This Sprudge article is doing nothing to stop my obsession with Slovenia!
Also thanks Sprudge and Deadstock Coffee for the reminder I need to dye my white keds with coffee. Working behind the coffee bar has them half done already.
Did you know that the leftovers from making soy milk at home are called Okara? I recently inherited a few pounds of dried soybeans and have already made one batch of this soy milk at home. But what to do with all the leftover soy curd? Thank you internet and creative home cooks everywhere, there are many links to inspire your cooking with Okara, here's some ideas to put it to good use for fall! Banana bread? Meatloaf? Bizzare maybe but....waste not want not...... ! Brownies, Mac and Cheese, Pudding.....
Loving this song for driving around my tiny island with a backdrop of rainbow leaves and blue skies.
And finally a dear friend shared this article with me about motherhood and creativity. A must read.
...yes, it's been a little while.
In the time I've been away we've settled into a quiet cozy life on an island. We no longer eat out or consume sugar (more about that later). Both of us have new jobs and new schedules. We read as much as ever and are majorly 'feeling the burn'!!!! But all this is trumped (see what I did there?) by Bernard.
Bernard is the miniature human that Ryan and I made from scratch. He is four months old today and currently gnawing / slobbering on anything within reach. Right now the thing is a dark blue teething necklace...one of the many must have parenting items that I initially rejected in pursuit of minimalistic parenting but now embrace, but still refuse to wear (I draw the line somewhere). A chew toy turned fashion accessory that screams to me, I am a slave to my baby. Or, I have been knighted from above with this lei of baby domination. A symbolic chain, or rather collar of motherhood submission. "Yes, sire.", can be commonly heard in our house. Intrigued by BSDM submissive categories? Have a baby. 24 hour power play. You'd think being a physical giant compared to the little one would bring some balance but...no. Even the tiniest whimper and we trip over ourselves to comfort him. He giggles and we all but fall on our faces in full prostration.
We've embraced this new way of life because in reality our tiny 'dom' is the George Clooney of babies. He is impeccable, charming, demanding, curious, and so handsome it seems he was drawn by cartoonists depicting cute baby number 1. Similar to the John Hamm phenomenon described by Liz Lemon in 30 Rock. "He looks like a cartoon pilot." - Liz, on new crush, Dr. Drew Baird. He has a talent for raising one eyebrow and mastered the Elvis half smile early on. Honestly, I'm a little nervous he might be toooo handsome, as we all know, pretty people are rarely funny. Funny is how us awkward, ugly, chubby kids learn to interact since we can't get by on looks alone.
I've decided that parents could greatly enhance their sex lives by dedicating as much time, money and energy into their toy closets as they do to soothing their babies. My son has: a rhythmic bouncing chair from Sweden, a vibrating rocking swing, various smooth and ribbed silicone toys (to be used hot or cold), only the best all natural cremes and oils, soft ambient lighting, a firm mattress and high quality sheets.
You get the picture.
For our two year wedding anniversary Ryan and I started The Couples Guide to the New Year by the lovely michele lisenbury christensen. We got to page 4 before it was laid to rest under the pile of "must read" baby books and instruction manuals for baby gear. C'est la vie. Life is so different with a baby (so little room for analyzing, details, methods or overthinking) and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Happy to announce that we've gotten back into the swing of podcasting and are looking forward to an exciting summer in paradise. Soon we will be teaching beginning Improv in hopes of finding others to play with! Join us!
As of late I'm digging:
This song for doing dishes too.
A book to encourage the removal of sugar from our diets. Because it's poison.
But this article to remind me not to go crazy with a mindset of deprivation.
And I watched every episode of Catastrophe in two days because it is as a Britt would say, fucking brilliant.
Not so many years ago I found my self crumpled in the back of a small foreign car, sobbing so hard I could barely breathe into the arms of my ex-lover. Surrounded by friends that were much closer to David than I was, I felt like a big fat phony. Driving away from his memorial, in the place where the river took him under, grief flooded out of me in a way I could not contain. At the time I barely understood it. I apologized and rationalized. Even to him, and to his memory I said a small prayer of atonement. "Dear David, you were loved so deeply by so many, I am sorry and embarrassed for the crater of loss I am falling into in front of those who loved you most." I knew the feelings spilling out of me were real, but they didn't feel entirely like my own. Settling back into the routine of my life I came to understand what happened in that moment, my energetic dam had overflowed and broken. From the moment I knew he was gone until that car ride a week later, I had been absorbing others' loss, anger, confusion, and sorrow.
I received the news of his death after a dinner party I hosted but had excused myself from mid meal. For no apparent reason I felt a panic attack coming on. Lying in my attic bedroom reminding myself to breathe, I know now that I felt his passing. Or I felt the panic, shock and fear of those dear to me that were with him went he drowned. Not even an hour later, I got the call.
