Posts Tagged ‘Michigan’

All or Nothing


“I refuse to let others walk thru my mind with their dirty feet.”


I’m a walking contradiction, a conundrum even to myself. For I have everything and nothing at the same time. At the onset of my  ordeal(the stroke) I  missed out on a few social engagements, a tropical vacation, a raise, my apartment in Astoria Queens was no longer, and  I lost the job I had been working when the stroke occurred.  Oh, and I woke up back where I started before I moved to New York  City and physically worse for wear. To add insult to injury my boyfriend also broke up with me. This all accumulated into a waking nightmare. As if life isn’t hard enough, my blood and brain had conspired against me. I rarely(if ever) have written about how I felt after waking up in the hospital in my home state; but its safe to say complete and utter loss while in a black abyss. I  can recall  myself loudly and randomly letting out screams of emotional pain in the rehabilitation department. However, there’s a catch because, better a delay  than a disaster. Also, it didn’t hurt that I  am surrounded by an incredible group of family and friends; who helped me through my pain, and very often their own. At this point and especially in the hospital, most would concur  that I had lost it all and nothing remains. Even as I am writing this with one hand because my left arm is currently paralyzed, I know I haven’t lost it all. In fact just as the night is darkest before the dawn in nature, so is life sometimes. Indeed the days are getting lighter as time passes. How could they not!?  You see I have everything because, I’ve  been instilled with an indomitable spirit, the determination and perseverance to succeed, and  the wisdom to recognize tiny daily miracles. This all adds up to my main goal, numero uno… which is to get back on the tracks my train was derailed from.  Each one of us encounter disasters in life, but with the right  glasses on we can still see the light in the darkness. There is never complete darkness in nature or in our lives. Even when we imagine  it to be so, the reality is that it is not. I can honestly  tell you that it does get better. Except, there is one thing…. No matter  the mountain, you must never give up!

may God be with you!


The finish line.


  “If you don’t have wings, create them.”

― Bangambiki Habyarimana, The Great Pearl of Wisdom.

Today, a new  record was quietly accomplished  in a corner of the globe rarely heard of. Three once unrelated strangers gathered in friendship, and one  amazing  personal journey was thrusted ever forward to the “finish line.”   While the rest of the world hummed along minding its own business, I was excitedly(and happily) checking  one more daydream off my to do list.  Just like most personal goals it was of little importance to everyone else, except in this particular case I  was accompanied by others that understood  the importance of such a day. Many of us are skilled at rationalizing our way out of doing something. When in truth, we need to be rationalizing our way into more things! There is no reason you cannot accomplish what you dream of. As they say, where there’s a will there is a way.  By working through seemingly insurmountable circumstances with gritted teeth and a rock solid resolve, I have found that to be absolutely true. You see, what we aren’t told enough growing up is that we can do anything.  Be weary of those who tell you  any different. Ultimately, the people that believe in you as much as you believe in yourself, will walk right alongside you during the race. 

                                                                    above: My  two pillars of  support during the race  Early on(when I was injured) there were questions of my ability to walk well again if at all, and much less  trek a mile! However, with tremendous support and blessings I’ve done just that  twice now. Both times  were events that originally had been dreamed up in my mind.image

         above girl in tutu:Tropicolor, color run. the happiest 5k on the planet!


Even  if I completed each goal slowly, the point was to complete it at all and soak up the fact that dreams do(and can) come true. Especially when you put your best foot forward and your mind to it. Therefore, be careful of what you tell yourself and who you listen to. Because, whatever words are spoken get eaten up by our heart. Certainly, your heart deserves only the best things that life has to offer, so don’t let it consume words that  will harm it!  Find wind  to carry you where there is none, and fly high even when others want you to stay low.



Through the Looking Glass

“ ‘Closed timelike curve’ is the jargon for time travel. It means you go out, come back and meet yourself in the past.”-Kip Thorne.

As I stood at the gates next to my Father  I could nearly grasp those lost childhood years. The now abandoned  park that I gazed into was once teeming with  activity. However, now it stands a silent and still monument to  an era of magic.  Originally built in 1963 and closed down in 1999,  The Prehistoric Forest (or “Dinosaur Land”)encapsulated a few years of my life within it.While I  gazed into the park with a myriad  number of mixed emotions welling up inside me; I  imagined as I shrunk back into a child the park grew up  full life again. There exists throughout time and space pieces of us and our hearts wherever we’ve passed. In this case a road side attraction had  pieces of my beloved childhood memories within it. Beyond the fence  meant to keep me out, lay 8 acres of overgrown trails, random dinosaur(some broken)sculptures, and  a precious piece of me. It nearly felt as if  there was an invisible wall and  I could walk through into  my memory. So badly did I desire to relive that period, but alas time marches on with or without us. What it does leave behind for us are the memories. Even though I couldn’t physically  be back inside of that memory,  I was surrounded by the ghosts of it. I found it funny that present day I was standing in front of this park with the very people who lived in that memory with me, my Mom and Dad. Nothing will make you  cherish your life more then standing in front of the ruins of it, from a marvelous  period gone by. I could see a little me excitedly grabbing my Dad’s hand and crunching across the gravel to the now empty souvenir shop. “I want the  neon triceritops stuffed animal Dad!”  Although this place was fading away as each page of time was turned, it remained as vivid as ever within my memories. My Parents are  getting older and showing signs of wear, but here, in my memory they are always young. Never had inanimate objects made me consider my mortality more. I thought of all those moments that seem to go by unnoticed while they’re happening, but later become wholly significant. Because even as your living it that time  will hold great value in the future. Therefore, take lots of pictures, slow down, and tell the people whom deserve it that you love them every chance you get. To  learn and see more about my memory, click here!



