Herbalist, beekeeper, grandmother, single mother, moon child. She/her. I live in Alaska and this land is part of my soul. Dogs>people. Weeds>lawns. Words>numbers. INFP, Chaotic Good.
For the Beekeeper's Wife
Giorgio Pantazis was 64 years old when he buried his wife in the flower garden. Although perhaps “buried” wasn’t the best word. Actually, he’d sprinkled her ashes – under the light of a full moon – amongst the marigolds and crocuses. Even the birds had stopped their midnight chirping. They, too, understood the magnitude of his loss. Melissa was everything; with her gone, his life carried no meaning. He was adrift. Desolate.
Bar-hopping: My Love Affair with Handmade Soap
I’ll be straight with you: I have an addiction. I’m addicted to handmade soap. Now, I realize that’s probably one of the most vanilla things you’ve ever heard, and you’re probably rolling your eyes and yawning simultaneously. But I really do nerd out over a bar of handmade soap. Make it organic with added botanicals or an artisanal bar with swirls and pretty decorations and I’m like a kid in a candy shop. I might buy three or four different kinds each week at the farmers’ market. Every sink and tub in my house have several different bars of soap to choose from depending on my mood. I’m that weird.
Fibromyalgia is a Little Bitch
When I was finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia, it felt like I’d come to the end of a long, winding, exhausting road. It had taken me years to get my diagnosis, during which I’d seen multiple primary care physicians, gotten multiple referrals, had multiple lab tests, and cried multiple tears. I’d been misdiagnosed with a variety of illnesses along the way – everything from depression to Lyme disease. I’d been advised to go gluten-free, carb-free, meat-free, sugar-free, and to try raw foods. To drink more water. To walk more. One doctor told me my issue was stress, and to take up tai chi, align my chakras, and “chill.”
The Healing Zen of Beekeeping
I got into beekeeping for one simple reason: bees scared the hell out of me. At the time, I was 26 years into a 30-year abusive marriage. It wasn’t as much physical abuse as mental – although I certainly got pushed around enough. At that point it was enough for him to raise his hand threateningly. Like Pavlov’s dog, I’d been well conditioned to cower; there was no need for the follow through.
Jesus Jess is Not A Pig
The hospitality industry is not the beacon of infallibility I once thought it was. We’d booked our room in April, scanned the website photos, approved the amenities, planned our days using Google maps around a day-hike radius. The hotel had a 4.5 on Travelocity. We did our due diligence. There was no advance warning. The only big fat red flag happened when we landed in Anchorage and tried to contact the hotel and arrange the free shuttle.
The apocalypse was not what we expected. It came with a whisper, not a bang. No tidal wave or nuclear bomb, just simply a whoosh, sudden, the ground slipping under our feet, cartoon style – one minute we were standing in our kitchen waiting for the macaroni and cheese to cook and the next we were falling, a look of stupid surprise on our faces.