Category: VB

Spring has sprung!

I’ll avoid apologizing for the lack of posts and just catch you up to what’s been keeping me away…

Winter was extra snowy for us this year, and we really took advantage of that and our habits of hibernating during the cold months.  As things started warming up, you read about a friend of mine who committed suicide.  While I had been pulling away from sharing things for a while, these really added to my introspection and keeping things private.  All good, of course, but now I’m starting to pull back out of it and find a better balance.  Naturally, the warm weather is leading up to a busy summer when there’s more doing than sitting and thinking, my goal is to just embrace what it is in the moment!

March started wedding season for us – Steve and Cait were married in Monmouth, NJ, and a week later Timo and Jessica were married in Sonoma, CA.  Random was a groomsman in both weddings, and it was a busy time but we thoroughly enjoyed both – as well as the extra time we had to enjoy San Francisco and Sonoma!

We went to Baker Beach, where Burning Man originated, Muir Woods to see the redwoods, and Fisherman’s Wharf for the Musee Mechanique!  We stayed at the Lodge at Sonoma, which had amazing rooms with a gas fireplace, and managed to fit in one wine tasting though we had plenty of wine at the wedding (held at Sebastiani Vineyards).  The rest of the time was full of wedding activities, pampering for me with a manicure and pedicure, and hanging with friends – Random’s pals in Sonoma, our mutual friends from Burning Man’s Camp Jersey in San Fran, and a meet up with old friends of mine from veggie board days at Cafe Gratitude.

Still working on pics from the Cali trip. You saw a few iphone ones I posted but more will be up on flickr soon.


Steve and Caitlin



Before the weddings, there was pie. Pi day party, 3/14 at 1:59 pm.


QT Pie won the trophy for best pie - hers was the only one made from scratch and deserved it!


Random and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco


Poppet kept travelling after San Fran, and met a lion at Random's mother's house!


Easter weekend meant Peep Sushi (Peepshi!) for major sugar overload!


My new quad camera app on the iphone and Random's family!

I’d love to wax poetical about the redwoods, and a great sense of peace that I felt there, but it’s almost beyond words. Maybe when I post the photos… I’m also halfway through the story of Julia Butterfly, who lived in a redwood tree (Luna) for two years to save it from destruction by logging companies (whose clear cutting caused mudslides and the loss of homes).  Truly amazing, and I can see how she felt so compelled to save these trees.

On our wedding front, we’re in the midst of moving the site so won’t work for a while, but we hope to have that changed soon! And I’m working on save-the-dates to send out this month. Fingers crossed 😛


I wanted to share some words from a fire friend, JT (who I tend to quote often!) and it reminded me of a post of another friend on a vegetarian message board that I didn’t want disappearing in my poor memory or the ether of the internet, so here ya go. Neither was written by me.  Today, I woke up in a great mood – not by choice, just chance, but I choose to seize it and not let it go!

I try to love everyone – to accept them exactly as they are, as much as I know them in each moment. I strive to speak and act in accordance with my highest self – the choose from a place of fullest love for myself. I seek to love myself, first and foremost, and to make all my choices in accordance with that love: every choice conscious, every choice honoring who I am, every action a celebration of this life.

I strive for all those positive things – note the use of the word “strive”. “Strive: to exert much effort or energy; endeavor.” If it was easy, I woulda done it all, already. 🙂 That’s the challenge about choice – you have to keep making those choices all the time. Every moment, choosing the positive.

And yet, that’s also the incredible beauty of choice. All those choices I made in the past, all those times when I said I couldn’t, all those times I dwelt on the negative, all those times that I didn’t love myself, all those choices… they don’t matter right now. I get another chance, RIGHT NOW, to choose love over fear.

Any answer is okay. I get another chance to choose in just a second.

– JT


How I Trained Myself to Wake up Happy Every Morning. (a bit longish)

I didn’t add OT [off topic], because I feel it goes hand in hand with training ourselves to eat healthy, lose weight, become more physically active and to make whatever lifestyle changes we wish.

In the olden days, I think the only times I used to wake up happy was when I was in love with somebody or other. Now I wake up happy because I’m in love with myself. Truly. When the unhappy feelings about myself and the dread of getting out of bed became more than I could bear a few years ago, I decided to do something about it.

My first step was to realize that it was the negative thoughts I held about myself and about my life that were making me unhappy. I focused on what I didn’t like and what I hadn’t accomplished instead of on the positive. To change that I began doing what became one of the most powerful practices I’ve ever done. I kept a little journal next to my bed and every night before I went to sleep, I wrote down on one page 10 WINS I’d had that day. If it had been an especially good or productive day, there might be a page of amazing Wins. If the day had been a really tough one, the Wins might look like this:

* Got out of bed
* washed face
* brushed teeth
* got dressed
* put one foot in front of the other.

You get the idea.

I did that for months and months and I observed my thoughts and feelings improving. Somewhere in there, I saw that I needed more, so my second step was to begin writing 5 and then later, 10 Gratitudes for the day. My happy thoughts went up several more notches.

