Little Red Riding Hood Halloween Costume

Monday, October 8, 2018
Sometimes you peruse the aisles of TJ Maxx and stumble upon the most perfect little Halloween costume.

The costume calls to you. It pleads with you. "Purchase me! Purchase me! Your darling little red-head will win the world over with this costume on. It was made for her! Convince your 9 year old son that he really does want to be a wolf for Halloween. It will all work out. Just get me while you can!"

So you march to the cash register. Because when the clothes must obey.

And it turns out, my son is actually stoked to be the grandma. THE GRANDMA. Can't wait to share the photos of the whole family.

The Soil of Change

Thursday, September 20, 2018


{I snapped this photo in the Bloedell Reserve on Bainbridge Island--across the water from Seattle}

I often get overwhelmed with the state of affairs in our world today. Everything that’s broken seems impossibly beyond our ability to fix. The poverty, corruption, racism, refugee crisis, gun violence, political climate. It is more than I can process or understand. Am I the only one who sometimes feels utterly helpless in my ability to create a better world for my children? I can’t read the news or look too closely at what is really going on in some areas because I feel the pain too deeply and I lose my ability to function.

Yes, I vote. I try to make good choices. I pay my taxes, occasionally say my prayers. I donate to good causes, I try to stay educated and informed on current issues. But I’m a mom with young kids. My life is chaotic, busy, messy, and at times, very unfocused. What can I really do to help heal the world?

I think the answer to this huge question is Small. I can start small. We all need to think smaller. When we think smaller, magic happens. We will only see the change above ground if the soil beneath is rich and deep.

The soil is our families and our communities.

I’ve recently started a part-time job as a librarian at the Park City Library on Park Ave in Old Town. Of all the things in life I dreamed of becoming, being a librarian was not one of them. In fact, it’s the furthest thing I can think of from what I thought I always wanted to be: a Broadway star. However, I’ve discovered that the soil is extremely fertile on the library grounds and its kept me planted and nourished.

Take, for example, the young man with slurred speech and a limp in his walk who entered the library a few days ago asking for help to print a document. I knew nothing about him, but from the outside, we were different as night and day: literally. Dark skin, tall, dressed in athleisure attire, struggling to walk (Meanwhile, I dance full out to George Michael in the back room when I’m checking in books).

As we stood at the printer and I assisted him with the process, his cell phone rang and I happened to glance over and see that the screen said, “MOM”. Now, I had no ill feelings whatsoever toward this patron, but when I saw the word “MOM” on his phone screen, I softened inside on a deeper level. This beautiful man is someone’s son! He has a mom who loves him and is calling to check up on him…I better do my best to take care of him while he’s here at the library. I started a conversation with him and we enjoyed chatting for a minute or two. We exchanged smile after smile and several ‘Thank you’s” and You’re Welcome’s.

Exchanges like these happen everyday at the library, but for some reason this experience really hit me.

Or what about yesterday when I got to participate in our book club for adults with disabilities? We went around the circle giving updates on our lives, including how Maddi’s favorite stuffed animal , Rudolph is doing. We slowly took turns reading Chapter 1 of “Treasure Island” , letting each person pronounce the words however they wanted, then discussed the history and impact of this literary adventure we were undertaking.

We have the East Coaster who recently moved to a nice neighborhood in Park City, daughter is attending Private School, and they’d like a library card. Sure thing! While they fill out the paper work we find out all sorts of things we have in common and I suggest a restaurant for dinner and welcome them to town.  

The highschool students who use our study rooms, who are cramming for their chemistry exam. Chemistry! Wow, I never took chemistry. Oh, it’s because you want to go to med school? How wonderful. You’ll do great! Here, I have an extra granola bar if you need it.

A nanny in town watching a crying toddler while the family skis? Why yes, I can help you figure out which bus to take to get back to your hotel so this little guy can take a nap. You’re from Los Angeles? That’s so great. I used to live there. That’s where I met my husband. You’re from Jamaica? One of my best friend’s I performed with in college is from Jamaica. It was so great to meet you, too. Looks like your bus is pulling up.

Bob with the long white beard, turns in a book and tells me with a wink in his eye, “If you’re a liberal, you won’t like this book, but I loved it.” That’s ok, Bob. You and your wife are so sweet. I like you regardless of your political beliefs.

This is the magic. This is the fertile soil of change I’m talking about.  It’s the magic of staying within sight and sound of each other as a community.

I’ll never write or pass a bill, be a lobbyist or politician. Heck, even if I were, my hands would be tied in so many different knots I’d hardly be able to create the changes I want.

Here’s the thing: We argue those with opposing view points on social media. We avoid topics with our families over the holidays because there are certain touchy subjects. (Gun control- ahem) We get so upset, angry even, when we focus on our differing beliefs. But I have truly found that it is difficult to hate someone up close.

I certainly don’t have all the answers. But my heart tells me that this is the answer. At least for me.  New York City or Park City. Nowhere Tennessee, Tulsa, Oklahoma or Tallahassee, Florida—we must nourish the community soil in our churches, libraries, CLUBS, sports teams, schools, and families.

No challenge before us is more important — and more potentially life-giving — than that we come to see and know our fellow citizens, our neighbors, who have become strangers. The more we care for one another, the greater and more vibrant our blossom and our harvest.

I may be small. My acts may be small, but they can affect great change. So next time you get overwhelmed with the gigantic problems facing our nation and our world, remember to keep it small. Think of me, all 5’1” of me. Think of these words, the grown man with his mom still checking in on him, and decide to go out into the community and till a little dirt.

Dear Bulimia

Thursday, September 6, 2018


(swollen face, chin acne)

Dear Bulimia,

I learned yesterday, while attending Toastmaster’s and hearing my friend practice her upcoming Ted Talk, that in the late 1960’s, the sugar industry funded research that downplayed the risks of sugar and highlighted the hazards of fat---which began the great “low fat” craze that peaked in the 1980’s and 90’s—right when I was a floundering, susceptible teenager. And not just any teenager. I was a singing, dancing, cheerleading teenager which put me at even a higher risk of becoming intimately acquainted with you.

I’m still working through my anger with you. I want to blame the “Sugar Research Foundation” for our ongoing relationship. Though I rarely see you anymore, you are still a heavy presence in my life. You stole SO MANY moments from me. You took away roles I could have been cast in, relationships I could have had, experiences I could have participated in. You demanded I give you all my time and attention and I’ll never have those years back.

I’m still trying to forgive you for what you stole from me. Even though I’ve come a long way and set healthy boundaries with you, I realized yesterday that I haven’t fully let go of our past relationship. I still harbor such ill feelings toward you. I have visions of me attending NYU, being on Broadway, dating more guys, enjoying my high school and college years without your looming ugliness.

But I must forgive you. Not for your sake, but for mine. I can’t blame those greedy Harvard scientists or the sugar industry. They are accountable for much of the obesity and health issues in our society today, yes. All I can do is take responsibility for my own behavior, educate myself and others, and learn from my destructive relationship with you.

And if I can save one soul out there from entering into a toxic relationship with you, my suffering will have been worth it.

Despite what you’d have me think, I am so much more than my body. My body is an instrument, not an ornament. Fat is good and essential. All calories are good calories. It's tough to recover from an eating disorder in a culture that celebrates eating disorders. So EFF OFF!

The reopening of my wounds yesterday leaves me with two choices: I can sulk in the pain of the past or celebrate the progress of the present.

I’ve come so far. You held me as a slave once and I won’t give you that power again.



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