Archive for the ‘change’ Category

Generally, if you choose and seek out good health, it takes a lot of work. Bad health is easy – you don’t care what you put in your body, you eat what you want. It is very passive. But living that way has consequences, causes all sorts of health problems…and the usual solution to those health problems is to pop a pill or five. (Take this to lower your blood pressure, take this to lower your cholesterol, maybe take this magic pill to lose weight, take this pill for joint pain).

But if you choose good health, it is something you are always thinking about, always working on. And if you have food allergies, and are trying to control health issues through changes in your diet, it takes even more work. However, the payoff is awesome. But there is no such thing as just popping something into your mouth.

That doesn’t mean you don’t get to have awesomely yummy things though, even if you are trying to get rid of all processed sugar from your diet.

I’ve been on a pumpkin kick lately (yay fall). A few mornings this week, I made up some slow-cooking oatmeal, threw in some pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, some walnuts and maybe a teaspoon of agave syrup — super yummy, super healthy, keeps you full for a long time, and did I mention yummy?

Then I still had some pumpkin puree left but didn’t want to cook oatmeal. Solution, smoothie! Ice, almond milk, pumpkin puree, maybe a teaspoon of Oregon Chai concentrate, maybe a teaspoon of agave syrup, soy protein powder (no added sugar), ohmydogggg that is seriously good stuff. Liquid, kind of frozen, pumpkin pie. Yes please!

I’ve recently started reading Pumpkin and Pomegranate’s awesome blog, who eats very similar to how I am eating these days and she always has these fabulous sounding recipes. She has mentioned several times this raw vegan chocolate pudding that she made up, and I just had to make some. I had to adapt it slightly as I didn’t have dates on hand, so I used some agave syrup, but ohwowow, so very yummy. And you would never know the base was avocado. (yes, really).

I made up some of that pudding last night, and topped it off with some pomegranate arils, and felt like I was eating the dessert of the gods.

This morning, I was making up a smoothie, and threw in the last of the pumpkin puree, the last of the chocolate pudding I made last night, some ice, vanilla almond milk, soy protein powder and a bit of Oregon Chai for flavor and entered the land of smoothie happiness. Between the protein, the good-for-you fat from the avocado, the vitamins from the pumpkin, the potassium from the banana…it was serious health food and has kept me full from 8 am. till just after noon.

Who says healthy eating has to be boring?! And bonus…I went to the dermatologist for a follow up appt yesterday, and they checked my blood pressure. My blood pressure is always very good, but yesterday it was 98/66 – and since I’ve just started exercising again this week, the only big change has been working to remove all refined sugar from my diet. I’d say it is fixing and improving me in all sorts of ways!



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Hellooooo out there!

‘Tis I, Flying Mermaid, finally returned from her great, mighty Mermaid adventure off on the other side of the ocean and eager to return to her bloggy home.

Ok, really, I’m not returning from anywhere, other than a very long blog hiatus, but I am very happy to be returning to blog land!

I last posted in July (hangs head with a bit of shame) but life has been a whirlwind since then!

There was work-land, which has been occupying my thoughts in a way that I didn’t want to share here (this is a public blog after all). But suffice it to say, my head has been bogged down by that a lot, and since I didn’t want to share my thoughts on it, I just didn’t share at all!

Then there was Sadie. We adopted a coon hound puppy in August…and our lives turned upside down and inside out. Suddenly we had no time to relax, to sit and do nothing, to read in peace, and anything that we normally did (including blogging) was out the window.

Sadie was not a good fit for us. We did everything possible for her, taking her for lots of walks, giving her play time and teaching her commands, and having less and less time to do anything for us, not associated with Sadie. Hounds require a lot of time, a lot of exercise, way more than we could provide.  And then there was Myra WonderPup. Myra, my sweet, happy, loves other dogs and people, that Myra — she disappeared entirely. She HATED Sadie. She was depressed. She was growling at Sadie all the time, and showing her teeth. We tried to make sure we were balancing play time and affection, and Myra got the short end of that stick. Every time we would try to cuddle with Myra, Sadie would jump in and Myra would get up and walk away. When we played with Myra, Sadie would jump in and take her toys and Myra would growl and walk away and not play anymore. Plus B works from home and Sadie made that very, very challenging for him.

We found a new home for Sadie, a wonderful, perfect for her in every way home, where she would have lots and lots of outside time, and kids to play with and a high-energy Jack Russell to play with, and an owner who would take her on truck rides and hunting trips. Perfect Sadie land!

I am not looking for “shame on you” or “you should have known what you were getting into” or “how could you do that?” This was a decision we felt was truly best for everyone involved, me, B, Myra, and Sadie.

And then I’ve also been growing Flying Mermaid Photography!

I’ve had my first professional shoots:




I entered the NC state fair photo exhibit with the picture below (my first ever photo contest/juried art show!)


I have a photo on display/for sale at a new yoga studio in Raleigh.

I am gearing up for my first wedding on Saturday, and for the bride, I’ve also done her bridal shower pictures



And her bachelorette party


I attended the wedding of another friend


B is starting up a videography business, partnered with Flying Mermaid Photography for some projects. We had our first joint project, a high school recruitment video for a high school football player.


