Saturday, November 10, 2007

CephaloPelvic Disproportion: AKA Will my baby fit through my pelvis?

I wanted to write about this because I am a bit shocked as to how many women I've met whose physicians have told them they have cephalopelvic disproportion, OR they think they can't push a baby through their pelvic bones and out of their vagina because they themselves are of a small size. Let's start by clarifying- Cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD): A baby having a head too large to fit through the mothers pelvis- therefore causing her to need a cesarian. CPD does exist, but it is far more rare than people think.

Let's start with some common misconceptions.


If one of my babies was delivered via cesarian birth due to CPD, all of my babies will be CPD.


While it may be possible that CPD is due to an abnormally shaped pelvis which can make it difficult to ever be able to push a baby out (rare indeed-and still wont necessarily mean you have CPD), most reasons a woman is diagnosed with CPD is 1. A very large baby that is having a hard time coming through the pelvic bones, and 2. stalled labor (which can be normal for SO many reasons and still turn into a CPD c/s).

Now, the truth of the matter is simply this: Every baby will have his/her own birth. Every baby is going to be a different size and have a different sized head. Every baby will mold differently while coming through the birth canal. I think it's a little known fact (I could be wrong- but I didn't know in the beginning with my first son!), that a babies head is made up of five plates rather than one bony structure. The plates overlap one another while the baby is being pushed through the birth canal, and UNTIL labor is happening, there is not really a true way to tell if your baby will fit or not (which it most likely will- even sometimes if you've been told otherwise).


If you are a small woman, you will have a harder time pushing a baby out and are more likely going to have CPD.


Au contraire, my good friends. I have a fantastic example of this (and actually the inspiration for writing this article).

I had a doula client that was a very small woman. She is probably a good 4'10". She seemed sure that she could push out her baby, and yet others were questioning her ability. People were saying things such as- "you're so small, don't you need a c section?" Shame shame- not only are these people undermining this womans ability to give birth, but they are planting seeds of doubt within her that could cause her to question herself. Women generally (and when I say generally I mean really MOST of the time)grow a baby that will be capable of being born to their mothers. It's really a great design...

Anywho, I wanted to note that this woman called me in labor one morning. She didn't realize she was in labor and sounded like she was calling to let me know that something weird was happening (but she wasn't convinced). I told her to contact her midwife to go in and have her fluids tested (I was under the impression her water broke). She had an appointment with her m/w within a couple of hours. (Just fyi- she said her contractions were 20 seconds long and 10 minutes apart- she's a first time mother and I assumed we'd have a baby late in the evening or early in the morning. You know what they say about assuming...).

I figured I would call her around five in the evening if she hadn't called me back needing me. I realized I had a voicemail at around three. The baby was born after 1 (she had arrived to see if the fluid was really fluid at noon!) This very tiny first time mother's baby practically fell out! And people doubted her ;)

The point is your size does not matter one bit for the most part. A small woman CAN give birth vaginally.

On an end note, I'd like to post a clip written by ICAN (international cesarian awareness network), and published by Midwifery Today:

Women have commonly been denied trials of labor if their first cesarean section was performed for failure to progress or cephalopelvic disproportion, the most common indications for primary cesarean. In a 1987 study published in the American Journal of Public Health, the largest percentage of women attempting VBAC had cephalopelvic disproportion or failure to progress cited as the primary indication for their initial cesarean. Of these women, 65 percent--almost two thirds--went on to have normal births; many of the babies were much larger than the baby for which the original cesarean section had been performed.
-ICAN Clarion, Sept. 1997

Reprinted from Midwifery Today E-News (Vol 1 Issue 50, Dec 10, 1999)
To subscribe to the E-News write:
For all other matters contact Midwifery Today:
PO Box 2672-940, Eugene OR 97402
541-344-7438,, Midwifery Today

Keep those babies coming ladies!


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

For your reading pleasure...

Hello everyone!

Please be aware that my amazing (and psychic) auntie has started a new blog called the Metaphysical Life.

She is one of the smartest people I know, and her blog is definitely worth the read. Not to mention, if you email her she'll answer your metaphysical questions! Love it!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Halloween Party Photos

Carly had a Halloween party this last Saturday and we had a fantastic time. I mostly was being not drunk due to the fact that I am pregnant, but watching others can be comical. Other than watching Jake and my ex bicker slightly throughout the evening (and who can blame them? ;) it was a success. Well, it turns out that I feel compelled to post drunken photos now of my favorite people because I'm ultra nice like that! Enjoy ;)

3D Ultrasound of Asher


I never could get the video to work, but here's a 3D image of our new baby Asher :)

This is taken at 22 weeks gestation (out of a total 40 weeks so he's still a bit skinny but cute nevertheless).

And just so I'm not leavin out the big guy- here's a newer photo of him as well. He's cute too ya know.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Hello everyone!

I wanted to note that I have recently begun reading tarot for others. I have been reading tarot for 8 years now- taught to me by my fantastic auntie who is a giant inspiration.

Here's what some people have said about my readings recently:

"Her readings are FANTASTIC! Everyone should get one."

"My reading was wonderful! Very helpful. Thank you."

"Dani, you totally rock!"

"I got mine and I just read it!! I adore it, it's absolutely PERFECT!!! It touched on all the things I've been thinking about lately and was completely reassuring!! Thank you so much, Dani!"

Needless to say I'm pretty pleased with the feedback I've gotten.

If you find yourself interested in a reading, please email
I am doing it on a donations basis, but there is a suggested minimum donation of $25.

Blessings everyone! I hope you're all doing well!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Doula Plug on Komo 1000 news radio!

Hello Everyone!

