LGBTQ in Children’s Animation

Living in a liberal state, I am surprised to hear the uproar in the mom’s’ community on LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) in Disney, Pixar, and children’s animation in general. Children’s’ cartoons have always had heterosexual lead roles. As society becomes more accepting of people in our community, diversity is inching onto the big screen. Yet, some parents insist that homosexuality is being pushed onto their children. For years the princess will one day meet her prince was the “only way” that a child’s movie would play out. I want to ask, “How long are we going to keep homosexuality in the closet?”

In 2013, the hit movie “Frozen” came out, a coming-of-age animation about two princesses, Elsa and Anna, one of whom is overcome with the powers of winter. Frozen was the first Disney movie to portray witchcraft in a positive light, a significant progression compared to Disney’s bias towards Christianity. The hit song “Let it Go” was said to have been an innuendo for coming “out of the closet” and a piece on self-acceptance. Even though I did not find any correlation with to homosexuality in this film, this song started the buzz. When will Disney include everyone in their movies, not just heterosexuals? 

In 2020, the Pixar animation “Onward” was released with a butch lesbian supporting character as the father figure. By no means was this character a leading role. Now with the cat out of the bag, we’re not all made to fit into generic categories. I witnessed mother’s’ taking offense to this character like she was invading their children’s perspective on how they might feel about themselves. If this is the root cause, then these parents also need to reflect on how they view their children, and whether they would love them if they are different. Perhaps that is what Disney has tried to teach people through diversity in their movies: to love everyone and not just those that fit into your category. 

“When The Proud Family premiered on Disney Channel in 2001, it was not only the first original animated show on the channel but one of the few all-ages animation programs on television at the time centered around a Black family.”

(-Radulovic, polygon.com)

Bringing backThe Proud Family” was nostalgic to all 90’s babies. What kind yet strong-headed lead would we want on television for our kids, other than 14-year-old Penny ProudDisney brought it back asLouder and Prouder,” and accompanying the Proud family, in a supporting role is a gay couple with non-binary siblings. They brought in voice actors that also identify as their characters—bringing work and awareness to the community. I am an open space, but it pains me to hear other mothers take offense to this rising trend and the feeling that we can’t be honest with our children about treating people as equals. Let your children follow their hearts instead of making them feel like they have to hide. 

So on that note, is it just a rising trend? This is a rebuttal I heard the other day. “I would be okay with it [homosexuality in animation] if they [animation studios] weren’t doing it to make money from a fad.” 

Well, I hate to break it to you, but as a bisexual female, I have been waiting my whole life for homosexuality to be in children’s animation. I honestly found heterosexuality kind of gross growing up. Seeing the go-to man marry a woman scenario over and over; got me sick. There are so many things we should be protecting our children from,: war, violence, hatred, negativity, but love? If we shield our children from love, what kind of hope are we giving them for the future?

Lastly, Disney released a short film called “Out,” about a man having difficulty telling his parents he’s in a relationship with another man. He switches lives with his dog and they play cat-and-mouse, almost exposing his live-in boyfriend to his folks. My husband didn’t like the movie when he saw it. The situation was all too familiar to him. We’ve all heard of the struggle LGBTQ people may have coming out to their parents. He wasn’t seeing what I was seeing. This was the first step. There it’s “out,” it’s been spoken. For a story to be told, it has to build from the beginning. Otherwise, the audience may not understand the world’s laws, but here it was. I would expect Disney to prep their audience to understand the struggle of queerness through this simple short, so that more complex characters can come into play in the future. Instead of immediately judging the characters, the audience may show compassion. We all live on this earth together. 

Radulovic, P. Feb 17, 2022. Polygon.com, The Proud Family creators: ‘There’s not just one view of Blackness or a Black family.’ https://www.polygon.com/disney-plus/22939385/proud-family-louder-and-prouder-creator-interview

Camping with Young Ones

Last month I went on three camping trips with the kids, to the Summer Music and Arts Festival, Grizzly Creek campsite, and with my partner to Ruth Lake. We had a great time and no one got sunburned! Here are a few quick tips on how I made it camping for a month with my kiddos!

The Sumer Music and Arts Festival was the hardest of the trips. We were vending and had a fairly large pop-up behind our booth but it’s not easy keeping a ten-month old in the shade. He enjoyed walking around and listening to music. I brought ear muffs for the kiddos so they could enjoy the stage and a wagon to pull the baby in. We were placed next to a yoga dome that was never built so there was less traffic our way. My daughter got poison oak in her eye on Sunday and we had to rush to the ER and they dosed her with steroids. I’d say we reacted properly and got her help as soon as it was obvious the swelling wasn’t going to go down with over-the-counter drugs. I came back to pack up without the kids. We brought lots of water to this event and had friends camping with us to help along the way.

Grizzly Creek Campsite we were able to cook on the fire. Check-in took a little while but the kids played with the freshwater spickets. Friends came and went and our dog Zed protected the campsite. Halaya set up her first tent which was a huge accomplishment. I took the kids swimming and Malakai had a blast in the water. He wasn’t a fan of his LifeVest but we had a lot of fun in the shallow area. I didn’t bring enough formula and the surrounding stores didn’t have any but I was able to contact a friend to bring it before it was too late! Camping with the kids isn’t nearly as hard as it might seem. The baby wakes up twice a night and I have extra bottles made. I made the bottles with hot water but I might have made a bottle or two during the day without making a fire and heating it. We brought baby sunscreen and a little sun hat. Halaya read to me at night and wrote a haiku in her journal. On Sunday we went hiking and explored the forest and river. I used my Ergobaby backpack to comfortably hike with the baby. It was a path off the road that doesn’t look like it gets a lot of foot traffic and leads to a beautiful clover field.

My husband got jealous of all our camping and wanted to come with us on an excursion. He loves to fish, so we went to Ruth Lake. Ruth Lake is beautiful. You can see the trees on the hilltop are burned from recent fires and have a white tint. The valley had come back, with lots of greenery and life. We wanted to camp at Boy Scout Camp but so did everyone else because it was full. I would recommend getting a reservation for that one, word says it has great fishing. Instead, we settled for the first campsite Fir Cove Campsite. The sites were more spread out than the other sites, there was easy access to the water and hiking trails. We brought both the dogs on this one and they did great! Halaya and I walked the trail closest to the water and it lead to the next campsite. We swam in the water which was mushy and full of tall grass. I swam pretty far out and the weeds continued to tickle my body. We cooked hot dogs and let the dogs swim after the beach was clear of other guests. We drove around looking for the perfect fishing spot but couldn’t find it. I recommend reserving a boat, fish are released into the lake seasonally.

Overall camping with the kids is magical. In the forest, no work and time spent together. I loved every moment I got with my children, friends, dogs, and husband. I appreciate everyone that was a part of my camping excursion. The biggest tip is not to forget sunscreen, lots of water, and formula. Don’t be scared to sleep in the tent with the kids and spend time under the stars.

Till next time!