And then there has been just regular life stuff, but Flying Mermaid Photography has definitely been taking up a chunk of time – time I am more than happy to be spending! Dream growing, doing what I love, what brings me passion, is so rewarding (even if it has made me busy!)

I will be back to regular blogging now, I look forward to connecting again!

love and mermaid splashes!

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When I was in high school and college, I had short hair, but since then, I haven’t had it really short again. I have curly hair, and when it grows out, it tends to grow up and sideways and afro-like before it grows down.

But I’ve been wanting to do it for a while, and I was finally ready to deal with the growing out stage when I get sick of it being short (enter lots of cute scarves and headbands!)

So yesterday I cut off ALL My hair, all my curls, and have a very sassy, spunky pixie cut that I absolutely love. I can wear it funky with gel or wax, I can wear it straight, I get to play around with it.This is the shortest it has ever been!


This was last week in Belize on my honeymoon (those pictures and stories will be coming likely this weekend).

And this was me yesterday when I got home from cutting off the curls.




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2008 started out innocently enough, but I was questioning the relationship I was in at the time and feeling as though it wasn’t the relationship I was to spend the rest of my life in.

Then I got the call at work. My mom had had another grand mal seizure and was in the hospital, maybe a day or two before I was scheduled to fly up for a slightly post-Christmas Christmas with my family. I felt as far away and helpless as I did when I got a similar call in Portland. But this time, it appeared even worse, as my mom was even in greater pain this time and we learned she had fractured more vertebrae in her spine. All of a sudden, our Christmas plans flew out the window and I scrambled at work to make arrangements. All I knew was that I had to be home to help my mom, and I didn’t know how long I would be out of the office. My boss and everyone at work were great and helpful. When I arrived in Massachusetts, seeing my mom in the hospital bed, in pain, was heart-wrenching and frightening. Daughter had to become Mother and I had to take care of my mom, as she couldn’t do much on her own when she came home from the hospital and my dad couldn’t take that much time off of work. I will always be grateful to my boss for making it possible for me to be there, through some creative figuring of my vacation and sick time.

But despite the fear and my new role as temporary caretaker, the time up north also presented me with a gift. While I was up there, I had a chance to go to New Hampshire on a day my dad had taken off work to take my  mom to see her neurologist. The trip to NH was to see B, for the first time in almost a decade. He had e-mailed me back in November and our friendship immediately began again with that first e-mail. I drove up north to see him on Jan. 8, nervous and excited and even more. When I first saw him, when he first picked me up in a mighty bear hug and swung me around, I knew. My heart knew.

When I left Massachusetts to return to North Carolina, I was nervous to leave my mom, even though she had made significant improvements just in the two weeks I was home with her, and I knew that I had to end things with Tim. It was hard, but very amicable, Tim wanted me happy, and he knew things with us weren’t working. We are still close friends.

Ending one relationship, I walked into another, one that felt like coming home, but B was still living in New Hampshire. We spent a lot of the first half of the year on planes and airports, and I cried more in those months than I had probably in the year or two previous. Every time we left each other again, my heart ripped out of my chest, and missing him was my constant companion.

Not long after I came back to NC, Mik moved down from Massachusetts, and she and Loki moved in here with me and MyraWonderPup. I had never really had a roommate — I lived with two of my past boyfriends, and I had a roommate briefly before I moved in with Tim, so we both had some learning and adjustments to make.

B finally moved down here, home with me, in August. Since then, I have started rock climbing with him, and found a new love and passion.

Through it all, I’ve  fallen more in love with photography, got back into painting, began to explore more with cooking, and started dancing with the stories in my head again.

2009 looks like it will be a busy, adventurous first half of the year — buying a house, moving, planning for our May wedding, honeymoon in Belize. But I really want to find and take more time for me this year, to pursue and focus on the things that get my heart stirring and send my spirits flying – photography, writing, playing with color, climbing, being outdoors, and of course…loving B, and adventuring side by side from now on.

Welcome, 2009.

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I have never been much of a political sort. I don’t usually follow politics, it tends to make me sad, disheartened. The fact that our current President can’t speak in coherent sentences is painful and embarrassing.

But this election, I’ve changed. I read news stories all the time about what is happening, voting trends, all of it.

And this year, I am excited. I am hopeful. I voted early. I watched all the debates. I am staying home tonight with B and Mik to watch the results of the election and expect I will be crying happy tears and celebrating and cheering. I never thought I would feel this way.

In watching the campaigns, I have been struck by how different they have been. On the Republican side, rallies and messages have been nasty, dirty. Celebrating mob mentality, spewing hate and viciousness and racist remarks. Where crowds go from calling Obama every name under the sun, rally attendees saying that he is a Muslim and a terrorist, just because of his name and skin color, to turning on news crews, and making racist remarks to black cameramen. It is the absolute worst sides of people. It is ignorant, it is hateful, and this is what the Republicans are crowing about, about how their base is “Fired up.” And on top of that, they are praising these people for being true Americans, and Pro-America. It’s disgusting. It doesn’t make me proud to be an American.