Things have been going so well. I have been working on building up my doula and birth photography business, and it seems to be taking off much faster than I could have imagined! I have partnered with a fantastic doula Megan Miles ( ) and we seem to be making things happen together rather quickly! I have received numerous requests for doula work, and I have built some great relationships with local midwives which will prove handy in the future.

One of the most exciting things that has happened recently, is I received a call from a reporter from Komo. He had seen an ad I had placed on craigslist for a doula event that Megan and I are hosting quarterly at the Skagit Valley Co Op, and he wanted to interview me about it. Very exciting! I emailed Penny Simkin to share my excitement (she is the doula of all doulas ;) and she told me that I had managed to do something the doulas in Seattle have not been able to do, get media publicity. Go me! :D On top of everything else, they plugged my website . Keep sending good vibes and blessings friends! It seems to be working!

Friday, September 28, 2007

19 1/2 week Ultrasound of Asher!

I have a 3D video, but can't seem to make it stick here (will try again later). Here is a 2D photo (less fun, I know, but I'll fiddle with the video later ;)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fantastic Family Photos!

It's a bit late to be posting this, but a bit ago we FINALLY got some family photos done. I have befriended a great photographer who is awesome with kids and could make the most unhappy baby smile ;)

Of course, my baby is extremely happy and adorable, so all the more easy for him. Here are some pics.

That kid has good looking parents ;)

If you find yourself in the western washington with cute kids, or even pregnant, here's his site:

He will be doing my maternity photography in a few months, which I will then post here :D

I should also mention he's basically giving it away- you wont find another photographer this good at his prices. Anywho- Love y'all!

Friday, September 21, 2007

My New Website!!!!

Please check out my new website- !!!!

That is all :)

Friday, September 7, 2007

If You Should Need a Cesarian Section

I wrote this a little while ago for a woman that was interested in what she could do to make her c-section more memorable with the help of a doula- or what the point of having a doula at a planned c section. She didn't want to have a c section, but unfortunately her child was breech and they'd done everything they could to turn her, with no avail. It's very difficult to find a physician willing to deliver a breech vaginally.

I hope this can help women who are having a c section against their want. I had to have one after 60 hours of laboring naturally at a birth center. I wish at that time I would have known more of this. I suggest even if you are not planning a cesarian birth to read this.

Here is a list of some things that can make cesarian birth more comfortable/ special. These things can be done by your partner, but I highly suggest having a doula. I think a lot of people forget that this is a birth for the father also, and when the father is expected to do all of the leg work, he can maybe feel like it's less about him and more about mother and baby (which are of course very important!)

*A doula can tell you what to expect during a cesarian birth, which can be invaluable. As someone who didn’t know anything about cesarians, I was deathly afraid of everything that happened to me because I didn’t know what was normal. Being in the know can make you more comfortable with what’s happening.

*Almost always they will let you play music in the operating room (this is something that I was completely unaware of until recently. I don’t think that they will offer it to you unless you ask. Perhaps you can play a song that you’ve sang to your baby during your pregnancy!)

*You can bring in some essential oils for aromatherapy during surgery. Peppermint oil is great for nausea, which is a common occurrence during cesarian.

*They will generally allow you to take picture of the surgery if you wish. If you are unsure, I would recommend doing it anyway. You can always throw pictures away, but you can never get the moment back.

*You can have your partner or a doula describe what’s happening during the surgery if you’re comfortable with that. It’s sometimes nice to know right when the baby is being born, and that they can see the babies head, and what color the hair is, etc.

*Once the baby is born, they will take he/she over to a side table to do their normal routines. It’s nice to have someone go over to the table with the baby and talk to him/her and let the baby know- we love you, welcome to the world, you’re beautiful, etc (don’t forget pictures!!!) The issue that arises when the father goes to do this (which isn’t a bad idea), is that the mother is left alone for part of the sewing up process. Cesarians are not comfortable, and it’s good to have someone doing your focus/breathing exercises during this (as well as throughout) surgery.

*A doula can advocate for you, and remind the staff that you’d like the father to hold the baby while the repair work is being done. She can also remind the staff that you would like to hold the baby as soon as humanly possible. They should be able to get the baby to you as soon as you’re out of surgery.

*A doula can also help you with breastfeeding if you’re a new mother. It can be trickier than it seems.

Please feel free to post any questions you may have :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


For those who are not yet aware, Carly and I are going to begin our Frugality Challenge again!!!!! We started last Wednesday (posting late- oops!) and are cycling from Monday through Sundays (so obviously this weeks post is a short week). We have been particularly bad since buying houses. The shame. I went from getting to a place where I had only about a grand in debt left…to, well, getting to a place where I have much more debt than that. No need to give out specifics…let’s just say it’s not very good. And not only that, but scares me how much I have accrued in only a 7 month period or so. I also began getting into the teachings of the Law of Attraction and my original thought around that and money, was that if I’m trying to be frugal I am no allowing money into my life. Well I was sincerely wrong. Looking back, when I was paying attention to my money and not spending frivolously, I felt GOOD about money. When I spend like a maniac and buy anything I feel I deserve, nothing is sacred. Nothing is valuable. Everything is taken for granted. The other thing that happened when I was frugal, was that I received incredible amounts of unexpected money- weekly!!! I constantly received unexpected money- large amounts also (feel free to look in the back logs of my blog to confirm). I have a GOOD feeling about money and money came to me. Or I can spend spend spend, feel guilty, feel bad about money, be afraid I don’t have enough money, and then guess what happens? Overdraft fees, unexpected bills (huge huge huge bills), constant money guilt and stress. Being frugal isn’t about denying yourself the things you truly want. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. It’s about giving yourself the things you really want. It’s about appreciating the amazing things you have in your life and being GRATEFUL. Constant shopping is an addiction. I really believe that. Like any addiction- you get to shopping and your dopamine levels rise. You feel high. But then you feel guilt later (I imagine that’s the same with other addicts). No more! I am not a slave to a shopping addiction.

