Meditations for Queer Femmes — Singing and Singing!

The other day, Tex was out walking in the neighborhood, noticing and remembering. Here was where the wisteria vine used to be, before a McMansion was built and glommed up the old lady’s garden. Here’s another huge McMansion on the grave of a dear little ranch. And another. Here’s where our sweet pug friend Violet used to live, before she went over the rainbow bridge. Here’s where a neighbor saw and reported to us that our son and his friends were smoking cigarettes. Sometimes it feels like there’s nothing but sadness and bother going on around where we live. But then Tex walked past a front lawn garden where once upon a time there were chemicals and nary a dandelion. She waved at the baby snowsuited up and rolling by in her stroller, daughter of new neighbors, young queer parents. And she heard birdsong: chickadees, finches, a Carolina wren.

“And it was coming from our yard, baby!” she told me, radiant.

Our yard, where she’s been caring so lovingly for the birds, filling feeders with the best food, keeping them clean, changing the water in the birdbath every morning, scavaging Christmas trees so the winter birds have a bit more cover. Thank you, say the birds, thank you, they sing.

My darlings, my peachy keen passionate femme sisters, you, too, are singing and singing! What you touch, what you love, what you put your heart into, no matter the quirks or difficult days or misunderstandings and loss, what you grow with your kindness and attention radiates out into the street, into the neighborhood, into the lives of people you don’t even know. Your song makes the world more nuanced, more wide-open to connection, more sweet.

Sing and sing, you brilliant queer femme music makers! You are an integral part in the chorus of healing and of love.

Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes, in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was fabulous, and from whom I inherited her Meditations for Women.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) And…as I go through life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Published in: on January 24, 2022 at 9:21 AM  Comments (4)  
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Meditations for Queer Femmes – Living for the Apocalypse

Today I was much on the phone with my mother’s health insurance company as I sort out claims and coverage.

            “Do you mind if I place you on that hold?” says the agent, and I listen to the same strange riff of repeating music. “Ooh, wah wah!” sing the ladies, and suddenly I’m having a slight out-of-body experience, rather common lately, to tell you the truth, where I sort of float sideways and stand beside myself, thinking, “Hmm, what exactly is going on here?”

            My 89-year old mother just got out of the hospital, and is currently receiving 24/7 home health care at her assisted living facility. There wasn’t a diagnosis for her changed behavior and constant dozing, but one of the aides told me that my mom had been up six times the night before, wanting to get ready to go down to breakfast. I guess every time she wakes up, she has a sense of urgency that she needs to be somewhere. Which, come to think of it, might be a big reason her behavior was off: she has completely exhausted herself.

            It’s pretty obvious that she needs another level of care so that her energy and attention can be gently redirected and she can get a little assistance staying in the reassuring present moment without stressing that she’s got something else she’s supposed to be doing. That’s what I was working on today for her – ooh, wah wah! – as I waited on the phone. I am very glad to do it, too, because she can’t manage on her own anymore; she can’t even express what might or might not be troubling her.

            Oh darlings, aren’t we, too, a bit weary of living for the apocalypse? Waiting, preparing for the very worst? How might we get off that hamster wheel? Give our belabored adrenals a rest?

            Sweet petals of femme daintiness, times are strange and getting stranger. Some things we have absolutely no control over, and yet they affect us and will direct us into a frenzy if we aren’t careful.

            Do, oh do, be careful with yourselves and your direction today, my lambs.

            Let the apocalypse recede with the ooh wah wahs, place it on that hold, and stay here, with me, with yourself, with the dear and the good and the present.

            Deep roots, feet on the ground, as the old wise world goes round.

Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes, in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was fabulous, and from whom I inherited her Meditations for Women.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) And…as I go through graduate school and life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Pingy-Dingy Wednesday – Susan Robbins’ Zoom Sings

Last night I was singing about light in the darkness and night-blooming jasmine as candles flickered and other women in the zoom room danced, played drums, closed their eyes and opened their hearts. This was my second year joining Susan Robbins for her Solstice Sing, and it was again extremely moving and meaningful.

Susan Robbins, you get one pingy-dingy! Thank you for your kind, creative, talented, calm, and loving presence ushering us through the longest night of the year and beyond.

You can learn more about Susan and her work below. Keep singing!

Susan Robbins, Founder and Artistic Director of Libana

RECENT ON-AIR and ONLINE ARTICLES ON LIBANA!