Renascence Music Festival Laytonville 2022

(Image by Lyjia)

Renascence means the revival of something that has been dormant.

A transformational festival is a music and art event that wakes the unconscious, resonates the soul and unleashes the skills trapped within.

June 10-12 (Laytonville, CA)- Renascence has been a music festival that has been thriving to come to existence through the creative minds of artist that have been attending transformational festivals since 2016. Aspired to have been in production since pre-covid, taking a major hit when the gathering was indefinitely postponed in 2020. The name Renascence resonates with attendee’s as they have been forced in their homes and away from community gatherings for the past two years due to COVID. The festival brought what we’ve been waiting for, a healing and rejuvenating experience. It was a beautiful relief and intimate reunion as we came into flow with the Renascence crew.

Volunteers began streaming in on Thursday, although the build crew had arrived the week prior. Gates opened to the public on Friday and people weeded through the quaint hippie town of Laytonville and on to the outskirts to the event.

Renascence was held at Mendocino Magic, an exclusive 600-acre campsite at the Holland Reservoir, which provides clean water to neighboring farms. With plenty of room to camp, attendees dropped off their gear and had the option to park in general parking or car camp. Glamping was also available! Cheerful camp host-squad was present and proud to share their “burning man” inspired foundation where they host other events such as stargazing, campouts, and paintball.

Three stages were conveniently placed within comfortable walking distances from camping areas. The Basin stage was hidden at the furthest North corner near RV camping, headlining DJs such as Angelic Roots, SUDS, Alien Kitty, and Bioship who threw down phat beats into the early morning, turning off its speakers at 8am. At Meadow Stage, across from artist camping and surrounded by vendors, live artist, and Couch Fam, hosted several more DJ’s including Beat Kitty, AN-TEN-NAE, Dev Step, and AHEE. The third stage, the Reservoir, hosted live music and EDM, situated along the waterfront under a comfortable shade structure, with amazing musicians such as Reverend Stefen Sams, Ancestree and LaPostive. With such incredible music comes fun, loving vibes.

Vendors, performing artists, and live artists filled this space with creative endeavors. Wire wraps and fine jewelry by Or Original’s, pipes and bongs by Leafy Green, and hand sewn jackets from Zuvuya by Representz Clothing. Headlining live artist, Joe Mallory (who painted at Renascence pre party), and guest artist Gabriel Welch. Alongside Elliot Bliss, Katie Rose and many more. Fire performers, aerial silk dancers, LED flow artists and exotic dancers left each stage a unique experience. Talk of the town was that the first Renascence was an artist party, we were left in awe flooded with talent all around.

Hiking trails, kayaks, clean swimming water and art sculptures made this more than a music festival but an exclusive experience. In between stages stood a tea teepee with psychedelic black light art and a patio where ayahuasca inspired music by Eostar and the WEB of ONE rang into the valley. Healing from the community coming together must have imprinted the land, by the time Sunday rolled around so did the heavy rains, which is always needed and appreciated in Mendocino County.

Co- founder and producer Tori Love made a statement on June 20th reflecting on the festival,

“We have been pouring our hearts and souls into creating something that is rooted deep within the magic that lies within all of us and nature divine. Curating an experience that juxtaposes wholesome and hyphy, creating a container for rejuvenation, love, inspiration, silliness and play, reflection and clarity, unification, and diversity…

We intended Renascence to be a releasing of old stigmas and selves whilst taking empowering steps together towards a brighter, more loving self and world…

These powerful intentions and this pure hearted magic that has been weaved into the birth of Renascence was overwhelmingly present at this year’s first Renascence Festival just a couple weekends ago,

We look forward to continuing to curate and bring forth an even more beautiful experience for all for many years to come!

This is just the beginning of a new era of gatherings based in love, community appreciation, integrity, diversity and inspiration!”

Tori Love

Volunteer lead and co-producer Jordan @santacruzceramics also states after processing the event, “My experience was humbling and gratifying. Being able to provide the experience of Renascence for our community was the single biggest undertaking of mind, body and spirit I have ever done. Working with Tori to bring our dreams into reality was a blessing along every step of the way and we’re so excited to do it again next year!”

Party-goer and old-school DJ, Lyjia (Tom Core) states, “Beautiful grounds and staff were welcoming. Had no idea what to expect and was pleasantly surprised. I had heard a joke that people party to bass music in the forests and didn’t realize it was true!”

I highly recommend checking the Renascence Festival IG (@renascencefestival) to view all the talent that attended, and I hope to see you there next year!

Kinetic Sculpture Races

“For the Glory!” The crowd cheered at the finish line of the Kinetic Sculpture Race in Ferndale, CA on May 30 2021. Fifty three participants created a Kinetic Sculpture and raced from Arcata to Ferndale within three days, over hills and through water. There are no set rules on  building a kinetic sculpture race car besides that there shall be no motor! Sculptures may have any number of wheels or pilots, they can not be bigger than 8’x14’, all steering wheels are welcomed, must be able to move through land and sea, and most importantly your chassis (a.k.a frame). Kinetic race sculptures should also acquire chains, wheels, welding, axles, bearings, sprockets, gears, brakes and a whole lot more you can find here! Growing in interest, you can find people from all over coming to Humboldt county to participate in the national, grand championship Kinetic Sculpture Races!

Hobart Brown, founder of The Kinetic Sculpture Race in 1969 began building his art in local Ferndale studio, Mind’s Eye. He started the Sculpture Race with his own contractions and kids down Ferndale’s main plaza. This home of magical inventions and contraptions did not cease with Hobart but continued on as Marc and Lieah Daniels, current owners  of Mind’s Eye, offer studio space to local crafters and artist while maintaining a hub for Marc’s True North Boats, as stated on his website, “We create one-of-a-kind custom kayaks, teach skin boat building workshops, and are committed to helping traditional skin boat building thrive in the Native communities where it was originally invented and developed.” Over coffee we chatted about the beauties of Alaska and I got a sneak peak on a newer project, a wide frame boat they will attempt to use a skin in replace of wood panels. Anyhoo… back to the races!

If the art cars don’t completely take you away then allow it to be the celebratory finish line where my family and I awaited for the cars to zoom to their final destination! The Kinetic Sculpture band was a hoot. The bandleader led with a spatula as the announcers on a truck bed hollered, “If you like the band buy them a beer, if you don’t like the band buy them two. They play better when they’re drunk!” Colorful misfits and sparkle ponies, fairy godmothers, and “Kops” with bubble guns stormed the street. Performers playing with hula hoops, unicycles and poi. The historical buildings have a magical lust for such a festival. 

Kids and adults of all ages danced to the music and as the cars came in one by one the audience collected memorabilia from the Kinetic Sculpture’s squads, ranging from balls, stickers, to the “Bear Minimum” (a piece of paper stating just that!) Everyone was in great spirits and people from all over opened their hearts to this incredibly artistic event after such a long silence of COVID.