So moving forward, here is my spending from Wednesday August 29th until Sunday September 2nd:


Chips (I have been addicted to chips during this pregnancy- odd since I don’t generally eat chips!)- .98

Taco Bell (also a pregnancy fave)- $2.05


Taco Bell- $2.30


Starbucks (oops)- $5.55
Juice- $1.30


Safeway- $29.10


Coca Cola and Ice cream at the corner store (always more expensive- blah)- $9.44

Total for the partial week: $50.72

I think I can do better this week because I don’t really need groceries…stay posted ; )

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I'm a Doula!!!

I lied- I finished an article to post today!!!

Well, I finally did it. I finally signed up for my doula courses and finished them. I am a doula. I have wanted to be a part of childbirth since I was 12 years old. It’s my passion and my calling. I still have a long road to travel down, but I think I have taken a pretty good first step.

My courses were through Seattle Midwifery School. (FYI- if you shop, please use this link and a portion of your purchase will be donated to SMS

I was taught by the one and only Penny Simkin. If you don’t know this name, you should. She is famous in my book. A pioneer for women striving to give birth naturally. She has written at least 15 books that I am aware of, as well as co-authored I believe at least 8. She INVENTED the birthing bar, and has attended hundreds of births. Check out her website here:

Not only was Penny there, but so was Carrie Kenner who is the founder of Big Belly Services. She is an amazing doula that also teaches Birthing From Within courses (something I’d like to do in the future). If you find yourself pregnant in Seattle and needing childbirth education courses, this is highly recommended-

For those not in the know, a birth doula is a woman that assists women through childbirth, emotionally, and physically. We can offer advice during pregnancy, as well as give further information regarding medical procedures during birth if asked. We can help you in finding the distraction techniques that work best for you during labor, be it massage, acupressure, aromatherapy, breathing, etc etc etc. We know how different positions that can possibly speed up/ slow down labor and can help with that. Doulas on average reduce your risk of cesarian birth by 50%, laboring time by 25%, epidural requests by 60%, oxytocin use by 40% (oxytocin = pitocin. Used to induce labor among other things), as well as reduce your risk of a forceps delivery by 40%. That’s pretty damn amazing.

If you have any questions about doulas, or if you need help finding a doula in your area, please feel free to send me a little message and I’m more than willing to help : )

Please stay tuned!!!

I will be blogging again. I know I've been on hiatus, but I do enjoy blogging even if I'm the only one that reads it :D

Many new things to speak about. Among them:

I am now a doula

I am pregnant again (14 weeks today)

Eli is still awesome and cute

and I will be doing a once a week frugality check in again. I've gotten a little out of hand...shame shame.

Oh! Also, Jake has started a business. Lots and lots in the last 6 months or whatever it's been!!!!!!

More details starting tomorrow!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Confessions of a bottom feeder- When frugality becomes a survival skill

I came across this article by Anita Sands some time ago. I've been meaning to post it because it is highly interesting. I am not in this boat myself currently, but I have been and I'm sure there are others out there that are/ or have been themselves. Or maybe would like to be? Sounds like a comfortable simple life to me ;) This woman is in California, so some parts are specific to that, but it can be molded to your territory. You can find the article at this site:

Here we go:

Confessions of a Bottom Feeder, Part 1: When Frugality Becomes a Survival Skill

Anita Sands shows how to REALLY live on nothing while still eating well and getting adequate health care.

by Anita Sands

>[Editor's NoteThis is a very different look at frugality from anything else on the site--and it's not about fun, but about living healthily for the very lowest possible cost. What we have here is a how-to for living a decent, healthy life on the edge--when you are so poor that any good meal might feel like a blessing. I present this as a public service for those who are beyond marginalized, in the hope that at least one person gets a higher quality of life on the margin. Twenty years ago when I was dirt poor, I used some of these and some similar tricks.

If you are comfortably middle-class, you may be offended by this article--you don't have to read it (try one of my own articles on Frugal Fun, including excerpts from The Penny-Pinching Hedonist: How to Live Like Royalty with a Peasant's Pocketbook).

Some of the tips are specific to the Los Angeles area; however, most of those can be reproduced in other places.

Also, I have taken out some parts, which I felt were illegal, unethical, or just too long--though it's still extremely long. The complete article is on Anita's own site (see URL at the end). Disclaimer: This is article is not intended as medical advice, or any other expert advice. I present it as one person's opinion and take no responsibility for the contents. I welcome comments, and if they are significant, I will both send them to Anita and put them up as well, with a link from the article. e-mail to

--Shel Horowitz[End Editor's Note]

Many modern city dwellers survive perfectly well without a 'regular job.' We live like millionaires but would be hard put to tell you what our true career is. We survive on air. And no, we are not the crazy homeless you see rooting in trashcans. We live in picturesque, old homes with huge, jungley gardens. Not all are rented homes; many are owned, bought with land contracts (monthly payments to old owner) or those new poverty-sector Fannie Mae loans with a low downpayment and no proof of earnings or good credit, only proof of high, past rent paid by showing canceled checks.

How do we afford homes when we don't have 'regular' jobs? Well, I didn't say we don't WORK. We are well-paid for freelance work as artists, healers, mystics, organic gardeners or party caterers. We just never work 40-hour-a-week jobs hoeing other people's row--not unless we love the work; then we happily put in 80 hours.

Job-free people are easy to spot. We drive to mountain and beach on week-days--in old cars it's true--but with a proud smile because we're glad to be in the .0005% of the populace of the planet who own cars. We brake for trashcans in alleys and garage sales, because that's how we furnish our homes. We know that your second-hand, leftover stuff is as good as our firsthand. So we earned our nickname. We are bottom feeders.

