Fermented Garlic in Honey

There are few foods that I love more than those that are sweet, tangy and a little bit funky – fermentations fit that bill! You give me any fermented food and chances are I am eating it straight out of the container with a fork. My fermented garlic in honey is an easy to make ferment, requiring very little prep time, very little ferment time and has a ton of pay off.

The result is garlic that is sweeter, more mellow and less sharp, softened by time and patience, while the honey is thinner, pungent and begging to be eaten. I hear you, hesitant and wondering, what the heck are you going to do with a jar of tasty, funky garlic and tangy, sweet honey? Drizzle the honey on soba noodles with green onions, slice up the garlic for your stir-fry, or add to beef stew – anywhere you need a subtle hit of flavor that’s unexpected. Even better, take a spoonful of the honey at the sign of a sore throat. Ready to give it a try?

10-15 heads of garlic, cloves peeled – I don’t recommend using pre-peeled garlic.
16 ounces of honey
1 tablespoon of chili pepper flakes (optional)
1 pint mason jar, sterilized (see note below)

Note: To sanitize your jar, wash your jar with hot soapy water and boil your jar for 5 mins, washing the lid and ring in as hot and soapy water as you can handle.

If you haven’t peeled your garlic already, go ahead and do that. I like to take the flat part of the knife blade and press the cloves until they crush, and the peel comes loose.

Next, smash your garlic, so it’s flat and splits up, you can also run a knife through it into chunks. I found that smashing my garlic to peel and giving it another smash broke them up enough for me. You’re looking for surface area, and if you want to slice or chop the garlic down even more, you’re welcome to. I am all about easy!

Next, fill your sanitized jar with the smashed garlic cloves, leaving about 1.5 inches from the top. If you want to add chili pepper flakes, now is the time. Give everything a good tap, or gently press down with clean hands, to make sure everything is settled and to remove any extra space.


Next, cover with honey. A heads up, this part takes a good amount of time as you let the honey fill every nook and cranny and sink to the bottom of your jar, which means pouring and waiting. This may be a good time to grab a drink or watch a show and keep coming back to it! When your honey completely covers your garlic, and no additional bubbles are popping up, add just a little more honey – you want it to be about an 3/4 inch from the top. Wipe the lid of the jar with a damp paper towel and close your jar. Place the jars on a plate or in a glass dish to catch any honey that escapes or from when you burb it! Yep, you’ll burp those jars like a tiny, well-fed baby my friend.

garlic and chili

Why and how do you burp your jars?? As your garlic ferments and starts to break down, it will product carbon dioxide, so burping, or opening the jar to let that out is needed. I’ll warn you now, it’ll be a little stinky, but it’s all part of the delicious process! You’ll do this every day or two for 4-6 weeks, but you can let it go longer if you like. When you’re happy with the taste and texture, you can keep it in your fridge for up to a year.

A couple of notes – you may see your garlic turn blue. This is perfectly safe and a common occurrence! It’s a pH change and your ferment is still safe. While honey is a great fermenting tool and botulism is low risk, you should keep an eye out for mold, which can be the result of not using a clean jar, or not handling with clean hands or utensils when burping or tasting your ferment.

I really hope you try this and enjoy it! Please let me know what you think!

Yours in tasty treats,

Christmas Stressings

Hello dear reader! 

I know it’s been quite some time since my last post – I’ll update on that after Christmas!  Speaking of, the holidays can be a magical time, but they sure can be hard too! It can seem like finding that balance is an insurmountable task, but does it have to be? The pandemic got me thinking about how I spend my emotional and physical energy and I am bringing that into this holiday season this year. While I wrote this piece originally for work, there’s value in sharing it far and wide!  Here is how I am keeping myself organized and a little more sane this year – I hope it helps you!