The sculptures and riders don’t have it easy and I would assume their following posse do not either. Starting in Arcata at noon all racers take off as onlookers cheer for their favorite stylized and sustainable art car. They finish day one at Halvorsen Park in Eureka. Day two starts off at Wharfinger Boat Ramp. Art cars must test their skill through the waters and finish at Samoa Bridge. On Memorial Day the racers started at Crab Park through the Eel River bridge, to the valley and ending on historic Main Street. Through the finish line came glory steelers and then our actual winners, in first place was Lemonheads, second was Live Wrong, and third place with Wing Nuts. Speed is not the only ranking place that the judges look for but also the Grand Champion, Best Art, Best Engineering, Best Pageantry and many more (that have yet to be posted!) You can find those results here! Our favorites being the three humped camel and plan bee! Thank you kinetic sculpture championship for such a family friendly and exciting event.

Renascence Festival Pre-Party

[Contains Adult Content] 

May 21, 2022- Arcata Theater Lounge hosts the Renascence Festival pre-party/ Mad Hatter Tea Party. With room to breathe, festy goers mingled and got down to dirty bass music. Headliner Ahee, known for his dubstep and 90’s smash mixes, drew in an eccentric crowd of all ages. Jewelry, merchandise, and crystal vendors lined the walls: local artist Joe Mallory painted acrylic on canvas with abstract surrealism concepts that opened the viewer’s third eye. Fire dancers and performers set the stage for theater doll Tori Love as Alice, who took away the show. Despite the teenyboppers, this was an adult party, and we can expect the Laytonville music festival to live up to this raunchy dance hall. 

Arcata Theater Lounge

Arcata Theater Lounge was opened in 1938, showing six films at a given time. Since then, the theater has expanded its offerings to include concerts and other events but still cherishes its vintage form. Drinks are affordable. Three levels from the stage allow for a pit, a dance floor with high chair seating, and a top-level for vending and coat check. The theater’s sound is crisp, without reverb despite the heavy bass. A comfy bean bag in the VIP lounge for the festy snoots. 

Ahee!

I was honored to speak with Chris Adams, a.k.a. Ahee, who has performed at music festivals like Infrasound, Excision, and Lucidity. His particular style could be categorized as “Alien Music.” While he makes the booties on the dance floor drop, he explores mixing his tunes with songs such as Eiffel 65’s Blue (Da Ba Dee) and All-Star by Smash Mouth. Besides his dirty bass and dubstep tunes. You can also find psytrance tracks and collaborations on Soundcloud. This DJ stands out for his relationship with his audience, feeling the crowd and recognizing them in his Facebook posts, never missing a group photo. Ahee creates tutorials on youtube so that you, too, can become a dubstep DJ with wubby bass. A lot of respect goes out to Ahee for being personal. When I asked him where he was from, it wasn’t a surprise that he answered, “I’m from here [Arcata, CA.]” Aliens like this come from out of the redwoods. 

Live artist Joe Mallory is nothing close to ordinary, inspired by psychedelic art and surreal nature. When asked, “What is this all about?” He replies, “Psychedelics play a big part but, as of recently, so does past life regression.” He explains to me that we come to this earth to experience and how each lifetime, we learn something new through life and death. He continued to share his past lives with me as a ceramics artist and his death by scooter. When asked how I could tap into past life regression, he replied to find an excellent psychic or look further into past life regression with a combination of psychedelics. Joe paints redwood trees, snowy mountains, and ocean landscapes with “moai” statues, oceans, and sacred geometry patterns. You can find Joe Mallory vending on the streets of Arts Alive in Eureka frequently. 

What would a Mad Hatter Tea Party be without Alice? And what better Alice than burlesque dancer Tori Love. Along with juggler Wiley, poi performer FigBungus and a fire spinning duet couple, these performers took the stage! Tori’s specialty twerk made this a randy R-rated performance! We can thank these performers for bringing the audience onto the stage for a costume contest. The winner, Mr.Komboujia, aroused the audience with his goldilocks wig and renaissance dress sporting and supporting Humboldt’s LGBTQ community. Also in the crowd were Little Lost Forest top hats that will be set up at a DIY station at the Mateel’s Summer Arts and Music festival. 

Are you dying to see more of the Renascence’s Crew? The festival will be held in Laytonville on June 10-12. Initially postponed due to COVID, Renascence’s team has been working hard to bring you a spiritually enlightening experience. We can expect to dance under the stars along with, aerial arts, amazing DJs, and vendors at this exquisite northern California event. Headliners include but are not limited to An-ten-nae, Mimosa, Atyya, Suds, and Beat Kitty.

600+ acres, fifteen minutes from downtown Laytonville. They encourage carpooling for parking is limited. Camping and glamping on site. They are still accepting vendor and volunteer applications. 

See you there!

Student Show; Humboldt High School and Humboldt State Artist Exhibit

Saturday, May 7th 2022 RAA (Redwood Art Association, 603 F Street,)– showcased Humboldt County High School students from Arcata, Fortuna, and Eureka alongside Humboldt State University. It was a beautiful mix of emotion, progression, and styles brought on by these inspirational artists. I found my heart over stimulated with a variety of art techniques, media, and themes. High school students expressed in-depth, mature, and well analyzed concepts along with impactful self theory, imagination, and creativity.

(Redwoods Art Association, Eureka)

(All pronouns unless otherwise given remain they/their)

Naia Ponzo won first place out of the high school showcase for their drawing Through the Woods. They were complemented on its use of texture and detail using pen on paper. A scene of a porcupine captures the depth of a small woodland area and the complexity of nature and life. 

(Naia Ponzos, Fortuna)

This exhibit was a great reminder for any adult to not give up on their creative drive. Artistic spark can be drowned out by the need to survive. While stories are told through creative endeavors.

(Natalie Rodriquez, Fortuna)

Natalie Rodriquez, Lily of the Valley, a fantasy painting of a woman holding a harp in the forest accompanied by woodland creatures. Reflects life in the redwoods and finding wellness in isolation.

(Louis Marak, Arcata)

Louis Marak’s Night Skull linoleum print won third place. A creature with a hut attached to its body with smoke lifting from the chimney. The artist left room for the interpreter’s mind to -=their own story. 

(Nico Headlee, Eureka)

Honorable mention of Nico Headlee and the unique medium, tempera, Untitled impressionist painting of a castle. The depth and dull colors makes you feel like you could step into this world. A sense of playfulness and realism. 

The styles of these student’s show through their work. Specific choices to use mediums, canvases, and themes that will surely reoccur in their future projects as well as reflect their passions and mindset of their youth. As an observer I am reminded of how talented humans are and how heavy the critique ego can be on the heart.

(Natalie Rodriquez, Fortuna)

Natalie Rodriquez, drawing Forget Me Not, a well executed cartoon like depiction of lesbians embracing. The shading is well placed and defined. Framed and characterized with flowers. 

(Chloe Asness, Arcata)

Forgive my picture taking. Chloe Asness Untitled, surrealism ink drawing. A woman’s mind blown out with searching eyeballs, perhaps symbolizing the fear of how one is interpreted by others. 