Bottom feeders don't make a good living but we have a great life! We have the dollars for rent and utility money and the leftover change is for brown rice and tofu. We're into quality abundance in things other than cash: Gardens, sun, creativity, art... All we need is just enough income to get by. Often, we 'get by' with the help of our friends. Friends sleep on our couches and kick in rent and food. And in hard times, friends lend us their couches and we do the kicking in.

BFers don't have savings accounts; we have 'mattress money.' We don't have regular jobs; we have cottage industries, home businesses. True, we don't make as much as you do in your highly paid drone work, but look on the bright side, our money's all our own. We don't have FICA deductions, pension fund, Social Security deductions and we don't pay taxes. We don't have costly HMO's but not to worry. We don't have high blood pressure either.

We may be forgoing Social Security and Medicare coverage at the end of our lives because we expect--as Clinton predicts, that there will be no Social Security or Medicare by then. Not for you, not for anyone. BFers don't count on Uncle Sam or on pensions. We have learned secret techniques of Surviving on a Nickel that give creativity, earnings and bliss, and bliss is such a super vitamin that we expect to live forever.

Bottom feeders enjoy sunny days at home doing textured wall-painting or digging carrot rows in the yard, or sweating in their ateliers as much as you yuppies enjoy your caffe lattes, Beamers, IRA's and airless, gleaming, monochrome condo-sealed tombs scented with all the formaldehyde in those spanking new plywood boards.

What are the secrets of this mysterious tribe who listens for their own drumbeat and happily live at the bottom of the food chain? What are their methods of achieving a viable lifestyle in Post-Reagan times using advanced Trickle-Down theory?

BFers are often outdoors. They are a fresh-air lot. They have suntans, smile a lot and have no visible means of support. You'll find them unloading a picnic basket in the parking lot at a public park on a week-day. They carry thrift store tennis rackets, drive old Volvos, VWs or 4 cylinder Japanese cars from the early 80's. Look in the picnic hamper. It's full of SALAD. Bottom feeders are frequently vegetarian, recognizing that cows must know how much good protein is in greens, hence they have ruddy complexions and never NEED medical coverage. Their cuts and gashes actually heal without stitches, as they have amazing immune systems.

WHAT, NO HMO? How do we do it? Hey, the answer to this is a no brainer. Don't get sick. Bottom feeders stay on the absolute healthfood diet of the planet! No bologna, beef, eggs, gland meats for us. In our picnic basket there's a choice of bogus egg salad sandwich, Caesar salad, or raw fruit, depending on who's giving away what at the grocery or the menu at the temple where we feast.

There is the totally vegetarian feed bag, filled with loss-leader items from super markets and free, giveaway produce that the healthfood store gives us at closing time. There is the bounty from our own organic gardens or from the communal garden. There are free meals at Sikh and Hari Krishna temples. There is the bounty of all God's trees overhanging alleys and last, every small non-chain market will box up and give you their wilted vegies if they're certain you'll come at the end of the day. Those that won't will see the hardier of us leaning over their Dumpsters, picking.

We combine a small amount of vegetarian proteins with full amino acid foods either in the meal or in the next meal. Broccoli oddly enough can be a protein if you add a little complementary protein like hummus or dairy so we sprinkle or drizzle bean dip or butter on top. Raw juices, green and gold salads are full of macro-nutrients but it takes sunflower seeds to turn vegies into a rib-sticking protein meal.

With rent so high, some days there is no money for FOOD. When that happens, Bottom feeders don't fret. They eat what's on the shelf. Canned beans are great with a shot of hickory barbecue sauce. A solid poor-day tip given me by one of my nickel-pinching Caesars is to always keep whole grain flour in the freezer. Add water from boiled vegies, yeast, good oil or butter and let that dough rise into crusty bread. Or rub the wheat with water to make Seitan (wheat steak) or take soybeans and make tofu.

OTHER FOODS FOR PENNY-FREE DAYS: Keep track of all the fruit trees in the neighborhood. The true scoop on fruit tree alley scavenging is that it is 100% legal if it overhangs a fence. When I first became a Bottom Feeder, having four fatherless children, I learned to pick lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit from my own California garden and juice it. I learned to not throw away the peels; they were the best part. I parboiled them, scraped interior pith off with a sharp spoon, getting rid of all the white rind, then boiled the outer skins with its own juice and a ton of sugar to make marmalade, which I kept in the fridge in jars and gave away at Xmas.

ALLEYS ARE USER FRIENDLY-Apricots, nectarines, peaches, grow all over the city. The most prized treasure on trees is avocados. Avocados are friendly fruit. The ripe ones fall on the ground, making themselves available. There is one drawback to poaching in alleys: cops. Police will harass you if they see you, but not to worry; if they don't see you, they can't harass you. So be as invisible as you can. Ask your neighbors if they want their pets walked. (Charge 4$ an hour to do it.) Drive pooch to a suburban neighborhood. Park car on the street and walk your neighbor's dog into an alley with overhanging trees. Carry a long prong tipped stick (nail in stick is fine) and some plastic bags. The aggregate visual effect is of a neat citizen walking a dog. You actually seem to live on that street. No cop asks a dog walker for ID. No dog? Do it alone. If police wonder what's up, say sweetly, I was jogging and I saw this lovely fruit. Give them your 'aunt's' address nearby. Booking a misdemeanor takes too much paperwork, too many forms, also, other cops would laugh these cops out of the jail for booking someone who was just picking fruit as it is, technically, legal.