  1. Make a list of must do’s to prioritize the things that matter most to you…and share that with others! Your Aunt and her kids want to see you, but the in-laws also want you to come over, and you should probably stop by to see your brother, but the idea of hitting all the homes in one day sounds awful. Offer to host or choose which events to take part in. Setting boundaries and expectations early on can help ensure you don’t overcommit or feel bad if you can’t (or don’t want to) do something. Which leads to the next one…
  2. Say no! It is a simple one, but sometimes being ok with not committing or not doing something is the best gift of all. It is ok to hold time for yourself and allow yourself to be recharged! If it does not feel great to say no, try offering an alternative and find time to connect after the holidays. No can also be, “Not right now.”
  3. Find quiet moments in the craziness. I am not always good at this but scheduling time to take a break is necessary to keep my energy up and my happiness in the green. Need 10 minutes of yoga in the morning or an hour of reading at night, or a hot bath to unwind? Schedule it like you would any other important meeting or activity and tell those around you!
  4. Do something different! This year, instead of the normal gift giving, I will be giving experiences for most of my presents; not your normal “gift coupon books,” I will be prepaying for gymnastics class for kiddo; wine tasting for my friends; and cooking classes for the in laws that they can do with my daughter. Less waste and clutter AND more fun? Yes, please! It is truly the gift that keeps on giving. This year, instead of standing in line to see Santa, we planned to feed Alpacas and take a holiday picture there – no lines AND it is fun! Plus, the cost is a donation of canned food to help local families. It is a win all around.
  5. Give yourself grace. While the above are great, sometimes you may still feel overwhelmed and just need to let it out. That is ok, and if a good cry is what gets you through the holidays, then let yourself have it, shame free. Bacon knows I have had my share of meltdowns and overwhelm the past few weeks.

Here is to a holiday that is fun, relaxing, and more of what you would like it to be! If you have other ideas for self-care during busy times, please let me know! I’d love to share them!

Yours in taking care,

Where There’s Smoke

What a year. Covid, murder hornets, wild fires and don’t get me started on all the sourdough bread I ate. What a dumpster fire 2020 was – but you know what pairs well with a dumpster fire? A Cocktail.

Specifically, Mezcal cocktails. With it’s smoky goodness it’s a pretty great ingredient to help send out the year. Mezcal can range from floral to heavy smoke and for these cocktails, I went with one lower on the smoke scale. While I partnered a few months ago with El Silencio, Yuu Baal is another good option.

So, ready to put 2020 behind you with a couple cocktails?

Smoke and Fire
1 part Mezcal
3 parts pineapple juice
1 splash key lime juice
Tajin or a spicy lime salt for dusting (I also like Kinders’ Tequila Lime)
Pineapple slices for garnish
Directions: Coat the rim of your glass with line and coat with your Tajin. Combine juice, Mezcal and ice, shake, strain and pour into your glass. (1 part = 1 ounce, but you can mix it up to taste).

Since one cocktail is delicious, why not add in another? This one combines the herbaceous flavor of rosemary, the tartness of grapefruit and the slight smoke of the Mezcal.

1 part Mezcal
1 part rosemary simple syrup (recipe below)
1 part grapefruit juice
1 part fizzy water or tonic
Directions: Combine all ingredients with ice, shake, strain and pour into a glass.

Rosemary Simple Syrup
A tip: Simple syrup is always 1 part sugar to 1 part water.
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 large sprigs of rosemary
Directions: combine sugar and water in a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat, stirring until combines and just starting to simmer. Take off of heat and add your rosemary and let it steep for 20 minutes while it cools off. Remove the rosemary and chill your syrup. A note: When I added my rosemary at the start, the flavor was a little too bitter for me.

So there you go – 2 easy drinks to wrap up the year and bring in more of the good! I’ll be back soon to update you on all that’s been going on and to showcase more of what you can expect to see in 2021!

How are you spending your New Years, dear reader?

Yours in looking forward to better days!