(Mariza Guimares, Fortuna)

This magnificent painting by Mariza Guimares called Deep End, a woman underwater in a yellow dress. The soft colors and reflection in the water, another well executed impressionist piece. 

(Cassidy Thorpe, Arcata)

This picture got a lot of shine but Cassidy Thorpe, Untitled, oil painting of vases and flowers similar to the Old Master Rachel Ruysch’s style with a dark background and an exquisite floral arrangement. The painting almost looks wet in the smooth strokes where the petals hit the water. 

(Tasuki Kato, McKinleyville)

Tasuki Kato, Untitled, graphite portrait. A young woman, hair and facial depth well defined. So life like you could pick this character out at a grocery store. Something in the eyes, playfully bringing on the future. 

(Alden Mauro, Arcata)

Alden Mauro won first prize, Untitled, a two piece floral oil painting. Experimenting with a variety of flowers and fitting detail and color into the vase while keeping a sense of space around it. The fallen petals can be interpreted as a reminder of a temporary form. 

(Mirian Wheeler, McKinleyville)

Walking into the RAA you would have been greeted with ceramic art. Here is Mirian Wheeler’s ceramic jar Feeling Peachy. I really enjoy the surreal gore aspect here. The metaphoric use of a peach may speak to you as the sweetness of a child’s life is full of chaos. 

(Samuel Hood, Arcata)

Samuel Hood’s Untitled colored pencil portrait of a flower woman in the nude. Being one with nature and producing the flower.

It is easy to relate high school with innocence. A lot of first times, fewer responsibilities, and less worldly knowledge, we can easily forget that our experiences are built from a core experience. Many of which start in high school. Themes of money aren’t very common here but I think many of us can still relate to the depictions in these pictures and our very own first experiences and how they shaped us to be who we are today. 

(Keigen Shaykett, Arcata)

“This is living.”

(-SHAWNA CHANCE)

Keigen Shaaykett’s Hot Wax Rider, a graphite drawing, has a clear similarity to 50’s cartoons while expressing a fast drug life and party scene. A candle burning on top of his head, as if the birthdays are coming so fast, he might as well keep the candle lit. A broken hula hoop framing a character on a bicycle’s face. A bottle in this mouth, holding a pill bottle spilling drug content. His other hand is in an almost yogi zen position, waving high. Accompanied by five other hands, a mix of pop art and surrealism. 

(Keioni Young, Arcata)

Keioni Young, Untitled, a beautiful Graphite drawing of a young man going somewhere. Bag in hand, smile on his face, dressed in comfort, this picture captures a moment, a feeling of freedom and adventure. 

(Paycie Holland, Arcata)

Paycie Holland, Gliophorus Psittacinus, modern art, digital painting of a green mushroom woman dancing. Themes of body acceptance, and therapeutic mushrooms are expressed here against bold contrasting colors of orange and green. Bringing up a controversial topic of allowing medicinal mushrooms to be widely accepted and the healing that can occur when we accept all body shapes and live in self love. 

(Abigail Garcia, McKinleyville)

Abigail Garcia, Untitled, watercolor uses blends of colors to draw emotions out of the young woman’s face. A fun, playful, coming of age image.

The following images are from Cal Poly Humboldt students.

(Valie Ward, Arcata)

Valie Ward’s outstanding image, Bliss, an acrylic painting on canvas with crystals. This image captures feeling and sound. It provokes an emotion of soothing comfort like when you give yourself a hug.

(Karina Juarez, Arcata)

Karina Juarez honorable mention, Nido De Abejas (Honeycomb,) ceramic tea set. Life sized bees and a beautifully presented soft curved honeycomb.

(Jolie Chaidez and Catalina Carlton, Arcata)

Jolie Chaidez ceramic vase, I’m your Venus (Left) blue and purple colors, rounded edges flowing gracefully, this piece looks like the liquids not meant to be trapped inside but can easily pour out. Catalina Carlton, Untitled, a sinful creature with tattoos, smoking a cigarette, the devil in all of us. Fun and excitable.

(Jacqueline Vasquez, McKinleyville)

Best in Show went to Jacqueline Vasquez, ceramic piece, Slab City. A tower, similar to a magician’s top hat, indented with many lines, waves at the brim, folded into its sides and open at the crown. This image represents a city built up by nomads towering for sustainability, and fighting for security. This piece has so much to say and represents it in texture.

Be there for a Victim of an Accident

Tallulah’s Car after Accident

A very close friend of mine got into a car accident at  38 weeks pregnant. She was hit sitting on  the passenger side in a small vehicle  by a Dodge Ram. I remember my husband waking up on February 11th ,  telling me, “How does Tallulah always get into accidents,” and myself shouting  back at him, “What? She’s pregnant!”  We  are  so fortunate my friend did not die that day. She went into the hospital  with a punctured lung and kidney, 18 broken ribs (do we even have more ribs than that?) and had to deliver her child by cesarean  after spending months off preparation on the most beautiful home  birth  experience I’ve ever heard. 

Tallulah and Trystin with newborn Oriah.

Talullah had a brief moment where  she was able  to meet her  daughter, Oriah, along with her partner, Trystin. The moment touched  the heart strings  of many and her story was told over social media platforms  as her outcome was not certain. The following weeks were an emotional rollercoaster. My friend was put under and her family  and friends gave her as much positive reinforcement on her facebook page as possible. She  was in a medically induced coma for three months where she had no contact with her newborn child.  When she woke up she wasn’t able to see her daughter for  another two weeks. Not only that she was swollen and breathing from a tube that  was  inserted down her throat which made it impossible to talk or eat. 

Kevin, Natascha, Tallulah, and Jeremy post Accident

This was just devastating. After experiencing the after effects of my friend’s terrifying accident I want to share with you some things that were  done to help support her at this time.

Yes I messaged the partner, the mom, the best friends. I know it may seem like an annoyance or that it was none of my business to reach out but all of these people needed support. Hell,  I needed support. When your heart breaks like this every voice of encouragement helps the vibe stay positive. The worst scenario might have been hanging over my head but it’s important to  stay positive no matter what because  that’s the energy that you want out  there. If there is no response, don’t be offended. I know her mom and partner were busy raising the newborn but every once in a while I would send a supporting message so that they know the community supports them. 

Start a go- fund me.  My friend’s cousin started her go-fund me  and it took off. People from all over were reading Tallulah’s story and helping in any way they could. Don’t feel bad for asking for help. In  these circumstances as much outreach as possible ensures the victim is getting as much help as possible. 

I created a simple 30 second TikTok to raise awareness of her accident and how the general public can help. This didn’t take long and it helped share her story. Don’t be shy to reach out, there are other people that can relate to these events.  

Her partner went to the doors of Newspaper companies asking to get this story covered. This was an exhausting but worthwhile step to get her story heard and to get aid for her situation. 

I found myself having a hard time at work, crying constantly and looking for answers up every tree. I put myself through the ringer when in  reality there was nothing I could have done in those beginning moments. While taking the steps to help, don’t let yourself become consumed with sadness/ depression. Instead count your blessings. In this case the baby survived and Tallulah saved her baby with her body which is now  taking the consequences.  There is something to be thankful for there. 