   All Things Considered

   MusicOvation

   Arts Fuse

   Making Music Magazine  

Libana’s Sites:

   libana.com

   facebook.com/Libanamusic   

   sonicbids.com/Libana 

   youtube.com/user/libanamusic

   twitter.com/Libanamusic

   http://journals.worldnomads.com/libana/ (Libana’s India travel blog)

Director of Third Life Studio

   thirdlifestudio.com

   facebook.com/thirdlifestudio.unionsquare

I’m a typewriter whompin’, card catalogue lovin’ white girl from back in the day, and I yearn for a time before the covers of trade paperbacks were all squidgy, so you can imagine that I don’t actually understand what a pingback is. I do know that it can in some way be part of spreading the love, and since that’s what I’m all about at The Total Femme… every Wednesday, I pay homage to the laughter and inspiration to be had elsewhere online.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) And…as I go through graduate school and life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Published in: on December 22, 2021 at 1:27 PM  Leave a Comment  
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She’s Let Herself Go

When I was a kid in the 60s and 70s, my father had a little red book featuring a calorie counter, a cardboard wheel. You turned it to the food item you were contemplating eating, say an apple, and the number of calories would appear in a little window. 100, if I remember correctly, and I think I do, because I spent a lot of time as a teen counting and recording my calories.

            It was a time not so different from the present, when bodies were considered imperfect and needing to be taken in hand. Watched and examined with an exacting eye, pruned and denigrated, gone over with a fine-toothed, angry comb, as if those things would reap anything other than despair. As if those things could make the world a better place to live in.

            “She’s let herself go,” we would say, shaking our heads at the family friend who never lost her pregnancy weight, at the neighbor for whom menopause brought about changes in belly and butt. “She’s really let herself go.”

            Looking in the mirror recently, that phrase drifted into my mind.

            Even now, all this time later, even after all these years of body positivity, of the company of everyone from Susie Orbach (Fat is a Feminist Issue, 1978) to Sonya Renee Taylor (The Body is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love, book published in 2018, international movement ongoing), I still glimpsed my lovely body in the mirror and thought, “I’ve really let myself go.”

            I caught myself immediately, happily, no spiraling into misery as might once have happened. And then I started thinking about that phrase. Does letting yourself go have to be a bad thing? The family friend, the neighbor – me – aren’t we all actually letting ourselves and our bodies be? Be exactly where and who we are, right now, right here?

            When you let go, you allow a little more space into your life.

            When you let go, there’s room for different and other and wonderful to show up, and more importantly, room for you to notice them showing up.

            When you let go, your shoulders relax, your face unclenches, you breathe deeply into your beautiful belly.

            It’s not just about your body, either. This culture is obsessed with MAKING YOURSELF A BETTER PERSON. Because for sure, all the ads scream at us, something is definitely wrong with you. For sure there is. And there are products and programs and apps and medicine and on and on that you must purchase and pay attention to, PAY ATTENTION, YOU! that will help steer you right, but only if you pay and only if you work yourself into a frenzy.

            No.

            Look up and out. The moon is gorgeous.

            Feel the earth. The Solstice is upon us.

            Put your hand on your heart and know its rhythm. That is the real grounding.

            Give gratitude for your connection with the creatures in your small corner of the world. That is true freedom.

            Darlings and dearests, how precious your bodies, your lives, your interests, your love, your place here among us.          

            Oh, you know it! You know what I’m going to say now. Say it with me:

            Let yourselves go!

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) And…as I go through graduate school and life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Published in: on December 20, 2021 at 7:58 AM  Comments (4)  
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Meditations for Queer Femmes – Doze. Wake Up.

As 60 rapidly approaches, it seems like a good thing to beef up my sleep hygiene. Well, I hadn’t heard of it before and perhaps you hadn’t either, but Tex is all over it, due to her life-long intimacy with restless leg syndrome. To have squeaky clean sleep hygiene, you’re supposed to be awake for 16 hours every day, no matter the kind of night you’ve had, like if the dog had the runs and you were out with him several times or if you keep jerking awake reliving bad moments, regrets, making dire conclusions. You must still get your ass out of bed at, say 6am, if, like moi, you want to tumble back into bed at around 10pm. If you stick to this routine, says Tex, your quality of sleep will get better and better.

This morning, I had to get up to pee at 4am. That is a rum time, so it is, just a little too close to dawn, and very difficult to fall back to sleep. Back in the day, I would go out and walk if that happened, lovely, actually, and I’ve seen foxes and even once a fishercat. Not happening these days, so I got back in, doubting I’d sleep anymore, despite the kitty snuggling and purring. My mind gets going and that’s that. Instead of running after it, though, this morning I tried to stay still.