Afraid of the hassle? Then go to the healthfood store at closing time, tell the owner that you distribute food to the poor. (You must actually do it, too, or your word's no good. Never fritz with your word. It's the most important thing BFers have--next to pluck and chutzpah.) If you promise to show up daily at the same time, invariably, you will get the store's 'garbage concession.'

If you're a stickler for realism, there's real garbage. Many BFers "Dumpster Dive," just as the homeless have always done. Supermarkets throw enormous amounts of food, cosmetics, medicine, plants into those Dumpsters. I met Marty, an 80 year old Dumpster diver, who gets inside the bins, tosses the treasures out into boxes. He fills his van with food from the supers and potted plants, cosmetics and notions from drugstores and gives regular garage sales--he makes thousands of tax-free untraceable dollars on a week-end. He also has a regular route of delivery customers, Bottom Feeders all. Frizzy hair Bob gives it to single mothers with kids. I know because I was on his route and often he'd take me to watch.


BREAD-Put on your glasses. If there's any mold, anywhere, dump it. The spores are all the way through the loaf.

BERRIES-Float berries on water, save and use floaters only. Out of these, toss ones with any visible mold onto compost pile. Put sugar on your fresh washed berries to preserve them in fridge until needed. The sinkers have lost their oxygen, are no good for eating but don't let the sinkers go down the drain. Gather them together, plant them. You'll get dozens of vines and berries for years afterwards out of a handful of rotten berries.

CARROTS: Soak overnight in a sink of cold water, turnips, beets, ditto.

WILTED SALAD- Cut across bottom of leaves, soak for several hours.

Dry before you bag it, by shaking, toweling, draining.

FRUITS- When you dive or get rejects from markets, you get fruit with tiny rotten spots. You must gauge how long it will last with that nick and if it's not long, "push" the fruit to the tenants and kids. If you're smart, you will do fruit salad the second it gets into the house. Wash, clean, peel, cut up, and sprig with mint so it looks appetizing and kids will add it to yogurt. If kids are not kitchen-friendly, the food-respectful parent will 'push' what just came in by serving it up in a festive fashion. Plop a dish on their lap in front of the TV or where they're doing homework. Parents will never, ever tell their kids this is or charity from markets. Their egos cannot handle it. They want to be the same as other kids and you should respect their feelings.

GREEN POTATOES- Plant them. They're no good for anything else. The green ones will give you arthritic joints. Potatoes develop a poison when they turn green. Sprouting potatoes are fine to use, just cut the sprouted tips off with a piece of potato behind it, and plant those. Only eat the remaining, gouged up spud.

While upper class DDs and BFer's don't go after it, restaurants throw huge amounts of food into the trashcan. Just for an experiment, go behind a cafe at 11 p.m. and check. You'll find complete meals, well wrapped.

Except for riding shotgun with Frizzy Bob, I have no recent experience DDing. However, when I was a young single mother with four children to feed, I used to drop by the trashbin of elegant Fred's Bakery in Beverlywood and reheat "day's end" (not day-old) corn rye in my oven. Bread never tasted better.

But DDs and BFers are elitists and care about their feelings more than they desire a free meal. diving is a little rough on self image. A BFer concerned about waste might visit the back alley kitchen door of a small cafe and ask the cook when the kitchen closes, and if he could come back with plastic jugs, and distribute the leftovers to the poor and homeless. He will not ask for the food for himself because he'd get bummed out. But he'll eat probably eat part of it himself, later. My friend Jeffrey goes nightly to the Hare Krishna restaurant, Govinda's, and is given gallon milk jugs or huge plastic bags full of curried dal, rice and yogurt raita, which he distributes to his friends or freezes.

A BFer will go to the bakery, determine when the baker throws away the day-old unsold bread and promise to pick it up to distribute to the homeless. Merchants are food-artisans, and always glad to NOT have to throw precious delights in the trash; they welcome the appearance of a 'distributor.' I know because I was the unofficial 'distributor' for my 3HO (Sikh) healthfood store. I was given forty to fifty pounds of food a day. They knew that the four kids and I couldn't consume that quantity, and that I was distributing to the poor .

Some days there would be a dozen huge yogurts, five dozen half-gallons of milk, massive bags of rice and lentils with rat bites, pounds of wilted greens--I'd cut the stems, stick them in water--they'd puff right back up. Carrots get a deep bath overnight and they are crunchy as new.

Always ask the store manager for throwaway stuff for your poor people's route. If the manager says no, come back another day when he's not on duty. (How do you find out? ASK!) Ask for the dented cottage cheese. It's the single item most often discarded.

Another trick of the collecting trade---that weekly Farmer's Market the yuppies attend has a lot of unsold produce at sundown. Where do you think it goes? Back to the truck farms? No way! If you help the farmer load his truck, he'll comp you. To him, it's nothing. He has eggplants coming out of his ears. If you tell him you know of some poor families or a halfway house or orphanage and roll up a truck, he'll give you enough to set up your own stand the next day--but don't be tempted. Cops harass street vendors. Instead, visit poor pals' homes where you'll win brownie stripes contributing farm-grown vegies.

Need fresh food the other 6 days of the week? No problem. The Farmers market moves to a different borough of the city each day. Or try Supers. All small, non-chain grocery stores have rats. If you ask the employees, you can get dog and cat kibble, flour, rice---true, sometimes there are tiny teeth marks on the bag, or actual rat droppings inside, but they're easy enough to pick out.

Sometimes, you have a dollar, a quarter, a dime and a nickel. In this case, you have to know what foods are the SUPER CHEAP GOURMET HIGH ENERGY/NUTRITION TREATS: GREENS: Collards are .33c a bunch at barrio stores and at Iranian markets. They cost .89c in ritzy emporiums. The butcher always gives me a piece of pig fat for free. Fry this, discard oil and put those "chitlins" in your greens. When you've got cash, get smoked ham hocks. Cut them up, store in freezer, take a few chunks to boil with the greens. Add a little sugar and chile pepper and you'll sing Baptist hymns.