Through out my girlhood I learned to absorb energy with intention and concentration. Sometimes I might use it to diffuse arguments or keep men interested but I always knew it wasn't right. I could never get a handle on what I was working with. At the funeral and the events leading up to it I tried to apply this knowledge by being sponge-like, soaking up, and pulling out grief from my dear ones with a hug or a hand on the heart. But there was nowhere within my being for that energy to go; my max absorption had been reached and the sponge started to overflow. A skilled energy worker might have sent the pain back into the earth's core to be burned up or, they might have used their breath to blow that darkness into the ether to dissipate into the universe. Not knowing these techniques and mainly by playing around with big stuff I had no training in, naturally, I cracked.
In reiki, you are not working with your energy or with the energy of the receiver because, reiki has it's own consciousness. To quote a friend, "You are the hose and reiki is the water." In this way, it is harmless, sustainable, self-renewing and endlessly healing. I say this but also admit that daily, I remain in disbelief to the reality of reiki. Meaning that I am shocked by it's existence, it's tactile quality, it's power. My sister recently told me that I am starting to sound religious. It's okay, I completely agree with her. I am learning to have faith in the unexplainable. I am putting my trust in the power of my ability to channel a divine presence. My soul is being soothed.
And as always, the proof is in the pudding people.
After a long, emotional session of reiki I remain energized, joyful, calm. Never do I feel weighed-down, strung-out or over-filled. Scratch that, I do feel over-filled, over-filled with love for our world and joy for the beauty surrounding me. I gain clarity within my thoughts, and I feel the nourishment of my existence. My life force is strengthened not depleted.
As a child science was not my favorite subject. It's how it was taught. The proverbial "they" managed to convince me that science was all about method and less about curiosity and wonder. Even still, my most vivid memories within the classroom involve experiments and the study of space. I developed an intense, almost romantic, love for the Hubble Space program and the images it produced. Joni Mitchell says, "we are stardust, we are golden", even as a little one I recognized the connection of our divine selves to the beauty I found in the far-reaching images of the universe. We are all stardust baby, sometimes we just need to free our minds and relax into the great mystery. Reiki allows this relaxation of body, energetic body and mind. True reality is free to bubble up. I feel so safe using this gift of pure healing energy from above. I will be forever grateful for this discovery. You could say, reiki takes us back to the garden.
Woodstock by Joni Mitchell
I came upon a child of God
He was walking along the road
And I asked him, where are you going
And this he told me
I'm going on down to Yasgur's farm
I'm going to join in a rock 'n' roll band
I'm going to camp out on the land
I'm going to try an' get my soul free
We are stardust
We are golden
And we've got to get ourselves
Back to the garden
Then can I walk beside you
I have come here to lose the smog
And I feel to be a cog in something turning
Well maybe it is just the time of year
Or maybe it's the time of man
I don't know who l am
But you know life is for learning
We are stardust
We are golden
And we've got to get ourselves
Back to the garden
By the time we got to Woodstock
We were half a million strong
And everywhere there was song and celebration
And I dreamed I saw the bombers
Riding shotgun in the sky
And they were turning into butterflies
Above our nation
We are stardust
Billion year old carbon
We are golden
Caught in the devil's bargain
And we've got to get ourselves
Back to the garden
I'd like to dedicate this post to my friend David Osborn, and the lessons I learned from his time on earth and also from his passing. Dave, your light shined brighter than anyone I know, stars danced in your eyes every time you smiled. Keep beating on that drum my man.
Don't worry darlings, the public library can save your soul. Or at least it can enlighten you, as it did me, on the wonderful life, work, and legacy, of this incredible woman. Pick up this PBS worthy documentary or something similar to find your eyes wide open, just like the inviting petals of her sexy flower studies...
Most likely O'Keeffe has been on my mind lately because of the recent adventures of my friends Adam and Alicia Rico of Bows and Arrows Florals in Dallas, TX. Known for their distinctive style and ability to be always one step ahead, Bows and Arrows are currently hosting educational floral workshops in culturally rich locales such as Ghost Ranch. (O'Keefee's dude ranch in the high desert of New Mexico)
Look at this woman! The lust for life in that grin, the grip of his belt loop, that ready pose, the possibility of a thrilling ride just ahead...this photograph is everything.
To me, Georgia seems unshakable, and strong, like the rock faces of her beloved desert. Portraits portray her smiling and outside, spending her days in the sun as she pleases. Or, they capture her pensive, powerful and feminine, mysteriously embodying the muse and the creator to the camera's derisive eye. To be honest, it is overwhelming to compare your existence to someone who seems so....well, full. Some days I feel that artists are just people that have learned to channel their emotions into the medium of their choice. Individuals contextually sharing their stories, showing their world view through their mastery and play. Artists like O'Keeffe seem to live and breathe their art through every action of their day. Barn with snow, 1934, oil on canvas, O'Keeffe created after a stay in a mental ward for psycho-neurosis. In the Kultur documentary mentioned above, this work is said to represent her own hibernation. It is as if she and the barn were lying in wake for the coming spring, they are both waiting for the snow to melt.
Winter in Seattle has come once again making me feel connected to this barn in a way I can only describe as collaborative. I want to rub elbows with this barn, bear hug this barn, and put wool socks with hand warmers in this barn's boots. For it, I would sacrifice my Seattle staple (my mustard yellow beanie) so that this barn can keep the wind out of it's ears and the rain off its roof.