My third step was to begin using another practice I learned in a Workshop. Knowing that most of my negative habits had came from the way I was raised, I started seeing a second me, the self I was as a child. When, as an adult, I felt afraid or upset over something, I would imagine taking my 5 year old or 10 year old self on my lap, wrapping my arms around her exactly the way I did with my own daughter and telling her that everything was going to be okay, that I was her parent now and that I would always be there for her no matter what. I would tell her that it was okay that she didn’t know what to do. I, the adult, the mother, did know, and that I would hold her hand and guide her to resolved side of whatever problem she had. I do that one when needed, to this day and I cannot begin to tell you how comforted, supported and blessed that made me feel. I was able to move forward more confidently knowing how there I am for myself.

Later, that one switched to a very simple, loving, soft-spoken yet firm, “No, we don’t do that anymore,” when I joined WW and would catch myself saying unkind things about my weight, my food habits and about my body. I said it just the way a dear, dear friend would say it to me. That one has been the most powerful of all and I rarely even have to use it all anymore.

The third step came from a wonderful over-the-phone life coach I had a few years ago. This one REALLY cinched it for me as far as waking up happy goes each day. One of the biggest problems of my life has been feeling overwhelmed with all the things that need doing daily. I would go into this tailspin over where to begin and what was most important. As a result, I’d often end up depressed and get only about a tenth of it all done. It seemed I could never accomplish what I really wanted to do for myself. The practice she gave me, I’ve used for about 4 years now and because I had done all the above exercises, I had laid a good groundwork for this. Here it is:

She suggested that upon waking each day to let Gratitude fill my whole body to overflowing from head to toe, to really let it saturate every cell and molecule. After doing this for awhile, I simply awoke in that state and oh, my gosh, what a splendid feeling it is. I can’t help smiling when I open my eyes. Then, immediately following this, she said to ask myself what are the six things that I must accomplish that day and to see myself looking back at the end of the day, glad to see that they’d all been done easily and smoothly.

And it really helps that I have witnessed how changing my thoughts really have changed my life and my outlook. Like our dear Rebbers, I am happy from the inside out and I am so grateful to have had so much support for the changes both in my 3D life and here on the VB, from all of you.

I hope some of this might be of help to my veggiebuds here. Thanks for asking, dear Reb.

Much Love,


Plans for 08

Cross posted from Myspace:

OK so sometimes I promise I’m going to tell people about events and then forget who I promised… heehee…. Here are some big events coming up that I’ll be doing, if you have any interests in joining then you can contact me.

Feb 8-10 – Wicked Faire in Edison NJ although the site is wonky lately. I used to do henna there. I’m not working there this year. I’ll be attending (probably Saturday afternoon only) to do some shopping cause I like some of the vendors.

Feb 16 – PEX “Heartburn” – party in Philly. This Philly Burning Man camp puts on a kick ass party, all kinds of music, performances, fire dancers…. Invite only, I MAY have some spares or be able to get you some quickly so let me know if you are interested. goes from 10 pm (I get there earlier to help set up and will be volunteering on the ice luge 10-11) until after dawn. It’s $20 with costume, $50 without. So dress your ass up!!!! (Anything fun and obviously not street clothes/jeans is prob. fine)  Sign up on their mailing list if you want to hear about future parties (I think it’s about 3-4 a year?)

May 23-26 – PDF (Playa del fuego) in Delaware. Our regional “burn” event – tickets will go on sale March 22 and April 2 and may sell out almost immediately. I’ll try to grab ones for you if you know you are going.

June – most likely either June 6-8 or 13-15 – Wildfire – fire arts weekend with classes on poi, staff, hoop, breathing, etc.  Location not final, probably 45 minutes south of Boston. Ticket sale date not announced yet.

August 25 – Sept 1 – BURNING MAN! I’ll hopefully be performing in the philadelphia fire conclave the night of the big burn! (the conclave needs to be accepted but it shouldn’t be an issue) Tickets on sale now, and will only go up in price. they MAY sell out, and they will NOT be selling any at the gate regardless of whether they sell out.

I don’t have many other things planned.  After Burning Man, there’s Fall PDF, and maybe, MAYBE fall wildfire. 

 The veggie board retreat, I may or may not be able to go, depending on whether it’s driving distance and whether I have enough vacation time.  Same for any paloozas (for those who don’t know, it’s a nickname for parties with friends from a private message board) — Lhia’s is for sure, anything in NJ/NY/CT most likely.

From the end of February until mid August, I’ll be driving to Philly most Sundays for conclave practice.  (So – those in or near that route, if you ever want to do lunch or something let me know! I have to be in North Philly from 4-6 pm those days.)

Money probably will get tight for all these things, but the more pressing issue is time.  Vacation time.  We’ll see what happens.  Spring PDF, Wildfire, and Burning Man are definitely going to happen, one way or another.