TOP RAMEN: Buy the .33c cup of shrimp ramen. In the produce section, get a few broccoli florets, spinach leaves, and a carrot. Chop your vegies, boil, pour water over ramen, let sit a minute. Add chile sesame oil, seaweed, onion, slice of raw ginger, seaweed, an egg if you've got one. Really so delicious, often I can't wait for poverty to eat it, so I eat them with bucks in my pocket. The super tasty dried shrimp make this my favorite flavor. I used to give ramen to the homeless until I learned they ate it raw like chips! True, it's not healthfood, but it makes me EAT the greens that ARE.

HOLIDAY FOODS: If you get blue on holidays without that turkey or ham, indulge your inner child and have the ham! You can get it by doing shopping for five or six old people. Supermarkets give hams away if you buy enough groceries to qualify so it pays to make lots of geriatric pals in your neighborhood. Get their shopping list and their cash in front. Tell them they'll get an exact to the penny itemization. First, collect coupons on all the peripherals people want, vegies, cereal, soup, oil, sugar, etc. Give the discount to the geriatrics, too. Now, get the food section from the newspapers on trash night. See which market is giving the ham or turkey away free for a fifty dollar purchase. Holidays they do this. One wants $100 but there's always a market that will give premiums for $50. Go there, shop in groupings, keeping items separate in basket. Then, arrange the foods on the checkout stand so that each geriatric's groceries are scanned together in a group, as you'll be showing this receipt to the geriatric later when you give him or her the change and just showing them their circled items. If you're an angel, you'll divide the ham and share it with the geriatrics!

COFFEE- All supermarket coffee mills have a little drawer

full of grinds that will be thrown away. Ask the manager, he'll let you have it for free. Find plastic bags in the produce section. Often you'll find bags where someone ground a little coffee, then stopped. This ground coffee will be thrown away, so repackage in plastic produce bag and tuck it in your pocket.

DENTED CANS- Some markets mark them down with a black marker.

In really hard times, there are weeds growing in front yards. Take a careful look at what you find that is SURPRISINGLY TASTY:

1.) PURSLANE grows everywhere. It's a fat, flat, low-sprawling leafy little octopus like weed with leaves like jade plant, fleshy stems, loaded with Omega oils that heal the heart. Mexican maids used to bring it into my San Miguel de Allende kitchen in spring as if it were God's gift to man. The way they cooked it, it was. Steam for a minute, add fresh-made garlicky tomato sauce. Scramble in one egg at last minute, if your aorta is not a problem.

2.) DANDELIONS; eat the smallest, tenderest green leaves in your salad. Bigger leaves get juiced.

3. OUR VINES HAVE MORE THAN TENDER GRAPES: Parboil the delicate new leaves of grape vines 'til soft, fill with rice, roll and steam. Unusually tasty!

4.) CACTUS: The tender green baby leaves are de-fanged with a knife, then sliced in ribbons, parboiled, served with raw chopped onion, tomato and cilantro. A delicacy in Mexican cafes. Later in summer, the tuna fruit is grasped with newspapers, bagged, gas-flame toasted at home to remove needles, peeled, sliced. Plant the seeds!

5: ESCARGOT: California variety same as French small variety. These were actually brought here from Europe. No need to check garden for SNAROL. If the escargot found any, he'd be slimy tread to the sky, stone cold dead. HOW TO FIND: Spray garden well night before. Hour before dawn, collect les petits slimeballs. Feed snails cornmeal for a few days, locked in a box, jar or cage. Rinse them clean, drop in salted, simmering water for l0 min. Discard gritty strip, where it's attached to the shell. Heat butter, parsley, drop in snail fillets. Turn off fire, add crushed garlic, raw lemon. Garnish with minced parsley. Serve on toast. Ooo La La! Nature writer Chris Nygeres says they're better than those available in French cafes. Would you believe it? I'm drooling for stuff I wouldn't touch in their habitat without canvas gloves!

No escargot drool response? Starving and broke? The last resort is begging. Go to a supermarket parking lot in a neighborhood very far from your home or you won't be able to handle it emotionally. Dress in really ragged, bleached tatters. Have a child with you. Rent the kid as emotional duress is too intense on the child if it actually is yours. Sign should read, Homeless, On the Street, Cold, (adjust to season) Require money for transit to Fresno, Oregon, or for Landlord or groceries. (pick only one.) If they give you a can of something you would never eat, beef tamales, do not say "I'm sorry, we're vegetarian, we can't eat that, we'd welcome money." Don't you dare say you're vegetarian as your glaring poverty will give vegies a bad name. Take the can and give it to someone who eats meat. You never look a donation in the teeth!

Another, safer, more hilarious way to get food is GYPSY SCROUNGING FOR FOOD IN STYLE: Dress up and hit the big hotels; every banquet room has food in it; join the crowd at parties. Drive around posh suburban areas on Saturday and Sunday at 1 PM for daytime parties or 7 PM to 8 for nighttime . You'll see parking valets. Park your own car, walk into the party, eat your fill, socialize. Network. Great in Hollywood, where writers can meet producers, agents, directors. Go to Gallery Row. Spot a party? Crash it. Cheese, wine and crackers are the 3 main food groups!

HOW NOT TO BE HUNGRY: When the food supply's small, or dangerous to procure, the trick is-- don't do anything stupid that will make you get unduly hungry. Besides too much cold air or exercise, the prime cause of hunger is eating carbs and sugars; Avoid them entirely. They not only don't stick to the ribs, the insulin reaction to them creates bigtime hunger.