Doze. Wake up.

Flitting from thought to prayer to memory to dipping down into dream, I was a bee, a butterfly, a bat. I was a pollinator, gathering here, moving there, never staying too long anywhere. Ideas, admonishments, shame, funny memories, the cat starts to wash, there’s a breeze, I’m dreaming bits and pieces of the book I’m reading (a bully at the door, my hair wet from an ocean swim). The room is lighter now and a morning feel replaces pre-dawn anxiety. It’s 6 and I’m up, the Carolina wren is singing, singing.

Do you have nights that pass this way? Days? A whole life? My therapist says this is a legit and perfectly fine human way to live, moving from interest to interest, wide open and fascinated by the wide open world of ideas, history, places, beauty, art, work, amazement. Sometimes I believe her, and sometimes I think, “What do I have to show for myself?” I certainly was never a company man, for instance, no trappings, no legacy that looks like a legacy in this Western industrial complex of money and greed.

Just dozing and waking up, over and over. Just human, just doing what humans do best: connecting to the wide open world.

Snickerdoodles, butterscotch beloveds, how do you connect with your sweet beating hearts full of femme love? To this world where we are right now with its troubles and with its joys, so full of all and everything? How are you connecting every day to your very human femme selves and out and beyond? How are you sleeping? And how are you managing to stay awake?

With love, so much love, from right here with you.

Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes, in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was fabulous, and from whom I inherited her Meditations for Women.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) And…as I go through graduate school and life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Published in: on September 6, 2021 at 2:47 PM  Comments (2)  
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Femme Friday – Raechel Anne Jolie and her memoir Rust Belt Femme

I just, just, just started it and am already captivated by Raechel’s beautiful writing and honesty. She starts off with a quote by Mykel Johnson, who I knew back in the day when we did anti-racism for white women work together and also from her wonderful contribution to Joan Nestle’s The Persistent Desire: A Femme-Butch Reader, “Butchy Femme”:

To be femme is to give honor where there has been shame.

Raechel goes on to write,

“This book about my deep love of the soil and sky that comprises Northeast Ohio is actually a book about my deep love of the soil and sky that comprises stolen Iroquois land. I am indebted to the work of indigenous activists and healers who have taught me to remember this and name it as often as I can, and more than that, to find ways to reduce the harm of the presence of white colonizers on this land. During the writing of this book, I began making monthly donations to the Committee of 500 Years of Dignity and Resistance, a grassroots 501 (c)(3) in Cleveland dedicated to maintaining indigenous culture and heritage.”

Already I’m teary and filled with love for Raechel’s work, and then I start in with the Prologue and am accompanying, with great interest and hope, the child Raechel’s forays down to the crick to find treasure and fireflies.  

Deep gratitude to Raechel for her fortitude in writing this queer femme memoir, a gift to all femmes, and for her dedication to intersectional understandings of the world, where healing grows.

P.S., I found this book at All She Wrote, a feminist bookstore in Somerville, Mass. – if you are able, I hope you also buy your copy from a local independently owned bookstore. All She Wrote is also happy to send you books, if you’d like to buy it from them:

https://www.allshewrotebooks.com/

Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. I want to feature you! Write to me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com and let me shine a spotlight on your beautiful, unique, femme story! If you’ve written a femme story or poem or song, oh, please let me post it!

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) And…as I go through graduate school and life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Meditations for Queer Femmes – Think Again

The other day I drove down a street I don’t usually travel, and as I went over a bridge built over a culvert, I passed a middle-aged white man, rather sunburned in the face, who was holding two signs, one in each hand so you could see them coming and going. They said:

THINK THIS BRIDGE IS SAFE? THINK AGAIN!!

When I first thought about writing a post inspired by this guy, I was thinking about how my life can feel rather directionless or without rudder and how interesting it is that there are people like the bridge guy who seem to have a very, very clear idea about what to do with their time, intellect, physical and mental energy. A singleness of purpose, which, while kind of appealing to someone like me who’s always questioning if I’m doing the next right thing, can easily turn into an unhealthy and even frightening obsession. (That same week, for example – not like you really need an example these days — I’d driven through a nearby town center where a Trump-sign waving older white guy was screaming, “WOMAN!!!” at a passing driver, for some reason that made sense to him, I suppose.)