While she was in the coma her partner orchestrated a prayer circle outside of the hospital. Long Beach residents came to support  Tallulah. Sage was burned, songs were sung, and group prayer commenced. I thought this was a very powerful interaction that vibrates healing energy to our friend. Since I am not local, I held a zoom conference during  this time to  allow  distant friends of Tallulah’s to pray and talk about their relationship with her and how this has affected them. 

Then I started a food train! This was not as easy as I had expected. As you can see in the post, I linked the go-fund me with the information about the accident, added some pictures and content about the purpose of a meal train and posted it on her page, tagging her partner and mother. This was really helpful for them, maybe seven meals came out of it. Her partner would explain to me how he found himself not eating or eating out because he was busy picking up breast milk from donors, talking to lawyers, and answering the flood of messages from friends and family. Healthy meals should be encouraged while creating a meal train and sharing it with as many people as possible. I also encouraged a volunteer to pick up meals so strangers wouldn’t be coming to the house and for friends to do a noncontact drop off between a certain time so that the family isn’t being interrupted during this time. 

When I finally had a week to go visit she was just waking up from the coma. I was scared for her well-being and it was really hard to hide it. I think with in person visits that it is okay to not mask up. Even though all the text messages and posts were positive, here is when I showed my weakness, crying in front of her and telling her how worried I was. Maybe there was even a point when she was tired of all the positivity and also wanted someone to be real about how dangerous this scenario was. While in person I was also able to pamper her, massage oil on her feet, talk to her about meditation and possibly read a story or poem (she didn’t like this one but someone else may.) I was able to make  a poster  for her  and put it up in her hospital room. I included all of our mutual friends and positive affirmations along the side. I also brought her a picture of the baby and her partner that I took while I was there. I am very thankful  I got this time with her. 

Poster for Tallulah

When she got out of the hospital I sent  her  flowers home. Calling up a local florist, I had “congratulations on having a girl” flowers delivered to her home.  I felt like she missed out on the celebration of her birth and now was a good time to do so.

Another gift I recommend to send a patient coming home from a hospital is a robe. Sometimes we forget the little things that can help us move comfortably throughout the day. 

The last and most important influence I think can help you and a patient that has undergone  a traumatic event is Eckhart TolleThe Power Of Now” and “A New Earth ”, consciousness, breathing and gratitude are such important skills to have during a crisis. These books or audiotapes can help soothe a person’s soul, open their mind, and bring them to a place of acceptance. 

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope this helps anyone that is helping someone that is undergoing trauma. You are never in the wrong for reaching out and being helpful, even if it feels like you don’t  know how  to help. Your heart, good  thoughts, and sending positive vibes can help a victim heal. 

Interview with Humboldt County Teacher, Pro-Vaccinations

(Adam Winger, unsplash.com)

Pro Vaccination over the phone interview with Laurel 

My creative writing teacher stepped forward to give her word on child vaccinations. This is what she had to say.

Natascha: Hello! Today I will be speaking to a teacher and Humboldt County resident. Thank you, Laurel, for agreeing to this discussion with Little Lost Forest. We are happy to bring new moms and anyone interested in children’s vaccinations information that comes from the heart.

Natascha: Can you tell me a little about yourself? Your education and if you have any children. 

Laurel: Yes, I can, Natascha. I have a master of art in Literature and a master of art in Teaching and Writing. I have over eight years of experience teaching introductory composition courses at the college level, and I’ve worked with children since I was old enough to be responsible for them. So in early high school, I did volunteer work, and I taught them how to read. I’ve helped them in afterschool programs, I’ve done gear up, which is a college readiness program, so I was like a tutor, a buddy, like the fifth-grade buddy type thing. And I’ve also done volunteer work with literacy programs, games, and programs for kids too. I’ve also been paid to babysit, watch children, and take care of children on professional bases, but I do not have any children of my own. 

Natascha: Awesome. Well, it seems like you have a good background concerning child development. What is your stance on child vaccinations? 

Laurel: I firmly stand by the position of the scientific and medical community that all children should be vaccinated as early as is safe to do so. I had to be vaccinated to work with children. So anytime I have worked at a public school, I had to get my measles, mumps, rubella vaccine, and thankfully as an adult, they can give it to me all in one shot, so I don’t have to get three separate ones. And I also had to get tested for tuberculosis as well. As an adult, I had to vaccinate, and I also vaccinated my pets because a lot of veterinarian clinics will only let your animals in if they are updated on their vaccinations. Some places will still let you bring them in. Obviously, you need to get them vaccinated. They might not be vaccinated when you bring them in. And I find the experts in virology, vaccination, science, and medicine to be credible. I believe them when they say the stuff that they say. I believe them when they put out vaccination reports and so on. 

Natascha: It is common knowledge that some vaccinations may cause dire side effects such as shoulder pain, paralyzation, and allegedly death. Is this worth vaccinating all children?

Laurel: So I am aware of the side effects of having a really big needle shoved in my arm. I’ve experienced vaccination side effects. I’ve experienced very recently, I’ve gotten two COVID vaccinations and a booster, and I got reactions from all three of those shots. The first one, the second one, and third one and almost the exact same reaction to each one but less severe every time, which is what I expected. The number one thing I had was pain at the vaccination site because the needle that they are shoving in my arm is very long and very big and pretty deep into my tissue. So it hurts really bad. And it hurt for about thirty-six hours afterward. The pain was bad enough that I had limited mobility for about thirty-six hours, which sucked. I didn’t enjoy not being able to raise up my arm. But the vaccination clinic also told me all the side effects that I could experience. So part of me wondered if I was hyper-aware of how tired I was and that maybe I was tired because I was really anxious, I’m scared of needles. I don’t like getting shots. So terrified of needles, to the point that I was almost crying and shaking when I got my first one. I hate needles. It’s a phobia. It’s nonscene. I wonder if I was more sensitive to the side effects because I had already been primed to know about them, and it was a placebo effect or something.

I am aware that there are some children and adults who have been vaccinated that experience more serious side effects than mild fatigue or a little bit of a fever or some pain in their arm but I kind of look at vaccinations the same way as I look at any necessary medical procedure, which all of them come with risks. You take a risk every time you walk into a hospital. My friend went to visit his wife during her cancer treatment, and he got a staff infection. As far as he knows, he didn’t touch anything in the hospital beside the chair and his hand. So he was very confused to how he got a staff infection from just walking into a hospital, but that can happen because he was around sick people, so you can get sick. I can get skin cancer if I forget to put on sunscreen, and every time I drive to work, I risk horrible death. So I believe the potential for side effects and death with vaccines are statistically very low, and it is still worth it to vaccinate all children. I had a really long answer to this question. I’m not done yet.

Natascha: Awesome, thank you.