How is your life an extension of the art that you hope to create? This week can you become less reactionary and more intentional with how you channel your emotions?
I encourage you to learn more about Georgia O'Keeffe and in doing so you may find that you see yourself and the world in a whole new way.
This year more than any before requires an attitude of gratitude from yours truly. I always imagined my twenty-fifth year to be a big one and it did not disappoint. This was of course the year that I married my darling husband. A man and friend I am grateful for every single day.
After the wedding we traveled on our honeymoon to one of the most gorgeous areas of the entire world, the central California coast. Everything was fabulous: the food, the scenery, the pace, the wild life, the beaches, the sunsets, our cabin!!!! Many, many, many fond memories.
Family has always been important in my world and I'm so grateful we got to spend time with ours not only at the wedding (THANK YOU ALL AGAIN FOR BEING HERE)but also through visits to the South and trips to come see us in the Northwest. Our move has been difficult on all our family but especially on our parents. Thank you for understanding and for sacrificing so that we can live where we feel the best. I'm so grateful. I'm also very proud of every one of my siblings this year. It's such a treat to watch them all find their ways and grow into their-selves. I'm grateful for all my sister's continual health and perseverance and for all my brother's risks. Med school, Hawaii, THE FIRST LGBT FRIENDLY BAR IN SAN MARCOS!, the start of a small business, and the courage to carve out their ways, I have brothers that stand by my sisters and for that I couldn't be more grateful.
My family grew and grew this year!
Seeing my big sister three times this year was such a blessing!
This year I have been feeling very introverted as I transition from wedding industry, Pitta, fast moving, driven, boss lady Whitney to the healer/teacher that I hope to become. I've had to claim my quiet time and I apologize to all my dear ones I have been out of touch with. To my friends and family: You are the ever present force on my shoulder, sending me forward in my path, I hope you all can feel the energy, intention and love I send you during my yoga, and my reiki within this hibernation time.
To the pioneers and trailblazers that teach me to go my own way, I salute you. I salute the many strong and gifted teachers I've acquired and learned from this year. To my family in the Northwest that keep me going, that encourage me, listen patiently, feed me chocolate and feed my soul, I am endlessly grateful.
Lastly to the circle of women in my life: Your joy is the light that can heal the world.
I've never been a one trick pony but I've always been a list maker. When I think back to the inevitable question of "what does one what to be when one grows up...?" I remember lists and lists. Egyptologist, doctor for the W.H.O., Martha Stewart, Lounge Singer, Magazine editor...
This is still true today (especially the lounge singer position) but, for the first time in my adult life I'm feeling excited by the prospect instead of saddened or intimidated. Believe me when I say I have read almost EVERY self help book on choosing a career so I know the agony of feeling like you have no set direction.
If you're truly feeling lost on what your life's purpose is I suggest:
Lawrence G. Boldt's, "Zen and the Art of Making a Living".
Or if you want something less purpose driven, more action oriented, I suggest: "I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was" by Barbara Sher.
But you know, getting older does not inherently make you wiser and reading every career driven self help book will not make you a success... you have to go within to be able to listen to your true self. This requires a huge slowing down. Or in my case, an eternal vacate from the wedding industry.
Sometimes it's really scary to admit that there is not one, clear, linear, cut and dry way to get where I'm going. The reality is that life is fluid and ever changing. In reminding myself of this truth I can forgive the seemingly ambling part of myself that is always changing.
When you put all your eggs in one basket you miss opportunities for growth. I'm starting to think that even though it may be very risky, and everyone will think you're doing it the hardest way possible, it's more advisable to forgo the basket. Carry those eggs tenderly, next to your heart. Yes, they may slip from your grasp and shatter but dreams are fragile and you have to keep them warm and close. Carrying them tenderly just shows how incredibly precious they are.
Maybe it's all the hours I logged in the wedding industry trying to create the perfect image, photoshoot, color scheme, what have you...but the black and white photography of Angela and Evan of our wedding day speaks to me on an emotional level that the color images cannot. So, for my personal blog, I'm showing you the moments of the day. Glimpses in time of the celebration, the story. Of course, not every moment can be captured, and why would you want it to be? In a time where images are everything we forget to slow down and actually make memories. The gallery above just helps to jog it when my memory slows. I'd like to say another heartfelt thanks to our friends and family and for everyone who made the wedding so magical. We will never forget but if we do, we will always have the photos.
The San Juan Islands are a popular place to host a summer destination wedding. I'm challenging couples to think out side this summer season and opt for the ultimate in romance, a fall resort wedding.
Rosario, on Orcas Island, was built by Robert Moran in a time of sweeping staircases, stained glass and parties. Check out my inspiration on Pintrest and tell us how you feel about fall weddings in the PNW in the comments section!
Sign up online for our spring floral design class in the newly opened Moorea Seal Store!
Breathe, design, heal.
Whitney R. White stays inspired by her love of historical spaces, nature, beeswax candles, hand-made objects, comedy, coffee and visual storytelling. She is a connector, brand ambassador, reiki practitioner, inspiration sparker, and new mamma! She lives with her husband and son in the San Juan Islands. She used to teach floral design classes, yoga, and one day she'll dabble in clay.