And then on the Democrat side…you see such a vastly different picture. People are hopeful. People have found someone to look up to. They have hope that someone will try to help them make their lives better, will try to make our environment better, will talk to enemies instead of just blowing them to kingdom come. They have hope that there will be someone leading the country who can serve as a true diplomat, and begin rebuilding the many, many bridges that have been burned and crushed with our allies.

In Obama, I see someone who is truly brilliant, articulate, compassionate and reasonable. These are good things, valuable things, in a world leader. I don’t want a leader who is “just like me.” I want someone leading this country who is a lot smarter than me, who surrounds himself with smart people. Whose first instinct isn’t to fight and attack and tear others down, but to carefully evaluate and reason. I see someone who has got young people and old people across the country excited about voting, about making their voices heard. I see someone who has inspired millions of people. That makes me proud to be an American.

B wrote the following this morning, “Today is going to be a victory for peace, environmental policy and social justice in our country. The result of our election will be a small but important step towards saving our planet.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Fire it up! Ready to go.

Go Obama!

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year of big changes

big leaps

becoming me

finding new passion

growing into the girl I always wanted to be, the one I felt like on the inside, who is now reflected on the outside


Moved to North Carolina from Oregon

Stayed in NC even though everything at first seemed to laugh and say This is not for you

But I fought through that, the tumultuousness, the financial stress, the what am I doing

and fell in love

North Carolina speaks to me

I fell in love with the sunshine, and even the heat seems to fit with me most of the time. I am a summer baby after all.

Found a job in a place that suits me well, challenges me intellectually and allows me to play with the different aspects of my work self. And it doesn’t drain me creatively during the day, so I have more time and thoughts for creativity outside of work, for me.

Took a creative leap and sold my first photographs, and felt a deep thrill at the enthusiastic response and encouragement and people’s desires for more. I found ME in this. I always felt I was a writer, and I started to play with a camera and enjoyed it but was a little scared of it as well. I’m not a photographer, I would say. I don’t know what I’m doing, I would say. And I am still a writer, and will always be a writer (and even that is a leap for me, saying I am a writer. I have written professionally for about 10 years but am only now comfortable saying I am a writer). Words dance in my head, stories are born in my dreams. But now, now I say I am a photographer. I get a deep joy and child-like enthusiasm at taking photos. I think in photos. I feel my fingers itch to have a camera with me whenever I don’t. And I love bringing joy to others through the way I see the world, sharing the beauty I see.

Found my health finally, after giving up gluten and casein. After feeling sick more often than not for a long time, feeling healthy and full of energy and not in a brain fog more often than not now is an incredible gift. A gift that takes a lot of work, but then, good health always takes work.

Found a new confidence as well and began wearing clothes that I always wanted to wear but never felt comfortable in — flitty skirts, bitch boots, heels, fun tops, lots of color and fun and feeling like me in how I dress. The girl who used to think, “oh I could never wear that,” now feels totally comfortable in those things, and now hear people saying to me, “oh I could never wear what you wear, I could never pull that off.”

Some of the changes were sad, difficult. I left a long-term relationship with someone I love and care about and who is one of my best friends but we were moving in different directions and needed different things and didn’t fit the same way anymore.

Since then, I have spent the longest time since I first moved out of my parents’ house after college not living with a boyfriend, and instead living with my best friend, SheHangsBrightly, for the first time, and the first time really living with a roommate. Both things have taught me a lot, and hopefully made me a better person to live with, as well as helping me learn how to make time for me, which is very important.

And some of the changes have brought great joy. After not speaking or seeing each other since 1999, I reconnected with my first love, my first boyfriend. We became friends again. We realized how much we had missed each other. And we realized we felt something much more for each other, something we have both always felt, even in our time apart. And after months of a long-distance relationship and numerous trips on my part up to NH and numerous trips on B’s part down here, B will be moving down home here on August 15. I can’t wait.

There have been many more challenges in there, and many more moments of joy and discovery and finding myself heading down a path that seems to be the one I was meant to walk down, but this captures the big stuff.

30 was an amazing year, and the opening of a door of many new possibilities and discovering of me, and becoming more authentically me all the time, and letting my light shine brightly.

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Dear January


Dear January,

You came in and swept in a number of life-changing winds with you. My mother, spending two weeks in Massachusetts helping her, Tim and knowing it was time to let each other go and time to walk down our different paths, and Brian and the bright path in front of me there.

Considering all of that, things went as smoothly as they could and often better than I feared. I’m excited about where my life is heading. I’m excited about the new path I will be walking down.

And I know the life-changing winds haven’t stopped blowing. Mikki and her Loki Dog will be moving down in a few weeks. I haven’t really ever been a roommate, so I have some learning to do there. Brian will be moving down here sometime in the coming months. I will be flying to NH and Massachusetts a fair amount in coming months as well.

I am excited about all this change and I love where my life is going. But dear 2008, I would also like some time to just sit and enjoy and reflect, if you don’t mind. Thank you!
Spin around in the kitchen, dance in the moonlight, find beauty and joy daily and love life. It’s a celebration.


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