Laurel: We’ve been vaccinating our children for well over one hundred years, yet there has been no evidence of long-term side effects from vaccines being prevalent enough for it to be worth stopping. So there have been lots of other things we have stopped doing because they hurt children like secondhand smoke, putting kinds in the front seat of a car, putting a car seat in the front seat. We stopped doing these things because we knew they weren’t safe, and we stopped doing them a lot quicker than vaccines have been around if that makes sense. Shortly after cars were invented we were like maybe we shouldn’t put babies in the front seat because they can die. But vaccines have been around for a really long time, and we still haven’t found a reason to stop giving vaccines. Even though sometimes people do have allergic reactions.

Then the other thing is that I have never heard that vaccines could cause full-body permanent paralysis, for instance. I can’t find anything from the scientific community that I trust that tells me that vaccines could cause full-body permanent paralysis. But what I did find was that some vaccines, particularly the swine flu vaccine, can cause people to develop Guillain-barre syndrome, which is temporary facial paralysis. I actually had a student from China who experienced this. They came to visit. They had to get vaccinated for something, and they had temporary facial paralysis for about three weeks. So half of their face did not function. However, in the country where he comes from, it’s actually very common knowledge that vaccines can cause this, but nobody knows why. Nobody knows why the flu vaccine, in particular, can cause GBS (Guillain-barre syndrome.) Thankfully it’s one in every million people, he just got super unlucky, and it went away. As far as I know, I haven’t spoken to him in a couple of years, but as far as I know, he was fine after that, and he went home. I saw posts from him on social media, and it didn’t look like his face was partially paralyzed anymore. So I never heard of anybody getting full-body permanent paralysis from a vaccination. I can’t find anything that says that that has happened. I wasn’t sure about that one.

I have seen statistics showing allergic reactions to vaccinations and, of course, arm pain which I think is normal when you get a needle in your arm. I’ve seen statistics that children who get vaccinated for diseases tend not to die from those diseases later. If you get vaccinated for measles, you don’t get measles. If you get vaccinated for mumps and rubella, TB, and polio, all that stuff, you’re probably not going to get those diseases later, so those are the statistics I’ve seen, and I found very promising. 

Natascha: Awesome, that was great information. 

Laurel: Thank you.

Natascha: Is the health of the community more important than the health of these individual children that suffer side effects? 

Laurel: Yes, the reason I think that is because these children are actually a part of that community. They may be individual children, but they are a part of the larger community of children. Why should one kid that is immunocompromised be basically forced into house arrest because some parents do not want to vaccinate their children and also want the opportunity to send those children to a public school? And I’m fully aware that we can not permanently protect immunocompromised children from- anything really. There is no guarantee. And a lot of immunocompromised children-you know get sick even with vaccinated children. I’m perfectly aware that vaccination is not the only way to protect immunocompromised children. But it is a way to protect them, and currently, during COVID 19, if we’re just talking about the current vaccination debate, there are plenty of immunocompromised kids that can not go back to school because their classmates, their parents will not vaccinate them for COVID 19. Now we’re educating another generation of kids that vaccines are something to be afraid of. I feel really, really bad for those immunocompromised kids and adults stuck in an internal limbo. There are hundreds and thousands of these kids, and they’re stuck at home. They’re not going back to school. I feel that parents who don’t vaccinate are not really talking about those kids when talking about the kids that are at risk.

Natascha: I appreciate you touching on current affairs. How can we protect kids that have bad reactions to vaccines?

Laurel: I would fund a science behind vaccines, and I would also put out good information about vaccines rather than misinformation about vaccines like vaccines cause autism. That is misinformation. Illinformed parents are going to use that to make their decision. If we continue to treat vaccines, in certain parts of the community, like the boogie man, like something to be scared of, we’re not going to get the funding in the future to enable people to develop vaccines that are full proof. We’ve already seen vaccinations that are dangerous. Vaccines did use to contain mercury, and that was something that a lot of people talked about. Oh, vaccines have mercury in them. They haven’t had mercury in them since the 70s or 80s. We figured out this is bad, took it out, and replaced it with something that is not harmful. In the past, we have seen if we flood vaccine development with the funding, they are going to produce something that is more viable, and better for people than if they are underfunded and constantly having to combat misinformation. If they have to expand resources to combat misinformation, they are not spending those resources developing better vaccines. 

[pause]

Natascha: Do you feel that forcing vaccines were taking away a person’s freedom of choice? 

Laurel: So this question really interested me because we do not force anyone to vaccinate their children. I think in New York, the laws may be more strict, and I think there are more laws in California than in other states. Unless you want to send your child to public school, they do not actually have to vaccinate their kids. If they want to send their kids to a charter school or a private school, most of those places don’t have a vaccination requirement because they are owned by a private group. So they do not have to follow the same rules as public schools do. It’s not so much that they are being forced to. It’s that certain privileges, like public school, they don’t have access to those if they choose not to vaccinate their children. I think that that is a separate argument that we can get into if you want. I just want to be clear that no one is coming to people’s houses, taking their children, and forcefully vaccinating them. There is no max vaccination program at schools where children are being forced to be vaccinated. You have to take your kids to a doctor to get that child vaccinated. So no one is being forced to be vaccinated.

That being said, not being able to send your child to public schools, some people may see that as forcing them, if they can’t afford to send them to a private school for instance, and I completely understand that perspective, it could feel like your being forced at that point, but it is technically not, it’s also- I’m just seeing my other notes here. What if the kid wants to be vaccinated? This has happened at my husband’s school. There are several kids at his middle school that said, ‘I want to get the COVID vaccine, but my parents won’t let me because they think that vaccines cause autism.’ What is that kid supposed to do? To me, at that point, it is no longer about the safety of the child, and it is now about the parent’s political opinions or ideology. If the kid is crying and desperate and the parent is still saying no, are they really listening to their kid at that point?

To me, it’s kind of like smoking. I can choose to smoke, but I do not get to make that choice for other people. I do not get to smoke in a house. I do not get to smoke in a public building. I do not get to smoke within one hundred feet of a public building because I don’t get to make healthy choices for other people. It’s like why I have to wear a seatbelt, it’s like why I can’t drive while drinking, why I can’t drive while using my cellphone. Because I’m making a healthy choice to risk people’s lives, and the law doesn’t think that I should be able to do that. 

Natascha: I’m glad you touched on the children’s freedom of choice as well. In my case, my son had four vaccinations at a month old, and at the follow-up appointments, more vaccinations were prescribed. Do you feel that it is necessary to vaccinate a newborn child and why? 

Laurel: So my answer to this is twofold, but it is quicker than the other ones, I think. Yes, it is good. Number one, science has proven with their statics, with research that early vaccination is best. It protects your child from measles, mumps, rubella, tuberculosis, and all those types of things. Part of the reason that a kid is getting so many shoots is that the doctors are being responsible and not just doing what they do with adults, which is giving them a huge dose of vaccines all at once. They are trying to space them out a little bit. They don’t want to overwhelm the baby’s immune system. I think that it is important for kids to get vaccinated early, and I think it is important for people’s doctors to communicate to them what is happening. I think sometimes that doesn’t happen. I feel like American doctors are notoriously for having really bad bedside manners. For me, when I go to the doctor, sometimes they will just do stuff without really telling me what they are doing, and it makes me really nervous. Like, don’t touch me without telling me why you’re touching me. So I think better communication is part of this too. Like kids should be vaccinated early, but parents should be 100% informed about why it is happening.