****As always, I disclose when I have partnered with a company. I did receive both product and compensation for an Instagram post with El Silencio, but this post is all me. 🙂

Relaxing Winter Tisane

Lately my sleep has been all over the place. Blame it on the craziness of 2020 or any of the other things that a normal year may bring. Up late? Yep. Asleep at 7 pm? That too. I’ve been working on other relaxation techniques, but came to the realization that I needed to cut down on coffee and not have it after noon if I wanted to get any sleep. It’s cold here in Seattle, and I still want something warm – enter my winter tisane.

Wait…I can hear you asking, “what’s a tisane”? Think tea, but without the true tea leaves – various plant components (like roots, stems, flowers, leaves of plants) steeped in hot water.

This tasty combo is earthy, chocolaty and has just a hint of orange. 3 easy to find ingredients that I now keep in my rotation to keep me warm and happy.

Relaxing Winter Tisane
Makes 3 cups

2 Tablespoons cacao husks, like the ones from the Cacao Tea Co.*
1 Tablespoon organic roasted dandelion root (it should come chopped, if not, run a sharp knife over it until it’s in small pieces)
1/8 Teaspoon dried orange peel (optional)
Cream and honey to taste

Add the cacao husks, dandelion root and orange peel to a heatproof container or coffee press, pour hot (but not boiling) water over the mixtures and let steep for 5-7 mins. Strain out the solids and pour into a cup. Add cream and honey to taste.

Easy, right? It’s easy to make it your own by add other herbs or flavors that make you happy. Enjoy!

Yours in getting a good nights sleep,

*As always, I will only recommend products I have tested and feel good about the quality of those products. The nice folks at The Cacao Tea Co were kind enough to send me a bag of their cacao husks to try out.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Hi there Dear Reader. Remember that last post when I said that this year was the year of doing more and that 2020 was already looking to be pretty dang great? Yeah…I clearly jinxed us. Or Covid-19 did. Either way, here we sit in the middle of a pandemic, playing homeschool teachers, trying to carve out a sense of normalcy, and likely (let’s face it) trying to figure out when an appropriate time to day drink actually is.

My work day is mostly the same – I wake up, pour myself a cup of coffee, walk the 20 steps to my office, shut my door and go to meetings like always. Meetings now kick off with discussions of how everyone is coping and moves back to business. I am so very lucky that my work life really hasn’t changed much and I know it’s not that way for everyone. My little family has felt the impacts of Covid as well. Nick is a chef, and the hospitality industry was hit hard and early on and he’s on leave for now. Izzy’s school is also closed. Lucky for us, those two things happened close to the same time, so they are able to play together and she can get some version of home school.

I won’t lie, It’s really hard not to grieve (for a lack of a better word) the ability to see people, and go out normally. I do find myself anxious and unsure of what to do with myself. It’s the unknown that’s the hardest – when will this end? How bad will it get? Not having answers and feeling isolated is hard for me, as I’m sure it is for all of you. At least we’re all in this together.

We fill our time with the long list of to do’s that had been piling up – rebuild and paint the chicken coop, make more beef stock, redo the garden beds – check, check, and check. The 3 camping trips I set up were cancelled with the closure of state parks, so we camped in the living room. We’re finding creative ways to stay happy, and I’ve had time to reflect on myself and this situation. Do I have a lot of answers? Oh man, no, but here’s what I have learned so far:

1. Turns out I am not a homeschooler. Nope. Not good at it. No thank you. While my kiddo is learning, I am so grateful for a partner that seems to have infinite patience and is really good at teaching. I am throwing beers at him to keep that going.
2. I need tasks and I need structure. So much of my off time was spent running errands, or going to the park, just going. Without that, I turn into a grumpy mess that no snack bar can fix. I’ve got a list of tasks to keep me from turning into a tornado of emotions.
3. I also need time to recoup. I’m still taking my PTO even though plans have cancelled. I am resting, taking baths, and trying to write.
4. I’m working on avoiding social media. This one has been hard for a social gal like myself. I crave interaction, but loathe the pettiness and misinformation on the interwebs. For every person I have to mute, I “like” a page on llamas or something fun.
5. Lastly, my kid is resilient. I asked her how she was doing with everything that’s happening and when it got to the topic of fear, she reported, “why would I be scared? I have you and Daddy.” As long as I can keep a safe place for her, I think I am doing alright.

