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Call for Submissions, Parts: A Maternal Dichotomy

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CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Parts: A Maternal Dichotomy Deadline: January 26, 2018 For more information contact: writingmothersworkshop@gmail.com Parts: A Maternal Dichotomy aims to explore how we see ourselves and our bodies. Does motherhood offer pride, shame, love, appreciation, or disdain for your body? Is there a body part that you adore or abhor? How has your body changed? How have you changed? What stories do you carry in the folds, scars, wrinkles of your body?
Guidelines: There is a $5 submission fee.* Please submit a black and white selfie and written piece to writingmothersworkshop@gmail.com. Every picture is taken by the author, unedited, unfiltered and accompanied by a written piece. This can be a poem, prose piece, or a single line. The written piece cannot exceed one page and must be in 18 point font. No body part is too small, too insignificant, too risque. It is our goal to give the author full license to explore their self. If selected, you will be asked to enlarge the photo …

Time Does Not Always Heal

Today is a local walk to prevent suicide in a nearby town. I should be there. I know I should. But, I also know that in this season of my life, I cannot be. Instead, I'm sitting in my writing space this morning, listening to Billie Holiday, drinking coffee, and writing. This notion that grief heals with time does not apply to me. There are days that are better than others, no doubt about it. There are months that are easier to manage than others. And, there have been years that are easier to plow through than others. This year is not that year.
I beat myself up about skipping this year's event for a few weeks. I told myself I really should participate, since I do take a strong public stand in regards to suicide prevention and mental health awareness, but I just could not. We're nearing the three year anniversary of my brother's death and I'm finding it much more difficult than I anticipated. Why? I do not know. I could say three is my number. Always has been. When …

Mommy to Mom

Published on The Ma Books August 2017      A few days ago, my eldest daughter left her carefree childhood days behind to enter her tumultuous teenage years. The tween years were trying. The endless eye rolls, the heavy stomping, the slamming of doors, the unexpected tears, the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows. It was bittersweet. I watched the child my daughter once was slowly disappear, leaving me with this new person who no longer called me Mommy, but Mom. In all of the changes, this is what stopped my heart. The first time I heard it, I looked around, wondering who said that. No one in my house called me Mom.I shrugged it off until I watched that word come out of my daughter’s mouth, meant for me. I felt like it was a word bullet, hitting me directly in my chest. Stopping my heart, halting my breath. Mom. Was I now Mom? It may just be a word, but it was more than that for me. It was leaving behind not only Mommy, but the little person that once called me that. It was closing…

Monthly art lesson: Cubism Portrait

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While cleaning out the other day, I found the kids' school pictures from last year. We had a ton left over and I thought of a project. We grabbed scissors, glue, our Summer sketchbooks, and the pictures. We read a book about Picasso which is now out of print, talked about Picasso, and got to work. 
Cut the pictures into various shapes and begin to place the pictures into interesting cubist portraits. I loved the way these came out and it was so nice to have a few quiet moments to create alongside my kids. We talked a lot about why they think art matters, why it's important. I've worked very hard to include it in their lives since they were little because I feel that art does have the power to make you look at the world differently, makes you find your own way of looking at the world, and is a powerful agent of change. In our current world, one positive thing I'm seeing is more and more art, whether it be resistance choirs, dance troupes, or muralists, if you look for i…

Homemade Ice Cream

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It's National Ice Cream Day! To celebrate, I'm sharing two homemade ice cream recipes that are so easy and you don't need to own an ice cream maker. I use my Vitamix, but a food processor works just as well. I will say, these don't keep well but that's okay, because they are so easy, you will want to devour them the day you make them. We usually make these at dinner clean up and freeze them for an hour then enjoy! First up is Strawberry. Add a bunch of frozen strawberries, some milk, and a squeeze of lemon juice. I never measure anything, just eye everything. (Sorry, not a food blogger!) Blend in food processor or blender, freeze until desired consistency. 
My favorite is banana peanut butter. Add frozen bananas, peanut butter, and milk. Blend in food processor or blender, freeze until desired consistency. Super duper easy and so fresh and delicious.

An Afternoon at the Museum 

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Spent the afternoon at Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and loved every minute of it. Much to my children's chagrin, I'm a museum junkie. However, the ICA is super family friendly and not too large to tucker and/or bore them. We went specifically for Nari Ward's exhibit, an inspiring, meaningful, and thought provoking exhibit. As much as I love art, I love reading the descriptions for each piece and this exhibit was one of my very favorites. The found material, the symbols, the messages, the composition, the meaning, it was amazing. To do museums on the cheap, check your local library, they usually have passes and most museums in our city have many free days to offer. Check also for family guides at the front desk, a great way to distract and entertain the kiddos. Happy weekend! 

A Gift in the Gym Locker Room

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On Saturday, I completed the balance of my shoulder tattoos. On my right shoulder, I have a morning glory for my paternal grandmother and now on my right shoulder, I have a daisy for my maternal grandmother. Both women meant the world to me and inspired me to be the person I am today. They were both humble, hard working, and hilarious. They guided me through life and they continue to do so in their absence. Having them both on my shoulders is a little reminder for me to forge ahead. 
Every Monday, I head to the gym for a long workout. If I'm being honest, I mainly go so I can sit in the sauna after my workout. This morning, after my 10 minutes of scorching nirvana, I headed back to my locker to get my shower stuff. An older woman stopped me and said, "Oh my goodness, your tattoos are so beautiful." I thanked her and she continued, "I made a promise to myself when I made it to 80, I'd get a tattoo." I smiled and answered the usual questions I get from peopl…