Vaccinations eliminate horrible diseases that will absolutely kill or mane children. They are proven to eradicate diseases over time. Polio is not a thing anymore. It was killing thousands of kids every single year and it is solely because of vaccination, solely because of it. You had to vaccinate them as infants or they would get polio. Like you couldn’t wait, because your kid would die. I think people forget that. I’m talking to you about polio and people are like ‘polio vaccines’? Yeah, that’s how we completely irradicated it. 

Natascha: Do you think we can open up our school to vaccinated and unvaccinated children? 

Laurel: No! Because we already did that, and it caused a big measles outbreak in cities across the United States. I think it was in the early 2000s that there was a giant measles outbreak in New York because a couple of kids at a couple of schools were not vaccinated, and part of the reasons to develop vaccines are highly contagious diseases. We don’t develop vaccines for diseases that are not highly contagious because, for one, we want to focus our vaccines on diseases that cause death, permanent damage, and things like that. Also, on diseases that are highly contagious because were trying to irradicate them. We’re trying to get rid of them or stop them from producing variants. So a highly contagious disease like measles produces variants of itself faster than a less contagious disease. It has more opportunities to mutate and evolve, basically. Which is one of the ways that we can study evolution is by looking at diseases and how quickly they change because they are spreading across the population. So every time we have mixed non-vaccinated and vaccinated children in groups together, someone got sick, someone got sick and spread it around to other people. Usually, it is all the unvaccinated kids getting sick, but something the vaccinated kids get sick too because some diseases are extremely contagious, and even being vaccinated against them is not 100% that you will never ever get it. It just decreases your chances by a huge order of magnitude. 

Natascha: Knowing that some kids have these severe reactions to vaccines, how do you feel prioritizing the lives of children without reactions and accepting the severe consequences of those with reactions for the “greater good?”

Laurel: Very good. I feel really good about it because- it sound’s so cold when I say that- but these children are all part of the community. Kids that have adverse reactions to vaccines are part of the community of children who need to get vaccinated. I am a person that believes in the collective over the individual. Certainly, if I had a child of my own, I would have a very different reaction to someone saying, ‘I don’t care if your kid gets sick. Get them vaccinated.’ I might have a different reaction to that. That being said, all of those parents also have children. They don’t want their kid to get sick either, and it seems strange to me to prioritize one child over another child in this specific instance. It seems very odd to me. I don’t see what that would be a thing. Why would anyone do that? Why anyone would do that. Some kids are allergic to peanuts. You take peanuts out of schools. No problem. I don’t think people really complained about that. You can’t have peanut butter at school because you don’t want the children to have a severe reaction. Some parents let their parents drink or smoke marijuana at a very young age, even though we know it’s harmful. Parents make decisions all the time that are harmful to their kids. Parents make decisions that are healthy for their kids. I don’t know how vaccines are in this special case, why parents’ choice is more important than science, and what’s true about vaccines. I also don’t understand why the other children’s health and safety are being deprioritized over a few parents who don’t want to vaccinate their kids. At that point, it becomes a selfish decision that is more about ideology and political beliefs rather than the safety of that person’s child. It’s hard for me because I don’t understand how someone can look at all this evidence that vaccines are really, really beneficial and easily one of the best inventions of modern society, next to soap and indoor plumbing, so we stop shitting in our drinking water.

How someone can look at all that evidence and say that I still don’t want to vaccinate my kid because it makes me feel icky. I do not understand that. I’ve talked to parents that don’t vaccinate their kids. My husband works with a lot of kids who are not vaccinated for COVID specifically, and they talk about how much they regret giving their kids a vaccination even though their kid is fine. What is happening here? To me, it says I don’t care about my kids, and it’s about ownership over my kid’s body and me telling my kid what to do and being able to spread my ideology about rather than caring about my kid’s health. Part of why I think this is that fewer than one in one hundred thousand children have an adverse reaction to vaccines, and even fewer than one or one half have died as a result of vaccines. 

Natascha: The last question on here, do you think vaccine companies should be sued directly for injuries and lawsuits rather than the National Vaccine Injury Compensation program? Will this leave them more responsible for these injuries and force immediate revision and change? 

Laurel: So before you sent me these interview questions, I had never heard of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation program. Part of the reason I’ve never heard of it before. I must have because I’ve looked into vaccines a lot for the last couple of years because I have students that are concerned about it, and I want to be able to swage their worries and be intelligent about it and not just go, ‘just do it!’ I want to give them real reasons. Treat them like the adults that they are, but it is really weird to me that a pharmaceutical company right now is actually profiting on vaccines because historically, that’s not a thing. Vaccines, especially the polio vaccines, were made freely available to everybody. Measles, mumps, rubella, and tuberculosis are freely available to everyone. You don’t have to pay to get those vaccines. It’s super bizarre to me that there is a pharmaceutical company trying to profit from vaccines, number one. Number two, if a company develops a drug or a vaccine, whatever, and then that- not a vaccine, a drug; if a pharmaceutical company develops a drug, medicine and that medicine is found to cause harm to a statistically significant group of people, this can’t just be someone with an adverse side effect, you can’t control for every variable, they sue that pharmaceutical company, of course, they do. They are the ones responsible. We are a very litigious country. I find it bizarre that people didn’t sue pharmaceutical companies for developing medicines. So if they develop a vaccine that is unsafe and they don’t make it freely available, then sue the fuck out of that pharmaceutical company, absolutely. If they want to profit from something that is hurting people, they need to be held accountable for that. On the other hand, it sounds that the title of that company, National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, the title of that- and I have no idea- sounds like it was created in response to a specific incident for some reason to me. It has such a specific title. So I would like to look more into that program, but just on the surface level, you should sue the company that made the vaccine if they are trying to profit off it. If it’s free and freely available, then the need to be a program they can sue, that can compensate because the company is no longer trying to profit off of it. Does that make sense?

Natascha: Yeah.

Laurel: I know I asked you. It doesn’t matter if it makes sense or not. It’s an interview. I’m just supposed to answer questions. It would be really bizarre if no one was sued in America for having an adverse reaction. That would shock me. 