So here I am reporting to you from my office, still in my pajamas at 12:30, because, well, I don’t have any place to be and frankly these sweat pants are dang comfy.

Here’s to all of us getting through this together – how are you taking care in this crazy time?

Oh, and Dear Reader – the answer to your earlier question about when an acceptable time to start drinking actually is? Yeah, about 2 weeks ago, when all this crap started. God speed.

Yours in isolation,

Getting to more

Man. 2019 was an odd year. Anyone else feel that way and ready for all that 2020 has to offer? I started 2019 neck-deep in a project at work, launching a new program and coordinating background checks and technology access for over a dozen people, while supporting my other teams. While that program required long hours, creative problem solving and a lot of training needs, it was the highlight of my professional career and I was happy to give it my all. 8 months into the year, I would eventually hand it off, and prep for the next projects, and of course breathe. If you were wondering where I’d been on the blog the past year, that’d mostly be why – if it wasn’t work or family, it took a back seat.

2019 wasn’t just about work, it also became the year of travel. We camped in tiny cabins in the woods, sitting close to fires, chasing salmon runs, and watching herds of elk make their way slowly into clearings. We stomped through puddles in the woods on the hunt for nettles and miners lettuce, and we sat in hot tubs for hours on the San Juan Islands. We celebrated my 41st year of life in Canada, exploring every area we could. We flew to Kansas to visit family, riding on tractors and spotting cows, taking in time with Izzy’s Great Grandparent’s in what would likely be our last trip to see them. We experienced the Midwest’s storms and watched lightning strike while listening to family stories well into the night. We headed to Disneyland for the first time as a family and I was able to watch the excitement of my favorite place through the eyes of my fast-growing kiddo. So many adventures squeezed into the year, and so many good memories.

If you know me in real life, or followed on the blog – it was quiet in 2019, more so than my normal adventure packed years. I wasn’t feeling the desire or ability to write. I would start posts and then park them. Start, and then park. The ideas were there, but the energy wasn’t, so those posts, along with a few craft projects and friendships went to the way-side, the passion to do all the things tempered with the reality that I couldn’t (and at the end of the day didn’t want to) do it all.

Slowly, the creative urge started to return. I worked on crafts, teaching myself how to spin fiber into yarn and how to dye fabric with natural dyes. I took classes on crafting and herbalism and continued to focus on making salves and tinctures. I even started dipping my toes back into teaching crafting classes one on one.

Oh dear reader, there was food; always food. So many nights spent cooking, curing, fermenting and canning. There was the epic weekend of 50 lbs of tomatoes, the week of all things peaches, and the pickled fiddle head ferns, the nettle pesto, or that smoked brisket. When stressed, or just needing a break, I’ve always taken to the kitchen and this last year was no different. The gardens produced more flowers and tomatoes than any other vegetables, and we ended up adopting out the rabbits that had turned into pets rather than meals.

So here we are, already 2 months into 2020 and it’s already feeling different than last year. While 2019 was the year of hunkering down and saying no, 2020 is already the year of more. More time with friends, more long chats and reconnecting. More trips away planned, more house projects completed already with a to do list a mile long (dang old houses). The year of more is just that and it feels good.

So dear reader, while I’ve not been around as much as I have, I’m changing that and hope to hear more from you all too. Here’s to one heck of a 2020 and to more of all of the good.


The C Word

I’ve been absent lately. That’s the funny thing about life, days go by like normal and then one day it just gets busy. That’s where it’s been the past few months and if it hasn’t involved work or family, then it’s taken a back seat. There just hasn’t been room or energy for anything else.  What could be so big that it could slow me down from writing? The C word. No, not that one; the other one.  Cancer.