Have Company?

static1.squarespace       dscf6631

I wish the question “What do they sell at Walmart,”  was uttered  by more people other than just  Paris Hilton on an old reality show(the simple life) unfortunately all too often big business is killing the little guys. As a friend of mine described herself “part punk rock and part hippie.” I too possess this dichotomy. Besides quirky coffee shops and d.i.y markets like the Rustbelt Market (See here!) I also love  the handcrafted movement.More recently I’ve found this little gem in Grand Rapids Michigan.They not only have artist residencies, a gallery, and loads of handcrafted goods but they’re online too!  (Shop!?)



   Photo Above: My Have Haul

Women Artists Volume 2   interviews& illustrations by Naomi Elliot

As individuals we should have goods as individual as we are.Were not cookie cutter beings. Not only does shopping small enrich our landscape and support local businesses but also helps the economy here and abroad(fair trade coffee anyone?) Those quaint little  neighborhoods don’t have to be a thing of the past.

Shop small and independent,


True Story: I was a clerk in Hell

Working inHell was rather ordinary as it turned out.
Most days were spent serving customers various things from the creamatorium(ice-cream), sometimes serving the occasional gravedigger or ringing up various Hell souvinirs.
Once the Today Show actually did a Halloween special from Hell.
Everyone showed up with signs all dressed up, some driving hearses.
I ran the shop for the day dressed as an angry housewife(i.e a baby,in pajamas,holding a frying pan, and smoking a fake cigarette.) it was a last minute costume.In Hell it was usually mild temperatures, occasionally freezing over.During those times a news crew would show up to report that Hell froze over.Apparently this was funny news.
I met people from all over, even other countries. I often asked them why they were in Hell.
Because Hell was actually a pretty small place, and why come all the way from England to see it?
The regulars in Hell were usually bikers.
At some point tour buses would drive thru filled with the elderly.
The bikers were harmless as most just hung out around the bar or got kicks out of teasing me.Two times I was flashed in the middle of the store by their “motorcycle babes,” while they laughed finding it to be hilarious.Most of the time it was quiet with tourists or locals coming in and out.A group of kids from Oregon got my number one day.They would call me on holidays and such to ask what it was like in Hell taking note that I was a female.I didn’t know them personally but I’d say the silly phone calls happened for a few months.At the time my parents lived down the street from Hell and still do.

Me: “Oh, so this is where your moving?”

Parents: “Yes, we bought property and built a house.”

Me: “Sounds like a nice place.”


It was quite odd to drive to school and pass a guy in a devil costume  telling runners which way to go in the early morning.It may be surprising but Hell actually puts on fundraisers and runs.On the day it turned 6-6-6 helicopters buzzed over my sunbathing head.The street was completely packed with cars,3,000 people were there to celebrate! They still have fundraisers, runs, hearse parades, and sometimes even music.I actually am aiming to work in Hell again, using the money for a new tattoo(a pheonix )to mark the journey I have been on and my goal of rising from the ashes.It would mean more to earn the money myself,as well as work again after all the struggles I have been through.Since I have worked in Hell before, I have been offered a position to return to.I probably will since it’s close and I am comfortable there.When I first came to my parents for recovery, I would often exclaim I was in Hell(literally&figuratively).
In life many of us take things for granted.
One thing I have learned is that my worries and gripes before were inconsequential.
In the big picture there is no comparison between your boyfriend dumping you and your hand being paralyzed.Unfortunately these days I find it hard to relate to my former self and sometimes even friends.
Nearly dying and the struggles that have come with that have changed my perspective.
I think everyone at one point will experience a perspective changer.I just certainly hope yours does not nearly kill you!

In truth the world seems to value the things that don’t truly matter to us as individuals.
While the world puts an emphasis on looks and appearance, what little girls and grown up girls actually need  is to develop their minds.While I perhaps griped about traffic,work,or relationships before,I was wrong.
What really matters is that I HAD a job,someone to gripe about,and my health was perfect.
Now that my world has in a way become smaller, my views and ideas  have actually gotten larger.
Now I see the things that really matter.
I want to reach out to other people and demonstrate love,and human kindness.
What really matters when all the material is taken away is the person.
We are beings full of life,light, and possibility.It’s time to strip down to the core of what matters.I urge you all to reach out to one other person.Imagine the world if we all did that?Be the change you want to see in the world.We have but one life,make it count,and leave an impact.Besides bright stars don’t burn out,they explode.



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The Rust Belt Market




If you are a fan of, then welcome to its real life version in Ferndale,  Michigan. The Rust Belt Market  is a  good sized venue chock full of independent designers and sellers.

If your in the metro Detroit area at all, this place is worth a stop.

I found a couple  of treasures and  of course it’s always important to support  small&independent businesses.















dark brownleather cuff with vintage key closure by an amazing leather designer from Czechoslavakia, She had very unique leather clasps closures,and leather jewelry.

lemongrass sugar scrub,all natural from Bath SAVVY

The unique wares don’t stop there,check out these Scrabble game board floors at one vendors shop!













Another Vendor employed  a great use of pink wooden frames in her shop.


























If that isn’t enough for you,they have cake too!Armanda Herbert at Soul Seasonings whips up cakes from the caramel cake and whiskey sweet potato to the aptly named “lemon  cloud and all are delicious.






















A slice will run you 5  or  $7.00

For more information you can visit  The Rust Belt  Market Here.

Check out this video below! (pssst it’s down there…)

Just click this link please Madam or Mister     D.I.Y or die!

**Happy crafting and creating!**