Dense carbs, fruit excepted, have no nutrition. Stick to macro- nutrient-dense vegies, high protein whole grains, not high starch, and of course, proteins. Only eat fruits if you know that you have a rib-sticking meal ready, an hour later.

The magic herb that kills hunger in the body and raises blood sugar is licorice or fennel. It grows wild all over the city. Chew any part, the reaction is instant. All hunger departs--and for the oddest, longest time.

SKINNY FAT FOODS: Most skid row free meals serve white rice, a killer carb. It seems like a thin food but it's all starch and will make you eat like a horse an hour later. All Hari Krishna or Sikh temples have a daily 'lungar'...(odd it should rhyme with hunger) comprised of rice and chapati, unfortunately, all super-starchy carbs. You can eat hand-out food but avoid the rice and wheat foods; instead, load up on garbanzos, beans (black or kidney are preferable to starchy pinto). Take all the lentils you can get, and eat them cold the rest of the day and night. Welcome vegetable and dairy products. Carbs will fast-flame but then you go into low blood sugar and you start to feel blue and will forget what delirious pleasure it is to be a Bottom Feeder.


Many bottom feeders are holistic healers, knowledgeable about New Age diets. We often cook vegetarian delights for parties, or give massages, making good money, as clients are used to paying $120 an hour and we can lowball the competition and do it for $60 (and get twice the clients). We counsel on Power Diets, diagnose weak organs from the iris of the eye then suggest (and sell for retail) herbs we buy wholesale from those Mormon herb farms in Utah. (Look up Nature's Sunshine in Spanish Fork Utah). We generally stay healthy because we take those herbs ourselves. But my secret, bottom feeder way of staying tip top and getting FREE massage treatments is that I teach an esoteric system, Primal Scream massage. I was instructed on Primal Scream Emotional Release work by Dyan Cannon, when I party-read palms at her Malibu home. She inspired me to read the works of Art Janov, then get primaled at a center run by his students. They didn't do massage, but I was into it. I accidentally stumbled on the fact that simultaneous massage and sad music could produce primals too. I came up with an unusual Rolfing massage therapy involving digging in neural nexus and muscle bundles around the heart, shoulders and neck where repressed pain lodges, having really sad music on, like Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, thusly drawing emotions out of the supine client. So I wouldn't need a shrink's license, I called it TANTRUM YOGA. My clients were encouraged to remember painful memories and if not talk---then scream about them. It's full of convolutions and naturally, all the yuppie-puppies wanted to study with me. The catch: my students have to practice on my sore old bod. P.S. I have nothing left to scream about these days but I mime that part to get a good rub on my aching bones.


TEETH HURTING? Free dentistry is easy. UCLA and SC both have dental schools and need guinea pigs. Call them up and you'll soon be under a student's drill. Whoopee. Most dentists will let you paint their house, clean their gardens, babysit or paint paintings for a trade. So, when you're diving and pass a dentist's office, leave a letter. Dear Doc, wanna trade for fillings? Here are snaps of my paintings. (resume, etc.)

AVOIDING CAVITIES: Forget toothpaste. The Fluoride is so toxic it takes your immune system 24 hours to recover. Mix salt and baking powder in a jar. Dip brush in, brush under the gumline where pyorrhea starts. Use a soft, thick brush, working it into the gums, trying to make your gums bleed. Change brushes daily, letting them dry between use. When gums no longer bleed when you do this, you've cured the bacteria problem---for a moment.

Brush teeth immediately upon waking, brush tongue, and brush back of tongue to provoke a gag ,which coughs up mucus. Rinse with cold water (prevents gum disease) after every meal. Floss once a day. You may never need a dentist.


You think they'll never happen but they do and when you need those sudden stitches, there's no time for comparison shopping, so do that now and be ready.

Recently, my son got his hand whizzed around the pulley system of a car. The tendons to one finger on top of hand were severed. He realized he would never work again as an electrician if tendon ligature wasn't done. I had to make a lot of phone calls to E.R.s in a very panicky ten minute period. Daniel Freeman Hospital, where his pal had driven him, wanted $2,000 in front to even call the hand surgeon in. County General SC wanted $l00 in front but averred the kid would wait five hours in the waiting room before a scalpel was lifted due to the average day's haul of bulletholes. Harbor General already had a hand surgeon there 24 hours a day. No bullets down there so they're never very busy and when the kid sailed in, the doc immediately did the necessary tendon ligature on a local without thinking of money and when it was all over, they asked for only $50. If he doesn't pay within five days time, however, they say they'll dun him for a hefty $1500. They say they're very cheap if you're a fast pay as most people stiff 'em. So, in the LA area, HARBOR GENERAL HOSPITAL in Torrance takes the cake. It's really worth it to do the homework ahead of the disaster. Know exactly which freeway you have to zip over to get to such a heavenly place. (Harbor Freeway south to Carson, turn right.) [Editor's Note: Many communities also have free clinics, or municipal hospitals. Also, many private hospitals are required by law, under the Hill-Burton Act, to provide free care to indigents if they receive certain federal funding [End Editor's Note]

HEALERS- Holistic healers are bon marche and terrific. Giveaway mags at local healthfood stores have tons of ads. Healthfood stores collect business cards in scrap books, will show to customers. Call Santa Teresita Hospital in Duarte and see Marjorie Ward, the world's best. $45 first visit. She could make Mother Teresa so healthy she'd tapdance.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Cupboard pics

Ok Carly-

What's your take? I think we're going to plan on stenciling....