Recently I received an email from a family member encouraging my mom and I to go in for cancer testing.  She had tested positive for the BRCA mutation and was about to go through a hysterectomy and a double mastectomy. It wasn’t her first round with cancer, and after losing my maternal grandmother to breast cancer, it was time for me to go in.

I’ll say it now, I’m horrible at self-care. Do I do my monthly breast exams? No. When was my last pap?? Ummm…well. My last mammogram? 10 years, but you know…life. I was out of excuses.

I sat in my doctors office in that sassy yet breezy paper gown thing and listed my family history of cancer. I listed my own health concerns, including the small lump that’s been there long enough that I named him, my history of breast feeding, my eating and drinking habits (sigh),  and my overall concerns about leaving my family before my time. The doc agreed that we needed to get in some additional testing, including a mammogram, skin cancer testing and even genetic assessment to figure out whether I was a carrier of the mutation. Basically, I had the “welcome to 40, you’re somewhat old, but let’s get a full work up” battery of tests.

One by one, the tests were done. I repeated the same history, the same concerns from doctor to doctor. More people saw me in that damn paper gown, my boobs were pancaked into a machine and I even awkwardly announced to my dermatologist and his assistant I wore my best granny panties. Then, I waited.

There’s this feeling when you’re waiting for big test results, it’s hard to describe. It’s consuming and you worry; what if the results come back and it’s bad? What if, what if… Life drags on slower than it should and it feels like everything is on hold, because it kind of is. There’s that moment of panic when the phone rings and the relief when you hear the good news. Normally, I’m optimistic, but I couldn’t get past the negatives. I have good health insurance, I live in a great city that is known for good medical care. I have life insurance like no one’s business if things go south. I was feeling prepared for the business of it all, but it makes you pause and think of all the things you have left to do, the emotional side, the things you want to be around for and the years you want to spend with your loved ones.

Happily my tests all came back healthy. After weeks of waiting, I felt like I could breathe, like I could sleep and I could start doing more than waiting. I’m lucky, but due to my family history, I’ll go in for a mammogram yearly as well as an ultrasound 6 months later; a rotation every 6 months for the rest of my life. It’s worth it.

But this story doesn’t end with me – because life usually isn’t that simple. My mom also went in for testing and much like my story, she had put off testing. She went in for a mammogram as well, where a spot was detected.  Both our hearts sank; we had been so excited for my clean bill of health and I’ll admit, I had figured she’d be fine too. She went in for a biopsy and again we waited.

We agreed that as soon as the results came in that she would call or text – I’d keep my cell with me during the work day, just to be available.

And we waited. When the call came that the doctor wanted to see her, we knew it wasn’t likely to be good news, but we stayed hopeful.

The next day, the text I had hoped I’d never get came in, “I’m so sorry sweetie. It’s cancer”. I felt like wind had been kicked out of me. I had already lost my dad, Izzy had a rough start to her life, couldn’t we catch a damn break? My mom in true amazing spirit was positive and ready for a fight, albeit scared about what that could entail and I was too. If this life has taught me anything, it’s this: Life isn’t always easy, it surely isn’t always fair, but if you have good support and love, you can get through the tough so much better.

So here were are now, getting through the tough and looking for the positive. Mom’s genetic testing came back great, which means that we don’t move towards radical surgery. While her tumor is an aggressive form of breast cancer, it’s small, and this is her first incidence of cancer which also is a tick mark in her favor. We’ll take the positives where we can.  We learn next steps this week and then we’ll go through the lumpectomy and lymph biopsy together. We’ll continue treatment until we’re in the clear. We’re still scared, and realistic about the challenges, but we have each other and an amazing medical team her too.

So there you go, why I’ve been MIA and one hell of a good reminder to keep up with your medical tests. Here’s to healthier, happier days and getting back to normal.  Here’s a tiny feisty me, with an equally feisty mom.


Yours in kicking cancer’s ass,





On to a New Year

It’s New Years Day, I am sitting in bed with my lap top, covered in quilts, squeezing the last few free moments of my night before heading back to work after being gone for a week. Just like every year, I look back on what I have done, and where I want to go and want to do in the year ahead. 2017 wasn’t bad, it wasn’t great, and I don’t know about you dear reader, I am ready to be on to a new year.