When I first started thinking about this post, I wanted to ask you, fearless queer femme sisters, about the touchpoints in your own lives, the things you keep coming back to, the places where you meet yourself over and over again and know who you are. For me, part of the answer I think is about the lens through which I view the world, my interest in what makes community, what role art has in healing, what is justice, history, family. Being curious, trying to be fair and kind. Refocusing on the complex and joyful rather than the negative and simple. I wanted to ask you what your passions are and how you keep them from overwhelming you, from becoming the only thing you focus on. I can get very caught up in my head and way too interested in what is wrong with everything, for example. I have to then further catch myself and gently redirect.

Along with my curiosity about passions and anchors and joy – and truly, I would love to hear from you! — I’ve also found myself thinking a lot about that bridge. The one we think is safe but isn’t. There’s something really wrong with the foundation, I expect, and it could give out at any moment. Maybe right when you’re driving across, thinking only of heading over to the farm to pick up your flower share and will you get more zinnias or go for the sweet-smelling carnations? And maybe you’ll be hurt and maybe you won’t, but things will be shaken up and in the aftermath a safer bridge might be built, or maybe something even more wonderful, like the stream being allowed to run free and wild.

Tex’s mom had a stroke when she and her husband and Tex were on vacation together. She recovered almost fully, and made it home safe and well. Today, though, she’s back in the hospital for something else that may or may not be related, and Tex and I have our healing candle burning again and are discussing whether or not Tex might need to make another out-of-town trip.

We’re thinking again about what we thought we knew. I was just listening to a Pema Chodron talk where she says you can meet the inevitability of impermanence, of dying and death, with curiosity and even joy, because this is the way things are. She says it way better, of course, but I’m mulling it over. I’m remembering my father dying, how engaged he was. He knew we were there, but he was busy. I don’t think he was scared, it didn’t seem like it; it was more like he was very occupied with something very important. I’ve had deep, painful regrets about not staying with him that night, but right now I’m thinking that it’s ok. He would have wanted us to take care of ourselves rather than stay overnight in that facility where there were no beds for us or even comfortable chairs (I was still undergoing cancer treatment, my mother was mentally not well, and Tex was exhausted with caregiving). I know he knew we loved him. Maybe I can let go of some of my guilt.

Maybe I can think again about something I thought was really solid but isn’t.

And maybe you can, as well, dear, dear complicated and beautiful beloveds.

Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes, in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was fabulous, and from whom I inherited her Meditations for Women.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) And…as I go through graduate school and life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Published in: on August 16, 2021 at 4:33 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Femme Friday – Jessamyn Stanley

Author, Yoga Teacher, Entrepreneur, Advocate, and Queer Femme, Jessamyn Stanley speaks about yoga as being so much more than figuring out how to go all pretzelly. “What yoga can offer us is the structure, the clarity, the patience, and the openness to acceptance. . . .” she says in an interview in The Advocate (July/August 2021 p. 28). “Through that, we can heal tremendous pain in our society.”

Take a look at Jessamyn’s website where you can find information about her teaching, her two books, Every Body Yoga and Yoke: My Yoga of Self-Acceptance, her classes, events, podcasts, and advocacy for cannabis justice.

Deep gratitude to Jessamyn for her queer femme healing energy and how generously she shares her love and her wisdom.  

Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. I want to feature you! Write to me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com and let me shine a spotlight on your beautiful, unique, femme story! If you’ve written a femme story or poem or song, oh, please let me post it!

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) And…as I go through graduate school and life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Published in: on August 13, 2021 at 4:07 PM  Leave a Comment  

Pingy Dingy Wednesday – Honor the Earth

My first introduction to Winona LaDuke was through her amazing novel, Last Standing Woman, which you should read immediately. She is also a radical, creative, heart-driven organizer and earth healer:

Winona LaDuke is a rural development economist and author working on issues of Indigenous Economics, Food and Energy Policy. She co-founded Honor the Earth with the Indigo Girls, as a platform to raise awareness of and money for indigenous struggles for environmental justice. Globally and nationally, Winona is known as a leader in the issues of cultural-based sustainable development strategies, renewable energy, and sustainable food systems. She is one of the leaders in the work of protecting Indigenous plants and heritage foods from patenting and genetic engineering. (from the Meet the Team at Honor the Earth)

MISSION STATEMENT – Honor the Earth

Our mission is to create awareness and support for Native environmental issues and to develop needed financial and political resources for the survival of sustainable Native communities. Honor the Earth develops these resources by using music, the arts, the media, and Indigenous wisdom to ask people to recognize our joint dependency on the Earth and be a voice for those not heard.