Manifesting abundance and bliss

I am going to take some time and really manifest the things that I want and that will make me happy. Part of me feels like I should wait until treasure mapping time, but then I realized, I can manifest all the time and I'm not technically "treasure mapping" a visual right now, so it's ok ;)

Firstly, I am GOING to be a midwife within the next 4-5 years. I will make it happen. If I'm going to live a life where I have to work the majority of my waking hours, it WILL be something important and worthwhile, and it WILL be something I enjoy doing. I am starting by taking childbirth support classes in June. :D I'm very excited about this, it is a big step for me. More on this late.

Secondly, I am going to work to build the equity in my home with remodels. My house is a diamond in the rough. Once I'm through, it will be an absolutely stunning piece of property. I do not plan on selling, but I would like to refi, and here's why.

I've decided that once I refinance, I am going to withdraw about 60k. With that money, I am going to buy a couple acres or so (probably in the middle of nowhere- and all the better really). This land will at first be for recreation, but I have a couple of other ideas for it. I would like to build my hobbit houses. Tons of them. I don't know yet what I'm going to do with them, but I want to have them there. Seems like it would just be good to have a secluded property available to me and my family should we ever need it. Please see this amazing website:

Perhaps I can contact these people and get blueprints. These are amazing. It think they say it'll be about 9-10k American to build these dwellings. How awesome!!!!

They can be there when dad wants to retire, if we want to just get away, or (and here's the conspiracy theorist in me) if anything 'happens' where you need to get somewhere safe.

My other thought is, there is a place called the Farm in TN where they have midwives at almost a resort for lack of a better word. You can travel there to give birth and just stay until you have your baby, Ooooooor if you live nearby, you can just travel there once you go into labor. Perhaps my hobbit houses can be simliar?

We have an amazing midwifery school here in WA and I'm sure I could find other aspiring midwives that would be wanting to go in on this as well. I'm more thinking out loud than anything right now...


Just got off the phone with my old midwife. She's going to need an assistant/doula in about a year. I'm on the list. I'm going to call them in June after my doula training and make it happen. I already know that they love me. Hurray!!!!!

Friday, March 16, 2007

What the hell is wrong with my pics?

Can someone tell me why my pics don't show up? Let's try this again!!

How cute is my baby, you ask?

Just for those of you who weren't aware ;)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I'm Grateful!

Hello everyone. I've had a gloomy couple of days, so I decided today would be a good day to remember why I'm grateful! I'll bet I can come up with 10 things if I think hard ; )

1. I finally bought a house! Yay!

2. I also finally signed up for my doula training courses (childbirth support!!) Yay #2!

3. Jake comes home from being out of town today.

4. Jake doesn't have to go out of town for his job anymore! :D

5. One of my best good friends Xamara is coming over to see my new house today.

6. I had an amazing lunch break with my friends at work.

7. My baby is learning to walk and he is quite possibly the cutest thing in the world.

8. I have great friends.

9. I got a job interview yesterday for what seems like a really awesome job!

10. I just got some really good books in the mail :)

I do feel better.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Eek! Let's try this again!

Hopefully these photos work! For some reason, my last post wouldn't let me edit! Not sure what's up with that!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

House part II- The Livingroom

Hi guys! Here's the livingroom. It's honestly really lacking a few things. I need to get a large black entertainment center (need- hahaha. It's what I picture anyway!), I could also use a nice large maroon and tan rug and curtains. I will also be painting that room what they call 'bamboo'. It's basically tan. It'll look good ; ) Not sure what color curtains yet....

Here's a pic of the weird brick facade thingy on the floor of the fireplace- not sure what they were thinking. I'm going to replace that with something else...maybe stones? That could be cool.

And here's one of the cool vents I've got throughout the house (gas heat- who knew? I've never lived anywhere where that was available before...)

So this room will have new paint, new curtains, a rug, new entertainment center (at some point), and a new floor by the fireplace. The windows are single pane...I'd like to replace them with double pane so they're more heat efficient, but I just know I'd have to get them special made since it's such an old style and size. I love it though!!!!

There's also a blank wall behind the couch that really needs something... I really don't know what though :( Maybe I'll find two large hangings that compliment eachother (that odd light fixture is in the middle- will replace it with a different fixture). Oooh! I almost forgot- the two sconces above the fireplace will be replaced also. They're really not that bad, but the one is missing it's shade...not sure what happened there. I'm guessing the previous owners broke it or something...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

I adopted a puppy!

I meant to post this a few weeks ago when we got her, but we got a new puppy (right after posting about how you should adopt a pet- and I honestly didn't even think about that when I got her. How's that for manifesting?) Just wanted to share a couple quick pics. She's a rott/australian shepphard. About 11 weeks old now. We are having a helluva time potty training her, but she does really well with other commands. We've named her Willow and she's super sweet. The only thing I don't really love about her (and Carly, I hadn't gotten up the guts to tell yout his yet) but she hates (hates isn't quite the right word...) cats and small dogs. She LOVES to play with big dogs and keeps up with them quite well, but I've seen her pin a couple of cats against the wall and she tries to eat my sister's dog. This may become a dilemma because I'm with my sis and Carly a lot- and they both have very small dogs. Not to mention, I should be bringing my dog hating cat home soon, but that's another story.

Anywho, here she is!

My new house part I- The Office

Hello All!!! A quick update on the new house. I have some photos of the office to post. The rest of the house is prettt messy still, and less put together than this room. This, of course, is not the FINAL FINAL product. I will paint eventually... I know it would've made more sense to paint first, but we couldn't afford it at the time and I didn't want to stare at blank walls (who does?) It wouldn't let me stick the photos where I wanted them, it just lumped them together-sorry about that. I'm thinking about painting the walls red...any thoughts? Maybe bamboo instead? I love the weird old closet- it makes a lot more sense than I originally thought it did (now that I have clothes in it!!).

I think there are hard woods under the carpet- but I actually don't hate this for now, I think we just need to paint the walls and get some curtains.

: )