Before we can look ahead, let’s look back:

This was the year of work. I celebrated 14 years at my job; saw my team size double and I took on managing people in a completely new role.  I gave up some responsibilities and had to learn how to say no and delegate more often and for the first time in quite a while, I was in learner role. I feel like I am slowly getting my feet back under me, and that sure feels good.

My side life as a blogger brought me to Portland again for Feast and to Vegas to cover Las Vegas Food Expo, I ate, I drank, and I even picked up some new ink. I worked with a couple new brands, and took time out to write a little more.  A goal I had set last year was to get out and attend more events. While the flu knocked out half of them, I still made some great connections (and of course, ate some awesome food!). This year, I want to keep up with that goal – continue to put myself out there and a big part of that will be writing.

2017 was the year of, “man, I hope this is good enough”. I had days were I felt successes and days where I felt like an utter failure. There were days full of tears and frustrations on not feeling settled and feeling like I wasn’t doing enough. Luckily though, those days were far and few between and at the end of the year, I like to think I left things better than they were at the start. I felt like Dory, telling myself, “just keep swimming”.

2017 wasn’t just about me though!  Nick celebrated 10 years at his job and was able to take a fair amount of time off for Kiddos wild adventures, although there were quite a few 70 hour weeks in there, too. He built hutches, and helped me shovel poop and didn’t look at me (too much) like a crazy person for all the things I wanted to do in my yard.

Also, this was Izzy’s second year of co op preschool, and the first complete year of her life without any surgeries or procedures.

I’ll let that sink in: My kiddo had her first full year of just being a kid and not requiring anything more than any other 4 year old.

Man, I can’t say enough how great that feels. She grew taller, and more brave and sings constantly. She’s quick to be the class mother yet again this year, soothing over conflicts and trying to help the teachers do things. She wears her heart on her sleeve and is so darned amazing reminding me that I am so lucky to be her momma.  

In the farm and garden department, we had some losses and had to cull a sick chicken. The chickens we fostered were sent to their new home and the bunnies grew fat and cute, while our hens started becoming free-loaders. I ripped out most of the grass in the front and back yards and replaced it all with play ground equipment, a new bunny house and tons of garden beds. Cuss words were hollered as I pulled out chunks of sod by hand (a good workout, by the way).  The corn grew tall and I planted way too many types of squash and cucumbers. So much that I ended up putting out a box for my neighbors to grab a few as they needed. I tried out quite a few new types of tomatoes, but found that I wasn’t as excited about them, and needed more soil in my beds for them to grow happily.

When we weren’t in the yard or at work, we played in the woods, in the snow, in the sea, and ate our way through the West Coast on a trip to Sonoma. We sat quietly through the loss of loved ones, but also celebrated the birth of babies, and new weddings as well. We cooked new dishes, danced to records and stayed up late into the night playing.

Looking back, it was really the year of just getting through. We had fun, and tasks were accomplished, but there were so many competing priorities, that often times it felt like a blur. No relishing in the moments, no sitting in the quiet, just a lot of go go go, but not a lot to show for it. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it left me wanting more and feeling restless.

2018….What do I expect and want as I move onto a new year?

To be.

This is my intention for the year.

To be more creative.
To be more present.
To be more grateful.
To be still.

Those two words seem to start off some pretty amazing things and hold some pretty great potential, so I’ll let them guide me for the next 12 months. No more rushing (as often as I can), more time for friends and creating. More sitting in the quiet, thinking. More of doing what I know I need to do to make my soul quiet and my heart happy. This is the year I hope to just be.

Plus, I still have that damn 40 by 40 list and 6 months to tick some things off.

I’m sure I’ve said this before, but this is the year to butcher at least one rabbit and some of the chickens. We’ll replace those with new ones and begin the cycle again. I’m also going to try my hand at growing new varieties of squash and tomatoes, with some other goodies as well. I’ll be sure to add posts of my progress (the good, the bad and the ugly) as I go.