Natasha: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Laurel: Vaccines do not cause autism. There are zero links between vaccines to autism. There is one study. The person who did the quote-on-quote study has been thoroughly debunked by the scientific community. They are no longer allowed to practice science. Anyone who participated in that study is no longer allowed to practice science anymore. This man openly tortured children to conduct his study—tortured autistic children in order to get the reactions he wanted from them. I kept them awake, wouldn’t allow them to eat, and over-exercise them. I think a couple of these kids got dunked in water too. Just keeping them awake is bad enough because kids need their sleep. Their parents participated in this because they thought it was for the good of science. So science can be used to do really evil things, but it is still important to recognize that there are people out there that are trying to do good and trying to do the right thing. And those are the people that debunked that study, that isn’t even a study, and the people who have to continue to debunk it because people continue to refer to it. Like there are multiples of those. There is not. There is one study that supposedly linked vaccines to autism, and it was a fake study. It wasn’t real. It was so thoroughly debunked now it makes me sad that people are still looking at it. I feel bad for these parents too! It must be very scary to be doing something that everyone is telling them is a good idea and to just be terrified that something bad might happen to their kid. I feel bad. I feel really bad. 

Natascha: Thank you, Laurel, for joining us today. Your voice will be heard. I appreciate you so much. 

Laurel: (laughing) Make sure you disclose that you are my student.

End of Session

Now, that was someone full of knowledge and information. I will be continuing with one last interview with a Reggae musician in San Diego who feels strongly against vaccinations and I will also follow up with essays submitted from those who did not want to speak. Thank you for coming to Little Lost Forest to answer those vaccination questions! 

Places to Hike in Humboldt County

Episode One

by Natascha Pearson

May 5, 2021

This week I have explored three new locations to hike in Humboldt County.

I started in Sunny Brae, where I hiked trailhead 1, the Beith Creek Loop Trail. I came upon two beautiful creeks during a moderate hike followed by an intermediate upslope. This hike is full of giant redwoods and immerses its participants in a forest experience. In addition, this trail has a bike-friendly accomplice. Unfortunately, this trail gets some traffic since it is so close to Arcata and College of the Redwoods. Nevertheless, my dog and I thoroughly enjoyed this hike. It is the most challenging of the three listed. This is a dog friendly trail.

Next is Headwaters Forest Reserve, which is full of history and plant life. This 11-mile hike (to the end and back again) is a day’s mission—5 1/2 miles to the end and back again. The first mile is on a paved road that follows a stream. Along the way, there are signs posted to educate people passing by about salmon spawning and how the forest reserve came to be once an old logging road. There is a beautiful, wooden education building in the first stretch. Once the paved road turns to dirt, I find the path less crowded and have yet to pass another person after this point. There are some uphill sloops, but overall, the hike is an easy one to make. The path is pristine. Running water and the songs from the birds fill the forest. I worked on training my dog on this path because it is a beginners hike and I can communicate with her easily compared to the rough terrain of the forest. I recommend this hike for someone looking for an easy-going day hike. This is a dog friendly trail.

I also made it to Agate Beach in Trinidad this week, a 32-minute drive from Eureka. We paid $8 for parking and drove through a rather large campsite to a parking lot on the coast. A beautiful view of the ocean awaited us when we got out of the car. From there, we hiked down a beautiful steep hill with gorgeous plants with a rather attractive texture. The trail was a little wet from running water. When we reached the bottom, there is a stream to your right where I left an offering of used tea herbs in thanks for any pebbles that we collect on the coast. Next, we walked down the nearly empty beach surrounded by redwood trees. The ocean seems to have less aggressive waves than on the beach in Eureka, but the tide comes in fast, so you have to watch out while collecting stones. We all got our shoes soaked. The stones are small in size but are what I was looking for during our walk. I brought some home to craft with for my Little Lost Forest store. This wasn’t a dog friendly trail.

Women Empowerment

by Natascha Pearson

4/30/21

Disclaimer: This article is directed toward empowering females in my life. Men have played an equally empowering role, but this article is focused on the unique relationship between women within our society. 

What does woman empowerment mean to you? How do you see the women in your family, friends, society, or world inspire you or make a difference in your life? This article touches on a few women that changed my path in life, lent me a hand, or were there for me when I needed them most. If you feel like you have never been this character, I hope you read this article and understand that even one sentence, one piece of advice, one hug can be all a person needs to make a difference in the path that they walk. 

Googles Definition: Women empowerment is the process of encourage on another. It can be defined in several ways, including accepting women’s viewpoints or making an effort to seek them out, raising the status of women through education, awareness, literacy, and training.

I always told myself to take the direct advice of an older woman. I’m not saying I always listened to my mom, but there was a time I was homeless and traveling with two older guys, and a woman came out of a gas station when we returned to the spot I had met them at, and she told me, “get away from these guys, I know them, and they’re no good.” So I left them after traveling with them for two months. I didn’t even say goodbye. Sure I missed them, and we were friends, but they just beat up the guy I had left my hometown with and left him in the last state we were in, so I figured she was probably right. A few years later, while I was still living out of my backpack, a woman walked from outside of her house to hand me $20 and told me to get out of LA. These women, who were strangers, influenced how I got off the street.

When I ended up in Florida, I met a woman who held onto my savings so that I could safely tuck away money for a boat-captain school that I wanted to attend. She was honest and encouraging. I asked for the money back before I could attend the school. She would later come back into my life through social media, saying how she felt like a mother figure toward me and how much she cared about my wellbeing since it seemed like back then, I was on a troubled path. 

A woman supporting a woman to be the best that they can be is what women empowerment means to me. In a community where competition drives young adults, uplifting one another helps support and guide other females within the circle. It brings prosperity and appreciation. It helps nurture self love, and neighborhood kindness.  

My best friend’s mom let me live with them free of rent for six months. She was always lovely when we crossed paths, and our interaction was always short and friendly. When my 25th birthday came, I asked her for advice. She told me always to wear sunscreen. Her advice has never left me. 

Now that I’m married, I dialed a friend who started a counseling service, asking her to guide me to become a more aware and present version of myself. We talked about my dreams, wants, and desires, and throughout our sessions, I saw many of these come true. When I struggled with my family, I confided in her. She had captured all my trust. When I felt complete, I ended the sessions, but the way she supported me made me have a tremendous amount of respect for her. Women empowerment comes with respect for an individual. 

When I got pregnant, a woman I had hardly spoken to in my circle reached out, offering me advice on my pregnancy whenever I needed it, something I wasn’t getting from my OB (on-call advice). She was not intrusive and nonjudgmental. She sent me and the baby clothes and gifts. When I hadn’t heard from her in a while and became shy to reach out, she sent me a message when I least expected it.  

After I finished school, I was worried about losing momentum after doing very well for a few years. So I reached out to a woman in my class and asked her if she wanted to meet once a week to check on our progress out of college. Even though I’d like to think our interactions are an equal exchange, she has helped me keep on track, stay positive, and work harder. 

If you feel like you don’t fit into any of these categories of the inspiring woman in my life, know that what you say impacts other people. Even if you feel like what you said wasn’t necessary or wasn’t received, there is a good chance that the idea or action will linger in that person’s heart for a long time. We are all inspiring, beautiful goddesses, and by reaching out a hand, you are helping someone take a step up who may have fallen flat without it. There’s a special bond between women in our society. We share ideas, lessons, and our cycles connect. Our paths intertwine. These interactions are not disregarded but respected as we grow together. 

Thank you for reading, till next time.