Whose Wedding Is It, Anyways?

Dear Bartender and Priestess,

Please help me try and talk some sense into my son. He is 30 and recently got engaged to a wonderful young woman, who is 31. I want to make it clear that we are thrilled that she’s going to be a member of our family and welcome her with open arms. She’s a young professional, works as a buyer for a retail company, and has a good head on her shoulders. My son launched a landscaping business a few years ago and he works hard, so he’s had success building his business. Of course, they’re busy planning their wedding, spending their free time looking at catering halls and event menus. I keep trying to tell them they don’t need to do anything big. Honestly, I think they should just elope. Continue reading

Sweet/Bittersweet Peace

It’s what happens in small towns. Your life changes, people die, but life goes on in the place you once thought of as home.

Twice now, I’ve had the privilege of being in the homes of the people who bought the homes my family owned.

Yesterday I stood looking for the doorbell at what was once my sister’s home. It turns out they’d taken it down because it malfunctioned. But the fact was I didn’t know where the doorbell was because of course I never had used it. That almost derailed my ability to go in that house — thanks for the reminder, reality.

But once inside, it was all warmth and sweetness. The house does look great. It’s fine that it’s familiar. Or it was yesterday.

I could tell them the story of Jack and Jane — a great love story — who married in what is now their dining room. We could sit around the table that they obviously sit around a lot. and she’s as silly a decorator for seasons as Deb was.

They talked very seriously to me about their plans to love the house… as if I had to be assured they would do right by it and i told them how deb and nan and i all planned to rock on that porch with sippy cups in our old age… and laughed that I’d be over. They laughed too.

And so they were married.

And it was bittersweet. But, it’s the season of bittersweet isn’t it? And it is bright and glossy orange. And sacred, it seems.

And the sweetness is still there. And there is a great deal of Peace in that. (And did you see that Frosty Moon last night? It was beautiful.



Tiny House, Big Problem

Dear Bartender and Priestess,

I think I am in over my head and I am not sure what to do.  I have been married for 8 years and have two children, ages 6 and 2.  My husband and I have always been environmentally and socially conscious, and recently decided to try “simple living”.  Against the cautions of some of our family members, we decided to downsize from a 2500 sq ft suburban home to a 650 sq ft “tiny house” that we had custom built for our family. Continue reading

Honoring Life’s Sacredness, Honoring Peace

This should probably carry a spoiler alert if you’re coming to UUCSV tomorrow. But I’ve been thinking a lot about what it is to consider my life as sacred.

To think about what I put in my body and my mind and what I let come out of my mouth and my heart.

To consider that this life is sacred and that I am responsible for honoring that.

This is one of the lessons that keeps surfacing the in the triangle of my life’s Magic Eight Ball. It’s Sacred. Act that way.

Only as I do, can I begin to treat my neighbor as she or he deserves to be treated — as Sacred.

The implications and responsibilities this engenders are enormous. The world needs us to take action. The People do; the Earth does. We need to wonder at our beauty and guard our sacredness… we need to do the same for others.

Peace needs this. Our gratitude is the response the gift of Life requires — my life, your life, all life.


Boyfriend vs Woman-Brain

Dear Bartender and Priestess,

My sister (who is 27) and her boyfriend (25) have been together for a little over six years now. They enjoy the same things, share a lot of the same views, and enjoy each other’s company. They have one major issue, though, that threatens their relationship. To sum him up, he is a chauvinist, and his attitude has caused an emotional block between them. Continue reading

Peace of Summer Weddings

When one of your domain names is The Wedding Priestess, you get to do a lot of weddings.

Because I have a wedding outline but not a set wedding service, I spend a lot of time working with couples to create services that reflect who they are. In that time I get the opportunity to really know and care about my couples. Lucky me!

And then I get to preside over the love fests.

It’s a fun and lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Every couple who marries is a reminder to us that Love is all that really softens our edges enough to help us grow in directions we want to go. So let’s here it for love and outrageous ambitious promises!

And for me, it’s an opportunity to remember all my couples… so fun.

And now? have a lovely Sabbath, whether you pack it full of fun or do nothing at all!

I’m off for among other things, my last swim at the town pool…

Peace, you all. May Peace, Love and Happiness be yours…


He Yells, I Cry

Dear Bartender and Priestess: I married a man who was raised completely differently than I was. I grew up in a very quiet home. His was loud. We never raised our voices to one another. When my husband gets worked up about something—it can be anything he feels emotionally engaged in—he uses a very strong voice. My emotions are close to the surface, so if we argue and he starts to get loud, I retreat, which usually results in me crying. Continue reading

Fires! Drought! Peace?

Forest fires happen in this region. It’s part of the cycle. You know that when you see the pine cones opened so the seeds can spread. Some cones open only during fires. Some of the first green you see in burnscapes are itty bitty trees.

So knowing that, and building houses in forests, you know you’re taking your chances. I remember watching people helicopter in supplies to build a house and thought… hmmm if the truck can’t get in to bring the lumber, how does it get in to bring the water?

I get living in the forest with all the dark and green. Being a Pennsylvania girl where there are lots of forests, I understand the allure. And there one of the biggest problems is mold in your house. But this is not Pennsylvania. And even there there are dangers.

But now we’re in escalating cycles of drought in California. And the building doesn’t stop. It hasn’t stopped in the forests and it hasn’t stopped in large subdivisions that further tax the water system.

Everyone I know is flushing less frequently and taking fewer and shorter showers, but we all know… the brick in the toilet will not be what saves the land or the people.

California’s a mecca … people are going to come. Somehow, everyone is going to need to do something about global climate change. It’s our challenge. We worry constantly about our relationship to our friends and family, let’s learn to communicate better in our relationship with the Earth, shall we?

Peace will come from our accepting our responsibility.