confidence I admire.  Her response:

"All women have beauty rituals. One of my goals is to help ladies claim them! Enjoy them! And throw a little more strut into the world because when we take care of ourselves, it shows!"  

-Melissa Picoli, BijaBody Founder

I can surely say that spending time on my beauty rituals (concoctions, stretching in a hot shower now that hot yoga is rare, making time to feel beautiful) helps with some of my... Kitchen issues.  More on that later.  in the meantime- Thanks, BijaBody!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

R + R: Screen Time for Me Time

Ah!  Many Glacier was beautiful this morn, rose early to travel South, solo.

My computer is being repaired... the disc drive isn't working which is like, 65% of what I want to do with it.  Maybe I should've gotten a MacBook....

Alas, my other posts for today in Livewriter (BijaBody!  & CC: C!!) are on hold.  Blogging without net is like... Typing.  Adding the photos & links is more difficult in the summer.  Next year, I imagine I'll schedule an hour or two weekly to solely blog.  Saving little bits for next year as I write this summer!

Now, iPhone thoughts:

{Technology shouldn't be the bane of our intelligence, we must use it to grow.  So let's break that gap of not talking about what we see about each other online, and letting what we choose to see make us feel insufficient.  Why?}

Anywho, they say you should cease the screens a couple hrs before zzzz's...   or something.  I know that screen time accelerando in the wee hours all too well.  Plus, the new TIME is calling my name!

Looking to be my ideal version of myself. Share that journey & enjoy.  Raise a sweet family, lift everybody UP.  

PS: I dreamt Digthischick saved me from not having enough food at the boathouse.  She & her homegrown Missoula clan served the hungry boat captains!  
Maybe we'll meet here in Missoula!  I know I'll be stocking up on healthy snacks before I leave.  We're all turning into potato chips with empty cupboards!

Choir inspiration, that's what I'm here for anyway.  A lease would be a sweet bonus. 

PPS: I missed my JJ Bean before I even left.  Don'tcha love that peach?!


"I need to paddle,"
I'd said, 
"that used to be our lifeblood."

He listened, invited. 

Sent off by a jolly crew, our babe in bed
Birds a-singin'

We headed upstream, laughing victoriously

When time to pull us through the shallows, 
my boatman rolls up his pant legs.
"I feel like a queen!"

Half-moon over pink big brother Allen, 
The Glacier basin open, accepting
Mountain Mama

He muses about the beginnings of life, our earth.  
It's amazing how much we need this wild!

In tin canoe, we turnaround after looking over the erie cavern.
So many cool places in this park!  

We glide.
So does the Great Blue Heron, 
Silhouetted above the pinnacle wall.

Pastel-dabbed clouds & music on my mind, warm lights glow: home.

Our reflection in the Two Guns reminds me when I cried & cried on the roof of that big 'ol boat, 
Afraid we'd never return.  
Ooo lala

Poignant night:

We are still here.
It still feels like the beginning.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Room to Grow

My little monster is up way past her bedtime
Baby blues like saucers.
First-class entertainment.

Daddy's been gone,
She's on the cusp of walking everywhere, stubborn like him.
I'm a ball of coils,
Exhausted & easily frustrated by her fits.

Mimi says its the antibiotics, I should step outside.  
Papa's got her.

My grandparents have eons of experience, so I listen.
Just one more night here at the river
Before we finally reunite our family of three at our Glacier home, 
unpack the Subaru.

I run up the hill, noticing my shallow breaths.
Storms brewing, night coming.
It will take a lot more than this to unwind me, but it's a step.

Wanting to plunge to the pooling waters below, to
Release all those big expectations, the
Need for perfection.

This awakening of motherhood,
Always so humbling

No more space for the so-and-sos,
Only room to grow and connect.

With the mama, the girl,
& the greatest love.

Just in time for summer.
(June 2013)

This month, Mamalode's theme is GROW.  

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Rhythm of Now




Happy 4th!  Hope you're having a relaxed July.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Summer Bookshelf

“I’m starting a Book Club!” I’ve proclaimed many times, and have thus enjoyed a few awesome book club evenings with amigas.  As it turns out, many of my friends have moved away.  Between the seasonal life & being a mom, it’s hard to keep anything consistent going.  I Iove book club because it motivates me to actually finish.

My sights are usually set too high (working on lowering expectations.  repeat..repeat.)  Notorious for crating around books and adventuring/writing too much- trying to improve with finishing what I start!  Apparently, it helps to choose books that I really WANT to read.  Like...

I just started this collection of essays by Glennon Doyle Melton, who like many, is recovering.  After watching her TED Talk, I wanted to hear more from this woman to whom I relate to.  Her accounts are refreshing - I laugh, cringe, cry, and feel a bit better about my story while reading.  Her frank humor about the same insecurities and struggles that so many young women have is refreshing in a world of people who are pretending online. 
“Glennon embodies all that we want to be and fear we are not: she is authentic, funny, loving, and resilient in the face of extraordinary challenges.  But the magic of Carry On, Warrior, is that by the time you finish the book, you realize you are all those things, and more.   It is a book that actually makes you feel that you are loved and cherished.  Has a book ever accomplished anything more marvelous than that?  -Vanessa Diffenbaugh, author of The Language of Flowers (On the back cover)

If you’re reading it too, let’s discuss!

Other summer perusals on my docket:

::A River Runs Through It

::Wheat Belly & Food Rules (love always)

::Moving Toward Balance- Yoga with Rodney Yee (I’ve been working with this book on & off for a couple years, and it is beautiful, introspective, and detailed in the best kind of way)

::Introvert Advantage (many friends and loves are introverted, I'm high extrovert.  Hope to understand more.)

::Cutting for Stone (I was supposed to read this for carpool book club and have been hanging onto it for some time.  Great reviews so far...)

::Bebe Day By Day & Re-reading Bringing Up Bebe (this book is great for any mother embarking on toddlerdom, or sooner, wanting to maintain independence and work on communication with her child)

Tell me, what is on your bookshelf this summer?  
I would love to hear your recommendations! 

Also, Goodreads is an inspiring way to share books with friends and get a little more motivation to read.

Thanks to the avid readers in my life who encourage me to sit down and soak up.  The image above was in my latest purchase at Shakespeare & Co.  Xoxo


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