This year, I hope, will be the year of doing and being versus just getting by. So dear reader, I hope you’ll stick by and watch me as I try to be more (or less if the situation requires).

What are you hoping for 2018?


“Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am.”
― Parker J. Palmer




To the pumpkin patch!

It’s fall again here and I couldn’t be happier! This is one of my favorite seasons and with it comes changing leaves, cool weather, cozy fires and my very favorite, trips to the pumpkin patch. Each year we drive down to Carpinito’s to play in the hay mazes, throw corn and play with the animals. Izzy leaves tired and happy and I get to take pictures and pick up pumpkins. I love supporting local businesses and farmers, too, so it’s usually a win-win and this year was no different! I’m convinced that these traditions are my favorite part of parenting; I love watching her explore and play.

We ran from one animal pen to the next, squeals of happiness coming from all of us (ok, mostly me). We giggled at the frizzle chickens, cooed over the week-old piglets, and fed the goats. When the skies darkened and hard rains arrived,  we ran into the barn to play in corn and hay; the screams of happy kids filling the air. An hour later, the rain had been replaced by sunny skies allowing us to make our way back outside to do rubber duck races and rope cows. We sipped lemonade, and ate chili and talked about how great all of the animals were.

We made our way past the corn stalks into the muddy fields on the hunt for the perfect pumpkins. Green ones, orange ones, speckled ones were all inspected by my tiny pumpkin hunter until we found 5 that met her expectations. More pictures were taken as we headed back to the car, holding hands and excitedly talking about which ones we’d carve first.

My sweet girl. I wish every day could bring as much magic as my time with her this weekend. These are the days that make my heart happy.

goose girl and goat girl and goat goat corn pig pigs piglet unicorn and happy girl little girl and unicorn water pie pumpkins happy girl little girl shoes pumpkin family in pumpkin patch girl in pumpkin patch girl with pumpkinFather and daughterunicorn and pumkins


Today, I am angry.

If you’ve been following any social media platform over the past few days, you’ve seen the hashtag, #metoo. This tag is to give awareness to how often women have been sexually harassed or assaulted. Post after post, message after message from my friends read, “Me too”. Some meekly acknowledged it, still holding on to the shame; others finding their voice. So many women, and some men have posted.

I remembered this post, my “me too” sitting in a draft that I have been writing for multiple years. It’s embarrassing, it’s awful. It’s one of many situations, some worse, most better. I cringe when I read the words I have written, as I don’t see myself as a victim. I am loud, tough and pride myself on my years of work in the sexual assault education, prevention and research field. THIS was my background, all I lived, breathed and ate for years. But nonetheless, it happened. This is my story.

Today, I am angry. I was angry yesterday and the day before, too. I was disappointed. I was hurt. I was trying to make it not my fault.

If you follow this blog solely for happiness, recipes and all the good stuff, you may want to pass up this post. I hope you don’t, since this needs to be read.

Saturday, I went to pick up kids books off of one of those Buy Nothing Facebook pages. As I was driving there, I passed a house; one I hadn’t seen in years. It was a house that belonged to a man who tried to assault me.

I passed his house and I froze. I stopped my car in the middle of the street and thought about getting out. I didn’t, but good gravy, I wanted to. I wanted to scream at it, drag him out and yell at how low he made me feel, how he made me question my worth and every decision I made, and still make.  I gripped my steering wheel, my face getting hot. I stared, eventually driving away. How did I fucking get here…

Years ago, after a long term relationship ended, I went on a date. It was way too soon and I was not thinking with my head or heart, I was thinking with my hurt. I wanted to feel attractive, like there was hope for my future, and I needed that pain to go away.  I had met a man at my neighborhood pub, and we hit it off, him chatting me up about a book I was reading-some Russian Lit novel (yes, I am that girl that reads random books in bars). An hour quickly passed, and it was time for me to go home to my empty house. He asked if I wanted to go out another time, and I said yes. I walked home feeling happy about things.