As a unique national Native initiative, Honor the Earth works to a) raise public awareness and b) raise and direct funds to grassroots Native environmental groups. We are the only Native organization that provides both financial support and organizing support to Native environmental initiatives. This model is based on strategic analysis of what is needed to forge change in Indian country, and it is based deep in our communities, histories, and long-term struggles to protect the earth.

Honor the Earth and Winona, you get one pingy dingy! Thank you for your inspiring and tireless and gorgeous work.  

https://www.honorearth.org/

I’m a typewriter whompin’, card catalogue lovin’ white girl from back in the day, and I yearn for a time before the covers of trade paperbacks were all squidgy, so you can imagine that I don’t actually understand what a pingback is. I do know that it can in some way be part of spreading the love, and since that’s what I’m all about at The Total Femme… every Wednesday, I pay homage to the laughter and inspiration to be had elsewhere online.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) And…as I go through graduate school and life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Meditations for Queer Femmes – Sorted

I spent some time recently sitting on the living room floor, surrounded by piles and file, blissfully sorting. I was finally willing and able to show a little love to my recipe collection and give it a little better order. I have recipes scribbled on bits of paper, torn from newspapers and magazines, printed from blogs, and received from friends and family on index cards. Some of them I’ve never tried and turns out I’m no longer interested, some are old friends I’d forgotten about, some look delectable and I can’t wait to try them out (now that I’ve unearthed them and know where they are!). I came across menus, mine as well as a few written in Owen’s childhood hand; a note from Tex telling Seth to “help himself to pumpkin bread” before doing chores, reminding me how much Owen and I used to cook together, and how much Seth loved that pumpkin bread! (Neither son lives with us anymore: Seth is 25 and Owen, 22).

So much love and thought went into feeding the family all those years, all of us contributing in one way or another, all of us making room for each other’s likes and dislikes, passions, requests, willingness to experiment. I found little clutches of recipes we took with us on summer vacation and cooked at my parents’ house in Missoula, including the following lovely recipe for French lavender lemonade (which came on an invitation to a friend’s wedding, many, many years ago).

Ask Tex, ask anyone, I absolutely have a problem with stacks of paper. I’m a packrat and I hold on to things and I think I might need them again some day even though I know perfectly well that what is actually almost probably going to happen is they’ll disappear and I’ll forget about them. Had I tossed all my recipes, which I did sometimes think about doing when the prospect of sorting through them felt too daunting, that would have been fine – I wouldn’t have known or missed what I couldn’t remember. But I do love to cook, and I knew there would be useful stuff in there, and eventually the time and space came around to where I could spread everything out and take a look.

I’ve loved a good sorting project since I was a kid (back then it was usually my comic book collection that got organized), and this one really was meaningful. Along with the above, I found recipes sent to me by Tex’s mom when we first started dating, exuding a sweet, old-fashioned “take care of my baby” vibe: “Tex loves this salad!” My aunt hand copied her mom’s recipes and sent them to me on index cards. There were lots of recipes I made up, too, like “Hippie Cauliflower Soup” and “Lamb Stew Tex Thought Was Really Good.” I sorted through were decades of nourishment.

My cream puffs, my succulent and savory beloveds, how do you feed yourself, your family, your friends, body or soul? It doesn’t have to be food. Perhaps it’s letters or cards or sweaters you knit or art you make, conversations tendered, hugs on tap. It’s endless, the care we give each other, and I know you have your own special something and somethings. Settle in for a moment today in the knowledge and appreciation of your good and generous heart.

You feed the world, you heal the world.

Femme Love Heal World.

————————————–

French Lavender Lemonade

This refreshing rosy-colored lemonade is perfumed with just a hint of the sweetness and floral scent of French lavender.

Lavender Infusion:

2 ½ cups water

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

¼ cup fresh French lavender leaves, coarsely chopped

To make the lavender insusion, combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring the water to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the lavender and remove from the heat. Cover and let the infusion cool to room temperature. Strain and discard the lavender.

Lemonade:

2 ½ cups water

1 cup strained freshly squeezed lemon juice

Granulated sugar, to taste

Ice cubes

6-8 sprigs of fresh lavender, for garnish

Pour the infusion into a glass pitcher and add the water and lemon juice. Stir well, adding additional sugar is desired. Refrigerate until chilled. Just before serving, stir the lemonade again and fill the pitcher with ice. Pour into chilled glasses and garnish each serving with a sprig of lavender. Serves 6-8.

–1995 Rosalind Creasy and Carole Saville, from Herbs: A Country Garden Cookbook.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) And…as I go through graduate school and life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Published in: on August 9, 2021 at 9:19 AM  Leave a Comment  
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