We met up a few days later at a place I felt safe, a local brewery owned, staffed and visited by my friends-he would be on my territory. When he showed up in socks and Birkenstock’s, I let that go (I am open minded you know). The plan was to have a beer and chat, and go for dinner in the area. I’d drive my car, and he’d drive his. No pressure.  When he brought me to a vegan restaurant, I let that go too, as he noted, animals are just so cute. The night would go on and we would chat, the charm of the first night fading, but I was still interested in how this could go. We talked about our recent failed relationships, him lamenting “if she had just listened to me”….Hi, flashing red light. We opted to go to another brewery, again owned by my friends. I thought, “what could happen”, so I left my car in my ‘hood and took his, despite being against every rule I had. We played darts, we talked; we didn’t have a lot in common but it was still nice to be out. Towards the end of the night, I was done. I was ready to go home. I wasn’t feeling it, he had recent relationship issues and I was tired of looking at his socks and sandals. I asked to head out and go back to my car. “Sure, I gotta make one stop”.

To his house.

I offered to stay in the car, I didn’t know this guy well, but I changed my mind. I didn’t want to be rude despite every part of me knowing this was a bad idea. I knew in my head this was the wrong decision and I went in anyway.

I wanted to go home, but I was in his space. He showed me around his house, bragging about the remodeling he had done, his mountain climbing pictures, and all the crap he collected.  I was getting uncomfortable and mentioned it was time to go, but he expected more, since he took me out and I entered his home.

Suddenly, hands, arms, and a mouth were everywhere. A man that outweighed me by at least 100 lbs thought it would be ok to see how far he could go, and I said no, which he didn’t get. I remember looking at him, his sneer. His shirt came off, and I asked him what he was thinking. As he came closer I remember my heart sinking.

And not because of him, but because of me. I broke every rule I had. Everything I taught classes about, I ignored it all. I wasn’t just angry at him, I was angry at myself. I started to push him away, and he laughed and told that it was either put out, or figure out where I was and find a way to get home.

I froze.

So I bargained. If he just let me go home, I’d go out with him again. Words like, “please”, and “I’m sorry” came out of my mouth softly. I didn’t want to make it a bigger thing than it was. I wanted to go home.

When that didn’t work, I fought and I yelled. I pushed and hit him.

And when that wasn’t enough, I threatened to call the police.

That was finally enough for everything to stop and it was like a switch flipped. He got off me and put his shirt back on and looked for his keys. It took the potential for arrest when all I had wanted was to go home. He looked at me, shrugged and said “whatever”, eventually driving me back to my car, asking if I had any “bitches” he could hook up with. I looked at him and asked if he ate paint chips as a child (in retrospect, probably not a wise move).

As a woman you end up assessing situations in advance. You size up situations and men and think about how the situation could go. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you don’t and sadly this isn’t a one-off.

So, why am I angry, dear reader? I was in a shitty situation where someone took advantage when they shouldn’t have. I put myself in a situation that I shouldn’t have. I didn’t call the cops when I should have and that son of a bitch has likely done that to some other girl. I am left with a lot of should haves.

I am fierce, loud and I don’t take shit and it scares me that this could have happened to someone else who isn’t that way.  More than that, I am angry my friends have gone through this, and so much worse. I am mad that so few men are speaking up on behalf of women. I am angry that I carry this shame and embarrassment and that I feel like I need to apologize for my actions and justify every step I took.

And yet I do. Like millions of women the world over.

So, what do we do?

We stand united. We share our voice. We demand change in policy that holds rapists and harassers accountable with legitimate sentencing terms. And we don’t stop. We leverage our ally’s, so our voice is louder and we work to forgive ourselves, when that voice of self-blame says otherwise. And we breathe.

I love all of you who have gone or will go through this. To each of you, I am so, so sorry. I love you and if your voice is silenced, I will be there to make it loud.